Friday, April 09, 2010

Kevin Cannon's Far Arden nominated for an Eisner Award

That's right--our own Kevin Cannon has gotten an Eisner nod for his James-Bond-meets-Jack-London arctic tour de force Far Arden!

Revel in the glory and check out the formidable competition on the Eisner nominations page!

Congratulations, Kevin!

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Zander's Fleming Hazmat/Tommy Chicago/Uptown Girl pinup is online at Staplegenius!

Some time ago, Danno Klonowski asked me to do a pinup for his massive crossover adventure that brought three of the best minicomics characters ever together for a romp through space and time and whatever, and so I said sure. I love drawing these characters, and in particular you may notice how similar Fleming Hazmat looks to a certain lieutenant who now graces the deltoids of a certain cartoonist.

And you should definitely go about reading the entire book here at Staplegenius!

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Richard Wagner History Comic

At last night's Cartoonist Conspiracy jam we were treated to a few scripts from Zander's writing class at the Loft. I picked the first one off the pile, which happened to be a mini biopic of composer Richard Wagner. And the comic's writer, Jack Phinney, happened to be sitting right across from me (I didn't realize this until halfway through). Anyway, for your enjoyment and education, here is the product of that collaboration, complete with CENSO-STICKERS to make it suitable for our blog's PG audience:

Click for bigger version

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts gets a great review at TrekInk!

We're very pleased here at BTA world headquarters that the last issue of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts has received an excellent sendoff in the form of a glowing review from TrekInk. As the writer, I am particularly happy, since the reviewer says such kind things as:
I think Cannon had a pretty good time coming up with this story. He’s given us well-crafted and believable characterizations of the Next Generation crew and a sobering image of sacrifice. Nicely done.

I greatly enjoyed working on Star Trek, and trying to recreate the formal feel and verisimilitude of the show, which occasionally made the comic feel very dense. Hopefully the action-filled rush to the finish in the final chapter pays off what must have felt like an awful lot of setup.
Looking back at the entire mini-series, Ghosts stands out as quite different from nearly all of the other Star Trek comics IDW has published, relying much more on dialogue to move the story along. As I read each issue, I could see the scenes of the Next Generation television episode of Ghosts playing out. It’s really kind of remarkable that Zander Cannon wanted to tell a story like this and just as remarkable that a publisher supported him.

It is indeed remarkable, and I heartily thank Chris Ryall and Scott Dunbier at IDW for their confidence in me. Let's hope there will be a big rush to buy the trade paperback collection (out in June!) and their efforts will be rewarded!

UPDATE: TrekWeb has posted a review of the series as well, and they have excellent things to say about the final issue as well. The writing gets particular kudos:

The story: I've got to hand it to Zander Cannon, this issue ties up very neatly and, even better, satisfactory. Had you asked me at Issue #2 to predict how this series was going to go, I would have said train wreck. I'm, happily, eating my words. Data finally gets some "screen time" this issue and is able to solve a major problem on the surface, while chiming in with a perfect Data response (Page 9, panel one). Not to mention the final panel on Page 13 was nifty android understatement. On the Enterprise scientist Uul is disappearing at an alarming rate, and his chances of helping Picard and the other Alliosians is shrinking. I think that Cannon has tapped into what makes a good Trek story: characters get a chance to shine. They show their intelligence and are able to solve solutions. Picard has some really good speeches this issue, but I didn't find them heavy handed (Page 10 and 22). Worf gets to do what you'd expect from a captured Klingon, and I found myself laughing at his response (Page 12, panel three). My favorite moment was Geordi's realization on Page 13. Brilliant, and in front of every reader's face every issue. I love moments like these in books where the reader learns as the characters learn. The irony of who discovered "it" was not lost on me. Page 21 was the ideal solution to the issue's predicament. It had genuine emotion (though aren't they going to eventually die from starvation? I'm just sayin...). And the action at the top of Page 20 is as close as you can get to a dramatic climax. My hat's off to you, Mr. Cannon. You had me worried at times, but you pulled it off. Overall grade: A

I will definitely tell you-- a review like this makes my week. Oddly enough, it's more for the mild appreciation of a specific moment than for any overall shouts of awesomeness.


Matthew Kriske Buys Controlling Share of Big Time Attic

Hey guys, I'm happy to finally announce a deal that has been going on behind the scenes for several months now. Matthew Kriske (aka "Kriske") has purchased 51% of Big Time Attic, effectively making him a controlling partner in the company. Zander and I think it will be a great move not only for us as partners, but for the brand of BTA, which has lost some its "cool factor" since focusing solely on educational graphic novels.

Our new partner has promised to bring in "the Kriske touch," which will certainly mean a renewed focus on historical portraits, spray paint murals, and ink wash paintings of our friends. We've already received a six-figure advance from Miramax to produce a graphic novelization of Trainspotting, and although it's not official, Big Time Attic is considering using that money to purchase The Cartoonist Conspiracy from Steven Stwalley.

Welcome aboard, Kriske!