On Gear Live: Apple iPhone 6: 4.7-inch 1334 x 750 Retina HD display, A8 processor, NFC for $199 on September 19

Captain America Jack KirbyI’m sure you’ve heard by now that the Kirby family lost its claim in court to the copyright to characters Jack Kirby created. As usual, Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter has the best analysis.

Now let’s see what else is out there.

Cowboys: Deadline continues to do the number-crunching on this week’s comic book-inspired film, Cowboys & Aliens. The early results show an under-performer.

Blood: And over at Bleeding Cool, Rich Johnston looks at the long journey getting Cowboys & Aliens from concept to screen.

Ditko: Tom McLean at Bags & Boards doesn’t post as often as he should, but when he does, it’s worth reading. His latest is a review of Blake Bell’s Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko from Fantagraphics. This is a beautiful snip: “Could Ditko be a first-generation fanboy, an 83-year-old whose life was spent obsessing first over comics and later over a juvenile political philosophy that only makes sense within a self-imposed bubble?”


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Astro City Dark Age #2This was posted on Facebook and I’m reposting it here to help get the word out.

Artist Brent Anderson had his car broken into at the San Diego Zoo this week and a whole pile of his original art was heisted by the thieves.

Pages are from Astro City Vols. 1 & 2 & Local Heroes; Astro City: Dark Age Books 1 (#s 1-4), 2 (#s 1-4) & 3 (#s 1-4).

Keep an eye out and if you see them on the market via eBay or Craigslist or at conventions, please contact Brent immediately.

Also, the thieves might be dopes and not realize how hard it is to dump stolen original comic art without the whole of the internets finding out, so comic book shops, flea markets and pawn shops should also be wary.

Additional details can be found at the Comic Book Resources forums.

[Art: Astro City: Dark Age; cover by Alex Ross, not one of the missing pieces, but it's dramatic]


MarinemanSo I'm back from the latest Comic Con extravaganza in San Diego. Unlike other folks that gather up news and special announcements, I gather up a few odds and ends.

Here's my Comic Con report for 2011 (Spoiler Alert: names will be dropped):

Planet of the Apes – When Boom!'s marketing director Chip Mosher asks, I answer! I was on the Boom! Planet of the Apes panel as a guest and had a great time with the engaged crowd. Editor Ian Brill, writer Daryl Gregory and myself talked about the movies, the comics, the creators and time travel. Life is rarely that good.

Aaron Lopresti – Dinner with the artist on the upcoming Justice League International series from DC. We spent it art-spotting with licensed merchandise. Pal Dave Olbrich bought along a 1970s-era Master of Kung Fu drinking glass and it was decided that it was a Gil Kane figure with a face reworked by Romita, Sr.

Marineman – I had a great chat with Ian Churchill, creator of Marineman, the Image Comics title that's also an Eisner-winner. I plopped down $15 for the collected 6 issues. I'm halfway through and it's money well-spent.

Portfolio Review – Dropped in on Space Goat's Dave Olbrich (him again) as he flipped through portfolios offering advance and gentle criticism. Lots of talented folks this year.


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Elisabeth SladenI was saddened by the recent death of Elisabeth Sladen who played Sarah Jane in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Of all the reminiscences online, the one I thought the most touching was by her co-star, Tom Baker.

Dinosaurs: Topless Robot looks at the “10 Most Badass Dinosaurs In Comics.” Something I created made the list, so naturally, I’m linking to it! Thanks to author Jesse Thompson for the shout out.

Royalty: Evan Lewis at Davy Crockett’s Almanack likes Prince Valiant Vol. 2: 1939-1940 from Fantgraphics. “Amazing as the artwork in Volume 1 was, it just keeps getting better.”


Kim KardashianIt’s April 1, and I think we all know what that means:

Because of the declining sales of single issue comics, “Floppies” will now be referred to as “Limpies.”

Boom! Studios has announced another new title for Kaboom! their kids imprint: The Kardashikins, the wacky adventures of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe when they were children.

Based on its recent cutbacks, cancellations and layoffs, L.A.’s largest manga publisher will change its name to Tokyoplop.

Marvel is so concerned about piracy that for the new Thor movie, they’ve banned The Recorder from the premiere.

To take advantage of product placement in the new Captain America movie, the Red Skull will be called Red Bull.

