New projects announced from Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss, Rob Guillory, J.H. Williams and Haden Blackman, Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel, Annie Wu and more.
As they’ve done in previous years, Image Comics dropped a metric ton of announcements at their Image Expo event, held today in Portland, Oregon.
The line-up of announcements this year includes five new titles from Todd McFarlane’s camp, new titles from Chew creators John Layman and Rob Guillory, two comics from Christoper Sebela, the fact that they’ll publish the Netflix/Millarworld titles starting with The Magic Order and much more. No doubt there are interviews aplenty dropping around the internet on all these new projects, so I’ll start with the text of the press release, then add art and commentary as I find it.
So let’s get to it …
Blackbird by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel
Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel team up to co-create Blackbird, a modern fantasy story best described as Harry Potter meets Riverdale. It follows a young woman named Nina who discovers a neon-lit world of magic masters in Los Angeles. Now they’ve kidnapped her sister, and Nina is the only one who can save her.
“Blackbird is a labor of love, a coming of age story and beautiful people doing insane things with magic,” said Humphries.
Plus: Seth Mann, Bianca Xunise, Mimi Pond, Noah Van Sciver, Peter Bagge and more.
Passings: Indian cartoonist Mohan Tadi, described by one admirer as “a humanist cartoonist” and another as “the first cartoonist to introduce European satire to telugu journalism” has died at the age of 67. (Telugu is an Indian language.) Born in Andra Pradesh in 1951, Mohan studied at Andhra University and began his career in 1970 as a sub-editor at the Vishalandra Telugu, a daily newspaper. He worked for several newspapers and as an independent journalist as well as a cartoonist; he was also the head of animation for Sakshi News.
Named for artist Mike Mike Wieringo, the awards were presented over the weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con.
The winners for the first-ever Ringo Awards were announced this weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con. The awards are named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007.
The Ringos showed Skottie Young’s I Hate Fairyland some love, as the creator took home awards for Best Cartoonist and Best Humor Comic. March: Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell continued to rack up accolades as it took home the awards for Best Non-fiction Comic Work and Best Original Graphic Novel. And Tom King, writer of Best Series winner The Vision, won for Best Writer. Other winners included Fiona Staples, Sean Murphy, Todd Klein, Laura Martin, Bloom County and Dean Haspiel’s The Red Hook.
The nomination process was open to anyone, while comic professionals voted on the final winners. Check out the full list of nominees below, with the winners in bold.
Plus: assistant principal fired for Pepe the Frog book, new Madefire/DC Comics digital deal, and the hunt for H. G. Peter photos
When Graham Jules (pictured above) wrote his book, Business Zero to Superhero, he had no idea he would end up in a battle against the two largest comic publishers in the world. When his book was about to be published in 2014, he received a letter from Marvel and DC Comics claiming the word infringed on their jointly owned trademark since 1979. Jules, who also studies law, decided to represent himself in the case. A two-and-a-half year legal case ensued and this week, the two comic giants decided to drop the case for “commercial reasons.” The entrepreneur estimates that he spent a total of £200 and 200 hours in writing letters.
“This is an amazing result. It shows that even the little guy can achieve something with determination.”
It will not be surprising if his next book is about being a superhero of trademark cases.
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:
Todd Klein walks us through Comic-Con. Plus: Robert Sikoryak parodies Trump, San Diego Police, beer for the thirsty con-goer.
And the winner is…: The Eisners are tonight! Our own Brigid Alverson will be live tweeting the awards show and the results on our Twitter feed @smash_pages. The Eisners are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Pacific.
The Walking Dead will die: Creator Robert Kirkman has confirmed that the Walking Dead will have an ending. At the Walking Dead panel in San Diego, Kirkman told fans, “I think about two or three years ago, I had a pretty good idea for a definitive ending. I have known that since then and been working towards that, so I know exactly where I’m going and what’s going to happen when I get there.” He expects the series will wrap up in the next 2-3 years.
Comic-Con International’s annual publication will pay tribute to Jack Kirby, in honor of his 100th birthday.
Every year Comic-Con International in San Diego pays tribute to various anniversaries in their annual Souvenir Book, which features artists contributing pieces related to whatever comic or pop culture phenomenon is celebrating a milestone. With the upcoming 100th birthday of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby, this year’s edition will feature a cover by Bruce Timm of Batman: The Animated Series fame (which is also celebrating an anniversary) that honors the King in two ways.
Timm and award-winning letterer Todd Klein pay homage to Kirby’s cover to Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen #141:
Klein remembers his “creative inspiration as a letterer” and friend, who passed away Aug. 4.
“When I started working at DC in 1977 I was blown away seeing and working with Gaspar’s lettering in person, such as the examples above. I learned a lot from the work of other letterers, but Gaspar was the one who constantly impressed me. At that time, Gaspar would come into the DC offices once a week to turn in work and pick up new assignments. He was doing lots of cover lettering and quite a bit of story page lettering regularly, and logo designs from time to time. Gaspar was always smiling and friendly, with a hearty laugh. Traces of Brooklyn remained in his voice, and he talked and joked with everyone. He was friendly and polite, a gentleman. I got to know him, and liked the person as much as the work. When he would sit down to do corrections or last minute cover lettering in the production room, I would sneak glances to see how he was doing what he did. I never actually asked him to show me how to do anything, but I absorbed what I could from those brief looks and the work itself. Gaspar was testy at times about the fact that so many letterers tried to copy his work, but he needn’t have worried. We could never copy his innate brilliance and talent.”
—Letterer Todd Klein on Gaspar Saladino, his “creative inspiration as a letterer” and friend, who passed away on Aug. 4 at the age of 88. Klein shares a thorough obituary and tribute to his friend on his site that covers a lot of comic history as well.
Klein worked with legendary paperback and movie poster artist Robert McGinnis to create a new cover for Neil Gaiman’s book, the first of many from the Gaiman library.
With the American Gods TV show getting a lot of attention right now, demand for Neil Gaiman’s original novel about old gods facing new gods has skyrocketed. Luckily, Gaiman and his publisher were already discussing a new paperback printing of the book — one featuring a cover by Robert McGinnis.