In March, DC Comics debuted Constantine, a new series focusing on the hard-living occult detective John Constantine. No big deal, right? Not so. For more more than two decades, the character was one of the pillars of the the publisher’s “mature readers” Vertigo imprint, starring in the long-running Hellblazer.
Following brief minor dalliances in some event titles in 2010 and 2011, Constantine was made a key figure in the New 52 title Justice League Dark. The aforementioned Hellblazer ended earlier this year with its 300th issue, paving the way for a full-fledged transition of the Liverpudlian warlock into the realm of superheroes. Readers greeted the new Constantine series with both hope and trepidation, and although the first issues are out — so is the jury.
With that in mind, it’s interesting to look at other characters that have called Vertigo home, and how they might fare in the DC Universe of the New 52. Some, like Constantine, crossed over with a bang, while others like Lucifer Morningstar and Kid Eternity, not so much. For this installment of “Six by 6,” I pinpoint six characters or teams that could possibly make the transition well. Please note than many of Vertigo’s best-remembered series aren’t wholly owned by DC but rather in creator-participation deals like Preacher, Transmetropolitan and 100 Bullets; so while the idea of Spider Jerusalem reporting on the state of things in Gotham City might be amusing, I’ve left those off the table for reality’s sake.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and whatever else we’ve been checking out lately. Today we are joined by guest Evan Young, an “influential pioneer” of digital literature and creator of the digital graphic novel The Carrier. He’s currently raising funds for his next project, The Last West, via Kickstarter, so head over there and check it out.
To see what Evan and the Robot 6 team have been reading, click below.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where we regularly talk about the comics we’ve been reading lately. Our special guest today is homebrewing enthusiast and first-time publisher Joshua Henaman. He’s the creator of Bigfoot – Sword of the Earthman, a sword, sorcery and Sasquatch epic self-published under the Brewhouse Comics banner with art duties by Andy Taylor. It’s available in select stores and via online ordering at www.bigfootcomic.com.
To see what Joshua and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Every week, hard as it may be to believe, I try honestly to offer something I think might interest the larger group of DC Domics superhero readers. However, this week I am invoking a personal privilege. For one thing, with Halloween on a Wednesday (when I usually end up writing these essays), the holiday will more than likely take priority.
The main reason, though, is that today is my birthday, and as you might have guessed from the headline, this year is my 43rd birthday. Therefore, this week I have pulled together an especially memorable DC story and/or issue from each of those years, 1969 through 2012. (Note: They may not always line up with the actual year, but just for simplicity’s sake, all dates are cover dates.) These aren’t necessarily the best or most noteworthy stories of their particular years, but they’ve stuck with me. Besides, while I’ve read a lot of comics from a lot of sources, for whatever reason DC has been the constant. Maybe when I’m 50 I’ll have something more comprehensive.
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Simon Bisley’s return to 2000AD after 22 years absence comes in the form of the cover to the upcoming Prog 1800. It’s already dividing opinion. I’ve never blamed Bisley for the worst excesses of his copyists, and this image has its high points — the Judge Death and Mean Machine figures, drawn in Bisley’s mature style, are particularly good — but it is hard to see past the great big unnecessary arse in the middle of this composition (via Comics Alliance).
Much more below, including the Beatles, Shaky Kane, Brendan McCarthy, Jamie Hewlett and Duncan Fegredo.
DC Entertainment will release a slipcase edition of Sandman this November, collecting all 10 volumes of the landmark series by Neil Gaiman and friends. The slipcase will retail for $199, which is about what you’d pay if you bought all the books by themselves at full price. Amazon has it available for pre-ordering for $
125. (Update: the price went up today to $179).
According to Gaiman, the collections are recolored, using the recolored Absolute Edition pages of the first few books.
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where we share what comics, books and other good stuff we’ve been checking out lately. This week our special guest is Thomas Hall, writer of the science fiction/fantasy comic Robot 13.
To see what Thomas and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Before Wednesday morning’s big news, I was all ready to write about the wish-fulfillment aspects of DC’s reprint program. Maybe next week.
Now, though, we’ve got Before Watchmen*, seven miniseries and a one-shot in the Seven Soldiers mode, and no doubt collection-ready. Please pardon my cynicism, but with all due respect to the impressive roster of professionals involved, this could have easily been subtitled We’re Back For More Cash.
To be clear, I understand DC wanting to make money off its intellectual property. A while ago I argued that one purpose of the current Shade miniseries is to fill another slot on bookshelves next to the rest of James Robinson’s Starman collections. Starman was one of the rare series where one writer introduced a character (Jack Knight) and took him through a series of adventures, until that character reached the natural endpoint of his life’s particular phase. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman preceded it, and Garth Ennis’ Hitman followed. (Working with writers David Goyer and Geoff Johns, Robinson tied Starman into the JSA revival as well.)
Creators | Robert Crumb pens a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, explaining why he pulled out of the Graphic 2011 festival: “I was quite alarmed when I read the article in the Sunday Telegraph. I showed it to my wife, Aline, who said, ‘That’s it, you’re not going.’ She got a very bad feeling from the article. She feared I might be attacked physically by some angry, outraged person who simply saw red at the mention of child molesters. She remarked she’d never seen any article about me as nasty as this one.” Sunday Telegraph staff writer Claire Harvey, meanwhile, responds to Crumb’s comments and criticisms lobbed at the newspaper: “Crumb seems to be living in fear of the reaction he once sought to provoke. It seems a sad place for any artist to be.” [The Sydney Morning Herald]
Passings | Kim Thompson eulogizes Argentina cartoonist Francisco Solano López, who passed away on Friday. [The Comics Journal]
Conventions | Reporting from this weekend’s Wizard World Chicago, the Chicago Tribune talks to former comic shop owner Gary Colabuono, who displayed rare ashcan editions of comics from the 1930s and 1940s featuring Superman, Superwoman, Superboy and Supergirl at the show. Blogger Matthew J. Brady has pictures of the ashcans, as well as a report from the show. [Chicago Tribune]
Sometimes it’s been hard for me to process the New 52 as anything but an amorphous mass of, well, Newness. In this respect, DC’s October solicitations are helping to define that mass, with details like the five-year timeframe and Superman’s work boots.
Still, despite the promise of widespread change — and the somewhat-irrational implication that those who aren’t curious now will be left behind later — it’s been fairly easy for me almost to ignore the solicits, and just buy the books when they come out. After all, presumably DC is after new (or returning) readers who don’t follow the solicits and aren’t attuned to the spoilers.
Besides, the October solicits also include some attractive reprints; so let’s get right to it, shall we?
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Welcome once again to Shelf Porn, our look into the hearts and homes of fans around the world. Today’s submission comes from Fran Sad in from Lausanne, Switzerland, who shows off a HUGE collection of graphic novels, posters and the like.
I’m going to be out all this coming week, so there won’t be any Shelf Porn next Saturday, but in the meantime, please do what you can to fill up my in-box with pictures of your shelves while I’m away. Send your write-ups and jpg’s to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll sort’em when I get back.
And now here’s Fran’s pictures …
To see what Jim and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click the link below.
Vertigo confirmed at New York Comic Con this afternoon that it will release a graphic novel by Anthony Bourdain, the acerbic chef, author and host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations.
Revealed last month by Bourdain himself, Get Jiro! is a futuristic action thriller set in a world where food and the secrets of its preparation are the source of all power, leading master chefs to fight over a mysterious sushi chef named Jiro. Bourdain has described the graphic novel as “Yojimbo meets Big Night and Babette’s Feast, an ultra-violent slaughter-fest over culinary arcana.”
Get Jiro! is written by Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw) and friend and novelist Joel Rose (The Blackest Bird, Kill Kill Faster Faster), and illustrated by artist Langdon Foss (Heavy Metal). The book is expected to be released sometime in 2011.
During today’s “Vertigo: On the Edge” panel, the DC Comics imprint also announced:
- The Annotated Sandman, a four-volume collection by Leslie S. Klinger, editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and The New Annotated Dracula, working closely with Neil Gaiman.
- The reunion of the 100 Bullets team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso on “a top-secret Vertigo project for 2011.”
- The New York Five, a four-issue sequel to The New York Four, Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s 2008 Minx graphic novel. The miniseries debuts in January.
- Delirium’s Party, Jill Thompson’s follow-up to 2001′s The Little Endless Storybook, will debut in March.
- Mentioned at Comic-Con International, the six-issue Cinderella: Fables are Forever will debut in February from the Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love team of Chris Roberson and Sean McManus.
Look for a full panel report at Comic Book Resources.
Comics College is a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the comics medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work.
This month at Comics College we’ll be taking a look at the work of one of the true celebrities in the comics world, Mr. Neil Gaiman, who has been in the news a bit lately, thanks to a certain award-nominated film and a big profile piece in The New Yorker.
Now, Gaiman is an incredibly prolific writer. and his comics output alone is quite impressive. be concerned mainly with his comics work and less so with his novels, screenplays and other material.
Over at the always entertaining Covered blog, artist Rusty Shackles reimagines the cover to a classic, Marvel Two-in-One #86. Although fairly different than the original cover, it does seem to capture its spirit.