Plus: News on Ron Zimmerman, Paul Coker Jr., Frederik L. Schodt, Ed Brubaker and more.
Publishers | Although it might be hard to believe that there’s anyone left at the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Company to speak anonymously at this point, Popverse has an interview up with one such staffer, who gives more details on what’s been going on behind the scenes — and offers some context about that not-at-all-thought-out statement that was released on social media. The statement, the anonymous source says, came from parent company Polarity. “They thought it was so good. They did not listen to anyone who told them it was not, and then we reaped the whirlwind of their failure, like pretty much every week this month.”
This unsurprising account by the anonymous staffer follows several rounds of layoffs and departures from the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Company. Associate publisher Michelle Nguyen left the company voluntarily, following the layoffs of James Lucas Jones, Charlie Chu, Alex Segura, Amanda Meadows, Jasmini Amiri and Henry Barajas in July.
Publishers | Both The Beat and Popverse have reported that webcomics platform Tapas Media has laid off several staff in what’s being described as both a consolidation with sister companies Radish and Wuxiaworld, as well as a shift toward more user-generated content. Bleeding Cool reports that Tapas Media Chief Creative Officer Michele Wells is one of the people impacted by the layoffs. All three companies are owned by Kakao Entertainment, which acquired them in 2021.
The Harvey Awards have announced their 2020 award recipients through their outlet of choice, The Hollywood Reporter. The awards announcement comes several days before a virtual ceremony that’s supposed to be part of New York Comic Con and MCM Comic Con’s Metaverse event.
So why are they announcing them now? Who knows — 2020 is weird. But hey, here are the winners:
Although there weren’t any big comics announcements during the second day of DC FanDome, the company did reveal a few small tidbits.
This weekend DC presented the second round of their DC FanDome event, which featured pre-recorded virtual panels on their comics, movies, TV shows, video games and much more.
Although some viewers complained of technical issues when everything went online on Saturday morning, the event this time was much smoother and easier to absorb than the first day of the event, which took place back in August. For that one, everything was streamed on a continuous loop, which made it difficult to figure out when certain panels were going live — and if you didn’t have eight hours to dedicate to watching it, you were going to miss something.
This time around everything was posted on-demand style, so you could easily pick and choose what you wanted to see. If you just wanted to see the comics panels, you could pull those up and watch them without having to sit through a panel on the Flash TV show, for instance. Across five different channels, they had a LOT of content, and like before, it was only up for 24 hours. Which is a bummer — if you missed it, it’s gone, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. They could easily put at least some of it up on their YouTube channel.
If you did miss FanDome, here’s a round-up of some of the comic news that came out of the event.
The Black Label title featuring a character created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons will be set 35 years after the end of the ‘Watchmen’ maxiseries.
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen continues to be mined by DC Comics for story ideas some 30+ years after the 12-issue miniseries debuted. Although it enjoyed a long tenure as a “hands off” project while DC built its graphic novel business on its back, in recent years, post-Paul Levitz, the gloves have been off, starting with Before Watchmen in 2012 and the more recent Doomsday Clock, which brought the Watchmen characters into contact with the DC universe. These projects were done without the support or approval of Moore, who has “angrily” distanced himself from anything Watchmen due to his ownership dispute with DC (among other reasons).
Which brings us to today, in a world where Watchmen is not just a very well-regarded comic from the 1980s, but also a very well-regarded HBO show. DC has announced a new Rorschach 12-issue series by Tom King and Jorge Fornés that sounds like it has more in common with the TV show than the original comic.
Check out new comics by Louise Simonson, Jan Duursema, Ali Fitzgerald, Roger Langridge and more.
Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.
Comic strips from Dick Tracy to Doonesbury are celebrating medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis today, as the Sunday strips feature six “hidden” items like a microscope and a medical mask that relate to essential workers during the pandemic. The idea for it came from Rick Kirkman, who is one of the creators of the comic strip Baby Blues.
Plus: News on Grant Morrison, Tintin, Stan Lee and more.
Batton Lash, the creator of the long-running comic-strip-turned-comic-book Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre (later re-titled Supernatural Law) passed away Jan. 12 at the age of 65 from brain cancer.
Lash’s comics career began in the late 1970s when Wolff and Byrd began running as a weekly comic strip in The Brooklyn Paper and then later in The National Law Journal. In the 1990s, he and his wife, Jackie Estrada, formed Exhibit A Press, which began publishing Wolff and Byrd comics under the title Supernatural Law. It later migrated to the web. His other works included writing the Archie Meets The Punisher crossover as well as Bongo Comics’ Radioactive Man book, which received an Eisner Award in 2002. He also collaborated with James Hudnall on Obama Nation, a conservative political comic strip that appeared on one of Andrew Breitbart’s websites.
Censorship: The Chinese government has banned rage comics (Baozou Manhua, or Baoman) channels from a number of online platforms, claiming violations of the recently enacted Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs. In addition to the censorship, the article discusses how rage comics migrated from 4Chan to Chinese youth culture and why this is important: They are now a big-money business.
Besides the shutdown of the various social media channels, the closure of the baozoumanhua.com media empire is a huge blow to its fans and creators. The website’s founder Wang Nima’s net worth is estimated to be around 4 billion yuan (±US$628 million), according to Daily Economic News (每日经济新闻).