Tag Archives: owen gieni

Image Reveals #WeBelieve in Colorists Apperciation Variants

Image Comics has revealed the black and white Spawn #286 cover artwork by legendary artist Todd McFarlane and the seven Colorist Appreciation variants that display the high impact of colorists on the artistic medium.

A selection of bestselling colorists—Moreno Dinisio, Frank Martin, Matthew Wilson, Owen Gieni, Annalisa Leoni, Nikos Koutsis, Jean-Francois Beaulieu—each put their own spin on the same McFarlane cover for these #WeBelieve in Colorists variants, and each cover displays their radically different techniques and stunning results.

We Believe in Colorists is the second of many initiatives throughout Image’s planned #WeBelieve 2018 campaign highlighting the important, lately overlooked talent of the comics industry.

Comics is a visual storytelling medium with an artist’s inks and the colorist’s pallete working hand in hand to convey the tone and mood within a finished piece of artwork.

Available on Wednesday, May 30th, final order cutoff deadline on Monday, May 7th:

  • Spawn #286 CVR A B&W by McFarlane (FEB188683)
  • Spawn #286 CVR B by Dinisio (FEB188684)
  • Spawn #286 CVR C by Martin (FEB188685)
  • Spawn #286 CVR D by Wilson (FEB188686)
  • Spawn #286 CVR E by Gieni (FEB188687)
  • Spawn #286 CVR F by Leoni (FEB188688)
  • Spawn #286 CVR G by Koutsis (FEB188689)
  • Spawn #286 CVR H by Beaulieu (FEB188690)

Rat Queens Vol. 2 #1 Heads Back to Print

Image Comics and Shadowline have announced that Rat Queens #1 written by Kurtis Wiebe with art by Owen Gieni is being rushed back to print. The Rat Queens #1 #1, 2nd printing and Rat Queens #2 of the highly anticipated reboot will hit stores on Wednesday, April 12th.

The Rat Queens reboot begins with “Cat Kings and Other Garys,” Part One. The Rat Queens are back! Betty, Violet, Dee, Braga, and Hannah return! Palisade is still a rat-infested troll’s ass, and everyone still hates Gary. It’s been awhile since the Queens have done a good slaughter, so join them as they get back to the basics of killing monsters and drinking away the profits!

Fans won’t want to miss out on this brawling, foul-mouthed fun with a fresh artistic spin and new adventures on the horizon.

The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers for Rat Queens, Vol. 2 #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code JAN178754), Rat Queens, Vol. 2 #2 Cover A by Gieni (Diamond Code FEB170671), and Cover B (Diamond Code JAN178755) is Monday, March 20th.

The Final Four Image Variants

Image Comics has revealed the final 4 of 15 tribute variants planned for February’s 25th anniversary theme month to round out the full list of “tribute covers” celebrating the legendary cover images from throughout the Image’s history.

The newly revealed tribute variants include: Sean Lewis & Hayden Sherman’s The Few #2 commemorating Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta’s East of West #1Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, Owen Gieni’s Manifest Destiny #26 commemorating Jonathan Layman & Rob Guillory’s Chew #1, Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress #10 commemorating Todd McFarlane’s Spawn #1, and Outcast by Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta #25 commemorating Rob Liefeld’s Brigade #1.

Each month of Image’s 25th year will announce a list of special themed anniversary variants, which will begin to hit shelves on Wednesday, February 1st—the exact date of Image Comics’ founding in 1992, and the date of this year’s “Image Comics Day.”

manifest-destiny-26 monstress-10 outcast-by-robert-kirkman-paul-azaceta-25 the-few-2

Shutter #25 Crossover Event: Special Brandon Graham Variant Cover Revealed

Image Comics has revealed Brandon Graham’s special variant cover of Shutter #25, the highly anticipated crossover event in the fan-favorite series written by Joe Keatinge and illustrated by Leila del Duca.

For those that missed it, Shutter #25 will celebrate the 25 year history of Image Comics.

