The one best Gerard WAy on Alan Moore burn

The one best Gerard WAy on Alan Moore burnhttp://comicsbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Bdm4v9tCMAA-8bC.jpg

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Umbrella Academy/Fabulous Killjoys author Gerard Way has been using his down time since disbanding My Chemical ROmance to learn photoshop, apparently, and reaquiant hismelf with the pleasures of loving cats. Way is an avowed Grant Morrison fan—the Scottish writer appeared in several MCR videos—so his responding to the epic Alan Moore interview yesterday with a jibe isn’t a surprise. What is maybe a little surprising is how cleve it is:

This great Moore/Morrison feud—which is NOT a put on by the way— is leading to some great insults that will enrich the language forever!

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Marvel relaunches Ultimate line with Fialkov, Fiffe, Bendis

Marvel relaunches Ultimate line with Fialkov, Fiffe, Bendishttp://comicsbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ultimates-900-95823.jpg

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As expected, Marvel has revealed the line-up for it’s Post-Catgaclysm Ultimates line with three titles.

Launched 14 years ago, Marvel’s Ultimates timeline was created as a break from a line that was groaning under too much continuity. And putting the top names on the top books worked—Ultimates led Marvel to greater sales and arguably opened the door for a decade of fairly steady growth.

Now, however, the line has it’s own decade-plus of continuity. And thus the relaunch is set in a Post Galactus universe with a bunch of young characters.

• All New Ultimates (cover by David Marquez above) by Michel Fiffe and Amilcar Pinna. Miles Morales, the new Black Widow (formerly Spider-Woman), Kitty Pryde, Bombshell and Cloak and Dagger fight for the future.

• Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man: by Bendis and Marquez.

• Ultimate FF by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Maria Guevarra (Nevsky), wehich followsd the Future Foundation members.

So yes you read that right. A former Beat writer, Michel Fiffe, is writing the relaunch of a Marvel line! Fiffe proved he could cut it with his great Copra, so it’s great to see him getting a shot at destroying better known universes.

Marvel EIC Axel Alonso provided the logline.

“Once again, we’re destroying something and building something new, but there’s an end game in sight,” he said of the move, noting that Marvel’s so-called Ultimate universe has always been noted by readers, writers and artists and editors for its “elasticity” and experimentation.

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Is Image just a bunch of white dudes? Yes and no…

Is Image just a bunch of white dudes? Yes and no…http://comicsbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/BdkEVpACAAA3lXo.jpg-large.jpg

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As soon as the above triumphal tableau from Image Expo was posted, just after Princess Leia presented Scott Snyder with his medal, I knew Twitter would blow up over the mostly white, mostly XY make-up of this tableau. I can’t embed those tweets but I think if you follow twitter you have a pretty good idea what was said–and what needed to be said.

Image has come a long way from being a really almost totally boy’s club at the start to a more diverse publisher. I think Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue and Emma Rios is a big step forward for that, but it would be a shame to forget Colleen Doran’s really long relationship with Image with A Distant Soil, books by Emi Lennox and Natalie Nourigat and a few others. It isn’t a HUGE female line-up but it exists.

On the multi-cultural side, I have to say, I’m sorry Jimmie Robinson isn’t more often included among the core Image creators. Not just because he adds diversity but because, you know, the guy has a 20 year long career as a creator and he’s insanely talented. Bomb Queen wasn’t for everyone, but Five Weapons kinda is. He’s a keeper, and he’s the sort of mid-career creator who deserves to have some attention thrown his way.

Dan Wickline captured a good conversation by Chew’s Rob Guillory which I’ll paraphrase: when Guillory (who is African-American) goes to schools with AfAm kids they are surprised to see him. They didn’t know that people of color were welcome in comics because they didn’t have any role models.

This is all especially depressing to me as a New Yorker, because, as I’ve mentioned many times before, when you go to any comics convention here, it’s OBVIOUS that this is a VERY diverse audience for comics, black brown yellow and white. I’ve brought up the Wu Tang Clan/Marvel Comics relationship of the 90s many times, but it shouldn’t be forgotten.

Andrew Wheeler had a great piece at Comics Alliance about specific goals for greater diversity on the page and behind it and wrote:

It takes a pro-active effort to convince people from marginalized groups that they’re welcome in any industry where their presence isn’t well established. That’s hard to understand if you’re part of the majority and are used to seeing people like you in the business. People in the majority tend to assume that any effort to extend an invitation to minorities – any action that affirms their welcome – is unfair. In fact it’s a fair and equitable corrective to decades of institutional affirmation towards the majority.



