I was sitting down rereading a couple of Image comics (namely Spawn and Aphrodite IX) when something leapt out at me. Although I always acknowledged a good piece of art when I saw it the back of my mind always seemed to overlook the time and effort that went into colouring the panels. Now don't get me wrong I know someone had to sit down and do it but for some reason my brain seemed to round the two up into one person and that person was generally who was doing the line-art. I then asked myself how many line artists I could name and the result was quite a few Checchetto, Camuncoli, Jim Lee, Romita heck even Liefeld if you call the abomination that spawns from his pencil art. However my knowledge of colourists was FAR slimmer. The only two that sprung to mind were Delgado and Sejic (although he is a line artist too). I then went back and had a quick look at some other comics I had and was surprised at how many comics I had enjoyed thanks to the vivid colours put out by the colourist and yet subconsciously hadn't attributed to them.
For example I love Szymon Kudranski art. He's probably my favorite artist around right now. I just love the style. Now I picked up Spawn #206 (which features some seriously awesome art!) and I looked straight to the credits page (which frankly I have a bad tendency to gloss over) now I saw the colourist was someone named Fco Plascencia and this name meant absolutely nothing to me despite the fact after I went back through the issues he'd been on for about 5 issues.
Here is Kudranski's panel:
Pretty awesome stuff right?
And here is the same panel after Plascenia had gotten his hands on it:
It just went from pretty awesome to awesomtasticness (thats a real word now).
Its quite hard to appreciate how brilliant it is without reading the whole issue. One panel is quite hard to judge it by so i'll throw another in simply because I like looking at it!
Another example I can give is Aphrodite IX's artist the aforementioned Stjepan Sejic. Now Sejic has worked on many titles for Image as both a line artist and a colourist (generally colouring his own lines however). In the first few issues of Aphrodite IX was had Sejic's initial style of colouring:
Which is as you can see incredibly awesome.
Then only a few issues later he changed his colouring style. Bare in mind that this is EXACTLY the same person doing the line art and the colouring:
The difference is incredible. Now i'm not saying I dislike this style because I don't. I'm just showing how the entire theme and feel of the comic and art can change simply by having a different colourist or style. This is the perfect example as it is exactly the same person but if you were not aware of that you would be tempted to say its a different creative team.........all just because of how it was coloured.
What i'm getting at is that colourists have far more control over the art than we are probably aware of. I know I wasn't as aware until I sat down and looked at some of my favorite panels and issues before they had been coloured. Not to mention it is a far more difficult job than most people probably give it credit for. As a colourist you are interpreting what the line artist has drawn from what the line artist has been told by the writer. This is an incredibly difficult thing to do. I find it hard just understanding what 1 person is trying to say if they want me to visualize something because my perception of what the other person is telling me is undoubtedly different from what the other person has envisioned. Now to do that over a period of 3 views and to be the last on the list is an incredibly difficult thing. Not to mention the colouring itself isn't easy. Getting the right colours into the right shades to the flow and don't clash, making sure the shading is right etc....... is far more difficult than most of us probably give it credit for.
For those of you who are unaware Spider-man 2099 a character that hasn't had an ongoing since the mid-90's has been taken on for a second volume. First off for those of you who have never heard of Spider-man 2099 he is not Peter Parker from the future (or a clone). His alter ego is a man named Miguel O'Hara who through a series of unfortunate events has to expose himself to an experimental serum in order to shake an addiction to a drug that was introduced to his system by the company (Alchemax) he worked for so he wouldn't leave.
Who is he?
So lets get one thing out of the way Miguel O'Hara is nothing like Parker the similarities end at their super-name. In his own timeline he started out as scientist for Alchemax before eventually becoming the CEO. Suffice to say as the lead biologist at the most advanced corporation in the world of 2099 Miguel ain't lacking in the smarts department. However the thing that makes him different from the other Spider-men (Parker, Kaine, Morales etc....) is that he does what is necessary and not out of a obligation. He isn't constrained by a strict set of morals but unlike Kaine he doesn't kill often and when he does its because he sees no other option. Aside from once in his early career Miguel hasn't killed from anger. Suffice to say his moral code is slightly different from Pete's. While he does have a sense of humor it is often cold sarcasm rather than quips. His actions to a certain extent are more realistic than say Pete who would never kill or Kaine who would snap your neck as soon as you pushed him. he's kind of the happy middle between the two not excessive in either territory. Now for those of you who didn't follow Superior Spider-man (don't blame you if you didn't) Miguel is now stuck in the present 616-verse and not the 2099-verse and helped Superior take down on Goblin nation. Now thats over however Miguel is still stuck in the wrong time and decides to use his presence there for the good of the future as the company his great grandfather (Tiberius Stone) starts becomes the main and corrupted power in the 2099-verse.
