INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
As 2014 draws to a close ROBOT 6 is gearing up for its annual takeover of the Comic Book Resources home page on Jan. 1 to celebrate our anniversary. However, we’re getting a little bit of a head start with one of our annual features, “Looking Forward, Looking Back,” in which we ask creators and other comics industry figures what they liked in 2014, what they’re looking forward to in 2015 and what projects they have planned for the next 12 months.
In this installment you’ll hear from Corinna Bechko, Al Ewing, Matthew Petz, Alison Sampson, Christopher Golden, Ross Campbell, Jen Van Meter, Enrica Jang, Seth Kushner, Jane Irwin, Judith Stephens! Then come back later Thursday to see what even more creators have to share as part of our anniversary celebration.
Writer Jen Van Meter remains a creator who I continually expect, hope, what have you will gain the mainstream recognition and success that she has deserved as far back as 2002’s Hopeless Savages. So it is a great deal of resentment mixed with bewilderment when I pose the question: “In a market hungry for more well-written characters and stories from a great writer who just happens to be female, why the hell are people not raving about Doctor Mirage from every Internet social media forum?”
Comics | Almost half the attendees at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego were women, writes Yael Kohen in an article about the growing importance of women to the comics industry. He cites statistics showing that young women are the fastest-growing segment of the comics audience, talks to Image Comics President Eric Stephenson and a woman who works in a comic shop, and mentions the enduring popularity of manga and Marvel’s recent introduction of more interesting female characters. With all that material to work with, it’s too bad he started with a lead right out of the 1950s, something about a fashion show at Comic-Con, as if that’s what all those women were there for. [BloombergBusinessweek]
Creators | Writer Jen Van Meter discusses her newest project, Valiant’s first female-led series, The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage. [Hero Complex]
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where every week we talk about the comics, books and other stuff we’ve been reading lately.
Our special guest this week is musician and comic creator Nate Powell, who you might know from his most recent graphic novel, Any Empire, or the Ignatz and Eisner Award-winning Swallow Me Whole. When he’s not creating comics, he’s hanging out at the United Nations with the likes of R.L. Stine, Ann M. Martin and other teen-fiction writers in support of What You Wish For, a collection of young adult stories and poems. Proceeds from the book will be used to fund libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in Chad.
To see what Nate and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Creators | Some military personnel are upset that comics legend Stan Lee received the Honorable Order of St. Barbara award in July during the week of Comic-Con International, as the award is “traditionally reserved for career cannon cockers in the Army and Marine Corps who have made their mark on the field artillery or air defense communities.” While the award credited Lee, who served stateside in the Army during World War II, with writing “several training manuals and films for the artillery and all other branches of the service,” the co-creator of the Fantastic Four and other Marvel properties said he didn’t recall ever doing so. A spokesman for Maj. Gen. David Halverson, commander of the Army Field Artillery Center at Fort Sill, Okla., who signed off on the award, said it “was given to a former soldier and WWII veteran whose contributions, both in the Army and beyond, are in keeping with and representative of all the high standards of achievement and selfless service associated with the Honorary Order of Saint Barbara.” Lee actually missed receiving the award, as at the ceremony he also received an Army Certificate of Achievement and left before the second award could be given. [Air Force Times]
Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is Shannon Wheeler, New Yorker cartoonist and creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic book Too Much Coffee Man, Oil & Water, the Eisner-nominated I Thought You Would Be Funnier and the upcoming Grandpa Won’t Wake Up.
To see what Shannon and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
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?
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what’s on the night stands of the Robot 6 crew. This week our special guest is Kody Chamberlain, who you might know from such comics as Punks, newuniversal: 1959, The Foundation and his latest, Sweets, from Image Comics.
To see what Kody and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Today marks the release of the second issue in writer Jen Van Meter and artist Javier Pulido’s four-issue Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat miniseries. I recently had occasion to email interview Van Meter about the project, the overall collaboration experience and transitions, as well as near-term Hopeless Savages (Oni) plans (plus heist genre recommendations and covert gardening tips). After you read the interview, please be sure to check out the seven-page preview that CBR posted last week.
Tim O’Shea: In prepping for this miniseries, did you go back and read past Black Cat appearances for background? Are there any writers in particular whose approach to the character appealed to you more than others?
Jen Van Meter: I spent the most time with the early Marv Wolfman material, honestly. I like to go back to the beginning whenever I’m asked to take on a character I don’t feel I know well. The things I loved about her, particularly in Amazing Spider-Man 195, were her fierce determination and her strength — the Femme Fatale stuff is there, but it’s really overshadowed by her toughness in his treatment of her. I looked at or revisited many other appearances and caught up on the most recent stuff, but I think I really relied on Wolfman the most to tell me who she is.
Cully Hamner is an artist who never disappoints me. So I was immensely pleased that he and I were able to finalize this email interview in the chaos of the holiday season just in time for our one-year anniversary at Robot 6. We start the interview discussing his current collaboration with Greg Rucka on The Question co-feature in Detective Comics. From there, due to the film that is currently in production and the trade paperback collection that was released in mid-2009, we discussed his 2003/2004 Homage/Wildstorm collaboration with writer Warren Ellis, RED. There’s so many projects I could have discussed with Hamner, but I’m grateful he was willing to discuss RED to the degree he did. Hamner is clearly an artist who looks forward, not back–which makes me appreciate his indulging my RED interest in this discussion.
Tim O’Shea: How hard is it to convey emotion with the Question, the face is taken out of the dynamics, but you do still give a hint of her facial dynamics in certain scenes?
Cully Hamner: It’s a matter of considering that, even though you see no specific facial features, the planes of the face are still there and will react to light and shadow. It’s not a total blank, you know, Renee’s real face is under there, along with a range of expressions. So, when I look at it like that, it becomes a much simpler thing than you might think. So, what I do is just go ahead and draw an outline of the modeling on the face, and Dave McCaig (and before him Laura Martin) colors over that, and then drops my linework into a color. It’s not a full range of emotion like a detailed face would have, but I’ve been able to get across a few things well enough. Seems to work.