Tag: Howard Chaykin

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    Space Ghost: Lantern to Lantern

    It’s review time for NCBD. This week we’re looking at an interdimensional team-up, IDW’s Deviation of Orphan Black and finding out where the Inhumans go from here. As always there are only a couple of books to come out this week. Make sure to check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Green Lantern Space Ghost Crossover comic at TFAW.com

    Green Lantern and Space Ghost
    By: James Tynion IV, Christopher Sebela, Howard Chaykin, Ariel Olivetti

    Green Lantern and Space Ghost is a concept that flows together so well that it’s surprising a crossover hasn’t been attempted before this comic. Both heroes are space cops, both wield weapons of great power, and both are continually motivated to do the right thing. In Green Lantern / Space Ghost #1 from DC, both heroes meet for the first time in a story that is out of this world.

    Written by James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela, the story follows the familiar tropes of any superhero team-up: The heroes meet, fight, resolve their differences, and team up to stop a larger enemy. While classic GL and Space Ghost villains like Zorak and Larfleeze make brief appearances, the plot and action revolves around completely new characters and villains created just for this story. The artwork by Ariel Olivetti is outstanding, bringing the action on the page to life in stunning detail.

    While the main story is an all-ages affair, the back-up story featuring Ruff N’ Reddy skews slightly more adult in its tone, so parents buying the book for their children will want to keep that in mind.

    If you’ve grown up with both Green Lantern and Space Ghost, this team-up is a dream come true and one that longtime fans will appreciate. If you’re new to these characters, Green Lantern / Space Ghost #1 serves as a great introduction to them. No matter which group you fall into, this story is a blast to read. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    If you like this book, you’ll love the current Green Lantern comics!

    Orphan Black Deviations #1
    By: Heli Kennedy, Wayne Nichols, Cat Staggs

    “Hey! You got Orphan Black in my Butterfly Effect.” Or is it the other way around? Orphan Black: Deviations #1 asks the question: What would happen if Sarah had saved Beth, instead of watching her die?

    Set in the very same moment the show kicks off, Deviations will be a familiar tale for show watchers, but with distinct differences. On the show, Sarah witnesses the death of a woman who looks just like her, which sends her down a path of self-discovery; the comic sends her down the path of having saved her life instead. Writer Heli Kennedy takes on the difficult task of re-writing a story the fans are familiar with while making it fresh and unpredictable. As it turns out, Beth being alive changes quite a bit in this award-winning series, keeping favorite moments intact but with small tweaks and quirks. Artist Wayne Nichols does a phenomenal job of keeping the clones distinct without the benefit of actress Tatiana Maslany’s mannerisms and vocal shifts. Drawing directly from the color palette and costume design of the show, the art will instantly transport you back to season 1, with some new tricks.

    This series is set at a much faster pace than the show, which will please the familiar but may alienate those new to the series. What’s old is new again, and nobody is safe in this alternate timeline tale. Maybe even a few new clones will show up… [Adam B. at TFAW.com]

    Orphan Black: Deviations #1 is on store shelves now.

    Inhumans Prime #1
    By: Al Ewing, Ryan Sook, Jonboy Meyers

    If we’re being honest, I’ve never been a fan of the Inhumans. I know of them, I even like some of them, but as a group who was attempting to displace the X-Men? No thank you. Despite all of Marvel’s efforts to get me to read them, I simply refused. Now with Marvel attempting to make the Inhumans their own unique group once again and not a replacement for mutants, I figured there was no better time to give the group a try than with Inhumans Prime #1.

    Wow, I wish I checked out the Inhumans a lot sooner.

    Inhumans Prime #1 does an excellent job of introducing the reader to a wide array of Inhumans and their powers. The book focuses on familiar Inhumans, such as Black Bolt and Ms. Marvel, and new ones such as The Reader. While new readers may find themselves a bit lost in the events that transpire in this book (I had to look up a few things during my read), writer Al Ewing does an excellent job positioning the Inhumans up for a new status quo. I loved every page of it.

    With a big reveal at the end, the book is the perfect set-up to Marvel’s newest slate of Inhumans titles, including Royals and Black Bolt. I know I’ll definitely be adding all Inhumans titles to my pull list ASAP, as well as checking out past stories like the Karnak TPB. If you’re an Inhumans fan, this is a must-read book, and if you’re like me and have been on the fence about the Inhumans for awhile, I strongly encourage you to check this book out. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    After reading it, make sure to preorder a copy of Royals and Black Bolt to continue the story!

