joe kelly Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Quote of the Day | ‘Committing a sin against your talent’

i kill giants1“Forget the mythology. I don’t care that Hemingway was a drunk or the Beatles dropped acid or [Insert famous artist here] did [insert drug here]. If you are using drugs or alcohol as part of your creative process you are killing yourself slowly and as a friend of mine once put it, you’re ‘committing a sin against your talent.’

You can’t die of a heroin overdose if you never try heroin. You can’t kill someone in a drunk driving accident if you never pick up the first drink. You won’t throw up your guts or have liver failure or lose your mind from illegal substances if you don’t put things in your body that do not belong there.

There are other ways to sin against your talent, but drugs and alcohol are easily avoided and if you are serious about being a writer/artist/musician/creative soul. Madness is not mandatory. It is not even recommended. The romanticized idea that the drug-addled creative lives a more authentic life is 100% horseshit manufactured to justify self-destructive behavior.

You can create art while sober. You can experience mind-blowing sights and sounds with a clear head. You can access deeper meaning and glimpse the secrets of the universe just by being present.

The world will be more beautiful, more authentic, more amazing, because you will be a part of it instead of stumbling towards it.”

– writer Joe Kelly, reflecting on the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and the notion that “drugs and booze were a prerequisite for a creative life”

For one night only: Ed McGuinness revisits ‘Deadpool’


Although he’s currently known for his work on brawny heroes like Superman and Red Hulk, upcoming Astonishing X-Men artist Ed McGuinness got his big break from a very different kind of hero: a merc with a mouth. In 1997, he and writer Joe Kelly joined forces to put the ’90s anti-hero Deadpool head-deep in hijinks and human suffering, and gave the mercenary an oddly lovable supporting cast that included Blind Al and Weasel. The series gained cult status among for its ballsy slapstick humor that grew to become a trademark for the once-dark character.

And now, Marvel is pulling together Kelly and McGuinness’ run — along with a few extras — in a massive tome titled Deadpool by Joe Kelly Omnibus. Although I have a bit of an issue with not including the artist’s name in that title, I’m excited to get all these issues in my hand. For this early 2014 collection, Marvel commissioned McGuinness to create a cover commemorating the run. “It was a blast revisiting these characters,” the artist wrote on his DeviantArt page.

Deadpool by Joe Kelly Omnibus is scheduled for release in January.

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Comics A.M. | Lawyer in ‘Oatmeal’ feud loses another dispute

Charles Carreon

Charles Carreon

Legal | The final chapter of The Oatmeal vs. Charles Carreon has been completed (we hope), and it’s not a shining moment for Carreon: A judge has ordered him to pay $46,000 in attorney’s fees to the creator of a Satirical Charles Carreon website, whom he threatened with legal action. Carreon eventually dropped his suit, but the whole dispute escalated anyway, and the judge cited his “malicious conduct” in awarding the fees. [Ars Technica]

Digital comics | Amazon has quietly launched Kindle Comic Creator, which allows creators to upload various types of files and make them into e-books to be sold in the Kindle store; the software has its own system for creating panel-by-panel view, and the finished product can be read on a wide variety of Kindles and Kindle apps. [Good E-Reader]

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Viz Media announces ‘Ben 10 Omniverse’ graphic novels


Viz Media has been busy snapping up licenses for its VizKids imprint, and now has announced a new one: a series of Ben 10 Omniverse graphic novels that will tie in with the Cartoon Network show.

Ben 10 Omniverse is the fourth iteration of the Ben 10 cartoon created by four comics writers (Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle), beginning as the story of 10-year-old Ben Tennyson, who changes into different types of aliens with the help of a device called the Omnnitrix. In Ben 10 Omniverse, Ben is now 15 and has a new Omnitrix that transforms him into different creatures. His Grandpa Max pairs him up with a rookie plumber named Rook (who’s “highly skilled with his Proto-Tool, but lacks any field experience,” according to the press release) to explore an alien city and stay one step ahead of the bad guys who are in hot pursuit. If this is making you feel a little lost, here’s some good news: Cartoon Network is having a “Ben 10 Bootcamp” this weekend, with 17 hours of Ben 10 programming so everyone can catch up.

