Comics A.M. | Is a battle over Thanos building? Tim Marchman redux

Creators | Following the appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet in Thor and the cameo by Thanos in The Avengers, Marvel appears poised to expand the cosmic elements of its cinematic universe with The Guardians of the Galaxy. While some fans eagerly await a movie announcement next week at Comic-Con International, Thanos creator Jim Starlin (who had to buy his own tickets to Thor and The Avengers) may be laying the groundwork for a legal challenge: Heidi MacDonald points out that Starlin has posted an early drawing of the Mad Titan on his Facebook page, writing, "This is probably one of the first concept drawings of Thanos I ever did, long before I started working at Marvel. Jack Kirby’s Metron is clearly the more dominant influence in this character’s look. Not Darkseid. Both D and T started off much smaller than they eventually became. This was one of the drawings I had in my portfolio when I was hired by Marvel. It was later inked by Rich Buckler." [The Beat]

Comics | Tim Marchman, author of that much-discussed Wall Street Journal article, is at it again, this time interviewing Watchmen editor Len Wein about his work on Before Watchmen, and including the interventions of DC Comics Publicity Manager Pamela Mullin as part of the story. Between the embargo on the comic and Mullin doing her job, it sounds like the most interesting parts of the interview never made it into the final product. [The Daily Beast]

Creators | The New York Post profiles, or at least attempts to profile, Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko. "When The Post knocked on his door, Ditko — who turns out to be a owlish man with wisps of white hair and ink-stained hands, wearing large black glasses and an unbuttoned white shirt with a white tee beneath — pleasantly but firmly declines to answer any questions. Though he did say he reads The Post." The reporter did manage to get a little more than that out of Ditko, however: He told them that while he still receives royalties for reprints of his work, he hasn't received any payment for the recent Spider-Man films. [New York Post]

Publishing | Tokyopop CEO Stu Levy says (on Twitter) that he is willing to negotiate the rights to the original graphic novels published by the company, and that he has always been willing to do so — but for creators to get all rights back would require a buyout. A former Tokyopop creator offers some added insights in the comments section. [Comics Worth Reading]

Publishing | Papercutz, the children's imprint of NBM Publishing, announced a first printing of 425,000 copies of the fourth Ninjago graphic novel; the first three Ninjago were strong sellers, with the second and third debuting in the top slot of The New York Times graphic books best-seller list. [Publishers Weekly]

Auctions | A private auction in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, will feature more than 2,000 items, including the first issue of The Avengers and early issues of The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk. It's expected to bring in $80,000 for the owner, a collector who started buying comics as a kid. [CTV]

Creators | Artist Chris Weston discusses his work on Ministry of Space, advertising storyboarding and "the smell of mutiny" by comic creators: "It's no secret that super-hero comic sales are on the decline, and the Big Companies will be forced to think of ever more desperate gimmicks and events to keep the readers hooked. What they should be doing is offering the creators better deals and more creative freedom. Before Watchmen may get green-lit, but would the original series get commissioned in the current climate...? A 32-page book, no-ads; a stand-alone story with all new characters... and creator-owned? Would a company like DC go for that nowadays? Nah. But they should." [The Sardinian Connection]

Creators | Mike Norton talks about his webcomic BattlePug, and its upcoming collection being released by Dark Horse. [ComicsAlliance]

Creators | Chris Roberson answers questions about his new digital comics enterprise, Monkeybrain, and his thoughts on DC Comics, which he recently left because he was uncomfortable with the company's treatment of creators: "The simplest change that could be made at the Big Two would be for them to grandfather creator equity deals (that is, the payments that creators get when their characters appear in film, TV, toys, etc) back to the Golden Age creators. Then we would see fewer stories about the creators of beloved characters living in impoverished states in their later years, unable to afford health care, etc." [Reddit]

Creators | Scott Snyder discusses his work on American Vampire and Batman, as well as his Image miniseries Severed, in an interview done at the Kapow comic convention. [Comics Anonymous]

Creators | Ed Piskor talks about working with Harvey Pekar and the fascination with phone phreaking that led to his graphic novel Wizzywig: "A big part of why I really started getting into hacking was to learn evil, nefarious, information. To become a criminal mastermind. As I became more and more involved, I learned that my perceptions were skewed because all I knew about this world was what was presented to me via mainstream media." [PREVIEWSworld]

Comics | Robot 6 contributor Chris Mautner writes about the "spin-offs, retcons, makeovers and just plain strangeness" that Spider-Man has experienced over the years. [PennLive]

Commentary | The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater (whose Twitter feed is one of my favorites) has kicked off a monthly comics review column on BoingBoing. [BoingBoing]

X-Force Dawn of X feature 1
The X-Men Face Marvel's 'Court of Owls' (Only MUCH More Terrifying)

More in Comics