Showing posts with label comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comics. Show all posts

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Zatannurday: Interview with MYSTIK U's Alisa Kwitney

A few of weeks ago I mentioned the news of the new Zatanna centric comic MYSTIK U, about Zatanna's days at university.
As you can imagine I did a very unmanly squeal of delight and immediately set out to finding out as much as I could.

Well, my obsessions are your gain!  I got the chance to interview Alisa Kwitney.

Tim/The Other Side: Hello, my name is Tim Brannan and this is my blog The Other Side.  Today I am talking with author Alisa Kwitney. Alisa has been given the reigns on a new Zatanna comic for DC; Mystik U.  Our favorite fishnet-wearing magician is headed back to school to learn magic. She meets some now-familiar names and encounters a bunch of new adventures.

But first, let's meet the author herself.  Hello Alisa, why don’t you introduce yourself and give us a little bit a background on who you are?

Alisa: I was on staff at DC for about 7 years, working in the Vertigo imprint on SANDMAN and SHADE THE CHANGING MAN and other books in Karen Berger’s group. At the same time as I joined DC, my first novel, Till the Fat Lady Sings, was a comedy of manners about the first year of college, published by HarperCollins. My 10th novel, a YA called Cadaver & Queen, is now coming out from HarlequinTeen which is part of HarperCollins, so it’s kind of full circle. And now that I think about it, it’s also a novel about a school--a Victorian medical school that reanimates corpses to produce Bio-Mechanicals.


Tim: Excellent. The big one now, how did you get into writing comics?

Alisa: I actually said I wanted to write and edit during my first interview. These days, you have to choose between writing or drawing and being on staff, but at that time, lots of editors wrote or drew or inked or colored. Dick Giordano, the Vice President, once worked as inker for me on Sandman. I had already had a novel published, so people knew I could write--at least, in theory. In practice, I was still learning how to write comics. My first comic was a Phantom Stranger special, and whenever we got pages back from penciller Guy Davis, I would check to see where he had changed my pacing. Basically, he was giving me a master class in how to tell a better visual story.

Tim: So, if I can, you are something of Sci-Fi Royalty! Your father is the late Robert Sheckley. Did he give you good advice about writing? Do/Did you take inspiration from his works?
BTW, Immortality, Inc. is still one of my favorites and Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming was a lot of fun to read.

Alisa:  When I was 19, I asked my father if he thought I had it. I wanted him to anoint me and say, in effect, Yes, my child, you have the magic spark of writerly brilliance. Instead, he said in this very dismissive tone, “Yeah, you got talent, I suppose. Whatever that’s worth.” At the time, I was disappointed in his response, but over the years I’ve come to realize that he was absolutely right. Talent counts for very little. Applying yourself to your stories is everything. And in a sense, that’s what I’m writing about in Mystik U. These 18-year-olds come to college, wanting validation of their special powers, and instead they discover their limitations.

Tim: You are no stranger to the DC Universe.  Your run on Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold was up for an Eisner Award.  How did you get that job and did it help when pitching Mystik U?

Alisa: I pitched Destiny when I was pregnant and obsessed with plagues. I kept imagining these awful horror scenarios and I had to get it out of my system. I also wanted to do something sweeping and epic, like the big Frank Yerby historicals I read when I was a kid. (My favorite was The Odor of Sanctity.) Neil told me about The Secret History of Procopius, which is a history of the early Byzantine empire written by a scholar who was convinced that the emperor had been possessed by a demon.

I’m not sure how much Destiny helped in my pitching Mystik U. In general, I find that if you’ve written a historical horror story, people tend to think it means you can write historical horror stories. If you write a contemporary YA, (which I did for Shelly Bond’s Minx line at DC), then people might say, Oh, I see, you can write contemporary YA. Mystik U is sort of a hybrid of superhero and horror and YA, so it seems a logical next step to me--but I’m not sure it seemed logical to anyone else at first.



Tim: Now tell us about Young Zatanna and Mystik U.  Was this your idea?

