Comic Book Features
A Comics Odyssey - Issue #13
By Wayne Hall Jun 3, 2011, 3:26 GMT
Nathan Fillion and guest - San Diego Comic Con International - Entertainment Weekly and SyFy Party - Hotel Solamar - San Diego, CA, USA © Alan Hess / PR Photos
There’s big news in the industry this week, so let’s get into the “comics in the headlines” items, all taken from the scifipulse.net website:
DC Comics Wants To Be ‘Number One’
Looks like we’re already starting to hear some of the “bombshell” news that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee were slated to announce soon.
“Starting this summer, the publisher will re-number its entire DC Universe of titles, revamping famous characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and others from its 76-year history for a more modern and diverse 21st century,” said Brian Truitt on usatoday.com.
“The first book to be released under this new era: ‘Justice League’ No. 1, out Aug. 31, a series by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee that reunites the famous lineup of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.”
“What’s the human aspect behind all these costumes?” said Johns. “That’s what I wanted to explore.”
To attract both new readers and collectors alike, DC will make available 52 first issues in September. (Is that a nod to the company’s weekly series '52?') They’ll introduce “stories that are grounded in each character’s specific legend but also reflect today’s real-world themes and events,” according to the website. “Lee spearheaded the redesign of more than 50 costumes to make characters more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old.”
“We looked at what was going on in the marketplace and felt we really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” said Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. “This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”
And DC will be more heavily involved in the digital distribution of its product at that time as well. Issues of all the renumbered titles will be available digitally via apps and a DC website the same day they arrive in comic shops, the first time a major comics publisher has done so with its popular superhero books.
“We’re allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look,” said Lee. “Having the ability to give people access to these comics with one button click means we’re going to get a lot of new readers.”
Nathan Fillion Talks ‘Green Lantern: Emerald Knights' Animated Film
On June 7, the animated film ‘Green Lantern: Emerald Knights’ will be released on DVD, starring Nathan Fillion of ‘Firefly’ and ‘Dr. Horrible’ fame voicing Hal Jordan.
‘Emerald Knights’ is described as “a DC Universe animated feature about the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.
The format is that of an over-arching story broken up into several shorter segments, each chronicling a different story from the Green Lantern Corps mythos. The film fills in a lot of minute details – including who is who in the Corps and how the power rings work – and is basically a great introduction to Green Lantern and his universe for those who are just discovering the character via the movie.
Fillion talked with screenrant.com about the role during an extensive interview.
“As a kid, what I liked about Green Lantern was that he could do anything – anything you could think of,” he said. “It’s like ‘Wow, all I need is a giant mallet, or a catapult circa 1200s,’ and suddenly he had it. I just thought that would be pretty cool to have anything you could kind of imagine. Imagination was always a big thing for me.”
Since Fillion is also filming the ABC mystery show ‘Castle,’ how did he find the time for Emerald Knights?
“I take the time to [voice characters in DCU films] exactly for the reason that it’s fun,” he said. “I get a call saying ‘Hey, how would you like to come on down to record Green Lantern?’ And I’m asking back, ‘Can we squeeze it in on a Sunday because that’s pretty much my only day off?’ I want to make it work because I love doing it. More than that, I love being part of this lore.”
Jimmy Palmiotti Discusses Kickstart Comics
I recently discovered three great books – ‘Deadline,’ ‘Headache,’ and ‘Heavy Water’ — from Kickstart Comics.
One of the editors for Kickstart is Jimmy Palmiotti, who I had the pleasure of interviewing recently on my ‘Wayne’s Comics’ podcast. I emailed him several questions about the company, and he graciously answered my queries. Check out his responses below:
Wayne: I recently purchased three books from Kickstart—Deadline, Headache, and Heavy Water—and became a devoted fan as soon as I read them. How did you get involved with Kickstart?
Jimmy Palmiotti: I have been working with Kickstart for quite a while now. They were the group that managed to get ‘Painkiller Jane’ on the air for us, and I have partnered with them putting out ‘Random Acts Of Violence’ and ‘Back To Brooklyn,’ both through Image Comics. They are a company that has always believed in my work and supported my projects, and we have become good friends in the process. When they took on this new project of publishing, it was only natural to help them in any way possible. So far it’s been a blast.
