SD09 Weds/Thursday schedule released

James Cameron, Astro Boy, Bryan Lee O’Malley interviewed by Scott McCloud, Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, Steve Lisberger,Brom, Sammy Harkham, Don Hahn,Glen Keane, Eric Goldberg, Stan Lee, Trina on Nell Brinkley, Dumbrella, TWILIGHT, Bruce Campbell, J. Michael Straczynski, Leonard Starr, Sigourney Weaver, Richard Thompson, Mark Waid interviewing Gail Simone, a Brief History of Fantastic Art with Charles Vess, Terry Gilliam, Happy hour with Jeff Smith and Terry Moore, John K. John Romita Jr., Terry Brooks, Green Lantern: First Flight World Premiere…and that is just THURSDAY AT CON. The Thursday programming has been unleashed and it’s…mind boggling.

Seriously, this one day would make any other show the single greatest show ever so….wow what happens day 2? And we thought Thursday would be our meeting day…

DC Month-to-Month Sales: May 2009

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

Overall direct-market sales crashed in May, and DC Comics contributed its share. Like Marvel, though, DC has a pretty good excuse. While Batman: Battle for the Cowl and The Flash: Rebirth continued apace, May was basically an in-between month for the publisher. There were no big launches, and everybody kept waiting for June’s revamp of the Batman line and July’s debuts of both Blackest Night and Wednesday Comics, which can all be expected to be sales juggernauts. So, with all that in mind, there’s no reason to panic just yet. If anything, there are some signs that things might actually be looking up for DC in the second half of the year.

At Vertigo, average periodical sales received a much-needed shot in the arm in May and rose to their highest level in more than two years. The two main reasons for the boost were “The Great Fables Crossover” and the debut of Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ new series The Unwritten. At a cover price of one dollar, of course, The Unwritten #1 was two thirds a promotional item and is unlikely to have made Vertigo any money as a single issue. Still, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea to market a new comic. It should be interesting to watch the effects.

Diamond’s “Graphic Novel” chart, meanwhile, was topped by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen — Century: 1910, the latest chapter of another best-selling property that DC’s WildStorm imprint no longer publishes. May should have been a good month for WildStorm: With a new StarCraft series, one of their more promising licensed properties debuted; and both of the imprint’s long-running creator-owned titles, Astro City and Ex Machina, came out. In practice, though, WildStorm’s average periodical sales once again failed to escape their limbo significantly below the 10,000-unit mark.

See below for the analysis, and please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and for the permission to use their figures. An overview of‘s estimates can be found here.


05/2004: Batman #627 --  76,885
05/2004: Batman #628 --  74,348 [75,832]
05/2005: Batman #640 --  66,640 [71,120]
05/2006: Batman #653 --  77,257 [78,435]
05/2007: Batman #665 --  80,122
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 (+47.9%) [122,877]
05/2008: Batman #677 --  96,116 (- 8.5%) [111,065]
06/2008: --
07/2008: Batman #678 -- 103,213 (+ 7.4%)
08/2008: Batman #679 -- 103,588 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Batman #680 -- 103,941 (+ 0.3%)
11/2008: Batman #681 -- 103,151 (- 0.8%) [114,657]
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [124,542]
03/2009: BfC #1 of 3 --  91,619 (-17.7%) [103,913]
04/2009: BfC #2 of 3 --  89,120 (- 2.7%)
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170 (+ 0.1%)
6 months: -13.6%
1 year  : -11.3%
2 years : +11.3%
5 years : +17.9%

The book has done very well for DC, obviously, especially so if you consider that Tony Daniel didn’t really have any track record of critical or commercial success as a writer. Evidently, the market didn’t care, and there’s barely been any drop-off at all for The Battle for the Cowl.

Perhaps more significantly, these figures suggest that there’s a great deal of interest in the Batman franchise right now, so maybe “Batman R.I.P.” was on to something, after all. These figures — and those of the various spin-off books — are nothing but good news for June’s relaunch of the Batman line.

There was a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition, as always, while a second printing of issue #1 sold another 8,133 units in May.

