The GeeksverseNEWS Round-up | Week of September 21, 2013

NEWS Round-up | Week of September 21, 2013
Published on Saturday, September 21, 2013 by
[UPDATED] In this week’s article: artist Mike Dimayuga passes away, George Pérez develops vision problems linked to diabetes, the complete list of the 2013 Ignatz Award winners, DC apologizes for the Harley Quinn art contest brouhaha, and more.

R.I.P., artist Mike Dimayuga

colt-noble-and-the-megalords-comicColt Noble and the Megalords and Hero House artist Mike Dimayuga passed away Monday, September 16, at the age of 39. The Tracy, California-based illustrator was afflicted with ankylosing spondylitis, although it is unknown at this time if the cause of his death was related to his condition. Colt Noble and the Megalords writer Tim Seeley, who also worked with Dimayuga on Hack/Slash #23, paid tribute to the artist on Facebook, writing that “[Mike’s illness] had clearly not slowed him down at all artistically, and hadn’t put any kind of damper on his attitude. Via the [San Diego Comic Con,] Mike became friendly with all my collaborators, Steve Seeley, Mike Moreci, Mike Norton… everyone liked the dude immediately.”

Dimayuga had been active on his deviantART account as recently as the 12th, and many of his latest pieces had the artist toying with what he called an “animated style” that looked leaps and bounds better than his previously published work.

Below are a number of recent works Dimayuga posted on deviantART showing his evolving art style, including a series of images inspired by the video game The Last of Us:

Readers who wish to help Dimayuga’s family with costs should note that the artist’s Redbubble store carries prints, stickers, and t-shirts featuring his artwork.

Avengers, New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman artist George Pérez loses vision in left eye

From George Pérez’ Facebook page:

For those who have followed my posts for a good while, the fact that I’ve been dealing with vision problems will not be too much of a surprise.

However, I need to report that my eye troubles have taken a bit of a downturn as my left eye has experienced some hemorrhaging, pretty much blinding me in that eye. This has necessitated my wearing an eyepatch in order to see a bit more clearly through my right eye. (See photo for my new pirate persona!)

perezeyepatch

My eye doctor is continuing a combination of laser and injection surgery, but there is a possibility that I may require scalpel surgery in the near future. I need to begin treatments that will better control my diabetes and blood pressure before he can do that, though. I had considered keeping this private, but realized that it would become pretty public once I appeared at the Project Comic Con show in St. Louis this weekend.

I’m not going to minimize the seriousness of my situation, but I am still drawing (albeit with a bit more effort) and am trying to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude. My wife Carol (Phoenicia) is an enormous source of comfort, support and love and the friends and family members who’ve heard the news have been pillars of concern and well wishes. I appreciate all the strength they’ve provided me.

This is not meant to elicit pity, although any and all good wishes, positive vibes and even prayers will be greatly accepted with great thanks and sincerest humility.

Pérez—perhaps best known to today’s readers for his work on The New Teen Titans (where he and inker Romeo Tanghal formed one of the early 1980s’ most popular mainstream superhero comics penciler/inker pairings, behind perhaps only the John Byrne/Terry Austin combo on Uncanny X-Men), Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wonder WomanAvengers, and JLA/Avengers—had recently signed a selectively-exclusive contract with BOOM! Studios, citing dissatisfaction with how Marvel and DC currently manage their books as well as a better medical benefits package as major reasons explaining why he went with the LA-based publisher:

New_Teen_Titans_Vol_1_1Many of the [DC and Marvel] characters I grew up with were turning into strangers whose adventures were determined by factors that had less and less to do with what made a good comic story and more to do with how these properties can be exploited for other purposes. There’s nothing wrong with that, I guess, but not something that I felt was particularly satisfying for me as a storyteller…

… [BOOM! Studios] offered me a chance to work on something I wanted to do, something they hoped would rekindle the creative spark that I felt was being squelched these past few years. I was also offered something that was a bit unique—an employment contract, meaning I would actually receive all benefits of being an employee with tax withholding and medical benefits. To be fair, I was receiving medical benefits at the Big Two as well, but it was frightfully expensive and required full exclusivity. BOOM!’s package is a little more flexible regarding exclusivity—and a good deal cheaper.

Creators being “bullied” at the Big Two?

