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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2

House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2

If it’s Tuesday, it must be time for Food or Comics?, where every week some of the Robot 6 crew talk about what comics we’d buy if we were subject to certain spending limits — $15 and $30, as well as if we had extra money to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item. Check out Diamond’s release list to see what arrives in comic shops this week,then play along in our comments section.

JK Parkin

If I had $15 to spend:

Strange Tales 2 #1 ($4.99)
House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2 ($4.99)

Two $5 anthologies that should be well worth the asking price. Strange Tales II, the sequel to Marvel’s indie cartoonist anthology from last year, features new stories by Rafael Grampa, Kate Beaton, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, Jeff Lemire, Kevin Huizenga, Jhonen Vasquez and many more. House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2, meanwhile, features stories by folks like Mike Kaluta, Jill Thompson, Chris Roberson, Mike Allred, Matthew Sturges and Peter Milligan. Most notably, it has a new “Lucifer” story by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, which is the big draw for me personally.

Update: I received an advanced copy of this in the mail tonight, and saw that the Madame Xanadu story isn’t actually by Mike Kaluta and Jill Thompson, as was noted in the above-linked CBR story. No, the Madame Xanadu story is actually by Matt Wagner and Brandon Graham. And it is pretty awesome.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Dustin Harbin

Diary Comics 1

Diary Comics 1

Dustin Harbin is a cartoonist who considers his craft and the comics industry from a pragmatic vantage point. I say pragmatic, because, to be perfectly honest, the first few questions I fired at Harbin were skewed a tad negative, completely on my end. I think it’s to his credit that rather than going the easy, negative or defensive routes, he offered nuanced, yet candid responses to my questions. We dispensed with those questions fairly quickly and from there got into the meat of why I wanted to talk to him: his ongoing work as letterer of the relaunched Matt Fraction/Gabriel Ba & company’s Casanova (Icon/Issue 4 set to come out on October 13) as well as his own Diary Comics #1 (Koyama Press) [48 pgs | b&w w/ color covers, endpapers {$6 ($10 w/sketch)}], which premiered at SPX. Harbin describes Diary Comics 1 as “this–THIS!–is your opportunity to splash on in to six months of one dull dude’s life, as originally seen in the daily DHARBIN! diary comic. Covering topics including girls, dharbins, other girls, more dharbins, depressions, some conventions, more depressions, tons more dharbins, AND MUCH MORE!!” On the con front, Harbin will be at APE this month (October 16-17), then BCGF in Brooklyn in December. My thanks to Harbin for indulging my questions.

Tim O’Shea: Is it me, or judging by recent tweets, are you pulling the kid gloves off in terms of your opinions since you are no longer a HeroesCon official?

Dustin Harbin: Haha, well while not being part of the public face of something besides myself DOES free me a little bit opinion-wise, I think I’ve always been fairly vocal about my disgust with some of the crappier blog sites out there. Not working for HeroesCon just means that I don’t have to worry about it reflecting on Shelton Drum. That dude is super-friendly, he would never publicly run something down, he’s too classy, unlike me.

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What Are You Reading?

Scarlet #1

Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talk about the comics and graphic novels that they’ve been enjoying lately.

Today’s special guest is Ryan K Lindsay, a staff writer for comic news and reviews site The Weekly Crisis. He also runs a comic scripting challenge site called thoughtballoons where each week a character is picked, and every member of the site must write a one-page script about that character. He’s also been known to throw a think piece up at Gestalt Mash and is hoping one day to have his many comic pitches drawn by people with pencils.

To see what Ryan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, click the link below …

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Baltimore: The Plague Ships

Baltimore: The Plague Ships

If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for Food or Comics? Every week we talk about what comics we’d buy if we only had $15 to spend, if we only had $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we’re calling a “Splurge” item.

So join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner and me as we run down what we’d buy this week, and check out Diamond’s release list to play along in our comments section.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15…

I’d start with the first issue of Baltimore: The Plague Ships ($3.50), because it’s written by Mike Mignola and it has Europe flooded with vampires. Looks like fun. And then, because I can’t get enough Mignola, I’ll take issue 2 of Hellboy: The Storm ($2.99).

Dark Horse is launching its updated Magnus: Robot Fighter series, written by Jim Shooter, this week. Issue #1 looks pretty sweet, and it’s 56 pages for $3.50 (including the original Magnus story from 1963), so I’ll give that a try.

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What Are You Reading?

