Geoff Johns is forming a new company, Ghost Machine, with other comic book superstars. Oni Press reveals plans for Scott Pilgrim‘s 20th anniversary. And DC Comics‘ Elseworlds imprint returns. All on the spectacular 50th episode of Comic Book Club News for October 13, 2023.
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This is Comic Book Club News for October 13, 2023.
Geoff Johns, More, Form New Comics Company Ghost Machine:
On the first day of New York Comic Con, Geoff Johns gave to me, a new comics company. Somewhat an extension of his company Mad Ghost Productions, Johns has formed Ghost Machine. Image Comics is calling the imprint the first of its kind, a creator-owned, cooperative media company. So like a supermarket co-op, but with less dirty vegetables, and you don’t have to work there part-time to defray the cost.
Joining Johns in Ghost Machine are Jason Fabok, Gary Frank, Bryan Hitch, Lamont Magee, Francis Manapul, Brad Meltzer, Peter J. Tomasi, and Maytal Zchut. All creators will be exclusive to Ghost Machine for their comics work after completing their already committed to projects. And Image promises that more talent, including another superstar creator, will be announced in the coming months.
Said the Ghost Machine founders in a joint statement: “Our ambition for Ghost Machine is to push beyond superheroes, introducing new genres, characters, and shared universes, completely co-owned by all the creators involved. We see this as the future of how creatives will work and retain creative control and meaningfully participate in success like never before. Our passion is for the magic of graphic storytelling and the emotional resonance of compelling characters. But we are not just a comic book company—we are the first wholly creator-owned and operated media company of its kind, born out of a desire to create and succeed together.”
Is Ghost Machine Essentially Image Comics 2.0?
As the press release announcement notes, Ghost Machine seems like a natural extension of where Image Comics started: seven creators leaving the “big two” of Marvel and DC to start their own company, create original concepts, and work together evenly… However over time, each of the Image founders leaned towards their own strengths. The idea here is arguably a purer distillation of that, with everyone sharing responsibility for owning, running, and operating the company and together sharing in publishing, media, merchandising, and beyond.
We’ll see how long this utopian, communist manifesto lasts. But for the moment, Ghost Machine is ready to rock and roll into the New Year with four distinct universes. The first is Johns and Frank’s currently running THE UNNAMED universe, which includes Geiger, Junkyard Joe, and more. The other three are Rook: Exodus, a sci-fi epic from Johns and Fabok; the Family Odysseys universe centered around a time-displaced family called The Rocketfellers; and a horror universe created by talent TBA.
The whole thing will kick off in January’s Ghost Machine #1, which will introduce all four shared universes.
Oni Announces Scott Pilgrim Box Sets Celebrating 20 Years:
As joked about on an earlier episode of Comic Book Club News, now a reality, Oni Press is celebrating 20 years of Scott Pilgrim with deluxe box sets of the series.
The initiative, titled SP20, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley, in 2004. Said the writer/artist via statement: “It’s been fun to return to Scott Pilgrim‘s world in a new animated series after so many years away. Thanks to all the fans, these books have stood the test of time and continue to find a new audience. For the 20th anniversary, I hope to give readers the best editions of Scott Pilgrim we’ve ever seen.”
The box sets will be released in the original black and white, and revamped color editions of the six-volume series. However, the black and white editions will be in hardcover for the first time. Both sets will contain all six books, as well as new art and limited-edition bonus items to be revealed.
Other upcoming initiatives include a Scott Pilgrim print portfolio curated by O’Malley, merchandise, and more TBA. The two box sets will be released by July 2024, in time for next year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
Since our last joke worked out so well, one of the pieces of merchandise should be a couple’s costume where one person is dressed like Ramona Flowers, and the other is being carried in their purse. Make it happen, Oni.
DC Comics Elseworlds Imprint Returns:
Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! DC Comics is bringing back their Elseworlds imprint in 2024.
As reported by PopVerse, the retailer breakfast kickoff to New York Comic Con featured DC revealing that Elseworlds, out-of-continuity, alternate universe stories, will kick off with six titles next year.
The imprint has been dormant since 2003, but will return with sequels to previous stories, and a few new ones, too. Dark Knights of Steel and DC vs. Vampires, which ran earlier series without the Elseworlds label, will return for new runs. The former is from the new team of Jay Kristoff and Tirso Cons, and the latter by the old team of Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt. Gotham by Gaslight, the first ever Elseworlds story, will also return for 12 issues framed as The Kryptonian Age, by Andy Diggle and Leandro Fernandez.
New, dark takes on the DC Universe include Batman the Barbarian, written and drawn by Greg Smallwood; Green Lantern: Dark, by Tate Brombal and Werther Dell’Edera; and Batman: Nightfire, by Clay and Seth Mann. Further details, including release dates, will be announced in the coming months.
For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And in all seriousness, thank you to everyone who has listened to this podcast over the past 50 episodes. Next week, we’re rebooting with a new number one. Just kidding. Or am I? No, I am.
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