Dark Horse, Uni pact

Dark Horse and Universal have announced a 3-year production/distro deal. Universal is putting out this year’s HELLBOY 2 (which was long without a studio; HELLBOY 1 was at Revolution). With the success of Sin City, 300 and 30 Days of Night (which Dark Horse also had a production credit on, despite it being published by IDW) it’s a nice proven brand for Hollywood. Up next: the Goon movie, perhaps?

Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment have signed a three-year production and distribution agreement that establishes a studio home for all of Dark Horse’s creative properties going forward. The agreement was jointly announced by Marc Shmuger and David Linde, Chairman and Co-Chairman of Universal Pictures; and Mike Richardson, founder and President of Dark Horse.

Under the terms of the deal, Universal would have creative access to all Dark Horse characters and properties, as well as any material that Dark Horse might acquire on its own and want to develop as a motion picture. In addition, Dark Horse would have the opportunity to distribute movies through Universal.

Universal Pictures is opening Hellboy II: The Golden Army, directed by Guillermo del Toro and based on Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse Comics character, on July 11, 2008.

“Dark Horse is one of the most creative and innovative brands in the entertainment industry, as well as an incredibly supportive home for some of the most exciting storytellers working today,” said Shmuger and Linde in a joint statement. “Their unique connection to youth culture is proven, and we are thrilled to be part of their expanding film production work.”

Mike Richardson responded, “We’ve worked with many studios and have had several great experiences, but we are particularly happy to be joining forces with Universal Pictures in this deal. We feel a real connection with their vision and the energy and creativity they bring to developing our properties. We are also excited by the option that we’ll have to independently produce our own material and distribute it through
Universal; their flexibility in this collaboration is what we were looking for, and we’re glad we found it.”

Donna Langley, President of Production, Universal Pictures, added, “We are very much looking forward to working with Dark Horse’s talented writers and artists, and to realizing their wealth of creative content onscreen.”

Dark Horse Entertainment is represented by Endeavor and The Gotham Group.


The rescheduled HOTWIRE release party–felled by a blizzard on the original date– takes place tonight at Rocketship.



Mark Dean Veca
Sam Henderson
R. Sikoryak
Jonathon Rosen
Mark Newgarden
Chadwick Whitehead
Danny Hellman
Craig Yoe
Glenn Head

Learn more about making comics at Hanley’s

For ANOTHER take on making graphic mnovels, go to Jim Hanley’s Universe this afternoon for an event with Paul Karasik and the Center for Cartoon Studies:

Friday March 14th, 2008
5 – 7PM

Learn more about
The Center for Cartoon Studies
Certificate & MFA Program
From CCS Students & Paul Karasik

A group of Center for Cartoon Studies will be selling and signing their mini-comics. Cartoonist Paul Karasik will be on hand to answer questions about CCS, review portfolios and sign copies of his latest book, I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks.

Sound advice from Brian Wood

Speaking of SPLAT, the New York Post (!) previews the event with a cheeky lede:

BESIDES all the usual dreams young people move to New York to chase – singing, acting, sleeping with the governor – you can now add authoring graphic novels to the list.

but then gets into a very serious discussion with Brian Wood about how to break into comics, and
this is as good a list as we’ve seen. Clip ‘n’ Save!

* Publish something, anything: “Just get something into print. Then you’re proven. The next editor you approach sees that someone has already banked on you,” Wood says. If no one will hire you, print up your own copies of a book to give away as samples. “Not only does your work look the best in a printed form, it shows you can follow through on a project.” * Have patience: “I went to conventions and gave away
these self-published books to anyone I could find. It took three years until anyone called me back. You can’t get discouraged,” Wood says. * Sell it before you draw it: “If you’re just trying to get an editor interested in you, you don’t have to fully execute your 100-page graphic novel. You can just do the first chapter.” * Find the right editor: Look at the mastheads of books that you like reading and send your work to whomever edits those. Then mail a hard copy of your work.
“Don’t e-mail. An editor can just hit delete on an e-mail.” * Take to the Web: “That’s what everyone says is the next big business model,” Wood says. Many aspiring artists have been offered work by putting samples of their stuff up online.

This Weekend: SPLAT

 Graphicnovelsymposium Splat
The New York Center for Independent Publishing is presenting one of the biggest graphic novel events ever: SPLAT: The First Ever NYCIP Graphic Novel Symposium. With three tracks of programming and a speaker line-up from Brian Wood to Scott McCloud to Alex Cox to Richard Stevens, SPLAT is also one of the most ambitious. Registration is a steep $125, but the workshops and symposiums should be worth it. Details:

9am to 7.30pm including the reception with Scott McCloud
Place: The New York Center for Independent Publishing
The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen
20 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
Tel 212 764 7021

You can read the whole panel/workshop line-up here:

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Jeff and Vijaya’s busy day


Jeff Smith’s blog comments on the comics’ move to Warner Bros:

The whole thing happened very quickly last Friday night. Warners called and made us a real offer, it was as simple as that. They stated their seriousness to stay true to the books, and after a couple of back and forths, the whole thing was over in an hour and a half. Vijaya and I had a celebratory drink and went to bed. We woke up Saturday morning to find the internet on fire!

As previously reported, that “serious offer” was a “mid-six-figure option against seven figures for purchase.” So let’s hope that celebratory drink was Dom Pérignon.
[Read more…]

Cold Cut becomes Haven

Cold Cut Distribution, the largest comics-centric alternative to Diamond as a distributor, was recently acquired by a Chicago-based webcomics publisher, and the new owners are changing the name. PR:

Rogue Wolf Entertainment announced today a new name to go along with the new face of Cold Cut… now known as Haven Distributors, or Haven Distro for short.

“Cold Cut Distribution had a solid base, but it’s time for a change,” explained Lance Stahlberg, Haven Distributors’ COO. “The independent comics terrain is some of the toughest there is in the pop culture market for retailers as well as publishers. Part of what we are trying to do is make it easier for both sides to do business together. ‘Haven’ made sense because that’s exactly what we offer both sides; a safe place to interact. We encourage both retailers and publishers to contact us with changes they would like to see as well. Feedback is not only welcomed but strongly desired!”

To join the Haven Distro newsletter, interested parties can use the signup form on www.havendistro.comwww.HavenDistro.com, where they will also find a contact form for questions or feedback. Haven’s new international toll free phone number is 877-HAVEN-50 (877-428-3650). The old number, 866-4-COLDCUT, will remain active during the transition but will eventually be discontinued. Havendistributors.com and Coldcut.com will both forward to www.havendistro.com, and all current retailer accounts will still work in the existing shopping cart.

Heavy Metal movie in the works

heavymetalmusicIs the world ready for a an updated trippy director/artist-cartoon mash-up, all influenced by European sex and drugs comics of the 70s and 80s?

Variety is reporting that Paramount is planning a new animated Heavy Metal film with segments directed by David Fincher (Seven, Zodiac), Tim Miller (Rockfish) and Kevin Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame (and coincidentally the owner and publisher of Heavy Metal). The new Heavy Metal film will consist of eight or nine individual animated short films that will mirror the format of the anthology magazine, which debuted in the U.S. in 1977 and brought a new level of sex, violence and sophistication to the world of U.S. comics to which it also introduced a number of key European creators including Moebius, Enki Bilal, Phillippe Druillet and Milo Manara to name just a few.

If you just can’t get enough Beat…


The Comic Book Club folks are now PODCASTING. So you can now listen to the State of the Industry show with ourself, Brian Heater, Kiel Phegley, and John DiBello.

Buck Rogers returns from Dynamite

Buckrogers-1949 Buck Rogers, the early sci-fi comic strip icon is coming back to the comics from Dynamite Entertainment. Rogers debuted as “Anthony” Rogers in a couple of stories in Amazing Stories by Philip Francis Nowlan; syndicate executive John Flint Dille teamed with artist Dick Calkins to create the familiar “Buck Rogers” comic strip. Rogers was later seen in a TV show that coined the annoying phrase “Bidi! Bidi!” and Erin Gray’s appearance as Wilma Deering fueled countless fantasies in boys around the land, at least accoring to anecdotal evidence we’ve heard.

Dynamite’s version of the character will have covers by Alex Ross and John Cassaday, according to president Nick Barrucci. Dynamite’s agreement with the Dille Estate also allows for the creation of Buck Rogers comics, collections, including classic material, comics-based fine art prints, posters, action figures, trading cards, statues, and other high-end collectibles.

Penguin’s US Classics win design award

Penguin’s well-received line of classics with covers by comics-type illustrators (such as Chris Ware, above)has won the Design Museum’s Brit Insurance Design Awards :

The category winners of the Design Museum’s Brit Insurance Design Awards have been announced with Penguin’s US Classics Deluxe editions winning in the graphics category and Haque’s Burble London installation taking the interactive prize

The category winners were decided by a judging panel consisting of Vitra’s Rolf Fehlbaum, publisher Lars Müller and architect and designer Antonio Citterio.

[Via Blog@]
Designer Paul Buckley is interviewed here.

The Beat’s Day

LOST: The Baby Chase

not a baby, but close

Sun and Jin, before the island. what times those were.

For talk of Sun and Jin ON the Island and maybe more, read on, Macduff.

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