"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
What began Saturday as an illustration swapping the poses of the two heroes on the cover of Hawkeye & Black Widow #17 turned into a challenge Sunday when Nimona creator Noelle Stevenson suggested that the way to “fix every Strong Female Character pose in superhero comics” is to “replace the character with Hawkeye doing the same thing.” Now The Hawkeye Initiative is a bona fide online movement, with a blog showcasing countless takes on the Avengers’ ever-popular archer striking the poses, and occasionally wearing the adapted costumes, of various superheroines.
The results are always fun and funny, occasionally alarming, and frequently very, very sexy …
Although we compiled a list of Cyber Monday sales on Sunday, it looks like the comics-related savings don’t end there. Here are some more deals for you to take advantage of today (and in one case, beyond):
• In addition to its continued “Blackest Friday” sale, comiXology today is offering 99-cent digital editions of Marvel’s Avengers titles, 50 percent off select IDW Publishing comics, and up to 80 percent off select Dynamite Entertainment collections.
The Seattle art gallery Ltd. celebrated its first anniversary Thursday with the opening of “Pop! 2,” an exhibit in which assorted artists tackle characters from movies, games, television, music and comics.
The exhibition features the work of many illustrators paying tribute to classic comics icons, and work available there also includes a couple of comics artists drawing characters from the realm of computer games from the previous show “Press Start” and more comics-related work from March’s “Mint Condition.” Some striking stuff, and most pieces are available as prints from the gallery. More work below.
Let’s not forget that the British strain of pop art emerged a few years before the American variant. Of that first group, Peter Blake might not be the last man standing, but he is the most famous, thanks to his rock ‘n’ roll associations. To celebrate his 80th birthday, there’s an upcoming exhibition of both new work and a retrospective look at his long and prolific career at the Waddington Custot Galleries: Peter Blake: Rock, Paper, Scissors, from Nov. 21 to Dec. 15.
His new works mark a return to the montage style familiar from the cover art to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, with large casts of figures placed in front of familiar London landmarks. Above is The Comic Book Convention Comes to London. It features a bizarre, seemingly random, mix of U.S. and U.K. comic icons in a rather messy composition. I like some of Blake’s other pieces in this series (see more over at It’s Nice That), but this really doesn’t move me. It shows no particular insight or affection into the form he feels free to lift visual elements from wholesale.
After his recent gif animation of the classic cover to Fantastic Four #51, Robot 6 favorite Kerry Callen was challenged by the Jack Kirby Museum‘s Richard Bensam to try his hand at animating some of The King’s signature tech. See the eye-popping results below.
Paolo Rivera’s blog posts are always interesting and informative, but few can top this reflection on Mythos: Captain America, his 2008 collaboration with Paul Jenkins that retold the origin of the Sentinel of Liberty (it was part of a series of one-shots that, in Rivera’s words, was designed to “bridge the gap between Marvel comics and Marvel movies”).
Sprinkled liberally with Rivera’s stunning work, the post also serves as a reminder of how quickly the artist has risen through the ranks of comics talent since 2006, when the Mythos series debuted. “The series did less than amazing in terms of sales, but Marvel still followed through with the project until we had enough issues to collect into a beautiful hardcover,” he recalls. “If nothing else, it proved to be a fantastic platform for jumpstarting my career — aside from being paired with a top-tier writer, I got to illustrate the cream of the crop in terms of Marvel characters. And all that while I was still a rookie: when they gave me the job, I had painted just 34 pages for them.”
Ahead of the Oct. 31 release of Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #4 from Monkeybrain Comics, artist Nick Brokenshire has provided ROBOT 6 with a look at his process for creating Page 4 of that issue. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, by Brokenshire, writers Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride, and letterer Rachel Deering, the first three issues are available on comiXology.
A wee while back, my friends Adam and DJ asked me if I fancied doing a process diary-type thing for Comic Book Resources. I was surprised because I am a new artist in the wondrous world we know collectively as “comics.” Of course, what with our book being picked up by Monkeybrain and put out on comiXology, I said yes. We are obviously in the business of drawing attention to our work so that we can sell copies which in turn will allow us to make more comics. … But that isn’t the real reason that I want to share this little snapshot of the way we do things. The main reason for me is: love of the process. Even as an unknown, I relish the chance to share the little I have learned with anyone that may enjoy or benefit from this information.
A few years back while I was training to be a high-school art teacher (which is what I do as a day job now), I stumbled upon the revelation that the only way to achieve anything is by starting. I had been drawing comics characters and chopped-up bits of comics but never managed to finish anything. Then, upon listening to the experiences of professionals on podcasts like Word Balloon and Art and Story, as well as interviews on blogs and magazines, the same little snippet of advice kept popping out: start. Start to write and start to draw. After you start, don’t stop. Even when you don’t think the work is that good, don’t stop. That’s the only way to get better. So I started and I think I’m getting better. I’m a long way from being as good as my heroes, but I’ve made a start. So, for those of you who want to make comics, whether you dream of super-stardom or like me, just like to tell stories, here’s a brief breakdown of the process I go through to make comics. Hope it helps you start.
