Disney’s Twisted Princesses imagined — CORRECTED

We know that you are all tired of Disney Marvel mash-ups, but Is Animator Jeffrey Thomas’s Twisted Princess portfolio close to how Marvel might handle classic princess characters?

NOTE: We really screwed up when we first posted this. We picked it up from another blog that called it how Marvel would handle Disney Princesses, but it’s a completely independent project from earlier this year. It is kinda funnier with the attribution, though. Anyway, very nice concept designs!

Adventures In The Dragon’s Lair: A Report From Dragon Con 2009 In Atlanta

By Steve Bunche

Dolly Death Star

As a dyed-in-the wool comics fan I have wanted to attend the senses-pummeling annual San Diego Comic-con. As a fan, think about it: shitloads of comic books everywhere, movie and TV celebs who’ll be signing autographs, comics creators from all over the globe, and a myriad of fun and geekish possibilities, all within arm’s reach in sunny California. Seriously, what’s not to like? But in recent years that pipe dream has slowly been deferred since I first imagined hitting the big show in San Diego way back in 1994, during my days as a member of the illustrious (yeah, right) Marvel Bullpen of the 1990’s boom-and-crash. Due to the multi-headed bitch and a half that includes the prohibitive costs of plane fare from coast to coast and accommodations in a decent hotel for the duration of nearly a week, as well as the con insidiously being co-opted by Hollywood interests as a source of R&D for television, movie, and video game properties to exploit, I’ve found its appeal eroding year after year, so much so that now I have no desire whatsoever to go. I may not be in the biz anymore but I’m still in close contact with many of my friends and former colleagues, and I can honestly say that each and every one of them dreads their yearly trek to the west, but it’s a necessary evil if they want to put themselves out there and further their careers by showing goodwill to the fans (to say nothing of shilling whatever latest project or any original art they may have up for grabs). And while it’s much easier for me to deal with the logistics of New York City’s Javits Center show, even that convention is morphing into an impossibly overcrowded nightmare on wheels that’s equal parts dry-humped-by-the-devil nightmare and the most spectacular thing going for geeks here in the east. No matter what, it seems like I, and my fellow geeks, can’t win for losing. So what the ever-lovin’ eff is a geek to do?

Two words, effendi: Dragon Con.

For the first time in about eight or nine years I hauled my high-yella ass from the naughty north to the sexy south — Atlanta, Gee-Ay, to be precise — to immerse myself in what has always in my experience been the most fun and unabashedly enthusiastic convention of its kind in these here United States, and I was amazed by what I witnessed. A hell of a lot can change in a mere decade (or less), and Dragon Con has now grown to the point of requiring four hotels and their convention centers to handle all the madness on display. And it’s a good thing they were all available; the Hyatt, the Marriott, the Sheraton, and the Hilton were all bursting at the seams with the faithful, many in wild and geekish costumery, all eager to see and be seen while checking out the dozens of panels, live shows, costume contests, and such, along with the specialized shopping one always finds at such events.

Eager though I was to see and cover as much as I could, it immediately became apparent that it would be physically impossible to see even half of what was going on, even if I could pull a Jamie Madrox and multiply myself into at least six people, so instead I’ll just give you a brief overview of the cornucopia of fun.

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Ant-Man? Edgar Wright? Pixar?

Splash Page catches up with director Edgar Wright to suss out rumors of Pixar-related interest in his ANT-MAN movie.:

“The news that Pixar is involved [with ‘Ant-Man’] is not wholly accurate and a little premature to comment on,” Wright said. “I love Pixar’s work more than anyone and indeed would love to collaborate with them.

“I’m not sure though that they would want to do a ‘shrinking’ film as a Pixar animation—since ‘Toy Story’ and ‘A Bug’s Life’ already cover this territory to some extent,” he continued. “My spin on ‘Ant-Man’ is very different than a straight superhero origin—and very much live action.”

Regardless of Pixar’s attachment or lack thereof, Wright said that he certainly plans to get back into the swing of things with “Ant-Man” as soon as time allows.

