I really enjoy reading graphic novels, but when Biff Bam Pop’s fearless leader asked me if I wanted to review a graphic novel about Martin Luther that was timed for the 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation, I was at first hesitant, but then my curiosity took over. Why did Martin Luther risk his life to go against Papal edicts? Meet me after the jump for my review of Plough Publishing‘s presentation of Renegade: Martin Luther, The Graphic Biography followed by an interview with Dacia Palmerino and Andrea Grosso Ciponte. Read the rest of this entry
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.
Really, we’re off that board in a number of ways.
It’s not like it’s something new for “comic book” writers and illustrators to adapt classic works of fiction and non-fiction into the form of sequential art. DC Comics published a visual history of the The Bible in 1975 by industry legends Sheldon Mayer and Joe Kubert. Robert Crumb adapted The Book of Genesis nearly a decade ago. And, of course, we’ve seen countless visual versions of much-loved novels by industry favourites such as Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time by Hope Larson, Richard Stark’s Parker by Darwyn Cooke, Beowulf by Santiago Garcia and David Rubin, Paul Auster’s City of Glass by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, and the works of H.P. Lovecraft – by various creators in various publications.
These, of course, are just a few.
The interesting thing is that mainstream publishers of traditional fiction and non-fiction formats have gotten in on the graphic novel game in a big way over the last decade.
And today, big time mainstream publisher Simon & Schuster, known more for those traditional formats of fiction and non-fiction, dip their toes in the warm pool of sequential art with the release of the visual version of Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Good Earth!
In a comic book pop culture world where immense crossover events from the big two publishers, Marvel Comics and DC Comics, fill up all the headlines, smaller and cooler and more artful releases can sometimes get a little lost in on the store shelves.
As fun as #DCMetal’s Dark Days: The Forge #1 (DC Comics’ big Batman-centric story) and the Secret Empire series of comics (Marvel’s Hydra-centered summer epic) might be, for a lot of us, it’s the creator-owned stuff that take our fancy.
That’s what we’re here for today: making sure you don’t get blinded from the great stuff when you head over to your local comic book shop on your own Wednesday Run.
Certainly, you don’t want to miss the eagerly anticipated release of Pop Gun War Volume 2: Chain Letter – finally out today!
Two years next month, in fact.
That’s when the first issue of Providence, the first of twelve bi-monthly issues, dropped into the pulpy hands of eagerly anticipating readers who love horror-themed graphic fiction. May of 2015.
But Providence is much more than just horror. It’s a fascinating take on American outsider culture during the early part of the twentieth century, on the eve of the war to end all wars, written and illustrated by two of the comic book industry’s greatest.
Finally, the series comes to a head: Providence #12.
And it is both the end of days and the beginning of a new, stranger, world!
A hero comes to a King.
A monster needs to be slain.
And so begins the old English epic of Beowulf, a poem that has inspired so many writers and artists in so many different genres: from painting to film to television to fiction to music to even video and board games. Beowulf has touched all aspects of human creativity.
Today, the translation of that ages-old story gets the graphic novel treatment with the beautiful hardcover of Beowulf, published by Image Comics.
You may not know much about the writer, or the artist, or their oeuvre of work, but the write up for the release ticks off all of the boxes that make you itch.
Ah! Comic books! Is there nothing you can’t do?
Today sees the release of not just any comic book – but the original graphic novel called One Week In The Library!
(More in-depth information can be found after the jump!)
Proof that we’re living in the best of all possible worlds: THERE’S A SQUIRREL GIRL GRAPHIC NOVEL AND IT’S AVAILABLE NOW! It’s a stand-alone adventure that’s both great for new Squirrel Girl readers, and also for people who ALREADY know about how she can talk to squirrels and also punch really well! Behold: a story so HUGE it demanded a graphic novel! A story so NUTS that it incorporates BOTH senses of that word (insanity AND the weird hard fruit thingies) (they’re fruits, did you know that?) (I didn’t until I looked them up just now, so looks like we’re all learning science from this solicit text for a comic book!) Squirrel Girl has defeated Thanos, Galactus, and Doctor Doom. TWICE. But in this all-new graphic novel, she’ll encounter her most dangerous, most powerful, most unbeatable enemy yet: HERSELF. Specifically, an evil duplicate made possible through mad science (both computer and regular) as well as some Bad Decisions. In other words, SQUIRREL GIRL BEATS UP THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! We know. You can’t wait either.
Created in 1941 by the psychologist and writer, William Moulton Marston, the greatest of the Amazons has seen both regular publication and acclaim in comic books, books, television, video games, board games, toys and film, for seventy-five years. It’s a true testament to her inherent characteristics, chiefly that of being timely and important to any age.
During her 75th year, Biff Bam Pop! has celebrated and highlighted various publications from DC Comics featuring Wonder Woman from the first issue of her new monthy series, to her inclusion in the Earth One graphic novel series with the release of (finally) her own book.
We even got super excited, along with millions of other fans, when the trailer to her first feature film debut (due to hit theatres early next year) dropped.
Today, DC Comics continues to celebrate the character with another, beautiful, standalone graphic novel, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon!