Archive for the 'Comics' Category


Fruits of Labor

Happy to announce the completion of the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen standalone graphic novel. This one again featuring Nemo’s daughter Janni and….NAZIS! Well, Alan Moore Nazis. Should hit stands first quarter of next year!! Tell your friends. Tell your family! There’s food and treats at the Pixie Pantry and the Good Witches Bakery!!

Miscellany

SDCC 2014
I mentioned before that there was some talk about possibly attending next year’s Con with the League creative team. After some frank discussion with the folks at both Top Shelf and Knockabout (UK), we came to the conclusion that supporting my airfare there was not really financially feasible. So, sadly, I will most likely not attend. We’re keeping lines of communications open on the off-hand chance someone wins the lottery or comes into some extra cash; but more than likely I won’t be going. Thanks Jeromy for offering to put me up at your place, though. Would have been great to have seen those of you who would attend.

Japanese CG
Been mulling on this because I really hate the fact that Gatchaman looks so bad (and worse the more I see of it) narratively and visually. And I was listening to Brad Bird’s commentary on The Incredibles while working and he said exactly the problem with Japanese CG: “The computer tries to make everything look small, weightless, clean, and shiny.” That was it. They’re not doing the problem solving at the computer level that Pixar and other big CG places spend a lot of time, money, and energy solving—even for mere seconds on the screen. Harlock is faring a bit better, but you can still see of those elements pop up here and there. Thank you Brad Bird. Now I can sleep.

The new Batman.
Ben Affleck. Good actor. Better director. Can’t see him as Batman if Daredevil is any clue. My pick would be Jim Caviezel. If you need someone to go up against Supes, it needs to be Jesus!

Sobering News
Sobering News

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=43895

Wow—for lack of a better word—just really sobering news. I don’t even remember talking to him that much since I was a newbie back when he was on Stormwatch and I didn’t get to touch the major titles yet. But I remember him roaming around the studio, but mostly huddled over his desk in that “Room of Elites” next to Jim’s office.

I wonder what the cause of death was? The family hasn’t commented on that yet.

43. That’s what I turn this year…

Homage Book Project

Hey ex-Wildstormers who aren’t aware of this yet — there’s a Thing happening, that started on Facebook. A growing group of Homage refugees are planning to put together an Art of Homage book. John Nee spearheaded it; Drew Bittner and Claudia Chong are doing all the legwork; and there are a shitload of contributors, including Jeromy, James and me. Ben, E-dog: if you want to be a part of this, contact Claudia on Facebook. I want LOADS of colorists involved, because so damn many of us started out there, and computer coloring came into its own during our era.

Ben — I understand that you have not been keen on being in contact with John Nee. Maybe now, when nostalgia is running high, is the time to join the conversation again. Or you could avoid John and just talk with Drew & Claudia. :) (I really do get it — I would be torn on whether to participate if this was a CrossGen project.)

Anyway. Food for thought…

Samura at work

For you Blade of the Immortal fans… a rare glimpse of the reclusive artist at work.
He does something very interesting with a damp cloth over the graphite shading he put down earlier. I guess that’s what gives his artwork its distinctive look

Rurouni Kenshin Live Action

Or would that be “Samurai X” (GAG!)

Alright fight fans, have your say:

Reading the comments on Youtube, there certainly is a lot of excitement for a great “action pic.” But let’s not forget there are comedy and romance elements in the story as well. If they fuck up the tone on those, then this will be a mess. Japan rarely succeeds at infusing humor or romance into an action film without wild tonal shifts. Factor in the tendency of appealing to the girl demographic plus the now standard practice of writing to make people cry in the theaters and the potential for disappointment is quite tangible. I am personally still not convinced though am warming to the idea.

League is finished.

Just put the finishing touches on the final page of the third and final chapter in League: Century…almost a year after I received the first scans. After this, I am going to take a long break. I already know what I’ll be doing next…but that’s a secret for now.

Wildstorm Finale

Guess there was some type of reunion thingy at the old studio. You were there, right James (and Jeromy I see from a photo by Whilce)? Jim took a video of some of the folks gathered in The Pit for a final photo and I could see a lot of familiar faces. Would’ve been nice to have been there, but then again…may be not??

