Week of January 9th- New comics

Rather a light week, but i did find a couple cool additions for my collection. First up:

DC:
Green Lantern Corps #20

Dark Horse:
Starwars: Legacy #0 1/2
Starwars: Legacy #18

As for the new cool stuff, I scanned the new comics section at my LCS and found two new books I have been looking forward to reading. Both are from Dark Horse comics:

Savage Sword of Conan Volume One: I was a little skeptical when I read about this book in previews, but after picking it up I was surprised. It’s a great collection of early 70’s Conan stories set up in an Essentials format. hmmm.. I mean over sized Omnibus. =)

The End League #1: I read the preview on the Dark Horse web site and it looked pretty cool. So I will read it and let you know what I think.

I also picked up the new Justice League (series 7)action figure of John Stewert. It’s freakin sweet!

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G’nort destined to live forever!!


Thats right kids, everyones favorite alien dog Green Lantern is set to make his action figure daybute! DC Direct has plans to release an action figure line based on the classic 1980’s Justice League International comics series. Scheduled for a december 2008 release, the line will include, G’NORT, Black Canary, Batman, and Ice. For more information check out Toyfare #126 page #48.

Adventures in comic shops!

Yes I know its been a while, but tis the season for insane business. I just got back from Milwaukee, WI yesterday, spent a few days out there for a wedding. The adventure began again as I set out in a snow storm for a local comic shop. Collectors edge comics has four locations in Milwaukee, and I stopped by the north and south locations. Now don’t get me wrong, i know there are other comic shops in Milwaukee, but i didn’t have time to hit them all. Collectors edge is a very cool old school comic shop, with small locations and a lot of products. New book, toys, statues (I purchased 4 mini busts(Psylocke, Kitty Pride, Union Jack, and Green Lantern)), Trades..hundreds of trades! Not a lot of back issues but more than enough stuff to keep you occupied for a few hours of perusing. You can find out more about Collectors edge comics at there website at www.collectorsedgecomics.com

As I wrote this last section, i realized I have yet to mention my local comic shop. The source comics and games in Falcon Heights, MN. This shoppe has the most diverse collection of items you can find in one location. Comics, miniatures (fantasy and historical), paints, RPG books old and new covering nearly any game you can think of along with there own gaming room. Statues, toys, manga, novels, DVD’s (anime, tv, movies), and a huge selection of master works, essentials, and other trades. They also have a nice collection of back issues including CGC graded books if your looking for some. Its a very nice atmosphere with a lot of friendly employees, if your in the twin cities you should stop by and check them out.
website: The source comics and games

10-21-07: Just made it home from a quick trip to Iowa, yes I know, why Iowa? Just visiting a friend of mine, we stopped by a local comic shop in Ames and Des Moines called Mayhem comics mayhemcomics. If you ever happen to be in the area you should stop in for a look. They have a great selection of comics, manga, anime, RPG products and miniatures. Plus the staff at both locations where great! Also wanted to mention Cup of Kryptonite, which is just up the road from the Des Moines airport. Its a cool little coffee house/comic store. Now I bet your wondering why I’m mentioning comic shops?! Well mainly it because both of these shops support small/indy press comics, so if you are looking to spread the word about your book, dont forget the local comic shops. Not just in your home town, but in any town you happen to be traveling in.

Online interview with Andrew Dabb

By Rodney Ford 4-08-07

Devils Due has done an excellent job of bringing some of the coolest fantasy novels to a comic book and graphic novel formats. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s Dragonlance chronicles. R.A. Salvatore’s Demon Wars and Forgotten Realms, specifically the legend of Drizzt, books 1-5.

Comic Addiction: First off I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me and our readers. Can you tell us how you became a comic book writer?

Andrew Dabb: No problem, Rod. As far as how I became a comic book writer, really I’ve just always loved the medium. Comics are the one place you can let you imagination run wild and tell all sorts of visual stories, from small character pieces to epic adventures. The possibilities are literally endless. That and I don’t have the attention span to write novels.

CA: How did you end up working for Devils Due?

