BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
I wish the title of this post meant that Ben Caldwell is adapting CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, but it’s still pretty cool that — inspired by reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to his daughters — the artist posted some Narnia drawings from an old sketchbook. That’s the White Witch above, naturally, and you can see a lovely Lucy and a quick Aravis on Caldwell’s blog.
Crap. Now my mouth is watering at the thought of Caldwell adapting The Horse and His Boy.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and other things we’ve read this week. Today our special guest is Jason Green.
Jason Green is the editor of comics coverage for the St. Louis-based pop culture website PLAYBACK:stl, and a writer and editor for the comics collective Ink and Drink Comics, whose fourth release (a Western anthology titled Off the Wagon) will debut at this year’s C2E2.
To see what Jason and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Ben Caldwell (Wednesday Comics, The Dare Detectives) posted a sneak peek at some projects he’s got coming up this year, including the above, censored image labeled, “apokolips, baby!” That should make some New Gods fans happy. Or at least some Ben Caldwell fans eager to see him do more work at DC.
Ben Caldwell (Wednesday Comics, All-Action Classics) has announced on his blog that the next volume of his creator-owned Dare Detectives series will be published by Archaia. The first volume, The Snowpea Plot, was published in two parts by Dark Horse in 2004 and 2006 and nominated for a Russ Manning Award. Archaia’s also reprinting that story (presumably in one volume) in time for Christmas this year. No word yet on when the new story, The Kula Kola Caper, will be published. Caldwell is in the process of drawing it.
Dare Detectives follows the adventures of a reformed criminal named Maria Dare who’s “assembled a team of misfits to crack the world’s weirdest cases.” In The Snowpea Plot, they take on the beautiful Madame Bleu, who’s using pandas and abominable snowmen to steal chefs, radios and snowpeas in a plot to take over Chinatown. Caldwell promises that The Kula Kola Caper will be “all-new, all-kidnapping, all-kissing, all-tiki-zombie.” Cannot wait. I love kissing and tiki-zombies.
It’s no secret that Ben Caldwell’s a big fan of Wonder Woman. Between his Wonder Woman story in Wednesday Comics and his awesome, but unpublished, pitch for a Wonder Woman manga, his love for the character is kind of famous.
So it was cool that after I wrote that screed last month on what makes Wonder Woman tick, Ben and I exchanged a few emails, one of which included the above pages from his sketchbook. It’s from another concept he was considering, but ultimately decided not to pitch: a series of children’s books about Paradise Island. My heart breaks a little knowing that it won’t become a real series, but it sure is fun to imagine what it would have been like.
Remember Ben Caldwell’s manga Wonder Woman pitch from last month? A couple of days ago he posted the entire pitch, including story descriptions (with some redacted parts), notes on format and additional artwork … including a character design for Bruce Wayne. Go have a look.
Last summer Ben Caldwell’s Wonder Woman strip was featured in the now legendary Wednesday Comics, and now the writer/artist is pitching DC another story featuring Diana Prince … this time as a manga character. You can check out some of his art here and here, and he explains the idea in the comments section of that second post:
right now this is just (part of) a proposal. i have no idea if DC will go for it or not — someone else tried a WW manga pitch a few years back, and while it was obviously very different from mine, i don’t know how comfortable DC is with any superhero comic that is not in a more conventional style/format. i mean, unless it’s paul pope or frank miller or someone, you know, famous.
but we shall see!
If you go backwards in time on his blog, you can find a lot of other Wonder Woman artwork, as well as a post about a Batman idea he had. Or you can head over to Pimpernel’s Blog, who has collected several of the pieces in one convenient post.
Also, the other Wonder Woman manga pitch he mentioned was by Tintin Pantoja, though it looks like she took her pitch down from her website.