The Phoenix Comic makes Time Magazine’s “Top 10 of 2013″ list!

Douglas Wolk curated this year’s Time Magazine “Top 10 Comics & Graphic Novels of 2013″ list, and the #2 slot went to the U.K.-based Phoenix Weekly Story Comic, which includes my very own “Nico Bravo & The Celestial Supply Shop”! From the article:

The Phoenix Weekly Story Comic

“2. The Phoenix Weekly Story Comic, various

You can only get it as an iPad subscription in the States, but this weekly British series is aimed straight at 7-to-10-year-olds’ sweet spot: multiple, ongoing adventure and comedy serials, plus how-to-draw features, puzzles and banter from cartoon-animal editors Tabs Inkspot and Bruno Barker. It’s a beautifully executed cluster of variations on the classic Euro-comics tradition, crafted with obvious affection for kids and their parents. Best feature: “Corpse Talk,” in which Adam Murphy interviews the corpses of historical figures from Boudicca to Nikola Tesla.”

Congrats to Ben Sharpe, David, Caro, Will and Tom Fickling, and everyone else who makes this wonderful weekly kids comics anthology happen, and Thank You to all of them as well for allowing me to contribute.

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

The Fox #2 signing, with Dean Haspiel, Paul Pope and Me!

Many hours at the drawing board the past few months working with writer J.M. DeMatteis and inker Terry Austin on the relaunch of THE SHIELD for Red Circle Comics. The story begins as a back-up feature in “The Fox” #2, due out this week, Wednesday, December 4th. “Fox” artist Dean Haspiel and I will be signing copies at JHU Comics in Manhattan from 6 – 8 pm, plus, we’ll be joined by the great Paul Pope!  Come on out and help us give this book a proper send-off!

 

 

UPDATE, 12/7/13:

Things got off to a late start, but we had a great time! It was great to see Nick, Larry and Rene, and to meet all the folks who came out for copies of The Fox. Thank you, everyone.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Thank you, Al Plastino

Just saw the news that cartoonist and all-around artist extraordinaire Al Plastino has passed away.
The “Greats” are leaving us. Nick Cardy passed away recently too and I didn’t have the heart to post or comment about it, as doing so frequently seems pointless and futile I suppose.
I had the good fortune to meet Nick Cardy at Baltimore Comic Con a couple years ago, and we discussed inking techniques and some of the artists Mr. Cardy knew, like Tex Blaisdell, whom I had as a teacher at the Joe Kubert School.  Speaking of which, I believe that was the last time I saw and spoke with Joe Kubert as well.

This year at New York Comic Con 2013, my one goal was to meet Al Plastino during his appearance at the Hero Initiative booth, were he was signing autographs for the charity organization. I told him I didn’t need his signature, but that I just wanted to say “hello” and tell him his career and attitude had been an inspiration to me, particularly some comments he made a number of years ago in an interview. When I reminded him of it, he laughed, stood up, and shook my hand, saying “Don’t forget those words!”

I told Mr. Plastino they were already on my blog for others to see. Here they are again:

“Mort [Weisinger] and I got along with in a business way, but it was an awful time. If you shook in your boots, especially in those days, they would jump all over you. When he was very rude to [Jerry] Siegel, I told him, “You wouldn’t be sitting behind that desk if he hadn’t created Superman, you know.” I never kept my voice down. When they wanted me to do something over I would say, “Whatever I give you is the best I can do.” My attitude was, they’re not bosses, they’re editors.”

-Al Plastino (Golden/Silver Age “Superman” artist extraordinaire) 
from an interview with Jim Kealy & Eddy Zeno
Alter Ego fanzine #59

Thank you, Al Plastino.

More about Mr. Plastino at Mark Evanier’s blog

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

New York Comic Con 2013

New York Comic Con is just days away, October 10 – 13 at the Jacob Javits Center, NYC. You know the drill — anything and everything even remotely related to comics assembled with all the subtlety of a crowded Atlantic City casino floor.

I’ll be there wandering around for the most part, but also on hand for the following:

THURSDAY:
- Archie Action Hour: Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man and Red Circle Comics

Thursday, October 10, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Room 1A01

Speakers: Jamal Peppers, Jon Gray, Mike Pellerito, Paul Kaminski, Ryan Jampole, Dean Haspiel, Ian Flynn, Mike Cavallaro

Description:
Get ready for action in New York! This year saw the two most popular video game characters Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man join forces for the first time ever in this year’s biggest comic book crossover event: “Worlds Collide”—now the dust has settled and it’s time for the iconic blue heroes to get back to battling for their respective home worlds post-crossover! In addition learn more about the future of the critically hailed Red Circle superhero comics New Crusaders and The Fox!

FRIDAY:
I’ll be signing the 16-page free flip book preview of THE FOX miniseries, featuring THE SHIELD backup feature I’m working on with J.M. DeMatteis and Terry Austin.

Where: The Archie Comics Booth #1936
When: 5pm-6pm with Dean Haspiel

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

@ The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo

On September 28th & 29th, 2013, I’ll be exhibiting at MICE, The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, a free event showcasing the best in local comics. MICE 2013 will feature 150 comic creators, lively panel discussions, and creative workshops all weekend long!

I’ve put together a limited quantity of NICO BRAVO COLLECTOR’S PAKS, gathering together 5 issues of The Phoenix Comic in which my Nico Bravo strip appears, plus a bunch of other exclusive goodies. I’ll also have many of my books for sale, including “Parade (with fireworks)”, “Foiled”, and “The Life and Times of Savior 28″.

The Expo’s hours are:
Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm

I don’t know my table assignment yet, but I’ll update when I do.

View the exhibitor list, press information and full schedule at

http://www.micexpo.org/

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

This Week — Megaman #29

MEGAMAN #29, the first of four issues penciled by me, written by Ian Flynn, with inks by Gary Martin, colors by Matt Herms, lettering by John Workman, and covers by Patrick Spaziante and Dean Haspiel, will hit the racks this week, Wednesday, September 18th:

“The biggest storyline in Mega Man comic history starts here! “BLACKOUT: Curse of Ra Moon” Part One: The world has shut down!  When the power of Ra Moon robs the Earth of all its technology, it’s up to Mega Man and a handful of Robot Masters to set things right. But just how can robots handle the force of a technological meltdown if they’re cut off from the ability to re-charge? Has Mega Man fallen right into Dr. Wily’s trap?  Or has Wily underestimated his mysterious new ally?”

I wasn’t a MEGAMAN reader either, but I backed-up to the first issue and started doing my research, and was surprised to find this is a really well-done comic that reminds me of the classic superhero fare that got me into comics to begin with. It’s also a pleasure to work with such a pro team. Gary and Matt took my pencils and … I dunno … worked some kind of magic on them. As this first issue comes out, I’m working on my third, and it’s been a cool and interesting challenge. Very happy to be a part of the whole thing.

Posted in Blog, Dean Haspiel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Shield!

I’ve been working this up with writer J.M. DeMatteis, inker Terry Austin, and colorist Steven Downer for Archie Comics’ Red Circle imprint: The Shield [created way back in 1940 by Irv Novick] will debut as a back-up feature in The Fox #2 by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid.

Comic Book Resources has the scoop: LINK

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nico Bravo meets some Norse war goats!

What’s a “war goat”? Digital Spy.com has the scoop in this profile of my latest Nico Bravo story for The Phoenix Magazine: LINK

(Can you spot the cameo by one of my favorite bands, in their 1973 incarnation, rendered as satyrs?)

 

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Phoenix Family interviewed in The Guardian

About a year ago, cartoonist Nick Abadzis introduced me to Ben Sharpe, an editor for The Phoenix, a U.K.-based weekly kids comic magazine. It was through that introduction that I created “Nico Bravo & the Celestial Supply Shop”, which has been running periodically in The Phoenix ever since. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the magazine’s unique staff, courtesy of The Guardian.

A family saga in comic form

Posted in Blog, Nick Abadzis | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Nico Bravo in the works…

Updating this post to show the finished page.

1. I don’t write full scripts for “Nico Bravo”. My script is the first image, a loose thumbnail drawing done freehand in Adobe Illustrator with titles, text, sound effects and word balloons. This allows me to rework and resize the drawings and will tell me exactly how much space I’ll need for the lettering.

Thumbnail script:

2. When everything is as it should be, I print out the thumbnail drawing at 100% art size and use it as a starting point for the pencils by tracing it through on a lightbox. I like the size relationships and the overall energy of the thumbnails, and this allows me to keep a little bit of that as I move forward.

Pencils:

3. For years and years, I inked everything with a brush, usually a Windsor Newton Series 7 #5. By “everything”, I mean “Everything”, sometimes including the panel borders, although I’m more likely to use a ruling pen for that, as I did on this page. A year or two ago I switched to the Tachikawa G Nib. I’m less concerned with having a flowing inkline than I used to be (although you can certainly get this with the G nib if you want), opting for something a little more spindly and loose. The nib allows me to go faster because it doesn’t require the control needed for a brush (again, depending on the style of line you’re going for.) Anyway, ruling pen for the borders, G nib for the linework, a bit of brush for the few solid black areas.

Inks:

4. With an assist by cartoonist Victoria Lau, next come the color flats, done in Adobe Photoshop. The mission here is to just block in the basic areas of color. Victoria creates the separate areas of color, then I go in and start to adjust things, first by changing these to what I think the final color choice for each object or area is going to be.

Color Flatfill:

5. Once the flat fill has been organized into some basic color schemes, I go through and add lighting, texture and rendering to come up with the final color version.

Final Color:

6. Last stage — I go back and get that lettering I did during the thumbnail stage and throw it on top. Now that I know what the background colors are, I can add color to the titles and sound effects, etc.

Final Lettered Page:

And that’s it!

Posted in Mike Cavallaro | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment