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.
An eBay auction has launched to benefit writer Steve Niles, whose Austin home flooded last week following heavy rains in Central Texas. He, his wife, musician Monica Richards, and their pets are now staying in a friend’s guesthouse.
Organized by writer Matt Miner, the auction is expected to arrive in two, and possibly three, waves, beginning with such items as 30 Days of Night original art by Ben Templesmith, original painted pages from Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who — Assimilation by J.K. Woodward, a Black Widow illustration by Phil Noto, comic-book script reviews by Scott Snyder and Ron Marz, and signed comics by the likes of Chris Burnham, James Tynion IV, Jamie S. Rich, Greg Pak and J.M DeMatteis. Visit the auction page for the full listing.
“I’ll keep doing auctions as long as comics pros want to send me stuff,” Miner said. Professionals wishing to contribute items for the auction should contact Miner.
There’s a nice, if too-short, video interview with graphic designer, author and comics writer Chip Kidd conducted last month at AGI Open London and which he discusses book-jacket design — he’s behind those for Jurassic Park, The Secret History and Black Hole, among countless others — and, yes, his lifelong obsession with Batman (first documented in 1996′s Batman Collected).
Of course, Kidd isn’t merely a fan of the Dark Knight: He teamed with artist Dave Taylor on the 2012 graphic novel Batman: Death by Design.
“I’ve written a Batman graphic novel. That’s a completely different thing,” Kidd says in the video. “That’s the most fun, because you’re adding to the legacy of the character, and it’s challenging because after 75 years, it’s like, what do you do that hasn’t been done, or that you feel you haven’t seen.”
Matt Fraction’s blog is always a fascinating read. In between the photos of Hawkeye cosplayers, comic art and pop-culture artifacts, the writer answers questions from fans with a refreshing, and frequently surprising, candor. But none has been as honest, as moving or as vital as his response to a reader’s question about depression, and suicide as a possible “alternative.”
After advising the fan to “seek professional help immediately,” Fraction reveals his own brush with suicide on a Thanksgiving night when he was still in high school.
“As I started to cut, as the corner touched my skin and that jolt of pain fired into my head, I stopped and thought — y’know, last chance. Are you SURE?” he writes. “And I was tired. I sounded like you, that I knew there’d be ups again and downs but I was just so fucking TIRED I couldn’t stand the thought of having to get there. I felt this … this never-ending crush of days that were grey and tepid but for some reason i was supposed to greet each one with a smile. the constant pressure of having to keep my shit in all the time was just exhausting.
I’m very fond of the output of artist David Roach. The Welshman has been an on-off contributor to 2000AD since 1988, as well as regularly working as an inker on the strip features in Doctor Who Magazine. I don’t remember him working much recently in the United States, where he regularly turned up at DC and Dark Horse both as a penciler and inker. He comes from a family of academics, and has been developing a parallel career of late as something of a comic book and illustration historian.
Roach regularly uses his Facebook page as an art blog, showcasing artists of all stripes, just as likely to be a fine artist as a comic illustrator, as well as occasionally featuring art from his own collection. This week he has been displaying scans from what he calls “surely the rarest collectible in the comics history.”
Congratulations to Eisner Award-winning artist Paolo Rivera, who was recently married in grand comic-book style. No, not with a costumed villain crashing the ceremony, but rather with comics-themed accents, from the save-the-date cards and invitations to the cake-topper and name cards — all of which Rivera shows off on his blog.
As the artist’s new wife grew up as a fan of Tintin, he went with a Herge-esque style for the invitation illustration, which features guests ranging from Daredevil and Katniss Everdeen to Optimus Prime and (perhaps best of all) Ellen Ripley in the Power Loader. You can see the full image below, and the rest of the items — including Rivera’s sculpted Psylocke and Wolverine cake-topper — on his blog.
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.
While many of his colleagues are busy this weekend at New York Comic Con, Geoff Johns will be in East Lansing, Michigan, serving as grand marshal of Michigan State University’s Homecoming.
In honor of Johns, chief creative officer of DC Entertainment and a 1995 graduate of MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, this year’s Homecoming theme is “Creating Spartan Super Heroes.” That spills over into a limited-edition guide/comic book that includes such heroes as Sparty (the school’s mascot), who has “the ability to uncover the extraordinary in everyone,” Cognos, a former candle maker who possesses telepathy and superhuman intellect, and the Muse, a former art teacher who carries a “mirrored shield that provides inspiration to solve challenging problems.”
The week of festivities kicked off Monday with hay rides and a flag find, but it looks like the grand marshal’s role begins Wednesday with “An Evening With Geoff Johns,” a $25-per-person presentation, Q&A and autograph-signing sponsored by the MSU Alumni Association and the College of Arts and Letters. He’ll follow that on Thursday with a free “Media Sandbox Event and Storytelling Class with Geoff Johns” for students, staff and alumni of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Isabel Greenberg: She’s a young (age 25) creator whose first full-length graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, is out this week. Her fellow creators have lots of good things to say about her and her work. She’s off to a good start, and frankly, she deserves better than this condescending profile in the U.K. newspaper Metro:
Isabel Greenberg is the new face of comics. Not just because one look at this petite, pretty blonde confounds the lingering cliché that comics are created by spotty adult males in unwashed Spider-Man T-shirts.
Right there, in the very first paragraph, the writer manages to belittle her subject, insult male creators by calling them pimply and dirty, and insult female creators by acting like they don’t exist. That’s quite a hat trick!
I blame the editor for this, first for assigning the story to someone who obviously knows nothing about comics and then for letting her get away with that introduction and the purple prose that follows. Calling Greenberg a “petite, pretty blonde” is not only sexist, it’s also lazy writing. That sort of thing was common in the 1970s, when every article about a woman had to include a description of her looks and what she was wearing. I thought we had moved on by now, but apparently Metro hasn’t received the memo; I doubt they’d let a writer get away with describing Craig Thompson as “tall, dark and handsome.”
Randall Munroe, creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, has joined a very exclusive group: comics writers and artists who’ve had asteroids named in their honor.
According to the cartoonist, the International Astronomical Union, which assigns designations to celestial bodies, was accepting name suggestions for small solar system objects, and xkcd readers Lewis Hulbert and Jordan Zhu submitted Munroe’s name for asteroid (4942) 1987 DU6. The recommendation was accepted, and the asteroid is now officially designated 4942 Munroe.
“The first thing I did was try to figure out whether 4942 Munroe was big enough to pose a threat to Earth,” the cartoonist writes. “I was excited to learn that, based on its albedo (brightness), it’s probably about 6-10 kilometers in diameter. That’s comparable in size to the one that killed the dinosaurs — definitely big enough to cause a mass extinction!
Unfortunately Fortunately, it’s in a fairly stable circular orbit between Mars and Jupiter, so it’s unlikely to hit the Earth any time soon.”
Munroe is now one of a relative handful of comics creators who have asteroids named after them: J. Michael Straczynski (although it was in recognition of works in other media, like Babylon 5), Carl Barks and, just this summer, The Incal writer Alejandro Jodorowsky.
I love the word “gestation.” All those different hard and soft sounds to roll around your mouth; affricates, fricatives, sibilants, glottal stops, all there in one meaning-pregnant (in all senses) word. There’s a standard table of units critics use for the gestation period of a work of art. Did it take as long to complete as the average Scott Walker LP? Or, for something a little bit longer, it’s a James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.
This movie took two years to complete, which is quite a modest timescale by my increasingly geological sense of chronology, although it’s just a record of one man completing one painting. That said, that one man is Simon Bisley, and that one painting is a mural-sized image of The Joker, so the resultant combination is indeed worthy of epic status (the running time for the movie stretches to about 10 minutes short of two hours, with the action alternating between real-time and time-lapse sequences).
Neal Adams could use a little help — well, a lot of help: The artist renowned for his work on such titles as Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow accidentally left two portfolios of original art in a New York City taxi, and he’s trying to get them back.
The New York Post reports the books were in a beige Bucky O’Hare bag left in the trunk of a yellow cab on Sept. 4. His daughter Kris Adams places their value at tens of thousands of dollars.
Adams’ studio is working closely with the Taxi and Limousine Commission and the New York Police Department to recover the portfolios. To that end, they’re distributing fliers with a sketch of the cab driver by Adams, and an image of the bag (below). They’ve also provided images of the art.
Anyone who has the portfolio, or knows their whereabouts, is asked to call 212.869.4170. A reward is being offered.
New York Times bestselling author and Identity Crisis writer Brad Meltzer will host a Google Hangout on Tuesday sponsored by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for a Banned Books Week discussion, including the censorship of literary material throughout history and how individuals and groups have found ways to combat banned books.
Meltzer is best known in comics for Identity Crisis and the 2006 relaunch of Justice League of America, for which he and artist Gene Ha received an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue. An accomplished novelist, he most recently released the political thriller The Fifth Assassin.
The CBLDF’s Banned Books Heroes Google Hangout takes place September 24 at 8:00 PM Eastern/5:00 PM Pacific. Those interested in joining can RSVP on the Google+ event page.
Alan Moore denies he’s the creepy clown who’s been lurking around Northampton, England, but concedes he may be inadvertently responsible for the mysterious figure’s appearance in his hometown.
The not-so-imaginatively dubbed Northampton Clown, who bears a worrying resemblance to Pennywise from Stephen King’s It, was first spotted on Sept. 13, and has since become a local curiosity and an international phenomenon. Witnesses claim he says “Beep, beep” whenever he approaches people (another nod to Pennywise), and knocks on windows, only to stand there silently.
Although the clown told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo “I just wanted to amuse people,” some have speculated he’s nothing more than a publicity stunt for an annual haunted house or for The Show, an episodic film project involving local resident Alan Moore (which, coincidentally, features a sinister clown).
When Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals debuts next week from Image Comics, some readers will be exposed to Chip Zdarsky for the first time. And I tell you, it’ll be an unforgettable experience.
Zdarsky may be virtually unknown to devotees of mainstream comics, but for the people of Toronto and those in certain corners of the Internet, he’s a bit of a phenomenon. I was introduced to his work around 2003 through a collected edition of his comic strip Prison Funnies, and then through discussions on the Warren Ellis Forum. He was one of the early members of the web collective Act-I-Vate, contributing a short-lived but legendary series called Zdarsky-verse, which included a drug-fueled Pac-Man.