Herb Trimpe: 1939 – 2015 by Jerry Whitworth
On April 13th, the comic book world lost another of its legends. Herb Trimpe, best known for his work on the Incredible Hulk, passed away. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, Trimpe was a childhood fan of the comic book medium and broke into the industry while attending school assisting with inks at Dell Comics. Following four years in the Air Force, he went to work for Marvel where he transitioned from working in production to inking to becoming a fixture as a penciller.
Known for his reliability and hard work ethic, Trimpe applied his pencil to virtually every major character at the company in some capacity. His most notable work was his run on the Incredible Hulk, replacing Marie Severin to produce an 85 issue run which included the first appearance of the character Wolverine.
Trimpe also became something of the go-to artist for licensed properties working on Shogun Warriors, Indiana Jones, U.S. 1, and Transformers. However, among this type of work, his runs on Godzilla and G.I. Joe are arguably his most notable.
Following Marvel’s bankruptcy, Trimpe returned to school and earned a master’s degree, becoming a teacher. Yet, Trimpe continued to work in comics, recently applying his craft to B.P.R.D. and Savage Dragon. A strong advocate of the Hero Initiative, including contributing to Hero Initiative: The Uncanny X-Men 100 Project last year, the artist’s family has asked for donations to that cause in lieu of flowers.Read More
Review: Netflix’s Daredevil by Jerry Whitworth
Over the weekend, Netflix released the first in a series of Marvel live action adaptations that will collectively form the Defenders subset of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (tying into the films and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) in Daredevil. Following the adventures of Matt Murdock who works as a lawyer for the needy during the day and as a costumed vigilante by night in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil was created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett in 1964. As a young man, Murdock was involved in an accident which robbed him of his sight but enhanced his other senses to a superhuman level. Following the death of his father at the hands of a gangster, Murdock dedicated himself to battling evil. His rogues gallery was largely composed of Spider-Man villains and criminals arguably modeled after Batman’s infamous foes, the character largely wouldn’t attract a large audience until his series was nearly canceled in the 1980s when it was put under the direction of Frank Miller. The creator made the rather standard story of the series into something dark and moody which became its hallmark ever since. The character would previously be adapted for live action in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and a 2003 feature film starring Ben Affleck in the lead. The following review will include SPOILERS so be forewarned.Read More
Rain of the Ghosts: The Audio Play by Jerry Whitworth
Greg Weisman, the force behind Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man, and Young Justice, released the first novel in a new young adult series over a year ago called Rain of the Ghosts (followed quickly by the series’ next book Spirits of Ash and Foam). Following the adventures of Rain Cacique, a young lady living on an island in the Prospero Keys off the edge of the Bermuda Triangle working at her parents’ bed and breakfast, the heroine inherits her grandfather’s armband which allows her to see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. This artifact unfolds a series of events where Rain and her friends Charlie and Miranda must travel the islands, known to locals as the Ghost Keys, to uncover mysteries and go on adventures exploring the myths and legends of the Taino, its ancient indigenous people. Originally, Rain of the Ghosts was an animated series created by Weisman at Dreamworks Animation and sold to Nickelodeon. However, the deal fell through and the project was returned to Weisman for his own use. Recently, it was revealed the first book is being made into an audio play (rather than audiobook) and is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter in order to complete the undertaking.Read More
Suicide Squad: From Page to Screen by Jerry Whitworth
Announced last fall and scheduled to begin filming in a few weeks, Suicide Squad is the latest movie in the newly minted DC Cinematic Universe beginning with 2013’s Man of Steel. Observed as Mission: Impossible meets The Dirty Dozen (a precedent established by writer John Ostrander), the Suicide Squad is a covert group of supervillains taking on high-risk assignments for the US government in return for commuting their sentences for their crimes. While the plot is thus far unknown (though a script is rumored to have leaked its story), it would appear to be massive featuring arguably DC Comics’ most well known villain and is rumored to even include Lex Luthor and Batman. The major characters (as well as a few perhaps minor ones) have been cast and announced, though a few notable members like Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, Nemesis, and Count Vertigo may or may not emerge (however, Scott Eastwood, Ray Olubowale, and Karen Fukuhara have reportedly been cast but their roles remain as yet revealed). That said, lets take a look at what characters we know will appear in Suicide Squad.Read More
Stray: Interview with Vito Delsante by Jerry Whitworth
Vito Delsante, writer and creator of Stray and new Associate Director of Marketing at Action Lab Entertainment, spoke with Comic Art Community about his book and new position.
