Comics Lowdown | ‘The Other History of the DC Universe’ gets a release date

Plus: News on Fantagraphics’ new logo, the CBLDF, Ignatz Awards and more.

Publishing: DC Comics’ long-delayed The Other History of the DC Universe finally has a release date: the first issue by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley and artists Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Cucchi and José Villarrubia will arrive in November. That issue will focus on Black Lightning, and Ridley spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his history with the character:

When Black Lightning came out, I remember, as a younger person, how that felt to have a series that was led by a man of color, who in his regular identity was a teacher. Like I said, my mom was a teacher. It was a comic book that really, for me, for the first time, I felt like, “Oh, okay, this is for us as much as anybody else. The book, the universe, all of those things, you know, this is for us.” If I ever had at an age felt like, “Oh, I want to be a writer, I want to be a creator, I want to be a storyteller, I want to deal in the fantastic,” certainly when Black Lightning came out, it was a moment that galvanized that feeling.

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Lemire gives an update, reveals art from new ‘Sweet Tooth’ comic

The new series will come out under DC’s Black Label imprint.

After teasing the return of Sweet Tooth to comics in May, creator Jeff Lemire has revealed more details about his work on the new series in his email newsletter.

He said the new series will fall under DC’s Black Label imprint, and like the original, will be written and drawn by Lemire and colored by Jose Villarrubia.

“I know a lot of Sweet Tooth fans are anxious to know story details and also apprehensive because they liked how I ended the old series, and don’t want me to do anything that will ruin that,” Lemire wrote. “All I can say is that I had all of these exact same concerns and it wasn’t until I came up with an idea that I really believed in that I considered going back to the world of Gus and the gang.”

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‘American Vampire 1976’ wraps up the series this fall

Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s former Vertigo title returns for its last ride in October.

Skinner Sweet, the lovable, deadly star of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s long-running, Esiner-winning American Vampire, will take one more ride in October.

The former Vertigo series will find new life this fall as a nine-issue miniseries, American Vampire 1976, under DC’s Black Label banner.

“Scott, Rafael, and I, we cut our teeth together on American Vampire 10 years ago,” said Executive Editor Mark Doyle. “Returning to finish the story we started a decade ago is a thrill. Working on American Vampire 1976 has been so creepy and cool, especially because the parallels between ’70s paranoia and today are really chilling.”

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DC announces ‘Rorschach’ by Tom King + Jorge Fornés

The Black Label title featuring a character created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons will be set 35 years after the end of the ‘Watchmen’ maxiseries.

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen continues to be mined by DC Comics for story ideas some 30+ years after the 12-issue miniseries debuted. Although it enjoyed a long tenure as a “hands off” project while DC built its graphic novel business on its back, in recent years, post-Paul Levitz, the gloves have been off, starting with Before Watchmen in 2012 and the more recent Doomsday Clock, which brought the Watchmen characters into contact with the DC universe. These projects were done without the support or approval of Moore, who has “angrily” distanced himself from anything Watchmen due to his ownership dispute with DC (among other reasons).

Which brings us to today, in a world where Watchmen is not just a very well-regarded comic from the 1980s, but also a very well-regarded HBO show. DC has announced a new Rorschach 12-issue series by Tom King and Jorge Fornés that sounds like it has more in common with the TV show than the original comic.

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Taylor + Robertson have a ‘twisted’ John Constantine story coming in September

‘Hellblazer: Rise & Fall’ brings the Vertigo bad boy to DC’s Black Label for a three-issue series.

DC Comics has announced Hellblazer: Rise & Fall, a new three-issue Black Label series by Tom Taylor (Suicide Squad, DCeased) and Darick Robertson (The Boys, New Warriors). The story involves a police detective, Aisha Bukhari, trying to solve the mystery behind the bodies of billionaires falling from the sky — with some help from her childhood friend, John Constantine.

If there’s any character who screams “Black Label,” it’s gotta be John Constantine.

“This is a very twisted book,” said Taylor. “But, I actually want to give people exactly the John they’ve seen before. I want to write the bloke who steps out of the shadows with the smirk, the lit cigarette and all the answers. I want a story of shocks and sadness and triumph in the face of utter horror.”

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‘The Dreaming: Waking Hours’ arrives in August

The new Sandman Universe series will feature a nightmare named Ruin, by G. Willow Wilson and Nick Robles.

After wrapping up The Dreaming with issue #20 last month, DC Comics has announced the follow-up series by Ms. Marvel co-creator G. Willow Wilson and Euthanauts artist Nick Robles — The Dreaming: Waking Hours — will now debut in August.

The story will focus on Ruin, “the nightmare of catastrophic failure,” who finds his way into the waking world.

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‘Strange Adventures’ becomes a Black Label title

Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner and Clayton Cowles’ Adam Strange maxi-series will be aimed at readers over 17.

DC has announced that Strange Adventures, the upcoming Adam Strange maxi-series by Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Evan “Doc” Shaner and Clayton Cowles, will now be a Black Label title and will carry an “Age 17+ content descriptor” on the cover.

“As Strange Adventures was coming together, we had to take a step back and look at what made the most sense for the project,” said DC Group Editor Jamie S. Rich. “Since its tone and themes are more in the vein of Mister Miracle than, say, Tom King’s work on Batman, we decided that it made more sense to give Strange Adventures its own space, where Tom, Mitch, Doc and Clayton could follow the story to all the different places it might take them.”

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Palmiotti, Conner working on a Black Label Harley Quinn miniseries

Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner put a mature readers spin on Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey.

Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, the husband and wife team who chronicled the adventures of Harley Quinn for several years, will reunite on the character for a new four-issue ‘Black Label’ miniseries titled Harley Quinn and The Birds of Prey.

As the title would suggest, it will feature Quinn teaming up with Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain and Renee Montoya after the Joker puts a bounty on her head. And since it falls under their Black Label imprint, expect it to be aimed at more mature audiences than their last work on the character.

“Jimmy and I are so looking forward to this project,” said Conner. “I’m excited to be co-writing it, but it’s been some time since I’ve been able to draw interiors, so I’m doubly excited. Harley is a blast to write and draw; throw the Birds of Prey into the mix and it’s even more fun. And since this will be a mature readers title, we’ll do our best to get away with as many shenanigans as possible!”

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DC Black Label announces new high fantasy series, ‘The Last God’

Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Riccardo Federici, Dean White and Tom Napolitano tell the story of ‘a cross-generational quest to kill an evil tyrant king.’

Epic fantasy and horror will collide in a new series from DC Black Label — The Last God, by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Riccardo Federici, Dean White and Tom Napolitano.

According to the press release, the story “will follow a cross-generational quest to kill an evil tyrant king—also known as the Last God—as he seeks to destroy the land of Cain Anuun.”

“This is a terrifying horror story told in a stunning epic-fantasy world,” Johnson said. “Set in two different generations, it follows a mighty fellowship of heroes that travels beyond the borders of creation to kill a god, and the next generation, who learn their predecessors aren’t the heroes the world believes them to be.”

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