§ A high school rival of artist Michael Turner comes to grips with the present day:
Years later, a co-worker in my design department brought in a comic book magazine that listed the top artists in the comic industry – you know, the movers and shakers. Guess who was high on the list?
My Jr. High art buddy graduated to the big leagues. And now- apparently, he was better than me – “much”, “way”, “uber” better than me. He was starting his own company after helping create a Witchblade craze at Top Cow. There was even talk of James Cameron making a movie based on his latest character. This dude was hot and getting hotter, and when I looked at the picture of him in the article I could see that same look of – “What? Of course I’m a success. Why wouldn’t I be?”
As you can imagine, I was thrilled for the guy that I instantly hated with 20 years of jealousy (interest compounded daily). You see, I was a bicycle graphics designer, a job I was happy to have – until I read the article. I was happy with my paycheck – until I imagined his.
Rather than putting all their eggs in one basket (see the competition’s Final Crisis), Marvel announced a whole bunch of potential free-standing sales juggernauts at the recent major conventions. Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi doing Astonishing X-Men: Second Stage certainly fits that bill. Although it likely won’t be up there with the Whedon/Cassaday run commercially, I wouldn’t underestimate Ellis’ appeal. The British author is currently seeing something of a second spring, with a slew of critically acclaimed projects like Fell, Nextwave and Thunderbolts under his belt, most of which are also selling respectably, and a well-received novel out. Coupled with up-and-coming newcomer Bianchi, who knows, maybe it’s just the right mix to get people excited. Creatively, Ellis tends to be hit and miss with existing work-for-hire concepts; we could end up with another Thunderbolts, or we could end up with another Iron Man.