Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Indie Spotlight - The Punk Boy's Aneurysm

  The Punk Boy's Aneurysm is one of the most intriguing webcomics I've ever read. Written and drawn by Argentinian native Renzo Podesta, the story follows a masked boy and his band of misfit friends in a world that has changed from what we know. There are also mysterious events beginning to unfold that will surely put the characters to the test.




 Gorgeous black and white artwork that is reminiscent of the best mangas I've read lends itself to this story. Podesta's portfolio of work is pretty varied, but this is the stuff that caught my eye the most.

No.

The story is released on a weekly basis and is broken down into chapters and episodes. The English version was overseen by Javier Gomez. Chapter five is being released right now, and you can read the first four chapters on various websites and blogs. The first four chapters are also available for download as well as several wallpapers and pinups by other artists.


The Punk Boy's Aneurysm already has quite the following, and the varied amount of guest art shows that this group of characters has the potential to break out beyond the internet. When I read the comic, it's highly animated in my mind, and I could definitely see it being adapted to a feature length film or series.
Just one of the many strange events in the story.
The opening chapter starts off with a fight scene right away, and the format of the comic allows Podesta to tell his story via eclectic layouts. It leads up to one of my favorite comic pages ever, which I'll try to let you guess for yourself when you read it. I would definitely like to have a well-done print of it eventually.  The other chapters involve a giant squid and a break-in to steal the most unlikely of objects, as well as the appearance of a mysterious man who is much more than he seems.

 I'm on board with this story for the foreseeable future and I recommend following along if you are tired of typical comics.

Read The Punk Boy's Aneurysm
Renzo Podesta on Facebook
Renzo Podesta's Website

Friday, June 15, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Elaine Haygood

I recently interviewed Elaine Haygood,owner of Lens Cap Productions and creator of And the Coming of Nighttime.

What projects are you currently working on?

Along with Issue #3 of ATCON, I’m doing preliminary work on an animated short called “Grey Day”. Think “Twilight Zone” meets Aesop’s Fables. I’m also working on a project with George Lopez (A Distant Battlefield) currently titled, “Codename: Raptor”, but I can’t say much more than it doesn’t have Werewolves in it, but it WILL have plenty of butt-kicking ACTION in it.

I’m also developing a web series that will be done kind of like a Ken Burns-style documentary which I hope to be able to begin pre-production next year. There’ll be a Kickstarter campaign for that one.

Do you prefer writing or doing artwork?
I prefer both, actually-I’m a control freak and I LOVE taking a project from conception to completion and I just can’t see myself not doing both no matter what type of project I’m working on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quickfire DC Comics Reviews- Batman, Batman and Robin, Superboy


Batman #10
Written by Scott Synder
Art by Greg Capullo

“Night of the Owls” reaches its boiling point with a huge reveal this week that could change Bruce Wayne’s life forever. Snyder’s been building up to this moment since his first issue of the relaunched title. This story, while only running for the past year, is every bit as ambitious and mythos redefining as anything Grant Morrison has done to Batman in the past few years. This is why the Batman titles have been consistently awesome. Amazing writers actually progressing the character and his world. The tension is high as the reveal builds up. Greg Capullo is spot on as usual. His dark, gritty looking art was a perfect fit for this book. Awesome read.

Read my reviews for Batman and Robin #10 and Superboy #10 after the jump.

Late Review- Earth 2 #2


Earth 2 #2
Written by James Robinson
Penciled by Nicola Scott

If you haven’t read issue 1 of Earth 2, you should go do it. It was an excellent book, although it did have a lot of build up to get us to where James Robinson wanted us to be. This review will reference prior events, so it will be placed after the jump to avoid spoilers.

Update

credit: mysanantonio.com
Sorry for the lack of updates over the past few days. I've been having some issues as far as online accessibility. I've got a slew of updates coming up including but not limited to: reviews for Earth 2 #2, World's Finest #2, Batman #10, Spider-Men #1, Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #1, Superman vs. the Elite, and the latest episodes of Young Justice and True Blood.

