Friday, March 27, 2015

Space Riders #1

I have been anticipating this one for a LONG time. Bloody Disgusting recently called it "Fucking Sublime" but all I can really say is "Alexis Ziritt nailed it". You will be blown away to this neon colored homage to the greats of comic legend. While Bloody Disgustin's article compared Ziritt's style of illustration to Kirby, I kept seeing elements of Ditko. For whatever reason I'm more reminded of Strange Tales. Anyway....   It's all wrapped up in a story which rides the rails of action. It's pretty fucking fun. Space Riders is being released by Black Mask Comics who has been really busy lining up an amazing year of releases. I can't express just how satisfied I am with Black Mask right now.

So Captain Peligro is a Spanish, one-eyed captain who sadly, got stranded on a planet. His old employer the E.I.S.F. decides to dig him up for a mission to prove himself once more. One of the conditions is that he doesn't go trying to enlist the help of his x-first mate. The whole thing is too much fun. Fabian Rangel Jr and Ziritt make an excellent team and I hope they plan on working together again in the future. I know I've got my eye on Alexis Ziritt, that's for certain.

You can expect to get your copy of this April 1st!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Mike Carey: ALL about John Constantine

A few things: you probably know that I'm a gigantic Hellblazer fan. HUGE. You may also know that one of my favorite writers from the series is Mike Carey. You may have also remembered my outrage when DC did the worst thing I could think of: they pulled the Hellblazer title from the Vertigo universe and pulled John Constantine into the New 52 at the beginning of 2013. Now recently, DC announced that they have decided to end that universe and give John Constantine back a spotlight more deserving of him. The new title will begin this spring entitled John Constantine: The Hellblazer. I couldn't possibly be more excited about anything else this year because HELL, one of my favorite people Riley Rossmo is going to be illustrator on this monster and Ming Doyle will be writer! This team has got me pumped! So.. long story short, I wanted to talk to a Hellblazer legend and expert on the history and future of John Constantine. So here's my chat with Vertigo legend Mike Carey.

TFQ: Mike, you held the second longest run of any Hellblazer authors and wrote many of my favorite Hellblazer stories. I wanted to ask your thoughts on the history of Hellblazer along with how he feel about the current title Constantine and the upcoming relaunch Constantine: The Hellblazer. But first what are your thoughts on the last relaunch of Constantine ? What kind of criticism do you personally have?

Mike: I felt like it was a missed opportunity in a lot of ways. John works brilliantly as an ongoing protagonist in a Vertigo milieu. And he works as a walk-on savant stepping out of the shadows in superhero books. Whether he can be made to work as a protagonist in his own solo book in a superhero universe is a different question, and harder to answer. I'd say the jury is still out.

TFQ: How do you feel about the decision to pull John Constantine into the New 52 universe? And how does it feel knowing that universe is coming to an end?

Mike: I absolutely followed the logic of having John at play in the DCU. That was where he started out, and on one of his early appearances in Swamp Thing we saw him mixing with superheroes on the Monitor's space vessel. But I don't think there was any compelling argument to end the Vertigo monthly in order to start the DCU book. Marvel had already made a very convincing case in the Ultimate books for having multiple versions of the same character be in circulation at the same time. Fans weren't puzzled by parallel, mutually exclusive continuities. They took them in their stride. Ultimate Spiderman was over here, and regular Spiderman was over there. All good.

So it seemed to me that an axe had been dropped for no good reason.

The Constantine book has gone up and down in quality as any ongoing book will do. But I've never been able to warm to it because it killed its older brother in order to get itself born.

TFQ: I'm a big fan of Ming Doyle. I'm also a huge fan of Riley Rossmo so for the first time since the end of Peter Milligan's Hellblazer run, I'm actually really excited about a new Constantine title. There is promise to restore him to his original character. How do you feel about the new series and do you have any predictions?
Mike: Ming is amazing as an artist. I'm less familiar with her as a writer. One thing that's certain is that during its Vertigo run every writer was able to re-invent John Constantine in ways that suited their own storytelling styles, while still keeping some core of the character intact. There aren't that many characters who are robust enough to stand that kind of manhandling. So I'm definitely prepared to give this a shot, and I'm curious to see what kind of John Doyle and Rossmo will give us.

