Snowpiercer: International Featurette Released

We’ve finally got our first footage from the upcoming sci-fi flick, along with some nice behind the scenes action: Chris Evans gets angry, John Hurt looks wise, Tilda Swinton looks like a BAMF.

Snowpiercer [Read more…]

Viva Comics Alliance!

This has been a rough week for the internet. The news that Comics Alliance was to be shut down, thus removing us all from our right to read daily articles from Andy Khouri, Joe Hughes, David Brothers, Andrew Wheeler and many others, was a blow to the head. This followed on only a day after finding out that the AV Club had lost five of their top writers in an exodus which hasn’t quite been explained. A small army of wonderful writers have suddenly vanished from our day-to-day lives.

[Read more…]

Breaking – Comics Alliance Shut Down By AOL

Reports are coming in that ComicsAlliance, the comics and comics culture website, has been shut down today by AOL. We’ll tell you everything we know as soon as we know it.

[Read more…]

The End of I, Vampire and the Cancellation of Creativity

A spoiler-free farewell to my beloved favourite, and a note of regret from an ex-fan of the New 52.

I, Vampire #19 Cover [Read more…]

Nostalgia Reigns as IDW Announce ROCKY & BULLWINKLE, MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN

Coinciding with all of the big C2E2 announcements from just about every comics publisher, IDW released some information about more than one upcoming series bringing the characters created by Jay Ward to comics. The two big titles will include MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN, leading up to a March 2014 film release from DreamWorks Animation in 3D and a new ROCKY & BULLWINKLE series in early 2014. There are also hints that reprints of previous comics for ROCKY & BULLWINKLE will be in the works.

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 The cartoon Rocky & Bullwinkle, officially known as The Bullwinkle Show after its first two seasons, is one of those remarkable shows that’s incredibly dated but somehow doesn’t age. With its cold-war spy themes and current event references from its original run from 1959-1964, it becomes a kind of competition for modern viewers to catch all the references. At root, it’s probably a combination of the characters and the artwork that keep a cult following, and availability on DVDs doesn’t hurt either. IDW promises to bring many of those beloved characters into the limelight, including “Rocky & Bullwinkle, Boris & Natasha, Snidely Whiplash, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and Dudley Do-Right” as early as this fall. It makes you wonder if, like the show, the comics will have that rapid-fire plot shifting between character arcs and the snappy interlude transitions. Here’s hoping that that artwork will stay as close to Ward’s designs as possible, from line-work to colors, since the world of Rocky & Bullwinkle is so much a part of the rendering.
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Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

 

The Outhouse on Comics Press and Blacklists

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There was a lot of talk at C2E2 about press lists, who’s on, who’s off, how you get on and what’s expected. There’s no question that Marvel and DC, like the studios that own them, want to have more control over a positive message about their products. Unquestionably, the very professional PR people who work at Marvel and DC know that this isn’t always possible, but they still have to do their jobs.

Rich Johnston ruminated on this a few days ago:

Mind you, it's not all beer and sandwiches at Marvel either. I've been the cause several ructions in the past few weeks, though that's mostly been my fault. But it's not just me, another respected comics reporter has told me the site he works for has told him that Marvel won't work with him on articles, while another has been criticized by Marvel reps for writing too much like me. But you know what? Maybe some sites have gotten too close to publishers, who do see them as PR extensions. Sometimes you have to bite the hand that feeds you – or be dismissed as a poodle? I've never liked being described as a journalist, and have usually resisted it. But everyone finds a different way to walk the line.


Satire/news site The Outhouse has a column today on how one of their writers was told point blank that the site would not get any interviews because of their constant satirical zinging. But, writes E-i-C Christian Hoffer

In fact, it was DC’s constant pushing us aside that helped push the Outhouse to the snarky, satirical site you see today. After years of being denied interviews and review copies while constantly kissing ass, and posting the same bland press releases in the hopes of being seen as “good soldiers”, we decided that we didn’t want to play ball anymore and decided to be a voice for change instead. And I haven’t regretted that decision one bit.

It’s been almost a year since we first started the “News Initiative” that spawned all the snark and satire you see on the front page. While we’ve had a few industry people upset with us from time to time, most of the industry professionals we speak to range from ambivalent to pretty positive about the site’s new direction. At the very least, most people seem to at least be appreciative that we’re taking an honest, unfiltered fan approach towards covering the news. At least ‘til yesterday.


“But, we’re not going to discontinue our satirical criticism of DC in order to talk to creators for five minutes.” he continues, and for his site that makes a lot of sense. When news coverage results in the same 20 sites having almost identical meatless promotional interviews with the same “I can’t talk about that yet,” blank spots…well, no one is really winning.

