EXCL. PREVIEW: Crystal Wrangles NuHumans in "All-New Inhumans" #1
Amid the tumult of New York Comic Con, i09.com was able to zero in on one of the burning questions of the day: What would Donald Trump look like as various supervillains?
So one of the website’s contributors headed down Artists Alley to ask a handful of creators, including Joe Staton, Jim Mahfood and Nathan Fox, to try their hands at it. And, boy, are we glad they did. The results ranged from Poison Ivy to The Joker to Ursula, but Fox’s MODOK easily emerges the winner.
Frank Miller will return to the “Dark Knight” world this November with “Dark Knight III: The Master Race,” the conclusion of his Batman story that started with 1986’s seminal “The Dark Knight Returns.” Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson are illustrating the main story, but fans were left wondering to what capacity, if any, Miller himself would contribute art. That all changed Monday when DC unveiled cover art by Frank Miller for “Dark Knight Universe Presents: The Atom” #1, an Atom-centric minicomic included with the first issue of “Master Race.” The image is highly stylized, to say the least, featuring a wrinkled, grimacing Superman with huge fists and a noticeable bulge in the red underwear region. And boy, the Internet reaction was swift. The backlash was vocal, with fans Tweeting their disapproval, jokes and comparisons to Popeye and Miller’s output to the work of other divisive artists. io9.com jumped into the mix with a post titled “DC Lets Frank Miller Draw Superman’s Penis for ‘Dark Knight III.'”
Before too long, “Astro City” writer Kurt Busiek came to Miller’s defense with a string of tweets aimed directly at the haters. “This shot of Superman says everything Frank Miller wants to establish about Superman in this world,” tweeted Busiek before going on to further drive the point home that Miller’s interpretation of the Man of Steel is completely intentional. “It’s cartooning, it’s Frank presenting an idea of Superman that isn’t sleek and pretty,” Busiek said.
Alex Ross has debuted a new original painting featuring Batman, The Joker and Harley Quinn, which will be among his exclusives next week at Comic-Con International. Titled “Mind if I Cut in?,” it’s a sequel to his famed 2003 piece “Tango With Evil,” which debuted as the cover of 1999’s “Batman: Harley Quinn.”
The artist’s booth (#2419) will feature limited-edition signed prints, sketchbooks, comics, variant covers and, of course, original art.
Ahead of the release later this month of DC Comics’ Convergence: Shazam! #2, artist Evan “Doc” Shaner has gathered his model sheets for the major characters that appeared in the debut issue, including Captain Marvel/Billy Batson, Dr. Sivana, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel.
They’re interesting in and of themselves, of course, but also for the head shots in which Shaner mimics the styles of such greats as C.C Beck, Mac Raboy, Marc Swayze and Kurt Schaffenberger, showing from whom he drew inspiration.
The first sketches of Wonder Woman, drawn in 1941 by artist H.G. Peter for the superheroine’s creator William Moulton Marston, is up for sale for an undisclosed price.
Acquired originally from the artist’s estate, the sketches are made even more interesting because the page includes comments from both Peter and Marston about the design. Peter wrote:
Zander Cannon fans can rejoice, as the first issue of his Oni Press giant-monster series Kaijumax hits shelves on Wednesday. When I first heard about the comic, which is send on an island prison for for kaiju, the phrase “Pacific Rim meets Orange is the New Black” was mentioned. That’s certainly an apt comparison.
Creatively this project marks a major departure for Cannon, as all of his work is completely digital for the first time. The cartoonist shared a peek behind the scenes at a page from the second issue, showing the steps from rough layout to final product:
Last week we saw 1980s music icons reimagined as Marvel superheroes, and now another artist has depicted Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Earth’s Mightiest Punks.
Atlanta-based artist Cara McGee has drawn portraits of some of the Avengers (as well as foe or two) as punks, decked out in tattoos, studded collars and boots, and strategically ripped jeans. Take a look:
Creatively, this will be a satisfying week for Invisible Republic creators Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, as the first issue of their ambitious sci-fi adventure — “Breaking Bad meets Blade Runner” — arrives from Image Comics.
