Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 20, 2015

Bundled, Tossed, Untied And Stacked: Publishing News


By Tom Spurgeon

* one supposes the big publishing news of the last 24 hours as this appears is Marvel doing a universe-smushing and line-tweaking crossover this summer under the Secret Wars title, which they can also use to sell a shitload of toys. This way they can put some of the ultimate universe characters in the universe that results -- the Miles Morales Spider-Man character is the belle of that ball in the way that Julius Erving was by far the brightest light when the ABA merged into the NBA. The writer Jonathan Hickman is driving that particular caravan of vehicles, and he's well-suited to doing so. I imagine a lot of energy will be spent explaining how this isn't a DC-like move.

image* there was an Image Expo back on the day of the Hebdo killings. I approve of those events. I think they're a smart way to drive attention to what that company is doing, and must be a nice thing for that region of fans considering how choices made by their convention hall owners fairly drove away their biggest, traditional con. The two best things I've read on it since is the more comprehensive re-telling here from the CA staff and a what-strikes-me-as-most-important piece here from Corey Blake. I also read this spotlight piece at Comics&Cola on the forthcoming science-fiction anthology Island, the single title in which I'm most interested. There's a lot going on in those announcements, and not just any number of stand-alone welcome comics depending on what you like to read and how well they're executed. I got way more of a sense with thise pieces than with past summaries of talent kind of settling in at Image, and providing more work to them exclusively, as their main professional option. It also seemed like the artists were more central to the announcements this time around. I like the Image deal for what it can do for creator that can sell above a certain point and for whom it's important to retain rights. I wish more of the line were as strong as the top-sellers, so I'm always happy to hear about the grind of new series attempted. Hope springs eternal.

* how about two self-published works from Ryan Cecil Smith? Another Face Comic is the third of his books designed to begin or end at any point of selected entry. It's on sale here. Style And Fashion Zine #1 is a 'zine-style 24-page done with Graeme McNee. I'll do OTBPs for these book, too, but it's nice to note they've been published in this column, particularly a mainstream- and genre-dominant installment like this one.

* DC is using Chip Kidd for variants on their Convergence effort. That's the line-wide step-in for the company while they move their editorial offices to the West Coast. I'm sort of interested in their plans afterwards. The DC superhero books strike me as a mess right now in terms of their being able to build a strong sense of line-wide story or even a distinct identity for that universe. It really feels like a bunch of random 1990s "extreme" titles + Batman + one or two interesting concepts sprinkled in that are sometimes immediately walked back. I could be totally wrong. Superhero coimcs are not my strongest area of interest, and there could be nuances at work that I'm simply unable to process. But comparing the books I read from that line and comparing them to other times when I had a stronger sense of what was going on with those comics, it's not a flattering comparison. In addition, so many of the characters seem deeply unlikable.

* I like the look of this Johnny Ryan collection Fanta's put together.

* Johanna Draper Carlson caught a long while back that Andy Runyon will be taking his Owly and self-publishing it now. Although it's an announcement that came in the wake of the IDW/Top Shelf sale, I've been told via e-mail and I'm sure it's been reported since that it's not where the break originated; it's just something Runyon has looked forward to trying. I wish him luck. A lot of people enjoy that comic.

* another Nemo book is imminent. I like those comics from Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, even when I'm somewhat at odds with elements of their small-p politics: they're interesting and weird and idiosyncratically executed. I'm always happy to read one more.

* finally, Derf shows off the approved cover design for his upcoming Abrams work, Trashed. You should click through and see the whole thing. He has since inked it, here.

posted 3:25 pm PST | Permalink

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