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July 24, 2017

Bundled, Tossed, Untied & Stacked: Publishing News Special Comic-Con And Pre-Con Announcements 2017

By Tom Spurgeon

* there's a ton more stuff to come, and if I can get my shit together I'll present what's left that seems worth noting in next week's column or as stand-alone. For now, here's what struck me as important in a classic publishing-news sense from Comic-Con International 2017.

image* there will be three new character-driven series in the Hellboy-verse, one of the great solid performers of modern times.

* here's one that seems a bit underplayed: one more volume of League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen; one more volume of comics in the careers of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. That one starts next June. I like much of that work, and of course Moore in particular is a top 10 all-time comics-maker in terms of influence. This one sounds like a story to be developed and revisited in the months ahead.

* in my favorite announcements of Comic-Con 2017, Drawn and Quarterly confirmed they'll be collecting and publishing two great serials of the alternative comics era: Berlin in Fall 2018 and Clyde Fans in 2019. They will also be doing a kind of archival treatment of Dirty Plotte with a bunch of support material -- that book already sounds amazing.

* Ed Piskor will be doing a major story-of X-Men series for Marvel over the next few Decembers. That should be fun, and it's forward thinking for the company to let an artist like Piskor provide his take on characters for which I'm assuming he has some affection. It's sort of like DC talking about publishing sellable bookstore perennials, but a different company doing one and not through their serials and events.

* this is potentially interesting: Glenat and IDW partnering on original graphic novel creation. That's going to be all about execution given the crowded market, but the structure is there for support for sure. Nothing blows me away in the first group announced, although Mike Carey is a writer of interest, particularly working with Peter Gross.

* Fantagraphics I don't think announced anything at the show except the completion of the fourth volume in the Pogo series, which is announcement enough. Those are pretty glorious comics, some of the best looking of all time, and I think this is a nice time to place volumes like that into libraries because I don't think that great strip has had a second life even to the extent that a few other equally popular strips have.

* there will also be expansion in the Wildstorm imprint supervised by Warren Ellis. I think that's a good thing. I want to see where that model heads.

* on July 12 Lion Forge Comics expands its all-ages ClubHouse imprint with Glint: Loon's Army, from Samuel Sattin and Ian McGinty.

* Frank Miller announced via panel drop-in that he and John Romita Jr. will be doing a Superman: Year One graphic novel. This fits into DC's asserted general strategy of the moment: emphasizing the jumpstart of potential bookstore perennials across several categories. Both of them can still be intriguing artists, although I have to say I can't work up much enthusiasm for another version of an old character.

* Superman to fight Dr. Manhattan soon, or whatever. Man, that thing sounds super-dumb.

* it doesn't get much more solid publishing new of the sweet, sweet books-to-come variety than details for lines arriving from two former DC/Vertigo stalwarts: Shelly Bond's Black Crown line at IDW: Karen Berger's Berger Books group at Dark Horse.

* so many, many, many comics hitting a market that can't handle the comics being published. We're France now.

* finally, Marvel continues to fill out its Legacy publishing slate. Like most of the DC launches this century, I can't tell the difference between these comics and random comics from 2008, say, but maybe I'm not supposed to.
posted 5:25 pm PST | Permalink

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