Sunday, 26 January 2014

Legenderry; A Steampunk Adventure #1

When I first heard about this book it piqued my interest in much the same way that the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen did, I'm a big fan of story's that re-imagine characters placing them in different worlds and setting so Legenderry falls right in my wheel house. The concept of Legenderry is to take the characters Vampirella, Green Hornet & Kato, Steve Austin (Six Million Dollar Man), Flash Gordon and the Phantom and put them into a Steampunk world, add to that the name of Bill Willingham the writer of the fantastic Fables and you definitely have me interested.

Issue one is what I would call a slow burner not that there isn't any action but you can tell that there is a story to be told and the writer isn't rushing anything, most of the story takes place in Vampirelle's Scarlet club where Vampirelle is having dinner with an off duty Green Hornet. Unfortunately while discussing the merits and ingredients of a good Dry Martini their meal is interrupted by a young red haired girl seeking help from a group of leather clad killer, to be fair I'm surmising on the killer bit but given that they have guns and their swords are covered in blood, its a safe bet they are not collecting for Sports Relief. As the owner of the club Vampi gives protection to the young girl and offers the men a chance to leave an offer they decline (henchmen are so stupid sometimes), all hell then breaks loose as Vampirelle goes well vampire on them and as you can guess there is only one winner.

Once the dust has settled its noted that all the henchmen are identical  something the police seemed to miss during there checks of the bodies which is a worry, Vampi and a still off duty Hornet speak with the young red headed and we discover  during her flashback story why she is been targeted. The first issue ends with a reveal of at least two of the villain's and the name of the group they work for, the next issue promises Green Hornet and Kato, they had me at Green.

Now I'm not the biggest expert when it comes to Steampunk so I don't know if there are certain rules that have to be followed when setting story's in this type of world, or if any of those rules (if they exist) are been followed. What I do know is that this first issue has me hooked and any expectations I had about this book were matched if not eclipsed. Writer Bill Willingham is not just writing a story he is crafting a world that his story's can be told in, the artwork by Sergio Davila is simply stunning and flows beautifully especially in the battle sequences. The colour work  by Wes Hartman also deserve a mention as they have a toned down feel to them, which helps give the book a gritty Victorian feel to it.

 As first issues go this one is definitely a winner and I'm looking forward to issue 2, one last note Vampirella's costume change  in this story is one for the better and wouldn't look too out of place in her current books. As much as I enjoy the character her bathing style costume was never the most practical one for fighting in,  although I'm sure the 11 year old me who discovered Vampirella all those years ago would disagree.


Friday, 17 January 2014

The Random 10 interview No: 4, Lazaro Suarez

The first Random 10 interview of the year is with Lazaro Suarez, Lazaro is a writer and artist and has produced his own comic. Lazaro lives in Florida and when he's not writing or drawing he's, well for that answer check out the interview.

How did you first get into drawing and writing comics?
It was a pretty long time ago when I started to write and draw my own comic book. But I thought it came out so horrible and that no one will like it that I didnt do anything with it. Then in 2010, when I went to my first convention, I saw all the people selling their own self published comic book. I thought at that moment "I can do that". So I went to work on the book My Date with the Devil's Daughter. Who knows? I might go back and revisit that "horrible" comic I put away.

Who or what were your early influences?
As an artist, I enjoy the Kuberts, Joe, Adam, and Andy. I was also influenced by Adam Hughes. As a writer, I am influenced by supernatural horror with writings such as H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King.

Where do you draw your ideas for stories and artwork from?
I like History and Mythology. I tend to try to put those elements in my stories. Also, movies, TV, and video games help me come up with my ideas. I try to come up with stories and artwork by answering my own "What if?" questions. 

You both write and draw, do you enjoy one over the other?
I am enjoy doing both. As long as I am creating something, I am happy. Yet, more people then to be critical with artwork rather than stories on social media.

If you could write or draw a story using any character which would you choose?
I would love to draw She Hulk. Her comics were always fun when I remembered reading them. As far as writing goes, I don't know. I fear I wont give the character much justice. I tend to go off the wall with my stories. If anything, I can only think of Dr. Strangge off the top of my head.

How do you like to relax when you’re not drawing?Watching movies, reading, and playing video as well as table top games.

You use social media to connect to people, do you consider this to be an important part of promoting your work?
It sure saves a lot of money from travel expenses to promote the books. But nothing beats going to conventions meeting people face-to-face. 

Your latest work is My Date with the Devils Daughter; can you tell us a bit about it?My Date with the Devil's Daughter takes place in a small town called Safe Haven, where our hero, Josh Allen must team up with the Devil's Daughter to retrieve an ancient relic stolen from Satan. This relic has the ability to create new dimensions (In this comic, Heaven and Hell are dimensions). In the comic, Josh is an Evocator. Evocators are humans that have the ability to fuse with the power of demons. Together they try to stop a renegade demon from creating his own Hell. 

Do you have any upcoming projects you wish to talk about?
As future projects, I have a few titles in mind, not yet developed. But I am currently working on a comic book with Brandy Green, who was a former member of Ghost Hunters International. The comic is a bit like Indiana Jones and features zombies, ghosts, and other paranormal elements. Hopefully it will come out in the beginning half of next year.

Where can you be found for anyone who wants to check either you, or your past and present work?
I have my own Facebook fan pages. One for my artwork and one for the comic book

As well as a DeviantArt gallery.

Tumblr pages

and Twitter!

I would like to thank Lazaro for taking the time to do this interview and wish him well in all his future work.

Monday, 13 January 2014

My Date with the Devils Daughter issues 1 & 2

The ancient flame of Molach has been stolen from the Devil and whoever has the power to create a new Hell provided they can get 133 souls, not having a clue who has stolen the flame the Devil sends his daughter to earth to try and retrieve it. While on earth after the death of his parents Josh Allen is returning to his home town of Safe Haven (you know by the name it wont be), it seems that Josh's parents were dabblers in the occult a practice that got them and a few others killed.

If Josh's life wasn't already turned upside down with the death of his parents its about to get a lot worse, when his world collides with demons out to kill him, the Devils daughter out to save him and help from a young woman called Faith who seems to be a bit too clingy for my liking, but we will see. With the death of his parents Josh is now the last in the line of Evocator's humans that can call and control demons putting a large target on Josh's back, throw into the mix a new town Pastor who has more to him than meets the eye and you have the makings of a very interesting story.

I had the pleasure of reading the first two issues after they were sent to me by the comics creator Lazaro Suarezs, and I have to say I was hooked from issue 1 and had to read them both back to back, my only disappointment been there isn't an issue 3 yet. The story is fast paced but not too fast that you feel like it has been rushed and you get the feeling that there is a set planed story arc been set up for this book, the  printed art is in black and white which suits the feel and tone of the book very well. I particularly like the way all the demons are drawn without pupils in their eyes, it makes them not only look creepy but also gives a sense that you don't know what they are thinking or about to do. Samantha the Devils is also well designed both in her demon appearance and when she changes to a more human look, and its good that she is written as more of a curious person rather than as a fire and brimstone type character.

 It is also a credit to Lazaro that he has produced an art style that fits this book perfectly in both style and tone, there are some tremendous splash pages particularly the one with the Devil in issue 1 which would look good on anyone's wall.

As I said earlier in the post I enjoyed the comics both story and art wise and thank Lazaro for sending them to me, he is a great talent which is shown with both his artwork and story telling and I wish him well in all his future endeavours.