Can’t Wait for Wednesday: This too shall pass

See what’s hitting stores this week from DC, Marvel, BOOM! and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday, our look at this week’s new comics releases. And as we found out yesterday, this may be the last week of new comics we see for a while. That’s a hard sentence to type, but here we are.

Our hearts and best wishes go out to everyone in the comics industry — from retailers to creators to those working in publishing — who are going to be affected by this. We suggest contacting your retailer if you can, even if you’re in a “shelter in place” area, to see if they’re offering curbside pickup or mail order options right now. This is a good week to make sure you buy everything in your pull box, if you’re able to.

You can see the complete list of this week’s releases over at The Comic List, and I encourage you to share what you’re planning to get in the comments below. My thanks to Tom Bondurant and Carla Hoffman for sharing their picks this week.

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Comics Lowdown: Standing behind retailers during the coronavirus

Plus: TCAF canceled, BookExpo postponed and more coronavirus news.

As the threat of the coronavirus continues to spread, and federal, state and local governments take action to try and stop it, “shelter in place” and social distancing orders inevitably harm small businesses, like comics retailers. Many retailers around the country have either closed up for a time or have moved to a mail order/”curbside pickup” system. In his weekly newsletter today, writer Cullen Bunn shared some tips for supprtoing your favorite shop during this time:

…SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP as much as you’re able. 

Running a comic book store can be difficult, even in the best of times. Right now, shops are taking a hit. The absolute last thing I want to see—as a reader, a fan, and a creator—is for comic book stores to disappear. It is vital that we all work together to support comic book stores as much as possible and help them get through the coming weeks. When comic book stores suffer, so does the comic book industry. A lot of stores are offering new services during this time of isolation and social-distancing. Some things you can do to help…

  • Inquiring about curbside pickup.
  • Inquiring about mail order or delivery options. 
  • Purchasing any books that are in your pull box.
  • Purchasing gift cards/gift certificates for upcoming birthdays, events, and holidays. 
  • Following your local comic shop on social media for updates on: curtailed hours of operation, events, special accommodations, and cleaning policy. 
  • Tagging your local comic shop on social media & posting photos of the comics you’ve purchased to read during self-quarantine and social distancing.

You can find a comic shop offering “safe services” during the pandemic by using this map from BOOM! Studios.

Image Comics, who issued a letter asking other publishers to help comics retailers during this crisis, also had Alex Cox, Skottie Young and Nate Piekos create a short comic on how fans can support their local shop:

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Dark Horse announces ‘Lady Baltimore’ miniseries

Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden return to the world of ‘Baltimore’ this summer.

Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola are returning to the world of Baltimore in a new miniseries that puts the spotlight on Sofia Valk, a character from previous comics in the series.

They’re joined by artist Bridgit Connell, colorist Michelle Madsen and cover illustrator Abigail Larson.

Lady Baltimore is the start of something big and unexpected,” said Golden. “The series springs from the pages of the Baltimore comics and novel, but it has a different sensibility and a dynamic new lead protagonist. It’s perfect for new readers, who can start with issue 1 and not miss a beat, while longtime fans will be thrilled to see how the Baltimore mythos evolves, as some familiar faces encounter brand new characters and fresh terrors.”

Per the press release, the comic takes place 13 years after the events of the final Baltimore series in which the Red King amassed power on his way to the Vatican coronation while his armies swept across Europe in an unholy war.

“There are witches and Nazis and vampires, all kinds of crazy monster action—What more can you want from a comic?” said Mignola. “Oh, and there’s art by Bridgit Connell, who is great. I had the pleasure of going back and forth with her on some of the creature designs and it was a real pleasure. So happy to have her on board for this.”

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Betty gets super powers in ‘Betty Cooper: Superteen’ one-shot

Betty takes center stage, thanks to Danielle Paige and Brittney Williams.

Danielle Paige and Brittney Williams are giving Betty Cooper a superhero makeover, as they bring Betty Cooper: Superteen to the pages of her own one-shot this June.

“The best part about the Archie characters is how flexible and durable they are. They’re icons. So, you can bring in a zombie apocalypse or the B-52s, and if you’re true to the characters, it works. This is another genre-bending example of that, with a Spider-Gwen twist,” said Archie Comics Co-President Alex Segura.

