The GeeksverseNEWS Round-Up | Week of February 8, 2014

NEWS Round-Up | Week of February 8, 2014
Published on Saturday, February 8, 2014 by
YALSA releases its list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens, political controversy continues to hound the Angoulême International Comics Festival, Dark Horse provides an early press-exclusive preview of Veil #1, BOOM! reveals The Woods, and more.
YALSA releases its annual list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), recently released its annual list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens (readers aged 12–18). The complete list (with book descriptions), composed of 59 titles spanning 78 individual volumes, can be read here.


Click here to read our review of The Adventures of Superhero Girl.

It’s definitely an eclectic mix, ranging from trade paperback collections of mainstream superhero comics like Hawkeye (Marvel) and Wonder Woman (DC), trade paperback collections of licensed comics like Adventure Time (kaBOOM!), print collections of webcomics like The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Dark Horse), original graphic novels like Marble Season (Fantagraphics Books), non-fiction like March: Book 1 (Top Shelf Productions), manga like Tropic of the Sea (Vertical), European imports like Sharaz-De: Tales from the Arabian Nights (Archaia), and graphic novel adaptations of literary classics such as The Complete Don Quixote (Self Made Hero).

Of the 59 titles on the list, YALSA selected its Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens for 2014, which we’re reproducing below:


  • March: Book 1 (Top Shelf Productions) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell


  • Will & Whit (Amulet Books) by Laura Lee Gulledge
  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Dark Horse) by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Dogs of War (Graphix) by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox
  • Mind MGMT, Vol. 1: The Manager (Dark Horse) by Matt Kindt
  • Rust, Vol. 2: Secrets of the Cell (Archaia) by Royden Lepp
  • War Brothers: The Graphic Novel (Annick Press) by Sharon McKay and Daniel Lafrance
  • Strobe Edge, Vols. 1–6 (VIZ Media) by Io Sakisaka
  • Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (First Second) by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks
  • Boxers & Saints (First Second) by Gene Luen Yang

Over the past year, we’ve been fortunate enough to have received complimentary copies of some of the books that made YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, the reviews of which can be read at the links below:

In addition, March: Book 1 made our year-end list for favorite original graphic novels.

ICv2 releases the January 2014 BookScan Top 20 list
Attack on Titan by Hajima Isayama

Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan (Kodansha) had a good showing in the monthly Top 20, with two volumes in the top three and four volumes making the overall list. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (Image Comics) also had similar success with two volumes in the top five and four volumes making the overall list.

It may be a new year, but it looks like it’s the same old, same old, at least for the monthly Nielsen BookScan Top 20 list for best-selling trade paperbacks, hardcovers, and original graphic novels in US bookstores. As it was for most of 2013, manga titles like Attack on Titan (Kodansha) and Naruto (VIZ Media) as well as Image Comics trades and hardcovers (represented by The Walking Dead and Saga collections) dominated the first BookScan Top 20 list of 2014. And just like it was during multiple months last year, there isn’t a single Marvel Comics trade/hardcover collection or original graphic novel to be seen in the Top 20. Given Marvel’s dominance of the direct market’s monthly “floppy” section, it’s astounding that they can’t translate that into success with their trade and hardcover library in bookstores.

There are some noticeable, if somewhat minor, changes, however. Amazon’s Jet City Comics imprint has made its first appearance in the Top 20 with The Sworn Sword: The Graphic Novel, a repackaging of a graphic novel spin-off of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones originally published by Marvel in 2008. And while evergreen, 20+ year-old Alan Moore works Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke continue to represent DC in the Top 20, it must be heartening for the publisher that it finally has some current “New 52″ material making an extended appearance in the Top 20 with two volumes of Scott Snyder’s current Batman.

To read the complete list, head on over to ICv2.

The Wind Rises loses to Frozen for Best Animated Feature at the 41st Annie Awards

English_Poster-for-The-Wind-RisesPixar’s Frozen scored something of a minor upset during the 41st International Animated Film Society Awards (a.k.a. the “Annie” awards, often referred to as the “Oscars of animation”), beating Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises for Best Animated Feature, although Miyazaki did receive an Annie for Best Writing in an Animated Feature. Miyazaki, who won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature and the Annie Awards for Best Writer and Best Director in 2003 for Spirited Away, has previously said that The Wind Rises will be his final animated feature film.

The Wind Rises is based on Miyazaki’s graphic novel of the same name, featuring a fictionalized account of the early life of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi. While garnering universal acclaim from international animation and film critics, the Studio Ghibli production has had something of a mixed reception in Miyazaki’s native Japan from the more extreme ends of the political spectrum, with right-wing nationalists decrying it as “anti-Japanese” and commentators from the left questioning Miyazaki’s choice to spotlight the life and career of the man who would later be responsible for designing the infamous Mitsubishi A6M Zero long-range fighter plane. Still, the film became the top-grossing film of 2013 in Japan, earning over $119.5 million.

Miyazaki, whose pacifist-leaning films frequently feature flight and aviation as themes, has said that while the graphic novel and its film adaptation do touch on political topics, his intention from the outset was simply to celebrate Horikoshi’s contributions to the development of Japanese aviation.