[Read more…]

Superman decision analysis

200907091303We’re going to have to leave explaining this one to the lawyers. Short version — while the decision did rule in WB/DC’s favor, it did leave the matter of a Superman film up in the air, as further delays in making a Superman movie could be seen as actionable.

Brian Cronin at CBR:

A major point that you have to understand is that it is not the Court’s responsibility to determine if DC Comics got the best deal possible, but only that the deal was reasonable. In fact, Larson basically seemed to come down on the side of thinking that the licensing fee DC was paid for Superman Returns was on the low side of things, but he did not feel that it was unreasonably low. Larson specifically denied the Siegels’ claim that Superman should be treated like a major novel or a musical, as Larson agreed with the defendants that in the case of comic book licensing, the film company is licensing the characters, not the story (as noted by the many years that Warner Bros. Entertainment spent trying to come up with a workable script for a Superman film). When a film company licenses a novel, however, they’re basically getting a rough screenplay right from the beginning, and as such, popular novels and musicals are much more valuable. So even if Larson felt that the licensing fee was a bit on the low side, it was still a reasonable fee.

Jeff Trexler, who has been following Superman related legal cases for a long time, has a brief analysis here, and a longer piece here including the news that a special master has been assigned to the case:

The judge presiding over the Siegel Superman trials has set December 1, 2009 as the start date for the apportionment phase, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for November 9. But that doesn’t mean the case will be dormant until then. Citing the difficulties evident in determining the fair market value of the Superman properties, the judge has provided for the appointment of a special master/court-appointed expert to issue a report before the trial. The parties have until July 31 to make a joint stipulation as to who this master/expert should be. As the court indicates, the appointment of a special master is appropriate in cases that involve accounting issues and other complex matters that could be difficult for a judge to resolve effectively.

Wizard hires and promotes

Some hiring information from Wizard, after a longer period of trimming staff. According to a press release, long-time staffer Mike Cotton has been promoted to Editor of Wizard. Also:

“Mike has built strong relationships with both creators and fans of comics,” said Shamus. “His promotion is a testament to how well he connects with Wizard readers and how respected he is in the comics industry.”

In addition, Shamus announced the promotions of Andy Serwin to Features Editor and the hiring of a new Managing Editor, Casey Seijas. Serwin was hired by Wizard in 1999 and most recently held the role of Assistant Managing Editor. Seijas had been an editor at DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint for nearly four years before joining MTV Networks last August.

While we’d heard some rumors going around this week that EIC Scott Gramling had left Wizard, according to spokesperson April Wiggins, he is still at Wizard.

Yet more SD news: Miyazaki confirmed

§ Miyazaki’s attendance is confirmed, as are John Lasseter, Tim Burton, and Robert Zemeckis, all making their first appearances at Nerd Prom.

§ This Chicago Trib piece by Maureen Ryan contains much insight and information:

Four decades ago, fans of comic books gathered in the basement of a San Diego hotel not just to buy and sell rare issues, but to share their enthusiasm with each other and with the luminaries of the trade. The 40th annual San Diego International Comic-Con, which takes place July 23-26 and now attracts a capacity crowd of 126,000, has always been about the cultivation of those direct, personal connections.That is the reason for Comic-Con’s rise and its massive success: It’s about recognizing and honoring the bonds between the individuals who make movies, TV shows and comic books and people who care passionately about the best that pop culture has to offer.

Comic-Con isn’t important because superhero movies are successful. That’s like saying Twitter is successful because famous people are on it. No, Twitter is successful because it, like Comic-Con, levels the playing field.

We hadn’t thought about it that way, but it’s totally true. On Twitter and to Comic-Con you can run into ANYONE. (Last night, during the wee hours, our Twitter feed was filled by an unlikely mix of Peter Serafinowicz, Michael Kupperman, Neil Gaiman, Sarah Palin, and Chris Jericho.)

According to the piece, con organizers are considering running programming on Wednesdays to ease up the logjam; several TV events have also been moved to the Hilton Bayfront.

