Nice art: Jason Pearson

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If you’re wondering why Twitter and Facebook suddenly blew up with the name of artist Jason Pearson, he was having a low moment and the comics community has rallied on a Friday afternoon with helping words and deeds.

The creator of BODY BAGS, Pearson has done work on tons of comics over the years. His stylish art has a special soft spot for drawing the ladies, as the Catwomen art shows.

And in case you are wondering, the comics community has a big, big heart. No matter how silly or stupid things get, I am always grateful to be a part of this world.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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Alec Longstreth above to shave at long last

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If you’ve seen cartoonist Alec Longstreth in recent years, you are probably wondering what religion he joined that prevented him from cutting his hair or shaving his beard for three years. It was the religion of comics: as explained in this interview, Longstreth vowed not to shave until his comic BASEWOOD was finished — which took three years.

During this time, Longstreth cut quite a figure — his beard was not just an earnest but under-achieving sprouting, but a full on man-garden at the height of summer.

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And in about an hour, with the release party for his minicomic PHASE 7, Longstreth is finally about to go under the razor.

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We can’t be there, obviously, but perhaps one of our White River Junction buds can report on the event for Beat readers and catch up with Alec on his newly bald view of the world.

Haspiel donates minicomics to Library of Congress

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Some people just talk about the dream — Dean Haspiel is living it. Not only is he a cartoonist with a following, the fashion-forward originator of the whole shirtless artist look and an Emmy-winner: now he’s managed to get rid of all his old junk donate his “massive hoard” of minicomics to the Library of Congress.

A few months ago it was announced that the Library of Congress is now starting an SPX collection which will assemble comics from SPX exhibitors but also items they donate. The LoC is wary of having tons of other people’s weird old crap dumped on them; however, the minicomics collection is just the kind of essential folk art that the LoC was created to preserve.

We were totally joking about this collection being a lot of junk above, BTW. Dean is a fanatical collector (like a lot of us) but he keeps his stuff NEAT. Ignatz coordinator Eden Miller writes more about the collection:

There was an incredible amount of stuff in this collection, which probably dated from the late ’90s until the late ’00s. There were comics I didn’t even know existed and plenty of things I kept threatening to take (but I didn’t. You’re welcome, America).

Some of these delighted me because they were things friends of mine have done — like one of the Full Sanction minis from 2000 — and a couple of Chris Pitzer’s Procrastination Comics.

Others just made me feel this awe of “I can’t believe I’m looking at this” like a preview mini of Craig Thompson’s Blankets and a set of portrait sketches done by Charles Burns. I was also amazed by the Alfe and Horace minis which I can find no record of existing anywhere (they didn’t have a creator’s name on them, but it’s a safe assumption that they were done by Ben Jones). There were also several minicomics by Jeff Smith, which I didn’t even know he had made.


All joking aside, it’s awesome that this collection has found a good home. Makes us wonder what to do with all OUR old minicomics (10 shoeboxes and counting.) Maybe we can just quietly drop it off at Dean’s house and hope nobody notices?

Gene Ha fills in on JUSTICE LEAGUE #7

Ever since the New 52’s flagship book – Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s JUSTICE LEAGUE — was announced people have been sniggeringly wondering when it would miss shipping because of Lee’s lateness. Well, haters, they just aren’t going to let that happen: Gene Ha has been announced for JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 — as excellent a fill-in artist as you could find.

Message: DC is serious about shipping on time.

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Multiple Eisner Award-winning artist Gene Ha will be joining the JUSTICE LEAGUE – not as a team member, but as a special guest illustrator for issue #7. But that’s not all that makes #7 so notable; the first issue following the origin story of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, it is also the first story to see the fully formed team in the present day. Who’s joined the team? What’s changed?
And wait, there’s more.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 will also feature the first appearance of Shazam in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. THE CURSE OF SHAZAM will unfold as a backup series in the LEAGUE monthly, written by New York Times bestselling author Geoff Johns and illustrated by acclaimed artist Gary Frank. The back up feature will reveal an all-new origin for the character.

The main story of JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 serves as the prologue to “The Villain’s Journey,” a new, present day story arc which will pick up with the return of the regular series artist Jim Lee in issue #9. In the meantime, we’ve got a first look at Ha’s take on the team.

Full lineup of 2012 Free Comic Book Day books announced

We already gave you the Gold Sponsor books, but here’s the entire Free Comic Book Day 2012 lineup, including everything from kids books to Gilbert Hernandez. More information on all titles available at the FCBD site.

Free Comic Book Day is May 5, 2012.

Gold Comic Books
• Archaia Entertainment: Mouse Guard, Labyrinth & Other Stories HC
• Archie Comics: Mega Man: Let The Games Begin
• Bongo Comics: Bongo Comics Free-For-All/SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies Flip Book
• BOOM! Studios:Peanuts/Adventure Time Flip Book
• Dark Horse Comics: Star Wars/Serenity Flip Book
• DC Comics: DC Comics-The New 52 #1
• IDW Publishing: Transformers #80.5
• Image Comics: Image Comics: 20 Anthology
• Marvel Comics:The Avengers #12.1
• Oni Press: Yo Gabba Gabba! Free Comic Book Time!

Silver Comic Books

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• Antarctic Press: Diary of a Zombie Kid

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• Arcana Studios:Arcana Presents: The Intrinsic #1

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• Archie Comics:Sonic The Hedgehog: Two Steps Back…Special Edition

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• Aspen MLT:Worlds of Aspen 2012

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• Boundless Comics:Lady Death: The Beginning

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• Bluewater Productions: Burt Ward, Boy Wonder #1

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• BOOM! Studios: Dune: Origins #1

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• Capstone: The Incredible Rockhead & Zinc Alloy 2-For-None

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• Caption Box:Muqtatafaht: A Middle East Comics Anthology

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• CBLDF:The Censored Howard Cruse

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• Dark Horse Comics:Buffy The Vampire Slayer/The Guild Flip Book

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• DC Comics:DC Nation Super Sampler/Superman Family Adventures Flip Book

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• Drawn & Quarterly:Marble Season Preview

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• Drawn & Quarterly:Moomin Color Special

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• Fantagraphics Books: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Family Comics

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• Fantagraphics Books: Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby Sampler

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• Gemstone Publishing: Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace 2012

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• Hermes Press: My Favorite Martian Special Edition

Image TopCow FCBD12_WITCHBLADE 2012.jpg

• Image Comics:Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces

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• Liquid Comics: FCDB 2012 Dinosaurs Versus Aliens

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• Liquid Comics: Graphic Elvis Preview

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• Marvel Comics:Spider-Man: Season One

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• Oni Press:Bad Medicine #1

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• Papercutz/NBM Publishing:The Smurfs/Disney Fairies Featuring Tinker Bell Flip Book

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• Radical Publishing:Under The Faerie Moon

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• Rebellion: 2000AD Judge Dredd Special

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• Red 5 Comics:Atomic Robo & Friends 2012

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• Th3rd World Studios: Finding Gossamyr & The Stuff of Legend IV

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• Top Shelf Comics: Top Shelf Kids Club 2012

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• 12-Gauge Comics: Anti #1 Preview

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• Valiant Entertainment:Valiant Comics 2012 Preview

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• VIZ Media:Voltron Force: Shelter from the Storm

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• Yen Press: The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel

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• Zenescope Entertainment: Jurassic Strikeforce 5 Preview

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• Zenescope Entertainment: Animal Planet Presents: The World Most Dangerous Animals 2012

Additional Promotional Items

• HeroClix:Marvel Avengers Thor Figure
• FCBD: FCBD 2012 Commemorative Artist T-Shirt: Jim Lee (Blue, White, Black)
• FCBD: FCBD 2012 Generic Logo T-Shirt

Image announces Riley Rossmo and Alex Link's REBEL BLOOD zombie tale

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Via PR, news of that new four-issue zombie mini Image has been teasing — the series will be previewed in both HAUNT and SPAWN:

“Save yourself. Stay in the woods. Pray it hasn’t reached the wolves… and keep your gun loaded.” All he knows about what has happened to the world as he knew it has been left in an ominous message. And it’s clear that everything has… changed.

Image Comics and Shadowline are pleased to announce REBEL BLOOD, a new four-part miniseries coming in March with art and concept by Riley Rossmo (GREEN WAKE, COWBOY NINJA VIKING, PROOF) and script by newcomer Alex Link. This gruesome new 21st century zombie outbreak story pays tribute to horror comics’ post-war heyday of titles such as The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear, and Tales From the Crypt, while presenting a concept to rival the best of The Twilight Zone!

“I sketch and paint all the time while I’m working on different projects,” explained Rossmo. “The concept for REBEL BLOOD is something that just began as some sketches, but quickly took on a life of it’s own, to mutate. REBEL BLOOD is what happens when I just run wild with a concept and let it happen.”

“I’m really excited about this project,” said Shadowline Publisher, Jim Valentino. “I’m not a big zombie fan, but this one got me because it was so different than all the others out there. And, I swear, the ending knocked me off my chair. I think it will surprise everyone.”

