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Marvel have announced a new miniseries from writer Matt Kindt and artist Paul Davidson for December, called ‘Inhumanity: The Awakening’. Obviously tying in to Matt Fraction and Joe Mad’s new Inhuman series, this miniseries has Pixie on the cover, so what are we even doing wasting time sitting here on The Beat when we could be pre-ordering this hot new Pixie comic?
Cover by Jorge Molina
Okay, sorry, carried away. The idea of Inhuman is that a load of magic mist gets spilled on Earth, turning thousands of humans into INhumans. Yes, this is the exact same premise as the X-Men, only with giant Jack Kirby robots replaced by mild lunar precipitation. But as a result of this, characters around the World are going to find that they’ve become Inhuman overnight, and their latent Inhuamn ancestry is now active.
This miniseries will see various members of the youngest superhero generation dealing with this whole deal, including and starring Pixie. Also Stryker and Finesse from Avengers Academy, along with some random girl in green. Wind Dancer? The miniseries will spin out of not just Inhumanity, but the Kindt/Steven Sanders miniseries Infinity: The Hunt, which starts tomorrow.
DC’s recent contest to draw a page of the new Harley Quinn book stirred up a storm of outrage when it was suggested that it promoted suicide—although the mthod, covering one’s self with chicken and jumping into a pit of alligators was unorthodox to say the least. It was suggested that the tone was more comedic than it came off. In fact, co-writer Jimmy Palmmiotti has explained on his Facebook page that the script will get a clarifying rewrite:
That the tryout Harley Quinn page went out without an overall description of tone and dialogue is all my fault. I should have put it clearly in the description that it was supposed to be a dream sequence with Amanda and I talking to Harley and giving her a hard time. I should have also mentioned we were thinking a Mad magazine /Looney Tunes approach was what we were looking for. We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Powergirl series we did. I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention. I also hope that they can all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up. The idea for the page to find new talent is an amazing one and we hope that can be the positive that comes forward from today on…that we get some new talent working in our field because of this unique opportunity.
The new book sounds like it’s going to move away from the grimmer, Zenescope like take on the character, and go back to the more Animaniacs version that was originally created for the cartoon.
Okay, first things first. Have you bought Ballistic yet? Have you back-ordered #1 and pre-ordered #2? Because this comic is selling out everywhere FAST. I hit up artist Darick Robertson for a chat on what is rapidly becoming the runaway hit of 2013.
Here’s the blurb, if you’ve missed it until now:
Synopsis: Welcome to Repo City State, where everyone’s an asshole… even the air conditioners.
Darick Robertson (Happy, The Boys, Transmetropolitan) and Adam Egypt Mortimer’s (director of Grant Morrison’s upcoming Sinatoro) madcap, psychedelic, transreal, utterly-wacko buddy adventure about Butch and his best friend Gun, a drug-addicted, genetically-modified, foul-mouthed firearm, as they attempt to elevate Butch from air conditioner repairman to master criminal in the twisted, post-eco-apocalyptic Repo City State, a reclaimed trash island built entirely from DNA-based, living technology with bad attitudes.
Ballistic marks Darick Robertson’s return to the hard sci-fi worldbuilding of his classic Transmetropolitan but mixed with The Boys’ ultra-violence and the lunacy of Happy. Mortimer’s mix of speculative science, pulpy noire, and drug-addled adventure cooks up a strange brew of Lethal Weapon by way of Cronenberg meets Dr. Who if written by Odd Future.
Here’s my review here on the Beat of the first killer issue, and my sneaky review of #2 as one of my must-buy comics of September. It’s Grant Morrison’s favourite comic of the year. It’s my favourite comic of the year – possibly of the decade.
It’s madcap, it’s genius, it’s psychedelic and sexy as fuck, and I want MORE.
A collaboration at the still relatively new Black Mask Studios between Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson (a hero of this devoted Transmet fan), this comic has got me rather excited – you may be able to tell. So time to sit down with Darick, who has brought some images with him, to find out how Ballistic came to be.
How did this collaboration between you and Adam come about?
DR: I’ve been friends with Adam for years. We met when we were both living in New York, and he was at MTV Animation. He and I got to sharing ideas and in 2007 he told me about his idea for a guy with a talking gun as we rode in a pedicab in downtown San Diego to go see the Aquabats perform during Comic-Con.
You have a huge body of work behind you, for both independent publishers and larger corporate types – what attracted you and Adam to work with the relatively new Black Mask Studios?
DR: Adam introduced me to Matt Pizzolo last year at Comic-Con. Matt had a lot of interesting ideas and wanted to publish and market comics with a different approach than what’s currently being done. I was interested in his approach and Adam felt strongly about Matt’s plan, so we decided Ballistic would be a good fit at Black Mask. My friendship with Steve Niles and huge respect for Brett Gurewitz was persuasive in my decision as well.
Looking at the hugely detailed scale of the world of Ballistic, and the mix of organic shapes and technological wonders, I’m spotting a little bit of Moebius as an influence – maybe? What influences have you drawn upon for this project?
DR: I love Moebius’ work and his landscapes and free flowing architectural ideas were an inspiration when I started working on this. Heavy Metal from 1980, and the magazine itself, were very influential when I was a teen. I recall the sequence from the animated film where Taarna is flying over the city on her winged bird creature (Moebius designs) and at one point she flies through this massive skeleton of some long dead behemoth.
Moebius’ inspired skeleton designs from Taarna (Daniel Goldberg & Len Blum), Heavy Metal (1981)
Just the scope of that made my mind explode. That’s what I loved about Moebius’ work. He drew fantastical stuff, but those crazy worlds were full of people who seemed to just be going about their business. I also loved that dystopian New York that Goldberg and Blum’s “Harry Canyon” lived in, and Canyon as anti-hero.
Scene from Harry Canyon (Daniel Goldberg and Len Blum), Heavy Metal (1981)
With Ballistic having such a fantastical aesthetic, where do you begin when bringing concepts like “the high finance cells – where nests of transactors soaking in baths of liquid capital shift billions of assets ever second” and pongbits to life? Do they just spring to mind or are there discarded sketches en route to the final look?
DR: Adam and I see this world pretty vividly in our minds. Adam has brilliant ideas and when I’m putting them into action, I look to nature for construction inspiration. Conch shells, honeycombs, strong patterns and structures that are not man made creations. If you were growing a world, one only needs to look at the world as it’s actually growing to see what works.
I know that with Transmetropolitan, some of the key ideas such as Spider’s cat and his glasses came from yourself, while with Happy the lovable design of that brilliant little creature was your creation – how have the discussions between you and Adam worked out when creating everything from the key concepts to the little design details?
DR: I had a strong feeling that Butch should look a bit anachronistic, as should the car. I wanted something about him to feel grounded and familiar as I knew how twisted and strange this world was going to be, and that Butch would be our guide. Adam and I discuss everything, and sometimes we go back and forth until we have a clear idea of what he’s seeing versus what I’m seeing. In the early days of getting this off the ground we would Skype and I sketched about 5 different guns before we got to the design that is the basis of Gun as we know him in the book.
Gun! from Ballistic, by Darick Robertson
The whole world of Ballistic bowled me over from #1, but it’s definitely Butch and Gun that really seal the deal on this story. What was the design process behind our two heroes? I noticed that in #2, Butch is starting to look a bit less dorky (and a bit more dashing!) while still looking like an everyday kind of guy, and Gun has had to communicate a wealth of emotions since the opening pages!
DR: Well, I’m getting to know Butch as I get scripts, and that makes my character assessment evolve with each issue. No matter what character I design, they will evolve as they start performing within the book and I get to know them. Butch had some evolutions. At first I kept making more dumpy and as I got to see how clever and cunning he is, and considered he had young actresses dating him , even if they shoot him down, he must have some charm and appeal. They guy I was drawing initially wouldn’t get a girl like Gennie to have dinner with him. So as he evolved and I saw he was clever, I wanted that quick thinking represented. I like the idea that he actually looks like a repairman as well. Butch reminds me of friends I grew up with in my 20’s who were aspiring musicians and actors but had their day jobs, so they’d have eye makeup on and still be wearing their work clothes. I wanted Butch to have that rock -n- roll greaser look to him.
With Gun it became a challenge when the first issue was underway, to make him perform, and come to life. I had no idea that he would be so involved and animated until I was reading Adam’s early drafts, so I came up with the extended arms and dreamed up this retractable body. Adam initially had him in a holster and I started imagining that he wouldn’t be comfortable in a holster, as he has a face, and in a strange way, a holster would demean Gun. So I saw this opportunity to have him be his own holster and cling to Butch’s leg and when he goes into action, literally connect with Butch and suggested the adrenaline addiction Gun has. The tattoo with the conduits was an idea I had so the the two could interface, and Adam came up with all these other things the tattooed arm can do. Adam wove these things into the plot in a very cool way.
Ballistic has Diego Rodriguez on colours, who if I may say so, is absolutely killing it on your inks. Amazing work!
DR: Diego is an absolute coloring rock star. He has great enthusiasm for the work and really is the secret sauce of the quality in this book.
I’ve just re-read #2 and the colours are such a huge part of how this story comes to life. How did Diego join the team?
DR: I had worked with Diego on covers for the relaunch of Drew Hayes’ Poison Elves relaunch, and editor/APE CEO David Hedgecock brought Diego on board to color those covers. I saw Diego’s talent immediately and was thrilled that everyone agreed to bring him on for Ballistic and that he was up for the job.