Jim wrote on his twitter:

Im indebted to everyone who helped build WS to what it was @therealtedadams @johnnee @Kanalz @sdunbier @Ben_Abernathy @claudia_chong

and

Other WSers @KristyQ1_DC @suddenchad @AlexGarnerArt @Eddy_Choi @guymajor @Sinccolor + many others

Hmm…no: “Thanks colorists for knocking out those issues saving us thousands in penalties and late charges. Sorry for keeping you all awake at all hours of the day; and some times unable to party with the rest of us??”
Well I guess the “+many others” covers that, eh? At least he mentioned Guy and Alex Sinclair (B.F. to most of us).

It’s really odd how much of my memories of Wildstorm can be filled with both fondness and bitterness simultaneously. May be it’s just me….

UPDATE: Here’s a picture eerily evoking the one take so many years ago

That’s a nice OUT fit!

The young Eric Magnus Lehnsherr as he should/could be.

End of an era

Don’t know if all of you have seen the news, but it’s plastered all over the comics news sites.

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-publisher-wildstorm-zuda-100921.html

DC Co-Publishers Announce End of Wildstorm Imprint, Zuda.

I haven’t read confirmation on this, but it’s pretty implicit in the articles I’ve read so far…it sounds like the La Jolla studio will be shut down, and some portion of the staffers will move to Burbank. I don’t know what that means for, say, the staff colorists, or anyone who isn’t Editorial. But it’s a sad thing to think that the offices where I cut my teeth will be gone, even if on a logical level, it makes sense to get rid of such an expensive piece of property for such a small division.

What do y’all think? I feel the sudden urge to go out to Cali and see the studio one more time before it disappears. (Not that I’ve taken the time to visit in the last eight or nine years, but that’s because it would always be there…right?)

– Laura

Just adding an image for old time’s sake
–ben

Akira + Hollywood

This can’t be good.

Congrats Laura

For getting a exclusive gig at Marvel. Nice to know they value you enough to put their money (I hope) where their mouth is. If there was a studio I would like to have continued working with, it is probably Marvel. I still haven’t been offered a page rate as high as they had given me, nor worked with editors who were so “Johnny on the spot” with their work.
Alas, I am on my farewell tour, but it’s nice to know someone who’s getting their dues from the industry.

Crazy Comic Con

This is the line not to get into the Convention Center, but the line to get into Hall H (where they do all the movie presentations)!!! That’s just 10 kinds of nuts!!

hallhline

Dragonball Evolution
Dragonball Evolution

I wasn’t a huge Dragonball fan, but this looks beyond terrible.

The Book — or lack thereof
The Book — or lack thereof

Just a quick update about my book, Telling Stories With Color:

It’s on hiatus.

I’ve gone through several drafts now of each chapter, and seriously? It’s been getting worse and worse. It was supposed to go to press on September 10 — and I might have been able to hit that deadline, and might have even liked the work I did, if I had no other distractions and could concentrate solely on the book for the next five weeks. Since that’s clearly not an option with my work schedule, I finally came clean with Virgin and said, “I can’t do this. I’m unhappy with the direction the book’s going in; I’m unhappy with the lack of support; I’m very unhappy with how little time I can spend on it to make it right. I’m willing to pull the plug on it entirely at this point.” So the editor (Charlie Beckerman, who’s awesome to work with) calmed me down and said he’d talk with the EIC and the CEO. The EIC and CEO both decided that my book is kind of a rogue project (they’ve never published a ‘textbook’ before), and they need to concentrate their marketing and publishing efforts on their core comics for the time being, so it’s perfectly fine if we put my rogue book aside for now and come back to it later.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not being published. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be published by Virgin, but it’s too soon to address that yet. If in six months they decide that they don’t want to do the book, I have the freedom to take everything but the images and republish elsewhere. Pretty sweet.
I’m hoping that, after Secret Invasion is done, I can carve out some time to go back to the writing phase with a clear head and no pressure, and really make the book what it needs to be — less of a “how-to” and more of a “why”. The how-to’s have already been done, and done well; besides, no one needs a whole chapter on calibrating your monitor. (Well, some people do need that, but it can be a sidebar, not a whole chapter.) I need to concentrate on WHY colors do what they do, and if there’s any how-to to discuss, it’s how to choose a smart color scheme or how to determine a light source. That kind of thing.

