C2E2: A Slow Descent from Unique to Routine

by David Fairbanks
[Ed’s note: here’s an alternate take on this year’s C2E2 convention, by a Beat contributor.]

I have attended the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo every year since its inception in 2010, when it killed Windy City Comic Con in its crib. The first year of C2E2 felt like a breath of fresh air into a comics scene where the most attended cons were the glorified swap meets of Wizard World, and while that first year felt like a big budget replacement for Windy City, the years since have seen C2E2 descend from a potentially unique con experience into yet another routine celebration of consumerism.

While Torsten Adair has predictions of C2E2 potentially surpassing SDCC in size, his suggestion of dispersing the crowds to panels to account for the overcrowding of the showroom floor precisely underscores the problems I have with a convention like C2E2. While cons like Emerald City Comicon have panels that are hosted by journalists or industry pros that draw significant attendance, I sat in many panel rooms that were less than half full, with only the biggest media concerns or announcements by Marvel/DC coming close to having notable attendance.

Representation from non-mainstream publishers has dwindled noticeably, with Oni Press shrinking from a near Marvel-sized booth to nothing in under five years. Top Shelf brought out some of their top talent for the first few years, but this year Jeffrey Brown—a Chicago native and New York Times Best-Selling Author—was only at their booth on Sunday of the con. Archaia went from an incredible booth with amazing sales and a streamlined and creator-filled signing schedule to a much smaller booth—shared with Boom. The only smaller publishers that seemed to have reasonably-sized booths this year were those that trade in some of the worst stereotypes of mainstream comics, focusing on gratuitous covers and scantily-clad women to sell their books (more so than Marvel and DC do).

Instead of having the show dominated by comics and comics publishers, it has become dominated by merch. No longer a showcase for what’s coming next, the ever-growing showroom floor that Adair presents as a sign of progress is instead a celebration of the consumer culture surrounding comics. Maybe C2E2 is on its way to becoming the next NYCC or SDCC, but considering how much of SDCC is dominated by Hollywood and television announcements, I have to wonder why it is a comics fan would be too eager to have C2E2 slide further away from its unique beginnings, further away from a celebration of the medium.

The strength of C2E2 is based around its location in a city that has an incredible comics scene, and while you can see that on display in Artist’s Alley, you don’t see it much of anywhere else. Well, not anywhere else at C2E2. Thankfully, the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) is coming up on its third year, serving as a spiritual successor to the short-lived Windy City Comicon and focusing on the medium more than the merch.

[Who wore it best? Torsten or David? Sound off in the comments.]

C2E2 Is Bigger Than New York Comic Con! (And Can Grow Even Bigger than San Diego!)

“What?  Is he nuts?  NYCC is bursting at the seams!  130,000 attendees.  Massive crowds!  Sold out weeks in advance!  Crazy media coverage!”

Yes, but there’s one metric which is very important.  It’s a concern at New York, it’s a political football in San Diego, and it will soon be a concern for other large shows: [Read more…]

C2E2 drew 63,000

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According to reports from ReedPOP’s Lance Fensterman, this year’s edition of C2E2 drew 63,000 people, up from the 53,000 reported last year.

It’s a nice big number and vindication for a show that got off to what might charitably be called a slow start in its early days, with wide aisles and vast empty spots. It’s a testament to both ReedPOP’s organizing abilities and the vast popularity of comic con culture now.

As for the latter though, ICv2 has a fascinating report on how attendees are changing

One of the most common questions at the Graham Crackers booth in Salt Lake City came when looking at the prices marked on a comic (e.g., “25”): “Is that cents or dollars?”  Customers who can’t tell the price of a comic within two orders of magnitude are going to need different handling than a hard core fan who comes to a convention with his want list, and the per capita consumption levels are going to be substantially lower.

