Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson



A former book editor and newspaper reporter, started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to wordballoons@gmail.com


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the-walking-dead-121

We’re a day late with the digital comics best-sellers due to some technical difficulties, but here’s what’s topping the digital charts on Monday evening.

ComiXology

1. The Walking Dead #121
2. Injustice: Year Two #3
3. Batman #28
4. All-New X-Men #23
5. Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW
6. Justice League of America #12
7. Avengers, vol. 5 #26
8. Superman/Wonder Woman #5
9. She-Hulk #1
10. Wolverine and the X-Men #41

It’s business as usual at comiXology, with this week’s new comics from Marvel and DC dominating the top ten. The one non-Big Two comic is the latest issue of The Walking Dead, from Image, which tops the chart, as usual. The third issue of Tom Taylor’s digital-first Injustice: Year Two takes the second slot; this is consistently one of the best-selling digital comics across all platforms. For those who keep score, DC has four comics on the chart and Marvel has five.

Kindle

1. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
2. Hyperbole and a Half
3. Injustice: Year Two #3
4. The Walking Dead #121
5. Stephen King’s N
6. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
7. Big Nate: I Smell a Pop Quiz
8. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
9. The Sworn Sword: The Graphic Novel
10. Injustice: Year Two #2

The Kindle list echoes the comiXology list a bit but leans heavily toward mass-market properties: The Walking Dead, in graphic novel and single-issue form (graphic novel readers are starting at the beginning, while single-issue readers grab the latest one) and two Game of Thrones tie-ins.

Nook

1. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
2. Injustice: Year Two #3
3. Smallville, Season 11 #1
4. Superman: The Man of Steel #1
5. Green Lantern #1
6. MAD Magazine #1
7. Superman #1
8. Batman Beyond #1
9. Animal Man #1
10. Legends of the Dark Knight #1

This week’s Nook chart is very similar to last week’s, with DC’s 99-cent first issues filling out the ranks after the obligatory volume of The Walking Dead and this week’s issue of Injustice: Year Two.

iBooks

1. The Walking Dead #121
2. The Walking Dead: Compendium One
3. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
5. The Walking Dead: Compendium Two
6. The Walking Dead #120
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 9
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 19
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 3
10. The Walking Dead #119

The Walking Dead sweeps the iBooks chart; in fact, the first non-Walking Dead book doesn’t appear until the number 13 slot (and it’s—surprise!—Injustice: Year Two #3). OK, this is not terribly surprising, given that the new season just started, but it’s interesting how iBooks users deviate from readers on other platforms: Not only are all three of the different formats (single issues, trade collections, and compendiums) represented, but the readers of the trade collections are buying both old and newer volumes.

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Three of the four charts are oddly skewed this week, with Hawkeye, DC comics, and The Walking Dead each taking over a different top ten.
ComiXology

1. Forever Evil #5
2. Ms. Marvel #1
3. Earth 2 #20
4. New Avengers, vol. 3 #14
5. Loki: Agent of Asgard #1
6. Hawkeye #11
7. Hawkeye #6
8. Hawkeye #9
9. Hawkeye #10
10. Hawkeye #8

Marvel dominates the comiXology top ten this week, taking eight of the ten slots; they had two #1 issues, including the much-hyped appearance of Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, and 99-cent sale on Hawkeye helps as well.

Kindle

1. Hyperbole and a Half
2. Stephen King’s N
3. Injustice Year Two #2
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
5. Fables, vol. 1
6. Big Nate: I Smell a Pop Quiz
7. Injustice Year 2 #1
8. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
9. The Walking Dead #120
10. The Sworn Sword: The Graphic Novel

The Kindle top ten is always an interesting mix; Hyperbole and a Half continues to dominate, and below that there’s a mix of genres and formats—The Walking Dead in collected and single-issue form, two Game of Thrones tie-ins, two issues of the second season of Tom Taylor’s Injustice… Kindle readers are nothing if not eclectic.

