So your favorite artist announces he/she is taking commissions, something done so rarely that you begin getting excited. You’ve a few hundred burning a hole in your pocket, and so you decide to drop him/her a line and bag yourself one. But now you have to decide what to get them to draw. Do you go for an iconic pose of the artist’s signature character, or a more obscure choice from an old personal-favorite comic? That old comic character you think the artist is a perfect choice to draw, but will probably never get the opportunity to? Or go crazy and get them to draw some crazy gag only you and your friends are privy to, some in-joke or fetish or shibboleth that’ll make you smile every time you see it?
Manga | Yen Press announced a number of new manga licenses over the weekend at SakuraCon, including the manga series based on the Square Enix game Kingdom Hearts. The company will re-release some of the manga originally published by Tokyopop and publish some of the newer series as well. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Christopher Irving interviews, and Seth Kusher photographs, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman: “I am certain that I will never be able to top it, and I’m coming to grips with that. It’s somewhat disconcerting that something I created when I was 23 will be something I’m remembered for when I die, when I’m 35 (or whenever it is). …I’ll be 34 in a little bit, so I wasn’t being too optimistic for myself.” [Graphic NYC]
Happy Easter and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where we review the stuff we’ve been checking out lately. Today we are joined by Miranda Mercury and Voltron writer Brandon Thomas, whose collection of original art and other stuff we featured in Shelf Porn yesterday.
To see what Brandon and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Even as Marvel further expands its mutant universe in April with the debut of X-Men by Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel, it will cancel two more X-titles as part of the finale of the “X-Termination” crossover event.
The publisher’s solicitations for April reveal that it will end David Lapham and Roberto De La Torre’s Age of Apocalypse with Issue 14 and Greg Pak and Andre Araujo’s X-Treme X-Men with Issue 13, with the latter teasing that “Kid Nightcrawler makes the ultimate sacrifice.” The two series will be sent off with interlocking covers by Guiseppe Camuncoli that connects to Astonishing X-Men #61, by Marjorie Liu and Matteo Buffagni, which was also part of “X-Termination” (see all three above). That title survives.
Both Age of Apocalypse and X-Treme X-Men recently had dropped below the 20,000-copy mark, traditionally viewed as Marvel’s “line of death,” with the former selling an estimated 19,337 copies to the direct market in December, and the latter just 16,682.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Chris Wisnia, creator of the Doris Danger books.
To see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, 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 line up to get the this year’s CBLDF Liberty Annual #5 (Image, $4.99). I’m an anthology junkie, and this hits that perfectly while also benefiting a good cause. The creator list is amazing – even without knowing who’s working with whom. After that, I’d get Happy #2 (Image, $2.99). This book’s first issue hit me harder than I expected; I was buying it for Grant Morrison to wow me with his writing, but it was Darick Robertson’s artwork that hit me square between the eyes. I’ve read all the issues of Transmetropolitan and most of The Boys, but his art here has graduated up a level and I’m almost salivating at thinking of this second issue. Third this week would be Wolverine and the X-Men #19 (Marvel, $3.99), quietly usurping Uncanny X-Force as my favorite Marvel book on the stands. Last issue’s Doop-centric theme was great for me, but I’m excited to see star pupil Nick Bradshaw back on pencils for this issue.
If I had $30, I’d double back and get Higher Earth, Vol. 1 (Boom!, $14.99) Canceled or not, this series looks interesting despite my bailing after Issue 1. It’s a complicated concept (from what I gleaned from the first issue), but I’m looking to let Humphries school me on this.
If I could splurge, I’d snatch up EC: Wally Wood – Came the Dawn and Other Stories (Fantagraphics, $28.99). I’ve been aware of Wally Wood for a almost two decades now, but I tend to go through periods of simply floating around before I consume and learn more about him in short but voracious periods. Last time it was in the bloom of Fear Agent, and seeing this in Previews a few months back got me jonesing to do it again.
Comic-Con International kicked into full gear Friday in a bustling second day that was capped off last night with the presentation of the 24th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Here’s the highlights of the announcements emerging from the second day — and a few holdovers from the first day — of the San Diego convention:
• During its annual “Cup O’ Joe” panel, Marvel teased post-Avengers Vs. X-Men plans that include: A+X, described as “the opposite of [AvX: VS],” by such creators as Jeph Loeb, Dan Slott, Dale Keown and Ron Garney; Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences, a five-issue miniseries written by Kieron Gillen that addresses the effects of the summer crossover; Marvel NOW! Point One, featuring Nick Fury Jr.; and an October one-shot called Avengers Vs. X-Men: Babies, by Skottie Young.
• After initially dismissing Kickstarter as a potential source of money for the stalled Goon animated movie, creator Eric Powell teased he plans to launch a campaign on the crowd-funding website.
This week saw the release of the $1 first issue of The Strain from Dark Horse Comics, an adaptation of the trilogy of novels by director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) and novelist Chuck Hogan (The Town, Prince of Thieves). Stray Bullets creator David Lapham joins artist Mike Huddleston (Butcher Baker Righteous Maker, The Homeland Directive) in adapting the vampires-meets-Contagion story into comics form.
Here’s a sampling of what folks are saying about the first issue:
Rocco Sansone, Review Fix: “The Strain: Volume 1 does follow the original novel closely with the introducing all the main characters, the plane with everyone dead and the prologue with the old lady telling the tale of Jusef Sardu. Sometimes adapting a novel into comic form can be tricky and Dark Horse has managed to pull off the prologue and the first chapter in a good way.”
Big Tim, Giant Fire Breathing Robot: “The Strain #1 primarily focuses on a Boeing 777 at JFK International Airport that sits silently on the runway. Before long, fearing a terrorist attack, the Center for Disease Control calls in our hero, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, and his team of expert biologists. What does this potential terrorist attack have to do with an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem? Well, I guess you’ll have to wait and see. Taking the reigns of The Strain and translating it to comics, is Eisner Award-winning writer David Lapham, and judging by the first issue, he has captured the twisted mystery of del Toro’s imagination, firmly planted in the urban fantasy setting.”
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Mouse Guard is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Explorer: The Mystery Boxes - With the Flight anthologies done, the all-ages version, Flight Explorer has morphed into this. I expect it to be as lovely as its predecessors and especially like the Mystery Box theme.
Jinx – J Torres and Rick Burchett’s graphic novel aimed at tween girls.
Kevin Keller, Volume 1 and Kevin Keller #1 – Archie collects the first appearances and mini-series of their major, gay character and also launches his ongoing series.
Flash Gordon: Vengeance of Ming – The third volume in Ardden’s Flash Gordon series.
News and reports from the New York Comic Con rolled out even after the lights were turned off on Sunday; here are a few of them, as well as some tidbits we missed the first time around:
• Marvel announced an ongoing Age of Apocalypse series by David Lapham and Roberto De La Torre, spinning out of the current “Dark Angel Saga” storyline in Uncanny X-Force. [CBR]
• Designer Chip Kidd is writing a Batman book called Batman: Death by Design with art by Dave Taylor. It’s due out next summer. [ComicsAlliance]
• USA Today spotlighted Captain Brooklyn, due next May from Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri and Amanda Conner. The three-issue miniseries will be published by Image Comics. [USA Today]
• Following the convention, Marvel has released pages from the Prep & Landing story that will appear in a few of their upcoming November comics. [CBR]
Colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser‘s work can be seen in any number of Marvel comics these days. In fact this week sees the release of writer David Lapham and artist David Aja’s Wolverine: Debt of Death one-shot, featuring Breitweiser as colorist (Be sure to enjoy CBR’s preview of the one-shot). Regular readers of What Are You Reading? know how much of an unabashed Jeff Parker/Gabriel Hardman’s Hulk booster that I am–and it is that series where I really started to appreciate Breitweiser as a colorist. This email interview was an effort to discuss her work mostly in general terms, so admittedly I did not discuss the Wolverine one-shot, but focus on some of her ongoing series work. My thanks to Breitweiser (who can also be found on Twitter) for taking the time for this discussion, despite her continually heavy workload. I am also deeply appreciative, that when our conversation led to her discussion of recent specific work, she was kind enough to provide examples of the pages for us to use.
