Chris Arrant, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Page 3 of 49

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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Villains Beware: Here comes SuperAfrican!

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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 »

Ashley Wood unveils Invincible Iron Man figures

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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.

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We missed out on a ‘Birds of Prey’ WW II story, with dog fights?

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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.

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Tim Gibson introduces standalone prequel to ‘Moth City’

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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.

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