The Greatest Comic Book Covers #3

In the third installment of our ongoing series, our spotlight falls on Marvel’s flagship character Spider-Man and how a certain Canadian artist reinvented everyones favourite arachnid for a whole new generation.

In 1987 an up and coming Canadian artist took over the artistic reigns on Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man title. Neither the character, nor the wider comic book industry, would ever be the same again.

Todd McFarlane was an overnight sensation on Amazing Spider-Man. Ever since co-creator Steve Ditko left the book way back in the 1966 dated issue Amazing Spider-Man #39, the web spinner was fixed in a Marvel “house style” best depicted by John Romita Senior and Ross Andru. An acclaimed run by Ron Frenz took the wall crawler back to his Ditko days until McFarlane joined the book as its regular artist with issue #298.

McFarlane really put the spider into Spider-Man. Bigger bug eyes and a more wirey, athletic Spider-Man was introduced along with a more detailed “spaggetti” webbing.

When Amazing Spider-Man #300 hit the stands, McFarlane was on his way to comic book stardom. This was no standard bumper anniversary issue. This issue told a story that meant something and added to an already rich mythology. One of Spidey’s most implacable foes was introduced. Over 30 years later that character, Venom, is still one of comicdoms most popular characters and has even made his way to the big screen.

And then, there’s that cover. If you had to pick one cover that told you everything about Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man, this one has to be it. There are those big eyes and that super athletic pose. The webbing is detailed and Spider-Man jumps out of the cover. It had its admirers back when it was released and over 30 years later it continues to influence. Not a month goes by in the world of new comic book releases, than a string of “homage” covers hit the shelves, all honouring in their own way a most iconic comic book cover.

Read more

Stan Lee 1922 – 2018

As news of Stan Lee’s passing reverberates around the world, Geek Genie pays tribute to “The Man”.

lthough most of us knew this day was coming, it was still hard to take. At 95 years of age, Stanley Martin Lieber, had passed. He had lived his best life. In recent months, the signs were there that Stan may not be of this mortal plane for much longer. After his beloved wife Joan passed away in 2017 also at the age of 95, his health slowly deteriorated.

Stan Lee’s place in comic book and indeed pop-culture history is already assured. He was instrumental in turning a fledgling Marvel Comics into a powerhouse which shunted to one side the old established order represented by DC Comics. Lee’s penchant for hyperbole saw him add the strapline “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” to the Fantastic Four comic…after only two issues! But it was precisely this boundless enthusiasm and energy which saw Marvel tap into the 1960’s hip new generation in a way that DC struggled to.

His creative collaborations with industry legends such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck to name but a few saw the birth of a new universe that has now come to dominate the big screen. Spider-Man was a loner and nerd who was bullied at school. The X-Men were a band of outcasts shunned by society and victims of discrimination and intolerance. Generations of disenfranchised groups found an immediate home in the pages of these unconventional heroes.

Lee was not without controversy. His role in the creative process of many of Marvel’s characters has sometimes been challenged. The age of social media has possibly amplified some of the vitriol hurled toward Lee. But even his most ardent critics would have to accept that Marvel Comics and indeed its later cinematic off-shoot would not have had the success it enjoys to this day without Stan Lee.

After Marvel’s stable of titles increased, Lee stepped aside as writer and editor to become Publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972 and in 1980 moved to Los Angeles in an effort to launch Marvel into Holywood. But box office success would have to wait. While DC were enjoying success with its Superman and Batman series of films, Marvel were releasing straight to video flops in the form of Captain America and Fantastic Four. 

All that would change in 2000 with the release of X-Men. The success of  X-Men heralded the Marvel Age of Movies. In 2008 the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born with the release of Iron Man. The studio followed one hit after another. A fan favourite feature of each movie is Stan Lee’s cameo appearances. With Avengers 4 already completed, Stan’s next cameo will be all the more special.

News of his passing prompted a deluge of tributes from friends, collaborators, fans and pretty much anyone and everyone.

For those of us who are comic book fans, most of us cannot remember a time without Stan Lee. His vision, passion, creativity and constant desire to move Marvel forward has given us a world rich with characters and stories that will remain forever. The Marvel Universe, indeed the comic book world, is poorer today with Lee’s passing. But you know he wouldn’t want it to end here. His legacy lives on in the millions of fans and creators inspired by his work and vision. Onward. Excelsior!

Read more

DC Entertainment Pays Tribute To Stan Lee

As pop-culture fans across the world digested the news of Stan Lee’s passing, DC Comics paid there own tribute to “The Man”.

 

Given all his achievements in comic books, entertainment and pop culture, Stan Lee’s nickname, “The Man,” was both well earned and well deserved. From his time as a teenage assistant at then Timely Comics, through his collaborations with fellow icons like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr. and John Buscema, plus his tireless promotion of comic books to a mainstream audience, Lee was in no small part responsible for raising the profile of comic books to make them accessible to everyone.

“Without Stan Lee’s fertile and creative mind, endless energy and work ethic, comic books would have been completely different from what we know and enjoy today,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “He helped to create worlds that were both fantastic and relatable at the same timeallowing more people to embrace superhero storiesWe’ll be forever richer having him with us.” 

He also made his impact felt here at DC, as the guiding force behind “Just Imagine,” where he re-imagined several of DC’s main superheroes. For those fortunate to have met and worked with him in those days in DC’s New York offices, his impact, warm smile and influence will always be fondly remembered. 

“Stan was a great friend and a true legend. He paved the road for me and other creators for more than half a century,” said DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. “From my beginnings in the industry until today, Stan’s influence on my work and my life can’t be emphasized enough. It was a dream come true to have worked with him however briefly, and I’m honored to be among the amazing roster of creative talent that shared the stage with him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the millions of fans whose lives have been touched by his brilliance.”

Read more

DC Launches Holiday Special “Worlds Greatest Super-Heroes”

The 100-Page Walmart Exclusive Arrives in Stores by Sunday, November 11

THE WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES! HOLIDAY SPECIAL Includes an Original Story Featuring THE FLASH, Plus Popular Holiday-Themed Stories from the DC Vault, Including the Eisner-Nominated BATMAN Short Story “Good Boy,” By Tom King and David Finch 

With the holidays rapidly approaching, DC and Walmart are adding to their lineup of 100-page “Giant” comics with a new one-shot to ring in the holiday season! Following the success of their horror-themed SWAMP THING HALLOWEEN HORROR SPECIAL, DC’s WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES! HOLIDAY SPECIAL is headed to participating Walmart stores in the U.S. today and should reach stores by Sunday.

The fan-favorite creative trio of THE FLASH—Scott Lobdell (writer), Brett Booth (artist) and Norm Rapmund (inker)—have reunited for an original tale featuring the Scarlet Speedster, “Twas the Riot Before Christmas.” Barry Allen’s holiday tradition of giving gifts to the kids at the Central City Home for Wayward Children gets interrupted by a riot at Iron Heights penitentiary featuring some of the Flash’s deadliest foes. In restoring order, he receives help from an unexpected source, but will it be in time to spend Christmas with the kids at the home?

This Walmart exclusive also reprints a host of holiday-themed stories from throughout DC’s history: Tom King and David Finch’s “Good Boy,” from the 2016 BATMAN ANNUAL tells the painful (certainly for the Dark Knight) story of how Batman and Alfred brought Ace the Bat-Hound into the family.

Originally featured in the 2014 HARLEY QUINN HOLIDAY SPECIAL #1, “K!llin’ Time,” written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Darwyn Cooke, shows how Harley Quinn decides to deal with aging and finding her first gray hair—by killing Father Time!

Written by Joe Kelly with art by Ale Garza, “All I Want for Christmas” from the 2006 DC INFINITE HOLIDAY SPECIAL spotlights Supergirl in a tale of making a little girl’s Christmas wish come true by reuniting her with her father after the Maid of Might shows him the importance of not being an absentee parent and gives him a second chance to be a father to his child.

The anthology also features two stories from the 2016 DC REBIRTH HOLIDAY SPECIAL. In “A Light in the Dark,” Kate Perkins (writer) and Paolo Pantalena (artist) featured Batwoman in a holiday rescue story involving pie and the story of Hanukkah, while Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are subjected to a series of trials by a mysterious alien race where the prize is not just the fate of the world, but something that Earth will always need: Hope. “The Epiphany” was co-written by Steve Orlando and Vita Ayala, with art by V. Ken Marion.

1992’s SUPERMAN #22 rounds out the lineup with the story “Metropolis Mailbag,” written by Dan Jurgens with art by Jackson “Butch” Guice. As the holidays approach, the Man of Steel finds out that even he has limits when he reads some letters that are addressed to him in the Daily Planet’s “Superman room.”

The WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES! HOLIDAY SPECIAL sells for $4.99 and arrives in participating Walmart stores throughout North America by Sunday, November 11. To find your nearest Walmart location, check out the store finder page at www.walmart.com.

