On Oct.6, 2016 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center The Blerd Gurl a panel for New York Comic Con entitled “Afropunks and Blerds:The Black Nerd Renaissance“. The panelists included David F. Walker (Power Man and Iron Fist/Marvel), Vernon Reid (Living Colour/band), Corey Glover (Living Colour/Band), Ytasha Womack (Afrofuturuism: The World of Black SciFi and Fantasy culture), Dr. Sheena Howard (Black Comics: The Politics of Race and Representation), John I. Jennings (Blue Hand Mojo/Kindred: The Graphic Novel) and Jamie Broadnax (Black Girl Nerds).
Tag Archives: new york comic con
Everafter: From the Pages of Fables is a new Vertigo series that picks up where the popular Fables left off. At New York Comic Con I got a chance to talk to David Justus and Matt Sturges about the series, what we can expect, and working with such famous characters.
Green Arrow has gotten back to his roots in DC Comics‘s “Rebirth” and at New York Comic Con 2016 I got a chance to speak with writer Ben Percy and artist Juan Ferreyra about the series and character.
We’re still recovering from New York Comic Con and still have tons of news to come!
While you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
Around the Tubes
Jewish Telegraphic Agency – Comics hero Frank Miller wants a Superman who ‘confronts his Jewish roots’ – That could be interesting.
Quartz – A South African graphic novel series wants to change how Africans think of superheroes – Need to check this out.
CBR – Spider-Man Spinoff News Coming Soon, Says Sony Chairman – Anyone want to still see this happen?
ICv2 – ‘We Sold at Least 185,000 Unique Tickets – Congrats!
Around the Tubes Reviews
Talking Comics – All-New Wolverine #13
Titan has unveiled the first art from Robotech – a brand-new series based off the legendary 80s animation by Harmony Gold – which was revealed at this weekend’s New York Comic Con.
This brand-new cover was created by celebrated Robotech artists, Jason and John Waltrip, who are favorites to Robotech fans for their work on the Robotech II: The Sentinels, Robotech Genesis: The Legend of Zor and Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles comic series.
First airing in the USA in 1985, Robotech captured audience’s imaginations with its epic generational storylines involving war, romance, and, of course, the transforming Veritech fighters which defend the Earth against extra-terrestrial attacks. Produced by Harmony Gold USA, the original 85-episode series delved into humanity’s struggle against a series of alien invasions, from the gigantic Zentraedi to the mysterious Invid, battling for control of advanced alien technology that crash-landed on Earth. Now, return to the Robotech Saga for all-new adventures!
Titan Comics’ Robotech series is set to debut in 2017.
Ever since Lion Forge announced a new line-up of hires, it’s been a company to watch. You don’t bring on that sort of talent without having a bigger plan and something up your sleeve.
I’ve watched intently parsing every word said by staff and every hint dropped to try and figure out what exactly what was being worked on.
At New York Comic Con, we found out what that was.
At their panel Sunday, Lion Forge announced “Catalyst Prime,” a new superhero universe with a killer amount of talent writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering, and diversity on the page and behind the scenes. But, impressively it’s also established and new talent alike working together to create this new world. That’s something that’s important for the company, to bring together old and new voices.
Along with the creative talent it was announced that Desiree Rodriguez is joining the company as an editorial assistant for the new line. Rodriguez is a freelancer for Nerds of Color who wrote this fantastic piece about being Latinx in comics.
Before the panel, I got to speak with Senior Editorial Manager Joe Illidge and got the details as to what we can expect.
Graphic Policy: It’s been months of teasing and hints and I know I’m excited to hear the details. What’s the scoop as to what Lion Forge has announced at New York Comic Con 2016?
Joe Illidge: We’re announcing the creation of a new superhero universe which will be under the title of “Catalyst Prime.” There will be seven monthly books and the line will launch in May of 2017.
GP: Who’s the talent that’ll be involved that you can announce?
JI: For the kick off book it’s going to be mainly written by Christopher Priest, co-written by myself with the art by Marco Turini, letterer Deron Bennett, and colorist Jessica Kholine. For the first ongoing series with a Black male lead, the writer is Brandon Thomas, artist Ken Lashley, letters by Saida Temofonte, and colorist Juan Fernandez. The second main book about an interracial duo, it’s co-written by David Walker and Dr. Sheena Howard, illustrated by Chuck Collins, and colored by Veronica Gandini. The third book is written by Joe Casey, illustrated by Damion Scott, lettered by Janice Chiang, and will be colored by John Rauch. The fourth book will be a team book written by Joe Casey with story consultation by Ramon Govea who created the concept, illustrated by Larry Stroman and Rob Stull, and colored by Snakebite Cortez. For the fifth title with a British male lead which is a science fiction thriller, it’ll be written by Joe Casey, illustrated by Jefte Palo who is well known for illustrating the Black Panther Secret Invasion storyline in which the Wakandans held back the Skrull invasion, it’ll be colored by Chris Sotomayor, and lettered by a legendary letterer. The letterer of the Hugo award winning Sandman Overture graphic novel, Todd Klein. The sixth title with a White male lead will be written by Alex De Campi, illustrated by Pop Mhan, and lettered by Deron Bennett. Deron Bennett is doing a bunch of DC “Rebirth” books. One prominent one is Batgirl. The seventh title with a lesbian lead character will be written by Amy Chu, illustrated by Jan Duursema, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and lettered by Deron Bennett.
GP: That’s impressive you can remember and name all of them. So what can you tell us specifically about the series?
JI: Well basically the whole universe is started from an asteroid heading to Earth and a private corporation called the Foresight Corporation, which produced our teaser memo, they send four astronauts on a suicide mission to stop the asteroid. What happens leads to the emergence of super humans on our world. After that, most of the books will take place one year after that.
GP: As far as the comics, how are they kicking off, a mini-series and then everything launches from there?
JI: It’s going to start with a one-shot co-written by Christopher Priest and myself, coming out the first week of May 2017. And then we’ll be rolling out the books from there, from May through December.
GP: That’s an amazing group of talent working on the comic that’s very diverse, what about the characters?
JI: The characters are diverse. Of the four astronauts, you have two women, one of whom is lesbian, one of whom is Black. The two men, one is Black and one is British. The other three are American. Then there’s also a Chinese woman who is part of mission control who is supervising the mission in space, but was not one of the four astronauts.
GP: That certainly is diverse. When putting the series together, was this a priority and thought through?
JI: It was thought through in the sense that the owner David Steward II, the President Geoff Gerber, and I are really committed to creating a universe that invites everyone. Diversity is a buzzword that has become obsolete because it’s been used for a lot of PR. Diversity should be intrinsic if you have an expanded mindset and worldview so when you’re going to creators they’re not all heterosexual, they’re not all Caucasian males. They might not all be from the United States. They’re from different industries. They have different political backgrounds. Diversity is automatic. But we want to create something new and exciting that doesn’t have a burden of decades of continuity. We want everyone to feel invited to this world and this world will evolve into a world that will more accurately reflect the demographics of the one that we live more than a lot of other fictional superhero comic universes.
GP: When it comes to the writers… there’s a habit lately that writers are pigeonholed into what they write based on the color of their skin or their gender, in November out of 13 female writers for the big two only one was writing a comic with a male lead as an example, are you breaking that mold?
JI: I am breaking that mold. The book that is going to have the latino teenager lead is going to be written by Joe Casey whom is neither Latino nor a teenager. But, Joe Casey has clearly been an advocate for variety in superhero comic books, in creator owned comic books. And frankly he’s the co-creator of America Chavez. To me, that right there, America Chavez is one of the most beloved Latinx characters of our time. So I’m comfortable with him writing a Latinx character considering he created one of the most popular ones right now.
GP: He’s shown he can do it.
GP: One of the things that caught my eye in your teases was a woman writing a male character, so it’s either Dr. Sheena Howard, Amy Chu, or Alex De Campi.
JI: What it is, the book that will be co-written by David Walker and Dr. Sheena Howard is an interracial team book written by a man and a woman featuring a man and a woman. That really came down to whom I feel David and Sheena are as people. Due to their academic backgrounds. Due to their vast social and cultural knowledge. Due to the fact they are both social crusaders, they are expertly qualified to tell this story.
Amy Chu is going to be writing a story about a Caucasian lesbian. Alex De Campi will be writing a story with a white American male lead. So you don’t have to keep these straight lines. Some of them won’t be straight for the sake of being straight. I really tried to see who were the best creators to tell these stories book by book.
GP: With the baggage that comes with continuity and years of stories, are you thinking through that as you put together this universe and series? A perfect example is Valiant that has continuity but you can read just one series, step into a new story arc, there’s clear starting points, or you can enjoy it all.
