Joss Whedon Will Never Be Done With Superheroes

Despite the negative responses Age of Ultron resulted in, Joss Whedon is nowhere near done with superheroes. Last weekend at San Diego Comic Con he announced that he would be writing a new six issue comic book for Dark Horse Comics. Twist is described by Whedon as a “victorian female Batman” narrative. While the promo art for the comic was done by Julian Totino Tedesco, neither an official artist nor release date has been announced. In a recent interview with io9, Whedon detailed his vision and process for the upcoming story.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be done with superheroes, because I feel like I was writing about superheroes before I realized that I was. Everything sort of falls in that category. The new thing is called Twist, it’s Victorian story about a chambermaid who becomes a superhero, because I don’t get tired of that.

It’s a little dark and a little strange. I have license to sort of go to different places. I’m not beholden to the 40 years of this comic that existed before. But it is kind of classical in structure in the sense that it’s about women and men and power, culture and money and all the things I always like to nudge in.”

twist

Io9 also wondered whether Twist could possibly be made into a TV show or film to which Whedon responded simply “It’s a Dark Horse book, probably like six issues with the potential to be more. Unless I kill everyone, because you know me [laughs].” Given his reputation, it’ll be a surprise if he even makes it to six issues. Here’s hoping our feels are at least partially intact by the end of the comic’s run.

When asked about the outrage over AoU, Whedon expressed what he really thought. He said he was surprised by the response. “You know, ultimately everybody’s entitled to their opinion. Sending me pictures of nooses and things was maybe a little too entitled,” Whedon said referring to one of the major reasons he left Twitter. He went onto say that he thought putting Black Widow and Hawkeye together– despite many fans insisting they were more than friends– wasn’t right. He believes that the two superheroes just being friends is “a much more powerful and even much more romantic statement: that those people would die for each other, but they’re not trying to sleep with each other. That’s something about men and women that I wanted to say. So I’m not backing down on that one.”

Regardless of how fans might feel about AoU, Twist looks like an awesome new project and one that Whedon will really be able to sink his teeth into after the Black Widow controversy. He’s excited to “get back to something I loved very much, which is putting my hand to a comic book again.”

Photos from Geek Tyrant.

SDCC 2015 – Joss Whedon Receives Prestigious Icon Award

Joss Whedon at SDCC 2015
Image via Zimbio

Joss Whedon, creator of all things great and amazing, is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Icon Award.

Past winners have been Frank Miller (2006), Neil Gaiman (2007), George Lucas (2008), Stan Lee (2009), Ray Bradbury (2010), June Foray (2011), Matt Groening (2012), and J. Michael Straczynski (2013).

After a list like that, it is about time Whedon received the award. His influence on television, film, and comic books is insurmountable.

Source: CBR

SDCC 2015 – Joss Whedon Returns to Comic Books With ‘Twist’

 

Image via Dark Horse Comics
Image via Dark Horse Comics

Joss Whedon announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con that he is writing a comic called Twist. He described it as a “Victorian, Female Batman” story.

The series will be six issues.

This is the first time since 2008 that Whedon has written an original creation; Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog.

There were no other details about the story given, other than the heroine, Twist, will be more like Willow, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I am VERY excited about Whedon’s new venture. I would be thrilled to read a Victorian Female Batman story with or without Whedon, but this being his creation makes it that much more enticing.

Grr. Arg. (but like, in a really high-pitched excited way)

Source: Screen Rant

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Genre – Superhero / Science Fiction / Marvel
Director – Joss Whedon
Cast – Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, and James Spader (with appearances by Hayley Atwell, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, and Samuel L. Jackson)
Alluring element – It’s the Avengers.
Check it out if you liked –  Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man
Plot – 8
Acting – 8
Representation of Genre – 10
Cinematography – 9
Effects/Environment – 9
Captivity – 8
Logical consistency – 8
Originality/Creativity – 8
Soundtrack/Music – 7
Overall awesomeness – 8

 

 

hush_rating_83

avengers age of ultron 09

Let’s go back to a time when comic book movies were just starting to break the surface of mainstream movie success. The year is 2008 and Iron Man has just broken the mold on comic book movies, starting off a chain reaction so large that Marvel Universe had to start naming them in Phases. Then The Avengers assembled. The 2012 team-up annihilated everybody’s expectations of what a comic book movie should be like, and grossed over $200 million in its opening weekend. Director Joss Whedon, who has been spectacular at putting together ensemble casts and giving each one a distinct voice of their own. Well, what happens when there are too many voices? When there aren’t even enough kids playing to collect all the Easter Eggs? In short, you end up with Age of Ultron.

Avengers: Age of Ultron had been building in anticipation, and pressure, for a couple years. Since the first Avengers, the climate has changed in the movie world. Marvel has realized what a cash cow they have in their hands, and are less willing to give Joss free rein creatively like he received. This wasn’t unexpected; it happens with pretty much anything niche that hits the mainstream. While the goal was always to remain a character-driven story, the movie became just too BIG for its own good. Pressure from the studio, and worse – from himself – have made for a tumultuous production. Even Edgar Wright, the original director of Ant-Man, left the production due to creative differences. Nevertheless, as Joss assured Vulture, “it’s baldly, nakedly” him.

avengers age of ultron 04

I wish that this wasn’t a relevant discussion to the movie, but I’d be lying. It shouldn’t, however, detract from the fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron was a entertaining experience, full of as much dry humor as there were explosions. Each player on the team was given a spotlight, a purpose, and the film moved around from each teammate relatively smoothly. Each action scene was sandwiched with a slower scene, usually in the form of some comic relief. The scene in the previews where the team is challenged to pick up Mjölnir is just as hilarious the 20th time I’ve seen it, and there are multiple one liners that I hope will live on just as “puny god” did from the original. Wit wasn’t in short supply, and that can happen when your villain is supposed to be a mirror image of Tony Stark. James Spader (Red from The Blacklist) does a fantastic job as the spoiled artificial intelligence, and watching him go back and forth with Robert Downey Jr. was organic – even though one of the characters was not. Not all the characters were well-represented, though.

avengers age of ultron 03

Black Widow was, up until Scarlet Witch joined the team, the only girl on the team. The stunt work in Avengers for her was awesome. She beat up a group of gangsters while she was strapped to a chair! This movie? Not so much. Her new tactical Tron suit was neat, and she had a few good punch lines, but it seemed like her entire purpose of being in the movie was to be the love interest of Bruce Banner. Their romance seemed trivial to the point that the movie would have been better without it entirely. Yeah, I get the necessity of the lullaby, but the whole “run away with me” thing? It just left a bad taste in my mouth. It was #notmyJoss. Also, even a Hulkbuster battle couldn’t make me forget how dirty they did Black Panther’s homeland. #NotmyWakanda.

avengers age of ultron 07

Scarlet Witch, on the other hand, is everything you want in a strong female character: tragic backstory, symbiotic reliance on a platonic character, and enough firepower to destroy the world (literally, in the comic books). Elizabeth Olsen totally stole the show as Scarlet Witch, and she did it without being reduced to a helpless romantic plot device. The horror-type scenes where she taints the Avengers’ minds is the most Whedon-esque part of the film.

Her brother in the movie, Pietro Maximoff, did a wonderful job, too. Aaron Taylor Johnson is coming into his own as an actor, and is virtually unrecognizable as the same kid who played Kick-Ass; in both this film and Godzilla, I leaned over and asked Adrian, “Can you believe that’s Kick-Ass?,” to which she replied, “That’s Kick-Ass?!” Even Hawkeye, who was virtually a non-factor in Avengers, found his footing in Age of Ultron.

avengers age of ultron 01

Look, it’s up to Marvel to look beyond the status quo, and with a project this vast, there isn’t enough space to carve up something new. The dawn of saturation could finally be upon us. The movie was good. It might even be better than the first Avengers. However, we knew the magic wasn’t going to last forever. We may have gotten just a little too much of the machine and not enough of the mind that turns the gears. To bring back the magic, Marvel Studios is only a few steps away.

First, stop releasing so. much. media… There used to be a sense of surprise and adventure to seeing a movie. Shoot, I remember when I saw Dude, Where’s My Car? as a 12 year-old based on the “Dude, Sweet” debate alone. Suffice to say that my standards have improved, but I can still do without having secret characters, fight scenes and plot twists explained to me in continuous waves for months on end. Ant-Man is a great example how a tiny bit (no pun intended) of exposure will result in a better experience for fans.

avengers age of ultron 08

Second, if Marvel Studios is going to explore every inch of the Marvel Universe, they need to take their time. I didn’t like the idea of turning the Infinity War into a two-parter at first, but after seeing just how much they tried to cram into Age of Ultron (which is actually two minutes shorter than its predecessor), it’s clear that a more immersive experience beats a thrilling one anytime. We got to see the Vision in this film, what, like 10 minutes? Depth is the reason Daredevil is doing so well as a Netflix series; there is time to build attachments to these characters.

Lastly, putting out original content will make everybody happy. Marvel puts out a couple dozen comic books out every week; surely they could borrow an actual storyteller (Marvel has more than a few of those) instead of retrofitting and rehashing decades of previously-established events. Guardians of the Galaxy is a good example of how film makers can actually come up with their own source material.

avengers age of ultron 06

It’s no coincidence that the most enjoyable parts of the movie were the unique and new aspects to it. When I sign up to see an Avengers movie, I’ve grown accustomed to the action scenes and dry wit. That no longer impresses me, though. It’s a shame, too, because Ultron has the potential to be the scariest villain they’ve faced so far. Instead, we ended up with a nuisance – one with access to nuclear codes that instead opts to elevate a flying city and drop it on the Earth like a meteor. That’s what made reviewing this movie so difficult; it’s a good movie, but it might just be too much of the same thing for fans that have been flocking to the theaters for seven years now.

All pictures belong to Disney and Marvel Studios.

Denver Comic Con 2014 Interview – Georges Jeanty

This weekend at Denver Comic Con 2014, Hush Comics interviewed the wonderful artist Georges Jeanty, famous for his work on Buffy Season 8 and 9, as well as his current stint on Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.  He had a lot to say about his past, present, and future, including his time with Joss, what he really thinks about Buffy hook-ups, and whether or not Wonder Woman is in his future.

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

Hush Comics: What was it about comics that sucked you in?

Georges Jeanty: I guess when you’re a kid, you really don’t know anything else.  Maybe now you do with video games and all, but that really didn’t exist.  Maybe Pong existed when I was a kid.  It was just the love of stories, reading, and things like that.  I was a very weird child.  I liked to read when I was younger.  And, comics just grabbed me.  And it grabbed me in a way that it just never let me go.  And then when you get older, you realize, ‘Hey, I can draw!” And then you go, ‘Hey, I’m actually kind of good.  Hey, look I can do this.”  So it was sort of a natural, evolutionary process.

HC: Currently, you are working on the Serenity comic, and I know you were a fan of the show Firefly, when it was on the air, so can you tell me a bit about what made you love the story?

GJ: Love the story that I was doing or the show?

HC: Both.

GJ: Well it’s a show that really had potential and obviously cut down before its prime, type of thing.  So, it’s very sad.  The vindication, of course, is that it got a movie and it goes on from there.  The comics, honestly, it’s all because of Joss Whedon.  I firmly believe that if Joss Whedon didn’t like comics, it would not be a comic book, per se.  Buffy probably would have been, because I believe Buffy is co-owned by FOX, but Joss has Firefly and had he never really been interested in the medium, there probably wouldn’t be a Firefly comic book.  The story is great because it’s the first one that really is post film and it takes place after and you find out what happens to everybody and where they went after the film.  So that’s the really cool part about it.  As a fan, I couldn’t wait to read the scripts when I was getting those.

HC: Awesome!  I am a huge fan, too.  When you were younger, I have heard that you wanted to be an actor.  Who were your inspirations and did you ever act in anything?

GJ: Man, when I was younger, Robin Williams was Mork in Mork and Mindy.  I have always been more attracted to comedy and the people who make you laugh.  It is sort of a philosophical thing.  You never forget the person who makes you laugh.  Somebody can you make you cry, somebody can make you mad, somebody can you give you all those other emotions, but it’s the people, you may not even remember their names, but the people that make you laugh.  I did a little bit in high school, acting, and in college, and church plays here and there, but I quickly realized I was a better artist than I was an actor.   Or that it would probably pay better for me sooner than later.

HC: So at one point you were an artist with a collaborative Gaijin Studios.  What did you do there and how did being with them get you the big gigs that you ended up with?

GJ: Gaijin Studios was primarily just a studio with a bunch of artists. We didn’t necessarily produce anything.  We all worked in the same area as a sort of cohabitation.  We all had our cubicles or rooms as it were.  The great thing about that was a lot of the guys there had been in the business a little longer than I had, and had a reputation that when I was looking for work I could say, ‘Yeah, I’m part of this group called Gaijin,’ and it was part of this swag of being part of that studio that people were like, ‘Oh! Interesting.  I know the studio.  I don’t know you, but if you’re part of that studio, you must pretty good. ‘  So that probably got me Bishop: The Last X-Man years and years ago, and that probably got me that gig.

HC: Speaking of Bishop, Days of Future Past just came out and as a kid I always connected with the animated version of the story.  So how does it feel to have your version of Bishop on the big screen?

GJ: It was the version that I did.  It wasn’t technically my version because that concept was already done when I came to the book.  I evolved in it.  I did about 15 issues of Bishop, so it sort of evolved into whatever version it was.  It was really cool.  I have no criticism, per se, but, of course, you’re looking at something and thinking, ‘Yeah, he would have been a little bit bulkier,’ or ‘He would have been a little more of this.’ But just to see the character that you did, and essentially went into obscurity, its nicely vindicated.  Granted he didn’t have a lot of screen time.  Funny enough, if you didn’t now who he was, you’re going, ‘What? What’s he doing?’  Bishop could absorb power and redirect it. That was his mutant power.  But they never actually explain that in the movie.  So, you’re kind of like, ‘Ok, I guess he can shoot stuff out of his hands. Cool.’

HC: Can you tell me a little bit about how you were able to work with John Ridley on The American Way?

GJ: John Ridley, who has just blown up, totally. Actually coming out next he has got a musical biography of Jimi Hendrix coming later this year.

HC: With Andre 3000?

GJ: With Andre 3000.  Yeah he [John Ridley] was a great guy.  Again, another guy who just loved comics.  He did a couple of things with Wildstorm.  He wrote Authority and then something else, a short story.   And then he pitched this creator owned gig and they brought me on after the fact to say, ‘Hey, he would love to collaborate with you.’  I created the look of the characters with a description that he had done.  He said essentially, ‘You being apart of this, I know there aren’t any big stars or Superman, Batman, any of those characters are not in here, but what I can offer you is a piece of this particular pie should it ever go anywhere.  This was 8 or 9 years ago, where you going, ‘Oh, whatever.  Cool.’  And the story was so good.  I think at the time, I was pegged to do The Flash.  So I was geared towards something that was more established and more known.  After I read his script I was going ‘Oh my God.  This is so good.  If I didn’t draw this, this is something I would want to pick up and read.’  And finally Ben Abernathy, the editor, at Wildstorm at that title at the time was really selling it.  Through Ben’s generosity, I said, ‘Sounds like these would be really cool people to work with.’  When you’re looking at a project like that, originally it was 10 issues and it ended up being 8 issues, but you’re going, ‘I’m going to be with these guys for 8 months.’  That’s a relationship where you’re like, ‘If I don’t like you now, I’m really not going to like you in 8 months.  But if you seem cool, hopefully there is hope that we will really get along.’  John and I got along great.  I mean it was a lot of back and forth.  We called each other a lot and talked about it.  He loved the comic medium.  He really loved the idea that he was saying something about the Civil Rights Movement and all that stuff.  It is probably one of the things I am most proud of in this business.

HC: That says a lot.  After you were done working on The American Way, you were contacted to work on Buffy.  Up that point you hadn’t seen the series yet, but piggybacking off of my Firefly question, what is it about the Buffy story that you love, not only the show, but what you did?

