The GeeksverseNEWS Round-up | Week of November 16, 2013

NEWS Round-up | Week of November 16, 2013
Published on Saturday, November 16, 2013 by
We’ve got Batkid saving San Francisco, a “Batman” going to jail for drugs and theft charges, comics creators helping the Super Typhoon Haiyan survivors, a star-studded Canadian comics Kickstarter, an interactive “comics report” from Brazil, and more in this week’s News Round-up.
Batkid saves Gotham City!

Five year-old Miles Scott, who has recently completed a round of chemotherapy for leukemia that is currently in remission, got his wish to be “Batkid for a day” granted by the Make-A-Wish-Foundation. With the help of thousands of volunteers, sections of downtown San Francisco were turned into a replica Gotham City where young Miles could live out his superhero fantasy and foil staged crimes. The pint-sized caped crusader managed to rescue a damsel in distress (see image below), nab the Riddler and the Penguin, receive the key to the city, and even get a personal video message of appreciation from President Obama for his efforts, all before his afternoon nap.

Bat Kid from San Francisco Chronicle on Vimeo.





Fialkov and Infurnari’s The Bunker finds a print home at Oni Press

From the press release:

THE_BUNKER_1_4x6_COMP_SOLICIT_WEB‘One thing caused the end of the world. You.’ So reads the first letter extracted from THE BUNKER. A group of friends on the verge of starting their adult lives get a shocking glimpse of what they may cause. This is the gripping question posed in the critically-acclaimed, smash hit digital series THE BUNKER.

Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari’s creator-owned series burned up the ComiXology charts as one of the most successful titles of their fledgling Submit program earlier this year. Pairing an epic sci-fi scope with the grounding of a tight, personal drama, THE BUNKER offered fans a fresh, new perspective and an instantly engrossing plot from two comics veterans.

Now Oni Press is thrilled to announce that their pioneering work will see a new release in print beginning in February of 2014.

THE BUNKER #1 will collect the first five chapters of Fialkov and Infurnari’s digital series, reformatted and remastered for a traditional comic book size and clocking in at 48 pages for $3.99.

After this perfect introductory issue, THE BUNKER’s twisting, mysterious tale will continue on as an ongoing series. In addition to portions of the existing pages being updated and redrawn to share new secrets of the Bunker, Infurnari is also enhancing the color palette to the previously single toned pages.

Comics creators help raise money for Super Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts

Yale Stewart, creator of popular webcomic JL8, is auctioning off original JL8 art, with all proceeds going to UNICEF Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts (auction ends 18 November, 2013, 15:51 PST). He’s also offering a wallpaper and Facebook cover photo set (no minimum donation required), with all proceeds again going to typhoon relief efforts via UNICEF Philippines. As Stewart noted on his Tumblr: “What many of you may NOT know, is that the Philippines is the second-largest readership of JL8, only surpassed by the US. Not that I wouldn’t step in for a tragedy of this magnitude regardless, but as such, it hits a little bit closer to home than most.”


In the Philippines, Leinil Francis Yu (Avengers, Superman: Birthright), Carlo Pagulayan (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk), Harvey Tolibao (Danger Girl: Trinity, Psylocke), Stephen Segovia (Superior Carnage, Dark Wolverine), Romulo Fajardo, Jr. (G.I. Joe, Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes), and other Filipino artists will be drawing and selling sketches on Nov. 23 (starting at 1 PM) at DK Comics (3rd floor, Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City, Philippines). All proceeds from sales will go to the Philippine National Red Cross’ Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda) relief fund.


For our readers in the US and Canada, here are links to verified and recommended charities and relief organizations helping survivors of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda:

  • The American Red Cross
  • The Canadian Red Cross
  • World Food Programme: WFP is mobilising quickly to reach those in need with High Energy Biscuits–helping ensure families and children have nutritious food in these first few days of the emergency.
  • Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund (Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada): The Canadian government will accept and match donations from Canadian citizens and residents until December 8.
  • UNICEF: Click here to donate to UNICEF Canada’s typhoon relief efforts, here for the UNICEF USA donation page.
  • International Rescue Committee: The IRC has dispatched an emergency team to Manila and launched a $10 million appeal for donations.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders): Donate to MSF Canada’s relief efforts by clicking here. If you are based in the US, click here.
  • The Humanitarian Coalition: An umbrella group for several Canadian charities. The group includes Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, CARE Canada, Save the Children Canada and Plan Canada.

The latest official reports have the Philippine death toll from Super Typhoon Haiyan—regarded as the most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history—at 3,633, down from earlier estimates of up to 10,000, although the number of confirmed fatalities is expected to rise as rescue and relief workers make their way to areas that were previously inaccessible due to storm damage. In addition, some 1.5 million people have been displaced from their homes and the need for clean water, food, and medical supplies, as well as the risk of communicable disease outbreaks in makeshift refugee camps remain serious concerns.

The True Patriot, Vol. 2 Kickstarter

truepatriotvol2Eisner Award-nominated and Shuster Award-winning comics creator J. Torres (Teen Titans Go!, Love as a Foreign Language) has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for the second volume of True Patriot, the Canadian superhero comics anthology.

Contributors working with Torres on this new project include Adrian Alphona (Runaways), Andy Belanger (Kill Shakespeare), J. Bone (The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror), Jack Briglio (Growing Up Enchanted), Scott Chantler (Northwest Passage), Arthur Dela Cruz (Kissing Chaos), Brenden Fletcher (Wednesday Comics), Tom Fowler (Venom), Adam Gorham (Horror in the West), Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl, The Last of Us: American Dreams), Fred Kennedy (Helos), Jeff Lemire (The Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth), Tim Levins (Batman: Gotham Adventures), Ramon Perez (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand), Paul Rivoche (Mister X), Ron Salas (Existence 2.0), Jay Stephens (Sin), and Howard Wong (After the Cape). The campaign for True Patriot Vol. 1 raised over $20,000 earlier this year on crowdfunding site IndieGoGo. [NOTE: A 31-page preview of True Patriot, Vol. 1 can be read and downloaded here.]

True Patriot, Vol. 2 is planned to be a full color, limited edition hardcover, with the baseline 104 page count potentially reaching 120 pages if the campaign hits its stretch goal of CDN$24,000. As of this writing, the campaign has already received pledges amounting to a little over 65% of its basic funding goal of CDN$20,000, with two weeks to go (the campaign runs until 8PM EST, 01 December 2013). To learn more about the project and read detailed descriptions of rewards and incentives for backers, visit the True Patriot, Vol. 2 Kickstarter page.

Judge throws out $3 billion class-action lawsuit against Google for scanning books and posting “snippets” online.


US Circuit Judge Denny Chin dismissed a long-standing class-action lawsuit filed for various authors and publishers against Google for the company’s scanning of over 20 million books and posting “snippets” online. The plaintiffs were asking for $750 for each scanned book, which would have totaled approximately $3 billion. Chin agreed with Google’s stance that its actions fell under the definition of “fair use.”


Note that two years ago, Google tried to settle with the advocacy group that filed the lawsuit for the sum of $125 million, but Judge Chin rejected the deal on the grounds that it might give Google a “de facto monopoly” to copy books.


Judge Chin’s ruling has major implications for individuals and organizations (the Comixverse included) who post authorized and unauthorized scans of portions of copyrighted printed material under some interpretation of “fair use” guidelines, and it will be interesting to see what the ripple effect from this decision will be on the larger online publishing world.


It is expected, of course, that the plaintiffs will appeal the decision.

[Interestingly enough, Judge Denny Chin was also responsible for overturning the decision granting Marvel ownership rights to Ghost Rider, which eventually led to Marvel and Ghost Rider co-creator Gary Friedrich settling out of court for an undisclosed amount earlier this year–ed.]

So Close, Faraway!, an interactive “comics report” by Paim, Ortiz, and Piccini

Journalist Augusto Paim, working with artist Bruno Ortiz and programmer Mauricio Piccini, has created So Close, Faraway!, an interactive “comics report” looking at the problem of homelessness in Brazil. He talks to Cartoon Movement about the issues that informed the work, and the work itself, in an interview here. So Close, Faraway! is a work of hybrid sequential art, combining elements of traditional comics, webcomics, and interactive web design in the service of literary journalism. Click on the image below to read it in its entirety.


Meet the Somalis by Pollock and Dix

The Open Society Foundations recently launched Meet the Somalis, a collection of 14 comics shorts created by author and arts journalist Lindsay Pollock (The Girl with the Gallery) depicting the real-life experiences of members of the Somali community in seven cities in Europe: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Leicester, London, Malmo, and Oslo. The stories are based on firsthand accounts journalist Benjamin Dix gathered over a six-month period in 2013.

