Category Archives: Spotlight

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Michael Uslan’s The Boy Who Loved Batman Comes to Broadway in Darknights and Daydreams

Darknights and Daydreams

With Broadway’s long-anticipated re-emergence just around the corner, Bob Nederlander Jr. and Nederlander Worldwide Productions, LLC have announced their plan to bring Darknights and Daydreams (working title), a new play adapted by Michael Uslan from his inspiring memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman, to Broadway during the 2022 / 2023 season. Michael Uslan, the Originator and Executive Producer of the Batman movie franchise brings his play to life on stage. By-invitation-only development readings are planned for June 29 and 30 in New York.

Fan-owned entertainment studio Legion M will make its first foray into Broadway, as Associate Producer, with Darknights and Daydreams. Legion M will draw on their unique fan-owned business model and community to invite fans and supporters to participate in behind-the-scenes, exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities via the Darknights and Daydreams Indiegogo page. Perks will include copies of the trade paperback The Boy Who Loved Batman, from which the play is adapted, unique signed memorabilia, access to virtual and live table readings during the development process, and many more.

Darknights and Daydreams tells the story of a boy who fought for his dreams to come true. Michael, a self-described comic book fanboy from a blue collar New Jersey family, did not dream of being a superhero, but of saving his superhero. A lifelong Batman fan who amassed a collection of 30,000 comic books by the time he was in high school, Michael viewed the 1960s TV series as a kitschy mockery of the “dark… serious… human” version of Batman; a version that had been personally described to 14-year-old Michael by Batman’s co-creator, Bill Finger, at the 1965 ComiCon. From that moment on, Michael was determined to restore that darkness to The Batman. He held tightly onto this dream when, against all odds, he pitched and convinced Hollywood to make the first Batman film, which then took ten long years to be produced. The wild success of that film proved what Michael knew all along – the world needs super-heroes, both on screen and in real life. That first Batman movie ignited an Oscar-winning, record-shattering global pop culture phenomenon that thrives today, decades later. Michael’s passion unlocked his own super-powers and he shares his “secret origin” in this Broadway show.

Oscar Isaac Confirmed as Marc Spector for Marvel’s Moon Knight

Moon Knight

With a post of “We Are Moonknight, actor Oscar Isaac has confirmed the already confirmed rumor that he’ll be donning the cowl for Marvel StudiosMoon Knight. Isaac will play the lead role of Marc Spector.

Jeremy Slater has been developing the series and leading the writing team. Justin Benson, Mohamed Diab, and Aaron Moorhead are listed as director, Slater and the character’s creators are listed with writing credits.

Moon Knight is the alter ego of Marc Spector, a mercenary who may be the conduit for the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Spector also might be crazy with multiple personalities he inhabits. Are they part of his mission? Is it part of being a conduit for a god? Has he lost his mind?

Spector is also one of the few high-profile Jewish characters in the Marvel Universe. Magneto, The Thing, and Kitty Pryde being the other three well-known characters. With the casting of Isaac, an opportunity to have a Jewish actor tap into their experiences for the role is lost. Spector’s Jewishness is central to his character. He’s the son of a Rabbi and the “slave” of an Egyptian god. Isaac has said he has Jewish ancestry on his Father’s side of the family though both of his parents are evangelical Protestant and he was raised as one.

So far, it looks like the creative team and confirmed actors lack Jewish representation. For a character whose Jewishness is so vital, this should be concerning for representation.

Slater had developed The Umbrella Academy, another comic turned television series, for Netflix. That show has been accused and anti-Semitism making the lack of a Jewish voice as part of the creative team even more concerning. Creators of Umbrella Academy pushed back against the concerns.

Whether Marvel will downplay the character’s Jewishness remains to be seen but the company’s past actions of Jewish erasure should have folks weary of what’s to come.

Oscar Isaac Moon Knight

BOOM! Studios Begins to Work with the #DisneyMustPay Task Force to Resolve Royalty and Statement Issues

Disney Must Pay

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force has announced that BOOM! Studios have begun to work with them to achieve the Task Force’s goals to ensure that all writers who are owed royalties and/or statements for their media-tie in work are identified and that Disney and other companies honor their contractual obligations to those writers after acquiring the companies that originally hired the writers.

In the announcement, Filip Sablik, President, Publishing & Marketing BOOM! Studios stated:

BOOM! Studios strongly support all creators receiving any reporting and royalty payments they are contractually owed. When we have obligations, we honor them. We are happy to work with both the Disney Task Force and our licensor Disney to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction.

The Task Force has come to the conclusion that BOOM! were not told about the writers who were due royalties when media rights were transferred to them. Though Disney does have a partial stake in BOOM!, they’re aren’t a part of the day-to-day operations. The task force has stated that “BOOM! Studios are not at fault here”.

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force, formed by SFWA,  includes the Authors Guild, Horror Writers Association, International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America,  National Writers Union, Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime (SinC). The Task Force identifies and guides authors who might be owed money. Disney is refusing to cooperate with the task force to identify affected authors.

Diamond’s Pullbox Launches on June 7

Previewsworld Pullbox

Diamond Comic Distributors has announced June 7, 2021 as the official launch of PREVIEWSworld PULLBOX to consumers, a new service that allows comic shop customers a better way to manage their preorders and subscriptions with their local comic book specialty shop. PULLBOX was announced in February 2018 and “slated for release later” that Spring.

The service, which is currently wrapping up beta testing, already boasts an impressive list of existing users. There are currently more than 300 comic shops and 17,000+ consumers using PULLBOX to manage their weekly orders. PULLBOX users are managing more than 225,000 subscriptions on the platform, which supports the full list of products available Diamond’s PREVIEWS catalog and beyond, including fan-favorites Image Comics, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Dynamite Entertainment, BOOM! Studios, VIZ Media, Funko, Kotobukiya, Mezco Toyz, Diamond Select Toys, and many more!

PULLBOX allows fans to use the PREVIEWSworld website to place orders directly with their local comic shop. A suite of easy-to-use tools allows consumers to synch orders with participating local comic shops, manage preorders & subscriptions, place special orders, keep a wish list, and track weekly purchases. It also provides customers with e-mail alerts for order confirmations and when items are available for pickup.

PULLBOX will officially launch to consumers June 7. Consumers interested in setting up a PULLBOX account can visit PREVIEWSworld.com/PULLBOX starting June 7.

Claire’s Hair Launches on Panel Syndicate

Panel Syndicate welcomes legendary writer Joe Kelly and amazing artist Andie Desiderio into its fold with the release of their all-ages picture book, Claire’s Hair!

Being an original is the best thing a kid can be.

Claire’s hair has a life of its own, literally. Claire loves this wild and unique aspect of herself, but when everyone from her mom to the school bully tells her that different equals bad, Claire begins to have second thoughts about her unruly locks. Will she cut her hair to be “normal?” Or will Claire learn that the things that make us different are the things that make us special?

Don’t miss this special 29-page Children’s book, available now at Panel Syndicate for whatever price you want to pay, including zero!

Yen Press Announces an Audiobook Partnership with Hachette Audio

Yen Audio

Yen Press has announced a new partnership with Hachette Audio to produce, sell, and distribute digital audiobook editions of select titles. Heading up the program under the Yen Audio label is Publisher and Managing Director Kurt Hassler, who is teaming up with Hachette Audio’s longtime Publisher and SVP Anthony Goff, who negotiated the world rights deal for Hachette Book Group.

Yen Audio will launch four debut titles in Summer and Fall 2021. The first volume of Solo Leveling, a South Korean novel by Chugong originally published online in serial releases and the basis of the bestselling webtoon of the same name, will be the first audiobook in the collaboration, slated for publication July 2021. The second release will take place in August, when the initial volume of the acclaimed light novel series Sword Art Online by author Reki Kawahara is published as a digital audiobook. Voice casting for these titles, as well as for narrators of Fall titles Overlord by Kugane Maruyama and The Saga of Tanya the Evil by Carlo Zen, will be announced soon separately. After these initial releases, it is expected that the Yen/Hachette Audio partnership will release regular seasonal adaptations.

These audiobooks based on Yen Press content will be available wherever downloadable audiobooks are sold, across platforms including Apple Books, Audible, Audiobooks.com, Downpour, Google Books, Libro.fm, Kobo, and more.

