A little over a week ago I attended MoCCA Arts Fest, an annual comics convention put on by the Society of Illustrators/ Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in Manhattan. Located in the wonderful space of the 69th Regiment Armory, MoCCA continues to stand out as one of the shows that I look forward to most in the con circuit. It is smaller, friendlier, better run, and has (I think) a firmer grasp on the comic reading populous and what they want out of a show. A diverse range of creators, panels geared to the making and process of comics, decent and affordable food in the dining area, cheaper tickets, and attendees feeling welcome and safe are all things MoCCA provides in spades. Sure, you might think it’s “easier” for a smaller show to supply these things, but I hear that the force behind planning the fest is a staff of two or three, so think again. They had 7,000 attendees over two short days. 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
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
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!
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
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