Tag: Magdalena

The Lunch Bunch

Thursday I was able to attend a lunch that gathered a lot of the comic pros who live within an hour’s drive or so. Doing the job we do, most of spend a lot of hours at home, without the kind of social interaction that most people with, uh, real jobs take for granted. So the chance to get together and swap stories is a welcome one.

I was the relative young punk at the table, with only two decades in comics under my belt. Clockwise from bottom left in the photo: cartoonist Fred Hembeck; Fred’s wife Lynn Moss; inker Bob Wiacek; legendary Kirby/FF inker Joe Sinnott; inker Terry Austin; me; inker Dan Green (in cowboy hat and shades); that’s writer-artist Jim Starlin’s bald head peeking out; Mark Sinnott (Joe’s son); writer-artist Walter Simonson; Silver Age artist Ramona Fradon; penciler Joe Staton; and writer Todd Dezago.

I’m fortunate enough to be able to call these people friends, and especially fortunate to be able to get together with them. We don’t do it often enough. I gave Walter a copy of Magdalena #1, the Ryan Sook cover of which was inspired by Walter’s iconic Thor #337 cover. Joe Sinnott shared some (literal) war stories. Starlin and I discussed the intro I’m going to write for his art book, which will be released by Desperado later this year. Fred revealed he’s going to be throwing out the first pitch at a Class A minor-league ballgame in July, and Fred, Mark and I commiserated about the Mets (as usual).

Walter related some stories of teaching at the School of Visual Arts, and also told a tale of Jim Shooter having John Romita, Sr. redraw a Thor head on one of Walter’s covers, because Shooter deemed the original Thor head not handsome enough. Mark Gruenwald, the editor on Thor, waited until Shooter was out of the office, got Tom DeFalco to okay Walter’s original cover, and sent the book off to press. Grueny was a clever fellow.

After a few hours, the gathering split up and everybody went their separate ways, most headed to their home studios to get back to work. But the afternoon was yet another reminder of how fortunate I am to be working in this business.

Cheers,

Ron


Con in Conn


This Saturday, May 15, I’ll be appearing at the first ComiConn in North Haven, Connecticut. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 201 Washington Avenue in North Haven. Admission is $10. More information here

It’s a one-day show with a pretty nice guest list for a first-time affair, including my buddy Matthew Dow Smith, as well as Jamal Igle, Jerry Ordway, Frank McLaughlin and quite a few others. One of the real draws, as far as I’m concerned, is a tribute panel for the late, great Dick Giordano, featuring Ordway, McLaughlin, Bob Greenberger and Mike DeCarlo.


The show also features a con exclusive edition of Magdalena #1, with a cover by guests Eric Battle (pencils), Jack Purcell (inks) and Tom Chu (color), all of whom will be present to sign the cover (shown with this post). A little news:
Magdalena #1 has already sold out at the distributor level, so copies are not that easy to come by. A little more news: a percentage of the ComiConn exclusive books were damaged in shipping, making the edition even a little more exclusive than planned.

ComiConn will be my last appearance until the ordeal known as the San Diego con in July. Hope you can make it to North Haven on Saturday.

Cheers,

Ron


Video vixen

Newsarama’s Pete Lepage caught up with me at the Top Cow booth at C2E2 in Chicago to talk about Magdalena, Artifacts and all the rest of my Cow projects. I seem to be a little bleary-eyed, due to a late night out in Chicago, and a lack of sufficient Starbucks in the morning. But, who knows, maybe I was coherent anyway.

Cheers,

Ron


Magdalena graces Albany

Had a great time at Sunday’s Albany Comic Con. Caught up with old friends, made some new friends, and signed books from Silver Surfer to Green Lantern right up to Magdalena #1. The GL-centric panel with my buddy Joe Staton was a lot of fun, as we compared notes about our respective runs, and “our” respective Green Lanterns. David Pepose of Newsarama was in attendance, so there should be a report on the panel online sometime this week. David Pepose of Newsarama, who was in attendance, has posted a report on the panel.

The end of the GL panel was interrupted by the local chapter of the 501st Legion, who strode into the room to bestow Honorary Membership upon me. More on that in a post later this week, but suffice to say I was very flattered and pleased. It’s not every day you get a laser-etched plaque handed to you by a Stormtrooper in full armor.

