Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Best of Comic Book Dystopic Nightmares

I LIKE DYSTOPIAS

"From Wiki: A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia, or simply anti-utopia) is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It is translated as "not-good place", an antonym of utopia, a term that was coined by Sir Thomas More and figures as the title of his best known work, Utopia, published 1516, a blueprint for an ideal society with minimal crime, violence and poverty."

Once I start any good comic series I tend to pursue the back issues as soon as my budget allows.   In the case of the series shown below there is a bit of frustration.  They are so good and three of the five did not have a finale.  Timothy Truman's end to Scout War Shaman was amazing, but, it is a generational saga, so we know much more should be/is coming.  Chuck Dixon's Winterworld is powerful work that truly shows how the climate and weather can make lives miserable.  His work had 12 more issues or so added, but it has been placed upon hiatus until it can make enough money to justify further issues.   And Jack Kirby's characters Omac and Kamandi each had finite ending that the creator of the series had planned, but one of the books was canceled too early, and the other found the creative talent becoming so frustrated he left the series without an end.


SCOUT by Timothy Truman

The world has suffered enormous disaster, and the rest of the civilized world has aimed its ire at the United States.  Canada and Mexico are enemies of the now divided US.  A former special forces member, Emanuel Santana, is known now as Scout.  He is Apache and travels the now dying US.  He ends up married, has two children, and they accompany him in the second book of the series, Scout War Shaman.

Truman's ability to tell a vivid story is on display here, bringing violence, hope, love and pain all together to scramble the readers expectations.  This work is far more believable now, with the global issues at hand.
 
 "In October 2016, Chris MacBride is set to adapt and direct for the big screen for Studio8. Truman will serve as a consultant through the development."







KAMANDI and OMAC by Jack Kirby The future world faces a "Great Disaster".  In the world of Omac he is a genetically improved human with a mission of being a superman to preserve the peace.  The Great Disaster then happens, and we are introduced to Kamandi, and his changed world.  Talking animals go through many of the human emotions, motivations, and cruelty to others.  The series always entertained my ass.






NAUSICAA by Hiyao Miyazaki 
 
Nausicaä is the princess of a small kingdom located in the Valley of the Wind.  The series investigates and tells the stories of a post-apocalyptic Earth.  Despite enormous swaths of land destroyed in a ecological disaster, earth is finding ways to rid itself of the pollution.  Nausicaa uses peaceful means first, then a form of mental telepathy, and finally, she is a great warrior.  She defends her kingdom as she tries to understand the process earth is going through.




WINTERWORLD by Chuck Dixon

Although the world of Winterworld doesn't seem to reveal the source of the disastrous change in climate, Dixon smacks the reader in the head with the depth here.  In a long term winter food doesn't grow.  So, underground warm shelters with water access would be like rivers of gold.  The smallest to the largest character in stature as well hunger, all share the same motivations, survival and find shelter.  The desert or burning heat would be hard to survive without preparation.  But the truth is, during ice ages, people died from lack of food, cold, and the fact that everyone fights over resources.  Cold weather kills.



WASTELAND
Antony Johnston writing
Christopher Mitten art

I haven't read this comic series to the end, but I did read up to issue 20.  It is powerful in many ways. There is a mythology about what happened that turned the earth into a dry bone dust bowl. The event that started it is the Big Wet, and whatever that was, the current population can only imagine.  This is a very well written work, with appropriately excellent art.


There are many great dystopias.  I recommend checking them out.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Meet me this Fall! At FallCon!


MCBACOMICONS.COM

Just in time for Halloween TPBs that ought to be

THE DEMON
Alan Grant writer
Val Semeiks art

Despite the quality of both writing and art, Demon gets no love.  Despite the story telling that is modern in aesthetics and humorous, it gets no love from the publisher.  DC Comics was about to create the Vertigo imprint, and Demon would have fit in, but, for whatever reasons, it never became a work for that imprint.  The early run of Demon has been ignored, but there were two late series collections, written by the more sexy name, Garth Ennis.  And however good that was, the work that preceded it was better.   It ought to be captured in tpb.  It is criminal that it is not.


THE SPECTRE
Doug Moench writer

Gene Colan   art

The Tom Mandrake John Ostrander run of Spectre was beyond good, and it has been collected little by little.  This version was not at all bad, and I enjoyed it.  It was not the same work as the previously mentioned version.  But, whatever the differences, this version was both well written, thought provoking, and lovely to look at.  I say this despite my not being a great fan of Gene Colan's art, but this comic required a dark moody presentation, and Colan did succeed in doing that.  The tone of this version of The Spectre was somewhere between the cosmic and the superhero.  The stories were interesting, if not nearly as deep as the Ostrander/Mandrake version.  I say all this and recommend that it be collected, because there are plenty of crap books out there, why not reprint the many good ones?


HELLSTORM
Rafael Nieves, Len Kaminski writing
Michael Bair, Peter Gross art

I am sorry to include this one.  Not because it doesn't deserve collecting, I think it does, but because I believe that it could have been so much better.  The Son of Satan was given a regular series and the comic shows how he is divided between his desire to be fearsome, and powerful, but somehow become more than his lineage/father.  He isn't a hero, but isn't quite a villain.  This work is often times exciting but it does not reach the depths of darkness possible, due, partly I think, to the limits of the audience and limits of expression.  Still, it is interesting, well drawn with writing that was good despite the desires to keep the stories within a certain boundary of taste or expression.

The advent of the TPB helped many readers sit in one take a comic released, originally, serially.  It allowed a less disjointed experience... and thereby some comics with subtle building of plot lines and story ideas could become better by the experience of a single read of the entire run in question.  This book would read much better in tpb form, and eventually readers were entertained by Warren Ellis's take on the character.  But, Marvel needed a Vertigo section of the publisher so the power of expression could be unleashed.  I enjoyed it, but always wanted more. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

sigh...

Disruption:  I've entered a health situation where I am sick most every day.  As such I am forced to focus upon my personal works.


There is also a change in my life.  After 53 years of existence, as an adopted now adult child, I've learned that my biological DNA family is now inquiring into my existence.  After having dealt with the feelings of absence, through my poetry especially, I now have a paradigm shift of major degree.

I have a really interesting interview with numerous people from the comic book industry on the way, but, likely, once it appears I will be taking a time away from the internet to both deal with health issues and to focus upon the works that I am doing, but have stalled due to health.

I am not sad, or overly down in spirit, what I am is exhausted.  As this fingers its way from my entrails to my brain, I become unable.

My works so far...


My social media
Twitter Facebook

My blogs
Poetry  Commentary

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Len Wein 1948 - 2017

Len Wein has passed away. He has gone to wherever we go when our bodies stop functioning. Why is this important? Len Wein, the man, was a driving force in comics beginning in the late 60s right up until September 10, 2017. 

Len wrote some of the most memorable comic books of my youth. I am particularly fond of his run on Justice League of America. I came into it in the middle of his run with issue 106 “A Wolf in the Fold”. It introduced me to one of my favorite characters from my youth, Red Tornado.
Red Tornado was an android created by the mad scientist T. O. Morrow. The android’s purpose was to infiltrate and destroy the Justice League of America and their multiversal counterparts, the Justice Society of America. I identified with the detached alienated feelings of the Red Tornado. I was further drawn in by his entrapment as part of a scheme of which he wanted no part, but was the crucial element to it. The character wanted to be self-determinant.

Len was touching on themes (alienation, misunderstanding, persecution) which he would later plant in Marvel’s X-Men relaunch. Themes which were nurtured and cultivated by Chris Claremont, under Len’s early editorial guidance, that propelled the X-Men into popular culture superstardom. 

Len moved on to be an editor for both of “the Big Two” superhero publishers, DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Books which he edited had a particular pace. It was a pace that never allowed an ongoing story to go further than four issues. It was a pace that was used widely into the early 1990s, before every story had to achieve the epic scope of critically acclaimed stories like DC Comics’ Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns or the nascent cash cow events like DC Comics’ Crisis On Infinite Earths or Marvel Comics’ Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars (aka Secret Wars).