 

Read more

DC Celebrate 80 Years of Batman as #1000 Looms

DC CELEBRATES 80 YEARS OF THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR SUPER HERO WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF TWO TENTPOLE BATMAN ANNIVERSARY BOOKS IN 2019

DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN THE DELUXE EDITION

This Oversized Hardcover Will Feature the Best of the Best from the Dark Knight’s 80-Year Publishing History

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000

The Landmark Comic Book to Introduce New Version of the “Arkham Knight”;

Original Story by New York Times Best-Selling Writer Peter J. Tomasi and Acclaimed Artist Doug Mahnke; Bonus Stories from All-Star DC Lineup, Including Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini and More

Leading into Batman’s big 80th celebration next year, DC announced today the World’s Greatest Detective will be honored with two milestone book releases in March 2019. DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN THE DELUXE EDITION will be a spectacular oversize hardcover book, and DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 will be a collector’s edition of the 1,000th issue of the periodical comic that launched the high-flying adventures of the world’s most popular Super Hero. Retail orders for these books will be available soon.

Since his debut in DETECTIVE COMICS #27 in March 1939, Batman has been the most popular DC Super Hero in the world, resulting in repeated waves of pop culture “Bat-mania” for many generations of fans. Whether known as the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader or simply Batman, his appeal is global, and he has headlined comic books consistently since 1940, representing thousands of comics titles that have regularly been industry best-sellers no matter the comic book era.

“The enduring popularity of Batman over the past 80 years speaks to the character’s multi-generational appeal,” said DC Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio. “We’re proud to celebrate Batman’s cultural impact with these special releases and look forward to a year of commemorating this milestone anniversary with fans across the globe.”

 

DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN THE DELUXE EDITION will feature an all-new cover by Jim Lee and several unpublished treasures, including a story about a traumatic early moment in Bruce Wayne’s life by Paul Levitz and acclaimed artist Denys Cowan and an extraordinary look at a work in progress—Bob Kane “ghost” Lew Sayre Schwartz’s original layouts for the Batman tale from DETECTIVE COMICS #200. In addition, the celebratory book will include essays looking at Batman from extraordinary perspectives including Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Glen David Gold, Denny O’Neil, former San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman and pulp historian Anthony Tollin.

The collectible hardcover book follows the best-selling ACTION COMICS: 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN and again features guest editor Paul Levitz. Classic reprints of the Dark Knight’s most memorable adventures will also be highlighted, from his first appearance to peak moments and the debuts of Robin, Batwoman, Bat-Mite, Batgirl and Super-Villains such as Two-Face, the Riddler, Clayface and Man-Bat. Plus, the must-have book will include the first tales of Slam Bradley, Air Wave, the Boy Commandos and the Martian Manhunter.

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 periodical commemorates the anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in DETECTIVE COMICS, the title from which the DC brand itself was born. The 96-page landmark issue will feature an original story written by New York Times best-selling author Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN AND ROBIN, DETECTIVE COMICS, BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT) with stunning artwork by Doug Mahnke (BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, BLACKEST NIGHT). Paying tribute to the Caped Crusader’s 80-year legacy, the book will also include a series of supporting stories by top DC talent, including Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Dini, Christopher Priest, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Kelley Jones, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Maleev and more.

Marking eight decades of crime-fighting, the oversize 1,000th issue of DETECTIVE COMICS will reveal a never-before-seen iteration of the Arkham Knight, as well as original stories by some of the biggest names in comics. To further celebrate the cultural legacy of the iconic Super Hero, DC will present a special hardcover release, DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN THE DELUXE EDITION, including new artwork, all-star contributors and thrilling untold stories.

These two special publishing exclusives, available in March 2019, are certain to become collector’s items as part of DC’s yearlong plans to honor 80 years of Batman storytelling. More details on the cross-company festivities and global celebration will be released in the coming months. Visit www.dccomics.com or the DC YouTube channel for the latest news and updates.

Read more

The Release of Volume #2 Compu-M.E.C.H. (Full Color Edition Graphic Novel)

Compu-M.E.C.H. Volume #2 (Full Color Edition Graphic Novel)

Is now available on amazon.com worldwide.* In the US the cover price is $19.99.

In this dynamic novel the world is getting to know what the Compu-M.E.C.H. Program is all about. This novel has everything from huge evil sea mosters. to the living dead and the villain named “Death Shourd” Also the Compu-M.E.C.H. Program decalres ‘War on Illegal Firearms” and all the conspiracy they find hidden it that social problem. Dr jason Green also inplants an Ai Chip into The M.E.C.H. Unit and he becomes a sentient being, who battles a beast created by a forbidden science named “Manamal”.

Don’t miss this action packed Novel

It is available by clicking the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Compu-M-C-H-Color-Graphic-Novel/dp/1798506580/ref=pd_ybh_a_7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4BCSZYTRZ12AHD8M7Q3R

*Please note that this product is not endorsed by amazon.com or any of it’s affiliates nor KDP nor any store that may sell it.

