Tag Archives: kris anka

Preview: Dream Daddy #5

Dream Daddy #5

(W) Josh Trujillo, (A) D.J. Kirkland, (C) Matt Herms,
(CA) A: Kris Anka, B: D.J. Kirkland with Matt Herms
Age Rating: Young Adult Audiences
Genre: Video Games, LGBTQ, Romance —Price: $2.99—Page Count: 23

“Dungeons & Daddies”

Hugo has been preparing for this moment for months, and it’s finally here. He’s wrangled all of the Dads to play an extremely popular but non-descript tabletop role playing game together! And with his carefully laid plans, Hugo is sure he’ll be the best Dungeon Master they’ve ever seen… as long as they all take the game as seriously as he does.

Preview: The Merry X-Men Holiday Special

The Merry X-Men Holiday Special

(W) Charlamagne Tha God , Chris Sims, Various (A) Marco Failla, Kris Anka, More (CA) David Nakayama

Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
SRP: $4.99

Twenty-five holiday tales of merry mutants, one for each day of December 1 through December 25! What does Magneto do for Hanukkah? What’s Rogue and Gambit’s first married Christmas like? Is Jubilee truly the master of navigating malls during the holidays? These questions and more are answered as all your favorite X-Men and more creators than you can shake a jingle bell at come together for a holiday celebration to last all month long!

Preview: Dream Daddy #4

Dream Daddy #4

(W) C. Spike Trotman, (A) Drew Green, (C) Reed Black, (CA) A: Kris Anka, B: Drew Green
Age Rating: Young Adult Audiences
Genre: Video Games, LGBTQ, Romance—Price: $2.99—Page Count: 23

“Fair Deal”

The science fair is tomorrow, and Daisy hasn’t started her project yet! All she wants is a ride to the library and a participation ribbon. But Brian has bigger plans for her: wind turbines, working replicas of Mount Vesuvius, human genome editing. Turns out Daisy’s not the only one who procrastinated, and Joseph is out to force Christian and Christie to become the next science superstars. Can the kids get their presentations ready before the librarian kicks them all out for a no holds barred Dad-off?

Preview: Runaways #15

Runaways #15

(W) Rainbow Rowell (A/CA) Kris Anka
Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 07, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• Nico’s magic has always been painful – an inheritance from her parents she had to hurt herself to use.
• At last, she learns the shocking source of the Staff of One’s power, and things will never be the same.
• There’s a battle on the horizon. Will the Runaways still have a sorcerer on their side?

Preview: Runaways #14

Runaways #14

(W) Rainbow Rowell (A) David Lafuente (CA) Kris Anka
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 17, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• A truly terrifying villain from the Runaways’ past returns and gives the Runaways an ultimatum with the world in the balance.
• The kids have had a hard enough time with a grandma and a 13-year-old, so…things look pretty bleak for everyone in the world.
• Plus, see a story from a never-before-seen perspective!

FlameCon 2018: Artist Kris Anka Talks Runaways and Gert’s Redesign

Kris Anka is one of Marvel’s superstar artists making a splash drawing some of the X-Books before moving onto titles like Captain MarvelStar-Lord and his current series Runaways with Rainbow Rowell of Fangirl and Eleanor and Park fame and colorist extraordinaire Matthew Wilson (The Wicked + the Divine, Paper Girls). He also redesigned Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman costume and has a keen eye for character design and fashion.

I had the opportunity to chat with Kris Anka at FlameCon about his work on Runaways, approach to storytelling and costume design, and more.

Graphic Policy: Let’s address the elephant in the room. Why are your characters of all genders drawn so sexy? Why are they so attractive?

Kris Anka: It feels like in superhero comics that it’s always been part of it. If it’s people with powers, why not make everyone hot? Everyone can enjoy it. You’ve got something for everybody. It’s fun to make everyone hot, and they’re hot in different ways. Mostly, it’s just a lot of fun.

GP: One thing I like about your art is that the character clothing reflects their personality. What’s your favorite outfit that you’ve drawn in Runaways, and what are your inspirations for the outfits?

KA: Addressing the second question and specifically talking about Runaways, a benefit is that they’ve been around for a while. Hopping into the book, Rainbow [Rowell] and I know these kids. We kind of equate our run and the original run. The original run was looking for them, and now we know them. So, we’ve hit the ground running, and there’s not a lot of questions in our head of who these kids are.

Inspiration is fairly easily, especially since I’m from L.A. I was a freshman in high school when Runaways #1 came out. I was the same age. I went to high school with all of these kids so I knew them. It’s really easy for me to equate what their looks are and who they are in kind of a 2018 vibe.

Inspiration comes from life, and I can sort of string it all together and combine it into who they are. Because they’re growing and hitting their later teens. Chase is 20. That’s kind of the age where people start changing. We can grow with and kind of experiment a little bit. It’s kind of fun with Karolina where she used to be so young hippie. She was a vegetarian and health conscious. And, in L.A. now, people who are health conscious are fitness conscious. She’s part hippie, but she’s also a festival kid. There’s also athleisure, and she’s very active.

