Indie Comics

Geek Of The Week : After Life With Archie # 9

After Life With Archie #9

After Life Shambles On

After a year long hiatus After Life With Archie is finally back with issue #9. This is a character driven issue that delves into who Reggie Mantle is. The issue take us inside Reggie’s head. His thinking, his motivation, his feelings and desires. And it’s not a happy place to be. The issue also reveals his part in the zombie apocalypse, and the next step that he’s willing to take.

I don’t want to say much so that I don’t spoil anything. This is a good character piece. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing is compelling and Francesco Francavilla’s art has been perfect for this series.

After Life With Archie continues to be one of my favorite and most anticipated comics. This is a must read comic.

5_Kirbys

Nonplayer #2 Respawns

Nonplayer_issue_1_cover

Game On

It’s been more than three and a half years in the making, but Nonplayer creator Nate Simpson has announced that he’s finally completed the second issue of the acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy comic.

“If you’re a member of the comics press and I promised you any kind of exclusive upon the occasion of Nonplayer 2’s release, could you DM me?” he wrote on Twitter. “Which is a roundabout way of saying Nonplayer 2 is DONE. Woohoo! I’m going to sleep in till 6am for a WHOLE WEEK in celebration!”

Nonplayer #1 was released in April of 2011 from Image Comics. Nonplayer is about Dana Stevens, a young woman who escapes from the her dull everyday life by entering into the digital-fantasy realm of Jarvath, where she’s a fearless warrior. However, her video-game adventures begin to cross-over with the real world.

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That first issue introduced an interesting concept with incredible art. The comic was an instant success. Comic book fans were eager for the next issue. Simpson won the Russ Manning award for most promising newcomer.  And Warner Bros. was quick to option the movie rights to the comic after only one issue.

However, amid the blazing start of the series, Nonplayer became derailed. Simpson suffered a shoulder injury from a bicycle accident when he was a quarter of the way into penciling issue 2. That was followed by the artist starting a family, and then he started working full time in the video game industry.

Nonplayer #1

Despite the setbacks, Simpson has continued to chip away at Nonplayer #2. He revealed back in in December 2013 that the second issue was fully penciled and partially colored, but didn’t offer another update until this past October.

“I have continued to wake up between the hours of 3 and 4 in the morning to place art-pebbles on the pile, and that pile is now looking very much like a complete book,” Simpson wrote at the time . “There is some polish yet to do, but I’m far enough along that an untrained, partially-blind observer might think it was done.”

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No release date has been announced for Nonplayer #2, but I’m eager to read the next issue. I was captivated by the amazing artwork in the first issue and I want to see where the story will go. Hopefully it won’t take this long to see issue number 3.

R.I.P. Al Feldstein

al-feldstein

The Passage Of A Legend

Al Feldstein, a legendary comic book artist for EC Comics, and a former editor for Mad magazine, has passed away at the age of 88. Feldstein passed on Tuesday in his home in Livingston, Montana, according to the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home & Crematory’s website.

Feldstein was born in 1925 and grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. His art career started when he won an art contest for children at the World’s Fair. Later on he was trained at Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art and Brooklyn College. He got his first job in comics as a teenager, drawing background foliage for Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

Feldstein served in the military at the end of World War II where he painted murals and drew cartoons for Army newspapers. After his discharge, he freelanced for various comics before joining Bill Gaines at EC.

Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein with a rack of EC comics in 1950.

Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein with a rack of EC comics in 1950.

EC was originally known for educational, romance, and even bible story comics. Under Feldstein and EC’s new leader, Bill Gaines, the son of EC founder Max Gaines, they took the publisher in an entirely new direction. They would become notorious for their science fiction, crime, and horror comics. EC comics featured incredible art, and well crafted writing that was known for their shock endings.

Behind the new line of comics, led by their best known title, Tales from the Crypt, they had an enormous impact on the comic book industry, and pop culture.

Feldstein was an editor for Mad from 1955 to 1984. A period when the magazine filled with caricatures, puns and wackiness was the most widely read satirical publication in America. Mad started out as a part of EC Comcis, but would be sold in the early 1960s and become a part of the DC Comics group now owned by Time Warner.

Al Feldstein Mad magazine ad

Al Feldstein in a Mad magazine subscription ad.

Feldstein believed that Mad was successful because of the counter-culture nature of the magazine.  “We were saying, ‘Kids, Madison Avenue is lying to you. Your parents are lying to you. The president is lying to you,'” he said.

After leaving Mad, Feldstein would to move to Montana and spend his time painting images of wildlife and the American West.

According to the funeral home website, Feldstein is survived by his wife, Michelle, stepdaughter Katrina Oppelt, her husband, and two grandsons.

Feldstein received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Rocky Mountain College. In 2000 he gave a commencement address at the school. He told students that while their carefree college days were ending, the “party of real life” was about to begin.

“If you’re not having fun at the party you’re at,” he told the grads, “go find another party.”

Al-Feldstein

Al Feldstein.

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