Janet K. Lee
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.
A couple of weeks ago, I got to thinking about the holidays and comics. More exactly, I started wondering what some creators might say if i asked them for their favorite comics-related memory. As I got into contact with some creators, they did not have a favorite story per se, but those recollections were definitely memorable. Bottom line, these storytellers not surprisingly had some great stories to share. My holiday memory is an odd one, as a kid in the 1970s reading the Doonesbury comic strip where Rev. Scott Sloan had opening remarks before the Christmas pageant, where he noted that the part of the Baby Jesus would be played by a 40-watt light bulb. A lifelong Doonesbury fan, there are few strips that have made me laugh longer than that one. Told you it was an odd one. Now on to the storytellers with far better tales. My thanks to everyone that responded. Once you’ve read them all, please be sure to chime in with your most memorable comics-related holiday recollection in the comments section.
Every Christmas, comics would show up in my stocking. They’d be rolled up, which I’m sure breaks the heart of every collector out there, but it didn’t bother me much. Comics were for reading. For some reason, my mother thought I liked Thor. I wasn’t a Thor guy, except when he was hanging out in the Avengers. I was, and still am, a Captain America super-fan. How could my Mom not know this? But every year I’d get a couple more Thor comics.
Fast-forward 35 years. I’m the official stocking-stuffer in the household. My wife is the queen of holiday organization, but the stocking assignment has always been mine, primarily because it’s the kind of job you can give to a procrastinator. I can run out on Christmas Eve and grab everything I need: gum, iTunes gift cards, candy bars, extra batteries… and comics. See, my son is 15, and he IS a Thor guy, so I usually try to round up something Asgardian for him, as well as a something with Atomic Robo or Axe Cop. I don’t understand the clothing my daughter is asking for (an “infinity scarf” sounds like something Dr. Who would wear), but by gum, I do know my son’s taste in comics.
Writer Jim McCann and artist Janet K. Lee‘s Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia) will have its pre-release West Coast debut at Meltdown Comics (in Los Angeles) this Wednesday–with McCann at the store to help celebrate the event, as well as sign advance copies of the graphic novel. As detailed in the recent CBR preview of the book: “Welcome to Anoreve, a world in between time, where children have played so long it’s almost become work, machines have worked so long they have begun to play and all the clocks have stopped at the same time. This is how this land has remained, until 314 dapper-looking gentlemen rain down from the sky and set off in different directions to start the world again. Now Ayden, the only boy to still ask questions; Zoe, the robot girl all other machines hold dear; and the Dapper Man known only as “41” must discover what happened that made time stop, understand what their true places are in this world, and learn what “tomorrow” really means. The sun is setting for the first time in memory, and once that happens, everything changes.” There’s been a great deal of interest and discussion in Lee’s art, so I was motivated to email interview her so I could better grasp her artistic style for the book, which will officially be released on November 17. I can honestly say this marks the first time I’ve gotten to discuss the craft of decoupage in an interview.
Tim O’Shea: There seems to be an immense amount of trust between you and Jim McCann. On one level, McCann had an incredible level of trust in your artistic talent, despite the fact this is your first graphic novel. And you had to trust McCann to deliver a script that you could bring to life visually. Would you agree there’s a deep level of trust to your collaboration with McCann?
Janet Lee: Before there was a book, before Jim was ever at Marvel or I started showing art regularly, we were really good friends. That that friendship absolutely shaped our collaboration on RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN. I can ask Jim any question, make suggestions freely, knowing that we’ll still be friends at the end of it. I would absolutely hope he feels the same way about me. Even when there’s a difference of opinion, I know Jim’s only intention is to make the book the best it can be, and I trust his vision.