Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mighty Maus, Kids in the Hall and planning panels

I'm a bit of a kook for for posting the link to page 55 before page 54 ... but that doesn't mean I won't post a link up.

You can find the page I don't trust those lazy bastards, which you can find here. Some more dialogue here with Dr. Darrell Starkwood, which I had a great time writing. It's always fun. Last November I was writing some more story on the character and had a great time developing his backstory and motivations.

Anyhow - he may seem like whatever to you, but I really like him. I wonder if how I see the characters is the same way others see the characters Or, put differently, I wonder if I'm portraying them the way effectively to illustrate to others what the different characters are like effectively. I guess that would have to mean one day sitting down with a reader and comparing notes, eh?

Graphic novel news

First off is a great link talking about how to plan panels, and provides some great examples! Second is a neat segment from an interview with one of the Kids from the Hall, Scott Thompson. He is one of the Kids in the Hall that I haven't met, but would like to one day. Being able to check Dave Folley off the list is a huge milestone, though! Lastly is a fascinating snippit from an anti-Nazi exhibit of graphic novels. Check 'em all out!

How to Plan the Panels for Your Graphic Novel

One of the most important aspects of writing a graphic novel is planning out your panels—it’s the storyboard of your work. Unless you’re writing Marvel style, you’ll need to break the contents of each page into panels. A panel is a tricky thing, full of possibilities and limitations. In this guide, we’ll show you how to plan your novel for the best pacing and storytelling.
Click here to read more.

Q&A: Comedian Scott Thompson
The National Post
Stephen Baldwin

Q Your upcoming graphic novel was initially a screenplay, what happened?

A Well it’s a comedy-fantasy-epic with a lot of kinky sex, and that’s just not something people make, unless you’re a superstar, and I’m not. I had to think about another way to get it out. The story has a 28-foot woman and telepathic mammoths that fly, and people have sex with everyone, and there’s gay sex, straight sex, S&M, sex with centaurs, I mean it’s all over the map. Well, I know, you heard sex with centaurs and lost your focus. … I began reading more graphic novels around the time that I realized that this screenplay wouldn’t materialize, and I realized that it was perfect for this project.
Click here to read more.

Jewish graphic novel exhibit open in Schaffer Library

"Of Maus and Men(sch)," an exhibit created by students in English professor Judith Lewin’s Freshman Year Preceptorial, "Jewish + Graphic + Novel," is open in the Periodicals Reading Room at Schaffer Library.

It runs through April 15.

The course, held winter term, focused on reading graphic novels written by Jews on Jewish subjects, learning critical analysis and learning to write college-level essays. "We investigated the creation of the graphic novel genre, its terminology and visual and textual logic, and why and how it became associated with Jews and Jewish issues," said Lewin.

"Maus" refers to "Maus: A Survivor’s Tale," by Art Spiegelman, a biography in graphic narrative form of the author's father, Vladek Spiegelman, a Holocaust survivor. The only comic book ever to have won a Pulitzer Prize, the work depicts Jews as mice and Germans as cats.
Click here to read more.

new character(s)

I've had some trouble making time to work on the comic, partly summer-time obligations like weddings, partly my own doing, what with the great weather and summer sports, and partly just not making the time to sit in the basement drawing.

HOWEVER, there are two new characters that have yet to be introduced - but they make appearances in the very near future. In such a case, I've designed one of them, and I think he's pretty bad-ass. The second will also be integral to the story - but I haven't figured out what he's going to look like yet.

I'll post some neat concept pics after I've got the next page updated.

Looking forward to it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Indian taboos, skullkickers and a lousy superman cop-out to defeat zombies

Here's page 55 of Tomb of the Undead from the scene I don't trust those lazy bastards. I liked this scene, mostly because I really like Darrell Starkwood, and writing for him is a lot of fun. I'm not sure what anyone else thinks of him, as I've never heard (really) any feedback on the graphic novel so far ... but I like Starkwood.
Dr. Starkwood suspects that Barnum Mantell might not have the museum's best interests in mind in I Don't Trust those Lazy Bastards.
I'm not sure if people can tell, but Starkwood is based on the Buffalo Sabre's head coach Lindy Ruff (in the NHL). I have no idea what Ruff's character is like, but he resembles Starkwood in many ways. I might have mentioned it before, but Barnum Mantell is based on Sidney Poitier, which you may or may not be able to tell. He's named after two very important paleontologists, too, which doesn't make much sense considering he's helping archaeologists, but I'm a super fan of paleontologists, so it makes sense to me.

My wife never thought naming a kid Barnum or Giddeon was a good idea ... so I name my fictional characters after the cool names that I think people should have.

Anyhow - that's WAY more behind the scenes stuff than I usually divulge - ...

Graphic novel news

We've got another update from India as graphic novelists continue to transcend the boundaries of what's acceptable subject matter. It's demonstrating that in a marginalized medium like the graphic novel, the most severe issues can be challenged and discussed. It's fascinating, and it's definitely contrarian, which is exactly what graphic novels should be dealing with.

Followed by a Batman vs. the Undead review, which is a graphic novel about batman fighting zombies from New Orleans after Katrina. Yeah, it sounds awful, and the review says as much. Check it out.

As for stories with really cool names: Skull Kickers is right up there! I love it. The review heralds the idea of a graphic novel that is fun, not too serious, and awesome. Check it out, too.

Great set of stories this time around!

Graphic novelists shake up world of Indian comics
By Atish Patel

Characters from centuries-old myths and folktales have adorned the covers of children's comic books in India for decades, but a new wave of graphic novelists has emerged to shake up the art form.

Their quest for ultra-Indian superheroes has created new crossover comics aimed at both children and adults, while others have boldly gone further, tackling issues such as suicide and homosexuality -- taboo topics in much of India.

"We are the new recorders of history. That's how I consider myself," said Sarnath Banerjee, whose graphic novel "Corridor" is set in New Delhi and delves into politics and sex.

"I write, I see through my own eyes and I put it out."

Generations of young Indians have grown up with the Amar Chitra Katha series based on Hindu epics and mythology, and it remains one of India's best-selling comic books series.

But the success of Banerjee and others, such as the pioneering 1994 black-and-white "River of Stories" by Orijit Sen that dealt with the social and environmental impact of a controversial dam, are prompting changes even among such traditional comic publishers.
Click to read more.

Batman vs. The Undead – Graphic Novel Review
By Stephen McCarthy
Primary Ignition

Batman vs The Undead is sequel to the Superman & Batman vs Vampires & Werewolves which was a limited series. However, this sequel was published in the serial Batman Confidential, issues 44-48, which is baffling to say the least. Batman Confidential was supposed to be a series of stories that chronicled the early years of Batman. This is already a problem as this is a sequel that isn’t chronicling first meetings or anything of the sort. This is written as if Bruce Wayne has been Batman for many years and this comes off in the premise as well. The story starts out in New Orleans and Bruce Wayne is donating money to help out with rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. While Hurricane Katrina happen some years back and rebuilding continues to take place, it still seems like this even does not fit in with the spirit of Batman Confidential.

The story itself makes even less sense. It seems like there was something bigger and better to be told, but time is wasted and everything gets rushed to an unsatisfactory ending. Because this is a sequel to Superman and Batman vs. Vampires and Werewolves, Superman is in the comic for no good reason at all. Superman can’t fight against magic and they are doing nothing but fighting against magic, voodoo, whatever. Superman is just shoehorned into the story and not doing much of anything except for everyone telling him basically not to get involved. The way he eventually does get involved comes off as a huge copout, and it also concludes the story.

The other big problem that I have is the narration. You can clearly see Batman’s inner monologue. This is perfectly fine and I enjoyed it, but at some point there is another inner dialog that belongs to no one that is basically explaining everything about the new bad guys introduced at the start of the third chapter. This narrator does not seem to be any character involved and it comes off as the voice of the writer trying to fill us in on everything as there would not be enough time/issues left for exposition through the story. Instead we are basically told it in these narration boxes. It fills me in enough but it reeks of bad planning.
Click to read more.

Skullkickers: 1,000 Opas & A Dead Body – Graphic Novel Review
By Rob Siebert
Primary Ignition

From the day I first saw Skullkickers #1 at my local comic shop, I’ve maintained that there’s something incredibly satisfying about saying the title. SKULL KICKERS. It just sounds incredibly cool, which is fitting, because the book is pretty damn cool too.

The first Skullkickers book finds two freelance mercenaries, a dwarf and a big burly bald guy (their names aren’t given for whatever reason) set off to find the corpse of the freshly assassinated chancellor. Little do they know that their quest will lead them directly into the path of a warlock (NOT Charlie Sheen) his army of zombies, and even a soul-sucking giant.

In my First Impression of this series, I said Skullkickers seems like a book that simply isn’t afraid to be what it is. Thankfully, that tone is still present in this book. These characters live in a surreal World of Warcraft-type environment filled with dwarves, warlocks, goblins, fairies, etc. Their dialogue goes back and forth between medieval/old timey and modern English. This richly populated world, mixed with this not-incredibly-serious voice makes for a really fun read that spoofs the fantasy genre.
Click to read more.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I, Frankenstein graphic novel to become a movie

Here's page 53 of Tomb of the Undead, which you can read here, from the scene Just a little escape.

I'm way ahead in the story vs. where I'm updating here, and I can say that I'm excited to be getting the story out of the airplane. While the scenes before had been titled "Trapped in an airplane," it almost seems like our protagonists have literally been stuck there for a little too long.

In any case, the drama continues and some of the mythology is advanced as the plane lands very shortly.

Graphic novel news
I usually don't have too much of a theme when I'm presenting graphic novel news, but in this case, I had a lot of information sent to me about I, Frankenstein, so this page's theme will be, of course: I, Frankenstein!

‘I, Frankenstein’ Graphic Novel Coming To The Big Screen
By traviswoods

Because if a story features a vampire, werewolf, or some other classic/ gothic monster these days, it’s gonna get green-lit, the graphic novel I, Frankenstein is being set for production and release from Lakeshore Entertainment. Stuart Beattie (who wrote and directed last year’s Australian hit, Tomorrow, When the War Began, and also wrote such fare as GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Punisher: War Zone, and 30 Days of Night), has signed on to write and direct.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, I, Frankenstein “pictures a modern-day world where the classic literary monster stands between humans and a host of other supernatural creatures looking to rise up and take over.” It was created by Kevin Grevioux, who also co-created the—wait for it, you’ll never see this coming—vampires and werewolves series, Underworld. Grevioux, who also wrote the first screenplay for I, Frankenstein, will also executive produce the adaptation.

And while a certain amount of trepidation is wholly necessary when concerning the massive scramble for gothic horror creatures and characters dropped into modern films—the Twilight series and Red Riding Hood have seen to that—the idea of a badass Frankenstein protecting humankind from the supernatural does sound pretty cool. Cautiously optimistic on this one.
Australia writer to helm I, Frankenstein
Stuart Beattie will pen the script and direct
By Total

Stuart Beattie has boarded a project which will see him write and direct an adaptation of Kevin Grevioux's yet-to-be-published graphic novel.

After previous reports that Underworld: Rise of the Lycans director Patrick Tatopoulos was tackling the noir horror, everything went a bit pear-shaped - and ended with Tatopoulos dropping out completely.

Now the mantle has been passed to Beattie - best known for directing Australian action drama Tomorrow, When the World Ends - who will take on both writing and directing duties.

The graphic novel (Written by Underworld scribe Kevin Grevioux) depicts Mary Shelley's man-monster in a modern day setting, where he's landed himself a job as a private investigator. Nice!

It's certainly an interesting concept, and one that also sees a few other fantasy creations making their appearance too - including Dracula as a mob boss.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in the autumn.
Stuart Beattie writing, directing Frankenstein movie
by Alicia Malone

Stuart Beattie (“Tomorrow When The War Began”) will write and direct “I, Frankenstein”, a film based on the upcoming graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux.

Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg and Richard Wright will produce for Lakeshore.

The film, for those non-regulars of the site (we’ve mentioned it several times; here and here, for instance), sees Frankenstein going head-to-head with a host of other monsters – and humans. In this film, the horror icon works as a private investigator.

As for those “Tomorrow When The War Began” sequels? The Hollywood Reporter says they’ve been pushed off into the future (the first sequel, which Beattie is set to write and direct, was originally rumoured to be gearing up for a September shoot) but trust me, they are in the works.