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.

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Nominees announced for the 2018 Russ Manning Award

Annual award for the “Most Promising Newcomer” comic artist will be presented during the Eisner Awards in July at Comic-Con International.

The nominees have been announced for the 2018 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, named for the creator of Magnus, Robot Fighter and illustrator of the Tarzan and Star Wars comic strips.

Presented annually since 1982, the award recognizes an artist who, early in his or her career, “shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” Previous winners include Dave Stevens, Eleanor Davis, Jeff Smith, Marion Churchland, David Petersen, Tyler Crook, Dan Mora and Anne Szabla.

Congratulations to this year’s nominees:

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For the first time, two women comic writers will receive this year’s Bill Finger Award

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk, two comic book pioneers who kicked off their careers in the 1940s, will receive the award during the Eisners ceremony at Comic-Con International.

Comic-Con International has announced the recipients of this year’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Writing, which goes to writers who have not been given due recognition for their work.

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk, two comic book pioneers active in the 1940s, will be the first women to receive the award.

“We’re really excited about this one,” committee chair Mark Evanier said in a statement. “The comic book industry employed too few women in its early decades. Back when this year’s honorees were active, their gender was horribly unrepresented among the creative talents that made the comics—and what few there were went totally unrecognized. The work of these two extraordinary ladies deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.”

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Nominees for the 2018 Eisner Awards announced

‘Monstress’ and ‘My Favorite Thing Is Monsters’ receive multiple nominations.

Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for the 2018 Eisner Awards, presented annually in San Diego at the convention.

Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda and My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris each received five nominations across various categories; other comics with multiple nominations included Mister Miracle, Black Hammer, The Flintstones, Grass Kings, Eartha and Hawkeye.

Check out the complete list of nominees below.

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Kalish, Ormes announced for Eisner Hall of Fame class of 2018

Comic-Con International announces the 2018 judge’s picks and other nominees for this year’s Eisner Hall of Fame.

Direct market pioneer Carol Kalish and black female newspaper cartoonist Jackie Ormes will be inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in July at Comic-Con International, as announced by CCI on their official blog this week.

Kalish, who worked as direct sales manager and vice president of new product development at Marvel Comics from 1981 to 1991, is credited with pioneering the comics direct market when it was in its adolescence, in part through a program in which Marvel helped pay for comic book stores to acquire cash registers. Kalish also spearheaded the expansion of the Marvel’s distribution into major bookstores such as B. Daltons and Waldenbooks. Kalish passed away in 1991 from a brain aneurysm, at the age 36.

Ormes was the first, and for a long time only, black female newspaper cartoonist. In the 1930s she wrote and drew Dixie in Harlem comics featuring Torchy Brown. After returning to her roots in journalism, she published Candy, a single-panel cartoon about a witty housemaid in 1945. Then she created Patty-Jo ’n’ Ginger, another single-panel cartoon about a pair of sisters, which ran for 11 years through 1956. Finally, from 1950 to 1954, Ormes revamped Torchy Brown into Torchy in Heartbeats, an 8-page color comic insert that included paper dolls. Ormes passed away in 1985.

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Comics Lowdown: Comic-Con International wins trademark suit

‘Comic con’ belongs to Comic-Con! Dr. Seuss Enterprises v. ComicMix! Plus Connor Willumson, behind the scenes on comiXology’s Guided View, recent personnel changes and more!

Legal: Comic-Con International won its trademark suit against Salt Lake Comic Con on Friday, when a jury determined that “comic con” is a trademark, and that Salt Lake Comic Con’s use of it was likely to confuse the public. However, the jury did not grant CCI the $12 million in damages that was requested in the lawsuit; stating they did not believe the infringement was intentional, they awarded CCI $20,000 for advertising to clear up any confusion.

Rob Salkowitz lays out the history of the case and the possible implications at Forbes, pointing out that some conventions already pay CCI a licensing fee for the use of the term. He also noted that the organizers of SLCC, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, tried to paint themselves as the Davids to CCI’s Goliath and ran a crowdfunding campaign to pay for their legal fees—but they also gave themselves $225,000 in bonuses. At the trial, however, CCI produced a survey that showed more than 70 percent of respondents identified the term “comic con” with the San Diego event.

In a statement released later that day, CCI reiterated that the trademark was theirs and that they had worked for almost 50 years to build that brand. “From the beginning all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks,” the statement said. “Today we obtained a verdict that will allow us to achieve this. For that we are grateful.”

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Comics Lowdown: Comic Con court case kicks off

Plus: More court cases, Stephanie Zuppo, Lucy Bellwood and more!

Legal: Salt Lake Comic Con tried to “hijack” the Comic-Con brand name, an attorney for Comic-Con International said in opening arguments in the trademark suit between the two convention organizers. “You don’t need to use ‘Comic-Con’ in your name to identify your comic and popular-arts convention,” said Comic-Con International attorney Callie Bjurstrom. In making a distinction between the two, she said “Convention is a generic term. Comic-Con is a brand.” Salt Lake Comic Con attorney Michael Katz, on the other hand, said that Salt Lake organizers merely followed existing practice when adopting the comic con name, as many other conventions had before them: “They used the same formula: Salt Lake to refer to where they were, and Comic Con to refer to what they were,” he said.

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Comics Lowdown: Court strikes down gag order in ‘comic-con’ lawsuit

Plus: Top graphic novels, comics retail chat and two new manga from Jiro Taniguchi!

The 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that a gag order imposed by a judge in the trademark lawsuit between Comic-Con International and Salt Lake Comic Con is unconstitutional. The case stretches back to 2014, when Comic-Con International, which produces the San Diego comic con, sued the organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con over the use of the term “comic con,” which CCI claims it owns. The Salt Lake organization countersued, claiming the term is widely used by other conventions and is a generic term. The trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 28, and because they were concerned that Salt Lake’s postings about the issue on social media would taint the jury pool, CCI asked that they be restrained from commenting publicly about the case. U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia placed a strict limit on what Salt Lake could post about the case, and limited that even further after CCI claimed that Salt Lake violated the ban. However, the appeals court overturned that order on Monday, saying,

San Diego Comic-Con has presented no evidence as to how many, if any, of the approximately 35,200 Twitter followers are registered voters in San Diego and Imperial counties and how many, if any, of the 120,000 attendees of the 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con in Utah are even possibly members of the current San Diego-area jury pool.

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Comics Lowdown: Jack Kirby special edition

A roundup of some of the Jack Kirby 100th birthday news this week!

Not only is it “Kirby Week” here on Smash Pages, but the entire comic industry has come together to honor and remember one of the industry’s greatest and most influential creators, Jack Kirby, for what would have been his 100th birthday. Here’s a round-up of links related to “The King.”

The first place to check is Marvel.com, which has an entire section dedicated to Jack Kirby. The colorful articles have been posted throughout the month of August, with reading lists, character features and articles by Jim Zub, Carlos Pacheco, Mark Waid and Mike Allred. Plus there are several videos about the life of Jack Kirby.

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