If Andrew MacLean has his way — and your help — heads will lop once again.
Earlier this year MacLean self-published Head Lopper #1, an action-filled tale of one viking’s quest to decapitate monsters, and the annoying severed witch head that he drags along with him. It was a great introduction, but not near long enough … which is something MacLean hopes to remedy. He’s currently running a Kickstarter so he can publish issue #2, which promises more pages, more head-lopping and more of that evil witch head.
I spoke with MacLean about both issues of the series, as well as his tale in last Wednesday’s issue of Dark Horse Presents and much more. My thanks to Andrew for his time.
JK Parkin: For those who may not have heard of Head Lopper, can you give a few details on what it’s about and how it came about?
Andrew MacLean: Head Lopper follows nomadic Viking warrior Norgal and his companion, the severed heard of Agatha Blue Witch. When they aren’t bickering and torturing each other, they are traveling about beheading monsters or whatever or whomever might get in their way.
Head Lopper actually originated from a Brand New Nostalgia piece I did. The theme that the members had chosen for the week was “Viking” and I just had so much fun with it I just knew I had to run with it. So I redesigned that same character a little bit, including the severed head he was originally pictured with and started putting together some rather simple classic-feeling stories for the unlikely pair.
In 2011, Vito Delsante left the relative comfort of a full-time job at Jim Hanley’s Universe to pursue a career in writing comics. While he’s no stranger to that side of the medium, having written titles like the self-published FCHS and DC’s Batman Adventures, this year could prove his most ambitious, as he has two projects in the works — World War Mob from New Paradigm Studios, with artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo, and Stray, currently up on Kickstarter, with artist Sean Izaakse.
I spoke with Vito about both projects, as well as his comic-reading history, what he learned as a retailer and more.
Artist Josh Medors passed away almost a year ago after a long battle with spinal cancer. One of his final projects was ’68: Hallowed Ground, a one-shot that ties into the Vietnam War-era zombie apocalypse comic. To coincide with its release next month, ’68 creators Mark Kidwell, Nat Jones and Jay Fotos are now offering a limited collector’s edition print that will benefit Medors’ wife and son.
The print features the one-shot’s cover, drawn by Medors, with a matching back cover illustration by Jones and Fotos. The print is limited to 100 copies and will be hand-numbered and signed by Kidwell, Jones and Fotos. It can be bought for $40 on the ’68 website. Check out the full print below.
’68: Hallowed Ground goes on sale Nov. 16 and, according to the press release, features the story of two soldiers freshly back from Vietnam and forced into a showdown against hordes of zombies while holed up in a church. Medors provided the cover, layouts and thumbnails for the book, which were used to create the final one-shot.
Welcome to Shelf Porn, your weekly look at a fan’s shelves. Today’s collection comes from Mike in Rhode Island, who shows us his many action figures, trade paperbacks and more.
If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Shelf Porn, check out the submission instructions.
And now here’s Dan …
Fearless Defenders writer Cullen Bunn confirmed on Tumblr what many fans of the series feared when the book didn’t show up in Marvel’s January solicitations — December’s #12 is indeed the final issue of the series.
“I can’t really describe how much this book… and these characters… meant to me,” Bunn said in his post. “THE DEFENDERS have always been special for me. I just connected with the non-team and I’ve always wanted to write them. (In fact, I think it is common knowledge that one of my first Marvel minis, FEAR ITSELF: THE DEEP was originally titled FEAR ITSELF: THE DEFENDERS.) Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to love Valkyrie as more than just a really bad ass girl with a sword. And this book was the first concept I brought to Marvel… or at least the first concept I brought to them that they jumped on.”