Wayne: One of the catch phrases for the comics arm of Kickstart is “comics for the masses.” I know they can be purchased at local comics shops and at Amazon. Are these comics currently available at local bookstores like Borders and Barnes And Nobles? If not, are you aiming at them being available there soon?
Jimmy Palmiotti: I am not directly involved with that part of the company’s plans, but I know they are doing their best to get the books out there and even have made them available for download at sites like Comixology and such.
UPDATE: Kickstart Comics are available at Walmart. Check out this article for more information!
Wayne: Were any of these stories originally movie scripts that were adapted into the comics format? And were some specifically intended to be comics from the beginning?
Jimmy Palmiotti: They were intended to be comics from the beginning.
Wayne: I notice that there’s quite a variety of stories in your books, from an attempt to stop Nazi Germany from taking over the world to mythic gods who are integrated into modern society. Do you seek out certain writers and/or stories or do you receive submissions from anyone wishing to do so?
Jimmy Palmiotti: They have received a ton of submissions but, in the end, they go for the ideas first … the ones that seem fresh and have a concept fully worked out so they would work as graphic novels.
Wayne: Of course, I feel these stories would also make great movies. Are there plans to convert them to live action for the big screen or perhaps make them into animated films?
Jimmy Palmiotti: I’m sure there is, but they have to work as comics first … and the books I worked on, that was my only concern.
Wayne: What is Kickstart planning on releasing in the future? Will you be writing more comics for the company? Editing more?
Jimmy Palmiotti: Many more books are coming for sure and yes, Justin Gray and I have a book coming very soon. There are a lot of great projects in the works right now, and it’s a really exciting time to be putting out books in this format.
For more information about Kickstart Comics, you can visit their website!
And finally, I want to talk about DC’s upcoming changes.
I do have to give DC credit. With ‘Action Comics’ #900 and all, the company has been the most talked-about group in the business recently.
The question is, will the changes DC is about to make help or hurt them?
It’s not like this is completely new territory. In their universe, for instance, DC jumped a year ahead just a few years back. They also tried to get an “Ultimate” line of their own called “All-Stars.” And they have the “Earth One” books that are coming out that don’t live in the company’s general continuity. And let’s face it—JMS’ reworking of Superman and Wonder Woman haven’t really taken hold all that well, either.
Of course, Marvel has also gone down this road and has had to pull back at times. I remember when the “House of Ideas” turned their heroes over to Rob Liefeld in the disaster that was called “Heroes Reborn” (or as my brother called it, “Heroes Stillborn”). And they created the “Ultimate” line of books that was created to allow new readers to jump on without knowing all the continuity taking place in the “regular” books … until they recently discovered that, after about a decade, they also had more continuity than new readers could sort out.
DC has made a lot out of wanting to “take chances” to create a better product. I’m all for that, but I didn’t think they were doing all that badly with their heroes. Green Lantern has been knocking the blocks off of other comics, and Batman has been doing well. Superman and Wonder Woman, well, not so much. Still, with time, I think they could have built all those heroes up into the franchise that could actually put Marvel into second place.
So, I’m torn about these changes. On one hand, I trust Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio to know how to move forward. But every “jumping on” point is also a good place to jump off, so this could end up hurting DC in the long run.
I hope not. I’d love to see DC rise to the top of the heap again. (Marvel hasn’t always been the top-selling company, you know. And yes, I’m that old.)
I like the look of the new costumes, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to make DC number one. It’s going to take putting out great product consistently for an extended period of time, something the company hasn’t had a strong track record of doing. Short-term changes are great, but DC must look long-term in order to move up in the comics industry. At least, that’s what I would recommend.
Wayne Hall is co-editor and a news writer for SciFiPulse.Net. He also serves as a host for the SFP-Now podcast and also the Wayne’s Comics podcast. You can check both of them out at http://www.sfp-now.com.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CNathan Fillion Biography -
Nathan Fillion Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sites
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