Category Archives: comic art
Thursdays are meant to be a sort of Fan Expo Canada scouting mission – getting the lay of the land, what the price ranges are for the goodies you want, and meeting up with some friends…some of whom you haven’t seen in a long, long time.
Remember, it’s not a race – Fan Expo Canada is a four-day marathon.
But things really start to get heated today!
Still got those comfortable shoes on? Today’s a longer day, starting at 10 AM and running until 7 PM. So, loosen up those hamstrings and follow us into the fray of Friday’s Day 2!
Here are some of the things Biff Bam Pop! thinks you need to experience today!
Artist John Bolton has had a long and storied career in comic books and sequential art. He made the jump from working in English magazines such as Warrior, to burgeoning American periodicals like Epic Illustrated, in the early 1980’s. He’s been working in and around the mainstream comic book industry ever since, as comfortable drawing superheroes as much as he is painting fairies, vampires and demons.
Drawn to the genres of fantasy and horror as both an illustrator and painter, Bolton has worked alongside some of the greatest writing names the comic book industry has known, including Chris Claremont on Marada The She Wolf and Black Dragon, both for publisher Epic Comics. With Neil Gaiman in The Books of Magic for DC Comics, he created the look of the reluctant boy-wizard, Timothy Hunter, based on his eldest son. His acclaimed graphic novel series, Shame, alongside writer Lovern Kindzierski, is where Bolton’s efforts most currently dwell, with the first three acts being recently complied into a single hardcover volume.
There’s a sense of wonder, amazement, power, and sexuality inherent in Bolton’s work, combined alongside an overt menace that makes a viewer full of trepidation. Even when his sense of horror is not manifest, nothing is ever as it seems in Bolton’s completed visual offerings.
On the eve of an infrequent visit to Toronto via the 2017 edition of Fan Expo Canada, JP Fallavollita caught up with John Bolton in an exclusive interview via email, and asked him about his process, his female-driven subject matter, and his recent work on Shame.
With the gut-bursting pop culture excitement of this coming long weekend, I’m wondering if we can’t add a third season into the mix, even if it is a relatively short one! Canada’s largest and most anticipated pop culture experience that ranges from comic books to movies and television to anime to gaming to toys…and so much more… is finally back!
Fan Expo Canada 2017 is here!
After waiting through twelve months of winter and construction, the most eye-popping weekend of the year begins on Thursday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and runs through Sunday afternoon. And, of course, Biff Bam Pop! will be there!
Here, then, is our prelude to all the sights, sounds, symposiums, breakout sessions, photo-ops and merchandise you need to experience over the coming four days…
With an expectation of over 129,000 people in attendance this year, make sure you hydrate, wear comfy shoes, and follow us around the pop culture floor of Fan Expo Canada 2017!
Sure, Jack Kirby’s a revered artist, and he created some of the best known comic characters around. Captain America and the Avengers and the Inhumans and the X-men, Galactus and the Silver Surfer and Red Skull and Darkseid, Kirby had a major hand in the stories and look of the heroes and villains currently raking in millions upon millions for film franchises on both sides of the ‘verse divide. He’s a giant of a figure, as BBP continues celebrating a summer of Kirby at 100. But did you know Jack Kirby was a spy?
His artistry was, and remains, so innovative and influential in the comic book zeitgeist that the industry named awards after him. Heck, they even named a visual image after him: the affectionately known, “Kirby Krackle.”
How pervasive is writer and artist Jack Kirby in pop culture?
You can scan the litany of comic book characters that the man created or co-created and you’d be certain to find dozens that are your favourites. From the globally renowned Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men series of characters, to the populace’s burgeoning awareness of Darkseid and Black Panther, to the more niche creations of Kamandi, Etrigan the Demon and Destroyer Duck. With Kirby, the list of great characters goes on and on and on.
Without him, pop culture and comic books wouldn’t be at all what we know it to be today.
This August marks the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby and we here at Biff Bam Pop! mean to celebrate that auspicious centennial with a plethora of written accolades all summer long!
This is your cordial invitation to our #Kirby100 party!
I, like many others, became familiar with the work of Darwyn Cooke through his DC: The New Frontier (2004), a six-issue miniseries that reexamined DC Comics’ stable of superheroes within the confines of the mid twentieth century and the changing political shape of America after World War II and into the Cold War era. DC: The New Frontier introduced readers to dozens of world-famous characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and even not-so-famous-but-beloved characters like the Challengers of the Unknown, meeting each other for the first time – in the same chronological order that they were originally published during the mid-twentieth century. It brought characters and ideas through the Golden Age of comic books (1930’s to 1950’s) to the burgeoning silver age (1950’s to 1970’s), with the story actually culminating in the foundation of the Justice League of America.
It was a brilliant idea. A tribute as much to the publishing history of comic books as it was a rollicking superhero adventure, the acclaimed series would garner multiple awards including Eisner Awards for Best Limited Series, Best Coloring and Best Publication Design. It also won Harvey Awards including Best Artist, and a Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist. DC: The New Frontier has been collected in numerous formats include a Deluxe and Absolute version, and was made into a direct-to-video animated film which preserved Cooke’s distinctive artistic sensibilities.
Things are going Ballistic for comic book fans this week, as Black Mask Studios unleashes a new series from writer/filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer and The Boys artist and co-creator Darick Robertson. This steampunk/futurist tour de force is something pretty amazing – it’s entirely unique. How often do we get that in comics? We’re very luck to have had the opportunity to talk to Adam Mortimer via email about the series, what to expect and lots more. This is the first of our regular feature on the series, so dig in and enjoy!
Andy Burns: Congrats on a kickass first issue of Ballistic! For everyone who is about to discover the series, why don’t you give them the basics of what the series is about?
Adam Egypt Mortimer: Thanks man! It’s taken us a while to get here and now the fun begins!
So… Ballistic is the tender story of a simple air conditioning repair man and his foul mouthed, drug addicted, psychotic gun. So it’s kind of the ultimate buddy action story, really.
An eco-apocalypse has fueled a meltdown in the western hemisphere. New forms of technology have had to replace the old, environmentally destructive forms. Here on Repo City State, technology is alive. Not only is it inspired by nature, it is grown from the endless possibilities of DNA. Red algae converters and living solar panel membranes power a city full of jellyfish streetlights and winged drones that eat off off electrical lines. Long extinct species live again and are engineered into unthinkably weird new forms.
But technology has not cured the human condition. People are still assholes. The dominant goal in this city is to be a famous gangster. So much so that TMZ-like blogs cover the styles and tastes of criminals.
Our hero, Butch, is a guy that shares this view of celebrity. He is an air conditioning repairman, but he longs to be the John Dillinger of his time. He’s in that mode of life where he is trying to psych himself up to make some kind of big move — like rob a bank — but he keeps getting in his own way. He partner and friend — maybe his only friend — is his GUN. A living weapon, it is a cranky motherfucker who essentially berates Butch for being a failure and cajoles him into making terrible choices.
In the first issue, Butch is finally propelled into taking a shot at a big heist, and when his gun does not cooperate, their cataclysmic failure sends them off into a very unexpected adventure involving a city-wide plot involving warring crime lords, tech moguls, and a disease that drives technology insane.
Read the rest of this entry
If you’re living in the Toronto area or are thinking about visiting the city this weekend, you’re in for a treat. The 10th anniversary of The Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) is happening on Saturday and Sunday – and if you’re a fan of sequential art and storytelling in all of its forms, TCAF is the place for you to be!
If you haven’t been before, this isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill comic book convention. No, it’s much, much more interesting: truly a celebration of art, storytelling and the small-press and independent comic book industry by and for the people that love to create in unison with the people that love to read.
Love is a word that can be used often with TCAF.
The festival is indeed an international love affair and you can find out more info and some highlights after the jump!
I’ve been waiting for some new Paul Pope work.
Sure, there have been covers, short stories and the other whatnots in the comic book industry, but what I would really like to see is something a bit longer-form. I’m curious to see what comes next from the writer/illustrator and acclaimed Eisner Award winner of Batman: Year 100, the sci-fi Heavy Liquid, 100% and the absolutely amazing Adam Strange weekly serial that ran within the pages of Wednesday Comics, published a few years ago.
All of these works (available in smart hardcover compilations, too) point to new directions from a beloved creator of sequential art. But even with today’s release of The One Trick Rip-Off + Deep Cuts, we’ll all still be waiting for that new material (his Battling Boy is on the way, we’re promised). You see, today’s release compiles work from the 1990’s – early stuff in Pope’s career.
But to see where an artist is going, you need to see where an artist come from.
Fan Expo 2012 is about to hit Toronto and for the weekend of August 23-26th, nerds will rule. This marks the 18th year of Fan Expo and probably the 3 or 4th time I’ve attended… going to comics, sci fi, horror, anime, gaming conferences steels you against the extremes of fandom.
I expect this to be another crazy, cosplay filled, celebrity spotting type of conference; certainly nothing out of the ordinary for Fan Expo.
For a quick look at what’s in store and schedule hilights, read on.