Comics Lowdown: Halloween edition

Tricks and treats from Marvel, Todd Klein, Kerry Callen and more!

It’s the scariest day of the year, and to help celebrate we’re doing something a little different with Comics Lowdown today.

Let’s start with something better than candy — better than candy? — comics! Every year Diamond Comics Distributors celebrates Halloween ComicFest, an event for comic shops similar in spirit to Free Comic Book Day. You can check out the official website to see pictures from this year’s celebrations. Also of note: many comic shops are selling packs of comics that you can give out to Trick or Treaters. So check with your local retailer to see what they have on hand.

And if you’re looking for some scary comics to read today, publishers have unleashed a horde of Halloween-themed stories today. Polygon spotlights the return of Wytches, as Scott Snyder and Jock return to hex you with a one-shot today. Speaking of hexing, Hex Wives, the new title by Ben Blacker and Mirka Andolfo from Vertigo, debuts today, along with the last issue of Wayward, a new issue of Stranger Things and some more Ice Cream Man, if you’re looking for something both sweet and creepy. In addition, new publisher Ahoy Comics has Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror, featuring the work of Tom Peyer, Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler and more, while Marvel has an Avengers Halloween Special and DC kicks off The Witching Hour crossover.

If you’re looking for a longer read, Doctor of Horror and Other Stories from Fantagraphics collects old EC horror stories, while Dark Horse has released H. P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories by manga creator Gou Tanabe.

Finally, if you’re looking for some deals, check out Dynamite’s Fall horror bundle on Groupees and ComixTribe’s Halloween flash sale.

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Comics Lowdown: Alex Ross’ ‘DayGlo’ Fantastic Four pitch

Plus: Bill Jemas, Liza Donnelly and an IKEA comic!

Artist Alex Ross pitched Marvel on taking over the Fantastic Four last year, and you can find his pitch inside Marvelocity, a coffee-table book that highlights the artist’s Marvel work. The 13th Dimension reviews the book and shares several pages from the 2017 pitch. “It just goes to show you that even the biggest talents in comics don’t always get what they want – and what Ross wanted was an eye-popping comic that echoed the DayGlo ’60s while offering something fresh,” reviewer Dan Greenfield writes.

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Comics Lowdown: Stan Lee speaks out on elder-abuse allegations

Patti LaBoucane-Benson appointed to Canada’s Senate! Finding Olivia James at CXC! Plus: Grant Morrison, Matthew Thurber and why we love Spider-Man so dang much!

People: In an interview subtitled “Those I Trusted Betrayed Me,” Stan Lee speaks to The Daily Beast about elder-abuse allegations against his daughter and the removal of several of his associates from his life.

“There really isn’t that much drama,” Lee said. “As far as I’m concerned, we have a wonderful life. I’m pretty damn lucky. I love my daughter, I’m hoping that she loves me, and I couldn’t ask for a better life. If only my wife was still with us. I don’t know what this is all about.”

People: The Outside Circle comic writer Patti LaBoucane-Benson has been appointed to Canada’s Senate by Prime Minister Trudeau.

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Joelle Jones, Tom King, Lee Weeks and more win 2018 Ringo Awards

Marc Andreyko receives the Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award, while Denny O’Neil receives the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards were presented this weekend at the Baltimore Comic-Con, celebrating the “creativity, skill and fun of comics.” The awards program is named for artist Mike Wieringo, who passed away in 2007.

This is the second year the awards were presented, and they include both “fan favorites,” which were selected by open voting, and “jury and fan winners,” selected by a combination of open nominations and jury voting. You can see the breakdown of how the winners were selected on the Ringo Awards website.

Congratulations to all the winners:

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Image reveals many, many new titles at Image Expo

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.

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Comics Lowdown: Indian cartoonist Mohan Tadi has passed away

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.

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Skottie Young, Tom King, ‘March: Book Three’ and more take home Ringo Awards

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.

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Comics Lowdown: Businessman wins against Marvel, DC Comics to use  the word ‘superhero’

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.

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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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