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July 30, 2008


Bundled, Tossed, Untied and Stacked

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Special Comic-Con Edition By Tom Spurgeon

Welcome to BTUS: all the straight-up publishing news -- what's coming out, who's doing it, when you'll see it, what it will look like -- into one place. This installment has been posted a few times during the recent Comic-Con International because of the rush of such news coming out of the show and the fact that this seemed an effective way to organize it. This would be my final version.

* the cartoonist Darwyn Cooke will team with the writer Donald Westlake and IDW to do four full-length graphic novels adapting the Parker series Westlake has penned under the pen name Richard Stark.

* Abrams announced the initial titles that will be appearing under the ComicArts imprint to be headed by Charles Kochman: The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle; The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death, Todd Hignite (with Jordan Crane and Alison Bechdel); Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-creator Joe Shuster, Craig Yoe; Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, Brian Fies. The books debut in Spring 2009.

image* Bryan Lee O'Malley released a cover image for the next Scott Pilgrim book and announced its debut for this winter's New York Comic-Con.

* the Los Angeles-based comics company Boom! Studios has announced a deal with Pixar/Disney for comics based on their popular titles such as The Incredibles and Wall-E.

* DC's Vertigo will launch a crime comics imprint to be spearheaded by Will Dennis. Launch books will be by Brian Azzarello and Ian Rankin.

* DC's latest reprinting of the Watchmen trade is either 200K or 250K.

* there were a ton of mainstream creator-to-title and new-title announcements. Here are few that made an impression with me.
* Neil Gaiman will be doing a Batman story.
* Marvel's Agents of Atlas will relaunch as an ongoing.
* Prolific writer Rick Remender will take over scripting chores on Booster Gold on a two-issue arc, which jumped out at me because I hadn't noticed Remender getting mainstream work like that before now, even though he probably had.
* Geoff Johns will try to bring the recent success he had with the Green Lantern franchise to DC's re-launch of its Flash character.
* prominent blogger Valerie D'Orazio will be writing a Cloak and Dagger series for Marvel.
* the veteran writer Peter David will be doing a series of comics with IDW based on his Sir Apropos character.
* Mark Millar will be doing another series in Marvel's Ultimate line.
* Andy Diggle, a writer that made his name on various DC titles, will be doing Thunderbolts at Marvel.
* the IDW Noel Sickles' collection is on the boat making its way to North American shores. Dean Mullaney was showing a copy around the convention, and what I saw looks terrific.

* there were a bunch of cross-media announcements, but they didn't really interest me. God bless everyone that got work or placed work in a different medium. One that sounded potentially cool, though, and seems worth a mention is that Eddie Campbell is working with a production team on doing a television series from his autobiographical work. He will be directly involved, even appearing on camera in some capacity.

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* Paul Karasik announced at the show that he's found what he believes to be the entirety of Fletcher Hanks' output in the Golden Age, and will be doing a companion volume to his I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets with the cover image seen above to be called You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!. It will debut in 2009. The second volume will work as a set with the first volume and will comprise The Complete Fletcher Hanks.

* Devil's Due will bring some of the Humanoids books to the North American market. They will also partner with a Kevin Spacey-owned on-line venture to do comics for the Internet.

* near the end of the show, IDW announced its full 2008-2009 slate of titles. Among those not announced in its bulleted point are Locke & Key II, Joe Hill (December); Angel: Blood and Trenches, John Byrne (2009); Terminator Salvation, Dara Naraghi and Alan Robinson (summer 2009); The Life And Times of Savior 28, JM DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro (no date set); Epilogue, Steve Niles and Kyle Hotz (no date set); Dark Delicacies, Steve Niles editing (no date set); various titles in their Ghostbusters, Underworld, Transformers, Star Trek licenses; new collections of Violent Messiahs, Love and Capes and The Dreamer; a Zombies Vs. Robots sequel, Chris Ryalll and Ashley Wood (no date set); and, finally, another re-do of the Torpedo series.

* finally, Chris Mautner has a preview of various forthcoming FSG-distributed books, including the Mark Schultz/Zander Cannon/Kevin Cannon effort The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA.

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