Leaked San Diego ComiCon Rumors!

Summer convention season is upon us, and most publishers take the opportunity to use the bigger cons to announce their plans for the next year.  We’ve managed to intercept some of them from the L.E.M.U.R. satellite orbiting 22,300 miles above the earth, and are happy to spoil their plans.  For the children.

  • DC

    DC will no longer publish comics. Instead it will create and sell lines of merchandise based on the art of Jim Lee. Look for a glut of Batman figures, figurines, and girl’s panties. Also expect more figurines envisioning DC’s famous properties in a hyper sexy anime style.

    • DC will launch Crisis on Finite Earths, except set in the Marvel Universe as the Wolverine of Earth-X and the Spider-Man of Earth 3 finally meet and push the Gwen Stacy of Earth-1 off a bridge.  Then the worlds collapse or something.  Look, it’s just time that Marvel did this, too. Trust us, we’re pros.
    • Feeling that Miracleman rights are a little too close to getting sorted, DC announces they will hire Neil Gaiman to finish his run for them instead of Marvel.
    • Rob Liefeld will become Deputy Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, assisting Geoff Johns.  They will also collaborate on a new title, tentatively scheduled to be a reboot of Jack Kirby’s Sandman.
  • Marvel
    • Thor figures front and center this fall, as he becomes a single mom.
    • Marvel will incorporate hidden Mickeys in each issue of each title they publish. Readers are encouraged to document each occurrence and mail it in. Entries will be checked for accuracy and winners will be selected every six months for a free trip to Euro-Disney.
    • This will be Marvel’s last year at SDCC.  Going forward they will be Spotlight Guests at the brand new San Diego DisneyCon the last week of July.

    Marvel is being exceptionally tight-lipped about this Fall’s Namor War. Bleeding Cool reports that they’ve come up with a name and 6 promo images but have absolutely no idea what to do with them.

  • Dark Horse Comics
    • In honor of Concrete’s 26th anniversary Dark Horse Comics ALL Dark Horse publications will participate “Concrete Month.” Stories will revolve around and feature Paul Chadwick’s iconoclastic creation.
  • Image
    • In the largest crossover of it’s kind, Kurt Busiek’s Astro City will cross over with Ed Brubaker’s Fatale and Jonathan Hickman’s Manhattan Projects.  Nick Spencer’s Infinite Vacation will make an appearance, but 8 months late.
    • Top Cow has decided to drop the charade and simply call itself Tits Comics.
  • Boom!
    • Roger Langridge will take over as Editor-in-Chief, put snarks in every title.
  • Archie
    • Archie Comics will shock readers in November with “Who Killed Archie Andrews?”
  • Diamond Distributors
    • In an effort to improve customer service, Diamond will be breaking itself into 12 smaller independent distributors based on geographic region. Griff Moran, a spokesperson for Diamond, assures that these “Diamond Chips” will only be 1/12th as incompetent as the original monopoly. Expect this change in January of 2013.

Alan Moore will write issues 9-12 of Adventure Time. You heard it here first!

Nick Fury…SECRETS

Life’s been a bit rough since they can’t show people smoking in comics.

secret…

I’m so bad, I kick my own ass twice a day.

Secret…

One of the first things I did as Director of SHIELD was to reunite the cast and crew of Quantum Leap. I got the ending we all deserved.

SECRET…

If I weren’t a badass superspy, I’d be a used car salesman.

SECRETS…

I’m a Leno man. He is the comic voice of a generation.

SECRETS!

Tomorrow’s Comics

This is a great week of comics, with TWO issues of Atomic Robo and some other stuff that’s good but ALSO TWO ISSUES OF ATOMIC ROBO!  Yes, this is like Second Christmas for me.

  • ATOMIC ROBO FLYING SHE DEVILS O/T PACIFIC #1 (OF 5) and ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADV #3 – Okay, so Flying She-Devils is the next full volume and Real Science Adventures continues the collection of short stories.  And I truly am excited they’re both out this week, but I’m a little confused why Red 5 is releasing them on the same day instead of spacing them throughout the month.
  • BERKELEY BREATHED OUTLAND COMP COLL HC – This will fit right in with your Bloom County collections.  Or if not yours, mine.  These are amazing collections, and IDW is going to become the new Fantagraphics (if only in the quality of their archival collections) if they keep it up.
  • FATALE TP VOL 01 DEATH CHASES ME – I just couldn’t remember what was happening in Fatale from month to month, so I’m hoping the move to trades is better for my ever-weakening memory.  Issue 6 is also outthis week, but I’m not sure if that means the TPB is only 5 issues or if they’re releasing the collection on the same day as the last issue in some sort of strategic alignment/vertical integration.  Almostcertainly the former, but the latter would be pretty interesting.
  • FF #19
  • LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009 – I confess: I’ve lost all interest in LoEG. It’s just to insular and referential, and if I’m being honest I just don’t like Kevin O’Neill’s art at all.  He’s a fine draftsman, I just find his style too rough and angular for my tastes.
  • MANHATTAN PROJECTS #4 – MP gets better with each issue.  Mad science at its finest!
  • PROPHET #26
  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #11

