Press release follows:
If you’re new to the work of cartoonist David Chelsea, then you’ve got to watch, or read, “Are You Being Watched?” and you’ll become an instant fan. Watch, view, and read it here. It all becomes more clear to you now, I would imagine. The lighter than air, seemingly effortless, style and the ever so quirky humor all coming together in a comic that was created in the span of 24 hours. It’s a surreal tale about a guy with a coffee mug for a head who is in love with a rather fickle woman who is obsessed with reality TV. How can poor Mugg attract Mandy? By becoming a reality TV sensation! And that’s a taste of what you’ll find from one of America’s leading cartoonists and illustrators, Mr. David Chelsea.
But not so fast, why 24 hours? That’s a good question. Well, that’s how it’s done in certain cartoonist circles. It goes back to cartoonist Scott McCloud’s challenge to all cartoonists to create a work in the span of 24 hours. And this has led to an official international observance on the first weekend in October known as 24-Hour Comics Day. Of course, you can put on a 24 Hour Comic at any time of the year and some diehard fans do just that. And you’d be hard pressed to find a more diehard fan of this unique activity than David Chelsea.
“Are You Being Watched” was David Chelsea’s 15th 24 Hour Comic, drawn March 2-3, 2013, at Theater For The New City, in New York City. And he’s embarking on his 16th this weekend, May 18-19, at Things From Another World, in Portland, Oregon. This is a man who loves to draw comics and is a professional in every way, well regarded and respected in the industry.
Having a chance to pose some questions to him, I am pleased to report back to all of you that Mr. Chelsea and I arrived at a successful interview via e-mail on Friday, May 17, 2013. The following is our exchange. It should prove most enjoyable and informative. Not only does it get published on the weekend of his latest 24-Hour comics adventure but it also anticipates a wonderful upcoming book published by Dark Horse Comics, “Everybody Gets It Wrong! And Other Stories,” a 152-page hard cover that collects Mr. Chelsea’s first six 24-Hour Comics, available June 5, 2013. Find more details by visiting our friends at Dark Horse Comics here.
Enjoy the interview!
What a fun photo, from Warner Bros. Entertainment, April 26, 2013:
Today Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where visitors can step on to authentic sets and explore behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series. During their visit, The Duke and Duchess raised their wands and duelled against each other in the Gryffindor common room.
“Beautiful Creatures ” available on Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and Digital Download 5/21
“Claim yourself!” is the cry that goes out to all teens in the supernatural romance, “Beautiful Creatures.” Don’t listen to your mother. Don’t listen to the others. Just follow your instincts. It is the best advice that the lead character, Lena Duchannes (played by Alice Englert) could ask for.
What is a supernatural romance without some romance? Well, the chemistry between Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert is utterly unmistakable. It happens naturally, sweetly and quickly. And we have an interesting twist to young adult tales. This one is told with a nod to the boy’s point of view. We begin with an intriguing scene that establishes Ethan Wate (played by Alden Ehrenreich) as not only the young man with big dreams of becoming a writer but with a possible supernatural connection. He has this recurring dream of a mysterious beautiful young woman but strands of her hair keep blocking her face from view. There are hints of the Civil War. A violent death, his own, always ends the dream.
Life in Gatlin, South Carolina will never be the same when, at the start of his junior year in high school, Ethan Wate first meets the new girl in town, Lena Duchannes. For Lena, it is nonstop torment from the other girls who suspect the worst about Lena. They’re convinced that she’s some kind of witch. Everyone in town knows, or thinks they know, about Ravenwood mansion and the strange goings-on surrounded with that place and the reclusive Macon Ravenwood (played by Jeremy Irons) who owns most of the town. No one can understand why his niece would suddenly show up and start going to the local high school. Only Ethan takes the time to be friendly to Lena and it’s not long before he’s smitten. It’s that book she’s reading that triggers the connection: “You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense,” by Charles Bukowski. Ethan asks if it’s any good. Lena asks him to define “good.” Ethan, once he starts in on a copy of his own, concludes that Bukowski is a god.