Nook

1. Naruto, vol. 64
2. Smallville, Season 11 #1
3. Superman: The Man of Steel #1
4. Green Lantern #1 #1
5. Mad Magazine #1
6. Superman #1
7. Batman Beyond #1
8. Animal Man #1
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
10. Legends of the Dark Knight #1

After weeks of stasis, the Nook chart has moved quite a bit. It’s dominated by 99-cent single-issue DC comics, at least one of which (Mad Magazine #1) used to be free, so it may be that its position on the chart reflects a lot of free downloads.

iBooks

1. The Walking Dead #120
2. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #16
3. Injustice Year Two #2
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 19
5. The Walking Dead #19
6. Injustice Year Two #3
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 17
10. The Walking Dead: Compendium Two

Down at the iBookstore, it looks like The Walking Dead have taken over; gone are the multiple issues of My Little Pony that usually share the space. It’s interesting that while the first volume of The Walking Dead charts reliably on the Kindle and Nook platforms, only in iBooks do the more recent volumes pop up. It looks like they are up to date on Injustice Year Two as well, but that issue #3 is a pre-order.

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cap-cover-c02f5

Marvel Comics bills this as a “stealth release,” but since they sent out a press release about it, it’s hardly on the down low. Anyway, this looks like a worthy comic: Available on the Marvel and comiXology platforms, it’s a digital prequel to the film Captain America: Winter Soldier, which is due out this summer. The comic is scripted by veteran writer Peter David and drawn by Rock-He Kim, and it uses Marvel’s Infinite Comics bag of tricks to fully exploit the possibilities of digital comics storytelling.

Here’s the setup:

In downtown Chicago, a dangerous weapon called The Zodiac has fallen into enemy hands. Now, it’s up to Captain America, along with guest stars Black Widow and Brock Rumlow, to race against time to stop a mysterious terrorist group before it’s too late. All leading up to an action packed confrontation atop Chicago’s tallest skyscraper! But is there more here than meets the eye? What secrets is S.H.I.E.L.D. keeping? Are there enemies on both sides?

The comic will feature Captain America’s new stealth suit (aha!) and his team will include Black Widow and Brock Rumlow. Sounds like fun!

Categories : Digital Comic News
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Diamond Gem award

Image Comics, which has made a strong showing in recent years with such creator-owned titles as The Walking Dead and Saga, was named the Publisher of the Year in the Diamond Gem Awards, sponsored by Diamond Comics Distributors. BOOM! Studios took the Publisher of the Year award for publishers with a market share of less than 4%. The awards were chosen by a vote of comics retailers.

While Marvel and DC continue to focus on legacy properties that cater to a fairly narrow range of genre fans and are produced by artists who don’t own the characters they work on, Image has gone in a different direction with an array of creator-owned comics that include superhero, science fiction, and other types of stories. Their other innovations include holding their own event, Image Expo, at which they announced a number of new titles this year, and selling DRM-free digital comics directly via their website.

While Image and BOOM! took the top honors, DC led the pack in terms of numbers, with six awards, including Top Dollar Publisher of the Year (for Superman Unchained #1), Backlist Publisher of the Year, and Reprint TP (trade paperback) or HC (hardcover) of the Year (Batman: Death of the Family, vol. 3). Dark Horse took five awards, including Licensed Comic of the Year (The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #1), Original Graphic Novel of the Year (Hellboy: Midnight Circle), and Manga of the Year (Lone Wolf and Cub omnibus, vol. 1). Marvel was named the Top Dollar Publisher of the Year and their Superior Spider-Man #1 NOW! was named the Comic of the Year in the over $3 category; Archie’s zombie comic Afterlife With Archie was the Comic of the Year in the under $3 category.

Categories : Digital Comic News
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the-walking-dead-120

The Walking Dead hits three of the four charts we’re looking at this week, and so does Injustice: Year Two, but the Nook chart remains solidly impervious to these trends and continues with remarkable consistency from week to week.

