Game of Thrones
Within days of each other, we’ve had new seasons of Game of Thrones and Mad Men starting, here’s the inevitable mash-up, “Don Stark” by the great PJ McQuade. Don wouldn’t last five minutes in the Night’s Watch, of course. They may be the most stylish men in the Seven Kingdoms, but I couldn’t imagine him ever taking that vow of celibacy.
Anticipation for the third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones continues apace among the more right-thinking sections of humanity, with less than two weeks now before its premiere. It’s a show that continues to make fans: Winter’s Knight/Dangeritis artist Robert Ball recently posted these vector portraits of some of the epic’s cast in character, and they’re great. Ball is a late convert to the show, explaining:
“I’ve been doing commissions for Wired magazine off and on, and this is the latest of those. I watched the first few episodes of Game of Thrones and found the whole thing clunky, adolescent and embarrassing. Then I got the humour and I’ve become completely obsessed with it. Can’t wait for series 3!”
Ball’s self-published Winter Knight was one of my favorite comics from last year, and had a certain superficial level of similarity with Game of Thrones anyway, being a medieval-set story with certain spooky fantasy elements creeping in at the edges.
His likenesses and expressions here are spot on: the stoicism of Arya Stark and Jon Snow, the haughtiness of the Lannisters, especially that hint of a sneer on Cersei’s lips. And if Ball’s style looks familiar to you, it’s probably because he’s the artist who came up with the much-ripped-off Fifty Baddies print.
It’s week two of the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and ROBOT 6 favorite Warwick Johnson Cadwell is being featured in Mondo’s Game of Thrones gallery show (Arrested Motion has some great images from the show on its blog). This is the latest prestigious gig in WJC’s long march to stardom, following his appointment last year as the new Tank Girl artist. We caught up with Warwick, who provided us with a series of drawings taking us through his process as he worked up his commission from the design house.
Warwick began by drawing both his favorite characters from the multi-award winning HBO fantasy drama: “I did Samwell first: it was sketched out, then lightboxed with a variety of brush pens (fancy, knackered, cheap and drying out).”
The new season of Game Of Thrones may not be released until March, but until then I have something that’ll keep you warm and giggly on the cold nights: a A Song Of Ice & Fire comic strips. No, not an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s novels or an adaptation of the television show; rather, it’s a comedic look at the world Martin created with all the characters played up for hilarious intent. Published under the banner Comics of Ice & Fire on Tumblr, these comics come by way of cartoonist Azad Injejikian, veteran of the Flight anthology and creator of the 2004 graphic novel A Very Sammy Day.
Launched four months ago, Comics of Fire & Ice has a great collection of one-off strip pages ranging from Daenerys Targaryen’s pompousness, portends of winter, and covers the rampant sexiness pervading the novels. Injejikian is showing himself to be an excellent cartoonist, understanding the characters and knowing where the humor is — I just hope he keeps it going!
Check out the strips he’s created so far at coiaf.tumblr.com.
Brazilian artist Miguel Lokia has created a series of Game of Thrones-inspired house banners for several pop-culture characters, including a few superheroes. That’s only one of the House Wayne banners above; continue below to see Houses Banner, Kent, Parker, Rogers, and a non-comics one I threw in just because it made me laugh. There are even more on Lokia’s deviantART page.
Most devotees of HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones will know that a significant chunk of the drama’s filming and production work is done in Northern Ireland, but one fact that may have passed comic fans by is that the Northern Irish-native comic book artist Will Simpson (2000AD/Hellblazer/Transformers/Vamps/Punisher 2099) is the lead storyboard artist. Things get just a little NSFW below, as you might expect from anything related to Game of Thrones.
George R.R. Martin, author of the bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, is a Marvel fan from way back, with a letter in 1964′s Avengers #12 counted among his earliest published writing (he was a New Jersey teen at the time). So it probably should come as little surprise that, in theory at least, he wouldn’t mind taking a crack at writing Doctor Strange, whom he says “was always one of my favorites.”
