Friday, May 23, 2014

Peter David Will Be the New Author of The Phantom

The writer Peter David, of Hulk, Wolverine, Captain Marvel and X-Force fame, will be the new author of The Phantom.

Hermes Press informed that they will release a new comic book of The Phantom, plotted by David with art by Sal Velluto.

Velluto is an Italian artist who worked in the US market in the 80s and 90s (on Black Panther, Power Pack, Marc Spector- Moon Knight, Justice League: Task Force, Bloodshot, Firebrand, Silver Surfer, etc).

He became one of the main artists of The Phantom, in the Swedish version Fantomen- published in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, by Egmont Publications, and in Australia, by Frew.

This isn’t the first time Peter David wrote The Phantom. He worked with the character in a miniseries, illustrated by Joe Orlando and published by DC Comics, in 1988.

The new comic will be a six part miniseries, with cover by Velluto, with variants by Alex Saviuk and Graham Nolan.

(Original article: Peter David será o novo roteirista do Fantasma, written by Sérgio Codespoti on May 22, 2014. Republished and translated with permission by UniversoHQ)

The Phantom, aka Kit Walker, debuted in 1936 by Lee Falk (creator of Mandrake the Magician). His popularity internationally eclipsed his legacy in the US. Kings Features Syndicate published a daily comic strip featuring the character. The Phantom recently appeared in Dynamite Entertainment’s Kings Watch- a five issue miniseries costarring Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician, by Jeff Parker and Marc Laming.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Play With Your Food With Chew and IDW Games!

Chew is invading your televisions AND tabletops come 2015. The Image comic, by John Layman and Rob Guillory, will become a “series of tabletop games” by IDW Games.

According to the IDW website:

"The CHEW game line will feature a smorgasbord of play options from board to card to dice games, each title being a stand-alone experience designed to whet fans’ appetites, whether they be a gaming novice or a connoisseur. IDW Games will be tapping top game designing talent to develop each game in the series, and Layman and Guillory will stay involved on the creative side to ensure the look and feel of each game is in line with the highly stylized, quirky world they’ve created."

“We’re looking forward to putting Tony Chu in all kinds of bad positions, and letting fans step in to save the day.” Says IDW Director of Business Development, Jerry Bennington. Any reader of Chew can only imagine what kind of crazy antics the games will portray.

IDW Games include IDW properties Kill Shakespeare, 30 Days of Night, The X-Files, and Tammany Hall- about immigrants new to New York. IDW also published a comic on the table top game that started it all : Dungeons and Dragons.

Although news is scarce right now, IDW Games promises “bite-sized teasers” in the months to come on their website, Facebook Page, and Twitter, @idwgames. Learn more about Chew  from Culture of Comics!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wonder Woman Goes Digital

Wonder Woman gets a new comic, that will first premier digitally and then be collected monthly. The new comic, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman, will be an anthology series.

Said the Press release, by Hank Kanalz, senior VP of Vertigo and Integrated Publishing: “With the success of LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT and ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, giving Wonder Woman her own digital anthology series makes perfect sense. With this series creators can dream up unique takes on the Amazon Princess to give fans a new adventure every week. We’re very excited about the line-up, and readers won’t want to miss the sensational action-packed Wonder Woman stories we have planned for the coming weeks and beyond.”

Gail Simone (Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Secret Six) and Ethan van Sciver (Green Lantern, Futures End) will tell the first tale with Cat Staggs (Smallville, Vampire Diaries) and Amanda Deibert (Womanthology) taking care of the second- both collected in the 40 page first printed issue, out August 20th. Lauren Beukes, Cecil Castellucci , Caitlin Kittredge, James Tynion IV, Georges Jeanty, and Chris Sprouse are set to tell subsequent stories. The stories, following Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman’s models, will be stories outside of the current continuity, but fun nevertheless. Gail Simone is back to writing a paralyzed Barbra Gordon (Batgirl) in her iconic roll as Oracle, the go to information hub of the DC Universe. Oracle has disappeared since the 2011 New52 relaunch when Gordon, rehabilitated and de-aged, reverted to her mantle as Batgirl.

Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston- the creator of the Lie detector test. She first appeared in 1941’s All Star Comics # 8, and quickly had her own comic; Sensation Comics #1 started in January of 1942 (Hence the name of this new series). Diana currently stars in her own self titled series by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang and co-stars in Superman/Wonder Woman with her current boyfriend, the Man of Steel, by Charles Soule and Paulo Siqueira.