ComiXology

1. The Walking Dead #120
2. Injustice: Year Two #2
3. Batman #27
4. Justice League #27
5. All-New X-Men #22.NOW
6. Hawkeye #16
7. Avengers, vol. 5 #25
8. Avengers World #2
9. Wolverine and the X-Men #40
10. X-Men, vol. 4 #9

This week’s best-sellers line up about like you’d expect, with new releases of three top-selling comics, The Walking Dead, Injustice: Year Two, and Batman leading the pack. It separates out nicely by publisher, too, with an Image title in the top spot, followed by three DC comics, and the rest of the list is all Marvel. So who won the week depends on whether position of number of slots counts more heavily in your reckoning.

Kindle

1. Hyperbole and a Half
2. Injustice: Year Two #2
3. Stephen King’s N
4. X-Men: Days of Future Past
5. The Walking Dead #120
6. Infinity Gauntlet
7. The Unwritten # 1
8. The Sworn Sword
9. Injustice: Year Two #1
10. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel

Allie Brosh’s blog-turned-book Hyperbole and a Half tops the Kindle chart for the fourth week in a row, and the latest issue of The Walking Dead and both issues of Injustice: Year Two make the chart as well. There are two George R.R. Martin graphic novels, but overall, nothing we haven’t seen before on this chart except for the first issue of The Unwritten, most likely from people sampling the series as it moves into its final arc.

Nook

1. Naruto, vol. 64
2. Smallville, Season 11 #1
3. It’s a Dog’s Life, Snoopy
4. Sandman #1
5. The World According to Lucy…
6. Snoopy at the Bat
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. Adventures of Superman #1
9. Batman ’66 #1
10. The Walking Dead, vol. 2

This week’s chart is last week’s chart. My new theory about this is that people buy Nook graphic novels in small surges, as when a new volume of Naruto comes out, and other than that the sales are all in the long tail, not the top ten.

iBooks

1. The Walking Dead #120
2. Injustice: Year Two #2
3. My Little Pony: Friends Forever #1
4. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #16
5. My Little Pony: Micro Series #10 – Luna
6. Injustice: Year Two #1
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
9. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #2
10. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #15

The ponies have it in the iBookstore, and that issue #16 in the fourth slot is a pre-order, which means enough people are shelling out for this comic before it comes out to boost it to a decent rating. And then there’s the latest Walking Dead, making its third appearance of the day, and the first two issues of Injustice: Year Two, as more people jump into the series and others pick up the latest issue.

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All New X-Men 1

Here’s what’s looking good at the (digital) comics shop this week:

All-New X-Men #22.NOW: Written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Stuart Immonen, this issue kicks off a six-issue crossover that brings the Guardians of the Galaxy into the world of the X-Men. The continuity folds over in a weird sort of way when a young Jean Grey, who has traveled through time to the present along with her original X-Men cohort of Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Iceman, is forced to stand trial for the crimes committed by her other self. Bendis talked about this storyline in an interview with USA Today, saying it will raise some interesting issues of power and responsibility: “I’m always looking for that new angle on that power-and-responsibility jag after 200-some issues of Spider-Man. It’s always fun to find one.”

Animal Man #27: This issue launches the final arc of Jeff Lemire’s run as the writer on the New 52 version of Animal Man, and the stakes are high: Buddy Baker (Animal Man) must save his daughter Maxine from their enemy, The Rot, which is trying to kill her. Lemire also brings in Buddy’s wife Ellen and shows the effects of the struggle on her. Rafael Albuquerque’s art seals the deal.

Black Widow #2: Writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Phil Noto are getting a lot of critical praise for this new Black Widow series, which has Natasha trying to redeem herself by righting the wrongs of her past as an assassin. Writing at Comicosity, reviewer Roderick Ruth says “Edmondson and Noto are building a great foundation for Natasha Romanov to boastfully stand upon, and one which can only lead to better stories for the Black Widow. This is the most genuine version of Black Widow that I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to read more.”

