Harlan Ellison has written short stories, essays, teleplays, screenplays and books, but though he’s repeatedly talked about how influential the medium was for him as a boy, he has scripted relatively few comics. His enthusiasm and interest in the medium has never waned, however, and he’s taken time to praise the work of many books and creators over the years — in between winning almost every science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror and screenwriting award possible, that is.
Review: Al Rio Tribute Art Book – Volume One by Jerry Whitworth
Three years ago this month, the comic book industry lost one of its stars. On the short list of modern day “good girl art” masters, illustrator Al Rio passed away in January 2012 leaving behind a wife and three children. Following his loss, steps were taken to support his family in a tribute art book put together by Rio’s friends and collaborators resulting in a Kickstarter campaign last summer. With a goal of raising $5,500 to finance publication, the book went beyond the goal amassing over $8,800. Further, with a projected publication date of April 2015, the book instead saw print last month. Available to the public now through Al Rio’s website, the Al Rio Tribute Art Book – Volume One (2003-2005) opens with a brief biography of the artist followed by three chapters each outlining selected pieces of art Al Rio produced during the years 2003, 2004, and 2005. The hardcover book’s three chapters feature seventy all color pages of art including sketches and finished art with characters from many of the industry’s most well-known publishers.Read More
The Nocturnals Return Down a Sinister Path by Jerry Whitworth
On the heels of the release of Nocturnals: Legend, an art book by Big Wow! Art celebrating twenty years of Dan Brereton’s Nocturnals, a Kickstarter campaign to fund Nocturnals: The Sinister Path has recently gone live. The first original story centering around Brereton’s band of Halloween-inspired pulp/horror characters since 2008, the Nocturnals tells the story of occult adventurer Doc Horror, his clairvoyant daughter Eve (aka Halloween Girl), her silent guardian Gunwitch, and their band of monstrous allies as they deal with aliens, mobsters, and, of course, creatures of the night. For Sinister Path, a new band of elder Nocturnals emerge in the Children of the Judge, a malevolent mirror version of Horror’s group, as Eve is haunted by alien spirits in her dreams terrorizing her from the nether realm. First published in 1994, the Nocturnals have become the greatest work produced yet by painter and writer Dan Brereton, also known for his work on Batman: Thrillkiller, Superman and Batman: Legends of the World’s Finest, and JLA: Seven Caskets. Sinister Path will see the return of favorites like Polychrome, Starfish, Firelion, and the Raccoon as well as the addition of Jammybottoms, another doll in Eve’s menagerie of possessed poppets linked to the phantasms that now stalk her.Read More
Comic Art Commissions Holiday Art 2014
The artists at Comic Art Commissions were asked to share their Holiday art and here are the ones I received from all kinds of artists – both traditional and digital. If you like the art you see – go to their Comic Art Commissions page and “Send Message” to them asking about commissions!Read More
2014 Top 50 Comic Book Artists #40-31
Here are the next ten artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,040 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).
NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.
Suicide Squad: The Story of Task Force X by Jerry Whitworth
Considering the success of Marvel Studios at the box office, Warner Bros. has poised itself to make a similar dash with its DC Comics properties. One recently announced project reportedly featuring some of its most iconic characters is Suicide Squad. Herein, supervillains are recruited as special operatives for the US government to commute their sentences in return for taking assignments with a low projected survival rate. In other words, forming a “Suicide Squad.” The concept certainly has some origins in The Dirty Dozen, a 1967 blockbuster war film about a ragtag band of criminal soldiers given a suicide mission. That film itself may have been based on the real life “Filthy Thirteen” who operated behind enemy lines to secure or destroy bridges used by the Axis during World War II. Roughly only half of that platoon would return unharmed from their mission and the media would embellish their story casting the group as a bunch of savages that wore war paint, refused to wash, and earned each other’s respect through violence. In regards to the Suicide Squad, the original such group was quite a ways different.Read More
The next episode of The CW’s DC Comics hit is titled “The Flash Is Born,” and looking at the villain of the piece, it may be a fiery genesis.
Debuting on tonight’s installment is Girder — a villain made of steel created in the comics by the show’s executive producer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver. While the four-color Girder was a steel mill worker warped into metal by STAR Labs, the TV version is a former bully to Barry Allen who’s the latest metahuman to pick up a power and a taste for the dark side.
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[SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for “The Legendary Star-Lord” #5, on sale now.]
While Marvel Comics'”Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex” crossover is still a ways off, the event’s architect, Sam Humphries, is already laying groundwork in his series “The Legendary Star-Lord.” Alongside artist Paco Medina, Humphries introduced a number of new elements for “The Black Vortex” event in “Legendary Star-Lord” #5, including the revelation that The Black Vortex is actually an object, as well as a new set of villains known as the Slaughter Squad: Mister Knife’s elite group of agents who are a darker version of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
To shed some light on the reveal of the actual Black Vortex in “Legendary Star-Lord” #5, Humphries spoke with CBR News, discussing the power of the actual object, how it’s managed to stay hidden for so many years, the importance of Mister Knife and the Slaughter Squad, Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde’s relationship and much more.
Captain America – Recruiting for a Civil War by Jerry Whitworth
Recently Marvel Studios announced films slated for its third phase including solo movies for Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel (featuring former Ms. Marvel Carol Danvers). Aligning with this news is the release of a trailer and sneak peek for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron which, rumor has it, will feature a new team of Avengers to rise from its finale. It’s challenging to distinguish what out of all of this news and rumors has the most buzz, but perhaps the most inquired aspect of this information is the details of the announced Captain America: Civil War. Thus far, we know elements of the Civil War crossover will be adapted putting Captain America and Iron Man at odds while Black Panther will make his first appearance in costume in the film. However, the question several fans have posed is if there exists enough established characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to support such an ambitious project.Read More
Wonder Woman ’77: From Screen to Page by Jerry Whitworth
At the New York Comic Con, it was revealed a series was being developed by DC Comics based on the Wonder Woman television series that aired from 1975 to 1979 called Wonder Woman ’77. Undoubtedly in the same vein as Batman ’66 (based on the Batman television series that aired from 1966 to 1968), the series will be written by Marc Andreyko (Manhunter, Batwoman) with covers by Nicola Scott (Birds of Prey, Secret Six) and rotating interior artists that is set to premier digitally first in December before coming to print in early 2015. All that is known at present about the series (beyond it will be set in the same world as the TV series using the likeness of Lynda Carter) is that villains from the comics will emerge and down the line there maybe a crossover with Batman ’66 (which itself is coming off the heels of a crossover with Dynamite’s Green Hornet that ends in November). As yet, it’s unknown if the title of Wonder Woman ’77 is purely a play on the Batman ’66 title or if it will largely be based on the CBS years of the show which moved the story’s timeline from World War II to the then present day. Lets see what we may have to expect in the coming series.Read More
Top 10: Candidates for Titans by Jerry Whitworth
Announced earlier in the month, a series based on the Teen Titans is in development at TNT called Titans. Set to star Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, and other young heroes, the possible new show joins an evergrowing list of DC Comics properties adapted for television including Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, Constantine, iZombie, and SuperGirl while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming to theaters. While already put to rest that the film and television universe will not intersect, discussion has already begun about crossing over the world of Arrow and The Flash with other series (including among those involved with the shows) as the door is open for the aforementioned shows finding their way into the DC Television Universe. Bruno Heller of Gotham has commented a possibility for the show to crossover with Arrow/Flash and/or Constantine, Greg Berlanti of Arrow/Flash is producing SuperGirl, and Mark Pedowitz of the CW said there was room for Arrow/Flash and Titans to align (CW and TNT both owned by Time Warner), for example. So, the possibility is good the likes of Arsenal, Speedy, Firestorm, and Kid Flash (as well as villains like Deathstroke, Brother Blood, and Clock King) finding their way to Titans. Perhaps the only unlikely Titan to emerge would be Cyborg who’s reportedly tied to the films. Putting aside those named already and those tied up elsewhere that could emerge, lets look at some candidates for Titans we might see appear.Read More
