Thursday, August 2, 2018

Casper and the Stooges

I've been drawing comics featuring characters I knew in my childhood. First up is Casper the Friendly Ghost and his whole supporting cast.

The first comic book I ever bought with my own money was an issue of Casper, published back then by Harvey Comics. For several years my comics obsession focused on the Harvey Comics characters, particularly Richie Rich. Casper was secondary in my estimation. But when Harvey began publishing the team-up title Richie Rich and Casper, I loved it. (As an adult I find Richie Rich rather boring, but Casper I find more charming than I remember.)

Since their original cancellation in the early 1980s, the Harvey characters have seen only sporadic publication. Until recently. Now the publisher American Mythology has the license to Casper and his supporting characters, including the little devil Hot Stuff. Hot Stuff crossed over with Casper back in the day, but he was never a bonafide supporting character in the Casper cast. That's changed now.

So I've been drawing stories featuring Casper, Wendy, Spooky, the Ghostly Trio, Hot Stuff, Pearl, and Princess Charma. I think it's fun! When I first became a professional cartoonist I wanted to draw for publication all the comic book characters I'd loved as a child. I figured I'd never have a chance to draw the Harvey characters. That ambition fell by the wayside years ago. But now I'm another step nearer to fulfilling it.

Casper's Ghostland #1 came out several weeks ago, but should still be on sale at your local comic shop. I drew one of the several variant covers, as well as a couple stories inside. More Casper comics drawn by me are on their way.

American Mythology also has the license to publish Three Stooges comics. I watched Three Stooges movies on television when I was a kid, but I hadn't seen one of their movies in years--until American Mythology decided to re-think its approach to the Stooges and asked me to take a shot. I was happy to try. As research I watched some Stooges movie footage on YouTube. The editor and publisher liked my approach, so now I've been drawing Three Stooges comic book stories, too.

The new approach places the Stooges in the 1930s, so they're period pieces, as if these stories are actual shorts the Stooges filmed. They feature the original Stooges line-up of Moe, Larry, and Curly. The coloring is in black and white to replicate the sense of a black-and-white movie short. The Stooges never held a similar place in my heart as the Harvey characters do. But it's fun drawing their silly slapstick abuse of each other.

Three Stooges: Matinee Madness #1 goes on sale toward the end of August. I drew one of the several variant covers and a couple stories inside.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Mine! Nominated

Mine!, the anthology I contributed a story to, has been nominated for Best Anthology in the Ringo Awards. Comicmix published Mine! late last year as a benefit for Planned Parenthood. I wrote and drew a four-page story about Matilda Joslyn Gage, the nineteenth century activist and mother-in-law of L. Frank Baum.

The Ringo Awards are the comics awards that the general public may vote on, so if you'd like to cast a vote, go here.

And if you'd like a copy of Mine!, it's still available from your favorite comic book store or bookseller.

Monday, June 18, 2018

ALA in New Orleans

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 22-24, 2018, I will be appearing at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Its central location is the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center downtown. I'll be promoting the forthcoming full-color edition of Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships from Image Comics in September 2018.

I'll be speaking on several panels, including a discussion with other graphic novelists about adapting myths and fairy tales (that's on Saturday), and doing a signing event at the Image Comics booth (that's on Sunday).

You can find more details here on my official schedule. There's a mistake on the schedule--the Koffee Klatch and "Meet the Creator" are both on Sunday, June 24.

Click the menu links on that page for all the info you need about the ALA conference for 2018.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Olympia Comics Festival 2018

On Saturday, June 2, from 11 am to 4 pm, I'll be exhibiting at the Olympia Comics Festival at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW in Olympia, Washington. Immediately following that at 4 pm, I'll be joining Olympia Comics Festival's special guests, cartoonists Farel Dalrymple and Shannon Wheeler, for a round table discussion moderated by Frank Hussey of Danger Room Comics, the sponsor of the festival.

So if you're in the area on Saturday, come to the festival and see me and much more!

Here's the link to the Olympia Comics Festival website for more details.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

At Last! AGE OF BRONZE in Full Color

Big news! Big changes for Age of Bronze.

For the first time ever, Age of Bronze will be printed in full color.

That's right. Full color.

No more black and white.

All new Age of Bronze material will be published in full color by Image Comics. All old Age of Bronze material will be reprinted in full color by Image Comics.

You'll see the story of the Trojan War in a whole new way.

I've been working with John Dallaire, Age of Bronze colorist, for several years in preparation for color publication. John and I were matched up in 2011 for Throwaway Horse's digital publication of Age of Bronze. Several issues were published digitally before Throwaway Horse ceased operations. But John continued coloring Age of Bronze under my direction. We knew that Age of Bronze would be printed in color one day.

First of all, Age of Bronze issue #1 in full color from Image Comics goes on sale April 25, 2018. That's next week. This reprint--in new full color--sells for the bargain price of $1.00! This bargain-price reprint of issue #1 is intended to give readers a sample of how Age of Bronze will look from now on. Find it in your local comic shop or order it digitally from Comixology. You can also order a physical copy here for immediate shipment--while supplies last.

All Age of Bronze graphic novels will receive new color printings. The first book, A Thousand Ships, will be published in full color in September 2018. Color versions of each subsequent Age of Bronze book will follow in print annually from Image Comics.

Age of Bronze #34, the first new issue in several years, will be published in full color in early 2019. All new Age of Bronze issues will be published digitally in color on Comixology. New issues won't see print--they'll only be available digitally. But the story pages from every new Age of Bronze issue will be collected into printed graphic novel format as usual--now in full color.

Some of you may remember that the first four issues of Age of Bronze appeared several years ago in color as an app for iPad. That version is being superseded. John Dallaire has refined many color details since those first digital color publications. In fact, due to a resolution discrepancy, John completely re-colored Age of Bronze #1 for the new print version. He made quite a few refinements. Eagle-eyed readers will be able to spot many differences when comparing the new color version with the old digital one.

So thanks to John Dallaire and to Image Comics for making this all possible.

For your enjoyment, here's a six-page preview of Age of Bronze #1 in full color. Click on any page to see it larger.

Continued in Age of Bronze #1.

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower.
Interior page color copyright © 2018 John Dallaire.
All rights reserved.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Legend of Aquaman

New graphic novel includes The Legend of Aquaman.
Nearly thirty years ago I was asked by DC Comics to ink a project drawn by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan. Swan had penciled a new origin for Aquaman, plotted by Keith Giffen. I'm not sure what prompted them to ask me, but I'd just finished The Forgotten Forest of Oz and was waiting to begin The Elsewhere Prince, so I was perfectly happy to take the job.

The result was the one-shot special The Legend of Aquaman. It was scripted by Robert Loren Fleming and colored by Tom McCraw, who'd been my assistant colorist on The Secret Island of Oz. I guess The Legend of Aquaman sold well enough, because it was followed by a five-issue Aquaman series. I don't remember whether I was asked to ink the series, too, but if I was, I'm sure my schedule was filled with something else. The series was inked by Al Vey.

DC Comics recently collected The Legend of Aquaman and the following series into graphic novel format as Aquaman: The Legend of Aquaman. John Trumbull recently did an interview with me for Back Issue #108, coming soon from TwoMorrows, about this long ago job. My own Aquaman artwork is also the cover image for Back Issue #108.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Talking to MSU

Ryan Claytor of the Comic Art and Graphic Novel Podcast at Michigan State University conducted an interview with me several months ago. It's now up for your listening pleasure. Images include some early comics that as a child I wrote and drew--like the one at right from 1974.

Here's the link to listen to the podcast: