I’ve recently begun working as an Assistant Editor at ComicBookResources.com, but even more fun — I’m now a contributing writer, too. Huzzah! Mission accomplished! Super pumped for this gig.
Here are intros to my articles with CBR thus far, mostly being coverage of Comic-Con International in San Diego last month and a couple reviews. Click through to the full articles if they interest you.
“Black Kiss” couldn’t be any more mature and still considered mainstream — it’s more layered than “Tarot,” but far from Manara. Gratuitously lubing crime noir with erotica and a spurt of horror, “Black Kiss” is Howard Chaykin’s definitive mark on all three genres.
The original “Black Kiss” takes violence to the extreme with a secret undertone frequently implied but never confirmed. It’s great stuff — stuff you should keep in-between your mattress so unsuspecting eyes don’t find it. “Black Kiss II” has a lot to live up to, and while the original is not required reading for newcomers, this issue gives off strong prequel vibes, taking place roughly 70 years before the original.
In 1992, Valiant promised a dramatically different alternative to Marvel and DC’s superhero lines. The company aimed to offer readers quality superhero comics sporting top-tier talent with an indie edge. “Harbinger” was one of the company’s earliest releases, and in a sentence, it was a street-level superhero series with a splash of sci-fi, populated by teens who have supernatural abilities and a man who wishes to control them.
In the opening storyline, aptly titled “The Beginning,” writer Jim Shooter and penciller David Lapham began their tale in the just-passed year of 1991. Kids with superior abilities, dubbed “Harbingers,” are encouraged to train under the wing of Toyo Harada at his Harbinger Foundation to learn how to control their powers. A shadier version of the X-Men’s Professor Xavier, Harada has discovered a particular teen with a superior telepathic skill set: Peter Stanchek.
Artist and writer Terry Moore, known for his strong female protagonists and bringing women readers into comics, spoke on his properties with a receptive crowd during a panel at Comic Con International in San Diego. Moore, whose original work is published through his own company, Abstract Studios, touched on the future of his currently ongoing title”Rachel Rising,” his last project “Echo,” the 20th anniversary of the Eisner Award winning series, “Strangers in Paradise,”the meaning of life and where he stands in the Creationist vs Evolutionist debate.
Moore opened with a touch of humor before diving into his horror title “Rachel Rising,” “We’re here to talk about my books — ‘Twilight,’ ‘Twilight Part 2,’ ‘After Twilight’ and ‘What to Do After The Next Twilight.’ Surprise! I’m doing a horror series.”
“The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics ‘Zombies’” panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego came on the final day of the event, appropriately scheduled after the CCAS Sunday Devotional and Christian Comics panel in Room 32AB. Focusing on pre-Comics Code 1950s horror comics, the panel was led by Eisner Award-winning comics historian and co-editor of Yoe Books, Craig Yoe, and Steve “Karswell” Banes, host of TheHorrorsOfItAll.comvintage comics blog, which to date has over 1,500 horror shorts posted.
IDW Publishing and Yoe Books recently released “Zombies,” a hardcover collection of 1950s horror comics hand picked by Yoe and Banes. The book is already sold out on the distributor level, and is the duo’s third horror collection through IDW, including “Bob Powell’s Terror” and “Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein.”
In front of a packed crowd during his panel titled “My Two Years with Dawkins, Christ and a Small Crab Called Eric” atComic-Con International in San Diego, artist, writer and indie filmmaker Dave McKean recounted two recent life events on radically opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum: an all-ages book he illustrated with scientist and Atheism proponent Richard Dawkins called “The Magic of Reality,” and a film he shot starring Michael Sheen in Port Talbot, Wales called “The Gospel of Us,” a modern day interpretation of “The Passion” story chronicling Jesus Christ’s final days of life on Earth.
McKean is a man who is all about the experience. “I’m not cut out for this [business], I don’t have skin thick enough,” McKean said in his British accent. “I make hopelessly uncommercial decisions, I’m terrible at that. But my thought is — if there’s something personal for me to get out of the experience, I can do it.
