Tuesday, April 28, 2021

Hypergeek's Hot Picks - Week of Weds 29th April 2009

My humps, my humps, my lovely Wednesday humps! Yep folks, it's that time again. Time to part with your hard earned pennies so that you can escape your boring excuse for a life and indulge in all new tales of heroics, horrors, and fantasy!

Every week I like to pick out a few comics that I think are good bets to lay your money down on. So if you can't decide what to buy, and want to be just like me, simply print out this page, take it to your local comic book dealer and say "I want to be just as cool as Ed Kaye, the one they call the Hypergeek!" I am not responsible for any strange look that you might receive from this action :)


My top pick this week is... drum roll... Sherlock Holmes #1. This new Sherlock Holmes series is being written by the amazing team of John Reppion and Leah Moore, with artwork by Aaron Douglas. Why is this my top pick for the week? I'm very glad you asked! Well, first off, John Reppion and Leah Moore are a brilliant writing team, and I can honestly say that I have loved every comic that they have released since they started in the business. I have promoted and reviewed Moore/Reppion released on Hypergeek many times, and even interviewed them on here before. I am one of those readers who finds a writer who's style I like, and then I make sure to get all of their future releases, so I already know that this will be a quality product. The other reason I am going to get this title is because I LOVE Sherlock Holmes stories. When I was a child I would spend endless hours in my room ploughing through the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have seen the many film and TV adaptations of the Holmes stories, and I have read also read several of the non-Doyle novels. This new story sounds like it will be really interesting, and most importantly looks like it is going to have the feel and spirit of the original shorts. I can't wait! Ohh, I hope we get some Moriarty!!

I shall try to get a full review up this weekend.


Hell! There are so many great comics out this week, it's hard to decide what to buy. I guess I'll just have to buy them all!

Make sure to pick up Batman: Gotham After Midnight #12 of 12. I can't wait to see the gory conclusion to Steve Niles and Kelley Jones' horrific take on the Batman!

Holy crap! Issue #4 of Rasl is out this week. Jeff Smith really keeps fans waiting on this title, but you can't rush genius. I absolutely adore this series. I loved Bone, but this is quite definitely something completely different. Rasl is a dark, gritty and very complex story that really illustrates just what an amazing writer/artist Jeff Smith really is!

Do you like comics? Do you like music? Do you like magic? Well, you're going to love Phonogram 2 #2. This issue is the second issue of the new series, which makes up seven stand-alone stories set in a singles club, that explore the magic of music. As an added bonus this issue has a back-up story illustrated by the incredibly talented Emma Vieceli!

More, More, More...

Well, I think that is enough for recommendations this week. The following is a list of all the comics I am picking up this week. My poor wallet :)

The A-Z of Canadian Comic Book Creators: H is for Niko Henichon

It's going to be a bit of a shorter entry this time. All the people I could turn up for the letter H were either new to the industry, or had just done one or two cartoon strips, many years ago. I'm pretty happy with who I settled on though, as this guy is an amazing artist, and is the artist in a row to work on a project with Brian K. Vaughan. I guess the man must really like Canada, eh?

For the index list of creators featured thus far, please click here.

H is for Niko Henrichon
Niko Henrichon is a Canadian artist from Quebec City. Niko got his first published art credit in 2001 when he provided artwork for the short story "Why Aren't You Supposed to Wake a Sleepwalker?", written by Bill Willingham, for the anthology The Sandman Presents: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dreams...But Were Afraid to Ask. Following this short story credit his first major project was in 2003, when he worked on the graphic novel Barnum, written by Howard Chaykin and David Tichman.

For the next couple of years, Henrichon provided covers for a few indy titles, and anthology titles, but little else. Then, 2006 saw Henrichnon collaborating with Brian K. Vaughan on the incredibly popular graphic novel Pride of Baghdad. The story of 'Pride' revolved around the brief freedom experienced by a small pride of captive lions, who escape from Baghdad Zoo during the 2003 invasion of Baghdad by the U.S.-led coalition. The story can be read as a simple anthropomorphic tale, but can also be read as an allegory. The destruction of the zoo and the short lived freedom of the lions can be seen to represent the decline of Iraqi society after being freed from Saddam Hussein's Baath Party by the American invasion. This is illustrated by a comment made by one of the lions shortly after being freed: "There's an old saying, Zill. Freedom can't be given, only earned". Pride of Baghdad won the 2007 Harvey, Eagle and IGN awards for best 'original graphic novel', and according to Vaughan was " inexplicably named as one of the best novels of the year by both Playboy Magazine AND the Young Adult Library Association."

Following the massive success of Pride of Baghdad Niko Henrichon has worked on a variety of titles and characters for both DC and Marvel, including, Fables, X-Men, Marvel Comics Presents, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man. Henrichon is currently providing covers for the Vertigo series Mirror's Edge, and will soon be doing covers for Marvel's upcoming Pet Avengers title.

Full Bibliography:

July 2001:

The Sandman Presents: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dreams...But Were Afraid to Ask (2001) #1


Barnum! (2003) HC - 'Barnum! In Secret Service to the USA'

May 2003:

Danny Fingeroth's Write Now! (2002) #4

December 2003:

Star Wars Tales (1999) #18

May 2006:

Vaistron (2005) #5 - 'Dead End'

September 2006:

Pride of Baghdad (2006) HC - 'Pride of Baghdad'


Pride of Baghdad (2006) TPB - 'Pride of Baghdad'
Pride of Baghdad (2006) TPB (Second Printing) - 'Pride of Baghdad'

May 2007:

Black Panther (2005) #26 - 'Two Plus Two, Part 1'

June 2007:

Black Panther (2005) #27 - 'Two Plus Two, Part 2'
New X-Men (2004) #37 - 'Quest for Magik: Prelude'

August 2007:

Spider-Man Fairy Tales (2007) #2 - 'The Spirits of Friendship'

December 2007:

New X-Men (2004) TPB vol. 05 - 'Childhood's End, Volume 5: The Quest For Magik'
Pride of Baghdad (2006) (Port.) - 'Fábula de Bagdad'
Spider-Man Fairy Tales (2007) TPB - 'Spider-Man: Fairy Tales TPB'


Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008) HC vol. 04 - 'Earthmover to Guardians of the Galaxy'

April 2008:

Fables (2002) #70 - 'Kingdom Come'

May 2008:

Shadow Hunter (2007) #3 (Variant Edition)

June 2008:

Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #8

July 2008:

Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #9

August 2008:

Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #10

September 2008:

Fantastic Four: True Story (2008) #1 - 'The Melancholy Of Susan Richards'
Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #11

October 2008:

Fantastic Four: True Story (2008) #2 - 'Grimm's Fairytales'
Marvel Comics Presents (2007) #12

November 2008:

Fables (2002) TPB vol. 11 - 'War And Pieces'
Fantastic Four: True Story (2008) #3 - 'Total Nightmare'
X-Men: Return of Magik (2008) #1

January 2009:

Fantastic Four: True Story (2008) #4 - 'Johnny Storm Saves Books'

February 2009:

Mirror's Edge (2008) #2

April 2009:

Mirror's Edge (2008) #4

May 2009:

Mirror's Edge (2008) #5

June 2009:

Mirror's Edge (2008) #6


Comic Book DB - Entry for Niko Henrichon
Wikipedia - Entry for Niko Henrichon

Monday, April 27, 2021

Comic Book Review: Subversive Eden, by Jamie Smart

Jamie Smart is the genius behind Bear, Ubu Bubu, Bondate, Angry Little Robot, Whubble, Space Raoul, and the comic anthology, Fat Chunk. I first discovered Jamie's work last year, with his Ubu Bubu series, which tell the tale of super cute cat, possessed by a demon, who wreaks all sorts of Hell and hilarity upon the people around him. For the review of Ubu Bubu #2 I did, click here, and to see the quote I gave Jamie for the collected version, click here.

Jamie's art usually tends to be very cartoony in style, but looking through his portfolio, you can see that he has created things in a vast number of styles. His stories tend to be filled with irreverent and bizarre humour, and while some of his stuff is aimed at a kids and all-ages audience, other stuff, such as Ubu Bubu would probably scar a child for life!

Last week, on his blog, Jamie announced that he had made a comic called Subverssive Eden available to download as a .pdf from Literate Machine. According to the comic's introduction, Subversive Eden is actually a comic that Jamie created back in 1998, but has never had published, so he decide to make it available for download, for only $1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Subversive Eden is a very odd little story, in that there is no main plot, but instead we get treated to a variety of mini-plots that wind together and around each other in the strange land of Subversive. We get: the tale of a wandering minstrel who wants to perform in the King's court, but unfortunately he has no talent, and ends up being used for a different sort of entertainment entirely; the tale of the insane media giant who has declared himself King of all Subversive, and now bored of life, is just interested in finding more gory ways to kill people; the story of a religious cult who try to blow the king up, but get too blotto, and end up blowing themselves up; and the story of two zombies resurrected by Satan, who decide to go joy riding on a bus full of screaming passengers. The stories all intertwine, and build up to a very funny and erm... interesting conclusion. I won't give the end away though :) The story is ridiculously fun, and full of lots of political and religious satire. The humour in the story puts me in mind of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams.

Jamie's artwork on this early title is quite different from what can be found on his more recent books. For the backgrounds he has chosen to adopt a very intricate line-art style. I mean this is the classical sense of line-art, in that there is no shading used at all, and light and dark are illustrated by using varying intensities of hatching. It is a very old-fashioned technique, and Jamie uses it to dramatic effect in this comic. His use of line-art gives the world of subversive a very dark, and almost medieval feel to it. By contrast, the people in the story are drawn in what I like to think of as a very 'British' style. It's a style that can be seen in older Beano and Dandy strips, or the works of illustrators such as the great Raymond Briggs. The style is exemplified but the large round faces, the button noses, and the dots for eyes. It's a great style, and it reminds me of all those great British children's books I grew up on.

Subversive Eden is a brilliant little comic. It is a great stand-alone read, and you don't have to be familiar at all with Jamie's other works to enjoy it. Though, I would greatly encourage you to click though and read his other bizarre craftings. For those who have read Jamie's more recent works, this is really interesting to read, and see just when his crazy little mind started to go off the rails :)

Oh yeah, did I mention it costs a dollar, that's 69p, and it is 18 pages long? That is a bargain, so go download it, make a cup of tea, sit back, and get ready to laugh your arse off. If you don't I'll come round and eat your Grannie's prosthetic knees!

