Marvel Launching Digital-Exclusive 'Iron Fist' Series on ComiXology


‘Immortal Iron Fist’ will be the first in a series of comics created exclusively for Amazon’s ComiXology platform.

Following in the footsteps of Valiant Entertainment and BOOM! Studios, Marvel Entertainment announced that it will be providing exclusive comic book content to Amazon.com’s digital comics platform ComiXology as part of the latter company’s ComiXology Originals imprint.

The announcement came during today’s Marvel Next Big Thing panel at San Diego Comic-Con, with the partnership going into effect Friday with the launch of Immortal Iron Fists, a six-issue series released on a bi-weekly basis, with each issue available for purchase for $2.99 or part of the monthly ComiXology Unlimited subscription package. Additional series will be announced in coming months.

Immortal Iron Fists will be written by Kaare Andrews with art by Afu Chan, and will feature Danny Rand and Pei, the latest possessor of the Iron Fist as introduced in Andrews’ 2014 print series Iron Fist: The Living Weapon. The series was originally teased, as a print title, under the title Iron Fists as one of Marvel’s 2016 Marvel NOW! launches, appearing in the July 2016 Marvel NOW! catalog. Iron Fists never appeared, with its slot in the Marvel NOW! line-up taken by a separate Iron Fist title.

The ComiXology Originals line launched earlier this year with Valient Entertainment’s Valiant High series; the imprint was intended to offer material outside the comic book mainstream as a way of reaching out to newcomers to the medium.

Immortal Iron Fists will debut as a ComiXology-exclusive series tomorrow.



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Batman Writer Grant Morrison Unveils 'Arkham Asylum 2' Graphic Novel Plans


The title will be a sequel to the 1989 best seller from DC.

Thursday’s DC: Meet the Publishers panel at San Diego Comic-Con came with a surprise guest.

Grant Mirrosin showed up to not only tease the second volume in his Wonder Woman: Earth Two graphic novel series, but also to announced an entirely unexpected project: Arkham Asylum 2, a follow-up to his best-selling 1989 Batman graphic novel.

Explaining that he once joked that the idea of creating a sequel to the fan-favorite title as his personal “jumping the shark” moment, he said that he decided to embrace the ludicrousness of the concept. “Let’s take that jump the shark idea and do the best Batman book there’s ever been,” he said, describing the project as an over-the-top Luc Besson-esque thriller that will take place in the future timeline he created where Batman’s son Damian has grown up to become an adult Batman of his own.

Morrison will be joined on the title by artist Chris Burnham, his partner on the earlier Batman Incorporated series (Above is cover artwork for a Batman Incorporated issue by Burhnam). Morrison described the graphic novel as a 120-page release, but no further details — including release date — were discussed.

Morrison also talked about the next volume of Wonder Woman: Earth Two, which he described as the Empire Strikes Back of the series, which will open with a flashback showing the Amazons’ island being invaded by the Nazis. “We’re showing you cannot mess with the Amazons. They’ve spent 3,000 years doing it better than you [and they] don’t do it with violence at all.”

DC publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio also answered questions about publishing strategies from fans, revealing that there are no plans for a digital subscription service. Lee recommended fans use Hoopla, the library digital service that includes a number of DC titles, instead. He also argued for the continued need for new characters and low price points on comic book releases.

“We do not want to be a cover band. What do you get when you do that? A pale imitation. We’re going to keep putting our character in new stories, and new characters in new adventures,” DiDio said to an eager crowd. “We need more people coming into the comic stories. Selling to one person a high-priced book is not the same as selling books to twenty people. One person can go away, but when twenty people go away, that’s a problem.”



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Rare 'Wonder Woman' Comics Being Auctioned for Anti-Human Trafficking Charity


The DC hero’s first appearance and two similarly rare comics will be sold by eBay for Charity in August.

2017 has been a good year for DC Entertainment’s Wonder Woman, and an upcoming eBay for Charity auction is about to give fans of the character the chance to own three rare pieces of the character’s history. The pieces going up for auction include her very first appearance, 1941’s All-Star Comics No. 8.

That comic, and the first issues of Wonder Woman’s two 1940s starring roles — 1942’s Sensation Comics No. 1 and Wonder Woman No. 1 — will go up for sale next month in three separate auctions, with a portion of the proceeds going to the non-profit organization Trafficking Hope, which campaigns against human trafficking.

The Wonder Woman material in each of these issues was written by the character’s creator, William Moulton Marston — under the pen name Charles Moulton — with art by Harry G. Peter. An upcoming movie, October’s Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, delves into the origin of the character, and the relationships that led the man who invented the lie detector to also create the most iconic female superhero in existence.

Seller for the auctions is Pristine Comics owner Darren Adams, who sold the first appearance of Superman — 1938’s Action Comics No. 1 — for $3.2 million, a record auction for eBay. Whether or not these Wonder Woman auctions will top that figure remains to be seen, but eBay notes that sales of Wonder Woman material in 2017 are up 59 percent on last year’s figure, with “Wonder Woman” having been used as a search time more than 460,000 times this year alone.

The Wonder Woman auction will begin Aug. 13 at 5 pm PST; before then, more information can be found here.



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Lego Brings Life-Size Builds from Marvel, DC and 'Star Wars' to Comic-Con


Luke Skywalker, Thor and the Flash will be ready to meet the crowds at the LEGO booth this year.

Fans looking for a glimpse of the future of their favorite heroes might want to head to the LEGO booth at San Diego Comic-Con. Life-size Lego versions of Thor: Ragnarok‘s leading man, Justice League‘s Flash and characters from Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be on display, alongside new and upcoming sets based on fan-favorite properties.

Of the three full-scale models, Thor is the most impressive in terms of scale, standing 7 feet tall and made of 33,495 LEGO bricks, the result of 290 hours of work. Luke Skywalker may be slightly shorter — he was, after all, too short to be a Stormtrooper — but is the result of 277 hours and 36,743 bricks, while the Flash stands unusually still at just over six feet and 20,090 bricks.

Both Thor and the Flash accompany the debut of exclusive Lego Brickheadz sets, with DC’s set featuring Supergirl and the Martian Manhunter, while Marvel’s includes Spider-Man and Venom. Both are each available for two days only — Marvel Thursday and Saturday, DC Friday and Sunday — from the Lego booth at the show, for $40. (The Marvel Brickheadz can be seen here.)

Also available at the show are two exclusive LEGO minifigures, which will be released as part of a ticketed instant drawing giveaway. The Marvel giveaway, again on Thursday and Saturday, will be of Deadpool Duck, while the DC giveaway on Friday and Sunday, will feature a Vixen figure inspired by DC’s Legends of Tomorrow TV series.

(Fans not at Comic-Con will be able to enter a drawing for these figures by following @LEGO_Group on Twitter and using the hashtag #LEGOSDCC.)

Additionally, the Lego booth will promote the upcoming The Lego Ninjago Movie, with the debut of a number of new build sets based on the movie ahead of their official Aug. 1 retail release, as well as the Master Builders construction of a giant Garmadon figure throughout the entire show.

All things LEGO can be found at booth #2829 on the show floor. San Diego Comic-Con runs Wednesday through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center.



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'BoJack Horseman' Cartoonist Launching Graphic Novel 'Coyote Doggirl' (Exclusive)


Lisa Hanawalt and publisher Drawn & Quarterly are releasing the project about a “half dog, half coyote” who has “a whole lot of attitude.”

For years, Lisa Hanawalt has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with.

She’s worked a as a cartoonist with titles My Dumb Dirty Eyes and Hot Dog Taste Test, a production designer and producer for Netflix’s BoJack Horseman and as an award-winning food writer for Lucky Peach Magazine. With new project Coyote Doggirl, she’s turning her attention west.

