Sean Maher's Quality Control

Monday, July 24, 2006

San Diego MADNESS!

The Image book that Joe Keatinge's taking over? Turns out it's Ant, funny enough. Erik Larsen tells us that "Joe is a bundle of energy and he has more ideas than ten writers. He's been chugging away on a top secret project for me, and I thought he'd be a perfect fit for Ant."

Curious not only about Joe's ideas for Ant, but also about his TOP SECRET PROJECT FOR ERIK LARSEN.

Neat.

*****

Image also announced some new books by Steve Niles and Nat Jones, The Tripper and Long Pig. I really enjoyed their work together on Giant Monster, so I'll be looking forward to the new stuff. I'm more excited by Long Pig, which "tells of a story set deep in the Appalachian mountains, of families who have lived, isolated from all of humanity, since the day their ship landed on the mainland," and The Tripper seems to have David Arquette and Ronald Reagan involved somehow, which leaves me less enticed, but two out of three ain't bad, eh?

*****

David Lapham on his upcoming OGN for Vertigo, Silverfish, due next June:

Silverfish is going to be a 154-page graphic novel, the same format as Dave Gibbons Eisner winning The Originals. It's an intense suspense/coming of age story about a sixteen-year-old girl from a sleepy Seaside town, who opens a Pandora's box when she digs into the secret past of her beautiful young stepmom. Ultimately she attracts the attention of a deranged killer who believes himself possessed by thousands of tiny "Silverfish" that live in his ear.

The main word here is suspense. I have a small cast of characters who spend a lot of time together trying to hide what they know and pretending to be what they're not. It's fast pace, grips you, and doesn't let up till the last page. (Well...maybe the third from last page.)

It's the first time I've done a long story like this and not had to worry about an issue by issue breakdown, so I can just run with the suspense and don't have to worry if a sequence falls in eight pages, two pages, or twenty pages. I'm trying to see what can be done in comics in terms of suspense and creating suspense even in the quiet moments when people are just sitting around talking. Comics have a different hold on you than in a film where you have no control. So the trick is to keep people turning those pages and becoming absorbed in the story.

My artwork, especially my inking, has really come alive in this book. It's by far the best looking thing I've ever done.




Color me juiced as fuck.

*****

I'm also super-excited about Mike Carey's upcoming Vertigo work. I think he's at his best working for the Vertigo imprint and the new books all sound great.

Of his new ongoing series, Crossing Midnight, Carey said:

Crossing Midnight is a Vertigo ongoing, obviously... with Jim Fern on pencils. The basic premise is you have two kids who live in present-day Nagasaki, Japan. They're twins, but one was born just before midnight and the other just after. That difference has a huge impact on their destinies, with the after-midnight twin being inducted into a world of supernatural beings and events which intersects with our own world. The aim was to produce a book where both aspects of the term horror/fantasy would apply.

...The seed of it comes from the fact that I've got twin sons myself... and I've always been fascinated by the ways in which they're alike and the ways in which they're unique and different. It was a natural direction for my thoughts to be channeled in, I guess. Just as my daughter, Louise, is fictionalized as Elaine in Lucifer. So here it was my sons, Davey and Ben, who gave me the initial starting point for Kai and Toshi.

...The reason for the setting is because we're using the folk religion on Japan as the mythological framework for the series... Actually, mythological is probably the wrong word: I'm not talking about Shinto here, but about a cluster of ideas and beliefs which is just part of the cultural background in Japan. The main strand is the idea that everyday objects are inhabited by individual spirits; [called] kami. These spirits are among our main characters, and the idea of beings like tiny gods with links to specific objects is very much our starting point. Yes, Nagasaki's relevant background. Only indirectly relevant, but we refer to it in the first issue. The narrator, Kai, says that the bombing and its after-effects have created a unique mind-set or outlook in modern residents of the city, and he ties that in to some of the decisions that his parents made. After that, we don't insist on it much, but one of the gateways into the spirit world is an arch that was ruined in the bombing and has been preserved ever since as a monument, the Sanno Shinto shrine. In the spirit world the arch is still intact. There'll be occasional references like that. It matters that this is a place where something terrible happened but people survived it.




How awesome does this sound?!

*****

Marvel had some neat announcements - nothing mindblowing, but what the hell are people expecting? They're Marvel Comics. The big announcement at any given time is just gonna be a big-name creative team on one or more of their big-name characters, right?

Me, I'm excited about Mike Carey's Ultimate Vision mini, with Brandon Peterson.



And, honestly, I'm intrigued to see what Alan Davis will come up with for Fantastic Four: The End.



*****

I really like Robert Kirkman.

And, frankly, I hope something comes of it. I'd like to see some new Todd McFarlane art and I don't think anybody's around who'd be better at writing for it.

*****

Also very excited about The Secret History from Archaia Studios Press. These guys are really landing on my radar lately - between this and Mouse Guard, I'm gonna have to start paying very close attention to their output.

Here's the skinny on The Secret History:

The Secret History (Feb 2007, bi-monthly, $5.95, 48 pages, Jean-Pierre Pécau (writer), Igor Kordey, Leo Pilipovic, Goran Sudzuka (illustrators)) is a story told in 7 chapters, each one more intriguing than the last. Four immortal brothers and sisters, four archons, are entrusted with ivory cards in the dawn of prehistory by a dying shaman. They are told never to use the cards together. These archons, four, leap through time, consumed in an epic struggle to influence and shape the history of Western civilization. From Moses’ challenge to the Pharaoh to the origin of the Grail myth; from the Pope’s extermination of the Cathars to Nostradamus’ travels in Italy; from the Spanish Armada and the Great Fire of London to Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt; and finally to the Angel of Mons appearing over the trenches of World War I: a secret occult history of the world told in seven chapters. Mature Readers for graphic violence and nudity.

How pimp does that sound?



*****

Graeme McMillan is darling. Plus he's got a picture of the Fear Agent Car.

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