Chris Arrant, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Becky Cloonan and Matt Taylor create ‘Sex Criminals’ prints

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Comics are art, and sometimes art is comics. The print collective Secret Panel, which ROBOT 6 wrote about last fall, has released two new limited-edition prints by Becky Cloonan and Matt Taylor focusing on Sex Criminals, the acclaimed Image Comics series by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (now being developed for television).

This is the fourth release for Secret Panel since its launch in October, following prints based on Nameless, Hotline Miami and Revival. Here are Taylor and Cloonan’s prints, the latter of which isn’t exactly safe for work:

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Tim Truman creates painting for Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary

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Veteran artist Timothy Truman recently revealed on his Facebook page the first of several paintings he was commissioned to create for the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary celebration. The veteran illustrator worked with the band in their active years on album covers, T-shirts, and even comics for an almanac series.

Truman hasn’t said how this painting will be used, but he’s also creating art for an acoustic guitar produced by Alvarez for the anniversary.

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IDW’s Chris Ryall commissions custom ‘Rom’ hardcover set

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No, it’s not a dream. That’s actually set of four hardcover volumes of Marvel’s Rom: Spaceknight. Unfortunately, however, your chances of getting one remain slim.

Despite a cult following, it’s been nearly 30 years since any Rom: Spaceknight has been published. The issue comes down to licensing, and Marvel’s agreement with Parker Brothers (now a Hasbro subsidiary) expired 1986. Certain elements created for the toy-inspired comic, originated by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema, remain with Marvel, but the name and signature armor are off-limits — to both new work and reprints.

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‘Everyday X-Men’ reveals Marvel’s mutants in their off-hours

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Being an X-Men is a busy job. Between the fighting, the schooling and the baseball games, there’s not much time for anything else — or is there?

Vreeland cartoonist Chad Sells has begun depicting Marvel’s mutants during their off-time in a new series of illustrations dubbed “Everyday X-Men.” The 16 images so far show various X-Men (and even a few enemies) in their leisure pursuits … and interestingly enough, many of them are in their ’90s-era duds, if they’re wearing anything at all.

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Toronto Comic Arts Festival reveals first guests, details

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With the record-breaking attendance at New York Comic Con 2014 and the hit parade of Comic-Con International, it’s no doubt that comic conventions are big business. But as some who attend these events can attest, it can sometimes be difficult to find the comics amid the multimedia blitz. Not so with the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The event is celebrating its 10th consecutive year May 8-10, with ambitious plans for the fiture.

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Travel Foreman reveals sketches for aborted ‘Justice League United’ arc

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Since ending his run on Animal Man in 2012, artist Travel Foreman has released relatively limited comics work — primarily covers and short stories — largely because he remains focused on his long-gestating creator-owned project Zuerst. However, it turns out he nearly tackled another series for DC Comics, with his Animal Man collaborator Jeff Lemire.

On his blog, Foreman posted sketches created in preparation for Lemire’s Justice League United title. That work ultimately never came to pass, but these sketches — and the raw creativity shown by Foreman — are certainly invigorating, if perhaps disappointing for fans who’d have enjoyed seeing the story arc materialize.

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Ben Templesmith to adapt H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Dagon’

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Although he’s long since departed this mortal plane, author H.P. Lovecraft left an indelible mark on people — Ben Templesmith among them.

A noted horror writer and artist in his own right, Templesmith is tackling a graphic novel adaptation of one of Lovecraft’s earliest published works. Just four days after launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, he’s already raised more than five times his $14,800 goal. In the wake of such overwhelming success, Templesmith has expanded the graphic novel’s size from 48 to 72 pages, and added in a Lovecraft portrait print with any book order.

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Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá unveil ‘Two Brothers’

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Brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá have finally pulled back the curtain on the follow-up to their award-winning Daytripper collaboration: Two Brothers, due in October from Dark Horse.

An adaptation of the novel The Brothers by Brazilian author Milton Hatoum, the graphic novel centers on a strained family relationship.

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DC superheroes gender-bent as famous actresses

Jordan Gibson's Helen Mirren as James Gordon

Jordan Gibson’s Helen Mirren as James Gordon

Fans often have their own ideas about who should play their favorite comic book characters on screen. But what if they could also do a little bit of gender-bending?

Ming Doyle, artist of  The Kitchen and the upcoming Dark Universe, recently released a series of illustrations featuring popular DC Comics characters reimagined as women, even going so far as to cast popular actresses in the likenesses: Sigourney Weaver as Batman, Winona Ryder as Dick Grayson, and more. Then other artists got in on the kick.

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‘Daily Show’ writer brings political satire/alien-invasion story to Kickstarter

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What if aliens attacked, but were too small to see?

That’s the story of the upcoming comic series Shrinkage, but as you can tell from the title, it has an extra helping of humor. Akin to Tim Burton’s adaptation of Mars AttacksShrinkage mixes political humor with anxiety over alien invasion — and it comes from one of the writers of The Daily Show and Conan.

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Greek gods vie for old lady’s approval in 24-hour comic by Boulet

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The Greek gods are well-known for inserting themselves into the lives of mortals like you and me, but never quite like this.

During the Angouleme International Comics Festival last week, French artist Boulet created a comic in a 24-hour span pitting Zeus and Hades in a war of words and power that’s interrupted by a meager elderly widow. Titled The Gaeneviad, the comic brings this supernatural struggle down to eye level, featuring an infectiously warm woman and some unique behavior as the Greek gods try to woo her to their side.

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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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