I was sad to hear this week that two comics I was excited and pleased to see be published by DC and Marvel have been cancelled. Earlier this week DC and Marvel both failed to issue solicits for January issues of Katana and Fearless Defenders. I assumed they were gone and both companies have now confirmed they end their runs in December.
Some thoughts about these books and their cancellations below.
This past week saw the release of Batwoman #24 the last issue with any kind of involvement of JH Williams III.
This week Williams’ spoke on his blog about his leaving the title including how he found out the news he and Haden Blackman were leaving early. And to punctuate that Williams is gone, gone, gone from any more Batwoman as the DC solicits page now have the previously solicited covers for #25 and 26 by Williams removed.
It’s Wednesday and that means new comics! Here’s some stuff I’ll be picking up as well a couple I missed last week that I want to make sure I highlight.
Let’s start with DC Comics ‘cuz (points to blog name). Sadly today marks the last issue of Batwoman with J.H. Williams writing. He’s been involved with this character for such a long time and it is very sad to see him leave. This issue was the start of the long awaited showdown with Batman, we’ll have to wait and see how the new writer wraps this up.
Birds of Prey is back after a long break for villains’ month. I want to support this book but I don’t think that break is going to do it any sales assistance. I think Marx is a good writer given the team changes and the break I sense people may be giving up on the book. But not me!
Speaking of breaks, Hawkeye is back this week with a new issue, number 13. Given Clint’s luck that doesn’t bode well for him, does it?
Did anyone pick up the first issue of Brain Boy from Dark Horse last month? I thought it was fun. Here’s another issue:
And finally two that I didn’t have on the list last week:
Also a few people noted that I hadn’t included Batman #24 on my list last week. No, I am not giving up on Batman - I finally got a chance to read it this weekend. It’s a big issue with a bigger price but it was very good.
Next week there are new comics from DeConnick and Brubaker!
What’s on your list and what did I forget?
At NYCC last week Dark Horse announced a new series written by Greg Rucka due in March. Here’s some of the PR on Veil described as a “gritty urban drama.”
The story opens when a beautiful girl wakes up in an abandoned subway station with no memory of how she got there. When men try to hurt her . . . they wind up dead. Where did she come from? And what is she capable of?
Rucka, of course, also has his terrific Lazarus series from Image in addition to his webcomic, Lady Sabre.
I don’t know if you are aware of this but I am somewhat fond of Mr. Rucka’s writing so I think it is highly likely I’ll be checking this one out.
Here’s the artwork release for Veil.
PBS is looking at the world of superheroes this week in a three episode documentary premeiring on Tuesday (check your local PBS listings). There is also a companion book and I was given a copy to review.
Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture has a tough, some might say superhero like task. It needs to provide a history of an entire genre of pop culture broad enough for newbies and anal enough for the comic book fan. The authors have taken on this other task for other American art forms; Laurence Maslon and Michael Kantor who also wrote the PBS documentary and companion book for Broadway: The American Musical. Like their take on Broadway, they are covering a wide swath of popular culture history.
So how they do?
Once again Marvel has had a “Women of Marvel” panel at NYCC and as usual the room was packed with fans ( I attended last year and if this year was like last year I’m sure the energy was amazing.
The panel is put together by the women in editorial at Marvel including Jeanine Schaefer. This year’s panel featured creators Sara Pichelli, Stephanie Hans and Kelly Sue DeConnick. You can go read an overview of the panel at BC but I wanted to pull this quote out about female representation in comics.
During the Q&A some asked the following:
"My friend, who happens to be female, and I, argue that I make too much of a big deal over female representation in comics"
Here is DeConnick’s answer:
"She’s wrong! It is a big deal. I am willing to make people uncomfortable so that my daughter doesn’t have to! I was Smurfette on the Avengers panel yesterday and NO! That’s not good enough. I appreciate and I am proud of the progress that’s being made and I don’t want to sweep it under the table. But this job ain’t done. Nobody sit down!"
As I’ve said the past few years, it would be great to see DC do a panel like this one.
NYCC has already given me one great piece of news - there will be a new ongoing Black Widow book starting in January by Nathan Edmundson
and the artist born to draw her - Phil Noto.
The new head of WB says they MUST do a Wonder Woman movie or TV show. And apparently that urgency is real because word has emerged of pitches being thrown. Paul Feig director of The Heat and Bridemaids recently pitched a Wonder Woman movie according to IGN.
The idea for Feig’s film would’ve involved a Wonder Woman who “keeps hitting the glass ceiling” of the superhero world.
The tone? IronMan. The verdict? Strike.
And remember a few weeks ago when Max Landis said he was intending to pitch a Wonder Woman movie? Here’s what he wanted to do:
(Note: DCWKA approves this message)
But remember he only intended. So that pitch never got thrown.
Anyway, keep those pitches, intended or otherwise, coming.
Although it would be nice to see some of the thinking that Lynda Carter spoke about.
For the past three and half years I’ve contended that change will come to the comic industry via digital. I’ve said in interview such as that at the link and in too many episodes of “3 Chicks Review Comics” to count.
My belief was that new readers outside the traditional, white male demographic would take advantage of digital distribution to consume comics.
That’s why I wasn’t really surprised when DC Comics and Nielsen showed such a huge discrepancy of the count of female readers from their Wednesday, in-store surveys and their self-selected surveys done online. (7% female readers vs. 23% female readers)
This belief has, of course, been met with some scorn. Of course. It’s comics and anything that might threaten the cootie free world that some comics fans prefer was threatening.
But guess what? I was right.
Comixology has been revealing some information about its readers. GeekMom has the story and here’s the important take-away. The core customer is still males between 27-36, “But a new customer is emerging female, age 17-26, Newer to comcs with many reading comics for the first time digitally.”
But wait there’s more!
Of buyers new to ComiXology in the last three months, 20% are women. That’s up from less than 5% when they started the app, and it’s a number that [CEO David] Steinberger says is changing rapidly. Comic book publishers, take note. The survey also found that of the readers who were reading their first comic digitally, many went on to buy comics in print. Again, comic book publishers, take note.
Again, I’m not surprised.
I go to cons and see women. I look at the Tumblr comic tag and see women posting. I get notes every single day from women who want to get into comics.
Change is coming. Let’s hope the publishers are smart enough to realize it.
Turns out that glass ceiling on writing and drawing Batman is going to take a few more batarangs to totally shatter. Last year Becky Cloonan became the first woman to ever draw the Batman book. This year we saw Marguerite Bennett write the Batman Annual #2. Nicola Scott also worked on Batman Black and White and her version of Batman was turned into a statue.
That’s why I was very dissappointed to read the article in USA Today this morning about Eternal, a new weekly Batman series coming in 2014 and Detective #27 which will celebrate the 75th annivesary of 1939’s Detective 27 which introduced the world to Batman.
Why? Because with the Eternal series, headed up by Scott Snyder,will, according to the article have.
a revolving crew of Bat-writers including James Tynion IV (Talon), John Layman (Detective Comics), Ray Fawkes (Justice League Dark) and Tim Seeley (Revival).
Lady free, in other words.
And Detective #27? The issue:
showcases an all-star lineup including writers Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Gregg Hurwitz and Peter Tomasi and illustrators Neal Adams, Dustin Nguyen and Francesco Francavilla.
Plus, Adams, Jim Lee, Batman series artist Greg Capullo, Chris Burnham, Kelley Jones, Patrick Gleason and Mike Allred are among those drawing covers for the issue.
Again, female free.
Well, Gail Simone and Dynamite have managed to find a female artists to draw multiple covers and variants for four issues of Red Sonja, so I’d start there for artists.
Again, given the strides we saw over the last two years, I’m really disappointed. Sadly, however, not surprised.
It’s new comics day! There’s some new comics with female leads to recommend, too. Here’s a look at the comics on my pick list this week.
I posted the preview to this episode, the debut of Batgirl, last night and having read this issue I urge you to get this. If you haven’t been using the digital comics’ ability to animate, this is the comic to try it on. Combined with Coover’s art it really gives you the feel of the TV show. Catwoman is in this too, and it’s the Eartha Kitt version and I loved Parker’s hat tip to her.
But wait there’s more!
Warner Bros., owner of Wonder Woman, had a very good weekend at the box office in case you’re just catching up. Gravity, it’s Sandra Bullock led space action/thriller/suspense movie (and I’ll get back to THAT in a minute) brought in $55M about $20M over the early expectations. And in doing so It broke the box office record for October. It also beat a movie starring now one but two dudes (including the newest Batman, Ben Affleck, which must be the fart in the room of flowers at WB this morning.)
Sandra Bullock was a Wonder Woman
for WB’s box office this weekend
I saw it Gravity and really enjoyed it. But as much as the 90 or so minutes I spent in the theater, I’m enjoying the fact the movie did so well. Let me recap what I spent time on Twitter and i09 saying yesterday.
Female lead (over 40), box office record, surpassed expections by $20M, 54% male/46% female audience but remember Hollywood thinks women can’t open action movies and women don’t like action movies.
Pretty simple, eh? Of course not!
Earlier this week I told you about a new book about the forgotten female superheroes of the Golden Age. But those were American heroes. And before many of those arrived there was a female superhero in Canada - Nelvana of the Northern Lights.
I only just learned of Nelvana earlier this year and was very happy to hear of a Kickstarter that will reprint Nelvana’s adventures.
I chatted with the two women who are behind the project, Hope Nicholson (L) and Rachel Richey (R), earlier this week.