Comics Lowdown: IDW adapts ‘The Force Awakens,’ Ringos slated for BCC

Plus: Jack Kirby and William Messner-Loebs to receive the Bill Finger Award, why millennials like webcomics and more.

IDW announced its all-ages Star Wars Adventures comic series a few months ago, but they sprang a surprise this week: In August, they will publish an 80-page graphic novel adaptation of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The graphic novel, which is also intended for younger readers, is part of Disney’s Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi publishing program, which is designed to gin up excitement for the eighth movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be out in December. The writer of the adaptation is Alessandro Ferrari, and the art is provided by “a group of Disney artists intended to bridge the gap between Star Wars and traditional Disney animation, making it more attractive for younger audiences.” You’d think people with that sort of ability would merit an actual name credit, but I guess not. This same anonymous group has done other Star Wars graphic novel adaptations that were published by Disney Lucasfilm Press, and in fact, Bleeding Cool notes that this graphic novel was announced in an article about them almost a year ago. That means the big news is really the publisher—it looks like IDW, will launch Star Wars Adventures in September, is becoming the chief publisher of Star Wars comics for young readers.

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Samurai Jack returns to comics

Genndy Tartakovsky’s popular animated samurai returns in a new comic by Fabian Rangel Jr. and Warwick Johnson Cadwell.

Samurai Jack returns to comics this fall for a new series by Fabian Rangel Jr. and Warwick Johnson Cadwell, the team behind IDW’s recent “Helena Crash” series.

Titled “Quantum Jack,” the new series will send Jack to alternate realities with “his memories erased, but his spirit intact,” as he becomes the leader of a biker gang and more. It sounds kind of like “Quantum Leap,” only with Genndy Tartakovsky’s popular animated character doing the leaping.

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IDW to publish ‘younger reader’ Star Wars comics

‘Star Wars Adventures’ launches this fall.

Coming out of the big Star Wars Celebration event that happened in Orlando last week, IDW Publishing has announced they’ve obtained the license to “create and publish new Star Wars comic books aimed at younger readers.” The first title is expected in the Fall, just in time for all the hype that’ll build for the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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Usagi Yojimbo meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles again this summer

IDW will publish a one-shot featuring Stan Sakai’s famous ronin rabbit encountering the current rendition of the Turtles.

Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo will once again team with Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a new one-shot, coming from IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics this summer.

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Peter Milligan and Tess Fowler team on first Black Crown title

‘Kid Lobotomy,’ the first comic from Shelly Bond’s new imprint at IDW, debuts in October.

At WonderCon on Friday, IDW announced the first title for Shelly Bond’s new Black Crown imprint — Kid Lobotomy by Peter Milligan and Tess Fowler.

As announced earlier this month, Black Crown is a new line of connected, creator-owned comics, spearheaded by the former Vertigo editor and published by IDW. “Black Crown” refers not only to the creator-owned imprint, but also a pub that anchors a mysterious street that connects each comic.

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Gabriel Rodriguez draws a ‘Sword of Ages’ — and writes it, too

Five-issue series starts in October.

Locke & Key artist/co-creator Gabriel Rodriguez is going solo with his next series — Sword of Ages, a retelling of the Excalibur myth.

Announced at WonderCon, the new creator-owned series will be “an epic, five-issue space fantasy,” according to the press release from IDW Publishing. “The everlasting legend of the Sacred Sword is born through young warrior Avalon’s brutal clashes with rising tyrants in a world of fantastic creatures, ancient civilizations, alien forces and true magic.” Lovern Kindzierski will color his art for the project.

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‘Love is Love’ raises $165,000 for victims of Orlando Pulse nightclub attack

The benefit anthology Love is Love has raised more than $165,000 thus far through print and digital sales, according to the Washington Post and a press release from co-publisher IDW.

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IDW and Hasbro bring ‘Clue’ to comics

Paul Allor and Nelson Dániel team for an “at times completely bonkers” five-issue miniseries based on the board game.

IDW’s partnership with Hasbro has brought everything from My Little Pony to Transformers to ROM and Micronauts to the publisher, and now that line of books is getting a Clue. A five-issue miniseries based on the iconic board game will debut in June.

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Shelly Bond spearheads ‘Black Crown’ imprint at IDW

Former Vertigo editor Shelly Bond has joined IDW Publishing and will head up a new line of connected, creator-owned comics called “Black Crown.”

“I’ve long admired from afar Shelly’s track record and have been a huge fan of the direction, vision, and creative teams she’s assembled on her books over the years,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer, in a press release. “I’m ecstatic about the idea of getting to work directly with her in building Black Crown into ‘the Ruling Class’ of creator-owned comics.”

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