When comics entrepreneur Marc Arsenault announced almost a year ago that he had bought defunct Alternative Comics in order to relaunch the publisher, a lot of fans (me included) were thrilled. Under founder Jeff Mason, Alternative introduced readers to creators like Graham Annable, Brandon Graham, James Kochalka, Ed Brubaker, Scott Campbell (of Great Movie Showdowns fame), Dean Haspiel and Josh Neufeld. So with Alternative and comiXology announcing today that the publisher’s catalog is becoming available digitally on the app, I was eager to talk to Arsenault about their plans.
Michael May: For those who don’t know you, what’s your background in comics?
Marc Arsenault: Wow. Where to begin? I’ve been a pretty behind-the-scenes guy for most of my time in comics, but this year I’ve hit the quarter century mark for working in them.
I figured out that I wanted to make comics somewhere around eighth grade when I discovered RAW, Warrior and Heavy Metal. When I found out about the comics program at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) my path was clear. I didn’t even apply to any other schools. I got to study with Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Joe Orlando, David Sandlin, Jerry Moriarity, Marshall Arisman and the very influential Jack Potter.
That experience was very relevant to Alternative Comics’ past and present because it was there that I met Sam Henderson and Tom Hart. I shared a studio space with Tom, and he and Sam had started an off-campus comics anthology called Tuna Casserole. By the fifth issue I became co-editor and we founded the first incarnation of my company Wow Cool. I ended up becoming an illustrator instead of a cartoonist, and did that freelance on and off up until about a decade ago.
It looks like things are about to get even more dangerous for the G.I. Joe team.
IDW Publishing announced on their Facebook page today that they will publish a G.I. Joe/Danger Girl crossover.
“CROSSOVER OF THE CENTURY ALERT: DANGER GIRL and GI JOE are teaming up! Campbell! Hartnell! Royle! Barber! Dunbier!” were the only words accompanying the artwork seen above, featuring Danger Girl Abbey Chase dressed as the Baroness. No further details were shared, but I’m betting we find out more this weekend at C2E2.
Update: Update: Kiel Phegley at CBR picks up a few more tidbits on the project at the Diamond Retailer Summit leading into C2E2: The series will be written by Scott Campbell and co-creator Andy Hartnell, and drawn by John Royle.
All this week at Robot 6 we’re interviewing some of the many contributors to First Second’s new anthology, Nursery Rhyme Comics. In today’s final installment, Chris Mautner talks to cartoonist Scott C.
If anyone in this new anthology seemed like a “must-get,” it surely was the cartoonist known as Scott C., a.k.a. Scott Campbell. His charming, anthropomorphic — and frequently sardonic — work, whether found in video games made by Double Fine Studios, in comics like Hickee and the Flight anthologies, or in his new book, Amazing Everything: The Art of Scott C. seems perfectly suited to the off-kilter, frequently surreal world that nursery rhymes frequently seem to inhabit. The fact that he chose one of the most manic rhymes of the bunch — “Pop Goes the Weasel” — seems equally fitting.
How did you get involved in this particular project and what led to you selecting this particular nursery rhyme?
I’ve known Chris Duffy for awhile through Nickelodeon magazine. When he asked me to take part in the project, there were not many rhymes left. I chose Pop! Goes The Weasel because it is the most nonsensical of any of the rhymes and I thought it would be fun to pick apart.
Scott Campbell (who goes by Scott C, presumably to avoid confusion with J. Scott Campbell) has completed an art book (his first collection of watercolor paintings) called Amazing Everything. If you’re familiar with Campbell’s work, you understand how appropriate that title is. It debuts this weekend at APE, but there’s also a launch party Thursday at San Francisco’s 111 Minna Gallery from 7 – 10 p.m.
Among other things, Campbell promises:
Robot 6 has Planet of the Apes on the brain lately. Kevin Melrose just finished a PotA marathon that made me want to start my own and I’m anxiously looking forward to BOOM!’s prequel comic tomorrow. But while talking primates fans wait for that, I thought it might be nice to check out Scott Campbell’s version that also includes King Kong, the flying monkeys of Wizard of Oz, the primates of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Ro-Man Extension XJ-9 from Robot Monster.
Be sure to check out the rest of Campbell’s post too. He has a playground full of werewolves, a picnic with the Draculas, a floating bar for sea monsters, and much more.
A few months back when I interviewed Dustin Harbin regarding this year’s HeroesCon, I made a mental note to follow-up with Harbin in another interview, where we could just discuss his creative projects/process. This interview was conducted via email several weeks back. Late last week, Harbin let me know that while he’s remaining as Creative Director at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find and Heroes Convention, he will be reducing his hours at the store and has “gone full-time with cartooning”. My thanks to Harbin for another interview, I’m happy to say this one was even more fun than the last.
Tim O’Shea: How much are you paying Tom Spurgeon to pimp your work? Seriously, Spurgeon praises many talented storytellers, but he seems to be your number one fan. Did you buy him a lot of meals when he came to HeroesCon in 2008 or what?
Dustin Harbin: I remember having to argue with Tom just to be able to bring him a water: I tried hard to buy him a drink at the hotel bar, but he was leery of my seductive ways. I think Tom is like a lot of us–he’s a passionate advocate for people he thinks deserve wider recognition. I’m not basing this just on the very VERY kind attention he’s showed my comics so far, but he’s the reason I discovered Richard Thompson’s work, who you’ll agree Tom is an even more vociferous a supporter of. I don’t know what attracted Tom’s good feelings, but I’m incredibly grateful for them.