Category Archives: Comic Books

This is what’s going to keep me busy until February

There’s school too, but it’ll be mostly all about this stack right here.

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Spider-Men #1 hits stores today!

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Color by Justin Ponsor
Letter by Cory Petit
Cover by Jimmy Cheung

$3.99 / 32 pages

Published by Marvel Comics


Avengers VS X-Men Launches In New York – And All Over The World!

Original post: http://geek-news.mtv.com/2012/04/04/avengers-vs-x-men-launch-midetown-comics/

 

The most surprising thing about Marvel Comics’ launch of Avengers VS X-Men in New York City? Given the fighting focus of the book, you’d expect things to be coming to blows… But nope, this wasn’t a Civil War, it was more like a Civil… Thing that was civil*.

For those of you not up to speed, Marvel’s mega-giant-humungo-Event would normally have gone on sale on Wednesday, April 4th – but due to an early shipping time, the Publisher was able to start parties all over the country (and even internationally) at 8pm on Tuesday, April 3rd. To spice things up a bit, they released Avengers and X-Men variant covers of the first issue, with stores having to choose a side before receiving one or the other

It’s a fun idea, of course, and part of the draw for fans to the event: who are you with, The Avengers, or The X-Men? But maybe part of the reason the Midtown Comics launch – ostensibly the flagship launch for Marvel Comics – was so subdued: because they own three stores, Midtown was able to toe the line, and sell both variant covers. And in fact, a rough poll of the crowd showed that they were evenly split, too, with most people falling on the side of just being excited.

The crowd at New York’s Midtown Comics stretched down the block at 9PM.

Don’t get me wrong: this wasn’t fans going through the paces, buying comics because they wanted to keep up with what was going on in Marvel’s superhero universe. The first fans showed up at Midtown at – no joke – 8am in the morning on Tuesday. And though it had only grown to an even dozen by 11am, according to one Midtown employee, by 5pm the crowd swelled to a capped-off amount of 200.

That’s the joy of having a big, reliable comic book shop like Midtown Comics, of course: if they build it, they will come. I don’t think I’ve attended a launch at Midtown that wasn’t packed to capacity quickly and efficiently. Littler comic book stores in non-metropolitan areas like New York have to do a lot more than post on Twitter and Facebook to motivate their base, and this might be what was missing. I kind of wanted to see an Avengers and X-Men themed bake-off, or some back alley fighting. Here, everybody was happily hanging out with their friends, and calmly waiting in line to pick up a copy of the book.

So sure, from the perspective of a reporter looking for something insane to happen I could hang this event recap on, I was sorely disappointed. But I was, really, the only one. Chatting with Midtown’s Thor Parker, he told me that they were briskly selling out of the book – a big question of course, as the 250,000+ copies “sold” of the first issue are actually sold to retailers, and still need to actually end up in the hands of fans – with most fans buying at least two copies. Parker also noted that the (totally freaking awesome) Skottie Young variant cover, featuring X-Men and Avengers babies duking it out, would probably be the first version to go.

Avengers VS X-Men for everybody!

Also a nice bonus for fans? Though John Romita Jr couldn’t make it to the signing at the last second, artist Andy Kubert brought a special gift to make up for the absence: a splash page from the EIGHTH issue of Avengers VS X-Men, pencilled by Kubert, which doesn’t hit comic book stands until July. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it looks like a few months day the road this book doesn’t turn into “Avengers Love X-Men” if you get my drift.

And for Marvel’s Arune Singh, who I also chatted with briefly, they couldn’t have been happier with the excitement from fans, and the reactions to those who have actually read the book. He, and the rest of the marketing team basically had nothing to do but hang out and enjoy the signing, while Midtown took care of the rest. From Ryan Penagos – Agent M if you’re nasty – happily snapping pictures of AvX exclusive hats, to new host of Marvel’s The Watcher Lorraine Cink excitedly chatting with the signing crew of Kubert, as well as Editors Nick Lowe, Tom Breevort, and Axel Alonso, the Marvel crew was in full force, but, like the fans, being surprisingly confident, calm, and composed. Heck, they even ordered twenty-five pizzas for the fans waiting on line, which makes waiting since 8am worth it, right? RIGHT?

Marvel’s Lorraine Cink does her wrap-up speech!

