This week saw the debut of Chin Music, a monthly series written by Steve Niles and drawn by Tony Harris. Announced at last year’s Image Expo, Chin Music is about a man named Shaw who flees through time from his ancient enemies, landing in Prohibition-era Chicago to find himself surrounded by gangsters, law enforcement and the local supernatural underground.
So does Chin Music hit the right notes or does it fall flat? Here are a few thoughts on the first issue from around the web:
Creators Alex Grecian, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore and Seth Peck have launched a Kickstarter campaign forBad Karma, a 200-page anthology featuring comic-book stories, prose and illustrations by those four and their collaborators.
The assembled talent is impressive indeed, working on five main stories: “Middleton” by Grecian and Phil Hester; “Chaos Agent” by Haun and Mike Tisserand; “Old Dog” by Moore and Christopher Mitten; “Hellbent” by Peck and Tigh Walker; and “The Ninth Life of Solomon Gunn” written by Grecian, Haun, Moore and Peck, and illustrated by Haun. These strips, all stylistically different and set in various time periods, all threaten to coalesce into a larger narrative: “Each of these concepts is separate from one another, designed to stand on their own, but there are subtle threads that run through each. One of these threads is the presence of the Kraken Corporation, a mysterious organization whose activities play a part (whether large or small) in each story.”
Epic artist P. Craig Russell has become well known for his collaborations with author Neil Gaiman over the past couple of decades, and in recent years he’s adapted several of the author’s short stories and prose novels into comics form. But now for his next hat trick, he’s enlisted a Magnificent
Seven Nine-esque group of artists to illustrate individual chapters for his adaptation of Gaiman’s celebrated 2008 children’s fantasy novel The Graveyard Book, announced in June.
As Russell told Comic Book Resources in a weekend interview, he’s writing the script and doing the layouts for the 352-page book, with a murderer’s row of artists coming in behind him to illustrate it. Joining Russell is Michael Golden, David LaFuente, Jill Thompson, Kevin Nowlan, Tony Harris, Galen Showman and Scott Hampton. Russell said Hampton’s contribution will be about 100 pages, and that Nowlan is drawing the first story.
DC Comics has announced the December debut of JSA: The Liberty Files — The Whistling Skull, a six-issue miniseries by B. Clay Moore, Tony Harris and Dave McCaig.
Set in the world introduced in JSA: The Liberty File, the 2000 miniseries by Harris and Dan Jolley, The Whistling Skull takes place in 1940s Europe, where, “with the Nazi war machine on the move, crimes are still committed even in the smallest hamlets.” No specific story details have been provided.
“For readers looking for a new spin on the DC Universe, combined with brand new headlining characters, I think the book will be a treat, and it’s just the first chapter in a much larger story,” Moore told DC’s The Source.” This initial offering introduces readers to the legacy of the Whistling Skull in a wartime, pulp-infused setting, and should provide something fresh for readers to sink their teeth into.”
Published under DC’s now-defunct Elseworlds banner, The Liberty File and its 2003 sequel The Unholy Three portrayed members of the Justice Society of America as covert government operatives rather than superheroes: Codenamed the Unholy Three, the Bat (Batman), the Owl (Dr. Mid-Nite) and the Clock (Hourman) are eventually joined by the likes of Mister Terrific, Clark Kent, Mercury (The Flash), the Huntress and the Hawk (Hawkman) in their fight against Nazi and KGB agents.
The Emerald City Comicon wrapped up yesterday in Seattle, with plenty of announcements from attending publishers. Here’s a round-up of news from the show:
• Image Comics officially announced Revival by Tim Seeley ad Mike Norton, the title we teased all last week. Seeley described the book as “rural noir,” and it is set in his home state of Wisconsin: “Both Mike and I grew up in small towns, he in Tennessee, me in Wisconsin. We both hated the towns we were from as teenagers and young adults and got the hell out,” Seeley told CBR. “But, now that we’re both older, we can look on those towns with more understanding and affection. Central Wisconsin is a really interesting place. It’s like concentrated America. It has all of the strengths and all of the weaknesses. All of the good stuff, and all of the conflicts on a more intimate scale. We thought it’d be the perfect setting for our story of a cop charged with policing the dead.”
• James Stokoe will write and draw Godzilla: Half Century War, which arrives from IDW in August. The miniseries is set in a different continuity than the Godzilla ongoing series by Duane Swierczyski and Simon Gane.
• Writer Christos Gage will team with artist Jorge Lucas for Sunset, an original graphic novel from Top Cow’s Minotaur Press. The story revolves around a retired Vegas mob enforcer.
More than a year ago Tony Harris used Kickstarter to try and fund a project called Roundeye. The first Kickstarter project was unsuccessful, but a second one was successful.
that doesn’t mean Roundeye died on the crowd-funding vine.
Image Comics announced today at the Emerald City Comicon that it will not only publish Roundeye, but that Harris is at their booth at the show all weekend signing autographs and selling prints for both Roundeye (above) and his other Image project, Chin Music with writer Steve Niles.
The first Image Expo kicked off Friday in Oakland, California, with a keynote speech from Publisher Eric Stephenson that emphasized creator relationships as the company’s foundation, and laid out more than a half-dozen titles that will be announced this weekend for release later this year:
• Happy!, by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, a mysterious title the writer says is “in a genre I’ve never really tackled before — but with a bizarre twist, of course.” It’s the first of several potential Image projects from Morrison. [iFanboy]
• Confirmation of a third volume of Phonogram, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson, called The Immaterial Girl. Gillen says the six-issue miniseries, which will likely debut in November, is “primarily about the war between coven queen witch Emily Aster and the half of her personality she sold to whatever lies on the other side of the screen. It’s about identity, eighties music videos and further explorations of Phonogram’s core ‘Music = Magic’ thesis. There is horror. There are jokes. There are emotions. There may even be a fight sequence. It also takes A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ with far too much seriousness – which, for us, is the correct amount of seriousness.” [Kieron Gillen's Workblog]
• Chin Music, by Steve Niles and Tony Harris, described by the artist as “a 1930′s Noir, Gangster, horror story.” [Tony Harris]
Hello and welcome to a special holiday edition of What Are You Reading? Actually it’s just a normal edition of What Are You Reading?, because changing the font color to red and green, and adding twinkling lights around the border just made it harder to read.