The Walking Dead #120: The zombie saga continues with a struggle between Rick and Negan; there’s plenty of action in this issue as the two go head to head.

Elfquest: The Final Quest #1: This is a historic issue as Wendy and Richard Pini’s long-running saga heads into its final arc. There’s also a prequel, available for just 99 cents, to get you started. Elfquest, which has been running since 1987, is one of the most influential fantasy tales ever; if you’re just getting started, you can read the whole rest of the series for free on the Elfquest website.

Categories : Digital Comic News
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ShonenJump_RetailPack_Issue01_cover_FINAL.indd

Two years ago, Viz Media made big news when they converted their manga magazine Shonen Jump from a print monthly to a digital weekly, with new manga chapters running almost simultaneously with their Japanese release. A year later, they went to simultaneous release with Japan. Shonen Jump carries some of the best selling manga in the U.S., including Naruto and One Piece, and the print edition was the best selling monthly comic in the U.S., with over 100,000 readers, both subscribers and newsstand customers. Switching to digital allowed Shonen Jump to offer fresher manga but also cut into that existing reader base quite a bit.

Now they are going back to the newsstand with a print anthology, the Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack, which bundles manga chapters together with a Yu-Gi-Oh trading card (these things are like gold to some people). The promo says it allows access to three months’ worth of Shonen Jump, and it looks like it comes with a digital subscription. The price is a hefty $19.99, but you get a lot of content for that. This collection is sold only through Diamond Comics Distributors, which means it is going to comics shops (not newsstands), and it seems to be aimed at enticing the traditional Shonen Jump customers to sign on to the digital product. The press release says this is the “first full issue,” which suggests it will be released on a regular basis.

For those who are already comfortable with digital, Viz is also offering a free Weekly Shonen Jump Starter Pack, which includes the first chapter of their new manga All You Need Is Kill (which is being made into the movie Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise), as well as chapters of Naruto, One Piece, and other Shonen Jump series. All You Need Is Kill is a light novel that was adapted into manga form by Takeshi Obata, the artist for Death Note, Bakuman, and Hikaru No Go.

Categories : Digital Comic News
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Injustice Year Two

Readers prefer the uncensored version of Miracleman, Attack on Titan makes the Kindle chart, and where’s that second issue of Injustice: Year Two? Here’s my look at this week’s digital comics best-sellers, as of Sunday evening.

ComiXology

1. All-New X-Men #21
2. Superior Spider-Man #25
3. Uncanny X-Men, vol. 3 #16
4. Amazing X-Men #3
5. Justice League of America #11
6. Superman/Wonder Woman #4
7. Miracleman: Parental Advisory Edition #1
8. Justice League 3000 #2
9. The Walking Dead #119
10. Injustice: Year Two #1

There are a couple of quirky things in this week’s comiXology list. One is that Miracleman comic, which I explained earlier. The readers seem to be voting for the mature-rated edition, unsurprisingly. The second is Injustice: Year Two #1 showing up on the list for the second week in a row; it’s supposed to be a weekly comic, but there doesn’t seem to have been a new issue this week—the release date for issue #1 was January 7. And the Walking Dead lumber back in for a second week on the top ten. Marvel wins the week with five of the top ten; DC has four, and The Walking Dead is an Image title.

Kindle

1. Hyperbole and a Half
2. Injustice: Year Two #1
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
4. Stephen King’s N
5. Infinity Gauntlet
6. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. Attack on Titan, vol. 1
9. The Walking Dead #119
10. Big Nate: I Smell a Pop Quiz

No, Big Nate, what you smell are the zombies right behind you! Seriously, the Kindle list is nothing if not eclectic this week, with Allie Brosh’s comic-ish Hyperbole and a Half leading the pack, followed by Tom Taylor’s Superman-as-dystopian-dictator story Injustice: Year Two and a marked-down X-Men graphic novel. The first volume of Attack on Titan pops up, I think for the first time, and it’s interesting that it’s vol. 1 and not the latest volume, but that’s good as it means new readers are picking it up.

