Ernie Colon

Comic Books and Graphic Novels Remember 9/11

Like all other entertainment media, comics have released a number of conveniently timed stories in memory of the terrorist attacks that occurred in New York and Virginia on September 11, 2001.

Cartoonists Remember 9/11

Over 90 newspaper comic strips dedicated yesterday’s color Sunday comics to the attacks and those that sacrificed their lives. The strips are also being featured in special exhibits for one week only at the Cartoon Art Museum, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA), The ToonSeum, and The Newseum. The Society of Illustrators held a lecture about the event last Thursday with cartoonists Rick Detorie (One Big Happy), Tony Rubino (Daddy’s Home) and Brian Walker (Hi and Lois).

The entire event was conceived and coordinated by King Features, which syndicates comic strips and other content to nearly 5000 print newspapers worldwide. They were joined by Creators Syndicate (here in LA), Tribune Media Services, Universal Press Syndicate, and Washington Post Writers Group.

The Big Lie

A slightly less reverential take on 9/11 is happening in the comic book The Big Lie by writer/artist Rick Veitch. The issue was released last Wednesday, and depicted a woman traveling back in time to 9/11 so save her husband from being trapped in the Twin Towers when the attack happens. During her efforts, questions are asked and information is revealed that looks beyond the official story of that fateful day. Veitch has said he doesn’t consider himself to be part of the Truther movement and simply feels that questions should be asked and alternate narratives should be considered. Joining Veitch is his frequent collaborator inker Gary Erskine and cover artist and editor Thomas Yeates.

The comic was conceived, financed and co-edited by Brian Romanoff of Nor Cal Truth. The Big Lie is being published by Image Comics. You can read a preview of the issue as well as an interview with Veitch at MTV Geek.

Code Word: Geronimo

Slightly more morbid is this original graphic novel depicting the kill mission that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and founder of Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization that pulled them off. While the actual details of the mission are classified, retired U.S. Marine Capt. Dale Dye and Dr. Julia Dye of Warriors, Inc. put together a reasonable best guess due to experience and sources. Capt. Dye has been a military advisor for Hollywood (Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers). The 88-page hardcover graphic novel strays away from politics and focuses on the mission itself. The artists Gerry Kissell and Amin Amat weren’t interested in a gory depiction of bin Laden’s death, instead striving for realism. However the Dyes have referred to the need to “celebrate” the event.

A portion of proceeds from sales will be donated to the American Veterans Center. The graphic novel debuted last week both in print and digitally. It was included among the publisher’s first books launching on iBooks. The graphic novel was published by IDW Publishing in partnership with Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment.

Holy Terror

Keeping with cathartic violence in entertainment, writer/artist Frank Miller will release his long-gestating graphic novel Holy Terror later this month. Taking wish-fulfilling superhero fiction to its real world conclusion, Miller tells the story of a costumed vigilante (that definitely isn’t Batman, nosiree) who decides that 9/11 is the final straw and takes the War on Terror to the terrorists’ doorsteps.

The project dates back to soon after September 11, 2001, when Miller announced he would create a story about Batman seeking revenge by dismantling the terrorist network Al-Qaeda. The project was eternally delayed (and derided as simplistic propoganda and potentially inflammatory) but will now finally see the light of day without the Caped Crusader. The role of Batman has been recast as a new superhero called The Fixer (he’s “fixing” the terrorist problem, see?).

The action thriller graphic novel is edited by Bob Schreck (former DC Comics editor) and will be the first release from the new comics and graphic novel division of Burbank-based Legendary Entertainment. You can watch a trailer at Entertainment Weekly.

The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation

This came out five years ago but it’s still worth mentioning. This is a graphic novel by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón that adapts The 9/11 Commission Report, the government’s findings from their investigations into what led to and occurred on 9/11/01. It includes a powerfully effective timeline that shows the simultaneous events surrounding all four planes.

New Graphic Novels, Comic Books for You – 10/28/09

Never read a graphic novel before? Haven’t read a comic book in years?

