Mark Millar Has A Plan To Save Comics, Becky Cloonan And Tula Lotay Team Up, Oni Press Is Born Driven | Comic Book Club News For August 30, 2023

comic book club news august 30 2023 mark millar somna born driven

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Mark Millar has a plan to save comics, and the comic book press isn’t having it. Meanwhile, Becky Cloonan and Tula Lotay are teaming up for a new erotic folk horror nightmare from DSTLRY. And Wendell Scott gets a cartoon biography from Oni Press. All that, on today’s Comic Book Club News for August 30, 2023


Episode Transcript:

Mark Millar has a plan to save comics.

Becky Cloonan And Tula Lotay team up.

Oni Press gets up to speed.

This is Comic Book Club News for August 30, 2023.

Mark Millar Has A Plan To Save Comics:

Comic book sales are in a slump. So who does Mark Millar think can save the industry? A bunch of people who have previously written and drawn comics.

Appearing on a live stream on the controversial Thinking Critical YouTube channel, as reported by CBR, Millar reportedly said: “We’ve got to man the stations. I think everybody’s got to come in and do a couple of projects and find an artist who’s as good as you can possibly get and just do some killer run on something.”

So to sum up, Millar’s plan to save comics is to have people make comics, and furthermore, they should be good comics. Millar continues that in his estimation, the independent comics scene is not where it’s at… That, “the honest truth is that creator-owned growth comes from Marvel and DC doing well.”

Experts Respond To Mark Millar:

However, in an extensive rebuttal over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald lays out pretty plainly that Image Comics is killing it right now. While as usual with the comic book industry sales levels are murky, at best, a leaked list of the top Image Comics debuts since 2012 shows some interesting info. For example, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn line launched at least as well as any DC and Marvel book. Add on multiple titles from Robert Kirkman that aren’t just The Walking Dead, titles from James Tynion IV, and a surprise showing from Comic Book Club’s beloved Stray Dogs, and you have a surprisingly healthy showing for the publisher. Also, Emilia Clarke’s book M.O.M. did pretty well, so perhaps the Mother of Dragons can save the comic book industry.

As Russ Burlingame at notes, what’s perhaps most surprising about the list is the lack of titles you would expect, like Saga. And Bleeding Cool went to bat earlier this week about how a lack of transparency on sales is hurting the industry.

At the very least, that lack of transparency is leading to takes like Millar’s, who perhaps is seeing his own sales tumble. Our two cents? Given other parts of the industry — YA, kids graphic novel sales, and Webtoon — are making a killing right now… Perhaps Marvel, DC, and the rest should be looking beyond their own stable… Not back in time to previous all-star teams.

Or maybe they should just get Emilia Clarke.

Becky Cloonan And Tula Lotay Launch Somna From DSTLRY:

Speaking of people who could save the comic book industry: how about the powerhouse combination of Becky Cloonan and Tula Lotay? As just announced by publisher DSTLRY, they’ll be joining forces on a new “erotic folk-horror-nightmare” titled Somna, which will debut this November.

Somna culminates from a decade plus reveling in the darkest mythologies of history,” co-creator Becky Cloonan said via press release. “Being able to explore these lifetime obsessions alongside one of my favorite creators has made this a career-defining project.”

Added Lotay: “I can’t express how excited I am to finally see Somna conjured into existence. Becky and I have been finessing this brutally dark and sexy journey for years, and there’s been nothing like it before in comics.” 

Lotay is fresh off her Eisner win for Barnstormers. Cloonan, meanwhile, needs no introduction to comic book fans… From her recent work on DC Comics Wonder Woman, all the way back to The Punisher at Marvel, Demo, and many more.

Cloonan and Lotay will share duties writing, draw and coloring the series. Somna will be released as 48-page long issues. The synopsis states: “Set amidst the terrifying backdrop of the witch hunts in a quiet 1600s English village, Somna follows one woman’s escape from the confines of her puritanical world. Ingrid is unhappily married to Roland, the town’s bailiff and chief witch hunter, who has embarked on a single-minded quest to purge the ‘heretics’ in their midst.

“After a prominent town leader is found murdered, accusations fly and no one is above reproach from Roland’s deadly crusade. Ingrid has her suspicions about who the real murderer is, but even as she searches for the truth, she’s pursued by a shadowy figure. Ingrid gravitates to the foreboding phantom in ways she can’t resist; does this otherworldly seduction hold the key to the mystery? Or will he damn Ingrid’s soul to the blackest circle of Hell?”

Comic books? Ya just got saved.

Oni Press Gets Up To Speed:

Oni Press has announced a comic book biography of African American NASCAR champion Wendell Scott. Titled Born Driven, the adorable looking book will focus on young Scott as he dreams of one day racing professionally.

Written by newcomer Saxton Moore Jr., Born Driven also includes art by Nolwe Azul Tamis. Said Moore Jr. via statement: “I became inspired by the true story of race car driver Wendell Scott. Through all his adversity he never wavered from his ‘Never give up’ mentality and worked hard to pursue his dreams. This motivated me to share his stories and adventures as I followed my passion for becoming a writer. I hope that Born Driven ignites readers to be tenacious in driving their dreams across the finish line.”

Born Driven races its way into stores on November 28. Vroom, vroom.

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And my plan to save comics is release a 3-5 minute long, daily comic book news podcast. Is it working yet?

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