Distributors: UCS Comics Distributors, one of the two comics distributors that began working with DC Comics during the COVID-19 industry shutdown earlier this year, has told retailers they will no longer distribute DC’s books as of January 2021. Their accounts will be serviced by Lunar Distribution, the other distributor for DC that came into being during the pandemic. UCS was formed by retailer Midtown Comics, while Lunar was formed by Discount Comic Book Service.
So is UCS going away? Not according to the email they sent to retailers, which you can read over at The Beat. It says “UCS is not closing. We will be offering other exciting items that stores can use!” So it’ll be interesting to see what they offer in the future. John Jackson Miller has additional commentary.
Above the Fold
‘Publishers’: io9’s Beth Elderkin wrote an extreme takedown of new comics publisher Terrific Production and its founder, Andrew Rev. Rev, a one-time owner of Comico and the current owner of the rights to Youngblood, Supreme and other properties created by Rob Liefeld, has been recruiting talent for a planned publishing launch for about a year. Elderkin spoke with a dozen creators about questionable contract terms and lack of wages for completed work, as well as with Rev, a lawyer who specializes in the comics industry, and Bill Willingham, who had issues with Rev back during the Comico days related to Elementals.
“I think his company, and all that Terrific represents—he’s a hustler,” artist Daniel Mainé told io9. “I’d rather quit drawing before working with them again. It has been a real nightmare.”
If you haven’t heard of Terrific Production (which, yes, isn’t plural), that’s probably because they haven’t actually published any comics yet, despite a lot of talk and hype on social media. Mostly they are known for the properties they have the rights to publish and their almost unreadable Twitter feed. (You can read more background about how they obtained the rights to Liefeld’s creations here).
It’s a long article, but well worth a read.
Publishers: Also worth your time is this interview that Chris Arrant conducted with Archie’s Alex Segura, discussing the pandemic, Archie’s overall publishing plans, their new deals with Webtoon and comiXology Unlimited, and more.
Publishers: And if you’d like to know more about Nachie Marsham’s plans at IDW now that he’s been named publisher, Heidi MacDonald at the Beat spoke to him about his background, licensed comics vs. original titles, comics for kids and more (part 1, part 2).
People moves: Jim Killen, the former comics buyer for Barnes & Noble, has joined Rebellion Publishing as editor-at-large.
Events: The L.A. Comic-Con, which was scheduled for December, has been cancelled.
Talk About It
Profiles: Cartoonist and blogger Allie Brosh spoke with Rolling Stone about her six-year absence from the internet and publishing, as well as her battles with endometriosis and depression, and the death of her sister.
Interviews: Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore did an interview with Deadline about his work on The Show, a new movie he co-created that debuts this month. And of course the conversation turns to his feelings about comics nowadays.
Interviews: For Newsarama, Grant DeArmitt talks with Kevin Eastman about his latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles project, The Last Ronin.
Interviews: Maggie Stiefvater talks about her work on DC’s YA title, Swamp Thing: Twin Branches. “I think a lot of people might say there isn’t a lot of difference between a monstrous plant elemental and a normal teenager. And heck, maybe that’s actually what the book is about. It’s about not being able to understand each other, about not being able to understand yourself. That’s a very teen experience. I don’t recommend all teens turn into organic plant monsters, but I do think that if everyone can learn a lot by asking, ‘Is there a better way to communicate with this foreign-seeming entity I’m faced with?’
Interviews: At ICv2, Milton Griepp speaks with AWA’s Axel Alonso about their Covid Chronicles project, which originally ran as a webcomic but will be collected in print.
Awards: The Moonbeam Spirit Awards “are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading,” according to their website, and they recently named their 2020 award recipients. In the Comic/Graphic Novel category, Stonebreaker by Peter Wartman took the gold, while Once & Future: Finest Hour, by Brian Donnelly, Jean Pedroso and Ed Dukeshire took the silver and Galileo! Galileo! by Holly Trechter and Jane Donovan took the bronze.
Fellowships: Author N. K. Jemisin, who writes DC’s Far Sector, has been named one of the 2020 MacArthur Grant recipients. The MacArthur fellowships are awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and recipients receive $625,000, distributed over five years.
Reviews and Commentary
Reviews: At Boing Boing, Thom Dunn reviews the Image title Little Bird by Darcy van Poelgeest and Ian Bertram. “Even though the plot is full of heartbreaking surprises, those aren’t the details that stay with you after reading — it’s the surreal, dreamlike depictions of multi-generational trauma that really make it resonate,” he writes.
Commentary: At CBR.com, Brian Cronin looks into the history of the Comics Code Authority and who was running it when it was discontinued.
Webcomics: Jason Cohen at PC Magazine reviews the popular webcomics app Webtoon, noting “the content is terrific, but the app could use some work.”