DC’s Digital First line has produced many hits. Current titles include: Batman Beyond, Justice League Beyond (Based on the DC Animated Universe created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and company), Infinite Crisis, Injustice: Gods Among Us (based on the game), Teen Titans Go!, Batman ’66 (based on the campy 60’s show staring Adam West and Burt Ward), The Vampire Diaries, Smallville, and Scribblenauts Unmasked. New installments come out weekly and cost 99 cents.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is the Best Selling Comic of the Past Ten Years

Diamond Comics Distributors released the sales figures for comics in the United States for May. The figures show that The Amazing Spider-Man #1, the issue that relaunches the classic title of Spider-Man, is the most sold issue in the country in the last ten years, both in product sold and in sales earned.

The Amazing Spider-Man # 1 cost US$ 5.99.

Initial orders were for 500 thousand copies, but the final quantity exceeded 600 thousand copies. The publisher took advantage of the opportunity to promote The Inhumans, reprinting the first issue of the new monthly series featuring the team.

The main story marks the return of Peter Parker as the arachnid hero after more than a year, the period in which the villain, Dr. Octopus, took on the identity of Spider-Man, better known as Superior Spider-Man.

With this, Marvel was the leader of the market with 41.15% of the moving value of the industry and 39.27% of all the copies sold were from Marvel. DC Comics was in second place with 27.24% and 23.65%, respectively. Image Comics follows, with 10.31% and 9.34%, then Dark Horse with 5.18% and 5.54%; IDW Publishing with 4.24% and 5.10%; and Dynamite Entertainment with 2.47% and 2.49 %.

This helps propel the growth of the North American comic book industry after repeated months it was stuck in stagnation.

In comparison with the month of March, 12.9% of magazines were sold, with a better taking of 18.27%. The growth maintains itself compared to April 2013 (7.32% and 17.18%) and shows a drop in this same period from last year, selling 5.61% less, principally due to the weak performance in the first months of 2014.

See below the ten best selling comics of April.

The Amazing Spider-Man # 1
Superior Spider-Man # 31
Batman # 30
Batman Eternal # 1
Justice League # 29
Batman Eternal # 2
Hulk # 1
Original Sin # 0
Batman Eternal # 3
Batman Eternal # 4

Below, the best selling list for collections and graphic novels, where Image Comics dominates.

Sex Criminals – Volume 1
Saga – Volume 3
East of West – Volume 2 – We are all one
Saga – Volume 1
Amazing Spider-Man – Family Business
Guardians of the Galaxy – Volume 1 – Cosmic Avengers
Batman – Death of the Family
Saga – Volume 2
Pretty Deadly – Volume 1
The Walking Dead – Volume 1 – Days Gone Bye

(Original Article: The Amazing Spider-Man # 1 é a revista de herói mais vendida dos últimos dez anos, written by Samir Naliato on May, 12, 2014. Reprinted and translated with permission by UniversoHQ) 

 In comparison, DC Comic's Justice League #1 sold 360 thousand copies in 2011 and President Barack Obama's appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #583 sold 530,500 copies in 2009. Sales rarely break 200,000 copies, nowadays.

Marvel also included a free digital download code in the issue, as it is prone to do with its more pricier comics. The sales figures only represent Diamond Comics Distributors and do not account for digital sales. Issue two hits the stands this Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Creator Controversy- From Tintin to Sonic

In an interview published by the Belgian edition of Paris Match magazine, Fanny Rodwell, the widow of Hergé-the creator of Tintin-, declared herself against the publication of a new album featuring the character.
 According to her, it’s necessary to respect the author’s wishes, that he didn’t want other new albums to be released after his death. Hergé passed away in 1983.
The declaration is controversial, because it contradicts the message of her current husband, Nick Rodwell, the administrator of Moulinsart, the company that cares for the work of Hergé. He defends the necessity of protecting the author’s rights ti the work, so that it wouldn’t fall into public domain so early.
Tentatively, a new album is planned for the faraway year of 2052. Before this, Moulinsart and Casterman intend to rerelease unfinished stories of the hero and versions of old books accompanied with new theoretical material.
Fanny Rodwell was born in 1934, in Brussels, Belgium. Her maiden name was Fanny Vlamynck. She was the colorist at Hergé’s studio and married the artist in 1977, when he divorced from his first wife, Germaine Kieckens. In 1993, she remarried to an Englishman, Nick Rodwell.
Rodwell is a controversial figure in France and Belgium, often criticized by the fans and company. He was the first to open a store dedicated to Tintin, in England.

