ARCHIE’S ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA ANNOUNCES ‘AFTERLIFE’ FOLLOWUP ‘ARCHIE IS LEGEND’
By Chris Sims
Over the past few years, Archie has steadily become one of the most surprising publishers in comics, and the biggest factor in that has undoubtedly been Afterlife With Archie. The mature-readers horror book has pit everyone’s favorite teenager and his pals against a zombie apocalypse, and it’s been popular enough to net writer (and Archie Chief Creative Officer) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa a second ongoing horror title, this time focused on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
In this interview on the floor at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, Aguirre-Sacasa shares details with ComicsAlliance about Sabrina and provides an exclusive reveal of the third arc of Afterlife — which he exclusively revealed will be titled “Archie Is Legend.”
Aside from dropping that amazing title, Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that the upcoming Sabrina won’t be a tie-in to the apocalyptic happenings of Afterlife, but rather a standalone series set in the ’60s, when Sabrina herself first appeared. According to Aguirre-Sacasa, he and artist Robert Hack will be attempting to provide a much more subtle brand of horror than the brutal shocks of Afterlife, something that he likens to Rosemary’s Baby.
But Afterlife is still going strong, and in addition to that third arc, there will also be a Christmas story featuring Jingle, the Christmas elf that occasionally pops up to teach Archie about the true meaning of the holiday season. One hopes this means Santa Claus has avoided the rampaging undead, but, well, no guarantees.
BE UNAFRAID: THE OFFICIAL ‘WAKE’ EXIT INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT SNYDER & SEAN MURPHY
Creators Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s mind-bending, centuries-spanning Vertigo Comics horror/sci-fi series The Wake comes to an end today, and it has covered a lot of ground in its 10 issues — which is quite an accomplishment for a book that takes place in a world almost entirely covered by water.
A mix of horror and mythology spanning three different time periods, The Wake features a group of scientists, led by Dr. Lee Archer, attempting to uncover the secrets of a vicious Merman-like creature captured by the U.S. government. As Dr. Archer and her team do their best to discover the truth, the creature — with the ability to invade their thoughts, granting them each what they believe to be their heart’s desires — has other plans. The creature unlocks many of mankind’s myths of the sea — and, consequently, itself — and propels a wild-eyed, high adventure narrative that traverses centuries and brings in monsters, pirates, super-science, post-apocalyptic cultures and some of the most haunting psychological horror Vertigo’s published in years.
Throughout, the Eisner-winning series has taken the emotional, intellectual and philosophical and made them manifest on the page with some highly innovative and bold storytelling techniques, such as when, after five issues of following Dr. Lee’s adventure, the book jumps hundreds of years into the future to focus on a new protagonist and her cybernetic dolphin. The final issue takes that approach to a whole other level, telling a creation myth while providing closure for the characters. It’s quite an accomplishment, and we talked with Snyder and Murphy about how they pulled it off.
WARNING: Issue #10 spoilers ahead.
‘SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR’ RED BAND TRAILER PROMISES GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS, INEVITABLY
Remember 2005? Back when we didn’t have a lot of good comic book movies to celebrate? Back before the first 300 movie, when the whole idea of that posturing “no homo” otherness-phobic carnival of green screened pomposity seemed like it might have cultural value? Back before Frank Miller’s swastika-festooned The Spirit left a bad taste in everyone’s mouths? Back when people were still insisting The Dark Knight Strikes Again was actually good satire, before Holy Terror confirmed that, no, Frank Miller is actually frighteningly sincere? Back when we clung to deniability?
Good news, everyone! It’s 2005 again, and we get another chance to pretend Mickey Rourke poking his head through a loaf of bread is a thing that works. Here’s another Sin City: A Dame To Kill For trailer, and it’s everything you’d expect it to be; stylish and insubstantial, with the promise of ample degradation. It’s also ‘Red Band,’ which means you have to be a mature person to watch it, ironically.
FOCUSING ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY DOWN TO ONE NINE-YEAR-OLD CHILD: CHUCK PALAHNIUK TALKS ‘FIGHT CLUB 2′
By Andy Khouri
Eighteen years after Fight Club first saw print, author Chuck Palahniuk is returning to the world of Project Mayhem for a sequel — Fight Club 2 — which will take the form of a ten issue comic book series illustrated by Cameron Stewart and published by Dark Horse.
In this interview conducted at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the author talks to ComicsAlliance about why he chose to revisit the world of Fight Club, why he chose to do so in the comics medium, the process of learning how to write comics, his collaboration with Cameron Stewart, and how his ant-hero Tyler Durden may be much more than a figment in the Narrator’s imagination, but a force of nature dating back millennia, shaping all of human history to facilitate a plan he has for the Narrator’s nine-year-old son. And quite a bit more besides.
INTERVIEW: STARTING WITH CHARACTER: MATT KINDT AND JEFF LEMIRE DISCUSS ‘THE VALIANT’
Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, the co-writers of the upcoming miniseries The Valiant – a prestige-format miniseries featuring Bloodshot, Geomancer and Eternal Warrior — have each done superhero work in the past, but they’ve really made their names with creator-owned work that they wrote and drew. Kindt’s Mind MGMT has taken off, and Lemire struck a chord with series including Sweet Tooth and Trillium.
Those credentials are part of why Valiant invited the two creators to work on the new miniseries — one that’s being touted as an entry point for new readers, but also as a turning point for the whole Valiant Universe. They’ve been given some wiggle room to develop a character-based story and put their creative voices to work. The result is something both writers seem really proud of, not to mention a story that’s bound to look good, with artwork by Paolo Rivera.
We sat down with Lemire and Kindt at San Diego Comic-Con International to ask them about their collaboration, how their backgrounds in cartooning inform their superhero work, and how Valiant’s universe differs from others.
ComicsAlliance: Both of you guys, I mean, you’ve done more mainstream super hero comics lately, but, you’ve both kind of made your names as writer/artists who do independent comics that you write and draw. You still do that, but you now transitioned into this other thing where you’re writers for superhero comics. So I guess I have a two part question. One; what do you think that background that you both have brings to your work on super hero stuff? And two; have you ever thought about doing some art in your superhero work?
Jeff Lemire: For me I think what we bring, the good thing about coming up in indie comics, and writing and drawing our own stuff, and doing all the stuff that we did outside of superheroes and mainstream comics, is that, when we did get into the mainstream stuff we’d already developed a voice fully, each of us.
So then you bring a unique perspective to the characters as opposed to, maybe, a young writer who just breaks in early not having done other things, and then their voice just gets lost in the universe, in the concepts that already exist and things. We already had a point of view and a voice that we can then take characters and bring a new perspective to them.
Matt Kindt: I mean, I think it made it easier to transition from my own stuff to bigger characters like this because, you come into the project not filling in a gap, like, “OK, write Bloodshot like Bloodshot is written.” You’re hired to write Bloodshot like you write. Bring your voice, bring your character, your insight to those characters. Make them work.
JL: Normally when you do an event at one of the larger companies, it’ll be, “OK, this event is about…” some high concept, and then you work from there. Whereas this one was about Bloodshot and Kay’s relationship and then we built out of character. That gets you doing more personal sorts of stories you know?
MK: Yeah, we just talk about the character first and then the story comes out of that.
‘MAD MEN’ WITH CAPES: KYLE HIGGINS & ALEC SIEGEL TALK ‘C.O.W.L.’ AT COMIC-CON 2014
By Chris Sims
COWL is an Image Comics series which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-”swinging” 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval — including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it’s a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.
Besides the very cool and original artwork of Rod Reis, we like COWL because it avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Crucially, despite its “real-world” premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it’s even really funny. The book also bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.
WAR ROCKET AJAX NOT-SO-EARLY EDITION: THE BEST AND WORST OF COMIC-CON 2014
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show, usually several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week is a little different because Chris and Matt attending Comic-Con International in San Diego, and time fell into a deep, inescapable vortex. It certainly wasn’t all bad, though, so the two of them are listing their bests and worsts of the show this year, including seeing celebrities in their element, watching the Gotham pilot, buying cool stuff, cosplay, the massive crowds, and so much more.
Listen to this week’s entire show in the player above!
THE X-MEN EPISODE GUIDE 4×14: SECRETS, NOT LONG BURIED
By Chris Sims
The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.
This week, it’s Walking Tall starring Cyclops. For real.
DESPAIR AT ITS FINEST: DAVID LAPHAM’S ‘MURDER ME DEAD’ [REVIEW]
By John Parker
When discussing the oeuvre of David Lapham, the comic that comes up again and again is obviously Stray Bullets. As great as Stray Bullets is, though, it tends to overshadow the rest of Lapham’s body of work rather unfairly in some cases.Despite the several very good comics that Lapham has produced besides his most famous title – including the incomplete Young Liars,the raucous Juice Squeezers, and of course WWF Battlemania – none can match the near-mythic level of quality and reputation of Stray Bullets, and tend to just get left out of the conversation.
The new trade paperback collection of Murder Me Dead, available now from Image Comics, could help change that trend. A dark, stirring, and emotionally manipulative noir about self-destruction, lies, and guilt, it may be the best “other” Lapham comic in his catalog.
I’ve written at great length about my love for David Lapham’s Stray Bullets, and the unbridled glee its rebirth at Image Comics has brought into my life. I even went so far as to proclaim it the best crime comic of all time, because my opinion carries so much goddamn weight. Since then, the new series, Stray Bullets: Killers has proven me absolutely correct, and initiated new readers to the mania and mayhem exclusive to its pages alone.