Shutter #25 Cover A by Leila del Duca and Owen Gieni, as well as Shutter #25 Cover B by Brandon Graham, will hit comic book stores Wednesday, December 28th. Final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, December 5th.

shutter-25-crossover-event-special-brandon-graham-variant

Milestone Shutter Issue Features Rare Crossover of Legendary Image Characters

Critically-acclaimed ongoing series Shutter by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca will feature a rare crossover event to incorporate legendary Image Comics characters from the classic series Spawn, created by Todd McFarlane; Glory, created by Rob Liefeld; Witchblade, created by Marc Silvestri, editor David Wohl, writer Brian Haberlin, and artist Michael Turner; Savage Dragon, created by Erik Larsen; Invincible, created by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker; and Shadowhawk, created by Jim Valentino.

Shutter #25 is a landmark issue for the popular pandimensional adventure series, but it will also celebrate Image Comics’ 25th anniversary with this exceptional moment in Image Comics history.

Fans dare not miss the terrifying biscuits-and-gravy secret no one will see coming in Shutter #25. Here, Shutter will kick off 2017 with these founding heroes meeting up with the cast of Shutter’s beloved character ensemble for what may prove to be one of their most delicious adventures yet.

Shutter #25 Cover A by Leila del Duca and Owen Gieni, as well as Shutter #25 Cover B by Brandon Graham, will hit comic book stores Wednesday, December 28th.

shutter-25

Manifest Destiny maps out all-new story arc Sasquatch

Writer Chris Dingess and artist Matthew Roberts return with their biggest Manifest Destiny story yet, the 6-issue “Sasquatch” arc, featuring America’s most legendary monster. The adventure begins this May from Image/Skybound Entertainment.

Previously, deep in America’s heartland, Lewis & Clark’s expedition lead to the discovery of a civilization unlike any they—or anyone else on Earth—had yet encountered, and it pushed their men to the brink of mutiny.

In Manifest Destiny #19, readers return to the story as Lewis and Clark pick up the trail of the legendary Sasquatch, AKA Bigfoot. Huge pieces of the series’ mythology will be revealed by arc’s end.

Manifest Destiny #19 Cover A by Roberts and Gieni (Diamond Code MAR160544) and Cover B by Harren (Diamond Code MAR160545) hit stores on Wednesday, May 18th. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, April 25th.

MANIFEST DESTINY #19 Cover A MANIFEST DESTINY #19 Cover B

Review: Shutter #19

shutter_19-1The last issue of Shutter left readers on the precipice of action, with Kate ready to lead her siblings and friends into battle with Prospero. It was something of a breather for the series, which has been necessarily action heavy so far. Writer Joe Keatinge takes Shutter #19 in a different direction with an issue that has been a long time coming.

This issue can be read one of two ways, as artist Leila del Duca says in the backmatter. Readers finally learn more about the background of Kate Kristopher’s siblings. Instead of its usual structure of a varying number of panels per page, Shutter #18 sticks to a format of three-panel pages and runs with a color theme unique to this issue.

Each panel (top, middle, bottom) has a monochromatic color scheme and tells the story of a different Kristopher sibling (Chris Kristopher Jr., The Leopard, and Kalliyan Phy). Because of this, the story can be read by reading the entire page at once, or by following the top, middle, or bottom panel in order to read one character’s story at a time. Both are equally accessible, but reading one panel at a time highlights the disparities in each sibling’s upbringing. This format and subject, while answering questions, also keeps the reader guessing at why and how this came to be. The question of why Kate’s upbringing was so different from her siblings’ is partially answered, but the mystery of the series isn’t totally gone.

Colorist Owen Gieni and Leila del Duca get to experiment with art on this issue, and the cover is something of a preview for the story. The monochromatic color theme associated with each character keeps the story coherent, letting it build to a climactic finish.

Shutter‘s art is wonderfully consistent, and del Duca is a talented artist and a credit to the comic industry. The story is regaining momentum, but there’s no clear hint as to where it will go, something that Keatinge has done–and continues to do–well.

Story: Joe Keatinge Art: Leila del Duca Colors: Owen Gieni
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Monsters & Mental Illness: Negative Space #1-3

NEGATIVE SPACEReading Negative Space feels deeply weird and deeply familiar all at the same time, in all the right ways.

I was instantly sucked in, right from the first issue. Scary squishy aliens, existential dread, grand conspiracies, and pink tentacle monsters in ugly orange sweaters? I loved it. And I loved how the art was somehow sketchily impressionistic and horrifically detailed at the same time. Owen Gieni’s pretty colors and artful composition are always walking that uncanny line, whether he’s drawing adorably gangly bodies or weird, disgusting gore.

And I loved Guy, the protagonist, right from first sight. Fat, self-depreciating, tender Guy, with his big nose and small, sad eyes. In just the first few pages, Guy is a complete person who it seems like I know intimately: a frustrated writer, disabled, lonely, brave and suicidal and in love with a barista named Woody.

Guy’s name seems to indicate that he’s a stereotypical “everyman” kind of hero–you know, just a “guy.” But Guy isn’t the bland, unremarkable kind of everyman who usually appears in this kind of story. He certainly doesn’t look like everyone else: he’s big, he’s Native, and he’s gay. He’s idiosyncratic, but deeply relatable at the same time. He’s not special in spite of being normal–he’s relatable because he’s so vividly unique.

I also really loved that from the first issue, Guy’s supernatural powers and existential weaknesses are all wrapped up in the same big package. The same capacity for feeling and understanding that make him a writer are inherently linked to his illness, and to his supernatural, maybe-messianic empathy.

Guy’s depression is the catalyst for the entire story. He’s not just sad and desperate before he gets whisked away on a grand adventure. Negative Space is a story about mental illness on a grand, cosmic scale–and it’s not a symbolic story about mental illness, either.

Negative Space #2You know that mad feeling that the entire universe is being engineered just to fuck with you personally? Well, in Guy’s case, it’s actually true. A shadowy organization called the Kindred Corporation is monitoring and manipulating his life, making sure that it sucks as much as humanly (or inhumanly possible), because they’re working in collaboration with the Evorah, an alien race that feeds on negative emotions.

There’s nothing particularly innovative about making illness into monsters. In the wrong hands, fiction that externalizes disability into something that can be fought and destroyed can be deeply unhelpful or even harmful to neurodivergent people.

But it can also be extremely comforting. In a recent episode of This American Life, a guy named Paul Ford describes how he programmed an “Anxiety Bot” to send him nasty emails about himself. This certainly isn’t the kind of thing that’d work for me, but it worked for Ford–by creating an artificial voice that mirrored and replicated his anxiety, he was able to recognize how “stupid” and alien and robotic that voice really was. The terrible thoughts he was having about his life? Those thoughts weren’t really him–they were his anxiety talking.

In my experience, being able to externalize my disability was a crucial step in learning to live with it. That’s not me–that’s the illness trying to get me is something I had to tell myself hourly and then daily and weekly to survive. A lot of people find it very helpful to imagine their illness as something other than or outside of themselves–as alien or “mean” or “stupid” or monstrous or evil, or whatever else works for them.

But, paradoxically, surviving with a mental disability is also about acceptance. I’m more than my illness, but I am also chronically, permanently, inherently ill. I’m disabled. As much as I’m able to convince myself that That’s not me, that alien thing is definitely here to stay.

So, basically, my personal strategy for coping with and recovering from mental illness has been a paradoxical balancing act between externalization and acceptance. It’s confusing and contradictory, but the important thing is that it’s a trick that works (for me, at least). So who cares if it doesn’t make a lick of sense?

In Negative Space #2, Guy sets off on a grand adventure. He teams up with a group of resistance fighters, including Woody and a turncoat alien named Beta, to arm and detonate an “emotion bomb” that might harm Kindred Corp. and the Evorah. Guy also finds out that he’s a powerful empath who could play a crucial role in both the resistance and the Evorah’s global takeover.

But it’s in Negative Space #3 that Guy starts to make his first big stand against humanity’s oppressors. And it’s also in Negative Space #3 that Gieni and writer Ryan K. Lindsay pull off their big emotional and artistic masterstroke.

As Guy takes command of his newfound powers, it doesn’t mean shedding his depression, or no longer feeling suicidal, or by suddenly becoming happy. He does it by feeling sad. In one hazy, beautiful, purple-pink splash page, Guy remembers his father; he feels angry and deeply sad, and that’s what fuels his big, badass moment against earth’s alien enemies.

I’ve never really seen anything like this. I’ve lived with mental illness for years (pretty satisfactorily, I might add!) by tricking myself into accepting that awkward paradox between externalization and… well, acceptance. But Negative Space #3 pulls off a weird magic trick: making that paradox seem effortless and honest to me for the first time.

It sounds false and cheesy when you write it out: Guy uses The Power of Feelings to fight his internal (and external) demons. But it sure doesn’t feel false on the page.

Story: Ryan K. Lindsay Art: Owen Gieni
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Shutter sets out on new story arc in February

Shutter #18Writer Joe Keatinge, artist extraordinaire Leila Del Duca, and colorist Owen Gieni will launch a new story arc in their ongoing globe-trotting urban fantasy series Shutter this February.

Previously in Shutter, Kate Kristopher, once the most famous explorer of an Earth far more fantastic than the one we know, was forced to return to the adventurous life she left behind when a family secret threatened to destroy everything she spent her life protecting.

In Shutter #18, Kate knows everything—and we don’t! The first issue in a new chapter, “All Roads,” that sheds light on the past Kate (and company) tried to leave behind, and where they’re going next. 

All roads converge. Not everyone survives the trip.

Shutter #18 (Diamond code: DEC150549) hits stores Wednesday, February 3rd. Final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, January 11th.

Review: Negative Space #2

Negative Space #2If you’re not going to read this review, go buy the first two issues of Negative Space. They’re both awesome.

Why? Well, for the answer read on!

Negative Space is one of those comics that is pretty simple on the surface of things. Centering around a writer named Guy Harris a man who wants to end his life, but he has a fairly major obstacle in front of him; a case of writer’s block when it comes to penning his suicide note. Looking for inspiration with his suicide note Guy takes a walk and stumbled into a terrifying conspiracy that has been dedicated to harvesting the depression of humanity, led by a corrupt corporation and the beings that feed on our emotions.

There are a lot of things to enjoy about this series; Owen Gieni line work is very detailed without being too distracting to the eye, and the flow to his layouts and the characters within is superb, but it’s his colouring work that really gives Negative Space the visual punch. Capturing an almost dream like quality, the coloured artwork gives an added texture that you can feel, which suits the nature of the story to an absolute T. When you look at Negative Space #2 strictly as a comic book, you’ll find a story that has elements of The Matrix combined with Monsters Inc. wrapped up in some gorgeously coloured art work that, although it may not be to everybody’s taste, couldn’t suit Ryan Lindsey‘s story any better. There is also a darkly funny undertone to this issue which came as a very pleasant surprise, given the premise of a comic about a man who is desperately trying to end his life, but the humour works.

Negative Space, is good.

This is a comic where the sum of its parts have created something that is a much greater whole. The way in which Lyndsey explores the effects emotions can have not only on ourselves, but on the people around us is very interesting to me. The potential of this series to really explore the impact of depression, happiness, and everything in between is vast, and with the stigma that mental health issues tend to have, anything that brings awareness to such an important issue is vital. The crushing depression that Guy is going through in this series, and that so many other people struggle with on a daily basis, is a persistent undertone here; always threatening to overwhelm our hero yet never fully over taking him, at least not yet.

Although there have only been two issues released so far, as a series Negative Space is proving to be a very interesting proposition; when read just as a comic it’s good – it’s really good, but when taken as an exploration of the effects of our emotions and the impact depression can have, it’s something else entirely.

Either way, Negative Space #2 is worth your time. Why aren’t you adding it to your pull list?

Story: Ryan Lindsey Art: Owen Gieni
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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