Category Archives: Spotlight

Star Wars Reveals Project Luminous

Project Luminous” has been revealed! The secret Star Wars project is a new setting for the Star Wars galaxy set 200 years for the events of the Skywalker Saga (The Phantom Menace). The era called “The High Republic” will be featured in novels, comics, and more for both kids and adults! Publishers for Star Wars: The High Republic include Disney Lucasfilm Press, Del Rey, IDW Publishing, and Marvel.

The Jedi Order is at its highest and the Republic is in expansion. This is where the stories begin. Think “Jedi Knights of the round table” type adventures set in the world of Star Wars.

The time is hopeful and optimistic and the Jedi are “true guardians of peace and justice.” The stories will allow for exploration of the universe such as pioneer life in the Outer Rim which was seeing expansion.

This period will not overlap any filmed features or series currently planned or in production which gives creators room for new adventures and original characters. Creators include Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule.

Watch the announcement trailer:

The first comics and books will debut at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in August 2020. We’ll have more details as they’re officially released including new characters, comics, and what’s sure to be the toys to come!

Initial releases include:

Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark
Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray (Young Adult novel, Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage
Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland (Middle Grade novel, Disney Lucasfilm Press)
Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures
Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures by Daniel José Older (IDW Publishing comic book series)
Star Wars: The High Republic
Star Wars: The High Republic by Cavan Scott (Marvel comic book series)
Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule (Adult novel, Del Rey)

Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize

Kickstarter

After months of rumors and tension, the employees at the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter voted to form a union. It’s believed to be the first of its kind in the technology industry. Employees have been battling management over numerous conditions that lead to some calling for a boycott of the platform and general split in how non-employees should react.

Kickstarter United will be formally recognized by the National Labor Relations Board.

The organizing took place over a year and a half and saw two leaders fired, two other workers leaving the company, and one other forced to resign. The company said it never fired anyone over union activity but that claim has been refuted.

The next step is for Kickstarter United to head to the bargaining table to negotiate a contract addressing the union’s concerns such as equitable pay, diversity in hiring, and a say in moderation of the platform.

The union will work with the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 153.

The unionization was sparked in August 2018 over a comic book. Always Punch Nazis was accused by the right of violating Kickstarter’s terms of services and there was an internal struggle if the project was ok for the platform. Employees fought to keep the project saying it didn’t violate guidelines while management disagreed. The comic was initially blocked from the platform and then that decision was reversed.

Kickstarter United went public in March 2019 followed by management pushing back against the effort through email and meetings.

(via NBC)

Watchmen on HBO: Black Wall Street, “Trust In the Law”, masks & politics

Victor Luckerson is writing a book about Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, which was highlighted by HBO‘s Watchmen series. Felicia Perez is the Innovation Director at the Center for Story-based Strategy. We team up to look at the real history and current politics behind the most 2019 of HBO shows. Also, check out Victor’s essay in the New Yorker: “The Great Achievement of Watchmen is Showing How Black Americans Shape History

Discussed:

  • Lady Trieu is Batman
  • Why it took me so long to cover this show (partially Alan Moore)
  • The power and danger of Nostalgia
  • America’s messed-up relationship with history
  • The problem with conspiracies
  • Ohhhhhklahoma! (is not OK)
  • and of course, the actual comics. 

Victor Luckerson: Twitter and newsletter runitback.substack.com.

Felicia Perez Facebook and Twitter 

and me, send me feedback! Twitter

Bad Idea Has Some Very Interesting Ideas for the Comic Industry

Yesterday, the new comic publisher Bad Idea was announced and teased. Today, we have more details on what to expect.

Debuting in May 2020, the publisher will release one or two single issues per month in a “pristinely designed, prestige-format package” for $3.99. There will be no variants and the issues will not be released digitally, collected into trade paperbacks, hardcovers, or other “bookshelf formats.” That means there will only be single-issue comics.

But, there’s a catch! The comics won’t be available everywhere. Instead, Bad Idea will self-distribute the series to an initial 20 comic book shop who will qualify based on “a unique system of criteria” that includes extra promotional commitments and a “strictly enforced ‘limit one per customer'” policy for Bad Idea comics, among other stipulations. More retailers will be admitted throughout the year to eventually bring that number up to around 50 stores by the end of 2020.

Megalith

The first series will be ENIAC by Matt Kindt and Doug Braithwaite. Other projects are coming from Marguerite Bennett, Mae Catt, Joshua Dysart, Tomas Giorello, Eric Heisserer, Jody Houser, Lewis LaRosa, Jeff Lemire, Peter Milligan, Adam Pollina, Robert Venditti, Zeb Wells, and more. In the announcement, Megalith was also teased with a cover by Lewis LaRosa. Projects have been worked on for the past year in “secret.”

First issues will usually be oversized with page counts exceeding the standard 22 pages or feature “hidden features” and other surprises not mentioned in public.

The goal is to get people into comic shops making each release an event.

Bad Idea is the brainchild of the five team members that rebuilt Valiant and developed the forthcoming Bloodshot feature film. Dinesh Shamdasani and Warren Simons will share the roles of Co-CEO & Co-Chief Creative Officer, Hunter Gorinson will serve as Publisher, Joshua Johns will serve as Director of Marketing, and Atom Freeman has returned as a Sales Consultant.

Eric Esquivel and Eddie Berganza Team Up for the New Publisher Alternate Empire

Alternate Empire

Two notorious individuals in the comic industry are coming together to form a new publishing venture, Alternate Empire. Eric Esquivel and Eddie Berganza have announced they’re “building toward a better future” with the new publisher which has a goal of “creating top-tier quality comics for the Latinx Community.” The first release will come to Kickstarter on March 1.

Esquivel was accused of sexual assault and emotional abuse in December 2018. The abuse included both physical and mental experiences. With the behavior described as “reprehensible” by one publisher, Esquivel saw his projects canceled from multiple publishers.

Eddie Berganza was an editor at DC Comics and during his time there abused coworkers over numerous years. The toxic environment included verbal and physical abuse towards other staff and his reputation so bad that women avoided working with him. The reportedly last incident from him occurred in 2012 at WonderCon but it took five years for him to part ways with DC and only after high profile media coverage.

In the announcement, Esquivel recounts Berganza reaching out to him after being named. Berganza offered Esquivel advice after his own experience. Berganza told Esquivel to “hold (him)self accountable for the mistakes (he) made, try to make amends wherever possible, and continue to find ways to serve the community (he) love(s).”

Ten percent of Alternate Empire’s proceeds will go to Los Angeles’ “Restorative Education Services,” which is an organization dedicated to “healing systemic harms, via traditional cultural practices.” A search for a charity of such name in Los Angeles (or the entire country) through the IRS, Charity Navigator, and Charity Watch turned up no results.

The first release is El Ronin by Jocelyn Ojeda. The comic is described as:

A Japanese-American man whose ancestors were incarcerated during the period of Japanese Internment steps up to defend his Mexican-American neighbors from a cabal of corrupt I.C.E. agents who are trying to extort them.

The reaction has been negative by numerous professionals and we’ll see how the public reacts by the Kickstarter when it launches in March.

Graphic Policy Radio: X-Men and the MLK Legacy Roundtable

One of our most listened to episodes of Graphic Policy Radio discussed the X-Men and their use as an allegory of the civil rights, it covered the series throughout its many incarnations and writers. The discussion also veered into the depiction of minorities in “comic” entertainment and Marvel’s continuity. In honor of MLK day, we represent that podcast discussion.

Guests joining in on the conversation were:

  • Steve Attewell – A political & union activist, Steve holds a PhD in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the founder and writer of Race for the Iron Throne as well as The Realignment Project
  • David Brothers – David works for a comics publisher, blogs about stuff at 4thletter.net, & tweets about everything at @hermanos. Find his life story at iamdavidbrothers.com.
  • Gene Demby – Gene Demby is an American writer and journalist & the lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch team.
  • Emma Houxbois – Emma is a queer blogger for hire out of Vancouver, BC most recently attached to Girls Read Comics. Follow her @emmahouxbois
  • Kendra James – a blogger who writes on race, comics, television & more for Racialicious, follow her @wriglied

You can listen to the archive below or go here and download it for on the go.

Comic Sales Continue to Make Gains in November According to Diamond Comic Distributors

Things remained relatively steady when it comes to market share for publishers while comics as a whole continue to make gains on the year according to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors today.

Compared to the previous month, comics, graphic novels, and toys were down in both dollars and units with almost all dropping double digits.

