art and design
For those science nerds among us, illustrator Russell Walks has created this cool poster collecting fictional chemical elements from comics, literature, television, film and games, categorized by medium and origin (e.g. “Magically Occurring on Earth”).
A quick glance shows such comic book-based substances as Amazonium (Wonder Woman), Dilustel (Captain Atom), Inertron (Legion of Super-Heroes), Marvelium (Captain Marvel/Shazam), Uru (Thor), Kairoseki (One Piece) and, of course, Kryptonite (Superman).
You can order “The Periodic Table of Imaginary Elements” for $25 through Walks’ website.
If you’re looking for something to do Saturday night after the MoCCA Art Festival you probably can’t go wrong with the official after-party at the Village Pourhouse (64 Third Avenue at 11th Street), which will feature DJ sets by Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel and Brian Heater. The party kicks off at 7 p.m., and benefits MoCCA.
Heater has the poster, illustrated by Pope and designed by Dark Igloo (you can see the full image here after the break). Pope, meanwhile, offers an observation about the Kirby-inspired art and the work of the King himself: “It’s a subtle visual point, but if you look at the hand in the bottom left circle frame, you’ll see the fingers have 4 digits. It always mystified me how Kirby would draw hands with a 4th digit on the fingers. He had no regard for correct anatomy — and many times no regard for proper physics or mechanics — yet he made drawn things seem to have real solidity and mass.”
WonderCon kicks off Friday in San Francisco, and movie studios and television networks will be there, promoting spring and early-summer projects like Doctor Who, Happy Town, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time — and, oh, yeah, Iron Man 2 and Kick-Ass. Those latter two bring with them convention-exclusive posters.
The first (available at Booth #242) is a mini-poster spotlighting Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. It’s nothing spectacular — just a straightforward shot of the actress in costume — but it’s an improvement over the pretty-awful domestic poster for Iron Man 2.
The second, which you can see after the break, concludes the series of Kick-Ass character posters inspired by World War II propaganda imagery. The previous three are so-so, with only the one for Red Mist actually clicking. But the con-exclusive poster for Big Daddy, with its slogan of “He’s Watching You,” is pretty creepy, and calls out for a “Ceiling Cat”-style meme.
Yeah, that’s right, Nicolas Cage is watching you, um, doing whatever you’re doing. And he’ll be available to sign the poster on Saturday.
An Abe solo adventure that sends our amphibian hero on the hunt of an ancient relic aboard a sunken Soviet submarine is reason enough to take notice, to be sure. But when you add the Eisner Award-winning artist to the equation, there’s cause for celebration — particularly when the cover he creates is such a departure from what we’re accustomed to seeing on the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. books.
Johnson, known for his bold sense of design on such titles as 100 Bullets, Detective Comics, Superman: Red Son and Punisher, spoke briefly with Robot 6 about his striking cover for The Abyssal Plain #1, and shared art from the production process.
Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1 is due in stores in June.
While the color palette signals that the comic is in the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. line, the other elements are vastly different — the massive amount of white space instead of encroaching shadows, the repetition of the hammer and sickle in the bubbles (distinctly you). Was it a conscious effort to go in such a vastly different direction?
Actually, I have to disagree with you on the color palette. It’s hardly the Hellboy norm. And that was the point. [Mike] Mignola had said that he wanted me because I was doing something different than himself on other stuff. So I really wanted to set myself apart. Which is a lot harder than you think because his style is so ingrained into the Hellboy universe. And because I’m a huge fan, it still feels like I’m pissing on perfection. But that’s the job, I guess. Haha. So, I wanted more color than black to dominate the over all feel. Also, I love negative space in design. Too many artists act like they’re getting paid by the line and how much crap they can unload on a cover. I’ll take a well-designed, simple cover over a hyper-rendered fanboy jerk-fest any day of the week.
Publishing | Yen Press’ graphic-novel adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight debuts today in bookstores. With its staggering 350,000-copy first printing, the $19.99 hardcover likely will be the bestselling English-language comic this year (if not for some time afterward). But how will “possessive” Twilight fans — the same ones who have helped the YA series sell 53 million copies worldwide — react to artist Young Kim’s rendition of the characters after seeing them brought to life on the big screen? [USA Today]
Comics | Just weeks after Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 were bought at record prices of $1 million and $1.07 million, respectively, a near-mint copy of Flash Comics #1 has sold for $450,000. The 1940 comic features the first appearance of The Flash and Hawkman. [ArtsBeat]
Conventions | It looks as if Thursday memberships for Comic-Con International could sell out by the end of the day. That will leave only Sunday passes. [Comic-Con International]
Skate-and-surf apparel company Airwalk is working with Marvel on a new line of clothing featuring the publisher’s characters.
