Category: Art

Moore Moves On, Adlard Moves In

“Is it going to be as good?”

My current favorite regularly published comic is The Walking Dead. Writer, Robert Kirkman, and artist Tony Moore have created a great comic. Each issue has been more than worth the price of admission and the series continues to get better and better.

Sadly, Tony has decided to move on after issue six.

The good news is that Charlie Adlard [X-Files, White Death, Astronauts In Trouble] is taking over the art chores and looks to be an excellent choice.

Still, until we see the issue, one has to wonder…

No Moore on Walking Dead

“Is it going to be as good?”

My current favorite regularly published comic is The Walking Dead. Writer, Robert Kirkman, and artist Tony Moore have created a great comic. Each issue has been more than worth the price of admission and the series continues to get better and better.

Sadly, Tony has decided to move on after issue six.

The good news is that Charlie Adlard [X-Files, White Death, Astronauts In Trouble] is taking over the art chores and looks to be an excellent choice.

Still, until we see the issue, one has to wonder…

Everyone Loves Remender & Beatty

As many of you know, John Beatty‘s next comics project is inking Rick Remender‘s pencils for a two issue run on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic.

I know, I know. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?! If you’re like me you’re probably thinking why would I want to read a comic about a bunch of mutant ninja turtles.

Well, I could tell you because the book looks great. I could tell you that Rick and John really outdid themselves on this run. That you can tell that they were jazzin’ off the way their work was coming together. That Rick and John really make a great team… and I hope that they work together again soon. That I’m ordering the two issues and I have NEVER bought a turtle book before. I could tell you all of these things and they would be true… but some of you may think, “Aw… Z‘s just saying all of these great things because John’s his best friend.”

So… here’s what comic pros are saying…

Rick Remender and John Beatty are the best thing to happen to the turtles since Simon Bisley. It’s so refreshing to see a team come on to an old favorite and bring life to it in a way that makes it seem completely new. Dynamic angles, fantastic expressions, bold confident inks… the Turtles have rarely looked better. I’ve already seen the stuff and I’m dying to get my hands on a copy! –Robert Kirkman [Walking Dead, Invincible]

[On a side note, as regular ZONE readers know, The Walking Dead is my favorite regularly published comic these days. You should check IT out too!]

Rick and John have worked hard to give the reader their moneys worth on this TMNT extravaganza. Packed with monsters, violence, mysticism and incredible detailed artwork, this book has everything but color. But who needs it with pages to be so drenched with blacks and nice grey tones? The Turtles are coming back. Sandpaper your fingers and grab on to the shell.”
Bill Wray [Ren and Stimpy, Hellboy Jr.]

Wow. Remender and Beatty‘s pleasingly bold and crunchy work on the series has turned my head – …it more than delivers the punch.” – Dan Brereton [creator of the Nocturnals]

“Not since the glory days of the original black and white series by Eastman and Laird have the Ninja Turtles looked so damn good! Remender, Beatty, and Cohn have managed to capture the same kinetic flair and energy that made this such a unique comic when it hit the stands all those years ago.” – Jim Mahfood [Stupid Comics, Grrl Scouts, 40oz Collected]

“Another young penciling tyro enters the fray. If he weren’t a pal, I’d have to have his fingers busted. Remender is a triple treat! Not content to just be a great inker…no, animator…no, writer…no…wait! That’s four things! Remender busts out with some great moody action penciling, polished to a fine edge by Mr. Beatty‘s crisp inking and toned nicely by Mr. Cohn. Good comics!”
Mike Manley [Draw Magazine, Batman, Samurai Jack]

“A true rarity… a meticulously crafted comic that also oozes exuberance. These guys are clearly having fun with the turtles, and it shows on every page.”
Ande Parks [Green Arrow, Superman]

So there you have it. Testimonials from pros. You’ve seen the preview art. You know I’m a fan of Rick Remender‘s work. Beatty is da man. Now it’s up to you. If you like what you’ve seen and read, then be sure to tell your local comics retailer to order you a copy.

If you do order a copy , you’ll be making a lot of people happy… Rick, John, your comic shop owner, the publishers of TMNT and most of all, hopefully you!

MegaCon 2004 Report

When I said I’d be gone for a few days, I had no idea it would be over a week before I got back to updating the ZONE.

