It doesn’t look like there were as many comic-related announcements on Saturday at WonderCon as there were on Friday, but the second day of the con certainly brought some gems.
• IDW and DC announced that Mark Waid (Daredevil, Insufferable) and Paul Smith (Uncanny X-Men, Leave it to Chance) are teaming up for The Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction. “Not many writers have been lucky enough to write The Rocketeer or The Spirit,” Waid said in a press release, “so I feel like I’ve won the lottery. This is one of the most exciting-and scariest-assignments I’ve ever undertaken. Luckily, I’ve got Paul Smith to make me look good!” The first issue of the miniseries arrives in July.
It seems good art attracts good art. That’s my thinking at least when I learned that noted poster artist James White (aka SignalNoise) has created an ultra-rare variant cover for the first issue of IDW Publishing’s The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror. The book, which debuts Feb. 27, is written by Roger Langridge and illustrated by J. Bone, with standard covers by Walter Simonson.
Although this is White’s first published comic book work, he’s been prolific online, contributing illustrations and designs for the burgeoning alternative movie poster industry.
White’s variant cover is so rare that you’ll only be able to find it at three comic stores: the Strange Adventures chain in Canada. IDW have been at the forefront of producing retailer-specific variant covers in recent years, and Strange Adventures owner Cal Johnson chose White to create the cover for his shop’s edition.
In a blog post about this impending release, White reveals he’s working on a screen-printed poster edition of this cover. Here’s the image in full:
Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading?, where today we welcome special guest Ron Marz. Marz has written everything from Green Lantern to Witchblade, and you can currently find him working on comics like Artifacts, Prophecy, Blackburn Burrow and The Ride: Southern Gothic. He also writes the column Shelf Life for Comic Book Resources and can be found on Twitter.
To see what Ron and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
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.
Jones, one of the Jones Boys, was complaining about the recoloring of Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer the other day, and looking at the original and recolored art side by side made me realize what I find so off-putting about a lot of comics art these days: The use of gradients alongside heavy black lines.
Back when I was studying art, I was taught never to do that. The reason: Lines are flat, while shading implies three-dimensionality, and the two compete with one another. That’s an oversimplification, of course — you can create a three-dimensional space with purely linear art, but that’s very different from the smoother, modeled effect you get by using light and shade.
The clash isn’t too bad in the cover that Jones picked out, but the re-colored splash page he reproduces (a bit too sexy to lead this post) is tough for me to look at; the colorist has added a lot of shadows and modeling, and it’s way too busy. The fact is that comics in that era were designed for flat colors, and the gradients that are possible with new technology are doing them no favors. And conversely, if you’re going to paint a comic, don’t run black lines around all the shapes. I think this is one of the reasons I find some modern superhero comics hard to “read” visually. (There are other reasons as well, but you don’t have all day.)
Take a look at Jones’ post and see if you don’t agree.
WonderCon opened its doors Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center, a first for the convention as it moves south from its usual San Francisco home this year. Will it be a permanent move? The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald, who is at the show, has some thoughts on why that may not be a bad idea.
Here’s a round-up of news from yesterday at the show:
• Daredevil and Irredeemable writer Mark Waid announced several digital comics plans, beginning with a PDF comic available now on his website. The zombie comic, called Luther, is drawn by Jeremy Rock. It will be followed in May by a digital comics imprint. “In May, I’m rolling out a digital comics website where material will be going up in weekly or twice-weekly installments. But before that, on April 2, MarkWaid.com goes live again as a process blog for webcomics and what we’re doing. All throughout April, we’ll be giving sample material away for free, showing what the format can do, and I’ll be doing interviews with pioneers in this field. My own artists will also be there to talk about the projects we’re doing and how we’ll be building them.” Waid was also on hand for the Marvel House of Ideas panel, which went into detail on their recently announced digital and augmented reality plans.
Over the past few weeks artist Chris Weston has been working on a Rocketeer painting, his first time using an airbrush, and he shared his progress along the way on his blog. He finished it up last week, so you can see it now in all its glory. Great stuff!
We’re back in our hotel room after a day at Disney’s big D23 event in Anaheim, and what a day it was … you can check out some pictures from it after the jump.
Ah, Comic-Con … there’s nothing like fighting through the crowds, and there’s nothing like finding a quiet corner somewhere to post all the pictures you’ve taken …
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello is all over the show today, promoting the shiny new book he’s writing at Dark Horse called Orchid. He said at a panel today that Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance is a friend of his and is the one who introduced him to his new “Dark Horse family.”
After taking this picture, I was almost run over by WWE’s Triple H. Only at Comic-Con can you bounce between a Nightwatchmen and The Game …
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. We’re coming a little late today due to a power outage in my neck of the woods — due to a blackout, not because I spent the money for the electric bill on Flashpoint or Fear Itself tie-ins.