TFQ: Would you ever consider writing Hellblazer again if the opportunity arose?

Mike: In a Vertigo context, yes. Not in the DCU. I'm probably all done when it comes to writing ongoing books in a shared continuity with a line-wide editorial mandate. It's fun, but you have to dedicate a big chunk of your waking life just to staying on top of what's what.

TFQ: What are your favorite Hellblazer stories of any that are out there?

Mike: My all-time favorite is still HAUNTED by Warren Ellis - utterly superb horror, and the best manifesto for a new take on the character that any writer has ever come up with. Of course, Ellis didn't stick around for the long haul so it's impossible to know what his Constantine would have been like if he'd helmed the book for three or four years or more. But I'm betting it would have been magnificent.

I also love Jamie's run on the book. The Family Man was insanely good.

And Suicide Bridge was a lovely one-off.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Djet on Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker!

If you are a child of the 90's like me, then you probably remember a band called Blink 182 and a man called Tom Delonge who sang in said band. Well in the last couple months Tom announced that he was leaving the band to explore other interests. One of those interests happen to be the world of comics. In 2014 Tom released a short film called Poet Anderson The Dream Walker and this April Magnetic Press will release the mini series is inspired the film. The three part mini series introduces Poet to the world of the dream and is beautifully illustrated by the talented Djet. I was so taken with the beauty of this world I wanted to talk to Djet and find out a little bit about his process. Keep in mind English is not Djet's first language and although I cleaned up the sentences slightly, I wanted to keep as much of his original sentiment as possible.

TFQ: Can you tell me a little bit about how you got involved with this project? What is it like working with Tom Delonge on his vision?

Djet: It happened through a phone call, when I was asked to work on the comic adaptation of the work of Tom Delonge. The implication is made for itself because I was immediately captivated by the history and the visual of the cartoon. I received guidance on the process for the comics by Tom and Ben, via my editor. Which was much easier to understand the ins and outs. The rest is up to the power of the pen. I have not much interaction with Tom, but they let me know if he likes my work (or not: D)

TFQ: How did you begin the character design. Did you have a clear vision what each of the characters would look like?

Apart from Poet and his alter ego, Jonah, I did not have an immediate vision of how to treat the characters. Because we set myself a story that is still different from what is done in the cartoon. It explores the first steps of Poet in the dream world and the first figures that accompany it. Ayo, for example is a complete creation in this universe. They gave me references and images to the design as seen in the comic. The difficulty was being able to recognize my style while maintaining the graphic Poet.

TFQ: Where did you find inspiration for the dreamworld in Poet? 

Djet: The inspiration for the universe was already in place. I could not change it!!! Subsequently, I have a universe that is in line with the original work, with less of a dark side! So I could adapt easily to this dream world.

TFQ: Are there any other artists or books which contributed to how you developed this vibrant world?
Djet: In the work that I love is where I find my inspiration in general and to the cinema with Terry Gilliam, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, or Baron Munchausen (my favorite), novels as the Windwalkers Alain Damasio, Neil Gaiman and recently the work of Sean Murphy. I also work with the « Cabs workshop », designers friends scattered over France. We communicate via internet and they give me the right advice when needed. They are a good source of inspiration and support for a work of this magnitude.

TFQ: What are the challenges you face when illustrating a book that also lives in animation?

