As promised, here are some thoughts on this year’s SPX, along with some sorta short reviews of some of the more notable comics I picked up at the show (that I’ve read thus far.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our look at what comics and other things we’ve been perusing lately. Today our special guests are Caleb Goellner, Buster Moody and Ryan Hill, the creative team of Task Force Rad Squad, the hot new comic find of 2013. Especially if you were ever a Power Rangers fan. Or even if you weren’t, as Moody and Hill’s art is just kind of wonderful on its own. Our old friend and former colleague Graeme says it “pretty much does for Power Rangers what Jeffrey Brown’s Incredible Change-Bots does for Transformers,” and that’s a very apt description. You can download it yourself here, and pay whatever you think is fair.
And to see what Task Force Rad Squad + the Robot 6 Irregulars are reading, click below …
On the hard-charging TCJ.com, cartoonist/commentator Michel Fiffe recently wrote a piece looking at the unique comics format of one-creator anthologies. He delves into the origin of the format in the underground comix movement of the 1960s all the way to modern success stories like Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library. What he finds is just how rare the laser-like focus needed to create these works are, and how even successful ones have trouble keeping up with the success of their creators.
“It’s a publishing sensibility that may have had its moment in the sun decades ago, but it’s never really been a dominant point of interest for cartoonists,” Fiffe explains in his introduction. “That’s not surprising; carrying the weight of multiple narratives issue after issue is not particularly alluring to those who just want to draw cool stuff for a page rate, or for those who just want to tell their stories one book at a time.”
To clarify, one-creator anthologies are series in which one creator writes and draws all the stories. It’s related but distinct from one-creator series that carry one over-arching narrative like Jeff Smith’s Bone or Brandon Graham’s King City in that it’s a collection of short stories with little or no connective tissue besides the common hand that creates it.
[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.
After a stellar run as the back-up story in Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon, the Michel Fiffe-edited series Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies is making its way toward the bookshelf with a collection that boasts some amazing extras.
The collected Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies is scheduled to hit this July as an over-sized 144 page book, collecting all 12 back-up stories as well as some new material from the likes of Tom Scioli, Jim Rugg, Jasen Lex, Paul Maybury, Zack Soto and others.
If you missed it in singles, this collection is worth a flip through. You have to admire Larsen’s agreeance to allow Fiffe and his team of creators to do this liberal a take on his characters. It really allows each of them to play to their strengths, and wish more creator-owned cartoonists would consider giving over the reins of their characters like this.
Robot 6 is fortunate to have Brigid Alverson covering the webcomics scene as well as she does through her Unbound column. But every once and awhile I like to jump into the webcomics mix and provide some coverage as well. Kat Roberts is set to resume (after a hiatus of a few months) her ACT-I-VATE webcomic, Fever Dream. Here is a snippet of Roberts’ bio: “…originally from North Carolina, now lives happily in Brooklyn. Her comics have appeared in Roctober, SMITH Magazine and the comix anthology Negative Burn, where she’s a frequent contributor. Kat is also member of XOXO Studios in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Aside from lots of drawing and painting, Kat spends her time working as a handbag designer, teaching footwear at FIT and repetitively watching Beat Street with her dance crazed daughter, Ophelia.” Fever Dream is described as “Sometimes autobio & sometimes fictitious, these short stories depict everything from the mundane to the absurd.”
Tim O’Shea: In developing Fever Dream for ACT-I-VATE, is this a project where you will continue to find and strengthen your narrative voice, or did you have that voice from the get-go on this project?
Kat Roberts: I’m very much still in the process of working out my narrative voice. It’s only been in the past year and a half that my stories actually began to feel like my stories to me. The feedback I’ve received from people through my livejournal blog, and now through Act-I-Vate, has been invaluable in my learning how to tell a story, and tell it in a way that will resonate with someone.
DC had Bizarro Comics, Marvel had Strange Tales, and now Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon has secured an alternative comics-style tribute of his very own. Starting with May’s Issue 160, Savage Dragon will run a series of “Twisted Savage Dragon Funnies” back-up strips by an array of indie cartoonists. The project is spearheaded by Act-I-Vate‘s Michel Fiffe, and the full line-up for the first year or so — including Vito Delsante and Rachel Freire, Hyeondo Park, Andrew Dimitt and more — can be found on the blog of contributor Chris Sinderson.
Fiffe’s press release is below: