INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Longtime readers of writer Fred Van Lente know well how much of a history buff he is. So it did not surprise me that his new ongoing series with artists Maurizio Rosenzweig and Moreno Dinisio, Resurrectionists, draws upon the past as a major fuel for the present day narrative. The creator-owned project builds upon the concept that certain people can utilize the knowledge and experience of their past lives.
While many creators use Twitter, not all of them do so to such a thorough degree as Janet K. Lee. The artist behind Return of the Dapper Men, Jane Austen’s Emma (for Marvel) and Lost Vegas shares commission pieces as well as works in progress and warmup sketches. Here are a few recent examples.
At Chris Brunner and Rico Renzi’s blog The Kids Stick Together, the artist and colorist have shared some behind-the-scenes pieces from their recent three-page collaboration with writer Jason Latour on Wolverine and the X-Men #11. The creators provide a great deal of insight, and rather than try to summarize it here, ROBOT 6 has cherry-picked a few fun items, with Renzi’s permission. He assured us they will do at least do one additional post analyzing another page in the very near future.
Late last week Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) marked the planned demolition of a 43-year hotel (and future site of its administration offices) with an event called Cape Day. The primary public face of the celebration was a 4-year-old former patient, DJ Pitts (aka Super DJ), who at age 3 accidentally ingested an industrial cleaner, resulting in a six-month stay at CHOA. While he was there, enduring more than 20 surgeries, he donned many different superhero capes to pass the time as he received treatment, to the delight of himself and everyone who met him.
UR collects a variety of Eric Haven‘s stories previously published in various anthologies, and draws upon many influences, including his love of classic comics, while swimming deep in the waters of absurdist humor.
Haven spoke with ROBOT 6 about what went into arranging this collection, how it landed at AdHouse, his hatred of dancing, and the comedic truism: “Explosive diarrhea is always funny.” AdHouse is offering a preview of the book, which will be released in December.
Often when one runs across an engaging new series, it is fairly easy to identify the prime factor that serves as the appeal/pull for the project. In the case of Tooth & Claw, the new fantasy series (replete with talking animals and magic) by writer Kurt Busiek, artist Ben Dewey and colorist Jordie Bellaire, no one factor can be identified.
For starters–in the “credit where credit is due” department, there would be no series had Busiek not initially conceived the series, prior to seeking out Dewey. Busiek has known since the initial 1994 success of Marvels that no matter how great a writer he may be, the lynchpin to a project’s success or failure is how effectively the artist interprets his script.
While still early in the month, ROBOT 6 decided to spotlight a handful of Aquavember pieces, including some by comics industry veteran (and faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design) George Pratt and award-winning colorist Laura Martin.
11/8/14 Update: Since the initial post, I learned about Aquavember’s origin. Inspired by Inktober, artist Ken Meyer Jr. organized the inaugural Aquavember this year.As Meyer explained at this Aquavember page: “I created this page as a gathering place for #AquaVember, a place where you can show DAILY WATERCOLORS. … Do something, anything, in watercolor daily.”
Coming up Dec. 10, Valiant Entertainment will launch a new four-issue miniseries The Valiant, co-written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt with art by Paolo Rivera. To mark its upcoming release, Valiant shared layout, penciled, inked and colored samples of the first four pages for the first issue.
Fans of Gabriel Hardman‘s Kinski get a double treat this week, as the original Monkeybrain run of the series wraps up with the digital release of Issue 6, while at the same time Image Comics has collected all six issues in a $14.99 trade paperback.
To mark the occasion, ROBOT 6 reached out to Hardman for any bonus material he was willing to share . He obliged us with a rejected cover. He also offered the following explanation:
Bryan Hitch has been a professional artist for more than a quarter century, so it makes perfect since that after all that time he would want to try his hand at writing as well as drawing a comic. This year saw the premiere of such an effort, the Image Comics six-issue miniseries Real Heroes.
The premise is direct: A group of actors portraying a team of superheroes gets thrust into an alternate universe, where they’re forced to portray actual heroes. Two issues will be released this month (Issue 4 arrives Wednesday, followed Nov. 12 by Issue 5) in an effort to catch up to its its schedule, before the series wraps up on Dec. 10.
In our interview, Hitch discusses how much he enjoyed writing and his intention to write more, and elaborates on his decision to have his last creative word on superheroes be his next project.
As a longtime fan of both writer Jamie S. Rich and artist Joëlle Jones, especially when the two are collaborating, I was overjoyed to learn this January will mark the launch of their new Dark Horse miniseries Lady Killer. But Monday I became aware of an incredible creative detail I had previously overlooked: The amazing colorist Laura Allred, who typically only has time in her busy schedule to work with husband Mike Allred, will be coloring Jones.
I was sad to see the month of October end, as it also meant Inktober drew to a close. Inktober, launched by Jake Parker in 2009, started as a challenge to “improve my inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.”
In recognition of Inktober wrapping up, I decided to select some of my favorite Inktober pieces.
Throughout October on his Tumblr, Francesco Francavilla has taken folks on a one-a-day horror film art tour, christened FFFear. What’s so great about Francavilla’s romp through the horror genre is one day he could pay tribute to a 1931 classic, while the next he he tackles a movie from the ’80s.
Even better, rather than just sharing one photo of the art each day, he shows glimpses of the work in progress, and specifies the medium he used (typically for FFFear he opts for ink/inkwash on 9-inch by 12-inch Bristol board). It’s impossible to select the best of the 31 (I bet he may have saved the best for last; we’ll see). But still, here are some of my favorites.
One of the Monkeybrain Comics titles debuting this week on comiXology is the fourth issue of Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom, a series by Kevin Church and Grace Allison about an NYU student who goes on a bender only to awaken the next day in a fantasy realm. To mark the release of the new issue, Allison provided ROBOT 6 with a glimpse into the creative process.
On Saturday, Greenville, South Carolina, retailer Richards Comics & Collectables hosted an all-ages ComicFest featuring a range of guests, including Andy Runton, Van Jensen, J. Chris Campbell, Gregbo Watson, Duane Ballenger and Tracy Yardley. Judging from the Halloween Costume Contest photos, the event drew a fair number of children.