Friday, April 24, 2021

Alpha Gods Available to Buy in Print

I found out today, that the amazing Alpha Gods book from Orang Utan studios is now available to purchase in a hard copy format. I reviewed Alpha Gods on the site a while back, and was very impressed with it. Initially the book was only available to read online, through the site myebook. After only a couple of months online the two issues of the book have been viewed over 8000 times, so Orang Utan studios have decided to go ahead and make a print version available. The print version of the book is available to buy from Indy Planet as a 'print on demand' title. It costs only $5.99, and I would highly recommend picking it up, it will be money well spent!

While you are picking up a copy, you should also get a copy of Orang Utan's older book Eleventh Hour, which is also very good, and their new book FTL.

Wednesday, April 22, 2021

Hypergeek's Hot Picks - Week of Weds 22 April 2021

Ahhh! Wednesday... everyone's favourite day of the week. Known to most as 'hump day', but know to the really important people in the World as 'new comic book day'.

Every week I like to pick out a few comics that I think are good bets to lay your money down on. I buy quite a few comics a week, and generally try not to buy any crap, but some people have tighter budgets, so I have decided to share my vast wisdom and experience in comics to help those less sure of what comics to pick up :)


I would highly recommend picking up Viking #1 from Image comics. Viking is written by Ivan Brandon, with artwork by Nic Klein. It is being branded as a 9th Century crime tale, and tells the story of two brothers, Finn and Egil. Egil lacks much of a conscience or a sense of mortality based on the fact that every mess he makes, his brother Finn gets them out of. Finn takes less pleasure in crime and killing than his brother does, but sometimes blood is thicker than sense and Finn's not about to let Egil get killed no matter how much he might deserve it.

I have already read through the first two issues of Viking, and can tell you that this book is amazing. I really like the fact that the tale is a period piece, but tells what is basically a modern crime story. The concept is highly original, and prevents the book from becoming a clone of Northlanders. The artwork by Nic Klein is dark and gritty, and does an amazing job of making you feel like you are right there in the scene. Nic Klein is a relative unknown in the industry, but I imagine that about to change. This artist is certainly one to keep an eye on! The first couple of issues read great, and Brandon and Klein handle the story telling really well, leaving you desperate for more. This is definitely one to pick up this week, if you can manage to get your hands on a copy. The book sold out at the publisher several weeks ago, but should still be available at the retailer level. Just be sure to get to the store early in the week, or reserve a copy.


Detective Comics #853: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader part 2 is out this week. This is the conclusion to Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert's Batman memorial tale. The first issue was really interesting, but not at all what I expected. I liked the fact that every one of Batman's allies and villains had a different version of Batman that they remembered. It seemed that Gaiman was trying to say that the myth of Batman, was far greater than the man himself. I'm not sure what this second issue has in store, but it's sure to be interesting. The solicitation touts that the tale has an "unexpected climax", except of course, that I am now expecting something really odd to happen. I wish they wouldn't do that in solicitations, it is so cliched!

Make sure you pick up Ignition City #2 this week. The first issue of this new Warren Ellis series was amazing, and I'm definitely going to be getting the whole series. I really love steam punk stories, so this is right up my alley. I'm surprised that there is another issue out already, as it only feels like 2 or 3 weeks since the last one, but best not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I guess!

Also a good bet for this week is Ghost Rider #34. Growing up, I was never a big Ghost Rider fan, and that terrible, terrible movie didn't help matters much. For some reason though, I started picking up Jason Aaron's run when the whole Danny Ketch return/Zadriel thing was happening, and now I am addicted. The current story is really high octane and just a Hell of a lot of fun. There are multiple Ghost Riders, Ghost Riders from the future, a war for Heaven. It's just madness, and I love it. Now Tony Moore is on board, the series is even better. Tony is the perfect artist for this book, far better than the last guy, who I thought was a little disappointing. I don't think he is on art duties for very long, so we'll just have to savour it while it lasts!

Well, I think that is enough for recommendations this week. The following is a list of all the comics I am picking up this week. Remember, I don't buy any crap, so any one of these is sure to be worth you $2.99, or... sigh... $3.99 :(

Monday, April 20, 2021

R.I.P. J.G. Ballard 1930-2009

You may not have heard this yet, but yesterday (19th April, 2009) the B.B.C. reported that author J.G. Ballard died in his home at age 78, after many years of struggling with Cancer.

J.G. Ballard was one of my favourite authors, and I am hugely saddened by his passing. Ballard was a master of dystopian fiction. He often pushed the limits of what society would consider as decent, most often by turning the mirror on society itself and showing the dark, perverted, and twisted flesh, the lies hidden beneath it's smooth facade. Ballard became so renowned for his dystopipic post-modern vision of the world that the adjective "Ballardian", defined as "resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in J. G. Ballard's novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments", has been included in the Collins English Dictionary

Most people are probably familiar with Ballard's writing from the Hollywood movies made of his books. The most successful of these was Empire of the Sun, which was turned into a critically acclaimed movie by Steven Spielberg. The other Ballard based film, was David Cronenberg's adaptation of Crash, which manage to take Ballard's unique vision of the nightmare World of technology and sexuality that we inhabit, and turn it into a crappy soft-core porn. A failure of epic proportions.

J.G. Ballard was born in the International Settlement in Shanghai, China on 15 November 1930. For the early part of his life his lived a decedent life-style in Shanghai's expatriate quarter. However, this all changed in 1943 after the Pearl Harbor attack, when the Japanese occupied the International Settlement. In early 1943 they began interning Allied civilians, and Ballard was sent to the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center with his parents and younger sister. He spent over two years, the remainder of World War II, in the internment camp. His family lived in a small area in G block, a two-story residence for 40 families. He attended school in the camp, the teachers being inmates from a number of professions. These experiences formed the basis of Empire of the Sun, although Ballard exercised considerable artistic licence in writing the book (notably removing his parents from the bulk of the story).

In 1946, after the conclusion of the Second World War, Ballard and his family relocated to England. In 1949 Ballard began studying Medicine at King's College, London, with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist. He soon discovered his passion for writing though, and by 1952, after the publication of his first short-story, "Violent Noon", he decided to quite medicine to pursue a writing career. He briefly studied English literature at the University of London, but was asked to leave after his first year. Following this he worked as a copywriter, before joining the RAF and relocating to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. After the RAF he worked a variety of editorial jobs before finally accomplishing his goal of becoming a full-time wrier.

J.G. Ballard's first novel The Winds From Nowhere was published in 1961. The novel explored the scenario of civilization reduced to ruins by prolonged worldwide hurricane force winds. As an added dimension Ballard explored the ways in which disaster and tragedy can bond people together in ways that no normal experiences ever could. Several of Ballard's early books explored a similar theme, of a natural disaster causing the end of civilization, and seeing how the survivors coped with this nightmare vision of the future. These books included The Drowned World (1962) , The Burning World (1964), rewritten as The Drought (1965) , and The Crystal World (1966).

In 1964 Ballard's wife Mary died of pneumonia, leaving him to raise their three children by himself. After this profound shock, Ballard began in 1965 to write the stories that became The Atrocity Exhibition, while continuing to produce stories within the science fiction genre. The Atrocity Exhibition proved controversial (it was the subject of an obscenity trial, and in the United States, publisher Doubleday destroyed almost the entire print run before it was distributed), but it also marked Ballard's breakthrough as a literary writer.

One of the "condensed novels" in The Atrocity Exhibition was entitled 'Crash', and explored "The latent sexual content of the automobile crash". This lead to Ballard doing an art exhibition of car wrecks, before exploring the concept further in his 1973 novel Crash. Crash was a story about car-crash sexual fetishism: its protagonists become sexually aroused by staging and participating in real car-crashes, often with real consequences. In the novel, Ballard used a cold and detached language about this automotive paraphilia which gave the novel the tone of an engineering report or a medical journal. It was a highly controversial novel, and famously one publisher's reader returned the verdict "This author is beyond psychiatric help. Do Not Publish!" The story is told through the eyes of narrator James Ballard, named after the author himself, but it centers on the sinister figure of Dr. Robert Vaughan, a “former TV-scientist, turned nightmare angel of the expressways”. Ballard meets Vaughan after being involved in a car accident himself near Pearson International. Gathering around Vaughan is a group of alienated people, all of them former crash-victims, who follow him in his pursuit to re-enact the crashes of celebrities, and experience what the narrator calls "a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology". Vaughan’s ultimate fantasy is to die in a head-on collision with movie star Elizabeth Taylor.

Ballard first "mainstream" success came in 1984, when he wrote the semi-autobiographical novel, Empire of the Sun. The novel recounts the story of a young English boy, Jim Graham (Ballard's first and middle names are James Graham), who lives with his parents in Shanghai. After the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese occupy the Shanghai International Settlement, and in the following chaos Jim becomes separated from his parents. The book was adapted by Tom Stoppard in 1987. The screenplay was filmed by Steven Spielberg, to critical acclaim, being nominated for six Oscars and winning three British Academy Awards (for cinematography, music and sound). It starred 13-year-old Christian Bale, as well as John Malkovich and Miranda Richardson.

In 1996 the novel Cocaine Nights once again gained Ballard popularity, and notoriety. Cocaine Nights was set in Spain's Costa del Sol region, and dealt with the idea of dystopian resort communities which maintain their seemingly perfect balance via a number of dark secrets. Cocaine Nights was the first of a trilogy of novels which Ballard wrote that explored the dark secret Worlds that arise inside exclusive gated communities. All the books shared a similar theme, but had different locations. Super Cannes (2000) was set In the hills above Cannes, a European elite has gathered in the business-park Eden-Olympia, a closed society that offers its privileged residents luxury homes, private doctors, private security forces, their own psychiatrists, and other conveniences required by the modern businessman. Millennium People (2003), was set in the gated community of Chelsea Village in Greater London, and told a story of story of a rebellion in the middle classes.

During his career Ballard wrote a total of 19 novels, 13 short-story collections, and as his last work, a complete autobiography.

