Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hero Initiative's "Archie 50 Hub"...

Above: George Perez’s Hero Initiative ARCHIE #600 "original cover" contribution.

Hero Initiative has created it’s "Archie 50 Hub" webpage where folks can find ongoing news information and links to articles concerning the "50 new Archie covers by 50 great artists will benefit Hero Initiative" project.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

TMNT, Cerebus, and a letter from Dave Sim...

Above: Promotional art for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #8 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

In May of 2008, Peter Laird and Dave Sim came up with an agreement concerning the reprint rights to TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #8 (July 1986). The comic book featured the guest-appearance of Dave’s Cerebus and team-up with Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

In October of 2009, Peter Laird sold the Teenage Mutant Turtles to Viacom for approximately $60 million. I was curious to find out how this deal affected Dave and Peter’s agreement. I wrote Dave. I also e-mailed Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman about this, as well.

I did hear back from Dave Sim. I finally got Dave’s letter in the mail today. Looks like the letter was lost in the postal system for some time. The letter has a cover date of December 23, 2009. Anyway, here’s what Dave Sim has to say about the Viacom sale and it’s affects on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #8:

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

50 new Archie covers by 50 great artists will benefit Hero Initiative...

Above: Al Nickerson's Hero Initiative ARCHIE #600 "original cover." Click here for a larger version.

The Hero Initiative (a worthwhile charity in the comic book industry) is doing a new "original cover" project with Archie Comics. This project will use 50 artists drawing original covers for ARCHIE #600 (the "Archie Gets Married Part 1: The Proposal" issue). Each comic book will be auctioned off to generate funds for Hero Initiative.

The Hero Initiative (God bless them) had asked me to draw one of the ARCHIE #600 original cover comics, and I was very happy to contribute. The front cover has the Shield reacting to Archie and Veronica’s wedding announcement. The back cover is my tribute to Dan DeCarlo (the creator of Josie and the Pussycats) with my interpretation of Josie. This is the first time (I think) that I ever drew Josie.

Anyway, I felt like sharing because my Josie (and the Pussycats) back cover is kinda rock n’ roll. Plus, tipping-the-hat to Dan DeCarlo seems like the right thing to do, especially with such an important project as this one.

From Hero Initiative:

Los Angeles, CA (March 24, 2010): Archie and the whole Riverdale gang certainly are heroes. Now they’re joining forces to aid cartoonists in need.

Archie Comics is teaming up with the Hero Initiative, the charity dedicated to helping comic creators in medical or financial need, for an amazing artistic extravaganza involving the premier issue of the world-renowned Archie wedding series, Archie #600. Archie Comics has printed 50 blank-covered copies of the landmark book, and Hero will have 50 stellar artists do original Archie covers on the special edition books. The originals will be auctioned off at a later date to benefit Hero, and a book will be published, collecting all 50 covers.

Superstar artists such as Neal Adams, Darwyn Cooke, Sam Kieth, Jerry Ordway, George Pérez, John Romita, Tim Sale and more are all contributing to the project, "Archie Covers: Fifty Times an American Icon." More artistic surprises are yet in store, as artists from the animation world and even underground comics will be making contributions as well!

"I’ve been in comics for 35 years, and this is the first chance I’ve had to draw Archie ‘for real,’" said legendary Marvel/DC artist and Hero board member George Pérez. "And given that opportunity, I’d be foolish not to draw the stunning Betty and Veronica as well! It’s a lot of fun, a great opportunity, and of course, a great cause. I hope everyone enjoys these covers!"

"Archie Comics is committed to supporting those who have spent their lives as the cornerstone of the comics industry. We are thrilled to be working with the Hero Initiative on this project," remarks Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. "The covers have been remarkable and we can’t wait to see what the remaining artists have in store for their edition of the Hero covers for Archie #600."

Each original cover will be auctioned off via eBay.com at a future date. A release date for the book is also pending. Stay tuned! You will not want to miss out on these amazing once-in-a-lifetime covers!

About The Hero Initiative:

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strict to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.heroinitiative.org or call 626-676-6354.


Jim McLauchlin of Hero Initiative talks with Newsarama about the 50 ARCHIE #600 original cover project.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I’m not an Avenger...

Above: "I’m not an Avenger": the Nihilist-Man version. Design by Al Nickerson and Greg Hyland. Nihilist-Man artwork by (penciler) Fernando Ruiz and (inker/colorist) Al Nickerson. A larger version can be seen here.

First, there was "I am an Avenger." Then, there was "I'm a member of the Guardians of the Globe." And now, Greg Hyland and I have started the "I’m not an Avenger" campaign. This is all in good fun, of course, and is only intended to help creators promote their comics.

If you would like to add your creator-owned character to the "I’m not an Avenger" campaign, you can get the template here. Don’t forget to add your character’s quotation and your website address. The quotation has a Helvetica Bold/Oblique font with a point size of 35. The website address is a Helvetica Bold font with a point size of 25.

Let us know where we can see your results. And spread the word.


Above: John Gallagher’s Buzzboy has joined the "I’m not an Avenger" campaign.

The "I’m not an Avenger" campaign has got some press already. The Pulse has plugged us.

And with comments like "Brilliant!" from the likes of Steve Conley (ASTOUNDING SPACE THRILLS, STAR TREK: YEAR FOUR), we must be on to something here.

The news of Buzzboy joining the "I’m not an Avenger" campaign
has made The Pulse, as well.


BACK ISSUE #39 on sale now!

Above: Cover to BACK ISSUE #39 by Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel.

BACK ISSUE #39 is now on sale. This issue features my "The Way-Out Wonder!" article focusing on the history of Marvel’s Forbush-Man. The article includes commentary by the legendary Stan Lee, writer extraordinaire Roy Thomas, the great Gene Colan, Ye-Ed Michael Eury, and famed cartoonist Greg Hyland.

BACK ISSUE editor, Michael Eury, gives the skinny on the cover:

Presenting, the cover to BACK ISSUE #39 (shipping mid-March 2010), our "April Fools" issue, starring Spider-Ham by Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel.

Mike Wieringo penciled this as a Heroes Con sketch (with a black-costumed Spider-Ham) back in 2007. Karl Kesel recently inked it, altering Spidey's suit to the traditional red-and-blue. And Glenn Whitmore's colors are dazzling, aren't they?

We're honored to remind readers of the sorely missed Mike Wieringo with this one.

Special thanks go out to our designer, Rich Fowlks, who located this piece of art and suggested the April Fools theme.

To order a copy of BACK ISSUE #39, stop by here.

For more on BACK ISSUE magazine, stop by TwoMorrow Publishing’s website.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Got some booty...

I got my box full of my Archie Comics comp copies today. It included two copies of ARCHIE ALL-STARS VOLUME 3: THE CARTOON LIFE OF CHUCK CLAYTON trade paperback (inked by me). Which is wonderful, of course. The trade paperback is really sweet-looking; nice paper, nice coloring, nice job. Thanks, Archie Comics.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Steve Bissette, Frank Miller, DC, Marvel, and censorship...

Above: TYRANT artwork by Steve Bissette.

At his blog, Mr. Steve Bissette has posted "Forgotten Comics Wars Or: How Angry Freelancers Made It Possible for A New Mainstream Comics Era (Including Vertigo) to Exist…"

Here, Steve Bissette shares his insights and experience on the 1980’s censorship issues with Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Steve includes documents and a snazzy drawing by Frank Miller.

I very much enjoyed Mr. Bissette’s "Forgotten Comics Wars" blog article. In 1986-87, I was a young, snot-nosed, college kid, but I vaguely recall the censorship debate between comic book creators and the Big Two. Now, thanks to Steve, I’m aware of the particulars. Love that Frank Miller drawing.

It seems apparent that Steve Bissette and other comic book creators had a nice sense of comradery back in those days. Too bad we don’t have that today.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Colleen Doran & Creator’s Rights...

Above photo: Colleen Doran and a comic-book-creator-signed Danish flag at the 2006 New York Comic Con.

Colleen Doran has mentioned that she will be taking part in a Creators Rights Panel at Wondercon. If you’re a cartoonist, especially one just starting out in the comics industry, visiting a panel such as this is absolutely worthwhile. In a time when many folks don’t like talking about comic book Creator’s Rights, it’s great to see someone like Colleen speak out on these issues.

Check out Colleen’s blog for more details about the Protect Yourself: Creators’ Rights panel.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scott McCloud...

Above photo: Scott McCloud, cartoonist and author of UNDERSTANDING COMICS and MAKING COMICS.

Here's an interesting article about/with Scott McCloud:

"One of the problems with Reinventing is that it includes a lot of ideas I’d had from years before and never got around to putting in a book," Scott admits. "I’m still passionately devoted to them, but was still moving on from some of them; especially some of the stuff from the first half of the book that were things from years before. There was stuff like the Creators’ Bill or Rights, which I’d been thinking about, and decided that it was something I needed to put to paper. It was like cleaning up. I think it felt that way for a lot of people, a little by the numbers."


"I’ve always been more interested in what’s possible in the future than what’s happened in the past. I’ve never been very nostalgic and have never been much of a collector. You’re never going to hear me moaning about how much better comics were when I was a kid, because they weren’t! Comics are much better now…"

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Monday, March 1, 2010

The Gettysburg Address...

Above photo: In the center of the crowd, President Abraham Lincoln leaves the stage after giving his Gettysburg Address. Because of earlier, more long-winded speeches, the photographer underestimated the time needed to set up his camera for Lincoln’s address.

The Battle of Gettysburg was a historical moment in the American Civil War. Between July 1st to 3rd of 1863, 160,000 American soldiers fought one another at the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. There were between 46,000 and 51,000 Union and Confederate casualties in that battle. Some sources state: For the Union: 23,055 (3,155 killed. 14,531 wounded. 5,369 captured or missing). For the Confederates: 23,231 (4,708 killed. 12,693 wounded. 5,830 captured or missing).

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gave a poignant speech at Gettysburg. I find Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to be the most moving of speeches. Lincoln spoke of God, equality, liberty, and a unified government run by its people.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address has gone down in history to being quite memorable, despite what Lincoln may have thought of it at the time:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate... we can not consecrate... we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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