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Today is Gail Simone’s birthday and, really, what better way to honor they day then with a stripper dressed as Knockout jumping out of cake to cheer up Scandal Savage?
Here’s hoping we see these folks again soon. (And a happy belated birthday to Nicola Scott who drew this panel)
The announcement that Gail Simone was leaving Batgirl this week also included yet another reference to her writing a new book for DC Comics. During a recent Reddit session Geoff Johns mentioned her working on a “Top Secret” project.
Today at the London Comic Con during a spotlight panel Simone hinted to attendees she is launching Secret Six. She then continued the hinting on Tumblr.
The Secret Six was one of the most well reviewed books that Simone worked on while under contract to DC Comics. Spinning out of a Infinite Crisis mini-series, the book ran for 36 issues and was cancelled as part of the new 52. At that time the book had just fallen under 20K an issue.
During the new 52 DC launched Suicide Squad which many saw as a replacement for the Secret Six. That book was cancelled earlier this year when sales fell to just above 20K. That book used several of the same characters that had appeared in Simone’s Secret Six including Deadshot and Killer Shark as well as Amanda Waller.
Suicide Squad just relaunched with a new writer so it will be interesting to see which characters from Simone’s original run appear. Several of the characters including Catman as well as Simone created characters Scandal Savage and Jeanette have not been seen in the new 52. Tremor a character created near the end of Simone’s run appeared in The Movement. Another Simone creation, the modern Ragdoll, recently appeared in Batgirl.
The biggest name from the original run was Bane. Since he appeared in that series, the character gained prominence when he appeared in the final film in Nolan’s Batman Trilogy where he was played by Tom Hardy. During the Reddit session Johns said that Simone was writing XXX XXX which certainly leans toward a top name character such as Bane.
Secret Six was one of DC Comics more diverse books including asexual, bisexual and lesbian characters. Given the current state of LGBQT characters in the DCU, I hope the new Six, if true, continues the trend.
Secret Six was one of my favorite books during its run and i think probably the best thing Simone has written. It combined high adventure, horror and black humor like few other comic books have. I hope the hint is true.
Did you go and celebrate Free Comic Book Day? I did and had a blast!
I (along with DCWKA, jr.) headed up to Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, NH. These folks help put on the Granite State Con which I’ve attended a few times and it gets better every year. Their shop is great - big, well lit and friendly to all. They run a monthly Ladies Night as well. If you are in the area, stop in.
The place was mobbed when I got there with a line out the door and down the parking lot.
They were there for comics and to meet these two comic ladies:
The line was filled with male and female comics fans with comics for Gail Simone and Marjorie Liu to sign including my pal/guest poster Jon Christianson.
There other comic creators there too. I spoke to the Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb who are the illustrators of the Adventure Time series. Both are pleased with the success of the book.
I also picked up a bunch of trades on sale:
And two Eaglemoss figures:
I was so excited to find that Renee figure; she will go on the same shelf as my Batwoman figure.
I also picked up lots of FCBD comics for the kids as well as DC’s sneak peak at Futures End and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I liked one of those comics.
I ended the day with drinks and dinner with GeekMom’s Corinna Lawson.
How was your FCBD? What comics did you like? Any trades or other things you were excited to nab?
Tomorrow is the first Saturday in May and that means it is Free Comic Book Day. Why is it the best day for comic book lovers? Because it is designed for NEW comic book readers to join the flock. You can’t keep an industry going without new blood. While the fastest growing demographic of comic reader is women with many buying digitally (and let’s hope they still do after the Comixology curveball thrown last week) FCBD is great for another demographic - kids!
Shops around the world are opening their doors to have parties, sales, costume contests (HINT: TAKE PICTURES FOR THIS) and most importantly give away FREE comics.
That’s right FREE!
It’s always fun day and for my kids it is right up there with Halloween, Christmas and Easter.
The folks at Diamond Comics sent me all their Free Comic Book Day offerings and I’ve sorted through them and have a few that you should pick up. (You can see them all, many with previews, here.)
You have until midnight tonight to take advantage of the 50% off sale Dynamite Comics is running for their 10th Anniversary.
Among the titles on sale are Uncanny, All the pulp titles including The Shadow, Green Hornet and Project Superpowers and Garth Ennis’ The Boys. There are both single issues, trades and Omnibuses included in the sale so there are some very good deals here.
For those of you who haven’t given Gail Simone’s Red Sonja a try it is a very good deal - you can pick up the first six issues for around a buck each. It’s a fun series and Simone does a great job meshing her sense of humor to Sonja’s world.
Again this runs until midnight EST Sunday (today) and is only available on the web version of Comixology. Use the promo code DYNAMITE.
Today is Gail Simone’s birthday. Instead of the traditional Batgirl cake to celebrate, here’s a change up. (Interesting fact … there doesn’t seem to be any Red Sonja cakes).
In March Dynamite announced that Gail Simone would be taking on Red Sonja. Simone’s run starts next Wednesday, July 17. The first issue has already sold out of its initial 35K run at Diamond and has gone into a second printing.