Image Comics has announced a spin-off to last year’s Officer Downe: Officer Downe Syndrome.


ChewTony Chu will soon be taking literal bites out of crime... on TV.

Showtime recently purchased a script -- written by Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer -- based off of John Layman and Rob Guillory's Chew, which chronicles FDA Agent Chu's detective work, primarily performed thanks to the psychic impressions he receives from eating things (which aren't always the most edible).

Circle of Confusion, the company behind fellow Image TV adaptation The Walking Dead, is fueling the project, which Stephen Hopkins is set to direct and executive produce.

While I imagined back-to-back marathons of Chew and The Walking Dead on AMC, I take comfort in the fact that Chew has found its TV home at Showtime, which has seen a show centering on a serial killer continue past five seasons.

The biggest question, of course, is whether or not Ken Leung will be cast as Tony...

Read More | Deadline

Dark Horse Presents #1You can’t beat the power of the hammer. There’s a new Thor trailer floating around that feels much more impressive than the earlier Fortress of Solitude one. I’m liking it more and more, even if the big battle in the desert town looks very movie set-ish.

Now let's read some stuff...

Chaykin: Here’s an interview with one of my favorite creators, Howard Chaykin, talking about his upcoming work at Dark Horse.

Chew: Marc-Oliver Frisch at Comics Beat tackles John Layman to the ground and asks him lots of questions about food, comics and work-for-hire.

Smart: I wanted to conduct an interview with Darryl Cunningham, but he’s so smart that it would only serve to point out how not-smart I am. Fortunately, Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter is a smarty and he landed an excellent interview with the creator of Psychiatric Tales.

Batman: The Pullbox talks to my old friend, the comics historian Peter Sanderson. Subject: The Batman TV series from 1966.


Wizard MagazineOkay, who had Comics Buyer’s Guide in the Last Comics News Magazine Standing pool?

CBG is now the longest-running continuously published comic book magazine and they’ve survived all comers. Overstreet’s Fan, Hero Illustrated, The Comic Reader, The Mirkwood Times, The Comics Journal, and now Wizard.

In case you haven’t heard the news, Wizard Magazine officially shut down last week, sending its staff packing.

Wizard was lucky - they caught the wave of the 1990s comic book bubble and the launch of Valiant and Image and then helped increase that bubble (Gareb was at the first official meeting of the Image Comics founders at Marc Silvestri’s Malibu beach house way back in the early 1990s).

Once the gravy train of million-selling comics derailed, and the internet took away the need for a news magazine, Wizard’s been struggling to remain a viable publication. Watching them flail around for the past decade has not been pretty. I knew a couple of good people who worked for the magazine in those early years and they've long since gone onto other things.


Chew Vol 1It appears that nobody wants the read a book that Snooki claims to have written. The tanned and tiny "star" of MTV's Jersey Shore had her first novel, A Shore Thing published about a month ago. Since then, it's sold less than 9000 copies.

This despite a massive pr push that's seen the little orange pumpkin rolling from TV appearance to TV appearance.

9000 copies.

How does that compare to graphic novel sales? John Jackson Miller at The Comics Chronicles has the scoop.

In 2010, Image's Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye sold 43,900 copies, DC's Blackest Night hardcover (19,200), Image's Chew Vol. 1 (13,600), and Dynamite's Boys Vol. 6 Self-Preservation Society (11,100). And that's just a sampling.

In all, some 38 graphic novels outsold Snooki's book and that's just using GN sales figures from the direct market.


Villains & VigilantesLet’s roll...and punch 2011 in the face!

Writers Without Borders: J. A. Konrath, an excellent writer and a smart guy especially on publishing subjects, has some thoughts about the current spiral of Borders bookstores.

Comix: The Forbidden Planet blog introduces me to a new “underground” style newspaper available in London. “The tabloid size is absolutely lovely for reading comics. It’s something our ancestors knew so well, but we’ve forgotten it over the years.” I really want The Comix Reader to succeed, so if you’re living over there, go get one.

Sci-Fi: My old friend Scott Bieser has a new webcomic that he's started called Quantum Vibe. I'm bookmarking it and you should too.

Archie: Blogger Steven Thompson at Booksteve’s Library reviews Archie: The Best of Stan Goldberg: “Unlike the usual Archie house style, his Betty and Veronica look different from each other, with Betty in particular showing a unique cuteness when drawn by Stan.”


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