Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 30

Welcome to the first post Comic-Con edition of Waiting for Wednesday. It’s obviously been a crazy week in the world of comics, and there’s still so much news that broke over the weekend that I could dedicate a week’s worth of space on the blog to writing about just what was announced from Marvel and DC.

And, while I won’t be doing that, I figured WfW is the perfect place to talk about some of the comic book-specific news coming out of the show. Monday’s post focused on the Big Stuff--the movie and TV news, mostly--but, just as it tends to happen at Comic-Con itself, the comics stuff got lost in the mix.

This year especially, I think comics were pretty much completely overshadowed by the deluge of Hollywood news, stars, and trailers.

Which is okay, I guess, because that’s the kind of stuff that gets picked up by mainstream media outlets and spreads the word. The more people who go and see Scott Pilgrim, the better, right?

So that’s cool, but it’s also important to remember that there would be no Scott Pilgrim movie if there wasn’t a Scott Pilgrim comic. And there’d be no Scott Pilgrim comic if there wasn’t a Bryan Lee O’Malley behind it.

And Comic-Con--while celebrating comics in new media is important--needs to focus just a bit more on the creators the show itself possible.

Anyway, that’s a whole tangent that I don’t need to get going on.

I did want to just mention a couple of comics-type things announced at SDCC that have me excited and/or surprised, though. For example, Marvel announced that they will be publishing CrossGen comics, a move that many were anticipating since Disney bought Marvel. (Disney bought the CrossGen properties when the publisher folded several years back.)

This is Very Good news for fans, since CrossGen put out some of the best non-superhero comics on the market in the early 2000s. Their stable of creators featured a veritable who’s-who of the comics industry, including talent like Steve McNiven, Steve Epting, Mark Waid, Butch Guice, George Perez, and Chuck Dixon.

I got into comics right at the time CrossGen was having their financial problems, so I missed out on a lot of good books. Because of the issues surrounding CrossGen’s eventual bankruptcy, series were only partially (or not at all) collected in trades.

I'm really looking forward to getting new editions of trades and hard covers from the books that saw print, and maybe even some new monthlies! And since many of the writers and artists who made CrossGen a premiere outlet now reside at’s hoping some cool stuff is on the way.

The only other thing I wanted to mention today is that, as they do every year, DC has released podcasts of their SDCC panels. These include a great DC Writers panel, several spotlight panels on Vertigo and Wildstorm books and creators, and plenty of DCU news.

You can check them out here along with slideshows and videos from the show.

I always look forward to these recordings releasing after the show, as I feel like DC gives its fans a chance to get in on the action of Comic-Con, even if you didn’t have to wait on line and fight your way into one of the conference rooms.

Or, ya know, leave your house at all.

So go check them out--they’re well worth your time, I promise. And they’re free! Which is always good. With that, let’s get on with the show. Here’s what I’m looking forward to buying today.

First up, we have Wonder Woman, issue 601, from writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Don Kramer. As it's widely known, JMS is taking over both Superman and Wonder Woman for the next year or so at DC.
And, while there has been some griping from fans (mostly over the fact that the two characters are pretty much off-limits to all other DC creators over JMS' time on the books), Wonder Woman appears to be headed off in an interesting direction.

It's a little sad, though, because (previous writer) Gail Simone put together one of the great runs on the character over the past two years.

Put JMS brings with him a built-in fan base, and orders on this title are going to increase, across the board. Here's the solicitation information from DC:

Best-selling comics writer J. Michael Straczynski (THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, Thor) smashes all your expectations of Wonder Woman by launching an all-new era for the Amazon Princess! Spinning out of the mind-bending events of WONDER WOMAN #600, Diana must face the biggest mystery of all – who destroyed Paradise Island?

Don Kramer's art was great in the 6-page preview of the series featured in Wonder Woman, issue 600, and his past work on Batman and JSA was stunning.

So, yeah, I'll be on board for the first couple of issues, to see where it's going.

Next up, we have a book I know nothing about, save what I've seen in some scattered previews online. From Moonstone Books, Vampire, PA, issue one, ships today. I know, I know. What is Moonstone, and what are the chances of your store actually carrying their books, right?
Well, you might be surprised--Moonstone publishes those great Phantom books, as well as a bunch of other pulp books. They have a strong presence in the shops in my area, and in chain bookstores, as well.

So, why Vampire, PA, if I know nothing about it?

Last year at the Baltimore Con, I met the Fraim brothers, two great artists who worked on Antiques: The Comic Strip, a personal favorite of mine.'s vampires! Here's the blurb from Moonstone:

From the writer of Zombie-Proof comes this trip to Western Pennsylvania’s oddly vampire-rich environment!

Vampires in suburbia? Dean Marklin didn’t think so. In fact, he didn’t believe in vampires at all. Then he met one. Then he met lots more, and they all wanted to kill him! Now he’s a vampire hunter, and he’s pursued by a beautiful vampire while he tries to hold onto what’s left of normal life. How do you think that’s working out for him?

The Fraim Brothers have a great, classic style, so I'll read pretty much anything they're attached to (even if vampires are the new zombies in comics currently). Seriously, check out the Fraims' website--they offer amazing commissions at amazing prices.

And with that, I'm out. But before I go--what are you Waiting for?

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