Ten Most Amazing, Insane Moments from Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" Saga
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and whatever else we’ve been checking out lately. Today our guest is Shaun Manning, a former staffer at CBR, occasional convention reporter and comics writer. His current project is a comic called Hell, Nebraska (with artist Anna Wieszczyk), and he’s currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds to publish it. So go check it out.
To see what Shaun and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Today we welcome artist Chris Samnee, who you know from his work on Daredevil, Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Captain America and Bucky,Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, The Mighty and more.
Now let’s get to it …
Roger Langridge is the latest creator to say he is no longer going to work for Marvel or DC Comics because of concerns about the way they treat creators.
The subject came up last week, when Langridge, the writer of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, the Muppets comics (originally created for BOOM! Studios and now being republished by Marvel) and John Carter: A Princess of Mars, was interviewed on The Orbiting Pod podcast. After chatting about his newest comics Snarked! and Popeye (which IDW Publishing has just expanded from a four-issue miniseries to an ongoing series), he added this:
I’m very happy to be cultivating a working relationship with people like BOOM! and IDW at the moment when Marvel and DC are turning out to be quite problematic from an ethical point of view to continue working with.
I think it’s down to everybody’s individual conscience, but I think those of us who have options—and I do have options, I’ve got a working relationship with a couple of different publishers, I’ve got illustration to fall back on, I’m not beholden to Marvel and DC for my bread and butter, so it seems to me that if you do have the option you should maybe think hard about what you are doing and who you are doing it for. I was writing the last issue of John Carter when the news came that Marvel had won a lawsuit against the heirs of Jack Kirby, and Steve Bissette wrote a very impassioned post about the ethics of working for Marvel under those circumstances, and pretty much then I figured I should finish the script I was writing and move on, and it’s not like Marvel needs me. It’s no skin off their nose if I don’t accept anything else from them in the future.
On his blog, Langridge clarifies that he made the decision last summer, at a time when he wasn’t doing any Marvel or DC work, so he’s not so much quitting as deciding not to go back. His statements come less than a month after iZombie and Superman writer Chris Roberson made headlines with his announcement that he’s ending his relationship with DC because of its treatment of creators and their heirs.
Chris Samnee and Roger Langridge’s Thor: The Mighty Avenger was a big hit with everyone except its editors, it seems; the kid-friendly version of Thor was cut down in its prime, canceled after only eight issues, despite getting good reviews.
Langridge has moved on to his creator-owned comic Snarked, a light-hearted caper story about two rascals based on Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus and the Carpenter—it’s not the most likely topic for a comic, but Langridge makes it work quite nicely. With Snarked #0 in shops now and Snarked #1 due out in October (it’s solicited in the August Previews), it’s time for a bit of Snarked hype, and BOOM! Studios delivered the goods directly to my in-box with a rather breathless press release touting the “special 1:10 Thor: The Mighty Avenger homage variant by fan-favorite Chris Samnee.” The homage is rather indirect, of course, because Thor himself (being the property of Marvel) doesn’t appear on the cover, but glance from this to the cover of TMA #4 and you’ll see the resemblance. Anyway, it’s nice to see Samnee and Langridge together again, even if only for a cover.
Langridge’s interlocking variant covers, which are very handsome indeed, are below the cut.
Recently I was lucky enough to see a preview of Roger Langridge‘s Snarked! #0, his all ages series for Kaboom where the writer/artist uses Lewis Carroll‘s “Walrus and the Carpenter” poem (from Through the Looking-Glass) as a springboard for his storytelling. For every consumer that railed against the cancellation of Langridge’s Thor: The Mighty Avenger, here’s your chance to support Langridge again. For every pundit and website commenter who opined that Thor would have flourished, had it not been caught in the deluge of Thor titles that dashed any chance of it succeeding, take note.
A quick look at the CBR front page reveals a full court press for every new DC #1 coming our way in September. And we should be covering the DC relaunch, don’ t get me wrong. But I am fearful that some great books coming out around the same time, say this one, for example, are going to get overlooked. Roger Langridge’s Snarked! should not be overlooked. This is the comic that non-comics reading parents are looking for when they wander into a store seeking something to give their kid. This is a fun comic. This is a funny comic. This is an intelligent comic. This is a comic with puzzles, mazes and word searches. This preview issue is only a $1. This is a project that I hope to see on many folks Best of 2011 lists (I know it will be on mine).
