Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Royal Jelly: September 30th 2015

E is for Extinction #4

The Empty Vol 1

This is finally a smaller purchase week for me. I've been moving away from paper copies lately and this is purely because I'm investing in my retirement LOL! Sounds crazy but I am. At any rate here are the goodies I'm grabbing this week! 

From Under Mountains #1 is coming at me from Image Comics. You will recognize the art of Marian Churchland as I have, from 8House! This time she's writing the story and providing these beautiful covers. The guts of the comic will be illustrated by Slaone Leong. The story targets fantasy readers with a story of old feuds and rising monsters. Keep an eye out, I'll be giving you the scoop on this one!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Chris Yost

I am really pleased to give bring you an interview to perk you up on yet another Monday. I got the opportunity to ask Christopher Yost a few questions about what he's currently working on. His current Marvel mini series  MODOK Assassin #5 hits stands Wednesday, September 30th. I was really itching to ask him what we can expect next from him. Yost was one of the genius writers who contributed to the success of Mavel's film feature Thor: The Dark World. He has once again been brought on board for the third installment Thor: Ragnarok. Rather than me prattling on in my usual way, let me just bring you the interview:

TFQ: You're current mini series for Marvel MODOK Assassin is just wrapping up but how do you really feel about it AND MODOK?

YOST: I’ve been a fan of MODOK for years — he featured in an animated series I did called “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”. He was fun then, and he’s even more fun/insane here. It’s been a blast to work on, and I actually just wrapped up the last issue. I’ll miss that misshapen, grotesque madman.

TFQ: Can you tell me about how the story came to be?

YOST: Editor and friend Daniel Ketchum and I have worked on several mini-series together, and he had a vision of MODOK that was essentially Ryan Gosling in “Drive.” You know, if Ryan Gosling has a massive head. Daniel called me up, asked if I was interested and had time, and I was indeed interested. This is the kind of think you make time for.

TFQ: Your career has taken you all over the world of comics and television. You've written stories about the most beloved super heroes which others people can only dream of having the opportunity to write. What characters are you dying to get your hands on that you haven't had in your grasp already?

Because of all the animated series, I’ve actually written a big chunk of the Marvel Universe. I’ve never written Superman or Wonder Woman, which I’d be interested in doing.

TFQ: It's been public knowledge for a while that you're co-writer for the Thor: Ragnarok film. With CGI capabilities now, film doesn't hold the limits it use to and writers have more freedom to let their imaginations fly. Are there still a lot of challenges in writing for the big screen in comparison to writing comics?

YOST: There are different limitations outside of CGI, more practical real world aspects. Whatever you write, someone has to figure out a way to film it. And even with CG, you still need characters that people can understand and relate to. No matter the cool super powers, the big explosions, the spectacle of it all… people need to CARE. Thor is awesome, but it’s not because he has a hammer.

TFQ: In 2009 you released a three part mini series called Killer of Demons with Scott Wegener. Do you have any creator owned publications in the works?

YOST: I’m hoping to do a new comic book starting in the fall, actually. And there might even be some Killer of Demon news coming up.

TFQ: Can you tell me what comic book releases we can expect to see from you after MODOK is all wrapped up?

YOST: MODOK is my last comic for the foreseeable future! I’m hip deep in THOR: RAGNAROK and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE right now, but hopefully I can get another book going sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Royal Jelly: September 23, 2015

1872 #3
SPIRE #3 (OF 8)


So I've got some awesome picks on here. As you can see, several of these are series which I have been reading for a while but we've got the next story arc from Wilds End out today!! There's also a new series called Public Relations from Devils Due Comics which has peaked my interest. 

Not a whole lot that I want to report on but please stay tuned as I have a very special interview to post tomorrow! Till then, enjoy your new comics! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Negative Space #2

Negative Space is a truly fascinating story. There are few comics who's first issue makes such a lasting impression. I still remember it clearly in my mind and had been anticipating the second issue for some time. It was about time we see what is really going on in this unique science fiction.

