The Paper Robots Podcast Episode 81: Comic Artist Dan Schkade

Ever wondered how to get started in comics?

Check out this episode:

The episode is with a great gentlemen by the name of Dan Schkade, he is also a comic book artist known for his work on Will Eisner's The Spirit. Dan has published both independently and for commercial companies including Dynamite Entertainment (comics). We sit down and talk about working in a commercial comic setting as well as what it is like starting out in comics. 

Dan is one of the nicest people to grace the mic and I am honored to share our conversation about comics.

For more of Dan's work and links check below:

The Paper Robots Episode 80: Tucson Comic Con 2016

I return to my hometown Tucson for the comic convention! Cynthia and I shared a table at the convention with Tania and we sold our creations!

I chat about my experience as an exhibitor for a comic con and what it was like returning home.

UPDATE: I have an online store you can now purchase my comics online!

thatlogan.bigcartel.com

follow me for more updates on the media @thatlogan

enjoy!

Superhero Sunday: Ms. Marvel

Let’s grab a big yellow S and get ready for some cosmic rays as we blast into this month’s Superhero Sunday with Ms. Marvel.Please note that I will be covering the title “Ms Marvel: and how the main character changes through present day

The History

Ms.Marvel was first thought of in 1968 as the female counterpart to Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), and appeared in Marvel’s Superheroes #13. It wasn’t until 1977 that she really was a part of the Marvel universe as Carol Danvers.

Carol was Ms. Marvel until 1985 when Mike Carlin and Ron Wilson, creators on the Fantastic  Four, decided that a new woman would pick up the name after being exposed to cosmic rays. Thus Sharon Venture became Ms. Marvel. Then in 2009 Dr. Karla Sofen, the super villain known as Moonstone became Ms. Marvel during the storyline “Dark Reign.”

Carol Danvers would occasionally pick the name backup, but that was until the mantle was adopted by a 13 year old inhuman in 2013. This new rendition of Ms Marvel was created by  Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona

The Character

Who is a Ms. Marvel? What does it take? Well, it takes a strong willed independent female getting hit by cosmic rays or becoming an inhuman to be Ms.Marvel. Carol Danvers (the first and now the new Captain Marvel) was an officer in the Air Force who, on a mission, gets caught in an explosion with Captain Marvel (a Kree alien) and she is exposed to cosmic rays. These are the rays that gave the fantastic four their powers and what makes the Silver Surfer the “Silver Surfer.” Once exposed she is enhanced and can shoot rays, fly and exhibits super strength. With this power she fights along the Avengers, and battles many galactic enemies.

The next most important person to dawn the mantle is when Moonstone takes over the mantle and during Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign and she becomes the Ms.Marvel of the Dark Avengers lead by Norman. As Moonstone she gets power from a Kree gravity stone and is imbued with powers similar to that of most superheroes but most like Ms. Marvel. During this era Ms.Marvel gets her name tarnished and the mantle is left alone. Carol later assumes the mantle of Captain Marvel in honor of the death of Mar-vell.

Now jump to a young New Yorker girl who discovers she has been exposed to a terrigen mist, which awakens special cells in certain people that makes them inhuman (it's like realizing you're a mutant but different). When Kamala Khan, a teen who already looks up to many super heroes, becomes an inhuman with super powers, she decides she wants to be like her idol; thus she becomes the contemporary Ms.Marvel. But Kamala is different. She has super strength and can morph her body, but she cannot fly.

Why this Hero?

Ms.Marvel has always been a real “BA” and that's awesome. I will admit it wasn’t til Kelly Sue made her Captain Marvel that I fell in love with Carol Danvers. That being said, everything written during Civil War was amazing and encouraged me to like so many characters.

However, it is Kamala that takes the cake for me. Her story is like a hybrid of commentary on contemporary while also being a new version of the Spider-Man “fish out of water” story. She learns what it is to be a hero while being inspired by the Avengers, much like how readers of comics are inspired by morally strong characters. I must recommend Ms. Marvel with Kamala Khan to everyone.

