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I’m a big fan of Marvel’s new X-Men by Brian Wood. A few weeks ago I bought a sketch cover of the first issuet hought it might fun to ask different artists at Boston Comic Con to draw one of the X-Men on the sketch cover.
Of course, I really had no idea how this was going to work. Lucky for me as I was waiting for another commission, I told Marvel artist Brandon Peterson what I was trying to do. He said for it to work I needed someone to rough out a layout so each artists would know where to draw. Of course, I thought and then wondered to myself who could do that. Before I even think of the answer he offered to do it and to draw one of the characters.
So here’s the first sketch - Storm by Brandon Peterson
I then stopped and saw Ming Doyle, who given that she was DRESSED as Jubilee, was more than willing to draw the character.
When I saw Phil Jimenez not only did he draw that great Donna Troy for me, he also did a sketch of Kitty Pryde (she is phasing into the cover)
Amy Reeder was next and she took on Rogue.
And Aaron Lopresti was nice enough to do Psylocke.
The last sketch was Rachel Grey and George Perez did the duties
And here’s the finished piece:
This was a lot of fun and I want to thank all the artists who made it happen and in particular Brandon Peterson who did the layout.
Kelly and I are back after an invigorating break with more talk about comics. This week our guest is the awesome Amy Reeder who talks about her Kickstarter comic, Rocket Girl which you really should go support. Why? Because of this:
We talk to Amy about more than just the Kickstarter so go give the interview a listen.
Kelly and I only review one comic this week, Fearless Defenders #4. What do we think? You’ll have to listen! The conversation then turns into a discussion of costumes, ladeez and comics given our interview with Kris Anka, Kelly’s piece on costume redesigns and then Anka’s reaction to the comments on that piece that will make you headdesk and then Robot 6’s article on the whole thing which turned up the sillyness all the way to 11!
Which leads to our newest segment where I will be channeling Michael Shannon’s dramatic reading of the infamous Sorority Letter and will choose the most over the top dudebro rant about ladeez and comics and do my own dramatic reading. Which rant gets these treatment?
Amy Reeder, one of my favorite creators, has posted a few con sketches on her Facebook and I’ve included them below. Reeder, who left Batwoman earlier this year, is working on two projects that are expected to be announced soon. She posted a bit of artwork from story she is doing for Vertigo recently and, of course, it looks great. That’s out in October so will in solicits a week or so from now
There is a bigger project too that she’s quite excited about that could be announced as early as today.
And here are some recent con sketches
I like this one of Mary Jane, Reeder draws good red heads
Batwoman #8 is out tomorrow and it is the grand finale of Amy Reeder’s run. Here’s a preview.
Here’s is a preview of Wednesday’s issue of Batwoman, by Williams, Blackman and Reeder.
Amy Reeder today posted on her blog about her leaving Batwoman. Yesterday DC announced that Trevor McCarthy would be “guesting” as artist on issues 9-11 issues that had previously been announced as being pencilled (and in the case of #9 solicted) by Reeder.
Reeder had been attached to the title since it was announced by DC Comics 22 months ago on April 10, 2010.
Reeder had pencilled issue 0 of the book in November of 2010 and had seen her arc roll out as the book was delayed from a February 2011 launch to September as part of the new 52. She finally started her arc last month and I spoke to her about the start of her arc after such a long delay:
Amy, it’s been almost two years since you were announced as an artist for Batwoman can you believe your arc is finally here? It must have been so hard to see the stops and starts.
It was hard! And yes, very strange that it’s coming out now. It was such a big deal to me and the wait I think has built it up in my mind even more. So I’m a little nervous and hope it’s well-received.
Today Reeder addressed her departure:
I’m sure there’s a lot of curiosity about what exactly happened, which is understandable. But I can’t get too far into it—in addition to trying to be a professional and not burn bridges, it’s complicated enough that I find it difficult (and frustrating) to explain even to friends.