Nook

1. Naruto, vol. 64
2. Smallville, Season 11 #1
3. It’s a Dog’s Life, Snoopy
4. Sandman #1
5. The World According to Lucy…
6. Snoopy at the Bat
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. Adventures of Superman #1
9. Batman ’66 #1
10. The Walking Dead, vol. 2

With Barnes & Noble, I don’t so much check the list as check to see if it varied at all from last week’s list. The only change this week is that Batman ’66 and vol. 2 of The Walking Dead changed places.

iBooks

1. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #15
2. The Walking Dead #119
3. Injustice: Year Two #1
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
5. Injustice: Year Two #2
6. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #12
7. My Little Pony: Micro Series #10 – Luna
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
9. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
10. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #12

That elusive second issue of Injustice: Year Two shows up in the iBookstore—as a pre-order. It looks like folks are picking up the first issue of the first season as well, maybe to catch up. Other than that, it’s ponies and zombies, ponies and zombies.

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Miracleman 1

Someone at Marvel Comics decided that their new edition of Miracleman needed to be censored for digital release—but apparently not everyone is on board with that.

Last week, Marvel released the first of a planned series of reprints of the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman run of Miracleman. Miracleman itself has a tangled history, having started off in the early 1950s as Marvelman, a British knockoff of Captain Marvel (which was, confusingly, published by Fawcett Comics, not Marvel). That comic, created by Mick Anglo, ran for ten years and never seems to have stretched the boundaries of the standard superhero comic. In 1982, however, Alan Moore picked it up and created a much darker superhero story, something that is common now but was groundbreaking at the time. This series was picked up in the U.S. by Eclipse Comics, and the name was changed to Miracleman for U.S. readers. Moore wrote the first 16 issues, and then Neil Gaiman took over, working with artist Mark Buckingham (who would later illustrate Fables). Gaiman and Buckingham planned to do three six-issue story arcs, but Eclipse Comics went bankrupt and the last issue to be published was #24. (Miracleman #25 was completed, except for coloring, but has not been published in full.) Many, many lawsuits later, Marvel has ended up with the rights to the story and is republishing the Moore/Gaiman issues, with plans for Gaiman and Buckingham to finish their planned series. And along the way Alan Moore got pissed off and asked his name be taken off the comic, so the official credit is simply “the original writer.”

Got that? OK, welcome to this week’s puzzlement: Despite its hefty price tag of $5.99 for a single issue (with, admittedly, a lot of bonus content), Miracleman does not come with a download code for a free digital version, something that has become pretty standard with Marvel comics. What gives? Marvel editor Tom Brevoort explained on Formspring:

The need for differences between the material as originally printed, and what we’re permitted to release in the digital space. As aspects of the story are having to be adjusted in order to pass muster in the digital edition (whereas the print edition preserves the material as it was originally presented), it became untenable to link the two together.

What exactly is he talking about? My initial thought was that the original was too spicy for the bluenoses at Apple, so Marvel had to produce a cleaned-up edition to be sold in-app at comiXology. However, the uncut version, which bears the awkward title Miracleman: Parental Advisory Edition #1, is available in the comiXology iPad app as well as the Android app and the website. This version is rated 17+. The censored version, Miracleman: Mass Market Edition #1, seems to only be available on the Marvel digital comics store—I couldn’t find it on comiXology. This seems backwards, as you would expect that (1) Marvel would be publishing the most authentic version of their own comic and (2) ComiXology would be selling the 12+ version in their iOS app because of Apple’s content restrictions. Instead, it’s the other way around.

Eh, whatever. According to Bleeding Cool, the difference between the two versions is that a character has a bare butt in one version and is wearing underpants in the other. Presumably the two editions will diverge more as the series goes on and the story gets more intense. The real story here is that the changes give Marvel an excuse not to include that free download code, which makes the comic more expensive, especially for readers who regularly defray the cost of their comics by selling the download codes on the black market.

