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October 15, 2012

Let’s Try A NYCC 2012 Publishing News Link Clearinghouse


I've never found a way to do one of these things effectively, but it occurs to me it might be nice if I could manage to keep a running tally on publishing news stories coming out of the four or five major conventions every year. One thing that's difficult is that I'm usually attending the shows, which makes it difficult to see the reporting of my peers concerning areas of comics in which I have less of a direct interest. Another hassle is that with a mainstream-focused show the bigger publishers prioritize creator moves and the like that doesn't really cross the threshold I have into being actual news. I understand why they do that -- there's a grinding element to publicity-through-news-reportage right now where every mention is a positive, and there are small-p political considerations in terms of how creators can be flattered by the kind of coverage. But it does muddy the water a bit.

An entire paragraph of grousing and excuse-making behind us now, here are some of the stories-in-brief emanating from the ongoing New York Comic Con. That show continues through Sunday in beautiful New York City. I will attempt to re-run this article on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, adding to it as I go. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


image* the writer Joe Casey will be doing an anthology series featuring characters from the Dark Horse superhero comics line of a generation ago. Well, all the characters not big enough to find gainful employment in their own series, that is. Casey's superhero work the last few years has been extremely idiosyncratic, so that should be one to watch. Dark Horse also announced a partnership with a musician that has a large fan following, something that's worked for them in the past.

* DC will pair its hottest emerging writer, Scott Snyder, with its reliable A-list artist Jim Lee on a Superman title that will likely take advantage of the stand-alone nature of that creative pairing to promise something that movie fans can read without having to wade through continuity, even though continuity-heavy comics are supposedly on the outs post-New 52. At any rate, that should sell extremely well. If I'm reading this correctly, there will be a new Vertigo anthology called Ghosts, a Scott Snyder/Sean Murphy series called The Wake and a stand-alone graphic novel form Jeff Lemire called Trillium: The Last Love Story Ever Told. American Vampire will go on hiatus, which seems to make Fables and its related series even more of the think-of-imprint-think-of-this-series title, at least until the new Sandman effort drops.

image* Cullen Bunn -- he of the latest high-profile TV development deal for a comics property on which he's co-creator news -- is working with Joelle Jones on Helheim for Oni. There will be a Sixth Gun spinoff as well. The fact that the Walking Dead material has done well for most comics shops bodes well for similar treatment of Sixth Gun if that material's planned television adaptation comes off. Like Walking Dead that's concept-driven and there's a lot of consistently executed material there. Oni also announced a graphic novel from underrated industry Joe Joe Harris with Adam Pollina called Wars In Toyland and a major digital initiative.

* Marvel is doing more stand-alone graphic novels featuring re-told origin stories for their big characters. This is one of those things that strikes me as necessary given how people want their entertainment in a "tell me what to consume so that what I'm reading makes sense and I will consume it" way, although I don't know how good the actual efforts are beyond the fact I have no desire to read them. They talked up their Infinite Comics efforts (that's their digital grouping), and announced a pre-order feature with comiXology. It was only on Twitter that I noticed Marvel is pulling a classic "what have they done to my favorite character/I must punish them by reading this comic and complaining about it" move with a new Spider-Man series; it's sort of endearing to see that still works, at least in the generating of random Internet buzz. At a Joe Quesada-driven panel, the company announced new series for the Marv Wolfman/John Buscema Nova concept, the re-imagined Guardians Of The Galaxy concept whose provenance is therefore a bit more difficult to shoot out there and the Gerry Conway and Ross Andru (by way of John Romita Sr.) Punisher.

* movie development company turned movie development company through comics publishing offshoot company Legendary announced projects with Guillermo Del Toro (related to Pacific Rim) and Grant Morrison (Annihilator).

* Fred Van Lente is writing a zombie-related series for Dynamite. That company has the license for a television show called Grimm, and they're doing a revival of a character called The Black Bat. According to their PR, that's a pulp character by a writer named Norman Daniels.

image* Image Comics announced an army of new books, as has been their tendency lately, including a lot of genre material from established writers and artists. They also discussed some that had been previously announced. Name-checked in that linked-to article are are: Three (Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly); Sex Criminals (Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky); Zero (Ales Kot, a bunch of artists including Nick Dragotta and Michael Gaydos), The Surface (Ales Kot, Langdon Foss); The Life of Times of Bram and Ben (James Asmus, Jim Festante); East of West (Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta); Feel Better Now (another from Hickman); Lost Vegas (Jim McCann, Janet K. Lee); Midnight of the Soul (Howard Chaykin) and One Trick Rip-Off (Paul Pope; that would be a new version). That could be potentially fascinating because it's not clear if Image is going to be able to maintain recent sales successes as more and more cartooning talent wants to work there, and if the Image with this many books doesn't have the success garnered by Image's recent heavy-hitters, it's not clear what that company will look like with this many books up and down the line from this kind of talent just more generally. The company to watch, really, in that realm.

* Galaga comics. Okay. In fact, there were a couple of random video-game announcements, like this one for a Splinter Cell comic. This one is notable for the involvement of Faith Erin Hicks.

* IDW may have made a bigger splash with its pre-show Cerebus announcements, but don't disrespect Bill Shakespeare. Come to think of it, don't be mean to the Thunder Agents and GI Joe, either. Why do you have to be mean? Why do you have to go there?

* busy writer Andy Diggle will script the third major arc of the looks-like-a-TV-show, run-like-a-TV-show series Thief Of Thieves. I guess that's probably worth noting as a trend that I imagine can be traced to how the Buffy Dark Horse "official" series were arranged, although that's the kind of thing that has a hundred precedents. This should probably go back in the Image section, but I like pulling it out to remind me how much Diggle seems to be all over this show.

* no doubt enough comics are being conceived of in late-night drinking sessions to fuel 30 complete, Grant Morrison-style fantasy comics lines, full of madness and despair. Such is NYCC.

* oh, hey, I received what seems like a useful e-mail from Kodansha. They've apparently announced a Sailor Moon-related art book, an accelerated release schedule starting with March 2013's Vol. 24 on Hiro Mashima's Fairy Tail and a bunch of different titles, some new-sounding and some awfully familiar: Sankarea: Undying Love (Mitsuru Hattori, June 2013); No. 6 (Atsuko Asano and Hinoki Kino, June 2013); Vinland Saga (Makoto Yukimura; October 2013); Tokyo Mew Mew A la Mode (Mia Ikumi; November 2013); Air Gear Omnibus (Ito Ogure, May 2013).



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