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Food or Comics? | Mais or The Massive?

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.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Spider-Men #1

J.K. Parkin

With my first $15 I’d get the following: The Massive #1 (Dark Horse, $3.50), X-Men #30 (Marvel, $3.99), Spider-Men #1 (Marvel, $3.99), and Saucer Country #4 (Vertigo, $2.99). That leaves me roughly 50 cents out of my budget. I dunno if it was planned this way or not, but two of Brian Wood’s latest projects, The Massive and his run on the X-Men (of the un-Ultimate variety), kick off this week. We also have the debut of Spider-Men, the crossover that features Peter Parker of the 616 Marvel U meeting up with Miles Morales from the Ultimate-verse. I’ve enjoyed the Miles Morales/Ultimate Spider-Man stories this far, which is the reason I’m getting it. Finally, Saucer Country is the best of the new Vertigo titles, featuring clever writing by Paul Cornell and great art by Ryan Kelly.

Add another $15 and I’d also get Captain America #13 (Marvel, $3.99), Uncanny X-Force #26 (Marvel, $3.99), Resurrection Man #10 (DC Comics, $2.99), and Frankenstein: Agent of Shade #10 (DC Comics, $2.99). Again, with some change left over for a candy bar or whatever. I laughed out loud at the big reveal at the end of the last issue of Captain America, as we learned who the new guy was behind the Scourge mask. I assume this is a What If? comic, along the lines of “What if (name redacted for spoiler reasons) wasn’t lame?” So I have to see this through. I mentioned this weekend on What Are You Reading? that I’d downloaded a whole bunch of the current run of Uncanny X-Force for 99 cents from comiXology, and since then I’ve completely caught up on the book, so I’ll definitley be getting the current issue. Add to that one of the final times I’ll get to see Abnett and Lanning’s Resurrection Man comic (sniff … well, it was probably a longshot anyway, based on how well his last comic did) and the debut of Matt Kindt on Frankenstein, and that rounds out my week of comics.

I don’t really have anything on my splurge radar this week, so maybe I’ll just hold onto the cash and save it for next time.

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What Are You Reading? with Jessica Campbell

Quoi!

Happy Earth Day and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our guest is Jessica Campbell, design manager for Drawn and Quarterly as well as a painter.

To see what Jessica and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Themed sketchbooks: Lan Pitts’ Zatanna sketchbook

Zatanna by Phil Noto

In our first two installments of our spotlight on themed sketchbooks we’ve had classic heroes and classic actresses; in today’s installment, we mix those together and sprinkle a little bit of magic on it. Comics blogger Lan Pitts has traveled to various conventions and collected an all-star assortment of talents in the effort of illustrating DC’s magician, Zatanna.

“My first job was as a magician’s assistant,” Pitts tells Robot 6. “I’ve always been fascinated by magic and it’s history. I had a few Zatanna sketches in my other sketchbooks and realized I loved to see what an artist would do for her than any other character. So she became my “totem” character, if you will, and I just wanted her to have her own sketchbook.”

Pitts has accumulated over fifteen renditions of Zatanns in his themed sketchbook, but has plenty of room for more. He collected a few new additions at DragonCon earlier this year, and hopes to attend New York ComicCon in October for more.

Whether you’re an artist who wants to sketch in this unique book or just a fan who wants to see more, visit Pitt’s blog for more information.

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Dustin Nguyen moves to Batgirl in November

Batgirl #15

Batgirl #15

Batman: Streets of Gotham artist Dustin Nguyen is moving down the street to another Bat title in November. On DC’s The Source blog today, Alex Segura announced Nguyen is taking over the art duties on Batgirl from Lee Garbett, who is moving on to a new project.

“This is definitely going to be an exciting venture for me, besides the outline Bryan has for us, i’m just plain excited to be drawing Batgirl,” Nguyen said. “This latest incarnation of her has lots of the aesthetics of the original Babs that i love and some new ones. It’ll take me some getting used to drawing a female in horns, but i’m looking forward to putting away the “mean and moody” for a while and kick in the ‘fun and sexy.’”

Nguyen will work with writer Bryan Q. Miller on the book.

“Dustin’s joining the team at JUST the right time, as BATGIRL: THE LESSON begins. Steph’s world is going to get a smidge more gritty, a skosh more chaotic, and LOADS more dangerous – Dustin’s the perfect man to help tell this tale! And, as an added bonus, Dustin’s on the ground floor for the creation of Steph’s very own gallery of rogues (So, there’s that to look forward to, too!) Consider his cover to Batgirl #15 one of the last truly quiet moments our Batgirl is going to have for quite a while. But she’s ready for it – you can tell from the look on her face. That’s Steph for you — always smiling!” Miller said.

Thin wallets, fat bookshelves | A roundup of publishing news

WildCATS 3.0 by Dustin Nguyen

WildCATS 3.0 by Dustin Nguyen

  • Wildstorm will bring Joe Casey and Dustin Nguyen’s WildCATS 3.0 back into print in September.
  • Wildstorm also adds another video game franchise to its publishing line, in the form of Kane & Lynch.
  • Dark Horse had a few items I was unaware of in their latest round of solicitations. There’s another Grandville book coming out by Bryan Talbot called Grandville Mon Amour, and Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother books are being collected into one huge “deluxe” edition. Also, the out-of-print Hellboy/Starman/Batman stories by James Robinson, Mike Mignola and many others are being released as a part of the Hellboy trade paperback line. There’s lots more, of course, coming from Dark Horse in August, but those jumped out at me as stuff I hadn’t heard about or missed when they were announced.
  • NBM will collect Gerard Jones and Mark Badger’s Networked: Carabella on the Run in July. This is a webcomic that runs on privacyactivism.org.
  • Artist David Hahn is working with comedian John Roy on a new book for Image Comics.
  • Tyler James, creator of the webcomic Over, is working with Matt Zolman on a new comic called Epic.
  • Sports club bars in a South Auckland, New Zealand will give away an anti “drink-driving” comic by Hicksville creator Dylan Horrocks. “An advantage with the comic medium is that people are more relaxed when they start reading one and you can reach all kinds of people and tell a story of characters making the right choice,” the creator said. Via

Straight for the art | Lil’ Batman Beyond

Lil' Batman Beyond

Lil' Batman Beyond

Artist Dustin Nguyen shares a few things “on his desk,” including two more Lil’ Gotham characters … Lil’ future Gotham, anyway. He doesn’t mention them appearing in his Lil’ Gotham stories that are set for the Batman and Detective annuals, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a cameo.

Straight for the art | Dustin Nguyen’s cover process

Cover thumbnails

Cover thumbnails

Dustin Nguyen walks readers of his blog through the process he used to create the cover to Batman: Streets of Gotham #4. Nguyen says he usually works with the writer and editor to come up with a cover design; but for this cover, writer Paul Dini had something specific in mind:

This time around, Paul actually sent in a picture he took of himself holding a knife included with a video clip of an old b&w movie to give the perfect feeling of the characters mood and gestures. it was dead on what we wanted to get across i felt. but still, keeping things open, i tried a few other layouts. none was as effective as paul’s, and i knew it. so i went with #1.

The final cover can be seen here.


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