This is the week where the comics industry slows down for a couple of days as everyone saves their big news for Comic Con International in San Diego. That gets going on Wednesday evening - Preview Night - and you can expect the announcements to start flying faster than anyone can cut and paste a press release, and everyone's abuzz with their favorite version of the four Spider-Man movies.
For now, though, the internets still have some things to read:
A weather-battered Beau Smith looks at Spider-Man.
Longbox Graveyard also has a look at Spider-Man, of the Steve Ditko era.
Hero Complex reports the return of Marc Silvestri’s Cyberforce, with the words “Kickstarter” and “free” as part of the launch equation.
Everyone is still talking about Joss Whedon's The Avengers.
Emmy-winning writer/producer/director Ken Levine got a kick out of The Avengers, but it’s not his favorite comic book movie.
The Avengers is now the third highest-grossing US movie of all time.
And they're even screening it on the International Space Station
Welcome to the weekend! Let's see what the internets hold for us!
Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter speaks out against SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. It really is a terrible bill that does more harm than good and Tom makes a strong case to do everything you can to stop it from being passed.
Mark Evanier doesn’t like the proposed law either.
And award-winning sf writer John Scalzi provides even more details and words of encouragement about Clarion.
Mitch Byrd is one of my favorite artists. We worked together for many issues of my comic book, Dinosaurs For Hire and he also illustrated a comic I edited, Planet of the Apes: Sins of the Father, that was written by a friend of mine, Mike Valerio.
Later on, he moved over to DC and worked with Beau Smith on the very manly Green Lantern spin-off, Guy Gardner: Warrior series.
Now, in conjuction with writer and actor James Leary (he played Clem on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mitch is working on a new title called James Leary’s House Of Screams.
James and Mitch, along with cover artist Steve Scott, are working through IndieGoGo to try to raise the necessary money to make it all happen.
Take a look and see if you’d like to help. I love Mitch’s work (I was a fan long before we worked together) and I can’t wait to see his new work in print. So go make it happen.
[Artwork: James Leary's House Of Screams #1, cover pencils by Steve Scott, © Alarm Comics]
Borders Books is finding no takers in its quest for a buyer, so unless a miracle happens, they’re probably toast.
So it’s a good thing they paid all those retention bonuses to people who can’t make anything happen for them.
Their main brick-and-mortar competition, Barnes & Noble, is currently looking like the smartest girl in class. They’ve gotten a $1 billion (with a “b”) offer from Liberty Media.
They probably aren’t interested in the books or the stores, but since Liberty has a lot of old school media holdings, the one thing they lack for modern-day exploitation is Nook technology.
Let’s go elsewhere for good reading:
I was saddened by the recent death of Elisabeth Sladen who played Sarah Jane in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Of all the reminiscences online, the one I thought the most touching was by her co-star, Tom Baker.
Dinosaurs: Topless Robot looks at the “10 Most Badass Dinosaurs In Comics.” Something I created made the list, so naturally, I’m linking to it! Thanks to author Jesse Thompson for the shout out.
Royalty: Evan Lewis at Davy Crockett’s Almanack likes Prince Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 from Fantgraphics. “Amazing as the artwork in Volume 1 was, it just keeps getting better.”
Everyone who’s anyone in the indie comics scene is currently at MoCCA Fest 2011 in New York. But me? I’m just linking to stuff.
Write: Comic book retailer and blogger Mike Sterling is part of a group that runs Fake AP Stylebook. They’ve got a book out, Write More Good, and for those of us who love to laugh, it’s a must-have. Back away from the DC and Marvel relaunches and put your money to a better use. Here's a taste from the book: "While it's tempting to call them baristi because of the Italian roots, the plural of barista is journalism majors."
It even got a nice review in The New Yorker. “Write More Good, like the account from which it grew, is a tongue-in-cheek takedown of an industry already on shaky ground.”
Maberry: Marvel Comics writer Jonathan Maberry is also a novelist. SF Signal breaks down his latest Joe Ledger novel and gives it thumbs up. “Great conspiracy thinking with large events; misdirection; interesting, complex criminals who don't like each other; a great dog and destruction of one of Maberry's favorite writing places!”
Beau Smith and Eduardo Barreto make a great comic book team, a kind of one-two punch of writing and art. Of course, you already know this if you've put down some cash for Cobb: Off The Leash (IDW) or their recent graphic novel, Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars (also IDW).
Beau wrote it, and Eduardo illustrated and colored it. In this 13-page extravaganza, the Captain mixes it up with spies, commies, a Yeti (they make great villains, and Eduardo draws an impressively dangerous one), and a traitorous gal.
As always with Beau and Eduardo, the dialogue pops and the action never lets up. They make Captain Action a real man of action, a James Bondian character who rocks the blue jumpsuit and Captain's hat. There's another story in this issue, too, where Cap meets the Green Hornet (not Seth Rogen). But "come for the Beau/Eduardo, and stay for the GH."
Is there enough money to get Ricky Gervais to host the Eisner Awards this year? Please tell me there is. In the meantime, enjoy this link-based goodness:
Tracy: Here’s a nice profile of Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, the duo taking over the Dick Tracy strip on March 14. Bonus: the article features a 2-panel sequence from the Tracy strip by the new guys. I’m in! [Link: Daily Cartoonist]
Bonfire: Heidi at Comics Beat has the first part of a solid, smart interview with Ed Catto. You might know him as the Captain Action guy, but he’s also one of the guys behind the new comic-related advertising agency, Bonfire.
Tony: Mr. Tony Isabella has found a new comics writing home for himself over at the relaunched Atlas imprint. He’ll be co-writing the Grim Ghost, a series he worked on back during its original incarnation. Tony’s a good writer with an excellent sense of story & structure and he writes some snappy dialogue. I’m going to get this.
I'm sure that we're all happy that the new Spider-Man musical finally has an ending, so with that in mind, let's see what else we can celebrate:
Cape: Are you watching The Cape along with me? If so, you might enjoy Jonah Weiland’s interview with series creator Tom Wheeler as much as I did.
Vaughn: My pal J.C. Vaughn (who co-writes Mighty Samson with Jim Shooter, as well as wrote & created Vampire, PA that was published by Moonstone and is also Executive Editor & Associate Publisher of Gemstone Publishing) got himself interviewed over at Comic Book Interview.
Sit: Can you imagine what would happen if someone at DC or Marvel kept insisting that putting a chair on the cover would grab someone’s attention at the LCS? Some people in book publishing must really love chairs.
Lomax: A nice interview with creator Don Lomax of Vietnam Journal.
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