Artist Becky Cloonan points out that this Huffington Post interview with her collaborator Gerard Way includes new art (above) from The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the writer’s long-awaited followup to 2007′s The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite.
It’s been a long time coming, but Dark Horse has finally announced that The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) and Shaun Simon and illustrated by Becky Cloonan, will launch in June. This isn’t too much of a surprise because, as Kevin noted the other day, the 2013 Free Comic Book Day lineup includes a Fabulous Killjoys comic. The project was announced in 2009 but has been through a lot of changes since then, so these two developments are welcome news — and this nice Becky Cloonan artwork gives us hope it will be worth the wait.
“I think we have created a broad range of characters here,” Simon tells the Dark Horse blog. “A lonely teenage girl hiding from her past in the desert. A couple of android call girls wanting nothing more than to be together. An aging assassin with a secret that could destroy his life. … Even though these characters are living in a bizarre sci-fi world, their struggles are the same we face in our own.”
Following Thursday’s announcement of the gold titles for Free Comic Book Day 2013, Dark Horse has revealed the rest of its lineup, which includes the long-awaited debut of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, by Gerard Way, co-writer Shaun Simon, artist Becky Cloonan and colorist Dave Stewart.
Announced in 2009, the follow-up to the acclaimed Umbrella Academy originally was described by the frontman of My Chemical Romance as “almost like a strange kind of love letter to the really great comics of the ’90s that kind of pushed things.” However, in the three years since the announcement, a lot changed.
Fans looking to scratch that itch between between volumes of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or seasons of HBO’s adaptation Game of Thrones, might be soothed by Witch’s Quarry, a fantasy webcomic by Off*Beat creator Jen Lee Quick that’s being serialized on MangaMagazine.net.
Launched in March, Witch’s Quarry follows a man named Sir Veolynn Moreshire who comes under the control of a powerful witch named Lady Dei. It shows how this hero can be turned with the wiles of an outside force, but also how stereotyped villains may have some redeeming qualities.
Described by Becky Cloonan as “Jane Austen meets Game of Thrones,” the story is told by Quick with a clear line and an unabashed love for plot twists. And this isn’t for kids, as the cartoonist mixes in adult situations from jokes to sexual innuendo and situations, making it something special among the typically all-ages crop of sword-and-sorcery comics online.
Here’s a sample of the first few pages. Click here to read the nine chapters released thus far!
You might not have a Kobo e-reader, but if you’re reading Robot 6, you probably do have some sort of tablet, iOS or Android, or maybe a smartphone, yes? Well, here’s some good news: Kobo is having a half-price sale on graphic novels, and you can get its iOS and Android apps for free. So if you have been holding off on something, and you don’t mind having it in a different app than everything else, this is your lucky day.
Of course, much depends on what you like to read. There are no Marvel or DC Comics to be found, but if you’re a Walking Dead, Star Wars, Doctor Who or Buffy fan, Kobo has you covered. Lots of good indy stuff, too: Adam Warren’s Empowered, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Channel Zero, and the superb action comic Kill Shakespeare. The publishers most prominently represented seem to be Dark Horse, Image, IDW, Digital Manga (which publishes mainly yaoi manga but also Vampire Hunter D), Top Cow and Devil’s Due.
Before you pay full price for your second graphic novel, though, you might want to do a little comparison shopping; several of the Dark Horse books I checked were much cheaper on the publisher’s own digital app than in the Kobo store, and the Parker book below is only $7.99 at comiXology. Also, the Kobo store carries both single-issue comics and graphic novels, and it’s a bit pricey for the single issues, most of which seem to go for $4.99; Archie comics seem to be the exception to that.
With those caveats, here are a couple of books that I would recommend:
My Chemical Romance’s The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys album may have come and gone, but the Killjoys comic first announced in 2009 has yet to see the light of day. According to a post from Killjoys artist Becky Cloonan, it looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the long-delayed project.
“So this is finally happening!” she posted on her tumblr site. “If you’ll be at NYCC, come to Dark Horse’s Killjoy panel, Saturday at 5PM. I’ll be there along with writers Gerard Way and Shaun Simon! Beyond psyched.”
As we noted earlier, Mark Siegel has been writing some diary posts at The Comics Journal’s website; in yesterday’s post, he casually dropped an exciting bit of news: First Second will be publishing … something … with art by Becky Cloonan. No details, but he posted this sketch, which should give a good flavor of what’s in store. Cloonan posted the sketch on Twitter and remarked that it is “something longer I’m starting next summer …” And that’s all we have for now.
This year’s CBLDF Liberty Annual from Image (#5) has this lovely cover from Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson. I’m always a sucker for an image of a girl on a scooter (see also: Adi Granov’s redonkulously-proportioned effort from 2009). Or on a cafe racer. As Ringo once put it, “I’m not a mod or a rocker, I’m a mocker.” Lots more below, from Simon Gane, Becky Cloonan, Chris Weston, Ron Wimberly and others.
Passings | Douglas Phillips, who drew many stories over the years for the rough-and-tumble British boys’ comics The Rover and The Victor, has died at the age of 85. [Blimey!]
Creators | Green Lantern writer (and DC chief creative officer) Geoff Johns is returning to his hometown, Detroit, to appear at a comics shop and the Arab American National Museum, promoting Baz, the first Arab-American Green Lantern. Johns himself is of Lebanese descent. [Detroit Free Press]
Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Our guest today is writer and artist Jimmy Palmiotti, who you know from All-Star Western, Monolith, Phantom Lady, Unknown Soldier, Creator-Owned Heroes, Queen Crab and countless more.
To see what Jimmy and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
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.
If I had $15, it’d be an eclectic bunch featuring Jesus clones, retired spec-ops workers, environmentalists and Batman. First up would be Punk Rock Jesus #2 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), following Sean Murphy’s big-time foray into writing and drawing. Murphy’s delivering the art of his career, and while the story might not be as great as the art, it still has a synchronicity to the art that few other mainstream books have these days. After that I’d get Dancer #4 (Image, $3.50); Nathan Edmondson seemingly made his name on writing the spy thriller Who Is Jake Ellis?, and this one takes a very different view of the spy game – like a Luc Besson movie, perhaps – and Nic Klein is fast climbing up my list of favorite artists. After that I’d get Massive #3 (Dark Horse, $3.50), with what is disheartedly looking to be the final issue of artist Kristian Donaldson. No word on the reason for the departure, but with a great a story he and Brian Wood have developed I hope future artists can live up to the all-too-brief legacy he developed. Delving into superhero waters, the next book I’d get is Batman #12 (DC, $3.99), which has become DC’s consistently best book out of New 52 era. Finally, I’d get Anti #1 (12 Guage, $1). Cool cover, interesting concept, and only a buck. Can’t beat that.
If I had $30, I’d jump and get Creator-Owned Heroes #3 (Image, $3.99); man, when Phil Noto is “on” he’s “ON!” After that I’d get Conan te Barbarian #7 (Dark Horse, $3.50). I’ve been buying and reading this in singles, but last weekend I had the chance to re-read them all in one sitting and I’m legitimately blown away. The creators have developed something that is arguably better than what Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord started in 2003 and shoulder-to-shoulder with the great stories out of the ’70s. This new issue looks to be right up my alley, as Conan takes his pirate queen Belit back to his frigid homeland in search of a man masquerading as Conan. Hmm, $7 left. Any other Food or Comic-ers want to grab some grub?
If I could splurge, I’d excuse myself from the table dining with my fellow FoCers and get Eyes of the Cat HC (Humanoids, $34.95). I feel remiss in never owning this, so finally getting my hands on the first collaboration between Moebius and Alexandro Jodorowsky seems like a long time coming. I’m told its more an illustrated storybook than comic book, but I’m content with full page Moebius work wherever I can get it.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our guest this week is Spanish artist Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque, who drew the comic Elle for Soleil. He’s also working on a story for the upcoming Skullkickers #18 with J. Torres.
To see what Alberto and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
DC Comics has released the first look at Becky Cloonan’s art from Batman #12, which sees the Demo and Conan the Barbarian artist join writer Scott Snyder for a standalone epilogue to “The Court of Owls” storyline.
“This issue is very special to me. It’s the big story that explains and explores the character you met in issue #7 – Harper,” Snyder revealed to Comic Book Resources earlier this month. “That’s the young woman who saved Batman when he tried to escape the labyrinth and ended up in the freezing Gotham bay. The mystery of who she is, why she knows Batman and the secret of their relationship…Becky read the script on the way back from the show, and just did some character sketches of Harper and her brother and the villain of the piece. She was totally on board, and I’m just over the moon about it.”
The issue, which arrives Aug. 8, also features a backup story drawn by Andy Clarke (2000AD, R.E.B.E.L.S.). Series artist Greg Capullo returns for the next arc.
Comics | The Greenville County (South Carolina) Library has removed two copies of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Neonomicon from its shelves after a mother filed an official challenge to the collection’s sexual content. Carrie Gaske said that although her 14-year-old daughter found the horror book in the adult section, she thought “it looked like a children’s comic,” and would be fine for her to check out. Daughter Jennifer soon discovered Neonomicon wasn’t the “murder mystery comic book” her mother believed it to be. “It was good at first,” she said. “Then it got nasty.” How “nasty”? “The more into I got the more shocked I was, I really had no idea this type of material was allowed at a public library,” Carrie Gaske said. “I feel that has the same content of Hustler or Playboy or things like that. Maybe even worse.”
The library allows children age 13 and older to check out books from the adult section with their parents’ permission. The library system’s two copies of Neonomicon have been removed from circulation while a committee reviews the content. [WSPA.com]
Being a judge in the Eisner Awards meant making hard choices. It’s like being an admissions officer at Harvard: You could make a top-notch set of picks, throw them away, and still have a strong field for the second set. With six judges each having a different voice, sometimes a book that one or two of us think is the greatest thing since sliced bread doesn’t make the final cut.
Here’s my short list of comics that, if it were up to me, would have gotten Eisner nominations.
Best Limited Series
One of my favorite series of 2011 was Spontaneous, by Brett Weldele and Joe Harris. It’s a great crypto-mystery about spontaneous human combustion, with a nerdy know-it-all played off against an aggressive reporter. The story has its flaws, but I couldn’t put it down.
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
Nina in That Makes Me Mad: We had an unusually strong field of children’s books, even after we split the category into two age groups, but this book was my first choice for a nomination. The writing is sharp and perceptive, and Hilary Knight’s illustrations are amazing. Even the page layouts are awesome. This is a book that speaks directly to children, in a voice they can understand, yet does it with an elegance that adults can appreciate as well.