§ Nice art: In what he billed on FB as a “rethink”, artist J. Scott Campbell tweeted the above image of Riri Williams, the new Ironheart in Invincible Iron Man. Campbell drew heavy criticism after he drew a variant cover for IIM #1 showed the 15 year old Riri drawn in a way more suitable for the sexy pinups of adult characters he’s known for.

The new drawing – which got praise everywhere it was posted – is not a cover, Campbell wrote. He just drew it to do it. However:

Well…. Anything is possible I suppose Eva. If the people’s demands made the other one go away, I suppose they could also demand this one into existence. ;)

I’d be shocked if this wasn’t a cover at some point, but if Campbell did draw it an an exercise – or heck even if he didn’t – let’s call this what it is: a win for art and a win for marketing! A win for everyone! Campbell knew full well that the original cover wasn’t his best work, as he wrote in response to various tweets and comments:

I’ll admit, you have too many comments here for me to read them all. Perhaps given this feedback I could’ve drawn Riri younger but I can assure you, “sexual” was not what I was going for. I was going for “sassy attitude” if that didn’t. One across then I’m disappointed, but that’s the extent of it. Sometimes these covers, like this one, are drawn in haste to meet a deadline and you have fly by the seat of your pants and fall back a bit on instinct rather than ultra-careful thought. Perhaps with more time, I could’ve contemplated another more nuanced approach. I have young daughters and I would not be embarrassed for them to see this cover.

Now that Campbell has had more time and more thought, he’s turned out something which is both a far better piece of art AND something that would make a great cover. And maybe his consciousness was raised along the way? Or at least he’s realized that to be relevant in 2016 requires some adjustments.

Reasonable commentators on the first Riri cover pointed out that it was more of an editorial fail (Midtown Comics had commissioned the cover) than Campbell being a sleazy pervert. Maybe this new cover drawing can help mend fences. It’s not a dumpster fire it’s…it’s….a kitten in a teacup! I rate this 9 Kittens in a Teacup!

kitten in a teacup.jpg

§ I was going to write something about internet trolling by Milo Manara and Frank Cho, but I’d rather think about a kitten…in a teacup.

§ Valiant has promoted Josh Johns to the position of Director of Digital Media and Development. Johns joined Valiant in 2011 as Assistant Editor in 2011, and moved on to run their digital media development and later Associate Director of Digital Media and Development in 2015.

Johns will help oversee the new Valian Digital division that produces :scripted original content in live action, animation, and emerging media, created specifically for the digital arena,” starting with NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE.

§ Digital corner: IDW has pacted with Playster a new streaming service that offers books, game and more.

Playster, the world’s first all-in-one entertainment streaming service, is proud to announce the addition of hundreds of bestselling comic books and graphic novels to its ever-growing media catalog.

The newly unveiled deal with award-winning IDW Publishing will introduce hundreds of classics, indie comics and popular bestsellers to the platform, including G.I. Joe, Ghostbusters, Godzilla, Jurassic Park, My Little Pony, Star Trek and Transformers.

“We’re extremely excited to unveil our new partnership with IDW Publishing, which is bringing some amazing content to Playster,” says Playster CEO Philip Keezer. “From the biggest and most successful franchises we all loved as kids to graphic novels adults will have a hard time putting down, these new additions have us buzzing and we know our members will be too.”

Playster is an all-in-one entertainment platform that’s on a mission to revolutionize streaming. The multimedia service provides unlimited, ad-free access to its entire collection for just $24.95 per month. Home to millions of songs, books, audiobooks, movies and games, Playster will now also offer members a wide array of licensed and independent titles from IDW Publishing. The service can be accessed via Playster’s iOS and Android apps, as well as through any web browser.

§ The great comics artist Frank Quitely is Indiegogo-ing a short animated film!

Nothing To Declare is described as a horror film where the end of the world is waiting next door, and along with Quitely aboard it also boasts a BAFTA nominated director in Will Adams, Oscar winning technical director Tom Bryant alongside master of environmental design Fraser MacLean and producer Mal Young. The short is also scored by John Cummings, formerly of alt-rock band Mogwai, who co-write the music for French drama Les Revenants.

§ Speaking of Valiant, Louise Simonson talks about the Hillary Clinton issue of Faith, which she wrote.

Chase Magnett: Can you offer a little bit of background as to how you came to work on this unique Faith story at Valiant?

Louise Simonson: They just called me up and asked if I would do it. I assume I had Jody [Houser]’s approval since she’s the regular writer. I suspect she was overcommitted and couldn’t do this ten-page story, so they asked me. I said, “Of course. I love Faith. Faith is a great book.”

Magnett: Do you think there’s a particular reason they went to you first with this story?

Simonson: Probably because I’m female. That helps. [laughter] I’ve been around a long time too.

§ A while ago, Sean Collins listed what he felt were the 33 greatest Graphic Novels of All Times. Sarah Horrocks has replied with The REAL Best Comics of all-time, another list of 33 titles. SPOILER: here are the first five:

1. Goodnight Punpun by Inio Asano
2. Helter Skelter by Kyoko Okazaki
3. Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi
4. Elektra Assassin by Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Miller
5. Slaine: The Horned God by Simon Bisley and Pat Mills

A very different list, then.

§ Paul Tumey reviews My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferriss, one of the most unusual graphic novels of the year….even if the year is 2017 because all the copies of the book have been delayed on a container ship:

The first thing that strikes, strokes (your fur), stripes and stretches you on embarking into My Favorite Thing is Monsters is the drawing. Sumptuous, skillful, articulate, intelligent, passionate renderings with pencil and pen lines. The cross-hatching used to both vividly delineate detailed forms and evoke a wide palette of emotion rivals the mature work of Robert Crumb and evokes numerous graphic masters (for me, Maurice Sendak, among others). The imagery and storytelling are all Ferris. Page after page of organic, dense layouts in the service of the story; swirling spreads that are about using drawing to capture or hide truths such as the splash of green in a pupil or the complex, multi-layered expression on a woman’s face for a fleeting instant in time, all created with an ever-changing variety of mediums and styles. Every strange artistic decision feels right, even if you’ve never seen it done this way before. And then you delve into the narrative, a sort of Harriet the Spy meets Anne Frank monster mash-up, with a dose of Where the Wild Things Are thrown in for good measure and wrapped around… a zillion other symbols and stories.

§ The very great Lynda Barry has been named UW-Madison’s Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art

Associate Professor Lynda Barry, an award-winning author and cartoonist with the School of Education’s Art Department, has been chosen as UW-Madison’s first recipient of the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art. Barry is perhaps best known as the author of the nationally syndicated “Ernie Pook’s Comeek,” but her career is legendary. Spanning nearly 35 years, Barry has authored 21 books, worked as a commentator for National Public Radio, and had a regular monthly feature in Esquire, Mother Jones Magazine, Mademoiselle, and After a highly decorated professional career, Barry was brought to UW-Madison in 2012 as an artist in residence at the Arts Institute.

Go Lynda!

§ Day after the day after photos of Celebs in Halloween costumes.

Dear Matt “The Dark Knight” Harvey went to Heidi Klum’s party as a Joker/Two Face – very creative Matt! I’m surprised he hasn’t shown up in a comic yet. However, it did lead one sports website to advance the theory that Harvey has never seen The Dark Knight.

§ Lindsey Lohan went as Harley Quinn. So did everyone else, but Lohan had the posing down and at least she knows how to handle a bat.

Taylor Swift went as Deadpool, which excited Rob Liefeld. Pretty awesome squad there.


  1. I still think the J. Scott Campbell kerfuffle stems from Campbell not having proper reference material to draw from. The earlier images from the reveal of Riri Williams look a lot like what he drew. When the outrage began, suddenly Marvel released new images that looked like a completely different character. That’s who he drew there this week.

  2. “Reasonable commentators” – that would presumably be the ones who didn’t call him a paedophile or a promotor of rape culture.


    – “Playster a new streaming service that offers books, game and more”

    Why the shy verb? They dont offer them, they *rent* them. Part of a future where only corporations own content, and people can only rent it or lose it.

    (Though that’s less hypocrite than Amazon and Apple, who “sell” digital content but have a “kill switch” to retroactively cancel or delete anything you bought, as was ironically used to wipe copies of Orwell’s 1984 some years ago.)

    – “Lynda Barry has been named UW-Madison’s Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art”

    And besides her great comics, there are her instructional ones.

    There are some great books about comics, including Eisner’s, but two towering ones are McCloud’s UNDERSTANDING COMICS and Barry’s WHAT IT IS — two sides of the same coin, left brain and right brain, Apollo and Dionysus, Sun and Moon, etc.

  4. “And maybe his consciousness was raised along the way?”

    Wow — the air must be thin up there in your lofty position.

  5. This Riri clearly has the take it all apart, thing, that tech nerds have. & her eyes look so curious!

    I really dig this art.

    J Scott Campbell has said that he was only given one piece of reference art. I’ve had other pro friends point out he could’ve asked for more, & a few others suggested that the first cover wasn’t Campbell’s best work.

    But as something that has potential to engage new female teen readers, Take 2 is a huge improvement. It shows he gets & respects the character. I hope that everyone who took a minute ot be critical & share those critical opinions also speak up in support of this art, if they like it more. We should be as quick to praise things we love as we are to complain about stuff we don’t. ;)

    I wish I knew what Marvel editor was in charge of Iron Heart / Riri; I’d be bugging them to make this revisit a cover. It says good things about J. Scott’s character, I feel, that he chose to revisit this subject, just to do it, & then just knocked it outta the park (to use a timely analogy).

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