You can read the interactive media version of the comic by clicking here, or you can read and download the PDF version of Meet the Somalis by clicking on the image below:


Odds and Sods

More links to news from around the world of comics and related media:

  • thefuse1Image Comics to hold Image Expo on January 9, 2014 at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; ALSO: The Fuse, a new sci-fi comic from Antony Johnston (Wasteland, Fashion Beast) and Justin Greenwood (Resurrection, Wasteland), to debut February 12, 2014. (Comixverse)
  • Cinemax picks up Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta’s Outcast for TV series adaptation. (
  • ComiXology to make available the entire 120 issue run of Trajectory’s Classics Illustrated over the next several months; Valiant Entertainment releases “8-bit comic” designed specifically for digital platforms to coincide with debut of Unity #1. (Comixverse)
  • Comics artist and childhood abuse survivor Tess Fowler talks about changing the “rape culture” in comics. (Truthout)
  • Animation legend and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki (Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away), freshly retired from directing animated feature films, is currently at work on a jidaigeki manga set in Japan’s Sengoku period, according to Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki. (Anime News Network)
  • PROMO_DayMen_Poster_copy.1Day Men #2 by Matt Gagnon, Michael Alan Nelson, and Brian Stelfreeze to ship, with retailer incentives, on 11 December after a four-month delay. (Comixverse)
  • Scott Mendelson reviews Dear Mr. Watterson, the crowdfunded, unauthorized tribute documentary to American cartoonist Bill Watterson and his much-beloved comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. (
  • The 2014 Eisner Award judges have been announced, and they are Kathy Bottarini (owner of Comic Book Box in Rohnert Park, CA), William H. Foster III (English professor at Naugatuck Valley Community College, CT), Christian Lipski (comics reviewer and journalist), Lee Oeth (member of the Board of Directors, Comic-Con International: San Diego), Jenny Robb (curator and associate professor, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at the Ohio State University), and artist James Romberger. (Comics Beat)
  • Jason Heller re-visits Marvel’s New Universe to see if the comics hold up (or not) some three decades after the line’s demise. (A.V. Club)
  • BoxersAndSaintsGene Luen Yang talks about Boxers & Saints, recently selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the five best graphic novels of 2013 and only the third graphic novel  to be nominated for a National Book Award (Yang’s American Born Chinese, published in 2006, is the first), in an interview with Francoise Mouly and Mina Kaneko. (The New Yorker)
  • Cordelia Hebblethwaite tries to get the inside story on the name of 23 year-old Singapore resident Batman bin Suparman. A scan of the then-18 year-old Suparman’s identity card bearing his rather unusual name “went viral” on social networks in 2008 (a Facebook fan page has over 11,000 followers) and has been in the spotlight again with word of Suparman’s recent conviction on drugs and theft charges. Hebblethwaite’s conclusion: The name is genuine. (BBC Magazine) [If he goes on to become a career criminal, maybe he can change his name to Joker bin Zod. Maybe he can become Batkid’s nemesis!–ed.]


In case you missed them…

fifthb1Don’t forget that we regularly post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers. This week, we added sneak peeks of seven titles including Star Trek: The Stardate Collection, Vol. 1 (IDW), and the highly-anticipated The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story (Dark Horse/M Press Books). We also have covers, creative team information, and issue descriptions of all 60(!) of Image Comics’ February 2014 releases. Highlights include new series debuts from the creative pairings of Antony Johnston (Umbral, Wasteland) and Justin Greenwood (Resurrection, Wasteland), Steve Orlando (Mystery in Space) and Artyom Trakhanov (Mad Blade), Jonathan Ross (America’s Got Powers, Turf) and Ian Churchill (Marineman, Supergirl), among others, as well as the February issues of popular titles like Peter Panzerfaust, Sex Criminals, Lazarus, Fatale, The Walking Dead, and Sheltered and trade collections of East of West, Prophet, Mice Templar, Invincible, Revival, and more.

On the column side of things, Nick has a photo-essay on Playmates’ current line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures on the latest installment of Maximum Articulation while Zedric examines current trends in Filipino art in American comics in the 207th edition of Leaving Proof. The Comixverse team also got together to discuss comic book facial hair and prostate cancer facts in a Movember-themed Roundtable discussion.

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