As a scholar of all things G.I. Joe and a bit of a snob when it comes to what is or shouldn’t be considered canon by Joe fandom, I was surprised to see IDW Publishing solicit a reprint of what many comic fans consider to be the darkest of years, the post-Larry Hama G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero (1982) Devil’s Due era. I’ve dismissed these books in many a longbox and skipped over some great original artwork from convention portfolio bins before asking myself if this book has what it takes to be my America’s elite fighting team. Hasbro itself disallows this run from being canon, but Devil’s Due owned the license from 2001—2008, so there are plenty of Yo Joe! Colas to be downed as the reprints trickle into stores. G.I. Joe Americas Elite Disavowed Vol. 01 hits shelves today.
Image Comics has been, since 1992, the proving ground for comic book professionals to claim ownership of their work. Today we talk to Image creator Glen Brunswick about his awesome new series Reality Check, which tells the tale of a hero stepping into the real world, directly from the mind of his creator! Glen was gracious enough to talk a bit about his recent work with one of the fathers of Image, Whilce Portacio, entitled Non-Humans about toys coming to life and walking among us. We’ve been a fan of Glen since his ‘Kirby as Genre’ series, Jersey Gods, so we would have been remiss to mention The King in our interview on this fine Wednesday. Reality Check #2 is released on Wednesday, October 2.
Some great stuff comes my way via ComiXology Submit: a section on the site where creator-owned projects and independent creators get to strut their stuff with guided-view technology and sit right next to the big boys on the app! A recent gem I discovered was Drones, a comic about remote bomb pilots in Las Vegas bombing Afghanistan in the war on terror. Writer Chris Lewis was gracious enough to join us today to point some attention to his Kickstarter to get a trade printed with the conclusion of this action-packed and fun book!
The comic market hashtag on twitter is really a discussion of the ever-changing landscape of opinions, cancellations, creator-owned titles tying to get off the ground, and musings on ComiXology and other digital formats. Two of the bigger independent companies, Image Comics and Boom! Studios have redesigned their digital presence and commerce leader Amazon steps in with a huge announcement this week, the launch of it’s own Jet City Comics imprint. Earth Prime Time re-introduces you to these websites and shows you what digital offerings they have to offer.
Tim Gibson, a New Zealand based artist and writer is taking full advantage of genre, digital comics on devices and innovating how a reader participates in the comic reading experience with his debut graphic novel Moth City. Mainstream and back catalogs of comics have been available on computers and other devices via ComiXology since 2009. Webcomics themselves are nearly 30 years old. Gibson is transforming the page and webpage with panel layers and acting to give a more full reading experience. Moth City #3 is available today on ComiXology. We talk with Tim about process and the importance of word of mouth support for independent comics.
Marvel’s Avengers Assemble on Disney XD debuts this Sunday, May 26th. Marvel Television has released the first half of the one hour premier on exclusively on iTunes for free for fans to get a first look at the show. The cancellation of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes last November made some fans upset, but Jeph Loeb and the Man of Action Team have set us up for another smash hit. We’re guessing the 2009 Disney buyout of Marvel is finally flexing that animation muscle.
Superman: Unbound is the latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie based on an Action Comics arc written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank. Though not bogged down by New 52 continuity or pre-Flashpoint Superman Family architecture, the movie does a fair job at retelling the story of the five part Superman: Braniac in 75 minutes. Rumors are that this could be the last DCAU movie set in the old timelines, so continuity buffs and those wishing to celebrate Superman’s 75th birthday this year should give this a chance if you have not already. Since the story references Silver and Golden Age Superman subjects like the Bottled City Of Kandor and Collector of Worlds, this is both a movie for new fans anticipating Man of Steel and those with the House of El’s shield tattooed on their arms. Speaking of which, Supergirl is in for the action too.
Stan Sakai created the rabbit ronin Usagi Yojimbo nearly 30 years ago. Usagi may seem familiar to hardcore fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for his guest appearances there. This weekend, as part of a special event and samurai exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Sensei Sakai and game developer Mike Levine of HappyGiant are slated to talk about the first Usagi video game in over 25 years, Usagi Yogimbo: Way of The Ronin (iOS / Android). We spoke with Mike about what to expect about from the game, developing a special boss battle level of the game for MFA visitors to unlock, the MFA’s Samurai Saturdays talk with Stan Sakai, and about working with a master of the comic book form by way of bringing this fun side-scrolling sword and slashing game to market.
Last week we talked about MMORPGs and MOBAs. This week we embark on a different multiplayer experience, the MOOC, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Class is in session for Christina Blanch’s (Ball State University) Gender Through Comic Books MOOC, and the best part of it all is that homework equals reading comic books. 7000 students are enrolled in this class that does not seek to define the comic book or gender roles in comic books, but gets students thinking critically about the subject.
Everyone that was at PAX EAST this weekend is still resting up, especially if they were out late at one of the many awesome after-parties around town. Comic fans can throw on their headphones on and get back to coding while they wait for some of the most anticipated video games in the industry where you get to control your favorite hero, even if that hero is Deadpool.