Friday, March 9, 2018

Great Art: Black Panther by Larry Stroman

My wife, children and I all greatly enjoyed Marvel's Black Panther greatly, as the MCU continues a streak of films that have seriously upped their game a decade into their shared universe. With that in mind, I chose this great piece of Black Panther art by a classic favorite of yours truly, the always unique Larry Stroman.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And after you're done admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on the site this week!

A new home for What's Up!

I have long used Friday mornings as a drop point for my What's Up column where I feature some of the novels, comics, movies, music or games I'm enjoying. I have officially ended that column as a regular blog post.

Now, it can be found on the main homepage as part of the continued blog presence. To the right of the screen on computers and at the bottom of the main page on tablets and phones, you can find all the links in a new What's Up widget just below the newsletter sign up form (which you should use if you haven't already!)

I have a new replacement weekly column in the works for the near future however, so stay tuned for news about that one!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The adventures of Epsilon... now on sale!

Epsilon is one of my oldest projects, the story of a super-team with gross deformities as they rebuild from their greatest tragedy. It was a unique tale that introduced an entire school of heroes. Its cast is one of the most diverse and entertaining I've ever created.

The regal Athena is trying to rebuild the team and the school.

The feral Bagheera seeks answers to his own past.

The ferrous Flint remains out of a sense of loyalty to a lost love as much as his own students.

Acid-skinned Beauty must deal with the return of power that she sees as a curse.

The winged Air Raid is trapped between his insecurities and desires.

Thief and Devil Boy are old friends whose relationship just became more complicated.

Rubicon wants nothing more but to overcome his long-standing rivals, but with his old foe dead and his own body restored to human form, he must face a future without the cause he raised for decades.

The complicated lives of our heroes and villains all come to an explosive head as a threat from the past rises and betrayal from inside might destroy the new school before it even has a chance to rebuild!

If you're interested in taking the plunge into the worldwide adventures of this unique super-team, it is now 25% off over at Smashwords during Read an Ebook Week!

Go grab a copy and let me know what you think! The sale ends March 10th.

Monday, March 5, 2018

In defense of Rob Liefeld

Let's talk about a truly controversial subject, the man that gave us these guys.

Rob Liefeld gets tons of flack from comic fans and it's not without reason. He has a history of criminal lateness, a seeming dislike for editors and a bit of a cantankerous streak that has ended a few too many projects. His creations have become the focal point of Fox's blockbuster Deadpool and its upcoming sequel. He's worked with some of the best writers in the business from Alan Moore and Robert Kirkman to Joe Casey and Jeph Loeb. And he does it all with the energy of an ADHD patient off his Ritalin.

No, he's not the best artist on the market today. He's anything but the fastest. Much of his work is built around high-intensity low plot storytelling. But he does something few other creators can offer. He brings a level of gonzo energy to his works that rival some of the all-time greats in comics. His creative forces have brought dozens of characters to life and often those characters are years ahead of their time. He's created legions of fans in the process as well, as can be viewed from the creative forces he combined for his arrival of the Extreme line in the last few years. Names like Warren Ellis, Sophie Campbell, Brandon Graham, Tim Seeley, Erik Larsen, Chad Bowers and Michel Fiffe have all contributed to various past and upcoming projects.

The creative fire Rob brings reminds this writer of the likes of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Starlin or writer Steve Gerber. It's a sort of manic need to create, to share an undeniable vision of what comics should be. I can point out twenty carefully crafted comic series from spectacular talents on the market today, but few can match the love and power that goes into works by those greats or Liefeld. His raw creative energy might never be as carefully crafted as some, but he's not afraid to let a few warts show to bring his vision to life.

Robert Kirkman was a decided advocate of Rob's works, to the point that he helped bring Rob back to comics in a major way with The Infinite. Like so much of Rob's works it was never finished, but it shows exactly the level of tour de force energy I'm talking about.

Lately, Rob has been doing a lot fewer comics than he once did. While he has written and drawn a few back-ups for Chad Bowers & Jim Towe's excellent Youngblood revival and will be the inspiration for Michel Fiffe's upcoming Bloodstrike: Brutalists, he's drawn very little since the release of Deadpool: Bad Blood last year.

He remains an incredibly divisive figure, yet opinions of him online seem to slowly be turning to the positive. It's unlikely he'll ever be universally respected, but I remember a day and age in the 1980s when Jack Kirby was considered a hack by a lot of people. I think it's time to re-evaluate and look back at everything Rob Liefeld has given the world of comics. Let's celebrate it, warts and all.

He deserves it.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Cosplay Friday: Ramona Flowers

One of these days I will have to discuss the importance of Scott Pilgrim on my creative mind during the mid-aughts. I have a handful of Influential columns in various stages at that is certainly one of them. Ramona is easily the most visually appealing of the characters in my mind, and cosplayer Anastasia Komori brings her to wonderful life here.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on Super Powered Fiction this week!