Tim O’Shea: What are the biggest misconceptions in terms of the demands with your job as a colorist?
Breitweiser: Probably just in people not taking my job seriously or not viewing it as a fulfilling way to make a living. Many tend to think of what I do as “easy”. Coloring to them is just an afterthought and not seen as an essential part of the storytelling. I’m pretty sure most of my family and friends still do not understand what it is I do and how I can make a successful living at it. Professional colorists in general seem to almost always be overworked and overstressed. A lot of it has to do with us being at the end of the production line, but it also has to do with people having unrealistic expectations due to an incomprehension of the effort it takes to successfully tell a story with color.
Comic-Con International in San Diego hasn’t officially started yet—tonight was Preview Night—but the news has been rolling in. So let’s take a look at today’s announcements
• Dark Horse announced three new projects earlier this evening. They will publish a comics adaptation of The Strain, the sci-fi/vampire trilogy by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The comic will be written by David Lapham with art by Mike Huddleston.
• They also announced a series written by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello with art by Scott Hepburn. Orchid is about a 16-year-old prostitute in a dystopian future “becoming the Spartacus of whores.” Each issue will come with a music track by Morello.
• And finally on the Dark Horse front, they will publish comics set in the young vampire world of P.C. Cast’s House of Night novel series. It will be co-written by Kent Dallan with art by Joëlle Jones. You can see a trailer promoting all three new books on YouTube.
Following through on its teaser from earlier this week, Dark Horse announced this morning that it will publish an adaptation of The Strain, the trilogy of sci-fi vampire novels by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.
Variety reports that the 24-issue series, which launches on Dec. 14, will be supervised by del Toro and produced by Stray Bullets writer David Lapham and Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker artist Mike Huddleston. Each issue will receive a same-day digital release.
“I supervise everything,” del Toro tells the trade paper. “I give my opinion on the art, the covers, the screenplays. [Lapham] is capturing the novel very well.”
Published in 2009, The Strain follows a biohazard expert and an elderly Holocaust survivor who battle a vampiric virus that breaks out in New York City. The 2010 follow-up The Fall details the spread of the virus and a war that breaks out between Old World and New world vampires. Third novel, The Night Eternal, will be released in October.
According to Variety, The Strain will run as an eight-issue series, ending in July 2012, with the eight-part The Fall debuting later that year.
Further information will be revealed tonight at Comic-Con International in San Diego at the Dark Horse booth. Stay tuned to Comic Book Resources for more details.
Finalists have been announced for the 2011 Hugo Awards, which recognize the best in science fiction and fantasy.
Presented annually since 1955 by the World Science Fiction Society, the Hugo is among science fiction’s most prestigious awards. This year’s winner will be presented Aug. 20 in Reno, Nevada, during Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention.
The nominees for best graphic story are:
• Fables, Vol. 14: Witches, written by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Craig Hamilton and David Lapham (Vertigo)
• Girl Genius, Vol. 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
• Grandville Mon Amour, by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
• Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode)
• The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man, written by Mike Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
This is the third year for the graphic story category. Girl Genius won the award the two previous years.
The full list of nominees can be found on the Renovation website.
Via the March solicitations for Avatar Press comes word that Stray Bullets creator David Lapham is writing a six-issue miniseries starring notorious Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, otherwise known as Caligula.
Here’s the solicitation text: “In March, David Lapham (of Stray Bullets fame) debuts a new six-issue sweeping epic with CALIGULA #1. In an age of depravity, one man’s perverse appetites horrified the entire Roman Empire. A ruler who began as a generous man but who ended as the most debased of monarchs, Caligula exemplifies the very concept that absolute power corrupts absolutely. No stranger to horror (as fans of his CROSSED: FAMILY VALUES series can attest), Lapham delivers the bloody tale of the infamous emperor – but with a supernatural twist – as illustrated by new talent German Nobile.”
Avatar also has a new Night of the Living Dead miniseries kicking off in March by Mike Wolfer and Dheeraj Verma. You can see the cover and solicitation info after the jump.