Image Comics is still coming from a very “mainstream” comics angle, and the comics that tend to land there in recent years are still mostly genre based in a way that spins out of the earliest “independent” comics publishers. It’s a very successful program and I wouldn’t expect them to turn into Koyama Press tomorrow. I know we’d all like things to be fixed overnight, but it’s going to take a lot longer. The creators spotlighted at yesterday’s Image Expo are the elite of the business—Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, Bill Willingham—and it’s going to take other voices a while to overcome the continuous, institutional marginalization they’ve been subjected to to get to that level.

So praise the good—it’s cool to see an unknown like Leila Del Duca taking part in the announcements and one look at her work shows she’s earned her spot there—but don’t forget how far we have to go.

Everyone needs to try harder. This isn’t about quotas or tokens. It’s about making an industry where new and unique talents can have the same chance to become the next Snyder or Morrison or Willingham. Comics are still a place where everyone can pursue their dreams. Let’s not judge those dreams before they even get started.

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Alan Moore’s seven most painful Grant Morrison burns

Alan Moore’s seven most painful Grant Morrison burnshttp://ift.tt/KIDeZQ

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By now you may have heard of the latest and possibly greatest Alan Moore interview, one in which he rides blazing over the fields of glory, a one man four riders of the apocalypse, over Grant Morrison and everything and anything to do with Morrison, including sometimes Beat contributor Laura Sneddon. The interview is conducted by another Beat contributor, Padraig O’Mealoid. Fun fact: the interview itself might have run originally on The Beat. Its origins lie somewhere in a proposed roundtable on Alan Moore’s writing among Sneddon, O’Mealoid, Pam Noles—whose discussion of the Golli-Wogg touched off some of this—and film critic Will Brooker.

Padraig had already offered to conduct the interview (which really consists of typing five or six questions) and did offer it to the Beat first. Although I would have been happy for the traffic, I felt putting it out there without some context wasn’t the way to go, as that was actually FAIRER to Alan Moore than presenting it all by itself. Padraig felt it was better presented on its own and so it went to his own website.

However, I’ve offered space to Sneddon, Noles and Brooker to write their own rebuttals, or essays or what have you on the substance of the Moore interview, as regards the Golliwogg and other matters. Hopefully I can run some of that as it comes in.

There remains the breaking news that Alan Moore does not like Grant Morrison. Boy howdy, he does not like Grant Morrison. And while you can argue with his feeling on this matter what you cannot argue with is that Moore knows how to express disdain. Here are the best put-downs of Grant Morrison from the 12,000 word interview, put downs which you may find useful in your own daily activities should you need to offer the ultimate burn.

On the man himself:

…”the herpes-like persistence of Grant Morrison himself”…”

On Morrison’s continuing interest in Moore:

“…my own personal 18th century medicinal leech…”

General slams:

“…Grant Morrison and his fellow mediocrities…”

On Morrison’s career path:

“…It would appear that at one stage, as an example, he had concluded that the secret to being a big-time acclaimed comic-writer was to be found in having a memorable hairstyle.”

On Morrison’s suggestion Moore put his “todger’ on the cover of Promethea:

“…a genuine and long-sustained clammy infatuation which is (barely) sublimating its sexual component in saucy Carry On-style banter…”

On Morrison’s younger days:

“…by his own admission Grant Morrison had spent most of the Punk era in his room for fear of being spoken to roughly by some uncouth person with a pink Mohawk and a U.K. Subs t-shirt.”

On Morrison’s ongoing behavior:

“I’m afraid I didn’t see how appealing to completely unearned teen rebel credentials made any difference to the spoiled-child behaviour of a deeply unpleasant middle-aged man, and therefore once more declined the invitation to whisk him off to my Bat-cave so that we could solve mysteries together, perhaps in todger-revealing tights.”

On GM getting the MBE

“…massively privileged Tories…”

…I guess you gotta be English to get that one.

There you go. The man has a way with words, say what you will.

[Above image ripped off from Dylan Tern because it is perfect.]

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I hope to continue earning your support

I hope to continue earning your supporthttp://comicsbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/24291940e0a6ace8_landing.jpg

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Wow.

When I started fretting about my computer repairs yesterday, Tom Spurgeon offered to suggest that people donate some money to help out, and I didn’t say no. (Tom Spurgeon is good people, in case you didn’t know that.)

And then you guys started hitting the Paypal button.

My immediate bill was covered within an hour, and I said no one needed to give any more, but you guys kept giving. And kept on. I’m not ashamed to say that several times yesterday afternoon, my eyes were not entirely dry.

Thanks to the immense generosity of Beat readers I have enough to fix my computer, pay off some longstanding bills regarding the Beat and invest in some much needed upgrades and back-up equipment, like a new Time Machine-ready drive. And a Thunderbolt cable. The rest is being put in a rainy day fund to pay for more improvements, pay writers and so on.

I also hope to pay it forward with supporting more Kickstarters and helping people who also need a hand.

I can’t thank you all enough. Seriously, I’m so humbled and grateful. Comics people are the best people. This IS a community. Sometimes it feels like the same $20 goes around and around as we pass it along helping whoever needs it the most, buying a collection, pitching in on a Kickstarter, sometimes just helping pay the rent. But as long as that $20 is going around, we’ll keep going.

In the meantime, I am chugging along on my old computer (the racehorse will be back in a a few days they tell me) which isn’t compliant with a lot of software, so I’ll just be hitting the high spots where I can.

But once again….thank you. Thank you all. I’ll say it one more time.

Comics people are the best people.

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The one best Gerard Way on Alan Moore burn

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Umbrella Academy/Fabulous Killjoys author Gerard Way has been using his down time since disbanding My Chemical Romance to learn photoshop, apparently, and reacquaint himself with the pleasures of loving cats. Way is an avowed Grant Morrison fan—the Scottish writer appeared in several MCR videos—so his responding to the epic Alan Moore interview yesterday with a jibe isn’t a surprise. What is maybe a little surprising is how clever it is:

 

This great Moore/Morrison feud—which is NOT a put on by the way— is leading to some great insults that will enrich the language forever!

Ben Templesmith Explains It All

by Pam Auditore

Silver-Surfer-and-Galactus-Marvenmania-poster-by-Jack-Kirby

Traditional line art is the most utilized method for making comics, relying on a multiplicity of styles to produce variety in the art form.  It is the most economically graphic way to tell a visual story.  Which is possibly why few in the field attempt an expressive painterly method to produce sequential panels. 

Not wholly abandoning line art, Ben Templesmith‘s use of materials convey viscerally felt moods as only a painting can.  Like Dave MacKean in Batman: Arkham AsylumBen Templesmith‘s art in 30 Days of Night  gets applause  for expanding the comic medium, but  also provokes strong reactions against a style that doesn’t conform to a preconceived idea of what sequential art should look like.  Of my comic book  friends, those who grew up with their  concept of art as the  line work of Jack Kirby and most other artists in the field, are utterly confused by Templesmith’s style or why anyone might find it preferable.

I was able to have a few minutes with Mr. Templesmith at Long Beach Comic Con in November of 2013, and discussed his educational background and approach to designing panels and his newest project: Squidder.

PA: Tell me about your training in art. Did you always gravitate to and less representational art? What artists influenced you?  If I was to say.  I’d say Turner had some influence on you.

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BT: Training in art? Heh. No real training. I have a design degree, which taught me a lot of theory really, and I took life drawing classes from 16… but I’m not of the opinion anyone need spend thousands on education to do something so personal as art… which is about practice and finding your own path really, apart from how to use some actual equipment perhaps. I’d love to say Turner was an influence but I’m the product of falling in love with Ralph Steadman, Victor Ambrus, Dave McKean and Ash Wood in my formative artistic years. I don’t think I’ll ever be realistic in my art but I do revel in the fact traditional comic readers consider me “sketchy” and hard to come to grips with. Just happy being myself and “feeling” my way in the drawings more than anything.

 

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PA: Were you also trained in illustration?  Were you taught comic art or did you have to teach yourself?

BT:Apart from reading a few books on storytelling I’m really self taught when it comes to everything comics. I’m not fancy. I just figured things out as I went. Still am. People would be disturbed to learn I still use a mouse for all the computer side of things.

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PA: How did you become involved in doing Graphic Novels?

BT:That’s a long and involved story mainly dealing with online forums, posting art and having the right people see the right thing at the right time. I never attended a con before I “broke” in… and I actually broke in twice… though the first project, a Vertigo one, never saw print due to departmental politics that had nothing to do with me. It worked out since it meant I could dedicate myself full time to HELLSPAWN, as TMP had asked me to continue on after Ash Wood left the book. Then in between issues of that I did 30 Days of Night with Steve Niles and from there it got optioned as a movie to some rather big news… and then I didn’t worry about work ever again since I kept making my own, rather than relying on a publisher to hire me to draw their books, as a financial model. It’s been the usual way of my career to only make a living if a book actually sells, so collected miniseries in to TPB’s is what I’ve historically dealt with.