Cover to Poison Elves #2, by Darick Robertson and Diego Rodriguez
And tangentially, are you stoked to be inking your own work?
DR: Yes, but it’s slower than just penciling. I’ve been inking my own work for some time now, on The Boys, Happy! and even as far back as Marvel on Wolverine, Punisher, and Spider-Man (Sweet Charity).
I don’t always have the time I need, but whenever possible I like to ink my own stuff as there are things like that city spread from Ballistic #1 that I wouldn’t put an inker through and don’t want to give up the project to someone else.
The insane detail from the city spread in Ballistic #1, by Darick Robertson
I like artists that ink their own stuff. I aspire to live up to my own tastes and standards. I also like having the last look at the digital files before they go to the colorist and letterer. Indie comics like Happy! and Ballistic mean that the creative team essentially edits itself, so that quality control is something I care very much about.
The first issue came out on July 10th, with #2 due out this Wednesday (September 11th) – will Ballistic continue on a bi-monthly schedule? Looking at the amount of detail on each page, even without taking into account the planning and inking, this must be a huge undertaking for you.
DR: Well, San Diego Comic-Con happened right in the middle of drawing #2, so hopes of a monthly release were lost. The world that I’m drawing is so dense and trying to bring to life, that despite my best efforts, it’s just not something I can pump out like an established world of characters that I’m more familiar with.
I am in a reactive position when it comes to story, and I don’t always know what it is that I’m going to be asked to draw, so predicting how long something will take is a challenge I can’t always rise to. Now that the world and characters are coming into focus though, I find issue 3 is moving along faster than issue 2 did.
I firmly believe this though; that these smaller comics take longer to find their audience, and ultimately will be read as collections. Years from now, when I’m done with this, someone will be picking it up for the first time. They won’t care when it was released, they’ll judge it on it’s quality there and then, so I want it to be something good, not something just rushed out. Transmetropolitan ceased monthly publication in 2002 and I’m still hearing from new fans that are just now discovering it.
On that note too, Ballistic is currently positioned as a five part complete mini-series. Are there plans and enthusiasm to take the series further if possible? (I’m guessing that some of that may come down to the trade performance?)
DR: We have plots for future stories in mind, but when Ballistic is done I will be diving into OLIVER with Gary Whitta for Image and wrapping up my DC projects that have been coming along as I took on ‘Ballistic’.
I know that Happy is coming out in a new edition at some point with 10 new pages, and with the success of The Boys and of course the now-classic Transmetropolitan, are creator owned properties where you are happiest working?
DR: It’s a challenge. The money is different and I have to sacrifice more to get these creator owned books out, but yes, I love creating something new and knowing that if it gets developed, I have a piece of it that’s truly mine and if fate is kind, I can benefit from it in a way I can’t with other people’s properties. I still like Superheroes, and would be delighted to draw for Marvel, DC or Vertigo, but I find myself wanting my own creative control, wanting to write and collaborate more of my own stories. In many ways, that’s where the happiness lies.
There are obviously a lot of creators in recent years now investigating that side of comics, but it’s fair to say that you’ve kept a foot in that camp the whole time.
DR: Strangely it’s where I started with ‘Space Beaver’ in 1986 and where I’ve come back to after years with Marvel and DC. I was hoping to land a monthly book at Marvel in 1997 when Warren approached me about Transmet and I was deep into the Wolverine series I did with Rucka when The Boys was proposed. Creator owned, original books just seem to be where my calling is.
Finally, for the up and coming artists out there, I was curious about your actual working process. I read that while you finish some things up digitally, you work with traditional methods – could you expand upon that a little?
DR: Yes, I like to tweak the final digital files and add effects to my work with Photoshop, but the actual art is still done on paper with pencils and inks. I draw with a light blue pencil, very aggressively and loose, just to map out the story beats and page designs. I show that to the writer, get their feedback, make sure we’re on the same page creatively (literally and figuratively!) and then go to inks. I like to focus on key figures and faces first, making sure the ‘acting’ is tight, then spend devoted time to backgrounds on a second pass. A lot of the drawing I do in ink. Years of penciling made me realize that it’s the same process with a different tool, and I like the spontaneity the process captures on the pages the audience sees.
Ballistic #2 cover, rough and inked
Thank you for making my brain so happy!
DR: Thank you for your enthusiastic support!
Writer: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Artist: Darick Robertson
Colourist: Diego Rodriguez
Cover Artist: Darick Robertson
Production Artist: Vincent Kukua
Producer: Matt Pizzolo
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Diamond Code: MAY130919
Release Date: September 11th
Laura Sneddon is a comics journalist and academic, writing for the mainstream UK press with a particular focus on women and feminism in comics. Currently working on a PhD, do not offend her chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible. Her writing is indexed at comicbookgrrrl.com and procrastinated upon via @thalestral on Twitter.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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, Top News
, Danielle Corsetto
, Faith Erin Hicks
, Jen Vaughn
, Jess Fink
, Johanna Draper Carlson
, Kate Leth
, Smut Peddler
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Smut Peddler, the lady-led erotic anthology edited by Johanna Draper Carlson and C. Spike Trotman, will be returning in 2014 for a new volume. And to set up for that launch, an open call for submissions from women and female/male creative teams has been put out. The anthology will feature probably quite filthy work from creators including Faith Erin Hicks, Jen Vaughn, Jess Fink and Kate Leth.
A proposal deadline for stories has been set as the 15th October, and every story selected for the anthology will be paid a starting rate as well as a possible commission based on the overall success of the volume. Smut Peddler is an erotica anthology, defining itself as “sex-positive, fun, inclusive, and erotic”. The submissions are open primarily for female creators, although men are allowed to help as part of a team.
You can find more details about submitting your proposals over at Carlson and Trotman’s sites.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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, DC Comics
, Jeff Parker
, Mark Buckingham
, Scott McDaniel
, The Flash
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DC’s December solicitations have revealed a number of new creators coming onto new titles and moving around, including the news that writer Jeff Parker will be riding in on a rogue wave and taking over Aquaman from Geoff Johns; whilst Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have wrapped their run on The Flash and will be moving to a new DC property in 2014.
Here come the bullet-points:
- The first news is Jeff Parker’s decision to pop on a pair of trunks and take over on Aquaman, starting with issue #15. While Geoff Johns focuses on Forever Evil, it seems he’ll be cutting back on his other titles in 2014. The first issue of Parker’s run will see Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons on art.
- Justice League 3000 has a resolicitation following Kevin Maguire’s departure.
- The creative team for The Flash have completed their run on the series, meaning December will see Christos Gage and Neil Googe coming on for a one-off issue. Manapul and Buccellato seem set to be announcing a new run with DC on a different title next year.
- Supergirl will feature a new creative team, as Tony Bedard writes and Yildiray Cinar and Ray McCarthy handle art. This looks to be the title where the new Lobo will make his first appearance.
- Similarly, Superboy has the new creative team of writers Frank Hannah and Marv Wolfman, along with artist Andres Guinaldo
- Chad Hardin is announced as the regular artist for Harley Quinn.
- Dead Boy Detectives, Vertigo’s latest Sandman spinoff series, has been pushed back to December, with Mark Buckingham now credited as co-writer for the book.
- It’s suggested that Injustice, writer Tom Taylor’s unfairly-panned alt-universe series, may well be ending with issue #12, collecting the digital series up to chapter 36.
- And Scott McDaniel returns to Nightwing for this cover:
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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, Alan Moore
, Edinburgh Book Festival
, Lost Girls
, Melinda Gebbie
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Kicking off the second round of Stripped events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival came the legendary and fabulous Melinda Gebbie, known for her work in the American underground comix of the ‘70s, the infamous and illegal Fresca Zizis, and of course her collaboration with Alan Moore on Lost Girls.
Melinda Gebbie is one of my heroes, and this was my first time listening to her speak in person. I was amazed that the room was only half full, perhaps due to overlapping events, but it was one of my absolute highlights of the festival. Larger than life and with one hell of a sharp sense of humour, Gebbie gave a career retrospective as well as a great big dose of enthusiasm for any women working in – or around – comics.
[One or two images potentially not entirely safe for work, depending on your work]
A special mention here for the chair, Teddy Jamieson of The Herald and Sunday Herald, who provoked some wonderful discussion that was of equal interest to those familiar with Gebbie’s work, and newcomers.
Gebbie is a UK resident, having moved to England in the early ‘80s to work on the animated film adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ When the Wind Blows. Already well established as an underground comix creator, Lost Girls first came about in the early ‘90s when Gebbie collaborated with Moore on an 8 page story for an anthology titled Tales of Shangri-La, a project that never came to be due to a lack of publisher interest.
Having spent three weekends talking about their sexual politics and what they saw as the failures of pornography, and erotica, “pornography lite”, a new project was born: Lost Girls.
“I never actually realised how long it was going to take,” said Gebbie, of the 16 year process behind the book, explaining that previous projects had rarely been any longer than 12 pages.
Except from working with the animation studio, she clarified, saying that, “working on animation in those days was kinda like being addicted to methamphetamine!” The work had to get done around the clock and nothing else mattered.
During the creation of Lost Girls the working partnership between the two collaborators became a romantic partnership. Had the dynamic changed, Jamieson asked.
“It made it more ticklish,” Gebbie smiled. “We had a very professional relationship.” The artist explained that when discussing the project they kept their “business heads” on, and that of course during the period, Moore was working on at least 6-8 other projects, with several other collaborators. His head was “absolutely swimming” with projects all the time.
They had had one argument, she conceded, where in the aftermath she had drawn a really ugly face on one of the Lost Girl pages. When a mutual friend saw it he was horrified, saying that they must have had a fight and she had to redraw it. Which she did, with a much better result!
“We’re practically like an Edwardian little couple,” Gebbie laughed. Jamieson told the audience that Melinda and Alan had had their honeymoon in Edinburgh, suggesting that in a parallel world, that had made for the best Hello cover ever – causing Gebbie to have a major fit of the giggles.
Moving on to her history in underground comix, Gebbie talked about her experiences working for Wimmen’s Comix, a title she said, as if it was an entirely new concept, “like comics for beagles or something”.
There had been only 12 women working in the underground comix community at that time in San Franscisco, with around 30 men. Three of those men, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Crumb, and Art Spiegelman, had enough work for them to work on their comix full time.
“There were feminist issues,” she said of Wimmen’s Comix, but “generally speaking feminist issues did not really come up much.”
“I brought sexual politics to [my] comics,” she explained, saying that she had been deeply interested in personal rights for women and fighting back against the system. But at that point, “it was not a coagulative movement, if that is a word.”
This was mostly, she said, due to the strange politics of San Francisco at that time. On attending one feminist meeting with two friends who were wearing make-up, they were told to leave and denounced as “breeders”.
At the gay parades, men gave leaflets to men, and women gave leaflets to women, with no interaction between the two sides. “We could not progress,” she said, “there was such factionalisation.”
“San Fransciso was a great place for weirdness of all sorts,” Gebbie said, reminiscing about the influx of punk and the role fashioned played in movements.
The artist explained how she had first got into comics after visiting a small independent publishers fair, where she met Lee Mars – one of the founders of Wimmen’s Comix – a “genuinely funny woman”. Gebbie spoke a little about how Marrs’ The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge, Girl Blimp, combatted the “sexual fascism” that existed in that area, so close to Hollywood’s Babylon, where no one would listen to you unless “you were a size 8″, regardless of how bright you were.
There was huge hostility from male cartoonists towards the women working on their own comix. Gebbie told of how during a phone argument with S. Clay Wilson, he had said, “women aren’t supposed to be artists. They have babies, that’s what women are for”.
Reminding us that while this was a few years back now, it wasn’t that long ago, she said it was “quite extraordinary how backwards we were about human rights and human capabilities”.
Moving on to Lost Girls, Jamieson asked whether pornography was a term she was happy with when referring to that work.
“Well, I’m used to that term now,” Gebbie answered, pointing out that the only other term was erotica which didn’t really fit right. Lost Girls is drawn nicely, which is a decision that Gebbie made, to make it “look like a children’s book but for grownups.”
She said it was quite possibly the only pornography (of this form) that had been done “expressly for women”, to look beautiful for them and to celebrate female sexuality.
Gebbie spoke about how she had collected all kinds of magazines, and had a friend who had been editor on the infamous LA Star (“one floor down from John Cassavetes’ office”) and had edited infantile sexual magazines, “things about enemas, all sorts of crazy magazines!”
“I always found the variations of peoples interests quite fascinating,” she smiled.
On the intentions behind Lost Girls, Gebbie said, “we wanted to do a pornography that would appeal to women”. Moore had been following her underground career, long before he met her, and she had done a pastiche of the Story of O.
“I think the new lady who’s done the 50 shades of beige or whatever has done her version of it. Except that poor woman’s probably not had sex.”
But hers had been a response to the sexual savagery on the part of the male cartoonists. “They were some of the most backward guys in terms of their fears and belief systems, and their sexism. They were classically untrained in the consciousness of appreciating women.”
Many years ago, said Gebbie, she had often attended the San Diego Comic Convention with other underground cartoonists in the late 70s/early 80s, at the El Cortez.
People like Dan O’Neill and “the great” Harvey Kurtzman were there, and they “swam nude in the pool” and stayed up all night, playing guitar and singing. Gebbie had gone to a panel discussion featuring Kurtzman (“huge respect to Harvey”) and other cartoonists, saying, “oh well, y’know women don’t have any sense of humour do they? Or any discernible sex drive either.”
(Gebbie took a little aside here to talk about how artists should always always hold on to their work, as Kurtzman had only been able to keep two of his Little Annie Fanny strips from Playboy, depriving him of a huge amount of income.)
Gebbie had stood up on the spot to attack this idea, thinking it was an incredibly dangerous belief for people to hold, stating “I don’t know if all you do is hang around your mom all the time, but women do too have a sexuality and they do too have a sense of humour, it’s just that their sense of humour, you might find a little bit stinging! They’re too protective of you guys to subject you to it!”
Asked about the reaction to Lost Girls, the artist said that it has been almost all positive. “We’re not on the internet”, said Gebbie, but they do get sent reviews to read. Michael Faber’s review she said, had made her cry (Faber praised the sincerity of the book, and likened it to William Blake).
Jamieson brought up the one part of the book that had discomfited him: the incest. What’s my problem? he asked.
“Well, it’s always just about what you respond to and what you don’t respond to,” Gebbie answered. She went on to talk about how everyone has their personal preferences, friends and family included, when it came to the book, and that that was absolutely fine. Some of her friends, she said, had been really offended by it. “I didn’t take it personally, it’s just territory they didn’t feel comfortable with.” An outlook I greatly admire!
Talking about the imitation embroidery in the book, Gebbie joked that she almost went blind, which was physically and physiologically demanding. Drawing these “tiny tiny little penises spurting all these little pearls all over this giant ball gown” involved her sitting for a few minutes at it then having to talk around the room and come back to it, again and again.
The single thing, said Gebbie, that made the book difficult and why it took 16 years, was that she wanted it to be “irresistibly beautiful and tender” and wanted that “to transfer to the reader”, that it’s meant to effect you “like a beautiful memory” which is why the artwork is hazy and colourful. Gebbie spoke about how the colour had a character role to play, and how she wanted “all women who picked it up to feel comfortable looking at it.”
While the subject matter doesn’t appeal to everyone, she wanted that “tenderness towards my fellow women to be evident”. Gebbie explained that one of the biggest problems she had with her early experiences of feminism, was that there was so much competition and sabotage within the movement, as well as cruelty towards body shapes and different ways of presenting yourself.
“None of these things are as important as what you are inside and what you are capable of expressing as a human being.” The artist led into how it is so profitable for the media and the cosmetic industry to make us feel that we are unattractive and that that holds us back.
“That’s all irrelevant,” declared Gebbie. “What we need is to find out what we’re best at, find out how best we can express our affection for other people, make a difference in the world, be kind to each other, and get across a tenderness.”
Saying that she wouldn’t have the time to spend another 16 years on Lost Girls, the artist talked about how glad she was that she did the project, and that she has never regretted any part of it. “I feel I did everything I could.”
Jamieson next brought up the current campaign in the UK that focuses on getting rid of Page 3 in the Sun (a naked pin up page in a leading tabloid) and lads mags from supermarket shelves. How did Gebbie feel about that given the ongoing power of the male gaze?
“Well, I’m very lucky,” said Gebbie. “I get to be interviewed, I get to have a voice.” She revealed that she had pinpointed certain artists who she thought were really guilty of that kind of behavior in their art, and had been locked out of certain conventions as a result.
“I’m completely anti-censorship,” she added, saying that pictures of unfair wars where children are being hurt is surely far more damaging than any pictures of sex could ever be.
“I just think that more things with female gaze involved with it are going to work their own good health results. The male gaze is more evident because there is a longer history of it.” Gebbie spoke about how there are good women film makers, pornographers, and so forth. “I’m very pleased that there are more women in comics, absolutely thrilled about that.”
She spoke about how she hoped women in comics today were organising together, but in a “mutually positive way”, and that the younger women are more involved with the idea that we are there to support each other – women and men. And that we should all feel like we have the right to have our say.
Censorship was definitely something Gebbie spoke out about, saying that pro-censorship of anything can lead to the censorship of things we need, and that are important.
This led into an interesting question from Jamieson, on whether we can say that the imagination should never be policed, referring to rape fantasies in particular, not when women have them, but when men fantasize about being a perpetrator.
“Ye-es, that sounds like a perfectly sensible thing to say,” Gebbie began, and mentioned AM Homes as a female author who had targeted the issue from a male perpetrators perspective. “So no, again, I don’t think the imagination should ever be policed, because it’s in the imagination landscape that we work out some of these crucial issues before we have to act them out on the world stage.”
“Why don’t we have anti-tyrant rules?” she posed. “Why are people allowed to come into government looking like, oh let me pick one without using a name, that one that looks like an albino ape. That scratches his head and looks like a fun guy. And he’s actually a former thug who used to like to get involved in going around in a gang and threatening people.” [Points to any non-UKer who recognises this one!]
“Politics doesn’t seem to have an imaginary world that you can work from, and get an idea down on paper… If you have imagination you’re probably a little less likely to be a murderer. You’re probably a little less likely to be a tyrant, or a monster. Because you can imagine, and probably then empathise, with the people you are about to dictate to, or hurt.”
Questions were then opened to the floor, with the first question asking if a digital version of Lost Girls was forthcoming.
