What’s up at DC?

Dan Didio’a interview re: COUNTDOWN last week has been much quoted, as he reacts to ongoing blogosphere and message board snark:

Given that there seems to be a very vocal – and I don’t know its size – group of fans online that is counter to that hasn’t really affected sales at all. I find it humorous that information that comes to me from online is erroneous in regards to the actual sales figures. I find it humorous that certain retailers decide to make blatant statements about how they’re going to be striking back at the book by making returns, when in fact the portion of books that they’re actually returning is less than 0.01% of the books that we sold.

The reality is that the sales are there, the strength is there, and I have a lot of faith in regards to how the series works and how it’s moving forward. From my standpoint, there were stumbles along the way, just as there were stumbles with 52, but the best part about it is that we were able to sit down with the talent and figure out how we would be able to make course corrections during the series, which we did. We recreated the pacing, and we put the focus back on Countdown again, which is what it is about. It was going too far abroad in regards to making sure everything lined up perfectly, and when you do that, something was going to be serviced improperly. I want to make sure that Countdown is serviced properly. Countdown, as I said, is the spine of the DC Universe, but it works better if it stands on its own, rather than stands on the strength of everything around it. I feel very confident in where the series is going, I’m very excited about where the story is going, and the best part about it is that it’s where we thought it was always going to be, so we haven’t had to change that much along the way.

Valerie D’Orazio has her own reaction:

After reading the Newsarama interview with Dan Didio, I have come to the conclusion that the situation at DC has become so dire that to continue to publically mock “Countdown” would be in bad taste.

Honestly, I do not see the current regime at the company lasting any more than 6-12 months tops. “Final Countdown” will indeed mark the end of an era, an era that started strongly — if not controversially — with “Identity Crisis,” reached its peak with “52,” and crashed and burned with “Countdown.”

What were the mistakes?

BONUS: Newsarama has DC’s November books. Analysis: if you like COUNTDOWN you will love November!

Heroes become villains where snacks are involved

disney cereal
From England a shocking tale of good turned to the dark side: A watchdog group called Which? has determined that cartoon heroes are being used to sell unhealthy snacks to children:

Spidey was blasted for backing sugary Nesquik Chocolate Flavour Cereal, while Scooby-Doo Mini Pizza Breadsticks were found to be high in salt.

A Which? spokesman said: “The companies which own and use these characters need to review their policies.”

Marvel, who own Spider- Man, said they did not have “a specific policy” on using their characters in food marketing.

Scooby-Doo owners Warner Bros said their characters were used “in a responsible manner”.

Meanwhile, in the US, where kids are even tubbier than in the UK, several cartoon nets have

200708210304already vowed to be more mindful

Cartoon Network Friday joined the growing list of media companies joining the fight against childhood obesity.”Cartoon Network will limit the use of its original characters related to its company-owned original series targeted to children under the age of 12 to food and beverage products that meet specific nutritional criteria,” the network said. That came after Discovery Kids and Nickelodeon had made similar pledges

Bring back Count Chocula. That would make everything OK again.

More TCAF Stuff

Man, these pictures look like the greatest two days in comics history or something. Bummer we have to wait two years to go. Doug Wright Awards admin Brad McKay shares two photo sets.

And a few comments:
Hope Larson

Awesome, awesome, awesome. TCAF was by far the best time I’ve ever had at a con, and that’s sayin’ something.

Bryan Lee O’Malley
The Torontoist
Jim Zubkavich
SPECIAL BONUS! Cameron Stewart was kind enough to send us a few photos to show how bustling the place was. More in jump!

1Tcaf Stewart

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The Fate of the Logo

Eddie Campbell has been looking at logos:

I got around my complete lack of confidence by cutting a couple of letters out of a magazine and sticking another incongrous one in between. The whole cover was quite simple and tasteful. Phill Elliott did the hand separated colours. I never attempted that, and thank goodness I probably won’t ever have to now. Much later I tried the cut-out thing again and this time coupled it with the blobby technique (see yesterday) for the Bacchus logo. Actually, the original was a baroque horror, with a pictorial element and a Kleenex smear all thrown into the mix. By the time Evans hacked it down to size and spread it out a bit it was much sweeter. That single cut out letter gives the thing an unearned air of authority.

He talks about the FROM HELL logo here.

BOW-WOW wins prize

200708210259IN non-comickal newsw from cartooners, Mark Newgarden tells us:

BOW-WOW BUGS A BUG by Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash has just won the first place gold medal in the Society of Illustrator’s annual children’s book competition. BOW WOW!

Look for the 2 new BOW-WOW mini books by Newgarden & Cash
in stores this Fall:


Kibbles ‘n’ Bits

Squirrel Montage
§ Via the Fantagraphics blog possibly the most awesome Mark Trail squirrel montage ever. We’ve reproduced but a pittance of its majesty. Go to the link for the whole amazing thing. Mark Trail is one of those things that will forever keep the comics faithful gathering, even if they be forced to gather in secret.

§ Dick Hyacinth gives us what has long been foretold

At long last, the long-promised Liefeld career retrospective is here. Or at least the first part of it. Just to be clear, let me explain what I’m doing. I’m not a Liefeld fan. I liked him quite a bit when I was a teenager, but that was a long time ago. What I’m trying to do here, actually, is put myself back into that adolescent mindset in order to reconstruct what it was about Liefeld that attracted young boys in droves back about 15-20 years ago. I’m not here to mock Liefeld or persuade you re: the quality of his work. This is a descriptive project, not a prescriptive one.

