Retroactive Comics' Journal
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I've decided that in order to try and keep the interest of the three people who may be reading this (and maybe even attract a fourth person!), I need to post something more often. However, artwork comes when artwork comes, and I'm not in the habit of rushing that part of the equation. However, I've come to realize that art isn't the only thing I can offer. I can also offer information, character writeups without art, or even full-fledged prose fiction stories of the Retcom characters. I can offer things even when art is being slow. That is what I intend to try to do more in the future.
Today, I am bringing you three things.
* The color scheme for Pulsar has been decided and you can find the images behind the link. They're the same images as were there before, now they're just colored. Colors by Donovan Yaciuk.
* The writeup for the Golden Age Watchman has been posted. This was actually one of the very first characters I conceived, and while going through my files a few weeks ago, I realized I had never posted this one. So I cleaned it up, fixed a few things that had come up since his creation, added a bunch of stuff, and here it is now! The GA Watchman is heavily influenced by DC's Doctor Fate, although there are several big differences as well. The Silver Age Watchman will, curiously, hew in an entirely different direction, taking a lot of inspiration from Marvel's Iron Man...but that's a story for another day.
* Last night I pulled my thoughts together on what my universe's governmental operative organization should be. Every universe must have one. Marvel has SHIELD, DC has Task Force X, Image has Ivana Baiul's organization, whatever it was named (I forget), and Retcom has OMEGA. (In all caps, since it's an acronym, but of which, that I'll reveal once I've polished it.) Steranko SHIELD was a heavy inspiration for me, but whereas in SHIELD the organization's leader (Nick Fury) is a man in his prime, fighting fit, and often a main operative in the thick of things, at OMEGA you'll find the director is a crippled woman in a wheelchair with ties to World War II. Limiting the physical abilities of the leader is something that X-Men and Doom Patrol did as well, because that gives a good reason to write the leader out whenever needed - can't be on field missions and so on. This allows for much better spotlighting of the *other* characters in the series as well. Cyclops, Angel, Beast and all were at least as important characters in X-Men as Professor X, while in SHIELD Nick Fury shamelessly hogs the limelight. With OMEGA, I am going for more X-Men style shared limelight, not a one man show like SHIELD. More on OMEGA another day!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I have just released the Handbook writeup for Ratman I (the Golden Age Ratman). You'll find some influences in there from Daredevil, from Batman, from the Shadow, even some bits from the Spirit and Iron Man. This was actually the first character I ever had designed, and I had a (leaner) writeup stored on my hard drive for over a year, until I recently noticed I hadn't uploaded it. So, I beefed it up a little, uploaded it, and here we go. Golden Age Ratman!
Second, I have received some new pages from Julia Bax, a four-page segment from Giant-Size Spacemen #1 detailing the origin of the character Pulsar and how he ends up in the Spacemen. There are also a couple of panels where Tentai gets recruited. I intentionally wanted some of the recruitment segments to shift from one to another in the middle of a page. Meaning, I didn't want that each segment would always map exactly to the end of a page. This gives a more organic and less formulaic feel; you'll notice the same technique was used in Giant-Size X-Men #1, where, for example, Banshee and Sunfire's recruitment scenes never took up an entire page. Since I'm heavily inspired by that issue, I wanted to mimic that technique here.
I gave pretty specific instructions to Julia about trying to replicate the famous "Kirby Krackle" for Pulsar's power signature, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. According to Julia, it's a lot of work, which I can believe, but like me, she said she was really happy with the results. I think it really does look awesome.
You can find the new 4 pages on Comics/Spacemen, but for your convenience, I'll duplicate them here behind an LJ-cut.
( Pulsar/Tentai recruitmentCollapse )
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
11:53PM - Fushi
I spent two days at the biggest (only?) Finnish sci-fi convention this past weekend. Mostly, this does not relate to Retroactive Comics, but one aspect of my visit there does. At the "artist alley" there were dozens upon dozens of big-eyes-small-mouth clones of each other, and I'm sure they draw that stuff very well, but that's simply not the "flavor" I am aiming for with Retcom. That's why my eyes practically glued to a stop when I saw an art style there that *wasn't* the stereotypical manga. What's more, I quite liked her art for more reasons than just not being manga.
What do you think? I'm seeing a little of Alphonse Mucha in the upper picture, maybe a mixture of Chris Bachalo and/or Adam Pollina in the lower one, or even Mark Buckingham. In any case, the style really grabbed me, so I'm interested in trying to work with her some more. I've already shot off an email inquiring whether she's interested in the kind of stuff I want to do. If we click, I think I would really enjoy working with her.
Her handle is "Fushi", but I don't think using nicknames is very professional, so if I end up working with her, I will endeavor to obtain her permission to credit her under her real name, so you drooling fans can find out who this amazing lady is. :)
Sunday, June 11, 2006
5:45AM - Starlight origin (4 pages)
I have received the 4-page "origin"/intro sequence for the character Starlight, from the talented Ms Julia Bax. It has been placed together with the other Spacemen intros at:
However, for your convenience, I am also placing the new files in this post, behind the following lj-cut:
( Read more...Collapse )
Monday, May 29, 2006
has been updated with 5 new pages: 2 pages for the intro of Probe and 3 pages for the intro of Seti. These intro vignettes will comprise the "cast introduction" part of Giant-Size Spacemen #1.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
10:37AM - Black Hole & Galaxy Master
I have received the artwork from Julia and thus, two more handbook pages are unveiled:
Black Hole is the leader of the Spacemen and an arrogant ass.
Galaxy Master is the ruler of the intergalactic Radian Empire and the employer of the Spacemen.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Project: Cable Girl
Status: Art completed 17 Mar 2006; need letters; need colors
Decision: First four pages left up for public consumption; last four pages will remain unseen until publication.
Feeling: Mahmud's art ROCKS
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
12:36PM - Cable Girl pages 1-4
I actually had page 3 before, from the batch Mahmud had sent me with 1-2. However, I had figured I wanted to stop giving a free preview after page 2. I figured pages 3+ would just come to the light of day when the entire story was published.
The best laid plans of mice and publishers often go astray...
I liked page 4 so much that I just can't keep it a secret for half a year or more. I've got to show off page 4. And I can't very well show off page 4 without also showing off page 3, right?
So, here we go: Cable Girl pages 1-4
Sunday, March 5, 2006
This is the month! If you want to own the first-ever Retroactive Comics appearance on paper, you have to pre-order in your comic store this month. Digital Webbing Presents #29 will be publishing the one-page Liberty Eagle "Hostess Fruit Pie" advertisement.
Since Digital Webbing is an indy, odds are most comic stores will not have a copy of it for you in May unless you pre-order now in March. If you want this comic book, you will have to go to your local comic book shop (or an online shop like DCBS) and ask to pre-order the May-shipping Digital Webbing Presents #29. If the comic shop seems unaware of this title, you may provide them the Diamond order code: MAR06 3171, which will allow them to order the book even if they have no idea what it is. DWP #29 retails for four bucks, but pre-ordering may get you a discount, depending on your store.
Of course, I feel strongly about Google's credo, "Don't be evil." Therefore, if you don't want to spend four bucks on a book just to get one page done by me, here's the entirety of Retroactive Comics content to be found in DWP #29: [link] You can just read it at that link if you prefer to save the four bucks or spend it on something else.
I can guarantee though that there will be entertaining tales in the issue *other* than just my ad, however! One of the best anthology books on the market, I can wholeheartedly recommend giving at least a *try* to Digital Webbing Presents!
10:38AM - Progressive vs traditional
I'm a huge fan of the New Mutants. Through that book, I became a huge fan of Bob McLeod's art. And through being a fan of Bob McLeod's art, I also came to be a fan of his opinions, as I read some interviews of his.
There is a particular statement he makes that I very strongly empathize with, and it's a lighthouse I aim for in my comics. That statement is something I have on my mind nearly every day; whenever I write, I resonate with what the honorable Mr McLeod said:
"When Bill Sienkiewicz took over drawing the New Mutants, a lot of fans hated it. Many fans also loved it, of course, and Bill's a wonderful artist who was trying to break new ground and do comics differently than they had been done before, and he succeeded. There's always a big following for innovative work. [...] I've never had any interest in breaking new ground. I just like to draw the old ground as well as I can."
(Courtesy of an interview at Mile High Comics)
This is exactly how I feel. I am not interested in taking superhero comics to a new level, or "re-inventing" them. What I am interested in, is providing the same experience I had back when I enjoyed reading comics - step back from the "progressive" movement, and do things like they used to be done - and do that way *really well*.
Like Bob, I am well aware that there are people who adore the progressive stance and re-inventing of the comic genre. As he says, "there's always a big following for innovative work". But like him, that is not the route I choose to pursue. I just like to write the old ground as well as I can.
So if there will be criticisms that Retroactive Comics is not really "doing anything new", or we're just "retreading old ground" and "recycling old cliches" -- well, that's rather the point. I fully expect there will be some criticisms like the above. But they will not change the direction of Retroactive Comics. We're not in the business of providing to the demographic who make comments like those. We are in the business of providing to the demographic who indeed *misses* the old ground.
If I'm the only person in that demographic, then low sales will break me. Progressivist criticisms, however, will not.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Today I received the first three pages to the Cable Girl story I've been working on with Mahmud Asrar. I was extremely satisfied with it. The story deals with our protagonist Belle Barstow's prom night.
You can see the first two pages over here.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
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