Paul Jenkins' account of his recent stint at DC painted an image of a work environment in disarray. Was it jsut the tip of the iceberg?

Paul Jenkins’ account of his recent stint at DC painted an image of a work culture and environment where creators were “bullied” by what he called “unqualified project managers.” Was it just the tip of the iceberg?

Speaking of creators who’ve left Marvel and DC for publishers that specialize in creator-owned titles, Image Comics prez Eric Stephenson alleges in a recent Multiversity article that the reason so many “Big Two” talents are migrating to creator-owned comics publishers like Image, Dark Horse, and BOOM! is because of what amounts to bullying in the corporate environments at Marvel and DC, referring to a “desperate little suit who calls up and makes all these veiled threats about [freelancers’ families’] well-being while hammering them with a contract.” Pretty strong allegations for which Stephenson doesn’t offer any more substantive evidence.

But bullying or not, the rash of abrupt, acrimonious, and quite public exits by writers and artists because of clashes with their editors in the past several months—the majority of which seem to have happened over at DC—does paint a picture of a stifling corporate and creative environment that leaves many writers and artists disgruntled and professional bridges burnt. John Gholson has compiled a detailed timeline of DC Comics creator firings, reshufflings, and resignations since the late 2009 restructuring of the publisher and its re-branding as “DC Entertainment.” It’s absolutely engrossing reading in a watching-an-accident-happen-in-slow-motion sort of way.

Your 2013 Ignatz Award winners

The list of the 2013 Ignatz Award winners (winners names’ highlighted in bold), from last weekend’s Small Press Expo:

Outstanding Artist
  • Lose4Michael DeForge for Lose #4
  • Lilli Carré for Heads or Tails
  • Miriam Katin for Letting It Go
  • Ulli Lust for Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life
  • Patrick McEown for Hair Shirt
Outstanding Anthology or Collection
  • verycasualVery Casual by Michael DeForge
  • Freddie Stories by Lynda Barry
  • Heads or Tails by Lille Carré
  • Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff by Peter Bagge
  • Stark #1 by Tusen Hjartan
Outstanding Graphic Novel
  • lastdaylustToday is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust
  • The Property by Rutu Modan
  • Susceptible by Genevieve Castree
  • When David Lost His Voice by Judith Vanistendael
  • You’ll Never Know Vol. 3: A Soldier’s Heart by Carol Tyler
Outstanding Story
  • gold-starGold Star by John Martz
  • “Arid” (Secret Prison #7) by Tom Hart
  • Birdseye Bristoe by Dan Zettwoch
  • “The Carnival” (Heads or Tails) by Lilli Carré
  • “Neighbors” (Stark #1) by Joanna Hellgren
Promising New Talent
  • hawaiialdenSam Alden for  Hawaii 1997 and Haunter
  • Nathan Bulmer for Eat More Bikes
  • Philippa Rice for Looking Out
  • Diana Thung for August Moon
  • Angie Wang for “The Teacup Tree” (Secret Prison #7)
Outstanding Series
  • Lose4Lose by Michael DeForge
  • The Hive by Charles Burns
  • Madtown High by Whit Taylor
  • Pope Hats by Ethan Rilly
  • Prison Pit by Johnny Ryan
Outstanding Comic
  • popehats3Pope Hats #3 by Ethan Rilly
  • Hyperspeed to Nowhere 2: Return to Entropy by Lale Westvind
  • The Life Problem by Austin English
  • Looking Out by Philippa Rice
  • St. Owl’s Bay by Simon Hanselmann
Outstanding Minicomic
  • mini-end-of-the-worldThe End of the Fucking World: Part 16 by Charles Forsman
  • Il Cammino Delle Capre by Kris Mukai and Zachary Zezima
  • Hawaii 1997 by Sam Alden
  • Layaway by Joseph Lambert
  • Powdered Milk Vol. 10: The Man Who Could Not Read by Keiler Roberts
Outstanding Online Comic

Odds and sods

More news from around the world of comics:

