Archive | Bay Area Comic News

Comix Experience to take over Comic Outpost

comicoutpostWe noted a few weeks ago the unfortunate news that the decade old Comic Outpost, 2381 Ocean Avenue in San Francisco, was in danger of closing. This morning we learned the Lake Merced region of San Francisco will continue to have funny book service thanks to Comix Experience proprietor Brian Hibbs taking it over. Hibbs, author of comic retailing bible Tilting at Windmills, announced the takeover yesterday on Savage Critic and the Comics Outpost website. In an open letter to Comic Outpost customers, Hibbs said “I want to assure you that we have no intention of changing the essential nature of the Outpost. Customers dictate the kind of store that exists, and we’ll be dedicated to bringing you the same passionate and engaged love-of-comics service you’ve received from Gary over the years!”

Due to the unfortunate circumstances Comic Outpost had been forced to suspend new comic deliveries, but Hibbs assures customers that deliveries will resume immediately. However, he warns that due to the suspension of orders  “for the next 3-4 weeks there may be the occasional individual comic you may have to wait an extra week or two while we track down more copies.”

 

Westfield Comics interviews Cartoon Art Museum curator about Bobby London’s Popeye

Westfield Comics is one of the longest running mail order distributors in the country and when I lived in Wisconsin I was lucky to have their brick and mortar store as my local comic shop. In a nice blending of my old city and my new city Westfield recently posted an interview with San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago about the new collection Popeye The Classic Newspaper Comics Vol. 1: 1986-1989 by Bobby London. Farago is writing the introduction for the book. In the interview, he discusses the importance of London’s contribution to Popeye’s history and London’s work as an Underground comic creator. You can read the interview here.

Berkeley’s Madefire adds Hellboy to motion comic line-up

According to Comic Book Resources, Berkeley-based Madefire will be adding Mike Mignola’s Hellboy to their growing list of motion comics. Hellboy in Hell is the first Dark Horse title to join the Madefire Motion Book roster and more are expected to appear in the future. In August the company announced IDW’s participation with titles including Transformers, My Little Pony, and Star Trek. The company has additionally been developing a number of original titles including the Dave Gibbons created Treatment.

Read More: Berkeley’s Madefire releases IDW motion books

Daredevil will return to San Francisco! Let’s hope it goes better than last time.

In March, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee will move Daredevil from New York City to start a new life in San Francisco.

This will be Daredevil’s second attempt at adapting to life in the Bay Area. He last moved to San Francisco in 1972 while somewhat obsessively crushing on Black Widow. They lived together in a mansion Black Widow rented for a year using the last of her inheritance. (This is in 1972 dollars, so her inheritance would likely only secure her a month’s rent in San Francisco’s current rental market.)

Electro in ChinatownDaredevil’s arrival in San Francisco is well timed as it happens to be the same month Electro decided to move to the Bay Area “to get away from that creep Spider-Man.” Never one to be idle, Electro decides to use his opportunity in a city “uneducated in the matters of supervillainy” for “the total annihilation of San Francisco’s will to resist.” Much to his shock, Electro is defeated by Daredevil and San Francisco’s will is preserved. Imagine what would have happened if Daredevil hadn’t coincidentally moved to San Francisco at the same time as Electro! He might have broken the will of San Francisco, but he could have fulfilled the city’s dream of being powered 100 percent by clean energy (assuming being powered by Electro is considered “clean”).

Living in the Bay Area quickly becomes a frustrating experience. San Francisco’s media proves to be much less dense than New York City’s. In issue 92 a television reporter notes Daredevil and Black Widow showed up at the same time as “a certain trial lawyer known for his connection with that same infamous lady.” The reporter concludes that Murdock and Daredevil are one and the same.

daredevilrevealed

Sadly that reporter never has the opportunity to see a Pulitzer for being the first ever to put facts together and figure out a superhero alias. To save his identity, Murdock asks T’Challa to fly from New York City to San Francisco, put on the Daredevil costume, and appear with him at a news conference. He explains to the reporters that Daredevil used to be his brother Mike (who was really Matt), who died, but before his death asked a new Daredevil to watch over his blind sibling. Therefore, this new Daredevil followed Murdock all the way from New York City to San Francisco and teamed up with Black Widow. Everyone buys it.

All of this should have fallen apart when Peter Parker, on assignment from the Daily Bugle, shows up to interview Daredevil and Black Widow. As Spider-Man he tails them to the Widow Mansion, changes into his civilian clothes, and knocks on the door. Conveniently, Matt Murdock apparently enjoys spending his leisure time in his Daredevil costume, because he’s still in hero gear when Parker is let in the mansion for his unannounced interview.  The interview is interrupted by the villain Ram Rod and, of course, Spider-Man appears to lend an assist. Black Widow and Daredevil are confused when Spider-Man “pops up out of nowhere to help us than just swings away into the sunset.” Parker appears moments after Spidey swings away and the heroes never connect the two.

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The Fuse: Murder police 22,000 miles above Earth

thefuseThis morning I speculated San Francisco-based illustrator Justin Greenwood could be one of the unannounced guests at 2014’s Image Expo. This assumption was predicated on the teases released yesterday regarding his new project with Wastelanders writer Antony Johnston. All we knew was that it was a comic book, it takes place beyond the geocorona of Earth, and it would be titled The Fuse. This evening we still don’t know if Greenwood will be at Image Expo, but we do have much more information regarding The Fuse. Image released a description of the title, an interview with Johnston, and a release date of February (one month after Image Expo, so I up my ante and add an Image Expo exclusive of The Fuse issue one to the pot). Johnston described the series to Image:

“I’m a sucker for detective stories, down-at-heel cop shows, and the kind of ‘lived-in’ sci-fi where everything feels like it might fall apart at any moment,” he explains. “Combine those with a frontier attitude, where a half million people all think they can get away with murder, and you’ve got THE FUSE.”

Image Expo reaches effective frequency

imageexpoConsidering how successful the 2012 and 2013 Image Expos were for the 21-year-old company it comes as a no surprise the company’s hosting a third in 2014. The surprise in the announcement is that Image Expo will be making a return to San Francisco’s  Yerba Buena Center for the Arts only six months after the previous expo.

Image seems to have learned that by hosting a solo event they can command headlines in a way that’s impossible during a large convention due to the “quantity over quality” convention reporting of many comic news websites. By hosting the Image Expo on January 9 the company is carving out a little island in the middle of what amounts to the convention doldrums. In recent years the headline producing convention season has been book-ended by Emerald City in March and either Comikaze Expo or New York Comic Con in October or November. There are very good reasons for not hosting a convention between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, but it’s important to remember that the Image Expo is first and foremost for retailers and media. Image has essentially adopted and twisted the convention model used by large companies who want to get all of their clients in one place to announce new product developments or highlight best uses.

In 2012, Image Expo was criticized for the lack of female creators on the stage. While not completely excusable (there were a number of titles being promoted that featured women) it is worth noting that  Image Expo, unlike traditional conventions, had a much smaller pool of creators to tap when navigating availability and schedules. The company has made efforts to not repeat that error with 33 percent of their 2014 announced creators being women. Taking the stage will be Pretty Deadly‘s co-creator Kelly Sue DeConnick and Beast‘s Marian Churchland. Churchland has kept busy doing beautiful illustrations for titles such as Elephantmen  and Madame Xanadu, but hasn’t released a solo book since Beast, so it’s likely she’ll be announcing a new project.