I also got to meet the real Kyle Rayner at the show. He’s 4 years old. His mom and dad brought him by, and I have to admit, I was pretty stunned that someone thought enough of our everyman GL to actually give their child his name (“Kyle Rayner” is his first name and middle name). How cool is that?

The other highlight of the show was a cosplayer named Jen Wicks who wore a kick-ass Magdalena outfit all day. She posed for photos, including this one with me, as well as a group shot of me, Terry Austin and Matthew Dow Smith (who of course provided the art for the con exclusive cover of Magdalena #1). Yes, I know I need a haircut.


One of the nicest things about the Albany Con is the burgeoning local and semi-local comics community that’s developing around it. I’ve known guys like Terry Austin, Matt Smith, Todd Dezago, Joe Staton, Fred Hembeck and Lee Moder (who made it to the conn all the way from Pittsburgh) for years. But it’s been great to meet or reconnect with other creators like Dave Rodriguez, Nick Tapalansky, Saurav Mohapatra, Paul Harding, Declan Shalvey and the Timony Brothers, as well as critics/journalists including CBR’s Tim Callahan and Newsarama’s David Pepose. Virtually all the guests who attend the show end up wanting to come back, so I expect many of them will return for the fall show, which is scheduled for Sunday, October 24. Hopefully the guest list will include a few surprises. As always, you can watch the Albany Con MySpace and Twitter feed for updates.

Cheers,

Ron

P.S.
Saurav Mohapatra also posted some photos he took during the conn on his blog.


Holy day

Magdalena #1 hits stores this week. I think it’s a pretty sweet book, but I’m probably a little biased. So maybe I’ll just leave it at saying Magdalena #1 is a book that I’m proud of, and I hope you pick up a copy. Putting a new title on the stands is always a risk, even more so if it’s not a Big Two title. I’d like to write Magdalena for years, but the only way that happens is if we sell enough copies to justify its existence.

I’ve previously linked to Magdalena preview pages and interviews. With the book debuting today, a few more have gone up.

Here’s a video interview that Sara Lima of Comic Vine conducted with me and artist Nelson Blake 2nd at C2E2.

And a podcast interview with Josh Flanagan of iFanboy:

Early reviews have also started to appear online, and I know a few more are due soon. The first batch:

  1. Multiversity Comics: http://www.multiversitycomics.com/2010/04/advance-review-magdalena-1.html
  2. Comic Addiction: http://www.thecomicaddiction.com/reviews/2010/4/21/magdalena-1.html
  3. Broken Frontier: http://brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/the-magdalena-1
  4. Cosmic Book News: http://www.cosmicbooknews.com/reviews/magdalena1_review/
  5. Graphic Policy: http://graphicpolicy.com/2010/04/21/review-magdalena-1/
  6. Newsarama: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/Magdalena-1-review-100421.html
  7. Weekly Crisis: http://www.weeklycrisis.com/2010/04/magdalena-1-review.html
  8. Geeks of Doom: http://geeksofdoom.com/2010/04/21/comic-review-the-magdalena-1/
  9. Omnicomic: http://www.omnicomic.com/2010/04/review-magdalena-1.html
  10. Comic Vine : http://www.comicvine.com/news/review-the-magdalena-1/140971/
  11. Pendragon’s Post: http://pendragonspost.blogspot.com/2010/04/comic-review-magdalena-1-top-cow.html
  12. The Weekly Crisis: http://www.weeklycrisis.com/2010/04/comic-book-review-power-rankings-for_22.html
  13. Quarter Bin: http://thequarterbin.com/2010/04/23/magdalena-1-2/
  14. Crave Online : http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/comics/article/the-magdalena-1-review-100759
  15. Geek Week : http://www.geekweek.com/2010/04/comic-book-author-ron-marz-has-done-something-quite-interesting-with-his-latest-series-for-top-cow-magdalena-marz-has.html
  16. Comic Attack: http://comicattack.net/2010/04/magdalena1/
  17. Gaming Angels: http://www.gamingangels.com/2010/04/guest-review-magdalena-1/
  18. NEW Newsarama again: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-comic-reviews-100426.html

I found the Multiversity reviewer’s comparison of Magdalena to Buffy the Vampire Slayer interesting. I expect there are similarities, but as I said on Twitter, I’ve never actually seen an episode of Buffy in my life. I can definitely say there won’t be any romances with vampires in Magdalena. In fact, no vampires at all … at least until issue #7.