Compared to the same time the previous year, things look much better. Comics and graphic novels both saw gains combining for a 4.3% increase in dollars and 2.98% in units. Individually they also saw gains. Toys were a bit mixed seeing a decrease of 1.3% in dollars but an increase in 15.09% in units compared to the previous year.

When it comes year to date, comics are up 4.1% in dollars but down 1.42% in units. Graphic novels are still down, 3.21% in dollars and 8.65% in units. The two combined are up 2.02% in dollars and down 1.96% in units. Toys are still seeing major gains up 19.15% in dollars and down 21.54% in units.

Marvel Comics was November’s top publisher, taking a 37.41% dollar market share (-2.10) and a 42.68% unit share (-2.52) DC was second, with a 30.72% dollar share (-0.95) and a 32.41% unit share (+0.39). Image Comics placed third with 7.90% in dollars (+0.31) and 7.87% in units (+0.69), followed by BOOM! Studios, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment.

Marvel Comics had eight of November’s ten best-selling comics including the top selling comic, New Mutants #1. They had the top five comics for the month. Image Comics’ Undiscovered Country #1, the new series from Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Daniele Orlandini, ranked #8. DC was also in the top ten; the “Year of the Villain” acetate cover edition of Tom King and Mikel Janin’s Batman #82 ranked #9.

Among the premier publishers’ top books for November, Matt Kindt and Matt Smith’s Folklords #1 from BOOM! Studios’ ranked #94; Dynamite Entertainment’s Vampirella #5 ranked #105; Hazel & Cha Cha Save Christmas: Tales from The Umbrella Academy, a spin-off from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s The Umbrella Academy, from Dark Horse ranked #110; and IDW Publishing’s Sonic the Hedgehog #23 ranked #189.

The heroes of the DC universe wage a desperate war against a world corrupted by the Anti-Life Equation in Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine’s DCeased, November’s best-selling graphic novel, collecting the best-selling mini-series from DC and one of the publisher’s two books in the top ten, along with Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr.’s Superman: Year One at #5. BOOM! Studios’ Firefly: The Sting, an original graphic novel based on the television series, ranked #2. Marvel Comics had four titles in the top ten; The Immortal Hulk Volume 5: Breaker of Worlds, was the top book at #3. Image Comics’ November Volume 1 ranked #4. Dark Horse Comics had two titles in the top, led by The Legend of Korra Part 2: Ruins of Empire at #6.

Gemstone Publishing’s The Overstreet Price Guide to Batman, a guide to eighty years of comics and collectibles focused on the Dark Knight, was November’s best-selling book. Also of note, Dynamite Entertainment’s Vampirella: 50th Anniversary Poster Collection ranked #3 and Titan Comics’ The Philosophy of Deadpool ranked #4.

Mezco Toys’ One:12 Collective: Marvel Comics: Classic Cyclops Action Figure, a PREVIEWS exclusive, was November’s best-selling toy product. Diamond Select Toys had five products in the top ten, led by the Castlevania Gallery: Trevor Belmont PVC Figure, based on the Netflix animated series. DC Collectibles had three products in the top ten; the Dark Nights Metal: The Batman Who Laughs & Robins Deluxe Statue was their best-selling product at #6.

Paizo Publishing’s Starfinder RPG: Character Operations Manual, a sourcebook for the science-fiction role-playing game, was November’s best-selling game product and one of the seven Paizo products among the top ten.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHERDOLLARSHAREUNITSHARE
MARVEL COMICS37.41%42.68%
DC30.72%32.41%
IMAGE COMICS7.90%7.87%
BOOM! STUDIOS3.46%3.07%
IDW PUBLISHING3.42%3.04%
DARK HORSE COMICS3.38%2.37%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT2.03%1.45%
VIZ MEDIA1.48%0.56%
TITAN COMICS0.70%0.50%
ONI PRESS INC.0.57%0.46%
OTHER NON-TOP 108.93%5.59%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 DOLLARSUNITS
NOVEMBER 2019 VS. OCTOBER 2019
COMICS-28.87%-24.86%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-12.33%-14.39%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-24.86%-24.19%
TOYS-8.72%-13.86%
NOVEMBER 2019 VS. NOVEMBER 2018
COMICS3.12%2.91%
GRAPHIC NOVELS7.43%3.94%
TOTAL COMICS/GN4.30%2.98%
TOYS-1.30%15.09%
YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018
COMICS4.10%-1.42%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-3.21%-8.65%
TOTAL COMICS/GN2.02%-1.96%
TOYS19.15%21.54%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHERCOMICS SHIPPEDGRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPEDMAGAZINES SHIPPEDTOTALSHIPPED
DC COMICS96310127
MARVEL COMICS84360120
IMAGE COMICS4015055
IDW PUBLISHING3614050
DARK HORSE COMICS2222044
BOOM! STUDIOS1915034
VIZ MEDIA LLC027027
DYNAMITE149023
TITAN COMICS87116
ONI PRESS INC.3407
OTHER NON-TOP 1015220024376
TOTAL47438025879

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1NEW MUTANTS #1$4.99SEP190749-MMAR
2X-MEN #2$3.99SEP190778-MMAR
3ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #5$4.99SEP190790-MMAR
4X-FORCE #1$4.99SEP190760-MMAR
5FALLEN ANGELS #1$4.99SEP190769-MMAR
6DEADPOOL #1$4.99SEP190835-MMAR
7AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33$3.99SEP190814-MMAR
8UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #1 (MR) [*]$3.99SEP190027-MIMA
9BATMAN #82 ACETATE COVER$3.99AUG190599DC
10AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #34$3.99SEP190818-MMAR

 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1NEW MUTANTS #1$4.99SEP190749-MMAR
2ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #5$4.99SEP190790-MMAR
3X-FORCE #1$4.99SEP190760-MMAR
4X-MEN #2$3.99SEP190778-MMAR
5DEADPOOL #1$4.99SEP190835-MMAR
6FALLEN ANGELS #1$4.99SEP190769-MMAR
7UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #1 (MR) [*]$3.99SEP190027-MIMA
8BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT PRESENTS: VON FREEZE #1$5.99SEP190437-MDC
9SCREAM: CURSE OF CARNAGE #1$4.99SEP190805-MMAR
10AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33$3.99SEP190814-MMAR

TOP 10 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DCEASED HC$29.99AUG190650DC
2FIREFLY: THE STING HC$19.99JUL191306BOO
3IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 5: BREAKER OF WORLDS TP$15.99AUG191149MAR
4NOVEMBER VOL. 1 HC (MR)$16.99JUL190077IMA
5SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE HC$29.99AUG190687DC
6LEGEND OF KORRA PART 2: RUINS OF EMPIRE TP$10.99JUN190359DAR
7JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER: ALLEGIANCE TP$15.99SEP190991-MMAR
8LEAGUE OF LEGENDS: LUX TP$15.99JUL191064MAR
9SAVAGE AVENGERS VOL. 1: CITY OF SICKLES TP$15.99AUG191148MAR
10STRANGER THINGS: SIX TP$17.99JUL190353DAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC$125.00MAY190943-MMAR
2CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS BOX SET HC$500.00APR190537DC
3ABSOLUTE SWAMP THING BY ALAN MOORE VOL. 1 HC$99.99MAR190601DC
4DCEASED HC$29.99AUG190650DC
5DOOM PATROL: THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS HC$125.00APR190538DC
6SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE HC$29.99AUG190687DC
7FIREFLY: THE STING HC$19.99JUL191306BOO
8BATMAN BY SNYDER & CAPULLO OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC$125.00APR190526DC
9NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS VOL. 4 HC$99.00APR190560DC
10MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 31 HC$75.00MAY190945-MMAR

TOP 10 BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1THE OVERSTREET PRICE GUIDE TO BATMAN SC$30.00SEP191814GEM
2DRAGON BALL VISUAL HISTORY: THE ART OF AKIRA TORIYAMA HC$34.99AUG192435VIZ
3VAMPIRELLA 50TH ANNIVERSARY POSTER COLLECTION SC$24.99AUG191226DE
4THE PHILOSOPHY OF DEADPOOL HC (MR)$14.99MAR192035TTN
5OVERLORD LIGHT NOVEL VOLUME 11 HC$20.00JUL192435YEN
6SHIGENORI SOEJIMA & P-STUDIO ART UNIT ART WORKS 2 TP$39.99AUG192423UDO
7THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 146 SC$14.95SEP191953SAN
8TRANSFORMERS VISUAL HISTORY HC$49.99SEP192219VIZ
9DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: WINNER TAKES ALL SC$6.99SEP191935RAN
10DRAGONS CROWN: OFFICIAL ARTWORKS HC$49.99JUL192399UDO

