Strong Talks Merging "Super-Cute" with "Super-Psycho" for "Arkham Knight's" Harley Quinn
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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.
It’s a slow week, this week; if I had $15, I’d use it to catch up on some recent enjoyments like Action Comics #3 (DC, $3.99) and OMAC #3 (DC, $2.99), two of my favorite titles from the New 52 relaunch–OMAC in particular has been a really weird and wonderful joy–as well as the final issue of Marvel’s great and sadly underrated Mystic revival (#4, $2.99). I’d also see if the parody-tastic Shame Itself #1 (Marvel, $3.99) lives up to its potential, because “Wyatt Cenac + Colleen Coover” sounds pretty promising to these ears.
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Elisabeth Forsythe, marketing manager for online comic shop Things From Another World and frequent contributor to The Blog From Another World.
To see what Elisabeth and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, read on.
Although it seems like DC’s big relaunch announcement came out an eternity ago, it actually took the publisher less than two weeks to roll out the 52 titles and their creative teams for the big relaunch/reboot/overhaul coming in September. Now that the cats are out of their respective bags, I thought I’d see where various creators and characters will land after the reboot.
So I went back through DC’s August solicitations to see who was writing or drawing what, and tried to map everyone to their post-relaunch project — if they had one. However, looking at DC’s August solicitations, there seem to be several fill-in issues, so where appropriate I tried to map the most recent ongoing creative teams to their new projects (for instance, I consider Gail Simone and Jesus Saiz the regular creative team for Birds of Prey, even if they aren’t doing the last two issues before September hits). Keep in mind that I just went through the ongoing series and skipped over all the miniseries … of which there are a lot, what with Flashpoint winding up in August.
It’s also worth noting that although several creators didn’t appear in the “big 52″ announcements, that doesn’t mean their tenure with DC is necessarily over — some, like Frazer Irving, have said they have future projects that haven’t been announced. So I tried to note where creators have talked publicly about their post-relaunch plans with DC (or lack thereof, as the case may be). The same could probably be said for some of DC’s characters as well. Or, as Gail Simone said on Twitter: “Again, September is NOT THE END. There’s still plans for characters that we haven’t seen yet.”
So let’s get to it ….
“My not-terribly insightful comic book epiphany of the day: right now, we’ve got a bunch of top-flight writers in the field, and the next generation on the horizon. But what we could really use is a new, young generation of break-out artists. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got a lot of excellent artists. But who was the last hot young guy who just exploded into the field? I feel like the pump is primed for one or more fresh young artists to just explode in a major, commercial way. When was the last time that happened? We could use an infusion of visual excitement in the books–across all companies.”
–Thus spoke Tom Brevoort, Marvel Senior VP – Executive Editor, on Twitter last night. Personally, I think he’s probably right to wonder about this. Like he says, the point isn’t that there are no good or even great relatively young/relatively new artists right now — there are plenty. Personally I’ve been knocked out by Gabriel Hardman‘s work on Atlas and Hulk over the past year or so, just for example. But what Brevoort is looking for is an artist who just skyrockets to superstardom more or less out of the blue. That requires quite a delicate alchemy. The artist in question must be young enough or new enough or have been working far way enough from the Big Two’s audiences for their work to have “the shock of the new” when fans first see it. They must bring something different to the table than what established artists are doing, so that their work stands out, but they must also be working in a style that’s recognizable and acceptable to large numbers of superhero fans. Their work doesn’t necessarily have to be to your taste, but you should at least be able to understand what others see in it, even if you don’t see it yourself.
DC Comics announced today that Gutsville and Batman & Robin artist Frazer Irving will join writer John Rozum on the new Xombi series that’s coming next year. They also shared the cover for the first issue (above)
“Creator and writer John Rozum returns to the fan-favorite title to continue the story of David, and to give the DCU a new corner of urban horror to explore,” said Editor Rachel Gluckstern on The Source blog. “Right from the start, John’s throwing David in over his head, giving new readers and old friends alike the chance to dive into a new story and hold on for the ride. Joining him will be the excellent star artist Frazer Irving on all visual duties to create a world few have seen and fewer still dare to dwell.”
Xombi, the story of a medical researcher whose supernatural wounds were cured by nanomachines that render him immortal, ran for 22 issues. Like the other Milestone characters, Xombi is now part of the DC universe, having been introduced into it last year in Brave & the Bold #26. Rozum recently posted more background information about the character on his blog.
Over on the CBR mothership, Batman & Robin artist Frazer Irving stops by The Bat Signal column to talk to Kiel Phegley about, among other things, his work with Bat-maestro Grant Morrison. Naturally, Irving dishes on some of the darker moments he’s drawn for the Dark Knight and his associates:
Irving, who collaborated with writer Grant Morrison on 2005’s Seven Soldiers: Klarion the Witch Boy, joins an impressive art roster that’s already featured Clarke, Frank Quitely, Philip Tan and Cameron Stewart.
At one point Irving was set for Issues 10-12, which initially were to be drawn by a returning Quitely.
Irving is also illustrating the second issue of the Morrison-penned Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. That brings us to DC’s other Bat-related announcement — the full artist lineup for the six-issue miniseries: Chris Sprouse, Issue 1; Irving, Issue 2; Yanick Paquette, Issue 3; Cameron Stewart, Issue 4; Ryan Sook Issue 5; and Lee Garbett, Issue 6. The miniseries debuts in May.
“Frazer’s a unique comics creator in that he handles all aspects of the art chores — pencilling, inking and colors — which gives him the best creative control an artist could ask for,” Batman Editor Mike Marts told The Source. “And with fantastic results! Readers will drool when they see Frazer’s amazing pages to both Batman projects he’s working on.”