In June 2006 Ballard was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer (which metastasised to his spine and ribs). The last book by Ballard published in his lifetime was the autobiography Miracles Of Life, written after his diagnosis. He died of the disease, in London, on 19 April 2009. In October 2008, before his death, Ballard's literary agent Margaret Hanbury brought a manuscript from Ballard with the working title 'Conversations with My Physician: The Meaning, if Any, of Life' to the Frankfurt Book Fair. The physician in question is oncologist Professor Jonathan Waxman of Imperial College, London, who was treating Ballard for prostate cancer. While it is in part a book about cancer, and Ballard's struggle with it, it reportedly moves on to broader themes. Hanbury is in conversation with publishers.

R.I.P. J.G. Ballard. Another dead hero...

Saturday, April 18, 2021

The A-Z of Canadian Comic Book Creators: G is for Pia Guerra

In celebration of gaining my Canadian Permanent Residency, last year I began running down an A-Z of Canadian comic book creators.

[ED note: It's been a while, I know! Sorry!]

For the index list of creators featured thus far, please click here.

G is for Pia Guerra

Originally born in New Jersey, Pia Guerra's family moved to Canada when she was a young girl. She first lived in Toronto, Ontario, and currently resides in Vancouver B.C. with her husband, the comic book writer and stand-up comedian, Ian Boothby.

Pia became interested in comics when she was about 10 years old, after one of her older cousins came to visit from the States, and left a copy of X-Men (from Chris Claremont's run) behind at their house. Pia read though the issue, and really enjoyed it, so she started reading more comics. At that time she was heavily into drawing, and when she saw this way of combining stories and artwork, she decided that she would try her hand at it. After a while she started taking art to comic conventions, and several people expressed interest in her work. She was unsure if this was the career path she wanted to take, the life of a starving artist, but finally decided to launch her career as a comic book artist.

Pia's first credit as a comic book artist was on the stories 'Jeremy Loader Never Could Pick Up After Himself' and 'Bobby Deavers, Two Weeks Before' in the 1993 anthology, Asylum, from Millennium Publications.

For several years Pia pencilled many independent, and small press, comic book titles. Her big break came in 2002 when she began working on a new Vertigo title called Y: The Last Man. Pia says of her becoming involved with DC's Vertigo imprint: "after a few years of talking to editors ... and having Karen [Berger] saying 'no,' I finally met Heidi [McDonald] who really liked my work and wondered why I didn't have work, so she made me her special project, working her butt off to get me a project. A few years after saying that, she finally convinced Karen that I could handle a book and there were a few rejections along the way where I was sending in samples for various books. I was really excited, and then I'd get a big no, like with 'Names of Magic' for example. After 'NoM' I felt like giving up on Vertigo because it'd been six years and I'd tried to get in on 'Shade' through Shelly [Bond], along with other sci-fi stuff through Stuart Moore, and it was all just like one big brick wall. Finally, Heidi called me up and asked me if I minded drawing a lot of women, so I figured I would try drawing it even though it'd probably be another 'no' from the powers that be, but I did get it and here I am on 'Y.'"

Y: The Last Man was written, and co-created by Brian K. Vaughan, and first saw publication in September of 2002. The series ran monthly for it's first 55 issues, before switching to a bi-monthly publication schedule until the series came to its conclusion in September of 2008. 'Y' told the story of a man named Yorick, an amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. The premise of the story was that on July 17, 2002, something (referred to as a plague) simultaneously killed every mammal possessing a Y chromosome — including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Yorick and Ampersand are the only males left alive on the planet.

For her work on Y: The Last Man Pia was nominated multiple times for the Eisner Awards, before finally winning the 2008 Eisner Award for 'Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team', with inker Jose Marzan, Jr. for their work on 'Y'. She also won 'Outstanding Comic Book Artist for 2006' at the Joe Shuster Awards, that same year.

Pia's latest project was providing penciled artwork for Doctor Who: The Forgotten. 'The Forgotten' was published by IDW, as part of their new licensing acquisition of the famous British Sci-fi show. The story was written by Tony Lee and involved the tenth Doctor being trapped in a Doctor Who museum in deep space. The Doctor must visit memories from all of his previous generations in order to find a way to escape. Being British, I was raised on Doctor Who, but I just haven't been able to get into the new relaunch. This series was fantastic though, and one of my favourite Doctor Who stories ever written!

Pia currently doesn't have any series coming out, but she has been quoted as saying that her dream comic book projects are, " 'Buckaroo Banzai', anything 'Buckaroo Banzai' related because it's a good ensemble piece. It's the same reason I like 'Buffy' and the same reason I like team books like 'Titans' or 'X-Men' because they take moments away from the big action to do quirky character stuff that be funny or cool, going behind the action. 'Buckaroo' has people who are smart together, work well together, are cool together and fulfilling their potential together which is important in my world view."

To find out more about Pia Guerra, and to read her blog, go to her official site, www.hellkitty.com



Asylum (1993) #3


Big Book of... (1994) #1 - 'Big Book of Urban Legends'

Summer 1995:

Sinnamon (1995) #3 - 'Dress for Excess'

June 1995:Doctor Who: The Forgotten

Sex & Death (1995) Alternate #1
Weird Business (1995) HC

September 1998:

Dark Horse Presents (1986) Annual 1998


What's Wrong? (2002) TPB - 'Explicit Graphic Interpretations Against Censorship'

January 2002:

Y: The Last Man (2002) Double Feature Edition

September 2002:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #1 - 'Unmanned'

October 2002:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #2 - 'Unmanned: Chapter Two'

November 2002:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #3 - 'Unmanned: Chapter Three'

December 2002:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #4 - 'Unmanned: Chapter Four'


Heroes Anonymous (2003) #2 - 'Session #2: The Inglorious Grievance of the Gay Avenger'

January 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 01 - 'Unmanned'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 01 (Fifth Printing) - 'Unmanned'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 01 (Seventh Printing) - 'Unmanned'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 01 (Sixth Printing) - 'Unmanned'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 01 (Third Printing) - 'Unmanned'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #5 - 'Unmanned: Conclusion'

February 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #6 - 'Cycles: Chapter One'

March 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #7 - 'Cycles: Chapter Two'

April 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #8 - 'Cycles: Chapter Three'

May 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #9 - 'Cycles: Chapter Four'

June 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #10 - 'Cycles: Conclusion'

July 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #11 - 'One Small Step: Chapter One'

August 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #12 - 'One Small Step: Chapter Two'

September 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 02 - 'Cycles'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 02 (Fifth Printing) - 'Cycles'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 02 (Fourth Printing) - 'Cycles'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 02 (Second Printing) - 'Cycles'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #13 - 'One Small Step: Chapter Three'

October 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #14 - 'One Small Step: Chapter Four'

November 2003:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #15 - 'One Small Step: Conclusion'

January 2004:

JLA-Z (2003) #3 - 'Martian Manhunter to Zatanna'

March 2004:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #18 - 'Safeword Part One'

April 2004:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 03 - 'One Small Step'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 03 (Fourth Printing) - 'One Small Step'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #19 - 'Safeword Part Two'

May 2004:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #20 - 'Safeword: Conclusion'

September 2004:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #24 - 'Tongues of Flame: Part One of Two'

October 2004:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #25 - 'Tongues of Flame: Part Two of Two'

November 2004:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #26 - 'Hero's Journey'

December 2004:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 04 - 'Safeword'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 04 (Fourth Printing) - 'Safeword'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #27 - 'Ring of Truth: Chapter One'


Vertigo: First Taste (2005) TPB - 'Vertigo: First Taste'

January 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #28 - 'Ring of Truth: Chapter Two'

February 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #29 - 'Ring of Truth: Chapter Three'

March 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #30 - 'Ring of Truth: Chapter Four'

April 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #31 - 'Ring of Truth: Conclusion'

July 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 05 - 'Ring of Truth'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 05 (Third Printing) - 'Ring of Truth'

September 2005:

Spider-Man Unlimited (2004) #10

October 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #36 - 'Boy loses Girl'

November 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 06 - 'Girl on Girl'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 06 (Second Printing) - 'Girl on Girl'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #37 - 'Paper Dolls: Chapter One'

December 2005:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #38 - 'Paper Dolls: Chapter Two'

January 2006:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #39 - 'Paper Dolls: Conclusion'

May 2006:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 07 - 'Paper Dolls'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 07 (Second Printing) - 'Paper Dolls'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #43 - 'Kimono Dragons: Part 1'

June 2006:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #44 - 'Kimono Dragons: Part 2'

July 2006:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #45 - 'Kimono Dragons: Part 3'

August 2006:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #46 - 'Kimono Dragons: Conclusion'

November 2006:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 08 - 'Kimono Dragons'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 08 (Second Printing) - 'Kimono Dragons'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #49 - 'Motherland: Chapter 1'

December 2006:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #50 - 'Motherland: Chapter 2'

January 2007:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #51 - 'Motherland: Chapter 3'

February 2007:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #52 - 'Motherland, Conclusion'

May 2007:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 09 - 'Motherland'
Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 09 (Second Printing) - 'Motherland'
Y: The Last Man (2002) #55 - 'Whys and Wherefores, Chapter 1'

July 2007:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #56 - 'Whys and Wherefores, Chapter 2'

September 2007:

Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror (1995) #13
Y: The Last Man (2002) #57 - 'Whys and Wherefores, Chapter 3'

October 2007:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #58 - 'Whys and Wherefores, Chapter 4'

January 2008:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #59 - 'Whys and Wherefores, Conclusion'

March 2008:

Y: The Last Man (2002) #60 - 'Alas'

June 2008:

Y: The Last Man (2002) TPB vol. 10 - 'Whys And Wherefores'

August 2008:

Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #1 - 'Part 1: Amputation'
Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #1 (Retailer Incentive Photo Cover) - 'Part 1: Amputation'

September 2008:

Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #2 - 'Part 2: Renewal'
Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #2 (Retailer Incentive Photo Cover)

October 2008:

Y: The Last Man (2002) HC vol. 01

November 2008:

Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #4 - 'Part 4: "Survival"'
Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #4 (Retailer Incentive Photo Cover) - 'Part 4:'

December 2008:

Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #5 - 'Part 5: Revelation'
Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008) #5 (Retailer Incentive Photo Cover) - 'Part 5: Revelation'


Hellkitty - Pia Guerra's official site
Wikipedia - Pia Guerra entry
ComicBD - Pia Guerra entry
CBR interview: Y The Last (Wo)man

Wednesday, April 15, 2021

Hypergeek's Hot Picks - Week of Weds April 15th 2009

It's that time of the week again - New comic book day!

Every Wednesday I run this feature, where I pick out my hot tips for the week. These aren't always thing that I have read, but sometimes just things which I think are a sure bet, because you don't want to lay down your hard earned $2.99, or even $3.99, for any old crap! The features used to be called 'Comic Book Covers of the Week', then I added the 'Hot Picks' section, and now, it is just 'Hot Picks' Why? You ask. Well, a wise man once said, "never judge a book by it's cover." In reality a cover is just a marketing ploy, the cover can be great, but that doesn't tell you a damn thing about the plot, dialogue, or interior art. So, I'm gonna try this for a while and see if it sticks.

On with the post...

My number one hot pick for this week is 100 Bullets #100. I have been reading this amazing series for several years now, and I have read every single issue with baited breath, eagerly waiting another month to tick by till we hit this grand 100th issue. Everything comes to a head here, Graves, The Minutemen, the new Trust, Lono... It's going to be blood-soaked and explosive. You do not want to miss this!

American McGee's Grimm #1
hits stores this week. Grimm is written by Dwight L. MacPherson, and is based on the popular video game of the same name. The premise is that "Grimm exits the latest fairy tale he darkened only to discover bright and sunny superhero comics. He enters the world, kick-starting a "Crisis on Earth 57," where he launches a secret invasion crisis into a domain where villains are doomed to fail... until he gets involved!". Sounds fun eh? I've read some preview pages, and it is hilarious, and the artwork by Grant Bond is really quite lovely, and captures the style of the video game incredibly well. In these days of super-serious comic book, it is occasionally nice (and healthy) to sit back and laugh at ourselves. Be sure to pick this one up!

Air #8 is another surefire hit this week. I did a full review of the fantastic seventh issue a couple of days ago, so make sure to check that out if you want to know why I love this series so much. #8 is still a good jumping on point, but if you haven't picked up #7 yet, make sure you do, it is a nice stand-alone story, and only costs $1

Fables #83
is kicking off a new nine part cross over between Fables, Jack of Fables, and The Literals. The story starts when Jack lets Fabletown know of the existence of the Literals. The Fables are understandably disturbed by the existence of 'Gods' who could wipe them out of existence with the stroke of a pen, and so a war begins...

Here is the full list of what I'm picking up this week:

Monday, April 13, 2021

Comic Book Review: Air #7

Air is an ongoing comic book series published through DC's Vertigo imprint. Air is written by G Willow Wilson, with art by M.K. Perker.

Air #7
acts almost like a stand-alone issue, and caps the first story arc of the series perfectly. It is also a fantastic jumping-on point for new readers, because at the start of the issue, G. Willow Wilson gives a very neat one-page precis of the events that occurred in the first six issues of the series. This summary is quite wonderful in itself, as it is presented as if the main character of the book, Blythe, is an associate of G Willow Wilson's, and Wilson is worried about her safety, due to some events which have recently happened in her life. It's a really original way to introduce people and get them on board.

In the previous issue of the series, Blythe met with Amelia Earhart, who told her that was a Hyperpract, that is, she has the cognitive ability to operate a special type of space-time engine, which enables Hyperprax flight. At the end of the issue, Blythe "freaked out", and began thinking of her mysterious lover, Zayne. Suddenly she woke up in the body of Zayne, as a ten year old boy.

The events of this issue take the form of being trapped inside the mind of Zayne, and watching his life, through his eyes, as he experiences it. We share in Blythe's confusion and disorientation as the mysteries of Zayne's origins are slowly revealed to us. We see him growing up in Saudi-Arabia, before being sent off to school in the United States. In the United States he struggles to fit in, and make friends, and find love. He realizes eventually that his strict Saudi upbringing separates him from others in many ways, so he joins a Madras, and ends up becoming an Islamic fundamentalist. We then fast-forward to his first meeting with Blythe, and there is a really poignant scene where Bylthe feels Zayne's emotions for her, as if she were living them herself. Eventually Blythe comes back to "reality", but I am trying to stay a little vague, so that you will still go out any buy the comic :) Also, it really is quite a complicated, and multi-faceted, story to summarize in any succinct fashion.

This comic was wonderfully executed, and possibly the best issues of the series thus far. It was a really inventive way to show us the origins of the Zayne character, and managed to answer several questions, whilst also raising several more.

I would recommend this comic to anyone looking for something new and thought-provoking. This is the type of comic book that the Vertigo imprint was created for. It is original, alternative, literate, and breathtakingly illustrated, and I would rank it in the same class as titles such as Sandman, and Fables. G. Willow Wilson is an incredibly talented writer, and I believe this is just the start of a very promising career. Air is one of the most fantastic, and refreshingly original series to be published this year.

This issue of Air is on sale for the special price of only $1. A TPB is also now available, collecting issues 1-5 of the series.

Sunday, April 12, 2021

My ECCC Adventures: Day 2: Doing the Signing Thing - In which I unashamedly Act like a Big Geeky Fanboy

After watching the wonderful Wil Wheaton Panel, I realized that I only had one and a half hours of convention left. I also realized that I hadn't managed to get to the tables of many people that I wanted to see. As soon as I got back upstairs I met up with some wonderful internet friends, who I know through the Whitechapel boards, The Darick Robertson boards, and Twitter. These people being Ten_Bandits, TedCRoland and Z (real names not used, to protect the innocent). Z took me over to introduce me to Ben Templesmith, who is a hero of mine. I picked up a great art print from him, and we had a bit of a chat. Ben and his wife are really lovely people, and he was much more quiet and reserved that I expected him to be. After I told him my name, he recognized me as the guy that stalks him on Twitter and his blog. It's good to be known for something!!!!

I then went to the Elephantmen/Comicraft booth and got a Hip Flask HC signed by the great Richard Starkings. I then passed by Steven Sadowski and Steve Rolston's tables. Both fantastic artists from Vancouver. I picked up a few sketch books from Steve R. and we had a chat about the upcoming Victoria comic convention, which he will be appearing at. I then swung by Rick Remender and picked up a couple of Seas of Red TPBs that I didn't have. I had a great chat with Rick, he is such a humble guy, and I'm really pleased that his career has skyrocketed over the last year or so, he really deserves it. After Rick I chatted to Steve Niles, then Matt Fraction, then Ivan Brandon, G. Willow Wilson, David Mack, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Cho, Greg Rucka... you get the picture...

I wish I had planned things a bit better, because I actually managed to miss a few people who I really wanted to see, including Ed Brubaker. Every time I went by his table though there has an insanely big line-up. It's no surprise really, the guy is on fire at the moment! I did bump into Brian Michael Bendis though, just wandering around the con floor. I have heard that at SDCC there is a clear separation between guests and fans, but ECCC seemed to have a wonderfully relaxed environment. Everyone was just there because they enjoy comics, and want to meet other people who like comics. It was a truly wonderful experience.

We then hung around for a while after the event closed down, and helped some friends who were guests to get their stuff packed away. I then went off with my internet friends and we had a nice relaxed dinner at the Hurricane cafe. This is just what I needed, as I was incredibly tired by this time. I later learned from my Seattle friends that the Hurricane cafe is infamously known as the Hurl-again cafe, but I really enjoyed my chili burger, and their milk-shakes are to die for!

After dinner we had a relaxed evening chatting about comics and life, before we all said our goodbyes, and parted ways. Back at the hotel I couldn't find anyone around, which I found odd. Then Steve turned up and dragged me out for more drinks at a really sleazy bar. I dragged Steve home at about 2 a.m. and then.......

..... 5 a.m. ALARM CALL! FUCK! We packed up, got a taxi to get the 7 a.m. ferry. I felt like absolute crap, having had only 4 or 5 hours of sleep in the whole weekend. While we were waiting to be let into the ferry terminal I went for a quick walk to get some fresh air. I walked down the docks a little bit, then............ Vomited... pints of spew poured out of me all over the sidewalk, it was uncontrollable! I haven't spewed in about ten years, and it felt like my body was making up for lost time! I didn't know what to do, so I panicked, turned heel, and scarpered back to the terminal.

After making it through customs, I sailed away into Canadian waters, saying goodbye to the US, and the Emerald City.

I had survived my first convention, and in one piece. I was a little worse for wear, but I had an amazing time.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 10, 2021

My ECCC Adventures: Day 2: The Wil Wheaton Panel

[Please note: I apologise for the poor quality of some of these pictures. The The CF card in my camera fried on the Saturday, then after buying a new one on Sunday morning, I realised that I left the flash system at home. Low lighting + Photography = Not a good time]

After the Mike Mignola panel was finished, my friend Maxxwell and I moved up a couple of rows and got ourselves settled in place for the Wil Wheaton panel.

I'm a big fan of Wil's from way back when. He was in one of my favourite movies when I was a kid, Stand by me, and then I seem to remember him being in some silly space show... what was that called again... I have to tell you, for years I would refuse to go in any fresh water streams, just in case I got LEECHES on my balls! Wil faded out of the public eye for sometime, as he went back to school and started a career as a programmer. Recently, he has acquired new-found fame through writing novels, and doing lots of voice acting on animated TV shows.

A couple of years ago I rediscovered Wil, when I happened across a book that he had written, called Dancing Barefoot. Dancing Barefoot was basically a book of Wil's memoirs. Wil seems to have a wonderful talent for taking a mundane situation, and making it incredibly interesting. I was so impressed with this book that I soon picked up all his other books, including Just a Geek, Happiest Days of Our Lives, and most recently, Sunken Treasure.

I was pretty excited to see Wil speak, because I had heard many great things about his readings in the past. It seems that many, many other people had the same idea, because the panel room filled up so much that people were actually standing around the sides, and up at the back. This was far busier than it had been for Mike Mignola's panel, which is actually quite surprising. Before he came out, the audience began chanting WIL... WHEATON... WIL... WHEATON until Wil entered through the side door, and the audience erupted into cheers and whooping. The room just felt so full of joy, and good geeky vibes!

