Pittsburgh Zine Fair 2013 Recap

Over the hills, through the rainbows, and inside a castle-like community center called The Union Project was the third annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair. This was a free, small-press event that featured over fifty vibrant artists and writers; many from the burgh and some from beyond.

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The timing of the fair was perfect. It started at 2pm and went on to 8pm so people could do brunch beforehand. There was also a zine reading called HOMUNCULUS the night before at the nearby creative space – the Literary Arts Boom. The readings were an excellent way to introduce people to the fest’s exhibitors. The line-up of readers was Frank & Sarah Cunniff, Brian DiSanto, Ashly Nagrant, Maggie Negrete, Erin Oldynski, Wild Age Press, and Dre Grigoropol (that’s me.)

Maggie NegreteEvent Coordinator Maggie Negrete outside the Union Project

The typography and illustration of the festival’s signage was very whimsical and done by the fair’s Adverting Director Andy Scott. One of the Event Coordinators, Maggie Negrete, was exhibiting her zines, which included Adventuring Princesses, and the hilarious zine Boys Tell Me Things That Make Me Feel Uncomfortable; the descriptions of these creepy boys would make any reader squeamish. When asked about organizing the zine fair, Negrete had this to say:

The Zine Fest is the baby of Andy Scott, Erin Oh, and Thom DeLair.  The event would not exist without their hard work.  I swooped in during the summer to help them as the event grew near and took the lead in organizing the Zine Fair reading at Assemble with the “The Literary Arts Boom (LAB)”. The four of us would meet about every two weeks at the Big Idea Bookstore and hash out the details — everyone taking the lead where possible and trying to be each other’s oversight.  Everyone is really passionate about zines and makes zines themselves so organizing the event was definitely a labor of love — not without its expected hiccups.

 

Steph Neary    Steph Neary

At the table next to Maggie Negrete, artist Steph Neary was exhibiting her work in different mediums, including her book This Is the Next Morning, a perfect-bound collection of black and white drawings she drew in Pittsburgh over a two-year span. She enjoyed the positive responses from the Pittsburgh community and is inspired by the works of art, zines, and commix she collected together at the zine fair.

The Copacetic Comics CompanyBill of The Copacetic Comics Company

Another notable exhibitor was Bill Boichel, owner of The Copacetic Comics Company.  This table had many new favorites such as Ellen Lindner’s The Black Feather Falls and prominent Pittsburgh artist Frank Santoro’s Pompeii.  Boichel mentioned that this was the liveliest PGHZF of the past three years.

There were so many incredible people and organizations exhibiting there it was hard to check out all the exhibitors. Also included in the events agenda were zine-making workshops held in a downstairs room of The Union Project.

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Mont MontMont Montmont of Thricegreat Apparel

 

Erin OhEvent Coordinator Erin Oh at her table

Pittsburgh has a lot of upcoming events in its bustling small-press scene, along with the PGHZF in 2014.  There is a lot to look forward to regarding next year. The organizers of the PGHZF are already plotting to return to the same venue. They also had such good feedback about the zine reading event the night before, that they plan on expanding on that with more readers and performances in the future.

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 [Dre Grigoropol is an indie cartoonist and blogger. Her site is Dretime.net and her webcomic can be viewed at www.deesdream.net. Follow her on Twitter at @dretimecomics. Photos by Dre Grigoropol]

 

Internet Meme Shocker: Did Grumpy Cat Rip off Kate Beaton?

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In a story on how Grumpy Cat—the dwarf cat that people (including The Beat) will line up for hours just to see—is worth $1 million, it’s revealed that one of her signature catch phrases first appeared in a cartoon by Kate Beaton. Which wouldn’t be so odd except that Grumpy’s manager, who is a “meme manager”, is very litigious about other people stealing his own memes. Beaton, who hasn’t received any money from the cat or her manager, is philosophical about the whole thing, writing:

No, I never authorized anything. And some people will argue that I never wrote the joke, that it’s “been around forever.” But I made a comic, and one panel became a meme, and that’s fine. The nature of a joke is to take on a life of its own. At some point, the meme was applied to Grumpy Cat, where it fit well. It is only how Grumpy Cat is aggressive about protecting their brand with that joke as part of it that has ever rubbed me the wrong way. But it’s not like I can do anything about it, and I suppose I’d get a lot of grief anyway if I tried. I think it’s just an example of people not caring where content on the internet comes from, until they are the ones making it. Then it’s important.

