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Happy Holidays from Robot 6

from Matthew Petz

It’s Christmas Eve, and we’re winding down here at Robot 6 to go spend time with family and friends. Before heading off to celebrate, though, you’ll find a collection of holiday-themed links after the jump, along with this year’s collection of holiday cards we received.

On behalf of all of Robot 6, have a great holiday and stay safe. We’ll see you next week.

(Above: a Christmas showdown by Matthew Petz)

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Previews: What looks good for February

Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Wonder Woman is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.

Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.

Archaia

Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix - A detective story set in ancient China. Plus: cool name.

Avatar

Dicks #1 – Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s humor makes my top hat explode and my monocle fly off my face, but I remember this being pretty popular back in the day and I imagine that it’s new presentation in color and leading into a new storyline could make it popular again.

Bongo

Ralph Wiggum Comics #1 – This, on the other hand, is exactly my kind of funny. Kind of like 30 Days of Night, I’m astonished no one’s thought of it before. Too bad it’s just a one-shot, but hearing that Sergio Aragones is one of the contributors makes me want to poke myself with my Viking helmet to see if I’m dreaming.

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The Robot 6 Holiday Gift-Giving Guide, Part 1

‘Tis the season for decking those halls, trimming those trees, lighting the menorah and, of course, figuring out what to buy for your friends and family. To help give you some ideas, we reached out to a few comic creators, asking them:

1. What comic-related gift or gifts would you recommend giving this year, and why?
2. What gift (comic or otherwise) is at the top of your personal wish list, and why?

We’ve gotten back a bunch of suggestions, which we’ll run between now and the end of the week. So let the merriment commence …

Jim McCann

1. Exclusive 2011 Janet Lee Holiday Ornaments
Every year, Janet does about 12 ornaments, three sets of four. This year, she has done Hipster Animals, Scary Toys and Art Nouveau Angels. They are signed and dated, and at the end of the season, that’s it! She stops making them. I’ve been collecting them since 2007, and now our tree is almost completely filled with Janet’s art. You can buy them exclusively through her Etsy shop.

Oh, and if you’re REALLY nice, she MAY have a very limited Dapper Men ornament or two. Just ask!

2. This year, for myself, I’m going with a mix of Blu-Rays (portable Blu-Ray player, please, Santa!) and books. But the thing I’m REALLY excited for is the hardcover edition of the Complete Ripley novels, by Patricia Highsmith. Most people only know of Ms. Highsmith through The Talented Mr. Ripley (and classic film lovers through Strangers On a Train). There were actually five Tom Ripley novels, and the collection looks amazing. Why these books? My spouse recently Tweeted a quote from John Lithgow that struck me as a writer: “Duality, duplicity, truth and deception, good becoming bad and vice-versa are crucial elements of great storytelling.” Highsmith was and remains an unsung hero of mastering that, so I hope I learn something in the process!

Happy Holidays from the Dapper Lariosa-McCann household!

Jim McCann is the writer of Return of the Dapper Men and its upcoming sequel, Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol, Hawkeye:Blindspot and the upcoming Mind The Gap.

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Food or Comics? | Heaping helpings of Kirby, Manara, X-Men and more

Wolverine and the X-Men #1

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.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d be a judicious comics buyer and pick the top four out of over 20 titles I’d want this week. DC/Vertigo makes it slightly easier by making the new Brian Azzarello/Eduardo Risso joint Spaceman #1 only $1. This dollar price point for first issues combined with the $9.99 price point they sometimes do for the first volume of comic trade paperbacks surely gets a lot of traction. Next up I’d get Jason Aaron’s new era of the X-Men in Wolverine & X-Men #1 (Marvel, $3.99) with Chris Bachalo. I’d also get my regular pulls of DMZ #70 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and The Walking Dead #90 (Image, $2.99) and last–but first in my stack to read-–would be Secret Avengers #18 (Marvel, $3.99). I hear some Ellis guy is writing it, but the big draw for me is artist David Aja. His Iron Fist run is one of my top favs in comics in the past ten years, and he’s a titan in my book.

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Food or Comics? | Tubby apes shade the sixth gun of justice

Justice League #1

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.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d spend it seeing the finale of DC”s major event with Flashpoint #5 (DC, $3.99) and then their Brand New Day, All-New All-Different, New 52 with Justice League #1 (DC, $3.99). I feel the thunder of Flashpoint was largely muted by the waves of announcements DC did over the summer, but Johns and Kubert crafted a unique story and I’m interested to see how they wrap it up. For JL, I’m a long-time fan of Jim Lee’s work going back to Alpha Flight, and any self-respecting comics journalist has to buy this issue just to see what’s happening. For the last bit of my money, I’d dig into Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force #14 (Marvel, $3.99) – if I wasn’t already buying it, I’d buy it again for the return of Jerome Opena on art.