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Interview: Adam Markiewicz and Ben Fisher, “The Great Divide”

    the great divideIt’s the future and it’s a pretty miserable place: there’s a plague that makes physical touch lethal. Much of the world’s population has died, and the few survivors left have come up with a variety of adaptations to avoid contact. Is there a cure? Two young thieves think they’ve found a way back to the old world, but not everyone’s enthused about how things were before the plague…

    Learn a lot more abut the story in our exclusive (and funny!) interview with the creators of The Great Divide: writer Ben Fisher and artist Adam Markiewicz.

    TFAW: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    Adam Markiewicz: When I was 9 years old, my dad bought me a copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #11 and it was loads of fun. The main feature guest starred Iron Man and Black Panther. The back-up story featured Rhino. I immediately went out and bought every Spider-Man comic on the stands. The adjective-less one was my favorite because of the art (this was when Todd McFarlane was drawing it). But I also read X-Men, Superman, Batman, and FF.

    Ben Fisher: I definitely lived and breathed Claremont’s X-Men and I loved Giffen’s run on Justice League Europe. Both of those books were really just different spins on the “outside, looking in” motif, and like so many adolescents, I strongly identified with that.

    TFAW: Can you tell us a little on how you first got into comics and your road to this new series?

    Markiewicz: My first legitimate job in comics was actually with Ben, as the letterer on Smuggling Spirits. From there, I did a bit of freelance but focused mainly on self publishing, including a my webcomic Trench Coat Samurai.

    Fisher: I “broke in” to the industry with Mike Henderson (Nailbiter, Illuminati) when we were lucky enough to win a back-up story competition at Viper Comics. Mike and I followed that up with the Smuggling Spirits graphic novel, which is how I met Adam. Flash forward a few years and a few books, and I pitched my Grumpy Cat editor at Dynamite a very, very different style of comic . . . and here we are!

    Running away from the tab, detail from "The Great Divide"
    Detail #1 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: The premise of The Great Divide is that there’s a highly contagious pandemic transmitted by physical touch. Where did you come up with the idea for this particular pandemic?

    Fisher: The concept is that one day, without warning, every human on the planet is simultaneously afflicted with “dermadik” — a condition that results in instant death when any two people make skin contact. I got the idea on a crowded bus, actually. I started wondering how many fundamental aspects of society would change if being in close quarters became a potential death sentence and the story sort of grew from there. It’s probably also a bit related to my own introversion.

    TFAW: There’s no explanation of what happened or why, we’re just dropped into the middle, very similar to The Walking Dead. Are you going to give us backstory as things unfold, or is that another story arc entirely?

    Fisher: Oh, absolutely. The first arc finds our protagonists stumbling onto the possible cause of the Divide, but then forces them to confront the difficult question of what to do with that information. And, of course, solving one puzzle often leads to a whole series of new, even stranger, mysteries …

    TFAW: Love the Roadkill Saloon as a setting for this portion of the story! Any fun back story on that one?

    Fisher: I wish there was — I feel like I should make one up! It’s really just an amalgam of various seedy midwestern biker bars, with a name that would be remembered by the reader (since it’s used to bridge the time between pre- and post-Divide). And I knew from the very first draft that the story needed to open with a “guy goes into a bar” joke.

    TFAW: Adam, I really enjoy your style. What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    Markiewicz: Thank you! My biggest influences have been Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Jaime Hernandez, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Chris Ware, and Shirow Masamune. I still look at their work constantly. When I was a teenager, I was actually more interested in film than comics, so I also take a lot of inspiration from John Carpenter (especially for this series), Stanley Kubrick, The Coen Brothers, David Cronenberg, and Sam Raimi. Recently, I’d say the two artists I look at the most are Mike Henderson (and not just because he’s a friend, but because his work is awesome) and Amy Reeder.

    TFAW: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    Markiewicz: I started the series old school, but I recently made the switch to a Cintiq. In fact, I went from real old school — with ink pens and brushes — to using markers and brush pens while drawing issue 1, and now I’m entirely digital. I also do the lettering, which was all digital from the beginning.

    TFAW: Right now, the series is planned for a 6-issue run. Do you have ideas for future arcs?

    Fisher: Without question. Adam and I truly love this broken, strange world and the people who inhabit it. We’ve outlined plots for a long stretch, with an opportunity to really expand the scope and stakes — so if readers are interested, there’s plenty of story to tell and more arcs will be coming.

    Detail #2 from The Great Divide
    Detail #2 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: What has it been like working with the folks over at Dynamite?

