It’s apparently still time for DC to dominate the headlines, if this past week is anything to go by. Just today, as I write this, Scott Kolins has announced that he’s newly DC-exclusive (guess we now know what happened to his Wolverine run over at Marvel) and Chuck Dixon has been announced as returning to Robin, a title he wrote for its first 100 issues, although even that news pales in comparison to the confirmation that Jim Shooter is returning to the Legion of Super-Heroes, thirty-plus years after he last wrote them. Shooter was interviewed on the mothership about the decision:
I have always loved the concept of the Legion–young heroes in a fantastic future. The characters have changed a little, but not enough to spoil the party for me. These are the first comics characters I ever wrote. They’re still very special to me… ‘d like to think I sort of know what I’m doing these days, as opposed to when I was age thirteen and winging it. Other than that, my approach is the same–same excitement, same spirit, same boundless enthusiasm, same thrill of creation. I think if you lose that energy, if you’re out of touch with the kid inside you that feels the joy, give it up, turn the job down, forget it. If you’re just grinding it out, no matter how skillful you are, the work will be flat.
While we’re talking about creators returning to books where they made their name, we should really say hello to Mark Waid, who’s just taken back the writing chores of the Flash, and talked about why that’s a good thing:
The Flash book isn’t really about tragedy. That’s never what the book’s really been about… [W]hat I said [to Dan DiDio] was, “If you want me to do that, I’m not going to do that, please be aware that is not where I am going to go.” It wasn’t a command; it was a statement of fact on my part. I just think that’s callous and disrespectful of what’s come before. And it also doesn’t fit with the book; there have been tragedies in the Flash’s life, but essentially the grim-n-gritty angst month after month has never been what The Flash is about.
Of course, if you’re looking for DC to make some new moves, then they’re doing that, too. After all, they’re involved in Warner Bros’ new animation web portal, T-Works:
The site offers unparalleled levels of interaction for the broadest appeal, from watching originally produced and classic library episodes online and playing games to customizing characters and exploring virtual worlds. T-Works also embraces an open philosophy, giving fans tools for self-expression and personalization in order to “brand” their digital lives anywhere on the Web. The grab-and-go capability enables fans to incorporate a custom avatar into their lives, whether it’s on T-Works or utilized in the participant’s digital world (MySpace, Facebook, etc.). Fans will be able to forge a deeper relationship with the characters than they have ever been able to in the past.
Of course, for some fans, having deeper relationships with characters may be both legally and morally questionable, but we’ll ignore that right now, and instead go on to DC’s new bookstore distribution deal with Random House. It’s not just about the increased visibility in mainstream bookstores, though, as Paul Levitz explained when Matt Brady asked him about the whole thing:
Watchmen is of course, the only graphic novel ever to win a Hugo. We didn’t think to put that on the cover, until the book had been around for more than 10 years. In the comics-driven environment, our belief was that Watchmen was being sold to people who knew how special it was, or it was being sold by someone who knew how special it was – a Brian Hibbs or Rory Root or Phil Boyle were taking it off a shelf and holding it out to somebody to tell them how it was wonderful.
Clearly that’s not the case when it’s sitting, lonely and isolated, on a Barnes & Noble shelf where the one clerk who may be passionate about graphic novels may not be in that day. So we’ve been on a pretty energetic learning curve over the last few years about the book industry, so I would certainly hope that working closely with Random would teach us something and would also give us an opportunity to take advantage of their systems, to learn things. We certainly learn things from [former distributors] Hachette over the years, we learned stuff from our partners in Diamond, who continue to be the incomparable partner for us in reaching the Direct Market, we learn from our retailers, and we learn from our readers. We try to learn wherever we can.
Tangentally connected to DC’s whole news domination, ChrisCross talked about coming back to American comics, via Wildstorm, as well as talking about what happened to make him leave in the first place:
I had a lot of stuff going on at the time personally, as well as all the projects being thrown at me. I was busting my behind doing work, but I had never drawn two issues at once. And they were both group books, at that. The only person I know who’s done something like that is probably John Byrne or George Perez. And I don’t even know how they did it! …I just wanted to pick up and be a chef somewhere or something.
