Tag Archives: neil gaiman

70 Aspects of Batman: 34

JOHN ROMITA JR.

From Wikipedia:

John Salvatore Romita, Jr. (born August 17, 1956) is an American comic book artist best known for his extensive work for Marvel Comics from the 1970s to the 2000s.

Romita was born in New York City, the son of John Romita, Sr., co-creator of several notable Spider-Man stories in the 1960s and 1970s.

He began his career at Marvel UK, doing sketches for covers of reprints. His American debut was with a six page story entitled “Chaos at the Coffee Bean!” in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #11 (1977).

Romita’s early popularity began with his run on Iron Man with writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton which began in 1978. In the early 1980s, he had his first regular run on the Amazing Spider-Man series and also was the artist for the launch of the Dazzler series. Working with writer Roger Stern on Amazing Spider-Man, he co created the character Hobgoblin. From 1983 to 1986 he had a run on the popular Uncanny X-Men with Dan Green and author Chris Claremont which was well-received. He would return for a second well-received run on Uncanny X-Men in 1993.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Romita enjoyed an extended stint on Daredevil with writer Ann Nocenti and Eisner Award-winning inker Al Williamson, noted for its creation of long-running Daredevil nemesis Typhoid Mary. His work on Daredevil was well-received, with Romita Jr. further refining his style.

Romita later collaborated with Frank Miller on a Daredevil origin story entitled Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a revisiting of the character’s origin. He worked on a host of Marvel titles during the 1990s, including The Punisher War Zone, the Hulk, the Cable mini-series, The Mighty Thor, a return to Iron Man for the second Armor Wars written by John Byrne, and the Punisher/Batman cross-over. Klaus Janson was a frequent inker.

In the 2000s, Romita had a well-received return to The Amazing Spider-Man with writer J. Michael Straczynski. He drew Marvel’s Wolverine with author Mark Millar as part of the character’s thirtieth-anniversary celebration. In 2004, Romita’s creator-owned project The Gray Area was published by Image Comics. Romita’s art has since appeared in Black Panther, The Sentry and Ultimate Vision, a backup story featured in the Ultimate line, written by author Mark Millar.

In 2006, Romita collaborated with writer Neil Gaiman on the reinterpretation of Jack Kirby‘s The Eternals in the form of a seven-issue limited series. Romita worked with Greg Pak on the five issue main comic of Marvel’s 2007 crossover event, World War Hulk.

In 2008, Romita again returned to Amazing Spider-Man. He is also collaborating once more with Mark Millar, for a creator-owned series, Kick-Ass, published by Marvel’s Icon imprint. The Filming of the Movie: Kick-Ass, began in September 2008. Romita, one of the producers, made his directorial debut by directing an animated flashback sequence in the film.

Romita is the regular artist for Avengers, which relaunched the franchise in May 2010.

John Romita Jr. may be the best pure superhero artist working in comics today. Over the course of his over 30 year career he has worked almost exclusively for Marvel Comics, so any images of characters from other companies by him. Fortunately, in the mid-90s before Marvel and DC became parts of huge conglomerates and were still open to crossovers, Romita Jr. drew a Batman/Punisher one-shot. For a reader used to Romita’s work only appearing in Marvel comics, seeing the denizens of Gotham City drawn in his style creates a certain cognitive dissonance…but once the brain adjusts, it’s a great visual experience. To date, apart from a sketch or two, Romita Jr. hasn’t drawn Batman since, which is a shame as his style has become more stripped down and direct as time’s gone on…kind of like this sketch below, done years after the one-shot:

I love this sequence from Batman/Punisher…it’s a well drawn sequence that flows and says a lot about the characters portrayed in it:

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20 YEARS AGO: 1991

MUSIC

Primal Scream – Screamadelica

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

Blur – Leisure

Nirvana – Nevermind

Pixies – Trompe Le Monde

FILM

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (dir. James Cameron)

Silence Of The Lambs (dir. Jonathan Demme)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (dir. Michael Pressman)

Barton Fink (dir. Joel Coen/Ethan Coen)

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (dir. Peter Hewitt)

COMICS

– “The Hard Goodbye”, Frank Miller’s first Sin City story, begins its serialization in Dark Horse Presents #51.

