See what the Smash Pages crew has their eyes on this week, as a small number of comics make their way to stores and digital.
It’s week two of DC’s attempt to get comics in front of people during the global pandemic, and they’ve got more on their release list this week than they did last week. It’s still a very small number of comics, but here’s what Carla and I have our eyes on.
Plus: Hector Gonzalez Rodriguez III on the El Paso shooting, thieves caught selling comics to their actual owner; and more!
Marvel asked legendary comic creator Art Spiegelman to remove a line from his introduction for a new Golden Age comic collection for being too political. The essay refers to current president of the Unites States Donald Trump as an “Orange Skull.”
“In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America”
The graphic novelist decided to withdraw his entire essay meant for a Folio Society deluxe collection and published it online at the Guardian, fully intact, and added a few paragraphs at the end about his experience with Marvel, being edited, and about how CEO of Marvel Entertainment Ike Perlmutter donated $360,000, the maximum amount allowed, to the “Trump Victory Joint Fundraising Committee.”
During the first day of the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel and Mattel announced a new line of X-Men Barbie dolls, which include Storm, Dark Phoenix and Mystique. The dolls are a part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics.
The dolls will be sold exclusively through GameStop, retailing for $54.99 USD each and are slated to be released in October. Preorders are open now. Here are the descriptions of each from their website:
Anniversary project celebrates 80 years of Marvel.
After teasing a whole lot of creative teams on Twitter and in its comics this week, Marvel Comics has announced Marvel Comics #1000, an 80-page comic that arrives in August.
According to the New York Times, the story will start at “day one” for Marvel, in 1939, and each page will correlate to one year in Marvel history — and will be created by a different creative team. Names that Marvel has announced include current Marvel creators like Mark Waid, Al Ewing (who helped architect the project), Saladin Ahmed, Jason Aaron and Gerry Duggan, as well as key creators from Marvel’s past, like Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Erik Larsen and Rob Liefeld. There’s also folks who haven’t done comics before, like basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas and The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg.
“Our characters are mentioned in so many different ways and in so many different mediums and we always keep track,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski said. “Now these distinguished individuals are able to contribute back to the comics they grew up on.”
The first arc by Eve Ewing and Joey Vazquez will feature Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man.
One of the staples of Marvel’s 1970s/1980s comic line will return in April, as the publisher has announced plans to reboot Marvel Team-Up.
Written by Eve Ewing with art by Joey Vazquez, the first arc of the new ongoing series will feature a team-up between Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. Ewing and Vazquez are also working together on a Ms. Marvel story that will be included in Ms. Marvel #38.
“I don’t want to reveal too much, but my goal with the story is to have maximum fun with two characters that are both really sweet and really cool people who are fan favorites (and faves of mine), and to put them both in some delightful awkward and uncomfortable situations where they have to stretch to the limits of their abilities,” Ewing told The Chicago Tribune.
Plus: ‘Drama’ drama with the Ottawa Catholic School Board! Faith Erin Hicks! Jed MacKay! And more!
The 2018 direct market numbers from Diamond are in and comic sales are ever so slightly up from 2017. Comics saw an increase to sales by 3.3%, but graphic novels were down by 6.6%. The combined sales of the two formats mean a wee increase of 0.6% for the direct market.
Marvel Comics increased their market share slightly to gain an extra 2% over DC Comics, who seemed to have flat lined and lost 0.3% of their market share. This indicates that Marvel’s market share gains mostly come from the expense of small publishers or independent comic sales, with the exception of Image Comics, who also saw a slight increase.
The best-selling graphic novel of the year was Infinity Gauntlet. The 1991 story is enjoying a revival because of the Avengers: Infinity War movie. The best-selling comics was Action #1000, a landmark issue featuring unpublished artwork by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan and the introduction of writer Brain Michael Bendis to the DC universe.
The mysterious character from another reality will make his debut in April.
Before moving on to help found Image Comics, Rob Liefeld and Whilce Portacio left their mark on Marvel’s X-Men titles in the early 1990s. They worked on X-Force and Uncanny X-Men, respectively, and between them created or co-created iconic characters like Deadpool, Cable, Bishop and more.
Now the two creators are returning to the X-corner of the Marvel Universe with the introduction of Major X, a mysterious new character who is getting his own six-issue miniseries. The series will run bi-weekly from April through June. It’s written by Liefeld, who will share art duties with Portacio and Brent Peeples (Titans, New Super-Man).
It is not too late to score some last minute deals!
As the day winds down, it is not too late to score some last minute Cyber Monday sales. It is a good idea to check your own local comic store for deals closest to home. Here are some comic and comic related deals online
The face of Marvel Comics leaves behind a lifelong legacy of superheroes and sequential art
On the morning of Nov. 12, legendary comic creator Stan Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he passed away. The news was broken by TMZ, who spoke with his daughter, J.C. Lee.
It feels weird to write an obituary on a man many comic fans know so well already.
Stanley Martin Lieber’s career in comics started when he was only 17 years old as an assistant at Timely Comics. His duties included refilling inkwells and erasing pencil lines. Two years later, using Jack Kirby’s and Joe Simon’s Nazi-fighting war hero, Lieber got his chance to write his first story called “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge.” Lieber used the pen name “Stan Lee.” The story was only a two-page text story in Captain America #3, but it was the story where Captain America first used his iconic shield-throwing maneuver. Two issues later, Stan Lee got his first comic break with “Headline Hunter, Foreign Correspondent,” which also showed Lee’s love for names with alliteration. Lee’s first superhero co-creation was Destroyer in Mystic Comics #6 (1941).