Chris Arrant, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Page 3 of 50

Conversing on Comics with Chuck Dixon

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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.

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Old-school apocalypse is back in “The Outrunners”

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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.

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Ruliffson sets her sights on fellow cartoonists in portrait series

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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.

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Creators switch up in second Webcomic Artist Swap Project

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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.

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Conversing on Comics with Dan Brereton

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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.

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Meet the next Avengers franchise: the fan-made Avengers UK

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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.

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer coming to comics this fall

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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.

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IDW turns to Kickstarter for ‘Kill Shakespeare’ board game

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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.

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Conversing on Comics with Marko Djurdjević

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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.

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IDW & Yoe Books celebrate Valentine’s Day with ‘Weird Love’

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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.

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Patreon offers a new way to crowdfund comics

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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.

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Express your love with X-Men Valentine’s Day cards

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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.

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With addition of ‘Doctor Who,’ Titan could gain significant ground

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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.

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Conversing on Comics with Ryan Stegman

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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.

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Nintendo + Dark Horse = replacement for ‘Star Wars’ license

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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 …

Nintendo.

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