And what is a supernatural romance without the supernatural? There’s plenty to find here and it creeps up on you. Primarily, it’s all about the characters. Lena is in a major crisis. On her 16th birthday, Lena will learn her true fate. As for her being a witch, that’s yes and no. As she corrects Ethan, the preferred term is “caster.” If Ethan was ignorant to the supernatural before, he quickly picks up on it. There is no end to what people in his life can teach him: Amma, (played by Viola Davis) who has raised him; Mrs. Lincoln, (played by Emma Thompson) who is determined to control him; and Ridley Duchannes, (played by Emmy Rossum) who is determined to destroy him. Only Macon Ravenwood means the boy well by keeping him as far away from Lena as possible. It’s up to Ethan and Lena to find another way.
“Beautiful Creatures” has a texture and authenticity about it that raises it high amongst the rising crop of supernatural young adult movies. It’s as if it is working in its own world on its own terms not concerned with trends. Of course, people pick up on that and they love it. Screenwriter and director Richard LaGravenese (“Water for Elephants,” “P.S. I Love You”) has captured the spirit and essential details of the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The stage is certainly set to move forward with a franchise and bring to the screen the rest of the series. That can surely happen. There’s such a sturdy foundation to work from with strong characters and a thrilling story.
“Beautiful Creatures” is available on DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and digital download starting on May 21 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. And keep in mind that the Blu-ray Combo Pack includes 30 minutes of Bonus Features: Book to Screen, The Casters, Between Two Worlds, Forbidden Romance, Alternate Worlds, Beautiful Creatures: Designing the Costumes, ICONS by Margaret Stohl (Book Trailer), Deleted Scenes, and Theatrical Trailers. The Bonus Features are well worth it as you get some in-depth observations from the cast as well as the director and the authors of the novel. Plus, there is a healthy amount of behind-the-scenes discussion on special effects and costume design. Also, on specially marked Blu-ray discs, DVDs and Digital Downloads, you will find UltraViolet, which allows you to create a digital collection of movies and TV shows on a wide spectrum of devices.
According to Hero Complex, a new Wonder Woman television series remains on track at CW. But could it possibly be as cool as this Wonder Woman art by Michael Allred? I would say probably not.
The “interesting” news so far is who is currently in charge of writing it:
Allan Heinberg (“The O.C.,” “Young Avengers” comics), who wrote the “Amazon” script, is no longer on the project. Aron Eli Coleite (“Heroes,” “Ultimate X-Men” comics) is writing the current draft.
Who is Aron Eli Colieite? Courtesy of Call Me Adam, we get a very nice and polite overview of an impressive mainstream career in television. Nice, sure, very nice:
Emmy Award Nominee Aron Eli Coleite is an author of multiple works for the stage, screen and comic books. His background in theatre includes work as the Literary Manager, Dramaturg and ultimately, Artistic Director of Santa Monica’s Powerhouse Theatre Company. Aron currently serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the new Oren Peli/Steven Spielberg TV series, “The River,” premiering on ABC in 2012. His prior television credits include “Party of Five” and the NBC crime drama “Crossing Jordan.” Most recently, he served as a writer/producer on the hit NBC series “Heroes.” For his work on Heroes, Aron was nominated for an Emmy Award and won a People’s Choice, TV Land, and Saturn Award. He is currently writing a pilot for a new CBS series to be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, a project for the Sci-Fi Network with acclaimed television and theatre producer Bill Haber, and a feature film for 20th Century Fox. Aron is known to comic book fans around the world for his work on Marvel’s Ultimate X-Men and creating the series Vice and The Covenant for Top Cow Comics.
Sounds like that could be good news for some. The only quibble, a big one actually, is that all signs point to this Wonder Woman treading on very safe and familiar ground. Perhaps safe TV is good TV. In many respects, Wonder Woman would seem like something you want to play safe with, not edgy or innovative. The CW network president, Mark Pedowitz, considers Wonder Woman to be “the trickiest of all the DC characters to get right.” There’s really no need to create problems for yourself that don’t need to exist. Consider this: You’re already at a disadvantage if you feel like you’re at a disadvantage.
Okay, first things first. Obviously, you need chemistry, if nothing else. Why is Wonder Woman such a challenge to do right? No one knows what they really want. They will know when they see it, maybe. Writing is acceptable for now, but that’s only half of the battle. The lead is so important that she will, in some yet unforeseen and magical way, determine the writing. We remember Lynda Carter. We don’t remember even one of the half-baked plots from that clunky, yet fun, show.
