Two of my biggest are design (obviously) and comic books. Sadly though, these two worlds hardly ever mix unless Chip Kidd is involved. So it was nice to see DC redesigning a new version of Frank Miller’s classic Ronin into a huge, deluxe version they’re calling Absolute Ronin. This new Absolute version was designed by Amelia Grohman who I think did a wonderful job. She was really able to capture the spirit of the book by blowing up a lot of the images from key scenes in the book, giving you an intimate look at the wonderfully detailed line work of Frank Miller.
I actually had my boyfriend read this last month because he wanted something “fun and action-y” and I thought this fit the bill. If you’ve never heard of it before, I’ll paste this long but accurate description of the book for you:
“The story involves a feudal Japanese samurai whose master has been slain (a ronin), a magical sword, and a shape-shifting demon who intersect with an apocalyptic future New York City wherein neo-Nazis, Black Panthers and the occasional sixties survivor drift around in toxic squalor, making tribal war with one another in the shadow of an über high-tech research facility where a limbless, telekinetic man-child with unknown powers is being held in the care of a sentient biological computer (which seems to have its own agenda) and the computer’s creators, including the beautiful female Chief of Security, struggle to contain and negotiate the use of their diabolical biotechnology.”
I’d highly suggest grabbing this book if you’re looking for a comic book with a bit of depth, great artwork and a lot of fun. Tachi.
Found through Faceout Books
In my opinion, Iron Man was definitely one of the best superhero movies ever made. It definitely treated the genre with more realism and didn’t bother to make things cutesy. Now we’ve got Iron Man 2 coming out on May 7, 2010, and boy howdy is it looking good.
To start there’s the cast. You’ve got The Wrestler himself Mickey Rourke, who’s comeback couldn’t have been better and now he gets to play a crazy, Russian dude with giant electro-whips. Then there’s Don Cheadle, who randomly took the place of Terence Howard. I think it’s lame they did that, but I do love Don Cheadle more than Terence. Finishing up the new editions is Sam Rockwell who plays Justin Hammer, a rival of Tony Starks and I’m guessing, a beneficiary of Mickey Rourke’s charcter… or at least that’s how I’d write it. Oh and of course I can’t forget Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow, who’s going to be beating people up in a skin tight, leather cat suit.
Watching the trailer you’re treated to more of RDJ’s whacky billionaire who you can’t help but love. He’s almost the comic book version of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. The visuals look great yet again, Whiplash’s whips, the armor moving, War Machine fighting dudes… it’s all there.
I’m definitely stoked to see this.
Rian Hughes is going to be giving Invincible Iron Man a sort of retro inspired redesign once the new storyline launches next month. He, along with series writer Matt Fraction, wanted to create a drastic change in the feel of the cover, marking a new era for Tony Stark. As Fraction says:
‘Iron Man’ will look like an elegant, aggressive, and forward thinking piece of quite frankly gorgeous design. It will be a design artifact appropriate for the coffee table of any forward thinking home… ‘Invincible Iron Man’ is going to leap 10 feet off the racks. You’ll be able to see it a mile away. I’m so excited to have gotten to work with Rian.
I think they’ve done a great job, especially with the bits of op art and and 60’s color palette. I also love the Penguin Books inspired header, which is clean and easy to read. I’ve thought a lot about how a lot of comic books have horrible title design, and wondered why more effort wasn’t put into it. James Jean comes to mind, with his work on Fables which always incorporates the titles wonderfully. Comic books need more creatives like Rian Hughes helping out.
Found through io9
I’m a sucker for artists and illustrators who use a ton of detailed lines (see Destroy Rock City and Geoff Darrow) and Rafael Grampá is no exception. Starting out illustrating self help books, he know has a graphic novel called Mesmo Delivery under his belt as well as another new one called Furry Water coming out in 2010. These two were my favorites of his work. The top one is of Madman, he was asked to contribute this by Mike Allred for an issue. The other is his version of Daredevil, a boxer inspired costume which plays more into the roots of the character. Both are phenomenal.
Click his name above to visit his blog, and click here to visit his Flickr.
Found through Red Yawning
Gah! Look at how cool these new World War Robot toys/action figure thingies are! These are a part of Ashley Woods comic book series World War Robot, and honestly they look exactly like their comic book counterparts. I’m not sure what to call these exactly, because they’re kind of like giant action figures with moving parts, but they’re also sort of like models.
These guys come in at a whopping 14.8 inches tall, and come in two different colorways, Shadow Guard and Lunar Camo. I prefer the Lunar Camo, personally. You can pick one up yourself for the meaty price of $250 each by clicking here.
I was looking through my bookshelf earlier this morning and I came across this book called Marvel, Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics. The book covers the history of Marvel including behind the scenes looks at art and stories that tell a little bit more about how the Marvel universe was created. I totally gushed over this book as a kid, but looking at it now it’s kind of silly.
But in the back of the back they reprinted some original stories from some classic comics, and one page in particular definitely caught my eye. It’s from Fantastic Four #51, a story called This Man… This Monster! about The Thing being shunned by society. The story isn’t really relevant, it’s all about the art above drawn by Jack Kirby. As the description in the book reads:
During the 1960’s Jack Kirby experimented with photo collages as a device for altering the look of comic books. The idea never really caught on, but it influenced the work of later artists from Jim Steranko to Todd McFarlane.
Why wasn’t this done more?! I’m guessing this was a bit far beyond what people were used to in the 60’s, especially in a comic book, but it absolutely looks like something someone would create now. Jack Kirby was certainly a pioneer far beyond his time.
I’ll be up front about this, I’m a total Marvel nerd. In the world of comic books, I tend to find DC comic books rather… unbelievable, which is a silly thing to say about comic books. But if you have Superman, who’s basically God, why aren’t all of the worlds problems fixed yet? Nonetheless, if the storytelling is good, I definitely want to read it.
So I was pretty excited to hear that DC was actually trying to do something different. Every Wednesday for the next 10 weeks (they’ve already released 2 issues) they’ll be releasing a tabloid-sized collection of comics, like a classic newspaper called Wednesday Comics. Each page is one part of the story, so in the end each story will be twelve gigantic pages long. This isn’t quite enough to sell me on it, but that’s where the creators come in. Honestly, I bought this because Paul Pope was doing an Adam Strange story, and he’s one of my biggest heroes in comics. But there’s also Mike Allred teaming up with Neil Gaiman to do Metamorph, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso doing Batman, and even Kyle Baker doing a Hawkman story. The talent in each issue is amazing.
I also love the tactile sensation of the newsprint, it definitely gives it a lot of character, plus you could totally frame one of these pages as art and put it on your wall, something I’m tempted to do with the Paul Pope story.
Check under the cut for a ton of details from the most recent two issues.
How great are these superheroes by Allan Sanders? Allan is a Brighton based illustrator who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1999. His superheroes are a personal project he’s working on, and I think they’re delightful. I love how kitschy and fun they all look, not a bit of seriousness to them. Plus look at those colors in that grid at the top, how could you not want a poster of that?
He also did some larger images of Captain America and Batman & Robin which I’ve put under the cut, so be sure not to miss those as well.