Stop knitting your Spider-Man costume for a few minutes, ATR readers, and take some time to read the latest news and rumours?

Countdown Re-Dux

Expect to see another Countdown one-shot next summer from DC comics. Like the previous one, it will be specially priced and will feature characters and plotlines that lead to some important events for the DCU in 2007.

DC is actually planning on doing an annual Countdown type special (even if there is no crossover) to promote new mini series, launches, and so on. In fact, Dan Didio expects ?Countdown? to enter the DC lexicon much like ?Crisis? and ?Year One?.

This Has A ?He Is Watching? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten


The Longbow Hunter

Over on his blog, Andy Diggle gave a brief description of his Green Arrow Year one mini series:

    Jock and I are re-teaming for the first time since we finished THE LOSERS.

Zero spandex. Just a man, a bow, a jungle island and two dozen homicidal Kalashnikov-wielding heroin traffickers.

Complications, as they say, ensue.

GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE. 2007.

For Green Arrow fans, this is just the beginning, DC has major plans for Ollie in 2007, as he will be a big player across the DCU next year.

This Has A ? Don?t Forget About Connor? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Vamps

Eric Basaldua sent us this preview image for an upcoming Vampirella cover:

This Has A ?Seductress? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


Black Mercy

Mathew Spatola has been updating his blog with news on upcoming stories and other media and merchandising tie-ins about the Venger. Fans of his should log on regularly to see what is coming up.

One item of note is that The Venger: Dead Man Rising is being posted as a free webcomic. So, for people who want a free taste of an amazing independent comic book, click away.

This Has A ?Keep The Trenchcoat? Factor Of Nine Ten Out Of Ten


Into the Bleed

Now that Planetary has reached its conclusion (except for an epilogue issue that will come out in 2007), DC is pushing Warren Ellis to produce a Planetary Guide one-shot. Warren has stated that he is not sure if he wants to revisit the property though, aside from the issue 27 epilogue.

One interesting item of note is that years ago there was talk of a spin-off called Interplanetary, which readers of the final issue (especially looking at the last few pages) can deduce what the premise will be.

So, will DC/Widlstorm continue with the property after the original creative team is done? We?ll probably find out sometime in late 2007?

This Has A ?The Further Adventures Of Elijah Snow? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


Friends of Bill Mantlo

Old school comic book fans remember Bill Mantlo as the writer of Rom, Micronauts, The Hulk, and many more classic comics from the 70s and 80s.

Though not news to many in the comics community, I was saddened to hear that M. Mantlo was the victim of a hit and run incident and has still not fully recovered.

Over on his website, writer/illustrator David Yurkovich is soliciting donations to help out M. Mantlo, and talks about a benefit book whose proceeds will be donated to help M. Mantlo:

MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS

    is being produced as a non-profit venture. All proceeds from sales of the book are being donated to Bill’s caregiver to help ensure that Bill’s daily needs can be met. The book is planned for a late spring 2007 release.

In writing MANTLO: A LIFE IN COMICS, Yurkovich spent dozens of hours sorting through archival interviews with Mantlo to provide a tribute book about Bill that features Bill’s story in his own words.

As an added bonus, the project features previously unpublished fiction by Mantlo, including the short story AFTERMATH (which Yurkovich has adapted into sequential format). While Bill’s work continues to appear in reprinted form, AFTERMATH represents the first new graphic story of Bill’s in nearly two decades. The project will also feature a variety of previously unpublished cartoons both written and drawn by Bill.

Click on the link to find out more and lets see if the comics community can rally together to help one of their own.

This Has A ?Classic Creator? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Pre-Ultimate Interview

In a cool instance of synchronicity, Stuart Immonen gave ATR a short interview just prior to the announcement that he will be taking over Ultimate Spider-Man from Mark Bagley. We had contacted Stuart to talk about the end of Nextwave, his art process and get some teases as to his future work.

ATR: Tell us about the cover process for NEXTWAVE. Fans loved the covers and they have been described as some of the most original concept covers in a long time. Walk us through the process from concept to finish.

SI: I recently covered this very issue at length on my own site… but basically, it’s a free-for-all. There are no proscribed parameters, so I can explore concepts and design ideas as I see fit, as long as at least one of the characters is featured.

With that in mind, I’ll play with colour combinations, or consider a striking composition, and present a colour digital collage to my editor. If he likes it, and higher-ups approve it, I can go ahead and pencil any elements that require pencilling (notably, the figures). I’ll scan these and ink them in Photoshop, then replicate the collage at print resolution. I use clip art, photos I’ve taken, and 3D, vector and raster elements. Whatever the idea demands.

ATR: What did you enjoy drawing the most in NEXTWAVE? How was it working with Warren Ellis?

SI: For me, it’s not really a matter of enjoying or not. It’s all part of the job. If I’m not particularly interested in drawing castles or monsters or robots (not necessarily the case, mind you), I’ll still approach those pages with the same enthusiasm as I would anything else. It’s a profession, not a hobby, you know?

I get asked about what it’s like working with Warren a lot. Chip Zdarsky sat beside me at a recent convention in Toronto, and figured it was every other question. It’s almost exactly like working with anyone else. I get the scripts from my editor. I turn in my pages to the editor. I have no contact with Warren. However, he turns in a solid job every time. He gives me a lot to work with, material the reader never sees, but material that makes my work better.

ATR: How did you approach redesigning the NEXTWAVE characters? Who stood out as your favourite to draw?

SI: I didn’t really know much about the characters in their original incarnations (nor was it required), so I didn’t consider it redesigning, really. Since they were being completely visually reinvented, there was no need to pay homage to some other costume. I treated them like brand-new characters. I rather like Monica Rambeau, and think I treat her with respect, which, unfortunately her fans don’t seem to perceive.

ATR: What writers would you like to team up with in the future? What characters would you like to draw in the future?

SI: Again, I don’t really think about these things. I don’t follow a lot of mainstream comics, and I’ve had the good fortune to have already worked with some high-calibre talent in the last twenty years. Similarly, I’ve done stints on Superman, the Hulk, Thor, FF? I’ve drawn Spider-Man, the JLA, the Avengers, the Legion? so I’ve covered most of the superhero characters? Tintin, maybe.

See the previous comment on comics as profession. My job is to draw the stories I’m given (or have written myself, as has happened on occasion) to the best of my ability in a fashion that suits the characters and the genre. I don’t care if it has unicorns, or spaceships or what.

ATR: Any future projects you can tease us about? Any scoops?

SI: Well, my Marvel contract keeps me busy. Nextwave has a few issues yet? the phrase “koo koo bananas” comes up frequently in conversations with my boss, the lovely Nick Lowe.

Thereafter, I’ll be working on a multi-part story for the new Marvel Comics Presents with writer Kathryn Immonen, she of the Flash, Captain America, and Mutant X. And after that, well, rumours abound. [ATR Note: After this interview was completed Stuart was announced as the new penciller on Ultimate Spider-Man.]

Never As Bad As You Think, our weekly webcomic, will be collected in print some time in the new year, and 50 Reasons To Stop Sketching At Conventions continues to get picked up by indie-minded retailers. I’m really grateful for the positive response so far.

That’s a pretty full plate, I think. It keeps me out of trouble, anyway.

This Has A ?Canadian Talent? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Give some comics away for Halloween folks, kids will love them and they don?t cause tooth decay, they only rot your brain! See you all next week!


About The Author