As Vertigo's two currently longest-running series head to a close -- Bill Willingham's Fables and Mike Carey and Peter Gross's The Unwritten -- the DC imprint is doubtless looking for new series with long-term potential to run alongside FBP, Astro City, and American Vampire.
At New York Comic-Con on Friday the publisher announced two titles that might fit the bill, both from DC writers making their Vertigo debut. Grayson writer Tim Seeley will team with former Madame Xanadu artist Marley Zarcone on Effigy, while once and future Secret Six author Gail Simone and former 2000 AD artist Jonathan Davis-Hunt are the team behind Clean Room.
It's Celebrate Bisexuality Day today, also called Bisexual Visibility Day -- a day to celebrate and promote recognition of those who are sexually attracted to people of more than one gender. The day exists because people with non-monosexual queer identities face unusual challenges in being recognized by both mainstream and queer cultures, yet visibility helps break down barriers and encourage acceptance.
In superhero comics, the problem of bisexual invisibility is as ingrained as anywhere; the medium struggles to acknowledge the existence of anything that didn't exist in The Honeymooners or The Andy Griffith Show, unless it's a space god, a shapeshifter, or a parasitic psychic monster. Having a character say, "I'm bisexual" is apparently more implausible than any of those things. There are signs that the industry is changing in this regard -- but slowly, and rather half-heartedly.
When a company acquires the rights to a bunch of licensed characters, a crossover between them is almost inevitable -- and honestly, that's pretty exciting for a reader. I mean, who doesn't want to see the G.I. Joes throw down with the Ninja Turtles, or watch Doc Savage and the Shadow tear through pulpy crime lords, or see a time-spanning battle between RoboCop and the Terminator? It's something that we are pretty hard-wired as fans to be up for whenever it happens.
Today Dynamite announced one of those crossovers, but with a couple of twists. Firstly, the publisher is teaming up not two, but three of its licenses. Secondly, they're all women heroes, aligning for what writer Gail Simone describes as a "big, fun, noisy event book, full of action and fun and drama and sex and villainy," starring Vampirella, Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris.
Writer Gail Simone, who is getting ready to wrap up a sometimes-tumultuous run on Batgirl, has started a new Tumblr called Comics Survival Kit that aims to help up-and-coming or aspiring comic creators navigate the tricky landscape that is professional comics work.
With both Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman sadly no longer with us, it seemed unlikely that Wonder Woman would also star in her own digital-first anthology series from DC Comics. Fortunately that's turned out not to be the case, as the publisher has confirmed the third member of its heroic "trinity" will indeed be the focus of Sensation Comics, a digital-first anthology launching in August that invites talents from across the spectrum of comics to share their own distinct visions of William Moulton Marston's amazon princess.
Like the Batman and Superman anthologies, Sensation Comics -- named for the Golden Age series in which Wonder Woman first appeared -- will feature stories not tied to the narrative continuity or artistic palette of DC's mainline New 52 comics.
It might just be me, but I have to imagine that for a lot of people my age, it's still a little surprising to see Bongo's commitment to producing kid-friendly Simpsons comics. Pleasantly surprised, you understand, but still, I remember being a kid when that show started, and I have fond memories of both the parental outcry about how the Simpsons were actively destroying family values and the truly hilarious explosion of bootleg merchandise that followed its initial popularity. And yet, here we are, with a long-running line of comics that uses some of the most popular characters in any medium of the last quarter century to tell stories directed squarely at younger readers, and does it with a consistently high level of quality.
The latest offering: The Wonderful World of Lisa Simpson #1, a one-shot anthology of stories focusing on the Simpsons' often beleaguered middle child, told by a roster of all-star creators, mostly women, and it is great.
The latest relaunches of Conan The Barbarian and Red Sonja -- published by Dark Horse and Dynamite, respectively --have revitalized both franchises. Writer Brian Wood's work on Conan has been well-received, and the announcement of Gail Simone writing a new Red Sonja ongoing brought a level of attention and excitement to the character that had not been seen in some time. And though the two series are currently released by separate publishers, the characters remain forever associated with each other. With that in mind, Dynamite Entertainment and Dark Horse have announced they will collaborate to release a crossover between Conan and Red Sonja, to be published by both companies and written by Wood and Simone.
While Scott Snyder's work on Batman has made him immensely popular among readers, the title that he first made his name on, and possibly the one most important to him, is American Vampire, his creator-owned series for Vertigo. Written by Snyder and illustrated by co-creator Rafael Albuquerque, American Vampire is the tale of Pearl, an aspiring actress turned into an ageless vampire in the 1920s. Through the lens of Pearl and her life, Snyder and Albuquerque explore the rise of America, from the 1920s up to, eventually, the present day.
The Eisner Award-winning series has been on hiatus since issue #34 in January, but to help fill the void for readers, Vertigo is releasing anAmerican Vampire anthology, with nine short stories from an impressive line up of creators: Greg Rucka, Becky Cloonan, Jason Aaron, John Paul Leon, Francesco Francavilla, Gail Simone, Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, Declan Shalvey and more. You can check out the full lineup, plus preview art from the issue, below.
DC Comics began its week-ish slate of Comic-Con programming with an "All Access" panel which mainly spotlighted previously announced publishing plans including the recently launched Trinity War and forthcoming Forever Evil and gave readers an opportunity to get some questions answered by: VP of Sales Bob Wayne, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Justice League Dark/Animal Man/Green Arrow writer Jeff Lemire, The Flash co-writer and colorist Brian Buccellato, Batgirl and The Movement writer Gail Simone, Fables artist Mark Buckingham, Fairest cover artist Adam Hughes, Li'l Gotham co-writer Derek Fridolfs and Injustice: Gods Among Us writer Tom Taylor.
How's this for a list of writers on an anthology series: Marjorie M. Liu, Mercedes Lackey, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Rhianna Pratchett, Leah Moore, Tamora Pierce, Blair Butler, Nancy Collins, Meljean Brook, Nicola Scott, Devin Grayson. Those are some, but not all of the writers -- novelists and comics pros alike -- who are going to be contributing to Dynamite Entertainment's new Legends of Red Sonja prestige-format miniseries.
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