Today the 2015 Eisner nominations were announced for the awards ceremony that will take place on July 10th during San Diego Comic-Con International. There aren't a ton of surprises in this year's list --- books like Ms. Marvel, Saga, Multiversity, and Bandette led in terms of total nominations --- but as always it's good to see quality books get their due, and it was a year of positive movement in terms of gender diversity, with multiple women nominated in most major categories. We still have a ways to go, but seeing progress is a good sign.
Kamala Khan is a superstar now. Introduced only a year ago by Marvel, she’s become a bona fide figurehead for the publisher. A young Muslim girl in America who develops powers and uses them to try and help people, her story has caught on with a mainstream audience and turned the Ms Marvel series into a real, actual hit, especially among the growing digital readership.
What’s fascinating about the character, though, is how clearly she’s embedded into the tradition of superhero comics, and how you can draw a direct line from her back through Marvel’s history, to some of the company's most popular female superheroes. Kamala broke through at just the right moment in time, in just the right way, for the readership to embrace her, but she owes a debt to several characters that came before her.
In March, ComiXology had a buy one, get one free sale on Marvel titles, where you could literally buy any of the Marvel issues in their store. This morning they announced that, during that sale, seven out of the top ten comics sold were books with female heroes. Titles that did well include Thor, Silk, and Ms. Marvel. In fact, the only titles on the list that weren't led by a female hero were three Star Wars titles - Star Wars #1 and #2 and Darth Vader #1. The top ten list was pulled from thousands of comics sold during the sale.
This weekend, the Hugo Awards nominations were announced, and almost every category was affected by the "Sad Puppies" campaign, which encouraged anti-liberal voters to push specific works by conservative authors. While every award event with nomination voting has people pushing for votes in specific directions, this systematic approach to affect every single category and make it less about the quality of the work has made these nominations pretty useless. The good news is that the campaign had very little effect on the "graphic story" category, which covers comics, but the Sad Puppies voters did manage to get their one selection in that category into the nominations as well.
All-New All-Different Avengers is one of two Marvel Free Comic Book Day titles, alongside Secret Wars #0, and while the latter sets the stage for Marvel's multiversal summer event, the former is our first look at what the new Marvel Universe will look like after Secret Wars --- so of course, Marvel is only telling us so much. The publisher has now revealed a cover for the Free Comic Book Day All-New All-Different Avengers comic, but most of the cover remains in silhouette.
Still, that won't stop us from wildly speculating (and maybe even making some informed guesses).
Marvel has announced a new bi-monthly book called A-Force Presents that will collect issues of various Marvel comics featuring female heroes in trade paperback format. Rather than the traditional collection of a single storyline, these collections will be more of sampler of what's going on at Marvel at any given time. This is a great idea from Marvel, and a really exciting example of how the publisher is taking women seriously as an audience.
Next Saturday at the Long Beach Comic Expo the first ever winner of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity will be named, and today the organizers revealed an impressive roster of nominees that includes a tribute to the first Chinese-American superhero, a blaxploitation revival, and the most prominent Muslim superhero in North American comics.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions.
In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
Boom Studios has a reputation in the comics industry for publishing an increasingly diverse group of books and creators. This commitment to diversity in genre and people is reflected in an all-new initiative the publisher announced today in Previews with a letter from founder Ross Richie. While 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Boom, the publisher wants to talk about what's next rather than what's come before. They call this discussion of the future Push Comics Forward and they don't want it to be only about Boom.
Push Comics Forward is Boom's way of focusing on the ongoing conversation about diversity and the future of the industry. To learn more about this initiative and what to expect from Boom for the next ten years and beyond, we spoke with Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.
Street artists in San Francisco are using Kamala Khan (aka Marvel's Ms. Marvel) to block out bus ads from the "American Freedom Defense Initiative" that compare Islam to Nazism. The art pasted over the ads features Kamala saying things like, "Calling all bigotry busters," and, "Free speech isn't a license to spread hate." The protest was organized by the group Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power, which runs the Facebook page where photos of the improved ads appeared, Street Cred - Advertising for the People.