This week on “You Should Be Reading“, we take a look at a title from DC Comics that will run shivers down your spine and make you have the munchies… for Scooby Snacks! Watch the video below and find out why you should be reading “Scooby Apocalypse”!
I just learned after I made this video that “Scooby Apocalypse” is actually ending at Issue 36, so that should make things even easier for anyone who wants to play catch up.
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By the time this comic concludes, there will likely be six volumes of this book as trade paperbacks, but here is the first three to get you started.
Writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Marley Zarcone invite you to the ultimate rager at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Marilyn Manor, a four-issue creator-owned miniseries from IDW Publishing, intended for mature readers!
When the White House goes dark for 17 days in August 1981, the president’s spoiled daughter and her best friend Abe – who claims to be possessed by the spirit of Abe Lincoln – throw the party of the decade, unearthing dead historical figures and government secrets that are better off buried. Sex, drugs, séances, and secret passageways lead to time-bending mystical romps where past and present collide.
“We’ve been trying to capture the feel, the excitement, the energy of the rise of the New Romantics, of the decade that embraced excess and excitement in hugely over-the-top ways, and filled it with chaos and insanity. This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever written in the best way possible, like an apocalypse directed by John Hughes,” says co-creator/writer Magdalene Visaggio.
Uniting the red-hot Eisner-nominated talents of Visaggio (Kim & Kim) and Zarcone (Shade, the Changing Girl) for the first time, Marilyn Manor explores identity, classism, appropriation, and friendship, set just in time for the greatest pop cultural marriage to date: the debut of MTV.
“There isn’t an artist alive who could perfectly capture the style and verve of the early ’80s like Marley Zarcone,” says editor Shelly Bond. “Coupled with Irma Kniivila’s vibrant palette, Marilyn Manoris for readers who like a bit of pop art and revisionist history with their coming-of-age satire.”
Magdalene Vissagio is the Eisner and GLAAD Media Award-nominated writer behind Kim & Kim and Eternity Girl. She’s written comic books for most major publishers including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Oni.
Marley Zarcone is the artist on the critically-acclaimed series Shade, the Changing Girl for Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint. She is the co-creator/artist of Effigy with writer Tim Seeley for Vertigo, and has worked on numerous projects for Image.
A long-running Marvel comic you may not be aware of might be finishing up for good soon, as the syndicated newspaper strip “Amazing Spider-Man” is headed into the sunset.
The strip, which has been written by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas and drawn by Alex Saviuk, is ending on March 23. The Sunday Strip on March 17 certainly seemed like a finale, as you can see below.
After the passing of Stan Lee, it seemed that there was a high probability the strip would end to make way for something new. What that “new” thing will be is still up in the air.
The distributor of the strip, King Features Syndicate, will be publishing reruns of some of Spider-Man‘s previous newspaper adventures starting on March 25 until they decide on what is next.
Here is the official statement from King Features Syndicate:
You’ll be seeing some changes in your friendly neighborhood Amazing Spider-Man comic strip over the coming months. Starting on March 25, King Features and Marvel will be re-running some of Spider-Man’s greatest hits.
We’ll be back soon with great new stories and art to explore even more corners of the Marvel Universe for you and your readers to enjoy. We’ll be announcing more about these new adventures in the very near future, so keep your Spidey senses tuned in!
Based on this statement, one can infer that whatever comes next may not be strictly Spidey, but instead open things up to the entire Marvel comic universe.
Alex Saviuk wrote his own statement as well which was posted to Spider-Man Crawl Space, where he wrote, “Now that KFS has posted their statement, yes, the Spider-Man strip as we know it has come to an end. As much as Roy Thomas and I were hoping that the strip would go on to continue Stan Lee’s legacy just as King Features did with The Phantom after Lee Falk died 20 years ago, that’s not the case here.”
“It’s news to me that in the statement it mentioned a new strip starting up possibly months down the road after they reprint some classic Lee-Romita stories from 40 years age, or 30 years ago, whichever they choose. A strip further exploring the Marvel Universe as they say, which doesn’t mean it would or wouldn’t be Spider-Man, and if they were going to feature new creators or if they would call on Roy and me again to create stories in any universe they desire us to go.”
“Time will tell, but in the meantime, it was glorious fun while it lasted, and I learned a huge lesson about not counting any chickens before they hatch. It was difficult inking and sending in my last week of Dailies a few weekends ago… It was like saying goodbye to my old friend all over again.”
“The Amazing Spider-Man” newspaper strip launched on January 3, 1977, and survived for 42 years in the comics section of many papers.
Welcome to the first in a new series on this site all about comic books, called “You Should Be Reading!”
In the debut episode, we look at one of the big hits from 2018 that is continuing strong this year, “The Immortal Hulk” from Marvel Comics. This ain’t your typical Hulk – this is THE DEVIL HULK! This version of The Hulk spins what you knew about this character upside down, and is more of a horror comic than a superhero book.