Cat vs Kate Beaton, there can be no winner. Manager vs Beaton…that’s a different story.

She’s right though. There is no way to win on the internet until you make the T-shirt first.

It’s but the latest in a long series of image and IP rip offs, including the now-Google blacked out complaints about Todd Goldman, and on and on and on. Seriously, the only thing you can do is squawk and make a T-shirt. We still like Grumpy Cat though.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: August 2013 INFINITY launch one of the biggest events in recent years

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by Paul O’Brien

Crossover season is upon us again, as INFINITY launches, and the first tie-ins appear. Naturally enough, Marvel don’t want to distract from it with any other major launches, and so it’s a pretty quiet month across the rest of the line.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, though it was relatively close – they led DC by 36% to 33% in unit terms, and 34% to 30% in dollars.

Usual disclaimers apply: these figures are based on sales to direct market retailers in North America. They don’t include newsstand, digital or European sales, and most of these stories will also sell more copies in due course when they’re repackaged as a collection.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for allowing us to use these figures.

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Nobody’s going to complain about first month orders of over 200K. Even judging purely by the standards of event books, there’s plenty to be pleased about here – yes, AVENGERS VS X-MEN launched at 230K, but this is still miles ahead of the first month sales of AGE OF ULTRON (175K), FEAR ITSELF (129K) or SIEGE (108K).

There are a ton of variant covers, but that’s par for the course with major launches these days.

[Read more…]

ComicMix Pro teams with Indiegogo

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Another player in the crowdfunding fulfillment bureau—but with a twist. ComicMix has been around a while as a comics news site and publisher, but it recently launched its ComicMix Pro Services arm, basically offering production, pr and other packaging services on a piece work basis to anyone who needed it, along with content creation, crowdfunding and other services. That much is pretty typical. Where they’ve gone further is by signing with Indiegogo as curators for their comics projects, meaning you can sign up for their fulfillment and other services as part of Indiegogo.

While Kickstarter remains the biggest crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo is an important alternative that offers flexible campaigns instead of the all-or-nothing of Kickstarter, and has fewer guidelines on what can and can’t be funded. Crowdfunding fulfillment houses have become more popular lately, with the currently invite-only Topatoco-related Make That Thing perhaps the most prominent. While the PR below doesn’t go into details on how ComicMix will integrate with Indiegogo, certainly having the option makes the platform even more versatile for creators.

ComicMix Pro Services today announced that it had signed an agreement with Indiegogo to be curators for graphic novel projects on the popular crowd-funding site.  The contract means that Indiegogo clients will be able to take advantage of ComicMix Pro Services resources in editing, marketing, production and distribution.
 
Mike Gold, Editor-in-Chief at ComicMix Pro Services, said, “We are delighted to be partners with Indiegogo, and to bring our expertise to a new generation of creative talent.  This is an exciting time in the comics business, and Indiegogo is a major force in changing the way the art of graphic story-telling reaches new audiences.
 
Glenn Hauman, Chief Information Officer and Head Of Production at ComicMix Pro Services, said, “We’d been looking to combine the power of crowdfunding with our professional services to solve the fundraising, production, printing and distribution problems so many creators have been facing. We started to build our own crowdfunding platform, but Indiegogo’s been doing this for years. They worked with us to provide everything we need and want for our clients, freeing us up to do what we do best– make great comics.””
 
Evelyn Kriete, Director of Social Media at ComicMix Pro Services said, “This partnership between Comicmix Pro Services and Indiegogo joins two companies with years of experience and some of the foremost people in comics and crowdfunding. This is wonderful news for artists everywhere, who stand to gain tremendously in terms of creative independence, professional assistance, and the ability to interact and receive support directly from their fans.”  
 
Indiegogo empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowdfunding platform, campaigns have launched from every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is the equal opportunity platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York.  For more information, visit www.indiegogo.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/indiegogo and www.facebook.com/indiegogo.

ComicMix Pro Services provides you with the best in consulting, training, talent and service delivery to make your project succeed, connecting you with some of the most experienced professionals in graphic storytelling.  ComicMix Pro Services advises you on how you to improve your efforts and secure the professional assistance you need. We cover every aspect of the creative and business process and customize our efforts and fees to meet your specific goals.


 

40 new Walking Dead photos to prepare you for the good times

Incredibly, when they aren’t signing autographs at comics shows around the nation, the cast of The Walking Dead is making a TV show. Since AMC needs something to keep itself busy post Breaking Bad, in two Sundays the fourth season of The Walking Dead debuts for more hope-crushing, jugular-tearing fun and frolic. To get you all ginned up for the debut, here are 40 stills, including what looks like a pre-zombie Michonne, Daryl and Carol being friendly, and Rick looking grim and serious.

So many questions? Will Beth have a line before she dies in a zombie attack the way T-Dogg did? Will Hershel continue to say wise, grandfatherly things? Will Daryl continue to shoot out smoldering looks between firing his crossbow? Will Carl’s voice change? Will Rick change his shirt? Will the survivors make mention of a new band of survivors saying “It’s our greatest hope that more people can be found so that they can star in the spin-off TV show.”

The fun begins on October 13.

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[Via io9]

INTERVIEW: Rachel Deering on her Horror Anthology ‘In The Dark’

Rachel Deering is a writer and letterer best known for her horror projects like Anathema, a werewolf story which was successfully funded through Kickstarter and has gone on to receive pretty unanimous acclaim. You may also recognise her name from other comics like Amelia Cole, and the Womanthology project.

She’s returned to Kickstarter this month for her new project, a horror anthology called ‘In The Dark’, and this time is bringing a whole range of creators with her; including Cullen Bunn, Dalibor Talajic, James Tynion IV, Marguerite Bennett, Marc Laming, Matthew Dow Smith, Paul Tobin, Tim Seeley, Tradd Moore, Michael Moreci and Alison Sampson.

Featuring around 20 short stories, the anthology is looking for $30000 as the funding target – and has already made over $20000 at the time of this posting. For more information on the project – how it came to be, how it was set up, and just HOW scary exactly it’ll be – Rachel was kind enough to speak with me about the project.

 

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Steve: You’ve previously worked on horror comics – such as your series Anathema, about a werewolf – and on anthologies – the Womanthology project. What made you decide to bring those two together and set up a horror anthology?

Rachel: The first comic I ever read was a horror anthology (Warren Publishing’s CREEPY), and they’ve always been my absolute favourite, as both a reader and writer. It was a dream of mine to put together what I considered the “ultimate” horror anthology comic, so when the chance presented itself, I took it and ran.

Steve: When the idea for ‘In The Dark’ first came to mind, were there any creators you knew you wanted to try and get onboard? How was the response when you pitched people the idea of contributing to the project?

Rachel: Oh, absolutely. Nearly all of the creators on the book were personal friends of mine, and I wanted all of them. There are a few dream collaborators who came to the book by way of recommendation, but most of them were a simple text, phone call, or email away. Everyone was very receptive of the idea, and they were all excited at the chance to write a horror story about whatever they wanted. They loved the freedom.

There are a few folks I wasn’t able to snag for this volume, but I’m hoping to get them with the next volume, if I get lucky enough to produce one.

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Art by Eryk Donovan

Steve: How do you plan out the creative collaborations, once writers and artists had agreed to contribute – do you look to pair creative teams with similar styles, or do you like stretching people with collaborations they might not have expected?

Rachel: A few of the writers had artists they already wanted to work with, and others looked over my list of confirmed artists and chose someone they knew and wanted. For the others, I would read the stories and get an idea of the tone in my head and assign an artist who I felt could achieve that sort of tone. The pairing of the creative teams was actually one of my favourite parts of the editing process, second only to reading the scripts.

Steve: Do the stories vary in length, or is everybody working with the same number of pages?

Rachel: They all vary. There are stories between 8 and 21 pages. I told the writers to use as much space as it took to tell their story, and tell it well. A few of them really took advantage of that freedom, haha.

Steve: Do you find you’re a pretty tough editor, in general?

Rachel: I guess I don’t consider myself “tough”, really. I get the best story possible out of my writers and artists, but I do it in an encouraging way. I like to think I make revisions fun and exciting for the creatives. When I come to them with an idea on how to improve a scene, they often respond with something like “OH! That’s great!” and go with it. I’ve never had a writer fight me on suggestions. I’ve had a few artists, though…yikes.

Steve: Who’ll be joining you in lettering the anthology? Were there certain letterers you knew would suit the project, and wanted on the project?

Rachel: Thomas Boatwright always hand-letters his stories, but other than that, I will be the only letterer. I’m far too picky about lettering to trust most anyone else, honestly. If I could afford them, I’d get Nate Piekos and Clem Robins to help lighten the workload, but I don’t see that happening.

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Art by Mike Henderson and Jordan Boyd

Steve: What is your own story about? Who will you be working with?

Rachel: My story is called Swan Song, and it’s about a man who is walking home late one night when he hears the most beautiful song he’s ever heard in his life. The voice is truly otherworldly in its beauty. The problem comes when he notices that the song is coming from inside a coffin, being dragged behind a gypsy wagon, headed for the countryside. The artist on the story is the absolutely AMAZING Marc Laming. He perfectly understands the type of classic terror tale I’ve written, and his art will be a great compliment to the story.

Steve: What do you personally define as ‘horror’, yourself? Do you feel current trends like dark romance or ‘torture porn’ make it harder to write a true horror which startles people, because they’re becoming desensitised?

Rachel: My personal taste in horror tends to stem from love and loss. You can’t really feel a true sense of dread for a character that you don’t care for on some level. So I feel like horror, for me, is falling in love with a character or characters and then watching them face some sort of threat. The slashers of the 80s and the torture porn stuff today really removed that closeness to the characters and, instead, made them into nothing more than a tally on a body count scorecard.

I think that’s why horror has become more accessible in recent years. People think it’s “fun” now. I don’t feel like this trend has made it more difficult for me to write a truly startling horror story. If it terrifies me, that’s all that really matters. I don’t write for other people, I write for myself. If others happen to enjoy what I’ve written, that’s great, but it’s never my aim.

Steve: What are your favourite kind of horror stories? Is there a particular kind of monster, or theme, or style you can never resist reading about?

Rachel: Creature features! I am in love with monsters, and have been for as long as I can remember. Especially werewolves. For this very reason, Monster Squad has always been one of my favourite movies of all time. So many amazing creatures in that film. And everyone knows about my love of Hammer horror, so that goes without saying, really.

 

Many thanks to Rachel for her time! You can find her on Twitter here, and the Kickstarter can be found over here.

Relive Breaking Bad with tribute art by Templesmith, Francavilla, and more

Well, Breaking Bad is over, and thank God, it was satisfying. Sure there were a few loose ends—Huell? Hullo?—but VERY few, and the payoff was strong and cathartic.

While you may be mourning your dose of bracing moralism every Sunday, the void can be filled, at least temporarily, with Breaking Bad fan art, of which there is a shit ton. Most of it is Walter White. Other popular topics: RVs, Saul Goodman, and Jesse. (No one wants to draw Skylar, Marie, or Flynn, though.) With that in mind, here’s some art to help transition you into your new life, where Boardwalk Empire is king.

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First of course, the final entry in Francesco Francavilla’s series of Minimalist Art Posters. Francavilla drew these DURING each episode, and a found collection of them was given as a parting gift to the crew.

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Ben Templesmith — for sale!

Gallery 1988 had made a small cottage industry out of TV art. These are all sold out, sadly.

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Here’s Scott Campbell’s Breaking Bad upon the Mount. Get a load of that detail!

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And Matt Taylor’s “No Mas” Print

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Brendan Tobin went Hostess with Jessie and Walt. Hit the link for the whole thing.

A few from Twitter:

 

 

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And one from Sir Mitchell, who drew Saul.

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The To Be Shelved site offered an imaginary Penguin Classics cover.

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A couple from Frogpants.
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And,

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AND this somewhat brilliant New Yorker cover by Barry Blitt that portrays Walter White catching the Syrian president mixing up some bad chemicals.

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FINALLY, probably the most famous Breaking Bad fan art of them all, a webcomic by Christopher Keelty. Here’s the story behind the comic.

You can find more Breaking Bad art at Multiversity, and at the official Tumblr. Here are two from the Tumblr without art credits but at least it’s not more Heisenberg.

