Random Riff Roundup


Thursday, June 24, 2010

*You know who’s publishing the best art comics for the disaffected 19-year-old kids who hang out at the record store? Image Comics. I sell the shit out of King City, Orc Stain, and Bulletproof Coffin to the kids who hang out at the record store downstairs. Just sayin’.

*Night Business needs to go full color! Did you see Ben Marra’s story in the Diamond Comics #5 newspaper? Start a Kickstarter for that, Ben! Make a business plan that involves turning the book into a video game or something. Anything. Just go color!

*I was at a crazy comics warehouse out in the middle of nowhere looking for something and heard the local kids talking the usual Marvel/DC smack. Then one of them declared he loved Scott Pilgrim. His friend said, “I thought you were being sarcastic when you said that before … and now I think you’re serious.” Eventually the Scott Pilgrim fan convinced the kid in the Green Lantern shirt to buy volume one of Scott Pilgrim. Cue the doves and violins.

*Jim Rugg, Tom Scioli, and I were driving back from the crazy comics warehouse out in the middle of nowhere and talked the whole time about web comics and counting off favorite cartoonists who have let the industry crush them, crush their souls, dreams, haha, y’know, just a casual drive under gathering dark clouds. We weren’t having this discussion last summer. That was the Direct Market is over talk. And the summer before that was the Kramer’s Ergot 7-Final-Crisis-countdown. Just sayin’. And then I come home and read on CR that DC Comics just announced their digital comics initiative.

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31 Responses to “Random Riff Roundup”
  1. yeah Orc Stain! that thing might be my favorite current comic, i get dizzy looking at stokoe’s drawings

  2. I love how “Deadline” feeling Orc Stain is – it’s like a 80’s British action comic – The coloring looks like those Quality Comics with the crazy color because the paper was so cheap

  3. In case anyone’s itching to read THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN #1 right this second (it’s good), the whole thing was recently posted online, all legit ‘n proper-like:


  4. Gabe Fowler says:

    What do you mean by “have let the industry crush them?”

  5. James says:

    Wow, DC digital comics … um….unfortunately I can’t read anything online past a certain point. It’s uncomfortable. In the case of a comic I will definitely not read it online but wait until it comes out in a hard copy.
    BTW Gabe, look up Wally Wood, and also some guys who worked at a place called Marvel.

  6. Gabe – think about all the creators who have done amazing work for the “industry” – literally created masterpieces and future corporate properties – who as employees of said “industry” were then cast aside, CRUSHED. Oh, y’know, Siegel, Shuster, Simon, Kirby, Ditko, Whitney, Rude, and then all the freelancers who were popular once, or just “got work” forever but now haven’t worked for years – like Tom Grindberg who can’t get work these days because his Neal Adams-like style is just out of style…

    Also, full BULLETPROOF COFFIN review coming from me in a couple days! Shaky Kane!

  7. Chris Pitzer says:

    Man, I’d love to visit a comics warehouse with you guys. The next best thing is probably HeroesCon. I had an Image Fairy leave me a bunch of 90’s comics on my seat when I stepped away from the table for a bit. Now THAT is magic.

  8. Joe Willy says:

    I love Brandon Graham’s work. Image is putting out nice books that you can actually walk into a comic shop and find if you don’t happen to live near one of the few (20-30?) quality shops in North America.

  9. Nicole Rudick says:

    I read the first part of King City in the collected volumes, which are so small in comparison to the generously sized issues that Image is publishing. It’s nice to see his art given some space. Plus, Earthling goes on my list of top 10 cats in comics (which also includes Hobbes, 2, and Pupshaw, who I believe, despite her name, is a cat).

  10. […] Comics | Frank Santoro: "You know who’s publishing the best art comics for the disaffected 19 year old kids who hang out at the record store? Image Comics. I sell the shit out of King City, Orc Stain and Bulletproof Coffin to the kids who hang out at the record store downstairs. Just sayin’." [Comics Comics] […]

  11. gabe fowler says:

    @ James
    Your tone is needlessly combative. I just wanted Frank to clarify what he was talking about.

  12. Jeremy says:

    @ James, @gabe

    Yeah, I was unclear about Frank’s point as well, so I was glad to see it clarified.

    Looking forward to the Bulletproof Coffin review. That’s a book which I’m not sure what to make of yet, but look forward to the second issue anyway. There’s a spark on those pages you can’t ignore.

  13. will says:

    Graham posted this full-color short comic on his blog — which i think was an off-shoot of someone else’s comic — but it really made me wish KC was in color, because i think it’s one of the best things he’s done.

    found it: http://royalboiler.livejournal.com/30516.html#cutid1

  14. James says:

    Gabe: combative? Me? Sorry for trying to help.

  15. @Jeremy
    Will be putting up Bulletproof Coffin review after the weekend. There is indeed a SPARK on those pages – and beyond that is it’s SCARY, like the story really chilled me…

  16. darrylayo says:


    (“at will”)

    The comic is Oni Press’ RESURRECTION #5.

    It’s included in the gigantic RESURRECTION omnibus collection, but the issue shouldn’t be too hard to find. As good as it looked online, it’s astounding in print.

  17. […] the market on “disaffected 19-year-old kids who hang out at the record store?”: Frank Santoro says Image, thanks to King City, Orc Stain and Bulletproof Coffin. I would have guessed Oni, as that’s […]

  18. brynocki C says:

    Hey Santoro. Is there a good place to read “The ballad of Steve Rude”? Seems like he get’s hit with a bat every time he stands up. Marvel’s bat? His own bat? I’m curious.

    Steve Rude/Frank Santoro interview coming up next issue?

  19. Hey Chipper! I tried to interview him but his wife put the kibosh on it. He’s “depressed.” Not trying to be a jerk. It’s the truth. He quit comics apparently.

  20. Jeremy says:

    I saw Steve Rude at the Boston Comicon, and he did not seem like a happy camper. Asked him about the Moth, and he said “we just ran out of bread, man. At least we got Nexus out.”

  21. Scott Bieser says:

    Rude is one of those artists who justifiably gets enormous respect from other artists, and from the comics cognoscenti — but for some reason regular comics readers just aren’t lining up to buy his stuff.

    Comics is like other parts of the entertainment industry — it’s not enough to be brilliant; you have to offer something that “clicks” with a large enough number of people that they’ll buy your works and support you financially.

    Steve has turned to doing commissioned paintings for private collectors — which I hope will earn him enough to support his family (he two very bright and lovely young children), but like all of us here he loves comics and this must be heart-breaking for him.

  22. Now there’s someone who should start a webcomic enterprise…

  23. brynocki C says:

    Damn. Poor Rude. I picked up that 6 issue X-men mini series he did the first three issues of recently. From maybe 2000? “Children of the Atom”, written by Joe Casey. Haven’t read it yet but it looks great. Hope the paintings work for him. Got to feed the kids or they’ll eat you.

  24. brynocki C says:

    Haven’t listened to any of these yet but maybe interesting?


  25. Dave Knott says:

    I have enormous respect for Steve Rude as a comics artist, but he can be very difficult to talk to and does not interview particularly well. His last cover feature for The Comics Journal is a pretty good example of that. He was being interviewed by Tom Spurgeon, a man who knows something about talking to cartoonists, but Rude never seemed to open up.
    I think part of the reason that his work doesn’t resonate with the larger comics community is that he has very, very particular ideas about comics, their content, and the way they should be created.
    In fact, I’m beginning to suspect that Rude is evolving into the modern day equivalent of one of his artistic heroes, Alex Toth. In other words, Rude is massively talented but prickly individual whose success in the comics industry is hamstrung by a rigid adherence to an outmoded form of comics that is not embraced by the general reading public.

    By the way, what is a “record store” ?

  26. patrick ford says:

    Dave: “I think part of the reason that his work doesn’t resonate with the larger comics community is that he has very, very particular ideas about comics, their content, and the way they should be created.”

    That’s a prertty harsh damnation of the “comics community” or at least one portion of it.

  27. @Dave. Agreed. Rude’s favorite target on the shooting range of life is his own foot.
    Also RE: record store. Apparently the “kids” are crazy about vinyl.

  28. brynocki C says:

    A new record store, “Analogue Underground” just opened down the street from a really classic and still successful one “Armageddon Records” here in Providence. Psych Rock versus Metal all on Broadway(street). Got a “Nonesuch” record, “Indian Street Music” at AU’s grand opening.

    Rude’s other secret weapon seems to be “Clinical Depression”, never a career booster.

  29. Oh, yah, that’s the other thing me and Jim Rugg and Tom Scioli talked about on our drive: cartoonists and depression. I said I’m only drawing comics for fun or money these days. No more work “on spec” which is how just about every cartoonists works. That’s the most depressing part of our industry. “I know, I’ll draw this 300 page graphic novel for free, shop it around to a publisher, give it to them for free, and maybe when the publisher makes back their money, I’ll get a couple hundred dollars.” No fucking way, not the kid, not me, no, not anymore.

  30. Alan Choate says:

    I’m curious to hear what was said about webcomics. That’s an enigmatic reference there. Equivalent to gathering dark clouds and cartoonists letting the industry crush them, soul, dreams?

  31. Yah, I’m working on that post…funny how we had that convo and then I came home to see announcement on CR about DC comics digital plans…

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