Comics

A collection of 36 posts

Marvel reveals Timeless Alex Ross covers

Joe Grunenwald for The Beat:

In September offerings, Marvel is kicking off their “Timeless” line of variant covers featuring character portraits by acclaimed artist Alex Ross. Now the publisher has revealed even more Ross Timeless variant covers for release along with their October 2020 offerings. The fourteen new covers will accompany issues of Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men, Shang Chi, and many more.

These covers, like all of Alex Ross' prior work, look incredible. It's hard to believe this is coming from the same publisher that thought these were a good idea.

King and Fornés bring Rorschach to DC Black Label in October

King and Fornés bring Rorschach to DC Black Label in October

DC Comics:

DC proudly presents a new 12-issue maxiseries debuting this October by Tom King (Mister Miracle) and Jorge Fornés (Batman), together delivering a new vision of one of the most riveting characters from Watchmen—a figure in a fedora and a trench coat, loved by some, reviled by others—Rorschach.

It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias was exposed for dropping a giant telepathic squid on New York City, killing thousands and ending the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. The Minutemen are gone; only their memory lives on. Especially the infamy of Rorschach, who has become a cultural icon since Dr. Manhattan turned him to dust.

I'm so excited to read this. King's work on similar books for Vision and Mister Miracle is considered by many to be career-defining. With Rorschach's history, and the excellent art of Jorge Fornés, this book could be yet another slam-dunk.

I'm happy that, like the recent Strange Adventures by King, Gerads, and Shaner, this new book will be part of DC's Black Label line. It just wouldn't be right to see a darker, grittier character like Rorschach fitting into DC's main, more family-friendly line.

If you're not familiar with artist Jorge Fornés, I highly recommend giving his work a look. He worked with Tom King on Batman (#67, 71–72, 84) and Daredevil (#16–18) over at Marvel with writer/artist Chip Zdarsky. Based on his previous work and the art we've seen so far, I can't think of a better artist for this book.

Mark your calendar for this one. The first issue ships in October.

Slime Tunnel

Art by Gavin Fullerton

Slime Tunnel on Gumroad:

A 26 page Horror comic.
A man discovers a strange tunnel in his late father's bedroom.

Slime Tunnel is visually harsh, in a good way, and reads quickly. That said, if you're anything like me, it'll stay with you for a while after you're finished reading.

Personally, I love horror stories like this. Books where there's nothing immediately "scary" but the entire experience is unsettling and errie, which I don't typically find in a lot of horror comics but I think is exactly the case here. Writer/artist Gavin Fullerton has another comic on his personal site called Strand that has a really similar vibe to it too.

You can pay whatever amount you'd like to own a copy of Slime Tunnel and I'd encourage you to help support these sorts of projects in some way.

Writer/artist Cameron Stewart accused of sexual misconduct

Joe Grunenwald for The Beat:

The first allegation came when artist Aviva Artzy revealed on Twitter that Stewart had groomed her when she was 16 years old and Stewart was in his early 30s.

As Artzy’s tweets circulated, other women came forward alleging that Stewart had done the same to them. Writer/artist Kate Leth tweeted that she was either 20 or 21 when a 32-year-old Stewart groomed her.

As a longtime fan of Stewart's work, this is so disappointing to hear and it's shocking that it was apparently so well known among other creators. As some have pointed out on Twitter, it seems like a startling amount of male comic book creators, many of which you'd have to think heard about these incidents over the years, remaining silent online instead of condemning the behaviour and supporting the people coming forward with these stories.

The comic book industry has a terrible history with older, male professionals misbehaving around younger, less experienced women who are new to comics. How many more stories like this are we going to have to hear before things actually change? How many men in the industry are going to just continue to stand by and watch it happen? If you see it, say something.

I've unfollowed Stewart, who has since set his social media accounts to private, on both Twitter and Instagram and I'd recommend others do the same. It's the least many of us can do in this situation. I'd also shared some of his work on my Tumblr page a few years ago and have removed those too.

The Sleep Stories by Michael Walsh

Art by Michael Walsh

The Sleep Stories:

The Sleep Stories are an ongoing series of comics based on my nightmares and, occasionally, the unreality of my waking life. Welcome to my rotting dreams.

Eisner award winning creator Michael Walsh shares tales of his nightmares with a new chapter each Tuesday. They’re strange, unsettling, and beautifully drawn. I highly recommend taking a look and supporting the project if you’re able.

Diamond announces return to regular operations

Susana Polo for Polygon:

The sole distributor of product for all but the tiniest of American comics companies will reopen for business. Diamond Comic Distributors has announced it will return to regular business on Wednesday, May 20, about two months after it shuttered due to social distancing restrictions.