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PA: 30 Days of Night is your most famous work.  How did it come about?

BT: Two creators, bored, with downtime on another project they met on. A battle to get it published when all but one turned it down. Lots of hollywood meetings over a pretty original idea for a hook for a movie… that eventually stuck. It’s a pretty lucky break considering it was before horror comics and new original IP were very “cool” again, as they are much more now. ( Which is fantastic mind you. )

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PA:  Your style has become influential. There are books like “Awakening” who’s style have been influenced by you and have almost no figurative work at all, but work purely on atmosphere.

BT:Well, thanks! I’ll take your word for being influential. That’s for others to judge. I don’t really bother looking at things that look derivative of my own in any real way. More power to them but I have no wish to look into a distorted mirror. All I do is cheap tricks really. So many people better than me. I’m horribly unaware of a lot of comics coming out these days that may be riffing on what I did before. But all I did was riff on where others have already been myself. Art is a journey. It only made me sad once, that someone was trying to use aspects ( rather strongly ) of my “style”… and that was only because I thought they’d already found their voice as an artist and I loved their style!

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PA:   How do you see your job working with a writer?   What is your process in working with them?  Do you do layouts the way the average commercial comic artists do?

BT:My job is to read a script and try to follow directions. Assuming the directions can be understood! Process? I read a script and interpret best I can. That’s really it. I’m not a fan of endless chat over every single panel. Would be rather exhausting. I’m really pretty simple. ( Yes, mentally too. ) The way I’d work, as with any artist, is up to the nature of the project and the editor, especially if it’s something corporate. So it always varies in process. Doing everything myself is a much more liberating process since it’s all in my head and soley about me getting what I have, down on paper.

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PA:  Can you tell me what happened with “Ten Grand?”  Was there mis-communication?

BT:Well, like I’ve told some other interviewers,  I was dealing with family stuff & things a lot more important than comics but also an already massive workload & realization I have no business attempting to do the monthly grind comic, especially if it’s not at least a creator owned thing.

Sorry to anyone who hoped I’d be able to stick around on Ten Grand but it’s in good hands. I’m just not cut out for such a tough book and collapsed in a heap. Figuring out the motivations for why *I should do what I do* has been an ongoing process for the last few years. And money isn’t everything. Feeling totally invested and owning what I do? Now that’s everything, as I’ve discovered. It’s what I built any sort of career on, and it’s where my heart lies. Yet I’ve not written and drawn anything *for myself* for years now. WORMWOODFELL30 DAYS OF NIGHTWELCOME TO HOXFORD,CHOKER and such things were done for love & the pure passion of doing them. Not a “job”. I can’t really fathom the creatives who endlessly flit from corporate property to corporate property as the totality of a career.

If I’m lucky enough to follow my own destiny, I’d be a fool not to take that opportunity. And I’ve definitely been a fool.

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PA: You have a KickStarter project “Squidder”, what is it about?

BT:Heh, it’s about doing the stuff I’m truly passionate about and getting back to what I’m really known for in comics, outside things like 30 Days of Night which is the only comic most people have ever been exposed to from me. It’s the much smaller audience, who seem to dig the stuff I come up with myself who I need to get back to and have some fun with. I’m truly lucky to have those people dig my work so much. And thanks to Kickstarter, I can go completely direct to those people and anyone else who’d like to be along for the ride with an interesting new book.

The SQUIDDER? Well, I do nothing but talk squid all day. I’ve a love for all things tentacles and horror, it’s rather publically know. So I had to finally embrace it with a proper book I can truly let loose on. It’s been a bunch of ideas in my head and in various notes for several years now, on plains, at airports, on subways… I just needed an overall narrative to fit a few things together and expand on the world I’ve created.

And that’s where THE SQUIDDER himself comes in. He’s a vet, who lost everything and everyone else moved on. He’s a relic. There’s going to be lots of Squid religion involved, the heat death of the universe, ideas of control, propaganda… and a few sexy squid ladies and horrific fight scenes along the way. Bits of Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max, Cthulhu type stuff… a bit of everything I already dig really.

PA:  Why are you drawn to horror and crime stories?

