Thursday, April 9, 2020

Thursday's Headlines | MAINFRAME COMIC CON Goes Online

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic scuttling most comic book conventions until at least May, Mainframe Comic Con is one of A new breed of virtual events aiming to fill in the gap and celebrate comic books and comic culture with a fully online convention.

Though most people haven't been able to leave their homes - and major cons since February/March's C2E2 have largely been postponed or cancelled - fans looking to stretch their legs with some comic book-oriented fun will be able to do some from their own homes thanks to Mainframe's online con, featuring all the hallmarks of in-person conventions including cosplay, creators, celebrity guests, and more.

"Hit the hardest are the thousands of local comic book stores around the country," reads the event's website. "An already struggling industry, comic shops are finding themselves having to close their doors amidst this global health emergency, and without their existence, the comic industry as a whole is in trouble. It is out of this need for support that the mainframe comic con was conceived."

Mainframe Comic Con will broadcast live from Chicago Comics in Chicago, Illinois, and will feature virtual appearances from numerous industry guests including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Clark Gregg, Tim Seeley, Kevin Smith, Bosslogic, J.M. DeMatteis, Joe Hill, Ron Marz and more. BOOM! Studios and Ahoy Comics are publishers who have signed on according to Mainfram'e organizers, with the latter 'sending' Tom Peyer, Stuart Moore, Mark Russell, Richard Pace, and Mariah McCourt as their representatives.

Activities taking place during Mainframe will include daily live remote interviews, artist sketching in a virtual artist's alley, cosplay contests, and live comic book auctions hosted by shops around the country.

Mainframe Comic Con will broadcast live from its own website on April 25 and 26, and will accept donations for the American Red Cross and the Hero Initiative. The con's full schedule of events has yet to be released.

Thursday's Headlines | Throwback In Comics - 1995

April 1995 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Preorded by North American Comics Shops
from Diamond Comic Distributors

X-Men Omega wrapped up the end of the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline. The titles involved in the promotion would return to their normal names in May. The reflective cover of the Omega issue means that it remains one of the most difficult comic books to depict photographically. 

Capital City Distribution had preorders of 38,975 copies of Amazing Spider-Man #402, the item, and the title's Statement of Ownership reported average monthly sales comics-shop and newsstand sales of 208,090 copies for the year. Diamond's sales on that issue were likely in the 73,000-copy range, meaning one point on this chart equals 700-800 comic books sold by Diamond.

What comics do you have from the 90's? Email us tell us what you like about the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wednesday's Headlines | TOKYOPOP Announces Digital Releases

Press Release

TOKYOPOP®, a POP Media Holdings company and global manga leader, announced their adjusted release schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of novel coronavirus around the world has resulted in non-essential businesses closing down temporarily, including our printer, lettering team, distributor and other vitally important parts of the publishing process. Due to these setbacks, we have had to make the difficult decision to delay the print release of our upcoming titles originally scheduled for release in April and May of 2020.

We’re working hard in the background to find other ways to get new titles to fans throughout this shutdown, including accelerated e-book releases and outsourcing work to freelancers, and are in ongoing talks with our various partners to evaluate how quickly we can resume printing and releasing as scheduled. 

We do not anticipate having to delay the release of titles initially scheduled for June or later, but will update the status of new releases at as new information is made available to us.

“This is such a difficult time for the publishing world, and our hearts are with everyone in the industry,” says Kae Winters, TOKYOPOP’s Marketing Associate. “Our current focus is getting things back up and running – with people’s health and safety in mind, of course – so our retailer friends can maintain their businesses and keep getting comics and manga to their customers.”

As a thank you to our community through this global shutdown, we’ve launched the COVID-19 Community Free Manga Program, with a selection of our titles available digitally for free until the end of April. 

We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity shown by our creators and licensors in making this happen, and we hope this will provide support and some much needed distraction for people.

Wednesday's Headlines | Upcoming Marvel and DC Movies: 2020-2023

Hello Movie Fans,

Hope everyone is doing well and staying at home! Let's talk movies and upcoming releases for Marvel/DC here's the latest news. Remember these dates will change as we practice social distancing in this era. Stay home, Wash hands, and We'll be okay!  

