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

NEWS Round-up | Week of December 21, 2013
Published on Saturday, December 21, 2013 by
Join us after the jump for the final News Round-up of 2013!
Paul Dini on the Cartoon Network’s attitude towards female and family viewers

Comics and animation luminary Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Ultimate Spider-Man), in a Fatman on the Batman podcast discussion with Kevin Smith, talks about the cancellation of Tower Prep and says that the Cartoon Network is only interested in having boys watch their shows, and don’t care about female or “family” audiences. Some excerpts (transcription adapted from A Bird’s Words):

They’re all for boys [and] ’we do not want the girls’, I mean, I’ve heard [Cartoon Network] executives say this… saying [things] like, ‘We do not want girls watching this show…

towerprepCN… I hate being Mr. Sour Grapes here, but I’ll just lay it on the line: The thing that got us cancelled on Tower Prep, honest-to-God was, like, ‘we need boys, but we need girls right there, right one step behind the boys’—this is the network talking—’[we need the girl characters to be] one step behind the boys, not as smart as the boys, not as interesting as the boys, but right there.’

And then we began writing stories that got into the two girls’ back stories, and they were really interesting. And suddenly we had families and girls watching, and girls really became a big part of our audience, in sort of like they picked up that Harry Potter type of serialized way… But, the Cartoon Network was saying, ‘Fuck, no, we want the boys’ action, it’s boys’ action, this goofy boy humor we’ve gotta get that in there.’ And I’d say, ‘But look at the numbers, we’ve got parents watching, with the families, and then when you break it down…’ [and the Cartoon Network executives would say] ‘Yeah, but we’ve got too many girls [watching your show]. We need more boys.’

And then that’s why they cancelled us, and they put on a show called Level Up, which is, you know, goofy nerds fighting CG monsters. It’s like, ‘We don’t want the girls because the girls won’t buy toys.’ We had a whole… we had a whole merchandise line for Tower Prep that they shitcanned before it ever got off the launching pad, because it’s like, ‘Boys, boys, boys. Boys buy the little spinny tops, they buy the action figures, girls buy princesses, we’re not selling princesses.

BOOM! announces Curse by Moreci, Daniel, Rossmo, and Lorimer

From the press release:

Curse #1 Cover A by Riley Rossmo

Curse #1 Cover A by Riley Rossmo

Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios is excited to announce the January debut of its newest horror comic series, CURSE, which puts a fresh twist on the werewolf mythology. The title features a creative team who are no strangers to the horror genre: writers Michael Moreci (Hoax Hunters) and Tim Daniel (Enormous), and artists Riley Rossmo (Drumhellar) and Colin Lorimer (UXB).

“Now this is the way to kick off the new year,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “We made some noise in 2013 by curating a line of original series that we’re really proud of. The only sensible thing to do in 2014 is to try and top ourselves! I’m proud to present CURSE as our opening salvo. Michael, Tim, Riley, and Colin have joined together to form one hell of a concussive grouping of talent. The fellas have created my favorite type of horror series. One that avoids cheap thrills and gaudy violence in favor of relatable characters on the brink and an unsettling monster that represents more than the terror it inflicts.”

Curse #1 Cover B by Colin Lorimer

Curse #1 Cover B by Colin Lorimer

WHY WE LOVE IT: BOOM! Studios has a long history of publishing some of the industry’s best modern horror, and CURSE takes us back to our roots with a werewolf story unlike any you’ve ever seen.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: The CURSE creative team practically screams “horror”—from writers Michael Moreci (Hoax Hunters) and Tim Daniel (Enormous) to artists Riley Rossmo (Drumhellar) and Colin Lorimer (UXB), you’re in store for a smart, realistic, and haunting read.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Laney Griffith is a man who will do anything to save his son from leukemia, but the cost of treatment has broken him financially. When he pursues an elusive murderer in the wilderness of his small, rural community, in the hopes of securing a substantial bounty, Laney is confronted with something he never could have expected: a werewolf. The captive lycan, in human form, turns Laney’s life upside-down, forcing him to confront his haunted past and race against the clock—because the wolf will return, and Laney’s son’s condition continues to worsen. CURSE is a story of a family’s survival at all costs.

CURSE #1 arrives in comic shops on January 15th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code NOV130863. 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.

Kuroko’s Basketball death threat letter sender finally caught

Kuroko_no_Basuke_CoverThe bizarre, yearlong case of death threat letters (some laced with toxic chemicals and other suspicious substances) being sent to Kuroko’s Basketball manga creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki, as well as his alma mater Sophia University, his fans, and retailers that carry his work (we posted the background of the case here) has ended with the arrest and subsequent confession of a suspect. 36 year-old Hirofumi Watanabe was caught on Dec. 15 in the act of mailing threatening letters in a mailbox in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward. Investigators found some 20 letters in a backpack he had with him, with a number addressed to the organizers of the upcoming winter Comiket, calling for its cancellation.

Watanabe, who studied studied in a comics creation program when he was younger but dropped out before completing his education, told police that he was “jealous of Fujimaki’s success.” However, despite his claims in earlier threat letters that he is personally acquainted with Fujimaki and that the vendetta is rooted in some past transgression, apparently Watanabe has never actually met the manga creator.

Kuroko’s Basketball is set to close out 2013 as the third best-selling manga in Japan, behind only One Piece and Attack on Titan, with an estimated 8.7 million trade paperback collections sold in the period between Nov. 19, 2012 and Nov. 17, 2013.

Japan’s winter Comiket set for Dec. 29–31, 2013

comiket85catalogSpeaking of Comiket, the Japan Times‘ Jun Hongo has written a concise overview of the twice-yearly event, considered as the world’s largest comic book convention, the winter 2013 edition of which will be held in Tokyo Dec. 29–31, 2013. The summer 2013 Comiket attracted over 590,000 attendees. To put those numbers into context, the annual San Diego Comic-Con, the largest comic book convention in North America, has been averaging some 130,000 attendees these past couple of years while the three largest comics conventions in Europe—France’s Angoulême International Comics Festival, Italy’s Lucca Comics & Games fair, and the Japan Expo in France—average around 200,000 attendees each.

Founded in 1975 by a “manga critique club” composed of students from Meiji University, much of the the convention focuses on the sale and trade of dōjinshi—limited print-run comics, magazines, and novels created and self-published by amateur and professional creators alike. The event organizers have posted a PDF outlining the history of Comiket that can be read and downloaded here.

Oni Press announces Courtney Crumrin, Vol. 5: The Witch Next Door hardcover

From the press release:

CCV5_HC_4x6_COMP_FNL_WEBThe fifth hardcover collection of Ted Naifeh’s hit series Courtney Crumrin will be cast onto shelves this April with the release of COURTNEY CRUMRIN VOLUME 5: THE WITCH NEXT DOOR!

Colored by frequent Naifeh collaborator Warren Wucinich, THE WITCH NEXT DOOR sees the first five issues of the full-color Courtney Crumrin series collected In print for the first time into a 144-page hardcover, the fifth volume in Oni Press’ ongoing series of deluxe collections.

Holly Hart is new to Hillsborough and witchcraft, but when her family moves in next to America’s Favorite Tween Witch™, the two girls become fast friends, but a burgeoning teenage coven is not without peril! As Courtney watches Holly making the same mistakes she once made, she begins to have second thoughts about teaching the neighbor girl magic. Conversely, when Holly sees the aftermath of the other children’s “adventures” with Courtney, her suspicions cause her to make a dangerous decision. Following the discovery that her trusted uncle Aloysius may not be all he seems, big changes are afoot in young Courtney’s life.

COURTNEY CRUMRIN VOLUME 5: THE WITCH NEXT DOOR flaps its black wings onto shelves April 30, 2014 as a full-color, 144-page hardcover.

Diamond Order Code: DEC131234

English dub cast for animated adaptation of Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises revealed

TheWindRisesPosterJoseph Gordon-Levitt, husband-and-wife acting duo Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, and William H. Macy will headline the English dub voice cast of Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, The Wind Rises. The film, a fictionalized biography of early/mid 20th century Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Hirokoshi based on Miyazaki’s manga of the same title (which was in turn partially inspired by a serial novel by Tatsuo Hori entitled The Wind Has Risen), is considered by many to be the leading candidate to win the 2014 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and was recently nominated for the Golden Globes’ “Best Foreign Language Film” award.

The film has met with its fair share of controversy since its release in Japan, where right-wing nationalists have decried it as “anti-Japanese” while commentators on the opposite end of the political spectrum have questioned Miyazaki’s choice to spotlight the life and career of the man responsible for designing the Imperial Japanese Navy’s infamous Mitsubishi A6M Zero long-range fighter plane. Still, the film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews both in Japan and the international film festival circuit, and is currently the top-grossing film of the year so far in Japan, earning over $119.5 million since its July 20, 2013  premiere.

The film’s wide theatrical release in North America  is set for February 21, 2014.

Over 700 French language comics now available for North American comiXology users

From the press release:

delcourtiPADOver 700 French language titles from Delcourt Group (Editions Delcourt, Soleil Productions & Tonkam) are now available in the U.S. and Canada through comiXology, the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform available across the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8, and www.comixology.com. This release of French language comics, and Bande Dessinée for the US and Canada is something no comics fan will want to to miss.

Whether you speak French yourself, have been looking for a fun way to learn, or are just curious, visit comixology.com today to see all of our latest French language content!

Delcourt Group, the 2nd largest publisher in France, now features on comiXology a library of over 700 titles including popular French Language series such as Lanfeust, Trolls de Troy, Les Légendaires, La Rose Écarlate, Noob, Prométhée, Le Chant des Stryges and many more.

American comics fans can also rejoice knowing that French language versions of hit series like Criminal, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century, Chew and more are also available now.

