Tag: Amy Reeder

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    Buffy stabs her way into Season 11

    New Comic Book Day is here! Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick soff s highly anticipated new season. Along with the super fun adventures of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Hellboy gets a new mission. Every week we review a select few NCBD books. Check out our other blog articles so 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.

    Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13
    By: Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, Leonard Kirk

    She’s the smartest girl in the room…well, the world actually. Lunella Lafayette AKA Moon Girl is a nine-year-old prodigy who pals around with a bright red time-displaced Tyranosaurus Rex named Devil Dinosaur.

    Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13 kicks off a new story arc “The Smartest There Is,” and serves as a great entry point for new readers. The thing I like most about this series is that it’s just plain fun. Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder are adept at writing for kids and adults, keeping the language easy, but expertly incorporating nods to Marvel’s history.

    This issue also has a fun dream (or is it a glimpse of the future?) sequence illustrated by Leonard Kirk. This sequence alone makes this issue worth the price of admission. I’m also a fan of the surprise character who pops up on the final couple pages of this issue…

    If you’re looking for a fun and colorful (literally, Tara Bonvillain’s colors are lovely) series to break up the standard capes and cowl books on your reading list, this Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is highly recommended. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE NEW STORY ARC TODAY

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #1
    By: Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs, Dan Jackson, Steve Morris

    For those new to the series, yes, Buffy The Vampire Slayer has lived on in the form of a comic series for 3 seasons after it’s television ending. Now with Season 11 being the perfect jumping on point for new readers. After the end of their last crisis, Buffy, and vampire boyfriend Spike, are now supernatural crime consultants for the San Francisco police department.

    The bulk of the issue is reintroducing the reader to a lot of familiar faces. Giving exposition hinting at how that character has changed over the course of the last few seasons, making brand new readers to the comic series welcomed. Which is great, because before you know it, the action is turned up to…11 (get it?).

    Christos Gage has been working with these characters since Season 9 (originally on Angel & Faith before taking over the main book). He writes the cast with the same tone fans have come to rely on. Rebekah Isaacs, captures the characters likenesses perfectly. Making it feel like we’re once again seeing some old, familiar friends.

    If you’re a fan of Buffy, Joss Whedon, great female characters, or fun in general. Make sure you’re getting this first issue of another great adventure with the Scooby Gang. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JUMP BACK ON THE BAND WAGON SEASON 11 IS HERE!

    Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 – The Unreasoning Beast #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Patric Reynolds, Dave Stewart, Mike Huddleston

    Since the end of Hellboy, it only makes sense to go backwards. It all started with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952. The first mission Hellboy ever went on. Continuing through the years with 1953 and 1954. This is the start of the second mission for 1954 (that we’re shown). Involving a haunted family by a firey monkey.

    Having not read a Hellboy since the end of Hellboy in Hell. After reading The Unreasoning Beast #1, I’m back in the fold. As this is Mike Mignola’s baby, I didn’t expect anything less than a stellar story. Especially with Chris Roberson co-writing. Artist Patrick Reynolds’ style is immediately recognizable and works so well within this world.

    Although the story ends with a happy ending. As much as it can when dealing with the supernatural. You get this eerie feeling we’re not done yet, and it has nothing to do with the fact that there is a second and third issue already solicited. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    GET HAUNTED BY HELLBOY ONCE AGAIN!

    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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    Amy Reeder Chats About Her Career in Comics and Halloween Eve

    Halloween EveWe’ve done some fantastic Women in Comics interviews, and we’re psyched to have had the chance to chat with artist Amy Reeder. We loved her work on Madame Xanadu and Batwoman and are looking forward to her upcoming one-shot with  Brandon Montclare from Image Comics, Halloween Eve.

    We talked with Amy about her history in the comics industry, what she’s personally struggled with, and what’s coming next. Make sure to check out our four-page preview of Halloween Eve–looks like a lot of fun!

    TFAW.com: What are your earliest memories of comics? What was the first comic you read?

    Amy Reeder: My first experience with comics or even comics stores was when I became a fan of Sailor Moon in 1997. I would go to comic shops to find whatever paraphernalia they had . . . back then there wasn’t much manga, even. I think the first comic I read was Blue Monday, probably in 2003. That was when I graduated college. So I’m sort of late to the game!

    TFAW.com: What inspired you to become an artist, and when did you first begin to explore that creative outlet?

    AR: I used to draw here and there . . . some people didn’t even know I was an artist. But when I drew, it was copying photographs, and I was pretty good at it. I couldn’t draw out of my own head, though. I gave up on that until I started getting into manga after college and realized that if I actually tried, I could probably teach myself to draw! And it turned out that I learned really fast.

    Halloween Eve Preview Page 1I think it’s because I’m not one of those artists who always sees something wrong with my stuff. If I’m in control of it, I really do love it, like I sit there and pat myself on the back. It’s gross. So when I first started learning, and I’d see great results, it became an addiction and all I could ever think about or do was improve at art. It was such a rush.