(Original article: Viúva de Hergé é contra álbum inédito dopersonagem, written by Sérgio Codespoti on May 14, 2014. Republished and translated with permission by UniversoHQ)
Estate battles against publishers are nothing new. Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, Joe Shuster,  Jerry Siegel, and even Stan Lee's estate have had public, drawn out legal battles with their former employers who continue to utilize what the creators created, many years ago. Recently, the living Ken Penders sued Sega and Archie Comics for creator rights for the characters he created in the comic based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video games. His characters are now absent from the long running series as he attempts to reuse them in other mediums. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Batman Day is Swinging Into Stores June 23rd!

As part of the celebrations for 75 Years of the Dark Knight, DC Entertainment announced that this June 23rd will be Batman Day. Working with thousands of comic shops and bookstores, throughout the United States, a special edition of Detective Comics #27 will be distributed freely, re-imagining the original from 1939 in which the character made his debut.

The script will be by Brad Meltzer and all the art is the responsibility of Chip Kidd.

Also, the stores will have all kinds of collectibles available, including a commemorative cape, book marks with the most important graphic novels of the character and four masks created by artist Ryan Sook, who used famous interpretations of The Batman, like the first appearance, the 1960s television series and the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.

On the same day, Robin Rises- Omega #1 , by Peter Tomasi and Andy Kubert, and Grayson # 1, by Tim Seeley and Mikel Janin, will both be released.

The publisher plans to release the special edition of Detective Comics #27 for a free download.

(Original Article: DC declara 23 de julho como o Dia do Batman, written by Samir Naliato on May 13, 2014. Republished and translated with permission by UniversoHQ.) 

Culture of Comics already detailed some of DC's Bat-Celebration efforts including commemorative covers and animated shorts on Cartoon Network. Son of Batman came out last week on DVD with Batman: Assault on Arkham arriving in August. Gotham will be on Fox this fall, Mondays at 8.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Comics Invade TV

While X-Box, Netflix, and Playstation are developing comic book inspired content, the airwaves will not be without for the 2014-2015 television season.

Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds) will star in Constantine, “Master of the occult” and attuned to all things mystical, John Constantine is a demon hunter by profession and a disagreeable character by personality. The series starts when an old friend’s daughter, Liv (Lucy Griffiths) is kidnapped by a demon. The two team up to face the forces of darkness and straddle the line between hero and antihero. The series is produced by Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) and David S. Goyer (Batman Begins). Constantine is set to air 10 pm on Fridays on NBC this fall.

Constantine had a self titled movie in 2005, starring Keanu Reeves in the title role. John Constantine was created by Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) during his run on Swamp Thing. He was created out of a desire from the artists to draw a character who looked like singer-songwriter Sting. The character won his own series, Hellblazer, shortly after.

Gotham is a prequel to Batman. Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie of The OC) and Harvey Bullock (Daniel Logue) are investigating the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) is taking care of the newly orphaned Bruce Wayne (a young David Mazouz). Villians are also seen in their infancy. Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), Ivy (Clare Foley), and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) are all present on the promotional poster with teasers for The Joker. Jada Pinkett Smith will appear as Fish Mooney the crime lord and Zabryna Guevara will play Captain Sarah Essen, important to the Gotham PD mythos. Bullock’s partner, fan favorite Renee Montoya, is confirmed to be on the show. Gotham is coming to Fox soon.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was granted a second season. With that comes Agent Carter, a crime and espionage series set in the 1940s. Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, was first seen in Captain America working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Agent Carter was a “Marvel One Shot” packaged in with Iron Man 3. Carter was invited by Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) to co-head the newly minted S.H.I.E.L.D.. Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell will reprise their roles, and the show has involvement from the writers of the Captain America films: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas act as show runners. Agent Carter will debut along with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the fall on ABC.

