Tagged: Darwyn Cooke

DC Announces “Before Watchmen”

Watchmen 2: Watch HarderIt’s official… From the DC Source blog:

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).



IDW Publishing has released their solicitations for books releasing in April 2012. Here are some of their pulpier offerings.

 Written, art and cover by Darwyne Cooke.

Fresh from his efforts on The Hunter and The Outfit, Darwyn Cooke now sets his steely sights on The Score, the classic Richard Stark Parker novel from 1964. Parker becomes embroiled in a plot with a dozen partners in crime to pull off what might be the ultimate heist — robbing an entire town. Everything was going fine for a while, and then things got bad. Considered one of the best in the Parker series, The Score is the perfect vehicle for Darwyn Cooke to pull out all the stops and let loose with a book that has all the impact of a brutal kick to the solar plexus!

160 pages, $24.99.

 Written by Paul Dini, Walter Simonson, Tom Taylor, art by John Paul Leon, Bill Morrison, Colin Wilson, covers by Darwyn Cooke, Dave Stevens.

The second star-studded issue of Rocketeer Adventures streaks into the skies with three high-flying tales of derring do! We start with a story on a grim battle field and race to save a soldiers life. Next up Is a jealous Cliff keeping an eye on Betty in his own inimitable way. Last is a run-in with a Hollywood icon in danger!
Another 25 pages of gorgeous art and stories — and all for the price of a regular 22 page book!

32 pages, $3.99.

 Written, art and cover by John Byrne.

Byrne releases his latest creation, MI-6 agent Michael Swann. In Swann’s opening adventure, “The Damocles Contract,” the secret agent is called on to stop a defecting British scientist from granting the Soviets complete nuclear dominion over the free world… promising ample doses of intrigue and espionage.

120 pages, $19.99.

 Written by Andy Hartnell, art by Chris Madden, covers by J. Scott Campbell and Chris Madden.

It all comes down to this! Join us in our action-packed, final issue as Abbey, Sydney and the rest of the Danger Girl team finally track down the mysterious Peruvian treasure. But when our heroes infiltrate the enemy’s fortress — only to find themselves facing a surprise fraternity of villains — will they ever manage to fight their way out? Find out as the year’s sexiest and most dangerous event concludes!

32 pages, $3.99.

Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, art and cover by Michael W. Kaluta.

Following up the Disney-produced motion picture that just hit theaters, relive this classic adventure tale from Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter and his ‘Barsoom’ experiences are re-imagined in gorgeous chapter illustrations by comic legend Mike Kaluta!

240 pages, $17.99.

 Written by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell, art and cover by Alex Toth.

Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell continue their comprehensive review of the life and art of Alex Toth in Genius, Illustrated. Covering the years from the 1960s to Toth’s poignant death in 2006, this oversized book features artwork and complete stories from Toth’s latter-day work at Warren, DC Comics, Red Circle, Marvel, and his own creator-owner properties… plus samples of his animation work for Hanna-Barbera, Ruby-Spears, and others — as well as sketchbook pages, doodles, advertising art, and other rarities provided through the cooperation of Toth’s family and his legion of fans. Two of Toth’s best stories are reproduced complete from the original artwork: “Burma Skies” and “White Devil… Yellow Devil.” A full-length text biography will chart the path from Toth’s increasingly reclusive lifestyle to his touching re-connection to the world in his final years. Fans of comics, cartoons, and all-around great artwork revere Alex Toth. See why Genius, Illustrated — along with its companion volume, 2011’s Genius, Isolated — are being praised as the definitive examination of the life and art of The Master, Alex Toth!

288 pages, $49.99.

 Written by Roger Hill, art and cover by Wally Wood.

Wally Wood’s career is legendary among the annals of comic’s history. He rocketed to fame working on Will Eisner’s The Spirit newspaper strip and became one of the most talented artists working for EC Comics during the 1950s. Wood also became a star of EC’s satire comic called Mad, which went on to even greater success as a magazine, allowing the artist to apply his amazing talents in a broader spectrum. When the comics industry fell on lean times during the mid 1950s, Wood segued into the field of science fiction pulp illustration, providing over 200 beautiful drawings and several color cover paintings for the digest magazines; particularly Galaxy. Wood left behind a legacy of great art, much of which has never been reprinted. This book will feature them all. Long time Wally Wood historian Roger Hill has spent the past twenty years pulling together the history of Wood’s involvement with the pulp digests and tracking down original art for this project. Over half of the images have been pulled from the originals or from Wood’s personal file copies, allowing Wood fans the finest possible reproduction!

160 pages, black and white, $29.99.

Written by Jonathan Maberry, Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, James A. Moore, Gregory Frost, John Everson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Scott Nicholson.

A sweeping threaded narrative of the global phenomenon known as the Vampire Wars.

Mankind has been silently infected by millennia-old bacteria unknowingly exhumed by a scientific expedition in Antarctica. Now, in some rare cases, a person’s so-called “junk DNA” becomes activated, and depending on their racial and ethnic heritage they begin to manifest one of the many diverse forms of the “others” that are the true basis for the legends of supernatural creatures. These aren’t your usual vampires and werewolves — it goes much deeper than that.

Conceived by Jonathan Maberry, V WARS features stories from various “frontlines” as reported by such contributors as Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, James A. Moore, Gregory Frost, John Everson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Scott Nicholson (as well as Maberry himself, of course).
The result is a compelling series of tales that create a unique chronicle of mankind’s response to this sudden, hidden threat to humanity.

384 pages, black and white, $24.99.

You can learn more about IDW and their books at http://www.idwpublishing.com/.

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: The Unshaven DC New 52!

… or how I learned to stop worrying about Michael Davis and love his bombs.

So let’s just get this out of the way. The last Spanish class I took was senior year in high school. I did get an A in it. But between then and now I’ve filled my brain with other more important facts aside from the difference between juevos and huevos. One means balls. The other means eggs. But the one that means eggs also means balls… in the testicular vernacular. My bad.

Those who aren’t following the east-coast-by-way-of-living-on-the-west-coast-vs.-mid-west battle that’s taking place here in the hallowed halls of ComicMix, let me bring ya’ll up to speed. A few weeks ago, Michael Davis applauded DC’s reboot of their universe. He said it was a bold move by the powers-that-be, and while he didn’t love every single thing they did, his praise was for the top brass having the big ones to allow the universal reset. The following week, I said that the praise was silly. The reboot wasn’t really a reboot. It was slapping #1s on every book, rebooting a handful of titles and just assuming most everyone would take all their love and knowledge of the former continuity, and allow it to inform their reading of the new books. I think it’s not so much a bold move, as a lazy one that succeeded in doing exactly what the powers-that-be wanted it to do; it moved product, and created publicity. That doesn’t take balls. It takes a bottom line for net profits.

I was fine to leave the discussion at that: a gentleman’s debate on just how ballsy the move truly was. Michael Davis however, had other plans. He spent this week saying I was now Dead To Him, and proceeded bait me to tell all of you just how a snot-nosed punk (like me) might reboot the DC. For those who didn’t read his pitches, I recommend you do. Or actually let me save you the time; pretend it’s 1993 and go read some Milestone Books. Then look for all of them on the shelves today. Didn’t find ‘em? Me neither. So Mr. Davis, or as I now call you, … Mickey D… let me tell you (and the crowd forming around us) about how I might shuffle things around had I the One Ring, Sword of Omens, The Force, and the last name DidioLeeJohns.

Granted I don’t have the column space to denote 52 pitches mind you, but I’m chock full of ideas. Given the power, here’s a taste of what I’d do, with a real reboot:


Nothing needed to change from what they already are doing in Action Comics, really. Grant Morrison’s return to the Golden Age to draw inspiration makes me love this title and character again. The only thing I’d like to add? Agustus Freeman IV, a prominent member of the secretive “Metropolis Society” takes a young Clark Kent under his wing, to show how him to take his immeasurable power, and use it to the best effect for the greater good. But how does he know Clark’s secret? “I know a Kryptonian when I see one. And I haven’t seen someone from my homeland in 173 years.” Grant and Rags continue their collaboration.

