What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'comics')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: comics, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 1,601
26. SDCC ’14: Michael Cho on ‘Shoplifter’ – Influence of Advertisement & Social Media

by Zachary Clemente

shoplifter-cover-final-lores

Michael Cho is an illustrator, cartoonist, and writer currently residing in Toronto. He has worked with Marvel, DC, and others. His graphic novel, Shoplifter is out this September from Pantheon Books.

Comics Beat: How much is this story and these sort of emotions at this age [of the character] come from personal experience?

Michael Cho: It’s kind of hard to separate that. I think that almost all fiction is somewhat autobiographical. I didn’t go through this experience – I never worked at an ad agency and I don’t shoplift. But the emotions certainly come from that – part of the story is about being in your mid-20s and feeling like you’re sort of drifting and not going in the direction you want to get to your goals. I’m keenly aware of that because that’s what I felt like in my mid-20s – I was graduated from school, I went to art college, and I had a series of jobs but since I was outside of that structure of school where you’re told what to do, I was aware that what I wanted to do and what I was doing were two different things.

CB: I was under the impression, based on how personal the work feels, that you had worked in advertising before.

MC: No, but I am a freelance illustrator, so I’ve worked in and done assignments for advertising; and I know someone close to me who worked at an ad agency and a little bit of my inside knowledge of working in an agency comes from that. He went into the ad agency with the best of intentions and then when there was an economic downturn, their next account was cigarettes. I thought then “okay – this happens.”

CB: One of the things about Shoplifter I loved was your perspective on people in a city and your representation of advertisement in a city. Do you feel that comes from wanting to show ads as a large part of city life?

MC: Yeah, I think advertisement is ubiquitous and part of the theme of the book is the impact or influence of advertising in subtle and not so subtle ways. Whether it’s through social media or through [physical] ads, I was keenly aware when drawing it that I wanted to depict the advertising that permeates the city. Bus shelters, on the street, TV commercials – things like that; I wanted those things to be represented and be fully surrounding you at all times, so that was important for me to convey. Also, the city itself […] to be something of a character in the book; I wanted that city to be not just a background for the figures, but also to have scenes where the city itself is the character.

CB: Based on bits and pieces in the book and where you’re from, is this city Toronto?

MC: It’s based on Toronto because it’s grounded in what I know and it’s not a made-up world; Toronto is my hometown, so I tend to draw that. But it’s not actually Toronto – for instance the drawings of the subways are not Toronto subways.

CB: Those seem very New York.

MC: Yeah, they’re actually subways from Brooklyn. What it was for me is that it’s not meant to be a specific place; I never named the city – it’s meant to be any large city that that people gravitate to from smaller towns.

CB: The only way I could piece it together was during the airplane scene on TV – where the flight was coming from.

MC: That was a real event, actually. One of the reasons I included that was that I was watching broadcast coverage of an air crash that didn’t happen – it unfolded very much like it did in Shoplifter, I just changed a few bits around, but when I was watching it, all I could think was “Wow, this station really wants a disaster to happen.” Canadian media is always a little behind American media in the way it tries to sensationalize things, but in that case is it was one of those moments, and it was one of those things that had some parallels to the story.

CB: I got a sort of black and white depiction of social media in certain respects of our daily lives-

MC: In what way?

CB: Specifically in the club scene, there was a guy talking about how connected he is 24/7 and I feel that recently this is a very prevalent discussion – whether how social media affects us is “good or bad” and I feel a couple of the scenes spoke to me trying to say one or the other, but in the end I feel it said both.

MC: I definitely wasn’t trying to depict it as “bad” because I don’t think social media is bad, but I do think it has an impact and subtly influences the way we live our lives. There is a scene in there where one of the characters, says that as a result of social media, people are doing to their own lives what advertising does with products; they’re actually being pitchmen and marketers of their own lives, but that isn’t necessarily a negative. What I was trying to point out was that while we feel more connected to people, more than ever, there are moments where we are isolated, despite all this, and for all the connectivity we get – daily updates and awareness of others – people can still slip through the cracks and different kinds of walls get put up.

Vice versa, to flip that, with people whom we might not have any connection with at all, there might  be surprising connections that we may not be aware of that exist – and that’s a part of Shoplifter.

CB: That’s very thoughtful. I feel those themes were successful, considering I brought my own notions of social media and how it’s treating in fiction to the work.

MC: Yeah, I wasn’t trying to show it as negative in anyway because I don’t think you can say that about any communication medium. It’s the communication itself that may be positive or negative – but the medium itself is neutral. It’s like saying movies are bad because this one movie sucked. That’s ridiculous – you can’t blame the film stock or the process for that.

CB: This is your first full sequential story to come out?

MC: Sort of. I’ve done shorter stories – I kind of straddle all aspects of comics. I’ve drawn mainstream comic stories for Marvel and smart art jobs for DC. Chip [Kidd] and I did a nice Batman: Black & White story featuring Batman and Superman and I’ve also painted covers. I’ve also written and illustrated shorter comic pieces of my own that are sort of similar to Shoplifter in the sense that they’re just fiction – not genre-based at all and I used to put out a webcomic once a month which started out pretty short but got bigger as I got more confident at it; going from an 4-page story, to an 8-page story, to 16-page story; and I’ve had those types of stories published in some unusual places. They’ve appeared in literary magazines in Canada, and Houghton-Mifflin put out an annual anthology called The Best American Comics for which I did a story about the making of the atomic bomb which was picked by Neil Gaiman for the 2010 edition. So I’ve drawn other comics, it’s just that they’ve been outside mainstream channels.

author-portrait-colour-lores

CB: Do you see Shoplifter as your entrance into a different part of your career – a different stage?

MC: I knew for a long time that I wanted to write and draw my own comics and graphic novels of the kind that influenced me when I was younger. In my teens, for example, when I felt like I was starting to drift away from comics, I discovered the Hernandez brothers [Jaime and Gilbert] and all the comics that came out from Fantagraphics in that era and I realized there was more to comics than I had originally thought. It opened up my mind to the idea of comics as a medium, not a genre. In some ways, I knew then that the comics I would write and draw would just be fiction and any stories I had intended to just write as prose could be comics instead.

Years later, when I was a freelance illustrator, I still knew that’s I wanted to go eventually. I wanted to be able to sign my name on a cover knowing that it was something I did completely from beginning to end myself. I set about putting together a few outlines of graphic novels I wanted to do, while also doing shorter stories, and Shoplifter was the first. There’s five somewhat interconnected stories that I want to work on as graphic novels over the next few years.

CB: Out of personal interest, when did you move from Korea?

MC: Oh, I moved here when I was about six and a half. I didn’t go to school in Korea, so my Korean is very poor; my mom and dad think I speak way better now just because I’ve started using the politeness terms. Are you Korean?

CB: On my mom’s side, yeah. She moved when she was 16 and has very fond memories of hanging out in little shops, reading until very late at night, when her father would pick her up, very upset.

MC: My vivid memories of Korea are drawing, giant robots mostly. In that era, there wasn’t much TV – it was all 6PM to 11PM, stuff like that. Since then it’s boomed and Korea’s now the high-tech capital of the world or something. I have very fond memories of that but I just never went to school there, so in some ways, English is kind of my first language. I’m in that 1.5 generation or whatever they call it.

I grew up in a town where there wasn’t as large an Asian community as Toronto, so I cultivated an “outsider” viewpoint on things and it’s been really helpful to me and I would never trade it for the world. It’s like there’s a Korean side of me and a Canadian side of me and I can relate to both, letting me see different sides of an issue; I’m very happy I have that ability.

CB: Thank you very much, Michael.

MC: Thank you.

0 Comments on SDCC ’14: Michael Cho on ‘Shoplifter’ – Influence of Advertisement & Social Media as of 8/1/2014 10:14:00 AM
Add a Comment
27. SDCC 14: Becky Cloonan, The Killjoys of Moving…

By David Nieves

Since 1999 Becky Cloonan has been breaking down doors; whether they be from moving to new places or the ones every creator has to go through to make comics for a living. I had the overwhelming  joy of sitting down with her on the SDCC show floor last week. To no one’s surprise, I found her to be every bit the –best in the world– her poignant art style suggest.

We talked a little bit about her recent move back south of the wall. Becky has a genuine zest for life that would terrify the average person thinking about uprooting themselves to new surroundings. While she deals with the same angst of “where the grocery store is, the post office… trying to figure out my place in this neighborhood,” she finds inspiration and new contributions to the projects she’s in the middle of during her journeys.

16705

Reflecting back on the dystopian opera that was True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys, a process that’s been over five years in the making. The original story inspired the My Chemical Romance album Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys which then turned back into the comic book.  Killjoy’s end result being a Mad Max story with so much heart that it makes the tears shed in the opening of Up seem like a prick from a rose throne. On the subject of if the group would ever come back to tell more stories in the Killjoy’s world, all Cloonan would say is, “never say never.” It does sound as though it will be quite sometime before that would ever happen due to Shaun Simon’s upcoming projects, Gerard Way’s new album, and her own recently announced Image book Southern Cross.

Our conversation steered towards the comic book industry in general. After starting by self publishing her own books in 1999, she’s excited by how viable self-publishing has become over the last ten years. Not only has this been a coo for creators, but she’s noticed how much its changed the readership of comics. Cloonan and Way recently signed at Meltdown Comics in L.A. she was thrilled by the fact that “the line was like 90% girls and they all had their comics to be signed.” Her thoughts about the on going hot topic women in comics; Cloonan takes a very humble approach on the matter. In her words, “As much as I feel like I don’t represent women in comics, I don’t feel like I can carry that flag cause it’s too heavy (laughs). I represent myself, but at the same time I love to encourage young girls to get into drawing comics, get into reading comics.”

Her outlook on the future of comics is as upbeat as the artist’s demeanor. Cloonan talked about how all the conversations and strides we take today will pay off ten years from now. The artist emphasized, “It’s going to be healthier, it’s going to be bigger and we’re going to see even more amazing comics.”

Listen to our entire conversation below to hear just how fabulous Becky is:

Becky Cloonan isn’t just the story of a female creator in comics. After spending some time with her you start to see that she’s the tale of a girl who wants to tell stories through a lens of her ever-evolving perspective while along the way encouraging those of us with the same fears and anxieties to pursue their passions. The industry is a much better place for having her and you just can’t say that about everyone.

If you’re one of the five people on earth who haven’t read True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys check it out in stores and through Dark Horse Comics. Becky’s new Image book Southern Cross will be available in stores this Winter.

2 Comments on SDCC 14: Becky Cloonan, The Killjoys of Moving…, last added: 8/4/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
28. SDCC ’14: Dysart, Kindt, Simons, and Venditti on Valiant’s Current Direction

By Alexander Jones

AH_003_COVER_BRAITHWAITE

Valiant is an incredibly dynamic and interesting superhero publisher that isn’t afraid to take risk after risk with their properties. Comics Beat had the opportunity to sit down with some of the brightest minds working at the comics company including Joshua Dysart (Harbinger: Armor Hunters & Harbinger: Omegas), Robert Venditti (X-O Manowar & Armor Hunters), Matt Kindt (Unity, Rai, & The Valiant), & Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons.

Comics Beat: The Valiant Universe is in a big place of transition right now with Armor Hunters. How do each of you manage to keep the tone of your own books, while still involving the individual characters in the event space? For instance, Harbinger still feels like Harbinger with or without Armor Hunters.

Joshua Dysart: I mean I just don’t read Rob’s scripts. It allows me to really keep my tone [laughs].AH_003_003

Warren Simons: They’re too intimidating for him.

Robert Venditti: You will paralyze in fear if you read my scripts.

Dysart: No, I actually think it’s because we all work together. We have a central vision and editorial team. I think that we are all valued for our voices and effort that we put in towards making these titles unique.

Venditti: It was never about we’re going to do this story, and he’s going to have to be in it. We’re going to do a story in other ways that your books are going to tie in and if so, what are your ways and let’s talk about them.

Dysart: Yeah, and you know when Rob and Warren came to me, they didn’t come to me with anything that I had to do. They were like ‘these are the parameters we have to keep in places, and there are some pieces in play here that are interesting’. That helps a lot, that’s a great way to work.

Venditti: When we came up with the premise for Armor Hunters, we were curious how these books were going to react to each other.

Dysart: And, I think that the truth of the matter is that conceivably, it would be exhausting to us and it would stretch the marketplace; but we have such a tightly integrated universe right now. We could conceivably make every storyline a crossover–it would be exhausting and terrible. I think our books could easily respond to each other right now in that way without it being forced.

Simons: I think that I have tried to make sure that the guys are all in clear and close contact with each other about what’s coming up. Rob just did a great job on the Armor Hunters: Aftermath issue, and that’s going to have and that’s going to cross into what’s happening with the Unity team. We want to make sure that nobody is stepping on one another’s toes. So that as Josh said, we are preserving their voice that we hired them for instead of forcing everyone to write a certain way.

Comics Beat: The next thing that I wanted to do was try to get a question for each of you. Rob I want to know with Armor Hunters,is Aric’s empire crippling? Or, is his time with the Visigoth people is coming to an end, or perhaps, is there a status quo shift coming up for the book? AH_AFTERMATH_001_COVER_BERNARD

Venditti: Yeah, I mean I think we have done status quo shifts almost every four issues since the series started. It’s something we have always tried to do. As far as him being a leader of the Visigoth people, when he came back with Rome, they got hit pretty badly after that fight–this is very long form story that we started with from the first issue. He comes from a group of about 40,000 people that were traveling around Europe. As he travels back to Earth with a suit of armor in the modern day and see’s what the world has become now, I think we start to see Aric evolve as a character that bears witness to the planet in a much different way now. The transition from him as being the leader of a small group of people to him being a leader of the globe. This is a global community now. Even the idea of the globe is a concept that is completely foreign to him.

Comic Beat: Now, Warren, as Valiant’s Editor-in-Chief, have your tasks changed at all?

Simons: A little bit. The company is growing, we are expanding. We just hired another Editor, Kyle Andrukiewicz.

Simons: Everything is heading in the right direction. I am still going to continue to edit and work on the books with the guys. Josh Johnson is an Editor up there working on Archer & Armstrong and The Delinquents. Associate Editor Alejandro Arbona is working on The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage, he’s just killing it, and he’s working on a bunch of other titles as well. We’re getting bigger, but I am continuing to edit many of the books that we are putting out.

Comics Beat: We just saw Bloodshot join Unity, how is that going to affect the greater team?

Kindt: Not that much really, we just have a killing machine on the team now. He’s going to come in handy I think at the end. I thought the interesting thing about having him join the ranks, was seeing his interactions with Livewire. Especially when keeping in mind the fact that she can talk to machines. She is the only person that can really stand up to X-O. Livewire can take control of his armor as well. This is especially interesting when keeping in mind that Bloodshot is a machine. Seeing them interact is going to make the comic engaging. They have tonal similarities as well. Livewire is continuing to question his humanity. Even though they are opposite in many ways, they have a lot of similarities.

Simons: The first eleven pages of Unity #10 are absolutely awesome. It’s extraordinary stuff!

Comics Beat: One of the things that I wanted to clarify for your books….

Dysart: And for Josh, I needed some clarification!

Comics Beat: So we have Armor Hunters: Harbinger, but how does it line-up with the Harbinger title proper, and Harbinger: Omegas coming up?

Dysart: The Armor Hunters: Harbinger book is primarily for the Generation Zero kids. If anyone is caught up on Harbinger, they moved from being lifelong prisoners of rising spirit to being prisoner to Harada, Now they are free. They are the protagonists of the Armor Hunters series. Their last big moment in the sun was Harbinger Wars, our last big crossover. Omegas is predominantly concerned with and Harada not necessarily that they come into contact with each other. Harbinger #25 happened, and these two series are sort of happening at the same time after Harbinger #25.

AH_HARB_001_CHROMIUM_LAROSA

Comics Beat: After the announcement of the Archer & Armstrong movie, how do all of you feel about the prospect of having these different Valiant characters that may be coming up on screen one day?

Simons: I think it’s great. I think that first and foremost we are a comic book publishing company; and we are really concentrating on the comics themselves and making the books as a good as possible, and not necessarily worrying about whether or not this will play into a movie, or whether or not this particular character will translate to the big screen. As you can probably confirm by reading the first 11 pages of Unity #10. [laughs] That said, I think it’s great. I think it provides us with the opportunity to expose our characters to a wider audience which is always important with a young company like ours.

Comics Beat: What new layers do X-O Manowar #0 and Unity #0 add to the mythology of both books?  UNITY_ZERO_COVER_ALLEN

Simons: You should tell them the story. It’s freaking awesome, a little bit of it.

Venditti: In the Armor Hunters X-O Manowar tie-in issues we are seeing the armor from the opponents’ perspective. We’ve gotten a lot of information about the armor recently in the X-O Manowar #0 Issues, I thought it would be a good time to focus on Aric as a character and what his origins were being a Visigoth. Which we got a sense of with X-O Manowar #1 in Rome with 402 A.D. Aric rallies armies behind him and he’s fierce, and he’s killing the Romans like crazy. What was the character like before all of that? We dealt some of that information in the earlier issues of X-O. The idea is that he is just a boy. We were all just kids at some point in our lives. We aren’t born amazing swordsman. The upcoming issue opens with a page one, panel one image of a 16 year old Aric throwing up behind a tree. Then you pull back and see that a huge battle has just taken place. All the Roman bodies are on the ground from the battle. The Visigoths are taken away to be buried, but the Romans are still there. His job, and the job of his friend Gafti, is to kill the mortally wounded Romans and put them out of their misery. Aric is struck by the violence of it, and so horrified, that he is actually throwing up. He doesn’t want his friend to see it. Like he had something bad to eat, but he doesn’t want his friend to see that he’s barfing his guts out.  It’s so horrific to him because he wasn’t born as that type of warrior. The book looks at him from that perspective. How do you get tested by battle, and how does this really hard conflict reveal things about you that you didn’t really know were even there–both for him and for Gafti?

Comics Beat: What about Unity #0?

Dysart: It starts with Livewire vomiting behind a tree.

Kindt: She is upset about everything that Aric did. (The room laughs.) Unity #0 is basically the first iteration of a super team set during WW1 lots of great parallels between that team and modern Unity. It’s interesting to see what events would happen to see making a modern Unity team necessary. I think we are going to do something interesting with the beginning and the end. We are going to do some of the inside cover stuff. There is a letter between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister that grounds the story in reality and sort of shows the politics behind getting this team together. There is also the idea of how this team is being assembled within the issue. In that era, the baseball cards were like little tobacco cards. I am going to have a little portrait of them in their backgrounds. I am going to do portrait cards for each member of the Unity team. It has information on them in the background. These are going to be giveaways for the comics.

Venditti: Are you going to put on the monkey suit?

Kindt: I used to wear a sock monkey suit.

Venditti: I have known Matt for ten years at least now. I was working for Top Shelf packing boxes for years. He was one of the creators. His first book, Pistol Whip was brand new when I started working there. Over the years, I would see him all the time at conventions as he was going through doing more books. He always did World War Two -era stories back then so he had this merchandising idea back where he created a cigarette case called Red Heine cigarettes, and the little logo was like a monkey. He had a cigarette tray that he wore around his waist, and he actually wore this to Wizard World Chicago and gave it away. The cigarette cases contained artwork. His face was cut out, but the rest of his outfit was the Big Heine monkey.

Kindt: The funny thing is, is that book is a really sad World War One story.

Comics Beat: Are any of your books tying into The Valiant?VALIANT_001_COVER_RIVERA

Simons: That’s a great question. I think that Armor Hunters will be a bit of a delineating point in the way that we, the universe operates with the giant aliens who basically have come down and attacked the earth. We have superheroes in our universe, so our response to what I have talked about with Matt and Josh with what the trajectory of the universe will be after that, I have seen a lot of it expanded with the Armor Hunters: Aftermath title that Rob is working on–Unity #12, #13, and #14 and another book with Josh that we haven’t announced yet.

Dysart: That and the world is in a really interesting place. It’s not just a mass scale invasion that happened right on the tail end of the outing of the pilot, so there’s this whole sub-group of human beings that have been manipulating markets and essentially controlling human affairs since World War II. It’s a bit of a shell shocked world–it’s not just the alien invasion, it’s not just out there anymore, it’s also in here. Everything has changed. So humanity is in a pretty frail interesting place.

Simons: How would our fictional Valiant Universe respond to something along these lines? The Valiant will be four issues, it will be in-continuity, and it will have a direct impact on the world after the story ends. It will have massive reparations for the universe.

Comics Beat: Is it safe to classify The Valiant as an event series?

Kindt: If it’s an event, it can only be classified as such because the scope is so big. It’s going to involve the entire Valiant Universe you know. So we are basically taking this small story as a mine cart that we are going to ride through the entire Valiant Universe and you are going to see everything–you are going to see it’s a great place to start if you have never read a Valiant book. You are not going to see the origin of every character, you are not going to know what Ninjak is all about; but you are going to see him, and you are going to be like that guy is awesome you know for like the little bit he is in, it’s a small story with a large scope

Simons: It will be accessible, it will be an entry point, but it will take a look at really the entire universe and wit will have bloodshot eternal warrior Armstrong, Kay, The Geomancer. They will come out of this changed for the most part.

Comics Beat: Because it is billed as a prestige format, do you think it could even last longer than the typical event if it has an era of nuance about it like something in the style of Kingdom Come?

Simons: Possibly, but we try to bill all our books like that to be honest with you. I hope Josh’s run on Harbinger is the defining run on Harbinger that’s on the shelf in 25 years. I hope the same thing about the first run of X-O or the first 12 issues of Unity. I really want all the books to feel special. We aren’t treating this one to feel more special. We want all the books to kind of have that feel that this will be the defining run. The scope of this along with Paolo’s extraordinary art that’s coming the pages just looks absolutely amazing. It will be something that will stand the test of time, but I am not walking into this project thinking that we are absolutely going to hit grand slam and that this will be on the shelves in 25 years’ time. I just want it to be as good as Unity, Harbinger, and X-O Manowar and that’s where we are starting at.

XO_ZERO_COVER-A_DJURDJEVIC

Kindt: There are so many superhero comics on the market. What’s the point of putting another in the one world if you aren’t trying to do something different with it? Like I love coming into this universe, and I can come up with a creative way to tell the story maybe you have seen something similar, but you’re not going to see it being told this way with comics. These are things that I have never seen comics do before you know, that’s just what I love most about comics instead of just panel panel panel panel story. It’s more about what makes you think of comics as a medium you know, as much as the story.

Simons: I feel like everyone is bringing their A-game and that everyone is putting their heart into it.

Comics Beat: Thanks!

3 Comments on SDCC ’14: Dysart, Kindt, Simons, and Venditti on Valiant’s Current Direction, last added: 8/2/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
29. SDCC ’14: Image Dares to Give Us an All-Artist Panel (It Was Great)

by Zachary Clemente

Sometimes, it’s the smaller details that stand out most. Sure, Image Comics is pushing for changes in the comics industry and has really been an a great example of how different publication platforms bolster the climate for making comics. Sure, they’re making new programs for retailers to make it easier to manage Image’s extensive line of new comics when shelf-space is at a premium. But the fact that they put together an all-artist panel composed of a 4:3 women-to-men participants speaks volumes.

imageinnoThe features artists were Chris Burhman (Nameless), Becky Cloonan (Southern Cross), Gabriel Hardman (Invisible Republic), Sloane Leong (From Under Mountains), Amy Reeder (Rocket Girl), Tula Lotay (Supreme: Blue Rose), and Declan Shalvey (Injection).

Image Comics’ David Brothers started off with some questions about process and approach.. Burnham, working on Nameless with previous collaborator Grant Morrison found himself being stretched as he develops a working method of “strange geometry” and “super tangents” where he makes bizarre choices in representing perspective on a page. Hardman, asked about his process of storytelling, enjoys utilizing the available poetry to the limited amount of panels he’s able to use.

undermountaints

Leong, collaborating with artist Marian Churchland (co-writing From Under Mountains with Claire Gibson) discussed the division of labor on the book. All of the internal art is her, while she and Churchland will work together on the covers. She then went on to touch on coloring in comics, a role she is often in.

Color depends on the art, too many comics have color because someone says “we need a color product.” – Sloane Leong

Reeder, when asked about her approach to coloring her own art on Rocket Girl, finds that her palette is very wide a single page can contain a wide variety. She draws from different influences when coloring the two time periods that are portrayed in the book, which create very different palettes.

Cloonan, who has previously self-publishers comics with her own writing and art, drawn for scripts will now be writing for Andy Belanger on their newly-announced Southern Cross. She went into the differences of roles, but ultimately iterated that it comes down to the sorts of challenges her working style will have to adapt to not being in charge of the visual narrative of the book. She will be doing all the covers however (which I am thrilled for) so it’s clear she and Belanger have a collaborative working relationship.

southerncross

Burnham and Hardman, two of the most technically-minded artist I’ve heard talk, discussed the different approaches to leading the readers’ eyes along the narrative of the page in an intuitive way – even though they approach with vastly different techniques. Burnham bounces the eye with dynamic movement, often breaking borders and panels out into a more fluid visual, mimicking the cadence of the story, while Hardman typically uses a static page layout, moving the eye panel to panel instead of using crazy compositions.

The panel was then opened up to the Q&A from the audience. A couple of younger fans asked about how the Image platform functions and what sort of work best fits with the publisher and it seemed that all the panelists were excited to discuss the ins and outs of the company’s breadth of published work and how the submission and ownership process works. Brothers, moderating, summed it up best.

We work for the creators [...] we want to do what you want to do. – David Brothers

One of the most interesting questions for the panelists was one about using photo-reference. All of the panelists had different approaches to it, some seeing it as a stage in their process, others seeing it as a sometimes-useful tool; a couple reluctantly seeing as almost “cheating.” Many credited photo reference as extremely useful for figuring out how cloth would drape and hand motion is captured – finding that portraying credible subtle movement as something worth succeeded at even through photo reference. As the topic was bounced about, critiquing the use, Shalvey had a good take on the process.

There’s a difference between reference informing the drawing and reference dictating the drawing. – Declan Shalvey

In the end, the panelists essentially agreed that reference can be a supremely useful tool, but when too heavily depended on, you just end up drawing a photo, not a panel. Additionally, the point that the drawn characters need to be viewed as “actors” and basing them directly off of photo-realistic reference undercuts the credibility of the visual acting and artistic ability.

RocketGirl_06

Lastly, an interesting question was their feeling on how people read their comics digitally, since many readers, such as ComiXology allow panel-by-panel reading. The resounded response was no – they don’t care at all. Most suggested that people are going to read they want to read and they just have to make the work speak best to all readers, digital or print.

Thanks for joining us for our Image Comics coverage! We’ll hopefully be right back at it in October for New York Comic-Con in October.

<3 – The Beat Staff.

6 Comments on SDCC ’14: Image Dares to Give Us an All-Artist Panel (It Was Great), last added: 8/2/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
30. Samples: Cutesy Animals

Something on the drawing board. It’s fun to take a pic and distort it!

h5-leaping-2geth1 fl1

0 Comments on Samples: Cutesy Animals as of 7/28/2014 9:30:00 PM
Add a Comment
31. The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 5: Chuck Palahnuik

logo-pod-more-to-come-1400.pngLive from San Diego Comic Con, it’s More To Come! Publishers Weekly’s podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In part five of More To Come’s San Diego Comic-Con special podcast, Calvin Reid interviews award-winning author Chuck Palahnuik about his decision to write the sequel to his hit ‘Fight Club’ in comic book form, and the comics professionals who helped it happen. This has been San Diego Comic-Con 2014 from Publishers Weekly’s More To Come!

Download this episode direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the Publishers Weekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

0 Comments on The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 5: Chuck Palahnuik as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
32. By Its Cover (07.09.14 – 07.16.14)

by-its-cover-E

A computer crash that I still haven’t been able to get fixed has resulted in my not being as thorough this time around as I would’ve liked. I hope you’ll let me know if there were any really good indie or GN covers I missed.

DC3301-88795

DETECTIVE COMICS #33

This is a fantastic composition. Shape of the gun and position of the figures inside already does a solid job of leading the eye from upper left to lower right, but the shifting color also helps. My one nitpick would be that the bullets at the lower left establish a ground plane that makes it seem like the gun is being fired into the ground, which I don’t think was the intent.

 

SECAVN2014005-DC11-54253

SECRET AVENGERS #5

This is an interesting contrast of fun and quirk (the goat, and the videogame-esque composition) and dark (the blood and chalk outline). I like the exclamation point and question mark, but I’m not sure I follow what the other face balloons are trying to express (if they’re expressing anything?).

 

RAI-003-COVER-B-CRAIN-adfe5

RAI #3

This is a nice image, but after issue one had so many different covers of just the main character, I find myself automatically assuming I’m looking at another variant before spotting the issue number. This cover is also a great example of demonstrating flow (good and bad). The top sword does a good job of leading our eye to the logo, but then the bottom sword leads us from the logo off to whatever cover is sitting to the left of this book (and it doesn’t help that the bottom sword is brighter than the top one). One of the challenges of creating a well-designed illustration is try to figure out a way to keep the viewer’s eye bouncing around within in the image.

 

ANXFACT2014011-DC11-c1730

ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #11

I’ve been loving all the All-New X-Factor covers, so I’m going to be a little more critical of this one. After the previous issue had several characters shown full-figure, I think it would’ve been good to keep changing it up. In particular, this image would be a lot more powerful if it was a close-up that only showed the gun and the character’s head (with the words “You have five minutes to comply.”) I feel like going full-figure not only removes the impact, but the pose of the villain has a very campy ’60s Batman tone (and the Dutch angle doesn’t help). Unless that was the intent?

 

STK643414

GRAYSON #1

Look at this, its a DC cover with a centered logo! They even went above and beyond and centered it vertically as well as horizontally! I’m not sure the magenta and yellow really fits the character, but I like the illustration and logo placement. Though I think the cover would’ve balanced out better if the position of the barcode and 75 Years logo were reversed (see sloppy mock-up).

 

LastFall-01-pr-1-57af3

THE LAST FALL #1

This is a really nice image, but there are a few things holding it back. The thin strokes of the logo are so thing that it kind of hurts readability. The logo also has some major kerning issues, and the shape of that “S” looks really awkward. The logo is also placed kind of strangely, in that the logo has been designed flush left but has been placed on the right. I also kind of wanted to see the logo interact with or relate to the image on the cover in some way.

TLF-2

Here’s a sloppy mock-up of how I might’ve approached it. The bar of flat color helps to frame the volcano, and placing the bar behind the character creates a more dynamic sense of depth. Having the logo contained within the bar also helps lead our eye from the logo to the figure (via the gun on the figure’s back), and then to the volcano the figure is looking at. This likely isn’t the only solution, but it’s the first one I went to.

For the font, I went with trusty Univers Thin Ultra Condensed, which has a very epic feel. It’s the font used for the logo of Aliens, the first edition of the Dark Knight Returns TPB, and the credits at the bottom of so many movie posters.


Kate Willaert is a graphic designer for Shirts.com. You can find her her art on Tumblr and her thoughts @KateWillaert. Notice any spelling errors? Leave a comment below.

3 Comments on By Its Cover (07.09.14 – 07.16.14), last added: 7/30/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
33. SDCC ’14: Why Saga Continues To Be The Best

by Zachary Clemente

There’s something special about Image’s book Saga. You know it, I know it, the people who voted for the Eisner awards know it – heck, my mom knows it! On Saturday of SDCC ’14, Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson sat down with co-creators Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples to discuss their out-of-control success of a book, winner of four Eisner awards the day previous.

It was clear that Stephenson, who also edits Saga, had a set of specific questions that he knew would be interesting topics to discuss – keeping the panel at a good pace and setting an example for the sort of questions would illicit responses beyond a yes, no, or “I can’t talk about that”. He started off asking about how the book’s production has changed in the past 18 months or so, after they wrapped their first 6 issues.

Vaughan picked this up, saying that he’s learned that his job as writer has been to get out of Staples’ way as the artist. Interesting, this is exactly the approach writer Matt Fraction has with artist David Aja, to much success. Jokingly, they said that the amount of work Staples now does is much higher while Vaughan “has just gotten lazier – that’s the evolution!” In truth, however, as they’ve becoming more comfortable and confident working with each other, Vaughan has been able to really step back to showcase Staples’ ability to visualize the narrative in such a marvelous fashion.

Stephenson got them to discuss their approach to the covers of the book and the work their design and lettering collaborator, Fonographiks (aka Steven Finch). Both Staples and Vaughan are huge fans of the aesthetic of Kubrick’s 2001 and therefore found appeal with a clean style born out of a modern and minimalist approach – a character or two on top of a single color as a constant motif. For the title logo itself, they found it extremely important for it to be subdued, wanting to steer clear of the loud logos many readers are used to seeing. Instead, they wanted the logo to have an inviting and warm sensibility, welcoming readers to pick up the issues. Vaughan went on to discuss the importance of having the comics say “Chapter” instead of “Issue” on the cover and how having full control over every aspect of the book’s design was so liberating as situations like “when an ad for a goddamn Snickers bar comes in and ruins your dramatic scene” just aren’t a reality at Image.

Though a question on many a-reader’s tongue, Stephenson asked Vaughan on his stance of killing off characters in way that has gotten his work compared to the likes of George R.R. Martin or Joss Whedon.

Do I feel bad about murdering people? – Brian K. Vaughan

Vaughan first picked up the question reminding us that characters in fiction not ever dying is a recent phenomenon, as large corporations are built on top of legacies of beloved characters and the enduring support they get from fans allows them to continue – those characters just can’t die. He then goes into how Saga is kind of a way for him address anxiousness of life, fictional or otherwise, stating that “we read this stuff to prepare us for the worst.”

We’re all going to die terribly, so read our comic book! – Brian K. Vaughan

Staples and Vaughan were keen to remind the audience that Saga is fully and truly all about Hazel and though she is just a child now, she will grow and while her parents, arguably the current protagonists, are very important now – they may not be later. With that, they revealed the cover art for the first hardcover, collecting what Vaughan and Staples consider to be the first chapter of the series – issues 1-18 or trade volumes 1-3.

sagaHC

The cover, with a very prominent close-up of Hazel breastfeeding from Alana is a clear response to the backlash the book received when the first cover was revealed – showing the young couple with child to Alana’s breast. They had this to say on the subject:

Just doubling-down on our breastfeeding stance, aren’t we? – Fiona Staples

Some stores won’t even rack the first volume because the breast-feeding is controversial, but…fuck them. – Brian K. Vaughan

The panel was then opened up to Q&A from the audience. Most questions pertained to the plot, the possibilities of merchandise such as shirts, toys, plush dolls, and the alike – most of which were given expected answers of uncertainty. There will not be another run of the Lying Cat shirts, but they are not opposed to high-quality merchandise.

Additionally, when asked about their feelings of the possibility of an adaptation into another medium such as film or television Brian explained, not for the first time, that though he has worked in both other industries, he finds comics to be the vastly superior medium – though would not be opposed if they received an offer they just couldn’t say no to. Staples eagerly suggested, when queried, that the best game adaptation would be a Dungeons & Dragons styled tabletop roleplaying game to much applause.

One attendee brought up a point that’s been stewing in at least my head, which is the apparent and thorough multiculturalism represented in Saga. Vaughan honestly answered that it’s something he has to be keenly cognizant of as, when first writing the book, it took him a while to realize that “white” didn’t have to be the default. Apparently, when designing Alana, he told Staples that she shouldn’t be a red-head as “there are a glut of red-heads right now.” When she responded with “you know, she doesn’t have to be white,” he let out a defeated and embarrassed “oh…right.”

Another attendee brought up the page in issue 14, where lying cat devastated a whole readership in one day.

2013saga

While they approached this page like any other, Vaughan used this to discuss how, as a child, he found the iconic Slave Leia costume featured in Star Wars not sexy, but subjugated. His distaste for it is apparent with his wish to attempt to portray more realistic situations when war affects civilian life. I personally find this a fantastic stance on the subject and deeply appreciate that he’s coming from this sort of perspective.

Why do the robot people have dicks and stuff? – The next Attendee

The person asking this question did preface it with the fact that it was less touching. It did, however launch the duo into a discussion of soft sci-fi and how Saga is a romantic drama, wrapped in the trappings of a space epic.

Lastly, it was revealed that one of the main reasons that much of the technology in this book isn’t necessary metal spaceships and laser guns is because Staples doesn’t really enjoy drawing any of that – so Vaughan had to compensate, all for the better.

Overall, this was a Saga fan’s dream come true. Vaughan and Staples were receptive, amiable and inviting. They clearly have a spectacular rapport that’s equal parts professional and loving – they’ve put everything and more they have into this book and it clearly shows. As a fan, I’m loving it and as someone deeply invested in seeing comics grow and evolve, I’m in for the long haul. Thanks to Eric Stephenson for moderating with a charming ease, keeping the flow casual and friendly.

3 Comments on SDCC ’14: Why Saga Continues To Be The Best, last added: 7/28/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
34. The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 4: Geof Darrow and Kinokuniya

logo-pod-more-to-come-1400.pngLive from San Diego Comic Con, it’s More To Come! Publishers Weekly’s podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In part four of More To Come’s San Diego Comic-Con special podcast, Calvin Reid interviews comic artist and writer Geof Darrow about creating Shaolin Cowboy and The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot. Then, he speaks with Terence Irvins, graphic novel buyer at Japan-based bookstore chain Kinokuniya about their upcoming big push into the American comics market

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the Publishers Weekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

0 Comments on The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 4: Geof Darrow and Kinokuniya as of 7/28/2014 1:16:00 AM
Add a Comment
35. SDCC ’14 Art of Videogames Panel

Dark Horse leads the way in transporting videogames into the comic world.

Dark Horse leads the way in transporting videogames into the comic world.

By: Nick Eskey

Art has gone hand in hand with videogames almost since the beginning. Oh yes, the earliest games were either text-based adventures, or pixilated jumbles; Not really “artistic.” But the boxes they were packaged in were usually masterpieces of fantasies. It wasn’t that developers didn’t feel games were worthy of art as part of their game play, but the technology wasn’t there. Now, with high density pixel displays and fast processors, we find ourselves capable of things never thought possible with gaming. We’ve seen some of the best games ever released in the last few years. Typically they involve large, detailed worlds and characters that people can’t help but explore.

Various artists and designers that were part of huge titles like Tomb Raider, Halo, Mass Effect, Witcher, Plants Vs. Zombies, and The Last of Us were present at San Diego Comic Con to discuss the art of the games. “We are seeing fans want to explore more of the world, more of the characters that they were introduced to.” This has led to a good number of games getting their own comic book adaption. Not necessarily retelling the game itself, but “following storylines or characters that no one had thought of before.” Both The Last of Us and Tomb Raider have comics that are set to come out sometime within the year, both being published by Dark Horse. With Tomb Raider, we are promised to follow Lara Croft after the videogame finding out more of what she is.

The Witcher will also be seeing a comic, again by Dark Horse, entitled “House of Glass.” “The series will be a standalone story. It will add to the Witcher universe, and will introduce new characters and show monsters from the Witcher 3 game.” Other games like Halo and Mass Effect will be seeing comics too. Halo: The Next 72 Hours will take place after the 4th game, following the events that happen with Master chief. For Mass Effect, it will follow the main antagonist from the last DLC from Mass Effect 3. “It’s going to be a last adventure to go on with the characters of the original Mass Effect.”

Aside from comics, there’s other mediums like art books that show the full breadth of artistry that goes into game development. “Most often we only see three quarters of the artwork that goes into a game being used. There’s also the evolution of characters… That’s why art books are so great. They give a sneak peek into what didn’t make it in… what changed.”

With comics though, publishers and artists are very concerned with not letting the fans down. Because of this, even though they are different mediums, publishers try to make sure that the artists from the games are the ones that will also be the writers for the comics. This allows the stories and characters to be as connected as possible. “Sometimes it doesn’t work [though], especially when telling a side story. It then becomes a sand box experience. Here it becomes important to work with and trust a creative team.”

Videogames have become a platform for new forms of art, and they have taken a while to get to this point. Now that fans are eager to immerse themselves more in the worlds they introduce, their presence in comics and graphic novels will grow more and more, fleshing out worlds that perhaps even their writers didn’t know would come to be.

0 Comments on SDCC ’14 Art of Videogames Panel as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
36. The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 2: Don Rosa, Eleanor Davis, Lucy Knisley & Archie Comics

logo-pod-more-to-come-1400.pngLive from San Diego Comic Con, it’s More To Come! Publishers Weekly’s podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In part two of More To Come’s San Diego Comic-Con special, Calvin Reid talks to Don Rosa about Scrooge McDuck, European fans and Carl Barks; Eleanor Davis on her new book How to Be Happy; and Lucy Knisley about her new book An Age of License. Meanwhile, Heidi MacDonald interviews Archie Comics President Mike Pellerito and sr. v-p Alex Segura about Life With Archie, dead Archie and zombie Archie. All this and more from Publishers Weekly’s More To Come!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

 

0 Comments on The Beat Podcasts! – SDCC ’14 Day 2: Don Rosa, Eleanor Davis, Lucy Knisley & Archie Comics as of 7/25/2014 6:56:00 PM
Add a Comment
37. SDCC 14: Aspen Comics Another “Aloha”

By David Nieves
Aspen Comics beat their own drum through the walls of Hall 9 today at SDCC. Panelsts included EIC Vince Hernandez, Beth Sotelo, Siya Oum, Jordan Gunderson, Giuseppe Cafaro, T.G Roberts, J.T Krul, Josh Reed, and Scott Lobdell. Festivities were led as usual by Frank Mastromro and Peter Steigerwald, kicking off with the traditional thunderous “aloha”.

While the company didn’t have a ton of new announcements, the panel went through much of their current offerings. *Damsels in Excess* was up first, written by Vince the book has exclusive SDCC covers that will be available through their online store in limited quantities. The Siya cover is the gorgeous and we’ll post the file in a bit.

That led into Siya talking about her book *Lola xoxo*. Her upcoming plans include a spinoff volume called “Wasteland Madam”. Afterwards an official volume 2 will be released but not solid dates were given for either book.

Peter Steigerwald’s long awaited Zoo hunters was once again teased. In Peter fashion once again “it’ll be out soon”.

Last years hit *Jirni* came back with a new volume. Writer J.T Krul promises more danger and excitement with a Conan like story in the upcoming final acts of the chapter. The collected edition for volume 1 will be available soon.

*Seven to Die* is the new Aspen novel by T.G Roberts. Her pitch for the story was a tale about a huge universe but focusing on the adventure of a girl exploring her new found mystic items.

Fathom has a Halloween comic called *Fathom: Adventures of Ernie*. A coloring book for kids, Aspen is attempting to reach out beyond their young adult audience. Like the family they are he group chimed in saying, “Vince is still trying to solve the puzzles inside.”

Soulfire and Fathom will have big plans soon to be announced for next year. But they are putting out Marvel style source books for both the properties. The books are to get readers of their newer properties who don’t pick up the flagship line an enticing blueprint of their properties.

Another one of the more popular 10 -for-10 books, *Legend of the Shadow Clan* will get a brand new volume. No new updates were given on the EA Iris movie.

Dellec volume 2 will come to retail this year. Once again Vince and Frank will be working together on the book. Shrugged also has plans to return but neither has a solid launch date.

A big announcement about the entire Aspen library will be made next month but today a deal was finalized with the digital publisher Madefire. More details need to be discussed but it looks like the entire Aspen library will get a fancy digital tratment. A Fathom mobile game is in the works. Aspen just signed a deal with a development firm to flesh out some new video games based on Aspen’s properties.

