Vasilis Lolos Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Vasilis Lolos auctioning art to benefit stray dogs in Greece

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Original art is a growing market for creators and fans alike, and for the holidays artist Vasilis Lolos is selling choice pages of his work for a good cause. The Last Call cartoonist is auctioning off pages from his work at Marvel, Image and Dark Horse, as well as his self-published projects, with all proceeds to benefit stray dogs in Athens, Greece.

“During this time of winter and the constant bombings and riots, these stray dogs need a helping hand,” Lolos says. “This is why I created these auctions, so I can sell my artwork really cheap but help somebody in need.”

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Vasilis Lolos reveals final covers for unfinished Pirates of Coney Island

I was a big fan of The Pirates of Coney Island, the riotous and (alas) never-finished 2006-2007 Image Comics miniseries by Rick Spears and Vasilis Lolos about young love, car-jacking and gang violence on the sun-drenched boardwalk. It was fun and frenetic, with a fascinating use of color by Lolos (I wrote about the latter in 2006; unfortunately the accompanying images evaporated into the ether).

But following the release of Issue 6, The Pirates of Coney Island disappeared because, as Lolos recently explained to Robot 6’s Chris Arrant, “I was literally not making any money off the issues and my obligations to support my mother were getting bigger and bigger.” As the artist indicated in the interview, he drew the covers for the final two issues in 2010 (or 2011, judging by the signature), and yesterday, he finally revealed them on his blog. It seems unlikely Spears and Lolos will ever reunite to complete the miniseries, but the covers are a bittersweet reminder of what could’ve been.

Now I just need to find what I did with those six issues and reacquaint myself with Patch & Co. …

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Previews: What Looks Good for December

It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. We’ve each picked the five comics we’re most anticipating in order to create a list of the best new stuff coming out two months from now.

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

Avengers #1

Chris Arrant

Avengers #1 (Marvel): Has Marvel NOW! already gotten enough attention? Maybe so, but that’s partly the reason I’m highlighting this specific book. In the rising tide that’s pushed all of the Marvel NOW relaun!ches, for me — as a fan and journalist — the marketing has dulled the unique appeal of every book. Flipping through Previews and giving this a deeper critical eye, it made me realize – this is Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña doing Avengers, the de facto flagship book of Marvel since 2004. Opeña really turned a corner with Uncanny X-Force, and I’m interested to see how Hickman brings his meticulous plotting to a biweekly book with a cast larger than Circus of the Stars. And what’s interesting is that he’s done a version of this when he relaunched the “Ultimate” version of the Avengers in Ultimate Comics: Ultimates. I’m not saying this will be that re-heated over, but it’ll be interesting to see how he takes roughly the same characters and bobs instead of weaves.

Hiroaki Samura’s Emerald and Other Stories (Dark Horse): Samura’s Blade of the Immortal was a major manga when it debuted, but when you have one artist doing a long, drawn-out story it tends to dull in the eyes of fans on the outside looking in. But his short-story collection Ohikkoshi was fun, modern and completely different – a great bite-size snack from the eight-course meal/buffet that is Blade of the Immortal. This collection looks to be like that, centered around Samura’s western teen drama Emerald. I’ve heard of another set of stories called Bradherley’s Coach about a family whose business is to ferry orphans to their new home, which I hope is in here as well.

Mara #1 (Image): I’ve been loving Brian Wood’s work since he jumped to AiT-PlanetLar too many years ago, and seeing him branch out with another new series makes me wish for Brian Wood Month all over again. Besides swami Brian, it’s the artist he’s doing this with that really deserves some attention; Ming Doyle has killed it in her work featured on Project: Rooftop (shameless plug), and when she moved to doing shorts for Marvel in things like Fantastic Four she showed she could really play with the big boys. Seeing Wood and Doyle doing a sports-themed action series set in the future, this is a unique-looking story that’ll be at the top of my stack when it comes out on Dec. 26.

Hip Flask: Ourborous (Image): In comics today there’s a rare group of artists that are like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ents; an older race who were once masters of the world but now subsist on making rare, but eventful appearances. Alan Moore is this way; so is Art Adams. To that list I’d like to add Ladrönn. This has my money, even if I didn’t know how great a story this is.

Orcs, Vol. 1: Forged For War (First Second): Speaking of Tolkien, am I the only one that felt compassion for the Orcs in Lord of the Rings? Well, this reprinted graphic novel by writer Stan Nicholls and artist Joe Flood brings the orc race to the forefront. Orc Stain was great, and this could be too!

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Food or Comics? | Beurre manié or Building Stories

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.

Building Stories

JK Parkin

If I had $15, I’d start with a couple of Marvel firsts, even though one of them isn’t technically a first issue: Uncanny Avengers #1 ($3.99) and Red She-Hulk #58 ($2.99). This is the first week of Marvel NOW, and they’re starting with books by creative teams I’m excited about. Next I’d get Stumptown V2 #2 ($3.99) and wind things up with the Halloween Eve one-shot. I actually supported the Kickstarter for the latter, so my copy is probably already on the way to my mailbox, but hypothetically let’s assume that it wasn’t. It’s by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, two creators whose work I’ve enjoyed in the past. So if it wasn’t coming to me in the mail, it would come home in a paper bag from the comic shop.