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And…

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If you like the opening music of Marty Robbins singing the haunting “El Paso,”—a story about a doomed gunfighter who is trying to get back to his sweetheart Felina (Hence the episode title)—you may like Steve Martin’s haunting Monkey version of of it.

 

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FINALLY, if you cap just one GIF is should be this one. Because I am so, so grateful that Breaking Bad went out in style, with a heartbreaking and yet thrilling story of loss and revenge. The last three episodes of Breaking Bad—starting with the devastating “Ozymandias”—showed that if someone in your family starts cooking meth, your family is most likely going to get badly fucked up. I know everyone is comparing the high of Breaking Bad to the low of Dexter, which also finished up its run last week. Sadly, that was an example of what happens when everyone on a show starts not caring simultaneously—silly plots that rely on coincidence, loose ends, characters that go nowhere, and central issues that the show was dealing with for 8 years left unresolved.

So yeah, Breaking Bad did it right and instantly vaulted to my short list of favorite TV series ever. (Other entries include The Prisoner, South Park, and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.)

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Dynamite to Expand with ‘Dynamite Toys and Games’ Division

Dynamite Entertainment have announced that they will be launching a new division, Dynamite Toys and Games, which will be producing board games, action figures, card games and other merchandise based on their comics.

[Read more…]

The great blog death of 2013 claims another victim: MTV Geek shuts down – UPDATE

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I noticed this morning that they hadn’t updated and that, coupled with the recent editor search, sent my Heidi sense tingling and yes indeed, MTV Geek is no more.

Friends and fellow geeks — We’re shutting up shop and heading to the great arcade in the sky.

Our friends over at MTV News will provide continued coverage of ComicCon, your favorite geek movies, video games and more. Thanks to everyone for the great run.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.


MTV Geek launched with some fanfare a few years ago by MTV’s Tom Akel as both a news site and a publishing platform but never really found its footing with somewhat generic content despite the best efforts of Alex Zalben, Patrick Reed, Three Geek Chicks and more.

This year we already saw the death and resurrection of Comics Alliance, and many other comics sites changing, altering merging and going away, including Blog@Newsarama, SFX and iFanboy. It’s a tough business. And let’s face it, weird pictures of celebrities your mother used to trim belly fat are where it’s at now.

BUT WE ARE STILL HERE AND WE AIN’T GOING NOWHERE!

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(Shakes puny fist.)

UPDATE: Hm, that New York Post geek blog, Parallel Worlds, is also rebooting and rebranding or…something:

Because YOU demanded it! In the tradition of all great comic books, we’re REBOOTING with a new secret identity — that won’t be secret for much longer. Meanwhile, feel free to friend me, at www.facebook.com/dgreenfield7.


This was accompanied by a picture of Doctor 13.

Webcomic alert: Darryl Cunningham does Ayn Rand bio comic

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How had we not noticed that Darryl Cunningham has been serializing a comics biography of Ayn Rand over at Act–i-vate?

Brit cartoonist Cunningham is the author of two of the best non fiction comics of the last few years, "How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial" (Darryl Cunningham) and "Psychiatric Tales: Eleven Graphic Stories About Mental Illness" (Darryl Cunningham). YOU can buy digital versions of both of these via the Sequential iPad app as well.

Rand’s life story is full of drama and self importance. The above is only page two and already you sense disaster coming. Cunningham is 63 pages in so poor a nice cup of exceptionalism tea and settle in for a read.

Cunningham is also working on a nonfiction graphic book about the financial crisis of 2008. He says it will

It will look at how the market in derivatives, and especially credit swop derivatives, caused the crash in the financial markets. It will explain, clearly, and in some depth, what these derivatives are, how and why they were developed, and how bad debt in the US housing market brought down the system.

It will look at the failure of austerity measures to solve the UK’s economic problems and how these measures are being used to roll back the welfare state, creating further inequality. 

It will look at how inequality in a society is bad for all in a population, including the very rich. 


