Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
BGetween work on the second volume of Sharknife, projects for Marvel, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and other smaller gigs, cartoonist Corey Lewis has been working on a secret only few knew about: For the past three years, Lewis released a limited-edition black-and-white anthology dubbed Layered Jacket at his home convention Emerald City Comic Con. If you weren’t there, you didn’t get it. But now Lewis is, as he puts it, “doing something a little next level.”
Later this year, Lewis will release Sun Bakery #1, his first self-published full-color project. Described as a “comics anthology/art book/design container,” Sun Bakery will contain three original stories, along with a collection of rarely seen illustrations, columns and micro-comics. Among the stories are “Lazer Jacket,” a story that brings the ideas of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to the 21st century in Lewis’ explosive “fight comix” style. He’s now in the final days of a Kickstarter campaign for Sun Bakery #1 that’s already over five times its goal, so this new release promises to be very real, very soon.
For those interested, you have from now to the weekend to be an early adopter and secure an advance copy of Sun Bakery along with some excellent rewards via his Kickstarter page.
Happy Memorial Day, Americans, and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Mark Andrew Smith, writer of Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors, Amazing Joy Buzzards, The New Brighton Archeological Society and Sullivan’s Sluggers, which is currently available to order via Kickstarter.
To see what Mark and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
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, I’d skip lunch and dig in to the overdue Choker #6 (Image, $3.99). I almost considered waiting for the trade on this one, but I know once I see the shiny object in front of me in stores I’ll want to find out the ending to Ben McCool and Ben Templesmith’s story. After that I’d get Uncanny X-Force #23 (Marvel, $3.99), which still holds the crown for my favorite current Marvel book. I was hesitant of Remender & co. going off into Otherworld despite my fascination with the realm going back to my Excalibur days, but I’m being rewarded with good story for my allegiance. The only thing it’s missing is an appendix reminding me of older stories that he references here. Last up would be a two-fer with Spaceman #5 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and Walking Dead #95 (Image, $2.99). I’ve talked about both at length here, and they continue to buffet me with greatness.
If I had $30, I’d first snag Daredevil #10 (Marvel, $2.99) to see more of Paolo Rivera’s work over the solid storytelling by Mark Waid. Then, I’d rub my eyes to make sure I’m not seeing things and pick-up the 5+ year delayed book Sharknife, Vol. 2 (Oni, $11.99). I’ve been a big fan of Corey’s work back when he was doing inspired Mega Man rip-offs, and the chance that I’ll finally see this sequel is exciting and heartbreaking. I hope the quality of the book inside is enough to stave off my feelings about the severe delay the book had.
And for splurging, I’d spend my CBR paycheck on Gone To Amerikay (DC/Vertigo, $24.99). This book is at the intersection of three reasons I’d buy it: Colleen Doran, Derek McCulloch and historical Irish narratives. I’d hold McCulloch’s Stagger Lee up to any graphic novel of the past decade in terms of skill and potency, so to see him pair that with Colleen Doran’s crafty linework bears my immediate attention.
2012 is ramping up to be a banner year for artist Corey “Reyyy” Lewis. The long-awaited sequel to his breakout graphic novel Sharknife is due out this month, and the artist is planning to release the third volume of his Layered Jacket anthology at this year’s Emerald City Comicon in Seattle at the end of March. And now he’s making it even more special with an art show during the convention.
Titled “Pure Sass,” this show at Seattle’s Bauhaus Books & Coffee promises to be a rare glimpse inside the frenetic mind and creativity of Lewis’ work. Although it’s taken six years for Lewis to finish his sequel to Sharknife, he’s put out a number of mini-comics, ashcans, posters, webcomics and surprising guest appearances in a number of comics and magazines. From his unlikely comics debut doing a cover for Marvel’s Captain Marvel #35 in 2002 to the present, seeing his artwork all in one place — and all originals — sounds like a modern-day comics archeological find. Now I just got to find a cheap flight to Seattle.
When Corey Lewis first broke into comics, he was mentioned in the same breadth as friend and fellow Oni artist Bryan O’Malley. Lewis’ Sharknife and O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim both roughly launched at the same time, but after that their careers took very divergent paths.
After the success of the first Sharknife volume in 2005, Lewis announced that a second volume was set for 2006, but it has been continually delayed with the artist and publisher Oni scheduling a release for this year. Between that, Lewis has done a number of side projects like the kickball one-shot Peng!, a Street Fighter spinoff series, and several webcomics. Lately, he’s been focusing his frantic comics energy and ideas for multiple projects in his self-published anthology series Layered Jacket, somewhat in the path of Paul Pope’s THB series.
As 2012 comes around, Lewis is working on the third installment of Layered Jacket, featuring original shorts as well as stories spinning out of his previous works like the hackey sack comic Stall featuring characters from Peng!. Lewis plans to have copies on sale at Emerald City Comic Con in March, and later on his online store.
Lewis has never been a “traditional” comics artist, and has never had a desire to be one. While it might not lead him down the same career path as O’Malley, his frantic energy shows up on every page he draws and is worth tracking down.
The long-delayed followup to 2005’s Sharknife by Corey Lewis looks like it’ll finally hit comic shops early next year, according to Oni Press’ solicitations for next February. The solicitation text for Sharknife V2: Double Z says:
Caesar is just a busboy at the an Asian seafood restaurant, until that is, he eats one of the Guandong Factory’s famous magic fortune cookies — then he’s transformed into the astounding warrior, Sharknife, defender of delicacies and destroyer of dessert-interrupting monsters! It’s big action, big monsters, and big attitude in this big sequel from the Rey!
Lewis had noted on his blog in September that the book was done, and he is already working on his next project. In addition to the new volume, Oni will also release a new edition of the first volume in February with a new cover and some new material, a “Bonus Stage with Karate Ray.”
The fourth issue of the humor anthology The Devastator arrives Nov. 9, and the theme for this issue is video games, It includes contributions from James Kochalka, Danny Hellman, Corey Lewis and many more. Above is a brief taste of Kochalka’s contribution; if you’d like to see the whole thing, you can find a preview of a few pages from the book on their site. And hey, if you pre-order it before Nov. 9, you’ll get a mystery prize!
A trailer for the book is available after the jump.
Be sure to check out the entire post, which includes Clockwork Girl sketches, a cutaway Goblin knoll by Marian Churchland, covers, video and more.