If I had $30, I’d add an outgoing Marvel title (Marvel THEN?), Fantastic Four #611, which features the end of Hickman’s run before he moves on to Avengers and Matt Fraction takes over the first family of Marveldom. Next I’d grab Green Lantern Corps #13 ($2.99) as I like the direction the GL books have been headed in lately, and Conan #9 ($3.50), the second half of Brian Wood’s collaboration with Vasilis Lolos. Finally, I’d grab Point of Impact #1 ($2.99), the new crime book by Jay Faerber and Koray Kuranel.

This is a splurge in price only; if I had $50, then Chris Ware’s Building Stories would definitely have been at the top of my buy list this week. It’s a big box of little comics, as Chris put it, and as luck would have it I really do have $50 in gift certificates that I got for my birthday to buy it with. Thanks Mom and Dad!

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Vasilis Lolos draws Hellboy fan comic

Some creators spend years pining to work on their favorite character. But others simply do it, despite it just being for fun.

Cartoonist Vasilis Lolos, whom we interviewed earlier this month, sent us a treat this week in the form of a five-page Hellboy comic he created for fun. Although he’s working on Conan the Barbarian at Dark Horse, which also publishes Hellboy, Lolos said he hasn’t had any talks with the publisher about working on Mike Mignola’s creation.

Here is the five-page comic featuring Hellboy along with some friends (and a few enemies):

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Food or Comics? | Caviar or Cavalier Mr. Thompson

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.

Conan the Barbarian #8

John Parkin

If I had $15: Whoah, another tough week to narrow things down. Is every Brian Wood-written title required to come out the same week of each month? Do Dark Horse and Marvel get together and plan it that way, so that people who only buy Wood comics only have to go to the store once a month? I think more than half the DC titles I buy come out this time every month, too. So yeah, lots to pick from …

Anyway, I’d start with one of those Brian Wood comics, Conan the Barbarian #8 (Dark Horse, $3.50), which features Vasilis Lolos on art. Lolos drew one of my favorite issues of Northlanders, “The Viking Art of Single Combat,” so it’s cool to see the two of them working together again. I’d also get a comic I’m sure will be popular with a few of my colleagues, the first issue of the new Stumptown miniseries by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni Press, $3.99). Next I’d get Manhattan Projects #6 (Image, $3.50); this issue turns the focus from America’s secret science program to Russia’s secret science program. Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra are having a lot of fun with this one. Finally, I’d get Uncanny X-Force #31 (Marvel, $3.99), which really picked things up last issue … and this is a comic that’s usually running on twice as many cylinders anyway.

If I had $30, I’d also grab two finales from DC Comics — Shade #12 and Resurrection Man #0 (both $2.99). Honestly, I never expected to see a Resurrection Man comic again, much less by the guys who wrote the original, so the fact that we got a good run of 13 issues is a pleasant surprise. Shade, of course, was planned as 12 issues from the beginning, and was a nice return to the Starman-verse by writer James Robinson. That leaves me room for three more $2.99 comics, which means I’m going to bypass X-Men, The Massive and Avengers Assemble this week (let’s assume that I’ll one day spend my splurge money on the trades) and instead go with Chew #28 (Image, $2.99), It Girl and the Atomics #2 (Image, $2.99) and Demon Knights #0 (DC Comics, $2.99).

Splurge: Assuming I wouldn’t spend my unlimited gift card on single issues, I’d be looking at the first Bucko collection from Dark Horse ($19.99) and Fantagraphics’ Is That All There Is? trade ($25).

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Conversing on Comics with Vasilis Lolos

When writers and artists aim to break into the industry, the big question they have to ask themselves is if they’re ready for comics. But once cartoonist Vasilis Lolos broke into comics, he found out that sometimes comics wasn’t ready for him.

Lolos had already created a substantial amount of comics in his native Greece before he made his American debut in 2005’s Flight Vol. 2. But once he moved to New York, he quickly built up steam with a series of minicomics like Nebuli and Hats before garnering attention in 2006 as the artist of Image’s Pirates of Coney Island. While that series experienced some delays and ultimately went on hiatus after its sixth issue, Lolos continued pushing his way into comics and partnered with a group of like-minded cartoonists for two award-winning anthologies, 5 and Pixu. That work drew the interest of Marvel and DC Comics, which hired him for one-off stories like a back-up in a Spider-Man title and an issue of Brian Wood’s Northlanders. But after the latter’s release in 2009, nothing.

Next week’s Conan the Barbarian #8 marks the Lolos’ first published comic in more than three years. With this glimmer of new work and talk on his website of more to come, I contacted Lolos to find out where he’s been all this time. What I discovered was the story of his struggles with comics and life, which he’s working through and working into his art.

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Vasilis Lolos prepping return with Electronomicon

Bursting onto the American comics scene in the mid-00s with the Pirates of Coney Island (sadly unfinished) and work in anthologies like Flight and 24seven, Greek artist Vasilis Lolos quickly made a name for himself with his angular artwork and unconventional storytelling. But after quickly rising up the ranks with group projects-as-books 5 and Pixu, Last Call for Oni, and even mainstream work on Spider-Man and Wolverine, Lolos disappeared. But now news is coming to the surface that Lolos is plotting his return to American comics, and it’s called Electronomicon.

According to a post on his DeviantArt page, Electronomicon is the name of a graphic novel he’s doing for Oni that he describes as “in the vain (sic) of Blade Runner and the writing of H.P. Lovecraft.” This collection of cosmic horror stories is something the artist has been working on and off on since 2009, with 2012 looking to be the year it reaches completion and publication. In recent years Lolos has had a habit of doing work for musical acts, and in this project he’s bringing that influence to bear with the group  La Suspiria reportedly working on a soundtrack.

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Vasilis Lolos takes on the Dynamic Duo

Batman and Robin, by Vasilis Lolos

I’m a huge fan of Vasilis Lolos‘ work on The Last Call, The Pirates of Coney Island and Northlanders #17. I’m also fond of Robin, in concept if not always in execution. So stumbling across his take on the Dynamic Duo — Robin decked out in baggy gym shorts and Chuck Taylors — just about made my day.

Lolos mentions that he’ll soon be setting up an online store soon, which I hopes means the Batman and Robin piece will be for sale. I’d totally buy that. Check out the blog post for his renditions of Ghost Rider and Spider-Man.

Comics A.M. | Batman busted; Go! Comi web domain used in scam

Mark Wayne Williams is ... Batman

Crime | Police in Petoskey, Michigan, arrested a 31-year-old man early Wednesday morning after he allegedly climbed to the roof of a downtown hardware store dressed as Batman. Mark Wayne Williams of Harbor Springs — yes, his middle name is Wayne — has been charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace and possession of dangerous weapons, as he reportedly carried a folding steel baton, weighted (sand-filled) gloves, and a can of chemical irritant spray.

Williams said at his arraignment that he didn’t realize the items were illegal, but didn’t offer an explanation as to why he was hanging off the roof of Meyer Ace Hardware dressed as the Dark Knight. The incident apparently isn’t Williams’ first encounter with police: The city’s public safety director said he had previously dressed as the Crow, but didn’t give any further details. [Petoskey News]

Crime | The expired website domain of defunct manga publisher Go! Comi is being used in a scam by an unknown party to solicit donations under the guise of resurrecting the company. “It is not real,” Audry Taylor, Go! Comi’s former creative director, warned last night on Twitter. “Do not donate. Gonna my lawyers on them.” [Anime News Network]

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Vasilis Lolos releases unfinished graphic novel Freak-enstein online

Vasilis Lolos is nothing if not creative. But the same creative mind that drew Pirates of Coney Island and collaborated on Pixu and 5 can sometimes go down a road that ends up a dead end. But Lolos isn’t the kind of artist to throw it all away. This week, Vasilis Lolos put online — for free — an unfinished 80-page graphic novel that he’d been working on as far back as 2002.

“Somewhere in 2002-3 I had an idea for a comic, a Frankenstein tale set in a Metropolis world,” explained the artist on his blog. “It was about a boy that had his heart stolen by an evil witch. He had to claim his self back from the owner of his heart. A quest troubled by the fact that he was in love with her (coz she was the owner of his heart, literally, har har)I did many takes on that idea, a couple of shorts and a load of illus. Then I put it on the back burner.”

Lolos’ comic currently goes under the moniker of Freak-enstein, and although he hasn’t worked on it since 2004, Lolos has hopes to revisit it — and re-do it — someday.

Free the PIXU Four: A chat with Bá, Cloonan, Lolos, and Moon

The cover to the hardcover edition of PIXU, coming July 2009 from Dark Horse Comics

The cover to the hardcover edition of PIXU, coming July 2009 from Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse recently revealed it will publish a hardcover collection of PIXU, a unique four-way collaboration between award-winning creators Gabriel Bá, Becky Cloonan, Vasilis Lolos and Fábio Moon. Previously released as two self-published issues, PIXU is a horror comic book that tells the story of an apartment building full of haunted individuals, and the PIXU itself, a supernatural mark that portends great evil.

The four PIXU creators are scattered across the globe — with Cloonan living in Brooklyn, twin brothers Moon and Bá in São Paulo, Brazil, and Lolos splitting his time between Brooklyn and Athens, Greece. The book is at once a story, an experiment and a reflection of their tight friendship — four disparate, distant and visionary mad scientists becoming one through the magical act of creating comics together. Best of all, the book is creepy as all hell.

The original issues of PIXU were printed at a limited run of 1,000 copies each — but you can still find these handcrafted soon-to-be-eBay-bait comics at Khepri.com.

To celebrate the July release of the hardcover edition, we reached out to the PIXU quartet to find out the secret history of the book, and their own origins in the world of horror.

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