TITLEAUTHORISBNUS/CAN DLPEST. RUNRELEASE
SOLO LEVELING, VOL. 1Chugong9781975325886$25.98/$32.989.5 hoursJuly 2021
SWORD ART ONLINE 1: AINCRADReki Kawahara9781975337186$25.98/$32.987.5 hoursAug 2021
OVERLORD, VOL. 1Kugane Maruyama, so-bin9781975337490$25.98/$32.987.5 hoursSep 2021
SOLO LEVELING VOL. 2Chugong9781975325893$25.98/$32.9810 hoursOct 2021
SWORD ART ONLINE 2: AINCRADReki Kawahara9781975337209$25.98/$32.987.5 hoursOct 2021
THE MIRACLES OF THE NAMIYA GENERAL STOREKeigo Higashino9781975338350$25.98/$32.989.5 hoursNov 2021
THE SAGA OF TANYA THE EVIL, VOL. 1Carlo Zen, Shinobu Shinotsuki9781975337452$25.98/$32.9810 hoursNov 2021
OVERLORD, VOL. 2Kugane Maruyama, so-bin9781975338336$25.98/$32.987.5 hoursDec 2021
SWORD ART ONLINE 3: FAIRY DANCEReki Kawahara9781975337216$25.98/$32.987.5 hoursDec 2021

The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Binc Come Together in Support of the “Survive to Thrive” Campaign

In celebration of the eleventh (or was it tenth?) epic anniversary of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group, and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) are coming together to bring fans of the cult classic comic series and Edgar Wright film an exclusive limited-edition T-shirt designed by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

Ten percent of proceeds will be donated to Binc to support their “Survive to Thrive” campaign, which provides monetary grants to comic book stores negatively impacted by the pandemic. “We are honored to be included in this major anniversary event. Bryan’s generosity will help comic shops across the country as they work to recover from the impact of the pandemic. We continue to be humbled by the comic community’s support and advocacy,” said Pam French, Binc Foundation executive director. From March through December 2020, Binc raised and distributed over $2.9M, helping more than 2,200 book and comic stores and more than 600 individuals.

Featuring Ramona Flowers against a black backdrop with her classic star bag, the T-shirt is available for $35 via the Oni Press webstore. Preorder the limited edition T-shirt now until 11:59 P.M. PT on May 19, 2021. The shirt will ship by August.

Puerto Rico’s superhero Coquí #1 is available for Pre-Order Now. Get an Exclusive Look Including Variant Cover Reveals

Coquí #1 is a comic we’ve been anticipating since its announcement in November 2020. Published by Chido Comics, Coquí is a brand-new mini-series and it’s available for pre-order starting today.

After falling down a cliff in the mystical mountains of El Yunque, a young man is reborn, walking away with more than just his life. An extraordinary gift was bestowed upon him to protect his island in it’s darkest hour. The series is inspired by superhero films mixed with a throwback to classic superhero action-adventure stories.

Written by Ivan Plaza with art by Matteo Illuminati and lettering by Carlos M. Mangual, the comic has a main cover and two variants. Illuminati and Loris Ravina handle the main Cover A with Cover B by Roberto Rivera Padró and Cover C by Monika Maccagni and AC Osorio.

Coquí is an exciting, action-filled superhero story that comic fans will enjoy. When Puerto Rico needs a hero, Axel is asked to rise when it matters most.

We have an exclusive look at some of the comic as well as a debut of its variant covers that you can see below.

You can order the comic now directly from Chido Comics which features signed copies and the variant covers or from Amazon. Retailers interested in carrying Coquí can contact Chido Comics directly. The debut sounds like the start of something big.

Second Sight Publishing Donates 1000 Comics to the Polk County School System

Second Sight Publishing

On April 29th, 2021, COO of Second Sight Publishing, Marcus Roberts, donated 1000 comic books to the Polk County School System. The books will be distributed throughout the school library system and used throughout the summer program.

Second Sight donated copies of Book of Lyaxia and Lady Freedom whose creators reside in Florida. Aron Pohara lives in Tampa, and Larry Jarrell resides in Orlando.

As Second Sight Publishing publishes entertainment for kids of all ages, Roberts saw this as an opportunity to provide an alternate reading source to help strengthen the reading skills of students.


