Chris Arrant, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
Eddie Campbell has made a name for himself among the upper echelon of modern comics creator, both for his collaboration with Alan Moore, From Hell, and for his own stories like Alec, Bacchus and the recent, great look at the concept of money, The Lovely Horrible Stuff. He’s created a lot of stories, but he’s far from finished.
This summer William Morrow will release the cartoonist’s illustrated version of Neil Gaiman’s The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, and Top Shelf will publish a two-part omnibus edition of Bacchus. In addition, the Glasgow-born artist is working on two new projects, the first being a book about the roots of sports cartoons in late 19th-century San Francisco, and the other a collaboration with Audrey Niffenegger, author of the smash prose novel The Time Traveler’s Wife. ROBOT 6 spoke with Campbell about these upcoming projects, as well as his past works and the stories behind them — including last year’s From Hell Companion, which he compiled and wrote using never-before-seen materials from both himself and Moore.
How do trolls find true love? How do you a draw a sexy female dwarf with a beard? Those are the kinds of questions artist and long-time fantasy fan Milos Slavkovic has found himself wondering over the past few months. Those idle thoughts have turned into plans for a full-blown graphic novel, and he’s reaching out from his Serbian home for help making it true.
Slavkovic has turned to Kickstarter to raise $10,000 to fund the publication of Enchanted Explorer, a graphic novel taking a sexy look at dating in a fantasy world. The cartoonist says Enchanted Explorer is “by no means an adult comic book,” but rather a satire of the fantasy genre and dating in general.
In a world where computers are taking over every facet of their lives, there’s only one hope to save them all: video game heroes.
That’s the gist of the upcoming graphic novel Overrun. Created by Forty-Five writer Andi Ewington along with Matt Woodley and artist Paul Green, Overrun mixes the action and world-within-a-world ideas of The Matrix with the tone and humor of Wreck-It Ralph — with a dose of inside-tech humor of the original Tron. Case in point: Detectives Norton and McAfee. And it doesn’t stop there. Here’s the official blurb:
Chuck Dixon might be best known for his hard-charging stories of Batman, the Punisher and G.I. Joe, but he’s more than a work-for-hire writer — even though he’s good at it. Dixon got his start in creator-owned comics with 1984′s Evangline at Comico (and later First), and now after three decades as primarily a hired gun, he’s returning to his roots with a renewed vigor and years of experience under his belt.
The co-creator of DC stalwarts like Bane and Birds of Prey tells ROBOT 6 his future looks to be predominately focused on creator-owned comics, and he has no less than three creator-owned projects in the works — including one with his former collaborator Graham Nolan. That’s in addition to his recent foray into prose military fiction; after the success of the SEAL Team Six novels with Dynamite Entertainment, Dixon has gone into business for himself with a new series titled Bad Times, featuring a group of scientists and Special Forces solders who are transported 100,000 years into the past. With his time on G.I. Joe coming to an end with April’s G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Dixon’s next tour of duty may end up being his greatest yet.
As much as people pine for better living and a brighter future, in fiction we’re continually drawn to a darker horizon with deadlier stakes, more violent endings and more corrupt influences. It’s that kind of thing that brought us movies like Blade Runner and Mad Max, comics like Judge Dredd and roleplaying games like Shadowrun. And now, there’s another dark future you’d fear in real life but delight in fictional form.
The Outrunners is a recently launched webcomic by writer Jonathan Gelatt and artist Andrew Krahnke that shows us a gas-drained future like Mad Max but set in the dark spires of a neolithic urban metropolis of Blade Runner, where the ultimate rebels are those that cling to the grimy, gas-fed, oil-fueled mechanics of old as a way to keep their independence. Mixing a futuristic dystopia with an old-school biker gang mentality, The Outrunners is an enterprising urban fable of youth rebellion focused on the titular biker gang going up against the persistent forces the Metropolitan Police and rival groups.
New York artist Jess Ruliffson is turning the table on her fellow cartoonists: Last year, she set out to paint 100 portraits of her comic book peers for a one-day exhibition at a local gallery. That show has come and gone, sadly, but after interest in seeing these works continued, Ruliffson partnered with Paper Rocket Comics to publish 50 of those pieces in a book titled Characters: Fifty Portraits of Contemporary Cartoonists.
Of the 50 cartoonists profiled, you can see comic stalwarts like Reilly Brown, Dean Haspiel, Lara Antal, Josh Neufeld and Nick Bertozzi. Ruliffson even relented and included a self-portrait to complete the book.
Paper Rocket and Ruliffson took to Kickstarter to help make this project a reality, and with the fundraising period ending Saturday the publisher has already exceeded its modest $600 goal. Plans are to publish the book in early March. Paper Rocket used Kickstarter as both a capital campaign and a back-door pre-ordering system.
They may be dived by thousands of miles, but it doesn’t mean webcomic creators aren’t a community. And this week 20 them are trading off duties in the second annual Webcomic Artist Swap Project (or WASP), which runs through this weekend.
Headed up by Lucy the Octopus creator Richy K. Chandler, this year’s event boasts artists from the United States and the United Kingdom. The complete list of participants can be found below.