The book spun out of another Valkyrie-starring and Bunn-written miniseries: Fear Itself: The Fearless, which ended with Valkyrie deciding to recruit a new group of Valkyrior on Earth. Her first recruit was Misty Knight, formerly of Heroes for Hire, who knows a thing or two about recruiting heroes herself. Featuring art by Will Sliney, the comic kept the Defenders “non-team” concept and featured a ton of guest stars from around the Marvel Universe, with New Mutant Dani Moonstar, Elsa Bloodstone, Hippolyta and a new character, Annabelle Riggs, serving as series regulars. Bunn and Sliney really hit home with a lot of fans when Riggs was supposedly killed off at the end of the first storyline. It also featured some pretty awesome covers.
Not many comics can say they made their debut during a brunch, but then again, not many comics are created by Jeff Smith.
The creator of Bone and RASL will attend a benefit brunch for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Kids’ Right to Read program at the Society of Illustrators in New York City on Nov. 10, where he will unveil his newest project, an all-ages webcomic called Tuki Save the Humans!. Smith joined the CBLDF board earlier this month, and revealed he was working on the project at WonderCon last spring.
“… this is a story of the first human being to leave Africa, and all the forces of Africa are conspiring to keep him from doing it,” Smith told CBR’s Kiel Phegley at WonderCon. “I think it’ll be fun. There’ll be sabertooth tigers and other humanoids and Gods and things. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The charity brunch begins at 11:30 a.m., and the performance will begin at 12:30 p.m., to be followed by Q&A, an auction and viewing time in the Society’s galleries. More information and ticket pricing can be found on the CBLDF website.
Earlier this year the Internet was dazzled by Mia Grace Montross, the 4-year-old daughter of a comic fan whose mutant power is knowing a lot about Marvel Comics, even more than her dad.
But does she know more than the superheroes themselves, or at least their Hollywood Boulevard counterparts? Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel decided to put Mia to the test, pitting her against some of the Marvel Universe’s best and brightest, including Iron Man, Captain America and Spider-Man. See her answer questions about Cap’s shield, Wakanda and more, as the heroes pretty much eat her dust.
Heavy rains hit Central Texas last night , causing flooding in Austin and the surrounding area. 30 Days of Night writer Steve Niles lives in the area and awoke this morning to find his house flooded. He posted on Tumblr this morning that getting to his turtle, Gil, was the hardest part:
Woke up at 6am to water rushing into the house. Already ankle deep by the time we saw it. We got as much as we could off the ground and tried to block but there wasn’t much we could do. The worst was trying to get to Gil. It was waist deep almost and strong enough to throw around logs. I reached him and he was submerged and freaking out. Don’t remember much more then lifting him and carrying him all the way back to the house. Looking back I can see how scary it was.”
We are securing the house as much as we can and going through the damage. A scrapbook full of original art I’ve kept for 30 years is gone. A lot more.
Our friends Belinda and Steve are setting up a fund to help. I feel terrible about this but once things settle I’ll have to face up that we need help. I just wish I could catch my breath for 5 minutes and I can make my own money. Austin has had other ideas I guess.
We’ll keep you posted. We’re sort of trapped here for right now. Going to pack and move as much as we can before the next storm hits.
Thank you guys so much.
In what would seem like a natural outgrowth of their partnership with the Estate of Donald E. Westlake, IDW announced in New York this weekend that they plan to release deluxe hardcover versions of Westlake’s Parker novels, designed and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke.
“The Parker novels written by Donald Westlake had a profound effect on me as a young man,” Cooke said in a press release. “To first be able to adapt them in graphic novel form, and now to illustrate his prose as well… for me, it just doesn’t get much better than this.”
Cooke, of course, has been producing the excellent and well-regarded Parker graphic novel adaptations for the last few years, with the next one, Slayground, set for release in December. The first illustrated novel, The Hunter, will arrive in 2014.
“This is the first time the full series will be published in hardcover,” Cooke said at IDW’s panel on Saturday. He added that he’s taking “a completely different approach” to the art style he used in the graphic novels, and that this represents a chance “to make sure these books are properly preserved.”
You can add Charles Schulz to the long list of artists who have been featured in IDW’s Artist’s Edition series. Along with the Jim Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America editions, the Dave Gibbons Watchmen edition and Jack Kirby’s New Gods edition came the news that IDW will release a Peanuts Artist’s Edition.