AD: The first books I did through Devil’s due were MEGACITY909 and MU which were actually published by a Korean company called Studio Ice, and distributed by DDP in the U.S. Because of that connection, I got to know Josh Blaylock, Mark Powers, and the rest of the Devil’s Due staff, which lead to them asking me to work on the Dungeons and Dragons license and, eventually, play around with GI Joe a bit too.

CA: You have written the scripts for quit a few comics that are based off of novels. Have you read the Dragonlance Chronicles or any of R.A. Salvatore’s novels?

AD: Oh, yeah. I’ve been reading the Dragonlance and Drizzt novels since I was…man, in elementary school. I’m a huge fan of the books, which definitely helps in adapting them into comics.

CA: How do you go about making a comic book adaptation of a novel?

AD: First I re-read the novel, marking any bit of plot of dialogue that’s important to the story, then I figure out how it’ll all fit into three comic books (usually trying to squeeze in 100-200 novel pages per issue). Once that outline has been okayed, I start scripting. The real trick is just identifying what has to stay, what can go, and what can be shortened. With these comics, we’re not trying to do a word-for-word adaptation, but rather sort of re-tell the stories in a very visual way. It’s one thing to read about 2,000 dwarves fighting an evil army, it’s another thing to actually see it. Allowing readers to do that is the comic book medium’s biggest strength, and so that’s what we’re trying to play up.

CA: Did wizards of the coast or Devils Due have any guide lines you had to follow?

AD: Well, obviously there’s a plot already in place, so I can’t stray too far from the original novel. But beyond that, there are just a few basic things (number of pages, etc…) that I’m expected to stick to.

CA: You have worked with a variety of artists on these books, how closely do you work with the colorists, letterers, inkers and pencillers?

AD: I’m always available to answer questions, but I don’t look over their shoulders too much. I’m a big believer in getting the right person for the job, and then letting them do the work. Besides, they already have to deal with the editor and Wizards of the Coast, who are much tougher bosses than I’ll ever be.

CA: When writing the scripts do you leave any notes as to how a scene should look or do you leave that up to the penciller?

AD: I script out what I see in my head, but I’m not averse to the artists taking some liberties, especially in action sequences. I try to provide enough panel description that everyone knows what’s going on, without drowning the artist in a lot of minutiae. I work with great people, and I trust them. So far it’s worked out well.

CA: I know a lot of Dragonlance fans love the LEGENDS series above the
rest. Are there any plans for an adaptation of the trilogy?

AD: As far as I know nothing’s set in stone. But as long as the adaptations
keep selling, I can’t imagine Devil’s Due will stop. And after
Chronicles, Legends is the next logical choice, so…

CA: The comic industry in general seems to be shifting there focus from artists to writers. What do you think of this trend?

AD: I think its fine, but not a major shift in the industry or anything. Creators have always ruled and right now, for whatever reason, you see more writers out there creating than artists (with some exceptions, like Darwyn Cooke). Mostly because writers can work on 3-4 books a month, while artists are pretty much limited to one. But I’m sure the pendulum will swing back eventually, that’s just the nature of these things.

CA: Are there any comics you enjoy reading in your free time?

AD: Too many: Wake, Fables, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Punisher, Stray Bullets, Conan, Authority, Wild CATS, Deathblow, Wasteland, Hack/Slash, Hellblazer, GI Joe, Ultimates, Negative Burn, that’s what I can remember off the top of my head. The true numbers is probably double or triple that.

CA: If you had a chance to write your favorite character or title what would it be?

AD: I don’t really have a favorite character I’m longing to write. I like working on my own things above all else. But it would be fun to write for Spider-Man (obviously) or John Constantine. I also have a weird affection for the Wildstorm Universe; I’d like to play around in it one of these days.

CA: What personal projects are you working on? Can you tell us about the
DESCENT graphic novel?

AD: DESCENT is a story I’ve been working on with artist Erech Overaker for
about three years now. It’s got creeping insanity, crazy homeless
people, eerie prophecies, and, of course, murder. Obviously it’s a big
departure from elves and action figures, but it’s good to stretch every
once in awhile.

CA: When will Descent be released and will DDP be publishing the book?

AD: We haven’t decided on a publisher for DESCENT yet, but I’m expecting it
to be out around the end of the year.

CA: What else do you have coming out in 2007? From Devils Due or other projects?

AD: Hmm, let’s see, there’s quite a bit in the planning stages right now, but here’s what I know for sure: A lot more Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms, probably a GI Joe project later this year, more Atomika from Mercury Comics and I’m contributing a few short stories to Negative Burn as well. It should be a good year.

Online Interview with Mike Perkins


Mike Perkins is a very well accomplished artist and inker, working on such books as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Elektra, Captain America, and Union Jack to name just a few. So sit back and join me as I interview, in my opinion, one of the greatest artists in the comic book industry today.

Comic Addiction: To start off, who where your greatest comic book influences when you where a kid?

Mike Perkins: Artistically I’d definitely have to say the 2000ad artists – Mike McMahon, Dave Gibbons, Ian Gibson – but primarily Steve Dillon and Brian Bolland. We had the Marvel reprints over in the UK, which I had been reading from an early age and it was these that set me on the path to being a comic artist but I think I didn’t realize I could do that until Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe’s Captain Britain was specifically created for the British market. I was six at the time – and knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

CA: Growing up did you ever think you would actually be drawing for a company like Marvel?

MP: Definitely! I had long reaching plans ahead of me and working for Marvel has always been one of the goals of those plans.

CA: How did you get started working for Marvel Comics?

MP: Well, years before my American Marvel debut, I’d actually been working for Marvel UK on some of their juvenile line of comics – Wind in the Willows, Biker Mice from Mars – as well as having strips published in 2000ad. This led to work at Caliber, DC, Dark Horse, Games Workshop and eventually CrossGen. When CrossGen folded Marvel was kind enough to pick up my work visa requirements in order for me to stay in the States (I’d moved to Florida when I got the call from CrossGen). Then they got me working straight away on District X, The Elektra Movie Adaptation and Spellbinders.

CA: I noticed that you have done quit a few covers over the last few years, is there one in particular you like the most?

MP: I’d always love to do more cover work actually. There’s a challenge there to get across an entire story in one image but still design it visually. I’d say that my favorite run of covers would have to be on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for CrossGen. It was set in the 60’s and I found that I could really play with those specific elements. I tried to utilize a similar design sense on the Union Jack covers.

CA: I first noticed your work on Captain America, your pencils and inks blew me away. Now I have to ask, how did you land a sweet gig like Cap?

MP: Sheer talent, my friend!!! Actually, I’d been helping Steve Epting out on the inks since issue 8 whilst penciling Spellbinders and the Cap editorial office were wondering if it was something I’d like to take over constantly. At the time I was coming to the end of the Spellbinders run and, as much as I love inking, I was really looking for my next penciling job. I mentioned this and they countered with the offer of me penciling and inking alternate arcs alongside Steve. I was defiantly up for that!!

CA: Ed Brubaker, in my opinion, is one of the best writers in comics. How did you like penciling for Ed?

MP: I whole-heartedly agree with your opinion. I’ve been following his writing since his Scene of the Crime series and had been aware of his work before then ( Deadenders, Lowlife) – so he’d been one of those writers on my list of “people I’d love to work with”. Ed’s scripts are very visual but he also leaves you enough wiggle room should you want to add beats to the story.

CA: Did he have a lot of direction for the layout of the books, or did he leave most of that up to you?

MP: Apart from the usual script direction I think we’re pretty much in tune with each other about the flow of the story. For me the whole thing about comics is how to get the storytelling across. The story is the most important thing and it’s my job to get the writers vision across in as clear a way as possible.

CA: Now I know you penciled and inked both story arcs on Captain America, how long did it take you to complete an issue?

MP: I’d say it usually takes me a month to pencil and ink a book but – as was the case with the Civil War tie-ins when I was also penciling Union Jack at the same time – sometimes less. I believe issue #23(the Winter Soldier and hologram Fury issue) was completed in three weeks – and, visually, that turned out to be one of my favorite issues!

CA: Do you prefer to do both pencils and inks or just pencils on a single book?

MP: Overall, I prefer to do both pencils and inks. For me it’s more of a singular vision – it’s almost exactly what I’ve seen in my mind’s eye when I’ve penciled and inked myself.

CA: With the recent events of Captain America #25, how do you think Cap’s death will affect the series and the marvel universe as a whole?

MP: As shocking as the events in #25 were, speaking as a fan, the events in #26 are even more astounding. I was slack-jawed when I read the script and thrilled that I got to draw such an important scene. I think the reverberations of Cap’s death will be felt throughout the entire Marvel Universe for some time.

CA: Your work on Union jack is astounding, how did you end up working on the mini-series?

MP: Just after I’d accepted the Captain America alternate arcs I was at the Chicago convention and ended up talking to Andy Schmidt. I’d realized that I’d need something else to work on during the time I wasn’t doing the Cap arcs and seeing as Union Jack was involved in the recent Captain America run (albeit briefly at that time), I figured we could keep it in the same family of comics – and, this being just after the London bombings, I suggested a Union Jack story with him dealing with terrorism in his homeland. At that point Andy walked away. I really didn’t think the idea was that bad! But then he returned with a proposal along the same lines, written by Chris Gage. Enthused by this I put together a promo piece to accompany the pitch – and we got the commission.

CA: Chris Gage wrote an excellent story for this mini series, had you worked with him before this?

MP: I’d read, and really enjoyed, the Deadshot mini and, at that time, I think that was one of the only things that Chris had done which was out there. To me it was one of my deepest ambitions to work on a Union Jack comic so when I’d read the pitch and proposal – swiftly followed by the first script – I was more enthused than ever.

CA: What was your favorite thing about doing Union Jack?

MP: Like I said, I was working on the Civil War Cap issues at the same time and those issues are overflowing with emotional resonance and deep characterization so, to be simultaneously working on an all out action series was fantastic. The fact that the characters all had their own voices and agendas was a bonus. I also had the opportunity to redesign a few of the heroes and villains involved – such as Sabra, The Arabian Knight and Zaran and Machete. That’s always fun. And then there’s that iconic Union Jack costume!

CA: Are there any plans for another mini or ongoing series?

MP: I’d love to do another mini alongside Chris but the sales didn’t set the charts alight. The trade collection hits the stands in July so, should it sell in vast amounts, we may get the chance.

CA: I’d like to change gears a bit and talk about your inking. I noticed that you inked issue #2 of X-men: Deadly Genesis with Scott Hanna. How does one share inking duties on a book?

MP: I believe Marvel was looking for an inker for Trevor Hairsine and they asked me to do a couple of pages. Those two pages are the reason I got credited on issue 2.

CA: We’ve talked a lot about your work at Marvel, but you have done inking with a few different companies; DC, Crossgen, Top Cow. You have inked a lot of artists work, are some easier to ink than others?

MP: I don’t think that “easier” is the appropriate description. There are different approaches to different pencillers. If you compare a Rick Leonardi to a Phil Winslade then you’re going to get a diversity of style but that’s not to say that one is easier than the other.

CA: Whose pencils did you enjoy inking the most?

MP: That’s a tough one – because, when I get the chance, I love inking other pencillers. Rick Leonardi was a joy to ink. His work is so free and fluid. I’d been a big fan of George Perez from an early age so it’s always a pleasure to ink his pencils. If I had to choose I’d say it has to be Butch Guice. Everything is there in his pencils but you get a sense that you can also add to them when you pick up that brush. There’s such a sense of place and a level of professionalism to his work that it’s hard not to love inking those pages. I also have to say this because he sits next to me in the studio and I don’t want any thrown object hitting the side of my head!

CA: What are you working on now and what do you have coming out in 2007?