Len Wein, the man, may have died, but the storytelling force of nature that was Len Wein has left indelible impressions across popular culture landscape of superheroes for ages to come.  Thank you, Len Wein, for the stories, the dreams and the lessons which you have given us.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Lord Chuck, master of the comic book realms...


Anyone watching me write here knows I like Chuck Dixon, as a friend and as a fine writer of comics and books.  He recently became the all time leader in the world of comics in the feat of most pages written.  Congratulations Chuck, you deserve great kudos!

It is bound to happen that someone writing that much would have various runs and comic series that were never collected in book form, and they were indeed good enough to have been collected.

For Chuck's TPB's that need to be I've chosen only ones that can happen, whereas there are two that are awesome but would not happen.

Young Master is a work similar to Way of the Rat, in that it is based upon a character who goes through an epic journey to become a great warrior.  It is set in an Asian setting.  And it is quite good.  The best issue was the special, The World of Young Master with Alex Fucking Nino.  It was so good. SO GOOD.


The Brotherhood of the Fist cross over story deserves collecting because the art was good, the story was tight, and you got to see Chuck writing different characters, having them interact, and doing so very awesomely.  A fine choice for TPBing.


From the first issue I bought many copies of Brath when it came out and have shared them with numerous people.  It is a true barbarian tale, without the baggage, good or bad, of the typical stories and legacies of Conan or Kull, or Bran Mak Morn.  Sadly it was still in the CrossGen Universe so there were hints that he was a sigil bearer, but thankfully, it was underplayed.  Brath is a wonderful series, great writing, and the art is perfectly done for the book.  Lavish details and lush muscular characters.  Action scenes are one of Chuck's strengths, and combined with Andrea Di Vito, OMG.



Chuck's creation with Graham Nolan of Bane is worthy of Omnibus treatment of all the character's full stories.


I used to play and collect games way more than comics.  Car Warriors is from a Steve Jackson Games game called Car Wars.  Characters drive in modified vehicles for dominance of the road.  This series is pure fun, a great adaptation of the game, and worthy on its own, not just good for an adaptation, but good.


Richard Dragon was a wonderful comic that I think only I bought.  I kept wondering how people could ignore it.  And I am sure no one who bought it and read it thought differently.  But for some reason, it seemed no one cared when it appeared, and DC followed up on the lack of pr with less and less attention.  I was frankly surprised that it reached 12 issues, but I have hopes that it could be collected as a TPB.  Then again, if DC didn't care when it was current, they probably have an issue still with it.  With art by Scott McDaniel of Nightwing, Batman, Daredevil fame, I was completely in love with this book, and then nada, nothing, zippo, zilch, cancelled...


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

NEWSFLASH: ATLAS COMICS IN CHICAGO IS ALIVE!!!!!


ATLAS COMICS IS RETURNING TO CHICAGO
POP CULTURE RETAILER REOPENS SEPTEMBER 30th
   
   
(September 6th, 2017 – Chicago, IL) - Atlas Comics, a fixture of the Chicago-area pop culture retail community for 25 years will return to a new retail space at 5251 N. Harlem Avenue in Chicago, just miles from their old location. The store lost the lease to its suburban Norridge store in 2013 and migrated to online and subscription-only business. After a four year hiatus, Atlas will have its Grand Re-opening from 12:00 - 6:00pm on Saturday, September 30th.

According to Atlas owner John Stangeland, the store will be a little different than it once was. "We were always known as the place for vintage back issues," he said. "And we'll still have a deep inventory of classic comics. But the industry is changing, and Atlas needs to do the same thing. That means providing a larger selection of graphic novels in a variety of genres from all over the world, and casting a wider net over the pop-culture landscape. And it means more toys and gaming, too." In addition, Stangeland promised that the general ambiance of the shop will be upgraded. "I think there will be a little less Tchiakovsky and a little more Ramones," he said. "The customers have been punished enough."

Asked why he decided to return now, Stangeland was enthusiastic. "It's just the right time. I was a little burned out before," he said, "but I got the itch back. The recent movies have been great, lots of interesting new creators, new publishers - it's a very exciting time. I want to be in the thick of it again."

