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Now that Cartoon Network has released a clip from a series of five Metal Men animated shorts debuting Saturday as part of its DC Nation programming block, Evan Dorkin reveals that he and Sarah Dyer collaborated on the project, with the cartoonist also providing character designs. “Although they were simplified quite a bit from what I submitted,” Dorkin notes. You can see the clip, along with some of Dorkin’s designs, below (with more on his blog).
“We had no idea they were going to announce this so we’re playing catch-up,” he writes. “Anyway, I hope DC Nation viewers enjoy them, especially the kids. Nothing against longtime fans and responsometer wonks — there’s two or three Ross Andru/Mike Esposito-designed villains in the mix — but the kids were who we were thinking of while working on the stuff.”
DC Nation airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, I’d start out with Legend of Luther Strode #1 (Image, $3.50). I was behind the times on the first series, but now I will raise my fist to the air and decree “NO MORE!” (to the stunned silence of my local comic shop owner). Justin Jordan really brought a different take on this story, but for me the sizzle on this is Tradd Moore’s art. It reminds me of Sam Keith’s middle-period during his Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine run, and that’s nothing but a good thing. After that I’d get Stumptown #4 (Oni Press, $3.99). Some might compare Dex’s journey to that of Jessica Jones in Marvel’s Alias, but it’s anything but. Greg Rucka really knows how to make a story feel more than just mere fiction. My third pick this week would be Invincible #98 (Image, $2.99), seeing Mark Grayson get his powers back – just in time to be stomped into the ground, from the looks of it. Reading this series since the first issue, I’m noticing the colorist change more and more here; John Rauch definitely is a step removed from FCO Plascencia, and I’m still getting used to it. Kirkman and Ottley are delivering here so well that Domino’s should be jealous. (ba-dum CHING!) Last up in my Wednesday haul would be Avengers #1 (Marvel, $3.99). I’ve noticed in doing Food or Comics for as long as I have how I’ll routinely follow writers but when they manage to get an artist I particularly like I’ll fall over myself trying to get to it. Case in point, this book, with Jonathan Hickman joining forces with Jerome Opeña to kick off a new era for Marvel’s flagship book. I’m all for “Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers,” but I’m even more excited to see Opeña’s take on this.
Called House of Fun, the comic will serve as a venue for Dorkin to revisit some of his older concepts, including Murder Family, The Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Role-Playing Club, and, yes, Milk and Cheese. Each eight-page installment will be colored by his wife and frequent collaborator Sarah Dyer.
“The idea was to bring back as many of my old characters and concepts from Milk and Cheese and Dork as possible, grouping it all under the new House of Fun name,” Dorkin explained on the publisher’s website. “I decided not to use Dork as a catchall title for these comics. I got sick of the name a long time ago and this relaunch felt a good opportunity to finally retire it. […] This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now. The last issue of Dork came out in 2006 and it’s been even longer since I worked on an Eltingville or Murder Family strip. I’m excited to be working on my own stuff again, I’m having a lot of fun making these comics, and I hope folks will have fun reading them. If not they can go suck an egg.”
Dark Horse Presents #10 goes on sale March 21.
When an interview goes well, it has very little to do with me. The value of the interview, not surprisingly, is rooted in the answers. Evan Dorkin is proof of this. At one point in this email interview, the man justifiably ridicules my use of the term “sequential art narrative” in a question–and being Evan Dorkin, it’s damn funny when he does it. The interview covers a great deal of ground, given the diversity and richness of his career to date. First up, though, is Dark Horse’s Beasts of Burden, his upcoming collaboration with Jill Thompson, which is featured on the cover of this month’s PREVIEWS. (Beasts of Burden #1’s item code is JUL09 0015 [and goes on sale September 16]). Aweek or so ago my associate Mr. Melrose linked to the original Beasts of Burden short story, Stray, that Dark Horse posted to its site (and that Dorkin also mentions at the start of this interview). My thanks to Dorkin for what I hope you agree is a great interview.
Tim O’Shea: You are working on Beasts of Burden, for Dark Horse, what can you tell folks about the project?
Evan Dorkin: Beasts of Burden is a four-issue series debuting this September from Dark Horse, I’m writing it and Jill Thompson is illustrating it, and it’s about a group of neighborhood dogs and a stray cat that band together to fight the supernatural. It takes place in a town called Burden Hill, which has become increasingly plagued by monsters and the paranormal. The human inhabitants are largely oblivious to what’s happening, so it’s up to these “ordinary” animals to defend the area from these occult incursions. It’s a horror comic with adventure and fantasy elements, and hopefully a sense of humor. Each issue is a self-contained story, with some narrative undercurrents running through them.