It's strange calling it science fiction. Much of the stories that fall into the category find their second home with horror genres. Negative Space doesn't have the atmosphere although the action is there along with space suits and a bit of gore. The inner monologue of our stories unlikely hero gives this story a more personal quality than most science fiction stories are afforded. Perhaps I myself identify with the hero, from that place which resides in most of us that nurtures depression and negative thoughts. This story sets itself apart from the science fiction out there right now.

I'm certain I praised the artwork in my initial review of issue #1 but I shall say it again, love Owen's artwork. It fits perfectly.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Constantine the Hellblazer #4

I don't have to remind you that I'm the biggest John Constantine fan, but I will... and there ya go. So anyway it appears the Riley Rossmo has dropped off from illustrating the guts of this series for now. He has produced another brilliant cover however.

Although I wish Riley was doing all the artwork inside for consistency and because he's awesome, I do approve of the choices made here for substitutes. I found this issue held strong the edginess I want for Constantine books, holding that little bit of indie looseness that this book really need. You can't have John Constantine looking like well... like he did in the New 52 series. The covers alone made me angry. These really bold lines, so calculated and thoroughly planned before execution. that doesn't sound like Constantine at all. No this book has always required the appearance of effortless charm. That's Constantine - effortless (for the most part) and with this series, so far, I think they nailed it on the art.

So of course it's not going to surprise you when I tell you the art for this issue was done by none other than Vanesa Del Ray. I've been enjoying her contributions to the comic book world for a while. Last year she illustrated the spooky mini The Empty Man written by Cullen Bunn. I think that was the book that first got me into her artwork.

I think you'll find this story to be interesting although I fear that it's heading in the direction of yet another shitty love story. Frankly, Constantine's womanizing isn't a new story. I mean, we all know it's easy to tell that story and it's been done A LOT in past Constantine books. There's nothing new about John's past chasing him. Sometimes I miss the old John. Not older John stories, I mean the stories that were written when he was married and in his 60s. You know Milligan's last run of Hellblazer. I liked that John.

I suppose no one REALLY likes reboots but new readers who had no established past with a character. As far as reboots go however, this still remains one of the best and certainly has been refreshing to read after the mess that was the New 52. Yes I'm still bitter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Exclusive Interview Ryan Ferrier on D4VE2

It's always thrilling when you realize a mini series you fell in love with gets another chance to define itself. I am a huge fan of D4VE. The script had me in stitches laughing and I couldn't be more pleased that IDW has signed the creators Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon on for a sequel. D4VE2 combines all the comedic fun of the original story and tosses that same thought provoking reality in your face. You know, as much reality as you can get from a fictional Earth ruled by robots. My personal favorite pieces of the first issue aren't the outright humorous bits, but actually the ones with the more serious tone. D4VE2 is out tomorrow so make sure you grab a copy and get that on your sub list!

Being such a big fan of the original story I decided I had to reach out to writer Ryan Ferrier for the inside scoop on D4VE2. Here's our Q&A:

TFQ: I can't tell you how thrilled I am that D4VE continues on! Can you tell me a little about how you chose the next set of crazy events for D4VE, without giving it all away if that is possible lol.

Ryan: Thank you so much! We're all really thrilled too—D4VE has been one of the most fulfilling and fun projects to work on, something that's incredibly dear to our hearts, so getting the chance to continue is an absolute dream. The first series (shout outs to Monkeybrain for making it all possible!) was such a personal story for us, that while we didn't expect to keep going, when IDW brought up the possibility of continuing, we knew that D4VE2 had to be just as, if not more personal. When you put your heart and soul into something, it can be intimidating to follow up, especially since D4VE had so much catharsis attached to it. But, just as life goes on, the inspirations, themes, and messages engrained in D4VE2 are inherent again. Much like ourselves, the journey isn't over until it's over and someone's patting the dirt on our graves—D4VE2 is the same for the characters involved; life has gone on, and now there are a new set of crises to deal with.

Where D4VE was a global threat as much as it was personal, D4VE2 is a lot more existential for both D4VE and his son, 5COTTY. This is very much their book, and it deals a lot with defining yourself, and becoming cognizant of what that actually means. For D4VE himself, the first series was about realizing his true character; now he must atone for this. D4VE2 presents this in a very, very unexpected way, and I think readers are going to be shocked with exactly where we're taking this new arc. As for 5COTTY, his crisis is entirely internal—he's getting older and life is hitting him, as it should, and he's finding his place in the world, and discovering who he is. Where the first series was a deconstruction of romance, a post-romance as it were, a large part of D4VE2 revolves around connecting with other people, falling in love, and abandoning expectations, both from family and others. There is, of course, a copious amount of action and thrills, though—it wouldn't be D4VE without it. We're really doing our best to hinge that on these really real characters. As always, we've upped the adult humor and naughty words too. Bless IDW for letting us run with it.

As for the elevator pitch on the plot, without giving too much away, it takes place one year after the events of the first series. We jump right in to D4VE, seemingly happy in his new role as general of the reformed army, with 5COTTY one of his cadets. But a strange black hole opens up and spews out a very weird, very non-alien artifact, and from there, everything goes to hell in a way that affects not just D4VE's life, but all of existence. We're positively giddy about where it goes—to a big, bad, crazy place.

TFQ: D4VE's son is the beacon of a large portion of the comedy but in this chapter we get to see a little past his hip, apathetic exterior. Can you tell me a little bit about why the charger got a tad serious? (Even if it was for just a couple panels)

Ryan: If anything, 5COTTY is the wild card in D4VE2, and has the widest character arc. We met him very young and inexperienced, and we're now following him through an incredibly formative period in his life. He's realizing who he is, or rather, exploring and discovering that. And it's not easy, just as it isn't for anyone. He's finding things (and people) he loves, causes he cares about—unlike his father, he's been raised in a relatively peaceful existence, and connects with that in a way unlike D4VE had. Basically, 5COTTY is starting to grow up and take command of himself, and part of that struggle is his relationship with his father. 5COTTY is 5COTTY though, and by nature he is this wild, free spirit with no filter—imagine that but with a little more experience and fear of authority. I like to think of 5COTTY as being the most pure heart of all the characters, even if a little uncouth at times. He is the star of D4VE2, and not unlike Robin to Batman, 5COTTY gives his father purpose and meaning.

TFQ: D4VE has had some amazing cover art. Can you give us a little info on what we shall see in this run? Any special variants us fans can look forward to grabbing?

Thanks! The cover art for the series is complete now, and we couldn't be happier with everything. Just like the first series, each issue will have two covers with all art by co-creator and interior artist Valentin Ramon; one "character" variant, and our regular covers which look absolutely amazing. For D4VE2 #1 we have a jaw-dropping variant cover by Logan Faerber, which is totally stunning, as well as a variant by artist Brian Level and colorist Marissa Louise, which is absolutely one of my favorites yet. We will probably have some pin-ups included as the series goes on, by some of the most talented up-and-coming artists right now. We're really excited about everything, and IDW has been so great about supporting every aspect of the series.

TFQ: Can you tell me a little about your process for D4VE 2?

Ryan: It's actually a really smooth process in execution—though Valentin works incredibly hard, of course—the real kicker is in the outline. Where do we take this? What kind of story are we telling? What is it about, and who are these characters now? Once we landed on that, which included an unreasonable amount of self-reflection, we ironed out the kinks and assembled the pieces. Valentin and I work so well together in that he makes everything come to life with such great detail and atmosphere. We're both really on the same page mentally, so from there I dive right into the scripting while he is completely free with the art. Rarely, if ever, is there any sort of change needed between my scripts and his art. One difference with D4VE, compared to some of my other projects, is that I often re-write here and there during lettering. I find Valentin's art informs, for example, dialogue, and having that almost-finished body to tweak the humor is a huge part of sending an issue off. It's a luxury, I know, but it makes the process that more involved and fulfilling. I can't say enough good about Valentin's genius.

