Chris Arrant, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Sean Murphy tackles creator’s rights for conventions

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013.  Photo by Tim Greenway.

Illustrators Christian Dibari, bottom left, and Sean Murphy above left, at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in 2013. Photo by Tim Greenway.

Speaking up is a hard thing to do for many creators, because as freelancers they often work at the whim of others. But Sean Murphy has made a name for himself beyond his actual work as an outspoken member of the artist community. Recently, he took to his deviantART page to pull back the curtain on an overlooked aspect of a creator’s life — one rife with doubts and unfulfilled promises, but with the occasional bright spot: conventions.

“While many of my pro friends are eternally grateful for their careers and for these generous invites, some of the shows are taking advantage of creators — ALL levels of creators — and not following through with what’s promised,” Murphy wrote. “Believe me, I love traveling and I want to visit all my readers in every country I can, but there’s nothing worse than getting to the ‘convention reserved’ hotel room and finding out you wasted your money staying in some foreign ghetto.”

While Murphy might now be in the upper echelon of creators vied for by conventions and stores, the New England artist has been attending cons for more than a decade.

Murphy is doing more than just complaining, however; he’s offering a solution — what he calls a list of “Creator’s Rights” pertaining to conventions.

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Tony Moore’s daily sketches are pretty amazing

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Tony Moore is among the most versatile artists in comics, and after returning recently from a sabbatical he’s producing some excellent chipboard sketches that showcase his range.

Posted on his blog (and available for sale as original art!), these headshot sketches shine a spotlight on the nuance of Moore’s abilities. He seems able to find richness in characters ranging from Batman to Beetlejuice to Tina Belcher in these pieces.

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Inkwashed idiosyncratic superheroics in ‘Infinite Wonders’

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The best superheroes aren’t those who are slick and perfectly formed. They’re the ones with some humanity and nuance. And the digital series Infinite Wonders delivers that in style, story and substance, particularly with the inkwash artwork of Nick Cagnetti.

Infinite Wonders, written by Tristen Bagnall, follows a young man name Nolan Brooks who sets out to become, in his words, a “superguy” after being bombarded by something called Infinite Energy. There are no gauntlets here, but this hero — dubbed Infinite — faces some real-world problems as he enters this new line of work. It’s a story about a person’s first day on the job, when the job happens to be that of superhero.

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Artist reboots the Marvel Universe with ‘Supreme Marvel’

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Following Marvel’s Secret Wars press conference on Tuesday, fans were left to speculate what a combined Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe might look like. We already have some pretty intriguing ideas, courtesy of an enterprising cartoonist named Calvin.

Getting the jump on the official announcement, he’s reimagined the Marvel Universe in a series of of illustrations called Supreme Marvel. Described as his “own little reboot” of Marvel, Calvin comes to this with a mission in mind: “One of the main driving points of this project was to introduce more diversity in the Marvel Universe, as well as highlight existing diverse characters!”

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Wake up to alternative webcomics with Darling Sleeper

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With the Internet, a variety of comics are available at your fingertips — the hard part is finding the best ones for you. And now Jesse Lucas is curating alternative comics like that for his new venture with Medium, Darling Sleeper.

Described as a “publication featuring comics, art and other independent thought,” Darling Sleeper is just less than a month old and has already posted some fantastic comics by Lucas and others, such as the one excerpted above, Cash & Bubs. In addition to standalone comics such as that, Darling Sleeper is also serializing comics such as The Veil: Lifted by J Johnny and Lucas’ Mercury in Retrograde.

This is Medium’s second foray into comics following the Matt Bors-edited The Nib, which runs political comic strips on a daily basis.

How to work out, the comic book way

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Ever wonder how superheroes stay in shape? And more importantly, ever wonder how you can get into superhero shape? Well, now we have some tips from the fitness enthusiasts of the NR Project.

Headed up by Neila Rey, the NR Project describes itself as an “independent fitness resource” to make fitness accessible and fun. To that end, they’ve created visual workouts themed after 29 superheroes, including Superman, Captain America, Batgirl and The Hulk.

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We’re not lying: You’ll want a 3D-printed sculpture of Lying Cat

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What if I told you that you could get a sculpture of Saga‘s Lying Cat? No, not “Lying.”

Mike Bauerlein recently shared online the details of a 3D modeling commission he undertook of the fan-favorite character from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ hit series. Using ZBrush and reference pulled from the comic, Bauerlein captured the details of Lying Cat while staying true to Staples’ art.

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Des Taylor shows DC superheroines in their downtime

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Being a superhero may be a full-time job, but everyone’s got to have a life outside of work … right? Artist Des Taylor, creator of the upcoming series Scarlett Couture, answered that question recently with illustrations featuring the likes of Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batgirl and Lois Lane, and they don’t disappoint.

