During last month’s Awesome Con in Washington DC, I was able to speak with writer Ryan North for a few minutes about his recent work for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Jughead. Unfortunately a technical glitch prevented the entire interview from recording. The first segment covering his Jughead run can be heard above Continue reading Awesome Con 2017: Ryan North→
At last month’s Awesome Con in Washington DC, I took a few minutes to chat with writer Magdalene Visaggio about her recent work for Black Mask, particularly the excellent Quantum Teens Are Go. We also touched on her Element Girl backup story for Young Animal’s Shade, the Changing Girl #4.
This weekend brings the return of Washington D.C.’s annual Awesome Con. This year’s guest list includes artist Greg Capullo, whose long career in the industry includes such high-profile properties as Spawn and Batman. His creator-owned work ranges from The Creech to Reborn. In advance of Awesome Con, I recently had an extended conversation with Capullo covering various aspects of his work, including his creative process for Batman, the importance of artistic collaboration and his experience working at Image during different phases of their history.
Thanks to Greg Capullo and Awesome Con for making this interview possible.
Last month, Valiant announced a slate of new titles for the second half 2016, one of which was Harbinger Renegades. The Renegades have deep ties to both iterations of the Valiant Universe; it was hardly surprising that they were included among the initial titles the revived Valiant debuted. Since their previous series Harbinger ended, Harbinger writer Joshua Dysart has been focused on Imperium and Toyo Harada, leaving the Renegades free for other creators. For her part, Faith has found success in her recent solo series written by Jody Houser. This fall, though, the Renegades will be back as a team, staring in a book written by Rafer Roberts. Roberts is an emerging creator with experience at Valiant, where he has been doing a fantastic job scripting the current Archer & Armstrong title. However, the Renegades under Dysart had a very different tone than Archer & Armstrong, less wacky, more socially engaged. During the recent Awesome Con in Washington DC, I stopped by Roberts’ booth in Artists Alley and spoke briefly with him about how he was approaching the series.
At Washington DC’s recent Awesome Con I attended a panel where writer/artist Skottie Young discussed his career in comic books. He began with initial inspirations (Joe Madureira, Sam Kieth) and his experience advertising his talent at conventions. Young acknowledged that he required a period of working through these influences (Young was pretty biting about his early endeavors), before he could find his own voice. As with everything, there is a learning curve. He talked about how when he was younger he lacked a grasp of how the industry worked, for example the business model differences between The Big Two and Image. He simply assumed that he would get a chance to draw his characters at any of those companies. As his younger self saw it, someone else was already illustrating Spider-Man, so why hire him to do it? Yet, that is exactly what happened resulting in a string of gigs at Marvel on increasingly high-profile books. Then they offered him an Oz adaptation and he turned it down.
During the recent Awesome Con in Washington DC, I had the opportunity to talk with rising comics writer Tom King as well as hear him speak at a Q&A. King as the author of series such as Grayson, Omega Men, Sheriff of Babylon and The Vision, King has made a name for himself among readers. In the matter of only a couple years he has gone from “one to watch” to being entrusted with rewriting Batman, arguably DC’s highest profile series.
Others might have let such rapid success go to their head, yet one of the most appealing aspects of King is how casual, even self-deprecating he is. At the Q&A he interjected that “meteoric” was not an apt description of his career as it would describe the worst, slow-moving meteor ever. Later when asked why Omega Men did not sell better, he replied “the crappy writing.” (His more serious answer cited the non-conventional cover art and his mistaken assumption that everyone would have read the 8 page preview before picking up the first issue). In addition, though, he explained how overconfidence is detrimental. Having an assignment which scares you is a good thing, as it pushes you outside your comfort zone. At the end of the day, King stated that he loves superheroes as much as any fan and simply wants to see them done right.
The arrival of June brought an extended weekend of camaraderie, live music, movies, drinks, fleetingly awkward interactions with celebrities, and comic books, comic books plus more comic books. Yep, it was Awesome Con time again. Over the next few days, I shall be sharing some of my creator experiences from the convention. First off, though, some photos from the weekend.
This past weekend I traveled to DC to visit my friend Brian. He’s one of my oldest friends, as well as fellow comic book fanatic. Together we attended the city’s Awesome Con, 2015. In addition, my colleague Katharine drove up from Virginia for her first convention experience. A good time was had by all.