Cartoon Crossroads Columbus – CXC

The 2nd annual Cartoon Crossroads Columbus has been in full swing since Thursday, and will be going on through the weekend. I will be at the expo portion of the event on Saturday and Sunday (Oct 15-16) at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library downtown.

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So please drop by and say hi to me and the dozens of fantastic creators who will be signing books, doing presentations, and holding panels.

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    Bustle gives Persia Blues a shout out

    Bustle is a popular news, entertainment, lifestyle, and fashion site for young women.

    In an article titled Wonder Woman In ‘BvS’ Is A Huge Step, But Not Enough, KT Hawbaker-Krohn argues that while Wonder Woman’s live-action debut is a great start, “There are so few woman superheroes seen in movies and on TV, and practically none who aren’t white, straight, and cisgender.” So she goes on to give Hollywood “17 amazing women superheroes who deserve their own time on-screen.”

    Minoo Shirazi, the protagonist of our own Persia Blues graphic novels, makes the list! And she’s in good company, alongside Batwoman, Martha Washington, Black Orchid, and many other great female characters.

    Thanks KT, I couldn’t agree more!

    WW-Minoo

    If you’re new to the world of Persia Blues, drop by the official website to check out over 30 pages of previews, behind the scenes stuff, and more.

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      Win a signed and sketched copy of Persia Blues

      Would you like the chance to win a copy of Persia Blues vol. 2, signed by both myself and artist Brent Bowman? What if I told you it will also contain an original sketch by Brent? And that there are absolutely no strings attached?

      Well, here’s your chance:

      Goodreads Book Giveaway

      Persia Blues, Volume 2 by Dara Naraghi

      Persia Blues, Volume 2

      by Dara Naraghi

      Giveaway ends January 20, 2016.

      See the giveaway details
      at Goodreads.

      Enter Giveaway

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        Persia Blues original art at Shadowbox Live gallery

        This past October, Columbus’ own Shadowbox Live – the sketch comedy, short play, and live music troupe – presented “The Tenshu,” a unique production featuring live martial arts, magic, giant puppets and supernatural experiences, accompanied by an original rock score. The show was a collaboration between Japanese choreographer/director Hiromi Sakamoto and New York Times Best Selling author of the Kabuki graphic novels, David Mack.

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        Accompanying the production was a gallery show featuring original comic book art from several local creators, including my artistic partner in crime, Brent Bowman. Several of Brent’s pages and paintings from volume 1 of Persia Blues were prominently on display:

        We hope to make this the first of several more gallery shows.

        If you are interested in purchasing any of the original art from the book, drop me a line via the Contact link on this site.

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          Spitball Anthology: sneak peek

          So a short while ago I told you about the Spitball comic book anthology being put together by the students at CCAD. I wanted to share the first page from the short story I contributed to the book, with art by the talented Lee Meyers.

          Here are her roughs:

          Page-1-low

          Followed by her pencils/inks:

          Pencils-1-low

          And the nearly complete colored and lettered page:

          page-1b-low

          I can’t wait to see the finished book, which will feature artwork by many of Lee’s classmates, and stories written by the likes of Matt Fraction, Noelle Stevenson, and Ivan Brandon.

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            First look at Spitball anthology

            The Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) is offering an advanced comics workshop course for a small group of talented students, and at the end of their class they will be producing a full-color comics anthology titled Spitball.

            Print

            The instructors sought out professional comics writers to supply 5-page stories for the students. I was fortunate to be asked to participate in this cool new project, alongside such comics luminaries as Chris Sebela (DEAD LETTERS, ALIEN VS PREDATOR, CAPTAIN MARVEL), Kate Leth (EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and ADVENTURE TIME), Karl Bollers (WATSON AND HOLMES), Lora Innes (THE DREAMER), Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS, HAWKEYE, IRON MAN, X-MEN), Jen Van Meter (HOPELESS SAVAGES, BLACK CAT), Ivan Brandon (WOLVERINE, VIKING, MEN OF WAR), and Noelle Stevenson (LUMBERJANES, THOR).

            The artist illustrating my story is Lee Meyers, and you can check out her tumblr here. But I’d like to share a few pieces of her art right here:

            Character designs

            Character designs

            Drone designs

            Drone designs

            Setting designs and color studies

            Set designs and color studies

            Thumbnails/roughs for page 1

            Thumbnails/roughs for page 1

            I’ll post more info on the book as the semester progresses and Lee finalizes the pages. In the meantime, you can follow Spitball on tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.

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              Review: Gotham, ep. 1

              So, Gotham…

              When they first announced the series, I couldn’t muster much enthusiasm. What’s the point of a Batman show without Batman, you know? But in the time leading up to tonight’s premiere, I liked what I was seeing in terms of the cast, the tone, the direction. I didn’t have high hopes for it, but given my love of the source material, I was definitely…curious.

              gotham

              So what’s the short verdict? Well, based on the first episode, I have to say that I liked what I saw. I’m definitely in for the full season, provided the show survives the ratings game.

              I originally thought that going with a straight-up adaptation of the Gotham Central series would have made for a more interesting show. But given that Warner Brothers would never have allowed Batman to appear in such a TV show, the producers definitely did the right thing by focusing on a prequel of sorts.

              Having a young Detective James Gordon as the focal protagonist was a good move. He’s principled, headstrong, and tenacious; an easy hero figure to relate to amidst the moral ambiguity of a merciless metropolis. Having him partnered up with Bullock, an amoral, opportunistic, tortured anti-hero was also smart. I can see a great dynamic developing between the two characters, as they play off each other. In re-imagining the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents as part of a larger conspiracy, the show has a nice mystery at its core, around which the various characters can come into conflict with each other.

              Fish Mooney, the ambitious crime boss played with great verve by Jada Pinkett Smith, was definitely one of the pleasant surprises of the show. I was worried there would be the temptation to have her play an over-the-top type of villain, but I think Smith struck a nice balance between realism and comic book villainy.

              gotham-jada-pinkett-smith

              As for the other, better-known inhabitants of the Batman mythos (Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler), we only saw small glimpses, but I’m looking forward to seeing how they interact more with the ongoing story. In particular, I liked recasting The Riddler’s alter ego, Edward Nygma, as a police forensics scientist. Nice touch. And of course, there was the perfect casting of Robin Taylor in the role of The Penguin. I thought he struck the right kind of balance between sadistic thug and powerless victim. The bit with the broken leg was a nice touch, bringing in that body horror aspect of the character.

              The-Gotham-TV-show-3

              The writing was good, though not without some rough spots. The Gordon/Penguin scene at the end was very predictable, for example. But then again, every show, even the best ones, tend to have an uneven first few episodes, while the creators, cast, and crew are still trying to figure out the exact nature of their beast. But I think Gotham is off to a decent start, which isn’t exactly high praise, but it’s much better than what I thought FOX was going to deliver.

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                China Miéville on Dial H

                Omnivoracious features a short essay from novelist and Diah H writer China Miéville, wherein he discusses his history with the DC Comics property Dial H For Hero:

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                “For a long time, Dial H for Hero and its successors have been my comics obsessions. No other title, I’ve long explained to any of my poor friends who’ll listen, combines childlike joy in superhero-creation, a neo-surrealist faith in the aleatory, a post-Vertigo focus on the erosion of identity, and an opening into one of the few utter mysteries left in the history of the DCU.”

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                  Jeff Smith interviewed by fellow cartoonists

                  The Tell Me Something I Don’t Know podcast on boingboing is “an interview podcast featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative people discussing their work, ideas, and the reality/business side of how they do what they do.”

                  In episode #7, indie comic creators interview Columbus’ own Jeff Smith.

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                  There’s a wealth of great material here, including talking about business plans, selling to retailers, and much more. I like his stories about how much resistance there was in the early days toward trade paperback collections and graphic novels from the likes of Wizard magazine and retailers. Well worth your time, especially if you’re interested in the business side of comics and comics history.

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                    Persia Blues special preview book

                    The fine folks at NBM were at the MoCCA Arts Fest (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) last week…

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                    …and printed up a bunch of these “special preview” copies of Persia Blues, containing the first 26 pages of the book, to hand out to the attendees:

                    PB-special

                    They were kind enough to send me a box of them to do the same at this weekend’s S.P.A.C.E. (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo), so if you’re attending the show, be sure to drop by my table and ask for a copy.

                    I have to say, it’s such a thrill to see the story in print form, even if it’s only a portion of it. I can’t wait to see the final book, which should be out in about a month or so.

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