MegaCon was a great show. Big Beatty was sharing a table with Casey Jones [who does some of the best con sketches around]. Bob McLeod was just around the corner. I hadn’t seen Bob in probably 15 years… but boy, did the memories come flooding back. Bob, Beatty and I talked about all of the conventions we used to travel to, as well as the poker and pool we used to play. Bob sketched almost nonstop the entire show. The fans love them some Bob McLeod. And rightly so.

I ran into fellow fans and art collectors John “Johnny StarWars” Higashi [who wore his StalloneZone t-shirt] and James “The James” Howell. They were planing their strategies for the show. These are two of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet. Before the weekend was over John Higashi was one of the seven people from the entire show to win an opportunity to purchase a sketch from Walt Simonson. [And what a sweet one it turned out to be.] I hope to get to spend more time with them in Atlanta.

Michael Lark sketched away all weekend long. I picked up two pieces from Michael. It was funny because when I expained my Stallone theme to him, I said, “So you can draw any Stallone character you want.” Michael said, “Great I know who I want to do.” I said that I would check back with him in a bit and as I started to walk away asked, “Who are you going to draw?” “Mickey,” Michael said with a smile. “Uh, you are going to draw Rocky and Mickey, right?” Michael laughed and said, “Oh, I see. When you said a Stallone character, you meant a character that Stallone played, not just any character from his movies.” Whew! Had we not cleared that up, I would have come back to find a very nice drawing of Mickey! As it turned out Michael did a scene from Rocky with Mickey, Rocky, and his cut man… you know the scene… “Cut me, Mick!” Michael was selling a really nice sketchbook as well, so I picked up one for me and another for a friend.

James O’Barr was there. I had initially hoped to get a Stallone sketch from him. That didn’t work out, but I did get James to autograph my copy of The Crow trade paperback. Maybe I’ll get the chance at another show.

Koi Phan was sketching away. I’ve been a fan of Koi’s since I first saw his sketches popping up on the internet. I went over and introdced myself. Koi not only remembered my name but said, “You’re the reason I came to MegaCon!” I had written him a couple of months ago asking if he was coming to MegaCon. I told him a bit about the show and that I hoped he could make it. He had no plans to, but decided to check it out on my suggestion. And that he remembered my name. How cool is that? I picked up a Stallone sketch for myself and a Batman for my oldest son’s collection. Koi does great work. Check out his site and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Walt Simonson came stopped by the table and I was able to get him to re-autograph my Alien and Manhunter trade paperbacks. He had first autographed them over 20 years ago! Walt is a really cool guy. He has an Elric series coming out later this year and the advance art looked awesome. A Stallone by Walt would be sweet…

Kelsey Shannon came by the table. Kelsey is flat out the man. Some kids were playing hack-sack near the table. I jokingly asked Kelsey if he wanted to join in and he replied, “I do know how to play.” That’s all I needed to hear and I had Kelsey in the game in no time at all. The funny thing is… Kelsey really knew how to play! Add THAT to his list of accomplishments… amazing artist, able to eat a block of cheese in an hour, and competitive hacki-sacker. Kelsey did a drop dead gorgeous Sly sketch for me. Big Beatty is going to ink it on blue-line so I’ll be able to retain the original pencils.

I ran into Cully Hamner on the way to the restroom. We had some small talk and he said he would be up for another Stallone. It’s going to be hard to top his first one, but I hope that he tries either at Atlanta or Heroes con later this year. Cully went to the restroom to get a stain off his shirt. As we were walking out of the restroom, I told him about “Shout” wipes. They’ll get out almost any stain and I try to always keep some at work. Cully said he’d check into them. Cully said, “Hey thanks for the tip.” He immediately followed that up with, “I guess I shouldn’t say that as we’re leaving the restroom!”

The Gaijin crew were busy all weekend. It was cool to meet Alison and to see Adam again. Since I got my Adam Hughes sketch, I haven’t tried for another, hoping that some lucky soul will be able to get his/her first… but I have to tell you, seeing the beautiful work that Adam does, I’m always tempted to get in line! Cully, and Kelsey and Brian and Karl were also very busy. I hope to get Brian to do a Stallone for me at Atlanta or Heroes this year. That would kick butt. Kelsey wore his StalloneZone shirt while he was sketching… talk about cool! Also, Gaijin had advance materials on The Ride on display. This book looks to be a winner. Tell your comic dealer to order you one or you may get left out.

Alex Saviuk stopped by the table for a few minutes and we talked about the life of a freelancer. He had me laughing because freelancers face the situation of not enough work or too much work due at the same time. Never a happy medium.

