To see what Ales and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Marvel NOW! is, well, now, with the launch of the you-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter comic Uncanny Avengers last Wednesday. The first issue, by Rick Remender, John Cassaday, Laura Martin and Chris Eliopoulos, follows up on the conclusion of Avengers vs. X-Men as Captain America forms a new team that brings together members from those previously competing rivals.
Is the mix-and-match strategy oil and water, or a yummy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Here are a few thoughts from around the web:
Alex Evans, Weekly Comic Book Review: “For those familiar with Rick Remender’s work, this title is very different from anything we’ve seen from him prior. With John Cassaday’s slick, polished artwork, this is the big, flagship Marvel Comic sort of book. Rest assured, however, that Remender nonetheless nails it, giving us an issue that almost feels like an issue from an event. That said, while Remender’s usual weirdness takes a backseat, it’s still very much there, giving the book a real edge to it.”
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, I’d start with a couple of Marvel firsts, even though one of them isn’t technically a first issue: Uncanny Avengers #1 ($3.99) and Red She-Hulk #58 ($2.99). This is the first week of Marvel NOW, and they’re starting with books by creative teams I’m excited about. Next I’d get Stumptown V2 #2 ($3.99) and wind things up with the Halloween Eve one-shot. I actually supported the Kickstarter for the latter, so my copy is probably already on the way to my mailbox, but hypothetically let’s assume that it wasn’t. It’s by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, two creators whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past. So if it wasn’t coming to me in the mail, it would come home in a paper bag from the comic shop.
If I had $30, I’d add an outgoing Marvel title (Marvel THEN?), Fantastic Four #611, which features the end of Hickman’s run before he moves on to Avengers and Matt Fraction takes over the first family of Marveldom. Next I’d grab Green Lantern Corps #13 ($2.99) as I like the direction the GL books have been headed in lately, and Conan #9 ($3.50), the second half of Brian Wood’s collaboration with Vasilis Lolos. Finally, I’d grab Point of Impact #1 ($2.99), the new crime book by Jay Faerber and Koray Kuranel.
This is a splurge in price only; if I had $50, then Chris Ware’s Building Stories would definitely have been at the top of my buy list this week. It’s a big box of little comics, as Chris put it, and as luck would have it I really do have $50 in gift certificates that I got for my birthday to buy it with. Thanks Mom and Dad!
Nearly lost in the hustle and bustle of Comic-Con International was the release of the sixth installment of Threadless’ Comics-On Tees, which features Neil Gaiman’s poem “The Day the Saucers Came” as interpreted in four T-shirt designs by John Cassaday, Brandon Graham, Ben Templesmith, and Estudio Verso (the winner of the website’s Comic Book Legal Defense Fund challenge). A quarter of the sales generated from
Estudio Verso’s design all four designs will be donated to the CBLDF.
You can check out all four designs below.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has been very busy lately, fighting censorship laws and border searches, as well as launching an advertising campaign. So they’ve got a lot planned for Comic-Con this year, with plenty of chances for fans to help contribute to their cause.
Here’s a quick rundown of their merchandise, art auctions and more:
- Graphitti Designs will sell two brand-new CBLDF benefit tees — one featuring Grendel by Matt Wagner, and one featuring Uncle Sam by John Cassaday.
- Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and J. Gonzo are teaming up to benefit the CBLDF with a new Luchadore inspired print and fragrance set celebrating the launch of J. Gonzo’s new series La Mano del Destino.
- The CBLDF, Image Comics and T-shirt website Threadless will host a welcome party Thursday night, with gift bags, raffles and the launch of the new Threadless Comics Tee: Noir.
- Saturday night the CBLDF will hold an art auction featuring art by Frank Quitely, Dave Gibbons, Paul Pope, Tony Harris, Jaime Hernandez, Terry Moore, Camilla D’Errico, Bill Sienkiewicz, Stefano Gaudiano, Terry Dodson, Camilla D’Errico , Jonathan Luna and many more. Details are here.
- And lastly, they’ve got several Master Classes and panels lined up all week. Details are here.
You can check out the Graphitti Designs shirts after the jump.
The standard format for digital comics is single issues, which can be an expensive way to read an entire story. Fortunately, more and more publishers are experimenting with digital bundles and graphic novels, and here’s the biggest one of them all: ComiXology is offering Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary, all 633 pages/27 issues of it, for $24.99. (Unless I’m missing something, this is only available on comiXology’s Comics app, not on the DC app.) That’s quite a bargain compared to buying it one issue at a time, which would set you back almost $52 (the first issue is free), and it includes an eight-page introductory story as well.
This is where the rubber meets the road for potential digital customers. On the one hand, $24.99 is a lot of money for something that is “only” pixels on a screen; on the other hand, it’s cheaper than the print edition—even secondhand, if Amazon is any guide. This looks like it may be a trial balloon of sorts, as it is only available until July 16. One has to wonder why—hopefully DC isn’t going in for that “digital vault” stupidity. Once you put the package together, it should stay on the digital shelf forever—it’s not like you’re going to run out of books. On the other hand, having the deal end just before Comic-Con may be significant; maybe there’s something more on the way.
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 …
Although they may be at the top of the charts in American comics, some of the biggest artists today have some books out that most American have never seen. For years, artists working in the Anglophile comics market have moonlighted in European comics, probably most memorably with Travis Charest leaving for years to do a volume of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Metabarons.
But Charest isn’t the only one — John Cassaday did the series I Am Legion for Humanoids while working on Planetary and Astonishing X-Men, Geoff Johns and Red Star artist Christian Gossett did a story in Metal Hurlant, Terry Dodson worked on a graphic novel called Songes: Coraline, Kurt Busiek wrote a book called Redhand, and Fear Itself artist Stuart Immonen did a little-known book called Sebastian X which follows a surfer turned freedom fighter in the near future.
