Category Archives: Vertigo
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.
Remember the days when Vertigo Comics was regularly publishing comic book fiction that pushed the boundaries of the art form, giving voice to dozens of burgeoning writers and artists each month that would never have been heard from in mainstream publications?
It was probably the mid to late 1990’s or early 2000’s.
And you were probably in high school or college at the time – and my, oh my, weren’t those the glory days of comic book reading?
It’s a little strange then, that with all the great comics that Vertigo was publishing at the time, a title such as the 2001 three-issue miniseries, User, flew a bit under the radar, even though it won industry awards.
It’s stranger then, that the same title is compiled in a handsome hardcover format by an entirely different publisher (one who has taken up the philosophical mantle that Vertigo Comics once owned), over fifteen years later.
And that the story of User, released (again) today, still resonates!
With that one, end-of-film revelation, the 1987’s The Lost Boys cemented itself as a fan favourite, vampire-flavoured, horror-comedy. Grandpa knew the town was rife with the undead – all along! For a fervent fan base, that meant story-line speculation, insinuation and a broadening of in-film lore.
As a teenage kid coming out of that movie, my friends and I would endlessly debate: was Grandpa a vampire? How many other vampire clans were there in Santa Clara? Was David really dead? How many head vampires might there be? Wouldn’t werewolves make for a great sequel?
And therein lay the excitement…sequels!
Today, just in time for Biff Bam Pop’s continuation of 31 Days of Horror, Vertigo Comics releases a sequel miniseries to the film, affectingly and simply titled: The Lost Boys!
“Oh shit. I have to buy a third copy.”
Those were the words uttered by an anonymous friend (and unnamed contributor to this site) after a recent enjoyable Saturday morning breakfast consisting of fried eggs, bacon, hash browns, buttered toast, multiple cups of black coffee and chit chat and laughs about swear words, school graduation tickets for parents of tweens, Alan Moore’s penchant for perversity, an incredible Euro run by Wales, and, most importantly to this particular paragraph and the dialogue listed directly above it, today’s release of the “Absolute” version of Preacher.
You see, there are Preacher fans out there. Hardcore Preacher fans.
It’s one of the quintessential Vertigo Comics series from when Vertigo Comics was relevant. It’s held up there with high esteem right beside Sandman, early Hellblazer and Doom Patrol.
The series changed the way people thought about how stories were told in comics, for God’s sake. And I don’t use the word “God” glibly. I mean literally.
Today sees the release of Absolute Preacher Vol. #1. And if you don’t know much about it, you need to find out.
It was as good as the medium of television could possibly get. Ah hell, it was as good as story could get: brilliant, encompassing fiction that went as deep as a viewer wanted to take it. True Detective was true art.
The series proved that there was a distinct interest in southern gothic horror – that those U.S. states were fodder for great storytelling.
And with the recent revival of the mature and sophisticated imprint from DC Comics called Vertigo Comics, horror is once again front and center. This week sees the release of The Dark & Bloody #1. Follow me after the jump for the horrific details!
We’ve been through these comic book collection lists twice already this month, but there’s more. Oh, how there’s so much more!
You can read through Part 1, which mentioned a host of great, affordable comic books for the loved ones in your life. Part 2 continued to showcase great works of sequential art – but these were ones that were slightly more expensive.
This 3rd and final installment mentions the monetary apex of some of the greatest comic book works that were released throughout the year. Yes, they’re expensive. But yes, a loved one should have them in their collection. (Also, self-love is not at all shunned here!)
I know! Times a-tickin’ and the shopping window is a-closin’’! Let’s get to it right after the jump!
I love a good anthology series.
In regards to comic books, the unfortunate thing is that we really don’t get to see those types of endeavours published anymore. I don’t know. Maybe the rest of the world doesn’t share my enthusiasm over them.
Luckily, Vertigo Comics, the mature, sophisticated imprint of DC Comics seems to have a fondness for the anthology format. They are continuously publishing stories by a plethora of creative teams under a theme or banner.
And now, near the end of the calendar year, they’re at it again. And it’s a strange one.
Follow me after the jump for Strange Sports Stories #1!
My tongue is firmly planted in my cheek, if you couldn’t tell from that side of the Internet. But it’s true. There are many, many people out there, fans of writer Grant Morrison, artist Duncan Fegredo and even publisher, Vertigo Comics, who have been waiting ever so patiently for a beautiful hardcover version of the 1991 comic book three0issue mini series called Kid Eternity.
Count me as one of them.
Follow me after the jump and I’ll encapsulate a…lifetime of waiting…into just a couple of minutes for the Kid Eternity Deluxe Edition hardcover!
Earlier this month, the mature and sophisticated publishing arm of DC Comics turned a new leaf, and began releasing the first of twelve new titles over the Autumn season. You can read about one of those comics, written about in this very column, right here.
The reason for the fairly major re-launch by the publisher?
Relevancy, of course.
In a world where smaller, but still significant publishers like Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics are regularly releasing comics by established high profile, as well as up and coming, talent, and basically eating the lunch you helped make in the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties, a publisher needs to re-make themselves.
It must be said: for Vertigo Comics in the month of October, so far, so good.
And today gives us the release of the eagerly anticipated punk rock, NYC-fashion, art-world inspired, madness of Art Ops #1.
Follow me after the jump for the art history lesson!
It’s been said before, but I’ll say it (at least) one more time: the publishing company that gave us John Constantine: Hellblazer, Sandman, Shade the Changing Man, Preacher, The Invisibles and many, many other titles that transcended the comic book genre and changed it for all time – has been at an all-time low for the better part of a decade.
Vertigo Comics, the mature, sophisticated imprint of DC Comics has floundered in the space it helped to create in the late nineteen eighties and the decade that followed.
With the increasing number of creator-friendly comic book publishers in the marketplace and with Hollywood developing (and paying for) more and more, once-obscure sequential, story ideas, into the film and television art forms, Vertigo became a shadow of its former self. No longer a leader in the industry, Vertigo Comics is indeed trying to find an identity for itself.
And maybe that search ends this month, an important month for the company. Today, it publishes the first issue of The Twilight Children, a four-issue mini series from two of the biggest creators that the comic book industry has ever produced.
Follow me after the jump where I’ll shed some light on the new series.