Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Three years ago, the folks at Act-i-vate kicked off Panels for Primates, a webcomic anthology in which various writers and artists created comics about monkeys, apes and other primates. The comic was free, but readers were encouraged to donate to the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholsville, Kentucky. The roster of contributors to the comic is impressive, with such creators as David Petersen, Rick Geary and Fred Van Lente involved.
Now the comics have been collected into a digital anthology on comiXology, published, appropriately, by Monkeybrain. Actually, two anthologies: Panels for Primates Junior is suitable for all ages, while Panels for Primates is rated 15+. The kids’ version looks very cute and has some good creators on board, including Rich Clabaugh, Mike Maihack, and J. Bone, but the lineup for the 15+ version is irresistible: Stan Lee, Paul Kupperberg (writer of Life with Archie and a former writer for the tabloid Weekly World News), Faith Erin Hicks, Colleen Coover, Molly Crabapple and ROBOT 6 contributor Michael May — just imagine what these people can do with monkeys!
The kids’ book is $8.99 and the adult anthology is $9.99, and once again, proceeds from both will go to the Primate Rescue Center.
(via Pop Candy)
OK, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Kill All Monsters co-creator/writer Michael May is a friend of mine and a fellow contributor to ROBOT 6. Conflict of interest disclosed. Still, I interviewed him about collaboration with artist Jason Copland, which is set to be released in a collected edition (Kill All Monsters: Ruins of Paris) in June from Alterna Comics. He and Copland are in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign (ending May 10), which has already achieved more than 230 percent of its goal $2,500 goal.
In this interview, we discuss the collaborative process on the webcomic/upcoming collection as well as the Kickstarter. My hat is off to May and Copland for writing a great Kickstarter FYI blurb that efficiently describes the project: “Kill All Monsters: Ruins of Paris is the printed first volume of the hit webcomic about monsters and the giant robots that kill them.”
Tim O’Shea: I went into this work assuming it was going to be all giant robots and monsters, but it contains a great deal of human interaction/drama. How early in the development of the project did you realize the story needed that balance?
Michael May: Right away. I’ve never been interested in slugfests for the sake of slugfests. A story has to give readers a reason to care about the people in the fights. If anything, I needed encouragement to make the fights a bigger part of the comic so it wouldn’t just be people talking about fighting monsters. No one — including me — would want to read that, but characters and drama is where my interest always goes first. It’s a tough balance though and one we worked hard at, so hopefully we got close to achieving it.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and whatever else we’ve been checking out lately. Today we are joined by guest Evan Young, an “influential pioneer” of digital literature and creator of the digital graphic novel The Carrier. He’s currently raising funds for his next project, The Last West, via Kickstarter, so head over there and check it out.
To see what Evan and the Robot 6 team have been reading, click below.
The group includes our own Michael May and artist Jason Copland, who will relaunch their Kill All Monsters comic under the imprint. They join Rich Woodall (Johnny Raygun), Craig Rousseau (The Perhapanauts, Impulse, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane), and Kelly Yates (Doctor Who, Amber Atoms), the three drivers of Artist Alley, along with Richard Case, Chris Kemple, Randy Green and Matt Talbot. They have a PDf sampler up of some of the titles, which looks like a fun mix of action-adventure, sci-fi and of course giant monsters. Watch for more details at the end of June.
Comics | Calling Tintin a “Catholic hero,” the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano took strong exception to the decision by U.K. publisher Egmont to sell the controversial Tintin in the Congo with a protective band around it — or, as the paper says, “wrapped up like a pornographic magazine and consigned to the adults-only section” of bookstores because of its portrayal of racial stereotypes. If you’re going to do that, the editorial argues, why not ban Boy Scouts, which were founded by notorious eugenicist Anthony Baden-Powell? “But then, he was English,” the paper snidely concludes. [Agence France-Presse]
Digital | ComiXology confirmed Tuesday that the Comics by Comixology app will be available for Amazon’s Kindle Fire when it goes on sale next week. ComiXology CEO David Steinberger said the company is prepared for the smaller screen size the Fire has, compared to the iPad: “Ah, well we’re lucky there, because our Guided View reading technology was designed first for a very small device — the iPhone — long before tablets became the norm. A great comics reading experience is one of the core reasons we’re so successful, and it translates great to all devices, from small to large. The Comics by comiXology reading experience is the same on all platforms, so it’s going to be very familiar to our fans. You can toggle in and out of Guided View with a simple double-tap. The Fire has a great screen, and for those pages that have lettering a little too hard to read, Guided View is a fun way to get in there and see the details.” [Chicago Sun Times]
In what could possibly be considered a Robot 6/ACT-I-VATE crossover, our own Michael May and artist Simon Roy contribute a story to the Panels for Primates project. And as all the stories feature primates of some sort, it was only natural that May and Roy’s comic, “It’s Never as Simple as it Seems,” would feature Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs.
