ComiXology updates their Retailer Digital Storefront information

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As the fallout from the Dark Horse digital initiative continues to blow like a glowing cloud over the internet, one other digital initiative has been trashed pretty thoroughly by a bunch of retailers in public and private: comiXology’s digital storefronts. The rollout of terms was poorly handled and pissed off a lot of retailers with fears that it was just a front for comiXology to get their customer information. Perhaps in light of this, comiXology has just made a lengthy release about the program’s first few months with news that money has been paid out early and at a lower minimum payment. Also a new TOS perhaps more to the liking of retailers will be released, along with other improvements. And the retailers that did use it have called it a big success.

100 stores — listed below — are taking part in the program. So — consider this a new sales pitch: “Take a look at me now.”

Defenders #2 preview

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DEFENDERS #2 (NOV110487)
Written by MATT FRACTION
Pencils & Cover by TERRY DODSON
Inks by RACHEL DODSON
Colors by SONIA OBACK
FOC – 12/12/11, ON SALE 1/4/12

War of the heirs rages at Archie Comics as Nancy Silberkleit's school talks canceled

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Oops, well just yesterday The Beat and Michael Sangiacomo were reporting that Archie Comics co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit was continuing to peacefully tell children about the joys of comics despite her past as the target of a sexual harassment lawsuit.

However, it seems that a series of anonymous phone calls alerted school officials to Silberkleit’s ongoing legal problems and the school visits were canceled. A comics shop appearance and the sale of comics to benefit the schools have gone on as planned. But there is much more than that going on.

DC Revives Night Force as 7-Issue Mini-Series

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DC has announced Night Force is returning as a 7-issue mini-series in March. This will be the third revival for the series, which retains its original writer: Marv Wolfman.

Night Force originally dates back to 1982, when Wolfman and Gene Colan reunited after their long run on Tomb of Dracula. The first run lasted 14 issues. The second series went for 12 issues from 1996-97, with a variety of artists like Brent Anderson and Matt Smith joining Wolfman.

New semi-autobiographical Gilbert Hernandez book due from D&Q

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A new Gilbert Hernandez GN is not astonishing news in and of itself — the guy is one of the most prolific geniuses out there. However, that it will be overtly semi-autobiographical and that it will be published by D&Q makes it even more newsworthy, as revealed this morning at The Comics Reporter.

MARBLE SEASON “follows a group of children and teenagers growing up in suburban southern California of the early 1960s, and tells the untold stories from the youth of an American comics legend. Pop culture references—TV shows, comic books, and music—saturate this evocative story, giving MARBLE SEASON the distinctive narrative depth and attention to detail fans have come to expect from the acclaimed cartoonist’s work.”
 
The book will be released this fall with a tour to follow.

Marvel's women problems past and present: when Ms. Marvel got raped

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Yesterday’s comments by Tom Brevoort on the lack of sales support for female characters at Marvel did not go unnoticed by the usual gender issue commentators.

Charges dropped against Susie Cagle

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Charges against cartoonist/journalist Susie Cagle for “being present at a raid” have been dropped, although not without a bit of drama:

DC's Advent Calendar of Writer Changes Continues: Next Up, Men of War

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DC sure is coming on steady with these writer changes. On Wednesday, you had Paul Cornell off Stormwatch (though DC really only announced Paul Jenkins writing a 2-parter, Cornell was the one announcing he was off). On Tuesday, you had Joe Harris replacing Gail Simone as Firestorm co-writer. On Monday, you had Tom DeFalco replacing Fabian Niceiza on Legion Lost. Are we seeing a pattern pattern here?

WonderCon announces new guests

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WonderCon has added a bunch of new guests to their lineup including Arthur Adams, Ernest Cline, Joe Hill, Richard Kadrey, Mark Waid, Marv Wolfman, Jim Lee, and Richard Starkings. They join Sergio Aragones, Fiona Staples, Steve Niles, and others you can see in the above link. WonderCon will be held for the first time in Anaheim next year, but it promises to be the same kind of star-studded show as usual.

WonderCon will be held March 16-18, 2012.

RIP: Jerry Robinson — UPDATED

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Batman artist, creator rights activist and creator of the Joker Jerry Robinson passed away in his sleep last night. He was 89.

Like many Golden Agers, Robinson started young: At age 17 he became an assistant in Bob Kane’s Batman shop where he co-created Robin. He also provided the majority of visuals and background for The Joker. Eventually moving into editorial cartooning, Robinson had a long, distinguished career as an artist and educator. In the 70s he helped spearhead the movement to get Siegel and Shuster compensation for creating Superman; he also traveled to Uruguay and the Soviet Union to help free jailed cartoonists. He was President of both the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) and the National Cartoonists Society (NCS).

PREVIEW: IDW to publish Skippy

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Okay you can mark off one more from the list of great comic strips without a deluxe reprint series: Percy Crosby’s Skippy is getting the Library of American Comics treatment. The whimsical childhood strip was immensely popular in its day — the film version starring Jackie Coogan was nominated for four Academy Awards — but Crosby eventually ran into severe personal problems and spent the last years of his life in a mental hospital.

Despite Crosby’s sad story, the strip remains a much loved gem that influenced the great kid strips like Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbes, and Cul de Sac. Library of American Comics Series co-editor Dean Mullaney sent along a swell preview of the first volume, which is due next summer.

Valiant to relaunch in May with some old favorites

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The Valiant comics relaunch has been brewing for a while, with some hires and much consultation, but they’ve just let the cat out of the bag — their new line is expected to launch next May, with a Free Comic Book Day preview leading the way. The preview will feature X-O MANOWAR, BLOODSHOT, HARBINGER, and probably some other Valiant favorites. The creatives teams haven’t been announced but the preview over is by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic.

Valiant has also hired Hunter Gorinson as Marketing & Communications Manager and Atom Freeman as Senior Sales Representative in addition to Warren Simon as Executive Editor, so they’re putting together a pretty good team.

San Diego city council okays convention center expansion

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Oh yeah! Your feet are going to hurt even more if the San Diego CityCouncil has its way. The controversial plan to expand the convention center was okayed by the city council, 6 to 2. Although everyone agrees that a bigger convention center would allow even more lucrative convention business every year — and room for an additional 3,000 Slave Leias at Comic-Con — what is still in dispute is who will pay. The present plan calls for hotels with more than 30 rooms to fund the bond over a period of several years. Of course, these costs will probably be passed along to guests.

The X-Men vs. The Avengers: A Review (Yes, I've Read the Whole Thing)

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You may have witnessed some out of control hyperbole about Marvel’s recently announced Avengers Vs. X-Men. My personal favorite, courtesy of Newsarama’s recap:

Pre-taped words from all five writers. “There’s never been an Avengers vs. X-Men super-blowout, so it’s like, we have to do it,” Bendis says.

Never been one? Seems like I own copies of something answering that description…