Friday, December 31, 2004
Requiem for a calendar year
Here are 10 things I've learned from reading all these depressing eulogies to the year in comics, and from spending the past 365 days on this, the Internets:
1. Identity Crisis and Avengers Disassembled apparently* were dog shit, signaling the end of civilization as we know it (or else heralding the beginning of some arcane and arbitrary era that geeks later will dub the Tin Age or Copper Age or Looked Silly In Leather Anyway Age).
2. Manga still isn't a fad. (Is anyone outside the occasional Spandex disciple on a comics message board still claiming that it is one? I think we can safely retire this item before our 2005 in Review.)
3. DC and Marvel canceled some really, really good titles but let some really, really bad ones continue. **
4. Waiting for the trade is killing the industry, but graphic novels are its future.
5. Likewise, superhero movies and "mainstream respectability" will either save every one of us, or ruin the medium. Or maybe both. (5a. Catwoman is the new Ishtar.)
6. No one seems to know what the "New Mainstream" is, but that doesn't prevent them from using the term. A lot. (Still, it's not GnuMarvel, and for that I'm grateful.)
7. Eventually, every man, woman and child will interview Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi and Joe Quesada.
8. The world can be divided into two groups: people who love Grant Morrison's work, and people who think he destroyed the X-Men.
9. Craig Thompson has received every award possible, except for a Tony, a Nobel Peace Prize and a Wizard Fan Award. Don't hold your breath on the last one.
10. When 35-year-old guys on message boards announce with authority that comics need to be "fun" again: a.) they are usually talking about very specific DC and Marvel superhero books (more often than not Superman, Batman and Spider-Man); and b.) they really mean they want to experience the same emotions they did when they were 12.
* I say "apparently" because I didn't even consider buying Disassembled, and only read the first issue of Identity Crisis, which, if nothing else, served as a testament to Brad Meltzer's ability to skillfully manipulate readers' emotions.
** See also "2003 in Review," "2002 in Review," "2001 in Review," et al.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
2004 winds down
Cartoonists' (dead) body of work
Marvel finally announces Paniccia hire, OGN role
Why is Marvel only now "officially" announcing its hiring of former Tokyopop editor Mark Paniccia as senior editor when that news has been well-known since mid-October? (Paniccia even was interviewed in November about plans for the revamped Amazing Fantasy.)
As Newsarama points out, the release does contain at least one piece of new and potentially interesting information, in that the headline indicates plans for Paniccia to "spearhead" the development of original graphic novels.
Comic shop focuses on that 'elusive' girl market
The Oregonian spotlights Sweet Eddy's Comics in Wilsonville, which hopes to appeal to young girls by carrying more manga and "girl-centered" titles:
"My father read comic books, and my brother read comic books, and I always hated comic-book stores because there was nothing for me," [co-owner] Deanna Nelson recalled, adding that comic-book stores are traditionally dominated by men. "I call them gyms without jocks."Marvel's Joe Quesada also is quoted about the "elusive" girl market, and the industry's attempts to recapture a younger audience that he claims was lost in the 1990s:
"It was a time when they were working hard on creating collectible comics, and they forgot about the fact that the core of what makes comics great is fantastic stories."Thank goodness we learned our lesson about creating "collectible comics." No more variant covers and the like for us. Nosireebob!
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
For Sherlockian, The Game is a footnote
The New York Times profiles Leslie S. Klinger, an attorney and noted Sherlockian who has edited The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, a 10-pound collection of all 56 Holmes short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle, complete with Klinger's footnotes:
Few literary figures have been scrutinized as assiduously as Sherlock Holmes and his Boswell, Dr. Watson. Holmes, who made his debut in Conan Doyle's novel "A Study in Scarlet" in 1887, was the perfect detective for a rationalist age, an intuitive and learned investigator who applied techniques from the emerging science of forensics to solve the most intractable crimes. Long before "CSI," there was Holmes. "Sherlock Holmes was very gratifying to a public who thought that the application of science could conquer crime," Mr. Klinger said.Neil Gaiman, himself a Sherlockian, is quoted in the article:
"I really enjoyed what Klinger did in his annotations," said Neil Gaiman, author of the "Sandman" comic book series, who, it turns out, is a major Sherlockian. "As we move further and further away from the period in which the Holmes stories were set, the country in which they are located becomes increasingly foreign, and Klinger's annotations become a sort of guidebook to the territory, if only to learn what a gasogene is." (It is an apparatus for aerating liquids.)
'Comics 101' takes a look at 2004
At Movie Poop Shoot, Scott Tipton takes a look at the year that was, noting such categories as "Material Most Worthy of Reprinting" (The Complete Peanuts), "Best Bang For Your Buck" (Superman/Batman), "Best Book You're Not Reading" (Fallen Angel) and others.
For next week, Tipton promises to cover "Best New Series," "Book of the Year" and more.
Getting a jump on March
'Fake' as a genuine GLAAD contender
Lyle of Crocodile Caucus offers a glimpse at the nomination process for the GLAAD Media Awards, and explains why, as a member of the comic book committee, he'll be pushing for Fake to make the cut:
This year, I am taking a stand that Fake is worthy of consideration. Publishing Fake was a daring move for Tokyopop. With the exception of Banana Fish (where our heroes' relationship is limited to the two heroes saving each other from danger while the villains are pedophiles with no regrets about who they've hurt in the past) shounen-ai stories hadn't made it to American shores. Before Fake's success, the idea that there was a mainstream audience that would cheer for two guys to work out their differences and fall in love seemed like one most publishers weren't ready to try out.He also rattles off a list of other gay-themed comics and storylines that caught his eye in 2004.
Thanks to the success of Fake (and, sigh, Gravitation) other manga publishers are putting out shounen-ai and even YAOI titles. Manga has seen a huge growth in the past few years, bringing non-comic readers to the hobby and finding an audience and Toykopop has been one of the format's leaders, reaching a large number of readers who mostly buy their graphic literature in a place more accessible than the specialty shop.
'Peter' principle: Innocent story or harrowing tale?
The Times of London revisits longtime questions about J.M. Barrie's relationship with the Llewelyn-Davies children, and wonders how the darker elements of the author's "fractured" psyche may have tinted his "terrible masterpiece," Peter Pan:
For a work inspired by (and ostensibly written to amuse) children, it is astonishingly full of lurid Oedipal overtones, even if they were frequently obscured by candyfloss sanitisation (as in Disney’s 1953 cartoon) until the groundbreaking 1982 RSC staging by Trevor Nunn and John Caird. For instance, Peter professes to hate his own mother, yet desires to turn the virginal Wendy into a mother-figure; while Captain Hook, whom he destroys, is specifically associated with the abducted boys’ father by the play’s simple expedient of casting the same actor in both roles. As for the persona of Peter himself, only the tradition of casting an adult actress in the role cloaked Barrie’s audacity in creating a stage-hero who was both a pubescent child and also dangerously charismatic, even sexy.
To modern eyes, in short, the whole play reads like the work of a man determined to cram into one seemingly innocent night in the theatre every titillating fixation and fetish to be found in Sigmund Freud’s casebook. Yet in 1904 Barrie could not have known Freud’s work. And that makes Peter Pan even more disturbing. For if Barrie was not tapping into an external source to create this peculiar dramatic world — one that deliberately teases away the distinctions between adulthood and childhood — then there is only one other place from which he can have drawn his inspiration: his own fractured psyche.
Comics' Great (Talent) War
At Comic Book Resources, Steven Grant considers the comics industry's new "talent war":
... The thing that's weird these days is all the exclusive contracts being cut. Exclusives are nothing new to the business either, and these days, when talent poaching between companies seems at an all-time high (though that's deceptive, the perception exacerbated by an endless barrage of Internet press releases; most people stay put), it makes some sense. What's unusual about this go-round is who's being signed. Traditionally, companies went after talent who'd shown sales muscle, or, as mentioned above, had a reputation for getting attention regardless of overall sales (companies like attention). The array of talents offered exclusive deals lately, though, has been... well, baffling, particularly at Marvel. I'm not saying any of the talents involved don't deserve contracts - they're all talented guys, even if most as unrecognized by the market and rarely mentioned by the press - it's just hard to figure out what Marvel gets from it, aside from a guaranteed pool of warm bodies to make sure books come out on time. Or maybe they're planning to make them into the next generation of stars. (Companies have tried to do weirder things, though most of the top talents in comics are chosen by the audience and not promoted to them, which is why no one can guess who's going to end up a 'top talent' and who isn't, why some basically untalented people have made it to those rarified heights, and why some incredibly talented people have never reached market critical mass. So 'creating' stars is usually an egotistical, delusional practice.)
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Mason, Ryall offer their year-in-review lists
At Movie Poop Shoot, Marc Mason assembles a list of the 10 most "essential" comics he reviewed in 2004. Street Angel, Madrox and Same Difference and Other Stories are among those to make the cut.
Also, Poop Shoot (and IDW Publishing) editor-in-chief Chris Ryall looks at "The Year That Was" in film, television, music, DVDs, video games, books and comics.
Hollywood's DIY superheroes
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the success of The Incredibles -- it's already grossed $243 million domestically -- shows you don't need comic books as source material for a superhero movie. Still, it sometimes helps:
Starting in 1981, The Greatest American Hero took to the skies for two seasons on ABC. In that instance, Hero was riding on the familiarity its audience had with Superman thanks to the success of the Christopher Reeve-as-Superman movies that began in the '70s.
More recently, though, attempts to create original superheroes have been problematic.
M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable, released in 2000, was a realistic superhero movie that left many audiences scratching their heads. Many viewed its domestic gross of $95 million as a disappointment.
Mystery Men, starring Ben Stiller, might as well have been a superhero original because the comedy was based on a relatively obscure comic. Playing satirical riffs on superhero conventions, it grossed a weak $29.7 million in 1999.
Even Iron Giant, the film Bird made before The Incredibles, struggled. Although the Warners release about a giant robot received critical praise, the 1999 release earned just $23.2 million.
"An argument could be made that Iron Giant didn't succeed because it was a comic book movie too early," [New Line's Jeff] Katz said. "Same as Mystery Men. Look at what's happened in the interim."
Times notices manga explosion
The New York Times takes its turn with an article about the girl-fueled manga boom, focusing on manga publishers like Viz and Tokyopop, but also look at efforts by DC, Marvel, Random House and Disney to make a grab for the market:
American comic book companies could not be happier about manga's popularity. It helps make people comic book conscious. "It's very exciting to us because it's helped grow a readership base and a distribution chain," said Dan Buckley, the publisher of Marvel Comics. Mr. Buckley said that manga's appeal to girls was exciting "because it means that graphic fiction is something they want to look at." Marvel has experimented with enticing girl readers, including issuing manga-size collections of "Emma Frost" and "Mary Jane," its series with strong female leads.However, The Times doesn't note that Marvel's clumsy manga experiments haven't been very successful.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Looking back at 'Demo'
Newsarama talks with Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan about wrapping up Demo and, of course, the possibility of a collected edition:
"I think that's a question for AIT. I think the possibilities are high, but as far as when, it's not up to me."
Eisner recovering from surgery
Tom Spurgeon passes along word from Denis Kitchen about Will Eisner's open heart surgery on Wednesday:
... He didn't want anyone to know until he came through OK, but all signs are that he is recovering terrifically. He's already joking with the nurses and "biting his lip" over delayed deadlines.
... He's not supposed to return to work for 6-8 weeks (I'm making side bets), so it'd be nice in the interim if the industry deluged him with warm words while he's recuperating.
Please encourage fans and friends to send Get Well cards to:
Will Eisner Studios, Inc.
8333 West McNab Road,
Tamarac FL 33321).
Something wicked this way comes
At Ninth Art, Greg McElhatton combs through January Previews for books shipping in March. Highlights include Process Recess: The Art of James Jean hardcover (which I desperately want, but can't decide whether I should shell out the $25), The Milkman Murders trade paperback, Hipira: The Little Vampire hardcover, 100% trade paperback, Flight Vol. 2, and Naruto Vol. 6.
Dark Horse gets boost from manga, movies
MSNBC.com carries a profile of 18-year-old Dark Horse Comics, which is experiencing another growth spurt thanks to manga and the "Hollywood comic book nexus." The article also touches upon the company's inroads into bookstores, competition for licensing, and its new M Press and DH press imprints.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Bringing Marvel to the mountain
California's Daily Breeze spotlights Tyler Sports' new licensing agreement with Marvel Enterprises, which will result in a line of snowboards featuring Spider-Man, Captain America, the Fantastic Four and other characters. The boards will be launched next month at the SnowSports Industries America trade show in Las Vegas.
Here's Tyler Sports president Rob Shiff, spouting a sales figure I've never heard (and, frankly, have trouble believing):
"Marvel is selling 40 million comic books a year, and they have a new movie coming out every six months for the next four or five years. It's easy to see why this is a hot item.''
Ode to an author behaving badly
Just when you thought you'd heard the last of "Rangergate," Chicago Sun-Times columnist Henry Kisor remembers it in his list of events that "helped keep 2004 from boredom":
MISBEHAVING AUTHOR NO. 2: Micah Wright, a popular comic book writer, was dropped by his publisher, Seven Stories Press, after he admitted he lied about being a U.S. Army Ranger in the jacket copy of several of his books.
