Eric Powell brings Albatross Funnybooks to Dark Horse

The creator of ‘The Goon’ will once again work with Dark Horse, this time on a new line of comics.

Eric Powell, the award-winning creator of The Goon, will return to Dark Horse to head up his own imprint where he’ll publish his own comics and those made by others.

The imprint is called, naturally, Albatross Funnybooks, the name of Powell’s publishing company that he’s been operating since 2002. Over the years Powell has not only published his own work, but also comics by Fabian Rangel Jr., Logan Faerber, Brendon Small, Rebecca Sugar and others. Dark Horse published The Goon starting in 2003 for 42 issues before it went on hiatus, then popped up again at Albatross.

“I couldn’t be happier to be returning to Dark Horse and bringing Albatross over as an imprint,” said Powell. “This partnership will allow me to focus more on what I want to be doing, making books. I’m very excited for what the future holds and the new opportunities to be found.”

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Dark Horse moves to Penguin Random House for direct market comics distribution

Dark Horse will move their comic shop distribution from Diamond to Penguin Random House starting next June.

Penguin Random House’s overall footprint in the direct market will grow again next year, as Dark Horse has announced plans to move their business to the growing comics distributor.

Dark Horse follows Marvel and IDW in moving away from their longtime distributor, Diamond, to partner with Penguin Random House Publisher Services.

“It’s an exciting time for the industry, and our move to Penguin Random House for direct market distribution comes after our successful partnership in bookstore distribution,” Dark Horse Founder and CEO Mike Richardson said. “Random House will help us expand our reach to retailers and fans around the globe.

Effective June 23 of next year, Penguin will handle distribution of Dark Horse’s newly published and backlist comic book periodicals, graphic novels, and manga to the Direct Market comic shops. Penguin was already the distributor of Dark Horse’s graphic novels to the book channel.

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Stan Sakai returns to Dark Horse to spearhead a new imprint

‘Usagi Yojimbo’ returns to the publisher as a part of Sakai’s Dogu Publishing imprint.

Stan Sakai’s legendary run on Usagi Yojimbo has walked the path with multiple publishers over the decades, including Fantagraphics and, most recently, IDW. But now the legendary ronin rabbit will return to the publisher where he stayed the longest — Dark Horse Comics.

Following a more than two-year stint at IDW, Stan Sakai will return to Dark Horse to helm his own imprint: Dogu Publishing — joining Karen Berger, Matt Kindt, Kevin Smith and Brian Michael Bendis, who also have their own imprints at Dark Horse. Prior to 2019, Dark Horse had published Usagi for more than 20 years.

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DC signs a distribution deal with Universal Distribution

The agreement kicks into gear in January.

Canada-based Universal Distribution will begin directly distributing DC’s comics and graphic novels to comic retailers in January 2023. Retailers can begin placing orders through them in October.

“The DC and Universal Distribution partnership is an exciting opportunity to reach new audiences with DC’s iconic Super Heroes and Super-Villains,” said Nancy Spears, DC’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Our new partnership with Universal is in line with DC’s overall strategic vision to strengthen the Direct Market and grow the number of fans who read comics worldwide.”

While Universal is based in Canada and already serves that market for comics and other collectibles, this new deal is a global agreement, according to ICv2. Universal will distribute DC product to retailers in Canada, the U.S. and other territories.

“This agreement enables us to provide retailers with the tools they need to grow their DC business,” said Angelo Exarhakos, CEO of Universal Distribution, in the press release. “Our primary focus has always been to work closely with our key partners to help retailers provide a great experience for their customers. We are huge fans of DC and are extremely excited with this new relationship between our companies.”

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DC reverses course on Jorge Molina’s Hispanic Heritage Month cover

The variant cover for ‘Titans United: Bloodpact #1’ will feature a tribute to Mexican artist and muralist Jorge Gonzales Camerena, as Molina originally intended.

Artist Jorge Molina posted on Twitter today that his original variant cover for Titans United: Bloodpact #1 will in fact be used on the comic, rather than the version that popped up on Diamond’s website.

Molina’s original cover features Green Lantern Kyle Rayner paying tribute to Mexican artist Jorge Gonzales Camerena by recreating Camerena’s “La Patria,” a famous piece used on numerous textbooks in Mexico since the 1960s.

Molina shared the final version of the cover as well:

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DC trades Jorge Gonzales Camerena tribute for tamales on Hispanic Heritage Month cover

A cover featuring Kyle Rayner by artist Jorge Molina has been altered prior to publication.

