no cape no mask

who needs a costume when you have words?

Month: June, 2013

Need To Know… 17.6.13

only what you need

only what you need

The thing about doing this post on a Monday (it was done yesterday, sorry!) is that its actually compiled on a Sunday, which means I only heard about this upcoming Marvel event tie-in from Matt Kindt and Steven Sanders (boy, that’s a weird group of words to actually write), after NTK had gone up last week! So you may already know about it by now, but its too intriguing to not post about, right?

Man of Steel. So far, some rave reviews, but not everyone loved the movie, and some Waid in (geddit?) with serious reservations. Whatever, it still did $125m. But more inspiringly, Tom Scioli (whose Satan’s Soldier is now for sale through his website!) posted an art-heavy, left-field submission for Best Superman Ever, ComicsAlliance showcased Super-Art, and CBR’s Week of Cool Superman Moments reminded us of possibly the greatest act of friendship ever, courtesy of Big Blue. Of course, a new Superman comic came out too, though you may not be able to trust its writer.
Mark Millar MBE. Is it still WTF month?
Bad week to be a midlist book at Marvel, or a Sif fan, though Kathryn Immonen demonstrated the gracious, smart way to go, and Jeff Parker, king of Marvel’s midlist until recently, seems to have found new life at Dynamite doing a Phantom, Flash Gordon, and Mandrake team-up? Previews of that here, it looks pretty good, as does the Mocking Dead! Speaking of publishers we don’t preview often, why not try Archie, the comic of infinite flavours, which comes in Francavilla Horror, Haspiel New Yorker, or Simonson Thor? There’s Zero chance you’ll miss this upcoming Image release from Ales Kot, Jeff Lemire details some of the interesting new things he’s trying with Trillium, and Vertigo just keeps on coming with Collider. Isn’t it nice to see so many good-looking previews from those publishers?
Everyone’s talking about Creator-Owned comics these days, and Multiversity want to tell you what the big deal is, starting way back when. And are these really the top 5 today? Sound off!
Sunday was a huge day, Father’s Day (Kirby’s the Daddy), Bloomsday (some cool comics substitutes for those not enamoured of Joyce’s work), but also a day of rest. So take a day off from Bendis-hating, and appreciate. After all, even supervillains take a day off. You would too if all your opponents had gas like these guys. In fact, you might take a vacation, a long one, maybe take in every indy and indy-friendly convention in the US, perhaps? Of course, none of them could compare to ELCAF (this weekend, people!), where you may even catch the Great Beasts pumping their latest gorgeous title, Winter’s Knight. And while you’re out and about, SelfMadeHero and EggsMilkButter have combined, Voltron style, to create the GREATEST POP-UP STORE EVER.
Okay, calm down. Breathe. Maybe compose a haiku… comic. Now that you’re centred, let me point you to Borb. Its complete, and I urge you to read it, all, and then sit quietly for a while.
Sad, right? Okay, cheer up, Robert Crumb’s Meatball is free online! And all these terrific small press comics exist! Miracles can happen with just a tiny pencil! There’s a Bilal retrospective/introduction from Paul Gravett! Kickstarter wants to fund this Sleep of Reason! This documentary wants to help more people Dig Comics! There’s proof in these Lost Works that not all 90’s comics were bad! AstroBoy could be your Patron Saint! Foxing Quarterly wants your work!
Still sad?
Make like Scrooge. McDuck, that is.

Need To Know… 10.6.13

only what you need

only what you need

Beginning as ever with the Big 2, DC wants you to choose your own digital adventure and wait longer for cheap online comics, while Marvel are getting Mighty Diverse with another Avengers team (because we need at least one more, right?), which doesn’t change this unsettling situation. Bottom line: Al Ewing will write the hell out of that book, and we should focus on the double positive of a talented young writer on an Avengers title, AND a new book with a more diverse cast. IMO.

