Marvel Comics has had the rights to Miracleman (or Marvelman, pick your poison) for quite some time now, and it’s been a waiting game to see what they do with the character. Wait no longer, as we see at least some of what they have in store – here we have our first look at the remastered MIRACLEMAN #1! Meet me after the jump for more…
After making the game-changer move of ending all of their monthly series in August 2011 and, calling it the “New 52”, re-starting them with brand new first issues, DC Comics continues to evolve. This year, the publishing company has definitely been shining a light on the darker corners of its universe. The mature, sophisticated publishing arm of Vertigo Comics is still undergoing changes as well, with flagship title Hellblazer recently ending it 300-issue run. The main protagonist of that series, the beloved chain-smoking English occultist, John Constantine, has been folded up into the DC universe proper, continuing his supernatural adventures in a new ongoing monthly series called, appropriately enough, Constantine.
Ray Fawkes has worked for both DC Comics and Vertigo Comics along with a host of other publishers including Oni Press, Image Comics, Top Shelf Comics and Marvel Comics. The Eisner, Harvey and Shuster Award nominee is now writing some of his most high-profile work to date at DC Comics, namely Justice League Dark and Constantine as well as having a hand in DC’s upcoming Trinity War summer blockbuster storyline.
JP Fallavollita met with the Toronto-based writer and artist at the 2013 edition of the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) and had a chance to speak with him over the phone about his recent writing responsibilities. In the first part of this interview, Fawkes talks about his experiences with fan-favourite character, John Constantine, the history and responsibility of writing him in both a solo series and a group series, and his story plans for the near future.
It’s not me, it’s you. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for the current state of our relationship.
We’ve known each other for a long time now – very nearly thirty years – sharing tears and laughs and smokes and pints of ale together, but things haven’t been right between us for a while now, have they? Sure, there were good times, and I’ve told you about those days on a number of occasions. But lately, it feels like you’re not even here, never present the way I want you to be present. There have been some pretty dark times. None more so than last November. I won’t go into it now. I know you remember.
That November day hurt me, John. But I know, deep down inside your seemingly callous exterior and your mischievous, plotting habits, I know that it hurt you, too.
But hope springs eternal, doesn’t it? And this day, March 20, perhaps coincidentally the first day of spring, I still have hope for our us…
Tuesday, February 26. A dog day in the month of love.
Cupid’s come and gone, sweet first blush has turned to red-faced anger, text messages have gone unanswered, and all that’s left of chocolate gifts are their shredded wrappers.
Have no worries, pet. As alone as you may feel, someone’s always got it worse than you. Why, we here at Biff Bam Pop! have been celebrating the swoon of tainted love all month long! We’ve covered the subject in film (here, here and here), prose (here) and comic books (here, here and here).
But if you’re somehow still under the thrall of adoration’s venomous poison, let me introduce you to comicdoms most famously tainted love affair, that of the unbeknownst three-way between the hauntingly beautiful Abigail Arcane, the crusty con-man John Constantine, and the muck-encrusted monster known as Swamp Thing.
Love, I’m afraid, never ceases to surprise. Or sicken.
If you’re a regular to Biff Bam Pop!, John Constantine, everyone’s favourite mystical hellblazer, needs no introduction. We’ve written about the character a number of times here, most recently with the news of the cancellation of his long-running Vertigo Comics series called, appropriately enough, John Constantine: Hellblazer. You can read that article here.
I don’t need to reiterate my disappointment, which actually verges on anger, over that particular decision. The monthly Hellblazer title is the longest standing comic book that I have continuously read. I was there when Constantine first appeared within the pages of Saga of the Swamp Thing (issue #37) in June 1985 under the pen of writer Alan Moore. And I was there when the popular character received his own series in 1988, written by the great Jamie Delano and foundationally illustrated by John Ridgeway.
That was twenty-five years ago, the series continuing each month, uninterrupted. Until now.
Hell has finally frozen over for our trench coat-wearing, silk-cut smoking, demon-slaying hellblazer.
What do you do if you know you’re dying and that when you die, you know that you’re going to hell?
If you’re the conniving yet charismatic rogue mage John Constantine, you do the only thing that can be done: you hasten the inevitable.
That’s sort of the premise behind the famous comic book character’s story arc in the 2005 film called, appropriately enough, Constantine. Directed by Francis Lawrence, his big screen debut after making a name for himself in music videos, and starring Keanu Reeves as the titular anti-hero, Constantine wasn’t all that well received by either critics or fans upon it’s debut. But in the seven years since it’s release, a near-cult audience has embraced the film and hope, an emotion not necessarily synonymous with the character himself, abounds in terms of a sequel being made.
That time may soon be upon us. Until then, there’s still the original to affectionately watch and discuss.
Hellblazed Reading – An Era Comes To An End With DC/Vertigo’s Cancellation Of John Constantine: Hellblazer
A week ago, DC Comics announced the cancellation of Hellblazer.
Bullshit was my first thought.
There are certain instances where, in comics, because you’ve read a particular title for so long, because you’ve enjoyed the stories so much, you grow an affinity for a character as if they were, well, a friend. That’s how I felt about John Constantine, the English protagonist of the series. And there are many other Hellblazer comic book readers out there that feel the same way.
Hellblazer – nay, John Constantine: Hellblazer, the publication’s true, long-form title – is currently the longest running, uninterrupted, monthly series from either of the big two comic book publishers, DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Indeed, it’s the longest running title from Vertigo Comics, DC’s mature imprint, in the history of that offshoot. That’s something the company, the editors, and the various writers and artists on the series, should be quite proud about. And in many ways, it’s not damn well surprising.
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
Today’s guest Tales From The Long Box columnist is JP Fallavollita.
“Gone, gone the form of man, rise the demon Etrigan!”
Fresh from a memorable guest appearance within the pages of Alan Moore’s critically acclaimed Swamp Thing series – an appearance that served to rejuvenate the character – the demon known as Etrigan received his own four-issue mini series in late 1986. Written and illustrated by Matt Wagner, at that time best known for his independent comic book work, this Demon series followed directly from the Moore interpretation: a gothic-inspired, vicious, manipulative…and rhyming demon!
Find out more about The Demon after the jump!