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 Landry Walker, whose work includes Danger Club, Little Gloomy, Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, The Incredibles, Tron and more.
Now let’s get to it …
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew shares their picks for the Royal Rumble … I mean, talks about what comics we’ve read recently. Today our special guest is Landry Walker, writer of Danger Club, Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Little Gloomy, Tron and more.
To smell what Landry and the Robot 6 crew are cookin’, click below.
It’s become an annual tradition here during our birthday bash: No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we’ve done in past years, we asked a cross-section of comics folks what they liked in 2012 and what they’re excited about for 2013. We received so many this year that we’ve broken it down into two posts; watch for another one Tuesday.
But for now, check out all the great stuff people shared with us, including hints at new projects and even some outright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded. Also, thanks to Tim O’Shea, Michael May and Chris Arrant, who helped collect responses.
JIMMIE ROBINSON (Bomb Queen, Five Weapons)
What was your favorite comic of 2012?
Image’s Saga, Fatale, Hawkeye‘s reinvention is fresh and exciting, Peter Panzerfaust, Enormous by Tim Daniel. It’s hard to pin down just one because there is SO much good work coming out nowadays — from many publishers across the board.
Independent comics are vastly different from comics published by the likes of Marvel and DC in one major way: Fill-in creators are rarely, if ever, an option. If a creator cannot make his or her deadline that month, the issue is delayed. The creative team of Image’s Danger Club — writer Landry Walker, artist Eric Jones and colorist Rusty Drake — recently announced an upsetting and reasonable cause for the delay in the release of the fourth issue. As detailed on Walker’s blog: “Several weeks ago two of colorist Michael (Rusty) Drake’s kids were hit by a truck while riding their bikes home from the store. The short version is that they are both okay. The longer version is that Rusty’s son suffered a brain contusion and his daughter an injured ankle. This meant several days of stress and uncertainty. Things are better now, and both kids are home from the hospital and receiving continued treatment.”
While fortunately the children are recovering, Drake’s need to focus on his children’s care has not only delayed Issue 4, but has created a domino effect on the production of subsequent issues. The creative team is struggling to get back on schedule, and when I learned about the situation I offered to help them get the word out with an interview. Drake, a freelance creator with a full-time job and family demands, was unable to participate, but Walker and Jones were happy to discuss the delay and why there was never an option to proceed without Drake’s involvement in Danger Club. Also, while I had their attention, I decided to learn a little bit more about this dark series (a departure for the creative team) in which all the heroes left Earth for space to battle a horrific evil and never came back, leaving the teenage sidekicks to face the approaching danger.
But before diving into my questions, Landry wanted to stress one thing: “I should mention that Issue 4 is 100 percent complete. I haven’t been told the date it will be released, but it should be only a few weeks, tops.” The creative team clearly appreciates the readers’ patience. As an outside observer, I hope this interview gives some perspective on the delay, as well as the struggles independent creators face.
This week brought the debut of a new creator-owned comic from Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones, the creative team behind DC’s Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade and SLG’s Little Gloomy. While the duo have made a name for themselves doing kid-friendly titles, Danger Club #1 is definitely not for kids. The comic’s premise is that all the world’s superheros left for space a few months back to battle an alien threat, leaving their sidekicks behind to fend for themselves. Things fall apart, to say the least.
So what did folks think of the first issue? Here’s a round-up of opinions:
Erika Peterman, Girls Gone Geek: “Writer Landry Q. Walker sets a fast pace and doesn’t waste a lot of time with setup or character introductions. This is an efficient, action-packed story that makes the most of the comic’s premise. Left to their own devices, a bunch of agitated, powerful youngsters are fighting among themselves, jockeying for position and abandoning their ideals. With apologies to The Who, the kids are not alright. I’m thinking ‘Lord of the Flies,’ only with teleportation, giant robots and sonic blasts. Walker has created quite an interesting cast of characters to develop.”
Doug Zawisza, Comic Book Resources: “Eric Jones won me over from the start with a fun flashback-style recap/history page seemingly torn from a comic we haven’t seen yet that leads into this story we hold in our hands. That page is two panels, drawn a little more cartoonishly by Jones and colored by Michael Drake to invoke the feel (and darn near smell) of an older comic recently rescued from its bagged and boarded prison. It also acts as a nice contrast to the hyper-detailed modern-day tale that follows.”