Review: Gotham – “Pilot” by Jerry Whitworth
In the new series Gotham, Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is tasked with solving the murder of wealthy socialites Thomas and Martha Wayne against the backdrop of perhaps the most corrupt city in modern history. Of course, the series also provides a new version of the backstory of Batman (young Bruce Wayne portrayed by David Mazouz) introducing the evolution of the character’s creation while outlining the origins of his supporting cast. In the premier titled simply “Pilot,” the Waynes are killed and Gordon with corrupt partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are given the call to investigate. While a suspect is identified and killed by Bullock, it’s revealed to be a set-up and the real murderer remains at large and unknown amidst a mysterious conspiracy. It falls upon Gordon to continue to search in secret as he realizes he can’t trust any of his colleagues.Read More
The Flash: From Page to Screen by Jerry Whitworth
With the series premier of the Arrow spin-off The Flash only weeks away, several of the upcoming guest-stars for the show have thus far been announced already. Just as one would expect, the Rogues make up a sizable chunk of the upcoming characters. In the series Arrow, we’ve thus far met Barry Allen (played by Grant Gustin of Glee fame) who already has suffered his fateful accident that leads to his becoming the Flash. Fans have also been treated to upcoming series regulars Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who, in the comics, are fated to become the hero Vibe and villainess Killer Frost, respectively. The series will open with introducing S.T.A.R. Labs’ chief scientist Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), whose particle accelerator transformed Allen, and on-line journalist Iris West (Candice Patton), mentioned only by name previously as a love interest to Allen. A demonstration of the forward thinking of the show’s producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, West was cast with an African-American actress to align with DC Comics’ current continuity where the character’s nephew Wally was reintroduced as being African-American (Wally later becoming the Flash’s sidekick Kid Flash in the comics), paving the road for his inclusion in the series down the line. Before moving on to those others cast, it should be noted Rogues the Trickster and Pied Piper have been mentioned but yet confirmed. The former was named in an early script used for auditions and the latter as a series regular to be cast but likely was replaced by the Caitlin Snow character (though, producers have stated a desire to add Pied Piper within the first twelve to thirteen episodes). Further, Arrow villain the Clock King (Robert Knepper) is set to make an appearance on The Flash. The character of Firestorm was described in detail previously here.Read More
Top 10: WWE “Legends” Dream Match-Ups by Jerry Whitworth
In the upcoming storyline “Legends” in the WWE Superstars series, wrestlers from across the thirty five year history of the WWF to today’s WWE will compete to tackle age old debates comparing legends of the past against modern day stars. From the minds of Mick Foley (multi-New York Times bestselling author and retired wrestler) and Shane Riches (R.P.M., Afflicted), the arc will feature such bouts as Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Randy Orton, Ultimate Warrior vs. John Cena, and Hulk Hogan vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. However, matches already announced only scratch the surface of the dozens of high profile talent that have come through the WWE. Lets then take a look at some possible battles we could expect to see this Fall from Super Genius Comics.
Top 10: Heroes We Want in Arrow/Flash by Jerry Whitworth
As the DC Television Universe expands with the upcoming The Flash, fans have started speculating about a possible Justice League of America for Arrow and its new sister series. Arrow has thus far introduced Green Arrow, Huntress, Black Canary, and Roy Harper (who will transition into Arsenal in the upcoming season) and is set to introduce the Atom, Katana, Wildcat, and Manhunter. Of course, Barry Allen would emerge in Starling City last season and will go on to become the Flash as he will later be joined by Firestorm and a not-so-villainous Plastique (perhaps with shades of the Flash character Peek-A-Boo or the Human Bomb). A Justice League film franchise is currently in the works with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice set to include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg, so it’s unlikely those characters would be available to the TV version especially following the announcement the film and TV universes will be kept separate. Further, as Constantine will be on a separate network and a Justice League Dark film is being planned, magic heroes are likely unavailable (if not, Jason Blood/Etrigan the Demon would have made this list). Previously, we posted about a possible Outsiders expansion with Katana, Black Lightning, Question, and Creeper so those incredible characters will be kept out of the running to keep from being redundant (otherwise, the latter three would occupy three spots). With that, lets take a look who we want to see come to the DC Television Universe.Read More