Category: News

Ormes Society website launches!

As mentioned here on ComicMix back on February 12, Cheryl Lynn has been busy creating a new and very needed comics organization.  The website is now live and ready for your participation! 

The Ormes Society, named after the legendary pioneering cartoonist of color Jackie Ormes, is an organization dedicated to supporting black female comic creators and promoting the inclusion of black women in the comics industry as creators, characters and consumers.  In addition to their front-page weblog, the Society also has an active forum up and running. 

Cheryl is a real powerhouse so there’s bound to be tons of activity; get in on the ground floor!  The launch of the organization will be discussed in further detail at the New York Comic Con, where Cheryl will be a panelist on the Black Panel in prime-time, Saturday afternoon at 2 PM, moderated by ComicMix columnist Michael Davis!

Look for further updates on Ormes Society activities here in the near future!

Riding high at the box office

Riding high at the box office

Ghost Rider, based on the Marvel Comics series, dominated the box office this holiday weekend, opening at $44.5 million according to studio estimates.  The movie took in over twice as much as its nearest competitor, the Disney movie Bridge to Terabithia, based on the Newberry-award winning book by Katherine Paterson. 

This was Hollywood’s biggest opening so far this year, and the best opening weekend ever for comics super-fan Cage, beating his previous $35.1 million debut for National Treasure.  This showing bodes well for the movies’ continued association with comic book properties, which are still pleasing audiences despite critics’ misgivings that "the genre" is on the way out. 

Someond tell them comics isn’t a genre, it’s a format!  Sheesh.

RIP Bob Oksner

Mark Evanier reports the sad news of the death of comics great Bob Oksner at age 90. 

Oksner began drawing around 1940 for Funnies, Inc., an art service that supplied comic book material to a number of publishers, including Timely (now Marvel) Comics, who hired him to work on various strips throughout much of the decade.

In 1945, he began work on a syndicated newspaper strip, Miss Cairo Jones, that caught the attention of DC editor Sheldon Mayer, who invited Oksner to work for DC — where he wound up for the rest of his long and storied career,on titles as varied asThe Black Canary, The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Sgt. Bilko, Leave it to Binky, Stanley and His Monster and many more. Oksner co-created The Angel and the Ape in the late sixties, received the National Cartoonists Society Award in its Comic Book Division for 1960 and 196, and won the Shazam Award in 1970 for Best Pencil Artist (Humor Division).

Mark has much more on his site.

The Sunday News, Mainstream style

The Sunday News, Mainstream style

Time once again to check in on what mainstream news sources are saying about comics:

  • It was only a matter of time before I came across another "Comics are not just for kids" header, but it’s a bit unexpected in a college paper.  The Cornell Daily Sun‘s Sammy Perlmutter discovers and reviews the Fantagraphics MOME anthology in the CDS blog.  Hey, he’s one up on me, I didn’t even know college papers had blogs…
  • The Washington Times profiles Bernie Wrightson.
  • Also iin the US capital city, the Washington City Paper takes a look at a shoujo manga exhibition running at the Japanese Information and Culture Center.
  • Lastly, down in Mississippi, the Joplin Independent’s Mark Allen reviews The Damaged by A-10 Comics.

 

From the ComicMix  mailbox

From the ComicMix mailbox

The great thing about suddenly being inundated with folks sending in introductions and announcement is all the cool stuff you find in the process!  Let’s get to the pass-alongs then, shall we?

  • Not only do the folks at Bonus.com have their own webcomic (The Paranormals, written by Mr. Raven Brown and drawn by Ronnie Werner), but visitors can try their hand at creating their own comics and avatars.  Time-sucker alert!
  • Congratulations to Robert Tinnell and Bo Hampton, whose graphic novel Sight Unseen (Bo’s first in eight years) tied in the voting for best horror comic/graphic novel for 2006 at Rue Morgue Magazine!
  • Richard Schenkman invites us to check out his current project, Jerome Bixby’s Man From Earth.  Neat website and intriguing plotline – I love me those immortal William Katts!

