Tag: Neal Adams

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    Local Comic Shop Day at Oregon TFAW Stores

    LCSD Lying Cat Statue givaway

    Things From Another World is excited to be taking part in the second annual Local Comic Shop Day (LCSD) on Saturday November 19th, and we’re doing what no other comic shop is doing: giving away three Limited Edition Saga Lying Cat Statues!

    We’re Not Lying!

    We will be giving away one of the Local Comic Shop Day Exclusive Lying Cat Statues from the hit series, Saga! Only 300 of these were made, and each one of our Portland/Metro stores is giving one away.

    Local Comic Shop Day Exclusive Lying Cat Statue

    So how can you get one?

    Just come to one of our Portland Area stores anytime during business hours (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.) on Local Comic Shop Day, Saturday, November 19th. Each store will draw a winner from applicable entries and will announce the winner via the store’s email newsletter on November 21.

    MAKE SURE YOU’RE SIGNED UP FOR YOUR LOCAL TFAW STORE NEWSLETTER

    No purchase required, but feel free to check out thousands of other amazing products in our store, including other Local Comic Shop Day exclusive items like the Exclusive Hardcover of Doctor Strange: The Oath from Saga writer Brian K. Vaughn, Neal Adams’ Champions #1 cover, and the highly sought after Moonshine #1 (Frank Miller Variant Cover). All of these are limited in quantities so make sure you stop by early!

    LCSD Variants

    Local Comic Shop Day is all about showing support for the comic shops in your area, but we wanted to go a step further and show our gratitude to the many great customers that make each of our Things From Another World comic shops such a special place.

    So come on down November 19th for your chance to win this limited and exclusive statue!

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    Heroes From Another World

    In the canon of comic book characters there are classic heroes like Superman and Batman, but there are also some off-center heroes that are not exactly the typical tights-wearing dogooders.

    These characters not of this world and ones who have more in common with classic monsters than masked vigilantes. However, their outsider status frequently grants them the ability to comment on humanity differently than their more conventionally human counterparts.

    Let’s start with the tragedy of Dr. Alec Holland, or as he’s better known to readers–Swamp Thing. Holland is a brilliant biologist working on a top-secret bio-restorative formula in the swamps of Louisiana. When a bomb planted in his lab goes off, Holland is splashed with burning chemicals and he runs into the swamp. The muck of the swamp merges with the chemicals and turns Holland into the moss-covered hero he has been ever since.

    Man or Monster?

    swamp-thingOriginally created by comic book legends Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, the original Swamp Thing stories deal in traditional monster tropes. We see Swamp Thing do battle with the mad scientist Arcane and his mutated UnMen, there are angry villagers, giant robots, and even a werewolf. Wein does manage to weave in a story about Holland trying to reclaim his humanity as an undercurrent in the fairly pulpy horror stories.

    Writer Alan Moore brought this undercurrent of humanity to the surface when he took over the book in 1984. Moore reconceived the character as a part monster that had been imbued with memories of Dr. Alec Holland. By inverting the story of a man made into a monster to monster made into a man, Moore created a metaphysical tale of character dichotomy. This change in creative direction brought a whole new audience to DC’s horror tale.

    Swamp Thing has changed creative hands a number of times in his four decades of history. The likes of Mark Millar, Brian K. Vaughn, Grant Morrison, and Scott Snyder have all added to his character development. With the ongoing struggle between man and monster and the trippy mythology gifted to him by Moore, Swamp Thing presents different creators with the chance to tell deeply human and emotional stories in the world of the macabre and the supernatural.

    Defining Deadman and Redemption

    deadmanSwamp Thing is not DC’s only undead superhero. Five years before Alec Holland fell into that swamp, readers were introduced to the aptly named Deadman. Created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, Deadman is the ghost of acrobat Boston Brand who was murdered during one of his acts. The Hindu god Rama Kushna gives Brand’s spirit the power to possess any living being. With this power and his new superhero identity as Deadman, he sets out to track down the man who killed him, a mysterious figure known only as “The Hook.”

    Much like Swamp Thing, it would be another comic book luminary not involved with the initial creation of the character who would come to define Deadman. Writer/Artist Neal Adams took over creative duties in the second issue and not only brought his legendary high detail art, but a new depth to Boston Brand’s story. In Swamp Thing, Alec Holland is an altruistic scientist trying to better humanity with his experiment. For all intents and purposes, Holland is a straight ahead good guy. Boston Brand on the other hand is not exactly a bad guy but he has cold streak of selfishness. He’s ruthlessly focused on keeping the circus business alive often at the expense of the feelings of his fellow performers.

