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Comics A.M. | Not-guilty pleas in death of elderly comic collector

Legal

Legal | Rico Venditti and six other alleged members of a stolen-goods ring pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal murder and racketeering charges following a revised grand jury indictment in the July 2010 home invasion of an elderly comics collector. The victim, 78-year-old Homer Marciniak of Medina, New York, died of a heart attack a few hours after being tied up and assaulted during the robbery, which prosecutors claim was set up by Venditti and two others. [The Associated Press]

Conventions | A preview of the first Image Expo, which kicks off Friday in Oakland, California, does double duty as a profile of Image Comics. [Contra Costa Times]

Conventions | Bruce Lidl looks at the potential “Comic-Con tax” that could hit attendees as a result of the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. [The Beat]

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Chain Reactions | Glory #23

Glory #23

Reviews for the Extreme Studios reboot title Glory have been hitting the internet for awhile–Caleb reviewed it here more than a month ago–and this week finally saw the book hit comic shops. Written by Joe Keatinge with art by Ross Campbell, Glory #23 has little to do with the previous 1990s Glory comic, and yet has everything to do with it, as Keatinge and Campbell’s approach wasn’t to toss everything out and start over, but to pick up with and add on the character’s previous origin and history … and then spin her off in a completely different direction.

On paper, this isn’t a comic that should work–although Keatinge has a lot of comics coming out this year, he’s still relatively new to the game, and Ross Campbell isn’t the first, or fifth, or even 100th artist I’d ever think of drawing a revival of a 1990s bad girl version of Wonder Woman. And yet the beauty is that it does work, as Keatinge and Campbell have created something really awesome here. But don’t take my word for it; check out what others have been saying about the return of Glory:

Edward Kaye, Newsarama: “Much of the issue is spent introducing readers to the character and recapping some of her past adventures. One thing that will be immediately noticeable to longtime Glory fans is that her origin tale has been tweaked a bit, so where in the original story she was born as the result of an alliance between the Amazonians and their demonic rivals, she is now the product of a union between two warring alien races. Other than that, her back-story matches that outlined in the original series, and even acknowledges the events that took place in Alan Moore’s very brief revival of the series.”

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Ross Campbell to post sixth Wet Moon online before October release

Wet Moon

Wet Moon Vol. 6

Wet Moon creator Ross Campbell has been posting pages from the sixth volume of his series of graphic novels online for awhile now, which isn’t due out from Oni Press until October. However, the always busy artist, whose work can also be found in Extreme’s Glory revival, Shadoweyes and his Mountain Girl minicomics, announced that he will begin syndicating pages from the book on the web. He also plans to post “other Wet Moon-related stuff” on the blog, like “maybe in-progress drawings, process notes, stuff about volume 7, maybe some History of Wet Moon type stuff like the pre-comic origins of the series …” Look for pages to start appearing Feb. 4.

Glory #23: An experiment in Liefeld without Liefeld

Controversial artist Rob Liefeld — and by “controversial” I mean people tend to either love his work or hate it — seems to be in one of the most productive phases of his recent career, drawing a monthly book for five consecutive issues, and about to take the reins as both writer and artist.

And the Liefeld-created Extreme Studios properties have returned to Image Comics, which is launching continuations of several of the books as part of an ambitious resurrection of Liefeld’s early-’90s characters.

And here’s the weird thing — the two aren’t connected.

Liefeld’s monthly book is DC’s current volume of Hawk and Dove*, a perennial lower-tier property conceived by artist Steve Ditko in the late 1960s. One of Liefeld’s first big breaks was a penciling gig on a Hawk and Dove series in the late ’80s, and DC has kept the characters around in one book or another almost ever since.
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What are you excited about for 2012?

[Note: this post was assembled by both Tim O'Shea and JK Parkin]

This is our final post for our big birthday bash, and what a post it is. No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we have in past years, we have asked various comics folks what they are excited about for 2012 in comics–something they aren’t working on and something they are.

There’s a lot of great stuff here–hints at new projects and even some downright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded!

Jason Latour

Loose Ends 4

I’m most anticipating the 30th Anniversary of HEROES CON (June 22-24, Charlotte, NC) . For any convention 30 years is an amazing run, but the fact that Shelton Drum and his extended family have put this show together every year with nothing but blood, sweat and tears is flat out super heroic.

On the personal front, the challenging and exhilarating ride that’s been Loose Ends will come to a close with issue 4. It’ll be bittersweet to send our child off to into the real world but I can’t wait for you guys to see the work Brunner & Renzi are doing.

I’m also super excited to dip my own toes into the Mignola-verse with the BPRD: The Pickens County Horror [March 28, 2012] and to read the end of Jason Aaron & RM Guera’s Scalped, which is my favorite series in years.

Jason Latour is a writer/artist, most recently the writer of Loose Ends. He spoke with Tim O’Shea about the miniseries in July.

Patrick Zircher

This sounds politic, but it’s genuine: what excites me about comics in 2012 is what’s exciting every year, the work of the talent.  Seeing what the best are up to and how the up-n-comers have grown as artists and writers.  In the new year, I’m also excited about illustrating several books and covers that feature my favorite Avengers.

Patrick Zircher is an artist, who explored the 1920s/1930s era of the Marvel universe in 2011 with the five-issue miniseries, Mystery Men. He spoke with Tim O’Shea about the miniseries in May.

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Full issue: Mountain Girl #2 by Ross Campbell

A whole new contingent of fans are getting to know Ross Campbell thanks to his work on the upcoming Glory, but whether you’re a new or old fan of Campbell’s work, there’s one project you probably haven’t seen: Mountain Girl. Originally only available directly from Campbell at conventions, Ross has agreed to share the second Mountain Girl minicomic here with us today for our anniversary.

Launched in 2006 as a self-published mini-comic, Campbell continued to produce new installments of Mountain Girl annually for two more years. A fourth installment was thumbnailed but never completed. The comic stars Naga, a savage warrior princess living in a post-holocaust world. The daughter of a tribute of mystic cannibal barbarians, Naga’s story in the Mountain Girl comics shows the brutally muscled and tattooed badass fighting Beaver Gods, Shark Goddesses and other enemies. Thematically it’s similar to Conan or Cavewoman, but Campbell’s cartooning pulls no punches in its depiction of violence and savagery.

Although Campbell hasn’t produced any new Mountain Girl comics in a couple years due to other projects, the artist recently self-published a book containing the three minicomics and the thumbnails for a fourth. Campbell says he has plans to do a “rebooted/revamped” Mountain Girl in the near future.  This exclusive preview today is the first time any full-length Mountain Girl comic has ever been published online. Thanks, Ross!

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Talking Comics with Tim | Joe Keatinge

Hell Yeah

I’ve been friendly with Joe Keatinge dating back to his days managing PR & marketing for Image Comics. When it was revealed back in October that Extreme Studios was relaunching the line–with Keatinge writing Glory (with Ross Campbell on art), I started generating questions for an interview. In addition to discussing Glory (which relaunches with Glory #23 on February 15, 2012), Keatinge opens up about Hell Yeah (Image), his creator-owned collaboration with artist/co-creator Andre Szymanowicz that premieres on March 7, 2012, as well as another upcoming 2012 project, Brutal, in collaboration with artist Frank Cho. My thanks to Keatinge for this email interview. After reading this piece, be sure to check out CBR’s Joe Keatinge coverage for more insight into the busy writer’s upcoming work.

Tim O’Shea: Did Rob Liefeld approach you to work on the Glory relaunch? Was Ross Campbell already committed to the project when you joined?

Joe Keatinge: While Rob was certainly involved with the process, I was actually approached by Image Comics Publisher and Extreme Editor, Eric Stephenson, almost a year ago now. At the time they had nailed down the idea of the line and I believe a couple of the other books may have had writers, but it was still in the very early stages. After that was the process of giving a quick pitch, which was virtually instantaneous to Eric asking if I wanted to do it, to developing a longer pitch, to Eric and I bringing Brandon Graham on board for Prophet, to discussing Glory with Brandon, to Brandon suggesting Ross Campbell, to seeing Ross’ amazing work and me asking him if he wanted to come on board. He did a few samples which blew away both Eric and Rob. We’ve been working on it ever since.

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What Are You Reading? with Andy Khouri

Wet Moon

Hello and welcome to a special holiday edition of What Are You Reading? Actually it’s just a normal edition of What Are You Reading?, because changing the font color to red and green, and adding twinkling lights around the border just made it harder to read.

Our special guest this week is Andy Khouri, associate editor over at ComicsAlliance, where he drops comic news and commentary on a daily basis.

To see what Andy and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Bob Pendarvis

A Girl Called Ana Teaches Kittens How To Draw

Last week Chris Arrant covered former Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Professor Bob Pendarvis’ Kickstarter effort to fund A Girl Called Ana Teaches Kittens How To Draw. In today’s email interview, Pendarvis discusses his aim with the book, as well as Sugar Ninjas, the all-female sequential art anthology series aimed at drawing a spotlight on female creators. My thanks to Pendarvis for his time, and Tom Feister for putting me in contact with Pendarvis. His Kickstarter site gives more background on Pendarvis, including  that he “created and taught the first comic book illustration classes at the Savannah College of Art & Design, going on to co-found their comics-based BFA and MFA degree programs (along with writer Mark Kneece and artist Bo Hampton).” If you are interested in helping Pendarvis with his Kickstarter effort, please act now–as there are less than 20 days left to meet the $15,000 goal.

Tim O’Shea: How soon after leaving SCAD did you realize you wanted to develop Sugar Ninjas?

