Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Scuttlebutt #11 - - comics news from various sources

compiled from various press releases and websites . . . . .

Dark Horse Comics Single Issues Comes To ComiXology & Amazon Kindle Store

ComiXology and Kindle release all Dark Horse books same-day-as-print 

More than 2,000 Dark Horse Comics single issues are now available on comiXology and Amazon Kindle Store including Fight Club 2, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tomb Raider, The Witcher, Plants vs. Zombies, Halo, The Goon, Archie vs. Predator, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and B.P.R.D. and more!

October 7th, 2015 New York, NY / Portland, OR  Today Dark Horse Comics, comiXology and Amazon announced an agreement to bring the full catalog of Dark Horse Comics’ single issues to the comiXology platform and Amazon’s Kindle StoreNow, all Dark Horse Comics’ digital single issues will be available on comiXology and the Kindle Store the same-day-as-print versions arrive in comic shops.

This past June, comiXology and Dark Horse Comics announced an agreement to bring Dark Horse’s collections, graphic novels and manga to comiXology. As of today, Dark Horse Comics’ full digital catalog is now available on both comiXology and Amazon’s Kindle Store.


October 6, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment, a leading publisher of comic books and graphic novels, is proud to announce that critically acclaimed author David F. Walker will continue the legacy of Ernest Tidyman's iconic private detective John Shaft in an all-new comic book series, Shaft: Imitation of Life, illustrated by Dietrich Smith. The first issue will debut in February 2016 alongside Shaft's Revenge, the first Shaft prose novel in 40 years (also written by Walker), coinciding with the nationwide celebration of Black History Month.
Imitation of Life takes place following the events of Walker's 2015 comic book miniseries, Shaft: A Complicated Man - a six-part storyline that won a 2015 Glyph Comics Award and was nominated for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. After a high-profile case puts him in the headlines, private detective John Shaft searches for something low-profile to keep him out of the spotlight and out of danger… and takes a missing person case that proves to be more difficult than he thought. At the same time, he is hired to be a consultant on a low budget film that may or may not be based on his life, and proves to be as dangerous as any job he's ever had. But when there's danger about, John Shaft won't cop out - even if it means squaring off against sadistic gangsters that want him dead.
David F. Walker is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and author of the Young Adult series The Adventures of Darius Logan. His publication BadAzz MoFo became internationally known as the indispensable resource guide to black films of the 1970s. His work in comics includes the series Shaft: A Complicated Man (Dynamite Entertainment), Cyborg (DC Comics), Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics), and The Army of Dr. Moreau(IDW/Monkeybrain Comics).
New series artist Dietrich Smith, whose work previously graced the pages of Dynamite's Army of Darkness and Vampirella, says, "Of all the great action heroes I watched and imitated as a youngster, Shaft was at the top - a private eye with a chip on his shoulder, an attitude that dared anyone to try him. Having the opportunity to draw the smoothest man alive is something I'm very excited about."
Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 is slated to release in February alongside Shaft's Revenge, the first official prose novel written by anyone other than the character's creator. David F. Walker says, "Writing the first Shaft book in forty years has been not only an honor and a privilege, it has been a dream come true. Ernest Tidyman created one of the most iconic and enduring pop culture characters in John Shaft, a legacy that has reached across multiple mediums, and sparked the imagination of millions of people, myself included."

NYCC 2015: Jeff Lemire & Lewis LaRosa Leap Forward for THE ANALOG MAN in BLOODSHOT REBORN #10 – Coming in January!

In 2016…Bloodshot kicks off the New Year with a mind-bending comic book event that must be seen to be believed!

As revealed today in advance of New York Comic-Con 2015, Valiant is proud to announce THE ANALOG MAN – a new four-part bombshell beginning in BLOODSHOT REBORN #10 from New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT, Extraordinary X-Men) and blockbuster artist Lewis LaRosa (The Punisher)! This January, Valiant's smash-hit ongoing series leaps forward 30 years into the future to reveal a world where Bloodshot is no longer the height of technological achievement…and the heroes of the Valiant Universe have given way to a ravaged and inhospitable wasteland...