(Via Comicbook.com.)

Categories : Digital Comic News
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comiXology new logo

For the third time in three years, the digital-comics app Comics by comiXology was the top grossing non-game app for the iPad. This comes as no surprise, as it is often at the top of the charts on Wednesdays, when new comics are out. Rachel Edidin has a great piece about it on Wired’s Underwire blog, in which she interviews comiXology CEO David Steinberger.

ComiXology has truly been a game-changer: Not only is it the dominant digital comics app, it has actually been bringing new readers to comics, not just to digital but to print as well:

Of the 20 percent of ComiXology customers who bought their first comics online in the last quarter 2013, 64 percent have begun buying print comics as well.

That’s pretty impressive. ComiXology was founded in 2007 and launched the Comics app as an iPhone app in 2009. I spoke to Steinberger shortly after the launch, and he was pretty excited that comiXology could offer 100 comics, with 40 more in the queue, and that readers could buy them in-app rather than having each comic be a separate app, which had been the paradigm up till then. And from the very beginning, comiXology was promoting brick-and-mortar stores, with a built-in comic shop locator and an affiliate program. Also, at the time of the interview, the app cost 99 cents to download (being an early adopter, I paid for it) and it was the top selling book app in the iTunes Store.

Not even five years later, comiXology has a library of over 45,000 comics from 75 different publishers, and they announced this week that they have downloaded over 6 billion pages of comics—4 billion pages in the past year alone. That looks like exponential growth, but it’s interesting that they have switched from the number of comics, which is what they usually talk about, to pages: In September they announced that they had reached 200 million downloads. But maybe they just thought 6 billion was a more impressive number.

Whatever. The fact is that just a couple of years ago the single-issue comics market was looking dire. ComiXology has managed to not only sell a lot of comics but also bring more readers into (or back to) comics, thus growing the overall market, print as well as digital, and they have also promoted independent and emerging creators via their ComiXology Submit program. That’s not a bad set of accomplishments to rack up in less than five years.

Categories : Digital Comic News
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the-walking-dead-119

It’s time again to take a look at what comics are topping the digital best-seller lists.

ComiXology

1. The Walking Dead #119
2. Injustice: Year Two #1
3. Avengers World #1
4. Earth 2 #19
5. Detective Comics #27
6. All-New X-Factor #1
7. Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand #3
8. Punisher: War Zone #1
9. Young Avengers, vol. 2 #15
10. Batman/Superman #7

The Top Ten chart leads off with two perennial best-sellers, The Walking Dead and the second year of Tom Taylor’s game-inspired Injustice. Taylor is killing it these days, as his other series, Earth 2, shows up in the number 4 spot. Detective Comics #27, which marks the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance, is on the charts, as are the third issue of the Marvel Ultimates crossover Cataclysm and the first issue of Peter David’s new X-Factor story. Overall, Marvel won the week with five issues on the chart, DC had four, and Image had one.

Kindle

1. Hyperbole and a Half
2. Stephen King’s N
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
4. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
5. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
6. Big Nate: I Smell a Pop Quiz
7. Infinity Gauntlet
8. The Essential Calvin and Hobbes
9. The Sandman, vol. 1
10. The Walking Dead #119

The Walking Dead charts at Amazon as well, but in the number ten slot; Hyperbole and a Half tops the list for the second week in a row. It looks like Amazon is having a graphic novel sale, as Stephen King’s N, X-Men, and Infinity Gauntlet are all marked way down; lurking in the number 11 slot is the first volume of Saga for $3.99, which is a great deal as well.