Rand will also be covered in this book. Nothing controversial here. Here’s a page.
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The Beat Podcasts! More To Come – “March Book 1″ Interview Special

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s More To Come interview special, Calvin Reid speaks with Andrew Aydin, Rep. John Lewis‘s staffer and his coauthor on the graphic novel March Book One about the book as well as the historical impact of the 1957 comic “Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Story” about MLK, nonviolent disobedience and how that strategy won the boycott. Meanwhile, Heidi interviews writer Adam P. Knave and artist Nick Brokenshire of Amelia Cole, Laura Lee Gulledge – creator of Page by Paige and Will and Whit, and fan-favorite comics artist Chris Samnee of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, Daredevil and many more.

Now tune in Fridays for our regularly scheduled podcast at it’s new, new time!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

Johnny Ryan and Dave Cooper’s Pig Goat Banana Cricket will entertain innocent children on Nickelodeon

One specializes in beautifully rendered erotic paintings of Rubenesque women. The other is a comics bad boy known for his hilarious X-rated comics soaked in jizz, blood, and severed penises. Together they have created a cartoon for young kids called Pig Goat Banana Cricket.

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And it looks wonderful.

Dave Cooper and Johnny Ryan have been pitching a TV show to Nickelodeon for five years, according to Cooper’s blog post on the topic. Last night Nick announced a 26-episode order for Pig Goat Banana Cricket which is described as:

This show features a series of absurd interwoven stories about four friends and roommates, Pig (the fool), Goat (the artist), Banana (the wise-guy) and Cricket (the brain). Created by Dave Cooper and J. Ryan and executive produced by David Sacks (The Simpsons, Regular Show) who co-writes with J. Ryan. Dave Cooper also art directs the series and the pilot was directed by independent animator Nick Cross.


Despite my teasing Ryan and Cooper above, they have long been doing children’s material as well (Cooper pitched me a strip way back when I was at Disney Adventures), with both contributors to the departed Nickelodeon Magazine. The indie comics influence on animation continues to expand and conquer all. Congrats to both! Here’s a trailer from a few years ago.

Nick announced a second cartoon as well:

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Harvey, a sweet and well-meaning bird, makes two new best friends, Fee and Foo, the wildest kids in the forest. Although their friendship seems unlikely, their connection only grows as they push each other out of their comfort zones and into endless adventures. Created, written and directed by C.H. Greenblatt (SpongeBob SquarePants, Chowder).


There were also four live action projects announced.

Marvel to announce six new books at NYCC with Dan Slott, Mike Allred, Stuart Immonen, Bendis, Peter David and more

All week Marvel has been teasing their New York Comic-Con announcements with one word teasers. Just how much can be gleaned from a word and a font treatment depends on how closely you follow Team Marvel, but we’ve been making some guesses.

[Read more…]

PalmConGate envelops all in its path

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It started, as we noted the other day, when Allie Conti, a writer for Vice, The Atlantic and New Times in Florida, wrote a review of a small local con and deemed it “depressing”. More than 200 commenters disagreed, calling for everything from Conti to be fired or perhaps kill herself to the New Times to be shut down. I am not kidding.

Conti apologized, sort of, claiming she herself was a geek who attended willingly, but not really backing down:

However, there simply wasn’t enough merchandise and entertainment available at PalmCon to justify the ticket cost, even if it was less than ten bucks. No one asked me to attend the event — I went there because I wanted to check it out. As soon as I stepped into the convention center, I resented the fact that I had forked over my cash (on top of gas money and parking) for admission to a garage sale. Palm Beach County’s comics enthusiasts deserve better.


And…another 200 comments. Still calling for death and disgrace. And so New Times editor Deirdre Funcheon stepped in and offered a more conventional apology.

We sincerely apologize to anyone and everyone who was upset. It was not our intention to mock or insult. It bums us out to be in this tiff with you, because New Times has, for years and years, supported local comic and anime conventions. We’ve done numerous stories, the overwhelming number laudatory. So please accept our apology.


131 more comments.

If you Google PalmCon you’ll find more and more pieces taking one or both of Conti’s pieces to task. Jeebus, sensitive much? To be fair, Conti did commit an ultimate party foul by taking pictures of people in costume and then writing mocking captions next to them. That sort of thing is expected in Vice magazine, but elsewhere it is apparently grounds for suicide.

While this story is a tempest in a teeny tiny teapot, I’m somewhat bemused by the wrath and severity of the response to any suggestion that a nerd gathering wasn’t on the same level of experience as having an orgy with the cast of Supernatural while eating salted caramel ice cream. With unicorns. As you can see from the above photo, PalmCon was a modest local effort; Conti shouldn’t have taken it so seriously but it clearly was a small show.