The title will be Hanawalt’s first full-length graphic novel, and will focus on the eponymous Coyote — described by publisher Drawn & Quarterly as “half dog, half coyote, and a whole lot of attitude.” A skewed take on Western tropes, the book follows Coyote as her escape from particularly pesky varmints is interrupted by a clan of wolves who attack her and her beloved horse Red, then decide to help her back to health and search for her now-missing faithful steed.

In a statement, Drawn & Quarterly publisher Peggy Burns said that Hanawalt is “enormously talented at creating fantastical worlds that are gorgeously technicolored and rendered, and she has a very funny gift for the anthropomorphically absurd. Once you look a bit closer however, you can see Coyote Doggirl is not just a send-up of the Western genre, but a deeply personal story for Lisa. Watching it unfold across the desert landscape is thrilling.”

The title was acquired by Burns, with Meredith Kaffel Simonoff of DeFiore and Company representing Hanawalt in negotiations. The title will released by D&Q in fall 2018, and be distributed by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the U.S., and Raincoast Books in Canada.



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Booger Tells All: Curtis Armstrong Talks 'Revenge of the Nerd' Memoir (Q&A)


The veteran actor of memorable roles in ‘Risky Business’, ‘Moonlighting,’ ‘Supernatural’ and other shows opens up about his new book.

The man behind hundreds of unforgettable supporting roles – Booger in Revenge of the Nerds – and voices – Snot Lonstein on American Dad! – takes center stage in his own life in his new memoir, Revenge of the Nerd: The Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger (Thomas Dunne, July 11). 

 

Armstrong writes about everything from making Risky Business with Tom Cruise (read an exclusive excerpt) to growing up in the sixties and early seventies to partying with John Goodman and being a father. Reviews have been good. Armstrong, who appears at Vroman’s in Pasadena tonight, recently talked wth The Hollywood Reporter about the book. Highlights of the conversation below.

 

What was most surprising to you about revisiting your past?

 

I had a feeling it would be fun to go back and revisit some of the movies and TV shows, but what I found I actually enjoyed more and wasn’t expecting was the theater stuff. I was going into the theater stuff because I felt that that was part of the story, part of that nerd narrative. It brought back so many memories of what it was like in those days starting out as a stage actor. I can’t imagine what it would be like now. A lot of faces just came up, actors I worked with over the years in theater who I haven’t seen and some of them are dead, actually, and just remembering them and remembering what I learned was really a nice thing. 

 

What was most interesting about your theater experience?

 

Realizing that I was playing in the theater exactly the same sorts of roles that I wound up playing in movies. It was always the second banana comic part, the best friend of so-and-so, but it was in Noel Coward plays or Shakespeare plays. 

 

What were you like as a kid?

 

For a significant period, I was in Switzerland, which kind of cut me from what we would call now American popular culture in the sixties. There was a lot of stuff that I missed. I had a passion for books and a love of reading, and that was something that never went away. There were comic books, which I was never particularly into. Science fiction and horror was a big thing for me. And I was a big British Invasion kid. The Beatles and subsequent bands became a huge focus for me, and again remain so today.

 

Were you a nerd?

 

At that point, there was nothing to embrace, really, other than my own obsessions and my own passions. We had to wait for the nerd culture to catch up with us. It became a community as a result of science fiction, comic book conventions, leading into the early days of computers, Internet, all of that stuff. That was when people, incidentally around the time of Revenge of the Nerds, that’s when people started embracing nerd culture. Once they found each other, they went from individuals or pairs or small packs who had been kind of wandering in the desert, they became a culture that then people on the outside wanted to join, which is really wonderful. 

 

From my standpoint, I was embracing what I loved without concern of how people thought of me. I was dressing like Sherlock Holmes, you don’t get much nerdier than that. Or Humphrey Bogart – I was wearing the trench coat and a fedora. It was kind of ridiculous, but that was the way that I did it. But then it became, in some ways, easier when everyone discovered everyone else. It’s one of the points I go into in the book. The internet, they exposed us to each other, made us realize that there were others out there who were like us, and then allowed us to get together as a community. But at the same time, of course, it gave a platform for people who always hated us to continue doing that and do that anonymously, which is a major problem now. 

