(via) I’m a big old softee, and every now and then I’ll actually get choked up watching a commercial or music video. Here’s a perfect example. It’s a commercial created by Adam & Eve for the UK Retailer John Lewis, showing the life of a customer in a single minute.
It reminds me of the video for Elvis Costello’s Veronica for some reason. Maybe because both show a life from beginning to end, one linear and one nonlinear, or maybe it’s just because I watched that one drunken night a couple of weeks ago and it made me bawl like a baby.
Saturday is Free Comic Book Day, and if you’re interested in getting any of your comics defaced by me, I can be easily found at Rogues Gallery in Round Rock, Texas.
Who else will be there? Well, just this lineup of heavy hitters:
*Paul Tobin (Writer: Marvel Adventures, including this year’s Iron Man: Supernova)
*Colleen Coover (Artist on numerous projects, including Marvel Adventures comics)
*Chris Roberson (Writer: Vertigo’s Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love and I, Zombie)
*Paul Benjamin (Writer: Monsters, Inc., Hit Point High & Marvel Adventures Hulk)
*Alan Porter (Writer: Boom! Studios’ Cars)
*Scott Kolins (Writer: Solomon Grundy, Artist: Solomon Grundy, Blackest Night Flash)
*Paul Maybury (Artist: Comic Book Tattoo, Aqua Leung, Popgun)
*Nick Derington (Artist: Popgun, Madman, Catwoman)
*Matt Sturges (Writer: House of Mystery, Jack of Fables)
*Bill Williams (Writer: Angel, Pantheon)
And if you want me to scribble on your piping fresh copies of iZombie #1 next week, I’ll be doing a signing at Austin Books on May 5th, about which more in a little while.
I’ve been rereading Grant Morrison’s recent DC work lately, for no reason other than the fact that I adore it, and I’ve gotten up to the Black Glove collection of his run on Batman, and in particular the “Club of Heroes” story illustrated by JH Williams III. Back when these issues were first coming out a few years ago, I raved a few times about how this was my Batman, the one that I preferred to the grim-and-gritty urban avenger we’d been getting for so many years. But in rereading them now, I realized that I never raved publically about how terrific the art was in these issues.
If you aren’t familiar with the Club of Heroes, it was a silver age concept originally introduced in Detective Comics #215 in a story entitled “The Batmen of All Nations.”
Published in 1955, in the story Batman got together with a bunch of heroes who were inspired by his example — each with an appropriate bit of localization — and formed “The Batmen of All Nations.”
Later the group was expanded to included Superman and renamed “The Club of Heroes.” (For more about the silver age appearances, and about the similarly-themed “Green Arrows of the World,” check out the rundown I did back in 2007.)
In any event, early in his run on Batman Grant Morrison revisited the concept, reuniting Batman with the former member of the Club of Heroes for a strange weekend.
But as fantastic as the script for the issue was, where the story really shined was in the art of JHW3. The genius of the approach was that each of the different “Batmen” were drawn in the style of a different comic artist. And the styles chosen for each immediately suggested a whole history for the character since we saw them last.
Morrison’s script included all sorts of references to the unseen adventures of the other heroes (including setting up Chekov’s Guns on the wall that wouldn’t be fired until the villains mentioned in those references turned up years later in the pages of Batman and later Batman and Robin). So it was easy to assume that the idea to present the heroes in different styles had been Morrison’s, as well. Not so. In a series of posts on Barbelith Underground a short while later, Williams revealed that the whole thing had been his idea. And more, he generously explained his thinking for the different styles he employed.
