Superman Fan Mike Meyer Shares Donated Comics & Collectibles With Children’s …

It didn’t seem like there could be a better ending to the case of Mike Meyer than the return of his vast collection of Superman comic books and collectibles following their alleged theft by a man who pretended to be his friend, but we think you’ll agree this is it. As we reported previously, the comics community rallied in support of Meyer, a 48-year-old lifelong Superman fan who lives on part-time work at McDonald’s and Social Security for a mental disability, by organizing a drive to replace the items that had been so cruelly stolen. With his collection now recovered by police and the alleged thief in jail, Meyer took a cue from the selfless superhero he idolizes by donating to a local children’s hospital the excess items that were donated to him.

A resident of Granite City, Illinois, Mike Meyer is surely among America’s most dedicated fans of Superman, the DC Comics superhero created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Over the course of his life, Meyer amassed a collection of Superman comics and other merchandise that can only be described as massive and worth many thousands of dollars. A man called Gerry Arville Armbruster allegedly stole a valuable portion — more than 1,800 items — of Meyer’s collection by befriending Meyer with the intention of gaining access to his home. A ComicsAlliance reader appears to be the party who unwittingly purchased the stolen goods from Armbruster and turned the items over to Granite City police, but not before fellow comics fans worked together to apparently double the size of Meyer’s original collection.

In response to that incredible generosity, Meyer made an equally touching gift of the redundant donations to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of things, so I wanted to share them,” Meyer told Indeed, as horrible and humiliating as the ordeal has been for Meyer, the upshot of it all could be seen as a net gain for the now universally beloved Superman fan. As he said on Facebook last month, “I have never felt so much love in my life; I no longer feel like the Frankenstein monster. I feel that people understand me now, for the first time in my life.” reports that six boxes of Superman items were made available to the St. Louis Children’s hospital’s Wednesday bingo game last week, which quadrupled the number of prizes usually available to the facility’s sick and injured kids.

“When you make somebody happy, it does something for you, too,” said Meyer, in the best tradition of the Man of Steel.

[Via CA reader Stephen]


NYCC: DC Comics All Access Superman

The second volume of JMS and Shane Davis’ “Superman: Earth One” was among the announcements at DC’s Superman panel

At the DC Comics All Access: Superman panel at New York Comic Con DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio, “Supergirl” artist Mahmud Asrar and “Superman: Earth One” artist Shane Davis gathered on stage to talk about their books and what is coming next for the Man Of Steel.

DC Editor In Chief Bob Harras kicked the panel off by bringing Davis onstage to talk about the second “Superman: Earth One” graphic novel coming out in fall 2012, showing off the cover image of Superman in the traditional costume with fire and blackened skulls around him.

“Real men wear their underwear on the outside,” said Davis to audience applause. Explaining the new J. Michael Straczynski written graphic novel is about Superman finding his new place in the world, Davis continued, “You see the origin story so many times, I was glad to see people took to it so much.” He then thanked the fans for putting the first volume on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Adding that he thought romance and adventure were part and parcel with traditional Superman stories, to differentiate the second “Earth One” Davis told the audience, “Instead of romance and adventure we’re going to try a little sex and violence!”

Showing off penciled pages of Superman trying to save people from a tsunami, Davis then explained that the pages showed the problems Superman will face in the second volume as the people he saved turn out to be rebels and the dictator of their fictional country threatens to kill them if Superman does not stop. “It’s interesting that the world’s most powerful man has his hands tied,” said Davis, adding, “There’s a lot of shoulda, woulda, coulda running through him.”

The artist also said that the book will show a brand new Parasite, “bigger than Doomsday.” Davis also said that the character begins life as a serial killer. “I took everything in Earth One to its lowest common denominator and built it up from there,” said Davis, adding, “Parasite was a glutton, but now it’s more for power.”

He then ended his portion of the panel showed an inked but uncolored page of Superman daydreaming of how he should have reacted to the dictator.

Harras then brought out the Superman family book editor Matt Idelson. Showing the cover for “Action Comics” #5 with art by Andy Kubert, the cover depicted Kal-El’s rocket hurtling to Earth. Comic book artist Gene Ha also did part of the interior art for #3 and Idelson displayed those pages, saying that Ha is in charge of all the sequences on Krypton in the issue. “Not only is that your first look at Jor-El but Krypto, which looks very different then you’re used to,” said Idelson, bringing up an image of Jor-El and Krypto on the screen.