The lively audience Q&A closed their panel. Among some of the topics discussed were the company’s view of female characters. All of the panelist seemed to agree that it’s what they’re mostly known for to most people and sometimes that hurts sales among male readers. In Peter’s view male or female a good story is a good story.
One thing that we brought up was with the return of NBC’s *Heroes* would we see new digital transmedia material from the publisher or possibly bring back some of the old material. It’s a possibility but they would have to have talks with the network first.

NOTE: come back later as we’ll post all the stuff shown today later this afternoon as soon as we get it.

0 Comments on SDCC 14: Aspen Comics Another “Aloha” as of 7/25/2014 6:56:00 PM
Add a Comment
38. SDCC ’14: Spider-Verse panel Recap

by Alexander Jones

This early in the morning, it’s tough to get comics fans to wake up for anything. Luckily here at San Diego Comic-Con, there was a room full of eager Spidey fans frothing at the mouth to hear more news about the upcoming Spider-Verse event over at Marvel. The event combines every single Spider-Man character (owned by Marvel) into one jam packed story. This saw multiple heroes down at the show decked out in some awesome costumes. There was an Black Cat cosplayer in the room, a Miles Morales Spider-Man, and the original Peter Parker outfit as well.Spider-Man - Spider-Verse variant cover by Skottie Young

The panelists included Dan Slott, writer of the event; Senior Editor Nick Lowe; Daredevil author Mark Waid; Superior Foes of Spider-Man author Nick Spencer; artist Humberto Ramos; and Amazing Spider-Man colorist Edgar Delgado. Nick Lowe solicited much excitement from the crowd who happy to oblige amongst some of the others. He teased that he was going to show some of the fans a video later on in the panel. Mark Waid was attempting to tease that artist Humberto Ramos was only late because he wanted to make a big entrance. This solicited even more applause from an energetic crowd.

We then got another tease at the Spider-Verse tease variant covers by Gabrielle Dell’Otto.

Another comic was shown off at the upcoming The Superior Spider-Man #32 by Slott and author Christos Gage, along with Giuseppe Camuncoli and Adam Kubert teased the Edge of Spider-Verse. Humberto Ramos then showed up to a crowd who didn’t give him any applause at first. The audience then gave him some news after the initial whimper. Lowe explained that they were not going to show us any of the art from Spider-Verse yet.

Slott elaborated on the return of Superior Spidey. He states that Spidey got caught in a time vacuum and ended up stranded in 2099, where the new comic book picks up. The audience was shown some variant Skottie Young covers that are absolutely gorgeous. The focus then naturally shifted over to Spider-Man 2099. Lowe asked the audience if they bought the title from Will Sliney and original creator of the hero; Peter David. The audience once again broke off into massive applause. The editor explained some of the premises behind the issue. Rick Leonardi was mentioned as returning to the book with Issues #4 and #5 coming in October.

Mark Waid then teased Daredevil during Original Sin, which focuses the spotlight on Matt Murdock’s mother. She had abandoned him as a child, and Matt sees her again when she has been on tough times and found her way to prison. She is on her way to Wakanda. The group teased pages from upcoming Daredevil #7. Lowe shared that the group has a terrifying story coming up entitled “Who Are The Purple Children.” Waid states that the happy-go-lucky Daredevil is now starting to lose his cool with this title.

IMG_0844Slott elaborated about the Original Sin storyline crossing into Spider-Man, which features the Spider that bit Peter has also bitten Cindy Moon. She is also known as the Spider-Bride by Ezekiel. Ezekiel served as Spidey’s mentor for a short  time. Ezekiel has been keeping Moon enslaved for a certain amount of time, and her breaking out of imprisonment is going to be a major inciting incident towards Spider-Verse.

Lowe then brought some more attention to The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Author Nick Spencer was talking about how this comic is focusing on some of the C and D-list villains in the Marvel Universe. He teased that that the comic book series may be crawling down to a halt soon. Issue #14 shifts the character focus more towards Overdrive. Spencer noted that at times he only needs to write down a paragraph and then have artist Steve Lieber work out what the page in full is going to look like.

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez was met with much fanfare, as it features the return of Gwen Stacy as an alternate Universe Spider-Man. Edge of Spider-Verse #3 is written by Gerard Way and Jake Wyatt was also met with much acclaim. Lowe stated that he has been trying to find a way to write for Marvel for some time. The musician turned comic artist has a massive following.

spider_man_unlimited_screenshot_trailer_1

In The Amazing Spider-Man Issue #7, Dan Slott teased a brand new spider-Man that he created for Spider-Verse. The Spider-UK, who has supposedly been on the Captain Britain Corps. The next issue bring in the MC2 Spider-Girl known as Mayday Parker. Slott teased that she may be in for a “rough” time.

Spider-Verse Team-Up was then announced which is a new comic shipping in November. Each issue is being written by a different author. Christos Gage, Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco, Dave Williams, and others will be penning the story.

The crowd was even more excited about the brand new Scarlet Spiders tale. The comic is a mini-series written by Mike Costa and drawn by Paco Diaz. The book features Ultimate Jessica Drew, Ben Reilly Spider-Man, and the Scarlet Spider. The cover teased was a variant issue drawn by long-time Ultimate Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley.

The trailer for a multi-media project was teased. Developed by Gameloft, the panel was teasing a video game entitled Spider-Man Unlimited. There are 23 playable Spider-Men in the brand new phone game. Lowe noted that each Spider-Man has different abilities, and there are going to be other villains in the title. The game is set-up like a Temple Run style format.

Whew! That is a lot of Spidey info. Spider-Verse kicks off in Amazing Spider-Man #9 in November.

 

1 Comments on SDCC ’14: Spider-Verse panel Recap, last added: 7/27/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
39. SDCC ’14: Avengers & X-Men: AXIS Panel Recap

by Alexander Jones

Marvel’s Avengers & X-Men: AXIS panel is officially getting underway here at San Diego Comic-Con International. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso is hovering near the stage about to get ready. In the background there is a line of people getting ready for the show. Name placards for the panel are all lined up as follows; Senior Editor Nick Lowe, AXIS writer Rick Remender, and Executive Editor Mike Marts.

Senior Editor Nick Lowe is moderating the effort. Jordan D. White, the Editor of Deadpool made an appearance at the show as well. As soon as that was done the group jumped right into some of the new announcements from the show.Avengers_Rage_of_Ultron_Interior

All-New Captain America is given an official name and features the art of Stuart Immonen.

Remender stated that the new comic is going to have a completely different tone for this new series. He stated that having Steve and Sam working together is going to add some new dynamics to the title. A new Alex Ross cover for the book was also shown here at the show. Remender states that writing more lighthearted characters in the book adds a sense of fun to the storyline. Ian Rogers is also revealed as the new Nomad in the comic book series. It was also stated that Hydra is being built up again in a way that apparently we have not seen before. Marvel vaguely stated that they are doing something completely new with Marvel’s premiere terrorist organization.

Remender talks about how Immonen takes the story to a nearly perfect level. He was wondering “what drugs were being put in Stuart Immonen’s water supply,” as the panel were shocked that the artist was able to give such detailed work and deliver it to the publisher on time. Captain America #25 is also going to have a bit of Stuart Immonen artwork towards the back half of the title featuring the brand new incarnation of Hydra. Unfortunately this also means that Stuart Immonen is departing fan-favorite title All-New X-Men

The Avengers: Rage Of Ultron Original Graphic Novel was then announced. Rick Remender is once again writing the storyline along with artist Jerome Opena and Dean White. The new story is an in-continuity original graphic novel that has an April 2015 release date. Alonso stated in a joking manner that Jerome “is so much better than Stuart Immonen.” This event takes place in a post-AXIS environment, which “leads to some very exciting things that are coming down the line.  The under-appreciated hero known as Starfox is heading back to the surface in the brand new graphic novel. The Red Skull is also going to tie into the big Avengers & X-Men: AXIS storyline with the March to AXIS titles including Uncanny Avengers #24 and Captain America #24 which sees the final fate of Jet Black and observe what has been happening with the Red Skull.

IMG_0812-1

The panel then revealed Avengers & X-Men: AXIS Issue #1, whose first is entitled The Red Supremacy. The title contains artwork from Adam Kubert. The group shared that the Vision is being toyed with once again. He is said to play a part towards a major moment in the upcoming AXIS and Graphic Novel storylines. We are also shown the debut of the brand new Jim Cheung cover for Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #2 pencilled by Kubert again. The third issue was revealed as well, which is being drawn by Leinil Yu.

The focus then shifted over towards the AXIS: Carnage mini-series from Rick Spears and the AXIS: Hobgoblin mini-series by Kevin Shinick and Javier Rodriguez. Where the group explained that there are exciting things to come from both series. AXIS: Revolutions features writing from Dennis Hopeless and Simon Spurrier with art from Ken Lashley.

There were even more small issues that were announced including Uncanny Avengers Issue #25 and Deadpool #36. Remender and artist Daniel Acuna are covering the final issue which is born out of the conflict with Scarlet Witch and the Red Skull.

Magneto #11, Loki: Agent of Asgard #7, All-New X-Factor #15 were all also announced to tie into the event.

When the floor turned over for Question and Answers from fans, a young man named Rory dressed up like Captain America asked a question about the Fantastic Four. Alonso stated that an upcoming event storyline is going to be more focused on the team. Another fan asked about certain X-Men characters joining the Avengers, and was wondering why there is less cross pollination happening with X-Men becoming Avengers

IMG_0813-1Lowe elaborated that the X-Men is categorized in that group based on their genetics. White noted the amount of cross-over and talked about books like Danger, Longshot, Mimics, and some of the other comics’ characters that have been featured on both teams. It was announced that Brevoort was really the one that had the idea of the Onslaught motif powered by Professor Charles Xavier. Remender said at first he sort of rejected the idea, but then started to re-think it towards the past few minutes, and it all came into a notebook for him.

Remender interjected that he is trying to mix both of these separate continuities to blend together shaking up the status quo for each hero. Another fan was curious about why there is a lack of X-Men material at the show, while there are many Avengers and X-Men panels that are featured here at the show. Nicke Lowed Jokingly stated to the group, “Put the hack Brian Michael Bendis on the book.” The panel explained that fans had nothing to worry about as AXIS is going to feature a heavy amount of X-Men material. On the topic of unworthy Thor, Remender stated that he had spent hours on the phone with Aaron talking about how they can tie the storyline into AXIS.

A comic book reader asked point blank whether Cyclops was going to be killed in Avengers vs. X-Men. The panelists explained that the idea might have been “floating around in the room, but never entertained for too long. “It was also announced that Jason Aaron was the one who had actually had the idea of the female Thor.

 

0 Comments on SDCC ’14: Avengers & X-Men: AXIS Panel Recap as of 7/25/2014 12:56:00 AM
Add a Comment
40. Illustration Samples: Karate

hl-karate 4 up samp

0 Comments on Illustration Samples: Karate as of 7/25/2014 12:30:00 AM
Add a Comment
41. SDCC: Boom! Hints new Grant Morrison Book

by Zachary Clemente

With SDCC being only a day away – Boom! Studios teased us with their 15th convention announcement on twitter:

 

BtK5HFcCUAAznZ0

We have no inkling what the project will be as of yet, but undoubtedly we’ll hear more about it during the con. Stay tuned!

