"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Lest you mistake Eleanor Davis‘ new collection How to be Happy for a self-help book, she spells out everything in the opening pages. It won’t help a depressed person become less depressed, but Davis does recommend two books that benefited her — a situation we briefly discussed.
I’ve long had an affinity for the Athens, Georgia-based storyteller, whom I first interviewed in 2011. That affection is partly because we live in the same state, but also because her work often strikes me as the comics equivalent of an interpretive dance. I have no other way to describe the core response that her work elicits from me. I look repeatedly at some of the pages in this collection and still find something new each time.
As a kid, The Phantom was one of my favorite comic strips. So last year, I was enthused when I learned that writer Jeff Parker was collaborating with artist Marc Laming on a miniseries called Kings Watch, starring Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician.
Ahead of the July release of the trade paperback collection, I spoke with Laming about the miniseries, and to briefly discuss how the project has opened the door for future work for him. My thanks to Laming for his time and to series editor Nate Cosby for facilitating the interview.
Seemingly every week a new Kickstarter project worthy of support attracts my attention. Last week, writer Travis Horseman made me aware of his campaign for Amiculus: A Secret History. Horseman, who characterizes himself as a incurable graphic novel junkie, clearly relished the opportunity to discuss his original, epic three-part graphic novel series telling a lost history of the fall of Rome.
At the beginning of the interview, I was curious to learn what Horseman meant by quasi-historical, and the discussion took off from there.
When two siblings work together on a comic, it creates a rare interview opportunity. The dynamics of a typical collaboration, with unrelated creators, when successful, means there’s a strong rapport between storytellers. But the link between two brothers, as in the case with Shobo and Shof Coker, means a level of candor and communication that I really wanted to discuss with the creators of Outcasts of Jupiter. Their formative years as children in Lagos, Nigeria, and its impact on their storytelling approach, was another area of interest for me.
Typically, I don’t interview a creator twice about the same project. However, David Liss is a writer whom I consider to be greatly undervalued; if you never read the Black Panther stories he did with Francesco Francavilla a few years ago, you should remedy that situation immediately. We initially discussed his creator-owned Angelica Tomorrow in 2012, but along the way publishing plans (and options available to Liss) expanded, and an opportunity presented itself to bring artist Allen Byrns into the discussion.
Thursday marks 10 years since the first 24 Hour Comics Day. In recognition of this milestone, Nat Gertler, who organized that first day and orchestrated the event annually through 2007, was more than happy to share his recollections of its formation. One detail that surprised was that the 2005 collection features the first sold story by award-winning artist Fiona Staples.
It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve read comics, on the eve for the launch of a new series that piques my interest, I always get pumped with excitement. Such is the case this week, given that writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dale Eaglesham‘s Sinestro #1 hits shelves on Wednesday.
The series marks a departure in style for Eaglesham as he pursues a darker, horror tone, an approach he discusses in this interview. He also discusses discusses the opportunity to digitally ink his art, being colored by Jason Wright, collaborating with Bunn, and looking forward for the chance to indulge in Kirby dots (aka Kirby Krackle).
Archie Comics is in an unusual position among North American comics companies, as not only is a majority of its titles geared toward younger readers, but a majority of that audience is female.
Curious to learn how Archie maintains that readership, I reached out to President Mike Pellerito to discuss how he envisions the market for the company’s core kids line, and how he seeks to expand what it offers. Of course, the recent hiring of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa as chief creative officer and his potential impact on the line became central to the discussion.
In the comments section, please be sure to answer Pellerito’s question to Robot 6 readers.
Few creators would consider drawing inspiration from My Fair Lady to retell the Frankenstein tale, only as one man’s quest to construct the perfect woman. Fortunately, there are few creators quite like veteran writer Jamie S. Rich and newcomer artist Megan Levens, the team behind the new comic series Madame Frankenstein.
Ahead of the series’ May 7 debut, I talked with Levens about, among many things, her nuanced examination of psychological horror. Madame Frankenstein #1 can be preordered using Diamond Code MAR140478.
The five-issue miniseries finds Brown teaming with writer Ales Kot to craft the new adventures of former Secret Avenger Jim Rhodes (while it is currently a miniseries, as noted in this late January tweet by Kot: ” … there is room for more if the series does well. We might just extend if so”). Given that Brown is a 2010 graduate of The Kubert School, I took the opportunity in this brief interview to also discuss that experience and its impact on him.
Typically a newcomer artist to comics doesn’t have a background of 25 years of experience in architecture, but United Kingdom-based Alison Sampson is not your typical creator. One realizes that after seeing her one-of-a-kind work on Genesis, her upcoming Image Comics graphic novella with writer Nathan Edmondson about a man who gains unlimited power, only for it to become his worst nightmare.
Naturally, I was curious to learn how an architect decided to explore working in comics; we discuss that among other topics in this interview.
Comics are a visual medium, and some images grab your attention at the outset. In the case of writer/artist Matthew Petz‘s War of the Woods, I liked the story from the moment I saw a live turtle being used as the otter Phin’s helmet.
The digital series, which reveals an alien invasion of Earth from the perspective of an animal kingdom, has completed two seasons (both Season 1 and Season 2 are available on comiXology) with more on the horizon. Petz recently took some time to discuss how the series came into being and some of his plans for Season 3.
It’s a cause for celebration any time Greg Rucka launches a new series, as he does Wednesday with Veil, the story of a girl who awakens with amnesia in an abandoned subway station. Teaming with Rucka on this new Dark Horse ongoing is artist Toni Fejzula. I challenge you not to read Veil once you see the eyes of the lead character as drawn by Fejzula — that and so much more about his art instantly caught my attention to the series. With this interview, I aimed to gain insight into Fejzula’s passion and approach for this new collaborative project. It’s an added bonus to learn he might be listening to Rock Lobster while drawing Veil …
The always-busy writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are back with a Kickstarter campaign for Denver, a 72-page original graphic novel for mature readers illustrated by Pier Brito. As with most things involving Palmiotti, there is an interesting angle to this particular project (his sixth Kickstarter) in that the creators have added a soundtrack to the story, written and composed by Hans Karl. Denver comes equipped with a direct story pitch: “… one man going against all odds to get back the woman he loves, all set in the not-too-distant future.” With 15 days left on the campaign, Palmiotti was happy to discuss this latest Kickstarter.
Writer/artist Jimmie Robinson has been creating and publishing his stories through Image Comics for almost 20 years. Let that just soak in for a moment. Wednesday marks the resumption of Five Weapons, his now-ongoing series set in a high school for assassins, which launched as a five-issue miniseries, but it performed so well that Jim Valentino’s Image imprint Shadowline offered to make it a monthly.
In addition to discussing the transition from miniseries to ongoing with this week’s Issue 6, Robinson agreed to discuss the recent Image Expo and his larger industry realization that the loss of Dwayne McDuffie left a hole that has yet to be filled. He also addresses his intentions to return to the Bomb Queen universe as well as whether he would ever write for Marvel (in particular Rocket Racer) or DC (think Chase).
As part of the Five Weapons coverage, Robinson shared several upcoming covers, plus one in-process page from Five Weapons #7. Be sure to answer the question that Robinson poses at the end of this interview in the comments section.