Fred Van Lente, writer of Magnus: Robot Fighter #8, talks with Frank Barbiere about Solar: Man of the Atom #7, both on sale now.
FRED VAN LENTE: It’s been a while since we’ve checked in, and I’m happy to report the arc of this book is still awesome. What’s the most exciting or surprising thing you’ve discovered about Erica on this journey?
FRANK BARBIERE: Really just getting to know the character has been the best part. You come into any project with these preconceived notions of how you want a certain “character” to play out—basic values like “he/she is afraid of spiders,” etc., etc. It’s when the book really gets going and the character, pardon the romantic phrase, comes “alive” you start to really see them. I love comics because you get to see an artist interpret acting and really bring someone to life on the page—this starts to inform my writing as I see who the person is and how they physically act. We had a lot of ideas for Erica to be a more relatable, artistically-driven Solar and I’m glad I’ve had a chance to really show who she is in these newer issues. With all the origin stuff out of the way, we’re given a chance to shower her acting and solving problems, and that’s really shedding some light on the core of her character. I’m still surprised by the ways thinking like she would, i.e. not necessarily the “punch my problems” method, has led to some solutions to the story’s various challenges. Issue #8 will see a big step for Erica.
FVL: Erica has stowed away on an alien spaceship to try and get herself back to Earth from deep space. She doesn’t initially realize these aliens got their asses handed to them by her father, the previous Solar, and so they take an immediate murderous disliking to her. What’s the craziest thing you did in college?
FB: Haha, this is why you’re the best interviewer. I was really happy to get a chance to show some of what actually went down with these aliens and Phil because we’ve been teasing it from the very beginning. It’s great to be far enough along in the series where we’ve got these long-term payoffs starting, and hopefully shows our readers we have a plan. Also, I’m a pretty lame dude so I’d have to say the craziest thing I did in college was try to move a mattress down the street by taping it to the roof of my car. It did not go well.
FVL: Erica commandeers a (seemingly) well-meaning robot to lead her through the massive ship, even though he remains chummy with his alien masters. If you had a giant robot at your command, what are the main tasks you would cede to it? Would any of them involve making Gold Key group editor Nate Cosby do stuff? Like punch himself, perhaps? Please show your work in your answer.
FB: I would make the robot a sweet chef and have personalized meals for life. Yes, that’s how I roll. Also give Nate Cosby a giant wedgie.
FVL: Erica’s dad, Solar 1.0 Phil, continues to follow her around as a Science Ghost, giving her advice. Great interplay between the two. Who would you most like to haunt and give advice to after you exploded? Remember, because you are a Science Ghost, you can haunt people in the past as well as in the future.
Also, the response “I’d rather just not explode” is not allowed.
FB: The verb we tend to use during “internal discussions” is “Caspering.” Or at least I say that. Hmmm, I would like to just be present and watch the world change … maybe some kind of future descendent, my own kid … tell them what’s what, try to teach them about the world. Well, I don’t actually want kids so that’s not gonna fly. Man, I’m just gonna haunt you through text message, Van Lente. Check your inbox.
For more on Solar: Man of the Atom #7, click here.]]>
Frank Barbiere, writer of Solar: Man of the Atom #7, talks with Fred Van Lente about Magnus: Robot Fighter #8, both on sale now.
FRANK BARBIERE: You’ve certainly done a lot of plotting for Magnus and we’re starting to see a lot of big payoffs, like Magnus breaking down on his “big reveal” in this issue. How does it feel to see that stuff paying off? Has anything changed while working on the book that has become different or unexpected?
FRED VAN LENTE: From the very beginning this Magnus storyline was crafted with a beginning, middle and an end, and now that we’re entering the final act it’s cool it’s gotten such a nice reception from fans and critics. It has actually gone more or less as planned, which is a bit unusual for me.
The nice thing about doing stories in this field is you can read stuff in the news that you can then incorporate into your stories. When I first read about “Roko’s Basilisk” a few months ago I realized I absolutely had to incorporate it into Magnus, and that’s just what I did.
FB: This book has been a treat to look at since day one thanks to the very talented Cory Smith. I notice you’re very into big moments, whether it be double page spreads or awesome splashes (like Magnus killing “himself”). Has working with Cory changed the way you approach pacing the pages with “big art?” What’s your favorite moment so far?
FVL: Yeah, Cory is the best. He is great with spreads in general but it’s funny I’ve started doing them more with the rise of digital, and I realized the way pages are sized to fit in screens in a way that can’t replicate the impact of a DPS on the physical page. As physical page is where my income comes from, I do feel like it’s an added value for the folks who’ve stuck with analog.
FB: How closely have you stayed with Magnus mythology? As I said, I know you did a lot of research and read a lot of Gold Key … what’s your favorite thing you drew from the original Gold Key book?
FVL: We deviated quite a bit from the original Gold Key stuff, partially because of how the science of robotics and computing have evolved since the 1960s, partly to give it our own fresh take. A lot of stuff, like Senator Clane and the Gophs, come from the series. I guess the biggest shout out to the OG series is in this issue, where 1A’s hideout, both here and the original, lies deep below the Arctic Ocean.
FB: What’s one of the big moments or scenes from Magnus so far that you couldn’t wait for people to see? How did people react? I know as writers we tend to anticipate reactions from readers … was there anything that got a reaction or do people tend to just roll with it?
FVL: It’s fun that people have taken to H8R, Magnus’s jive-talking robot sidekick, so much. He was a bit of a throwaway gag that has morphed into a big part of the series. I perversely like taking things that are absurd and shouldn’t work and making them work, and that’s definitely been rewarding in this instance.
For more on Magnus: Robot Fighter #8, click here.]]>
Here are the Reddit AMA highlights from yesterday’s AMA with Bernard Derriman, the Supervising Director of the Show. Derriman has also done a lot of work on the Dynamite comic series as well. The interview touches on both and is pretty insightful.
Score issues of the comics and check out the full interview!
Hi Bernard! Thanks for doing this AMA. I’ve been loving the comic. How exactly did your partnership with Dynamite come about?
The creator of Bob’s Burgers, Loren Bouchard really liked the idea of seeing Bobs as a comic. The studio that creates Bobs, Bento Box Entertainment, reached out to Dynamite who were a great fit to produce them. Also, one of the driving forces of the comic in the studio was Bob’s Burgers Animation Supervisor Tony Gennaro. His passions in life are baseball and comics, so he was really excited to work on this project – then go home to his new batting cage.
Hi, Bernard! You have made some amazing contributions toward both the show and the comics! First of all, when did you realize that animation was your field of interest? Secondly, what are the similarities and differences for formatting episodes and comic strips? It seems like a hefty process! Thank you so much and keep up the good work! :)
Around the time I was finishing school, I found an ad to work at Walt Disney Australia. I could draw and I had no desire to go to college, so I applied and got a job there. So I kind of fell into animation, in a way.
The similarities are that both the episode stories and the comic stories begin with writers pitching their ideas to the creator of Bobs, Loren Bouchard. He picks the ones he likes, gives a bit of input, and then sends the writers off to flesh the stories out. The biggest difference between the two is in the show, we rely on the voices of our great cast – the big challenge with the comics was trying to have the characters have that same voice, but on paper.
I love that the Belchers are a family with high points and low points. Were there / are there character rules or guidelines that are used by the writers on the show and in the comic? Everything is just so well flushed out and consistent while also being complex, and that is one of the things I love about the show. Thank you!
There are no hard rules or guidelines but having worked on the show for 5 seasons, the writers instinctively know what the characters would do or wouldn’t do. For instance, the writers would never have Bob high five Teddy because it would be totally out of character for him – it’s not written anywhere, they just know he wouldn’t do it.
I now look forward to someone pointing out the time that Bob high fives Teddy sometime in season 1.
Who is your favorite member of the Belcher family and why? Who is your favorite character outside the Belcher family? Also, why?
I really like all the Belchers, and while a boring answer I don’t really have a favorite. Although when it comes to drawing them, I think Bob would be my favorite.
My favorite outside the family is probably the closest to the family, and that’s Teddy. Teddy is voiced by Larry Murphy, and his ad libbing at records is always hilarious – a lot of it which makes it into the episodes. Animation Supervisor Tony Gennaro’s favorite character is Hugo – he said mainly because of his voice (he is voiced by comedian Sam Seder) but also his humanity.
Why don’t Linda and Gayle’s glasses have outlines?
This is a fantastic question. I wasn’t involved in their designs, but going by the other characters designs I’ve worked on, it would have to do with making the glasses less obtrusive on the character’s faces. Linework and color on glasses can make them bulky – like Tina’s – so to make them appear finer, it’s best to do that without outlines.
Any exciting people doing voices in the new season?
We have a lot of now regular guest stars returning – for next month’s Christmas episode we have both Jordan Peele and Bill Hader coming back to voice new characters, and in that same episode we have the legendary Carl Reiner doing a voice!
