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.

Interviews and Profiles

Interviews: Our own Alex Dueben talks to Liza Donnelly about her work for The New Yorker and curating the Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now exhibit for the Society of Illustrators.

Retailers: ICv2 profiles Tim Finn, owner of Hub Comics in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The Biz

Charts: Marvel’s Return of Wolverine #1 became the 10th comic book this year to ship more than 200,000 copies, according to Comichron’s John Jackson Miller. Miller also reports that September comics and graphic novel orders rose 4 percent over 2017, with the third quarter rising 6 percent versus last year. Heroes in Crisis #1 came in second on the comics list, by units, followed by Doomsday Clock #7, while Saga Vol. 9 topped the graphic novel chart for products ordered through Diamond Comics Distributors.

People: Former Marvel Publisher Bill Jemas is back with another comics company, Artists, Writers & Artisans, Inc. ICv2 reports that Jemas has raised $5 million in venture capital from Lightspeed Venture Partners, with plans to launch comics in 2019 or later.

Commentary, Reviews and Criticism

Reviews: Rob Clough gives a thoughtful review of Keiler Roberts’ Chlorine Gardens.

Reviews: J. Caleb Mozzocco looks at the recently released Walmart-exclusive Swamp Thing Halloween Horror Giant #1.

Commentary: For this week’s Fiffe Files at The Comics Journal, Michel Fiffe looks back at the comics work of artist Vince Giarrano, who now works as a painter.

Commentary: Jim MacQuarrie offers up several reasons “Why Comics Needs to Be Fixed,” then gives some practical advice on how to fix them.

Process: Letterer Todd Klein reviews the techniques used by Finder creator Carla Speed McNeil as she letters her own comics.

Odds and Ends

Ironically, no assembly required: The Mindless Ones’ Illogical Volume points out the availability of Komisk, the Ikea-themed comics anthology. Komisk “exists at the point where mild domestic ambition blurs into existential terror and where novel shelving solutions seem to mock you in your dreams.”

Face shredding: In celebrating the release of the music-themed Murder Falcon last week, Skybound has released a music track by Daniel Warren Johnson — with plans to release more as every issue drops.

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