Supergirl: From Page to Screen by Jerry Whitworth
Announced being in development last Fall and fast tracked to be ready to air for the upcoming Fall season, Supergirl is coming to CBS from Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler (the former the producer on CW’s Arrow and Flash). While it’s as yet known if Supergirl will be an extension of the DC Television Universe, rumor has it Berlanti specifically had it written in his contract for such an occurrence. In any event, early reports of the Supergirl series seem to indicate a similar situation to Arrow where rogues from her gallery will largely be ignored for more notable characters (for Arrow, he inherited Batman and Teen Titans villains while Supergirl seems to be getting Superman criminals). While those the likes of Lesla-Lar, the Council (with Matrix-Prime and the Gang), and Carnivore may not emerge, there maybe hope for Reactron who has consistently remained Supergirl’s nemesis through the years (just as Count Vertigo and Clock King found their way to Arrow). In regards to Superman, considering who has been announced thus far, chances maybe good the likes of Brainiac, General Zod (or, Faora), Bizarro (or, Bizarro-Supergirl), Metallo, Parasite, and Mister Mxyzptlk (or, Miss Gsptlsnz) could emerge. Lets examine who has been announced thus far.Read More
The Empty: Interview with Jimmie Robinson by Jerry Whitworth
Survivorland I Review by Jerry Whitworth
Writer and Artist: Karibu; Editors: V. Leblanc & R. Dupuis; Pin-Up Artists: Nick Bradshaw, Kelly Tindall, Chris Campana, Polyna Kim, Miriam Gibson, Suzuran, Holly Ellingwood, Kelly Barrie, & Andre-Guy Landry
Lab technician Masato Kimura is hired at the medical research company Medifirm where, under Dr. Yamane, he investigated stem cell regeneration. However, Yamane used this research for his own experiments leading to the dead rising and an infection that spreads across Tokyo. Kimura manages to escape only to fight for survival in a city overrun with horrors. Armed with a razor-sharp shovel and joined by his dog companion Red, Kimura is left trying to figure out his next move as the government appears powerless to contain the epidemic. Karibu, who previously published the short story “Les Voyageurs de Houston” and short stories for the anthology series Heroes of the North, Kickstarted Survivorland at the tail end of last year and was inspired to create the series by a George A. Romero movie marathon and chose a manga influence in its approach.Read More
Creator Profile: Nick Bradshaw by Jerry Whitworth
In the world of comic books, there exist legendary comic book artists. Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams, George Pérez, and Joe Kubert are just a few names this idea brings to mind. However, before they were legends, they were up-and-coming talents who grew, evolved, and developed over time to reach the heights they eventually achieved. It has become fairly commonplace in this day to identify these new developing superstars and to push them creatively to realize their potential. One such young gun is Nick Bradshaw. Son of the honorable and revered politician Claudette Bradshaw, Nick was born and raised in Moncton, New Brunswick. It was at a young age he developed his love for comics when his father Doug bought him Archie comics sold at the local grocery store. Eventually, this lead to expanding into superhero and horror comics (as Bradshaw also became an avid horror film fanatic). Bradshaw developed an interest in animation, moving into the Ontario area after transferring from his local community college to attend Algonquin College (based out of the capitol city Ottawa, where his mother lived most of the year as part of her career). For one of his class projects, Bradshaw was developing something based on the film Army of Darkness. When he was younger, his brother Chris and his friends had rented Evil Dead II which Nick went behind his sibling’s back to watch. It would be this moment that really helped Nick become a horror film fan, especially of the Evil Dead series. Doodling since the days when he first discovered Archie, Nick produced some hand drawn cartoony Army of Darkness art and published it online. As fate would have it, Dynamic Forces had acquired a license to make Army of Darkness-based comics and came across Bradshaw’s art while they were looking for someone to draw their new title. Dynamic contacted him and Bradshaw saw his first professional printed work in 2004’s mini-series Army of Darkness: Ashes 2 Ashes. Bradshaw’s career in comics had begun.Read More
In Memoriam: Norman Lee by Jerry Whitworth
While vacationing with his wife Jan in the Cayman Islands, comic book inker Norman Lee went missing. Snorkeling 250 yards off of the Grand Cayman, the couple became separated and Jan returned to shore believing her husband would be there waiting for her. The authorities believe strong currents in the water may have taken Lee and have since called off the search, believing it’s unlikely he will ever be recovered. Lee graduated from Southeastern Massachusetts University (known today as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth) with a degree in Illustration/Design in 1990 and went to work in fashion design. A comic book fan as a child, Lee decided to try his hand at comics taking a portfolio on the convention circuit. The move eventually led to his finding work at Marvel Comics inking Wolverine Annual 1996. Ever since, Lee has worked in comics predominantly at Marvel with notable runs on titles like Deadpool, Dark Horse Extra (featuring SpyBoy), SpyBoy, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, GeNext, DC Universe Online: Legends, and Wolverine & The X-Men from his home in North Weymouth, MA. The inker’s legacy, however, will likely be with how fondly he will be remembered by his friends. According to his loved ones, Lee had a warm personality that within five minutes of meeting him made you feel like you knew him your whole life. Norman and Jan have been married for five and a half years and he became a second father to her children. Lee’s vacation was the first he’s reportedly taken in ten years.Read More
Duck Tales: The History of Scrooge McDuck by Jerry Whitworth