Got something you want to crow about?  Use our handy-dandy Contact Us form at the bottom of this page!

Hollywood does comics

Hollywood does comics

There was a great deal of hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth when word leaked out of Hollywood that Joss Whedon had left the Wonder Woman film project and David Goyer would no longer write and direct a Flash film. Similarly, people reacted in horror at the notion of Joel Schumacher having anything to do with a Sandman movie.

Here’s the thing: none of this is shocking. Disappointing, yes, but we long time fans have gotten our hopes raised and dashed countless times through the years.

For those less familiar with Hollywood’s inner workings, the studios are always looking for the next great thing, uncertain of what it might be and where they may find it. So, in addition to buying original stories from screenwriters or ideas from producers and stars then assigning the stories to screenwriters, Hollywood goes shopping. They will receive yet-to-be-published books in galley form, they will scour the news for stories to dramatize, and they will see what their kids are listening to, and so on.

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Wright makes might

Wright makes might

According to Cinematical, writer-director Edgar Wright  is currently working on two comic book adaptations on his plate: Ant Man appears to be based on the Marvel title "about a biochemist who develops an instrument that allows him to communicate with and control insects."  The other project, Scott Pilgrim‘s Precious Little Life based on the series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, concerns a man named Pilgrim who starts dating a new girl and must battle her seven evil exes, and is described "in the early idea stage."  As O’Malley and Hope Larson seem like such a nice normal comics couple, it’s hoped that "seven evil exes" bit is fictional all the way…

UPDATE: Typo corrected in headline.

Galacti-can!

Galacti-can!

To nobody’s surprise, the SciFi Channel has renewed Battlestar Galactica for a fourth season.  The series has garnered plenty of critical acclaim since its debut, winning a Peabody award for its high-quality scripting (including that of Superman/Batman writer and comic book veteran Mark Verheiden, who is also an executive producer of BSG) and making the American Film Institute’s top 10 outstanding TV programs two years in a row, and the ratings shot up even more with the show’s recent move to Sunday nights.

Another major factor in the no-brainer decision had to do with new viewing habits.  On the one hand, more than a million BSG DVDs have been sold, offsetting production costs considerably (SciFi admits BSG is its most expensive original series).  On the other hand, SciFi’s Mark Stern told the LA Times that 510,000 additional viewers in the 18-to-49 demographic are watching the show on DVRs, for which advertisers don’t yet pay (on the general assumption is that viewers fast-forward through ads during playback).  The Times’ Denise Martin says this "could be a crucial point for the channel, and Stern is hopeful that the business model is shifting."  The renewal could also give a greater boost to plans involving a direct-to-DVD BSG movie.

Forward into the past

Forward into the past

News travels fast these days, columns and podcasts (and lunchtime) even more so.  Here’s your one-stop shopping guide to the debut columns on ComicMix in the past week, so you don’t have to flip through screens to get it all.

And here are our first three podcasts, hosted by Mellifluous Mike Raub:

What’s Mike Baron doing?

What’s Mike Baron doing?

Nexus, Badger and Punisher writer Mike Baron has organized The Fort Collins (Colorado) Comics Collective with writers Pete Brandvold and artists Nick Runge, Gabe Eltaeb, and Kevin Caron — plus Scott Bieser, who lives in nearby Cheyenne and doesn’t know he’s a member.

"Nick Runge had two paintings of undersea creatures in a downtown gallery," Mike Baron noted. "They popped. The color, the line reminded me of Frazetta. I sought Nick out. He was working in the kitchen of an institutional facility washing dishes. He’d never thought about drawing comics. He went home from our initial meeting and threw together a comic page based on The Last Samurai.

"Nick and I are about to dive into Black Ice, a heroic fantasy I created with Nick in mind. The publisher will be announcing its release shortly," Baron stated.

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