1. 26

    Nov 2015

    Grahame Baker-Smith and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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    Today marks 150 years since the first publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale has been reprinted and retold countless times. The original edition was illustrated by John Tenniel, but in the book’s 150 history, many extraordinary illustrators have contributed to its longevity, including Arthur Rackham (1907), Mervyn Peake (1946), Ralph Steadman (1967), Salvador Dalí (1969), Max Ernst (1970), and Anthony Browne (1988).

    Today, Grahame Baker-Smith can add his name to that list. The self-taught illustrator was commissioned by Royal Mail to create a set of ten beautiful stamps to commemorate the first publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In addition to stamps, Royal Mail created pins and a specially struck medal from The Royal Mint. Together with Walker Books, they have also published a concertina book gift edition featuring 3D versions of Grahame’s gorgeous illustrations. You can find all the stamps and gifts sets in the Royal Mail Gift Shop.

    Grahame Baker-Smith’s hard work was shortlisted for the Professional Design cacategory in this year’s The AOI Illustration Awards. If you went to the Somerset House exhibition, you were treated to a sneak peak of the Wonderland stamps. Their bold design and saturated colours stopped you in your tracks and demand you take a closer look.

  2. 25

    Nov 2015

    Amy Reeder

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    Amy Reeder is a comic artist and writer, probably best known for her creator-owned series, Rocket Girl. She actually earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Science Teaching before being discovered by Tokyopop. After entering Tokyopop’s Rising Stars of Manga competition, Reeder was selected to write and illustrate Fool’s Gold. She has since illustrated for Vertigo, and DC Comics on Madame Xanadu, and Batwoman.

    In 2012 Amy Reeder, and writer Brandon Montclare, turned to Kickstarter to fund their 40-page one-shot comic, Halloween Eve. Following the campaign’s success, the duo were back on Kickstarter the following year. This time, with ambitions to bring to life an ongoing series called Rocket Girl. The series focuses on protagonist, DaYoung Johansson, a teenage cop from the future who is sent back in time to 1986 New York City. Through a string of discoveries she realises the high-tech future she is from is actually an alternate reality version of 2013. The Rocket Girl series, published by Image Comics, is currently on issue #6, with #7 set for release this December 2nd.

    Reeder and Montclare have a podcast called, Podcorn, where they discuss their projects, process and comic news. Not only does Reeder share her comic knowledge through the podcast, she is very verbose on her Tumblr too, regularly posting art advice and storytelling tips. If you want to watch the magic happen, Reeder also has a YouTube channel with a few short, but inspiring process videos.

    The duo, Reeder and Montclare, have most recently collaborated on Marvel’s Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur. They are writing the series, with interior artwork by Natacha Bustos, and Reeder also supplying cover artwork. The first issue was released today.

  3. 24

    Nov 2015

    Jason Latour

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    David Jason Latour is an American comic book artist and writer, born in 1977, North Carolina. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in visual arts at East Carolina University. Whilst studying there, he was the head illustrator for school newspaper and began a comic strip called 4 Seats Left (4SL).

    Graduating in 1999, LaTour continued to write, draw, and self-publish his comic, 4SL. His first foray working for a publishers was in 2002, for Funk-O-Tron Comics, where he inked “B-side” stories in Battle Pope. Also around this time, LaTour built an ongoing relationship with Bongo Comics as a Colourist. Later, in 2005, LaTour and writer B. Clay Moore released a short-lived title, The Expatriate, through Image Comics.

    LaTour has since worked on Image, Dark Horse, Marvel and DC properties including Noche Roja, Scalped, Daredevil, Wolverine, B.P.R.D., Winter Soldier and Django Unchained. In 2011, LaTour wrote a four-part creator-owned series, Loose Ends. Published by Gauge Comics, it was drawn by Chris Brunner, with colours by Rico Renzi.

    Currently, LaTour credits include co-creating and writing Marvel’s Spider-Gwen, along with artist by Robbi Rodriguez. In addition to drawing the Image Comics series, Southern Bastards. Jason Aaron writes the hard-boiled tale of Earl Tubb, an angry old man with a very big stick. The Eisner Award-nominated ongoing series has so far been collected into two trade paperback volumes. This year, LaTour won the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Best Comic Book Artist.

    To see more of Jason Latour’s artwork, head over to DeviantArt, Tumblr and Instagram

  4. 23

    Nov 2015

    Manga Mondays ~ Joël Jurion

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    Joël Jurion is a French comic book artist born in 1975. He started his artistic career in 1999 and by a chance meeting with Thierry Cailleteau at Normandiebulle festival, Jurion was asked to illustrate Cailleteau’s upcoming project, Anachron. Starting in 2001, the series went on for six years and was very successful. Straight after, Jurion was snapped up for a new series, Les Démons de Dunwich, written by Steve Baker.

    2013 saw the culmination of Jurion’s partnership with prolific writer, Antoine Ozenam, and colourist Yoann Guillé in the form of Klaw. Published in French by Le Lombard, Klaw’s first arc was broken down into five books. The series has been very popular is ongoing. In fact, earlier this year Magnetic Press Announced it is publishing an English-translated collected edition of Klaw, set for release in April 2016.

    You can find more of Joël Jurion’s work on DeviantArt. He even has some process videos on YouTube. A word of warning, Jurion’s illustrations are on the risqué side.

  5. 22

    Nov 2015

    Rob Schrab

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    You may know Rob Schrab as the writer of feature films Monster House (2006) and Channel 101 (2004), or as the co-creator The Sarah Silverman Program. Perhaps you recognise his name because it was recently announced Schrab will direct The Lego Movie Sequel. I will be honest, until very recently, I had no idea of any of that. For me, the name “Rob Schrab” is synonymous with the comic series Scud: The Disposable Assassin.

    Scud was an off-the-wall tale of a disposable vending machine robot whose only objective was to dispose of a target and then self-destruct. After accidently realising the catch-22 of his purpose, rather than killing his target, Jeff, Scud instead incapacitates her. Scud then begins a career as a freelance mercenary to cover Jeff’s medical bills. Not content with unorthodox beginnings, Scud: TDA quickly descends into an Oddball adventure of biblical proportions.

    In 1998, Scud: TDA went into an indefinite hiatus after issue #20, due to Schrab growing dissatisfied of the plot. The publisher, Fireman Press, established for the purpose of printing Scud, was dissolved after a falling out with Schrab over rights. Despite this, and to much of the fan’s satisfaction, Scud: TDA was finally revisited in 2008, with a 4-part conclusion published by Image Comics.

    At the time of Scud’s heyday, in the mid to late 90s, I was eagerly picking up comics by smaller and independent publishers. Titles including CreeD (Hall of Heroes / Lightning Comics), The Tick (New England Comics Press) and The Sleeze Brothers (Epic Comics), to name a few. These smaller publishers were usually putting out much more unconventional stories, comletely unhindered by the Comics Code Authority and commercial burdens. Looking back, I will admit Scud’s artwork was a little untamed compared to the larger publishers, but the story and energy took you on a ride that was not matched in their titles. However, the artwork did not bother me at the time. The enthusiasm of Schrab and his jam-pack pages, though imperfect, told the story perfectly.

    To the dismay of many, Rob Schrab has stated that he has no plans for further issues of Scud or any of its spin-off characters. It looks like, for now at least, he is firmly focused on his film and television commitments. If you happen to be looking for an alternative to the perfectly polished work on the shelves these days, I would strongly suggest picking up some issues of Scud: The Disposable Assassin.

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