Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tuesday's a linkin' day 

Anne Timmons, the artist of GoGirl and a friend of the studio, writes: I'll be at the Borders Express at Vancouver Mall, Dec 19, 2004, 12-4 PM in Vancouver, WA. I will be signing for both the first tradepaperback and the new one that came out in September, "The Time Team."

I guess we've all wondered about this one.The Portland Mercury asks former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach which comic book characters he'd want to have a threeway with.

Alison Bechdel has drawn a strip about attending an Art Spiegelman speech.
It's here, in pdf form.

Here's a Wonder Woman sketch from Adventures of Superman artist Matthew Clark- part of his next convention sketchbook. Click on the thumbnail for a bigger view.

And Clumsy creator Jeffery Brown will be signing at Countermedia on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 6.30 p.m. The Portland Tribune has the details.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

VAMPI Black and White and Read All Over 

Still some time to order VAMPIRELLA: THE BLACK AND WHITE COLLECTION #1 from Harris Comics. You'll want this because it features the story "The Killing Floor" by Steve Lieber, and "Hate Mail" by Jeff Parker. Cover by Parker. Other excellent talents inside too, but they're not in Mercury so we can't remember them right now. Place that order before you go over the river, through woods, etc.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Tuesday at the Newark Public Library. 

Hey, it's almost Thanksgiving. That means it's almost time for Mid-Ohio Con. Stop by and ask me how I almost lost my pants at this show.

The good people at Moonstone books have a page up promoting the first issue of
Wyatt Earp, The cover, covered in a blanket of lunatic cross-hatching, is my fault, and it will be colored by Big Ugly Parker.

One of my favorite cartoonists, mini-comics genius Sean Bieri, has a strip in this week's Detroit Metro Times.Mrree-oww!

Steve Higgins, in his Advocating Comics column, asks Paul Hornschemeier, Jeffrey Brown, Mark Ricketts, Tom Beland, and me this question:"What do you think you can do as an artist and I can do as a fan to help comics reach a wider audience?"
Our answers are here.

The irreplaceable Kip Manley discusses "The Incredibles"

And here, at Newsarama, we have an interview about the latest issue of Drew Johnson's Wonder Woman that somehow fails to mention Drew. Attention interviewers (and interviewees) : Remember that these things don't draw themselves. Read here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

We Bay 

Our boys are sellin' like Carnegie Mellon (which means they've been uploadin' like Charles Grodin). Parker's got a color Batgirl up on eBay, and Drew Johnson is selling one of his original pages from Wonder Woman. Go get in on some of that Free Market action, and make some bidders sweat.

--Steve Lieber, somewhere in Ohio. Yes, that state.--

Face It, Tiger 

First off: I'm a doof. Paul Guinan finally answered pleas from Lieber and me to start posting news here, and I immediately destroyed his first post. Don't ask. Especially bad since he was putting up nice pictures of my first day in the studio, and a new cool current roster picture of Mercury Studio, though with not as much Karl Kesel as we'd like. Terry Dodson too, for that matter. The coolest part is that Paul took the picture and then photoshopped himself in later. Pretty good, huh?

Next: Lieber drew a girl on a tiger.

This is a cover for a chapbook coming out from Small Beer Press, publishers of Steve's recent collaborater, noted sci-fi author Sean Stewart. For those of you coming over here to try and figure out if Steve has some beef with Devin Grayson, don't try to read anything into it. It's just a lady and a tiger.

All I have to add personally is a little report on my weekend at the Vancouver Comicon. It's an excellent show that boasts an excellent urinal, go take it in.

--posted by Minister of Information Parker--

Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Devin Grayson interview 

Over at Comicgate, a German comics site, there's an interesting Devin Grayson interview, in which she turns the tables and offers a slate of questions she'd like to ask men in the industry regarding "men in comics."

Well, okay.

Do you find it difficult to write female characters convincingly?

Oh, Christ. I find it difficult to write anyone convincingly. Men, women, housepets, insects that do nothing but move towards light or moisture. I've tossed out autobiographical scripts because I couldn't make myself believable.

Do you ever worry that you’re alienating a female audience, or spend any time thinking about how to attract them? Do you feel any responsibility to do this? Do you think your female colleagues should (feel responsible for attracting female readership)?

Never, and never. I think the women I draw are absolutely real, and appealing to anyone who prefers recognizable people to supermodel glamour. It might have even hurt my career in this market, where glamour is, let's face it, a big selling point.

I don't think any creator should feel responsible for attracting any particular demographic. A creator's job is telling a story as well as it can be told.

