How Alan Moore killed a 1963 reprint for all time

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Ruminating on the year past, cartoonist/educator Steve Bissette considers the story of how creator owned comics can be sunk by just one stuck cog — in this case a rather large cog named Alan Moore. Just to bring everyone up to speed, 1963 was a very early Image project re-imagining the origins of Marvel, written by Moore and illustrated by Steve Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch, with additional art by Dave Gibbons, Don Simpson, and Jim Valentino and published in 1993. The final issue was to have been illustrated by Jim Lee, but Lee took time off in the middle, Moore decided not to finished it and…blah blah blah. Time passes. And, Bissette and Moore have a bit of a falling out, as chronicled in a series of interviews, here and there.

However, last year, a 1963 follow-up — Tales of the Uncanny – N-Man & Friends: A Naut Comics History Vol. 1 — was to be produced by Bissette and published by Image. Well, things didn’t work out, as Bissette posts. In addition, there was to be a reprint of 1963. After months of negotiations, Moore “pulled the plug” — meaning 1963 will never be reprinted ever again.

Marvel prevails in Ghost Rider ownership dispute

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Marvel has won a four-year legal battle over who owns the rights to Ghost Rider. On Wednesday a judge rejected the claim by writer Gary Friedrich, who co-created the character in 1972′s MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #5 along with Roy Thomas and Mike Ploog.

Both Marvel and DC support SOPA, the onerous anti-piracy act

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Stopping digital piracy has become a full-time obsession for most major entertainment companies; but the Stop Online Piracy Act now wending its way through Congress is probably not the way to do it — a far too broad law that would give lawmakers powers to stop just about any activity they don’t like via cutting off funding to the site and other zero tolerance measures. Although aimed at hard-to-stop foreign websites that recognize no copyright laws, opponents say the bill goes way too far in allowing copyright holders to choke off stuff they don’t want with an arsenal of tools.

30 comics that never were or may never be

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Over the holiday Chris Arrant had a fantastic two part survey of what-ever-happened-to comics, including no-shows like such as All-Star Batgirl and All-Star Wonder Woman, and done-but-long-shelved books like Batman Europa and Daniel Way and Darick Robertson’s Deathlok: Detour, it-sounded-ike-a-good-idea-when-we-were-talking-about-it-in-the-bar projects like Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips’ vampire pirates book Black Sails (above) and something best not thought about too much called “Frank Miller’s Jesus.”

Incredible things Superman actually said

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From 1958′s SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE #5

Can you imagine what would have happened if the Internet existed in 1958? Perhaps people like Mort Weisinger could not exist in a wired world. Julie Schwartz would probably have been running a website and playing Halo.

Bookmark: The Marvel Age of Comics

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Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort has opened up some kind of secret vault where artifacts from Marvel’s history have been stored; and just like anyone else would do, he’s putting them on Tumblr. For instance, here’s the origial last page of AVENGERS #1 with Tom’s annotation:

Farewell to the DMZ

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Today, the final issue (#72) of DMZ shipped. With a quiet epilogue, a series that started as a love letter to New York City ended as a love letter to New York City. This time, a bit more literally as the narrative was driven by excerpts from protagonist Matty Roth’s prison-penned book.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: November 2011 – CORRECTED

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With FEAR ITSELF wrapping up, Marvel had several major releases in November – the POINT ONE one-shot, the relaunches of UNCANNY X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR, and the first issue of new ongoing title AVENGING SPIDER-MAN.

We’ve also got the epilogue of FEAR ITSELF, the start of BATTLE SCARS, and a bunch of other “Regenesis” tie-ins from the X-books.

Marvel found itself behind DC for the third straight month in November, though the gap is growing closer. DC led by 40% to 38% in unit share, and 35% to 33% in dollars. And of course, it should be remembered that DC’s extra sales don’t appear to have come at Marvel’s expense; if DC’s relaunch has brought any new or lapsed readers into the market, then in theory, that’s good for other publishers too – it brings them into everyone’s potential market.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

5. POINT ONE
11/11  One-shot - 113,352

Marvel’s top selling comic of the month! Or is it? This book was massively overshipped, with retailers receiving twice the number of copies they’d actually ordered, at no extra cost. Those copies are presumably included in this number – that certainly appears to be Diamond’s standard practice, given the odd sales spikes that we’ve seen when this strategy has been used before.

If that’s the case, then the actual orders of this book would be 56,676 – which would have placed the book at number 29 between AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and AVENGERS. Considering the solicitation (“You CANNOT miss this. Catch a tease of the biggest change to the Marvel Universe in over 35 years!”) that number would surely have been disappointing, even allowing for the six dollar price tag. The wisdom of pricing a teaser book that high must also be open to question.

Fantagraphics 40% off sale will increase your bookshelves

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Fantagraphics is having a four-day 40% off sale featuring some amazing books by Gilbert Hernandez, Robert Williams, Jules Feiffer, Carol Tyler, and more. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the list, but here are a few of our own picks:

Secret Acres' Leon Avelino on the Indie Comic Challenge

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–remember that “handholds and rockface” metaphor we just used in the SLG piece? Here’s an example of what we meant in an interview with Secret Acres’ Leon Avelino and Barry Matthews at The Comics Reporter.

Urine, rotting honey, a plague of insects — life at SLG

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Almost every time the name of SLG publisher Dan Vado is mentioned, the word “survivor” is appended to it — surviving over 20 years in an industry that provides indie comics only scant handholds in its forbidding rockface is no mean feat.

But you will never know just how much of a survivor Vado and crew are until you read Five things we survived at SLG., an account of rodent, insect and human scourges on their physical offices. The most famed, of course, is the drunk driver that plowed through their office in 2004 — thanks to a woman who insisted on stealing the keys to someone else’s car after everyone deemed her so drunk they had taken away her own car keys.

Buy Kevin Eastman's studio

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Did you get some money from Memaw and Pepaw for Christmas? If you’re not going to spend it on a comics shop, howabout buying Kevin Eastman’s art studio?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator is auctioning off all the contents of his art studio — located within Meltdown Comics — with 20% of the proceeds to go to the Hero Initiative. Eastman gives a tour of the overflowing contents of the studio in the very entertaining video above. Among the anecdotes he drops along the way — he once owned a Batmobile and his goal was to dress in a complete Batman costume and drive up to the 7-11 for a pack of smokes in full Batman gear — a dream sadly unrealized.

Here’s some of what you will win in this treasure trove of ’90s and ’00s nostalgia.

Sales Charts: unBoxing Day 2011 (and a surprising discovery)

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Some online sales data for 12/25 and 12/26 from IBM, a Top Ten list from Amazon’s Kindle graphic novel page, and a surprising discovery! Read on!

Espionage, Not SpyFi: Reviewing The Activity #1

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TweetBy Todd Allen There’s a sub-genre of espionage that’s come to be called “Spy-Fi.”  Spy-Fi is the blending of science fiction and spy stories.  It’s primarily a film and television thing, with the mild science fiction aspects of the Bond gadgets and eventually the Bond villains.  On the small screen it was evident in the […]

New Spider-Man stills

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Via their Facebook page, the upcoming Spider-Man reboot movie posted some stills. Surely Jim Carrey is very excited now over this still of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, as well as Captain Stacy and Peter Parker in action.

Is it just us or has this Spidey reboot hype kind of gotten lost in the Batman/Avengers shuffle?

Kim Thompson on "The Graphic Novel Decade"

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Tweet“I think a solid core of high-selling mainstream-y genre comics would be nice, but it really hasn’t happened (except for arguably the manga phenomenon, and I don’t get the impression that the success of manga has bled back into non-manga comics) and “art comics” have achieved enough big successes now (Persepolis in particular) that we […]