Monday, April 23, 2012

The Comic Feed 4/23/12

Valiant puts on a new face, Robert Kirkman advises the young, and you too, can contribute to comic marketing.

Sit back and relax on this first day of the week and enjoy your Comic Feed for April 23, 2012.

Valiant Gets a Makeover 

Valiant Entertainment unveiled their new logo today, which was designed by graphic designer Rian Hughes, and is definitely geek sleek.

This new look celebrates the return of Valiant’s monthly publishing. According to their press release, Valiant will be returning to monthly comics this summer featuring popular characters from the past, X-O Manowar in May, Harbinger in June, Bloodshot in July, and Archer & Armstrong in August.

Hughes, who has done work for the likes of Marvel, DC, MTV, and BBC, to name a few, said “It is always a challenging and interesting project to design the visual identity of a publisher from the ground up in every detail — logo, trade dress, title logos — and to cohesively pull all these elements together so one strong visual identity emerges. Rebooting the Valiant line’s design has been one such great project. The Valiant characters have a strong fanbase and heritage, and so the new logos are fresh and modern as befits a forward-looking publisher while still paying tribute to the originals, just as has been done with the characters themselves.”

FanPan Brings the Fun to Online Surveys 

As a young college student, short of selling plasma and living on ramen, the easy way to make money was by doing consumer panels and surveys. They were usually boring, offered at least a free lunch, and were the only place I ever heard the word "lackadaisical vagina."

FanPan, a consumer research firm, is offering fun surveys for geeks alike, and participants can earn free comic swag. By filling out surveys, which will be reported to leaders in the comic industry, “1. You might win great prizes from comics publishers and entertainment companies; 2. You'll learn about comics trends and events via exclusive access to some of the research findings; 3. You'll be helping to develop products and services that meet your needs.” As far as consumer panels go, this may be worth the time.

Robert Kirkman Advises New Writers

Image Comics' Robert Kirkman was at the Los Angeles Festival of Books today, sharing advice with up and coming comic writers on the art of the pitch. Calling upon his own company’s submission guidelines as an example, Kirkman focused on using brevity and the best parts of the story when sending in submissions.

Original content was also a focus, as Kirkman advised, “Try to make your book as original as possible, but not too weird. I mean, that’s very important. Don’t do something that’s already on the racks. Nobody wants to read another story about a barbarian that’s like Conan or a superhero that’s like Spider-Man. You have to have some kind of hook.”

Digital Comics Hit Libraries

Recently, libraries have lost the ability to rent e-books from many large publishers; however, things may be looking up in the way your local library will lend graphic novels and comics. iVerse, a digital comic distributor, will be launching the Comics Plus: Library Edition, using the libraries web portal to offer cloud based distribution of digital comics and graphic novels. Current publishers in the iVerse catalog include Marvel, IDW, Archie, Top Cow, Zenescope, and Boom!, among others. Look for this service to launch at San Diego Comic Con and hopefully be in a library near you very soon.

BuzzFeed Gets a Peek at the New 52

BuzzFeed got a behind the scenes look in the DC offices, and took a peep at the new artwork for DC’s second wave of titles for the New 52. Earth 2 by James Robinson and Nicola Scott depict a gorgeous new Wonder Woman, and Jim Lee’s Warblade is sure to be a new fan fave. 

A Look Inside Before Watchmen

I’m beginning to think BuzzFeed was a little spoiled on their trip through the DC offices. Along with a look into the new wave of the New 52, they got their hands on the three ring binder every Watchmen fan wishes they had. The art book containing character designs and panels for the new Before Watchmen was opened up and they got a great look at what's coming up.

DiDio and Lee Talk Before Watchmen 

DC’s co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee talked about the much anticipated and highly controversial Before Watchmen at the Los Angeles Festival of Books panel DC Entertainment Presents: Watchmen – It’s Not the End, It’s the Beginning.

Talking about the new series being very character driven, other topics at the panel ranged from the treatment of Alan Moore, why Before Watchmen isn't such a bad thing, and Chris Roberson's very vocal exit from DC.

Boston Comic Con's DC Panel 

Boston Comic Con found the New 52 gang, Jamal Igle (The Ray), Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman), Ivan Reis and Joe Prado (Aquaman) and Francis Manapul (The Flash), as well as moderator Stefan Blitz (Forces of Geek Editor-in-Chief), talking about the New 52 #0s set to release in September, and honoring the one year anniversary of the New 52's release. Issue #0s will bring fans the stories that took place before issue #1 of the new series. Additionally, fans thanked Aquaman's new team for making the seahorse ridin' almost hero cool again.

The panel also spoke of ways creators are working with digital media, and whether or not they take that into consideration when creating their work.  Igle now avoids double page spreads, Prado thinks of the iPad when he's working, and Cliff Chiang said he strives for a more "organic look" when he considers how his work will be seen on a monitor. Additionally, Chiang mentioned that Wonder Woman is “getting a different reader,” and all the creators said the response to the New 52 has been very positive.

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