Langridge chatted with me briefly in this email interview, and Kaboom was kind enough to give us a preview of Snarked! (provided at the end of our discussion). While the preview is not on sale until August, of course it is in Previews this month, with orders due June 30 [Diamond Code: JUN110963]. I can count on one hand the number of active creators that write and draw as engagingly a story as Langridge. If that does not win you over, the book stars a talking walrus (Wilburforce J. Walrus, as noted by Kaboom: “that’s right, the same Walrus that inspired the Beatles song “I Am the Walrus” is now in Roger Langridge’s merry, mad hands”) for the love of God. Check it out, I think you’ll agree it should be on everyone’s must-read list, no matter your age. To paraphrase Langridge fromthis interview, I hope this project is something that people will want to re-read many times–and if that’s not the definition of a great comic, I don’t know what is.
Tim O’Shea: How long have you been a fan of the work of Lewis Carroll?
Roger Langridge: It’s tempting to say “since I could read”; I’m sure it can’t have been quite that long, but I know I was very, very young when I first read the Alice books. And I’ve gone back and re-read them every couple of years since then, pretty much. They’re that rare thing, books which hit you in one way when you’re a kid, and in a different (yet equally powerful) way when you’re an adult, when you appreciate some of the really black humor and the general pricking of pomposity. They reward repeated re-readings more than most.
Retailing | Borders Group, the second-largest book chain in the United States, reported a loss of $132.3 million in April, its second full month in bankruptcy. That figure follows on the $52.6 million loss reported in February and March as the bookseller sought Chapter 11 protection and began liquidating 226 locations. [Detroit Free Press]
Publishing | Ira Rubenstein, executive vice president of Marvel’s Global Digital Media Group, has left the company to become executive vice president of digital marketing for 20th Century Fox. He begins the new job in Los Angeles on Monday. Rubenstein joined Marvel in 2008 after 12 years at Sony, and oversaw the launch of the publisher’s digital subscription service. His departure comes less than two weeks after news surfaced that Ron Perazza is resigning as DC Entertainment’s vice president of online. [Variety]
Publishing | Ada Price surveys the graphic novel exhibitors at this year’s BookExpo America, which opens today in New York City. [Publishers Weekly]
For the annual HeroesCon art auction, Thor: The Mighty Avenger writer Roger Langridge exercises his artistic muscles and redraws the cover to issue #6, originally drawn by his collaborator Chris Samnee and featuring the son of Odin’s face-off with Fin Fang Foom. The show kicks off June 3 in Charlotte, N.C.
Welcome to a special Super Bowl Sunday edition of What Are You Reading? Not that it’s any different from a regular WAYR column, but you can enjoy it while eating hot wings while the TV is paused.
Today our special guest is biology professor Jay Hosler, creator of Clan Apis and Optical Allusions. His latest book, Evolution, with artists Kevin Cannon and Zandor Cannon, was recently released by Hill & Wang. Check out his blog for a story he’s working on about photosynthesis.
To see what Jay and the Robot 6 gang are reading, click below.
I could spend a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy trying to get comics back onto spinner racks in 7-Elevens. But that would be a waste of resources because the reason there aren’t any spinner racks in 7-Elevens anymore is because they were no longer fiscally feasible. The amount of money those racks generated for the amount of space and maintenance they required was not worthwhile for that organization. All the wishing in the world on my part is not going to change that. I think it’s imperative for us to reach out to the youngest possible demographic and appeal to their sensibilities to draw them into this world, but I think you’re going to see that through digital and animation more than traditional comic book publishing.
–Marvel’s SVP of Publishing Tom Brevoort in his brand-new Axel Alonso-less column “Talk to the Hat” on CBR, noting how 7-Eleven spinner racks are no longer a realistic gateway for kids into comics, despite what some fans may think. He also talks a lot about comics aimed at kids, and shares his thoughts on why certain titles work (Marvel Adventures Spider-Man) and certain titles don’t (Thor: The Mighty Avenger) to bring kids into comics.
Welcome to a long holiday weekend (at least here in the United States) edition of What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Doug Zawisza, who writes reviews and the occasional article for Comic Book Resources.
To see what Doug and the Robot 6 gang are 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 what we call our “Splurge” item.
Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
With $15 worth of dingy bills and loose quarters, I’d go my local comic shop and start with Thor: The Mighty Avenger #8 ($2.99). Probably the pick of the week in some circles (even for a square like me), it’s a celebration of what Langridge and Samnee accomplished – and although it’s the last issue, there’s that FCBD issue on the horizon. I’d also pick up two number ones -– Casanova: Gula #1 ($3.99) and Daredevil: Reborn #1 ($3.99). With my last $4, I’d be hard-pressed to pick between Thunder Agents #3 ($2.99) and Infinite Vacation #1 ($3.50), but would probably pick the latter –- Nick Spencer’s on both, but Christian Ward’s art makes Infinite Vacation #1 worth the buy.
I gotta admit that showing you this preview is kind of bittersweet. Courtesy of our friends at Marvel Comics, we’re pleased to present a preview of Thor: The Mighty Avenger #8, the final issue of the series by writer Roger Langridge and artist Chris Samnee (although it won’t be the last time we see the duo work on Thor, as they’ll be back for the Thor/Captain America team-up on Free Comic Book Day).
Also, as long as we’re talking about Thor: The Mighty Avenger, let me take a moment to point you to Marvel’s upcoming comics for March 2011. Marvel has a lot going on in March — the new Venom series starts up, there’s a prologue for the big Fear Itself event, the 5 Ronin miniseries with its awesome covers, CrossGen — but I wanted to call attention to the second Thor: The Mighty Avenger trade paperback, which collects issues #5-8. If you haven’t tried this book, I’d recommend buying the first trade, as it should be available from finer comic shops and online retailers now, which should give you plenty of time to enjoy it before the second trade hits in March.
This is a book that made it into CBR’s top ten comics of 2010; in fact, here’s what our own Tim O’Shea had to say about it:
“We pundits have a damn good time opining on what’s wrong with mainstream publishers, direct market infrastructure and everything in between. But with this series, I am left asking, ‘What the hell is wrong with us consumers?’ How could a series so good (with great guest stars almost every issue) sell so poorly? I don’t know what lessons we can all take away from only getting to enjoy the sweetest, most engaging Marvel comic in years for only eight issues, but I sure hope that if these two creators work together again, we appreciate it properly and make it a long-term bestseller,” he wrote.
Needless to say, we’re big fans of this book. Thor: The Mighty Avenger #8 comes out Jan. 12. Check out the preview after the jump.
“Is it worth my time to hope that Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee are the creative team for “Thor & Captain America: The Mighty Avengers?” If not, is it possible that Marvel could make this happen?”
Yes, ryan, there is a Santa Claus.
“You want some more Thor: The Mighty Avenger? You want some Cap? You want it for free??? DONE! :D,” artist Chris Samnee posted on Twitter yesterday.
According to the Free Comic Book Day site, Thor & Captain America: The Mighty Avengers is indeed by Samnee and writer Roger Langridge — meaning issue #8 of Thor: The Mighty Avenger won’t be the last time we see the pair collaborate on the character.
Update: Chris Samnee posts his cover creation process for the book on his blog.
To see what Caanan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Welcome to our weekly “Food or Comics?” feature, where we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comics come home for Christmas dinner and which ones stay on the shelves, sitting cold and lonely through the holidays. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if they only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.
Check out Diamond’s release list for this week to play along. Because of weather issues, shops on the West Coast won’t be getting everything; Brian Hibbs has a list of what to expect in his store in San Francisco, which should give you an idea of what is and isn’t showing up out here.
If I had $15…
No question, I’d get the first trade of Thor: The Mighty Avenger ($14.99). Back when I read superhero comics, The Mighty Thor was one of my favorites, and I’d love to revisit the character without getting tripped up by all the continuity I missed. This series has gotten great word-of-blog, particularly since it was canceled, and that has me curious as well.