DC fights back with…more rings!

People have been wondering when DC would make some kind of move aimed at Marvel’s assault on their Lantern Ring promotion…and now they have. But instead of lashing out, they’ve done it in a, dare we say, grown up way — offering two new rings for an even LOWER order threshold on books that are already going to sell: they’re offering retailers Flash Rings with 10 copies of THE FLASH #1 and Green Lantern rings with 10 copies of GREEN LANTERN #53. Read between the lines of the following:

We swung by our very own Dan DiDio’s office to get his thoughts on the incentive, and he was happy to share.

“These rings are not only very cool, but they’re a big thank-you to our fans, who’ve helped make BLACKEST NIGHT a huge success. We’re hoping we can all keep the momentum going once the BLACKEST NIGHT ends and the BRIGHTEST DAY begins.”

Thanks, Dan! But there’s more. We gave Geoff Johns a quick call to get his thoughts. Geoff?

“One of the many great Flash Facts about DC Comics is that they actually do support the retailers with promotions like this that not only make our whole business a bit more fun, but also bring the promotion to every single reader. Of course, the proof is in the content and I couldn’t be prouder of the work Francis Manapul and I are doing on THE FLASH and Doug Mahnke and I are creating on GREEN LANTERN. Thanks to everyone, retailers and readers, for an amazing 2009 and here’s to an even better 2010!”

Bluewater: finding new ways not to pay people

While Bluewater is often just thought of as that make-a-buck-quick company that puts out the funny bios, they’ve been getting a lot of heat lately for a business plan that asks for a huge investment by creators. The new round of controversy began when Newsarama ran a fairly benign interview with publisher Darren G. Davis. The comments to the article indicated an ongoing problem of creators not getting paid, which led to another story, called BLUEWATER Responds to Claims of Non-Payment by David Pepose:

Earlier this week, we ran a story on Bluewater Productions, and their expansion from political biocomics to series ranging from Logan’s Run to Lady Gaga to Jesus himself. Yet a number of commenters raised questions about Bluewater, particularly alleging that the company had not been paying creators. When readers raised questions, we got answers — here’s the formal statement from Bluewater president Darren G. Davis when asked if this was true:

While asking a publisher for a statement isn’t really investigating whether there was any wrongdoing, especially when the exact same statement ran four months ago even this defense was troubling:
[Read more…]

Marvel collects DC covers


As promised, photos of DC Blackest Night tie-in comics covers returned to Marvel, via Tom Brevoort’s Twitter.

You kids play nice, now!

SDCC 2010 party preview

NY Mag’s Jada Yuan has been attending the Sundance Film Festival and since San Diego is now completely Sundance-ified, here’s what we have to look forward to:

Yesterday, on day four of the Sundance Film Festival, this intrepid Vulture reporter was kept from covering a red carpet for The Runaways because it was overcapacity — which pretty much sums up the infuriatingly overbooked Sundance experience. We’ve seen ticket-holders get turned away from screenings, and last night we watched Shaun White nearly get shut out of a party for Oakley. (To his credit, he just stood there without making a fuss, and the door guy eventually figured things out.)

Shaun White, you may recall, is a 2006 Olymipic snowboarding gold medalist, 2010 Olympics favorite and pretty much the king of Sundance. More from Yuan:

If and when you do get into a party, do not assume you will be allowed to take a bathroom break.

After round eighteen of arguing with security guards who didn’t think that actually being inside a party had anything to do with our ability to cover a party, we went to what was supposed to be the relatively sedate “Variety’s Ten Directors to Watch” panel and after-party at the huge new St. Regis way up in the hills of Deer Valley, Utah. The invite said 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., but by 6:45, the room had exceeded its capacity of 250 people, and guards had set up a velvet rope between the party and the only bathroom. Anyone who dared try to exit to pee risked having to stand in a reentry line for over an hour, requiring several gentlemen to offer to pee in the corner.

It’s gonna be grim.

Fall/Winter Xeric Awards announced

The latest batch of Xeric Grant winners has been announced — since its foundation in 1992, the Xeric has recognized a fairly amazing lineup of cartoonists and comics. Here’s some more comics we’ll be looking for in 2010:

Sarah Becan – The Complete and Definitive Ouija Interviews

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Bryan G. Brown – First Fight

Sixta C. – Soldiers of God

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Ben Costa – Shi Long Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk

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Blaise Larmee – Young Lions


Lane Milburn – Death Trap

Rat Envelope

Stefan Salinas – Within the Rat

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Nathan Schreiber – Power Out

The Xeric Foundation has announced its most recent grant recipients. A total of $32,042 was awarded for eight comic book projects. The Foundation has awarded in excess of $2.3M to comic book creators and nonprofit organizations since its first grant cycle in September 1992.

