It’s the Big 61st edition of the podcast that confuses people because there are now only technically two chicks reviewing comics. This week Kelly and I welcome the fabulous Dustin Nguyen, who I’ve been a huge fan of for years, to discuss Li’l Gotham.
Kelly and I also review Trillium from Jeff Lemire and give a preview review of tomorrow’s Saga!
So please give us a listen and, if you are so inclined, leave us comments!
You can listen to the podcast (and download it!) here.
DC’s digital comic Lil’ Gotham by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs is holidayed theme and the next holiday is Valentines. Here’s a look at the preview via USA Today. You can download this on Sunday.
(Source: USA Today)
The world of Gotham created by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolds is celebrating Christmas and here, via Geek Dad, is a preview of this month’s holiday digital comic on sale tomorrow.
There’s a new issue of Lil Gotham available today from Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs. This issue celebrates Thanksgiving where, according to DC, the Penguin protests the Turkey of a holiday.
The first issue which celebrated Halloween did extremely well and I suspect this issue will as well. I think readers are looking for more light hearted than the norm of the DCU.
And if you still need convincing here’s 5 reasons from the creators.
Bryan Q. Miller and Dustin Nguyen are having a contest, details to be announced, where the original to this 5 x9 print will be the prize. The Valentine’s issue of Batgirl features Klaarion and Nguyen says it will be “most strange and funny.”
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.