Here’s some brand new stuff that came out the week of October 28 that I think is worth a look-see for someone with little to no history with comics. That means you should be able to pick any of these up cold without having read anything else. So take a look and see if something doesn’t grab your fancy. If so, follow the publisher links or Amazon.com links to buy yourself a copy. Or, head to your local friendly comic book shop.

Disclaimer: For the most part, I have not read these yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality. But, from what I’ve heard and seen, odds are good they just might appeal to you.

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer – $10.95
By Dustin Higgins & Van Jensen
128 pages; published by Slave Labor Graphics; available at Amazon.com

After seeing Geppetto die at the hands of vampires, Pinocchio swears revenge in this darkly funny graphic novel. As the vampires plot the enslavement of mankind, only a one-puppet army stands in their way. But will a wooden boy and his endless supply of stakes – courtesy of plenty of lies and his elongating nose – be enough to save the day?

Funny concept! Here’s a 5-page preview and a different 7-page preview. And a trailer:

Looks like a pretty funny execution of a funny concept. If you’re into humor/horror, this could be the comic you’ve been waiting to read for your whole entire life.

Casper and the Spectrals #1 – $2.99
By Todd DeZago & Pedro Delgado
published by Ardden Entertainment

Just in time for Casper’s 60th anniversary, Ardden Entertainment proudly debuts Casper And The Supernaturals, an all-new take on the world’s most famous ghost and his two friends, Wendy the Witch and Hot Stuff! There is a city within New York City known as Spooky Town, but most humans are unable to see it.

Within this city live the Supernaturals, the ghosts, goblins, demons and witches of the world. When an ancient entity known only as the Volbragg threatens both New York and Spooky Town, Casper and his friends are forced to band together and defeat an unimaginable evil!

THIS ISN’T YOUR FATHER’S CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST! He’s EXTREME! I kid. Seriously, this looks like a cute revitalization of this classic character. If you don’t know who Casper is, don’t worry about it. This is a totally fresh start. No prior knowledge needed.

Bart Simpson Comics #50 – $2.99
By Sergio Aragonés
Published by Bongo Comics

Bongo Comics welcomes Sergio Aragones as a new regular featured writer and artist in the pages of Bart Simpson Comics!

First, Sergio starts with a story that pits the Simpsons against our national security in ‘The Simpsons Project,’ and then he debuts his regular bi-monthly feature entitled, ‘Maggie’s Crib.’

Get ready when the world’s fastest cartoonist meets the world’s brashest boy! And as if that wasn’t enough, Sergio also provides the cover to Bart’s fabulous 50th issue!

Somebody tell Bongo Comics to get a website. Come on. It’s almost 2010.

That embarrassment aside, Sergio Aragonés is a fantastic cartoonist (and has a website). Every year at San Diego Comic-Con, he does this hilarious must-see panel called Quick Draw where he, super-cartoonist Scott Shaw! and a guest cartoonist try to out-draw each other. It’s tons of fun, very spontaneous and immensely creative. Sergio drew for MAD Magazine for years (heck, he probably still does) and also does his own comic Groo The Wanderer. Seeing him handle The Simpsons will be a big treat.

Che: A Graphic Biography – $22.00
By Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colón
128 pages; published by Hill and Wang; available at Amazon.com

A symbol of counterculture worldwide, Ernesto “Che” Guevara is one of the most, if not the most, recognizable and influential revolutionary figures of the twentieth century. From the pages of history textbooks to silk-screened T-shirts at Urban Outfitters, his mythologized face is positively unavoidable. But what, exactly, does this glorified image stand for?

During his life, and perhaps even more since his death, Che has elicited controversy and wildly divergent opinions as to who he was and what he represented. In Che: A Graphic Biography, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón—the graphic duo who made the 9/11 Commission Report understandable in their bestselling The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation and who most recently explained the ongoing war on terror in After 9/11—have come together again to give a real portrait of Ernesto Guevara de la Serna. Following Che from his fabled motorcycle journeys with Alberto Granado as a young medical student to his eventual execution at the hands of Bolivian soldiers and CIA operatives, Che: A Graphic Biography not only provides a concrete time line of his life but also gives a broader understanding of his beliefs, his legacy, and Latin American politics during the mid-twentieth century.

I will forever love these two creators for doing The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. I think it was a huge step in comics expanding on their potential. It gives an amazing timeline of events so you can see how things were happening simultaneously, in a way that straight prose never could. It was clear, concise, intelligent. Definitely one of the best comic releases of that year, possibly the decade. I don’t know if this is as significant, but again I applaud what their doing and the skill in which they do it.

Vlad the Impaler: The Man Who Was Dracula – $25.95
By Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colón
114 pages; published by Hudson Street Press; available at Amazon.com

From the bestselling author/illustrator team of The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation comes the truly gory tale of the historical Dracula.

The Dracula myth has sparked a legacy of endlessly entertaining creepy tales. The fictional character, originally penned by Bram Stoker, was inspired by and named after a real-life fiend—Prince Vlad Dracula, the fifteenth-century ruler of Wallachia—a man infamous for massacring and impaling his enemies. In brilliant four-color illustrations, Vlad the Impaler tells the ghastly prince’s life story from his seizure as a boy by the Turkish Sultan, to his love life, to his maniacal attempts to retain power regardless of whose throat he must slit.

From the bestselling writer and illustrator team who brought us The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation—hailed by Stan Lee as “beautifully and compellingly written and illustrated. . . . It will surely set the standard for all future works of contemporary history, graphic or otherwise”—this graphic novel, based on a true story, is replete with gory details of torture tactics. Ideal for readers who made 30 Days of Night and World War Z bestsellers, the combination of riveting legend and blood-and-guts drawings will be an anticipated addition to the graphic novel fan’s library.

Hey, it’s those guys again! Some nicely coordinated release schedules from two separate publishers. Smartly done. This seems a bit darker and more for fun, but should also be an interesting read.

Bob Dylan Revisited – $24.95
By Bob Dylan, et al.
104 pages; published by W.W. Norton & Company; available at Amazon.com

Rendered in striking, explosive graphic form, many of Bob Dylan’s most famous songs—illustrated as they’ve never been before.

Mesmerized by the power of Bob Dylan’s lyrics and intrigued by the possibilities of translating his powerful, enigmatic personality into art, thirteen leading graphic artists banded together to create this unusual testament to the universality and transcendent vision of an American musical genius. With their vibrant, unexpected colors and dynamic, cinematic imagery, this group has assembled in Bob Dylan Revisited one of the most provocative interpretations of Dylan’s music in decades. Whether illustrating “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Hurricane,” or “Lay, Lady, Lay,” these artists capture the tender emotions, the ineffable sadness, and the romantic overtones of Dylan’s classic songs, at the same time reflecting the moral and political urgency of his music. Each artist’s style surprisingly complements Dylan’s lyrics and offers an irresistible window through which to reconsider one of America’s most enigmatic artists. A deeply respectful and brilliant homage to the extraordinary influence of Bob Dylan.

Love the cover. Here’s the list of songs and the artists interpreting them, according to the publisher’s site:

Contents:
“Blowin in the Wind” interpreted by Thierry Muraty
“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” interpreted by Lorenzo Mattotti
“I Want You” interpreted by Nicolas Nemiri
“Girl of the North Country” interpreted by François Avril
“Lay, Lady, Lay” interpreted by Jean-Claude Götting
“Positively 4th Street” interpreted by Christopher
“Tombstone Blues” interpreted by Bézian
“Desolation Row” interpreted by Dave McKean
“Like a Rolling Stone” interpreted by Alfred (drawings), Raphaëlle Le Rio, Maël Le Maé (scenario) and Henri Meunier (color)
“Hurricane” interpreted by Gradimir Smudja
“Blind Willie McTell” interpreted by Benjamin Flao
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” interpreted by Jean-Philippe Bramanti
“Not Dark Yet” interpreted by Zep

This looks really cool, very imaginative. Here’s a 12-page preview. Perfect Christmas (or other holiday) gift for that Dylan fan in your life, since they probably will have already either bought or sworn off the confounding Christmas in the Heart.