ROBOT 6 is honored to be nominated for the 2013 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Publication/Journalism. We’re in excellent company, alongside Alter Ego, ComicsAlliance, The Comics Reporter and TCJ.com. That’s stiff competition.
As anyone who visits the blog recognizes, it’s a group effort, the work of a dozen daily and weekly contributors: JK Parkin, Brigid Alverson, Chris Arrant, Corey Blake, Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman, Mark Kardwell, Chris Mautner, Michael May, J. Caleb Mozzocco, Tim O’Shea and myself. It’s a good team whose varied tastes and opinions help keep our coverage diverse.
However, ROBOT 6 is also the product of a larger site, Comic Book Resources, and many more people whose bylines rarely, if ever, appear on the blog, yet who help shape its content by contributing story ideas, offering advice and lending a hand when needed: Executive Producer Jonah Weiland, Senior Editor Stephen Gerding, News Editor Kiel Phegley, Reviews Editor Steve Sunu, Assistant Editor Rob Levin, Assistant Editor Andy Liegl, Lead Designer Matt Brett and the writers of Comic Book Resources, Brian Cronin and the staff of Comics Should Be Good, and the staff of Spinoff Online.
Thanks to everyone who makes ROBOT 6 possible, and to the Eisner judges for the recognition, and to you, our readers.
As ROBOT 6′s fourth-anniversary celebration winds down, our contributors look back at some of their favorite comics of 2012, from Building Stories and Saga to Goliath and Bandette to Life With Archie and Hawkeye.
One of the hazards of writing about comics is that reading comics starts to feel like work after a while. Then I stumble across something really good and I remember why I started doing this to begin with. Here are some of the books that I really enjoyed this year.
Life With Archie: It’s a soap opera. It’s a clever soap opera, and it’s fun to see the characters I knew as a kid grow up and change in surprising ways. The dual storyline is full of twists, but the characters never forget where they came from.
Jiu Jiu: The best shoujo manga captures what it’s like to be a teenage girl and reflects it back in a new way. Jiu Jiu is a supernatural story about an alienated girl who goes to an ordinary high school but fights demons on her off hours. Her companions are two wolves who can change into hot guys, although they never really lose their doggish ways. This is shoujo manga at full strength, with lots of introspection, innuendo, and incongruity. I loved it.
Remember when I said we had so many previews, announcements, interviews and special features that it would take us two days to celebrate ROBOT 6′s fourth anniversary? It turns out I may have underestimated things. Just a little. So throughout the day, alongside our regular content, we’ll be showcasing more previews, as well as a couple of more features (including our contributors’ picks of their favorite comics of 2012).
In the meantime, below you’ll find a rundown of everything we rolled out on Monday and Tuesday. Thanks once again to all the creators, publishers and publicity managers for helping us celebrate, and to all of the ROBOT 6 contributors for all of their hard work for our anniversary and throughout the year. And, especially, thank you to our readers.
(Note: This list has been updated to reflect today’s final anniversary posts.)
Four years ago Wednesday, a rag-tag band of bloggers launched ROBOT 6 at Comic Book Resources, and ever since then, we’ve celebrated the anniversary with a takeover of the CBR home page. And this year is no different.
Beginning at 8 a.m., we’ll roll out exclusive previews and announcements, special features, and a lineup of interviews that’s so long it will take us two days to showcase them all. We’ll share the space with CBR until noon today, but after that, the website is ours (well, at least until Wednesday morning).
Thanks to CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland for handing us the keys for the next couple of days (and for putting up with us for the past four years), and to the creators, publishers, editors and publicity representatives for helping us to mark the occasion. Thanks as well to the ROBOT 6 contributors for their hard work, and especially to our readers. Here’s to another year!
As you can probably tell from the “Tweet” and “Like” buttons at the top of this post, Robot 6 is on Twitter and Facebook! Follow us there to keep up to date on all of the latest comics news, commentary and reviews. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
Whichever way you choose to follow us, thank you for reading Robot 6!
We’re looking for a writer with a mastery of link-fu who obsessively scans RSS feeds between message-board visits to help us cover comics. The ideal candidate is as comfortable unraveling the plot points of the latest X-Men event as you are explaining the details of the newest Dark Horse digital initiative. What’s more, you can contribute two posts per day, Monday through Friday, without breaking a sweat. Familiarity with WordPress is a plus; fluency in comics is a must.
If you can write passionately and persuasively about a range of comics-related topics, from creator rights and convention wars to reboots and crossovers, we want to hear from you. We’re looking for a writer with a distinctive voice and an ability to respond quickly to developing news to contribute one to two opinion pieces a week. Some days publisher announcements or fan reactions will make your topics clear; other days you’ll be igniting the discussion. Again, familiarity with WordPress is a plus; fluency in comics is a must.
Send links to a half-dozen examples of your work to Kevin Melrose, ROBOT 6’s managing editor. Be sure to specify which position you’re applying for in the subject line.
“And there came a day, unlike any other, when Earth’s Mightiest Children learned to dress themselves, play quietly and take regular naps. On that day The Parents were reborn, to resume the lives they had once mastered!”
– Tom Bondurant
I wanted to give a quick update on some changes at Robot 6. Earlier this year my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world, which has brought all sorts of joy and craziness into our lives. It’s not an experience I’d trade for anything, but as any other parent will probably tell you the term “free time” no longer has much meaning. Between my son, my other gig and running the blog, something had to give, so I’m stepping down as managing editor of Robot 6 and handing the reins to Kevin Melrose.
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Wasn’t he already in charge?” Kevin’s played a huge role on the team since way back when we first started at Newsarama, and he’s been carrying the bulk of the burden while I’ve been enjoying parenthood for the past few months. So the transition should be fairly seamless, particularly for our readers.
Also, this doesn’t mean I’m leaving completely. While my current schedule just doesn’t afford the time I once had to run the blog the way it needs to be run, I’ll still be around on weekends, helping out with What Are You Reading? and other stuff for Robot 6, as well as doing some work for Comic Book Resources. And I’ll still be around during the week for a while longer until Kevin can find someone else to help out.
So, yeah, as far as good-byes go, this one is fairly lame, since I’m not really leaving — I just won’t be around as much. Sort of like Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed & Confused, the guy who graduated high school but was always still hanging around. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, so I thank Kevin, as well as CBR’s Jonah Weiland for helping to make it as easy as possible, and I certainly thank the Robot 6 crew for being the best group of bloggers a guy could ask to be in the comic trenches with. Now I think I hear my kid waking up, and I’m sure mom could use a hand …
If you’ve noticed something weird going on with our comments today, please don’t panic–we’re in the middle of a back-end upgrade that is affecting what you might be seeing on the front-end. Without going into the gritty technical stuff, we’re upgrading our comments system to some new software that will give us some additional capabilities for moderating comments. It will also give you guys some new features you may find useful–like being able to reply directly to another comment, “like” a comment or flag a potentially offensive comment.
Anyway, what this means for the site right now is that some of the comments to older posts may disappear for awhile as they are transferred to this new system. We should be done with the transfer later today. Thanks for your patience!
Jan. 2 marked Robot 6′s third anniversary at Comic Book Resources, and once again we took over the CBR home page to help celebrate in style. Here’s a rundown of everything we posted, just in case you missed it:
- Tim O’Shea spoke with Marvel’s Tom Brevoort about a variety of subjects, from Fantastic Four #600 to digital comics to cancelled series to Brain Michael Bendis’ last year on Avengers–revealing the writer coming after Bendis ha already been chosen.
- We had some great news for fans of Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin books– she’s getting an ongoing series from Oni starting in April. Michael May spoke to Naifeh about his plans for her. Cory at Oni also provided us with a preview of the book.
- Chris Arrant spoke to legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont about what he’s been up to lately, the comics industry, comic book movies and a lot more. If you’ve never read Marada the She-Wolf or Black Dragon, some of his non-X-Men work, he said both are coming back this year from Titan Publishing.
- I spoke with Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson about how they did in 2011, their 2012 plans and a lot more. He also gave us a glimpse at their new ad campaign, which features creators creating comics.
- Brigid Alverson spoke with Marjorie Liu about writing Astonishing X-Men and “other matters,” as well as comiXology CEO David Steinberger about their plans in area of digital comics.
As we start to wind down our big birthday bash, I’m always reminded by our year-end “favorite comics” post of just how much variety there is out there in the big world ‘o comics, from Uncanny X-Force and Batwoman to Habibi and Love & Rockets, from small press to Big Questions, from Wonder Woman to Mister Wonderful, from Daybreak to American Vampire.
So here are the favorite comic lists from the folks who I have the honor of working with every day on the blog. I like to read these just to see what I missed this year, and maybe come away with a list of stuff to go back and check out. I hope you come away with a similar feeling.
1. Planet of the Apes
Written by Daryl Gregory; Drawn by Carlos Magno (BOOM!)
How often does a licensed comic exceed the standards of its source material? We can’t say “never” anymore. Carlos Magno’s lush, detailed art draws the reader into a Planet of the Apes more fantastic than anything we’ve seen on screen. Once there, Daryl Gregory’s story balances adventure and social commentary better than any of the film versions too.
2. Anya’s Ghost
Written and Drawn by Vera Brosgol (First Second)
Anya’s relationship with her ghost is as dysfunctional as the rest of her life and Vera Brosgol’s graphic novel is darker than similar stories in the high school, supernatural-buddy genre. Not that the entire novel is dark. Characters change and grow in positive ways, but any positivity at the end is felt more keenly because of what they had to go through to get there.
What do 20th Century Boys creator Naoki Urasawa, What It Is cartoonist Lynda Barry, former Lois Lane Kate Bosworth, the British Institution of Civil Engineers and Robot 6 have in common? We all share a birthday, Jan. 2!
And once again for our birthday, Jonah Weiland and the good folks at Comic Book Resources are letting us take over the CBR home page for our annual birthday bash. We’ve got a lot of good stuff lined up — interviews, previews, interviews, announcements, and hey, did I mention we had a bunch of interviews? — thanks to several of our friends in the comic industry. So much stuff, in fact, that we’re actually getting started a little bit early this year. We’ll kick things off at noon Jan. 1 and go for a few hours, take a break to get some food and sleep, then start up again the morning of Jan. 2.
So check back in with us between football quarters and movie marathons — comics are the perfect hangover cure. Happy New Year, and don’t forget to come back and see what we’ve got!
A belated congratulations to Robot 6 contributor Sean T. Collins and Missus Collins on the sooner-than-anticipated, but welcome, birth of their daughter Helena Christine Collins! As Sean notes on his blog, although she wasn’t expected until May 2, Helena “shipped early,” arriving on Friday.
On the website Destructor, his webcomic collaboration with artist Matt Weigle, Sean posts a piece of wonderful fanart created for the occasion by Isaac Moylan and adds: “Insofar as Ms. Collins is currently being kept alive and thriving by mechanical intervention — albeit of a variety both less thorough and less fashion-forward than what you see here — a drawing of her as a tiny, jolly cyborg is not entirely inappropriate. I hope you’ll join me in wishing that she can soon doff her metaphorical suit of armor and join the human world at large.”
We hope you’ll join Robot 6 in wishing that and more for Sean and his family.
You may have noticed a new addition to our home page, and each post — easy access to our Facebook page! If you haven’t already, come “Like us” for quick and easy access to all our posts on Facebook, while you share your thoughts and comments.
If you’re a fan of horror comics or just good comics in general, then you’ll like this. Courtesy of our friends at Top Cow, starting today we will serialize the first issue of Echoes by writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Rahsan Ekedal. In addition, each page will include creator commentary from Fialkov.
You can check it out at http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/echoescomic. The cover and first page with commentary on both are up now, with new pages arriving every day.
And of course, if you decide you’d prefer to read it in print, a second printing of Echoes #1, as well as Echoes #2, can be found in stores now. The third issue arrives Feb. 23. For more information, visit http://www.echoesthecomic.com or follow on Twitter @echoescomic. We’ll have an interview with Fialkov a little later this afternoon, and you can check out the official press release after the jump.
Creators | Artist Alan Kupperberg shares word that colorist Tom Ziuko has been hospitalized as he fights acute kidney failure and other health conditions. “The good news is that the doctors seem to have finally stumbled on a series of treatments and therapies that have Tom seeing some light at the end of the tunnel,” Kupperberg said in a message to Daniel Best. “The bad news is that Tom, uninsured and unable to work since the beginning of December, is in a tough financial bind.” Kupperberg is accepting donations via his PayPal account — firstname.lastname@example.org — and adds, “I will pass 100% (plus) along to Tom.”
Ziuko worked in DC Comics’ production department before going freelance, and colored comics like Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batman, Action Comics and History of the DC Universe, to name a few. Todd Klein remembers their time together at DC. [20th Century Danny Boy]
Creators | Artist Paolo Rivera suffered a broken cheekbone after intervening in a domestic dispute. “The good news is I’m all right and—most importantly—my vision is intact,” he wrote on his blog. “… I had surgery on Monday and have been taking it very, very easy since. All things considered, I was very lucky. My eye looks horrendous—the white of the eye is blood red—but I can still see (thank goodness) and should make a full recovery. I also have a pretty rad haircut right now due to surgery… it kinda looks like the one I had circa 1995.” [The Self-Absorbing Man]