"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
In three short years, Image Comics has turned Image Expo into the first big comics event of the year. Interest in the publisher’s announcements has reached the point where I wish there were live-streaming video of the presentation. Maybe next year. For now, we have to settle with live coverage, which was still pretty fun. Image Expo didn’t disappoint: It seemed as if every title announced caught my interest. There are a few that stand out, however, so here are my Top 5 picks of the announcements that went above and beyond.
1. Image signs Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips to a five-year exclusive contract
The acclaimed collaborators have a perpetual green light at Image to do whatever they want for the next five years. That’s a big vote of confidence, and a real commitment to support Brubaker and Phillips. It must be quite a relief for them to not have to worry about crafting the perfect pitch and convincing someone to believe in their story. They just get to create. It’s an exciting arrangement, and one I hope will serve as a pilot program for others equally worthy.
Alison Sampson describes the art project “Think of a City” as an “exquisite corpse,” the name of the parlor game played by the surrealists in the cafes of Paris during the 1920s and ’30s. The game involved a piece of folded paper onto which, in turn, each member of a group drew a part of a body, without being able to see what others have drawn. The result was a body or character of composite parts, often quite Frankenstein-looking.
Sampson’s day job is as an architect, and like many in that profession she seems very idealistic about how good design can improve the quality of life. Having followed her blogging over the years, it appears to me she brings that philosophy to everything she does, that she actively believes comic art has the same transformative power to affect us positively. Here’s the project’s mission statement:
If you’re still undecided about picking up the collection of Change, out today from Image Comics, your decision may have just gotten a whole lot easier: The first issue of the apocalyptic miniseries by Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske is now available for free online from Image, comiXology and, as a PDF, the writer’s website.
“It’s apocalypse in Los Angeles; apocalypse as a universal event, apocalypse as a personal event,” Kos writes. “Change is a SF action thriller that will, hopefully, bend your mind something fresh.”
ROBOT 6’s Mark Kardwell made the trade paperback his pick of the week, .”It has a fairly pulpy-sounding plot: Lovecraftian creatures bring about the end of the world […] but Kot is too interesting a writer for the story to play out in anything other than an original manner.” You can get a little sneak peek below.
By most accounts, 2012 has been a damn fine year for Image Comics. Ales Kot was one of the many independent creators involved in this success, given the July release of Wild Children (the writer’s graphic novel collaboration with Riley Rossmo). Wednesday sees the debut of his new Image miniseries (with artist Morgan Jeske) Change. In October, we offered a preview of the project, about “a struggling screenwriter/successful car thief, an obscenely wealthy astronaut and a dying cosmonaut on his way back to Earth”. After reading this interview, be sure to check out Comic Book Resource’s interview with Kot regarding his other upcoming Image projects, Zero and The Surface.
Tim O’Shea: What prompted you to open Issue 1 with quotes from electro duo Holy Ghost‘s 2011 song Do It Again and Sylvia Plath’s The Rival?
Ales Kot: The Holy Ghost quote alludes to separation, tuning things out, not paying attention, not seeing the full picture. The Plath quote is about the other, the shadow we all carry with us, the beauty and terror intertwined. Both quotes reflect some of the key themes of the comic.
Wild Children writer Ales Kot has provided Robot 6 with a teaser for his follow-up Change, a four-issue Image Comics miniseries about a struggling screenwriter/successful car thief, an obscenely wealthy astronaut and a dying cosmonaut on his way back to Earth — the only three people who can save Los Angeles from destructive forces that repeatedly find the city through time and swallow it whole.
Change #1 arrives Dec. 12.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guests are the creative team behind the upcoming self-distributed indie comic LP, Curt Pires and Ramon Villalobos. You can read more about the comic in the interview Tim O’Shea did with Curt earlier this week.
And to see what they’ve been reading lately, click below.
Thursday may have started a bit slow in the news department, but it sure ended with a huge bang. Here’s a roundup of announcements that hit today from Comic-Con International in San Diego:
• Neil Gaiman announced via video that he will write a new Sandman miniseries that will detail what happened to Morpheus to allow him to be so easily captured in The Sandman #1. J.H. Williams III will provide the art. “It was a story that we discussed telling for Sandman‘s 20th anniversary,” Gaiman said, “but the time got away from us. And now, with Sandman‘s 25th anniversary year coming up, I’m delighted, and nervous, that that story is finally going to be told.” The series will be published by Vertigo sometime next year.
• Legendary will also publish the Majestic Files by J. Michael Straczynski, which will feature art by Geoff Shaw and Matt Banning.
• Terry Moore will write a Strangers in Paradise prose novel to coincide with the comic’s 20th anniversary next year. He also plans to do an all-ages comic after Rachel Rising finishes in 30-40 issues.