Kirby Q&A: Tom Scioli

The artistic creator behind ‘Gødland’ and ‘The Transformers vs G.I. Joe’ discusses the influence Jack Kirby had on his art and career.

All this week we’ll celebrate the life and influence of comics legend Jack Kirby, who would have turned 100 on Aug. 28. Watch for more interviews and posts as the week continues.

Tom Scioli has established a reputation as an artist who is working in what many have described as the Kirby tradition. In work like The Myth of 8-Opus, American Barbarian, Gødland and The Transformers vs G.I. Joe, Scioli has demonstrated the clear influence of Jack Kirby on his work, but Scioli isn’t an imitator. Kirby’s sensibility and style is one of Scioli’s biggest influences, but he’s carving his own path and crafting a style that is recognizably his own from that. This month he’s been posting comics and drawings about Kirby on his Twitter feed to mark the centennial, and he spent a few minutes to talk about Kirby’s work.

Continue reading “Kirby Q&A: Tom Scioli”

Comics Lowdown: Analyzing gender representation of 34,476 comic characters

Plus: Calexit sells out, climate change comics, Adam West as the Dark Knight, Becky Cloonan, Gerald Way, Jay Baruchel’s thoughts on Canadian superheroes and more!

A fascinating study takes a look at the gender representation of 34,476 comic book characters. Journalist Amanda Shendruk asks, “Female characters appear in superhero comics less often than males — but when they are included, how are they depicted?”

Wonder Woman gif by Nicole Dirksen

She examined 34,476 different characters. The study results were published with a plentiful helping of graphs, graphs, and more graphs looking at everything from the types of powers a character has, to the gender make-up of their superhero team, to the naming scheme and frequency of character’s aliases. Some of the findings include:

  • The data suggest that less-physical powers — such as empathy, intellect, and telepathy — tend to be more represented among female characters. Men however, often have highly physical powers, as well as those that involve gadgets.
  • 30% of all teams have no women, and only 12% have more female team members than male. The majority of those 12%, however, are exclusively female teams.
  • A full 30% of male characters with gendered names get ‘man’ in their name. That number is only 6% for ‘woman’. However, ‘girl’ is the third-most common gendered name for a female character (13%). ‘Boy’ only shows up sixth for males (5%).

The study was then topped with very cute pixel art by Vancouver’s Nicole Derksen.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Analyzing gender representation of 34,476 comic characters”

Comics Lowdown: Rest in peace Sam Glanzman, George Romero

Plus: teen romance, and Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and others become Disney Legends

Sam Glanzman (1924-2017): Navy veteran and and Eisner Award-nominated comic artist Sam Glanzman, 92, passed away July 12. Over the span of his 75-year career in comics, Glanzman worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Charlton, Harvey and Dell, among others, on titles like G.I. Combat, Sgt. Rock, Hercules, Jonah Hex, Fightin’ Army, Savage Tales, Semper Fi, Zorro and Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle. Marvel published his A Sailor’s Story graphic novel in 1987, a personal account of his time on the U.S.S. Stevens during World War II. A sequel followed. New stories about his time on the U.S.S. Stevens appeared in DC’s Joe Kubert Presents six-issue anthology limited series, and those stories, along with the two volumes of A Sailor’s Story, were collected in U.S.S. Stevens: The Collected Stories, which is nominated for the Eisner Award this year. A successful Kickstarter campaign to bring Red Range, a story drawn by Glanzman and written by Joe R. Lansdale, recently wrapped up.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Rest in peace Sam Glanzman, George Romero”

Comics Lowdown: IDW adapts ‘The Force Awakens,’ Ringos slated for BCC

Plus: Jack Kirby and William Messner-Loebs to receive the Bill Finger Award, why millennials like webcomics and more.

IDW announced its all-ages Star Wars Adventures comic series a few months ago, but they sprang a surprise this week: In August, they will publish an 80-page graphic novel adaptation of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The graphic novel, which is also intended for younger readers, is part of Disney’s Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi publishing program, which is designed to gin up excitement for the eighth movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be out in December. The writer of the adaptation is Alessandro Ferrari, and the art is provided by “a group of Disney artists intended to bridge the gap between Star Wars and traditional Disney animation, making it more attractive for younger audiences.” You’d think people with that sort of ability would merit an actual name credit, but I guess not. This same anonymous group has done other Star Wars graphic novel adaptations that were published by Disney Lucasfilm Press, and in fact, Bleeding Cool notes that this graphic novel was announced in an article about them almost a year ago. That means the big news is really the publisher—it looks like IDW, will launch Star Wars Adventures in September, is becoming the chief publisher of Star Wars comics for young readers.

Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: IDW adapts ‘The Force Awakens,’ Ringos slated for BCC”

Timm & Klein honor ‘The King’ on San Diego souvenir book

Comic-Con International’s annual publication will pay tribute to Jack Kirby, in honor of his 100th birthday.

Every year Comic-Con International in San Diego pays tribute to various anniversaries in their annual Souvenir Book, which features artists contributing pieces related to whatever comic or pop culture phenomenon is celebrating a milestone. With the upcoming 100th birthday of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby, this year’s edition will feature a cover by Bruce Timm of Batman: The Animated Series fame (which is also celebrating an anniversary) that honors the King in two ways.

Timm and award-winning letterer Todd Klein pay homage to Kirby’s cover to Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen #141:

Continue reading “Timm & Klein honor ‘The King’ on San Diego souvenir book”

Kirby and Simon’s ‘Fighting American’ returns from Titan Comics

Titan Comics has announced the return of the Fighting American, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s 1950s commie-punching patriot.

They’ve tapped Gordon Rennie (2000AD, Starship Troopers) and Duke Mighten (Judge Dredd) to essentially pick up right where Kirby and Simon left off in 1954, at the end of the comic’s seven-issue run.

Continue reading “Kirby and Simon’s ‘Fighting American’ returns from Titan Comics”

Gene Ha pinup pays tribute to Jack Kirby’s WWII service

Over on Tumblr, artist Gene Ha shares a stunning pinup he created for the Festival BD in Moselle, France, which is paying tribute to comics legend Jack Kirby in June.

Continue reading “Gene Ha pinup pays tribute to Jack Kirby’s WWII service”

Team Allred assembles for ‘Bug!: The Adventures of Forager’ from Young Animal

Michael, Laura and Lee Allred team up to tell a story straight from Jack Kirby’s Fourth World.

DC Comics’ Young Animal line will expand in May with ‘Bug!: The Adventures of Forager’ by Michael, Lee and Laura Allred. The six-issue miniseries is set to debut May 10.

“Every time I get to work with my ‘big bro’ Lee, it’s like tapping into our most thrilling childhood comic book daydreams,” Michael Allred said in the press release. “If you gave me the chance to list the characters I’d most like to get my hands on from Kirby’s ‘Fourth World,’ Forager the Bug sits squarely at the top. And now we are throwing him into the DC’s Young Animal mix, winding him up and letting him go! When you add in our not-so-secret weapon of Laura’s magical colors, I couldn’t possibly be more pumped about this series!”

Continue reading “Team Allred assembles for ‘Bug!: The Adventures of Forager’ from Young Animal”

Artists #WakeUpAndDraw for Jack Kirby’s birthday

To celebrate the 99th birthday of the King, artists are drawing his creation to benefit the Hero Initiative.

Today would have been comic book legend Jack Kirby’s 99th birthday, and to celebrate artists from all over the world are waking up to draw various Kirby creations — everyone from the Thing to OMAC to Fin Fang Foom. Many of the drawings are also being auctioned off to benefit the Hero Initiative.

Here are a few of them … you can find more by following the #WakeUpAndDraw hashtag on Twitter and other social media, or check out our Tumblr, where I’ll be posting others I see throughout the day.

Continue reading “Artists #WakeUpAndDraw for Jack Kirby’s birthday”