A comic with “From the Creator of Game of Thrones” slapped across the cover would seem like a license for Marvel to print money. However, before Martin would even consider tackling the Master of the Mystic Arts, he would require an unlikely guarantee from the publisher.
“Before I would ever do that, I would have to have my lawyers to meet with Marvel’s lawyers and work out an absolutely iron-clad contract that would say whatever I did in the story would continue to be canon forever, and would never be retconned, rebooted or reimagined out of the universe when some later writer decided to mess around with it,” Martin tells MTV Geek in an interview recorded at Worldcon. “Because I hate that, I hate — I’ve always hated reboots and retcons and the fact that a writer comes in and undoes what a previous writer did and, y’know, brings dead characters back to life, kills new characters that weren’t intended to die. That’s the one thing I don’t like about comics. That drives me crazy.”
Typically, I’ll spend most of Saturday in panels, but the first one I was interested in wasn’t until later in the morning, so I killed time taking in some of the more offbeat exhibitors, like Ben the Bubble Guy, a businessman who hires himself out for birthday parties, corporate events, funerals. Okay, maybe not funerals.
When it was time, I headed up to the fourth floor for the AV Club‘s panel on the Future of Superheroes.
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 we don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Batwoman is still awesome!” every month. And we’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
One cool change this month and for the foreseeable future: I’m joined by Graeme McMillan who’ll also be pointing out his favorites.
Finally, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist – I admit, I tend to run hot and cold on Clowes’ output, but I’m a sucker for coffee-table career retrospectives, so the idea of taking 224 pages to look back at his career to date (with, of course, the traditional little-seen artwork and commentary) seems like a must-look at the very least. [Graeme]
Rachel Rising, Volume 1: The Shadow of Death – Terry Moore’s latest series gets its first collection and I love the premise of a woman’s waking up in a shallow grave with no memory of how she got there and needing to figure out who tried to kill to her. [Michael]
Talk about your harmonic nerd convergences: John Hodgman spoke with George R.R. Martin about Marvel Comics in yesterday’s episode of public radio’s The Sound of Young America. In one corner: George R.R. Martin, author of the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and its #1 New York Times–bestselling latest installment A Dance with Dragons, executive producer of the HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones, and inspiration for Dynamite Entertainment’s own comics adaptation A Game of Thrones, whose first issue debuts tomorrow. In the other corner: John Hodgman, nerd-friendly writer, comedic cultural commentator for The Daily Show, and “I’m a PC” guy, filling in as the radio program’s guest host. The topic: One of Martin’s first pieces of published writing, a piece of fanmail published in Avengers #12 in 1964 when Martin was 16 years old.
Hodgman used the letter, which entered wide Internet circulation a few weeks back, to kick off the interview. And he was probably kidding around when he asked Martin to explain why his 16-year-old self believed Avengers #9 to be superior to Fantastic Four #32, as his letter had argued. But once Hodgman jogged Martin’s memory by reminding him that Avengers #9 marked the debut of Wonder Man, Martin knew exactly why he liked the issue so much. His explanation to Hodgman is a solid exploration of why the early Marvel superhero comics were so groundbreaking for the genre — and in offering it, Martin seems to come to the realization that that issue had an impact on his own writing that resonates with him to this day. (For readers of the book or viewers of the show, the influence will be obvious.)
Read a transcript of the relevant section below, then listen to the entire interview.
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 this week, I’d continue to support the DC relaunch by picking up Wonder Woman #1, Legion of Super-Heroes #1 and Green Lantern Corps #1 (All DC, $2.99). I’d also grab the first issue of IDW’s new ongoing Star Trek book ($3.99), which adapts episodes of the original TV show into the new movie continuity, because I’m nerdy like that.
