Jamie S. Rich
I look forward to a day when there’s no substantial imbalance between the number of successful male characters/creators and successful female characters/creators in comics. When I get a chance to talk about a book with a female lead, I make sure to discuss that very aspect. I was clearly not thinking of who I was asking when I interviewed Jamie S. Rich, writer of the new Image ongoing series launching Wednesday, It Girl & the Atomics. As Rich was quick to remind me, earlier in his comics career as an editor he consistently “hired women all the time and published comics that showcased their point of view”. An equally interesting aspect of the project we discuss is being the writer who crafts Mike Allred/Madman universe tales (without Madman) but with Allred’s support and trust (a hell of a compliment/endorsement in and of itself). In addition to reading this interview, please be sure to garner additional insight from CBR’s TJ Dietsch’s July interview with Rich.
To mark this Wednesday’s launch of the series, Rich will be visiting three different hometown comic book stores to sign comics and chat with customers. The three shops where he will be sign It Girl & the Atomics 1 ($2.99) are Floating World Comics (from approximately 2 pm to 3:30 pm) at 400 NW Couch, Bridge City Comics (4 pm to 5 pm) at 3725 N. Mississippi, and Cosmic Monkey Comics (from 6 pm to 7 pm) at 5335 NE Sandy.
Tim O’Shea: It Girl and the Atomics is a book that captures the Madman universe (without Madman, as he left the world for space at the end of his own series). How well does it speak of Mike Allred’s world-building/writing skills that you are able to create a series in Madman’s world, but without Madman?
Jamie S. Rich: That was really the experiment. Madman has such a gravitational pull, particularly for Mike as an artist, that he really has a tendency to dominate. Yet, the Atomics are a team, and in any successful team, all the players are there for a reason. So, when it’s their turn in the spotlight, they are just as capable, they are ready to take that stage.
Oni Press announced Friday at Comic-Con International that it will publish print collections of popular webcomics Diesel Sweeties and Double Fine Action Comics, and teased new online projects by Jamie S. Rich and Natalie Nourigat, and Ananth Panagariya and Tessa Stone.
In April, Scott C’s long-running Double Fine Action Comics, which follows the adventures of the Two-Headed Baby, Knight and Muscleman, will receive a new edition of its scarce 2008 volume, followed by new-to-print volumes 2 and 3. “I am getting super pumped about Oni Press, you guys,” Scott C. said in a statement. “I think Oni Press and the Double Fine Action Comics will make an incredibly powerful team worthy of any battle against anything.”
The publisher also will collect R. Stevens’ beloved Diesel Sweeties in a series of volumes based not on when they appeared during the comic’s 12-year run, but rather by subject matter and sensibilities. The first themed collection will debut next summer.
Conventions | Despite the $500-plus price tag, the least-expensive tickets for MorrisonCon, the Grant Morrison-focused convention being held in September in Las Vegas, are already sold out. Remaining tickets cost between $699 and $1,099. Morrison says the high-priced event combines “visionary ideas, occult ritual, music and spoken word performances, art workshops, experimental films, DJ sets and in-depth discussions inspired by the comics.” [Hero Complex]
Publishing | Industry veteran Jim “Ski” Sokolowski, who was let go in October as Marvel’s chief operating officer ahead of a round of layoffs, has been hired by Archie Comics as senior vice president-sales and business development. The publisher also promoted Harold Buchholz from executive director of publishing and operations to senior vice president-publishing and operations, Paul Kaminski from editor to executive director of editorial, and Alex Segura from executive director of publicity and marketing to vice president-publicity and marketing. [Archie Comics]
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where each week we detail what comics and other stuff have been on our reading piles. Our special guest today is David Harper, associate editor over at the recently redesigned Multiversity Comics.
To see what David and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Jamie S. Rich has held editorial positions at Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press, written comics like You Have Killed Me and the upcoming It Girl and the Atomics, and written novels like The Everlasting and Cut My Hair. All of those experiences are converging into Bobby Pins and Mary Janes, his fictional “tell all” novel set within the world of indie comics. Rich began serializing the novel on the web today.
“The world of comic books is one I know well,” Rich said in a press release. “I began as an editorial assistant at Dark Horse Comics when I was 21, and I spent six years as editor-in-chief at Oni Press. I’ve written my fair share of funnybooks, as well.”
The story centers on Parker Reid, a 20-something working in the comics industry and having an affair with her employer’s top creator. His comics series, Valerie Flames, is about a young girl whose adventures “cross the mysteries of Nancy Drew with the escapades of Tintin.” Character designs for Valerie Flames and her cohorts were drawn by Joëlle Jones.
The first chapter is available for your reading pleasure now.
As information on Image Comics’ Free Comic Book Day offering continues to come out, so do their plans for future series. Joining Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s Revival and G-Man by Chris Giarrusso will be previews of Guarding the Globe, an ongoing series announced by Robert Kirkman’s Skybound earlier this week, and It Girl and the Atomics by Jamie S. Rich and Mike Norton.
“It’s true. Launching in July, and straight out of the pages of Madman, comes a new ongoing series starring everyone’s favorite Atomic: It Girl,” Rich wrote on his blog. He added the book will be lettered by Crank! and colored by Allen Passalaqua, with covers by Mike and Laura Allred.
The Atomics previously appeared in their own series that was published by creator Mike Allred under his AAA Pop imprint. Since then, they’ve appeared as supporting characters in Allred’s Madman comics and in various one-shots.
Hat tip: Multiversity Comics
[Note: this post was assembled by both Tim O'Shea and JK Parkin]
This is our final post for our big birthday bash, and what a post it is. No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we have in past years, we have asked various comics folks what they are excited about for 2012 in comics–something they aren’t working on and something they are.
There’s a lot of great stuff here–hints at new projects and even some downright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded!
I’m most anticipating the 30th Anniversary of HEROES CON (June 22-24, Charlotte, NC) . For any convention 30 years is an amazing run, but the fact that Shelton Drum and his extended family have put this show together every year with nothing but blood, sweat and tears is flat out super heroic.
On the personal front, the challenging and exhilarating ride that’s been Loose Ends will come to a close with issue 4. It’ll be bittersweet to send our child off to into the real world but I can’t wait for you guys to see the work Brunner & Renzi are doing.
I’m also super excited to dip my own toes into the Mignola-verse with the BPRD: The Pickens County Horror [March 28, 2012] and to read the end of Jason Aaron & RM Guera’s Scalped, which is my favorite series in years.
This sounds politic, but it’s genuine: what excites me about comics in 2012 is what’s exciting every year, the work of the talent. Seeing what the best are up to and how the up-n-comers have grown as artists and writers. In the new year, I’m also excited about illustrating several books and covers that feature my favorite Avengers.
‘Tis the season for decking those halls, trimming those trees, lighting the menorah and, of course, figuring out what to buy for your friends and family. To help give you some ideas, we reached out to a few comic creators, asking them:
1. What comic-related gift or gifts would you recommend giving this year, and why?
2. What gift (comic or otherwise) is at the top of your personal wish list, and why?
We’ve gotten back a bunch of suggestions, which we’ll run between now and the end of the week. So let the merriment commence …
1. Exclusive 2011 Janet Lee Holiday Ornaments
Every year, Janet does about 12 ornaments, three sets of four. This year, she has done Hipster Animals, Scary Toys and Art Nouveau Angels. They are signed and dated, and at the end of the season, that’s it! She stops making them. I’ve been collecting them since 2007, and now our tree is almost completely filled with Janet’s art. You can buy them exclusively through her Etsy shop.
Oh, and if you’re REALLY nice, she MAY have a very limited Dapper Men ornament or two. Just ask!
