Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
We frequently relish the opportunity to recommend creators or projects that readers might not otherwise consider. But in an effort to mix things up, it never hurts to solicit opinions from the creators themselves. This week, Justin Greenwood, artist of The Fuse and Stumptown, takes a moment to discuss Joe Infurnari‘s work on the sci-fi mystery series The Bunker.
In The Life After, the Oni Press series by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Gabo, things can get a little complicated — not only in the story, which involves religion, purgatory and even a dead Earnest Hemingway, but also in the construction of each issue. After all, this is a comic whose debut featured a 50-panel two-page spread.
But what does it take to create a cover for the series? Glad you asked! We’re pleased Gabo has shared with ROBOT 6 his cover process for The Life After #9, which goes on sale in April (in more immediately news, Jan. 28 sees the release of a direct market-only $9.99 trade paperback).
Check out Gabo’s step-by-step process and commentary below:
Although Joshua Hale Fialkov and Kody Chamberlain’s Punks: The Comic doesn’t debut from Image Comics until October, they’re offering something to whet readers’ appetites, and maybe lift some spirits: 36 pages of “classic” Punks, for free.
“In order to combat the sheer shittiness of this week,” Fialkov writes on his Facebook page, “Kody Chamberlain and I, along with Image Comics are offering a FREE CLASSIC PUNKS COMIC to make you hate the world a little less.”
If you’re having trouble deciding whether to pick up the first volume of The Bunker, out this week from Oni Press, Boing Boing may make things a little easier: The website is playing host to the complete first issue of the acclaimed sci-fi mystery by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari — meaning you can read it for free. It’s good, too; it was one of my favorite comics of 2013.
The series centers on five friends who, while on their way to bury a time capsule, discover an underground bunker where they find letters addressed to each of them … from their future selves. Warned that they’ll soon destroy the world, the friends grapple with their own deteriorating relationships as they struggle with bigger issues, such as whether their decisions can change the future, or only make things worse.
Publishing | Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater responds to Singapore’s ban of the third volume of Life With Archie, which features the wedding of Kevin Keller and Clay Walker: “Riverdale will always be about acceptance, equality and safety. I’m sad readers in Singapore will miss out on the chance to read such a pivotal moment in comics.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
Business | Devin Leonard looks at the possible effects of a Fox/Time-Warner merger on superhero movies; Time-Warner owns DC Entertainment, and Fox has the movie rights to some Marvel characters. The New York Times offers a broader overview. [Business Week]
Ahead of the release next week of its October solicitations, Image Comics has announced the debut of Goners, a historical fantasy mystery by Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona, and the return of Punks, the surrealist comedy by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Kody Chamberlain.
Beginning in 2004 as a self-published one-shot, Punks centers on four slacker roommates — Abraham Lincoln; Dog, a man with a dog’s head; Skull, a man with a skull head; and Fist, a man with a fist for a head — who fight alien robots, undead carrots and each other. The new series will feature all-new stories.
“Returning to both the world of Punks and Image is like a warm, slimey sock,” Fialkov said in a statement. “No. That’s a terrible analogy. It’s like a pungent pair of goiters. No. This isn’t going well. Um … Getting to make new Punks for a whole new audience is a dream come true. And not one of those weird dreams with too much massaging.”
Goners, meanwhile, centers on the Latimer Family, which for centuries has been the first line of defense against supernatural threats. When the present-day progenitors Raleigh Latimer and his wife Evelyn, stars of their own reality show, are murdered on live television while on a seemingly routine case, opportunists and creatures of the night both pursue their young children Josiah and Zoe, “for a sound byte or simply… a chomp.”
Digital comics | ICv2 estimates the size of the digital comics market at $90 million in 2013, not counting subscription services such as Marvel Unlimited or Crunchyroll — so presumably the tally is limited to single-issue sales. It’s also not clear whether the number includes comics sold on eBook platforms such as Kindle or just those sold through specialty channels such as comiXology or as direct downloads. The $90 million number represents a 29 percent increase over 2012 numbers. [ICv2]
Creators | As the first issue of his new series The Life After is released, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov talks about why he prefers creator-owned work: “I want to treat every book I do as though it’s 100% owned by me, because, at the end of the day, nobody is blaming an editor if that book sucks. They’re blaming me. Even if the art is sub-par, I take the blame for that. So, for my money, being thorny and vocal to get work I’m proud of is worth it, no matter what doors it shuts, because, as the saying goes, nothing shuts doors and costs you audience faster than producing junk.” And, he says, he is making as much money doing creator-owned comics as the corporate ones. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Retailing | While Captain America: The Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection cracked Nielsen BookScan’s Top 20 graphic novels sold in bookstores, making it the first Marvel or DC Comics release since January to do so, the April chart was again dominated by three familiar titles: The Walking Dead, Attack on Titan and Saga, which claimed a combined 13 spots. The horror series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard led the trio with six volumes, followed by Hajime Isayama’s dystopian fantasy with four, and Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ space opera with three. The 36th volume of Masashi Kishimoto’s hit manga Naruto was No. 1 in April. [ICv2.com]
Events | On the eve of the 11th Toronto Comic Arts Festival, The Japan Times looks at both the growing presence of manga, and Dork Shelf talks with festival director Christopher Butcher about its Comics vs. Games 3 showcase. Meanwhile, the National Post is running a series of conversations between artists attending TCAF, beginning with Georgia Webber and Seo Kim, and Réal Godbout and Nick Abadzis. You can read more of its festival coverage here. [Toronto Comic Arts Festival]
Comics sales | ICv2 crunches the January numbers and calculates that just one comic, Batman #27, sold more than 100,000 copies in January, something that hasn’t happened since August 2011; this follows a weak December in which only three comics broke the 100,000 mark. The retail news and analysis site also lists the top 300 comics and graphic novels for the month. [ICv2]
Creators | Batman writer Scott Snyder talks about his plans for Batman #28, writing the Riddler, working with artist Greg Capullo on the action sequences, and getting ready for Batman’s 75th anniversary. [Hero Complex]
Creators | Eugenia Williamson profiles Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, whose work as artists on the Adventure Time comics has brought them an unexpected measure of fame. [The Boston Globe]
Events | The second annual Black Comic Book Festival will take place this weekend at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. The lineup of guests includes Norwood Steven Harris, Grey Williamson and Tim Fielder. “It is the largest gathering of black comic book fans in the country,” says Schomburg Director Khalil Gibran Muhammad. “There is something for everyone from the aspirational 9-year-old illustrator, to the costumed superheroes, to the lifelong collectors.” [New York Daily News]
Creators | Ed Brubaker discusses the exclusive deal he and Sean Phillips signed with Image Comics, announced last week at Image Expo: ” It’s almost like having your own label or something. Just the fact that we can green-light our own projects and we have approval over format, everything. … I feel like we have such a core audience that seems to follow us from thing to thing, so let’s take advantage of that and really just experiment and go crazy and just be artists.” [IGN]
Conventions | Brian Howe looks at the rivalry between Comic Book City Con, which debuted two weekends ago in Greensboro, North Carolina, and NC Comicon, which returns Saturday in Durham. The latter, which is now co-owned by artist Tommy Lee Edwards, drew 4,000 attendees last year (its first at the Durham Convention Center), and this year doubled its exhibit space and ramped up its programming. The conflict, which manifested in a flier for Comic Book City Con that one party considers playful but the other calls “bullying,” seems to be rooted in the proximity of the dates and a perceived lack of communication. However, it’s not simply a rivalry between nearby conventions; it’s one between retailers: Durham’s Ultimate Comics organizes NC Comicon, while Greensboro’s Acme Comics operates Comic Book City Con. [Indy Week]
At comic conventions, a company like comiXology has to get creative in order to draw traffic to its booth; after all the digital distributor doesn’t have anything physical to sell, and it’s not like you can line up a bunch of creators to sign iPads. (I mean, you could, but why?) At New York Comic Con, however, comiXology is getting physical — by offering limited edition art cards during artist signings.
These limited-edition art cards will be signed and handed out during creator appearances at the comiXology booth, where you can meet Nick Dragotta (East of West), Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Lazarus), Katie Cook (My Little Pony), Sara Richard (My Little Pony) and Doug Braithwaite (Unity #1). You can also meet Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari, creators of the wonderful The Bunker. They’ll be signing sketch cards that’ll have a code to get the first issue of The Bunker for free.
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Joining us today is Joshua Hale Fialkov, writer of Hunger, The Bunker, Echoes, Tumor, I Vampire, Ultimates, The Last of the Greats and many more.
Now let’s get to it …
Springing forth from the last few pages of Age of Ultron is The Hunger, a miniseries that sees the 616 Marvel Universe Galactus taking a trip to the Ultimate Universe, looking for a snack. Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Leonard Kirk and Jesus Aburtov, the first issue of The Hunger arrived on Wednesday. So how was the first taste? Here are a few opinions from around the web:
It was only three months ago that writer Joshua Hale Fialkov abruptly resigned from DC Comics’ Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns before his runs could even begin due to, as Comic Book Resources and Bleeding Cool reported, an editorial edict to kill off John Stewart. The news was met initially by a “no comment” from the publisher, followed by an assurance from incoming Green Lantern Corps co-plotter Robert Venditti that he and writer Van Jensen “have never even contemplated killing John Stewart.” A DC representative added, “Seeing a lot of unverified reports on this. To clarify: John Stewart is not going anywhere.”
So why bring this up now? Because this week’s Green Lantern Corps #21, the first issue of Jensen and Venditti’s tenure, features a pretty obvious wink and nod to the March controversy.