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Indie comics news: "Doctor Who" comics, ComiXology and a new Gillen/McKelvie jam

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The latest in time traveling independent comic book related news items for January 19th - 21st, 2014!

"Doctor Who" comics to be published by Titan Comics!

This was a major press release which hit the web about a half day ago, although if one looks at the components it does make perfect sense. As originally reported by Comic Book Resources, BBC Worldwide and Titan Comics have united to bring the ever popular TV franchise "Doctor Who" to comic book shops this year. The stories will feature untold adventures of the tenth (David Tennant), eleventh (Matt Smith), and the upcoming twelfth (Peter Capaldi) Doctors. By sheer corporate synergy (or coincidence), the new season of "Doctor Who" is set to premiere later this year.

"Doctor Who" comics had been published last year by IDW Comics, although it is apparent that BBC Worldwide either did not allow them to renew the license or asked for a higher fee than IDW were willing to offer. The most probable outcome was the former simple because of location. Titan Comics is the graphic novel publishing arm of Titan Publishing, a U.K. based publishing company. With the increasing popularity of "Doctor Who" both in the U.K. and the U.S. as well as Titan Comics' rising profile in the comic book market, it makes more sense for BBC to keep their licensed comics more local. Many Titan Comics productions have been sold in U.S. comic shops, such as "Death Sentence", "It Came!" and "Chronos Commandos".

For the twelve people who don't know, "Doctor Who" is a sci-fi TV series which began airing in Britain in 1963 featuring a time traveling alien known as "the Doctor" who battles threats to the time stream - especially the dangerous Daleks. The first actor to portray the character was William Hartnell, and the concept of "regeneration" was introduced by 1966 to allow for the ailing actor to be recast seamlessly in the series. The original run of the show lasted a staggering 26 seasons from 1963 to 1989, with a TV movie being produced in 1996. The series remained a cult hit "across the pond", but BBC's revival of the franchise in 2005 sparked a vigorous new interest in the franchise both here and abroad.

ComiXology reveals the comic market is a small world after all!

With the increasing domination of the digital comics market by ComiXology, the company reveals more information about online readers and purchasers of comics via their mobile app. To this end, the company has revealed that 51% of digital comic book readers reside outside of the United States. While high concentrations of readers existing in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Canada may not be shocking, countries such as Mexico, Brazil, China, and Australia are also brimming with legal, paid downloads of comics. There are even 15 brave souls who bought comics via ComiXology from Cuba, although knowing the hypocrisy of most Communist regimes they could be members of the government there.

The company is well aware of the international appeal of their comics. Last year, ComiXology opened a branch in France and are working on translating and distributing French comics digitally. Considering every year seems to see ComiXology get bigger, it's impossible to know how the company will flourish in 2014.

Gillen & McKelvie rebound to Image Comics for "The Wicked and the Divine"!

Creators Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie have seen their stock rise over the past year with their successful "Young Avengers" run at Marvel Comics. Now the creators are moving back to their indie roots with "The Wicked and the Divine", which is a new series to be published by Image Comics in "the middle of summer". Much as with "Young Avengers" and their seminal work together, "Phonogram", it utilizes the themes of music and youth pop culture.

In this series, the gods of myth exist and reincarnate themselves every 90 years and become magically attuned artists or musicians, inspiring the masses with their work. The series follows Laura, a die hard fan of these new gods, and Lucy, the reincarnation of Lucifer, who is "[David] Bowie influenced". There are twelve of these gods in total, with eight being introduced in the story's opening arc. The series is described as, "a superhero book leaning on the fancy side" and a project with "a lot of swagger" to it. Considering what a hit their last project was online, attempting to transfer those fans to their own project (where sales figures of, say, 20,000 copies a month or more would be considered a success compared to Marvel's expectations) is wise, striking while the iron's hot.

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