Opening day will feature free comics and giveaways, a sale including thousands of comics priced $1 or less, discounts on vintage back issues, supplies, toys, games and memorabilia, and around the clock music, movies and cartoons. There will also be food (catered), drink (lots of it) and conversation (cheap).

For more information on opening day and store hours visit their Facebook page or the store website for more details, or call 708 453-2110.

ABOUT ATLAS COMICS:

Atlas Comics opened in the spring of 1988, just months after the end of Reagan administration. It has witnessed the birth of Image Comics, the death of Superman and the afterlife of Archie. It is acknowledged as one of Chicago's premiere destinations for vintage back issues, and as long as there are still people who care, it always will be

Friday, September 1, 2017

TPBs that need to be: Roy Thomas Edition

Roy Thomas was very young at the same time as very successful in the world of comics.  For a very brief second or two spent at DC, before going to Marvel full time, he was an under 25 years old comic book fan with an enormous love for the medium, and a vast knowledge of the characters of both major publishers.

Thomas quickly became Editor in Chief to Stan Lee's role as Publisher, and there was a certain dynamism between the two.  Thomas was considered the main writer for the character Conan, and used his knowledge of the history of the characters of Marvel to establish teams of the past, such as the Invaders, Liberty Legion and more.  His work was that of a fan favorite, and he was prolific.

Thomas stepped down from the EiC position and was eventually replaced by Jim Shooter, who seemed very much a pharaoh who sought to erase all memory of the previous pharaoh.  Roy Thomas eventually found the cold relationship too much to remain at Marvel, and he began a run at DC Comics that saw him taking over the golden age characters he had long desired to write.  If he was somewhat seen as being too concerned about the iron tight continuity he believed necessary, he was also counted upon to do just that.  DC united the various alternate earths and comic worlds and Roy Thomas kept busy rewriting the new history of DC, and he tried to keep the golden age characters relevant.

The following offerings suggest only that these should be done, but with such a prolific and well considered writer, much of his work is already in TPB form.  As such, it is possible that these are not his best series, because they've been done, but these works do deserve to be collected.


CONAN THE ADVENTURER came about as an attempt to reboot and reintroduce the character to an audience who had not begun reading the long running original series.  Rafael Kayanan OBVIOUSLY loved the subject, his highly detailed stylistically pleasing work was a fine accompaniment to Thomas's comfortable and fun writing style.


ANTHEM's themes and setting harkens back to the ideas of The Invaders and The Justice Society, but is different in one very important way.  This world's heroes are not fighting alongside the soldiers of the Allies, they are trying to recover and renew a defeated and invaded America.  It is an alternate version of history with superheros and fantasy elements, and it captures, shows or tries to show the heroic ideal fighting for the life of the country.  I include this because I love the idea.  And the writing is good, for what is there.  But the art?  I really wish the series could be reconsidered with new art because it was very different issue to issue, and however various panels were, it was not a congealed work.  So, while I'd like a tpb of this, I'd like a new edition with better art.  Yeah yeah, I can hear you all out there saying gee, it is easy spending other people's money and time.  Big deal.  I deserve it.


CAPTAIN THUNDER AND BLUE BOLT are a father son team, that is both different than any other comic duo, and reminiscent of the best of comic hero teams.  But this had generational angst, settings of real life, and actually, quite nice art and story telling.  A B level work, nothing perfect but it is completely entertaining and smart.  (Another work that has been reprinted in TPB form Alter Ego was an equally clever use of the format and reality, to the point that the writer Roy Thomas did comic style dialogue for certain situations while the non heroic comic moments used what could be described as a more mature real sounding, perhaps adult voice speaking.  Captain Thunder is less mature than Alter Ego, but both are good).


THE SAGA OF THE SUB-MARINER runs from the very beginning of Marvel's history, and ends at the present.  Prince Namor the Sub-mariner was an anti hero most of the time, and various writers have attempted their own interpretation of why he was so naughty on occasions.  But few approach this level of awesome.  Thomas is a comic historian, and this book evokes every era of the character and reminds us why we love Namor.  The Rich Buckler art was among the best of his career, and this series was a complete and absolute joy.


ARAK: Son of Thunder was a cross cultural character who was not created with stereotypes in mind.  I liked it a lot for what it was, even if it wasn't perfect, the writing was good, and the art was great.  I think this series needed to be as violent as the story demanded.  So, I think it could have been a lot better, and I am not complaining, it was the era still of comics being seen as for general audiences. 


THE SAGA OF THE ORIGINAL HUMAN TORCH  This series is very much like the aforementioned Saga of the Sub-mariner, but with a less wide focus.  It remains, however a fine work, with excellent art.  I really think it should be paired with the Sub-mariner book in a larger tpb, but two series tpbs is fine too.  The Original Human Torch was awesome, intelligently done from the beginning, and is a very heroic figure, however much his recent use is cliché.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Flight of Heroes HAWKWORLD Interview and a new TPB

HAWKWORLD was a vibrant reboot of the character of Hawkman, with a new take on an old character, to make his present story more powerful and relevant to the audience of the 1980s.  It was similar in aim to Man of Steel by John Byrne, Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns, George Perez's Wonder Woman, Mike Grell's Green Arrow Long Bow Hunters, here was a new and yet familiar character to meet, again.  Timothy Truman's 3 issue series was every bit as good as the others mentioned above, and it was followed by an ongoing monthly series written by John Ostrander, art by Graham Nolan, and watched over with an cowriter/editorial view, by Timothy Truman.

This is an interview with Truman and Nolan, and by the end of the piece there is a notice about a hopefully upcoming TPB in 2018.






ME: I loved Hawkworld. Did you have the project in mind and pitched it, or did DC say, hey, umm, we really like your stuff, would you consider doing...?

Timothy Truman: Thanks, Alex. I'm really proud of the work that (inker) Quique Alcatena and I did on the miniseries.

Mike Gold,  the editor, contacted me, as I recall. I can't remember whether or not it was to work on a Hawkman reboot, specifically, or if he just asked me whether or not I'd consider doing a Prestige series for DC.  I had been doing creator owned projects at the time, working exclusively with the independent publishers-- First, Eclipse, Pacific, a few things for Dark Horse. I was a bit of a snob in that regard. I wanted to support the indies and all the advances they'd made in regards to creator's rights. I also liked the artistic freedom that working with the independents allowed me. So I was originally reluctant to accept the offer.

The things that finally swung me were the facts that, to keep in pace wit the things that the indie publishers were offering artists and writers, mainstream publishers like DC and Marvel had adopted more creator-friendly publishing policies. Also, in the mid-1980's, I'd befriended classic Hawkman writer Gardner F. Fox. Before Gar died, we'd actually talked about pitching DC a new Hawkman series. Gar wanted to do a very Edgar Rice Burroughs/John Carter of Mars take on the character-- something very fantasy or space opera oriented. Unfortunately, I'd been too busy at the time to pursue such a project. When I finally found time to consider the project, Gar passed away. (In fact, he died the very night that I was composing a letter to him, asking him if he'd still be interested in doing something together.)

So when Mike approached me, Gar's original proposal to me once again popped into my mind.  He hadn't given me any details about plot specifics or anything but it seemed like a cool way to pay tribute to him. So I told Mike that I'd be willing to give it a try. I worked up a pitch and he he and the folks at DC really liked it. I must say that getting the European Haxtur Award for "Best Miniseries" the year it appeared was one of the proudest moments of my life.

ME: I have heard criticisms of the piece that making Hawkman thereafter a crusader for the poor seemed like a cliché.  Is that a point you worried about afterward?

TT: Ha! No, not in the least. Actually, I hadn't heard that one.  I don't really keep up with fan chatter like that. Seems rather strange, though. I thought that's one of the things that superheroes were supposed to do. Part of their original mission statement, you know? Go figure.

ME: To me, having someone overcome addiction and rise above a world view that was toxic meant the person was himself morally poor but chose to evolve and change that.


TT: Thanks. Those are pretty much the key components of the story for the Prestige miniseries -- to create this personal arc for Katar. He begins as an idealist-- a historian who worships the old legends of the ancient Thanagarian hero, Kalmoran.  He becomes a cop to do good, but starts seeing the ugly truth about the society that he's protecting. He learns that things like the Kalmoran stories are just handy myths used to justify those ugly truths. Gets depressed, takes drugs to cope, goes through a downfall that takes him straight to the bottom of life. How he climbs back up through that is how he becomes a hero. It's part of his journey, his personal evolution. At the time, I had pretty much given up reading fiction and had dived face-first into hard core studies of early American history. I was into the deep stuff-- rare first-hand accounts & primary source material that were really shattering a lot of the things that I'd been told since I was a kid. So Hawkworld drew on a lot of that. Of course a few years later I got to put these investigations to use in a more direct manner with my graphic novel Wilderness: the True Story of Simon Girty.

ME: Your work Hawkworld both redefined and refined the character from the Silver age.  It was adopted and the series Hawkworld, (crazy coincidence?) came out. As a result of the monthly series, some people became confused about the timeline and worried over continuity. When you were creating the 3-issue Prestige series, did that come up from DC, or were you just doing your creative thang and all of the editorial machinations happened afterward?

TT: Originally, I was only concerned with the 3-issue series. That was my only concern. I wanted to to stand alone, like a single SF novel or something. A good, solid space opera adventure story , but with some meat on its bones. That's how I worked, even on things like my Scout series-- to take the approach that each project was actually a single novel with pictures.

However, the miniseries was extremely successful. So as you might imagine, DC wanted to take advantage of that and launch it as a regular series. They wanted me to write and draw it, but I had my sights on other projects. I'd done what I wanted to do with the character via the miniseries and I wanted to move on to other things that I was eager to get into-- mainly Wilderness.  However, they wanted me to be involved in some way.  So I suggested they get John Ostrander to do the monthly and put in the recommendation that they look into Graham Nolan as the artist, as I'd worked with him on the Prowler backup stories at Eclipse. I told them that I'd help John co-plot the series, but I actually served as more of a consultant.

I detected a problem right off the bat with the continuity, though. The story I'd told in the original 3-issue series was intended to have taken place years and years before the  then-current DC continuity. The prestige stories was an expansion and elaboration on the old original, initial Gar Fox and Joe Kubert Silver Age stories that had been set on Thanagar. I had that notion form the start. If it had been played that way, I believe things would have been fine. But it was the age of the "Year One" DC series, you know? DC wanted the new monthly series to take up where the Prestige had left off and have Katar and Shayera come to earth during the then-current continuity. I have a notoriously short attention span, so, like I say, I was eager to move on with my own projects. So I was like, "Sure, it's your property, do what you want. Have a blast." As a result (though through no fault of John Ostrander), things got  bit muddled, continuity-wise. That's what DC wanted, though. And John and his wife Kim Yale certainly did some great stories.

ME: When you were aboard the series Hawkworld as a Editorial/Guiding hand, how much actual input did you offer?

TT: Less than I should have, and certainly less than was fair to John. He'd send me the plot for each issue, we'd have ten minute conversations on the phone each month and that was about it. I was really bad about things like that in the old days. When I was done with something, I didn't like to think about it again. My ADHD had me totally, hyper-focusing on the next project, 1000%. That's the only way I things done.

ME: Would you do a Hawkworld series using the same format if offered?


TT: I'd have to think really hard about it. It might be fun, sure, and I've learned to never count anything out. However, I'm 61 now, so I'm trying to get back to the original motivations that got me into the comics industry in the first place-- mainly getting back to doing my own stuff, via projects like Scout: Marauder, which Ben and I hope to launch soon via Kickstarter and a companion "behind the scenes" page at Patreon.com. Thanks, Timothy Truman.

For updates about Timothy's work, check out his website, www.timothytruman.com or visit his Facebook page.


GRAHAM NOLAN was the artist for the regular series of Hawkworld, and it was a wonderful run of work he did.  I asked him a number of questions to give an idea of the time he was on the book.

ME: I've really been a fan of your art work.  How did you enter the
industry?

GN: I had two class assignments at the Kubert School published in DC Comics: New Talent Showcase. It so happens the editor, Sal Amendola was my instructor at the school.

What was your first work?

GN: New Talent Showcase

ME: I know you did some Airboy, some Power of the Atom, and even my beloved Doom Patrol before doing a run on Hawkworld.  Was it the first book you really got to show your stuff?

GN: No, I think The Prowler for Eclipse comics was where I got to “show my stuff”. As with Hawkworld I did full art on that series. But Hawkworld was the biggest profile book I had worked on up till then.

ME: There were complaints about Hawkworld, perhaps not loud ones, that making a hero of Katar Hol who overcame drug addiction and a toxic attitude of entitlement to now fight for the poor and unloved, that he was being an example of the White man's burden, or Noblese Oblige. Did you think anything about his motives or how it was playing to readers, or was it just work?


GN: It was a job. I didn’t have any story input.

ME: Some people became confused about the timeline of Hawkworld, as in, was this in the present, hey we thought the prestige format series it was his origin, why start over from here?   Did any of this change or affect any of your work?  If so how so?

We didn’t start over. The monthly was a continuation of the Prestige Series and it was set in the then current continuity.

ME: I didn't mean or even say that I thought it, but I absolutely heard other people say it, just sayin'...

Did your work on the series require added research, were you trying to not deviate from Tim's template?  Did you enjoy drawing these characters?

I usually do a lot of research for every project I take on. Tim had really set the groundwork in his series so what I tried to do was capture the “feel” of the prestige series without aping it. I wanted to add my natural sense for a more dynamic style of visual storytelling.

ME: How was working with John Ostrander and Tim?  Were there ever stories that weren't a meeting of the minds?

Tim and John are great and talented guys. John’s stories leaned heavily to the political left while my leanings are to the right so there were many stories that I didn’t agree with. But I wasn’t getting paid for my story input so I did my best to make John’s stories as exciting as possible regardless of what I thought of the subject matter.

Would you return to a Hawkworld series if offered?  And please give the readers here an update of your work...

DC has returned Katar Hol to his traditional Hawkman role so I don’t see that happening.

I’m currently working on BANE: CONQUEST for DC Comics with my pal, Chuck Dixon. I also have a humor strip called SUNSHINE STATE (http://www.gocomics.com/sunshine-state) that updates every Monday so subscribe to it…it’s FREE!

THE ANNOUNCEMENT


DC Comics originally announced that in 2018 a tpb of the first 8 issues of the Hawkworld ongoing series will be released.   I've noticed some changes on the AMAZON listing, so it is perhaps going through a reschedule or a quirk in the system.  (How the hell do I know?)

Here is the publisher description...

Hawkworld Book One: The Byth Saga

A new edition of the classic title that reinvented Hawkman for the 1990s.

In this classic comics series from the 1990s, writer/artist Timothy Truman reinvented Hawkman as a brutal member of a distant planet's police force.

HAWKWORLD follows wealthy Katar Hol as he questions his role in Thanagarian society, joins the police force, is betrayed and disgraced, and then finally finds his purpose as Hawkman.

Collects HAWKWORLD #1-8, HAWKWORLD ANNUAL #1.


The AMAZON pre order link now says release date 2035, for when it will come out, I sure hope that isn't a really deep pre order schedule.  But again, there has been some change in the info, so, when exactly it happens, I don't know, I do know, I'll be happy to see it happen.

KIRBY! 100 big ass years old!



Today marks the 100th birthday of Jack "KING" Kirby, Master of pencils, inks, typewriter, creator of heroes, gods, villains, and heralds.  When I grew up, yes so very very long ago, in small town Wisconsin, I was alone in my appreciation for the King's work.  It wasn't due to his work, it was about the way that kids looked at comics at the time, the availability of comics, and the lack of a local fandom.  I am not, NOT saying a thing about him, his work, or fans in general.  I AM saying that for me, it was a glorious experience later in life to meet folks who did greatly enjoy his work.  The internet has made the world smaller, in very good ways.  I deeply love Kirby.  His works made my brain happy.

JACK KIRBY is, was, and will always be the KING OF COMIC BOOKS.