GJ: Uh, that it was Joss Whedon.  I didn’t even read the script.  I didn’t know what the script was, but they said, ‘Well Joss Whedon’s going to be writing the first arc.  Would you be interested?’  I’m like, ‘Yeah.  Sure.’  And I hadn’t really watched Buffy.  I knew Buffy through pop culture, but I had never really absorbed her, and I really quickly caught up when I did get the gig.  Joss was really generous.  I knew who he was, and just the fact that he was giving this to me, this guy who really had no reputation.  I mean, I had done books, but whatever.  He had seen my work, liked it, and wanted me.  I was like ‘Yeah, you’re Joss Whedon.  Cool.’ [Now referring to Joss] ‘No, no, dude, here’s my phone number.  Call me if you need anything, or if you have questions about his or that.’  This was the first time Joss was actually doing a Buffy comic book which was very monumental.   Buffy had been printed up until then for years, but he had never actually done anything.  He did a little something in the Tales of the Vampire and the Tales of the Slayer, but never on Buffy directly.  I quickly realized how much of a big deal this was.  I jumped in on that strength, not really knowing the character.

HC: I know that you didn’t watch it before hand, and I have heard you watched it out of order.  What order did you watch it in?

GJ: I did.  I started with season 6 and then 7.  I liked it so much, because the sent me season 6 and 7 on DVD, I liked it so much, I went back and watched 1-5 on my own.

HC: And did you watch 6 and 7 again so you felt you had the whole series?

GJ: No.  I sort of watched little bits here and there where I needed to get the characters a little more defined.  No, in my mind when I think of Buffy in the end it’s when she actually dies saving Dawn.  That season 6 two-parter was kind of strange because I’m like, ‘She’s dead? So she’s coming back? And who is this biker gang? And now there is this other Slayer thing? What is this?’  And a big thing that I just never understood was her Slayer strength.  I knew she was a Slayer, but to me that did not automatically denote she was more powerful than everybody.  So, a lot of the first few episodes I saw, I felt bad that this girl is getting beaten up and I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is like a masochistic television show. That poor little girl.’  And then when I talked to Joss, because I was doing the comic book… I sort of need details.  You need your stage in order to perform.  You need to know what’s on that stage so you know what you can use.  And with Buffy, I told Joss, ‘Well she’s strong.  Ok. I get that, but how strong?  Is she Superman strong?‘  And he’s like, ‘Well, it’s funny.  We’ve never really tested her limit, but in all honesty, think maybe Spider-Man strong, not Superman strong.  But definitely more than Batman strong.’  So that sort of put things in place to me where as an artist I knew how far I could go.  She could probably turn over a car, but she would have a lot of trouble lifting it over her head.  Those little details, which obviously never came to play in the book, but I knew what she could do.

HC:  I have heard season 6 is your favorite season.  Is that still true?

GJ: Yes.  Totally.  I’m all about change.  I totally get it, the people who were with it all the way from the beginning, people love season 3 when Faith comes in, and no one likes season 4 for some reason.  But there were moments like Oz and Willow, and then Tara coming in.  There are moments in every season.  It’s not that any one season is a blanket of awful or great.  There are moments.  But I thought season 6 just said, ‘This is what it was, and now these guys are growing. ‘  Sometimes, you might have a bad year, or you might get fired.  That year is your lowest year, but that doesn’t mean you are any less of a person, but your life has changed.  That year was such a year of change. A lot of people who didn’t like Spike were like, ‘Well, that’s because they hooked up that season and it was awful.’  I appreciated that change and I loved Andrew, Warren and Jonathon coming in.  Those guys were so funny.  It’s obvious the writers were having a great time writing their dialog.  That felt to me like a cool season.

HC: Do you have a moment from season 6, that you are like, ‘That’s the moment’?

GJ: I’m probably supposed to say The Musical.  It’s been a while now and all of has just morphed in to one big Buffy ball.  I couldn’t tell you the specifics of season 6.  I will tell you though, and since Joss was such a big comic book fan, he modeled Willow’s dissension on Jean Grey and Dark Phoenix.  When you watch it having known that, you see that when Willow brings Buffy back and then Giles has that conversation, like, ‘You incompetent idiot.  How could you have done that?’  And she’s like, ‘Maybe you should be a little nicer to me knowing how much I actually did.’  You can see she wasn’t bad there because she didn’t have the black magic obviously, but you can tell there was that seed that was planted and I love that.  And it’s something if you’re a long time you’re like, ‘Cool, this is going somewhere.’  Oh! Ok, I do have a moment.  Probably the best moment, and Joss loves to do this, is when Dark Willow is doing whatever, he [Joss] recreated it in season 8 in the first arc, where Willow is like ‘Nothing can stop me now.’ And then bam!  She gets hit and Giles is like, ‘I’d like to test that theory.’  And that’s the end of the episode, and it’s like, that is the coolest ending ever.  And when Amy the rat comes back and she does it and Willow does the same thing, it’s ‘Oh my God that is so cool.  And I was a part of it.  Cool!’

