The GeeksverseNEWS Round-up | Week of Jan. 18, 2014

NEWS Round-up | Week of Jan. 18, 2014
Published on Sunday, January 19, 2014 by
[UPDATED] The Angoulême International Comics Festival gets political, Niigaanwewidam Sinclair breaks down aboriginal stereotypes in comics, Dark Horse shares a preview of Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1, Erik Larsen gives an Image United update, and more in this week’s News Round-up.
International comic convention news and updates
South Korean Gender Equality and Family Minister Cho Yoon-sun (image from Korea Times)

South Korean Gender Equality and Family Minister Cho Yoon-sun (image from The Korea Times)

‣ A Korean comics (“manhwa”) and animation exhibit spotlighting the plight of “comfort women”—the estimated 200,000 female captives forced by Imperial Japan’s military into sexual slavery during World War II—will be on display at this year’s Angoulême International Comics Festival (Jan. 30–Feb. 2, 2014), one of the world’s largest comics conventions. The exhibit will feature the works of prominent South Korean artists and is the brainchild of South Korean Gender Equality and Family Minister Cho Yoon-sun, who first broached the idea of the exhibit to Angoulême festival editorial manager and Asia coordinator Nicolas Finet last year at an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting in Paris. (The Asahi Shimbun and The Korea Times)

The comfort women were primarily recruited or kidnapped from Imperial Japan-occupied Korea, China, and the Philippines, although a large number were also from other territories held by Imperial Japan during World War II such as Taiwan, Burma, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. The topic of comfort women continues to be an issue of contention and controversy between Japan and its neighbors despite Japanese parliament’s official apology, released in 2007, and the brokering of compensation deals for surviving victims. Several high-profile Japanese politicians with hardline nationalist leanings  continue to mitigate the comfort women issue with some, such as prime minister Shinzō Abe, publicly voicing their support for the historical revisionist view that comfort women voluntarily entered into prostitution. 

TICA2014logo‣ Taipei is gearing up for the second annual Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival, which is scheduled to run  Feb. 4–8, 2014 at the Taipei World Trade Center. Guests will include Attack on Titan‘s Hajime Isayama and the Dragonar Academy light novel creative team of Shiki Mizuchi and Kohada Shimesaba. The first Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival held last year drew 330,000 attendees, more than double the San Diego Comic-Con attendee numbers (although it still has a way to go before it can match the attendance numbers of Japan’s twice-yearly Comiket). (Focus Taiwan)

Just a quick reminder that guests for this year’s Comic Con India (Feb. 7–9, 2014, Thyagaraj Stadium, New Delhi) include Mark Waid (Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta), Gabriel Bá (Casanova), and Fábio Moon (B.P.R.D.: 1947). (

And in even more international comic convention news: Check out the images from Brazil’s “Anime Wings” Animation, Comic, and Game (ACG) show, held Jan. 12, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro. (Xinhuanet)

Via a press release, BOOM! Studios revealed talent appearances, exclusives, and giveaways for the Amazing Arizona Comic Con, to be held during the weekend of Jan. 24-26 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. BOOM! Studios will be found at booths 501, 503, 600, and 602, and will host creators Paul Jenkins (Deathmatch, Fairy Quest, Revelations) and Eric M. Esquivel (Freelancers, the upcoming Loki: Ragnarok And Roll), plus sketch artists Wook Jin Clark (Adventure Time: The Flip Side) and Missy Pena (Bravest Warriors). In addition, a special Get-A-Sketch blank variant for Adventure Time: The Flip Side #1 will be available for purchase.


Fans unable to attend the Comic Con who are still interested in getting the Amazing Arizona Comic Con-exclusive comics—Revelations #1 signed by writer Paul Jenkins ($14), Bravest Warriors #13 BOOM! Exclusive Variant signed by writer Eric M. Esquivel ($20), and Adventure Time: The Flip Side #1a ($14) and Adventure Time: The Flip Side #1 BOOM! Exclusive Variant ($20), both signed by series interior artist—can now order them from the BOOM! Studios online store.

robocop_2014_posterBOOM! Studios will also hold a raffle for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see MGM’s RoboCop (in theaters 12 February, 2014) in participating IMAX theaters.  The raffle is free to enter, one entry per person, and will run all weekend with a drawing to held on Sunday, Jan. 26.  Additional entries will be given out to those who purchase select RoboCop comics from the BOOM! Studios booths. In addition, BOOM! will also hold three comic raffles throughout the weekend, with a winner being announced every day an hour before the show floor closes. Winners have that final hour to come by the BOOM! booth and claim their prize. The list of prizes is as follows:

  • Friday: Hit #1 signed by writer Bryce Carlson (every $25 spent on either Studio, Archaia and/or BOOM! Box product earns one raffle entry)
  • Saturday: Day Men #1 (1st print) signed by co-creator Matt Gagnon (every $25 spent on either Studio, Archaia and/or BOOM! Box product earns one raffle entry)
  • Sunday: An original sketch cover featuring characters from either Adventure Time, Regular Show, or Bravest Warriors (actual sketch revealed at the show; every $50 spent on KaBOOM! products earns one raffle entry)
Sinclair on aboriginal portrayals in North American comics

Sinclair characterized DC’s Scalphunter as a “wannabe”—a non-aboriginal who is captured and/or raised by indigenous peoples, and gains superpowers and superior abilities simply by exposure to aboriginal people and culture.

