Boutique home video distributor Criterion commissioned Samuel Hiti (Los Tiempos Finales, Death-Day) and a list of other great comics artists to create artwork for the individual films in the company’s box set for the long-running Zatoichi series starring Shintaro Katsu as a blind, but incredibly quick and accurate swordsman. Hiti designed the cover for Zatoichi the Fugitive, the fourth in the series.
Twenty-five Zatoichi films were produced between 1962 and 1973, making it the longest-running action series in Japanese history. There was also a four-season TV series in the late ’70s. The Criterion box set collects those first 25 feature films in one package for the first time, but doesn’t include 1989′s Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, written and directed by Shintaro Katsu himself.
At Comic-Con International in San Diego, IDW Publishing announced that Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo will return in a new series titled Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, by Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez. As it turns out, there’s more to Little Nemo than just one new book.
Comics store turned small-press publisher Locust Moon is putting together an anthology of Little Nemo stories called Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream. Scheduled for release in 2014, the book has an eye-opening A-list lineup, including Peter Bagge, John Cassaday, Neal Adams, Bill Sienkiewicz, Becky Cloonan, Scott Morse, David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Paul Pope and J.G. Jones. This book is a follow-up from the company’s anthology Once Upon a Time Machine, released last year by Dark Horse.
Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream will be published by Locust Moon as both a newspaper and a hardcover book, at the full size of the original Little Nemo pages — 16 inches by 21 inches. Described by Locust moon as a “love song for Winsor McCay, Little Nemo and the limitless possibilities of comics,” this is definitely one to watch. Here are several sample pages:
Saturday was the birthday of actress Elsa Lanchester, so to celebrate, John Rozum posted an amazing gallery of art inspired by her most famous role, the Bride of Frankenstein. A ton of comics artists are included and you can see many of them below the break. Be sure to visit Rozum’s site for even more, including additional pieces by Mike Mignola, Kevin Nowlan and Bruce Timm, as well as art by Basil Gogos, William Stout, and Mike McKone. Continue Reading »
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week we’re joined by music video director and comic book writer Alex de Campi, whose works include Smoke, Kat & Mouse, Valentine and the in-production Ashes.
To see at Alex and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Publishing | IDW Publishing CEO Ted Adams discusses the company’s new IDW Limited program, which will produce small print runs of deluxe editions that will be marketed direct to the consumer. How small? The print run for the Blue Label edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 1 Deluxe Limited Edition will be 10 copies. “The only fair thing to do is to give the fans direct access on a first come first served basis,” he said. “We’re putting an incredible emphasis on quality, and that directly affects the quantity of books IDW Limited can produce. We’re designing new covers, building custom cases and paying the artists to do hand drawn sketch work to go with these books. The reality is that that’s all very expensive and unfortunately it makes it difficult for us to offer this line at the deep discount needed for traditional retail distribution.” [ICv2]
Libraries | Following the firestorm sparked last month when a youth library in Stockholm briefly removed Tintin comics because of their racial caricatures of Africans and Arabs, a survey finds that 10 percent of Swedish libraries have removed or restricted Herge’s books due to “racist content.” [The Local]
And not just any Dungeons & Dragons, but the ’80s cartoon version, which never looked this good.
Monster Brains has a whole gallery of Sienkiewicz featuring Judge Dredd, Conan and a ton of art from his out-of-print 1985 Vampyres portfolio.
Brian Michael Bendis has debuted the first look at Bill Sienkiewicz’s interior art from Daredevil: End of Days, the long-awaited Marvel miniseries that teams the writer and artist with David Mack and Klaus Janson to tell the final story of the Man Without Fear.
Announced more than five years ago, the tale is set in the not-too-distant future, and begins with Daredevil’s murder. “It goes a little further than most of ‘The End’ stories,” Bendis told Comic Book Resources in 2007. “And we make it canon. This is in-continuity, not too dissimilar to how Dark Knight Returns became continuity through sheer force of will. So we put it out there and everybody jumped.”
Ahead of Comic-Con International, Marvel at last set an October debut for the miniseries, with Bendis explaining, “”Everyone who works on this book is working on several major comic book situations for Marvel and for other companies. So we decided to go this route. What we would like to see is this Daredevil all-star team, but to do that, you have to sit back and wait for everyone to [come together].”
Judging from that Sienkiewicz art, it’ll definitely be worth the wait.
After the falling out between Ashes writer Alex de Campi and artist Jimmie Broxton, de Campi decided to pursue having multiple artists draw the sequel to the 2005 series Smoke. This week in an update to the project’s backers on Kickstarter, de Campi said the line-up of artists is now complete.
Joining A Distant Soil creator Colleen Doran and Smoke artist Igor Kordey are:
- Dan McDaid (Jersey Gods)
- Bill Sienkiewicz (New Mutants, Elektra: Assassin, Stray Toasters)
- Milton and Felipe Sobreiro (Heavy Metal, Popgun)
- Richard Pace (New Warriors, Pitt)
- Mack Chater (Earp: Saints For Sinners)
- Greg Smallwood (Villain)
- R.M. Guera (Scalped)
De Campi said she plans to begin serializing it digitally in June and publish the graphic novel in December.
