SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
Apparently, 2000AD group editor Matt Smith has nixed this Judge Dredd cover by Jason Latour. The specter of Frank Miller’s ill-fated cover commission was apparently raised. This must remain a sore subject with Tharg. Personally, I like this image, and can’t see anything wrong with it, but then, I’ve berated Smith for playing it safe with his art choices before and probably will again. More problematic work below — Steve Rude takes a controversial gig; Gary Erskine risks a stay in the Tower for treason; Graeme Neil Reid illustrates the most violent, foulmouthed superheroes of them all; Jim Woodring takes my theme’s title and makes it concrete, and more. And as usual, you may reckon some of this material is NSFW.
I love Steve Rude’s art, and love to see him getting gigs at the Big Two. If AOL ever made the mistake of appointing me EOC at DC, he’d be drawing the New Gods every month. He’s done at least one Before Watchmen cover before, and now he’ll be also doing interiors for a Dollar Bill oneshot. I’m not the man to dredge up the assorted ethical problems with these comics for yet another go-around, and I personally won’t be buying it, but I do hope it’s the start of a new phase in Rude’s career. I think editors mistakenly think Rude is just a classicist, fit only for retro-themed projects, but he’s also a great storyteller who originally came to the fore drawing sleek science fiction. I reckon he could wrap his style around any script — an Azzarello Wonder Woman (especially given its recent New Gods links), a Lemire Animal Man, anything.
Gary Erskine is one of the nicest people in comics, a giant of a man who gives great hugs. Here, he’s either commenting wryly on the yellow media’s ongoing fascination with Prince William’s sister-in-law, or designing a tattoo flash for the most crazed royalist on the planet.
Artist Aaron Jasinski knows exactly how Doctor Doom maintains his power-base in Latveria: free ice cream.
The new season of Misfits started last Sunday in the UK. I love that show, even if I fear it’ll never again delight me the way it did during its first couple of years. It’s raucously funny one minute, darkly horrific the next: as such, it’s the only superhero TV program that has more in common with Breaking Bad than that flippin’ mess Arrow. After the episode aired, a tie-in book was plugged, and seconds later, occasional 2000AD contributor Graeme Neil Reid blogged some of his contributions to it. Good likenesses.
As a rationalist, I don’t really do Halloween. But here’s a trick-or-treater I can dig: dude dresses as V from V For Vendetta – and doesn’t even need a mask!
And finally, the great Jim Woodring has been previewing Problematic: Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2012, his new collection of work from the Moleskine sketchbooks he habitually carries around. There’s a 21-page preview at the Fantagraphics blog.