Conan and Red Sonja are the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre. Wait, no. Now that I write that down, it seems like swords and sorcery would probably be the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre, but you get the idea: They're two characters who tend to go really well together, which makes sense given that they're both characters that have more or less defined the genre since they were created -- particularly in comics.
That's why it shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that Conan Red Sonja #1, despite a somewhat annoyingly un-punctuated title, reads like it came together effortlessly. Written by Jim Zub and Gail Simone, with art by Dan Panosian and Dave Stewart, the first issue breezes through the mandatory fight before the inevitable team-up in a way that's actually pretty engaging, setting up an adventure that seems every bit as exciting as the two characters deserve. And also just full of belts.
Evil sorcery is a problem for the people of a certain age undreamt of, and apparently it's gotten so bad that one Hyborian hero is no longer enough to stop them. That's why in January, we're getting a team-up in the form of Conan/Red Sonja, in which a pretty fantastic creative team of Gail Simone, Jim Zub and Dan Panosian are teaming up the two heroes to stop -- you guessed it -- evil sorcery.
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.
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.
That sound you just heard is the sound of one million Tumblrs updating.
On Tuesday morning DC announced titles, teams, and plot outlines for ten of its forty planned two-issue Convergence mini-series, which will coincide with the publisher's big event comic next spring and take the place of its regular monthly output. From the looks of it, there's plenty of fan-service involved for people who loved pre-New 52 DC continuity.
Not only is Renee Montoya getting her own two issues as The Question, written by Greg Rucka -- who initially put Montoya in that role -- and drawn by Cully Hamner; but there's a Stephanie Brown Batgirl series, a Nightwing/Oracle wedding story, a Wally West story, a Superman/Lois Lane marriage series, a Bruce/Damian Batman & Robin series, and so on.
As Vertigo's two currently longest-running series head to a close -- Bill Willingham's Fables and Mike Carey and Peter Gross's The Unwritten -- the DC imprint is doubtless looking for new series with long-term potential to run alongside FBP, Astro City, and American Vampire.
At New York Comic-Con on Friday the publisher announced two titles that might fit the bill, both from DC writers making their Vertigo debut. Grayson writer Tim Seeley will team with former Madame Xanadu artist Marley Zarcone on Effigy, while once and future Secret Six author Gail Simone and former 2000 AD artist Jonathan Davis-Hunt are the team behind Clean Room.
It's Celebrate Bisexuality Day today, also called Bisexual Visibility Day -- a day to celebrate and promote recognition of those who are sexually attracted to people of more than one gender. The day exists because people with non-monosexual queer identities face unusual challenges in being recognized by both mainstream and queer cultures, yet visibility helps break down barriers and encourage acceptance.
In superhero comics, the problem of bisexual invisibility is as ingrained as anywhere; the medium struggles to acknowledge the existence of anything that didn't exist in The Honeymooners or The Andy Griffith Show, unless it's a space god, a shapeshifter, or a parasitic psychic monster. Having a character say, "I'm bisexual" is apparently more implausible than any of those things. There are signs that the industry is changing in this regard -- but slowly, and rather half-heartedly.
When a company acquires the rights to a bunch of licensed characters, a crossover between them is almost inevitable -- and honestly, that's pretty exciting for a reader. I mean, who doesn't want to see the G.I. Joes throw down with the Ninja Turtles, or watch Doc Savage and the Shadow tear through pulpy crime lords, or see a time-spanning battle between RoboCop and the Terminator? It's something that we are pretty hard-wired as fans to be up for whenever it happens.
Today Dynamite announced one of those crossovers, but with a couple of twists. Firstly, the publisher is teaming up not two, but three of its licenses. Secondly, they're all women heroes, aligning for what writer Gail Simone describes as a "big, fun, noisy event book, full of action and fun and drama and sex and villainy," starring Vampirella, Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris.
Writer Gail Simone, who is getting ready to wrap up a sometimes-tumultuous run on Batgirl, has started a new Tumblr called Comics Survival Kit that aims to help up-and-coming or aspiring comic creators navigate the tricky landscape that is professional comics work.
With both Legends of the Dark Knight and Adventures of Superman sadly no longer with us, it seemed unlikely that Wonder Woman would also star in her own digital-first anthology series from DC Comics. Fortunately that's turned out not to be the case, as the publisher has confirmed the third member of its heroic "trinity" will indeed be the focus of Sensation Comics, a digital-first anthology launching in August that invites talents from across the spectrum of comics to share their own distinct visions of William Moulton Marston's amazon princess.
Like the Batman and Superman anthologies, Sensation Comics -- named for the Golden Age series in which Wonder Woman first appeared -- will feature stories not tied to the narrative continuity or artistic palette of DC's mainline New 52 comics.
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