Neil Gaiman at Comix Experience, 7/19

We’re told a few tickets are left for a special signing with Neil Gaiman:

Comix Experience is very proud to announce, as part of its ongoing 20th anniversary celebration, a rare San Francisco reading/Q&A/Signing with acclaimed author Neil Gaiman on Sunday, July 19th from 11 AM to 12:30 PM.

Only 100 people will be accommodated, and they must secure a ticket ahead of time. Tickets will be given for free to the first 100 people to purchase Mr. Gaiman’s latest collection, Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader, from Comix Experience. Retail price: $24.99.

Preorders for the book can be taken immediately by visiting Comix Experience at 305 Divisadero St. (at Page) in San Francisco, or by calling 415-863-9258 from 11-7 Monday-to-Saturday, Sundays 12-5, PST.

MUST read: The story behind the signing by Brian Hibbs.

Viz launches Shonen Sunday imprint

Leading manga publisher Viz has announced a new imprint — Shonen Sunday, named after and running content from the Japanese magazine of the same name. The line kicks off with Rumiko Takahishi’s RIN-NE; further titles will be announced in San Diego. PR below:

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the launch of a brand new imprint, SHONEN SUNDAY. Featuring the works of some of the top shonen manga creators in the world today, the Shonen Sunday magazine in Japan provides the content for this imprint. The magazine recently celebrated its 50th anniversary since its first issue arrived on newsstands in March of 1959.

The first series to launch from the first volume under this new imprint will be RIN-NE by Rumiko Takahashi, the first manga novel ever to be published simultaneously in Japan and North America, which will arrive on store shelves on October 20, 2009. Chapters of RIN-NE have been serialized online for free at on the same weekly schedule as it appeared in Japan’s Shonen Sunday magazine since May of this year. The Rumic World web site is the official North American destination for all Rumiko Takahashi-related news.

VIZ Media will be announcing new Shonen Sunday series for 2010 at its Manga and Anime panel at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International on Friday, July 24th from 3:00-4:30 in Room 32AB. Other VIZ Media series that will move under the Shonen Sunday banner include INUYASHA, KEKKAISHI, CASE CLOSED, HAYATE THE COMBAT BUTLER, and YAKITATE!! JAPAN. Going forward, DVD products from the select series will also feature the Shonen Sunday imprint.

The imprint’s web site ( will be updated regularly with exclusive content such as previews, trailers, news, and interviews and will go live on July 22, 2009.

SD09: Chiang, Cloonan, Thompson, Wood — #1322

We forget what they call their little booth group of Cliff Chiang, Becky Cloonan, Brian Wood, and Jill Thompson. Whatever they call themselves, they will be at booth #1322 and they’ll have neat things to buy.
Boozle Patch

Patches Batch1

Jill will have copies of Magic Trixie, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over, and Magic Trixie and the Dragon for sale as well as new swell embroidered patches (see attached photos).

I’ll have preview art of the new series from Dark Horse called Beasts of Burden.

I’ll also be signing autographs, doing commissioned sketches, chit chatting and generally being Jill. And I’ll be Twittering. (ooh- Ahh!) Come one come all!

Cliff Chiang will have assorted prints and postcard sets for sale, and of course, commissioned sketches.

3697728519 D6Ffabf114 O


Brian Wood will have 125 copies of his self-published sketchbook Public Domain 2, which is 120 b/w pages, signed, numbered, and sketched in, for $20. He’ll have another set of mini-screenprints, as well as VERY few replica “PRESS” badges not unlike what Matty Roth wears in DMZ.


Becky Cloonan will have limited edition silk screens. More info at her blog.

SD09: Spectrum Fantastic Art — #4503

Brom Head2
Here’s where to find some top notch artists in San Diego!

Spectrum Fantastic Art will again be exhibiting at Comic-Con under the Donato Arts umbrella in Booth #4503. We’ll be appearing with (naturally) Donato Giancola, Rebecca Guay, and Stephan Martiniere. Brom will be our special guest all 5 days and will be promoting his new book, THE CHILD THIEF.