I just read the first issue and you are going to want to pick this one up. It’s fierce and fun and you don’t need to know anything about Red Sonja to enjoy it.
I chatted with Gail Simone with about her views on Red Sonja, her hopes for the run and how she came up with those awesome covers by female artists and that interview follows.
DC Comics said at their recent reseller roadshow that the Zero Year issues will extend beyond the current Batman series into other titles as seen on the slide below:
Dan DiDio reportedly stated to attendees that this wasn’t just a crossover to leverage the Batman book but that the writers ”had expressed a genuine interest in writing a story that occurs at the same time as Zero Year.”
One of the writers who did express genuine interest was Gail Simone who stated on her blog that she had what she considered to be “a cool story”.
But that story won’t be part of the Zero Year issues as Simone was informed that she won’t be writing it.
Interesting give that Simone wrote the new origin for Batgirl in last year’s “0” issue - an origin that was already worked into the promotional materials for Injustice Gods Among Us game.
Simone is, of course, the writer most associated with Barbara Gordon having written her as Oracle in a long running Birds of Prey stint and then rebooting the character for the new 52. Simone has been the writer on the title since then except for two issues when she was fired by DC and then rehired. At that point Ray Fawkes wrote the title.
So who will get the call to write the new first year of Barbara Gordon? You can only wonder. One writer sure not to get the call is the last person to write an origin story for Barbara Gordon - Chuck Dixon. Although apparently you can’t have too many origins as DC just reissued that the hugely popular Batgirl: Year One by Dixon/Beatty/Martin in trade (along with Robin:Year One) last week.
Gail Simone’s newest DC title hits the stands and digital devices on Wednesday and here, via the fine folks at DC Comics, is a preview. Getting a little bit of a Secret Six vibe here.
It’s a Gail Simone day in comics. If you pop up to USA Today you can see a preview of Batgirl #19 including the WTF cover as well as a tease regarding the secret of Barbara Gordon’s roommate, Alysia
And Dynamite has released more variant covers for her upcoming Red Sonja ongoing by Jenny Frison, Amanda Conner and Stephanie Buscema.
During ECCC Dynamite announced that Gail Simone will be the new writer on Red Sonja. Last night during the Dynamite panel Simone said she’s “having so, so much fun writing it. It’s going to be bad ass” She said the book would have a “strong female character with lust, humor, blood and maybe some severed heads. Also alcohol and plagues.”
Red Sonja most famously appeared as part of Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian and then her own series. The character was later was relaunched by Dynamite where she has appeared for the last decade. Red Sonja, a sword wielding barbarian, is known for both her red hair and her costume which consists of a chain mail bikini.
That chainmail bikini was addressed during the panel last night. Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci asked Simone, “don’t you think it’s unrealistic to have a woman wear a chainmail bikini, how can you write that? Oh, I must be reading too many posts.” Simone said, “I’m not the one wearing the chain bikini, Red Sonja thinks its fine. She’d be more uncomfortable in a formal dress.”
The publisher and Simone smartly lined up a number of female artists for the book’s covers perhaps giving that bikini a bit of teflon. The interiors of the book, however, will be by Walter Geovani. Among the artist doing covers are Nicola Scott, Fiona Staples, Colleen Doran, Jenny Frisson, Stephanie Buscema and Amanda Conner. Simone said that when contacting the artists many of them turned out to be “closet Red Sonja fans.”
Here’s a look at the Fiona Staples cover. The book is out in July.
During a panel at the Wizard World Portland, Gail Simone reported that Gail Simone would be including a “benched” character in the upcoming series "The Movement"
The announcement was made via a tweet, actually Simone’s husband said:
She says a benched female character is coming back in the Movement…
The characters most widely viewed as “benched” are Cass Cain and Stephanie Brown although Simone ruled them out earlier.
The series will be out in May.
Following the publication of a list of the “Comics Power 100” a few weeks ago the lack of women led to a post of 10 women who could/should have been on the list. Among them:
Gail Simone, creator DC Comics - Beyond being a strong creator, Simone has a passionate fan base that will follow her from book to book. As the creator of Women in Refrigerators she’s considered a thought leader on gender in comics. Do you really think that DC would have gotten rid of Oracle as easily if Simone hadn’t been attached to Batgirl? Most recently Simone showed her clout by raising over $117K on Kickstarter for a creator owned comic, Leaving Megalapolis.
That’s just my opinion, of course. And we all know how much a woman’s opinion on comics is valued. At least three feminazi’s, two crazies and one or two “hysterical fangirls”!
But that statement about getting rid of Oracle for Batgirl is not opinion and is absolutely true. DC has made many controversial decisions over the years but that one? Breaking their promise to readers? Getting rid of their most prominent physically challenged character? That was a hugely controversial one. But putting Simone on the book mitigated a lot of the issues. And DC absolutely knew that.
So in the bizarro world that is DC Comics:
DC canned Gail Simone from said Batgirl book (by email to boot) (but probably with a :( in it too.)
Writers get bounced off books all the time in comics. But usually there’s a reason - and that reason is usually because of sales or because the writer doesn’t agree with where the editors and management want to take the book.
(And for the speculation that being outspoken on social media and having vocal detractors is a gig killer at DC … if that were true how do you explain one of the newest lead writers on the Trinity?)
Given the sales on Batgirl it would seem that wasn’t the issue. So is it the other?
Probably? From what I’ve read and been told, DC’s editors and publishers have their fingers deep into every book. The litany editorial mandates about the most minute things that have been passed down to writers over the past two years is boggling - everything from what weapons a character can use, to last minute name changes (and unnamed changes) and, of course, the outright refusal to allow creators to use certain characters. George Perez has publicly discussed his experience. So did others like Liefeld and Rozum. There are others who haven’t gone public but their stories are just as disheartening.
It’s almost as if some of these books are successes in spite of DC. That’s a scary idea.
The saddest part of this incident with Simone is that DC treated one of their biggest cheerleaders like this. She’s a vocal supporter of the DC line and promoted the hell out of new 52. She’s constantly promoting comics and the shop owners who drive the business.
But she is also quick to criticize DC around their treatment of women, people of color and LGBQT. You know, the folks that DC and comics has historically ignored or had issues with.
Let’s hope Simone’s treatment, especially a week after Karen Berger announced she is leaving, is not a signal that dudebro train is getting ready to leave the DC station once again (especially after the glacier melting a bit around targeting female readers sited last week).
However, if you’re not on that train, I’m hard pressed to think why you wouldn’t feel a bit concerned about DC Comics.
Today there’s one less female creator on a book at DC despite DC saying they “heard” the concerns from readers after the train wreck around gender at SDCC. And it’s the one who had the biggest seat at the DC writer’s table and the biggest voice about the treatment of female and other under represented characters.
Definitely very concerning.
Earlier this week I wrote about how much I love Kickstarter as it empowers me to help get comics that I want to read made. And now here’s another great example. I thought that Secret Six was month in and month out the best team book DC produced. But unfortunately the book got cancelled as part of the new 52.
Now the two creators of that book are publishing their own title via Kickstarter. This evening Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore announced Leaving Megapolis, an 80 page original Graphic Novel.Simone promises that this book will feature the same “balls to the wall” style of Secret Six.
What more do you need to know? They are looking for $34K, here’s the link with more on the project and to contribute or buy a package.
Gail Simone wrote Helena Bertinelli in two volumes of Birds of Prey.
I know a lot of people have hardcore love for the Helena Wayne version of the Huntress, but I’d never really read any of her stories, so for me, Huntress was always Helena Bertinelli. To my dying day, whether she appears in current continuity or not, she will remain one of my favorite characters, not just in comics, but in all fiction.
To be blunt, Helena is the shit. I adore her.
The charge was often leveled us, when I took over Birds of Prey, that we had added the Huntress to the book to tie in with the television series that had spun off from the book’s previous incarnation. The truth is, it was my idea to bring her in. The show had already flopped, and DC was in no hurry to be more closely affiliated with the series. So they were not thrilled with the idea of bringing Helena aboard. I made a stern case, aided by a great editor, the fierce Lysa Hawkins, for what Helena would bring to the book; her unpredictability, her untamed nature, her unmatchable will. All of that stuff was true, but had nothing to do with why I wanted her in the book. The truth is a lot simpler.
She was badass.
Completely, unendingly badass.
My first run on Birds of Prey, there’s no question I spent more time on Black Canary’s character. It wasn’t that I loved Dinah more, it’s that I felt Helena hadn’t needed so much rehabilitation. Dinah had been a hostage many times, a wet blanket…it seemed a lot of great writers had no idea what to do with her. Helena was different, writers seemed to know that her value was her uncompromising nature. Nearly every story she appeared in, she kicked someone’s physical or metaphorical ass, even Batman seemed to take a cautious step back in her presence. I loved that, that was a woman I wanted to read about.
In my second run, we planned to focus much more on Huntress, starting with her taking over leadership of the Birds…she earned it, and it felt a natural progression. I was also lucky enough to write the character for some animated shows, and her natural shine made that leap look easy. It wasn’t me, it was all her.
If my career ended tomorrow, I wouldn’t have a lot of regrets, because I know this one little miracle, this little thing I still am somewhat amazed at—I got to write Wonder Woman. I got to write Black Canary. I got to write Homer Simpson. I got to write the Spirit. I got to write Superman.
And I got to write Helena Bertinelli.
You can’t do better than that in superhero comics. I seriously felt writing Birds of Prey was simply the best gig in comics. I had no envy for the Spider- and X- writers, because I got to write the Huntress every month. Huntress, who made Batman smile and Shiva pause. You can’t do better.
I have my favorite Huntress writers, people like Cavalieri, Rucka, and Grayson, but almost all writers seemed to step up to the plate a bit more when Helena was on panel. She had that kind of star power charisma.
It makes me very sad to be writing about her in the past tense. I have no idea what DC’s plans are for her, hopefully her time on the bench will be short.
Love you, Helena, come back soon!
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