iZombie will premiere on The CW by producers Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, 90210) and Diane Ruggiero (Veronica Mars). The characters names and stories have been changed. The zombie main character is Liv, portrayed by Rose McIver (Power Rangers:RPM, Once Upon a Time). Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill) will play her involved ex. Alexandra Krosney (Last Man Standing, Transformers Prime) as Peyton, David Anders (Once Upon a Time, The Vampire Diaries) as Blaine, and Jenna Berman as Monica will also star. The series is loosely based on the source material. iZombie was published by Vertigo in 2010, by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. In the comics, Gwen Dylan is a “revenant”(zombie) and gravedigger who makes friends with a ghost from the 1960s, Ellie, and a were-terrier, Scott. The series was nominated for an Eisner.

Another new series, The Flash, will air on The CW this fall. Grant Gustin stars as The Flash (Barry Allen). Iris West (Candice Patton) will play a big role as well. Killer Frost, Professor Zoom, and Vibe “inspired” characters will also have notable roles in the series. Gustin first appeared as Allen/Flash in Arrow’s second season in “The Scientist” and “Three Ghosts”. The two shows are set in the same universe and share executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg. The pilot was co-written with DC’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Justice League). Barry Allen ushered in the Silver Age of Comics when he took over the role of The Flash in Showcase #4 (1956) by Robert Kanigher, John Broome, and Carmine Infantino. Arrow, starting Steven Amell as Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), was renewed for a third season back in February. Green Arrow first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941 by Mort Weisinger and George Papp.

The Walking Dead on AMC will spin off with a series focusing on another corner of The Walking Dead universe. With a completely new location, and a new cast, the still untitled series will be produced by creator Robert Kirkman, Walking Dead’s Gale Anne Hurd, and Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy, Low Winter Sun). Season five of The Walking Dead is scheduled to begin in October.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fun Home Might Find Its Home on Broadway

Fun Home is a work by Alison Bechdel, creator of Dykes to Watch Out For. Described as a family tragicomedy the story is actually a memoir of Alison dealing with her dysfunctional family life. Alison lives with her family at her father's funeral home. As she is struggling with her sexuality she discovers that maybe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. It covers difficult topics like sexual orientation, gender roles, and suicide. The complex content has proved troubling for some. It was removed from a Missouri public library and challenged in Utah and South Carolina for its use at the university level.

At 240 pages, the graphic novel was originally published 2006 in hardcover format, quickly topping the New York Times’ bestseller list. Months later, was serialized in France by Libération newspaper and then released as a whole by Éditions Denoël . Fun Home was an official selection at the Angoulême International Comics Festival but did not win the award. Italian, Portuguese, German, Hungarian, Korean, Polish, and Chinese translations followed since its release.

It won the GLAAD Media Award, Stonewall Book Award, and an Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work. It also appeared on many best of the year, decade, century book lists- further closing the gap between novels and graphic novels.

A theatrical adaption, “the first mainstream musical about a young lesbian” opened Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre on Sept. 30, 2023 until January 12. 2014. The script and lyrics were written by Lisa Kron(Well) and the score is by Jeanine Tesori (Shrek the Musical).  Beth Malone stars as Alison Bechdel (Sydney Lucas and Alexandra Socha play younger versions in the flashback scenes). Michael Cerveris plays Alison’s father Bruce and Judy Kuhn, her mother, Helen.

The musical has won the Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and the Lortel Awards for Best Musical. Cervaris won the Lortel Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal as Bruce.
The musical is now being shopped for a run on Broadway.

A sequel to Fun Home: Are You My Mother? : A Comic Drama, focuses on Alison’s relationship with her mother, Helen, was released in 2012. 

Another Graphic MSP to be Released (in Brazil) in 2015

On the fourth and final day of the 20th Fest Comix, the Graphic MSP presentation featured the participation of Sidney Gusman, responsible for the editorial planning of Mauricio de Sousa Productions, and the authors Danilo Beyruth (Astronauta: Magnetar), Vitor Cafaggi (Monica’s Gang: Links), and Gustavo Duarte (Chico Bento: Space Ship).

They talked about how the project was born and grew from the success of the anthology MSP 50- Mauricio de Sousa by 50 Artists (2009) and its continuations, and how each cartoonist was invited to produce their respective graphic novels.