2. This year, for myself, I’m going with a mix of Blu-Rays (portable Blu-Ray player, please, Santa!) and books. But the thing I’m REALLY excited for is the hardcover edition of the Complete Ripley novels, by Patricia Highsmith. Most people only know of Ms. Highsmith through The Talented Mr. Ripley (and classic film lovers through Strangers On a Train). There were actually five Tom Ripley novels, and the collection looks amazing. Why these books? My spouse recently Tweeted a quote from John Lithgow that struck me as a writer: “Duality, duplicity, truth and deception, good becoming bad and vice-versa are crucial elements of great storytelling.” Highsmith was and remains an unsung hero of mastering that, so I hope I learn something in the process!
Happy Holidays from the Dapper Lariosa-McCann household!
Jim McCann is the writer of Return of the Dapper Men and its upcoming sequel, Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol, Hawkeye:Blindspot and the upcoming Mind The Gap.
It seems like my Google Reader and email box are getting full, so here’s a quick roundup of several new and new-ish announcements and information about upcoming comics and graphic novels.
• Marvel has announced plans to finally release the last few issues of The Twelve, starting in January. “It’s taken a long while, but finally, FINALLY, the balance of The Twelve has been completed and we’re ready to ship it all to our long-suffering fans,” said Tom Brevoort, senior vice president and execuitve editor. “We appreciate everybody’s patience, and both hope and expect that the conclusion will live up to the wait. And for folks who missed out the first time, we’re making it easy to get back on board no matter how much or how little of the previous eight issues you may have already read, though the release of the softcover trade paperback of the first six issues, and a Marvel Must-Have containing #7 and #8. So you’ve got no excuse not to experience one of the best reviewed, best beloved and long-awaited series Marvel has ever produced as it reaches its ultimate climax.”
• Fantagraphics has released their publishing catalog for Spring/Summer 2012, which includes their first two EC Comics collections, Gary Panter’s Dal Tokyo, more manga from Shimura Takako and Moto Hagio, and new volumes of Peanuts, Mickey Mouse, Carl Barks, Captain Easy, among others. The full catalog is available as a PDF.
There’s a list of creators that in my estimation are not interviewed nearly enough, one such example is colorist Laura Allred. You can find several interviews with both Mike and Laura Allred together, but few rarely focus on Laura solely. So I recently crossed my fingers and shot off an email to Laura seeking to do an email interview. Much to my sheer delight, she was game for a discussion of her career as a colorist. Jamie S. Rich, long-time Allred associate and friend of Robot 6, was kind enough to share his perspective on Laura’s body of work, which helped me shape some of the topics covered in this exchange. Obviously, a huge thank you to Laura for giving so selflessly of her time. As someone who enjoyed Art Adams’ Monkeyman and O’Brien years ago, I plan to dig up my box with those issues, just to appreciate Laura’s work on it, given how highly she speaks of it in this interview.
Tim O’Shea: The life of a freelancer is never easy–and in your house, it’s extra challenging as both of you make a living either through one of the independent publishers or work through DC or Marvel. Granted at this point in your career, there is a certain brand and reputation that your work carries, still freelancing is a challenge even for successful folks as yourself. If you don’t mind me asking, how much has your faith served to buoy your spirits when the hardships of freelancing blindside you?
Laura Allred: It seems when we simply try to do our best in all our efforts, everything always seems to work out. We work hard, though Michael refuses to call it working, but we also try to make time for family and friends. So, I’ve found that my secret weapon for hardships is to just crack the whip and we get back on track. I’m only half kidding.
The second volume, which reunites Rich and Jones with artist Nicolas Hitori de, is subtitled “Sons of a Preacher Man” and is due in September. Here’s the solicitation text:
There are two new kids at school. Twin brothers–one straight-laced and buttoned-up, the other a rebel in a leather jacket–and they’ve transferred in with trouble for the Spell Checkers. Jesse finds romance, but for Cynthia, it’s rivalry. She and the good brother compete for student body president, while Kimmie tries to find out who murdered the last one. Dark magic is afoot, as well as dark humor, in the second mystical volume of Oni’s latest hit series.
If you look at the number of talented creators that worked on writer Jen Van Meter‘s Hopeless Savages (Oni Press), it’s an amazing collection of people. To mark Oni’s release in late 2010 of Hopeless Savages Greatest Hits: 2000-2010 (which collects all of the Hopeless Savages material released as of 2010) as well as the fact that the series will return with new material in 2011, I was able to compile an email roundtable discussion with many of Van Meter’s collaborators. Thanks to an immense amount of help from Van Meter and Oni’s Cory Casoni, I garnered insight from editor Jamie S. Rich (with his trademark wit), as well as several of the artists involved, namely Ross Campbell, Christine Norrie and Bryan Lee O’Malley. Did I mention there’s going to be new Hopeless Savages stories in 2011? I just wanted to make sure I did–and, to also note, the artist for the new stories, Meredith McClaren, was also kind enough to participate in this roundtable.
Tim O’Shea: As evidenced by this 2002 interview, Hopeless Savages was fortunate to have a great many talented artists work on the book, but sometimes those artists got busy elsewhere. As you said back in 2002: “With Christine Norrie embroiled in her own miniseries, we kind of are back to square one …. Sort of like how Chynna drew the first short story, but then BLUE MONDAY prevented her from doing the miniseries. But, we’ve found an amazing artist to take over. Bryan O’Malley is new to most people, but he’s really got a handle on the medium. His work really captures the innocence and insecurity of adolescence.” What do you remember most about this confluence at talent (and juggling the variety of creative talent involved in the project)?
Jamie S. Rich: Well, at the time, it wasn’t like we knew that this Irish kid O’Malley (who isn’t really Irish) would end up being the creator of Scott Pilgrim, so it didn’t feel all that monumental. It just felt like the most natural choice to be making. James had been showing Joe Nozemack and I Bryan’s webcomics, but none of the stories had quite clicked with us yet, but the style he was showing us was right in line with everything else we had been doing on the series. Who knew what that would get started?
Like I said yesterday, we reached out to several comic creators this year to see what comics from the past or present left them with nightmares. Check some more responses out below, and check back tomorrow for another round.
When I was a child the comic books I bought came in four varieties; Disney comics, Turok: Son of Stone, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth and what passed for horror comics in the early 1970s. These consisted mostly of the Marvel giant monster titles like Where Monsters Dwell, but also extended to anything that was the least bit spooky looking such as a copy of Marvel Team-Up that featured Brother Voodoo alongside Spider-Man, or pretty much any copy of Batman, or Mighty Samson.
I also read other horror titles such as Tomb of Dracula and lots of the anthology comics. No single story really leaps out to me as scaring me in particular, but some of the covers were things I had a hard enough time looking at during the day, let alone at bedtime. The covers were far stronger to me than anything inside the comic books. I think buying some of these comics was almost like a dare, to prove to myself that I could handle it, that I wasn’t too scared to take this image home with me. having it in my bedroom was like inviting the monster out from the closet, or under the bed where you could see it, and it could see you as well.
Yesterday we took a tour of Marvel’s Timely era, courtesy of writer B. Clay Moore, and now we turn to one of the icons of the silver screen: Audrey Hepburn.
Portland-based writer and editor Jamie S. Rich has one of the most popular and unique sketchbooks I’ve ran across, documenting the various looks and personae of actress Audrey Hepburn. Here’s what he had to say about it:
Here’s another item you’ll be able to pick up at the Oni Press booth, if you are so inclined … a T-shirt featuring the three stars of Jamie S. Rich, Joelle Jones and Nicolas Hitori De’s Spell Checkers graphic novel. Gotta give points for a Bradbury reference, y’know?