The GeeksverseNEWS Round-up | Week of September 14, 2013

NEWS Round-up | Week of September 14, 2013
Published on Saturday, September 14, 2013 by
[UPDATED] Stories about Alan Moore, Gary Friedrich, and Bob Layton lead off this week’s edition of the News Round-up. ALSO: A sneak peek at Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1 by Alex De Campi (Valentine, Smoke/Ashes) and Chris Peterson (FUBAR, Grim Leaper).

Alan Moore on the BBC’s Today

Alan_MooreEarlier in the week, Alan Moore talked to the BBC’s Today program about British impresario Malcolm McLaren and how he and Moore ended up working together on the “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired screenplay Fashion Beast, currently being adapted as a ten-issue limited series scripted by Antony Johnston (Wasteland, Umbral) with art by Facundo Percio (Anna Mercury, Anna Mercury 2). The interview then goes on to cover Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Moore’s opinions on the rise in popularity of the graphic novel, his prose work, and Moore even drops hints about a future graphic novel about H.P. Lovecraft. Some highlights from the nine minute audio interview:

  • On what he was trying to do with Watchmen:

Firstly, to question the limitations of the [comic book medium] itself, to see what comics could be used for that they had not been traditionally used for in the past. Yes, I was aware that it did give me a platform to discuss more serious things than people who wear their underpants over their trousers. We were talking mainly about power. Power in the world, how it’s exercised, and we were using these—fairly dope-y—superhero characters as an interesting symbol. Of course, these days, with hundreds and hundreds of masked anarchists swarming over the world’s political stage, I guess at least some of these people were amongst my readership.

  • On people wearing the Guy Fawkes masks popularized in V for Vendetta in protests and demonstrations:

I was pleased to think that a symbol, an image, that I’d come up with 30 years ago could be useful for the protest movement today. Yet I can’t take any credit for it, it’s them who’re doing all the work. They’re the ones who are out there sleeping in parks and on the steps of some pubs. I’m in relatively comfortable circumstances. But I would say that they’re doing it for all others and that it needs to be done.

  • On graphic novels being included on literary prize short lists and the implication that they are now accepted as high art:

I have to say that I have never read a [graphic novel] that is on a literary prize short list. That is, to my mind, not where culture is happening… That’s certainly not anything to do with me. I really didn’t want comics to become… a high-end style accessory? I was only ever interested in the medium and its possibilities, which I continue to be interested in.

  • On the Superman and Batman franchises and his writing Superman and Batman comics:

I’m not proud of it. I have nothing but abhorrence for the superhero as a figure. I think that there is something wrong with our culture. These aren’t responsible adults, and they are thrilling to concepts and characters and stories that were written to entertain the 12 year-old boys of fifty years ago. I think it says something a little bit disturbing if we just want to regurgitate the culture that we grew up with and takes us back to our happy place. I really thought that comics was about something more than that.

Marvel, Gary Friedrich, to settle Ghost Rider lawsuit out of court

Spotlight_5_coverThe long-running dispute between Gary Friedrich and Marvel over the character rights to Ghost Rider is now coming to an end, if reported efforts by both parties to come to an amicable settlement bear fruit. We’ve covered this story quite extensively over the past several months, so here are the links to our previous and current coverage and analyses of the whole affair:

Marvel, Bob Layton settle, too…

In a related development, long-time Iron Man writer-artist Bob Layton announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he has reached a settlement with Marvel over character rights issues stemming from his work with David Michelinie on Iron Man and thanked Gary Friedrich for “paving the way.”


Bob Layton and co-writer David Michelinie were responsible for crafting the “Demon in a Bottle” storyline that spanned issues #120–128 of The Invincible Iron Man (March–Nov. 1979), considered by many fans and critics alike as one of the most important Iron Man stories published as it introduced the then-novel idea of a mainstream superhero battling with the issue of alcoholism. Story and character elements from “Demon in a Bottle” and other Iron Man stories penned by Layton were incorporated in the first two Iron Man films directed by Jon Favreau. To date, the combined lifetime worldwide grosses of Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), and Iron Man 3 (2013) add up to over $2.4 billion.


August by the numbers: The latest from the direct market

A snapshot of August’s direct market/comics specialty shop sales picture: DC shipped the most books but Marvel took the marketshare lead, Image’s The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 topped graphic novel sales. The top five publishers in terms of marketshare: Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, Dark Horse. To see the full report, check out the ICv2 article.


Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1 sneak preview

From our friends at Dark Horse, a sneak preview look at October’s Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1:

Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1 goes on sale on October 2, 2013 and is written by Alex De Campi (Valentine, Smoke/Ashes) and features illustrations by Chris Peterson (FUBAR, Grim Leaper).

Odds and sods

More news from around the world of comics:

  • AttackOnTitanVol6Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan dominates the New York Times manga best seller list, with volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 of the dystopian future-set series all charting in the top ten, although Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, Vol. 68 takes the top spot. (Anime News Network/New York Times)
  • Former HBO exec Jeff DiBartolomeo joins comiXology as its new Chief Technology Officer. (Comixverse)
  • Newly appointed CTO Jeff DiBartolomeo explains why he joined comiXology. (TechHive)
  • Ellen Page rumored to be in talks to play Tara Chace in film adaptation of Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country. (Variety) [I do hope it’s better than the utterly forgettable film adaptation of Rucka’s Whiteout from several years ago–ed.]
  • Latest “visual press release” from BOOM! Studios teases a new original title from the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Adventure Time creative team of writer Ryan North and artists Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. (Comixverse)
  • Marvel launches the “All-New Marvel NOW” initiative with digital promos and such. (USA Today)
  • Oni Press to release compilation of R. Stevens’ popular Diesel Sweeties webcomic, entitled Diesel Sweeties: I’m a Rocker. I Rock Out,  in both trade paperback and hardcover formats. (Comixverse)
  • Japanese government to file formal complaint against French editorial cartoon on the Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis. (BBC)
  • Oscar-winning animator, Studio Ghibli co-founder, and celebrated mangaka Hayao Miyazaki formally announces his retirement from filmmaking at the age of 72 at a Tokyo press conference; future plans include devoting time to updating the Ghibli Museum. (CBC News)
  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour GN Cover - Illustrated by Tom FowlerThe Thrilling Adventure Hour creators Ben Acker and Ben Blacker to be joined by Paul F. Tompkins, Joshua Malina, and other performers at two Californa venues on Sept. 16 and Sept. 21 to promote The Thrilling Adventure Hour graphic novel. (Comixverse)
  • Salt Lake Comic-Con breaks the unofficial North American record for attendance at a comics convention premiere with an estimated 70,000–80,000 attendees over the three-day event. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • BOOM!/Archaia announce Hawken: Melee, a five-part miniseries based on Adhesive Games’ free-to-play, multiplayer mech combat shooter. First issue to feature Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hypernaturals), Federico Dallocchio (Suicide Squad), and Chris Northrop (The Reason for Dragons). (Comixverse)
  • This review of superhero-themed action game The Wonderful 101 made us think “we wish we had a Nintendo Wii U,” for the first time ever. The winning quote from the review: “The Wonderful 101 is the equivalent of dumping a box of 400 action figures out in front of a kid and telling them to go at it.” (The Gameological Society)
  • Tom Hiddleston fans create petition for Loki movie. (IGN) [How about we wait and see if a Loki comic book can sell first, huh, guys?–ed.]
  • New issue of So Buttons by Jonathan Baylis, premiere issue of Teej Comix by T.J. Kirsch to launch at this weekend’s Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. (Comixverse)
  • Images from the opening of the Montreal Comic-Con (Sept. 13–15, Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montréal, QC). (CBC News Montreal)
In case you missed them…

Don’t forget that we regularly post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers. This week, we’ve got sneak peeks of fifteen titles including a 12-page preview of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Vol. 2, a 19-page preview of East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise, a 23-page preview of Star Wars, Vol. 1: In the Shadow of Yavin, a seven-page preview of Blade of the Immortal, Vol. 27: Mist on the Spider’s Web, and a preview of The Art of Akaneiro artbook that features three double-page spreads.

On the Leaving Proof front, we did a recap and cursory analysis of the dispute over the Ghost Rider character rights between writer Gary Friedrich and Marvel Comics.

Moira, Troy, and Zedric revisited Marvel’s Daredevil: Dark Nights and X-Men, Dark Horse’s Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus, and Image’s Sheltered in the inaugural edition of our Second Impressions review feature.

The most recent Roundtable discussion had staff and contributors talking about their favorite comics-to-live-action translations of superhero costumes.

We leave you now with this news video featuring two men dressed as Captain America and Batman saving a cat trapped in a burning house:

Who says Marvel and DC can’t get along? [That newscaster deserves an award for keeping her “hard-hitting news” face on the whole time–ed.]

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