'Tokyo Godfathers,' 'Incredibles' among best of year
Takoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers and Disney-Pixar's The Incredibles cracked The New York Times' list of 10 Best Films of the Year:
8. "TOKYO GODFATHERS" The anime master Takoshi Kon's third film transplants a mawkish John Ford western into modern Tokyo, a city Mr. Kon renders with breathtaking vibrancy and precision. A heartwarming Christmas fable, a candy-colored film noir, a magical-realist cartoon tear-jerker - no description of this movie can do justice to its captivating, virtuosic strangeness.Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence also makes critic Manohla Dargis' list.
9. "THE INCREDIBLES" An almost-great movie about the dangers of mediocrity, and a drama of midlife frustration cleverly dressed up as kid-pleasing action fantasy.
Friday, December 24, 2004
Looking 'Past the Front Racks' at 2004
At Comic World News, Shawn Hoke runs down his favorite books from 2004, swiftly pushing past DC and Marvel to focus on independent publishers and minicomics.
Dispatch from 'Manga Island'
Manga series enters abduction fray
While Japan threatens political and economic retaliation against North Korea unless the Communist country returns Japanese citizens it has kidnapped or gives a "sincere response" on their fates, publisher Futabasha is telling the story of a 13-year-old abductee in a manga series.
Megumi Yokota, who was abducted in 1977, is probably Japan's most famous kidnap victim, and now appears in a nine-part story in Manga Action. Futabasha also publishes Lupin the 3rd and Crayon Shin-chan. Here's chief editor Katsushi Minoura, who has met with Megumi's parents and visited the site of her abduction:
"Comic books are popular among the Japanese. It's a favorite media. Using manga expressions, I thought it could pave the way for people to think and reflect about the incident and her fate."
Thursday, December 23, 2004
'Next' stop, confusing solicitations
Although Marvel's solicitations for March were "leaked" on Dec. 14, the official versions are now posted, complete with cover images.
Someone apparently forgot to tell the solicitations guys about the big "Marvel Next" initiative, because those titles have been scattered to the winds: Spellbinders #1 appears under "Marvel Next," but X-23 #4 is under "Marvel Knights" and Arana #3 is under "Spider-Man," while Livewires #2, Runaways #2 and Young Avengers #2 are under "Marvel Heroes." It's tough to make an impact with a new "line" when the books don't appear together in the same listings.
I wonder why the Mary Jane: Homecoming miniseries isn't included as part of "Marvel Next." Publisher Dan Buckley described the initiative as "a way for us to promote these teen focused stories to their core readership." One would think the second try at the "teen-focused" Mary Jane could benefit from the extra promotional push.
On the plus side, Jo Chen's cover for Runaways #2 (pictured above) is quite nice.
... And Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for TMP
In a case of interesting timing, Inc. magazine profiles Todd McFarlane in its"Things I Can't Live Without" feature.
Those things, for anyone keeping score at home, are: Mark McGwire's 70th home-run baseball, purchased for $3 million; the Braveheart DVD, purchased for $15; and Action Comics #1, valued at $500,000.
For the Spider-geek who has everything
The New York Times spotlights the new 11-disc CD-ROM set, 40 Years of the Amazing Spider-Man, which features high-resolution scans of every issue of Amazing Spider-Man from #1 to #500. Amazing Fantasy #15 also is included. The collection is priced at $40.
Retailer pushes reading, offers free comics
The Arlington, Mass., Advocate profiles retailer Bob Howard, who takes a reading-advocacy approach to running the newly opened Comicazi:
"If a child comes in here and wants to buy just a toy, I won't take their money unless they take a comic," said Howard, 34, who gives children free comics to encourage them to read. "One of the big things I'm learning is most children really don't read. They're not really excited to read about things. They're quick to grab a toy. Here, it's really nice to find a large percentage of children who are excited to get the free comic and they come back for more adventures."
Looking at the virtues and vices of superheroes
The Waterbury, Conn., Republican-American -- where I worked right out of college -- chats with the Rev. H. Michael Brewer about his book, Who Needs A Superhero? Finding Virtue, Vice and What's Holy in the Comics:
"Brewer isn't trying to whitewash superheroes, and his book focuses as much on their weaknesses as their strengths. Iron Man, for example, dates lots of gorgeous women but is a loser in love because he's afraid to reveal his true self. Spiderman struggles with frequent failure in his everyday life.
"Brewer said the religious overtones of comic-book story lines sometimes are put there intentionally by the writers and artists, while at other times the messages are unintended."
