Superhero posts

SHAZAM: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal

Posted by on February 23rd, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Like most of Kidd’s work, the design draws attention to itself rather than providing an unobtrusive platform for displaying the content, a spectacular miscarriage of a book designer’s function.

David Robertson: An Interview with John Ridgway (Part Two of Two)

Posted by on February 23rd, 2011 at 9:00 AM

“Summer Magic’ in 2000 AD #576, May 28, 1988, written by Alan McKenzie. ©Fleetway Publications. Click to view larger image

In the conclusion of this interview, John Ridgeway talks about craft and computers, his preferred modes of horror, monopoly and distribution, creator’s rights and venturing into creator-owned work.

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David Roberston: An Interview with John Ridgway (Part One of Two)

Posted by on February 22nd, 2011 at 9:00 AM

John Ridgway’s art confused me when I was a child. His old-school, scratchy ink lines look almost as if they are not strong enough to support the characters and environments they portray, as if they are about to cave in on themselves. When his art was trailed in the “Next Issue …” blurb in issue #8 of Marvel U.K.’s Transformers, I thought it looked pretty weak. Up to this point, the comic had been reprinting the bombastic artwork from the U.S. comic, all crash bang wallop. This Ridgway panel showed a subdued image of a robot … strolling out from under a tree. His work should be the least suited to depicting the science-fiction worlds of Doctor Who, Transformers or Zoids, but inexplicably it works — perfectly.

Before I became aware of his work in these comics, Ridgway had already been drawing for more than a decade on titles such as Warrior and Commando. (His work continues to appear in the latter to this day.) With his expertise in creating atmospheres to the fore, his style also lends itself to fantasy tales, such as Summer Magic (a proto-Harry Potter type story published in the 1980s). His unique take on Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk, and establishing the template for DC’s Hellblazer made his reputation in American comics.

I found Ridgway extremely open as an interviewee. He surprised me on a few occasions with his opinions and how forthright he was with them. It made for an interesting chat.

David Robertson

Click to view larger image. “Hunger” in Hellblazer #1 (January 1988), written by Jamie Delano. ©1988 DC Comics Inc.

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Nathan Wilson: An Interview with Geoff Johns Part 2

Posted by on February 8th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

In Part Two (of Two), Geoff Johns talks about how he reads by writer rather than by character, how Grant Morrison is his favorite writer, engineering cross-overs and more.


Nathan Wilson: An Interview with Geoff Johns Part One (of Two)

Posted by on February 7th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

New York Times best-selling author and Eisner Award-nominated writer Geoff Johns talks to Nathan Wilson about craft; how he writes Green Lantern and The Flash and engineers Infinite Crisis, 52, Blackest Night and Brightest Day; and his career as the Chief Creative Officer for DC Entertainment and supervising production on the 2011 Green Lantern film.

Garth Ennis’s Knights of the Sky, Part Six: Battler Britton and “Archangel”: “The whole truth is unthinkable.”

Posted by on January 26th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

In the conclusion of his six-part essay on aerial combat in Garth Ennis’ works, Williams summarizes: The truth is insane. The trick is to find a way to make the insanity bearable.

Garth Ennis’s Knights of the Sky, Part Five: J for Jenny, The Night Witches, and more Phantom Eagle: “I have made my choice.”

Posted by on January 25th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

In his war stories, Garth Ennis has repeatedly put enemies in dialogue, face to face; or set allies against each other, in debate. He has returned, almost obsessively, to questions of duty and compassion, and to the brutal, arbitrary nature of modern warfare.

Garth Ennis’s Knights of the Sky, Part Four: Finest Hour: “I think I owe you something.”

Posted by on January 24th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

To understand Garth Ennis’s attitude about wars, and the people who fight them, it’s worth looking way back to 1993′s Hellblazer story “Finest Hour” (issue 71).

Garth Ennis’s Knights of the Sky, Part Three: Dan Dare: “We always fight squalid little men like you.”

Posted by on January 21st, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Given the cruel satire of The Phantom Eagle, and the sober drama of “Condors,” it may be surprising to find Ennis idealizing, well, anything.

But he is nevertheless willing to engage in some myth-making of his own. Dan Dare (another resuscitated old-school comics hero) practically embodies the notions of courage, decency, fairness, mercy, moral resolve, and good sense — fortuitously unified with natural leadership, personal charisma, fighting skill, and rugged good looks. Plus, he’s an astronaut — and an Englishman. “He’s a British hero,” Ennis writes, “An English hero, by God, in a time when such characters are few and far between.”

Garth Ennis’s Knights of the Sky, Part Two: Condors: “Gentlemen: I hate you all.”

Posted by on January 20th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

“Condors,” a selection from the second volume of Garth Ennis’s War Stories, finds four combatants — two from each side — hiding in a crater during intensive shelling. The setting is the battle of Ebro, toward the end of the Spanish Civil War. As the four are stuck together, unarmed, for hours, they each tell their stories and, naturally enough, argue about the war of which they are a part.

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