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Gemma ArtertonSo did you read that great interview Adi Tantimedh had with Alan Moore over yet at Bleeding Cool? I was going to write about it precisely because I disagreed with almost every comment on the site and then I discovered that a much better writer, Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter, did a much better job of encapsulating my feelings. So my work here is done.

Remember all those comic book movies that people outside of comics don’t really know are based on comics because they don’t have capes and boots, like The Losers, Scott Pilgrim, Road To Perdition, etc. There’s a new one coming up next month called Tamara Drewe, based on the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.

The trailer looks awesome and I get a Reuben, Reuben vibe from watching it. (Yes, that’s the world’s oldest reference point, but go look it up.) Tamara Drewe looks like a lot of fun and I hope it moves a few thousand copies of the graphic novel, which is also well worth reading. Here’s a nice article on the movie from the BBC.

Now let’s see what else is out there.

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Alan Moore, Tamara Drewe and Darwyn Cooke


Weird War Tales 1You know what’s great about searching through the new releases each week? Finding a comic by a friend of mine that I want to recommend.

It’s a one-shot anthology from DC Comics, Weird War Tales #1, and it’s got a story in it by my pal, Jan Strnad. There’s also stuff by Darwyn Cooke and Ivan Brandon and art by Cooke, Nic Klein and Gabriel Hardman, and a cover by Cooke as well. But Jan’s story is the one I want to read first.

According to Jan, “Joey Cavalieri hired me to write a Spirit story for Richard Corben and also offered us the Weird War job.”

Corben turned down the Weird War story, leaving Jan’s script orphaned. But not for long, says Jan. “Joey still liked the story and said he had a fantastic artist for it. I was skeptical but Gabriel Hardman did a great job…I couldn’t be happier!”

Click to continue reading Weird War Tales #1 With Jan Strnad

Scarlet 1One way to measure the health of an industry is whether or not you can find a job in it. It’s been a couple of years since the Los Angeles-based Tokyopop experienced a rapid decline in sales and cancelled bunches of books and let some people go amid a massive restructuring.

Now they appear to be hiring again, and good news for them, and for you, if your resume meets their qualifications. 

First up is a Manga Editorial Line Coordinator who will report to the CEO.         

You’ll assist in the “acquisition process, plan and schedule releases, make freelance assignments” and even better “keep fans apprised of new releases.”

You’ll need a Bachelor’s Degree, at least 3 years of professional experience and familiarity with the usual social media marketing techniques as well as Japanese language skills.

Is there a downside? Well oh yes. “This is a demanding position requiring significant overtime on a weekly basis.”

Click to continue reading Comic Book Jobs: Tokyopop

Girl Genius 9Congratulations to all the Hugo Award winners for 2010 (just announced at this year’s Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne, Australia).

The complete list of winners is at the Hugo site, but let’s pick and choose and look only at what really matters to us: the comics. That’s right, a couple of winners with comic book connections have walked off with their own statue, named after sci-fi pioneer and legendary cheapskate Hugo Gernsback.

In the category of Best Graphic Story the winner was Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm. It’s written by Kaja and Phil Foglio, illustrated by Phil and published by Airship Entertainment. (Volume 8 won last year which should tell you that if you’re not reading GG, you really should.)

Doctor Who, because all comic book fans love the Doctor, picked up the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form for “The Waters of Mars,” written by Russell T. Davies & Phil Ford.

The Hugo for Best Professional Artist went to Shaun Tan (and anyone who’s read his books like The Arrival or Tales From Outer Suburbia knows why).

Click to continue reading 2010 Hugo Awards: Phil Foglio, Doctor Who, Shaun Tan!

Spider-Man MovieDigital comics are here to stay, and publishers who avoid them or fear them will lose to them. To that end, Disney’s Marvel Comics is looking for a Senior Producer/Product Manager for Marvel.com.

This “creative and highly motivated” person will “oversee day-to-day production of Marvel.com and to help define and manage the evolution of our Digital Comics products.”

Your responsibilities include a lot of buzzwords like “end users,” “stakeholders,” and “pipelines,” but you’ll basically be growing Marvel’s digital business – developing plans, implementing new programs, and rolling out new features and support for new products.

You’ll also get to monitor trends and news in “the digital comics space” (which I believe is also called “the internet”), collect feedback, conduct research, grow subscriptions and increase ad revenue.

Click to continue reading Comic Book Jobs: Marvel.com

Great British ComicsIt sounds like some sort of awesome comic book team-up: Jonathan Cape, which is a publishing division of still-a-powerhouse Random House, the Comica Festival and England’s Observer newspaper (the sister paper to the Guardian) have joined forces to launch The Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Competition.

If you’ve dreamed of being published, if you’re already published but want a wider audience, or if you’ve just got something to say in comic strip form, this is your chance. They’re looking for an original 4-page comic strip that’s not been published anywhere before. Personal, introspective altcomics will probably do better here than your super-hero extravaganza, but that’s up to you to decide.

Alas, this British comics contest is not open to any former British colonies, just residents of Great Britain and Ireland, but still, this is a big chance for someone to score. The winning entry will receive £1,000 (which is around $1500US) and be published in the Observer Review, which is not a bad audience to tap into. Careers have been built on far less.

Click to continue reading British Comics: Graphic Short Story Competition!

VoltronHere’s a quiz: What company “owns and manages a globally-recognized portfolio of well-known family and pop-culture entertainment brands” including Casper the Friendly Ghost, Where’s Waldo?, Lassie, Gold Key Comics, The Lone Ranger, and Voltron?

If you guessed Classic Media, then you are either very smart or you read the header. Well, if you’re a marketing whiz, the folks at Classic Media are looking for you. Specifically a VP/Director of Marketing for their New York office.

You’ll be “responsible for leading brand strategy – developing and executing marketing plans across the Company’s Pop Culture & Boys’ Action properties, including: Where’s Waldo? and Voltron.” I wouldn’t actually refer to Where’s Waldo? as an action property, but Voltron? Heck yes!

CM wants you to understand and leverage “brand insight to drive revenue” with a “left and right brain aptitude – a P&L focus with the ability to drive first-class creative and product development.”

Naturally, to fulfill all those buzzwords and more, you’re going to need some experience, 9+ years in fact, in marketing “with emphasis on brand management.” And if you have some expertise “in the evolving media landscape” and are “digitally savvy and a social networking guru,” well, that’ll help, too.

Click to continue reading Comic Book Jobs: Classic Media

Jeff Smith's BoneWelcome to the Labor Day edition of , with a few extra links to help you cope with the extended weekend. Let’s get it started; I’ve got to make the rounds of quite a few barbecues.

Comic Books For Kids: You know who everyone should thank for the influx of great graphic novels for kids? Jeff Smith, creator of Bone. Robin Brenner at Early Word explains, and also points out that while a number of librarians are nuts about graphic novels from NY’s publishing icons, they are somewhat ignorant of the kid-friendly graphic novels actually produced by traditional comic book publishers.

Vince Colletta: I don’t think there’s an inker around who polarizes people as much as the late Mr. C. Scoop reviews The Thin Black Line, a new biography of the inker who “saved the bacon of many an editor.”

Gene Roddenberry: Frederik Pohl remembers his time with the “great bird of the galaxy.”

Superman: Randy Johnson, the writer not the retired baseball pitcher and mustache-worshipper, reviews Jeff Mariotte’s 2007 DC Universe novel Trail of Time. “The real fun for me were the chapters labeled May, 1872. They detailed the gradual coming together of four DC western characters, Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, El Diablo, and the Scalphunter, along with an able assist from Johnny Thunder.” Needless to say, he liked the book, and who among us wouldn’t? I’ve already ordered my copy.

Click to continue reading Weekend Reading: Vince Colletta, Gene Roddenberry, Tezuka and Zombies!

Heavy Metal PulpWant to break in to big-time New York City book publishing while it still exists?

Tor Books, the big genre publisher, is looking for two, count ‘em two, editorial interns for Fall 2010. You may get college credit, but it is a paid internship. That’s right, money in your pocket. Tor does it right, aside from just publishing great books.

Tor publishes John Scalzi, George R.R. Martin, the Heavy Metal Pulp titles, Heinlein, Charlie Stross, Larry Niven (one of the founders of the Ultraverse), F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack), and dozens of others.

Tor interns will “gain insight into the process of publishing a book at every stage, from acquisition and contracts through production and, finally, the finished product.”

That might horrify you, of course, or maybe it’ll thrill you. Tor has a strong online presence and a nice website with lots of extras, so they’re preparing well for a future that could be sans paper. They’re even hosting a series of posts by veteran Marvel and DC scripter (and novelist and also an Ultraverse founder) Steve Englehart.

Click to continue reading Comic Book Jobs? Interns @ Tor Books

Lucky In LoveComic book fans might know Stephen DeStefano best from ‘Mazing Man for DC Comics, or Hellboy, Jr. for Dark Horse. Animation fans might know his name from The Venture Bros. and Ren And Stimpy.

His new graphic novel, Lucky In Love, co-created with writer George Chieffet, has just been published by Fantagraphics Books.

That means it’s time to celebrate. Black/White: A Retrospective Of Cartoonist Stephen DeStefano runs from September 16-18 at the mdh Gallery in New York City (233 W. 19th Street). DeStefano and Chieffet will appear on the 16th, starting at 7pm to sign copies of the book and DeStefano will show off (and sell) some original artwork. Wine, I’m led to believe, will be there as well.

And it won’t be just a display of DeStefano’s work from Lucky In Love. There will be stuff from the animated shows and comic books he’s worked on as well as the Popeye licensing stuff he does. It’s a cartoon fan’s dream come true, and did I mention the wine?

So be cartoon-hip and go to a gallery showing of cartoons! This is the kind of event I love to attend, but I’m on the opposite coast.

[Artwork: Cover to Lucky In Love, © Stephen DeStefano and George Chieffet

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