An idea for this had previously been floated, but Gebbie said that she “wasn’t completely comfortable with that idea at the time”. Saying that she wasn’t against digital books by any means, Kindles just weren’t for her.
“Alan and I collect lots and lots of books,” she said, talking about her love for her own library, and for collecting films as well. She added that “if somebody can make it fun for me and show me what the ups and downs of it is, then yeah I’d take a look at it”. But that if Alan wasn’t interested then it wouldn’t go ahead. “Unlike some of his other former collaborators, I don’t do anything without wanting his blessing on it. It was an alchemical work of magic.”
Gebbie spoke briefly about the various books Moore had created that had gone on to become films, that had all been badly made or badly thought out, and had all ignored the core idea in his writing. “It’s just all gone wrong for him so he hates those projects. I never want him to hate Lost Girls.”
The next question referred back to Gebbie’s own SDCC tale, and brought up the kerfuffle a few years back along with the creation of Womanthology, a project that Gebbie had not heard of.
I was personally quite surprised that Gebbie had not been approached to take part in Womanthology, lack of internet access aside, but she expressed great interest in the project itself.
“It sounds like it was never won,” said Gebbie of the battle against sexism in comics. “And the thing is, it is very very easy to convince a female creator that she is not up to standard. Women have been easily manipulated all these years.”
Gebbie talked a little about how few women creators she knew these days, but said she knew many women artists in Sweden, and that there were other countries that were so much more supportive of women in comics.
“DC and Marvel are pigs,” she said, speaking about her comic Cobweb, where an issue was spiked because it talked about L Ron Hubbard, Jack Parsons and Scientology. Yet they had already published a book on that subject before.
“I will say that I think superheroes are an unfortunate sewage system of kudzu that’s taking over comics, lacking storyline, lacking heart, the same old stuff. I think it’s fine if if guys like pictures of other guys in tights, that’s fine… or dogs in capes – although it was cute when Alan did it, but no. There’s no storyline there. It’s industrial effluent, and it just keeps on rolling on.”
Gebbie said god bless to any creative person out there who wanted to create storylines, who had a heartfelt reason for doing their work.
The next question asked about the script for Lost Girls given Moore’s tendency to create very detailed scripts. Was Lost Girls more of a free flowing project?
“No, Alan doesn’t do free flowing!” laughed Gebbie. She said the script design had been very similar to the ill-fated Big Numbers, explaining that his printing is ridiculously tiny. First thing he had asked was what she wanted to draw, and the comic was built around that.
Gebbie added that Moore had dialogued the comic after she had drawn the pages, matching the speech perfectly to her faces, “which I think is kinda genius”. Moore had also provided thumbnail sketches for her, which was a “huge help” as she wasn’t used to collaborating with a writer.
Jamieson asked whether there had been a discussion about whether there were any subjects that Lost Girls should avoid.
Gebbie answered that there had been two – the book contained very light bondage towards the end, because bondage is a contentious issue, with the curtailing of personal freedom; and religious iconography had been taken out in case it was taken as being anti-papist.
The next question from an audience member asked what comic of her had been seized by customs, and why.
This was Fresca Zizis, much of which will be included in an upcoming collection of her black and white work. Gebbie discussed how her underground work had seen her being hugely “involved in bringing art movements forward.”
Fresca Zizis, which means fresh cocks, was seized by customs on entry to the UK. “There were a lot of steamy stories in it,” she explained. And the judge, who was apparently Richard Branson’s father – “still alive on some island of the dead!” – had asked her to stand up for herself, and she had said that “it wasn’t meant to be an obscene act or something I did for cheap reasons. The stories in here are actually based on what it’s like to be a person in this underground comix scene. This is a book of cautionary tales and it is not meant to titillate.”
The judge had given it a week and then “several hundred copies were burned, and then it was made completely illegal in England.”
The final question was whether Gebbie believed that sexual politics could be challenged via mainstream comics or whether it was best suited to the underground.
She answered that publishers like Jonathan Cape and Faber were buying up everything, resulting in some “very inferior” comics coming through her door. She said that she wouldn’t take anything with sexual content to those kind of publishers, as they were trying to appeal to the widest audience possible, and that to do required a lot of bravery on the part of the creator.
She spoke about how she had wanted to break into children’s books, and had taken some highly sexual art amongst her portfolio along to the publisher meeting. Funny now, not at the time!
The talk over, Gebbie sat and signed copies of Lost Girls and chatted to each person until everyone had left, beaming and clutching their heavy books. The event had been rather quiet in terms of audience size, but the passion of each individual person present was quite palpable. I await Melinda’s upcoming collection with glee!
Laura Sneddon is a comics journalist and academic, writing for the mainstream UK press with a particular focus on women and feminism in comics. Currently working on a PhD, do not offend her chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible. Her writing is indexed at comicbookgrrrl.com and procrastinated upon via @thalestral on Twitter.
It’s great to see writer Alex De Campi back in comics. She’s a singular creator with a singular style.
Grindhouse: Door Open at Midnight comes out from Dark Horse next month. It’s an anthology of twisted tales, with art by Simon Fraser, Gary Erksine, Frederica Manfredi, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Panosian, Chris Petersen and more.
….so come on down!
WHY am I giving a talk? Because I donated a bunch of my mini-comics from the 90s on to the Library of Congress, and as part of the SPX festivities, I get to give a little talk.
I’ve been pondering my subject—notable books in the evolution of the graphic novel that aren’t as much remembered as they could be—for a long time. But I’m still putting it together.
What’s on the list?
You’ll have to come to find out. (Because I haven’t finished the list yet.)
The talk is free and open to the public. More info here.
After the semi-dramatic announcement (shown above, courtesy Graphic Policy) at the DC Nation panel at Baltimore Comic-Con that Marc Andreyko would be the new Batwoman writer as of Issue #25, everyone was asking if it was really issue #25—two issues before the Williams/Blackman run was slated to end, two issues that apparently wrapped up their run in a tidy fashion. Later on, DC’s Dan DiDio confirmed to the Beat the issue number but explained why—the issue could tie-in to Year Zero, the year long Batman event—and “we wanted to give the new team every boost we could,” DiDio explained. “It seemed like the best way to launch the new team.”
While it’s easy to see how yanking the last two issue from William and Blackman might have had a punitive element as well, they did go out in bridge burning fashion. So it can’t be too much of a shocker.
And Batwoman previously didn’t tie-in or crossover with thew Year Zero stuff, so this is a chance, from editorial’s standpoint, to give the book a push.
It’s all a bit harsh, but this is the big corporate branding leagues, kids.
Meanwhile, it seems that marriage itself has been banned from the DCU, given DiDio’s “heroes can’t be happy” dictate. Mera and Aquaman, and even Apollo and Midnighter are now Just Very Good Friends in the New 52.
Which is all kind of weird because…well, just being married doesn’t mean you’re happy, as I’m sure a few readers can attest. But bickering married couples are the most tedious thing in the world to onlookers, because well, arguing over the tone of voice you used when requesting the garbage being taken out just is not that dynamic.
This would appear to be the New 52 version of the old Marvel formula of “heroes with real problems,” something that DC characters have never had such a great time explicating. Being single leads to all kinds of exciting and dramatic probems.
Meanwhile, Williams is a little sad but moving on:
Vera Greentea’s new Kickstarter project, for Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits, sees her teaming with artist Laura Muller for a second time. After previously having the first issue of their planned four-part miniseries funded through the service, the team have now set up a new Kickstarter for part two. Set during the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, the story focuses on the eponymous Nenetl, a ghost who comes back to Earth for this one day in order to look for her family.
Greentea has has five successful Kickstarters in a row, with this being her sixth. She was kind enough to talk to me about what Nenetl is about, how the series has developed, and her advice for anyone else looking to take their projects to Kickstarter.
Steve: Who is Nenetl, and what is her story?
Vera: Nenetl is a spirit from the Forgotten Realm, the place where ghosts who had been forgotten by everyone go. Given a chance to come back to the world of the living, she has a single day to find someone to remember her. If she finds at least one person who would care enough to invite her spirit every year, she won’t have to go back to the Forgotten Realm. She’d be able come back every year for the Day of the Dead (the Mexican festival that celebrates remembered passed ones). But it’s not so simple. Her family is long gone and there are exorcists on her trail trying to send her back to the Realm. Part Two of the series begins to explore as to why they need Nena to go back to where she came from.
Steve: What inspired you to write the series? What was the moment where you knew this was an idea you wanted to pursue further?
Vera: The idea of the Day of the Dead very much took hold of me when I first delved into it. Both my cultures (I consider myself part of American and Russian cultures) are rather somber about the idea of death and afterlife. The passing of a beloved person leads to so much anguish in day-to-day life, and I thought it a great comfort when I discovered the Day of the Dead and its cheering traditions. I read as much as I could about it, and somewhere along the way, Nenetl was born. I didn’t intend to write about any of it at first, but I think a large part of me had to share the magic of this festival.
Steve: How did you first get interested in Mexican mythology? It’s an interesting choice of inspiration for a horror series, given how joyous the celebration is.
Vera: I love to spend time reading about different cultures, but with the Mexican culture specifically, I got into it through cooking. My significant other is of Spanish and Latino descent, so we like to shop at a grocery shop that targets the local Latin population. It didn’t take me too long to look up the provenance of a traditional Mexican recipe and begin exploring the Day of the Dead and its incredible culinary practices for the holiday.
