Monday, January 30, 2012

Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane settle...

Above: The cover to SPAWN #9 which introduced Angela, Cagliostro, and Medieval Spawn.

Several news outlets are reporting that Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane have finally settled their dispute over Gaiman’s contributions to SPAWN.

The NY Daily News reports:

Fantasy industry giants Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane finally called a truce in their long-running legal feud over who owns which characters in the Spawn universe, according to court documents.

Gaiman and McFarlane have been sparring for a little more than a decade over royalties from a handful of characters from the Spawn comic book series. Their attorneys filed a joint notice Friday in federal court in Madison saying they’ve reached a deal.

Jeffrey Simmons, one of Gaiman’s attorneys, said terms of the agreement were confidential. A jury had already found Gaiman a 50 percent owner of content in two Spawn issues and the first three issues of a Spawn spin-off. Simmons said reiterating that declaration would block any appeal.

"This is intended to put an end to the whole thing. It’s fair to say both parties are pleased to have this resolved," Simmons said.

For all of the hub-bub, check out "Neil Gaiman versus Todd McFarlane feud".

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Problems in Riverdale...

Above: Partial cover artwork to ARCHIE & FRIENDS #138 by (penciler) Fernando Ruiz and (inker) myself.

Bleeding Cool continues to report on the events concerning Archie Comic Publications’ dispute with the co-Chief Executive Officer of Archie Comics, Nancy Silberkleit, accusing her of sexual harassment and bullying.

I was debating whether I should blog about this because of some of the more adult language involved in the story… which is why I’ve waited until now.

I’ve spoken to Nancy Silberkleit only once. She called me a couple of years ago to contribute to a documentary that she was working on at the time (which I decided not be involved). To me, Nancy seemed like a very friendly person.

Still, if the allegations are true, I suppose you shouldn’t point at men while in the work place and say "penis."

Over at The Beat, Archie co-Chief Executive Officer Jon Goldwater once stated:

I can’t speak for things prior to my being here, but things that have gone on previously with how artists were treated has nothing to do with where we are now. We support every artist, every writer, every employee of Archie. They are valued. They are treasured.

I find this all very ironic considering, as Steve Bissette put it recently:

...and arguably no comics publisher with that company's longevity has badly used and ill-treated more creators than Archie...

Above: Artwork from ARCHIE ALL-STARS VOLUME 3: THE CARTOON LIFE OF CHUCK CLAYTON by (penciler) Fernando Ruiz and (inker) myself.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Words from Honest Abe...

Above photo: President Abraham Lincoln.

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

-March 4, 1861 (President Abraham Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address.)

If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God.

-April 4, 1864 (A letter from President Abraham Lincoln to Albert Hodges.)

I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling.

-April 4, 1864 (A letter from President Abraham Lincoln to Albert Hodges.)

In regards to this great Book [the Bible], I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.

-September 7, 1864 (President Abraham Lincoln's reply to the Loyal Colored People of Baltimore upon presentation of a Bible.)

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

-November 21, 1864 (A letter from President Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Lydia Bixby, who lost several sons during the Civil War.)

Both [the North and South] read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully.

-March 4, 1865 (President Abraham Lincoln's second Inaugural Address.)

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Friday, January 13, 2012

DC Comics' new logo?

Bleeding Cool is reporting that DC Comics and DC Entertainment will be getting a new logo. The current logo is the DC Swoosh (which I’ve grown to like) and before that was the DC Bullet.

Man, this new logo is ugly. Did DC actually pay someone to design this? And how is this an improvement?

Stupid corporate comics.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

ZOOTANAPUSS #1: The Al Nickerson Edition...

Above: Cover to Dave Sim’s ZOOTANAPUSS #1. TM and © 2012 Dave Sim.

Today, my mailbox gave me a nice surprise, a signed copy of Dave Sim’s ZOOTANAPUSS #1. Dave signed it with "Al Nickerson Edition #1/1." I thought that funny. As it turns out, ZOOTANAPUSS #1 is the incentive variant cover to GLAMOURPUSS #22.

I liked Dave’s mentioning of Will Eisner’s definitions between "graphic narratives" and "graphic novels." I enjoyed the Frank Miller ("For Al Gore and Mother Gaia!")and Todd McFarlane ("Die, Violator Bunny!") parodies. Hee-hee.

Also, as Dave Sim mentioned somewhere else:

We have Glamourpuss 22 coming out and you’ll notice that instead of it being the fourth annual swimsuit issue, it’s not the fourth annual swimsuit issue and that’s because I’ve decided to go off in a completely different direction. I’m doing a Zatanna parody, Zootanapuss.

There’s also a Glamourpuss 22 incentive cover and this is probably very destructive of the comic book field, but we’re all just trying to keep ourselves alive. So, for the Zootanapuss number one cover you gotta buy four of the regular ones to even get the number one cover. Now is that absolutely evil or is that absolutely evil?

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gimmicks and the state of the comics industry…

Above: THE GOON © and TM 2012 Eric Powell. Click here for a larger view. I think this cover to THE GOON #39 says it all.

If not…

In the early and mid-1990s, gimmicks ruled comics. Instead of having quality artwork and well-written stories to sell comic books, many publishers relied on the increased sale of multiple variant covers, polybagged books, enclosed trading cards, and embossed covers. This caused the creation and burst of the Comic Book Speculation Boom.

In the last couple of years, comic book gimmicks have made a horrible return to the comics industry. Corporate-owned comics are using more gimmicks to sell their books. Characters are increasingly dying and then becoming alive again. Characters are getting new outfits. Titles are renumbered over and over again. And let’s not forget about the reboots and retcons.

How does all of this help long-term sales of comic books? It really doesn’t. But, narrow-minded marketing people (and others) at the big publishers still look to increase short-term sales of their books while the comic book market continues to suffer.

All of this ain’t new news.

So, when will some folks learn?