Paul Montgomery wrote:Welcome to the CBR SUNDAY CONVERSATION, a weekly feature where we speak in-depth -- and at-length -- with some of the most interesting members of the comic book community. These discussions run the gamut in terms of topics, from current projects to classic stories, talking trends, tastes and wherever else the conversations lead.
After studying jazz trumpet for much of his schooling, Evan "Doc" Shaner took a swift and sudden turn toward drawing and illustration during his first month at college. He graduated from the school newspaper to freelance work for IDW Publishing and Dark Horse. These days, he hears John Williams' fanfare as he hones Superman's 'S' curl for the pages of an upcoming "Adventures of Superman" serial with Ron Marz. It's a momentous time for Shaner, newly announced as the penciler for Dynamite's upcoming "Flash Gordon" title. It's his first time working with longtime friend Jeff Parker or colorist Jordie Bellaire. It's also an introduction for many readers to his playful aesthetic, informed as much by newspaper gag strips as it is by Golden Age swashbucklers.
CBR News asked Shaner to look back at his musical roots and to connect that expertise with his insight on the operatic heroes crowding his drawing board.
Chris Mautner wrote:Few modern cartoonists have managed to appeal to as diverse a comics readership as Paul Pope. He initially built his name in the indie small-press scene, self-publishing books like The Ballad of Doctor Richardson and the sci-fi oriented THB. Then he managed to carry that goodwill to Vertigo projects like Heavy Liquid and 100% and eventually to superhero projects like Batman Year 100 and Wednesday Comics. In the process has Pope has been able to garner love and respect from two factions of American comics culture that rarely enjoy each other’s company, no small feat.
Now, he’s reaching out to a (for him) new audience: Kids, via his much-delayed but highly anticipated graphic novel Battling Boy. The book, a slam-bang action adventure about the tween child of demigods sent to save a city plagued by rampaging monsters, made its way to a number of top-10 and “best comics of the year” lists for 2013. Writing for this site, Charles Hatfield described the book as “dynamic, brash, stuffed with surprises, yet also knowingly crafted, tightly braided, even subtle,” and claimed that “it is Pope’s best balancing act yet between the joys of rampant mark-making and the responsibilities of story.” Certainly he was not alone in that assessment.
I spoke with Pope over the phone a week or so after he was wrapping up a major book tour with a stop at the New York Comic-Con. We talked about the book, its origins, the trick of attempting to appeal to a certain audience, and his plans for sequels. Even though he had spent considerable time on the road he was eager to talk about his work and I am grateful for his time.
Andy Khouri wrote:Listeners of the ComicsAlliance Podcast will know that the other staffers and I have been particularly impressed with the variety of visuals currently offered by Marvel Comics. In the best way possible, it’s become practically impossible to describe “Marvel house style,” with the publisher staffing books with artists as talented and diverse as David Aja, Adrian Alphona, Michael Allred, Esad Ribic, Chris Samnee, Declan Shalvey, Phil Noto, Mitch Gerads and many more besides. Many of these fly far afield of what you might consider traditional superhero art, and that’s a fact that’s made so many “All-New” books so fun to read.
Given this recent history it was not surprising to learn that Mike Del Mundo was to draw a new Elektra series written by Haden Blackman, whose résumé includes Batwoman with JH Williams III, making this new series about the beautiful and deadly assassin one of the most appropriately staffed of Marvel’s current line.
Del Mundo in particular has been killing it lately, winning the ComicsAlliance Readers’ Choice Award for Best Cover Artist of 2013, and also being listed among our own editorial list of the best cover artists of last year (not to mention numerous appearances in our Best Art Ever feature) for his evocative, clever, whimsical and even beautiful illustrations. What is a little surprising is just how lavish Del Mundo’s Elektra actual pages are. Colored by Del Mundo with Marco D’Alfonso (another Best Art regular) in a painterly, dreamlike fashion, the pages recall the classic Elektra images of Bill Sienkiewicz.