Many years from now, Los Angeles has become a post-apocalyptic no-man's land and the once unstoppable killing machine known as Bloodshot has become THE ANALOG MAN. Hopelessly outdated, Bloodshot’s taken on a new role as the protector of a small town, eking out a subsistence existence with the great love of his life – Magic – and protecting a group of stragglers who’ve weathered the storm. But when a gang of marauders arrives, the settlement’s survival is threatened, and Bloodshot is forced to bring justice to the distorted and disjointed badlands of the Valiant Universe! 

THE ANALOG MAN will also mark the first full-length story arc in nearly a decade from acclaimed artist Lewis LaRosa – a penciller renowned for his incredibly lifelike characters, intricate detail and dynamic storytelling. Noted for his acclaimed runs on The Punisher, Immortal Iron FistAmazing Spider-Man and more, LaRosa is one of Valiant’s most prolific cover artists, having previously contributed to hit series including BLOODSHOT, NINJAK, UNITY, X-O MANOWAR and many others. THE ANALOG MAN will mark his first complete storyline for Valiant Entertainment. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Baltimore Con Highlights: News and Updates from IDW Publishing

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND SEPTEMBER 25, 2015:  IDW Publishing shared news about some of their current and upcoming books during a program at Baltimore Comic Con moderated by IDW President Greg Goldstein and Vice President of Marketing Dirk Wood.

Among the special guests featured on the panel were industry legend writer/artist Walt Simonson and  writer James Tynion IV, both presently working on titles for IDW.   


      The big highlight of the presentation was hearing Walt Simonson expound at length about his version of RAGNAROK with Thor as a pivotal character. RAGNAROK is Simonson’s creator-owned Norse mythology book, but it’s far removed from a simple retelling of the legend.  It became very clear during Simonson’s exposition that this is a sincere labor of love, perhaps his seminal creation.

      In Norse mythology, Ragnarok tells of a massive battle between gods and giant serpents, fire demons and evil creatures that resulted in the death of major Norse gods, including Odin, Thor and Loki.  Various natural disasters changed the shape of the world, which resurfaced to begin anew with two human survivors.

     In Simonson’s version of Ragnarok the Midgard serpent survives the final confrontation.  Thor did not participate in any of the battles and missed the event entirely while lost in a state of suspended animation. Completely unaware of what was transpiring aboveground, when he eventually wakes it takes him awhile to get his bearing and fully understand what has occurred. One hundred years have passed before his return, and the first six issues of the RAGNAROK series details Thor’s re-introduction into the world.





















   pictured above:  writer/artist/creator Walter Simonson

     This version of Thor completely belongs to Simonson. “Thor is just a part of a larger whole, “ Simonson said.
"Thor’s  world is destroyed. The nine worlds are out of balance.  Thor is confused and angry.”  Simonson’s version of Thor is a god who is not one-dimensional, and  "possesses a sense of humor, is quick to anger, but has a depth of great knowledge and an appreciation of courage.”  Simonson has a long running plan to detail the entire story, which he anticipates could actually play out over the next five years.  The second leg of the series is scheduled for release this December.  RAGNAROK has been a best seller for IDW and went to a second print run on most of the issues.

      Other successes for them in the present year have been the artist editions of classic works, with the Wally Wood artist edition also going to second print runs.  Dirk Wood explained that these artist editions were made possible through IDW’s connection with an art dealer who has the right contacts, making it easier to acquire the originals drafts and story boards for the special editions. The artist editions only require a small print run of approximately 7,000 copies, and Wood confided that because of the pricing on the books (expensive to reproduce) they only need to sell a few thousand copies to be successful and profitable. 

     Turning to future projects, the upcoming TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES/ BATMAN cross-over is generating the most amount of buzz.  President Goldstein explained that IDW’s “good relationship with other comics companies allows for these unique crossovers with competitor’s characters, like STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN for one”.




















pictured above, left to right:  VP Marketing Dirk Wood, writer James Tynion IV, President Greg Goldstein


    That series will be scripted by James Tynion IV, who expressed excitement at being picked to bring together for the first time “the two most iconic amazing properties I have loved my entire life!”  He revealed that the Turtles will enter Gotham through a bridge in their universe, bringing Shredder and the Foot Clan along for the ride.  Neither the Turtles or Batman were previously aware of the existence of each other, and are from different universes.  Batman must team up with the Turtles to stop the nefarious plans of Shredder and get everybody back home.  Tynion said that working with Fred Williams III on art allows for “each stage to seem like a full production” and the process of depicting the story “has been pretty natural for these two distinct voices (TMNT and Batman) to mesh together."