Awards | Chicago’s Columbia College has announced it will bestow the 2012 John Fischetti Lifetime Achievement Award on Jules Feiffer. What is it? “The Fischetti Lifetime Achievement Award honors an outstanding career of editorial cartooning, work skewering cultural mores, misguided public policies and self-important people.” [The Daily Cartoonist]
Comics | As workers begin cleaning up the mess left by a flooded warehouse full of comics, officials at Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum are appealing to the public for donations to help replace the lost works. [Post-Gazette]
Creators | Gerry Alanguilan posts his rejection letters from Marvel and DC Comics from the days when, as a young artist, he sent in samples of his work. He also tells the story of how he blew his first big chance, which should prove inspirational to others in the same boat. [Komikero]
[Note: this post was assembled by both Tim O'Shea and JK Parkin]
This is our final post for our big birthday bash, and what a post it is. No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks 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 are excited about for 2012 in comics–something they aren’t working on and something they are.
There’s a lot of great stuff here–hints at new projects and even some downright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded!
I’m most anticipating the 30th Anniversary of HEROES CON (June 22-24, Charlotte, NC) . For any convention 30 years is an amazing run, but the fact that Shelton Drum and his extended family have put this show together every year with nothing but blood, sweat and tears is flat out super heroic.
On the personal front, the challenging and exhilarating ride that’s been Loose Ends will come to a close with issue 4. It’ll be bittersweet to send our child off to into the real world but I can’t wait for you guys to see the work Brunner & Renzi are doing.
I’m also super excited to dip my own toes into the Mignola-verse with the BPRD: The Pickens County Horror [March 28, 2012] and to read the end of Jason Aaron & RM Guera’s Scalped, which is my favorite series in years.
This sounds politic, but it’s genuine: what excites me about comics in 2012 is what’s exciting every year, the work of the talent. Seeing what the best are up to and how the up-n-comers have grown as artists and writers. In the new year, I’m also excited about illustrating several books and covers that feature my favorite Avengers.
Legal | The Los Angeles Times reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Toby G. Scammell with insider trading. Scammell has been accused of using confidential information “surreptitiously gleaned” from his girlfriend to make $192,000 off of Disney’s 2009 acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. Scammell’s girlfriend was an intern working in the corporate strategy department at Disney. [Los Angeles Times]
Comics | Heidi MacDonald rounds up questions creators have raised about the Womanthology project, which raised $109,000 on Kickstarter, specifically about how the extra money will be used and whether the creators who are involved will be paid. Organizer Renae De Liz has posted additional details on the Womanthology site. [The Beat]
Conventions | Wizard World Chicago Comic Con gets into full swing today in Rosemont, Illinois. Comics guests include Brian Azzarello, Jim Cheung, Mike Deodato Jr., Gary Friedrich, Patrick Gleason, Mike Grell, Dave Johnson, Ariel Olivetti, Eduardo Risso, Bill Sienkiewicz and Ethan Van Sciver. The Chicago Sun-Times briefly spotlights attending artists Ivan Brunetti and Don Kramer, while the Daily Herald interviews Brunetti and Nate Powell. [Wizard World]
Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, by Landry Walker and Eric Jones, was a six-issue limited series (later collected into a single volume) that got a lot of love from critics but, for whatever reason, wasn’t continued beyond its original run. Now there’s a Facebook group called “Get ‘Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Ninth Grade’ Published” that is out to change that. (It’s an open group, so anyone can go check it out.) Jude DeLuca started the group and has been energetically adding members. The explanation: Walker and Jones pitched the sequel to DC, and DC hasn’t given a firm answer, so they are asking fans to write to DC and ask for it by name.
To help close the deal, Walker has posted some fresh Supergirl concept art on his website, as well as an explanation of his and Jones’s vision of the series:
Eric could have drawn Supergirl as the epitome of style and grace. But that wouldn’t have been our Supergirl. Our Supergirl was a character who needed to grow. She was overly self-aware, insecure and gangly, that’s part of being a young teenager (particularly as younger teens see themselves from within) and therefore an important part of the storytelling.
I think with the slight changes to the artwork here we really begin to see Kara’s self confidence manifest physically. This would have continued on a curve, all through 12th Grade. By the end (and there was a definitive end planned) 18 year old Kara would have looked like an adult – particularly because you watched her grow up.
Sounds tempting. Walker and Jones are working on something else as well (to be announced at Comic-Con), but it would be nice to see this series continue. If you agree, go to the DC Letters Page and let them know what you think.