Hopeless Talks Creating Hell on Earth During "Secret Wars" in "Inferno"
The Portland, Oregon-based publisher announced this morning that it will begin accepting electronic submissions and pitches in May, not only from artists but from writers and colorists as well. More details are promised in May.
Founded in 1997, Oni publishes comics ranging from Scott Pilgrim and Stumptown to The Bunker and the upcoming Invader Zim.
Hellbreak, the upcoming supernatural action series by Cullen Bunn, Brian Churilla and Dave Stewart, marks a departure on two fronts for the illustrator, who not only embarked on a new artistic style but also made the move to digital.
Ahead of the title’s debut next week from Oni Press, Churilla shared with ROBOT 6 a look at his process. It’s particularly interesting to learn that preference for working in blue pencil, as he explains, mostly is due to the influence of the Chip Kidd/Paul Dini Batman Animated art book.
To quote Zim, “Prepare your bladder for imminent release!” Or perhaps GIR’s “Doom Song” is more appropriate here.
Whichever the case, Oni Press released the above teaser image on Twitter and Tumblr, as a sure sign the publisher will announce a comic book revival of Invader Zim, the critically acclaimed animated series by Jhonen Vasquez. (If the phrase “DOOM IS COMING” isn’t clear enough indication, Vasquez retweeted and reblogged the image.)
We frequently relish the opportunity to recommend creators or projects that readers might not otherwise consider. But in an effort to mix things up, it never hurts to solicit opinions from the creators themselves. This week, Justin Greenwood, artist of The Fuse and Stumptown, takes a moment to discuss Joe Infurnari‘s work on the sci-fi mystery series The Bunker.
Publishing | Portland, Oregon, will be the home base for Heavy Metal’s new line of comics, which was announced in October, following the company’s sale to David Boxenbaum and Jeff Krelitz. “I think it’s being closer to the talent,” Krelitz said. “If you wanted to be a painter in the early 20th century, you went to Paris. The comics line launches in March with the second season of Michael Moreci and Steve Seely’s Hoax Hunters. The company plans to be publishing eight original series by the end of this year and another 12 next year, building up to 50 in five years. “We’re positioning to be a premier publisher,” Krelitz said. [The Oregonian]
Passings | Editorial cartoonist R.K. Laxman, who maintained a running commentary on Indian politics for almost 60 years, has died at age 93. The younger brother of novelist R. K. Narayan, Laxman got his start illustrating his brother’s work as well as doing drawings for local newspapers. He became an editorial cartoonist for the Times of India around 1947, about the time India became an independent country, and stayed there until 2010. Laxman’s most famous creation was the Common Man, a character that stood in for the average Indian. As the official obituary in the Times of India said, “His Common Man, created in 1957, was the symbol of India’s ordinary people, their trials and tribulations, their little joys and sorrows, and the mess they found themselves in thanks to the political class and bureaucracy. But despite the sobering reality of this, there was never any rancour in Laxman’s cartoons. His humour was always delightful, and no one could hold a candle to his brushstrokes.” [Times of India]
Oni Press has revealed Bryan Lee O’Malley’s variant cover for the first issue of Kaijumax, the comic by Zander Cannon (Heck) about an island prison for giant monsters.
The acclaimed creator of Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, O’Malley draws some of the island’s inmates in a chibi form so adorable you wished the comic had its own line of collectible plush toys. In front is protagonist Electrogor, whose only desire is to escape and return to his hungry and frightened children. On his right is Hellmoth, the tattooed nod to Mothman, who’s sure to be a favorite.
In The Life After, the Oni Press series by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Gabo, things can get a little complicated — not only in the story, which involves religion, purgatory and even a dead Earnest Hemingway, but also in the construction of each issue. After all, this is a comic whose debut featured a 50-panel two-page spread.
But what does it take to create a cover for the series? Glad you asked! We’re pleased Gabo has shared with ROBOT 6 his cover process for The Life After #9, which goes on sale in April (in more immediately news, Jan. 28 sees the release of a direct market-only $9.99 trade paperback).
Check out Gabo’s step-by-step process and commentary below:
A romantic comedy by Jamie S. Rich and Megan Levens, the Oni Press graphic novel is being serialized digitally in six weekly chapters, concluding on Feb. 10, before being collected in print form in April. Each installment costs $1.99.
In Hellbreak, the upcoming supernatural action series by Cullen Bunn, Brian Churilla and Dave Stewart, there’s an infinite number of Hells, each unique and terrible in its own way. When a demon takes possession of a person, sending his soul to one of those Hells, it’s up to the Kerberos Project, using forbidden technology, to send in an extraction team to rescue it.
Oni Press has provided ROBOT 6 an exclusive preview of Hellbreak #1, offering a ghastly glimpse of one of those Hells. But what’s Bunn’s vision for his own?
After sending his hero into the underworld in the acclaimed 2013 graphic novel Heck, for his next project cartoonist Zander Cannon is sticking his characters in a different kind of hell: a maximum-security prison for giant monsters.
Debuting in April from Oni Press, Kaijumax follows Electrogor, a new inmate at the titular island facility in the South Pacific who only wants to get back to his hungry and frightened children. Standing in his way are Ultraman-like guards, led by the fearsome warden Kang, and some of the biggest, baddest monsters of legend and popular culture.
Cannon spoke with ROBOT 6 the inspiration for the ongoing series, grounding the outlandish premise with a surprisingly straight-laced tone, and coming up with kaiju slang.
Bad Machinery is an all-ages webcomic about a group of British schoolchildren who solve mysteries and generally act like normal kids.
When I say that, I mean it as the highest compliment. Too many children’s books, both graphic novels and prose, exist in some sort of never-never land where all families are happy and all the children are well-behaved, except for one or two who are explicitly evil. The kids in Bad Machinery aren’t like that. They don’t do anything truly horrific, but they do disobey their parents, talk in slang, and best of all, poke their noses where they really shouldn’t. Each story arc is a supernatural mystery of some sort, and the supernatural creatures are real, but usually pretty benign in the end.
Conventions | WonderCon Anaheim has announced the first round of guests for its April 3-5 show: Neal Adams, Becky Cloonan, Aaron Kuder, Kevin Maguire and Dustin Nguyen. [Toucan Blog]
Publishing | Magnetic Press is looking for a marketing assistant. [Magnetic Press]
Retailers | The Laughing Ogre chain has announced its Lansdowne, Virginia, location (Phoenix Comics & Toys) has lost its lease and will close Dec. 18. That store is managed by chain co-owner Gary Dills, the former ComicsPRO treasurer named as the subject of an investigation into a possible misuse of organization funds. The chain has two other locations, in Fairfax, Virginia, and Columbus, Ohio. [Laughing Ogre, via Bleeding Cool]
Oni Press series Hellbreak met a bit of a delay earlier this year, with coloring duties migrating from Eisner-winner Jordie Bellaire to Eisner-winner Dave Stewart, and Terrible Lizard, also written by Cullen Bunn, took the book’s place on the schedule. But the book — written by Oni veteran Bunn and illustrated by The Secret History of D.B. Cooper‘s Brian Churilla, is on track for a March 2015 debut.
“It follows a group called the Kerberos Project, which is working closely with the Catholic Church,” Bunn told CBR of Hellbreak in March of this year. “We find out that when someone is possessed, their soul is actually displaced so a demon or devil takes up residence in the person’s body and kicks their soul into Hell. There are an infinite numbers of Hells out there, each one different, each one ghastly and horrible in its own way.”
ROBOT 6 has the first look at a variant cover for issue #1 illustrated by Cliff Chiang, who recently wrapped an acclaimed three-year stint on Wonder Woman. Retailers can “unlock” the Chiang variant by ordering 100 copies of Hellbreak #1. The issue will have a total of three variants, each with a $3.99 cover price; but the standard cover by Churilla will be sold for the introductory price of $1. Chiang’s variant and Churilla’s standard cover both follow in full below.
Awards | Jillian Tamaki has won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Prize for children’s literature illustration for her work on This One Summer, a graphic novel collaboration with cousin Mariko Tamaki (who was nominated in the text category). Their first book, 2008’s Skim, was previously nominated in the text division, further demonstrating a separation of illustration and story that Jillian Tamaki finds “strange.” ““I think we are both creators of the book,” she tells the Edmonton Journal. “You can’t read a comic without either component, it won’t make sense. It’s something I will always be addressing when talking about the award. But I am completely flattered by the honor and will be sharing the prize with my cousin.” [Edmonton Journal, via The Comics Reporter]
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
ComiXology has a “Leading Ladies” sale this weekend that features some great titles from Oni Press with strong female leads: Anthony Johnson’s The Coldest City, a thriller set in Berlin at the end of the Cold War; Spell Checkers, a comedy by Jamie Rich, Nicholas Hitori De, and Joelle Jones, about three teenage witches with attitude; and Ross Campbell’s Wet Moon. There’s a lot to like but there are two titles in the mix that are real standouts, and you can get them both for less than $10 if you grab them before the sale ends at 11 p.m. Eastern today.
Both are stories that are about teenagers but aren’t really for teenagers, because the main action in each of them is the sort of thing that is clearer in retrospect than when you are going through it.
Ivy, by Sarah Oleksyk, describes one of the great disappointments of youth, finding out that someone you care about is not all you imagined him to be. Ivy is a high school student who is chafing at the confines of her small Maine town and her strict single mother, who is determined that Ivy will have a better life than she had. Ivy wants to be an artist, and on a trip to Boston she meets a guy who introduces her to a whole new way of looking at things. Continue Reading »