Marvel to reprint Dark Horse Star Wars comics as STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION

Star_Wars_Legends_Epic_Collection_The_Empire_Vol_1_CoverHuh, well blow me down with a womp rat. Over the 20 years of Dark Horse’s Star Wars license they built up a healthy business in selling collected editions of their “expanded universe” stories. However that ended when Disney purchased Lucesfilm and reassigned the Star Wars license to their “in house ” publisher Marvel.

Although the entire “expanded universe” is expected to be rewritten in the wake of Episode VII coming next year, many thought the comics would go to the big remaindered table in the sky, especially since Marvel’s graphic novel backlist is, ahem, a work in progress.

Well, it’s turns out Marvel couldn’t resist the low hanging fruit of keeping the Dark Horse Star Wars comic in print — at least in a $34.99 collectors edition in the “Epic Collection” format. The first collection will be out in April, 2015, leading the way to the new film.

ANd perhaps, the content of these reprints would even give a clue to wheat might still be canon in the new Star Wars timeline?

Marvel is excited to announce the release of an oversized dose of a galaxy far, far, away – Star Wars comics are coming to Marvel’s prestigious Epic Collection format – STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB.
Let the dark times begin! Marvel welcomes Star Wars to the Epic Collection program, with this first volume of a series focusing on the years that follow Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith! After the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic has fallen and Palpatine exerts his ruthless grip on his new Galactic Empire. Now, the few Jedi that remain must decide whether to hold true to their faith, or abandon it completely in the face of a brutal purge — one carried out by the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Rise, Darth Vader!
“We’re thrilled to be bringing our innovative Epic Collections to a galaxy far, far away,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “We’ll be bouncing around to different periods of Star Wars history with each Epic Collection, constructing one huge tapestry, collecting full unbroken runs of all the greatest Star Wars comics from the past 35 years.”
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: THE EMPIRE VOL. 1 TPB. will offer a new way for fans to collect and read iconic Star Wars stories across the past 35 years of published titles. These oversized, self-contained color collections will bring the adventures of the Rebellion, the Galactic Empire and more to the masses with exciting new Epic Collections.

440 PGS./Rated T …$34.99
On-Sale April 2015
ISBN: 978-0-7851-9398-2
© 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. Used under authorization. All rights reserved.


SPX announces programming


And it’s a doozy as always — PR provided some highlights but I can tell you I won’t miss that alt-weekly panel….90s NOSTALGIA PEOPLE.

SPX will be held Sept. 13-14 in North Bethesda, MD. BE THERE.

White Oak Room

Noon – 1:00
Alt-Weekly Comics Roundtable
Until recently the media landscape has been augmented by alternative weekly newspapers. Beginning with the Village Voice in the 1950s and including a wave of papers in the 1980s and 1990s, alt-weekly newspapers used a mass media format to provide readers with an independent voice—and independent comics. In a historic panel conversation, cartoonist and Seattle Stranger co-founder James Sturm will discuss the phenomenon of comics in alternative weekly newspapers with a panel of the form’s most important practitioners: Jules Feiffer, Lynda Barry, Ben Katchor, Charles Burns, and Tom Tomorrow.

1:00 – 2:00
Raina Telgemeier Q+A
Raina Telgemeier has distinguished herself among the leading American artists producing graphic novels for younger readers. Her autobiographical graphic novelSmile has spent more than two years on the New York Times Graphic Books bestseller list, and her follow-up, Drama, has won the Stonewall Book Award among other distinctions. She has just published a sequel to Smile titled Sisters. Telgemeier will discuss her work and her process with moderator Isaac Cates (Cartozia Tales, University of Vermont) in this special spotlight session.

2:00 – 3:00
Pro Tips: How Comics Get Reviewed
How do comics get reviewed? What role do publicists, pitching and marketing plans play in determining coverage? What kind of coverage do editors prefer? To what extent is it possible to get a reviewer’s attention, and how is that best accomplished? And how do individual critics evaluate work? Johanna Draper Carlson (Comics Worth Reading) will investigate these questions and more with Brigid Alverson (School Library Journal), Michael Cavna (Washington Post), Dan Kois (Slate), Heidi MacDonald (Publishers Weekly), and Douglas Wolk (The New York Times).

