If you asked me, I wouldn’t probably say I was a hardcore fan of comic strips or comic books…but I was. No, I wasn’t ashamed of my hobby, I just had the wrong assumption that only the people who read those big famous names like “Superman”, “Spiderman” or “X-Men (the ones I saw as animated cartoons every weekend on the clock!) were worthy of being called “comic book fans”. Only now I hear how ridiculous this sounds.
Although I did not read the mainstream superheroes or indie obscure comic books, I started by devouring one series: “Turma de Mônica” by Brazilian cartoonist Maurício de Sousa. I loved those simple stories about a small group of kids: Mônica with her anger management issues, Cebolinha always trying to take her iconic blue bunny away and failing miserably, Cascão with his fear from water, Magali eating a watermelon with two bites and all the pastries she could, and of course the other characters that came in comics from the same author. Penadinho, a nice ghost not too different from Casper, Bidu the intelligent and slightly sarcastic dog or Chico Bento from the inner state area who was written with the distinct Caipira accent – which means “bush cutter” accent.
“Mônica” reading “Turma da Mônica” – It’s inception!
Yes, you get it: I was deep in Brazilian kids’ lingo, knowing what their words meant back in Portuguese from Portugal – it might seem all the same too you, but believe me, there’s quite a difference. Think American vs British English.
I then started reading the strips launched online, so I guess one might say that was the first time I dwelled the webcomics world as well.
I also read (even though I wasn’t mad about them) the Disney Adventures: pure Portuguese, pure classical Disney characters from Mickey to Donald Duck, and, of course, Scrooge McDuck and the quests of his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.
“Scrooge McDuck” and his famous pile of money.
After a while I upgraded and started reading “Garfield” by Jim Davis . After tons of books about the conundrums of the fatty cat and lasagna in landscape format, square format, A6 format…the stories all started to sound pretty much the same.
The different sizes of “Garfield”.
So it was time to read about the universal questioning “Mafalda” written and drawn by the Argentinean cartoonist Quino. The comic strips count with the scathing tone of a precocious 6-year-old girl talking to her parents and her friends about Global problems and, why not, the big issue of having to eat soup.
The dilemmas of “Mafalda”.
It was only when I got to college and made new friends that I truly saw another side of the comic book universe. “V for Vendetta”, “Cat Woman”, Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman”: a world of adaptations and expansions of TV and film sagas as well as original stories, in such a more dynamic way than a novel. I discovered the shops and little bit of the collector’s culture. You know? The one where each issue is carefully stored in a specially-for-this-purpose-only plastic folder? No sweaty fingers allowed in the vicinity.
And when I got into the Outland Entertainment team THEN it all expanded multiple times. The work our artists had already done, the works (some still under wraps I’m afraid) we were going to be a part of and be involved in their development. The webcomics, the awesome gripping, eccentric, fantastic characters. And, when attending a book fair I’d be more open to hear talking about comics and you know what? I love them! It’s an amazingly dynamic and expressive format for narratives.
“Nightfell” by Nicolás Giacondino and Jeremy Tolbert.
“Aegisteel” by Mat Nastos and Jeremy Mohler.
So please, do join me in this new path of discovery. I’ll be pouring my “Newbie” views on the comic book Universe right here every fortnight.
How about you? What was the first comic strip/book you read? Is it still your favorite?
Let us know in the comments below or via our social media channels (Twitter or Facebook).
P.S.: Featured image from this page.
AEGISTEEL is the first wholly original property published by Outland Entertainment, written by Mat Nastos, illustrated by Alan Gallo and myself (Jeremy Mohler), and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.
I can’t begin to express how excited I am to have Outland publishing this beast and to have helped design and bring Mat’s world to life. It’s been a lot of fun having the chance to play in this world and I’m looking forward to sitting down and digging into the actual main series. I’m just now getting started on layouts for the first issue and man, it’s going to be fun!
AEGISTEEL has had something of an interesting course to life. I talk a lot about it over here, actually. I also share a lot of the character designs and concepts that I worked on with the writer, Mat Nastos, so be sure to check out that blog post.
A little bit about the world –
AEGISTEEL is a spellpunk adventure set in the world of the Aegisteel Empire, a society of steel and magic built on the backs of its soldiers and terrible war machines. Think of it as DIRTY DOZEN meets SMOKING ACES set in a war-torn SPELLPUNK world.
When the Theln Empire captures the ancient Aegisteel forges at Nelvynnal, veteran marksman Broderick Longbarrel is released from Blackgate Prison and given one last chance for redemption. Tasked with infiltrating the ancient and impenetrable fortress, Longbarrel ans five former death row inmates must succeed before the Theln can begin production of the giant war-golems that could shift the balance of the war.
Below are the layouts and some additional designs I did for the project –
And below are the first eleven pages, fully colored and lettered!
The book is also now available digitally over here!
You can also purchase the limited edition Amazing Las Vegas Convention cover in print here!
And you can also get a 14″x20″ poster over here!
Hope you like it!
Press Release: Outland Entertainment brings a collection of Barry Blair’s comics to the digital age
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUMMARY: Outland Entertainment brings a collection of Barry Blair’s comics to the digital age for the first time.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, March 3, 2015 — Outland Entertainment is pleased to announce the release of a collection of Barry Blair‘s comics in digital format for the first time since the 90’s. “The Barry Blair Library” will include approximately 300 issues and over 6000 pages of content collected from over a half-dozen publishers that Barry worked within the 1980’s and 90’s. This includes comics from Aircel, Nightwynd, Davdez Arts, WARP Graphics, and Sirius comics to name a few.
“I can’t begin to explain my excitement to have Outland involved in helping to get Barry’s work back out into the world. He created, wrote, drew, and published some really amazing material, much of which was revolutionary in comics at the time,” states Outland Entertainment’s Jeremy Mohler, “it’s a shame that it hasn’t been available all these years and it’s going to be a pleasure to help get it back out into the world.”
“Blood N Guts“, “Demon Hunter“, “Dragonring“, “Elflord” and “Gun Fury” are the first titles you can look forward to (re)discover. You can currently purchase all the number one issues of these series over at the Outland Entertainment website .
In addition to republishing the out-of-print material, Outland will also be working closely with Mat Nastos, the license owner, to reboot select properties. The rebooted properties will start with a new Elflord series, which will premiere as a Kickstarter in late March and featuring a new story from Mat Nastos and artwork from Tony Vassallo and Pedro Figue.
Artwork by Tony Vassallo and Pedro Figue.
It will be followed by a Dragonforce reboot later in the year.
“Nothing could please me more than having the chance to help make this new announcement. One of the promises I made to Barry when he passed the rights to his work to me back in 2008 was that I would treat them like my own children. That I would make sure they were handled with the respect and care they deserved. This partnership with Outland Entertainment allows me to uphold that promise and give Barry’s fan-favorite creations the opportunity to shine once more. “Hawk”, “Windblade”, “Kohl Drake”, and all of Barry’s lost children couldn’t hope for a better home than with the fine folks at Outland,” Mat Nastos says.
Whether you are an avid fan who owns all the printed editions or you are new to Barry Blair‘s work, the digital versions will not only preserve a cult comic library but will also provide you an easier way to have all your favorite comics with you at all times.
New issues will be made available monthly.
For more details, visit outlandentertainment.com or The Barry Blair Library page.