Cheers,

Ron


That’s the Chicago way

Yes, that’s a reference to Sean Connery in “The Untouchables.”

I’m headed to the new C2E2 convention in Chicago this weekend, put on by Reed Exhibitions, the same folks who put on the New York Comic Con. C2E2 is being held at McCormick Place on South Lake Shore Drive. I’m looking forward to actually being in Chicago. Wizard’s Chicago convention was/is held in Rosemont, outside the city. Though there are now more hotel and restaurant choices in Rosemont, for a long time attending that show was like being marooned on Comic Island. Pretty much the only other people you encountered were there for the con. Well, except for the year that one of the hotels was also playing host to a Beatles convention, which meant a lot of people sitting in the halls at 3 a.m. playing “Blackbird” on acoustic guitars. Badly.

I only made it into Chicago from Rosemont once, when artist and Chicago resident Gary Gianni picked me up and gave me a tour of the city. We ended up eating at a Thai restaurant not far from Wrigley Field. Great night.

Top Cow will be debuting Magdalena #1 at C2E2. The issue won’t be in comic stores until next week, but we’ll have copies for sale at the show, with a C2E2-exclusive variant cover (shown below). The series artist, my buddy Nelson Blake 2nd, will be at the show as well, and we’ll be signing all three days. I’m pretty damn pleased with how the issue turned out.

I’m also looking forward to meeting Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, a big-time comics fan, and a Top Cow fan in particular. I’ll be joining Lance for his panel Saturday afternoon, and then he’s going to sit in for the Top Cow panel Saturday evening. Note that Saturday’s programming continues even after the convention floor closes.

My complete C2E2 schedule looks like this:

Friday

4:30-5:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd.

Saturday

11:30-1:00 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd and Troy Peteri.

3-4 p.m., panel with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, Phil Hester, Mark Waid, Nelson Blake 2nd and Matt Banning.

7:15-8:15 p.m., Top Cow panel with Filip Sablik, Phil Hester, Nelson Blake 2nd and an appearance by Lance Briggs.

Sunday

11:30-12:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd.

If you’re at the show, please come by and say hi. More info on C2E2 here:

Cheers,

Ron


Two new previews

Preview pages for Angelus #3 and Magdalena #1 were just released.

Issues #1 and #2 of Angelus sold out at the distributor level, so hopefully that’s a good omen for issue #3, which includes appearances by Jackie Estacado, a.k.a. the Darkness, and Tom Judge, who seems to have something of a cult following in the Top Cow Universe. It’s still very much the story of new Angelus host Dani Baptiste, but the issue also lays a little groundwork for this summer’s Artifacts series. It also contains one of my favorite lines of dialogue I’ve written in a while, something that would not be printable in a family publication. You can check out the Angelus pages, with art by Stjepan Sejic, here


The Magdalena preview shows pages 1-4 of issue #1, which is a sequence that was added after I completed the first draft of the script. We decided to include an introduction that would be the Magdalena concept more accessible for new readers. So these four pages serve that purpose, as well as introduce a plot thread that will pay off later in the series. The art is by Nelson Blake 2nd (pencils), Sal Regla (inks) and Dave McCaig (colors). You can check out the Magdalena pages here.

Angelus #3 will be in stores April 14, while Magdalena #1 will be in stories April 21. Advance copies of Magdalena, with a con exclusive cover, will be available at the C2E2 convention in Chicago, April 16-18, which I will attend along with Nelson and other members of the Top Cow herd.

Cheers,

Ron


Showing Patience


Here’s a quick interview link for you while I’ve had my head down getting two books off to press this week: Artifacts #0, which is the Free Comic Book Day offering, and Magdalena #1). The FCBD issue serves as an intro to Artifacts, and gives a pretty expansive intro to the Top Cow Universe. I’ll be at a couple of New England Comics locations in the Boston area for Free Comic Book Day on May 1. More information on that soon.

The interview gives an overview of the upcoming Magdalena series, and shows off a few final art pages from the series. You can see the interview here.

Cheers,

Ron


In living color

You’ve seen Matt Smith’s pencils, you’ve seen Terry Austin’s inks, now here’s the final color for the Albany Comic Con exclusive Magdalena #1 cover. Matt’s previous Albany Con cover was a Witchblade image, with color provided by Matt’s Doctor Who colorist, Charlie Kirchoff . Charlie wasn’t available for the quick turnaround this time, so we had to look a little further afield for the color. Actually, a lot further afield.

When I did some work for Virgin Comics (now reborn as Liquid Comics) a few years ago, I worked as both editor and writer with a number of extremely talented India-based artists. The vast majority were adept at pencils, inks and color alike, and could work in a variety of art styles. So with assistance from my writer friend Saurav Mohapatra, the call went out for somebody who could leap heroically into breach and color the cover. Coming to the rescue was Saumin Patel, whom I had worked with when I edited Devi for Virgin (written by Saurav, in fact). Saumin provided interior art (but not color) on Devi, drawing in a unique style and exhibiting a sophisticated storytelling sense. He and Saurav had also collaborated on Mumbai Macguffin, which Saumin drew, inked and colored. The breadth of his talent is pretty impressive, as he’s worked in comics, animation, magazine illustration, advertising, storyboards and more. You can, and should, check out his blogs here and here.

Saumin volunteered to take a run at coloring Matt and Terry’s cover. As you can see here, he came through with a killer version that really pops forward the main figure of Magdalena, without losing the signature Albany towers and Egg in the background. The strong red of her costume highlights and inner cloak is going to be recurring color motif in the monthly series, and Saumin captured that aspect as well.

Saumin also offered up a second, slightly different version, this one with a violet overlay, giving the tones a bit flatter look. Both versions work well, but we ultimately decided to go with the brighter piece. I’m very much in Saumin’s debt for his work here.

The exclusive Magdalena #1 edition will be on sale at the Albany Comic Con on April 25. The con site is here. Hope some of you will be able to come to the show. If the cover doesn’t sell out, a few of the remaining copies might show up for sale online.

Cheers,

Ron


“Uncle Terry”

As promised, here are Terry Austin’s inks over Matthew Dow Smith’s pencils for the Albany Comic Con Magdalena #1 variant cover. (Click on the images for hi-res versions)

Matt’s pencils Terry’s inks

First time Terry has ever inked Matt. Not much for me to say about the piece; you can compare the pencils to the inks yourself and see how Terry approached it. Terry’s a pen inker, as opposed to using a brush, a tool he’s never been comfortable with, according to what he’s told me. You can also see where he utilized a razor-blade skip technique toward the base of the background buildings, actually gouging the paper to lend texture to the piece. If I’m remembering the story correctly, Terry learned the razor-blade skip from classic inker Jack Abel up in the Marvel bullpen. I met Jack during his later days, when he worked as a proofreader up at Marvel. Incredibly kind man.

Maybe that’s an inker trait, because Terry is very literally, the kindest, most gentle soul I know. He’s “Uncle Terry” to my kids, and one of my best friends in the world. All of which is, of course, in addition to being a legendary inker, one of the best to ever work in the business. His pairings with John Byrne on Uncanny X-Men and the late, great Marshall Rogers on Detective Comics are invariably mentioned among the tops runs in comics history. I’d also add his work with Paul Smith on Doctor Strange, and Rick Leonardi on Cloak & Dagger to that list. A couple of single issues that Terry inked are also among my all-time favorites: the X-Men/Teen Titans crossover (with Walter Simonson) and Daredevil #191 (with Frank Miller).

I’ve been fortunate enough to have Terry’s inks grace a number of stories I’ve written, including a good chunk of my Green Lantern run (over both Darryl Banks and Paul Pelletier), the Green Lantern/Silver Surfer crossover, and the Darth Maul vs. Darth Vader story that appeared in Star Wars Tales (over Rick Leonardi again).

As I said in an earlier post, one of the best things about working in comics is you get to work with your friends. In the case of this cover, I got to work with two of them. Thanks, guys.

Later this week, I’ll be able to show off the colors for the cover. If all goes as planned, maybe even a few different versions.

Cheers,

Ron


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