LOUIE DEL CARMEN & BOBBY CHIU’S SUPERMAN AND KRYPTO PITCH IS THE BEST UNFINISHED COMIC YOU’LL READ TODAY
By Chris Sims
It goes without saying that there are a lot of great superhero comics out there, but it’s always fun (and a little bit of a bummer) to see the great comics that didn’t come out. Not every pitch is accepted, after all, and while a lot of them never leave the planning stages, there a few that make it all the way to being drawn, and sometimes, they are truly fantastic.
Case in point: A ten-apage story that animation artist Louie del Carmen and illustrator Bobby Chiu created a few years back for “a proposed Superman anthology” that never saw print. It did, however, make it all the way to roughs, and this week, del Carmen posted them on his website, telling the full story of Superman and Krypto teaming up to bust an illegal interstellar zoo. And it is pretty great.
TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE CANADIAN WAY: ROYAL CANADIAN MINT ISSUES FOUR NEW SUPERMAN COINS
Last year, the Royal Canadian Mint issued seven collector’s coins to celebrate Superman‘s 75th anniversary. Looks like it’s a hard habit to break, because at this year’s Fan Expo in Toronto, the mint announced it was issuing four more coins with images from covers dating back to Superman’s debut in 1938.
Though he’s widely considered a U.S. hero, Superman has Canadian roots. Joe Shuster, who co-created Superman with Jerry Siegel, was born in Toronto.
WHY SO SERIOUS: WARNER BROS. REPORTEDLY ORDERS ‘NO JOKES’ IN NEW DC COMICS MOVIES
Comics fans have become well acquainted with the notion that sometimes, creative people learn the wrong things from successes. It’s why certain comics have been dominated for going on 30 years by a “dark” and “mature” sensibility that often comes off as grim, self-serious and overcooked.
Well, get ready for that way of thinking to make its way to movie theaters very soon. According to a report at Hitfix, Warner Bros. has a strict rule for its upcoming DC Comics movies: “No jokes.”
What’s particularly surprising is that the rule — which itself is kind of a joke, when you think about it — is that it stems from a failure more than it does a success, at least, according to Hitfix writer Drew McWeeny’s thinking.
EXTREMELY RARE COPY OF ‘ACTION COMICS’ #1 AUCTIONS FOR $3.2 MILLION
An eBay auction for a so-called “pristine” copy of 1938′s Action Comics #1 — the issue in which Superman made his very first appearance — ended Sunday afternoon, and the winning bidder snagged the issue for a cool $3.2 million. That’s the most anyone has ever paid for a comic book, by a pretty wide margin. The previous record was $2.16 million, for a different copy of Action #1. Back in the day, creators Jerry Siegel andJoe Shuster were paid $130 the entire character.
The issue that garnered the $2 million bid (which was previously owned by actor Nicolas Cage) was rated 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company, but has pages that have yellowed just a bit. The one that drew the $3.2 million Sunday has white pages and is also rated 9.0.
HERE’S THE THING EPISODE 17: SUPERMAN’S HAIR IS SERIOUS BUSINESS
If our weekly Ask Chris column isn’t enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here’s The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he dives into comics history to explain why you’re wrong and he’s right.
This week, Chris has a very serious discussion about Superman’s hair. No, really: You will believe a man’s coif can provide a strong visual signifier of his character and can make another, slightly more volatile man hate a movie six months before it comes out.
GEOFF JOHNS SAYS DC ENTERTAINMENT’S TV AND MOVIE UNIVERSES ARE SEPARATE
If you were hoping to see Arrow‘s Stephen Amell make an appearance as the emerald archer in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or in the upcoming Justice League movie, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has some bad news for you.
“We will not be integrating the film and television universes,” he said at the Television Critics Association press tour for The Flash. Seems pretty cut and dried.
SUPERMAN AND BIZARRO TEAM UP FOR INTERACTIVE STORYBOOK APP – YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!
Superman and Batman played a huge role when I was learning to read back in the mid-1980s. Not only did I have plenty of storybooks and comics featuring the two, but I also had read-along books and records (yes, records) that I listened to on a nearly daily basis.
It looks like the kids of 2014 are going to have the opportunity to experience an updated version of that with a new interactive storybook from Livo Books, Superman and Bizarro Save the Planet. It’s available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The website for the book doesn’t say who wrote the story or did the art — it simply says that Warner Bros. Global Publishing developed it — but it has a classic look to it. It’s a little Dan Jurgens-like, maybe. Superman is wearing his costume with the trunks, too, which is welcome.
The app highlights text as a narrator reads out the story, which is a cool touch for beginning readers. And the interactive elements look pretty cool. But be warned: After the first few pages, you’ve got to pay, and no kid is going to want his or her Superman/Bizarro story to go unfinished. Be ready to shell out.
THE JOE SHUSTER CENTENNIAL: A TRIBUTE TO SUPERMAN’S CO-CREATOR ON WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY
One-hundred years ago this week, a boy was born in Toronto who, despite his humble origins, would help define the nature of American popular entertainment forever.
Joe Shuster’s parents were Jewish immigrants who came over to Canada from Rotterdam and the Ukraine in 1912, and started a family. Times were tough, and the family moved regularly, struggling to make ends meet. Joe was the oldest of three Shuster children, and demonstrated artistic inclinations at an early age, drawing whenever he could find the time (and materials). The Shusters moved to the United States in 1924 and settled on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, where Joe was enrolled in Glenville High School. It was there that he met classmate Jerome Siegel.
Siegel was already an experienced writer, and the boys bonded over mutual passions: movies, comic strips, and science fiction. It was inevitable that they would collaborate, and after a few false starts (including a pulp-style short story that Siegel titled “Reign Of The Superman”), the pair began to develop and shop around a concept for a newspaper strip of their own: a story of a wildly-attired strongman who would do battle with all manner of hoodlums and evil-doers. The idea took a few years to sell, but once their initial run of strips was configured for the then-new “comic book” format and appeared in the 1939 debut issue of Action Comics, their character Superman became an international sensation that endures to this day, 75 years later.
While Shuster’s relationship — and that of his family — to Superman publishers DC Comics was and continues to be far from harmonious, what’s never been in dispute is the master cartoonist’s influence on multiple generations of creative artists. To celebrate the centennial anniversary of Shuster’s birth, some of those men and women have paid homage to and shared their impressions of Shuster’s work, his legacy, and his signature character.
THE DARK MAN OF STEEL RETURNS: HENRY CAVILL’S SUPERMAN IS BACK AND WETTER THAN EVER
By Andy Khouri
Superman has arrived in Gotham City — that, or he’s surveying the apocalyptic wasteland that is Metropolis in the wake of his terrible wrath in Man of Steel. Either of those scenarios may be reflected in a new promotional image released in support of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the new Zack Snyder film based on the DC Comics superheroes created by Bill Finger & Bob Kane and Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster.
Seriously, though, it seems likely the idea behind this image is to indeed convey the crossover element of this film in graphic style — Superman is in Gotham, and that is dramatically important. It’s more thought than most filmmakers put into their marketing and posters (including Marvel), but, unfortunately, the Superman image is just slightly more colorful than the wholly black and white Batman shot released last month, and is distinctly reminiscent of a series of posters for The Dark Knight Rises which depicted that unrelated film’s principals showered in rain and debris. The net affect of this tradition is, as you can see on Twitter and everywhere promo images are overanalyzed, a pervasive sense of gloom and dread associated with these characters, who are very arguably America’s best comic book superheroes.