Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. After an almost-uninterrupted string of U.S. conventions, from Emerald City Comicon and Fabletown & Beyond to WonderCon and MoCCA Arts Fest, eyes turn to Europe this weekend for the Torino Comics festival.
Meanwhile, our contributors select their picks for the best comics going on sale Wednesday, including Batman: Li’l Gotham #1, Relish and The Flash Chronicles, Vol. 4.
Hero Complex has unveiled Lee Bermejo’s cover for The Girl Who Played With Fire: Book One, the third installment in Vertigo’s adaptation of Stieg Larrson’s bestselling Millenium trilogy.
Written by Denise Mina and illustrated by Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti, the graphic novel features many of the character who appeared in Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo, including Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Vertigo’s planned six-volume adaptation devotes two books to each of the novels in the trilogy.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Book One, which was released in November, will be followed in May by Book Two. The Girl Who Played With Fire: Book One arrives Oct. 30.
While fans and retailers at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo were given a first glimpse at interior art for DC Comics’ sprawling Watchmen prequels, BuzzFeed now provides the best look yet at pages and character designs from Before Watchmen in the form of photos of a binder at the DC offices. Among the images are interiors from Rorschach, by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, Silk Spectre, by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner, Ozymandius, by Len Wein and Jae Lee, and Curse of the Crimson Corsair, by Wein and John Higgins. There are also character designs by Bermejo, Conner, Cooke, Higgins, Andy and Joe Kubert, and Lee.
Before Watchmen debuts in June.
DC Comics has updated its New Frontiersman promotional website with a first, albeit small, look at interior artwork from Before Watchmen, the sprawling prequel to the seminal 1986 miniseries by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The portfolio, featuring art by the likes of Lee Bermejo, Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, Adam Hughes, J.G. Jones and Jae Lee, was shown Thursday at the Diamond Retailer Summit and Saturday at the “DC All Access: Before Watchmen” panel at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.
As DC Comics’ Before Watchmen announcement rolls out from multiple news and entertainment outlets, so too do our first looks at covers for all seven prequels to the groundbreaking 1986 miniseries.
Okay, almost seven, as USA Today has only offered a detail of one of Lee Bermejo’s covers for Rorschach (at right), his four-issue miniseries with Luthor and Joker collaborator Brian Azzarello. To make up for it, though, there’s a cover by original Watchmen colorist John Higgins for a Crimson Corsair story by he and original Watchmen editor Len Wein.
We also have a Dr. Manhattan cover by Adam Hughes (courtesy of CBR), Minutemen by Darwyn Cooke (Hero Complex), Nite Owl by Andy Kubert and Joe Kubert (Heat Vision), Ozymandias by Jae Lee (Underwire), and Silk Spectre by Amanda Conner (Entertainment Weekly). UPDATE: Now, thanks to The New York Times, we also have one of J.G. Jones’ Comedian covers.
Check out the covers below. We’ll update if more, and in some cases larger, images become available.
UPDATE: DC Comics has released hi-res versions of each of the covers, which we’ve added below.
Hello and welcome to a special birthday bash edition of our weekly “What Are You Reading” feature. Typically the Robot 6 crew talks about what books we’ve read recently, but since it’s our anniversary, we thought we’d invite all our friends and colleagues from Comic Book Resources and Comics Should Be Good! to join in the fun.
To see what everyone has been reading, click below …
by Lee Bermejo
DC Comics, 112 pages, $22.99
Let’s get this out of the way first: The very idea of grafting Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol story template onto the Batman universe is an inherently terrible one. Batman and Scrooge are two completely different archetypes. They have very little in common, and their character arcs go in wildly opposite directions. To do this sort of thing right, you’d have to first turn Batman into a real jackass — which I imagine DC would be reluctant to do — so that his eventual redemption at the end is all the more striking and heartwarming. That in turn raises the question of whether contemporary readers want a Batman who sees the good in everyone and spends more time helping widows and orphans than fighting crime.
Still, you can’t say this sort of juxtaposition is surprising. A Christmas Carol has been adapted in just about every medium hundreds of times, and just about every popular TV show or multimedia character has attempted a variation on it (I fondly remember the Family Ties rendition, for instance). Honestly, the only shocking thing is that it took DC this long to try something like this (and with that I await the reply of some knowledgeable fellow in the comments section to tell me that, yes indeed, DC’s done this sort of thing several times before).
