Dracula: The Company of Monsters
Comics | CNN covers the upcoming wedding of Archie Comics’ Kevin Keller, who will get married to another man in Life with Archie #16. Keller was injured while serving in the military in Iraq and Clay Walker, his groom-to-be, was his physical therapist. “Riverdale is this picturesque vision of American life, and when you see yourself reflected in that, you have a role in even the most idealized version of the reality you live in,” said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment media for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “That’s the difference between feeling like a rejected outsider and feeling like you’re a part of something.” [CNN]
Comics | Jim Caple worries that viewers of the Tintin movie won’t appreciate it the way he does, comparing old-school Tintin fans to old-school Boston Red Sox or Seattle Mariners fans: “That’s what I worry about. I worry there will be all these Tintin wannabes who only know the character from the movie, who don’t appreciate Herge’s genius, who don’t know what it was like to wait a month for the next 10-page installment or when you had to special order the few books made available in America. Fans who didn’t earn this movie.” [ESPN]
This past summer BOOM! Studios promoted two of its new ongoing series, Elric and Planet of the Apes, with dedicated websites that included, among other things, brand new content in the form of webcomics. The Elric site had a new 10-page story, while Planet of the Apes had a “prequel” story for the big blockbuster movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
And now BOOM! is launching another microsite that, appropriately enough, brings Dracula: The Company of Monsters back from the dead. BOOM! put a stake in the series with issue #12, but just like the title character it seems you can’t keep it down. In a press release BOOM! said they plan to serialize the print comic first and eventually will post new material. They also plan to include commentary from the series’ creators, which include writers Kurt Busiek and Daryl Gregory, and artists Scott Godlewski and Damian Couceiro. And they have a web store set up so you can go from reading to buying with a click.
It’s an interesting approach for the company, taking a print comic that didn’t work out for them and posting it for free on the web. It’s a model that worked well for Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius, which started out in print, then moved to the web and does well in trade collections. And it’s a good test case scenario for the company, as they’ve already got two Dracula trades in print that they can drive people to buy right away after sampling the free webcomic. Added to that, it’s a great series by some talented folks, so I’ll be interested to see how it does.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Ryan Cody, creator of Icarus and illustrator of Villains and Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun. You’ll be seeing more of Icarus around these parts starting very soon …
To see what Ryan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.
For everyone who is tuning in waiting to find out how much I liked those Top Cow books I was sent after last week’s surprisingly controversial* column… You’re going to have to keep waiting, I’m afraid; they’ve not arrived yet. I suspect that the powers that be at Top Cow are still working out how to ensure as many papercuts as possible during my reading experience, personally. Let’s hope for next week, perhaps? Instead, I’m going to steal a leaf from Chad Nevett’s internet tree and abuse the extra eyes that might be watching this week for some Random Thoughts.
Two comics I’ve really enjoyed recently, but feel like I can’t review them properly because I know people behind them: Jason McNamara and Paige Braddock’s The Martian Confederacy, Vol. 2: From Mars, With Love and San Francisco-based anthology The Comic Book Guide To The Mission. The former is a follow-up to the “You probably haven’t read it, and you’re all missing out” science-fiction-plus-sex-and-drinking graphic novel from 2008 that not only has one of the best openings I’ve read all year – It mixes sentiment, comedy and character in a way that just makes me wish that McNamara could write the Fantastic Four, in a really odd way; you’ll know what I mean when you read it – but reads like a weird mash-up of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot and Venture Bros in all the right ways, and hopefully finds a massive audience this second time around (It’s out on March 28th). Meanwhile, Mission is pretty much what the title says it is, as well as being one of the few books I’ve read that actually feels like San Francisco, if that makes sense. It’s put together by friend and onetime fellow io9er Lauren Davis, who turns out not only to be one of the most talented and organized people I know, but a amazingly good editor to boot – there’s a really nice sense of place (Suitably) and variety to the book, and that helps it go beyond just a “You’ve been to the mission? You might like this!” experience and become something more fulfilling. Find out more about it at the Skodaman Press website, and more about The Martian Confederacy at that particular website. Both are highly recommended.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday 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 what we call our “Splurge” item.
Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15 this week, IDW would be seeing a lot of it. It’s a cheat, because I’ve actually already read both Doctor Who Vol. 2 #1 and GI Joe: Cobra II #12 (both $3.99), but both are licensed comics done right in my opinion; Who in particular really catches the tone of the TV show in a way that the last series, as fun as it was, didn’t quite do (despite the writer, Tony Lee, being the same for both), and Joe has an ending that’ll get the nostalgics in the audience jumping up and down. It’s a weird mix of anti-nostalgia and art appreciation that gets me looking at my other pick of the week, Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man #500, which I’ll be picking up less for the story – although I like the “What if this really was #500 of the current series, and set 40-odd years in the future?” idea behind it – than the art, seeing as the wonderful Nathan Fox, KANO and Carmine Di Giandomenico join the okay-if-you-like-photo-tracing Sal Larroca for this oversized issue.
Courtesy of our fiendishly fine friends at BOOM! Studios and just in time for Robot 666 week comes a preview of Dracula: The Company of Monsters #3. Written by Kurt Busiek and Daryl Gregory, with art by Damian Couceiro, this issue features a “revived, enchained and seemingly tamed” Dracula under the control of the Barrington Corporation … or is he?
Check out the preview and solicitation text after the jump.
Back when I interviewed novelist Daryl Gregory in February for my pop culture blog (TalkingwithTim) I found myself thinking: “I bet it’s not long before Gregory’s writing comics”. But to find out a few months later that he was teaming with one of my favorite comics writer, Kurt Busiek, still took me by surprise (in a positive way, promise). On August 25 (next Wednesday), BOOM! Studios will release the first issue of Busiek and Gregory’s Dracula: The Company Of Monsters #1. Back on August 9, CBR offered a preview of the first issue. As described there, the concept of the ongoing series is “A powerful, predatory corporation acquires a valuable asset…Dracula! They think they own him, but no one can own the Son of the Dragon. There’s a monster in their midst that puts Hannibal Lecter to shame–and he plans to gain his freedom in blood. It’s bloodsuckers vs. bloodsucker, as Busiek brings an incredibly modern spin to the Dracula mythos.” In addition to the preview, once you’ve read this interview with Gregory, be sure to enjoy CBR’s July 29 interview with Busiek about the project. All combined, with this info you’ll hopefully find a number of reasons to be on the lookout for the first issue next Wednesday.
Tim O’Shea: Did BOOM or Busiek contact you to join the project?
Daryl Gregory: Matt Gagnon from BOOM! contacted me. Chris Roberson, a friend of mine and a fantastic writer who’s doing a book for them (DUST TO DUST, the officially sanctioned prequel to DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRONIC SHEEP), basically forced my first novel into Matt’s hands. Kurt had pitched them his idea for Dracula but didn’t have room on his schedule to write it, and fortunately, something in Matt’s head went “ding!” When he asked me if I’d like to co-write a comic with Kurt Busiek, I thought about it for perhaps 2 nanoseconds. I’ve been a fan of Kurt’s since THUNDERBOLTS, and MARVELS was a huge influence on me.