Yeah, I’d buy that.
And this isn’t past tense — Criminal and Incognito artist Sean Phillips spoke last month about a graphic novel he’s doing for France’s Delcourt called Void 01, which he describes as “a cat and mouse sci-fi story set on a prison ship in the depths of space”.
Yeah, I’d buy that too.
There’s no word yet on any English — American or otherwise — release of these stories.
If you’ve been a comic fan for any length of time, you’ve come to appreciate the talent and skills of certain creators. Whether they be mainstream heavyweights to cult-favorite indie cartoonists, they’re a big draw for you as a reader — and someone whose work you’d buy, sight unseen, based on their previous work you’ve loved. But just like childhood friends and lovers, sometimes they disappear, and a small piece of you longs to see them again.
Without getting too sentimental, here’s a list of some comic creators I’ve grown to love over the years that have (unfortunately) dropped off the American comics scene by-and-large. If you know them, tell them I’d raid my bank account for new work by them!
Brian K. Vaughan: Arguably one of the 21st century’s most successful creator-owned comic creators outside of Robert Kirkman, Brian K. Vaughan worked through the ranks at Marvel and DC to do both great company-owned superheroes like Runaways and The Hood, and his own inventions. After signing on to the TV series Lost, Vaughan has slowly drifted away from comics with his last series Ex Machina ending last year. DC just put out a collection of his Batman work, but no new work has been formally announced. In Vaughan’s last major recent interview, the writer states that while he’s become embroiled in movies and television, he “craves comics.” Among several television and movie projects in the works, Vaughan says that he has new comics stuff “percolating in the background.”
After 18 years, former Image studio and current DC Comics imprint WildStorm is shutting down this December. And as many have noted already, the house that Jim built has produced many awesome, memorable and even game-changing (to steal a phrase from Rob Liefeld) works in the last two decades.
Here are six of them that we found to be particularly awesome; let us know what we missed in the comments section.
1. Sleeper: There have been many comics that mash up superheroes with down-and-dirty genres like crime and espionage over the past decade; this may just be the best. The high concept is a gripping one: Super-spy Holden Carver is so deep undercover in an international super-criminal organization that when his one contact is placed in a coma, literally no one knows he’s secretly on the side of the angels. Carver’s predicament, the way he plays and gets played by both sides, his growing unwillingness or inability to draw the ethical lines needed to save his soul, if not his life–such is the stuff of a great crime drama. Superstar in the making Ed Brubaker brings all his talents and obsessions to the table here: his knack for crafting morally compromised characters while neither romanticizing their misdeeds nor softening them up, his recurring theme of how the secrets and sins of our pasts never truly leave us, his belief that damaged people seek out other damaged people to repair that damage, his eye for and ability to work with strong visual stylists. In this case that meant Sean Phillips, never better in his ability to believably root spectacular action and super-powers in a naturalist-noir milieu. All of this in a WildC.A.T.s spinoff, proving just how wild WildStorm was once willing to go.
Even its relatively short run redounds to its benefit: The complete story of Holden Carver is yours to own inexpensively, read easily, and ponder at your leisure. (Sean T. Collins)
J. Michael Straczynski’s first issue of Superman, issue #701, joins the list of comics that will feature classic DC covers redrawn by contemporary artists. However, unlike the covers unveiled so far, this one is the comic’s main cover, rather than a variant.
Check out the full cover after the jump.
In what he bills as the first part of “A Planetary Restrospective,” Funnybook Babylon’s Chris Eckert goes all Nate Silver on the Warren Ellis-John Cassaday series, which concludes this week after 27 issues … and more than 10 years.
Eckert isn’t fooling around, either: He has a pie chart — one that breaks down Cassaday’s page output over the past decade. A pie chart!
Take us back to Feb. 3, 1999, the day the first issue of Planetary was released, Mr. Peabody Eckert: “Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka were all newcomers to mainstream comics with a smattering of ‘Big Two’ credits between them. Mark Millar was best known in America as Grant Morrison’s writing partner. No one had heard of Bill Jemas or Dan DiDio, and when people thought of ‘comic book movies’ Batman & Robin or Spawn came to mind.”
Simpler times, indeed.
But back to the pie chart: I’m not sure what it really tells us, other than Planetary and Astonishing X-Men comprise about three-quarters of Cassaday’s interior work since 1999. Still, though, everything’s better with pie charts. And pie.
With still another dozen issues to go in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight – the Dark Horse comic-book continuation of the cult-hit TV series — creator Joss Whedon already has confirmed there will be a Season Nine.
“Well, 40 issues was always the goal [for Season Eight], and that’s how we’re playing it,” Whedon tells Complex.com. “We’re around issue 30 now, we’ve got about 10 to go, five of which I have to write, so I have to get on that. Then we’ll pause for breath and then we’ll start Season Nine.
“… I have had for a long time a conception for Season Nine that is very different from Season Eight. It may not run as long, because 40 issues sounds great until you realize that it’s four or five years.”
In the interview, which focuses heavily on Dollhouse, Whedon also talks about his Astonishing X-Men collaborator John Cassaday, who will direct an episode of the science-fiction TV show.
“He’s a storyteller,” Whedon said. “I gave him shorter scripts than any other artist I’ve worked with because he has an extraordinary visual sense and it very much matches my own. … With Cassaday, I know he can tell a story, I know him as a person, his sensibility, the way he is with other people and I just feel that this step is logical for him, it’s something he’s been pursuing for a while.”