As anyone who loves comics knows, the books we buy every Wednesday are more than stories on a page. For those of us who got hooked on the medium as children, comic books are intertwined with some of our most powerful memories, good and bad.
Robert J. Kelly, or Rob as we know him, has captured that in “Hey Kids, Comics!” a diverse collection of essays by longtime comic book lovers including the likes of Archie Comics writer Paul Kupperberg, NPR contributor Glen Weldon, TV/comics writer J.M. DeMatteis and, somehow, yours truly. I’m grateful to Rob for the opportunity to be part of a wonderful project that’s a pleasure to read. “Hey Kids, Comics!” isn’t about the minutia of comics but the magic. Continue reading
Are you a longtime DC fan who’s been walking around under a cloud of angst, exhaustion and sadness lately? You’re not alone. It seems that every other week brings a fresh crop of commentary about the company’s WTF editorial decisions, rifts with creators, or questionable-to-terrible handling of characters. Scuttle a respected writer/artist team’s long-standing creative plans! Shoot Catwoman through the head just to make sure we’ve completely alienated the readers who were already disappointed by our treatment of prominent female characters! Give readers the impression that the new Superman/Wonder Woman book will be a sexytime romance comic with capes and lassos!
There’s a lot to keep track of, so the delightfully snarky and satirical site, The Outhouse, does all the work for you. In a masterful stroke of real-talk criticism, their crew launched a feature whose title says it all: Has DC Done Something Stupid Today? Continue reading
One of the many announcements rolling out of C2E2 this weekend is the new project we teased here a couple of weeks ago by Peter Panzerfaust writer Kurtis Wiebe and artist Roc Upchurch. The title of the series is Rat Queens and it will be published by Image Comics’ Shadowline imprint.
“Rat Queens will follow the exploits of four monster-hunting women whose love of partying is outweighed only by their love of exacting sweet, brutal revenge on their enemies.”
Sounds fun, right?
I have got a five-page preview below that says just that. But first, I had a chance to ask the writer, Kurtis Wiebe, a few questions. Continue reading
No one can say that Gail Simone isn’t available to her fans. She has long maintained an open dialogue with readers on her Tumblr and Twitter, and she’ll take on the tough and controversial subjects that are bound to come up in the highly opinionated world of comics. In Part II of our interview, Gail shares her thoughts on the writer-reader relationship, talks about reuniting with artist Jim Calafiore for Leaving Megalopolis, and answers a burning question we saved for the end. Continue reading
V. and I had a lot of questions for writer extraordinaire Gail Simone post-Megacon, and she answered them with her trademark blend of thoughtfulness, wit and candor.
There was plenty of ground to cover. Continue reading
A regular at our Geek Lunch table, our friend CT talks to talented artist, Des Taylor. Taylor’s retro style has a wonderful charm, and his rendering of Lois Lane is one of my favorites. So head on over to Nerd Lunch, check out the podcast and Taylor’s art!
In the spring of 2011, “Nonplayer #1” (Image Comics) generated the kind of excitement that independent comics creators dream of. Written and illustrated by videogame concept artist Nate Simpson, the series introduced readers to Dana Stevens, a tamale delivery girl who escapes her mundane reality through the full-immersion online game “Warriors of Jarvath.” The praise for Simpson’s story and drop-dead gorgeous illustrations was immediate and plentiful, making it one of the most critically lauded comics of the year. By the summer, Warner Bros. had acquired the film rights. Simpson, a newcomer to comics, had a huge hit on his hands and a highly anticipated second issue to finish.
Then, that fall, Simpson crashed his bicycle — an incident that could have been fatal if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet. As the right-handed artist wrote on his Project Waldo blog, “Every bone connecting my right arm to my torso was broken.” His arm in a sling, he was physically sidelined. But Simpson began to write candidly about the other obstacles he had to confront, namely, the enormous pressure he felt after “Nonplayer #1” hit the shelves, and the moments of frustration and outright panic while writing the second issue. Continue reading
A revealing clip from the fabulous-looking documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, makes a powerful case for the necessity of this film. In a series of street interviews, people of both sexes begin rattling off the names of comic book characters, and not a single female comes up. Not even Wonder Woman.
Wonder Women!, which makes its debut at the South by Southwest film festival next month, could go a long way toward changing that. This buzz-worthy documentary, feauturing interviews with artists and icons like Lynda Carter, Gloria Steinem and Trina Robbins, examines the evolution and history of female heroes in comic books, television and film. Directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and produced by Kelcey Edwards, the movie got a huge boost from two successful Kickstarter fundraisers, which made it possible for the movie to be completed and polished for prime time. I’m dying to see it, and based on the response to the fundraising effort, it’s clear that many others are, too.
I interviewed Guevara-Flanagan for the CNN.com Geek Out! blog, and she’s clearly committed to bringing the stories of these heroines to light. Continue reading
Back in the Mesozoic era, I spent a lot of time reading newspaper comic strips. They were a natural source of entertainment for a kid who already loved comic books, and the Sunday funnies section in particular was a big, colorful treasure box. While I was partial to the more contemporary stuff like Bloom County and (do not laugh) Funky Winkerbean, the long-running adventure strips — think Dick Tracy and Mark Trail — were undeniable classics.
The new Ace Kilroy webcomic, created by Joe Kubert School alums Rob Kelly and Dan O’Conner, is an homage to those old-fashioned serial comic strips. Set in the 1930s, it stars a square-jawed, hard-drinkin’ soldier of fortune who’s been tapped by FDR to take on a mission involving vampires, werewolves and the Third Reich. Continue reading
Illustration by Karen Hallion
Every now and then, we post an image on the blog or our Facebook page that elicits an especially enthusiastic response. Karen Hallion’s La Dauphine Aux Alderaan, an Alphonse Mucha-inspired illustration of Princess Leia, is a recent example. Continue reading
Ashley and Ahsoka
Actress and designer Ashley Eckstein is living the dream of every Star Wars fangirl. As the voice of Anakin Skywalker’s scrappy apprentice Ahsoka Tano on the Cartoon Network series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, she’s become a part of sci-fi history. But even as a member of a legendary franchise, Eckstein encountered an all-too-common problem for female geeks: a lack of Star Wars items for women in retail stores. Sure, one could make do with a boxy tee made for a man, but that shouldn’t be a woman’s only option. Continue reading
If you’re at Boston Comic-Con right now, chances are you’ve heard the buzz about Teenage Satan, an online, multimedia comic project unveiled just today by the creative team of artist Stephanie Buscema, and writers Marsha Cooke and Candis Cooke. All-female, creator-owned comics are a rarity, and these days, any comics for young adults are scarce. Teenage Satan will fill that niche with the adventures of Luc, a 14-year-old high school freshman who just happens to be the future leader of the underworld. Continue reading
There’s a stereotypical notion that men don’t know how to write female characters, but readers of Paul Taylor’s Wapsi Square would beg to differ. While this online comic is supernatural and often macabre in nature, it’s grounded in the relationships and everyday lives of its young, female characters. Museum anthropologist Monica Villarreal is a twentysomething with a close-knit and diverse group of girlfriends, but she also happens to live with an Aztec god … of alcohol. The comic has been going strong for a decade, and Wapsi Square won a 2009 Lulu Award for Best Female Character. Writer/artist Paul Taylor gave us some insight into the creator-owned strip, which he suggests newcomers start from the beginning. Continue reading
Life in a comic book shop is ripe for comedic exploration. Aside from the wacky conversations that are specific to comics geeks, there are the only-in-retail scenarios and tensions that arise in a small business, especially one that employs Gen X/Y employees. For people who visit an LCS every Wednesday, the awesome Anti-Matter web series is essential viewing. It’s a funny (sometimes bitingly so) comedy that takes place a New York comic book shop, and the characters are oh-so true to life. E. talked to the show’s writer/director Chris Walker, a former comics colorist for Marvel and DC, about all things Anti-Matter, and why it resonates with people who own longboxes. Continue reading
Wonder Woman and Batman by Celina Hernandez
Connecting with writers and artists we admire is something V. and I have enjoyed immensely since starting this blog. They often turn out to be as gracious as they are talented, and artist Celina Hernandez is no exception. Among other things, Celina does the delightful art for Brian Andersen’s Reignbow and Dee-Va, and So Super Duper — two comics you should definitely check out. Just for Girls Gone Geek, she illustrated this BatWondy image, which is just plain beautiful. What I love about this piece is its powerful simplicity. Bruce is practically enveloping Diana with love, and (squeal!) she’s caressing his face. I’d barely recovered from our 12 Days of BatWondy series, and this has sent me right back to Swoon Island. In any case, we’re very happy to share this lovely, romantic moment with the world. Thank you, Celina!
