July 25, 2014 | 9:30 a.m.
“American Vampire: Second Cycle” writer Scott Snyder told the “Vertigo: Defy Conventions” audience at Comic-Con on Thursday evening that one of the joys of his and artist Rafael Albuquerque’s series is “we’re able to explore different moments in American history and … talk about American culture and why things are monstrous or heroic at different moments.” Coming up: a space race tale that involves — naturally — astronaut chimps who become vampires. That arrives in No. 6, but before that readers will get a look at the background of the deadly enemy known as the Gray Trader in a tale set during the Gold Rush. It’s all part of giving the series’ second half the “biggest, craziest war we can create between different species of vampires, different species of monsters — you’re going to see everything from mummies, werewolves, demons, everything […]
Oct. 13, 2013 | 7:22 a.m.
It’s been 17 years since an issue of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed, bestselling “Sandman” series hit stands, and — noting that it’s about 17 days until the first installment of the writer’s “Sandman: Overture” miniseries with artist J.H. Williams III is released — Vertigo executive editor Shelly Bond decided to give one reader a 17-second look at that hotly anticipated No. 1. It might have been a little more than 17 seconds: As “Coffin Hill” writer Caitlin Kittredge pointed out, DC marketing executive John Cunningham at first set the timer for 17 minutes. But after a loose vocal count-out, the chosen woman (she waved more vigorously than others for the chance) was invited up on stage to share her reaction with the crowd at a Saturday evening panel held by the DC mature-readers imprint at New York Comic Con, with freedom […]
July 25, 2013 | 12:29 p.m.
Rapunzel struggles through maternal heartache – and some truly horrifying hair days – in “Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom.” The graphic novel by award-winning South African novelist Lauren Beukes (“The Shining Girls”) and Spain-based artist Inaki Miranda (“Tribes: The Dog Years”) takes the fairy-tale character into modern Tokyo and Japanese folklore on a search for her long-missing children. The strong-willed, smart heroine encounters monsters, conspiracies and a fox-y former lover, among other things, in a vividly drawn, terrifying and tender tale that’s rich in Eastern myth and cinematic horror, and dosed with humor. “The Hidden Kingdom,” in comic shops now and in bookstores Tuesday, is the second arc of “Fairest.” But readers need not be familiar with the first volume nor with the series from which the title is spun off, “Fables,” Bill Willingham’s multiple Eisner Award-winning and long-running myths-in-modernity series […]
June 20, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
When Mike Carey walks to his home office to write “The Unwritten,” he passes one of the earliest things he and co-creator Peter Gross did together. It’s a page of “Lucifer” from about a dozen years ago that shows a Japanese underworld deity swinging a sword at the erstwhile lord of Hell. In the final panel, the title character’s “clothes are in tatters and yet he stands there completely arrogant, unmoved,” Carey said. “It’s a beautiful image.” It’s one of many Gross-drawn pages in his home, the writer said by phone from England during a joint interview with the Minnesota-based artist. There could soon be more: Their long collaboration is having a landmark year as “The Unwritten,” their reality-bending, sweeping adventure about the nature and power of story, reaches No. 50 and begins a five-issue arc set in the world […]
March 25, 2013 | 2:26 p.m.
Stephanie Horn played the outre party game Cards Against Humanity on Friday night with multiple-Eisner-Award-winning “Fables” artist Mark Buckingham, but the devoted fan isn’t ratting him out. It was “hysterical,” she says, “and that’s all I want to say because I don’t want to get anyone into trouble.” Interactions like hers and Buckingham’s were an aim of the Fabletown and Beyond gathering in snow-white-blanketed Rochester, Minn. Horn, who traveled from Ventura for the show, had enjoyed limited interaction with several of its special guests at larger events, but relished “deeper access than a standard convention,” a common sentiment during the weekend from readers and professionals alike. In addition to the usual signings, artist sketches and comic-book discussions, attendees could see Cthulu dangling his legs over the edge of a pool, a veteran of local theater performing the Bard’s Sonnet 71 […]
March 20, 2013 | 10:10 a.m.
This weekend, an acclaimed comic-book creator, colleagues and fans will attempt to open a portal between our mundane reality and the worlds of legend. Fabletown and Beyond, “Fables” mastermind Bill Willingham’s convention devoted to “mythic fiction,” becomes a reality this Friday through Sunday at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn. But will the gathering itself enter lore? When the creator of the long-running, mature myths-in-modernity Vertigo series spoke with Hero Complex in November about plotting the con, named for the New York neighborhood where many fables reside in his comic, he said he’d learned that “good convention hosts must be just a little bit suicidal” and “this is not something I would wish on anyone.” Willingham was kidding (a little). But the goal of the gathering is to create an environment where fans and creators “talk about the meat […]
Nov. 14, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
Bill Willingham can trace his love of mythic fiction all the way back to his childhood, when he first became fascinated with comics starring a certain hammer-wielding Norse god. “I assumed Thor was just another Marvel superhero made up just like Spider-Man…. But one day my brother insisted that Thor, in his terms, was ‘stolen’ because the same character is in the encyclopedia,” Willingham said. Determined to prove his brother wrong, he checked the encyclopedia. “And sure enough, there was Thor, right there, wonderful mythological character. That just kind of opened my mind and probably started my love of folklore and mythology right there, just the realization that these modern stories we’re reading can be drawn from old sources, and that those old sources are wonderful…. That stayed with me forever, the fact that just normal guys like me can […]
March 17, 2012 | 10:46 a.m.
Vertigo Comic fans got a glimpse of the future — which includes an adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” a graphic novel by chef Anthony Bourdain and a 10th anniversary “Fables” collection — during the publisher’s Friday evening panel at WonderCon. Editor Will Dennis, writer Scott Snyder and artist Dennis Nguyen spoke during the panel for Vertigo — the edgy-spirited imprint of DC Comics — highlighting a slate of comics, including “Fables,” “The New Deadwardians,” “Saucer Country,” “Voodoo Child,” “American Vampire,” “American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Get Jiro,” “Sweet Tooth” and “Scalped.” The “Dragon Tattoo” book, adapted by Scottish crime author Denise Mina from Stieg Larsson’s bookshelf sensation, is slated for a November release and will be the first in a set of six — two graphic novels for each book in the original trilogy. “It’s […]