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Looking Forward, Looking Back | Creators weigh in on 2012 and 2013 (Part 1)

Five Weapons

It’s become an annual tradition here during our birthday bash: 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’ve done in past years, we asked a cross-section of comics folks what they liked in 2012 and what they’re excited about for 2013. We received so many this year that we’ve broken it down into two posts; watch for another one Tuesday.

But for now, check out all the great stuff people shared with us, including hints at new projects and even some outright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded. Also, thanks to Tim O’Shea, Michael May and Chris Arrant, who helped collect responses.

JIMMIE ROBINSON (Bomb Queen, Five Weapons)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Image’s Saga, Fatale, Hawkeye‘s reinvention is fresh and exciting, Peter Panzerfaust, Enormous by Tim Daniel. It’s hard to pin down just one because there is SO much good work coming out nowadays — from many publishers across the board.

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Art Barrage | Chris Weston has finally cracked

I remember that a year or two ago, Chris Weston playing a little game with his Twitter followers: casting an imaginary Carry On X-Men film. If memory serves, I may even have contributed to it myself; I think I might have been the first to suggest Bernard Bresslaw as Colossus. And that was the end of that, we thought — until he updated his blog with this image.

Surely he’s not been working on this all that time? Weston is something of a movie poster nut, regularly uploading fine examples from his collection, and I’m also enough of an illustration nerd to realize he’s copping the style used by the great Renato Fratini on several U.K. Carry On movie posters.

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Kickstart My Art | Bad Karma

Creators Alex Grecian, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore and Seth Peck have launched a Kickstarter campaign forBad Karma, a 200-page anthology featuring comic-book stories, prose and illustrations by those four and their collaborators.

The assembled talent is impressive indeed, working on five main stories: “Middleton” by Grecian and Phil Hester; “Chaos Agent” by Haun and Mike Tisserand; “Old Dog” by Moore and Christopher Mitten; “Hellbent” by Peck and Tigh Walker; and “The Ninth Life of Solomon Gunn” written by Grecian, Haun, Moore and Peck, and illustrated by Haun. These strips, all stylistically different and set in various time periods, all threaten to coalesce into a larger narrative: “Each of these concepts is separate from one another, designed to stand on their own, but there are subtle threads that run through each. One of these threads is the presence of the Kraken Corporation, a mysterious organization whose activities play a part (whether large or small) in each story.”

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Art Barrage | Jason Bard Yarmosky, Sho Murase and more


Ah, the cruel end to Shakespeare’s seven ages of man, from Jacque’s “All the world’s a stage” monologue in As You Like It: “Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”. The painter Jason Bard Yarmosky seems to have come to a similar conclusion about the links between the very old and the very young, populating his canvasses with a cast of the elderly (his main models being his own grandparents) dressed in the paraphernalia of childhood: cowboy-and-Indian gear, ballet tutus and superhero costumes. Consider it a little glimpse into the retirement homes of the future, populated by the cosplayers of today. More from Yarmosky’s “Elder Kinder” series below, as well as work by Sho Murase, James Hance and others.

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Art Barrage | Problematic art special!


Apparently, 2000AD group editor Matt Smith has nixed this Judge Dredd cover by Jason Latour. The specter of Frank Miller’s ill-fated cover commission was apparently raised. This must remain a sore subject with Tharg. Personally, I like this image, and can’t see anything wrong with it, but then, I’ve berated Smith for playing it safe with his art choices before and probably will again.  More problematic work below — Steve Rude takes a controversial gig; Gary Erskine risks a stay in the Tower for treason; Graeme Neil Reid illustrates the most violent, foulmouthed superheroes of them all; Jim Woodring takes my theme’s title and makes it concrete, and more. And as usual, you may reckon some of this material is NSFW.

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Jason Latour shares artwork from an almost decade-old Invaders pitch

Invaders

Well before taking the gig as the writer of Marvel’s Winter Soldier series–in fact, well before Winter Soldier even existed–writer Jason Latour pitched an Invaders miniseries to Marvel. He recalls it being sometime around 2003 in a post on his blog.

“It of course would have heavily featured Bucky Barnes and was even going to be told largely from his POV,” Latour said. “The response was pretty good, even though I doubt it would have ever been made. Here’s some art I did way back when–At the time I was putting it together I was 25 or 26 and still failing miserably at aping Mike Mignola’s art. Man, that Human Torch sucked.”

He’s posted the cover and some pages from his pitch on his blog, mostly some war scenes that set the stage, but Captain America does make an appearance on the last page. “The Invaders aren’t really in my plans for Winter Soldier, but I still think there is a world of potential there, so maybe one day,” Latour said.

Read this now: ‘Spring Break Wolverine’ by Latour and Rodriguez

If you’re looking for some comic relief from the heat and the pre-Comic-Con stress, do yourself a favor and read “Spring Break Wolverine,” a completely unauthorized, and totally terrific, comic by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez that’s already been dubbed a “love letter to Wolverine.” As the  title hints, the eight-page story that finds Logan entering a Daytona Beach bar at precisely the wrong time — spring break — to hilarious, and bloody, results.