Our work here is done …
At today’s Image Comics panel at New York Comic Con, rising star Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, the upcoming Iron Man 2.0) announced The Infinite Vacation, a five-issue miniseries with artist Christian Ward debuting in January. According to Comics Alliance, Spencer said the comic is “about a world in which moving into and out of alternate realities is commonplace, it’s a day-to-day thing that you do, it’s something you do for vacation, something you do for work. … It’s about a young guy who is very much addicted to the infinite vacation and the many opportunities that it provides hm, but something happens that makes him question this life.”
Watch the trailer after the break, and look for an interview with Spencer next week at Comic Book Resources.
The Source Comics in Falcon Heights, Minn. is hosting a big event today in honor of Indy Comic Book Week. The Source Mini Indy Con will feature more than 15 indy comics creators, including Robot 6 contributor and Cownt Tales writer Michael May! So if you’re in the area, head down there, tell Michael we said hi and get him to sign a copy of his new book. And pick up some of the other books they’ll have on hand as well — The Source will have a huge selection of indy comics available at the event.
You can find more details on the event, including a complete list of creators who will attend, on CBR’s recently launched Events Calendar.
There are stories on the farm to make you shiver. Tales too terrible to tell (though we’re gonna tell them anyway). Legends that the livestock only have the courage to share with one another in whispered whinnies and hushed honks. Histories of the Horned Horror who stalks through corn to feed on living blood! He is the Teated Terror. The Uddered Upir. The Blood-sucking Bovine. The Nutritious Nosferatu. Fear the vampire cow. Fear… the Cownt!
Cownt Tales is a one-shot comic written by Michael May and illustrated by Gavin Spence, Friends of Lulu Award-Winner Paul Taylor (Wapsi Square), and LucasFilm artist Jessica Hickman. Each artist illustrates a different story revealing the Cownt’s horrifying origin, what the heck’s up with that udder, and his first encounter with a lactose-intolerant, farm-girl vampire-hunter named Penny. There’s a reason that another word for Blood is Humor. That reason is the Cownt.
Check out a preview and where to buy it after the jump.
If you have a comic book that will be in some shops on Wednesday and would like to send us a few pages as a preview, send me an email (quickly, of course … Wednesday is almost here). Be sure to include all the pertinent information, like price and where people can buy it.
It had to happen one of these days, a Robot 6 interview of a fellow Robot 6er. Michael May has a quirky sense of humor, as quickly revealed in the recently released anthology that he has written–Cownt Tales, the comedic struggles of a vampire cow. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have gotten May to reveal the parallel narrative trends between his work and this past weekend’s smash success, The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Seriously though, it’s a unique experience to interview a pal (that’s not to say most of my interview subjects are my mortal enemies …) Enjoy our chat, folks.
Tim O’Shea: In addition to the Cownt, you introduce some interesting characters in this issue. What are the odds we’ll see Penny or the doctor in future stories?
Michael May: Oh, that’s a sure thing. Even though the Cownt is very silly, he still gets some character development; mostly in his relationship with his udder. Both Penny and Dr. Frye play huge roles in that. The Cownt wants the doc to remove his udder, but she won’t do it without making him go through a ton of counseling first. There’s a ton of story potential there (including the Cownt’s trying to raise money for the operation), so the doc will be around to help him process that. She’s sort of the straight man to his shenanigans.