If you've looked at a line-up of comics stacked across the shelves, either in a comics shop or in digital stores like Comixology, then you've almost certainly seen the work of designer Tom Muller. From Motor Crush to Unfollow to Wolf to the new X-O Manowar series at Valiant, Muller's work has graced the covers --- and interiors --- of some of the most interesting and visually experimental comics of the last decade.
With the increasing attention and awareness that surrounds the art of design in comics, the work of people like Muller bears investigating. ComicsAlliance spoke to Muller about his entry into comics, his current work for publishers including Valiant and Image Comics, and how he approaches each project he takes on.
The sixth issue of the series, Guidebook, while certainly the D&D-style sourcebook of the event and a guide to Morrison's vision of the DC multiverse, is also a necessary section of the overall story, answering many questions and asking others, as well as providing the introduction of the Empty Hand, the series' true villain and master of the monstrous Gentry.
It's structured as stories within stories --- Marcus To draws a segment with Li'l Batman and Atomic Batman on Earth-42, while Paulo Siqueira illustrates the New Gods, Kamandi and the history of the DC Multiverse in an intercut sequence taking place on Earth-51. Both of these stories intersect with pages from the Guidebook itself, designed by Rian Hughes with illustrations by a large number of artists.
It's a very interesting time to be a Valiant comics fan. While the company's roster is made up of titles that revive the classic Valiant properties of the 1990s, they've proving to be anything but predictable in terms of content and presentation. Over the last six months alone, they've launched insane promotional campaigns, kicked off major crossover events, brought back long-time favorite creative teams, announced new projects from major creators, and gained acclaim for a publishing approach that seems more or less like "bring in topnotch talent, let them work their magic, and have fun".
Later this year, the company will release its first book named for an character that didn't have a counterpart in the '90s Valiant line: Punk Mambo #0, a special one-shot issue written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Robert Gill focusing on the mohawked voodoo priestess first introduced in the pages of Shadowman. Described by Valiant as the story of how Punk Mambo migrated from crusty British high society to the dark world of American voodoo, and how she returns to her origins to discover "the punks and the voodoo priests she used to know have cleaned themselves up, and she’s a loud, belching ghost from their past, come to break in the new furniture…and break some faces!"
ComicsAlliance readers are getting the first look at three different covers to issue #0, and an exclusive conversation with writer/creator Peter Milligan about his plans for the character and her
Grant Morrison is known for mind-bending dialogue and Rian Hughes is a designer often associated with logo design and fonts, but the two creators have teamed up for a completely word-free comic strip (aside from the title and credits) for BBC Magazine, titled The Key.
It's possible that Rian Hughes has become best known to American comics readers for his numerous logo and typeface designs for clients like Valiant, Archaia, DC Comics (Tangent, Batman And Robin), Vertigo (The Invisibles) and Marvel (Captain Britain, Invincible Iron Man), but the Device founder is a celebrated illustrator in his own right. Not too long ago Image Comics compiled and released a collection of his Tales From Beyond Science, a short series of variously insane and beautifully illustrated one-off stories that explored concepts such as the Bermuda Triangle and the 13th month, originally published in 2000 AD in the early '90s. Now Image is preparing to release its next volume of Hughes' exquisitely stylized work in Soho Dives, Soho Divas, an art book collecting Hughes' pinups, sketches and studies of models and other imagery observed in the underground burlesque scene of London, England.
This week has seen the relaunch of the Valiant universe with the release of the first issue of X-O Manowar by writer Robert Venditti (The Surrogates) and artist Cary Nord (Conan the Barbarian). Coming in the months ahead are new incarnations of other Valiant properties Bloodshot, Harbinger and Archer & Armstrong from a roster of talent that includes writers Fred Van Lente, Joshua Dysart, Duane Swierczynski and artists Clayton Henry, Manuel Garcia and Khari Evans.
While best known to American comics fans for his work as a designer of such logos as The Invisibles, Batman and Robin and Flex Mentallo, Rian Hughes is admired among British readers for the comic book artwork he created earlier in his career...
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