     Tynion promised pizzas every issue, after Goldstein said “I just want to see Bruce Wayne having a pizza!”  It was spoiled that there may be a scene where Alfred gets really upset at having accept delivery on a huge stack of pizzas. 

     TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman will be illustrating the variant covers for the series.

     Other IDW projects that were announced during the panel include:

  • ROCKETEER AT WAR  four issue mini-series in December
  • Archie month, with variant themed covers in December, ahead of the 75th anniversary of Archie
  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES reach issues #50 and keeps going, making it one of the longest running IDW titles. Dirk Wood said that they “are selling more issues at #50 than we did at #30, and that’s unusual.” (STAR TREK also recently achieved Issue #50.)
  • New series STAR FLEET ACADEMY telling of the early days of Kirk, Spock and crew. The focus will be young adult, making it a great entry point for new Star Trek readers.  New characters will be included. 
  • TRANSFORMERS also will hit Issue #50 soon. 
  • BACK TO THE FUTURE debuts on October 21, the same date that the primary characters traveled to in the future.
TMNT 501 1600x605
     President Goldstein explained that IDW will continue to seek out “properties we have a passion for, will pursue, and attempt to do it right.”  For example, the writer of the Back To The Future movie is involved in the comic. For GHOSTBUSTERS, they found creators who are fans and have a passion for the property.  “We have them put numerous Easter eggs in these books that will appeal to long time fans.”  
    For  FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS coming in October from Top Shelf ( recently acquired by IDW) they avoided copying the Ralph Steadman art style but made sure they paid tribute to it. 

     EMPIRE UPRISING from Mark Waid and Barry Kitson is doing well.  “We were glad to bring this great title back, and have heard that the creators are interested in doing more stories."
  •  Jame Tynion IV’s EIGHTH SEAL (supernatural horror) is in the works. 
  • A STAR WARS artist edition will debut, with a cover price of $125. The plan calls for a hardcover edition that’ll reproduce the original art in its’ original size.  A MY LITTLE PONY art book is also in the works. 
  • Under development are STAR WARS MICRO COMICS, collector packs sized 3” x 5” that will reprint all movie adaptations and include cards and 3D glasses. 
  • IDW’s board games are planning to grow.  The CHEW game was introduced with modest expectations but is selling well.  Negotiations are underway with the producers of ORPHAN BLACK to create a game based on the BBC America television show. 
  • MICRONAUTS and ROM revivals are planned for the first quarter of 2016 and later. These will be brand new and updated versions. 
     IDW is now publishing around 80 books each month. 



Saturday, October 3, 2015

Baltimore Comic-Con 2015: Contest Winners Announced

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - October 3, 2015 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is happy to announce the winners of our 7th Annual Costume Contest. The contest took place this past Saturday, September 26th, 2015 for both amateur and professional adults, and Sunday, September 27, 2015 for kids. Visually stunning costumes ranged from classic superheroes to video game and movie characters and beyond, and our contest has proven to be one of the most anticipated events at the show.
This year's costume contest separated amateur adults from professional adults, and held a separate contest for amateur kids as well.

The grand prize winner for Best Overall Costume in the professional category, and the recipient of the $1,000 cash prize, was Robert Tongue for his "Evil Tin Man of Oz" costume.

The grand prize winner for Best Overall Costume in the amateur category, and the recipient of the $500 cash prize, was Rick Castro for his "Master Chief" costume.

The grand prize winner for Best in Show for kids, and the recipient of the $100 cash prize, was Xavier for his "The Bubbler" costume.
Special thanks go to everyone who entered the contest and showed their support, as well as to our sponsor, and Master of Ceremonies, comedian Joe Bronzi!

Winners for this year's contest include:



Best Overall Costume: Robert Tongue, Evil Tin Man of Oz


1st Place: Mike Wong, Eragon the Dragon Rider



2nd Place: Tegan Feehery, Kerrigan, Queen of Blades



3rd Place: Sam Pye, Blood Angel Space Marine



Best in Show: Rick Castro, Master Chief



1st Place: Drew Carrington, Space Marine


2nd Place: Brandon Hirsch, Muckman



3rd Place: Ken Hunt Sr., Blackhawk





1st Place: Victoria Krauss, Valka


2nd Place: Alex Harrington, Iron Man



3rd Place: Brittany Souhrada, Lady Sif




Best Group:

