Comic-Con

LA Comics News Roundup: publishers kickstart 2011

All the news that’s fit to shove through internet tubes. Here’s the world of comic books and graphic novels in LA and beyond over the last week or so, with some commentary:

= Boom! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon gets the prestigious Comics Reporter Holiday Interview treatment, talking about the culture and climate of the LA-based publisher and his journey to his current position. Read it

= Silver Lake store Secret Headquarters was named Bookstore of the Week by the LA Times book blog Jacket Copy. More acclaim for a shop that in 2008 was named one of the World’s 10 Best Bookstores by The Guardian. The LA Times article also gives mention to local LA artists Martin Cendreda (Catch Me If You Can) and Sammy Harkham (Crickets). Meanwhile, I have somehow still not checked out this store. Read it

= The ever-expanding Comic International: San Diego could add a balloon parade through downtown San Diego to kick off the festivities. City Council District 4 President Tony Young, a self-proclaimed comic book collector and fan, floated the idea in his New Years address and expanded on the idea in an interview. Read it

= Comics industry numbers from Diamond Comic Distributors, the primary method comics publishers get their comics and graphic novels to comic book stores and other outlets, has released their reports on 2010 and as expected print comics took a hit. “Annual sales of comic books, graphic novels, and magazines to the comic book specialty market declined slightly in 2010, down 3.5% from 2009.” Comics industry number-cruncher John Jackson Miller estimates that the industry generated $415 million last year. The comic shop market hit a peak of $437 million in 2008. However, he counters this gloom with data showing the fourth quarter of 2010 ending 2% up from fourth quarter 2009 due to graphic novel sales. This supports some cautious optimism from some as early signs of a turnaround. Read it: part 1, part 2, part 3 (more…)

LA Comics News Roundup: Comics vs. Toys begins, Borders ends

All the news that’s fit to shove through internet tubes. Here’s the world of comic books and graphic novels in LA and beyond over the last week or so, with some commentary:

= Rebranded Eagle Rock comic store Comics vs. Toys gets profiled on how it came into existence. Answer: From the ashes of two neighboring Eagle Rock comic stores Another World Comics and Mini-Melt Too. In a time when stores are closing and people in less populated areas are lucky if they have a store within a 3-hour drive, it’s amazing to think that two stores existed side by side for a year. I shopped at this store for maybe a year when it was still the Meltdown Comics satellite shop Mini-Melt Too, after Another World Comics had already closed, and really appreciated co-owner Ace Aguilera going out of his way to get me the comics I liked, which can skew off the beaten path at times. It’s one of those small but great stores that LA is lucky to have in abundance. Read it: Eagle Rock Patch

= And speaking of stores closing, the LA Weekly looks at the slow death of the Borders in Westwood. The Borders company will give severance pay, but hasn’t told the store employees their last day. Apparently it will be when the store has been picked clean at severely discounted prices. Read it: LA Weekly

= Two 24-year-old Los Angeles men, Farhad Lame and Navid Vatankhahan, each have to pay $750, complete 10 days of community service (picking up trash), and remain on probation for 3 years for selling fraudulent passes to this past summer’s Comic-Con International: San Diego comic book and pop culture convention. They pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in San Diego Superior Court. They had sold a pair of 2-day passes to 2 women for $120 each on Craigslist. The passes ended up being photocopies of exhibitor badges, so naturally the women weren’t allowed in. Both men were arrested on the last day of Comic-Con. Read it: Sign On San Diego

= For you creative types, comics lettering and calligraphy innovators Comicraft, based right here in Los Angeles, had their annual New Year’s Day Sale, and “secretly” extended it through the holiday weekend. Maybe it’s still happening when you visit. See it: ComicBookFonts.com

= Comics Alliance wrapped up their Digital December, a month long look at the state of digital comics with excellent interviews with nearly every major player and articles by David Brothers and Laura Hudson: (more…)

Dig Comics update: Ain’t It Cool News, Comic-Con & 2 more festivals!

I have fallen behind on posting about the progress of Dig Comics, the documentary that I’ve been working on as a producer for the last several years. There has been a lot of activity, some I can talk about it, some I can’t yet (but hopefully soon). Some highlights:

  • A great interview with director Miguel Cima was recently posted at the very popular movie news/gossip site Ain’t It Cool News.
  • The first new shooting since the completion of the 20-minute short is happening at this week’s Comic-Con International: San Diego. The event is completely sold out but if you are there and see us running around like mad men and women, yell out “I dig comics!” If you’re on Twitter, follow me Wednesday to Sunday this week to see how shooting is going at Comic-Con. Hopefully technology and time will work in my favor and I’ll be able to tweet. We’ve got some amazing people lined up to interview. Can’t wait to hear their thoughts.
  • Dig Comics will be screening at this weekend’s Action On Film International Film Festival at the Regency Academy Theater in Pasadena, California, on Sunday July 25 at 4 PM.
  • Dig Comics will also be screening at the 1 Reel Film Festival, part of Seattle’s Bumbershoot music and arts festival, on September 6 at 12 noon.

I think that’s everything. Seems like I’m missing something. Lots going on! Hopefully I’ll get to share more news soon.

Dig Comics on Electric Playground

Electric Playground aired a segment on Dig Comics on G4 in Canada on August 14. They interview Dig Comics host Miguel Cima from the floor of Comic-Con and preview the short documentary. Great segment!

To keep up to date on all of the exciting developments with Dig Comics, be sure to become a fan on Facebook.

Dig Comics wins Best Documentary at Comic-Con Film Festival

Yesterday’s Comic-Con Film Festival Awards were passed out. Dig Comics won for Best Documentary!

ScreenCrave.com live-blogged the awards show and has a picture of host/creator/writer Miguel Cima giving his acceptance speech. Behind him is Tiina Teal (who played the challenging role of Miguel’s “actual girlfriend” in the movie) and my cybernetic eye.

Dig Comics featured on NPR affiliate KPBS

Dig Comics host and creator Miguel Cima was interviewed this morning about the documentary, comics and this year’s Comic-Con. San Diego’s NPR affiliate KPBS Radio 89.5 FM broadcast the program “These Days” hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh. The episode also includes interviews with Comic-Con’s Director of Marketing David Glanzer, film critic Beth Accomando and Prof. Rocco Versaci (author of This Book Contains Graphic Language: Comics As Literature).

You can listen to the entire interview online at KPBS.org. Miguel comes in just before the 9-minute mark.

On Comic-Con panel to discuss Dig Comics

I will be one of the panelists for a brief Q&A panel just prior to the screening of Dig Comics, a documentary I associate produced. Also on the panel will be host/writer/creator Miguel Cima and others from the production staff as yet to be confirmed.

The Q&A/screening takes place on Saturday, July 25, 6:30 PM, in Room 26AB in the San Diego Convention Center, during Comic-Con International. As previously announced, we have been accepted into Comic-Con’s Independent Film Festival.

We’re very excited about this world premiere screening taking place at Comic-Con, the biggest annual celebration of comics. I’ve been going to Comic-Con every year since I moved to Los Angeles almost 10 years ago. I think I missed one year because of a show I was in. So it’s particularly exciting for me.

The bad news is that Comic-Con is completely sold-out. However, Comic-Con is selling passes on eBay. If you’re on Twitter, closely follow Comic_Con for notices of new auctions getting posted. They go REALLY fast. Good luck!

If you’ve already got your passes, I’ll see you there!

Barbie at Comic-Con

Yesterday I spent the day at Comic-Con International in San Diego serving as Barbie’s professional photograher. I’ll let her walk us through these and provide captions. Take it away, Barbie!

Thanks, Corey! I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what a super-cute and cool chick like me was doing at “Nerd Vegas”. Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead there but that all changed this past weekend!

This is My Comic-Con Adventure!

It all started Friday night… I got back from shopping early and found Ken reading something weird. Like, gross weird.

That’s right, he was reading PORN! (And I think he was doing something with those big green fists, too.) (more…)

Liked Iron Man? Be a Hero and Help Out

So, how ’bout that Iron Man movie? Pretty cool, huh? You bet it was!

It’s, like, totally over 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It MUST be awesome.

It is so totally the best superhero movie ever in the history of ever since ever first started.

Way.

Yeah, it was tons of fun. You know what’s not fun? Liver failure.

Sorry, I know. Bummer seque.

Sadly, one of the comic book artists that made Iron Man so memorable for hundreds of thousands is suffering. His name is Gene Colan.

Yes, yes. Funny last name. Go on, get it out of your system. I’ll wait.

(*snicker*)

Yes, okay, where were we? That’s right, Gene Colan.

In late 1965, Gene Colan took over drawing the Iron Man stories in an anthology comic called Tales of Suspense. He replaced Iron Man co-creator and artist Don Heck, who is credited in the Iron Man movie along with fellow Iron Man creators Stan Lee, Larry Lieber (Stan Lee’s younger brother) and Jack Kirby. Gene Colan’s time with the character proved so popular, that in 1968 the character graduated to starring in his own comic book series, The Invincible Iron Man.

Gene Colan also had a significant run of drawing Daredevil in the mid-1960s to early-1970s, but most people don’t really have fond memories of the Ben Affleck movie, so we’ll just gloss over that part. He also made his mark on Howard the Duck, which was an even worse movie, but the comics were great satire.

Anyway, on May 10th, writer Clifford Meth announced that Gene Colan was sick and because people in comics back in the 1960s and 1970s didn’t get health insurance or 401K plans or anything else beyond a simple flat rate per page, Gene and his wife are facing immense medical bills. As the Iron Man movie rakes in over $200 million worldwide, it seems a shame that some of that financial gratitude can’t be passed on to one of the first artists to portray the character. Without his hard work and talent, it’s possible the character never would’ve lasted long enough to make it to the big screen. So, if you would like to help out in some small way, there are a few ways you can help:

  1. Donate to The Hero Initiative – This not-for-profit organization exists for the sole purpose of helping establish a safety net for comic creators like Gene Colan who did not financially benefit from the success of the comics and characters they worked on. And there are many. Make a donation and ask that your contribution be directed to help out Gene Colan.
  2. Bid on a fundraising auction item – Writer Clifford Meth has begun an auction to help raise money for Gene Colan. The auction started today and includes (or will include) lots of fun stuff by Stan Lee, Harlon Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Gene Colan himself, and lots of others.
  3. Buy cool Gene Colan stuff – Marvel Comics and The Hero Initiative have teamed up to help raise money for Gene Colan. If you’re going to any comic book conventions this summer (I’ll be at Comic-Con in San Diego), be sure to look for limited edition art prints. Additional Gene Colan-themed items will be released by Marvel in August and September.

Okay, that’s my spiel. And if you haven’t seen Iron Man yet, go see it!