Marvel unveils WonderCon exclusive

Speaking of WonderCon, although Marvel was a proud participant in the 1987 show, they haven’t been an exhibitor at WonderCon in many a year– a string that will be broken in 2011 — presumably to promote their movie slate. To mark the occasion, they are releasing a show variant cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli:

Old WonderCon video reveals primitive comics prehistory

Joe Field, inventor of Free Comic Book Day and owner of Flying Colors in Concord, has passed along a video called WonderCon 1988 Review, created as a promo tool to get more exhibitors and publishers to attend the ’89 show — then called the Wonderful World of Comics Convention. With next week’s show being the 25th anniversary of the Bay Area confab, he’s been posting several historical videos to his YouTube account, and this one will blow your mind with its vivid depiction of the primitive conditions our comics forefathers labored under. In addition to a younger version of Joe himself playing Anderson Cooper, you see younger Stan Lee, young Fabian Nicieza, young Tom De Falco, and several other young un’s in local TV coverage of the 1987 event.

Several interesting factoids emerge from the coverage.

To do tonight: Elephantmen signing w/ Richard Starkings

Richard Starkings is the creator of Image Comics’ hit series Elephantmen. Born and raised in England, Starkings worked for five years at Marvel UK’s London offices as editor, designer and occasional writer of Zoids, The Real Ghostbusters, Transformers and the Doctor Who comic strips featuring the Seventh Doctor. Although he lettered Batman: The Killing Joke with a pen, Richard is perhaps best known for his digital lettering work on Battle Chasers, Danger Girl, Batman: The Long Halloween and Generation X with his award-winning COMICRAFT design studio, which he founded in 1992. Starkings also co-authored the best-selling books Comic Book Lettering The Comicraft Way and Tim Sale: Black And White.

S.P.A.C.E. 2011: The Jam Show

by Brady Russell

S.P.A.C.E. is the Midwest’s answer to the Small Press Expo,  founded twelve years ago by Bob Corby, as a show that comics creators without a huge following could afford to go to. I’ve known about it for a long time and always wanted to go. After attending SPX myself for the first time in 1999, I came home and started Googling creators I had met, and I think it was searching for Suzanne Baumann that I found out about S.P.A.C.E. for the first time. The photos made the show look much smaller, much simpler than SPX, which even ten years ago, at the original location, was a pretty crowded scene.

Rare panty variant cover of Grimm Fairy Tales is a hit on eBay

Zenescope is one of those publishers that hangs around the middle of the pack; they’ve been a it for a while, and if they don’t sell giant numbers or have household name hits, they are still at it, occasionally pacting with Discovery or putting out a kids line or doing something else to expand their line.

But the bread and butter that keeps Zenescope afloat is cheesecake — especially of the variant we like to call “loincloth comics.” It’s like the ’90s “Bad Girl” era never went away for GRIMM FAIRY TALES, their flagship title which features skimpily clad girls thrusting their body parts at various fairy tale based characters on the covers. Sometimes tacky, but harmless.

Chart of the day: Top Diamond reorders for the week

Every once in a while, Diamond releases a chart…and every once in a while, The Beat runs it. This is the list of the top-selling reorder and advance reorder products for the week of 3/14/2011-3/20/2011. By itself, it’s nothing but a bunch of factoids, but it does give some idea of “sell-through” and what retailers anticipate will sell — the fact that Daniel Clowes’ 11’year-old DAVID BORING tops it is probably because a new book is coming out (MR. WONDERFUL) or perhaps because it had been out of print and became available.