§ We were sent some PR from AniBOOM which appears to be a pretty wide ranging web resource for animators; a little Googling and we dug up the following:

Aniboom, an Internet home for animators to create and share original clips, is launching its own channel on video site YouTube with the aim of hatching the next animated blockbuster that could rival “The Simpsons” or “South Park.” A small startup founded in Israel last year, Aniboom offers professional and amateur animators a place to showcase their clips and test their popularity with Web audiences.

§ Speaking of cartoons, Floyd Norman is to be named a Disney Legend

§ Jog looks at COMIC FOUNDRY:

Comic Foundry is a good-natured magazine, eager to attract a wide swathe of readers with its light, peppy coverage of a broad range of comics. I ought to clarify ‘coverage’ – Tim Leong, the editor in chief/art director/co-creator (with Amber Mitchell), describes the magazine’s journalistic focus as “lifestyle stories – how comics relate to your everyday life.” As you have probably heard, the magazine has no interest in engaging with comics as individual artistic works, or at least no more such interest than it takes to facilitate an interview’s progress or fill a “what to buy” sidebar. Mind you, this isn’t to say that the magazine is bereft of criticism, but all such critical thought, when it comes up, is directed toward cultural considerations.

A little more on The Lawsuit

Brave Canadian Don McPherson offers some commentary on the Ellison/Fantagraphics settlement:

But there’s no denying this one is outside of the norm. As I read the settlement details online last week, I was struck by the impression that the two sides were not unlike bickering siblings, and a parent finally stepped in and said, “That’s it you two, go clean your rooms. And if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Meanwhile, Fantagraphics has begun to auction off some of the items donated for their defense fund, and there are some precious objects in there, so check it out.

What it is like to be Ivan Brunetti

200708210229The Daily Cross Hatch digs into the Ivan Brunetti/Nancy story and gets a vintage slice of Brunetti:

I have never been an artist full-time, not with my own work, or work for hire. I’m just a regular Joe, a full-time office worker, and always have been. Occasionally, I am inexplicably compelled to force myself to draw some emotionally wrenching and painful comics. Once every great while I am also asked to produce a commercial illustration (less personal and gut-wrenching, but just as nerve-wracking in a different way).

Sometimes I also manage to work on some other projects (editing an anthology, putting together an exhibit, writing a book on cartooning, and teaching—all of which I do in addition to my 40-hour a week job). There’s also the extra obstacle of suffering from a chronic, debilitating depression most of the time, which means essentially I do all this work with absolutely no joy or happiness of any kind. And then there other (not related to depression) health problems, which
are chronic and irreversible, that complicate my life. Here’s the other great thing: everything is my own fauly, so I have to stare at my own failure every waking moment. Sometime I feel guilty just for existing.

JLA movie stirring?

Murmurs on the internets of renewed activity on that proposed JLA film. MTV has hints from the man who would be Flash, Ryan Reynolds:

Ryan Reynolds says “The Flash” may yet live. It just might not be in the superhero’s own film first. Just hours ago, our own Shawn Adler peppered the oft-rumored star of “The Flash” about his association with the DC comics speedster and here’s what Reynolds said: “‘The Flash’ isn’t dead at all. There’s talk of it being a JLA movie, the Justice League having them all together. And then there’s other talk of doing a ‘Flash’ movie with [director] Shawn Levy.”

The SciFi newswire has even more concrete rumors from IESB.net:

Kiernan and Michele Mulroney’s script has been warmly received at Warner Brothers, and the studio is envisioning the movie as a launching pad for others movies based on the Flash, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern and Aquaman, as well as a shot in the arm for the Superman franchise, the site reported, citing anonymous studio sources. The studio wants to start production on Justice League as soon as the first quarter of 2008 for a summer 2009 release, the site reported. That calls into question the timing of an expected sequel to Superman Returns, which is expected to be called The Man of Steel.

Edgar Allan Poo joins The Chemistry Set

Delta FinalpromoHere is one of those mystery kinds of press releases, in which we’re told about the online comics called THE SURREAL ADVENTURES OF EDGAR ALLAN POO joining online webcomics collective The Chemistry Set. The opening paragraphs give a good idea of the story:

The Chemistry Set is pleased to announce that the webcomic The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo will be joining its line-up in September. Created by writer Dwight L. MacPherson and illustrated by Thomas Boatright, the series began at DrunkDuck.com and is now moving to The Chemistry Set.

Hailed by critics (“A brilliant fantasy epic on par with Mouse Guard.” – Broken Frontier) and creators (“I’ve seen enough to convince me to buy it.” – Kurt Busiek), the first collected volume will be released from Image’s Shadowline imprint on the 22th of August and make its webcomic debut on The Chemistry Set on the 17th of September.

And then continues on with some laudatory comments which you can read in the jump. However no where is it explained what this comic is about, or more specifically…WHY IS EDGAR ALLAN POE BEEN TURNED INTO A TURD? A little sleuthing revealed a laudatory review at Broken Frontier where we learn the truth:

…the historical E.A. Poe, taking care of business in an outhouse latrine, ejects a Mini-Me version of himself, a miniature little tin-type that falls down the toilet hole and into a world that’s one part surrealism a la Alice in Wonderland, two parts high fantasy anthropomorphism a la Redwall, and three parts dark epic danger in the vein of Lord of the Rings. Perhaps Little Nemo in Slumberland is the closest, stand-alone comparison to be made, although even then — in case my flailing from classic to classic in desperate attempt to explain this magnificent bastard of a graphic novel hasn’t already clued you in — the work in question is plainly unique, and stands on its own, a story well worth the read no matter how overexposed to past fantasy standards one may or may not be.

The art does look pretty and the hero does not look fecal in nature, but still…why a poo?

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