Betty Cooper’s secret superhero identity isn’t new — in fact, it debuted back in the 1960s as part of “Archie’s Super Teens.” Paige and Williams are giving her an update, though, and her costume was redesigned by Spider-Gwen’s Robbi Rodriguez.

“I’ve gotten to write everything from soaps to Oz to fairytales to Mera and Aquaman,” Paige said. “Betty and Veronica’s friendship/rivalry is just as epic as those worlds with all its history and drama. And giving Betty and Veronica superpowers super-charges their conflict. I hope that readers enjoy turning the pages as much as loved writing them. And getting to partner with Brittney Williams, whose art just surges with girl power and creativity, was such a joy.”

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Free Comic Book Day postponed

The annual event will occur later in the summer.

Diamond Comic Distributors has announced that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Free Comic Book Day will be postponed “to a later date in the summer.” FCBD 2020 was originally scheduled for May 2.

“The severity and timing of the impact of the COVID-19 virus can’t be predicted with any certainty, but the safety of our retailer partners and comic book fans is too important to risk. As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of the comic industry’s best event and look forward to celebrating with you later in the Summer,” said Diamond Founder and CEO, Steve Geppi.

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Worlds collide when Archie meets Flash Gordon in new one-shot

Jeff Parker, Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski bring the pulp legend to Riverdale in June.

Mongo and Riverdale will collide in June as Archie Comics presents Archie Meets Flash Gordon in a one-shot by Jeff Parker, Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski.

“I’m now a pretty big believer that the Riverdale gang can fit with practically any other characters and genres,” Parker said, “but it’s best when they get to really flex and go way outside their zone like say, the planet Mongo with Flash Gordon, King of the Impossible. This of course coincides with the sad passing of cinema great Max Von Sydow who was the most memorable Ming the Merciless, and wait until you see our take on the Emperor of Mongo.”

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Can’t Wait for Tuesday: Going the (social) distance

Check out what’s hitting comic shops this week from DC, BOOM!, Dark Horse and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday Tuesday, our look at the comics and graphic novels hitting stores this week. And what a weird week it is, as we adjust to a new life of “social distance.” Whether your comic shop is actually open probably depends on where you are and your location’s situation. Several counties in California’s Bay Area, including my own, are implementing a “shelter in place” order that begins Tuesday, which is going to be hard on local small businesses like comic shops. There’s a lot of great comic shops in this neck of the woods, and my heart goes out to all of them.

You can see the complete list of this week’s releases over at The Comic List, and I encourage you to share what you’re planning to get in the comments below. My thanks to Tom Bondurant and Shane Bailey for sharing their picks this week.

Update: Per Newsarama, Diamond has given retailers permission to start selling comics on Tuesday this week instead of Wednesday, to try to avoid any potential quarantines or “shelter in place” orders that may be issued this week.

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Emerald City Comic Con rescheduled for Aug. 21-23

Ticket holders for the March event can transfer their badges to the August show.

After postponing this weekend’s show due to the coronavirus pandemic last week, ReedPop, which hosts the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, has announced their new dates for later this year — Aug. 21-23, which is one day less than the original show.

If you had tickets for this weekend’s show, you can transfer your registration to August using this form. You’ll need to do this by March 27, or else you will automatically receive a refund. If you do transfer a four-day badge, you’ll receive a refund for that extra day.

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de Campi + Henderson sink their fangs into ‘Dracula, Motherf**ker’

Do you bite your mother with that mouth?

Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson head to California and Austria for a “psychological horror story” called Dracula, Motherf**ker this fall.

The graphic novel with the naughty title will tell a story across two timelines — 1889 Vienna and L.A. circa 1974 — in an action-filled take on the popular Bram Stoker character.

“Most people who know my work are aware that I love pulp/exploitation cinema so me doing a book called Dracula, Motherf**ker shouldn’t really surprise anyone,” said de Campi. “Another thing I wanted to bring to this pulp fantasia was a sensibility from horror anime, with its love of transformation and of the noncorporeal, to push the element of man-as-monster in directions specifically suited to sequential art. Things like the abstract portrayal of Alucard (or Pride in FMA: Brotherhood), and the use of Superflat art in Madoka Magica were tremendously inspirational in this book, especially as that use of flatness dovetails nicely with the work of Gustav Klimt in with the book’s 1889 prologue, and with late-1960s pop art and the psychedelic liquid-light projections of the Joshua Light Show.”

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