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

NEWS Round-up | Week of December 14, 2013
Published on Saturday, December 14, 2013 by
Welcome to the second-to-the-last News Round-up of 2013! That’s right, your favorite comics news aggregator will be going on hiatus on Dec. 22 for the Christmas holidays and will be back on Jan. 4, 2014. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… click through for the week’s news!
The serial comics vs. original graphic novel debate

The Beat’s Heidi McDonald has an interesting article responding to outspoken comics retailer Brian Hibbs’ contention that “graphic novels are a shitty business model,” but readers might find even more interesting the responses in the comments section, where a number of comics creators and other industry personalities popped in to give their take on the “serial comics vs. original graphic novel” debate. Here’s a selection of those comments:

Shane Davis (artist, Superman/Batman, Superman: Earth One)

Superman_Earth_OneAll of the [original graphic novels] I have worked on, if they had been cut up into [serial comics], would have been criticized tremendously… I like both formats, but with an [original graphic novel] vs. [serial comics collection], an [original graphic novel] doesn’t have to have a cliffhanger every 20ish pages, and an [original graphic novel] (like Superman: Earth One) can spend 80–90 pages before getting the costume on. That is hard to do in [serial comics], because reviews would have weighed in negatively for making the reader wait for the costume to come on. An action [original graphic novel] like Shadow Walk allows [the creators] to play with action momentum. [Serial comics] also have major advantages in building steam, but firsthand, I have had non-comic shop fans approach me for my [original graphic novels], so is that something?

Laura Sneddon (UK-based journalist who has written comics-themed articles for The Independent, The Guardian, and New Statesman and founder of comicbookGRRRL.com)

Sneddon_LauraIn the last ten years in the UK, the graphic novels market (which includes TPBs/HCs and [original] graphic novels) has expanded in value by over 1000%. Book publishers are investing massively in acquiring graphic novels because of the booming market here, and those graphic novels are starting to win mainstream literary awards. I also know of a couple of (top) comic creators who have told me that the HCs and TPBs are where they earn most of their money—in the book shop market.

So when we’re talking about graphic novels as a poor business model, which ones are talking about?

Ed Brubaker (Eisner and Harvey Award-winning writer on Criminal, Fatale, Daredevil, Gotham Central, Captain America, and the recently-launched Velvet)

Man, people get really passionate about the serial vs [original graphic novel] argument.

Serialized fiction is fine, it’s been around for a long time, and it’s how Dumas and Dickens and many other authors wrote their books. Breaking Bad is serialized fiction, no one minded that, on [principle]. Jimmy Corrigan, Building Stories, most of Dan Clowes best work, were also serialized, and are certainly still art.

fatale-book3_coverThe cartoonists I knew who switched from serial to [graphic novel] did it because they wanted to. Some of why they wanted to was because they wanted to try to reach a different market in bookstores, and some of it was that they already were barely making any money on the serial editions, so why not just do a book instead and not worry about sales as you go.

The business side of serializing makes sense if you have even a decent readership and if you work on something like [Marvel's Icon imprint] or [the Image Comics] model, where basically all the money goes to the creative team. If a cartoonist is getting 8% of cover price on a single issue, like some of the indie comics deals I knew of in the 90s, then unless you sell a lot of copies, you may not be making enough for it to be worthwhile.

In any case, both models are fine for their content, and I’m sure there are stores that love [original graphic novels] as much as others prefer serialized. For me, I couldn’t survive without serializing, but then, I like serialized fiction. Anticipation is part of the experience for the reader.

Kurt Busiek (Eisner and Harvey Award-winning writing on Astro City, Avengers, Superman, and Iron Man)

I like [original graphic novels], and I like serialized comics. I suspect that if, say, [Scott McCloud's] UNDERSTANDING COMICS had been serialized, it would never have reached completion, and I wonder about others—would [Tony Cliff's DELILAH DIRK AND THE TURKISH LIEUTENANT]  have benefited from print serialization? It certainly benefited from online serialization.