If there’s a reason for all of this calmness, it’s that Marvel doesn’t have a whole lot to worry about with Avengers VS X-Men. The first issue is a solid, fun kick-off to an event, with the fireworks sure to come in the next few issues (and if the issue eight splash is any indication, will continue for several issues beyond that). And the Infinite Comic – a digital experiment by writer Mark Waid, and artist Stuart Immonen – is stellar. If Marvel wants to get more readers back to their comics, Infinite Comics, not motion comics (or even the DVD bonus feature AR app) is the way to do just that.

Midtown, as I’ve mentioned, is always efficient in their events, keeping things moving briskly along, and being pleasant to the fans. One of the big changes they implemented this time around? Pre-selling the comic, so fans just had to bring vouchers in, pick up their books, get ‘em signed, and be on their way to reading the book. That, if anything, is a great metaphor for what Marvel has going on for AvX: they’ve pre-sold the book. You know what the concept is from the title, you know as a comic book fan that you’re going to be into it, and what they deliver is fun.

Agent M snags pics of the exclusive AvX hats.

Does it need to deliver month after month, and not end up in some sort of deep continuity hole like most events seem to do these days? Oh, sure. But as long as the Avengers keep punching the X-Men, we have a feeling fans reactions will keep the fighting on the inside of the book, rather than the outside.


Avengers vs. X-Men Launch Party

What’s up everyone, your nerdy fanboy Austin here with an update for Avengers vs. X-Men. Here’s a complete list of retailers participating in the massive and monumental event that is AvX. This right here is the link to a pdf file that Marvel.com released yesterday giving you guys the address and the name of the comic shop that will have the event: http://i.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/i/pdf/AvXEventTable_complete.pdf

 


Two summers back, comic fans of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s acclaimed Oni Press “Scott Pilgrim” graphic novels were invited to see the world of the books in blazing color when the “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” film hit the big screen. This August, that process comes full circle as the publisher prepares an all-new deluxe hardcover editions of the series with color by “Batman, Incorporated” and “Swamp Thing” colorist Nathan Fairbairn.

Oni and O’Malley jointly announced the new 6″ X 9″ volumes tonight at the Emerald City Comic Con, revealing that after the first book – “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life” – hits in August, the second color hardcover will land in October. Subsequent books in the series will come out bi-annually until readers can have the full “Scott Pilgrim” saga in color on their shelves by 2014. These new editions will also feature brand-new, DVD-style bonus features prepared by O’Malley.

Bryan, let’s talk about the origin of these new “Scott Pilgrim” editions. Had you been thinking about a color version of the series for a while, or is this a result of you having some room in your schedule before your new “Seconds” graphic novel comes out next year?

Bryan Lee O’Malley: It’s something we’ve talked about, and there are so many possibilities for repackaging. People are always asking, “Are you going to do a big omnibus edition?” and things like that. Initially, I was resistant to color because the books were always intended for black and white. That was part of the manga aesthetic I was going for. But we found the colorist Nathan Fairbairn who’s really good. He works on “Batman Inc.,” and he’s amazing. We actually had a few people try out, and he just nailed it. He sent pages in and said, “I didn’t have much time, so I just did these in an afternoon,” and they were great. That’s kind of what you need when you’re looking for someone to color 1,200 pages of comics – someone who’s really fast and has the right style off the bat. I was really, really impressed with that, and it made me much more enthusiastic for the process now. Then someone at Oni decided to make the books hardcovers at a larger trim size, so I think they’re going to be really cool.

And this isn’t just a simple coloring job. I know you’ve been working to clean up some of the art and prepare it for this whole process. Did you end up redrawing any of the pages, or did you go through and just clean up the lines a bit?

I didn’t do too much redrawing in the first book. There’s literally one page at the very end that I completely crapped out when I was in a super hurry to finish the book. So I went back and redrew four panels and turned them into six panels instead. I don’t know if anybody will really even notice that that’s different, but I did it. I didn’t want to go the George Lucas route and change everything, but in terms of cleaning up the art, when you’re going to have a guy color a bunch of pages you drew eight years ago, you kind of want to make sure he can understand what he’s looking at. [Laughs] I mean, when you’re doing a black and white book on a deadline, there’s a lot of times where you just crap out some of the background elements and stuff like that. You just scribble stick figures in the background. So there are some spots where I’ve tightened up things like that.