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Rock the vote, and all that
Wizard has posted the nominees and opened the voting for its 12th annual Wizard Fan Awards. I don't think there are any big surprises -- most of the names on the ballot are standard Wizard fodder -- but I find it funny that a magazine that routinely spoils plot "secrets" lists one of the Favorite Villain nominees as "ID Crisis Villain."
If you're interested, you can cast your votes here. (Don't worry, Wizard allows write-ins.)
Viz looks to art books, 'ani-manga' in 2005
At Publishers Weekly (subscription required), Viz's Liza Coppola discusses the manga publisher's plans for 2005, which include expanding "beyond traditional manga" into art books, character-profile books and "ani-manga" -- books created using anime cells:
The line of art books (among them the Art of Inuyasha), Coppola said, will be released under a separate Viz imprint. Hot titles for 2005 include several manga adaptations of the works of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro) as well as Descendants of Darkness by Yoko Matsushita, Full Metal Alchemist by Arakawa Hiromu and ani-manga adaptations of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Feb.) and several Inuyasha titles (Nov. and Jan.)
Coppola also hinted that, like Tokyopop, Viz may start experimenting with original manga creators. "But we want to be smart about it. We've been approached, but we want the right fit. There's still so much content available to us from Japan.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
A man and his manga addiction
Blogger David Welsh kicks off "Flipped," his weekly column at Comic World News devoted to manga, and explains his addiction:
"My gateway drug was SGT. FROG. Like all good starter addictive substances, it was green, easily consumed, and made me laugh. A lot. I can't tell you what a welcome experience that was at the time, given that comic-induced laughter was generally of the bitter, ironic variety. When I was finding what I traditionally think of as comics- which I still read, don’t get me wrong- repetitive and insular and depressing, here was something fresh and funny and entirely unexpected. In short, it was precisely what I hope to experience when I pick up a comic."
(Link via Ed Cunard.)
Turning comics into prose
Publishers Weekly (subscription required) looks at the comics industry's tradition of prose fiction, from a Superman novelization in the '40s to plans next year for tie-ins based on the Constantine and Batman films (yes, that's a novel based on a film based on a comic book).
In the article, Greg Rucka and Oni editor-in-chief James Lucas Jones talk about A Gentleman's Game, the novel based on Rucka's Queen & Country comics series. Here's Rucka:
"The comics readership falls to novels much more freely and easily than the novel audience falls to comics. I know a couple of mystery bookstore people who said they tried to carry the Queen & Country graphic novels for a while, and people just wouldn't pick them up—although they might have more success now."
PW also touches upon Marvel's new prose line, Marvel Press, and ComicsOne's experiment with the two novels based on the Onegai Teacher series.
On a related note, ICv2.com interviews Ruwan Jayatilleke, editorial director of Marvel Press.
'Tis the season for contests
First, Johanna was giving away Andy Runton's Owly. Then Dave was making matching donations to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Now Mike Sterling is offering a chance to win a copy of Swamp Thing: Bad Seed, by Andy Diggle and Enrique Breccia. Go to Mike's blog to check out the specifics.
Update: Kevin at BeaucoupKevin has thrown his hat into the virtual ring, offering a chance for you to win a copy of Julius, by Antony Johnston and Brett Weldele.
The shipping news
At Previews Review, Christopher Butcher highlights some of the books hitting shelves tomorrow, including Bipolar, Black Hole #12 and the DC: The New Frontier Vol. 1 trade paperback. Christopher also echoes some of my puzzlement about fan response to JLA: Classified #1:
"I'm truly baffled by people who didn't enjoy this. I can only assume that after so repeatedly having their critical senses dulled by the onslought of Avengers Dissassembled and Identity Crisis that folks can simply no longer tell good from bad. 'Ugh, this first issue didn't feature any rape at all! And something actually happened! No, no, this is all wrong. It's that damned wacky Grant Morrison and his space drugs again!' No, bad comics have simply made you stupid. It's not your fault."
Comics' Hollywood cred
Wired News eyes the march of comics properties to Hollywood, noting adaptations such as Ghost World and Road to Perdition, but focusing largely on superheroes. Here's Comics2Film's Rob Worley:
"I never envisioned Marvel becoming the entertainment powerhouse it has become in the last four or five years. Back then, comic-book movies were such a ghetto topic. There weren't many movies, and most were terrible."