The audience clapped loudly as “Supergirl” writer Mike Johnson joined series artist Asrar to talk about the title. “It was really intimidating at first,” said Johnson, touching on reinventing the character, adding, “Part of the fun of the book is seeing people, places that are familiar but different in very important ways.”

Showing the cover to #5, Johnson revealed that the issue takes place in Argo city. “The first few issues will be, how do you get from Siberia to Argo City? It is a painful process,” said Johnson.

Asrar then brought up onscreen two pages from the second issue showing Supergirl punching out Superman. “She’s strong!” laughed Asrar.

“The first page of the issue takes on place on Krypton,” Johnson added, saying that neither Superman nor Supergirl will trust each other at first.

“My style I have slightly adapted in a different way for this book, and in future issues I will use the marker style I use in my commissions,” Asrar told the audience.

Idelson then touched upon “Superboy,” calling the series, “The ultimate clean slate.”

“He’s not hip, he’s not snarky, he’s not funny, he’s a blank slate learning how to be a human being,” said Idelson.

Harras then asked Idelson if Doomsday will ever appear in the New 52 world. “No comment, said Idelson, adding, “We haven’t forgotten about him.”

Harras then officially announced that Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen will be replacing George Perez on “Superman” and Jurgens came onstage.

“Keith Giffen and I will be co-writing and I’ll be drawing starting with “Superman” #7,” said Jurgens.

The floor opened to audience questions, and the first audience member to the microphone asked Davis about the “Superman: Earth One” costume redesigns.

“There are things in that costume that are flawless, you can’t break…much as I changed, I really stayed the same so it was an interesting process,” said Davis.

The next fan asked that if, after the first New 52 renumbered issues clear, they would go back and clean up continuity and tie the old stories into the new continuity more clearly. Idelson said they would eventually, though not right away.

Another fan wanted to know why there was such a radical change on Superboy, more so than many of the other New 52 characters. “His continuity and story got so complicated over the past five or six years,” said Idelson. “This was a fresh chance to hit the reset button.”

A fan asked Davis whether “Superman: Earth One” should be considered an Elseworlds story and then asked all panelists how they could resist the urge to let “Action Comics” hit #1000. Davis said that he felt he actually approached the novel like a movie rather than thinking of it in terms of Elseworlds and then said that the Earth One Batman and Earth One Superman were in the same universe.

Harras addressed the second part of the question, saying, “There was a faction of people saying we can do this for everyone but ‘Action’ and ‘Detective’…it will have the biggest impact and mean the most if we do it for every book.”

The next fan to the microphone asked if Kara will ever fight Wonder Woman. “I really hope so!” said Johnson.

“I love that! That would be amazing!” added Asrar.

An audience member wanted to know which books were everyone’s favorites of the New 52. Jurgens said he was reading everything that was coming out, as was Asrar. Johnson named “Justice League Dark” as one of his favorite. Idelson agreed with Jurgens and Asrar that he enjoyed all the books while Davis said he really enjoyed “Superboy,” and added that he will be coming on as cover artist around issue #3 or #4. He also named “Demon Knights” as a fun book. Harras said that “I, Vampire” was one of the books he would recommend everyone check out.

Another fan asked if they were going to bring back and update the Eradicator for the Superman books. “We haven’t really discussed him because we wanted to parcel out Krypton,” said Idelson.

“The idea has been to start by going back and retelling the story…what we’re all trying to do is come up with new stories and new characters and new situations,” added Jurgens.

A Flashpoint fan wanted to know if they would ever see any more stories set in the “Flashpoint” timeline, to which Harras told her it was doubtful.

A fan asked Jurgens why he and Giffen were replacing Perez. “There’s another project he’s really, really wanted to do,” said Jurgens, adding that Perez told the story he wanted to tell.

A fan dressed as the “Action Comic” Superman wanted to know how long they planned to have Superman in the jeans and t-shirt. “It’s got a definite endpoint, I don’t want to give away when,” said Idelson, naming the costume and character as a “proto-Superman.”

Another fan wanted to know when the hooded woman in every issue will come back, to which the panel members told him to keep reading the books.

A fan wanted to know how other fans could be sure the New 52 changes would be permanent as they had said Superman’s death would be permanent in the ‘90s.

“The amount of time and effort put into it…this is permanent,” said Harras. Jurgens then denied that they said Superman’s death was permanent and Harras said that there is no “backdoor button” to reset everything back to pre-September comics.

A fan of Jurgens asked the writer/artist which version of Superman he preferred–pre on or post September? “A good Superman story is a good superman story where it’s done in 2011, 2000, or 1950,” said Jurgens.