JI: Absolutely. No two books will be alike aesthetically. We want readers to be able to read a book and not feel like they are trapped or tricked into reading other books. If you read other books and you keep moving forward, you start seeing connected threads, and you get the benefit of the worldview of this entire thing. If you choose just one book, or two books, or four books, you can have individual experiences and as we look forward to the first crossover event, which will probably take place in 2018, that will be a story in of itself. If you choose to keep reading your book, you can do that. It’s very important for us that the reader not feel interrupted in the book, or books, that they like. It’s also important that when we collect these books we really want to engage the book market. We want to create volumes where a new reader can pick up any volume and get into that world. Whether it’s across titles or whether they pick up volume two of any series and we hope that they don’t feel like that have to pick up volume one but instead that they’ll want to pick up and read volume one.
It really comes down to characters. Characters are the underpinning of all stories. We want to create characters that the readers will care about. We want you to come along on the journey with these characters. So, by defining the characters, making them compelling, and making them relatable, is the ultimate way that we can invite readers, old and new, into the universe.
GP: Is the universe set in our world or slightly off? Do we get fake countries or ones that actually exist?
JI: It’s going to be our world geographically, all the identifications will match up to Earth. I look at this as the love child of Darwyn Cooke’s DC New Frontier and Vertigo Year One and the brilliance of Karen Berger in using Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Shade, the Changing Man, Black Orchid, and Kid Eternity as the foundation for a truly imaginative and impressive body of books. These will be super hero genre books, but they’ll also engage in other genres like science fiction, techno thriller, young adult, action adventure, teen adventure, social drama, so that is how I see it. For that to be the case, it had to take place in a world like ours.
GP: Since it is taking place in a world familiar to ours, there’s the debate as to whether comics should just be entertainment or if it should touch upon social justice issues being waged. Will the comics touch upon real world issues? From the characters and what you’ve described it sounds like social issues will be a natural thing for the series, but is it a goal and point?
JI: You know, we don’t see it as a hard agenda. It’s not something we’re going to beat the audience over the head with as far as the stories. When you’re talking about social justice, art has always been a vehicle for social justice.
GP: Comics always have.
JI: Exactly. We’re at a time where we are vulnerable in so many other areas. Our bodies are vulnerable. We’re being told what bathrooms we can use. We have political icons engaging in reprehensible behavior, xenophobia, and sexism. Art may be one of the last frontiers that is bullet proof. If you’re going to do a universe, and you’re going to engage the super hero and what the super hero can do, how can you not engage in social justice?
GP: How long has this been in the works?
JI: It’s funny, there has been different stages. I started working at Lion Forge in June and I really expanded it. The origins of the “Catalyst Prime” super hero universe starts with the owner of Lion Forge, David Steward II. As someone highly influence by Milestone, we are obviously simpatico on that front, myself being a Milestone alumni, Geoff Gerber the President of Lion Forge being an advocate for social justice, the three of us together really wanted this to be something special that would invite everybody. It started with the owner, but when I came in I took the nucleaus and put together a team of writers. We did a writers retreat where we all sat down in a room and spent a day and basically nurtured this universe to life and that kind of creativity, that imaginative osmosis, the results of that are really going to be seen in the books. You’re going to see us subvert some familiar archetypes. You’re going to see some characters of ethnic backgrounds that you never thought you’d equate with roles of power. We’re really looking to give you the kind of familiar things you want with super hero comic books, but we want to return fun and imagination to super hero comic books.
It feels like right now we’ve hit a critical mass in terms of cynicism, in terms of doubt, in terms of dissapointment, for the faith and investment of time we have given. I want this super hero unvierse be a return to fun and imagination and the consumer being rewarded for their time and love of this genre and this medium.
GP: With starting a comic line now, it feels like it’d be different because it’s no longer just print you’re dealing with. There’s digital, there’s mobile, there’s web, the avenues and distribution is so different. Is that in your thoughts in putting it together, looking at the big picture and how different people will interact differently with the material?
JI: Absolutely. It’s very important for us that anyone who wants to get our books will be able to get our books. Whether it is comic book stories in the direct market. Whether it’s book stores and collections in the trade market. Whether it’s digital. We have been looking at a lot of metrics and data in regards to digital comics. Some of those discoveries will impact how we put together and provide these books. And it’s very important to us that if you’re unfortunately living in a place that’s a comic store desert, you can still get the book. It’s important to us that if you feel there’s a local environment that’s not welcoming to you as a consumer that you can still get our book. It’s important to us that we engage in a discussion with retailers and consumers about pre-ordering so that we expand the vocabulary and help consumers get our books.
GP: Any final thoughts?
JI: It’s exciting for us to start this new thing. I think culturally that we are at a high point of the popularity and the agency of the super hero as a genre and so there’s no better time to start a new universe than right now. I firmly believe, and the creators that I’ve assembled, we all firmly believe that ultimately people want good stories. It’s not about what genre it is. It’s about good stories and good characters.
