Bilal is a legendary sci-fi and fantasy artist. He has an uncanny ability to evoke a vast world of suspense and mystery. His villains are utterly macabre. His women are utlra-cool sexy. For his contribution to the NBM ComicsLit Louvre collection, Bilal provides us with twenty-two ghost stories in his graphic novel, “Phantoms of the Louvre.” He focuses on a particular work in the Louvre, photographs it, and then works his magic with acrylic, pastel, and prose. For example, we have the story of Marpada who, it would not be a stretch to say brings to mind Wonder Woman. If you ever wondered what a Bilal Wonder Woman would be like, this has got to be it. Note to DC Comics: Entice Bilal to do a Wonder Woman story!
Tag Archives: comics
“The Fade Out” is the new noir series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It opens up with a recollection of the “phantom planes” over Los Angeles, the Japanese bombers imagined but never actually in the air, following Pearl Harbor. Hearing them up above became a nervous habit hard to break. And so the world of Charlie Parish, a schemer and a screenwriter in Hollywood, seems to be just one big bad habit.
The Reign of Terror is brought into focus in an unsettling and quite captivating way in “The Sky Over the Louvre,” our third book this week to consider in the NBM ComicsLit collection of Louvre-inpired books. Bernar Yslaire and Jean-Claude Carriere have created a most ambitious book here. The fight for liberty and justice championed by the Jacobins against the aristocracy was threatened by instability. Leave it to one mad zealot, Maximilien Robespierre, to pave the way to slaughter. This graphic novel provides great insight by balancing a story following the broad sweep of events along with intimate portraits.
This week we will consider NBM ComicsLit’s collection of comics with a Louvre-inspired theme. We begin with the book that kicked it all off back in 2007, Nicolas De Crécy’s refreshingly cool look at art, “Glacial Period.” It was such a wonderfully odd duck of a book that the paperback promptly sold out and had been hard to find until now. Just released, “Glacial Period” finds a new home in a bigger hardcover edition. This little gem spurred The Louvre museum to become involved in a co-edition of a series of graphic novels, each a vision by a different artist of the great museum.
“The Shadow Hero” revels in Chinese culture and so much more, addressing universal issues like the dynamics of family. In the case of this fabulous story, we have a most fabulous mother who leads the way. When Hua, middle-aged and disillusioned, finds herself rescued by an actual fly-thru-the-air superhero, she finds a new lease on life. And that lease depends upon her turning her teenaged son, Hank, into a superhero if it’s the last thing she ever does. This is how Gene Yang’s new graphic novel, “The Shadow Hero,” opens up. For this story, Yang writes and hands over the drawing to Sonny Liew.
Paul Tobin is a comic book writer who is known for his work with Marvel Comics, among a full roster of other works. With Dark Horse Comics, Tobin has worked, with his wife, Colleen Coover, on BANDETTE; with Joe Querio on THE WITCHER; and with Juan Ferreyra on COLDER as welll as PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE. For this interview, we focus on the writing in The Witcher and chat a bit about the Aliens Predator Prometheus crossover event.
Based on the popular book series of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is an action role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt RED and published by Atari, Inc. Selling millions of copies, the short stories by Sapkowski feature a fantasy world inspired by Polish folklore with supernatural themes. The next game release is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, set for February 24, 2015, and it will make the perfect companion to the trade paperback release of The Witcher graphic novel.
Look for the trade paperback of The Witcher Volume 1 to come out on September 24, 2014. For more details, visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.
As Tobin explains, he breaks everything down by panel while making sure not to crowd the artist. Panel by panel breakdown is essential in many ways, not to mention continuity. We take a close look at some panels that set up an important plot point: the introduction of the character, Marta, hovering in the distance, who Jakob is inextricably linked to.
And we talk about Tobin’s Prometheus: Fire and Stone. It was Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie’s brilliant idea to bring together all the writers on the crossover event. While each writer had a separate stand-alone book to work on, getting together allowed them to share ideas and actually make each other’s work better.
