Skullkickers Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Comics A.M. | CCS to offer masters in applied cartooning

The Center for Cartoon Studies

The Center for Cartoon Studies

Academia | The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, is adding a masters of fine arts degree in applied cartooning that will allow students to focus on using the comics medium for journalism, medicine, business and other fields. [Valley News, press release]

Creators | With the arrival of the second issue of The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman talks about the joy of writing the first series and returning for this one, why he chooses to pen a story as a comic rather than a novel, and how his process differs as well: “When I’m outlining a comic, I write down the numbers 1 to 24, and I jot down what’s happening on each page, because I have to think of things in terms of pages, and double-page spreads. In a novel, if I want to move a scene, I just cut and paste. In a novel, it’s a completely different conversation.” [CNN]

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‘Skullkickers’ Edwin Huang steps out with art book

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Since its launch in 2012, the Image series Skullkickers has filled the hole that was missing sword-and-sorcery, beer-drinkin’, raucous fight comic. We didn’t know we needed it until we got it, but now I’m glad it’s here. And now series artist Edwin Huang is stepping up his game with a deluxe art book containing his other creator-owned work, as well as that of some of his friend. And he’s using Kickstarter to do it.

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… and I’ll look down and whisper, ‘Before Skullkickers’

before-skullkickers-cropped

After sending up recent superhero-comics trends with The Uncanny Skullkickers, Savage Skullkickers, Mighty Skullkickers, The All-New Secret Skullkickers and Dark Skullkickers — all pokes at Marvel titles — Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang set their sights on DC in August with “Before Skullkickers.” (You can see Image’s August solicitations at Comic Book Resources.)

Returning the series to its original numbering after a succession of No. 1 issues, Skullkickers #24 features four “Tavern Tales,” by Ron Marz, Lee Moder, Adam Warren, Tom Raney, Todd DeZago, Stjepan Seji, Zubkavich and Huang, that recount the early adventures of the books’ heroes. Hence, “Before Skullkickers.”Skullkickers #24 arrives Aug. 14.

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After Skullkickers gets Uncanny, it will turn Savage

Skullkickers creators Jim Zubkavich and Edward Huang aren’t finished with their flirtation with adjectives just yet. After announcing last month that their Image Comics fantasy action-comedy will be re-branded in February as The Uncanny Skullkickers, complete with a new Issue 1, they’ve now revealed that March will see the release of … Savage Skullkickers #1.

“With over 180 issues released over the past 20 years, Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon is one of the most compelling and consistent creator-owned comics ever made,” Zubkavich said in a statement. “In order to commemorate Erik’s hard work and strident ‘no relaunching, no renumbering’ approach to his series, we thought we’d relaunch and renumber Skullkickers, stealing his precious ‘Savage’ adjective while we’re at it. Thanks, Erik!”

To help prevent headaches among collectors, Image will offer two covers: the regular Savage Skullkickers #1, and an “Issue 20 Variant” to “make sure your collector streak is unbroken.” You can see both below.

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Comics A.M. | Canadian city learns to love Marvel’s ‘origin bomb’

From "Avengers" #1

Comics | Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, appears to be embracing its role in this week’s Avengers#1 as a target of an alien “origin bomb” that struck the city, changing its biosphere and altering billions of years of evolution in mere minutes. Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice present and executive editor, tells a local newspaper he’s unsure why Regina and Perth, Australia, were selected, but local retailer Chad Boudreau seems glad it happened. “We had no advanced notice of it,” he said. “It just happened that someone reading the comic saw it in there.” He expects strong sales at Comic Readers, with those who don’t typically follow comics buying the issue out of curiosity. [The Star Phoenix]

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With a wink, Image Comics announces … Uncanny Skullkickers #1

Riding the “Uncanny” wave of new Marvel titles — Uncanny Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Uncanny X-ForceSkullkickers creators Jim Zubkavich and Edward Huang have wryly announced the February arrival of … The Uncanny Skullkickers #1.

“A bold new direction!” the Image Comics solicitation promises. “A perfect jumping-on point! A newly added adjective! Our nineteeth issue, but also a new issue #1! It’s all here, people! Don’t make us use more exclamation marks!! P.S. Retailers: Rack this comic beside other ‘Uncanny’ comics you may have hanging around and sell a ton of copies. Do it.” The subsequently released teaser (above), parodies Marvel’s ubiquitous ads for its relaunched titles, with the “Join the Revolution” logo replaced by a box reading “YUP we went there.”

Image NOW! maybe? Hey, why not. “That’s how we roll … bandwagon-jumping bastards,” Zubkavich wrote this morning on Twitter, adding, “Wait until you see the variant cover.”

Speaking of covers: Note, too, that Chris Stevens’ cover (below) bears a striking similarity to those recently released by DC Comics for its Zero Month. The Uncanny Skullkickers #1 goes on sale Feb. 27.

