This last weekend I slept a lot. But it was that kind of sleep that no matter how much you get, you can never get enough. Coupled with some of ?teh sick?, things turned out to be fuzzily entertaining indeed.
I was moderately productive, in spite of my slumber-coma, and managed to get outside with my rather cute offspring.
I was also reminded just how long it takes to get HackMaster characters made.
But all that has little to do with comics, so let?s move on.
- : Sometimes
All the Rage
- has rumour, gossip and speculation. Please keep this in mind. This week you don?t have to worry about the aforementioned that much. But when that stuff does pop up, the factors listed what I feel the ?truthinormity? of that piece is. Other things factored are usually rated on how cool I think something must be. Considering I feel nearly all the content I throw in here is cool, the factors will be unsurprisingly high. Basically, just sit back with your favourite beverage of choice at work, home, school, in your automobile driving down the freeway, or wherever else you are reading this from and have a good time.
This week?s column is stuffed to the gills full of things and stuff.
However, I would like to say a few words that truly saddens me to write?
I would like to take a moment to be serious for a change?
This All the Rage is dedicated to James Redington and his friends and family. Many of you know him as the editor-in-chief and driving force behind Portent Comics, as well as the enthusiastic guy who brings us The Panel right here at SBC. Not to mention he was taking over The Real Mainstream (from friend Craig Johnston). I was told he passed away last Thursday; news which has hit us all pretty hard. James will be missed by a lot of folks, me included. It?s a sad time for anyone that knew him or knew of him, and for those who appreciate good comics.
How About Some Green Lantern?
It?s a good thing I dig Green Lantern, because I?m come across GL items often it seems. Someone dropped off to me this image, which is supposed to be a part of Green Lantern #21, along with a couple other images related to the issue. Make of it what you will. The cover for #21 looks great next to the colour image provided.
Isn?t It Nice When People Are? Nice?
I just thought I?d mention something I ran across, something that could have blown up into something nasty given different circumstances and different people.
Evan Dorkin (Milk and Cheese, Dork!) gives his opinion on some kind of perfume line based on Neil Gaiman?s works that he noticed in previews.
Of course, some other folks have opinions, too. Personally, I feel the fragrance thing is silly, but hey, it?s for charity, right?
Neil Gaiman (Sandman, a whole bunch of other stuff) responds in his blog. It isn?t nasty. It isn?t angry. As a matter of fact, Mr. Gaiman gets the fact that Mr. Dorkin was joking.
Nothing all that controversial, sure, but I love the fact that this didn?t turn into a pissing match.
This Has A ?We Are The World? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten
Alex de Campi is Getting Some News
Not everything can be milk, cookies, and good times in the industry, however. Alex de Campi seems to have stirred up noise. There was this post at V-Hive, in response to Brian Wood?s query on how her meeting at Vertigo went:
- It was great, in that it made me realise that I really have no interest in making any further efforts to get published by Vertigo, ever. There’s just nobody there I click with.When Shelly came out to get me from Reception I swear to God I thought she was the floor security guard. Black man-trousers, sensible shoes. skinny red stripy tie and white blouse. I was like NO I WASN’T TOUCHING THE KRYPTONITE, HONEST MA’AM oh you’re Shelly? HIIIIIII. When we got to her office, Shelly dismissed all my ideas out of hand – the pitch-book that Federica and Bertozzi and I took like two weeks to make, without even looking at it – then asked me if I wanted to write a pitch based on a newspaper article she had read that morning. I know people produce some great work there, but oh dear heavens, not my kind of place. The Minx freebies were so bad, I left them at Haspiel’s place as I couldn’t be arsed to take them home.
This seemed to set off some folks? In one direction or another. Keep reading the thread if you like.
Looking at my notes, I think that?s where I gave up looking into the whole thing. I?m not being snarky or anything; there are just some things not worth pursuing in my mind. I got some correspondence from quite a few people on this issue, too. As you can imagine, there were folks angry over the whole thing and those who feel that de Campi ?burned her bridges? and ?committed career suicide?. I think those were the two most common comments. I even heard about a drinking game involving Ms. de Campi.
I suppose some of you out there wanted me to take her to task. The thing is, I?d hardly even heard of her until about a week ago. Note: that?s not an insult; merely a statement of fact. So, if you think about it, now she gets even more exposure.
Brilliant, really. I knew bands that would do this. It?s quite effective. You have to raise your profile somehow, right? There?s life outside of Marvel or DC. Or at least there better be, considering what I?ve been hearing? Time will tell.
And you see, this is where the laziness comes in. I?d rather be doing something else than writing about this? Like, say, talking to someone about their projects.
This Has A ?When Is There Going To Be A GG Allin Of Comics?? Factor Of Six Out Of Ten
One thing I wasn?t lazy about this week was conducting a few mini-interviews. Let?s start with C.B. Cebulski, who?s a very, very busy individual. Not only does he write a lot of stuff, be he also works for Marvel as a consultant. Currently some of the items you can read with his name on it are Loners, Drain, Spider-Man Fairy Tales (#2 is excellent)? and the outstanding Wonderlost.
Before you dive into the mini-interview, be sure to check out C.B. owning the camera at Wizard World Philly here. I have to say: nice work on the interview, guys.
If you need more background information on Wonderlost, read this older interview with C.B. over at Newsarama here.
On to even more Wonderlost!
ATR: How are things coming along with Wonderlost so far?
CBC: Fantastic! I’m so happy with the way issue two is developing. I’ve got several of the artists from issue one returning, as well as several new faces involved with a couple recognizable industry names along for the ride. I’ve personally been having trouble figuring out which stories to include in this volume. I have so many to tell that it’s hard to pick and choose. But while issue one was my “romance” issue, the second volume has now established its own strong POV as well, being about a lot of the first experiences I had growing up. And before anyone asks, I will not be dealing with THAT “first time”.
ATR: Not gonna go there, huh? *laughs* So, how would you explain Wonderlost to those who haven’t read the previous volume?
CBC: Nah, that first time sucked and is something I would rather forget than relive.
ATR: I wish I could say I could remember mine more clearly. Probably a good thing though…
CBC: As for how I would describe Wonderlost… It’s a walk down memory lane in comic book format. It’s an autobiographical anthology about my experiences as a teenager, learning about love and life. But while they’re stories about my experiences growing up I like to think that they’re stories that everyone can relate to. We’ve all had to grow up and while everyone lives their own lives, a lot of us go through similar things… more than you can imagine.
ATR: Yup, I think people are more alike than they care to admit.
CBC: Reaction to the first book has really made that clear to me as I have gotten countless letters and e-mails telling me how the tales I told in the first volume have taken people back to their pasts and made them remember things they went through in high school. The individual circumstances and situations may be different, but the feelings and emotions are universal.
ATR: Exactly. And I think you nailed it with the first issue. How long do you plan to write Wonderlost?
CBC: For as long as I think I can tell interesting stories really. I keep going back into my memories and pulling from the well. There’s more there to tell than I originally thought. Volume One was all about high school. and the time immediately following it. Volume Two continues some of the high school adventures but moves us into a few college adventures as well. I have Wonderlost loosely plotted out through issue six at this point, which will take us into my Japanese years– which were a blast.
However, I’ve recently been pondering a format change, about going direct to OGN in 2008, so that plan may change. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Getting a 64 page issue together is hard work in itself. Putting it out in a longer format is going to be even harder.
ATR: I bet! When should we expect #2?
CBC: October. Look for the Steve McNiven cover!
ATR: Nice! Leinil Yu did a great job with the first one.
CBC: Indeed! He rocked that cover!!
ATR: Okay, so besides Wonderlost you’re doing Spider-Man Fairy Tales, Drain and kicking ass with Loners… anything you’re up to?
CBC: That a pretty big workload as is, looking at it that way. But all the Spider-Man Fairy Tales scripts are wrapped and I’ve moved into Avengers Fairy Tales at this point. I continue to lobby for more Loners and will hopefully have some news on that front soon. Legion of Monsters 4 with a Dracula/Lilith story by myself and David Finch hits next month. And a story I did for Ivan Brandon‘s 24/7 Volume 2 with Nuno Plati hits this summer as well.
ATR: I’m really looking forward to your Legion of Monsters… I think I’ve raved about it on here before, in fact.
CBC: And let’s not forget Compass, my new manga mini-series coming from Image in August, co-written by Akihide Yanagi with art by Ryusuke Hamamoto of Evangelion and Sun, Sea, Sir fame! Other than that, I have a few other things in the pipeline as well.
ATR: Geez… So when do you sleep??
CBC: I love what I do and that keeps me energized. I do love my sleep though!
ATR: A happy workaholic, then?
CBC: Yup! I always bite off more than I can chew. I know it’s a problem, but I can?t help it. When opportunity knocks, I answer. Saying “no” is tough. I have done it more recently, and I regret it every time.
ATR: You may need a 12 step program one day… But I fear it will probably just end up as another story by you. And then I’ll buy it. Life’s funny that way.
ATR: Alright, man, very cool having you on here. You come back now, y’hear?
CBC: Any time, Steve!
Make sure to keep up with C.B.?s activities via his blog. That?s where I lifted these images from:
William Harms on Impaler
I?ve always said: if you are going to create and write a comic called Impaler (link: http://www.impalercomic.com) (out from Image), then you should have a last name like Harms. William Harms seems to fit the bill nicely.
Wait– that?s a pun, isn?t it.
I would be somewhat ashamed if I was capable of feeling such a thing.
So, yeah, Bill writes this great comic called Impaler, which is illustrated by The Nicks (Nick Postic and Nick Marinkovich). Recently Impaler was nominated for an International Horror Guild Award (best Illustrated Narrative) which prompted me to send forth some minions to make contact. This is the result?
ATR: Congrats to you guys on the International Horror Guild Award nomination for Impaler! How does it feel to get this kind of recognition for your book?
WH: The award is not related to the comic book industry at all, so to have a group of people who read massive amounts of horror tell you that they think your work should be considered for recognition is pretty damn awesome. And it?s also a nice way of validating the approach of Impaler from day one, which was to put a new and interesting spin on the entire mythos of vampires. I was on cloud nine the day I found out.
ATR: For our readers out there who have had the dire misfortune of never experiencing your’s and the Nick’s title, could you please briefly explain to us in your own words what Impaler is all about?
WH: In the world of Impaler, Vlad Tepes (often cited as the historic basis for Stoker?s Dracula) isn?t a vampire, he?s a vampire hunter. He last fought the vampires a few hundred years ago and has been in limbo waiting for them to return. When the vampires arrive in modern-day NYC, Vlad comes in to kick some vampire ass, but it?s too late?NYC is destroyed. And caught in the middle is a small group of human survivors lead by a retiring police detective named Victor Dailey. To anyone who would like to check out previews of the first three issues, please head over to http://www.impalercomic.com.
ATR: And what’s with the delays? Not that I mind too much, as I love the comic, but I’m just wondering…
WH: Working on an independent comic book is a lot of hard work. Most people who do comics like Impaler have outside jobs and they do comics when they have the time. I know everyone from readers to retailers hate delays, but sometimes they can?t be avoided.
ATR: What’s next with Impaler? What delightful carnage do you have planned that you can tease us with?
WH: The ending of issue six is going to take a lot of people by surprise. One of the guiding principles behind the book is the question: If vampires were real, how would the world respond? And the ending of six is the natural extension of that. On the business side of things, there are some really exciting things in the works. Hopefully they?ll be announced within the next couple of months.
ATR: Anything else you have going on we should know about?
WH: I just finished work on a three-issue horror series, and an artist is working on some sample pages/character designs right now. That should be rolling in a couple of months. And I?m also working on a novel and have been in talks with folks about some other stuff.