The next audience member to the microphone asked what the biggest obstacle the panelists had to tackle with relaunching the new Superman books.

“The Superboy/Legion stuff,” said Idelson.

Another fan wanted to know if they will see more “Superman/Batman” stories or books, and the panelists told them it was possible, but not right now.

The very last question of the panel came from a fan who wanted to know what would happen with Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane across the Superman books, and what their dynamic would be.

“Well, we have the wedding of Lois and Jimmy special,” joked Jurgens. Johnson then said that they were going to bring Jimmy into “Supergirl” as a friend for Kara.

“Lois in both books is treating Jimmy like a competent co-worker,” said Idelson, naming that as the biggest change in the relationship and bringing the panel to a close.

Discuss this story in CBR’s Superman forum.

Tags:  nycc2011, dc comics, superman, superman earth one, shane davis, j michael straczynski, mahmus asrar, supergirl, superboy


DC Comics’ Superman: All Access Panel [NYCC 2011]

Artist Shane Davis (Superman: Earth One), editor Matt Idelson, writer Mike Green (Supergirl), artist Mahmud Asrar (Supergirl) and writer/artist Dan Jurgens (Superman) took to the stage at New York Comic Con to tell fans what they can expect from DC Comics’ line of Superman titles. Click below the jump for news on the new creative team of Superman, the next volume of Superman: Earth One, the new look of Krypton and future destinations for Supergirl.


“Real men wear their underwear on the outside,” artist Shane Davis joked as the cover to Superman: Earth One was displayed for the New York crowd. While the “New 52” version of the Man of Steel no longer wears briefs, Davis’ Earth One incarnation of the character still has the classic Superman costume. The forthcoming graphic novel is the sequel to Davis and writer J. Michael Straczynski’s best-selling volume 1, which Davis said had “romance and adventure.” In contrast, the artist said the second volume would have more “sex and violence” while remaining PG-13. Pages were shown of Superman stopping a tsunami and a dictator cutting off limbs of some of his constituents. Superman fantasizes about what he could have done to the dictator, like disintegrating him.

Also shown were pages of the Parasite, who in this story will start off as a serial killer and won’t be as much of an actual energy glutton as the classic villain, but rather have an addiction to power itself. “The most powerful man has his hands tied,” Davis said. The Parasite lives in a more real world and can’t upset humanity’s balance of power.


Pages were shown of Superman saving a cat and people freaking out and throwing bricks at him, John Corben entering the Steel Soldier suit, and a depiction of old Krypton by Gene Ha featuring Jor-El, Lara and Krypto. Apparently Lara’s family thinks Jor-El is a crackpot scientist.


Writer Mike Green explained that unlike some of the other New 52 books, they’re completely reintroducing their hero with Supergirl. The circumstances of her arrival on Earth will remain a secret for now. The cover of issue #5 was shown, and it features Argo City, her traditional hometown. In issue #4, Green and Asrar will explain why Supergirl was already fully powered when exiting the rocket that brought her to Earth.


Idelson stated that Superboy is the most changed character in the entire New 52 because he’s “a new blank slate.” Superboy was described as not knowing what “morals, values or feelings” are.


Starting with Superman #7, Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens will be co-writing the book with Jurgens drawing. Jurgens is of course best known as the writer and artist behind the landmark “Death of Superman.” The pair gave the following statement to DC’s The Source blog:

“In my mind, Superman is still the first and best,” said Jurgens. “He is the premier character in comics. As a writer, the thing I like best about Superman is the incredibly wide parameter of stories that suit him. Whether it’s a cosmic enemy that threatens the entire planet or a next door neighbor who’s confronted with an incredible moral dilemma, Superman is at home with both and everything in between. As an artist, the thing I like is the sense of power and integrity Superman embodies. There’s something about drawing that majestic figure in flight with the cape and classic ‘S’ shield that will always be a kick. Working with Keith Giffen, one of the most creative guys in comics, who comes up with more ideas in five minutes than most guys do in a week, is the topper. I can’t wait to get started.”

“Are you kidding? It’s SUPERMAN! The sky is the limit!” said Giffen. “I don’t care what anyone says, Superman is DC’s flagship title and Dan and I are going to sweat blood to make sure that everyone out there knows why. The sense of wonder that defined the character for so long is, most definitely, coming back. Big time.”

The panel then opened up to QA.

On continuity: If Superman’s continuity has been rebooted but Batman and Green Lantern’s have not, how then can previously published Superman stories in which he appeared with Batman and Green Lantern still have happened? The panelists said that such concerns would be best revealed in story as necessary, as opposed to creating some kind of continuity roadmap for fans.

On Earth One: When asked whether the Earth One books were considered Elseworlds, Shane Davis stated that if the regular books are like TV shows, the Earth One titles are more like movies. He also confirmed that Superman: Earth One and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s forthcoming Batman: Earth One take place in the same universe.

On retelling old stories: When asked if they had plans to bring back the Eradicator, a figure from the Superman comics of the 1980s and 1990s, the panelists commented that they’re not trying to retell old stories in the New 52, but rather brand-new stories with new characters and situations.

On the differences between the Pre-52 and New 52 Superman: Dan Jurgens stated that he doesn’t think of them as “old Superman” and “new Superman,” but rather that the elements of a good Superman story will never change, and those elements are all still there with this new incarnation of the character.

On a new Superman/Batman title: “Not yet.”


Truth, justice, and plenty of violence

“Starfire used to be a very girly girl, a golden girl, and you have all these girl readers who grew up with her, and now she’s totally vamped-up, sexed-out, a very different character,’’ said Rizzo, who is attending the New York Comic Con this weekend. The new Superman is more violent, he said, and Batman more aggressive. “These are all geared to college kids and above.’’


Comic book industry hopes to rebound through digital distribution

Thousands of fans and collectors rushed into a comic book store to witness the death of an icon. They had seen it on the news, heard it on the radio, had been told by their friends; Superman was dead. The cover of Superman 75 showed Superman’s torn cape blowing in the wind like a flag at half mast, while his family and friends wept in the background.

On this day in 1992, a single store in Detroit sold nearly 200 000 copies of the monumental issue. The store began to see that they were running out of issues, so they marked the prices up higher and higher. By the end of the day, the issue that had started off at a $1.50 was going for twenty times its original price. This was a common sight in comic book stores across North America.

DC Comics, publisher of Superman, and comic book retailers made around $30 million in one day. This is the third time an American comic book publisher has hit the jackpot. It was also the only upswing for the comic market that year.

It was clear by the end of that same year that the comic market was shrinking. Sales dropped, the collectors cashed out and sent the whole system into what Grant Morrison, a writer at DC Comics, called “a death spiral.”

However, comic book creators see a way out of this tail spin through a new distribution system: the internet.

“I love digital comics. I will always have a heart for paper and a book I can hold, but I have an iPad that is stocked with comics,” says Kelly Sue Deconnick, a new writer for Marvel Comics. “Digital comics” are mainstream print comics that have been scanned and edited to be read on a computer, smartphone or tablet. Deconnick carries at least fifty comics with her at any given time, since those issues weigh no more than her tablet does.

“I have a favourite reader, and I love the ease of downloading. I read most of my comics this way,” she says.

E-comic readers like ComiXology,, and iVerse are popular on Apple Inc.’s iOS market and Google’s Andriod market, which sell apps for smartphones and tablet computers. According to analysts from PCWorld, the iPad has become the de facto device for reading comics outside of print thanks to its ability to show vibrant colours, as well as a simple lack of competition.

While other publishers like Viz and Dark Horse have a regular release schedule for digital comics, DC and Marvel have been reluctant to approach the new system. For many years, they refused to offer their comics digitally for weeks if not months after they had been released in print. That is until DC Comics decided to take the initiative. Beginning in September all of their comics are available the same day in print and online.

Yet for some people, this isn’t enough. There are complaints of the price of digital comics being too high and that the way comics are edited to fit on a phone or tablet fundamentally change the way comics are read.

“If [comics publishers] want to reach a wide audience, their price has to be two digits, 99 cents. That’s the magic number where it doesn’t feel you’re spending money,” says Cameron Stewart. Stewart is an artist whose work includes a run on Batman and Robin, and his own award-winning webcomic, Sin Titulo. Comics are currently priced at $2.99 and $3.99, depending on size, in print and digital. Stewart believes that the closer you get to five dollars, the more the consumer has to think about what they’re purchasing.

“There is so much on the app store that I bought without any idea if it was good. I bought games, movies, apps, completely on impulse, because it was a dollar or less.”

Ty Templeton, a comic book creator who’s worked for the Marvel and DC Comics for popular series like Justice League International and The Batman Adventures, doesn’t mind either format. He likes web comics and has all of his comics for sale online. Templeton, however, sees a bigger issue with the digital format than the price. He believes that it fundamentally changes the way comics are read.

“A lot of apps show the comic panel by panel, and for a comic that’s like watching a movie in the 80s. You would lose a bit of the left and the right and soon, the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers becomes five brides for four brothers. It doesn’t work,” Templeton says.

