Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
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.
Fresh off the news that they are ending their monthly competitions, Zuda announces this week that Kevin Colden’s long-delayed I Rule the Night, one of the site’s instant winner strips from last year, is back after a 10-month hiatus. And it is now Zuda’s first mature readers strip, meaning you’ll need to create an account and log into the site to read it.
“That’s the reason behind the hiatus. Mostly. There was some other business going on with switching publishers and new executives,” Editor Ron Perazza said on the Zuda blog. “Corporate structure aside, we knew this series was going to touch on some dark, thought provoking themes when it first launched but we still needed to do our editorial due diligence, plot out the series with Kevin and, in a larger context, determine just what having a mature readers series for ZUDA might mean. On the development side we have to make sure that users were able to opt in or out of viewing mature content, should they decide that it simply wasn’t for them, and how this affected navigation, the comic display and other site sections.”
Readers who don’t want to view mature content will be able to opt out, Perazza said. He also added that the strip will be updated three times a week for the rest of season one and on into season two.
C2E2, the new Chicago convention brought to you by the makers of the New York Comic Con, will hold its inaugural convention this weekend at the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. Our buddy Kiel spoke with Lance Fensterman of Reed Exhibitions about the show yesterday, if you’re curious about Reed’s plans for it.
If you’re exhibiting at the show, debuting a new comic or just have some exciting plans for attendees you’d like to share, drop me an email and I’ll run it in one of the many round-ups we’ll be doing between now and Friday.
And if you are attending the show, here’s some stuff to add to your agenda/buy list …
Artist Ryan Kelly will debut his self-published book Funrama at the show. He’ll be in Artist Alley at booth K-9. You can also purchase it online for a couple dollars more.
Above is the video for “Formula VS. Perfume,” which features puppets designed by Colden and built by the band’s lead singer, Josh Davis-Dillard. The video was directed by photographer Seth Kushner, whose work you might be familiar with from the NYC Graphic website, and Carlos Molina. Part of it was also filmed at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Molly Crabapple is a successful entrepreneur (as the founder of the Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School) and storyteller. After a recent book tour to support her new Fugu Press book, Scarlett Takes Manhattan, she indulged me in a quick email interview. Her graphic novel is described (on the book’s back cover) as “A young woman orphaned in tragic circumstances (by a pair of copulating circus elephants) rises to become the foremost burlesque performer of her era: Scarlett O’Herring.”
Tim O’Shea: How did the book land at Fugu Press?
Molly Crabapple: Years ago, I did a catalog cover for a company owned by Christophe (big cheese at Fugu). When he decided to found a comics publishing company, he asked if I had any ideas for graphic novels. The rest, history…
O’Shea: You clearly love to explore the art of sexuality through your work. In those terms, what was the most enjoyable or challenging scene to convey in Scarlett Takes Manhattan?
Crabapple: I actually loved the scene where Scarlett is working as a dock prostitute and is able to avoid an unpleasant client with the help of a watermelon. Sadly, a watermelon was worth more than a blowjob in 1884.