HC: That is awesome!  How has working under Joss’ direction influenced the way you tell stories through art?

GJ: His story telling is not so much about the script.  I learned a lot more talking to him.  I’m the kind of artist where I get the script, I read it, absorb it, but of course there will be little nuances and I always tell a writer I work with, ‘Do you mind if I call you because I want to get your thoughts.  When you say this person walks into the room upset… Buffy walks into the room upset, that could mean a lot.  Could be upset that she just had a hangnail, or she didn’t get her nails done, or upset that she got really bad news.’  I would usually talk to my writers and ask, ‘What is the context of this?  How upset?  What is their body language?’  I guess that is the actor in me who is coming in and saying, ‘Well, what are they doing that gets them to that point?’ Obviously, if you’re upset, you’re standing in a different way, or you’re looking in a different way.  Your posture is definitely different.  That was one of the things I would talk to Joss about.  There was one time where he was writing a script and he was a little late and I was like, ‘When do you think it’s going to get done?   The editor is on my back because I have to draw it and it takes a whole lot longer to draw. ‘  And he said, ‘Yeah, the only problem I am having with this script is that I don’t know what I am trying to say.’  And that is when it solidified to me that Joss works on theme.  Like the theme of loss or redemption; anything you can put in a theme.  That’s where he says, ‘This is my theme and I am going to try to structure the episode around that theme.  Everybody is going to be affected in some way by that theme.  They may not be the central focus of that theme, but they are going to be affected.’  That to me makes really good story telling because you’re combining everything. Especially in television, since it is a serialized drama, it keeps going on and on, all you really have are themes because there has to be that arc, and usually for that episode, you know that there is something they went through.  That is the biggest thing he taught me, indirectly, just reading his work and listening to the man talk.

HC: If you could draw any scene from a Whedonverse show, what scene would you draw?

GJ: Well, why would I do that?  I will counter that statement, actually.  I did have a conversation with Joss just about this.  I will tell you there is a scene that I would have loved to have drawn that never made it on television but should have.  When we were doing season 8, I hate to give myself credit for this, but I am the Buffy fans, best friend because I was going to bat. When Buffy slept with another woman, I was like, ‘Nuh-Uh! She’s not going to sleep with another woman.  I’m not going to draw that.  You need to justify that to me before I can do that.’  When Giles died, “Nuh-Uh! Giles isn’t dead because I’m not going to draw it.  You have to justify that to me first.’  So I was really going to bat.  I went to Joss at some point and said, ‘Dude, you’ve got Spike coming in season 8.  That’s great, we are finally getting the gang back together.’  But I was like, ‘Joss, you realize, if you think about it, Buffy doesn’t know Spike is alive.  Because he became alive in Angel obviously and there was never that scene where it’s like, ‘Oh my God’ [referring to Buffy].  He [Joss] was like, ‘Yeah but the fans are really…’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, the fans want to know that stuff.  That’s the stuff that they love.’  He said, ‘No, they can probably assume that Andrew told them’ because of “The Girl in Question” in Angel, they both go and see Andrew. ‘They can just assume Buffy found out from him. ‘  I said, ‘It’s a little bit of a cop out, I gotta tell ya.’  In my mind, over the years, I wonder what that scene would be like.  The writer in me, doing Buffy for so many years at that point, I was creating that scene so I could justify it when they did get together and of course subsequently have all these conversations.  In my mind, that is what I feel happened in continuity, although it never actually showed up.

HC: Do you have time to read comics, and if so which ones are you currently reading?