Strange Days Cv 2
There will be original art, prints, and books for sale; Underwood Books will premiere their new pulp-art poster book, STRANGE DAYS and TWILIGHT TOURS, a guide to the real Forks, Washington that’s the center of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire series. We’ll have free postcards, buttons (while supplies last), and a color poster promoting James Gurney’s October release from Andrews McMeel, IMAGINATIVE REALISM: HOW TO PAINT WHAT DOESN’T EXIST.

We’ll also be hosting live oil painting demonstrations by Donato (Thursday 1-2pm), Rick Berry (Friday 1:30-2:30pm), and Gregory Manchess (Saturday 1:30-2:30pm).

SD09: SLG — #1815

Here’s the details on SLG’s con activities, via Jennifer de Guzman. First signings:

Aaron Alexovich (Serenity Rose)
Kerry Callen (Halo and Sprocket)
Derek Hunter (Pirate Club)
Aleister Gilgrim (The Cemeterians)
Karl Christian Krumpholz (Byron)
Kenny Keil (Tales to Suffice)
Tommy Kovac (Wonderland)
Ethan and Isaiah Nicolle (Chumble Spuzz) — Eisner Award nominee!
Drew Rausch (Haunted Mansion, Winchester)
Chris Reilly, Steve Ahlquist and Tara Billinger (Strange Eggs)
Mike Shoyket (Captain Blood, Tron)
Charles Soule and Allen Gladfelter (Strongman)
Serena Valentino (Nightmares and Fairy Tales)
Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac) and Jenny Goldberg (Jellyfist)
Landry Walker and Eric Jones (The Super-Scary Monster Show, Tron)
Greg Weisman and David Hedgecock (Gargoyles)

Also attending but at their own tables:

Camilla d’Errico (Nightmares and Fairy Tales)
Shari Chankhamma (The Clarence Principle)
Sonny Liew (Wonderland)

[Read more…]

SD09: Tania Del Rio and Wilhelm Staehle — M-10

Tania del Rio writes:

The Bazaarium is honored to have a booth for the first time at SDCC this year, situated in the Small Press Area at M10. The elusive Wilhelm Staehle and T.D.Rio will be making a rare appearance to hawk their Victorian inspired wares: Dollar Dreadful booklets (including new titles to add to the growing library!), various wearables, gun soaps, spoke cards for your velocipede, and more. Of course, we shall have pieces from the ever-so-popular Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre collection available- among which guests shall find a convention exclusive piece – which shall be unveiled at a week prior to the event.

Also at booth M-10, Tania del Rio of Archie Comic’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch will have copies of My Poorly Drawn Life available. This is 400 page collected edition of her web-comic of the same name for the low convention price of $20 each. She will also be available for commissions.

Dollar Dreadful Family Web

SD09: Randy Reynaldo — S14

1226902457 0Dblszaq8E.JpegGet a FREE comic book and pick up the new issue #14 of ROB HANES ADVENTURES at Randy Reynaldo’s booth.

Randy Reynaldo, writer-artist of the long-running indie small press title, Rob Hanes Adventures, will make his 12th appearance at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, scheduled this year from July 23-26. Randy and the WCG Comics crew will again be in BOOTH S14 in the Small Press Pavilion of the main exhibitor’s hall (row S against the wall on the west side of the building, off of aisle 1400). This year marks Randy’s 12th appearance at the show as an exhibitor.

Randy will have the newest issue of his action-adventure series (#14) available at Comic-Con. In the issue, Justice International agent Rob Hanes is hired to extradite a beautiful felon back to the U.S., and becomes stranded with her on a desert island in the Pacific after their plane goes down. Cover by guest artist Benton Jew. Preview pages from the issue are available here.

In addition, Randy will have FREE sample issues of the series available at the show. Pick up one of the promotional cards at the show or simply visit the booth to pick up the issue and check out back issues.

