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Monthly Archives: May 2014

madefire-logoMadefire has added four new partners to a growing list of independent publishers signing on with the company to create digital motion comics. This week the Berkeley-based start-up announced partnerships Archie Comics, Lion Forge, Arcana, and Clive Barker’s Seraphim.

Author Clive Barker said in a statement, “Never before have I seen anything like this. Madefire, has created a radical way in which to read comics and I’m excited beyond words to be a part of the revolution.”

As Publisher Weekly notes, the addition of Barker’s name to the roster is perhaps one of the more significant additions in terms of potential innovation. The horror and fantasy author brings a unique perspective to motion comics through his lifelong commitment to both cinematic and comic format storytelling. Madefire will be publishing motion comics of his infamous Books of Blood series as well as original material.

The company launched in June of 2012 with a Madefire specific title created by Dave Gibbons called Treatment. Since then the company has built momentum by establishing partnerships with mostly independent publishers, including IDW and Top Cow. Late last year, DC stuck it’s pinky toe into the motion comics pond by releasing the digital first title Injustice: Gods Among Us on the Madefire platform.

Related Links:
Berkeley’s Madefire adds Hellboy to motion comic line-up
Berkeley’s Madefire releases IDW motion books

This regular feature on The Shared Universe is intended to act as a tour guide of the Bay Area by following the adventures of our most recent New York City transplant. If an issue of Daredevil features any notable landmarks I’ll pull them out and provide some context for readers unfamiliar with this region of the country. Previous entries in this series:

Presidio of San Francisco

This month’s issue opens in the Presidio at the Northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula. Mob boss Leland “The Owl” Owlsley has chosen this location to meet with a henchman who has information on the Shroud and Daredevil. The Presidio is the perfect place for the Owl to hang out, because it’s part of the lushly forested Golden Gate National Recreation Area. He has many tress to choose from and can also hang out with a number of actual owls.

The Presidio is a fascinating region of San Francisco that’s often missed by visitors. In addition to having one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge the Presidio has a rich history that was integral in San Francisco becoming the city it is today.

The Presidio was established by the Spanish in 1776 as a garrison to defend their claim of the Bay Area. At the time it was known as El Presidio Real de San Francisco and provided support to Mission Delores. When Mexico declared independence in 1821 the Presidio began to suffer from neglected. The garrison once housed at the Presidio moved to Sonoma leaving the settlers of that region mostly undefended. In 1846, during the Bear Flag Revolt, the U.S. Army took control of the Presidio. This was the start of a rich U.S. military history for the Presidio which is well documented while strolling through The Presidio. The region played important roles in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and both World Wars. It was also the site of the 1968 “Presidio mutiny” which helped bring attention to anti-Vietnam War sentiment within the ranks of the U.S. military.

In 1994, the Presidio was transferred to the National Park Service and two years later privatized by Congress. Today this once militarized region of the Bay Area plays an important role in fostering the arts. George Lucas has made substantial investments in an effort to make it a hub for San Francisco filmmaking. The Letterman Digital Arts Center houses Lucasfilm’s marketing division, Industrial Light and Magic, and LucasArts. The property is peppered with a number of statues including Yoda and Ray Harryhausen.

The Presidio is additionally home to the Walt Disney Family Museum, the San Francisco Film Society, and a number of other organizations.

That’s it for this week!

Publisher’s Weekly has a new article looking at the success rate of crowdfunding publishing projects. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone who might be taking into consideration the use of a platform like Kickstarter to jumpstart their book. According to the article Kickstarter has a success rate of a little more than 50 percent when it comes to funding comics. However, don’t let that go to your head too much as there’s much more that goes into a successful crowdfunding campaign than simply wanting to do a crowdfunding campaign. Check out the article, but don’t forget to weigh all of the different crowdfunding platforms before taking the plunge.

BnntdahIUAACqP5My niece and nephew are both reaching an age where I can start shaping them to be better humans via the influence of comics. My nephew is easy as he’s already awash in all things Batman and Super Hero Squad. My niece, she’s a tougher egg to crack as she’s been led straight down the Disney princess path. There’s a cure for that: Princess Ugg.

From Oni Press:

Within the fairy-tale kingdom of Atraesca lies the prestigious Princess Academy, where young royals from all the five kingdoms come to get their education. But they’ve never before seen the like of Princess Ülga of Grimmeria. Armed with axe and sword, riding her war mammoth through the city gates, Ülga has come in search of schooling. But this barbarian princess might just end up schooling the people of Atraesca before that happens!

Princess Ugg is a new project by one-time Harvey Award nominee and two-time Eisner Award nominee Ted Naifeh. The writer/illustrator received his Eisner nods for his work on Courtney Crumrin and the Harvey nod for Polly and the Pirates. Naifeh will be appearing at Isotope – The Comic Book Lounge, 326 Fell Street in San Francisco, on June 7 between noon and 5 p.m.

San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum is launching the first Queer Comics Expo in conjunction with PRIDE month. On June 8th the venue will highlight the role of LGBTQ comics in society. More information can be found at the museum’s websiteQCElogoweb2-300x286. The press release is below:

This June, the Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco will join Pride month celebrations by holding its first annual Queer Comics Expo (QCE) on June 8, 2014 from 11am to 5pm. The expo encourages attendees to dress up, draw, meet artists, mingle with Queens, watch demonstrations, join conversations, and learn about the fierce LGBTQ world of comic books. In the past few years the museum has been a successful jumpstart for popular local comic conventions like the Latino Comics Expo and APAture.

“Now that the Latino Comics Expo has overflowed the space of the galleries with their success it is time to repeat that victory with something new. The Queer Comics Expo is an event we’ve been waiting to do for a while and we finally have the right team to make it fabulous,” said the events co-coordinator and Cartoon Art Museum Bookstore Manager, Heather Plunkett.

The Queer Comics Expo is part of the Queer Cultural Center’s National Queer Arts Festival and will be headlined by local Bay Area comics champion Ed Luce. Ed is beloved for his series Wuvable Oaf and his position as an educator for the California College of the Arts Comics MFA.  A former Queer Press Grant Recipient, Ed Luce’s Wuvable Oaf was announced as a new book from Fantagraphics earlier this May.

The event also features creators “Along Came Lola” animator and Eisner nominated cartoonist Jett Atwood, Kickstarter success story and writer of “Young Protectors” and Artifice Alex Woolfson,  “Primahood” and former Cartoon Art Museum Small Press Spotlight artist Tyler Cohen, and many more.

The Queer Comics Expo will also highlight organizations leading the charge in queer comics like Northwest Press, the premier queer comics publisher and Prism Comics the leading non-profit supporting LGBT comics, creators, and readers with convention appearances and their annual Queer Press Grant.

To spice things up the expo will also feature “Super Drag Queens” to mingle with attendees and prizes for the best cosplay!

Tickets are for the QCE are included with admission to the Cartoon Art Museum, $8 for the general public/$6 for students and senior citizens, and are available at the door and in advance from the Queer Cultural Center.  Attendees of the Queer Comics Expo will also receive a 10% discount at the Cartoon Art Museum’s bookstore.

Updates for QCE, other events and current exhibits at the Cartoon Art Museum at

The Cartoon Art Museum’s key function is to preserve, document, and exhibit this unique and accessible art form. Through traveling exhibitions and other exhibit-related activities — such as artists-in-residence, lectures, and outreach — the museum has taken cartoon art and used it to communicate cultural diversity in the community, as well as the importance of self-expression.

National Queer Arts Festival – QCC stages an annual month-long multidisciplinary National Queer Arts Festival, documents significant Bay Area Queer arts events on our Website, provides fundraising and other technical assistance services to emerging culturally-specific and gender-specific Queer arts groups, and conducts “Creating Queer Community,” a program that to date has commissioned more than 60 San Francisco-based artists to create new work.Since 1998, QCC has organized an annual month-long National Queer Arts Festival.  To date, these Festivals have presented more than 400 different events featuring over 1000 Queer artists.

The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum was one of the three proposals rejected to be built on the gateway of the Presidio. Since the proposal was rejected George Lucas and his museum team have been shopping the proposal around to other cities. This month San Francisco Mayor Ed lee plans to present Lucas with alternative sites. There’s currently a petition circulating  to show public support for the museum to be built in San Francisco. Personally, I’d like to see it land in Oakland, but would be content with the museum ending up anywhere within a public transit ride from where I live. Sign the petition here.

I’ve been missing from this blog for a couple of weeks finishing up a rather time intensive gig, but now I’m back and this is an effort to get caught up on all of the Bay Area comic news I may have missed. I’ve omitted a couple of things that I’ll be running as longer posts this week.


The legendary Neal Adams will be making a couple of Bay Area stops in advance of his appearance at Big Wow! Comics Fest this coming weekend. His schedule is below. Click the links to see the autograph and commission requirements for each store:

May 14 @ Mission: Comics and Art
3520 20th St
San Francisco
Signing from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

May 15 @ Illusive Comics and Games
2725 El Camino Real
Santa Clara
Signing from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

May 16 @ Fantastic Comics
2026 Shattuck Avenue
Signing from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Sina Grace is artist and co-author on the criticially acclaimed Burn the Orphange and artist on L’il Depressed Boy. He’ll be at Mission: Comics and Art on May 14 (yes, the same day as Neal Adams). Grace will be signing between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Links! Everyone loves links! Below are links to articles that happened in the last two weeks regarding Bay Area comic announcements and news.

San Francisco’s Wuvable Oaf acquired by Fantagraphics

Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago is publishing the the ultimate visual history of the never-before-told history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Astro City artist Brent Anderson is profiled by The Star Online

The Wrath of WonderCon: Why a geek convention is good for San Francisco

USA Today takes a look at the forthcoming Big Trouble in Little China

Jeffrey’s Toys will stay open; receives lease extension from new landlords