The jist of it, though, was that it was a bad situation, and kept getting worse and more intense until it became impossible. I am a long-term project kinda girl and I was so excited about being on Batwoman…I didn’t want to let go of it and fought until it was over.
For those who speculated about deadlines as an issue Reeder addresses where she was in her arc:
I should probably mention that despite the fact Batwoman was a struggle, I am very proud of what I did on the book and put a lot of love into it. Issue 7 comes out this Wednesday and it’s even better than 6; I have Rob Hunter and Guy Major to thank for that! Issue 8 is almost done and it’s looking to be a repeat of awesomeness. I had done part of issue 9 but they aren’t going to use the pages. It’s too bad; I was particularly excited about that issue. I’ll probably post a page or two of the work once the issue comes out.
Reeder also states that “DC seems to want to make things right and find me work.”
I certainly hope they do. Reeder’s work on Madame Xanadu and on the Batwoman 0 and 6 were strong and showed she was a worthy complement to Williams, who stands as one of the best comic artists working.
While waiting for Batwoman to begin Reeder also did wonderful work on covers for Supergirl. But Reeder’s gig on Supergirl covers ended early as well. Earlier this year Reeder said when posting a pin-up done for Teen Titan # 100
I had done a Supergirl cover featuring some Teen Titans at one point (inked by Richard Friend, colored by Guy Major). It was never used, unfortunately!I wish I could say it was a fluke, but in fact, I drew four Supergirl covers in that year’s time that won’t ever be published. There’s a lot of confusion dealing with the “why”s and I’m not sure I was supposed to know. Eventually I just stepped down because I didn’t feel like there was anything else I could do.
And this brings me to the most important part of this post: If this all happens for me, I’ll be honest…I’ll need you more than ever. To stay up to date, to spread the word, to…you know…read my comics! If you like what you see, share it, to comics readers and newbies alike. And not just for me—show support for any artists or writers you love. This industry needs a shake up and I think it’s coming. We all have a chance to shape that by caring
One of thing that we’ve apparently lost by having Batwoman delayed is the variant covers of Amy Reeder. DC is reducing the number of variants and focusing only on a few titles. Batwoman is not one of them. I posted the first glimpse at Reeder’s variant for Batwoman #1 early last year, here are two others we won’t be seeing anytime soon.
This was the variant for issue #2, I assume that is Betty Kane.
Here’s the variant for issue #4. I love how the red pops.
Amy’s posted a few other covers and pin-ups including those for Teen Titans on her blog and Facebook. With the demise of the variants that means, as of now, Reeder is only on alternating arcs with Williams. I’d love to see her on some other projects. I am sure DC does too. Let’s hope we hear more about her work soon.
From her Facebook page. She says, “Sailor Moon meets Wonder Woman”
Remember this cover that got solicted for #61?
Click to see the real one.
I’m disappointed in having to wait for the first issue of Batwoman, but if J.H. Williams wants more time to make it great then he should have it.
I was looking forward to the story but also more of Amy Reeder’s art particularly her variant cover for the first issue. She recently posted some pieces that show her process from going from sketch to final cover and I thought I’d share them here.
Amy Reeder is showing off some pictures from her art showing at Challengers Comics in Chicago on her Facebook page. And in the gallery you can see her variant cover for Batwoman #1 scheduled for February.
DC made two major announcements about its female-centric Bat books yesterday. Details on Batwoman's availability were announced and Dustin Nguyen was named the replacement for Lee Garbett on Batgirl. They also revealed some of Amy Reeder’s art for Batwoman.
I was thrilled with both announcements. The staging of the announcements and talents being assigned to the books show the importance they have DC. Nguyen is a clear rising star at the book and his assignment means that DC sees the book as important to the Bat-franchise.
I knew Amy Reeder would do good work, but I was quite impressed with this cover. Her Kate is identifiable as the same character as J.H. Williams has recreated, but Reeder puts her stamp on the character. Reeder excels at faces and in particular the eyes. A flip through any issue of Madame Xanadu shows that. Reeder also has very clean style of penciling, which works remarkably well against the intricate detail and lush compositions she uses for in her layouts and we see a bit of that here.
So my enthusiasm and anticipation for Batwoman continues to grow.
Batgirl’s success over its first year was equally attributable to Miller’s writing and Lee Garbett’s lovely art. I was very sad to hear Lee was leaving but both Bryan and Lee had been hinting the next artist would be exciting. And it is. Obviously Dustin Nguyen is a great artist, but he’s also the perfect artist for Batgirl as it moves into its second year. With the character defined, the book is ready to move into a more adventurous look where Nguyen’s innovative layouts and fluid, dreamy style can match what will hopefully be richer stories for Stephanie.
I went back and looked at some of his interviews from when Dustin got his break on Detective Comics and this one stuck from GEN stuck out:
I think my feelings towards the characters themselves dictate the direction I take—the look of the character more than anything. I sometimes try to add a belt here, a goggle there, but in the end, those things aren’t as important to me [as] attitude and personality in a villain or hero. In that, I try to figure out what their fighting style is, their clothing style might be, posture, gesture, facial expressions—it all comes down to what kind of person they are I suppose.
Dustin draws beautiful women, but he also draws realistic women with body shapes that mirror those of real life. He draws Zatanna in sweat pants! Take another look at this cover to Streets of Gotham, which I written about before and may be my favorite cover ever to a comic.
Nguyen’s Spencer isn’t reed thin, she doesn’t have boobs jutting out at the reader and yet she is beautiful and confident. This is very much the Kate Spencer that Marc Andreyko spent over 30 issues defining Manhunter.
There was a lot of controversy last summer when DC suddenly decided to put Huntress back into the belly revealing “Hush” outfit. And Nguyen had to draw the outfit for the cover of “Streets”
But unlike other depictions of Helena in this suit, Nguyen’s Huntress is intimidating rather that alluring. He minimizes the window and instead of making Helena ridiculously thin, he gives her a bit of girth. These are women who are supposed to take down big men. When will artists “get” that without meta powers you have to have a bit muscle on you to do that?
Nguyen does cheesecake but his approach to it is more character driven than other artists. Compare his Harley, Ivy and Selina vs. the trio via Guillem March:
In Nguyen’s panel the women are posed to be sure, but their poses are natural and their bodies shaped normally. Like March’s you have both ass and boob but they are not the focus of the picture. Ivy in both is bored and unimpressed. In Nguyen’s you can tell by her face. In March’s you can tell by her ass? Sorry, by her stance though you do see a bit of boredom on her face.
I look at Nguyen’s and I’m amused by the interplay of Selina and Harley. I look at March’s and it takes me a moment to get past Ivy’s ass and Selina’s boobs to see there is some interplay going on or at least Harley thinks so. Selina seems to be in another place.
Nguyen’s inside panels are just as impressive. This is one of my favorite pages from his Detective run. It’s a series of head shots which can be a challenge for any artist but look at how Nguyen lays out the page and how it compliments and enhances the dialogue.
One place I’d like to see Nguyen improve his style is on making his faces a more distinct. But unlike some artists it’s not a problem restricted just to women:
I hope Nguyen’s joining Batgirl means more readers will pick up the book. He’s got a following from his ‘Tec and Streets work and I hope those readers follow him over.
Amy Reeder’s work on Madame Xanadu is one of the main reasons I read the book. She excels at facial expressions and her layouts are dazzling. I’m thrilled that she’s going to be working on Batwoman. And the first few covers she’s done for Supergirl are wonderful. With Jamal Igle possibly moving on to Birds of Prey, I wonder if Reeder would pick up Supergirl as well? Reeder just opened up a Facebook page where she’s posting some of her art including this rough work for the Supergirl Annual. I love when artists share the creative process.