Most of the references I had caught, but I’ll confess that a few of them passed me by until Williams pointed them out.
cheif man of bats– sort of a steve rude influence. i wanted something clean and a little goofy retro in this idea and thats what came out first shot. rude’s stuff always has this sort of 50′s 60′s nostalgic feeling to me and i wanted that for this character. but he needed to feel like the feelings you get when you look at those old silver age comics. charming in ways but also a little silly.
raven red– a very loose influence of basic 70′s early 80′s superhro comics with an almost generic quality to the costume. cheesy amd redundent. been there done that sort of feeling when you look at him.
gaucho– chaykin. for that rough around the edges feel and machismo that all of his characters have. his outfit is definitely not based on traditional gaucho clothing. instead i went for the el mariachi desperado films look. again to enhance his macho attiude.
wingman– very loosely based on gibbons from watchmen era. i wanted the costume to look as if this character could’ve existed in the watchman reality. it fits well with his attitude and feelings of being original but not really. sort of an interesting comment since watchmen was a very groundbreaking and original concept but used characters that had existed in a different form previously. make sense?
musketeer– is influenced by mid to late 80′s superhero ideas. maybe a little bit alan davis in there too. hence the simple color techniques with smooth grads for a sense of rendering.
legionary– i wanted to convey the sort of humorous but cynical qualities of some of the comics of the early 90′s. with maybe a little hint of kelly jones exaggeration in the mix. particularly with his death scene.
knight and squire– mcguinness influence. just because i loved the way he handled them previously and i wanted them to sync up to that.
dark ranger– definitely sprouse. i think that influence came out of the early sketch because the character really needed to feel vastly updated and different from his past appearance. and so he needed to feel really modern.
batman and robin– no influence here just me.
How awesome is that? Can’t you just imagine all of those Chris Sprouse-drawn adventures of the Dark Ranger? Or the light-hearted Steve Rude adventures of Chief Man-of-Bats? Or the sexual antics of the Howard Chaykin-drawn Gaucho?
Or, as JHW3 put it:
the whole idea here was to convey characters that have had real history that we haven’t been privy to. they were seen a very long time ago and that was pretty much it really. and grant wrote them as if they’ve been having lives and adventures all along and i wanted to see if i could make them seem as if they had stepped out of their own comics and into this one. so i imagined what those comics might currently look like but none of us have seen or read them. comics from another world? these clubbers needed to have distinct character traits immediately understandable becasue of the way the story moves with them. so i thought it would be an intersting challenge to see what affect ‘styles” would have on their personalities as i drew them. a nice experiment i think, which has produced interesting results. as i drew them i felt as if they were fully realized right away. they came alive.
Whole histories of the characters suggested simply by the choice of a particular artist’s style. Clever stuff.
Though it was solicited a while back, I haven’t really been able to talk before now about the other new comic project I’ve been working on. Entitled Dust To Dust, it is an original comic prequel to Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, fully-authorized by the PKD estate and published by the good people at Boom! Studios. Newsarama has posted an 8-page preview of the first issue, complete with variant covers. Check it out, won’t you?
UPDATED: And now Boom! Studios has posted their full press-release regarding the series, for a bit more detail.
I will also have prints with me at the SciFi Expo in Richardson, TX this weekend. I have a table in the small press area. I’ll also have other swag available and will be taking commissions. I hope to see you there!
I’m working on two projects now that involve creating new stories featuring characters created by my personal literary heroes and biggest creative influences. One of them I won’t be able to talk about for a little while yet, but the other cat is out of the bag. The long-running Philip José Farmer fanzine, Farmerphile, is undergoing a metamorphosis into an annual series of anthologies, with the first scheduled to come out in June of this year. I’m one of the writers lucky enough to be invited to contribute a new story featuring one of PJF’s characters or concepts, and I asked and was given permission to use Greatheart Silver.
THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER will be a series of books published annually for the foreseeable future. This year’s book will (most likely) contain:
A Foreword by Paul Malmont. An interview of Philip José Farmer from 1997 by Danny Adams.
Articles about Farmer by Randall Garrett, James Gunn, Laura Wilkes Carey, & Jack Mertes.
Farmer inspired fiction by David Bischoff, Chris Roberson, Rhys Hughes, Win Scott Eckert, Christopher Paul Carey, Edward Morris, Dennis E. Power, John Allen Small, Paul Spiteri, & Gabriel Weltstein.
And of course never-before-published material by Philip José Farmer himself! That’s right, the “Magic Filing Cabinet” continues to conjure up material by Phil for our reading pleasure.