BT:I don’t really know. I think, on a level, they’re a little more honest about how horrible the world is. They’re a little more “real”. Especially for an industry about men in brightly coloured tights for the most part beating up blue collar criminals. I had a perfectly normal, lovely upbringing so maybe it’s the dark stuff that tempts me since i had it so good, early on.

PA:   What other projects are you currently or hope to be working on in the future?

BT:I’m keeping my ambitions small right now. i have the next 4-5 months planned out with a project I’m going to focus on. After that, maybe a small rest before I tackle something new. Usually life has been planned out completely for years in advance but that sort of sends one bonkers at times. So screw that. It’s time to actually feel free a little, and see where the brain wants to go next, creatively. Perhaps more SQUIDDER, if people dig it enough. ( And yes maybe some WORMWOOD and FELL, I did promise Warren… )

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Marvel relaunches Ultimate line with Fialkov, Fiffe, Bendis

ultimates-900-95823.jpg

As expected, Marvel has revealed the line-up for it’s Post-Catgaclysm Ultimates line with three titles.

Launched 14 years ago, Marvel’s Ultimates timeline was created as a break from a line that was groaning under too much continuity. And putting the top names on the top books worked—Ultimates led Marvel to greater sales and arguably opened the door for a decade of fairly steady growth.

Now, however, the line has it’s own decade-plus of continuity. And thus the relaunch is set in a Post Galactus universe with a bunch of young characters.

• All New Ultimates (cover by David Marquez above) by Michel Fiffe and Amilcar Pinna. Miles Morales, the new Black Widow (formerly Spider-Woman), Kitty Pryde, Bombshell and Cloak and Dagger fight for the future.

• Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man: by Bendis and Marquez.

• Ultimate FF by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Maria Guevarra (Nevsky), wehich followsd the Future Foundation members.

So yes you read that right. A former Beat writer, Michel Fiffe, is writing the relaunch of a Marvel line! Fiffe proved he could cut it with his great Copra, so it’s great to see him getting a shot at destroying better known universes.

Marvel EIC Axel Alonso provided the logline.

“Once again, we’re destroying something and building something new, but there’s an end game in sight,” he said of the move, noting that Marvel’s so-called Ultimate universe has always been noted by readers, writers and artists and editors for its “elasticity” and experimentation.

Is Image just a bunch of white dudes? Yes and no…

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As soon as the above triumphal tableau from Image Expo was posted, just after Princess Leia presented Scott Snyder with his medal, I knew Twitter would blow up over the mostly white, mostly XY make-up of this tableau. I can’t embed those tweets but I think if you follow twitter you have a pretty good idea what was said–and what needed to be said.

Image has come a long way from being a really almost totally boy’s club at the start to a more diverse publisher. I think Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue and Emma Rios is a big step forward for that, but it would be a shame to forget Colleen Doran’s really long relationship with Image with A Distant Soil, books by Emi Lennox and Natalie Nourigat and a few others. It isn’t a HUGE female line-up but it exists.

On the multi-cultural side, I have to say, I’m sorry Jimmie Robinson isn’t more often included among the core Image creators. Not just because he adds diversity but because, you know, the guy has a 20 year long career as a creator and he’s insanely talented. Bomb Queen wasn’t for everyone, but Five Weapons kinda is. He’s a keeper, and he’s the sort of mid-career creator who deserves to have some attention thrown his way.

Dan Wickline captured a good conversation by Chew’s Rob Guillory which I’ll paraphrase: when Guillory (who is African-American) goes to schools with AfAm kids they are surprised to see him. They didn’t know that people of color were welcome in comics because they didn’t have any role models.

This is all especially depressing to me as a New Yorker, because, as I’ve mentioned many times before, when you go to any comics convention here, it’s OBVIOUS that this is a VERY diverse audience for comics, black brown yellow and white. I’ve brought up the Wu Tang Clan/Marvel Comics relationship of the 90s many times, but it shouldn’t be forgotten.

Andrew Wheeler had a great piece at Comics Alliance about specific goals for greater diversity on the page and behind it and wrote:

It takes a pro-active effort to convince people from marginalized groups that they’re welcome in any industry where their presence isn’t well established. That’s hard to understand if you’re part of the majority and are used to seeing people like you in the business. People in the majority tend to assume that any effort to extend an invitation to minorities – any action that affirms their welcome – is unfair. In fact it’s a fair and equitable corrective to decades of institutional affirmation towards the majority.


Image Comics is still coming from a very “mainstream” comics angle, and the comics that tend to land there in recent years are still mostly genre based in a way that spins out of the earliest “independent” comics publishers. It’s a very successful program and I wouldn’t expect them to turn into Koyama Press tomorrow. I know we’d all like things to be fixed overnight, but it’s going to take a lot longer. The creators spotlighted at yesterday’s Image Expo are the elite of the business—Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, Bill Willingham—and it’s going to take other voices a while to overcome the continuous, institutional marginalization they’ve been subjected to to get to that level.

So praise the good—it’s cool to see an unknown like Leila Del Duca taking part in the announcements and one look at her work shows she’s earned her spot there—but don’t forget how far we have to go.

Everyone needs to try harder. This isn’t about quotas or tokens. It’s about making an industry where new and unique talents can have the same chance to become the next Snyder or Morrison or Willingham. Comics are still a place where everyone can pursue their dreams. Let’s not judge those dreams before they even get started.

Alan Moore’s seven most painful Grant Morrison burns

voldemorrison-and-dumblemoore2-copy2.jpg

By now you may have heard of the latest and possibly greatest Alan Moore interview, one in which he rides blazing over the fields of glory, a one man four riders of the apocalypse, over Grant Morrison and everything and anything to do with Morrison, including sometimes Beat contributor Laura Sneddon. The interview is conducted by another Beat contributor, Padraig O’Mealoid. Fun fact: the interview itself might have run originally on The Beat. Its origins lie somewhere in a proposed roundtable on Alan Moore’s writing among Sneddon, O’Mealoid, Pam Noles—whose discussion of the Golli-Wogg touched off some of this—and film critic Will Brooker.

Padraig had already offered to conduct the interview (which really consists of typing five or six questions) and did offer it to the Beat first. Although I would have been happy for the traffic, I felt putting it out there without some context wasn’t the way to go, as that was actually FAIRER to Alan Moore than presenting it all by itself. Padraig felt it was better presented on its own and so it went to his own website.

However, I’ve offered space to Sneddon, Noles and Brooker to write their own rebuttals, or essays or what have you on the substance of the Moore interview, as regards the Golliwogg and other matters. Hopefully I can run some of that as it comes in.

There remains the breaking news that Alan Moore does not like Grant Morrison. Boy howdy, he does not like Grant Morrison. And while you can argue with his feeling on this matter what you cannot argue with is that Moore knows how to express disdain. Here are the best put-downs of Grant Morrison from the 12,000 word interview, put downs which you may find useful in your own daily activities should you need to offer the ultimate burn.

On the man himself:

…”the herpes-like persistence of Grant Morrison himself”…”

On Morrison’s continuing interest in Moore:

“…my own personal 18th century medicinal leech…”

General slams:

“…Grant Morrison and his fellow mediocrities…”

On Morrison’s career path:

“…It would appear that at one stage, as an example, he had concluded that the secret to being a big-time acclaimed comic-writer was to be found in having a memorable hairstyle.”

On Morrison’s suggestion Moore put his “todger’ on the cover of Promethea:

“…a genuine and long-sustained clammy infatuation which is (barely) sublimating its sexual component in saucy Carry On-style banter…”

On Morrison’s younger days:

“…by his own admission Grant Morrison had spent most of the Punk era in his room for fear of being spoken to roughly by some uncouth person with a pink Mohawk and a U.K. Subs t-shirt.”

On Morrison’s ongoing behavior:

“I’m afraid I didn’t see how appealing to completely unearned teen rebel credentials made any difference to the spoiled-child behaviour of a deeply unpleasant middle-aged man, and therefore once more declined the invitation to whisk him off to my Bat-cave so that we could solve mysteries together, perhaps in todger-revealing tights.”

On GM getting the MBE

“…massively privileged Tories…”

…I guess you gotta be English to get that one.

There you go. The man has a way with words, say what you will.

[Above image ripped off from Paul Cornish because it is perfect.]

Ben Templesmith Explains It All

Ben Templesmith Explains It Allhttp://ift.tt/1d5Xlfr

by Pam Auditore

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Traditional line art is the most utilized method for making comics, relying on a multiplicity of styles to produce variety in the art form.  It is the most economically graphic way to tell a visual story.  Which is possibly why few in the field attempt an expressive painterly method to produce sequential panels. 