Perhaps the best summation of the changing dynamics at shows was provided by longtime convention exhibitor Bob Chapman of Graphitti Designs, who has been exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con (and other shows) for over 30 years and was also set up at C2E2.  “We’ve finally got those people we’ve been saying we wanted for all these years,” he said of the broadening audience.  “Now we have to figure out what to do with them.


That quote from Bob Chapman should go into the Hall of Fame.
Photo Via C2e2 Twitter feed

Mike Norton proves why comics are for everyone

11-year-old Rowan posing with Mike Norton. (Photo Credit: Mike Norton)

11-year-old Rowan posing with 40-year-old Mike Norton. (Photo Credit: Mike Norton)

Disclaimer: This post might make you cry and consider having children. As the rest of the world was living vicariously through all their fortunate friends at Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, but I don’t think anyone’s experience could compare to Mike Norton’s. With all the negative press the industry has been gaining lately, this is one of those shining examples of what a 32-page comic can inspire anyone to do. [Read more…]

C2E2014: ReedPOP Staff Confabs With Audience at Talk Back

C2E2-Logo-Square-Hi-ResAs is the tradition at many conventions, the show organizers sit down in front of a crowd, and listen to comments from attendees.  Reed POP schedules this panel at the end of each show, and the post-mortem/feeding frenzy occurred Sunday at 4 PM.  In attendance:

  • Mike Armstrong, event & sales director
  • Brian Stephenson, brand marketing director
  • Mike Kisken, event director
  • Eva Grady (programming?  Sorry, it was a long day.)
  • (Lance Fensterman could not attend, as he had a flight to China(!))

Overall, the mood of the audience was quite pleasant.  There were some constructive criticisms directed at the staff, but everyone seemed to want to make C2E2 the best  show possible.

So, the highlights:

  • Most people were satisfied with the show floor.  Aisles were wide, the food court and seating at the back of the hall (the front half of A2) was lauded.  Not difficult to maneuver.  Aisles had been widened this year.
  • No official word on attendance, as retailer sales and some other data need to be tabulated.  Saturday was the busiest day C2E2 has had to date.
  • McCormick wi-fi was confusing to attendees.  There is a low-data signal available for free, and wider bandwidth available for a fee.  As with NYCC, Reed is working to make the service better, but would need a corporate sponsor.    (Due to the amazing open design of McCormick, I had a good G3 signal for most of the show, something which is impossible at Javits.)
  • The Crown Championship of Cosplay was a popular event, although there were some first-time miscues.  The CCC is an example of ReedPOP’s goal: to offer programming at C2E2 which doesn’t exist elsewhere.
  • There was constructive criticism about the diversity of panels.  The attendee was delighted at the amazing demographic diversity of attendees (and children), but felt that programming did not reflect that.
  • The same attendee also suggested that there be a stronger literary track, especially when publishers attend the show.
  • The audience also suggested more workshop panels, for writing, art, and cosplay.
  • While ReedPOP has a strong harassment policy, many felt that it should be publicized better, as many first-time attendees might not have been aware of the policy, or how to report a complaint.  Emerald City’s posters were mentioned, and Reed will also add an information slide to panel room monitor displays.
  • One audience member asked if the convention could expand to Thursday.  For that to occur, Friday tickets would have to sell out first to justify the need for a Thursday schedule.
  • The Fan Village and Family HQ, located on the first floor, needed better signage.  Also, there needed to be better sound buffering for events in the Fan Village, as different areas in the same room overlapped.
  • There needed to be better promotion of fandom groups and meet-ups.
  • Some panel rooms had noise pollution from adjoining rooms (a frequent problem at NYCC).  Zoning them to a separate area was one possible solution, as was having the A/V techs adjust the volume.
  • Charging stations would be a welcome amenity.  Perhaps a studio could sponsor the stations, showing movie previews as attendees wait.

I’ve got a few suggestions and brainstorms for ReedPOP, but I’ll send those via email.

Did you attend C2E2 last weekend?  (Sorry if I missed you!)  What was your experience?

