Study Group 12 goes digital

The acclaimed Portland-based Study Group 12 anthology is starting up a web comic portal for several of their contributors, with regular series & one-shots included, in addition to regular blog posts like this one on Craig Thompson’s Habibi process.)

From their blog:

We’ll be uploading new comics every weekday at noon EST, with the occasional one-shot story mixed in by our wrecking crew:

MONDAY: Danger Country by Levon Jihanian
TUESDAY: The Mourning Star: Klive’s Story by Kazimir Strzepek
WEDNESDAY: The Yankee by Jason Leivian & Ian MacEwan
THURSDAY: The Lone Wolf by Jennifer Parks, and Titan by Francois Vigneault
FRIDAY: It Will All Hurt by Farel Dalrymple

Additionally, Michael Deforge will be contributing complete short stories every 6 weeks or so, Zack Soto’s Secret Voice starts on February 3rd, and there are to-be-announced contributions coming from Malachi Ward, Tom Neely, and more!

The site already has several short stories available for your reading pleasure, including Tom Neely’s thimble theatrical “Doppleganger” and Malachi Ward’s mindbending “Utu,” as well as SG Founding Father Zack Soto’s mystery “Day 34” and art-school confessional “Lost Art.”

Levon Jihanian’s Danger Country is up in color that transforms the pages from the sparse black & white printed versions. Check it out!

Sales Charts: Barnes & Noble Graphic Novel Bestsellers

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When I worked on the front lines of retail, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was unofficially the end of our holiday sales period, which usually started the first weekend of November.  Of course, our clearance sale would continue on through the end of February, but this was the day we could finally relax and “get back to normal”.  (As well as take vacations, which usually were frozen during the Holiday shopping season.

So, here’s a snapshot of what’s selling over on Barnesandnoble.com .  For simplicity’s sake, I’m only listing those titles which chart above #1000 for all books on BN.com .  This is a snapshot taken at 3 PM today.  This is the order they were displayed, so rankings might be a bit disorganized.  I have no understanding how their algorithms work, I’m just reporting what I saw.  The dates after the title are when that particular edition was published.  Titles and authors link to BN.com .

Sailor Moon, Volume 3#175

by Naoko Takeuchi

Volume #1 charts a bit lower, volume #2 is around #8,000.  The first six volumes are listed for pre-order.

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The Walking Dead Compendium, Volume 1# 209

by Robert Kirkman

The first of six Walking Dead titles here.

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The Adventures of Tintin Three-In-One Series #1#265

by Hergé

Volumes 1 and 2 chart here, the rest are selling nicely.  Of the seven 3-in-1 volumes, #5 charts the lowest, in the 25,000s.  The new mini-albums sales are intersperese with the regular albums.  I suspect that customers don’t know the size of each book.  Volume Zero of this series is not available here in the States.  Order if from the UK if you want to complete your set.  There is also a boxed set of all eight volumes available overseas. Or buy the deluxe editions published by Last Gasp.

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The Dark Knight Returns#408

by Frank Miller

A perennial title.  The first of five Batman titles.  Unknown if the Fire 100 has any effect on these sales, as Batman sells around the calendar.  Oh, and there’s a movie coming out soon, so some of these sales might be curiousity.

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Annotated Sandman Vol. 1#526

by Neil Gaiman

A $50 black-and-white hardcover.  I would suspect that DC will eventually publish a similar edition for Kingdom Come.

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Black Butler, Volume 8#586

by Yana Toboso

One of three manga titles on this list (the others are Sailor Moon).  Set in Victorian England.  Volume #1 charts around #22,000.  A New York Times bestselling series.

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Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: #664

by Walt Kelly

This shipped before the holidays, and I suspect these sales are from “year’s best” and word-of-mouth reviews.  The Union Square B&N had a full pocket, so it was well-merchandised in stores.

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V for Vendetta#701

by Alan Moore

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

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The Walking Dead, Book  Four#709

by Robert Kirkman

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Fables, Volume 16: Super Team#716

by Bill Willingham

The latest Fables collection, where the protagonists prepare for a dire battle with an evil nemesis.  I’m waiting for the action figures.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth: 15th Anniversary Edition#844

by Grant Morrison

Three more years, and DC can issue a 25th anniversary edition to tie-in with the “75 years of DC” celebration, and the creation of Batman.

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The Adventures of Tintin Three-In-One Series #2#730

by Hergé

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The Walking Dead, Book Three#685

by Robert Kirkman

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Batman: The Black Mirror#753

by Scott Snyder

“A NEW YORK TIMES #1 Bestseller and Amazon Best Book of 2011
Sure…  Out of all the titles DC published, including some amazing titles from Vertigo, and this gets picked?  Oh, okay, they did pick “Daytripper” as well.  But look at the other books listed.  Okay… maybe it is worthy.  I wait for the Eisner nominations to be posted.
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The Walking Dead, Volume 15: We Find Ourselves#844

by Robert Kirkman

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The Walking Dead, Book Two#811

by Robert Kirkman

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Fear Itself#888

by Matt Fraction

What’s this?  A Marvel superhero title charting?  Perhaps readers were “waiting for the trade”?  With the 45% discount, it works out to about $2.40 an issue ($4.40 without, making the book more expensive than the single issues).

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Sailor Moon, Volume 1#904

by Naoko Takeuchi

Volume 1, on sale since September.  Is there a media tie-in?

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The Walking Dead, Volume 2: Miles Behind Us#919

by Robert Kirkman

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Batman: Hush#979

by Jeph Loeb

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Batman: The Killing Joke#988

by Alan Moore

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Sherlock Holmes: A Comic Comparison

Sherlock Holmes by Toya Ataka, Vol. 1

Not your usual Holmes and Watson

The past year has seen an unusually large number of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, both in comics and on the screen, but not all Holmeses are created equal. Last night, British viewers got to see the last episode of Season 2 of the BBC’s wildly popular series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (we Americans will get it this spring), and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadowsstarring Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law is still doing well in theaters a month after it opened. So if you’re in a Holmesian mood and wondering what to read next, here’s run down on the Holmes adaptations which have come out or had new installments in the past year. Varying from inspiredly odd to unreadably awful, don’t go to the comic store without reading this first!

First, for the sake of context, let’s start with the live action adaptations.

Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson

Not Jam Watson, despite appearances.

Sherlock(BBC television series), created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat

Variation on the theme: The characters are transplanted to modern Britain. Holmes is still in his early 30’s and a bit emotionally immature, as well as possibly Aspergers. Watson is highly capable and dangerous, but obfuscates cuddly harmlessness. Sherlock and Mycroft have Mommy issues.

Holmes/Watson relationship: Very, very close and more equal than usual. Not only do they work cases together, they sit around their apartment joking and watching ridiculous television during down time. And apparently in the second season, John is officially Sherlock’s partner in the detecting business, providing publicity through his blog.

Typical case: What do these mysterious symbols terrorizing a young woman mean? Could it be an international crime ring?

Bad CSI villain to Napoleon of Crime Moriarty villain scale: 1 for performance, 7 for setup. In person, Moriarty is a brilliant but murderous lunatic who can’t keep his accent straight and just really, really wants to destroy Sherlock Holmes.

Human robot to wacky bohemian scale of Holmes emoting: 6. Sherlock rarely expresses emotions beyond anger, boredom or excitement over a case – these, however, are done with an eccentric dramatic flair. He does let down his guard around John when they’re goofing around together.

Christmas goose to exploding parliament scale of outrageous: 5, About on par with Doyle’s work, except for a certain crime lord going to ridiculous lengths to destroy Sherlock.

Verdict: If you’re okay with a slightly gorier modern sensibility and you’re not looking for costume drama, watch this!

Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

Sherlock Holmes with copious explosions

Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, directed by Guy Ritchie.

Variation on the theme: Sherlock Holmes is an enormous ham, a complete brat, usually on drugs and an emotional mess, practically chewing on the scenery with his histrionic emoting. He’s also extremely charming and genuinely socially capable when he feels like it. This is the kind of Sherlock Holmes who gets into bareknuckle boxing matches and bad drag pretty much for the hell of it. Watson is rakish, capable and dangerous and he makes absolutely no secret of it.

Holmes/Watson relationship: Holmes and Watson are friends, but are having relationship problems. Holmes is wildly emotionally dependant on Watson and is coping very badly with Watson’s new marriage. Watson is getting a bit tired of Holmes’s brattiness and is happy to move out and marry Mary, though he still cares about Holmes and enjoys their cases together. The word partner does not come up – they are Holmes’s cases, Watson is just an extremely useful and beloved friend who helps out.

Typical case: Someone evil wants to Take Over Britain! Scooby doo plot ensues.

Bad CSI villain to Napoleon of Crime Moriarty villain scale: 9, Moriarty and Lord Blackwood are both genuinely terrifying and capable of outsmarting Sherlock on several occasions.

Human robot to wacky bohemian scale of Holmes emoting: 10, Wacky Bohemian. Prone to extravagant (if deeply weird) displays of emotion.

Christmas goose to exploding parliament scale of outrageous: 10, a villain wants to blow up Parliament and declare himself the Witch King of Britain. Wait what?

Verdict: A humorous take on Holmes, heavy on explosions and Holmes/Watson banter. The least heartbreaking Reichenbach Falls story ever. If you want Wacky Bohemian Holmes with bonus cross-dressing, this is the Holmes for you.

And now for the comics:

Simon Archard and his Watson, Emma Bishop

Do not tell me this man is not Sherlock Holmes

Ruse: The Victorian Guide to Murder by Mark Waid and Mirco Pierfederici, published by Marvel

Variation on the theme: “Holmes” is named Simon Archard, and is more rich and famous for his successes than in Conan Doyle, but otherwise he’s Holmes. “Watson” is a woman named Emma Bishop.

Holmes/Watson relationship: Emma Bishop considers herself Archard’s partner, although she does recieve a paycheck, and she’s not shy about giving him a piece of her mind when he gets a little too outrageous, or keeps her out of the loop. Archard frequently reminds her that he could hire someone else for her job. But he also trusts Emma implicitly to drive a runaway carriage, win in a fist fight he drops her into and keep up with his spur of the moment schemes and improvisations, and eventually he refers to her as his partner.

Typical case: Lightbourne (apparently a combo of Moriarty and Charles Augustus Milverton) has set out to blackmail pretty much the entire upper class, including the heir to the throne, in order to secretly control the WORLD! Or possibly just win India in a bet.

Human robot to wacky bohemian scale of Holmes emoting: 4. Cranky banter and shouting at villains.

Christmas goose to exploding parliament scale of outrageous: 9. Betting India

Verdict: Good solid fun and worth a read. The original incarnation of this comic, which came out from Crossgen, is even better, if slightly weirder. Emma has secret magical powers in it. The most truly Holmesian of all the Holmes comics listed, even if Holmes is called Simon Archard.

Toya Ataka's Holmes and Watson

The one with the eyepatch is Watson and the puppy is Holmes, yes.

Sherlock Holmes (manga)by Toya Ataka, available onJmanga.com

Variation on theme: Holmes is has magical powers that assist his detection. Also, he’s naive, adorable and about 14. Watson is an adult with an eyepatch and is slyly world weary.

Holmes/Watson relationship: Watson is Holmes’s amused but caring mentor figure, young Sherlock looks up to him.

Typical case: Someone murdered an operatic soprano using magic while she was onstage in the middle of an opera.

Human robot to wacky bohemian scale of Holmes emoting: 8. Cheerful but eerie child.

Christmas goose to exploding parliament scale of outrageous: 7. Small scale murder, but using magic.

Verdict: An amusing but deeply odd read. 

Victorian Undead Holmes and Watson

Let me guess, you like jam?

Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes vs. Draculaby Ian Edginton and Davide Fabbri, published by DC Comics

Variation on the theme: Sherlock Holmes fights the undead, as well as solving crimes. Watson appears to be a fat old buffer, twenty to thirty years older than Holmes, and not terribly bright.

Holmes/Watson relationship: Holmes and Watson seem fond of each other, but Watson’s contribution to casework consists of occasionally saying things like “By Jove!” Aside from minor medical skill, he resembles Kate Beaton‘s Jam Watson.

Typical case: Dracula will give Britain bubonic plague if he is not allowed to take over the nation.

Bad CSI villain to Napoleon of Crime Moriarty villain scale: N/A

Human robot to wacky bohemian scale of Holmes emoting: 3, Very restrained, but recognizably human Holmes.

Christmas goose to exploding parliament scale of outrageous: 9, Dracula wants to take over Britain!

Verdict: Not awful, but not worth buying.

Sherlock Holmes Year One Watson

I was not making the stalker thing up.

Sherlock Holmes: Year Oneby Scott Beatty and Daniel Indro, published by Dynamite Entertainment

Variation on theme: Sherlock Holmes and Watson are younger and meet in an entirely different way. Holmes has all the personality of a rock. Watson apparently was a cavalry soldier in Afghanistan, instead of a military doctor, and does anachronistic CSI work for the police. No actual detecting gets done, but there are fights. Many, many fights.

Holmes/Watson relationship: Watson meets Holmes by chance, is impressed by his detective skills and… decides to stalk him. Holmes is uninterested in Watson

Typical case: A serial killer is basing his crimes on the Emperors of Rome.

Bad CSI villain to Napoleon of Crime Moriarty villain scale: 2, Math professor with a stupid, nonsensical plan to take over England.

Human robot to wacky bohemian scale of Holmes emoting: 7, Shouty Holmes hits people he gets in arguments with.

Christmas goose to exploding parliament scale of outrageous: 8, a mansion is staffed entirely by criminals.

Verdict: Run, do not walk, in the opposite direction.  Almost as awful as the Syfy original movie in which Sherlock’s real name is inexplicably Robert.

New Watson likes jam. We're very happy.

The dangers of media adaptation.

Announcing the Comics Industry People of the Year: Kate Beaton and Dan DiDio/Jim Lee

Last year the Beat inaugurated the Person of the Year award. In an industry where changing the status quo isn’t always greeted with joy, this is our way of recognizing the people who either move the needle and shake things up or exemplify a level of excellence that others can aspire to.

To get some idea of who the industry is looking to for leadership, we asked participants in our Year-End Survey to name a person of the year. Respondents were promised anonymity in their comments, but some chose to be quoted.

Last year, Robert Kirkman was an easy winner – the runaway success of The Walking Dead and his business acumen in both remaining the public face of the show, and putting his profits into things like his own Skybound Image imprint were hard to miss.

This year, votes were much more across the board. One person clearly got the most votes as a single person. However, an executive team had more votes overall when votes for both people were added up. So, we used our executive power to declare both a Person of the Year and a Team of the Year. So who moved the comics industry in 2011 and will continue to be heard in 2012? Read on.

Person of the Year – Kate Beaton

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Webcartoonist, author, historian, performance artist—2011 was Kate Beaton’s oyster. With the publication of her collected comics in HARK! A VAGRANT! from D&Q (just last week named Book of the Year by PW’s critics, and included on Time’s Books of the Year list), Beaton’s popularity grew from its already impressive dimensions. She also launched a monthly comics/comedy cabaret with Michael Kupperman, and continued to be one of the smartest, savviest creators out there. One of our sharpest memories of 2011 was watching two readers sitting giggling for half an hour as they read their just-signed copy of HARK! A VAGRANT!.

In choosing Beaton, respondents were clearly impressed by her overall talent, and ability to retain her loyal audience:

— Web-comics superstar turned print bestseller. Funny, smart, young…the future.

— DC is the big story, but that’s more of a team effort. As removed as I was from comics this year, it seemed like the dominant persona was Kate Beaton. She was everywhere, and everything she did was awesome. She’s the one creator in comics who has truly universal appeal. Everyone knows her. Everyone loves her. And for good reason.

— KATE BEATONS!!!!! ALL THE KATE BEATONS!!… sorry, the all caps got me excited there.

— Kate Beaton pretty much took over the world, and she did so with grace and candor.

Reached for comment on her win, Beaton sent this statement:

“It’s been a really big year for me with the book coming out, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the tremendous support I’ve been given. Thank you so much.”

Team Of The Year: DC Entertainment Co-publishers Dan DiDio And Jim Lee

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The acknowledgement of the huge impact DC’s co-publishers had on the comics industry this year can be filed under least surprising things ever. With the renumbering, relaunching and reimagining of the DC superhero universe as The New 52, DC dominated headlines and sales charts from June on, reversing Marvel’s long-time dominance in the direct sales market and boosting sales levels to levels long gone. While some respondents had mixed feelings about The New 52, all recognized the huge amount of hard work and daring it took to shake things up:

— Dan Didio. Whether you like him or loathe him, he made a commitment, stood by it and put his entire career behind it. The DCU’s change will be talked about for years. As one of the architects, and as the one constantly hammered for these things, I’m giving it to him.

— Dan Didio. I have no way of knowing whether what he did with the DC New 52 has any real staying power, but he and his team managed to blow a lot of the dust off the DC comics line and there are now some very good comics on the racks under that banner. I now buy twice as many DC monthlies than I used to. To get someone as jaded as me interested again is something of an achievement in itself. Yes it’s all a bit more conservative than I would have liked and the whole enterprise does seem a little unstable, but Didio put his neck on the line to do this and I think it has paid off.

— While I am not sure the new 52 is good for comics it is definitely one of the biggest things to happen and Didio is the man behind it.

— Dan DiDio. Dude held onto a seat that everyone thought he’d lose, and then oversaw a siege on Marvel’s market dominance without much to support it beyond press releases, frightened editors, and a neverending supply of desperate freelancer cannon fodder.

— Jim Lee. I worked for Jim in the early days of WildStorm and was always impressed by the way he could come up with ways to get readers excited about comics. DC’s relaunch this year was the boldest thing I’ve ever seen a publisher do. It sold lots more books for DC and got fans excited again about comics. IDW saw increased sales (pre-orders and re-orders) across the board at the end of 2011 and there’s no question that was a direct result of the DC relaunch. – Ted Adams

— Dan Didio & Jim Lee. The DC relaunch, though I think flawed in many ways execution-wise, was at least the kind of big thinking that comics should strive for.

— Jim Lee for not only co-publishing The New 52 while balancing a hundred other responsibilities for DC, including making his art deadlines— and he and his wife Carla added a new kid to the Lee team with the late December birth of their daughter River Charlotte!

Reached for comment, DiDio and Lee released the following statement:

“In 2011, we took a major risk because we felt that’s what the industry needed. It’s been so rewarding to see the response ­ both from the fans and from the industry pundits. Given Comic Beat¹s longtime standing in the industry, we’re honored by this recognition. But the story’s not over, and we’ve got another big year ahead of us.”

The rest of the DC team was also mentioned several times:

— Geoff Johns, who seems to keep finding new ways to make DC more successful, along with lots of help, of course.

— If I could, this is an award I’d give to the entire DC management team, since The New 52 revitalized mainstream comics (at least for the 4th quarter!) The One-Time Only Stunt of audaciously re-starting their entire line of comics, while fielding nothing but flack for the six months running up to the launch is something that gets at least a hearty pat on the back and “Keep it going!” for everyone on the DC team.

— Diane Nelson. She actually is engaging with the audience that exists and broadening to markets poorly supported in the past. The “DC Nation” push is what Marvel wishes “Marvel Zombies” were like nowadays.

Person Of The Year Honorable Mention: Dylan Williams

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Running a very strong third in the voting, if the winner had been chosen on sheer emotion, the late Sparkplug publisher Dylan Williams would have won. He succumbed to cancer in September — just as the part of the comics industry he loved so much were gathered at SPX— and the outpouring of emotion hasn’t stopped since. It’s very clear from the heartfelt tributes that poured in that although Williams’ loss is painful, he left a legacy of love for the comics medium that will keep inspiring people for years to come:

— Hands down– Dylan Williams. His passing was unbelievably sad, but I think in certain ways it galvanized a certain…feeling among many of the artists I know, in a very positive way. There’s never going to be anyone like him again; hot shit writers/ artists/ publishers come and go, but some people make an impression much deeper than whatever’s going on at the moment. Dylan was like that, as a publisher and a human being. His impact will be felt (probably in very invisible, quiet ways) for…I don’t know– forever. It certainly will for me.

— Dylan Williams is the Person of the Year for 2011. There aren’t many people in the history of comics who are as important as Dylan to the development of the medium. Dylan’s no martyr, and losing him was brutal, but it really did get everyone mobilized on our side of the comics divide.

— Dylan Williams, who will be missed, but whose presence will continue to cause ripples through alternative comics in ways most of us won’t ever even realize.

The people who carried on Sparkplug after Williams’s death were also noted:

— For me it’s definitely Virginia Paine. She did all of the heavy lifting of keeping Sparkplug going when we were all emotional wrecks and dealing with too much this year.  I don’t know how she did it. She’s amazing. I’m so glad to have her as a partner and friend as we move towards the future of Sparkplug with Emily Nilsson.  Also – Virginia’s comics and zines are very quiet and beautiful just like her. Check out her personal work. — Tom Neely

Other Notables

The Digital Crew

Steinberger

After these three clear frontrunners, several industry figures still had widespread support. The digital side of things were recognized with a slew of votes for comiXology, David Steinberger and John D. Roberts:

— David Steinberger. Like Steve Geppi, but in a growing company. He’s established very strong position in the place everybody wants to be.

–David Steinberger and the rest of the comiXology team. It was a great year for digital, but a STUPENDOUS year for comiXology. They changed the game for good.

— This year ComiXology seemed to finally win the way in terms of mainstream comics “iTunes.” Their aggressive development of applications for a variety of platforms and their nearly all-encompassing list of affiliated publishers have made them a major player in the North American comics industry.

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The late Steve Jobs was also mentioned several times for the way the iPad has revolutionized the way we read comics:

— Steve Jobs.   He affected everything we do and will continue to have an impact on the way we see digital comics for a long time.

— Steve Jobs. Comics continued to expand in digital form on the iPad, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Jobs.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was noted for his role in the tablet wars and publishing in general:

— Love him or hate him, the decisions he makes at Amazon (Kindle Fire, Price Check, heavy discounting, buying Book Depository, starting a publishing company…etc.) have far reaching consequences for everyone in the comic publishing business and needs to be reckoned with.

— Jeff Bezos. While everyone was questioning the future of bricks and mortar vs. digital for the distribution of comics, he swooped in with the Kindle Fire and cut a deal with DC Comics that made Amazon a potentially huge player in the world of comics, not just for the big two but for self-publishers.

The Women

2011 was the year gender issues really fired up the world of comics, whether with enthusiasm – as with the Womanthology book – or with angry blog postings. Accordingly, a few of the players in this arena got strong support.
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Renae DeLiz

, who put together the huge Womanthology anthology and set a comics fundraising record on Kickstarter in the process.

— Renae DeLiz. I honestly think that her “little” idea with Womanthology, that went on to be such a huge Kickstarter success, has opened up some incredibly important dialog and is in fact making actual changes in the industry for the long haul.

— She took a germ of an idea from casual chit-chat on Twitter and ran with it, striking a nerve and awakening a dormant beast from a dissatisfied slumber, giving amateur and pro-women creators alike a chance to bring their voices together.  The success of the Womanthology Kickstarter campaign gave very real, tangible proof of support for women in comics, and interest in women’s voices and perspectives– not to mention the diversity of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender expression!  Such diversity as I believe is the key to the survival of the comics industry, and it was thanks to Renae De Liz that we got to see how much possibility lay down that path. — Alexa Dickman

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Kyrax2

This fan who stood up at every New 52 panel at San Diego and stood her ground until her questions were answered was met with first anger and then, due to her resilience, actually prompted the first acknowledgement by management that an issue even existed, and got several votes.

— Kyrax2, who – in her Batgirl costume – confronted Dan Didio at the San Diego Comic-Con International and asked the questions some of us who are female superhero comics fans have at least thought about for decades.  The furor has died down considerably, but she made me think long and hard about why I like superhero comics, and what factors are causing problems for me and tainting my enjoyment.  I’m in a distinct minority here, but she did have an impact on some of us, for good or ill.

— Kyrax2. Agree or disagree with her methods, she brought the entire industry and the mainstream media’s attention to an issue that has too often been dismissed. (Suzette Chan)

The Contenders

Three other industry figures who received passionate support that should be noted:
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Annie Koyama – this Canadian publisher would probably win any popularity contest you chose to run. The books she publishes are impeccable and her resilient, upbeat personality has made her one of the most loved figures in comics.

— We should be grateful to Annie Koyama, publisher of Koyama Press, who is behind some of the best new comics around and seems to really care about her cartoonists’ visions. She’s clearly enthusiastic and supportive without being blind to top level quality.

— Annie Koyama! She’s smart, generous, canny, and has the best taste in the industry. I don’t know whether to hug her or swear fealty to her.

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Richard Thompson, another universally loved figure who this year turned in stellar work on his comic strip Cul de Sac while battling the effects of Parkinson’s Disease and topped it off by winning the Reuben Award.

— Between turning in another amazing year of his strip Cul de Sac, winning the Reuben Award, inspiring the ultra-elusive Bill Watterson to paint a portrait of his character Petey, and being very polite when I puked all over his favorite Mexican restaurant (I should not have gotten out of bed that morning), Richard Thompson deserves recognition for a hell of a year.

Finally, last year’s winner, Robert Kirkman, continues to impress many.

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–Robert Kirkman is still winner and champion

— Robert Kirkman gets the tap again this year for the insane success of “Walking Dead,” dominating cable television, killing on the trade paperback sales charts, and selling briskly in digital form. He’s worked insanely hard, continues to think out of the box, and is living the dream.

Individual creators:

Kevin Eastman.

— People like the 3-headed monster at DC garnered more headlines (and rightfully so, their launch was hugely successful and impressive), but Kevin made an unexpected and enthusiastic return to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and spent endless hours not only working on the new series, working on the deluxe reprints, but just getting back out in everyone’s minds again and meeting the fans. This included his impressive art installation and gallery show (and wall mural) at Meltdown Comics in LA, all the while still running Heavy Metal magazine, developing properties for film, and working on new comic projects besides.

Dean Haspiel
–Dean has long been one of the crossover indie/mainstream mainstays. Having honed his chops assisting Simonson on Thor, Chaykin on American Flagg, and Sienkiewiscz on Elektra Assassin.  In 2006 he founded ACT-I-VATE.com and has been a fierce nurturer of up-and-coming talent and of putting your work online for folks to see. In 2011 he fired on all cylinders.

Scott Snyder

— Ah, that’s an obvious one, yes. SCOTT SNYDER. From a GREAT but low-key book like Iron Man: Noir to American Vampire, and BOOM! Swamp Thing AND Batman, to be universally considered one of the best, if not the best, new writers in the industry. Some people would say “scratch that NEW and leave it on BEST WRITER” and they would probably be right about that. — David Macho

Chester Brown
– Chester Brown is the person of the year.  Whether you liked the book or not, Chester Brown may be the one person in comics who truly has the courage of his convictions.  For two decades, he has consistently reinvented the medium without a shred of pretension or irony.  He is ONLY a cartoonist, he is not an illustrator, editor, writer or designer.  His commitment to the medium; belief in what the medium can do;  insistence to not rest on his laurels; his ability to be political without being patronizing or knee-jerk; is what separates him from other 80s-90s peers such as Frank Miller and Grant Morrison.  In a medium that prides itself on iconoclasm, Chester Brown is our one true iconoclast.

Shaenon K. Garrity
— She not only continued her great and underappreciated daily comic Skin Horse, but reprinted Narbonic, which wrapped more than five years ago, and earned nearly $30K to publish it through Kickstarter.  Not as much money as Womanthology took in, sure, but she’s got 100-something fewer creators working on her book.  I don’t know if it was the most under-reported story of the year, but it’s probably in the top ten.

Alan Moore
— What other comic creator had a hand in shaping the face of the Occupy Movement. And he didn’t get all uppity or egotist about it. (Take note, Frank Miller.)

Susie Cagle
— She’s making journalistic and editorial cartooning relevant again simply by showing up where important things are happening.

Mike Mignola.
— His return to art duties on Hellboy is something a lot of people have really be longing for.

Jeff Lemire
— It’s a tough choice this year, Geoff Johns had another good year; Scott Snyder was kicking major butt; but I’ll pick Jeff Lemire. Animal Man is one of the best books in the 52 line, Superboy is a solid book, Sweet Tooth continues to surprise, and his Essex County Trilogy became a sensation in Canada when it was featured on Canada Reads. – Mark Askwith

Jerzy Drozd.
No one is working harder to spread the gospel of comics 24 hours a day than Jerzy Drozd. He’s the co-organizer of the annual Kids Read Comics festival, host of the weekly Comics Are Great video podcast, curated Chelsea, Michigan’s first ever fine art gallery exhibit of comic pages, is a sequential art teacher, co-founder of Lean Into Art digital comics classes, and a tireless cheerleader for all the comics artists he comes into contact with. Jerzy traveled to over 20 libraries giving free comics workshops in 2011 alone, and enthusiastically shared his love of comics advocacy at the Ignite Ann Arbor and Ignite Great Lakes presentation series. He also managed to find time to produce several great mini-comics like Boulder and Fleet: Adventurers for Hire! And it sounds like he already has more lined up for next year!

Brandon Graham for making us all excited about comics.

Dan Vado
— How he’s been able to keep SLG running for 25 years — at times seemingly by sheer force of will and often despite his own doubts — is pretty amazing.  It’s a sad reality that more often then not it’s never the guys who do something first who succeed, but it’s the guys who build on that foundation who break through to wider success. In this case it’s nice to see one of the indie originals, whose seen the highs and lows, still pushing the envelope.

Box Brown for revitalizing “the floppy” with his Retrofit Comics.

Kevin Feige and the team at Marvel Studios.
— Betting all your chips on putting Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers all in line and playing off each other in continuity, and then delivering big box office success is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. It was a huge risk — what if Thor had tanked? — that only in retrospect is so successful that it looks like a no-brainer.

Not all the picks were entirely laudatory:

Gareb Shamus

His downfall shows us that the greed and excess of the 90s that spilled over into the new century has finally come to a close. Wizard used to be one of the, if not the most powerful voice in comics. Now it no longer exists.

We don’t need any more guys like Shamus. The industry is full of kind, nice, hard working and earnest people. We need to encourage and discuss their efforts, not the schlocky antics of snake-oil salesmen and circus promoters.

Some of those who left us were also recognized:

Joe Simon. A legend in comics who saw his co-creation on the big screen this year and then passed away and the impressive age of 98.

Jerry Robinson, RIP. He generously shared not only his talent but his grace for 70+ years.

— Sad: Dwayne McDuffie

Jack Kirby, for inspiring a boycott of Marvel/Disney products for their blatant disrespect to the legacy of the man to whom they owe everything, and reminding everyone who really is The King.

And finally, some abstract winners:

— Much like Time Magazine’s pick of “the protester”, my person of the year is the digital delivery system.  Perhaps I can aim this at the feet of companies like, Comixology. Jim Lee was the force behind The New 52 and Robert Kirkman was the drive behind The Walking Dead but both (and others) are making sure they are front and center on digital.  It’s not even an option. Digital has changed the industry in both subtle and remarkable ways and it has reached new audiences while retaining much of the old.

People whom I know who have done selfless acts of unprompted, un-press-released kindnesses to help many creators in the industry, both individually and as a whole, without the need for public accolades, or really any care if anyone knows or not. I’d challenge us all, for the new year, to do one wonderful thing for someone else– something substantial– and do it anonymously, without the need for personal gain or garnishment. Those that do that, are the Person of the Year in my book, and we’ll never know really who they are.

And the last one…our own personal favorite:

– Any artist or writer who produces their work straight from the heart and not just for a paycheck.

Thanks to all for voting and congratulations to the winners.

Marvel reveals cover to AvX #1

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The actual Jim Cheung cover to AVENGERS vs. X-MEN #1, this April’s big cross-fight event has just been revealed.

This April, prepare for the biggest super hero war in comics history as Marvel is pleased to present your first look at the jaw-dropping cover to Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 by superstar artist Jim Cheung! From the powerhouse creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brubaker, John Romita Jr., Adam Kubert and Olivier Copiel comes a groundbreaking event pitting Earth’s Mightiest against the X-Men with the entire Marvel Universe at stake. Cyclops and his team believe the arrival of the Phoenix Force will save mutantkind, but Captain America is convinced it will destroy the world! But who is right? Don’t miss out on all the action in Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 in comic shops worldwide and on the Marvel Comics app this April!


 
Register your feelings on Twitter with hashtag #AvX.

Awards wrap-up: TINTIN wins Golden Globe; Green Lantern wins People's Choice

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THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN triumphed in the Best Animated Feature category at the Golden Globes last night — a surprising loss for Pixar, but then their entry this year, CARS 2, wasn’t really in the same league as their other recent masterpieces. Director Steven Spielberg seemed happy to win — but not as emotional as when he teared up during a montage of scenes from his own film WAR HORSE — but he kind of blew it for the comics folk by not mentioning Hergé. Perhaps if TINTIN is so lucky as to be nominated and win an Academy Award, Spielberg will remember to thank the little people.

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Meanwhile, Green Lantern won an award — or more precisely, Ryan Reynolds did — winning Favorite Superhero at the People’s Choice Awards, triumphing over Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence. Vindication at last.

Walking Dead news roundup: new poster, Season 3 expansion

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AMC has released a teaser poster for the midseason return of The Walking Dead on February 12 with Andrew Lincolnas Sheriff Rick Grimes taking aim. After the rather Shane-centric first half of the season, will we see Rick getting back in the saddle?

Unsurprisingly, AMC has also announced a longer season 3 — 16 episodes as opposed to 12. The season will be split in two, and writers Nichole Beattie (Rubicon, John from Cincinnati) and Sang Kim (Crash, Hawthorne) are joining the staff.

Since debuting last year,The Walking Dead has set viewing records for AMC and spawned one of the strongest comics-based franchises in recent years.

Official: Garth Ennis Relaunches The Shadow at Dynamite

By Todd Allen

The rumor that’s been making the rounds is true: Garth Ennis is the writer when Dynamite launches their ongoing revival of the classic pulp franchise, The Shadow.  Joining him as the artist is Aaron Campbell, who’s been doing Green Hornet: Year One and Dark Shadows for Dynamite.

It looks like this will be be set in 1938, not a modern update.  It isn’t completely clear what kind of a take on the Shadow Ennis and Campbell will be doing.  There have been several different takes on the Shadow over the years.  In the original pulp stories, he was a guns-a-blazing vigilante with some mysticism surrounding his origins.  Plenty of horror (reoccurring voodoo villains, for instance) and mild science fiction in that version.  Then you have the long-running radio version where the guns were gone, but the Shadow had the (vaguely hypnotic) ability to cloud men’s minds so they couldn’t see him and would only hear his disembodied voice.  There were more spy-fi-ish paperback novels in the 1960s.  Howard Chaykin revived it in the 80s replacing the mystic elements with cybernetic body parts, taking it in more of a science fiction direction.  Andy Helfer and Bill Sienkiewicz/Kyle Baker took this science fiction version and veered off in an increasingly satirical/absurdist direction.

It doesn’t appear from looking at the press release, that this will be a satirical take on the character, and the Campbell quote (see below) makes me think this isn’t the Chaykin take on the character, either.  If this is the classic version, as established in the pulps, Ennis ought to be a pretty good fit.  Think Punisher Max as a period piece with a little bit of magic popping up around the edges.  We could very well be in for a merging of the action and horror styles Ennis has done in the past.

Press release and cover art follow:

THE SHADOW #1 ONGOING SERIES BY GARTH ENNIS!

IN STORES APRIL 2012!!!

January 16th, 2012, Runnemede, NJ – Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  The Shadow knows!  The Shadowreturns to comic stores written by the man born to write him – Garth Ennis. The artist joining Garth will be Aaron Campbell. Featuring covers by fan favorite artists Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, Jae Lee and John Cassaday. The Shadow #1 his stores in April 2012!

In the first issue of the ONGOING SERIES, it’s 1938 and The Shadow returns in a tale of blazing action and deadly intrigue, as a night of carnage on the New York waterfront plunges the mysterious vigilante into a conspiracy involving the fate of the world itself. As storm clouds gather across the globe, American Military Intelligence meets with a certain Lamont Cranston, determined to beat a host of spies and assassins to the greatest prize of all… but what that might be, only the Shadow knows.  Be sure to get The Shadow #1 in April 2012!

“The Shadow is probably the last established character I like that I haven’t gotten around to writing yet, certainly on this side of the Atlantic,” says writer Garth Ennis. “It makes a kind of bloody, bullet-riddled sense: I always had a feeling our paths would cross sooner or later.”

“The Shadow is an awesome character in an awesome time,” adds artist Aaron Campbell.  “I mean what’s not to like?  You have the old school mystique of eastern mysticism wrapped up with a badass gunslinger!”

“Garth is a writer who was born to write The Shadow,” states Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  “Not since Howard Chaykin’s acclaimed mini-series have I been this excited for a Shadow series.  Garth will take The Shadow to a new level, and Aaron will compliment his scripts well.  I cannot wait for fans to see Garth’s take on the character!”

Garth Ennis is a Northern Irish comics writer, best known for his immensely successful revival of Marvel Comics’ Punisher franchise and the DC/Vertigo series Preacher, co-created with artist Steve Dillon.

His work is characterized by extreme violence, black humor, profanity, an interest in male friendship, an antagonistic relationship with organized religion, and irreverence towards superheroes. Frequent artistic collaborators include Steve Dillon, Glenn Fabry, Carlos Ezquerra and John McCrea.  Garth Ennis’ current work includes Dynamite’s hit series The Boys.

The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in pulp magazines, then on 1930s radio and then in a wide variety of media, that follow the exploits of the title character, a crime-fighting vigilante in the pulps, which carried over to the airwaves as a “wealthy, young man about town” with psychic powers. One of the most famous pulp heroes of the 20th century, The Shadow has also been featured in comic books, comic strips and at least five motion pictures.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #TheShadowKnows and on Dynamite Entertainment’s twitter page at http://twitter.com/DynamiteComicsTo find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com


‘Cul de Sac’ goes on hiatus

culdesacthompson
Probably the most universally admired comic strip running right now is going on hiatus for a few weeks: via his blog, Richard Thompson announced a hiatus while he receives treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease.

Well, I’m taking some time off. Some more time off, three or four weeks. I’m about to start a program of physical therapy sessions designed for people with Parkinson’s. I’ve only been in for an evaluation, but the therapy largely consists of big, exaggerated movements and sweeping silly walks that will so embarrass your body that it’ll start behaving itself, I hope. Also I’ll learn ten ways to defeat a mugger by falling on him.

Garry Trudeau likened daily newspaper comics to a public utility that delivers its service so regularly that any interruption is seen as some kind of major systems failure. Though well aware of this, the kind folks at Universal Press have been greatly supportive and urged me to do whatever I needed to do. So I’m’a gonna.


The Reuben-Award winning Thompson announced he had the illness in 2009, and there have been repeat strips at times, but neither his sense of humor nor the quality of the strip has suffered despite the disease.

Last year, Thompson announced Team Cul-de-Sac, a benefit for Parkinson’s research that includes contributions by a who’s who of other cartoonists.

Preview: GRAPHIC CLASSICS: AFRICAN-AMERICAN CLASSICS

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In the spirit of the holiday, here are some pages from AFRICAN-AMERICAN CLASSICS, an anthology of stories and poem by early African-American writers, famed and obscure, into comics by a similarly talented range of cartoonists. A few sample pages:

Cover by Afua Richardson

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“On Being Crazy” by Kyle Baker

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“Two Americans” by Trevor Von Eeden

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“The Goophered Grapevine” by Shepherd Hendrix

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“The Castaways” by Glenn Brewer

“Becky” by Randy DuBurke
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“Buyers of Dreams” by Leilani Hickerson

All illustrations ©2011 the respective artists

Coming Attractions: January 2012: Image, IDW, Dark Horse

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The show-and-tell continues!

In this post, new titles from Dark Horse, Image, and IDW!

So, here’s what caught my eye.  Please comment below, and please feel free to mention titles I may have marginalized or overlooked.  My tastes are eclectic, but there’s stuff which doesn’t interest me, or doesn’t evoke much of a response.  I respect everyone who manages to publish something, but with some 400 graphic novel titles a month, I have to be selective.

CAVEAT:  As I discovered while doing the publisher posts, that some titles have been canceled or postponed.  The titles below, the information is subject to change.  Some may already be out and on sale, some may be vaporous.  All descriptions are from the publishers.

Oh, and the advisory:  I am employed as a bookseller.  Nothing I say here or anywhere else online has any connection to my employer.  I know my employer can take umbrage at any association people may make between my private and professional activities, so I’m careful to let ninja cows be.

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One Model Nation

Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Jim Rugg

Hardcover, $24.95

9780857687265, 0857687263

Author Bio: Courtney Taylor-Taylor is the lead-singer and songwriter of the hugely popular Portland, Oregon band The Dandy Warhols. The band has released six albums to date and have had huge critical and commercial successes on both sides of the Atlantic. One Model Nation is Taylor’s first original graphic novel.

Jim Rugg is the co-writer and artist of the critically acclaimed Street Angel series. He has also contributed inks to DC/Vertigo’s American Virgin.

Summary: In 1977, four young men were the voice of their generation.

In 1978, they disappeared.

This is the epic journey of art noise band One Model Nation, the final dark days of the Baader-Meinoff Gang, and the band’s mysterious disappearance only months later.

This original graphic novel comes from the mind of Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor, with art by indie super star Jim Rugg, and features a host of bonus extras; sketches, director’s commentary, deleted scenes and more!

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Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain, Eric Powell

Hardcover, $19.99

978-1-61377-086-3

The classic novel by celebrated American author Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tells of a teenage misfit accompanied by an escaping slave, Jim, as the two float down the Mississippi River by raft. As their journey unfolds, Huck and Jim encounter adventure, danger, and a deftly scribed cast of characters that are by turns both menacing and hilarious. This special edition is illustrated by comics industry star Eric Powell (The Goon, Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters), and presents the material as Twain intended.
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Brooklyn DreamsBrooklyn Dreams

J.M. DeMatteis, Glenn Barr

Hardcover, $39.99

978-1-61377-080-1

The complete critically acclaimed saga is re-collected in hardcover for this collection of J.M. DeMatteis and Glenn Barr’s Brooklyn Dreams. Celebrated by fans and critics alike, and long out of print, don’t miss this chance to own a book that many say will change your life.
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Mark Twain's Tales of MysteryMark Twain’s Tales of Mystery

Mark Twain, Menton3

ISBN:    1-61377-124-X
ISBN 13:    978-1-61377-124-2
Trade Cloth, $16.99

Sherlock Holmes in America? Mark Twain a character in his own stories? Can it be true? True indeed, dear reader, as Mark Twain makes his mark on the mystery genre with this collection of short stories by the grand master himself. Including “A Double Barreled Detective Story,” “Tom Sawyer, Detective,” “A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage,” and “The Stolen White Elephant,” delight as Twain breaks convention and bends cherished characters to tell stories that are wholly his own. Illustrations provided by Menton3 (The Lovecraft Library, Classics Multilated, Monocyte).
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50 Girls 50 Shakedown, Volume 1

Doug Murray, Frank Cho, Axel Medellin

ISBN:    1-60706-469-3
ISBN 13:    978-1-60706-469-5
Trade Paper, $14.99

OLD SCHOOL SCI-FI EXPLORES THE WORLDS OF TOMORROW!
This complete edition of FRANK CHO (X-Men: Schism), DOUG MURRAY (The ‘Nam) & AXEL MEDELLIN’s (ELEPHANTMEN) contains all four issues of their space-faring epic featuring the galaxy-lost ESS Savannah’s search for home! If that’s not enough, it’s also packed with bonus pieces written by MURRAY further exploring the worlds of 50 GIRLS 50 and a gallery of art by both MEDELLIN and CHO!

Collects 50 GIRLS 50 #1-4
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Infestation HCInfestation

Erik Burnham, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Mike Raicht, Scott Tipton, David Messina, Gary Erskine, Kyle Hotz, Casey Maloney, Nick Roche, Giovanni Timpano, David Tipton, Ashley Wood

ISBN:    1-61377-106-1
ISBN 13:    978-1-61377-106-8
Trade Cloth, $34.99

IDW’s first-ever mega event is collected in this hard cover collection as something goes horribly awry in the IDW universe: a dimensions-spanning zombie outbreak of epic proportions, which threatens to tear many of IDW’s biggest realities asunder! The infestation spreads through the TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE, STAR TREK, and GHOSTBUSTERS universes. Zombie apocalypse looms and the remaining members of CVO are running out of options…

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Crawl to MeCrawl to Me

Alan Robert

ISBN:    1-61377-118-5
ISBN 13:    978-1-61377-118-1
Trade Paper, $17.99

Wire Hangers creator/hard-rock musician, Alan Robert, is back for blood with this all-new horror tale, Crawl to Me. The story centers on Ryan, as he struggles to protect his family from what appears to be an evil entity living within their basement’s crawl space.

It is only after a series of violent events occur, that Ryan realizes he must set aside all he believes to be true in order to face his shocking and inevitable reality. This intense thriller will keep you guessing every step of the way.

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Danger Girl: The DANGER-SIZED Treasury Edition Danger Girl: The DANGER-SIZED Treasury Edition

J. Scott Campbell, Andy Hartnel, Alex Garner

Danger Girl was a smash hit when it was released in 1998 and helped solidify J. Scott Campbell as one of the premier artists working in comics-period. Now you can thrill to the exploits of Abbey Chase, Sydney Savage, Johnny Barracuda and all the rest, in this ultra-cool, super-sexy, Danger-Sized Edition of DANGER GIRL. Collecting the Danger Girl 8-page preview story that introduced Abbey Chase, the oversized first issue, and issue #2–You just can’t get more DANGER for your money!

FC Cardstock   $9.99  64 pages  9.25″ x 14.25″

[No, this is not a book, but how often do you see a treasury-sized comic book?]

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Womanthology: Heroic

Annie Nocenti, Anya Martin, Barbara Kesel, Kimberly Komatsu, Gail Simone, Trina Robbins, Samantha Newark, and many more (w) Camille d’Errico, Renae DeLiz, Ming Doyle, Colleen Doran, Fiona Staples, Stephanie Buscema, and more!

Hardcover, $50.00

ISBN: 978-1-61377-147-1

Womanthology is a large-scale anthology showcasing the works of women in comics. It is created entirely by over 140 women of all experience levels, from young girls who love to create comics all the way up to top industry professionals. All of the short stories will center around our theme for this volume; Heroic. There will also be features, such as Professional How-Tos, a Kids/Teens section showcasing their works and giving tips, as well as a section dedicated to some Iconic female comic creators of the past, such as Nell Brinkley, and much more. Profits of this book will go towards the Charities of GlobalGiving.org.
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Steve Canyon, Volume 1: 1947-1948

Milton Caniff

Hardcover, $49.99

ISBN 978-1-61377-125-9

Steve Canyon like you’ve never seen it before-reproduced directly from Milton Caniff’s personal set of syndicate proofs! For the first time: the definitive edition of the Steve Canyon newspaper strip by Milton Caniff featuring every Sunday in color and the daily strips in their original, uncropped versions.

Caniff quit Terry and the Pirates in 1946 to begin Steve Canyon and it became his biggest-selling work. Forever known as the Rembrandt of the Comic Strip, Caniff is at the absolute peak of his artistic prowess in these strips. Your passport is stamped for Adventure, Intrigue, and Danger on your expedition to exotic locales with your pilot, the one and only Steve Canyon! The Caniff women are also on display, as Steve Canyon Volume 1 features steely yet sexy  “Copper” Calhoun; the beautiful schemer, Delta; that modern-day Mata Hari, Madame Lynx; Dr. Deen Wilderness, who is as capable as she is lovely; plus Captain Shark, Convoy, and the footloose Fancy.

Edited and designed by Dean Mullaney, with historical essays by Bruce Canwell, Steve Canyon is presented in a matching hardcover set to the Library of American Comics’s Eisner Award-winning Terry and the Pirates. Everyone who enjoyed Terry won’t want to miss this sequel in which the horizons are truly unlimited!
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Popbot Big Beautiful Book

Ashley Wood

Hardcover, $95.00

[No ISBN discovered.  Click link above for IDW store.]