Announced last week, Disney will be rebooting its high profile animated series DuckTales in 2017 for its station Disney XD. Detailing the adventures of wealthy adventurer Scrooge McDuck and his grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie as they span the globe (and beyond) looking for treasure, the series was hugely popular for its Disney Afternoon line-up in the late-1980s/early-1990s (so far as getting its own feature film, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, and spin-off in Darkwing Duck). However, what many may not know, is that the series’ origins derives from comic books beginning in the Golden Age. Carl Barks, a rancher, cowboy, and drifter turned artist (via correspondence courses) became an in-between animator at Disney in 1935 until health problems caused him to quit in 1942. That same year, he migrated to comic book artist when he helped produce a Donald Duck story for Dell’s Four Color Comics called “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold.” The job led to Barks becoming the ongoing artist for Donald’s comic stories including one such fateful tale entitled “Christmas on Bear Mountain” five years later.Read More
Make It So: Robotech the Movie by Jerry Whitworth
Announced earlier this month, renewed interest in producing a live action film based on the animated series Robotech has been reported with the team behind the 300 films tackling the project. Bounced around since 2007 when Warner Bros. acquired the film rights with Tobey Maguire set to produce (and perhaps star), the project has repeatedly run into problems with several scripts produced that seemingly have yet to satisfy the studio’s higher-ups (while in 2013 it was revealed Leonardo DiCaprio has shown interest in the film, perhaps in a featured acting role, as he reportedly turned down an opportunity to be in the latest Star Wars film series so he could be available). Among the various hit franchises created in the 1980s, Robotech was one that proved extremely successfully and profitable but ended prematurely (in terms of its popularity) due to a number of extraordinary circumstances. Since then, it has repeatedly arisen in various ways with varying degrees of success (most recently, as a tabletop RPG). Lets examine what a Robotech film could entail.Read More
Creator Profile: Steve McNiven by Jerry Whitworth
For every age of the comic book industry, a crop of artists emerge that define their generation. At Marvel, the days of Kirby and Ditko gave rise to Romita, Byrne, Miller, and the Buscemas which lead to Lee, McFarlane, and Liefeld. The Modern Age of Marvel was lead by artists like Romita Jr, Epting, and the Kuberts but perhaps one of the brightest stars to emerge in the last ten years is Steve McNiven. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan but raised mostly in and around Ontario, Canada, McNiven’s mother was an art teacher which inspired him to obtain a traditional education in art by attending Nova Scotia College of Art and Design where he earned a BA in Art Education and a BFA in Sculpture. McNiven and his wife spent some time in Seattle before she was offered a job in Toronto leading the couple to move back to Canada as McNiven began working part-time as a visual arts teacher at the high school North Toronto Collegiate Institute. McNiven, unfamiliar with anyone in the area, would stumble upon a comic shop with a co-op art studio and befriend a group of local comic book artists. A fan of comics, anime, and manga, McNiven decided to try his skill at hand drawn art working in a cartoony style inspired by his interests. After almost five years teaching and while developing a strong passion for comic art, McNiven’s wife wanted him to pursue his interest and bought him a ticket to the San Diego Comic-Con in 1999. Making a small portfolio of his art and technique, McNiven attended the event displaying his work to any company looking for talent. Eventually, a chance encounter with the Lai brothers led to the artist being hired at Florida-based company CrossGen.Read More
Make It So: Legion of Super-Heroes by Jerry Whitworth
According to rumor website Bleeding Cool, following the success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and considering Warner Bros’ desire to mimic Disney’s success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rumor has it a Legion of Super-Heroes film is being considered for development. Originally infrequent supporting characters to Superboy (Superman’s adventures as a teenager), the Legion grew into its own franchise initially featuring teenage aliens from the future who would jaunt to the past to summon Superboy for their extraordinary adventures. Over the years, the Legion developed into a vast cast of characters that became something of a joke to older readers as for every conceivable super power, there seemed to be a unique Legionnaire who represented it (like Matter-Eater Lad, Antennae Boy, and Arm Fall Off Boy). During the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, the Legion underwent a Renaissance under the direction of Paul Levitz that made the title one of the best comics of its time with the underrated “Earthwar” followed by the much-lauded, critically acclaimed “The Great Darkness Saga” (featuring the emergence of Darkseid in the 30th century). Arguably this was the greatest height of the Legion, another bright spot being following the events of Zero Hour under the direction of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA, whose reinvention of the Guardians of the Galaxy was the basis of the Marvel film). Lets take a look at what an adaptation of the Legion of Super-Heroes could entail.Read More
From Page to Screen: The Titans by Jerry Whitworth
Recently, the pilot script for TNT’s upcoming television series The Titans based on DC Comics’ Teen Titans has reportedly been leaked. Likely the biggest reveal from this leak is the roster for the group which features a blend of the classic team with some more obscure characters and a familiar face from the Batman family. It should be noted, however, the cast may yet change for the series (especially considering actors are still yet being cast) but that seems unlikely considering TNT has rushed production of the series. Also, yet known is if the series will tie into the greater DC Television Universe (teased by CW president Mark Pedowitz) which already includes Arrow, Flash, and the upcoming animated Vixen series and rumor has it will include CBS’ upcoming Supergirl series. So, characters like Arsenal, Speedy, Kid Flash, and Supergirl could very well find their way to the series (not to mention villains like Deathstroke, Brother Blood, and Clock King). Until speculation becomes proved or disproved, however, lets look at what the series will start with.Read More