 

C2E2: Digital Comics: The Next Page

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by Johanna Draper Carlson

Promising a look into the technological future, “Digital Comics: The Next Page” featured a variety of perspectives on making digital comics. Hosted by Josh Elder, account director at iVerse Media (and writer of Scribblenauts Unmasked for DC), the panel featured

* Jim Chadwick, editor of DC Comics’ DC Squared and digital-first titles, including the popular Injustice
* Jen Brazas, webcomic cartoonist since 2004
* Christina Blanch and Mark Waid, both of Thrillbent, described as a “digital comic platform experimenting with all forms of digital comic distribution in the 21st century”.

iVerse CEO Michael Murphey, originally listed as participating, did not appear.

Normally, discussions of comics online focus on webcomics, but this session, due to the work experience of most of the panelists (and perhaps the overall show audience), talked more about working with big-company products and formats geared to go from digital to print. It was an unusual perspective that hasn’t frequently been discussed.

Elder started the talk by asking “what does ‘digital comic’ mean to you?” Brazas responded that work online is more accessible, reaching an audience outside the traditional comic shop. It’s a medium where niche work can flourish and there are more options for creators to develop audiences. Chadwick continued, pointing out that they have immediate worldwide distribution before discussing the excitement of the options available to creators. “We’re all figuring it out, we’re all trailblazers,” he said, commenting that although things were done one way for a long time, now they’re on the vanguard of reinventing an entire medium, transforming it before our eyes. Blanch noted that there are as many different types of digital comics as there are regular comics.

Taking the opposite tack, Elder then asked about what digital comics aren’t. Waid immediately jumped in, saying they aren’t cheap animation and that “motion comics are the devil’s tools.” His followup points demonstrated a thoughtful approach. He thinks that what makes comics comics is the reader’s ability to determine the pace of the story. The ability for the reader to fill in the voices and what happens in the gutters, using imagination, makes comics an immersive medium. He then demonstrated how Thrillbent uses a landscape format to better suit computer screens and our eyes. Their digital page turns are used to reveal a different image or bring up panels one by one, story guidance effects that can’t be done on a printed page.

Chadwick chimed in that digital comics enhance comics book grammar. Traditional comics control time and pacing with panel shapes and layout. Digital page turns allow that to happen online with new techniques. Elder noted that their tools allow for a lot more reveals; in fact, they almost demand that structure. They can create more suspense, and a digital story tends to have more plot. He smartly pointed out that horror and comedy are both great for the digital format, since they both depend on timing.

Blanch’s first comic writing was for digital, not print. She found Denny O’Neil’s book [The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics] a help. Thrillbent’s weekly installments have to have something happen and a resolution and a hook every page, which she found difficult. They’re also hard to translate to print, due to the transitions, but she found it neat to look for different ways to tell the story.

Brazas makes her money from selling print collections. Her webcomic is formatted as a page to avoid having to redo work. Pacing then becomes an issue, since pages paced to appear twice a week, with revelations to keep readers interested and provide payoff, would read strangely all in a row in print.

Waid pointed out that print does some things better. Jack Kirby wouldn’t be well-received in digital, he said, because of his immense splash pages and expansive visions. Chadwick agreed, saying splash pages and double-page spreads don’t work well digitally. With DC’s digital products, they always have print in mind on the back end of it.

Elder took a different financial tack, discussing how digital comics lower the barriers to entry. “The economics of experimentation are much better than they ever were,” he said. Brazas then brought up the current topic of Kickstarter. Her first experience with the venue was last year, and she plans to shift to doing all her books that way because it’s “so convenient to have other people pay for the books.”

Waid brought up the idea of a “social contract” to pay a fair price for what you enjoy in media. Big distributors have a place, but an individual artist can connect more directly with an audience and reach the 50,000 who are interested instead of the five million who may or may not be. His mottos it, “Nobody gets rich, everybody gets paid.”

