Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Batman is celebrating his 75th birthday this year, which may come as a surprise. I mean, look at that smooth, handsome face, or what little of it is visible beneath his cowl. Look at those ripped muscles, or the way he runs across rooftops and beats up criminals — why, Batman doesn’t look a day over 35!
Now just as it did recently for Superman, DC Comics is releasing a pair of hefty, 400-page hardcover collections that serve as a sort of survey for how the character has been portrayed and functioned in the publisher’s comics line during since his first appearance. Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years and The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years aren’t exactly the comics equivalents of greatest-hits albums, but they are nice starting points for newcomers and/or casual fans, offering quick, compelling overviews of the title characters through the decades.
The Batman volume, featuring Jim Lee’s rendition of the character from the 2003 storyline “Hush” on the dust jacket, must have been particularly challenging to assemble, given the thousands and thousands of pages of Batman comics, featuring dozens of different takes by scores of creators.
Canadian purveyor of fine comics Renegade Arts Entertainment has sent along some preview images from its 2014 slate.
I’ve recently spotted Dept. of Monsterology artist Paul “PJ” Holden tweet of his disappointment that the positive buzz and great reviews for the comic haven’t necessarily translated into sales, and that’s a shame. The first three issues were among my favorite comics of 2013, jam-packed with old-school pulp action, with writer Gordon Rennie filling it with Easter eggs to be spotted by fans of classic sci-fi and horror.
I’d heartily recommend it to fans of the Mignola-verse, Doug Moench’s Master of Kung Fu comics, or Moore and O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. 2014 will see the first miniseries end, to be collected as a trade paperback at some later point, and hopefully we’ll also see a second series commissioned soon, too.
We reported in November on the announcement of comics making it into the roster of World Book Night for the first time ever, in the form of 2000AD/Rebellion’s The Dark Judges collection. Now World Book Night has now rolled around, and to find an event tonight where you can receive a free copy of this book, consult the list of events on the website, or take a dig around the interactive map of the United Kingdom.
The London Super Con happened over the weekend, complete with a sizable roll call of legends attending (including Neal Adams, George Perez, Bill Sienkiewicz and Brian Bolland). These days, it wouldn’t be a U.K. comic convention without a fresh batch of photographs turning up in the Twitter stream of 2000AD super-fan John Burdis and friends dragged up as Mega City One judges, administering some on-the-spot justice to his fellow convention goers. This time, there were some familiar faces to be spotted amongst his willing victims: There are literally hundreds of shots like these on Burdis’s Facebook gallery. Also seen at Facebook: a very jolly-looking Batman sharing a joke with Judge Court.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew shares their picks for who we think should play a young Han Solo. Of course, we unanimously chose Nathan Fillion, so instead we’ll talk about what comics we’ve been reading. Joining us today is special guest Tim Lattie, the creator of Night Stars. Tim is currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds to publish it, so head over there and check it out.
To see what Tim and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Since it was first announced in the United Kingdom in 2010, World Book Night has quickly established itself as a big deal indeed, a headline-grabber, something that has re-energized the national debate here about books and literature (always a good thing). Each year, a team of more than 20,000 “givers” volunteers to distribute a million free books, selected by a committee of experts, and donated by their publishers. The charity is partnered with the BBC, which regularly features the run-up and the event itself throughout its current affairs and cultural output: The booklist was featured last night on The One Show, and will be debated tonight on Newsnight Review. Doubtless someone on the panel will look baffled by its inclusion, like a caveman presented with the keys to a Ferrari.
The books announced yesterday as next year’s selection include, for the first time, some comics in the form of 2000AD/Rebellion Publishing’s Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges. Inclusion in this event could be seen as trumping Free Comic Book Day, with tens of thousands of copies of an entire graphic novel distributed freely across the entire nation in a hail of publicity. This edition features some stone-cold classics by John Wagner, Alan Grant, Brian Bolland, Brett Ewins and others, and includes the most celebrated panel ever in Bolland’s career at the venerable British anthology:
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week we’re joined by music video director and comic book writer Alex de Campi, whose works include Smoke, Kat & Mouse, Valentine and the in-production Ashes.
To see at Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our guest this week is writer and letterer Ed Brisson, whose comic Comeback with artist Michael Walsh arrives in November. He’s also the writer of Murder Book and Black River.
To see what Ed and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Inside the new issue of 2000AD is the above teaser for the lead strip in next month’s Judge Dredd Megazine (scan via ECBT2000AD). Any day with news of upcoming art by Tiernen Trevallion is a good day, so I tracked him down to his local golf club and ruthlessly extracted the following preview page from him: Continue Reading »
Scottish writer Alan Grant and American artist Norm Breyfogle started working on DC’s Batman comics during what must have been a particularly fertile and exciting time to do so—1988, the just after Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns helped redefine the possibilities of comics for a new generation (as well as redefining the Batman character and milieu), and the year before the Tim Burton-directed Batman feature film would replace the 1960s TV Batman as pop culture’s default view of the character.
The pair would work with other collaborators over the next decade or so, but had a long and fruitful run as a team, starting with a three-year run on Detective Comics (at first with John Wagner as co-writer), followed by two years on Batman, the launch of their own Batman title in 1992, Shadow of the Bat (which, after Breyfogle left, became Grant’s showcase title, pairing him with different artists for different arcs). They also produced a few original graphic novels (or “prestige format” comics as they were then called) like 2000’s Batman: Dreamland, and first a miniseries than a short-lived monthly starring one of their signature creations, Batman villain Anarky.
Grant continued writing for the Bat-books into the new decade, up until around the time of one of the cross-book crossover events, “Cataclysm,” which lead into “No Man’s Land” and then a relaunch of the line.
Breyfogle’s byline popped up here and there in unexpected places, but he hasn’t drawn Batman in a while.
I think about them both a lot.