    Markiewicz: Any publisher that allows the amount of freedom we’ve had is top notch in my book. Especially when you consider that it’s a bit of a risk, backing a story with such unusual subject matter. It’s been great.

    Fisher: Dynamite has been an absolutely fantastic teammate throughout the process. Rich Young really championed the book early on in the pitch process and we will always be grateful for that — and to Nick Barrucci for having faith in the type of story we wanted to tell. Keith Davidsen and Anthony Marques have been invaluable keeping everything on track for the big launch in September (I know it’s not easy to corral us). And finally, although he doesn’t work at Dynamite, I’d be remiss to not give a shout out to my story editor, Jon Stark, who has made every script he’s touched better.

    TFAW: Who do you think is going to enjoy this series the most?

    Fisher: Certainly, anyone who enjoys dystopian subject matter like Walking Dead, Mad Max, or Y: The Last Man should have a good time in this world. But the series also focuses on our common fears of intimacy, human connection, and dysfunctional relationships in general, so fans of books like Sex Criminals and Pretty Deadly will also find our story touches on familiar themes in new ways.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Markiewicz: Hands down, my favorite comic right now is Rocket Girl. Ben also turned me on to Vision, which is an excellent read. I’d feel bad if I didn’t mention Nailbiter, but Lord knows Mike and Josh don’t need me to tell the world. I’ve been enjoying DKIII quite a bit, and Phil Noto‘s doing excellent work on the Poe Dameron book. Honestly, though, I just don’t get enough time to read comics. I’m too busy making them.

    Fisher: It’s truly a golden age for comics right now — there are so many great books on the shelf. I know I’m going to get in trouble for leaving brilliant titles off the list. But in addition to Adam’s recommendations, I can’t say enough nice things about Goddamned, East of West, Squirrel Girl, Monstress, and Injection. And I’m genuinely mad that I’m not writing Army of Darkness: Furious Road. It just oozes fun.

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    Review: Star Wars: Shattered Empire

    star wars shattered empires tpd #1-#4 graphic novelEveryone remembers the closing scene in Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. Endor. Ewoks. A funeral pyre for Darth Vader, and his spirit showing up with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda to look on with pride as Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, the droids and even Lando party with the little guys. Rebels win. The Force wins. Huzzah! But then what? What happened in the interim 30 years between the end of Star Wars VI and the opening scenes of Star Wars VII, The Force Awakens?

    That’s what Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens from Marvel is addressing, and this terrific graphic novel collects all four issues of Star Wars: Shattered Empires and adds two additions, Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 and the delightful original 1977 Star Wars: #1 in all its retro glory.

    The storyline itself really revolves around the Imperial Starfleet, because even with the destruction of the Death Star, the Empire and its regional governors retain their hold on important systems throughout the galaxy, from Core to Outer Rim, because of their remaining military might. So while the exhausted Rebels might seek to have some time off to recoup after their great victory, it turns out that it’s not that much of a victory yet, because the Moffs are busy trying to acquire control over the disarray of the Empire, a dangerous chaos that might prove to be more deadly than Emperor Palpatine’s Empire!

    The artwork in the series is excellent, really exciting, notably the battle above Cawa City on planet Sterdic IV, where Rebel pilot Shara again proves her mettle against waves of Tie Fighters as the local residents recoil in terror at the aerial battle. Shara is as dedicated a pilot as you could hope for in the Rebel Alliance. Perhaps too devoted, as her young son Poe barely knows her. Yes, that Poe. Dameron.

    marvel star wars #1 comic book coverQuite a lot happens in the four parts of the main storyline, including just about every favorite character having a substantial role, even Luke himself. Luke isn’t teaching young Padewans in this story, however, as referenced in the backstory of The Force Awakens, so there’s still plenty of mystery about who, what and the other specifics of the newly reinvigorated Star Wars universe.

    The 1977 Star Wars #1 story is great fun and the artwork, while less sure than the Shattered Empires, is still sufficient to help propel what serves almost as a parallel origin story along. Princess Leia #1, however, is hindered by its art, with too many panels featuring well known characters (Leia, Han, Luke) with faces, postures and body dimensions at odds with the characters we know and love. Particularly when compared to the confident, splendid art of lead artists Marco Checchetto and Angel Unzueta in the Shattered Empires portion.

    Still, Shattered Empires is plenty good enough to justify the purchase of the entire trade paperback, and the addition of the original Star Wars #1 is a great bonus. And, heck, you might love Terry & Rachel Dodson and Jordie Bellaire’s art on Princess Leia #1. It just didn’t work for me.

    Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens / Star Wars: Shattered Empire is a trade paperback book that collects all four issues of Marvel Comics’ miniseries Star Wars: Shattered Empire, as well as the first issues of Star Wars: Princess Leia and Marvel’s original Star Wars comic series. Shattered Empire: Written by Greg Rucka, Art by Marco Checchetto, Angel Unzueta and Emilio Laiso. Princess Leia: Written by Mark Wait, Art by Terry & Rachel Dodson and Jordie Bellaire. Star Wars #1: Written by Roy Thomas, Art by Howard Chaykin and Jim Novak. $16.99.

    Review by Dave Taylor.

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    Exclusive Interview: Artist Mark Wheatley

    mark wheatley self-portraitQ: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    I was very young. Maybe 5 or 6 years old. The kids in our little neighborhood would trade stuff – toys and comics. I traded something I had for several coverless comics. In fact, these comics also were missing the first sheet or two, so the first 2 or 4 pages of story and the final 2 or 4 were also missing. I enjoyed reading them – I had to imagine the beginnings and endings of the stories because those parts were missing. And every time I read those stories, I would imagine different beginnings and endings. It was good exercise for the imagination.

    It took me many years to figure out that I was reading a couple issues of Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories.

    A year or two later I traded for two issues of Spider-Man. These comics really caught my imagination. I loved the quirky art by that Steve Ditko guy. And since the stories were continued, I kept reading them in different order in an attempt to get the story to connect and make sense. Again, my imagination was put to good use connecting the plot points! It was a few years later that some kid explained to me that the numbers on the covers were all about what order to read them. I then learned that I was reading two issues that were quite a few numbers apart. So they really did not connect. But that never stopped me making up my own stories to fill in the blanks. I guess I’m still doing that!

    Q: First published work?

    My first commercial published work was some poster designs that my school system commissioned me to do while I was still in high school. But I had been publishing my own fanzine about comics and science fiction for a few years at that point. The zine was called NUCLEUS and that’s where I first connected with John Workman, Bob Smith, Howard Chaykin, Marc Hempel and a few other guys who also went on to make professional comics.

    doctor who, the 9th doctor adventures, art by Mark WheatleyQ: What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    I’m influenced by anything that is good and even a good deal that is bad! My personal favorite artists are many. In comics, the list includes Steve Ditko, Roy Crane, Winsor McKay, Will Eisner, and really – the list just goes on and on. I think my visual style is informed a bit by N. C. Wyeth, Nick Cardy, Alex Toth and Alex Nino. But I collect old magazines and books for the classic illustrators who worked from the late 1890s through about 1965. And all of this material exerts an influence on my approach to any of my projects. I know that I aim for a different look on each new project that gets a bit closer to the heart of the subject and mood. I don’t know if that comes through in the final work – it might all look the same to my readers.

    I will also say that there are a growing number of amazing artists working today who impress me with their drawing and imagination. I stand willing to learn from anyone!

    Q: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    Yes.

    I use all of that, and more. But my typical work flow is to draw on the computer in Photoshop, using my Cintiq. At times, I’ll print out that drawing and then pencil and/or ink a version or portions of the image that can then be scanned and brought back into the computer for digital painting. And I even will paint some real media strokes and details that will get scanned and combined with the digital painting. I’ll do whatever I think will give me the look and result I’m aiming for – all within the limits of my deadlines. The hard truth is that there are times when I would like to do the real media elements and instead I have to pull out all the digital chops and get the work done in an hour or two, because digital is faster and allows for easier changes. And since I’ve been doing a great deal of work for TV in the past decade, and TV people ask for many, many, many, many changes, digital is a life and deadline saver!

    Q: What are you reading nowadays?

    I live in a house full of books. I have read about two thirds of them. And I read constantly. But I never get past the two thirds mark because I keep getting more books to read!

    Right now I am reading a history of magazine publishing, THE MAGAZINE IN AMERICA 1741-1990. I am also reading THE ANNOTATED MARX BROTHERS: A FILMGOER’S GUIDE TO IN-JOKES, OBSCURE REFERENCES AND SLY DETAILS by Matthew Coniam, and HAROLD VON SCHMIDT by Walt Reed, I usually am reading a novel, but the long hours I’ve had to work these past few months on a new TV pilot for ABC has interrupted that. Next I’m looking forward to reading THE DRAWING OF THE DARK by Tim Powers. As for comics, I’ve been reading the John Severin edited issues of TWO FISTED TALES.  I also am reading all sorts of magazine articles from the old magazine issues I collect. I enjoy reading about the then current events. It gives an illuminating view of history to read about it while it was happening. Very instructional for seeing how modern events are portrayed in our media and how they might be remembered years from now. Also, it tends to make it very obvious how much of our society is playing out a loop of recurring events for the past 150 years or so.

    Q: Favorite comic book -> movie adaptation and TV show?

    I was very happy with the first Sam Rami SPIDER-MAN movie. I also thought the first IRON MAN movie was exceptional. I don’t know about TV. Although the 1960s BATMAN TV show is what started me drawing my own comic books. I got all charged up by the BATMAN craze and drew stories that featured a duck version of BATMAN. Probably the best adaptation of anything to TV that I’ve ever seen is THE EXPANSE on SyFy. But that’s from the science fiction novels by James S. A. Corey.

    Q: Share some of your work: A first pencil sketch to a finished panel. Do you do all your own inking, coloring, and lettering?

    mark wheatley doctor who cover creation
    Progression of cover for issue #8 of the 12th Doctor Adventures, Year Two, by Mark Wheatley.

    Above is the sequence for The 12th Doctor Adventures, Year Two, Issue #8, left to right, starting with my graphite sketch of Peter Capaldi. It was very simple, but I was mainly going for the likeness that would work with just half the face. Then I scanned the sketch and painted it in Photoshop. Finally, the finished cover from Titan.

    FLUFFYPUSS: DOOMSDAY CAT, a new Sunday Comics series by Mark Wheatley.
    FLUFFYPUSS: DOOMSDAY CAT, a new Sunday
    Comics series by Mark Wheatley.

    Q: What’s next for your career?

    Right now I am working on a lavishly illustrated YA novel with steampunk master G. D. Falksen. We are two years into the work and should be announcing it in the next few months. I’m also working on the new edition of BREATHTAKER that I did with Marc Hempel. We have fully remastered it and are working on an additional new story together. There will be some major public events tied into the new edition, including a major touring show of the original art to a number of museums. And I just completed work on the SQUARE ROOTS pilot for ABC TV. We will know in May if it will go to series. I’m also continuing to paint covers for DOCTOR WHO at Titan, STARGATE ATLANTIS at American Mythology and THE THREE STOOGES at American Mythology.

    Did I mention FLUFFYPUSS: DOOMSDAY CAT? It’s a Sunday Comic I’m launching from Golden Bell Studios and I do it all, from story to art.

    And there are even a few more things I’m not yet allowed to announce!

    Q: What’s one title you think is a good example of your art / writing here at TFAW?

    My current comics work is mostly covers, that I already mentioned.  I think my story, “NIGHTMARE” that I did for the Dark Horse JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN this past year was nice. But my favorite works are EZ STREET from ComicMix/IDW and BREATHTAKER soon to be out from Titan.

    Q: Where were you born, what did you study in college, what are the names of your pets, if you have any, and where do you live now?

    I hail from Virginia, where I attended Virginia Commonwealth University. The school trained me to be an art director. And I worked as an AD for three years before I got into comics. I have two beautiful, young kitty cats – Amber & Autumn and they and my lovely wife, Carol live with me here in the wilderness of rural Maryland in our house full of old books.

    Q: Do you have any personal appearances coming up?

    I do! I hope to see a lot of my fans this summer. I’m preparing for a busy convention season that starts at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, followed by 3 Rivers Comicon, then Awesome Con and the San Diego Comic-Con International and then the Baltimore Comic-Con – oh and FCBD at Redd Skull Comics in Calgary, too!

    You can keep track of me and see my latest works at MarkWheatleyGallery.com and on Facebook at @WheatleyMarks.

    Are you a creative professional in the comic book or graphic novel industry? We’d like to interview you! Please send an email inquiry to Dave Taylor at TFAW as the first step.

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    Comic Book Reviews: Conan, Sacrifice, New Avengers & More

    Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

    Are you ready for this week’s comic book reviews? We take a look at Conan the Barbarian #1, Green Lantern #6, Sacrifice #3, and the New Avengers Vol. 2 TPB, and we had some pretty strong reactions! Still undecided? Take a look at our previews for Conan the Barbarian #1 and Green Lantern #6.

    Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! We try not to go into too much detail in our reviews, but a few mild spoilers might slip through the cracks!

    Conan the Barbarian Comics

    SEE ALL OF THIS WEEK’S COMICS AND MORE

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    What did you think about this week’s comics? What should we review next week? Post your comments below!

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