INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Publishing | Jennifer de Guzman announced that, after 10 years, she has left her position as editor-in-chief of SLG Publishing: “My decade SLG was, I suspect, like no other decade anyone has spent working anywhere. I had great co-workers and got to work with fantastic creators, all of whom I will miss very much. (Though because this is comics and a community like no other, we will always stay in contact.)” [Possible Impossibilities]
Retailing | Chris Powell, current general manager and chief relationship officer for Texas-based comic chain Lone Star Comics, has accepted the newly created position of executive director of business development for Diamond Comic Distributors. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund board member will start his new position in March. [ICv2]
Welcome once again to Food or Comics? Every week the Robot 6 crew lists what comics we’d buy if we had $15 to spend, if we had $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we’re calling a “Splurge” item.
So join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner and me as we run down what we’d buy this week, and check out Diamond’s release list to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15 …
The obvious choice seems to be the newest and final volume in Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (none of my local comic stores are getting the book until Wednesday, the stinkers). I’ve been a fan of the series for awhile (http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/cr_holiday_interview_101/) and am anxious to see how it concludes. (Unfortunately, I don’t actually have $15 of real world money to spend this week, so I’ll have to wait another week or two.)
Mattel, which has the license to make action figures of World Wrestling Entertainment superstars, will host several WWE superstars at their booth during Comic-Con, including The Miz, Eve, John Morrison, The Bella Twins, Chris Masters, Melina and Kane.
But that still isn’t the coolest wrestling-related thing happening at the show. No, that would be Jarrett Williams‘ no-words-barred contest to be crowned Super Pro K.O. World Champion of Comic Con 2010.
Williams, whose Super Pro K.O. book debuts at the show, will award the above championship belt to whoever can deliver the best pre- or post-match “throw down speech” at the Oni booth on Saturday. “All the excitement will be videoed and posted on the Oni Blog, so even if you’re not at the show you can witness the action,” Oni’s press release reads. “The winner will be announced at the Oni booth on Sunday 7/25 at 10am where Jarrett Williams and special guest judge Bryan Lee O’Malley will award the first Heavyweight Championship Belt of Comic-Con!”
Old school “wrastlin'” costumes and personas are encouraged … where’s my Mr. Wrestling II mask when I need it?
Jarrett Williams has been doing his webcomic Lunar Boy, for a few years now, and this July will see the release of his first full-length graphic novel from Oni Press — Super Pro K.O.! The first digest-sized volume will weigh in at a monster 256 black-and-white pages, and it combines old-school wrestling (or rasslin’) with slick manga-style artwork. You can check out a 27-page preview of it here.
I learned from Oni’s Cory Casoni this weekend at WonderCon that Williams is already hard at work on volume two of the graphic novel series … Casoni said Williams is about 60 pages into the next volume. Williams took some time out from drawing it (not to mention his Lunar Boy pages) to talk to me about the graphic novel, wrestling and how he came to tag-team with Oni. And he even provided us with an original piece just for this interview (up top), which was really awesome of him. I have to wonder if he sleeps with a pencil in his hand.
My thanks to Williams for his time, and to Casoni for setting the interview up.
JK: So what exactly is Super Pro K.O.? Is it a wrestling comic wearing a manga mask, or more of a manga series that’s been dropkicked into a wrestling ring?
Jarrett: Haha, It’s a bit of both actually. I’ve been a fan of manga since I was a kid. I think most of the young cartoonists out there grew up with a huge awareness of Japanese comics. And we directly felt the impact of it when it really caught on. However, I was lucky enough to also have a family that was really big on pro wrestling. Well, at least my cousin, little brother and I. We watched it faithfully growing up. Everything from Mid South Wrestling, to WCW, to early WWF, I’ve pretty much seen it all.
I’ve wanted to tell a pro wrestling story in comic form for a long time but I just wasn’t sure how to approach it at first. I wanted to capture the fun/spirit of pro wrestling. And I definitely wanted to present it as athletic and over the top. And I have a lot of retro influences in the way I approach drawing comics so I figured capturing that 1970’s early 80’s time in wrestling would be the best way to go (and allow me to create all of these fantastical characters). So after playing around with ideas for a couple years while I drew other comics, I finally decided to just sit down and draw the badboy. And that’s how SPKO came to be.