Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Emily Stackhouse, creator of the award-winning minicomic Brazilianoir and her latest, Miner’s Mutiny.
To see what Emily and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
MoCCA on the East Coast, Stumptown on the West Coast—the past two weeks have been busy ones for comics creators and fans alike. I made it to MoCCA, but the grass is always greener on the other side of the country, and it looks like there was a lot to see—and buy—at Stumptown. Here’s a sample of the offerings, starting with Dylan Meconis’s slew of tiny watercolor paintings, above.
Apparently at Taco Bell you don’t have to decide between food or comics (insert your own beefy lawsuit joke here). The fast food chain has teamed up with Marvel to provide four different comics with its kids meals.
According to Marvel, each book includes an 11-page story with a one-page Mini-Marvels backup story. Each cover is a reprint from an existing Marvel title. Looking at who’s doing the comics, it may be worth a run to the border; I’d brave a burrito for the team behind Atomic Robo‘s take on Iron Man vs. MODOK alone. (Speaking of which, colorist Chad Fidler posted some pages from the Iron Man comic online).
Here are the details:
· Writer: Alex Zalben
· Artist: Tom Grummett
1-page backup by Colleen Coover
Cover by Roger Cruz, a reprint from Uncanny X-Men First Class #5
Gingerbread Girl, the upcoming graphic novel by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, will debut today in serialized form on Top Shelf 2.0, leading up to its hardcover release in May. New installments will appear each Monday and Friday.
Announced in July at Comic-Con International, Gingerbread Girl follows the night in the life of 26-year-old Annah Billips, who may or may not have a missing sister named Ginger. “At heart,” Tobin told Robot 6 in August, “it’s a strange bird of a character study focused on the main character, Annah, with a changing group of narrators (including a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a magician, a pigeon, a thug, a store clerk, a doctor, an English bulldog, and many more) searching for the truth behind our ‘Gingerbread Girl,’ who believes that her mad scientist father extracted a part of her brain (the Penfield Homunculus) and used it to create a sister for Annah.”
The 112-page graphic novel is already available for pre-order for $12.95 at the Top Shelf Productions website.
Mark your calendar and start saving your pennies: Top Shelf has announced its entire 2011 lineup, in chronological order, and it’s going to be quite a year. In addition to a varied line of adult graphic novels, the indy publisher is greatly expanding its children’s line and inaugurating a “Kids Club” website just for those books. Some highlights:
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol III): Century #2 – 1969, by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill: The latest chapter of Moore’s epic moves to 1960s London, the epicenter of psychedelic cool. Due out in July.
Any Empire, by Nate Powell: Powell won an Eisner Award two years ago for Swallow Me Whole, and now he’s back with another book about the secrets of childhood, this one focusing on violence in suburbia. Also due out in July.
Incredible Change-Bots Two, by Jeffrey Brown: The catalog text describes this as “a nostalgic tribute not only to Saturday morning cartoons but also to Jeffrey Brown’s Incredible Change-Bots One,” which is as good a reason as any for fans of the first book to pick up the second. Watch for it in March.
Gingerbread Girl, by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin (who we interviewed last summer about it): This sounds like a pileup of wackiness, with multiple narrators following a young woman, trying to see if her mad-scientist father used part of her brain to make her a sister. Due out in May.
Okie Dokie Donuts (Story 1): Open for Business, by Chris “Elio” Eliopoulos: Trouble in the donut shop! Chris Eliopoulos is an animator for the children’s television show Yo Gabba Gabba, and you can see his webcomic The Bravest Nino at the Top Shelf site. Due out in June.
And, for those who can’t get enough alternative manga, another volume of AX! There’s a lot more in their catalog, so go, read, and plan!
Sometimes you just have to tell a Batman story. Over at Unauthorized Comics, Ulises Alfonso Farinas has done just that, in a tale called “Batman Loses.” Check out more of his art here. (Via Super Punch)
And second, over on her blog, Colleen Coover shares a two-page Batman and Robin tale of her own. “Unofficial, unsolicited, unsanctioned,” she writes. “Done for fun, because comics.”
During their panel at Comic-Con International last month, Top Shelf Productions highlighted several projects they’ll publish next year, including Gingerbread Girl, a new graphic novel by the husband-and-wife team of writer Paul Tobin and artist Colleen Coover.
The duo, probably best known for their respective work at Marvel right now, took the time to answer a few of my questions about the new project, how they collaborate and what else they’re working on.
JK: What’s Gingerbread Girl about?
Paul: At heart, it’s a strange bird of a character study focused on the main character, Annah, with a changing group of narrators (including a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a magician, a pigeon, a thug, a store clerk, a doctor, an English bulldog, and many more) searching for the truth behind our “Gingerbread Girl,” who believes that her mad scientist father extracted a part of her brain (the Penfield Homunculus) and used it to create a sister for Annah.
In 2004 I was fortunate enough to interview Colleen Coover–during her Small Favors days/on the eve of the creation of her and husband Paul Tobin’s all-ages Banana Sunday. I enjoyed her art then, but never hoped for how effectively Marvel would tap her fantastic style for many of its books and characters. Much to my delight, it seems like Coover’s reputation and fanbase is growing larger every day. Last week saw the release of Girl Comics No. 2, which featured a two-page opening piece by Coover as well as a Shamrock eight-page adventure drawn by her (and written by Kathryn Immonen). We briefly discussed it, as well as her other current Marvel work (such as the Hercules back-up tale in Thor and the Warriors Four) for this brief email interview. I look forward to down the road when Coover flexes her “writer muscles” (as she calls them).
Tim O’Shea: Marvel’s keeping you busy at present. How did the Hercules the Olympian Babysitter story land on your table?
Colleen Coover: The book’s editor Jordan White asked me to come up with a Power Pack backup story for a four-issue mini series. I was flipping through Bullfinch’s Mythology one evening, and I came up with the Hercules story when I woke up the next morning. At the time I didn’t know that the Alex Zalben’s main story was a team-up with Thor, titled Thor & The Warriors Four, so it was a happy coincidence that I used one of Marvel’s other mythological characters!
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? where we ask, “If you were stuck on an island with the smoke monster, what would you bring to read?” Yes, that was my lame attempt to make today’s edition topical. Sorry. Let’s just write that off as me being really excited to see the end of Lost.
This week our special guest is comics retailer Randy Lander, who you can find selling comics at Rogues Gallery Comics & Games in Round Rock, Texas or blogging over at Inside Joke Theatre. To see what Randy and the rest of our merry castaways have been reading, click the link below …
As we noted a week or so back, the Marvel Adventures line will relaunch in April with Spider-Man #1 and Super Heroes #1–both written by Paul Tobin. Given how much I already enjoyed Tobin’s approach on the line, I was curious to get his take on the relaunch. We also got to cover a lot of Marvel Adventures ground, as well his current miniseries work (Spider-Man & the Secret Wars as well as Black Widow and the Marvel Girls), and amazingly enough, even Bing Crosby works his way into the discussion.
Tim O’Shea: From a writing standpoint, do you look to change your approach to the Marvel Adventures line, as the series reboots? For example, Invisible Woman has been at the forefront of recent Super Heroes issues, will her role remain prominent?
Paul Tobin: We’re not looking at these as reboots, but rather as relaunches. We’re very comfortable with the changes we’ve done to the Marvel Adventures line in recent months… in fact it’s those storylines, and the response they’ve garnered, that convinced us to move forward and relaunch the titles completely. Marvel and I are quite focused on making these stories sing… and we wanted to draw attention to that. So… bottom line, we’re continuing with what we were doing, and now doing it EVEN BETTER. And I love Sue Storm as a prominent character… so there she will remain.
Colleen Coover shares a recent commission that’s the spiritual brethren to a Jim Rugg piece from last month. Colleen’s features one of the greatest tag teams in comic-dom, Captain America and the Falcon, taking on MODOK in a falls count anywhere match. Place your bets …
The San Diego Comic-Con kicks off with Preview Night a week from this Wednesday. If you are a publisher, creator, retailer or any other kind of exhibitor who would like to let folks know about any special plans you have for the show (panels, signing schedules, exclusives, debuts, etc.) drop me an email and I’ll run it here.
Also, a reminder: the programming schedule is out, so you can start putting together your to do list. This post at the Daily Cross Hatch, which includes a rundown of what various indie comic creators will be doing at the show, might also be helpful.
Creators | Joëlle Jones will have a new sketchbook featuring the seven deadly sins at the show.
Comics | Wildstorm will distribute a free primer on their universe of characters — Authority, Gen13, etc. — at the con. Titled This Is WildStorm Universe #0, the book will lay out “where each WildStorm Universe team began, where they are now… and offering a few hints about their future.”
I’ve linked to the blog Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s clobberin’ time!!! before, but it’s one that’s worth a look on a regular basis just to see what they’ve added since you were last there. The site collects portraits of famous authors by artists — like Brian Christopher drawing Chuck Palahniuk — and the occasional literary character portrait, as seen above, when Colleen Coover draws some of the folks from P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle. Go check it out.