D4VE2 is in stores Wednesday September 16th!!! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Royal Jelly: Sept 16th 2015

Beauty #2
Constantine the Hellblazer #4
D4VE2 #1 (of 4)
Fade Out #9
The Fiction #4
Heavy Metal #276
Hawkeye #5
House of M #3
Island #3
Manifest Destiny #17
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #2
Shutter #15
Tokyo Ghost #1
UFOlogy #5(of 6)

Heart in a Box TP
No Mercy TP Vol 1

Obviously waaay too many awesome things out this week. I dunno how I'm gonna keep up. I've been
thinking, "Amy, " I think... "I think we need to get a bit of control over this whole comic situation."

As is, I read the majority of my comics on paper. i.e. All my favorites. But I read about 40% of them digitally. My closets are all full and I live in a small one bedroom apartment so I think something has to give soon or my bf may start burning my floppies. At any rate, I'm excited about every one of these... it's going to be hard to choose what to read digitally and what to read on paper. eeep.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #3

Up until now I didn't have any opinion on Witch Hunter Angela. I initially picked up the first issue because my lovely friend Marguerite Sauvage had contributed pages. They were a beautiful addition to the issue and I'm disappointed that she didn't contribute to subsequent issues. I was however delighted by this third book who had a selection of pages illustrated by Frazer Irving who's work had grown on me since the release earlier this year of Grant Morrison's Annihilator. I must say that Irving's ideal genre might be period based fantasy because this is simple amazing. I've had a particular affinity for his expressive and gaunt faces. Whether its science fiction of fantasy, everything he does has this gothic aura. I love it.

As for the story, the second issue had many giggle moments within the script. Serah being probably the most humorous of the two witch hunters and Angela basically driving the humor with her lack of... It wasn't until this third issue that I found myself really enjoying the series. With Irving's contributions and the role of 1602 Anna Maria aka X-men Rogue being added, I found myself forgetting that I was trying to critique the issue and simply began to enjoy the story.

Reading on to Irving's contributions unfold as Angela tells Anna Maria the story of Romeo and Juliette but not quite the story how we remember it. The roles of lovers are played by Cloak and Dagger. I have a particular love of the characters because it was one of the first comics I read. I remember a four issue mini series about the characters that was put out at some point in the 80s. It was my favorite story a read it many times as a child.

I didn't have a firm love of the writing in the first two books. I seem to like the whole issue until the physical conflict ensues at the end of each issue. But I must commend Bennett because she has managed to make an imaginative and entertaining series from something I felt iffy about from the beginning. There's only one more issue left in the mini series and I'm interested to see where it leaves off.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Royal Jelly: Sept 9th 2015

The Amazing Spider-man Renew Your Vows #5
Bitch Planet #5
Harrow County  #5
Head Lopper #1
Boy-1 #2
Faster Than Light #1
The Walking Dead #146

Saga TP Vol 5

There isn't a huge amount of stuff I'm looking forward to this week. I'm mostly just excited to have my own physical copy of Head Lopper to hold in my hands. If you haven't already, please scroll to yesterdays article below which is a full on interview with creator Andrew MacLean about his awesome Image series.

As you can see we have two returning books. One being Harrow County which has turned from mini series to a spooky on-going from writer Cullen Bunn. Bunn's work you most likely remember from Deadpool but if you're a larger fan then perhaps you remember more recently releases such as Hellbreak on Oni Press or Empty Man from Boom Studios! He's got a way with spooky, that's for sure and I really enjoyed the first story arc about a country girl names Emmi who just happens to hold the reincarnated soul of witch within her. I'm anxious to see where this story progresses now that both Emmi and the townsfolk are completely aware of the witch's awakening.

