Comics Lowdown: Halloween edition

Tricks and treats from Marvel, Todd Klein, Kerry Callen and more!

It’s the scariest day of the year, and to help celebrate we’re doing something a little different with Comics Lowdown today.

Let’s start with something better than candy — better than candy? — comics! Every year Diamond Comics Distributors celebrates Halloween ComicFest, an event for comic shops similar in spirit to Free Comic Book Day. You can check out the official website to see pictures from this year’s celebrations. Also of note: many comic shops are selling packs of comics that you can give out to Trick or Treaters. So check with your local retailer to see what they have on hand.

And if you’re looking for some scary comics to read today, publishers have unleashed a horde of Halloween-themed stories today. Polygon spotlights the return of Wytches, as Scott Snyder and Jock return to hex you with a one-shot today. Speaking of hexing, Hex Wives, the new title by Ben Blacker and Mirka Andolfo from Vertigo, debuts today, along with the last issue of Wayward, a new issue of Stranger Things and some more Ice Cream Man, if you’re looking for something both sweet and creepy. In addition, new publisher Ahoy Comics has Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror, featuring the work of Tom Peyer, Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler and more, while Marvel has an Avengers Halloween Special and DC kicks off The Witching Hour crossover.

If you’re looking for a longer read, Doctor of Horror and Other Stories from Fantagraphics collects old EC horror stories, while Dark Horse has released H. P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories by manga creator Gou Tanabe.

Finally, if you’re looking for some deals, check out Dynamite’s Fall horror bundle on Groupees and ComixTribe’s Halloween flash sale.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Halloween edition”

Comics Lowdown: Asterix translation genius Anthea Bell passes away

PLUS: Dwayne McDuffie Award submissions open, Fiona Staples shows her art process, anime does superheroes better, black and white vs. colour, Amazing Spider-Man #300

The translator credited in bringing Asterix to Engish speaking audiences has passed away at the age of 82. Anthea Bell first began translating Asterix in 1969, where she needed to up with jokes and puns that made sense to the readers without the book losing its meaning and charm.  In her version, Obelix’s small dog Idéfix became Dogmatix, and the druid Panoramix became Getafix. The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation describes her work on Asterix as ingenious and superbly recreated, displaying “the art of the translator at its best”.

According to the novelist Will Self, “it’s doubtful that the eminence of WG Sebald would be quite so great in the English reading world were it not for Anthea Bell’s magnificent translations of his works”

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Asterix translation genius Anthea Bell passes away”

Comics Lowdown: Alex Ross’ ‘DayGlo’ Fantastic Four pitch

Plus: Bill Jemas, Liza Donnelly and an IKEA comic!

Artist Alex Ross pitched Marvel on taking over the Fantastic Four last year, and you can find his pitch inside Marvelocity, a coffee-table book that highlights the artist’s Marvel work. The 13th Dimension reviews the book and shares several pages from the 2017 pitch. “It just goes to show you that even the biggest talents in comics don’t always get what they want – and what Ross wanted was an eye-popping comic that echoed the DayGlo ’60s while offering something fresh,” reviewer Dan Greenfield writes.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Alex Ross’ ‘DayGlo’ Fantastic Four pitch”

Comics Lowdown: Chuck Wendig says Marvel fired him because of negative tweets

After posting a controversial interview, Bleeding Cool gets a new editor in chief! Plus Steve Ellis, Alex Ross, MAD Magazine and more!

Comics writer and novelist Chuck Wendig says he has been fired from Marvel “because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark [Paniccia], the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.” Wendig had just been announced as the writer of Shadow of Vader, with artist Greg Smallwood, and said he had another as-yet-unannounced Star Wars comic in the works.

In addition to various Star Wars comics, Wendig also wrote Star Wars: Aftermath, a novel that included LGBT characters and was one of the first books published after Lucasfilm ended the “expanded universe” Star Wars books. After it was published, Wendig said he received “TONS” of harassment online — “harassment that has gone on for years, harassment that has required me to contact local police and warn them of SWATting attempts, harassment across all corners of the Internet, here, FB, Reddit, YouTube. Some of it was bot stuff, obviously, or sock puppets, but some of it was pretty creepy, and very personal.”

This story has been reported on widely, with stories from Deadline, io9, the Verge, Vulture and more. Update: Wendig has a post answering many of the questions he’s received since he went public with this news.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Chuck Wendig says Marvel fired him because of negative tweets”

Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee speaks out on elder-abuse allegations

Patti LaBoucane-Benson appointed to Canada’s Senate! Finding Olivia James at CXC! Plus: Grant Morrison, Matthew Thurber and why we love Spider-Man so dang much!

