The News Round-up returns with the latest word on SDCC exclusives, the whole Paul Jenkins open letter thing, the announcement of the 2013 Bill Finger Award winners, and more.
Diamond announces SDCC 2013 exclusives
With SDCC 2013 (July 18–21, 2013; San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA) just around the corner, Diamond Comics Distributors has revealed the highlights of its slew of limited edition, exclusive items to be made available to convention attendees. Note that the full list of exclusives will be available at the convention proper, at the Diamond PREVIEWS Booth (booth #2401).
SDCC 2013 ADVENTURE TIME SUMMER SPECIAL #1
Join fan-favorite characters Marceline and Princess Bubblegum for riot grrl rock-fueled excitement in this brand new Adventure Time miniseries! Thanks to a newfound interest in music, Princess Bubblegum joins Marceline’s paranormal rock band for a tour across the land of Ooo! But when they’re threatened by everything from scenesters to beasts born of self-doubt, can they make it to the raddest gig ever in time?! Written and drawn by acclaimed cartoonist Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie) and featuring a back-up story from Jen Wang (Koko Be Good).
LIMITED TO 4,000 COPIES!
SDCC 2013 DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL #1 EXCLUSIVE COVER
by Cullen Bunn, Salva Espin, & Michael Del
The final act of the Deadpool Killogy begins! Deadpool sets his sights on the ultimate target … himself! Contains over 700% of your daily recommended Deadpool!
LIMITED TO 5000 COPIES!
SDCC 2013 MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #9 EXCLUSIVE COVER
by Katie Cook & Andy Price
Every pony’s got a story to tell in this new arc by fan-favorites Katie Cook & Andy Price! The citizens of Ponyville take center stage as an ordinary morning for Big McIntosh quickly turns into an unexpected adventure! Filled with tons of colorful characters and side stories, this issue will put Big McIntosh’s typical bashfulness to the test! Bonus: Additional 8 pages of content not found in the regular edition.
LIMITED TO 5000 COPIES!
SDCC 2013 STAR WARS: DARK TIMES – THE SPARK REMAINS #1 EXCLUSIVE COVER
by Randy Stradley, Doug Wheatley, Dan Jackson & Benjamin Carre
Reunited with the ragtag crew of the Uhumele, Jedi Dass Jennir is surprised to find them plotting with another Jedi to take down the iron fist of the new Galactic Empire-Darth Vader himself! Having only just found love and a reason to live, Jennir is reluctant to join-but their plan may be too good to pass up . . .
LIMITED TO 2500 COPIES!
SDCC 2013 SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #1 NOW EXCLUSIVE COVER
by Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, & Marcos Martin
Brand new ongoing! Boomerang and some of Spidey’s deadliest baddies prove that with terrible powers come terrible responsibilities! Rising star Nick Spencer teams with Eisner Award-winning sensation Steve Lieber for a walk on the Spider-Verse’s evil side!
LIMITED TO 5000 COPIES!
SDCC 2013 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #1 EXCLUSIVE COVER
by Kenny Byerly & Dario Brizuela
Spinning straight out of the hit Nickelodeon cartoon comes an all-new, all-ages book perfect for fans both old and new! When things take a dangerous turn on a covert mission, the Turtles will have to use their super-ninja skills as well as some moderately-Super gadgets to help save their friend from some big trouble!
LIMITED TO 3000 COPIES!
SDCC 2013 LAZARUS #2 (final cover art to be released prior to convention)
by Juan Ferreyra
Captured by the same people who made him immortal, James Lazarus discovers the true nature of the corporation that is after him. Hot on his trail, Agents Robinson and Rios infiltrate the same corporation and get their hands on Lazarus’ personal file. Only one question remains …whose side is Lazarus on? Featuring an original cover created for this edition!
LIMITED TO 3000 COPIES!
SDCC 2013 DC SUPER POWERS SUPERMAN PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE BE@RBRICK
Medicom gives DC Comics’ Man of Steel his due on his 75th birthday with this Super Powers Be@rbrick. Blister card packaging.
LIMITED TO 2500 PIECES!
SDCC 2013 LOST IN SPACE BLACK-&-WHITE PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE MINIMATES 2-PACK
Straight out of the early years of the classic ‘60s TV series come none other than the cunning Doctor Zachary Smith and The Robot, recreated in delightful detail as 2” H Minimates!
SDCC 2013 ROBBY THE ROBOT DIE-CAST FIGURE — PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE BLUE VERSION
Forbidden Planet’s signature ‘bot comes to vivid die-cast life in this exceptionally detailed and extremely limited blue edition!
LIMITED TO 200 PIECES!
SDCC 2013 ROBBY THE ROBOT DIE-CAST FIGURE — PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE PURPLE VERSION
Forbidden Planet’s signature ‘bot comes to vivid die-cast life in this exceptionally detailed and extremely limited purple edition!
LIMITED TO 200 PIECES!
SDCC 2013 STAR WARS: PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE R2-B1 FIGURE BANK
The fan-favorite repair droid from Naboo is recreated as an equally helpful bank that stands ready to guard its user’s change!
LIMITED TO 1500 PIECES!
SDCC 2013 THE WALKING DEAD: HERSHEL’S FARM MINIMATES PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE BOX SET
Deputy Rick Grimes and Hershel Green face off against a pair of zombies in this box set of four 2” H Minimates based on the hit comic!
LIMITED TO 3000 PIECES!
SDCC 2013 WOLVERINE SAGA MINIMATES PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE BOX SET
Four faces of the multi-faceted Marvel Comics hero — Logan-san, Spacesuit Wolverine, Ultimate Wolverine, and Symbiote Wolverine – come together in this set of 2”H Minimates.
LIMITED TO 3000 PIECES!
Now might be a good time to invest in a pair of light, breathable, comfortable shoes if you plan on lining up for these goodies.
Don Rosa, Steve Gerber to receive 2013 Bill Finger Awards
Still on the topic of SDCC-related news, the Bill Finger Award selection committee of writer/artist/editor Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer, Crossfire, Superman Adventures), writer Kurt Busiek (Astro City, Avengers, Marvels), writer/editor Marv Wolfman (The New Teen Titans, The Tomb of Dracula, Crisis on Infinite Earths), Abrams Books executive editor Charles Kochman, and artist/historian Jim Amash (Animaniacs, Archie & Friends, The Jack Kirby Collector) have announced the recipients of this year’s Bill Finger Awards as Don Rosa (The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck) and the late Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck, The Defenders, Man-Thing).
Noted selection committee head Evanier:
The premise of this award is to recognize writers for a body of work that has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition…
Steve Gerber was one of the most influential writers of his day, and his work has stood the rest of time. Don Rosa is now retired from producing his acclaimed work with Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge. He also drew the comics, but we honor him for the excellence of his stories, which will forever be reprinted around the world. Also, we liked the idea of having an ‘all-duck’ Finger ceremony.
The Awards will be presented on July 19, at the SDCC 2013 Eisner Awards ceremony.
About the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Writing: The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 at the instigation of comic book legend Jerry Robinson. Each year, the awards committee selects two recipients—one living and one deceased—who have produced a significant body of work in the comics field. The award is named for William Finger (1914–1974), who was the first, and some say most important, writer of Batman. Many have called him the “unsung hero” of the character and have hailed his work not only on that iconic figure, but on dozens of others, primarily for DC Comics. Prior recipients of the award include Jerry Siegel, Harvey Kurtzman, Archie Goodwin, Gary Friedrich, Otto Binder, and Larry Lieber.
Paul Jenkins: “… the fans are not getting what they want”
It all started late last week with an open letter writer Paul Jenkins (Hellblazer, Sentry, Deathmatch) sent off to our friends at Comic Book Resources. In it, Jenkins asserted that he would no longer work for Marvel or DC in the foreseeable future, and would be committed to doing creator-owned comics work through BOOM! Studios. Bleeding Cool‘s Rich Johnston snagged an interview with the British scribe, who obliged by elaborating on his reasons for his decision, and emphasizing his points with some pretty damning allegations indicting the current work environment at DC’s “New 52″ stable, including what he describes as the “bullying” of creators and specific incidences of editorial mismanagement during his time writing Batman: The Dark Knight, such as instances where editors would rewrite his scripts and refashion his plots without his knowledge but leave his name on the credits (all of which, by the way, seem to be supported to some degree by a number of the complaints from other creators that we’ve compiled here).
We’ve written our own breakdown of what Jenkins has brought up, with an eye towards starting a fair and contextual discussion of the subjects and issues he’s brought up. We recommend you read it, at least before hitting up your favorite comics message board or Twitter and indiscriminately letting loose with the fanboy/fangirl rage cannon in an attack on—or alternatively, in defense of—the way the Big Two approach contemporary comics-writing.
Rich Johnston managed to talk to DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee in the wake of the release of Jenkins’ statements, and while we laud Lee for opening up to the comics press on the issue of the company’s editor/creator relations, much of his response to Johnston’s probing seems to be in the mold of the classic “non-denial denial,” neither confirming nor disputing Jenkins’ claims and the claims of other disgruntled creators:
It doesn’t always have to be everyone is singing and dancing in step down the yellow brick road. There’s cool things that happen when you pair people unlikely creators together in teams when you have editorial teams challenging the creative teams and vice versa. I would say it’s a little overblown and I can’t really speak to what’s really happening behind the scenes. But I would say that’s one take on it.
Oh, and here’s a hilarious post-script to the events detailed above. You have to read it to believe it.
Helheim #4 preview
Our friends at Oni Press were kind enough to pass along the following preview of Helheim #4, set to go on sale next week (June 12) at fine comic book shops everywhere:
- Writer: Cullen Bunn
- Artist: Joëlle Jones
- Colorist: Nick Filardi
- List price: $3.99
- THE NEW SERIES FROM SIXTH GUN WRITER CULLEN BUNN AND FAN FAVORITE ARTIST JOËLLE JONES CONTINUES! His sense of purpose renewed, Rikard takes the fight to both Groa and Bera… but he will not face the fury of the witches alone. Raising an army of fierce warriors, Rikard marches against a demonic horde. But can even the mightiest of human warriors stand against such ungodly might? Find out in a mass battle unlike anything that has been depicted in comics before!
Some more comics news odds and ends from around the web…
- Manga publishers (Viz Media, Kodansha, Yen Press, Seven Seas) take eight out of the top twenty positions in Nielsen BookScan’s May 2013 listing of graphic novel sales in bookstores; Marvel and DC fail to make gains in the bookstore market despite five The Walking Dead volumes dropping out of the top twenty. (ICv2)
- Meanwhile, BOOM!’s Adventure Time, Vol. 1 and Image Comics’ Saga, Vol. 1 and The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 take the top three positions in graphic novel sales via comic book shops. (The Beat)
- Brian Wood-penned, Olivier Coipel-illustrated X-Men #1 tops May 2013 single issue comics sales per Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc. data (IGN)
- The Fifth Beatle, the Dark Horse/M-Press graphic novel by Tony Award winner Vivek J. Tiwary and artist Andrew Robinson about the life and times of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, to have three variant hardcover editions. (Comixverse)
- Civil rights pioneer Rep. John Lewis begins the long promotional campaign for his new graphic novel, March: Book One, slated for an August 13, 2013 release (Top Shelf Productions)
- Lucasfilm/Disney and publishing partners announce 2nd Annual “Star Wars Reads Day” for October 5, 2013. (Comixverse)
- British artist-writer Mark “Jock” Simpson (2000 AD, The Losers, Snapshot) to write and draw Savage Wolverine beginning with September’s isse #9 (USA Today)
- BOOM! Studios to reissue Damned—the 1997 hardboiled noir miniseries by the Punisher: Circle of Blood and Punisher: Return to Big Nothing creative team of writer Steven Grant and artist Mike Zeck—as a new trade paperback. (Comixverse)
- Dark Horse revives 1960s comic Brain Boy as a new miniseries by Fred Van Lente and R.B. Silva. (Comic Book Resources)
- Bizarre action-comedy comic Sabertooth Swordsman to be launched as a Dark Horse Digital comics-exclusive, collected in hardcover later in the year. (Comixverse)
In case you missed them…
We reviewed a bunch of #1s last week, including the aforementioned X-Men #1, The Wake #1, Clive Barker’s The Next Testament #1, Daredevil: Dark Nights #1, Astro City #1, King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon #1, Earth 2 Annual #1, and The Last of Us: American Dreams #1. Check them out. We’d also like to reiterate our apologies to Clive Barker’s The Next Testament #1 co-writer Mark Miller, whom we misidentified in an earlier draft of the review article.
Also, don’t forget that we post new previews of trade paperbacks and hardcovers every week. Among the past week’s new previews, we’ve got a massive 56-page preview of Hellboy Library Edition, Vol. 6 that you won’t find anywhere else (not in one place, anyway).
On the Leaving Proof front, besides the Paul Jenkins piece we already linked to above, we also have a column on former Vertigo Comics executive editor Karen Berger as well as a detailed look at Garth Ennis’ Fury: My War Gone By, part of our ongoing “Sequential Art of War” series of articles.
We leave you with the latest (non-comics related) video from Symphony of Science DJ John D. Boswell (a.k.a. melodysheep) featuring Mr. Rogers. Dude’s got some moves: