Archaia and comiXology show off manga remake of CYBORG 009 with “variant digital cover”

Speaking of manga pioneers, Shotaro Ishinomori created GoRenger (the precursor to Power Rangers), Kamen Rider, Cyborg 009, and Kikaider. The Guinness Book of World Records claims he’s drawn more pages of comics—170,000—than any other comic book creator. And it’s his birthday today. (Ishinomori died in 1998 at age 60.)

To celebrate, comiXology—which has licensed the manga for their own site—is releasing 17 pages of a relaunch of one of Ishinomori’s best known characters, Cyborg 009. This new graphic novel by Marcus To, FJ DeSanto, and Bradley Cramp re-imagines the character in a less manga-centric form and is coming out from Archaia. The new version is accompanied by 60 pages of the original by Ishinomori as well.

It also includes what Archaia’s EIC Stephen Christy tells us is the “First Ever Truly Digital Variant Cover” which uses comiXology’s guided view technology. The cover was designed and executed by Marcus To, colorist Ian Herring, designer Jon Adams, Christy, and comiXology’s Jonathan Roberts.

The cover works as a kind of flip book, each swipe bringing up more of the image.

Here’s a peak at the cover, the new CYBORG 009, and the original.

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Snap Goes Wolverine’s Spine

Just a quick note. Last year we all watched Catwoman twist her spine into impressive new shapes previously unseen by man. But we’re in 2013 now, and it’s time to prove that men are just as capable of contorting themselves into extinction.

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New Justice League of America: “People will ‘wonder what the hell we are doing.'”

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Aside from having 52 variant covers for state seal lovers, we haven’t talked much about the new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA book by Geoff Johns and David Finch and how it differs from JUSTICE LEGAUE by Johns and other people. Will it be set in America? Will there be spiders? Is Airwave in the team?

To get the ball rolling, DC released a few new pieces of art yesterday, and some info from Johns:

“When I was thinking about whether or not a second Justice League title would work, essentially, I wanted to make sure that if I was going to write another team book it was had it’s own point of view, its own purpose both creatively and in the bigger DC Universe,” Johns revealed. “So the Justice League has been positioned as like the A-list, the big iconic superheroes, and the Justice League of America is a very different team. As evident by the initial lineup, it’s not a team of A-listers. I think the biggest A-lister on there is probably Green Arrow, who knows it and flaunts it a little on the team. But the team is built with potential and that’s really what I wanted to dive into because I’ve always loved the big heroes, I love the big seven. Batman’s great, Superman’s great, but there is something that I’ve always really enjoyed about getting into characters that you might not have looked twice at. Green Lantern, before we relaunched it with our rebirth, I think we obviously expanded the fan base of the character. Working on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, I like delving into characters like Mr. Terrific and Doctor Midnight that people might not know very well, they might have heard of, but their judgment is a little quick. It’s the same thing as Aquaman and so I wanted to create a team of characters that people would look at and wonder what the hell we are doing. In a good way hopefully. I wanted to create a group of characters that had potential and it’s all about unlocking potential for me. The characters that I really enjoy writing and I gravitate towards are characters that might at first glance feel less than other superheroes and that’s the whole point of the Justice League of America. It’s all about finding characters who you have low expectations for and hopefully they surprise you both in story and in the universe. Designing this book to be all about finding the potential in you no matter who you are is what, for me, makes the book a lot of fun to work on.”

“JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA has its own big storyline and its own big world its creating that starts right off with issue #1 and delves into a darker corner of the DC Universe that we have yet to explore,” teasedJohns. “And that’s going to be villains. That’s a big piece of what the JLA is. It will play a big role in Trinity War, but a big role in the DC Universe after that as well. We’ve got it planned out through 2013 and beyond.”


Got all that? The new book goes on sale on February 20th.

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Read all of Kyle Baker’s graphic novels online for FREE

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For reasons unknown—but probably just for the good of society—Kyle Baker (Deadpool, Plasic Man) has put most of his creator-owned body of work online for FREE including early classics, THE COWBOY WALLY SHOW and WHY I HATE SATURN, and later works I Die at Midnight, King David, The Bakers, Special Forces, Nat Turner and more. This is a treasure trove of reading (although some of the scans are a bit small—but who cares: it’s free.)

Wally and Why I Hate Saturn were among the first standalone graphic novels of the post-Maus era and remain as biting and hilarious as when they were written. Cowboy Wally is a behind-the-music look at a kids entertainer, from his early years to his production of Hamlet behind bars. It’s also one of the funniest comics of al times. Saturn is just as funny, a social satire about dating in the 90s that exists in a world long gone by—a long ago place where sexting and OK Cupid didn’t exist—but still hilarious.

Consider these two must reads—both for content and the influence they had on the emerging graphic novel genre—but don’t miss the rest either:

YOU ARE HERE—a man with the perfect life has to figure out how to tell his fiancee about his secret past as a criminal. 
I DIE AT MIDNIGHT—a mad who has taken poison has to find the antidote before midnight in this Y2K thriller.
SPECIAL FORCES—savage satire about the our wars in the Middle East as the Army employs special needs troops.
NAT TURNER—the history of the rebel slave
KING DAVID—a retelling of the biblical tale
THE BAKERS—family humor
HOW TO DRAW STUPID —drawing tips for the intelligent

There’s much more at Baker’s website if you poke around.

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New books from Gfrörer and Catmull announced

Continuing our look at thrills to come in 2013, Fantagraphics announced new books by two exciting indie creators, Julia Gfrörer and Ben Catmull, with some advance looks. The cover art isn’t final, as attractive as it may be. Both will be out in September.

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Black Is the Color
by Julia Gfrörer
September 2013
$9.99 Paperback • 72 pages
Black-and-white • 6″ x 9″
ISBN: 978-1-60699-717-8
The push and pull, ebb and flow of the water calls out to all men. In this harrowing new graphic novella, Black Is the Color, Julia Gfrörer delicately hatches away this sailor-at-sea story until the reader drowns in imminent destruction. Gfrörer states, “Black Is the Color is my most ambitious single story comic to date, and I’m thrilled that Fantagraphics will be publishing it in a format that matches my vision for the work.” Originally serialized at the Study Group web collective, Gfrörer’s work is as seductive as the mermaids she draws beneath the waves.

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Ghosts and Ruins
by Ben Catmull
September 2013
$19.99 Hardcover • 88 pages
Black-and-white • 10.25″ x 8.50″
ISBN: 978-1-60699-678-2
Continuing his expanding Fantagraphics catalog, Ben Catmull’s chilling compendium of long-forgotten and still-occupied haunted houses joins his 2006 critically-acclaimed Monster Parade. “For Ghosts and Ruins I wanted to take my obsessions with ghost stories, abandoned architecture, and forgotten history and illustrated them with images full of shadows, atmosphere, and texture. I’m looking forward to see how people react to a book that approaches the horror genre not with adrenaline fueled sadism or tongue in cheek goofiness but with haunting meloncholy and a little deadpan humor,” Catmull summarizes. This coffee-table sized collection is the perfect gift for the future ghost in your life, and fans of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton are sure to enjoy these sweeping landscapes that echo of loss, dilapidation and dread.
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“ZED: A Cosmic Tale” – Reviewing A Children’s Comic That’s Not For Children

ZED_A_Cosmic_Tale_FrontCover_400wtdThe collected edition of ZED – A Cosmic Tale will be coming out next week.  It may be under your radar, and that’s understandable.  It certainly looks like something other than what it actually is.  It’s probably easiest to describe this graphic novel in terms of the cartoonist’s film work and who wrote the introduction.  Yes, you _do_ care about somebody coming over from the movie biz in this instance.

The introduction is by Brad Bird, who you might remember from directing The Incredibles, The Iron Giant and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  Bird worked with Michel Gagne, the cartoonist behind Zed, on a number of animated features.  Yes, including The Incredibles and The Iron Giant.  Gagne has made the animation rounds in a number of roles with the usual suspects like Pixar, Warner and Don Bluth Productions.  Keep those animation houses in mind. [Read more…]

PictureBox launches Ten-Cent Manga line with Shigeru Sugiura and Osamu Tezuka

We’re well into 2013 publishing news season so let’s just get on it, okay?

Art comix publisher PictureBox has announced a new line: Ten Cent Manga, which will be curated by manga exert Ryan Holmberg (you can read some of his insightful manga writing at The Comics Journal.) We’re told the line will include “famous titles by superstars, as well as single-artist volumes and anthologies of comics by forgotten geniuses.”
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“Chris Pine is Rob Liefeld in ‘ICONS’ the Image Comics story”

“Rob? Rob? Time for breakfast!!!”

[insert squiggly vapor lines and harp sounds]

Oh my! That headline was just a dream! But it is a fairly well-sourced dream. In case you missed yesterday’s blockbuster news, the irrepressible Rob Liefeld took three days out of his schedule to write a screenplay called ICONS about the early days of Image. Hitherto shown only to close friends, the screenplay turned up at the website Dreammoviecast where you can read several sample pages up along with Liefeld’s own dream casting choices. I don’t want to spoil all the surprises but here are two:
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Kibbles ‘n’ Bits: Make comics the Oily Way

Lots of stuff so let’s get to it!

§ Sometime Beat contributor Laura Sneddon looks at 2013 in Comics and even though this list is mostly front of the Diamond catalog, there’s a lot to be excited about.
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