Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Brian Stelfreeze is a well-known cover artist, with runs on DC Comics’ Batman, Birds of Prey, Firestorm, Shadow of the Bat and others, but that immense skill often overshadows another of his talents: superhero costume design. Very early in his career he created what has become the seminal Nightwing, and he recently did some more DC character redesigns — but this time for fun.
For the past few weeks, Stelfreeze has been drawing redesigns of DC’s Crime Syndicate of America and posting them on a Yahoo! Group devoted to his work. The idea came about when Stelfreeze was talking to his friend Robert Jewell about the comics they grew up with, and they pinpointed an issue of Justice League of America they read as kids that focused on the Crime Syndicate. With the Crime Syndicate getting new life in DC’s current Forever Evil, Jewell and Stelfreeze thought it’d be fun for the artist to redesign these classic characters. Using notes from Jewell and members of the Yahoo! Group, Stelfreeze took on these characters and developed his own takes on them — with amazing results.
Man, oh, man, is Brian Stelfreeze great.
Sometimes comic fans might forget that, as he isn’t the type to do regular interior work. But when he does, nine times out of 10 it’s a home run — like this pin-up of X-Statix heroine U-Go Girl. This piece, posted on ComicArtFans by its new owner Louie La Palombara III, is a good example of the kind of work artists like Stelfreeze are doing for the original art market that most fans never even see.
Today is the first day of the Comix Institute series of workshops at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. As part of its Continuing Studies program, ECUAD is hosting a variety of speakers for “a week of intensive workshops, panels, public lectures and events.” Guests include Scott Hampton, Chris Moeller, Brian Stelfreeze, Mark Smylie and various Dark Horse editors, among many others.
The workshops all go from today through Thursday and are:
On Friday, the university will host a Comics Industry Day with editors from Dark Horse.
While the workshops are designed as bona fide Continuing Education courses — and the prices reflect that — the week finishes up with Emily Con, a free, public event on Saturday, Sept 29. Intended to “invite the public to engage with the comic book community,” the convention will feature exhibiting comics artists from Vancouver and beyond (Ed Brisson and Rebecca Dart, to name two), how-to panels, an open comics jam, and a live taping of the Inkstuds podcast.
Other comics courses available at ECUAD include:
The Contemporary Comic with Julian Lawrence, Sept 12 – Oct 31
A History of Graphic Novels with Miriam Libicki, Oct 15 – Dec 10
Expression and Character with Julian Lawrence, Oct 25 – Dec 13
Narrative Structures in Graphic Novels with Robin Thompson, Nov 10 – Dec 15
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 this week, I’d pick up the third issues of what may be becoming my two favorite new series: Saga (Image, $2.99) and Saucer Country (DC/Vertigo, $2.99). The former is easily one of the most enjoyable, most packed books out there right now for me, with Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples firing on all cylinders with the two issues to date, whereas the latter has an enjoyably retro feel that reminds me of the earliest days of the Vertigo imprint in ways that I can’t quite put my finger on but love nonetheless.
If I had $30, I’d grab the new edition of Leviathan (Rebellion, $16.99), a collection of a 2000AD horror story by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli that the creators apparently described as “Agatha Christie meets Silent Hill” about a Titanic-esque cruise ship that disappears in the middle of the ocean, and ends up somewhere else … with no land in sight for more than two decades. Really looking forward to reading this one.
Should I suddenly find enough money down the back of my couch to splurge this week, then I’d hope to find the $29.99 I’d need for the Deadenders trade paperback (DC/Vertigo). I entirely missed the Ed Brubaker/Warren Pleece mod romance comic the first time around, so this collection of the entire series will be a welcome chance to make up for past mistakes.
If you missed out on Free Comic Book Day or didn’t get a chance to grab a copy of every release, we can help you out with at least one of this year’s offerings. Courtesy of our friends at 12-Gauge Comics, we’re pleased to present their entire FCBD comic right here.
Their flipbook contained two stories, the first being Anti, by Walking Dead and Aliens producer Gale Anne Hurd, Gotham City Sirens writer Peter Calloway and artist Daniel Hillyard. Here’s a description:
Legendary producer Gale Anne Hurd (AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD, TERMINATOR, ALIENS) teams with 12-Gauge Comics to present the tale of Zachary, a faithless man forced to confront the reality that he’s the savior of the world. Chased by demons that have infiltrated earth disguised as humans, while grudgingly protected by demon-hunter Jordan, the journey for knowledge, survival and more begins here! Written by Peter Calloway (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, BATMAN: JOKER’S ASYLUM) with a cover by industry legend Brian Stelfreeze (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT), this special intro to ANTI #1 will not disappoint!
The first issue of Anti arrives in July and will cost a buck.
The second story is a continuation of 12-Gauge’s The Ride, this time by Nathan Edmondson of Grifter and Who Is Jake Ellis? fame, along with artist Paul Azaceta, who has worked on Amazing Spider-Man and Graveyard of Empires, among other titles. Here’s a description:
As an added bonus, the time is now for the highly anticipated return of THE RIDE in this special co-feature story! Writer Nathan Edmondson (Grifter, Who Is Jake Ellis?) and artist Paul Azaceta (The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil) put the pedal to the metal when the acclaimed crime-anthology roars back into comic stores– leading directly into an all-new The Ride series!
Check out both stories after the jump.