Neil Gaiman, Wonder Twins, and Star Wars. How does that sound for a comic book roundup? Please save any applause or questions for the very end of the tour, please.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Sandman) recorded a short message for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit that fights censorship in the comic industry by providing free legal counsel and other help to creators, writers, and artists.
"Over the past century, almost every piece of pop culture that we love, has been attacked and censored by people looking for something 'dangerous' they can control," says the beloved fantasy author, thanking those who have donated to the CBLDF. "It started with comics. This kind of censorship nearly destroyed comic books when I was a small boy and those old ideas about comics being bad for you continue to this day."
You can check out Gaiman's "Thank You" below:
“We all need to fight for better resources for librarians and educators to defend the freedom of expression and the CBLDF has done that. Essex County was challenged in Canada and I know the importance of the CBLDF as an essential part of the comics world," said Jeff Lemire (Old Man Logan, Bloodshot Reborn), another industry spokesperson for the non-profit.
The video was also part of the Defense Fund's new partnership with Humble Bundle, itself a harbinger of the "Humble Comics Bundle: Start Here!" initiative.
"Featuring over 40 essential comics and manga titles, from modern classics to media tie-in hits and introductory volumes of today’s most exciting graphic novel series!" reads the official release.
BOOM!, Cartoon Books, Dark Horse, Dynamite Entertainment, Fantagraphics, IDW, Image Comics, Kodansha, Last Gasp, Skyhorse, Titan Publishing Group, Top Cow, and Top Shelf are all a part of "Start Here!"
"It's incredible to recognize that so many of the most well-loved and popular titles in comics have been banned and challenged. Seeing books CBLDF has stood up for like Saga, Bone, Barefoot Gen, and Love & Rockets in this bundle is a strong reminder that the freedom to read can't be taken for granted," said CBLDF President, Christina Merkler, in a statement.
Today, the Wonder Twins returned to the world of comic books at DC. The reboot (actually just a six-issue miniseries) is being helmed by writer, Mark Russell (The Flintstones), and artist, Stephen Byrne (Serenity).
Exiled from their home planet, shape-shifting siblings — Zan and Jayna — must face the reality of blending in as normal human teenagers at South Metropolis High School. Oh, they've also got part-time jobs interning at the Hall of Justice under Superman.
Check out the front cover and three interior pages below:
Wonder Twins #1 is on sale today. Issue #2 will be released March 13. Check out the cover for the second issue below:
Created by Norman Maurer, William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, the Wonder Twins (much like Harley Quinn) first debuted on television, not in a comic book. Becoming popular on The All-New Super Friends Hour, they finally made the jump to print.
Up last, Marvel Comics is bringing back a classic Star Wars series, which began in the late '70s and ended in 1988, many years before Marvel and Lucasfilm were under the purview of Disney.
Matthew Rosenberg (Kingpin) confirmed that he'll be writing a special 108th one-shot issue. Per ComicBook.com, the issue features Valance the Hunter and Jaxxon, two Star Wars characters who only ever showed up in the comics.
Valance was a Stormtrooper before an accident led him to become a bounty hunting cyborg while Jaxxon was a rabbit-adjacent alien who smuggled stuff, knew Han Solo, and piloted crafts for the Rebels. The comic is also set to include: Han, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Amaiza Foxtrain, and Domina Tagge.
"Being faithful to the amazing storytelling in the original run, but still making a comic for a modern audience, was the biggest challenge on this project. So many true comic legends worked on those books- Archie Goodwin, Roy Thomas, Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Al Williamson, David Michelinie, Klaus Janson, Jo Duffy, and so many more," Rosenberg told CB.com. "It's pretty overwhelming to think about, actually. What they made was the product of a very different time in comics, and it's something modern audiences aren't really accustomed to. So while it would be fun, if a little humbling, to try and just impersonate them, we wanted to do something a bit different, something that would appeal to classic and modern fans alike."
Star Wars #108 goes on sale May 29. Giuseppe Camuncoli, Luke Ross, Kerry Gammill, Andrea Broccardo, and others are handling the artwork.