Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

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Weekly ‘Avengers: No Road Home’ kicks off next year

Writer Jim Zub shares details on the spiritual sequel to last year’s ‘Avengers: No Surrender,’ as he teams up with Al Ewing and Mark Waid for another weekly story.

Last year Avengers: No Surrender ran through all of Marvel’s various Avengers titles on a weekly basis, as the creators of those books tag-teamed on a giant story involving lots of Avengers, the Grandmaster, the Black Order, several new villains and a plot to steal the Earth.

One of the writers involved in the story was Jim Zub, who attended New York Comic Con last weekend to announce the “spiritual successor” to that story, the 10-week Avengers: No Road Home. He took to his blog this week to provide more details on the project.

Unlike “No Surrender,” “No Road Home” will not run through the Avengers titles — there’s actually only the one now, written by Jason Aaron. Instead it’ll be its own stand-alone series. Zub will once again work with Mark Waid and Al Ewing on writing it, while Paco Medina and Sean Izaakse will provide the art.

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‘Champions’ gets a new first issue, new art team and international focus

Writer Jim Zub welcomes the ‘Wayward’ art team of Steven Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain to the series.

At New York Comic Con, Champions and Wayward writer Jim Zub was on hand to announce two new projects — including a relaunch of Marvel’s “teens saving the world” team The Champions.

The comic will receive a new #1 in January, along with a new art team — one Zub knows well. He’ll be joined by Steven Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain, who he worked with on the Image series Wayward. Zub explained the reason for the reboot on his blog.

“The response to my Champions stories has been great so far and many of the single issues have gone into second printings, but in the current retail climate the simple truth is that readers look to issue #1’s as a clear jumping on point for stories and characters,” Zub said. “When new Marvel Editor-In-Chief CB Cebulski came on board I was already announced as the writer of Champions with issue #19 and so, as other Marvel series have been getting Fresh Start issue #1’s to mark important story changes and signal to readers and retailers that they have big plans, it was decided that Champions should get the same treatment in the new year. Marvel is really happy with what I’ve been doing and they want to make sure more people know about it and get on board.”

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Jim Zub, Stuart Immonen and more win 2018 Joe Shuster Awards

Annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics by Canadians.

The Joe Shuster Awards — Canada’s national award that honors and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comic books, digital comics and graphic novels — have announced their winners for 2018, which include Jim Zub, Jeff Lemire, Stuart Immonen and more.

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s national award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. Named in honor of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster, the awards recognize the best of the Canadian comics world; nominees must be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada. The winners were chosen by a jury.

Winners are below. You can see the complete list of nominees here.

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‘The Champions’ head for Weirdworld in issue #25

The team gets a D&D-esque makeover courtesy of Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse and Max Dunbar.

Remixing superheroes with different genres is a staple of the artform; who can forget Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s classic “Morgan Conquest,” which saw the Avengers recast as knights of the realm? It looks like the Champions will get their day in the sun as well, so I hope that armor breaths. Ms. Marvel and company will head to Weirdworld in issue #25 to save a couple of their teammates, courtesy of Jim Zub, Sean Izaakse and Max Dunbar.

“With two of their teammates having vanished into Weirdworld, the rest of the Champions have no choice but to follow them into that ever-changing landscape,” said SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort in a press release. “However, the changes this will put them through are both profound and unexpected—and will lead to something new on the horizon.”

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The 2018 Joe Shuster Award Nominations

Awards celebrate excellence in the Canadian comic creators and publications.

The nominations for the 2018 Joe Shuster Awards have been announced this week.  Commonly nickednamed “The Shusters”, they are Canada’s national comic book awards that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comic books, digital comics and graphic novels.

The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.

The ceremony will take place at the Montreal Comic Con July 6-8, 2018 at the Palais des congrès, Montreal, QC.

And the nominees are:

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C2E2: ‘Rick & Morty,’ ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ cross over this summer

Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Zub and Troy Little bring the two properties together in a four-issue limited series.

The stars of Adult Swim’s popular Rick and Morty will enter the world of Dungeons & Dragons this summer in a comic book crossover by Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Zub and Troy Little.

At this weekend’s C2E2 convention in Chicago, IDW Publishing and Oni Press, who respectively publish the D&D and R&M comic books, announced the four-issue comic book series, which will debut in August.

“I love Rick and Morty with a powerful love, and I’ve played D&D since the fifth grade,” Rothfuss said in the press release. “So when they approached me about writing a story with both of them together? That’s some serious you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut butter $#!& right there. I’m in. I’m all the way in. I’m gettin’ that chocolate all up in the peanut butter. Like, deep in. All the way in. It’s going to be sticky and delicious.”

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Comics Lowdown: The Diversity issue

Black comics festivals, indy publishers, and the history of women in comics.

Festivals: West Coast: It’s Martin Luther King Day, and this past weekend brought festivals celebrating black comics to both sides of the country. In San Francisco, Nanette Asimov writes about the Black Comix Arts Festival, which runs through today, and interviews creators Tony Medina and John Jennings as well as an attendee.

Festivals: East Coast: At the New York Times, George Gene Gustines turns his focus to the Black Comics Festival, which took place this past weekend at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and he interviews David Heredia, the creator of the animated video series Heroes of Color and a guest at the festival.

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Comics Lowdown: Don’t quit the day job

Jim Zub has advice for an aspiring creator. Also: Best comics of 2017, trends to watch in 2018.

Sitcomics, a comics publisher based in Santa Monica, is rolling out Binge Books, a line of 64-page comics priced at $3.99, with a new strategy that they call “Sell-Through Distribution”: Bypassing the usual distribution system, they will go directly through retailers. They will start distributing a free catalog to retailers on January 3; customers can order the comics until January 25, and they will be delivered on January 31, a much faster turnaround than standard distribution. The comics will also be returnable by retailers.

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