At the end of February comic book writer and all around lunatic Warren Ellis asked the readers of his blog to redesign Superman as if it was being released today:
You are an artist/designer. You have to put together the cover for a comic called SUPERMAN. It is issue 1 of this book.
You have been told that Superman is a man who dresses predominantly in a shade of blue, and wears a red S symbol. You know nothing else about the character.
The cover must include a logo and the text THE COMPLETE STORY OF THE DARING EXPLOITS OF THE ONE AND ONLY SUPERMAN.
And that’s it.
It’s up to you what kind of company you’re at. What kind of comics you make. How you translate that description of Superman. What era you’re in. Who you are, even. Go nuts with it.
A lot of the entries were, well, kind of janky, but the cover above by the very talented Tom Muller definitely caught my eye. I’ve posted about Mr. Muller before and I’m sure this won’t be the last time. I love that he didn’t try to go with any kind of superhero motif, he simply made an awesome and interesting cover. If I saw this comic sitting on a shelf I would buy it in a heartbeat. This is exactly the reason why I always say that there needs to be more graphic design in comic books.
Two of my biggest are design (obviously) and comic books. Sadly though, these two worlds hardly ever mix unless Chip Kidd is involved. So it was nice to see DC redesigning a new version of Frank Miller’s classic Ronin into a huge, deluxe version they’re calling Absolute Ronin. This new Absolute version was designed by Amelia Grohman who I think did a wonderful job. She was really able to capture the spirit of the book by blowing up a lot of the images from key scenes in the book, giving you an intimate look at the wonderfully detailed line work of Frank Miller.
I actually had my boyfriend read this last month because he wanted something “fun and action-y” and I thought this fit the bill. If you’ve never heard of it before, I’ll paste this long but accurate description of the book for you:
“The story involves a feudal Japanese samurai whose master has been slain (a ronin), a magical sword, and a shape-shifting demon who intersect with an apocalyptic future New York City wherein neo-Nazis, Black Panthers and the occasional sixties survivor drift around in toxic squalor, making tribal war with one another in the shadow of an über high-tech research facility where a limbless, telekinetic man-child with unknown powers is being held in the care of a sentient biological computer (which seems to have its own agenda) and the computer’s creators, including the beautiful female Chief of Security, struggle to contain and negotiate the use of their diabolical biotechnology.”
I’d highly suggest grabbing this book if you’re looking for a comic book with a bit of depth, great artwork and a lot of fun. Tachi.
In my opinion, Iron Man was definitely one of the best superhero movies ever made. It definitely treated the genre with more realism and didn’t bother to make things cutesy. Now we’ve got Iron Man 2 coming out on May 7, 2010, and boy howdy is it looking good.
To start there’s the cast. You’ve got The Wrestler himself Mickey Rourke, who’s comeback couldn’t have been better and now he gets to play a crazy, Russian dude with giant electro-whips. Then there’s Don Cheadle, who randomly took the place of Terence Howard. I think it’s lame they did that, but I do love Don Cheadle more than Terence. Finishing up the new editions is Sam Rockwell who plays Justin Hammer, a rival of Tony Starks and I’m guessing, a beneficiary of Mickey Rourke’s charcter… or at least that’s how I’d write it. Oh and of course I can’t forget Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow, who’s going to be beating people up in a skin tight, leather cat suit.
Watching the trailer you’re treated to more of RDJ’s whacky billionaire who you can’t help but love. He’s almost the comic book version of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. The visuals look great yet again, Whiplash’s whips, the armor moving, War Machine fighting dudes… it’s all there.
Rian Hughes is going to be giving Invincible Iron Man a sort of retro inspired redesign once the new storyline launches next month. He, along with series writer Matt Fraction, wanted to create a drastic change in the feel of the cover, marking a new era for Tony Stark. As Fraction says:
‘Iron Man’ will look like an elegant, aggressive, and forward thinking piece of quite frankly gorgeous design. It will be a design artifact appropriate for the coffee table of any forward thinking home… ‘Invincible Iron Man’ is going to leap 10 feet off the racks. You’ll be able to see it a mile away. I’m so excited to have gotten to work with Rian.
I think they’ve done a great job, especially with the bits of op art and and 60′s color palette. I also love the Penguin Books inspired header, which is clean and easy to read. I’ve thought a lot about how a lot of comic books have horrible title design, and wondered why more effort wasn’t put into it. James Jean comes to mind, with his work on Fables which always incorporates the titles wonderfully. Comic books need more creatives like Rian Hughes helping out.
I’m a sucker for artists and illustrators who use a ton of detailed lines (see Destroy Rock City and Geoff Darrow) and Rafael Grampá is no exception. Starting out illustrating self help books, he know has a graphic novel called Mesmo Delivery under his belt as well as another new one called Furry Water coming out in 2010. These two were my favorites of his work. The top one is of Madman, he was asked to contribute this by Mike Allred for an issue. The other is his version of Daredevil, a boxer inspired costume which plays more into the roots of the character. Both are phenomenal.