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Supergod Issue Three Preview

Supergod Issue Three Preview

Supergod #3
Avatar Press

Is it still Monday somewhere? No? Oh well.

Avatar just released a preview of the new Supergod #3 coming out this week. Only 6 pages, but Warren Ellis in those six pages can break down a whole new theory of theology and evolution, one that almost makes more sense than current doctrines. Simply put, this is a must read. It is only three issues in, so get all three of them and start reading. Then start drinking heavily and contemplating men, god and what it all means, which is mostly self gratification.

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Avatar Releases for 3/3/10

CROSSED #9 (OF 9) (MR) $4.99

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Free Comic Friday

Free Comic Friday

I’ll do just about anything to read me some Warren Ellis. I’ve also been hearing good things about his and Garrie Gastonny’s book, Supergod. Well, lo and behold, there’s a Supergod #1 preview over on the Avatar Press site. Check it out for FREE:

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Tesla-punk* Theories, or the ‘Ellis Juice Effect’

Tesla-punk* Theories, or the ‘Ellis Juice Effect’

Book: Captain Swing and the Electric Pirates of Cindery Island
Publisher: Avatar
Price: $3.99
Author: Warren Ellis
Art: Raulo Caceres
Colors: Digikore
Verdict: Though slow to start, is sure to please fans of Ellis as well as fans of steampunk

The truth may be stranger than fiction according to Lord Byron, but for Warren Ellis this is both a battle cry and a challenge. Ellis’s modus operandi is to veraciously consume information; history, science, technology, and lore, then to reconstitute the strange seeds he finds into his own fantastic imagined possibilities. I could go on for quite a while with demonstrations, but to list a few:

  • The concept of Feral cities in Fell
  • The potentials and possibilities of emerging transhumanism in Docktor Sleepless
  • And many more theories expanded on in Desolation Jones, Planetary and Transmetropolitan

In Ellis’s newest work, Captain Swing and the Electric Pirates of Cindery Island, we are introduced to two opposing police forces and their mutual target, chasing their way through a variant-Victorian London.

Our Pro(An)tagonist is both, Captain Swing and Spring Heeled Jack an amazing creation of Tesla-punk* enhancements whose full range of powers are currently unknown. He is able to leap great distances, has enhanced strength and shoots “clockwork” electric bullets.

The historical Captain Swing was the signature on several letters written during the English Swing Riots of 1830, a rural revolt against the loss of jobs from machines and low wages. Several of the protesters ‘swung’ from the Gallows, thus the name Captain Swing. This makes Ellis’s Captain Swing an interesting juxtaposition of history and fiction, a technologically advanced symbol of Luddism.

Spring Heeled Jack is another name pulled from Victorian history. A terrifying urban legend with the ability to leap great distances:

Spring Heeled Jack was described by people claiming to have seen him as having a terrifying and frightful appearance, with diabolical physiognomy, clawed hands, and eyes that “resembled red balls of fire”. One report claimed that, beneath a black cloak, he wore a helmet and a tight-fitting white garment like an “oilskin”. Many stories also mention a “Devil-like” aspect. Spring Heeled Jack was said to be tall and thin, with the appearance of a gentleman, and capable of making great leaps.  (Wikipedia)

Replace references of “fire” with bright, arcing electricity and you have a pretty fair description of our Captain Swing.

Interwoven between the frame by frame pages of the comic is a letter to the reader, revealing the secret social order and technological mysteries of the times, written by Swing himself. This letter, along with his anti-authoritarian actions against the police, seems to reveal Swing as an anarchistic liberator, in the same vein as Grant Morrison’s ‘King Mob’ or Alan Moore’s ‘V’.

This first issue of Captain Swing is just a tease, with little plot progression. But by introducing a historical context and the various players, with only loose assumptions of their pro(an)tagonistic roles, the story successfully draws the reader in.

Although I am a man of text, I would be remiss to not mention the illustrations of Raulo Caceres. Caceres does a great job of showing us the gritty industrial darkness of the London nights, where bad things could be hiding in the shadows and alleyways. While by daylight, the citizens seem to be content with the order of things. Although the industry of the age, and Swing’s own devices, give the book a “steampunk” feel, Ellis is quick to correct people that it should be called Tesla-punk. This is due, I imagine, to Swing’s reliance on electricity over mechanics.

As with most of Ellis’s works, Captain Swing will be an interesting trip as he leads us through this alternative history of a scientific revolution. So all aboard Swing’s “ionic air propulsion” jolly-boat, don’t look down, and hold on tight.

*Ellis’s chosen term

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Crossed Creators Convene

Crossed Creators Convene

In both an alliterative title AND a trio of interviews on Bleeding Cool (an Avatar Press front end, we think), the owners and creators of one of my favorite new comics, Crossed, talk about the series.

First up is Garth Ennis, celebrated author and twisted mutherflapper, who has penned such little titles like Hellblazer, Preacher, Hitman and Bloody Mary. When asked by the interviewer about where the ideas come from for the current series, Crossed, Garth gets all serious:

The kinds of acts you see in the story, however, are not invented at all. A quick glance through the history books will reveal all manner of depraved activity; thousands upon thousands of dreadful things that we’ve been doing to each other since time began. Look at what went on in the torture chambers of the inquisition, or what the settlers and natives did to each other out on the great plains of North America, or what was going on in Eastern Europe in the mid-nineties. Hell, look at what people do to each other in prison, or what many women have to fear on their way home from work in urban areas. The list is endless.

Garth Ennis is the main reason I picked up the book in the first place. I’ve been a fan since Hellblazer days. Preacher is one of my all time favorite books, as well. What add extra value to Crossed is the artwork (as any good comic fan will tell you) — Jacen Burrows has the clean lines and story pacing that remind me a great deal of another Ennis collaborator, Steve Dillon, who worked on both Hellblazer and Preacher.

Jacen talks with his interviewer about many things, not least of which is an answer to the question, Who is more twisted, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, or Alan Moore. Rather than being stunned to silence by the world-damaging effects of such close proximity to the works of the individual writers in question, Jacen says, in essence, that they are all fairly twisted individuals. He then goes on to say that Warren Ellis has the honor of asking for the most depraved scene, specifically. Go see the interview for details.

In regards to the horrors of Crossed, Jacen says,

“We are incredibly lucky to live the lifestyles we do in the West, particularly in the States. We’re sheltered from real violence, so much so that when it occurs it shakes us to our core. But all around the world there are places where things are happening every day that are worse than anything we showed.”

Finally, David Lapham, the new writer on Crossed, Volume 2 (which, according to Garth Ennis, wasn’t originally planned in his pitch for the series), gets to talk a bit about his own take on the Crossed and the uninfected. David says, about his own twisted soul:

Regardless, I’m not looking forward to eating your pets, so instead I bring you Crossed: Family Values. Instead of putting you in the wood chipper, I have the Pratt family–Adaline, and her brothers and sisters and her mom and her dad to torture….[snip]. I will make them all miserable. Then probably dead. Be grateful for each horror they endure. They suffer so you don’t have to.

Makes you want to read it, right? I know *I* do. MAke sure you head out to your favorite comics shop and get all the issues of Crossed, right now. There’s only 8 of them so far, so you can afford it. In fact, I’m pretty sure you can’t NOT afford it.

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Avatar Releases for 1/27/10

Avatar Releases for 1/27/10

Oh, yeah! Avatar’s planned releases for this week:

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Avatar Press Covers for April Comics

Avatar Press Covers for April Comics

Apparently, Flickr is the place to be, as Avatar unleashed a flurry of all the comic covers they’ll be publishing in April. Here’s a couple to whet your whistle, but you really oughta go over and check out the flickr tag set.

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The Artistic Process

The Artistic Process

Fascinating post on how Paul Duffield handles the creation of artwork from line drawing:

To shading:

To color flats:

To the final image, which I’m gonna make you go visit because a) this kind of inside info is too precious to not share, and b) you have GOT to read Freakangels, if you haven’t already.

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Paul Duffield is a SEXAH MAN!

Paul Duffield is a SEXAH MAN!

And here’s an interview from Detroit Comic Con 2009. Freak. Angels. SRSLY!

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