Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
Amid the tumult of New York Comic Con, i09.com was able to zero in on one of the burning questions of the day: What would Donald Trump look like as various supervillains?
So one of the website’s contributors headed down Artists Alley to ask a handful of creators, including Joe Staton, Jim Mahfood and Nathan Fox, to try their hands at it. And, boy, are we glad they did. The results ranged from Poison Ivy to The Joker to Ursula, but Fox’s MODOK easily emerges the winner.
As television shows go, Jem and the Holograms and Miami Vice couldn’t possibly be more different. The former, which aired from 1985 to 1988, was a children’s carton that also functioned as an extended ad campaign for an accompanying toy line, while the latter, which ran from 1984 to 1989, was an hour-long adult police drama.
Other than their medium and the decade in which they were produced — and, perhaps, how readily they embraced and celebrated the pop culture of that era — a viewer would have trouble finding a whole lot of similarities between the two.
Now, more than 25 years after both shows ended, they have something new in common: They’re being adapted as comic books released by IDW Publishing.
Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about, as it says above, “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to a cool publisher’s announcement to an awesome comic that came out. So without further ado, let’s get to it …
One of Jack Kirby’s less-remembered sci-fi creations, Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, will be revived in July with a Dynamite Entertainment series by writer Joe Casey and a lineup of artists that includes Farel Dalrymple, Nathan Fox, Michel Fiffe, Jim Rugg and Jim Mahfood.
Dynamite previously published the six-issue miniseries Jack Kirby: Genesis — Captain Victory in 2011-2012.
If you’ve only seen Jim Mahfood’s comics, you’ve only experienced half of the fun.
Los Angeles’ Hero Complex Gallery and the Last Bookstore are partnering for a unique two-part event showcasing the artist’s work. The Last Bookstore will host a book signing and Q&A for Mahfood’s Visual Funk art book, while Hero Complex Gallery will showcase a retrospective of Mahfood’s work from comics as well as animation, advertising, murals and even some body painting and live art. The signing and Q&A will take place Saturday, Nov. 16 from 3 p.m. to 5.p.m., while the art exhibit will run from Nov. 15 through Nov. 23.
Here’s a poster Mahfood created for the event:
It doesn’t look like there were as many comic-related announcements on Saturday at WonderCon as there were on Friday, but the second day of the con certainly brought some gems.
• IDW and DC announced that Mark Waid (Daredevil, Insufferable) and Paul Smith (Uncanny X-Men, Leave it to Chance) are teaming up for The Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction. “Not many writers have been lucky enough to write The Rocketeer or The Spirit,” Waid said in a press release, “so I feel like I’ve won the lottery. This is one of the most exciting-and scariest-assignments I’ve ever undertaken. Luckily, I’ve got Paul Smith to make me look good!” The first issue of the miniseries arrives in July.
This week, your favorite U.K. comic shops and online retailers should have received Everybody Loves Tank Girl, the latest volume in the ongoing saga of everyone’s favorite kangaroo-lovin’ chaos magnet (it will arrive in the United States next week). Since co-creator Alan Martin brought the character back in 2007, she’s been drawn by a succession of amazing artists: Ashley Wood, Rufus Dayglo and the elusive, legendary Mick McMahon. For this book, Martin has teamed with the great Jim Mahfood, marking the first time the U.K. comics icon has been drawn by an American.
Mahfood has made no secret of his love for Tank Girl, and he has clearly relished the opportunity to draw her and her extended cast of violence-loving misfits, producing some of the best work of his career. ROBOT 6 sat down with Martin to discuss this project and its unique origins, Tank Girl’s ongoing momentum, and the rumors that he is again working with the character’s co-creator Jamie Hewlett, still the only comic book artist in living memory to have ever quit the business to become a bona fide international pop star.
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.
Jim Mahfood provides cover art for the comic-loving DJ Food et al’s Solid Steel Caught In The Middle of a 3-Way Mix, a rather great tribute to The Beastie Boy’s Paul’s Boutique. Below the break: Dan Panosian, Michael Cho, Charles Burns and more.
In May 2011, Ryan Ballard began a quest to create the perfect birthday gift for his father, a comics fan with whom he shares a love of Preacher, the acclaimed Vertigo series by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon and Glenn Fabry. So Ryan bought a copper album embossed with Fabry’s cover art for Issue #56 and set off to fill the book filled with sketches of Preacher characters from a range of artists. More than a year later, Ryan finally presented his father with the finished album, complete with art from the likes of Dillon, Fabry, Jim Mahfood, Rufus Dayglo, Ryan Kelly, Leigh Gallagher and Duncan Fegredo.
Ryan’s appreciative father thanked all of the artists who contributed, passing along this message: “This is a heads up to all the fantastic faces who invested their time, effort and skill in Ryan’s quest. My sincere and deepest thank you, it would be true to say that I learned to read from comics but your visuals opened my eyes and imagination.”
For his part, Ryan merely reminds his father he has a herculean task ahead of him: My birthday is in August, no pressure Dad …” See some of the sketches below, and visit the Preacher Project to see many more.
