Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey have commented on Wednesday’s announcement that they’ll leave Marvel’s Moon Knight after August’s Issue 6, with the artist revealing he’s taking a break from monthly comics.
Part of the publisher’s All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, Moon Knight debuted solidly in March, landing in Diamond’s Top 20 and earning praise for both the characterization by Ellis and the art by Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire (she’ll remain on the series).
“Issue 1 went to three printings, and 2 and 3 went to two printings, and so I consider that a job reasonably well done,” Ellis wrote in his email newsletter. “The job has been, simply, reactivating Moon Knight as a productive property for the Marvel IP library. And, in personal terms, producing six single stories that held together, because I thought it would be amusing to provide a book that could be entered at any point and still give the reader a complete experience. Which goes against the grain a bit, because the modern commercial-comics reader has been very much entrained to expect long arcs rather than singles. I’m sure there are plenty of complaints out there about the lack of character arcs or long stories. But the book is still getting bought and reordered. So I guess we found an audience after all.”
The nominees have been announced for the 2014 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, named for the renowned creator of Magnus, Robot Fighter and illustrator of the Tarzan and Star Wars comic strips.
Presented annually since 1982, the award recognizes an artist who, early in his or her career, “shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” Previous winners include Dave Stevens, Eleanor Davis, Jeff Smith, Marion Churchland, David Petersen and Art Adams.
This year’s nominees are:
Graphic novels | Dubbing this “the age of the graphic novel,” Glasgow, Scotland’s Sunday Herald asked an unnamed and unnumbered group of cartoonists, novelists, critics, comics historians and the like for a list of titles that should be in everyone’s library. The result is a pretty impressive, and varied, rundown — “the 50 greatest graphic novels of all time” — that ranges from Paul Pope’s Heavy Liquid and Lili Carre’s The Lagoon to Katshuiro Otomo’s Akira and Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. [Sunday Herald]
Creators | Rebecca Gross interviews Daniel Clowes about the development of his work, doing comics at a time when comics weren’t considered an art form, and the current exhibit of his work at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, “Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes.” [NEA Arts]
Two comics with “dream” in the title hit stands Wednesday, and although they’re two very different comics and don’t really have anything to do with each other, I naturally thought I’d combine them into one “Chain Reactions.”
On one side of the dreamscape is Dream Merchant, by Nathan Edmonson and Konstantin Novosadov, published by Image Comics. From the solicitation text: “Haunted by recurring dreams, a boy named Winslow is hunted by mysterious beings and protected by an old traveler. Soon Winslow will realize that what is in his dreams is what the rest of the world has been made to forget–and what strange entities will stop at nothing to erase from his mind.” It’s a double-sized issue priced to move at $3.50.
On the other side of slumberland is Dream Thief, by Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood, and published by Dark Horse. “After stealing an Aboriginal mask from a museum, John Lincoln realizes that the spirits of the vengeful dead are possessing his body and mind while he sleeps! His old problems have been replaced by bloody hands and the disposal of bodies-and now remembering where he spent last night has never been more important!”
So how do the two comics stack up? Here are a few reviews from around the web:
At a time when an overwhelming number of comic-book teasers consist of a cryptic phrase on black background, Dark Horse took a far more creative approach for Dream Thief, the upcoming supernatural-crime miniseries by Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood. As you can see, the fun push for pre-orders comes in the form of a paper doll, above, and a papercraft figure — “Zero Points of Articulation!” — both of the comic’s protagonist John Lincoln.
The comic, which debuts May 15, follows the thief as he becomes a vessel for vengeful spirits after stealing an ancient mask from a museum.
“Dream Thief has a lot of superhero tropes: there’s a mask/outfit, there are non-traditional superpowers, there is a need for a secret identity, and there are incredible circumstances,” Nitz told Comic Book Resources earlier this month. “So I think a non-comics reader might easily classify it as a superhero book. But it’s a pretty straightforward crime story, and I think comic book readers will pick up on that. They’ve seen it all before from the cape and cowl set. It’s my hope that Dream Thief strikes a new chord.”
After the falling out between Ashes writer Alex de Campi and artist Jimmie Broxton, de Campi decided to pursue having multiple artists draw the sequel to the 2005 series Smoke. This week in an update to the project’s backers on Kickstarter, de Campi said the line-up of artists is now complete.
Joining A Distant Soil creator Colleen Doran and Smoke artist Igor Kordey are:
De Campi said she plans to begin serializing it digitally in June and publish the graphic novel in December.