Recommended Reading

  • Marvel Masterworks: Ms. Marvel Book 1

  • Ms.Marvel (Marvel Now) vol.1

  • Dark Reign

The Paper Robots Episode 70: Eric Schock

Hey everybody! I got special guest Eric Schock on the show. The man who started Evil Robo Productions and is a creator/artist/writer of comics.

Currently Eric is working Thomas Keith on a Golden Age hero know as "The Raven" which release in AZ 8/3/2016.

We also discuss a few things including tips on being creative.

Tips:

  • Having a regime
  • Creating is about dedication and treating your creative work like a "real job"
  • Creating a schedule and a everyday task.

Follow:

  • Twitter- @Eric_Schock
  • IG- @EricSchockArt
  • Evil Robo

 

Superhero Sunday: Batgirl

Ladies and gentlemen let us dawn our cowls and jump into this Superhero Sunday with Batgirl.

The History

The legends that are Bill Finger and Sheldon  Moldoff with DC comics created Batgirl in 1961. Though it wasn't til 1967 and Barbra Gordon took the mantle that Batgirl would gain her iconic status.

First appearing in Detective Comics #359- "Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl." She would continue to appear in Detetive Comics and become a member of the "Batfamily" which included the likes of Nightwing and Robin. 

Its a shame that it wasn't until 2000 that Batgirl recieved a solo series but since then her popularity has only grown and she has really become a staple of the Bat-Universe at DC.

The Character

Batgirl has been the name for many women in the DC universe this will focus on Barbra Gordon who has the longest time under the mantle and is the current Batgirl for DC (But heres the list of all to hold the name Batgirl). Barbra Gordon aka 'Babs" is daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon. Her 1967 appearance was helping stop the kidnapping of Bruce Wayne by villian Killer Moth, while she didnt know that this attracted the attention of the Dark Knight and helped stop the villian. Barbra was only getting started. Barbra would continue to prove she was tough and willing to be a hero. Dressing as Batgirl she would fight and eventually Batman takes her under his wing. Batman originally disapproved but she was determined.

Batgirl would fight in team-ups for years but her popularity went down and Alan Moore in 1988 wanted to write a book that would try to break Batman and have the Joker show Batman that anyone can be morally broken, The Joker tries to prove his point when he takes photos of Barbra Gordon and paralyzes her in order to ruin Jim Gordon and provoke Batman. 

Barbra though paralyzed wasn't broken she only came back stonger willing to help Batman as information genius Oracle. While she was Oracle she would help the team take down villians and a new Batgirl in the form of Cassandra Cain would come along. 

Later after the events of Infinte Crisis Stephanie Brown (The Spoiler) would take the mantle of Batgirl and it would go back to Cassandra too.Then the events of Flash Point occur and reset the continuity of the DC Universe it is here that Barbra regains her mobility with an experimental surgery and takes back the role of Batgirl. She continues as Batgirl in todays continuity as well in the NEW 52. Even in her revamps Barbra Gordon/Batgirl stay fresh and have creative teams,

Why this hero?

This is simple there have been many to take the name Batgirl but there is only on Babs. Barbra Gordon is the reason to like Batgirl and the wonderful people who refused to let her become a simple plot device or just a "female robin" She has help her own in DC stories and titles.

Batgirl has fought villians, faced the Joker, tussled with Batman and paralzyed but her mantle has stayed true to being a strong female character in a male hero world.

I remeber her on Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond. I always enjoyed the character and this s porobably because I love the Bat-Family as a whole but she fits in the family perfectly. So go check her out.

Recommended Reading

Superhero Sunday: Green Arrow!

Grab your bow and quiver for this month's Superhero Sunday: Green Arrow! Lets flash back to 1941 when Morton Weisinger and George Papp created/designed Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow.

The History

Oliver would appear in "More Fun Comics #73" and would spend the next 25 years gaining notice but wouldn't reach real popularity until writer Denny O'neil started working on him in the 60's. From there the popularity has only grown with the character getting a solo TV series.

The Character

This origin is the most current and collected version, there have been many retools and reboots of this character (like many hero's who are decades old). This origin is a hybrid (including TV elements)

Oliver Queen is a rich, arrogant, ego driven workaholic until everything is taken from him. He is young and has the his fathers company, Queen Consolidated, bother his parents have past under mysterious circumstances. But his life changes when he goes out on to travel on a ship and the boat wrecked onto an island.

Oliver Queen must survive the island and become something stronger than he was, but even after his time on the island when he returns and the world thought him to be dead he loses his fathers company and is left with nothing. The arrogant Oliver must be better and must mature. Oliver learns his bow skills on the island but always had a love for robin hood as a child. The mythos of the island only grow in Jeff Lemire's story (New 52). That is the origin. (if this all sounds familiar thats because the original creators saw Green Arrow as the Batman with a bow for Star City).

But with all the iterations of Green Arrow comes his character and who Oliver Queen is. That hero is a man who had to build up after losing his family his company and survive on an island, Oliver Queen protects a city from corruption and is progressive for the liberal rights of all humans. He is known for being friends with Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and fighting on the Justice League but mostly his own solo work.

Why this hero?

 Honestly, I didn't like Green Arrow at first. I thought he was like Hawkeye with a Van Dyke and didn't seem very interesting. As a kid he was the grumpy one on Justice League cartoon. But I was watching a PBS documentary or some other doc and it went of the history of heroes, Green Arrow teaming up to work for equality for all people was amazing. He became more interesting and I wanted to know more. 

The Green Arrow is DC's Robin Hood and green solutions and civil rights, he was later revamped to be more a vigilante in the more common sense but was given a deeper mythos including guilds and magic. He is truly an interesting character that has carved out a path in the DC universe. The TV show and new books only add to his depth and keep him interesting.

Recommended Reading

Do You Even Comic: Nowhere Men

Do you even science on this edition of Do You even Comics: "Nowhere Men." This Image title, created by writer Eric Stephenson and artist Nate Bellegarde, first debuted back in 2012 for a single issue run. Fun fact, the book's name comes from the Beatles song "Nowhere Man," also the name is inspired by the fact that things seemingly come out of nowhere for the scientists in this story.

The Story

Dade Ellis, Simon Grimshaw, Emerson Strange and Thomas Walker are to science as what the Beatles were to music. In this universe "science is the new Rock'n'Roll." These scientist started on a journey that would culturally change and influence science for years to come. The story starts long after the four have gone there separate ways but while they were together they made "World Corp", and as Eric Stephenson put it," What if Apple and Microsoft weren't rivals but teammates." The group splits because of make a decision on a disaster in their R and D department. From this point the story weaves in a group of young astronauts infected with a strange virus on a space station created by WorldCorp.

The virus is infecting and affecting the crew in weird ways that transforms them, leaving the team desperately trying to get home. This story only begins as it comes to an end in its six issue run, Questions are asked and not answered. The book is a mystery worth reading.

Why this Book?

I discovered this book because of the covers, yes the art drew me in but can you blame me? I would wander into the comic shop pick up my books and see these covers by Nate Bellegarde and Jordie Belleaire and would pause to stare at them. Finally one day after the collected trade came out I picked up the book and was like "What!? Science is the new Rock'n'Roll? I gotta get this book." The colors by Jordie (Pretty Deadly and Zero) are so fantastic and eye catching I love the pallet he works with, it makes everything click as the story jumps between two time periods. I also love the art and aesthetics of the book, how its broken into articles and graphs mixed with traditional panels...it all works. Lastly the "mutations/creatures" are so original looking and intriguing. All these puzzle pieces led me to this book. My only complaint is that it just ends without a resolution.

The ending made me so upset that I went to the internet back in 2013 and I read an article about the story continuing in 2014. I was excited only to have those hopes let down because the book was not renewed. That is until now, 2016, the book and team are back to continue the series. Spoilers! Sina Grace is in it well his appearance. I am very happy to see this book return and do a second six issue arc. If you want to check it out click below to get volume one.

If this sounded like a book for you then get it here:

Book:Nowhere Men Vol. 1

AACCC: Exhibit Hall

Amazing Arizona Comic Con has come to an end but the coverage is still going on. Over Valentines's Weekend I had the chance to explore downtown convention center for Comic Con and I was lucky enough to meet fantastic artists, writers and voice actors. Over the next few days you'll get to read about some of the amazing panels that Amazing Arizona Comic Con had to offer.

Until then here are some images from the exhibit hall.

Superhero Sunday: The Rocketeer

Strap on your jetpacks, dawn your helmets and lets take to the skies in this month's Superhero Sunday with The Rocketeer.

The History

Created in 1982 by writer-illustrator Dave Stevens, who first got work penciling for Tarzan (newspaper comic 1975) then getting recognized for is pin up work and later went on to storyboard for Hanna-Barera.

The Rocketeer is a fun adventure book that was birthed out of paying homageage to the old serials from the 1930s through 50s.  The story first appeared as a backup issue in Starslayer for Pacific Comics. The four issue was released by Eclipse comics under the title Rocketeer.

The Character

The story takes place in a fiction 1938 Los Angeles, but who is this helmeted hero? Cliff Secord a racing stunt pilot (barnstormer) discovers a mysterious package hidden in his hanger. Gangsters fleeing the scene leave left a prototype jetpack that kickstarts Cliff's adventures and lead him on a jet fueled dream.

The 1980's comic contnued its fun for years as Cliff went on one-shot journeys and adventures as The Rocketeer. He would fight crime and rescue his main squeeze Betty (Dave Stevens modeled off of Bettie Page the Queen of Pin-Up). Cliff the lunkhead with the heart iof gold went on to fight Nazi's and the mobsters but every comic was great fun.

Rocketeer 1.jpg

Why this hero?

As always I did not read the comic until well after its creation. I probably like most didnt dicsover The Rocketeer as a comic at all but instead as the 1991 Disney film. Yes, in the 90s Stevens approved Disney to adapt the comic into film. This movie is where I found the Rocketeer and was instantly in love with the character. The costume is this amazing suit that lets you fly around with an awesome helmet and you become this hero who saves the day, it was everything I wanted to be as a kid (maybe now too). After the movie I wanted to be The Rockteer and I was inspired to find those 80s comics.

The Rocketeer comic rights changed hands and went from Dark Horse to IDW. Dave Stevens passed in 2008 but the comic series was revived in 2011 by IDW with the talented writer Mark Waid, the book would recieve trades of collected new adventures. The Rocketeer is not the dense heavy work of Alan Moore nor is it Garfield. No, The Rocketeer is high flying fun and a real treat for anyone who wasn't wax nostalgic about 1930s-50s.

Recommended Reading:

Logan's Top 5 Comics of 2015

Much like with television, we live in a day and age of comics where there seems to be an endless amount of quality stories being told by multiple publishers. This is a wonderful thing for us as readers/consumers but it also means that there is so much to consume. That being said, these are my top 5 comics of 2015 and the list only scratches the surface of all the amazing books being put out. Though it didnt make the top 5, shout out to Lumberjanes, a book I have loved since it launched but I wanted to focus of books that came out in 2015 or that I discover in 2015.

5. Self Obsessed- Sina Grace

The title only scratches the surface of this memoir created by Sina Grace. The book is a narrated collection of work done by Sina Grace of the past year and goes into in the personal struggles of a comic creator. While the comic revolves solely on the life of Sina and everything that he has gone through, it also connects you and lets you into the mind of an artist and provides a glimpse of what it is like to try to make comic books while maintaining a life full of mistakes, love, friends and family. As someone trying to make comics myself, I connected with the struggles of trying to be human while devoting time to telling stories.

 

 

 

4. Sandman: Overture

If you haven't read the original series (1989) by creator Neil Gaiman, I recommend you do so now. But it is not necessary to have read it before reading Overture as time is fluid and this story is a self contained mini-series by Neil Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III. Overture follows the Sandman, the "Prince of Dreams," on a journey to save the universe from destruction. The art is beautiful and for that reason alone is worth picking up but Neil Gaiman also tells an amazing poetic story that only he can tell. I didnt read the original series until last year but I fell in love with the book and was so happy for more of Morpheus (Sandman has many names I used three).

 

 

 

3. Ms. Marvel

There are so many " Cape" books in an industry built on superheroes that it's easy to reach fatigue of super events, crossovers, reboots and relaunches, but Ms.Marvel fell into my lap and was a breath of fresh air. Created by Marvel editor, Sana Amanat, writer G. Wilow Wilson, and artist Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel is a beautiful book with a strong story. The main character Kamala Khan recieves her inhuman powers in a world already filled with superheroes. She, like us the readers, is a fan of these super humans and names herself after Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) whom she idolizes. I really enjoy that its a book like Spider-Man where we follow a young kid getting powers (shapeshifting and size changing) while learning to deal with them in a contemporary world. I also love the color of the book that feels light and whimsical. The book stands alone and only recently tied into big events. It's exciting to see a brand new character make an impact and looks to be sticking around in the Marvel Universe.

 

 

2. Descender

The top two spots were the hardest to decide on. There are so many great books and so many others I didn't even get to read, but there is one creator I follow religiously, and that is Jeff Lemire. His book with artist Dustin Nguyen was a book I wasnt going to pass up. Jeff Lemire is a master of capturing what the kids call "the feels" and I am a sucker for "the feels," also a sucker for scifi robot stuff. Descender takes place in a human colonized galaxy in a time where the humans have already preformed an "ethnic cleansing" on the robots and it picks up by following the awakening of a kid robot named, Tim-21 and his robot dog. The universe seems to be wiped of optimism until the young boy tries to discover what is happening. He runs into humans and other robot harvesters but there is more to Tim-21 than anyone had predicted. The story has only continued to grow and open up more paths. It captures bits of Mass Effect and a journey of a kid lost in the unknown world.

 

 

1.  Paper Girls

The number one spot goes to all time favorite writer Brian K. Vaughan for his new series Paper Girls. This spot could have easily gone to his other ongoing series, Saga which is a favorite, but I wanted to choose a book that launched this year and to be honest, they are both amazing (Read anything put out by BKV and you can't lose). There have only been five issues but it is already solid book that continues to promise a fantastic story. Paper Girls is a tale set in 1988 following a gang of girls on their predawn paper route with a Sci-Fi twist. It's been called "Stand by Me" meets " War of the Worlds." I don't want to spoil anything but BKV sets up another amazing adventure that is only further captured by the art of Cliff Chiang.

Do You Even Comic: Punk Rock Jesus

Fill those shot glasses with holy water as we dive into Punk Rock Jesus for this month's Do You Even Comic. Before discussing the comic book, I want to discuss the creator, Sean Murphy.

The History

Sean Gordon Murphy, 35, has worked as an artist on such projects as Joe the Barbarian, American Vampire, Outer Orbit, Off Road and Hellblazer. But his 2012 creator owned miniseries by Vertigo, Punk Rock Jesus was done solely by him (written, penciled, inked). I thought this was important to note, Sean's body of work is strong working with other creators like Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison working with companies all over the industry (OniPress, Vertigo, Dark Horse, DC). All these facts show how talented of an artist he is and that this book only prove he can write and draw amazingly. 

The Story

So, what is a "Punk Rock Jesus?"  The answer is in the not too distant future a clone of Jesus is created and given a reality TV show. "J2", as he is called, was created from the blood found on the  spear blade that pierced Jesus in the ribs. Things fall apart for the unhappy clone as he lives under lock and kept by a team in a mansion. Also around the world religious zealots hate the kid for being who he is. The story escalates as he escapes from the home, forms a punk band and is on the run from "haters."  Thomas McKael, Jesus's bodygaurd, has a troubled past but joins the adventure regardless. 

The story follows both Thomas and J2. It's a combination of both action and emotional journey as the concept reflects a lot on the current times we live in today.

Why this book?

Sean Murphay says this was a passion project for him and it shows. The book instantly grabs you with his black and white iconic art style and keeps you turning every page as you join J2 on a journey of self exploration in a politically correct society. I don't think it matters if you are religious or not, this book deserves a read and continues to be one of my favorite stories. I enjoyed every bit of the story and was left wanting more from this world.

If this sounded like a book for you then get it here:

Book: Punk Rock Jesus

Superhero Sunday: Dick Grayson

Hello and welcome to this month's Superhero Sunday. This month is Dick Grayson a character that we have all seen evolve and change over the years, starting as a sidekick to becoming a solo superhero himself as Nightwing.

The History

Let's starts with the facts created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson in April 1940, first appearance " Detective Comics No. 38.

The Character

Dick Grayson was the youngest in his acrobatic family that travelled in a performing act known as," The Flying Graysons." After one of the performances, Dick witnesses his family die by the hands of a mafia boss who was extorting the,"Haly's" circus. Bruce Wayne (Batman), unable to stop the events, decides to take Dick Grayson in as a legal ward.

During this time Dick becomes Robin and his acrobatic skills lend well to being the sidekick of Batman. They fought side by side for many years, but Dick grew up and the DC universe expanded. Dick decides he must forge his own path and become a hero himself as Nightwing. Dick as Nightwing moves to Bluhaven, leads the Teen Titans and has many solo adventures. If you flash forward to DC's "New 52" Dick Grayson becomes a spy under his own name and currently has a solo series.

Why this hero?

But I want to back up and explain what a huge impact Dick Grayson the character has on the comic world. Let me spoil a few things and hopefully encourage you to read some great stories. Dick Grayson starts as Batman's sidekick then grows up. Growing up isn't something that is done often in comics (Spiderman another example), most characters stay them same age over the decades, but DC pushed Dick Grayson and the medium of comics forward, by having Dick become the hero, Nightwing. Next during one of my personal favorite story lines (Final Crisis/Batman RIP)  involving the Bat-Family, Dick Grayson must pick up the mantle of Batman and protect the city while training Bruce Wayne's son Damian. I love this because it was a huge deal in comics, regarding who is going to be worthy of the Batman mask and responsibility. Dick Grayson was a strong character from the beginning and time has only forged him into a stronger independent leader. 

There are so many great titles to read for Dick Grayson or Nightwing and I suggest them all. But if you can't do that then check out these gems below.

Recommended Reading:

Watch:

Do You Even Comic: Black Hole

Hey! We are here for a, "better late than never" edtion of Do You Even Comic. This time I am talking about an alternative comic classic "Black Hole," by Eisner award winner Charles Burns. The story came out in 1995 and was released as a 12 issue series by Kitchen Sink, then re-released by Fantagrpahics.  

The Story

Black Hole takes places during the mid 70's in the suburbs of Seattle. The story follows four teenagers and switches between their lives as their summer goes on.  There is a mysterious sexually transmitted disease called "the teen plague" and "the bug," that gives people unique physical mutations.  The focus is on the lives and relationships of teens as reality hits them with issues that will only continue as they grow up in this world.

Why this book?

No, I did not read this is 1995 nor did I even know about it in 2005 when the hardcover came out. But  that didn't stop me from enjoying it. Black Hole felt like a sci-fi period piece that had ageless themes and didn't matter that it wasn't set in contemporary times. The art and writing are strong and immediately engaging. I like reading books about feeling and no matter what the metaphor is Charles Burns  nails it.

I picked up Black Hole because, well because I kept seeing it places. It was on lists of books to see it was on shelves of comic shops. I finally had to give it a shot and I am so glad I did. Charles Burns has both a unique voice and bold art style that grows on you the more you read. This was such a great path to finding a new dark writer.

If this sounded like a book for you then get it here:

Book: Black Hole

Superhero Sunday: Venom

Dress in black and let's get weird its Superhero Sunday Venom edition.

The History

Venom has only been around since 1984 but has a very dense/clunky history. I want start from the beginning but then focus on the main points and provide some reading material for you all. The idea of a new Spiderman costume was what inspired venom and the idea was bought for $220.00 by Marvel. Mike Zeck and David Michilinie created the alien host with Spiderman and it was Todd McFarlane that drew first appearance of Venom.

The Character

First what we refer to as venom is actually an alien symbiote that combines with a human host. The alien race of parasites would travel to planets and attach to host, they would provide the host with enhance abilities while draining there life. Venom was different and wanted to commit to its host rather than killing it. The alien race decided that the venom symbiote was insane and was imprisoned on Battleworld.

Battleworld is a planet that the Marvel heroes and villains fought on during secret wars and where Spiderman would become attached to the symbiote becoming the first host of Venom. Once off Battleworld Spiderman could feel the enhanced alien suit corrupting him.  To rid himself of the suit Spiderman crashed himself into a bell tower creating sound waves that disrupt and damage the symbiote. Spiderman thought the venom alien to be dead.

Flash forward to Eddie Brock heading home on the subway after being fired from the Daily Planet. He blamed Spiderman for getting him fired and hates him. During this time it only gets worse for Eddie as he learns he has cancer. Eddie becomes desperate and goes to a church to pray. It is the same church with the bell that the symbiote was destroyed with. The symbiote being a banded and left for dead hates Spiderman. It can sense Eddie’s hatred as well and attaches to him. This fuels both of them and makes Venom proper. Eddie Brock as Venom wants to destroy Spiderman and they do many battles over the years. Venom uses the same abilities of Spiderman because that was the first host and it imprinted the web slinging/ wall crawling abilities into the alien.  Eddie Brock is the most popular Venom and villain for Spiderman but there have been several other hosts so let’s find out where Venom goes.

The next main player to dawn the mantle of Venom was Mac Gargan aka Scorpion. This happens during the Sinister 12 story line where the Venom approaches Mac offering additional strength in hopes to taking down Spiderman. Mac wears the suit for a few years through the Dark Reign until ultimately being defeated by Spiderman and the Avengers.

Alas my favorite Venom, Flash Thompson. Once the Dark Avengers are defeated the military captures the symbiote in order to study it. They want to start a new super solider project where the suit would be worn by a host and sedated/controlled by the government. Flash Thompson is a war vet and lost his legs in the war. He went to fight because he looked up to Spiderman and wanted to be a hero too. Flash now back home has an alcohol abuse problem and PTSD. He becomes a prime candidate the suit would restore his legs and provide purpose. But the struggle of becoming corrupted and evil from the suit is a hard battle. Ultimately Flash runs away with the suit and in 2015 is Venom Space Knight.

Why this hero (villian)?

I love this history of Venom from starting as a villain to Spiderman to become a rich story filled hero. The symbiotes have far for history and there is an excellent site you should all check out. TheVenomSite.com

 

Recommended Reading:

I also  did a little flow chart to follow Venom enjoy:




Superhero Sunday: The Question

You need to stop accepting answers and question everything you've been told because in this edition of Superhero Sunday we are covering The Question.

The History

Yes, this is the superhero who inspired Alan Moore's Rorschach  in Watchmen. Created in 1967 by artist/writer Steve Ditko and seen in Charlton Comic's Blue Beetle #1 . Of course I didn't know who the question was until the amazing 2004 animated TV series Justice League United (JLU) in which The Question is a paranoid conspiracy theoirst. 

The Character

The mantle of The Question has been taken up by more than one person but the first and current person is Charles Victor Sage (Vic Sage). Vic Sage is an outspoken investigative journalist who discovers that his old professor, Aristolte Rodor, is working on a new fake skin, Psuedoderm, for treating wounds. Vic also discovers the Psuedoderm is toxic for many people and must not be released to the public. Rodor disregards this and sells it to third world countries anyway(dick move). In order to sneak around and find Rodor, Vic takes some psuedoderm and makes a mask that is faceless. Vic stops Rodor and then decides to keep this alternate persona to continue to stop crime.

A few years later DC acquired the Charlton Comics line. The Question (Written by Dennis O'Neil) still had the same origin but was aimed at unpinning the political corruption of his home; Hub City . This origin is once again revamped in DC's New 52 where he gains the mask from a Batman villain "Noface." Still Vic Sage is The Question, bent on stopping political conspiracy. 

This brings us to Renee Montoya, the successor to Vic Sage. Renee Montoya a latina Gotham City police officer who is featured prominently in "Gotham Central" and other stories. She was created in Batman: the animated series and remains a popular character working along side Batwoman. In "52" (DC's weekly series in 2006) once Sage learns he has cancer he trains Renee. Sage thought she matched his objectivism and would be the right one for the mask. 

Why this hero?

Montoya is also my favorite version of The Question. She meets Vic Sage who helps her investigate a potential attack on Gotham, after that, they continue to work together. Sage reveals he has cancer and throughout several issues they work toward stopping crimes of corruption. At one point she is portrayed as a recovering alcoholic. She has guilt of criminals she has killed in the past and says she won't kill again. Throughout these cases with Sage, she is built back up and comes to accept her fate of becoming The Question. 

No matter what version of The Question you might encounter, you'll be in for a good time. I am partial to Montoya and the Justice League United versions. Plus who doesnt like an objectivist, zen shaman who can rock a fedora and trench coat(totally owns it).

Recommended Reading:

RCCCC: Image Comics at Rose City

Over the course of the weekend at Rose City Image Comics had several panels, each looked at different angles and sides of Image. We wanted to cover all of the panels and present them here for you now.

Actually, before we get into the panels it must be noted that David Brothers the moderator for all the Image panels was amazing. He had charisma and brought everyone in the room together and gave its panel tons of energy. When he isn't moderating panels, he provides front page content to the Image Comics site, and hosts a podcast called The I Word.

  • Adventuring

The first panel of the con we attended was the adventure side of Image and it ran September 19th 10:30 am. The panel featured the creative team of both The Autumnlands (Kurt Busiek & Ben Dewey) and Shutter (Joe Keatinge & Leila Del Duca).  I think the first thing that amazed me was that Image had high fantasy comics in their line up. The second thing that impressed me, I was fascinated and interested in both of them.

The Autumnlands is a magical world with anthropomorphic  animals and a human. It follows the journey of several characters as they set out to try and stop the once happy and beautiful world they knew from coming to an end. Writer Kurt Busiek speaks of the book with such passion and love for fantasy that you can tell he wants to explore the world he has created just as much as the readers. Ben Dewey on the other hand loves creating all the anthropomorphic creatures that Kurt can think up.

Shutter follows Kate Kristopher as she is forced back into adventuring when a family secret threatens everything she has worked towards her entire life. The story is an urban fantasy that also has some anthropomorphic creatures, dinosaurs, spacemen and a living cat clock.  Joe and Leila have made a book they both love to write and draw. This team laughs and looks forward to each page that they do. Seeing them up on stage smile at each other as they talk about their book was nothing short of encouraging for a writer just starting out.

*There was another Thrills of Image comics which included both the team of Bitch Planet and Nailbiter. But you can scroll down and read the spotlight of Nailbiter and a spotlight on Bitch Planet later this week.  

  • Owning it

The last Image Panel from Image, focused on the principals behind the company and featured: Justin Greenwood (The Fuse), Emi Lennox (Plutona), Jeremy Haun (The Beauty) and Image Co-Founder Jim Valentino. The focus at this panel was on creators as whole and what is means to work with Image.

Let us first point out the fact that we got to see Jim Valentino, a man who started in alternative comics and worked for Marvel. He then decided to help carve out what is now arguably the largest comic company after the "big two." The lineup of artists and writers on the panel was a mix of experience in the industry and a mix of genres offered at image. The purpose was the show the vastness and diversity of the company's creators and books

Jim spoke about something that struck me and motivated me. He spoke of working on the book you (creators) want to make. Not the IP of a company that has final say on what the story is that you are trying to tell. At Image the artists and the writers all own their work and have the final say.

It is official. I (Logan) want to have a book published by Image. Why? Because you get to own your work, you find your team (editor,artist, letter etc.) But also because at every Image panel at the convention we saw teams of creators speaking passionately about the books they make and the work they will continue to do. I made a conscious decision to keep using the word team in the post for the simple fact that as a writer and artist you work as a team and collaborate. All the people we saw on stage acted like a team who want to be working with each other and push each other for the best stories they can tell. That is why they are at Image Comics, and that is why I want to be at Image Comics.

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