Rick Veitch Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

‘Swampmen’ explores the fertile ground of an unlikely subgenre

swamp men coverIt was probably circumstance as much as anything else that lead to the swamp monster subgenre of horror comics becoming so important the history of mainstream North American comic books.

After all, Swamp Thing just happened to be the title for which Len Wein hired young British writer Alan Moore, leading to a run whose importance and influence is difficult to overstate. And Man-Thing, the Marvel character that shared so much in common with Swamp Thing, just so happened to be one of the first vehicles for writer Steve Gerber, introducing that weird and wild talent to mainstream comics audiences.

It’s therefore not that surprising that TwoMorrows Publishing found it worth devoting an entire 200-page book to the swamp monster subgenre, from its Golden Age origins to its late-’80s climax, the result being editors Jon B. Cooke and George Khoury’s Swampmen: Muck-Monsters and Their Makers.

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Comic Couture | Bissette, Veitch, more create shirt to support Gary Friedrich

Following efforts by Steve Niles, James Stokoe, Brandon Graham and Neal Adams, the T-shirt site World of Strange is offering a T-shirt that supports Gary Friedrich, following his loss in court to Marvel.

According to the site, “Profits from this shirt will go directly to Gary in order to support him with rising medical costs, legal fees and penalties paid to Marvel Comics.” The artwork features skulls drawn by Billy Tackett, Stephen Bissette, Rick Veitch, Bob Burden, Nathan Thomas Milliner, Sam Flegal and Denis St. John. The shirt costs $11.99 and can be purchased on their site.

Collect this now! | 1963

Mystery Incorporated

You knew we were going to get to this series sooner or later, right?

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Talking Comics with Tim | Rick Veitch

The Big Lie

Less than a month ago (and just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11), Rick Veitch‘s latest project (published by Image), The Big Lie, was released. While the one-shot has already been released, it’s clear that Veitch hopes the comic can foster discussion. As a storyteller who began pursuit of his craft in the early 1970s, Veitch has a perspective and creative voice shaped by a wealth of experience that few active current creators possess. In that spirit, I interviewed Veitch via email about his latest collaboration with artist Gary Erskine. While it was a one-shot so far, Veitch clearly intends to do more with The Big Lie platform. Here’s Image’s official description of the story: “A lab tech travels back in time on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 to try and get her husband out of the world trade center before it falls, but will the facts convince him before it’s too late?” For additional context on The Big Lie, be sure to also read CBR’s August interview with Veitch as well the preview we ran in late July.

Tim O’Shea: Do you bristle at the characterization by some that this is a Truther comic?

Rick Veitch: Only in the sense that the “Truther” name lumps together everyone who doubts the government’s version of what happened. I think there’s a huge difference between the architects and engineers who’ve put their professional careers on the line by speaking out and those who are claiming space aliens were responsible.

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Comics A.M. | Justice League second printing allocated, pushed back

Justice League #1 (Second Printing)

Publishing | DC Comics will allocate the second printing of Justice League #1, with retailers receiving 32 percent of their orders, which now won’t ship until Sept. 21, the same day the third printing will be released. ICv2 reports some stores are concerned that potential new readers drawn in by the publisher’s promotional campaign for the New 52 won’t understand the two-week wait to pick up a copy of the comic. The website also runs down the list of cable television shows during which DC’s New 52 commercial is airing. [ICv2.com]

Passings | Comic Art Community reports that artist Dave Hoover passed away earlier this week. Hoover, who drew runs of Captain America and Starman in the 1990s, more recently worked on Zenescope’s Charmed comic. Before working in comics, Hoover was an animator, working on Flash Gordon, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, The Super Friends, The Smurfs and many more in the 1970s and 1980s. [Comic Art Community]

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Preview: Veitch and Erskine’s The Big Lie

The Big Lie

This September Image Comics will release Rick Veitch and Gary Erskine’s The Big Lie, and no doubt it will turn some heads. It’s the story of a lab technician who travels back in time to the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and she has one hour to try and get her husband out of the World Trade Center before it falls.

You can read more about it at USA Today, and check out the preview after the jump.

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Thin wallets, fat bookshelves | A roundup of publishing news and notes

Impossible Incorporated

Impossible Incorporated

Teaser | J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro, who worked together on The Life and Times of Savior 28, have a new project called Impossible Incorporated in the works.

Graphic novels | Rick Veitch, Ramona Fradon, Michael Netzer and Terry Beatty are providing art for The Adventures of the Unemployed Man by Gan Golan and Erich Origen (Goodnight Bush). “Here they’ve written a retro romp that interprets the current global financial imbroglio into classic deadpan superhero shtick,” Veitch writes on his blog. “The writing is quite well done and had me laughing out loud when I first read the script.” The book is due out this fall from Little, Brown and Company.

Prose | Robert Kirkman will have a short story in the upcoming zombie-themed Living Dead 2 from Night Shade Books.

History | DC Comics is working with TASCHEN Books on “an ultra-comprehensive, extra large book so impressive, even super heroes may have trouble lifting it,” according to DC’s The Source blog. 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking will feature more than 1,500 images and essays on the company written by former DC Comics Publisher Paul Levitz.

Comic books | Blackline Comics will publish Assassin & Son: Path of Vengeance, a comic written by the WWE’s Shad Gaspard and Mark Copani. Gaspard used to be part of the tag team Cryme Tyme, while Copani wrestled under the name Muhammad Hassan a few years back and was part of quite the controversy on Smackdown.

Adaptations | Pre-order the upcoming Xbox 360 game Singularity from Amazon, and you’ll receive the Singularity graphic novel, which features the work of Tom Mandrake, among others.

What does Rick Veitch’s soul look like?

Rick Veitch's soul

Rick Veitch's soul

According to the Swamp Thing, Brat Pack, and Army@Love cartoonist, it looks something like this animated gif. Go to Veitch’s blog for the dreamy explanation.

(Via Arthur Magazine)

Veitch shares the secret origin of the Sentry

early Sentry concept art

early Sentry concept art

The Sentry has had an interesting history at Marvel … remember how the Sentry was first publicized — as a “forgotten” character created by Stan Lee back in the day? And in the comics, there’s the whole plotline about how he made everyone forget who he was to save the world from the Void, even his best friends the Hulk and Reed Richards. So the whole theme of forgotten history has been crucial to the character.

Well, here’s one more “now it can be told” piece of the character’s puzzle: Rick Veitch has started a series of blog posts that explain his role in creating the Sentry with Paul Jenkins. Check out the first part here, the second here and the third here. It’s an interesting, and fitting, reveal about the character.

Straight for the art | Rick Veitch’s Good Friday commission

Jesus + Swamp Thing

Jesus + Swamp Thing

Back in March I listed six comics that fell into limbo for various reasons that I’d love to see more of. Earlier this month on his blog, Rick Veitch gave a small taste of what one of those comics would have been like, as he shared the above commissioned sketch of Swamp Thing and Jesus.

Via the Forbidden Planet blog

Six by 6 | Six other comics I’d like to see more of

Miracleman #23

Miracleman #23

After almost 20 years, it looked like the first two issues of Big Numbers were the only issues we’d ever see. But last week the third issue miraculously surfaced on the internet.

Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz’s aborted epic is one of those series that, even 20 years later, still gets people talking and wondering about what might have been. On his blog, Eddie Campbell remembers talking to Kevin Eastman about why the third issue was never published, even though it was finished: “I recall asking publisher Kevin Eastman at the time why, even though the 12-issue series was abandoned, he couldn’t put out the existing third issue,” Campbell writes. “He looked at me as though I was daft. Who would want a third issue if they knew there wouldn’t be any after that?”

And yet here we are, in 2009, talking about a third issue no one would want.

Big Numbers is far from the only series that ever fell into comic limbo. In honor of Pádraig O Méalóid’s eBay purchase, here are six other comics that I’d like to see more of. Note that for the purpose of this list, I avoided titles that were officially canceled for sales reasons (like Blue Beetle, Aztek or Chase … that’s another list for another day) and instead focused on comics that we expected to see one day, but for some reason or another, they were never published (at least not yet, anyway). Books where I feel I could use some closure. Like last week, I received a little help from my fellow Robot 6 bloggers, so thanks to Kevin Melrose, Tim O’Shea and Michael May for their suggestions.

1. Miracleman: I would consider three comic titles the “holy trinity” of stories lost to comic book limbo — three books that were created but never saw print for one reason or another. One would be the previously mentioned Big Numbers #3, while another would be Miracleman #25. Written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by Mark Buckingham, the 25th issue of this epic series was never published.

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Late to the party: Get the first issue of Brat Pack free

Brat Pack

Brat Pack

Missed this: To drum up some interest in the upcoming rerelease, Rick Veitch is offering the first 32 pages of his superhero sidekick saga, Brat Pack, as a free download:

BRAT PACK’s been my best-seller over the years, with the fourth edition selling out in late 2007. There’s a new generation of fans who dig twisted superheroes, such as THE BOYS and KICK-ASS, who will feel right at home in old Slumberg. Folks looking for something really dark and menacing in the wake of the WATCHMEN hype might go for BRAT PACK too.

The new trade collection of Brat Pack will be 176 pages and cost $19.95. A bargain!

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