It’s certainly nice to see people will have new stuff to read sooner than later. To be honest, I assumed a more significant impact from DC’s move to Lunar and UCS as well as a longer delay in books arriving from Diamond.

I should take the time to get caught up on all the books I still haven’t read before these new ones arrive.

DC using new distributors, books hitting stores in April

Heidi MacDonald for The Beat:

But the biggest bombshell of this: DC will be using two new distributors, Lunar Distribution and UCS Comic Distributors to distribute weekly periodical comics. Retailers can sign up with either on a regional basis.

While I don’t completely understand this part of the industry, even I know Diamond’s had a lock on comics distribution for a very long time.

This is a seismic move for the comics industry, with the first new direct market distributors for comics periodicals in 20 years. I’d long heard rumors that DC Comics has not renewed their exclusive deal with Diamond, and this would indicate that those rumors are true.

If this sticks post-pandemic, you have to wonder what sort of effect this will have on the industry. Competition helps drive innovation, maybe that will be the case here too.

Friday

Art by Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente

Panel Syndicate:

Friday Fitzhugh spent her childhood solving crimes and digging up occult secrets with her best friend Lancelot Jones, the smartest boy in the world. But that was the past, now she’s in college, starting a new life on her own. Except when Friday comes home for the holidays, she’s immediately pulled back into Lance’s orbit and finds that something very strange and dangerous is happening in their little New England town.

I really enjoyed both The Private Eye and Barrier, which were also released by Panel Syndicate in the same “pay what you want” model, with artists Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente joined by writer Brian K. Vaughan.

For books like this to appear out of thin air at whatever price you feel is fair, it’s amazing, especially with incredible talent like Ed Brubaker and the previously mentioned Martin, and Vicente onboard. I’m really looking forward to giving this a read as soon as possible.

Comic creators dream up epic DC/Marvel mashups

JLA/Avengers art by George Perez

Susana Polo for Polygon:

With the 25th anniversary of the last DC and Marvel Comics crossover approaching, and the American comics industry in a state of deep uncertainty, writer Gail Simone kicked off a moment of positive Twitter energy with one simple question: What would you like to see in a newMarvel/DC crossover?

I actually think a crossover like this would do wonders for both publishers and comic shops alike if marketed well. At a time like this, the comic community needs to stick together wherever possible to survive. Is it really that crazy to think Disney and Warner Bros would work together to help everyone get through this?

Could you imagine a list of creators like we saw on Marvel Comics #1000 pitting the greatest heroes from both companies together against some insurmountable force? Sign me up.

Marvel announces new Silk series by Goo and Miyazawa

Art by Stacey Lee

Joe Grunenwald for The Beat:

Cindy Moon is getting another day in the sun. Marvel has announced a new ongoing series for Spider-Man spin-off character Silk. The series will be written by novelist and first-time comics writer Maurene Goo, and illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane), with the first issue of the series sporting a cover by Stonehouse.

It's great to see the character back, and being written by a Korean American woman no less. I’ve always dug Silk from her appearances in ASM and I’m really hoping this new series helps her carve her own path, independent of Spider-Man's books.

It doesn’t hurt that Takeshi Miyazawa’s on the book who, as I’ve mentioned a dozen or more times before, I’ve been a huge fan of since his work on Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane in the mid-2000s.

Condon and Phillips bringing That Texas Blood to Image this summer

Condon and Phillips bringing That Texas Blood to Image this summer

Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips (Criminal, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies) have a new book out this summer from Image Comics, called That Texas Blood. A neo-western more along the lines of No Country for Old Men than High Noon, the book focuses on Sheriff Joe Bob Coates and his experiences with crime in his hometown of Fort Lehane.

Not only does this sound awesome, but Phillips’ art looks killer too. It’s a completely different style than his father Sean’s, sort of like a cleaner version of what Jason Latour does on Southern Bastards. I’ll definitely be picking this one up.

DC Comics Publisher Dan DiDio has left the company

DC Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee

Gregory Lawrence for Collider:

DiDio was instrumental in many of DC’s contemporary shifts and successes, including The New 52, a 2011 revamp of all of DC’s continuity post-Flashpoint that saw every DC title restarting at issue #1. DiDio also became a fan-favorite figure, serving as DC’s front-facing de facto spokesperson at fan events and conventions. In an era where most of “comic book success” is found in movies and TV, DiDio made sure the actual ink-and-paper (or digital) comic books had a home and focus in the business strategies of DC.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dan DiDio at FanExpo in Toronto a number of years ago. He is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people in comics I’ve ever met.

I specifically remember him coming out from inside the DC booth at the event to chat in the aisle with my friends and I about what the company had planned (pre-Flashpoint) and his time working on ReBoot in the 90s.

I’ll be interested to see what he does next.