There will also be some exciting announcements coming up, so stick with me and you won't be sorry.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Michael Waggoner

Michael Waggoner
  Continuing with our coverage and general promotion for the upcoming indie series TITANS, I interviewed colorist Michael Waggoner about the project and his general interests.

What attracted you to TITANS?

It would have to be the fusion of the multiple mythologies. Johnny has brought in these Gods and Goddesses from Norse, Egyptian, Greek and Roman folklore into this massive tale with unlimited possibilities. Plus the premise of the book is interesting. What if God was to retire...who would take over? It's going to be one wild ride.

What is your approach to working on the book?

We had some pretty lengthy discussions about the direction of book and the over all tone we wanted to portray. Both being fans of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant work, we decided that we wanted to go “old school” with the colors and Sean's artwork really mashed well with that concept. Limiting the color palette and using flat colors really gave it it's own voice. Few books take that approach these days, Paul Grist's Mudman is one of those and has been a great read by the way. Utilizing that limited color scheme to add depth and clarity has been a challenge. Not that we were trying to re-invent the wheel or anything...we just wanted to do something a bit different.

How long will you be on the project?

Titans #1 pg1 preview.
As long as Johnny wants me working on it, I'll be there.  

What tools do you use for coloring projects?

In the old days I used Martins dyes and painted the pages. Now I'm using Photoshop and sometimes GIMP for computer coloring. 

When did you get into comics?

I started reading comics in the early 80's. Whatever I could talk my mom into buying at the local Winn-Dixie or Safe-Way during our weekly grocery shopping trip was what came home with me. Like most kids, I instantly started writing and drawing my own comics. I was fortunate enough to have a great teacher, Chris Herrington, back in junior high who kept pushing me and my degenerate friends to write and draw comics at a time when many were getting out of it. I later got a job at the local baseball card shop and convinced them to carry new comics. I worked for there nearly 15 years, during those years, we set-up and promoted comic cons and trade shows. Giving me the opportunity to make friends in the comic business and I learned much from talking to the top pros.

What series do you read?

Currently I'm reading the Batman tiles, Legion of Super Heroes, Legion Lost, Sixth Gun, X-Factor, Animal Man, Mudman and Saga...as far as monthly titles from the majors go. The new Dial H and G.I. Combat had me reminiscing about the days of buying Action Comics and the first G.I. Combat run back in the 80's. I'm very excited about the VALIANT relaunch and have enjoyed the first two X-O Manowar and the first Harbinger. There are way too many indies to list here...many of which will be covered in the up-coming Comix Lab zine though.

Who are your favorite writers/artists?

This could be a long list...here's the short hand version. Bill Sienkiewicz, Jae Lee, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Matt Feazell, Dave Sim, Mike Weringo, Peter David, Joe R. Lansdale, Jeff Lemire, Ernie Chan, Tony DeZunia and Jim Shooter...to name a few

What characters would you like to draw?

Batman and company for sure, Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, Shang-Chi, Moon Knight, a solo Rocket Raccoon, Iron Fist, Magick, Justice Machine, Elementals and American Eagle.


What writers would you like to work with?

Jeff Lemire, Cullen Bunn, Mark Waid, Rick Remender, Palmiotti and Gray, DnA and Paul Levitz would all be nice to work with. Joe R. Lansdale is one hell of a writer and a good friend who has allowed be the option to adapt his works in to comics form, so that one may be coming true in the very near future. My pal Jai Nitz should also be on the list. I got to say that Johnny Brown is tearing it up on Titans and that it's a pleasure to be working on that.