Second Sight Publishing was created by Bradley Golden in 2016 and began building on an early catalog of horror comic stories. As he developed his own personal brand he signed on with Antarctic Press and brought his stories to a larger audience, as well as meeting other creators/writers like John Crowther, Larry Spike Jarrell, and Peter Breau. All the while teaming up with Marcus H. Roberts and launching Mississippi Zombie, published by Caliber Comics.

Second Sight Publishing is striving to build a catalog of new, intriguing, exciting and enjoyable titles that draw in our readers and keep its fans engaged.

A Joint Task Force is Formed Because #DisneyMustPay

In November of 2020, a royalty dispute between Alan Dean Foster and Disney was publicized. Foster was originally contracted to write the Alien novelizations through Warner Books which were eventually licensed to Titan Books, and the Star Wars novelizations by Lucasfilms. Both Warner Books and Lucasfilms regularly paid his royalties. When Disney acquired the rights to the books, they no longer paid royalties for his work.

It has further been revealed that contract issues with Disney-owned/controlled companies continue to affect multiple authors across different writer organizations. To advocate for these writers, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) formed the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force with the Authors GuildHorror Writers AssociationNational Writers UnionNovelists, Inc.Romance Writers of Americaand Sisters in Crime. The group will help identify and guide authors who might be owed money. The task force includes members such as Neil GaimanTess GerritsenMary Robinette Kowal, and Chuck Wendig. The committee has identified the key areas to be addressed.

Disney needs to:

  1. Honor contracts now held by Disney and its subsidiaries.
  2. Provide royalty payments and statements to all affected authors.
  3. Update their licensing page with an FAQ for writers about how to handle missing royalties
  4. Create a clear, easy-to-find contact person or point for affected authors.
  5. Cooperate with author organizations that are providing support to authors and agents.

When the task force presented Disney with these steps and offered Disney to include a statement, the House of Mouse declined.

Authors may be missing royalty statements or checks across a wide range of properties in prose, comics, or graphic novels. Below is a list of properties that have verified reports of missing statements and royalties. The list is incomplete and there are likely more:

  • LucasFilm (Star WarsIndiana Jones, etc.)
  • Boom! Comics (Licensed comics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)
  • Dark Horse Comics (Licensed comics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)
  • 20th Century Fox (Buffy the Vampire SlayerAlien, etc.)
  • MGM (Stargate)
  • Marvel WorldWide (SpiderManPredator)
  • Disney Worldwide Publishing (BuffyAngel)

The task force is opening up help to anyone that is affected. Authors don’t need membership or an agent. For those missing royalty statements, they can fill out this form hosted by SFWAAnonymity is guaranteed.

Disney’s stance is they have purchased the rights to these properties and books but not to the obligations that come with it. If this is left to stand, it opens up a world of abuse where company A would be able to sell off properties to company B to get out of obligations.

The SFWA announced that Mr. Foster’s royalties issue has been resolved. But, about a dozen additional authors contacted SFWA with a request for assistance, including the authors of Empire Strikes BackReturn of the JediIndiana Jones, and multiple other properties. SFWA has provided Disney with the names of authors who are similarly missing royalty statements and payments going back years. 

Disney is being reactive concerning this. They have to be told there are missing royalties and to be contacted with a formal claim.

This isn’t an issue just with Disney. Fox had licensed the comics rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Dark Horse. After Disney purchased Fox, they withdrew those rights from Dark Horse and granted them to BOOM! Comics. When one Buffy author contacted Boom! about missing royalties, they were told that “royalties don’t transfer.” Disney gained a percent of BOOM! when they purchased 20th Century Fox.

Since Disney has declined to cooperate with the task force in identifying affected authors, the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force needs help to contact everyone who might be affected. The joint task members need writers, readers, and fans to alert authors who may be affected.

Other ways to support this effort have been outlined by the task force:

  • Do not boycott, as this will disproportionately affect those authors who are being paid.
  • Use #DisneyMustPay on social media. Help is needed to bring the task force’s five action items to the attention of Disney’s decision-makers.
  • Visit WritersMustBePaid.org, a new website set up by the new task force, and share it.
  • Do purchase the works of affected authors for which they are receiving royalties.

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force’s goal is to make sure writers’ working conditions are fair and safe, but individual negotiations are, rightly, between the authors, their agents, and the rights holder. Hence, the Disney Task Force is looking at structural and systemic concerns.

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