Thumb through DC Comics' new releases this week and you'll find the above image -- a teaser for the upcoming Batman: Eternal weekly series -- in the back pages of a good many of them (all the books I saw, in fact).
I had to look up the artist who drew it. It's Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok, but it could just as easily be Tony Daniel, David Finch, Guillem March, Ivan Reis, Adrian Syaf, or a handful of other current DC artists. Like it or not, this is, with a few exceptions, just how DC Comics look now.
Fans found out about the panel when DC Comics announced a contest seeking an artist to draw one page of the issue. DC Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said they would personally select the artist based on submissions of a single page, and included a description of the page's four panels.
Anyway you look at it, Whoopi Goldberg has had an incredibly successful and varied career in entertainment (homegirl EGOTed, ya'll). But for some folks, her most recognizable role will forever be as Guinan from Star Trek: The Next Generation, so it seemed perfectly natural that she'd attend last weekend's New York Comic Con. But Goldberg wasn't there to bask in Next Gen fan love. Rather, the award winning actress, and co-host on The View, was on the con floor pitching her idea for a comic.
She got advice from a few celebrities in attendance -- Ronald D. Moore, Seth Green, Clare Grant, Kevin Smith, and Kristin Baur van Straten, among others -- and made her pitch to DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio and Marvel Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada.
It's a rough time to be a fan of DC's comics. The publisher has made so many problematic moves in the past couple of years that the brand is now as strongly associated with disgruntled talent and unhappy readers as it is with iconic characters like Superman and Batman.
In the wake of the inauspicious departure of the Batwoman creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, I intended to write something about DC's editorial troubles. I got as far into the opening paragraph as noting, "I have to write quickly because there'll be another fiasco along any minute," before another fiasco came along - the Harley Quinn try-out controversy.
At this stage, talking about any individual incident at DC as a blip seems too narrow. A good week is now a blip for DC. The company has profound problems, and the question we have to ask is, can it be fixed?
But then people took notice of one of the panels, which depicts Quinn naked in a bathtub, readying herself to pull a string that would dump plugged-in toasters, blow dryers and other electronics in the water. Anti-suicide groups including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness felt DC was making light of suicide. Others called it exploitative. Now, DC is officially addressing those criticisms.
According to a DC press release, signed by co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, the company's holding an open talent search for someone to draw one page of the issue, which is scheduled for release November 6.
There's still no date set for publication, nor is there an artist attached, but DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said in a Wednesday interview that the Adventures of Superman story by writer Orson Scott Card, whose staunch position against gay marriage led to retailer boycotts when the issue was first solicited, is still going to happen.
Last year, DC Comics celebrated the anniversary of its New 52 launch with a month full of zero issues. On its second anniversary in September, the publisher is handing its books over to the bad guys. "Villains Month" will spin out of this summer's "Trinity War" crossover, according a DC press release. Each book in the line will replace the title hero's name with a villain's name and be a #1 issue of sorts. Also: Lenticular 3D covers, no joke.
If you're as unfamiliar with it as I was about a week ago, SyFy's reality show Face Off pits makeup artists against one another in character design and creation battles. Most of the time, those battles involve whipping up some movie s
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