Adrian Tomine covers The New Yorker with 9/11 Memorial


This week’s New Yorker has a cover by Adrian Tomine, and he discusses it inside the magazine:

“When I heard that the 9/11 memorial and museum were going to be the top tourist attractions in New York this summer,” Adrian Tomine says about this week’s cover, “I first sketched only tourists going about their usual happy activities, with the memorial in the background. But when I got to the site, I instantly realized that there was a lot more to be captured—specifically, a much, much wider range of emotions and reactions, all unfolding in shockingly close proximity. I guess that’s the nature of any public space, but when you add in an element of such extreme grief and horror, the parameters shift.”

I haven’t been down to the new memorial and have no plans to soon, although some out of towners I know who have gone enjoyed it greatly. Maybe later. Tomine’s cover certainly captures the many emotions inspired by just thinking about a visit.

DC announces 2 new Bat-books, ARKHAM MANOR and GOTHAM ACADEMY, by unlikely teams


 The Batverse is getting two ongoing spinoff series, according to EW. And not a mention of the “New 52″ in the pr….In Arkham Manor, Wayne Manor gets turned into…a home for the insane. Whch could just be Batman and Robin, but you get the point. CReative team is writer Gerry Duggan and artist Shawn Crystal.

In Gotham Academy, it’s Gossip Girl meets Gotham with the adventures at Gotham City’s most prestigious prep school. The words “twisted teenybopping universe” were used. The writers are Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher and artist is Karl Kerschl.  

This is the most non-New 52 book announced since the New 52 started. Actually both covers look very non-New 52ish — could this be the influence of Batman temporary editor Mark Doyle? 

Both books hit in October. 


Diamond Comic Distributors Discontinues Its Toll-Free Number

DiamondBooks.jpgby Brandon Schatz

After closing on their main offices on Friday, Diamond Comics distributed a message to all of their customers regarding the discontinuation of it’s toll free 1-800 number. The specifics (minus Diamond’s actual phone number) are as follows:

The number is being discontinued due to the many online and email recourses now available to facilitate communication between Diamond’ Home Office and its customers and vendors,” said Diamond Vice President of Retailer Services Chris Powell. “Additionally, many retailers no longer pay long-distance fees as part of their business or cellular telephone plans, so we anticipate that eliminating the toll-free number will create little or no disruption for our customers.”

To assist with the transition, callers to the toll-free number will hear a recording that reminders them of the number’s cessation beginning August 1, and will direct them to call Retailer Services at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

While the PR on this is handled quite well, the fact remains that Diamond is making further cuts to an already threadbare service. I would challenge you to find a retailer who has gone a single week without miss shipped quantities or extensive damages in the past five years, let alone having to deal with the all to frequent practice of missing entire orders of certain titles entirely. Furthermore, while I would admit to communicating with Diamond more through e-mail than any other medium, this is more due to the fact that it takes an infinite less amount of time to type out my shortages and damages each and every week, than waiting for my rep to return my call – if he feels like doing so on any given day. Regardless, this is yet another example of the company foisting costs onto their customers, a business model that will surely yield them positive results as retailers die from the amount of tiny little cuts experienced by the company’s shoddy service.

[The opinions expressed are those of Schatz and do not necessarily reflect those of The Beat]

Disney’s Marvel animated movie Big Hero 6 comes into focus with character posters

Big Hero 6 is this fall’s Disney big animated movie, so it’s hardly wanting for marketing and publicity, however, it is based on a VERY obscure Marvel Comics characters, and that has led to some head scratching. The film is being directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) with a script by a bunch o’ folks including Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Hall, and Jordan Roberts. The story concerns robotic whiz Hiro Hamada who builds a robot named Baymax; the duo is then recruited to a super team to save the city of San Fransokyo. And yes this is an homage to the tradition of mecha and anime (which as proven by Transformers 4’s stellar box office, is still of some interest to the movie going public.)

Big Hero 6 originally appeared in Alpha FLight #17 as created by Steven Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. Because of scheduling, the team actually appeared first in a mini-series called Sunfire and Big Hero 6 by Scott Lobdell and Gus Vazquez in September 1998, with a subsequent mini  by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama in 2008.

Of note in the above account is that Seagle and Rouloeau would go on to form the collective Man of Action where they would co-create such similarly boy-themed properties as Ben 10 and Generator Rex, and story editing Marvel shows like Ultimate Spider-Man. So they have a track record.

It was because of, not despite Big Hero 6’s obscurity that Hall was interested in adapting it to cartoon form.

For Hall, the absence of a detail-obsessed fan base for the series was part of its appeal, as it left every character and setting open to interpretation.
“I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do,” Hall said. “The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney.”

Hall, a lifelong comic book fan who started at Disney Animation in 1995, was in the midst of directing “Winnie the Pooh” when Disney acquired Marvel in 2009. He found “Big Hero 6″ while digging through Marvel’s library for ideas and pitched it to Disney’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, in 2011.

