In 1977 Dial Press of New York published Robert Mayer’s first novel, Superfolks. It was, amongst other things, a story of a middle-aged man coming to terms with his life, an enormous collection of 1970s pop-culture references, some now lost to the mists of time, and a satire on certain aspects of the comic superhero, but would probably be largely unheard of these days if it wasn’t for the fact that it is regularly mentioned for its supposed influence on a young Alan Moore and his work, particularly on Watchmen, Marvelman, and his Superman story, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Alan Moore and Superfolks: Part 1: The Case for the Prosecution, Part 2: The Case for the Defence, Part 3: The Strange Case of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore.
Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising.
So The Avengers is a very successful movie. This has lead many comics fans to express their concern over the treatment of original creators in the industry, specifically of Jack Kirby. Creators' Rights controversy is nothing new, and there remains to this day ample reason to question the business dealings of The Big Two when it comes to how they compensate the men and women who work for/with them. Alan Moore has been and continues to be the victim of numerous shady deals at the hands of DC comics. But no one, with the possible exception of Seigel and Shuster, has suffered more than Jack "King" Kirby. [more inside]
28 pages from DC's upcoming "New 52: 2nd Wave" Stretching the definition of "leaked" to the screaming limit, Buzzfeed shares photographs it was invited to take of 28 pages from DC's upcoming "New 52: 2nd Wave" - the six series being brought in to replace its six cancelled comic books. [more inside]
"iZombie will be the last time I’ll ever write for DC... I decided quite some time ago, but waited until after the cancellation of my book was announced to discuss it. The short version is, I don’t agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices." writer Chris Roberson ends his relationship with DC Comics, pointing at a post by David Brothers as a summation of his ethical concerns. Roberson's work at DC has included turning around Superman after J. Michael Straczynski left mid-story, iZombie and a spin-offs from Vertigo's Fables featuring Cinderella as a super spy. He is currently working on the creator owned Memorial, published by IDW.
DC announced this morning that it would publish a series of prequels to Watchmen. Watchmen writer Alan Moore: “I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago.” The talent working on the new series has been quick to issue a defense and to outline their plans. The would-be Watchmen sequel was recently on the blue. [more inside]
Kevin O'Neil, classic 2000ad artist, co-creator of Marshall Law, frequent colaborator with Alan Moore and the only artist ever to be outright banned by the Comics code Authority ("there’s nothing you can change — the style is unsuitable!”) talks at length in an epic interview at the comics journal: Part one, part two, part three, part four, part five.
“Well, it seems to be happening a lot sooner than I thought. I understand now that this [is] considered a pet project of Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor. That he is determined to impress new bosses by building on DC’s biggest selling comic book of all time with multiple prequel comic miniseries and spinoff ongoing projects.” [more inside]
Original character designs for Watchmen, including a (dropped) full body suit for Rorschach, by Dave Gibbons. (Also it looks like the movie version will have a different ending, so fears of a non-sucky Alan Moore film can be put to rest.)
Who watches The Watchmen? Kevin Smith has, Dave Gibbons has, Alan Moore won't (Gibbons hopes he'll watch the DVD), and if Fox has its way maybe YOU won't either.
Co-creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko is famous for weird, distinctive art, his 1966 departure from Marvel Comics, and granting very few interviews in the course of his decades-spanning career, preferring to let creations such as The Creeper, the Objectivism-inspired Mr. A, and Squirrel Girl speak for him. Okay, Squirrel Girl not so much. Jonathan Ross turns the spotlight on the artist in the BBC4 documentary, In Search of Steve Ditko. Did they find him? Well, that's The Question, isn't it?