We’re kind of able to grow them into new looks that still feels like them. That helps narrow and specify your focus on them. It’s really fun building wardrobes and all these things. There’s not a lot of guesswork. I know exactly where to go.

In terms of a favorite outfit, it’s in [Runaways] #12, and one of them you can see on the cover for issue 13, which is Karolina’s dress. That dress took me eight hours to design. When you see issue 12, it took me so long to draw these pages. But it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had.

GP: What do you think sets apart the Runaways from the other Marvel superhero teams, who might get more buzz or bigger movies?

KA: The Marvel Universe has always prided itself on being the world outside your door. The Runaways is even more specific where it feels like kids you might actually know. On a superficial level, the fact that it’s West Coast already sets it way far apart. That kind of allowed Runaways to live in its own world. In a lot of ways, it feels like a creator owned book that just happens to be in a world where you understand the powers.

It’s got this different of these feel like actual teenagers you may know. I think that’s what it’s survived on. The personalities are so specific, and it never forced them to be a big superhero book. Because Teen Titans and Legion [of Superheroes] and all those teen superhero books have that to them, but also have the huge, overarching superhero plot. We kind of don’t, and this allows it to be much more about them as people than things they have to deal with.

So, you get a lot of melodrama, a lot of teen heartthrob drama when you’re 18 and all the bad decisions you make. It makes the Runaways feel more whole because we don’t always have to figure out, “Who’s punching this issue?” We can spend a whole issue just crying and look at what they’re going through.

GP: Speaking of crying, the big Karolina/Julie Power breakup in Runaways #10 tore at my heart strings. How do you get in the mindset to draw such a big emotional beat that rips the Internet in half?

KA: That was a big one because Rainbow and I had talked about it for months. We needed to be very clear on what it was, especially in a world where there’s so many kinds of media with bad queer relationships, especially with how messy sometimes breakups can be. We didn’t want to sugarcoat it and not make it real because they’re also eighteen. Eighteen years old don’t make exactly the easiest decisions. They’re pretty damn rough about things. We wanted to ground it in who they are and what they’re going through.

Even if people don’t like the decision, they can understand why these two characters are in that same place and why this is happening. [Rainbow and I] talked about this scene a lot to get the right kind of nuance for it. This thing is happening, but they both have an agency to this decision rather than someone just getting thrown under the bus. I like Julie and Karolina together, but [the breakup] also felt right with this overarching story of bringing the family back together. How messy it got made sense with all the buildup.

So when we got there, it was kind of tough, and it worked with the rest of the story. It wasn’t something where we were like, “We gotta do this.” It felt right.

GP: Yeah, it didn’t feel like the comics version of a sweeps week plot twist. So, I was a big fan of Gert’s new look in Runaways #11 and her walking through L.A. What was your thought process in designing her new look?

KA: We had been talking about the Gert look since I started on issue one. When I signed back onto the book, one of the things that Rainbow really wanted to do was: A- bring Gert back. B was the fact that there’s this huge important factor of (The timeline stuff with her is so strange with the Marvel Universe and sliding timelines.) when Gert debuted in 2003, the idea of having crazy hair colors was so counter culture and a little taboo.

Gert’s whole character was about acting taboo. The guys’ clothes to hide her, having purple hair, and cynical and crabby. She wanted to be the antithesis to all the other girls around her. Now, that we’re in 2018, and [dying hair] is so commonplace, all these things that she had that were countercultural are common. What does that do to someone who is also coming back from the dead and seeing all her friends grow up without her.

Rainbow always wanted [to change Gert’s look], but I don’t remember the beginnings of that conversation. The big thing was that this allowed us to do the lost character arc that she was going through, superficially. Where she’s like, “What do I look like now?” We wanted to have a scene where she sees all these people with purple hair, and she’s like, “Shit, this thing I did to spite the adults and be this kind of rebel, everyone has”. [She’s] no longer a rebel in this world.

We wanted to have Gert refocus on herself where she doesn’t need to be this counter to everybody. She can kind of calm down. She’s still Gert, but we can have it where she doesn’t need to be so loud any more. [Colorist Matthew] Wilson also wanted to hint at the future Gert [who leads the Avengers] so a lot of that first outfit based on design cues from future Gert like the green corset top and the grey skirt. We wanted to allude to all of that, and the fact that she goes back to her natural hair color. It’s kind of fun to go in the middle of [her timeline] and find something that still feels Gert, but doesn’t feel like she’s trying. Because one thing we did in our whole run is that Gert doesn’t have her own clothes. For the entirety of the first two arcs, she’s wearing Chase’s clothes or hand-me-downs because she doesn’t have a wardrobe.

That’s part of it. She never was herself yet. She’s still looking. That’s our first moment. We spent a long time thinking about what Gert’s look was going to be. It took us a year. I remember one day that we arrived at the same thing where [Rainbow Rowell] saw a photo of Chadwick Boseman with this t-shirt with kind of a military button pattern. She saw that, and separately, I thought that Gert seems like someone who would see Hamilton and get really into Hamilton and dress like that. We both brought military jackets to the table and said that should be the Gert look. Also, that’s her parents’ look too: these steampunk military time travelers. We alluded to that, she would definitely be a Hamilton fan, and this was the look that Rainbow wanted so it all fit. That’s new Gert.

And stylistically, it also keeps her separate from all the other girls on the team. She doesn’t look like Karolina. She doesn’t look like Nico. She doesn’t look like Molly. There’s a lot for the individual, but not in a forced way any more. It’s only on one page, but that one outfit took 11 months of work.

GP: It’s cool. I love hearing about behind the scenes stuff. I have one final question not related to Runaways. I’m a big fan of the WicDiv Christmas Annual that you worked on, especially the Baal and Inanna male nudity part. How did you get onboard with that unique project?

KA: I had done the Baal cover of him getting out of the pool [for WicDiv #19], and it kind of became a thing. When [Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie] were coming up with the idea for a Christmas issue, they said one of the stories was about Baal and Inanna doin’ it. They were like “We should get Kris to draw it.” It was all very nonchalant. The amount of nudity that showed was up in the air, and they said, “As much as you want and whatever you’re comfortable with.”

We didn’t want to go super over the top with it, but we wanted to just get some dicks in there. It was very chill job. Let’s just draw these two guys having a good time and draw some dicks because there’s never dicks in comics. It was all fairly easy.

Runaways #12 is out on August 29, 2018.

Follow Kris Anka on Twitter

Preview: Runaways #12

Runaways #12

(W) Rainbow Rowell (A/CA) Kris Anka
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 29, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• Nico takes a big step forward.
• Gert takes a bigger step backward.
• Karolina has to face the paparazzi.
• And Victor decides it’s time to come clean…

Review: The Pride Vol. 1

Growing up as a cinephile, I loved watching 70s movies especially those starring a young femme fatale named Pam Grier. The way she commanded he screen had just about every man in my family grinning from ear to ear. As years went by I saw an older yet still very much attractive actor in movies when she played a supporting character but that smile still got every man that was in her presence. So, it was pretty much kismet, when I found out she was going to be in a TV show on Showtime, The L Word.

I went into the show because of Grier but came out of the show, a massive fan, of the characters, the stories, and the culture, as it opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed. As the show explored the many intricacies surrounding sexual identity and the discrimination that women and any person who identifies as LGBTQ face daily. This opened my eyes to just how marginalized they were, or rarely they see themselves reflected in the arts without the utilization of stereotypes, especially comics. It was only within the past few years, comics have started to delve into telling these narratives with standouts being the superior Sunstone and the gone too soon Midnighter. Another standout that I came across was Joe Glass’ The Pride, which revolve around a team of superheroes who just so happens to be LGBTQ.

In the opening pages we meet a well-meaning superhero, Fab-Man, who is openly gay and who is not taken as seriously as his cisgender counterparts. This leads him to create his own, his “Justice League” full of LGBTQ superheroes who fight injustice as well as they face villains who are homophobic and evil and struggle to find a synergy to work with each other. One of the standout stories is “You Think You’re a Man,” one of our heroes finds out he has a son and a one of the villains has kidnapped him, leading our heroes to a trap which looks to silences one member forever. In “It Gets Better,” Fab Man talks a young boy who wants to commit suicide after being harassed because he was gay. In the last standout story, we get the origin of “Muscle Mary,” a warrior who can do battle with anyone but who originally came to the world of men, to avenge a death, but eventually came to defend mortals.

Overall, The Pride is a comic which shows that heroes are never black and white and usually contain multitudes of layers. Some times those layers is what makes you extraordinary. The stories by the different writers is well developed, smart, and exciting. Th art by the different artists complement the stories well. Altogether, a strong book.

Story: Joe Glass, PJ Montgomery, Mike Garley
Art: Kris Anka, Kris Carter, Elizabeth Swann, Hector Barros, Nathan Ashworth, Ben Wilsonham, Mike Stock, Ricardo Bessa, Gavin Mitchell, Maxime Garbarini, Dan Harris, Ryan Cody, Christian Wildgoose and Cory Smith
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Rogue & Gambit #5

Rogue & Gambit #5

(W) Kelly Thompson (A) Pere Perez (CA) Kris Anka
Rated T+
In Shops: May 02, 2018
SRP: $3.99

• It’s ROGUE and GAMBIT vs. LAVISH for all the marbles (nobody cares about marbles anymore, but it’s still a great saying, just go with it)!
• The stakes in Paraíso couldn’t be higher – the fates of innocent mutants, Rogue and Gambit, AND the hottest relationship in the Marvel Universe – all hang in the balance!
• Does being together make Rogue & Gambit unstoppable? Or does it doom their mission and everyone they’re trying to save?
• When the dust settles WHO and WHAT will be left standing?

Review: Runaways Vol. 1 Find Your Way Home

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the Runaways!

Runaways Vol. 1 Find Your Way Home collects issues #1-6 by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Kathleen Wisneski, and Nick Lowe.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores May 1. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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