The film is now headed for a November release date, with voices by Maya Rudolph and TJ Miller. AND things are just getting rolling with a trailer:

And a bunch of character posters:





And more!




SPX has been revealing more and more guests and posters, including Sorenson, Graham

This fall’s Small Press Expo—to be held September 13-14 in North Bethesda—has been quietly rolling out guests, and the list is expanding, even as john Porcellino’s poster reveals even more, including Olivier Schwauren and Michael DeForge. Announced guests include more alt-comix mainstays like Drew Friedman, Jen Sorenson and Ben Katchor, and contemporary masters Emily Carroll and Brandon Graham. Here’s the list of everyone who’s in:


Brandon Graham started out as a graffiti artist in his native Seattle and now is the writer behind the Image comics series Prophet, as well as the creator of his own comic mini-series Multiple Warheads. His other titles are King City, Elevator andUniverse So Big. SPX is honored to host this rare East Coast appearance by Mr. Graham, whose work can be seen on his Tumblr blog.

Emily Carroll was the recipient of this years Pigskin Peter Award, which is given to the best Canadian experimental or avant-garde artist. Her magical web-comic Out of Skin was awarded the 2014 Cartoonist Studio Prize given by The Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies. Her first book, Through the Woods, is being released next month by Margaret K. McElderry Books. Ms. Carroll’s web comics can be seen at

Both Mr. Graham and Ms. Carroll will be signing their latest works at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund tables at SPX 2014.

Drew Friedman’s caricatures and comics have graced the pages of such esteemed publications as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Village Voice and Mad. His Old Jewish Comedians series of books was the subject of an extensive show earlier this year at the prestigious Society of Illustrators. He will be on hand at SPX to sign copies of his next book due out in August from Fantagraphics, Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books.

Mimi Pond is a cartoonist, illustrator, and writer. She has drawn comics for theLos Angeles Times, Seventeen magazine, National Lampoon, and has also written for television, including the first full-length episode of The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”. She is the author of the cult-classic book The Valley Girl’s Guide to Life. Her first graphic novel, Over Easy, was published this past April by Drawn & Qaurterly to critical acclaim and spent one month on theNew York Times graphic novel bestseller chart. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the painter Wayne White.

Charles Burns completes the final installment of his trilogy that began with The Hive and X’ed Out with the release this September of Sugar Skull. Mr. Burns is renown for his epic graphic novel Black Hole, as well as his work for such periodicals as Raw, The Believer and The New Yorker. Courtesy of Pantheon Books there will be advance copies of Sugar Skull at the show, as well as a special book plate designed just for SPX 2014.

Jen Sorensen is the recipient of the this years prestigious Herblock Award, which is given every year for excellence in political cartooning. She also won the 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in Cartoons as well as the 2013 National Cartoonist Society Award for Best Editorial Cartoons. Her political cartoons can be seen in various alt-weekly newspapers around the United States as well as at The Nib and her own web site, In addition to her weekly cartoon, she also does illustration work for such clients as the Kaiser Health News, The Dallas Observer, Ms. Magazine, Politico and her current home paper, The Austin Chronicle.

Tom Tomorrow aka Dan Perkins is the creator behind This Modern World, his weekly political cartoon strip that has been running since 1990. He is a two time winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in Cartoons, as well as the winner of  the James Madison Freedom of Information Award and the 2012 Herblock Award. He is the author of 10 compilations of his cartoon work, as well as a children’s book and he created the cover to the Pearl Jam album Backspacer.

Ben Katchor started in the alt-weekly’s in 1986 and  six compilations out of his award winning work, the latest is the 2013 Hand Drying in America and Other Stories from Pantheon Books. He is an associate professor at Parsons The New School for Design and has taught cartooning all over the world. Mr. Katchor is also works in the theater as a librettist, having won an Obie award for his work on The Carbon Copy Building.

Marvel unveils the secrets of Matt Murdock’s birth




It seems there are still a few stories that haven’t been told in the Marvel Universe, and one of them is the tale of Matt Murdock’s mother—introduced as Sister Maggie in the Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli run. Although we know she abandoned Matt after his birth and turned to the church, it hasn’t been revealed why. And where better than an ORIGINAL SIN tie-in by Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez! Cover by Chris Samnee.

What is the dark secret that tore apart the Murdock family? How did Matt’s mother become Sister Maggie? Matt Murdock’s journey to the truth begins as Original Sin opens the Man Without Fear’s eyes this July in DAREDEVIL #6!

In original Marvel continuity, his mother died when he was but a child. In the Miller/ Mazzucchelli “Born Again” run, we learned she had become a nun but the story behind his birth was never revealed.


Go read: Color palette basics by Melanie Gillman


Eisner-nomintaed As the Crow Flies cartoonist Melanie Gillman has a cute, simple intro to the basics of color theory, which will help you understand why movies are all orange and teal and European-style coloring look way more pleasing than rando pseudo CGI.

Via Johanna