The expansion into France started this past January, when comiXology announced the formation of comiXology Europe, a division headquartered in Paris, France. Since then comiXology has signed more than 40% of French comic publisher in France, including Aelement Comics, Akileos, Ankama, Éditions Ça et Là, Glénat, I Can Fly, Indeez Urban Éditions, Panini & more.

Dark Horse reveals teaser images for Aliens/Prometheus/Predator, Furious

Courtesy of our friends at Dark Horse Comics, below is an image teasing what appears to be a series featuring the Aliens, Prometheus, and Predator film properties, set for release in June 2014:

PMT-TEASER-PAGE

Also, here are two new promotional pin-ups for the 29 January 2014 debut of Furious #1 by writer Bryan J. L. Glass (Mighty Marvel: Women of Marvel, Thor: First Thunder) and artist Victor Santos (Ghosts, Polar: Came from the Cold, Filthy Rich). The new pin-ups are by Juan Albarran and Vicente Vegas.

FURIO-PINUP-Albarran

FURIO-PINUP-Vegas

Earlier this month, Dark Horse also released two pin-ups by artists Jesus Alonso Iglesias (Silhouette) and Pere Perez (Smallville: Season 11).

FuriousPin-upIglesias

FuriousPin-upPerez

Dark Horse officially unveiled Furious in September of this year after a week-long teaser campaign. The press release announcing the five-issue miniseries described the title’s premise thus:

Staring into a fractured mirror of her life, the world’s first superhero, Furious, seeks to atone for her past sins by doling out rage-fueled justice! But the spotlight of our celebrity-obsessed media threatens to undo her noblest efforts and expose her true identity before she can achieve redemption.

darkhorse_is_furious

Odds and sods

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

  • Graphic novel sales in the direct market post 14.59% growth for November compared to last year while sales of “floppies” went down 1.21% over the same time period, for an overall direct market expansion of 3.39% by sales volume. (ICv2)
  • In even more comics-related Joseph Gordon-Levitt news, the 3rd Rock From the Sun alum is close to finalizing a deal that will see him co-produce, direct, and star in a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s run on DC/Vertigo’s Sandman. (Deadline)
  • Web cartoonist Connie Sun’s work plays a central role in Chicago-based writer Suey Park’s #NotYourAsianSidekick campaign to promote discussion about social attitudes towards Asian-American women. (BBC)
  • Tess Lynch breaks down the curious case of Shia LaBeouf’s plagiarism of Harvey Award-winning graphic novelist Daniel Clowes’ graphic novella, Justin M. Damiano. (Grantland)
  • Former Marvel Comics vice-president Bill Jemas joins video game developer/publisher Take-Two Interactive, will help develop a “graphic fiction imprint.” (Bleeding Cool)
  • Sharmila Ganesan Ram looks at the Indian comics scene, which is seeing a revival of sorts after a rough few years. Distribution of physical copies is still problematic, but digital and merchandise sales look to be important growth areas moving forward. (The Times of India)
  • Former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont, Creative Artists Agency, to sue AMC for “tens of millions of dollars” for alleged breach of contract. (The Hollywood Reporter)
  • First Second’s Associate Marketing and Publicity Manager Gina Gagliano weighs in on the serial comics vs. original graphic novel debate currently going on in various online discussion spaces. (The Beat)
  • Matt Fraction off Marvel’s Inhuman, to be replaced by Charles Soule (Comic Book Resources)
In case you missed them…

Don’t forget that we regularly post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers. This week, we added previews of seven new titles, including Transformers: The Art of Prime (IDW). We also have cover and creative team information for IDW’s scheduled March 2014 releases.

On the review front, Zedric took a look at ten trades and hardcovers released over the past three months leading to December. Below are the links to the review articles:

REVIEWS | Trades & Hardcovers: September 2013 Releases

  • East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise (Image Comics) [EDITOR’S PICK]
  • Blade of the Immortal, Vol. 27: Mist on the Spider’s Web (Dark Horse Manga) [EDITOR’S PICK]
  • Cyborg 009 (BOOM!/Archaia)

REVIEWS | Trades & Hardcovers: October 2013 Releases

  • God Hates Astronauts, Vol. 1: The Head That Wouldn’t Die! (Image Comics) [EDITOR’S PICK]
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Search, part 3 (Dark Horse)
  • Mara (Image Comics)

REVIEWS | Trades & Hardcovers: November 2013 Releases

  • G.I. Joe: Future Noir (IDW)
  • Meet the Somalis (Open Society Initiative for Europe) [EDITOR’S PICK]
  • The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story (Dark Horse/M Press)
  • Polar: Came From the Cold (Dark Horse) [EDITOR’S PICK]

As we mentioned last week, this is the final News Round-up of 2013—we’ll be back with all the news the other guys don’t cover on January 4, 2014. Also, take note that this two-week break for the Christmas holidays extends to the rest of the site, but don’t worry, we’ve got a bunch of pre-scheduled regular content coming your way, including even more reviews and our lists of our favorite comics, writers, artists, original graphic novels, reprint collections, toys, and comics media spin-offs of 2013.

Happy holidays everyone!

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