After the first four titles – Astronauta – Magnetar (2012), Turma da Mônica – Laços(2013), Chico Bento – Pavor Espaciar (2013) e Piteco – Ingá (2013) – six new albums were announced last year, during FIQ (International Festival of Comics). Of these, two are sequels: Astronaut 2 and Monica’s Gang 2.

This year, two editions will be released. Bidu will be released at the Biannual Book Festival of São Paulo and Astronaut 2will be released in December at Comic Con Experience. This means the four remaining books (Monica’s Gang 2, Jungle Kingdom, Papa- Capim and Bug-a-Boo the Ghost) will be released in 2015, right?


Sidney Gusman told the audience that, next year, a Graphic MSP not yet announced will be the first to be released in 2015. The reveal will happen at Gibicon, an event that will take place in Curitiba in September.

The objective is to publish four graphic novels a year, every three months, and that all the characters of MSP are available to win an album. The only exception, at the moment, is Horacio the dinosaur. “Mauricio (de Sousa) asked for us to not use Horacio right now, due to the special affection he has for the character,” he revealed. “The most important part is to find an author who knows how to work with the beloved character.”

Sidney commemorated the results from the project’s repercussions. “All four sold very well, some had second printings and others are to be reprinted. Magnetar already was publishing in Italy, Germany, France, and Spain. I am trying to develop a way to confirm this, but I am almost certain that Links is the best selling national (Brazilian) graphic novel of all time. And it keeps on selling.”

The editor talked about the creative liberty of each author, and affirmed that, like the children’s comics, the Graphic MSP won’t have an official continuity. “If tomorrow another author wants to work with Astronaut, it will be his Astronaut, with a different representation than Danilo’s. They won’t need to continue what was done before. We won’t follow chronologically,” he explained.

And with the release of Astronaut 2 and Monica’s Gang 2, does this mean that each author will do a trilogy? “I would love if each author could do three albums each. Depending on the success, nothing would impede coming out with a third edition, and the three is interesting in comics, no? I like it; it’s lucky,” joked Gusman.

There are negotiations for other albums to be released abroad. The brand could possibly produce related products. There is speculation of animated projects or even live action films, even though the studio hasn’t commented about the possibility.

News of this could be released shortly.

(Original article: Graphic MSP ainda não anunciada será lançada em 2015, written by Samir Naliato on May 6, 2014. Republished and translated with permission from UniversoHQ)

Monica has spawned many successful business ventures. This past year, the Flash animated series of shorts, Monica Toy, has garnered international attention. The shorts star Monica, Jimmy Five, Smudge, and Maggy and their day to day exploits. What makes the series viable for international markets is that the stories feature only sound effects, eliminating any need for translation. The shorts are humorous and introduce the world to the magic of Monica and her friends. Following all good properties comes merchandise; Monica Toy has spawned vinyl figures, home decor, clothes, and school supplies. Graphic MSP has the potential to go worldwide; the passion and talent is present, all that it needs now is marketing and an impeccable translation.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Free (Indian) Comic Book Weekend For All!

International comic month continues. Our next stop is India for Free Comic Book Weekend (FCBW). and Comic Con India have teamed up to offer free comics on the Readwhere app. The weekend seeks to “increase popularity of Indian comics among today’s generation.”

“We are taking steps to ensure that Indian comics are available to its fans easily,” said Jatin Varma, head of Comic Con India. Eight publishers are taking part in the event including world renowned Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) and Diamond Comics. "Relive your childhood. Be a kid again!" the site proposes.

It is necessary to download the readwhere app through its website (also free). The app is compatible with Android decides, Apple devices (specifically noted the iPad), and PCs and tablets that have Windows 8.1 or higher.

Readers can choose from five comics per account from a selection of ten comics. Draupadi: The Fire-Born Princess (Campfire Graphic Novels), Tinkle (ACK), Satya Police (Pop Culture Publishing), and the fan favorite Chacha Chaudhary (ACK) are standouts. Some of the titles are in Hindi (the website, however, is in English.

This is the second Free Comic Book Weekend held in India. Manish Dhingra, co-founder and director of, stated they supplied free comics to “more than 15, 000 comic book enthusiasts” the previous FCBW.

Free Comic Book Weekend is May 3rd and 4th in India. Keep in mind India is 10 hours ahead of New York local time (Eastern Time).

Head to and get reading. The same page includes “Comics on Sale” ; don’t get confused!