Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Artist Ryan Ottley has been knocking it out of the park for the past eight years on Invincible with writer Robert Kirkman. No disrespect to original artist Cory Walker, but Ottley quickly made a name for himself in a world of super-heroes who aren’t afraid to pull punches. Despite his busy schedule he’s found time here and there to do one-shots like Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark, and now he’s unveiling something he’s spent the past two years working on — his sketchbook!
Titled Violence & Pinwheeels, it mixes the gruesome and bloody details from those “special” moments of Invincible with some of the more innocent moments the artist is capable of. This hardcover book clocks in at 72 pages, and includes one-off sketches as well as character designs from Invincible and Haunt. The book is priced at $25 with an additional $7 for shipping inside the U.S., and Ottley is offering an additional signed Invincible comic to offset those charges.
To check some of Ottley’s sketches and to order a book for yourself, head over to the artist’s website for more details.
This week’s interview with Rus Wooton in one sense is long overdue, given that the last time I interviewed a comics letterer at Robot 6 (Todd Klein) was more than two years ago. But in another sense, the timing is perfect, considering that Wooton recently (and amicably) left Chris Eliopoulos’ Virtual Calligraphy (VC) lettering company in order to be free for his own creative projects–writing and drawing. One example of his new projects is his new webcomic project, Siblings, set to launch in July. My thanks to Nate Cosby for helping make this interview happen–and thanks to Wooton some insightful perspective on his craft. In addition to learning how he came to be a letterer in the first place, Wooton also was happy to discuss his ongoing lettering assignments for Robert Kirkman (among many other creators) as well as upcoming Cosby projects.
Tim O’Shea: You became a quadriplegic at the age of 20, were you already training to become a letterer prior to then, or did your pursuit of that career occur after then?
Rus Wooton: That’s a great question that might need a long-winded answer, but I’ll do my best to keep it brief. I’d never planned on being a letterer, but I’d always planned on working in comics in some way, at least since I was a kid in the late ’70s. I had been drawing for as long as I could remember, and I was also into graphic design from a young age, influenced by my Dad who was an Art Director and Creative Director at an advertising agency. He actually designed the CNN logo while working at Sheehey-Dudgeon in Louisville in 1980, and he’d occasionally take me or my brothers to the office evenings and weekends when he was working overtime on a project.
In what may be an incredible coincidence, an unlikely bit of last-minute dialogue rewriting, or a terrifying example of Robert Kirkman’s precognitive abilities, this week’s Invincible #80 offers a bit of commentary on the hot topic of conversation — comic-book renumbering. It seems the trend doesn’t end with DC’s superhero line and Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men. Even Dead Stuff is affected!
Multiversity Comics catches the panel in which Mark Grayson, aka Invincible, swings by his local comic shop after spending time in space only to discover every series has started over with a new No. 1. “Why do they do that?” he asks. “It doesn’t help sales long term and they always go back to the numbering for the next anniversary issue. What’s the point?!”
“Anything for a quick buck, man,” the clerk responds. “These companies have no integrity.”
Update: And while this doesn’t require prescience, the sequence also takes a perhaps self-effacing jab at a creator pledging to release work on time for a year. Check it out after the break.
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is John Jackson Miller, writer of Star Wars: Knight Errant and Mass Effect comics for Dark Horse and various Star Wars prose novels. He’s also the curator of The Comics Chronicles research website. His next comics series, Star Wars: Knight Errant, Deluge, starts in August.
To see what John and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday 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: It would be tough. For one thing, DC has three books for $5 or more each that I’m interested in — the last issues of Justice League Generation Lost and Brightest Day, as well as Action Comics #900. If I bought all three, well … I couldn’t buy all three, at least not for $15. I stopped reading Brightest Day several issues ago, so I’m more curious about the return of a certain character to the DCU proper than anything. And I’ll probably hold off on Action as well, at least for now. But Justice League Generation Lost‘s final issue ($4.99) would be at the top of my buy list for sure.
Happy Easter and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look back at the comics and other stuff we’ve checked out recently.
To see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click the link below.
Legal | The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today on a California law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The statute, which was struck down in February 2009 by a federal appeals court, is opposed by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, among other organizations. [CNET]
Awards | The Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards will move next year from Toronto Comicon to the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The seventh annual awards will be presented on June 18, 2011. [Joe Shuster Awards]
Conventions | Exhibitor tables have gone on sale for MoCCA Festival 2011, set for April 9-10 at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. [MoCCA Festival]
Conventions | The student newspaper at California State University Long Beach reports on last weekend’s Long Beach Comic Con. [Daily 49er]
Retailing | Peter Hartlaub profiles James Sime, owner of Isotope comic book lounge in San Francisco: “Nobody made a comic store for women. They just didn’t exist. I think women love comics just as much as men do, maybe even more. And there’s so many great comics out there for everybody that I had to try. Isn’t San Francisco the city that’s all about just trying new things?” [San Francisco Chronicle]
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where you’ll hopefully find something to add to your summer reading list. Our guest this week is Chris Arrant, who you may know from his comic book journalism work for Newsarama, Comic Book Resources and various print magazines for Marvel Comics, or from his comic book writing, which includes Female Force: Princess Diana, Tori Amos’ Comic Book Tattoo and 24Seven Vol. 2.
To see what Chris and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click the link below …
Image Comics sent over a familiar-looking teaser image today. Although they offered no explanation beyond what’s in the above image, it appears that this is the start of a teaser campaign for either Invincible or a brand-new team book spinning out of its pages featuring the Guardians of the Globe. I kinda hope it’s the latter. Hopefully tomorrow’s image will offer a few more clues.