Shawn James is one of the most interesting and insightful writers that I've had the pleasure of meeting. I remember I started following him when I saw his comments on several social media platforms since we tend to be in the same circles and I was impressed by his knowledge of the comic book industry as a business, the importance of proper storytelling and dedication to making his characters really human and interesting.
He has been writing books as an independent author for many years now, with The Man Crisis, John Haynes and Isis being some of his successful works, often reflecting his views and feelings about several aspects of life, especially when it comes to the black community. Instead of trying to pin black men and women down in a single trait or social group, he is a huge defender of people’s sense of individuality and diversity of thought.
I had the opportunity of doing this long interview with Shawn and we addressed several aspects of his career, plus his views on modern society, Literature, the ups and downs of being an independent writer and the current state of the comic book industry. Hope you enjoy it.
Independent creators don’t get enough credit in the comic book industry, especially in these harsh times. With coronavirus now spreading, the industry is struggling even more and at a time where Marvel and DC are failing to listen to the fans, customers, and retailers, it’s always a bit uplifting to have the chance to talk with an artist and writer like Josh Howard, who has been in the independent trenches for many years now and has no sign of stopping.
Josh has been in the industry for over a decade now and he has released several independent comics, plus a couple of jobs at Marvel. His most recent work is T-Bird & Throttle, which deals with the story of a struggling superhero, but I’m going to let the man himself do the talking instead of me!
Dan DiDio was fired from DC Comics last week and this has obviously become major news in the comic book industry considering that the man was the company’s co-publisher, along with legendary artist Jim Lee (who is now going to be in charge on a temporary basis, according to reports), for ten years, minus a small gap between 2016 and 2018 (more on that later).
This wasn’t something that DiDio saw coming when considering that the very morning of the day he was fired he was doing business as usual, sharing information about DC on Facebook groups and overall doing what he always does.
Wally West was, for all intents and purposes, a broken character after Heroes in Crisis, but Flash Forward was a great example of taking what was a tremendously erroneous event and turns it into one of the greatest challenges that our protagonist had to overcome. Writer Scott Lobdell and artist Brett Booth took Wally, at a time when no other creative group wanted to deal with the character, back to the heroic path, making a decision that very few men ever do and it’s a testament to the character’s legacy and value that has such a monumental impact.
Flash Forward is much more than a classic superhero story (which it is). It’s a story about redemption and families. About hope and resurgence. A story about doing the right thing, even if it means rejecting what you cherish the most.
Flash Forward #4 is so far the best issue of a miniseries that has been very clear and concise about what they wanted to do: to reestablish Wally West’s righteous place as one of the best heroes of the DC pantheon and also to tell a great story that is benefited by having some of the best art of 2019. It has everything you could ask of a classic superhero story combining the best attributes of modern tendencies.
Wally West, the Flash for a lot of us, has gone through a lot, and for the fans that are really invested in the character, this issue is particularly special, showing how good DC is when it goes back to its classic roots.
A very good issue and quite likely my favorite of the entirety of 2019.
Aaron Lopresti Interview I Reviving the Garbage Man series, crowdfunding, and what it takes to make it in the comic book industry.
Darryl Banks Interview: Comic book artwork, and an overview of his very exciting career in the industry!
The term “underrated” is thrown around way too often, but there are really very few cases when it actually looks the part and this is the case of artist Darryl Banks. The man has been one of the finest artists in the comic book industry in the last thirty years or so and contributed to the creation of the Green Lantern of the 90s, Kyle Rayner (who also happens to be my favorite character).
But Banks’ career doesn’t stop there, having created more characters, collaborated on some very good runs and overall leaving his mark on the industry. I had the opportunity of talking with him for an interview and I got his insight on many different topics.
The X-Men, Superman, Spider-Man, Cable… Art Thibert has done it all in the industry. As an artist, inker and writer, this veteran of the comic book industry has proven time and time that he is one of the most reliable talents in the medium while being one of the most positive and uplifting guys in the industry.
Nowadays, Art left the big two and he is currently promoting his independent comic book, Chrono Mechanics, which you can back here. I had the opportunity of doing an interview with him and we discussed multiple aspects of his career and the industry as a whole.
Social media platforms have provided many benefits for many types of people. It allows businesses and artists of many mediums to promote their work, to interact with others and overall get their messages out to a much wider audience. But there is also a huge drawback, which is that, being social media platforms are a digital medium, people can say whatever they want and not face any consequences, regardless of how damaging or illogical their statements may be.
In that regard, the world of comic books is not exempt from this, with a lot of people often dropping very controversial and inflammatory statements that don’t really hold up once you start analyzing them. I normally don’t pay attention to people giving out their opinions on social media platforms, but this week there was a very notorious push by certain individuals about a narrative that men shouldn’t be allowed to draw women because they objectify them and are, by and large, sexist.
Obviously, there is a lot to unpack in this topic and it covers a lot of different elements, but there is a big truth above all else: people are allowed to draw whatever the hell they want and that’s a good thing.
After the climax that was Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a process of reinvention after the exit of some of their main characters and Disney has decided to expand their biggest franchise through multiple series, with some of them being Falcon and the Winter Soldier, She-Hulk, Loki and more. But one character that has the potential to surprise fans that are not familiar with Marvel Comics is Moon Knight.
Despite being a minor character in the vast world of Marvel Comics, Moon Knight has a very strong following and some of the most experimental works of Marvel's long history, so it’s exciting to finally see Marc Spector in a live action depiction.
But, who is Moon Knight and why should we care about this character? Here we are going to tell you all you need to know about this dark Avenger of the night.
Writer Mark Poulton is one of those indie comic success stories: after a stint with DC’s Savage Hawkman and working with Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld on his personal comic book, Avengylne, Mark broke out on his own and created his own superhero team, Graveyard Shift, with former Cable, Thunderbolts and Jawbreakers artist, Jon Malin. An enthusiast of comic books, a devoted father and someone that is always constantly churning out new stories in various formats, Mark is a great defender and believer in crowdfunding and indie comics being a step in this art form’s evolution and in this interview we had the opportunity to hear his take on many different topics. Hope you enjoy it.
Marvel's The Ultimates Review - Learn more about one of the biggest influences of the early MCU films.
At a time when Marvel was severely struggling, The Ultimates were a breath of fresh air and they gave the company’s mightiest heroes a new take that was actually new, interesting and didn't devalue their core values, which is something that most modern writers tend to struggle with.
A massive inspiration for the MCU, The Ultimates have to get credit for not only that, but for making one of the best stories in this century regarding the Avengers and revamping them for a whole new generation.
That alone is a massive achievement for a massive series.
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