Hey look everyone, Bitch Planet is back. I was trying to think back to when the last issue was released and couldn't recall. That's never a good sign, I had to look it up. Last issue was back in April. The trade did come out this summer but I felt the hiatus was a little lengthy. However, I can name about ten other series who have been on hiatus now for equally long. I just hope that this issue blows us out of the water!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Andrew MacLean on Head Lopper!

Tomorrow is new comic book day and you know what that means? Time for an interview! This week I bring you an awesome interview with writer and illustrator Andrew MacLean. Earlier this year, Andrew released the book ApocalytiGirl: An Aria for the End of Times which you heard me raving about. I interviewed Andrew on the book back in the spring. 

Andrew's latest release Head Lopper hits stands tomorrow. I'm over the moon about Andrew's work and this fantasy based adventure is exactly what we need to end a great year of comics. After all we've got four months of releases left? Can you believe it?

Head Lopper comes to us in extra big issues from Image Comics. 

TFQ: How did you develop the world surrounding the Head Lopper? Can you tell me where you came up with this character.

Andrew: It all started with a single drawing I did. I think I was drawing on a theme for a blog I was running at the time, and the theme was either "viking" or "metal." Regardless, I drew an early version of Norgal with an early version of Agatha hanging from his blade, with Norgal's foot up on another large severed head. And I just thought that this was something I could draw forever.

I thought the severed heads were really funny and could become a dark running joke. When It came to the actual world around the characters, I have been a fan of fantasy/adventure my whole life. As a kid I watched Arnold Schwarzenegger play Conan and Ray Harryhausen's monsters fights in Clash of the Titans every time they were on TV. Later, I fell in love with reading The Lord of The Rings, Song of Ice and Fire, Conan, Hellboy, etc., I'm a huge heavy metal fan (music), and a lot of metal lyrics talk about those fantasy books. My heritage is Scottish so naturally I have a bit of a fascination with Scotland, particularly the highlands. So the Head Lopper landscapes, rock formations, castles, much of that comes from spending a ton of time just marveling at photos of Scotland - of course I make no attempt at placing things in the right time or place because Head Lopper is complete fiction, but that's where it all comes from visually.

TFQ: How long has Head Lopper been in the making?

Andrew: I've worked on it off and on for more than two years now. It started as this thing I did kind of in response to having a ton of pitches turned down while drawing a bunch of stuff for other writers. Not that any of it was unenjoyable, but I longed to draw something like Head Lopper and stick it in people's hands and these books just weren't that. So a chunk of time presented itself and I used it to draw something that I would feel good about even if I never got to draw an "issue two" of the thing. That comic ended up being the first of three chapters in issue one of the Image release.

People ended up responding really well to that comic and asked for more. So about a year later, I did a Kickstarter for the 45 pages that ended up being the second of the three chapters in the first issue of the Image series. I drew that second story as I was working on the script for ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times if I remember right.

TFQ: Leading up to the Image release, you've had loads of contributions from artists all over the globe posting their own portraits of the Head Lopper. Just how big is the gallery now and how do you feel about this tremendous support from the comic book community?

Andrew: Oh man, it's surreal really. I've had a pinup gallery in each of the releases so far but beyond that people just really like the look of Norgal and so there is a decent amount of fan art. Which seems crazy to me because until now (or September 9th really) its just been a self published comic. But yeah, I don't know, there are dozens of Norgal's and Agatha's floating around the internet, some by really incredible famous artists too which is just absurd. I don't even get it, but I feel fortunate.

TFQ: Will the Head Lopper continue past the original three volumes which you had previously released on your own?

