Jenny Everywhere & Other Madness
I know youâ€™re saying to yourself, â€œHow can I get my hands on some more of The Wegâ€™s work, without waiting another 3 weeks for Robo #2? And can I get it for free?â€
The answers, Brothers and Sisters, is yes. Yes you can!
Lets take a trip in the Way-Back machine to the heady days of July 2006, a mere 5 weeks after leaving my day job, and 5 weeks before starting Atomic Robo #1. One of the totally random freelance gigs I had set up was with a fellow named Jason Frank, aka Eli Ford, aka Stanley Kubrick the younger. I had no idea then that this cat would turn out to be one of my most favorite people in the world.
Jason eventually turned out to be my original Booth Bear and was later joined by Whitey Black. These two are like the retarded Wonder Twins of conventions. Itâ€™s a riot to see them at work.
Enjoy Jenny Everywhere, and pass the work to a friend. Its some pretty old artwork and so I of course hate it. But the books is funny, the cover is amazing, and the lettering top-notch.
Itâ€™s official. Atomic Robo #1 has sold out! And not just sold out in terms of out warehouse being empty. I mean that I keep hearing from stores that they are totally out and customers want more. Weâ€™ve decided to use a really popular Robo poster as the cover for the second printing. You can take a look at it here.
Oh, if anyone from New England Comics reads this (especially Ben) I owe you guys a few bucks! I wasn’t thinking and charged you cover price for the issues you bought at the Boston ComiCon last week. Someone should drop me an e-mail. Oh, and whatâ€™s this Certificate of Authenticity I keep hearing about . . .?
Nick Budd over at Comic Pants really gets what Robo is all about. I mean, lots of reviewer’s like Robo, but Nick reviews the book like we handed him a script.
Lots of people have asked why in Godâ€™s name have we chosen to include Nikola Tesla as a key figure in the world of Atomic Robo. If you get a chance to read the article on the other side of that link, youâ€™ll start to get some idea. The more I learn about this mad visionary the more I wish I could travel back through time and help him make a few more of his insane projects reality. I do occasionally hear that Tesla is over-used in comics these days. After all wasnâ€™t he in The 5 Fists of Science, and . . . The 5 Fists of Science? I say we need more Tesla. The man thought of the internet 100 years ago fer cryinâ€™ out loud!
Speaking of Robo and Dr. Tesla, Jesse Schendeen over at IGN gave Robo #1 an 8.4 out of 10. Here’s what Jesse had to say:
“Sometimes when trying to convey a new series to unfamiliar readers its best to use a few well-thought comparisons. Red 5 isn’t exactly an Image or Oni-scale publisher, so it’s quite possible Atomic Robo has flown under your radar. That’s a shame. I’m usually a little wary of any indie comic that sticks to any sort of superhero motif. We get enough of that from the Big Two, after all. Atomic Robo has a bit of the old superhero trappings, but (cue the insightful comparison) it’s really more of an odd combination of Hellboy, Madman, and Forrest Gump. Yes, that sounds a bit odd, but read on.
This series continues the trend of working famed inventor Nikola Tesla into fictional stories. First it was the novel/movie The Prestige, then it was Matt Fraction’s Five Fists of Science, and now Atomic Robo. Though he doesn’t actually appear in the issue, Tesla is responsible for the creation of the title character, an intelligent and slightly sarcastic android. Robo’s first mission takes him to the Himalayas, where a secretive group of Nazi scientists are playing around with the occult. Now do you see where the Hellboy comparison comes from? As for Madman, that series is invoked in Atomic Robo’s lighthearted tone. Like Frank Einstein, Robo is an off-kilter and unlikely hero whose adventures carry an aura of innocence even as he confronts some twisted individuals. Scott Wegener’s art reinforces the light tone. His style actually resembles Michael Avon Oeming’s (who happens to illustrate the cover), but a bit more loose and cartoonish.
So far I haven’t had anything bad to say about Atomic Robo #1. Granted, it did make for a unexpectedly satisfying read, but it does have one fairly major problem at this early stage. I mentioned a comparison to Forrest Gump, but in truth I’m forced to take writer Brian Clevinger’s word on that. The intro page paints a pretty picture of Atomic Robo acting as a major catalyst for various 20th Century events, not unlike Mr. Gump. Unfortunately, Himalayan Nazis don’t quite fit that bill. And where’s my Tesla? I really hope that Clevinger and Wegener can increase the scope and live up to what is admittedly a terrific concept. Even in its present form, Atomic Robo is a breath of fresh air in a crowded indie market.”
So I guess if we’d had an infinite number of pages to crap Robo’s entire life story into issue 1 we would have rated a 10 out of 10? Geez . . .:D
So I’m sure you guys are hoping that this week I might talk about something I may or may not be doing for a large publisher of comic books. Well I’m afraid you’ll have to wallow in your disappointment. Just like Mary. But if you read between her lines . . .
In other news; I cut my afro off.