If you'd like to donate to help launch TITANS at Gen Con, you can visit its Indiegogo Page.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Before Watchmen - Minutemen #1 Review

Minutemen #1 - Darwyn Cooke Cover
 BEFORE WATCHMEN  Minutemen #1
written and drawn by DARWYN COOKE


Before Watchmen is the biggest comics event in the past ten years. It's bigger than any massive crossover by either of the big two companies. It's bigger than the launch of the Ultimate Marvel line or the relaunch of DC's entire catalog. This is Watchmen for crying out loud. You know, that little graphic novel that was consistently a top-selling book?

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' original opus is widely regarded as the single greatest piece of comic fiction of all time. It is incredibly deep and detailed, rich with hidden little things on every page. It has been analyzed time and time again. It is a cherished thing among many people.

I am not one of those people. Don't get me wrong. I love the book. I love the characters. I did not, however, get to experience it firsthand. I didn't read Watchmen until I was eighteen years old. By then, I had gotten my fill of realistic, brooding, gritty superheroes and their lives out from behind a mask. By the time I read the book, I had already read a million different quotes from Alan Moore damning DC Comics to Hell. I get it Alan, you got screwed. I know.  It's hard for me to pick a side, because any creator being screwed over is no good. I'm all for creators rights. However, I also think from a business standpoint at times, so I can see why DC did what they did. There is no right or wrong here, for me at least. Both parties could have handled this situation better over the years.

Despite Moore's numerous protests and non-support, Watchmen was finally made into a movie. At this point, I really didn't care. I thought it'd be exciting to see on screen. You know what? It was. It was awesome. Zack Snyder made what I think is the closest adaptation we'll ever see of that original story outside of a massive, panel for panel animated version.

When DC made the announcement for Before Watchmen, the entire comic world let out a collective "OH EXPLETIVE DELETED!!" Whether they were in favor of it or not, they were talking. This is a series with characters that people have only seen in the original material, a roleplaying game, and ill-conceived video games that tied in with the movie. They had to be excited to see these characters again. Then the creators were announced. That's when it was apparent that DC was not screwing around. Whether this was for money or love of the material, it was ballsy and they putting their balls to the wall.  The preview art firmly established that the people selected for each project were a perfect fit. I really would like to have video recordings of every creator's reaction when they were offered this job.

Yesterday saw the first release in this ambitious undertaking in the form of Darwyn Cooke's Minutemen. I have been a fan of his since New Frontier and was extremely excited he would be tackling the old school heroes of this universe. Cooke pulls double duty as writer and artist here, and his work is just as vivid as ever.

Minutemen #1 cover by Michael Golden


The books plays out a series of vignettes narrated by Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. They detail each hero's background and gives them each a distinct personality. The exposition never gets boring as most scenes are backed by action. There are hints that this book will get a little more violent as it goes along.

We didn't get to see the original Minutemen do too much as far as actually operating as a unit in the original book, so it will be great to see them working together as the series progresses. This is basically the Justice League of the Watchmen universe. The big hitters, so to speak.

Cooke's retro-ish art style was the best choice for a book like this, surely to be steeped in history and the America of old.

This was a great lead-off, and with Cooke and Amanda Conner's Silk Spectre releasing next week, the event is kicking off with a bang.

 Controversial? Of course. If you really love these characters, though, get ready for a wild ride, because I'm sure peoples' opinions are going to be the most varied you'll ever hear. Either way, DC has accomplished their mission. This will sell, and it will have people talking.

UPDATE: I will be covering the back-up story Curse of the Crimson Corsair as a whole when the series is completed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Indie Spotlight - Johnny Mack Interview

Johnny Mack, the creator of upcoming book TITANS answered some questions for me. I'm here to help promote and support my fellow creators. Johnny is a member of the Wonderfunders! facebook group, the group responsible for my upcoming comic. So sit back and enjoy this interview, check out the links, and support Johnny in his endeavors!








When did you start reading comics?



My earliest memory of reading a comic was about five or six (circa 85-86). There was a Spiderman cartoon that would come on and of course Superfriends etc. I was given a ton of comics for Christmas that year because I said I wanted them. So My parents bought em for me…and thus my love affair with comics began.



What are your favorite comics?