Reminiscent of Valiant Entertainment’s status in the comic market for over a decade, theValiantFans.com: The Unofficial “Summer of Valiant” panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego was tucked away in the back corner of the Convention Center and played to a small, but enthusiastic crowd, and after the panel had ended, Valiant CCO Dinesh Shamdasani gave CBR exclusive first word on the return of the popular Gold Logo Program.
Brian Wells of Valiantfans.com hosted the fan-run panel for the first time since 2007 — only this year Valiant has a line-up of titles currently being published. “X-O Manowar,” “Harbinger,” the newly released “Bloodshot” and “Archer & Armstrong” in August complete what has been dubbed “The Summer of Valiant.”
A star-studded team of creators joined writer and creator Bill Willingham for the “Fables” spotlight panel celebrating Vertigo Comics’ long running fairytale series at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Editor Shelly Bond, artists Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andy Lanning, Andrew Pepoy, letterer Todd Klein, colorist Lee Loughridge and writers Lauren Beukes and Sean E. Williams were present. Artist Shawn McManus was scheduled to attend but could not make it. As the panel began, Willingham made a surprise announcement, much to the dismay of the jam packed audience: “This will be my last San Diego show for awhile. Only because there are so many good shows now and I had to turn down others to do this and it’s time to give others a shot. We need to mix it up a little bit.”
But that announcement wasn’t the only surprise in store for the crowd, as Willingham unveiled another convention-related piece of information. “We’re going to have a nearly-all ‘Fables’ dedicated con called Fabletown and Beyond – it’s ‘Fables’ and books like ‘Fables.’”
To kick off his spotlight panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, “The Tick” creator and “Supernatural”executive producer/writer, Ben Edlund, was granted a 2012 Ink Pot Award — Comic-Con’s achievement award given for excellence overall since 1974.
Nerdist Writer’s Panel host and “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” co-creator Ben Blacker served as moderator for Edlund’s spotlight panel, also joined by actor Shadoe Stevens – who often interjected oddball questions with his deep, booming voice. Surprising the crowd halfway through the discussion with his witty bass was musician and voice actor Doc Hammer, and “The Venture Bros.”creator, Jackson Publick. The group had the appearance of easy going surfers with their long, wavy hair, cool sunglasses and hip hats.
The RevolutiONIze Comics panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego was hosted by Oni Presseditor-in-chief, James Lucas Jones, and played to a small crowd of around a dozen when it commenced but filled out over time. The panelists, some of whom arrived late, included a lineup of the company’s hottest up and coming creators: Brahm Revel of “Guerillas,” Matt Dembicki of “XOC,” Scott C. of “Double Fine Action Comics,” Rich Stevens of “Diesel Sweeties” and Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurttthe writer/artist team on the supernatural-western hit,”The Sixth Gun.”
Feeling out the room, Jones asked the crowd what their favorite part of Comic-Con has been so far, to which Stevens set the tone for his words to come, saying, “The giant Power Ranger statue. And his giant package. I got a picture.”
Archaia Entertainment’s “How To Tell A Better Story Through World Building” panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego was not to be missed by up and coming creators seeking to produce their own original stories. Hosted by Archaia Editor-in-Chief,Stephen Christy, the panel featured three experts on the subject of world building: “Mouse Guard’s” David Petersen, “Rust” creator, Royden Lepp, and “Cursed Pirate Girl’s” Jeremy Bastian. The three creators shared their intricate thoughts on what went into creating their unique, rich worlds to a standing room only crowd.
Christy began by citing key elements which go into successful world building and the implementation of those ideas on the printed page: Characters and costumes, culture, history, language and colloquialisms, and location and architecture. Christy said the process is almost theatrical in nature — what goes into making a great world in the sequential format are all elements representative in the best stage productions throughout history.
I’ll post more as they go live. Thanks for checking out my stuff!