GJ: Yes.  I hate to say this because it probably makes me a bigger geek than I am, but I’m at the comic shop every Wednesday, looking and seeing what’s out.  I’m reading The Uncanny X-Men that Brian Bendis and Stuart Immomen are doing.  And the Miracleman reprints, the Alan Moore stuff.  Comics today are a very different animal, and very rightly so because of the movies.  Now, limited series is a thing.  A continuity book is virtually non-existent, and reading this has really restored my faith in what comics could do because while Alan Moore isn’t reinventing the wheel with his stories that he did back in the ‘80’s, it’s obvious that he is taking the story telling medium, and these were a bunch of 8 page stories that he did that were collected eventually, and with these 8 pages he is just telling the story as it is progressing, but every 8 pages is doing it in a different way.  It is so entertaining.  Miracleman is sort of a British knockoff of Shazam.  Even in that, he plays with that factor, and it is just so good.  I cannot recommend it enough.  Anyone who wants to be a comic writer ought to be reading those Miracleman comics because he is just doing great storytelling.

HC: You drew Buffy for season 8 and 9, will you be making a return in season 10?

GJ: That is a very interesting question.  Well, I did Serenity, which was sort of always the plan.  Yeah, personally feel that Buffy was the girl I came to dance with.  I certainly don’t want to abandon her.  If they ask me back for something, whatever it is, probably not as long as I did before, but I would come back for something special.

HC: Since Serenity will be ending soon, do you know what your work will be in the future?

GJ: I personally finished Serenity a few months ago, because of course you have to do it ahead so they can print it.  But, I’m working on The Future’s End for DC right now, which is their big 52 book, a whole year, every week.  I am doing what I can; I pretty much do a book a month.  So, I’ve done an issue and I’ve got an issue waiting for me, so I will for the foreseeable future be doing that.  And there is some talk of maybe doing some Wonder Woman stuff down the line.  Who knows?  It’s just hearsay right now.  So, we will see!

Denver Comic Con 2014 Preview

We’re one day away from the third annual Denver Comic Con. Just one year ago, we ventured through the Colorado Convention Center with our eyes and wallets wide open, soaking up the comic book convention experience like The Quickster. This year, we have new faces joining us as writers, adding to our little band of fancy-pants nerds. Denver Comic Con has EXPLODED this year, featuring more celebrities and more programming. In preparation for the Con, we’re going to be highlighting the guests that will be coming and the panels that we’ll be trying to check out. We’ll be writing live from the event, so if there is anything crazy happening, you’ll hear it straight from us.

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

It was so difficult for us to narrow down the list of things we want to do. If it were up to us, we’d do everything, but with we will be able to cover a lot of ground. That doesn’t mean we can do everything (or does it??), but we will try. Here’s a list of the stops we absolutely have to make:

Guests:

Batmen: Continuing the celebration of Batman’s 75th Anniversary, Denver Comic Con has brought two of the most iconic men to take the mantle of the Batman. Legendary voice actor Kevin Conroy, who played Batsy in Batman: The Animated Series will be there, and so will Adam West, who played Batman in the 1960’s television series (and the spin-off movie). West brought friends, too; he will be joined by his Robin, Burt Ward, and his Catwoman, Julie Newmar. They’re all getting their own panels, to boot.

Star Trek: TNG: Perhaps the biggest announcement is that of a ST:TNG reunion panel, featuring some of the biggest names from the hit show. Among those attending are: Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, and LeVar Burton. Joining them is Star Trek alumnus William Shatner. Trekkie nerds will be freaking out.

Bruce Campbell: My top people to meet would first be Bruce Campbell. I would love to meet him because he is a legend in my eyes and has been a part of some of my favorite films of all time. Not to mention he is one of my biggest inspirations for pursuing film and acting. The second highest up person would be Jim Cummings because he has played some characters in animation that mean the world to me and those ones (Mr. Bumpy and Genghis Frog) are some he is not known for so of course you add Winnie the Pooh, Darkwing Duck and Taz in there and it is impossible to contain the nerdy child inside of me.

Arrow: We were lucky enough to meet Stephen Amell at Emerald City Comic Con this year, so imagine our delight to see that he’ll be making an appearance in our hometown. He may be a hardcore vigilante on TV, but Amell is a sweet guy in real life. With him comes his crime-fighting buddy, Caity Lotz, who plays Black Canary on Arrow. This is one of the best shows on right now, so don’t miss your chance to mingle with the superheroes!

Comic Book Artists: Some of our favorite comic book artists are coming. We’re expecting to take home an abundance of prints and/or sketches. These artists range from mainstream to independent, and are the reason we pick up the books  that we do. The beautiful art of Fiona Staples, the gritty Tim Sale, Whedonverse’s Georges Jeanty, the inspiring Colleen Doran and the innovative Yanick Paquette are just a few that we’re looking forward to talking to.

Very Honorable Mentions:
Max Brooks (World War Z)
Doctor Who (Peter Davison, Slyvester McCoy)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
J. Scott Campbell (Marvel cover artist)
Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon from The Walking Dead)
Legendary Artists (Neal Adams, George Pérez)
Greg Weisman (Star Wars Rebels, Young Justice)
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from Star Wars)
Power Rangers (David Yost, Jason David Frank, Walter Jones)
 
Want to know more about the guests at Denver Comic Con 2014? Check out our 30 spotlight articles here.
 
See all the special guests here.

Programming:

Star Trek: The Next Generation Reunion Panel

Denver Comic Con announced it will host a reunion of six of the cast members of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to be moderated by William Shatner. The ticketed panel also includes Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis. Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Will Wheaton will not able to join the rest of the cast in Denver due to scheduling conflicts.

“Even though Star Trek: The Next Generation only originally aired for seven seasons, fans have come to have deep attachments to these characters,” said convention director Dr. Christina Angel. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide a forum where fans and cast members can interact—including, of course, the captain of the reunion panel: William Shatner.”

Batman 75th Panels

There will be three different panels celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight. The first, held on Saturday, will be a nostalgic journey with Adam West, Julie Newmar and Burt Ward that is bound to make the crowd laugh. Later that day will be a panel discussion about the actual comic books, where the room will gush over The Dark Knight Returns, The Court of Owls, and, of course, Hush (even if that somebody is us!). Then on Sunday, we get the Kevin Conroy panel. This guy pretty much raised us with his voice on Batman: The Animated Series, so we’re super excited for the panel.
See all the programming here.

Outside the Con

Mile High Comics Pre-Party

Denver Comic Con looks to have 75,000 guests. Yes, you read that correctly. Seventy-five THOUSAND. That’s just over half of the 130,000 capacity at San Deigo Comic Con (the world’s largest) and larger than Emerald City Comic Con. That being said, you definitely want to grab your badge before you get to the convention center. There’s no better way to do that than attend Mile High Comic’s Denver Comic Con launch party. While you wait, peruse the largest comic book warehouse IN THE WORLD. Meet legendary artists like Neal Adams (who was totally awesome to us last year) and George Pérez and mingle with other nerds about the world’s fastest-growing Comic Con. More details here. THIS HAPPENS TONIGHT!

Cosplay Contest Shindig

Denver has been the best con for cosplay we’ve been to – hands down. Even we got into the mix last year, dressing up as Jesse Pinkman and Walter White from Breaking Bad; here’s a free tip – don’t wear industrial grade chemical suits in a highly-crowded area. Yuck. Anyway, Denver is a breeding ground for creativity, and with as many hardcore nerds as we have here, this is a must-attend event.

Film on the Field

The Denver Outlaws and Denver Comic Con are partnering with Denver Film Society to bring you Film on the Field after the Outlaws June 14th home game. Watch The Amazing Spiderman on the HD Thundervision screen at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The game starts at 7pm and after the conclusion of the game, fans will be invited down to the field to watch the 2012 blockbuster staring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Tickets for both the game and the movie start at just $12 with $4 from each ticket going back to benefit Comic Book Classroom. Buy tickets here.

Denver Comic Con info can be found by downloading the Guidbook app. It’s a pretty seamless app, so hopefully it will be helpful.

 

Going to Denver Comic Con? Have any topics you want us to cover while we’re there? Have any tips about Denver in general? We want to hear it!

“Respect My Craft” – Nicholas Brendon

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

dcc font
Click on the link to view all our Denver Comic Con articles!

NOTE: Nicholas Brendon can’t make Denver Comic Con.  So sad!  We will see you next year!

Name: Nicholas Brendon

Profession: Actor

Notable Work: Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“I want people to say, ