Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Jock has unveiled some of the early concept art he created for the upcoming sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, which marks the directorial debut of author and screenwriter Alex Garland (Sunshine, Dredd).
Opening Jan. 21 in the United Kingdom and April 10 in the United States, the film centers on a computer programmer who wins the chance to spend a week in the mountain retreat of a gifted Internet billionaire, only to learn he’s to participate in an experiment involving artificial intelligence house in the body of a robot girl.
Ahead of the arrival of the landmark 250th issue, Todd McFarlane has unveiled “The Evolution of Spawn,” a graphic tracing the character’s numerous costumes, from the original design to the Greg Capullo-drawn Commando Spawn to Jonboy Meyers’ upcoming interpretation.
“And if you’re doing the math, that’s 24 YEARS. TWENTY-FOUR!!!!!!!!” McFarlane writes on Facebook. “It’s cool to look back and see how things have changed since 1992….it’s hard to believe we’re already coming up on our #250th issue.”
Wytches artist Jock, who earlier created scene-transition illustrations for a Gotham TV spot, returns to the city’s gritty streets for an ad spotlighting the Fox drama’s breakout character: Oswald Cobblepot, as played by Robin Lord Taylor.
“Gotham needs me,” states The Penguin, the master manipulator. “I am its future.”
If you’ve been itching to get your hands on some of those posters created for Mondo’s “75 Years of Batman” gallery show, here’s your chance. With the exhibit in Austin, Texas, now closed, the collectible-art boutique is making the remaining prints available for purchase, beginning Tuesday.
The sale, which will of course be announced at a random time on the Mondo Twitter feed, begins with stunning pieces by Jock, Francesco Francavilla, Alex Pardee, Matt Taylor, We Buy Your Kids, JC Richard, Tom Whalen and Brandon Holt. Check them out below, and keep an eye on Twitter on Tuesday.
Ahead of the release of the solicitations for February, Vertigo has unveiled the cover for the debut issue of Suiciders, the post-apocalyptic epic from Joker and Batman: Noel artist Lee Bermejo.
Originally announced in July 2013 for release later that year, Suiciders marks Bermejo’s debut as writer and artist on an ongoing series. Thirty years after a massive earthquake left Los Angeles in ruins, the city rises once more due to Suiciders, a television series that pits enhanced competitors against each other in bloody hand-to-hand combat using high-tech obstacles.
Bermejo illustrated the standard cover for the first issue, while Jock will provide the variant.
For those of us who can’t make it to Austin for Mondo’s gallery show celebrating the 75th anniversary of Batman, Slashfilm has rounded up all of the prints and paintings on display. It’s an incredible collection of works that draws inspiration from television, film and comic books, although more the first two than the list.
However, ROBOT 6 favorites Jock and Francesco Francavilla do stick close to home with their contributions: Batman: Year One (in regular and variant varieties), by Jock; Batman & Dracula: Red Rain by Francavilla; and Batman: The Black Mirror, a collaboration between the two of them.
Editorial cartoons | The New York Times has apologized to readers who were offended by an editorial cartoon about India’s space program that depicted the country as a man in traditional dress, leading a cow and knocking at the door of the “Elite Space Club.” “The intent of the cartoonist, Heng Kim Song, was to highlight how space exploration is no longer the exclusive domain of rich, Western countries,” reads the apology, signed by editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal. “Mr. Heng, who is based in Singapore, uses images and text — often in a provocative way — to make observations about international affairs. We apologize to readers who were offended by the choice of images in this cartoon. Mr. Heng was in no way trying to impugn India, its government or its citizens.” [The New Indian Express]
Fans of Batman, and of Jock, take note: The acclaimed artists of such series as The Losers and the upcoming Wytches has donated a page from Detective Comics #871 for an eBay auction to benefit a 2-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Although Nathaniel’s prognosis is said to be good, he faces a few years of treatment, during which time his parents will have to make regular trips to the hospital.
Fox’s upcoming drama Gotham of course borrows heavily from 75 years of DC Comics history, with its own take on characters like James Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Catwoman, The Riddler and Bruce Wayne. And, as anyone who’s seen any of the promo spots likely noticed, it also co-opts comic book imagery, most noticeable in the shots of Martha Wayne’s broken pearl necklace and young Bruce screaming in the alley between the bodies of his parents.
But in the latest promo, called “Heroes Aren’t Born, They’re Forged,” Fox uses actual images created by a comic artist — former Detective Comics artist Jock, who’s responsible for perhaps the most iconic Joker cover in recent memory. His contribution to the TV spot is three beautiful scene-transition illustrations, featuring the aforementioned alley shot, a determined young Bruce and a sniveling Oswald Cobblepot.
You can see the other two pieces, and the promo spot, below. Gotham premieres Sept. 22 on Fox.
Mondo has announced the complete lineup for the inaugural MondoCon, the Sept. 20-21 event in Austin, Texas, celebrating film, music, art and toys. And it turns out the participation of artists Geof Darrow, Francesco Francavilla, Jock, Mike Mignola and Bernie Wrightson is only the tip of the comics presence.