“There are enough artists drawing them kicking the hell out of each other,” Taylor writes on his deviantART page. “I like to illustrate my favourite heroes doing everyday casual stuff.”

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The unreleased ‘Final Fantasy’ comic by Busiek, Barras & Mignola

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There’s a mountain of comic book projects that were solicited, advertised and told that never saw the light of day, and now we have one more lost treasure to add to that list: a Final Fantasy series by Kurt Busiek, Del Barras and Mike Mignola.

Commissioned by the defunct Disney imprint Hollywood Comics, the story was to be a four-issue adaptation of the video game Final Fantasy IV (released in 1991 in North America as Final Fantasy II). Busiek got the job by pitching an original story set in the Final Fantasy universe, with publisher Square (now Square Enix) then shifting him over to the adaptation of the then-forthcoming video game.

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Wood’s Finest: Chainsaw carver sculpts ‘The Bark Knight’

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The Dark Knight has been depicted in numerous mediums, but what about wood? Sure, comics are technically made out of wood — but this is on a different level.

Chainsaw carver Thomas Earing has taken his tools to a silver maple, creating this 7-foot tall piece he calls, fittingly enough, The Bark Knight.  The Washington-based artist has been making these types of sculptures for 12 years, according to an interview with KOMO News, and estimates that pieces such as this take at least 30 hours to complete.

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Exclusive preview | Ferrier & Neogi’s ‘Curb Stomp’ #1

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Rumors of punk rock’s death were greatly exaggerated, and here in the new year it’s coming to comics in the creator-driven miniseries Curb Stomp, from BOOM! Studios. Taking cues from the 1980s hardcore music scene and post-apocalyptic fiction, Ryan Ferrier and Devaki Neogi’s four-issue tale follows an all-girl street gang known as the Fever as they fight through the streets of a dilapidated metropolis.

Ferrier spoke with Comic Book Resources about the miniseries just this week.

BOOM! has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive preview of Curb Stomp #1 in advance of its Feb. 25 debut, along with covers by Tula Lotay and Marie Bergeron.

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Exclusive | Action Lab takes ‘Puppet Master’ from film to comics

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Evil comes in all sizes — and now it comes to comics.

Action Lab Entertainment has drafted the cult horror movie franchise Puppet Master as the newest in its growing line of comics titles beginning March 2015. Licensed directly from creator Charles Brand, the Puppet Master comic series sees the menacing marionettes who have evolved from creepy villains to somewhat likeable anti-heroes looking to get a life of their own outside of their wooden bodies. Written by long-time fan (and Action Lab co-founder) Shawn Gabborin and illustrated by Michela Da Sacco, Puppet Master follows in the footsteps of the movie franchise’s ten films while aiming to be new reader friendly for those that haven’t seen the films (or haven’t seen them in some time).

ROBOT 6 spoke with Gabborin about the series, and Action Lab has provided us with a exclusive preview of the book in advance of its March 2015.

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Exclusive preview | Brisson & Couceiro’s ‘Cluster’ from BOOM!

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After working on the inaugural arc of BOOM! Studios’ Sons of Anarchy title, Ed Brisson and Damian Couceiro are going out on their own with new series Cluster in what the publisher describes as a “gritty, violent, sci-fi epic in the vein of The Dirty Dozen.”

That opening panel shows more than just a dozen, but given Brisson’s past writing, I expect that herd to be thinned down quick and with gusto. Cluster follows a group of incarcerated criminals drafted into service as soliders in a future war against aliens, but their predicament goes from bad to worse when they’re stranded on one of the battlefield planets with only each other to rely on for survival.

For ROBOT 6’s anniversary celebration, BOOM! has provided us with an exclusive three-page preview of this title, debuting on Feb. 4. In addition, we have three of the four covers by James Stokoe, Simon Roy and Declan Shalvey.

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Kevin Maguire wants ‘Interview’ stars as Blue Beetle & Booster Gold

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With The Interview proving to be a Christmas miracle for Sony Pictures, artist and movie fan Kevin Maguire has an idea of what roles stars Seth Rogen and James Franco could tackle next: Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. On Twitter, the co-creator of Justice League International pegged the actors to play the comedic duo he’s best known for drawing, saying, “They already have the deepest bromance in movies today.”

But that’s not all.

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Forget digital piracy, someone’s bootlegging classic comics

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Before trade paperbacks and digital comics, if you wanted to read a classic comic, you — and your wallet — were hard-pressed to find a solution unless the issue was reprinted. But even now, with a large percentage of Golden and Silver age comics available digitally or in collected editions, some fans still want to be able to hold a copy in their hands.

Someone has come up with a way for collectors to do just that, without paying the high prices often asked for the original. However, the approach doesn’t appear to be legal.

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