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Duo uses modern technology to create throwback series, A.K.A.

For a comic series that owes its inspiration to throwback grindhouse films, A.K.A. sure uses cutting-edge technology to get it done. The retro revenge story by Steven Walters and Rob Reilly is set to hit shelves this summer, but it’s already made its premiere digitally — and it wouldn’t have been finished at all if it weren’t for online fundraising. The story follows a mob bodyguard tasked to take down his boss’ rival after the target is found carousing with the boss’ daughter.

A.K.A. is a 4 part,70’s grindhouse inspired, crime/action mini-series about what happens when you cross the wrong people,and those people who put a million dollar bounty on your head afterwards,” Walters explains.

A.K.A.‘s creators took full advantage of the modern tools of digital comics publishing to see their idea to fruition. In May 2011, Reilly and Walters used Kickstarter to fund the lettering and coloring of the four-part series, and now in February of this year they debuted the full series exclusive to digital on And now they’re taking the book to the next stage of its journey with a print edition available for pre-order in this month’s Previews.

Here’s a four-page preview of the first issue:

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I Kill Giants wins International Manga Award

I Kill Giants, the 2008 miniseries by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura, has won the top prize in the fifth International Manga Award competition, established by Japan’s Foreign Ministry to honor comics produced abroad. It’s the first American comic to win the honor, characterized as “the Nobel Prize of manga.”

Originally published by Image Comics, I Kill Giants is a coming-of-age tale that follows a troubled fifth-grader who retreats into a fantasy world where she battles monsters both real and imagined.

According to The Mainichi Daily News, the ministry received 145 entries from 30 countries and territories, including 38 from Thailand, 21 from Malaysia and 16 from China. Silver awards went to Pan Liping from China, Cory from Taiwan and Tanis Werasakwong from Thailand.

The winners will receive their awards Friday during a ceremony in Tokyo, part of a 10-day stay during which they’ll meet with Japanese cartoonists and publishers, and visit the Tohoku region, which was hit hard last spring by the earthquake and tsunami.

SDCC ’10 | A roundup of Saturday’s news

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International

Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, once upon a time, was “big movie day” at the con … back before every day became big movie day at the con. Still, today somewhat lived up to its reputation for being eventful, as the Avengers assembled on stage, Green Lantern movie footage was shown and one poor fan was stabbed in the eye while attending programming in Hall H, where several of the big movie panels took place. The victim was taken to UCSD Medical Center, while his attacker was taken away by police after attendees detained him.

In happier news, here’s what was announced on the comics front:

• Marvel Editor-in-Chief and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada confirmed that Marvel is “gonna be doing some CrossGen stuff.” CrossGen, which published numerous titles like Sojourn, Way of the Rat, Abadazad and Meridian starting 1998, went bankrupt in 2004. Disney bought their assets that same year.

Their titles covered many different genres, from fantasy to horror to detective stories. “I think with the CrossGen stuff you’re going to see us attempt a little more genre publishing, which I think is much-needed in our imprint,” Quesada said. No word yet on what properties they plan to bring back.

• Kurt Busiek announced that American Gothic, the urban fantasy comic announced at last year’s WildStorm panel, will now be called Witchlands. The series will be drawn by Connor Willumson. Busiek is also working on an Arrowsmith novel titled Arrowsmith: Far from the Fields We Know, which will include illustrations by Carlos Pacheco.

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WonderCon | Photos from day one

Wow, I’m tired .. had a blast today, but I’m wiped out. I wanted to write something up about the first day of WonderCon, but instead I’m just gonna show off some pictures and go to bed. It’s been a long day, and tomorrow will be longer.

Note that the first six pics here are courtesy of Carla Hoffman, so I’m not entirely sure what some of them are of; the rest are mine.

Joe Kelley and a really big fan

Joe Kelly and a really big fan

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