This week, Dan Hipp goes Psycho, Sana Takeda shows off, JH Williams III talks success, Ben Templesmith re-uses an old sketch, Brian Wood talks digital, Jeremy Bastion is an art freak, Andy Diggle gives advice, Dave Johnson releases his inner fury, Michael Alan Nelson talks names and Dustin Nguyen paints Batman.
- Dan Hipp has three new pics this week, this one entitled "It's Psycho Time (a Boy's Best Friend is his Mother)
- Sana Takeda has some previews of x-23 18:
- JH Williams III points to an interview with CBR about Batwoman and success. Here's a tease:
CBR News: How does it feel with "Batwoman" officially a critical and commercial success now that the first three issues are out? Is that satisfying to know that the book was off the shelves for almost two years and yet its been received again so well?
JH Williams III: Yeah, certainly. I really didn't expect it to be. I knew it would do well, but I didn't think it was going to be so warmly received. It did really well in sales, and then the critical response was overwhelmingly positive. It was surprising. I expected it to have a lot more push and pull than it did. It was really heartwarming and gratifying.
W. Haden Blackman: The fan reaction has been really positive, but I think we've been bringing in new readers to comics, which we didn't necessarily expect. All the reaction we've gotten, either through email or our website or events like this, it feels like there's a large number of people who either haven't been reading comics in a long time or who have never read comics before and have started with Batwoman.
Williams: Female readers, too.
Many fans were a bit worried that it took so long for "Batwoman" to come out after it had been announced by DC. It seemed that people assumed you had been working on it since the end of your "Detective Comics" run, but was that really the case?
Williams: Well, when Greg [Rucka] decided to leave DC Comics and they approached us about taking over ["Batwoman"], there was literally only three days before the announcement was made to the public that we were taking it over. Nothing had been written, and we didn't even know what the plot was going to be and all that stuff. We needed time to develop that. It was misleading to fans, in some ways. People had the idea that we had been working on it already, but we were actually far from any launch date, for sure.
- Ben Templesmith posted his Christmas commission prices as well as this Boba Fett:
- Brian Wood writes a very interesting article about digital sales, creators and retailers. Here's the tail end, but do read the whole thing:
No sane creator, or publisher, wants to see comic shops hurt. We all have emotional connections to them, to the idea of them, and we count owners and employees as personal friends. We aren’t looking for digital to steal customers away from shops, but rather to be an additive thing, to be an additional source of income. To simply switch a current print consumer to a digital consumer does not solve any problems! It benefits no one at all. It will not save us.
When I thought my Dark Horse comics were to be sold digitally at 1.99, I devised a plan to make the print singles a luxury object specifically for the benefit of the retailer community, to make it a unique book with truly added-value content so that the two formats would not be in competition for the same product. So that the “higher priced” print single would be justified in the eyes of retailers and readers. Not sure if this plan is scrapped or not, but I am not the boogeyman here, and when I see these boycott threats, still being issued even after Dark Horse clarified their plans… well, its hard not to feel like an innocent bystander, a bit of collateral damage. My new books at risk even before they launch. Christ, I’m just trying to make it all work out for everyone.
- Jeremy Bastian has a boatload of new art and commissions on his blog, including this Cursed Pirate Girl sketch:
- Andy Diggle has this piece of sage advice to writers of 2000ad:
Take the "twist ending" of your Future Shock and put it at the bottom of page one. Then explore the ramifications. Instead of the punchline, make the twist your premise. Trust me, your story will be 1000% more interesting, and more personal. Find your own voice.
- Dave Johnson as some new picks on his DeviantArt page including this Nick Fury commission:
- Michael Alan Nelson talks about naming the characters in Valen the Outcast and shows of a bit of concept art:
For me, naming characters is one of the most difficult aspects of creating a story. Granted, I could just go to the Big Book of Baby Names and pick one at random (I’ve done it many times before), but most writers prefer to have the name really speak to who the character is, either through its meaning or its phonetic quality. When it’s done wrong, well, a name is just a name. But when done right, the perfect name can tell you everything about the character before you even meet her on the page.
Coming up with ‘Valen Brand’ as the name of our hero in Valen the Outcast was a group effort, and not an easy one. We bandied about nearly 50 possibilities, and while many of them were good names, none of them were quite right. We wanted a name that sounded regal and strong without coming across as too guttural. If the name sounded too harsh, the character would come across as brutish; just a big guy with a big sword who kills things. Which is certainly what Valen is, but he also used to be king. He’s a thinker. He knows strategy, diplomacy, law, and history. We had to make sure that his name reflected his intelligence as well as his strength. Or, at the very least, sounded strong and intelligent.
- Dustin Nguyen painted this Batman: