Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
On the heels of this morning’s interview and preview, Stephen King’s official website has debuted a 40-second trailer, complete with an Omen-style musical score, for American Vampire, the author’s comic book-writing debut. The Vertigo series, by King, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, premieres this week.
If you missed any of chapter 4 of THE THIRSTY, here’s what you need to know so as not to be too confused when chapter 5 starts this Monday.
Right. See you then!
Oh, and the archives are all updated as well. Or at least they should be by the end of the afternoon.
It had to happen one of these days, a Robot 6 interview of a fellow Robot 6er. Michael May has a quirky sense of humor, as quickly revealed in the recently released anthology that he has written–Cownt Tales, the comedic struggles of a vampire cow. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have gotten May to reveal the parallel narrative trends between his work and this past weekend’s smash success, The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Seriously though, it’s a unique experience to interview a pal (that’s not to say most of my interview subjects are my mortal enemies …) Enjoy our chat, folks.
Tim O’Shea: In addition to the Cownt, you introduce some interesting characters in this issue. What are the odds we’ll see Penny or the doctor in future stories?
Michael May: Oh, that’s a sure thing. Even though the Cownt is very silly, he still gets some character development; mostly in his relationship with his udder. Both Penny and Dr. Frye play huge roles in that. The Cownt wants the doc to remove his udder, but she won’t do it without making him go through a ton of counseling first. There’s a ton of story potential there (including the Cownt’s trying to raise money for the operation), so the doc will be around to help him process that. She’s sort of the straight man to his shenanigans.
Editor’s Note: With Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer from SLG Publishing hitting comic shops this week, we asked writer Van Jensen to share his thoughts on vampires in this guest post for Robot 666 week.
by Van Jensen
This past weekend, I was a guest at the Vampire Film Festival in New Orleans, a fitting enough setting with my first book — Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer — coming out this week. With vampires in books (Twilight), TV (True Blood and Vampire Diaries) and movies (Twilight and The Vampire’s Apprentice) exhibiting unrivaled pop cultural dominance at the moment, it’s a good time to be aboard the bloodsucker bandwagon.
But I have to confide a secret: I don’t like vampires.
It’s not that the concept is a bad one. Immortal, undead, shape-shifting, bloodsucking monsters of the night? I can get behind that. But the execution almost always leaves so much to be desired. Twilight is the obvious punching bag, with its ridiculous additions to the mythology (sparkle, anyone?), disturbing sexual commentary and milquetoast vampires. Grady Hendrix already perfectly explained the disappointment of these sissified vampires whose chief concern is how not to bite anyone, so I don’t need to elaborate.
Editor’s Note: As mentioned earlier today, we’re celebrating Halloween all this week here at Robot 666. Here’s the first of six Six by 6 columns with that theme, by guest contributors Tony Trov and Johnny Zito. They are the creators of Black Cherry Bombshells, the girl-on-zombie web comic from Zuda Comics. This October saw the debut of their newest title, LaMorte Sisters, about a vampire orphanage run by strict nuns.
By Tony Trov & Johnny Zito
(In no particular order)
1. The Count
Tony Trov: The Count is a mysterious force on Sesame Street. He has these neurotic ticks that makes him really intense. The Count counts things, even when there’s just one. His math OCD makes him great at figuring out the tip.
Van Jensen, writer of the upcoming SLG graphic novel Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer, sent over a couple of pictures of the “real-life Pinocchio” you can meet in Baltimore this weekend. “I called in a favor to my uncle, who makes all kinds of cool stuff, and he put together a 3-foot-tall functioning Pinocchio puppet,” Jensen said in his email.
Dustin Higgins and Van Jensen’s eagerly awaited Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer comes out next month, and they’re holding a contest to help promote it. All you have to do is lie:
Hypothetical question time. What if you were a magically sentient wooden puppet? And what if whenever you told a lie, your magically sentient wooden nose would grow suddenly? And what if you suddenly were confronted by a gang of bloodsucking vampires, and you needed to snap off a shank of magically sentient wooden nose to kill the undead? Hypothetically speaking, what lie would you tell?
If you can come up with a funny, creative lie, you could win some serious swag from the upcoming Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer graphic novel. The book, created by Dustin Higgins and Van Jensen, will be released by SLG Publishing on Sept. 30. All you have to do is post your best lie at the Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer Facebook group or send one by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. All entries must be received by Sept. 23.
The best lie, as chosen by Dustin and Van, will receive a signed copy of the book and a page of Dustin’s original artwork. Two runners up will both receive signed copies of the book.
Mark Twain may have said “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” but it can also help rid the world of vampires. So get creative! Get hypothetical! Get lying!
Disclaimer: The creators of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer are not liable if a submitted lie appears in the current or any future Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer book. Dozens of lies appear in the book, and any submitted lie matching one in the book is purely coincidental.
• The great and all-powerful Ng Suat Tong provides one of the most comprehensive and detailed critiques of Asterios Polyp I’ve seen online yet. Seriously, Tong’s one of the finest critics comics have ever had. The fact that he’s writing again, even if it’s just a one-time thing, is cause for joy.
• Frank Santoro reviews issues #1-4 of Richard Sala’s Ignatz series, Delphine: “The story surrounded me and carried me away to a very real world. It’s a cartooned, exaggerated world, but a real world nonetheless.”
• Johanna Draper Carlson reads a whole lotta vampire manga.
• Similar to our Collect This Now feature is David Welsh’s License Request Day, where he picks manga that haven’t been translated yet, but should. This week he recommends something called Paros No Ken.
• It’s been up for a few days now, but I have to point an arrow towards Katherine Dac’s review of Children of the Sea, which is one of the best takes on the book yet.
Writing for Publishers Weekly, Stefan Dziemianowicz examines the lurching and lumbering rise of zombie fiction, from World War Z and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to The Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies.
Time magazine has even gone so far as to declare that “Zombies Are the New Vampires,” which probably leaves fans of True Blood/The Southern Vampire Mysteries and Twilight scratching their heads (or sharpening their fangs).
So what’s to blame for this most recent resurgence of the walking dead (lower-case)? As with so many cultural trends of the past several years, the bony finger points to 9/11 which, Dziemianowicz writes, transformed the zombie into “a monster for our time.”
Of course, it’s not all zombies, zombies, zombies (although some days it does seem that way). Quirk Books, the publisher behind the hit Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — the Jane Austen mashup — already have moved on to a new menace: sea monsters.
Yesterday the company announced it will release Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters in September. Co-authored by Ben H. Winters, the next book in the series will include “a giant rampaging mutant lobster,” “octopi with glittering tentacles” and, of course, pirates. (You can view a trailer for the book here.)