There are so many challenges on a project like this. The biggest challenge is to make it as vibrant and dynamic as the animated version. For one, it must combined several ideas. It is a work more amusing elsewhere. I find it exciting to find the angle that can represent several ideas without any show (it will not always happen). Then make sure that will not be just a command. And finally, give the best, because I quickly stress on what people may think of my work, so I don’t want to regret it with half effort. It's not over yet !! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Royal Jelly: March 24th 2015

Arkham Manor # 6 (of 6)
D4VE #2
Curb Stomp #2 (of 4)
The Empty #2
Jem & The Holograms #1
Nightbreed #11
Multiversity Ultra #1
Rumble #4
Walking Dead #139
We Can Never Go Home #1
Wytches #5

Low TP

Angel of Elhamburg GN Vol 1

Gyo Deluxe HC

It's a pretty exciting week! As far as floppies go, we've got the continuation of some great series like D4VE, which found a special place in my heart. The Empty continues this week with it's second issue along with Curb Stomp. I encourage you each to check these out immediately!! You know, before you can't get a copy.

From Black Mask Comics we have  a new debut series called We Can Never Go Home. See all the details and my full review of it HERE.

One new series I'm excited about is Jem and the Holograms! I've been posting pictures on facebook about this for months. IDW is releasing this monster tomorrow from creative team Kelly Thompson and Ross Campbell. I'm pretty much expecting this to be an adult version of my one of my favorite childhood cartoons. It's been explained that the sexuality of the characters isn't typical or linear so I'm excited to see what's what. I'm hoping this will be a modern and inclusive story!

For all you DC fans out there, I'm sad to let you know that the conclusion of Arkham Manor is out this week! I've really enjoyed this mini. I hope to see more of Shawn Crystal illustrating my favorite DC characters soon!

From the world of manga there's a new series being released to us English mouthers. Manga sensation Aki's The Angel of Elhamburg. I'm excited about this medival type story because it unfolds through the eyes of an angel. You probably remember my obsession with Angel Sanctuary.
In addition, my favorite manga writer and artist Junji Ito's marine & body gore horror Gyo is being released in a hardcover deluxe edition. If you loved Uzemaki,you'll love Gyo.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Exclusive Interview with the Creators of Neverboy!

Recent Darkhorse mini series caught me offguard. I had not heard much about it's release until the week before. I was going over my pull list to see this curiously named creature of a title. Neverboy begged some googling and as soon as I caught sight of the cover I knew I had to read this book. Artist Tyler Jenkins (Peter Panzerfaust) and writer Shaun Simon (Killjoys co-creator) team up to bring you a psychedelic journey across the boarders of reality. Former imaginary friend Neverboy has joined ou reality and made a life for himself. However he can only keep his grip on our world as long as he takes our drugs, be it whatever he can get his hands on. Things start to slip when the drugs run out and reality fades.

I was so personally taken with the beauty of this initial issue that I decided to contact Tyler and Shaun. Both of them gave me some insight into this fantastic world and their process.

TFQ: First off, can you tell me how you teamed up with artist Tyler Jenkins for this project?

Shaun: I had an idea of the art style we needed for the book but didn't have an artist in mind. Sierra, our editor, was sending me lists of great artists and right around this time my brother in law told me to check out this book, Peter Panzerfaust. Tyler's art stuck out to me. He has these thins lines that makes the characters look fragile. I got in touch with him and told him about the project and he was interested.

How did you come up with the concepts behind Neverboy? Has the story been brewing in your head a long time?

Shaun: It started with the question, "what happens to an imaginary friend if the child who created him dies?" I came up with the name and started figuring out who this character was. A book like this can easily wander off into the surreal and I wanted to keep it, Neverboy's story, grounded in the real world. The surreal stuff has more of an impact when it's used sparingly.

It has been in my head for a long time in various incarnations. At one point he was part of a group of people like him but his story always stuck out. I felt it needed to be told on its own.

TFQ: How deep into fantasy will Neverboy take us? What can we expect to get into here?

Shaun: Every issue has fantastical elements to it but, like I said, I didn't want to overdue it and get away from Neverboy's story.

In issue 2 we meet Neverboy's counterpart. Julian Drag is an artist turned taxi driver struggling to find inspiration. He's having a seriously bad day and about to do something about it when a certain imaginary friend comes crashing into his life. 