And for you book collectors out there, THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER will be a numbered limited edition trade paperback. The release date is June 26th, during Farmercon V. We will only be printing 50 to 100 copies more than are pre-ordered, so to be sure you get a copy of this book, send an email to mike @ pjfarmer.com and reserve your copy today. You don’t have to pay for the book when you pre-order and if you request, the book will be signed by those contributors who happen to be at FarmerCon V, which is also acting as a launch party for the book.
If you’re interested in getting a copy, I strongly recommend placing a preorder, as quantities will be limited. (I don’t actually know how one goes about preordering a copy yet, but I’ll be updating this post shortly with details. And of course it’s pointed out to me that the instructions for preordering are right there in that last paragraph. I blame public schools.)
So yeah if you put in anything remotely LGBT+ related, it’s too impure for the children. Okay.
oh my god?????
Y’all wanna know another kicker? Restricted videos become demonetized. Some content creators are having their entire channels restricted (for a wide variety of reasons, not just LGBT stuff).
What this means, though, is that LGBT YouTubers are at serious risk of losing every penny of income from their channels. For some people, that’s their entire career. They rely on ad revenue to live. Many big channels support an entire crew of people working to make videos; personalities, editors, camera operators, artists, etc.
Google thinks we’re so inherently dangerous to children that they’re willing to ruin our livelihoods, and the livelihoods of everyone associated with us, in order to make the platform more appealing to big-name advertisers.
That’s it. That’s the whole reason for the crackdown.
They don’t care about their community or their creators. They only care about advertisers.
And they’re more than happy to throw LGBT people and their allies under the bus to win their favour.
I don’t have much to add other than this fucking SUCKS and I hope YouTube gets their act together post-haste
Ganges 6 will be out soon. I am proud of this comic book. You can pre-order it from What Things Do (link). I believe in tradition so I am posting about it here on Tumblr. I would appreciate it if you would help me spread the word, ask for it at your favorite bookstore, or tell a friend who you think might be into it this sort of thing. Thanks——
Kevin Huizenga’s long-running Ganges is one of my absolute favorite comic series. If you haven’t sampled it before, you owe it to yourself to hunt down one of the earlier issues, and you should absolutely ask your local comic shop to stock this forthcoming new installment.
Coming out is never easy — and when you’re coming out to someone who’s more than 60 years your senior, there’s more to overcome than in the usual “here, Grandma, let me explain the internet” conversation. But when 11-year-old Gavin Cueto told his grandma that he’s transgender, it was surprisingly smooth sailing. In fact, Nana Elaine puts any tired stereotype about close-minded older folks to shame.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance review copy of Titan Comics’ forthcoming series set in the world of Kim Newman’s “Anno Dracula” series, written by Newman with covers and interior art by Paul McCaffrey. I am a HUGE fan of the Anno Dracula stories (and of Newman’s work in general), and in fact I’m currently in the midst of rereading the entire series (I just finished Dracula Cha Cha Chalast night and am about to start in on Johnny Alucard). If you’re unfamiliar with the series, the basic conceit is “What if Dracula had won?” The first book in the series takes place in an alternate history where Dracula managed to best the fearless vampire hunters lead by Abraham Van Helsing, and went on to marry Queen Victoria and become Prince Consort. Together the two rule over an England where the living and the undead rub shoulders, and in subsequent installments Newman explores an alternate history in which vampires and humans co-exist openly. Part of the appeal of the series is that Newman mixes in fictional characters from a wide variety of sources in his cast, and for the hardcore fan there’s a lot of fun to be had in playing “spot the reference,” but the stories are structured in such a way that one needn’t have any prior knowledge, either of the characters or the historical setting, to read and appreciate them.
For anyone who has enjoyed any of the Anno Dracula novels, this new comic series is going to be a treat. Newman’s script is taut and clever, and the art by McCaffrey is absolutely gorgeous. But anyone who is unfamiliar with the series will find Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhew a perfect introduction to that world. This is not an adaption of any of the previously published novels, but an original story that takes place a few years after the events of the first novel, featuring characters from various points in the series along with several newcomers.
Anno Dracula is one of my favorite book series, written by one of my favorite writers, and I’m thrilled to see it expand into the comics medium. Look for it in better comic shops everywhere on March 22nd.