Carmine Infantino was, depending on your age, the Flash artist or the Batman artist or the Star Wars artist. Jack Kirby’s work was pure power. Will Eisner’s was pure mood. But Carmine’s was pure design.
Lesser artists rendered each of their comic panels as a separate little snapshot. Leafing through their work was like sifting pleasantly through a stack of picture postcards. Carmine, better than anyone before or since, instead choreographed each illustration to immediately seize the eye and then sling it to the next panel and the next and the next without a break, taking readers on a breathless rocket-ride that wouldn’t stop until the story was told.
The Rio Grande Valley is home to several comic book shops, but Sun Blast Comics isn’t content with just being one of the pack. The shop opened May 24 at 313 S. Missouri Ave. in Weslaco, and soon relocated to a bigger building at 525 S. Texas Blvd.
Now, owner Alexis Lopez, 31, has a plan to bring the Rio Grande Valley its first ever Pop Culture-Con, a convention centered on the various types of genres set by popular culture, Jan. 3, 2014. Currently known as Shock-A-Kon, Lopez said the event will be held at the McAllen Convention Center and will play host to bands, car shows that contain vehicles in the likeness of “Ghostbusters” and “Dukes of Hazzard” and guest appearances by comic book writers and television actors. Notice of the convention has been sent to Facebook followers.
§ If you are not entirely sick of the SAGA subject yet, David Brothers also interviewed Eric Stephenson and asked different questions than we did.
§ Fantagraphics is releasing a new edition of Charles Burns’ seminal Big Baby comics, and here’s a a Flickr set of images which we linked do just because it is cool to embed a set of photos of Big Baby!
§ Alex Dueben two-fer. An interview with Joëlle Jones on HELHEIM, a horror book written by Cullen Bunn.
It was such a departure from what I’d done before. It just seemed very exciting to try something new. I’ve always loved viking stories and the supernatural, and I love the way Cullen writes.
It’s been so much fun. I love to get bloody and violent.
§ And another one with Ann Nocenti, who, it must be admitted, is really good to have back in comics:
I think my work in comics is one long, ever-shifting treatise on violence, especially my run on Daredevil. The superhero genre itself is about having conflicts escalate into violence. You can do an issue here and there with conflict resolution that is non-violent, but mostly the fun is how the action plays out. Katana takes violence seriously. She’s highly trained, but has a long way to go before she’s a master. And her mission is serious. Catwoman is looser about it. She’s got kleptomania, no amount of jewels can make her happy, she’s got an action jones, just for the pure thrill of action. I’m always very influenced by the artist, and in this case, Rafa Sandoval’s work has such intense joy and energy to it, I love how sometimes we just play: the big lug Catwoman fights in #18, it’s almost like Three Stooges violence. Sometimes the action is so wacky it’s like Tex Avery or Chuck Jones. Her fight with the Joker, on the other hand was brutal. Then she gets stuck in the Black Room and has an almost mystical level of violent action. The violence and action come out of the story. The Black Room is jam-packed with evil objects—so the violence is like something from hell. There are crazy surprises in issues #19-24, but during that time she’s also going to get involved with some gritty street crime, with the Rat-Tails and the Vice and Murder squads at the Gothan PDHQ.
§ Weekend con reports: Gerry Alanguilan went to Summer Komikon 2013 and shows are getting bigger in Manila, too.
“Insane” is such an overused word to describe Komikon. I used that word a lot. But I’m honestly at a loss to use any other word to perfectly describe it. Well, perhaps “INSANER” would be apt. Because that’s just how it was. This thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger. They’ve had to use up space that was used for circulation and navigation at past conventions to give space for more exhibitors. And it still wasn’t enough. I swear, if Manila had rules for crowd control as SDCC, they’d have shut the event down. I make no exaggeration when I say it was THAT huge.
§ Our own Hannah Means-Shannon went to the New York Comic Book Marketplace, which we managed to miss due to doing our taxes, but the impact of the grungy yet charming old school con is the same whether you’ve been to 1 or 100:
By reputation, the show is freaky, with an old con feel and plenty of the detritus and treasures of cons gone by, and following a snaking trajectory down narrow hallways via taped arrows on the carpet upon arrival only added to the low budget mystique. Occasionally surly staff kept you moving in the right direction until you reached a crowded, aisled chamber packed with comics and memorabilia, much of it vintage, but it was another narrow hallway’s length before you reached the ironically termed “artists alley”, since it was the most spacious area of the show. There artists, wrestlers, former child stars, and the occasional vendor vied for attention, but they didn’t have to try too hard, since everyone seemed to receive a fair amount of adoration as the crowds moved through. It was evident that there was something for everyone, however offbeat their tastes, at the New York Comic Book Marketplace.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.