Tobin acknowledged that he’s a very private writer but he loved this format with ideas flowing back and forth in a supportive environment. It will make reading all the books that much smoother. This blockbuster crossover event begins with Tobin’s Prometheus: Fire and Stone.
Look for the first issue of Prometheus: Fire and Stone out on September 10, 2014. For more details, visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.
Randy Stradley talks here a bit about Dark Horse Comics. He partnered with Mike Richardson to create Dark Horse and has led the way in its development. Stradley shares some thoughts on the first time Dark Horse made an appearance at Comic-Con. It was pretty humble way back then.
Looking forward, Stradley pointed to twelve new creator-owned properties that had just been announced. Among new Dark Horse projects to look forward to is Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club 2,” a big step beyond his 1996 novel, full of supernatural spookiness, set for a 10-issue run debuting May, 2015. Brian Truitt, at USA Today, provides an insightful interview with Palahniuk about this new project right here.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find at Dark Horse. For more information, visit Dark Horse Comics here. Some of the news you can find, like Dark Horse taking home five Eisner Awards this year, follows:
Lucy Knisley is a wonderfully observant cartoonist. There wasn’t anything quite like her comics journal, “French Milk,” when it was first published in 2007, and it has grown in stature ever since. It’s a fun read, first of all. It’s also a gentle push forward in what the comics medium is capable of. Knisley has created a number of other works with that same personal quality. Her more recent notable work is “Relish,” published by First Second in 2013. In this work, the narrative is tighter and the drawing more refined in keeping with the book’s structured theme. For this interview, there is some comparison of these two works and some thoughts on what lies ahead for comics.
We begin with thoughts on M.F. Fisher, a master at storytelling that made a fine mix of memoir and writing on food. Fisher’s first published book was “Serve it Forth,” in 1937. And, like the title implies, the pages within contain words that express an uncanny zest for life, and food. Nowadays, it seems like we’re all foodies. But only a few can claim to be standard-bearers to Fisher to any degree. I started thinking about that in terms of what Knisley is doing and that is where our conversation takes off.
Becky Cloonan’s artwork is one of the most distinctive, energetic, and pleasing styles in comics. We chat here a bit about process. As a cartoonist myself, I appreciate the “controlled chaos” of laying down lines of ink on paper. For a casual reader, that means an expressive line with the marks hitting where you want them to hit. This fluidity only comes with practice. As a top professional, Cloonan can modulate that line as needed.
For some comparison, in “The Mire,” a work that Cloonan both wrote and drew, she turns up the volume a bit on her brush work. Another great artist who loves to play with process is Paul Pope. There are so many to name. And they all have tons of fans who appreciate that playful linework. If you’re new to comics, you will instinctively know what I mean. For her art in “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” published by Dark Horse Comics, she provides a line that, as we say in comics, is more “clean.” There are flourishes too and an overall boldness. Cloonan goes on to offer that the clean line here serves the narrative as we navigate through various characters.
From the back of the newly released trade paperback to Killjoys:
Written by Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) and newcomer Shaun Simon and beautifully rendered by award-winning artist Becky Cloonan (Demo, Conana the Barbarian), The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys foretells a not-too-distant future where fear reigns and freedom fails.
You can find more details by visiting our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.
As part of a full roster of exciting events from comiXology, you can expect the Game of Thrones scribe himself, George R.R. Martin. Yep, Booth #2547 is the place to be.
On Sunday at 12:30pm, author George R.R. Martin and artist Mike S. Miller will be making a special appearance at the comiXology booth to promote and sign copies of The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel and The Sworn Sword: The Graphic Novel published by Jet City Comics. There will be 200 copies of The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel available for free, first-come, first-serve. Signing will be limited to these two titles.
ComiXology will be in full swing at Comic-Con International giving away $5 Amazon Appstore credits toward comiXology content, moderating 8 news-making panels, providing free limited edition art card signings at their booth all during the con, and, yes, hosting an appearance by author George R.R. Martin! More information, including full signing and panel details, follow. Judging by the line-up of talent and speakers, you really could make this a ComiXology Comic-Con.