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What Are You Reading? with Tim Lattie

from Phonogram: The Singles Club

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew shares their picks for who we think should play a young Han Solo. Of course, we unanimously chose Nathan Fillion, so instead we’ll talk about what comics we’ve been reading. Joining us today is special guest Tim Lattie, the creator of Night Stars. Tim is currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds to publish it, so head over there and check it out.

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

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What Are You Reading? with Landry Walker

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew shares their picks for the Royal Rumble … I mean, talks about what comics we’ve read recently. Today our special guest is Landry Walker, writer of Danger Club, Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Little Gloomy, Tron and more.

To smell what Landry and the Robot 6 crew are cookin’, click below.

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What Are You Reading? with Josh Wigler

Sweet Tooth #40

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at exactly what the title says. This week we welcome special guest Josh Wigler, editor of MTV Splash Page and former CBR contributor.

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

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The Black Beetle #1: Good pulp or fit to be pulped?

Black Beetle #1

I covered The Black Beetle #0 here a few weeks ago, rounding up thoughts on the collection of stories from the Dark Horse Presents anthology. Now Francesco Francavilla’s pulp character has graduated into his own miniseries, the first issue of which arrived last Wednesday. The zero issue received positive reviews, so how does the first issue stack up? Here are a few thoughts from around the web:

Doug Zawisza, Comic Book Resources: “Equal parts Batman, Blue Beetle (by name, if nothing else) and Indiana Jones, the Black Beetle is an action hero whose escapades don’t leave the reader wanting for adventure, excitement or intrigue. At first glance, it appears as though Francavilla might be riding a wave of resurgent pulp popularity, but this first issue propels the property beyond simple mimicry of pulp adventures or following a predefined set of instructions for crafting a good story. While some readers may find Francavilla’s use of narrative caption boxes excessive, there is no denying their effectiveness in adding depth to the character as his action sequences progress.”

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Francesco Francavilla targets Hawkeye in April

Hawkeye #10

Ahead of this morning’s release of April solicitations, Marvel has announced that Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla will join writer Matt Fraction for two issues of Hawkeye.

Francavilla, who previously worked for Marvel on Black Panther and Captain America and Bucky, will draw Hawkeye #10, which begins a new story — “the perfect jumping-on point for new readers,” the publisher states — as Clint Barton faces his deadliest foe yet: “Who pulled the trigger? Where have you seen him before? The answers will send everyone’s favorite archer reeling …” Francavilla will skip Issue 11, and then be back for Issue 12.

“On Hawkeye we’ve been blessed with not only one of the biggest writers in comics with Matt Fraction, but also some of the best artists like David Aja, Javier Pulido and now Francesco Francavilla,” Senior Editor Stephen Wacker said in a statement. “Though he’s only on the series for issues #10 and #12, Francesco is going to leave his mark on Clint with some of the most beautiful art you’ll see all year!”

Francavilla’s “super-noir” series The Black Beetle: No Way Out debuted this week from Dark Horse.

Food or Comics? | Black beans or Black Beetle

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.

Black Beetle: No Way Out #1

J.K. Parkin

If I had $15, I’d start with Black Beetle #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99), Francesco Francavilla’s pulp action hero who jumps into his own miniseries after a run in Dark Horse Presents. I’d also grab Threshold #1 (DC Comics, $2.99), which continues the story from last week’s New Guardians annual, featuring a new Green Lantern and a whole bunch of cosmic DC characters. I’d also grab Comeback #3 (Image, $3.50), as I just got around to reading the first issue and really enjoyed it. They’re doing some fun stuff with time travel that should make for a cool series. That leaves room for one more, which is a hard choice … but let’s go with Indestructible Hulk #3 (Marvel, $3.99), because I love the new direction and take on the character and his status quo.

If I had $30, I’d also pick up Saga #9 (Image, $2.99) and Daredevil #22 ($2.99), because, well, Saga and Daredevil. I’m also really digging what Kelly Sue Deconnick is doing with the Avengers, so next I’d get Avengers Assemble #11 (Marvel, $3.99). Lastly, I’d grab Captain America #3 (Marvel, $3.99), as I’m really worried about Cap and the kid, and hope they come out of Zola’s world OK.

Finally, for my spulrge, I’d go with the big Paul Pope book from Image, One Trick Rip-Off ($29.99).

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Chain Reactions | The Black Beetle #0

Black Beetle: Night Shift

Francesco Francavilla has been showing us his pulp character the Black Beetle for awhile on his blog, and earlier this year the Beetle made the jump from the screen to print with a three-part tale in the Dark Horse Presents anthology. That story was re-released this past week as its own comic, Black Beetle #0, the precursor to a four-issue miniseries.

Not bad for a character that Francavilla re-discovered while “diggin through my things” back in 2009. Francavilla started creating stories about the Beetle after an informal poll on his blog asked his readers which character he should do more with–Black Beetle or a “sci-fi pulp noir” character named Max Malone. Maybe one day Malone will find his way into Dark Horse Presents.

In any event, if you like pulp heroes or Francavilla’s awesome artwork, this might be the book for you … and here are a few reviews from around the web if you still need help making up your mind:

Ryan K. Lindsay, Comic Book Resources: “The story is straight forward, as such a self-professed ‘mystery novelette’ should be for a zero issue. A special Nazi command has descended upon Colt City to steal an ancient artifact. The Black Beetle works to protect the item and the lady who currently curates it. The tale whizzes by with action set pieces for the Beetle to do his thing and then slower moments to expound character and plot. It is interesting watching Francavilla, as both writer and artist, structure pages. He isn’t afraid to drop plenty of six-panel, over-ten-caption pages while people stand still if it affords him a few breakout moments elsewhere to splash his art out for show. There are four splash pages and two dynamic, scattered double page spreads, where Francailla allows the mood and science of this story to cut loose. He obviously knows how to pace his story and gives himself room to make very pretty art.”

