INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
This week sees the release of the sixth issue of Natalie Nourigat‘s Eurotrip sketchbook Tally Marks, from Monkeybrain Comics. In addition to the preview on Comic Book Resources, Nourigat provided ROBOT 6 with some other pages, as well as a selection of scans directly from the sketchbook. It provides readers with an idea of what her art looks like before Photoshop tweaks.
Continuing with our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back,” we asked creators and other industry figures what they liked in 2014, what they’re looking forward to in 2015, and what projects they have planned for the coming year.
In this installment, we hear from Jimmy Palmiotti, Mike Norton, Kurt Busiek, Caleb Goellner, Shawn Martinbrough, Benjamin Bailey, Greg Pak, Brandon Montclare, Eric Haven, Justin Greenwood, Natalie Nourigat and Dave Scheidt!
If you’ve ever wanted to travel abroad but were afraid something bad might happen, A Boy & A Girl artist Natalie Nourigat makes the case for just going for it in her webcomic Home Is Where The Internet Is.
Over the past year Nourigat has shared both comic strips and blog posts about her travels through Europe, but this latest strip stands out as less of a travelogue and more of a motivational speech.
“For most of my life, my everyday choices were based on the assumption that I could not trust other people,” she wrote. “I thought it was my job to foresee and prevent all harms from befalling me.” As she got older, though, she said she accepted two simple facts: everybody dies, and “I would like to live a little first.”
It’s a great strip, and if you’ve ever thought twice about international travel, it might make you think a third time.
Continuing with our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back” feature for our big fifth anniversary, we asked various comics folks what they liked in 2013, what they’re looking forward to in 2014, and what projects they have planned for the coming year. In this edition, hear from Steve Orlando, Chris Roberson, Nick Dragotta, John Arcudi, Janet K. Lee, Kathryn Immonen, Lauren Sankovitch, Scott Allie, Valerio Schiti and Natalie Nourigat.
Periscope Studio, the Portland, Oregon, collective that’s home to more than 25 comics artists and writers, is looking to release a series of limited-edition art books, and it’s turning to Kickstarter to do it.
The $25,000 campaign, which launched Tuesday, is designed to fund the printing of 32-page, full-color books from each of six studio members: Ron Randall (Trekker), Paul Guinan (Boilerplate), David Hahn (Erfworld), Natalie Nourigat (Home Is Where the Internet Is), Erika Moen (Oh Joy, Sex Toy) and Benjamin Dewey (The Tragedy Series). There are also plans for a hardcover collecting all six books.
Pledge incentives include original art, signed and sketched-in books, art commissions. The campaign ends Dec. 19.
Dec. 11 will see the release of the latest collaboration between artist Natalie Nourigat and writer Jamie S. Rich, A Boy & a Girl, a 160-page sci-fi romance. Published by Oni Press (Diamond Order Code: JUL131213), the graphic novel is a futuristic story that considers an Earth where life-like androids are becoming just as common as real humans, and where a guy named Travis decides he just has to get a date with a girl named Charley. That spark of interest leads to a whole slew of quirky turns and revelations. I recently caught up with Nourigat, who’s normally based out of Portland, Oregon’s Periscope Studio but is spending a year in France, to discuss her latest work. To get a slice of the story, be sure to check out Oni’s 10-page preview.
Tim O’Shea: Was there any specific element in particular about Jamie S. Rich’s script that persuaded you to want to draw the story?
Natalie Nourigat: I wanted to draw the story before I even knew what the story was, because I wanted to work with Jamie again. He was really open to collaboration, and from the beginning he invited me to suggest elements that interested me to steer us into something that would be fun for both of us. I wanted a time-travel story, and then a futuristic sci-fi setting, and then the split-perspective angle as things progressed.
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.
Joining us today is Natalie Nourigat, who you might know from such works as Between Gears, My Boyfriend is a Monster: Wrapped Up in You, Husbands, A Boy & a Girl, It Girl & the Atomics, Over the Surface, The Thrilling Adventure Hour and her awesome movie review comics.
Now let’s get to it …
Here’s a bit of unwelcome news: Just as I’m enjoying the first trade of It Girl & The Atomics, Jamie S. Rich announces the series is coming to a close with Issue 12, due out in July.
The special issue will feature art by It Girl regular Mike Norton (Battlepug) as well as Chynna Clugston Flores (who drew the stand-alone Issue 6) and Natalie Nourigat (who will also be contributing to Issue 10, out in May).
Here’s how Rich broke the news on his blog:
Yes, you read that right. We’re wrapping up the first It Girl and the Atomics series with #12. There were a number of factors contributing to the decision, but it was the right one to make and the right time to do it. Hopefully the twelve issues we did will stand strong as a complete series whether I ever make it back to do more or not. (I have a few ideas for stories, but it will all be a matter of timing.) I wrote #12 special to cap off everything that had come before, which is why I corralled all the artists from the series to give it one more go.
It Girl was a spinoff of Mike Allred’s Madman Atomic Comics, which Rich edited (and therefore knew intimately). It stood well enough on its own, though, that I, a complete newcomer, was able to pick up the collected edition of It Girl & The Atomics and thoroughly enjoy it. And my colleague Michael May had some nice things to say about that standalone Issue 6 recently.
So what’s next? Rich doesn’t sit still for long, and in addition to his hint of more It Girl in the future, there’s this: “Expect more collaborations between myself and Image in the future. This door is closed, but we’re opening up a couple of windows.” Hmmm.
And with It Girl & The Atomics #9 in stores this week, we still have a bit more Atomic goodness to enjoy.
Oni Press brought guns, war and webcomics to New York Comic Con today, announcing a new graphic novel from Joe Harris and Adam Pollina, a Sixth Gun spinoff miniseries and the transformation of their website from “a marketing resource for its print titles into a full-fledged content hub with comic updates five days a week.”
Here’s a rundown of the announcements ….
Wars in Toyland by Joe Harris and Adam Pollina
From the Slingers (hey, remember Slingers?) team comes an oversized graphic novel “darkly inspired” by Babes in Toyland. Per the press release, “this new book looks at the once wondrous and beautiful Toyland after the rise of the teddy dictator, Roxbury. After Matthew’s brother and playmate, Alex, disappears, young Matthew finds himself carried into Toyland by his own loyal toy soldiers. Only Matthew soon learns that Alex has been here, too – and is now being held captive by Roxbury. Leading an attack on the teddy bear’s fortress, Matthew never considers that his brother might be beyond saving.”
Digital comics | Watchmen co-creator David Gibbons discusses the comics he’s making for the Madefire digital app: “The term that we bandied around was that reading comics on the Madefire platform is a bit like reading comics on “intelligent” paper in that it’s got all the virtues of regular paper but it can do a whole lot of other things that a printed version can’t. There are wonderful things it can do with movement of the tablet, with animated transitions, and with ambient and event sound. We’ve also talked about creating the new grammar of graphic storytelling.” [ICv2]
Creators | A sold-out appearance by Stan Lee scheduled for Sept. 27 at Ohio’s Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has been canceled because of what the legendary writer’s agent reportedly described as “a very serious circumstance.” The library had sold 2,300 tickets for the “Authors! Authors!” series event, which had already been moved from April 18 because of a scheduling conflict. Lee, who turns 90 in December, cut short some public appearances in May, with a spokesman citing promotional fatigue and the death of Lee’s longtime business associate Arthur Lieberman. [Toledo Blade]
Oni Press announced Friday at Comic-Con International that it will publish print collections of popular webcomics Diesel Sweeties and Double Fine Action Comics, and teased new online projects by Jamie S. Rich and Natalie Nourigat, and Ananth Panagariya and Tessa Stone.
In April, Scott C’s long-running Double Fine Action Comics, which follows the adventures of the Two-Headed Baby, Knight and Muscleman, will receive a new edition of its scarce 2008 volume, followed by new-to-print volumes 2 and 3. “I am getting super pumped about Oni Press, you guys,” Scott C. said in a statement. “I think Oni Press and the Double Fine Action Comics will make an incredibly powerful team worthy of any battle against anything.”
The publisher also will collect R. Stevens’ beloved Diesel Sweeties in a series of volumes based not on when they appeared during the comic’s 12-year run, but rather by subject matter and sensibilities. The first themed collection will debut next summer.
Like many, many people over the weekend, Between Gears cartoonist Natalie Nourigat went to see Prometheus and liked it enough to not only create some fan art of David, but also to draw comics detailing her thoughts on the film.
Comics | With the success of The Avengers film, Kendall Whitehouse discusses the narrative techniques comics have “explored and exploited,” including “multi-issue story arcs, crossovers, team-ups, reboots and multiple title tie-ins,” noting they not only help sell more comics but also have blazed the trail for complex stories: “The story has now become a world unto its own that allows the reader to explore whichever dimensions are of the greatest interest. Follow the events from the perspective of Iron Man or Thor. Or just peruse the core series and ignore the supplementary story elements. The series presents a nearly unbounded narrative universe for the reader to experience. It is easy to interpret this with a cynical eye as nothing more than a series of cheap marketing tactics designed to pump sales. And yet, when well executed, something larger emerges.” [Knowledge@Wharton Today]
Retailing | Saturday’s Free Comic Book Day also served as the grand opening for Aw Yeah Comics, a store in Skokie, Illinois, owned (as the name suggests) by Tiny Titans creators Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani and retail veteran Marc Hammond. [Skokie Review, Time Out Chicago]
Creators’ rights | Gerry Giovinco points out that the mega-studio that is Walt Disney got its start because Walt signed a bad contract and lost the rights to his creation Oswald the Rabbit. Giovinco calls on Disney, as the parent company of Marvel, to acknowledge and perhaps actually compensate the creators of the products it is marketing: “I can’t believe that a company as wealthy Disney cannot find a way to see the value of the good will that would be generated by establishing some sort of compensation or, at the very least, acknowledgement to the efforts put forth by these creators.” [CO2 Comics Blog]
Digital comics | John Rogers discusses working with Mark Waid on his Thrillbent digital comics initiative. “There are people who are selling enough books to make a living on Amazon, whom you’ve never heard of. Because Amazon made digital delivery cheap and easy. That is what you must do with comics. It’s not hard. The music business already solved this problem. Amazon already solved this problem. It’s not like we’re trying to build a rocketship to the moon out of cardboard boxes. Webcomics guys — and this is kind of the great heresy — solved this problem like ten years ago, using digital distribution then doing print collections and also doing advertising and stuff.” [ComicBook.com]
Publishing | Three million-dollar Kickstarter drives, including Rich Burlew’s $1.2 million campaign for The Order of the Stick, make the fund-raising site look like a pot of gold to some folks, but it’s not that easy: Suw Charman-Anderson, who;s contemplating a Kickstarter drive herself, looks at the factors that make the big money-makers so successful. [Forbes]
Editorial cartoons | The New York Times has responded to Daryl Cagle’s criticism of its hiring policy and fees for editorial cartoonists, saying the newspaper will delay bringing political cartoons back to its Sunday review section until editors have had time to revisit their policies. [The Cagle Post]
Editorial cartoons | For those who want a look at the bigger picture, Columbia Journalism Review surveys the landscape of editorial cartooning and in particular, the economics of syndication. [Columbia Journalism Review]