Showing posts with label comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comics. Show all posts

13 August 2012

GOODBYE JOE

Joe Kubert passed away yesterday.

He drew Sgt. Rock. He drew Enemy Ace. He drew Hawkman. He drew Tor. And those are just the highlights. There have been fewer artists more prolific, and you'd be hard pressed to name a DC character he didn't draw at one point or another. He also drew more amazing covers than I can remember, let alone list. On top of all that, he founded one of comics' greatest and most enduring institutions, the Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art.

True comics legends are kind of thin on the ground these days, but along with the likes of Jack Kirby and Will Eisner, Joe Kubert was the real deal. He was a master of his craft, and the fact he continued working virtually right up until his death is both humbling and inspiring. "Remarkable" doesn't even begin to sum his career up.

10 August 2012

MYSTERY DANCE

Hmmmm...

Ghost Variant

THE WAY YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO





July wound up being artist's month as far as our Experience Creativity campaign went: Mike Norton, Charlie Adlard, Riley Rossmo, and Erik Larsen – titans all. 

Except for Riley, I've known all these guys for years. Erik, since 1991; Charlie since '95. I guess I first met Mike in 2003. They're all great, though. They all have very different styles, and they all have completely different perspectives on comics art. As different as they are, though, I like to think they're united by their uniqueness. That's one of the things that makes comic book artwork so great, after all: No two comics artists are the same. Even if one artist is inspired by another, that inspiration only asserts itself for so long.

Every artist would tell you differently, of course. There's no one more critical of his or her work than the artists responsible. They see all the influences, all the flaws, all the work that is yet to be done. It's the same with any creative person, actually – no matter what your craft, you're always striving to be better, always aiming to be more than the sum of the often disparate parts that originally inspired you to do what you do.

Ultimately, no matter who or what an individual artist's influences, there's something inside each and every one of them that demands to break out. It's their own personal vision that drives them to succeed, not the bits and pieces of things they've absorbed throughout their lives. They are who they are, and their individual style is what ultimately gives them their strength as artists.

So whether they're drawing Revival or It-Girl or The Walking Dead or Proof or Green Wake or Wild Children or Savage Dragon or Supreme... their own personal style shines through.

09 August 2012

A SIMPLE GAME OF GENIUS

I don't think it's a secret that I think Matt Fraction is mind-bogglingly talented, but if you haven't had a chance to read this yet, I recommend you stop what you're doing and get a copy right now. Matt and artist David Aja are working some crazy voodoo on this one.

"Impossibly brilliant" doesn't quite do it justice.

WHEN IT STARTED TO BEGIN



One of the most thrilling aspects of working in comics is watching something develop from concept to execution. I get to see things evolve from a pitch – which in some cases is only a few paragraphs, others a full-on, multi-page treatment detailing the story issue-by-issue – to a script to art to a finished comic book, and it's a process that never ceases to amaze me.

Watching it happen with something I'm actually writing is just as cool.

The images above are from our upcoming Nowhere Men series, and that's Nate Bellegarde's original layout for this panel, followed by the black and white line art, and then Jordie Bellaire's colors. The only thing missing is the lettering by Fonografiks (which I'm keeping to myself for now), but I've been blown away by these guys every step of the way. Getting the layouts? Awesome. Getting the pencils and inks? More awesome. Jordie's colors? Insanely awesome.

Watching this stuff develop – whether it's my own comic book or any one of dozens of others – is about as good as it gets, really, and a constant reminder of why I got into this business to begin with. Even at two decades and counting, I still regard the whole creative process as something akin to alchemy. Things start as a collection of sentences, and then through the magic of artwork, whole worlds  are brought to life. It's a lot of work, obviously, but it's also incredibly fun.

02 August 2012

SO IT GOES

There's been a flurry of interviews lately, including the video above, with Ron Richards from iFanboy.

If you've missed the others, and you have absolutely no other way to occupy your time, you can check them out here:

The New York Times
Multiversity Comics
The Comics Reporter (part one)
The Comics Reporter (part two)
Multiversity Comics

18 July 2012

WEDNESDAY GIRL

Brea Grant

17 July 2012

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

I had a post-SDCC email exchange today that made me realize something:

After traveling down the coast for the world's biggest comic book convention for two decades, this year's con was the best time I've had in years. Part of that was due to my decision to hold the majority of my meetings at my hotel, but even more so, I think it was because of all the wonderful people I spent  time with.

Starting with these guys:


I had the great honor to be one of the judges for the 20th annual Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, joining a group that included Andy Mangels, Michel Buster, James Robinson and last year's winners, Danny Amitai and Yuval Sharon of Comics N' Vegetables in Tel Aviv, and cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed the experience. Judging the 19 nominations took almost a whole day, but it went by in a flash, because everyone involved – including Joe Ferrera of the Bay Area's own Atlantis Fantasy World – was such good company.