Women’s Wear Daily reports that new line, debuting this fall with the “Marvel x Airwalk” logo, will include clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and children. There will be three different collections targeting boutiques, specialty shops and high-end department stores, and mid-tier retailers.
Sneaker Files has mock-up images showing a flowery X-Men hoodie, tee and sandals, a Silver Surfer design, and the above Captain America set, in which the stylized Airwalk logo replaces the traditional “A” on the character’s mask.
Ahead of the movie’s world premiere on Friday at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Lionsgate has released outdoor posters for Kick-Ass, Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of the Icon comic series by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
The film, which stars Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Mark Strong and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, will be released on April 16. You can see the individual character posters after the break.
Creative Review spotlights a new series of limited-edition Diet Coke cans designed by comic artist Tom Gauld (The Gigantic Robot, Kramers Ergot) to help raise awareness for The Heart Truth women’s health program. He also collaborated on a pair of animated TV spots.
Chris Arrant sent out word today that Project:Rooftop, the superhero fashion blog that features character redesigns by professional and amateur comic artists, is back, and they brought several Supergirl redesigns by Cory Walker with them.
Per the press release, the site is also encouraging artists to submit their own redesigns of their favorite characters. “Our concerted calls for redesigns of specific characters will return,” Arrant said, “but those will be on a limited basis. We’re open to submissions year-around from artists redesigning characters of their own choosing.”
They’ve also added several new contributors, including a couple who may be familiar to CBR readers: former CBR new editor Andy Khouri and “When Words Collide” writer Tim Callahan, as well as Jessi Reid.
Comics | A “very fine”-rated copy of Action Comics #1 sold at auction Monday for $1 million, breaking the previous record price for a comic book. The names of the buyer and seller weren’t released.
The previous record for the most expensive comic was held by another copy of Action #1, which sold last year for $317,000. About 100 copies of the issue are known to exist, and only two are graded “very fine” or higher. John Jackson Miller provides analysis. [Times Online, Hero Complex]
Business | Sean Kleefeld gets details from Wowio CEO Brian Altounian about his efforts to secure financing for the e-book publisher. Altounian, who purchased the struggling company in July from Platinum Studios, will retain a majority interest. [Kleefeld on Comics]
Awards | The manga nominees have been announced for Japan Expo, the Japanese pop-culture convention held each year in Paris. The winners will be announced at the event in July. [The Comics Reporter]
Legal | In the wake of the sentencing last week of Christopher Handley, Justin Norrie contrasts obscenity laws in Japan with those in Australia, the United States and other countries: “In Japan [...] child pornography legislation introduced in 1999 applies only to photographic or live-action video content of real children, and not to manga, anime and video games. Russia and Japan are the only G8 countries where it is still legal for people to own pornographic images of children provided they do not intend to sell or distribute them.”
Handley, a 39-year-old manga collector from Iowa, was sentenced to six months in prison under the 2003 PROTECT Act for possessing “obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children and mailing obscene material.” Last month a 28-year-old Australian man had to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to downloading “graphic cartoon porn images” featuring child characters from The Simpsons, The Powerpuff Girls and The Incredibles. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
Webcomics | On Friday First Second Books will debut Zahra’s Paradise, a web serial — “real-time historical fiction” — that explores social, political and human-rights issues in Iran. The comic, written by Amir and illustrated by Khalil, will be updated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and will appear simultaneously in English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. The strip will be collected in printed form next year.
Last month First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, launched Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid in the Hudson, a webcomic by Editorial Director Mark Siegel. It, too, will be published in a print collection. [Arts Beat]
Copyright | Helen McCarthy, co-author of The Anime Encyclopedia and author of The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, expresses her frustration with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and her outrage with her work being used online without permission: “I’m as angry as anyone would be if a slice of their paycheck had just been removed without so much as a by-your-leave – and that’s exactly what has happened. A slice of my income comes from royalties – payments from the ongoing sales of my books. Making my work available free reduces my income. My publisher, co-author and I should decide if giving The Anime Encyclopedia away free is OK, not some unknown person hiding behind an Internet alias.” [Helen McCarthy's Blog, via Anime News Network]
Organizers of the Stumptown Comics Fest have released the poster, by Theo Ellsworth, and exhibitors list for this year’s event, set for April 24-25 at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
(via Tom Spurgeon)
Courtesy of the Image Comics Twitter feed comes this first look at Tom Muller‘s bold and beautiful final jacket design for the first hardcover collection of Viking, by Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein. The 144-page book is due in stores on March 24.