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More From DC Fifty-Too, Indie Comics’ Answer To The DC Relaunch [Art]

DC Fifty-Too is a website dedicated to showcasing DC Comics characters as interpreted by talents from the world of indie comics and the Web. Specifically, creators were asked to imagine their version of the #1 issue of any DC comic book. Managed by Jon Morris, the site was inspired by the recent debut of “The New 52,” a bold and controversial initiative whereby DC is retooling, redesigning and in some cases wholly rebooting many of its classic titles and characters in an effort to aggressively engage new readers. As regular ComicsAlliance readers know, the the DC Fifty-Too blog has been generating excellent work.

You can see some of the latest additions after the cut, including work from Corey Lewis, Jim Rugg, Dennis Culver, Steve Rolston, Ron Salas, Jon Morris and more.With Justice League #1 on sale now, DC Fifty-Too would seem to be at an end. However, the project was so much fun for Morris and his contributors that they blog will continue to generate more material in the coming days, such as #2 issues and variant covers.

Ron Salas is a graphic designer and comic artist whose illustrations have recently graced the covers of Dracula: The Company of Monsters as well as the interiors of 28 Days Later from BOOM! Studios and his creator-owned Existence 2.0/3.0.

His illustrations can also be found on the Comic Twart collective sketch site that features new illustrations from today’s leading comic artists. http://www.comictwart.com

Ron says: I always thought that Batman and Superman worked best during the era they came from–the 40′s. That was a time when evil was more concrete and defeat-able. I think part of the problem with setting their stories in our time is that true evil these days can’t be defeated with fists, gadgets, and superpowers. I wanted to take them back to that time while also giving them–instead of funky leotards–outfits that they could more realistically wear from around that time. Batman’s outfit is basically a bat-cloaked motorcycle patrolman while Superman is an all-american football star. By reimagining them in this way I still retain their essential core while making them seem like they could actually arise organically from the times they lived in.

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Batman was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.

Dear Mr. Lee –

I hope this letter finds you well. I know you have a lot going on right now with JLA and the 52 launch so I will keep this succinct. I am a cartoonist, illustrator, designer, and artist and I want to write and draw a Gen 13 period piece set in 1994.

My comics include the Eisner-nominated graphic novel, Afrodisiac, the Ignatz Award-winning mini-comic, Rambo 3.5, Street Angel, the PLAIN Janes, USApe, and the Guild. I have made comics for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, SLG, Fantagraphics, Vh1, McSweeney’s, and New York magazine. As an illustrator, my work has been recognized in AIGA’s 50/50, Communication Arts Illustration Annual, Print Regional Design Annual, American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators Annual, and the Best American Comics series. Clients include Smirnoff, Converse, Capcom, American Red Cross, and LA Weekly.

You can see more of my work at http://jimrugg.com/. I look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Jim Rugg

Gen13 was created by Jim Lee, Brandon Choi and J.Scott Campbell.

Dennis Culver is an artist and writer living in the SF Bay Area currently working on a couple of books for Oni Press. His work can be found at www.dennisculver.com and his sketchblog www.dennisculver.tumblr.com

Dennis says: I always loved the “Superheroes in the Old West” idea of the Elseworlds Justice Riders by Chuck Dixon and JH WIlliams and thought it would be neat to have the “Justice” team legacy stretch even further back than the JSA.

My series would take place a bit before Return of Bruce Wayne #4 and detail what happened to Batman before he rode into Gotham. Whip Whirlwind is better known as Max Mercury who did a lot of bouncing through time himself taking on several identities during various eras. Abin Sur worked in the West during Legends of the DCU #21 so I figured he could turn up to chase down Starro. Since DC incorporated Wildstorm continuity I figured the immortal Zealot (Lady Zannah) from Wildcats would make a nice addition to the team. I was on the fence about Super-Chief (Saganowahna) until I remembered how writer Chris Roberson in a recent issue of Superman hinted that the Manitou Stone had Kryptonian origins.

Future members might include Nighthawk and Cinnamon (who eventually reincarnate into Hawkman and Hawkwoman), the Vigilante, the angel Zauriel, and a time travelling android named Hourman!

The Justice Riders were created by Chuck Dixon and JH Williams III.

Jon Morris is a Washington-based cartoonist and is probably best known for his webcomic Jeremy. He is also the writer of the comic blog Gone&Forgotten, operates the Cornered collaborative art blog, and is the founder and curator of this, the DC Fifty-Too project. His website is Calamity Jon Save Us!

Stephen DeStefano is a legitimate cartooning legend, and is best known for ‘Mazing Man, Hero Hotline, Instant Piano and the very popular pilot for the Plastic Man cartoon, plus his extensive storyboarding work, liscensing artwork for Popeye, and most recently his new book “Lucky In Love.” Much more of Stephen’s work can be seen at his blog.

Jon says: First off, it was a real thrill and an honor to have my pencils inked by Stephen DeStefano. I’m all kinds of a fan of this guy, this is a high point of my cartooning career.

I’ve always thought Plastic Man worked best in the way Jack Cole originally intended him – as a perfectly sane man in an utterly insane world. As much as I’ve enjoyed the ‘wacky’ Plas from other stories, I’ve always enjoyed it more when Plas is a flexible and unflappable straight man and everyone else around him provides the absurdity. I’m also a big fan of Kyle Baker’s Plastic Man series, so it’s in the spirit of that book that I picture Plas as a family man – not only is his ‘adopted’ daughter Edwina still lurking around, as is Plas’ teenage son (you may know him as Offspring) but Plas has a new pair of bouncing baby Plases – I’ve named them “Sugar and Spike”. I couldn’t fit him into the cover (except as a photo), but no fear, “Uncle Woozy” is still part of the crew.

One of the things Kyle Baker was so good at doing was parodying not only the contemporary ‘events’ of the DC Universe, but the conventions of the superhero comic genre in general, so that’s the inspiration behind taking a shot at Blackest Night…

The only other thing I wanted to mention was the logo – I’m sure you noticed that it’s a Batman logo with Plastic Man’s head popping out of the top. I envisioned the logo changing every issue to another familiar silhouette of another character’s logo – Superman’s one month, The Justice League the next, Aquaman, Flash, etc – with Plas’ head popping out of it and the actual title in that lovely Organda Bold (you have to love that “C”, don’t you?)

Plastic Man was created by Jack Cole.

By Corey Lewis (the Reyyy)

Currently, Rey has recently wrapped up work on his LONG awaited sequel to the first volume of Sharknife, “SHARKNIFE DOUBLE Z”, which will be out in 2012 from Oni Press. As well as working on a line of self-published comics magazines called “Layered Jacket”, another followup to both Sharknife Double Z and PENG– and a secret project called “SICK BURN” are all in the works.

Website: http://www.reyyy.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/kenby
Tumblr: sunbakerey.tumblr.com

Corey says: So what I created here, is a version of NIGHTWING that takes place during the ancient Egyptian period. Some speculate that an ancient race of aliens could have influenced humans at this time. My version of Nightwing operates during this era that mixes an alien race’s advanced technology with that of early brutal man. He wields two “scarab horns” made of pure physical energy and fights flying Pharoahs with jetpacks, amongst many enemies. He strives to free humanity from the oppressive forces of the Annunaki. My Nightwing also has white hair and is viewed by his fellow Egyptians as a demigod. I’m thinking he may have the ability to slip through shadows, too, as my awkward feet placement kinda suggests ;]

Nightwing was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson / Marv Wolfman and George Perez.

Steve Rolston has drawn a bunch of comics such as Queen & Country, Pounded, Mek, The Escapists, Tales of the TMNT, Degrassi, Emiko Superstar and, most recently, the supernatural thriller Ghost Projekt. He also wrote & illustrated the slacker noir graphic novel One Bad Day. His website is www.steverolston.com

Dave McCaig colors things. He has used red, green and many other hues on Action Comics, X-Men, Avengers, Detective Comics, Northlanders, American Vampire, and countless other titles. He also runs Gutterzombie.com, the colorist message board.

Steve says: When coming up with ideas for this cover, I obviously had to think about what story I would tell if I got to do a series about the character Death. In a nutshell, it involves a young woman who realizes that a near-death experience in her youth left her with more than just emotional scars and hazy memories of a pale girl with a silver ankh around her neck. She discovers that, unlike most in the mortal realm, she has the ability to see the entity known as Death. And now a mysterious occultist wants to cut out her eyeballs and take that power for himself.

The hat that Death wears in the painting is a reference to la Calavera Catrina, an elegant female skeleton figure often portrayed in Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

Death was created by Neil Gaiman and Mike Dringenberg.

Benjamin Birdie is the artist of America’s longest running comic strip about a comic shop, The Rack (http://www.therackcomic.com). His site is currently under construction, but his work can often be found on his tumblr (http://benjaminbirdie.tumblr.com). He is a regular contributor to the world famous Twitter feed @FakeAPStylebook (http://www.twitter.com/fakeapstylebook) and provided gags and illustrations for their book, Write More Good, available now at book stores and bookselling websites and on electronic reading geegaws worldwide. He can be found horsing off regularly on his Twitter feed (http://www.twitter.com/benjaminbirdie).

Benjamin Says: When Jon first asked me to take part in this project, I was sort of at a loss as to what character to pick. But once I remembered that The Heckler was my favorite character ever in anything, the cover appeared to me fully formed. It was a risk making such an incredibly inside reference to one particular issue of a comic that only ran for six months and was probably read by four or five people, but it fit the context of the project so perfectly. One of the best things about The Heckler was how it subtly addressed the industry at the time. Hopefully I’ve reflected that sensibility in my own small way.

The Heckler was created by Keith Giffen and Tom & Mary Bierbaum.

Tracie Mauk is a cartoonist/actress/cubicle drone living in Omaha, Nebraska. Her work has appeared in publications such as Wildguard: Insider, Golly! Catching Hell, Matinee Eclectica, and the prestigious and long dead Nebraska Quarterhorse Magazine. She can also be found online via DeviantArt, Tumblr, and as co-creator of the webcomic FIGHT! with writer Kevin Church.

Tracie says: “Impulse is one of my all-time favorite characters and I felt a lot of temptation to put Bart Allen back in the role, for this piece, but ever since Wally West’s daughter, Iris, pronounced herself the new Impulse in Flash: Rebirth, I’ve really liked the idea of a young girl with her dad’s Speed Force connection who happens to have a twin brother who got cut out of the whole superpower deal and has to stay at home with Mom, while Irey and Wally go on patrol together. That seemed like it would create some fun conflict for the characters with Irey having to deal with Jai’s jealousy and frustration and it throws a very young, female superhero in the mix, which I totally get behind. It’s a shame that was never really explored further.”

Impulse and Iris West were created by Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo, Alex Ross and Ethan van Sciver.

Evan “Doc” Shaner is a freelance cartoonist living in Colorado. He’s done work for Oni Press, as well as Archaia’s upcoming Jim Henson’s Storyteller anthology and a few issues of Dark Horse Presents coming this fall. More of his work can be found at www.evanshaner.com, and you can follow him on twitter at @DocShaner, where he spends the majority of his time talking about Captain Marvel and Popeye.

The Shazam Family was created by Bill Parker, C.C.Beck, Otto Binder, Marc Swayze, Mac Raboy, Ed Herron and others

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