Read more

The Indie Index – Interview with Dirk Manning

First things first, who are you?
I’m Dirk Manning and I’m the writer and creator of comics including, but not limited to, NIGHTMARE WORLDLOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR)TWIZTID: HAUNTED HIGH-ONS, and TALES OF MR. RHEE, the fourth volume of which is currently on Kickstarter with a *Kickstarter Exclusive* Hardcover and nine unlocked Stretch Goal bonuses and counting.

Do you remember the moment when you realized that you wanted to create comics?
I do, yeah. I talk about this in more detail in my book WRITE OR WRONG: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CREATING COMICS, but the short version is it was when I discovered the power of the medium – of telling stories through a combination of words and pictures – after reading WATCHMEN, THE CROW, and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS all pretty-much back-to-back-to-back as a teenager. I didn’t read comics much before then, but that made me a fan of the medium for life.

 

You’ve made a name for yourself and are known for a few things outside of just comics (obscuring your face, karaoke and ice-cream), how did they come about and what made them stick?
Most of it is just an extension of who I am, you know? I don’t like my picture taken, hence the tongue-in-cheek author photo of the guy in the top hat and scarf that has become my brand logo. From there, when I started doing conventions and people started wanting pictures with me, it was my readers who said I should cover my face, which was fine with me since I don’t like having my picture taken anyway.

As for the ice cream, again, I just love ice cream… and how it feels on my throat to eat it for breakfast after a long day of non-stop talking at a con.

 

Finally, in regards to the karaoke, that’s something that has taken-on a bit of a life of its own with me and Dan Dougherty creating alter-egos and cutting promos on our “opponents” and all of that, but ultimately it’s all in good fun and, again, an extension of what we do. Dan is a singer in the band ON THE OFF CHANCE anyway, so he’s obviously already very talented in that regard, and as for me… I’m sort of the Flavor Flav to his Chuck D., which is ultimately what makes it all so entertaining. [laughs]

 

What’s a mistake that you see new creators make that you think they shouldn’t?

Don’t ever take anything for granted. Slow and steady pressure it what turns coal into diamonds… and due to a variety of factors you’re going to have to constantly press forward just to have a chance of you and your work being noticed.

 

Continuing on from that, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the comics industry and what did you learn from it?
Very early in my career I took one or two things for granted in regards to promoting my work (and not capitalizing on some momentum I had started), and I’ve vowed never to make that rookie mistake again.

Taking friendships out of the equation, what do you look for in a Kickstarter campaign to make you back it?
Reasonable prices for a product I’ll enjoy. It’s really as simple as that for me.

Five years from now, where are you?
A lot more books, and hopefully doing fewer conventions every year. I love doing shows, but I anticipate even moving into 2018 that I’ll be doing fewer (but bigger) shows because I’ll be spending more time writing the books coming out.

One piece of advice that you would give aspiring indie creators?
Write the book you most want to write first.

Go ahead and plug your work:
I can be found across most social media platforms at “DirkManning” (look for the pic of the guy in the top hat, glasses, and scarf), and my full touring schedule and bibliography is posted at www.DirkManning.com. That aside, my most current book is TALES OF MR. RHEE Volume 4: “Everything Burns” is now available from Devil’s Due through Kickstarter at bitly.com/EverythingBurns. This volume is the end of “Act One” of the series, but it’s also a perfect jumping-on point for fans of psychological Cthulhu-noir horror.

Read more

The Indie Index – Kickstarter Spotlight: Voodoo Detective

Before we go any further, can we please take a moment to recognise how cool of a title ‘VOODOO DETECTIVE’ is?!

Rik Favino contacted me to shine a light on his current Kickstarter campaign for VOODOO DETECTIVE. Gladly!

VOODOO DETECTIVE: Old Wounds and Other Tales is a 48-Page Occult/Pulp/Horror Comic, starring Jackson Delmond, New Orleans’ resident Occult Investigator; a man who must use his strange gifts to defend against deadly threats, amidst the swamp-filled, supernatural South. Featuring the gorgeous artwork of Dominic Black, the visually stunning colors of Laura Lee and written by the esteemed R. Thomas Favino, VOODOO DETECTIVE: Old Wounds and Other Tales is the first book in a new comic series, which boasts four separate, serial anthology-style stories.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign HERE.

 

Read more

Indie Comic Con Hits Melbourne

THE EVENT
Indie Comic Con, Melbourne’s newest comic book festival celebrating local and independent
comic creators. Saturday 4th November 2017, Northcote Town Hall.

