The Week That Was 30/01/15

Comics being comics, it’s impossible to keep up with everything that’s going on at once – fortunately I’m here with a look at some of the comic news, previews and, uh, other stuff you might’ve missed this week.

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Viz will be re-releasing Shotaro Ishinomori’s ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past’ comic this May. Link to the Past would be the story based on the third game, where our hero Link embarks on a quest which faces him up to dungeons, monsters,and intense levels of petty theft. Ishinomori, being the creator of immensely popular comics like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, proved to be an inspired choice to adapt the game for comics – choosing to go wildly off tangent at times, in some hugely enjoyable ways.

Mike Molcher’s set up a 2000AD podcast – first episode? Well, the first episode is right here.

Titan Comics have put out an ad looking for artists to join them for a series of different projects. Are you an artist? Looking to get paid and published? Well, here’s an opportunity, then, innit. They want interior artists, cover artists, colourists – all sorts of different talent.

la mariposa

James Lawrence, whose “Dangerine” series has proven to be a frequent delight with each new issue I pick up, has started posting teasers for a new webcomic which’ll be starting next month. “The Legend of La Mariposa” seems to be something to do with wrestling…. I’m guessing?

Humanoids have joined ComiXology, headlined by a load of Moebius, a mass of Incal books, and the new translation of Barbarella with Kelly Sue DeConnick. Oh, and on that ComiXology lean – they revealed the top ComiXology Submit titles of 2014, headlined by Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore. Smut Peddler and Watson & Holmes also show up in the top twenty five, which you can find here.

Todd Allen’s been writing over at Mediashift, listing eight tips for digital comics success.

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Issue #8 of The Wicked and The Divine adds Brandon Graham to the list of cover artists who’ve entered the world of Gods, and he’s clearly enjoying the chance to draw some weird hairstyles.

Sean Murphy, fresh off The Wake and currently artist on the March-launching Chrononauts over at Image, has taken to the net to set up a “creator’s rights” guides at conventions.

While many of my pro friends are eternally grateful for their careers and for these generous invites, some of the shows are taking advantage of creators–ALL levels of creators–and not following through with what’s promised. Believe me, I love traveling and I want to visit all my readers in every country I can, but there’s nothing worse than getting to the “convention reserved” hotel room and finding out you wasted your money staying in some foreign ghetto.

Establishing a five-point proposal including “give us decent accomodation” and “check we’re okay with doing sketches for free or not in advance”, it seems a pretty fair list of demands for any convention guest to make.

Marvel are reaching the end for a load of their books, apparently, and are now looking to see if there’s a way they can make this into a promotional thing rather than a series getting cancelled. ‘Last Days’ is the branding that’ll be on Loki, Mighty Avengers and Magneto’s final few issues, as Secret Wars comes in to doom us all with alternate universes and whatever else might be going on.

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Thought Bubble held a sketching panel last year, featuring Emily Carroll, Boulet, Cliff Chiang, Jason Latour, and Babs Tarrall of which are now being auctioned on behalf of Bernardos. Go! Buy! Or, at the very least, go gawp in awe.

Sequential Sign Up to Offer Avery Hill Publishing Digitally

Sequential, the UK digital comics service which focuses almost solely on creator-owned and ‘independent’ comics, have added to their roster this week with the arrival of Avery Hill Comics’ back-catalogue.

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And! They say, if you pick up the Sequential App this week, selected Avery Hill Comics will be on offer for half-price – including the above comic, ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Being Outside’ by Gill Hatcher, which was nominated for British Comic Awards and Scottish Independent Comic Awards last year.

Quoth Chloe Pursey, editorial director at Sequential:

“We’re really delighted to welcome Avery Hill to Sequential. Their eclectic, engrossing, lovingly-produced titles represent some of the very best of the UK small press scene and we’re thrilled to be able to present their books in exciting new digital versions”

BOOM! Studios Rev Up for their 10th Anniversary in Comics

2015 marks the 10th year of existence for BOOM! Studios, bane to all those with a keyboard but probably the best comics publisher around. To celebrate, they’ve got all kinds of stuff going on, it seems – they’re still holding onto their Grant Morrison announcement from last year’s SDCC, they’ve done a long interview on comics diversity over at Comics Alliance, and they’ve published a chart listing the ten moments they think were most important to their line, in a slightly-too-long-to-fit-on-a-blog format:

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Clicking on it should give you the full-size version of it.

Basically, the chart starts with the formation of the company – apparently when Keith Giffen approached BOOM!’s creator Ross Richie and pushed him to set up a publisher. It then rolls on to look at their initial lean on licensed comics, hiring of Mark Waid as EIC for a few years, the creation of the KaBOOM! imprint for all-ages comics, acquisition of Archaia, and move towards film licensing.

It’s quite a heady list, all in one place. I’d argue that perhaps the creation of BOOM! Box would be a slightly bigger deal for comics fans than their deal with FOX, although I know that the company are quite proud of their cross-media platforming-type stuff. The mention of 2 Guns, an original series which was made into a Denzel Washington film two years back, reflects presentations I’ve watched Richie give at SDCC in the past.

I’m a fan of BOOM! Studios. They seem to have reached a nice balance between licensed work, all-ages work, and creator-owned work, and seem to have formed a bridge between digital and print comics – in that interview, note the prominence given to people like John Allison and Madeline Flores – as well as consistently put out comics by female writers and artists. This’ll likely be a fun year for them.

