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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Former Heavy Metal CEO Matthew Medney and Managing Editor Morgan Rosenblum are teaming up again, this time for “Mutant Cats,” a sci-fi graphic novel about mutant animals and a corporation developing a risky clean energy source. It will be published by Gungnir Entertainment (one of four projects due out in 2024 from the new publisher), and will feature art from Alex Arizmendi. It’s set to hit shelves on March 19, 2024, and is aimed at readers age 13 and up. The project marks Medney’s first since stepping down from Heavy Metal at the start of 2023, and their flagship title’s cancellation.
– A judge has ruled “Invincible” colorist William Crabtree’s lawsuit against Robert Kirkman can go to trial. Unless both parties settle first, the trial will begin on February 20, 2024. Crabtree filed suit against Kirkman early last year, claiming the writer tricked him into signing away his rights to royalties from the series. District Court Judge Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong ruled that the statute of limitations on copyright disputes and fraud has expired, but that Crabtree could pursue his claims that the signed agreement was invalid, and that Kirkman had breached an oral agreement to compensate him later.
– In other Robert Kirkman-related news, Skybound Entertainment is expanding to Japan. The new branch will be led by film and TV producer Ash Nukui and focus on Japanese IP. Skybound has been quietly active in this market over the past year, partnering with Fuji TV for an adaptation of graphic novel “Heart Attack,” which will be Skybound Japan’s first official project.
– “The acclaimed series comes to an end” opens the newly released season three trailer for Hilda. The final season of the animated fantasy series will run eight episodes, closing out with a 70 min special. According to the official synopsis, the title hero will be “lured into a mystical realm that will lead her to a deeper understanding of her family’s hidden history, and long-buried truths about herself.” The series is based on the Luke Pearson comic of the same name. The new season drops on Netflix on December 7.
– “Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card” ended its 16-volume run last Friday, with Kodansha’s Nakayoshi magazine running the final chapter in its January 2024 issue. The magazine does promise to release a “special arc” for the series starting in the April 2024 edition (available March 1, 2024). “Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card” was created by manga studio CLAMP in 2016, and is a sequel to 1996’s “Cardcaptor Sakura.” The sequel series follows protagonist Sakura Kinomoto has she enters middle school, only to discover her magical cards have gone blank. The 14th compiled volume of the manga was made available in the States last month.
– “Mutts” creator Patrick McDonnell unchained the character Guard Dog in a strip on Thursday. According to the “Mutts” website, Guard Dog was created to “awareness about the cruelty of tethering, and has inspired countless ‘Mutts’ readers to become involved in animal welfare.” The website also features information regarding adoption and animal welfare organizations. Guard Dog was originally created to be an antagonist, but according to McDonnell, upon drawing the chain, he realized he drew a tragic character. “I think it just hit me that I can’t do it forever and that it has to happen.”
– Finally, Tanya Dillon, daughter-in-law of iconic “Preacher” and “Judge Dredd” artist Steve Dillon, has launched a GoFundMe to continue the Steve Dillon Exhibition. The exhibition features about 50 of the late artist’s drawings, with samplings of everything from “Hellblazer” to “Doctor Who.” For the last 18 months, it has toured around England, with two trips to Italy. As Dillon and her husband (Steve’s son Mark) are not currently profiting from the exhibition, they are turning to fans to help support the tour. Planned 2024 stops include Glasgow, Enniskillin, Dublin, Luton Comic Con, and potentially Thought Bubble. They hope to bring the exhibition to the US and Australia as well. As of this writing, they have raised £1,450 of a £5,000 goal.