As usual, the comics industry has had its ups and downs in the last week. As San Diego Comic Con approaches and summer is now in full swing, new comics, comic storylines, and comic-based films continue to emerge. Fans everywhere can rest assured that there’s plenty to keep up with this week.
This last week we bid farewell to Steve Ditko, best known as the co-creator of Spider-Man. Ditko also co-created Dr. Strange, Captain Atom, and other beloved characters across the Marvel universe, before famously quitting Marvel and rejecting all of his former work there. He was known for his expressive illustration work on characters and backgrounds, and his handle on action scenes. He was 90 years old, and leaves quite the legacy behind.
Kate Beaton shared in a heartfelt series of posts on Twitter that she has no plans to renew Hark! A Vagrant, her historical comedic web cartoon series, after the loss of her sister Becky to cancer. Beaton also said that some of her contracts with book publishers had kindly been delayed and that she needed to work on those projects. Citing a personal connection she cherishes having with fans, Beaton said she’s glad to be back at work on comics.
Tee Franklin, illustrator and author of popular graphic novel Bingo Love, shared pages on Twitter from a new comic series called Jook Joint. Out October 3 from Image comics and illustrated by Alitha Martinez, Jook Joint features a creative team that is exclusively people of color and specifically women of color. The erotic horror comic is about a brothel in the Jazz Age. Peep a few more pages from this February preview if you’re in the mood.
The latest comic book based summer blockbuster is out this last weekend, starring Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd. Ant Man and The Wasp is Marvel’s third and final movie out this year, raking in $76 million in North America by Sunday at noon. There are connections between and easter eggs from multiple comic book series in the film, and you can find a fun list of them here. You can also check out our coverage of their wedding in the comics!
Speaking of Ant Man, Iron Man writer and Scott Lang co-creator Bob Layton shared his bleak opinions on comic book production at Marvel and DC in an interview this week. Layton believes that toys, film, and games will dominate sales at both companies, and that eventually they’ll stop publishing comics. “Sales are so low… That anything sells a book,” Layton remarked in the interview. We’re not surprised that much like Tony Stark, Mr. Layton is ready to scrap a tried and true industry that’s nearly a century old for pretty technology. You can read about his opinion here.
The once-popular TV series Firefly returns to comics with a new series that will supposedly cover the Unification War, a massive galactic civil war that main characters such as Mal and Zoey fought in. Writer Greg Pak of the popular Planet Hulk comic books will handle the Firefly prequel series, with Dan McDaid illustrating. You can read the Entertainment Weekly exclusive with Pak and check out some artwork.
And if that’s not enough for you, see what else the comics world has been up to this last week. There’s quite a lot!
- BOOM! Studios will release at least four new comic book series at San Diego Comic Con. Hollywood Reporter covers the initial offering, with more to be announced as SDCC approaches.
- People can get married in a comic book shop! Or remarried, as this Michigan couple decided to do. Check out a different kind of comic book wedding.
- Rob Rogers, former political cartoonist for 25 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was fired for criticizing Donald Trump. Rogers recounted his story this week on The Nib.
- Inspired by the Ant Man and the Wasp release, the BBC reflects back on Marvel’s lack of women’s representation in the MCU films.