During the days and nights that followed, I got to meet and hang out with some truly brilliant people, and whereas I'm often counting the minutes until I'm on the flight home, I was actually a bit sad when it became clear my time was running out Sunday afternoon.

So, in no real order, I just want so say thanks to everyone who made this year's convention so insanely awesome:

Ed Brubaker, Mel Tomlin, Joe Harris, Howard Chaykin, Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Greg Rucka, Joe Casey, Gary Whitta, Darick Robertson, Chris Roberson, Allison Baker, Jonathan Ross, Charlie Adlard, Ted Adams, Lorelei Bunjes, Scott Dunbier, Thierry Mornet, Guy Delcourt, Joe Keatinge, Emi Lenox, Chris Giarrusso, Gregg Schiegiel, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, Frank Fosco, Nate Bellegarde, Cory Walker, Jennifer Davidson, Charity Southworth, Tom Spurgeon, Jonah Weiland, Jann Jones, Steven Seagle, Duncan Rouleau, Joe Kelly, Brea Grant, Zane Grant, Chris Ryall, Dave Gibbons, John Layman, Carr D'Angelo, Marc Silvestri, Bridget Silvestri, Jim Valentino, Whilce Portacio, Robert Kirkman, Sina Grace, Brenda Feldman, Shawn Kirkham, David Andry, Ken Garing, Steve Seeley, Michael Moreci, Jenny Frisson, Ulises Farinas, Ryan Ottley, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jeremy Haun, Richard Starkings, Rob Guillory, Bill Schanes, Dave Hawksworth, Gabriel Rodriguez, James Boone, Shaquille O'Neal, Helen Leigh, Susie Giroux, Jamie Parreno, Monica Garcia, Jonathan Chan, Tyler Shainline, Mike Guerrero, Jana Cook, Brittany Matter, Todd Martinez, Jennifer de Guzman, Ron Richards, Buffy Seipel, Josh Flanagan, Conor Kilpatrick, Scott Tuft, Dan Hipp, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Dallas Middaugh, Ben Wolstenholme, Daniel Lopez, Francois Hercouet, Sandy Huffaker, Fae Desmond, Eddie Ibrahim, Charles Brownstein, and of course, all the fine gentleman I mentioned a bit earlier.

No doubt, there are names I'm missing here – or worse, that I forgot – but even if I only spoke to you for a few moments, you absolutely contributed to what a truly terrific week.

Finally, my apologies to Ron Perlman. Some of us may have been a bit drunk.

16 July 2012

HERE COMES THE OCEAN

Due to a technical mishap, we didn't have a chance to show these covers off doing our panel on Saturday afternoon, but I'm really excited about Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo's upcoming Great Pacific series.

Take a look at these covers:


Great Pacific is coming your way in November.

14 July 2012

NOWHERE IS HOME

We announced a lot of cool stuff today, but one thing I'm personally excited about was finally telling people about the book I've been developing with Nate Bellegarde and Steven Finch (aka Fonografiks). As the image says, it's called Nowhere Men and the first issue is out this November. And for those not at today's Image Comics Experience panel, we showed the following teaser, as well:

13 July 2012

WHEN TOMORROW COMES


If you're in San Diego for Comic-Con International, the IMAGE COMICS EXPERIENCE panel is tomorrow. For anyone in need of reasons to attend, well, I could give you nine of them right this very second... but I don't want to ruin Christmas.

I can tell you, though, that there will be nine insanely awesome creators with me for this panel.

Plus a baker's dozen of announcements. 

If you've liked what we've being doing at Image over the first half of 2012, you are definitely going to like where things are heading in 2013. 

And your first glimpses of what's coming up will be at this panel.

The room is 25ABC.

The time is 2 pm Saturday afternoon.

Join us.

09 July 2012

COME SATURDAY

Getting ready to hop on a plane down to San Diego, but wanted to follow up on last Friday's post by noting that I'll be hosting a panel this Saturday at 2 pm in Room 25ABC. Now billed as The Image Comics Experience, it's basically our big announcements panel.

Sure, there will be other announcements at the con... but if you were there last year, this is the panel where we announced Brian K. Vaughan was returning to comics to collaborate with Fiona Staples on Saga.

Be seeing you.

06 July 2012

GO ALL THE WAY

Well, the first half of the year is over, and here's what we've got to show for it:


The second half of the year gets underway for us in earnest next week, with more new series, plus... 

Well, there's a convention next week, so stay tuned.

05 July 2012

JUST A THOUGHT

I suppose congratulations are in order for Joe Keatinge: His head-turning work on Rob Liefeld's Glory and his own Hell Yeah! have landed him a gig at Marvel, chronicling the earliest adventures of cosmic heavy Thanos in Thanos: Son of Titan. If you've been following Glory and Hell Yeah! – both of which have trade paperbacks collecting their initial arcs out in August – you know already know that Joe's one of the most exciting new writers in comics. If you're not familiar with Joe, though, and you haven't checked out Glory and Hell Yeah! – you should rectify that immediately. Both series are insanely awesome and while Thanos: Son of Titan is essentially retroactive continuity for a character that has been around since the early '70s, Glory and Hell Yeah! take place right here, right now. If you can't wait for the trades, both Glory #28 (Joe and artist Ross Campbell's sixth issue) and Hell Yeah! #5 are out later this month.



