Category Archives: REED IT

The 100-Word Batman Pitch Challenge

While reading some excellent issues of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo’s Batman, I thought about how challenging it must be for a writer to create an engaging, unique story with a character that has been around for over 75 years. As a writing challenge, I decided to draft a short pitch for a Batman story, to see what I could create.

I challenged my colleagues at Nothing But Comics to do the same.

Here are the rules for the challenge: Create a pitch for the Batman story you want to write.  The pitch can’t be more than 100 words in length (although you can use fewer words, if you want). Your pitch should include a short tagline that captures what your pitch is about, but this tagline is not counted as part of your 100-word limit.

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My Darwyn Cooke Story

Darwyn Cooke opens his love letter to DC Comics characters — the six-issue DC: The New Frontier — with Johnny Cloud writing, on a cave wall on Dinosaur Island, the story of his last mission with the WWII special forces group The Losers. This first chapter is a poignant story of ordinary men in an extraordinary world, men whose heroism is ultimately overshadowed by the work of superheroes.

But more significantly, it’s also the story of a man telling a story, unsure of whether anyone will ever read it, but taking the time to craft it because the story matters and it must be shared — it’s a powerful representation of the creative drive that all writers and artists experience. And Darwyn Cooke had that creative drive — his body of work in the comics medium is extraordinary, some of the best comics ever made.

When I learned that Cooke died last week from cancer, two things immediately came to memory: the only time that I ever met him, and that image of Johnny Cloud writing a tribute to his fallen friends on a cave wall; it’s a sad opening image from one of my favorite comics, and I’m not surprised the tragic news brought it to mind.

Johnny Cloud

Thinking about that image inspired me to write this. My memory of meeting Darwyn is one that I treasure, one that I would like to share, so if you’ll indulge me, this is the story of how I met my favorite comics creator, Darwyn Cooke…

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Ten Things I Learned from Reading the First Issue of ‘Image+’

When I learned that Image Comics was releasing a magazine in the monthly Diamond Comic Distributors Previews catalog, I assumed it was a mere blurb-laden catalog focused on Image Comics’ offerings. But afer reading the first issue of Image+, I realize that my assumption about the magazine was wrong.

Because while Image+ does promote Image’s titles, it does so with engaging content such as informative interviews with creators and comics retailers, previews of upcoming comics, and even exclusive comics. The magazine enlightens readers about Image’s comics and the creators who make them.

Here are just ten things that I learned from the first issue of Image+

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What if Donald Trump tweeted about comics?

The site Politico recently examined the Twitter account of businessman and U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) from its inception in 2009 to the present. Politico notes the significance of the account: “Today, @realDonaldTrump is a force, a newsmaker, an agitator, an American political phenomenon that combines the high profile of a presidential candidate with the reach and velocity of social media. It has more than 7.5 million followers. It has tweeted more than 31,000 times. It is a thing.”

Noting the absence of tweets from @realDonaldTrump on the topic of comics, Nothing But Comics ponders what Trump might tweet about comics, were he to take an interest.

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The Red Bee asks Cullen Bunn about his favorite Micronaut

Over the years, the Micronauts sci-fi toy line has inspired comics produced by various publishers, such as Image Comics and Devil’s Due Publishing, but most notably Marvel Comics’ Micronauts series; initially written by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by Michael Golden and Joe Rubinstein, the series ran from 1979 to 1984. The series featured heroic characters like Biotron and Acroyear fighting against the evil Baron Karza in the extradimensional Microverse.

This week, IDW Publishing releases its own Micronauts series, written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by David Baldeon. We wanted to know Bunn’s favorite Micronauts character, so we recruited superhero the Red Bee to ask him.

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The Secret Origin of Alan Moore’s Beard

Acclaimed comics writer Alan Moore has several distinctive physical characteristics — he is over six feet tall, has long hair and a thick beard, and wears large rings on his hands. But Moore’s beard is arguably his most iconic feature; the beard is often highlighted by Moore’s caricaturists and has inspired both satire and song. But what inspired Moore to cultivate his voluminous whiskers? It turns out that the origin of Moore’s beard dates back to a challenging but eventful time in the writer’s life.

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Snyder and Capullo Announce New Creator-Owned Series ‘Totally Dark’

As writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo wrap up their acclaimed run on the DC Comics series Batman, the creative duo share the news that they are working together on a groundbreaking new creator-owned comics series that will challenge readers’ expectations of a comic book — the sci-fi horror mystery, Totally Dark.

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DECLASSIFIED: An Advance Review of DEPT. H #1

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Nothing But Comics has obtained a leaked government document regarding the incident at the Dept. H subsea facility. For obvious reasons, we are unable to disclose our source, whom we will refer to as “Dark Horse” (because it sounds cool, and because “Deep Throat” was already taken).]

DEPT H Top Secret

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Before STAR WARS, there was Howard Chaykin’s IRONWOLF

In American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1970s, contributor Dave Dykema notes that, in 1976, when Marvel Comics agreed to publish a comic book adaptation of the upcoming Star Wars movie, filmmaker George Lucas made two requests: “First, in order to maximize publicity, Marvel’s first two Star Wars issues had to be on the newsstands before the film came out. Second, Lucas wanted artist Howard Chaykin to draw the comic. Lucas liked Chaykin’s work on a 1973-74 three-issue run of DC’s Weird Worlds (#8-#10) starring science-fiction swashbuckler Ironwolf.”

Curious about the comic that inspired Lucas to request Chaykin for the Star Wars adaptation, Nothing But Comics takes a look at the Ironwolf strip presented in DC Comics’ Weird Worlds #8-#10.

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“A New Aeon of Blackness”: The Possession (and Politics) of Sonny Baskerville in ‘Promethea’

Sixteen years ago, in the pages of the comic Promethea, writer Alan Moore and artist J. H. Williams III (with inker Mick Gray, colorist Jeromy Cox, and letterer Todd Klein) satirized the American public’s desire for tough, colorful politicians and political spectacle. The creative team did so by depicting the travails of a supporting character — the demonically-possessed New York City mayor, Sonny Baskerville. Moore uses Baskerville’s possession to comment on the American public’s shallow political interests and the appeal of brash politicians.

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