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Jeffrey Brown takes aim at the Transformers again in Incredible Change-Bots Two

Or does he? According to cartoonist Jeffrey Brown’s interview with CBR’s Alex Dueben, the upcoming sequel to his hit transforming-robot action-parody Incredible Change-Bots owes a bit less to the robots in disguise and more to his desire just to play around some more with the characters he concocted for Volume One — and to spoof the Superman mythos, of all things…

There are a lot of superhero parodies, but not a lot of transforming fighting robot parodies. Does it help, knowing you’re treading on ground no one’s covering?

[Laughs] It’s hard to say how much that helped. I think especially with the second book, it became less a parody of Transformers and more just being interested in these characters…who just happen to have the same functions as Transformers. It becomes more of its own thing. I think it’s one reason why I’ve enjoyed the Change-Bots stuff more than I enjoyed doing [the superhero parody] “Bighead.” It doesn’t feel as much like it’s something that’s been done to death already.

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New Chicago Comics exhibit runs all this month

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

To highlight the New Chicago Comics exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, NBC Chicago ran the above segment, which features creators Jeffrey Brown and Paul Hornschemeier talking about their work. The exhibit features their work, as well as that of Lilli Carré and Anders Nilsen.

Via Flog

Top Shelf rolls out 2011 books

LOEG goes to Carnaby Street

Mark your calendar and start saving your pennies: Top Shelf has announced its entire 2011 lineup, in chronological order, and it’s going to be quite a year. In addition to a varied line of adult graphic novels, the indy publisher is greatly expanding its children’s line and inaugurating a “Kids Club” website just for those books. Some highlights:

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol III): Century #2 – 1969, by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill: The latest chapter of Moore’s epic moves to 1960s London, the epicenter of psychedelic cool. Due out in July.

Any Empire, by Nate Powell: Powell won an Eisner Award two years ago for Swallow Me Whole, and now he’s back with another book about the secrets of childhood, this one focusing on violence in suburbia. Also due out in July.

Incredible Change-Bots Two, by Jeffrey Brown: The catalog text describes this as “a nostalgic tribute not only to Saturday morning cartoons but also to Jeffrey Brown’s Incredible Change-Bots One,” which is as good a reason as any for fans of the first book to pick up the second. Watch for it in March.

Gingerbread Girl, by Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin (who we interviewed last summer about it): This sounds like a pileup of wackiness, with multiple narrators following a young woman, trying to see if her mad-scientist father used part of her brain to make her a sister. Due out in May.

Okie Dokie Donuts (Story 1): Open for Business, by Chris “Elio” Eliopoulos: Trouble in the donut shop! Chris Eliopoulos is an animator for the children’s television show Yo Gabba Gabba, and you can see his webcomic The Bravest Nino at the Top Shelf site. Due out in June.

And, for those who can’t get enough alternative manga, another volume of AX! There’s a lot more in their catalog, so go, read, and plan!

Gift suggestions for every taste | Vintage X-Men game, Brown’s cat cards

Wolverine by Dan Panosian

Brigid did a round-up yesterday of various holiday gift-giving suggestions, so I thought I’d follow suit with some that I’ve seen lately.

• The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is auctioning off original art by Paul Pope, Eric Powell, Gabriel Hardman, Tom Fowler, Dan Paosian and many more, as well as lunch with Chew writer John Layman in New York next week.

• I remember shoveling a whole bunch of quarters into the X-Men arcade game back in the day; my friend Mike and I beat the game as Nightcrawler and Wolverine. If you have an Xbox fan in your life, they too can fight the Blob, Magneto and more in side-scrolling action, as the game will be available on Xbox Live Arcade Dec. 15. The PlayStation Network, unfortunately, won’t get it until February, so you’ll have to find something else this holiday season for the PS3 fan in your life. Joy to the world! The game will hit the PlayStation Network Dec. 14!

• Khepri Comics is selling Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon’s Atelier, a comic they created to sell at conventions.

• Comics creator Ben Towle has a 20 percent off sale going in his web store, where you can purchase original art from books like Midnight Sun, signed copies of Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean and superhero commissions.

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Buy tons of Top Shelf books for $3

You can buy this book for three bucks

You can buy this book for three bucks

Goodness gracious, look at all the terrific titles that are on sale for $3 over at Top Shelf Productions’ website. That’s some 70 in all, including books by Alan Moore, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, Scott Morse, Liz Prince, and Renee French. Another 30-plus comics and graphic novels are also on sale for suitably impressive amounts — the complete Lost Girls from Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie and the complete Alec: The Years Have Pants by Eddie Campbell may be purchased for just $25 and $20 respectively, for pete’s sake. Top Shelf’s $3 Sale lasts through Friday, September 24th, so get ‘em while the gettin’s good!

