Saturday, November 05, 2005

Filipino comic book artist Roy Allan Martinez draws SON OF M

Preview art can be viewed at:
Filipino comic book artist ADRIAN ALPHONA interviewed in CBR

by Dave Richards, Staff Writer Posted: November 2, 2005

"Runaways" is one of Marvel Comic's most unique titles. In addition to writer Brian K Vaughan's entertaining and innovative take on the superhero team, "Runaways" also has a great, signature look provided by the series artist Adrian Alphona. Yesterday we spoke with series writerIn part two of our look at "Runaways," CBR News spoke with Alphona about the art, both past and present, that he's done for the series.

Like many artists, Alphona does not like to go back and look at his previous work. "'Runaways' #1 was the first comic I ever drew, so out of shame, I avoid looking back at it or any other issues unless I have to," Alphona told CBR News. "I think my work has evolved gradually along the way, but I'm not sure if it's anything too drastic. I'm not as clueless as I was in the beginning."

A diverse cast of characters populates "Runaways" and Alphona drew upon a number of inspirations when designing the look of each character. "Different characters have different stories," Alphona said. "Gert was probably the most fully realized character of Brian's before I did any designing. Some were taken from movies, fashion magazines, celebrities and such. Mrs. Wilder, for example, was just a bad attempt at Sade."

Alphona has two favorite cast members who he loves to draw. They are team leader Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean, who recently left the team. "They're the most subtle of the principal characters," Alphona explained.

The kids have faced many opponents and Alphona's favorite's turned out to be the immensely powerful beings who created the Pride, the villainous group composed of "The Runaways" parents, as shown in the first volume of the series. "The Gibborim were my favorite villains to draw, mostly because they looked so stupid and I got away with it," Alphona said. "Although when I was designing them I didn't know they where to eventually get all 'killy'."

Since they have been working together for a few years now, Alphona and writer Brian K Vaughan have a routine for their collaboration. "I do the mockups once I get his script and wait for him to rip it apart," Alphona said. "His scripts are pretty detailed, but he gives me a lot of freedom on how I want to execute it. I love his dialogue. He can give so much information with so few words, so it makes it a lot easier for me to visualize some scenes."

One thing you won't find within the pages of "Runaways" is the cast wearing traditional superhero spandex garb. With the kids being LA's only real resident heroes, their encounters with the other costumed crime fighters of the Marvel Universe has been kept to a minimum. However, Alphona will be getting his chance to draw a number of the Marvel Universe's more prominent residents with the kids travelling to New York City in the recently begun "East Coast/West Coast" arc. "I feel a bit out of my element drawing superheroes, but I must admit I'm looking forward to some of the scenes."

With "Runaways," Alphona discovered what it was like to work in the medium of comics and how much fun it was. "The more I work in comics the more I realize what an amazing medium this is," Alphona stated. "Where else can you be a storyteller, director, set designer, costume designer and (with the colorist) cinematographer in one job?"

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Reserve your copy of Siglo:Passion now


Siglo: Passion is the full-color graphic novel follow-up to the National Book Award-winning Siglo: Freedom, and puts together a roster of award-winning writers and artists with some of the country's most promising new talents. Each of the stories in this long-awaited anthology explores different forms of passion and how they affect the lives of people – for better, or for worse.


Reserve your copy of the limited edition full-color Siglo: Passion now to avail of the SPECIAL PRE-ORDER DISCOUNT (more than 40% off the regular price!), and an exclusive invite to the GRAND LAUNCH on December 10, 2005 at Fully Booked Promenade!

Note that this edition of Siglo: Passion will be in full-color, the first full-color graphic novel in the country, and will be limited to only two thousand (2000) copies. This limited edition of the book will be the only full-color edition that will ever be released in the country and will NOT be reprinted.

Here's how:

1. Visit any Fully Booked or Comic Quest branch and pay the pre-order discount of Php500 (from the original SRP of Php850) at the counter.

2. You will be given a ticket stub that will also serve as your invite to the Siglo: Passion grand launch at Fully Booked Promenade on December 10, 2005. Claim your copies of the book during the launch to get free limited edition Siglo postcards from Nautilus Comics.

3. You may also claim your copies of the book after the launch, at the Fully Booked or Comic Quest outlet where you made the reservation.

4. For more information, you may also inquire via e-mail to letters @ nautiluscomics (dot) com.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween home-reading list
By Ces Cabangon
First posted 01:50am (Mla time) Nov 02, 2005 / Inquirer News Service
Editor's Note: Published on Page C2 of the November 2, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE DARKNESS NEVER FAILS to seduce and haunt us. Its void gives birth to nightmares and beings that dance outside the limits of reason. Thus we search for sanctuaries, or create works that mirror our fragility. From our well of emotions, art and stories bleed onto a blank page, fueled by angst, pain, fear—ingredients that can rouse the macabre and the fantastic from the hidden depths of our soul. Perhaps you’ll recognize your own monster from the abyss, shrouded in pictures or words from another’s whispers or screams.

