Monday, July 28, 2008

Stay classy, San Diego

Monday finality:

I expect this will be the final parroting of other sites' stories here, now that the con is over and all. But how about this: Neil Gaiman is writing Batman? Da fug? Looks like it's a story called "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?", and obvious homage to Alan Moore's "Whatever Happenend to the Man of Tomorrow?". Andy Kubert on art, so it will probably look like crap. This seems like small potatoes for Gaiman; he's got the literary respectability, so he shouldn't need to bother with lame superheroics. But maybe he had a story he really needed to tell. Me, I haven't been impressed with his recent comics work (although I do love Sandman and pretty much all of his novels), so I doubt I'll bother with it. But who knows, maybe he'll pull something great out of his ass. At least he's probably being paid a pretty penny for it.

Some slightly interesting stuff from the Fables panel: another standalone graphic novel called Fables: Peter and Max, about Peter Piper and the Pied Piper (who are brothers, of course). Illustrated by Steve Leialoha, who I've not really been a fan of on Fables art (I believe he illustrated the first volume, which is the weakest one by a very wide margin). We'll see how it turns out. There's also a spy-themed Cinderalla miniseries, written by novelist Chris Roberson, and a Fables/Jack of Fables crossover called The Literals, which, following the style of superhero comics, also has tie-in issues in both series. I don't know if that's the best idea, but whatever.

Hey, it's the cover of the next volume of Scott Pilgrim!



Supposedly, there was an Oni Press panel in which this book was discussed, but I can't find anything about it on any of the major news sites, so any other news which was announced can go unremarked upon by me.

Apparently Scholastic is doing at least one more volume of Bone collections (colorizations?) after finished volume 9. I assume this would include Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails and Rose, unless there is anything else that I'm not aware of.

Okay, I think that's enough of my blither-blather. I doubt I'll bother doing any more of this sort of "news" writing, since nobody comes here to find breaking stories (at least, I hope they don't). Outside of a couple interesting bits (Darwyn Cooke's Parker books, Viz's Urasawa licenses), there just isn't that much for me to talk about, other than the fact that I wish I could be there. And from the conventions that I've been to, I'm more interested in prowling around artists' tables and meeting creators than hearing company heads inform everybody how excited they are about some upcoming crossover. It's fun to attend a panel and hear a creator talk about their work, but reports on news sites are pretty boring, with factual descriptions of what transpired. "Brian Bendis said that he really likes working with Khoi Pham." "A fan asked what Jeph Loeb's favorite color is, and he sarcastically said 'chartreuse.'" That sort of thing can be enjoyable if you're sitting in the audience, but reading about it is generally pretty damn lame. So in the future, screw it. I can mention interesting news at the top of whatever my next post is, if I feel like it, and I'll limit most convention discussions to ones that I attend. Take that, apathy!

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Sunday junk:

There's some interesting stuff from IDW's panel, but nothing that makes me sit up and cheer or anything. They lead off with lots of talk about zombies and vampires (and Ben Templesmith's Welcome to Huxford, which I'm actually looking forward to reading), but then drop some offbeat news, like the collection of a Spanish strip from the 80s called Torpedo, which, from what little information I can dig up on the web, was drawn by Jordi Bernet. There's one or two other notable things, but I'm most interested in Ben Templesmith's The Presidents of the United States, which should make for an interesting comparison to Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey's forthcoming (someday) Action Presidents! Templesmith says he wants to spotlight some of the lesser-known presidents, but look at the sample image:



Yeah, nobody knows about that guy.

Looks like I might actually be interested in a comic from Devil's Due, now that they're going to be releasing books from French publisher Humanoids, including finally finishing the John Cassaday-illustrated I Am Legion. I regret missing out on most of the DC imports of Humanoids books from a few years ago, but that was when I was just getting back into reading comics regularly, and I was less adventurous then. So now I'll hopefully have the chance to check these out.

Here's a summary of Chip Kidd's panel about his Bat-Manga book, with a couple slideshow images. I'm looking forward to checking that one out.

For more stuff about manga, ComiPress has a list of announced licenses, many of which might be interesting, but it's hard to tell until we learn more information. Viz's Shojo Beat panel has some interesting info (I'll have to try to check out the VizBig edition of Fushigi Yuugi, and Blank Slate sounds cool), but maybe only for shojo junkies like me.

For an example of Newsarama's Eisner-winning journalism, check out this interview with Valerie D'Orazio about her upcoming Cloak & Dagger miniseries, in which they mention the art team, but never state who they are. Very helpful guys. I think I'll start apologizing when people offer me congratulations for the award.
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Saturday things:

Another example of Vertigo kind of reaching: a new Haunted Tank series, set in Iraq. What's next, a revival of Joe Simon's Green Team, set among the high-stakes world of commodities trading? Hey, I should pitch that to Karen Berger.

Damn, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba are all over the place lately; they've got a new series called Day Tripper coming out from Vertigo. Other news from the Vertigo panel: Dark Entries, the non-Azzarello Vertigo Crime book, will feature John Constantine (wow, they're really going for something new and different there). After Seaguy 2: Slaves of Mickey Eye, Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart are doing Seaguy 3: Seaguy Eternal (awesome news!). Another Morrison series, War Cop, will be coming out at some point, illustrated by Sean Murphy (I might be one of the last people to know about this).

Eh, I could probably find some other stuff to talk about (like the Eisner award winners; I've already got one congratulations for Newsarama's win), but screw it, I'm tired. And this is all ending up kind of boring anyway. We'll see if I can muster the interest to talk about anything else.
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Friday updates:

I don't know If I'll bother with this, but it's at least kind of interesting: Marvel and Stephen King are doing some sort of comics/video/internet/cell phone thing, with art by Alex Maleev that is presented in "pan and scan" format with voiceovers and whatnot. Weird. Sounds kind of dumb, actually, but it's notable that they are trying to tell stories using a new medium. Maybe I'll try to check it out at some point, although I don't have a cell phone that can do that sort of thing.

I don't know why I neglected to mention the Dark Horse horror panel yesterday, maybe because nothing really jumped out at me as especially noteworthy, but there are some interesting tidbits, like the fact that Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba will be illustrating an upcoming BPRD miniseries. That's pretty cool.

Here's some more information about that David Mack adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "The Electric Ant". It sound's pretty cool; I'll be interested to see how well Mack can adapt Dick's style to comics. Lord knows it should be better than the "make it an action movie!" approach Hollywood has usually used. And check out the nice artwork:



Info about the upcoming collection and revival of Dean Motter's Mister X. I've never read that series, but I probably should try it out. It looks cool.

Manga news! CMX has acquired the interesting-sounding titles Genghis Khan and March on Earth. Del Rey has a series called Yokai Doctor, which is a good title, at least. They also announced some cool-sounding non-manga books, like In the Flesh, a story collection by Israeli artist Koren Shadmi, and Life with Dr. Dangerous, by Paul Hornschemier.

More in-depth stuff
about the new Ennis/Dillon Punisher miniseries, which sees the return of Ma Gnucci, the mob boss who was dismembered by a polar bear and seemingly burnt to death back in their original storyline. This kind of reeks of trying to squeeze too much lemonade out of a particularly well-worn lemon (that doesn't even make sense). But Ennis should be able to at least make it pretty funny, I imagine.

God, news has to just trickle out in annoyingly minute details, doesn't it? Here's a very slight update on the Vertigo Crime imprint, revealing that the comics will be in graphic novel format, black and white, about 200 pages long. And you can find out the titles of the actual books, for all that good that will do.

There's one worthwhile item in this post about the Image panel, and that's that Darwyn Cooke will be writing and drawing Madman Atomic Comics #14. There, I saved you the trouble of reading through the rest of the dreck. Actually, there's one or two mentions of Invincible and The Walking Dead, and I know those aren't terrible, so I suppose you could read it if you're a Robert Kirkman fan.

Hey, how about this? Viz announced that they finally licensed Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys and Pluto, both of which should be coming out in the US in February. Awesome. That might be the best Comicon news I've heard yet.
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Because I feel like it, I'll try to do a roundup of news and whatnot from San Diego as the convention continues. Looking back at the post I did last year, it's interesting to see that many of the announcements didn't bear fruition until right around now, a year later. So let's see what's in store for mid-2009:

The first big news is pretty awesome: Darwyn Cooke will be adapting Richard Stark's Parker novels into a series of graphic novels for IDW. Suh-weet. I'm all over that. I love Cooke's art, and it will be great to see him doing some more serious, adult work.

Boom! Studios has a new deal with Disney/Pixar to do stories spinning off from their movies (and also The Muppet Show. Weird). I'm surprised there hasn't already been an Incredibles comic book, since that's obvious, but their other stuff should lend itself to the medium as well. We'll see how it goes. Here's the original story, and here's an interview with editor Paul Morrisey. And an interview with Boom! EIC Mark Waid, who mentions that Roger Langridge might be involved with the Muppets book.

Vertigo, which seems to be flailing around for some sort of identity, is launching a new imprint, Vertigo Crime. Starting sometime next year, the first two books will be written by Brian Azzarello (cool!) and Ian Rankin (who?). Why couldn't these have been plain old Vertigo series? Huh.

CBR has an interview with Gerard Way, mostly talking about the upcoming second volume of The Umbrella Academy. There are some interesting tidbits of information, and some boring talk about a movie adaptation (it works best as comics; why worry about adapting it to film? Oh, right, money). If you're a fan (of the comic, or his band, you weirdos), check it out.

Looks like that's all for now, but I'm sure I'll have more to add soon.
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I don't know if this is really comics news, but Virgin is doing some sort of multimedia project with Grant Morrison called MBX, based on the Indian epic Mahabharata. It includes animation and video games, but who knows if there will be any comics involved. If it's anything like Morrison's awesome Vimanarama, I'll be glad to check it out.

Here's an interview with Guy Davis about The Marquis. I've never read that series, even though I dig Davis's art. I'll have to try to check it out sometime.

More to come soon, I'm sure. I'll eventually start sticking updates at the top of the post, but it's still too small and too new for that.
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Lots of boring news about the X-Men and Green Lanterns and crap like that. Meh. But I was interested to see a new Agents of Atlas series from Jeff Parker and some as-yet-unnamed artist. Here's a kind of in-depth article about it. I don't know if I'll want to read it, what with my current antipathy toward superheroics, but I'm definitely more interested in that than whatever's going on with Wolverine.

Other possible stuff of interest from Marvel: a David Mack-drawn adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "Electric Ant" (with Paul Pope on covers!), and Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon doing a six-issue weekly Punisher: War Zone miniseries, which is supposed to be more along the lines of their humorous, satirical Punisher work, rather than the more adult MAX series.