There are plenty of comics podcasts out there, but the guys behind the Sidebar Nation chatfest — Dwight, Swain and Adrian — are some of the most knowledgeable, opinionated and flat-out funny geeks ever to rock the mic. We had the pleasure of meeting Dwight at Dragon*Con, and Swain moderated the excellent Dark Knight panel. Based out of Atlanta, the Sidebar Nation crew has interviewed some of the biggest names in comics, and their fandom runs deep. They’re super cool to boot, and I learn something every time I tune in. G3 chatted it up with the guys via e-mail, and they were kind enough to answer our nosy questions. If you haven’t listened to their podcast, check it out at their site or via iTunes. You’ll be glad you did. Continue reading
Jodi Moisan's Wonder Woman Day Pony
For every woman who grew up loving comic books and ponies, visual artist Jodi Moisan’s superhero/My Little Pony mashups are, as V. aptly put it, “So much perfect!” Jodi is one of the many creative talents who have contributed pieces being auctioned for Wonder Woman Day, the Wonder Woman Museum’s annual project that supports anti domestic-violence programs. Delightful and highly detailed, Jodi’s ponies of Wondy, Batgirl, Modok, Mockingbird and Wolverine made my inner 6-year-old positively giddy. And as the mother of an actual 6-year-old, I know there are scores of girls and boys — and grownups, for that matter — who would love to get their hands on these four-legged action figures. No less than Stan Lee is a fan of Jodi’s work (he has a custom Stan Lee figurine that she made), and John Byrne owns one of her ponies.
Jodi was kind enough to talk to Girls Gone Geek about her work and her longtime appreciation of comic books and various things geek-related. Continue reading
Dominique of Comics Period
Dominique Agri is the kind of cool, intelligent woman that we dream of running into at comic shops and hanging out with. Dom, as we call her, is the force behind Comics Period, where she not only blogs about the comics medium, but also does educational videos on the history of characters and their impact on the larger culture — hence the tagline, “The Reading Rainbow of Comic Books.” She also writes the Vlog Girl comic strip (illustrated by Anthony La Hara), which has reflected her adventures as a fangirl in a guy-dominated world. Girls Gone Geek recently interviewed Dom about Comics Period, her origin story, so to speak, and the books that make her look forward to Wednesdays. Continue reading
If you follow this blog, chances are that you read a ton of comics and can name your favorite writers and artists. E. and I talk about ours all the time, and many of our preferred illustrators are well known and probably working for the big two. But there are so many undiscovered artists out there who are just as good, if not better than your mainstream people. One in particular goes by the name Roc, and he is the shit.
John “Roc’ Upchurch hails from “a little gutter” in Philadelphia called Hunting Park. Named after his father, who inspired him to become an artist, Roc began his career as a video game concept artist in Georgia. He graduated to freelance work in almost every industry, and he’s now an illustrator of whatever you can imagine. His tools of the trade are pencil, paper and Photoshop. He can do concept art, comics, storyboards and pretty much any commission assignment you throw his way. When our friends saw the fabulous Vanessa G. and E. Peterman avatars Roc created for Girls Gone Geek, they pretty much lost their minds. We certainly did. Continue reading