Martin Pierro, the organizer of PalmCon, sat out most of the storm, but offered hs own take on FB:

I will be the first one to say that PalmCon needs improvement – this year was a massive learning experience for me and I am taking that knowledge and applying it towards 2014. The real reason I have taken umbrage with the New Times article is the tone of the piece, not in what she said about PalmCon. I was very concerned about the way she belittled the attendees and vendors, particularly the cosplaying kids who (as far I know) had a great time at the show. I conceived PalmCon to be place where the comics community could grow in Palm Beach County (my home), where people who enjoy the hobby could come together, hang out, share ideas and really just have fun. PalmCon was also meant to be a safe place for fans of all ages … however the New Times article brought in a hostile element and pretty much cyber bullied the attendees. The mistake was mine – I opened our doors to any and all journalists and reporters … perhaps that policy will have to change in the future. Like I said, I don’t mind a bad review – but negativity and sarcastic cynicism has no place at our show. I hope by next year this will all be a faded memory and that PalmCon 2014 will be equally as successful as years past. I also hope it will continue to be a fun and safe place for fans and families to celebrate their fandom.


I thought this was as classy a response as could be expected under the circumstances, given that no one—Conti or the commenters—looked very classy up until then.

In many ways the “PalmCon vs Vice Magazine Attitude” conflict on display here is a expression of the classic “nerds vs hipsters” culture wars. Based on their ability to post comments on newspaper articles, this is definitely a war that nerds have won.

CONSTANTINE TV show in development with Goyer and Cerone

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Kevin Tsujihara was not kidding! Warner Bros. is moving right along developing some of its DC characters. First it was the Jim Gordon/Gotham TV show the other day—already sent to series. Now it’s a TV show abut John Constantine in development at NBC. And that Mentalist production team is yet again involved, as is David S. Goyer, well known as the co-writer on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

Constantine, a drama based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories, has sold to NBC with penalty. It is written/executive produced by The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, the go-to writer for Warner Bros.’ feature DC adaptations. Constantine centers on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.


While many of us know Constantine as Hellblazer, the long running Vertigo comic, that name is probably not so great for series TV. Constantine was previously the star of a movie starring Keanu Reeves—a textbook example of the kind of mistrust of the source material that has haunted WB’s comic book movies—and is rumored to be in development as part of the “Dark DCU” Universe that is being tinkered with by Guillermo del Toro.

While this is just “in development” if it goes any further…WB/NBC PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep Constantine a sarcastic Cockney sorcerer and not Keanu Reeves. Marvel has succeeded with its movies by emphasizing the elements that made its character popular in the first place, and WB’s comic book media success stories do the same thing. Besides, Americans love British actors. IT’S A FACT. Just ask anyone on Tumblr.

Top Shelf’s big $3 sale winds up today — don’t let it pass you by

Every year indie mainstay Top Shelf Holds a big $3 sale selected backstock that last for a few weeks. The 2013 sale ends today and you can get books for even a lot less than $1, as well as comics by Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, Craig Thompson and many many more. You can get some very awesome books for only $1. What are you waiting for? Seriously here are a few of the books you can get for ONE FRAKKING DOLLAR:

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THE PLAYWRIGHT by Eddie Campbell and Daren White. A very very dark humored but stunningly realistic portrait of a man who lets life pass him by until one day he doesn’t.

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TALES OF WOODSMEN PETE by Lilli Carré. Carré is one of our finest young cartoonists and this is the book that put her on the map, the rambling musings of a lonely woodsman. Lumberjack fetishists, this is for you.

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UNMARKETABLE by Tom Hart. This is probably my favorite post-9/11 graphic novel, a multi-leveled satire on commercialism and civil disobediance that has no chance of improving anything. IF YOU BUY THIS BOOK AND DON’T LIKE IT I WILL SEND YOU A DOLLAR!

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SULK #1 by Jeffrey Brown. This tiny volume includes tales of Big Head, Brown’s superhero character. If you like browns Star Wars book you’ll like the whimsical satire of this book.

Check out the rest of the sale before its too late; it’s full of gems like these.