And even though it’s such a jovial and optimistic holiday, I do think there’s a lot of spookiness in the festival that absolutely lends itself to a horror series.
Steve: And another thing to note is that this is an all-ages series. Was that always the intent? Do you think writing for all-ages brings another element of challenge into writing a horror story?
Vera: Yes, Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits was always meant to be all-ages in my mind. As a writer, I tend to go for whimsy and magic more often than not, and I wanted to do a scary series that has an enchantment to it. I’m not one for gore or sex in my writing anyway, so it wasn’t too far of a bend to make sure this book is kid-friendly. Of course, there’s a balance to stride between spooky and terrifying, and I hope that I was able to do that. That said, I do think kids can take horror as long as it’s served with hope and goodness.
Steve: This is the second part of a planned four-issue miniseries. Could you see the character appearing in more stories, following this miniseries? Do you prefer telling a story with a determined ending, or do you have any interest in an ongoing, returning property?
Vera: This particular story of Nenetl does have a very definite and what I hope is a satisfying ending, and I haven’t planned to write more after the miniseries is done. However, I do see myself missing this world of Nena and the Day of the Dead, and I’m sure I can be persuaded to write another story with one or more of the characters from it. In general, I like experimentation, so I have no problem in doing short stories with a determined ending or going on a long, winding road of one ongoing story. I guess it varies with how much there is to tell about a single character or his/her world.
Steve: The astonishing Laura Müller is drawing and colouring the series. What do you think she brings to the story?
Vera: Oh yes! Laura brings so much to the story! She’s extraordinary. She is very thoughtful in her designs and has an incredible intuitive sense for layout. She also has this sublime feel for the nuances in the personalities of the characters and their acting out the story. She brought energy and vibrancy into the series. And the way she colors… I can’t even. Laura is brilliant.
Steve: How did you first find her work? Did you find her whilst looking for this project, or did you bring this project to her based on having seen her work?
Vera: I was very lucky in discovering her work fairly soon after I wrote the last word of the script. I was looking for someone with a dynamic presence in their work and once I found her, I never looked back. I contacted her immediately and was intensely excited when she wrote back within a few minutes. It was a good day.
Steve: How has the collaborative process been between you both? A lot of research must have gone into the character designs.
Vera: Absolutely. We do like to talk about the feel and personality of the character or the setting, as well as what part of the story they’re playing and how they should look. Laura and I work very closely on the designs, but at the same time I try to give her space to explore her own feelings about every part within our comic process. I find that when I do that, she comes back with her most amazing work, and I can approve it happily.
Steve: This isn’t your first Kickstarter – how has your experience with crowdfunding been, in general? Greg Rucka described it recently as being “a full-time job”.
Vera: Rucka is so right. It is absolutely a full-time job. But in my personal experience, it’s also a really fun and compelling full-time job. I very much enjoy communicating with my supporters and try to be as present as I can: answering questions, replying to them and being accessible in general. It can take away time from writing, but I find the experience very worth it. And my gosh, this is my sixth project!
Steve: What would you advise for anybody looking to set up their own project? What have you learned works best in terms of incentives, etc?
Vera: My biggest piece of advice is don’t be fearful – really, if you have an amazing project in you, do it. Even if you fail to make your goal, it doesn’t mean you failed – you got your work out there for people to see, you gauged the popularity of this one project, and you showed the world that you are serious about your work.
My second piece of advice is make sure your project is something you can complete in a determined amount of time. You know the ending to your story and how to get there. You know you can do it in 3 months (or 3 years). You can learn other stuff on the job, but you must have those particular basics down.
As for incentives, well, put your best-valued gift at $25-$35 and make sure you’re accessible for questions!
Many thanks to Vera for her time! You can find more details on the Kickstarter on its page. You can also find Vera on Twitter here, and on her website.
It is an old story by now: con sells, out, fire marshals get antsy and shuts down entrance for a while. What’s newish about these stories—but really almost unremarkable—is that it’s happening even in fist time shows in untested markets, like this weekend’s Salt Lake Comic Con. Headlining the nerdlebrity gods like Stan Lee—and the awesome Shatner/West showdown—the show drew 50,000, billed as a “record for a first time show,” although who is keeping the records we don’t know.
A final count wasn’t available Saturday night, but a Salt Lake Comic Con spokesman confirmed the newest comic convention had surpassed 50,000 tickets sold by 10 a.m. About five hours later, organizers declared the event sold out and a fire marshal limited entry into the Salt Palace, which was bursting at the seams.
Fans reported waiting in line for as much as four hours Saturday just to get into the front door to catch the last of the three-day convention.
The show spun out of the existing GEEX Gaming and Electronics Expo, so t wasn’t entirely a new show. The guests were heavy on the TV personalties, with a smaller comics contingent, but from the reports we got the show was quite well run and the usual circus of costumes, comics and celebrities.
HBO Go co-founder Jeff DiBartolomeo has joined Comixology as chief technology officer. In case you hadn’t figured out that a) ComiXology hs the income for a significant hire and b) digital comics are a frontier medium.
DiBartolomeo said other companies had asked him “to recreate what we did at HBO Go, but I didn’t want to work for followers.” He said, “My background was perfect for Comixology. I began at HBO Go when it was a startup that started with a brainstorming session between three guys with a whiteboard.” He also emphasized that “HBO Go is a multiplatform distributor of content for mobile, Xbox, TV, and other platforms, and Comixology is much the same. It’s a different medium, but it’s also about how to give the consumer infinite possibilities for consuming media.”
His job as CTO is to “keep driving innovation in reading and shopping for comics and to improve the usefulness of the experience.” In addition, he’s responsible for “scaling up the platform domestically and internationally. My job is also to make sure the technology team itself is scalable. We’re moving from a startup mode to a new phase of explosive growth at Comixology.”
All right then.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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In an interview with delightful hero Brian Truitt of USA Today, Marvel have unveiled the branding for their next wave of comics. Called All-New Marvel Now, the two launch books will be All-New Invaders by James Robinson and Steve Pugh; as well as Matt Fraction and Joe Madiurera’s Inhumans.
All-New Marvel Now will start in December, and certain current books will be renumbered to take that into account. As a result, Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers will feature an issue 24.NOW, for example. Which, yes, is ridiculous. Across the line, Marvel will be rebranding the design of their comics to match the covers you can see here, whilst Captain America seems set to be put in the spotlight (handy when there’s a new film coming out soon!)
All-New Invaders will see Cap reunited with Namor and the Original Human Torch – AS WELL AS The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes. Written by James Robinson and drawn by Steve Pugh, this new ongoing series will send the team off to another war – one with the Kree, an alien race returning in force.
Inhumans was already announced, and will also launch as part of All-New Marvel Now. Matt Fraction will write and Joe Mad will pencil the series, which looks to redevelop the concept of X-Men – a minority forced to band together in the face of overwhelming oppression – but for a franchise whose film rights aren’t owned by FOX.
Avengers 24.NOW, by Hickman and Esad Ribic, will begin the new phase for Marvel on December 24th. Hey, that’s Christmas! Once Marvel send out larger versions of the covers, I’ll update the article accordinglu.
One of the most notable parts of the announcement, however, is that certain ANMN issues will come with a digital code which gives you access to the original run of comics. So readers can not only get these new comics – they can also get a look at the classic stories as well, to catch them up.
By: Heidi MacDonald
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Battle of the Atom, the 2013 X-Men event crossover, will see All-New X-Men, X-Men, Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine & the X-Men tell a story in which the current X-Men have to deal with past versions of themselves – and, uh, also future versions of themselves.
Over the next few months, I’ll be tracking the story with each issue and keeping score on how well the storyline is going.
There will be spoilers below! Although, really, you’re not going to understand what I’m talking about unless you’ve read the issue first.
All New X-Men #16 is by Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Marte Gracia, and Cory Petit
Boy oh boy, telekinesis was just MADE for Brian Michael Bendis, wasn’t it? This second chapter of the crossover features a bounty of telekinetic double-talk, allowing the writer to offer second and third takes on each situation as they occur in the story.
It’s also a step up from the first chapter, which was designed mainly to get people up to speed on the All-New and Uncanny X-Men teams. Here we finally get to see a wider section of the X-Men in action, as more and more teams start to pile up on each other. But, if there’s any artist able to handle twenty-thirty people in a scene, it’s Stuart Immonen. Immonen steals the issue with his work, giving each character a ‘pop’ from their background, assisted by some careful and bold inking from Wade Von Grawbadger.
Von Grawbadger’s work with Immonen doesn’t get talked enough as much as it should, really – although Immonen’s pencilling is fantastic, it’s Von Grawbadger who gives the characters that feeling of satisfying chunkiness – they feel solid and bounce off each page. He gives them chunky outlines when he needs them to take the foreground and thins down the aspect for characters like Iceman – establishing the different body types and mannerisms of the characters. He’s a perfect fit for the X-Men.
And what a lot of X-Men there are in this issue! This time we have a brief check-in with Cyclops and his Uncanny team, whilst most of the issue focuses in on a three-team drama in which several characters pick an individual side. The main set-piece here is a telekinetic sequence taken fairly shamelessly straight from the pages of Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run, as a lengthy discussion and fight are then replayed from a telepathic aspect.
