Jeff Lemire signs an exclusive deal with Image Comics

The deal will not impact the Black Hammer comics published by Dark Horse or the content on his Substack newsletter.

Jeff Lemire has signed an exclusive deal with Image Comics, his publisher for projects like Ascender, Descender, Gideon Falls, Primordial and more, for an undisclosed amount of time.

“Having worked with Image on so many projects over the last decade, I’ve come to appreciate the complete creative freedom and support that they’ve provided me,” said Lemire. “I’m excited to make Image the exclusive home for all my projects in the years to come, both solo projects that I will draw myself, and my various collaborations. Bone Orchard and Little Monsters are just the start of what I have planned this year and beyond.”

The deal does come with a couple of asterisks, though — Lemire clarified in his Substack newsletter that it will not impact the Black Hammer line of books he co-created at Dark Horse. “I have an exemption in my Image deal to finish the last few Black Hammer series as planned,” he said.

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12 for ’21 | In Memory 2021

As we move into the new year, we pay tribute to some of the creators who passed away in 2021.

In another year of pain and loss, the passing of so many talented comics creators again hit hard. Here’s a look at some of the comics people who passed away in 2021.

Artist Steve Lightle passed away in January at the age of 61. Lightle’s career in comics began in the 1980s on DC Comics titles like Doom Patrol and Legion of Super-Heroes, which he worked on alongside writers Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen.

He also worked for Marvel on titles like Classic X-Men and Marvel Comics Presents, where his iconic covers graced both titles.

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Rest in peace, Ryan ‘Bode’ Bodenheim

The artist of ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Secret,’ ‘A Red Mass for Mars,’ ‘Bloodshot’ and more passed away Dec. 20 at the age of 44.

Artist Ryan Bodenheim, who sometimes went by the nickname Bode, passed away Dec. 20 at the age of 44. A cause of death has not been released.

Over the course of his career, Bondeheim worked on projects at Marvel and Valiant, on titles like Black Panther, Bloodshot and Ninjak. But fans might best know him from his work with Jonathan Hickman; together they co-created several Image series, including The Dying and the Dead, Secret and A Red Mass for Mars.

“Ryan made the work better,” Hickman wrote in his newsletter. “It’s why I loved working with him. I think that’s the highest compliment you can pay a creative partner, and over the past decade it was such a joy to watch him also grow as an artist.”

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George Perez diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer

“It’s quite uplifting to be told that you’ve led a good life, that you’ve brought joy to so many lives and that you’ll be leaving this world a better place because you were part of it.”

Legendary artist and Eisner Hall of Fame member George Perez has shared the heartbreaking news that he has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.

“It is surgically inoperable and my estimated life expectancy is between 6 months to a year,” he said on Facebook. “I have been given the option of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, but after weighing all the variables and assessing just how much of my remaining days would be eaten up by doctor visits, treatments, hospital stays and dealing with the often stressful and frustrating bureaucracy of the medical system, I’ve opted to just let nature take its course and I will enjoy whatever time I have left as fully as possible with my beautiful wife of over 40 years, my family, friends and my fans.”

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Victor Santos launches ‘Ginger Revenges’ through Substack

The free webcomic will be available a page at a time through his newsletter.

Victor Santos, known for projects like Polar, Moon Eaters, Paranoia Killer and more, will syndicate a new comic through his Substack newsletter, the creator revealed.

Ginger Revenges is about a teenager who seeks vengeance against her gangster dad after her mom dies. Santos says he plans to post one page per month, but that each page will have “a lot of panels, like a digital modern version of the Sunday Pages from the old American newspapers.”

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Mad Cave announces their 2021 talent search winners

Eight new creators have been chosen by the publisher in their fourth annual competition.

Mad Cave Studios has announced the winners of their annual talent search competition, which is going on four years now. The winners were announced on Friday during Mad Cave Studios Showcase 4.0, which was broadcast on Twitch.

“We received a wealth of submissions from many talented creators and regrettably could only select a few to help usher in the next phase of Mad Cave,” Mad Cave said in the their statement announcing the winners. “The Mad Cave Studios Talent Search has created a supportive community of dedicated comic book lovers that leaves us feeling excited for the future of the medium, and we want to thank each creator who put everything they have into their respective submission.”

Previous winners of the competition include Shane Connery Volk and David Hazan, who went on to create the Mad Cave title Nottingham. A sequel has been announced for next year. The winners of the 2020 competition helped create the upcoming Grimm Tales From the Cave, a horror anthology that arrives in stores next week.

Here are the eight creators who won, who I’m sure you’ll be hearing about more in the future:

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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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