Artist and co-creator of the comic book Preacher, Steve Dillon, has died at the age of 54, his brother announced today on Twitter. Dillon was best known for his artistry on Preacher from Vertigo Comics, and the Punisher from Marvel Comics, both written by Garth Ennis. Some of his art can be seen here (not Dillon's tumblr).
Hours ahead of its release, Netflix (not ABC) unveiled the full Jessica Jones title sequence. #JessicaJones [more inside]
Amanat's editing résumé includes some of Marvel's most instrumental and inventive titles: Hawkeye (writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja) presented a witty and crucial resurgence for the character; Ms. Marvel (Wilson and Alphona) is the crown jewel of Amanat's career and Marvel's wondrous hit; and Captain Marvel (DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy) became the pioneer of what's become a golden age for the woman superhero.
In Hawkeye, narrative strategies like the in media res opening, the flashbacks, and the flashforwards are complimented by Fraction and Aja’s use of motifs to thicken individual issues and stories. In #3, two different lists—the “nine terrible ideas” Clint has on the day the story takes place (featured in first-person captions), and a catalog of the trick arrows in Clint’s quiver (featured in inset panels with labels like “Explosive-tip Arrow”)—offer running commentaries on the dominant story. Sometimes Hawkeye’s echoes and callbacks can be very on-the-nose, as in the small panels of Clint praising his boomerang arrow that appear early and late in the story.For The Comics Journal, Craig Fischer examines Matt Fraction/David Aja's Hawkeye. Warning: spoilers.
Scans leaked from next week's issue of the Marvel Comic All-New X-Men have revealed that original member Bobby "Iceman" Drake is gay. While the character has been written as straight for the past fifty years, some readers have read otherwise between the panels. Director Brian Singer sees parallels in the movies. [more inside]
Herb Trimpe, long time artist on The Incredible Hulk, died yesterday at the age of 75. In addition to his seven year run on the Hulk, Trimpe drew the first issues of Marvel's G.I. Joe comic and was the artist on the first appearance of Wolverine. Trimpe attended the School of Visual Arts and began his career inking backgrounds for Dell Comics. After serving in the United State Air Force, Trimpe began his long career with Marvel Comics in 1967 making his debut in Kid Colt Outlaw #134. He penciled The Incredible Hulk in a nearly unbroken run from 1968 - 1972. In May 2014, the original art page by Trimpe featuring the first appearance of Wolverine sold for a record $657,250.00.
It’s a question where the obvious answer is the right one – new audiences live there. Just as Tumblr is more diverse than the Internet as a whole, so comics fandom on Tumblr is more diverse than comics fandom on IGN or CBR or Newsarama. It’s younger, queerer, more racially diverse and most obviously a lot more female – and those voices lead the conversation, they don’t constantly have to fight to win a place on it. It’s also – perhaps anecdotally, perhaps not – newer to comics.Tom Ewing looks at the (critical) success of Marvel series like Young Avengers and how it's reaching a new audience, the Tumblr generation looking for "social justice and feels". [more inside]
This was not built to last, and as such, these are not changes that disrupt business as usual. The most bigoted fan can go about their Cap- and Thor-loving life largely untroubled by these events, save for a little message board mayhem, and thus these are not changes I care about. Because that’s a large part of the point of writing characters who aren’t straight white dudes: disruption. Making change that cannot be ignored by those who wish they could.Juliet Kahn isn't impressed by a black Captain America or a female Thor and wants the comics industry to move beyond such gimmicks and promote real change.