In the end, I’m glad to have both, and any other format that gets me good comics. But that doesn’t mean [Brian Hibbs'] issues are irrelevant. If you’re making comics and multiple revenue streams are a workable option, they may be crucial. If print serialization will lose you money and blunt the promo value of your rollout, maybe not so much.

astrocity1_00[In response to the question: Why buy serialized prose when the full-size version is so easily attainable?] Used to be, the standard pattern for an SF novel was to be serialized in a magazine and then, if it had been popular, to collect it as a book. And at the time, those dual revenue streams were both important, because the books didn’t sell well enough to support the author on their own — the serial income was needed. But as the market for the books grew, it became more and more possible to make a living that way. Serialization started to get bypassed, and the magazines eventually died out (well, there are a couple left) because they were outcompeted by books.

[In mainstream fiction, that transition had happened slightly differently, and much earlier, but they went through it too.]

If that ever happens for comics, then publishers and creators will leap on it. But they didn’t abandon serialization until original publication in book form was profitable enough to do so.

… The transition to a robust industry of original graphic novels might someday happen, but it’s a much steeper climb than for prose, which is much less expensive to produce, both in terms of sweat equity and production costs.

The November Nielsen Bookscan rankings

batman-volume-3-new-52November’s Nielsen BookScan Top 20 rankings for trade/hardcover sales in bookstores are out, and Image Comics’ The Walking Dead is back with a vengeance, taking five of the spots on the list (including #1). Kodansha’s Attack on Titan dropped to three titles in the top twenty from October’s five, although there is the expectation that sales will pick up again once the animated series DVD goes on sale next year. Dark Horse also returned to the top five with Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Search, Part 3.

But perhaps the most significant development last month is that DC had three books in the top twenty that aren’t Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke, or Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns—trade paperback volumes one, two, and three of Scott Snyder’s Batman all made it, with the most recent volume cracking the top three. The rest of the top twenty, as has been usual of late, was populated by popular manga standbys from VIZ Media (Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Vampire Knight) and Yen Press (Sailor Moon, Maximum Ride, Yotsuba&!).

BOOM! releases “visual press releases” for new Max Bemis title, announces premium Pen & Ink line of titles.

Appearing in our inbox earlier this week were two one-page “visual press releases” from our friends at BOOM! Studios. You can check them out below:

Boomlandofthefree_Visual_Teaser

As for what these teasers are about? Beats us. You now know as much as we do: Looks like Say Anything and Two Tongues vocalist Max Bemis (who has written a comics miniseries for BOOM! Studios before, the recently-collected Polarity) has a new comic coming out in March of next year. With a helmet and raised fists and stuff. And maybe a fireball of some sort?

Less cryptic was BOOM!’s announcement of a new line of premium comics that it is calling Pen & Ink. The press release reproduced below explains what it’s all about:

Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios is excited to announce the creation of the PEN & INK program, a new, limited line of publications designed to spotlight some of the comic book industry’s best creators and their work on BOOM! titles. The first book in the series will be DAY MEN: PEN & INK #1, which will focus on the first two issues with art from acclaimed artist Brian Stelfreeze (Wednesday Comics, Batman: Shadow of the Bat).

Day_Men_Pen_Ink_Cover“We have a proud tradition here at BOOM! of working with phenomenal artists, both established talents and future stars who are just breaking into the industry,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “The PEN & INK program is a carefully curated presentation of what we believe is some of the most dynamic and inspirational work being published in comics. It’s truly an honor to kick off the program by spotlighting Brian Stelfreeze’s acclaimed work. And we’ll be following it up with an amazing combination of fan-favorite creators and emerging talents. Whether you’re a fan of behind-the-scenes material, an aspiring creator, a student of the medium, or simply a collector of beautiful art, these will be gorgeous editions that celebrate the craft of comics.”

Each PEN & INK edition will be an oversized 11” x 17”, saddle-stitched, prestige presentation featuring the original line art from two issues of a series at near-actual size. Every page will be accompanied by annotations from the creative team, giving fans and aspiring creators unique insight into the behind-the-scenes creative process.

DAY MEN: PEN & INK #1 will contain Stelfreeze’s uncolored line work from issues #1 and #2 of DAY MEN and feature a host of thoughtful annotations from him and writers Matt Gagnon and Michael Alan Nelson.