Check out some of the pages below, and visit the Spring Break Wolverine blog to read the entire story. Note, however, that it’s not entirely safe for work.

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Comics Field Trip: Charlotte’s Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find

Dustin Harbin: "No Time for Tim"

This weekend, I made my way up to Charlotte, N.C., to catch up with my pals Johanna Draper Carlson and KC Carlson, who also drove down to attend the 35th Anniversary of the Charlotte MiniCon. I enjoyed attending the Minicon (seeing folks like the always photogenic and hilarious Dustin Harbin [yeah, I had to photograph him...again], as well as Jason Latour, Matt Wilson, Bridgit Scheide and Rich Barrett). Yet as I was in the middle of having fun, I realized I wanted to enjoy it as a consumer, not cover it as a journalist. So if you are looking for coverage of the Minicon, I highly recommend Johanna’s coverage over at Comics Worth Reading.

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What are you excited about for 2012?

[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!

Jason Latour

Loose Ends 4

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.

Jason Latour is a writer/artist, most recently the writer of Loose Ends. He spoke with Tim O’Shea about the miniseries in July.

Patrick Zircher

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.

Patrick Zircher is an artist, who explored the 1920s/1930s era of the Marvel universe in 2011 with the five-issue miniseries, Mystery Men. He spoke with Tim O’Shea about the miniseries in May.

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B.P.R.D. goes to hell in 2012 with five new miniseries

'It's all going to hell in 2012'

Following the teaser they sent out last week, Dark Horse Comics has announced five new B.P.R.D. titles that’ll be released next year and will “shake the organization to its very core.”

Here’s the line-up:

  • First up, in February comes B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death, written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, with art by James Harren (Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest, Heralds). A team is sent to the deadly woods from New World to investigate a new series of disappearances, but they discover more than just the monster responsible, as loyalties are questioned and tensions mount!
  • March will see the release of B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror, written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, with art by Jason Latour (Wolverine, Scalped) and an all-new cover by Becky Cloonan. This chilling two-issue series brings a B.P.R.D. crew into the grips of a backwoods vampire clan hiding out in a Gothic southern home.
  • Next, in May comes B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth­: The Transformation of J. H. O’Donnell, pairing Mike Mignola with Scott Allie again for the discovery of what drove the Bureau’s expert on ancient foes to near madness after a mission with Hellboy 24 years earlier. This supernatural thrill ride features art by B.P.R.D. newcomer Max Fiumara (Amazing Spider-Man) and a cover by Becky Cloonan.
  • That same month features the return of the regular B.P.R.D. team of Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and Tyler Crook, with B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine. The Zinco Corporation again rears its ugly head after a devastating earthquake, pitting Devon and Fenix in an uneasy alliance against bat-faced monsters and the evil empire’s other mad-science experiments! Additionally, this new series will feature covers by former Hellboy artist Duncan Fegredo.
  • Finally, Cameron Stewart returns to the B.P.R.D. universe in June with B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth­: Exorcism. In this story we learn more about Ashley Strode’s evolution as an agent after she meets up with a familiar face for a series of exorcisms in a rural Indiana town. Mike Mignola and Cameron Stewart team up to share writing duties, with pencils by Cameron and covers by Viktor Kalvachev.

“Let’s break some stuff that can’t be fixed. Let’s turn some corners where there’s no going back,” said Mike Mignola in a press release. “In both Hellboy and B.P.R.D., we’re saying, ‘Well, once we do this—once we round this corner—that’s it!’ It’s not like, ‘Oh, Batman, different costume.’ We’re doing stuff where there’s no way to fix it. That is the new reality in our world. You’re REALLY going to see that in 2012.”

Quote of the day | Jason Latour on superheroes as ‘product logos’

“I can tell you for a matter of fact that when I draw work-for-hire stuff, I get into the idea that I’m drawing Wolverine, the guy from the stories I love. I’m continuing his tale. I don’t think that I’m drawing the dude on the underwear. I legitimately love Wolverine as a character. [...] I heard Ed Brubaker say that he treats all of his stuff like it’s creator owned stuff. That’s the only way I can do it. I feel like I’m wasting my life otherwise. Listen, I have seen Wolverine juice boxes. I know that ridiculous thing exists. But the fact that it does, in some way, makes me feel like I’m getting away with something. Like knowing the depraved person I am and that I put all of my energy into drawing this Wolverine story, and then I turn around and see some kid with a Wolverine toy, and that seems subversive to me. I slipped some possibly bad, possibly raunchy art, into that kid’s life. You just get caught up in it while you’re working on it. If you care, it’s really hard to think of it as underwear. And sure, it’s overwhelming and sickening to walk into a Walmart and see nothing but Spider-Man bed sheets. Sometimes, under the right light, that’s kinda cool, though.”

