Disney XD rolls out Marvel Universe programming block in April

From the moment Disney purchased Marvel, people were drawing a line between their Disney XD channel — an attempt to lure more of the lucrative audience of young boys — and the Marvel characters. Marvel animation has been running non-stop on the cable channel ever since, but in April, the Marvel Universe programming block will roll out with the new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon as the tentpole. Produced by Man of Action — Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven Seagle—the creators behind Ben 10 and Generator Rex, with input from Jeph Loeb,joe Quesada and Brian Michael Bendis, the show does not lack for comic book bonafides.

Plus, it’s got JK Simmons reprising his lifetime role as J. Jonah Jameson. Soundboard that.

Batman Back-Up Feature and Cross-Over Event Announced

Before we get into the Bat-office’s announcements, it has come to my attention that Detective Comics #1 has made the December Top 300 List for Diamond. When #4 is coming out, #1 is still charting? With an index of 3.01, that means Detective #1 sold about 3% of Batman #4. Figure Batman #4 is selling roughly 140-150K, then Detective #1 probably had ~4200-4500 copies order THREE MONTHS after it debuted, if my rough math holds up. I know Animal Man is the fashionable pick for surprise title, but it seems like a lot of people are jumping on the Detective band wagon after the fact. Tony Daniel seems to have hit a nerve.

Spidey and Gwen Stacy are dating in real life???

Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have been spotted canoodling as they shopped around NYC. The pair play Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in this year’s THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

While cast romance is manufactured or encouraged by press agents, some thespians can’t help falling in love — or lust — with their co-stars. Or sometimes two cute kids just can’t resist going steady. Somewhere, Jim Carrey is crying.

INTERVIEW: Kris Longo joins the Bonfire Agency

It’s been abut a year since we covered the launch of The Bonfire Agency, an ad agency devoted to respectful and appropriate branding to the geek market, as well as market research and consulting on industry mainstays including the CBLDF and New York Comic Con. In talking to founders Steve Rotterdam and Ed Catto a year ago it was evident that they not only had advertising matters on their mind, but also blank spots in the industry, such as getting more demographic information and helping publishers monetize via an ad network.

As 2012 dawns, Bonfire has just made a new hire, Kris Longo who joins the firm as Vice-President, Advertising Sales & Business Development following a stint at DC Comics as Manager of Advertising and Custom Publishing. At Bonfire Longo will be majorly involved with ComicsUnited, an ad network for non Big-Two comics publishers that will sell ads across books from a number of publishers.

Nice art: Jaime Hernandez's Return of the Ti-girls

Over at FLOG, they have released the back cover for Jaime Hernandez’s God & Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, a collection of the story from the first two issues of LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES VOLS. 1 AND 2.

While Jaime’s story from volumes 3 and 4 “The Love Bunglers” has rightfully been held up as one of the greatest comics of all times, for a lighter course, this might be a suitable choice. We can’t help but think that all of the people calling for great superhero stories featuring women will find Ti-Girls a masterpiece, as well, an entire superhero universe made up of nothing but superheroines of various shapes and sizes.

Cartoonists: professional belt tighteners

Comics are a business that is relatively insulated from the ups and downs of the economy: things are ALWAYS marginal. While there’s no doubt but that the global recession has impacted the comics industry — especially with customers dealing with price increases — quite frankly, there wasn’t a lot to cut back. There’s a good living to be made in comics, and many people do, but no one is buying a yacht — or not very many anyway. And maybe comics are a survival industry because it seems like everyone is just one or two issues away from square one.