Chadwick added that indy artists have a smaller audience, but one that’s more dedicated, and they may be making more money without a middleman. Then again, the Injustice series was big digital hit, and they released multiple reprintings of the print comic. The hardcover also sold really well. They don’t know, when they start, how long the digital-first series are going to run. It depends on their success, and since the stories are more self-contained, there’s more room to do their own thing.

Waid then reached back to his experience four or so years ago at Baltimore, when retailers expressed a strong resistance to giving anything away for free or online sampling. His take was that we no longer have the luxury of being angry. People stealing your work is awesome, reaching an audience hungry for your material. He wants to figure out a way to make that work for creators, driving them back to the work.

The panel then concluded with questions from the audience.

Frank Miller and Geof Darrow are back with Big Guy and Rusty for DHP

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A news byte from C2E2: Dark Horse Presents, the long running anthology, will be back in a slimmer format but with some added content heft, including a new “Big Guy & Rusty” story by Frank Miller and Geof Darrow. Previous issues of the long running anthology had been 80 pages but a new 48 page format will be a bit easier to put out, said Dark Horse publisher MIke Richardson.

Rusty and the Big Guy is a comics series from 1995 about a young boy with a giant robot, that classic set up. It was turned into a Saturday morning cartoon for Fox, and ran for a whole season. That’s right, THERE WAS A FRANK MILLER SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON SHOW IN THE 90S. ANd yuo wonder why the 90s were the apogee of the Golden Age of human civilization.

The new story is just a “simple thing” Darrow told Comic Book Resources, which Miller is dialoging.

Other stories that will run in DHP according to CBR:
• David Mack’s “Kabuki”
• New “Resident Alien” stories by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse
• Brendan McCarthy’s “Dream Gang”
• Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Andy Kuhn’s “Wrestling With Demons”
• More “Sabertooth Swordsman” by Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley
• Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s “Action Philosophers”
• Ricardo Delgado’s “Age of Reptiles”
• Horton and Dialynis’s “Amala’s Blade”
• Tyler Jenkins’ (Peter Panzerfaust) “The Chaining”
• Jerry Ordway and Alex DeCampi’s “Semiautomagic”
• Peter Tomasi and Keith Champagne’s “The Mighty” drawn by Leonard Kirk
• Ed Brisson’s “Murder Book” with Declan Shalvey, Michael Walsh, and more
• Shannon Wheeler’s “Too Much Coffee Man”

C2E2: The Man of Tomorrow panel with Pak, Snyder, Kuder and Soule

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by David Nieves

DC’s final C2E2 panel focused on Superman featuring the talent line up of Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder, with Scott Snyder and Charles Soule coming in a little late. Much of Superman’s 2014 was discussed along with Scott’s heart felt goodbye to Superman Unchained.

First up was Action Comics with Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder. The scene in issue 30 was shown where Doomsday kills polar bears. Pak went on to talk about how much fun he’s having writing Action and that issue 30 was a prelude to the “Doomed” storyline. He promised in the upcoming storyline we’d see “enormous comic book fights like you’ve never seen before.” 

Pak and Soule were both excited about writing Steel in the crossover. Soule noted him as,” someone who is trying to become Superman through his own ingenuity.” The story had been in the works for eight months and the creators promised individual books will still make sense and not ignore their own casts, but promised a rich overall story if you do read them all.

Kuder made it a point to make sure the audience knows that this is not a retelling of Superman vs. Doomsday from the 90’s. Pak expanded on that by saying, “it has a bigger new emotional arc that wasn’t there before.” He did get a pop from the crowd when he promised to have Krypto in the story. 

Soule then talked about Superman/Wonder Woman. Issue 7, on stands now, gives Clark and Diana a moment of calm before the storm of Doomed shakes everything up. The series crossover issues will have guest stars. Lois Lane and Batman show up in issue 8, while Lois will return in issue 10 for a confrontation with Wonder Woman. Pak also announced there will be a Batman/Superman issue as part of the crossover which was not announced previously.