Created by Matt Gagnon (FREELANCERS) and co-written by Michael Alan Nelson (DC’s Supergirl, HEXED), DAY MEN is a vampire noir that brings Brian Stelfreeze back to drawing monthly comics for the first time since 2005. For thousands of years, the world has been controlled by the “50 Families”—a secret network of vampire covens engaged in a timeless struggle for power. But when the sun rises, the vampires are forced to employ the services of a human who acts as their daytime fixer and protector. Trained for centuries to be the mortal soldiers of their vampire employers, the Day Men go forth at sunrise, alone into the world, to do the bidding of their sleeping benefactors.

DAY MEN: PEN & INK #1 arrives in comic shops in early 2014 2014 with a cover price of $9.99 under Diamond order code OCT131001. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one! It’s also available for order directly from boom-studios.com.

Wesley Morris with some thoughts on Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine

Film critic Wesley Morris opens his “My Bodies of the Year” article for Grantland with an affecting anecdote about being at his dying mother’s bedside for most of the year, but the narrative eventually veers into a discussion of Hugh Jackman’s performance as the eponymous character in The Wolverine and what it says about our changing ideals about heroism and relationships with body image:

hugh-jackman-the-wolverineShouldn’t Hugh Jackman have been the hottest thing we saw in a movie this year? He spent the latter half of the summer shirtless, at the Everest of fitness. But who left The Wolverine in love with that body? It was so much work for something that looked like so much work. It’s true that Jackman wasn’t Stallone in Bullet to the Head from the spring or the upcoming Grudge Match. In 20 years, though, Stallone is what the Wolverine has to look forward to: straining, bubbling grossness. We were used to our superheroes being born to resemble Henry Cavill in Man of Steel: lots of bulge, none of the angst. But it was the torture in Jackman’s body that was everywhere in 2013, the absence of heroism in all that definition, the freakiness. The movie’s plot actually involved an old, rich, dying Japanese man trying to steal Wolverine’s immortality. The old man’s attack climaxed with him inside a big, robot chamber—echoes of Iron Man 3 and Pacific Rim. But the man’s evil got at a sadder, more human fear than you get in comic books. Wolverine’s body wasn’t disturbing at all. It was progress.

The A.V. Club reviews episode 10 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The A.V. Club’s David Sims (not to be confused with Dave Sim) writes a blistering review of the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  He raises an interesting point about how the episode’s bungled hostage-exchange setpiece highlights a problem in having a live-action TV series—with its limited budget and cast—set in the same continuity as the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

… these six idiots are the only ones who are being put on this mission? Centipede has a team of super-soldiers. I get that we can’t call in Iron Man because Robert Downey Jr.’s quote is too high. But we can’t even have a couple backup units? Jeez.

CLARK GREGG, J. AUGUST RICHARDSAnother question we’d like to ask is, why is Coulson’s team—which is ostensibly some sort of superhero forensics-type unit—involved in a leading tactical role in a hostage rescue situation in the first place? Wouldn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. have something like the equivalent to the FBI’s HRT or the US military’s Delta Force to deal with high-risk situations like this? Then again, if Marvel Universe heroes could just ring up some superpowered or S.H.I.E.L.D. special forces back-up in the face of more powerful foes, it wouldn’t make for exciting stories. It would be fairly monotonous if every time the Sinister Six showed up, Spidey could just go “Screw this, Imma call the FF!” Maybe the plot holes in the episode did have more to do with budget/casting constraints, but sometimes, a viewer just has to meet the fiction halfway for it to work.

Defending creditright

The Comics Journal‘s Shaenon Garrity has a very interesting piece on web cartoonist Rachel Dukes and how her “Life With/Out A Cat” strip from her Intentionally Left Blank webcomic journal has gone viral with more than half a million views, 10,700 Facebook shares, over 14,000 Facebook likes, and 6,000 Pinterest shares. Unfortunately, the version of her comic strip that has gone viral has had her signature and the URL to her site scrubbed out. As the article explains

“In some cases, an individual edits out attribution in order to pass the work off as their own,” says Dukes. “More frequently, attribution is edited out by staff of meme-based websites like 9GAG that profit off of ad revenue. The reason that they do this is because they want readers to stay on their website, clicking from image to image, for a long period of time. That’s how they make their ad revenue.” The last thing these sites want is for users to leave their site to look at an individual artist’s website instead.

