Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Auctions | A page of original artwork from 1971’s Asterix and the Laurel Wreath sold at auction Sunday for more than $158,000, with proceeds going to benefit the families of those killed in the attack on Charlie Hebdo‘s offices. The art included a special dedication by Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo, who came out of retirement in the days after the attack to draw tributes to the victims. The auction house Christie’s waived its commission for Sunday’s sale. [BBC News]
Political cartoons | Ecuadorean cartoonist Xavier Bonilla, who has been sued, threatened and reprimanded by his own government because of his political cartoons, revealed last week that he has also received threats from an Ecuadorean member of ISIS over a cartoon making fun of the extremist group. While he ultimately decided the threat wasn’t credible, Bonilla said, “It has to be understood within this climate of hostility and harassment that’s been created within the country. It’s gotten to the point where even humor is being persecuted and oppressed by the president.” Reporter Jim Wyss also looks at some other cases of government suppression of political cartoons in Latin America [Miami Herald]
September marches on, Wednesday by Wednesday, which means so too does DC Comics’ theme month. This year the publisher has suspended publication of its New 52 titles, replaced them with Futures End one-shots, and slapped new and improved (i.e. smaller) lenticular 3D covers on them, each bearing a “#1.”
One could certainly question the logic in tying all of the New 52 books, even the extremely popular ones like Batman, to a middling weekly series set in a possible future that will never come to pass and that seems to be a fairly reliable mid-list seller. But this week’s crop of one-shots demonstrates that, despite the fact that each book has the words “Futures End” in the title, many of them have somewhere between nothing and very little to do with the actual plot of the event series.
In the previous two installments of our weekly look at these specials, I recapped the basic plot of Futures End. But this time, I see I need not even bother. DC shipped 11 of the books this week, but I only read five — and the only thing those issues shared in common is that they’re set five years in the future (not that they had much of anything at all to do with Futures End).
I’ve always been interested in the intersection between comics and sports. The stereotypical comics-reading nerd isn’t much of an athletics buff, but there are many, many people who enjoy both. Even those who don’t can recognize that comics and sports seem to scratch similar itches for their fans by offering bottomless rabbit holes of involvement. Final Four brackets and fantasy football leagues require and celebrate the same kind of obsessive knowledge that comics fans enjoy sharing and discussing.
Ron Marz is a great example of a combination comics/sports aficionado: His Twitter stream is just as likely to discuss the Mets as Metropolis, and he’s even written a sports comic, The Protectors, created by Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije and drawn by Bart Sears.
It was also Marz who pointed me toward the NFL Heroes posters below, also drawn by Sears, featuring “rocket-armed quarterback” Jay Cutler, “defensive dominator” Julius Peppers, and “legendary linebacker” Brian Urlacher. They’re available from Idonije’s Athleta Comics.
An interesting thing popped up in my morning stroll through RSS feeds of interesting sites: artist Bart Sears is doing his first sketchbook. Titled Odds-n-Ends, the book promises 52 pages “crammed with sketches, drawings, designs” including many unpublished works. It’s an interesting piece from an interesting, and largely overlooked, comic artist.
Sears is a unique figure in comics. He’s worked in most every corner of the comics industry, from Justice League Europe to Todd McFarlane’s Violator, and was even the art director at CrossGen for a time. Many fans probably remember him for his instructive art column “Brutes & Babes,” in Wizard magazine. In the past few years, Sears has worked largely outside of comics, as an in-house concept artist for video game developer Heatwave Interactive. The few comics he has done recently were published by Dark Horse: a miniseries titled The Helm and a two-issue Conan series with fellow CrossGen alum Ron Marz.
Sears’s art style is like a dynamic mind-meld of the sinewy style of Barry Windsor-Smith crossed with the muscled men and women of Boris Vallejo. His work goes to the root of power-fantasy, making him hyper-specialized so that only certain kinds of books would fit his work. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel, DC or another publisher someday finds that right book that shows off Sears’ work to its fullest. This sketchbook offers a unique glimpse at what the artist himself might want to draw, and might give some ideas for readers and comics staffers as to where Sears could fit.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
As we’re heading towards the middle of August, it’s no surprise that curiosity is getting me to pick up more than a few DC books just see how particular series “end;” I’d be getting Justice League of America #60 and Legion of Super-Heroes #16 (both DC, $2.99) anyway, because I’ve been following those series for awhile, but I’m likely to add Batman #713 (DC, $2.99) to the pile as well, if only to see the explanation as to why Dick quits being Batman before the big relaunch. But it’s not all endings for me with my $15 this week; I’d also make a point of grabbing Daredevil #2 (Marvel, $2.99), because the first issue was just breathtakingly good, and the series became a must-read before I’d even reached the last page.
If I had $30 this week, I’d add to my list of DC final issues with Supergirl #67 (DC, $2.99), which Kelly Sue DeConnick has talked up in interviews as being the highpoint of her short run to date and a great capper to the series as a whole. I’d also check in with the third issue of David Hahn’s All Nighter (Image, $2.99), as well as see if Nick Spencer’s Iron Man 2.0 is worth a look with the mini-collection of the first three issues, Iron Man 2.0: Modern Warfare (Marvel, $4.99).
Courtesy of our friends at Dark Horse, we’re pleased to bring you a couple of cover reveals for their June-shipping books. First up is Conan: Island of No Return #1, above, which is by Michael Kutsche. The book itself is by the team of Ron Marz, Bart Sears and Randy Elliott, features Conan teaming up with a pair of sister thieves for a heist.
And after the jump you’ll find the two covers for the third issue of Solomon Kane: Red Shadows, by Guy Davis and Gregory Manchess. In that issue, Bruce Jones and Rahsan Ekedal take Kane to Africa. You’ll also find complete solicitation information for both books.
Click below for high adventure …