Tagged: Ed Brisson

Creative Conversation With Adam Gorham

Adam Gorham is a rising star in comics. Don’t believe me? What else would you call someone who’s being shot straight to the stars by drawing one of Marvel’s highest profile characters with a movie coming out? Plus, the fact it’s a cosmic character with space crime overtones. Adam Gorham’s a model of work ethic and determination, not to mention humility. He gives us a rough outline of his journey thus far, what we can expect from the upcoming Rocket #1 out on May 10th and offers sage advice to artists drawing their own path in the industry.

MK: Adam, thank you so much for having a Creative Conversation with me today. One of the questions I always like to start with is, do you remember the first comic you owned or the first one that made an impression on you?

AG: the pleasure is mine! I’m excited to talk about Rocket with my pal Matt Klein!

MK: Nice rhyme.

AG: Totally unintentional. I amaze myself (laughs). The first comic I owned and really cherished, and has left an impact on me to this day, is Batman: The Cult, the graphic novel. My father got it for me, probably without even looking inside of it. This was when comics were at their height in the 90’s and the local newspaper and cigar shop sold comics. Bernie Wrightson’s work was my first major influence.

MK: I freaking love that book. I mean, Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson, it’s a gem. In talking with people in shops that’s an often undiscovered gem. You mentioned Bernie Wrightson as your first major influence, who were some others at different points in your journey to today?

AG: Well, I loved comics as a kid, but rarely read them. I liked them for the art and would draw what I saw. All the mythos and lore I got loosely from 90’s cartoons like [Batman: TAS], Spider-Man, X-Men, etc. so without knowing many names at the time, I was certainly informed by the heavyweights of the 90’s. However, I fell out of comics around ten or so, about the time when kids let go of their “kids stuff”. I didn’t get back into loving comic artwork until eleventh grade, and that was after discovering Alex Ross, particularly Kingdom Come.

MK: So good!

AG: It was a revelation for me. Ross’ work was the first time for me that comic art felt like classic works of art that could be hung somewhere.  When I started getting back into it, I was in love with what Bryan Hitch was doing on The Ultimates. In fact, I really liked Ultimate Marvel at the time. Leinil Yu was another favorite.

MK: There was a ton of top talent working on Marvel’s Ultimate Universe at that point. Do you have a favorite Ultimate Universe run or story?

AG: Well I really liked the Ultimate X-Men stuff for a while. The first arc was epic. I enjoyed most of Return to Weapon X. Ultimates 2 probably stands apart though as the height of those titles.it took FOREVER for it to come out, but in the end it was pretty satisfying

MK: Great art can be worth the wait. How did you come to the decision that working in comics was what you wanted to do?

AG: I drew all my life. That’s not saying much. Most kids love to draw. However, I was always applauded for how well I drew for my age, so I grew up with drawing as “my thing.” And for a long time that was enough. I didn’t have a direct application or career in mind for it, but I excelled at drawing superheroes, so comics seemed an obvious choice. The only thing is, I was a terrible student with no ambition. Drawing comics as a career was an easy thing to talk about, but pursuing it was murky and not always tangible. I did go to art school and flamed out because, as I say, terrible student. Ultimately, after a few years of working one dirty job or another, my partner dragged me to my first comic convention and really opened up my eyes to this world I’d previously only known through Wizard magazines and comic shops. I was working in a grocery warehouse. Things with my significant other were getting serious. We wanted to start a new chapter in our lives and it became clear I needed a new goal in life. Or a goal in life. So when I left the warehouse job, I went for broke and looked for a job illustrating. I found one off Craigslist (laughs).

MK: What was the job?

AG: My first ever gig drawing comics was a 128-page graphic novel, written by a Canadian film director who wanted to adapt his indie vampire movie into a comic. Before that I had drawn a few scant pages for my own ideas. And once I started there was no looking back.

MK: That sounds a bit like you jumped into the deep end with a 128 page project right off the bat!

AG: Totally. It was the first opportunity I found and I seized it. I didn’t know how or where else to find work. In the past I had sent submissions to publishers, back when most publishers still took open submissions. I have a polite and informative rejection letter from Marvel, actually.

MK: That’s freaking awesome though! You talked about going to a convention kind of blew open your mind about comics and the industry. As an artist, how do you like conventions now being on the other side of the table? because I remember that’s how we met and i bugged you for a sketch that i recently proudly showed off to io9.

AG: Going as a fan and going as part of your job are two very different experiences. Pros and cons to each side. When I went as fan all I could think about was getting comics signed and saying, “Hi” to people I admired. I put myself through crazy lines and jumped through hoops to meet creators like Alex Ross, Brian Bolland and so on. It was fun but exhausting. You really invested a part of yourself. As soon as I started tabling, that was out the window. It’s not like I made a conscious decision to regard conventions differently. It’s just that creating a book and taking it to market changes your priorities.

MK: it’s part of your business. you’re a brand now with obligations.

AG: Precisely.

MK: Do you have any memorable requests from fans at conventions? Or any favorite sketches you’ve done?

AG: I’ve never had a bizarre request. Everything I’ve been asked to draw has been pretty fun, although I think I’ve only recently started drawing well at conventions. The past couple years I’ve improved, whereas drawing at a table was an uncomfortable experience. I got the hang of it though. So anything beyond a year or two ago I look back on and cringe. Your Man-Bat is a favorite of mine. I did a Frank Miller Dark Knight at NYCC that was very nice.

Man-Bat sketch by Adam Gorham

MK: if you could go back some years, what advice would you give yourself about being a comic book artist?

AG: With hindsight there’s so much I would impart. My problems starting out was, I thought I knew just how much work was involved with making comics. I would go back and tell myself “Nope. Work harder.” One thing I tell others is not to feel beholden to any one thing they’ve drawn. Draftsmanship is so very important. teaching yourself to draw things over and over, refining, and not being precious about something because you spend an hour on it. Your ideas and skill will always improve with every pass if you put in the effort, so it’s crazy to me to draw something once and thinking, “Well, I can see this is off, this other thing is wonky, but I just spent two hours drawing it, so good enough.” I’ve redrawn entire pages because a better idea struck me while I was driving home or at the store or on a walk.

MK: How many hours a day do you draw?

AG: I draw every day. Working constantly. Some days I work eight hours and others twelve or sixteen. Depends on where I’m at. I have two kids that, once they’re home, I can’t do anything else until they’re in bed. So I don’t always draw as much as I want to in a work day. But I try to make up with time later

MK: That’s incredibly intimidating and inspiring at the same time (laughs). Let’s pivot real quick to your ridiculously exciting new series coming up. So, congratulations on being the artist on the upcoming Rocket #1 with Al Ewing. It seems like a pretty awesome moment to be working on this character with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 coming out so close to the release of the series. When you got the gig, how was the book described to you?

AG: It was a thrilling experience for me because of the sheer amount of suspense involved.

I was wrapping up The Violent at Image.

MK: Lovely book if i might add.

AG: I was worried what I’d move on to. Like, I had some options, and I had some ideas of what step to take next. I was gutted, to be honest, because i wanted The Violent to carry on. Ed [Brisson] had this great idea for the next chapter and I was ready for it. So, I was sweating it a little. Then later one afternoon while I was at the supermarket Ii got an email from Marvel asking if I was interested in working for them. That alone was very exciting, but it could’ve meant anything from a cover to a tie-in or whatever

MK: Sure.

AG: But naturally I said yes. they told me they’d have some information in a couple days. For two days my mind went WILD with possibilities

MK: Was Rocket Raccoon on that list of possibilities?

AG: Ha! No. I figured since I had just done a street level crime comic, something like Punisher or whatever would be the obvious route. I met with a good friend of mine, Michael Walsh, who was doing Rocket and Groot at the time. We were giddy over what it could be, no matter how small. When Marvel offered me a new #1 ongoing, I was intoxicated. Like, it wasn’t even that it was Rocket. At the time, we were calling it something else. The change of name was also in the cards. But the fact I’d be coming on with such a great opportunity was unreal. Anyway, when we finally got talking about what the book would be, my place as an artist began to make sense.

MK: How so? And this is an interesting pattern here, your first comic is a 128 page book, your first gig at Marvel is an ongoing for one of the most publicly recognized characters! You’re really seizing these opportunities that not everybody gets. It’s inspiring.

AG: I forget who exactly gave me the lowdown, but they said the vision for this book would be Rocket in his element pulling heists in space. In conversation we compared it to Parker graphic novels. Al [Ewing] had this idea to use prose, reinforcing the theme of a hard-boiled thriller. So right away we talked about how pages would be structured to accommodate Al’s prose. and how Rocket’s default outfit in this series would be a suit, open collar, no tie. Parker, even Daniel Ocean make good comparisons, but our Rocket has a broken heart that reminds me more of George Clooney’s Jack Foley from “Out of Sight.”

MK: You just named one of my top 10 favorite films of all time!

AG: IT’S SO GOOD! Fun story about that movie. When I was a kid I was grounded. I forget why, but I know I earned it. My parents left to get groceries one saturday afternoon. While they were out my friends called asking if I’d go to the movies with them. Somehow I thought I could sneak out, see a two hour movie, and bus it home before they ever got home. The only thing playing at the theatre was “Out of Sight” which I had seen ads for but wasn’t the type of movie I was rushing to see at the time. Man, oh man, it was the coolest thing I ever saw at that point.

MK: Uh, yeah! Seriously, anybody reading this who hasn’t seen “Out of Sight” needs to immediately go watch it!

AG: And I felt like such a smooth operator for sneaking out to see this slick flick. I was like, twelve or thirteen at the time. I can’t recall. But I walked out of the theatre like, “Look at me now, world!”

MK: Did you get busted?

AG: Oh, of course! My parents were out of the house for maybe an hour, discovered I took off, and had three hours to sit and plan my punishment. I walked into verbal cannon fire.

MK: That’s epic. Okay, we’re in the home stretch here. If someone’s been living in a bubble for the last few years and has no idea who Rocket is, how would you describe your new series to them?

AG: First off, congratulations on leaving your bubble. Let me introduce you to Rocket: he’s a scruffy outlaw, a lost soul, a space raccoonoid looking for his place in the galaxy when he’s not saving it with the Guardians. That place usually ends up being a dangerous one, where he’s risking it for, surprisingly, a chance at love lost. If that doesn’t work out, then cold revenge.

MK: Who is on your Mount Rushmore of comics?

AG: I forget how many heads are on Rushmore, but let’s say four, and my Rushmore of Comics is comprised of: Frank Quitely, Alex Ross, Bernie Wrightson, and Moebius.

MK: That’s an eclectic looking Mount Rushmore!

AG: Rushmore is really weird, when you think about it.

MK:  Last but not least: If you meet someone that’s never read a comic before, what 5 reads would you tell them to pick up?

AG: For Golden Age adventure, I recommend Prince Valiant. For super heroics I recommend All-Star Superman. For horror I’d suggest Afterlife With Archie. For great crime, if you’ve already read The Violent, be sure to check out Ed Brisson’s Murder Book. For sci-fi, Black Science is pretty neat.

MK: Adam, thank you so much for giving me this time. I really appreciate you, man. I can’t wait to read Rocket #1.

Make sure you pre-order Rocket #1 at Forbidden Planet now and pick it up on Wednesday, May 10th when it arrives in store.

Post to Twitter

BULLSEYE #1 Hits The Mark!

bullseye_2017_1.sized

This New Comic Book Day we take aim at Marvel’s most unpredictable assassin.

He’s baaaaaack! Daredevil? Beat him. Elektra? Killed her. Hawkeye? Psh! Avenger? Did it, done it, owned it (okay, so technically he was a Dark Avenger but nobody told him that). And those were the paid jobs.What’s next for Marvel’s most unpredictable assassin? Writer Ed Brisson (The Violent, Batman & Robin Eternal, Secret Wars: Battleworld) and artist Guillermo Sanna (Deadpool, Straightjacket, Daredevil) are ready to unleash the villain in South America where he crosses path with a drug cartel that, to quote Brisson from an interview on Marvel.com, “…makes Pablo Escobar look like Mr. Rogers.” Ever wonder what a master marksman and methodical madman does with his free time? One guess? Not cat videos on YouTube.

BULLSEYE #1 marks the return of the most feared assassin in the Marvel Universe. With a gritty crime writer penning the direction for this crazy man’s insane new adventures and a Spanish artist who revels in frenetic action handling the images, the pages promise to be intense. If you’ve been looking for your next action fix with a morally absent centerpiece then congratulations this is going to be the comic for you!

Plus, Bulleye’s co-creator and legendary comic scribe Marv Wolfman writes a special back up story with artist Alec Morgan! What does Bullseye want with the mafia’s most sensitive information? How far will he go to get what he wants?

This is a first issue that can be classified as: Can’t Miss! Yeah, I did…

Post to Twitter

Image Comics Event Night at Forbidden Planet NYC 10/7/14

Gif-Image-Comics-Night

Yes, ALL of those folks.

Get ready! Forbidden Planet NYC will have the following stellar bodacious lineup of guests appearing at the shop on Wednesday 10/8 at 6pm:

Frank J. Barbiere (Five Ghosts)
Chris Mooneyham (Five Ghosts)
Joshua Williamson (Nailbiter, Birthright, Ghosted)
Josh Fialkov (Punks, Last of the Greats, Echoes)
Ed Brisson (The Field, Sheltered, Comeback)
Justin Jordan (Spread, Luther Strode)
Declan Shalvey (Injection)
Tim Seeley (Revival, Hack/Slash)
Brandon Montclare (Rocket Girl)
Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage)
Antony Johnston (Umbral, The Fuse)
See ya there!

Post to Twitter

Bunglers and Bummers

I’m not embarrassed to say I fell asleep with my computer open and lights on last night. Or that when I woke up this morning to finish writing, I fell asleep again sitting at my computer. Maybe a little embarrassed. Not enough, obviously, to stop me from mentioning how much I want to burrow inside a pile of blankets like a dog. Pillows piled high, next to a crackling space heater. I think I’m trying to live vicariously through my own words now. You work hard, now you should play hard by buying comics, and crawling into bed to read them.

Letter 44 #6– When the conspiracies began to abound back on Earth, I was nervous President Blake was going to be, to borrow a phrase from real politics, a lame duck. But as the first arc of the series comes to a close, Blake has shown us that he will not back down. Nothing Charles Soule does in this story is drawn out, so President Blake kicks ass and takes names, but doesn’t take prisoners, but he’s all out of bubble gum so he might take some of that. Up in the big black emptiness, life has ended for some, and begun for others. Secrets of the aliens are revealed to the remaining crewmembers of the Clarke, but things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

Sheltered #8– Sheltered makes you feel bad about yourself. It makes you feel bad because you watch some truly awful people to terrible, terrible things to one another. Instead of just feeling complacent like a reader usually does, I turn every page with trepidation; afraid of what I’ll find waiting for me. Maybe I feel too deeply, maybe Ed Brisson writes this cast with too much callous fervor, or maybe Johnnie Christmas illustrates with too much stylized energy that I can’t help but want to crawl into this comic and punch Lucas (the boy leading a coup against the parents of their pre-apocalyptic encampment for his own psychopathic entertainment). Or maybe I want to do that is because this it really is addictively aggravating to watch imminent disaster looming for these kids in their f’d up Lord of the Flies world, and hope that most of them burn when everything goes downhill.

Love Bunglers HC– All praises be to Jaime Hernandez, and the deliciously poignant masterpiece that is Love Bunglers. Backdoor brag, I’ve read A LOT of Hernandez brothers in my life, but this might possibly be my favorite epic about the girl from Hoppers, Maggie Chascarillo. Life for the Love and Rockets cast of characters has grown increasingly complicated over the 30+ years since its inception. This hardcover release collects all pieces of the Love Bunglers that originally appeared in the ongoing series, Love and Rockets New Stories. Years of character development, history, and heartbreak have culminated in a beautifully illustrated story that captures a slice of middle-aged life, rarely seen in media.

Hernandez_LoveRocketsCalendar-625x483

Brilliant Premiere HC Vol 1– The eternal struggle first contemplated by the great ancient philosophers of time: science and superheroes; can the two mix? I guess my definition of great philosopher would also be Brian Michael Bendis, which is probably why I almost failed it in college. (X-Men aren’t reliable sources when arguing sentiency of personhood). Regardless! In their first creator-owned series together, Bendis and Bagley pitted their own college geniuses against the mystery of superpowers, and had them tinker until the powers ticked back. Where does the true power of the world lie when all it’s seemingly magical doors are opened, and everyone’s nerves are exposed?

Bunker #3– I’ve started and stopped three times trying to write a preview as to why you should pick up this time traveling, conspiracy creating, and friendship unraveling, without giving something away. But I can’t do it. Fialkov is too good. He’s too smart, and no thread starts to pull in this series without the whole sweater (or you know, the world) falling apart.

Post to Twitter

Troy’s Toys, But With Comics: Down Set Fuse

I am entirely too proud of that title.

the-fuse-01web-The Fuse

Antony Johnston/Justin Greenwood/Shari Chankhamma/Ed Brisson

Image/$3.50/ 30 pages

Weekly Chris Confession: I had every intention to skip over “The Fuse” this week, figuring I could trade wait it if it was ant good. But then the Twitter buzz for this book hit crazy levels, and I like Antony Johnston’s “Wasteland” series a ton, so I figured there was no harm in picking up the first issue at the very least.

Needless to say, I was very pleased with that decision.

First thing first: That cover. Simplistic, bold and VERY clever once you read the issue and figure out what it signifies. “Smart” is arguably the best way to describe this book;  a murder mystery set on a space station is a cool premise, and the actual execution is brilliant. It’s a good book, full of potential, and it reminds me a lot of “Powers” when that first came into the scene. So your typical Image debut issue in a way.

My only beef with this debut is the art. For the most part it’s pretty good, a more animated version of Sean Murphy’s art. It’s intentionally “ugly” which works for a crime book, and a lot of environments and character expressions are good,  but it’s disappointing when the scale and anatomy are off, or when things like eyebrows aren’t colored or inked properly or at all. Certain panels and pages look rushed at times, which really took me out of the story when I read it.

If you told me that “The Fuse” was originally published in 2000 AD or something, I would have believed it. Johnston states it’s an influence in the book’s final pages and it shows. My issues with the art aside, it’s a good debut, I’m just been spoiled by a ton of amazing #1s from Image over the last 2 years. Your mileage may vary,  and it’s a good read, but I’m going to the trade route with it.

3581036-all_new_x-men_23_keown_variantAll New X-Men

Brian Michael Bendis/Stuart Immonen/Wade Von Grawbadger/Marte Gracia

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

For all of my problems with this crossover, I could deal with Stuart Immonen drawing the Shi’ar-related characters 5-EVER!

Part 3 of this crossover is here, and it’s kinda cliche. Now that our heroes are united, they’re attacked by their common foe, and something that’s been explained to us repeatedly is now explained to Jean Grey. It feels lazy and drawn out, despite it being really good looking. And prop’s to colorist Marte Gracia, the book’s colors look darker than usual, which makes a ton of sense given the fact that it’s in space and all that. It goes really well with the tone and the setting of the book, and it only does the pencil and ink art justice.

And to be book’s credit, the ending tosses in a neat twist (one that was immediately spoiled for me by the announcement of a new book debuting in May). And there are some good humorous bits in it too, but the character’s voices all lack variety. A familiar frustration that comes with Bendis-penned comics as time and feels super decompressed, something that could be resolved in 2 or 3 issues and not five. And like I said, a bunch of questions promised to be resolved at another time or in another book, it only adds insult to injury. We’ve seen better on this book, which is already suffering from crossover fatigue. We deserve better as readers.

Sorry for being a little late this week, holiday weekend and all that. I still have Oni Press’ “Down. Set. Fight” to read, and Toy Fair news to deal with. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on everything later this week though!

-The super behind schedule Chris Troy writes for Forbidden Planet on a weekly basis, and can be found on a variety of social media related thiniges @theanarchris

Post to Twitter

Coming October 9th 2013 – Image Comics Night (Again!) at Forbidden Planet

Told you next week’s going to be an astoundingly fantastic week here at the shop. Check out the spectacular, jam-packed lineup we’ve got for next Wednesday night!

Nick Dragotta, Sina Grace, Forbidden Planet NYC, Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Michael Moreci, Johnnie Christmas, signing, Image Comics

Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare (Rocket Girl, Halloween Eve), Nick Dragotta (East of West), Ed Brisson (Comeback, Sheltered), Sina Grace (Not My Bag, Li’l Depressed Boy), Mike Moreci (Hoax Hunters), Duffy Boudreau (Blackacre), Johnny Christmas (Sheltered), and maybe some surprise guests!

Wow.  We need more chairs.

Can’t find New York Comic-Con tickets at a decent price on the secondary market?  Fuggedaboutit.  Come here instead. EVERYday is a comic-con at Forbidden Planet NYC.

Post to Twitter