Johns & Frank Aim for 'Surprising and New' in Latest "Batman: Earth One" Volume
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 go with Megaskull, a collection of short, extremely politically incorrect comics by British cartoonist Kyle Platts. Platts is working a similar vein of humor to Johnny Ryan in his Angry Youth Comics days, so those easily offended by jokes about, say, abortion should probably stay away. Those who still own a copy of Truly Tasteless Jokes will want to check this out though.
If I had $30, I’d ignore Megaskull and go with what would pick of the week for me: Grandville: Bete Noire, the third entry in Bryan Talbot’s excellent, ongoing funny-animal detective series, this time finding Inspector LeBrock tracking down an assassin in the city’s art scene. Talbot’s blood-soaked blend of noir, satire, mystery and, um, furry antics might seem a bit odd at first glance but it proves to be an intoxicating and engrossing blend.
Splurge: Grendel Omnibus, Vol. 2 collects one of the most interesting runs starring Matt Wagner’s titular killer, largely due to the art work of the Pander Brothers. I’ve never had the chance to really sit down with this material beyond the occasional five-minute glance, so mayhap this is my chance to dive in.
Since I began interviewing comics creators back in 2005, I’ve talked to Brian Wood more than two dozen times. When we first spoke, Channel Zero had just been collected by AiT-PlanetLar and he was working on his second creator-owned project, The Couriers. Since then he grew into one of the biggest names in independent comics before graduating to the offices of DC’s Vertigo imprint, where he’s entered the mainstream with works like DMZ, Northlanders and his return to Demo. He recently completed writing his first work on company-owned characters in almost a decade, reviving Wildstorm’s Dv8 series. With DV8 and Demo v2 behind him and DMZ counting down to the final issues, Wood is redoubling his efforts on his Viking crime series Northlanders while getting ready for a new round of series — including one chronicling musicians that sounds like my new favorite comic.
Chris Arrant: Let’s start with an easy one – what are you working on today, Brian?
Brian Wood: Oh, I guess we’re starting off with me being lame and saying “its something I can’t talk about,” that’s yet to be announced. So let’s forget I said that and instead I’ll lie and say that today I started the first issue of the final year of DMZ. I’ll probably actually start on that tomorrow. I’ve also been on a real tear recently with coming up with new ideas and pitches, for some reason. I have that fear that all of us have at one point or another, which is the fear of not having another good idea ever again, the fear of not being able to create something to follow a current critical success. I mentioned DMZ in its final year. I also concluded Demo recently, and I finished writing DV8 many months back. A lot of stuff ending, and requiring a bunch of new stuff to replace it. A new “era” in my career, really, especially when it comes to doing something to follow DMZ. Anyway, after worrying too much I’ve enjoyed a real run of creativity, and have seven or eight mostly completed pitches just sitting here. Enough to last me a while.