SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
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!
Want to exchange your money for rad things? Jim Rugg, Dash Shaw, Johnny Ryan and Frank Santoro are but a few of the cartoonists who are willing to take you up on that offer right now on behalf of a fundraiser for Comics Comics, the fine magazine-cum-blog of comics and criticism. Edited by Dan Nadel, Tim Hodler, and Frank Santoro and published by Nadel’s PictureBox Inc., the mag’s in the red, and it needs your help.
You can check out their eBay listings for original art from Rugg, Shaw, Santoro, and even Gasoline Alley‘s Frank King, or drop them a line and commission a portrait of yourself being “erotically violated” by Johnny Ryan. (The portrait’s by Johnny Ryan, not the erotic violation. Not necessarily, I mean.)
And if you’ve never checked out Comics Comics before, you can’t go wrong with the $10 three-issue Comics Comics Fun Pack. Where else can you find serious, stimulating writing on topics like Steve Gerber, Paper Rad, Guy Davis, Dick Ayers, Berserk and the Masters of American Comics exhibit, by everyone from top-notch critics like Tim Hodler, Joe McCulloch, and Jeet Heer to cartoonist-critics like Santoro and Shaw to guest stars like Peter Bagge, Kim Deitch, Brian Chippendale, and Mark Newgarden?
You can also purchase a hand-selected pack of five books from Santoro’s infamous back-issue bin, featuring some of the best indie and mainstream hidden gems of the ’80s, or snag a pair of deluxe art books from Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd album artists Hipgnosis and the ’70s-tastic West Coast airbrush art scene for $25 total. I’m telling you, it’s tough to go wrong here. But act quickly, because a lot of these offers end within hours!
Every day people post comics on the Internet. Here are a few that caught our eyes.
Reed Gunther by Shane and Chris Houghton
“Bad Romance” yes! Bad comics no! Making its debut at last weekend’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Prison for Bitches is a no-holds-barred fanzine tribute to Lady Gaga. Taking its name from a segment in Gaga and Beyoncé’s instant-classic “Telephone” video and edited by Same Hat!’s Ryan Sands and newly minted Doug Wright Award winner Michael DeForge, the ‘zine contains artistic tributes to Lady Gaga from a host of underground art and comics stalwarts and up-and-comers, including Johnny Ryan, Michael Kupperman, Hellen Jo, Lisa Hanawalt, and Nick Gazin.
The book’s slated to go on sale online today; in the meantime, click the link for sample spreads, and click here for DeForge’s strip, which foresees another 86 years of world domination by the Haus of Gaga. (And click here for previous Robot 6/Gaga goodness.) Don’t be the last little monster on your block to get a copy!
I think we can all agree it’s a great day that sees not one but two ’80s sci-fi-fantasy icons fed through a Tom of Finland filter by talented cartoonists — and my friends, today is a great day. Both Johnny Ryan and Nick Mullins have taken inspiration from the uber-macho gay erotica artist for their drawings of characters from Tron and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, respectively. Will anyone else follow suit with, say, Thundercats or The Last Starfighter or something? All I know is that Destro and Doctor Mindbender are already dressed for the occasion …
100 Planets by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey
The mad genius behind Prison Pit and Blecky Yuckarella speaks his mind in an interview with Royal Jelly. (via)
Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit — it’s not just for blood-soaked killing machines named Cannibal Fuckface anymore! Now you can own a page from Volume One of Ryan’s acclaimed, ultraviolent action opus. Several stunning pages are available for sale at Comic Art Collective. They really tie the room together, man.
Well, who’s this adorable little gentleman? Why, it’s Cannibal Fuckface, star of Johnny Ryan’s gruesomely good action comic Prison Pit. This felt doll version of the blood-soaked bruiser was constructed by Ryan’s wife Jenny, and here he hangs on the Christmas tree, making the season bright. Alas, with Prison Pit, Vol. 2, on the way this summer, his troubles are far from out of sight.
“Postcard from Fielder 2″ by Kevin Huizenga
“The Miracle” by Johnny Ryan
Want to re-enact Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit in the comfort of your own home? God, I hope not, but just in case you do (you disturbing person you), Ryan fan Andrea has made this little slorge doll, completely with lace-up hindquarters. Have at! (via)
Prison Pit Book One
By Johnny Ryan
Fantagraphics Books, 120 pages, $12.99
The Squirrel Machine
by Hans Rickheit
Fantagraphics Books, 192 pages, $18.99.
These are not nice books. They are not for children. Or people with easily upset nerves. Or stomachs. Or are prone to nightmares. Or who hang paint-by-numbers pictures of kittens with big eyes on their walls.
You get the idea. These books do not want to be your friend. They do not seek your approval, or love. They do hope to entertain, though not at the expense of having to be friendly or pleasant. Mainly what they seek to do is freak you out. If you’re the sort of person who likes being freaked out (and I am, on occasion), or can admire craftsmanship and artistry despite the high proportion of freak-out material (and I can), then perfect. If not, oh well. You were warned.
• Pop Matters has an interesting essay comparing Mike Mignola’s Hellboy series with the similarly themed Italian comic Dylan Dog.
As characters, they could be satanic siblings, or infernal in-laws: Hellboy, the Hades-born offspring of a witch and a demon; and Dylan Dog, in love with an undead woman who was likely his mother, and battling his nemesis, the devil, who could be his father. Despite their fantastic and often horrific circumstances, at heart each character is a working-class hero, just trying to get the job done.
• Sean Collins grapples with All-Star Batman and Robin: “The thing really is (to quote Grant Morrison’s Mad Hatter) very much cleverer than its rep as a goddamn-Batman meme generator would indicate.”
• Curt Purcell continues his ongoing look at the Blackest Night series and superhero decadence in general.
• Matthew Brady enjoyed Lamar Abrams’ Remake: “It’s pretty ridiculous stuff, but always funny.”
• Greg McElhatton declares Neil Kleid’s The Big Kahn “easily Kleid’s best work to date as a writer.”
• Brian Hibbs was shocked — shocked I tell you — to discover that Archie #600 was a fun read: “I mean, I’m certainly a “Betty Man”, and that makes a lot more sense to me than Veronica, but Mike Uslan’s script here is remarkably crisp, as well as filled with real drama and pathos.”
• Katherine Dacey on Ooku: The Inner Chamber: “For all its dramatic and socio-political ambitions, volume one isn’t nearly as daring or weird or pointed as it might have been. If anything, it reminds me of a BBC miniseries: it’s tasteful, meticulously researched, and a little too high-minded to be truly compelling.”
• Kinukitty reads the yaoi manga Black Sun and says “I can’t even think about this title without kind of flapping my hands and sputtering a bit.”
• Rob Clough reads and reviews more minicomics, something we all should do more of.
• The Daily Cross Hatch on Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit: “True enjoyment of this volumes ultimately seems to fall on a willingness to embrace the complementary sensibilities of ‘aw, fucking gross’ and ‘oh, fucking sweet,’ ”
• KC Carlson reviews Looking for Calvin and Hobbes by Nevin Martel, a book I was completely unaware of until now.
• Finally, Tim O’Neil has some thoughts on what makes The Thing so awesome.