Hm, could this have been someone remarking in passing, “Ant-Man? Neat!”

At any rate, Wright, currently wrapping post on SCOTT PILGRIM, is still interested in a light-hearted live-action take on the tiny little superhero and is talking to Kevin Feige about it next week.

New Yorker flubs nerd humor drawing test

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Via this week’s issue. As correspondent Jamie T. points out “While I suspect Lee Lorenz believes he has drawn Iron man, doesn’t his armoured gent more closely resemble ROM: Spaceknight? Is he a closet Bill Mantlo fan?”

Meet Diane Nelson! – UPDATE

UPDATE: This interview with Nelson by Sharon Waxman at The Wrap addresses a few of those pressing issues and establishes that Nelson is not a comics fan “by nature.”

So: a girl running a comic book operation? Isn’t this a young, male-centric market?
I prefer to be known as an executive rather than a girl. It’s not gone without comment in the blogosphere. But I have to tell you, I’ve been really encouraged by the commentary in comic book world.

But I’m the first one to admit, I’m not by my nature a comic fan. It’s not what I’m bringing to the party. We have so many experts who will remain the cornerstone of DC Entertainment. What I bring to the party is a skill at moving properties and brands through Time Warner as a company.

There’s a new pitcher in this ballgame and DC Kremlinologists must learn all new signs and sigils.

New DC Entertainment Prexy Diane Nelson — or Jenette 2.0 as a few wags are calling her — did the newssite rounds yesterday, in tandem with outgoing Paul Levitz. We know all Kremlinologists will be combing these stories for details…let’s take a look!

Jonah Weiland and Andy Khouri chat things up at Comic Book Resources and get the overall look at the assets — content!

Jonah Weiland: Diane, what do you see as DC Comics’ greatest strengths and assets today?

Nelson: It’s a reflection, I believe, or at least it’s consistent with what Warner Bros. has cared about and stood for, that we are a talent-friendly company and are a place that values creators. I think the depth and breadth of the DC library and all of its imprints give us a real advantage over any competitor, however you define them. This isn’t just about the biggest or most well-known properties — those will clearly be a part of our initiative — but it can equally be about much lesser known properties that we incubate and build throughout the company, and it can be and should be about the acquisitions of new properties and characters. We are a content company and we’ll be even more focused on that in the future and that’s on a Warner Bros. and Time Warner level. I think recognizing the value of what our creators have created in this library and treating them carefully for the long term is the single greatest thing we have to work with here.

This next quote recalls many of the Bob Iger reassurances of the past few days:

Initially, over the first six months, it’s going to be about learning and listening and looking carefully at the DC Comics organization, which, again, remains a foundation of what DC Entertainment will be. So, DC Comics as a publishing company will remain intact.

Further on, Nelson talks about digital and motion comics. The general impression is that her mandate is to exploit more and more IP over more and more platforms — in other words, the search for the D.W. Griffith of motion comics may well be on.

Vaneta Rogers at Newsarama covers much the same ground but adds a name check for Minx:

Nelson said that among the things that will be focused upon will be how DC’s characters can be utilized in feature films, acknowledging that among them will be Superman and Wonder Woman.

“Of course they’re priorities,” she said. “But we’ll equally be looking at other properties and stories that can be incubated. It may start in digital, it may start in television, it could end up being video games. There could be casual games that come out of properties that come from Minx.

“That’s going to be the fun of it is making sure we look at all facets of the prism, and making sure we don’t just look at it as a linear… ‘here’s theatrical, now what do we spin off of that’ thing,” she said. “That’s not our goal. That’s a piece of the puzzle.

Initial impressions: the emphasis on creators and their importance is heartening. Surely the person who negotiated the interests of J.K. Rowling understands the importance of the sole creator and inspiration, without which big corporations just turn out things like Loonatics. At the same time, the lack of mentions of the phrase “comic books” in most of the answers is troubling. Given Disney’s lack of interest in periodicals and Nelson’s seeming interest in things other than comic books, many comic shop owners must have tossed and turned quite a bit last night.

It’s important to remember that although the announcement of some decisions were hastened by the Disney/Marvel deal, a lot of this was underway for years. For instance, we’re told the creation of DC Entertainment wasn’t going to roll out until next year — surely that was moved up to compete directly with the Marvel news. Disney and Warners have always been fiercely competitive, and the WB has long been attempting to build the same kind of dynamically synergized branding that Disney can do in its sleep. Warners’ hodgepodge of fiefdoms has long been a structural deterrent to this kind of concerted effort. From what we’re hearing, there is still a lot of work to do on that front.

The big immediate question mark: who will take over as DC’s new publisher? And what will happen to DC’s existing West Coast office, headed by Gregory Noveck? Tune in tomorrow for more shocks and surprises!

BTW, for a fairly exhaustive list of movie blogger reactions to the news, check out Christopher Campbell at Spout.

Levitz leaves ‘One of the Best Jobs on the Planet’

comic reader levitzAs this week’s DC bombshell sent ripples throughout the Multiverse, most people were taking time to talk about the contributions of Paul Levitz to the comics — as a medium and as an industry, Levitz’s handiwork has created or nurtured much of the infrastructure we live with daily. It’s a huge legacy. A few reactions.

ICV2 recalled his own words in a recent interview:

It’s an incredible gig. I’ve been there a very long time. It’s way past any statistical likelihood of anyone staying doing something. So one of these days I’m not going to be doing this, whether that’s the company changing its mind or moving in another direction, or me saying, ‘guys it’s been great, it’s been a wonderful time but I’m not getting on another airplane for awhile.’ But I’ll still have been one of the luckiest guys imaginable to have gotten to play with these great toys for so long. I hope I’ll still have one foot in the comic book industry for a long time thereafter. If nothing else I get to go to a comic convention and actually have some time to attend a panel and just listen or buy some comics.

Chris Butcher gets to the point that occupied many a hot stove league conversation:

I always wondered when Warner Brothers would figure out that they owned DC Comics. Turns out? September 9th, 2009.

Brian Hibbs expresses the worries many are feeling:

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Dragon*Con — a nagging question

Power Girl Represents 2
Letters, we get letters. Chris T. asks us:

Hello Heidi, I was wondering if you might address this in your blog.  I have seen all of the pictures of the cosplay at DragonCon and the stars at the panels, but I never hear anything about the Dealers.  How were sales for things at Dragon Con.  At the other cons, there are always articles about how the exhibitors did, whether sales were up or down, but with DragonCon, I have seen nothing.  Why is that?

Well, Chris, to be honest, when there are half naked chicks with giant hooters walking around, who cares about sales? First things first.

But maybe someone stopped contemplating how to apply handcuffs to a giant pikachu long enough to look at the dealers tables. Buehler? Anyone?

Photo by S. Bunche

SALES: PictureBox, Fantagraphics

We got a big email from Dan Nadel at Picturebox with announcement of a sale — including some fun sets — and immanent new books, like POWR MASTRS 3, above. If you’re looking for adventure, this is the right place .
Fantagraphics is having a sale at Fantagraphics Books their brick and mortar:

What, me study? Not this Saturday, when Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts a storewide sale! Get 20% to 50% off cover price on cool comix, graphic novels, and awesome art books. Lots of gorgeous new books by Fantagraphics favorites as well as some pleasant new surprises. And you’ll get a chance to see the critically acclaimed exhibition “Comics Savants: A Survey of Seattle Alternative Cartoonists” featuring local legends like Jim Woodring, Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, Charles Burns, Jim Blanchard and others.