Dan Brereton entered the industry in the late 1980s and, alongside Alex Ross and a select few others, ushered in what he playfully calls the Golden Age of Painted Comics, one in which not only covers but interior pages were fully painted. If we were to compare that era to classic Hollywood, Alex Ross would be Cary Grant while Brereton would be Vincent Price. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Brereton’s lush, horror-tinged art led him to quickly jump from the independents to major work at Marvel and DC, where he made a name for himself with series like The Psycho and Legends of the World’s Finest, earning him the Russ Manning Award. In 1997, he teamed with Howard Chaykin for a romping Elseworlds story titled Thrillkiller, which prompted a sequel, and then put him on his way to his own creations — the Nocturnals.
In the years since, he’s balanced between creator-owned and work-for-hire, both in the United States and in Europe. I reached out to Brereton to talk about the 20th anniversary of his creator-owned Nocturnals, as well as his dalliances with work at DC, Marvel and elsewhere, and what his plans are for 2014 and beyond. He fills us in on two exciting new creator-owned projects, as well as a return to Nocturnals and a story for DC’s digital-first comics.
Marvel’s Avengers have grown from a single team to a full-blown franchise, with early spinoffs like West Coast Avengers giving way to the current crop, which sports modifiers like “New,” “Mighty,” “Young,” “A.I.” and even “World.” But some U.K. fans felt at least one version of the Avengers was missing … so they made their own.
Avengers UK is a “‘just for fun non-profit’ fan-based fiction,” where a group of Marvel’s British-based heroes unite to fight evil. According to writer/artist Darren Wilson, in Avengers UK you can “see spectacular battles, amazing abilities and standards of queuing up in a way that only residents of the U.K. can truly achieve (except maybe not the last one)!”
As seen above, the primary Avengers UK team is Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom, Dark Angel and Motormouth, although the comic has teased other members — both memorable and arcane in Marvel and Marvel UK continuity.
Each Christmas, many fans gather around their televisions to watch the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the stop-motion animated classic based on the beloved song. And by the time the holiday season rolls around again, you’ll be able to have a comic-book equivalent to enjoy with your friends and family.
In September, Ardden Entertainment and Square Fish (a imprint of Macmillan) will release the standalone original graphic novel Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Island of Misfit Toys.
After chronicling the story of Kill Shakespeare in comics, IDW Publishing wants to let you tell your own with friends in an innovative board game — but the company is looking for some help.
IDW announced this morning that it’s using Kickstarter to fund the Kill Shakespeare board game, the flagship title of its new IDW Games division, in an effort to publish the project as intended. According to IDW, the $25,000 goal will go toward improving “the quality and content” of the game with a series of add-on components and expansions.
Marko Djurdjević arrived on the comics scene in 2007 from video games, quickly becoming one of the most in-demand cover artists and character designers. Marvel signed the German artist to an exclusive agreement despite his lack of comics experience, but over the next four years he created covers for virtually every major franchise and tapped to design and redesign characters like the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Lady Bullseye, Quasar and the rogue’s gallery for the 2011 event series Fear Itself. But after four years producing three to five coversa month and interior work on a select basis, Djurdjević decided to take a break from comics and return to gaming.
Fast-forward three years, and Djurdjević is the founder of a highly sought-after creative services studio called SIXMOREVODKA, which provides character design, concept art, illustrations and more for high-end video games like Batman: Arkham Origins and Killzone as well as RPGs, movies and art books. With a staff of 11 working side by side with 11 other artists in their Berlin offices, SIXMOREVODKA is firmly established and thriving enough for Djurdjević to begin plotting a return to comics on his own terms, working on his own creations.
I spoke with Djurdjević by phone about his comics work, his decision to leave the exclusive deal he had with Marvel. Although Djurdjević remains tight-lipped about the exact nature of his creator-owned comics venture, this interview provides an inside look at an artist you may only know by his covers.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, IDW Publishing provided ROBOT 6 with three exclusive elementary school-style cards to promote the forthcoming collection of the 1950s and ’60s romance comic Weird Love. Packaged by Craig Yoe’s Yoe Books, Weird Love follows in the tradition of the acclaimed Haunted Horror comic collection with “kooky, kinky and klassic” romance comics.
Among stories planned for inclusion are “Love of a Lunatic” from My Romantic Adventures #50, “I Fell For A Commie” from 1953′s Love Secrets #32, and “You Also Snore, Darling” from Just Married. IDW says Weird Love culminates with a “pre-Code comics ode to the female derriere.”
Weird Love is scheduled for release in May.
In a relatively brief amount of time, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have changed the way comics are published. From providing start-up funds for projects that wouldn’t otherwise exist to creating an influx of cash to prop up a publisher that’s hit a rough patch, it allows creators to go directly to potential readers for support. Services like Kickstarter have proved popular, but they’re not the only way it can be done. Enter Patreon.
Launched last year, Patreon doesn’t focus on funding a specific project, but instead allows fans to become patrons of their favorite creators by contributing money on a regular basis. Creators can choose to ask for money to be given on a monthly or, say, per-comic basis.
Although the kind of comics Matt Bors is best known for are far removed from the superhero genre, the political cartoonist has an unabashed love for the characters — and that’s showing through in these great illustrations he’s releasing for Valentine’s Day. Bearing the subtitle “protecting a world that hugs and smooches them,” Bors’ X-Men Valentines really hit the mutant-loving hearts of X-Men fans, and show he really knows his characters.