Phil Noto came by the table and when Big Beatty asked him how he was doing Phil said, “Great. I sold EVERYTHING.” This was on Saturday… with another day still to go! Phil and I discussed a Stallone sketch and Phil said he could have it to me on Sunday. We talked about either something from Nighthawks, which Phil really likes, or an “old school” Rocky. Phil decided to go with Deke DaSilva from Nighthawks and it is a beaut. I still hope to get a Rocky and Adrian from him in the future.

Wild Bill Black was there. Bill and I did a few circuits of the convention during the 3 days we were there. Bill presented me with the latest issue of FemForce [124] which features a backup story by Nick Northy and Jeff Austin. And one of the “stars” of the stroy… Detective Zablo! I’ll post more about that later this week. Mark and Stephanie Heike were there. Each time I passed them I’d trade them some cinnamon hard candy for some sour candy. Billy “The Playa from the Himalaya” Marimon was there. Rik Levins showed up. And it was great seeing both of them.

Tim Townsend made an appearance to drop off flyers for his Tim-O-Palooza. Tim hosts a party each year during the weekend of MegaCon. Tim had never met Bob McLeod and so I walked over with him. Bob had made some really nice comments about Tim‘s work the day before and so it was really cool to see two pros who appreciate each other’s work get a chance to meet for the first time. Beatty and I had intended to make it to Tim‘s party — we had the invite – – but after a trolly ride from hell at the end of a long day, we decided against the journey. Maybe next year…

Meanwhile back a John‘s table, he was sketching away. John had brought his markers and colors and was giving the fans more than their money’s worth! He did the best con sketches I have ever seen him turn out and he was diggin it. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the fans in Atlanta and Charlotte this year!

The capper to the show was dinner with Big Beatty and Brad Vancata. Then it was back home to catch up on all the work that didn’t get done that long weekend. I’m almost caught up. I should be completely caught up in time to leave for AtlantaCon next month! [Actually, by the end of the week I should have scans of all of my sketches posted!]

MegaCon Bound

I’m going to be gone for a few days. My best buddy and partner in nonsense, John Beatty and I are heading to Orlando for MegaCon.

MegaCon is a huge 3 day convention of comic artists and movie/tv celebrities. I’m usually not someone to line up for autographs but it will be cool to see the cast from the original Lost in Space. And I gotta admit that I wouldn’t mind talking to Brian “Cobra” Thompson or Glen “Demoition Man” Shadix for a minute or two.

The real fun will be meeting up with artists and getting a few new Stallone commissions. I’ve met most of the guest artists before, but the one guy that I haven’t met and hope to get a Sly drawing from is James “The Crow” O’Barr.

At any rate, if you’re in driving distance of Orlando, come on by. Big Beatty will be set up at a table sketching and I’ll be somewhere at the show. Just look for the big guy with the StalloneZone shirt!

Red Rocks

While we’re on the subject of cool comics, Red / Tokyo Storm Warning is another trade paperback that you may want to check out.

Red / Tokyo Storm Warning is actually two comic book comic mini-series for the price of one, both written by fan favorite Warren Ellis.

Red alone is worth the price of admission. Drawn by Cully Hamner [check out his take on Sly!], Red is the story of retired CIA assassin Paul Moses who finds himself the target of a hit… by his own government! This would make a great movie and you just know who I’d love to see play Moses.

Tokyo Storm Warning [drawn by James Raiz and Andrew Currie] imagines a world where Tokyo, not Hiroshima, was nuked in WWII. Now American test pilot Zoe Flynn must help turn the tide against massive monsters!

Coming soon to a comic shop near you… or better yet place your pre-order HERE!

Get Your Goon On!

Without a doubt one of the most enjoyable comics going today is Eric Powell‘s The Goon.

Dark Horse says The Goon “is a hilarious blend of pulpy horror and slapstick comedy following the ongoing misadventures of the man they call the Goon and his spastic sidekick Franky as they battle the legions of the undead!” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up!

I’ve been buying and loving the Goon since it was a little self-published comic. Now that it’s one of the most popular comics going today, I’m still pumping it up. Although I’ve posted this link before, here it is again in case you missed it… read The Goon #1 for free by clicking HERE.

Then if you’re so inclined check out the first and second trade paperback and here’s a link for the third which is just now being pre-ordered. [That’s the cover for it to the left.]