TFQ: Can you tell me how you developed the look and feel of Neverboy, especially when things get surreal towards the end!

Tyler: This is a hard question to answer. I don’t have a specific process for developing the look of things. In these instances, I knew where we had to go with it and then I “research”. Basically this means looking at cool stuff, stuff that may be semi related, and just feeling my way. With the color waves: oil spills, oceans, waves, drowning, exploding fish tanks, etc ,etc. Nothing specific but all informing the feel of things. and then just drawing until it works out.

TFQ: Can you tell me a bit about what artists or pieces have influenced your artist style?

Tyler: I have a list of artists that have inspired and informed me. They evolve continually and are different year to year. but some reoccurring, even constant, inspirations: and I would say these are the ones I would say my style is most informed by:

Guy Davis (his Marquis is masterful)

Jordi Bernet (Torpedo)

Goran Parlov (Punisher Barracuda,…)

R.M. Guerra (Scalped)

Glyn Dillon (Nao of Brown)

This is maybe the short list, but there are tons of other artist I am inspired by and regularity look at.

TFQ: How does working on Neverboy differ from some of your previous work like PeterPanzerfaust ? Do you take a completely different approach to each book or is the process similar?

Tyler: The process is similar, actually. I thumbnail out the page in small, maybe 1/4 size. Then I lay out the panels on the final are board and pencil it. I pencil super super rough. sometimes just circles for heads, and then Ink it. doing most of the work and detailing with the ink. To paraphrase something Guerra said in an interview: I use the pencil to organize the page only. then draw it with the ink.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We Can Never Go Home #1

Black Mask is a fairly new label (formed in 2012). Their next year of releases is looking pretty amazing. I've been keeping up with the buzz including the new Black Mask TV which is something I'll go into on an entirely separate post. Right now I want to talk about this story - issue 1 of We Can Never Go Home. It may seem like your average super powered teenager story but it's clever script (and kick ass music references) will suck you in regardless of how tired you are of super powers.

For me, the super power plot has lost it's shine. I think that's one of the reasons why I stopped reading They're Not Like Us. Overly dramatic rehashing of stories written repeatedly over the last few decades. This story takes us away from that. These aren't super heroes and the focus isn't on their powers but rather the real challenges that kids can face... like abusive parents and creepy boyfriends who don't know when to stop and school bullies.

Writers Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon have managed to bring a tired theme to a new place we can all enjoy. Artist Joshua Hood brings the characters Maddie and Duncan to life with vibrant colors. All the frustration and complications of growing up in suburbia have found there way into yet another awesome comic book. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this one.

You can get your copy next Wednesday! March 25th!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Royal Jelly: March 18th 2015

Batgirl #40 (Entire issue by Bengal!!)
Sharper #1 (Darkhorse)
Giant Days #1 (Boom!)
Kitchen #5
Chrononauts #1
Invisible Republic #1
Alex + Ada #13
Spread #6

Usagi Yojimbo Saga: Vol 2
Lazarus Vol 3
Prophet Vol 4

Hey all! I'm moving this week so I may be posting a lot less because I'm soo swamped with work and packing! Luckily there are lots of great books coming out Wednesday to read. I want to mention that Bengal's Batgirl is finally hitting the stands after weeks of anticipation!! Make sure you get your copy whether you read Batgirl or not! I know I will!

I could neat new series starting up. The Boombox imprint from Boom Studios releases Disney animator Lissa Treiman's first comic book mini series Giant Days! All the while Darkhorse is at it with a new interstellar adventure called Sharper!

Two great trades from Image: Prophet Vol 4!!! OMG YES and Lazarus Vol 3!!

Mark Millar's Chrononauts finally comes out  while also from Image Comics we have Gabriel Hardman's new on-going illustration gig Invisible Republic!

Soo much to look forward to but I'm afraid it's back to work for me! :D Until later and keep reading !