Alisa: Yes. I wanted to do a book about college, because that first year of being off on your own and finally learning things you choose for yourself is really rich with story possibilities. People keep comparing the concept of Mystik U to Hogwarts, which is fine--I own not one but two Harry Potter wands, and consider myself a Ravenpuff--but I could never write a book about boarding school. At age eleven, I would have hated Hogwarts, because I was basically Neville Longbottom. I also really enjoyed Lev Grossman’s books about magical college, but his take is also different from mine. For me, college is a stage where people go to improvise themselves. It’s a place where you get to try on new ideas, new philosophies and new identities. And it’s a place where the bathrooms contain some unpleasant surprises.

Tim: Stories about schools and young heroes are very popular. You don’t need to look much farther than Harry Potter or Buffy to see that.  On the comics front we have the classic Chris Claremont run on X-Men and the George Pérez run on Teen Titans.  What do you want to do with Zatanna as a character that covers this same sort of time in her life and the storytelling opportunities?

Alisa: Zatanna comes to school thinking that she has a great power and that she needs training--and then finds herself unable to access her power when she wants it. There are other people there, on her hall, who seem a lot better at magic than she is--like Enchantress, and Davit Sargon, and her roommate Pia and the broody Sebastian Faust. She’s like a lot of people, who were amazing at something in high school, and then get to college and find they aren’t the top of the heap anymore. In an earlier version of Mystik U, I thought this character was going to be Tim Hunter, and I’m so much happier exploring the theme with Zatanna. There are fewer stories of female ambition and drive that aren’t posed as cautionary tales. There’s a parallel story about Rose Psychic, the dean of the school, and her relationship with Dr. Occult, who shares her body. (I wanted Rose to look like Ming Doyle, by the way. I met her when I first pitched Mystik U, and she remains the model for Rose in my mind’s eye.)

Tim: I am a huge fan of Paul Dini’s run on Zatanna, but I love the old Gardner Fox stories as well. What are some of your favorite Zatanna stories?

Alisa: I love Paul Dini’s storytelling. I also love a lot of the stories where she meets up with John Constantine. I figured she was always drawn to bad boys, which you get to see in her relationship with Sebastian Faust.

Tim:  What sort of older elements might we see in your version of Zee? (I already saw Zatara is still around).

Alisa: Mike Norton, the artist, has done an amazing job creating a Zatanna who feels like the bright, upbeat, pragmatic character we know, but also seems like a college freshman. I really wanted all of the characters to feel like real people. For example, Davit Sargon performs a small feat of magic when Zatanna first meets him, and says, “that’s just a little cantrip I picked up.” Zatanna doesn’t know what a cantrip is, and her roommate, Pia explains that it’s a clue that Sargon plays D&D.

Tim: And finally where can we find you on the internet?

Alisa: https://www.facebook.com/alisa.kwitney.sheckley/. Twittter @akwitney. My website is www.alisakwitney.com

Tim: Ok last question and this is one I always ask here at the Other Side. Who is your favorite wizard, witch or magic-user?

Alisa: I loved Witch Hazel, from the old Bugs Bunny cartoon.  She loved being green and hideous and hated being seen as a conventional beauty--which is kind of badass and punk, in retrospect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzEYxGc2RmMI

I also totally understood Endora’s point of view in Bewtiched. Why was her powerful witch daughter wasting time on a dull mortal? In my dreams, Endora and Snape are sitting together in a pub, making caustic remarks about everyone sitting around them.

Tim: Love that visual!  Alisa thank you so much!

Zatanna and MYSTIK U will be out in Novemember.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Zatannurday: Going Back to School with Zatanna

Tip O' the hat to JasperAK for this!

Zatanna Is Going To Magic School in Her New Comic Series
http://io9.gizmodo.com/zatanna-is-going-to-magic-school-in-her-new-comic-serie-1797945307

http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2017/08/17/exclusive-zatanna-faust-and-more-enroll-in-mystik-u?sf106880888=1

From DC: Zatanna Zatara is one of the most powerful magicians to walk the Earth, capable of altering the fabric of reality with one backwards word.