3:00 – 4:00
Micro-Press and Beyond
For the past year, Robyn Chapman has been documenting the movement in comics towards very small publishing, otherwise know as micro-publishing. Robyn will briefly share findings from her upcoming publication (The Tiny Report: Micro-Press Yearbook 2013) before speaking with a range of publishers—from the micro-press to traditional small press—to discuss how they print, sell, and distribute their comics. Panelists will include Chuck Forsman (Oily Comics), Keenan Marshall Keller (Drippy Bone Books), Justin Skarhus and Raighne Hogan (2D Cloud), and Anne Koyama (Koyama Press).

4:00 – 5:00
Lynda Barry Q+A
Lynda Barry changed the face of North American comics with her pioneering comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, which ran in alternative weekly newspapers for more than twenty years. Her many celebrated books include One! Hundred! Demons!, and What It Is as well as the illustrated novel Cruddy. Barry is currently an assistant professor of art and Discovery Fellow at University of Wisconsin Madison. Her latest book isSyllabus: Notes from an Accidental Profesor. Barry will discuss her current work and her career in conversation with Slate Culture Editor Dan Kois.

5:00 – 6:00
Drew Friedman’s Heroes and Vaudevillians
Drew Friedman is an iconic cartoonist and illustrator whose intensely rendered, caricatural work has appeared in RAW, Spy, The New Yorker, the New York Observer, and countless other venues. His Old Jewish Comedians trilogy of books celebrated entertainers who have attracted Friedman’s fascination in a series of lush portraits. His new book, Heroes of the Comics, features eighty-four portraits of landmark figures from the history of comic books. Friedman will discuss his work in this special spotlight session moderated by Rob Clough (The Comics Journal).

6:00 – 7:00
Inkstuds Live: Michael DeForge, Simon Hanselmann and Patrick Kyle
At this year’s SPX, two cross-country tours explosively collide! Inkstuds host Robin McConnell has taken his popular comics-focused radio show on the road with special guest co-host Brandon Graham in tow, in a series of live Inkstuds programs. In Bethesda, Michael DeForge (Lose #6), Simon Hanselmann (Megahex), and Patrick Kyle (Distance Mover) will kick off their own book tour live on stage as McConnell and Graham’s special guests.

White Flint Auditorium

12:30 – 1:30
Sex, Humor and the Grotesque
Eleanor Davis (How to Be Happy), Julia Gfrörer (Black is the Color), and Meghan Turbitt (#foodporn) have all produced comics that touch upon events, experiences, sensations and feelings that contemporary social discourse often fails to engage in meaningful or productive terms. This group of artists will discuss the intersections of humor, anxiety, sexuality and parody in their work in a panel discussion moderated by Katie Skelly (Operation Margarine).

1:30 – 2:30
The Roots of Frémok: Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet
Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet are foundational figures in the poetic comics movement represented by the the avant-garde publishing house Frémok. Alagbé’s work expresses in harsh lines and soft tones his narratives of mysterious desire and explosive cultural conflict, as in his most recent book, École de la misère. Goblet’s work troubles the distinctions between fiction and autobiography, and between narrative comics and poetic image-making. Her new graphic novel Plus si entente was produced collaboratively with Kai Pfeiffer to test the possibilities of narrative within the comics form. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.

2:30 – 3:30
The Closed Caption Comics Legacy
In 2004 a group of students at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) formed the loosely-defined art group Closed Caption Comics, their collective activity centered around an eponymous comics anthology which ran for nine increasingly ambitious issues. Ten years later, the members of the group are productively focused on individual projects. Several of them will discuss their common roots and current work, including Ryan Cecil Smith (S.F. #3), Molly Colleen O’Connell (Strip Mall, Poety Unlimited), Noel Freibert (Weird Magazine), and Conor Stechschulte (The Amateurs). Moderated by Brian Nicholson.