Do you think men and women have different interests when it comes to reading?

Speaking very generally, yes, particularly when it comes to button-pushing genre material at the far fringes of literature. But a good story that transcends the formulaic will appeal to anyone.

When you’re creating a female character, do you put any special thought in to it? Maybe ask a female friend for input or write specific directions to the artist regarding her physical appearance and presentation or internal life and psychological profile?

I like to think I put special thought into any character I create. I've only written for my own illustration, so I've never had to put special instructions into my scripts, but I often consult with my wife (and occasional collaborator) Sara Ryan about women's clothing, and when she's the writer, I'm eager for any insights into the characters' internal states.

Do you feel any sense of responsibility for creating realistic, heroic female characters that aren’t primarily defined by their relationship with a male hero or villain? Do you think your female colleagues should (feel responsible for creating these type of characters)?

The heroic part rarely applies, but I think my responsibility is telling compelling stories, and that means the people I'm writing about need to be more than stage dressing. Far more often than not, of course, I'm just illustrating someone else's story. If the script isn't what it ought to be, it's my job to use the tools I have at my disposal- staging, gesture, visual subtext- to nudge things in a better direction.

Would you let your thirteen-year-old son read your work? Your thirteen-year-old daughter? What do you think he would get out of the experience? How about her?

This is a hypothetical offspring, but sure. I think he or she would get to read some decent fiction, and non-fiction, and some weird-ass superhero stories that don't make any sense because they were part of forgotten cross-over events or continuity patch-ups.

How do you feel about competing with females for assignments? Is it difficult having to defend your position as a male in an industry already glutted with them?

Never gave it any thought. On my first mainstream job, I was brought in to replace Jan Duursema, who was leaving Hawkman for an X-book. I got my start because a female artist moved up the ladder.

Do you think people in your industry treat you differently because you’re a man?

Nope. They treat me differently because I'm an awkward, stuttering mouth-breather working in a style that's state-of-the-art for 1955.

How would you feel about conducting an interview that focused exclusively on your gender, with no discussion about your work or your writing process? How would you feel if the majority of your interviews and publicity took this slant?

Irritated. I'd probably wind up creating a fictional interviewer, writing my own interviews and hype, and putting them on the web myself.

Many people assume that women are naturally more interested in and better at all the dialoging and character differentiation that go along with human interaction. Do you feel at a disadvantage as a writer since you may not have as much insight into relationship dynamics as your female colleagues? How do you compensate for that?

I do think I'm at a disadvantage for this, but it's got less to do with my gender than my problems functioning in normal human society. I compensate by crumpling up paper and starting over, and over, and over.

Who are you dating? Why do you think your female colleagues always get asked this question?

I'm dating my wife of seven years, Sara Ryan.

Why do my female colleagues always get asked this question? Hard to say. Maybe because to hardcore geeks, the very notion of a woman who knows from superheroes is stunning. The idea that there's a woman, an attractive woman, out there who might somehow appreciate them for their obsessions- it sets their brains on fire. I think they see such a woman as being a prize the industry bestows, like an Eisner Award, or a special insert in an issue of Wizard.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Saturday night linkblogging 

I missed this somehow: Fourth Rail recently posted a review of Family Reunion, a mini comic written by Sean Stewart and drawn by me. YAnd now, thanks to the magic of "jpegs," you can read it online for free. It's all here. (For you print junkies, you can buy a hard copy there, too. I think they're asking cost one dollar, so check under the couch cushions and see if you can afford it.)

Speaking of Sean, he just wrapped up something that got a lot of attention. You can read more about it here.

Via Boing Boing I saw this review of a debut graphic novel from an Indian cartoonist named Sarnath Banerjee. Sounds worth a look.

Drew gets respect: From a review of "Down to Earth" in Booklist Magazine, October 15, 2004:
"...penciler Drew Johnson's portrayal captures the superheroine's grace
and divinity within smooth and appealing narrative drawing."

"Together, Purvis and Ottaviani's portrait of Bohr reveals a deeply principled, humble man who could be as playful (using spinning tops and ping pong balls for inspiration) as he could be serious minded."
This is exciting: Time.com reviews Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis'sSuspended in Language.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

"the book looks so pro, it’s hard to believe there wasn’t a grant involved." 

Enter The Interman, the next evolution in international espionage. By adding an element of science fiction to this most classic storytelling device, creator Jeff Parker is both advancing the genre and returning it to its beloved roots.
Sarah Young at Exclaim Magazine interviews Jeff Parker and reviews The Interman.

Others may have capitulated, but The Batman still thinks the election numbers don't add up.

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