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Food or Comics? | Black beans or Black Beetle

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.

Black Beetle: Night Shift

Graeme McMillan

It’s beginning to look a lot like the final Wednesday before Christmas (and the final full one of the year), so with my $15, I’d get some gifts for myself that I know I’ll enjoy: the second issue of Chris Roberson (and now, Dennis Calero)’s Masks (Dynamite, $3.99), the third issue of Brandon Graham’s Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity (Image, $2.99) and Francesco Francavilla’s The Black Beetle: Night Shift #0 (Dark Horse, $2.99). Also, I suspect that I’ll be unable to resist the first part of Vertigo’s adaptation of Django Unchained (DC/Vertigo, $3.99), too.

If I had $30, I’d add another pile of favorites to that list: Judge Dredd #2 (IDW, $3.99), the by-now-amazingly-late-but-still-enjoyable Bionic Woman #6 (Dynamite, $3.99), Hawkeye #6 (Marvel Comics, $2.99), and the latest issue of the always-wonderful Saga (Image, $2.99).

When it comes to splurging, however, then I’m going to be playing it relatively cheaply: That Star Trek 100-Page Winter Spectacular (IDW, $7.99) feels like it might offer just the kind of space-age cheer I’ll be grateful for by mid-week … Happy Warpspeed Holidays, all.

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Kickstart My Art | Bad Karma

Creators Alex Grecian, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore and Seth Peck have launched a Kickstarter campaign forBad Karma, a 200-page anthology featuring comic-book stories, prose and illustrations by those four and their collaborators.

The assembled talent is impressive indeed, working on five main stories: “Middleton” by Grecian and Phil Hester; “Chaos Agent” by Haun and Mike Tisserand; “Old Dog” by Moore and Christopher Mitten; “Hellbent” by Peck and Tigh Walker; and “The Ninth Life of Solomon Gunn” written by Grecian, Haun, Moore and Peck, and illustrated by Haun. These strips, all stylistically different and set in various time periods, all threaten to coalesce into a larger narrative: “Each of these concepts is separate from one another, designed to stand on their own, but there are subtle threads that run through each. One of these threads is the presence of the Kraken Corporation, a mysterious organization whose activities play a part (whether large or small) in each story.”

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What Are You Reading? with Curt Pires and Ramon Villalobos

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guests are the creative team behind the upcoming self-distributed indie comic LP, Curt Pires and Ramon Villalobos. You can read more about the comic in the interview Tim O’Shea did with Curt earlier this week.

And to see what they’ve been reading lately, click below.

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Francesco Francavilla’s Black Beetle gets his own miniseries

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of his Pulp Sunday blog, Francesco Francavilla announced that his pulp-inspired original character Black Beetle will receive his own Dark Horse miniseries beginning in January.

He also debuted the cover for December’s The Black Beetle: Night Shift #0, which collects the three-part story from Dark Horse Presents #11-13 and includes some extra content.

“I am hugely influenced by pulp stories of the ‘30s and ‘40s, and wanted to develop a series that used that influence as a jumping-off point to explore some modern storytelling with fun twists,” Francavilla explained last December, when the serial was announced. “I think this will be a great introduction to readers who are new to this character and universe, but will also be an exciting new adventure for those who’ve been reading the online stories over the years.”

You can find out more about the character on the Black Beetle blog.

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Reading the Internet so you don’t have to, Part 6


This turned up recently on Andrew Ross MacLean’s Tumblr: Hellboy versus Anung Un Rama. I was unfamiliar with MacLean’s work, but a little poking round his portfolio shows an artist with a really likeable style, one which nicely fuses all the influences he cites, such as Mike Mignola, Gabriel Bá, Rafael Grampa, James Harren, Paul Pope and Paul Maybury (all of whose work he regularly reblogs).

More below: X-Men! Dredd! Spider-Man! Zombie East-Anglian Kings!. Continue Reading »

What Are You Reading? with Jimmy Palmiotti

Dark Horse Presents #13

Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Our guest today is writer and artist Jimmy Palmiotti, who you know from All-Star Western, Monolith, Phantom Lady, Unknown Soldier, Creator-Owned Heroes, Queen Crab and countless more.

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

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Francesco Francavilla breaks bad with minimalist posters

Having recently begun watching Breaking Bad, artist Francesco Francavilla was inspired to create minimalist posters for each episode of the acclaimed AMC drama, “time permitting.” So far he’s tackled the first four episodes, leaving just 42 more — and counting! — to go. You can see two of his posters below; visit Francavilla’s blog to see more.

Breaking Bad returns for its 16-episode final season (alas, split into two parts) on July 15.

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Francesco Francavilla goes really old school with ‘Avengers: Earth’s First Heroes’ drawings

Avengers, Earth's First Heroes

The Black Beetle artist Francesco Francavilla has a blog where he shares all sorts of cool pulp-inspired artwork each Sunday, and yesterday he happened to chose to pulp-ify a certain super-team that’s been making headlines all weekend. He’s got three pieces up featuring Hulk the Druid, Captain Amerigo, Thor and Iron Man — two that he did and one by artist Steve Gordon. Go check’em out.


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