REBEL BLOOD #1 introduces Forest Ranger Chuck Neville, who, after a strange, unexpected silence, receives a final radio message that a plague is sweeping the country. He learns that the disease has turned every living creature into zombies, all at once rendering the entire animal kingdom unpredictable, violent, and willing to tear apart their neighbors with their bare teeth. 

He races home to rescue his family, coming face-to-face with unbelievable horrors along his way and fighting to stay alive. However, when he reaches home, he may find the most horrible part of it all waiting for him…

REBEL BLOOD #1, a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $3.50, will be on sale in stores on March 28 and available for order in the January issue of Previews. A preview of REBEL BLOOD #1 will be featured in the back of both HAUNT #20 (AUG110523), a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $2.99 that goes on sale December 28, 2011, and SPAWN #215 (NOV110468), a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $2.99 that goes on sale January 11,

2012.

Diamond: DC beats Marvel by smaller margin in November

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Diamond has just released their November chart toppers, and DC led again by by a considerably smaller margin than the ass-whoopin’ they gave Marvel in October. DC led by 2 points in units and a mere single digit in dollars. JUSTICE LEAGUE, BATMAN, and ACTION led the periodicals, while Marvel had three books in the top 10. BATMAN: NOEL, a clever and much needed “Batman does Christmas Carol,” led the GNs.

Sales overall are up for 2011, mostly thanks to a big boost from periodicals. GNs are down 10% year to year; however, they were up 30% in November, due to, perhaps, a more attractive product mix.

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Wonder Woman and Aquaman enter the fray as Earth’s heroes join forces against the Parademons in Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League #3 from DC Comics, November’s best-selling comic according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.

DC Entertainment led the market again in November, taking 34.69% of the month’s retail dollars and 39.66% of units sold. Marvel Comics showed a strong second place for the month, with 33.30% of retail dollars and 37.94% of units.

November’s sales as a whole improved over October’s by 4.33% with a strong increase of nearly 30% in the graphic novel segment. November’s sales in the print categories were up by double digits over the previous November’s, and the year-to-date sales are up nearly 2% over 2010.

A classic tale, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, is given a new twist in Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Noel hardcover graphic novel from DC Comics, which was November’s best-selling graphic novel.

Blizzard’s World of WarCraft is the most-played massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the world, and DC Direct released new dynamic figures based on the game in November with the World of WarCraft Premium Series 4 Figures, the month’s best-selling Toys product to specialty retailers.

Risk, one of the best-selling board games of all-time, was given a persistent gameplay makeover for Hasbro’s Risk Legacy, giving the publisher the best-selling Game to specialty retailers in November.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
PUBLISHER
DOLLAR
SHARE
UNIT
SHARE
DC COMICS
34.69%
39.66%
MARVEL COMICS
33.30%
37.84%
IMAGE COMICS
5.36%
4.60%
IDW PUBLISHING
5.28%
3.65%
DARK HORSE COMICS
4.56%
3.47%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
3.48%
3.20%
BOOM! STUDIOS
1.64%
1.55%
VIZ MEDIA
1.05%
0.39%
AVATAR PRESS
0.97%
0.55%
RANDOM HOUSE
0.96%
0.27%
OTHER NON-TOP 10
8.70%
4.81%
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
 
DOLLARS
UNITS
NOVEMBER 2011 VS. OCTOBER 2011
   
COMICS
-4.57%
-7.00%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
29.67%
30.06%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
4.33%
-4.98%
NOVEMBER 2011 VS. NOVEMBER 2010
   
COMICS
23.10%
31.19%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
12.43%
-0.69%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
19.44%
28.12%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2011 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2010
   
COMICS
4.06%
7.01%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
-2.56%
-10.27%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
1.87%
5.47%
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1
JUSTICE LEAGUE #3
$3.99
SEP110095 DC
2
BATMAN #3
$2.99
SEP110120 DC
3
ACTION COMICS #3
$3.99
SEP110114 DC
4
GREEN LANTERN #3
$2.99
SEP110137 DC
5
POINT ONE
$5.99
SEP110496 MAR
6
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1
$3.99
SEP110536 MAR
7
UNCANNY X-MEN #1
$3.99
SEP110591 MAR
8
DETECTIVE COMICS #3 [*]
$2.99
SEP110124 DC
9
FLASH #3
$2.99
SEP110102 DC
10
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #2
$3.99
SEP110589 MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1
BATMAN: NOEL DELUXE EDITION HC
$22.99
JUL110245 DC
2
HELLBOY: HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD HC
$14.99
JUN118156 DAR
3
THE BOYS VOLUME 9: BIG RIDE TP
$24.99
SEP110972 DE
4
THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 1: DAYS GONE BYE
$9.99
JUL068351 IMA
5
BATMAN AND ROBIN VOL. 2: BATMAN VS ROBIN TP
$17.99
AUG110241 DC
6
SCALPED VOLUME 8: YOU GOTTA SIN TO GET SAVED TP (MR)
$17.99
AUG110288 DC
7
GREEN LANTERN: WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS HC
$29.99
JUL110252 DC
8
SAILOR MOON VOLUME 2 TP
$10.99
SEP111140 RAN
9
B.P.R.D.: BEING HUMAN TP
$17.99
AUG110037 DAR
10
JOE THE BARBARIAN DELUXE EDITION HC (MR)
$29.99
MAY110294 DC

TOP 10 TOYS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1
WORLDS OF WARCRAFT PREMIUM SERIES 4 FIGURES NOV100306 DC
2
GREEN LANTERN SERIES 4 FIGURES APR110271 DC
3
BLACKEST NIGHT ACTION FIGURE BOX SET APR110270 DC
4
MARVEL SELECT: INCREDIBLE HULK FIGURE DEC074356 DST
5
SPIDER-MAN & FIREFIGHTER NYCC 2011 MINIMATE 2-PACK MAY118250 DST
6
MARVEL SELECT: SPIDER-MAN FIGURE JUL091428 DST
7
MARVEL SELECT: BLACK WIDOW FIGURE AUG108034 DST
8
X-MEN DANGER ROOM SESSIONS: GAMBIT FINE ART STATUE MAY111836 KOT
9
DC HEROES WAVE 19 ACTION FIGURES MAR118284 MAT
10
SPIDER-WOMAN STATUE MAR111818 BOW

TOP 10 GAMES
RANK
DESCRIPTION
ITEM CODE
VENDOR
1
RISK LEGACY JUN118204 KEN
2
MARVEL HEROCLIX: INCREDIBLE HULK EXPANSION OCT112062 NEC
3
THE WALKING DEAD TV BOARD GAME JUL112137 CRY
4
DOCTOR WHO FAMILY BOARD GAME OCT101792 DIA
5
DOCTOR WHO ACTION BOARD GAME OCT101791 DIA
6
MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: INNISTRAD BOOSTER PACKS AUG112115 WIZ
7
DC HEROCLIX: SUPERMAN: BATTLE FOR SMALLVILLE FAST FORCES JUL118255 NEC
8
TOP GEAR BOARD GAME AUG118197 DIA
9
MUNCHKIN: AXE COP JUL112169 PSI
10
YU-GI-OH! TCG: PHOTON SHOCKWAVE BOOSTER PACKS JUL118061 KON

How does Diamond calculate the charts? It all starts at the comic book shop.

Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which include the monthly market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from a universe of over 3,500 comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world. The account base includes brick-and-mortar comic book specialty shops, Internet merchants, and other specialty stores.

Unit and dollars sales are calculated based upon orders invoiced and shipped to Diamond accounts during any given month, which comprises initial pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable.

Please note that comics marked with an asterisk have had their reported quantities reduced due to retailer returnability, and thus may rank lower on the charts than their actual sales would reflect.

The New Deadwardians: Vertigo Introduces Class Warfare Into the Vampires Vs. Zombie Equation

By Todd Allen

Vertigo has announced a new mini-series, The New Deadwardians.  I have to admit, I chuckled when I read the description:

Set in post-Victorian England, nearly everyone in the upper class has voluntarily become a vampire to escape the lower classes who are all zombies.

Thrust into this mayhem is Chief Inspector George Suttle, a lonely detective who’s got the slowest beat in London: investigating murders in a world where everyone is already dead!

But when the body of a young aristocrat washes up on the banks of the Thames, Suttle’s quest for the truth will take him from the darkest sewers to the gleaming halls of power, and reveal the rotten heart at the center of this strange world.

The first thing that popped into my mind when I read that was Hugh Laurie’s upper class spymaster from the first season of Spooks/MI-5 growing a pair of fangs.  And then I chuckled again.  The metaphor might not be a bad one for the British class system.

The writer on this is Dan Abnett, who’s doing Resurrection Man with co-writer Andy Lanning over on the other side of DC.  Abnett’s done a lot of work over the years including several 2000 A.D. features, a large portion of Marvel’s cosmic/Annihilation line and the late, lamented Knights of Pendragon.  He’s also written a fair number of novels.

The artist is INJ Culbard who’s been working on some of those literary adaption graphic novels you may have seen at the bookstore: Lovecraft, Sherlock Holmes and Dorian Gray.

8 issues starting in March.

21 Days of Christmas: Diana Tamblyn

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Have a Silver Surfin’ Christmas with Diana Tamblyn’s Marvel holiday cards.

Don’t forget to send us your links!