Happy May everyone and welcome back to your weekly comics news. It’s been a long week full of a variety of announcements and events. Let’s take a look!
What could be a better way to start the news AND celebrate the 80th birthday of one of the world’s favorite superheroes than to signal boost a fundraiser for our fellow humans in need? In honor of Superman’s 80th birthday last week, DC Comics announced the Ricanstruction: Reminiscing and Rebuilding anthology pre-order for a collection that will come out on May 29, 2018. With work from Frank Miller, Gail Simone, Rosario Dawson, Jorge Jimenez, and more than 120 other creators, this collection is a great way for comics fans to get their hands on good stories and their money into the pockets of those in need. Please order this book, 100% of the proceeds go to Puerto Rican grassroots organizations. You can read something awesome and help others in the process.
The soft edges and vulnerable emotions of the autobiographical comics of Leslie Stein received recognition at the LA Times Book Prize awards last weekend, where her book Present won Best Graphic Novel. The collection of short stories is an abstract and endearing treasure that we highly recommend.
For the first time in the 85 year long history of the comic strip, classic staple Nancy is drawn by a woman. Starting on April 9, Olivia Jaimes brought a new kind of Nancy to the newspaper: a fearless young woman whose intimacy with technology is polarizing for long-time and new readers. Jaimes is done with Nancy’s elementary school attitude, and instead finds a focus on social media more interesting. “Girlfriend’s like 80 years old,” said Jaimes in her interview with the NY Times. We’re really looking forward to how this new Nancy develops, and hope you are too. Read the comic strip .
In 2012, artist and comics advocate Justin Hall published a series of comics focused on the works of LGBTQ+ comics creators and their voices, called No Straight Lines. The popular and celebrated comics collection has sparked a full length film documentary called No Straight Lines: The History of Queer Comics. Read the Comics Beat interview where Hall dishes on the details.
Vault Comics also made the foray into film this week with two of their Intellectual Properties. The first is the Vault original Heathen, written and drawn by Natasha Alterici, picked up by Constantin FIlm and Prime Universe for a film. The script for the Heathen film will be written by Kerry Williamson. The second IP that Vault Comics will allow Netflix to adapt is called Failsafe, though it was known in 2013 as Insurgent, when it was initially published by DC Comics. When Insurgent failed after three issues, it disappeared until Vault attempted to revive it in 2017. The Failsafe comic was poorly written, and seems like an odd choice for a Michael B. Jordan produced adaptation. But, we’ll see how they do. Maybe Netflix can salvage the stale story.
Artist Traci Shepard spoke out about the unfulfilled 2017 Kickstarter project funding hers and Kieran Shiach’s comic Mossy #1. Shiach explained his lack of rewards fulfillment via Twitter to Shepard and all of the backers with a story involving laziness, theft and bank account problems. It’s unclear what sparked Shepard to come forward, though her blog post does seem to indicate that she is skeptical of Shiach and his story, especially since he tweeted his regrets before contacting her directly. Hopefully Shiach will keep his recent Twitter based promises to the backers.
Despite the fact that the creator of the popular Rurouni Kenshin series was arrested and fined the maximum amount for the possession of child pornography in Japan, Nobuhiro Watsuki will return to work on the manga in June. Publisher Jump Square protected Watsuki from comment by stating that in their eyes, he has the right to explain himself through his manga. Let’s all hope that won’t be as bad as it sounds.
Not for the last time in corporate business, a massive company has copied an artist’s work and pasted it onto a product so they could make money with minimal effort. This time it’s Old Navy directly stealing designs created by editorial illustrator Lili Chin, who is publicly accusing the company of its theft and will be taking legal action. Old Navy has not responded to the accusations, but continues to sell multiple clothing items with Chin’s art on them.
And of course, Action Lab is at it again with their odd ways in the “business” of comics: the comics publisher solicited funds for a Kickstarter they recently began by way of writing an “update” post on another Kickstarter for Nutmeg Comic in Your Kitchen, a fully funded comic that Action Lab has yet to find a printer for. Backers were confused, as they had not received their rewards, but they were not as confused as the comic’s creators, who tweeted about the situation as politely and gracefully as they could.
And if you’d like even more, there’s still a few news tidbits:
Artist Justin Cousson is spending hours on a work of art for his father, who sacrificed his own comic collection to support his children.
Comics publisher and creator Taneka Stotts had the 2017 Ignatz award for the Elements: Fire anthology split into as many pieces as there were creators by contributor, artist and workwoman Shing Yin Khor, so that everyone could have a piece of their award.
IDW Publishing announced today that comics creator John Barber is the new Editor in Chief. Barber has written work in over a hundred licensed comic books, and has edited thousands of issues. Read the official announcement.
The Eisner Nominations were announced this week, so take a look at the list if you’re curious.
Comic series BLACK will be brought to film by Studio 8, who has hired Seith Mann of The Wire and Fringe to adapt the story. Studio 8 also plans to franchise the IP and develop a female-led series call BLACK [AF]: America’s Sweetheart, and continue the comics.