In a Q&A with Marvel.com’s Paul Montgomery, writer Blackman indicated he’s been studying martial arts films and comic books, and that he and Del Mundo have discussed the relationship between fighting and dance choreography.
Darren Franich wrote:The Marvel universe is getting a radical makeover in December, and it’s all because of the Inhumans. A race of superpowered beings created eons ago by extraterrestrial experimentation, the Inhumans have been part of the Marvel Universe since the Lee/Kirby days. Inhuman mythology is fascinating and rife with weird metaphor and outré affectations. They have a royal family, headed up by Black Bolt, whose voice carries a supersonic force so devastating that he can never speak. And a key aspect of Inhuman life is exposure to the Terrigen Mist, a mysterious vapor that activates Inhuman biology and grants superpowers. As Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso puts it, “In a world filled with musclebound characters in spandex, the Inhumans were weirder. They were hippies!”
And in “Inhumanity,” the Inhumans — and everything they represent — will move to the forefront. In the wake of this Fall’s “Infinity” crossover event, the Terrigen Mists are released throughout the world — which results in millions of Inhuman descendants around the world suddenly witnessing the activation of their dormant Inhuman cells. (Basically, if your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents were Inhumans, you could have superpowers.) “The effect on the Marvel Universe will be seismic,” says Alonso. The Terrigen Mists affects all Inhumans differently, granting powers that typically reflect one’s personality, like a hyper-specific Sorting Hat. So “Inhumanity” opens the possibility for a fascinating array of new characters. “You might learn that your new self is fantastic, beautiful, filled with immense power,” says Alonso. “By the same token, you could turn around and find out that you’re nothing. You’re a blob. You have no powers. You can create a little flame out of your pinkie.”
Borys Kit wrote:Wild Cards is a series of books and stories set in a shared universe where an alien virus has been unleashed over New York City. Those who survived were turned into either a class of beings named Jokers, mostly deformed creatures, (or more rarely) Aces, who have special powers.
The first book was published in 1987, around the same time as such work as Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore's The Watchmen were being hailed as revolutionizing the comics scene.
The tales, written initially by science fiction and fantasy authors who also included Roger Zelazny and Lewis Shiner, among others, provided an alternate history of Earth and told superhero stories grounded in realism, a strategy that would be emulated in both comics and, later, in movies such as the recent Christopher Nolan-directed Batman films.
Axel Alonso! wrote:Let's wrap with a few questions from the CBR forums -- TsaiMeLemon has a fairly obscure character pull, but Bill Paxton's recent role on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." puts it in a little bit of a different light: "With Mike Del Mundo's work on 'Elektra' bearing a similar aesthetic to that of 'Elektra: Assassin,' it is impossible to forget about Agent Garrett and his unique relationship with Elektra. Is there a chance he and Elektra will reunite in her new book?"
Alonso: We're not planning on bringing Agent Garrett in the mix at the moment. And while there may be aesthetic similarities with "Elektra: Assassin," this new series is very much about pushing Elektra forward. This story explores what happens when Elektra shakes off the shackles of her past -- both the individuals and the tragedies that shaped her -- and looks out at the endless horizon of her future. And let me tell you, this series took me by complete surprise. Haden Blackman and Mike Del Mundo are creating something fresh and unpredictable and my god that art!!!!
TheButcher wrote:Writer Commentary: Jeff Parker on FLASH GORDON #1
Graeme McMillan wrote:Dynamite has previously published series featuring two of the characters, including Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist and The Last Phantom (Sadly, there really didn't seem to be any desire to give Mandrake his turn in the spotlight), and has been quietly building a line filled with pulp favorites for some years now; the publisher also has ongoing series for the Shadow and the Green Hornet, among other characters. Last week it was announced that Dynamite would launch a new Doc Savage series in December.
A second print of Kings Watch #1 is expected to reach comic stores in time for October's second issue, giving newcomers a chance to catch up with what's happened to date. Now, who holds the movie rights to these characters so that they can get started on a Kings Watch adaptation …?
Rich Johnston wrote:It looks like Dynamite’s Flash Gordon #1 and #2, just like the Ardden Flash Gordon #1 and #2, have sold out pretty sharpish.
Issue 1 had orders at Final Order Cut-Off date of 14,499 and a print run of 17,000 copy print run, but they soon burned through them. The second print, which had a print run of 1,000 seems to be about to do the same after this article in USA Today, so look for a third print any day now.
Issue 2 had Final Order Cut-Off orders of 7,537 and a print run of 9,000. That is also running on fumes before it is published, with a second print to be announced shortly.
Possibly, as the USA Today suggests, not just a Flash in the pan…
Johnny Moreno wrote:Just what does it take to become a Comic Artist? Tomas Overbai explains everything to Ramen and Half‘s host, Eddie Ballar, what got him into comic art and eventually comic story telling with his upcoming Book One of ICHIDO – a post apocalyptic science fiction fantasy comic where a threatened Empire goes to war utilizing the traditions of kung-fu fighting and futuristic advanced robot warfare. The comic is like the battles of a Shogun Empire meets Robotech!
Gordon S. Miller wrote:On Friday, July 25, the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in the Indigo Ballroom during the San Diego Comic-Con. Named after artist Will Eisner (1917 – 2005), best known for creating The Spirit, The Eisners have been honoring achievement in American comics since 1988. The nominations are determined by a five-member panel, and are the winners are selected by comic-book professionals.
This year’s winners are:
CARDNER CLARK wrote:First Second creators Faith Erin Hicks ("Friends With Boys," "Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong"), Lucy Knisley ("Relish"), Paul Pope ("Battling Boy") and Gene Luen Yang ("The Shadow Hero," "American Born Chinese") joined senior editor Calista Brill on Sunday at Comic-Con International in San Diego to discuss the creative process and the world of publishing. The panel included two 2014 Eisner winners: Pope won Best Publication for Teens (Ages 13-17) with "Battling Boy," published by First second, and Hicks won Best Publication for Kids (Ages 8-12) with "Adventures of Superhero Girl," published by Dark Horse.
Casey Gilly wrote:Last fall, Paul Pope released his all-ages graphic novel "Battling Boy" through First Second, following the adventures of a kid savior traveling to a distant planet to grow into the hero he's destined to be. With Acropolis in the wake of losing their former hero, Haggard West, giant monsters are overrunning the town and it's up to Battling Boy to stop them -- except he's not really the next in line for the job. Aurora West, daughter of Haggard, has spent her entire life preparing to protect her city. With her father's passing, the mantle should rightly be passed to her. Aurora is disciplined, skilled and brilliant -- but how can she compete with a god?
Pope was so taken with the character of Aurora West that he planned to revisit her origins in two companion pieces, the first of which is set for a September release. "The Rise of Aurora West" sees the young hero from childhood through the loss of her parents, diving deeper into the world of a developing heroine. Pope partnered with co-writer J.T. Petty and artist David Rubin to continue Aurora's story, hoping to make the world of Battling Boy a place for other creators to tell stories and explore.
Fresh off his Eisner win for "Battling Boy" as the Best Publication for Teens, Pope spoke with CBR News about his shift into all-ages comics, his hopes for the expanding world of the series and what kept him coming back to Aurora West.
Lord Voldemoo wrote:Bloom County Returns!!
first and last time I'll say this: Thank you Donald Trump!
Peven wrote:so, Captain America has been a bad guy all along, just deep, deep, deep, deep undercover...........yeah, that's fucking ALF, and the best example yet of why nothing that the studios do the these properties when they adapt them to the big screen should ever be criticized for "not respecting the source material" or "breaking canon". I can't wait to see the X-Men movie where it is revealed there are no such thing as mutants and that Prof X is just a sexual predator who has been using LSD and other psychotropics to manipulate kids into thinking they have powers so he can take advantage of them.
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