It’s become an annual tradition during our birthday bash: No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of people we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we have in past years, we have asked various comics folks what they liked in 2012 and what they are excited about for 2013.
Check out Part One, and keep reading to see more of what people shared with us, including details on their upcoming projects. Our thanks to everyone who responded this year. Also, thanks again to Tim O’Shea, Michael May and Chris Arrant, who helped collect responses.
SAM HUMPHRIES (The Ultimates, Sacrifice, Uncanny X-Force)
What was your favorite comic of 2012?
- Simon Hanselmann’s Megg and Mogg strips at http://girlmountain.tumblr.com. Hilarious, dark, and strange.
- SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jilian Tamaki at: http://mutantmagic.com/. Beautiful, funny, and heartbreaking.
It’s 2012, I’m 35 years old and I’m reading two new comic book series, both based on decades-old intellectual properties for which I had a great interest in, and rather intense feelings about, at different points in my childhood. This is in no way unusual: Every line of toys, every cartoon series or TV show, every movie I was into at some point in my childhood now exists as a comic book and, in most cases, rebooted toys, cartoons, TV shows and movies. For children of the 1970s and 1980s, our entertainment franchises have grown up with us.
What’s slightly unusual about Battle Beasts and The Crow is how relatively obscure they are, compared to the Godzillas, Star Wars and G.I. Joes.
It’s 1987, I’m 10 years old and I don’t know it yet, but I’m reaching the end of the period in my life in which I can play with toys, in which I can easily slip into a time-stopped world of pure imagination and see characters appear and dramas unfold based on nothing more than some small piece of plastic, molded into He-Man or Boba Fett.
A friend comes over to play with me, and we divide our mixed lines of action figures — Transformers, Ghostbusters, Masters of the Universe, etc. — into teams that will build bases and battle one another. He has something new with him called “Battle Beasts.”
Somehow I missed the news that Fishtown creator Kevin Colden is drawing The Crow for IDW, whcih is good news indeed. Colden is working with writer John Shirley, who wrote the first draft of the screenplay for the first Crow movie back in the 1990s. If you’re interested in seeing what it will look like, IDW posted a whole bunch of pages over on their Tumblr, including both covers by Kyle Hotz and Ashley Wood.
Passings | Jan Berenstain, who with her husband Stan created the popular children’s book characters the Berenstain Bears, passed away Friday at a hospital near her home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Berenstain, 88, had suffered a stroke earlier in the week. Since the release of The Big Honey Hunt in 1962, the Berenstain Bears series has grown to more than 300 books and sold about 260 million copies worldwide, inspiring animated television specials and series, museum exhibits and a stage show. Stan Berenstain passed away in 2005 at age 82. [The Washington Post]
Events | This year’s 24-Hour Comics Day will be held Oct. 20. [ComicsPro]
Comics | Here’s a variation on the comics-aren’t-for-kids-anymore theme, with reasonable parents who know they need to check what their kids are reading, and a retailer who gets it. [WNYT.com]
It’s Christmas Eve, and we’re winding down here at Robot 6 to go spend time with family and friends. Before heading off to celebrate, though, you’ll find a collection of holiday-themed links after the jump, along with this year’s collection of holiday cards we received.
On behalf of all of Robot 6, have a great holiday and stay safe. We’ll see you next week.
(Above: a Christmas showdown by Matthew Petz)
Four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves … welcome to day three of our holiday gift-giving guide, where we ask comic pros:
1. What comic-related gift or gifts would you recommend giving this year, and why?
2. What gift (comic or otherwise) is at the top of your personal wish list, and why?
A great big thank you to everyone who helped us out this year, including the ones who’ll be showcased tomorrow. Be sure to come back then for our big wrap-up!
1. The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis. Leela helps Maggie deal with school bullies. Homer and Bender go drinking. England invades the USA. Come on, you need this.
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery. The most ludicrous and wonderful supporting character from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol got his own miniseries, and it’s just now being reprinted for the first time. I loved this miniseries when it first came out, and I’m gearing up to love it all over again.
Starstruck. The great Lee/Kaluta sci-fi epic, now between two robust hard covers. I should declare an interest: I wrote the intro. But I did that because it’s awesome beyond the feasible limits of possible awesomeness.
2. A Very Peculiar Practice, season 2. Wow. Just how much of my life right now is ’80s nostalgia? I think I need to get some professional help. Probably from Duran Duran.
Mike Carey has written numerous comics (and a few novels) over his career, including Lucifer, My Faith In Frankie, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Hellblazer. He currently writes X-Men: Legacy and The Unwritten.
Several Brooklyn, N.Y. creators launched Trip City, a new “literary arts salon” website, this week, featuring free content by the likes of Dean Haspiel, Seth Kushner, Joe Infurnari, Kevin Colden, Chris Miskiewicz, Jef UK and many more.