If you’re a fan of Marvel Comics and want to know what they were doing on the mothership this week, then you might be interested in the three part interview with Dan Slott, talking about Avengers: The Initiative, Amazing Spider-Man and the end of his She-Hulk run. Alternatively, Mike Carey appeared to talk about the future of the X-Men:
Yes, I can say that all of these events combined with [upcoming crossover] Messiah Complex with lead to a spectacular culmination and there will be some new issues raised and some ongoing plot elements that will be revisited that will spin out into further stories—things change so much after Messiah Complex that there will be elements that will have to be revisited. I’ll tell you more when I can…
Meanwhile, Marvel felt as if they could at least hint at more, by releasing a visual that promised X-Men Disassembled. Well, it worked for the Avengers, I guess…
Burned out on the superheroes of the Big Two? Luckily, to quote George Lucas, Red 5 is standing by. Scott Chitwood spoke about the origins of the new publisher:
I was actually at Skywalker Ranch covering the debut of the Revenge of the Sith DVD for Comingsoon.net. While there, Paul [Ens, co-founder] and I met for dinner one night with our families. We chatted most of the evening and eventually, towards the end of the dinner, we both revealed that we’d love to create a comic company one day. It was like a lightbulb went off. Paul and I quickly discovered we had similar ideas about how to do a company, numerous contacts we could both call upon to create comics, and a successful history in promoting things online. It was a crazy idea that just might work. Somehow we convinced our wives to support us and the rest is history.
History for them, but in the future for the rest of us. Want to see previews? Why not go here?
Maybe you like wrestling and masks. That’s okay; there are lots of websites out there for people like you. And now there’s even a comic, as Lucha Libre’s Jerry Frissen wants to introduce you to:
I wanted to create a universe with a lot of different characters. When I’m writing, I can’t help it; I’m constantly creating new characters. I like giving them a life, friends, family, enemies. They all know each other from different places. I’m trying to keep all these things coherent. I’m more interested in people who love superheroes than superheroes themselves. Lucha Libre is about people I see in comic conventions, dressed as their favorite hero—the “Trekkie” kinds of guys. I’m fascinated by these people dressed as Klingons at every comic-con I go to. When the day is over, they don’t go back to their spaceship—they go back to their wife and kids; their jobs; their money problems; etc. But I don’t want to make fun of them. My characters are people who decided to become heroes; they wear masks and try to do some good for their city. They are a mix of great inspiration and courage but also selfishness and cowardice. They’re okay facing danger; but, if there’s a way to avoid being hit, they’ll choose that way. They’re human, I guess—I respect that.
I know, I know. You’re thinking “Screw wrestling! I wanna see aliens!” In that case, Jay Carvajal wants to tell you about The Misadventures of Clark and Jefferson:
No life or world changing messages with this project. There are a few subtle messages in the story but to be honest I don’t want to point them out or beat people over the heads with it in this series. I want them to find it on their own or just walk away from reading this story with getting nothing out of it other than a good time, period.
Also offering a good time, and now to new artist Toby Cypress, is Image’s Killing Girl:
I’m definitely a workaholic, obsessed with a variety of new ideas, so I was looking to jump in on a quick project if the right thing came along. Killing Girl was perfect for what I wanted to do, because it’s fast paced action packed book with a pretty face. That’s what I wanted… I trusted the inspiration for Killing Girl, such as film noir, Dick Tracy, and kung-fu action stories. This is the stuff I grew up on, and I finally had a chance to do something with it.
Or maybe you’d rather read the second half of Kevin Eastman’s interview, continued from last week, the people behind the charity anthology Hope: New Orleans ask for charity to get their charity anthology published, or even a short interview with Gipi, creator of First Second’s impressive graphic novels Garage Band and Notes From A War Story, where he talks about his inspirations and how he creates his stunning artwork:
I don’t compose the pages ahead of time. I sit down and start drawing the first panel with colors and black pen. Then I go to the next one, and so on. I really improvise my page layout as I’m telling the story. The use of colors (or the absence of them) depends on the story and on the precise moment of the story. When I start telling it, I really never know what the book will look like. It’s always something I discover while working.
Newsarama: It’s just like being at the Baltimore Comic-Con, my friends.