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Named for legendary comics creator Will Eisner, the Eisner Awards saw their 29th presentation this weekend.  2018 Will Eisner Hall of Fame inductees included Carol Kalish (pioneering direct sales manager for Marvel Comics), and Jackie Ormes (first black female newspaper cartoonist, for the strip Dixie in Harlem featuring the character Torchy Brown).  Sixteen others were considered for the honor this year, and Charles Addams, Karen Berger, Dave Gibbons, and Rumiko Takahashi were inducted.  Joye Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk were awarded the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing.

Tom King (Batman, Batman Annual #2, Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1, Mister Miracle) and Marjorie Liu (Monstress) tied for Best Writer, with Liu the first woman awarded in the category.  “Monsters” was the dominant theme of this year’s awards with Monstress (Image) and My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics) taking the most wins.

We congratulate all the winners and nominees.

Here are the winners awarded at the ceremony, in bold, along with the nominees by category:

Best Short Story

  • ”A Life in Comics: The Graphic Adventures of Karen Green,” by Nick Sousanis, in Columbia Magazine (Summer 2017)
  • “Ethel Byrne,” by Cecil Castelluci and Scott Chantler, in Mine: A Celebration of Liberty and Freedom for All Benefiting Planned Parenthood (ComicMix)
  • “Forgotten Princess,” by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Antonio Sandoval, in Adventure Time Comics #13 (kaboom!)
  • “Small Mistakes Make Big Problems,” by Sophia Foster-Dimino, in Comics for Choice (Hazel Newlevant)
  • “Trans Plant,” by Megan Rose Gedris, in Enough Space for Everyone Else (Bedside Press)

Best Single Issue/One Shot

  • Hellboy: Krampusnacht, by Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes (Dark Horse)
  • Barbara, by Nicole Miles (ShortBox)
  • Pope Hats #5, by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)
  • The Spotted Stone, by Rick Veitch (Sun Comics)
  • What Is Left, by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (ShortBox)

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DC Entertainment had previously announced this year three movie adaptations in the works: Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam, and Aquaman.  Jason Momoa’s unique take on Aquaman was no doubt the highpoint of last year’s big-screen Justice League, so it’s no surprise to see the first big trailer for Momoa’s return this week at San Diego Comic-Con.

The first trailer shows some largely CGI scenes and features some well-known genre actors playing key roles, including Orm (Patrick Wilson), Vulko (Willem Dafoe), Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), and Black Manta (David Kane), who really looks good in the preview.

Check out the trailer for DC’s next Justice League film, Aquaman:

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shazam

Several images have leaked from the studio over the past few months showing Zachary Levi in a supersuit close to the classic Captain Marvel outfit first seen on the cover of Whiz Comics Issue #2 in 1940, more than 78 years ago.  Levi will star in a comedy take on the DC Comics character next spring in Shazam!, a film that  has sounded so far like equal parts Tom Hanks in Big, John Ritter in Hero at Large, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way. 

Which will it be?  I think we can scratch Jingle All the Way, but the trailer for Shazam! showcases a scene right out of Hero At Large, and, of course, it has the feel of Big.  Both great things, and great for DC movies.

Mark Strong (Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Green Lantern, Sherlock Holmes) and Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy, Wayward Pines, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) will co-star in the movie with young actor Asher Angel as Billy Batson.

Check out the trailer for a movie outside the usual DC Comics movie universe, Shazam!:

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As with last year’s San Diego Comic-Con week, as part of CBS All Access’s promotion of the coming season of Star Trek Discovery, the Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery in the Gaslamp District of San Diego (363 Fifth Avenue), hosted a display of Star Trek Discovery costumes and props, this time featuring Mirror Universe pieces.

New this year was a display of some original artwork from well-known Star Trek artist J.K. Woodward in the gallery gift shop.  Woodward has created countless covers for Star Trek comic books, he created artwork for the 50 Years/50 Artists Star Trek gallery show, and illustrated series including two Star Trek: The Next Generation Mirror series (where he designed all-new costumes for all the characters), Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who AssimilationSquared and Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever. 

Take a look at several photographs from the gallery displays:

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The next season of Doctor Who will be a season of firsts–with the first woman to play the Doctor: Jodie Whittaker, two companions of color:  Mandip Gill’s Yasmin and Tosin Cole’s Ryan, and the first scripts from writers of color in the series’ 55 year history.  Whittaker, Gill, and Ryan joined new showrunner Chris Chibnall and executive producer Matt Strevens in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con Friday for the first public event featuring the new cast and crew for fans.  They revealed no spoilers for the season but provided a first look and feel for the characters and approach for this next season.  Only one of the three actors playing a new companion, Bradley Walsh, could not attend the panel, but provided a brief video message during the panel.

“The thing about this role, which is why it’s so amazing for any actor to play the role, is that essentially gender isn’t relevant, and that’s completely liberating,” Whittaker said at an SDCC press event.  “I have never approached a role thinking, ‘How would a woman play this role?’  I just am one.  I don’t think a guy has ever thought, ‘How do I play a guy in this scene?’ – you just are…  So essentially my energy, my approach to this, is coming from a very instinctive place, which is genderless to me.  The best thing about the Doctor is I’m not playing either–I’m an alien.”

Courtesy of BBC America, you can watch the entire hour-long panel from Friday showing the first public appearance of Whittaker as the new Doctor right now, along with a preview of Whittaker and three new companions in some clips from the upcoming season.  Check it out:

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While moviegoers are awaiting the new trailer for DC Entertainment’s Aquaman coming this weekend from San Diego Comic-Con, studios have slipped in a few other film trailers you may want to check out:

Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown in the next installment of the franchise.

Welcome to Marwen is a Robert Zemeckis drama featuring Steve Carell as a post-trauma victim who uses action figures to re-create his lost world.