Bob’s Burgers comics are available in comic shops everywhere or at Dynamite’s DRM-Free Digital Store.]]>
Here we have a first look at the covers and solicitations for Dynamite’s Chaos Comics line due out in February. This includes the first trade paperback from the line, Chaos by Tim Seeley and Mikra Andolfo.
CHAOS Trade Paperback
Cover: J. Scott Campbell Writer: Tim Seeley Art: Mirka Andolfo
Page Count: 152+
The horror “heroes” of Chaos! Comics are back! The undead Evil Ernie, goddess Purgatori, vampire Chastity, and supernatural band of misfits known as The Omen have individually witnessed visions of the world’s impending doom, and rush headlong into conflict. Some try desperately to avert the holocaust, out of altruism or self-interest, while others just want to raise some hell. So begins the return of the Chaos! universe on an epic scale, the resurrection of fan-favorite boogeymen and femme fatales amidst a violent, apocalyptic upheaval!
EVIL ERNIE #5
Cover A: Tim Seeley Cover B: Ardian Syaf Writer: Tim Seeley, Steve Seeley Art: Rafael Lanhellas
Determined to stop Evil Ernie before he can prevent her takeover of Hell, Mistress Hel sends the rest of her lovers to intercept Ernie and Mary. Will they survive against the combined threat of Skin&Bone and Mr.Sloth? And what will happen when the deadly and mysterious Deathlore arrives?
LADY DEMON #3
Cover A: Joyce Chin Cover B: Cedric Poulat “Bombshell” Writer: Aaron Gillespie Art: Mirka Andolfo
As she delves deeper into the conspiracy that left her loved ones dead, Violet has her work cut out for her figuring the good guys out from the bad. She’ll get no help from Lady Demon, who has her own ideas on how to resolve their current crisis. As the two battle for supremacy, Violet makes a shocking discovery that might give Lady Demon the upper hand once and for all.]]>
PETER MILLIGAN: In its own jokey way, there seems to be a lot...]]>
Peter Milligan, writer of Terminal Hero #4, had a couple quick questions for Frank Barbiere about Solar: Man of the Atom #7, both on sale November 19th
PETER MILLIGAN: In its own jokey way, there seems to be a lot of parent/child, father/daughter transaction going on. Would you say this is at the core of what the book is all about?
FRANK BARBIERE: I really wanted to move the book away from being the insular adventures of a super-powered person, so the inclusion of “family” was a huge mission for me. Once we settled on the dynamic of Erica and Phil, it came together very nicely … the core of the book is their relationship, how to deal with the “sins of the father” and the weight of expectations. We’ve also carved out Erica as a character and are really thrilled with how she’s come to life on the page.
PM: If not, what IS the book about?
FB: As I mentioned, the book is also very much Erica’s story. We don’t want her to always be in Phil’s shadow, and it’s nice to have her through her “learning” portion of the story. She’s taking much more agency and she’s become her own person—she’s a joy to write and I have to say has really become an interesting character. It’s a great challenge to think of how Erica would approach problem-solving in a superhero story vs. a traditional “punch stuff” hero.
PM: Frank, tell me a little more about Erica.
FB: Erica is the ultimate foil for the traditional Solar archetype—the idea of someone who isn’t a scientist and has a completely different world view becoming this archetypal hero is just so interesting to me. We take Erica, who believes in art and creativity, and apply these traditionally “scientific” powers and suddenly it opens a whole new can of worms. As I mentioned, it’s been both exciting and challenging to think about how someone so different would solve problems with these powers. Ultimately, I think we’ve really come up with some cool stuff that makes both Erica and the book very unique.
For more on Solar: Man of the Atom #7, click here.
Dynamite Entertainment has partnered with Comicsfix to offer their titles on a subscription-based digital platform. Comicsfix offers all of their available comics to subscribers for a monthly fee of $9.95… like Netflix for comics.
Now available on Comicsfix from Dynamite: the first two volumes of The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson; Legends of Red Sonja with Gail Simone; Project Superpowers, featuring covers by Alex Ross; The Blood Queen; Pathfinder, based on the best-selling Paizo RPG; the Bob’s Burgers comic book based on the Emmy award-winning television program; Mark Waid’s The Green Hornet; Zorro; Vampirella Strikes; the first volume of Evil Ernie; Battlestar Galactica; The Twilight Zone; and the all-ages Lil’ Dynamites series by Art Baltazar and Franco.
More Dynamite single issues and full series will be added every week. You can find Comicsfix here.]]>