Scott Snyder started to talk about Superman Unchained. Which began with Snyder apologizing for the delays on the book. “We decided it was better to be a little late and let Jim just go to town on it.” He also announced that issue 8 and 9 would include extra pages. Lee has just finished issue 7 and it comes out in May, taking the Wraith character even further. Snyder called him a doppleganger of Superman’s early years. Lois Lane will also be a big part of Superman Unchained 7 and 8, this is now turning into the Summer of Lois. He finished by thanking everyone for giving him the opportunity to work on the other most iconic character of his career. 

Superman 32 was also talked about, which will debut the creative team of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. It will mark JRJR’s first DC work and this line up is part of the effort to make the Superman line “stronger than ever.” Moderator John Cunningham noted that Dan DiDio believes his whole line is only, “as strong as the Superman line.”

Fan Q&A rounded out the panel. No additional details or story tidbits were dropped, but when the panel was asked who would win in an all-out brawl between every Superman version? Snyder snapped in with “Batman”, to a lot of laughs from the room. He did also say that his favorite version of Superman was the Bruce Timm animated series.

With that DC’s final panel of C2E2 came to a close.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/27/14: People said things, did things

§ Many thanks to David FairbanksMichael DeLaney, David Nieves and of course, Tireless Torsten Adair for their C2E2 coverage. Sounds like this show has come into its own at last.

§ There were a bajillion comics events this weekend and one of the more oblique was the Brooklyn Zine Fest ; Robyn Chapman has a complete report and says it was her most profitable show since Comic Arts Brooklyn, so in Brooklyn they like ziney comics. That is good.

§ Before the BZF I attended Brain Frame which is kind of a performance art showcase for cartoonists. Some of it was wacky, but some was pretty cool, and there were two giant paper mache feet. Brain Frame is generally located in Chicago and I suggest you check it out if you get a chance.

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§ Anne Ishii interviews cartoonist to watch Sophie Yanow about her book War of Streets and Houses (above) which is a startlingly concise examination of urban development, public protest and more.

§ CBR spoke with Fred Van Lente about stuff including his upcoming book How to Make Comics Like the Pros, co-written with Greg Pak:

We take readers from idea to scriptwriting process, pencils, inks, colors, letters, and then we talk about marketing. Greg obviously had a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Ryan and I have had a successful self-publishing company. We’re able to use our joint experience to guide folks from unpublished to published, and then perhaps after that, getting hired by one of the Big Two. We do some of the basic business and math stuff on how to run a self-published comics operation. To answer your question, I wish I had this information before I started doing this, in the ’90s. It would’ve saved me a lot of wasted money and frustration.

 

§ A spirited debate about Zen Pencils, and that #hate comic he ran a while ago.

§ I enjoyed The Eltingville Club #1 and his review of the book.

Dorkin’s The Eltingville Club #1 should be funny as he skewers fanboys left and right. From lousy comic shops who refuse to carry anything other than Marvel or DC comics to fans who enjoy the act of hating more than anything else, Dorkin viciously attacks the ugliness of fandom. Dorkin has absolutely no sympathy for his characters, only sadness, disappointment and a healthy amount of contempt. They think of themselves as “true fans,” the ones upholding the vigorous standards that any real art form requires. Instead, they’re the ones building up the walls around their precious love, protecting it from the “fake” fanboys and fangirls.  When one of them finally gets a job in a comic shop, for lousy pay and work, it’s the culmination of a little life as he’s reached the peak of existence, just like that high school quarterback who has no dreams beyond becoming the starter and winning the state championship.

 

§ In comic book FIGHT news, there was this, which you may have seen some people talking about on Twitter the last few days. Dan Nadel accused Scott McCloud and First Second of making shitty comic, and used an ableist term. I think First Second has had its share of clunkers over the years, but no way is This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki shitty. But, you know, something to talk about!