New York Comic Con 2016 has come and gone and as always there was a ton of cosplay and impressive level of craftsmanship on display. This year’s costume seemed to be Negan from The Walking Dead who was cosplayed by men and women alike and people of all ages. Though I didn’t keep an official count, the amount of people dressed as the character seemed to outnumber those dressed as Deadpool or Harley Quinn which was not as prevalent as it was at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year.
Check out below for some of the costumes that you could have found around the convention.
At New York Comic Con 2016, AfterShock Comics announced two new series during their panel. The two series will debut in January and you can find out more details below!
BLOOD BLISTER #1
Written by: Phil Hester
Art by: Tony Harris
Inked by: Eric Layton
Colored by: Guy Major
Cover by: Tony Harris
$3.99/ 32 pages / Color/ On-Sale January 4th
Sin is a joke to Brandon Hull. Morality a crutch for the weak, laws mere tools to be abused. But when the corruption he scoffed at begins to manifest on his once-perfect body, Hull finds himself cast into a hidden world of unspeakable horror from which there is no escape. How can you be saved when the evil possessing you is your own soul? Opening a jarring window on to a world of horror.
Opening a jarring window on to a world of horror from the writer of The Coffin, Firebreather, and Deathstroke and the Eisner Award-winning artist of Ex-Machina and Starman.
ANIMOSITY: THE RISE (one-shot)
Written by: Marguerite Bennett
Art by: Juan Doe
Cover by: Juan Doe
$3.99/ 32 pages / Color/ On-Sale January 18th
“The Animals thought, spoke, and took revenge. The dust has settled and the blood dried, but a new force is rising in the West, ready to help Animal-kind seize power in the dark new world to come…”
Spinning out from Marguerite Bennett’s hit new series ANIMOSITY is this special one-shot, illustrated by AMERICAN MONSTER’s very own Juan Doe! Witness the devastating effects of “The Wake” and how it affected other parts of the world on that terrifying day!
As revealed at New York Comic Con 2016, Valiant Entertainment has announced Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe – a brutal, first-of-its-kind, live-action digital series. Premiering online in late 2017, the bone-shattering, six-episode series will pit MI-6’s master assassin, Ninjak, against a gauntlet of Valiant’s most formidable heroes for a bloodstained battle royale torn from the pages of the largest independent superhero universe in comics.
We got a chance to talk to two of the stars, Kevin Porter (Dodgeball) who plays Armstrong and Ciera Foster (Two and a Half Men) who plays Livewire as to what we can expect from the series.
Kicking off Saturday at New York Comic Con, Scout Comics announced four brand new series coming to shelves in 2017.
WELCOME TO PARADISE
Written by A.C. Medina
Illustrated by Morgan Sawyer
Colored by Ross A. Campbell
Lettered by Micah Myers
Filled with deadly drag races for sport, routine mass killings called “the cleanings”, and where the common house is the size of a closet. Meet Manny, a fun loving, chop shop delivery boy, on the run and in possession of what may be humanity’s last hope. The only problem is Manny’s world is a bunker the size of California and just about everyone in it wants him dead.
Written by Mina Elwell
Illustrated by Eli Powell
Colored by Tristan Elwell
Lettered by Rob Jones
As Sam attempts to discover the real reason the people of her town are being destroyed, she becomes aware of mind-redning creatures that feed off the sanity of their victims. It’s up to her to do something about it… if she can only keep her grip on reality.
Written by Ed Cho
Illustrated by Lee Cherolis
Little Guardians tells the story of two young people switched at birth and now unknowingly living each other’s lives. Subira was supposed to be the next Guardian of Yowza Village, but she was born a girl. Instead she lives a quiet life working at The Item Shop never knowing what should have been. Idem trains to be the next Guardian and tries his best to be the warrior he was never meant to be. How will the next generation survive the choices made for them as strange incidents start plaguing the village and demon attacks appear to be on the rise?
Written by James Pruett
Illustrated by Federico De Luca
Alex was only 7 when he first awakened the power that left him comatose for nearly 16 years, an evolutionary power lying dormant in all mankind, bubbling within the unconscious mind waiting and yearning to be unleashed. Finally, a young child was able to touch this untapped force and the results were catastrophic. Those that would use his ability have been awaiting Alex’s awakening. Now, that wait has ended, and the world will soon learn the true potential of mankind. But will Alex be a vanguard for the world or will he be responsible for its annihilation?