“Having grown up with Charlie Brown, Linus and his blanket, Snoopy and the Red Baron…I could not be happier about bringing them into the IDW family,” said Ted Adams, CEO and Publisher of IDW Publishing, in a press release. “In the world of comic art, it does not get any bigger than Peanuts.”
Welcome to Shelf Porn, your weekly look at a fan’s set-up. Today’s shelves come from Dan in the UK, who shows us his comics, original art and more.
If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Shelf Porn, check out the submission instructions.
And now here’s Dan …
This Halloween, DC Comics’ digital line is going to get broodier, bloodier and more dramatic, as Elena, Stefan and the rest of the residents of Mystic Falls make the leap to comics.
First announced in San Diego this summer with additional details shared today at the New York Comic-Con, The Vampire Diaries digital first anthology series will feature stories by B. Clay Moore, Colleen Doran, Leah Moore and John Reppion, Tony Shasteen and Cat Staggs, among others. Some of Shasteen’s character sketches can be seen below, and for more check out the official Vampire Diaries Facebook page.
We’re living in a “Lil’ Golden Age,” as publishers have discovered the genius of comics creators Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani.
After showing off their trademark style on the DC heroes in comics like Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, the duo has been tapped to create fun new versions of Hellboy and Battlestar Galactica. The collaborators also have their own line of original characters, following a successful Kickstarter project.
The kid-friendly designs they’ve applied to comics also work pretty well as plush toys, something Dark Horse is jumping all over it introduces plush versions of Itty Bitty Hellboy and Abe Sapien.
No word yet on when you’ll be able to cuddle with Mike Mignola’s signature creations, but Tomopop can show you what they’ll look like.
Rick Geary, creator of the various “Murder Treasury” books published by NBM Publishing, will be on hand this weekend at the Alternative Press Expo to debut his new book Madison Square Tragedy: The Murder of Stanford White.
Here’s a description:
Stanford White is one of New York’s most famous architects having designed many mansions and the first Madison Square Garden. His influence on New York’s look at the turn of the century was pervasive. As he became popular and in demand, he also became quite self-indulgent. He had a taste for budding young showgirls on Broadway, even setting up a private apartment to entertain them in, including a room with… a red velvet swing. When he meets Evelyn Nesbit, an exquisite young nymph, cover girl, showgirl, inspiration for Charles Dana Gibson’s “The Eternal Question” and for the later movie “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing,” he knows he’s on to something special. However, Evelyn eventually marries a young Pittsburgh decadent heir with a dark side who develops a deep hatred for White and what he may or may not have done to her, setting up the most scandalous murder of the time.
Geary has proved to be an adept and engrossing storyteller as he recounts the stories around these murders, so if you’re attending the show, be sure to stop by the NBM table (#203) and check this one out. Alternative Press Expo runs Saturday and Sunday at the Concourse in San Francisco.
Before Baltimore Comic-Con, I had the chance to talk with Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai, and he mentioned that not only was he working on a new Nilson Groundthumper story for Dark Horse Presents, but also that the publisher would release a collection next year of previous stories featuring the swordsrabbit and his pal Hermy.
According to ComicsAlliance, The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy will arrive March 19. The 104-page hardcover will include all of the previously published material featuring the duo from the late 1970s/early 1980s. It’ll also include extra art and new coloring by Tom Luth.
Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy preceded Usagi by a year or two, and like Usagi, Nilson is a sword-wielding rabbit — although of the medieval adventurer sort, vs. a samurai. Their stories take place in a sword-and-sorcery setting (some of which feature a wizard named Sénogara, in honor of one of Sakai’s Groo-vy collaborators on another book) and originally appeared in various anthologies like Critters and Albedo. The stories were quite funny, so it’ll be fun to see them introduced to a new generation — and to see the new story Sakai is working on for DHP.