And speaking of Thanos: The vast majority of all Thanos stories – not to mention the best – have been written by Thanos' creator, Jim Starlin. Among my favorites are his appearances in Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2, but for most fans, the mother of all Thanos stories is The Infinity Gauntlet, which grew out of stories Jim set up in Silver Surfer #34-38 and The Thanos Quest miniseries. The Infinity Gauntlet was followed by three other Thanos-centric series: The Infinity War, The Infinity Crusade and The Infinity Abyss. If you're into Thanos, every one of those series is recommended reading, along with Thanos: The End and Jim's run on Captain Marvel.

Jim Starlin has done a lot of amazing work that doesn't involve Thanos, though, and the most recent of that is 'Breed III, the final installment of the 'Breed series he began in the mid-'90s. The first two 'Breed miniseries were published by Malibu Comics under their Bravura banner, but 'Breed III came out from Image. We collected the first two volumes of 'Breed in 2011, and the third volume will be out in August. Jim has been virtually synonymous with cosmic comics since the beginning of his career, and in my opinion does them better than almost anyone, and if cosmic epics are your thing and you've somehow missed out on 'Breed – you really should check it out.




And here's a final thought:

Joe Keatinge and Jim Starlin are separated by many, many years, but at the same time, they have something in common. I'm not talking about Thanos, either, although I guess there is that, too. However, if you completely take Thanos out of the equation, the one more important thing they share is the passion they bring to their creator-owned work. There's nothing wrong with writing cool Thanos stories by a long shot, but if you want the pure, undiluted creativity and imagination of two comicdom's best? Get your hands on the books I just name-checked above. You won't be disappointed.

04 July 2012

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Since it's the Fourth of July, I thought I'd run through my top 10 favorite Captain America covers.

1. The Avengers #16 (1963) - Jack Kirby
I don't know why, but even though this issue of The Avengers was over a decade old when I saw its cover for the first time, I was instantly drawn to it. Part of the reason may be all the other characters displayed on the wall behind Cap, but I think the whole image is just fantastic. The fact that Captain America assembled a new team of Avengers from former villains – Hawkeye, Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch – made this one of my favorite issues of the series, too.

2. Marvel Double Feature #16 (1976) - Larry Lieber
This is a reprint of Tales of Suspense #92, and while I like Jack Kirby's original cover, too, I find this version superior. Many of Marvel's reprint books from the '70s featured new or slightly different covers, and some of the covers – including some that Kirby re-drew himself – are hidden gems.

3. Captain America and The Falcon #210 (1977) - Jack Kirby
I have a thing for floating head covers and thanks to that ghastly visage of The Red Skull, this is one of my favorites.

4. Captain America #248 (1980) - John Byrne
Dragon Man was a villain I always wanted to like, but generally speaking, the stories he was in, either in Fantastic Four or The Avengers, never did much for me. He looked cool, though, and in my opinion, never cooler than on the cover of this issue from John Bryne's all-too brief run on Captain America.

5. Captain America #113 (1969) - Jim Steranko
Virtually all of Steranko's Captain America covers are classics, but this is the best in my opinion. A lot of that has to do with the coloring – I think the dark tones capture the mood quite well here – and the image of Rick Jones (dressed as Bucky) broken down and crying is really powerful.

6. Captain America #286 (1983) - Mike Zeck
I honestly don't remember a thing about this issue, but the cover has stuck with me since I first saw it. Absolutely incredible image by Mike Zeck, and one of a number of great covers he did during his run. Deathlok never better.

7. The Avengers #151 (1976) - Jack Kirby
This is right around where I first started buying The Avengers, way back in the '70s, and like #16, this issue signaled a change in the team's line-up. The cover has very little to do with the story inside, but it's still a great image.

8. Tales of Suspense #94 (1967) - Jack Kirby
Cap vs. Modok and A.I.M. – 'nuff said!

9. Captain America #101 (1968) - Jack Kirby
I like this one primarily because the awakening Sleeper looks so sinister. Earlier Sleepers were not nearly as cool as this version, and the way it's emerging from that stone casing, with The Red Skull gloating over his presumed triumph in the foreground really sells this image for me.

10. The Uncanny X-Men #268 (1990) - Jim Lee
The cover of an X-Men comic was just about the last place you'd expect to see Captain America back then, but this image is one of the most enduring from Jim Lee's run on The Uncanny X-Men in the early '90s. I'd long given up on Marvel's mutants when this issue first came out, but that cover pulled me back in, even if there is no scene even remotely like that in the entire issue.