Bechko and Hardman initially started Invisible Republic around 2009, only to set aside in order to collaborate on other projects. When the creators picked it up again, Hardman chose to rework his art to a certain extent. Fortunately for ROBOT 6, Hardman notes, “I drew the entire first issue years ago before we reworked it into its current form and we haven’t shown these original versions of the pages anywhere else.”
The black-and-white pages are the original versions, while the final versions are in color (courtesy of series colorist Jordan Boyd).
Rob Liefeld, whose The Covenant debuts in June, has unveiled art from another Bible-inspired adventure, Eve and the Garden of Eden.
“Even the most conservative estimates put Adam and Eve in the Garden at least 100 years,” he writes. “We don’t really believe they were laying around staring longingly at each other the entire time right? The Accuser had fallen from the Heavens and was plotting his destruction and poisoning of Paradise from the beginning.”
Hellbreak, the upcoming supernatural action series by Cullen Bunn, Brian Churilla and Dave Stewart, marks a departure on two fronts for the illustrator, who not only embarked on a new artistic style but also made the move to digital.
Ahead of the title’s debut next week from Oni Press, Churilla shared with ROBOT 6 a look at his process. It’s particularly interesting to learn that preference for working in blue pencil, as he explains, mostly is due to the influence of the Chip Kidd/Paul Dini Batman Animated art book.
Next week will be big for Thief of Thieves artist Shawn Martinbrough on two fronts, as not only does Thief of Thieves #26 go on sale Feb. 25, but on the following day he’ll discuss his career and his noir-influenced approach to storytelling as part of the Society of Illustrators’ celebration of Black History Month. He’ll be joined in the conversation by comics writer and historian Danny Fingeroth.
In conjunction with the release of Thief of Thieves #26, ROBOT 6 asked Martinbrough to rank his 10 favorite covers, and reveal a bit about the creative process for each one:
This week marks the release of Matthew Dow Smith‘s October Girl #3, nearly two and half years after the debut of the second issue of the Monkeybrain Comics series. Smith is the first to admit that’s way too long a period between issues.
As part of my continuing effort to have creators open up about their creative process, I asked Smith to share the process for creating a page from October Girl #3. He’s clearly eager to get the next installment of his dark fantasy series into readers’ hands. Understandably, given that the story’s core concept seems delightfully engaging on several levels (a young woman, Autumn Ackerman, discovers that her imaginary childhood friend is quite real).
Since ending his run on Animal Man in 2012, artist Travel Foreman has released relatively limited comics work — primarily covers and short stories — largely because he remains focused on his long-gestating creator-owned project Zuerst. However, it turns out he nearly tackled another series for DC Comics, with his Animal Man collaborator Jeff Lemire.
On his blog, Foreman posted sketches created in preparation for Lemire’s Justice League United title. That work ultimately never came to pass, but these sketches — and the raw creativity shown by Foreman — are certainly invigorating, if perhaps disappointing for fans who’d have enjoyed seeing the story arc materialize.
We frequently relish the opportunity to recommend creators or projects that readers might not otherwise consider. But in an effort to mix things up, it never hurts to solicit opinions from the creators themselves. This week, Justin Greenwood, artist of The Fuse and Stumptown, takes a moment to discuss Joe Infurnari‘s work on the sci-fi mystery series The Bunker.
Although Southern Cross, the sci-fi horror series from Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger and Lee Loughridge, doesn’t debut from Image Comics until March, its production blog has already proved itself a must-read. Or a must-view, in any case.
The series follows Alex Braith as she boards the oil tanker Southern Cross en route to Saturn’s moon Titan to collect her sister’s remains, retrace her steps and uncover answers about her death.
On the blog, the creators have posted everything from character designs to logo treatments for the comic’s galactic oil company to — best of all for anyone who ever spent hours poring over schematics of Titans Tower or the U.S.S. Enterprise — a top-down blueprint of the Southern Cross itself.