    By creating a character that in life was not the greatest person, Deadman became a story of redemption. Brand was always seeking revenge on his killer, but he couldn’t resist using his newfound abilities to help people as well. This aspect of the character was made explicitly clear when he was rebooted for DC’s New 52. The creative team of Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang added a new wrinkle to Deadman’s mythology. He must use his powers to help people in order to atone for his selfish life or be forced to spend eternity forever in limbo between life and death. The core of Deadman’s character becomes clear, this is a guy who has been given a second chance. The human urge to rectify one’s past behavior is a palpable and very emotional undercurrent to a story about a superhero who can possess people’s bodies.

    Hellboy Seeks Humanity

    Another otherworldly hero with a slightly different streak of humanity thahellboyn those mentioned before is Dark Horse’s Hellboy. The brainchild of writer/artist Mike Mignola, Hellboy is a half demon, half human who was born in hell. Unlike Swamp Thing or Deadman, Hellboy comes from another world and is brought into ours. As opposed to Alec Holland or Boston Brand trying to reclaim their humanity, Hellboy seeks a humanity that he was not born with. Hellboy though monstrous in appearance combats monsters and other supernatural evil for an organization called the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (or BPRD).

    Hellboy presents a character that rebels against his supposed destiny. He was created by evil to enact evil. His right hand is meant to bring about the end of the world. Hellboy chooses to ignore his destiny and instead lives a blue-collar lifestyle of a cop or a plumber, albeit one who combats demons and monsters for a living.

    Almost everyone has at one point or another in their life wondered about their place in the world or grappled with other people’s intentions for them. Most people probably don’t have apocalyptic prophecies connected to them, but Hellboy is a comic book after all.

    Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in varying degrees of being alive. However, humanity is at the core of all these stories. Whether it’s the struggle to regain humanity or a quest to understand humanity, it becomes clear that being human is not related to physical features. In fact, the most physically monstrous can often have the most emotionally complex and human of stories.

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    Exclusive Interview: Artist Matt Haley

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

    A: Neal Adams’ Batman reprints ruled my little world, loved when he had a thirty-foot long cape and a tiny Bat-sports-coupe. There’s something that hits me viscerally to read them even today.

    Q: First published work?

    A: “Star Trek: The Next Generation Annual #2”, reprinted in “The Best Of Star Trek:TNG” TPB from DC Comics. Bob Greeneberger got my samples in the mail when I was in college in New Mexico and hired me. I’ve apologized for the ulcer I gave him!

    Q: What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    How much room have we got? Early on in comics, it was Gil Kane and James Sherman. Also Neal Adams and Michael Kaluta. Was a devourer of art books and museums as a kid, lots of representational artists in there. These days, it’s all over the map. Was recently introduced to Kehinde Wylie who is blowing my mind. Lots of inspirational artists I follow on Instagram.

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

    Both – for commercial projects like “Gotham Stories” it’s digital, since the art had to be prepped for animation. For covers like Ninjak #13, it’s a combination of old-school art and digital coloring. Lately I pencil in Procreate on an iPad Pro!

    Matt Haley panel sketch

    Q: What are you reading nowadays?

    Right now, “Paper Girls” from Image. Also have enjoyed “Faith” from Valiant, and thankfully NEXUS by Mike Baron and Steve “Dude” Rude is back. Also “The Four Norsemen Of The Apocalypse” from Devil’s Due/First with art by John Lucas, terrifyingly good stuff. it’s a great time to be a comics fan!

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

    It changes – still love the pilot for “The Incredible Hulk”. Bill Bixby’s acting made it such a great updating of the “Jekyll & a Hyde” story. Watch it on Netflix, it’s still scary good.

    tangent comics #2Q: What’s next for your career?

    Lots more writing and developing my own stories. Have directed a television pilot and am eagerly looking forward to more of that. Have two scripts out and writing has really grabbed me lately!

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

    The Tangent Comics TPB Volume #2 from DC Comics. Loved and adored creating Tangent: Joker with Karl Kesel and Tom Simmons, would love to revisit her some day. Lots of leaping figures and weird high-tech environments!

    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?

    From Texas, grew up in New Mexico. College was a way for me to escape and while I didn’t study hard, ENMU was a growth experience. My professor emeritus was Jack Williamson, grandmaster of science fiction!

    You can learn more about Matt Haley at MattHaley.com or on Instagram as @MattHaleyArt for random art giveaways and new sketches. And check out his art for Fox’s Gotham Stories too!

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    Interview with Comic Artist Mike Baron

    comic book artist Mike Baron, wearing a hatThis kicks off an interview series where you can get to know the artists, writers, inkers, letterers and other people involved in the creation and publication of your favorite comic book series and graphic novels. And we’re excited to start with Badger and Nexus artist Mike Baron. Here’s how our interview went…

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

    When I was a kid, growing up in Mitchell, SD, I latched onto Uncle Scrooge comics as the ne plus ultra. It just struck a chord with me. Those Carl Barks-written and drawn adventures were as instructive as they were entertaining. I probably learned more about economics from those early Scrooges as I did in school. I wrote a letter to Mr. Barks c/o Disney asking for a drawing, and he sent me an inked sketch of Uncle Scrooge. I have it somewhere.

    Q: First published work?

    “I Smoked Dope For the Government,” for The Boston Phoenix in 1972. This was later reprinted in Denis Kitchen’s Weird Tales. I just saw Denis last week at a convention in Denver. He was among my first publishers.

    Q: What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    Steranko and Neal Adams blew me away. And later, Barry Smith and Berni Wrightson. But it was mostly about the art in those days. As for telling stories, my heroes are John D. MacDonald, Carl Barks, and Philip Jose Farmer. I have also learned a great deal from the Western writer Pete Brandvold.

    second issue of "badger"
    Issue #2 of “Badger”, art by Mike Baron

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

    I start with notebook and pad, making notes while I lie in supine splendor gazing out on my vast holdings. Then I work up an outline on my computer. I always have that notebook with me. You never know when you’re going to get an idea. I used to just wing it, but now I plan and scribble, and build that outline. The outline has to be as exciting and entertaining as anything it describes. I need to be able to show that outline to anyone, and for them to get excited about the story.

    Q: What are you reading nowadays?

    Lots of history preparatory to me writing a historical novel. I just finished Cortes, by Richard Lee Marks. Man, those Aztecs were gruesome! Conn Iggulden’s Genghis Kahn saga is the greatest thing I’ve ever read. I recently read Robert Crais’ The Promise. Meh! I liked Dan Simmons’ Hard Case, but hated his Winter Haunting. Currently reading Paul Bishop’s Lie Catchers. Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, Private Eye series, about a zombie detective, is very droll.

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

    I have lots of favorite comic books. Stray Bullets by David Lapham, The Watchmen, Chuck Dixon’s Way of the Rat, Don Rosa’s Uncle Scrooge. I consider Captain America: Winter Soldier the best superhero movie to date. Man, I tried to watch some of those TV superhero shows but they just don’t work for me. I have to believe the story could actually occur. Right now my favorite TV shows are Better Call Saul, Vikings, and Vinyl.

    First page of the new Nexus Series by Mike Baron
    First page of the new Nexus Series by Mike Baron

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

    I used to write comics by drawing each page out by hand. I’m good enough to get my ideas across, but it hurt my back and now I work full script. I’ll still do convention sketches, but they’re amateurish, believe me. I supply copious photo reference to my artists.

    Q: What’s next for your career?

    Chicken sexing! Liberty Island Press will release all my Josh Pratt novels beginning with Biker in the fall. Josh Pratt is a reformed motorcycle hoodlum turned PI. These stories are pretty gruesome. I like grim. I’m turning the first Biker into a graphic novel with Val Mayerik, with whom I’ve done Conan, Bruce Lee, Ninjak, and of course Badger, which is coming out right now.

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

    I think Skorpio is my best novel. It’s about a ghost who only appears under a blazing sun, but I have four novels in the pipeline that are explosive. Wordfire Press is publishing Banshees next month. It’s about a satanic rock band that comes back from the dead. Here at TFAW I like Badger, of course, and my Nexus series.

    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?

