American comics fans were introduced to Ken Niimura back in 2010, when his art appeared in the Image miniseries I Kill Giants, written by Joe Kelly. Since then, Ken’s work has been seen in some short Spider-Man stories, and more recently, his book Henshin, which just came out in English from Image.
He currently lives in Tim’s stomping grounds of Tokyo, so this week it’s an in-person interview with Ken, about why I Kill Giants was in black and white, his story goals and storytelling techniques in Henshin, and much more.
While the phrase “’90s comics” tends to elicit some eyerolls nowadays — Foil covers! X-men with huge guns and lots of pouches! — there was still some good comics work done in that era. What was it like to be in the business back then? Joe St.Pierre drew some Spider-man Clone Saga-related comics, so let’s ask him! (See his Marvel covers here)
St.Pierre’s work for Marvel back then springboarded him to storyboarding and commercial art gigs, but (naturally) he still loves doing comics. For the past few years he’s been publishing his Web comic The Liberaider through his site AstronautInk, and now he has launched a Kickstarter project to publish a hardcover edition. This week he talks with Tim about that and more.
Tim Across America, part nine! When it comes to Big Two comics these days, there’s a lot to complain about. Marvel characters changed to look like the actors who play them in movies; nearly the entire DC line subsumed into a grim-and-gritty muck. And yet… we still like some of these books! Superior Spider-man, anyone?
In a cafe in Berkeley, California, Tim discusses this and more with three past guests who all live in the East Bay area, but had never previously met: Deb Aoki, John Roberson, and Jason McNamara! Conversation also swung to whether Image can eclipse the Big Two, comparison of black and white comics vs. color, doing a Kickstarter project for your comic vs. doing print-on-demand, and more!
Last December 5 was our eighth anniversary. This week, we celebrate a bit late, by bringing together the three founders of Deconstructing Comics: Tim, Mulele, and Brandon. We talk about where we are comics-wise (reading and/or creating) and, well, whatever comes to mind…
Crossover events have become ubiquitous fare from Marvel and DC, with smaller publishers recently jumping on the bandwagon. Lots of us complain about them, and yet, buying ironically is still buying. Tim is joined by John Roberson to discuss why the past year’s main events, Fear Itself and Flashpoint, were particularly unsatisfying, what makes a (relatively) good event series, and why we read these books in spite of “event fatigue”.
FLASHBACK! Chris Bachlo’s art has long had a compelling style to it, and yet it was sometimes very difficult to decipher just what was happening on some of his pages. This was perhaps particularly pronounced in his work on Steam Punk with Joe Kelly, back at the turn of the millennium. But his recent work on such Marvel titles as Amazing Spider-Man and New Avengers has been completely clear and easy to understand. What did he change to clear things up? And, by the way — will Steam Punk ever be completed?! (Originally published October 26, 2009)
This week we veer off into the superhero lane, as longtime webhead Tim compares notes on recent issues of The Amazing Spider-Man with Kumar, who hadn’t read ASM in years & wondered what all the fuss was about over Dan Slott’s ongoing run. Slott does his best to stick to the axiom that “every issue is someone’s first”, so you have to make the bones thrown to fanboys understandable to newbies; how did Kumar fare? Also discussed are the wisdom (or lack thereof) of trying to explain the unexplainable, e.g. “spider sense”, and other things that did or didn’t work for us in ASM 654-657.
Plus, a shoutout to Gerry Alanguilan, author of the newly published Elmer.
The 1994 release of Marvels took comics by storm. The four-issue miniseries established the places of both hyperrealistic painter Alex Ross and continuity maven Kurt Busiek in the industry. There’s still plenty here to make it a standout story 16 years later, but has some of the shine come off? And, is making a logical narrative out of a mainstream comic companies’ disparate series really doable? Tim and Kumar discuss.
Also, Patrik W resurfaces to talk with Tim about the upcoming American Comics Exhibition in Tokyo. Tim, Patrik, and 13 other artists will be displaying their work!
Chris Bachlo’s art has long had a compelling style to it, and yet it was sometimes very difficult to decipher just what was happening on some of his pages. This was perhaps particularly pronounced in his work on Steam Punk with Joe Kelly, back at the turn of the millennium. But his recent work on such Marvel titles as Amazing Spider-Man and New Avengers has been completely clear and easy to understand. What did he change to clear things up? And, by the way — will Steam Punk ever be completed?!
While he’s never stopped working, Steve Ditko’s most celebrated work was done decades ago, and he’s slammed the door on many opportunities for further success. If sticking to your principles prevents fame and fortune, is your career a failure or a success? Tim and Paul discuss the Fantagraphics coffee table biography “Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko” by Blake Bell.