Waid, Osajyefo + Briones ignite the H1 universe [Preview]

Check out a preview of ‘Ignited #1,’ which debuts June 5.

It’s a ballsy thing to do, kicking off your new superhero universe with a first issue that barely features any costumed superheroes. That’s one of the things I admired about Ignited #1.

Last October French comics publisher Humanoids, which has brought comics like Metabarons, Technopriests and The Incal, among many others, to America over the past 20 years announced their intention to launch a shared universe that would kick off with three monthly titles — Ignited being the flagship. They announced an impressive amount of talent behind this new universe, including Waid and Osajyefo, as well as John Cassaday, Yanick Paquette and Carla Speed McNeil.

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Comics Lowdown: Who owns Atlas Comics?

Plus: Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award recipients, Paige Braddock, Frank Santoro, Dr. Gene Luen Yang and more!

Who exactly owns Atlas Comics? That seems to be the question raised in two articles from The Hollywood Reporter. Earlier this month Steven Paul, producer of the Ghost Rider film, announced via a press conference that he had bought the rights to the Atlas Comics and planned to work with Paramount to turn the properties into movies. Not so fast, said Dynamite Entertainment, who followed up by telling THR that they own the name “Atlas Comics.”

Many of you may be wondering “What the heck was Atlas Comics?” while others might be thinking, “Wait, wasn’t Atlas the company that eventually evolved into Marvel Comics in the 1960s?” And still others are wondering, “Didn’t he learn his lesson after Ghost Rider?”

But getting back to Atlas, yes, there was an Atlas Comics in the 1950s that grew out of Timely Comics and eventually became Marvel Comics. It was owned by publisher Martin Goodman, and it put out comics in a variety of genres like horror, crime, espionage and even a few superhero titles featuring characters like Captain America and the Human Torch, who had previously been published under the Timely banner. However, this isn’t that Atlas Comics.

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Comics Lowdown: 2018 sales, Michael Davis hacked

Plus: News on Mark Waid, Mary Fleener, Free Comic Book Day and more!

ICv2 and the Comichron held a special crossover event this week to share the news that “Comics and graphic novel sales hit a new high in 2018.”

“After a brief downturn in 2017, the market bounced back last year,” said Comichron‘s John Jackson Miller. “Popular releases helped right the ship in comics shops, even as other sales avenues made significant gains.”

Their report looks at three formats — comics, graphic novels and digital — across multiple channels, including crowdfunding, book fairs, mass merchants, newsstands and more.

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Humanoids launches H1 line of comics

John Cassaday, Mark Waid, Kwanza Osajyefo, Yanick Paquette and Carla Speed McNeil spearhead the new line of comics.

As promised, Humanoids revealed more about their H1 line of comics at New York Comic Con this week. Known mainly as a publisher of graphic novels for the last 20 years in America, Humanoids moves into the monthly comic market and shared universes with H1.

With John Cassaday and Mark Waid already announced as being on board, the publisher revealed three additional “architects” of the H1 line: Kwanza Osajyefo (Black, DC’s Zuda imprint), Yanick Paquette (Wonder Woman Earth One, Swamp Thing) and Carla Speed McNeil (Finder, Sensation Comics).

“H1 represents a number of important milestones for Humanoids,” said Humanoids CEO and Publisher Fabrice Giger. “This is our first foray into a shared universe, one with stories by talented creators whose undeniable creative chemistry is forging a new and fantastic world. Next summer, we’re launching three ongoing comic book series, the first three ongoing periodicals in this company’s history, and we’ll be publishing them in an unprecedented and unexpected way which we’ll announce in the coming months.”

Working on the three ongoings will be Phil Briones, Vanessa Del Rey, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, Mike McKone and Afua Richardson.

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Comics Lowdown: Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra passes away

Mark Waid sued, and gets a new job! Vertigo prepares for NYCC! Plus Ryan Ferrier, Jason Lutes, John McCrea and more!

Passings: Carlos Ezquerra, 2000 AD artist and co-creator of Judge Dredd, has passed away, the Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter both reported this week. The 70-year-old artist was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010, and the disease returned this year.

“It is difficult to put this into words, but we have lost someone who was the heart and soul of 2000AD. It is no exaggeration to call Carlos Ezquerra one of the greatest comic book artists of all time, and his name deserves to be uttered alongside Kirby, Ditko, Miller, Moebius and Eisner,” reads a statement issued by 2000AD. “Yet this doesn’t really do justice to someone whose work was loved by millions and has had an influence far beyond the comic book page. From Judge Dredd to Strontium Dog, from Rat Pack to Major Eazy, Carlos has left us with a legacy of stunning and distinctive work that was and always will be 2000 AD. He has been one of the pillars, producing the same dynamic, enthralling and arresting art we always loved him for. We thought we had many more adventures to come from the master, so we are devastated to discover we were wrong.”

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Comics Lowdown: Trump tweets swiped and altered cartoon

Plus: Tramp’s closing down, submissions open for a feminist critique of Whedon and more!

Indianapolis Star cartoonist Gary Varvel was surprised, and none too pleased, when Donald Trump Tweeted one of his cartoons—with some unauthorized alterations. The original cartoon, which was published in January, was a play on the “Trump train” trope, showing a Trump-branded locomotive with a donkey plastered on the front. (Varvel was careful to note that the donkey is “resisting” the train but not being flattened by it: “No cartoon donkeys were killed in the making of this cartoon,” he said.) Trump retweeted another version that replaced the donkey with a CNN logo, added a line about “fake news,” and cropped out Varvel’s signature.

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