POSTPONED: The New Mutants (no new release date announced)
August 14: Wonder Woman 1984
October 2: Untitled Sony/Marvel sequel (3D) (Sony) (presumed to be Venom sequel)
October 23: Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (Paramount)
November 6: Black Widow (new date)

February 12: Eternals (new date)
March 19: Morbius (Sony)
May 7: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (new date)
June 25: The Batman
July 16: Untitled Sony-Marvel Studios Spider-Man sequel (Sony)
August 6: The Suicide Squad
POSTPONED: Untitled Sony/Marvel film (Sony) (no new release date announced)
November 5: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (new date)
December 22: Black Adam

February 18: Thor: Love and Thunder (new date)
April 1: Untitled Shazam! sequel
April 8: Untitled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel
May 6: Untitled Black Panther sequel
May 22: DC Super Pets
July 1: The Flash
July 8: Untitled Captain Marvel sequel (new addition, new Marvel Studios date)
October 7: Untitled Marvel Studios film
December 16: Untitled Aquaman sequel

February 17: Untitled Marvel Studios film
May 5: Untitled Marvel Studios film
July 28: Untitled Marvel Studios film
November 3: Untitled Marvel Studios film

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Tuesday's Headlines | Diamond Issues Update

Diamond Comic Distributors' founder/owner Steve Geppi delivered a letter early Monday announcing how it intends to make payments to its vendors - which include comic book publishers - after last week announcing it was holding scheduled payments.

In the letter (which is reproduced in full, below), the Diamond owner says plans are to pay 25% of the "weekly amount due under your contract terms," with the remainder being paid out along a new timetable set out.

Geppi also states that he and the Diamond "leadership team" are "accepting" a 50% salary cut.

Here is Steve Geppi's letter in full:
Dear Diamond Vendors,

COVID-19's dramatic impact on businesses around the globe cannot be understated. My leadership team is working non-stop in concert with expert consultants and our publisher partners to safeguard the comic industry's future. Thousands of retailers and publishers and hundreds of thousands of fans look forward to the products we distribute, and I take that responsibility very seriously.

Last week, we held vendor payments to allow for careful analysis of information from our industry, our business and the effects of COVID-19. We assured you that we would communicate our revised payment schedule when we were able, and I appreciate your patience and the many supportive messages I've received this week.

Working with what we know today, below is the outline of vendor payments from Diamond Comic Distributors and Diamond Book Distributors:

- Beginning this week, the week of April 6th, you will receive 25% of the weekly amount due under your contract terms
- Each subsequent week, you will receive a 25% payment of that week's balance due
- This reduced payment schedule will continue for 6 weeks, with the remaining 75% due in each of those weeks being deferred
- Following that 6-week period, we will begin payment of the deferred balance in equal payments over a 13-week period

While we understand that this will have significant impact on everyone, and the situation could change, we also recognize that our world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis and aggressive action is necessary. In addition to the steps outlined above, our leadership team is accepting a 50% salary cut, landlords have agreed to rent deferrals, and various other providers of professional services have agreed to defer their payments. Never before have we experienced such a test of our resolve and a demonstration of our commitment to each other.

Now more than ever we need to come together in support of one another, knowing that these difficult decisions will allow us to emerge from this trying time and thrive once again.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Steve Geppi
Founder, Chairman & CEO
Geppi Family Enterprises

DVD Tuesday | New DVD Releases April 7th, 2020

Greetings Everyone,

With the change in times right now! You might need something to watch this weekend or today! Here's what's new on DVD today.

Little Women (2019)
Theatrical Release Date: 12/25/2019
Language: English
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Greta Gerwig
Actors: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern
Plot: Based on the acclaimed novel the story follows a group of four sisters as they experience the trials and tribulations of growing up in the aftermath of the Civil War. 

Dolittle (2020)
Theatrical Release Date: 01/17/2020
Language: English
Genre: Comedy/Family
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Michael Sheen, Rami Malek, Emma Thompson, Jessie Buckley
Plot: Following the death of his wife, Dr. John Dolittle lives a secluded life behind the walls of his manor, keeping company with only the exotic animals he can understands and speak with. But he finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime when Queen Victoria falls gravely ill, and the reported cure waits on a mythical island that abounds with wondrous creatures.

Cats (2019)
Theatrical Release Date: 12/20/2019
Language: English
Genre: Animation/Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Tom Hooper
Actors: Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen
Plot: A tribe of cats known as the Jellicles hold a a yearly ritual in which one member is chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and return as a new, young Jellicle.

DVD Tuesday | New Release You Must See

Hey Movie Fans,

What did you catch last week?  Or the week before? Well, here's some movie you still might like to pick up today or whenever!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Theatrical Release Date: 12/20/2019
Language: English
Genre: Action/Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: J.J. Abrams
Actors: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Keri Russell, Billy Dee Williams
Plot: A resurrected Emperor Palpatine threatens the entire galaxy with a massive fleet the likes of which has never been seen. The Resistance, still reeling from the loss of Luke Skywalker, faces dwindling support even as Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca and C-3PO search for a means to find the Emperor's world deep within the Unknown Regions. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren follows his own path - one that could end in darkness or light. 