“TRIP CITY reinvents the online arts collective with a virtual playground for a diverse set of accomplished and highly individualistic creators,” said Trip City founder Dean Haspiel, “spanning every borough of artistic endeavor from the visual arts to literature, music, video and beyond.”
Comis wise, there’s already a bunch of stuff to check out, including Dean Haspiel’s Bring Me The Heart Of Billy Dogma, Chris Miskiewicz and Kate McElroy’s Adrift, Joe Infurnari’s Memoirs of the Kid Immortal, Nick Bertozzi’s Lad Zeppelin, Kevin Colden’s Baby With A Mohawk and more. In addition to comics, the site will also feature profiles, interviews and podcasts with everyone from Moby to Henry Rollins to Michael Moore, who is interviewed by Dan Goldman in the site’s first podcast.
The release Haspiel sent out says that the group has future plans to take some of the content and perform it live on the road. “Working with so many Brooklyn locals, we have this great sense of community right out of the gate,” said Jef UK. “Then, when we take the next step and turn Trip City into a live event—which is in the works—our tribe is already gathered, so to speak.”
Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Kevin Colden, whose comic work includes Fishtown, I Rule the Night, Vertigo’s Strange Adventures and Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper, among others. He’s also the drummer for the band Heads Up Display.
To see what Kevin and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below …
Kevin Colden gave himself the challenge of adapting Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange into a 150-page comic script. Then he went a step further and drew several of those pages. Here’s a taste, but be sure to click the link for the rest.
The cover, above, is by Paul Pope, and as previously reported, the first issue will include a chapter of Spaceman by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, which will get its own series from Vertigo in the fall. Other contributors include Jeff Lemire, Ross Campbell, Kevin Colden, Peter Milligan, Paul Cornell, Denys Cowan and many others. You can find the complete table of contents after the jump.
March is Women’s History Month (and indeed, today is International Women’s Day), so the Smithsonian Channel is running a series of shows on Sunday evenings telling the stories of various women in science — and they made some comics to go with them.
Written by Mallory Murphy, illustrated by Gerard Conte, and colored by Kevin Colden (who won a Xeric Award and was nominated for an Eisner for Fishtown), the comics go the traditional route, with covers that hint at more action than just sitting at a computer trying to make the code work (which is what the male scientist in my household seems to spend his time doing). In fact, each five-page comic focuses on a key moment in the scientist’s early life, when they started asking the questions that led to their research.
The storytelling style fits nicely with the subject matter, and each comic is short enough to pique the interest without delivering a lecture (always a risk with educational comics), so the site is worth pointing out to any young potential scientists, male or female, who might take an interest
Big-time congrats to I Rule the Night/Fishtown creator Kevin Colden and A Mess of Everything creator Miss Lasko-Gross on the birth of their son Charles Lasko Colden. Charles was born Nov. 24 at 3:20 a.m.
Per Kevin, “Mother and son are resting comfortably at home, Dad is sleeping in fits.”
Legal | The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly is resurrecting a revised bill to tighten regulations on the sexual depictions of minors in manga, anime and video games. An earlier version of the controversial proposal was voted down in mid-June. The new bill removes vague defining terms like “nonexistent youth” and reportedly avoids references to “characters younger than 18,” increasing the likelihood that the proposed legislation will pass. [Anime News Network]
Retailing | As the small independent retail chain Joseph-Beth Booksellers files for bankruptcy protection, its president warns of even tougher times ahead for bookstores. “I think in the next three to five years, you’ll see half the bookstores in this country close,” Neil Van Uum says. [Lexington Herald-Leader, via ICv2.com]
Before his I Rule the Night strip was picked up by the now-defunct Zuda Comics, Kevin Colden entered a strip called Strange/Switch for consideration into the competition. It was about “a schizophrenic musician named Geoff finds a guitar that gives him the power to kill people and was essentially a take on Faust,” but it never went anywhere.
When this interview first began with Kevin Colden, his Zuda (Mature Content) project, I Rule the Night (ITRN), had been on hiatus for around 10 months. So the initial round of our email discussion focused on his non-IRTN projects, including his two upcoming IDW projects (Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper and Grimm’s Fairy Tales) as well as the recent Seth Kushner-directed music video that he was part of with his band, Heads Up Display (Colden is the band’s drummer). But fortunately (for fans of ITRN and for the sake of this interview) ITRN came out off of hiatus and hit the Internet metaphorical ground running. My thanks to Colden for two rounds of an interview.
Tim O’Shea: Was Zuda waiting for the big transition (dropping the monthly competition) until they brought back I Rule the Night (ITRN)? How agonizing has it been waiting for the news to drop?
Kevin Colden: We had originally planned to bring back I Rule the Night as the first mature readers series, but needed to wait until we got the mature filter in place. It was in the works for a long time, and got caught up in changes at DC that had nothing directly to do with Zuda per se. It just so happened that everything came together at the same time. I wouldn’t say the wait was agonizing for me so much as inconvenient for the readers. Time flies in my world, so I only noticed when I looked at the calendar. The bright side is that now there’s less of a wait to read it.