Dukes has listed the names of the sites that have shared the altered/mis-credited/uncredited version of her strip in a Tumblr post. She points out that the site 9GAG, one of the first sites to post the uncredited version of Dukes’ comic, generates over $13,000 a day in ad revenue and it goes without saying that Dukes doesn’t even sniff a single cent from that, despite all the views her comic has received on 9GAG. Note that Dukes has no problem with people sharing and re-posting her work, all that she asks is that the work be unaltered and that her signature and the URL to her site be left on it.

mixtapecomics_racheldukes_2013-01-23

Dukes’ Intentionally Left Blank webcomic is at http://www.mixtapecomics.com/journalcomic/ and the original “Life With/Out A Cat” strip is archived at http://www.mixtapecomics.com/journalcomic/2013/01/23/01232013/

March 22 is HELLBOY DAY; Dark Horse reveals its FCBD 2014 Gold titles

Dark Horse recently announced its plans to celebrate March 22, 2014 as HELLBOY DAY as part of the character’s 20th Anniversary. From the press release:

March 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of Mike Mignola’s career-defining release of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction #1. After the character’s somewhat humble beginnings as an eight-page feature in Dark Horse’s San Diego Comic Con Comics special, Seed of Destruction would begin the long life of the beloved “beast of the apocalypse.”

To celebrate, Dark Horse is proclaiming March 22, 2014 as “Hellboy Day,” with events happening in comic shops around the country! Dark Horse is inviting our retail partners to celebrate with us, by offering up exclusive promotional materials, as well as ordering discounts on all Hellboy and BPRD backlist titles.

Additionally, Dark Horse will produce an all-new sampler comic featuring two classic Mignola tales: “The Ghoul” and “Another Day at The Office,” as well as two new stories by Mignola, Fabio Moon, and R. Sikoryak!

HBY20 SAMPLER FC

Dark Horse is also pleased to announce that Meltdown Comics and Collectibles in West Hollywood, CA will be hosting Mike Mignola on March 22! Look for more details to come on the event.

Fans: make sure to tell your retailer you want your local store to participate in this awesome celebration today! Retailers: look for the March dated issue of PREVIEWS for details on participation levels, as well as promotional support being offered by Dark Horse for the event!

Additionally, look for the 20 Years of Hellboy hardcover collection, on sale in comic shops everywhere on March 19! This deluxe oversized hardcover presents Mignola’s favorite covers and illustrations in gallery style, from his first drawing of the character through twenty years of publishing.

HBY20YR CVR

Dark Horse also released new details of its Gold Title contributions to next year’s Free Comic Book Day celebration. From the press release:

What’s better than a trip to your local comic shop? Free copies of your favorite Dark Horse titles for Free Comic Book Day 2014!

In addition to new stories from your current Dark Horse favorites, Dark Horse will feature the long-awaited Juice Squeezers by David Lapham, the Eisner Award–winning creator of the smash hit Stray Bullets, writing and drawing his own series again for the first time in five years.

JuiceSqueezers00_00

In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sokka follows Suki as she gives a lesson in manners and encourages a young girl’s strength. Itty Bitty Hellboy has fun toying with nemesis Rasputin, and the Juice Squeezers crew leap into action to defend one of their own against a persistent bully. Hilarity ensues!

FCBD2014DarkHorseTeaser

This promises to be Dark Horse’s biggest yet, with not one, but two free comics, each packed full with three separate stories. Stay tuned for more details on the Free Comic Book Day: Silver Edition next week!

Dark Horse offers up the best of the very best for next year’s Free Comic Book Day, taking place exclusively at your local comic shop on May 3, 2013!

Seven Seas adds eight new licenses to its 2014 publication line-up

Manga publisher Seven Seas Entertainment announced on its blog the acquisition of eight new manga licenses for publication in 2014, including three Strike Witches titles, two HAGANAI series, and Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer by Satoshi Mizukami. The full list is detailed below:

I Am Alice: Body Swap in Wonderland (Story & art by Ayumi Kanou)

IAmAlice_BodySwapInWonderlandJapaneseV1From the creator of Dictatorial Grimoire comes an all-new gender-bender in Wonderland!

I Am Alice: Body Swap in Wonderland is a new manga trilogy that recasts the tale of Alice in Wonderland in a uniquely hilarious light: Alice switches bodies with a boy, and together, they must journey on a madcap quest through Wonderland.

Each volume of I Am Alice: Body Swap in Wonderland is illustrated in a delightful shoujo-style, and contains color insert.

When Makoto, an unsuspecting Japanese teen, pulls a copy of “Alice in Wonderland” off a library bookshelf, his world will never be the same—literally. Suddenly, he is transported into the magical world of Wonderland, and even more shockingly, he is now stuck in Alice’s body!

To make matters curiouser, the real Alice is stuck in Makoto’s body, and neither of them is happy about the situation. There’s only one way to reverse the body swap and return Makoto home, but it won’t be easy: They must journey together to Heart’s Castle and defeat the King of Hearts.

Volume 1 of I Am Alice: Body Swap in Wonderland will be released in September 2014.

Strike Witches: 1937 Fuso Sea Incident (Story by Humikane Shimada, art by Ningen)

strikewitchesfusoseaincidentjapaneseStrike Witches is a highly popular dieselpunk franchise that spans manga, light novels, video games and anime. The series reimagines World War II as a confrontation between the allied human forces and an invading alien menace. Most of the battles featured are fictional recreations of actual World War II dogfights, but in this alternate history, teen girls with advanced weaponry and magic powers perform aerial combat against alien aircraft.

In addition to the ongoing Strike Witches manga series, the franchise has been adapted into light novels, as well as several TV anime which aired in Japan and are available in North America from FUNimation. In 2012, an animated feature film was released entitled “Strike Witches: The Movie.”

It has been nearly 20 years since the last Great War, and while smaller skirmishes are still taking place over the world, peace has been mostly achieved. In 1937, Fuso Empire, Sakamoto Mio is about to join in on the fierce battle against the Neuroi alien invaders. She’ll have to prove herself amongst all the other cadets if she’s to become a full-fledged Witch. Mio will soon have that chance, as a long, brutal war against the Neuroi awaits her and her fellow Witches.

Volume 1 of Strike Witches: 1937 Fuso Sea Incident will be released in August, 2014. Volume 2 will be released in October, 2014.

Strike Witches: The Sky That Connects Us (Story by Humikane Shimada, art by Shin Kyougoku)

strikewitchesskythatconnectsusjapaneseThe year is 1944, and the battle against the Neuroi has ended…for now. The 501st Joint Fighter Wing, “Strike Witches,” has accomplished its goal of protecting Britannia from the alien invaders, and riding their presence in the embattled Gallia. Now that the battle is over, they’ve been disbanded, and many of the Witches have decided to go their own ways.

From the war-stricken Gallia to the deserts of Africa, this story follows the girls of the 501st as they rebuild, relax and unwind from their trials of the previous war. Though, danger is always lurking in the night, as a mysterious Neuroi-human hybrid foretells of another impending invasion. Just who…or what is this girl and can the Strike Witches overcome this adversary?

The complete release of Strike Witches: The Sky That Connects Us will be released in June, 2014.

Strike Witches: One-Winged Witches (Story by Humikane Shimada, art by Atsuto Shinozuka)

strikewitchesonewingedwitchesThe Strike Witches of the 501st weren’t the first to take to the sky, nor would they be the last. One-Winged Witches covers the story of Wilma Bishop, taking place along the English Channel in 1942, and one year prior to the Second Neuroi War. As this tale unfolds, more will be revealed about key characters and essential details of the story that is told in Strike Witches: Maidens in the Sky and Strike Witches: The Sky That Connects Us—only from a unique character perspective not seen before.