At first it seems like there’s a single discussion going on until Bendis rewinds and replays the scene from Jean Grey’s perspective – revealing that the whole time she’s been telepathically talking to other people in the room, changing the context of the sequence entirely. Whedon held onto this surprise for a few issues, but Bendis establishes and switches the sequence almost immediately. It’s a faster-pace and allows to create a quick, useful conflict between the characters without having to resort to a one-dimensional fight sequence.
It’s pretty obvious that Bendis has been hankering to do this sort of thing for a while, as his All-New X-Men prior to this issue has been full of telepathic tics and quirks. When writing quickfire dialogue, Bendis is hampered by the fact his characters can only say so many words on a panel, within their one motion. Removing that obstacle by writing out thoughts means he can fill each page with as much text as he likes, coating each sequence with side-commentary and exposition.
This is a dream come true for him, you can tell. Luckily the creative team also have the advantage of a few well-planned surprises. The future X-Men team contains one of them, although it’s not quite the surprise you might think it to be. If I can go into an extended analysis of aging, you can see that the Future X-Men team are all around 40 years older than the present day team. With that in mind, the reveal of Jean is not one which returns the version last seen in the hands of Morrison/Pak. Rather, this is the teenage version of Jean, if she stays in the present and ages normally.
Jean’s unveiling is a clever twist for the story, but it also serves to hide what is possibly a more important thing – there’s no future version of Cyclops or Angel amongst the Future X-Men team. Jean is just a distraction from the fact that Bendis has something in mind for his Uncanny X-Men team, and it’s the biggest hook of the issue.
We do check in on that team here, as they recover from Cyclops’ death-experience in the prologue. Interestingly, the story hasn’t bothered to identify any of these characters aside from Cyclops himself. The book relies on readers already knowing who all the new characters are, and that Emma Frost is now wearing the generic suit which Chris Bachalo gives every female character. After finally nailing down one trailing part of time travel – Marvel have by now changed the rules of time travel every year for the past fifty years – that team gets a motivation for their next few issues.
That’s a canny trick, isn’t it? Last issue defined the motivation for the team, but Bendis cut away from the scene before actually telling that to the reader. Instead he pops the aftermath scene into this new issue, therefore quickly giving readers a one-issue wait before confirming that, yes, they are all now worried about the new development from before.
Speaking of how efficiently the issue manages to bring in the other books – Rachel Grey has a very brief, but massively substantial, appearance. She runs in after the fight and does EXACTLY what the reader wants her to, and rounds on the new Xorn. Brian Wood’s X-Men have still not appeared as a team, but they are now set up through Rachel’s one-panel outburst and a single dialogue-free reaction panel from Storm. Two words from Jean, and suddenly the next issue has a purpose as well. That’s a remarkably effective use of a page!
That’s what comes across most strongly in the issue. It’s quick and economical. We still haven’t had much beyond Brian Michael Bendis setting up the pieces of the story… but it FEELS like a lot more than that. There’s an effective use of panel-time here which Avengers readers will look upon enviously. Having telepaths present in each issue means Bendis can write overextended thought bubbles for characters – but it also means he can no longer waste the characters’ time. He can’t have character lie to each other, because there are now four or five telepaths around who will call that out.
With the story so far stuck in a room filled with X-Men (there’s still no sign of a villain, unless you count the DJ who makes a TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR dig at Dazzler’s career), the narrative finally has had to force itself forwards, creating some dramatic momentum for Brian Wood to dig into as we head to chapter 3 of the crossover.
More to come…
Continuing on with Baltimore Comic-Con announcements, Dynamite have announced yet another new series, building up what is rapidly becoming a huge list of new projects from the company. This weekend saw the company reveal that Jai Nitz and José Malaga will be the creative team for a five issue miniseries called Grimm: The Warlock, based on the TV show.
This follows previous Grimm comics at Dynamite which were planned out by show creators Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, and released for Free Comic Book Day. Grimm is a police procedural show with heavy elements of fantasy – the main characters have to deal with crimes committed by supernatural monsters and fairytale creatures, known on the show as Wesen.
The miniseries will see the Grimm team looking into allegations of match-fixing at a basketball which keeps Portland’s team out of the playoffs. Whilst looking into it, they encounter small-town hostility building up, which then ultimately will probably lead them to a tangle with some kind of monster. If I’d have to guess, I’d wager perhaps a warlock?
Nitz, speaking on the news, quoth:
I wanted to show parts of Portland that would be impossible to film for the show for logistical reasons, but would be amazing in the comic and the mythos in general. I wanted to capture some of the dark grandeur of the show along with the humor of the actors in particular. That’s the fun of comics. We don’t have a special effects budget or limit. We can do anything you can imagine with pencil and paper. It’s fun to push the limits of an already established show on the page.
The first issue of Grimm: The Warlock is solicited for December. Dynamite released some of Malaga’s art in preview:
Following Tom Fowler’s four-issue opening arc, Valiant have announced that Ming Doyle will be joining Quantum and Woody for the second arc of the series. Sadly not as a character herself – although hey, James Asmus, there’s a cracking idea for you – but as penciller.
Starting in December, Doyle will begin on the series with issue 5. Colourist Jordie Bellaire will still be handling the book, which looks set to jump headlong into this whole ‘goat’ business that so many of you are looking forward to. The series has been pretty well acclaimed so far, with The Beat calling it ‘great fun’.
Just now. We just now called it that. It’s great fun! CBR have an interview with the creative team and editor Alejandro Arbona over on their site.
We’re here at the Baltimore Hyatt for the 2013 Harvey Award ceremony! Sponsored by Guinness Beer! Despite that dangerous sounding circumstance, things are this far under control. Bill Willingham is tonight’s MC and keynote speaker. To start out he notes that he’ll only be telling embarrassing anecdotes about people he knows; people he only knows a bit will have an embarrassing anecdote from his own past.
Willingham: We were looked on as the realm of idiots and imbeciles, but it’s changed and now we’re in libraries. and our circulation figures have made us the darlings of libraries. It’s been a long road to acceptance. Willingham’s speech covered the istory of the world and the history of comics, via such things as the Altamira and Lascaux cave paintings. “They were and are the first writings of man, dating back 40,000 years.” He noted that the cave paintings may be religious in nature but perhaps were stories. Another theory is that they were calendars. “I suspect that something this widepsread and popualr that covered the entire globe and civilization had to have a single father. No matter why and what they are they are graphic images placed in a sequence to convey a story. What are they? Comic books. the first recorded language of man was comic books. Comic books started everything and led to all civilizations.”
He welcomed novelists the newcomer medium “to the table of writers,” Willingham went on. “You’ve written some ripping yarns in your time, You show promise and deserve many accolades, but comic books were the language of humans for 40,000 years.”
AFter a round of heart applause, for the pep talk. Joe Staton is the first presenter for best coloring and lettering. Best letterer is …in a huge upset…TODD KLEIN! “When I saw the proposal for Fables i knew we had a winner and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”
Best Colorist: Fiona Staples! Upset! Fiona is not present so Image’s Ron Richards accepts.
Up next: Roger Langridge to present. Best Comic strip: DICK TRACY! by Joe Staton and Mick Curtis! Seriously a bit of a Surprise, he brought up his police consultant for Dick Tracy. Very special to see an industry veteran and all-star nice guy Staton win an award. Curtis thanks the brilliant creator of the strip Chester Gould, and the keepers of hte flame Al Collins, Dick Locher, Mike Killian. “This is the first time a HArvey has been awarded to an adventure strip and one of this venerableness,” he noted.
Best Webcomic: Battlepug by Mike Norton, Carolyn Belefski gets up to accept. Wilingham calls out Fables editor Shelly Bond in the house—it’s definitely a Fable kinda night.
Next up, Fables collaborator Mark Buckingham who was expecting Willingham to jibe him but instead he was praised. Best American edition of foriegn material winner is…BLACKSAD: A SILENT HELL. Another win for this international treat. Diana Schutz is up to present in a stunning tunic ensemble. “Muchas Gracias,” she starts. “Please continue to support international comics, there’s a lot more out there and with your support we can bring you more.”
Buckingham tributes Fables, noting it’s always a thrill to get a script even after a decade.
Best Inker is up next: Klaus Janson wins for Captain America. Mark Waid is Marvel’s designated acceptor tonight.
Ron Frenz is up for the first special award of the night, the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award. “What is a Sal Buscema?” he begins. Yay!. “he is an incredible talent, part of the foundation of what became the Marvel Style and universe and built on what Stan and Jack built.” he runs down Buscema’s life starting in Booklyn and learning paste-up and interning in general. He volunteered to get drafted early because he wanted to get it out of the way. ONCe in the army be came an illustrator.” After leaving the army got work in many commercial arts studios in the 50s. He also once punched a bear in the throat. Maybe. Buscema and his wife have been married sicne the 60s. He once told Stan Lee to turn it down a little. He regrets to this day he did pencilling samples because he had wanted to be an inker, a dream job he finally got upon his retirement, saving pencils everywhere,
including me,” Frenz joked. “I can’t think of anybody who deserves a lifetime achievemnt awards as much as this gentleman who has done this body of work. he believes in comics as a craft, as many of us do. If the audience sees art, that’s great, but I think he looks back on it as a wonderful way of feeding his family for all these years and is very grateful for that opportunity.”
I’m pretty thrilled by this, always having loved Buscema’s gorgeous craftsmanship. Buscema comes up and is genuinely moved. “He forgot to mention I did those cave paintings. I’m overwhelmed by this, I really am. I never expected anything as wonderful as this. It was Mark Twain who said do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. I haven’t done damn thing for 45 years.”
Buscema recalled his first meeting with Stan Lee, who jumped around the room showing how the comics should be made, jumping on is desk. “I was absolutely terrified I was in the rom with a madman, but he got his point across.” He mentions the simplicity of Herb Trimpe, and thanks Stan for giving him his career, and the dozen of talented people he’s worked with. “It’s been mind boggling to me.” He became very choked up remembering the time that he told his wife he wanted to change careers and get into comics and she said “Go for it.” A very touching moment. Anyway a great salute to a wonderful artist.
Valiants Dinesh Shamdasani is up next for best new series. “It’s hard to believe these great books didn’t exist a year ago,” he notes. True! Saga is the Winner! I predict many appearances for Ron Richards.
Most Promising New Talent: Shamdasani notes they play money ball at Valiant by picking under recognized talent. The winner is…Dennis Ho[eless for Avengers Arena. Mark Waid is back!
Bob Chapman is up and gives the rub to books for younger readers and humor, which expand the sustainability of the industry. Funny winner is Ryan North for Adventure Time. Danielle Corsetto is up to accept.
Best comic for kids: Adventure Time! Shocker there. Corsetto comes up and talks about how much she loves the show and her own work on the OGN.
Tonights new line is punching a bear in the throat and whether you have done it or not. Adams claims to have punched a bear in the FACE.
Best Previously published Grahpic Album: is ALIEN by Walt Simonson and Archie Goodwin. SImonson is on hand and gets a tremendous reception. HE thanks John Workman for getting him the gig and Archie Goodwin.
Best Anthology : Dark Horse Presents
Ramona Fradon is the best presenter! I was just wondering if any women were going to present! Best Domestic Reprint Project is David Mazzuchelli’s Daredevil Born Again. Scott Dunbier built an awards mint the day he came up with this idea. The dulcet tone of Dirk Wood is here to accept and he notes the efforts of people to put together Ikea shelves to fit these editions.
Best Cover Artist is David Aja in a tough category, but a well deserved win.
Bill Willingham come back with a pint of sponsor Guinness and praises presentation.
Mark Waid is up to present — people urge him to frink the GUinness but he resists somehow. Best Journalistic presnetation is…Robot 6! COngrats to my Robot 6 buddies…a very well deserved for a hardworking and insightful crew.
Best Presentation winner is of course Building Stories. Denis Kitchen takes his chance to get up and accept graciously.
The Harveys are moving along briskly save for the bear throating punching and some hooting and hollering from what sounds like a wedding in the next room and occasional ominous thunder-like rumblings from an unknown source. And now…Diamond owner Steve Geppi is up to present the Hero Initiative Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award to …Paul Levitz!
Willingham recalls calling Levitz over the years just to see if he’d take his call. WIllingham also recalls a long ago SPX softball game where the creators beat the Diamond team.
Geppi is up. “I met this young fella in 1973ish at a NY Comic Art show where I was on the second floor. A young Paul Levitz came up to my table_and keep in mind I was clueless—Paul was 17 or so. I had just bought a bunch of Spirit setions, and Paul had his checklist and went through the box and found the ones he needed. He pulled out a checkbook and I said “I don’t take checks.” And he siad but I’m Paul Levitz. I said I don’t care, I don’t take checks!”
Ah the golden days.
Geppi goes on to remember Dick Giordano for whom this award is named. HE would be proud to know that Paul would be getting this award.” Geppi praises his work on Earth 2, but his humanitarian efforts as well. “Paul in his executive position, worked on a lot of things that were outside the industry that were beneficial to a great many people in need. PAul, as a friend, friend, there has never been a better friend to the direct market than Paul Levitz. This industry went through a lot, and in the mid 90s when there was crack, there was this guy who had so much love for the industry. He took the time to analyze everything and study it—course I’m prejudiced I think he made a wise choice — but it became very clear to me, this guy who cerated HUntress was every bit as passionate about the industry as any one I had ever met. I had no clue I would get into distribution. Paul showed me there was business here and showed me there was a futrue. And this year we’ve been blessed. everyone shoudl be very proud they’ve stayed the course. Chapman, Buscema, KItchen. This man stood up for what was right and stood up for the retailer.”
A nice standing ovation for Paul, who says it is an honor to get an award named for Giordano. “He was a dear friend. HE was abig kid who jsut loved comics. He would talk about life and taught me important things like how to lie to my mother. Dick has in his humanitarian way had decided to tell his mother that her investments were doing better than she thought and put more money in her account. More important he taught me in the halls of DC the debt we had to the people before us. ANd that the artists in this business live much more precarious lives than the execs in this business.
“Everything Steve mentioned in terms of my love for comics is true. i was a fan and am thrilled to see what has happened. But it has all happened because of the creative people.not just today’s winners but the ones who cerated thigns that the winners read as kids that made them wnat to be in this business.”
Levitz points out what a good thing the Hero Initiative is to help out creators in their moment of need and “Thanks you for your roles in this crazy business of ours. This exists because we’re all lunatics.” He goes on to talk about the history and people coming into the industry. “We have had a great year and I see the books coming out and so many wonderful things we couldn’t’ do 20 years ago. I thank you all for creating the future but remembering the past. I’m glad you’re all crazy enough to be here rowing in the boat with me.”
Very true. The Hero Initiative is doing vita work and deserves all of our support.
Joe Hill is up and does some giggle inducing schtik about not wanting to present “Most graphic” album. INnformed it’s Best he presents it to Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score. Scott Dunbier and Darwyn Cooke win again!
Dean Haspiel is our next presenter. He threatens shirt removal, but so far its on! Haspiel recalls buying a copy of Shazam as a lad, and remembers buying Manhunter, and later helping Walt Simonson. Best continuing series is Saga. A big night for the crew. Ron Richards is up and also acknowledges the strong year.
Terry Moore is up to present Best Writer, This is a tough category! But of course it’s BKV — Ron Richards is getting a workout tonight.
Neal Adams, father of an earlier presenter comes up to present Best Artist. Willingham recalls sitting for two hours with Adams telling him the secrets of the industry and not remembering anything he said because the whole time he was thinking “I’m sitting here with Neal Adams.” And the best artist….will it be Staples or Aja? Adams wonders why he is being asked to present best artist, “Biggest Pain in the Ass.” The lesson he learned today “If you dont’ charge for you autograph you will never be the next Stan Lee.”
The wedding next door has moved into the Latin music portion of the dance.
FIONA STAPLES WON. If I had seen Neal Adams give the best artist award to Fiona Staples it would have been my childhood dream come true. Alas she is not here, but Ron Richard gets his last workout.
Best Cartoonist is…Jaime Hernandez, who else. Frank Stack accepts and is a little bemused.
The final award is presented by Stan Sakai who gets a very warm standing o. Stan is one of the great people in the industry and has had a hard year. Best Single Issue or Story….is SAGA #1! Wow a clean sweep that’s five awards for Saga. A nice evening with classy hosting by Willingham.
And I got to sit next to my writing comrade and better Michael Cavna.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.
In this week’s episode, Heidi and the rest of the More to Come Crew – Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss Batwoman, J. H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and DC’s editorial interference issues, the revived Penny Arcade “Dickwolves” controversy and ramifications for PAX, iFanboy stops operations, Mark Waid turns print comics retailer, Heidi MacDonald gives a talk about less known influential graphic novels at the Library of Congress and much more in this podcast from PW Comics World.
Now tune in Saturdays for our regularly scheduled podcast!
Catch up with our previous podcasts or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes
Dynamite Day concludes with the most excellent news that Chris Roberson and Bilquis Evely will be the new creative team for a Doc Savage series starting in December. With covers from John Cassaday and – of course – Alex Ross – the series will start off in 1939 and then slowly start moving towards the present day.
If you’ve spent more than five minutes on his Tumblr, you’ll know that Roberson is a very big Doc Savage fan indeed. He says of the project:
In the course of my comics career, I’ve been lucky enough to work on nearly every character and series that mattered the most to me growing up.
Doc Savage is one of the final characters left on my bucket list. Growing up in the 70s, it was impossible to miss the Doc Savage reprints in every bookstore and on every newsstand, with those striking covers. Doc quickly became and remained my absolute favorite of all of the pulp heroes, and the stories of Lester Dent were a huge influence on my own writings
A pulp character trained by scientists to be near-superhuman physically and mentally, Doc Savage first appeared in 1933, although his series didn’t last into the 1940s. This series will finally push beyond the original run and see what becomes of the character as he moves forwards into new decades, and new adventures.
Drawing the series will be Brazilian Bilquis Evely, whose work you can get a look at over on her DeviantArt page.
For more details on the book, CBR have an interview with Roberson about his plans for the series.
The first of Dynamite’s two new series announced today is Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives, a five-issue miniseries focusing on Holmes’ second most menacing nemesis (the most terrifying of his villains being, of course, the opium den). Written by David Liss and drawn by Daniel Indro, the series will come with covers from Francesco Francavilla. Like this one, in fact!
Out in December, Liss promises that this will in fact be a Holmes-free storyline, instead focusing on Moriarty independently. Not much is revealed about the premise of the storyline beyond the idea that Moriarty will be pursuing a venture which looks to help some people in need – but also make him some money at the same time.
