All posts in comics

Wow. I never knew the Girl Scouts were responsible for the crop circle phenomenon.

I promise I’m not going to do a tedious day-by-day account of my exciting writing break. Really, I’m not. But today was good – lots written, lots edited, lots noted, lots researched, lots organised. And I even mowed the lawn.

Tomorrow I’m talking superheroes but today I saw some of DC’s solicitations for October, which included the announcement of a 6-issue miniseries The Huntress. Huntress is one of my favourite characters, and this is being written by Paul Levitz, so, heck, it’s going to be good. Her redesigned costume is also not too far removed from the original, although it continues the apparent pattern of all female characters having shoulder pads… which seems to be the equivalent of all the male characters having collars. Huh.

Anyway. Rock on.

Look! Up in the sky! Erm, sitting at that desk!

Oh joyous day. My Superman bathrobe arrived. I may have worn it most of the day. Seriously, I doubt there are many items of clothing that will make you feel more awesome than a Superman bathrobe.

What?

See, I like Superman. Oh, but the concept is so simple and he’s so boring, you cry! He’s invincible, so there cannot be any drama or tension!

Actually, that’s why I like him so much. The concept is very simple – he’s the original superhero, and his appearance in 1938 is one of the defining moments of our modern Western culture. He symbolises positivity and optimism, and for me that is exactly what superheroes are about. I’m sure that there have been a lot of bad Superman stories over the decades, but when he’s used properly and written well, nothing can touch him. Take Kurt Busiek’s run on both Action Comics and Superman back in 2006ish. The one-shot story in Superman #654, On Our Special Day, is just beautiful (and I won’t even mention what it is about for fear of spoilers – go find it and read it!).

I’m hoping that this is the direction that DC Comics are taking in their September not-a-relaunch-or-reboot. It certainly sounds like Grant Morrison and I have a similar view of superheroes and Superman, so I’m really looking forward to the new number 1 issues.

Although I do prefer Superman’s underpants to be on the outside, but hey-ho, I’m not the kind of guy who fear’s change.

Roll on September!

My picks of the DC 52

Editing, editing, editing. Seven Wonders is lot of short chapters, kinda like a comic book, which is entertaining to read but there’s a lot to keep in your head when you are the creator trying to get everything into the right spot.

So speaking of comics, while I take a tea break and let my iPad charge up, here’s my pick out of the 52 new first issues coming from DC Comics this September.

Now, before I start, I should declare two things: Firstly, I’m a huge fan of comics, specifically superhero comics, and specifically specifically DC superhero comics. I have an emotional connection to superheroes which I have with no other genre of fiction – why, I’m not sure, as I didn’t start reading comics until I was about 25 (yes, really).

But that’s why I read superhero comics, but importantly, that’s also why I often/usually write superhero fiction. That’s where Seven Wonders comes from, for instance, and many other things I’ve written and will write.

Secondly, I’m going to buy all of the first 52 issues. As it happens, I collect almost all of DC’s output anyway, so there will be no change there. However, rather than collect up several months’ worth of issues and read big story arcs in one go, I’ll try (try!) to read all 52 as they come out.

But while I’m going to get and read them all, some have struck my fancy more than others. I’m sure there are some hidden gems in the list that will surprise me, but this is the stuff I’m going to read first. For a full list (including covers), you could do worse than have a look at the page Forbidden Planet has set up.

In no particular order, my top picks are:

  • Action Comics (Grant Morrison’s reinvention of Superman sounds fascinating)
  • Detective Comics
  • Batgirl (Barbara Gordon as Batgirl is interesting, and this is Gail Simone writing her favourite character)
  • Animal Man
  • Swamp Thing
  • Batwoman (finally, it arrives!)
  • Green Lantern (my favourite comic, after Catwoman was cancelled)
  • Resurrection Man (a great concept, co-written by fellow Angry Roboteer Dan Abnett)
  • Demon Knights (written by Paul Cornell, who did such great work on Knight and Squire… and just look at that cover art!)

  • Suicide Squad (people are unsure of the new Harley Quinn, but I love the character… and this has King Shark in it!)
  • Wonder Woman (by Brian Azzarello – enough said)
  • Batman (by Scott Synder, one of my favourite comic writers)
  • Supergirl (the new concept sounds intriguing)
  • Birds of Prey (by Duane Swierczynski, another great writer)
  • Catwoman (my favourite character and favourite comic, before the last run was cancelled)
  • Aquaman (finally, he gets his own series back)
  • The Savage Hawkman (hopefully Hawkgirl will appear in it sometime)
  • The Flash
  • Justice League Dark (intriguing concept)
  • All-Star Western (another non-superhero comic, but moving Jonah Hex to 19th century Gotham City should be interesting)

September should be an exciting month! And I really, really, really need some fine art prints of the Demon Knights and Action Comics art. Holy smoke.

3rd April, 2011: In Brightest Day…

You may have noticed I’m a fan of superheroes. In fact, I write superhero fiction and have one and a half superhero novels coming out next year (Seven Wonders is the one and Empire State is the half, mainly because while it has superheroes in it too, but I don’t think of it specifically as a superhero book).

I therefore read an awful lot of superhero comics, Green Lantern being about my favourite. Starting with Green Lantern: Rebirth, then through rest of the trilogy with The Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night, Green Lantern has been some of the best science fiction/space opera I’ve read in any format.

Yesterday, four minutes of footage from the forthcoming Green Lantern movie was released. I’m not going to embed a flash version here, because I recommend downloading the full high definition 1080p version and watching it on your HD TV (if you have one – if you don’t, just go with the largest version you can watch).

While it is still difficult to judge a two-hour film on just four minutes of footage, it’s better than the regular trailers.

For me personally, the footage left me speechless. It is just incredible. Of course it’s a total CG-fest, which may be offputting to some, but I think it suits Green Lantern very well.

Those four minutes show why I love superheroes and why I write superhero fiction. I just hope the rest of the film stands up… but the early indications are: hell yes it will.

Project: Hang Wire (serial killers and superheroes in San Francisco)
Words yesterday: 2,110
Words total: 68,532/100,000 (68%)
Total words for 2011: 98,513