Image Release the Cover for Meredith McClaren’s ‘Hinges’

Meredith McClaren’s all-ages graphic novel ‘Hinges’, which got covered over here kinda recently, today gained a cover prior to the launch in late February. This looks utterly intriguing, so it seems only fair to share the cover on t’Spire.

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The story follows girl (not a talking chocolate biscuit) Orio, who finds herself in a world called Cobble, where everybody living in the town is a puppet on strings, or a stuffed animal, a doll – all kinds of vintage toys. Turning in at just over a hundred pages, the book is due for launch on February 25. I’m all over this one.

Preview: Stacey Lee’s Pages for Silk #1 over at Marvel

Marvel seem to have this recurring thing going on where, when they announce a raft of new books all at once, one or two get lost in the process. This time round, it seems to be ‘Silk’, which takes the newly-introduced heroine and throws her into New York for her own ongoing series. But, as in these pages from Stacey Lee, the book looks like it could be really fun! So let’s give it a little attention now.

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Cindy Moon was introduced, I believe, as the second person to get bitten by the same spider that turned Peter Parker into a hero. The spider jumped to her after him, then got crushed or whatever, and she also gained the same powers and abilities. But! Then she was stuffed into a cupboard for some supernatural reason and only just allowed back into the real world in the run-up to the current Spider-Verse event. She’s been a love interest to Parker subsequently, and is currently co-featuring in the weird pointless first five issues of the Spider-Woman series.

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All of that leads us to this series, however, so we can discard everything and start fresh, eh? An Asian-American (and a female Asian-American, at that) Cindy gives a little representation to readers who barely ever get any attention in Big-Two comics. And based on Lee’s art here, it seems like we’re getting a whole mix of John Romita Jr (mainly in that rock-solid jawline of J. Jonah Jameson), David LaFuente,  and Bryan Lee O’Malley. Her art is pretty brilliant here, the sort of gravity-ignoring use of perspective and anatomy that lends itself so perfectly to Spider-Man characters.

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The preview gives us three scenes, each of which force Lee to take a different storytelling approach, and it’s a veritable showcase for an artist I’d not heard of before – but who is now firmly on my radar. I love the quieter moments here, and the little touches like the curvy question mark around Cindy’s head in that third page. This has got a lot of quirk to it, but a consistent one which gives the character depth and interest. I had no idea who Cindy Moon was, but these pages really get me excited to see who she’ll turn out to be.

Silk #1, written by Robbie Thompson and coloured by the wonderful Ian Herring, is out in February.

Marvel Are Rebooting or Something: Lazy Predictions for ‘Secret Wars’

Marvel did some kind of announcement event earlier this week where they told us that their next event series, ‘Secret Wars’, will be taking their two universes – the main one and the one which has Ultimate Spider-Man in it, whatever that Universe might be called – and smooshing them together. This means nothing will ever be the same again, providing sweet relief for all those writing solicitation texts at the company.

Basically by the end of the event, Marvel will be in a position where they can write out stuff which doesn’t synergise with their plans as a media company, and add in as many changes as they want in the name of convergence. The obvious main addition seems set to be Miles Morales being kept in the same Universe as the rest of Marvel’s characters, which feels like a move we’ve all waited five years to see happen. Was Miles around five years ago? Since the moment he first appeared, anyway.

Following on from that prediction, however, here are some of my other thoughts for what we’ll see after the event finishes:

  • Spider-Man reboots, apart from “Sins Past” which will remain canon for some reason

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  • The Fantastic Four will be gone, vanished until after Marvel can get the rights for the movies back.
  • Every single alternate universe appearing in Battleworld – including places like Marville, Age of Apocalypse, House of M and more – will be erased from existence by the end of the series, as they ‘lose’ the war and their right to continue onwards
  • Ultimate Nick Fury will be merged with Nick Fury Jr, to provide the Universe with a character who looks like Samuel L. Jackson and yet doesn’t bore fans to the point of tears.
  • A promotion for SHIELD, bringing them back to prominence in the Marvel Universe and falling several superheroes back under their thrall.
  • Black Panther and Dr Strange get new books
  • Loki sacrifices the past few years of development, completing a behind-the-scenes deal which saves the Marvel Universe but returns him to a cackling villain type
  • Cyclops is killed off, saying “Wolverine was right” as he dies. He will be the only one of the X-Men to appear in the storyline and all the X-Men characters will henceforth be called Marvel’s mightiest M-Words
  • Steve Rogers returns as Captain America, male Thor returns as Thor.
  • The Inhumans will be settled into Marvel’s New York, likely with their floating city landing directly on top of the Westchester Mansion
  • A new Defenders title debuts, written by…. I dunno, let’s say Sam Humphries
  • Characters like MI13 and Alpha Flight will be given new chances to grow an audience, and see if they might have a movie/TV-friendly aspect grown into them
  • Daredevil reboots right back to the start
  • The Scarlet Witch never had a mysterious cupboard in her house
  • Everything relaunches
  • Miles Morales claims the title of ‘All-New Spider-Man’
  • Jack Kirby will be removed from his position as God in the Marvel Universe, to be replaced with Kevin Feige
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