Big savings on Side A and Side B

In a story that is becoming depressingly familiar in the comics world, Rachel Dukes and Mike Lopez, the creative force behind Poseur Ink, are having a family emergency and need to sell off all their copies of their music-themed comics anthologies Side A and Side B.

Right now Side A, which includes work by Sean Azzopardi and Julia Wertz, is just five bucks, while Side B, with a cover by Lucy Knisley and comics by Knisley, Box Brown, Jeffrey Brown, Brandon Graham and Mitch Clem, among others, is $11.99. (Here’s a review, and Johanna Draper Carlson, who picked it up at MoCCA, said “So far, the best anthology I’ve seen all year.”)

Dukes says the books won’t be reprinted. Details on the liquidation sale are here.

SDCC ’10 | Ch-ch-ch-ch-Change-Bots Two with Jeffrey Brown

icbtwocoverroughcrop_lgThe ‘Bots are back in town! Well, they will be sooner or later, anyway — attending the San Diego Comic-Con is keeping creator Jeffrey Brown from polishing off the last few pages of Incredible Change-Bots Two, the sequel to his loving parody of the Transformers and Go-Bots of ’80s action-figure and cartoon fame, until August. (And yes, the “two” is fully spelled out.) But it’s not keeping him from talking to us about the upcoming Top Shelf release, one of, like, a bajillion books the publisher talked up at its panel today.

How long have you been planning Incredible Change-Bots Two? Did you need to see how the first volume did, or were you full-steam-ahead from the jump?

I started thinking about it shortly after finishing the first on. The book was so much fun to write, and draw, and the characters were already kind of taking on their own life. Plus people really liked the first one, and I hope that someday I’ll make enough things that people like, that they’ll like me too.

What’s the basic scoop on the sequel, storywise? Any new ‘Bots to look forward to?

At the end of the first book, Shootertron was defeated and left in a pile of rubble on Earth while the other Change-Bots headed into space to find a new home. Shootertron wakes up, but has lost his memory, but the other Change-Bots end up back on Earth because of some miscalculations, and a run-in with Shootertron becomes inevitable. There’s lots of new ‘Bots, but they mostly get killed off right away, because there’s not enough room in the book. I liked how the old cartoons did that too, introduce a new character and then the character disappears at the end of the episode.

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Strange Tales 2 a go

Strange Tales cover by Peter Bagge & Chip Kidd

Strange Tales cover by Peter Bagge & Chip Kidd

A sequel to Marvel’s surprise-hit alternative-superhero anthology Strange Tales has long been rumored, and now a post at cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier’s blog reveals the truth: Strange Tales 2 is on its way. No official word on when it’ll arrive, or on who else will be joining the anthology this time out, but based on what The Perry Bible Fellowship‘s Nick Gurewitch has said about a Galactus strip he’s working on, and this table of contents from Jeffrey Brown’s Process minicomic boasting the inclusion of Strange Tales sketches, they seem to be likely candidates. Meanwhile, I’ve heard tell that Becky Cloonan and Michael Kupperman will be making their triumphant returns to the project. Stay tuned!

Thin wallets, fat bookshelves | A publishing news roundup

Batman and Robin by Jim Lee

Batman and Robin by Jim Lee

This is a special “WonderCon + more” edition of Thin Wallets, as we round up publishing news from last weekend’s con, plus a few other items of note …

  • DC Comics announced that they are replacing the long-delayed All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder with Dark Knight: Boy Wonder. The book will still be by the creative team of Frank Miller and Jim Lee, and is due in February 2011.
  • IDW has picked up the license to make comics based on HBO’s southern vampire show True Blood. The show’s creator, Alan Ball, is helping to develop the stories.
  • IDW will also release another version of their Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer collection — Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer: Artist Edition. The oversized hardcover will be printed as the same size as Stevens’ original art, approximately 11 by 16 inches. “You’ll be able to see his beautiful blue pencil work, you’ll be able to see the stats, all of it,” Special Projects Editor Scott Dunbier said. “It’ll be the closest thing you ever get to Dave Stevens original art.”
  • Judd Winick announced that he is writing a new Barry Ween book. “Thankfully, after, like, an eight-year hiatus, I’m actually – swear to God – I’m actually doing more ‘Barry Ween.’ I’m writing it now,” he said at his spotlight panel. Barry Ween is heading into space in the new story.
  • Image Comics is collecting The Crusades, by Steven T. Seagle and Kelley Jones, into a hardcover. The series was originally published by Vertigo. Seagle is also teaming up with artist Marco Cinello for a children’s book called Frankie Stein.
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Straight for the art | Jeffrey Brown covers Secret Wars II

Detail from Jeffrey Brown's Secret Wars II #8 cover

Detail from Jeffrey Brown's Secret Wars II #8 cover

Just in case you have some sort of crippling emotional block that prevents you from checking Robert Goodin’s wonderful Covered blog every day — since that’s the only reason I can think of why you wouldn’t — I just wanted to bring Jeffrey Brown’s cover version of Al Milgrom & Steve Leialoha’s cover for Secret Wars II #8 to your attention. (Actually, it’s sort of an X-Men-centric remix of the original.) Above is a small portion–believe me, you wanna click through and see the whole thing, if only to marvel that yes, the major antagonist for a line-dominating crossover event once dressed in an all-white version of Eddie Murphy’s leather jumpsuit from Delirious.

Straight for the art | Jeffrey Brown’s Haruki Murakami

Jeffrey Brown’s Haruki Murakami

Jeffrey Brown’s Haruki Murakami

Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s Clobberin’ Time!, the blog that posts portraits of authors by comic creators, recently posted one of Haruki Murakami by Jeffery Brown. You can see the back story on it, also by Brown, over at Kevin Church’s blog.

The many heads of Harvey Pekar

SMITH magazine's Harvey Heads

SMITH magazine's Harvey Heads

Harvey Pekar, the irascible, inimitable observational writer whose slice-of-life series American Splendor has been a cornerstone of alternative comics for decades now, turned 70 yesterday. (That’s right, he’s only seemed like a lovably grumpy old man until now.) To celebrate Pekar’s big Seven-Oh, SMITH Magazine–already the home of Harvey’s current comics outlet, The Pekar Project–has commissioned over 90 artists and counting to draw Pekar portraits for its Harvey Heads gallery. Contributors so far include Jeff Smith, Jim Mahfood, Jeffrey Brown, Alison Bechdel, Renee French, Molly Crabapple, Bryan Talbot, Bob Sikoryak, Peter Kuper, Josh Neufeld, Joshua W. Cotter, The Quitter‘s Dean Haspiel, longtime American Splendor artist Gary Dumm and many, many, many more. Click the link and soak up the splendor.

SPX announces 2009 programming

SPX 2009

SPX 2009

The programming schedule for this year’s Small Press Expo is up on their website, which includes spotlight panels on Gahan Wilson, Peter Kuper, Jeffrey Brown, John Porcellino and more, as well as a critics round table that features our own Chris Mautner and recent guest blogger Sean T. Collins, among many others:

Critics’ Roundtable

A murderers’ row of comics critics will address general issues facing comics criticism today and will candidly discuss several new and recent works in a lively, no-holds-barred, roundtable conversation. Rob Clough, Sean Collins, Gary Groth, Chris Mautner, Joe McCulloch, Tucker Stone and Douglas Wolk will share their acute critical insights with moderator Bill Kartalopoulos.

Overall it sounds like a great line-up, so check it out if you’re able. SPX will be held Sept. 26-27 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Thin wallets, fat bookshelves: A publishing news round-up

Hate Annual

Hate Annual

Fantagraphics reveals that Peter Bagge has a new Hate Annual lined up to come out next year and shares the cover image. I thought Bagge had completely given up on these, so this is very good news indeed. More Buddy Bradley! Whoo!

• While we’re talking about Fanta, it’s worth noting that Joseph Lambert of Turtle, Keep It Steady fame will be joining the Mome family. In related news, Derek van Gleason posts some teaser images of his ongoing story in that anthology.

• Alan David Doane has published an e-book of his interviews with various cartoonists and comics industry folk, including Charles Burns, Chester Brown, Seth, Dave Sim, Howard Chaykin, Mark Millar and more. You can download a copy of the book here.

• Cinebook, which translates and publishes a number of French comics for the U.S., such as Lucky Luke, has acquired the rights to the XIII series and will start releasing volumes in May of next year, with a book coming out every two months.

• Jeffrey Brown is working on a sequel to his Cat Getting Out of a Bag book. This one will be tentatively called Cat Walks.The first book was also apparently popular enough to warrant a series of tie-in postcards and journals.

• Secret Asian Man cartoonist Tak Toyoshima is moving his strip from a daily to a weekly strip, which was its original incarnation.

• Via Spurgeon: Paul E. Fitzgerald has a book out exploring Will Eisner’s time on PS Magazine.

Venditti shares ‘The Ugly Truth’

The Ugly Truth

The Ugly Truth

While some folks collect sketches of comic characters (like the Watchmen) from artists at conventions, Surrogates writer Robert Venditti collects sketches of himself — or of his baby picture, to be precise. And he’s started sharing them every Monday at his blog, starting with one by Jeffrey Brown.

(Speaking of Brown, don’t miss his Wolverine vs. Hulk strip over at the Top Shelf blog).


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