Because I’m not doing San Diego this year, some kind of crazy comic karma has decided that this week will be filled with comics I want to read. For example, if I had $15, I’d run to grab Daredevil #1 (Marvel, $3.99), which I’ve been looking forward to for some time — Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera *and* Marcos Martin? How can anyone refuse? — before scooting back to the DC aisle to pick up both DC Retroactive: The Flash – The ’70s #1 and DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The ’70s #1 (Both DC, $4.99), because I am such a sucker for old-school DC that even this weird “slight return” of the same seems exciting to me.
IDW Publishing has released a list of the items they’ll be selling at their booth at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, many of which are available for pre-order. The list includes advanced copies of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1, several Ashley Wood books, Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Baja ashcans, Locke & Key keys and much more. Check out the list below:
Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones
• Visitors to Comic-Con can purchase an exclusive advance copy of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1 with a variant cover; only 400 copies of this exclusive issue will be available.
• Beginning in August, the first issue of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones will tell of the demon Azriel, who sets out to find the murderer of a beautiful young woman in the streets of New York City, only to discover a far more sinister plot that could end the world. Once a human in ancient Babylon, Azriel is a spirit of rage and terror that gradually rediscovers his humanity through holy vengeance and spiritual love.
• Anne Rice will be signing at the IDW booth #2643 on Thursday July 21, 2011 during Comic-Con. With the purchase of a SERVANT OF THE BONES #1, fans will be able to have one additional item signed.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 (Comic-Con Edition $5.00, 32 pages, full color) will be available at the IDW booth #2643 during Comic-Con, while supplies last.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in comic stores in August 2011.
Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is Shannon Wheeler, New Yorker cartoonist and creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic book Too Much Coffee Man, Oil & Water, the Eisner-nominated I Thought You Would Be Funnier and the upcoming Grandpa Won’t Wake Up.
To see what Shannon and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday 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.
Even if I didn’t have any money at all, I’d stand on the street corner and beg until I collected three bucks to buy Alpha Flight #0.1 ($2.99). I’ve never not bought an issue of Alpha Flight and I’m not breaking that streak this week. Fortunately I have $15 and can afford to get not only that, but also Rocketeer Adventures #1 ($3.99), which I’m only slightly less excited about. And since I’ve still got some money I’d add Drums #1 ($2.99) – because it’s been a while since I’ve read a voodoo story and this looks like a good one – and Snake Eyes #1 ($3.99). I’m not a GI Joe fan, but ninjas are cool and expect that I’d be entertained by a comic about one who fights an evil spy organization.
When you learn how much research and realize how interested that artist Patrick Zircher is in the 1920s/1930s era of the Mystery Men, I expect you might be equally intrigued to learn more about this five-issue David Liss-written Marvel miniseries. The first issue, which was previewed by CBR late last week and goes on sale June 8, introduces readers to the first champions of the Marvel universe. As detailed in the preview: “Before Captain America, before The Twelve, there was The Aviatrix, The Operative, Achilles, The Revenant and The Surgeon! What drives these five heroes to pull on masks and take to the rooftops of Manhattan? What dark conspiracy not only brings them together, but threatens to tear the America apart?” In this email interview with Zircher, we discuss his affinity for designing a comic and characters much in the same vein as “Indiana Jones, the Rocketeer, and the Spirit”, as well as why the word “zeppelin” is cooler than “blimp” plus many other fun details. My thanks to Zircher for his time and to editor Bill Rosemann for giving Robot 6 readers a look at pages from issue 2. Once you’ve read the interview, be sure to comment on which Marvel heroes and villains (circa 1930s) you would love to see in Mystery Men.
Tim O’Shea: In terms of designing characters, how enjoyable/empowering is it to venture into relatively unexplored territory (of the 1920s and 1930s) in terms of the Marvel universe with this Mystery Men project?
Patrick Zircher: It’s been a gas. Though we approached Mystery Men as belonging to the Marvel Universe, as part of the big, big story– working in an earlier era allows for a lot of freedom. At the same time, all the possibilities for cool ties to the Marvel Universe this series opens has the comic fan in me pretty excited.
If you missed us last week, never fear — Shelf Porn is back this week with some awesome photos.
Today’s Shelf Porn comes from Ken Stacks, who shares his shelves and his memories from the San Diego Comic Con. Although his brother had been suggesting he send in his pictures for awhile, but “it wasn’t until my insurance guy recommended that i archive everything that i bothered to take any pictures,” he said. Which is good advice for anyone with a collection. You can also check out Ken’s Flickr stream if you don’t recognize something in one of the photos.
If you’d like to contribute to Shelf Porn, it’s easy — just send your photos and write-up to firstname.lastname@example.org. The well is running dry again, so please help us refill it!
Now let’s hear from Ken …