Established by Peter Laird, co-creator of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Northampton, MA based foundation offers financial assistance to self-publishing comic book creators in the US and Canada and to qualified charitable and nonprofit organizations in western Massachusetts.

The next deadline and review dates for comic book grants are March 31, 2010 and May 1, 2010, respectively. The charitable organization grants are decided annually in March and announced separately.

T-Minus One Week …

You have seven days to go back and re-watch old episodes to get caught up in time for the season premiere next Tuesday night (fittingly on Groundhog Day).

The Helper Monkey has been watching selected shows from all five seasons as a refresher course and has a few observations.

– The show is so much better without Charlie and Claire.

– Season Two Ben Linus/Henry Gale was just a tease of things to come. Michael Emerson = Show MVP.

– Jacob may not have “touched” Juliet in the Season Five flashbacks, but, according to Ben, he did cure her sister’s cancer.

– What DEADWOOD alums will appear in the final season? Surely there’s a role for Ian McShane as Daniel Faraday’s father or Charles Widmore’s brother.

Start your countdown clock….

[Posted by Mark Coale]

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits, 1/26/10

§ ICv2 briefly interviews Chip Kidd on his STRANGE TALES cover for Marvel.

§ It seems that imagining sex lives for Disney characters just never gets old — even The New Yorker thinks this trope is funny. They did at least update the references. :

—When Mickey leers at Minnie in the waterfront bar, let’s have him squeak, “You know what they say, baby. Big ears . . .”

—In the “Brokeback Mickey” flashback, when Mickey makes tender love to Donald Duck, let’s have Mickey murmur, “Leave the little sailor hat on.”

§ Marvel hired 144 new talents in 2009 C.B. Cebulski reveals.

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Millar and Dynamic Forces auction Nemesis for charity

Via PR, Dunamic Forces and Mark Millar are auctioning off the name of the hero in Millar’s new NEMESIS book for charity. More here.

Have you ever imagined yourself as the star of a comic book?  Award-winning writer Mark Millar is offering YOU that chance!  Millar’s upcoming comic book, “Nemesis” (illustrated by Millar’s co-creator, best-selling artist Steven McNiven), is about the fight between America’s smartest cop and the world’s one and only super-villain.  Who is that cop?  Well, that’s where you come in!

Dynamic Forces will be hosting an auction to name that cop, and the winner’s name will be immortalized as the hero of the story!  Best of all, all proceeds raised from this once-in-a-lifetime event will go directly into a special fund that will assist handicapped children.

[Read more…]

Thoughts for the day

And now every time I get a little burnt out on what I “have” to do for work, I shut out all the external pressures around covering comics as an industry and read some comics that no one told me too. You should try it sometime too!

Kiel Phegley

“The dominant tech culture says everyone should just give away their content and their expertise,” Lanier told me this week. “Then they are supposed to make money later through personal appearances, or selling T-shirts or whatever. That doesn’t really help the photographer or the graphic artist who is trying to make a living right now.”

–From an LA Times article by James Rainey on the bleak financial picture for creative types.

And at this his face totally changed, and he said “What are you talking about?!” and so I told him I would be leaving the show, because; and that was as far as he let me go, and he said, “STOP! You cannot! You cannot leave this show! Do you not understand what you are doing?! You are the first non-stereotypical role in television! Of intelligence, and of a woman and a woman of color?! That you are playing a role that is not about your color! That this role could be played by anyone? This is not a black role. This is not a female role! A blue eyed blond or a pointed ear green person could take this role!” And I am looking at him and looking at him and buzzing, and he said, “Nichelle, for the first time, not only our little children and people can look on and see themselves, but people who don’t look like us, people who don’t look like us, from all over the world, for the first time, the first time on television, they can see us, as we should be!

Nichelle Nichols on Martin Luther King Jr. telling her not to leave Star Trek. [via]

NEW!! Born Apart!

Hey there! It’s said that thinking in new patterns helps the mind to stay limber. In that spirit, we’re presenting a NEW BEAT FEATURE called Born Apart! Here we’ll post two completely unrelated images just to get the old braineroo doing some jumping jacks. We’ll search high and low for the most RANDOMLY UNCONNECTED COMICS COVERS we can find. So here we go and let’s get thinking!