    TFAW.com: What attracted you to Halloween Eve?

    AR: The biggest thing was that it came from the mind of Brandon Montclare. I wanted to work with him. He’s a friend of mine — we’re very close, and part of that is because the guy really knows his stuff. He’s smart, he cares, he believes in me, and he knows how to make stories that matter. He suggested doing a Halloween story, and I knew that he would do it wonderfully, and that we would get along. I will say I was nervous about drawing all the costumes in the store — I’d drawn a costume shop before in my Tokyopop book Fool’s Gold and it’s a lot of work! But I actually had loads of fun . . . on Halloween, anything goes, so I relied a lot more on my imagination, rather than reference.

    TFAW.com: What’s going to surprise or intrigue readers the most?

    AR: Hmm, I think it’s the level of quality, really. Like everything has been so cared for . . . this is by far my best work ever. And the story really takes you places . . . I think it’s pretty unpredictable, and yet it fits together like a glove. While drawing it I kept telling Brandon, “I think people are going to freak!” So I hope we’re right!

    TFAW.com: How has your experience been, working with Image Comics?

    Halloween Eve Preview Page 2AR: Oh, they’ve been great. We’ve just sent the book to the printer, so I’ve had a lot of interactions with most of the staff as of late. And it’s all been good . . . you can tell they care, and that’s what matters most to me, working with a publisher. It’s also really nice to be associated with all the titles in the imprint . . . we all know Image has been creating a lot of buzz for quality comics.

    TFAW.com: What’s your favorite part of telling stories in the sequential arts?

    AR: Drawing faces, definitely. I’m obsessed with faces, all different types, and coming up with very specific expressions. Now that I’m coloring and inking, I can be even more exact with it. It’s the acting, I guess. And that’s what I look for in other people’s art as well. I get into it because of the acting.

    TFAW.com: What aspect of comics have you struggled with, as a creator?

    AR: I struggle with a lot of the things that most comics artists are really great at. I am still learning to draw men well. Fight scenes are hard for me if it involves realistic combat, because I’ve just never paid much attention to that sort of thing. Even more difficult is drawing armor, guns — things that are more stereotypically “male,” honestly. Which is tough because a lot of this is the focus in comics. But I do want to get better, and I hope I will.

    TFAW.com: What advice can you give aspiring comic book creators?

    Halloween Eve Preview Page 3AR: Make like-minded friends (even if it’s online) and help each other get published. Also, always draw the absolute best you know how . . . and then some. Try the things you’re bad at until you’re good at them — don’t let your strengths be the crutch that keeps you from growing.

    TFAW.com: What was the last comic you read?

    AR: Becky Cloonan’s Batman one-shot! Awesome!

    TFAW.com: What has your experience been like, as a female creator?

    AR: It’s been all over the map. Sometimes I’ve been given really great chances that have probably been beyond my abilities because people in the industry want to support diversity. I think I’ve been recognized more often because I’m female, too. Other times have been no-so-great, but I’ve never experienced anything blatantly sexist. I get self conscious a lot — like I worry that when I stand up for myself it sounds more abrasive because I’m not a dude slapping another dude on the shoulder, like “F-you, man! Haha.” Or, my style is pretty feminine — I think it’s tough to get publishers and editors behind that sometimes, even though I’ve been shown time and time again that the audience is there. It’s made me examine myself a lot and where I exist in the gender spectrum, when I’d rather not even have to think about it.

    TFAW.com: Who’s one woman in comics that you admire?

    AR: One?! Okay, well I really love Jill Thompson. She does it all — she writes, she watercolors, she does things for herself. And she seems really happy. Not to mention she’s incredibly talented. Oh, and strong. Physically. I have a picture of her fake-throwing me out of a restaurant! But seriously, Beasts of Burden broke my heart, Little Endless is amazing, and Scary Godmother is the best. She’s the queen of Halloween!

    Halloween Eve Preview Page 4TFAW.com: What are three things you think comic book publishers should be doing to attract female readers?

    AR: You know, this is tough, because I have realized that a lot of people genuinely do not know what attracts females. Like I just wish I could be in charge of it somehow. But the safest bet is to hire women on more projects, and listen to their opinions, because most of us really do get it. Hold on to these creators and these titles, even if they aren’t your top sellers, because we need a continuous influx of new readers in order to sustain the industry. And a huge well to dip into is the female readership.

    TFAW.com: What other projects do you have coming up?

    AR: I am figuring that out right at the moment! I will probably have some new creator-owned project going because that’s going really well right now, but I might do some other things as well. I hope to have something awesome to announce by New York Comic Con!

    Our thanks again to Amy for an excellent interview. Make sure to pre-order Halloween Eve for a little extra fun this month.

    PRE-ORDER HALLOWEEN EVE AND SAVE 20%

    What’s your favorite Amy Reeder comic? Post your comments below!

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