Publishing | IDW’s Chief Operating Officer Greg Goldstein attributes a bump in the company’s September sales to several factors, including DC’s big relaunch: “The reality is the DC New 52 brought some people into comic book stores that hadn’t been in comic stores for a while, and we had the opportunity to sell them some of our books as well as the other books that are available to them. But clearly, people who had not been focused on comics came out of the woodwork a bit.” It didn’t hurt that IDW had its own launches of properties familiar to those outside of comics, including the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, an ongoing Star Trek series and the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover. [ICv2]
Legal | A Belgian judicial adviser has recommended that the nation’s courts reject a four-year-old bid by a Congolese student to have Herge’s 1931 Tintin in the Congo banned, or at least restricted, because of its racist depictions. The recommendation is being viewed as a major setback for the case, as the opinion of the Procureur du Roi (Senior Crown prosecutor) is requested and typically followed by the court. [The Guardian]
T-shirt website Threadless has released another round of “Comics-On Tees,” this time featuring the artwork of Eduardo Risso, Lee Bermejo, Matheus Lopes and Dave Johnson. The four shirts tell a story that was written by Brian Azzarello, called “Sorry Babe…”
You can find all four shirts on the Threadless site.
The first news to emerge from the ComicsPRO annual meeting in Dallas is that Lee Bermejo, the critically acclaimed artist of Joker and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, will write and draw a Batman graphic novel for DC Comics.
Titled Batman: Noel, the holiday-themed book will mark Bermejo’s comics-writing debut. It’s edited by Mark Chiarello, DC’s vice president of art direction & design.
“I’m totally excited by this project, and not only because Lee Bermejo is such an astounding artist,” Chiarello tells the DC Universe blog The Source. “Sure, the work he’s done in the past (Joker OGN, Wednesday Comics) has been pretty brilliant and I’d expect nothing less from Lee, but the added bonus of Batman: Noel being drawn and written by Lee is extra cool. In other words, I knew Lee could deliver the goods artistically, but I never knew he was also this great of a writer!”
No released date was mentioned.
The meeting of ComicsPRO — the Comics Professional Retail Organization — continues through Saturday.
The new hardcover collection of Luthor — it’s better known as Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, the 2005 miniseries by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo — will serve as a director’s cut, of sorts, adding new story pages while changing the position of some existing ones.
The solicitation text said “with new, additional story pages,” of course, but comments made this morning by Bermejo on the DC Universe blog suggest extensive changes to the miniseries (last collected in 2006).
“… When I say new story material, I really mean it,” the artist writes. “We’ve actually added new sequences throughout the book as well as adding pieces to existing scenes and re-shuffling the position of others. This ‘new cut’ really enhances the original story and broadens it.”
The Source spotlights two pages from the fight between Superman and Batman, a scene cut short in the original version.
Luthor arrives in stores on Oct. 20.
Wow. I knew Lee Bermejo could draw some steely-lookin’ bad guys, but I didn’t know he could also channel Bill Watterson so well I’d have a hard time telling the two apart. Behold “Joker and Lex,” Bermejo and writer Brian Azzarello’s Calvin and Hobbes-esque contribution to the Superman/Batman all-star 75th-issue spectacular. I don’t even wanna think about what the rules of Jokerball would be in the alternate universe where this strip is a universally beloved classic — let alone what kind of “Joker peeing” stickers it might have spawned.
(via Topless Robot)
As a part of their 75th anniversary, DC Comics has recruited several artists to recreate covers from classic comics, which will be used as variant covers for several of their books this year.
Yesterday they revealed another one, this time by Joker artist Lee Bermejo, who draws the cover to the last chapter of my favorite Legion story, “The Great Darkness Saga.” You can find the original cover after the jump.
Vertigo has provided a few more details plus a preview of an upcoming Crime Line title they teased earlier this year. A Sickness in the Family, by Denise Mina and Antonio Fuso, is about the Usher family, who start dying violent deaths on Christmas day:
Meet the Ushers. (By the way, this name is no accident). The parents, Ted and Biddy. Grandma Martha. The three kids, William, Amy and Sam. Just a normal, middle class family gathered around the table on Christmas Day. Until they start dying very violent deaths. One by one. As secrets and resentments boil to the surface, it becomes clear there’s more than one Usher with a motive for killing off the others. But in the end, the truth turns out to be far more shocking than anyone in the ill-fated family could have imagined.
The cover is by Lee Bermejo, and according to Amazon, the book is due in October.