Tag Archives: marc andreyko

Review: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1

Free college tuition for Riverdale residents?! Hiram Lodge is up to his old antics, looking to build a university and strip mall over Sweetwater Swamp. However, a certain botany-loving super-villain is ready to take a stand against the entrepreneur to preserve the wetlands. Poison Ivy enlists best friend, Harley Quinn, on a trip to the one and only Riverdale where they will encounter another iconic duo—Betty and Veronica.

Being a die hard fan of both Harley and Ivy and Betty and Veronica as separate entities, I was naturally hesitant to the idea of them coming together for a crossover in Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica. I wasn’t quite sure how these two worlds could possibly work together with both of them being so different. Within mere pages, Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko put my concerns at ease, with a hilariously creative story that far surpassed my limited expectations.

Despite loving the creative storyline, I was slightly put off by the hypersexualization of the beloved high school teens of Riverdale. While some might not protest, it felt disturbing as a long time fan to go from classic wholesome kids to sex kittens with ample cleavage and unnecessary ass shots. I can understand a promiscuous Harley, as she is a notorious flirt, but to attach such a heavy male gaze for seemingly no reason for the Riverdale characters seemed a bit much.

Luckily the storyline is so fun, it’s enough to carry the overall series, and I will definitely be picking up next issue.

Story: Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko Art: Laura Braga
Story: 10 Art: 5.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1

Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1

Script: Paul Dini & Marc Andreyko
Art: Laura Braga, Tony Aviña, Arif Prianto, Deron Bennett
Cover: Amanda Conner
Variant Cover: Adam Hughes
Rating: Teen
On Sale Date: October 4th, 2017
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Free college tuition for all Riverdale residents?! That’s the plan—after the town drains the wetlands that lie between it and Gotham City and then builds a new campus. The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain. When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie, Harley, to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale’s most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she’s counting on some assistance—and the mayhem that ensues will probably work as well!

DC Comics and Archie are proud to present the adventure of a lifetime for all these best pals. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini (HARLEY QUINN) and Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC BOMBSHELLS)!

Harley & Ivy Will Meet Betty & Veronica this October

DC Entertainment and Archie Comics will present the adventure of a lifetime with Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko, with art by Laura Braga. It all starts this October as these teams of best gal pals cross paths between Gotham and Riverdale!

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica starts with a plan for free college tuition for all Riverdale residents. The town just needs to build a new campus by draining the wetlands that lie between Riverdale and Gotham City.

The only snag? A certain botany-obsessed super-villain.

When Poison Ivy enlists her bestie Harley to kidnap both Veronica Lodge, daughter of Riverdale’s most important citizen, and her friend Betty, she’s counting on some assistance—and mayhem. Are these two teams of BFF’s headed for disaster?

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 is on sale October 4, 2017. Cover is by Amanda Conner (shown below) and variant cover will be by Adam Hugh.

Megacon: A Trip Of Errors Part 3

Too Much Of A Good Thing Can Be Bad

In reference to the subtitle above, I had two incidents where this was true. The first started in the morning with a hangover I hadn’t experienced since New Year’s of 2015, which is a bad thing considering that I was so drunk I threw up in a nice car and passed out in the bathroom with my pants down. This did not occur in the hotel room I shared with Sean, Matt, and Jeff. I was snugly in bed, but with a throbbing headache I might as well have slept on concrete.

With a headache, spinning vision, and nausea, I made my way slowly to the fridge, eating cherry tomatoes and drinking water in hopes it would curb the dryness of my mouth. Later, this would backfire as I regurgitated my snackings in the toilet. Forcing myself out of the John Wick suit, I replaced it with my John Constantine cosplay. I got “into character” and skipped showering. Hey, at least I brushed my teeth. Today was Saturday, the busiest day for any convention, and my plan was to get more signatures from comic pros, particularly Jason Aaron and Dan Slott. After that, I would stop by a panel about breaking into comics digitally.

Outside, the heavy trench coat added to my woes as I sweated like crazy due to the Florida heat. Combine this with my headache and sensitive eyes, I feared the trek to the Orange County Convention Center would be hell (Hey, that would also be in character). As though a God send, a taxi stopped by and picked up the gang. Well, me and Matt anyway. Sean and Jeff were smart enough to go on ahead without us. It was a complimentary ride from Megacon, and the driver was a very nice gentlemen, so the ride turned out pleasant.

