Comics Lowdown: Chuck Wendig says Marvel fired him because of negative tweets

After posting a controversial interview, Bleeding Cool gets a new editor in chief! Plus Steve Ellis, Alex Ross, MAD Magazine and more!

Comics writer and novelist Chuck Wendig says he has been fired from Marvel “because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark [Paniccia], the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.” Wendig had just been announced as the writer of Shadow of Vader, with artist Greg Smallwood, and said he had another as-yet-unannounced Star Wars comic in the works.

In addition to various Star Wars comics, Wendig also wrote Star Wars: Aftermath, a novel that included LGBT characters and was one of the first books published after Lucasfilm ended the “expanded universe” Star Wars books. After it was published, Wendig said he received “TONS” of harassment online — “harassment that has gone on for years, harassment that has required me to contact local police and warn them of SWATting attempts, harassment across all corners of the Internet, here, FB, Reddit, YouTube. Some of it was bot stuff, obviously, or sock puppets, but some of it was pretty creepy, and very personal.”

This story has been reported on widely, with stories from Deadline, io9, the Verge, Vulture and more. Update: Wendig has a post answering many of the questions he’s received since he went public with this news.

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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 reveals more titles from their younger readers lines

The publisher dropped a whole bunch of new titles coming to their DC Ink and DC Zoom lines, aimed at middle-grade and young adult readers.

After revealing the creative teams for several upcoming books in their new younger readers line in June, DC Comics announced the next wave of titles coming from their new DC Ink and DC Zoom imprints.

The lines were first announced back in February — DC Zoom, aimed at middle grade readers (8-12 years) and DC Ink, aimed at young adult readers (13 and older). Publisher Jim Lee spoke about the initiative during DC’s Meet the Publisher panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego today.

“There are a lot of people who are hungry for our material and our characters but we’re not necessarily producing the things they want,” Lee said. “So we’re trying to reach those new audiences with different sizes and formats.”

There are a lot of interesting names on the list of creators, including several that comics fans should recognize, like Louise Simonson, Gene Luen Yang, Stuart Moore, and the awesome duo of Art Baltazar & Franco.

Here’s look at all the titles that have been announced thus far, taken from the official press release:

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Support free speech with these ‘retro’ CBLDF designs

Get shirts, hats, phone cases and more featuring artwork by Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Mike Allred, James Kochalka, Jim Lee and many others.

Over the years comic creators have donated artwork to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for use on membership cards, T-shirts and other premiums. Many of them quickly sold out and haven’t been available for a while — until now. CBLDF has launched a Threadless shop, offering shirts and other items featuring some of their “retro” artwork.

For instance, you can get a shirt featuring Mike Allred’s Lady Liberty drawing, which graced the cover of a CBLDF anthology in 2014. There’s also Frank Miller’s Defiant Fist, which would look great on a throw pillow. Or this patriotic Bone artwork, if you’re looking for something for the kids. Additional artwork by Cliff Chiang, Terry Moore, Jim Lee, Judd Winick and more can also be found on the site.

Proceeds benefit the fund, so head on over to Threadless to check them out.

Geoff Johns steps down at CCO of DC Entertainment as Jim Lee steps up

Johns signs exclusive with Warner Bros./DC Entertainment to create films, TV and comic books, including a pop-up imprint at DC Comics called ‘The Killing Zone’ and a new Shazam! comics series.

DC Entertainment announced today that Geoff Johns will leave his executive position as president and chief creative officer to focus on the “hands-on” creative side, as he launches Mad Ghost Productions and signs an exclusive deal with the company to create comics, TV shows and films full time. Jim Lee’s duties will now include those of the Chief Creative Officer, in addition to his co-publisher role at DC Comics with Dan DiDio.

“I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything. But, I want to spend my days writing and on set. I’m thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role. It’s a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC’s vast pantheon of characters,” Johns said in a statement. “I’m also excited to continue to work with the amazing team at DCE and my colleagues at Warner Bros.”

Johns took on his CCO role in 2010, and they added “president” to his title in 2016. The change follows the departure of Johns’ boss, Diane Nelson, who left the company last week.

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Superman puts his pants back on for ‘Action’ #1000

Milestone issue will include new stories by Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Lee, Curt Swan, Marv Wolfman, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, John Cassaday, Scott Snyder and more.

The world returns to sanity again in April with the landmark Action Comics #1000, which features a slew of creators telling tales about Superman and, more importantly, the return of his famous red trunks.

Debuting in Action Comics #1 way back in 1938, the red trunks helped Clark Kent’s alter-ego fight for truth, justice and the American way for almost a century — that is, until the launch of the New 52 in 2010. Dc co-publisher Jim Lee redesigned many DC characters at the time, including Superman — and the new, super-hip redesign had no room for outside undies or his classic red boots. The move was controversial, just like any change to the status quo in superhero comics, and eventually spawned petitions from fans to return to the classic look. Now it looks like those voices have finally been heard by DC.

Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature and pop culture,” said Lee. “There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design.”

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DC Comics announces plans to celebrate ‘Action’ #1000

Oversized issue + a hardcover will help celebrate the milestone.

At the New York Comic Con, DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee revealed the company’s plans for the upcoming 1000th issue of Action Comics, which is set to arrive next March.

Plans include an oversized edition of Action #1000 featuring a story by Peter Tomasi and Dan Jurgens, as well as “an all-star talent line-up writing back-up stories,” including a story co-written by DC COO Geoff Johns and Superman film director Richard Donner. They’ll also publish a hardcover book celebrating the 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1.

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DC announces the return of Milestone with five new titles

Static Shock, Icon, Rocket and more set to return next spring as a part of ‘Earth M.’

Milestone Comics was a big, groundbreaking idea back in the 1990s, and now it’s coming back to comics in a big way.

At the New York Comic Con, DC Comics announced plans to launch five new titles featuring characters from the 1990s imprint. The new initiative, called Earth M, will feature creators like Reginald Hudlin, Ken Lashley, Greg Pak, Kyle Baker and more.

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Comics Lowdown: TSA vs United Airlines – are comic books banned from flights?

Plus: Big Hero 6, DC saves the day, Graphix winners, Best comic shops in the US, Todd Klein’s SDCC, and Spider-Man mows a lawn!

Fly the confusing skies: While at the San Diego airport on Sunday morning, Twitter user @AdiChappo sent out a warning to other Comic-Con attendees about a comic book ban on flights. Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suggested passengers needed to remove books from luggage for inspection, so this idea wasn’t out of the ordinary. Despite the fact that the pilot project was trashed due to civil liberty concerns, this was the message that greeted travelers:

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