The fear is another misstep like the David E. Kelley/Andrea Palicki version of Wonder Woman. Not fair but that was the misstep everyone was dreading was going to happen and it was a most glorious misstep, or so everyone has been led to believe. All the deep, and not so deep, pockets are too scared to experiment. At this point, seeking a solid and competent Wonder Woman project sets the bar not too high but in the range of attainable. But is that entertainment?
My best guess is that this latest project will end up being an even bigger fail if left to run its course. Not fair. Sure, we all should just get along and make great work. So, why not go for it? You want to know when you see it working? You really, really want to know? Look closely at the above Wonder Woman art by Mr. Michael Allred. If you could create a show even slightly as cool as that, then you’ve got something. Or, better yet, create a show at that same level of coolness, and then you’re making history.
Doesn’t Wonder Woman deserve an awesome show? You just can’t get so hesitant about it. Think about all the false starts over this and that Wonder Woman project. The hesitancy has gotten to a ridiculous level. Your best bet would be to try something bold and don’t look back.
“The Grove Nymph” is a delightful new comic by an emerging talent, Jecaro, that will especially appeal to fans of fantasy, particularly Wendy and Richard Pini’s “Elfquest.” It’s a nicely spare drawing style with a direct point of view, one action quickly leads to another. In a manner of moments, you go from two beautiful little nymphs in the woods, sisters Mira and Mari, to an assertion from Mira that she’s bored as hell and wants to interact with the world. It’s a big jump going from no concerns, not even a need for clothes, to deciding to take on the world, but this is what Mira wants and so off she goes.
Readers will appreciate the boldness of our main character, Mira, and the rapidly unfolding narrative. Given that this is a fantasy, full of sprites and goblins, of course, you have a certain pace to adhere to. Hobbits, for example, aren’t your most spontaneous of creatures now, are they? Well, so is the case with the pomegranate sprites, these very twee little things, that bumble and fumble about until Mira steps in.
We make good time in this first issue of a three-part story. We find that Mira has found her way and has found herself a purpose. She takes to it like a duck to water. For all its simplicity and gentle quality, this comic proves to be engaging and well worth following to its conclusion.
You can read Issue One of “The Grove Nymph” now at ComiXology.
Dan Dougherty is an accomplished cartoonist and illustrator who can handle anything from humor to horror and, believe it or not, a mashup of the two. His latest project takes a decidedly dramatic and intriguing tone, a tale about a woman with a most disturbing version of the Midas Touch, now available at Beardocomics.com.
In his own words, Dan provides the details:
I’m proud to announce an exciting new project: Touching Evil. It’s the first comic book I’ve fully written since Cyclone Bill and the Tall Tales. It’s also the first time that I’ve had my illustrations colored by a professional. Wesley Wong has done color work for years, most notably on the Marvel Masterworks series. He inked and colored Touching Evil, and has really taken my work to a new level that I couldn’t reach on my own.
So what is Touching Evil? The quick pitch is this: “An unsuspecting single mother stumbles upon an ancient curse. As the bearer of the curse, she can kill anyone simply with the touch of her hand – provided that the person is evil.”
If that piques your interest, that’s only the beginning! For not only does she have the dilemma of being a defense attorney, she is also completely unprepared to carry something so powerful. And power has a funny way of attracting those who want it. And those who want it tend to do whatever it takes to get it.
The first story arc of Touching Evil will be five to six issues in length, and – if it is successful – will be the basis for an ongoing series. As you can imagine, this idea is ripe with possibilities.
But before I get too carried away with it, I need to begin at the beginning. And I’m hoping you’ll join me for the ride. Issue one of Touching Evil is now available on my website, http://www.beardocomics.com/store . It’s only $5 plus shipping, and if you order it, I’ll throw in a copy of issue one of Cyclone Bill and the Tall Tales, which is long since out of print.
If you DO order it, follow the prompts on the order form. Once you see the screen that gives you your order number and says, “Your order has been correctly sent and will be processed as soon as possible,” then just scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the “Buy Now” button that will take you to Paypal. You don’t need a Paypal account to pay, it will take a credit card.
I’ve attached the cover image (done by Stephen Bryant) for issue one to show you the kind of quality that went into this book.
Visit our friends at Beardocomics.com.
‘Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman’ Returns To Science Channel; Premieres Wednesday, June 5 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN has proven to be a hit. And now it’s back. Taking a sneak peek at the Season Four opener, “When Does Life Begin?” we find a thought-provoking collection of stories from various vantage points. The question even includes a discussion on artificial intelligence and “the global brain” that has emerged since the internet. The series is, pardon the pun, “brought to life,” by masterful narration from Morgan Freeman, a variety of colorful backdrops, engaging interviews, graphics, and animation.
The highlight of the season opener, for many, will likely be an interview with evolutionary cyberneticist Francis Heylighen. Heylighen is studying how people fire off information to one another through the internet in similar fashion to how neurons fire back and forth in the brain.
Imagine, he points out, if only Galileo could have communicated with his colleagues as we do today, science would have developed far more quickly. The internet, he concludes, is developing into a collective brain. The study of evolutionary cybernetics dates back to the 1940s. It is a relatively young discipline and a complex one. Thanks to Science Channel, we viewers get a very engaging introduction to it.
Press release and full season description follows:
Press Release For 8 May 2013:
Key titles from creators Sam Henderson, Steve Cerio and Karl Stevens released today!
May 8, 2013 – Cupertino, CA / New York, NY – ComiXology and Alternative Comics announced today that the long-time independent publisher Alternative Comics has entered into an all-new digital distribution agreement with comiXology, the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform available across the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web.
Independent comic fans will be reading Alternative Comics in an all new dynamic way with comiXology’s cinematic Guided View™ technology. iPad with Retina display users will experience every fine detail of indie comics with comiXology’s high definition format dubbed CMX-HD!
To celebrate the announcement, Alternative Comics is releasing five titles on the comiXology platform from independent comic luminaries, including Karl Stevens’s Failure, Steve Cerio’s Pie, Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle series including the Humor Can Be Funny collection and 2012’s twelfth issue of the long running humor comic.
“Alternative Comics has an extensive, hilarious and thought-provoking catalog of work by tremendous independent creators and we’re excited to be able to share these stories worldwide on comiXology,” said comiXology’s co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “Now fans and newcomers alike will be able to get access to these great titles and experience them in a whole new way with our Guided View reading technology.”
“Making Alternative Comics available digitally on comiXology is a big step for us that we are truly excited to take,” said Alternative Comics General Manager Marc Arsenault. “Bringing high-quality independently created comics to a larger readership has always been our mission and having our extensive back list and all of our new books available through comiXology will give a whole new generation of comic fans access to our catalog.”
Here’s a full list of the Alternative Comics titles debuting today across the comiXology platform:
Failure GN by Karl Stevens
Humor Can Be Funny (Magic Whistle) GN by Sam Henderson
Magic Whistle #7 by Sam Henderson
Magic Whistle #12 by Sam Henderson
Pie #1 by Steven Cerio
Future digital releases from Alternative Comics include their first day-and-date release Alternative Comics #4, coming June 26, 2013. The all-ages graphic novel Peanut Butter & Jeremy’s Best Book Ever, by 2012 Eisner Award winning creator James Kochalka (Dragon Puncher, Johnny Boo), is also scheduled to debut digitally this year.
Alternative Comics is an independent comic book publisher with an extensive back catalog of humor, satirical and original creator-owned titles. Jeff Mason ran the company from 1993 until 2008, and it was re-launched in June 2012 by industry veteran Marc Arsenault.
Founded in 2007, comiXology revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology’s Guided View™ reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become one of iTunes’ top 10-grossing iPad apps in 2011 and 2012. Its new comiXology Submit platform enables independent comics creators to efficiently self-publish and immediately profit from their work. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from the top 75 publishers, plus leading and emerging independent creators, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. The privately held company is based in Gotham City. For more information visit ComiXology HERE.
About Alternative Comics
Alternative Comics is an independent publisher of creator-owned graphic novels and comic books based in Cupertino, California. The company was founded by Jeff Mason in Gainesville, Florida in 1993. Alternative Comics’ creators and books have been nominated for and won multiple comics and publishing industry awards. Alternative Comics’ publications are distributed by Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc. and Last Gasp.