  • DC issues official apology for the “Break into Comics with Harley Quinn!” art contest: “DC Entertainment sincerely apologizes to anyone who may have found the page synopsis offensive and for not clearly providing the entire context of the scene within the full scope of the story.” (ICv2)
  • hawkeye_selectDiamond Select Toys previews some of its 2014 line, including a new Hawkeye figure sculpted by Jean St. Jean. (Comixverse)
  • The Walking Dead to get a spin-off show on AMC. (Deadline)
  • Other Worlds anthology to debut in print at Rose City Comic Con. (Comixverse)
  • Thunderbolts, Deadpool artist Declan Shalvey gives sound, practical portfolio advice to artists looking to impress publishers. (dshalv.tumblr.com)
  • Asked recently about what superpower he would like to have, Stan Lee replied: “Luck. Because if you’re lucky, then everything falls into place. Whatever you want to do, you accomplish. I don’t know why nobody has made a superhero who’s just lucky. Well, I do know why—because it isn’t visually interesting. But luck would be the greatest power in the world.” (The Huffington Post[Somebody should tell Lee about Marvel’s Longshot and Domino—ed.]
  • Sequart announces Warren Ellis: The Captured Ghosts Interviews. (Comixverse)
  • Sailor Moon Short Stories, Vol. 1 tops New York Times manga best seller list, Attack on Titan continues to dominate the top ten. (Anime News Network)
  • Art Spiegelman being stereoscopically-challenged is just one of the many new and interesting facts we learned from the Maus creator’s recent NPR interview. (NPR)
  • Daisy Carrington writes about the dangers of being a cartoonist in the Arab world. Says Cartoonist Rights Network International director Robert Russell: “The one thing a tyrant can’t stand is to be laughed at. If there’s rebellion in the streets, they can bring out the tanks, but if everyone is laughing at you, what defense do you have? It undermines the authority of a tyrant to be laughed at.” (CNN International)
  • Mattel’s DC Superhero action figure subscription service is canceled due to low orders, but the Masters of the Universe line is set to continue for at least one more year. (Comixverse)
  • ghostprojekt01NBC developing drama based on Joe Harris and Steve Rolston’s Ghost Projekt. (Deadline) [Awesome news! Spent some time talking to Rolston earlier this year at Fan Expo Vancouver… such a nice, thoughtful fellow. Here’s to Ghost Projekt becoming a comics-to-TV crossover hit—ed.]
  • VIZ Media to enter the Indian comics market. (Hindustan Times)
  • Writers Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek talk about Buzzkill, their new comic from publisher Dark Horse about a reluctant superhero who gains superpowers when he drinks alcohol and takes drugs. (Associated Press via CTV News)
  • Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick talks about Pretty Deadly, her upcoming Image Comics title illustrated by Emma Rios. (USA Today)
  • There’s a new trailer for J-Stars Victory Vs., a PS3/PS Vita-exclusive fighting game from Namco Bandai celebrating the 45th year anniversary of the Weekly Shōnen Jump anthology manga. No word yet on whether the game will eventually make it out to North America and/or Europe. Check it out below:

In case you missed them…

Cyborg 009 CoverDon’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 six-page preview of BOOM!/Archaia’s interesting reinvention of Shotaro Ishinomori’s Cyborg 009 by the team of F. J. De Santo (Insurgent, The Spirit), Bradley Camp , and Marcus To (Red Robin, The Huntress); a six-page preview of Howard Chaykin’s Century West, a 12-page sneak peek at IDW’s Star Trek: The Newspaper Comics, Vol. 2: 1981–1983 hardcover, and a 14-page look at the Criminal Macabre: Final Night—The 30 Days of Night Crossover trade paperback. Besides looks at individual books, we also have the complete December 2013 solicitations from Image Comics, IDW, and BOOM! Studios. It’s never too early to start planning your holiday comics and graphic novel purchases.

On the Leaving Proof front, we address the tricky topic of real and imagined nostalgia in superhero comics and question the “conventional wisdom” that married protagonists in comics don’t work.

New contributor and toy wonk Nick Saunders examines the recent trend of Hasbro’s action figures being made with less and less articulation.

We leave you now with the promotional video for UC Irvine and Canvas.net’s free, non-credit online course called Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead, which we first announced a couple of weeks ago in this space. We’ve really come a long way in the comics-based TV-meets-education field, if the letters after the names of the people teaching the course and their varied areas of academic expertise is any indication, although we’ll never forget that time when Spider-Man and the Blue Beetle showed up on The Electric Company to teach kids all about the “un-” prefix.

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