Comics Lowdown: Eric M. Esquivel fired from ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Border Town’ cancelled

Plus: Free Comics Book Day, George Freeman, Marie Javins and more!

Although it wasn’t yet announced, DC Comics has said Eric M. Esquivel will no longer co-write Nightwing. The news that Esquivel was writing the book was to be revealed today in DC’s January solicitations.

The news follows the cancellation of Border Town, a well-reviewed series Esquivel wrote with artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Both Villalobos and Bonvillain announced on social media they had quit the title after allegations of sexual abuse against Esquivel became public. In a piece titled “X, my experience with my abuser,” toy designer Cynthia Naugle detailed a history of abuse by a co-worker at a comic shop, who has since been identified as Esquivel.

Neither DC Comics nor Vertigo have commented directly on the abuse allegations. Esquivel, who had changed his Twitter account to private following the allegations, has now made it public again and posted several tweets in response. At Book Riot, writer S.W. Sondheimer says she will no longer cover Vertigo titles as a result of their silence on the matter.

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Comics Lowdown: ‘Love Is Love’ brings in another $51,000 for The Trevor Project

Plus: Tumblr changes its guidelines, November comics sales drop, Olivia Stephens, Sophie Goldstein, Geoff Johns, Kieron Gillen, Todd Klein, more best-of-the-year lists and more!

The Love Is Love anthology published by IDW Publishing and DC Comics continues to raise money for LGBT organizations; earlier this week IDW announced a donation of $51,000 to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. This follows a donation of $165,000 in 2017 to the OneOrlando Fund to assist the victims and families impacted by the deadly attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.

“This has so exceeded any of my wildest hopes for the amount of money it could raise and the attention it got,” Marc Andreyko, who organized and curated the anthology, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We were able to give $51,000 to the Trevor Project two years out, when the news cycle is so fast people don’t remember what happened five minutes ago. I’m happy and sad that there is an evergreen quality to this.”

The anthology is currently in its sixth printing, available via online booksellers, comic book specialty retailers and through digital platforms.

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2018 Cyber Monday Comic Sales

It is not too late to score some last minute deals!

As the day winds down, it is not too late to score some last minute Cyber Monday sales. It is a good idea to check your own local comic store for deals closest to home. Here are some comic and comic related deals online

Fantagraphics 2018 Cyber Monday banner

Fantagraphics is offering 40% off almost everything!

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Comics Lowdown: Remembering Stan ‘The Man’ Lee

Plus: ‘The Brotherhood’ writer revealed! Transformers’ growing female fan base! Plus Art Spiegelman, Stan Webb and the scariest comic panel in ages!

Following the death of Marvel legend Stan Lee on Monday, many outlets covered not only his death, but turned the focus on his wide-reaching life and legacy. Some of the mainstream coverage included:

  • The New York Times not only wrote a thorough obituary of “The Man,” but also featured a comic by Brian Michael Bendis, Bill Walko and Howie Noel.
  • Peter David, freelance comics writer and a former Marvel employee, wrote a remembrance of Lee for Vulture. “Still, there was a time where Stan became the incarnation of that line from The Dark Knight: You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. In the ’80s and ’90s, it became increasingly stylish to bash Stan, to accuse him of hogging attention for his creations from the artists. But the fact is that before Marvel Comics, comics writers and artists were anonymous. It was Stan who made the artists the centerpieces of the work, giving them snappy nicknames like ‘Stainless’ Steve Ditko, ‘Genial’ Gene Colan, ‘Larrupin’’ Larry Lieber (no, even his brother wasn’t immune), and many others. We would come to know the artists (and other writers) as well as, if not better than, members of our only families. DC editors were so disdainful of this practice that they referred to him as ‘Stan Brag,’ before eventually following suit and crediting people.”
  • Roy Thomas, a legendary comics writer in his own right, shares the memory of his last Saturday spent with Lee at the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Marvel dedicated a special section of their website to Lee, with a tribute video.

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Ridley’s ‘The Other History of the DC Universe’ starts with Black Lightning

The screenwriter/producer for ’12 Years a Slave’ will write a ‘largely prose-driven’ series featuring heroes from ‘from different disenfranchised groups.’

DC Comics has revealed more details about The Other History of the DC Universe, a five-issue “largely prose-driven” series written by John Ridley.

According to the press release, “The Other History of the DC Universe will look at notable events from DC Universe history through a different perspective, telling the equally vital stories of heroes who have been there throughout the DCU’s past, but come from different disenfranchised groups.” The first issue will spotlight Black Lightning and will feature illustrations by Alex Dos Diaz.

The series will run five issues, and subsequent issues will feature Karen and Mal Duncan, Katana and Renee Montoya. It’ll be published under DC’s Black Label imprint.

Here’s the first issue’s cover and solicitation information; it arrives in January:

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DC + Funko enter the Primal Age with retro-style action figure line

Marv Wolfman and Scott Koblish will create a comic based on the new line of toys.

If you’ve ever pitted your DC figures against your He-Man figures and thought, “Man, it would be great if these figures were the same size,” then you are in luck. DC and Funko have announced DC Primal Age, a line of figures featuring “retro-style barbarian fantasy themed Super Heroes and Super-Villains from the DC universe.”

The first wave includes Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Scarecrow, King Shark, Mister Freeze and the Joker, along with two “battle rides” — Ace the Bat Hound and “The Joker Beast.” There’s also a Castle Greyskull-like Batcave playset. All the toys are now available on Amazon.com, and the Mister Freeze figure can be bought at the New Yokr Comic Con this weekend.

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Bendis’ Wonder Comics line to feature ‘Young Justice,’ ‘Wonder Twins’ and more

David Walker, Sam Humphries, Joe Quinones, Patrick Gleason and more join Bendis for his curated imprint.

Shortly after Brian Michael Bendis signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics, the publisher announced that the writer of Action Comics and Superman would also oversee a curated/”pop-up” imprint that would “feature some of Bendis’ all-time favorite characters in very unique and unusual situations, combined with new characters created specifically for this new imprint.”

Today at the New York Comic Con, DC publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee hosted a “Meet the Publishers” panel where Bendis revealed more details about his imprint. The imprint, Wonder Comics, will feature four “teen-focused, in-continuity comic books scheduled to debut in early 2019.”

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DC Universe app debuts Sept. 15

New streaming service, which includes access to comics, TV shows and more, rolls out on Batman Day.

DC’s upcoming streaming/comics service, DC Universe, will launch on Sept. 15 — “Batman Day,” appropriately enough. As previously announced, the service will cost $7.99 a month and will include comics, in an “all you can eat” subscription model similar to Marvel Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited.

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DC Comics goes nuclear this Christmas

‘DC Nuclear Winter Special’ features 10 holiday stories set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

DC Comics will continue their holiday on-shot tradition, albeit with a somewhat radioactive theme this year — DC Nuclear Winter Special will arrive in comic shops and bomb shelters in November.

Like in previous years, the holiday special will feature various characters from the DC Universe, all in stories featuring a “nuclear winter” theme. The release says it’ll include stories starring Batman, Superman and Flash, while the cover also shows Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Kamandi (the latter of which makes perfect sense).

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