Yet another Spider-man book? What is in this that should spark my interest? The answer is very simple. If you want a character with an interesting set of morals, an intriguing powerset, great potential for later stories and a good dose of Sci-Fi thrown in then Spider-man 2099 is for you. To avoid spoilers I will not talk to indepth or long about it.
The main difference between this and other Spider-books is the Sci-Fi. Miguel is sporting tech from the year 2099 meaning a personal holographic suit, an advanced AI called Lyla and a bunch of other gadgets. His powerset is also different from the Spider-man we all know in the fact Miguel has claws, fangs he can use to inject venom into his enemies and enhanced senses.
The current creative team consists of Peter David, Will Sliney and Antonio Fabela so the writing and the art is just awesome it is also only one issue 1 at the moment so its a perfect time to jump on:
And if that wasn't enough just check out this cover art.........drools. I'd buy this series just for the cover art collection:
A few months ago Games Workshop made its first proper graphic novel debut with a title called “Maccrages Honour”. Thus as a comic and 40k fan I was pretty ecstatic. The creative team consisted of British duo Abnett and Roberts. The story is written by Dan Abnett who some of you may recognize from his work on Marvel, DC and Wildstorm titles and was illustrated by the talented Neil Roberts who is known for his cover art on a lot of Black Library books and work on the covers of British series “2000 AD”. The story is of course based in the Warhammer 40k-verse known for its dark, horrific and outright brutal setting. It revolves around the aftermath of the Battle Of Calth. The Space Marines of the traitorous Word Bearers legion led by Kor Phaeron flee from Calth after being repelled by the defending Ultramarines chapter. Not wanting to let the Word Bearers escape without retribution chapter master Marius Gage takes command of the Ultramarine’s flagship Macragge’s Honour and gives chase to the traitors he once called brother leading to an all-out battle that stretched across the warp between the two vessels.
This graphic novel as I said before is written by Dan Abnett who is without a doubt one of the most well known writers of 40k literature. He knows this universe and its characters inside out and it really shines through in this. These are the cold, zealous and brutal Space Marine’s that we should be seeing in every form of 40k literature. Their interactions and mind-set is exactly as the superhuman soldiers of the Imperium are portrayed in the books. Abnett really knocked it out of the park with this.
Next up is Neil Roberts who makes his first interior art debut. While known for his incredible cover art Roberts has never illustrated a full blown comic and this graphic novel begs the question “Why the hell not?”. The guy’s art is incredible and the vivid yet dark style fits perfectly with 40k. It does however make me wonder how Roberts who has been doing cover art for years has never actually made it to mainstream comics because this book was the perfect example of why he should! Take a look at these interiors for heaven’s sake:
All in all as a 40k fan there was not much to dislike about this.
Now onto the bad. As a 40k and comic fan I was jumping up and down with joy when the two mediums collided. However as much as I enjoyed this book Games Workshop really didn’t give a damn about making this new reader friendly.
I mean not at all. This graphic novel is completely dependent on you knowing exactly who and what you are looking at and is more of a sequel Arc for the Horus Heresy novel “Know No Fear” than a standalone novel. If you have never encountered 40k before you will be left lost by this book. This was blatantly focused on long standing fans of the franchise and while that appealed to me a great deal it is a severe deterrence to someone who isn’t familiar with the 40k-verse especially the Horus Heresy.
All in all this is a very beautiful and dynamic book but unless you’re a fan of 40k you won’t know what you are looking at.
After the last Webb movie I was a little pessimistic about seeing the new one. The 1st wasn't terrible but it wasn't amazing (hah!) either. After seeing the 2nd last night Webb may have won me over.
First off i'll talk about the good stuff. First of Electro. I know a lot of people including myself question Jamies Foxx as the choice for the electric maniac however I was very surprised to find that Foxx was an awesome Electro. In fact as villians in comicbook movies go Electro is near the top of the top ten list of villians imo. He may not have been the deepest or the most complex in terms of motivation but boy was he one of the most badass in terms of personality and ability? Hell yes. Electro was portrayed exactly how he should have been and I have absolutely no qualms about Foxx's job.
Now a lot of comic fans agreed that Spider-man was portrayed well in the first movie in terms of personality in the suit in this they took that one step further. They nailed Spider-man's wise-cracks and personality brilliantly. If you thought he was done well in the first then you're going to love how Garfield portays him in this. This film actually had some pretty good lol moments.
A fear that was on most peoples minds including my own was that too many characters might be in it and give us a replay of the horror that was SM:3. Thankfully this was not the case here. There were quite a few characters but most of them had minor appearences and for the most part their paths meshed together quite fluidly. There wasn't as much forced plot which had been my biggest fear.
Next up were the fight scenes and SFX in the trailers a couple of shots looked horrible. Even as a Spider-man fan I had to say that the SFX didn't look great from the trailer however I don't know if it was just because of the cinema or the utter scale of the scenes themselves but the whole thing looked visually stunning. They completely 100% nailed the speed and agility that our web-head is known for in comics and Electro was a complete force of a nature. In terms of raw ability he would have made MCU Thor envious. Suffice to say I was majorly impressed with the fight choreography in this. Zack Snyder had some serious competition in this flick. I would go as far as to say I got more enjoyment out of those fight scenes than I did from MoS's ones and given the scale of some of the fight scenes I get the feeling Mr. Webb may have been trying to compete with another certain Marvel film that had a large scale battle. A lot of people complain about there being too much CGI but lets be honest to get the kinda scenes we are used to seeing in comics would be impossible without CGI. Another thing I really liked about it was the 1st person shots of swing round New York it was an awesome little addition.
There's some other stuff I enjoy but cannot bring them up due to the who "No Spoilers" thing.
Now onto the things I didn't think were so good. First off Harry Osborn. Now I have no qualms with the actor I thought Dane Dehaan did a pretty decent job. My qualm was that they rushed his character a little. He should have had more time to develop maybe another movie rather than just appaering out of the blue.
Next up is the fact that Garfield plays a superior (hah!) Spider-man to Peter Parker. As I said they nailed Spider-man but they still seem to have trouble coming to grips with Peter Parkers personality for some reason. Its not an awful portrayal but its not the Peter from the comics.
My final qualm was with Peter and Gwen. Marc Webb cut Mary Jane out of this movie because he wanted to focus on development between Peter and Gwen. Which he did.......just a little to much for my taste. I understand why he did it but it was too overdramtic and soppy for my taste. Once you've seen the movie you'll understand why Webb decided to pursue that route but to me it was a little over the top.
There are one or two things I would also like to throw in here but that would violate my "No Spoilers" protocol yet again.
In my opinion this is the best Spider-man film we have had to date. Even sneaking a win off Rami's SM:2. Is it perfect? No its not there are somethings that need ironing out and rethinking imo but this movie is a very good base for what Sony plans to do (expanding the Spider-verse) and if you thought Spider-man was all laughs and jokes then you're in for surprise. This film is far darker than all of the other movies combined for multiple different reasons.
Yes, Yes I know i'm a day late! Throw me a bone!!!
Uncanny #6 (Dynamite): Emotional Manipulation Is A B****!
Styles comes to save his friends and things turn pretty ugly for the guards.
Styles's ability its a kind of telepathic thingy that plays on the emotions of his enemies. The Sargent of the guards gets a little annoyed when one of the soldiers doesn't listen properly and Styles steps in
Forcing everyone to kill each other.
Suicide Risk #9 (BOOM!): Leo Becomes Requiem
In this issue we get to see how truly awesome Leo is now he has gotten better control of his abilities. What was the military's idea to deal with him? MOAB the entire fricking town!!!!
Except things don't really go to plan when Leo basically says "How about no?". Leo's list of powers increases to molecular manipulation it seems. To quote the issue "he told the fire not to burn."
And after Prometheus turns on him we get awesome art and a pretty annoyed Leo.
And to top it off he becomes Requiem!
Executive Assistant Assassins #18 (Aspen Comics): Hand To Hand For The Win!
To sum this issue up its basically just Daffodil beating people up. First in the court room.
And then against her nemesis Chuni.
The main thing I like about this issue was not only the conclusion to Daffodil's story but also the way the hand to hand wasn't over played. It was simple and effective no fancy stuff.
Well I haven't had the time (or funding) to do this thread for the past month or so but its back!
Baltimore: Chapel Of Bones #2 (Dark Horse): Vampires Get Merced!
Henry has finally tracked down the Vampire that killed his family and suffice to say he's not a happy bunny.
After what happened to his family you can understand Henry's desire to unleash a bit of good ol ass whooping on the Vamps.
To sum this issue up......lots of Vampires that do not sparkle die very bad deaths.
Aphrodite IX #8 (Top Cow): The "Superior" Aphrodite!?
For the first time since her appearance we finally get to see what Aphrodite XV, Aphrodite IX's upgraded model is capable of and she's got a very different approach to situations to IX.
She shows herself to be far more brutal than IX......efficient but brutal
I wasn't sure about Sejic's new approach to his art since issue #6 but this issue completely sold me on the new style of inking!
Artifacts #34 (Top Cow): Ian's Back!
Top Cow really knocked it out of the park with Aphrodite IX but without a doubt one of the most anticipated events of this week from them was the return of Ian Nottingham who hasn't been seen since 2011. For those of you who are unaware of who Ian is he's an ex member of the British SAS and a genetically modified killer who makes a habit out of catching bullets. This time though we see another side of Ian. His Assassin side, the side that caused Kenneth Irons to pick him as his bodyguard and most of the Top Cow-verse to fear confrontations with him.
In this issue Ian is proving to himself that he doesn't need the Blood Sword in order to kill people and he proves that quite convincingly via assassinations, extortion and out right cruelty.
Unfortunately for them the Yakuza are the ones the psychopathic Brit turns his talents against.
and why did Ian do all this exactly? To prove he didn't need the Blood Sword yes but also to send a message to anyone who wants to challenge him in order to take it!
Apparently drawing a picture of a giant sword in the blood of his enemies across the street was a big "Come at me brah!" to the rest of the Artifacts!
Well its happened. Games Workshop have done it! They are branching out into their own series of Graphic Novels based around the Horus Heresy in the 40k-verse. Starting with Macragge's Honour.
The novel follows the aftemath of the Word Bearers betrayal and attack on Calth and the Ultramarine's retaliation against their former brothers.
In the aftermath of the Word Bearers’ attack on Calth, the wounded Kor Phaeron flees aboard his battle-barge Infidus Imperator, intent on returning to the war that now rages across the entire galaxy. But the Ultramarines First Chapter Master Marius Gage – under orders from Roboute Guilliman himself – has taken the mighty flagship Macragge’s Honour in pursuit, and the battle to come will surely be remembered for all eternity. Cut off from their Legions and with no hope of reinforcement, the crews of the two vessels stalk one another to the very edge of reality... and beyond.
The story is by industry talent Dan Abnett who's name you may recognize as he's worked for Marvel (most notably Nova), DC and Wildstorm in the past as a writer but 40k is where this guy's talent really shines through (take it fro a fan of his novels).
It is illustrated by 40k artist Neil Roberts. This guy is a stunning artist to say the least here are few interior previews we have from the graphic novel itself. Yes I said interior art!
This is the first time that Games Workshop has used its own company to print a graphic novel. The other comics and graphic novels where printed mainly by BOOM!. This project has apparently been quite a few years in the making and the novel itself is over 100 pages in length, leather-bound and includes a ton of bonus artwork and a free prequel and story about the Emperor Of Mankind. This is the initial printing in which not many will be released because they are literally made to order. Hence the stupidly hefty price tag of £75 nope I kid you not £75!!!!!!
If you are interested in what looks like a master-piece of art-work and the first of what looks like to be a whole series of comics and graphic novels from Games Workshop but are unwilling to pay the price (I don't blame you) then wait for the mass-market reprint which is going to be cheaper!
All I can say is Neil Roberts..........you are the god of interiors!