But what was she like in college?

If you’ve ever been a college student, you know it’s a highly unique time in a person’s life. You’re a newly minted adult, free to make your own choices, but those choices are complicated by the fact that you haven’t yet settled into the person you’ll ultimately become. It’s an unpredictable and wild time in most people’s lives. So imagine what it’s like when magic is thrown into the mix.

This is the background of MYSTIK U, an upcoming prestige-format limited series written by Alisa Kwitney (Destiny) and drawn by Mike Norton (Revival, Runaways) that will reimagine the lives of four of DC’s magic users in spectacular new ways. To give us the background on this unique new title, we spoke with both Alisa and Mike about what readers can expect when classes start this fall.

I LOVE, LOVE the art I have seen far.




Hell.  I am in for punk-Goth Teenage Enchantress alone!





Writer Alisa Kwitney and drawn by Mike Norton can be found online at @akwitney and @themikenorton respectively.

To say I am looking forward to this is an understatement.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wonder Woman on the Big Screen

This is just a drive by post.

We saw Wonder Woman last night.  Holy shit is that a FANTASTIC movie. It is very nearly pitch perfect.  I have been waiting so long to see Diana of Themiscyra on the big screen and I was not disappointed.   In fact, we are planning on going again.

I have said that no one could replace Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.  I was wrong.
Gal Gaddot IS Wonder Woman. She is so good in this.
Every scene lights up with her in it. Whether she is kicking Patriarchy ass or tasting ice cream for the first time.  Fighting or cooing over a baby.  THIS IS Wonder Woman!


Go. See this movie now.

Plus if you are a Wonder Woman fan like me there are so many easter eggs.  No post-credits scenes, but that is fine.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Comics Edition

Only 12 and half hours to go before Wonder Woman tonight! Been looking forward to this for years and have had my tickets for weeks.

Let's look at some new comic kickstarters that feature powerful women or created by powerful women!

First up is Witches Trine: Rebirth.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1986208350/witches-trine-rebirth

Issue #0 was given out at GenCon 2016 and there are other issues out on DriveThruComics.
The story covers the lives of three immortal witches and the threats they deal.
The issues I have read so far are great and this should be a fantastic looking book.
Eva, Olivia, and Victoria are a group of witches I could really get to like. Hell, I liked Victoria from the first page I saw her on.

I can also confirm that the book is complete. So it should ship right away.


Up next is the WONDERFUL Gisèle Lagacé and Ménage à 3 Volume 8 & more!


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pixietrixcomix/menage-a-3-volume-8-and-more

While you can follow the adventures of Zii, Didi and Gary online, these collected volumes have so much more to them.

While these are "adult" comics, they are more "Benny Hill" than "Fanny Hill".

There is more than just the sexcapades of a bunch of young adults in Toronto.  You also get the misadventures of Chole, the not-really-evil Succubus of Dangerously Chloe.



I say support both of these worthy Kickstarters.  This is exactly what Kickstarter was made to to do, help small publishers get the capital to start.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Zatannurday: Zatanna by Paul Dini

Not often I get to talk about a new Zatanna specific release in the DC world, but this week had one.




Collected from Paul Dini's run of Zatanna.  A run that many of us fans consider the definitive run.

Out this week.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Zatannurday: Zatanna in Justice League Dark

Zatannurday? Twice in a row?
What sort of magic is this?

Last week (but not in time for last Zatannurday) I watched the new Justice League Dark movie.

Here's a somewhat spoilery clip of just how much of a bad-ass Zatanna really is.



You almost feel bad for Felix Faust....almost.

No. I have not played this backwards yet to see what she is saying.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Kickstart Your Weekend: Team Synergy & London Gothic

I have a couple of really fun ones for you today!

First up is a Superhero team of cousins called Team Synergy.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hbcomics/team-synergy-vol-1-spellbound



From their Press Release:

“Team Synergy” Kickstarter Promises New Heroes For Young Girls
HBComics' super-hero comic on kickstarter is“For every young girl who never had a hero of her own”

HBComics, a boston based indie comic publisher, has launched a kickstarter campagin for “Team Synergy,” a comic about a super-team of teenage girls, aimed at getting young female readers interested in super heroes.

According to the creators, the book was very much inspired by their own daughters and nieces.

“This book is so important to be, because I have two young girls...we have a lot of girls in our family.” said Chris Hebert, in the campaign's video. “(The young girls at comic conventions) would light up when they saw the book. One girl was literally jumping up and down hugging it. She was so excited there was a book just for her.”

The description of the comic on the kickstarter reads: "Five Teenage Girls. All cousins. All super-powered. Trained by their great grandmother, the original super heroine, to be the next generation of heroes. For every young girl who never had a super hero of their own to look up to, this is TEAM SYNERGY!” The book is written by Alan Hebert (Writer of Lazerman) and has art by Scott Shiver (Fem Force) and colors by Chris Hebert.

The kickstarter is running until February 24th, and can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hbcomics/team-synergy-vol-1-spellbound

About HBComics™: HBComics™ is an independent comic book publisher, founded by two brothers from Boston. More information on the company, or the titles being produced, can be found at www.hbcomics.com

####

If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please call Chris Hebert at 781-588-9867 or e-mail info@hbcomics.com

The heroes include team leader Awesome Girl, cheerleader turned superhero Hot Pink, introvert and skeptic punk (and destined to be a new fave here at the Other Side) Scatterbrain, shrinker and anime fan GlitterBug, and finally the hyper social butterfly Pinball. Love these names.  I could see these characters EASY in an Icons game.

Personally, I think it looks awesome and I love finding Kickstarters like this. For me this why Kickstarter was created; to help out independent creators get their creation out to you.

Switching from comic fun to the dark streets of Victorian London.

A London Gothic
Dark Tales of Vampires, Witches, & Demons on the Streets of Victorian London!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/415194828/a-london-gothic


As I mentioned to the author, Paul Voodindi,  "Vampires, Witches, Demons, London of the Victorian age?  Sounds like my Christmas list!"

From the press release for this:
Paul Voodini welcomes you to the dark and Gothic London of an alternative 1888. A dark and Gothic London where the shadow of Jack the Ripper still hangs over the streets of the East End like a malignant memory, fresh in the mind and with the power still to terrify. It is barely a month since Saucy Jack claimed the life of Mary Jane Kelly, yet, as our heroine Little Nell Trent is about to find out, there are more horrors than just old Jack lurking in the grim backstreets of Whitechapel.

Attacked on her own doorstep by a vampire girl, 18 year old Nell is herself transformed, joining the ranks of the East End vampires, known by the human residents as Tooth Fairies, and is plunged into a world of blood, lust, and dark wonder.

Captured by a human gang and forced into servitude, Nell befriends her one-time assailant Sally, the girl who originally turned her from mortal to vampire, and over the Christmas period of 1888, Sally protects her protégé as best she can, and every night recounts to her a Gothic tale from the dark underbelly of London.
“I had so many stories to tell,” explains Paul, “that I didn't know which one to focus on. So then I thought, why not write them all?!”

Inspired by the classic '1001 Arabian Nights', in which a wife successfully manages to stave off her execution by reciting a tale each night to her king husband, 'A London Gothic' features a series of short stories intertwined within the main narrative. And so, amongst others, we hear of Mary Shelley, who in this reality is a witch intent on raising back to life her dead friend, Amanda Frankenstein; Tiny Tim, the vampire boy, who prophecy tells will lead the vampire girls of London's East End out of the shadows and into the glittering heart of the British capital; and the poor, young funeral worker who on Christmas Eve is possessed by the unquiet spirit of Jacob Marley.

“Yes, these are tales of horror and melodrama,” says Paul, “but they are also tales of love and of loss, and although the anti-heroes of my stories are all creatures of the night, the stories they tell are of being cast adrift in a world that shuns them. I think that's a story that we can all, on one level or another, identify with.”
Find 'A London Gothic' on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/2kwaq9b

See, sounds like a blast.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Zatannurday: Justice League Dark Animated Movie

How I missed you Zatannurday!

This is exactly the sort of thing I was waiting for in Zatannurday's long run.  A new DC Animated movie of Justice League Dark.

This isn't exactly JLD, it's more Justice League Dark + Batman, but it still looks cool.
It's also rated R, which I guess is not a big surprise given the content.



Looks like it will be out in early 2017.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Witches Trine and Witch: Fated Souls

Witches Trine #2 is out!



I have been following this comic since I first saw it at Gen Con and I am really enjoying the story and where it might be going.  It is the tale of three immortal (or at least long lived) witches.  Though that is being tested since one of the witches was killed in the preview (that's not a spoiler).

Now things seem to be moving against them and the plot is really kicking into high gear.
Kris Lippert and all the folks at +Movierockets Entertainment is really building an interesting world here and one I am having a lot of fun with.

I can't but help to think how well I could model this world with +Elizabeth Chaipraditkul's WITCH: Fated Souls RPG.   Given what I have read so far I think Olivia would make a good Lich (though she doesn't look like one); Eva would make for a great Druid with healing ability; and Victoria is practically a "textbook" (or core book) Djinn.



I need to spend some more time with both worlds and truly appreciate them for what they are.  Both are so much fun.

Witches Trine #2 is out now. Witches Trine #1 and Preview Edition are also still available.
WITCH: Fated Souls is out AND on sale now thanks to DriveThruRPG's Halloween Sale.

For less than 10 bucks you can have a new RPG and three comics full of ideas. Not a bad Halloween gift for yourself I say!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: Huge Kickstarter Round up.

Lots to share today! So let's get into it.

Prince Valiant® Storytelling Game by Greg Stafford
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1861515217/prince-valiant-storytelling-game-by-greg-stafford

The comic gets updated in a new game from Greg Stafford.  I remember reading this as a kid and it could make for a great game.  Just a couple of hours left!

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose: Issue#100 Extended Edition
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jimbalent/tarot-witch-of-the-black-rose-issue100-extended-ed/

I make no apologies of my enjoyment of Tarot and Jim and Holly have put together a cool package here.  It's issue 100 and Tarot and Skeleton Man are getting married.  I am sure things are going to ger crazy before the official handfasting.

Battle of the Bands: The Deluxe Edition Card Game
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/150522358/battle-of-the-bands-the-deluxe-edition-card-game

I do enjoy a crazy card game and this one had me at Elvis impersonator.

Worldographer: Hexographer 2 - Easy Map/World Creator
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inkwellideas/worldographer-hexographer-2-easy-map-world-creator

I also love mapping software.

Invisible Sun
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/montecookgames/invisible-sun/

Monte Cook's massive new RPG. Or RPG as art or lifestyle.  I am not sure what it is to be honest.  But I am sure you all have $200 to find out?  Well so far a lot of others have so there is obviously a market for this.

Last, but not at all least.

Villains and Vigilantes™ 3.0: The Mighty Protectors™ RPG
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jeffdee/villains-and-vigilantestm-30-the-mighty-protectors

Jeff Dee has the rights to Villains and Vigilantes back and now is working on the 3.0 version of one of the world's first super-hero games.  It looks like it will be a lot of fun!

Go out there and bring your credit card! ;)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Zatannurday: Tribute to Darwyn Cooke

Last week we lost a great.  Darwyn Cooke died after a brief but aggressive battle with cancer.

I loved Darwyn's style and his heroes always looked like they were happy to be heroes.  They were the best versions of the characters.  Maybe not always the version we wanted to see, but better than the "grim-dark" heroes so many artists (and filmmakers) seem to want to do.


I loved how he always showed Wonder Woman smiling.


And of course when she didn't need to be.


He knew how to make Selena sexy cool.






And of course he knew how to draw Zatanna.

But I enjoyed Minutemen Before Watchmen Comics the most.



Silhouette became something else under his care.


But this video was also something he did well. For Batman's 75th Anniversary.



We are going to miss you Darwyn. You and your influence on the DCU.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Kickstart Your Weekend: Die Kitty Die!

A bit of change of pace this week.  A comic that I had not heard of till pointed out to me recently.

Die Kitty Die! is a comic by Fernando Ruiz and Dan Parent about a comic witch, Kitty, who has come to the end of her run.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/14732987/die-kitty-die-by-fernando-ruiz-and-dan-parent/

It looks like a lot of fun.




Saturday, October 31, 2015

Zatannurday: The Return of Constantine!

It's Halloween!

What better way to celebrate than the return of John Constantine.

Well he is back on Arrow, and it looks like not a moment too soon.



I am contractually obligated to say "I hope this also means we get Zatanna soon!" ;)







Saturday, September 12, 2015

Zatannurday: DC Bombshells #2

Zatanna in the latest DC Bombshells comic.
All this info is courtesy of Supergirl Comic Box Commentary.

Head on over to read their point of view of issue #2.

http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/2015/09/review-dc-comics-bombshells-2.html

Interesting choice of having Zee as part of a cabret.




Ok so Zatanna is jewish? Ok, I can work with that. Let's see where this goes.

#1 was great with some great Batwoman moments and this one looks like it is just as good.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Zatannurday: Bombshells #3 for October

The DC Bombshells are coming!
The third issue will feature the one and only Zatanna!

From one of my favorite blogs, Supergirl Comic Box Commentary.   BTW this is a good blog to follow to keep up on the latest on the new Supergirl series.

From the site:

DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #3
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE and LAURA BRAGA
Cover by ANT LUCIA

A dark ritual is performed in a German cabaret, and a supernatural servant is brought forth to serve the Reich— has Zatanna been manipulated by The Joker’s Daughter? Plus, Batwoman leaves Gotham City, and Amanda Waller introduces her to an unearthly ally. And Wonder Woman gets into combat as she joins Mera on the European war front.



Is it me or does John look like Pikachu?

Looking forward to it!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Zatannurday: Convergence

The newest comic event is happening now at DC. Again more multi-verse maddness this time though called "Convergence".
My take is that Brainiac has a bunch of leftovers from DC's old cosmology and Superman has to save them or something.  No idea really.  But it sounds cool.

The first Convergence comics were out on Wednesday and one is an all female Justice League featuring Zatanna!

Check it out here:
http://www.dccomics.com/comics/convergence-2015/convergence-justice-league-1






This could be a lot of fun.

http://comicbook.com/2015/04/03/exclusive-dc-comics-preview-convergence-justice-league-1/#Image7
http://www.newsarama.com/23902-all-female-pre-flashpoint-justice-league-unites-for-dc-s-convergence.html
http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/post/115794126186/just-a-reminder-that-tomorrow-is

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Zatannurday: The Fate of Constantine

Zatanna's sometimes love interest John Constantine's fate is still up in the air.

As of this week (ending 2/7) we still have not heard if the NBC show "Constantine" has been renewed or not.

Next week is the 13th and last episode of the season.  So I didn't get my wish to see and John and Zatanna moment on the show.

Another show that came close was Smallville, though they did manage it in the pages of the Smallville comic, Harbinger.



Not only that it also has John and Zee's first meeting in the Smallville universe.

Not exactly the same as the Justice League Dark meeting.

The story is spread out over 4 issues and has a lot of what makes John and Zee so great together.

It even features the introduction of Rachel Roth, aka Raven to the Smallville universe.
She is the girl that John and Zee rescue from Brother Blood.
So Zatanna, Constantine and Raven?  All in one comic at the same time?  Sounds great to me!


Might be the closest we get.

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