With the 10th anniversary of the college romance/drama Stylish Vittles, Volume 1: I Met A Girl approaching, Tyler Page (Nothing Better, Chicagoland Detective Agency) is thinking about ways to celebrate his debut work while also acknowledging his growth as a cartoonist. In a recent blog post, Page shared some potential cover designs (there are more at the link), but talked about handling what he calls “the deep flaws of the work.” He’s currently working on an ebook collecting the original versions of all three Stylish Vittles volumes, but is considering a Director’s Cut to trim out what he considers to be problem areas.
I can’t help but think about George Lucas as I read that, but Page’s approach is different in a couple of important ways. First, he’s approaching the anniversary spruce-up from a position of humility; looking back at an early work with the eyes of a more mature artist is different from saying that the new version is “what I always intended the old one to be.” More importantly though, Page is keeping the original available for long-time fans (like me) and side-by-side comparison. I need to remind myself that the Director’s Cut is just something Page is thinking about and not a done deal, but I hope he goes through with it. Offering both versions sounds like a perfect way to both celebrate and offer a critical retrospective of an early work.
Vertigo has released some details on the big 100th anniversary issue of their long-running Fables series. Those of you who read previous issues know that one of the Fables characters has challenged the evil Mister Dark to a duel, and it sounds like that duel will make up the bulk (62 pages, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha and Andrew Pepoy) of the $10 issue. But it will also include:
• A 10-page prose story written by Buckingham and drawn by Willingham. Although Willingham is known primarily as a writer nowadays, he used to both write and draw his creation, The Elementals. Plus he worked for TSR as an artist before that, drawing the covers to Dungeons & Dragons books and modules.
• A set of do-it-yourself Fables puppet theater illustrated by Buckingham
• A three-page story written by Willingham with art by Cinderlla artist Chrissie Zullo
• A three-page story written by Willingham with art by Joao Ruas
• A two-page Fables board game, illustrated by Buckingham, with game rules by Willingham
• Four celebrity “Burning Questions” stories, all written by Willingham, featuring questions from actors who are also Fables fans, with art by Adam Hughes, J.H. Williams III and Dave Johnson.
The 100-page square-bound book arrives in shops Dec. 8.
There are several ways to get to know your audience, some more literal than others. Isaac Asimov had his Dear Readers, The Man himself has his True Believers; both are ways to draw you personally into what they’re talking about and soften the edges of what might be a sales pitch or a book introduction. She-Hulk, on the other hand, would threaten your X-Men comics.
The Jade Giantess celebrates her “excuse for publishing anniversary issues” this month and I’ve been waiting for this one since I realized the date. A fantastic fixture of the Marvel Universe, her pedigree is is kind of surprising when you stop to remember it. Not only is she a snap to draw in for a Marvel Heroes group shot, a recognizable face and figure, but she’s had the distinct honor of being a member of the Fantastic Four, a roster a fraction of the size of the Avengers (and she’s been one of them too!). She’s had an ongoing title in every decade since her inception, but it’s a heck of a thing to get her to stay around. I’d almost say that she’s the Marvel version of Charo, this great vivacious character that guest stars on multiple shows and everybody knows but doesn’t have her own regular gig on TV.
So what’s so sensational about her? Why do people continue to use a character who’s basic being (a female analog of a male hero) isn’t very Marvel at all? Venture forth! Continue and read more!
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