Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creator Roundup

This week Dan Hipp channels his inner Willy Wonka, Mike Carey plays video games, Terry Moore shares his trash, Dave Gibbons talks about...erm...Watchmen, Gabriel Ba draws some houses, Kate Beaton puts some cartoons together and calls it a book, Jamie McKelvie offers an Icelandic nymph, Georges Jeanty doesn’t watch Buffy, Jonathan Luna makes Steve rogers a girl, Joe Hill makes a list, Brian Wood makes a sign, Bryan Lee O’Malley makes a Mario level and Chrissie Zullo makes pretty pictures.

- Here’s this week’s
Dan Hipp:

- God is a Geek
interviews Mike Carey about writing the X-Men Destiny video Game. Here’s a taste:
How did you get involved with writing for games, and what are your aspirations for this medium?
I wandered in from the comic book world, essentially. Most writers these days are doing this, I think: seeing themselves not as comic book writers or novelists or screenwriters but as writers, period. Almost nobody among the creative people I know is committed to staying in one medium. So for the games work I’ve done, my comics work – and to a much smaller extent, my prose writing – was my CV.
And, as with all my other writing, my aspirations are to tell a cool, engaging, absorbing story that plays with ideas I find interesting. In a way, for me, the medium really is NOT the message. Obviously, you adapt your storytelling style and approach to the medium you’re working in, but in terms of what I want to get out of a writing gig, that’s pretty universal.
Is X-Men Destiny going to be canon in the X-Men universe or does it happen totally separate from the events that are currently happening in the X books. If it is in the X-Men canon, without giving details, does it tie in to what’s going to be happening in the upcoming Schism storyline? How important is this to you?
X-Men Destiny is not canon. It’s an alternate timeline, essentially like the Age of Apocalypse, Days of Future Past, and (kind of) my own recent Age of X. X-Men lore allows for these parallel continuities, and is rich in them. In this case, what we’ve done is to keep some of the flavour and some of the broadest strokes of recent X-Men continuity – the destruction of the Xavier Academy, the move to the West Coast, the battle against a rising tide of anti-mutant intolerance – and put our own spin on them. And in much the same way, although we don’t acknowledge Schism, we kind of have our own version of that, too. Our X-Men have fragmented into different groups with different goals, and depending on what happens in the course of the story that may intensify or reverse.

Terry Moore shares 3 unused pages from Echo. Here’s the first:

- The Huffington post
spoke with Dave Gibbons about a host of topics, including digital comics and the success of Watchmen:
HuffPost: When it comes to digital comics are we still waiting for someone to really use that medium in a new way?
Dave: Well I think we are sort of groping towards what is perhaps a new kind of medium. ... I think there is a new grammar that we're groping towards. I've been very involved with a company called Madefire who I think have got quite a revolutionary new approach to this. They've kind of come up with an authoring tool, and a way of distributing this material which I think is going to be really interesting, and I'm involved with them to the degree that my other commitments let me be, and I've always been a great proponent of that technology.
HuffPost: Are you comfortable with the fact that Watchmen is always going to be held up as part of the graphic novel canon? That when people try to convince their friends to read them they'll say ‘you should probably start with Watchmen.'
Dave: Well I mean that's what traditionally has happened, and I think because it has got such a reputation it is going to be on the basic comics or graphic novel reading list and of course, from my point of view, given that we get a royalty, well then, that can only be a good thing.
Of course, it's been a rather overshadowing thing in my career but, hey, I mean I can't really complain about having done something that's been amazingly successful. So yeah, I'm perfectly happy with the position that Watchmen has.
I think the fact that it stands alone is such an important thing that I hope DC can resist any temptation to expand it beyond that. I don't think that would be a good thing. I think the unique selling proposition of Watchmen is that it is complete and entire and self-contained and that's the only thing I fear, I say fear, the only thing I'm apprehensive about is perhaps that they might not be able to resist the lure of kind of burning the furniture, as it were.

Gabriel Ba shares a poster for a Sao Paulo concert he drew:

Kate Beaton is featured over at NPR. Here’s an excerpt:
Beaton's new book, Hark! A Vagrant — based on her website, Hark! A Vagrant — is full of witty rewrites of history and classic literature. In her version of the discovery of the North Pole, Henson gets his revenge. The white explorer, Peary, demands that his black associate help him from his sled so he can stand on the North Pole and get all the glory — but Henson refuses. He gloats, "Man! It's pretty nice being on the North Pole! ... Gonna do some squats ... on the North Pole ... feels good."
Beaton's comics tackle both the obscure and well-known sides of history. One of her favorite subjects is the Kennedy dynasty.
"I love the Kennedys; they're amazing," she says. "The Kennedys are fascinating because I'm Canadian and this is a big American thing and they're such a big part of the culture around here. ... That really fascinates me; the drive that they all had to go and to succeed and to push."

Jamie McKelvie continues to practise his likenesses, this week sharing a drawing of Bjork:

Georges Jeanty has an interview with Komix Online. Here’s part of it:
Was there a point when you felt like you’d ‘arrived‘? (Perhaps working on big DC characters such as Superman, Superboy and Green Lantern, or your first ongoing series Bishop: The Last X-Man?)
Aw, man. There were several times I thought I had arrived! I must have done 3 high profile books before I got to “the Big Two” I scored a job at Tekno Comics, and then at Defiant, and a couple of others I can’t even remember now. I always say that my career has been a series of false starts. Just when I thought I had arrived something happened and I was back to square one. It wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina to join the staff of London Night Studios (of Razor fame) that I thought I was at least a working artist… until they folded a year later).
Having worked on so many iconic characters like those mentioned above, are there any characters/titles out there you’d still like to work on?
How much time have you got? Pretty much every character out there I would consider a challenge to work on. I’m still a Marvel fan, I’d love to work on their characters, but DC has been very good to me over the years and it’s always a pleasure to do their books. Sorry, that’s a short answer to a long question.
Moving on to Buffy, I believe I read somewhere that you hadn’t seen the show when you were offered the job on Season Eight. Is that correct and, if so, what went through your mind when you did get to watch the series knowing you’d be working on the comic?
You are correct, sir. I was aware of Buffy from pop culture, but I wasn’t into the show. Not knowing the much of the character, what struck me most in the begging was how much this little blonde girl got hit. I was a little turned off in the beginning. I didn’t get the extent of her Slayer strength. As I continued to watch, I was taken at just how good the writing was and how many comic references there were. Ultimately I was hooked, as I’m sure most Buffy fans will attest.

Jonathan Luna shared this painting of ‘Stephanie’ Rogers:

Joe Hill is putting together some geek lists. Here’s how to take part:

I’d like to build a series of lists: the essential geek reads, movies, shows, and games of the last decade. What do we talk about when we talk about geekdom? This is a two-stage project.
First, we need to build a long list of possibilities. To that end, please use the comments thread to post your own picks for essential geek books, films, shows, and games of the 00s. Or, alternatively, visit Twitter and use these hashtags: #geekreadsofthe00s #geekshowsofthe00s #geekfilmsofthe00s #geekgamesofthe00s.
Next Monday, I’ll take the raw data and turn it over to a panel of noted geek experts. They’ll winnow each rough list down to 10, and put them in order. That list will be here on the blog for everyone to ogle.
Now, to answer some preliminary questions:
SHOULDN’T THERE BE A HASHTAG FOR COMICS? No, I don’t think so. Comics go under “Geek Reads” same as novels. Comics are a part of literature, not separate from it.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE 00s? For the purposes of this discussion we’re going to define the 00s as 2000 – 2010. Which is actually, um, 11 years. It’s okay, just go with it.
WHO IS ON THIS SO-CALLED PANEL OF EXPERTS? Not saying. They know who they are and will be revealed in due time.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE “GEEKY”? Ah, we wouldn’t be geeks if we didn’t love academic questions like this one. If it’s the kind of thing people might celebrate at a place like San Deigo Comic Con, or if it’s the kind of thing
io9 might report on, then I think we can say it’s geeky. But that’s a very wide net.

WHAT ABOUT DOCTOR HORRIBLE’S SING-A-LONG BLOG? Let’s call it a TV show. Yes, we all know it will be on the list.

Brian Wood has a rather cryptic post on his tumblr about a project he is doing with Becky Cloonan at dark Horse. This is all we’re given:

Mike Mignola has had to cancel his appearance at NYCC.

Bryan Lee O’Malley shared a Super Mario level he designed when he was 10, as well as answering a bunch of fan questions. Here’s the level and his thoughts on comic to film adaptaions:

My thoughts on “staying true to the source material” are complicated. In general, I think it’s more important that a director’s own voice be expressed. In our case, Edgar Wright and I worked very closely and I think understood each other well, but in the end it’s his film, his vision. Fortunately his vision dovetailed quite well with my own — which really is why we were correctly matched up in the first place.
Any adaptor is going to have a personal interpretation of the source material, the same as any fan has their own. If I asked five directors to tell me the story of Scott Pilgrim, then asked five fans, I’d get ten different stories. Every reader (or viewer) remembers things differently, focuses on different aspects, gets something else out of the story.
Even if I were to have written and directed my own Scott Pilgrim adaptation, it would have been different from the original. I love some aspects of the books, and there are always bits that I regret — but something that I regret might be some fan’s favorite thing in the whole entire universe.

Chrissie Zullo posted a few of her commisions, including this one of Death on the Titanic:

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