"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Sean Howe, author of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, looks back to 1987 for a rare ad promoting what was supposed to be the first appearance of Youngblood, by a 19-year-old Rob Liefeld and Hank Kanalz. However, as Megaton Comics Publisher Carlson related on his blog, Megaton Special #1 Starring Youngblood received only about 1,200 orders — “the independent comic market was glutted back then,” he writes — and the issue was never printed.
Sad story, sure, but I hear Liefeld did pretty well for himself, and a slightly different version of Youngblood finally saw the light of day about five years later, as the first title published by Image Comics. Kanalz turned out OK, too, serving as the longtime general manager of WildStorm and, now, senior vice president of Vertigo and integrated publishing for DC Comics.
In a related posted, Howe also has a 1991 ad for Liefeld’s The Executioners — ““rebel mutants from the future come to destroy their past”” — accompanied by an excerpt from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story detailing how the House of Ideas threatened to sue … for pretty obvious reasons.
Rob Liefeld made waves in 2011 when he resurrected his Extreme Studios properties by handing over the characters to the likes of Brandon Graham, Simon Roy, Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell. And now he’s looking to give somebody else a shot.
To that end, he has launched an Extreme Talent Contest in which young writers are given a chance to have their short story published in an issue of Youngblood and Bloodstrike, drawn by none other than Liefeld himself.
He explains that he’s looking for pitches for a five- to six-page short story featuring Extreme Studios characters. Three winners will be selected, one every few weeks beginning March 6; those writers chosen will have to complete a work-for-hire agreement to move on to the next stage. More details, including a link to a submission agreement, can be found on Liefeld’s blog.
“I have the absolute highest regard for creators and for the ownership of original properties, and this agreement should in no way be misconstrued as license for us to appropriate your creations,” he writes. “This agreement protects Rob Liefeld from any liabilities involving coincidental similarities to works-‐in-‐progress or other submissions. Any submissions received without a signed agreement will be discarded without review.”
Robert Kirkman and Chris Giarrusso‘s The Walking Dead For Kids may have been an April Fool’s joke, but what isn’t a joke is the fact that Giarrusso is creating 12 tribute variant covers for various Image titles this year as a part of their big 20th anniversary. First up is the way-to-Youngblood cover above, which will serve as a variant cover for Youngblood #71.
“Twenty years ago, I was eagerly anticipating the launch of Image Comics,” said Giarrusso in a press release. “Maybe it was partially due to my upcoming high school graduation, but it felt like the whole world was changing. I vividly recall the excitement of seeing the Image books on the shelf for the first time. It was a new era, and these cover images were instantly iconic. The opportunity to pay tribute to these classic Image covers is an honor and a privilege, and I couldn’t be more excited about my role and participation in Image’s 20th anniversary celebration.”
Check out the Walking Dead cover after the jump; no word yet on what other covers he’s doing.
Image Comics has released a digital version of the Extreme Preview book that was available at the New York Comic Con last weekend, and thanks to the embed feature offered by Graphicly, you can read it right here. It can also be downloaded via ComiXology, Graphicly, iVerse and Diamond Digital.
The preview book offers a look at Brandon Graham and Simon Roy’s Prophet, Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell’s Glory; Alan Moore, Erik Larsen and Cory Hamscher’s Supreme; Tim Seeley and Francheco Gaston’s Bloodstrike; and John McLaughlin, Jon Malin and Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood. The first comic from the revived Extreme, Prophet #21, arrives Jan. 18.
My first thought when learning that there was going to be a revival of Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Comics line at Image was that I was an old, old man. We’d already reached the point where something so recent was old enough to have a nostalgia hook? And then I realized that we’re more than a decade since the last revamp of Prophet and almost as long since the last attempt at a Glory series. Continue Reading »