Walking Dead Interview

Without a doubt, my current favorite comic is The Walking Dead. I’ve been singing its praises since the first issue. Robert Kirkman [writer] and Tony Moore [artist] are a great team.

If you want to know more about The Walking Dead, check out this interview with Tony Moore.

You may then want to find a source for all of the comics. You probably won’t find any first printings since each issue is selling out despite printing more!

But don’t buy it because it’s a hot title, buy it because it’s a great read!

Drew Struzan’s Hellboy

They just don’t make movie posters like they used to.

Drew Struzan is the king of movie posters. Drew is so good that sometimes his posters are even better than the movies he makes them for!

Well, can you guess who created the movie poster for Hellboy? That’s right, Drew did! In fact the picture to the left is a small version of it. If you want to see the larger version then head over to Chud.com.

But before you go, let me give you the bad news. The Drew poster will NOT be the official poster for Hellboy. Seems the people in charge of promoting the film decided that the photo poster is better.

Man, they just don’t make movie posters like they used to… or maybe it’s just that they don’t use them.

Have a Nice Day!

Isn’t that the coolest design? My buddy, John Beatty created it.

John‘s best known for his comic book inking which he’s been doing professionally since he was a teenager. And although John still does art for comics, in the last few years he’s been branching out into web design, computer graphics, and t-shirt design.

John has worked out a deal with a buddy of his who prints t-shirts so that he’ll be able to offer his BigBeatty.com “Have a Nice Day” shirt at conventions this year for just five bucks!! I’m hoping that John will eventually offer it through the mail for fans who can’t get to a show. That design is just too cool not to make it available to fans everywhere!

American Flagg is Back, Baby!

After nearly two decades out of print, a collected edition of Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! series is finally coming!American Flagg

was originally published in 1983 by First Comics and was an instant hit! This new, definitive edition is currently planned for a late June or early July release. It will include the first six issues of the series, as well as new art and materials from the creator.

This was one great series and I’m looking forward to the collected editions!

Hellboy & The Goon Team Up

If someone asked you to name some great team-ups you might think of Abbott and CostelloBatman and RobinBogie and BacallHellboy and The Goon

Wait a minute! Hellboy and The Goon?

But hey’ve never teamed up… Oh yeah, you guessed it fanboy

Hellboy and The Goon are teaming up in Goon #7 which ships in June from Dark Horse Comics. Click [HERE] for full details.

Now how cool is that?

Cool enough that I’d call my local comic shop and reserve a copy or two now

Art of Hellboy

As most of you know, I’m a big fan of Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy. The comics, novels and short stories [including the spinoffs] and even the calendar are all above average to excellent each time out.

Despite Big Beatty‘s complaints about Hellboy‘s voice, I’m really looking forward to the movie as well. Mignola has had a hand in almost every aspect of getting it to the big screen. Guillermo del Toro [“Blade II,” which I loved] is directing and he and Mignola seem in sync. They’ve got Ron Perlman [their first choice] as Hellboy

So what could make the anticipation for “Hellboy” the movie even greater?

How ’bout a Hellboy: the Art of the Movie hardback for less than eighteen bucks?

Christmas Eve Thoughts

As the hour quickly approaches for ole Saint Nick to arrive, I want to tell you a few things before I hustle off to sleep with dreams of what the morning will bring.

JoBlo has the first official pic for “The Riddick Chronicles.” I’m really hoping that this one lives up to my expectations.

There aren’t many foods that I dislike… except for beets and fruitcake. You can imagine my surprise that anyone likes fruitcake… but why in the world would Jay Leno want to eat a piece that was 125 years old?

Comic artists and comic companies usually send out the coolest Christmas cards.

Christmas will be upon us in less than an hour. I hope this message finds all ZONErs happy and healthy and surrounded by loved ones. I hope that each of you gets what you most desire or at the very least avoids getting what you don’t want.

best,

Craig

Goon or Bust

I’ve been a fan of Eric Powell and his creation “The Goon” since Eric first started self-publishing it a few years ago.

I talked it up as each issue came out… and again when Eric put out each Goon trade paperback… and again when Dark Horse picked up the series. Well, I’m talking it up again since Dark Horse is providing a free on-line preview of The Goon! Check it out, and if you’ve never picked up an issue, you’ll see what you’ve been missing [and what I’ve been yapping about all these years]!

And by the way, isn’t that the coolest Goon bust?