Crowdfunding | Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, raised $1 million in just over a week on Indiegogo to help fund the restoration of Nikola Tesla‘s laboratory as a museum, surpassing the $850,000 goal. “THANK YOU SO GODDAMN MUCH,” Inman wrote on his blog. “WE ARE GOING TO BUILD A GODDAMN TESLA MUSEUM.” There are still 34 days left in the funding campaign. [The Associated Press, The Oatmeal]
Publishing | Warren Simons, executive editor of Valiant Entertainment, discusses gathering the talent for the Valiant relaunch, refining the characters for modern-day tastes, and keeping the books accessible to new readers. He also gives some hints about what to expect from Valiant’s upcoming series Shadowman. [Previews World]
There are a few writers that I always look forward to interviewing, because they always surprise me. Jamie S. Rich is on that list. This week, while we discuss the second volume in Spell Checkers, Sons of A Preacher Man, his Oni Press collaboration with artists Nicolas Hitori De and Joëlle Jones, we also delve into the history of Rich’s cameos in comics (among other topics). In this latest Spell Checkers installment, the ladies of Spell Checkers (Jesse, Cynthia and Kimmie) have to deal with the murder of the student body president, the battle to find a new one and at the center of all the action: two brothers, who are new to the school. We also discuss the plans for the third volume in the series. Once you finish the interview, be sure to learn more about the project via Steve Sunu’s CBR interview with the whole Spell Checkers creative team, plus you can enjoy CBR’s 18-page preview of the book.
Tim O’Shea: How much stronger is the collective creative rapport between the three creators on this second volume?
Jamie S. Rich: Very strong. The first book is always a learning experience, not just in how we work together and what we need from each other, but in this case, it was also seeing how the material meshed, how Joëlle’s work jibed with Nico’s. Since I had a clearer notion of how they complemented one another, this time around I took a different approach to the flashbacks and made them almost their own story, letting Joëlle take the material darker by having it more about the new male characters that show up in this volume rather than just about the girls. I think it actually made the reading experience more cohesive, the two pieces meld in a more natural way.
Joëlle started closer to the end of production, so even though she had less to do, it became a race to see who would finish first, her or Nico. They can be pretty competitive. It was a close call. She kind of won, but nothing is every clear-cut in our universe!
Marvel’s senior VP-executive editor Tom Brevoort shares a fun blast from the past over on his Marvel.com blog: a proposal for a series called Young Avengers. But this isn’t the Allan Heinberg/Jim Cheung book that came out in 2005; it’s a proposal from 1989, by studiomates Jim Valentino and Rob Liefeld. Before Youngblood, Shadowhawk, Deadpool, X-Force or even Guardians of the Galaxy, the duo pitched a series about Namorita, Firestar, Vance Astro, Speedball and Richard Rider — as Torpedo, rather than Nova — coming together with two new characters to train under the direction of Rick Jones.
“At the time this was written in 1989, while both of them had dabbled in doing Marvel work, neither creator had really had a break-out hit. Sharing a studio at the time, they hoped that YOUNG AVENGERS might be it, with Jim writing and Rob illustrating a series they would co-plot,” Brevoort writes.
Although the pages are a bit blurry when scanned in — they were typed more than 20 years ago — you can still read about some of the plots and villains they planned to use, as well as new characters they were creating named Cougar, Brahma, Photon and Combat. Which may sound familiar to readers of Youngblood and related titles.
“As it turned out, work was already underway on the book that eventually was entitled NEW WARRIORS, which prevented this incarnation of YOUNG AVENGERS from moving ahead. It’s actually pretty extraordinary to see how close the line-up for what Jim and Rob proposed was to the eventual NEW WARRIORS team,” Brevoort writes.
If only they’d given Rick Jones some battle armor and a skateboard …
One of the pieces they’re auctioning off is a “homage” piece that Jim Valentino and Keith Champagne drew based on Hannigan’s cover to a promo book that DC put out in 1983, called DC Sampler #1. I believe this was a free item — or at least was really, really cheap — that you could get from your local comic shop. It previewed the company’s publishing plans for the coming year, with pages dedicated to Amethyst, Omega Men, Arion, Arak, Firestorm and several other DC titles at the time.
The new version, however, isn’t a one-for-one homage … the duo took the same basic layout and replaced the DC characters with ones from Marvel, as you can see in the above image. The characters in the new piece are even in the same poses as their DC counterparts (with the exception of Spider-Man, who Valentino and Champagne added to the big tower-like structure in the middle). It looks like they had a lot of fun with it.