Nook

1. Naruto, vol. 64
2. Smallville, Season 11 #1
3. It’s a Dog’s Life, Snoopy
4. Sandman #1
5. The World According to Lucy…
6. Snoopy at the Bat
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. Adventures of Superman #1
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
10. Batman ’66 #1

With the exception of the new volume of Naruto at the head of the list, this is the same books in the same order as last week.

iBooks

1. The Walking Dead #119
2. Injustice: Year 2 #1
3. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #12
4. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #1
5. Cemetery Girl: Book One
6. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #11
7. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #5
8. Star Trek: Khan #4
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
10. My Little Pony Micro series #10 – Luna

Surprisingly, the top two comics on the iBooks list are the same as the ones that top the comiXology list. After that it gets predictably weird, though, with My Little Pony, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, and Charlaine Harris’s new book. That’s an odd mix but not an unusual one, as iBooks often includes some titles not seen anywhere else.

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Clone-Wars-Darth-Maul

Dark Horse may be losing the license for Star Wars comics at the end of this year, but publisher Mike Richardson promised they were going to give it their best effort right till the end, and it looks like that’s what they are doing: Lucasfilm has announced that the final arc of Darth Maul’s Clone Wars story will be told as a four-issue mini-series, published by Dark Horse.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an animated television series set in the world of Star Wars; the current version has been running since 2008, but last March, Lucasfilm announced that the series would come to an end, leaving some of the storylines unfinished.

Dark Horse is picking up the thread with one of them, however. Dave Filoni, who was the showrunner for Clone Wars and now is the producer for Star Wars: Rebels, explained that the writers had done “substantial development” on the Darth Maul story when the TV series ended, so they suggested finishing the story in comics form. He continued: “The comics will be based on four finished scripts that were written for Season 6. These scripts came out of one of our story conferences with George Lucas. As they moved through the production pipeline, they became finalized scripts with a great deal of the actual design work completed. The designs you will see, the plot lines, and character development in these comic books are all coming directly from the TV production. I turned over all of the art to Dark Horse so they could create an accurate representation of what we were planning for the show.”

The comic will be written by Star Wars comics veteran Jeremy Barlow, and the first issue will be out in April. Given the switch in media, Barlow says “We’re making these as new-reader-friendly as possible, understanding that some folks will be coming to this series without prior knowledge of the television show.”

Categories : Digital Comic News
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All-New-Ultimates-1-Nakayama-Cover

A couple of days ago we speculated that Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man might be coming to an end, and with it the career of the current wearer of the Spidey suit, Miles Morales.

Well, yes and no. It turns out that Marvel is rebooting the whole Ultimate Comics line, but Miles Morales stays—in fact, he gets his own title, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man.

There’s a lot more to the Ultimate Comics reboot than that, though.

Marvel created the Ultimates line back in 2000 as a way to push the limits of superhero stories and experiment with new storylines. It’s a newer universe with less tangled continuity so it’s friendly to new readers, and when someone dies in the Ultimates comics, they stay dead. They have already had a couple of relaunches, in 2009 and 2011.

The current event in the Ultimates universe is Cataclysm, a crossover event in which the villain Galactus comes over from the standard Marvel universe, and Miles Morales and the Ultimate Reed Richards cross over to the other side to try to stop him. Marvel editors have indicated that the Cataclysm story will leave the Ultimate universe changed forever.

This week, Marvel announced that once Cataclysm ends, there will be three new Ultimate titles. All-New Ultimates, by Michel Fiffe and Amilcar Pinna, will debut in April with a new crime-fighting team composed of Spider-Man, Black Widow (the former Spider-Woman), Kitty Pryde, Bombshell, and Cloak & Dagger. Next up is Ultimate FF, where the FF stands for Future Foundation, not the Fantastic Four; the lead characters will be Sue Storm, Tony Stark, Machine Man and Sam Wilson, and the series will be written by Fialkov and illustrated by Mario Guevara. Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man completes the set, and while we are assured that the Cataclysm events have left Miles a changed man, the creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Dave Marquez remains intact.

“We look at the opportunity ‘Cataclysm’ gave us to reset the board,” writer Joshua Hale Fialkov told ABC News, “and do some really cool stuff with the characters.” Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso was blunter: “The Ultimate (universe) benefits from a good, old kick in the butt.”

Categories : Digital Comic News
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