The First Family of Marvel Comics has a new movie coming out in 2015, and its creators have taken certain liberties with the property. While they've kept a tight lid on information so far, curious details have leaked out. If you thought the controversy over the characters was bad, this rumour could outdo even that. Spoilers galore, proceed with caution. [more inside]
Marvel and the Kirbys’ eleventh-hour settlement—just as SCOTUS was poised to decide whether to take up the case—has been interpreted by some as an admission on Marvel’s part that the Kirbys’ case was stronger than they first allowed. It does seem reasonable to infer that Marvel was incented to settle before things got more complicated, or hazardous, for them. Yet the fact that the case never came to trial (the original 2011 decision was a summary judgment, not a trial verdict) makes it hard to know just what the calculations were on both sides. Interpreting the result as an unalloyed triumph or affirmation for either side would probably be too big a leap. Again, nothing is yet known publicly beyond the official joint statement: a single sentence.The long running lawsuit Marvel had undertaken against the estate of Jack Kirby was recently settled. Kirby scholar Charles Hatfield examines what this settlement might mean for the Kirby estate and comics in general. [more inside]
In the next of a series of comics with female protagonists (Thor, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel), Marvel Comics has just announced the (aptly-titled) Unbeatable Squirrel Girl solo comic. [more inside]
Geeky women's clothing company Her Universe teamed up with Hot Topic and Nerdist to present a fandom couture competition and fashion show. Here are some highlights. [more inside]
And, if a lot of people make a lot of money and there are a lot of accolades being thrown about, then a lot of credit is going to go to a lot of people, from whoever cut those winning trailers to the designers and animators who got Rocket's fur to look just so to Gunn himself. If comic book people get any credit, chances are it's going to be as a collective (i.e. "Marvel") or under a "Special Thanks" near the end of the end-credit scrawl (IMDb has comics writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lannning receiving writing credit; if that's on the screen near the "written by" credit, then that's awesome).Just before going to see the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, J. Caleb Mozzocco put together a small guide to the featured characters and their creators. [more inside]
The Interactive Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. Are you a fan of the Marvel Cinematic universe? Ever scratch your head over what happened when and how events in the past link to consequences in the current times? Well wonder no more! A huge fan of the Universe, Anthony Norfolk created a nice picture filled timeline to pinpoint all the important elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. [more inside]
Like…I don’t eat pork. I quit swine in ‘99. I could tear up some porkchops and bacon as a kid, but it wasn’t a struggle to quit pork. I don’t think back like “man, remember how good that porkchop was back in ‘97, second week a May?” But I do that with Spider-Man—the Return of the Goblin arc, his first meeting with Luke Cage, that time Betty Brant said something nice about him and he was like “Dang, i never noticed her before, but she’s cute AND she’s on my side” like a doggone teenaged idiot, Mary Jane going Sibyl to get a soap opera job and dodging stalkers…I can recite it chapter and verse. So cold turkey wasn’t really an option, or rather, I wasn’t in a position where cold turkey was feasible.On his Tumblr, David Brothers talks how hard and easy it was to give up reading Marvel and DC comics (edited version from his blog)
You mean Prince JSON of Spartoi? Marvel Comics has released in beta an API for access to part of its character and comic book database. Currently, it covers 30,000 comic books across 7,000 series and 8,000 characters in work by 5,000 creators, and provides results to queries in standard JSON format. [more inside]
"When I first saw Oliver had something called a "Stickum-Shaft Arrow," I worried that it was some kind of Silver Age, Native American racist caricature arrow. Nope! It's just a long, hard shaft he fires at his eventual lover Black Canary, which covers her in sticky goo. No problems there!" -- Rob Bricken looks at Green Arrow and his less than useful trick arrows. Not that Hawkeye does better.
"He calls this the Tao of Hawkeye. You can’t just have a database around Hawkeye, right? Not if you really want to understand Hawkeye over time. Because Hawkeye isn’t just Hawkeye. He’s also Ronin and Goliath and Clint Barton. Sometimes he’s dead. Oh, and by the way: he started as a villain. Who remembers that? -- Back in the eighties people like Mark Gruenwald and Peter Sanderson guarded Marvel Comics' continuity. These days Peter Olson tries to do the same for a much bigger Marvel using science and math.
How DC Contracts Work. Mark Waid, author of Superman: Birthright (drawn on heavily for the recent film Man of Steel), "explains how professionals are generally compensated for working on company-owned characters".
The Complete Marvel Reading Order is a website representing one man's attempt to figure out what order a picky reader should follow if attempting to reading the entirety of Marvel Comics' in-continuity canon. You can check the entire list, commencing with "Fantastic Four #1" from 1961, or filter on particular titles, characters, or story arcs. The site is highly customizable and also includes an active blog and links to two different site podcasts.
Added to the list of songs banned from performance at S.H.I.E.L.D. Karaoke Night is “Cold As Ice” by Foreigner, even if, ESPECIALLY if, you are Mr. Stark singing it to Capt. Rogers with “sulky puppydog eyes.” -- From the desk of Nick Fury, Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, to whom it may concern (singleTumblrlink) [more inside]
DC Comics hinted recently that one of its first-tier superheroes would be revealed as gay, and here he is: Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern (...sort of). [more inside]
Marvel Comics created a hearing-impaired superhero in honor of a hearing-impaired boy. Anthony Smith, a 4-year-old boy, told his mother he did not want to wear his hearing aid anymore because superheroes don't wear hearing aids. His mother e-mailed Marvel Comics and described her son's situation and hoped for help.
