Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Gustavo Borges on ‘Petals’

The Brazilian creator discusses the American printing of his wordless tale, his webcomics and more.

Petals, the new book out from BOOM! Studios, isn’t a new release. Gustavo Borges, who wrote and drew the book, originally published it in his native Brazil in 2015. The book is presented as an oversized hardcover and the wordless tale owes as much to picture books as it does to comics. The story of three characters – two foxes and a bird – dealing with a hard winter, it manages to be both sweet and fable-like, but also serious. It’s a story about three people coming together to survive a long, difficult winter and the result is a book that is truly striking and moving.

This is Borges first book to be released here in the United States, but he’s been making comics for many years. He’s made webcomics like Edgar and A Entediante Vida de Morte Crens, and books like Escolhas and Até o Fim. Borges was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book.

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Bellaire, Mora put a stake in BOOM!’s new ‘Buffy’ title

BOOM! Studios will relaunch ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ in January in stories set at Sunnydale High.

Following the announcement that BOOM! Studios obtained the license to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the publisher announced this weekend that writer Jordie Bellaire and artist Dan Mora will work with Buffy creator Joss Whedon on the title.

“Buffy has brought my life so much joy and to be part of that now is ridiculously overwhelming on many levels,” Bellaire said. “My very favorite aspect of Buffy is how we have a wide group of characters that love each other, hurt each other and sometimes, they even kill each other. I can’t wait to dabble within that universe to find new stories, explore older ones and forever maintain the theme of self discovery and growing up, whatever that means.”

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BOOM! to publish R.L. Stine’s ‘Just Beyond’ graphic novel series

Stine will team with artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews on “The Scare School,” due out next year.

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps have already made the jump to comics, but now the creator is going all in with a new line of original graphic novels from BOOM! Studios.

The first Just Beyond OGN, subtitled “The Scare School,” will debut in September 2019 with artwork by Kelly and Nichole Matthews (Pandora’s Legacy) and featuring a cover by Julian Totino Tedesco (Life of Captain Marvel).

“Kids spend a lot of time in school. So it’s the perfect place for scares. What if everything you thought you knew about your school was wrong?” Stine said in a press release. “What if your school held a secret so terrifying it could threaten your life? That’s where the idea for The Scare School began. Where the story ended surprised even me!”

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‘Buffy’ comics license moves to BOOM! Studios

Buffy and the gang follow ‘Firefly’ from Dark Horse to their new home at BOOM! Studios.

After about two decades at Dark Horse Comics, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer license has moved to BOOM! Studios.

The move isn’t too surprising, Buffy creator Josh Whedon mentioned that Fox was taking back the Buffy license this past summer in an interview with CBR’s Kiel Phegley. BOOM! announced they had the Firefly license, also a Fox property, not long ago, and Fox has a minority stake in BOOM!.

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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.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Saladin Ahmed on ‘Abbott’

Saladin Ahmed is an award-winning writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, best known for his epic fantasy novel Throne of the Crescent Moon. Last year he began writing comics at Marvel. His series Black Bolt was one of the most acclaimed superhero stories of the year, and he’s writing two new series at Marvel launching this spring including the much anticipated Exiles.

This year Ahmed also has a new comic, Abbott, drawn by Sami Kivela and colored by Jason Wordie. The five-issue miniseries from Boom tells the story of Elena Abbott, a reporter in 1972 Detroit who is dealing with social and political issues of the era in addition to a supernatural threat she’s trying to understand. The series and the lead character are very much a type, the noir influenced supernatural investigator and the series is reminiscent of Jamie Delano’s run on Hellblazer, which like this was a horror/fantasy story that was very political and concerned with social issues. It’s the story of a time and place that has a lot of echoes with today as Ahmed pointed out in our conversation.

The third issue of Abbott is out this week and Ahmed was kind enough to answer a few questions about the project.

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‘The Woods,’ ‘Batwoman,’ ‘America’ among 2018 GLAAD Award nominees

DC Comics, Marvel, BOOM! Studios and Black Mask Studios all represented in the 10 nominees in the comic book category.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, have announced the nominees for their 2018 Media Awards, which recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives.

BOOM! Studios received four nominations, including one for last year’s winner, The Woods. They were followed by Marvel with three, DC Comics with two and Black Mask Studios with one. James Tynion IV, writer of The Woods, was involved with three of the books that received nominations.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 12 at The Beverly Hilton, and in New York on May 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Check out the full list of nominees below.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Takeshi Miyazawa on ‘Mech Cadet Yu’

The artist discusses his latest project with writer Greg Pak, involving giant robots, an interstellar war and the teenager in the middle of it all.

Takeshi Miyazawa has been drawing comics for years now. Some of us first noticed his work in Sidekicks and Love in Tights, others noticed his work when he started working for Marvel, with his runs on Runaways and Mary Jane and Ms. Marvel.

His current project, Mech Cadet Yu, is a book he co-created with writer Greg Pak and is about an interstellar war, an alien invasion and the unlikely teenager who finds himself at the center of this. It’s hard to make a book about giant robots that looks and feels new and dynamic, but Pak and Miyazawa have done just that. In every issue they manage to expand and deepen the world they’ve established in fascinating ways.

Next month the fifth issue of the series, and a collection of the first four issues come out, and Miyazawa answered a few questions about the project.

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