C2E2: Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez on Storm Solo Series

It’s happening, hurrah! Marvel have today announced the news that Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez will be the creative team for a Storm ongoing series. Starting this July, the series will see the character take off around the world on a one-woman peacekeeping mission. She’ll be toppling corrupt governments, stopping natural disasters – it sounds like she’ll be literally the greatest hero on the planet.

[Read more…]

Marvel Tempts Fans With More Than Apples During Original Sin Panel

Amazing-SPider-Man-4-Variant-Humberto-Ramosby David Nieves

Marvel got their C2E2 Saturday off to a running start with a panel dedicated to their next big event, Original Sin. The panel consisted of Mark Waid (who wrote last weeks zero issue) alongside James Robinson and editors Nick Lowe, Mike Marts, and Jordan White. Waid gets things started by talking about his identification with Uatu. According to him both are guys with a big bald head who know a lot about continuity.

Lowe talked about the murder mystery behind Original Sin, saying that the secrets the Watcher has could “do a lot of damage to a lot of people.” Characters who will play a large role in the series include Captain America, the Punisher, and Nick Fury who will be key in figuring out who murdered the Watcher.

The Original Sins tie in series was talked about on the panel. It will focus on the secrets held by Uatu in secret origin type stories featuring characters from all over the Marvel Universe. Issue 3 will feature a story by Charles Soule about Black Bolt and a new character named Lineage; after that their story will be featured in Inhuman. In addition to Sins, ongoing series in the Marvel U will also see tie-ins. One of those tie-ins will affect Peter Park with the reveal of a second person who was bit by the same radioactive spider. The cover image featuring the character named Silk was shown to the audience.

James Robinson spoke a little about the ongoing tie-ins he’s writing, most notable among them will be Fantastic Four 6-7. Robinson said, “The basic premise of the sin is that Johnny Storm messed up an opportunity to turn The Thing back into Ben Grimm.” This story will lead into a new arc that will see Ben Grimm become a murderer himself.

Waid talked about Daredevil 6, which reveals why Matt Murdock’s mother left him and his father. “It runs the risk of changing everything he does, why does everything he does,” said Waid. He also teased some easter eggs in issue 1.5 would give other story details coming soon to the book.

Mike Marts, pitched the last will of Charles Xavier and how it would tie-in to Original Sin. He noted how Bendis kept wanting to up his idea and once he got to where he wanted it, Marts wasn’t sure if his superiors would let them do it.

Nova 18-19 will reveal secrets about Sam’s father and the Black Novas. Lowe promised issues that will rock Sam to his core. Nova’s series tie-ins will also deal with Sam mourning for the Watcher, who as we saw in last week’s Original Sin 0, appeared to have a friendship with Uatu.

Nick Lowe talked about Original Sin: Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm, the series with the longest title will have the most impact. Angela is revealed to be Thor’s sister and the series will pick up on that and add the origin of the tenth realm she comes from. We’ll also see how Angela will react to Odin being her biological father.

The S.H.I.E.L.D series by Jonathan Hickman is coming back with secrets of its own. But, a few more issues need to be finished before it officially goes back on solicit schedule.

A fan asked about any secrets we’ll learn about Marvel’s villains. Waid said “most villains don’t keep their sins secret!” Robinson did note that one of Doctor Doom’s sins will be in the Original Sins tie-in series.

Later a fan asked about Winter Soldier, Lowe assured him that he will figure in Original Sin as part of the team Nick Fury puts together.

Get ready to learn the Sins of Howard the freakin Duck! Original Sins just made it to my pull list.

With that the deus ended to a round of applause from the audience.

C2E2: Vertigo Titles Merge Horror, Science Fiction, and History

American Vampire Second Cycleby David Fairbanks

 

John Cunningham hosted C2E2’s Vertigo: Defy panel featuring Scott Snyder, Lee Bermejo, Greg Lockard, and Amy Chu.

Snyder is eager to return to American Vampire with Second Cycle, saying “Taking a break sucked. We had always planned to take a break because Rafael [Albuquerque] had stuff he wanted to finish, and I had the Superman stuff coming up, but we both immediately regretted it. It got me really depressed being away from the series.”

Second Cycle will focus on bringing together all of the characters and the various strains of vampirism and crashing them together. In the DC: All Access panel, Snyder described it as “every monster in the world versus the devil,” elaborating that he is exploring the idea behind why diverse and disconnected cultures have similar myths surrounding hell and the devil. Second Cycle will carry the series through 60’s and 70’s America with overlaps with the NASA space program, the Hell’s Angels, and borrowing elements from Spaghetti Westerns.

Bermejo describes Suiciders as a post-disaster book that takes place in a split LA 30 years after a massive earthquake, where the walled city of New Angeles shields the wealthy from the poor in Lost Angeles’ no-man’s land of crime and depravity. The title characters, the suiciders, are competitors in gladatorial games.

Lockard briefly mentioned Si Spencer’s sci-fi/horror/historical fiction mashup Bodies, which will see print in July and feature artwork from Dean Ormston, Phil Winslade, Meghan Hetrick, and Tula Lotay, each of whom will illustrate a different era in the career of a time-traveling serial killer.

The new anthology series CMYK takes the name from the four-color printing process of comics, with the first issue focusing on Cyan and carrying very loose connections to the theme. Cyan features nine stories, and Chu described hers as a conflict of new vs. old, focusing on a rebooted Detroit on the upswing with an older R&B singer who had been put out to pasture meeting up with an up-and-coming popstar at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Chu says “people didn’t know [she] could get that dark.” Fabio Moon will also have a six page overarching story in each of the CMYK books. Cyan is released April 30, with the remaining issues shipping quarterly.

C2E2014: Day Two: Saturday

So my goal today, after a scant five hours of sleep, was to stroll Artist Alley and find some cool stuff.

Oh, and attend Jimmy Palmiotti’s panel.  More on that below… [Read more…]

C2E2: Marvel Announce ‘The Legendary Star Lord’

Marvel continue to roll out announcements today, with the news that Sam Humphries and Paco Medina will be the creative team for an ongoing Star Lord series. Following the exploits of the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy (and star of the upcoming movie), the series will see him fighting the good fight off – and, it looks, on – Earth.

[Read more…]

C2E2: DiDio – Only half the teams for September are set

by David Nieves

One of the key events in Chicago this weekend is all about the people who sell comics. The DC midwest retailer summit was once again held right before C2E2. Dan DiDio gave his usual passionate speech about the industry and DC Entertainment’s product. But he did address the concerns from retailers about not having the creative teams set for this year’s September event. None of the Futures End one shots, in September, have creative teams listed and DiDio answered that was because they don’t have all the information. Only about half the teams have been confirmed and DC didn’t want half the solicits to end up being wrong. He argued that having the books solicited five months in advance will do that, even saying that sometimes books three months out don’t have the final creative team.

Dan also talked about the problems behind last year’s 3D covers. DC destroyed 125,000 copies due to “blurry” proofs and some had cover dimples due to heating issues in production. He assured everyone that those problems were fixed. Heating will be set lower during the process and the blur issue was resolved by lowering the number of lines on the cover.  DC will have gif files of every cover for retailers to view before the May 27th order deadline. 

With Batman’s 75th anniversary landing on the Wednesday of Comic Con International, DC has plans to make it a huge event. A free Batman promo comic will be out just before the craziness of the show starts. It will be available for all retailers to order. San Diego will also see the replica Joker face from Death of The Family sold at the Graphitti Designs booth with an MSRP of $30. This will be something only available during SDCC. Otherwise, fans will only be able to purchase this in the Death of The Family set (mask and book) at retail for $50 

C2E2: The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier

Two issues of Uncanny X-Men will tie into the big Original Sin event at Marvel this year – issues #23 and #24. Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Chris Bachalo will be the creative team for the two-part story, which will reveal the last will and testament of poor old dead Charlie X.

[Read more…]