Robot 6

Will Francesco Francavilla become the next superstar artist turned writer/artist?

Last week Dark Horse announced that work-horse comics artist Francesco Francavilla was joining the all-star line-up of creators contributing to the revived Dark Horse Presents anthology with a story he’s writing and drawing. Based around a pulp-noir character Francavilla created called the Black Beetle, and definitely looks exciting–and also positions Francavilla as perhaps the next big artist to segue into a writer/artist.

In recent years, artists turned writer/artists have been in vogue, especially at DC with artists like J.H. Williams 3, Francis Manapul and David Finch. Marvel has gotten in the act as well with Oz artist Skottie Young branching out to write the X-Men mini Magneto: Not A Hero. Seeing Francavilla being able to do that on a big stage is heartening, for his talent but also his work ethic.

In 2010 and 2011, Francavilla balanced drawing issues of Detective Comics, Black Panther: Man Without Fear and currently doing Captain America & Bucky while also being a frequent cover artist for Dynamite’s licensed titles. I’m excited to see Francavilla get this chance, and for us readers to get this chance to see more of him — just don’t be surprised if Marvel or DC snaps him up into an exclusive any day now.

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Is the Black Beetle story in DHP new or a reprint of the issue published by Aztech Studio Press?

Ah, found the answer through a link above:

“I’m working on a 24-page story, titled ‘Night Shift’ that will be spread over three issues of Dark Horse Presents. I am hugely influenced by pulp stories of the ‘30s and ‘40s, and wanted to develop a series that used that influence as a jumping-off point to explore some modern storytelling with fun twists. I think this will be a great introduction to readers who are new to this character and universe, but will also be an exciting new adventure for those who’ve been reading the online stories over the years,” Francesco states.

I hope this means the original stories will be collected and published along with this new material. That would be much appreciated.

I remember hearing earlier that Scott Snyder had talked to Francavilla about filling in for Yanick Paquette on Swamp Thing, too. Although I like Marco Rudy, I hope Francavilla finds time in his busy schedule to draw some Swampy as well.

He did a pulp-oriented webcomic featuring the character, Kara Bocek. It’s still online.

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