Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
When you make your formal American comics debut drawing a Top 5 book, you’ve really set the bar high for the rest of your career. But Filipino artist Leinil Yu doesn’t think about it too much.
Yu’s introduction to the U.S. comics market was in 1997 with Wolverine #113, but he wasn’ t a complete newcomer: He had worked for a time as an assistant at Whilce Portacio’s studio, and even gained some recognition by winning a Wizard magazine contest. Yu went on from Wolverine to draw everything from Uncanny X-Men to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even had a hand in reinventing Superman’s origins in Superman: Birthright before returning to Marvel and becoming one of the publisher’s top-tier artists with New Avengers and Secret Invasion. After that, he moved into creator-owned comics with Mark Millar, first on Superior and then on Supercrooks. Yu continues to excel with Marvel’s superheroes, joining Mark Waid to relaunch the Hulk in the Marvel NOW! title Indestructible Hulk — a return of sorts for Yu, who drew the Hulk in the well-received (albeit much-delayed) Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk.
I’ve always been an admirer of Yu’s work, from his brief stint on Chris Claremont’s X-Men return to his lesser-known creator-owned book at DC, Silent Dragon (with Andy Diggle) and High Roads (with Scott Lobdell). When he returned to Marvel, I noticed him experimenting with his style in both composition and rendering. Upon doing research for this interview, I learned about Yu’s varied attempts to explore different mediums — branching out from his pencils and pens and to painting, digital modelling, and even digital speed-painting. I conducted this interview with Leinil Yu earlier this month, on the eve of Indestructible Hulk‘s announcement.
Publishing | Matthew Garrahan’s profile of reclusive Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter is somewhat sharper than the Los Angeles Times story linked last week, as it includes accusations that the 69-year-old billionaire threatened an employee, made a racially insensitive remark, and maneuvered Disney Consumer Products chairman Andy Mooney and three other executives (all African-American women who reportedly referred to themselves as “The Help”) out of their jobs. Nikki Finke follows up at Deadline with details of Disney and Marvel’s attempts at damage control, as well as the news that Disney has settled with the three former execs. [Financial Times]
Retailing | Comics shop veteran Amanda Emmert, executive director of the retailers’ association ComicsPRO and owner of Muse Comics in Colorado Springs, talks about retailing, the health of the industry, and the popular perception of comics shops as men’s clubs: “I have new customers who walk in and tell me how strange it is for a woman to work in a comic book store or a gaming store. Their experience comes more from watching The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, as you pointed out, than from seeing a great number of stores, though. I am very lucky to work for ComicsPRO; I get to work with hundreds of stores around the country, a large percentage of which are owned or operated by women.” [Colorado Springs Gazette]
If the growing guest list isn’t enough to draw fans and media to the inaugural Kapow! Comic Con, Mark Millar & Co. are raising the stakes by setting their sights on two Guinness World Records that most probably didn’t know existed.
Millar and collaborator Leinil Yu have given permission for their Superior character to be used at the convention to help secure the records for Fastest Production of a Comic Book and Most Contributors to a Comic Book.
To do so, such attending creators as Paul Cornell, Andy Diggle, Dave Gibbons, Jock, Frank Quitely and John Romita Jr. will lend their time on April 9 to create a 20-page standalone comic. For the Fastest Production record, the entire issue — from concept to script to art to lettering — must be completed between 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. A Guinness World Records official will be on-hand to certify the requirements have been met.
The finished product will be printed and distributed through Marvel’s Icon imprint, with all royalties going to Yorkhill Children’s Foundation, which provides enhanced medical equipment and resources for sick children and babies treated by Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow.