Dark Horse Presents Returns to Myspace
Myspace Dark Horse Presents, the critically acclaimed online comics anthology, ceased publication this June when the social networking site Myspace laid off over 400 employees, including their entire comics division. Now Dark Horse Comics, the company that created the anthology, has announced that it is coming back with issue 25 of the series after an absence of only a month. The newest issue will have a one-shot Buffy Season 8 comic by Jane Esperson, who wrote for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, in which the vampire Harmony gets onto a humorous political talk show. There will also be the first part of a brand new Solomon Kane comic written by Scott Allie and illustrated by Guy Davis, which will be completed in next month’s Myspace Dark Horse Presents. In its new incarnation, Myspace Dark Horse Presents will remain devoted to entirely free and complete comics.
Viz Opens New People Center in San Francisco
Manga and movie giant Viz has opened a new attraction in San Francisco called the New People center, a four floor collection of Japanese culture for the American audience. New People contains two restaurants, four fashion boutiques, an art gallery, a shop and the Viz Cinema movie theater showing Japanese films and documetaries. Viz and the New People center celebrated its opening on August 15, with the J-Pop Summit, a Japanese pop-culture themed street fair in coordination with the Japantown Merchants Association. The New People center's contribution to the festivities included the US premiere of Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys live action movie in the Viz Cinema, a free outdoor screening of Kamikaze Girls at Japantown's Peace Plaza, a Gothic and Lolita fashion show featuring the newest collections from Baby The Stars Shine Bright and Black Peace Now, a "live" appearance from Hello Kitty and a Yoshitaka Amano autograph session.
Amazon, Andrews McMeel Sponsor Comics Contest
Amazon.com is joining with Andrews McMeel Universal to launch Comic Strip Superstar, an international competition to discover a new comics strip artist. Beginning August 18 through Sept. 12, 2009, up to 5,000 entries will be accepted for the competition at the Comic Strip Superstar website. The winner will receive a publishing contract from Andrews McMeel Publishing, a $5,000 advance from Universal Uclick and a monthly stipend for the development of 20 comic strips that will be considered for syndication. Each entry should be original, unpublished work consisting of 10 daily comic strips and two Sunday comics, a title and a brief synopsis. Universal Uclick will narrow the entries down to 250 quarterfinalists. The quarterfinalists will then be narrowed down to 50 semifinalists by Universal Uclick editors John Glynn and Lee Salem. Popular comics creators Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse), Scott Hilburn (The Argyle Sweater) and Mark Tatulli (Heart of the City) will choose 10 finalists and post feedback for each on Amazon.com. Amazon.com customers will then have the opportunity to view the finalists’ submissions and vote for the grand prize winner. For more information visit the Comic Strip Superstar website.
Jacq Cohen Moves to Fantagraphics
Fantagraphics is following up the announcement of publicity director Eric Reynold’s new position as associate publisher with the hiring of Jacq Cohen, formerly publicist at Dark Horse, as the new director of publicity and promotions for Fantagraphics Books. Cohen will continue to work at Dark Horse for the next few weeks before moving to Fantagraphics.
Spider-Man to Rejoin Thanksgiving Parade
Spider-Man will return to New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after an absence of eleven years. The original Spider-Man parade balloon was in the parade from 1987-1998. Now Macy’s has announced that the company has made a deal with Marvel Comics and Sony Pictures to bring a new Spider-Man balloon to the parade for 2009-2011. The new Spider-Man balloon will portray the superhero caught in the act of wall-crawling.
New York Comic Con at Brooklyn Book Festival
New York Comic Con, which will not stage another convention until fall of 2010, will now take part in this year's Brooklyn Book Festival with a sizeable presence. Veteran comics writer and editor Denny O'Neil and comics creator Phil Jiminez will be among the many industry guests at the NYCC section of the book festival. The NYCC section of the festival will include a performance tent, guest presentations, an autograph area and a special mini-NYCC marketplace. Midtown Comics and Disney Comics will be among the vendors. The Brooklyn Book Festival is an annual free event hosting authors, publishers and booksellers taking place at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza and Columbus Park. This year, the event will run from October 8-10.
Fantagraphics Party for Xeric Winner
Eroyn Franklin's Another Glorious Day at the Nothing Factory, 2008 winner of the prestigious Xeric Grant, will have a book release party on August 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle. The Xeric Grant is awarded by the Xeric Foundation to support the work of up and coming comic creators. Franklin will be signing copies of her new book. The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, Seattle, WA.
Azzarello In New York
Eisner-winning comics creator Brian Azzarello will be appearing at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn on August 19 at 6 p.m. to celebrate the launch of his new graphic novel Filthy Rich and the Vertigo Crime imprint. Bergen Street Comics is located at 470 Bergen Street between Flatbush and 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
Screenwriting and the Superhero Story
Film teacher and comic book editor Jim Higgins will be offering a one-day course for screenwriters who want to write superhero stories entitled "It's All Words and Pictures" at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles on August 29.
Autobio Comics Class with Jobnik’s Libicki
Miriam Libicki, creator of the acclaimed autobiographical graphic novel Jobnik, will be teaching a course on creating autobiography comics at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada. The course, entitled “The Graphic Memoir: An Introduction”, will run Wednesday nights from October through December. “The Graphic Memoir” is a continuing studies course, and thus open to the general public. More information is available at the Emily Carr University website.
Alex Simmons joins GraphicNovelReporter
Alex Simmons, author, comics writer, public speaker and founder of the annual Kids' Comic Con, has now joined the staff of GrapicNovelReporter.com, and will be blogging for them on a regular basis.
Obama Family In Comics
Independent comics company Bluewater Productions, which found great commercial success with their Female Force: Michelle Obama and Presidential Power: Barack Obama biography comics, now will be collecting the two comics into a single book under the title First Family: The Obamas this October. Female Force: Michelle Obama was originally published as part of the Female Force biography comic series, which also features such subjects as former governor Palin, Secretary of State Clinton, Princess Diana and Twilight author Stephanie Meyer.
This Week @ Good Comics for Kids
This week School Library Journal’s blog Good Comics for Kids has a review of Cirque Du Freak — The Manga Vol.1, a review of The Super Secret Alliance and The Copycat Crook, a review of Bayou Vol. 1, a post about the Graphic Novels in Libraries programming at SDCC, a Jeff Smith update complete with video and photos, and the 8/12 listing of comics suitable for all ages.