Comics Lockdown: Publishers react to COVID-19

With news from Marvel, Dark Horse, Humanoids, Vault Comics and more.

Marvel offers some suggestions on how to support local comic shops, along with a list of stores that are still open and what services they provide.

Christina Merkler of Discount Comic Book Service discusses the effect of the Diamond shutdown on the Collected Comics Podcast.

UK comics blogger John Freeman rounds up resources and links, including free comics sites, information on UK stores that sell by mail order, and stuff to keep homebound kids amused, at Down the Tubes.

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Dark Horse announces ‘Lady Baltimore’ miniseries

Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden return to the world of ‘Baltimore’ this summer.

Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola are returning to the world of Baltimore in a new miniseries that puts the spotlight on Sofia Valk, a character from previous comics in the series.

They’re joined by artist Bridgit Connell, colorist Michelle Madsen and cover illustrator Abigail Larson.

Lady Baltimore is the start of something big and unexpected,” said Golden. “The series springs from the pages of the Baltimore comics and novel, but it has a different sensibility and a dynamic new lead protagonist. It’s perfect for new readers, who can start with issue 1 and not miss a beat, while longtime fans will be thrilled to see how the Baltimore mythos evolves, as some familiar faces encounter brand new characters and fresh terrors.”

Per the press release, the comic takes place 13 years after the events of the final Baltimore series in which the Red King amassed power on his way to the Vatican coronation while his armies swept across Europe in an unholy war.

“There are witches and Nazis and vampires, all kinds of crazy monster action—What more can you want from a comic?” said Mignola. “Oh, and there’s art by Bridgit Connell, who is great. I had the pleasure of going back and forth with her on some of the creature designs and it was a real pleasure. So happy to have her on board for this.”

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Can’t Wait for Tuesday: Going the (social) distance

Check out what’s hitting comic shops this week from DC, BOOM!, Dark Horse and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday Tuesday, our look at the comics and graphic novels hitting stores this week. And what a weird week it is, as we adjust to a new life of “social distance.” Whether your comic shop is actually open probably depends on where you are and your location’s situation. Several counties in California’s Bay Area, including my own, are implementing a “shelter in place” order that begins Tuesday, which is going to be hard on local small businesses like comic shops. There’s a lot of great comic shops in this neck of the woods, and my heart goes out to all of them.

You can see the complete list of this week’s releases over at The Comic List, and I encourage you to share what you’re planning to get in the comments below. My thanks to Tom Bondurant and Shane Bailey for sharing their picks this week.

Update: Per Newsarama, Diamond has given retailers permission to start selling comics on Tuesday this week instead of Wednesday, to try to avoid any potential quarantines or “shelter in place” orders that may be issued this week.

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‘The Witcher’ returns at Dark Horse in June

Geralt of Rivia returns to comics to help out a small town with a Foglet problem.

Dark Horse Comics is once again teaming up with gaming company CD Projekt Red for another miniseries starring The Witcher, the popular character from novels, video games and the recent Netflix show.

The Witcher: Fading Memories will be written by Bartosz Sztybor, narrative manager at CD Projekt Red and writer of comics like Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens. It’ll be illustrated by Amad Mir (Zarathustra), with a cover by Evan Cagle (seen below):

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Berger Books to publish new edition of Romberger’s ‘Post York’

The 2012 project will be expanded into a graphic novel for the Dark Horse imprint.

Berger Books, the imprint started by former Vertigo chief Karen Berger at Dark Horse, will publish an “innovative expansion” of James Romberger’s Post York in September.

Post York was originally published by Uncivilized Books in 2012, Romberger said the idea for the story came to him when he attended Columbia University. “I wrote a few stories and made some paintings and prints, all attempts to depict what New York City would look like after the ice caps melt and the water finds its level,” Romberger told Alex Dueben back in 2012. “It seemed to me that we would become more like Venice. However, as we can see from Hurricane Sandy, most of New York is not built to withstand the strain that so much water would put on it, the old tenements would collapse and the infrastructure would fail. But, any survivors left in the city would find ways to deal with it as best they could — New Yorkers are hardy and tenacious.”

He teamed up with his son, Crosby, on the project; his son recorded a song for it that was included in the original publication as a flexidisc.

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Exhibitors, creators pull out of ECCC over coronavirus concerns [Updated]

Emerald City Comic Con offers refunds to attendees who aren’t comfortable attending.

Multiple exhibitors, including DC Comics, Dark Horse and Penguin Random House, have announced they will no longer attend this year’s Emerald City Comic Con, citing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19). Seattle, ECCC’s host city, has seen nine people die of the virus since Feb. 26.

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, DC Comics said they are cancelling all of their convention appearances for the rest of March.

In addition, several comics creators, including Jim Zub, Jen Bartel, Benjamin Percy, Richard Pace, Christian Ward and Jody LeHeup, have said they will no longer appear at ECCC.

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Séance gets his own ‘Umbrella Academy’ spinoff series

‘You Look Like Death!’ by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, I.N.J. Culbard and Nate Piekos starts in June.

Dark Horse Comics has announced the first solo series for a member of the Umbrella Academy, the supernaturally charged Klaus Hargreeves, a.k.a. Séance.

The aptly titled You Look Like Death! will be written by co-creator Gerard Way with an assist from Shaun Simon, illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard and lettered by Nate Piekos.

“For a long time, I had wanted to tell the story of Klaus Hargreeves’ life after the Umbrella Academy disbanded and before the events of Apocalypse Suite,” Way said in a press release. “I imagined a pretty wild decade for Klaus– full of ups and downs, seedy places, supernatural excursions, and internal battles within himself. I am thrilled to finally be able to tell this story with my co-writer Shaun Simon, who sees the world of the UA as clearly as I do. Also thrilled to work with such an amazing art and lettering team in I.N.J. Culbard and Nate Piekos.

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Mail Call | Off and Running

News from Random House, BOOM! Studios, IDW and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Congratulations to Random House Graphic, which officially launched this week! RH Graphic is a new line of graphic novels for young readers, spearheaded by Gina Gagliano, former marketing director for First Second.

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Transformers collide with the Terminator next March

Robots in disguise collide with robots in disguise in the four-issue miniseries.

The battle of the ‘bots kicks off in earnest next year as the Transformers collide with The Terminator, courtesy of IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics, who hold the respective comics licenses for the two properties.

The four-issue miniseries will be written by David Mariotte, Tom Waltz and John Barber, with art by Alex Milne.

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