REVIEW: "DC Universe: Rebirth" #1 Makes the Future of DC Comics Look Genuinely Bright
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
Note: This post contains spoilers for Avengers #34.
The last couple weeks have been, to put it mildly, kind of crappy. Not just on a macro level — and there’s certainly been enough on the macro level to designate the last two weeks as crappy, as you can see on this handy chart courtesy of the excellent The System webcomic. But also on a personal level. Ferguson. My cat dying. Robin Williams. Ebola. Crap at work. Ugh.
As news spread of Typhoon Haiyan, which has displaced 800,000 people, left 2 million without food, and caused at least 1,700 deaths in the Philippines, comics creators began to organize to help. Actually, some were already poised to send aid to the devastated nation, as Haiyan is its second catastrophe in the past couple of weeks: A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattled the region on Oct. 15, leaving a reported 222 people dead and 976 injured, and destroying 73,000 structures.
Happy Presidents Day weekend, America, and happy Sunday to everyone else. Welcome to a very presidential What Are You Reading?, which really isn’t that different than a regular one, but you can imagine every entry being written by Daniel Day-Lewis if you’d like.
Today our special guest is Chris Smits, publisher of Aw Yeah Comics Publishing! and blogger at Creator-Owned Comics. Aw Yeah Comics, of course, is the all-ages comics series being created by Art Baltazar and Franco, with help from folks like Mark Waid, Brad Meltzer, Jason Aaron and many others … including Chris. If you’d like to get your hands on the adventures of Awesome Bear, Daring Dog, Polar Cycle, Marquaid, Action Cat and more, then let me point you to their Kickstarter campaign, which has hit its goal but you can still get in on the fun (and the comics!)
And to see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
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.
When you make your formal American comics debut drawing a Top 5 book, you’ve really set the bar high for the rest of your career. But Filipino artist Leinil Yu doesn’t think about it too much.
Yu’s introduction to the U.S. comics market was in 1997 with Wolverine #113, but he wasn’ t a complete newcomer: He had worked for a time as an assistant at Whilce Portacio’s studio, and even gained some recognition by winning a Wizard magazine contest. Yu went on from Wolverine to draw everything from Uncanny X-Men to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even had a hand in reinventing Superman’s origins in Superman: Birthright before returning to Marvel and becoming one of the publisher’s top-tier artists with New Avengers and Secret Invasion. After that, he moved into creator-owned comics with Mark Millar, first on Superior and then on Supercrooks. Yu continues to excel with Marvel’s superheroes, joining Mark Waid to relaunch the Hulk in the Marvel NOW! title Indestructible Hulk — a return of sorts for Yu, who drew the Hulk in the well-received (albeit much-delayed) Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk.
I’ve always been an admirer of Yu’s work, from his brief stint on Chris Claremont’s X-Men return to his lesser-known creator-owned book at DC, Silent Dragon (with Andy Diggle) and High Roads (with Scott Lobdell). When he returned to Marvel, I noticed him experimenting with his style in both composition and rendering. Upon doing research for this interview, I learned about Yu’s varied attempts to explore different mediums — branching out from his pencils and pens and to painting, digital modelling, and even digital speed-painting. I conducted this interview with Leinil Yu earlier this month, on the eve of Indestructible Hulk‘s announcement.
Awards | Chicago’s Columbia College has announced it will bestow the 2012 John Fischetti Lifetime Achievement Award on Jules Feiffer. What is it? “The Fischetti Lifetime Achievement Award honors an outstanding career of editorial cartooning, work skewering cultural mores, misguided public policies and self-important people.” [The Daily Cartoonist]
Comics | As workers begin cleaning up the mess left by a flooded warehouse full of comics, officials at Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum are appealing to the public for donations to help replace the lost works. [Post-Gazette]
Creators | Gerry Alanguilan posts his rejection letters from Marvel and DC Comics from the days when, as a young artist, he sent in samples of his work. He also tells the story of how he blew his first big chance, which should prove inspirational to others in the same boat. [Komikero]
(Please note: Clicking on just about any of the links in this post will take you directly to spoilers for Fantastic Four #600.)
This week saw Marvel revert back to the original numbering for their flagship title, Fantastic Four, as they released the 600th issue of the “World’s Greatest Comic Magazine.” The $7.99, 96-page comic contains five stories, all written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by a variety of artists, including Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ming Doyle, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Farel Dalrymple.
And just like they’ve done in the past, Marvel spoiled one of the plot points from the book in order to get mainstream media attention. One of the plot points, anyway; when Hickman was asked on Twitter about a particular article that contained a major spoiler, he replied, “… I haven’t read that article, so I’m not sure ‘which’ spoiler is being spoiled.” Yep, this comic book is just packed.
Here’s a sampling of what folks have been saying about Fantastic Four #600:
Comics creator Gerry Alanguilan was supposed to speak at “The Future of the Book” digital publishing conference in Quezon City, The Philippines this week, but had to bow out. So he posted his intended speech on his blog instead.
Alanguilan, who American fans probably know as the inker for Leinil Francis Yu and Whilce Portacio on books like Wetworks and Superman: Birthright, is also a self publisher and creator of comics like Wasted and Elmer in his home country. Elmer will be published by SLG this November in North America.
His speech is definitely worth a read, touching on several notable topics, like the affordability of digital devices in The Philippines, using digital comics to market your print comics and the added value you can put into a print comic that you can’t in a digital version:
My other book ELMER was published through my own Komikero Publishing in 4 issues from 2006 to 2008. The first issue very quickly sold out. And when it did, I digitized it and uploaded it online as both as one HTML file where you can read it in one go, and as a downloadable Comic Book Reader file. FOR FREE. My purpose for doing so was to encourage people to buy the rest of the series in print, and the compiled edition which came out in 2009.
To further entice people to buy the printed comics, I collaborated with my wife’s paper crafting company to create a limited edition ELMER Box Sets which included a hardbound hand crafted copy of Elmer 1-4, photographs, facsimile of some of the objects found in the story, one piece of original artwork, and a certificate of authenticity. These are things that cannot be reproduced digitally, but can be created simply by hand. The minute I made the announcement on my blog about the existence of these box sets, I never had the opportunity to sell them at our local conventions because reservations for it came pouring in through email and quickly sold out.