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Archive for July, 2010

We’re always looking for great Disney comic strip news here at the blog, and the news that Fantagraphics will be reprinting Floyd Gottfredson’s black & white Mickey Mouse strips in their entirety is among the best that I can bring your way:

Fantagraphics Books announced this afternoon from Comic-Con International, via Twitter, that it has partnered with Disney to publish the complete Mickey Mouse comic strips by Floyd Gottfredson, the cartoonist renowned for his defining work on the character. He is to Mickey Mouse comics what Carl Barks is to Donald Duck comics. Gottfredson was 24 years old when he was assigned to the fledgling Mickey Mouse strip in 1930, and continued to work on it for the next 45 years. During his long tenure, he introduced such characters as the miserly Eli Squinch, Mickey’s nephews Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse, Chief O’Hara and the Phantom Blot. Gottfredson retired in 1975, and passed away in 1986 at age 81.

Fantagraphics will begin releasing the collections in May 2011.

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If you’re a Rocketeer fan, it just doesn’t come much better than the news that came out of SDCC this week! I know I’ve been waiting, what, 20-years for an announcement like this to come along, and I’m pretty much beside myself after stumbling across the news. And hopefully, it’s just the beginning:

Even as IDW Publishing debuted “Rocketeer: The Artist’s Edition” at Comic-Con International in San Diego, an oversized book that reproduces creator Dave Stevens’ linework for the entire series, the publisher also announced that next year it will publish a four-issue anthology series of new Rocketeer stories. Covers will be painted by Alex Ross, and each issue will include three tales by some of comics’ top talent. CBR News spoke with editor Scott Dunbier about the upcoming title.

And with talent like Mike Allred, Bill Willingham, Bruce Timm, Darwyn Cooke, Alex Ross and other industry legends attached this is a no-brainer through and through. Though in the case that’s not enough to draw you in, perhaps the news that all the effort that goes into the project will benefit a very worth cause will be further incentive:

The return of Stevens’ classic hero and the talent involved might make “The Rocketeer” an enticing comic, but buying each issue will also contribute to a worthy cause. ‘Dave Stevens died at the age of 52 after battling leukemia for a number of years. One of the things that was very important to Dave’s mother, Carolyn, was that this be a book where a portion of the profits would go directly to Hairy Cell Leukemia research’, Dunbier said. ‘That’s something that we, with the estate, are making happen, and with the cooperation of the creators involved, as well.’

There’s little else I can do to voice my excitement than to quote good ‘ol Cliff himself: “I like it!”

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Let’s see, I’ve had Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies for a little over a week now, and I’m happy to report that — for me — it’s more than living up to all the expectations I had placed on it as a huge fan of the series, and as a big fan of Level 5’s work (who worked on one of my all-time favorites, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for the PS2). I’ve been hard pressed to put it down since unwrapping it last week and any time I can catch a few uninterrupted minutes of free time on a break or what not I try to fire it up.

As for where I am in the game for anyone that’s playing: I just reached Cap’n Max Meddlin’, “swashbucklin’, seafarin’ collector of only the miniest o’ medals” at Dourbridge and am leveling up in the fields and caves nearby before tackling the next boss. My party consists of the a minstrel (the silent hero) who I named Roto after the original DQ warrior, a green haired female warrior named Lyn, a blue haired female thief named Natasha, and a priest named T’ Challa. Most are hovering around Lv. 24 and I’m having an awful lot of fun upgrading their weapons and armor just as the creators knew we would.

Someone recently described the Dragon Quest series as something of a ‘game you play as a vacation from games’ and I have to agree wholeheartedly with that summation. The DQ games are always a return to fun, a joy to play and chock full of charm. With all the new features, it’s still a series that unapologetically revels in what has worked so well for it for over 20 years now and I couldn’t be happier.

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I’ve been following Chris Samnee’s art since stumbling upon it in the pages of Marvel’s Agents of Atlas and on Comic Twart (where he, Francesco Francavilla, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and others devote their efforts to creating a scene surrounding a particular character each week) and I can say without reservation that he’s easily one of the most promising artists working in the field of comics today. The guy can draw anything, and do it very, very well.

It’s certainly not difficult to see the Alex Toth influence in his work (it appears Samnee has taken some of Toth’s most important artistic advice to heart in terms of simplifying the image, isolating the key elements, etc. ) and if he keeps this up — with high profile assignments like Thor, the Mighty Avenger — he’s going to end up influencing countless numbers of up and coming artists. There’s pretty much no way around it, and I couldn’t welcome it more.

Anyhow, definitely don’t miss Samnee’s art in Thor, the Mighty Avenger, which is  in stores now.

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Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross working on any project will make me stand up and take notice, as individual creators and as collaborators. Where the latter is concerned we’ve gotten comic gold where Marvels and Astro City are concerned, so add Kirby’s creations to the mix (from the Kirbyverse to boot!) and I’m sure as heck not going to miss this.

No details here on when it will hit stands, but feel free to read more about the project at Comic Book Resources:

Known for their breakout partnership on 1993’s “Marvels,” the series that that launched Ross’ status as a comics art titan, and their world-building work on Busiek’s WildStorm series “Astro City,” the pair will be co-plotting “Kirby: Genesis” which will feature a stand-alone story incorporating Kirby characters, from the Silver Star to Satan’ Six and many more, into one cohesive superhero universe. “This ‘Kirby world’ that we’ll develop will be something fresh for the two of us to butt heads about together and really try and build something new and fresh,” Ross told CBR. “Hopefully, the Kirby world will represent so much of the basic creativity that you could find of any of the published material you’re familiar with. When you see the various characters that the [Kirby] family owns, they do feel familiar to all the various things that were covered in the many creations of Kirby – everything from Galactus to Fighting American or whatever. You get a sense of all of those things embroiled in this world in all the properties we have access to.

All I can muster is a “wa-hoo!”

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Just wanted to do a good deed for the day and let you folks know about the new preview of the latest volume in the Flight anthology series. These collections really aren’t to be missed, and Vol. 7 features stories and/or art by indy heroes Kazu Kabiushi, Michel Gagne, Justin Gerard, and many more. Judging by the grandiose scale of the previews this is going to be a real treat, so if you’re return fan go and check it out pronto my friend. If you’re new to the series, well, I envy the discoveries ahead and encourage you to take a look at this, and past volumes.

Really impressive work all around, though I’ll admit to being most excited about seeing Kazu Kabiushi’s “The Courier: Shortcut” in full:

We could go around the mountains, but that would take days. No. When we’re on the job, the freight moves faster. We always choose the shortest path from A to B. So, really, that only leaves us one choice. We take the expressway.

Look for Flight Vol. 7 in stores and online July 20th!

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Well, would you look at that!

I suppose I should confess that I purchased more than a few Nintendo games in the past year and a half (no worries, most I picked up at much less than retail) and as a result? I ‘earned’ this Super Mario Bros. figurine as this years Club Nintendo for reaching “Platinum – Elite” status. I wasn’t actively trying to reach the milestone, but hey, I’ll take it! My thanks to Nintendo for doing this for the fans.

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