Since co-founding Black Mask Studios with 30 Days Of Night writer Steve Niles and Epitaph Records owner (and legendary punk musician) Brett Gurewitz in 2012, Matt Pizzolo has established the company as a home for all manner of genre-busting, boundary-pushing comic books – their initial slate included the all-star Occupy Comics project, Darick Robertson and Adam Mortimer's hyper-violent sci-fi series Ballistic, Matt Miner's animal-liberation vigilante yarn Liberator, and Matthew Rosenberg and Ghostface Killah's 12 Reasons To Die.
Black Mask is now in the process of launching their second wave of titles, and first out the gate is Pizzolo's return to the role of comic creator, collaborating with artist Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk on a new incarnation of his dystopian multi-media Godkiller project. Upon its release last month, Godkiller: Walk Among Us #1 became Black Mask's first ever title to go to a second-printing, and with #2 hitting comic shop shelves this week, we sat down to talk to Pizzolo about the inspirations for the series, his collaborative process, and his vision for Black Mask as a creative and commercial endeavor.
Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag, creators of the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist, are passion incarnate. They love their readers. They are ecstatic that Top Shelf has decided to distribute the successfully-Kickstarted first print volume of SFP. They are exasperated by the state of women in comics today. And they’re out to do something about it.
Through Alison Green, the eponymous strong female protagonist, Mulligan and Ostertag explore a world of stark imbalance—a world where our heroine, once a superhero, is now a disillusioned college student searching for truth in a complex world. Do powers make the woman? Does strength only come in one form?
ComicsAlliance sat down with Mulligan and Ostertag to discuss these questions, memories of LARP camp, making sure each and every henchman gets a backstory, and more.
Writer/artist Ben Hatke caught the attention of readers with his Zita The Spacegirl series, a trio of YA graphic novels from First Second that tell the story of an average earth girl who tries to save her best friend from an alien invasion -- and in the process becomes a spacefaring superhero. His latest project, Julia's House For Lost Creatures, is a picture book featuring a strange young girl who opens her home to goblins, faeries, mermaids, and all manner of fantastical monsters. ComicsAlliance sat down with him to discuss his approach to storytelling, and his upcoming projects.
With this month’s Adventure Time #36, the award-winning run from Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb comes to a close, making way for the new creative team of Christopher Hastings and Zachary Sterling. It’s an interesting and exciting piece of news, especially for fans who know Hastings from his work on the long-running Adventures of Dr. McNinja webcomic, but after three years, North, Paroline and Lamb’s run is worth looking back on as one of the best comics — not one of the best licensed books or one of the best kids comics, one of the best comics — of the past few years.
Today, we conclude our two-part interview with Hastings and North by looking forward to what Hastings plans to do in his run on the title, why the wackier aspects of the show have to be held together with an emotional core, and the character than North "fake killed off" for his three-year run.
With this month's Adventure Time #36, the award-winning run from Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb comes to a close, making way for the new creative team of Christopher Hastings and Zachary Sterling. It's an interesting and exciting piece of news, especially for fans who know Hastings from his work on the long-running Adventures of Dr. McNinja webcomic, but after three years, North, Paroline and Lamb's run is worth looking back on as one of the best comics -- not one of the best licensed books or one of the best kids comics, one of the best comics -- of the past few years.
To that end, I spoke to both North and Hastings for a combined exit and entrance interview. Today, the two writers look back on North's run, including the incredible "Choose Your Own Adventure Time" issue and Marceline's knowledge of computer hacking.
Earlier this month, Ghostface Killah announced the release of 36 Seasons, an ambitious new album on Salvation/Tommy Boy Records which is accompanied by an exclusive 20-page comic booklet that features work by top-tier artists. The disc's storyline and packaging are the brainchild of Matthew Rosenberg, a comic creator who worked with Ghostface on last year's 12 Reasons To Die limited series from Black Mask Studios. We recently got a few minutes to speak with Rosenberg about his work on the record, the artists he sought to contribute, and his experience straddling the line between the music and comic industries – and we're excited to premiere a trio of illustrations from the project by Michael Walsh, Palle Schmidt, and Chris Pyrate, as well as showcasing some roughs and behind-the scenes material.
In this second and final part of our in-depth interview, Simone talks about her initial concerns about working on Red Sonja at Dynamite, her relaunch of Secret Six, her passionate fan base and her "secret" comics agenda.
Jen Wang first came to the notice of many comics fans with her incredibly assured 2010 debut, Koko Be Good, a grounded but beautiful tale of young adulthood set in contemporary San Francisco. Her follow-up, In Real Life, presents a younger protagonist and a more fantastical setting -- albeit one that's meant to be an escape from "real life," and proves to be an extension of it.
Based on Cory Doctorow's short story Anda's Game, In Real Life is the story of a young woman who learns about the world and herself through her interactions in the massive multiplayer online game Coarsegold Online. It's a story that showcases Wang's gift for emotional reality, and also to create the lavish fantasy of the game world. The result is one of the most resonant and compelling books of 2014. After speaking to Doctorow at New York Comic-Con, ComicsAlliance talked to Wang to learn what this story means to her.
Gail Simone, longtime comic book writer for DC Comics (and snarky Twitterer), is in the midst of a career evolution at the moment. Simone's comics work started with the Women in Refrigerators website, which was a commentary on how female characters are all-too-often mistreated in comics (named after the 1990s story in which Green Lantern Kyle Rayner discovers his girlfriend's body stuffed in his refrigerator). WIR became an important part of the discussion of how female characters are treated in superhero comics - a discussion that continues today. Simone's work on WIR led to a column at Comic Book Resources titled "You'll All Be Sorry" and the humor in that column in turn led to Simone working on Simpsons comics.
It was her entry into superhero comics, however, that permanently shifted Simeone's career. Although she worked for Marvel a bit, including a run on Deadpool and then Agent X, Simone has primarily made her home at DC over the last decade. Popular books like Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and others solidified Simone as super hero writer with an outspoken fan base.
Now Simone is in a brand new position: that of a non-exclusive freelancer. For many creators, this can be a difficult hustle, as the shift from guaranteed work minimums to having to look for gigs can be a struggle. Simone seems to be thriving, however. Between working on various Red Sonja projects at Dynamite and writing a Tomb Raider series at Dark Horse, Simone is also still working at DC, with a Vertigo series called Clean Room on the way and preparing to relaunch of fan-favorite Secret Six, which is in stores on December 3.
In part one of this in-depth two-part interview, Simone spoke with ComicsAlliance about Women in Refrigerators, women in comics, and her occasionally tense time at DC.
Over the past few years, Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko have quickly become one of the creative teams that I look forward to seeing the most, and this week, they're giving me a pretty good reason to be excited. Today marks the release of the first installment of their three-part story in Sensation Comics, the digital-first Wonder Woman anthology, which finds DC's Amazon Princess sent on a rescue mission to Apokolips, the home of the evil New Gods.
To find out more, I spoke with Bechko and Hardman about their approach to Wonder Woman, their take on Jack Kirby's cosmic evil, and just why it is that page turns are so magical.
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