A variant cover created to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month that pays tribute to Mexican artist Jorge Gonzales Camerena has apparently been altered prior to publication to instead feature Green Lantern Kyle Rayner holding a bag of tamales. I wish I was joking here.

The original cover by Jorge Molina was set to appear on next month’s Titans United: Bloodpact #1 as one of several covers that would be released during HHA. Here’s the original, unfinished cover, which appeared in solicitations and was already being sold by retailers:

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Fantagraphics, Sunday Press enter into a publishing agreement

Fantagraphics will distribute both previous and new projects from Sunday Press.

Fantagraphics has announced that they’ve entered in a partnership with Sunday Press, the publisher of collections of classic comic strips like Little Nemo in Slumberland, Walt & Skeezix, Little Joe and more.

Fantagraphics will distribute Sunday Press’s previous publications beginning in July 2022, and in 2023 will start publishing new books under the Sunday Press imprint. Sunday Press previously had a similar agreement with IDW.

“It’s just a perfect fit for a small publisher like myself,” said Sunday Press founder and editor Peter Maresca in a statement. “I’ve always been a great admirer of the editorial decisions and quality production from Fantagraphics and I’m very happy for this chance to become a part of their family.”

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Seven Seas agrees to recognize employee union

United Workers of Seven Seas successfully unionize after Seven Seas decides ‘to waive the right to an election in favor of voluntary recognition of the union.’

Manga publisher Seven Seas has agreed to recognize a proposed union for its employees. Both Seven Seas and United Workers of Seven Seas shared the news on social media.

Employees at Seven Seas revealed they were attempting to unionize back in May. Seven Seas initially rejected the idea, which would have required a union vote amongst its affected employees, but last week they had a change of heart.

Here’s the statement from Seven Seas:

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Mad Cave announces three new titles for late 2022

Cullen Bunn, Andrea Mutti, Zac Thompson, Bayleigh Underwood, Joe Corallo, Andrea Milana and more will create new comics this Fall.

Mad Cave Studios has announced three new titles that will arrive in stores at the end of the year.

First up will be A Legacy of Violence, a 12-issue horror/mystery series by Cullen Bunn and Andrea Mutti in October, followed by Nature’s Labyrinth by Zac Thompson and Bayleigh Underwood In November. Then December brings Dahlia In The Dark by Joe Corallo and Andrea Milana.

Here’s a look at the three titles:

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Titan Comics will publish new Conan comics starting next year

Titan and Heroic Signatures announce they are teaming up for new comics featuring Conan and other Robert E. Howard characters.

Titan Comics and Heroic Signatures have announced that Titan will publish comics featuring Conan the Barbarian and other Robert E. Howard characters starting next year.

Titan and Heroic plan to launch a new Conan the Barbarian ongoing series in May of 2023, along with miniseries featuring “Robert E. Howard’s rich tapestry of iconic heroes.” The deal also includes the Conan omnibus program that Marvel was publishing.

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Marvel will return to the ‘Planet of the Apes’ next year

The comics license for the film franchise returns to Marvel for the first time since the 1970s.

Marvel has announced they’ve secured the license to publish Planet of the Apes comics –a license the company first held back in the 1970s, when the original movies were popular.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Planet of the Apes back to the House of Ideas!” Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski said. “The new saga in the pipeline is going explore the limits of what this beloved franchise has to offer through bold comics storytelling, and we look forward to setting foot on this new adventure!”

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Halloween comes early for Archie Comics in August

Lil’ Jinx hosts an Archie Horror one-shot, while a classic Archie story revisits the world of “Mirrordale.”

Archie Comics is starting the Halloween festivities early this year — well, early for most people. My wife actually starts decorating for Halloween at the beginning of September, and she’d probably go even earlier if I let her.

But I digress — Archie’s solicitations bring news of three Halloween-themed projects for the publisher. First up is Jinx’s Grim Fairy Tales, an anthology of spooky stories hosted by Lil’ Jinx, a character created in 1946 by Joe Edwards.

“Jinx is a character we’ve been wanting to explore more and we’re so excited we finally get the chance to . . . and what better way than having her as the cool babysitter who scares kids with creepy stories?” said Jamie L. Rotante, Archie’s senior director of editorial . “I mean, her name is JINX, how perfect is that? We were so happy we were able to blend the framework of spooky fairy tales and Jinx as our eager narrator and protagonist.”

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