Ann Nocenti is a creator who caught my attention in different ways over the years. As a news and documentary junkie myself, her career path (which ventured into journalism and making documentaries at various times) fascinates me. Once she agreed to a interview about her new DC Comics series Katana, I filled her in-box with my questions. Wednesday marks the release of Katana #2, in which the lead character has become a member of the Sword Clan in her quest for vengeance. Nocenti’s discussion of her current work becomes even more interesting to read when juxtaposed the recent Comic Book Resources interview with Louise Simonson and Nocenti regarding their journeys into writing comics.
Tim O’Shea: I love your ability to offer conflicting imagery in the first issue of Katana. For instance, you stage a fight with Katana in a garden sculpture park/kawaii park (including teddy bear topiary). Was that your idea or did artist Alex Sanchez suggest it?
Ann Nocenti: I do a lot of research before writing a comic, then try to forget it all before actually writing the scripts in order to allow something new to seep in. When I was first offered Katana, Jim Lee said something about how it would be great to have the fight scenes in spectacular visual settings, rather than alleyways and streets, and his comment stuck with me. So when researching Japan, I was enchanted by kawaii art, how it is both soothing and endearing, and yet it reminded me of my childhood filled with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty tales — the myths that are hoisted on little girls. So I set the battle in a kawaii park, but it was Alex’s idea to turn that into a topiary. I was surprised and delighted when the art came in. I also wanted to play with visual riffs on feminist themes — to contrast what is expected of women, both here and in Japan, when one is raised in a traditional fashion and yet struggles to be progressive. I was raised Catholic, so I can understand that. Visually, I want to continue the idea of strong settings for the fight scenes: In Katana #2 there is a battle in a zoo and at a double-ended sword show. In Katana #3 the battle is in a boat graveyard.
As usual, Kerry Callen has the answers. Check out his site to find out what the heck that thing’s doing there, then join me in urging DC to publish an ongoing Super-Antics series by Callen. It would go nicely alongside the imaginary Supergirl/Batgirl series by Mike Maihack and Yale Stewart’s JL8. When I take over the world, that’s the first change I’m implementing.
The old joke goes that if Spider-Man really had all the powers and abilities of a spider, he’d shoot web out of his butt. Kerry Callen (Halo and Sprocket) realized making that happen wouldn’t take much tweaking of the cover to Spider-Man’s first appearance.
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Superman and Wonder Woman will become a romantic couple in Justice League #12, Glen Weldon from National Public Radio’s Monkey See blog has “intercepted a series of texts” between BigRedESS and 1derWymyn that suggest how long this relationship will last. Visit the link for the whole, sordid conversation, but here’s a taste:
When he’s not making movies like How to Train Your Dragon and Puss in Boots, DreamWorks animator David Stodolny works on shorter pieces for his own pleasure. And ours. Following a “Harrey Podder” parody he did last year, Stodolny has released the first in a series called “Everyday Hulk” that are “a bunch of little short parody jokes” starring Bruce Banner’s alter-ego. The first one focuses squarely on potty humor.
Check out the first one below.
After the super-success of Marvel’s The Avengers, everyone in the world knows who Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are. And now Netherlands-based cartoonist Junaid Chundrigar is showing you just how funny they can be (and we’re not talking shawarma here).
Not to be confused with the Brian Michael Bendis-Dave Finch comic book arc, Chundrigar’s “Disassembled” makes Marvel’s heroes, not just the Avengers, bouncy, funny and sometimes creepy.
Jason Inman of Sh*t Comic Book Nerds Say fame sent along this Free Comic Book Day promo video. It’s funny and has me more excited to visit my local store on Saturday (and spend some money at their big sale), so maybe you’ll enjoy it too. Which free comics are you looking forward to?
Their fifth issue will feature lampoons of Dungeons & Dragons, Game of Thrones and Lord of The Rings, with contributions from Tony Millionaire, Zach Weiner and Scott Gairdner, among others.
Check out the cover after the jump.
When a book doesn’t have any humor in it, it doesn’t ring true to me. It’s a reason I read little sci-fi for a long while, because it seemed in an effort to be taken seriously, authors eschewed humor. Or maybe most simply weren’t funny, it’s hard to say. It’s something that has plagued comic books in recent decades too. I think it’s been improving though.
-Jeff Parker, agreeing with Roald Dahl’s assessment (via Matilda) that not having any funny bits in your book is a failing. Fortunately, we have folks like Parker (and Brian Clevinger and Paul Tobin and several others) who are working hard to put the funny back into funny books.
Who’s your favorite “funny comics” writer?
The latest episode of The Variants, the humorous web series set at Zeus Comics in Dallas, features the yearly visit of Richard’s brother Will. Will has a secret he’s been keeping from his brother–he’s actually comics writer Mark Waid. And who better to play him than the actual Mark Waid? The Daredevil and Irredeemable writer shows off his acting chops not only in the store, but also in a flashback sequence that shows the two brothers playing with action figures at a young age. I can’t wait to see the episode that introduces their sister …
The fourth issue of the humor anthology The Devastator arrives Nov. 9, and the theme for this issue is video games, It includes contributions from James Kochalka, Danny Hellman, Corey Lewis and many more. Above is a brief taste of Kochalka’s contribution; if you’d like to see the whole thing, you can find a preview of a few pages from the book on their site. And hey, if you pre-order it before Nov. 9, you’ll get a mystery prize!
A trailer for the book is available after the jump.
Are you just hitting your teen years and realizing that your body’s going through some weird changes? Then chances are…you’re a mutant!
Charles Xavier is here to help with The “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Mutants. The four-page pamphlet is full of useful advice, Frequently Asked Questions, and even helpful tips for parents who are dealing with a mutant child. Head over to College Humor to check it out. You don’t have to be alone anymore.
In a month that’s seen an official commercial and assorted other trailers for DC Comics’ heavily promoted line-wide relaunch, this video from filmmaker Patrick Willems may be the best so far. Oh, who am I kidding? It is the best so far. DC even acknowledged the humorous short, tweeting, “Excitement for DC Comics The New 52? Fantastic. Sharing too much on a first date? Not so much.”
Although Marvel is heavily focused right now on the various Avengers movies hitting this summer and next, no doubt they’re looking for a big franchise to kick off in 2013. Using a green-screen suit, Patrick Willems may just have come up with the answer — The Spot. And he already has a catchy theme song to boot.
Really, it was always just a matter of time before these two great products of the 1980s, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen and Hasbro’s My Little Pony, met. Even if it is The Hub’s strange new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon — seriously, that’s the name — mashed up with Zack Snyder’s 2009 comic-book adaptation. “From the visionary director of 300 Ponies,” it’s … Ponymen. Stay gold, Ponymen. Stay gold.
(via Colleen Doran)