Thursday, January 31, 2019

Age of Bronze #34 Cover

Today is the final day of January 2019. In a few places I've announced that Age of Bronze #34 would be published in January 2019. But it wasn't. In other places I've announced that Age of Bronze #34 will be published in early 2019. That's still happening.

Colorist John Dallaire and I are still working on the color for Age of Bronze #34. As soon as that's finished, the issue will be off to publisher Image Comics for digital publication through Comixology.

So we've still got a few weeks to go. Believe me, I'll announce publication as soon as it happens. I've been waiting for this issue as long as anyone.

In the meantime, here's a look at the cover for issue #34. It features Achilles and Helen meeting on the summit of Mount Ida, south of Troy.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.
Age of Bronze and all character likenesses are trademarks of Eric Shanower.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Returning to Key West

Left to right: Meg Cabot, Danielle Paige, Eric Shanower, and Victor LaValle.
I had a stupendous time at the Key West Literary Seminar in Key West, Florida, earlier this month. I gave a presentation on Age of Bronze that, by all counts, was well received. I also babbled away about comics and my career in a public conversation with Meg Cabot (author of The Princess Diaries), Danielle Paige (author of Dorothy Must Die), and Victor LaValle (author of The Changeling), who have all recently written graphic novels in addition to their prose works. I met a lot of fascinating people, loved listening to the other presentations, and had a terrific time seeing Key West, where I was born but had never previously been back to.

As the first invited cartoonist at this 37-year-old literary event, which through the decades has boasted a roster of some of the best writers of our time, I wanted to present a positive and insightful face of comics and graphic novels for both the audience and the organizers. I think I was mostly successful, so I hope some of my fellow cartoonists will be appearing on the Key West stage in future years.

Here's the link to an article about my presentation at the Key West Literary Seminar. If you're interested in attending next year's seminar, here's the link for tickets, which go on sale February 5. But be prepared; tickets for the Key West Literary Seminar sell out as quickly as those for the San Diego Comic-Con--like lightning.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.
Photo by Mark Hedden.
Photo copyright © 2019 Key West Literary Seminar. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Non-electric Barbarella

Barbarella #12 published by Dynamite is now available. One of its five alternate covers features my artwork. This new Barbarella mini-series is based squarely on Jean-Claude Forest's original space heroine and not on the movie version starring Jane Fonda.

Pin-up style art isn't my typical sort of project, but I was happy to accept the challenge. There were sixty cover images for this mini-series, each by a different artist. Barbarella posing with a ray-gun seems to have been many artists' first impulse. The editor instructed me NOT to show Barbarella posed with a ray-gun—he'd had enough of that.

The character Barbarella is famous for falling into one sexual situation after another, so I wanted my cover to be sexy, yet not exploitative. I hope my final image conveys that Barbarella is happy to be where she is.

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Whatever Happened to Mara Jade?

Recently released is a new edition of one of the few Star Wars projects I've been involved in. Marvel Comics just published this collection of comics adaptations of Timothy Zahn's trilogy of Star Wars novels. Included is a Star Wars mini-series I inked—The Last Command.

Dark Horse Comics was the original publisher of the project. But now that the Disney corporation owns both Marvel Comics and the Star Wars franchise, I guess Disney has taken over all Star Wars publishing. Thus the Marvel imprint.

I inked issues 2-6 of the six-issue series over the pencils of Edvin Biukovic. After the job was over I met Eddie at a San Diego Comic Con where we had a signing together at the Dark Horse Comics booth. Eddie was a popular cartoonist in the late 1990s and his star was rising. Unfortunately he died from brain cancer within a year or two after we finished The Last Command.

Eddie drew Princess Amidala in one issue of The Last Command. That issue was the character's first public appearance. The Phantom Menace, the motion picture that introduced the character, had yet to be released at the time. Eddie got in hot water from the higher-ups for that, but he was proud of what he'd done. I remember inking the character, not realizing that she was of any significance—not caring, either. All I was concerned with was meeting the tight deadline on that issue.

As I understand it, the character Mara Jade was created by the author Timothy Zahn, who wrote the novel The Last Command was based on. I haven't paid much attention to The Last Command since it was first published about twenty years ago. But I still remember Mara Jade being an important part of it. My sense is that Mara Jade was really popular at the time and people were hoping she'd be introduced into the movies. As far as I know that didn't happen. Does anyone else still remember Mara Jade?

Mike Baron wrote the script for The Last Command. I don't remember having any interaction with Mike while I was inking the project, but I was happy to be collaborating with him again. He wrote the comic book series Nexus. One of my earliest professional jobs as a cartoonist was inking Nexus for nearly a year, an experience I was happy for then and am still glad to have had. Mike is probably the comic book writer whose projects I've worked on more than any other—except myself, of course.

If you're a Star Wars fan, you probably want to get this collection. As well as the three mini-series—Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command—it collects all the covers, the introductions to the original graphic novel collections, and various other extras.

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Return to Key West

The annual Key West Literary Seminar runs from January 10-13, 2019, in Key West, Florida. The theme of the seminar this year is "Under the Influence: Archetype & Adaptation from Homer to the Multiplex." I guess that's why the seminar invited me to be a speaker this time.

I'll make a presentation about Age of Bronze, have a public conversation with some of the other guests, and do a book signing. For details click here to go to the Key West Literary Seminar website.

One reason I'm looking forward to attending the Key West Literary Seminar is that I was born in Key West, left when I was six months old, and have never been back. Of course, I don't remember living there and I understand that everything has changed since then, but I still want to see Key West again.

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

J. R. Brinkley and the Final Verdict

The Resistible Rise of J. R. Brinkley, written and directed by Edward Einhorn, closed FringeNYC, the New York City Fringe festival, on October 28. I drew the backdrop images. Click the links below for a couple final reviews of the show:


Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.
Photo courtesy of production.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Publishers' Weekly Praises A Thousand Ships

The new color edition of A Thousand Ships got some nice words from reviewer Tom Batten in the November 2018 issue of Publishers' Weekly. Batten's final verdict is:

"Filled with enough political machinations and symbolically laden visions of a war-torn future to sate the appetite of all graphic novels readers as well as Game of Thrones fans longing for fresh content with a scholarly attention to detail and keen psychological insight."

Talk about saying a lot with as few words as possible. This guy could write comics.

And to illustrate the "war-torn future" that Publishers' Weekly mentions, here's yet another sample of artwork from A Thousand Ships, featuring the beautiful coloring of John Dallaire.

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower.
Color copyright © 2018 John Dallaire.
All rights reserved.
Age of Bronze and the likenesses of its prominent characters are trademarks of Eric Shanower.