1st Place: Bartholomew and Jennifer Macasieb, Robby the Robot and B-9



2nd Place: Kayley Marie, Sharon Rose, and John Brown, Deadpool and his ladies



Amateur Kids

Kids Prizes in the Age 12 to Age 17 category: 

1st Place: Lilly, Khajiit


2nd Place: Brendan, Ultron


3rd Place: Hannah, Bipper


Kids Prizes in the Newborn to Age 11 category:

1st Place: Xavier, The Bubbler


2nd Place: Tiz, Batgirl


3rd Place: Mikasa, Attack on Titan


Be sure to follow  Baltimore Comic Con on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, because they can't wait to start making announcements for next year's show, the biggest yet, which will be held the weekend of  September 2-4, 2016.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Baltimore Con Highlights: News and Updates from Dynamite Entertainment

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND  - - - FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015: While the program title was a little misleading - - “DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT: THE NEXT TEN YEARS” - - the content was lively and the hour of news and comments passed quickly.  Writer Ron Marz and artist Franco Francavilla answered various questions from audience members while Dynamite Marketing staffer Keith Davidsen acted as panel moderator.




















 Marz is the writer of the popular Prophecy cross-over series from Dynamite and is the current scripter on John Carter, Warlord of Mars.  Francavilla has illustrated numerous covers for Dynamite books.

     Marz spoke of his long-lived passion for Edgar Rice Burrough’s creation John Carter, which he discovered at “the magic age of 11-12, the age when what you read sticks with you for the rest of your life.”  He wanted to write new stories of John Carter ever since then.  Dynamite formerly published their version of Burrough’s creations under the names Warlord of Mars (John Carter) and Lord of the Jungle (Tarzan).  Since then, the Burroughs estate has reviewed the Dynamite books and are satisfied that they are true to form.  An agreement was then reached with Dynamite Entertainment.  Marz’s book is now authorized to use the full name, hence the beginning of John Carter, Warlord of Mars with Marz (very appropriate name) as writer.  


     The initial story arc has just completed, and the first trade paperback edition is set for an October 7 release date.  Mark explained that he wanted the book to be popular with all audiences, so he wrote it from a point of view that would be both welcoming to regular readers of John Carter and serve as a “ground-floor read” for those less familiar with the legendary character.  In his opinion, the original John Carter books are pivotal works.  “Star Wars, Avatar, and Superman all trace their roots back to John Carter in a very obvious way, he said.

     When asked what excited him the most about the project, he jokingly replied: “the semi-naked princess!”  Mark pointed out that DejaThoris, Martian member of the royal family and wife to John Carter, was never meant to be a weak character.  Despite being gorgeously depicted in the book, Marz stated “I’m still out to make sure Deja Thoris could kick your ass!"






















Artist Franco Francavilla was asked to name his favorite projects among the numerous covers he has drawn.  He quickly answered The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows books for Dynamite.  He confided that he was not aware of the late ‘60s / early ‘70s Dark Shadows television show, and was assigned the covers work long before the recent movie featuring actor Johnny Depp was released.  For research purposes, he went to You Tube to discover the original episodes. 


     Some time was devoted to speaking about cross-over stories.  Ron Marz wrote the first cross-over series for Dynamite, The Prophecy, and Franco Francavilla illustrated the covers.  One of the most popular cross-over events done at Dynamite was the banding together of all the pulp heroes in Masks, which also resulted in a later Masks 2 series. 

     The comment was made that it seemed like 60% of all books in today’s marketplace are tied in to cross-over events.  Ron Marz quickly replied that “you buy all those cross-overs, and that sends a message to the publishers - - do more cross-overs!"

     Keith Davidsen recalled for the group all the Dynamite cross-overs of 2015 - - - Red Sonya & Conan, Vampirella vs. Aliens, Django/Zorro, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Swords of Sorrow, etc.

     What Dynamite is especially proud of is a new title, the first comic to feature James Bond in over 20 years which is scripted by fan favorite Warren Ellis and is set to be released in November, two days before the premiere of the SPECTRE movie.  Davidson explained how “all the icons of pop culture have comics featuring them, but not James Bond” until now.  Comics and related media have been tied up in complicated licensing issues forbears, and Dynamite was fortunate to obtain the rights. 

     Among other news and updates shared with the Baltimore Comic Con audience were . . . . .