Author and University of Manitoba professor Niigaanwewidam Sinclair takes a look at portrayals of indigenous peoples in North American comics over the years and what they tell us about the history of aboriginal prejudices and preconceptions in a piece for the CBC. According to Sinclair, there are five predominant categories of aboriginal portrayals in comics and graphic novels: (1) The Warrior, an “isolated man with an axe to grind… decorated in eagle feathers and wavy, black hair, they work poorly with others and generally frown unless petting animals;” (2) the Artifact, “tragic heroes… living an uphill and never-ending battle for survival in a harsh and unforgiving world;” (3) the Sidekick, who serves as “a decoration for a stunning, heroic, non-native hero;” (4) the Shaman, based on the stereotype that every aboriginal person has access to magical and supernatural abilities beyond the reach of “normal” people; and (5) the Wannabe, “a non-aboriginal who is captured and/or raised by indigenous peoples” who gains their abilities and superpowers via osmosis.

Related stories:

  • Here’s a link to an October 2013 story about Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire using the late Cree activist Shannen Koostachin as an inspiration for a character that will be debuting in the upcoming Justice League of Canada title, due out May 2014 from DC Comics. As previously reported, part of the inaugural Justice League of Canada story will take place in northern Ontario, in the largely Cree communities of Moosonee and Moose Factory, just south of Koostachin’s hometown of James Bay.
  • Justice League Canada will be re-titled Justice League United. (USA Today)
Whither art thou, Image United?


Erik Larsen recently gave an update on the status of Image United, the stalled “event comic” miniseries launched in 2009 that was supposed to see all seven Image Comics co-founders (Larsen, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino) reunite and collaborate for the first time in a long time on a project.

Larsen’s short answer to the question of “whatever happened to Image United“:

We were all patting each others’ backs there a second ago, but now we’re not talking anymore. There’s been, as far as I can tell, absolutely no movement on it. I don’t have any pages here; there’s nothing I can do. (Savage Fincast, podcast transcription adapted from Bleeding Cool)

The group managed to coordinate their schedules and set aside their differences long enough to put out three issues (albeit with numerous delays), but the book has been in production limbo since late 2010. With a story penned by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Invincible), Image United featured interior and variant cover art by Larsen, McFarlane, Liefeld, Portacio, Silvestri, and Valentino and standard covers by current DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee.


A summary of the week’s press releases

Straight from our inbox to your eyeballs, here’s a list summarizing the most notable press releases of the week from Dark Horse, comiXology, and the BOOM! Studios group of imprints:

Dark Horse has provided us with a press-exclusive early preview of Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1, by writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, featuring illustrations by Tonci Zonjic (Heralds, Who is Jake Ellis?) and colors by Eisner Award-winner Dave Stewart. Check out the gallery below:

Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1 hits stores on 05 February, 2014 with a cover price of $3.99.

ComiXology is the top-grossing non-game app of 2013 on the iTunes App Store. It’s ranked #11 overall—ahead of apps for the Minecraft game, Pandora Internet radio, The New York Times, People Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal—and is one of only two non-game apps in the top 20.

BOOM! Studios announced the February debut of Loki: Ragnarok And Roll, a heavy metal twist on Norse mythology. Writer Eric Esquivel (Freelancers) and artist Jerry Gaylord (Fanboys Vs. Zombies) show what happens when you take the classic Norse god Loki and throw him into a rock and roll band in the underground goth clubs of Los Angeles.

Loki: Ragnarok And Roll #1 hits stores February 19 with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code DEC130966

BOOM! Studios also announced the release of the third hardcover collection of cartoons by Too Much Coffee Man creator Shannon Wheeler, I Don’t Get It, the follow-up to 2012’s I Told You So and 2011 Eisner Award Winner for best humor publication I Thought You Would Be Funnier.


I Don’t Get It arrives in comic shops on January 22 with a cover price of $17.99 under Diamond order code NOV13088.

Odds and Sods

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

  • In a development that may have important implications for online reviewers everywhere who post their reviews under web aliases, a court in the US state of Virginia has ruled that anonymously-written reviews on the online review site Yelp are not protected by the First Amendment if the review “is based on a false statement.” (BBC)
  • Dark Horse Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie talks about the publisher’s upcoming plans for comics set in the shared Aliens/Predator universe. (io9)


  • Pilot episode for Constantine TV series ordered by NBC. (IGN) [We’re hoping it will be better than the last time John Constantine’s adventures were adapted for the screen, but we’d be more confident of that if it were an HBO or AMC production—ed.]
  • stan_lee_2013Chris Sims goes through Stan Lee’s lengthy and complicated history in comics and tries to answer, best as he can, the question of “what is Stan Lee’s actual legacy?” Readers may find multiple points of contention in Sims’ article, but it’s a thoughtful, fairly evenhanded, and relatively concise attempt at providing a “big picture” look at the celebrated (and controversial) writer-editor’s impact on the comics business. (Comics Alliance)
  • Lex Luthor joins the Justice League. (CBR) [I know it’s almost impossible these days to keep plots under wraps, but there has to be a better alternative to hyping a comic than spoiling its contents—ed.]
  • Michael Dooley lists the various attempts at the censorship of comics in schools and libraries over the years. Illuminating stuff. (Print)
  • Matt Fraction talks about the upcoming Ody-C (from Image Comics), a gender-switched adaptation of The Odyssey with a sci-fi twist, the new Casanova volume he’s doing with Michael Chabon, the reception to Sex Criminals, and his plans for Satellite Sam and Marvel’s Hawkeye. (IGN)
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 five new titles from IDW: G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Vol.2; KISS KidsDoug Wildey’s Rio: The Complete Saga, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 Annual Deluxe Edition, and Torpedo, Vol. 5.

On the review front, Nick takes a look at NECA’s Wasp Predator, from Series 11 of its Predator line of action figures.

Robert Kirkman’s Image Expo comments has Zedric pondering Marvel’s history with freelancers and the potential creative downsides of comics being made explicitly as source material for blockbuster films in the latest Leaving Proof column.

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