Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
“I write for my partners. I write with them and to them. I seek collaborators and co-conspirators rather than employees. I share ownership of the books I do (Hawkeye obviously an exception) with the artists for whom I write as a rule. They make more than me, too, as a rule, and they earn it. Comics are a visual medium; to quote Mark Twain, ‘Thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the job.’
It is a high-class problem at all that anyone wants to write critically about a book I write and I understand that, but I find it fatuous at best and disingenuous at worst when any book I write gets referred to as ‘mine.’ These comics result from the work of ‘us.’ One may as well write a restaurant review without referring to the actual taste of a meal, or a piece of music solely by its duration.
Dark Horse Comics has announced the impressive list of artists who have contributed to The Sakai Project: Artists Celebrate Thirty Years of Usagi Yojimbo, the oversized hardcover benefit book for Stan and Sharon Sakai.
All proceeds from the book will go to the couple to help pay for the medical expenses of Sharon Sakai, who suffers from a debilitating illness that required an extended hospital stay and convalescence, followed by 24-hour home care and medications. The Comic Art Professional Society, which spearheaded a series of auctions to benefit the Sakais, is working in conjunction with Dark Horse to produce the book. The auctions are ongoing and can be found on the organization’s eBay page.
You can find the complete list of artists, along with the page number where their art will appear, below. The 160-page book will be released next Wednesday in comic shops and at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and will cost $29.99.
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn! Today’s shelves come from Roberto Alves from Madeira Island, an artist who sent us pictures of his comics, original art and more.
If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Shelf Porn, check out the submission instructions for complete details.
And now let’s hear from Roberto …
Writer Jeremy Holt sure got people talking—er, tweeting—on Wednesday when he tweeted “…I don’t believe in upfront pay when producing creator-owned comics. Corrodes the team.” Holt does believe in sharing revenues with the artist, but he is quite vehemently opposed to just paying the artists for their work. Here’s more:
From my experience, artists mostly interested in pay don’t truly care about the project.
It’s not that I refuse to pay artists. I can’t. If they want to work on spec, that’s their prerogative.
Paying collaborators have never yielded the results I want.
Last time I did I was left with an incomplete project after spending $2500 as the artist went MIA. Paychecks can’t be the goal.
Artists I’ve worked with that only want $$$ never spent the time to discuss/collaborate on the project.
They more often than not were juggling other paying gigs to make more $$, and our work suffered.
you’re a good dude, but if an artist getting paid is killing their interest in your work, maybe the problem’s with your work
If you think that artists should work for free because your project will give them great exposure (and anyway, art isn’t really work, because people like to do it) then stay away from Ryan Estrada’s latest Twitter account, For Exposure, which mocks that attitude by posting real requests from the Internet. On the other hand, if you believe in paying people for their work and you need a good laugh, check it out. The tweeted material is presumably from aspiring comics writers, although they might think about paying an editor, as misspellings and grammatical errors are legion.
For good measure, he also presents a dramatic reading (below) of a letter requesting an artist work for free — actually, offering it as if it were a great opportunity.
Comic-Con International has announced this year’s nominees for the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, which is given to a comic artist “who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” This year’s nominees are:
• Rem Broo, artist of The End Times of Bram and Ben (published by Image)
• Craig Cermak, artist of Voltron, Year One (published by Dynamite)
• Bryan Coyle, artist of Babble (published by Com.x)
• Paul Roman Martinez, writer/artist of The Adventures of the 19XX (self-published)
• Russell Roeling, artist of Wasteland (published by Oni)
Both Cermak and Martinez are previous nominees.
The award is named for Russ Manning, the prolific artist who worked on Tarzan and Star Wars, and created the classic comic series Magnus, Robot Fighter. Started in 1982 as a joint presentation of Comic-Con International and the West Coast Comics Club, this award honors a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. Previous winners of the award include Dave Stevens, the first winner in 1982, as well as Art Adams, Jeff Smith, Gene Ha, Jerome Opeña, Steve Rude, David Petersen, R. Kikuo Johnson, Marian Churchland, Nate Simpson and Tyler Crook.
The winner will be announced July 13 during the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Hurricane Sandy left a wake of devastation across the East Coast last week, and following the superstorm’s destruction come efforts to help those who were affected by it. One of the great things about the comic industry is that there are always people who work in it willing to do what they can to help people out, and this time is no different.
Art for Sandy Relief is an effort by Rich Ginter and Jim Viscardi. Viscardi currently works at Marvel in New York, while Rich left Marvel earlier this year to take a job as a digital designer in Disney’s publishing department in Glendale, Calif. He made the move to California just two months before the hurricane hit his former home.
Both gentleman were kind enough to answer some questions about the initiative. Before getting into it, though, their first art auctions went live today, and you can head over to eBay to bid on them now. Rich also shares some other ways that you can help out below, either via direct donation, by donating art or just by spreading the word.
Here are the auctions that are currently up:
“Kubert was a giant of our industry, a singular talent up there on the mountaintop with masters like Gil Kane, Will Eisner and Jack Kirby,” J.M. DeMatteis wrote on his blog. “His art was dynamic, powerful and, most of all, rich with humanity and emotional impact. Like Kirby, he was one of comics’ greatest cover artists. Like Eisner, Kubert got better with time and age (one look at his recent graphic novel, Yossel, more than proves that point): his work achieved a kind elegance and simplicity that made storytelling seem effortless, easy.”
In a lengthy remembrance, Mark Evanier shares a story from a mid-1970s San Diego Comic-Con:
Everyone loved Joe. Everyone respected Joe. He was among a handful of artists whose speed and natural ability caused others to gape and express their envy. One year at the Comic-Con in San Diego (the same mid-seventies con where I took the above photo), Joe was asked to do a drawing for a charity art auction. He stepped up to an easel with a big, yard-high piece of drawing paper on it. He picked up a box of pastel chalks. He turned to the easel —
— and in under a minute, there was this drawing there of Hawkman. It was an incredible, detailed drawing that might have taken another artist an hour and been a third as good. Other artists working on nearby easels stopped and blinked in amazement.
Tom Richmond, J.H. Williams III, Ben Katchor and Jon Rosenberg were among the winners of the 2012 National Cartoonists Society Divisional Awards, which were presented last night in Las Vegas, Nev.
Richmond, a cartoonist known for his work on MAD Magazine, won the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Williams’ work on Batwoman was honored in the comic category, while Katchor won the graphic novel category for The Cardboard Valise. Rosenberg won the online comic strip category for his webcomic Scenes from a Multiverse.
You can find a complete list of all the winners after the jump.
Comic-Con International announced today that submissions are being accepted for the 31st annual Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, which will be presented in July during the Eisners ceremony at the San Diego Comic-Con. The award was named after Russ Manning, the prolific artist who worked on Tarzan and Star Wars, and created the classic comic series Magnus, Robot Fighter.
Started in 1982 as a joint presentation of Comic-Con International and the West Coast Comics Club, this award honors a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. Previous winners of the award include Dave Stevens, the first winner in 1982, as well as Art Adams, Jeff Smith, Gene Ha, Jerome Opeña, Steve Rude, David Petersen, R. Kikuo Johnson, Marian Churchland and Nate Simpson, who won last year.
Below is the criteria for the award that was sent out by CCI:
“When anyone challenges the worth of comics as an art, you can always bash them with Moebius,” wrote writer Jeff Parker on his blog this morning.
The artist worked under both names, serving as artist of the popular Western Blueberry under his real name, while working on The Airtight Garage, Azrach and The Incal, just to name a few, under his pseudonym.
“I was just looking through my Moebius Oeuvres Complètes from Les Humanoïdes Associés yesterday, marveling at his drawings. The Hermetic Garage, Arzach, Le Bandard Fou… And Blueberry that he did with Charlier. It’s an amazing body of work,” wrote creator Jason this morning.
Fans on this side of the pond will remember his Silver Surfer miniseries with Stan Lee, as well as the series of posters he did of various Marvel characters, including Spider-Man (right), Iron Man, Wolverine and The Thing.
Libraries | A committee recommended Monday that Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age, an anthology of comics about middle school edited by Ariel Schrag, should remain in the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School library in Dixfield, Maine, after the mother of a student challenged its appropriateness because of “objectionable sexual and language references.” The local school board will make a final ruling in January. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom sent a letter of support for the book prior to the hearing. A school board in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, pulled the graphic novel from middle-school libraries in November 2009, but allowed teachers to continue to use it in class. [Sun Journal]
Digital | Charlie Sorrel looks at the iPad comic reader called, appropriately enough, Comic Reader. [Wired]
After a too-long hiatus, Shelf Porn is back! Today’s shelves come to us from Alison Sampson in the UK, an architect and comic creator who, as you can see in the image above, drew her shelves. How cool is that? The image above is part of a four-page story she did for a UK anthology, and she breaks down what was on them for this edition of Shelf Porn (and provides some photos of what they look like now).
If you’d like to submit your shelves to us, it’s easy — just send me a write-up and some images at email@example.com.
And now here’s Alison …
Last year around 140 creators participated in The 30 Characters Challenge, where they attempted to create a brand-new character every day in November. They’re doing it again this year, and already they have more than 350 creators signed up. But there’s still room for more — today’s the last day to sign up, so head over to their registration page if you think you’ve got what it takes to create 30 new characters over the next month.
“My not-terribly insightful comic book epiphany of the day: right now, we’ve got a bunch of top-flight writers in the field, and the next generation on the horizon. But what we could really use is a new, young generation of break-out artists. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got a lot of excellent artists. But who was the last hot young guy who just exploded into the field? I feel like the pump is primed for one or more fresh young artists to just explode in a major, commercial way. When was the last time that happened? We could use an infusion of visual excitement in the books–across all companies.”
–Thus spoke Tom Brevoort, Marvel Senior VP – Executive Editor, on Twitter last night. Personally, I think he’s probably right to wonder about this. Like he says, the point isn’t that there are no good or even great relatively young/relatively new artists right now — there are plenty. Personally I’ve been knocked out by Gabriel Hardman‘s work on Atlas and Hulk over the past year or so, just for example. But what Brevoort is looking for is an artist who just skyrockets to superstardom more or less out of the blue. That requires quite a delicate alchemy. The artist in question must be young enough or new enough or have been working far way enough from the Big Two’s audiences for their work to have “the shock of the new” when fans first see it. They must bring something different to the table than what established artists are doing, so that their work stands out, but they must also be working in a style that’s recognizable and acceptable to large numbers of superhero fans. Their work doesn’t necessarily have to be to your taste, but you should at least be able to understand what others see in it, even if you don’t see it yourself.