 

4 Comments on SDCC: Boom! Hints new Grant Morrison Book, last added: 7/23/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
42. SDCC: Ron Marz tackles a Skylanders Ongoing at IDW

by Alexander Jones

Skylanders00-cvr-5fa17The acclaimed writer Ron Marz is tackling the popular video game franchise known as Skylanders in comic book form. The comic was announced this morning from IDW on their site under the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive content. The first installment into the series known as the Skylanders #0 will be available at the show. Marz was also involved in the Skylanders SWAP Force comic from IDW. Joining him on the new series are artists David Baldeon and Mike Bowden. The new title starts in October, and is going to be an ongoing monthly series. The author stated that in the first Issue of the series, every single character from the franchise will be present. He also teased multiple protagonists in the book.

More as the story develops.

0 Comments on SDCC: Ron Marz tackles a Skylanders Ongoing at IDW as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
43. SDCC: Dynamite Nabs Will Eisner’s The Spirit

Spirit_Archives_Vol_1_1.jpgby Brandon Schatz

One day before the madness of this year’s San Diego Comic Con officially begins, Dynamite has announced their future intentions for Will Eisner’s The Spirit.

Most recently, the character has been a tangental part of the DC Comics line, starting with a ongoing originally helmed by Darwyn Cooke in 2006, before moving the character over to their ill-fated First Wave line alongside pulp heroes such as Doc Savage. He also briefly appeared in a Rocketeer crossover at IDW through an agreement with DC, who still held the rights for publication at the time.

This addition to Dynamite’s line makes perfect sense, as they seem to be building quite a library of pulp heroes. The company’s predication for those heroes to interact in various mini-series should make for some interesting content down the line. As it stands, we are still waiting on news as to who will be the creative team on any new book, as well as what form such a series would take.

More on this as it develops.

0 Comments on SDCC: Dynamite Nabs Will Eisner’s The Spirit as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
44. london YA lit con 2014

Hatted up, suited and booted: just another day heading into the office...



Ha ha! It's so much fun when other people dress up, not just me. Yesterday I went to YA Lit Con (that's Young Adult Literature Convention, or #YALC), held as part of the London Film and Comic Con at Earl's Court in London. On the pavement outside, this lady in her fine threads won my heart... until she shot an arrow straight through it. Aiee!



Seriously, where else do you get this many unaccompanied kids and teenagers together in one place - many with MASSIVE WEAPONS - and have such a well-behaved, literate group of people? These people LOVE stories, and they often don't just want to read them, but become actual characters in these new myths and legends. I love this so much. Here's Martin Chilton's coverage of YALC in The Telegraph:



When I got to the Green Room, I went a little crazy with taking selfies with lots of people there. Steve Cole was super-chuffed to get his photo taken with one of the Doctor Who characters, Paul McGann. (Steve had written BBC books starring Paul's Doctor from '97-'99.) To be honest, I had a bit of a crush on him in the film Withnail and I; there's even two pages in Morris the Mankiest Monster based on screen shots I took of that film.




Hey look, Mark Gatiss! Editor of Oliver and the Seawigs and Cakes in Space Clare Whitston REALLY wanted a photo with him. Wahey! I think he does a great job playing Sherlock Holmes's brother Mycroft in the BBC's Sherlock. Ooh, and writer Catherine Johnson got in for a shot!



Oo, and Clare quite fancied a shot with Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anthony Head. And writer Bryony Pearce!



Then I got SOUNDLY TOLD OFF by one of the red-t-shirted YALC staff, saying that the Green Room is a place of refuge from fans and I was NOT to be taking any more photos. Which was actually pretty gutsy, as she was quite young, and it's not easy to tell people off like that. Respect.

But I did snap a few more very quiet Green Room photos of friendly faces, including YA Lit Con founder and Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman, fellow comics panelist Emma Vieceli, writer Catherine Johnson and writer Charlie Higson.



Malorie's been such a great laureate; this YA Lit Con was her idea, to get books and their authors right in there where so many kids gather for comics, film and dressing up. Then Katherine Woodfine and Booktrust set the gears in motion and put in a LOT of hard work to make it happen. You can read more about it in this piece Malorie wrote for The Guardian:



YALC really was two worlds colliding for me: usually I have my book world friends and my comics friend, and rarely do the two meet. If you look at book festival line-ups, you'd think UK children's book authors are quite evenly divided male-female, but if you go to children's book social events, I usually see a lot more women. Whereas, until recently, I'd go to comics gatherings and sometimes be the only woman in the room. This is all changing and it's great to see the different crowds mixing and merging. The place it really started for me was with the DFC weekly magazine, which is now The Phoenix Comic, and it brought out of the comics woodwork people who can write for children (and many who because solid friends).

I wouldn't label myself as a 'YA writer', but people of all ages have given me great feedback on my Vern and Lettuce comic, and I hate to think Oliver and the Seawigs wouldn't appeal to teens and adults. But as YA isn't specifically 'my thing' (What even is YA?), I chaired a panel, rather than spoke on it. Here's our Going Graphic event with Marcus Sedgwick, Emma Vieceli and Ian Edginton, where we discussed adapting comics from pre-existing text-only books. I think the event went well, despite it being very noisy in the big hall; we had a great turnout and several people live-tweeted it. At dinner that evening, Emma wanted to clarify that what she had said about writing and drawing; she meant that it's easier to get work if you can produce images, not just a script, but that that actual drawing part is WAY harder and more time-consuming than the writing. But I thought it was quite funny when she talked about how she'll sometimes have internal arguments between herself as the writer and as the artist; one side of her can get quite annoyed with the other. You can follow the three of them on Twitter: @marcussedgwick, @Emmavieceli, @IanEdginton. Ian's adapting Malorie Blackman's Noughts & Crosses, with artwork by the amazing John Aggs, and I'm with loads of people who are looking forward to that.



Emma and I did our signings next to each other and it was fun seeing some great costumes parade by. Emma has some MEGA fans for her Vampire Academy series, and she was able to provide a printed prologue for her ongoing BREAKS web comic.



One of the coolest things that happened all day was something I don't usually get to see at book festivals; three black boys, aged somewhere between 10 an 13, hung around for awhile watching me draw and sign in books. Two of them spent time looking through the books and bought themselves copies, and one of them asked me how I went about getting published. I was able to introduce him right there to my Oxford University Press editor, Clare Whitston, and he grilled Clare, quite professionally, about what he needed to do. He's written about aliens, and I suspect this kid could go places. Special kudos to their librarian, whom they said told them about the event, and may have even brought them and let them go off on their own to explore.

Sadly, I didn't get photos of them (and wouldn't have had adult permission to post them), but I DID get a great photo of writer Andy Robb's kid. His whole family came by for copies of Oliver and the Seawigs, and I tweeted this photo. Then Andy tweeted back:



Hooray! This is what YA Lit Con's all about, I really hope loads of kids went away inspired from having seen book creators are real-life people, and realised that they could also write/draw/film/animate their own stories. Ah, here's Andy and gang... with a reviewer who's name I can't remember(?), writer Sally Nicholls, and blogger/writer Laura Heath (aka Sister Spooky, in the hat).



I went to see Natasha Ngan on her panel about blogging, but I got there a bit late and couldn't get close enough to hear anything. I was quite curious to hear about Natasha's fashion blog, Girl in the Lens, from which she earns more of an income than from her books. She works with her partner, Callum McBeth to come up with high-quality photo shoots, and I think the lovely visuals, along with her specific taste, are a big part of the secret to their success. Natasha's publishers had sent along 100 early editions of her new book The Memory Keepers, and they were snatched up so quickly that I didn't even manage to get one.



I don't watch Game of Thrones, but it had a BIG presence at the wider London Film & Comic Con. And of course everyone wanted to sit in the throne, including Mitch Benn, (whom I met for the first time in the Green Room). We nipped over with Emma to the second hall to see the comics area, and Mitch had fun ogling the two Batmobiles. (Thrones photo lifted off Mitch's Twitter feed.)



Here's a trailer for Mitch's book Terra. It looks like it has some links to my upcoming Cakes in Space book with Philip Reeve (both about girls have wacky space adventures), so perhaps I'll see him again at a future space-related event or something.



Lovely book world people! I think they were amused at how normal I looked there in full costume. Photo by Karen Ball of (eek, help me with the name!), me, Sally Nicholls and Jo Cotterill (who's very active on the Girls Heart Books blog).



In fact, there were a LOT of girls there who heart books.



My favourite costumes are always the home-made, self-designed ones. Some of them were well suited to the hot, HOT hall, but... POOR CHEWIE! I really felt for whoever was in there; I think the heat kept the St John's Amubulance service fairly busy.



At the end, all the YALC writers, illustrators and publishers gathered for a party hosted by Booktrust. Here's Claire Shanahan passing out YALC-themed mini cupcakes, baked by Bluebell Kitchen. And a group photo, where Patrick Ness and the rest of us tall folk are hiding at the back.



YALC's still running today, and I'm sure lots of people will reflect on what a great weekend it's been. Huge congratulations to Malorie Blackman, Katherine Woodfine, the whole team at Booktrust, London Film & Comic Con for bringing in such an excellent partner convention, and to my fellow comics panelists. Thanks for making it a great day!

Add a Comment
45. Suffragette Lady: An Interview with Kate Charlesworth

On International Workers’ Day, the 1st of May, Jonathan Cape published Sally Heathcote, Suffragette, the second graphic novel written by Mary Talbot

, a semi-fictionalised history of the Women’s Suffrage movement in Britain, and a really well researched and gripping piece of work, in my opinion, and should be read by everyone, everywhere, as it is still hugely relevant to the times we’re in right now. On her previous book, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, the artwork was all done by her husband, Bryan Talbot, but he was committed elsewhere this time ’round, so they needed an artist who they could work with, and who would understand what they were trying to do. They chose Kate Charlseworth, a Scottish cartoonist who had cut her teeth in the heady days of the British gay rights struggle, back in the 1970s and 1980s. So, when I got the chance to interview her – having previously interviewed both the Talbots [Bryan here, but Mary not online, I'm afraid] – I jumped at it.

FrontCovercropped

Pádraig Ó Méalóid: how did you become involved with the Sally Heathcote project?

Kate Charlesworth: In 2011, Bryan told me that Mary was working on the script of her second graphic novel – with a Suffragette theme – and would I be interested in drawing the pages, as he was committed to his Grandeville series, and just didn’t have the time.

And yes, I was interested!

PÓM: have you know the Talbots for a while, then? Or is it just that the comics world is a small one?

KC: Well, I’ve known Bryan for years, though our paths didn’t cross very often. And I’d never met Mary until I began working on her script. I suppose the comics world was a much smaller world back then. But Bryan knew my work.

PÓM: Any idea why Bryan asked you to do this, specifically?

KC: Hmm. given that he wasn’t available – Grandville – I think both he and Mary felt that it would be appropriate that a script written by a woman about the Suffragettes might be also illustrated by a woman. Although he was familiar with my work he found a drawing of mine – Virginia Woolf at Home, a sort of Bloomsbury pastiche; very detailed, very realistic, black and white line (not my usual style at the time) – which convinced him I could achieve the effect they were after.
VIRGINIA WOOLF@MONKS HOUSE

PÓM: What other work had you done, before this, which we might have seen?

KC: I was one of the contributors to Nelson, from Blank Slate Books, edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix, and some years ago I was involved with Carol Bennett’s Knockabout imprints – Fanny and Dykes’s Delight – plus a couple of Knockabout editions, um, 7 Ages of Women and Women Out of Line. There’s a theme emerging here.

But most of my working life has been spent drawing cartoons, strips and illustrations in the mainstream press. I had a strip in New Scientist which ran for years, up til 2001, Life, the Universe and (Almost) Everything. I put the Almost in, in case Douglas Adams objected, which, amazingly, he did – or at least, his agent did. But you can’t copyright a title, and I carried on for a few more years. I had strips in the gay press from very early on – when there was a hard copy gay press – Gay News, The Pink Paper – very political times they were too. And I had a strip in The Guardian for a couple of years – Millennium Basin – pretension and nonsense in Islington, really.

There’s lots of stuff on the website.

PÓM: is there no longer a hard copy gay press in the UK, then?

KC: Not much. A couple of mainstream glossies (though they don’t ignore politics and important issues) and, I suppose, some small press and indie zines. And I’m guessing a bit there.

A combination of the internet and changing social attitudes pretty much removed the need for the papers and magazines which informed the community, acted as a lifeline for isolated LGBT folk (posted in plain envelopes) and, massively important, personal ads and contacts.

In its heyday, Gay News, a fortnightly paper, carried a 24-page literary supplement!

The golden age of the gay press…

PÓM: I’m guessing there wasn’t much money to be made working for small press at the time, or am I making a massive – and incorrect – assumption about that?

KC: Has there ever been? I was lucky enough to earn a living in the mainstream – newspapers, magazines, publishing (so different today – digital, less illustration commissioned for fewer hard copy publications, commissioning rates dropping like stones) so I didn’t really do that much small press stuff, if by small press you mean comics. The gay press was more about community, identity and politics. I sometimes worked for small mainstream publishing houses, and their rates could be perfectly decent. But mostly, not a great deal of dosh around.

PÓM: I know you’ve done at least one other book-length comics work, The Cartoon History of Time. Was this an out-growth of the strip in New Scientist?

KC: Yes, it was. And the New Scientist strip in turn rose from the ashes of a weekly black and white strip in The Independent, basically about Quantum Physics – I can’t right now remember it’s exact name… But it was pretty heavy going, no chickens. The science editor had done astrophysics at uni, so that’s what the strip was about. The Cartoon History of Time has recently been republished by Dover Books!

PÓM: I’m also very impressed to note you are in AARGH! I have a couple of copies of that somewhere, including one that I occasionally attempt to get the contributors to sign.

KC: Why thank you. I think that came after Strip Aids, which was put together by Don Melia, a gay cartoonist who was incensed by the attitude of the Evening Standard‘s cartoonist (Jak, I think) to the AIDS crisis (Don alas himself had AIDS, from which he subsequently died). He contacted comic artists – Hunt Emerson, Mark Buckingham, Dave Gibbons, for instance, and cartoonists – Steve Bell, Frank Dickens, Kipper Williams – 80-odd artists reflecting a positive attitude to HIV/AIDS. Several of us were working in the gay press at the time (1987) and we were invited to contribute too. I mention this in particular because that was my first contact with comics. I met Tony and Carol Bennett from Knockabout; Woodrow Phoenix too. Don and his partner Lionel Gracy-Whitman also published the fabulous Heartbreak Hotel series.

PÓM: Did you actually have a background in science, or did you just become the default science cartoonist, the way Bryan Talbot was the default Adam Ant cartoonist, at one point?

KC: Not in the slightest. In fact, a couple of folk who knew me at school didn’t believe it was me, I was so rubbish at maths, chemistry and physics. Though earlier I’d been pretty good at something called ‘science’ – had the maths taken out, y’see.

I suppose the strip worked because I was interested in a lot of stuff – it was so flexible – I had everything in it from quantum physics to cutlery. It was a good excuse to draw things I liked. Animals, birds, ponds… Drawing instruments… Women in science… daft jokes…

PÓM: At what point did you get involved with Sally Heathcote? I know Mary Talbot did the writing, but had Bryan done some sort of breakdowns on the art before you got to it, or were you involved before that?

KC: Mary also broke down the script into pages and panels, and Bryan prepared the layouts, designed the panels and did the lettering. The only thing I did before that was to send some character sketches. Once we’d agreed that I’d do it, I did a couple of sample pages and we took it from there.

Sally script sample
Mary Talbot’s script for Page 74 of Sally Heathcote, Suffragette

I’d get a batch of around 8 pages in Photoshop layers – page grid, lettering layer and layout – he drew direct to screen with a tablet.

BRYAN'S PAGE 74
Bryan Talbot’s layouts for Page 74 of Sally Heathcote, Suffragette

PÓM: Do you draw electronically, or the old-fashioned way?

KC: Actual drawing, 100% ‘traditionally’. But in Photoshop, I often clean them up, colour them up, add effects… fun but painstaking.

Page74Copy
Kate Charlesworth’s finished art for Page 74 of Sally Heathcote, Suffragette

PÓM: How much research did you have to do at your end? I presume Mary Talbot already had her own research done – and this is very much right slap-bang in her given field, anyway – but I presume there was research for contemporary clothes, backgrounds, and the like?

KC: Yes, Mary – and Bryan too – supplied most of the specific reference material – architecture, particular photographs and set-pieces – transport – various bits of background – and all the posters. They form an important element of the book. Some as visuals, giving the flavour of the period, others as important parts of the narrative.

I had reference sources of my own, too – apart from the internet I’ve accumulated a pretty good reference collection, which I used to augment the reference I’d been provided with – sometimes I found a clearer image, which was helpful; there’s an awful lot of detail in there.

Costume was really up to me, and I tried to use outfits from source photographs wherever I could – very few of the characters in the book are invented – though Sally herself is, of course.

Although Bryan was very clear about the look and feel of the backgrounds, he always encouraged me to add extra touches. We were all rather obsessed with accuracy, and constantly checked images and ideas.

PÓM: Now that I’ve finally had a chance to read the book: Sally Heathcote is, I’m guessing, a fictional character who’s there as our Point-of-View character, with pretty much everything going on around her, and most of the people, being genuinely historical?

KC: Yes, Mary created Sally as a character who could take us through the story without being tied to any particular aspect of it, as would have happened if she’d focused on, say, Christabel Pankhurst or Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence. So in this narrative Sally, a young girl from the poorhouse, taken on by Mrs Pankhurst as a maid-of-all-work, observes the movement from the early days, becomes an activist, witnesses the movement split, and the beginning of war. She also represents a working class voice in what is perceived as a predominantly middle class movement.

PÓM: Just a brief technical question: Who did the colours and the final lettering?

KC: Bryan did the lettering.

Sometimes he specified colour and tone on the layouts – firelight, night scenes, for instance – early on he came up with the idea that Sally should be a redhead – she stands out wherever she is on the page.

Originally the plan had been only to use the green and purple of the WSPUs as spot colour, but early on in the process we (more or less collectively) decided to expand the palette – purple for Mrs P, brown hair for Em Pethick-Lawrence; red for blood, flame etc. I coloured the artwork up first in watercolour and finished it off in photoshop.

Ta-da…

PÓM: I have to say, I loved the book. I have a young lady friend who works in publishing in London, and who is active in union activities, and I want to get her a copy. How has the reaction been to it, so far?

KC: Great!

4-5 star reviews so far – really good reception. Bryan and Mary doing [BBC Radio 4's] Woman’s Hour tomorrow morning, which is brilliant. They only wanted two, which suited me. Should shift a few more copies!

PÓM: One thing I noticed in the book was that there are several instances of threats of sexual violence against the suffragettes. Was there a lot of this at the time, do you know? Considering that there has been a lot of talk recently about rape threats to women online, do you think this is all just part of an ongoing use of threats of sexual violence against women, by men, and that, in a way, there’s nothing new under the sun?

KC: Threats of sexual violence against the suffragettes – there must have been. Any references in Mary’s story – well, same old, same old. Exactly your comment ‘there’s nothing new under the sun‘. Online threats are just easier to make. Some men (and some women too, alas) will always be threatened by women trying to achieve any sort of equality.

Perhaps overt threats of sexual violence were more taboo in Edwardian Britain – what seemed completely acceptable was the depiction of extreme violence towards Suffragettes, and what we’d today describe as torture – often taking the form of comic postcards. Women having their tongues cut off; jokey force-feeding. But hey, they were jokes! So that was all right, then. Very often on these cards, it’s suggested the woman ‘can’t get a man’ she’s invariably an ugly ‘old maid’; she neglects her children, she’s a sexless old freak.

PÓM: Am I right in thinking that this was finished and ready to go a good few months back, but Jonathan Cape wanted to hold it until Mayday, for fuller impact?

KC: Sally was finished in early June, last year. We’d been expecting a Christmas/New Year publication, so were surprised by the turn of events.

I don’t know if May 1st was deliberately chosen for the connotations of that date or not, but I heard that the Spring publication was brought forward from October 2014!

PÓM: Did you enjoy doing all this? It’s quite a different end of the business from what you usually do, isn’t it?

KC: Yes, I enjoyed working on Sally very much indeed. I’ve always pretty much made all the decisions, at all stages, myself. Once I realised that I didn’t have to make any of the basic decisions about layout, placing characters, emotion – even light and shade (and it didn’t take long) – I relaxed into it and concentrated on realising Mary and Bryan’s vision of Sally, with a sort of overwash of my style and contributions. I was conscious of becoming very proprietorial towards someone else’s character, and it was rather a wrench when I finally finished the book (even though I’d been practically counting down the days).

PÓM: Are there any plans afoot for the three of you – or just you and Mary Talbot – to do any further work together?

KC: Well, Mary has already written and I’ve illustrated the concluding chapter of a collaborative graphic novel (IDP 2043 – ‘Internally Displaced Person’ – a dystopian, post-diluvial action tale set in the Scottish borders) commissioned by the Edinburgh Book Festival*, to be launched at this year’s Festival. Pat Mills, Hannah Berry, Irvine Welsh amongst others are also involved.

I have my own graphic narrative which I’m starting work on soon, so I’ll be pretty busy for some time – but if Mary ever wanted to make a sequel to Sally – never say never!

PÓM: Can you tell me more about this graphic narrative you’re going to be doing?

KC: It’s a combination of personal memoir and the arc of LGBT history/life (specially the L) in Britain from 1950 to the present day. Lost worlds of the 50s, 60s, 70s… Role models, heroes/heroines. A Girl’s Guide to Sensible Footwear. It’s going to take quite a while.

PÓM: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview, Kate, whilst you were running around the country signing books!

KC: Many thanks – and hope to see you in Dublin!**

[*The Edinburgh International Book Festival is on from the 9th to the 25th of August 2014, and Kate Charlesworth will be appearing there, along with Bryan and Mary Talbot, on the 23rd at 12 30, as well as at a launch that evening for IDP 2043, along with the other contributors.

**Sadly, Kate and I never did get to meet in Dublin, as she was flying in for a visit within hours of my flying out to Paris for a few days. C'est la vie!

]

1 Comments on Suffragette Lady: An Interview with Kate Charlesworth, last added: 7/14/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
46. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Brian Bolland

MEG-350-digital-1-87071

 

animal-man-24-1990bolland-invisibles14

 

Bolland.KJp32

 

wwbolland92flash-186

 

BollandBild_000Animal Man 56

 

wos_ssws_1_00014918369369_c6d7b256da_b

 

f8b2af742f6f93ec059ef69c4ffa54eaJACK-Cv19

 

tumblr_meckycndnZ1qd68too1_1280

Brian Bolland is a legend in comics, and would be just for his covers alone, but he’s also responsible for drawing classics like Batman: The Killing Joke, and Judge Dredd. He started his art career in his native United Kingdom illustrating his own fanzines while at art school, and then he moved on to contributing to underground publications like Friendz, Oz, and International Times. After he finished his course at The Central School of Art & Design in London in 1973 Bolland joined the talent agency Bardon Press Features, and was assigned various small comics jobs including a bi-weekly Nigerian comic called Powerman about an African superhero. Steady work continued from there, and he would eventually get to work on future comics hits 2000 AD, and Judge Dredd in the late 70′s.

He was recruited by Green Lantern artist Joe Staton who discovered him at a comics convention while visiting England, and thus the British Invasion of comics officially began! He started off doing covers for DC Comics, and then moved onto bigger projects like the 12 issue maxi-series Camelot 3000 with writer Len Wein. Later on he would be put more to use as a cover artist exclusively, rather than an interior artist, because his cover work is so detailed, and striking that I can only imagine how many thousands of comics he sold just based off his cover illustrations alone! Legendary covers for Grant Morrison’s Animal Man, The Invisibles, Wonder Woman, and The Flash solidified Brian Bolland as a legend in the industry. Throughout his carreer Bolland would also work on personal projects like the more sketchy styled Mr. Mamoulian, and the provocative The Actress and the Bishop.

In 2006 the book The Art of Brian Bolland was published, and it provides a very comprehensive overview of Bolland’s career including just about all of his classic covers, and examples of his photography work that he took while traveling the world over the years.

Brian Bolland has won numerous comics industry awards including over 5 Eisners, an Inkpot Award, and Favourite Artist in the British section of the Eagle Awards.

You can follow Brian Bolland on his blog here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

0 Comments on Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Brian Bolland as of 7/16/2014 5:23:00 PM
Add a Comment
47. The Retailer’s View // The Death of Archie and Selling Comics

by Brandon Schatz

On Monday, the pop culture bereft owner of my shop phoned had asked if I had ordered enough of the “death of Archie thing” that was happening. As with all comics, the news of this event had been announced well in advance. As always, calls came pouring in over the telephone lines. People wanted the comic where Archie dies. I had to explain to them that it wouldn’t be happening until July. At this point, reactions would vary from uncomfortable silence to outright indignation. One such phone customer accused me of hoarding copies to sell for a premium at a later date. I had to bite my tongue before I told them they didn’t understand the first thing about books like this.

LifeWithArchie_36_FionaStaples.jpg

When books like Life With Archie #36 hit the stands, the store gets a mountain of phone calls and visitors looking to get their mitts on copies of the books in question. A sizeable chunk of these people are just popping into the medium for a visit, having heard the news on the radio or television or from a friend. Most just want to have a copy to say they have it. Some even want to read the damn thing. Inevitably, the fever dies down (usually by the weekend, with a few stragglers looking for copies weeks, months and years later) and the effects are negligible. There’s very little that will turn someone who had no interest in reading comics into a full fledged Wednesday warrior overnight. Regardless, events like this always give me hope, and usually net a small handful of new customers who didn’t know we existed, and liked the service enough to return. Almost 100% of these return customers are people who took the time to actually read the book they came into purchase, instead of stashing it away in a box that they’ll bring back to us several years down the road for All The Money. Some books make this transition easier than others, offering a smooth read with interesting bits of storytelling that dig the hooks in. I remember the Death of Captain America netting quite a few return customers, as did the Death of Johnny Storm. I doubt the Death of Archie will have the same effect – and it all comes down to the company’s lack of experience when dealing with these big events.

When you open Life With Archie #36, you’re greeted with two full pages that explain the series to date in near excruciating detail. The opening gives new readers an overview of what the book was up until this point: an exploration of two possible futures where Archie married Betty and Veronica. This, along with the information that Kevin Keller is running for Senate on a platform of gun control and gay rights is all you need to know to enjoy what follows. Instead, the recap spends time talking about all the various differences and similarities between the two realities. It even spends a paragraph detailing the time that an Evil and Good Dilton almost destroy the Archie multiverse using science. None of this information is needed, and serves only to confuse the inexperienced reader who thinks they might want to dip their toe into the medium.

LifeWithArchie_36_RamonPerez.jpg

After selling comics at the shop for nearly eight years, I’ve come to realize that the best way to sell a comic is to give people as little information as possible. Have you ever sat through an hour long lecture as to why the Silver Age Legion is the best Legion? I sure have. You know what it didn’t do? Make me want to read Legion comics. In fact, it made me want to avoid them. Passion needs to be discovered, not explained – and Archie Comics failed in that this week. They did a poor job selling a book that was going to sell itself, something that could have been easily avoided with a stronger editorial hand.

The issue itself is quite good. Instead of giving new readers the same story in both realities, Paul Kupperberg and Pat & Tim Kennedy play things fast and loose with some pronouns and character placement, allowing the story to function viably in both realities, utilizing a form of brevity for the concept. It’s not high art by any means, but it’s a nice, suitable story that brings a character’s journey to a poignant end. The only failing seems to be how eager the company is to explain things that don’t need to be explained, giving the reader a jumble of information that would have been better served as a story they explored later, than explained in a blurb. That said, Archie is Archie, and will endure forever, so it’s not like people are going to be bucked off the train to Riverdale. The event continues to paint comics as a medium that is indesipherable to get into – after all, if you can’t understand what’s going on in an Archie title, what hope would you have for anything else on the stands.

Regardless, this book is going to sell. It was sold before it hit the stands, and will be a novelty for a long time to come. It’s just a shame it couldn’t sell the industry at the same time.

[Brandon Schatz has been working behind the comic book counter for eight years. He's spent the past four as the manager of Wizard's Comics and Collectibles in Edmonton, Alberta. In his spare time, he writes about the comics he likes over at Comics! The Blog and works on building his comic book recommendation engine over at Variant Edition. You can find him on twitter @soupytoasterson. The opinions expressed are those of Schatz and do not necessarily reflect those of The Beat]

7 Comments on The Retailer’s View // The Death of Archie and Selling Comics, last added: 7/18/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
48. COMICS! COMICS! COMICS!

Prior to a few months ago I'd basically never read any comic before - ever. I've always enjoyed accompanying Adam to comic shops and browsing the different titles and artwork, but I'd never embraced the medium myself. I found comics difficult to read and follow - I often read the text boxes/bubbles out of order and was overwhelmed by the amount of visual information.

I'm not sure exactly what flipped the switch (I suspect my growing appetite for sci-fi stories) but this spring I decided to bite the comic bullet. I began with an adaptation of Ender's Game, Ender in Exile, because I really like the world building in Ender's Game, but was not a fan of the writing (I find Orson Scott Card often tells more than shows, undermining the emotional impact). Because comics are great for action and simplified character/dialogue, I figured by reading the comic version I could cut to the quick of the story without getting distracted by the writing. And thus began a new-found love affair with COMICS!

I'm happy to report that I am now a full-fledged comic enthusiast. I'm also downright inspired! I don't picture myself ever illustrating comics, but I admit that the writing part intrigues me. I've got a few ideas of my own floating around now, and maybe one day I'll be able to pin them down. For now, I'll stick to reading, thinking and collecting... It's all circling back to my trilogy idea. Some of what I've read below deals with similar themes and concepts. It's good to know what's already out there so I can keep crafting my story to be all the more my own. 

Below are the series I've read so far (not counting one-off single issues). I was pretty picky initially, opting only for comics in my genres of choice (sci-fi or fantasy) with impeccable artwork. My tastes are already broadening, expanding and evolving. I'm finding I like series that I didn't think I would and enjoying artwork that originally turned me off. I'm growing.

SCIENCE FICTION








































FANTASY





































OTHER







0 Comments on COMICS! COMICS! COMICS! as of 7/18/2014 1:03:00 AM
Add a Comment
49. Call for Submissions: cahoodaloodaling: The Animal Becomes Us

The Animal Becomes Us

Email submission deadline: September 30, 2014

Issue #14 of cahoodaloodaling—The Animal Becomes Us—is open for submissions. We’re leaving this wide open to interpretation. Consider this your open invitation to send anything from light verse about your animal companion to speculative were-animal stories. 


Submissions due 9/30/14. Guest editor TBA. Issue live 10/31/14. See more information on submitting and read past issues here.

Add a Comment
50. SDCC 2014: Image Announces Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories

If you’re checking out the list of Image SDCC 2014 exclusives, your eye probably fell across an item that wasn’t quite like the others. Available exclusively (for now) at this year’s convention is a strange and wonderful treasury sized anthology called Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories. The title sells itself, but if you’re looking for a little more information, Image is happy to provide:
PRESS RELEASE:
Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories
GIANT-SIZE KUNG FU BIBLE STORIES
KICKS DOWN SDCC’S DOOR
An exclusive collector’s edition you won’t want to miss
Edited by Erik Larsen (SAVAGE DRAGON) and Bruce Timm (Batman Adventures: Mad Love)—and just in time to take San Diego Comic-Con by storm—comes GIANT-SIZE KUNG FU BIBLE STORIES, a deluxe limited edition collection featuring the original stories of the world’s greatest cartoonists.This treasury edition format includes seven eye-popping, mind-melting stories from Erik Larsen, Bruce Timm, Adam Warren (Empowered), Tom Scioli (GØDLAND), Ryan Ottley (INVINCIBLE), Andy Kuhn (FIREBREATHER), and Arthur Adams (Uncanny X-Men). A collection years-in-the making, readers won’t want to miss out on this amazing special collector’s issue, an Image Treasury Edition.”Bruce Timm and I love Treasury Editions! Our goal was to create the greatest Treasury Edition in the history of mankind! To do that—we rounded up an all-star cast of killer cartoonists all committed to doing all-new characters and material worthy of the format!” said co-editor Erik Larsen. “The end result was something awesome to behold!”

Co-editor Bruce Timm gushed enthusiastically after having received his copies in the mail, “Got my box of big-ass funnybooks—y’know, it’s really great—good variety of stories and art styles—and it FEELS good—well worth the money.”

A limited number of GIANT-SIZE KUNG FU BIBLE STORIES will be available exclusively at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. It can be purchased at the Image Comics booth (#2729) for $20 each. Snap them up before they’re gone!

0 Comments on SDCC 2014: Image Announces Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories as of 7/22/2014 9:53:00 AM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts