SDCC09: News I Can Use

SDCC09: News I Can Use

Jul 27

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Following up on my scintillating posts last year, when I chronicled in excruciating detail every item of interest that appeared to me from the bevy of news flowing out of San Diego Comic-Con, here is the 2009 edition, compressed into a single post rather than a sprawling series of many posts that burns out your eyes and mine alike. Phew.

(Looking back on last year’s posts, I find it interesting I went to IKEA in ’08 on Comic-Con Saturday; this past Comic-Con Saturday, I was also at (OMG) IKEA. What is with that random kismet, daddy-o?)

In no particular order, here’s what got me excited over the past four days and change:

* Jock will illustrate a three-issue arc in Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics, starring Batwoman. I’ve said anywhere that things are said that I love J.H. Williams III unconditionally and for always, but Jock’s amazing too. He also put together a pretty awesome teaser poster for the film adaptation of his Vertigo book with Andy Diggle, The Losers:

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* So Tron: Legacy looks so fucking cool.

Here’s a hi-res version of the footage that leaked out during last year’s Comic-Con after being premiered in a surprise move at the Disney panel. Apparently Disney also set up a mock Flynn’s Arcade with a working version of the game from the movie and a real life fucking LIGHTCYCLE. Everything about this project is arousing to me.

* Twomorrows is putting together “the ultimate comics reference” in the form of American Comic Book Chronicles, a multi-volume series on comic book history with at least one book dedicated to each major decade of the past century of comics. DROOOOOOL.

* A new Image one-shot from Joe Casey and Andy Suriano, whose Charlatan’s Ball intrigued me enough to want to read the trade. This one’s called Doc Bizzare, M.D. and.well, I’ll let Casey drill it down:

If you’re a monster crippled with pneumonia or a demon spirit suffering from acute incontinence, there’s only one man you can call, only one man who claims to possess the skills and the training to cure what ails you. That’s right kids – it’s Doc Bizarre! He’s the only man on Earth who’ll perform a necessary appendectomy on a living mummy.

Sold.

* This year’s Fables Comic-Con one-pager is really good, and really meaty, and actually available legitimately to those outside the con. Also excited about the Bigby OGN.

* Christian the Vision (at right, below) rules.

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* Vertigo has new comics from Grant Morrison, Mike Allred, and Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba on their slate. I will purchase all of them.

* Richard Kelly’s upcoming flick The Box got a meaty Comic-Con preview panel. I loved Donnie Darko but I’m also looking forward to seeing if Kelly can rein in his quirky excesses and produce something that’s sharp, twisted, but more firmly within a mainstream sensibility.

* This new Oni book has me sold on title alone: Frenemy of the State. Anyone know if there were any updates at the show on Rucka’s Stumptown?

* Marvel takes another big step into the online publishing waters with new original in-continuity Spider-Man stories written by Spidey “web head” Bob Gale. I’ve thought for a long time that this was the last line that needed to be crossed, and while I’m superexcited for Longbox, the idea that a major comics publisher is going to be putting actual new in-continuity content online regularly is to me a pretty major sea change.

* Bens Templesmith & McCool launched a new miniseries, Choker, that looks fantastic. I’m very much digging that promo headshot Templesmith put together; it’s Romita Jr.-esque which is an interesting style for him. Yet still of course purely Templesmithian.

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* Finally, a brief tirade. From a comics point of view, the seismic news of the con had to be Joe Quesada’s Friday afternoon announcement that “Marvelman belongs to Marvel.”

Others have done a far better job of weighing in on exactly what this means; Robot 6 has the FAQ to beat, in my opinion.

Personally, while I have passionate manly love for Alan David Doane, I have to take issue with his two posts over the past few days devoted to the Marvelman news. In my opinion, he’s overreacting. He seems to want to frame the announcement as a step backward in the ongoing struggle for creators’ rights in the comics industry, and I don’t think the evidence exists to support this.

Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley had this to say about the news:

"We don’t have a lot to say on the publishing right now. We will be publishing some Marvelman material next year. We are talking to all, besides having Mick on board – who by the way is 9
4 years old, and I spoke to him Wednesday for an hour and a half. It was a pleasure. We’re talking to all the people who were involved in the ’80s and ’90s material – Alan [Moore], Neil [Gaiman], Garry Leach, Alan Davis – we’ve reached out to all these folks. Mark Buckingham, who is also in the house…"

So Buckley’s basically coming out from the start and saying that Marvel is talking to all the creators involved; in fact, they’ve purchased the rights from the character’s original creator, Mick Anglo, who according to the legal quagmire (as I understand it) may have never even given his authorization for the legendary Moore strips in Warrior magazine, meaning they themselves are potentially a violation of creators’ rights.

Marvel is a business. There is no question they will do what’s best for them in that regard. Showing these creators the proper credit and respect is definitely in their best business interests; their idea of “respect” may not be the same as Alan Moore’s idea of “respect,” but it seems foolish to assume that a good-faith effort to properly compensate everyone involved won’t be attempted, if only because pissing off Moore would no doubt piss off Gaiman, someone who has been a friend to Marvel over the past several years and has even written material for them to help financially support the liberation of Marvelman/Miracleman from legal limbo.

Did the major comics publishers screw many creators out of many things over the past decades? Absolutely. Are they doing that on a consistent basis now? Not so much, I’d argue. Would they be stupid enough to attempt to bogart the money with Marvelman/Miracleman, thereby offending a cadre of legendary and beloved creators who would instantly kick up a shitstorm of disgust amongst fandom that would potentially jeopardize goodwill and even sales toward the Marvelman projects to come?

They might do that. Companies can be stupid. But I bet they won’t, and I think it’s far more reasonable to assume that they’ll proceed wisely rather than risk this major initiative on squeezing a few dollars out of the industry’s elite.

And.that’s it from me. What did YOU enjoy hearing about most from the 2009 edition of the San Diego Comic-Con?

(image at top of post courtesy CBR Live)

253 comments

  1. That Vision thing is amazing.

    I don’t even want to know what “The Box” is about because I looked at the pictures and from what I can tell, it’s about James Marsden in my Dad’s haircut from 1976. I’m already there.

    What?

  2. danno

    Can someone please tell the writers of the new Tron movie to try to include some plot this time around instead of a bunch of special effects? Frankly the last time the arcade game kicked ass compared to the movie which smelled like ass. What’s next from the geniuses at Disney, a remake of “The Black Hole”?

  3. Chris

    danno, for my own curiosity, when did you first see Tron?

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