The first official day of Comic-Con International in San Diego was dominated by excitement over Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, confirmation (at last) that Joss Whedon is directing The Avengers, and nerd response to the feeble Westboro Baptist Church protest. Yet still there was plenty of comics news.
• At its "Mondo Marvel" panel, the publisher revealed the October debut of a sequel to its acclaimed Strange Tales anthology, this time featuring an impressive roster of indie/alternative creators that includes Harvey Pekar, Alex Robinson, Dash Shaw, Dean Haspiel, Jaime Hernandez, Jeff Lemire, Jeffrey Brown, Jhonen Vasquez, Jillian Tamaki, Kate Beaton, Nick Gurewitch and many more.
Other Marvel announcements included a five-issue Power Man & Iron Fist miniseries by Fred Van Lente and Wellinton Alves, an Ultimate Thor miniseries by Jonathan Hickman and Carlos Pacheco -- the four issues will have a day-and-date release in stores and through digital outlets -- Ultimate Doom by Brian Michael Bendis, the return of Mark Waid to Captain America with Captain America: Out of Time, Iron Man/Thor by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Scot Eaton, Rocket Raccoon and Groot by Abnett, Lanning and Timothy Green, an all-ages Captain America: Fighting Avenger from Brian Clevinger, and a four-issue Loki miniseries by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Sebastián Fiumara. I'm beginning to suspect there are a couple of big movies coming out ...
• During the "DC Nation Kickoff" presentation, Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said the all-ages titled listed as canceled in the October solicitations are "not really canceled." He said "a bunch of stuff is coming your way," including a Young Justice comic that will tie in to the new Cartoon Network animated series. (On that Young Justice note, it was revealed that Rob Lowe will voice Captain Marvel, who will be a recurring character in the cartoon.)
• Oni Press announced Stringers, a new series from the Resurrection team of Marc Guggenheim and Justin Greenwood.
• Dark Horse announced a second series based on BioWare's Mass Effect games, by Mac Walters, John Jackson Miller and Omar Francia, with covers by Massimo Carnivale.
• Top Shelf has acquired the license for Cigarette Girl, by alternative-manga creator Masahiko Matsumoto.
• Vertical Inc. announced it has the license for Lychee Light Club (Litchi Hikari Club), by Usamaru Furuya.
Interviews• CBR TV talks with DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio about a number of topics.
• Robot 6's JK Parkin chats with Van Jensen and Dusty Higgins about Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater.
• Robot 6's Brigid Alverson discusses Zenescope's new Charmed series with writers Paul Ruditis and Raven Gregory.
Movie and television news• As I mentioned above, Joss Whedon confirmed during the "Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries" panel with J.J. Abrams that, yes, he's directing The Avengers for Marvel. Of course, everyone has known that for ages ...
• Oni Press and its film-production arm Closed on Mondays Entertainment have signed a first-look deal with CBS Television Studios to develop the publisher's comics for TV.
• Guillermo del Toro revealed he's reimagining The Haunted Mansion for Disney. No Eddie Murphy this time, though.
• Disney released an impressive full-length trailer for Tron: Legacy, which opens in December.
(photo via Mike Dougherty)