Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at all the comics and other stuff we’ve been checking out lately. Today our special guest is Chris Sims, senior writer for ComicsAlliance, blogger at Chris’s Invincible Super Blog and writer of comics like Dracula the Unconquered and Awesome Hospital.
To see what Chris and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
As our Caleb has already pointed out, Legendary’s Tower Chronicles: GeistHawk is a comic that’s a lot better than the warning signs may have previously indicated. One of its real treats is seeing the mature style Simon Bisley has been developing for a few years (since The Dead: Kingdom Of Flies for UK indie Berserker, really) getting a decent-lengthed showcase. Anyone with lingering misconceptions of Bisley’s work being the mutant offspring of Frank Frazetta and Bill Sienkiewicz is in for a surprise. It’s still unmistakeably Bisley, but the finished art will be just as likely to remind you of Kevin O’Neill or Enki Bilal. Dedicated fansite The Art Of Simon Bisley has a gallery of over 20 pages of pencils from the project, alongside two publicity images/splashes that are both more appealing than Jim Lee’s very generic-looking final cover.
Legendary Comics, the relatively new publishing arm of film production company Legendary Pictures, had about as audacious a debut as was possible last fall, with its first offering being Frank Miller’s too-controversial-for-DC Batman vs. Al Qaeda comic Holy Terror, the Legendary version scrubbed of DC trademarks just enough that it could be published without risk of a lawsuit.
The company’s latest offering isn’t quite as controversial … nor is it quite as noteworthy. It is, however, the comics project one might expect from film production company: a sort of focus group-testing, balloon-floating introduction to a character and concept that could potentially be adapted into a major motion picture, something I can’t imagine anyone seriously considered doing with Miller’s beautifully told, politically wacky comic about an off-brand Batman and Catwoman fighting terrorists.
If the very thought of a comic book series as film R&D turns you off (believe me, I understand!), then it’s worth noting that this latest project is edited, like Holy Terror was, by Bob Schreck and created by as solid, experienced and talented a creative team as a comics fan could ask for. It’s written by Matt Wagner (yes, Grendel, Mage and Sandman Mystery Theatre‘s Matt Wagner) and penciled by Simon Bisley (the painter whose interior work you’ve seen in Slaine and Batman/Judge Dredd), here being inked and colored by Rodney Ramos and Ryan Brown.
Still not sold on The Tower Chronicles: GeistHawk Volume 1 …? Look, I don’t blame you.
Publishers, creators, retailers and fans rolled into Chicago this weekend for the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2. While the convention officially kicked off Friday, the announcements started rolling out Thursday during the Diamond Retailer Summit. After going through Kiel Phegley’s lengthy report on CBR, I’ve pulled out a few tidbits that publishers shared with attending retailers:
• Dynamite Entertainment shared that the first issue of Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell’s The Shadow, which comes out next week, will likely go to second print. Following their Vampirella and Pantha projects, they also plan to roll out more of the former Harris Publications characters they now own, and they said they plan to work again with Kevin Smith in the future, who they’ve worked with on Bionic Man and Green Hornet.
• Dark Horse Comics announced two Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff miniseries; one featuring Spike and one featuring Willow (Editor Scott Allie spoke more about them with CBR). In addition, legendary artist Russ Heath will draw some pages in an upcoming issue of Buffy. Dark Horse will launch a new Dragon Age series in August, following the online miniseries that’s been running on Dark Horse Digital. They also confirmed that Becky Cloonan will return to Conan after James Harren’s three issues, and they announced Ex Sanguine, a five-issue miniseries by Tim Seeley and Josh Emmons. Finally, The Goon will go monthly with issue #40.
Legendary Comics announced at its panel this afternoon at Comic-Con International that it will publish new projects from Paul Pope and Matt Wagner.
Set for release this holiday season, PulpHope is a more than 200-page retrospective of Pope’s career, featuring many pieces that haven’t been seen before. A previous edition was published in 2007 by AdHouse Books.
The Tower Chronicles, developed by Wagner with Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, is a supernatural action-adventure about a bounty hunter with a hidden past who, backed by a team of high-tech mercenaries, protects civilians from the things that go bump in the night.
“We are thrilled to be working with Pope and Wagner on these upcoming projects for Legendary Comics,” Editor-in-Chief Bob Schreck said in a statement. “Just as our film division works with the best-in-class talent and filmmakers to produce content for the fandom demographic, so too will Legendary Comics move forward on our mandate to publish works from the best in A the industry.”
Legendary also will release Frank Miller’s Holy Terror in September.
Update: The Hollywood Reporter reports that Simon Bisley will provide artwork for the Tower Chronicles. They also provide additional details on the PulpHope book, calling it “a revamped version of the artist’s out-of-print art book titled PulpHope, stripping away 100 pages and throwing in 100 new ones incorporating work Pope has done in the music, toy and clothing spheres, as well as other material.”