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: MARVEL: CLASSIC CYCLOPS FIGURESEP188229MEZ
2CASTLEVANIA GALLERY: TREVOR BELMONT PVC FIGUREJAN192540DST
3POP! DC HEROES: HARLEY QUINN WITH BOOMBOX VINYL FIGUREAUG188545FUN
4MARVEL SELECT: CARNAGE FIGURENOV142179DST
5KINGDOM HEARTS 3 GALLERY: MALEFICENT PVC STATUEMAY189403DST
6DARK NIGHTS METAL: THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS & ROBINS DELUXE STATUEMAY190542DC
7DARK KNIGHTS METAL: BATMAN THE RED DEATH STATUEAPR190588DC
8DC PRIME: BATMAN ACTION FIGUREMAR190627DC
9DC GALLERY: HARLEY QUINN REBIRTH PVC FIGUREJUN192385DST
10MARVEL GALLERY: AVENGERS ENDGAME CAPTAIN AMERICA PVC FIGUREJUL192669DST

TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1STARFINDER RPG: CHARACTER OPERATIONS MANUAL HCSEP193078PAI
2STARFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK HCJUN173371PAI
3CRITICAL ROLE: TAL’DOREI CAMPAIGN SETTING HCJUN173357GRE
4PATHFINDER: LOST OMENS CHARACTER GUIDE HC (P2)AUG193363PAI
5PATHFINDER FLIP-MAT: BASIC NEW EDITIONMAR138328PAI
6PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK POCKET EDITIONAPR168770PAI
7PATHFINDER ADVENTURE PATH: AGE OF ASHES PART 5SEP193076PAI
8MY HERO ACADEMIA: THE CARD GAMEJUL183082S7
9POP! FUNKOVERSE STRATEGY GAME: THE GOLDEN GIRLS 100 EXPANDALONE BOARD GAMEJUN198704FUN
10TOME OF BEASTS HCJUN168476PAI

Marvel Studio’s Damage Control VR Experience Extended Into 2020

Avengers: Damage Control

Due to the success of its limited-time fan event release, Avengers: Damage Control will now be continuing its run into 2020. The acclaimed virtual reality experience, produced by Marvel Studios and ILMxLAB, is available at select The VOID locations.

Tickets for the extended run are available now

Avengers: Damage Control lets fans step into the MCU for the very first time and team up alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Groups of four will be enlisted by Shuri (Letitia Wright) to test her latest prototype design: Emergency Response Suits, created with a proprietary blend of Wakandan and Stark Industries technology. When sinister forces intervene, guests at the Wakandan Outreach Centers will find themselves recruited into action, exploring iconic locations across the MCU. Fans will fight side by side with Avengers like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), and more.

Like ILMxLAB’s previous collaborations with The VOID, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR, Avengers: Damage Control pairs virtual reality with real-world sets and physical effects like heat, cold, and wind. The result is a uniquely immersive experience: a virtual world that guests can touch and feel, bringing their favorite Marvel characters to life in a way that’s never before been possible.

Participating locations include:

  • Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Mall of America – Minneapolis, MN
  • Cinemark – Plano, TX
  • The Battery – Atlanta, GA
  • Tysons Corner – Washington, DC
  • Genting Highlands – Malaysia
  • The Rec Room at Round House Park – Toronto, Canada
  • The Rec Room at Square One Shopping Centre – Ontario, Canada
  • The Rec Room at the West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Canada

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Watchmen Soundtrack Comes to Spotify

HBO‘s Watchmen has been amazing in not just the story and acting but the soundtrack as well.

Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have brought their unmistakable sound to the television show creating a haunting melody to go with the mystery. The two are award-winning composers who have created music for well over a hundred television and film productions and the two won an Oscar for their score to The Social Network.

You can now listen to the first volume of music on Spotify.

Odell Beckham Jr. Rocks Joker Cleats

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wore cleats featuring the Joker for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. The design is similar to the latest incarnation featured in the film Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix.

The custom cleats were worked out between Beckham and Nike before the season began and are coordinated with the jersey worn as per rules. Unfortunately, this game’s jersey was switched so Beckham was forced to change cleats for the second half of the game.

Odell Beckham Jr. Joker cleats

(via ESPN)

« Older Entries