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Bay Area Bugle: Bay Area Comic News Round-Up – October 26, 2016

Comics in the Bay

goldengatespidermanDid you know Spider-Man is currently in San Francisco? Apparently, he’s been operating in our backyard with a whole host of Spider-Folk for at the least a year. I haven’t been spending much time in the Marvel Universe so this fact managed to fly under my radar. Anyway, he’s here and over the last couple of issues of Amazing Spider-Man has been investigating a San Francisco-based medical lab called “New U.” This investigation leads to a run-in with the Jackal in the well-received first issue of The Clone Conspiracy.

Dynamite Comics has signed a deal with CBS to start publishing a comic based on the TV show Charmed. Its likely Dynamite will continue to use the show’s hometown, San Francisco, in the comic.

Speaking of witches, Marv Wolfman is currently writing a mini-series for DC based on his creation and long-time Teen Titans member, Raven. She’s currently residing with her Aunt in San Francisco and attending the fictional Madison High School.

Comics by the Bay

Oakland artist Carlos Ramirez rarely gets the recognition he deserves for creating the iconic Trollface. The image made its way to television last week via the third season of the series Black Mirror. This weekend, Bleeding Cool ran a profile on the history of Ramirez’s Trollface.


San Francisco-based writer Dani Colman has launched a Kickstarter for her Couture graphic novel project. Colman has enlisted the help of 15 artists, including Bay Area artists Kevin Wada and Justin Greenwood, to bring her stories influenced by moments in haute couture history to the page. Per the Kickstarter, “influenced by designers from Christian Dior to Hussein Chalayan, Couture’s short stories span romance, science fiction, historical drama, fantasy and horror, drawing from fashion that shook the runway and changed the face of haute couture.” The additional artists are Alexander McQueen, Marguerite Sauvage, John Galliano, Thom Browne, Jen Bartel, Thierry Mugler, Robbi Rodriguez, Howard Chaykin, Tony Parker, Taki Soma, Comfort Love, Adam Withers, Jed Dougherty, and Valentine De Landro.

Bay Area Comic Industry and Shop News

Flying Colors Comics (Concord, Calif.) owner Joe Field is stepping down from the ComicsPRO Board of Directors. Field was the founding President of ComicsPRO which is a trade association of comic book retailers. Under Field’s stewardship, ComicsPRO started the popular annual Free Comic Book Day event.

Berkeley-based Madefire has partnered with Oculus to bring a whole new dimension to comics. The company is known for developing motion comics for both independent publishers and some of the industry’s top publishers. According to The Daily Californian, MadeFire previewed the new technology at New York Comic Con, “The free preview app for Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR, a virtual reality device, features digital comics that are specifically optimized for virtual reality reading. The comics include motion, sound and the ability to see the story in 3D.”

The Skyline View has released a list of “the five must visit comic stores in San Francisco.” For the record, there are seven comic shops in San Francisco proper. The comprehensive list is here.

The SF Bay Guardian is back (sort of) and they’ve released their annual Best of the Bay issue! Hayes Valley’s Isotope: The Comic Book Lounge has once again snagged best comic shop in San Francisco.

Cape and Cowl Comics has started preparations for a one-year anniversary celebration on November 19. The Oakland comic shop is posting event updates on both Facebook and Twitter.

For a list of upcoming Bay Area comic events visit this link.

For a list of Bay Area Comic Shops visit this link.

Signing: Liam Sharp at The Escapist (July 2)

sharp-wonderwomanDC fans are chomping at the bit to see how the company’s characters will fare following “rebirth.” However, perhaps none more so than Wonder Woman who saw significant changes made to her origin story during the New 52 initiative. Anticipation was high but after the title dropped this past Wednesday it appears writer Greg Rucka landed the invisible jet to the satisfaction of the critical flight tower. Helping Rucka to lasso the character in this first issue were artists Matthew Clark and Liam Sharp. Sharp will continue, along with Nicola Scott, as a regular artist on the title. If I understand the alternating issue system the even issues will feature Scott as the artist helping Rucka tell a “year one” story. The odd numbered issues feature the pencils of Sharp telling a modern Wonder Woman tale. Right? I know someone will correct me if I’m wrong. Comics are confusing.

Sharp will be at The Escapist Comics, 3090 Claremont Street in Berkeley, on July 2 starting at 3 p.m.

The artist has a long history in the comics industry having worked on iconic characters such as Judge Dredd, The X-Men, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and others. In recent years, his become an industry innovator as one of the founders of Berkeley-based Madefire. The company has a unique publishing model. It takes advantage of opportunities created by handheld devices to turn creator-owned and licensed publications into motion comics. Madefire has produced motion comics for a number of publications including DC, Dark Horse, and IDW.

Madefire will bring motion book format to Archie, Clive Barker, and others

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

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

Berkeley’s Madefire releases IDW motion books

madefire-logoIDW comics are on the move. On August 28, the company launched a first wave of motion comics on Madefire’s Motion Books platform. The platform brings new life to comic titles by allowing for partial animation and the inclusion of audio. IDW kicked off their adventure into motion with Transformers, My Little Pony, and Star Trek. IDW issued the following press release:

One of the most-buzzed about announcements the week of the San Diego Comic-Con was Madefire’s partnerships with 3rd party publishers and bringing the Motion Book treatment to their top properties. That day has come for the award winning and top 4 comics publisher IDW as they bring a trio of their most-popular titles-My Little PonyStar Trek, and Transformers-to Madefire’s groundbreaking experience on August 28th.

“It has been fantastic to see our properties come to life as Motion Books – with just the right amount of animation and audio, it has truly created a new experience,” stated Jeff Webber, IDW’s VP of Digital Publishing. “Additionally, the partnership with deviantART exposes our comics to an incredibly broad network of illustration fans.”

Madefire spent the last year perfecting the Motion Book with their own acclaimed content on iOS mobile devices and the web. Their web-reading partner is social network and creative powerhouse deviantART.com, and the Madefire app has been 5-star rated since launch, even landing on the App Store’s “Best of 2012” list.

“The move to digital reading is about more than just scanning in print – we are at the start of a new grammar for books,” said Ben Wolstenholme, CEO of Madefire. “We are pleased to welcome IDW’s comic book properties to help continue to evolve the medium of Motion Books.”

With more content debuting as Motion Books in the coming months there’s no better time to familiarize yourself with the new grammar of the future of storytelling!

The Berkeley-based company announced the app in June of 2012 with a new comic created by Dave Gibbons. The new title, Treatment, is written specifically to take advantage of the unique style of sequential storytelling made possible by Madefire.

The motion comics are also available through a partnership between Madefire and deviantART. By partnering with deviantART the company gains access to a large community of illustrators who may be interested in applying the motion comics publishing platform to their own work.

IDW will soon be joined on Madefire by BOOM! and Top Cow.



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