3:30 – 4:30
Comics Workshop presented by the Sequential Artists Workshop
Comics educators Josh Bayer and Sally Cantirino from the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) in Gainesville, FL, will guide the audience through a complete cartooning exercise. Everyone, from experienced cartoonists to those who have never drawn a panel of comics, is welcome to attend this fun, educational, creative workshop. No matter what your age or experience level, you will leave this workshop having drawn your own comic!

4:30 – 5:30
Jules Feiffer Q+A
Jules Feiffer has reinvented the comics form multiple times in his diverse and storied career. In 1956 Feiffer broke new ground with a truly modern comic strip intended for an adult audience in the pages of The Village Voice. In addition to his incisive comics, Feiffer has distinguished himself as a playwright, screenwriter, children’s book author, and more. His most recent books are the graphic novel Kill My Mother and the picture book Rupert Can Dance. He will discuss these and more in conversation with Bill Kartalopoulos (Series Editor, The Best American Comics).

5:30 – 6:30
John Porcellino: Root Hog or Die / Film Screening and Conversation
For twenty-five years John Porcellino has been writing, drawing, and self-publishing his minicomics series King-Cat. The DIY ethic underlying Porcellino’s life’s work resonates with the sublime authenticity of his comics as he chronicles the events and rhythms of his life. Porcellino is now the subject of the documentary film Root Hog or Die, debuting at this year’s SPX with Porcellino and director Dan Stafford in attendance. After this debut screening, Porcellino and Stafford will discuss the film and Porcellino’s new book, The Hospital Suite, with moderator Jared Gardner (Ohio State University).
Sunday Programming

White Oak Room

1:00 – 2:00
Bob Mankoff: The Past, Present and Future of The New Yorker Cartoons
Bob Mankoff is a cartoonist and has been the Cartoon Editor for The New Yorkersince 1997. He has written and edited many books including The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, The Naked Cartoonist, and his new memoir How About Never — Is Never Good for You? In this special presentation, Mankoff will discuss the historical development and evolution of the iconic single panel cartoon form and the magazine that perfected and popularized it—with an eye towards the future.

2:00 – 3:00
Charles Burns Q+A
Charles Burns is among the world’s most distinguished cartoonists. His work first gained notice in the pages of RAW Magazine in the 1980s. His meticulously drawn early stories reflected upon and transformed the tropes of historical genre comics. Burns then spent ten years drawing his graphic novel masterpiece Black Hole, which dissolved literal horror into the true horror of everyday life. At SPX he will debut Sugar Skull, which concludes the serialized narrative in his new trilogy of full color comics albums. Burns will discuss his work in a spotlight session moderated by Alvin Buenaventura.

3:00 – 4:00
Making Art for the Internet
This panel will consider different aspects of the process, problems and possibilities of making art for internet-based platforms. This will include questions of art-media, digital medium specificity, online platforms, audience, culture, and content. Bill Kartalopoulos will lead a discussion featuring Sam Alden (It Never Happened Again), Emily Carroll (Through the Woods), Blaise Larmee (, and Rebecca Mock (

