§ Does this guy EVER STOP? Stan Lee is teaming with Archie and A Squared Entertainment to create yet ANOTHER new comic!
Lee — the comic icon responsible for “Spider-Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “X-Men” and “Iron Man” and founder of his own POW! Entertainment — is collaborating with Archie Comics and A Squared Entertainment on “Super Seven,” set for launch in the fall. The story is centered around “seven aliens who find themselves stranded on planet Earth after their spaceship crashes, only to be befriended by none other than Lee himself,” according to the release. “Taking them under his care, Lee becomes their leader and enables them to resume their lives as superheroes on Earth.”
You might recall that Lee just pulled off the “I’m a character in my own comic” thing with the manga Ultimo. Has the Man finally run out of ideas?
§ North by Northwestern presents a comic book vocabulary.
§ While the Sacramento Bee may be the greatest name in the lineup of the rapidly vanishing species known as the newspaper, surely the Halifax Commoner is a second runner up? Anyway, the Commoner profiles cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks, who talks about her new graphic novel and her own experiences being home schooled.
§ Writer Miles Gunter dropped us a line to let us know that Bay Area doom metal band High on Fire have written a song called Bastard Samurai inspired by the Image comic of the same name by Gunter, Mike Oeming and Kelsey Shannon. Singer/guitarist Matt Pike talks about it a bit here.
Reading makes my world go round. A friend of mine created this comic book called Bastard Samurai, so I wrote a song called “Bastard Samurai” on the new record. He’s a big High on Fire fan so I did it in honor of his comic book. It’s about this Yakuza samurai that runs around. He’s in this gambit, and there’s this girl guiding him for the Yakuza. The Yakuza bets on him, and he’s randomly attacked at any time. They gamble on it. They know when it’s going to happen but he doesn’t. He’s such a killer—he just kills everything in his way all the time. For a comic book, it’s a really cool story. I based the song off that.
§ The Comics Reporter reports that mid-century cartoonist Frank Interlandi has died.
§ Sinking sales aren’t just on the Beat; the French comics market is also going through a rough patch:
Last week, however, Xavier Guilbert of the influential comics news and review site Du9 presented his annual analysis of sales figures in French comics, simply entitled Numérologie, and he sees little reason for optimism. Guilbert’s analysis, which is repeated in the online magazine BoDoï, is simply alarming. Even though the average price of a comic has risen some 3 %, the total market value has only grown with a meagre 0.3 %. Nearly all large publishers, with the exception of Flammarion, have seen a reduction in their issues sold, with Soleil even plumetting no less than 11 %. Similarly, the five large publishing houses (Média participations, Glénat, Flammarion, Soleil and Delcourt) have seen their market share fall back from more than 80 % in 2002 to 70 % in 2009
§ Brian Heater interviews James Sturm Pt. 1 on subjects including starting an art school:
Unlike a graphic novel, you can’t just sit down and do it. You’ve got to bring together a lot of resources. You need people and money and even institutions to help you do such a thing. That all just started coming together up here. in 2002, my youngest daughter was born, so that’s when I moved out of the very rural home I was living in in Hartland. When my second was born, there was just no way in the world I was going to get any artwork done. I got a studio in White River Junction, and started working out of there. I really just began this love affair with the village.
§ Don MacPherson drills down into Con Wars
§ Wired previews Bob Fingerman’s post-apocalyptic comedy FROM THE ASHES and gabs with the author.
§ Finally, Chris Sims has some shocking revelations about The Increasingly Dubious New Secret Avengers Team
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.