"I wish there was some way I could borrow Victor Von Doom’s Time Platform and take the kids back to visit the secret headquarters of my father’s imagination, that smoky, paneled bunker of ink, conversation, bookshelves, creativity and love." Neal Kirby remembers his father Jack "King" Kirby
"Since their birth early in the century, comic books had been regarded as a kind of junior magazine and allowed to occupy space on the shelves or spinner racks of newsstands, grocery stores, drugstores, dime stores, and sometimes even bookstores. They caught on quickly and, initially, more than earned their place in those venues, but after the 1940s, the comics industry experienced more downs than ups. The Marvel-led resurgence of the 1960s had foundered by the 1970s to the point where extinction seemed like a real possibility. Comics retailer (and former distributor) Steve Schanes put it succinctly: 'Comics were on their last breath. They couldn’t have lasted another four years.'" Part One: Fine Young Cannibals: How Phil Seuling and a Generation of Teenage Entrepreneurs Created the Direct Market and Changed the Face of Comics [more inside]
Starting her comics career as a colorist, Marie Severin was largely responsible for the distinctive color palette of EC Comics, where her brother Johnny Severin also worked. She later worked in the Marvel Bullpen, drawing just about everything, including many well loved staff caricatures. She turned 80 this year; here are a few of her Marvel covers from the 60s and 70s.
Erotic illustrations of Alice in Wonderland by Marvel legend Frank Brunner (Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, Johnny Quest). Color versions here: Title page ll Alice and Dragon ll Mad Tea Party ll Humpty Dumpty ll Looking Glass ll Mirror ll Jabberwocky ll White Knight ll Hookah ll Alice
The Woodstock Festival ended forty years ago today, on August 18, 1969* -- and roughly, um, two years later, Marvel Comics was there! Writer Gary Friedrich and (wildly overqualified) artist Gray Morrow bring you an improbably cleanly tale of romance that first appeared in issue #14 of Marvel's My Love (November 1971): "It Happened at Woodstock!" (Guest-starring Janis Joplin, among others.) [more inside]
Is Barack Obama An American Citizen? "...because Obama’s claim to American citizenship is only supported by evidence and logic, he must not be an American citizen."
30 years ago, the sixteenth and final issue of Pizzazz magazine was published by Marvel Comics at a retail price of 75 cents. In addition to cover stories like "Linda Ronstadt: Rock's Superwoman" and "Is Meat Loaf the Cutest Cultural Development Since the Pickle?", Pizzazz published what is arguably the very first addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe - a serialized comic titled "The Keeper's World". Appearing in October 1977, only 5 months after the theatrical release of what was not yet known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, it comfortably pre-dates Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye (March 1978) and even Marvel's own Star Wars #7 comic (January 1978). (previously)
Marvel vs. the BMI (one-link, but fun.)
Marvel Comics sues NCsoft and Cryptic Studios, the makers of the online game City of Heroes for player created content they feel infringes on their copyright. If Marvel wins the case, all game developers can expect to be held responsible for the behavior of their players. This case covers similar ground to the proposed Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act, which is before a Senate Judiciary Committee. Introduced to crack down on illegal file sharing on peer-to-peer networks, the bill would hold technology companies liable for manufacturing products that encourage people to infringe copyrights. The language of the bill caused an uproar among technology and consumer advocates who claimed it would kill innovation. If successful in their lawsuit, would Marvel be able to sue the makers of pens and pencils for producing products that allow people to create pictures of copyrighted characters?
Enter ... the Rawhide Kid! Marvel is about to unveil the first openly gay gunslinger. Name's the Rawhide Kid. Its creators say it will likely be campy. With a name like that, how could it be anything but?
Marvel Comics Movies It's about time. Being in college and having grown up with action cartoons like he-man and thundercats in the 80s it sickens me now to watch kids having to watch crap like power rangers and japanese anime. Where are these kids heroes??? Now that Michael Jordan is coming back to the NBA and now that these movies are being made, hopefully kids these days will have someone to look up to. A hero...something America could use right now.