Bob PendarvisSugar Ninjas was originally a project I came up with to showcase the amazing variety of female artists in my classes. In the summer of 2009, as my official association with SCAD was coming to an end (on mutually acceptable terms), I decided to expand the concept of the Sugar Ninjas to include not only SCAD students, but also female artists and storytellers from around the world. All material in the book is copyrighted exclusively to the creators and the books are printed at lulu.com, each one priced at printing costs only—I don’t make a penny from any copy sold (although I encourage the ninjas to add sketches and charge a few dollars more). Volumes 1 and 2 are available right now, and a revised edition of Volume 1 will be back in early 2012.

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Previews: What looks good for February

Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Wonder Woman is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Archaia

Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix - A detective story set in ancient China. Plus: cool name.

Avatar

Dicks #1 – Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s humor makes my top hat explode and my monocle fly off my face, but I remember this being pretty popular back in the day and I imagine that it’s new presentation in color and leading into a new storyline could make it popular again.

Bongo

Ralph Wiggum Comics #1 – This, on the other hand, is exactly my kind of funny. Kind of like 30 Days of Night, I’m astonished no one’s thought of it before. Too bad it’s just a one-shot, but hearing that Sergio Aragones is one of the contributors makes me want to poke myself with my Viking helmet to see if I’m dreaming.

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Ross Campbell brings back glamour and glitter with Jem art

Art by Ross Campbell

As if reviving and redesigning Rob Liefeld’s Glory wasn’t enough, artist Ross Campbell is taking on another redesign project, but for fun this time. Over the past few weeks, Campbell has been posting illustrative headshots reworking the characters of the 1980s cartoon show Jem & The Holograms. Take a look:

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The Robot 6 Holiday Gift-Giving Guide, Part 2

Harvey Comics Classics Vol. 1

Yesterday we kicked off our holiday gift-giving guide, where we asked creators like Jim McCann, Matt Kindt and more for gift suggestion and what they’d want to receive this year. Today we’re back with six more creators, and we asked them the same questions:

1. What comic-related gift or gifts would you recommend giving this year, and why?
2. What gift (comic or otherwise) is at the top of your personal wish list, and why?

So without further ado, let the joy continue …

Jeff Parker

1. If you have young children, you can give them hours of quality time with any of Dark Horse’s Harvey Comics collections. My kids have been poring through them repeatedly. I’ll be following up with old back issues of Casper, Dot, Richie Rich and Hot Stuff from the local comics shops; they’re always very cheap.

2. I would not sneeze at getting that Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes volume from Fantagraphics.

Jeff Parker is the writer of Hulk, Thunderbolts and the webcomic Bucko.

Tim Seeley

All-Star Superman

1. I’m a firm believer in buying comics for everyone on your list, even if they aren’t an avid fan. Make ‘em a fan! All-Star Superman for the superhero fan, Dungeons & Dragons from IDW for the gamer, Habibi for the sophisticated reader, and, of course, my Hack/Slash Omnibi for the horror fan. Or, if you’re planning on dropping a bit more, might I suggest an iPad, loaded with comics apps?

2. I want the collected version of the web strip OGLAF, which I thoroughly enjoy. I wouldn’t mind a CS Moore Witchblade statue to inspire me while I write.

Tim Seeley seems to be all over the place lately, whether it’s writing the new Bloodstrike series from Extreme or Witchblade for Top Cow, drawing issues of Marvel’s Generation Hope, or working on his own creations like Hack/Slash and Jack Kraken. There’s a good chance I forgot something, but you can follow him on Twitter to learn more.

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Read the Extreme Preview book right here


Image Comics has released a digital version of the Extreme Preview book that was available at the New York Comic Con last weekend, and thanks to the embed feature offered by Graphicly, you can read it right here. It can also be downloaded via ComiXology, Graphicly, iVerse and Diamond Digital.

The preview book offers a look at Brandon Graham and Simon Roy’s Prophet, Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell’s Glory; Alan Moore, Erik Larsen and Cory Hamscher’s Supreme; Tim Seeley and Francheco Gaston’s Bloodstrike; and John McLaughlin, Jon Malin and Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood. The first comic from the revived Extreme, Prophet #21, arrives Jan. 18.

NYCC hangover | A round-up of additional news from the show

Age of Apocalypse

News and reports from the New York Comic Con rolled out even after the lights were turned off on Sunday; here are a few of them, as well as some tidbits we missed the first time around:

• Marvel announced an ongoing Age of Apocalypse series by David Lapham and Roberto De La Torre, spinning out of the current “Dark Angel Saga” storyline in Uncanny X-Force. [CBR]

• Designer Chip Kidd is writing a Batman book called Batman: Death by Design with art by Dave Taylor. It’s due out next summer. [ComicsAlliance]

• USA Today spotlighted Captain Brooklyn, due next May from Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri and Amanda Conner. The three-issue miniseries will be published by Image Comics. [USA Today]

• Following the convention, Marvel has released pages from the Prep & Landing story that will appear in a few of their upcoming November comics. [CBR]

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What Are You Reading?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Ross Campbell, creator of Shadoweyes and its recent sequel, Shadoweyes in Love, as well as Wet Moon, Water Baby, The Abandoned and “Refuse,” a short story in the recent Strange Adventures anthology from Vertigo.

To see what Ross and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.

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