Chris Arrant, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Page 2 of 48
This time last year, longtime U.K. book and magazine publisher Titan announced it was delving into comics with a new imprint titled, aptly enough, Titan Comics. And in the 12 months since, the company has published a number of creator-owned titles as well as new editions of formerly out-of-print stories such as Jack Katz’s The First Kingdom. But 2014 looks to see the company grow by leaps and bounds, as it recently announced the acquisition of the comics license for Doctor Who, previously held by IDW Publishing.
During IDW’s seven-year run publishing Doctor Who comics, it produced an ongoing series and a number of miniseries and one-shots to some success, so it’s conceivable that Titan Comics could do much the same. If so, it could help expand Titan from a boutique publisher to a sizable presence in the marketplace.
It’s been a good week for Ryan Stegman, one marked by the premiere of the highest-profile series of his entire career: Wolverine. The Michigan artist, who’s been working steadily for Marvel since 2011, has been primed to become one of comics’ breakout stars, only waiting for the right project, the right writer and the right positioning. Wolverine just may be it.
Stegman’s squat and square-jawed Wolverine shows an artist who pays attention to characters beyond just their most recent depictions. He wears his fan credentials with pride, citing influences as far-ranging as Katsuhiro Otomo, Bill Sienkiewicz and Joe Madureira, but chief among them is Todd McFarlane. Stegman has done much to establish his own trademark style, but his ability to comprehend and be inspired by McFarlane’s fluid linework has added new facets to a nuanced style.
For this edition of “Conversing on Comics,” I spoke with Stegman about Wolverine, his artistic influences both for Logan and in general, and the long road that brought him here. In the interview, conducted just after Christmas, Stegman was open about his enthusiasm for Wolverine as well as his long-term goals for himself and his career.
Ever since Disney announced the purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, virtually everyone in the comics industry knew there was a ticking clock on Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics; it’s only natural, after all, that the entertainment giant would move the profitable Star Wars license in-house, similar to how it shuffled the Disney and Pixar titles from BOOM! Studios to Marvel in 2011. Following the announcement last month that Dark Horse’s Star Wars comics line will end its 20-plus year run at the end of the year, the next obvious question concerns what will take its place.
It’s difficult to overstate how big of an impact the Star Wars comics have had on Dark Horse. In the early days 0f 2014, the publisher has two ongoing series and two miniseries — one of which, The Star Wars, was the highest-selling Dark Horse and licensed title in 2013. The company has already announced plans for a broader Aliens/Predator/Prometheus line that could fill some of the holes left by Star Wars come January 2015, but recent news in the video game world gives me another idea …
Africa, the cradle of humankind, is giving birth to a new offspring — a superhero — named SuperAfrican. Created by Kenyan singer/songwriter Sila Mutungi, SuperAfrican is debuting in a new, self-titled comic series from Visila Comics on February 25 in conjunction with Mutungi’s new music album of the same name. The musician says the idea for his African superhero came from growing up in Kenya as a fan of Batman, Superman and Spider-Man but failing to see many superheroes who looked like him or came from Africa.
“African children face problems hard for people from western countries to even conceive of, such as hunger, drought, genocide, extreme poverty and AIDS,” says Mutungi in the afterword for SuperAfrican #1. “And it’s about time they had a hero of their own to look to for inspiration.” Continue Reading »
Last year news bubbled up that Popbot artist Ashley Wood was working on a highly detailed line of toys/statuettes based on Marvel’s Iron Man. Fast-forward one year, and they’re almost here.
On Feb. 13, Wood’s company 3a Toys will release four Iron Man figures as the opening salvo in a larger line of Marvel toys. These first figures (highlighted below) are dubbed “Classic,” “Silver Centurion,” Stealth” and “Stark Industries Prototype,” with the latter exclusive to 3A’s online webstore, Bambaland.
Although Wood is best known for creator-owned work, the artist states on the 3A forum that he had a childhood dream of drawing Marvel characters and the opportunity to do his own version of Iron Man with this toy line is “incredible.”
“Now if only I could make the comics based on the toys,” Wood writes. “These designs are linked in my mind, a 3A secret war if you will!”
While a Ashley Wood-drawn Marvel comic is something only Marvel can decide, the artist has more Marvel figures planned after these, including Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Doom and Ultron.
You might think you know about DC’s Birds of Prey … but do you really? Created in 1995 by Chuck Dixon, Gary Frank and editor Jordan B. Gorfinkel, the team led by Oracle (and later Black Canary) is arguably the best-known female superhero team in comics. Although the short-lived live-action television series didn’t do it any favors, the team — and the title — have gone on to become a staple in DC’s superhero playbook. But in all those stories from Dixon to Gail Simone and on to the New 52 adventures, do you remember the time they fought in World War II? I didn’t think so.
In 2001, Dixon worked with Argentine artist Lito Fernandez on a throwback issue depicting Babs and Dinah’s life as a “WW2 Era aviation newspaper strip,” the writer recalled. Paying homage to the likes of Milton Caniff and Frank Robbins, the issue was planned to be published similar to the WWII comic strips with black-and-white weekday serials and full-color “Sunday” sections. Created as an inventory issue to run in the Christmas season, for one reason or another it was never published, and Dixon left the series the next year.
This story seemed doomed to be lost in the sands of time, but Dixon posted the unlettered, uncolored pages Fernandez drew (they’ve been there for a while, apparently, but this is the first I’ve seen them). Here’s a sample, but visit Dixon’s site for the entire story.
Great characters and great stories don’t come out of nowhere. They have a beginning, and sometime the lives they led before they’re introduced are just as interesting as who they are when me meet them.
Movie effects artist-turned-cartoonist Tim Gibson has created a whole new world for himself with Moth City. Described as “Game of Thrones-y” but with kung fu and 1930s crime noir, the digital series has attracted much interest, as well as high praise from the likes of Mark Waid. And next week Gibson will release a one-shot prelude to Moth City titled The Reservoir, focused on the Deadwood-ian primary character Governor McGaw when he was nothing more an an entrepreneurial young buck in the Texas oil boom of the early 1900s.
The villains of Gotham City have proved to be some of the most colorful and imaginative characters in superhero fiction, and now a New York art gallery is looking to enshrine the rogues on its walls.
One-Shot Gallery, located inside St. Marks Comics, is hosting an exhibit titled “Great Villains of Gotham: A Cowardly & Superstitious Lot,” which “aims to give these devils their due” in a stunning collection of fine art pieces by modern artists. The show includes James White’s “Starkade: Rogues,” above, in addition to work by HR-FM, Veronica Fish, Blake Wheeler and others. A surprising name in the mix is comics writer John Rozum, who created two cut paper collages that will be on display. The show opens Saturday, and continues throughout February.
Here’s a preview of what you can expect:
J.H. Williams III has made a career out of taking comics art to the next level — and now he’s taking it from comic pages to the museum wall.
On March 15, San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum will host “Overture: An Evening With J.H. Williams III,” showcasing his original work, including selections from The Sandman: Overture, including the above cover from Issue 3. The museum has already installed several of Williams’ pieces in its gallery, but the artist promises “many more” leading up to the formal event on March 15.
My Friend Dahmer cartoonist Derf Backderf is a longtime fan who, while downsizing his collection, wandered upon the uniquely placed Certified Guaranty Company (CGC). The avowed comic fan who followed his hobby into a career was shocked at the degree to which comics collecting had subsumed the readability of comics, especially given that “true collectors” would hermetically seal their comics in CGC “slabs,” leaving them unable to be read — you know, the original intent for the comic.
“For someone who has devoted his life to making comics, and who takes several years to painstakingly craft each one … to be FUCKING READ! … this is an abomination,” Derf wrote in a long post on his blog. “For baseball cards, fine. because you can still read everything on the card. With a comic book, 90 percent of the contents are lost forever! Most of these “collectors” wouldn’t know the difference between Wally Wood and Wally Walrus. They’re just collecting a number. It’s an affront to everything I hold dear.”
Derf, who has been reading comics since the mid-1970s, covers the growth of the secondhand comics market and the rise of collectability through the Overstreet Price Guide and now through CGC. Because of this severe leaning toward collectability limiting the readability of comics, the cartoonist has started what he calls a “one-man crusade against slabbing” by buying CGC books and “then free[ing] them from their plastic coffins.”
Italian artist Denis Medri has made a name for himself on the comics Internet for his various series of themed superhero portraits, from 1950s Rockabilly Batman to steampunk Spider-Man. As it turns out, this fanart attracted the attention of DC Entertainment.
Although Medri said the company balked at making an official comic based on his art, saying it would “create confusion,” an editor asked him to submit sample pages for the then-forthcoming Batman ’66 digital-first series. Medri did a number of samples specifically for the project, but never heard back. Undeterred, Medri has posted these samples online:
Although The New York Times doesn’t feature a comics section, it has a long been receptive to comics, history of being receptive to comics. In Sunday’s edition, the newspaper launched a new comic strip by Get Your War On‘s David Rees and Tales Designed to Thrizzle‘s Michael Kupperman. The creators, whose work has been covered previously by The Times, have done their first strip, “Identity Crisis,” satirizing the changing face of political cartoons. For years the Sunday edition has featured a weekly comic by Brian McFadden, but there’s been no word if Rees and Kupperman’s new strip is a replacement or if they’ll both be published in a new schedule.
Here’s Rees and Kupperman’s debut:
Think comics are a solitary experience? Art Spiegelman wants to throw that idea out the window.
The legendary creator of Maus is in the middle of a worldwide tour of a stage performance titled WORDLESS!. Described as the cartoonist’s “Intellectual Vaudeville Show,” this live event mixes slides and spoken word by Spiegelman with musical performances by jazz composer Phillip Johnston and his sextet. In many ways, WORDLESS! is a guided tour by Spiegelman into the world of graphic novels, going from the early 1900s to the modern era, including a new comics piece the cartoonist created specifically for the event.
Cartoonist Matt Bors has made significant inroads for himself, political cartooning and comics journalism since taking on the role as editor of Medium‘s comics hub The Nib in September. And now in 2014, he’s taking it one step further: Bors has announced an all-star weekday lineup that will see “over 15″ new comics debut on the site each week. His new roster of weekly comics contributors are:
Readers of DC’s Batwoman have had their fair share of surprises, but this month’s Batwoman #27 has another — but it’s a good one.
Former Flash co-writer/artist Francis Manapul is making a surprise appearance in this month’s issue, and it’s no simple fill-in. It all began as some last-minute help during the holidays but turned into something unique for everyone involved.
“Just before the holidays I got a call from one of my editors asking me for a favor,” Manapul writes on his website. “Now usually that’s followed up by a last-minute cover request with a quick turn-around time. Instead, she opened by telling me her request was rather unconventional. With the holiday season shortening many of the deadlines, regular Batwoman artist Jeremy Haun came up with a neat solution to that problem.”