Our special guest this week is Andy Khouri, associate editor over at ComicsAlliance, where he drops comic news and commentary on a daily basis.
To see what Andy and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
No, seriously! Those are Scalped and Ultimate Captain America writer Jason Aaron’s exact words to the legendary Watchmen and From Hell scribe (and fellow beard enthusiast) in Aaron’s latest “Where the Hell Am I” column for CBR: “Go fuck yourself, Alan Moore.” Apparently the writer took Moore’s spate of angry and dismissive comments about the comics industry — spurred most recently, in straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back fashion, by unpleasant dealings Moore had with former collaborator Dave Gibbons over DC’s potential publication of Watchmen sequels — very personally:
Heidi over at The Beat points us to a recent Kickstarter project started by Tony Harris. The artist of Starman, Ex Machina and War Heroes is asking for $60,000 to create Roundeye: For Love, a 96-page graphic novel.
Compared to most comic book projects that appear on Kickstarter, it’s a pretty hefty sum, but Harris explains where the money will go.
“So it may initially seems to be too high of a goal to reach , but consider this: Kickstarter takes a percentage of all monies recieved,” he posted on the Kickstarter page. “They also charge for all the credit card processing fees. The money goal set here reflects those things, my page rate for penciling, inking and coloring 96 pages of art, which is a Herculean task to be sure. Then there are administration fees for publishing, and promotional items to be generated and paid for. this project will likely be taken to one of the main publishers in comics such as Dark Horse, Image, IDW, etc…. so they will handle printing, and distribution, and a certain amount of advertising costs ( which can be MASSIVE). These are all big reasons why I decided to post ROUNDEYE: AFor Love here on Kickstarter. To reach as large an audience as possible. And the salary/page rate mentioned will likely be over 1-2 years, which doesn’t amount to a whole lot. But this is the ONLY way to produce an extremely high quality product that will be competitive in the Comics market. I sincerely hope this makes everything I am trying to achieve here totally transparent.”
Harris is offering several incentives for people who donate, from a mention in the book for $25 to a limited edition with a “personal drawing” for $400. You can check out some art from the project here.
After 18 years, former Image studio and current DC Comics imprint WildStorm is shutting down this December. And as many have noted already, the house that Jim built has produced many awesome, memorable and even game-changing (to steal a phrase from Rob Liefeld) works in the last two decades.
Here are six of them that we found to be particularly awesome; let us know what we missed in the comments section.
1. Sleeper: There have been many comics that mash up superheroes with down-and-dirty genres like crime and espionage over the past decade; this may just be the best. The high concept is a gripping one: Super-spy Holden Carver is so deep undercover in an international super-criminal organization that when his one contact is placed in a coma, literally no one knows he’s secretly on the side of the angels. Carver’s predicament, the way he plays and gets played by both sides, his growing unwillingness or inability to draw the ethical lines needed to save his soul, if not his life–such is the stuff of a great crime drama. Superstar in the making Ed Brubaker brings all his talents and obsessions to the table here: his knack for crafting morally compromised characters while neither romanticizing their misdeeds nor softening them up, his recurring theme of how the secrets and sins of our pasts never truly leave us, his belief that damaged people seek out other damaged people to repair that damage, his eye for and ability to work with strong visual stylists. In this case that meant Sean Phillips, never better in his ability to believably root spectacular action and super-powers in a naturalist-noir milieu. All of this in a WildC.A.T.s spinoff, proving just how wild WildStorm was once willing to go.
Even its relatively short run redounds to its benefit: The complete story of Holden Carver is yours to own inexpensively, read easily, and ponder at your leisure. (Sean T. Collins)
Back in 2004, James Sime of the San Francisco-based comic shop Isotope Comics teamed up with Ex Machina’s Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris for a voter registration drive where they gave away free copies of the comic and, of course, encouraged people to register to vote for that year’s election. They followed that up with an Election Day party in November, where they gave away an Ex Machina “virtual Criterion Collection styled DVD extras disc, autographed by the creators and jam-packed full of goodness,” Sime said.
Teaming up with Darren and Michelle Murata, co-founders of San Francisco’s celebrated Technology Think Tank & Digital Design Bureau ComradeAgency.com we made something truly beautiful. Packed with pages upon pages of Brian’s never before seen scripts and Tony’s production artwork from start to finish, thisDeconstructing the Machine disc took viewers on a personal tour behind the wizard’s curtain in a way nothing else ever had before. And we gave them away for free to each and every person who attended our event. And also to 100 lucky fans across the nation.
With Ex Machina‘s last issue hitting stores today, Sime has taken the contents of the DVD and put them on his website. It includes interviews with the creators, behind-the-scenes tours of Jolly Rogers Studios, production artwork and lots more. Check out the site here.
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? Our guest this week is Van Jensen, writer of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater. To see what Van and the rest of the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below.
Happy day-after-Free Comic Book Day to everyone, and welcome to another edition of What are you reading? Our guest this week is Rick Marshall, editor of MTV’s Splash Page blog. To see what Rick and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, read on …