Tag: Liquid Comics

Liquid Refreshment

Blog posts are apt to be in short supply this week, unfortunately, in the run-up to the San Diego Comic Con and the release of Artifacts #1. I’ll be posting my signing and panel schedule for the con, but most of the other words this week will be in the service of stockpiling scripts.

So in the meantime, here’s a couple links to keep you entertained. Both are from the Heavy.com site, which seems to be a something of an online lad magazine, with bikinis, mixed martial arts … and Liquid Comics. Not really sure how that came about, but the site is offering up a couple of my projects for Liquid (then Virgin) for free.

The first is issue #1 of Beyond, the four-issue mini I adapted, along with artist Edison George, from a Deepak Chopra screenplay. The print version of Beyond #1 was among the last Virgin books to be released, and I’m not sure how much distribution it received. It’s a story of other dimensions and alternate universes, with some dense, beautiful art by Edison. Here’s the link for the The second is actually a collection of material that doesn’t exist in a single-issue print version. In addition to serving as editor for Ramayan 3392 A.D. , I wrote a series of five short stories meant as origin pieces for the main characters. Each story was only three pages, and I came up with the idea of using one of those three pages as an alternate cover for the respective issues, necessitating that one of the pages be a splash. So the stories were a slightly tricky exercise in short-form storytelling and formatting. But I was in a position to hire my own artists, and I went with some of the best. In order:

  1. Michael Avon Oeming on Rama
  2. Jim Starlin on Ravan
  3. Luke Ross on Seeta
  4. David Petersen on Hanuman
  5. Bart Sears on Lakshman

I tried to pair characters with matching artistic sensibilities (frankly, something writers and/or editors should be doing all the time). Mike’s affection for heroic mythology made him a natural fit for Rama … and his rep for turning around pages fast didn’t hurt either. Jim’s career is obviously filled with memorable villains, his creation Thanos chief among them, so the villainous Ravan was an obvious choice. Luke’s beautiful, flowing lines and attention to detail were a nice match for Seeta. Luke did some gorgeous, full-color covers for Virgin’s Devi, a title featuring a female lead. That’s also Luke’s cover you’ll see on Beyond #1.

I was a little hesitant to typecast David, who is best known for his terrific Mouse Guard series. But pairing David with the monkey-god Hanuman was too perfect to pass up. And finally, Bart’s penchant for muscled warriors and bloody battles made the Lakshman assignment an easy one.

All five of the origin stories are collected here.

Enjoy.

Cheers,

Ron


Georges Jeanty – In Living Color

[George Jeanty’s pencils]


(Pencils: Georges Jeanty / Colors: Neeraj Menon)

[click the image for a hi-res version]

One more look at Georges Jeanty’s figure shots, this time in color, courtesy of a talented young Indian artist named Neeraj N. Menon. You can check out Neeraj’s Deviant Art portfolio here.

When I did some editorial work for Virgin Comics (now reborn as Liquid Comics) a few years ago, I was exposed to a wealth of creative talent based in India, especially art talent. You’ve already seen Saumin Patel’s color on the Albany Comic Con exclusive cover, and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be seeing another project with Saumin’s pencils and inks later this year. I’ve also got an all-ages book with the terrific Jeevan Kang that should be released by summer’s end via Liquid Comics, through its publishing partnership with Dynamite Entertainment. And hopefully the collected edition of my adaptation of Deepak Chopra’s Beyond, with artist Edison George, will be appearing soon.

Liquid and Dynamite will also team to publish Grant Morrison’s 18 Days, based on “The Mahabharata,” which is illustrated by the insanely talented Mukesh Singh. I fully expect it to be the most spectacular-looking book I’ll see this year. There’s a preview of the art here.

Mukesh’s work on Devi, Game Keeper and the Devi-Witchblade crossover was spectacular (and worthy of the Russ Manning nomination he received), but his work on 18 Days seems like another leap forward. Simply breathtaking.

Art talent from Brazil, Spain and Italy, among other locales, is making a real mark on the U.S. comic market. A number of Indian artists are going to make themselves known in a big way. Soon.

Cheers,

Ron

THE J-FILES are a series of images created by Georges Jeanty (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER/DarkHorse) for my first pass at having a website.


Above and “Beyond”

Beyond 1One of my graphic novels is going to be a movie! Except it’s not really my graphic novel. It’s Deepak Chopra’s. And as with any movie deal, it’s only real when the cameras start rolling. So I guess there’s not much cause for excitement, at least on my part. But still … kinda cool.

In the waning days of the late, lamented Virgin Comics, I was asked to adapt a Deepak Chopra screenplay called “Beyond” into a four-issue series. Deepak’s son, Gotham Chopra, was the one who originally recruited me to do some work for Virgin, so I was flattered that he wanted to entrust his father’s screenplay to me. I was paired with artist Edison George, one of Virgin’s studio artists based in Bangalore. I had to do a little judicious trimming here and there, but I think I preserved the important aspects of “Beyond” in the screenplay-to-comics translation. I recruited my buddy Luke Ross for the cover to issue #1, an image that needed to somehow convey the cross-dimensional, metaphysical aspect of the story. On the interiors, Edison turned out some beautiful work on what were consistently dense pages in terms of panel count. And Gotham told me his dad was pleased with the comic, which to me was the most important aspect.

Today’s Hollywood Reporter carried the news that “Beyond” had been picked up for film production, with director Suri Krishnamma attached. The full story is here.

“Beyond” was described as “a supernatural thriller about an American businessman, Michael Morton, who arrives in India with his wife Anna and son Ty on a vacation. Wandering through a teeming bazaar, Ty watches as his mother wanders into a small store but never comes out, leading to a frenzied search for her whereabouts.” That’s it in a nutshell, though the story is much richer, much more complex, than that brief summation. I enjoyed working on it, even though adapting someone else’s original work is a wholly different challenge than creating your own.

The first three issues of Beyond made it out before Virgin’s publishing ceased. The fourth issue was written and drawn, but never hit the stands. When Virgin folded, the company’s properties were purchased by the founders, now under the banner of Liquid Comics. Issue #4 is now complete, including colors and letters, and awaits release both digitally, and as a collected print edition along with the first three issues. Hopefully that’ll happen sooner rather than later; it’d be nice to have the completed story out there. Issue #4 also contains Edison George’s best work, I think, including some truly spectacular, large-scale battle scenes. Turns out I’m working with Edison on another project, but that’s fodder for a future post.

If you’d like to sample Beyond, the first two issues are up for free online at Issuu.com.

Cheers,

Ron


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