'Mirror,' 'How Loathsome' make Advocate's Top 10
Land of the rising 'Shaun' (or some other bad pun)
This is probably one of those things that everyone else already knows, but I'll link to it anyway: In an interview with the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Shaun of the Dead co-writer/co-star Simon Pegg confirms he and collaborator Edgar White plan to write the film's sequel as a graphic novel titled From Dusk Till Shaun.
Stan Lee thinks of the children
New Jersey's Asbury Park Press chats with Stan Lee about his new children's Christmas book, Superhero Christmas:
"I've been wanting to do a children's book for the longest time. ... I want to show that there's no reason you can't tell a story with a little action, with a little excitement, with a hero who is in trouble. And you can do it for children where it's not violent, it's not objectionable -- in a sense, like the old fairy tales that kids love. I think we accomplished what we set out to do."
AK Comics' 'homegrown heroes'
Lebanon's Daily Star spotlights the Middle Eastern superheroes of AK Comics. Here's publisher Ayman Kandeel, an economics professor at Cairo University:
They are Middle Eastern heroes, period. We didn't want to start identifying them with one culture -- I think that's one of the problems in this region, it's a symptom of the social decay that has set in.The article points out some of the "constraints" the company faces publishing in the Arab world:
The company had to make some allowances for the cultural conservatism of the region when it reprinted the first few issues initially released in the U.S. For instance, whereas in the American version Jalila's body-molding outfit reveals her chiseled abs, in Egypt her midriff is covered. Certain sensitive topics, such as religion, are also avoided.
"We avoided completely talking about religion," says Marwan al-Neshar, AK Comics' general manager. "You never know the religion of characters."
This avoidance can seem a bit odd at times considering the omnipresence of religion -- and external signs of religious belonging -- in Egypt as well as the rest of the Arab world.
"The whole point is that people's religious beliefs are between themselves and God," Kandeel argues, "and that people need to stop focusing so much on these labels."
As their main target is the 8-13-year-old market, sexuality also doesn't feature -- even if AK Comics has borrowed the American conventionality of depicting its characters as brawny and shapely. The heroes do not even seem to have love interests. What they do have, though, are troubled families, with siblings drafted into fanatical movements or becoming addicted to drugs. Sometimes the character itself offers a moral lesson: Rakan, who was paralyzed as a child, manages to overcome his disability and develop super-human strength through persistence and training.
More McFarlane news
I missed this yesterday, but Tom Spurgeon has a good analysis/roundup of the Todd McFarlane Productions bankruptcy filing. Spurgeon looks at potential for "backlash," and asks a couple of good questions.
On his blog, Neil Gaiman addresses what effect the bankruptcy may have on the Gaiman v. McFarlane decision:
"My understanding is that it only marginally affects me, as the court judgment on the copyright violations was against both TMP and Todd personally, and he's not personally bankrupt, so that's where we would collect from. Now that Todd's primary appeal process is over (and he lost) we're waiting for the final accounting to figure out how much Todd owes, and for the judgment to then be made final. It may be the TMP bankruptcy will slow that up a bit, but, I'm told, probably not too much..."
Update: Todd McFarlane Productions has issued an official statement about the bankruptcy:
"The filing does not involve and will have no impact on McFarlane Toys, one of the nation’s largest toy action figure manufacturers, or any of the other companies in which Todd McFarlane is an officer.
"TMP International Inc. (doing business as McFarlane Toys); Todd McFarlane Entertainment, which helps create animated programming, feature films and other products; and Image Comics, publisher of various comic books, were also defendants in the St. Louis case, but the jury found all three innocent of the charges. All companies will continue business as usual.
"'Only one company is involved in this action, and it will continue to operate and create comics,' said McFarlane, chief executive officer of Todd McFarlane Productions. Filing for protection under Chapter 11 will enable Todd McFarlane Productions to propose a plan of reorganization while its appeal of the judgment to the Missouri Court of Appeals proceeds. The company will continue to produce comic books, without impact on any customers, partners or fans. "
Monday, December 20, 2004
Cover Artists of the Year (Part 2)
And so concludes my list of whom I consider the 20 Cover Artists of the Year. (The list is in alphabetical order; for Part 1 and for a lengthier-than-necessary explanation of what this all means, go here.)
Later in the week, I'll post other, individual outstanding covers from 2004.
for his work on Daredevil
Marcos Martin and Alvaro Lopez
for their work on Green Arrow
for her work on Thessaly: Witch For Hire and The Witching
for his work on Sleeper, Legends of the Dark Knight and Hawkman
for his work on The Goon
for his work on Bite Club and Books of Magick: Life During Wartime