Category: News


Grayson 5

It feels as though there’s been a shift in how new talents come to public attention in comics. For a long time creators would break their teeth on some brilliant indie series or put in their time at DC or Marvel before they hit that first story they were born to tell, sometimes both. But in recent days, a sea of new writers have made strong and seemingly immediate impressions on the comics landscape.

Tom King is one of these new voices. Though he’s actually written quite a few comics before and even published an acclaimed novel, King was not necessarily a familiar name when he was announced as the co-writer of DC’s Grayson. Just a little more than a year later, Grayson has become a hit, King’s unique reinvention of the Omega Men has proven popular enough to flat-out reverse a cancelation, and he’s got upcoming series from Marvel and Vertigo.

As if proving yourself beloved, literary, and properly appreciative of Dick Grayson’s butt wasn’t enough, I had the good fortune to meet King at New York Comic Con where I discovered that he’s also not only a huge nerd but an incredibly kind and thoughtful creator.

Voice strained from four days of non-stop comic madness, King still took the time to give us a fantastic interview, covering topics as wide as religion, personal evolution, diversity, and comics history. Continue reading

Right at the beginning, when I started doing interviews for this site, there were a few creators I just knew I had to try to speak to. But I didn’t want to focus too much on Batman and I wanted to make sure I was asking questions that they wanted to answer and that you’d want to hear answered. Long story short, it’s two years later and somehow I still hadn’t talked to James Tynion IV!

It feels like it goes without saying at this point but James Tynion is a core player in the modern comics industry. It’s technically accurate to say that he’s a future superstar, as I suspect he’ll be an essential writer for years to come, but that ignores that he’s already made it, overseeing both of the Batman Eternal weekly series, each one the core of comics’ most profitable brand.

But perhaps what’s most interesting about Tynion is that he’s not just writing a main Batman title, he’s also filling in the corners of DC’s universe and turning out multiple independent books that are wonderfully experimental and real. He manages to give the impression of a seasoned professional and the up-and-coming rebel out for his job. His work at Boom! has been a huge part of their success in establishing themselves as the place for fresh creator-owned comics.

As such, Tynion was rather busy this year at New York Comic Con, but I was able to find a few minutes to talk to him about his plans for The Woods and what we can expect from Batman and Robin Eternal. Continue reading

BrendenFletcherThe funny thing about Black Canary is that, while I consider her one of my favorite DC superheroes, I haven’t read that much featuring her, relatively. Part of that is how good Greg Weisman has been to her in animation, but the bigger issue is that, in the modern age, Black Canary has very rarely had a spotlight. Birds of Prey was an extremely significant series for her, but fans of the character have often had to kind of piece her together from numerous supporting roles. So needless to say, when I heard that DC was finally giving Black Canary a solo series, from one of the writers of the acclaimed ‘Batgirl of Burnside’ no less, I was on board immediately.

As the common thread between two of DC’s biggest new hits, Brenden Fletcher has clearly defined himself as a part of a reformation hitting Big 2 comics. Perhaps nowhere is this clearer than the fact that the DC You relaunch was referred to as the ‘Batgirling’ of DC by numerous sources. Fletcher’s comics have made a name for themselves by being fun, welcoming, and clever without giving up the qualities that have traditionally defined DC’s output.

His position at the forefront of this new wave of DC comics has made Fletcher a popular and sought after figure, though being present, interesting, and charming on numerous DC panels likely hasn’t hurt him any either. I was luckily able to snag a few minutes of his time at SENYC this year to talk about what it’s like being one of DC’s most prolific writers, his strategies for communicating the tone he and his co-writers are looking for, and the future of Black Canary. Unfortunately, in the rush to set up this interview, we never actually got properly introduced, so that’s where we’ll begin…

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Ewing Comics are for EveryoneA veteran of the British comics scene, Al Ewing has kind of conquered America over the last few years. With series like Iron Man: Fatal Frontier, Mighty Avengers, and Loki: Agent of Asgard, Ewing has made his mark on Marvel and distinguished himself through his humor and thoughtful examinations of complex issues like identity, class, and race. Loki, in particular, struck me immediately, and I knew that I had to talk to this writer if the opportunity presented itself. Thankfully it did at C2E2 this year and Mr. Ewing gave some wonderful insight into his views on storytelling, heroism, and plenty more. Continue reading

Cullen Bunn’s name certainly wasn’t foreign to me over the last few years, but I think it was about the time that he launched Fearless Defenders that I really started noticing him; adorable archeological lesbian romances and Dani Moonstar being a badass will do that. I kind of missed the boat with that title but his name stuck with me and when I heard Marvel was giving Magneto his own series, I was definitely intrigued. Magneto #1 got a rare A- from me and hooked me on the series just as Bunn was announced on a new Godzilla series featuring my favorite kaiju, Biollante. Within a month it seemed like Bunn was everywhere.

Mixing a comic writer’s restraint with a novelist’s lyricism, I found Bunn to be a writer who never gives you exactly what you expect. A Magneto series that’s actually a crime comic, a new take on an old horror standby, an all-ages title from the man who wrote Army of Darkness, there’s always an angle. It gives the impression of a man whose mind is always churning and his output certainly supports that. So when it was announced that he would be taking on two DC A-Listers, I knew it was getting past time we gave you nice people a look behind the curtain, after all Magneto is consistently one of our best read reviews.

Mr. Bunn was kind enough to talk with us and to give some intriguing and honest answers about what’s to come for his impressive slate of comics and what elements of a story grab his interest. Continue reading

Empowered Unchained vol 1The creator of Dirty Pair and Livewires, Adam Warren has carved out a space for his manga-inspired art style and biting wit in the modern comics landscape. In the mid-2000s, Warren was approached by a fan who commissioned a series of damsel in distress bondage commissions. Though he was willing to draw the pieces, Warren’s discomfort with the dynamics of the commissions led him to give his damsel a little bit of pluck and a few years later Empowered vol. 1 hit the shelves.

Though the shrink-wrap around the book and the similarly clingy costume of its heroine have likely convinced more than a few comic store patrons that they’re looking at porn, Empowered is one of the most thoughtful and funny examinations of the superhero genre I know. Described by Warren as a “sexy superhero comedy”, the series follows Elissa Megan Powers, a low ranking member of the Super-Homeys, whose incredible powers depend on her dangerously fragile supersuit, and even more fragile self-esteem, staying intact. The series has spanned eight graphic novel volumes and a half-dozen one-shot stories.

I was very excited to meet Mr. Warren at Emerald City Comic Con and especially with the release of Empowered Unchained and the announcement of Empowered vol. 9‘s release date, it seemed like a perfect time to shine some light on one of my favorite superhero gems. Continue reading

Already well respected for his nearly Quixotic attempts to bring sanity to the Transformers movie continuity, John Barber’s tenure over IDW’s mainline Transformers comics has been viewed as something of a renaissance period for the brand.

Besides writing a tense sci-fi political thriller in the form of Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Barber has also served as the editor of the award-winning Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye as well as the Transformers: Windblade mini-series. Since then he’s added even more to his plate by writing Angry Birds Transformers and co-writing the latest Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series.

As the man behind one of my favorite shared universes in comics, I’ve been eager to meet Mr. Barber for some time. Little did I know how deep we’d get into the current Transformers line-up.

Mr. Barber was incredibly gracious with his time and considerable knowledge so please enjoy and, if so inclined, check out the newly renamed The Transformers #35, on sale today! Continue reading

If you’ve been following my reviews on weeklycomicbookreview.com, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of a little series called C.O.W.L. A heady superhero period piece, C.O.W.L. follows the Chicago Organized Worker’s League, America’s first superhero union. It’s a great concept, but more importantly, it’s backed up by the fantastic world-building of writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel.

I actually brought the idea of doing an interview to Higgins in April, but every month I put C.O.W.L. down and thought, “I need to know more.” I’m glad I waited. After last month’s gut-wrenching conclusion to the first arc, there isn’t a better time to jump onto the book or to be asking questions about what comes next and what drives the characters.

It also helps that Higgins is also writing one of my favorite comics out of DC, Batman Beyond Universe.

Whether in the past or the future, Higgins consistently churns out interesting, thoughtful superhero stories and I was extremely grateful that he found time to sit down with me at this year’s busy New York Comic Con to talk about some of the ideas he’s bringing to the table. Continue reading

Where do you get your ideas

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m kind of fond of Godzilla. The big guy has been a part of my life for a very long time and so, when I heard there was a sixtieth anniversary panel at New York Comic Con, I rushed to the back of the line.

Unfortunately, the king of the monsters didn’t receive a kaiju-sized room and I found the panel woefully overfull. It was the first of a number of instances where the limitations of the Javitz Center became apparent this year, but, while I would have loved to talk Godzilla with all of you, it turned out to be quite a fortunate bit of bad luck.

Dashing back to the room I’d just given up a spot in, I managed to find a great seat for one of the more interesting panels of my 2014 Comic Con experience: So Where Do You Get Your Ideas? And What Do You Do With Them? Continue reading

Women of DC Entertainment

New York Comic Con was, to my knowledge, a vastly improved convention in regards to its treatment of women. The addition of an explicit non-harassment policy, the presence of Geek Girl HQ, frequent reminders about consent, and a general tone of increased sensitivity showed that the convention was making an active effort. Nonetheless, comics remain an undeniably unfriendly field for female fans and creators alike and likely will until the companies themselves make gender equality the industry norm.

In a promising step, NYCC 2014 marked the first convention where DC and Marvel both held panels focused on the role of women in comics. DC was first, assembling a table of talented writers and artists.

“This is our world,” said moderator Amanda Salmons. Salmons, the owner of Muse Comics and Games, said that the women in comics panels always held tremendous potential in her eyes, but tended to encourage panelists to put words in others’ mouths and focus purely on the negative. Instead she opted to give fans a chance to hear from female creators, the way they always have from men in the industry.

The panel was composed of Shelly Bond, executive editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint; Caitlin Kittredge, novelist and writer of Vertigo’s Coffin Hill; Batgirl of Burnside artist, Babs Tarr; Meredith Finch, the soon-to-be writer of Wonder Woman; co-writer of Gotham Academy, Becky Cloonan; feminist icon and writer of the upcoming Secret Six series, Gail Simone; Marguerite Bennett, writer for DC’s Earth-2 and Earth-2: World’s End; Harley Quinn co-writer, Amanda Conner; and Bobbi Chase, DC’s editorial director. Continue reading