Green Lantern

Fighter Pilot-Turned-Astronaut Hal Jordan is manning Ferris Aeronautics’ last hope for a government contract: an experimental small spacecraft using advanced propulsion technology. While out on its first voyage past Mars, a bright green light cuts across the sky. It impacts the red planet, hard. Always one to act first and think later, Highball Jordan lands to investigate. In a freshly made crater, an alien reaches out to Hal telepathically. “There isn’t any time. You must take me to Earth. I must see Doctors John Henry and Curtis Metca–” Before he can end his plea, a red flame engulfs the dying telepath. A vicious alien, with a fiery red glow, and an odd symbol etched into his chest, drips blood from its snarling mouth… hovering above menacingly. It lunges toward Hal. Grabbing the first thing that catches his eye, he flails a green obelisk at his attacker. Splorch! Hal throws the still smoldering crash victim into his shuttle, along with the now glowing green alien-smacker. He takes off towards earth, still pursued by the now-even-angrier blood-spitter. The ship lurches once. Twice. “Hal Jordan of Earth, you have the ability to overcome great fear. The war of emotion rages on. Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps.” A flash of emerald light, and the ship is hurdling towards a strange portal. Over the com system, Carol Ferris yells… “Hal! What’s going on?! We need the Sapphire back in one p–” Written by Geoff Johns. Art by Doug Mahnke.


Detective Chimp and a ragtag group of magically endowed heroes take mystically-themed odd jobs from out of their office… the back of the Oblivion Bar. First case? Getting June Moon put back together again, before the she tears the world into bits! (Hey, I loved this book when this was the pitch, and taking a few cues and characters from the already decent Justice League Dark would give this book a bit more levity, instead of unneeded angst. Plus, magic is cool.) Written by Gail Simone, art by Darwyn Cooke.

Teen Titans:

Everyone loves the circus… except Carmine Falcone. Don’t blame him though. Hally’s Circus turned down his offer for his family’s “amazing protection and accident insurance plan.” When the big top opened up that fateful night, it would never open up again. The only survivors? Dick Grayson, and Megan Moore. The Boy Wonder and the Girl of a Thousand Faces had their family taken away from them. Inspired by the heroes that have popped up around the world as of late (like the mysterious Batman of Gotham City, the Flash, and Superman) Dick and Megan vow to exact their revenge. But they can’t do it alone. A few Facebook messages later, a team of teens with amazing abilities unite to become the Teen Titans. Better not tell the adults. Written by Judd Winnick, art by Mike McKone.

Of course I have more pitches than these, but well, I only have so much space per week. I think I’ve made my point? The basic gist here is simple… Taking a chance by starting every book over, would allow a whole new set of readers an opportunity to get acclimated to characters they might otherwise feel are too heavy in history to start anew. And old fans can find that love of their characters, with just a few modern twists and a wink and nod. It’d be a move that – dare I say it – would take considerable huevos.

Or, you know… I could just make them all black.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

IDW offers graphic novels on Barnes & Noble Nook

IDW offers graphic novels on Barnes & Noble Nook

201112011152 IDW offers graphic novels on NOOK

DC isn’t the only publisher betting big on the new generation of tablets — IDW has made more than 30 of their GNs available for the NOOK, including Darwyn Cooke’s Parker adaptations, and works by Joe Hill, Max Brooks, Anne Rice, and Eric Shanower. Unlike DC’s exclusive with Amazon, this doesn’t seem to have pissed off any retail partners…yet.

Continuing to lead the charge of digital comics, IDW Publishing proudly debuted a collection of graphic novels for the new Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet, the company’s fastest and lightest tablet with the best in HD entertainment. IDW’s initial NOOK entrée features over thirty complete graphic novels, including award-winning books and works by bestselling authors.

“We’re excited to partner with Barnes & Noble to bring IDW graphic novels line to NOOK,” stated Jeff Webber, IDW’s director of ePublishing.

PARKER: THE MARTINI EDITION in comic shops November 23

Darwyn Cooke’s first two Parker books, The Hunter and The Outfit, are collected in a tremendous, special oversized hardcover edition—with an ADDITIONAL 65 pages of Darwyn Cooke content—including a BRAND NEW story and a beautiful slipcase! PARKER: THE MARTINI EDITION will be in comic shops on Wednesday, November 23.

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter graphic novel debuted in July 2008 to instantaneous popular and critical acclaim. It made the New York Times best-seller list and won coveted Eisner and Harvey awards. The second graphic novel, The Outfit, was released last year and was met with similar response, and is currently under consideration for nominations in this year’s awards season.

The Hunter and The Outfit tell the story of Parker, Richard Stark’s classic anti-hero, as he returns to New York to settle the score with his wife and partner in crime after they betray him in a heist gone terribly wrong. After evening the field and reclaiming his prize, the Outfit decide to do some score settling of their own… and learn much too late that when you push a man like Parker, it had better be all the way to the grave.

This very special collection contains a variety of extras including an extended art gallery section as well as a brand-new 8-page Parker story by Darwyn Cooke, unique to this volume.

Partial Color
360 Pages
9″ x 13″
ISBN: 978-1-60010-980-5
Published by IDW

You can learn more about IDW and the Parker books at http://www.idwpublishing.com/.

Watchmen 2: Watch Harder

Oh No: “Watchmen 2” is Quickening

Watchmen 2: Watch HarderThe rumors have been kicking around for a while, and we’ve even made jokes about it in the past, but now Rich Johnston reports that there’s a possibility that there may be more stories set in the Watchmen universe.

I was told before New York Comic Con that it might be back on and that DC were drawing up a wishlist of creators for a series of Watchmen prequel comics.. Well, I’ve now heard a lot more. Darwyn Cooke’s name is at the very top, linked to drawing two mini-series and writing another, followed by the likes of JMS, JG Jones, Andy Kubert and Brian Azzarello. Whether or not they have been approached, I don’t know, and no one’s talking, but it gives you an idea of the scale. I would also expect Dave Gibbons and John Higgins to be involved in some way.

via The Return Of Watchmen 2 Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors.

In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends…


Someone does love fans of good Pulpy books.

Throughout the month of September, The University of Chicago Press is giving away the digital edition of The Score, the fifth book in Richard Stark’s ‘Parker’ series.

Stark’s ‘Parker’ has become an icon of action, violence, and crime fiction and has gained prominence in the last several months, due in part to graphic novel adaptations of the Stark works by Darwyn Cooke as well as renewed interest in the character as a film property.

Also currently available for an unknown length of time is the Edgar award winning comic crime novel ‘God Save the Mark.’ This book, hailed as one of the best blends of humor and crime to date, was written by Donald Westlake, the man who also wrote as Richard Stark.

Both books are available in Kindle format from Amazon. The epub edition of The Score can be had through Barnes & Noble, the PDF of The Score can be obtained from  U of C, and the epub edition of God Save the Mark is available via Copia.

A Clockwork Orange

What Literature Should Become Comics?

A Clockwork OrangeBookExpo America, the largest industry convention for publishers, booksellers, librarians, and other folks in the industry, runs at the Javits Center in New York this week. It’s often used as a stalking ground for movie and TV studios to snap up properties for adaptations, so one wonders– what books should be adapted into comics form, and by who?

There have been a number of interesting translations over the years. The biggest success story of the past few years have included Darwyn Cooke’s adaptations of Richard Stark’s [[[The Hunter]]] and [[[The Outfit]]] and Marvel’s adaptations of Stephen King’s [[[The Dark Tower]]] by Peter David and Jae Lee, but there have been many others, from the recent adaptations of Ayn Rand’s [[[Anthem]]], Marvel’s [[[Wizard of Oz]]] and [[[Ender’s Game]]], Dynamite’s adaptations of Robert Jordan’s [[[The Wheel Of Time]]], BOOM!’s [[[Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep]]], longevity champion [[[Conan The Barbarian]]] which has been adapted and extended for over forty years, and reaching all the way back to [[[Classics Illustrated]]], which was your parents’ version of Cliffs Notes and Sesame Street.

More tantalizing are the versions that haven’t been made yet. Phil Foglio and Matt Howarth did their own version of the introduction to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s [[[Good Omens]]], and Phil had already adapted the first book of [[[Myth Adventures]]] by Robert Asprin. Now we have Kevin Colden ([[[Fishtown]]]) showing his proof-of-concept for his version of Anthony Burgess’s [[[A Clockwork Orange]]]. Click through to see the first few pages.

What adaptations would you like to see? And by who? [[[American Psycho]]] by Bill Sienkiewicz, or maybe Howard Chaykin? [[[Catcher In The Rye]]] by Dean Haspiel or Evan Dorkin? [[[The Great Gatsby]]] by P. Craig Russell? John Ostrander writing [[[The Thin Man]]], or Mike W. Barr writing [[[Ellery Queen]]]? Personally, I’d love to see Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely take a crack at [[[Brave New World]]]

Labor Day and the Cost Of Doing Business in Comics

Monopoly Money - new design $500Five hundred dollars.

When people talk about putting regular, old-fashioned comic books online, keep that $500 in mind.

That’s about how much it costs for an average page of comic book art, in terms of labor. Figure $100 for the writer, $150 for the penciller, $130 for the inker, $90 for the colorist, and $30 for the letterer. Those numbers go up and
down depending on talent and publishers, but that’s a nice round number for us to work with.

Let’s consider another number: 22. That’s the average page count for a monthly comic book story. It’s also the number of pages most average pencillers can produce a month. Neat coincidence.

Now start multiplying. That means a penciller will make $3300 a month, or $39,600 a year. With covers, round that up to $42 grand a year. Not a lot of cash there. And the penciller’s the highest paid talent on the book. A writer will make $2200 a month, and nobody pays him to write covers. He’ll probably have to write two books a month to make his nut. And so on.

But if you’re expecting professionals to create your comics, that’s what you’ll have to spend.

Graphic novels? From scratch? You’re looking at about 120 pages minimum– that’s $60,000 in labor costs. Unless you’re economizing and doing a lot of the work yourself, that’s going to almost insurmountable unless it’s commissioned by somebody– most writers don’t have a spare $48,000 to spend on an outside artist. This, of course, is one reason why many “literary” graphic novels are solo jobs– David Mazzuchelli, Darwyn Cooke, Alison Bechdel, Brian Fies, et cetera– because the economics simply aren’t there to support five hungry mouths.

Any proposal for getting books in print in paper– or publishing online– has to keep those numbers in mind. You either have to generate enough money to cover those upfront costs, or find some way to mitigate or reduce them.

So how would you do it? (And no, you can’t pay in Monopoly money.)

2009 Harvey Awards Nominees Announced

2009 Harvey Awards Nominees Announced

The 2009 Harvey Awards Nominees have been announced along with the release of the final ballot. Anyone “professionally involved in a creative capacity within the comics field” is eligible to vote. All submissions must be sent to the Harvey Awards before Friday, August 7, 2010. The awards will be presented by Scott Kurtz (PVP Online) at the 2010 Baltimore Comic-Con on August 28.

The Harvey Awards, named in honor of the late cartoonist Harvey
Kurtzman, recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. They are the comic book industry’s oldest and most respected awards, and are the only awards to have nominees selected and chosen by individuals creatively involved in the comics field.

There are over a hundred nominated names and titles, including Geoff Johns (“Blackest Knight”), Klaus Janson (“Amazing Spider-Man”), and
“The Walking Dead” (Image Comics), to choose from twenty-two categories. The categories range from Best Writer to Best New Series to Best Online Comics Work.

There is a lot of talent listed among the nominees, and voting will certainly be no easy task. Jeff Kinney (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”) was nominated in four categories, Zuda had creators and comics nominated in seven categories, and “All-Star Superman” creators were nominated in four categories. Hopefully three weeks is enough time for voters to mull over all the fantastic nominees and cast their ballots.