TCB: STRANGE TALES #1 sells out

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We don’t run every press release we get, but once in a while one tickles us, such as the announcement that STRANGE TALES #1, the indie-anthology from Marvel, has gone back to press Whatever the realities of these sell-outs, it’s cool that an alt.comix book is getting the treatment. The new printing will have a B&W version of the Paul Pope cover. Contributors include PAUL POPE, PETER BAGGE, MOLLY CRABAPPLE, JOHN LEAVITT, JUNKO MIZUNO, DASH SHAW, JAMES KOCHALKA, JOHNNY RYAN, MICHAEL KUPPERMAN, NICK BERTOZZI, NICHOLAS GUREWICH & JASON


Okay, we don’t normally run these kinds of press releases either, but at least we get to run a picture of an elephant holding a sword. Perhaps you have always wanted to try ELEPHANTMEN, the SF series written by Richard Starkings, with art by various fine folks. If so, they have prepared a special jumping on point…just for you! More info here.

Punchbuggy Tour with Baillie, Dahl and Reed

Three brave cartoonists are setting out to tool around much of the East Coast in a jalopy, and you know it is going to be a real adventure.

Liz Baillie! Ken Dahl! MK Reed! My Brain Hurts! Monsters! Cross Country! 

Come see the best indie graphic novels of Fall ’09, read to you by their creators in some of the hippest bookstores, colleges, and bars east of the Mississippi! Liz Baillie, MK Reed, and Ken Dahl read, sign, and discuss their latest books: My Brain Hurts 2, Cross Country, and Monsters.

Kicking off September 24th at Brooklyn’s Desert Island with Secret Acres’ Monsters release party, the tour continues to SPXPLOSION 2 at Atomic Books, SPX, and two weeks of eastern cities. Check punchbuggytour.com for dates!


Sept. 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Desert Island – Monsters release party for Ken Dahl! 
Sept. 25th – 7pm – Baltimore, MD @ Atomic Books (reading w/ John Porcellino, Peter Kuper and MORE! Also, the 4th Annual Nerdlinger Awards!)
Sept. 26-27 – Small Press Expo/SPX (where Liz will be hosting the Ignatz Awards Saturday night!)
Sept. 29 – Durham, NC @ Duke University 
Sept. 30 – 5:30pm – Asheville, NC @ Downtown Books and News
Oct. 2 – 5pm – Louisville, KY @ Ray’s Monkey House
Oct. 3 – Bloomington, IN @ Boxcar Books 
Oct. 5 – 7pm – Chicago, IL @ Quimby’s Bookstore 
Oct. 6 – 7:30pm – Ann Arbor, MI @ Vault of Midnight (w/ special guest Ryan Claytor)
Oct. 8 – Allentown, PA @ Muhlenberg College 
Oct. 9 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wooden Shoe Books (w/ special guest Sally Bloodbath!)
Oct. 11 – 5pm – Brooklyn, NY @ Bergen Street Comics (w/ special guest TBA)

Peter Kuper on tour

Peter Kuper is hitting the road with Diario de Oaxaca, a gorgeous and thought provoking multimedia diary of his time in Mexico, during which violence erupted over a teacher’s strike. Dates below:

Sept 13th, 11:00 a.m.
Brooklyn, NY Book festival,
International Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)
The International Graphic Novel. Three acclaimed graphic novelists who tackle big social and political themes in their work discuss what the form can accomplish, from an international and domestic perspective. Featuring Guy Delisle, Peter Kuper and Sarah Glidden.
Moderated by Matt Madden.


Sept 17th, 7PM
Exhibition opening and talk
with a show of original art from Diario de Oaxaca
MOCCA Museum of Comic and Cartoon art
594 Broadway, Suite 401
(btwn. Houston and Prince)
New York, NY 10012


Sept 23rd, 4:30pm
George Mason University
3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201
Free to public 
Fall for the Book series


Thurs 24th,
Class talks
MICA (Maryland Institute of Art )


Fri 25th
6-8  Presentation/Booksigning Atomic Books
Baltimore, MD


Sat. 26th
SPX talk/ signing 3-4


Sunday 27th
Baltimore Bookfestival (Radical Pavilion)


Sept 30th 6:30-8:30
Society of Illustrators NYC
Lecture presentation and signing


Oct 8-10th  
Komikazen Festival , Ravenna,Italy
With Dave McKean and others


Oct 29th 7 PM
University of Michigan
Lecture /presentation

Oct 30 7PM
Toledo Ohio Museum
LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel( Keynote address)