Friday, July 30, 2010

ghettoManga: DC Announces All-Star Superman Adaptation

ghettoManga: DC Announces All-Star Superman Adaptation

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shit I dig: Comic Reviews for early July

So they got me at my comic shop. They had a big sale on back issues (50% 0ff!!) and a buy two trade paperbacks(tpb) get the third for free. So of course i avoided the back issues like the plague but that back issue deal gave me a chance to add some tpbs to my library that were must haves. No really... necessary! Just don't tell my wife until she thinks they have always been on my bookshelf...shhhh. So I picked up about two or three weeks worth of books and three trades.

Necessary evils:

First Seven Soldiers of Victory Volume One. Anyone who gets to know me us a comic book junkie knows one of my favorite writers/creatives in the comic game is Grant Morrison. I won't gush here but i let it be understood i love his work...mostly. Some things he does is weakened by weak visual storytellers while others are so deep in the the waters of the exploring auteur i have to come back to understand. Seven Soldiers of Victory is one of his absolute successes and bench mark in the comic industry. Seven heroes must work together to save the world but they never meet, while commenting on the meaning of existence on the comic book reality(a theme Morrison OFTEN returns to and I love). i have the individual issues but i wanted to read it in the order the books came out to get a the singular thread connecting the books. Beautiful read with artist who have become some of my favorites because of their work in the individual minis. Frazer Irving grabbed me with his haunting but strangely light hearted work on Klarion. Ryan Sook's fluid line and dramatic understanding of contrast executes Zatanna powerfully. Cameroon Stewart grows into the urban action while Simo Bianchi brings a completely dizzying art aesthetic to Shining Knight. JH Williams begins the series with his expected masterwork. Can't wait to pick up the other volumes.For more Frazer Irving check out the second issue of the Return of Bruce Wayne. A Puritan good time!
My next NECESSARY purchase was Justice League: Another Nail by Alan Davis & Mark Farmer. A collection of the the Elseworld mini The story followed the Nail, an elseworld story created to look at the DCU if a flat tire keeps the Kents from finding young Kal-el. Really i got this book for one reason: the work of Alan Davis. i have seen the influence of his work on some of the come up kids in the biz( Bryan Hitch, Carlos Pacheco, Ivan Reis, to name a few) always love to look at the inspirational source. A visually beautiful book and Davis still does some of the most beautiful and sinuous super women in the biz. Check the scenes with PowerGirl, Black orchid and Star Sapphire. Not to mention Black Canary!! Lots of heroes and villains, lots of big things happening all drawn perfectly. I'll be studying this book for years.
Finally i picked up Young Avengers: Sidekicks, which collects the early issues of the YA series. Again I got this for the art. I like Heinbergs writing enough but I'm most interested in the work of Jim Cheung. i;ve watched his work evolving since his days on Scion for Crossgen and love the very individual direction he has gone. Great layouts and camera angle choices are connected to a very distinctive and disarmingly simple draftsmanship. But his work moves. it has direction and impact. i got this book while picking up Avengers: Children's crusade not so much for the characters but for the art. Also the covers of Secret Warriors Cheung has done tell as story. and don't forget his work on Avengers Illuminati. I even got caught up in the story through the art.
And now that the necessary is out the way, time too look at the other stuff....

TOP TEN Books for early July.