1917 (2019)
Theatrical Release Date: 12/25/2019
Language: English
Genre: War/Drama
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Sam Mendes
Actors: Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, George MacKay
Plot: Two young, British soldiers, Schofield and Blake are given and important, and seemingly impossible task - deliver a message deep in the heart of enemy territory in order to stop their own men, including Blake's brother, from walking into a deadly trap.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday's Headlines | The Nintendo Switch Lite is Nearly Sold Out

If you were thinking about getting a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite to help pass the time while stuck indoors, you might want to make a decision sooner rather than later. The standard Nintendo Switch has been nearly impossible to find in recent days, and it seems as though the Nintendo Switch Lite is headed in the same direction.

At the time of writing, stock on some of the Nintendo Switch Lite colors were available here at Best Buy, here at Walmart, and here at Dell for the standard $199.99. You can also score some of the starter bundles here at GameStop which include a console, a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a $20 eShop card, and screen armor for $289.99. Amazon and Target are completely sold out.

Hopefully stock will be replenished on both the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite soon, but we aren't holding our breath. Odds are both of these consoles will be increasingly difficult to find as the coronavirus situation drags on.

If you're unfamiliar, the Nintendo Switch Lite doesn't actually do any switching, there are no Joy-Cons (though it can connect to extra controllers), and the screen is smaller at 5.5-inches. However, the Lite does offer the same fundamental handheld experience as the standard Switch at a price point that's $100 cheaper. It's also more portable, has more color options, and an actual D-pad.

Monday's Headlines | TMNT Series On Hold

 In comic book news...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles writer/artist Sophie Campbell has tweeted that IDW Publishing has instructed her to stop production on the series "for now", with plans to stop after #105.

"Just got word that production is stopping, so TMNT is done for now," said Campbell in a tweet. "I'm going to finish up issue 105, then that's it. See you guys on the other side!"

Issues #105 through #107 have been solicited to come out, starting with #105 on May 6. It's unclear when or if production on the series will resume, and if so if Campbell will be involved. 

Many publishers are pausing or shifting production schedules due to supply chain interruptions caused by coronavirus, including Diamond Comic Distributors' ongoing closure.

Monday's Headlines | Zelda: Legendary Edition Box Set

Viz Media has announced the Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition Box Set which collects all five volumes of the Legendary Edition manga that's based on the iconic Nintendo video game series. If you're unfamiliar, The five Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition releases each contain two volumes of the outstanding manga series complete with updated covers and color art pieces by Akira Himekawa. This new box set takes these releases a step further with a bundled hardcover upgrade. Pre-orders are live now, but there are a few things to keep in mind...

First off, the box set is available to pre-order here on Amazon for $79.50 (36% off) with shipping slated for October. Note that you won't be charged until it ships and you'll automatically get the biggest discount that occurs between the time that you order and the ship date. So, if you pre-ordered when this set launched at $125, there's no need to change anything. You've already got the discount.

The next thing to consider is that Amazon is currently running a buy 2, get 1 free sale on physical manga titles and two of the five paperback The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition titles are currently eligible. The others are significantly discounted. Links for those titles can be found below
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Legendary Edition: $13.69 (bonus $2.74 coupon)
The Legend Of Zelda Four Swords Legendary Edition: $15.28 (Eligible for B2G1 free sale)
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons / Oracle of Ages - Legendary Edition: $13.69 (bonus $2.74 coupon)
Legend Of Zelda Legendary Edition The Minish Cap / Phantom Hourglass: $14.86 (Eligible for B2G1 free sale)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask / A Link to the Past - Legendary Edition: $14.86

Finally, a box set of the 10 standard volumes of The Legend of Zelda manga can be ordered here on Amazon for $61.45. At that price, going with the box set (with a discount) or the paperbacks of the upgraded Legendary Editions (especially B2G1) is definitely the way to go.

Monday's Headlines | Marvel Pauses Titles

Marvel Entertainment is immediately "pausing" work on - and the release of - approximately one-third of its May and June comic book issues, a spokesperson confirmed by Marvel's representative said 15 to 20% of its solicited titles would be affected, as some of them are twice-monthly in May and June.

The decision to pause work on the affected titles, according to the spokesperson, is "to help spread the amount of publishing product over the coming weeks and months."

Asked when the publisher intends to resume publishing the issues not affected by the pause, the Marvel spokesperson said "as soon as more information is available, we will outline our longer-term plans."

Marvel began telling creators involved with the suspended titles of this decision Friday, and the company spokesperson re-assured varies sources that "all talent will be paid for their work to date."