Apps like ComiXology tend to show comics through individual panels, due to smartphones’ smaller screens. Without this feature, the dialogue and narration become difficult to read.

“I object to the idea that you have to change the shape of the screen to enjoy the content.”

Deconnick, though more positive, says that “digital doesn’t work with the double-page spread.” A double page spread is when an image is spread over two pages. It’s often used for dramatic impact and surprise.

“Because you have to pull out and shrink down to see the full image, and then zoom in to see the detail, it doesn’t have the same power as it does [in print].”

While discussion behind digital comics isn’t exactly unanimous, almost everyone agrees that it’s the way of the future, whether the publishers take initiative or not. Ask any creator if their work is available online and the answer is a resounding yes; though they’ll add that they didn’t have choice in the matter.

In recent years, comics have become victim to rampant piracy. Within an hour of a comic hitting store shelves, it will be on every major peer-to-peer downloading network for free.  It’s worse with the international market, as comics from Japan and Europe end up online before they’re even released in North America.

And it works both ways. Dan DiDio, co-publisher for DC Comics, has blamed piracy for weak international sales, since the time difference between countries allows comics to be scanned in the US before the stores open in the rest of the world.

“Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to find that the books that don’t sell as much are going to suffer even more. All the variety of content is going to disappear,” says Francis Manapul. Manapul is a critically lauded Canadian artist. His new Flash comic will be one of DC Comics’ first to be immediately converted into digital. “Superman and Batman will always sell, but lesser known characters like Martian Manhunter or Aquaman are going to suffer.”

“Pay for the damn thing,” he quickly adds. “If you can buy a five dollar coffee, you can pay for a two-ninety-nine comic.”

Stewart, however, doesn’t think that piracy is a big deal. He knows that most of his work can be pirated easily, but feels that all media are subject to this, not just comics.

“We’re adopting a new paradigm in which everything is free first and then anyone who wants to support will buy it afterwards,” He takes this belief to heart. Stewart offers his own web comic, Sin Titulo, for free on his website, and then sells a graphic novel version once he finishes enough pages.

“Besides, the only people who are pirating comics are into comics to begin with, they’re more likely to buy a copy than anyone else.”

Despite many of the challenges ahead for comics distribution and sales, there is an overwhelming belief that digital comics and web comics are expanding the medium and the readership.

“I love that young creators who don’t have connections to Joe Quesada [Marvel Comics’ chief creative officer], or don’t have the money to self-publish can still publish online,” says Templeton.

“These days you don’t have to go through the system and talk to a publisher, by gum, an artist could just put it online every week and see if they can build an audience.”

Web comics are a popular phenomenon that has been around for almost as long as the internet itself. Well-known comics like Penny Arcade, XKCD, Questionable Content and Achewood all came from independent artists and writers.

Graham Moogk-Soulis began his comic, PostScript, in his freshman year of university. It ran the student newspaper Imprint and by his second year, he had a website and was posting them online.

“My ultimate goal was always to be in newspaper comics … I would look at my website and say, ‘there’s no career in that,” Moogk-Soulis says with a sheepish grin. “But as I started researching newspaper syndication I realized I was born ten years too late.”

The funnies and other newspaper syndicated comics have had a worse time in the last decade than the rest of the comic book industry.  The Village Voice reported in April that most cartoonists need multiple jobs to sustain themselves, as many of them are forced to work for free. As newspapers continue to decline in sales, demand for syndicated comics has as well.

“[Web comics] are still incredibly difficult, you still need a day job or if you’re like me, be a student, to support you,” says Moogk-Soulis. He’s optimistic that someday he’ll be able to make a living out of his comic, and sells prints on his website and at conventions to generate revenue.

Stewart is confident that web comics are the next stage in comic production. He’s willing to bet that Marvel and DC would generate a lot more interest if they had exclusively online series. Not to mention that he thinks focusing on the web will fix many of the glitches found in digital comics.

“Print comics are limited by the amount of ink you can fit on paper, but online you can do whatever you want. If you think about the aesthetic of digital, one panel at a time, you’ll be able to take advantage of it,” he says. There’s a concept in comic design called the “infinite canvas” which implies that on the web, you have literally infinite space to make a story. No need for turning a page at all.

“No matter where this industry goes, I’m sticking with the web. I’m at a stage in my life where I don’t like accumulating stuff,” says Stewart.

Many love saying good bye to dusty basements and garages filled with thirty-year-old periodicals. The iPad can store just as many issues of X-Men and Wonder Woman without all the clutter. Yet, Templeton is quick to remind people that there will always be a place for print comics.

“If you want a first edition copy of the Old Man in the Sea by Ernest Hemingway you’re going to pay a thousand dollars for it while the paperback is out this week for eight-ninety-five and there’s a reason for that,” he says. “Print is a moment in history that you can hold in your hand.”


NYCC | DC’s New 52 sells 5 million comics in just six weeks

DC Comics Sells Over 5 Million Comic Books in Six Weeks
Historic Renumbering Drives Record-Breaking Sales!

NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2011 — DC Comics – the home of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman – is experiencing its best comic books sales in more than 20 years, following a historic renumbering of all DC Comics titles with 52 all-new first issues. With sales of more than 5 million copies in only six weeks, the first issues of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 are generating international headlines and bringing fans back into comic book stores across the country.

“We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from retailers, fans and the creative community to DC Comics — The New 52,” said DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson. “This was a bold publishing initiative that is reinvigorating and growing the industry and medium we love.”

“We did more than just change Superman’s costume and renumber the entire line. We took a huge risk and it’s paying off,” said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment co-publisher and artist of JUSTICE LEAGUE. “Comic book retailers are seeing returning fans as well as new readers flock to their stores.”

Earlier this year, and before DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 launched on August 31, the industry’s bestselling comic book title typically sold about 100,000 copies. In contrast:

  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 has sold more than 250,000 copies.
  • ACTION COMICS #1 and BATMAN #1 have both sold more than 200,000 copies.
  • DETECTIVE COMICS #1, THE FLASH #1, GREEN LANTERN #1 and SUPERMAN #1 have all sold more than 150,000 copies.

So, just how many comic books are we talking about? With New York Comic Con kicking off this week, let’s look to some of New York’s famous landmarks for some visual context. It takes (approximately):

  • 2,090,880 comic books laid end to end to stretch from one end of New York State to the other. We’ve sold enough DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 first issues to span New York State in its entirety two times over.
  • 174,480 comic books stacked on top of each other to reach the top of the Empire State Building. That’s every copy of GREEN LANTERN #1—with issues to spare.
  • 36,600 comic books stacked in a pile to reach the top of the Statue of Liberty. That means copies of WONDER WOMAN #1 could reach the top of Lady Liberty almost three times.

Oh, and 5 million copies sold? That’s enough copies of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 to lay out and span the distance from New York to Chicago – with some left over.

“People are buying, reading and talking about a line of comic books in a way they haven’t in years,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment co-publisher. “We’re thrilled to see the passionate response fans have had, but this is just Step One for us. Now our plan is to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going.”

“When DC Entertainment was created almost two years ago, we committed to an environment of ‘no fear’ when it came to creative and business risks,” said Nelson. “I couldn’t be more proud of our Publishing team for embracing this mantra and delivering in a way that is growing the genre, our partners’ businesses and our fan base, while helping to fuel the creative engine that drives so many Warner Bros.’ content businesses.”

In addition to debuting all-new first issues in comic shops, DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 launched same-day digital publishing, with DC Entertainment becoming the first major comic book publisher to release their entire line of ongoing titles same-day digital.

“Our digital sales have been better than we could have imagined and we are pleased that these sales are additive to traditional publishing sales in the comic book stores,” said John Rood, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. “We’re not migrating readers from print to digital. We’re adding more new readers into the mix.”


Muslim comic series aims to break through in US

DETROIT (AP) — Comic book fans might call it a great origin story: In the aftermath of 9/11, a Muslim man creates a comic book series, “The 99,” inspired by the principles of his faith. It builds a global audience and investors contribute millions for it to continue and expand.

In two vastly different cultures, Naif Al-Mutawa’s tale hits a few roadblocks — “villains” if you will: Censorship from Saudi Arabia, home to the main Muslim holy sites; in the United States, a struggle to build an audience where free expression has been hampered by a post-9/11 rise in suspicion and scrutiny of all things Islamic.

For Al-Mutawa, it’s evidence that tales like his are needed to counter hardline, intolerant ideologies of all stripes.

“That’s one of the things that was most disappointing to me in the beginning,” Al-Mutawa said on a recent visit to Detroit. “You have two birthplaces: You have the birthplace of Islam, which initially rejected it (and) the birthplace of democracy and tolerance, this country, that I’m now facing resistance in — the two natural places for this product.”

Al-Mutawa’s reputation in the Middle East and elsewhere has grown since the 2006 debut of “The 99,” as well as its rollout into animation. The series is named for the 99 qualities the Quran attributes to God: strength, courage, wisdom and mercy among them.

The comic book spawned a TV series and 26 half-hour episodes of the 3-D animated version of the “The 99” have been sold to broadcasters. They are expected to be released early next year in more than 50 countries, and a second season is in production.

Al-Mutawa, a U.S.-educated psychologist from Kuwait, has been promoting “Wham! Bam! Islam!” a PBS documentary that tells the story of “The 99” from an idea hatched during a cab ride to its raising of $40 million in three calls for investors. The promotional push is supporting the animated series, the vehicle by which his company hopes to turn a profit.

“The 99” grew out of his childhood love of Batman, Superman and their superhero brethren, along with a desire to provide role models for his five young sons.

“Basically, ‘The 99’ is based on Quranic archetypes, the same way that Batman and Superman are based on Judeo-Christian and Biblical archetypes. And just like Batman and Superman are secular story lines, so too are ‘The 99,'” he said.

“It seemed to me that the only people using mass media when it came to things to do with religion — at least my religion — were people who were doing very destructive things. So the question was how do I challenge that in a way that’s secular yet cannot be dismissed as Western?”

Critics on both sides of the religious and cultural divide see subversion in Al-Mutawa’s superheroes. Some hardline Muslims say the series subverts their faith by embodying the attributes in human characters, while a few non-Muslim American critics have labeled it sneaky Islamic indoctrination.

Al-Mutawa said it took investment by an Islamic investment bank to make his series “halal,” or acceptable to Saudi officials. The nation’s government-run broadcaster has since bought the rights to the animated series. So has The Hub cable network in the U.S. — though the latter has indefinitely postponed airing it after some critical columns and blog posts.

“One of the comments on the blogs that ended up delaying us was someone who warned that we can’t let the Muslims brainwash our children like the Mexicans did with ‘Dora the Explorer,'” Al-Mutawa said.

Still, he’s measuring broader acceptance in other ways. Al-Mutawa worked with DC Comics last year on a six-issue crossover that teamed “The 99” with The Justice League of America.

“They start out with distrust between the two teams of superheroes — Superman punches one of my guys early on,” Al-Mutawa said. “And then they figure out during the arc that it’s the bad guys causing the distrust.”

Robin Wright, author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” said Al-Mutawa has “been way ahead of the curve in figuring out how you challenge extremism and how you create alternative role models to Osama bin Laden or Hassan Nasrallah (Hezbollah’s leader) for kids and adults.”

Muslim characters are rare in U.S. comic books but there have been some inroads.

Marvel Comics has Dust, a young Afghan woman whose mutant ability to manipulate sand and dust has been part of the popular X-Men books.

“I don’t view a Muslim superhero as avant garde,” Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said. “Muslims comprise approximately 23 percent of the world’s population, and we like our comics to reflect the world in its diversity.”

Dust wears a robe and veil to observe Muslim hijab, or modest dress. Another character, M, is a woman of Algerian descent who only recently revealed her faith in the pages of “X-Factor.” Like millions of other Muslim women in the real world, she “does not observe hijab, and often dresses quite provocatively,” Alonso said.

Other characters have not been so accepted. In late 2010, DC Comics introduced Nightrunner, a young Muslim hero of Algerian descent raised in Paris. He’s part of the global network of crime fighters set up by Batman alter-ego Bruce Wayne. Conservative bloggers decried the move, noting that instead of tapping a native French person, they opted for a minority.

Frank Miller, whose dark and moody take on Batman in “The Dark Knight Returns” in 1986 energized the character, has taken a different tack in his latest work, “Holy Terror,” which tells the story of The Fixer and his efforts to stamp out Islamic terrorists.

The graphic novel initially took root as a look at Batman’s efforts to fight terrorism, something that grew out of Miller’s experiences of being in New York during 9/11. As he worked on it, it became apparent that it wasn’t suitable for the DC character.

“As I developed it and worked on it, the subject was too serious and the character’s actions were not Batman,” he said.

The book has been criticized as anti-Islamic propaganda, but Miller says that’s not his notion.

“I lived through a time when 3,000 of my neighbors were incinerated for no apparent reason. I lived through the chalky, smoky weeks that followed and through the warplanes flying overhead and realized that, much like my character, The Fixer, I found a mission,” he said.

As for “The 99,” he said has not seen it but welcomes Al-Mutawa’s efforts.

“I come in with my own very pro-Western-they-attacked-my-city-point of view,” Miller said. “If other people have other points of view to bring in, I just welcome it.”