If I had $30, I’d double-back to my local comic shop and get the finale of IDW and editor Scott Dunbier’s Rocketeer Adventures #4 (IDW, $3.99). They really instigated a fun anthology here of above-average talents that any publisher from Marvel on down would die to have. The next comics to enter my bag would be Invincible #82 (Image, $2.99) and Butcher Baker Righteous Maker #6 (Image, $6.99); both books are still on creative highs. For the small bills I had left, I’d get Journey Into Mystery #626.1 (Marvel, $2.99) and The Sixth Gun #14 (Oni, $3.99). I admit I was behind on JiM for a while but caught up by mainlining all the issues so far in an all-night bender. The Sixth Gun too I’ve been behind the curve on, but caught up after procrastinating for a couple years.

If I was to splurge, I’d splurge all over the July pack of 2000AD issues. Tharg’s book is a hard series to jump onto, but I’d recommend anyone just to dive in with a month’s worth and get a feel for it. I just realized they sell each issue online a month after it comes out in print, at almost half cover price. They come in CBZ and PDF format, which makes them pretty adaptable to any device.

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What Are You Reading?

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 3 Century #2

It’s time once again for another round of What Are You Reading?, kids. Today we welcome special guest Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, creator of Necessary Monsters, The Last Sane Cowboy and more.

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

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Food or Comics? | The League of Spontaneous Olympians

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.

Spontaneous #1

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 this week, the first thing I’d grab would be a complete nostalgia-buy: DC Retroactive: Justice League of America – The 70s #1 (DC, $4.99), because I am a complete and utter sucker for JLA stories, and grew up reading old back issues of the title I found at used bookstores. This would be worth it for the reprint at the back alone, never mind the new story by Cary Bates that looks like it’s playing around with the multiverse one more time. To accompany that, I’d also pick up the first two issues of Joe Harris and Brett Weldele’s Spontaneous (both $3.99), because – even though I missed the Free Comic Book Day release of the debut – I’m a fan of Harris’ Ghost Projekt and Weldele’s work on The Surrogates, and curious to see just where a book about spontaneous human combustion can actually go.

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The Middle Ground #62 | See that cat (yeah, I do mean you)

Thinking about some of the news from SDCC this year — specifically, the Sixth Gun news, about it being made into a television series by the Syfy network — it struck me: Indie comics are the small-screen Marvel. And I’m not quite sure what that’s going to mean for their future.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Batman Inc. #7

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.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

I’d pick up Batman Inc. #7 ($2.99) and that would be it, so afterwards I’d pat myself on the back for not blowing my whole $15.

If I had $30:

I’d go with Farm 54 ($25), a new hardbound collection of stories by the brother and sister team of Galit and Gilad Seliktar, courtesy of Fanfare/Ponent Mon. It’s basically a semi-autobiographical collection of tales capturing a young woman at various critical stages in her youth, adolescence and young adulthood, all done in a tentative, wispy watercolor. Lovely stuff to flip through, at the very least.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Alpha Flight

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.

Michael May

If I had $15, I’d start with Alpha Flight #1 ($3.99). I had mostly positive feelings about the prequel issue with the only negatives being a mixture of “that doesn’t look like Sasquatch” and some anxiety born from being used to disappointment from Alpha Flight books. Neither of which has anything to do with the people creating the next eight issues, so I’m looking forward to this in a way that I haven’t since John Byrne left the book. Next I’d grab Flashpoint: Grodd of War #1 ($2.99), because an all-out Gorilla Grodd comic sounds awesome. And then I’d give Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths #1 ($3.99) a shot to see how well IDW can manage two Godzilla comics at a time. They certainly managed the first one well. Finally, I’d pick up Mickey Mouse #309 ($3.99) because it’s a globe-trotting adventure with a ton of guest-stars, including my favorite: The Phantom Blot.

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Stumptown Comic Arts Awards 2011 winners

His Face All Red

Organizers of the Stumptown Comics Fest presented the 2011 Stumptown Comic Art Awards last night in Portland, Ore.