Originally only available from IDW during San Diego Comic-Con, we uncovered a small stash of Ashley Wood’s POPBOT BIG BEAUTIFUL BOOK. This striking edition collects the long sold-out POPBOT volumes 1 to 8 in a  huge 11″ x 14″ hardcover format, showcasing over 400 pages of Ashley Wood art. Ships with a slipcase. Strictly limited to stock on hand.

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G.I. JOE: RENEGADES, VOL. 1 coverG.I. JOE: Renegades, Volume 1

Marty Isenberg

Trade Paperback  $7.99

ISBN: 978-1-60010-835-8

G.I. JOE is the world’s best and last defense against the dark forces that haunt our planet. They are highly trained, highly skilled, highly effective, and highly motivated. In short, they are the best at what they do. But for the first time ever, in order to fight evil, our heroes have to become RENEGADES! Join DUKE, SCARLETT, ROADBLOCK, TUNNEL RAT, RIPCORD, and SNAKE EYES as they lead a lone charge against COBRA, becoming fugitives of justice in the process! High-octane action, unbelievable stories, and action-packed battles set this G.I. JOE tour de force on high ground! It’s G.I. JOE like you’ve never seen it before!

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Inkshot

Inkshot

[see below]

ISBN:    1-61377-108-8
ISBN 13:    978-1-61377-108-2
Trade Paper, $24.99

A shot of ink, an ink gunshot, ink-made! Inkshot is a new anthology of ideas in small doses – three to five pages – small universes you can dive into and get lost in many different genres. Featuring never-before-seen stories by Danilo Beyruth [Necronaut], Jose Aguiar [Ernie Adams], Milton & Felipe Sobreiro [Cthulhu Tales], Bruno Stahl [Heavy Metal Magazine], Gabriel Goes [Samba Magazine], Pablo Mayer [The Next House], Davi Calil [MAD Magazine], Pablo Casado [Duo], Felipe Cunha [Jesus Hates Zombies], Hector Lima [The Major], and many others, Inkshot is a showcase of some of the best Brazilian comics of the new Century.

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Art of Joe Jusko

Art of Joe Jusko

Joe Jusko

ISBN:    1-61377-096-0
ISBN 13:    978-1-61377-096-2
Trade Cloth, $49.99

For the first time ever, a volume devoted to one of the more popular fantasy/sci fi painters of the past 25 years. This book offers readers and fans a chance to witness his immense and phenomenal career from start to present, offering glimpses of previously never-before-seen material from his files and sketchbooks, his enormously popular comic work, covers and illustrations from his book publishing career, as well as beautifully reproduced images of his personal favorites and insights into his life and creative process. Brought to you by the publishing house responsible for THE ART OF BRIAN BOLLAND and THE ART OF P. CRAIG RUSSELL.
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Elephantmen: Armed Forces, Volume 0

Boo Cook, David Hine

ISBN:    1-60706-468-5
ISBN 13:    978-1-60706-468-8
Trade Cloth, $34.99

Collecting the sold out WAR TOYS trade paperback, now in full color for the first time, and the sequel, ENEMY SPECIES, this highly anticipated ELEPHANTMEN, VOL. 0 is packed with extras, including MORITAT and BOO COOK sketchbooks and unseen work by LADR?NN, MARIAN CHURCHLAND, MARLEY ZARCONE and a new prologue by AXEL MEDELLIN!

Collects ELEPHANTMEN: WAR TOYS, VOL. 1: NO SURRENDER; ELEPHANTMEN: YVETTE ONE SHOT and ELEPHANTMEN #34-35

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Firebreather Vs Dragon Prince (One-Shot)

Firebreather Vs Dragon Prince (One-Shot)

Phil Hester, Ron Marz, Saumin Patel, Andy Kuhn

ISBN:    1-60706-332-8
ISBN 13:    978-1-60706-332-2
Trade Paper, $7.99

Something monstrous is killing visitors at an isolated mountain lake, and only the combined might of Firebreather and Dragon Prince can hope to overcome it! But when the strange being’s plans for our young heroes are revealed, can their newfound friendship withstand its deadly siren call?
Features an all-new, 40-page story, plus reprints of the classic origins of Firebreather and Dragon Prince by their original creators.

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King Aroo, Volume 2King Aroo, Volume 2

Jack Kent

ISBN:    1-60010-782-6
ISBN 13:    978-1-60010-782-5
Trade Cloth, $39.99

The peaceable little kingdom of Myopia rocks with laughter in the second collection of Jack Kent’s King Aroo. Colorful visitors come and go while Professor Yorgle pontificates, faithful Yupyop frets, and Mr. Elephant forgets everything but his own name! Kindly King Aroo presides over all the outlandish slapstick and witty wordplay in over seven hundred daily and Sunday comic strips from 1953-1954, edited and designed by Eisner Award-winner Dean Mullaney. Bruce Canwell continues his groundbreaking biography of Jack Kent, featuring rare photos and never-before-seen artwork. This classic comic is a treat for readers of all ages.

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Officer Downe: Bigger Better Bastard Edition

Joe Casey, Chris Burnham

ISBN:    1-60706-477-4
ISBN 13:    978-1-60706-477-0
Trade Cloth, $17.99

The Badass With A Badge returns in a glorious oversized hardcover! Brought to you JOE CASEY (BUTCHER BAKER) and CHRIS BURNHAM (Batman, Inc.) – now with ADDED PAGES of over-the-top sex and violence – experience OFFICER DOWNE as it was meant to be experienced! You’ve never felt “command presence” quite like this! This is the cop that’ll keep coming back for more… even from beyond the grave! Now with all-new bonus features!

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Shaky Kane’s Monster Truck

Shaky Kane

ISBN:    1-60706-470-7
ISBN 13:    978-1-60706-470-1
Trade Paper, $14.99

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Ratfist

Doug Tennapel, Katherine Garner

ISBN:    1-60706-478-2
ISBN 13:    978-1-60706-478-7

Trade Paper, $19.99

Earthworm Jim creator DOUG TENNAPEL is publishing his Webcomic RATFIST, a vigilante-in-tights that satirizes comics, politics, philosophy, and even TENNAPEL himself! Featuring a forward written by MST3K/RiffTraxx’s MICHAEL J. NELSON, and pinups by RYAN OTTLEY, SCOTT KURTZ, CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS and ETHAN NICOLLE!

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Brothers of the Spear Archives, Volume 1

Gaylord DuBois, Russ Manning, Jesse Marsh

ISBN:    1-59582-821-4
ISBN 13:    978-1-59582-821-7

Trade Cloth, $49.99

Young Natongo and his adopted brother Dan-El share a bond much stronger than blood, so when they learn of Dan-El’s true father and his lost people, they pledge to discover the secret of his birthright together. Their journey across Africa reveals danger at every turn, but nothing to match the shock of finding Dan-El’s home enslaved by an evil witch doctor. With only each other to fall back on, can the brothers of the spear survive battle, exile, shipwreck, and more to overthrow the usurper so Dan-El can take his rightful place as king? Collecting the backup stories from Tarzan #25-#67! Featuring art by comics masters Jesse Marsh and Russ Manning!
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