More reviews are forthcoming, as my love of Snarked and Thunderbolts has been reawakened.  That’s it for this week.  What looks good to you?

Phoenix Force 101…THE LIST

The Phoenix Force can give awesome hugs.

The Phoenix Force is one of the most feared and destructive forces in the Marvel Universe. Outside of destroying planets and instilling hope in some of the mutant community, writers have been woefully unclear as to what exactly it does. At last weekend’s convention, Jesse found a copy of Marvel’s in-house breakdown of the abilities and limitations of the Phoenix Force.

The Phoenix Force can do long division by hand, but CANNOT do short
division.

The Phoenix Force cannot help you with your taxes.

The Phoenix Force will not get rid of the nubs.

The Phoenix Force can take a hint.

The Phoenix Force cannot BELIEVE you said that.

The Phoenix Force can make sense of Star Trek V.

The Phoenix Force can’t stand Leonard Cohen.

The Phoenix Force can be a bit of a bitch.

The Phoenix Force can’t help falling in love with you.

The Phoenix Force can handle that for you.

The Phoenix Force can twist again like we did last summer.

Quarter Bin Treasure Chest

One of my favorite things about cons is back-issue diving.  And one of my favorite things about that is discovering insane old Silver Age books.  I thought I’d share a few I found at Denver Comic Con.  None of these were a quarter, but they were all under $2.

I’ve never read a Blackhawk comic before, but that’s just Silver Age madness!

The superhero boom is obviously upon us!

I thought this was the same character from our, but I was mistaken.

A note from the editor right on the cover? Always a good sign.

I don’t have to explain why this is awesome, right? It’s Superman and he Guardians!

It gets even crazier when Hitler shows up! Oh damn, I ruined it.

Giant robot? Check. Creepy old-school sci-fi name? Double-check.

.

Secret identity hijinx!

This Week’s Comics

After what was undoubtedly a successful weekend at Denver ComicCon, I’m reigning it in for this week’s new and noteworth release.

  • DAREDEVIL #14
  • DARK AVENGERS #176 – A direct continuation of his Thunderbolts run, the cutover to Dark Avengers has been a breath of fresh air that I’ve been missing with T’bolts, so I’m going to hang in there for a while again.
  • GLORY #27
  • GODZILLA ONGOING #2 – NO, IDW. No. Bad IDW!!!
  • MARS ATTACKS #1
  • SAGA #4 – This book has been REALLY fun, and Brian K. Vaughn proves he can do sci-fi. Every time I think I have it figured out there’s a twist spinning it off into a new direction.
  • SNARKED #9
  • TMNT MICRO SERIES #5 SPLINTER – These microseries books have been a breath of fresh air, if only because there’s a beginning, middle, and end.

There we go, folks. Expect new reviews later in the week, including the cool experiment in Spawn #220. What looks good to you?

Denver ComicCon, Day 3

Yup, there’s a TARDIS.

At this point on Sunday Denver ComicCon has wrapped up, bringing to an end a very, VERY successful convention.

I’ve mentioned a few times that the con is a benefit for Comic Book Classroom, but I don’t think I’ve stressed how many kids were running all over the floor.  It’s a great thing to see, kids coming up in comicdom, after so many years of comics being stuck in the lowbrow end of the entertainment spectrum.  And to that end it’s been such a family-friendly show, deliberately so. 

The other interesting thing about DCC is not only is it extremely comic-focused, it’s very CREATOR-focused.  As expected there were dealers about, and I managed to find some great bargains, but it wasn’t wall-to-wall back issues.  I’d say a good 40-50% of the floor space was filled with comic creators.  That leads to a much different vibe, because with less retailers I think there were more people TALKING about comics than other shows where we all slide from longbox to longbox with our pull lists, hardly taking time to speak to the people around us other than comparing scores.

Dalek Boy, Doctor Who Boy, Cyber MAN.

It’s a strange thing to say, since I spend roughly 40% of my waking hours thinking about comics, but I still left the convention center each night even MORE enthusiastic about comics.  (It doesn’t hurt that the Cellar Door anthology that FotB Andrew and I contributed to was out and available at the show, but it’s not even the main reason.)

With a little more time to let it sink in, I’m sure I’ve got some suggestions for how to make DCC better for next year, but it’s worth noting that the Denver Post is reporting that attendance could hit 20,000 for the weekend, making it the second-largest opening for a convention either.  (They also did the legwork and found out the floorspace is 100,000 square feet, so thanks to them for taking that off my plate.)  And as the con was wrapping up, the DCC organizers made the announcement that will keep guests talking about the Denver’s con throughout the next year: Stan Lee has been confirmed as a guest for 2013.

I’ve got to say I’m exhausted, and all I’ve done is work a couple 4-hour shifts and wandering the floor for three days.  The organizers, who have been living and breathing this con for the past 3 years must be ready to collapse.  But I hope the exhilaration of pulling of such a massive undertaking keeps them going long enough to grab a pint of Fantastic Pour and rest on their laurels for a bit.  But just for a little while, because we’re going to do this all over again in 12 months.  See you there.

This is my favorite picture from the con.

Denver ComicCon, Day 2

Sorry, bear. If you didn’t get your tickets in advance you’re all out of luck.

What a day at the Colorado Convention Center!  And to that end, I’m going to try something new and go with subject headings rather than fussing about with transition sentences.

The Lines

I was surprised that despite rumors of a huge sellout for today, ticket lines never looked insanely long.  In fact, I never saw them as long as the line I waded through last night.  And perhaps DCC noticed a lack of signage in the lobby, too, as today there were volunteers guiding people where they needed to be.  (Though I still think signs would be more efficient.)

How to Draw Phineas and Ferb. And a penguin.

The Work

This was my first time volunteering for a con, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  My assignment was crowd control for one of the meeting rooms, and since it was one of the smaller rooms everyone just came and went as they pleased so there wasn’t much to control.  So four hours of my day was essentially watching panels and monitoring batteries in the camcorder DCC was using to record the panels (hopefully they’ll show up online).

The Crowd

Despite obvious enthusiasm and a large turnout, I found everyone I ran into to be part of a pretty chill, relaxed group.  Everyone was polite, friendly, and psyched.  It’s a nice change of pace from San Diego, where everyone is rushing hither and yon with miles of floor space to traverse.  Truth be told, this is a great size for a con (I should really try to find the square footage).  It’s enough to keep you busy for a full day or more, but not so much it feels like you’ll never make it to everything.  I swear, in San Diego I feel like it takes a full day just to get the lay of the land, much less go anyplace and shop or talk to people.  Several creators (Barry Kitson, Mike Allred, Joseph Michael Linsner) had very long lines, which was nice to see.

Charging for Autographs

Neal Adams, art legend (and personal fav’rite)

It isn’t specific to this con, but it puzzles me so I’ll mention it.  The idea of charging for autographs confuses me a bit.  Sketches I understand since there’s work and craft involved.  But for just signing your name?  That seems a bit off to me.  I understand trying to encourage customers to buy your wares, but especially in the case of celebrity signings when there’s nothing to buy it seems unnecessary.

Perhaps I’ve just always been under the false assumption that signings are ways of promoting yourself and/or giving something back to the fans, but $20-$50 for a couple minutes of time just feels mercenary. 

Compared to James Marsters, the $5 it costs to get Neal Adams to sign a book is pretty minor, but Neal Adams is really the person who got me started down this path.  Not to pick on Mr. Adams, but he’s put me in a bit of a quandary.  I’ve been a huge fan of his for almost as long as I’ve been reading comics and getting a signed book would be really nice.  But at the same time, is that something we should pay for?  (I watched Jason Aaron sign about a foot of comics for one guy last night.  For free.)  To be fair, anything you buy in his booth gets signed for no charge, but quick head sketches on a color print will run you $70, and commissioning art can go for $500-$700 and UP.

What do you think about charging for autographs?  Any and all comments welcome, I’m curious what you think. 

Tomorrow

Only time will tell, friends!

Spider-Man out of carved pumpkins. I haven’t found an organic place to put this yet, but damn if it isn’t amazing (pun intended).