Beneath the racks of Big Two superheroes and genre comics sits a thriving world of art and storytelling. Some call it independent comics, some call it small press, but in a interesting minicomic, Pat Barrett has some other words for it.
Created using the style and template of the fondly remembered 1978 classic How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema, Barrett delivers a comedic but seething look at the small-press industry. Debuting last month at the Small Press Expo, How to Make Comics the Whiner’s Way lampoons the plight of would-be comic artists in the realm of independent comics. Available for sale online at Birdcage Bottom Books, it’s a tongue-in-cheek “how to” that could also be read as a screed against a growing trend in comics.
“Do you like to gripe? Do you also like to draw? Then the world of small press comics is perfect for you!,” Barrett writes on the comic’s back cover. “The unheard-of Pat Barrett takes a stab at legitimacy by telling you how to accomplish what he hasn’t. Because those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach, write a how-to book. Heed his words, learn some things, and most of all, Never Stop Whining!”
Here’s a sample of what’s inside the eight-page comic, which is available for $2.
Comics mash-ups are a dime a dozen nowadays — only this morning we updated the legal wranglings concerning This Charming Charlie — but few are stranger than this one dreamed up by the blog of Elite Fixtures, which appears to be an otherwise-normal company that sells lighting, bathroom faucets, doorknobs and the like.
“Popular Comic Books Get Mashed Up With Lamps” is just what it sounds like … if what it sounds like involves replacing key characters and elements from well-known comic-book covers with lamps. I’d call it a bizarre, but ingenious, bit of viral marketing, if there were something in the images that might send people flocking to Elite Fixtures. So I’ll just leave it at “bizarre.”
By way of explanation, the blog states, “At EliteFixtures.com, we think lamps are pretty super. Charged with the power of electricity, they can brighten a room with a single bulb and dispel shadows from the darkest corners. There is nowhere to hide from the Power of the Light! Which got us thinking … what would happen to our favorite comic heroes in a face-to-lamp showdown?”
See some of the covers below, and the rest at the company’s blog.
A press conference will be held Monday in Cleveland outside the childhood home of Jerry Siegel to debut Ohio’s Superman license plates, in time for the character’s 75th anniversary.
According to The Plain Dealer, State Rep. Bill Patmon will appear alongside members of the Siegel & Shuster Society board outside the Glenville neighborhood house where teenagers Siegel and Joe Shuster created the Man of Steel.
To help promote acclaimed artist Jock’s stint drawing and writing Marvel’s Savage Wolverine, his 15-year-old son Aubrey Simpson created a teaser that, quite frankly, is better than many of the trailers produced by publishers. Someone should hire him.
The best part of the video comes at the end, with the intertitle that reads, “Written and Drawn By New York Times Best Selling Artist Jock (My Dad).” Jock’s run on Savage Wolverine began this week with Issue 9.
Each of the 13 issues in Ministry: The Devil’s Chord — The Chronicles Of Alien F. Jourgensen will be based on one of the industrial-metal band’s albums, including Psalm 69, The Land of Rape and Honey, and The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste.
“I’ve been wanting to step away from music for a bit, switch gears … then I met Sam and then POOF! Sam turns me into a superhero,” Jourgensen said in a statement. “Ya, I’ll sign up for that!”
Written by Shearon, Ministry: The Devil’s Chord focuses on conspiracy theories, the occult and government corruption as it follows the adventures of Alien F. Jourgensen, a young musician who’s discovered by a record label that attempts to change and control him. But as Alien focuses his attention on his passion, music, he triggers his inherent powers that reveal the true intentions of those who really run the planet.
The comic will incorporate elements from Jourgensen’s own history, and he hopes to include cameos by other real-life heroes.
“I’d love to have people like Trent Reznor, Billy Gibbons and Billy Haynes be characters in the series,” he said.. “I mean, who doesn’t want to be a superhero?”
This morning Mark Evanier showcases an incredible piece of comic-book history: home-movie footage from Superman Day at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair (the same exposition that introduced the Trylon and Perisphere, which in ’80s DC Comics served as the headquarters of the All-Star Squadron).
It’s notable certainly for the glimpses of such figures identified by Evanier as Jerry Siegel, Harry Donenfeld, Max C. Gaines and Jack Liebowitz, but also as testimony to the swiftness with which the Man of Steel made an impact on popular culture: Superman Day, with its races, elephant rides, parade and boys wearing S shields, was held July 3, 1940, roughly two years after the release of Action Comics #1. Granted, by the time of the event, the Adventures of Superman radio serial had been airing for about five months, but still …
Evanier has more on his blog, including doubts as to whether the man in the Superman suit is actually the actor some have long thought.
Just when it seemed the debate had cooled surrounding Lobo’s “new look,” Frank Cho stepped into the fray with a classic interpretation of the character, accompanied by a word balloon that read, “Who’s the ass that changed the costume and made me look like a ponce?”
Now Ben Oliver, who drew Justice League #23.3: Lobo, has poked back with an illustration of his own, sporting just one word: “Wah.”
Just a few months after unleashing a talking goat cover to Quantum and Woody #1, Valiant has revealed another unconventional, QR-activated variant: the “8-Bit Evolution Variant” to November’s Unity #1.
Valiant calls it the “first fully animated 8-bit cover,” although it’s really a two-and-a-half-minute animated short that can be viewed on a mobile device via a code found on the cover — or watched right now. The clip gives background on the book’s main characters — X-O Manowar, Toyo Harada, Eternal Warrior, Ninjak and Livewire — in the distinctly whimsical 8-bit style, which Valiant has used before on a series of covers. The video was produced in partnership with YouTube channel CineFix, as part of its “8-Bit Cinema” series.
