Plus: classic Archie returns, Tom King, Black Panther and more.
Battle of the Cons: The court case between Comic-Con International (which runs the San Diego comic con) and Salt Lake Comic Con over CCI’s claim that it owns the term “comic con” moves into a crucial stage this week with two days of depositions today and tomorrow, followed by a settlement hearing before a judge on Thursday. That hearing will determine whether it all ends there or the case will go to trial in October. CCI owns the trademark to “comic-con” with a hyphen but the case is murkier for the unhyphenated version; Salt Lake Comic Con was allowed to trademark its name last year.
Plus: ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’ returns, Red Planet opens in Albuquerque, Melanie Gillman, Alex Segura, Harley Quinn and more.
The Wonder Woman movie has lots of people looking at the history of the character and how she has evolved over the years. The Fresh Toast has a great interview with Trina Robbins, the first woman to draw Wonder Woman and a pioneering underground comics artist and comics historian as well. She’s a delightful person who has had a fascinating life, and this interview is a great way to start off your week.
Plus news and updates on NBM, ‘Saga,” Dan Parent and more.
Robert Crumb’s original art for the cover of the 1969 Fritz the Cat collection has set a new record price for a piece of original American comics art: The drawing sold for $717,000 at an auction run by Heritage Auctions; the next highest price for a piece of American comics art is the $657,250 that someone paid for the last page of Incredible Hulk #180, which features the first appearance of Wolverine. Internationally, Tintin art is still top of the heap; one set of drawings brought in $3.5 million, and two other original Tintin drawings have sold for over $1 million apiece.
With reboot Archie, zombie Archie and CW Archie all going strong, longtime fans of the character might have been wondering if they’d ever see the classic Dan DeCarlo/Bob Montana version of the character in comic books again. Fear not; Archie Comics announced today a new series, My Pal Archie, by Dan Parent and Ty Templeton, that brings back the Archie you remember … mostly.
The writer of their flagship title will mentor young talent and begin co-writing ‘Jughead’ in May.
In a press release about a new TV deal with Warner Bros., Archie Comics announced that Mark Waid will take a new role within the company, “working on an expanded number of titles in addition to serving as a writing mentor for young and upcoming talent.” He’ll begin co-writing Jughead in May with Ian Flynn, who has worked on Archie titles like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man.
The TV adaptation of the Archie comics is, naturally, getting its own comic — Riverdale, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Alitha Martinez, arrives as a one-shot next year, followed by an ongoing series.
Per the press release, Aguirre-Sacasa will be joined by “the members of the show’s writers’ room” in creating the comic. Archie and his pals, of course, are no strangers to comic books, and star in about 1,500 different continuities already — one where he got married, one where he (spoiler alert) died, one where he’s written by Mark Waid, one where he fights zombies, one where he’s a punk rocker and hangs with the Ramones, and one where he fights sharks, just to name a few. The X-Men got nothing on Archie and the gang.
Tom DeFalco and Sandy Jarrell bring Archie’s favorite nemesis back to his own comic in “Reggie & Me.”
Following the relaunches of Archie, Jughead, and Betty & Veronica by the likes of Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes and others, Archie Comics has announced that everyone’s favorite scamp, Reggie, will get the “new Riverdale” treatment in December.
Tom DeFalco, who wrote the final issue of the traditional Archie title, will write the new series, titled Reggie & Me. He’s joined by artist Sandy Jarrell, whose previous work includes DC Bombshells, Batman ’66 and Meteor Men. Kelly Fitzpatrick and Jack Morelli round out the creative team.
A huge list of artists contribute their renditions of Archie and Friends for this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con Yearbook.
In past years the Baltimore Comic-Con has spotlighted an independent comic creation in their annual yearbook, available at the show and featuring a collection of pin-ups by other artists. Usagi Yojimbo, for instance, was featured in 2013 for the character’s 30th anniversary. This year the convention has chosen a whole line of characters to feature, as they honor Archie Comics’ 75th anniversary.
Dan Parent is currently in the midst of stage of his long career where his hard work is reaping substantial reward. In addition to his great gains in the Archie Universe, Dan has a Kickstarter (Die Kitty Die) along with Fernando Ruiz that asks: “What happens when a longtime comic book character has come to the end of her run? You kill her! But how? That’s where the fun begins…”
Tim O’Shea: After a couple of years is it good to no longer be pigeonholed as the resident expert writing GLBT characters?
Dan Parent: Well, I don’t really mind. I mean, I do a lot of other work, but my work with Kevin Keller is probably my most important, so I’m happy to be pigeonholed there!
What are you most proud of in terms of your storytelling dynamics for the Archie Universe?
In addition to Kevin, my Archie/Valerie storyline was something I was proud of. And I’m happy that I’ve been allowed to take the Archie characters into more progressive territory than was allowed in the past.
Who do you regard as rising stars among the current roster of Archie creative talent?
Well, Gisele Lagace is great, but she’s a rising star with her own webcomics. And Fernando Ruiz is doing the best work of his career!
In what ways have you honed your storytelling skills in recent years?
More realistic dialogue, less slapsticky.
Am I right in thinking you take a great amount of effort in fostering a rapport with fans at cons. How critical has that been for your long-term success?
I have a great relationship with the fans at cons. They give me a lot of insight about what they like and what they don’t like. And they’re the people you want to listen to, because they’re the real fans and they know what they’re talking about.
Anything we should discuss that I neglected to ask you about?
Hmm.. you didn’t ask me…Betty or Veronica….and of course, it’s Veronica!