Nominees were selected by a panel of judges — Michael Allred, Brandon Graham, Laura Hudson, Michael Ring and Jason Leivian — from among the entries submitted earlier this year. Winners were determined by an online vote.

The winners are:

Best Artist: Emily Carroll, His Face All Red
Best Writer: Aaron Renier, The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Best Cartoonist: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
Best Letterer: Johnny Ryan, Prison Pit #2
Best Colorist: Emily Carroll, His Face All Red
Best Publication Design: Michael DeForge, Spotting Deer
Best Anthology: Studygroup 12 #4, edited by Zack Soto
Best Small Press: I Want You #2 by Lisa Hanawalt
Best New Talent: Michael DeForge
Reader’s Choice: Pang, the Wandering Shaolin Monk by Ben Costa
Director’s Choice: The Sixth Gun, by Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn, published by Oni Press

Kickin’ the Gun #2: Bunn, Zubkavich on Marvel and DC, creator-owned comics and more

As I noted yesterday, I’m a fan of both Image’s Skullkickers and Oni’s The Sixth Gun. So when I saw that the two creator-owned books were having a mini-crossover of sorts — or, to be more specific, an ad swap — I thought it might be fun to see if Skullkickers writer Jim “Zub” Zubkavich and The Sixth Gun writer Cullen Bunn might be up for interviewing each other.

And they were. If you missed part one, no worries; you can find it here. In part two, they discuss Marvel and DC, the recent focus on creator-owned comics, Dungeons & Dragons, their ad swap and more.

Zub: So, speaking of collaborators, how did your DC and Marvel work come about?

Cullen: I did a little thing for Marvel a year and a half ago, which was one of the Immortal Weapons books. That one came after I sent the editor a copy of The Damned. He finally got around to reading it and said, “Hey, you want to do this one-shot?” The new stuff all came about primarily through The Sixth Gun. A number of writers, artists and editors have picked it up, read it and either pushed me to their editors or thought I would work for other projects they had. It was definitely weird because I’m not used to anyone contacting me. I’m used to begging for work. For years I’ve gone to San Diego, and it’s the most humbling experience.

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Kickin’ the Gun #1: Bunn, Zubkavich on Skullkickers, Sixth Gun, process and more

Cullen Bunn and Jim Zubkavich

Many who have been following this blog know I’m a fan of both Image’s Skullkickers and Oni’s The Sixth Gun. So when I saw that the two creator-owned books were having a mini-crossover of sorts — or, to be more specific, an ad swap — I thought it might be fun to see if Skullkickers writer Jim “Zub” Zubkavich and The Sixth Gun writer Cullen Bunn might be up for interviewing each other.

So the duo hit Skype and had a long conversation that covered many different topics — how they pitched their books, their writing process, how they work with their artists, finding time to write and much more. My thanks to both Cullen and Jim for doing this, with an extra tip of the hat to Jim for transcribing it. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second part of the interview.

*****

Zub: So, let’s start right off with the big news. Did I hear correctly that you’re now writing full time? You quit your day job?

Cullen: I did. This is my third week as a full-time writer.

Zub: Awesome. What were you doing before that?

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

20th century Boys

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 what we call our “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15,

I’d get volume 13 of 20th Century Boys. This series is fantastic, and I hear there’s a big reveal in this volume.

If I had $30,

I’d add some floppies to the mix. This is a good week for a lot of the series I have been following on and off: Atomic Robo: Deadly Art of Science #4 ($3.50), Sixth Gun #9 ($3.99), Kill Shakespeare #9 ($3.99). Since I have a bit left over, I’ll throw in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #716 ($3.99), because I really have been enjoying that classic Disney.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Infestation #1

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 what we call our “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 to spend at the comic store this week, the first thing I’d grab would be Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s New York Five #1 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99), the follow-up to New York Four (obviously), their contribution to the much-loved-by-me-at-least Minx imprint. Really, almost everything else pales into comparison, but I’ll also go for IDW’s Infestation #1 ($3.99, which I was convinced came out last week), the fun opener for the zombie crossover that’s about to go across their licensed line for the next few months. My superhero fix for the week comes from Paul Cornell and Pete Woods’ always-entertaining Action Comics (#897, DC Comics, $2.99), which pits Lex and the Joker against each other, and Age of X: Alpha #1 (Marvel Comics, $3.99), which starts off another reality-altering timequake or something for the X-Men. I’m not expecting much from this, to be honest, but Mike Carey has proven me wrong before…

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