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.
Today we welcome artist Chris Samnee, who you know from his work on Daredevil, Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Captain America and Bucky,Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, The Mighty and more.
Now let’s get to it …
As the comics community continues to process the news of Joe Kubert’s death, everything else feels very secondary. One way of honoring the legendary artist and teacher is by appreciating his art, and the art of his peers. Steve Niles discovered this series of art jams featuring a Kubert Hawkman alongside Wendy Pini’s Elfquest characters, Neal Adams’ Conan, Dave Cockrum’s Human Torch, and others. The rest of the jams include characters drawn by C.C. Beck, John Romita, John Byrne, George Perez, Gray Morrow, Dave Sim, Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Curt Swan, Jim Aparo, Milton Caniff, Hal Foster, Al Williamson, Chester Gould, and the list goes on and on.
I don’t know the history behind these pieces, but it occurs to me that many of these comics legends are still with us. In addition to saying our good-byes to Mr. Kubert and offering appreciations of his work, another great way to honor his legacy might be to reach out and express similar appreciation to living creators whose work we love.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15 this week, I’d avoid Marvel and DC altogether and go for some more independent offerings. Top of the pile would definitely be Prophet #21 (Image, $2.99), Brandon Graham’s much-anticipated revamp of the Rob Liefeld book from the mid-90s, recreated (with artist Simon Roy) as some kind of Heavy Metal fever dream; I’m a massive fan of Graham’s, and excited to see what he can come up with when he tries to play it (relatively) straight. I’d also grab Dynamite’s Kirby Genesis: Dragonbane #1 ($3.99), another spin-off from the Busiek/Ross/Herbert series this time focusing on the almost Thor-analog warrior, and IDW’s Memorial #2 ($3.99), continuing the urban fantasy series that I enjoyed so much last month. Lastly, I’d grab the cheap relaunch for Antony Johnston’s Wasteland (#33, Oni, $1.00); I’ve really enjoyed this post-apocalyptic world building book for awhile, but this relaunch – which will return the book to a monthly schedule as well as debut new artist Justin Greenwood – looks set to be a good jumping-on point for those who’ve never sampled its charms before.
If I had $30, I’d be likely to put Dragonbane back on the shelf and try out Marvel’s Fear Itself: Journey Into Mystery Premiere HC collection ($19.99) instead. Not having been a fan of Matt Fraction’s Thor, I skipped the first few issues of this and then, by the time I kept hearing great things and realized I actually really enjoy Kieron Gillen’s writing, it was far enough into the run that I knew I’d end up waiting for the collection. Color me cautiously optimistic.
When it comes to splurging, my love of comics from around when I was born rears its ugly head again, and I find myself drawn to Marvel Firsts: 1970s Vol. 1 TP (Marvel, $29.99). This is possibly my favorite era from the House of Ideas, so the idea of an anthology of some of its weirdest hits sounds right up my alley.
Photo by ~djohn9
When I saw this Steve Canyon statue over at the Hermes Press blog (they’ve published a collection of the seven Steve Canyon issues from Dell’s Four Color comics), I wondered what the hell a Steve Canyon monument was doing in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Canyon’s creator Milton Caniff never lived there, nor does the town figure prominently in the comic strip character’s adventures.
The Historic Idaho Springs website doesn’t offer many details, saying only that the statue was erected as part of a “publicity stunt” by the area’s Jaycees in the ’50s. Oddly, the full story is told in the historical archives of a completely different city: Dayton, Ohio. Columnist (and friend of Caniff) Roz Young wrote for the Dayton Daily News for more than 25 years and penned a 1997 article celebrating the 50th anniversary of Caniff’s famous character. What’s cool about the story is its reminder of just how important comics used to be to the general population in the US.
In 2008, 12 families set out to accomplish a monumental task: To read all of R.C. Harvey’s biography of Milton Caniff. “What no one knew at the time,” the narrator intones, as a fiddler keens behind him, “is that it was over 900 pages long.” Tom Gammill’s five-minute parody film The Donner Book Party juxtaposes wistful, old-timey music with sepia-toned photos of funny-looking Victorian people as it tells the story of the families’ struggles—the readers’ dismay at the world’s longest sentence, the ill-fated advance party sent ahead to edit the book, the scout who warned some of them off, suggesting they read Milt Caniff: Rembrandt of the Comic Strip, or maybe a book about budgies, instead. There’s even a bit of a twist at the end. The video was presented at the Reuben Awards ceremonies as a preview of an upcoming Ken Burns history of the comic strip, and Mike Lynch says he was actually fooled for the first few seconds.
Hello and welcome to another week of What Are You Reading?, where we talk about what comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately. This week our special guest is Robin McConnell of Inkstuds fame, who will be guest blogging with us as well. Robin has a new book out that collects 30 of his interviews with folks like Jeff Lemire, Joe Sacco, Kate Beaton, Jaime Hernandez and many more; you can find more details on it over on his website.
To see what Robin and teh rest of the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below.