Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Comic Book: Issue 4 Cover WIP part 3

...added some background elements to it. I think I'm getting somewhere with it, but it's not quite there...

I'll try to add the issue number and my name on it (like the other covers) and see how I feel about it then.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Comic Book: Issue 4 Cover (WIP) part 2

Just had a few hours messing around with some elements for the cover. I'm hoping to do it just in black and white and some grays, but we'll see what I end up with. Not quite that easy without color to fall back on...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Comic Book: Issue 4 Cover (?!?) WIP

For those of you that read my blog, you're reading it right. This is a work in progress cover for issue 4. How can that be you ask? Especially since I haven't even started working on Issue 3??

Since I sent off my test print for issue 2, I've just been taking it easy. I decided to just draw for fun and started drawing the Squad's Chief.

And what do you know? I kinda liked it enough that I' thinking of using it as the cover for Issue 4. It still needs quite a few elements, but it's nice to work on it so early on. I usually work on my covers at the end of the sequential pages, but I always freak out when I get to them.

I get so caught up on trying to make it look great, and by the time the sequentials are done, I'm usually burnt out by then. So this was a refreshing change.

Still, who knows, I'll probably look back at it later and hate it. That's it for tonight!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Comic Book Ramblings!

While Issue two of The Bomb Squad seems to have taken over this blog (and my life), a loong long time ago I actually started this blog to gab about comics! So let me gab  real quick.

Let's start off with this: I'm a DC fan. So my slant is always going to be to DC and more superhero-y comics (kinda). So I've jumped on board like a maniac when the New 52 came out. 8 months in and I've dropped a few books, but there are still a few titles that tickle my fancy. And for the record, I believe DC's doing a good thing with this reboot. Not everything works, but they're trying new things. Unlike Marvel nowadays, which just does the same thing, but more of it. But later on that.

My Must Reads

  • Aquaman - Good, solid, fun Superhero action. I think this is Geoff John's better title currently (though I must admit I bailed out of Green Lantern after the first issue) and some solid artwork from Ivan Reis. Some good characterizations by Johns that some might feel slow, but I rather like it. Aquaman's one of the few new 52 rebooted characters that I feel I actually am getting to know and connect to better than the rest.
  • Batman and Batman and Robin - I promised not to buy Batman books with the reboot, because it SEEMS like the typical book to get, but these are some good stories. Scott Snyder knows how to execute a good story and Capullo's doing some good work and story telling (I was never a fan of his art). Snyder is now my favorite writer (It used to be Geoff Johns). I skipped Batman and Robin in the beginning, but would always flip through it at the store. I finally broke down and caught up to the series. Peter J Tomasi has great characterizations for Bruce, Damian and Alfred and the art by Patrick Gleason is solid; bold and brash when it needs to be and economical so he can maintain a deadline (It seems, at least, he hasn't missed an issue yet, when practically every new 52 artist already has, save for Capullo).
  • Saga - Brian K. Vaughn's back in his element with his latest 'road trip' stories. I think these are the stories he writes the best, with Swamp Thing and Y the Last Man being good examples. He builds a great cast of characters and a pretty fascinating sci-fi world. The artwork by Fiona Staples looks fantastic. A definite treat in both writing and art. Not for the kiddies though.
  • Swamp Thing - This is the better half of 'The Rot' storyline that is also being presented in Animal Man. The art by Yanick Paquette is pretty fantastic. Very illustrative work that reflects the old Swamp Thing titles that definitely ups the creepy-ness factor. Like a few of the books I've been enjoying, there's a good amount of character work that's going on in the stories. Yeah, Scott Snyder's my hero.
  • Wonder Woman - Definitely not for the kiddies and not your dad's Wonder Woman. There have been a lot of controversy with what Azzarello's been writing. But I must admit I've been enjoying it. Well put together, great redefinition of the Gods and solid art from Cliff Chiang (he kisks it up and extra notch in issue 8 it seems). A few people won't like what's being changed, but I say why not? This truly feels like an earnest effort on Azzarello's part to take DC's reboot seriously and keep readers interested.

The Promising Titles

  • Saucer County - A good mix of political intrigue and sci-fi. This has a pretty Ex-Machina flavor, and while I liked that series, I feel I like the characters a little bit better in Saucer County. This is the first time I've been exposed to Ryan Kelly's art and I've been enjoying it. A lot of talking heads, but pretty interesting so far...
  • The New Deadwardians - Cool alternate history England/vampires/zombie universe. Good writing and an art style that's a good match for it. I like that Vampires and Zombies aren't named 'vampire' or 'zombie', and really serves to disconnect me from my preconceived notions about them (Which is good since I'm sick of them!). Also it's played out more like a crime/detective story that just HAPPENS to occur in this alternate world. Looking forward to future issues.
  • Justice League - When Justice League first started I was really excited about it. But at the end of the first arc I was pretty disappointed. I didn't feel that Johns really gave the individual 'leaguers' a good voice, and so far this team hasn't really been gelling well (which I THINK is the point). I think I was expecting something else from the first arc. When I read it again, I understand now that this book is supposed to be the big summer blockbuster type title. Pretty splash pages and double page spreads galore. The past two issues (7 and 8) have been a little more promising, with Johns being able to flesh out characters a little bit better. Strangely enough it's NOT the actual team members but rather the supporting cast (Steve Trevor and Green Arrow). The Shazam backup is also looking promising, so I'll be back for the next issue. Still, if Johns fails me on the next arc, I might drop this title.

Getting dropped (but no hard feelings)

  • Animal Man - I really wanted to like something that Jeff Lemire wrote since everybody's raving about Sweet Tooth. But while his Frankenstein started out cool, I dropped that early. I felt that I kinda got what he was trying to do there and didn't really feel like following it anymore. With Animal Man, I feel his execution in defining the characters isn't that fleshed out, and it's already been eight issues. It's not a bad book, but I feel like it's really dragging lately and just waiting to catch up to the rot crossover with Swamp Thing. So I'll probably flip through it in the stores but probably won't be back.
  • The Manhattan Projects - Pretty interesting book by Jonathan Hickman about a team of geniuses (Including Oppenheimer, Einstein and Feynman) from the World War 2 Manhattan Projects fighting some crazy threats. It's pretty well-put together, though I'm not a fan of Pitarra's art, it looks like he's got a heavy influence from Geoff Darrow, but his characters and anatomy aren't as solid, and his finish is a lot more rough. I feel like it's going to be like an Authority-type book but with WW2 rocket scientists, and granted that should be pretty interesting, but I don't really feel like reading that. I'm probably wrong and Hickman has something else lined up, but I think I'm dropping this. I'll flip through issue 3 at the store and see what happens.

Dropped (with hard feelings)

  • Action Comics - Superman is my favorite character. But!  Grant Morrison is not my favorite writer. In fact, he has quickly joined the ranks of Jeph Leob and Brian Michael Bendis as writers that I will always keep away from. I'm tired of working so hard to understand Grant Morrison's writing. I feel he never makes me care for any character in a lot of his writings, so when things happen, I don't care. I don't care about his Clark or Superman, and I feel he dives straight into the crazy Superman stories without grounding him well or even letting us get to know him in the first few issues. The first arc's execution is so disjointed and the tone swings too much. I liked the first 3 issues, but it quickly becomes messy storytelling later on. I think Morrison has some great high concept ideas, but he can't tell a story. So I'm out of this one. Side note: I re-read Final Crisis recently just for kicks and that solidified my decision, I am steering well AWAY from anything Morrison writes.

Not even bothering to pick it up


  • Avengers Vs. Xmen - Comic Book readers keep complaining how they want something new, how everything's just the same ol' recycled story. DC reboots their whole line, bringing out a few alternative genres of horror, war, western as well as revamps on their superhero titles. Not everything's a hit but hey it's something different. And how do internet sites and fans react? "Oh man, it's not my Superman! What did they do to Wonder Woman? Why are they doing the same old crap from the 90's?!" And while some of the criticism is valid, I think the reboot is a step in the right direction. And Marvel's answer to this? They add more multiples of their EXISTING titles. More X-men books, more Avengers books, more Spider Man books. Their big event is one superhero team fighting another. And guess what? Fans LOOOOOVE it. Marvel's pumping out, LITERALLY the same tired old crap and orders are going through the roof from retailers. Really? Really people? Really?!
The comic book industry is really flushing itself down the tubes because it's simply targeting the same market: old dorks like me. A lot of these titles I mentioned aren't aimed at young readers. They're still aimed at the dudes that grew up reading them in the 80's (or older). Why would a kid pay 2.99 - 3.99 for a book when a cheaper, 99 cent angry birds game will provide hours of more fun?


I'm going to end the rant, other, better writers have gripped about this issue already. But when a series like Avengers Vs. X-men gets so many readers (let's face it, these are the same ol' readers not new ones) excited and shelling out their money, it really depresses me about the state of my favorite medium.

Sigh. That's it for tonight. Here's hoping the Neverending Battle never ends. Lemme go read some Will Eisner so I can feel better.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Comic Book: Cheat Page revisited

I had a couple friends of mine read through the second issue's test print and what came out was that the flashback sequence had a confusing read to it. They didn't understand who was having the flashback, or rather the read of it was confusing.

The old version

Revised version

The easy solution was to replace Bomb Girl's face on the 10th panel with the Kid's.

All the little changes I've wanted to do for this issue are done. There are some that I've just chosen to let go and just get this thing done and move onto issue 3. I still have to flatten the files and it's off to the printers! Good morning and the neverending battle continues! 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

My Comic Book: Issue 2 Cover WIP part 7

Neverending battle indeed!

After staring at the cover a little bit more, I wasn't quite digging the shade of blue that it was in. I think the lighter jagged lines I added made the overall shade too light. Anyhow, here's the next iteration with punchier blues added.

The funny part? Those same blues are probably not going to reproduce too well when it's in print! Good morning and God Bless! Easter is coming!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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