This week Super Folk, Publishers Weekly’s superhero news column, looks at all the news coming out of Seattle from Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) including DC and Marvel’s plans for the future, new series from Image, IDW and Dark Horse, and more.
Image at ECCC
This past weekend at ECCC Image Comics let fly a series of announcements concerning its upcoming releases including new titles and one reprint. First, Roundeye: For Love, an original six-issue miniseries by Tony Harris (Ex Machina, Starman) about a foreigner in war torn feudal Japan who seeks a lost love as well as revenge against his former master. The series began as a Kickstarter project and, after a number of unsuccessful fundraising rounds, finally met its goal and is slated to come out this fall. Next was Revival, a new supernatural/horror (or “rural noir”) series from artists Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Witchblade) and Mike Norton (Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt) about the dead coming back to life, not as zombies but as specters (a key distinction).
The series had been teased last week with fake newspaper clippings from the comic’s fictional town, Wausau, such as ads for “exorcism snowmobiles” and recently acquired “second hand caskets.” Revival rises up in July. Finally Image revealed a new hardcover edition of Rock Bottom, a graphic novel by Joe Casey (Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker) and Charles Adlard (The Walking Dead) out this fall. The series, which was first released in 2006 and has since been out of print, is about a rockabilly musician who is gradually turning to stone. Presented in Adlard’s stark black and white (no grey tones either) line work, Rock Bottom is a distinct looking book and a personal favorite of the two creators.
Also coming July is Sunset, an original graphic novel from writer Christos Gage (X-Men Legacy, Angel & Faith) and artist Jorge Lucas (The Darkness), about a retired Vegas mob enforcer who lurid past comes back to haunt him in his golden years. Sunset is the first book published by Minotaur Press, Top Cow’s new creator-owned imprint.
DC Comics at ECCC
Like at WonderCon a few weeks ago, DC Comics spent most of the weekend highlighting its Second Wave of titles beginning this May, but did drop a few exciting items for the next few months. Batman Incorporated artist Chris Burnham (Batman, Officer Downe) and editor Mike Marts were on hand at the “DC All Access” panel and spoke about the upcoming series, gushing over writer Grant Morrison’s scripts and dialogue and admitting that fans of the original Batman Inc. will love the new series as well. Other interesting developments from the weekend include a new villain appearing in The Flash called Turbine, along with a full explanation of the series’ “Speed Force,” the addition of Batwing (the “Batman of Africa”) to the Justice League International, exciting plans for Static Shock, and an appearance by Lobo (the uber-powered, free-wheelin’ interstellar bounty hunter) in Deathstroke.
Outside of Seattle DC announced the December release of The Batman/ Judge Dredd Collection, collecting the numerous crossovers between the two characters from 1991 to 1998. The stories are all written by Alan Grant and John Wagner and illustrated by a slew of artists such as Simon Bisley, Cam Kennedy and Glenn Fabry.
2000AD Goes (almost) Same Day Digital
Speaking of Dredd, publisher 2000AD announced it will be offering a digital version of its comics within 48 hours of the print copy’s release starting with 2000AD prog 1776 and Judge Dredd Magazine 322, out this month. 2000AD is the latest publisher to embrace a (in this case near) simultaneous release of digital editions of comics with their print counterparts.
Marvel at ECCC
At the “Avengers vs. X-Men Panel,” writers Matt Fraction (Fear Itself, Iron Man) and Ed Brubaker (Captain America) appropriately hyped the series and answered fans’ questions including whether The Hulk and Juggernaut will fight (yes, issue #5), if the writers had been previously been sowing the seeds for AvX in their other titles (yes again, and for a few years), and the inspiration for the “mutant messiah” (and AvX catalyst) Hope (sort of a collective brainchild of all the writers). The two writers also described the first five issues of the twelve issue series as being the core of the event, followed by “two years” worth of stories in the remaining seven.
Finally, Marvel announced that Avengers Vs. X-Men #0, the prologue issue to the publisher massive event, sold out (on the distributor level) on the day of its release, a noteworthy milestone according to Diamond Comics Distributors. As of a few days ago, Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 had over two-hundred and fifty thousand preorders which, if followed through on the retail level, will make the book the current top selling title in the industry (passing DC Comics’ Justice League).
Dark Horse at ECCC (and beyond)
Coming this November from Dark Horse comics is Colder, a new horror/mystery title from writer Paul Tobin (Marvel Adventures) and artist Juan Ferreyra (Rex Mundi) about an ageless ex-asylum inmate whose body temperature begins to drop to impossibly low levels yet he remains alive and surprisingly healthy. Tobin and Ferreyra admitted (in an exclusive preview on iO9) that they wanted to create a mystery that only gets more horrifying when solved. Dark Horse also announced that its upcoming Ghost series (written by Kelly Sue Deconnick and illustrated by Phil Noto) will now be released as a five-part standalone series as opposed to the previously announced three-part miniseries in Dark Horse Presents. Ghost begins with issue #0 in September. At ECCC, writer Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force) announced that the hyperbolic science fiction series Fear Agent will be collected into omnibus editions beginning this October from Dark Horse. The first hardcover omnibus will collect the first three trades of the title.
Lastly, the publisher announced a limited hardcover edition of the upcoming Joe Golem and the Drowning City, a new original graphic novel by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. The book combines a Victorian aesthetic with macabre supernatural forces (similar to Mignola’s most famous creation, Hellboy) to tell the story of Molly, a psychic’s assistant who is forced to enlist the help of a mysterious detective and his partner, Joe, after her boss is kidnapped. Dark Horse will publish only on thousand copies of the book, which will include extra such as sketches and a separate unpublished Joe Golem story.
New Godzilla from IDW and StokoeIn an exclusive preview with ComicsAlliance, IDW revealed a new Godzilla ongoing, Godzilla: Half Century War, written and illustrated by James Stokoe (Orc Stain, Wonton Soup). The new series, beginning in August, takes place in 1950s Japan and will be separate from the publisher’s other Godzilla titles. Editor Bobby Curnow stressed that series won’t be tied down by any history or continuity and instead focuses on action and destruction.
Nord Exclusive at Valiant
With the first issue of X-O Manowar only a month away, Valiant signed series artist Cary Nord to an exclusive contract. Nord entered the comic book industry in the mid-nineties and has since worked on characters such as Daredevil, the X-Men, Green Lantern, and most notably Conan the Barbarian. Both the publisher and Nord are excited to rebuild the Valiant universe and thankful for the positive fan response received thus far.
BOOM! Goes Exclusive with Diamond
On Monday, BOOM! Studios officially announced its exclusive deal with Diamond Comics Distributors, the industry’s top (and only) retail distributor. By working with Diamond the publisher will be able to offer more of it titles to retailers, as well as take advantage of discounts offered by the distributor. The move also opens up BOOM!’s back catalogue, and also will allow the publisher to offer its digital comics through Diamond Digital.