Wow: Cold Heat cartoonist and Comics Comics blogger Frank Santoro went to Los Angeles, and all he got was this wondrous photo of him and a gaggle of the greatest alternative comics creators on the West Coast. From left to right, you’re looking at Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit, Angry Youth Comix), Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Ron Regé Jr. (Yeast Hoist, Against Pain), Jordan Crane (Uptight, What Things Do), Sammy Harkham (Crickets, Kramers Ergot), and Santoro. I haven’t seen this kind of star power packed into one picture since Crumb, Ware, Clowes, Tomine, and Buenaventura straddled the cliffs of France like comic-book colossi.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday 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 what we call our “Splurge” item.
If I had $15 to spend at the comic store this week, the first thing I’d grab would be Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s New York Five #1 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), the follow-up to New York Four (obviously), their contribution to the much-loved-by-me-at-least Minx imprint. Really, almost everything else pales into comparison, but I’ll also go for IDW’s Infestation #1 ($3.99, which I was convinced came out last week), the fun opener for the zombie crossover that’s about to go across their licensed line for the next few months. My superhero fix for the week comes from Paul Cornell and Pete Woods’ always-entertaining Action Comics (#897, DC Comics, $2.99), which pits Lex and the Joker against each other, and Age of X: Alpha #1 (Marvel Comics, $3.99), which starts off another reality-altering timequake or something for the X-Men. I’m not expecting much from this, to be honest, but Mike Carey has proven me wrong before…
To see what Jim and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click the link below.
Via Flog comes word that a new iPad application will help you make your own comics, with art by Prison Pit creator Johnny Ryan.
The kid-friendly app Comixer was created by the editors of the now defunct Nickelodeon magazine and allows you to mix and match various panels written by Robert Leighton and drawn by Ryan. The app costs $2.99 in the iTunes app store.
To see what Caanan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
[Johnny Ryan:] You and artist Tony Moore are longtime friends and collaborators. You created The Walking Dead comic together. What prompted Tony to leave the series? Any drama, I hope?
[Robert Kirkman:] Well, there’s always drama when people as close as Tony and I work together. So, you know, sure. My favourite response to this question is that Tony got pregnant and had to leave the book, because that leaves things interesting and mysterious which is the best way to leave them.
The real answer is much more boring. We were very adamant about scheduling early on, and Tony—fantastic artist though he is—is much more the type that works best on a variety of projects, rather than a single, constant deadline, so we decided it would be best if we went our separate ways for the time being.
[Johnny Ryan:] I’ve collaborated a few times with other artists. It always starts off cool, but then I quickly become irritated and want to get the fuck away from the other guy as quickly as possible and then talk major shit about him on the internet. Which collaborations made you do this, too?
[Tony Moore:] Well, Kirkman and I have clearly gone our separate ways. We had our disagreements about how things were supposed to operate, and since then, our different perspectives have given rise to what each believes to be the key issues leading to our split. Over the years, he’s publicly espoused some views on the artistic process that are so fundamentally dissonant from my own that they will likely remain a wedge between us for a long, long time. I don’t talk shit on anybody, but I’m not going to hide or sugar-coat my feelings on the matter.
–The Walking Dead co-creators Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore mince few words in explaining why Moore left the hit zombie comic-turned-TV-show to Vice magazine interviewer (and Prison Pit cartoonist!) Johnny Ryan (himself no stranger to TWD). Read both interviews — after all, it’s Johnny Ryan interviewing Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore.
Fresh from perverting Small Wonder, Prison Pit‘s Johnny Ryan tweets that this is the last week you can buy art from his show at the Mishka NYC gallery. That means it’s your last chance to snag extremely affordable takes on an array of horror icons, from the Exorcist print above to pieces based on The Fly, Scanners, It’s Alive, Basket Case, H.P. Lovecraft, the Coffin Joe movies, Ryan’s own Prison Pit rogues and beasts, and much more. What are you waiting for, fright fans?
Robot 666 | Take aim at The Walking Dead with Jordan Crane, Lisa Hanawalt, Johnny Ryan, and Jon Vermilyea
Whoa. These are pretty much the last official promotional items I ever expected to see, but man am I ever glad I’m seeing them: Alternative-comics creators Jordan Crane, Lisa Hanawalt, Johnny Ryan, and Jon Vermilyea have each created a Walking Dead print. Made to look like shooting-range practice targets, the prints tie in with Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (and Tony Moore)’s series, the television adaptation of which will make its debut on AMC this Halloween. Each print is signed by the artist and by Kirkman himself, emblazoned with the “Grant County, Georgia Law Enforcement and Public Safety” logo, limited to a run of 100, and priced to sell at $40. Best of all, each artist worked in his or her own inimitable style: Crane’s features linework so impeccable it actually becomes somewhat menacing itself, Ryan’s is spectacularly gross and upsetting, Vermilyea’s is a riot of squiggly detail, and Hanawalt’s has a cat’s head instead of a human’s.
The prints were curated by L.A.’s Secret Headquarters. Click here to see them all and buy them, but remember: If you end up using them for target practice, headshots only!
(Hat tip: David Paggi)
Okay, so cartoonist Johnny Ryan’s latest NSFW strip for Vice magazine isn’t quite one of the mind-meltingly bleak nightmares he’s churned out for the mag or for his Fantagraphics series Prison Pit lately. But if you’ve got fond childhood memories of spending Saturday evenings watching the notoriously cheesy syndicated sitcom Small Wonder, featuring robotic-voiced Vicki and her unctuous inventor father Ted, the comic’ll do a number on you anyway. “Dream yeast”…shudder.
Over on the CBR mothership, two potential “book of the year” candidates are talking about what makes them tick. First up is Daniel Clowes, author of Wilson. In a report on Clowes’s Dan Nadel-hosted spotlight panel at APE, CBR’s Karl Kelly reveals that Clowes thinks none too highly of the readability of classic comics even by artists he admires:
“I realized at a certain point that the thing that keeps me drawing comics and the thing that has always moved me along is that comics history is really disappointing,” Clowes responded. “It’s not the same as the history of novels, history of art, history of movies, the body of work is pretty spotty. The things we imagined don’t really exist. We imagine that Alex Toth did really amazing comics in the 50s that really worked, that were like Howard Hawk’s movies, but he didn’t do that. He never made a comic you could read. It’s terrible, and I say that thinking that he was one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century.”
Welcome once again to our weekly round of “What would you buy if your budget was limited?” — or, as we call it, Food or Comics? Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join Brigid Alverson, Chris Mautner and me as we run down what comics we’d buy if we only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad” money to splurge with.
Check out Diamond’s full release list if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15 …
Morning Glories #2 ($3.50)
Image promoted this book pretty heavily before it came out, and I hope it paid off … I really enjoyed the first issue, and I hope it sticks around for awhile.
Unwritten #17 ($3.99)
This issue hearkens back to the days of my youth with a “Choose Your Own Adventure” issue, as Mike Carey and Peter Gross continue to have fun with literature of all sorts (with an assist from Ryan Kelly this issue). I was always a total cheater — I would read ahead to get a good ending, which is probably what I’ll do with this issue.
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Paul Maybury, creator of the webcomic Party Bear. His work can be found in Comic Book Tattoo, various volumes of Popgun and 24seven, and, of course, the full-length graphic novel Aqua Leung. Be sure to check out the sketches he shares.
To see what Paul and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click on the link …
Sabbath bloody sabbath, that’s a kick-ass cover! With Prison Pit Book 2 — the sequel to Johnny Ryan’s hugely acclaimed, splatterific sci-fi bloodbath — due to debut at Comic-Con this week, Fantagraphics has already unveiled the cover for the third volume in the series, headed your way in 2011. My left hand is involuntarily making devil horns even as a type. (Related: It’s hard to type with just a pinky and index finger on one hand.)
On Friday, publisher Alvin Buenaventura announced he had shut down his imprint Buenaventura Press as of this past January, due to a single knockout legal/financial blow. Publicly available details are few, in keeping with the private way the move has been handled for the past six months. But comics creators and critics en masse are mourning BP’s demise and reading the tea leaves as to where its publisher, artists, and entire brand of comics will land.
Robot 6 reached out to several of the artists published by Buenaventura, as well as a few of his fellow publishers, for their reaction:
Working with Alvin over the years has been really amazing. He has introduced me to a lot of magical and influential artists and hooked me up with tons of inspiring and perverted books. His place has awesome shit scattered all over- mountains of crazy books, toys, memorabilia, gigantic figures, artwork- it’s like a bomb went off. Now that he’ll be taking a break from the business we’ll finally have more time to play Rock Band and trip out on weird TV shows.
–Matt Furie, writer/artist, Boy’s Club
Here’s something to look forward to if you’ve ever heard the call of Cthlhu: A Love Craft, an upcoming exhibition of art inspired by the work of hugely influential horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Hosted at Observatory in Brooklyn beginning with a Friday, June 11th opening reception at 7pm, the show features such masters of the macabre as Monster Brains impresario Aeron Alfrey and comics artists Greg Ruth and Johnny Ryan, whose contribution you can see after the jump. Go get your fhtagn on!