Thee Comic Column #37: Interview: Ryan Black & The Kickstarter for his “Tension” Comic

image courtesy of kickstarter

Ryan Black (AKA Ryan Gunwitch Black in music circles) is a man of many trades. I was first introduced to him via his Killbilly band Ghostwitch Family Band. Now the man has an indie comic book in the works titled Tension and the minute I saw the video for it on Kickstarter – which you can watch and contribute to until the end of the month of May HERE  – I knew I wanted to interview him. As my readers will have no doubt surmised I LOVE comics, but I also LOVE indie stuff. It was with great thrill that a little over a year ago I watched Brendon Seifert and Lukas Ketner’s comic Witchdoctor go from some awesome-looking posts on Warren Ellis’ forum Whitechapel to full on comic success, and that’s what I am both hoping and expecting to happen with Black’s Tension; it looks that damn good. Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Black via email. Here’s that session in its entirety:

Thee Comic Column #36: Mark Millar & Frank Quitely’s Jupiter’s Legacy

image courtesy of forbiddenplanet.com

Thee Comic Column #35: The Marvel Unlimited App: Digital Comics

image courtesy of ign.com

FIRST: REMINDER – Today is May 4th, 2013 and that means it is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY today. Go out to your local comic shop and buy some comics! I’m kinda being a hypocrite here, because this is just about the only day a year I won’t go to a comic shop, but when your shop is as awesome as my two favorites are, Amazing Fantasy in Chicago and The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, CA then they have lines around the block waiting to get in. That’s awesome – I love seeing the increased traffic, wish it would stay year round. I feel justified in avoiding this day however, because I go one or two times a week every other week, so I do my part.

Thee Comic Column #34: Bendis’ All-New X-Men

Brian Michael Bendis X-Men

image courtesy of ifanboy.com

When I first heard Brian Michael Bendis was jumping from writing Avengers to X-Men I was pretty interested. However, I learned early on with his Avengers run that I just could not keep up. I’ve gone back and read the first few trades of New Avengers and really dig it, but BMB writes A LOT of the Marvel Universe and I’m weary of books/arcs that are too close to the main continuity, as when you read them you tend to get pulled into crossovers. And although I trust Bendis I don’t 100% trust the overall editorial department at Marvel. Sorry, but I have my reasons, chieft among them dating back to around 2007. At that time I had disavowed crossovers for well over a decade but with all the run-up on Civil War at the time I truly thought things had changed (i.e. the crossover formula: a major, world-or-universe-threatening menace that is defeated in the last few pages of the last issue so that status quo can be re-instated). I decided to give Civil War a chance and though I enjoyed most of it the end left me walking around mumbling the old, “Fool me once,” parable, and that made me look crazy.

Thee Comic Column #33: The Cobra Files

image courtesy of thecomixverse.com

Thee Comic Column #32: Fare Thee Well Saucer Country

image courtesy of comicvine.com

It was only about three weeks ago that I pulled my head out of my ass and found out that Vertigo had cancelled Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s BRILLIANT, Hugo-nominated comic Saucer Country. I’d fallen a bit behind my reading, plowed through what I didn’t know at the time was the penultimate issue (#13) and stood with mouth agape at the massive reveal on the final page. I don’t want to spoil that surprise here because if you’re reading this but have not read the book it means you’re at least remotely curious, and if you’re remotely curious my advice is to read Saucer Country in trade – currently unfinished or not it’s a brilliant mish-mash of the X-files, The West Wing and the kind of dark suspense you get in movies like Mothman Prophecies and Shadow People.

Thee Comic Column #31: GIJOE Retaliation

image courtesy of mycomicshop.com

Okay, at first glance you might think, “Hey, why are you reviewing a movie in a comic book column?” Valid point, however this isn’t so much a film review as it is a commentary on how the just-released GIJOE movie sequel drew heavily on the Marvel comic GIJOE series from the 80’s, written by the all-powerful Larry Hama. I wanted it to be more of an exploration, however to really do that I’d have to sling out a bunch of spoilers and honestly, if you are reading this you’re probably somebody on the fence of seeing this flick and despite some fairly heavy problems I think those spoilers – and the aha moments they created in me as a fan of that comic – are worth the price of admission.

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