Take a look at the video to find out why I like this book so much, and why you should be reading it too.
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Sometimes, necessity is the mother of invention. Case in point, famous comic artist turned toy guru (and the person still drawing Spawn every month) Todd McFarlane just told the secret origin of Venom. Turns out, the reason is a little less dramatic than we thought.
Check out the Instagram video below, with a transcript following that:
A post shared by Todd McFarlane (@toddmcfarlane) on Mar 10, 2019 at 4:36pm PDT
“I came into the Spider-Man office after doing the Hulk and they wanted me to do Spider-Man, but he was in this black costume. I didn’t wanna draw this black costume. It meant nothing to me. I wanted to draw the red and blue… So, they said, ‘Todd, if you just come on at #298 we promise that maybe we can get rid of it.’ And I go, ‘Well let’s just get rid of it fast!”
“So, I did a character… I ripped the costume off him… I did this character called Venom, handed it to David Michelinie, the writer, and they said, ‘Just hold on, hold on, hold on,'” he continued. “So, then, all of a sudden I do #298, he’s still in the black, #299, he’s still in the black, finally #300, look I even said here on the cover sketch, ‘Can we do one in the black and the red? Come on, I want to do the black and the red.’ And they said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, fine.'”
“So, essentially, #300 is the origin of Venom,” said McFarlane. “But to me, it’s ‘How the hell do we get this goddamn black costume off Peter Parker?’ issue.”
Amazing Spider-Man #300 is when Peter Parker gets rid of the symbiote black suit costume, which somehow finds its way to Eddie Brock who soon becomes Venom.
While Todd certainly wanted to make a badass character, it seems he also just wanted to draw something different. Venom turned out to be the way for him to make those wishes come true, while also creating an iconic villain turned anti-hero that Marvel readers would come to love for many decades.
We are LIVE for day one of Big Apple Comic Con 2019. This is one of the oldest comic conventions in New York City, so we are here walking the floor and showing you what this con looks like. Come chat with us while we wander!
Let me know if audio or video quality starts to get choppy please.
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It’s been years in the making, and decades of desire, but we finally have the most epic ’80’s crossover coming our way – and in comic form no less! Later this summer, IDW will be releasing a mini-series event featuring the Ghostbusters meeting the Transformers. As if that was not enough, we also have an official Hasbro toy to make this mash-up even sweeter – Ectotron!
Writer Erik Burnham, Artist Dan Schoening, and Colorist Luis Antonio Delgado just did an extensive interview, where they spoke about how this series came to be, and what fans can expect – as well as a few surprises they should be ready for!
Here is the interview below, courtesy of IDW:
When you were initially approached by IDW Publishing to be part of the TRANSFORMERS / GHOSTBUSTERS crossover, what was your first reaction?
ERIK BURNHAM: Oh, there was a delayed double-take. The TRANSFORMERS property is something that a reliable section of fans has asked about us playing around with (with GHOSTBUSTERS or otherwise) ever since the first TMNT/GB crossover five years back. I wondered if the TRANSFORMERS universe would be as fun of a sandbox as GHOSTBUSTERS for us to play in – spoilers, it totally is.
LUIS ANTONIO DELGADO: Excitement! I’ve been working with IDW for 11 years and I’ve worked on pretty much all the properties I grew up with. The one I was still dreaming of being a part of was TRANSFORMERS, and to do it combined with my favorite team, the Ghostbusters, was everything I could’ve wanted. Besides, I already knew Erik was gonna come with a fantastic way to get both of them together (already did it once with TMNT), so I couldn’t wait to read the story.
DAN SCHOENING: Very surprised! I never thought I’d get the opportunity to draw the TRANSFORMERS bots in a comic, let alone a team up with the Ghostbusters.
Dan, you’ve been the artist for IDW’s GHOSTBUSTERS series for many years now, and took on the gig with well-established experience drawing the characters. But was this your first time delving into the TRANSFORMERS universe? If so, were there any unique complexities to drawing the Robots in Disguise?
DAN: Aside from a few sketches for fun, this will be my first time tackling a lot of the TRANSFORMERS characters. Being a child of the 80’s, my heart always goes back to the animated series that started in ’84 and the ’86 motion picture. For the crossover, I’ll be keeping the look of the Autobots and Decepticons within that established aesthetic. Having them in the animated style also blends very well with the visual style we have created for the Ghostbusters over the past 8 years.
Luis, with so many different characters appearing on the cover art and within the story pages, how do you keep track of the proper colors to use for each, and did it require a lot of research on your part to get all the TRANSFORMERS details right?
LUIS: It is a huge challenge. When it comes to GB, I know the guys and their gear better than I could ever imagined I would, but the TRANSFORMERS bots are a different story—there are so many and they are so complex that it is a bit scary. Dan is the real genius behind all the art, not only the pencils, he did all the research so he could be true to the mythos and he was kind enough to share that research; so after a couple of misfires, I managed to get all the robots’ features right and now I have multiple files ready for when I have to work on them.
Erik, you have a reputation for being a writer who accurately depicts the voices of many of pop-culture’s most beloved and recognizable characters. Did you find it more difficult to put words into Optimus Prime’s mouth than, say, Peter Venkman’s? Do you ever pretend to do their voices out loud when you write?
ERIK: The voice is the goal, and … yeah, I might do the voices out loud from time to time. It only gets weird since I work in coffee shops an awful lot. As far as putting words into Optimus Prime’s mouth… Peter Cullen’s voice is so strong and distinct (to say nothing of Frank Welker or Chris Latta or…) I have no trouble hearing those performances in my head. Makes them as easy to write as the Ghostbusters. And I hope those voices come through to the fans just as easily, knock wood.
Dan, who is your favorite Ghostbuster to draw? Favorite TRANSFORMERS bot? Are there any characters you dread having to illustrate?
DAN: My favorite Ghostbuster is Ray, and he’s also my favorite to draw. As for a TRANSFORMERS bot, my favorite is Mirage, with Perceptor in a close second. I can’t say I’m dreading drawing any, however, each one presents their own unique challenges. Finding where the joints move in particular, such as elbows and knees, is something I’m looking to improve upon as I move ahead.
Erik, what can you tell us about Ectotron, the new Autobot being introduced in this crossover?
ERIK: Well… he is a bit of a nerd. He’s almost as far out there for the Autobots as the Ghostbusters were from other academics here on Earth. He’s kind of uptight, and he’s teased by the other Autobots. But he’ll loosen up by the end of the story.
After all these years working on GHOSTBUSTERS, tell us: does ‘busting still make you feel good?
ERIK: 100% yes. I love these characters and this world still. We’ve pitched lots of other ideas, and with luck, the coming movies will keep the interest up in both the GHOSTBUSTERS multiverse and us playing within it for a good long while.
LUIS: It makes me feel excited every single day. I’m not only lucky to do this job, I’m even more lucky to do it with a property that I loved since I was a kid and with the best team in the world. I enjoy working on every new ghost, every new story, and every new challenge. Besides, trying to keep it fresh and new after so many issues, that’s what makes it exciting.
DAN: I’ll answer you with a question 🙂 Does Peter Venkman like money?
If you had to choose, would you be an Autobot or a Decepticon? Why?
ERIK: I mean, come on. I don’t want to be EVIL. But on the other hand, most of the Decepticons are able to fly. But on the OTHER other hand… Dinobots. Going Autobot, final answer.
LUIS: Autobot for sure. I like their ideals, I like how they always try to do the right thing and fight for the little guy. When you have so much power, it’s a great responsibility (I think I heard that somewhere before).
DAN: Definitely an Autobot. Who wouldn’t want to help save the Earth with Optimus Prime? As for a vehicle mode, I’d have to go with a DeLorean.
Erik, what can longtime fans of both franchises expect going into this crossover?
ERIK: Here’s the thing – I like a little comedy with the action, and I was wondering if Hasbro was going to ask for a very stoic interpretation of the TRANSFORMERS property, leaving the silliness to the Ghostbusters… but no. I get to have fun with the bots! Nothing wildly out of character, mind you, but Optimus Prime is gonna be as able to crack a joke as Venkman, if the situation arises. It’s gonna be about fun. Lots of fun. And I guarantee the series starts in a way no one will expect – it made me smile to write, and Dan & Luis knocked it out of the park on the page. It’s the kind of toybox mashup we did as kids! The TL;DR of it: a fun time with the boys in grey and the robots in disguise dealing with some ghostly common enemies!
Anything else you want to share with the fans and retailers?
ERIK: Oh, tons. But IDW and Hasbro have ninjas in place to keep me from doing so. Suffice it to say: there’s gonna be love letters and easter eggs aplenty for readers to find, and wait’ll you get to issue 3, where we—[redacted by ninjas, Erik should be fine. Well, fine-ish.]
LUIS: Just be ready for a story you never thought was possible, join the party, and enjoy the ride. I promise, it’s gonna be more than worth it.
DAN: Ever since I received my first TRANSFORMERS action figure back in the early ‘80s (Soundwave), I’ve been a big fan of the property. It’s an honor to help bring these characters together, while telling a fun and visually engaging story all the fans will enjoy.
Our favorite samurai rabbit has found a new home, as Stan Sakai’s “Usagi Yojimbo” series is jumping from Dark Horse Comics to IDW Publishing.
The New York Times broke the news earlier today, and wrote that IDW will take the helm for the next full-color series from Stan Sakai. The new comics begin this June, with a monthly ongoing series, and will also be releasing full-color collected editions of the entire Usagi Yojimbo saga, which spans from 1984 until today.
Sakai spoke to the times for a telephone interview on Wednesday, and explained to their reporter that the series is “mainly fantasy and action and adventure, but there’s a lot of teaching there, too,” as it is set in an anthropomorphic version of 17th-century Japan. “I draw from that history and culture and folklore to make my stories.”
Indeed, one of my favorite elements of the comic is how much fact is intertwined with the fiction. My entry point was the “Daisho” storyline, which is centered around the historic and cultural significance of the pair of swords a Samurai wields. I was hooked immediately from then on for all future books.
Sakai hopes to continue the adventures of Usagi for many more years (and we here at NN2D hope he does for decades). “I have no other job skills,” he said with a laugh. “If not for Usagi, I’m unemployed.”
The new series will be colored by Tom Luth, and will begin with a three-part story involving bunraku (Japanese puppetry).
Dark Horse has been the home of Usagi since 1995, which was still a black-and-white comic back then. Their partnership ended with the most recent tale, “The Hidden”, which explored Christianity’s emergence in 17th century Japan.
Usagi Yojimbo has been a busy bunny ronin in the past few years. He has appeared numerous times in other places, including a crossover with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Ghostbusters. A little over a year ago, Gaumont optioned Usagi Yojimbo for an animated movie, although we have not heard much about that since the initial news. Most recently, he was part of the upcoming TMNT board game as a playable character.
We wish Stan Sakai much success on this next chapter of Usagi Yojimbo, and we will be certainly following him there for the ride!
We just wrapped up our biggest event of the year and most popular one here at Nerd News Today, NY Toy Fair, but we are already looking ahead to what’s next in the convention scene.
Coming up in March, the Big Apple Comic Con returns to NYC for another stellar year, and I can announce to you that Nerd News Today will not only be attending, but we will be going live throughout the event!
We did our first ever live streams during Toy Fair, and it was a lot of fun interacting with fans and viewers around the globe. We learned a lot about streaming, and decided we want to give it another go at Mike Carbo’s well-known comic event.
The Big Apple Comic Con started in 1996 in – believe it or not – a church basement, as a last minute savior to another con that was abruptly cancelled. From there, it grew and thrived, and has become quite the destination for comic lovers in New York City.
We will be live streaming on Youtube to give you a taste of what this convention is like, and perhaps our Facebook and Instagram pages this time as well for a bit. Who knows what we will see and who we will run into! And best of all, now that you know we are coming, you can be on the lookout to say hi to us!
Of course, the real reason you would be coming to BACC is not just to see us. You really want to come to meet some of the celebs in attendance, including William Shatner – who will be making his only NYC appearance at this event.
Mike Colter, star of Netflix’s “Luke Cage” will also be in the house, joined by Brent Spiner, Kathleen Turner, David Gerrold, John O’ Hurley, and more.
Comic creator guests attending BACC 2019 include Frank Cho, Jim Steranko, Jae Lee, Mark Texeira, Ramona Fradon, Sean Chen, and many other notable writers and artists.
Last year when Marvel scooped up the Conan The Barbarian license, people just assumed it would mean reprints of the old books and maybe a new solo title. No one was expecting the bloodthirsty Sumerian to join the Avengers!
Entertainment Weekly got the exclusive bit of news, and revealed that Conan would join Wolverine, Venom, Punisher, Elektra, and Brother Voodoo to form the “Savage Avengers”. The series will be written by Gerry Duggan and drawn by Mike Deodato Jr., with a first issue cover by David Finch. You can check out that cover below:
“This is an unsanctioned team of heroes,” Gerry Duggan said, who will be writing both Savage Avengers and Savage Sword of Conan. “It has to be something that visually makes sense to you, and I think it does. [Artist] Mike Deodato Jr. is illustrating this book in both worlds.”
“We envisioned a threat, a magical green zone where the evil wizards of Conan’s world are trading spells with the Hand in Japan. Conan is on a very Conan-like mission; he’s heard a tale of an amulet so he’s chasing it, and the evil magic sorcerers are doing something that would be a Marvel Avengers problem. It feels like we have found some very fertile ground that is a Venn diagram between those two worlds.”
“The Marvel heroes have not quite seen the likes of Conan before, but when you turn it around and look at Conan viewing this, he’s very skeptical of a lot of it because he’s so magic-averse,” Duggan continued.
“His interpretation of the Venom symbiote, when he first sees it, is that it must be an evil genie. There’s real fun to be had there. At one point Conan believes that Logan hails from somewhere called Pabst, and that’s a well-earned miscommunication. That’s where a lot of fun comes from. Conan is a fish out of water, but everyone will come to respect the skills they’re all bringing to the fight.”