*** Bob’s Burgers is very popular, and shaping up to be the best selling book in Dynamite’s roster.

*** The popular Swords of Sorrow cross-over/team-up event will spin off into Sonya & Vampirella in January 2016, based on concepts by writer Gail Simone.

*** Devilution by Rick Remender will feature cavemen in a post-apocalyptic survival tale.

*** Seduction of the Innocent in December will re-create the feel and mood of the popular 1950’s EC crime comics.

*** Battlestar Galactica is on an unintentional hiatus after having three separate titles run back to back.  A new series is in the works, a “very high concept” tale scheduled for mid-2016 release.

*** The King Syndicate titles (Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, Prince Valiant, The Phantom, etc) featured in separate min-series in 2015 will combine in 2016 for a loose cross-over that attempts to tie them together, with Flash Gordon as the centerpiece/flagship. 

*** A similar strategy is in the works for the Gold Key properties, linking Solar, Man of the Atom; Turok, Dinosaur Hunter; Magnus, Robot Fighter; and Doctor Spector together in a major cross-over. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Comics Industry Legends honored at Harvey Awards in Baltimore


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND September 26 . . . Speeches and tributes extended the duration of The 28th Annual Harvey Awards well beyond midnight as several legends of the comics industry were honored and recognized for their many contributions to the art form.  The Harvey Awards are named after cartoonist, writer and editor Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993).  The Harvey Awards have been honoring excellence in the comics industry since 1988 and have been announced at a dinner ceremony during the Baltimore Comic Con for several years now. 

The legends being recognized during the awards included writer/artists Jules Feiffer and the late Will Eisner, who  both received the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame award which recognizes cartoonists for significant, historic and cultural impact.  The Dick Giordano Hero Initiative Humanitarian of the Year Award was presented to Dennis Kitchen, a pioneer of underground comics and also founder of the CBLDF (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).  Artist Russ Heath, Jr. was presented the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award.  Writer Vivek Tiwary (The Fifth Beatle) served as Master of Ceremonies for the Harvey Awards.

IMG 0223

Here are the categories and winners of the 28th Harvey Awards . . . . . . . . . .


BEST LETTERER  Ed Dukeshire  THE WOODS  Archaia/BOOM! Studios

BEST COLORIST  Dave Steward  HELLBOY IN HELL  Dark Horse Comics

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP OR PANEL Joe Staton and Mike Curtis DICK TRACY  Tribune Media Services

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK  Brian K Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente THE PRIVATE EYE  panel


BEST INKER  Danny Miki  BATMAN  DC Comics








BEST COVER ARTIST  Fiona Staples  SAGA  Image Comics





BEST WRITER  Mark Waid  DAREDEVIL  Marvel Comics

BEST ARTIST  Fiona Staples  SAGA  Image Comics


BEST SINGLE ISSUE or STORY  “Breaking Out” DARK HORSE PRESENTS #35 Dark Horse Comics



Saturday, September 26, 2015

More Day One Images at Baltimore Comic Con - Friday, September 25, 2015







Baltimore Comic Con highlights - Day One - - Friday, September 25, 2015

One of the first things I did after I arrived is purchase the 2015 Baltimore Comic Con Yearbook. It’s a hardcover edition with more than 60 prints inside by various artists. This year’s theme celebrates David Petersen’s Mouse Guard.  It’s a beautiful book with gorgeous art and well worth the $20 asking price.

I spent the opening hours of the con getting artist autographs for the yearbook. The Baltimore Comic Con offers a Yearbook Scavenger Hunt.  If you collect enough signatures on a scorecard you receive a bonus of one print by one of five featured artists.  If you are lucky enough to get all 60 signatures, you receive all five prints.

I also attended three different panel presentations.

1) Living In Harmony: Digital and Print.

2) Dynamite Entertainment news

3)  IDW news.

I will share details from each of these panels in upcoming features in the coming days.


Friday, September 25, 2015

SUPERMANSION superhero comedy debuts on free CRACKLE TV in October

Comic Book Resources has made the first episode of Supermansion available for viewing on their site.  Check the link here . . . . .



Smansion hed

I have not been able to find a superhero cartoon that consistently satisfies and makes worth watching on a regular basis.  That may change once Supermansion debuts in October.  I watched the first episode and laughed several times.  This is well written, clever, and fun to watch the stop motion animation.  Check it out.