Other creators in attendance will include Super Dinosaur‘s Robert Kirkman, Satellite Sam‘s Matt Fraction, Fear Agent‘s Rick Remender, and Prophet‘s Brandon Graham. Kirkman, Fraction, and Remender were also in attendance at Image Expo 2013 to announce new projects or give updates on existing endeavors.
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Make*A*Wish: San Francisco to become Gotham City for a day

Miles as Batman

Miles as Batman from Make*A*Wish

The Make*A*Wish Foundation will turn part of San Francisco into Gotham City on November 15 to fulfill the dream of 5-year-old Miles to become Batman. Miles, who has leukemia, is currently in training for his big day when he’ll save Gotham City from the Riddler and the Penguin while riding around in an actual Batmobile. Of course, Miles can’t do it alone, the Foundation is seeking volunteers to help call on Miles to save a “famous Gotham City mascot.” Below details from the Make*A*Wish Foundation website where they’ll be providing more information about the big day soon.

Miles may only be 5 years old, but he is fighting a very adult battle – one that we hope will save his life. Miles has leukemia.  He is a sunny, positive little boy and finds his inspiration in super heroes. When we interviewed Miles for a wish, he surprised even his parents:  he wishes to BE Batman!

The day starts with a breaking news story. Gotham City’s Police Chief asks if anyone knows the whereabouts of Batman because he needs his help solving crime and bringing the bad guys to justice. Our little Batman, Miles, in training with adult Batman, is ready to answer the call! Of course Batman will be riding in the “real” batmobile around the City, saving the day and performing feats of derring-do!

After rescuing a damsel in distress from the cable car tracks in Nob Hill, and capturing the Riddler in the act of robbing a downtown vault, Batman will eat his lunch at the Burger Bar in San Francisco – directly above Union Square.  While at Burger Bar, he will get a call on his batphone to go to the window – where he will look down and see a huge group of volunteers jumping up and down asking for Batman’s help.  Why?

Because the Penguin will be kidnapping a famous Gotham City mascot!  The getaway car will be visible on Union Square (a convertible so that everyone can see what is happening), and the chase will be on!

After catching the Penguin, Batman will make his final stop at City Hall, where the Mayor and the Police Chief of Gotham City will thank him and give him the key to the city. We plan on having hundreds of volunteers and donors collected to cheer and thank our Batman! This is a great opportunity to see the magic of a wish in action – and a perfect outing for kids, grandkids and Bat-fans everywhere!

Last Gasp’s Ron Turner to be roasted at LitQuake

lastgaspWhen I wrote about comic related events at San Francisco’s LitQuake this year I made one glaring omission: LitQuake’s 2013 Barbary Coast Award Roast of Last Gasp’s Ron Turner.

Last Gasp is perhaps one of the most well known “comix” publishers from the 1970s. Many other underground publishers were hit hard by a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that local communities could determine what was too indecent to be protected by the First Amendment, but Last Gasp benefited from the liberalism of the Bay Area (unfortunately, this ruling had ripple effects in more conservative regions of the country greatly reducing off-the-rack sales for underground comix overall). Last Gasp has provided publishing opportunities for a long list of alternative creators including R. Crumb in the 70s, Bill Griffith in the 80s, Frank Kozik in the 90s, Mark Ryden in the aughts.

Wednesday night the storied company will be honored as it receives LitQuakes 2013 Barbary Coast Award in conjunction with a roast of Last Gasp founder Ron Turner. The event starts at 8 p.m. in Z Space, 450 Florida St in San Francisco. Tickets and more details are available here.

Signing: William Harms at Escapist October 19

39 Minutes

39 Minutes

Game and comic writer William Harms will be signing copies of his Top Cow book 39 Minutes at The Escapist on October 19. Harms, who’s written for everyone from Marvel to 2K, received IGN’s “Best Story of the 2009” award for the PS3 title InFamous.  In the world of comic writing he’s released a number of independent titles including Impaler and Bad Mojo and has lent his pen to established properties that include Captain America and Wolverine. In August, Top Cow released the hardcover trade paperback of Harms 2010 title 39 Minutes. The title was the company’s 2010 winner of their “Pilot Season” competition where fans determine which one-shot will be developed into a series. Harms will be signing at Escapist, 3090 Claremont Avenue in Berkeley, starting at 3 p.m. The description of 39 Minutes is below:

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