 

What is going to surprise people about the book?

 

People think I work all the time, although I do work a lot, and I’ve been making a career of it for 40 years, it is not the thing where you go literally, necessarily, from one job to the next. I think people are surprised when they find out that there are chunks of time where I am not acting. And connected to that a little bit is the fact that they don’t realize how grateful I am to be working at all after all of these years. The fact that this has been a successful career by acting standards, really very successful, but its not something that I ever dreamed was going to happen. It is a constant surprise to me when somebody calls up and says, “Will you do something?” 

 

What are you most recognized for?

 

Cross-generationally, it’s Nerds, definitely. Some of the other big ones from the past, like Moonlighting, unless I’m in Europe. Nerds is probably the big one, closely followed by Better Off Dead and then Supernatural

 

Supernatural?

 

That was a fun thing that happened. I would see people on the internet go “I can’t believe it, I was watching this movie called Revenge of the Nerds, and Metatron was on it!” Their frame of reference is totally different. That happened at the same time as New Girl and American Dad! going on. Between those three shows there was a really significant uptick in younger people recognizing me, but not necessarily knowing anything of my history.

 

The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 



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IDW Partnering with France's Glanet for Ambitious Comic Book Imprint


“Original Graphic Novel” will see the two publishers collaborate on material intended for both sides of the pond.

Ahead of this week’s San Diego Comic-Con, IDW Publishing and French publisher Glénat have announced that they are partnering with an ambitious aim in mind: creating new comic book properties for both the U.S. and French markets.

The two companies are launching the “Original Graphic Novel” initiative, which will see creators from both American and Franco-Belgian industries work on new titles in a wide variety of genres — the announcement lists “science fiction, fantasy, western, humor, thriller [and] adventure,” along with “whatever may inspire the authors” — with the results being published in both markets.

Glenat has an existing relationship with IDW, with the latter already republishing Glenat-originated material featuring Disney characters for the U.S. market, and the European publisher handling translated editions of multiple IDW series. (It also licenses material from Oni Press, Image Comics and other American publishers.)

Initial launch titles include Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ fantasy title The Highest House, and an LA-based crime thriller Lowlifes by Brian Buccellato and Alexis Sentence. Additional upcoming titles include the Quentin Tarantino-inspired road-trip story Gunning Down Ramirez, and horror fantasy Boogeymen.

The collaboration is far from the first time an attempt has been made to bring European comics to the U.S. market, although previous efforts — which have included U.S. offices for leading French publisher Les Humanoides Associes, as well as publishing partnerships for multiple properties — have focused on reprinting and reformatting existing material for American audiences. This new effort is also notable for the size of those participating: IDW is the fourth largest publisher in the North American market, with Glénat being the third largest in France.

The first “Original Graphic Novel” titles will be released in 2018.



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'Deadpool' And 'Logan' Finally Face Off (But Not Onscreen)


Fox’s two big comic book movies crossover in a five-issue Marvel comic series this fall.

It’s the crossover of two of the most critically acclaimed superhero movies of recent years — taking place on the printed page. This October, Deadpool takes on the aged Logan, and it’s going to get messy.

The meeting of the hyper-violent anti-heroes will take place in the five-issue Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan, written by Declan Shalvey, with art by Nailbiter‘s Mike Henderson, with both heroes competing to find a newly identified powerful mutant first — no matter what.

“We get to see both characters be the best at what they do, while also getting to see them be the classic odd-couple,” Shalvey said in a statement from the publisher. Both characters naturally bump heads against each other, which is a lot of fun to write.” Artist Henderson added that the series “is a not so buddy-buddy buddy comedy with all the bickering, explosions and stabbing you’d expect from a comic starring Deadpool and Logan as they both race to do their version of the right thing by a young mutant,” comparing the end result to “this flaming runaway train of an action script that feels like… a Jason Statham movie.”

The series launches in October, one of two new mini-series from the publisher that month centering on multi-media properties; also debuting is Garth Ennis and Goran Parlor’s Punisher prequel, Punisher: The Platoon, set during the Vietnam war.



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Get an Early Look at Trippy Comic Book 'Kid Lobotomy' (Exclusive)


IDW is releasing the pages ahead of Comic-Con.

Good news for IDW fans.

The comic book publisher’s Black Crown Preview will give San Diego Comic-Con attendees a look at the titles in its new imprint, which is headed by former Vertigo executive editor Shelly Bond. But for those not at the show, there’s still a way to read the preview of the imprint’s first release (just keep reading).

IDW/Black Crown has given Heat Vision a first look at the Kid Lobotomy pages from the Preview issue, written by Peter Milligan with art by Tess Fowler, in addition to the covers to both the Black Crown Preview (by Fowler and Philip Bond) and Frank Quitely’s variant cover to the first issue of Kid Lobotomy. That series, first announced in March, is described by Bond as “King Lear meets Kafka by way of Young Frankenstein” — an apt description for what follows.

More information about the Black Crown imprint, Kid Lobotomy, and future titles, will be revealed during the Friday afternoon panel “Black Crown: At the Cross Street of Comics & Chaos,” in Room 32AB at 12 p.m. For those attending the show’s Preview Night on Wednesday, Black Crown and IDW is also sponsoring the IDW: PDX and Black Crown Rock & Roll After Party! at Jolt ’N Joe’s, 379 4th Avenue, Loft 25. Doors open at 9:30 p.m., with music starting at 10. 






The Black Crown Preview — subtitled “A Tourist’s Guide to IDW’s New Creator-Owned Curation Operation” and featuring teases for other upcoming releases from the imprint — will be available from the IDW booth, #2743, during the convention.

San Diego Comic-Con runs Thursday through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center, with Preview Night on Wednesday.



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'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Premiere Sets Ratings Record for Italy, U.K.'s Sky Atlantic


The episode drew about 2.83 million overnight viewers for the 2 a.m. London time simulcast of the U.S. premiere on HBO and the 9 p.m. regular airing, according to overnight U.K. ratings data reported by Sky.

The season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones set a new overnight audience record for pay TV giant Sky’s Sky Atlantic network in the U.K.

The season opener drew about 2.83 million viewers for the 2 a.m. London time simulcast of the U.S. premiere on HBO and the 9 p.m. regular airing, according to overnight U.K. ratings data reported by Sky. That compared to an audience of close to 2.20 million for the season 6 opener, up 30 percent.

The combined viewership for the season 7 opener was Sky Atlantic’s biggest overnight audience ever. Experts estimated that the total audience for the season premiere could reach 4.5 million viewers when including a full week of catch-up viewing.

The company said 115,000 people stayed up to watch the simulcast live, which was the largest live audience for a Sky Atlantic simulcast ever. Including people who recorded the simulcast, 2.04 million people viewed it. In addition, 788,000 viewers watched the 9 p.m. airing.

Game of Thrones also set a record for Italy’s Sky Atlantic becoming the highest viewed premiere ever for an international show on the network. The season 7 debut brought in 570,000 viewers, an increase of 47 percent from the season 6 premiere. For Italy’s 3 a.m. simulcast, 230,000 viewers tuned in with s 15.1 percent share of the market.

Sky Italia launched a successful marketing campaign around the premiere, with a two-day event around the new season at Milan’s Sforzesco Castle. More than 25,000 people showed up over the weekend for a variety of concerts, cosplay events and performances. And more than 2,000 attendees stayed at the castle for the live 3 a.m. viewing party. 

21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky and is looking to take full ownership in a deal unveiled in December. U.K. regulators have been reviewing the deal.

 



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