You’ve been answering a lot of questions and posting a lot of art on Tumblr of late, and I noticed one post where a fan was asking what color Ramona’s outfit was supposed to be in one of the books, and you said, “None. It was in black and white.” Are there instances now where you’re having to rethink how some of this stuff looks for the first time because of the colorization?

Yeah. That’s been hard, actually. We’re still going back and forth on some stuff as we’re not quite locked in on the first book. And I’ll say that since the movie came out, it’s kind of locked in a lot of these colors in people’s minds. So when we started working on this stuff, I felt that especially in the first book, we’re kind of beholden to the pallet of the movie. Fortunately, it’s this really nice, harmonious pallet. So in the first book, we know how pink the hair on Ramona is, and the outfits are all colored similarly, and I think we’ll just go from there. I think that’ll help me decide on the whole thing, and it’s already what’s in the reader’s mind at this point. It’d be weird to go and color things all different at this point.

 A sample of Nathan Fairbairn’s colors. See more below.

The other big part of this is some bonus features in each book. Like I said, you’ve been going through a lot of your old concept work and other sketches online of late. Has that just been part of the preparation for this project, or are you going through and scanning your old art in general to clear out all that paper from your life?

No, that’s is all just stuff that’s just been sitting on my hard drive. I’ve been all digital pretty much since the beginning of “Scott Pilgrim,” so most of that is me going through old folders on my computer to clean stuff up. The part of the book that we’re doing is kind of like a “DVD extras” section at the back. It’s turning out pretty cool. But otherwise, I’m just going through and picking out stuff on my computer that I haven’t looked at in years and putting it on my blog. The extras in the books are largely unpublished. There are a few pictures and sketchbook things I’ve published over the years, but a lot of it is new stuff, and there’s commentary on all of it. I wrote an essay on how I started the book, and that kind of thing will continue on all the new volumes.

What’s it been like to get back into all this art? I think people are excited to see “Seconds” as it’ll be the first long form non-Scott thing you’ve done in eight years or so, but has the coloring and remastering been cathartic at all? Are you going to do this and be ready to not draw any Scott Pilgrim for a few years?

Well, I’m going to be working on these reprints for the next two years probably. We’re doing two a year, and I’ve cleaned up the art on the first two volumes so far. I’ll have to do more as we get closer to each new one and I do the extras for them. So I’m really constantly revisiting, which is fun. Obviously, I’m self-obsessed and like doing this stuff. [Laughter]

“Seconds” comes out next year. Are you wrapped on that book or working on these two concurrently? Has there been any ways in which one project feeds off the other?

I’m nowhere near wrapped on “Seconds.” It’s set for next summer, but I’m still working on I guess what you’d call “pencils.” I work that phase on a computer now, so there’s really no penciling involved. But I don’t think there’s a lot of cross-polination. It’s been going pretty well. I’m trying to do all the covers for the “Scott Pilgrim” reprints at the beginning so they all look the same before I get into my “Seconds” style…whatever that ends up being. I find that my work always mutates from year-to-year. So I want them to all look the same when they come out.

Overall, after working on this with Nathan, do you think working in color is going to become a regular part of your comics moving forward, or will you stick to black and white for most things?

I think it’ll vary from project to project. The process of coloring can be incredibly expensive, and it wouldn’t have even been an option at the start of “Scott Pilgrim.” But it feels good as a project with a collaborator. I don’t think I’d ever want to color my own comics. It’s a lot of work. But Nathan’s been great, and I’d love to work with him on future stuff.

        

New Superman Logo from “Man of Steel”

 

The official Facebook page for Man of Steel has gone live, providing a first look at the redesigned logo for director Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Warner Bros. franchise. It’s dark, textured and a little gritty, and likely to displease fans already grumbling about the updated costume.

Written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Antje Traue as Faora, Harry Lennix as General Swanwick and Christopher Meloni as Col. Hardy. The film opens June 14, 2013.


Marvel Reports First-Day Sell Out for AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #0

 

Marvel announced Wednesday that Avengers vs. X-Men #0 has sold out at Diamond on its first day of release, potentially signaling similar news to come over the next few months during the course of the 12-part, biweekly event series.

 

As usual, a sell out at the distributor level means that copies may very well still be available on store shelves.

“Having Avengers VS. X-Men #0 sell out the same day the book goes on sale is phenomenal,” said Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso in a statement. “The excitement level around this event has been monumental, and now fans can finally experience the story that we’ve been waiting years to tell.”