This Has A ?We?ll Always Have Wallachia? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten
Brandon Jerwa: Putting His Writing Where His Mouth Is
I?m sure it?s no secret that writer Brandon Jerwa (G.I. Joe, Battlestar Galactica: Zarek and Season Zero) is a buddy of mine. We live near each other, run in the same social circles, knew each other (or at least of each other) before either of us ever came near the comic book biz (local music scene, in case you?re wondering), we have families, interests, breathe in oxygen, and other things in common. We?re always bugging each other about something (usually nerdy things) and so I thought it would be neat for him to talk about what he?s up to lately? you know, because I like to have him in ATR and, well, I?m lazy and just knew he?d chew up a great deal of space (but in a good way, mind). So, not too long ago, he sends me what you see below. I felt it was perfect the way it was and decided to edit it as little as possible. It?s almost like he?s co-writing the column in order to gain maximum self-pimpery. Not that we should mind? He does so in an excellent way. Those of you who may be worried– don?t be, as this won?t be a regular thing. Or will it?? Hmmm? I guess it all depends on who wants to write pieces. Any takers?
You just know that someone just had a hissy-fit somewhere. That?s one of the reasons why I love this gig so much.
Enough about that. Brandon, what the heck are you doing in my column, man?
Well, part of the reason I?m dropping by for a little bit of Rage today is because I?ve actually seen your system in action, and it works!
(Steve Note: The hookers and blow work? Wow! My wife won?t be so mad after all!)
Example # 1: I spoke to you in an interview once and mentioned a particular book I?ve long been interested in writing. No less than 24 hours later, a well-known publisher (that I?ve long hoped to work for) contacted me to talk about that project and there?s been a bit of serious movement towards making that happen.
Example # 2: In a separate interview just a short while ago, I put out a call for an artist to adapt Charles Dickens? ?A Christmas Carol? into comic form, and my inbox was flooded with responses! I ended up drafting a really enthusiastic, experienced artist into service on the book and I?ve got the pages to prove it?but we?ll talk about that in a minute.
Now, I?ve been fairly lucky in the years since I made my comics debut. I?ve only gone a few random months without work and I?m actually reaching a new personal high with three books a month in August and September. The folks at Dynamite Entertainment have really put a lot of faith in me to deliver the goods for Highlander, Battlestar Galactica (Zarek, Season Zero and Pegasus) and my forthcoming Eva: Daughter of the Dragon and Savage Tales pieces. I really enjoy working for them and I hope I continue to do so for a long time, but I also know that I have to pursue every sensible avenue that?s open to me along the way.
I?ve been finding more receptive ears at the other companies lately, including the Big Two; there are things in varying degrees of motion, but the hard, cold reality of the freelance lifestyle is that all of those spinning plates can suddenly lose momentum and you find yourself working at a convenience store or something. I don?t want ? I can?t allow ? that to happen.
So, keeping in mind the good fortune I?ve had in manifesting opportunities after talking about them on All The Rage, I?ve brought some exclusive ?first looks? at three new projects I?m working on. They?re all currently homeless, but who knows? We?ve been lucky so far – maybe this little experiment in self-promotion will remedy that situation. Third time?s the charm, you know, and while taking these books to Image is certainly a consideration, I don?t want to leave any stones unturned.
In no particular order, let?s start with
THE BALANCE tells the story of a shadow organization called Overguard Red. The members of this covert unit answer to a secret committee comprised of five representatives from five nations: The U.S.A., Great Britain, Israel, Germany and Japan. Overguard Red is tasked with maintaining a front line defense against worldwide terrorism, putting the needs of the many ahead of arguments about jurisdiction. Simply put, if the Overguard is chasing you, the other agencies probably don?t even have your name on a list yet.
This book is about real-world terrorism and the people who put their lives on the line to fight it. No super-villains, no crazy schemes, no unrealistic sci-fi elements. It?s political, it?s current and it?s totally monopolizing every bit of free space in my brain at the moment! If I can find a good supportive home for this book and maintain some degree of control over its content, I believe this will be the thing that stands the test of time throughout my career. I?d really like it to be the concept that I keep coming back to whenever I?m afforded the possibility.