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

Angoulême International Comics Festival still not done with political bickering

sodastreamproductimagewithlogoPolitical controversy continues to hound the Angoulême International Comics Festival a week after its conclusion, as a number of cartoonists and comics creators have begun a petition calling for the Festival’s organizers to end their relationship with corporate sponsor SodaStream (maker of a popular home carbonation device), on the grounds that SodaStream has a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are regarded as being in breach of the Geneva Convention and international law by the International Court of Justice, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the European Union, although this charge is obviously disputed by the Israeli government with its own interpretation of the applicable international laws.

This is only the latest flap in a Festival that has been marked by a number of politically-charged disputes. Japan’s Ambassador to France Yoichi Suzuki publicly expressed his government’s disappointment with the Festival’s organizers and their decision to allow the staging of a South Korean comics and animation exhibit spotlighting the plight of World War II’s “comfort women.” And in a separate, but somewhat related incident, festival organizers shut down a press conference and booth of a manga association that displayed what they considered offensive, revisionist, World War II-themed material. [The Gayssot Act makes it illegal in France to question the existence or size of the category of crimes against humanity as defined in the London Charter of 1945—ed.].

A summary of the week’s press releases

Straight from our inbox to your eyeballs, here’s a list summarizing notable e-mail press releases of the week from our friends at Dark Horse Comics, BOOM! Studios, and comiXology:

An early, press-exclusive Dark Horse Comics preview of Veil #1 by Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula:

Veil #1 hits stores 05 March, 2014 with a cover price of $3.50.

BOOM! Studios releases more “visual teasers” for its upcoming high-profile project, reveals title and creative team:


A new series launching from BOOM! Studios in May written by James Tynion IV (Batman: Eternal, Red Hood and the Outlaws) and illustrated by Michael Dialynas (Amala’s Blade, Spera).

BOOM! Studios announces print promotion for Max Bemis’ Evil Empire:

From the press release:

Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios is proud to announce the March debut of EVIL EMPIRE, the political thriller that asks: What would happen if modern society crossed the line and became the megalomaniacal force we’d always fought against? Instead of a story that picks up when this so-called “evil empire” is already in place, Say Anything lead singer Max Bemis (POLARITY) and artist Ransom Getty (Guarding the Globe, Suicide Squad) take us to the very beginning and show the devolution of society through the eyes of an outspoken, female hip-hop artist named Reese.

To add to the anticipation surrounding Bemis’ first long-form series, BOOM! has added a pre-Final Order Cutoff (FOC) incentive promotion for retailers. Similar to the DAY MEN #2 promotion, the publisher will have 50, limited-edition, screen-printed, and numbered prints created of one of Jay Shaw’s iconic cover images for EVIL EMPIRE. The “We The People” print promotion means that each one of the 25 top-ordering retailers will receive one print. Additionally, in keeping with the democratic nature of the series, 25 additional retailers, chosen at random, will receive one print each. Retailers have until the end of the day on Monday, February 10th to finalize their orders for EVIL EMPIRE #1.

EVIL EMPIRE #1 arrives in comic shops on March 5th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN140984. The issue ships with a main cover by Mondo print illustrator Jay Shaw along with two retailer incentive covers by Robbi Rodriguez (FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics) and Shaw.

ComiXology shares interesting new infographic:


Odds and Sods

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

Marvel’s censorship of the digital edition of Miracleman raises questions about the title’s future. (Digital Spy)

Andrews McNeel set to publish Reading with Pictures: The Graphic Textbook, a Common Core-compliant publication which features stories that address topics in Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, and Science by comic industry veterans such as Fred Van Lente (G.I. Joe, Action Philosophers), Ryan Dunlavey (M.O.D.O.K.: Reign Delay, Action Philosophers), Roger Langridge (Popeye, The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror), Katie Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), and more. (The Beat)

 Freelance journalist Satya Kandala traces the rapid growth and development of Comic Con India as it has expanded to Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. (The New York Times)

AMC confirms that it will be adapting Garth Ennis’ Preacher for television. Production to be helmed by Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad) and This is the End producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Reviewer Greg Tito gives TellTale Games’ The Wolf Among Us, Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors a “4.5 out of 5.” (Escapist Magazine) The second installment of the serial adventure game based on Bill Willingham’s Fables comic was released earlier this week for the PS3, XBox 360, Windows PC, and Mac. Our very own Jason Thees rated The Wolf Among Us, Episode 1 as his favorite comics-based video game of 2013 in a recent retrospective.

Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel talk about their work on Archie/Red Circle’s The Fox, and Waid couldn’t resist taking a dig (again) at Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Awesome. (Comic Riffs/Washington Post)

Jason Thompson has a delightfully detailed retrospective on Karakuri Dôji Ultimo, the manga created by Hiroyuki Takei in collaboration with Stan Lee back in 2008. Here’s an interesting tidbit: The comic’s main villain bears Stan Lee’s likeness. (Anime News Network)


In case you missed them…

Don’t forget that we regularly post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers.

In part two of our First Impressions look at the releases of December 2013 and January 2014, we share our reviews and preview galleries of Ghost #1, Revelations #1, Black Dynamite #1, Deadly Class #1, Skyman #1, The Brave and Handsome Squad, Penny Palabras Episode 01, DayBlack #1, and Dr. 2 #1.

Joe dives into Mattel’s latest 1:12 scale superhero-themed action figure line with a review of the DC Total Heroes Batman figure.

The abovementiond flap over the censorship of the digital mass market edition of Marvel’s Miracleman #1 is a significant factor in our less than enthusiastic review of the comic.

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