Artist Peter Nguyen takes on DC Comics superheroines in a terrific print for New York Comic Con that includes everyone from Batwoman and Big Barda to Wonder Woman and Miss Martian. “There are some women who I left out I am sure but for the sake of sanity let’s just say they are the little dots in the back,” Nguyen writes on his blog. “Or off world fighting a greater threat. I had a ton of fun with this one and i hope you guys like it. I added a cosmic treadmill for fun so we can get at least one Flash rep in there amongst all the fliers, glider, and rock floating riders.”
See the full image below, and check out Nguyen’s work process on his blog.
Registration has opened for the fourth annual 30 Characters Challenge, the month-long event that encourages writers and artists to create 30 characters in 30 days. That’s one new character for every day of November.
Why? As the event’s website states, “Because the world needs new characters. And more importantly, it needs YOUR new characters. Sometimes all it takes is a little challenge to get those creative juices flowing.” According to organizers, more than 1,000 have participated in the challenge since 2009; of those, about 100 were able to complete it.
You can learn all the details, including how to register and where to upload characters, on the challenge’s website. You can also browse the gallery of last year’s character contributions. Registration ends Oct. 31; the 30 Characters Challenge begins Nov. 1.
Living legend Bruce Timm quietly joined Twitter back in July, but only in the last couple of weeks has his activity there started to speed up. Never an ardent self-publicist, once upon a time, you had to wait for his art dealer to post his newest sketches and commissions, or else trawl Google Images. Now there’s a direct source, and it’s flowing quickly. Plenty more examples below.
UPDATE: Apparently this Twitter account isn’t actually Timm’s. Still, the art is nice.
Creators | Following last week’s news that Stan Lee has canceled his sold-out Thursday engagement at a Toledo library event due to “a very serious circumstance,” Wizard World has announced the 89-year-old writer won’t be appearing as scheduled at this weekend’s Ohio Comic Con in Columbus. Responding to a blog post titled, “Is Stan Lee OK?” the administrator of the Stan Lee’s Comikaze Facebook page wrote, “It sucks Stan had to cancel [the Toledo event], but you know the man doesn’t just do conventions. he puts in a hard days work creating. Its really sad that the Toledo Blade had to go spread nonsense. If you want to be up to date on stan then follow us, cuz he kinda owns our company. Its sad that a some blogs are scaring fans. not really nice.” [The Beat]
Creators | Artist Molly Crabapple, who was arrested Sept. 17 in New York City during a protests marking the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, writes about the experience and her involvement with the movement. [CNN.com]
Sal Abbinanti has provided Robot 6 with the first look at Alex Ross’ new poster image for “Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross,” the upcoming exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. See the full painting below.
Opening Nov. 10, the exhibit features more than 130 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from the personal collection of Ross, who’s often characterized as “the Norman Rockwell of the comics world.” According to the museum, the pieces range from a crayon drawing of Spider-Man that the artist drew at age 4 to paintings for Marvels, Kingdom Come, Green Hornet and Flash Gordon (you can view some of the pieces on the exhibition’s website). Ross himself will appear at the opening celebration for the first museum exhibition of his work.
Legal | The Bombay High Court had sharp words for the Mumbai Police regarding the arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on a sedition charge. “How can you (police) arrest people on frivolous grounds? You arrest a cartoonist and breach his liberty of freedom of speech and expression,” said justices DY Chandrachud and Amjad Sayyed during a hearing in the case. The court will issue guidelines for the application of the sedition law, said the justices, who called the arrest of Trivedi “arbitrary.” “We have one Aseem Trivedi who was courageous enough to raise his voice and stand against this, but what about several others whose voices are shut by police.” [The Economic Times]
Creators | Grant Morrison talks about the guy who (literally) ate a copy of Supergods, why he is moving away from superheroes, and his upcoming Pax Americana, which is based on the same Charlton characters as Watchmen: “It’s so not like Watchmen. In the places where it is like Watchmen people will laugh because it’s really quite … it’s really faithful and respectful but at the same time satiric. I don’t think people will be upset by it, in the way that they’ve been upset by Before Watchmen which even though it’s good does ultimately seem redundant … This one is its own thing but it deliberately quotes the kind of narrative techniques used in Watchmen and does something new with them.” [New Statesman]
At the Behance Network, Davide De Cubellis has posted an impressive gallery of his cover art for the Italian comic John Doe. De Cubellis’s approach to the series changes, with each cover clearly influenced by a different modern classic artist. I think I can spot tributes to the styles of Duncan Fegredo, James Jean, Tony Harris, J.H. Williams III, Massimo Carnevale, Lee Bermejo, Javier Pulido and others. De Cubellis has a desktop wallpaper of the complete set on his blog. You can see much more below.
If the only comic artists print house Nakatomi Inc. works with are Shaky Kane and Paul Pope, well then, in my book they’re two for two. The company has announced a new print and T-shirt combo by Kane, King of the Wild Frontier and Dial Z For Zombie. The last tee Nakatomi and Kane did together proved popular in certain circles — a flurry of U.K. comics folks tweeted/Facebooked photos of themselves wearing it. Continue Reading »