Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Continuing with our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back” feature, we asked some creators and other industry figures what they liked in 2014, what they’re looking forward to in 2015, and what projects they have planned for the coming year.
In this installment, hear from Greg Rucka, Stuart Moore, Rico Renzi, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Miss Lasko-Gross, Aaron Kuder, Jimmie Robinson, Curt Pires, Eleanor Davis, Shof and Shobo Coker, Amber Love and Keith Dallas!
Be sure to check out Part 1, and don’t forget to come back later today for more.
Beginning n February, writer Stuart Moore and artist Gus Storms embark on a new five-issue EGOs arc, called “Crunched.” As noted in Image Comics’ solicitations, “The narcissistic super-team of the future returns to battle an invisible threat to the galactic economy.” To whet folks appetite for the upcoming arc, Moore, Storms and designer Brett Evans detailed for ROBOT 6 the steps leading up to the final cover design.
One of the most memorable Spider-Man storylines of the 1980s remains J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck’s “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” which featured the ultimate battle between Kraven the Hunter and Spider-Man. Now, nearly three decades later, Marvel has enlisted Neil Kleid to author a prose adaptation, Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt.
To mark the novel’s release today in comic stores, Kleid talked with me about the nuances of the adaptation. He’ll appear today at 6 p.m. for a book signing at JHU Comic Books in New York City.
Two elements of Stuart Moore and Gus Storms‘ new Image Comics series EGOs make me exceedingly eager to read the first issue: the flawed marriage at the heart of the title (automatic fodder for great drama), and a foe that’s a living galaxy.
To get a better understanding of EGOs, which debuts Jan. 15, I pelted the creators with a series of questions. Moore has a grasp of the comics medium (and its unlimited potential) in a manner few others possess, so to say it was a delight to chat with him and Storms is an understatement. How strong is EGOs? As noted in our discussion, it has Saga writer Brian K. Vaughan as its guardian angel. What more needs to be said? Well, I’m a sucker for any series with a broken-down cyborg. I needed to say that.
Disney Publishing Worldwide has acquired Zodiac, an illustrated novel by Stan Lee, Stuart Moore and Andie Tong.
Based on the Chinese zodiac, the book follows a Chinese-American teenager who’s drawn into a global conspiracy after he and other youth around the world are suddenly bestowed with magical powers.
Lee already has a relationship with Disney, dating back at least to a 2007 first-look deal with the legendary creator’s POW! Entertainment. In 2009, just as Disney completed its purchased of Marvel, the entertainment giant expanded that agreement and acquired a 10 percent equity stake in POW.
Just ahead of New York Comic Con, Dark Horse has announced Mandala, an upcoming sci-fi graphic novel by Stuart Moore and Bruce Zick. The first chapter is available beginning today on Dark Horse Digital for $2.99.
In Mandala, humanity is secretly enslaved by a mind-control cage galled the GRID, and it’s up to Mike Morningstar and his spiritual special-ops unit The Thirteen to alter time and take down the GRID before it’s too late.
“Mandala is probably the biggest-scale epic I’ve ever worked on: a saga of original sin and possible redemption that spans millennia and crosses the timelines” Moore said in a statement. “At its core, it’s the story of Michael Morningstar, a guy who — like many of us — has to find his way in a world he doesn’t quite understand. The characters’ alliances shift constantly, along with the timelines.”
The creators will be signing throughout New York Comic Con at the Dark Horse booth (#1175).
In 1987, writer Christopher Hinz released Liege-Killer, the first novel in his “Paratwa Trilogy,” although longtime comics readers may remember him for his work on the mid-’90s DC Comics/Helix series Gemini Blood. Now, more than 25 years later, Hinz has adapted Liege-Killer for comics, collaborating with artist Jon Proctor on the new graphic novel Binary, published by Ilfeld Comics.
To learn more about the project, I asked Proctor a handful of questions about Binary and working with Hinz.
Tim O’Shea: What was it about Christopher Hinz’s script that attracted you to Binary?
Jon Proctor: Binary is a graphic novel adaptation of Christopher’s novel Liege-Killer, which was first published in 1987. It went on to win the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel and earned a nomination for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. It had a cult following for years, and even though I was unaware of the original novel I was familiar with a nine-issue miniseries Christopher did for DC comics short-lived, science fiction and science fantasy imprint called Helix. The comic, titled Gemini Blood, had similar themes to the Binary/Liege-Killer universe. Incidentally, it was also drawn by Tommy Lee Edwards, and I’ve always been a huge fan of his artwork. Stuart Moore edited the Helix mini, and he and I have been partners in crime for years. He thought I might be a good fit so he approached me with the idea for Binary. Committing to a 125-page full-color book where the entire production sits squarely on my shoulders was a little nerve-wracking, but the script hooked me on the first page. In other words, Christopher is a really talented writer! The science fiction aspect was one thing that attracted me to it but within the layering of the characters was something different and fascinating. For one thing, the idea that the main villain in the book consists of two assassins that share a soul was really something I thought would be great fun as well as a visual challenge to pull off, and it was! The script was just really fresh and the world it portrayed was enormous. I did a few pages as a try out for Christopher and our producer Etan Ilfeld, and thankfully they chose me to do the book.
Amazon Publishing launched its Kindle Worlds store this morning with more than 50 works, including Shadowman: Salvation Sally by Tom King, X-O Manowar: Noughts and Crosses by Stuart Moore, and Harbinger: Slow Burn by Jason Star, all inspired by the Valiant Entertainment properties. In addition, the Self-Service Submission Platform is now open, allowing writers to publish stories based on certain licensed properties and earn royalties in the process.
Billed as the first commercial publishing platform for fan fiction, Kindle Worlds was announced last month as “a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games.”
When Amazon Publishing unveiled Kindle Worlds last month, one of the first questions in comics circles was which publisher would be the first to sign on to the program, which allows fan-fic writers to earn royalties for certain corporate-approved stories. Now we know the answer: Valiant Entertainment.
The recently revived publisher was announced this morning as part of the second wave of licensors, alongside bestselling authors Hugh Howey (Silo Saga), Barry Eisler (John Rain novels), Blake Crouch (Wayward Pines) and Neal Stephenson (Foreworld Saga). Under the agreement, writers will be able to create and sell stories inspired by Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman, with more properties expected to be added later.
In addition, the Kindle Worlds Store will launch later this month with more than 50 commissioned works, including “Valiant-branded” short stories by Jason Starr, Robert Rodi, Stuart Moore and others. The Kindle Worlds self-service submission platform will open at the same time.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where each week we talk about what comics and other stuff have been on our reading piles. To see what the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
[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!
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.
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.
Today marks the release of the second installment of the three-part digital-only comic Wolverine & Deadpool: The Decoy written by Stuart Moore and drawn by the focus of this email interview, Shawn Crystal. As noted by Crystal, when teasing the Marvel Digital Comics project last week at his blog: “The story is 22 pages in length, each chapter being around 7 or 8 pages.” Once you’ve finished the interview and are looking for more info about Crystal, you can visit him at Deviant Art, Facebook, Twitter or a site where you can buy his original art.
Tim O’Shea: What can you tell us about your new Deadpool/Wolverine project which started last Wednesday?
Shawn Crystal: Well, it’s got Wolverine being a bad a$, Deadpool being a dumb a$, and a giant Robot. What more do you need?
I would like to say that getting to draw Wolverine was AMAZING. He’s a childhood favorite of mine, and I had so much fun drawing him. He’s such an icon. I had the classic Art Adams Wolverine poster on my wall, all through college. I felt like the kid in me was standing next to my art table watching me saying “DUDE! You’re drawing WOLVERINE!!!!!” I had a lot of smiles working on this book. I really hope to get another chance to play with him.
The webcomics collective Act-i-vate has kicked off a new ongoing anthology called Panels for Primates, where various comic creators will create comic strips featuring monkeys, apes and other primates to help raise awareness and, hopefully, money for the Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville, Ky.
While the stories can be viewed for free, they include a promo at the end encouraging readers to donate money. Per a press release, upcoming stories will “offer an eclectic mix of creators and content, with the only common denominators being high quality and primates.” The first story, “Ilya’s Back Pages” by Stuart Moore and Rick Geary, is up now. The cover, above, is by Robert Wilson IV.
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talk about the comics and graphic novels that they’ve been enjoying lately.
Today’s special guest is Ryan K Lindsay, a staff writer for comic news and reviews site The Weekly Crisis. He also runs a comic scripting challenge site called thoughtballoons where each week a character is picked, and every member of the site must write a one-page script about that character. He’s also been known to throw a think piece up at Gestalt Mash and is hoping one day to have his many comic pitches drawn by people with pencils.
To see what Ryan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, click the link below …
In the first part of my interview with Stuart Moore we covered the editorial phase of his career. In this second part, Moore and I discuss the freelance writing phase, which began in 2002. As part of this discussion, we discuss his plans for the new Namor: The First Mutant (previewed here by CBR and launching this Wednesday, August 25); Spider-Man: Back in Quack (A Howard the Duck-connected one-shot coming out September 15); his creator-owned collaboration with artist Jon Proctor, Shadrach Stone (also coming out on September 15 [Penny Farthing Press]); and his role as co-writer of the six-part JLA/The 99 miniseries (which launches on October 27) .
Tim O’Shea: Was there any one catalyst (or a number of factors) that prompted you to step fully into the freelance world and focus on your own writing in 2002?
Stuart Moore: It just seemed like the right time. I’d worked on a lot of really interesting projects, very fast, at Marvel, and the deal for PARA (at Penny-Farthing Press) came together. I decided if I was ever going to make a go of it as a writer, it should be now.
O’Shea: How did your projects at Penny-Farthing Press (including Para and Zendra) come to pass?
Moore: I first made contact with Penny-Farthing, a long time ago, when I was involved in the startup of a dot-com-style comics company that never fully came together. I really like the people who run Penny-Farthing; they’re very straightforward and honest, and they do beautiful production work. ZENDRA was a project created by two artists, and they needed someone to come in, flesh out the basic story, and write the scripts. A couple of years later I pitched PARA to them and they liked it, and that led, more recently, to SHADRACH STONE.