So, that’s the haps. I will have a book out on the shelves one day, but it’ll bear very little resemblance to the current version.

Wolverine [Links now Dead, nothing much missed]

For those who didn’t see it, and I think that’s most of us, check it out before it’s pulled (in two parts)

http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/xmen-origins-wolverine/leaked-comic-con-footage

http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/xmen-origins-wolverine/leaked-comic-con-footage-ii

Certainly “looks” nice, but I’m worried about the story already and the liberties being taken with a supposed “Alpha Flight” or “Team X”. Those of you who know the cannon a lot better than me are probably throwing up now. And yeah, Fox finally gave the fans Gambit. Yea! [sarcasm]. Carry on.

A Preview

of things to come…

preview.jpg

I would watch out for an upcoming edition of Entertainment Weekly focusing on Comic Con for a bit “more”.

Girls and Gai(jin)s

So, if you’ve seen Newsarama as of yesterday, you’ve seen that I am now a member of Gaijin. Obviously, this was my intention all along, ever since meeting Adam Hughes; it just took 12 years to come to fruition. Adam left Gaijin about three years ago, but Cully Hamner, Karl Story, and Brian Stelfreeze are all still there, plus newcomers Tony Shasteen (illustrator) and Doug Wagner (writer). Once they moved into their new studio space, they had room for me, and invited me to join. I don’t think they actually expected me to agree, though, but I took ‘em by surprise. Ha!

I’m currently still in Charlotte, NC at HeroesCon; this was the first time I sat behind the counter as a proper Gaijin member. It was great fun; I sold a few prints and did a lot of color sketches (where I colored over another artist’s sketch). And I laughed a whole lot, which is standard for just about any time that the guys are in one area together. Can’t complain, really.

(Although it was a little weird when DC’s senior VP, Dan DiDio, was thumbing through my binder of prints. I didn’t have any signs up saying “Prints for Sale,” though, so I could have made the argument that this was just my portfolio of work… *shrug* what’s he gonna do?  I didn’t have any DC work in there.)

Anyway, that’s the big news on my end. How’s your end?

– Laura

The Majik is back

magik_cov_100.jpg

Don’t know if you heard or not, but it seems Marvel is bringing back Majik. Anyway, since I came into comics long after her “disappearance”, I was wondering if you folks in the know can fill me in what was her deal. I know she’s Colossus’ sister, right? But why did they write her out of the universe? Was she too powerful? With all this Civil War and other stuff happening in the Marvel Universe, I was just curious why they would bring her back now. Perhaps to do some cleansing of the roll call.

Also, Laura, heard Warren Ellis is taking over Astonishing X-men. If you will still be handling coloring duties, this will be, what, the umpteenth collabo between you guys, yeah? I really enjoyed newuniversal and want to read Ocean, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does with Astonishing.

Last but not least, I am flatting pages again. In preparation for coloring that book I do, hitherto to be known as L3. It’s been over a year since I dived into the funnies and I am being reminded through back and neck pain why I am glad I don’t do it for a living any more. Flatting, especially Kevin’s stuff, is just 18th century Tower of London type of torture. At least coloring itself will be fun.

[Addendum]

Reviews are coming in on the Incredible Hulk and it seems Iron Man wasn’t a fluke. It actually seems like Marvel Studios has their shit together. This is a good thing. However, have any of you visited the Incredible Hulk movie site?

http://incrediblehulk.marvel.com/ 

http://incrediblehulk.marvel.com/ 

Go to the Characters section. There you will find a brief bio and a link to a detailed bio. This link takes you to Marvel’s comic book character profile. Now that’s fucking brilliant. And it seems to be consistent with what they are doing on film. Talk about effective cross promotion. Kudos to them!