MP: I’ve currently got the script to Cap#28 waiting patiently for me to finish the penciling and inking on the Annihilation Conquest Prologue. I’m also working on another five issue series with Chris Gage which hasn’t been announced yet – so I’ll leave that to Marvel. As well as all that I’m also wrapping up the inks over Butch on the Mandalay volumes for Humanoids.

CA: One final question Mike, what title would you most like to pencil for? (Favorite character or title)

MP: Strangely enough, I’d love to illustrate a Deathlok book. Seriously! I think that everyone who’s reading this should write to Marvel and tell them to put me on a Deathlok book!!

I’d like to thank Mike for taking the time to do this interview with me and I hope everyone enjoyed it. Be sure to stop by Mikes web site at http://www.mikeperkinsart.com and feel free an leave me acomment or two. this interview will also be posted at comicaddiction.com

Online Interview with Mark A. Robinson

Synopsis:
The life of Thomas Arashikage has taken him down paths that have allied him with both G.I. Joe AND Cobra. Now he’s away from both sides of the war, and getting into trouble all his own! Storm Shadow returns in his own monthly title written by his creator Larry Hama!

As the release of G.I. Joe: Storm Shadow #1 quickly approaches, I have been lucky enough to interview the creative team behind it. After a brief interview with Larry Hama, the creator and writer, I had a chance to speak with Mark A. Robinson. Mark is a very talented penciller whose works include Codename Knockout, from Vertigo (DC comics), New Mutants (marvel comics) and most recently BloodRayne (Digital Webbing).

Comic Addiction: How did you get the opportunity to pencil the upcoming Storm Shadow series?

Mark Robinson: I was just finishing up some work for TopCow when I was contacted by Susan Bishop from Devil’s Due via a message board account. It was pretty sudden.
We chatted. She asked if I wanted to draw ninjas. I said “hell yeah.” Case
closed.

CA: Did you know anything about Storm Shadow before this?

MR: Sure. I watched GI Joe as a kid every day. I’m a fan of the Cold Slither
Army.

CA: Did you change your drawing style at all for this series?

MR: No. I got a lot tighter than I’ve done before. I think I actually went back
to a “style” that I was tinkering with before TopCow- That I was putting
down on a creator owned project called COCKFIGHT. (Shameless self plug)

CA: Along with pencils, did you do the inking for this book?

MR: Nope. I couldn’t ink my way out of a paper bag. This is all going to digital
colors…Hence the need for tighter pencils.

CA: What was it like penciling Larry Hama’s script?

MR: Larry’s old school with his scripts…There’s not a lot of direct panel to
panel description which gives me a lot of visual freedom of movement. I love
that. I would suspect most artists would these days- I have seen scripts
that basically gives a panel to panel description of the art taking place on
the page. Panel placement, character descriptions, the whole nine…Not a lot
of creative freedom at all. Takes the fun out of it at times, so Larry keeps it loose. Loose is good.

CA: Did he give you a lot of direction or where you free to layout the issue as you wanted too?

MR: There was give and take. Everyone pitched in. Sometimes Larry would be very
specific on the action on the page. Sometimes I would put forth some things that I felt worked for the scene. It’s a collaborative effort all around.

CA: How many issues will you be penciling?

MR: Every one…Until I’m dead or they find someone better…no seriously. We have a
6 issue run planned as of now. This is my longest streak on a book to date. It should
be a challenge…Commitments are nice.

CA: What did you enjoy most about working on this issue?

MR: The ethnic diversity of the cast and the locales are nice changes. I’m real
big on bringing more ethnically diverse books into the mix, main stream…whatever. It’s nice to have a main character embody that. Thomas is an interesting character brewing with a lot of internal conflict. Larry is doing a great job of showing everyone that.

CA: Along with Storm Shadow, what else do you have coming out in 2007?

MR: I have some BloodRayne coming out this year (BLOODRAYNE PLAGUE OF
DREAMS from Digital Webbing Presents). Actually next week! Go get it!
Besides that- I’m all about Devil’s Due and you’ll be seeing a lot of Storm
Shadow.

CA: One final question Mark, What title would you most like to pencil for? (Favorite character or title)

MR: Nightwing. Hands down. I have an obligation to my peeps at my local comic
shop to make that happen. I also love to take a run at John Constantine.

Online Interview with Larry Hama


Synopsis:
The life of Thomas Arashikage has taken him down paths that have allied him with both G.I. Joe AND Cobra. Now he’s away from both sides of the war, and getting into trouble all his own! Storm Shadow returns in his own monthly title written by his creator Larry Hama!

With the upcoming release of GIJOE – Storm Shadow #01 from Devils Due publishing, I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Hama about this book.

Rodney Ford: As a bit of back ground info, Storm Shadows first appearance was in GIJOE #21(marvel comics 1982), “silent interlude”. Can you tell us a bit about how Storm Shadow came into being the assassin we all know and love?

Larry Hama: I got to the end of ARAH #21 and got the idea to use him matching hexagrams bit. I didn’t even really know what the connection was between the two characters at the time. But that was the first link. Hexagram 65 of the I Ching (chi chi,) is called “After Completion.” It connotes the instability of perfection because the trigram K’an (water) strives to move downwards, while the trigram Li (fire) pushes upwards. I actually chose that hexagram because the symmetry made it easier to remember, but the meaning turned out to be synchronistically apt. Jung would have been amused.

RF: Did you ever think Storm Shadow would be as popular as he has been for the last 25 years?

LH: I didn’t think ninjas would ever catch on. But then, I worked on one of the first US Nintendo print ad campaigns for Dentsu Y&R and I remember thinking that such a weird product name would never catch on in America.

RF: Storm Shadow is one of the most recognizable and popular characters throughout all of the Gijoe franchise. What do you think makes him such an appealing character?

LH: His story is about the power of redemption. He masters arcane arts and disciplines and is a loyal and good friend to Snake-Eyes, but he is torn apart by envy and pride. Somehow, he finds the strength to get it all back together. Okay, he’s got cool ninja outfit and neat weapons and kicks major butt, but I think his back-story is a major appeal to
those who actually read the comic continuity. I really can’t say about the animated material, since I have not really seen more than an episode or two.

RF: Tommy has gone threw a lot of changes in the last few years. Will this story focus on his inner war as opposed to his war with Cobra and the Joes?

LH: Intrinsically, it will be all about his inner war, but not overtly. I really hate stories where characters sit around and talk about how they feel. I think we should get that information from the action of the story. This is not radio drama.

RF: How did the Storm Shadow ongoing series come about? Did Devils Due approach you to write the series?

LH: Yep. Mike O’Sullivan e-mailed me.

RF: Can you give us any details about the series? Will there be any guest appearances?

LH: Ah, those are surprises.

RF: Have you worked with DDP before? How has your experience been working with there incarnation of GIJOE and subsequent characters?

LH: I’ve done one four issue arc of one series, a four issue limited series and a short story. But I haven’t really worked with the new incarnations and the newer characters. I feel more comfortable in my own turf.

RF: What do you think of Mark Robinson Pencils? Do you feel his style compliments your writing?

LH: Difficult to say at this point. I only have a few pages to judge from and some of them are not in order. It’s impossible to judge continuity without the whole thing there, “After Completion,” you know. But from what I have seen, his drawing is very solid, and his acting has some cool subtlety to it that is a welcome relief from the usual snarling
and teeth-grinding.

RF: If I where to ask you why I should pick up this book, what would your response be?

LH: You put me in a difficult position. I always felt that blatant self-promotion was, well, unseemly. Whatever I do at any time is always my best shot within the real world parameters of the job. I only had a week to write and draw #21, but I gave it all I had. When I have more time to do a job, I tend to get carried away on the research. I am most comfortable with writing and drawing. I’m NOT a good salesman. A cobbler should stick to his last. I would say, please try this book. You might like it.

RF: Do you have anything else in the works with Devils Due?

LH: No, but I have some episodes of Robot boy coming up on Cartoon Network next season and five graphic history novels from Osprey. Also a video game for Curious/Game Lab that I have been working on for a year, and a new secret project with Pepe Moreno.

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