Al-Mutawa called “Holy Terror” par for the historical course for Islam.

“There’s no denying that terrible things have happened in the name of my religion — as they have in the names of most religions, if not all religions,” he said. “As human beings, we’re a little bit lazy. We don’t like to change the schemas in our minds. We like to fit new information into existing schemas. That’s why to some people anything to do with Islam is going to be bad.”

Matt Moore contributed to this report from Philadelphia.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


More Photos Of Amy Adams As Lois Lane On The Man Of Steel Set


Have the latest batch of Amy Adams set photos improved your opinion about the look of Lois Lane?

Man of Steel is an upcoming American superhero film under the development of Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan, and David S. Goyer. Based on the DC Comics character Superman, the film will be a reboot of the Superman film series. Using Chicago as a backdrop, and with production to be based in west suburban Plano, the film entered principal photography in August 2011, for a planned theatrical release on June 14, 2013 by Warner Bros., which also includes IMAX venues.

“Clark Kent/Kal-El is a young twentysomething journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – ‘Why am I here?’ Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha and Jonathan Kent, Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as ‘Superman’, not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.”

Graphic City


Andy Kubert To "Action Comics" In January

Previous Kubert Superman art from “Trinity.”

New York Comic Con is still four days away, but the news blitz expected to accompany the last big convention of the year has already started in earnest.

DC Comics announced today via a story in the New York Post that artist Andy Kubert, fresh off the universe-changing “Flashpoint” event, will join writer Grant Morrison for a two-issue stint on “Action Comics” starting with January’s #5. Regular series artist Rags Morales will be back for issue #7.

“When Editor Matt Idelson asked if I would be interested and/or able to fit into my schedule two upcoming issues of Action Comics with Grant, I couldn’t say no,â€? Kubert told DC’s The Source blog in a follow up post. “I don’t know of any other artist that would have. Drawing the latest incarnation of Superman and working with one of the best writers on the planet made it a very easy decision for me. And in this story, I get to do some VERY iconic stuff! I gotta admit, I’m a little nervous… Fun Fact for those keeping score: I had never drawn Superman in a comics interior for an entire issue. I had done inking over Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway for an issue each over their beautiful pencils way (and I mean WAY) back when but this is my first opportunity to pencil the Man of Steel interior pages for my very own!â€?

The Post also mentioned that DC will also “reveal the surprising origin of a longtime member of the Justice League” at the show and spoke with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso about that company’s plans for their Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man franchises.

For more, see the NY Post, and stay tuned to CBR for more on Kubert’s move and all the news coming from New York Comic Con 2011.

Discuss this story in CBR’s DC Universe forum.

Tags:  dc comics, action comics, superman, andy kubert, grant morrison, nycc11


Do Rick Perry and Superman Have the Same Swagger?

DC Comics writer Grant Morrison says Superman has a “swagger,” the same word often used to describe Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry.

According to various news sources, Rick Perry has a “swagger.”

“The first time you see Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, it hits you immediately: The Texas governor has the swagger of a movie star,” read a CBS News report last Auguest. “It’s there in his alpha-male confidence, his Marlboro Man drawl, his propensity for cowboy boots.”

And when Perry said it would be “almost treasonous” for Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to print more money, Fox News defended his controversial remarks as just part of his “Texas swagger.” The Associated Press also used the “s-word” in its headline, “Rick Perry exudes confidence, swagger on campaign trail.”

Traced back to Shakespeare’s 1590 play Midsummer Night’s Dream, “swagger,” derived from a word meaning “to swing,” once meant “to move heavily or unsteadily.” Now the term’s more closely aligned with a masculine cockiness, an arrogance almost distinctly American, which is precisely why comic book writer Grant Morrison used “swagger” to describe DC Comics’ latest incarnation of Perry’s favorite hero, Superman.

“That swagger is part of what the rest of the world believes about America,” says Morrison in an interview in the latest issue of the recently relaunched ‘Action Comics.’ “I wanted to put that back into Superman, that attitude of ‘I know what I’m doing, I’m the biggest guy on the block…” That’s precisely the same approach Perry embraces.

The real question, though, is whether Perry will use that swagger to fight for truth, justice and the American way, like Superman, or whether he’ll use it to exert undue American force around the world.

We’ll soon find out, because the Republican presidential candidates are now unrolling their foreign policy stances, and Perry will have an opportunity to expand on his worldview, which thus far seems bafflingly muddled, and potentially dangerous. The Texas governor, for example, suggested we send U.S. troops into Mexico to crack down on drug cartels. That is not the type of swagger of which Superman would approve.

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