Archive for the ‘jessica hickman’ Category
I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last Wonder Woman Day, but it has. Tomorrow is Wonder Woman Day 3. In honor of this awesome cause, today’s gallery is all Wonder Woman. Click either of those Wonder Woman Day links for even more.
I hope another writing update is okay, because I’m resurrecting the Cownt and want to talk about it. Tomorrow we’ll go back to talking about other people’s stories.
If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I’ve got this vampire cow character called the Cownt that I created with my brother-in-law. Yes, there’s a superficial similarity to Hell Cow from that Howard the Duck story, but I swear that Dave and I didn’t read Howard the Duck (thanks to George Lucas) and anyway, the “vampire cow” concept is where the likeness ends. With all respect to Steve Gerber, the Cownt is much, much cooler. And anyway, Gerber wasn’t the first to come up with the idea either.
The lead story in Tales from the Inner Sanctum #1 is actually a Cownt story. The artist on that one is Scotland’s own Gavin Spence who’s responsible for most of the visual look of the bovamp (though the version above has evolved dramatically from the Inner Sanctum version).
Anyway, for various reasons, Gav and I have never been able to get a Cownt comic off the ground, but we love the character and everyone we talk to loves the character, so we’ve brought in some assistance to help us get a book going.
Jess Hickman came up with the idea for a Cownt anthology a FallCon or two ago. She’s always been the Cownt’s biggest fan and my strongest encouragement to do something with him. Witness, for example, the Halloween card she and Grant sent me this year.
For whatever reason, I was dead set on getting a full, 22-page one-shot done before I wanted to start thinking about short stories. A large part of it was because I was still trying to figure out just what kind of character the Cownt ought to be.
But then Warren Ellis came up with that idea about forming a band and I really wanted to try it. Pretty much as soon as the idea of an anthology comic written by me with three different artists hit my head, I knew it had to be a Cownt book.
It wouldn’t be a Cownt book without Gav, so he obviously needed to be on board. And he is.
Jess was the easy second choice. She showed me her design of the Cownt at FallCon.
No wait. That’s a picture Jess took of me at my table during FallCon. Here are her sketches.
Jess and I spent a lot of time at FallCon hashing out ideas for the Cownt book. I said before that I struggled with what kind of character I wanted the Cownt to be. I waffled between a Casper-esque kids’ character, a dark homage to Hammer films and Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula comic, or some kind of weird combination of the two. What Jess (and Jason and Darla and others who were hanging out at FallCon) helped me work through was that the Cownt isn’t any of those. You can’t compare him to other properties, because he’s unique. Trying to tie him to those characters in my head was stifling me and making me try to change the character. They convinced me to just let the Cownt be the Cownt.
It all sounds so obvious now, but what I needed to do was come up with ideas based on reactions (mine as well as fans’) to the Cownt drawings. People were laughing, but they were mostly adults and they were mostly giggling over his udders (and asking the inevitable question: how can he be a “he” if he has udders?). I could go on pulling this apart and thinking about it all night, but I’m already dangerously close to ruining the joke by explaining it, so I’ll shut up. The point is that we’ve got the Cownt figured out now and he’s ready to make his debut.
The third artist in our band is none other than the one-and-only Paul Taylor from Wapsi Square. I’m thrilled (and somewhat stunned and disbelieving) that Paul’s interested in contributing. He’s a wonderful cartoonist with an equally wonderful webcomic and he’ll be perfect for Tales of the Cownt (or The Dark Cownt of Forbidden Love or whatever we end up calling it). I’ve actually got a Cownt drawing Paul did for me a year or so ago, but I’ll save that for another time. Expect to hear a lot more about the Cownt as we progress.
Awesome List: Oddly Normal, Wolves of August, Phil Jimenez, pacifist Hulk, Marvel Slurpees, and the Baby Orchestra
Caught up on some TiVo last night and got to see the episode of Middleman where Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal makes a guest appearance.
This was especially cool for me because my friend Jess Hickman is illustrating the next volume in the series, Fignation Times.
It doesn’t look like Volume 3 is available on Amazon yet, but if you’re going to be at San Diego Comic-Con, Otis will have a Limited Edition debut available for sale there. Make me jealous and check it out if you’re there.
The Wolves of Odin
And speaking of friends with projects, Grant Gould’s Wolves of Odin Vikings vs. Werewolves comic has a publisher and will debut in November. Grant will also be in San Diego and he’ll have a Limited Edition Preview Book for Wolves with him. You will be hearing much, much more about this from me.
Phil Jimenez is way cool
I loved Phil Jimenez’s work on Wonder Woman and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Wonder Woman Encylopedia he’s editing.
I just discovered this Pop Syndicate interview where he talks about that project and what he’s learned from it.
It’s been fascinating to see how historically the same sorts of stories have been told over and over again. I am not even sure creators between generations actually know this. They just think, “Oh my god I’ve got the perfect wonder woman story!” Like, “someone else is going to be wonder woman.” Only to find out and realize that in comic book history there have been 10 Wonder Women. Three of whom, mind you, are the golden age, earth 1 and post crisis versions. So there are three Dianas. But Wonder Woman has been replaced numerous times. Some cranky Amazon has said ‘I can do your job better than you can’ and has tried to orchestrate another contest. They get the outfit, they find out they are not suited for it, Diana gets the outfit back, – Artemis, Orana, another one from the 60s, Donna Troy, Circe. It’s interesting to me how the costume goes around. The point being that one of the things that has been fascinating me is sort of marking these story trends. And once the encyclopedia is done, I can honestly say that we never need to see another Amazon challenge Wonder Woman to the title, because it’s been done. Not because it’s not such a good story but because it’s been done over and over again.
He also talks about how he’d love a shot at drawing John Byrne’s version of Alpha Flight. I’m so wishing I was in charge at Marvel right now.
The Hulk does not fight?
I’ve always thought this smiley, kiddie version of the Hulk was weird, but now I actually hate him. Again… so wishing I was in charge at Marvel right now.
Master of Slurp Fu
I just thought this was funny
There’s more like it here.
Burn After Reading poster
From the Coen Bros. upcoming spy comedy. Gotta love that Saul Bass-inspired design.
Game of Thrones TV Show
I couldn’t make it through the first book, but it looks like progress is being made on getting the story to me in a different form (because it’s all about me). Novelist George R.R. Martin has the update.
I’ve been watching ABC Family’s new, comics-inspired series Middleman. It’s too soon for a full review, so I’m just saying here that it’s pretty awesome. The characters are charming and funny, the dialogue is clever, and the plots are insane. The pilot episode featured Chloe from 24 as a scientist whose supercomputer took over a gorilla’s brain and turned him into a Tommy gun slinging mobster.
The only complaint I have is the Power Rangers-quality effects. I’m gonna stick with it a while and see if I can get past that though because otherwise I love it.
My friend and sometimes collaborator Jess Hickman was recently interviewed about her work on volume 3 of Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal series of fantasy graphic novels.
Essential Giant Monsters
I see enough Top Ten Giant Monsters lists that I don’t usually link to them (or many other Top Ten lists at all, for that matter). Robert Hood’s list is different. Rather than just assigning personal rankings to the multitude of giant monsters in the world, he’s created a comprehensive list of what he believes are the essential movies in the giant monster genre. It’s quite a check-list and would provide a good year’s worth of viewing material for anyone hoping to see them all.
Here’s a Top Eight list I can get behind though
Topless Robot’s Top 8 Coolest Sesame Street Toys Ever. Admittedly, it’s a nostalgia thing. I had and wore out nos. 1, 4, 6, and 8 as a kid.
The Lies of Locke Lamora
This is the second recommendation from the friend who also told me about Peter David’s Tigerheart (which I picked up from David at Wizard World Chicago, by the way). My friend describes The Lies of Locke Lamora as a cross between Ocean’s 11 and Robin Hood with some fantasy elements thrown in. Sounds good to me. (Although I much prefer the cover I posted to the garish one on the US mass market paperback.)
Captain Cook’s Extraordinary Atlas
ABC is developing a show about a girl who finds an atlas of a secret world underneath our own. Whether or not the Harry Potter and Pan’s Labyrinth comparisons are justified, it sounds tailor-made for me. And it stars the little girl from Silent Hill.
New Hulk cartoons
It was inevitable. And bring ‘em on, I say. Even the Gamma Corps one where he’s leading She-Hulk and Doc Samson into battle.
John Carter movie “update”
Not really an update; just a reminder that the format of the developing John Carter of Mars movie could be anything. Live action, 2D cartoon, computer animation… nothing’s been ruled out. According to writer/presumed director Andrew Stanton, that will all be determined by the eventual script.
Namely: write ups on underappreciated DC characters like the Grim Ghost (who’d be much more interesting if he still called himself the Gay Ghost), G.I. Robot (it’s all there in the name, pal), and the dino-kicking, poison-blooded Green Man. Gorilla Grodd’s there too, making me fantasize about what a cool comic it would be to have him fight the Green Man, G.I. Robot, and the Gay Ghost.
Did Millar bait-and-switch the Wanted movie?
“What many people don’t know is that Wanted was optioned before the series was concluded … At that time, Mark had an idea based around a society of assassins that worked underground or behind the scenes, and that’s what the producers bought. Mark then decided to go in the direction that Earth was once populated by superheroes, but they have been vanquished, … and supervillains now run the Earth [in] five major cabals that run the whole world.”
Before the series was “concluded?” It sounds to me like it was optioned before the series was started. I’m not saying that Millar was necessarily unethical because I don’t know what kind of communication went on with the filmmakers as he was changing his mind. I am saying though that I’m way more excited about the movie than I am about ever reading the comic.
“You have to please the original fans, but also make it survive on its own for people who might not be familiar with the series,” Segal said. “So we try to do both, and that’s constantly the balancing act. But I think the underlying similarity between adapting Shazam and adapting Get Smart is you have to love the source material, you have to embrace it. You can’t look at it as a fixer-upper.”
Grant Gould and Jessica Hickman interview
I talk about ‘em every time the word “convention” gets brought up. Now you can get to know them a bit yourself thanks to this Comics Bulletin interview.
Tony Hale (Buster from Arrested Development) will be joining the cast of Chuck next season as a Buy More efficiency expert. That promises some really funny moments, but in the meantime, you can catch up on Season 1 when it’s released on DVD September 16.
The Keira Knightley 2009 Calendar is already available for pre-order. I wonder if misspelling her name will cost them any sales.
Johnny Storm says, “No more Fantastic Four… probably.”
Chris Evans was my favorite part of the Fantastic Four movies. He continues to impress with this interview in which he talks frankly about the failings of the movies and how he’s pretty much giving up on the idea that they’ll have a chance to get better.
Here’s hoping he’ll get his wish for a Johnny Storm appearance in some of the other Marvel movies though. (Via.)
Speaking of giving up, that’s what CBS has done with Jericho.
It’s too bad. I’ve been frustrated with the accelerated pace of this abridged season, but I’ve put up with it in hopes for a normal, third one. Hopefully Skeet Ulrich will find something else soon. First Miracles; now this.
Jess Hickman on Oddly Normal
Jess Hickman is a friend and sometime collaborator of mine. Her current project is illustrating the most recent volume of Otis Frampton’s Oddly Normal comic for Viper, the first two chapters of which you can read here.
Speaking of friends and co-workers
My Jesses James vs. Machine Gun Kelly co-writer Alex Ness has started a new comics blog.
I’ve got a huge backlog of artists I want to feature here, so I’m going to start ganging them up on you. I’m always interested in new folks to feature too, so let me know your favorites in the comments.
This and lots of other Hulk vs. Thing awesome-sauce can be found at Again With the Comics.
Yes, Jess is that butt-kicking in real life.
Unknown Pirate Girl Artist
No idea who drew this, but I found it here.
Jess and I will both be at FallCon this weekend and we’ll have some sort of “Amazon Women” sketchbook thingy there to hand out, so stop by either one of our tables. I haven’t seen the layout yet, but we’re usually right close to each other.
Jason Copland will also be making a rare convention appearance at FallCon. You’ll be able to find him with me next to the huge Kill All Monsters! poster.
Dang. I’ve got a sketchbook and a poster to get ready before the weekend. I’d better get crackin’!