10. Irredeemable #15
While i have enjoyed this story it reads better as a trade as opposed to the individual issues. Just seems slowed unnaturally. The art is okay but this is my last issue. I am not a huge fan of Wid but I can enjoy his stuff and do here I just felt lost in this issue and watched another character i wasn't invested in die. HooHumm. Just hated it was a crippled brother that bought it. But then at least his punishment is over now. i think I'm finding Incorruptible a more interesting read.
9. Justice Society of America # 40
Willingham finishes thi arc and everyone loses there individual voice. Obsidian, Mr Terrific and Powergirl have the same voice cadenced as they deliver the MESSAGE of this story. i was just getting to enjoy Merino's artwork but I'm thru. DC needs to decide what role JSA will pay in the DCU and stop treating it as a background title. i know Johns has moved on from his launchpad but somebody has to have an interest in finding a workable niche for the old guard.
8. Brightest Day #5
I don't know why I'm getting this book. i love i van reis's art and I love all the characters but its more nostalgia than an appreciation for there place in the DCU. I hope some series can come out of this but i quit on the weekly thing before and i gotta do it here. I'll read the trades. but I am interested just the story is rotating in an odd way and I'm loosing narrative threads from book to book.
7. Avengers: the Children's Crusade #1
Picked this up for the art as I explained before. I also have to comment on the inking of Morales. Between him and Dexter Vines, they have made great artists look phenomenal with their inks at Marvel. Now we begin to see what Magic is doing in marvel and look after the trigger of the New Marvel Order: Scarlet Witch.
6. Green Lantern #55
While this is a book I have been dedicated to since the beginning I am exhausted with everything going on. I'm afraid the cast of GL has gotten as large as some team books. Too many characters. Art is beautiful and its always a pleasure to see Lobo make a cameo. I think Johns may be spreading himself too thin.
5. Jonah Hex #57
My guilty pleasure. One day I'm gonna draw my cowboy story Innocence Massacre. Until then I'll keep enjoying the adventures of Jonah Hex. Good storytelling a brutal world. if you dig the HBO show Tombstone you'll love this book. I'm scared to see the movie but the comic delivers every month. And we get a cameo of DC's stable of Cowboy heroes.
4. Scarlet #1
Bendis is trying hard to be my favorite bald white comic writer. I'm just interested in this book. Looks beautiful and has that clever breaking of the fourth wall I've loved since being introduced to Bertolt Brecht in Joanne Klein's class at St Mary's two decades ago. I won't comment to much, so far I'll just say I'm down for the ride.
3. Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War #2
i been getting this mini for the art of Jason Pearson. I am not a fan of Deadpool and have never tried to follow any of his books, but anytime i can follow the visual mayhem that is Jason Pearson i do it. And i am enjoying this ride. i have been a fan of Pearson since his work on the LSH Five year gap years ago. Great cartoony storyteller. Swierczynski writes a great black ops story.
2. The Invincible Iron Man Annual #1
A surprise treat. I have to find the digital comic and download it now. Invincible iron Man has become one of my favorites lately and this annual is a beautiful companion piece. i must admit as i read it i thought it was bit overlong, but realizing it has a digital comic component makes the length make sense. Beautiful art and a heart wrenching story. The Mandarin is rat$#%t crazy and evil. reminds me off All-star Superman when lex Luthor is sounding completely rationale while drawing an eyebrow across his face. Good villains make sense, crazy villains... i mean truly insane master villains are a work of art. This issue made Mandarin into that.
1. Batman and Robin #13
Everything coming together in the batbooks. Morrison is pulling taut the narrative strands he has weaved thru the DCU the last couple years(like Johns is doing on his part of the DCU) and it makes for great reading. Irving's art is delicious and anyone who didn't enjoy the sequence with Robin/Damian and Joker didn't hate how they did what they did to Jason Todd back in the day. Lovely. i love it when a plan comes together.

keep reading comics.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Process: Elias infinity slays Behemoth

Been a minute but Tuesday is now Tellin' Stories Day. I have been very productive as i have dedicated myself to following a process to completion. So i have been working on a graphic novel for the last five years: Of Mythic Proportions: Extinction, and it has made connections throughout the shared universe of characters stories and ideas that have inhabited my brain since childhood. I won't explain the narrative behind this image but i will explain the process. and I'll post the final piece on Tuesday.

So my guidelines for this piece was four heroes and a great dragon. the dragon was being "erased" from existence by Elias Infinity in his earliest form(thus the khufi and no locks.). The idea came out of my current reading of The collected works of C G Jung Volume 9, Part 1: Archetypes and the Unconscious. Trying to understand the concepts of the Shadow, Anima and individuation is what this work represents.

So I had a sketch in my book as the composition. I then redrew the idea on a canvas sheet in pencil. At this stage i work out my object relationships and value relationships. The background is inspired by the strange comic energy backgrounds prevalent in the work of Jack Kirby and Walter Simonson. A representation of chaotic energy potential and the fractal nature of reality in my life and my stories.

Next I put down my background washes after redraw the work using washed out Dioxazine Purple and Hookers green Acrylic, cause i don't like using black except as an illustrative tool in painting. The sky is purple to set it back and the distant mountains are to be reminiscent of the southwest. I try to paint objects from background to foreground so that they overlap naturally.

Once I have a nice value painting i start moving in with local color. In this work i want the dragon to look like it is being erased so i use rubber cement to protect the surface of the painting from acrylic. Leaving these areas with less buildup. From there i just start painting the fun stuff.

More next week.