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‘Green Lantern: The Animated Series’ Producer Giancarlo Volpe Explains Focus Groups In New Comic

Art by Giancarlo Volpe, http://giancarlovolpe.tumblr.com

In his time working in animation, Giancarlo Volpe has worked on some of my all-time favorite cartoons. As a writer, director and animator, he worked on Avatar: The Last Airbender (including directing the pretty phenomenal series finale), King of the Hill, and most recently as the director of the JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time movie. As a result, you'd think he'd know a little something about how to make an exciting and enjoyable animated series, right? But it seems that even he can learn a lot from a focus group!

At least, that was the opinion of the studio during Volpe's time as the showrunner for Green Lantern: The Animated Series, when he attended his first focus group run by the studio. On his tumblr, Volpe recounted the experience in the form of a comic featuring an appearance by Bruce Timm, and to say the least, it does not sound like a fun time. Read a few pages below!

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Exclusive Interview: Bruce Timm On His Return to Batman With ‘Strange Days’ [Video]

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Broadcasting Wednesday at 6:30pm (5:30pm CST) on Cartoon Network, Batman: Strange Days is the first all-new Dark Knight project authored principally by Bruce Timm in years and years. The latest of the DC Nation Shorts, the piece was conceived, written, storyboarded, designed and directed by Timm himself as a tribute to the original Batman comics by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson on the occasion of the character's 75th anniversary. And as Timm told ComicsAlliance in this exclusive interview, Strange Days is the Batman story that he would create if he was "boss of the world."

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Hellboy 20th Anniversary Edition

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.

In honor of this year’s 20th anniversary of the first appearance of Hellboy, the enduringly popular and endlessly entertaining ex-paranormal investigator created by Mike Mignola. One of comics' most idiosyncratic characters with a supporting cast to match, Hellboy is cited by many artists rivaling Batman as the most fun character to draw and reimagine in different styles. Throughout the existence of Best Art we've featured loads and loads of visions of Hellboy and his friends in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and what follows is a compilation of some of our favorites.

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Bruce Timm Returns To Batman In New DC Nation Short, ‘Batman Strange Days’

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Warner Bros. Animation

The last time Batman appeared in a Warner Bros. animated production in the Bruce Timm "style," it was in the Justice League Unlimited series, which ended in 2004.

Now, the big-eared, Timm-designed version of Batman is back in a new short for Cartoon Network's DC Nation block, titled Batman Strange Days, which finds the Dark Knight taking on Hugo Strange and a mysterious, Solomon Grundy-like giant. It looks dark --virtually black and white or sepia -- and features Batman firing a huge gun evocative of Gundam Wing's Twin Buster Rifle marked "tear gas."

Check out a handful of stills in anticipation of the short's April 9 debut, after the jump.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Birds of Prey, Goonies, Supernatural, Aliens, Grendel and More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Massive Artist Lineup For ‘All-New X-Men’ #25: Timm, Hipp, Young, Adams, Cho & More

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Getting all the way to issue #25 without a relaunch is a legitimate accomplishment for a Marvel Comics series in 2014, so the publisher and writer Brian Michael Bendis are doing it up big for next month's All-New X-Men #25, with a more than formidable list of contributing artists.

Bruce Timm, Art Adams, Ra

Best Art Ever (This Week): RoboCop, Daft Punk, Empowered, American Flagg, Bettie Page & More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.

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Mondo C.E.O. Justin Ishmael Talks ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ 20th Anniversary Screening [Interview]

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Directed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is a theatrical extension of their award-winning work on Batman: The Animated Series which finds Batman on the trail of a lethal new villain for whose crimes he has been wrongly given the blame, and whose identity and motives strike hard into the heart of Gotham City’s protector. The film is equal parts mystery, action and romance, and enhanced by riveting music, truly emotional vocal performances and exquisite animation and art direction like no other American animated feature. Indeed, legendary film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert actually apologized to their television audience for not reviewing Mask of the Phantasm when it was released in theaters (lousy promotion caused them to mistake it for a compilation of episodes from the animated series) and heaped effusive praise on the film and its principals. The 1993 film remains the only animated Batman feature released cinematically.

This past Christmas marked the 20th anniversary Mask of the Phantasm, a film that’s arguably its creators’ most perfect expression of their enduringly influential vision of DC Comics’ dark knight — a vision that many believe is the most perfect expression of Batman in any medium. While Warner Bros. has yet to announce any plans for a high definition reissue or any other offerings connected with the special occasion, the film fanatics at Mondo — purveyors of extremely fine illustrated film posters and other cinematic celebrations — decided to honor Mask of the Phantasm with an anniversary event in connection with the famous Alamo Drafthouse of Austin, Texas, where they screened the film in its original 35mm format for a sold-out house last Tuesday, January 7. As always, Mondo came prepared with an extremely limited quantities of new screen-printed poster, and which serves as an update of the film’s original theatrical one-sheet and an homage to the aesthetic legacy of Timm and Radomski’s work.

ComicsAlliance was there.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Highlander, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, Julie Newmar, Slick Rick, Watchmen & More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.

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Ask Chris #173: The Trouble With The Joker’s Girlfriend Harley Quinn

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: What do you think about Harley Quinn? --@Gavin4L

I'll be honest with you, Gavin: Harley Quinn is a tough character to write about. I've been struggling for a long time now trying to figure out how to get started, because there's so much there built around a single character that gets into a lot of tricky, complicated areas, from her almost accidental creation and often mystifying popularity to how much she's changed and been altered in a relatively short period of time, and how you can almost chart the changing aesthetic of the entire company just by looking at a single character. It's a lot to get through, even if you're someone who lived through every bit of it as a fan.

Really, I guess that's as good a starting point as any. What do I think? Well, I like the character a lot, but when you get right down to it, she's one of the most misunderstood and misused characters in all of superhero comics.

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