    Born Madison, WI, grew up Mitchell, SD, returned to Madison, graduated UW ‘71, moved to Boston, started writing for Boston Phoenix, The Real Paper, Creem, Fusion, Oui, Boston Globe. Moved back to Madison in ‘77, met Steve Rude in ‘81, created Nexus, created Badger in ‘82. Took me a long time to learn how to write novels. I’m a slow learner. But when I get it, I get it. Got some stuff in the hopper that will blow men’s minds! I now live in Fort Collins, CO, with my wife Anne, and my three dogs, Mack, Freddie, and Bob. You can learn more about me at my Web site: Bloody Red Baron.net.

    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 davetaylor@tfaw.com as the first step.

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    Artists Step up to Be Counted With CBLDF Membership Art Auctions!

    Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman CBLDF SketchArtists are stepping up to Be Counted as CBLDF supporters with a round of auctions benefiting the organization on eBay this week. Frank Quitely, Jim Lee and Scott Williams, Cliff Chiang, Neal Adams, and other titans of comics have contributed prime pieces of original art that the CBLDF is auctioning off this week to individuals who support the Fund’s Be Counted membership drive. The CBLDF currently seeks to raise $100,000 by October 31 to support its urgent legal and education work, and has raised over $58,600 so far. Please sign up for membership today and Be Counted to help the Fund reach its goal!

    This week’s new incentives include:

    Neal Adams:

    Batman Head Sketch–Master cartoonist Neal Adams supports the CBLDF with this contribution of an inked head sketch of Batman in his inimitable style!

    Cliff Chiang:

    Wonder Woman Original Art Pin-Up–Cliff Chiang supports the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund with a donation of this incredible original Wonder Woman pin-up, made to support his art opening at Bergen Street Comics on the occasion of Wonder Woman #1’s release. This is the only piece of Wonder Woman original art that Chiang has released into the marketplace.

    Becky Cloonan and Brian Wood:

    Conan Letterpress Print Artist Proof–Own this artist proof edition of a rare, limited Conan print signed by Becky Cloonan and Brian Wood featuring characters from Robert E. Howard’s Conan tale “Queen of the Black Coast.” The print is based on the line art of an exclusive variant cover and is being used by CBLDF for this exclusive premium item through the gracious cooperation of the Robert E. Howard Estate and Dark Horse Comics. Signed by Wood and Cloonan, these prints were hand-letterpressed by Letterpress PDX in Portland, Oregon on heavy wet-press rag stock, and are beautifully textured in person.

    Jim Lee and Scott Williams:

    Justice League #1, Page 11–Jim Lee and Scott Williams support the CBLDF with this exquisite page from Justice League #1, the best-selling comic book that launched the new DCU! Featuring Batman and Green Lantern facing off against the heavy artillery of Gotham’s PD, this piece is an exciting work of original art for a good cause.

    Neal Adams CBLDF Batman Head SketchBecky Cloonan Brian Wood CBLDF Conan LetterpressJim Lee Scott Williams CBLDF Justice League #1 Page

    Alex Maleev:

    Spider-Woman Watercolor Painting–Alex Maleev contributes this moody watercolor painting of Spider-Woman to raise money for the important First Amendment legal work done by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

    Charles Vess & Jeff Smith:

    Rose Page 43–This is a rare, fully painted work of original art by Charles Vess, signed by Vess and Jeff Smith from Rose, the prequel to Smith’s seminal comic book series Bone! This item benefits the First Amendment legal work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, during their Be Counted membership drive, where they are working to raise $100,000 by October 31 to pay for important legal and education work. This item includes one-year membership in the CBLDF.

    Frank Quitely:

    JLA: Earth Two, Page 27–Frank Quitely contributes this iconic page from JLA: Earth 2, featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and Aquaman!

    Please bid in these auctions to support the CBLDF, and also Be Counted by going to CBLDF.org and becoming a member. In addition to these auctions, the CBLDF still has the opportunity available for you to go to lunch with legends like Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Frank Miller, Gail Simone, and more! Please help the CBLDF protect comics by joining the CBLDF today!

    Alex Maleev CBLDF Spider-Woman WatercolorCharles Vess Jeff Smith CBLDF Rose PageFrank Quitely CBLDF Justice League: Earth Two Page

    VISIT THE CBLDF BE COUNTED CAMPAIGN PAGE

    JOIN THE CBLDF TODAY AND SUPPORT THE 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF THE COMICS COMMUNITY

    Have you joined the CBLDF? Are you going to big on any of the original artwork pictured here? Post your comments below!

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