– writer/artist Jason Latour, talking at length with Michel Fiffe about, among other things, working on characters that are licensed to sell toys, underwear and, yes, juice boxes

Talking Comics with Tim | Jason Latour


Loose Ends

One of the perks of working with Robot 6 is often getting to see a glimpse at a new project before it is available for purchase. This past week (thanks to the project’s colorist, Rico Renzi) I was able to read the first issue of Loose Ends, a four-issue southern crime romance miniseries by writer Jason Latour and artist Chris Brunner, which goes on sale this Wednesday, July 13. As a native of the South, it is not often I get to read comics set there–so the comics caught my attention purely on that level at first.  But then, when I started reading the issue, I realized it reminded me on some level of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal. That’s not to say Latour and company have done a wannabe story, far from it, as the creators have their own distinctive voices/styles, that mesh quite well. If the remaining three issues are as strong as this first one, I expect it will land on a few best of 2011 lists (at least mine, for sure). Latour and I discuss the first issue and other aspects of the series in this email interview. If you want a preview of the miniseries, be sure to enjoy the one CBR posted a couple of months back.

Tim O’Shea: The opening page of the first issue is all art, no narrative boxes or dialogue. Was the script always that way, or was that a creative choice you made after seeing Chris Brunner’s art for that page?

Jason Latour: Well as an artist myself I’ve worked on a few stories where I was dying to stretch a moment or let something play out visually and it just wasn’t possible. So from the start there was always an allowance for some organic growth in this script. The simplest reason for that is because I trust Chris. We’re collaborating. His point of view is equally important as mine is. If I’m doing my job then I’m inspiring him, not fencing him in. The medium itself, the page limit already does that. I tried to give him a script that communicated the tone, the pace and specific details needed to tell the story within that space. From there it’s on us as a team to communicate. If he has an idea, I listen. If he nails a scene and I’m in the way… I try to move. If he needs me to pick him up, hopefully I’m ready and able.

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HeroesCon Recap: Photo Essay/Day 3

After Saturday’s set of photos, I tried to get around and photograph a few more folks at the closing day of HeroesCon 2011.

Carla Speed McNeil

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Bunn and Latour teaming up for Captain America story? [Updated]

Captain America, by Jason Latour

It looks like Marvel’s wind-up to the July premiere of Captain America: The First Avenger will include a collaboration between artist Jason Latour and The Sixth Gun writer Cullen Bunn.

On his blog, Latour, who illustrated the well-received Silver Samurai back-up story in September’s Wolverine #1, posted a color test for Captain America to accompany the announcement of his “next short Marvel gig.” “This time I’ll be collaborating with my buddy Cullen Bunn (The Damned, The Sixth Gun),” he wrote. “Rico Renzi will also be back helping me tag team the colors. Chances are high this character is involved.”

“I’ve always kind of loved Cap,” Latour continued, “in part because at face value he’s such a seemingly nonsensical character. He really works or fails based on the sum of little considerations. That’s a real challenge, but when he does work I like him as much as any superhero around. So, fingers crossed.”

No further details were revealed, so it’s unknown whether the project will be a back-up story or one of several one-shots or miniseries the publisher tends to roll out before the release of a movie. Update: We’ve been told by Marvel that Bunn, Latour and Renzi are collaborating on a story for March’s Captain America #616, a 104-page comic marking the character’s 70th anniversary.

Latour’s other recent work includes Daredevil: Black and White, I Am an Avenger #1, Scalped #43 and, out this week, Wolverine #5. Noche Roja, his graphic-novel collaboration with Simon Oliver, will be released by Vertigo next month. Bunn, the co-creator of The Damned, The Sixth Gun and The Tooth, wrote Immortal Weapons #2: Bride of Nine Spiders and Deadpool
Team-Up
#888 for Marvel.

Chain Reactions | Wolverine #1

Wolverine #1

This week was marked by the debut of a new Wolverine series — it’s at least the seventh, by Douglas Wolk’s reckoning — in which the hirsute mutant goes, quite literally, to hell. Or at least his soul does. His body, meanwhile, is on Earth, possessed by demons who have nefarious plans for the fleshy vessel.

The premise undoubtedly leads more than a few readers to cringe, at least until they consider the creators behind the storyline: writer Jason Aaron (Scalped, Wolverine: Weapon X) — it’s based in part on an idea he pitched for Hellblazer — and artist Renato Guedes (Superman, Supergirl).

“It’s my ‘Heroic Age’ story of sending Wolverine to hell and watching him grapple with this sense of hope and faith and what’s really more scary to him: more of the same old dark, pessimistic Logan he’s always been, or him actually thinking that there is a chance things can get better and wonder where he fits into that,” Aaron tells USA Today.

But the first issue also includes a Silver Samurai back-up feature by Aaron, artist Jason Latour and colorist Rico Renzi, which, judging from the reviews, may have stolen the lead story’s thunder.

Here’s just a sampling of what people are saying about Wolverine #1:

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