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Comicbookland

Gene Luen Yang: ‘Our world is colorful, so our books should be too.’

Gene Luen YangWhen we last spoke with graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang, his advice for writers is to “give up TV.” Since then, he has been hard at work on a collaborative project with artist Sonny Liew reviving the story of an Asian American superhero called The Green Turtle. First Second, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, released the print edition of The Shadow Hero earlier this week. We spoke with Yang (pictured, via) to learn his insights on diversity, collaboration, and mapping out a career in publishing. Here are the highlights…

Q: How did you land your first official book deal?
A: My very first book deal was for a two-issue comic book miniseries called Duncan’s Kingdom. It was written by me and drawn by the amazingly talented Derek Kirk Kim. It was published by Image Comics in the late 90’s. The story is now a part of The Eternal Smile, published by First Second Books.

A friend of ours named Jimmie Robinson was already published by Image. Jimmie has done several comics through the years, including Bomb Queen, Evil & Malice, and Five Weapons. He sent our submission directly to his editor. Throughout my cartooning career, friends have played key roles.

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Marvel Makes Major Changes to Thor, Captain America, & Iron Man

marvel logoMarvel plans to shake things up in The Avengers universe for three major characters: Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man.
Female Thor

Henceforth, a woman will swing the Uru hammer in the Thor series. A Nerdist article reveals that the original Asgardian God of Thunder proved “himself to be unworthy, as per the inscription on his mighty hammer Mjolnir, Thor is stripped of his godly powers and this new mystery woman will take up the charge.”

Captain America Sam Wilson With all the super soldier serum extracted from his body, Steve Rogers is in no condition to continue on as Captain America. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sam Wilson, an African-American best known as The Falcon, will pick up the shield and serve in Rogers’ place.

Tony Stark will trade in his iconic burgundy and gold suit for a silver version. According to Entertainment Weekly reports that Stark has not only developed an upgraded suit, but also “a new perspective on life” that includes great ambitions.

So far, it seems that these changes apply exclusively to the comic books. Female Thor will be introduced in Thor #1 due out in October 2014. African-American Captain America will make his debut in All-New Captain America #1 due out in November 2014. Tony Stark will show off his new gear in Superior Iron Man #1 also set for release in November 2014.

 

Lion Forge Comics & IDW Partner to Bring Airwolf & Knight Rider Digital Comics to Print

airwolfLion Forge Comics has teamed up with IDW Publishing to introduce bring its digital comics library into the print comics market. This begins with print editions of the digital comics Airwolf and Knight Rider, which are based on the classic NBC Universal television series.

In addition, IDW has plans to publish a print edition of Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier, inspired by MMA fighter, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The partnership will include additional titles, which will be announced down the road.

“We are excited to be entering this creative endeavor with IDW, a company we feel is on the forefront of progressive publishing,” stated David Steward II, CEO, Lion Forge. “With IDW’s experience and reputation for innovation, this partnership will exponentially  increase Lion Forge’s potential to explore new and unique avenues for our content.”

New ‘Life With Archie’ Issue Sells Out at Comic Book Shops

Archie #36

Archie Comics has released Life With Archie #36. This highly anticipated title, which features the death of protagonist Archie Andrews, has sold out at the comic shop distributor level.

The company has already ordered a second printing and plans to release it with a new cover. As we previously reported, Archie meets his demise after heroically taking a bullet for his friend Senator Kevin Keller. The following issue will celebrate Archie and the impact this character has had on pop culture.

Co-CEO/Publisher Jon Goldwater had this statement in the press release: “This day will never come again. This is not a gimmick. This is not a stopgap for a year until we bring him back in LIFE WITH ARCHIE. While he will live on forever as a teenager in the digests and classic stories, his adventures in LIFE WITH ARCHIE end today, and we will remember his bravery, loyalty, friendship and pure heart. I’ve said this before – Archie represents the best in all of us, and this issue and next week’s LIFE WITH ARCHIE #37 amplify and celebrate one of the greatest characters in pop culture history. “

Archie to Take a Bullet For Gay Friend in Final Comic

archieArchie Comics is killing off its “Life with Archie” comic book series with a dramatic conclusion. The publisher announced the conclusion back in April, and the final issue comes out this week. Archie will die standing up for his gay friend Kevin Keller.

The Associated Press has more: “‘The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,’ said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO. ‘He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.’”

The “Life with Archie” series launched in 2010. For the past four years, the series has chronicled alternate futures in which Archie married both Veronica and Betty.

Archie Comics to Re-Launch Superhero Imprint as Dark Circle Comics

dark circleArchie Comics plans to re-launch their superhero imprint under a new name, Dark Circle Comics. This division was previously known as Red Circle Comics.

The executives plan to announce some of the new work-in-progress titles on the Dark Circle list at this year’s Comic Con International: San Diego event. Alex Segura, who serves as senior vice president of publicity and marketing, has been named editor of this imprint.

Co-CEO and publisher Jon Goldwater had this statement in the press release: ”This is a fresh start and a new direction for these iconic characters. It all boils down to story – tales that feature compelling characters by some of the best talent in comics. Alex – with the help of myself, our President Mike Pellerito, CCO Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Editor Paul Kaminski – has carefully curated a line of comics that will hopefully be seen as the definitive interpretations of these characters for a long time. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Nick McWhorter Named VP of Media Licensing at Dark Horse Comics

dark horse logoNick McWhorter has been promoted to vice president of media licensing at Dark Horse Comics.

McWhorter has been with the company for ten years. Prior to this advancement, he served as the director of custom projects.

According to the press release, “McWhorter was instrumental in facilitating and building industry wide support to kick off Dark Horse Comic’s licensed video game lines with BioWare’s Mass Effect. To date, Nick McWhorter has inked publishing deals with such notable properties as EVE, Halo, Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, Plants vs. Zombies, as well as #1 Bestseller – The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia!”

Bluewater Productions Partners with LezGetReal.com For ‘The Big Gay Comic Book’

BIGGAYBluewater Productions has partnered with the popular LGBTQIA website LezGetReal.com. The two collaborated on a two-volume comic project entitled The Big Gay Comic Book in honor of Gay Pride Month.

Both books profile the lives of various activists and performers who have made positive contributions within the Gay Community. The first installment, which features a cover designed by artist Michael Troy, will be released on June 25th.

Publisher Darren G. Davis gave this statement in the press release: “As a publisher who happens to be gay, I also want to make sure that supporting the LGBTQ community is one of the main focuses of Bluewater. We do a lot of titles that get international attention, but I never forgot whom I am.”

Kids Read Comics! Kids’ Comics Award Winners Unveiled

great comicsThe winners of the Kids Read Comics! Kids’ Comics Awards have been announced. The organizers counted votes cast by kids to determine the winning comics and characters in eleven different categories. Below, we’ve created a list of all the nominated titles. (via ComicsAreGreat.com)
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Bluewater Productions Releases ‘Beyond: The Joker, The Man Who Laughs’

JokerBluewater Productions has published a “news biography” project that focuses on the infamous villain of the Batman comic series, The Joker.

This new comic book, Beyond: The Joker, The Man Who Laughs, delves into and explores several Joker-related, real life, criminal cases. Dan Lauer created the artwork and Valerie D’Orazio worked on the writing; they both collaborated on the recently released Beyond: Edward Snowden comic.

D’Orazio had this statement in the press release: “I’ve always found the Joker to be both fascinating and disturbing, and wanted to get at the heart of the character’s worldwide appeal. What I discovered was no less paradoxical and uncanny than the Joker himself, and that’s what this comic is all about.”

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