Diamond halts new comics shipments for April 1 and beyond

IDW and others react to the news.

The COVID-19 epidemic that has shuttered comic shops and forced the postponement of conventions around the country has also affected Diamond Comics Distributors, the sole major distributor to comics retail shops, and today, Diamond co-founder Steve Geppi announced that they will be shutting down shipments of new product:

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‘Michael Golden’s Micronauts Artist’s Edition’ coming in June

Proceeds from the book will be donated to writer Bill Mantlo’s medical care.

Although we live in the age of reprints, trade paperbacks, digital comics and old material being collected in fancy formats, there are certain comics from the past that, for one reason or another, we’ll probably never see collected or show up on sites like comiXology. Case in point, comics like Micronauts and Rom, which were licensed books published by Marvel that were integrated into the Marvel Universe — and thus featured guest appearances by the X-Men, Spider-Man and other Marvel characters on occasion. They also featured the debuts of original characters to the mythos, like various spaceknights in Rom and Bug in Micronauts, who are actually owned by Marvel.

While this made for a fun time in comics, those licenses eventually expired or transferred over to someone else — case in point, both Rom and Micronauts are published by IDW these days. That means we might see Bug show up occasionally in Guardians of the Galaxy, but he’s no longer a Micronaut, and it’s unlikely his buddy Acroyear is going to show up. Marvel owns Bug, Hasbro owns Acroyear, and all those great comics published back in the day end up in limbo in our reprint-driven era.

So all this is to say that besides the back-issue market, the upcoming Michael Golden’s Micronauts Artist’s Edition coming from IDW may be some fans’ only chance to own some of Bill Mantlo and Golden’s classic Micronauts comics.

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IDW, DC announce a Locke & Key/Sandman crossover

The crossover arrives in October, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

Locke and Key co-creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez are re-teaming for a new story featuring their infamous keys — and this time, they’re unlocking the door to the Sandman universe.

In a move that can only be described as “Netflix synergy,” the IDW title will cross over with DC’s Sandman universe in October.

Besides the creative team, very little has been revealed at this point, but they do have a snazzy teaser video:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophie Campbell

The writer and artist of IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles discusses what she has planned for the series and more.

Sophie Campbell has established herself as one of the great comics voices of her generation. From her dynamic artwork that redefined Jem and the Holograms and Glory, to the seven volume series Wet Moon that she wrote and drew, to the science fiction superhero saga Shadoweyes, Campbell has built a unique body of work and in 2020, she’s trying something different.

Though Campbell has previously written and drawn Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics over the years, she took over writing and drawing the series with issue #101. With issue #102 out in stores this week, we spoke recently about what she has planned for the series, the new status quo she’s overseeing and her journey from fan to creator.

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Comics Lowdown: Chinese government upset by Danish coronavirus cartoon

Plus: Changes at Kodansha, Cullen Bunn goes ‘Rogue’ and whatever happened to Lion Man?

Editorial Cartoons: A cartoon in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, depicting the Chinese flag with the stars replaced by coronaviruses, has, predictably, angered the Chinese government. (Jyllands-Posten is the same paper whose cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad caused an uproar in 2005.) The Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen has demanded an apology, but Jyllands-Posten editor Jacob Nybroe has refused, and the Danish prime minister is backing him up.

The Biz: Restructuring at Kodansha USA means a promotion for Alvin Lu, previously the general manager of Kodansha Advance Media. Publishers Weekly reports that Kodansha’s subsidiaries, including its digital arm Kodansha Advanced Media and the manga and novel publisher Vertical Inc., will be folded into Kodansha USA. Lu will be the CEO, and Ivan Salazar, former public relations and events specialist at ComiXology, has been hired as senior marketing director.

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Mail Call | Archaia to adapt Roxane Gay story

Plus: a new Shonen Jump series, Skybound’s ‘Fire Power’ plans and a new ‘Clone Wars’ series at IDW.

BOOM! Studios announced a new graphic novel, The Sacrifice of Darkness, based on Gay’s short story “The Sacrifice of Darkness.” In addition to Gay, the creative team includes writer Tracy Lynne Oliver, artist Rebecca Kirby, and colorist James Fenner, and the pub date is October 2020.

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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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Jennika, the fifth Turtle, gets a miniseries next year

‘Guerillas’ creator Brahm Revel will write and draw the miniseries.

The newest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is getting her own miniseries, courtesy of Guerillas creator Brahm Revel. IDW announced a three-issue miniseries starring Jennika will kick off next year.

“Jennika has always been a fascinating character, and her story is now moving in directions none of us could have ever anticipated,” Revel said in a press release. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to revisit Jenn’s past and explore how she’s been handling the recent changes in her life, all while being tested by a world that’s changing just as rapidly as she is.”

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