Speaking of diversity, comics made out pretty good at the Lambdas (that article also gives a little context on the Cannes win, too), while the whole annoying “Kelly Sue only has a career because of Matt Fraction” thing got rehashed, which was sad, but did permit various people to rally inspiringly. All of which lead to the question: “do we write about gender too much?”. Well?
The 2D Comic Con in Derry happened the weekend before last, and from the sound of it should be an easy add to your convention calendar, especially with launches like this one by Roger Langridge happening there. Of course, this weekend just passed was HeroesCon in Charlotte, and by way of a taster Tom Spurgeon interviewed two legendary Heroes panellists who every year host an epic panel on a different topic, this year’s involving Peter Bagge and music comics. If all this gives you the comics travel bug (but you haven’t got San Diego bank) then some say Brussels is the spot that’s hot.
Darwyn Cooke is pretty great at art stuff, isn’t he? And so I want to believe he’s just about the greatest guy, too. But Hooded Utilitarian takes a close look at his work on Before Watchmen, and has some strong words for our boy. Controversial, perhaps, so lets go with the positivity of the art link, and let Rob Davis talk us through his Quixotic process. While we’re communing with the makers, here’s Todd McFarlane keeping it simple, Moore making new magic, Mizuno being the best kind of mad, and Matt Miner talking Liberator (there are only so many “m”s!). Particularly with the Moore and McFarlane interviews, they’re good reminders of how much more interesting some creators are than the fan worship they inspire. I’m sick of hearing about Moore, the mage/genius, but this interview was beautiful, clear, and unpretentiously inspiring. Just like every other interview I’ve ever read with him. And McFarlane’s just refreshingly offhand.
Since this NTK was clearly brought to you by the letter M, let’s address Manga. If you’re not a regular manga reader, here are two perfect entry points, out now, and a whole load of art that may sell you on Sunny’s creator, while for those particularly interested in Horror Manga, the Mercurial Blonde wants to hook you up. Plus… the perfect place to read manga. Is there a comics equivalent? Also, Bartkira. Its no joke. Nor is a new blog post from James Stokoe, especially if you’re jonesing for Kaiju.
We’ve had Summers of Valiant, but it loos like this summer is going BOOM! with Six-Gun Gorilla in June and Day Men in July. Good-looking comic-booking. But there’s a new player in town this season, Fried Comics, and they’re taking your orders for Deadskins and Pregnant Bitches of War with some tasty covers. Yeti Press have some sizzling summer deals on their books. Don’t know Yeti? Now you do. Pretty sure I’ve mentioned these before, but Heck, it’d be a shame not to mention them again. Lot to take in so far, isn’t it? Well, don’t get distracted, just look straight ahead.
If you’ve been thinking of trying out some Jaime Hernandez stuff, how about sampling a scary freebie of his online? Or if you’re pressed for time, surely you can make a minute for a Tiny Story? The Comics Journal has a quartet of webcomics worth your eyeballing (especially Meat and Bone), but if you’re really that worried about making reading time then ask yourself “is the world my park, or my cage?“.
We’re almost there, so time for treats. Here is the secret of how events are made. Yes, this is the Best Art Ever (This Week). And allow me to introduce Peter Kuper, a very talented man.
Last, a word of support for Inkstuds, one of the best comics interview podcasts out there. To support the continuing podcast activities, there’s a Digital Book of all the creator interviews he’s done. Should be a great read. Especially for $5.
Keep your noses clean kids. Don’t wanna end up like these guys.

Need To Know… 3.6.13

only what you need

only what you need

And the good news bears us ever on… don’t call it a comeback! ComicsAlliance is back, and looking Pretty Deadly.

Last week DC continued reminding us that a movie they’re reeeeally hoping we like is approaching faster than a speeding puff piece, so they busted out the new 75th anniversary Superman logo (spoiler: not everyone liked it), made the best ad campaign a Kryptonian can get, prompted Comic Reporter comics love, inspired a slew of favourite Superman issues for you to hunt down, and killed Catwoman. Well, “killed” Catwoman. To get Batman’s attention. Speaking of Batman, last week Bat Math proved that 72 is preferable to 66 (and Chris Samnee copped to being a longtime Batfan). Meanwhile, helpful comics creators were in Denver explaining Wonder Woman’s “problematic” nature, (and Chris Ware was describing Life as a Moving Picture in a great keynote) which you could listen to if you weren’t one of the 6,000 people initially turned away from this mega-successful con. But back to DC for one last thing: Villains Month is go! With a whole new cover gimmick! Woot!
Speaking of covers, are these really Dave Johnson’s best? Hmmmm.
There were a lot of teases last week. Hawkeye #11 alone got two separate previews for the upcoming Pizza-Dog issue (understandable, really), and fortunately not everyone’s forgotten about Mockingbird, either. Locke & Key draws closer to a close, but we can’t help peeking, while Zenith makes a return in a couple months (without Morrison’s consent?), Quantum and Woody hits in July (and is now a guilt free read, as Kevin Maguire and Valiant are all good), and Kick-Ass is back. Okay, that sentence started stronger than it finished, but how about a Presidential endorsement on a graphic novel, and a comics-derived film winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes, all in the same week? Pretty cool. Cool like a Lazarus preview and interview. Or like someone going through Previews and giving you the straight dope on what’s right and what’s oh so wrong.
Creators have some advice for you this week, specifically be all your selves, stop excusing yourself, and if all else fails, just try to keep the demons away. Sorted.
These strips aren’t in English yet, but Youth in Decline are making that happen later this year, are you in? Jim Rugg, on the other hand, needs no words to be awesome (and SuperMag drops this week in UK stores, so do not miss it), and this comic proves that the music may pause, but legends never die. We know you’re going to this, but we can’t help but think it would be improved by some Avengers in pods. They make everything better. Paul Jenkins, officially, is going BOOM! Martin and Vaughn took an Oath years before they were Private Eyes, and you can take the same Oath today, at your local store. Also, we know you like the Study Group comics we link to, but you know they’re in print through Press Gang, right?
Here is the definitive guide on how to promote your project right, and a project which is well worth backing, its exquisite in fact.
I leave you with the John Stewart Impurity. If you read New Avengers #6, in particular, it’ll make you think.