Tagged: Sandman

Free Graphic Novels: Sandman, Swamp Thing, Fell

Free Graphic Novels: Sandman, Swamp Thing, Fell

I had a feeling that title would get your attention. Sure, sometimes a title like that is used just to get attention when the substance of the article doesn’t actually include anything free, but fear not, ComicMix reader, we have you covered.

Over at Daily Bits, they’ve highlighted 17 — yes, count ’em, 17 — free graphic novels available online for you to download, read and enjoy. And yes, they are all free for the taking — er, downloading.

Some of the graphic novels highlighted on the list include heavy-hitters such as Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, Warren Ellis’ Fell #1 and a personal favorite of mine, Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1.

The list also includes the popular Salamander Dream and, for ComicMix Managing Editor Rick Marshall, Swamp Thing, Vol. 1: Legend of the Swamp Thing. Go get ’em.

Of course, we’d like to also remind you that you can get free, original  comics by well-known creators here on ComicMix every single day of the week — so if "free" is your thing, don’t say we never gave you anything.

‘LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel’ Exhibit Report

This weekend I had the pleasure of heading up to Stockbridge, MA, for the Comic Arts Festival and "LitGraphic: The Art of the Graphic Novel" exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

It was my first trip to the museum, and as I mentioned in my previous tease for the event, I’ve been kicking myself for not making the trip years ago, when I lived a much shorter distance from Stockbridge. The area surrounding the museum is a beautiful, rural landscape that was a breath of fresh air (literally) from the New York City madness.

The "LitGraphic" exhibit consisted of several rooms filled with various pieces of art from both well-known creators and some who I’ll admit I had never heard of prior to seeing their work on display in Stockbridge. On the day we attended, the museum was also playing host to some of the creators whose work was featured in the exhibit, and had scheduled several signings and other events as part of a "Comic Arts Festival."

One of the first pieces of art I encountered was a series of Niko Henrichon’s original, inked pages from Pride of Baghdad, including the impressive two-page "Baghdad Cityscape" spread. My less comics-savvy partner, who accompanied me on the trip, was amazed at the linework on the pages, and on several occasions when I wandered off to view other elements of the exhibit I returned to find her admiring this piece again.

Several pages of Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise also found their way into the exhibit, with one piece in particular catching my eye. Titled "The Point Is, She Found Me," the inked two-page spread included a sequence of progressively smaller square frames within a larger scene. The frames directed the reader’s eyes to a figure hidden in the bushes — something that might have been overlooked entirely without the frames zeroing in on the small face in the scenery. It was a nice, unconventional layout that added to the story instead of distracting from it.

In a corner of the exhibit were also some sketchbooks from artist Barron Storey, showcasing his jumbled, mixed-media style of work that appeared in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Endless Nights anthology. The display also featured a variety of dog-eared pages from his sketchbooks, including among other things, a set of small, incredibly detailed drawings of Saddam Hussein and Yassir Arafat on opposing pages. The former sketch was captioned with a single sentence: "Hussein, looking a bit like Stalin."

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And the MTV Movie Award for Comic Books Goes To…

And the MTV Movie Award for Comic Books Goes To…

The annual MTV Movie Awards are pretty much the exact opposite of the Academy Awards. They’re funny and irreverant, the music’s decent and the voters are the public instead of an exclusive club of insiders. The categories change from year to year, and most importantly, comic book films actually manage to win on occasion.

So, when MTV announced the nominees for this year, I scanned the list for our four-color friends and called them out here. Some of the entries, though, were a bit surprising. After reading the nominees, be sure to go to the official site and cast your vote.

BEST FIGHT:

Alien vs Predator (Alien vs Predator: Requiem). Comic fans can claim this one since the two characters first crossed over in comics. I was impressed with Predator’s stirring emotional performance but it felt like Alien was playing it for the Academy.

Tobey Maguire vs James Franco (Spider-Man 3).  I was so rooting for the Peter Parker vs. Mary Jane dance-off getting nominated, but Parker’s fight with Harry Osborn/New Goblin was pretty cool, too.

BEST SUMMER MOVIE SO FAR:

Iron Man. This is an interesting category since most of the entries haven’t come out yet. But if we’re going to be true to the "so far" part, then yes, Iron Man wins. It’s a no-brainer at this point, really.

BEST VILLAIN:

Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3). This just makes me sad that the movie didn’t feature Spider-Man nemesis Venom a bit more instead of forcing him to share the spotlight with Sandman, a bad guy whose big exit involved crying and floating away.

NYCC: Neil Gaiman – Bringing Fans Together For CBLDF

NYCC: Neil Gaiman – Bringing Fans Together For CBLDF

I’ve been fortunate to see Neil Gaiman read many times over the years.  He does an amazing job and it adds to his work if you can hear his voice narrating in your head.  This year Reed Exhibitions added “Ultimate Experiences” to their lineup, events with separate tickets that allow access to superstar creators.  Gaiman’s event was a benefit for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The program was kicked off with an introduction by actor Bill Hader, who credited much of his success in entertainment to Gaiman’s work — from the quasi-mystical presence of Gaiman’s work while he was auditioning for Saturday Night Live to the conversation about Sandman he had with Seth Rogen that led to him being cast in Superbad. [By the way, if Mr. Rogen is reading this, I’ve slept in Gaiman’s basement and would love to appear in your next film.]

Gaiman began the reading by announcing that all charges against Gordon Lee had been dropped, ending the almost four-year legal battle. He then read some older work, including a piece that had been out of his regular rotation for 10 years and “The Day the Saucers Landed."

Gaiman also provided an excellent Q&A session, telling funny anecdotes including his childhood plan to become a writer by kidnapping writers and having them write for him. He also revealed stories such as his entrance into being a comics reader and rounded out the event by helping a pair of readers get dates. (One of the questions during the session asked if he could get the number of a girl dressed as Delirium.)  The show closed with a reading of the third chapter of his new book, The Graveyard Book, the first time this chapter has ever been read.

The real treat about the reading was that I was able to peer-pressure a friend of mine who was not a Gaiman fan into attending.  He was put off by the legions of adoring fans, mostly girls, who lavish hyperbole-laden praise upon Mr. Gaiman.  However, we assured him the money was going to a good cause and that it would not be excruciatingly boring.  He came out of the reading ready to buy Good Omens and American Gods — such is the power of hearing Gaiman read.

British Ad Agency Creates New Comic

Though the history of comics largely began through free newspaper inserts, that practice has gone unused for decades.

Fitting, then, that such an unexpected distribution model would accompany the release of a new comic book series created by an advertising agency. Mother, the London-based agency best known for promoting Coca-Cola, recently announced it will be shipping Four Feet from a Rat – a collection of comics stories – in the weekly Time Out listings magazine.

Read the full Guardian article right here. Strangely enough, the comic doesn’t even include advertisements. The company explained that it serves simply as a creative outlet for employees.

The story behind the creation is pretty interesting: Mother has a history of offering its services for favors instead of money. The company did some work for Time Out in exchange for pages in the publication. Once they accrued enough pages, they set about making the comic.

Mother partnered with comics publisher Mam Tor for the art on the stories. Guardian comics critic Will Hodkinson said the stories carried on in the tradition of Hellraiser and Sandman.

"This isn’t as good as those comics – it is a little derivative," said Hodgkinson. "One might almost call it a pastiche. But it’s well drawn and well written and it’ll be interesting to see how it develops as they find their voice."

If the book has some success, keep an eye on other publishers who might try something similar.

Poll: Choose the Free Online Neil Gaiman Novel

Poll: Choose the Free Online Neil Gaiman Novel

This weekend we told you about the 7th Anniversary of Neil Gaiman’s blog, and it looks like the Sandman author has more to announce than his website’s birthday.

Publisher Harper Collins has given Gaiman the go-ahead to post one of his novels online, at no charge, on his site. Now, the question is: Which novel?

In order to make the decision, Gaiman has posted a poll to choose which Neil Gaiman novel goes online.

What I want you to do is think — not about which of the books below is your favourite, but if you were giving one away to a friend who had never read anything of mine, what would it be? Where would you want them to start?

The poll is only up for a week, so treat it like you would the ’08 presidential election: Vote early and vote often.

 

(via boingboing)

 

Norman Mailer, Neil Gaiman Fanboy

Norman Mailer, Neil Gaiman Fanboy

Norman Mailer died this morning, age 84, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. You can scour the news to read about his importance to literature in the Twentieth Century, from his ground-breaking novels to founding the Village Voice. But did you know he also helped change comics?

One night, we had a dinner party for the express purpose of introducing Mailer to Neil Gaiman. Neil, as was his habit, was so charming that Norman wanted to read Sandman. He liked the series enough to provide a cover blurb for the next trade paperback collection. Neil later reported that bookstore buyers told him that the Mailer quote persuaded them to stock graphic novels. And the rest, as they say, is history. Ancient Evenings is an awesome book. Start there.

Aquaman Co-Creator Paul Norris, dead at 93

Aquaman Co-Creator Paul Norris, dead at 93

Artist Paul Norris died yesterday at the age of 93.

Along with writer/editor Mort Weisinger, Norris created Aquaman, one of comics’ most enduring superheroes and one of only five to be continuously published since earliest days of the medium. A versitile and gifted artist, Norris also drew such major characters as Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Sandman, Secret Agent X-9, Magnus, Robot Fighter, Jungle Jim and – most notably – Brick Bradford, an assignment he maintained for 35 years. He continued to draw and make convention appearances until recently.

"I decided to color Aquaman green and orange, and the editors really liked that," Norris once said. "He’s worn green and orange almost the whole time he’s been around, and I still get royalties for every time they use those colors with him!"

Norris was one of the very last of the major golden age of comics creators.

Happy 80th Birthday, Steve Ditko!

Happy 80th Birthday, Steve Ditko!

Eighty years ago on this day in Johnston, PA, Steve Ditko was born.

If you know anything about comics, you know Ditko’s work as the creator of Blue Beetle, the Creeper, Killjoy, Mr. A., the Odd Man, the Question, Shade, the Changing Man, and Speedball, and the co-creator of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Captain Atom, Hawk and Dove, Doctor Octopus, Dormammu, Electro, Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, the Sandman, the Scorpion, Squirrel Girl, Stalker, the Lizard, and the Vulture.

He is, of course, well known for a great many other things:

  • Ditko hands.
  • His incredible ability to hit deadlines. There are stories of him receiving a script at 9 and completing the eight page story by 5, pencils and inks.
  • philosophical stands, well discussed by Dial B for Blog in this piece on Mr. A.
  • His one of a kind backgrounds, so completely impossible to reproduce by anyone else that they had to use his art for 1602.
  • His complete reluctance to be interviewed– the photo at left is one of only four photos known to exist of the man. While most of the BBC documentary In Search Of Steve Ditko has been taken offline, here’s a clip from the show of Alan Moore talking about Mr. A:

We of the web salute this one-of-a-kind creator.

BIG BROADCAST: Say It’s So, GI Joe!

BIG BROADCAST: Say It’s So, GI Joe!

All is cool and cheery in the land of comics and pop culture as The Big ComicMix Broadcast kicks off the week with our rundown of new issues and DVDs to grab. We’ve got the lowdown on GI Joe on the big screen, Battlestar Galactica back on BOTH screens and Britain’s greatest hero gets reborn in a new comic series. Then there’s what may be the final word on any new Neil Gaiman Sandman stories. AND we revisit how we got FF #1 for a shiny new dime!

PRESS THE BUTTON, cause’ The Joes say so!