I?ve got a great co-creator along for the ride, too. DAVID MESSINA is currently doing some great stuff at IDW and we?ve wanted to work together for a while now, ever since our good mutual friend Stefano Caselli made the introductions. At the moment, David?s paying work has to take priority (and rightfully so), but he?s planning to use an upcoming break in his schedule to start working on some sample pages that are sure to look brilliant. In the meantime, you can see some of David?s work here: http://www.davidmessinart.blogspot.com/
Our ideal format is a PG-13 rated series of 48 page one-shots released three or four times a year. Obviously, a paying situation could change that plan, but we?re sticking to it for now. THE BALANCE is also intended to read like a television show, because I truly believe it has that ultimate potential. Each book will have a five-page intro segment that leads into the ?opening credits? and then the story proper. Stories will stand alone, but there will be over-arcing plot points.
JASON MASON AND THE GHOSTS HE?S CHASIN?
The story is simple: 9-year-old Jason Mason enlists his friends Margarita McGill and Chauncey Dover to help him follow in his late father?s ghost-hunting footsteps. This book was on a fast track for a well-known Manga publisher?and then it all just sort of fell apart. It wasn?t a situation I had any control over, so I filed it away and hoped we?d eventually find a publisher for this really enjoyable all-ages idea.
When I say ?we? I mean myself and the artist who joined the project during its development His name is Rob Guillory, and I?ll let him speak for himself:
?I’m an artist and writer based in Lafayette, LA. Prior to breaking into the industry, my sequential experience includes over 300 weekly strips in my college paper. Kind of a crash course in sequential storytelling. Since then, my published works include contributions to ACTOR Comics Presents with CB Cebulski and Dark Horse Comics’ Blade of the Immortal. Upcoming work includes Ape Entertainment’s Teddy Scares, Postcards 2 from Villard, Image Comics’ PopGun Anthology, as well as an untitled Sam Cooke bio-comic written by Jason Rodriguez and Chris Stevens. I’ll also be publishing a huge creator-owned project through Ape Entertainment titled Shortbus Superstars!, co-written by Mark Smith (Image’s Amazing Joybuzzards) in early 2008.?
Believe me when I tell you, folks ? Rob is the ONLY artist for Jason Mason. I knew it as soon as I saw his first pages come in. Hey, Rob ? why don?t you tell the kids what attracted you to the project enough to stick with it even after it became homeless?
?Well, I think the subtle depth that the story has as a whole, really. There’s a very “big picture” feel to “Jason” that goes beyond the typical kiddie action story. Brandon came to me with a very clear picture of where he wanted the story to go. At the same time, he allowed me to put a lot of myself into the art style and characterizations, which was heaven for me as an artist.
?Above all else, it’s just a lot of fun to draw. I mean, I get to draw big friggin’ monsters in this thing. What more could I ask for? I’m a big fan of putting fun and humor into whatever work I do, and there’s definitely a lot of that in this story.?
Rob?s doing some great stuff with Jason Mason and his pals, but don?t take MY word for it ? take a look at the pages for yourself!
I have plots outlined for several books in the series, and I can even tell you how the whole thing ends?because it does have a finite ending. There?s plenty of time to have some good ghostly fun along the way, though!
A CHRISMAS CAROL
As I mentioned earlier, I found artist Brett Barkley via an open call for artists in this very column, so it?s only proper that I return here to discuss the project. Take it away, Brett?
- I?m Brett Barkley. While I work primarily in advertising, I have always loved comics and have aspired to be a part of the industry since I was young. In 2002, I illustrated a couple pieces for Moonstone, one a short story with the talented novelist James Lowder, and the other a 48 page book with the great William Messner-Loebs. In 2004 I did the zero/prequel issue for Phantom Jack, which was bound in the TPB and briefly published through Speakeasy before it collapsed. I?m very excited to again be working with a talented writer on a project I truly love, and look forward to many more comics projects in the future.