Patient Zero stars Doctor Who’s Matt Smith and Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer with the irrepressible Stanley Tucci.

And Overlord appears to be J.J. Abrams’ attempt to mash-up an M. Night Shyamalan horror thriller with Quentin Tarentino’s over-the-top World War II action flick Inglourious Basterds.

Check them all out:

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Big news for fans of Star Trek: Discovery at San Diego Comic-Con Friday was the announcement of Librarians and X-Men actor Rebecca Romijn as the new character Number One for season 2 of the series.  Number One was the first of three roles taken on by Majel Barrett (and later Barrett-Roddenberry after she married Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry), for the Star Trek original series episode “The Cage” with then Enterprise captain Christopher Pike.  CBS All Access released the trailer for the second season showing our first look at the third actor to play Christopher Pike, Inhumans star Anson Mount.  He follows Jeffrey Hunter and Bruce Greenwood taking on the role of the captain of the Enterprise before Kirk.  In the coming second season we catch up with the crew of USS Discovery, commanded by acting Captain Saru and Commander Michael Burnham as they respond to a “Priority One” distress call from the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, commanded by Captain Christopher Pike. Mount’s Pike seems to borrow mannerisms, voice, and dialogue more from Greenwood’s work in 2009’s Star Trek and the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.  The new trailer is filled with more humor and quips than seen for marketing for the first, darker season, perhaps tapping into some of that kind of humor that drew fans to Fox’s also successful but lighter competing sci-fi series, The Orville?

The trailer was unveiled at Star Trek: Discovery’s Hall H appearance today at SDCC, with series’ showrunner Alex Kurtzman also announcing Star Trek: Short Treks, a four-episode spinoff series of fifteen minute short films (like for Star Trek fan film-length features) that will begin monthly in December, to include episodes with Leverage’s Aldis Hodge, Rainn Wilson, Doug Jones, and Mary Wiseman.  Kurtzman also revealed that fans can expect Spock to appear next season, as hinted at in the trailer.  The panel included actors Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Tig Notaro (new Chief Engineer Reno), and executive producer Heather Kadin.

Take a look at a new look at a classic character in this preview for season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery:
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Universal dropped a short teaser for it earlier this week, and for Friday of San Diego Comic-Con week we at last get to see a full trailer for the third film in M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero trilogy, Glass.  They’re all being brought together in today’s trailer by the writer/director of The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, The Happening, Wayward Pines, and Lady in the Water–Samuel L. Jackson returning as Elijah aka Mr. Glass, the seemingly fragile, self-aware comic book villain of the title, Bruce Willis as the unbreakable hooded vigilante David Dunn, and James McAvoy as Patricia/Dennis/Hedwig/Barry/Jade/Orwell/Heinrich/Norma or just The Beast.

Shyamalan’s psychological horror-thriller Split was a real genre buster–one of those odd movies that really didn’t seem to fit into the genre you thought you were getting from the previews, like Midnight Special.  But we’d learn only at the end we were inside not only the mind of a sociopath, but the mind of a particularly twisted supervillain from the darkest edge of comic book land.  How many more theater seats would have been filled if moviegoers had known Split was the sequel to Shyamalan’s cult-favorite superhero movie Unbreakable?

Glass is arriving just on the heels of last year’s Split.  Unbreakable arrived in theaters way back in 2000.  It all is coming together a bit like J.J. Abrams disjointed, multi-genre Cloverfield movie series.  Take a look at the first trailer from Universal for Glass:

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Classic favorite trading card company Topps is teaming up with Dynamite Entertainment to bring back your favorite little creepy aliens.  Mars Attacks is back again, this time in a new series from writer Kyle Starks (Rick and Morty, Rock Candy Mountain) and artist Chris Schweizer (The Creeps, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl).  It’s coming this Fall to a comic book store near you.  Dynamite released the covers for the first issue as part of its San Diego Comic-Con announcements.

The pairing of Topps and Dynamite promises to reflect the tone of the original 1962 trading card series.  It all begins again when a kid named Spencer approaches his dad for a loan.  They wind up on the run from those helmeted fiends from space and their famous space rays and flying saucers.

    

Look for several cover variants for the series’ first issue.  Tom Mandrake (The Spectre), Ruairí Coleman (KISS/Army of Darkness), Eoin Marron (James Bond: The Body), Robert Hack (Dr. Who), Chris Schweizer (The Creeps) all have created covers (see above and below).

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As part of its volley of news items for San Diego Comic-Con this week, Dynamite Entertainment previewed five covers for titles it will feature with 40-page stories for this Halloween.  You’ll want to add one or more of these titles to your pull list for your local comic book store’s annual Halloween Comic Fest bash (Note: “bash” usually is accompanied by cake).  Look for special Halloween issues for Army of Darkness, the new Elvira, Mistress of the Dark title, Bettie Page, Red Sonja, and Vampirella.  

In Army of Darkness, Ash finally meets ghost pirates.  Written by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, and Benito Cereno, with artwork by Eoin Marron and Anthony Marques, you’ll find a chainsaw battle against cutlasses and muskets.  In the pages of Bettie Page a Boston artist is in contact with godlike space invaders, written by David Avallone and Leah Williams with artwork by Julius Ohta and Fernando Ruiz.

    

In Elvira’s Halloween special, the mistress of the dark hosts a horror film festival and learns a creator of a famous zombie flick is more than she bargained for–written by Dan Parent, Fernando Ruiz, and Scott Bryan Wilson, with artwork by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz.  Readers of Vampirella will see their heroine celebrate her birthday, complete with a demonic invasion,  Scott Lobdell and Blake Northcott are writing this story with artwork by Rapha Lobosco and Anthony Marques.

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