And what about The Beat? We’re on most press lists, and have good working relationships with almost every PR person out there (I think? hope??) but try to be as honest as possible, which means we’re not a preferred outlet most of the time either. We don’t run those five-minute interviews either, but Bleeding Cool has proven you don’t need approved sources to be a well read site–you just need a lot of sources and people willing to leak information.

Like we said no one is really winning, in this war of access and credibility. The honest authentic voices on both sides are still going to rise above the sludge, but finding them will get harder and harder in an ocean of haystacks. An ocean of sludgey haystacks…okay, no more metaphors until I’ve had more coffee.

2013 Stumptown Award Winners

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The Stumptown Comic Art Awards were handed out Saturday in Portland and via Jen Vaughn’s twitter feed and Johanna Draper Carlson here are the winners, from Juanjo Guarnido to Evan Dahm — big comics town that PDX.

Best Writer: Leia Weathington (The Legend of Bold Riley)
Best Artist: Juanjo Guarnido (Blacksad: A Silent Hell)
Best Webcomic: Evan Dahm (Vattu)
Best Small Press: Poorcraft: The Funnybook Fundamentals of Living Well on Less by C. Spike Trotman and Diana Nock
Best New Talent: Kory Bing (Skin Deep: Exchanges)
Best Letterer: Carla Speed McNeil (Finder: Talisman)
Best Colorist: Kory Bing (Skin Deep: Exchanges)
Best Cartoonist: Carla Speed McNeil (Finder: Talisman)
Best Anthology: Smut Peddler, published by Iron Circus Comics
Best Publication Design: Blacksad: A Silent Hell, designed by Cary Grazzini
Readers’ Choice Award: E.K. Weaver


Photo via winner Kory Bing

C2E2 Photo Parade: The Good, The Bad, and The Cosplay

I try and try to be organized about taking pictures at shows, but I just can’t do it any more. Despite having nearly 200 pictures from the show, this is the best I could do. Next time, I’m getting a PRO!

 

My journey to salty meat began with this "salami sandwich" at the Eleven Diner. The pickle provides valuable fiber and nutrition.

My journey to salty meat began with this “salami sandwich” at the Eleven Diner. The pickle provides valuable fiber and nutrition.

A couple of random Englishmen and their native guide wander Radiant City.

A couple of random Englishmen and their native guide wander Radiant City.

 

More Skottie Young

More Skottie Young

Skottie Young is doing variant cover for INFINITY. As David Gabriel put it "If they didn't sell, we wouldn't do it."

Skottie Young is doing variant cover for INFINITY. As David Gabriel put it, “If they didn’t sell, we wouldn’t do it.”

Some of Jimmy Cheung's art from Infinity.

Some of Jimmy Cheung’s art from INFINITY.

Diamond announced Toychest News -- every issue is about Wolverine.

Diamond announced Toychest News–every issue is about Wolverine.

During setup one can see the bg hole on the floor where DC Comics was supposed to have been. Their withdrawal couldn't have been that long ago.

During setup one can see the big hole on the floor where DC Comics was supposed to have been.

As the con begins, I went to the DC Comics 101 panel and got this giant Violet Lantern ring. I would need to eat many, many salt meats before I swelled up enough for the ring to fit.

As the con begins, I went to the DC Comics 101 panel and got this giant Violet Lantern ring. I would need to eat many, many salt meats before I swelled up enough for the ring to fit.

There was a LOT of security at the show, from bomb sniffing dogs to backpack searches. NO ONE complained

There was a LOT of security at the show, from bomb sniffing dogs to backpack searches. NO ONE complained.

A con first: attended a room party where there was a Slave Leia costume just sitting there waiting for....

A con first: attended a room party where there was a Slave Leia costume just sitting there waiting for….

Slave Leia wears breifs? I had no idea.

Slave Leia wears briefs? I had no idea.

Great breakfast with Alpha Girl's Amy Chu, ALA's Tine Coleman, Marvel's Ellie Pyle, everywhere's Brigid Alverson, and MSU's Carol Tilley.

Great breakfast with Alpha Girl’s Amy Chu, ALA’s Tine Coleman, Marvel’s Ellie Pyle, everywhere’s Brigid Alverson, and MSU’s Carol Tilley.

The traditional cosplay on the steps photo. So many primary colors.

The traditional cosplay on the steps photo. So many primary colors.

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Everyone loves a purple droid.

Everyone loves a purple droid.

This guy had a whole schtik, as you might imagine.

This guy had a whole schtick, as you might imagine.

great Classic Catwoman!

great Classic Catwoman!

power Girl poses with pal.

Power Girl poses with pal.

One booth was selling eyeglasses covered with comic books.

One booth was selling eyeglasses covered with comic books.

Nice

Nice

The joker

The Joker

Parade of Fetts

Parade of Fetts

Journalists unite! Brigid Alverson and Jill Pantozzi

Journalists unite! Brigid Alverson and Jill Pantozzi

Kristen Hacket and Melissa May as "Lady Thanos" and Dr. Strange,

Kristen Hacket and Melissa May as “Lady Thanos” and Dr. Strange

The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer

The Athleta Comics Booth—published by NFLer Israel Idonije-- was full of giant people.

The Athleta Comics Booth—published by NFLer Israel Idonije– was full of giant people.

At every convention, at some point I think to myself, "I will talk through Artist Alley and take pictures of everyone as I chat." Every time I make it about three tables before ADD sets in. See how far I made it at C2E2. Here's Ran Browne of God hates Astronauts.

At every convention, at some point I think to myself, “I will talk through Artist Alley and take pictures of everyone as I chat.” Every time I make it about three tables before ADD sets in. See how far I made it at C2E2. Here’s Ryan Browne of GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS.

Yale Stewart creator of JL8.

Yale Stewart creator of JL8.

Declan Shalvey, now on the Punisher. I had to crop our tablemate Jordie Bellaire who could not be photographed.

Declan Shalvey, now on the Punisher. I had to crop our tablemate Jordie Bellaire who could not be photographed.

At the Athleta party, they had ice sculpture...

At the Athleta party, they had ice sculpture…

I took this picture of jumbo chrimp specifically for my friend Marc Patten and rank Patz.

I took this picture of jumbo shrimp specifically for my friend Marc Patten and rank Patz.

....and a reading poster....

….and a reading poster….

...and drinks that bubbled and smoked. I did not try this.

…and drinks that bubbled and smoked. I did not try this.

Another shot from the Athleta party.

Another shot from the Athleta party.

The Hyatt bar including Green Hulk Fist on tap. Actually it was some kinf og Galaxy Angel beer and it was great.

The Hyatt bar including Green Hulk Fist on tap. Actually it was some kind of Galaxy Angel beer and it was great.

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Lookouts creative team Ben McCool and Rob Mommaerts.

 

Marvel editor Jordan D. White heads into the X-Men panel with his trusty ukulele.

Marvel editor Jordan D. White heads into the X-Men panel with his trusty ukulele.

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World's biggest Chiapet?

World’s biggest Chiapet?

For people who think Jennifer Lawrence was too big to play a starving teen, depite her height, this costume was tiny.

For people who think Jennifer Lawrence was too big to play a starving teen, despite her height, this costume was tiny.

This booth has a display of cstumes from The HUnger Games and raised money for a food bank.

This booth has a display of costumes from THE HUNGER GAMES and raised money for a food bank.

Dunno what this is.  A blue balloon and zombies.

Dunno what this is. A blue balloon and zombies.

THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE! A Beat feature is to come.

THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE! A Beat feature is to come.

As the con wore down, I decided to only take pictures of myself and people with giant biceps. Ron Mars, myself and Israel Idonije

As the con wore down, I decided to only take pictures of myself and people with giant biceps. Ron Marz, myself and Israel Idonije

Continuing the bicep trend, I found Lisa Marie Varon, aka"Tara" promoting her restaurant at the ComicMix booth. Whut? It was that kind of crazy world.

Continuing the bicep trend, I found Lisa Marie Varon, aka “Tara,” promoting her restaurant at the ComicMix booth. Whut? It was that kind of crazy world.

 

Arizona Comic Mini Expo, Massive Guest List

May is shaping up to be a great month for comics fans in Arizona. This Saturday AZ retailers are holding various Free (to you) Comic Book Day signings and benefits for local charities, and promoting the highly anticipated Phoenix Comicon right around the corner. [Read more…]

INTERVIEW: The Phoenix’s Tom Fickling Guides Us Through the Oxford Children’s Comic Festival!

This weekend sees the first-ever Oxford Children Comics Festival, held on Saturday 4th. I’ll be heading over meself, and there promises to be heaps of stuff going on, including workshops, tables, ice cream and something called ‘The Wall of Awesomeness’. But in order to find out exactly what an Oxford Children’s Comic Festival is, exactly, I had a word with The Phoenix’s Tom Fickling about the event. Tom works for The Phoenix Magazine, a weekly children’s comic collection, and also helped to organise and set up the festival along with the rest of The Phoenix’s staff, led by Liz Payton and Caro Fickling.

He’s a man with a plan, and that plan is for neatly-spaced convention tables and comics-themed pizzas!

[Read more…]