No one is the villain of their own narrative, and no one is evil all the time, so I thought it be fun to tell a story about a very bad man who finds himself in a situation in which he chooses to be good — mostly. At least a little. This story is going to take place right after the Arthur Conan Doyle story, “The Final Problem,” in which both presumably die in Switzerland. What if Moriarty survived the fall? Where did he go?
Liss and Indro are both well-known to Dynamite readers, for their work on books like The Shadow and Green Hornet, respectively. Indro will also be providing covers for the series, including this one set mere moments after The Final Problem:
It’s Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend, and Dynamite look to have a number of announcements over the course of the next few days. The first of which is a new line of premiere art editions the publisher will soon be putting out – starting with the complete storyboards from Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja.
Dynamite have worked with Thorne to scan the collection directly from his own personal archive, making this a complete run of his 1976 series. One of the characters most associated with Dynamite, the work is scanned in colour and printed in original size. Thorne, in a press release run by Dynamite this week, speaks on his work with the character:
What is it that makes Red Sonja endure? So many fine craftsmen had drawn her!
When I took over Sonja in 1975, I was standing on the shoulders of giants. Still, many have said that I gave life to The Redhead, the living and iconic fantasy female (and sexiest title on the comics scene at the time). Fans should thank Roy Thomas, the great writer of comics and screenplays, for assigning me to shepherd Sonja into her own series. A sidekick no more, she was finally the star of the show!
The company will not be publishing more than 1973 copies of the book (1973 being the character’s debut), so this first edition will also be the only edition available. Due for release in December, Editor Nick Barrucci also notes that the book will be available at a discounted price for retailers, as the company seek to create a stronger business model between publisher and retailers.
First off, Baltimore Comic-Con is THIS WEEKEND. This is one of the most beloved events on the comics circuit and guests include:
Joe Hill, Neal Adams, Josh Adams, Ed McGuinness, David Finch, Ivan Reis, Brian Bolland, Stan Sakai, Cliff Chiang, Amanda Conner, JG Jones, Ryan Ottley, Jim Starlin, Mark Buckingham, George Perez, Frank Cho, Mike Mignola, Terry Moore, Chris Samnee, David Petersen, Keith Giffen, Adam Hughes, Barry Kitson, Paul Levitz, Thom Zahler, Mark Waid, Walter Simonson, Dean Haspiel, Steve Conley and many more!!!
What a great list! JUST GO! You will have an awesome time. I mysefl am making a triumphant return after a year off and will be there starting tomorrow morning. If you see me please come up and say hi!
AND NOW MY HYPE ALERT. As you may know, I am working as a consultant for Honest Tea representing their brand new graphic novel "Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently–and Succeeding" in the comics world. As part of that on Sunday morning at 11 am I’ll be interviewing Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman about the book and more:
Baltimore Comic-Con is welcoming Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman for his only comics event appearance of the year as he talks about his new book, Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently-and Succeeding.
Goldman will appear Sunday morning at 11 am in Room 305 to talk about the making of the book, the uses of nonfiction comics, and secrets of entrepreneurship in a panel moderated by The Beat and Publishers Weekly’s Heidi MacDonald.
You may have seen Goldman mentioned earlier this week in the Washington Post, talking about a new green business start-up. He’s a fascinating person, and I’m really looking forward to talking to him about graphic novels, small business start-ups, green businesses and more important stuff. Anyway end of hype, but here’s a page from the book, illustrated by the very talented Sungyoon Choi:
Have you heard that everyone loves a comic-con? It seems to be true. While the Baltimore Comic-Con has been growing in size every year, this year it’s totally gangbusters again, with a huge line to get in, and packed, packed, packed halls—even without the headliner of the last two years, Stan Lee.
And in response, the show is moving to a full three days next year, to be held September 5-7 2014. The show will also take over the ENTIRE Baltimore Convention center. Otakon the manga/anime show held here fills both halls, but BCC is been slowly getting bigger and bigger. And 2014 will be the biggest one yet.
Word across the country is that the Salt Lake CIty con, in its very first year, is also knocking ‘em dead with huge crowds and, we’re told, “doing things right.”
THis year’s BCC has also drawn a strong line-up of publishers in advance of a Diamond Sales Conference, including IDW, Archie, Boom/Archaia, Avatar and Zenescope. Reps from every other company have been spotted schmoozing and cruising.
At the DC Nation panel at the Baltimore Comic-Con, DC Co-publisher Dan DiDio came out going “off script,” and it was not to comment on who should play Captain Marvel. He addressed the Batwoman controversy, saying he had been offline when it happened but was now up to speed and continuing, on how DC had been committed to making one of their major characters gay from when they announced Batwoman, and reiterating how they had stood by the character in spite of opposition. But he went on to say that “Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests.”
“That’s very important and something we reinforced,” he continued. ‘People in the Bat family their personal lives basically suck. Dick Grayson, rest in peace—oops shouldn’t have said that,—Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon and Kathy Kane. It’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s equally important that they set them aside. That is our mandate, that is our edict and that is our stand.”
He stands behind their gay characters 100%, he added, “Name one other publisher out there who stands behind their gay characters the way we do. We put her in the book the company was named after, and the series will continue better than ever with new writer Marc Andreyko.” DiDio said Andreyko—an openly gay writer who is known for an acclaimed run Manhunter and the more recent The Ferryman at Image— will start with issue #25. No word on the artist yet.
After making this statement, DiDio left the panel and sat in the audience a few seats from where this is being typed.
The DC Nation panel continued with EIC Bob Harras, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Prado, David Finch, Ivan Reis, Charles Soule, Robert Venditti, David Finch and Amanda Conner.
Soule and Venditti went on at length on the Green Lantern books they are writing, leading up to Lights Out, the next eventish thing happening. It’s like the Sons of Anarchy or The Shield in space with Guy Gardner and Dex-Starr, said Soule of Red Lantern. Harras praised Soule and Venditti for being a real team on the Lantern franchise and having a ton of ideas. “It’s in good hands.”
Soule says that Dr. Light is the villain of Lights Out, and it goes to “amazing places where I can’t believe we can go.”
“It’s not a safe story,” said Venditti as they are coming up with new Lanterns and so on. The big moments evolve out of the events, and they are not afraid to go there when it happens. Van Jensen is the third member of the Lantern team and Soule mentioned that all three of them form a team.
Soule talks a bit about Arcane in the Swamp Thing villain month issue. “This is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever written I finished it at 1 in the morning and couldn’t sleep afterwards.”
Swamp Thing has been building up to a big confrontation with Seer, a guy who has Swamp Thing’s powers, sort of. “He’s evil Johnny Appleseed.” He planted an evil whiskey tree in a small town in Scotland where everyone went crazy, for instance.
Jimmy Palmiotti is up next and talks about Harley Quinn, which is the character “daydreaming about what it would be like to have various artists draw her.” from Darwyn Cooke and Conner to a new artist. “It’s her imagining these adventures, and also breaking the fourth wall. The humor goes all over the place,” like Looney Toons, he says.
“My problem with the book is that Jimmy keeps coming up with wonderful ideas and I want to draw them” sayd Conner. “But I have to stick with covers!” In the first issue Harley Quinn moves to Coney Island and lives above a freak show, she inherits it from an old patient.”
“With that inheritance she also inherits 1000 problems,” says Palmiotti. “Harley has to make rent every month and tries out different jobs, like maybe the Roller Derby. The theme of the book is insanity.” Chad Harden is the regular artist. “We picked him because he has the flavor.”
In All-Star Western, Jonah Hex is running around the modern world and will be doing modern things like going to the Burning Man, meeting Constantine and going a little more crazy after that.
Palmiotti went on to talk about Mr Freeze, which resulted in him imitating the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of the character. “Effreebahdy Freeze.” You had to be there. “It delivers everything you wanted to know about Freeze and gives you a new appreciation for the motivation of the villain.”
Palmiotti went on to talk about Batwing and showed a few explosions. “Comic books love explosions,” he finished.
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HOW has no one ever thought of this before? Putting William Shatner and Adam West—the two most mellifluous, self mocking and endearing of legendary nerdlebrities—together on stage:
It was “The Shat” and “The Bat” for the first time ever on a stage together Friday night at the Salt Lake Comic Con, and their presence was enough to make every geek’s brain in the room explode.
William Shatner, aka Capt. James T. Kirk from the original “Star Trek,” and Adam West, who played the Caped Crusader in the 1960s cult television show “Batman,” sat down for the history-making event at the Salt Palace Convention Center, swapping stories about their start in Hollywood and their individual journeys to become pop culture icons. The one-hour event, which cost conventiongoers an additional $50 to $500 per ticket, was held on the convention’s main stage and drew hundreds of fans.
Who wouldn’t have paid $500 for this event?
We’ve been suggesting for over a decade that someone should put this duo together in a TV movie as old time detectives on one last case…who wouldn’t enjoy hearing them attempt to prove who has the bigger diction? Frankly, we’re shocked that it took the SLC con to finally put this dream team together.
It is not, though, the first time the two worked together. In their strapping youth, West and Shatner were both in an Alexander the Great tv project that never got off the ground, but this did not provide the interplay that this autumnal event did.
At the SLC event Shatner, 82 and West, 84, joked and riffed on everything from hip replacement surgeries to that long ago pilot. And Shatner ended trying to get West to agree to appear with him on the Big Bang Theory—it’s not the venue we’d pick, but someone needs to make this happen while it still can.