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 special guest Tales From The Long Box columnist is JP Fallavollita.
It’s summer in the early 1980’s and I’m standing alongside a couple of buddies in the sequestered “Horror Movies” room of our local Jumbo Video. For the last few weeks, we’d been renting the types of VHS films our parents would never rent for us. But this was summer holidays. And our parents were at work. And we were mobile on our banana-seat bicycles, with a penchant for trouble and an idle time thirst for some scary stuff.
This year, digital is making waves in the comics scene. So it was great to hear it from the horse’s mouth at Comic-Con 2012: David Steinberger, CEO of ComiXology and John D Roberts, co-founder, were on hand to tell us all about what’s next for digital comics.
Read about the future of comic books after the jump!
Christopher Golden is a New York Times bestselling author who has put words into the mouths of iconic characters such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the X-Men. Recently, he’s been crafting the comic book exploits of Lord Baltimore, the character who first appeared in the novel Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and The Vampire, co-written by Golden and Mike Mignola. You can read our review for that classic book here. Christopher was kind enough to chat with me via email about the latest Baltimore mini-series from Dark Horse, Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy, his collaboration with Mike Mignola and artist Ben Stenbeck, he’s writing method, and much more.
Andy Burns: As someone who thought the original Baltimore novel was a wonderful and thoroughly engaging story, I’m wondering if the plan that you and Mike Mignola always had involved bringing the character to the comic book world? Or was there even a plan for him?
Christopher Golden: The only thing planned from the beginning was the novel. We had some very vague conversations about writing a sequel to the novel, even while I was writing the original, but nothing concrete. Once in a while, during the process of developing the initial Hollywood version that ended up not happening, we did sort of acknowledge to each other that one day it would be nice to fill in those missing years from the novel…that there were a lot of adventures to be told in that space. At some point, one of those conversations just turned into, “let’s do it,” though I can’t honestly remember when or how that happened.
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Exclusive Interview: Matt Kindt On The Mind, The Artistic Process And His New Monthly Series, MIND MGMT
Last month, the first issue of MIND MGMT, Matt Kindt’s new monthly series published by Dark Horse Comics, hit comic book store shelves with high praise. Of course, it also made our weekly Wednesday Run column! Those with great expectations surrounding the series were not left disappointed.
In MIND MGMT, Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist and author of Revolver, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man and Super Spy, weaves a blend of sci-fi, speculative fiction and government conspiracy story, that is both action-packed and engrossing. Multiple (and absolutely fun and rewarding!) readings of each issue seem to be the order of the day. He spoke with JP Fallavollita via email about the series, its’ beginnings, his creative process, and the pleasures of monthly comic book storytelling.
JP Fallavollita: Congratulations on a thrilling first issue, Matt! MIND MGMT immediately evokes many different aspects of pop culture and speculative fiction: the stories of Philip K. Dick, the television show Lost and late-night conspiracy radio shows spring to <a-hem> mind. And it’s got a government black-ops twist, of course! What can you tell us about the genesis of the series?
Matt Kindt: It started with the title – I loved those words together – and then started to build something around it. It really just seemed to suggest itself. And I liked the idea of revisiting a sort of “Super Spy” world but in the present day (most of the time) and adding an extra crazy element that I haven’t really played with before with the sort-of-sci-fi mind powers.
Then it’s just a matter of thinking of what kind of people would be in this organization and what would it be like for them? The scenarios and stories then just sort of suggested themselves as well.
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There’s a lot of post-apocalyptic…stuff…around these days. Whether it’s books, film, television or video games, end-of-days pop culture abounds. And comic books are no different than those other forms of media.
A dystopian future, it seems, sells.
More important than moving product, however, the apocalypse allows for great character-driven stories, doesn’t it? And the permutations of character and plot, wrapped up in a big final days bow, seem endless.
Brian Wood (he of Rockstar Games once upon a time), can write story and plot. His well-regarded, creator-owned projects like DMZ, Demo and Northlanders, despite their varying genres, all contain story and characters as their major strengths. And now he brings those aspects to the fore on an eagerly anticipated post-apocalyptic series.
And believe me, it’s gonna be…yeah!
Did you check out our own Glenn Walker’s piece on the much maligned and possibly misunderstood Alien 3? If not, it’s well worth your time as the man looks back at the failed third film in the venerable franchise. Glenn echoes what most of would say about the film – killing off the characters of Newt and Hicks, two of the three survivors at the end of James Cameron’s Aliens was a big mistake. Doing so in the first three minutes of the the film – unconscionable.
Here’s the thing – there is an Alien world where Newt and Hicks lived. Where she grew up and he grew angry. It was black and white, dark and desolate and one of the most disturbing comics I read as a kid. And it’s my Alien 3.
Last week I told you to stay at home and not make the Wednesday run to your local comic book shop – crazy head games, huh?!? Instead, I said that all you had to do was hit the internet superhighway and make your way to Dark Horse Digital and pick up the free online prequel comic book, MIND MGMT: Secret Files #’s 1-3.
Well today, get on your horse and visit your bricks and mortar comic book shop because the highly anticipated first hardcopy issue of the new MIND MGMT monthly series is waiting for eager hands to thumb through. You know, old school style!
There are actually a number of interesting comics out this week. Marvel Comics has Astonishing X-Men #50 wherein Canadian Alpha Flight hero, Northstar, proposes to his beau, Kyle. DC Comics publishes the first issue return of Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated #1 as well as the Absolute version of Batman: Dark Victory. Speaking of dark, Dark Horse Comics has the return of Dean Motter’s beloved Mister X in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #12. But it’s MIND MGMT, also published by Dark Horse that’s got hold of my <a-hem> mind.
Here’s the thing about making the weekly Wednesday run to your local comic book shop: even though there are hundreds of new and great comic books, graphic novels and sequential art books to choose from on the store shelves, you’re still bound to miss something really interesting.
No. It’s not because the comic shop has sold out of a popular release, or that they forgot to order a hipster-in-the-know one-shot. Nope. It’s because, as I’m sure you’re very much aware, all the great stuff in this art form doesn’t necessarily see print these days.
And that’s why today, I’m suggesting you stay home. Instead of hitting the busy downtown corridor, hit the internet superhighway and make your way to Dark Horse Digital.