Legal | A Belgian court has rejected a five-year-old bid by a Congolese student to have the 1946 edition of Herge’s Tintin in the Congo banned because of its racist depictions. “It is clear that neither the story, nor the fact that it has been put on sale, has a goal to … create an intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating environment,” the court said in its judgment. Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, who launched the campaign in 2007 to ban the book, plans to appeal. [The Guardian]
Publishing| John Rood, DC’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development, discusses the results of the New 52 readership survey, noting right of the bat that it’s “not indicative of the actual system wide performance,” which makes you wonder what it’s good for. He has some interesting things to say about bringing back lapsed readers and the demographics of DC readers in general, though. [Publishers Weekly]
Like all giant monster fans, I’ve been excited about the Criterion release of the original Godzilla, but I somehow missed that Bill Sienkiewicz painted the cover for it. Apparently there’s been some controversy about his depiction’s being more 2002 than 1954, but Criterion responded that while “we can see why some viewers consider it to be more akin to the 2002 incarnation of Godzilla because the back plates seem more sharp-pointed and jagged than the curved tips of the ‘54 original, for example, or the tail tapers more to a point,” the design isn’t actually all that much like the more recent version either and ultimately, simply reflects Sienkiewicz’ “personal [though Toho-approved] vision of the creature.”
According to Trouble With Comics, Sienkiewicz also provided black-and-white illustrations for the Blu-Ray booklet.
(via The Comics Reporter)
It’s one of comics’ greatest mysteries, and Inkstuds interviewer extraordinaire Robin McConnell just solved it. And the answer involves…’90s indie-rock icons Sebadoh?
McConnell covers a lot of incredibly fascinating ground in his astonishingly candid and in-depth interview with cartoonist Al Columbia — do not say “tl;dl” to the two-hour podcast — but he also cuts right to the chase, asking the mercurial artist what, exactly, happened to the artwork he created for Watchmen demigod Alan Moore’s great lost comic Big Numbers #4. As you might recall from our post on Columbia’s one-time mentor Bill Sienkiewicz’s recent words on the subject, Big Numbers was intended to be Moore’s magnum opus.
It is perhaps the greatest comic never published. Intended to be a 12-issue miniseries ambitious and complex enough to make Watchmen look like Wizard of Id on an off day, Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Big Numbers was a Joycean look at life in a small English town as a big-box retailer prepared to set up shop. But this grand fiction-as-fractal-geometry experiment only managed to produce two published issues in 1990 before hitting a massive delay during work on issue #3, losing Sienkiewicz, moving from Moore’s Mad Love publishing imprint to Kevin Eastman’s Tundra, tapping Sienkiewicz’s then-teenaged assistant (and current reclusive Pim & Francie creator and alt-horror superstar) Al Columbia to take over, losing Columbia and all the pages he’d completed, and finally shuddering to a halt.
Hello and welcome to a special “birthday bash” edition of our weekly “What Are You Reading” feature, where the Robot 6 crew talks about what books we’ve read recently. Usually we invite a special guest to share what they’ve been reading, but since today isn’t just an ordinary day for us, we thought we’d invite a whole bunch of special guests to help us out — our friends and colleagues from Comic Book Resources, Spinoff and Comics Should Be Good!
To see what everyone has been reading, click below …
Later this month will see the release of Sweets 4, the second to last in the five-issue Image Comics miniseries written and illustrated by Kody Chamberlain. As Chamblerlain explained in a May 2010 interview with CBR: “Sweets is about a New Orleans homicide detective named Curt Delatte. He’s hunting a psychotic spree killer who’s terrorizing the city days before Hurricane Katrina makes landfall. This detective just buried his only daughter and he’s on the verge of divorce. He’s in bad shape. Everyone with a badge is trying to catch this killer and put an end to the slaughter, but the bodies just keep piling up. Curt has to pull himself together and join the hunt. He’s got no choice. It won’t be long until his city and his evidence get washed away - a true ticking time bomb scenario.” My thanks to Chamberlain for this new email interview where we delve into his approach to storytelling, color and character development as well as two of the best convention moments he’s ever had.
Tim O’Shea: You been working on this script for years, can you single out a phase of the script development where you felt like you got the story where you wanted it to be?
Kody Chamberlain: The time spent on the script was mostly a result of being a full-time artist. Creating artwork for comics is extremely time-consuming, especially since I usually ink and color my own work. So that means I have to steal time here and there for my writing and that slows down the process. I didn’t mean to imply I’ve been writing the script nonstop all this time, I’m not a full time writer, so that can’t happen. Writing Sweets was a slow process for me because I wanted it to be a solid script before I picked up my pencil, and that takes longer when you’re a full-time artist. But from the start, I committed to nailing down a solid script before drawing anything, and that’s taken a while.
Award-winning illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz, best known for comics like New Mutants, Elektra: Assassin and Stray Toasters, will take a stab at serial killer Dexter Morgan with an animated webseries — or is it a motion comic? — based on the acclaimed Showtime drama.
Debuting online in October, Dexter Early Cuts: Dark Echo will follow the character as he’s challenged by a copy-cat killer who doesn’t follow a code. The six chapters are written by Tim Schlattmann, Dexter co-executive producer and staff writer, and voiced by series star Michael C. Hall.
According to IGN.com, Dark Echo opens immediately after the death of Dexter’s father Harry, with a young Dexter enrolled in medical school, studying to improve his craft. During a kill, he realizes another student has been spying on him, leading to a clash between the two.
Based on a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay, Dexter premiered on Showtime in October 2006. The fifth season begins on Sept. 26. The show was featured this afternoon in two panels at Comic-Con International.
Watch the trailer for Dark Echo after the break.