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Film, Comic Books
When writers and artists aim to break into the industry, the big question they have to ask themselves is if they’re ready for comics. But once cartoonist Vasilis Lolos broke into comics, he found out that sometimes comics wasn’t ready for him.
Lolos had already created a substantial amount of comics in his native Greece before he made his American debut in 2005’s Flight Vol. 2. But once he moved to New York, he quickly built up steam with a series of minicomics like Nebuli and Hats before garnering attention in 2006 as the artist of Image’s Pirates of Coney Island. While that series experienced some delays and ultimately went on hiatus after its sixth issue, Lolos continued pushing his way into comics and partnered with a group of like-minded cartoonists for two award-winning anthologies, 5 and Pixu. That work drew the interest of Marvel and DC Comics, which hired him for one-off stories like a back-up in a Spider-Man title and an issue of Brian Wood’s Northlanders. But after the latter’s release in 2009, nothing.
Next week’s Conan the Barbarian #8 marks the Lolos’ first published comic in more than three years. With this glimmer of new work and talk on his website of more to come, I contacted Lolos to find out where he’s been all this time. What I discovered was the story of his struggles with comics and life, which he’s working through and working into his art.
Bursting onto the American comics scene in the mid-00s with the Pirates of Coney Island (sadly unfinished) and work in anthologies like Flight and 24seven, Greek artist Vasilis Lolos quickly made a name for himself with his angular artwork and unconventional storytelling. But after quickly rising up the ranks with group projects-as-books 5 and Pixu, Last Call for Oni, and even mainstream work on Spider-Man and Wolverine, Lolos disappeared. But now news is coming to the surface that Lolos is plotting his return to American comics, and it’s called Electronomicon.
According to a post on his DeviantArt page, Electronomicon is the name of a graphic novel he’s doing for Oni that he describes as “in the vain (sic) of Blade Runner and the writing of H.P. Lovecraft.” This collection of cosmic horror stories is something the artist has been working on and off on since 2009, with 2012 looking to be the year it reaches completion and publication. In recent years Lolos has had a habit of doing work for musical acts, and in this project he’s bringing that influence to bear with the group La Suspiria reportedly working on a soundtrack.
Like I said yesterday, we reached out to several comic creators this year to see what comics from the past or present left them with nightmares. Check some more responses out below, and check back tomorrow for another round.
When I was a child the comic books I bought came in four varieties; Disney comics, Turok: Son of Stone, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth and what passed for horror comics in the early 1970s. These consisted mostly of the Marvel giant monster titles like Where Monsters Dwell, but also extended to anything that was the least bit spooky looking such as a copy of Marvel Team-Up that featured Brother Voodoo alongside Spider-Man, or pretty much any copy of Batman, or Mighty Samson.
I also read other horror titles such as Tomb of Dracula and lots of the anthology comics. No single story really leaps out to me as scaring me in particular, but some of the covers were things I had a hard enough time looking at during the day, let alone at bedtime. The covers were far stronger to me than anything inside the comic books. I think buying some of these comics was almost like a dare, to prove to myself that I could handle it, that I wasn’t too scared to take this image home with me. having it in my bedroom was like inviting the monster out from the closet, or under the bed where you could see it, and it could see you as well.