A malt shop size helping of independent comics related news from June 17th – 19th, 2013!
Archie to get film and cartoon in near future!
Since assuming command of Archie Comics in 2009 following the death of co-founder John L. Goldwater, the company has continued to grow under the stewardship of new CEO, Jon Goldwater (half-brother of the co-founder) as the only major comic book publisher which is still family owned. While some legal battle have ensued against the widow and heirs of other founders, the company has seen sales rise 410% since 2010, with digital and e-book sales rising 1,000% since then as well. This is due to Goldwater’s strategy of relying on outside mediums than the weekly “direct market” of weekly comic book readers – such as a strong digital comics initiative as well as a presence in book stores and chain retailers due to Random House publishing. It also includes being “hip” enough to chase trends (such as having the cast of “Glee” or KISS or even zombies appear in Archie comics) to embracing older fans (via “Life with Archie”, a magazine which envisions married life between Betty or Veronica) and adapting to the times (via Kevin Keller, an openly gay character with his own series).
In an exclusive interview with Comic Book Resources, Goldwater has revealed more expansive plans to branch out into mass media. A new animated cartoon based on the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” is set to debut on “The Hub” in September. Furthermore, Goldwater plans to grandfather an “Archie” film written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who not only has written comics for Archie and Marvel, but also is credited with rewriting (and saving) the “Spider-Man: Turn out the Dark” musical on Broadway. It will be directed by Jason Moore (“Pitch Perfect”) and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Krishnan Menon, and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film is said to be of the spirit of “Ferris Bueller” and “Sixteen Candles”. Furthermore, plans are also underway to bring Archie to the small screen with a new animated series. While “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” has been a reliable TV franchise across live action and animation from 1996-2004, the traditional “Archie” cast haven’t been animated since “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” hit the syndication circuit in 1999.
While many traditional comic book fans have ignored or abandoned the “Archie” brand, the company continues to be willing to reinvent its characters to appeal to new generations of children and young adults. It also has nurtured some successful video game licenses, such as “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Megaman”. It will be interesting if animation and film products can give adaptations of Marvel and DC Comics characters a run for their money.
Titan Comics reprints Claremont’s “Marada”!
Back in 1982, writer Chris Claremont (best known for his run on “Uncanny X-Men” for decades as well as “Excalibur”, “Fantastic Four” and “Big Hero 6”) and artist John Bolton (“The Books of Magic” for DC Comics) produced an original fantasy series for what was then Marvel Comics’ “Epic Illustrated” magazine. It was called “Marada the She-Wolf” and it was the tale of the warrior woman Marada, descended from Julius Caeser, and her sorceress assistance Princess Arianrhod who battle all sorts of threats in the Roman era.
Having been out of print since the 1980’s and comprising of three major arcs, Titan Comics will release the series in one deluxe hardcover on November 12th. A trailer has been put on YouTube and this continues Titans’ efforts to reprint and repackage some long lost works from some high profile creators in remastered packages. In addition, Titan Comics also has issued some newer creative works, such as “Death Sentence”. Claremont has long embraces stories with strong heroines amid magic and ancient relics in his mainstream tales, and “Marada” allowed him to embrace that with a creator owned property.