Welcome back to The Rundown, our daily breakdown on comic news stories we missed from the previous day. Have a link to share? Email our team at email@example.com.
In case you missed it, the British artist best known for “Commando,” “2000 AD,” and “Dan Dare,” Ian Kennedy, died aged 89, while Marvel announced the 30th anniversary miniseries “Spider-Man 2099: Exodus.”
– Via Syfy Wire, Valiant Entertainment revealed a new ongoing series called “Archer & Armstrong Forever,” by writer Steve Foxe, artist Marcio Fiorito, colorist Alex Guimaráes, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. With the titular pair returning once again, Foxe and editor Rob Levin have set out to distinguish the series pair’s usual adventures by stripping Armstrong of his immortality, with Foxe stating that finding out how the pair’s relationship is “affected by Armstrong losing his immortality, has been the big surprise to me.” Foxe also revealed a new pair of antagonists called The Eccentric and the Maw, who have an “an Emperor Palpatine and Darth Maul-type dynamic,” will debut in the new series; Foxe teased that the Maw is a way of “bringing as much of the horror world into Archer & Armstrong as much as I possibly could.” “Archer & Armstrong Forever” #1 is scheduled for release in May.
– “Giant Days” creator John Allison has revived the original webcomic with a new installment on his website. The new arc, which runs from Mondays to Thursdays for the next eight weeks, takes place during the main characters’ second year of university, when they were all living together in Crookes, Sheffield. “It was intended for a special, but never got anywhere at the time,” Allison says. “You may have some idea what it is about already.” You can start reading the story here.
– The Beat reported that cartoonist Gus Gordon will be making his graphic novel debut with “Into the Bewilderness” in 2024. The graphic novel will chronicle a bear called Luis and a mole named Pablo travelling into the city to see a Broadway show, despite their fears about leaving their comfort zone of the wilderness. Clarion/HarperCollins will be publishing the graphic novel in the US and around the world, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, where it will be published by Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing. Gordon has made his name working on children’s picture books, and “Into the Bewilderness” will be aimed at early readers. There are a host of preview pages available to view here.
– Iron Circus Comics announced their first Kickstarter-less crowdfunding campaign will be for “The Poorcraft Cookbook” by cartoonist Nero Villagallos O’Reilly. The third entry in the “Poorcraft” series, the “Cookbook” will see the publisher’s founder, C. Spike Trotman’s characters engaging in cooking recipes that don’t lack in flavor even if they are light on the wallet. Trotman described how moving the crowdfunding campaign to Iron Circus’s website feels like the “natural endpoint of [her ‘own your cool’] philosophy,” and an expansion of the publisher’s “DIY attitude to all aspects of our crowdfunding campaigns,” even though the move was somewhat forced due to her opposition to Kickstarter’s upcoming involvement with blockchain. “The Poorcraft Cookbook” is available to support at Iron Circus’s website now.
– The SMOU-TJ, the members of the website So Many Of Us, a collective of individuals who were targeted and manipulated by writer Warren Ellis, provided an update on their progress, stating that they entered into a “mediated conversation” with Ellis in August 2021, though the group “acknowledge[d] that it is simply too early to report where it is heading or where it may end up.” They also asked for people to to “keep your engagement respectful” because “both parties have experienced undue harassment.” In his first newsletter since June 2021, Ellis stated he “remain[s] committed to the process.” You can read the full statement by SMOU-TJ at their website. Ellis was accused of sexual coercion in June 2020.
– Following a report that the Image Comics staff who are members of the Comic Book Workers United union had filed a labor dispute against the publisher for “unfair labor practices,” Bleeding Cool highlighted that the Image studio, Shadowline, has removed ten individuals from its credits, all of whom are members of CBWU. The changes were spotted in the latest issues of “Hellcop” and “A Thing Called Truth.” At the time of writing, there has been no further update regarding the union’s complaint, with it currently being investigated by the United States Government National Labor Board.Continued below
– Deadline announced the cast of Disney+’s upcoming adaptation of “American Born Chinese” by Gene Luen Yang and Lark Pien, which includes Michelle Yeoh (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings). The series will adapt the graphic novel’s three-stranded narrative that interconnects around the son of Chinese immigrants, Jin Wang (portrayed by Ben Wang), as he moves to a San Francisco suburb and struggles with his Asian heritage. Jimmy Liu is set to play Wei-Chen, a Taiwanese immigrant who has only just moved to the US and becomes Jin’s best friend; Yeoh has been cast in the role of Wei-Chen’s aunt. Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed Yeoh in Shang-Chi, will reunite with the actress as he takes up the directorial reigns for the adaptation. American Born Chinese does not currently have a release date, but will enter production at the end of this month. You can check out the full list of casting announcements for the show, which includes Chin Han, Daniel Wu, and Ke Huy Quan, here.
– Nickelodeon Animation, Paramount Animation, LAFIG Belgium, and IMPS announced that they have formed a partnership to produce new movies based on Peyo’s “The Smurfs.” Nickelodeon’s recent animated series also based on the comics, The Smurfs, was renewed for a second season consisting of 26 episodes too. Details surrounding the number of films the quartet will produce has not been disclosed, but the first is set to be an animated musical written by Pam Brady (South Park). The as-yet-untitled musical will enter production later this year and is scheduled for release on December 20, 2024.
– Marvel revealed the character designs and cast for the upcoming Disney Channel series, Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. Among the characters from the show to be featured in the reveal was the show’s lead, Lunella Lafayette, who will be voiced as Diamond White; Casey, Moon Girl’s Jewish Puerto Rican manager and best friend, whose voice will be provided by Libe Barer; and the “all-knowing, all-powerful” Beyonder, who will be voiced by the show’s producer Laurence Fishburne. Closing out the design reveals were Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (Fred Tatasciore) together. You can see all of the revealed designs, and cast (including Alfre Woodard, Sasheer Zamata, and Gary Anthony Williams) over at Marvel.com.
– Finally, Robert Blalack, best known for being part of the Oscar-winning special effects team on Star Wars, died of cancer at the age of 73 on February 2, his wife Caroline Charron-Blalack announced. During his career Blalack also won a visual effects Emmy for The Day After and was involved with the special visual effects for Altered States and Wolfen, among others, and worked as the optical supervisor for Robocop. Blalack is survived by his wife as well as his son, Paul.