4:00 – 5:00
Mimi Pond Q+A
Mimi Pond has a long and diverse career in cartooning that includes work for such venues as National Lampoon, The Village Voice, and Seventeen. Pond’s work in television includes the screenplay for the first full-length Simpsons episode, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” Her recent graphic novel, Over Easy, is an autobiographically-based narrative based on her time working as a waitress in a California diner in the late 1970s. Pond will discuss her work and career with moderator Heidi MacDonald (The Beat).
White Flint Auditorium
12:30PM – 1:30
Stories of Girlhood
What is the difference between writing about girlhood and writing for young girls? What can we generalize about the experience of girlhood in Western culture? And how do we express that in words and images? Moderator Ellen Lindner (The Black Feather Falls) will consider these questions and more with artists Jillian Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer), Aisha Franz (Earthling), and Melissa Mendes (Freddy Stories, Lou).
1:30 – 2:30
Spanish-Language Comics
This essential panel will examine a world of Spanish-language comics from South America to Europe, which share a common language, and, sadly, low awareness in North America. Colombian comics editor Daniel Jiménez Quiroz (Revista Larva) will discuss Colombian and South American comics, and will lead a discussion including Spanish comics critic Santiago Garcia, Colombian comics critic Pablo Guerra, and North American editor Scott Brown, who is working to bring Argentine comics by Hector Oesterheld and others into English-language translation.
2:30 – 3:30
Eleanor Davis: How to Be Happy
Eleanor Davis (How to be Happy) will share an autobiographical presentation that will have something to do with finding truth in fiction and the strange passions inside an author/reader relationship. Moderator Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter) will follow Davis’s presentations with questions about her work, and will also take questions from the audience.
3:30 – 4:30
Mana Neyestani Q+A
Mana Neyesteni is an Iranian cartoonist and illustrator. A 2006 political cartoon by Neyesteni prompted riots among the oppressed Azeri minority in Iran; the paper in which the cartoon appeared was promptly closed and Neyestani was imprisoned. He is the recipient of the Cartoonists Rights Network International award for courage in editorial cartooning, 2010. His graphic novel An Iranian Metamorphosiswill debut in an English-language edition from Uncivilized Books at SPX. He will discuss his work in a spotlight session moderated by Alex Dueben (Comic Book Resources).
4:30 – 5:30
Renée French and Jesse Jacobs in Conversation
Renée French first made her mark with the intensely drawn, troubling comic book series Grit Bath in the 1990s and has produced a diverse array of works including The Ticking, H Day, and her new book Baby Bjornstrand. Jesse Jacobs has worked on the animated series Adventure TIme and his books of comics include By This You Shall Know Him and his new book Safari Honeymoon. These artists share a commitment to intense visual explorations of unsettled and unsettling narratives and will discuss their work in a special conversation moderated by Marc Sobel.

WHOA: As San Diego Convention Center decays, expansion plan is shot dead


I can’t say this was unexpected, but here we go again: after the threat of endless legal battles, environmental group opposition, the lack of any real financing plan and perpetual local conflict, after spending $10 million in six years, the planned expansion of the San Diego Convention Center has been killed. KILLED.

One of the biggest ironies of the Convention Center expansion’s demise is that this path — the one that has taken six years, cost $10 million and ended in nothing — was considered the least risky. And yet, with one 7-0 vote Tuesday, the San Diego City Council abandoned the effort. The $520 million plan to expand the facility — the biggest construction project on the city’s docket — is now dead. It won’t have to fight off the last environmental litigation from attorney Cory Briggs, who engineered this collapse. It will not pass go.


The Convention Center expansion was a key in San Diego Comic-Con agreeing to stay in San Diego, and signing a multi-year contract to stay. The planned $520 million project was to have been funded by a hotel tax, but his aced many legal challenges, and opposition to the plan won out. Those in favor of the expansion said it would draw other big shows that the current Convention Center can’t handle, but I’m not sure huge trade shows themselves were a big enough growth area to justify the expense:

Now what? :

Councilman David Alvarez, who voted against the financing plan two years ago, said he was pleased that his colleagues decided against pursuing an appeal.

“We have a new opportunity to move forward with a better project, including a potential stadium site, and engage San Diegans in a citywide dialogue about how to build the best facility possible,” Alvarez said. “The people of San Diego should get a say on whether to fund a convention center expansion, and discuss the size, scope and location of the project that best serves the needs of our city.”

Stadium site? Yep, the other problem in downtown is getting a new stadium for the Chargers, and now the idea of a dual use stadium/convention center seems to be dancing in the heads of some—possibly in that big area on the other side of Petco Park. But that would also have to be paid for by someone. And probably not cosplayers.

Adding to all the confusion? The Convention Center itself is said to be badly in need of repair:

The move to pursue a naming rights deal is fueled by the center’s growing tab for repairs, most notably the need to replace the fabric structure of the upper level Sails Pavilion.

“The Sails Pavilion is 25 years old, and its useful life is 20 years, so it’s rotting and likely to fail anytime soon,” said center spokesman Steve Johnson.

In addition, the center no longer has the funds to maintain an operating reserve, a concern raised repeatedly by the city’s independent budget analyst. The center is largely self-supporting through the revenues it gets from leasing the bayfront facility, although it does receive an annual city subsidy of $3.4 million, $1.9 million of which goes to the Tourism Authority staffing for booking large conventions.

Double whoa.

So now what?

As I’ve covered the convention center story for the last few years the Chargers dilemma has always been bubbling under the surface—Qualcomm Stadium (formerly Jack Murphy Stadium) was built in 1967 and it’s about what you would expect from that era, without any nostalgic value to keep it around. While I’m not an expert in the local politics surrounding this, I’d suspect getting a new stadium will become the new #1 dream project.

As for Comic-Con International, it’s current deal is to stay in San Diego throughout 2016. When the extension was originally signed in 2010, it was based on the planned expansion. IN the intervening four years, the big show seems to have taken many steps to deal with its constrained facilities. For a long time, the biggest problem facing the con was finding a way to increase revenue with ticket sales at a finite level. They seem to have found ways to grow with more sponsorships and spreading out to the nearby hotels.

I never got around to writing my SDCC 2014 final report, but it was obvious to me that things had been scaled back this year, some things internally, some things externally. I don’t think the expansion plan failing was unforeseen by anyone involved with Comic-Con. And like Mark Evanier, I can’t see San Diego not being in San Diego. 130,000 people it will be. Only so many people can go to the Super Bowl or the Oscars of the Westminster Dog Show. There can be endless crowds milling around the Gaslamp district, but even that seemed to lose a bit of luster what with the Zombie Walk hit and run. It’s likely that we’ve just reached the size that things are going to be for the foreseeable future.

In some ways, I’m glad to hear the expansion won’t go through. The outdoorsy area behind whe center added a nice natural seaside feeling, and as shown by this years Simpsons display and Gotham zipline, it can still be put to very good use.

In the meantime, perhaps that decaying roof is our new ticking time bomb.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 8/27/14: Hulk statue ahoy!

§ You will need to go through several sign-up tests to get to this Psychiatric Times article about the use of comics in psychiatric treatment, but inspired by the recent Comics and Medicine conference, the answer is “Yes.”

After hearing that I spent a few days at a comics and medicine conference, an ordinarily taciturn patient with autism spectrum disorder revealed that he enjoyed Japanese manga comics. It was unexpected to see him smile or show such enthusiasm, although I wondered if manga’s many sexually exploitative themes kindled his intrigue. Discussing comics in session seemed like a good way to open closed doors and circumvent his limited communications skills.

A transgendered patient seemed equally thrilled to tell me of her affection for artist/author Alison Bechdel. In one day, I felt confident that I had stumbled upon an unexplored but promising clinical tool. A few mental health–related graphic novels left in the waiting room can accomplish a lot, especially when dwindling appointment times leave less and less time for psychotherapy.

§ ONE MORE intervention link, I promise. Michael Cavna interviews co-founder Oni Hartstein :

ONI HARTSTEIN: I think the biggest lesson is that we all know each other much better than in the first year. The five-year point is when the staff really starts to gel with events, and that’s exactly what happened here. The quality of the event is higher than ever.

§ This piece entitled The Comic Book Industry Is On Fire, And It’s About More Than Just The Movies leads you through the many topics we’ve covered here over the last year or so (and links to a few pieces we’ve written) including more and better comics, more cons, more stores, more movies and so on but ends with suggesting actual comics to read. Curve ball!


§ Huh well how do you like that: Marvel Has No Plans To Release Any Comics Based On ‘Big Hero 6′. This is the Disney animated movie based on Marvel Comics, but the subject matter has been thoroughly transformed. Straight out Disney kiddie comics are still a tough sell in the continental United States. And look at those characters. Who could possibly make comics about this gang!

§ After all the time we spent covering the amazing story of the Hulk Statue of the Northlake Library, we were stunned by this account of ANOTHER Hulk Statue in an Illinois backyard discovered by a news chopper inspecting flood damage.


What other Hulk secrets lie in the backyards of America? This could be an entire Marvel New Now Soon mini series. Hello Jonathan Hickman, this is right up your alley.