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WIRE Buzz: HBO Max goes global for new DC Comics originals; Godzilla stomps new publishing deal; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Nightwing Titans

Inviting Titans over may have been just the start of something very big indeed for HBO Max — at least when it comes to future small-screen projects from the DC Universe.

Fresh on the heels of announcing it’ll debut all of Warner Bros’ movies next year at the same time they land in theaters, the still-young streaming platform has revealed that it’s looking to international markets, for the first time ever, to produce new DC Comics-based content that’ll originate outside the U.S. — but that will ultimately ends up as part of HBO Max’s overall genre lineup across the globe.

According to Deadline, the idea is for HBO Max to tap into its access to DC’s “library of genre titles” by launching new projects in “local” production markets to assure they’ll have their best chance at finding an audience in their home countries — while simultaneously aiming for international success. “[I]f there’s anything that we’re developing that has real cross-border appeal, we’ll be able to highlight that,” HBO content chief Casey Bloys explained at this week’s virtual Web Summit, an annual tech conference based in Portugal.

Bloys’ forecast didn’t come with any specific name-drops that hint at what DC Comics properties might make the cut, nor where new movies or series based on the comics might originate. But HBO Max already is off to a hot start with DC in its first year, importing DC Universe originals like Titans, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn, as well as the upcoming original series Peacemaker. That’s in addition to previously-announced plans to debut both Wonder Woman 1984 and James Gunn’s feature-length The Suicide Squad on the platform at the same time they arrive on the big screen.

If you thought the King of the Monsters was big enough, strap in — because it looks as if Godzilla’s about to get a whole lot bigger.

IDW and Godzilla parent company Toho announced today that they’ve just inked a new multi-year deal that’ll put the big fella “and dozens of monsters from the Godzilla live action films” on the pages of a whole new lineup of paper and tabletop platforms, including comics, board games, and more as part of a cross-platform publishing push.

Godzilla young adult comic art

“Beginning in spring 2021, Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and dozens of kaiju will stomp their way across IDW’s line of comic books, graphic novels, trade collections, art books, coloring books, journals, tabletop games, and puzzles,” the companies revealed in a statement.

That means Godzilla and friends will round the corner into 2021 with a bigger appetite than ever to gobble up more readers in both their young adult and grown-up audience base, beginning with the first release — a five-issue comics miniseries by writer Erik Burnham, artist Dan Schoening, and colorist Luis Antonio Delgado “aimed at middle-grade readers,” pictured in the pull-out above.

That series is set to debut both digitally and in print next April. Stay plugged into Godzilla’s Twitter and Instagram feeds to catch the newest Atomic-breathed blast of future updates.

With Vampire: The Masquerade collecting legions of Kindred across board games, video games, and novels from its humble 1990s beginnings, Vault Comics and World of Darkness are getting set to take things a step further, announcing a live Twitch-streamed event set in Masquerade’s gothic universe to help raise money for a geeky good cause.

Onc Dec. 5, a Masquerade-centric group including author Patrick Rothfuss, LA By Night cast members Erika Ishii and B. Dave Walters, and Vault Comics’ Vampire: The Masquerade Winter’s Teeth comic co-writers Tini Howard & Blake Howard, will all unite to livestream a one-shot game of game of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.

Vampire The Masquerade Twitch teaser December 2020

Hosted on the official World of Darkness Twitch channel, the livestream will boost awareness and help raise funds for Heifer International, a nonprofit that targets global poverty and hunger through sustainable agriculture initiatives. The one-shot is “based on the events and characters of Vampire: The Masquerade Winter’s Teeth,” according to Vault, and will fall squarely within the official Masquerade story canon.

To sink your teeth into the watch party, tune in at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 5 for a four-hour marathon that promises prize drawings — including “signed or rare books, games, collectibles, and other geekery” — for every $10 pledge you make.