Andrew: Head Lopper is set for four REALLY big issues at Image. Issue one is 96 pages (only 2/3 of which were previously self published) and the other issues going forward will probably be 60 pages each (entirely new content) - coming out Quarterly. Each issue is what I call a chronological one-shot, meaning it leads into the next but you aren't stuck with an agonizing cliff hanger. Basically, I put some kind of beast in front of Norgal, he kills it, and in the mean time I move along some of the background pieces of the LARGER story. That larger story wraps up in the fourth issue. Actually, it's kind of like a series of short graphic novels

I'd like to do more after that. I have ideas, and the Head Lopper duo are kind of designed to be able to go on all sorts of adventures together, but at the moment Image has only agreed to do the four. We'll see, I guess it depends on the success of this initial series.

TFQ: The Grey Witch's head is probably my favorite character. Can you explain how you were inspired to write this character and how you developed her? (It's a her right? lol)

Andrew: Haha, yeah its a her. Agatha is rather deformed and a bit decayed and very old so its more than a reasonable question. She came about in part by the initial drawing, she just looked funny so I wanted her personality to be funny. I pictured the two doing a fair amount of traveling together, on foot, mile after mile just talking to each other. If they got along well those conversations just wouldn't be very enjoyable. So I decided they would hate each other. It wasn't until I really got into writing that I realized how much joy she would find in really disgusting things. She's really fun to write for.

At some point I thought it would be really funny if the comics were accompanied by a comic strip featuring just her, and so I came up with a bunch of jokes for her without any Norgal interaction. Then it occurred to me to just use those jokes in the main comic. So I've got a bunch of JUST Agatha scenes to slip in places when Norgal might be occupied.

Weird thing is, when I set out to do this comic originally, I wasn't trying to make it funny at all. I just kind of found the darkness of it naturally funny and people tell me how much it makes them laugh. I guess I just thought a dark sense of humor was uncommon. Now I can't help but laugh out loud when I come up with some new stupid disgusting thing for Agatha to do.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Weekly Review - Plutona, We Stand on Guard, Silver Surfer & Jupiters Circle

I decided to do something a little different for my weekly review of comics that are currently available to the public. I tend to binge read my comics on release day if I haven't reviewed them early. I always save a couple of my favorites for release day so that I can read them on paper rather than the digital review copies I receive from the labels. I tend to read debut issues digitally before release so that I can let you know what I think. I was thinking last night that it makes much more sense to write up a little weekly review of the books I subscribe to. I will warn you this article will contain SPOILERS because these issues have already been released.

Plutona #1

Last night I started my night off with Plutona by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox. Image Comics is calling Lenox an amazing new comer but I don't see her as being a new comer at all. Certainly not to the artistic world. Image has collected her comic EmiTown back in 2011 and I remember it pretty well. Anyway, here she has teamed up with one of my favorite writers, Jeff Lemire. This time he's telling a different kind of superhero story, one who's focus is on children rather than the heroes themselves. The issue starts out by giving you a glimpse of what each child is dealing with at home and at school. The awkward social interactions between the kids, who I presume to be around 13-15 years of age (because a couple of them are more at that rebellious stage), happens to be exactly what grabbed me and sucked me in. I wasn't a fan of school as a child. It wasn't a pleasant experience for me for the most part but I found myself sympathizing with all the kids in the story, even the bully who you suspect hasn't had the best home life.

The story was actually written by both Lemire and Lenox which is perhaps why it doesn't feel at all to me like the average Lemire story. It has a lighthearted and grounded feel. It's direct and to the point. When was the last Lemire story you read that felt like that? um... hmm.... um... I'm drawing a blank. It starts to feel more like a Lemire story when the kids stumble on a fallen superhero. I told myself I wasn't going to add any more series to my subscription list until the new years... but I have to make an exception for this one. I absolutely love the artwork and the tone of this issue. I have to give it FIVE STARS for being outstanding, bittersweet and original. I'm adding it to the sub list.

We Stand on Guard #3

I was pretty taken aback with this issue. Brian K Vaughan has always been known to push the boundaries of what your brain is willing to deal with in terms of uncomfortable situations (that's the understatement of the year, seriously). But here... here I was shocked and....wow.

If you've already read this issue, I bet you're wondering the same thing I first pondered: Why, when there is a female prisoner, does the torture always becomes sexualized? Every time I see the portrayal of women in uniform, be it military, law enforcement, etc, the violence is always sexualized. In this issue of We Stand on Guard, the leader of our Canadian Rebellion has been captured by the US and set to torture. Cruel torture which is implemented by means of virtual reality. This meaning that she's not really experiencing her face being lit on fire, but she thinks she is. This allows the torturers to do it over and over again because she's simply not going to die. The future ladies and gentlemen... Yet the story quickly takes a nose dive for me and hits the ultimate point of horror when the interrogation techniques fail to provide the interrogators with the whereabouts of the rebel base (all Empire Style right?). So the lady in charge uploads a new interrogation tactic which presents the image of her father to the subject who then proclaims that he will "make love to her forever". Yeah I'm feeling sick too.

This is what Vaughan is good at. Its thought provoking but perhaps not in the way you'd assume. I started analyzing in my mind why it always has to get sexual with a female prisoner. My mind settled on one answer: because it probably would in real life too. So I thought about whether this tactic would be used on a male prisoner and I thought, yeah it probably would. So why didn't Vaughan write THAT into the story. Would he have even thought to write that torture tactic if the leader of the Canadian troops had been male and not female? Probably not. Even though a male character in the same position would have been equally as vulnerable and defenseless, Vaughan would likely have written a typical torture story of arm slicing and amputation. I really can't see him writing a male prisoner as being seconds away from being raped by his father. That's when I started getting kinda angry about the sexualized violence in media, comics... everything, AGAIN. I get angry about it a lot.

Thankfully, the prisoner gave up before we had to see THAT event unfold in the story. It didn't do much for most of us as the thought was already out there and the artist might as well have drawn the whole horrific event as far as I'm concerned. That's not to say it wasn't completely a compelling point to make about the future of interrogation tactics lol. I can totally see the US military doing this. So much more effective than waterboarding... all I'm saying is that, if the character were male, do you think the interrogation scene would have been written that way?

Silver Surfer #14

My heart. Dan Slott and Mike Allred have my heart. This issue is just so adorable the whole way through. It's so cute to see Dawn struggle with the idea of rebuilding a world she barely knew. Most of all I love the ending. Just when everything is going swimmingly, it's just all too perfect for our surfer. CRISIS.

Unfortunately for you, I really don't have anything to complain about with Silver Surfer (do I ever?). I love the series and I'm really glad that it's surviving all this Battleworld nonsense (I don't even like Doom). The artwork in this series is still fabulous as always and I keep daydreaming about a hardcover edition being published at some point because I need it to sit next to my collection of Madman and X-force(X-Statix) collection.

Jupiters Circle #6

Okay let me talk about one more. I'm following the prequel to Jupiter's Legacy because I really like Mark Millar's books. I actually don't know anyone else reading this and haven't been able to discuss it with anyone. I haven't completely got a good grip on what anyone anywhere else thinks of the series. All I can tell you is that I think the first book (issues 1-6) have been pretty fabulous. It's kinda like Madmen with capes... and superpowers. Everyone is smoking, the men are behaving poorly, the women are treated more-so like objects (even the super ones) by the men and homosexuality is not acceptable. If you didn't realize, this is the story of the parents from Jupiter's Legacy. They are young and fighting crime. They also really, really suck at relationships.

Issue six marks the ending of Book 1, but it's not over. Millar has more coming our way and I hope Frank Quitely continues to do these amazing covers. I posted on instagram yesterday saying "If you can't get Quitely to illustrate a series on time for you, then get him to make covers. Fucking, Amazing, covers!!" Look, I just quoted myself. I think I'm done here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Royal Jelly: September 2nd 2015

8House #3 Kiem Part One
The Dying and the Dead #3
House of M #2
Jupiters Circle #6
Lazarus #19
Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1
Plutonia #1
Silver Surfer #14
We Stand on Guard #3

Lady Killer TP
Neil Gaimans Teknophage TP Vol 1
Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition HC Book 1

I think I've got everything listed up there! It's a pretty big week for me personally. There are few titles there that I've been anticipating for over a month now. I'm pretty interested in Neil Gaiman's Miracleman and Jeff Lemire's collaborative efforts with the new title Plutonia has peeked my interest as well.

I'm psyched to see the latest Silver Surfer. I've been so worried about the Marvel universe upheaval affecting my Surfer. So far it remains pretty awesome as always and I hope it survives. As far as I know, the series will continue but all this Last Days stuff... lol... well...whatever.

And honestly, I would write way more right now but I'm having this issue with my eye and it's super difficult to write with limited vision so... Peace!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Xurxo Penalta

I feel as though the world requires a lot more buzz around 8House. The first installment of this unusual series entitled Arclight seemed to have appear without warning. Of course I had seen the odd sneak preview of artwork whispered through facebook and knew that I had to of course read this book. The concept that drives the series begins with eight separate houses and therefore separate stories. The first story Arclight had an extremely medieval feel driving the artwork and inspiration. Arclight was shrouded in magic and mysticism. The next installment Kiem debuts tomorrow and tells a very different story of an astra projection soldier who is about to embark on a secret mission. This story is illustrated by Xurxo Penalta who's work I became enamored with after following his posts on facebook. The incredible detail in his ink work and use of colors pulled me in. I started having Moebius flashbacks and that was about it, I knew I had to read Kiem

If you haven't read the first two issues of 8House don't worry because Kiem is a completely separate story and you can certainly jump right into the series with issue #3 with no worry. Today with the easy access to the world of digital copies however, missing issues is of no real concern. You can most certainly get up to date with Cosmixology.  (Finally something good about digital comics lol I mean...)

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to ask Xurxo a few questions about Kiem. I am of course most interested in the amazing architecture he constructed. The dessert city is particularly impressive and that picture alone is worth reading the issue. Luckily the entire issue is also fantastic and every panel an involved masterpiece to behold. No one could possibly be disappointed with this stunning issue. So without me prattling on further, here's our Q&A:

TFQ: How did you get involved in 8house?
Xurxo: Through Brandon. He invited me to do a backup for Prophet, came out on #44, and from that point on there was talk about 8House coming together.

TFQ: How many issues are you illustrating for this unique series?
Xurxo: Initially Kiem is going to be 4 issues but, I hope we get to do more stories within the 8House universe right after that.

TFQ: 8House has a completely unique universe. Can you explain to me where the story you illustrated takes place in correlation with Arclight?
Xurxo: All books take off from different points but it all occurs within the 8House universe. Some familiarity with terms and concepts will build up as the issues of each series come out.

So far, only 3 in, you can start to see some patterns with the different uses of similar technologies, a common place culture of a ritualistic nature and a firmly hierarchical cast system, the 8 Houses.

TFQ: How did you begin constructing the architecture for Kiem? What did you use for reference or inspiration?

Xurxo: Brandon had a couple of references for the city sunk in the desert, like the rock carved buildings from Cappadocia, but they turned out more like the city of Shibam -name which I did not know until someone saw the pages and told me about it- then for the central constructivist complex of block-like buildings Brandon had a tiny picture of Habitat 67 by Moshe Safdie -which I also didn't know at the time- but in general, and other than on that page, nothing is substantially referenced.

TFQ: When working with Brandon Graham, how much direction does he give you on about the appearance of the world and characters?
Xurxo: We chat a lot about random things and from that we get a pretty good idea of what we're into.

There's some feedback and some selection when I send sketches, but it's all pretty logical -"this is way better than that" type of thing- I really admire his visual style, design and enjoy his sense of humor a lot, so I also try to have that surface when I doodle something new.