I’m a regular reader of the All the Rage column, but for some reason I can’t recall, was out of the office when the mid-March column ran detailing Brandon’s search for an artist for an adaptation of Dickens? A Christmas Carol. When I finally had a chance to read it, I was immediately interested. I’ve cherished A Christmas Carol since I was very young. I can still remember staying up to watch the late-night Holiday airings of the films when I was just a boy. However, because the article suggested Brandon was looking for artists and several days had already passed since the column had been posted, I figured the position had already been filled. I decided to contact Brandon anyway, as I’ve been trying to get established in the comics field, and thought it couldn’t hurt to at least drop Brandon a line; if all else failed, maybe I’d at least I’d show Brandon my stuff on the chance he?d consider me the next time he started developing a new project.
Brandon was quick to reply and confirmed my fears that even he had been surprised at the number of interested artists, but I felt an instant connection with him over his love of the source material. It wasn?t long after our first conversation that Brandon contacted me with the good news, and ever since I have been very grateful for the chance to work with him on a book we both truly love.
There?s no brilliant new twist to the story ? no cyborgs, no altered settings, no ?fresh new take? – this is pure Dickens, rendered in 48-page comic book style with narration and dialogue lifted straight from the classic tale (which is in the public domain). Plus, it?s the kind of thing that you can produce once and roll out every year if the interest is there. You can buy it for a non-comic reader and put it in their stocking if you?d like.
I think it?s one of the finest stories ever put to paper and I believe that it should be carried on in many different formats. In fact, I?m going to surprise my hard-working artist and say for the record that I will not accept a single red cent for working on this book! Scripting for Dickens is an honor and while I do have to create a script for Brett to follow, he?s the one doing all the heavy lifting, handling the pencils, inks and colors on his end. Check ?em out ? it?s like Christmas in July!
You can reach me at email@example.com if you?d like to hear / discuss more about these books. And if you?re a fan who would like to see these books published, let your favorite publisher know ? soon!
This Has A ?My Head, My Head!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten
UK Indie Front: Your Round — Tequila!
Now here?s an anthology comic I can get behind. One that involves drinking. Your Round: Tequila is the first offering from Olive Press in this series which is described as ?a new anthology series of pub stories. Each book will contain short comic stories that tell tales of various ‘adventures’ that happen when under the influence. Each issue is named after a different drink (in this case Tequila) and its cover features a drink label of said drink, rather than a typical pin-up style image.?
Ah, my 20s. My 20s and drinking were the best of mates, they were. Booze, girls, and music. And strangers? cosy front lawns. Waking up in unfamiliar cities. Waking up in Poland. Being carried around more than a high school football star. Anyhow, it never occurred to me to make a comic anthology based on it. Damn.
Stay tuned for more on this project by Declan Shalvey (Hero Killers), James Hodgkins (Batman vs. Aliens, Jenny Sparks), and Bob Byrne (2000 AD; Bob Byrne’s Twisted Tales).
It will have it?s big launch at the Birmingham International Comics Show.
This Has A ?Cheers!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten
Parting Shots and In Closing
Quite a few parting shots this week?
An open letter beseeching Michael Bay to direct a Superman flick. ?Superman: Man of Steel needs you and I hope Jon Peters in his infinite wisdom understands this.?
Well, worth the read.
Go get your super comic geek on over here and delve into all thirty-six issues (plus some extras) of Action for some great comics (like Hook Jaw!) from good ol? 1976.
The Sgt. Mike Battle website is getting more content. I really love this comic? and so does my dad (!). Probably one of the better homebrew comics out there. What are you waiting for? Report for duty (i.e. check the site out).
Last but certainly not least, check out this cool image and desktop wallpaper a friend of mine did. Very nice, indeed.
For your internet stalking needs:
Oh, and I?m on Facebook. For whatever that?s worth?
Until next time, dear readers?
P.S. Remember last week?s P.S.? Drinking making it fuzzy? Hey, that happens to me, too. It was concerning the title of the column, ?Duct Tape Makes You Smart?. Props to those of you who wrote in and answered correctly. It was from the best new show on TV, USA?s Burn Notice. One lucky person out there gets the bonus points, being first and all. And here you go, sir:
[Editor?s Note: We would like to apologize for the lateness of this instalment of All The Rage. Real life really kicked our asses at SBC this week. Apologies.]