People: In an interview subtitled “Those I Trusted Betrayed Me,” Stan Lee speaks to The Daily Beast about elder-abuse allegations against his daughter and the removal of several of his associates from his life.

“There really isn’t that much drama,” Lee said. “As far as I’m concerned, we have a wonderful life. I’m pretty damn lucky. I love my daughter, I’m hoping that she loves me, and I couldn’t ask for a better life. If only my wife was still with us. I don’t know what this is all about.”

People: The Outside Circle comic writer Patti LaBoucane-Benson has been appointed to Canada’s Senate by Prime Minister Trudeau.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee speaks out on elder-abuse allegations”

Comics Lowdown: Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra passes away

Mark Waid sued, and gets a new job! Vertigo prepares for NYCC! Plus Ryan Ferrier, Jason Lutes, John McCrea and more!

Passings: Carlos Ezquerra, 2000 AD artist and co-creator of Judge Dredd, has passed away, the Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter both reported this week. The 70-year-old artist was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010, and the disease returned this year.

“It is difficult to put this into words, but we have lost someone who was the heart and soul of 2000AD. It is no exaggeration to call Carlos Ezquerra one of the greatest comic book artists of all time, and his name deserves to be uttered alongside Kirby, Ditko, Miller, Moebius and Eisner,” reads a statement issued by 2000AD. “Yet this doesn’t really do justice to someone whose work was loved by millions and has had an influence far beyond the comic book page. From Judge Dredd to Strontium Dog, from Rat Pack to Major Eazy, Carlos has left us with a legacy of stunning and distinctive work that was and always will be 2000 AD. He has been one of the pillars, producing the same dynamic, enthralling and arresting art we always loved him for. We thought we had many more adventures to come from the master, so we are devastated to discover we were wrong.”

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra passes away”

Comics Lowdown: Olivia Jaimes to appear at CXC

Plus: Kazu Kibuishi, Katie Green, Zunar and more!

Olivia Jaimes, the pseudonymous artist who has revitalized the comic strip Nancy, will be a guest at the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus comics festival in Columbus, Ohio, next weekend. There has been considerable speculation about Jaimes’s real identity, and CXC will be asking the 40 or so lucky attendees at her panel to check their phones at the door to protect her privacy.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Olivia Jaimes to appear at CXC”

Comics Lowdown: Russ Heath, Yim Yee-King pass away

Plus: Jerusalem cartoonist fired over drawing of Prime Minister Benjamin Nettanyahu, comics at Walmart, Thi Bui and more!

Passings: Eisner Hall of Fame artist Russ Heath passed away last week after battling cancer, his grandson, Lee Kosa, reported on Twitter. “His mastery of the craft of illustration encouraged me to pursue the arts and it is a joy to see my son now filling his own sketchbooks. Thank you for passing along the joys of drawing and storytelling,” Kosa wrote.

In the late 1940s, Heath began his career at Timely Comics, which eventually became Marvel Comics. While there, he drew many of their Western titles like Two-Gun Kid and Kid Colt. Later his work expanded to include their superhero titles, as well as war comics for EC Comics and DC Comics, where he co-created The Haunted Tank and worked on Sea Devils, G.I. Combat and Our Army at War, among other titles. He also worked on the “Little Annie Fanny” strip that appeared in Playboy, even moving into the Playboy Mansion in Chicago for a time while working on it. Later he’d move into animation, where he worked on G.I. Joe, Godzilla and “Pryde of the X-Men.” Heath was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the National Cartoonists Society’s Milton Caniff Award in 2014. He was 91 when he died.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Russ Heath, Yim Yee-King pass away”

Comics Lowdown: Cartoonists entitled to freedom of expression in India

Parents fight to remove Alison Bechdel’s ‘Fun Home’ from school curriculum, Hope Larson’s ‘All Summer Long’ and more!

Legal: The high court in Madras, India, has ruled that political cartoonists are entitled to freedom of expression, stating that since it is their job to sway public opinion, often by making fun of public figures, they should not be vulnerable to lawsuits:

Upholding cartoonists’ unbridled freedom of expression, Justice Swaminathan stated that the “art of the cartoonist is often not reasoned or even-handed, but slashing and one-sided.”

He went on to quote extensively from US Supreme Court Justice William Rhenquist’s celebrated judgement in Hustler Magazine Inc v Falwell (1988): “The political cartoon is a weapon of attack, of scorn, ridicule and satire; it is least effective when it tries to pat some politician on the back. It is usually welcome as a bee sting, and it is always controversial in some quarters.”

The judge and several other commentators made numerous references to American cartoons, including the New Yorker cover depicting Donald Trump naked.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Cartoonists entitled to freedom of expression in India”