Not wholly abandoning line art, Ben Templesmith‘s use of materials convey viscerally felt moods as only a painting can.  Like Dave MacKean in Batman: Arkham AsylumBen Templesmith‘s art in 30 Days of Night  gets applause  for expanding the comic medium, but  also provokes strong reactions against a style that doesn’t conform to a preconceived idea of what sequential art should look like.  Of my comic book  friends, those who grew up with their  concept of art as the  line work of Jack Kirby and most other artists in the field, are utterly confused by Templesmith’s style or why anyone might find it preferable.

I was able to have a few minutes with Mr. Templesmith at Long Beach Comic Con in November of 2013, and discussed his educational background and approach to designing panels and his newest project: Squidder.

PA: Tell me about your training in art. Did you always gravitate to and less representational art? What artists influenced you?  If I was to say.  I’d say Turner had some influence on you.

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BT: Training in art? Heh. No real training. I have a design degree, which taught me a lot of theory really, and I took life drawing classes from 16… but I’m not of the opinion anyone need spend thousands on education to do something so personal as art… which is about practice and finding your own path really, apart from how to use some actual equipment perhaps. I’d love to say Turner was an influence but I’m the product of falling in love with Ralph Steadman, Victor Ambrus, Dave McKean and Ash Wood in my formative artistic years. I don’t think I’ll ever be realistic in my art but I do revel in the fact traditional comic readers consider me “sketchy” and hard to come to grips with. Just happy being myself and “feeling” my way in the drawings more than anything.

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PA: Were you also trained in illustration?  Were you taught comic art or did you have to teach yourself?

BT:Apart from reading a few books on storytelling I’m really self taught when it comes to everything comics. I’m not fancy. I just figured things out as I went. Still am. People would be disturbed to learn I still use a mouse for all the computer side of things.

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PA: How did you become involved in doing Graphic Novels?

BT:That’s a long and involved story mainly dealing with online forums, posting art and having the right people see the right thing at the right time. I never attended a con before I “broke” in… and I actually broke in twice… though the first project, a Vertigo one, never saw print due to departmental politics that had nothing to do with me. It worked out since it meant I could dedicate myself full time to HELLSPAWN, as TMP had asked me to continue on after Ash Wood left the book. Then in between issues of that I did 30 Days of Night with Steve Niles and from there it got optioned as a movie to some rather big news… and then I didn’t worry about work ever again since I kept making my own, rather than relying on a publisher to hire me to draw their books, as a financial model. It’s been the usual way of my career to only make a living if a book actually sells, so collected miniseries in to TPB’s is what I’ve historically dealt with.

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PA: 30 Days of Night is your most famous work.  How did it come about?

BT: Two creators, bored, with downtime on another project they met on. A battle to get it published when all but one turned it down. Lots of hollywood meetings over a pretty original idea for a hook for a movie… that eventually stuck. It’s a pretty lucky break considering it was before horror comics and new original IP were very “cool” again, as they are much more now. ( Which is fantastic mind you. )

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PA:  Your style has become influential. There are books like “Awakening” who’s style have been influenced by you and have almost no figurative work at all, but work purely on atmosphere.

BT:Well, thanks! I’ll take your word for being influential. That’s for others to judge. I don’t really bother looking at things that look derivative of my own in any real way. More power to them but I have no wish to look into a distorted mirror. All I do is cheap tricks really. So many people better than me. I’m horribly unaware of a lot of comics coming out these days that may be riffing on what I did before. But all I did was riff on where others have already been myself. Art is a journey. It only made me sad once, that someone was trying to use aspects ( rather strongly ) of my “style”… and that was only because I thought they’d already found their voice as an artist and I loved their style!

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PA:   How do you see your job working with a writer?   What is your process in working with them?  Do you do layouts the way the average commercial comic artists do?

BT:My job is to read a script and try to follow directions. Assuming the directions can be understood! Process? I read a script and interpret best I can. That’s really it. I’m not a fan of endless chat over every single panel. Would be rather exhausting. I’m really pretty simple. ( Yes, mentally too. ) The way I’d work, as with any artist, is up to the nature of the project and the editor, especially if it’s something corporate. So it always varies in process. Doing everything myself is a much more liberating process since it’s all in my head and soley about me getting what I have, down on paper.

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PA:  Can you tell me what happened with “Ten Grand?”  Was there mis-communication?

BT:Well, like I’ve told some other interviewers,  I was dealing with family stuff & things a lot more important than comics but also an already massive workload & realization I have no business attempting to do the monthly grind comic, especially if it’s not at least a creator owned thing.

