HARVEY AWARDS ANNOUNCES 2014 NOMINEES, CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE TO ‘HAWKEYE’ #11
By Chris Sims
A nomination for a Harvey Award, named for legendary MAD Magazine cartoonist and editor Harvey Kurtzman, is unquestionably the most prestigious honor that has ever been bestowed on a comic book about NASCAR. Seriously. It happened in 2009 with NASCAR Heroes.
The Harvey Awards have released the list of this year’s nominees. As you might expect, the usual suspects like Hawkeye and Daredevil were honored, along with other nomination leaders Saga and Quantum and Woody. Archie, Valiant and Image all received a good amount of nominations, but it’s BOOM! Studios, along with its Archaia imprint, that earned the most recognition with 26 nominations; well more than any other publisher.
Also of note: Out of 22 categories, there was only one nomination for DC Comics, going to Danny Miki for his work inking Greg Capullo on Batman, and no nominations for IDW Publishing, which is very surprising considering the several categories for design and presentation that the company’s Artist’s Edition volumes could justifiably sweep.
Here are a few pictures from my dissertation ^^
As I mentioned in a few posts before, I illustrated Instructions by Neil Gaiman. All the images were exposed in an enclosed space to separate the realm of fairy tales from our mundane world. So yeah…I pitched a tent in the middle of the gallery XD
Here’s a little window into the colors as they develop! Sadly I didn’t save any WIP versions of the rendering process. I’ll try to remember that next time.
Because this piece was so unobvious I decided to flat out the overall shapes before I sent it out to my flatter Chris Canibano, so he could refine it all. So the first image is me, the second is him. I had him color hold a few things too…very important that the linework could be separated. The third is what I did to adjust the flats to the color scheme I had in my head.
The fourth image is a huuuge jump, but yeah, I did my rendering, which involves a shading layer, some gradients, and some dodge tool highlights. And I also, as you see, changed the background scheme a lot. I wanted the background to look like the sun’s rays, but it needed to be dark enough for all the bright things to pop! When I play around with color scheme, I select a few of the colors and mess with hue/saturation and slide the hue around to see if I get any ideas. I also use the color mixer to sort of unify the colors…group them together, so to speak. Picking colors is probably the most time-consuming part of coloring, and I don’t think I’m alone in this.
The last image is the final one; Here you can see what a difference all those effects make! We’ve got glowing effects as well as a texture applied. I don’t normally use textures on Rocket Girl…but again, I wanted this to seem like a depiction of buildings, not real buildings, so it was important to group and flatten everything to give it that effect. I made the texture in Painter 9 with their watercolor brushes—I used this technique waaaaaay back when with that very first Madame Xanadu cover. (I’ve tried the new Painter’s watercolors and it’s not nearly as good. Thank goodness I still have an old computer with the program on it!)
THE AWESOME SCOOBY-DOO/WONDER WOMAN CROSSOVER WE DIDN’T ASK FOR BUT ARE GLAD EXISTS
Wonder Woman has been quite the topic of conversation of late, thanks to the news that the popular and critically-acclaimed Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang creative team would soon be leaving her title after a three-year run to be replaced by the already controversial team of Meredith Finch/David Finch — who have already made some troubling statements in simply trying to promote their run — and the news that Gilbert Hernandez will bring his talents to the character for Sensation Comics.
While we were all talking about the Finch family, feminism, and the premier female superhero in comics history last week, we may have missed the fact that DC Comics just published an excellent Wonder Woman comic, one that cherry-picked elements from her most popular iterations (her weird-but-awesome Golden Age persona under the guidance of her creators, the Lynda Carter TV show, Super Friends) and presented them in dismemberment-free, all-ages comic that could be enjoyed by anyone from the littlest girl to the oldest old man. A comic book that was both fun and funny, and had just a touch of good old comic book insanity.
I’m talking, of course, about the latest Scooby-Doo Team-Up, in which Daphne and Velma undergo Amazonian training on Paradise Island while attempting to solve a mystery involving appearing and disappearing mythological monsters at Wonder Woman’s behest (Fred and Shaggy have to wait in the invisible plane, since by Aphrodite’s Law no man may set foot on Themiscyra or the Amazons will lose their powers and immortality; nothing in there about male dog paws, though, so Scooby is free to roam).
It really felt like the world was against me going to HeroesCon this year. I was denied for a press pass around the same time Therese and Sam got approval for San Diego Comic Con, WeLoveFine never got back to me about volunteering at their booth for the weekend, and to top it all off, my roommate for the weekend was recently laid off, leaving me out of hotel space.
Still, I wasn’t ready to give up on the Charlotte based convention focused exclusively on comic book creators. Kelly Sue Deconnick, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky were going to be there! I could just wait to meet Kelly Sue at Dragon Con this year, but I’m infamously impatient. Plus, Matt and Chip aren’t going to be there and waiting a year for the next HeroesCon to meet them sounded kind of craptacular after the universe trying to find ways for me not to go.
So I did the math. Megabus would cost me about $10 to take it up to Charlotte in the morning and ride it back into Atlanta after the con. The convention for the day on Saturday cost $20. That was a fraction of the cost of a Dragon Con Saturday pass and it might actually add up to less time than said line at its height of terribleness. It was settled. I was going.
It must seem kind of insane, taking a four hour bus trip twice in one day to spend time at a comic book convention, but let me tell you kids, it was worth every penny and every hour spent.
It was so great to meet you, Ashley! Thank you for sharing your book with me.
Comics to Read Today, July 9 - It’s a Dick of A Day!
Holy new comic day, Batman! There’s some new first issues out today that you might want to pick up as well as some other comics. And today? Today is all about DICK GRAYSON!
This is the Phil Jimenez variant for the new DICK GRAYSON book. I posted an interview Tim Seeley yesterday about the book and he had some very interesting things to say about Dick and Helena Bertinelli who is also in this book. The art is by Mikel Janin who draws a very pretty Dick. Let me know what you think of this one.
And speaking of DICK GRAYSON, this variant cover of Chastity from Dynamite is by Tim Seeley the writer of Grayson. So she’s a vampire. And given this is Dynamite she is a very s.e.x.y. vampire and the book has a very SEXY cover. However, this book is written by Marc Andreyko and the inside art isn’t quite same as the cover art. Andreyko brings his traditional snarky dialogue to the table and the concept for the vampire is somewhat interesting. I’m not sure I need another female vampire book right now, but maybe you do?
Justin Jordan was once a DC Comics writing Team Seven which featured Slade who we all know is a mortal enemy of DICK GRAYSON. Post-Apocalyptic bloody nightmare with a Saga type twist with a baby - come on the cover screams it. This is pretty violent book but if ou do like post-Apocalyptic tales Jordan certainly delivers a sturdy one. The art from Kyle Strahm is very strong. It all comes down to how much gore you like.
I’m really enjoying this run on Captain Marvel - who here kinda hoped she’d show up somewhere in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie? Anyway I think Marvel was smart getting Lopez on the book. Lopez of course drew the Catwoman series in which (wink, wink) Selina had Bruce’s daughter or DICK GRAYSON’S sister. (That was kinda of a stretch but not really. Happy to discuss!)
Did you pick up the first issue of this? More horror this time dystopia style. Did you know Cullen Bunn once wrote an arc of Superman/Batman? Did you know that Bruce Wayne/Batman is DICK GRAYSON’s father?
The new arc started last issue so you can still jump in on this. And since I came up with no way to connect DICK GRAYSON to this book if you send me one and I’ll put your name into a quick drawing to win the first trade of this book.
So much blood this week! The best vampire story being printed right now. The writer may have a passing familiarity with DICK GRAYSON.
If you like Tim vs. Harper you’ll like this issue. And you know DICK GRAYSON is going to be in here at some point.
And that’s it for me this week - what did I forget? What’s on your list? And let me know what you think of the first issues above if you read them.
‘GRAYSON’ #1 SATISFIES THE NEED FOR MORE… NIGHTWING [REVIEW]
By Chris Sims
Dick Grayson is one of those characters that’s been rumored to be on DC Comics’ chopping block for well over a decade now, so like a lot of readers, I expected his unmasking in Forever Evil to be followed by a quick and ignominious death at the hands of, I don’t know, Deathstroke or Harley Quinn or somebody. When it was announced that it would instead be leading into a new series where he’d be ditching the Nightwing identityand joining up with Spyral as an international super-spy, I was actually pretty excited. There’s a lot of possibility there, and if it was done right, it could take advantage of what the New 52 reboot had to offer by doing something that we hadn’t seen before with that character, something that would be fresh and exciting even for a major DC character who’s been around since 1940.
With the first issue of Grayson, Tim Seeley, Tom King & Mikel Janin and cover artist Andrew Robinson have done their level best at doing just that, and they’ve pulled it off. This is a book that jumps straight into the action, that’s not afraid to drop some really, really weird stuff on you right in the first issue, and the end result is one of the strongest new titles since the New 52 got its start in 2011.
Rocket Girl volume 1 comes out in comics stores TODAY!!! Make sure you get yours and hey, one for a friend, too, because it’s only $9.99.
If you live in the NYC area, we will be signing these puppies today at Midtown Comics (their Downtown location) starting at 6:30. And we’ll throw a free print in there for those who get the book!