Because every fantasy epic needs a sequel, right? Three weeks ago I posted a massive gallery of fan art for A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin’s addictive revisionist-fantasy series of novels and the HBO television show adapting it respectively. Almost immediately, Robot 6′s commenters started suggesting additions, while the wider ASoIaF/GoT fan community keeps generating kick-ass artistic homages to their favorite characters and scenes faster than Tyrion Lannister would tear through a copy of Chester Brown’s Paying For It. (That is to say, pretty goddamn fast.) As was infamously the case with the series itself, it soon became clear that another volume was necessary. So here you go! Now all that’s left is to wait until the recently released A Dance with Dragons yields a Gregor Clegane-sized amount of fan art of its own…
Many thanks to Jamie S. Rich and the rest of the original gallery’s commenters, Fuck Yeah Game of Thrones Art, Zack Soto’s The Wall Defends Itself, Kris Mukai & Maritsa Patrinos’s Game of Thrones minizine, and Elio & Linda of Westeros.org for helping to scour the Internet’s riverlands for these images.
Please note: If all you’ve seen is the TV show, there are some mild SPOILERS ahead in the form of characters you haven’t met and, in a couple of cases (though nothing major, so don’t panic) events you haven’t seen. Also, some of these images are tastefully NSFW, so be warned.
Check out the whole gallery after the jump — click on any image to go to its original source, or as close to it as I could get. Don’t forget to check out Volume One of the gallery too if you’re looking for more. And again, please, NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS, for any book in the series. I will be very strict about this. To quote good old Tyrion Lannister, “Heads, spikes, walls.”
Have you spent the past week plowing through all 959 pages (plus appendices!) of George R.R. Martin’s long-awaited A Dance with Dragons, volume five in epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire? Are you counting the days and following the casting announcements until HBO’s Game of Thrones, the show based on the series, returns next spring? Did you feast on the Gregor Clegane-sized gallery of GoT/ASoIaF fanart Robot 6 put together last week but find yourself hungry for more? Then do yourself a favor and order Blood Magic, the new zine edited by Kris Mukai, Maritsa Patrinos, and Hunter Heckroth. It features Ice and Fire-inspired art from over two dozen illustrators, including Sam Bosma, Kali Ciesemier, L. Nichols, Evan Dahm, Rory Phillips, and Jen Wang. Even George R.R. Martin himself appears to have enjoyed it, so consider it blessed in the sight of gods and men. The zine costs $7 — order it here.
Tomorrow, the Game of Thrones is afoot once more. After six long years of waiting (longer, in the case of some characters), A Dance with Dragons — the fifth volume in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy saga A Song of Ice and Fire, the first volume of which, A Game of Thrones, being the inspiration for the hit HBO series — will finally be released. Personally, I’ll be so cut off from the Internet in order to read the thing that you’ll have to reach me by raven. But until then, let’s celebrate the publication of this long-anticipated hope-it’s-a-masterpiece with a gallery of the best Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire art the Internet has to offer. Please note: If all you’ve seen is the TV show, there are some mild SPOILERS ahead in the form of characters you haven’t met and, in a couple of cases (though nothing major, so don’t panic) events you haven’t seen. Just avoid that map at the bottom and you’re all set.
Many thanks to Zack Soto’s The Wall Defends Itself tumblr, Kris Mukai & Maritsa Patrinos’s Game of Thrones minizine, the #Winterfell deviantART community, and Elio & Linda of Westeros.org for helping me discover many of these treasures.
Check out the whole gallery after the jump — click on any image to go to its original source, or as close to it as I could get! And please, NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS, for any book in the series. I will be very strict about this. Longsword-swinging strict.
Full disclosure (not that it’s even necessary if you’ve noticed my posts on this topic for the past few months): I am a giant nerd for George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and eagerly anticipate Game of Thrones, the new HBO series based on the books. (Go ahead and watch the first 14 minutes of the series premiere at Spinoff. I’ll wait.)
Fortunately I’m in good company: Cartoonist Zack Soto, of The Secret Voice and Studygroup12 fame, is a hardcore ASoIaF fanboy as well. In tribute, he’s launched The Wall Defends Itself, a tumblelog dedicated to the best in Game of Thrones fan and production art. That’s Soto’s rendition of one of the books’ major heavies, Sandor Clegane — aka the Hound — above. Soto says he’ll try to post at least one original piece of ASoIaF art every week — the perfect way to get your fix of intrigue, incest and the occasional undead warrior between episodes of the show!