Launched in the early 1990s, Rob Hanes Adventures is one of the longest running independent titles still being published. Following the exploits of a modern-day soldier of fortune and spy-for-hire who works for worldwide Justice International, the series takes a serio-comic and modern-day approach to the classic high adventure strip genre, reinventing and making it fresh for modern audiences. Fans of classic comics like Terry and the Pirates and the Spirit, or of current spy fare like Danger Girl, will enjoy Rob Hanes Adventures. Every story is self-contained in each issue. For more information about WCG Comics, visit the company’s website at

SD Announcements for 7/9

This blog post has a good listing of off-site events and announced parties.

• Director Henry Selick and writer Neil Gaiman will appear on a panel to talk about the CORALINE film, which is coming soon to DVD and Blu-Ray. The panel takes place Friday, July 24th at 10:30-11:30.

• Write Brothers Software for Writers will exhibit at booth #1429 with product demonstrations of their most popular software, including Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 and Dramatica Pro. They are also participating in several programs. Details here.

• Writer Neil Kleid sent along his schedule including signings of his brand new book, THE BIG KAHN.

• Radical Comics is putting on a concert starring Nick and Gene Simmons at the Hard Rock which will be filmed as part of the Gene Simmons Family Jewels reality show on A&E; a contest is being run to win tickets.

• Paramount Home Entertainment features a booth where folks can be photographed at the helm of the Enterprise, fraternize with galactic green girls and enter to win a limited edition Captain’s chair. B.O.B., the gelatinous hero from DreamWorks Animation’s smash hit MONSTERS vs. ALIENS, makes a live appearance on family day (Sunday). The co-creators and stars of Comedy Central’s “Drawn Together” will also appear, and on Friday, July 24 there will be a Road Trip: Beer Pong happy hour.

SD09: Cartoon Network/Adult Swim

Mighty Boosh Vince Neil
CN and AS have a huge slate of events and panels and signings, with Star Wars, Batman: The Bold and the Brave, Ben 10 and other smashes, but all we’ve got eyes for are the Mighty Boosh guys — Noel Fielding, Julian Barrett, Michael Fielding, Dave Brown, Richard Fulcher — who will be paneling, signing, and spinning at a Mighty Boosh party Friday night. Other fan events include a picnic with Tim and Eric, and a Robot Chicken roller skating party.

And oh yeah, our beloved Venture Bros. crew will be there, including Doc, Jackson, James Urbaniak and Michael Sinterniklaas.

All lies below the jump!

[Read more…]

SD09: CBLDF's Strangers in Paradise Exclusive

Something else cool to spend your money on! And it smells good, too.

Abstract Studio and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have teamed up to create a strictly limited, lettered edition of the Strangers in Paradise Omnibus, a set that promises to be the rarest of all SiP collectibles, all to benefit the CBLDF! This item is available now, concurrent with an eBay auction to own letter A of Z with one of a kind Black Phoenix collectibles!

Limited to 26 copies, the SiP Omnibus Lettered Edition includes: One set of the strictly limited three-volume hardcover SiP Omnibus edition, an original drawing by Terry Moore, and a bottle of “Parker Lily,” a fragrance based on Terry Moore’s beloved epic created by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and strictly limited to 26 bottles. All sets can be available for pick up at Comic-Con in San Diego, or will be mailed in the first week of August. Choose the option you prefer when you add this item to your cart.

If that weren’t enough, right now the Fund is offering the rarest SiP item of all on eBay — Letter A of this limited edition set, plus a bottle each of the two prototypes of Parker Lily! These prototype fragrances are the same ones sent to Terry Moore for approval and are a one of a kind offering! Bidding on this CBLDF exclusive is now open.

First published in 1993, Strangers in Paradise was created by Terry Moore. This long-running, mostly self-published series attracted graphic novel fans from all walks of life. Winner of multiple awards, including the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series, the series concluded in 2007. The adventures of Francine, Katchoo, and their friends and enemies are continually popular, always in print, and have been translated into thirteen languages worldwide.

“We couldn’t be happier about supporting the CBLDF with this once in a lifetime offering,” SiP creator Terry Moore says. “We’re also honored to work with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, who did an astonishing job capturing the spirit of SiP in the Parker Lily Fragrance. As a long-time supporter of the Fund and their ongoing fight for the comics community’s First Amendment rights, I’m thrilled to lend a hand!