At the con, I rushed onto the floor. Starting around 11:00 AM, Jason Aaron would be showing up for autographs. Aaron is best known right now as the writer of Thor, but I’m a bigger fan of his creator-owned works such as Scalped, Southern Bastards, and The Goddamned about crime and the effects of traumatic experiences on people. I brought a trade of The Other Side, his miniseries with Cameron Stewart about two men from opposite sides of the Vietnam war slowly driven insane by the chaos around them. I waited in line eagerly, but bad things were taking place inside me. I could feel bile rising to my throat. I was getting ready to puke, and the urge got stronger as I approached closer and closer to Aaron. The feeling reached its peak at the front of the line. The Megacon staff guy asked me if I was okay? I told him no, that I felt like I was going to be sick and if I could quickly step out of line real quick? He told me yes, but I would have to go to the back afterwards. I was mad. What the heck, dude? I wait all this time and you don’t have the courtesy to at least let me back in my spot? I was determined not lose it. I took several deep threats and stayed put.

I managed to make it to Jason Aaron without puking. I was hoping to chat him up a little, tell him how much his work means to me and how great The Other Side is with his interpretation of the Vietnam War as a Lovecraftian entity that drove the people experiencing it mad. Unfortunately, I was pretty pale and shaking. I think Aaron could tell and was weirded out, so he kept things brief. I managed to get my signature and not puke on my hero, but at the same time I felt embarrassed for getting into such a crummy state. The first error of the day, and the lesson I learned was not going crazy with alcohol.

After Aaron’s signature I headed over to my friend Sorah’s booth. She was working on commissions but had time to talk. I told her about the hangover of which she felt bad even though I promised it was my fault for not keeping track of the drinks. After we finished talking, I got in line for my next autograph with an eager, mischievous grin. The next comic pro was Dan Slott.

Aside from Graphic Policy, I also happen to write for a website called the Outhouse. If you’re new to comics journalism, the Outhouse are muckrakers that hunt down awful things happening in the industry and bring them to light, much to the bane of professionals and publishers alike. One of our sworn enemies is Dan Slott, current writer of Spider Man and Silver Surfer. He has received criticism for being abrasive on social media, going so far as name searching himself and arguing with strangers. At one point, Slott got tired of seeing our criticisms and decided to block everyone associated with the Outhouse, including me. This was no great loss to me. I’ve read his work and have a mixed opinion of it. His Spider Man writing is boring, Silver Surfer is okay but borrows heavily from Doctor Who, and the only work of his I’ve enjoyed is Renew Your Vows, a miniseries about Peter Parker being a loving father and husband. You know, what fans want to see him as instead of a Tony Stark clone. However, when I learned he was going to be at Megacon, I could not pass up the opportunity. As far as I knew, he had no idea who I was and blocked me randomly. So, I brought my copy of Silver Surfer sign for him to sign.

As it turns out, Dan Slott was a nice man in person. He greeted me with a smile and signed my copy of Silver Surfer. I mentioned how it read like Doctor Who, and instead of being mad admitted how much he borrowed from the franchise. In fact, he mentioned how producers of the Doctor Who television series were fans of the comic. We exchanged a handshake, took a photograph, and parted ways on a friendly note. I was pleasantly surprised by this exchange. Perhaps the impersonal nature of the Internet causes people to be nastier than they would in person. I showed the gang my signature and we got a laugh out of it, but they were also glad Slott turned out to be cool.

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Suddenly, I got a call from a friend of mine, Stephanie, who was attending the con. She told me that in 10 minutes there was going to be a panel on LGBT themes in comics. There was a similar panel the day before but I forgot to go. I decided this was something I wanted to attend and rushed over to the panel, just barely making it on time.

Leading the panel was Marc Andreyko, a comic book writer with quite the number of titles in his portfolio including Manhunter and Wonder Woman ‘77. He is also an openly gay man and the project organizer behind Love is Love, an anthology benefiting the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, America’s deadliest mass shooting in history that specifically targeted the LGBT community. Joining him were fellow LGBT comic creators, artist Cat Staggs ( artist of Crosswind, Womanthology), her wife, writer Amanda Deibert (Wonder Woman ‘77, John Carpenter’s Tales For A Halloween Night) accompanied with their baby daughter Vivian (so cute), artist/writer Phil Jimenez (Superwoman, Fairest), artist/writer Tana Ford (Silk, Duck), writer Tee Franklin (Nailbiter #27, Bingo Love), colorist Jose Villarubia (Sweet Tooth, American Chavez) and artist/writer Dee Fish (Finding Dee, The Wellkeeper).

After introductions were made, Marc Andreyko started the panel with mentions of the anthology’s success and how 7 foreign countries have asked for translated editions. Andreyko especially loved how there was next to no editing for each of the short stories. Yes, there were spell checks and typical tweaks like that, but no creative interference. The stories came directly from the creator’s hearts. Even so, Andreyko praised the editors on the book, two of whom volunteered for the book despite having 13-15 monthly titles on their plate. Without them, or the readers, the book would not exist.

The questions asked were kept short and simple, allowing the panelists to give some truly great answers. One young man talked about how he has to constantly argue with his LCS (local comic shop) to have more titles with women and queer characters in them. He asked if those types of characters are reasons certain segments of the market won’t buy them? Even though they hoped that isn’t the case, all the panelists agreed that those type of consumers shouldn’t matter. Andreyko stated that honesty matters the most, doesn’t matter if a character is gay or straight, black, Jewish, etc. If a story rings true to human experience, people will enjoy it. That’s why he doesn’t start with a social identity with a character. He figures out the type of person they are who so happens to be these other things. It’s also important to have diverse experiences for marginalized characters or they just become a cliche. He gave an example of a gay character from a show called Happy Endings who is socially awkward, overweight, and has trouble getting dates. He has friends that complain the character isn’t a role model, and Andreyko agrees but he relates to him so much. I believe his point is to write characters that are real and not negative stereotypes or didactic caricatures.

Tee Franklin jumped in on this conversation by discussing the creation of her graphic novel, Bingo Love about two grandmas that fall in love. A lot of questions asked of her on the creation of the book was “why?” With that kind of reaction, she knew it wouldn’t be published at Dark Horse or Image, so instead Tee took the idea online and was able to find an audience for the concept and get the book successfully funded via Kickstarter. “If someone doesn’t want the story, they don’t have to read it. I’m not making it for them, I’m making it for the people that want to read it. I’ve had people come up to my booth and cry because they say that their grandmothers are gay, or one girl said ‘I want to get your book but I can’t because I’m hiding from my mom who I am, and I’m afraid she’ll find it.’ You’ve got to know the people whom you’re writing this book for, and if someone doesn’t like it screw them, it doesn’t matter.”

Phil Jimenez brought up how human experience isn’t universal, so he tries to write about very specific experiences. Although you do find from those specific experiences some universal patterns: looking for love, for confidence, for family, somewhere to belong, etc. Sometimes it takes exploring a specific experience outside of what we regularly see in media for universality. He tries to fill his stories with as many different people from diverse backgrounds as he can and is lucky enough to have worked with creative executives who are looking for that kind of work.

Dee Fish brought up when she came out as trans in a Webcomic of her’s that is oriented to a younger audience, Dandy & Company. She did a scene where she came out to the main character, Dandy, and was afraid of what would the reactions were going to be. “It went amazing! I had more people reading the comic and became more deeply invested and tried more of my work because they learned more about me. And if there was anyone really angry at me about it, I never got a letter or anything about it.”

The subject of queer erotica came up and someone asked if it should be considered just as essential as other media or if it’s holding the community back. Andreyko stated yet again good work is good work, including smut. Also, just because a storyteller is mostly known for smut doesn’t mean they can’t branch out to other types of stories. He brought up the mangaka Gengoroh Tagame who is mostly known for explicit gay erotica but recently came out with an all ages book called My Brother’s Husband, about a single father who’s brother has died and his Canadian husband comes to live with him and his daughter in Japan.

Tana Ford admitted that she has mixed feelings on this subject. Can people who don’t want diversity point to gay erotica and keep queer people in a ghetto because “Oh, they’re disgusting.” On this point, Phil Jimenez says that queer comic creators should decide how much they want their work sexualized. Keep in mind, the term queer does not mean gay sex. He uses it as a broad umbrella term for people that are outside of cis and heteronormativity. He theorizes queer people internalize this fear of their sex lives because culturally there has been pushback of openly expressing them. “The interesting part about the title Love is Love for me is it’s not just about who we love but who we’re attracted to. Who we want to build lives with romantically but also want to be with sexually.”

Amanda Deibert chimed in this is why she’s pro gay smut. If straight people get to enjoy it, queer people damn well have a right to it. Not everyone enjoys smut, gay or straight, but they don’t have to read it and the queer community shouldn’t have to be responsible for the uncomfortable feelings of non-queer people over their sex lives. Besides, if they have those type of feelings then they’re already against LGBT rights. Jose Villarubia brought up how he learned that a good number of his female art students are into gay boy-on-boy romances. So, even then straight people can be into gay erotica as well. It all boils down to having good work no matter what it is.

The Q&A got serious when a young trans woman asked if all the different labels for various queer identities muddled things? The reason she asked is that she had a bad experience going to her LGBT council center. After coming out, she got 30 death threats, had a huge drop of friends, and, worst part, was turned away by a clerk at the center for not being gay or trans enough. Andreyko told her to found out who turned her away because what the clerk did was unacceptable and should be fired. He confessed to not having the same struggles too many LGBT have had on coming out because he had incredibly accepting family and friends. The thing to do is look for like-minded people offline and online. They are out there and you will find acceptance.

The final questions of the day came from my friend Stephanie who asked what tropes the panelists would like to see disappear from comics. This prompted Tee Franklin to laugh out loud. “Oh, we ain’t got time for all of them, sweetie.” What Tee wanted to see less of was the tendency to portray black people in constantly negative light such as crackheads and criminals. Tana Ford wanted the trope of killing of queer characters to stop. Let them live, please. Marc Andreyko wanted the gay stereotype of a witty gay man with no relationship but highly apt at fashion go away. For Phil Jimenez, the idea all queerness is through a white cis male’s perspective. POC queer characters shouldn’t exist as just the significant other of the white queer protagonist. Let there be POC couples. Amanda Deibert was happy that at least the trope of the lesbian going back to the man has seemed to disappear completely.

After the panel, many of the audience members went over to the young trans woman to comfort her and show their support. Andreyko went over to make sure she was all right. It was a great panel that reaffirmed my belief that diversity in comics is important. The one thing I regretted was not having focused more on Love is Love during my time here. In fact, Megacon had a big showcase of it, including an art display and party that night. I didn’t go because it would have cost too much money, but I still felt guilty I didn’t find more opportunities to write about it. I think this was because of my focus on autographs. Error #2: Focusing too much on autographs can lead to missed opportunities. Make sure to find other opportunities.

 

 

 

 

Preview: Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #6

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #6

(W) Jeff Parker, Marc Andreyko (A) David Hahn, Karl Kesel, Bill Williams (CA) Michael Allred
In Shops: Jun 28, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Batman retired to let his protégés defend the streets of Gotham City, but his peace is threatened when an old enemy comes to town. Will our heroes thwart Ra’s al Ghul and save the ’70s? Tune in for the epic finale!

Preview: Adam Strange/Future Quest Special #1

Adam Strange/Future Quest Special #1

(W) Marc Andreyko, Jeff Parker, Dan DiDio (A) Steve Lieber, Phil Winslade (CA) Evan “Doc” Shaner
In Shops: Mar 29, 2017
SRP: $4.99

After the events of the DEATH OF HAWKMAN miniseries, Adam Strange is blasted through multiple dimensions only to land on Earth! There, instead of super-powered beings and legendary crime fighters, he encounters a boy adventurer and his scientist father – and they’re the only ones who can help him return home. Jonny Quest, Hadji, Dr. Quest and Race Bannon have a plan, but it’s going to involve a dangerous trek through Dino Boy’s Lost Valley of prehistoric threats! And in the backup feature starring Top Cat, breaking out of prison is challenging enough for a cat, but sometimes it means stumbling through a cosmic portal to planet Earth… and right into the hands of Batman!

Review: Adam Strange/Future Quest Special #1

After the events of the Death of Hawkman miniseries, Adam Strange is blasted through multiple dimensions only to land on Earth! There, instead of super-powered beings and legendary crime fighters, he encounters a boy adventurer and his scientist father – and they’re the only ones who can help him return home. Jonny Quest, Hadji, Dr. Quest and Race Bannon have a plan, but it’s going to involve a dangerous trek through Dino Boy’s Lost Valley of prehistoric threats! And in the backup feature starring Top Cat, breaking out of prison is challenging enough for a cat, but sometimes it means stumbling through a cosmic portal to planet Earth… and right into the hands of Batman!

And in the backup feature starring Top Cat, breaking out of prison is challenging enough for a cat, but sometimes it means stumbling through a cosmic portal to planet Earth… and right into the hands of Batman!

Two stories with very different styles and characters, the first brings Adam Strange to the world of Future Quest in a cute and simple tale that feels like strange epilogues to both the Future Quest series and The Death of Hawkman. The comic is fun with a good mix of the vibe built in Future Quest and a little bit of flavor of the main steam DC Comics universe. Writers Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker blend the two and it works, though the story a feels a bit paint by numbers (heroes fight due to misunderstanding type of thing). But, Andreyko and Parker spin it into some fun, especially watching Strange trying to figure out what’s going on and seeing this DC Character set in Hanna-Barbera world.

The art by Steve Lieber is pretty good, though I admit I miss Evan “Doc” Shaner’s art from Future Quest. Things aren’t bad at all and Lieber’s style for this plays off of the fun action packed aspect of the issue. It’s a departure of that classic Hanna-Barbera style, though close to it. It’s good though and fits really well to the story.

The issue has a back-up story featuring Top Cat and it’s really interesting. It’s very short and is a prologue in so many ways, but what’s done with the few pages is entertaining and somehow works.

Written by Dan DiDio the story brings Top Cat to Gotham and is just a straight up origin tale as Top Cat tells Batman how he got to the city. It’s entertaining and is a solid lead in to further stories, but that’s the thing, if there’s nothing else, you wonder if something else could have been done. And, whatever is to come, will it be in Gotham!? It’s an interesting choice and the story is decent though nothing amazing. What is entertaining is reading DiDio’s take on the Batwoman/Catwoman relationship as there’s some solid digs.

While I wasn’t blown away by the story, the art is pretty solid at points. I really enjoy Phil Winslade‘s style for this which has an almost New Yorker-ish look to it. Top Cat’s world is what really stands out to me, but Batman and Catwoman don’t work as well. It’s interesting because the art style works so well in Top Cat’s world, but when in Gotam, things aren’t quite as visually interesting.

Overall, this is a mixed issue and sets up some interesting things for the future. It’s really cool that the Adam Strange Future Quest aspect of the issue takes place post both of their stories. That’s really smart and makes this one shot feel that much more important. But, the story itself doesn’t bring a lot that’s new or different, like their series before did. It also feels like it sets up something for the future, which Top Cat does as well. It’s an interesting concept overall with these two mash-ups, but neither quite feels like it lets loose in the ways I expected.

Adam Stange/Future Quest

Story: Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker Art: Steve Lieber
Story: 7.45 Art: 7.65 Overall: 7.50 Recommendation: Read

Top Cat

Story: Dan DiDio Art: Phil Winslade
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.15 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Love Is Love Raises Over $165,000 for Victims of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre

Last December, IDW Publishing, with support from DC Entertainment, created Love is Love, an anthology graphic novel that united the comic book community in support of the victims and families affected by the tragedy at Pulse nightclub. It has been announced that the graphic novel has raised more than $165,000 from digital and print sales. Through Equality Florida, the proceeds have been donated to the OneOrlando Fund to assist the victims and families impacted.

Love is Love was conceived and curated by comic book writer Marc Andreyko, under the editorial guidance of IDW Publishing’s Sarah Gaydos and DC Entertainment’s Jamie S. Rich, who called upon his industry colleagues to lend their talents to a benefit comic book. The overwhelming response he received in support of the project resulted in contributions from comic and entertainment luminaries including Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Jim Lee, Paul Dini, Amanda Conner, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Brian Michael Bendis, Steve Orlando, Cat Staggs, Kieron Gillen, Mark Millar, Marguerite Bennett, Phil Jimenez, David Mack, Brad Meltzer, Taran Killam, Patton Oswalt, Damon Lindelof, Morgan Spurlock and Matt Bomer, among many others.

The graphic novel is currently in its fourth printing, and the remaining copies will be donated to Equality Florida and sold as fundraising items.

A fifth printing is forthcoming, with all proceeds from this and future editions of Love is Love being donated to LGBTQA charities.

Exclusive Preview: Death of Hawkman #6

Death of Hawkman #6

Written by: Marc Andreyko
Art by: Livesay, Aaron Lopresti
Cover by: Aaron Lopresti
Variant cover by: Bill Sienkiewicz
U.S. Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: March 1, 2017

The odds are impossible, but Hawkman and Adam Strange must team up as the fates of Rann, Thanagar and the known universe hangs in the balance. But can anyone—or anything—stop Despero? Don’t miss the finale of this red-hot miniseries!

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Preview: Death of Hawkman #4

Death of Hawkman #4

(W) Marc Andreyko (A) John Livesay, Rodney Buchemi, Norm Rapmund, Sean Parsons (A/CA) Aaron Lopresti
RATED T
In Shops: Jan 04, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Having uncovered Despero’s plans to acquire the Zeta energy, Hawkman and Adam Strange realize that hundreds of thousands of Thanagarians could perish in the process! But is it already too late for Thanagar?

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