OUR STORY

The concept of Indie Comic Con was born when two Melbourne comic artists missed out on a

spot at a major comic convention in their own city. Not for lack of great comics, but rather that

exhibition space was dedicated largely to fan art and merchandise instead. If a comic book

creator couldn’t get a table at a comic convention, where could they exhibit? Recognising that

exhibition opportunities for independent comic creators are limited in Australia, Nathan Onias

launched Indie Comic Con as a platform for independent creators to share their work with a

broad audience.

Indie Comic Con is dedicated to providing a market for independent Australian creators and

promoting interest in the craft of sequential art. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign

Indie Comic Con will be held at the Northcote Town Hall on Saturday, 4th November, 2017 from

10AM-5PM and feature over 40 creators from all over Australia. Indie Comic Con will put comic

books back in the forefront at a comic convention and connect indie creators to an audience

that is engaged in their art-form. Indie Comic Con is proudly sponsored by Comic Books On

Demand, Media Arts Lawyers, Work-Shop Melbourne, & The Comic Place.

CONTACT

Nathan Onias, Event Organiser

Freelance Illustrator & Comic Creator

Copic Ambassador Australia NZ 2017

nathan@indieconmelb.com
04 8864 5293

Interviews and photos available on request.

comic con

PRESS RELEASE

For more info, contact event organiser:

Nathan Cole

nathan@indieconmelb.com
www.facebook.com/indiecomiccon

Read more

The Indie Index – Interview with Ryan K. Lindsay

Ryan K. Lindsay creates stories that happen to be the freshest out there, his stories and characters are the kind that you can’t not care about. RKL is the closest that the comics medium has ever gotten to a Hunter S. Thompson-esqe writer (and I’m including Ellis’ Transmetropolitan in that). Read below and try to come out of the other side without a fresh perspective on comics. Just try it.

 

Who are you and why should comic readers know who you are?

I’m Ryan K Lindsay, an Australian comic writer. I’ve written BEAUTIFUL CANVAS with Sami Kivela at Black MaskNEGATIVE SPACE with Owen Gieni at Dark Horse, and have also been published at IDW, Vertigo, ComixTribe, and a few other places. Beyond that, I’ve run 5 successful Kickstarter campaigns, too.

Five words to describe your writing style:

Ugh, what a pretentious goon.

You’ve got a Kickstarter campaign coming up, spill the beans on that and give us the low down.

STAIN THE SEAS SCARLET is a spacesuit noir revenge story with Alex Cormack on art and I’m so excited to get into hands throughout our campaign over November.

It’s a one-shot standalone story, and we are running it as a digital campaign so it’s a PDF only, but that means we can add a tonne of digital extras to the experience. There are many extra PDFs and an audio commentary and plenty of value for money.

Being no stranger to Kickstarter, what do you feel you do that makes your campaigns so successful?

I offer value for money. People can pledge just a few bucks and walk away with a dozen different issues digitally, as well as script books and other fun stuff. Process junkies like myself always have great feedback about my campaigns.

 

To you, personally, what is it that makes indies so unique and special?

Lately, I get way more excited about indie books than anything else because it’s the Wild West. Storytelling rules are chewed up and repurposed, genres are mashed up in crazy ways. It’s home to so much exciting storytelling, innovation, and class.

It’s also a place anyone can break in, because you just let yourself in, so the diversity of creators is a lot more broad.

Who are some up-and-coming names that you feel readers should keep an eye out for?

Vita Ayala is a sharp voice with great passion. John Lees excites me with every project he writes. Louie Joyce is insanely talented. Tatiana Davidson floors me with every mini comic she produces.

Catching a ride on your 6-word noir idea that you included in Deer Editor, give us a 6-word story for ETERNAL without spoilers.

Shieldmaiden graveyards hold the world’s finest.

 

You’ve been known for having repeat collaborators with the likes of Eric Zawadzki and Sami Kivela, how does that come about?

When you make a comic, especially a miniseries, with someone it’s like going to war together, or building a city together. You become family.

I love Eric and Sami and Owen and so will always look for ways to collaborate again with them. I mean, they’re crazy talented, I’d be stupid not to. So we keep communication open, we’ve had beers when possible, and it’s a relationship in one way or another for life.

Any sage words of advice for indie creators to live by?

Create every day. Make short comics. Make mates with other creators, they’ll understand our shared problem. Always actively work on getting better.

Sell your soul or plug your goods, either or:

Without a soul [not a religious soul, but rather a centre of good, a core of truth] you’ve got nothing to say in your work. And you’ve got nothing to offer irl.

Living and creating should be a balance.

 

Read more