As Wil took the podium he looked utterly bewildered at the huge turn out for his panel. He opened up by saying, "Hi, I'm Wil Whhhheaton", in his best Stewie, from Family Guy, voice. This of course generated raucous laughter from the crowd! Wil's plan for the hour was to read some stories from his new book Sunken Treasures. One problem though, he brought many copies to the convention... then sold every copy on the first day! It was OK though, because he had a back-up plan. He had bumped into his copy-editor the day before, and she had given him copy-edits from the upcoming, expanded version, of Happiest Days of Our lives.

Wil read three stories from the new version of the book. He started out with the story When You Dressed up Sharp and You Felt Alright, then he moved on to the story Green Grass in High Tides, for Ever, and Ever, and Ever, and Ever... He finished up with the story Who's going to Drive you Home Tonight.

Wil said that recording of the show was allowable under Creative Commons licensing, and in fact, it was encouraged. I didn't take any recording equipment with me, but YouTube user 'wrathofdon' has kindly posted a recording online, so I have embedded this below:

After the reading was finished, it turned out that the following panel had been cancelled, so Wil opened up the floor for a 45 minute Q&A; session. I REALLY don't have time to transcribe it, and some of the questions were incredibly peculiar, such as "Do you like metal music?". Erm, WTF?! Anyway, feel free to check out the recording, and thanks again to 'wrathofdon' for recording the video and posting it up:

Thanks for reading my slightly delayed, and slow coverage, there is just one last post left.


Thursday, April 9, 2021

My ECCC Adventures: Day 2: The Mike Mignola Panel

Rude Awakenings:

Sunday morning did not start out in the best way. I woke up with a splitting head-ache, after only 3 hours of sleep, to find five other people sleeping in my hotel room, and I'm pretty sure that Steve might have been spooning me at some point during the night. At first I thought that I might have still been sleeping, and was dreaming of a scene from Revenge of the Nerds or something, but sadly it was not so.... reality held my head up by the hair and kicked me in the face, like the harsh bitch that she is. After getting showered, having breakfast, and getting my camera repaired (The CF card fried on Saturday), we stumbled into the convention center at about 12:30 P.M. As we hit the second floor we saw a massive serpentine queue for some unknown mystery panel. We asked the attendant what it was for, and were told that it was for the BSG panel. There was absolutely no chance of getting in to this panel now, but if we wanted to line up for the 1 p.m. Mike Mignola, and 2 p.m. Wil Wheaton panel, we would have a decent shot at getting in. Steve decided to skip this and go get some lunch, but Maxxwell and I decided to take our chances queuing for the panel. An hour and half later our perseverance paid off, as we ended up being the first in line for the Mike Mignola panel... yay for queuing and my ability to nap while standing up!!!

The Panel:

We managed to get seats about two rows back and in the center, and sat back and watched as people started to pile in, and all the seats began filling up. Mike entered the room after a few minutes, along with Dark Horse editor, and writer, Scott Allie. Mike decided to start the panel by going straight into a Q&A; session. People were encouraged to line-up for the microphone, or simply to raise their hands with questions. It was an incredibly relaxed and laid-back panel, with hardly any formality. Before the inevitable first question was asked, Mike decided to preempt it with the following answer, “I have no idea when we will see Hellboy 3’”

Q: When are we going to see another episode of Screw-on Head?

Mike: Hellboy 3 will come sooner. I suspect never.

Q: How did you get your start, and what was your first publication?

Mike: I will refer you to my website... pause for laughter... no, I started in '82/'83. I was a really terrible inker for Marvel Comics, and because I was such a terrible inker and had no skills of any kind, my editor at Marvel said, "why don't you try drawing the stuff." It was a little backwards, but he had a lot more confidence in me as an artist than I had in myself. So, because I had absolutely nothing to lose, I became a really terrible penciller for Marvel Comics, and slowly crawled my way up to becoming a half-way decent penciller, and getting a few better jobs. Then, after about ten years in the business I kind of figured a few things out and had a few weird comics-realated, movie-ralated, experiences and thought "what am I going to do now". Because, I'm not really big on repeating myself, and I thought I could probably do another Batman book, or another Alien book. I knew I could get certain jobs, but I thought, instead of repeating myself, why not take all the stuff I really like and cobble it into one thing. So I made up Hellboy, and fully expected to sell one book, and no-one would buy it, then I limp back to DC or Marvel, and do Batman or Wolverine, or whatever. But it worked out, and the beauty of what I did with Hellboy was that instead of trying to make a commercial comic, I thought I would make something I really liked. that way, if it didn't make a dime, at least I would have something before I go back to filling for issues of the defenders. So, I would be able to look at the shelf and think, "at least I had one thing that reflected my interests". It's a good lesson, if you are going to do something, and make that kind of shot, make it something you like, 'cos if it works, you're stuck doing the book you love doing. I'm the poster boy for getting away with murder, because Hellboy was, and is, my dream job.

Q: I was wondering what your biggest conflicts were with making the movie, and if you had any disputes over how it was portrayed.

Mike: That's a long conversation that I've had with my therapist [laughter]. There are so many conflicting emotional things that go on with a movie. When I met Guillermo del Toro. I said, "look, I'm not one of those guys that is obsessed with you doing the film faithful to the comic." I'd done my version of it, and I knew that Guillermo was already a really interesting film maker, and it was much more important to me that he do the best version that he could, and make his version of the movie, 'cos he's got a his own personality, and I much rather see a really good del Toro movie than have him try to copy what I did. That said, it is very strange when you spend yours helping someone turn your idea into something that he's doing. I would come up with ideas and say, "let's do this", and he would say,"hmmmm... no", and would think, "dude! It's Hellboy, shouldn't I be able to make him do this if I want to." But he was making it for a wider audience, and I had to remember that my version of it, to me the real version, was the one in the books. The second picture was even stranger, because the first picture was him taking my character, and asking me all along, if he could do this, or do that, almost as if he wanted my blessing. I didn't have my veto power, but I did bride his out of one scene, so we don't get to see Hellboy arrive on Earth on a giant crib. I gave him two pages of his favourite Hellboy story to not put that on the screen. [Laughter]. But, that first picture was very much him making that character his, so when we did the second picture that character was his, so there was less of him asking me, because he already knew what his Hellboy would do. You see the second picture deviates radically from the Hellboy of the comic. There's a lot of stuff in the second picture that I didn't want him to do, and I tried to talk him out of, but he's a stubborn guy, and at the end of the day, I recognized that his thing was going in a completely different direction from mine, but that's fine because they are completely separate characters. The plus side is that a heck of a lot more people know this character, when I went though security at the airport I was chatting to a woman in a business suit, and you could guarantee this woman had never been in a comic book store before, but when I told her that I did Hellboy, she went, "Oh, Hellboy!" So it's great that people know who this character is, but the thing you have to wrestle with is that they'll never know what the real version is. But, at the same time, a lot of people who see the movie will hopefully discover the comics. Ultimately it's a good experience, it would probably have been a horrible experience with a different directer, but, you know, I got lucky on that one.

Q: How pleased were you with the performances of the different actors who played Abe, and 'Red', and everybody, as far as their interpretation of your characters?

Mike: Again, it's hard to be objective about anything at all to do with the film. The first thing that Guillermo said to me was " I know who should play Helloy", I said "I do too", and we both said, "Ron Perlman". All the other casting decisions were his. I had one suggestion for Rasputin, that he didn't follow, and I still think that my Rasputin would have been better.

Q: Could you indulge us on that?

Mike: Jürgen Prochnow I think his name is, from Dune. I just though that he was great, and I knew that they could have gotten him for a dollar [Laughter]

Scott [Cringing]: You know this is going on the Internet right?

Mike: Erm... I'm just kidding!!!! But he was out of the public eye, he was doing a lot of smaller pictures. He [del Toro] had a different first choice for Rasputin, he we didn't end up getting, but Karel Roden was great but it wasn't quite the Rasputin I had in mind. Other than that I didn't really have any other say about casting. Ultimately, I was very happy with what everybody did. Again, it's so alien to what I do... I know guys who do comics who say, "wouldn't it be great if this actor played this character', but I never did any of that stuff. Even now, doing the comic, I don't hear those voices, it's all the voices in my head.

Q: You have a rather recognisable drawing style. How would you say you first discovered that style, or how would you say you grew into that style?

Mike: It's only in about the last ten years that I really felt like I knew what I was doing. I was getting closer... probably the year befoer I did Helloboy I stated to feel that more stuff was working than not working. On the book Comic Odyssey from DC, you don't really see my style, because I had a really overpowering inker, but the pencils on that book, which I wish I had copies of... I spent a year using Jack Kirby for reference, and that mad a gigantic difference to my work. So, a lot of things turned that year, but a lot of that got buried beneath the inking. But, from that point on, I felt like I'd found a direction, and I still feel that it's constantly evolving. For good or ill, it's still changing. But, the last few years, I've being saving pieces of original art, so that if anything changes I will still have a frame of reference that I can go back to.

Q [From my friend Maxxwell]: Now, I'm curious, with a title like Hellboy, and the subject matters that you've done, with the supernatural, and that sort of thing, have you gotten any back-lash from, say, the conservative groups in the country, saying you're spreading Witchcraft and that sort of thing to children, kind of like what happened with the Harry Potter series?

Mike: You know, the weirdest thing that happened with Hellboy, that I am aware of, is that during the first series, we got fan mail in the same week from the church of Satan, and from a minister.

Scott: The letter from the church of Satan was critical.

Mike: They liked it, but they were just disappointed that I didn't acknowledge just how much of a debt was owed to Anton LeVay and the Church of Satan. They reference things like the Nazi experiments with electricity, which sounds like it might be an interesting book to read, but I didn't get it from there .

Scott: They were very concerned about LeVay's haircut and beard.

Mike: Oh yeah, because they were convinced that the Rasputin character was really Anton LeVay.

Scott: But LeVay got it from the same place that Mike got it from, he was a performer, so...

Mike: Yeah, so, to get those letters in the same bundle...

Scott: When we get letters from clergy, it's always very complimentary. We've never gotten anything complaining about us bringing negative stuff into the World at all, and usually, when a clergy writes in, it's because they like the revererance that Mike shows for these beings, or the struggle between good and evil. They like what we're doing, which is surprising. We keep waiting for it, but... I don't know if the movie caught any flak...

Mike: I read a great story the other night about someone who went to see Hellboy, and it was playing in the same theater as Passion of the Christ, and there were two lines going in to the theater... [Laughter]

Scott: that's because the Hellboy fans were like, "we don't like that gory shit." [Laughter]

Mike: I thought the title was just funny, but I still run into people who don't want their kids to see it, because they tought it was going to be some scary, horrible, kind of thing. Really? I mean, It's got a pretty silly title for something like that! I think because I'm not writing a hard drinking scary guy that's killing people... I mean, he's a good guy... he's like the best guy I could imagine, except, you know, he's the apocalyse [Laughter].

Q: So much of your inspiration comes from folktales, fairytales, and stories that don't come over to the Western World. Could you describe what your research process is like? When you first hear a tale do you try to get a digital version? Do you try to get a translation? Do you try to visit the place if you can?

Mike: Well, I'd love for people to think that I'm roaming around old monasteries or something with a big candle. That's my idea of, "oh that'd be Heaven". Except, I've been to Eastern Europe, and I know that it'd actually be really scary, and nasty, which would be cool in a way, but mostly scary. I've been collecting this sort of stuff, you know, folklore and fairytale stuff, since I was in art school. You know, I grew up in the bay area of California and I spent a lot of my weekends rummaging through used bookstores, and I spent six years living in Portland, around the corner from Powell's, the best used book store in North America [Lots of whooping from the audience]. So, I've got a massive library of that stuff, and a lot of stuff I've been doing in Hellboy is based on folklore stuff that I read ten years ago. I've kind of used most of the stuff that I read, that I wanted to use, but three quarters, or four fifths my library, I've never opened these books beyond the table of contents, and going "Wow, that's 32 Hellboy stories in there." When I did this story recently, with Richard Corben, The Crooked Man... I'd always wanted to do Appalachian folk-tales... I've done very little with American folk-law... and there was a series of short-stories written by a man named Manly Wade Wellman, about this man just wandering around the mountains, just running into monsters, and I wanted to do that sort of thing. I grabbed three books of Appalachian folk-tales, and went through circling bits that I wanted to use, and half-way through the first book I realized I had enough to do the story. So, there are still two and a half books of Appalachian folk-law that I haven't even touched, and I want to go back and do more of that. My ultimate goal is to do stories of Hellboy in just about every corner of the World. every corner of the World has folk-law, and mythology, and monsters, and I'm happiest if you can pull of a story and go, "that feels like Japan", or, " that feels like India". I hope that answered the question...

Q: One of the things I like about Hellboy is the developmental depth of the characters. Are they modelled after anything in our real life? Family members? Friends? Scott?

Mike: Erm, I don't think there is a Scott character, but I think he was in one of the stories in Odd Jobs.

Scott: Jason put me in a story...

Mike: Yeah, at the beginning I'd never plotted anything before, so at the beginning, and still, Hellboy's voice is me.

Scott: Well, he sounds like your Dad right?

Mike: Well some of the physicality of the character is my dad, 'cos he's a much tougher guy than I am. So, I know what Hellboy's hands feel like, which is really important to me, because those are my dad's hands. He was like a guy working in a cabinet shop, and he's one of those guy's that's like, shot a nail through his thumb, and my dad would pull it out with a claw hammer. I mean, World War II era guys, I wanted Hellboy to be one of those guys, but when I'm writing his, it's "what would I say." The first time I was writing Kate Corrigan, it was the first time that I needed to do a story with a completely different voice from Hellboy, and it became, "what would my wife say." If I said this stupid thing, she'd say this thing. So, the different voices are tricky. Sometimes I will model on people from films etc, but they 're not really based on real people.

Q: what provided the catalyst for the formation of B.P.R.D. and making it a separate comic book?

Mike: after Conqueror Worm, it became very clear that my interest was Hellboy, and it always was. I don't know why I decided to start out with the idea of a team book. I started with the idea of Hellboy, and just thought, OK, we'll just put these other guys in there. It soon became clear that that I had thing's I would like to do with these characters, but they were never going to fit in the book. It started [B.P.R.D.] as an experiment to see if we could do a book, then it snowballed, because between me and John Arcudi he released just how much stuff we could do here. so, yeah, it was just a product of the comic focusing on Hellboy.

Q: Are you worried that like Hellboy, a certain character might take over the focus of the book?

Mike: I don't think so, because it's such a rich book, and we are messing with these characters in horrific ways, as you'll see in the coming months. It does seem like one character will get killed off, or put a way for a while because they get so badly damaged that they need a rest. John Arcudi is such a great character writer, and my involvement with B.P.R.D is, more and more, looking at the general World view. Saying, "What if we do this to the World?", "What if we do this to this group of guys?" then John goes in and says, "... and this is what it would do to them as people."

Q: Do you find yourself wishing you could jump back in the mainstream to do a certain character or title?

Mike: No, I was in the mainstream for ten years, and there's nothing I miss. Most of the characters that I grew up with have changed so much that they aren't the same characters anymore. I was never a very good superhero artist, so there's a few character's that would be fun to draw once, like some old forgotten Jack Kirby character.

Q: I was wondering what your thoughts are on the popularity of Lobster Johnson, and what direction might be taken with him in the future?

Mike: The whole thing with the popularity of Lobster Johnson is very funny, because I believe that the characters is popular because no-one knows anything about him. As we start to do more stuff with him, in B.P.R.D. and a new Lobster Johnson book we have planned, I hope people don't find out more about his an go, "Oh, never mind." [Laughter]. The trick is, doing a book about a character when no-one knows anything about him. The funny things is that my friend Tom Sniegoski has just written a Lobster Johnson novel, and I told him that he couldn't explain who he is, and I couldn't explain anything to him about the supporting characters, because John Arcudi is using them in the mini-series. But, he hasn't written the mini-series yet, but they're basically his characters to define, so good luck writing that novel! You might want to add at least one extra characters, so at least you can explain who they are. But he's just so much fun. I started in the wrong place really. I told a story that was him a year and ha;f before the end of his career. The second mini was really his year one book. Little by little, I don't know how much we'll explain the character, but we will see when Lobster Jonson is now, and the whole, "who is this guy?"

Q: In the book series they mention a woman called Anastasia Bradfield. Is this a character just made up for the novels? Do we see her in the comics?

Mike: That is the one cross-over between the novels and the comics. In Abe Sapien: The Drowning, we find out that Hellboy is off with a girl, so that is him with Anastasia. I've discussed with Christopher Golden that it's cool that there is a chunk of Hellboy's history where Hellboy was in a relationship, but I've sort of given that chuck to Christopher. Although, we will be doing a mini-series together that is based during that time. Especially now that a relationship is sort of developing in Hellboy, it might be nice to go back and see what this previous relationship was like. that's where the Hellboy companion was fun, because we could expand all these little bits and get an idea of the arc of this guy's life. Q: A lot of the monsters is Hellboy have a Lovercraftian element to them. Was H.P. Lovecraft a big influence of yours?

Mike: Yeah, he was a big inspiration, one thing I didn't want to do was use the Lovecraft mythology. I wanted to make up my own mythology, but the similarity is this gigantic universe, you know, the big unknowable universe. But, the Hellboy mythology is based upon the creation myths of several different societies, finding the similarities, and sort of mixing them together. I took the Egyptian Ogdoad, changed the spelling and pronunciation, and used seven dragons in stead of eight, so it touched on the seven Dragon myths of Christianity, but still had the weirdness of the Egyptian thing. there was more of that sort of stuff, but certainly Lovecraft was inspiration for hat sort of feel. Q: Why do you prefer comics as a medium, as compared to novel, movies, etc.

Mike: That's a huge topic. One of my pet peeves is problems with artists thinking of things in film terms....

Scott: Has anyone heard about the 180 degree rule of comics? Well, it doesn't apply to comics, it is someone trying to understand comics through the prism of something else.

Mike: There's so many things about comics where you can reference filming ideas, but the problem is that people take that too literally. there are just a different set of problems with film making, that just don't apply to comics. With comics you are able to look at a huge sequence of events without them actually moving. Certain things are harder to do in comics, like, it's hard to have a monster pop up and surprise you... that's why I do a lot of page turn gags, because the closest you can get t tat is turning the page and going, "Oh shit!" [Laughter] If you're a good comic artist, you're composing a page as a piece of art, not just a series of panels. I do a lot of stuff on the comic book page, where you read across, then run down one side, while the action on the other side will be running at a parallel time.

Q: I have a daughter studying cartooning. Do you have any advice?

Mike: Scott might be better with this

Scott: School programmes are great, but we might graduate, but have no idea how to operate in the real World...

Mike: You often get the situation where people are teaching these things, but there knowledge is ten years out of date...

Scott: The biggest thing I do when doing portfolio review is ask people what they want to do. Very often people just say, "well, anything." But, I'm not offering 'anything', you have to have a really clear goal, and tailor yourself for it... [panel drifted off into a debate on the benefits of learning Comic art at school for about 15 minutes - I edited most of this out, because I didn't think ever one would be interested]

Wednesday, April 8, 2021

'Comic Book Covers of the Week' & 'Hypergeek's Hot Picks' - Week of Weds April 8th 2009

Comic Book Covers of the Week

Cover for B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess #4 of 5

Kevin Nowlan just continues to knock these B.P.R.D. covers out of the park. Better than a Mignola cover? Maybe not, but they are pretty much on par. Great stuff!

Cover for Captain Britain and MI: 13 #12

Cover by Stuart Immonen. This cover looks awesome. This composition is really stunning. Dracula is back, and he brought friends...

Cover for Ignition City #1 of 5

This cover is by Gianluca Pagliarani. The art for this book looks breath-taking. Steam punk spaceships? Where do I sign up for that?

Hypergeek's Hot Picks

Hell, all of the above comics are definite musts this week. I am definitely looking forward to picking up Ignition City #1. I have heard very good things about the opening story. On top of that, it's a Warren Ellis book, and I'm a sucker for all things steam-punk!

Locke & Key: Head Games #4 is a definite must. This story is absolutely amazing, and it's no wonder that Joe Hill has been nominated for an Eisner this year.

Are you buying Doktor Sleepless? No? Well correct this mistake by picking up Doktor Sleepless #12. This series is a damn fantastic read. It is satirical-political science fiction featuring the cartoon Mad Scientist 'Doktor Sleepless'. The series covers many different topics, from futurism and transhumanism, to corporatism and counter-culture. It bears some reselmblance to Warren's earlier series Transmetropolitan, and is a MUST READ for all Ellis Fans.

Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #4 of 6 should be pretty fun. Now that it is back on a regular schedule, the story should be flowing a lot better. I might be a little bias about this book, as I never read any Ultimate titles, and I have a total hard-on for Damon Lindelof, being such a huge Lost junkie!

Check out my full list for this week:

Rick Remender Signs Exclusive Deal With Marvel Comics

Rick Remender is one of my favourite new writers. At Marvel comics he is currently writing The Punisher, after having just wrapped up writing Punisher: War Journal, with co-writer Matt Fraction. Rick's career has skyrocketed over the last couple of years, mainly through publishing so much great creator-owned material. His current creator-owned titles include Fear Agent, Gigantic, The End League, Legion of the Supernatural, and The Last Days of American Crime. I would be pretty interested to find out how this new exclusive contract will affect these titles. Whether he will have to cease publishing any creator-owned material under the terms of the contract, or whether he will have have to cut down, due to how busy he is likely to be at Marvel.

Needless to say, well done Rick! You deserve it my friend!!

Press Release:

After blasting through expectations with the new hit PUNISHER ongoing series, writer Rick Remender has secured his next target: an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics.

"I've produced a couple dozen volumes of creator-owned work in the past few years and have scratched that itch fairly thoroughly," Remenders muses. "I'm in a place at Marvel where I love both the work and the people I'm working with, so it wasn't a tough decision. All the planets aligned to not only give me a shot at some of the characters I loved as a kid, but to spin them in a way that stays true to my sensibilities.

"[Marvel Executive Editor] Axel Alonso and I have very similar ideas about what makes good comics and I think that comes through in the new PUNISHER series. Though it's been a lot of hard work, my time at Marvel so has been one of the most rewarding work experiences I've had. Truth be told, I'm flattered they want me around."

Best know for creator-owned series such as Fear Agent and The End League, Remender has established himself as an all-around creator, covering both writing and illustrating. He firmly believes his art background positively impacts his scripting.

"It plays into my pacing for sure," he says of his graphics experience. "Good pacing comes down to being able to visualize what is necessary to show, where to add beats to slow it down, where to remove beats to speed it up. If you pace a sequence correctly, after establishing clear stakes and engaging characters, something as simple as two guys having a gunfight can be momentous.

"While working as a storyboard artist at Electronic Arts I fell in love with beat-by-beat action sequences. Jack Kirby, a street fighter himself, understood how to play out action and fighting. He'd never draw a batch of unrelated static images. One punch always moved with fluidity into the next, action/reaction. He knew how to capture motion on the page and in my estimation that is the trick to fully engrossing the reader."

Referring to himself as someone who likes "merging classic kitschy aesthetics with contemporary storytelling technique and themes," Remender says his enjoyment of working in comics comes from kicking off a platform of pop culture he loved as a kid and launching into modern storytelling.

"When people say they don't like Frank Castle in his classic outfit I know we're coming from very different places and tastes," he states. "His classic outfit is the only thing I want to see him wear in the Marvel Universe. If the story and art are high quality, with a modern sensibility with a take that naturally fits the character, it makes it that much more fun to see the classic iconic outfits, especially if there are some kitschy or even cheesy elements."

Sadly, the writer must for now remain all but mute on Frank Castle's immediate future.

"To tell you anything about the insanity I've got planned would spoil some very big moments," says Remender. "When people find out who is drawing some of the upcoming stories and what is happening they'll be shocked. It's overused hyperbole but in this case it's dead to rights. The next year holds the biggest changes in the life of Frank Castle we've ever seen.

"The upcoming events in the Marvel Universe crash down on Frank. Hard."

Good thing the man with the skull on his shirt can count on Rick Remender in his corner. He's exclusively yours, Frank.

Tuesday, April 7, 2021

My ECCC Adventures: Day 1

Wow! I mean, WOW!

Emerald City ComiCon was without doubt one of the most fun weekends that I have had in years! I'll break my adventures up into slighly more bite-sized chunks, so things are a little easier to navigate.

Day 0: being the Friday evening before the convention started

I headed down to Seattle on the Clipper Katermaran with my Friend Steve Saunders. We got into town at about 9 p.m. and were picked up by Steve's friend Josh Wagner. Josh, amongst other things, writes a comic called Fiction Clemens, which I have not yet read, but will soon be reviewing for the site.

We spent that evening meeting up with various friends of Steve for dinner, before heading out to the Mercury industrial club, where we partied to 4 a.m. ...

... you can see where this is heading...

Day 1: Comic Geek Overload

We woke up feeling incredibly tired and rough, so we ended up not making it to the convention center till about 12 p.m. After picking up my press pass, I made my way down to the convention floor, and I was home! Geek Heaven!

After perusing a few of the vendor and retailer booths at the entrance , we got a call from Josh to meet up at his Friend Camilla's booth. When we got there it turned out to be the booth of the incredibly talented, and stunningly beautiful, Canadian artist, Camilla D'Errico. After chatting with Camilla for a while I picked up a copy of her new book Tanpopo. Tanpopo is her self-published comic, which repurposes the text of Goethe's Faust to tell the story of a mysterious girl who is supernaturally intelligent and inhumanly emotionless.

It is a really great great looking book, and I plan to review it on the site soon.

After this Josh, Steve, and I went out for some lunch with Chris Beranek and Lauren Perry from Silent Devil studios [Edit: Chris is now exclusive to Disney's Kingdom Comics]. A good time was had by all, but I was itching to get back to the con floor and get my geek on.

Once back at the con we met up with some more friends of Josh and Steve, first off we met up with artists Freedom Drudge and Dusty Peterson. Both Top guys, before moving on to see Chris Moreno and have a chat with him.

On the con floor we bumped into Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik and Boom Studios owner, Ross Richie. Ross spotted my ABC Warriors shirt, and we ended up having a conversation about them, and all things 2000 A.D. Whilst at the Boom! booth we were lucky enough to bump into the legendary Mark Waid, without having to line up or anything, it was bizarre. We had a quick chat with Mark, and he was kind enough to sign a copy of his new book Irredeemable.

As you can imagine, by this point my head was spinning from meeting so many cool people!

Next up, we stopped in at the booth of cartoonist Aaron Williams, the man behind such things as Nodwick, PS238, Full Frontal Nerdity, and the upcoming Wildstorm series North 40. Aaron and I ended up having a good conversation about British television, as it turns out that he is a big fan of Have I got News for you, and other shows. I must confess that I have not read any of his work before, but I started to read the strips on the web this morning, and there is some absolutely amazing stuff in there!

As the day was winding down, I was looking through some books for sale, when I heard Steve's friend Maxxwell talking to someone. I turned around, and he introduced me, and it was only fucking Wil Wheaton! WIL WHEATON. I said Hi, and then Maxxwell thanked him for his support for the opposition to prop 8, which sent Wil into an angry rant about the political Right trying to take away people's rights. We then talked about the new Star Trek Film, and he assured us that it was going to absolutely amazing, and that J.J. Abrahms had done a fantastic job. Wil Wheaton is one of the nicest men that you could ever have the chance to meet. What a gent!

It was soon time to leave the hall, and so ended the first day. It went by really quickly.

After the show we headed down to Fantagraphics Books in Georgetown, where I got to met Jamie Hernandez and Stan Sakai, who were both lovely people, and signed some books for me. Both of these people are heroes to me, so I was a little nervous!!

This was followed by LOTS of drinking, first in a bar called Von's, where we drank with Camilla D'Errico, Trisha, Freedom, Dusty, Maxxwell, Josh, Chris Beranek, Ryan Cody, Robbie Rodriguez, Ross Ritchie, and Joshua Ortega. Before we moved on to the Hyatt where we met up with Chris Moreno, and bumped in to Jimmie Palmiotti and Mike Mignola. WTF?

Being my first con, and being incredibly tired and drunk, this was almost too much for my little brain.

It was time for bed.

Check back for more tomorrow!

2009 Eisner Nominations Released

Hi guys,

I am back from Emerald City ComiCon. I had a great time, and really enjoyed the experience. I'll have more news on that later, but I just thought that I would post this news about the 2009 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees. There are some brilliant picks in the list this year, and I am really happy to see so many industry newcomers in there. This highlights the fact that there is fresh, new, talent pouring into the industry, as well as the fact that the industry is recognizing, and celebrating, this amazing talent!

The 2009 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees

Best Short Story

  • "Actual Size" by Chris Ware, in Kramers Ergot 7 (Buenaventura Press)

  • "Chechen War, Chechen Women," by Joe Sacco, in I Live Here (Pantheon)

  • "Freaks," by Laura Park, in Superior Showcase #3 (AdHouse)

  • "Glenn Ganges in 'Pulverize,'" by Kevin Huizenga, in Ganges #2 (Fantagraphics)

  • "Murder He Wrote," by Ian Boothby, Nina Matsumoto, and Andrew Pepoy, in The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror #14 (Bongo)

Best Continuing Series

  • All Star Superman. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)

  • Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, Andrew Pepoy, and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)

  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

  • Thor, by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, and various (Marvel)

  • Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)

Best Limited Series

  • Groo: Hell on Earth, by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier (Dark Horse)

  • Hellboy: The Crooked Man, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)

  • Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)

  • Omega the Unknown, by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, and Farel Dalrymple (Marvel)

  • The Twelve, by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston (Marvel)

Best New Series

  • Air, by. G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker (Vertigo/DC)

  • Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)

  • Invincible Iron Man, by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca (Marvel)

  • Madame Xanadu, by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend (Vertigo/DC)

  • Unknown Soldier, by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli (Vertigo/DC)

Best Publication for Kids

  • Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kabuishi (Scholastic Graphix)

  • Cowa! by Akira Toriyama (Viz)

  • Princess at Midnight, by Andi Watson (Image)

  • Stinky, by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior)

  • Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)

Best Publication for Teens/Tweens

  • Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell (HarperCollins Children's Books)

  • Crogan's Vengeance, by Chris Schweizer (Oni)

  • The Good Neighbors, Book 1: Kin, by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Scholastic Graphix)

  • Rapunzel's Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale and Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

  • Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Best Humor Publication

  • Arsenic Lullaby Pulp Edition No. Zero, by Douglas Paszkiewicz (Arsenic Lullaby)

  • Chumble Spuzz, by Ethan Nicolle (SLG)

  • Herbie Archives, by "Sean O'Shea" (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)

  • Petey and Pussy, by John Kerschbaum (Fantagraphics)

  • Wondermark: Beards of Our Forefathers, by David Malki (Dark Horse)

Best Anthology

  • An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories, vol. 2, edited by Ivan Brunetti (Yale University Press)

  • Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (Houghton Mifflin)

  • Comic Book Tattoo: Narrative Art Inspired by the Lyrics and Music of Tori Amos, edited by Rantz Hoseley (Image)

  • Kramers Ergot 7, edited by Sammy Harkham (Buenaventura Press)

  • MySpace Dark Horse Presents, edited by Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn (Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic

Best Reality-Based Work

  • Alan's War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)

  • Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, by Frederik Peeters (Houghton Mifflin)

  • Fishtown, by Kevin Colden (IDW)

  • A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child, by Rick Geary (NBM)

  • What It Is, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—New

  • Alan's War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)

  • Paul Goes Fishing, by Michel Rabagliati (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Skim, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

  • Swallow Me Whole, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)

  • Three Shadows, by Cyril Pedrosa (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

  • Berlin Book 2: City of Smoke, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Hellboy Library Edition, vols. 1 and 2, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)

  • Sam & Max Surfin' the Highway anniversary edition HC, by Steve Purcell (Telltale Games)

  • Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua W. Cotter (AdHouse)

  • The Umbrella Academy, vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite deluxe edition, by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips

  • The Complete Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray (IDW)

  • Explainers, by Jules Feiffer (Fantagraphics)

  • Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, by Winsor McCay (Sunday Press Books)

  • Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles, (IDW)

  • Willie & Joe, by Bill Mauldin (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

  • Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)

  • Creepy Archives, by various (Dark Horse)

  • Elektra Omnibus, by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz (Marvel)

  • Good-Bye, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Herbie Archives, by "Sean O'Shea" (Richard E. Hughes) and Ogden Whitney (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

  • Alan's War, by Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)

  • Gus and His Gang, by Chris Blain (First Second)

  • The Last Musketeer, by Jason (Fantagraphics)

  • The Rabbi's Cat 2, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon)

  • Tamara Drewe, by Posy Simmonds (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan

  • Cat Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezu (Viz)

  • Dororo, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)

  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster, by Naoki Urasawa (Viz)

  • The Quest for the Missing Girl, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

  • Solanin, by Inio Asano (Viz)

Best Writer

  • Joe Hill, Lock & Key (IDW)

  • J. Michael Straczynski, Thor, The Twelve (Marvel)

  • Mariko Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

  • Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)

  • Bill Willingham, Fables, House of Mystery (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist

  • Ricky Geary, A Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lindbergh Child (NBM); J. Edgar Hoover (Hill & Wang)

  • Emmanuel Guibert, Alan's War (First Second)

  • Jason Lutes, Berlin (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Cyril Pedrosa, Three Shadows (First Second)

  • Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)

  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library (Acme)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

  • Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)

  • Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

  • Olivier Coipel/Mark Morales, Thor (Marvel)

  • Guy Davis, BPRD (Dark Horse)

  • Amy Reeder Hadley/Richard Friend, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)

  • Jillian Tamaki, Skim (Groundwood Books)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist

  • Lynda Barry, What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Eddie Campbell, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard (First Second)

  • Enrico Casarosa, The Venice Chronicles (Ateliér Fio/AdHouse)

  • Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)

  • Jill Thompson, Magic Trixie, Magic Trixie Sleeps Over (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Best Cover Artist

  • Gabrial Bá, Casanova (Image); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)

  • Jo Chen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity (Dark Horse); Runaways (Marvel)

  • Amy Reeder Hadley, Madame Xanadu (Vertigo/DC)

  • James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); The Umbrella Academy (Dark Horse)

  • Matt Wagner, Zorro (Dynamite); Grendel: Behold the Devil (Dark Horse)

Best Coloring

  • Steve Hamaker, Bone: Ghost Circles, Bone: Treasure Hunters (Scholastic Graphix)

  • Trish Mulvihill, Joker (DC), 100 Bullets (Vertigo/DC)

  • Val Staples, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon)

  • Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien: The Drowning, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, The Unbrella Academy (Dark Horse); Body Bags (Image); Captain America: White (Marvel)

  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Lettering

  • Farel Dalrymple, Omega: The Unknown (Marvel)

  • Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules! (Renaissance)

  • Scott Morse, Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! (Red Window)

  • Nate Powell, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf)

  • Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library #19 (Acme)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

Best Comics-Related Book

  • Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, by Todd DePastino (Norton)

  • Brush with Passion: The Art and Life of Dave Stevens, edited by Arnie and Cathy Fenner (Underwood)

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)

  • Kirby: King of Comics, by Mark Evanier (Abrams)

  • The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hajdu (Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Best Publication Design

  • Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! designed by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)

  • Comic Book Tattoo, designed by Tom Muller, art direction by Rantz Hoseley (Image)

  • Hellboy Library Editions, designed by Cary Grazzini and Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)

  • What It Is, designed by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)

  • Willie and Joe, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)

Thursday, April 2, 2021

Random Thinks & Selected Links - April 2nd, 2009 - Pre-ECCC edition


This is likely to be my last post for a few days. Tomorrow I am heading over to Seattle for the weekend, on the Clipper ferry.

Artist's impression:

Why am I going to Seattle? I'm glad you asked. I'm off to the seventh annual Emerald City ComiCon, which is being held this Saturday and Sunday at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.

I have a press pass to the show, so I'll be blogging all about my adventures when I get home. I'll also be taking down my camera gear, so I should be able to get some good photos for the site. For up to the minute show info I would suggest you follow my twitter stream, as I shall be micro-blogging everything I see, and posting some twitpics most likely. The address to add is:


All Emerald City News should be posted under the conversation tag #ECCC

I hope to meet up with some of you guys there!

In other news...

Steve Saunders
, in his role as marketing coordinator for Studio407, is giving away a TPB of the Hybrid comic book. What you have to do to win is direct message Studio407 on Twitter with the correct answer to the following question:

"What is the dog's name on the first page of NIGHT PROJECTIONIST NOIR?"

April What Now???

I totally fell for an April Fool's joke yesterday. Fàbio Moon and Gabriel Bà announced on their site that their creator owned (with Matt Fraction) title Casanova was returning. Not only that, but that it was coming out online, FOR FREE. I got pretty excited about that, then after a while I realised the date. Bastards! they got me!

MORE X-Men comics???

Well, looks like Marvel are after even more of my hard earned pennies, sigh!

Today the posted the following teaser for "The All-New, All-Deadly Dark X-Men"

OK, I think that is all I have time for tonight. I better go and do some packing for the trip. See you soon...

Wednesday, April 1, 2021

'Comic Book Covers of the Week' & 'Hypergeek's Hot Picks' - Week of Weds April 2nd 2009

Another week, another pile of comics. Too tired to come up with something funny tonight, so let's just get to it...

Comic Book Covers of the Week

2000 AD Prog #1626:

This issue came out in the UK a few weeks ago, but went on general release in North America this week. The cover is by the legendary Carlos Ezquerra and is for the Strontium Dog strip. Johnny Alpha has always been one of my favourite characters, and it makes me so happy to see him still taking up the cover on the galaxy's greatest comic.

Avengers/Invaders #9

Alex Ross paints so many beautiful, photo-realistic, covers for comics these days that it is easy to become complacent about his art style. You see a Ross cover, recognise it imediately, and sort of think "oh, a nice Alex Ross cover". I find that people tend to forget just what an amazing artist this man is. This piece is a prime example of what a telented individula he is. the composition, line-work, painting, and colours on this image are just stunningly beautiful. I love Ross' depiction of the Red Skull, he gives him a really primal evil look. Stunning!

Hypergeek's Hot Picks

The aforementioned 2000AD Prog is a given this week, along with Prog #1625 and Judge Dredd Megazine #282. Diamond distribution have a very odd schedule for shippiung these in North America. In the UK 2000AD is weekly, and the megazine is monthly, but with Diamond they just seem to release them in erratic spurts. Don't be discouraged by this though, convince your local retailer that keping stock of the galaxy's greatest comic will help them be a better person!

There is a ton of great looking titles out this week. So many, that it might stretch the budget a little bit. Mark Waid's new Super villain comic, Irredeemable, will be starting up this week, and definitely looks like it will be worth checking out.

Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart are mkaing their grand return to Vertigo Comics this week, as they begin the sequel to Seaguy, with Seaguy: The Slaves of Mickey Eye #1. I've been waiting a long time for this one to hit the stands. I like Grant writing Batman et al. (although Final Crisis was not my cup of tea) but I've been craving to read some more wild and wacky vertigo stuff by him again. Cameron Stewart is also a wonderful, and Canadian, artist, and it's great to see them come back together to continue this project.

Robert Kirkman's long awaited Destroyer 5 part mini-series is starting up this week. This one looks dark and gritty, and is sure to be worth picking up. Kirkman has hardly ever failed me before, although I never really got into The Astounding Wolfman. I'll be picking up the first issue, and then deciding hether to get the rest from then on.

War of Kings is raging on, and the second issue of the main event is coming out this week. This story-line is absolutely stunning, and you can't afford to miss any issues. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning continue to prove that they have amazing skills at writing cosmic super hero stories, as they proceed releasing hit, after hit, after hit. If these two men wrote all of Marvels output, the universe would be a happier place :)

Aside from those, there are loads of issue of ongoing series that I collect comic out, they all look good, so anyone of them is a good bet for you to pick up. If it's on my pull-list, it's probably good. I don't have the time to waste on reading crap ;)

Check out my full list for this week:

The Mindscape of Alan Moore Contest Winners

Last week, I was holding a contest to win a free copy of the documentary, The Mindscape of Alan Moore.

The contest closed on Sunday night, and I received rather a lot of entries. I got about 20 correct answers, many of the rest didn't answer the whole question, and a few others were just plain wrong. This morning, I took the names of the 20 people who answered correctly, put them in a hat, and picked out two winners. The winners were:

David Baillie
Jorge Oliveira

Well done guys! Your copy of the movie should be with you shortly, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

To everyone else, thanks for entering, Sorry you didn't win, but I would still recommend picking up a copy of the movie, or downloading it from iTunes. It is well worth the money.