Join Wilma Bishop, sergeant of the Isle of Wight Detachment Group and ace Strike Witch, as she shows new recruits what it’ll take to earn their flying stripes, and take down some nasty Neuroi in the process!

Volume 1 of Strike Witches: One-Winged Witches will be released in January, 2015.

HAGANAI: I Don’t Have Many Friends—Now with 50% More Fail! (Story by Chirowu Kazahana, art by Shirabi)

haganai-idonthavemanyfriendsBased on the hugely popular franchise of the same name, Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends – Now With 50% More Fail! adds a collection of equally hilarious one-shot stories with each and every cast member. Spanning light novels, manga and anime, Haganai continues to be a fan-favorite and revel in its popularity.

Haganai has received two, 13-episode anime seasons in Japan, and a live-action movie in the works. FUNimation released the first season on home-video in the US earlier this year, and plans to release the second season in 2014.

HAGANAI: I Don’t Have Many Friends—Now with 50% More Fail! will be released in July, 2014.

HAGANAI: I Don’t Have Many Friends—Club Minutes (Story by Kiurian, art by bomi)

Haganai_Club_MinutesWelcome to the Neighbors Club: A nuturing, safe environment meant to promote the concept of friendship among its well-adjusted members. As if!—welcome to the real Neighbors Club, a group of socially-backward outcasts that can barely manage a simple conversation with a convenience store clerk. Join Kodaka, Yozora, Sena and the rest of the dysfunctional gang for another hilariously awkward story that allows each character their own time to each shine in the spotlight!

HAGANAI: I Don’t Have Many Friends—Club Minutes will be released in November 2014.

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer (Story & art by Satoshi Mizukami)

luciferandthebiscuithammerNothing short of a full-burst, energetic and mesmerizing experience, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, from author and artist Satoshi Mizukami, is likely the best manga you’ve never read! Combining the stylized action and over-the-top fight scenes of a hot-blooded shonen series like Bleach, with an emotionally gripping and character-driven seinen storyline like Berserk, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is one of the most hotly-anticipated manga to arrive on this side of the Pacific.

Whether it is the high-octane action, the GAINAX callouts and references, or the intricate and graphic storytelling, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is a manga not to be ignored. Tread carefully, for the Hammer is nigh!

Everything about college student Amamiya Yuuhi is average: grades, looks and his blasé outlook on life. So what happens when he awakens one day to a talking lizard, who informs him that there is a gigantic hammer in outer space, poised to split the Earth into pieces, and requests his allegiance in the fight against the forces of evil? Pretend it never happened! Unfortunately for Yuuhi, a little bit of coercion in the form of a super-powered princess prevents him from returning to his mediocre life-as-usual.

In the adventure of his lifetime, Yuuhi will join forces with the unpredictable princess and seek out a motley crew of companions to fight back against an evil mage and his horrifyingly powerful homunculus before the Biscuit Hammer destroys the planet!

Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer will be released in 2-in-1 omnibus format starting in Fall 2014, with the first omnibus being released in November 2014, and the second omnibus following in February 2015.

D-Frag! (Story & art by Tomoya Haruno)

dfragD-Frag! is a new ongoing manga series that parodies high school clubs, nerd culture, and the slice-of-life genre in a side-splittingly hilarious storyline. For fans of manga series about otaku-centric high school clubs like Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends, Genshiken, or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, D-Frag! has the last laugh, as it satirizes the genre like never before.

D-Frag! was first serialized in Japan in Monthly Comic Alive, and has been collected so far into seven volumes and counting. The hit manga series has been adapted into a full-cast audio drama CD and is the basis for the D-Frag! anime series to air on Japanese television in early 2014.

Kazama Kenji thinks he’s a delinquent. He’s got the look, the style and the attitude to match—he even has a second-rate entourage of sorts. Deep down, however, Kazama is a good-hearted kid who finds himself and his loyal gang in over their heads when they stumble upon the Game Creation Club. The club’s formidable members, Chitose, Sakura, Minami and Roka, are four girls who he might actually be attracted to if they weren’t so freaking weird.

The girls claim to have otherworldly powers which they use to defeat Kazama’s gang and force him to join their offbeat club. Can Kazama resist the girls’ bizarre charms and return to some semblance of a normal, everyday life…or is it “game over” for our hapless hero?

Volume 1 of D-Frag! will be released July, 2014, with volume 2 following in September, 2014, and volume 3 in December, 2014.

Odds and sods

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

  • The comics industry reflects on the death of Nelson Mandela. (Bleeding Cool)
  • David Morrell, author of First Blood and creator of the character John Rambo, wasn’t happy with how editors changed the portions of a Spider-Man story he wrote that was included in this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #700.2.  While Morrell’s initial response to the changes was such that he was quoted as saying “this has been such a disappointing experience that I’m finished with writing in this form,” by Thursday, Morrell and Marvel had come to an agreement that his original, unaltered story will appear in the collected edition. On Facebook, Morrell wrote that there is “no need for anyone to complain” and that “everything is being settled.” (Comic Book Resources)
  • Canadian prog-rock band Rush, in collaboration with bestselling science-fiction writer Kevin J. Anderson and artist Nick Robles, to produce six-issue comic book miniseries based on their 2012 album Clockwork Angels, to be published by BOOM! Studios in March of next year. (USA Today)

  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating bookstore chain and leading graphic novel retailer Barnes & Noble for accounting irregularities. (Financial Times)
  • Here’s something for your “Advanced Studies in Fan Fiction” class: A web cartoonist who posts online under the name “Lady Adventuress” has created a webcomic based on BBC America’s Orphan Black sci-fi/espionage series, drawn and written in the all-ages comics style of the Eisner Award-winning duo of Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani. The title of the webcomic? Itty Bitty Orphan Black, of course (after Baltazar and Aureliani’s Itty Bitty Hellboy). [h/t to the A.V. Club]
  • Benjamin Bailey interviews Rick Remender about Deadly Class, a new series about “a group of teenagers at a school for killers and assassins,” due out January 22, 2014 from Image Comics. (IGN)
  • IDW’s Scott Dunbier is asking for the help of Jack Kirby fans in tracking down original art for inclusion in next year’s Jack Kirby’s New Gods: Artist’s Edition. (Bleeding Cool)
  • Archie Comics donates $1 million worth of comics to the Toys for Tots Foundation. (USA Today)
  • Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama has revealed in an interview that he is considering changing his originally planned ending for the series. One potential ending has all the main characters dying but with the series’ break-out popularity in Japan and internationally, Isayama is wondering if he “should betray his fans in such a way.” (Anime News Network)
  • Iann Robinson has a unique spin on the usual “holiday gift-buying guide” website filler with his “10 things NOT to buy a comics fan” list. (Crave Online)
  • Sony, which holds the film rights to Marvel’s Spider-Man and related characters, has announced its plans to produce separate films featuring villain/occasional anti-hero Venom and the supervillain team The Sinister Six. (IGN)

In case you missed them…

SLAYGROUNDCVR-copyDon’t forget that we regularly post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers. This week, we added previews of twelve new titles, including Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW), Thumbprint (IDW), and The Massive, Vol. 2: Subcontinental (Dark Horse).

On the reviews front, Zedric has started posting reviews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers released over the second-half of the year. This week’s Trades & Hardcover review article covers five titles released in August 2013: KOMACON (Image Comics), Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth, Vol. 1 (Image Comics); Rubicon (BOOM!/Archaia), Fagin the Jew, 10th Anniversary Hardcover (Dark Horse); and Jim Mahfood: Visual Funk (IDW). Be sure to check back next week for reviews of September and October releases—if you’re stumped for gift ideas for that comic book/graphic novel fan on your list, it might be a good idea to check them out.

The latest Leaving Proof recaps the biggest stories of 2013, including the DRM and censorship controversies in digital comics, the growth of the graphic novel market, DC’s rough year in the public eye, and more, while on our Instagram Gallery, Joe continues to post his choices for #comiccountdown2xmas—bet you can’t guess his pick for “most hated character.”

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