I am still gonna put some beads in my chin-beard though. ;P
And we got a new cat. Her name is Cupcake. We did not name her. In fact, we came up with a list of totally mind-blowingly amazing new cat names to impose upon her. But y’know what? She *is* a Cupcake. Its totally appropriate. So I guess it stays. She’s two years old, and completely freaked out by her new home. It probably still reeks of Maceo to her. CrossTown seems torn between wanting to be petted a lot and being absolutely wigged out. She did this crazy little Fainting Goat thing in the kitchen yesterday when she almost relaxed, but then realized that her instincts had other plans. Snapping a decent picture of her has been a challenge.
For most of the first day she just hid in the downstairs bathtub (which we use as a storage closet). I was pretty nervous that the 80lb suitcase full of Robo stuff would slide over and crush her.
Hey, guess what I hate!
I hate pretentious art school fuck-faces who have no real ideas of their own, but like to regurgitate the tired old bullshit they picked up from professors and peers in college. So I wasted more time than I care to admit responding to some comments made by one of these arrogant, vapid douches on some stupid blog/message board and Iâ€™m still pissed off enough to be writing about it now. You guys should all acquaint yourselves with the polished lines of Nic Klein. But if one of you is crazy enough to tell me â€œHeâ€™s clearly copying Ashley Woodâ€ I will reach through the internet and smack you.
They certainly come from a similar school of art, and no doubt share several common influences. But so what? To my eyes, Nicâ€™s work is clearly his own, and not a â€œcopyâ€ of someone else.
The reason I get all riled up when someone claims that one artist is ripping off another is because 95% of the time thatâ€™s utter bullshit. Yes of course, we see something we like, we try to integrate it into our work. But once you do that, you make it your own. Art is a big old Stone Soup with everyone throwing in whatever theyâ€™ve got, and everyone taking a taste. There are some artists out there who just ape other folks work. That is pretty annoying. But mostly its not. Mostly itâ€™s a relay race with one person taking an idea as far as they can go and then another picking up the baton and running with it when they see an alternate possibility.
So officially to all you overly-critical, uptight, pretentious, assbags â€“please feel free to fuck off.
THE BOOK REPORT
Oh Christ, not another jerk with a blog reviewing comics . . .
Relax, this might be fun. And it wonâ€™t be a regular thing. But I find a lot of really great, not-so mainstream comics to read and it seems like no one else it reading them. So Iâ€™m gonna tell you about them and maybe youâ€™ll check them out.
While Iâ€™m sure that there are plenty of middle aged virgins out there who still give a crap what the Green Lantern Corps are up to, you probably wonâ€™t find any of that in here. Unless itâ€™s a really kick ass GLC story. Or I am hired to illustrate it. In which case its the best fucking book since comics were invented in my opinion. And in which case you will find it in here.
For example; Iron Man (which I am not drawing, but would love to). Awesome character. Havenâ€™t felt inspired to read the book in 20 years. But â€“IRON MAN, ENTER: THE MANDARIN? Oh shit, serve me up a slice of that retro-funk pie! Based on Tales of Suspense #50-#55 Casey and Canete, (supported by Stewartâ€™s beautiful colors and the faceless minions at Comicraft), dish it up hot and fresh as an old skool Iron Man meets his future nemesis â€“some lamoid Chinese dude with a bunch of magic rings!! Woo-hoo!! Despite the fact that The Mandarin sucks eggs, Casey and Canete somehow make him really, really cool. Caneteâ€™s art is gorgeous and just perfect for this title.
This book is a fine example of what happens when Marvel and DC step outside the monthly soap-opera of most superhero comics and does a solid, well constructed story (with a beginning, middle, and end). Suddenly these fantastic heroes become interesting again, and their stories compelling. Good on yaâ€™ Marvel! (PS: I think the book is up to #4 of 6 right now.)
The other book I want to mention this week is Scarlet Traces. Holy Wow! For starters, Dâ€™Israeliâ€™s art work is so perfect for this story its as if he were born for no other purpose but to illustrate Scarlet Traces. On top of that, Edginton crafts a wonderful steampunk murder-mystery set against the backdrop of the British Empire post-Martian Invasion.
As in H.G. Wells, War of The World, Martian Invasion.
I actually bought this book by accident, thinking it was the trade paperback version of Scarlet Traced: The Great Game, which is an even more awesome follow up to plain old Scarlet Traces. And if you enjoy both of those, why not go back and read Edginton and Dâ€™Israeliâ€™s take on the Great Manâ€™s War of The Worlds? You can pick all three up on the cheap it faux-Victorian hardcover from Amazon.
Okay, thatâ€™s all for today. Catch you hep cats next week!
DM of The Ring. If you are not an RPG nerd, or an LoTR nerd, don’t even bother. You won’t get it.
A nice little tribute to the utter stoopidity of the Interwebs. Wait for the Cheezeburgerz.
So Technoviking . . .
From the amazing minds that brought me (and the rest of the world . . I guess) Psychonauts, comes BRUTAL LEGEND. I can’t wait.
This will all be explained in Atomic Robo Vol 7: Civil War.
For some reason Dorinda won’t let me have GTA in the house . . .
And I married mine.
For you weridsmobile dog lovers.