X-Force #1 by Rob Liefeld & Fabian Nicieza sells 4 million copies, making it one of biggest-selling comics of all time.

Bone by Jeff Smith begins.

X-Men #1 by Chris Claremont & Jim Lee sells 8.1 million copies, making it the biggest-selling single issue from an American publisher, a record it still holds.

Sandman #19 by Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess becomes the first comic to win a World Fantasy Award; it remains the only comic to do so, as the rules for the award were changed soon after to disallow a comic from winning again.

TV

Twin Peaks airs its final episode on June 10, 1991.

– Greg

70 Aspects Of Batman: 20

YOSHITAKA AMANO

Taken from Wikipedia:

Yoshitaka Amano (天野 喜孝 (formerly 天野 嘉孝), Amano Yoshitaka?) (born July 28, 1952) is a Japanese artist known for his illustrations for Vampire Hunter D and for his character designs, image illustrations and title logo designs for the Final Fantasy series.[1] In early 2010, he established Studio Deva Loka, a film production company.

Amano’s great…I’m lucky enough to have a signed print of his artwork from the Sandman:Dream Hunters book (though it’s signed by Neil Gaiman, not him). Unfortunately, I think this is his only Batman work, done as a poster for DC. It’s too bad, because an illustrated novel featuring his Batman would be amazing. He also did a Superman piece, but I’m saving that for the 80 Aspects of Superman series I’m starting in 2018.

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70 Aspects Of Batman: 13

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SAM KIETH

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From Wikipedia:

Sam Kieth (born January 11, 1963 ) is an American comics writer and illustrator and film director, best known as the creator of The Maxx and Zero Girl.

Kieth first came to prominence in 1983 as the inker of Matt Wagner‘s Mage, his brushwork adding fluidity and texture to the broad strokes of Wagner’s early work at Comico Comics. In 1989, he drew the first five issues of writer Neil Gaiman‘s celebrated series The Sandman, but felt his style was unsuited to the book (specifically saying that he “felt like Jimi Hendrix in The Beatles“) and left, handing over to his former inker Mike Dringenberg.

He acted as illustrator on two volumes of writer William Messner-LoebsEpicurus the Sage and drew an Aliens miniseries for Dark Horse Comics, among other things, before creating The Maxx in 1993 for Image Comics, with, initially, writing help from Messner-Loebs. It ran for 35 issues and was adapted, with Kieth’s assistance, into an animated series for MTV. Since then, as a writer-artist, he has gone on to create Friends of Maxx, Zero Girl, Four Women and Ojo.

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Sam Kieth first dipped his toe in the Bat-water like so many before him, by providing cover art. In the early 90s, Kieth contributed images to the covers of both Batman and Detective Comics. Here’s a Detective Comics annual cover he drew, a tie-in for DC’s summer crossover event from 1992, Eclipso: The Darkness Within. Notice the curly q action that was a trademark of Keith’s early stuff.

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Around 10 years later Sam Kieth finally committed some of his art to the interior of a Batman comic. Batman: Secrets was a 5-issue miniseries that featured Batman and The Joker, and was both written and drawn by Kieth.

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As much as I like his work from the 80s and 90s, I feel like Sam Kieth has really come into his own this decade, as can be seen from the amazing Secrets art on display here.

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Also in the 2000s, Kieth wrote and drew Scratch, a miniseries that starred a new (werewolf) character, and featured Batman extensively.

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That mouth is tailor made not to eat that chin…

His latest Batwork is Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious, a two-issue miniseries that someone must have proposed in 1992 but the proposal was found in a desk drawer in 2007. Or something.  But knowing Kieth, it’s probably an entertaining read and features great art.

Next up for Kieth is another Lobo miniseries, this one written by Anthrax‘s Scott Ian. Yes, really.

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