(hat tip to Leigh Gallagher)
It’s Wednesday again, right (checks watch)? Jim Mahfood has made a video laying out an excellent case as to why you should get down to your local comic shop and buy the first issue of Everybody Loves Tank Girl, the Titan Comics miniseries by he and Alan Martin. Especially if your local is Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, which is hosting the release party.
It’s fast becoming Jamaica Dyer week here at Robot 6. Yesterday she contributed to the weekly What Are You Reading column, and today she is the subject of an interview. Dyer joined me in this email interview mostly to discuss the serialization of her graphic novel, Fox Head Stew (at MTV Geek), the tale of two twentysomethings–Dee and Sam (aka Bunny Boy)–making their way through life. But she was also enthused to discuss the Isotope Comics-arranged Live Art Show as part of San Francisco’s Noise Pop Music Festival 20th Anniversary. My thanks to Dyer for her time.
Tim O’Shea: While Fox Head Stew is being serialized at MTV Geek, I am curious are you looking to release it through a traditional publisher at some point?
Jamaica Dyer: Yes, I would love to see Fox Head Stew printed as a book. I don’t have a publisher for it yet but I’m definitely on the market! I did some print-on-demand copies last year and it looks amazing on paper. Finding a publisher for it is difficult, because while it’s the sort of story that indie publishers like, they typically only print black and white books, and I have to insist on having it printed in color. It’s my own fault for insisting on painting the whole thing!
My hope is that through exposure on MTV Geek, the audience might decide that a book about girls experimenting in college, glam rock bands, and psychedelic fantasy sequences rendered in watercolor are the sort of stories they want to read in comics! There’s a definite perception in mainstream comics of superheros and action stories, but this is an exciting opportunity to change that perception and expose new genres to the MTV audience.
When the first season of NBC’s Community comes out on DVD Sept. 21, it will kick punch.
A plot line on the show had community college students Troy and Abed create their own superhero, Kickpuncher, “the hero whose cyber-punches have the power of kicks.” Entertainment Weekly reports that when the DVD collection arrives, it will include a comic book starring the hero, written by the fictional Troy Barnes and drawn by a very real Jim Mahfood.
“The comic book is written by Troy Barnes, Donald Glover’s character, within the Greendale universe,” said executive producer Dan Harmon. “The idea is that he was in an art class with Jim Mahfood – who I’ve known for a long time — who’s a really cool underground, yet successful, comic book artist and muralist. The idea is that he’s an art student at Greendale and had an art class with Troy, who took a shine to his talents and decided to take him under his wing as a protégé and do this comic book. So it’s from the mind of Troy Barnes, which can be a little scattered. At times he’s not a master storyteller, but he is an entertainer.”
To see Kickpuncher in action on Community, check out the video after the jump …
The Kids of Widney High are a group of students with developmental and physical challenges from J. P. Widney High School, a special education center in Los Angeles, Calif., who write and perform original songs, appear in movies like The Ringer and, according to a press release I received today, also write comics.
Per the release, The Kids of Widney High: Beyond the Sky’s the Limit is written entirely by members of the band and illustrated by Chuck B.B., Jim Mahfood, Rafael Navarro, Rikki Niehaus, Neal Von Flue, Robbi Rodriguez and Chris Brandt.
“The comic book medium provided a new way for the members of the band to not only communicate some of their challenges and frustrations, but many of their triumphs and fantasies as well,” said editor/publisher Mike Wellman. “All of the dialogue spoken by the characters in the book was drawn directly from quotes recorded during story sessions and really captures the spirit of the band. It was a very unique way to tie a story together!”
The book’s in the current issue of Diamond’s Previews catalog and will be published by Atomic Basement Entertainment. Kids of Widney High member Tony Whitfield proudly says that the comic is “the music that will rock your eyes!”
The first time I saw Jim Mahfood’s art was in 1999, in the pages of his creator-owned book Grrl Scouts. The book was filled with cute chicks, hip hop, comics and weed, pretty much everything that made me want to move to Los Angeles a year previous. (Sorry, Mom!) Every page was crammed full with Mahfood’s manic, graffiti-inspired line work and laid-back, don’t-give-a-fuuuuuuuuck sense of humor. I was in heaven!
Ten years later, I’m still in LA and Mahfood is still kicking it. His semi-irregular online series Los Angeles Ink Stains is one of the best comics on the web. Each auto-bio installment documents random highlights from his life in Southern California. The subjects range from late night taco runs to creating art to mourning his long-lost best friend.
Mahfood chronicles it all with that same expressive, always-experimenting artwork, and sincere storytelling that doesn’t go for easy glamorization. Rain or shine, moment of glory or walk of shame, Mahfood shares it all.
It’s a fantastic way to experience Los Angeles beyond what you see in US Magazine — the house parties, the creativity, the beach, the good friends, and the lost loves. And the amazing tacos. It makes me nostalgic for a place I’ve never left.