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What Are You Reading? with Jay Faerber

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at what’s been on our nightstands lately. Our guest this week is Jay Faerber, writer of Dynamo 5, Near Death and Noble Causes. The second Near Death trade just came out this week, and his new comic, Point of Impact, comes out Oct. 10.

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

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Food or Comics? | Stelle or Steed and Peel

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.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Showcase Presents Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, Volume 1

Graeme McMillan

It’s an odd one for me this week; if I had $15, I’d probably just grab two of DC’s Zero Month books (Batman Incorporated and Flash, both $2.99) and then skip straight to the $30 portion of the week so that I could pick up the Showcase Presents Amethyst, Vol. 1 collection (DC, $19.99), if only to reassure me that the original series was good after last week’s revival.

If I were to splurge, I’d step outside of DC’s purview and go for IDW’s Joe Kubert Tarzan Artist Edition. I was one of the many people who didn’t really “get” Kubert as a kid, but his linework won me over as I got older, and the chance to see some of his best-looking art in ”real size” is something that I’d love to be able to embrace.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15, I’d get Batman Incorporated #0, probably the only DC zero book I’ll get, and Vol. 11 of Yotsuba&!, because I could use some irrepressibly cute manga about an adorable green-haired girl right about now.

If I had $30, I’d put away Yotsuba&! and get Barbara, Osamu Tezuka’s manga about a would-be artist who takes in a lovely but strange homeless woman, only to become convinced that she is his personal muse. I know there was a bit of grumbling that DMP went the Kickstarter route in getting this published, but honestly, I’m just happy to have more Tezuka in print.

What constitutes a splurge purchase? How about six, hardcover, slipcased volumes of Robert Crumb’s sketchbook work, priced at about $1,600, courtesy of the fine folks at Taschen? Yeah, I think buying that would be a “splurge purchase.” It would also constitute sheer madness and a one-way trip to the poorhouse, but at least you’d have all those nice Crumb books to keep you company. I’m sure they’d make a fine pillow.

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Comics A.M. | Batman dominates August bookstore sales

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Retailing | DC Comics dominated bookstore graphic novel sales in August, probably because of the release of The Dark Knight Rises and a “buy two, get one free” sale on DC graphic novels at Barnes & Noble. Six of the Top 10 titles are Batman comics, with The Walking Dead, Watchmen, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Naruto each taking a slot as well. [ICv2]

Creators | Judge Dredd writer John Wagner talks about the origins of his character, the importance of U.K. publisher DC Thomson, and his dislike of digital comics. [The Daily Record]

Creators | Nick Spencer guests on Kieron Gillen’s podcast to discuss Morning Glories. [Kieron Gillen's Workblog]

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Food or Comics? | Amontillado or Amulet

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.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Locke & Key: Grindhouse

Graeme McMillan

I don’t know quite why, considering I’ve been feeling cynical and disinterested in the DC Universe over the past couple of weeks, but I find myself tempted by both Flash Annual #1 and Justice League International Annual #1 (both DC Comics; $4.99) this week; something even more surprising considering I haven’t been following the JLI series past trying out the first issue. And yet, if I had $15 this week, I suspect I’d be using a chunk of it for that. I’d also grab Joe Hill and Gabriel Hernandez’ Locke & Key: Grindhouse (IDW Publishing, $3.99), because, well, Locke & Key is a very, very good comic book.

If I had $30, I may find myself picking up the first collection of Peter Panzerfaust (Vol. 1: The Great Escape; Image Comics; $14.99) because I like the high concept behind it even if I managed to miss the single issues. People who did pick it up in singles: Is it the kind of thing I’d like, do you think?

Should I find the money and ability to splurge, I find myself surprisingly drawn to Dark Horse’s Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars Vol. 1 ($24.99); I blame people in my Twitter feed talking about Star Wars Celebration last week, and my thinking, “I haven’t really kept up with Star Wars in ages” in response. Does that count as peer pressure?

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Talking Comics with Tim | Aubrey Sitterson

Gear Monkey (from DoubleFeature Comics)

Former Marvel editor Aubrey Sitterson has made the leap to the wonderful world of freelance writing. To mark this critical career jump, Sitterson stopped by Talking Comics with Tim to discuss his transition from editor to writer, as well as his current and upcoming projects — namely the Gear Monkey tale (by Sitterson with art by Nate Lovett) that appears in DoubleFeature Comics‘ digital release Fantasy Double Feature #3, and Redakai (for Viz Media). I was interested to learn why Sitterson lettered his own Gear Monkey tale, as well as to discuss his love of wrestling.

Tim O’Shea: You started out in the industry on the editorial side, but am I correct in assuming it was always in hopes of pursuing a full-time writing career?

Aubrey Sitterson: You’re ab-so-lutely correct, sir. While I really enjoyed my time editing comics, the goal has always been to transition into a comics writer. It was all part of my devious master plan to start at Marvel as an intern in college, get hired as an Assistant Editor, stick my finger in as many pies as I could, learn at the knee of two of comics’ best editors (Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso) then strike out on my own in pursuit of Complete and Utter Comics Domination. I’m still working on that last part.

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What Are You Reading? with Aubrey Sitterson and Charles Soule

The Massive #1

Happy Father’s Day and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where each week we talk about what comics and other stuff have been on our reading piles. Today’s guests are two of the contributors to Skullkickers #18, which features several “Tavern Tales” short stories by different creative teams. Joining us today are Charles Soule of 27, Strange Attractors and Strongman fame, and Aubrey Sitterson, winner of the Skullkickers Tavern Tales Contest. He’s also the writer of Gear Monkey for Double Feature Comics and community manager for WWE Games.

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

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Skullkickers #14 shows us the way of the gun

One of the big mysteries of Skullkickers — besides the names of the two main characters, of course — is how a gun landed in a sword-and-sorcery comic. Issue 14, due out May 9, promises to reveal the secret behind the gun.

Courtesy of Image, we’re pleased to present some teaser pages, or, um, panels, actually, from the comic. According to Image’s Jennifer de Guzman, every page in the book is a spoiler, except for the few panels they’ve released. “We’re also going to be having some fun issuing an informal ‘No Spoilers’ challenge to reviewers since pretty much every image in comic but those we’re teasing with are spoilers,” she said.

Check ‘em out below.

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This weekend, it’s Emerald City Comicon

Emerald City Comicon kicks off today and continues through Sunday at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Scheduled guests include Bryan Lee O’Malley, Robert Kirkman, Brandon Graham, Don Rosa, Bill Sienkiewicz, Greg Rucka, Jhonen Vasquez, Matt Fraction, Gail Simone, Ed Brubaker, Jim Valentino, Bill Willingham, Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri, Jim Woodring, Brian Wood, Tim Sale, Mike Allred, Kurt Busiek, Darick Robertson, Greg Capullo, Dan Slott, Steve Lieber, Rick Remender, Steve Niles, Phil Hester, Joëlle Jones, Nate Powell, Chris Roberson, Tony Moore, Ben Templesmith, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Scott Wegener, Shannon Wheeler, Brian Churilla, David Petersen, Colleen Coover, Nathan Edmondson, Joe Casey, Paul Tobin, Francis Manapul, Ryan North, Jeff Parker, Ryan Ottley, Jamie S. Rich, Tim Seeley, Nick Spencer, Matt Wagner, Thom Zahler, Scott Kurtz, Joe Keatinge, Daryl Gregory and many more.

You can find the complete programming schedule on the ECCC site, and here’s a round-up of various things you can do, buy and expect to find out about at the show …

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Talking with Jim Zub, Part 1: Skullkickers breaks 500,000 page views

Jim Zubkavich got plenty of buzz for his comic Skullkickers when it was just in print, but now that he is running the early chapters on Keenspot as a free webcomic, it’s really a hot ticket: One month after the comic debuted on Keenspot, his traffic has reached over half a million page views from over 38,000 viewers.

As you will see below, Zubkavich is not afraid to talk real numbers, and we quizzed him on why he would take a hit comic and put it on the internet for free and how his other online comic, Makeshift Miracle, is working out. In part two of this interview, we’ll ask about his newest project, Shifty Look.

Robot 6: Skullkickers has gotten all sorts of critical acclaim, and I assume it has sold well in its print incarnation. Why did you decide to put it online? And why at Keenspot, as opposed to your own site?

Jim Zubkavich: No matter how well Skullkickers has done as indy creator-owned comic, the unfortunate reality of the print comic business and retail system in 2012 is that once the series is running, it’s incredibly hard to keep growing the audience on monthly issues. Some readers you started with convert to trades, others move on. The reading audience nowadays is less likely to jump in to a random issue and start from there unless you give them an easy way to catch up. Serializing our earlier issues online is the equivalent of lending thousands of new readers our earliest adventures as a way to get them on board the Skullkickers concept.

Keenspot has a massive loyal online audience that consistently reads webcomics. They have great outreach and experience in building that audience, along with a solid ad revenue system in place thanks to the tens of millions of pageviews their combined sites get each month.

Instead of starting from scratch and spending my time trying to find people, Keenspot allowed me to get the site running and in front of a huge group of potential readers who are primed for the type of content we’re doing. That way I can focus on making great comics. It’s not a turnkey solution and there is upkeep and interaction, but a lot of the infrastructure and outreach is taken care of. I wouldn’t have that kind of impact on my own site, not without a massive outlay of time and extra money.

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