NEWS OF THE WEEK featuring Mark Millar, Warren Ellis, and more!

No big stories this week, just a bunch of smallish ones.  Let’s give the little indies a chance to lead off this week…

black comic book coverBLACK MASK 2016. 
Black Mask Studios is creating some very cool indie comics these days—much better than those put out by so many other upstart publishing boutiques.  Their lineup in the coming months has some pretty interesting projects; a couple I think sound cool are:

  • Black, a kickstarted comic by Kwanza Osajyefo and Jamal “Supergirl” Igle.  A high-concept book that asks what if black-skinned people had superpowers—but they’ve been keeping it secret all this time?
  • Run for the Shadows by veteran, celebrated, and award-winning comics writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Josh Hood.  There’s a pretty detailed set-american jesusup for this one, but basically it’s rich girl gets strung out on drugs, gives up her baby, gets into rehab, finds her baby, and learns the baby was taken by a demon.  It will be cowritten by Matt Pizzolo, who worked on the Black Mask comic Young Terrorists.
  • The Skeptics by newcomers Tini Howard and Devaki Neogi, a period piece about two teenagers in the 1960s who make everyone think they have psychic abilities.

There’s more on the slate, these are just the ones I was excited about.

MARY WEPT OVER THE FEET OF JESUS.  Chester Brown is a magnificent talent.  His last graphic novel was about his relationship with prostitutes (“Paying for it”), and his newest has a title that sounds like a textbook: Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus: Prostitution and Religious Obedience in the Bible.  It looks at sexworkers in the context of Bible stories.

MORE MILLAR MOVIES.  Mark “everything I write gets optioned for a movie, regardless of how good it is” Millar can add two more projects to his endless list of optioned adaptations: Supercrooks and an oldie-but-goodie, American Jesus.  Supercrooks wasn’t bad, but it’s fairly standard Millar fare.  American Jesus was a much earlier work, and a much more interesting one.  These titles join the long list of Wanted (sequel in development), Kick Ass (and sequel), Superior (in development) Kingsman (upcoming sequel), and, of course, Marvel’s Civil War.  There’s not much he’s written that hasn’t turned into a movie.

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE WILL BE RATED R.  The animated adaptation of Alan Moore’s groundbreaking Joker story will have an R rating—so it apparently will not shy away from the tough stuff in the graphic novel, which includes the crippling and implied rape of Barbara Gordon.

WARREN ELLIS’ JAMES BOND.  Dynamite Comics hasn’t been a publisher I’ve paid much attention to, but maybe I need to start.  I don’t usually like licensed comics, but they’ve been upping their game lately and nowhere is that clearer than in Warren Ellis and artist Jason Masters’ take on James new quasar 2016Bond.  The first arc was great, and their second story (yes, Ellis actually returned for seconds—something he doesn’t do for Marvel!)  is starting in June. Their Bond is the one from the books, not the movies, so it’s more serious and, frankly, much better.

MARVEL’S “LONG AWAITED” RETURN OF…Marvel has been teasing for a while that the lukewarm minievent Avengers: Standoff would produce the return of a “long awaited” hero.  Turns out, it’s someone nobody was waiting for: Quasar.  Oh, well.  He’ll be a woman now, too.

OOOOOH!  IT’S EXCLUSIVE!  Joshua Williamson has signed an exclusive deal to write for DC Comics.  That makes me sad, as he’s writing one of my favorite Marvel series right now, Illuminati.  As part of the deal, he’ll be writing a new creator-owned, post-apocalypse miniseries titled Frostbite, under DC’s Vertigo imprint.  No word whether “exclusive” means he can’t write for Image, either, which would mean the end of the pretty-darn-cool horror series, Nailbiter.

JESSICA JONES.  The Netflix series won a Peabody for special achievement in television. Congratulations to a most deserving show.

See you all next week!

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