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Comics A.M. | Spiegelman talks Grand Prix, Stephenson talks industry

Art Spiegelman

Creators | Michael Cavna talks with cartoonist Art Spiegelman about being only the third American to receive the Grand Prix from the Angoulême International Comics Festival. As recipient of the honor, the 62-year-old artist will help plan next year’s festival. “I don’t know whether you should say ‘congratulations’ or ‘condolences,’ ” he says. [The Washington Post]

Legal | A Michigan judge on Monday ordered the DNA of former retailer Michael George to be compared with a hair found on the body of his wife when she was shot to death in 1990 in their comic book store. George, 50, was found guilty in March 2008 of first-degree murder, but that conviction was set aside because of prosecutorial misconduct and the possibility of new evidence. [The Detroit News]

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Comics A.M. | Another One Piece sales record, another cartoonist layoff

One Piece, Vol. 6

Publishing | The 60th volume of Eiichiro Oda’s popular pirate manga One Piece sold more than 2 million copies in its first four days of release. It’s the first book to move more than 2 million copies in its first week of sales since the Japanese market survey company Oricon began reporting its charts in 2008. As we reported last week, this volume’s 3.4 million-copy first printing set a record, and propelled the series past the 200 million-copy mark. [Anime News Network]

Editorial cartoons | Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies has been laid off by the Gannett-owned Journal News in White Plains, N.Y. [Comic Riffs]

Publishing | Abrams has made three comics-related promotions: Susan Van Metre to senior vice president and publisher, overseeing all comic arts books as well as Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books; Charles Kochman to editorial director of Abrams ComicArts; and Chad W. Beckerman to creative director, overseeing design for all comic arts books as well as Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books. [Abrams]

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Themed convention sketchbooks

The Royal Tenenbaums, by Matt Wagner

One of the more unique aspects of comics conventions in the United States is the general amount of creativity bursting at the seems. One of the biggest signs of this is the generosity that most artists have for doing rough sketches to attendees.

Generally artists will do these for free, or for a small fee, but if you can get your hands on one it’s well worth the effort. I’ve been collecting sketches for several years at cons, and I thought myself the norm until I first glimpsed the themed sketchbook of Oni Press Editor-in-Chief James Lucas Jones.

In 2002, Jones began having artists and friends in the industry contribute to an ongoing sketchbook centered on the characters from the 2001 Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums. It’s been years since I’ve seen it, and it’s probably filled to the brim and Jones moved on to other themes. But it always sticks in my mind as one of the first themed con sketchbooks and one of the best. Here’s a sample:

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From the bin: Webcomickers’ take on DC’s finest

Last night, cartoonists Cameron Stewart and Ramon Perez posted interesting information and images about some failed pitches for DC Comics. According to both Stewart and Perez, DC had approach them and “a handful of other webcomics creators” to dream up some concepts for webcomics featuring DC superhero characters for possible inclusion on DC’s Zuda website. Here’s what they came up with:

Zatanna pitch by Cameron Stewart

Cameron said that “After a lot of thought I settled on Zatanna, in a kind of Buffy/Twilight-style story aimed at teen girls.”

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Quote of the day | Cameron Stewart is cartoony as f@!#

New Batman & Robin art from Cameron Stewart

New Batman & Robin art from Cameron Stewart

“If anyone thought my last Batman & Robin run was ‘too cartoony’ (they did) they are going to puke blood when they see this.”

–Once and future Batman & Robin artist Cameron Stewart issues fair warning about the part-Frank Quitely, part-Bruce Timm, part-Mort Drucker style he’ll be using for his upcoming return to the title with issue #16. (That’s a sample “that isn’t too cartoony (or spoilery)” featuring Doctor Hurt above.) Have those mops at the ready, haters!

Quote of the day | Cameron Stewart on Marvel vs. DC

Catwoman by Cameron Stewart

Catwoman by Cameron Stewart

“Sometimes (all times) I wish Marvel and DC weren’t so goddamned catty with each other.”

Cameron Stewart, artist of Batman & Robin, Seaguy and many other great comic books, on the ongoing war of words between the comic industry’s two giants.

Cameron Stewart talks about leaving Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Cowboy Batman sketch by Cameron Stewart

Cowboy Batman sketch by Cameron Stewart

Yesterday, DC announced that frequent Grant Morrison collaborator Cameron Stewart has been replaced by Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight artist Georges Jeanty on the Western-themed fourth issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. Post-solicitation creative-team changes are a dime a dozen at DC, but this is certainly one of the more high-profile examples of that kind of switcheroo I can think of. Amid all the say-it-ain’t-sos, Stewart took to his blog to offer a fairly circumspect summary of the situation:

Unfortunately, several weeks back I was forced to make the difficult decision to leave the book. It was a decision that I struggled with, but sadly conditions were such that I felt that my work would be drastically compromised and subpar should I stay on board, and so I felt that it was best that I walked away. I’d like to extend big thanks to my editors for trying to do whatever they could to make it possible for me to stay, but in the end it just wasn’t happening.

Stewart added that the only thing he’d drawn for the issue was the cover and a sketch or two, so the final product will be all Jeanty. He also promised a big announcement at the San Diego Comic-Con regarding a popular property he and Karl Kerschl will be working on. So while fans of his Bat-work (like me!!!) are no doubt disappointed, there are at least a few more Cam jams coming down the pike.


Straight for the tat | Cameron Stewart’s convention-sketch Batman tattoo

Batman tattoo based on the art of Cameron Stewart

Batman tattoo based on the art of Cameron Stewart

“Did the most terrifying commission of my life today at C2E2,” tweeted Batman & Robin artist Cameron Stewart on Saturday. What made it so scary? The guy who commissioned the piece — a drawing of Batman, to be specific — told Stewart he planned on immediately getting it tattooed on his body. No pressure!

Fortunately, the words “Cameron Stewart” are pretty much a seal of quality when it comes to drawings of Batman, and as Stewart revealed today, the tattoo came out bitchin’. You can click here to see the original art, too. “A busy convention is not my ideal environment to draw something that will go on someone’s body forever,” Stewart noted, but he really shouldn’t worry so much.

Straight for the art | Cameron Stewart’s Wild West Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne by Cameron Stewart

Bruce Wayne by Cameron Stewart

On his blog, artist Cameron Stewart shares some preliminary sketches of cowboy Bruce Wayne. Stewart will draw the third issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, featuring the time-hopping lead character in the Wild West.

Bonus: Chris Sprouse’s variant cover to issue #1

A Dynamic Duo of Batman & Robin art posts

from Batman & Robin #9 by Cameron Stewart

from Batman & Robin #9 by Cameron Stewart

On his blog, outgoing Batman & Robin artist Cameron Stewart has posted a selection of black-and-white pages from issue #9. Man, you could practically bathe in those inks.

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Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode about this?

Not the cover to Batman & Robin #9

Not the cover to Batman & Robin #9

Naw, I guess if it’d been on Seinfeld it would have been about Superman. Anyway, Cameron Stewart says via Twitter that this is a “rejected cover sketch for Batman & Robin #9.” Somehow I think he’s kidding. All I know is that if I were young Damian Wayne I’d be pretty pissed at Dick Grayson’s insensitivity too.

Old acquaintances shall not be forgotten

Cameron Stewart covers the Montreal Mirror

Cameron Stewart covers the Montreal Mirror

Happy New Year, everyone! Typically the first day of the new year is a time for reflection, for looking forward and looking back. And you might think that I would be tempted to do that very thing, especially since we just wrapped up our first full year here at Robot 6.

But I’m not gonna do that. Y’see, Robot 6 officially kicked off on Jan. 2, 2009. And tomorrow we plan to celebrate our first anniversary by bringing you a lot of really, really cool stuff — interviews, exclusive previews, countdowns and much more — as we take over the home page of Comic Book Resources for the day. It should be a lot of fun, so be sure to stop by in between football games and TV marathons.

In the meantime, after the jump you’ll find some links to other bloggers looking at 2009 and 2010. Enjoy, and we’ll be back in full force tomorrow. See you then!

(Artwork above is Cameron Stewart‘s cover to this week’s Montreal Mirror, as seen on his blog.

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Straight for the art: Cameron Stewart’s iPhone paintings

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I didn’t even know you could do this sort of thing on your iPhone. (via)

Straight for the art | Cameron Stewart’s convention sketches

Batwoman sketch by Cameron Stewart

Batwoman sketch by Cameron Stewart

Incoming Batman and Robin artist Cameron Stewart has posted a selection of sketches drawn for fans during his recent European tour with Karl Kerschl and Ramón Pérez, and the results are … uh, what’s the visual equivalent of “mouthwatering”? I don’t think it’s “eyewatering,” but this little gallery — heavy on the Bat-characters but boasting a few mutants and supporting Spidey castmembers too — may well bring a tear to your eye over the fact that you don’t live in Europe and thus couldn’t get one yourself.

Video of the day: Cameron Stewart drawing Catwoman

Show of hands please! Who’s interested in seeing the award-winning Cameron Stewart draw a picture of Catwoman using Manga Studio? Ah, I thought so.

There’s another video of him drawing the Prince of Persia at this link. A you can see the final version of the Catwoman piece here.


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