There’s the world premiere of Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD, a documentary celebrating 35 years of the influential comics anthology (watch the trailer below); a “Designing Movies” panel, with Darrow, Jock, Mignola, Wrightson and others discussing their film work; and “Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy,” which includes a presentation of eight minutes of never-before-seen animation from an uproduced adaptation of his comic.
The art gallery and online store Mondo has announced the inaugural MondoCon, a Sept. 20-21 event in Austin, Texas, designed to celebrate film, music, art and toys. It will coincide with the first weekend of Alamo Drafthouse’s annual Fantastic Fest.
The initial wave of guests includes such comics artists as Geof Darrow, Francesco Francavilla, Jock, Mike Mignola and Bernie Wrightson. To mark the occasion, Mondo has also announced a Bride of Frankenstein limited-edition print by Mignola, on sale Thursday at MondoTees.com.
“We specifically picked these first 15 to show a sampling of what to expect from MondoCon,” Mondo Creative Director Justin Ishmael explains on the event website. “Not only will we have people that we’ve worked with before, but we’ll also have guys that we’ve been HUGE fans of showing up, too. We want you in the same room as Mike Mignola who is also in the same room as Richey Beckett who has a booth next to Geof Darrow, etc. Picture walking down that aisle and stopping at like every booth. That’s at least the idea and if you do or not is obviously up to you, but if we were to walk into a convention and these guys were all there, it’d be a day long event for me going around bugging everyone. The thing is that we’re 100% fans of everyone in this room.”
MondoCon will feature new artwork and products, as well as panels and special screenings. Tickets, which go on sale Wednesday, cost $35 for one day and $70 for the full weekend.
DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint has been releasing one-shot anthologies on a fairly regular basis, using them to dust off old titles like Strange Adventures, The Witching Hour and Mystery in Space, which gives contributors a general theme, and likely helps the publisher maintain trademarks.
Despite once being as common as mutant superheroes are today, anthologies of any kind haven’t been readily embraced in the modern marketplace, and one imagines the ever-increasing costs of comics doesn’t help. These Vertigo titles, featuring short, generally forgettable, riff-like stories from a multitude of creators — which the law of averages suggests will include some stories a reader won’t like — will run you $7.99, just two bucks shy of an ad-free, spine-having trade paperback collection of Image Comics’ Pretty Deadly … or Vertigo’s own FPB: Federal Physics Bureau.
This year the imprint is trying something slightly different: It’s still publishing $8 anthologies, with a variety of creative teams riffing on a theme, but rather than raiding long-faded DC titles (sorry if you were waiting for a revival of More Fun Comics or Adventures of Bob Hope),Vertigo is going with a sort of printing theme. Four anthologies, published on a quarterly basis, each using one of the four basic colors of traditional printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK. If nothing else, this will make repackaging and reselling these stories in a trade format a little easier, as the theme will be consistent between a series of anthologies.
The cyan issue debuted this week; it’s a very strikingly designed comic. The cover by designer Jared K. Fletcher is simple and understated, and it pops off the comics rack and begs for special attention. Even the two-page table of contents, in which each story is given a paint swathe-like panel of cyan/different shades of blue, is lovely (I feel tempted to make a joke about combining the thrill of reading a table of contents with the thrill of picking out a paint color, but I can’t; I genuinely dug those pages on an aesthetic level).
So the idea is rather inspired, as is the design — but how are the stories? Par for the course, I suppose. Some good, some bad, some mediocre; some clever uses of the theme, some that seem to ignore it all together. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Attention fans of Jock and Batman: On Wednesday the artist will debut a gorgeous screen print based on one of his splash pages from Batman: The Black Mirror, available for purchase from his website for just 48 hours.
The 24-inch by 36-inch screen print comes in two versions: black and white ($50), and purple ($65). The same panel was the basis for a statue in DC Collectibles’ Batman Black and White series.
Follow Jock on Twitter to find out when on Wednesday the prints go on sale.
Australian fashion company Black Milk Clothing has debuted a Batman collection, featuring comics-inspired apparel ranging from dresses to leggings to swimsuits. While the flashiest piece may be the Batman Cape Suit, with detachable cape, the standout items are probably those that incorporate actual comic-book art by the likes of Neal Adams, Brian Bolland, Terry Dodson and Jock.
You can check out some of the pieces below, along with a video, which gets annoying fairly quickly.
Legal | Ecuadorean cartoonist Xavier Bonilla has received a court summons on unspecified charges that seem to relate to a cartoon that President Rafael Correa finds offensive. The case was brought by Ecuador’s new media regulator; Correa has stepped up attacks on the press in recent years, and the newspaper that runs Bonilla’s cartoons, El Universo, has been prosecuted in the past. [Business Standard]
Censorship | Michael Dooley looks at successful and unsuccessful attempts to remove comics from schools and libraries over the past 13 years; this short roundup is informative in its own right, and it’s apparently a sidebar to a longer article that’s not available for free. [Print Magazine]