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is writer and artist Dean Trippe, creator of Butterfly and co-founder of the Project: Rooftop blog, among other credits. He posts regularly on his Tumblr site Bearsharktopus-Man, where he is currently selling this nifty Doctor Who/Batman crossover print. He also has some art in the Webcomics Auction for the Gulf.

To see what Dean and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …

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Quote of the day | Matt Fraction, on the economics of Casanova

Casanova #1

Casanova #1

“For all the bravado and, what you call it, callow youthfulness behind the idea of ‘Do it yourself!,’ at the end of the day, there’s a time in your life when you absolutely can, and there’s a time in your life when you’re married and you have a mortgage and a baby or two babies and you need diapers and food and it’s just like, ‘I can’t do that, I can’t work for free anymore.’ It’s not like anybody’s getting rich. It’s not like ‘Well, I need a BMW.’ No — I need to pay my light bill. That’s the reality of it. … So the idea was, let’s go off, and just build up the bank and get to a point where we can do seven issues for free again. Luckily, we haven’t had to. Luckily all three of our stars were in the ascendant and people at Marvel were really big fans of the work, and were excited to make Casanova an Icon book, so we’re very lucky — nobody has to work for free, and we still own Casanova and still control it.”

– writer Matt Fraction, in a highly recommended interview with GQ,
on the financial realities behind
Casanova’s more than two-year hiatus

C2E2 | A roundup of Day 2 news

For those playing along at home, here are highlights of the announcements (and confirmations) coming out of the inaugural Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo today:

Casanova: Luxuria #1

Casanova: Luxuria #1

• Marvel confirmed the long-awaited third volume of Casanova, the critically acclaimed spy-fi series by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, will debut in July through its Icon imprint. The issues originally published in the Image Comics “slimline” format — 16 pages of story for $1.99 — will be re-colored, re-lettered and repackaged. “It’s going to be in full color,” Fraction told Comic Book Resources. “It’s hand-lettered by Dustin Harbin, who’s an amazing cartoonist and a very old friend of mine. So it’s really an entirely new presentation of the material. The color is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s going to be produced at full size. So what was once Casanova #2-3 will now be issue #2 of the Icon Casanova, and so on. You’ll be getting 32 full color pages for full price.”

• Via video, writer Allan Heinberg provided details of Marvel’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, the miniseries announced in October that reunites him with Young Avengers artist Jimmy Cheung. The bimonthly, nine-issue limited series that builds on plot threads dating back to House of M, and involves Wiccan attempting to find and redeem the Scarlet Witch.

• Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada revealed that “O.M.I.T.” — the mysterious acronym we’ve seen on guitar picks and in comic-book ads — stands for “One Moment In Time,” and deals with the controversial “One More Day” story that erased the wedding day of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Serialized in The Amazing Spider-Man #637-640, the new arc by Joe Quesada and Paolo Rivera will turn back the clock to show the events on what should have been the couple’s wedding day.

• Oni Press announced Yo Gabba Gabba! Story Comic Book Time, an anthology based on the wildly popular preschool television series. The 128-page hardcover will be released this fall.

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Work begins on long-awaited third volume of Casanova

Casanova #14

Casanova #14

I was a bit skeptical last month when writer Matt Fraction teased, “Just wait till we make the Casanova announcements.” After all, we’ve been fooled before.

But if you followed Twitter over the holidays — the accounts of Fraction and artists Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, specifically — you saw clear indications that work has indeed begun on the long-rumored and much-anticipated third volume of the critically acclaimed spy-fi series.

“Hey, guess who remembered how to write Casanova today?” Fraction tweeted on Dec. 19. “Pages 1-6 of Casanova v3 completed and sent to @Gabriel_Ba e @fabiomoon. ho ho ho.” Bá replied two days later with: “Pages 1-6 of Casanova v3 – [In] @mattfraction ‘s own words: ‘Okay. That might actually sound like the most impossible thing of all time –’”

And just this week Fraction posted: “Writing more Casanova tonight. Rereading the whole series since the last time I proofread the issues.” That was followed last night by, “It’s as though I’ve set out to make Moon and Bá hate me and salt the earth beneath my feet” and the encouraging tag “casanovasback.”

Debuting in June 2006 in Image Comics’ 16-page “slimline” format, Casanova follows the timeline-jumping exploits of free-lance thief and espionage artist Casanova Quinn. The second volume, Gula, concluded in May 2008.


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