Frenemy of the State which is by Rashida Jones (daughter of music producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton of Mod Squad fame) Sailor Moon, Spell Checkers, Artifice, Johnny Saturn, and Teahouse (the last three are web comics.)



Who are your favorite writers?


That’s a tough question for me because writers in the comic medium don’t really get a lot of recognition at times unless they draw as well. I do in just general novelist; I love so many it’s hard to narrow the field.



When did you start writing comics?


I started back in the mid 90’s. Things were so different back then, internet was in its infancy and crowdfunding as well as digital/pod printing didn’t even exist. My friend John Cummings who is a talented artist in his own right and I tried to do a comic. Needless to say no one is buying copies of “Alternate 8” (lol)



Where do you draw your inspiration from?


From family and friends, the world around us, folklore, mythology and religion. Also, film genres of all kinds. I feed off a lot of things and places for inspiration.



When and how did you conceptualize TITANS?


The idea for it (TITANS) came from me writing for solace. My mother had just passed some time before that and I was writing a totally different comic based on a table top Mutants and Masterminds game my best friend Scott was running. It was so slow trying to write the script because it never felt organic…I couldn’t even get people to want to work on it with me or to at least stay a while to work on it. One day like out of left field the idea came to me for “TITANS” and I began to write it and never looked back.



What can you tell us about the book without giving too much away?


Ok, so God has decided he is going to retire from being the “Supreme Ruler” so he decides to open his job up to other pantheon of gods, demi-gods and heroes. Only thing is that they have to fight to the death for the job…but of course there is more than meets the eye to all this. So if you want to know more folks, please read our baby when it comes out this summer (lol).



What is your goal for the length of the series? Ongoing or is there a definite ending you're working towards?


I view it (the comic) like a tv series. I have planned five seasons the first arch consisting of twelve issues with the rest being somewhere between 18-24 issues. Audacious I know! Also, there will be four graphic novels in between each arch and some special mini archs. So, needless to say the comic will be around for a while .



Tell us about the team working on the book.


I have an amazing team of people behind me; I have Sean Hill who does the amazing artwork, Michael Waggoner on the colors and Stephen Schilling who does, lettering, layout & design. I also can’t forget my web guy Michael Surma and my editor Jessica Fishburn.


Preview art from TITANS #1


What is your plan to publish the book?


We are going to self-produce and publish this baby under our own banner "Underground Comix". It’s scary and exciting all in the same time.



Are you currently working on anything else?


Yeah, Waggoner and I have assembled a team together to produce a comic magazine called “Comix Lab” and I got a few other comic ideas brewing and coming together.



What are your career goes in regards to writing? Do you wish to remain in the realm of comics or expand into other mediums?


Well, I writer screenplays and I am gearing up to write some cookbooks as I love to cook and am a foodie/ food scientist. So I hope to continue to write in all three mediums as they all are exciting, challenging and rewarding in their own right.



What comic artists would you like to work with in the future?


There are some killer artist that I have meet through a group I am involved with on Facebook (Wonderfunders) and I have to say the one I am dying to work with is Brian Germain. I so want him to do a book or at least a cover…something!

Young Justice: Invasion - Bloodlines - Recap

Young Justice was a consistently great show in its first season. The five-year jump between seasons 1 and 2 have led people to wonder if the quality would remain at the same level. Six episodes in, and so far so good. This week saw a fan favorite character join the show and moved a background plot forward quite a bit. Spoilers lie after the jump, so beware.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Aquaman # 9 Thoughts

WARNING: The following post contains spoilers for Aquaman #9 and the latest season of Young Justice on Cartoon Network.







  I love the new Aquaman series. It's been my favorite of the DC Comics relaunch. It's one of the things Geoff Johns is doing right. It made Aquaman an awesome character for the first time in a while. Issue #9 came out not too long ago and has re-imagined the relationship between Arthur and Manta. SPOILER ALERT if you haven't read it. Take the jump to read more.