DC + Milestone announce The Milestone Initiative

The new talent development program will provide nine weeks of training for new comic artists and writers.

Milestone Media and DC Comics have teamed up with Ally, an online financial services company, to launch the Milestone Initiative, a new program that’s meant “to identify, support and elevate emerging diverse writers and artists within the comic book industry.”

The program, which was announced yesterday during DC FanDome, will includes a week-long, in-person training seminar in DC’s Burbank, California offices next February. That will be followed by an eight-week virtual technical training course through the Kubert School. The initiative is actually part of a larger effort by DC to develop new talent called Next Generation DC.

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Artists unsheathed their talent for ‘Swordtember’

Check out a few of the awesome artists who drew blades and more during September’s daily drawing challenge.

As we move into October, a month where many creators take on daily drawing challenges and produce a whole bunch of cool art, I thought it first important to point out that September got in on the action early. The ninth and best* month of the year transformed into “Swordtember,” as many creators decided to dedicate the month to drawing awesome swords.

The idea came from artist Faith Schaffer, who offered prompts for each day to inspire the artists who participated. (For her part, Schaffer drew several new sword tattoos that you can find in her Gumroad store, in addition to daily drawings).

Ron Chan, whose work you may know from the Plants vs. Zombies comics and the recent Earth Boy graphic novel, created a single sword image for each day of the month that not only stood on its own, but also all connected into a month-long story.

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Young reveals new artist, Substack plans for ‘I Hate Fairyland’

Brett Parson joins Young on the ongoing series from Image Comics, while Substack premium subscribers will receive short stories set in the ‘I Hate Fairyland’ universe.

I Hate Fairyland creator Skottie Young has detailed his future plans for the comic, which he wrote and drew from 2015 to 2018.

Those plans include a new artist, Brett Parson, for the ongoing series, plus a series of short stories by various artists that he plans to post for premium subscribers to his Substack mailing list.

“In 2015 I launched my first creator owned book at Image Comics called I Hate Fairyland,” Young wrote.  “I was nervous that something as wacky and over the top as IHF wasn’t going to find a place with readers but man, was I wrong! Over the next few years, the book sold really well, I received tons of fan art, photos of tattoos and a wild amount of IHF cosplay. I was blown away!”

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Hickman plans to leave X-Men after ‘Inferno’

The architect of the Krakoa era of the X-titles will move on to something new for Marvel after ‘Inferno.’

After relaunching the X-Men titles back in 2019 and writing some of the books over the course of the last two years, Jonathan Hickman told Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming Inferno will be his last X-book for now.

Hickman said that wasn’t his plan initially, but came about because of how well the current storyline has been received by the creators he’s been working with .

“Oh, plans have changed entirely,” Hickman told EW. “When I pitched the X-Men story I wanted to do, I pitched a very big, very broad, three-act, three-event narrative, the first of which was House of X. And while this loosely worked as a three-year plan, I told Marvel upfront that I honestly had no idea how long the first part would last because there were a lot of interesting ideas that I had seeded that other creators would want to play with, and so, we left this rather open-ended. I was also pretty clear with all the writers that came into the office what the initial, three-act plan was so no one would be surprised when it was time for the line to pivot.”

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Bendis moves his Jinxworld titles to Dark Horse

The line of titles that includes ‘Pearl,’ ‘Cover’ and the upcoming ‘Joy Operations’ moves from DC to the Oregon-based publisher.

After stints at Image Comics, Marvel and DC Comics in recent years, Brian Michael Bendis’ Jinxworld line of creator-owned titles now has a new home at Dark Horse Comics.

The deal will include a new title, Joy Operations, which Bendis will write and artist Stephen Byrne (Wonder Twins) will draw. Many of the Jinxworld titles published by DC over the last few years, including Pearl and Cover, will also move to Dark Horse. THR said Bendis also has plans to release new editions of previous titles, like Powers, through the publisher. Bendis’ exclusive contract with DC, Jinxworld’s previous publisher, ended earlier this year.

“I am so proud to call Dark Horse Comics home! From Dark Horse Presents all the way up to Black Hammer, Dark Horse has been at the forefront of the kind of creator-owned comics I personally adore and aspire to. This partnership has been brewing for a very long time,” Bendis said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “Mike Richardson, Daniel Chabon and everyone else at Dark Horse has welcomed us with open arms and it’s very exciting to start rolling out our brand-new epics like Joy Operations and reintroduce you to some of our classic Jinxworld titles like PowersTorso and Jinx. Any of my friends will tell you I wished those books were published by Dark Horse back when we first made them. To the future!”

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Danny DeVito returns to the Penguin — in the pages of a comic

The actor will write a new story featuring the character he played in ‘Batman Returns’ for the upcoming ‘Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant’ anthology.

Actor Danny DeVito brought the Penguin to life on screen in the film Batman Returns, and now almost 30 years later he’s returning to the character — in the pages of DC’s Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant.

DeVito will write a Penguin story for the anthology, which also features contributions from Wes Craig, G. Willow Wilson, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Joshua Williamson, Stephanie Phillips, Dan Watters, Mairghread Scott, Dan Mora, Emma Rios, Riccardo Federici, Max Raynor, Max Fiumara, Skylar Patridge, Ariela Kristantina, Khary Randolph, Jill Thompson, Christian Ward and Gabriel Walta.

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Nick Spencer’s run on ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ will end with issue #74

The 80-page issue will include artwork by Mark Bagley, Patrick Gleason and more.

Writer Nick Spencer’s final issue of Amazing Spider-Man will be September’s issue #74 — or, if you’re using “legacy” numbering, issue #875.

For his final, 80-page issue, Spencer will work with Patrick Gleason, Mark Bagley, Marcelo Ferreira and other artists who have drawn his run over the last three years. Gleason did the cover art:

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Rob Liefeld quits the upcoming ‘Mighty Crusaders’ revival at Archie

Archie still plans to release the first issue in June as originally planned, but with a new writer providing the script.

Comics creator Rob Liefeld has left the Mighty Crusaders revival project, which was announced last December. He left because he said a key plot point was revealed on a variant cover created by Tone Rodriguez for Camelot Books and Comics.

“When the key plot point/element is revealed on a retail variant cover – it’s probably time to exit the stage on this one…. like seriously?” Liefeld wrote on Facebook earlier this month. He said he found out about the cover when Rodriguez tagged him in a Facebook post about it.

He later added in another post: “So, earlier this week I posted to one of my groups how I’m trying to keep all the contents of one of my upcoming projects under wraps. I want the reveals and the twists to be fresh and happen organically. I love the story and art and was trying to protect it as best I can. And I had succeeded in doing so. The cover with the big twist being publicly shared as I’m walking out the door to a farewell party for friends was like the big gut punch. All the wind goes out of the sails and the enthusiasm with it. It’s this practice … that needs better management. Everyone is trying to one up the other guy because the shelf life on these comics is so small. Publishers need to do better.

Archie followed up today by announcing that The Mighty Crusaders: The Shield #1 will still be released on June 30, as previously announced, using the artwork that Liefeld already turned in. They said that a new writer would be brought in to script Liefeld’s pages.

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Cartoonists put the spotlight on Autism Awareness Month

Participants are posting personal comics about autism throughout April.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and more than 30 cartoonists are raising awareness around autism and neurodiversity in a series of comic strips posted under the hashtag #ASDComicTakeover on Twitter.

Rebecca Ollerton, a.k.a. Bex, is spearheading the effort. She regularly makes comics about these topics.

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Matt Bors retires his weekly political comic strip; will still run ‘The Nib’

Bors will turn his attention to creating fiction comics and longer-form nonfiction comics.

After almost two decades, cartoonist and The Nib founder Matt Bors has announced he’s retiring from his weekly political comic. His comic on background checks that ran at the end of March will be his last regular political cartoon.

He plans to continue running The Nib, the award-winning webcomics site that features political and nonfiction comics on a daily basis by a variety of artists. He also said he plans to do more nonfiction comics, including comic interviews, for the site. And he’s preparing pitches for fiction comics as well.

“So I will be staying busy, as always,” he said in his announcement post. “Something had to give in my life to make room for other things and, frankly, it was an easy decision. I’ve drawn political cartoons every week since I was 19 and feel like I have said everything I can say, often a few times over. I know this may be disappointing to longtime readers, but my creative desires pull me in another direction, one where I hope to create more work on par with what I’ve done in this field. I also owe it to both The Nib’s readers and creators to keep the publication going as long as possible.”

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Watch Elsa Charretier deconstruct a ‘Hawkeye’ panel in a new YouTube series

The new series will delve into the comic book process every Friday.

The Infinite Loop creative team of Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet have launched a new YouTube series, with the intent to “share their love of the medium and their professional knowledge of the field with comic book fans and aspiring creators.” The first episode went live yesterday.

“I’ve long deconstructed, studied and obsessed over the work of my peers; partly to elevate my art, partly because I can never get enough comics and graphic novels,” Charretier said. “Our YouTube channel is the latest offspring born out of that obsession and an exciting way to share our studies, professional tips, and love for sequential storytelling with everyone tuning in.”

Check it out below, as Charretier examines one of David Aja’s panels from Hawkeye:

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John Romita Jr. returns to Marvel later this year

The artist returns to the place where he started his career almost 50 years ago.

After almost seven years working for Marvel’s distinguished competition, John Romita Jr. will return to the House of Ideas later this year.

Marvel announced the return on their website today, noting that Romita will begin working in the Marvel Universe again in July.

“I have been very fortunate more than a few times in my life, and now I can add this latest event to that list. I have returned to Marvel, the company that I started my career in, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!” said Romita in a statement. “I am literally, at this very moment, working on my next big Marvel project, and it’s a blast!!! I am JUST as excited as I was when I first started, and I will do my best to let the work show that again. I hope fans will see that too!”

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