Sorry to anyone who hoped I’d be able to stick around on Ten Grand but it’s in good hands. I’m just not cut out for such a tough book and collapsed in a heap. Figuring out the motivations for why *I should do what I do* has been an ongoing process for the last few years. And money isn’t everything. Feeling totally invested and owning what I do? Now that’s everything, as I’ve discovered. It’s what I built any sort of career on, and it’s where my heart lies. Yet I’ve not written and drawn anything *for myself* for years now. WORMWOODFELL30 DAYS OF NIGHTWELCOME TO HOXFORD,CHOKER and such things were done for love & the pure passion of doing them. Not a “job”. I can’t really fathom the creatives who endlessly flit from corporate property to corporate property as the totality of a career.

If I’m lucky enough to follow my own destiny, I’d be a fool not to take that opportunity. And I’ve definitely been a fool.

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PA: You have a KickStarter project “Squidder”, what is it about?

BT:Heh, it’s about doing the stuff I’m truly passionate about and getting back to what I’m really known for in comics, outside things like 30 Days of Night which is the only comic most people have ever been exposed to from me. It’s the much smaller audience, who seem to dig the stuff I come up with myself who I need to get back to and have some fun with. I’m truly lucky to have those people dig my work so much. And thanks to Kickstarter, I can go completely direct to those people and anyone else who’d like to be along for the ride with an interesting new book.

The SQUIDDER? Well, I do nothing but talk squid all day. I’ve a love for all things tentacles and horror, it’s rather publically know. So I had to finally embrace it with a proper book I can truly let loose on. It’s been a bunch of ideas in my head and in various notes for several years now, on plains, at airports, on subways… I just needed an overall narrative to fit a few things together and expand on the world I’ve created.

And that’s where THE SQUIDDER himself comes in. He’s a vet, who lost everything and everyone else moved on. He’s a relic. There’s going to be lots of Squid religion involved, the heat death of the universe, ideas of control, propaganda… and a few sexy squid ladies and horrific fight scenes along the way. Bits of Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max, Cthulhu type stuff… a bit of everything I already dig really.

PA:  Why are you drawn to horror and crime stories?

BT:I don’t really know. I think, on a level, they’re a little more honest about how horrible the world is. They’re a little more “real”. Especially for an industry about men in brightly coloured tights for the most part beating up blue collar criminals. I had a perfectly normal, lovely upbringing so maybe it’s the dark stuff that tempts me since i had it so good, early on.

PA:   What other projects are you currently or hope to be working on in the future?

BT:I’m keeping my ambitions small right now. i have the next 4-5 months planned out with a project I’m going to focus on. After that, maybe a small rest before I tackle something new. Usually life has been planned out completely for years in advance but that sort of sends one bonkers at times. So screw that. It’s time to actually feel free a little, and see where the brain wants to go next, creatively. Perhaps more SQUIDDER, if people dig it enough. ( And yes maybe some WORMWOOD and FELL, I did promise Warren… )

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I hope to continue earning your support

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Wow.

When I started fretting about my computer repairs yesterday, Tom Spurgeon offered to suggest that people donate some money to help out, and I didn’t say no. (Tom Spurgeon is good people, in case you didn’t know that.)

And then you guys started hitting the Paypal button.

My immediate bill was covered within an hour, and I said no one needed to give any more, but you guys kept giving. And kept on. I’m not ashamed to say that several times yesterday afternoon, my eyes were not entirely dry.

Thanks to the immense generosity of Beat readers I have enough to fix my computer, pay off some longstanding bills regarding the Beat and invest in some much needed upgrades and back-up equipment, like a new Time Machine-ready drive. And a Thunderbolt cable. The rest is being put in a rainy day fund to pay for more improvements, pay writers and so on.

I also hope to pay it forward with supporting more Kickstarters and helping people who also need a hand.

I can’t thank you all enough. Seriously, I’m so humbled and grateful. Comics people are the best people. This IS a community. Sometimes it feels like the same $20 goes around and around as we pass it along helping whoever needs it the most, buying a collection, pitching in on a Kickstarter, sometimes just helping pay the rent. But as long as that $20 is going around, we’ll keep going.

In the meantime, I am chugging along on my old computer (the racehorse will be back in a a few days they tell me) which isn’t compliant with a lot of software, so I’ll just be hitting the high spots where I can.

But once again….thank you. Thank you all. I’ll say it one more time.

Comics people are the best people.