Unity #1, written by Matt Kindt and illustrated by Doug Braithwaite, is scheduled for release on Nov. 13.
You’ll be tempted to point out that Steve Rogers actually enlisted in the Army, or that luchador costumes violate some antiquated U.S. military regulation, but fight those impulses until you can fully appreciate that Air Force Chief of Staff Mark A. Welsh delivered an address on Tuesday while wearing a Captain America mask.
Wait, considering Welsh’s rank, shouldn’t that be General America? Whatever the case, Welsh didn’t want anyone to think the letter on his head stood for France: According to the Military Times, the general pointed to the letter and said, “A is for Airpower.”
Here’s a photo of a small stack of bagged and boarded comics that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found near an abandoned squatter’s camp in the Green Timbers forest near Surrey, British Columbia. The RCMP is circulating the photo in hopes of finding the owner of the comics.
Once there was a blogger who had a dead-end day job at a coffee shop, using it to fund a hopeful career as a journalist. Then came along a ghost who possessed her roommate, transforming him into a paranormal investigator.
No, this isn’t auto-biographical (I wish!) but instead it’s the premise of the indie-comic series Tales of the Night Watchman. Created by writer David Kelly and artist Lara Antal, the series debuted earlier this year online and at various Northeast comic conventions. The blogger in this case is named Nora, and her roommate is Charlie, and together they are baristas by day and heroes by night once they come into possession (literally!) of this spectral detective called the Night Watchman.
The first issue unveiled this startling tale with the introduction of the Night Watchman as well as the appearance of his arch-nemesis Merrick. At the Small Press Expo this weekend in Bethesda, Maryland, Kelly and Antal will debut the series’ second issue as well as a spinoff one-shot with artist Molly Ostertag subtitled The Night Collector.
The creators have provided ROBOT 6 with a sample of the first two issues of the main series as well as The Night Collector.
Cartoonist Evan Dorkin of Milk & Cheese and Beasts of Burden fame has been musing on Twitter about doing more work in his on-again, off-again Welcome to Eltingville comic strip. Last seen in a 2012 issue of Dark Horse Presents, the series profiles four hardcore comics fans in their social lives in and around their comic store — based on the real Jim Hanley’s Universe chain. Dorkin created Welcome to Eltingville for in the early 1990s anthology series he produced titled Instant Piano, and the series was even adapted as a very short-lived (one episode) series for Cartoon Network. The series was produced shortly after Dorkin began work there on Space Ghost Coast to Coast and later Superman.
“Of late my thoughts turn to Eltingville,” Dorkin began Sept. 6 on Twitter. “For Eltingville to live…Eltingville must die. For Eltingville to die… Eltingville must live. Everyone roll D20 to make a saving throw against Eltingville.”
As you might expect, the brief mentions of Dorkin doing new Welcome to Eltingville caused his fans to begin talking it up. Late Tuesday, Dorkin had a firm answer — or answers: “For those asking about Eltingville, the answer is ‘Yes.’ Also, ‘No.; As well as, ‘No, no, no Kickstarter, no.’ Thank you. Stay Tuned.”
Premiering Oct. 30, The Fox follows photojournalist Paul Patton Jr. as he dons to a costume to make news to take pictures of, only to be drawn into something far stranger than he’d initially thought when he investigates a social-media mogul.
The series, part of a Red Circle revival that includes the digital-first New Crusaders, will feature “The Shield” back-up stories by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro.
Responding to the backlash to the tryout page for DC Entertainment’s Open Talent Search, Harley Quinn co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti has clarified that a scene depicting the fan-favorite character in a bathtub, seemingly planning suicide, is merely a surreal dream sequence.
“That the tryout Harley Quinn page went out without an overall description of tone and dialogue is all my fault,” he wrote this morning on his Facebook page. “I should have put it clearly in the description that it was supposed to be a dream sequence with Amanda [Conner] and I talking to Harley and giving her a hard time. I should have also mentioned we were thinking a Mad magazine/Looney Tunes approach was what we were looking for. We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Powergirl series we did. I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention. I also hope that they can all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up. The idea for the page to find new talent is an amazing one and we hope that can be the positive that comes forward from today on … that we get some new talent working in our field because of this unique opportunity.”
As if Canada Post’s stamps weren’t enough to celebrate the Toronto roots of Superman on his 75th anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a series of seven collector coins to commemorate the occasion.
While Superman was created in 1933 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster when they were teenagers living in Cleveland, Shuster was actually born in Toronto, and lived there until age 9 or 10. He worked as a newspaper boy for the Toronto Daily Star, whose building served as a model for the Daily Planet (originally called the Daily Star).
“The generations of young people who grew up reading Superman comics may not have fully appreciated the story behind them,” Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said in a statement. “Our government celebrates Canada’s history and heritage and the very values and strengths that Superman embodies.”
The coins, which are available beginning today, depict different moments in the Man of Steel’s history, but they’re all engraved with the phrase “75 years of Superman,” written in Kryptonian: There’s the $75 14-karat gold coin (‘the early years”), featuring Joe Shuster’s illustration from the cover of Superman #1; the $10 fine silver coin (“vintage”); the $15 fine silver coin (“modern day); the $20 fine silver coin (“Man of Steel”), featuring Jim Lee’s cover for Superman #204; the $20 fine silver coin with the iconic S shield; the $20 fine silver (“Metropolis”) — appropriately enough, “the world’s first coin to feature an achromatic hologram”; and a “Then and Now” coin and stamp set, with a coin that shifts between Shuster’s Superman #1 and Lee’s modern reinterpretation.
Ordering details can be found on the Royal Canadian Mint website.