This Halloween, wander through borderlands past witching hours with some self-contained graphic novels. These titles may cause your heart spasms. Yet they are also for you to reflect on the things that gnaw in the stillness of hours—your own mortality, truths in shades of gray, the delirium of change.

These comics must be approached with an open mind as themes revolve around the farthest levels of Dante’s inferno where redemption and happy endings are not as
you know them to be. They are not for everyone, but then again, neither is the darkness.

‘Arkham Asylum’ by Grant Morrison

The gut: It’s April Fool’s Day and the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken control. In exchange for the hostages’ lives, Batman must accept the Joker’s challenge to play a game of hide and seek. Sounds easy? Not if you have to deal with the likes of the Scarecrow, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and other demented villains under one roof.

The stake: This is not your typical Batman tale as our hero explores the intricate maze of insanity and questions his own mental stability. The disturbing narrative is a triptych of Bruce Wayne, Batman, and the asylum’s founder, Amadeus Arkham. From their points of view, we delve into their psyches and the villains’ own broken ones, and what plagues their emotional core.

‘The Crow’ by James O’Barr

The gut: Eric is killed callously and his girlfriend made to suffer a brutal end. The immensity of his pain allows him to return from the dead through the power of the crow. With his voodoo smile, wicked poetry, and arsenal of rage, Eric seeks vengeance on the murderers.

The stake: It took James O’Barr 10 years to complete the story of “The Crow.” The anguish of losing his fianceĆ© after a hit-and-run was the catalyst that drove him to create this tale where justice can be sought even beyond the grave. “The Crow” just tugs at your heart as every page encapsulates the author’s/character’s hurts and sorrows. Amid the killing rampage, Eric breaks through emotional walls and brings touching insights on humanity and love.

‘Death: The High Cost of the Living’ by Neil Gaiman

The gut: Once every century, Death of the Endless takes mortal form in order to understand and experience what it means to be mortal and what it takes to leave your life behind. In mortal form, Death befriends Sexton, a teen contemplating suicide. Together, they spend a day strolling through New York, searching for a witch’s heart and eating bagels.

The stake: Death is no grim reaper but someone sweet, honest, witty, friendly, and quite cheery. She makes you think, laugh, and treasure the spontaneity of every moment. This book gives a very good introduction to Death that one who is unfamiliar with “The Sandman” series can follow the story.

‘Dhampyr’ by David Hontiveros

The gut: Nikolai is a dhampyr, born from a human mother and an undead father. In order to save his soul from restlessly wandering for eternity, he must find and slay his father. Nikolai’s personal journey leads him through a train wreck of memories, where the collision of the past and the present both haunt and strengthen him in his battles.

The stake: This comic bites you from the start and gets your blood humming. Its narrative is a vicious delight and the detailed artwork is darkly seductive and amazing. In its pages you will stumble into snippets from notable bands and icons from the goth movement you might want to look into.

‘From Hell’ by Alan Moore

The gut: A very complex take on one of history’s most gruesome and mysterious personalities—Jack the Ripper. From the beginning, readers know who the killer is and are assailed with the depths of his genius and his unraveling.

The stake: This work is brilliant as it is grounded on meticulous research from Victorian London to the Freemasons. The intriguing conspiracies and intelligent theories are mind-blowing. What adds to the horror is that fact and fiction seem to fit perfectly, as the White Chapel murders are true accounts.

‘In The Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe’ by Jonathan Fuqua

The gut: A scholar is forced to re-examine his vision of Poe as he leafs through a diary which may have been written by the author before his death. The memoir begins with Poe consenting to demons to escort him through life and the grave.

The stake: When demons are no longer imprisoned in one’s mind, what does one do? Facts and speculations on Poe’s tormented character are woven to produce this perverse and disconcerting tale. The artwork, composed of manipulated photographs, adds to the distressing tone of the narration.

‘The Thief of Always’ by Clive Barker

The gut: In the Holiday House, Harvey Swick discovers many wonders where seasons pass in a day and every night is Halloween. But something is not right in this magical place and Harvey vows to get to the bottom of it.

The stake: Classic reading takes you through the innocence and magic of childhood. Though the plot seems simple, its elements are striking and leave you awed. This not-so-ordinary children’s story has many lessons to impart despite its edgy creepiness.

All titles available at Comic Quest and Fully Booked.


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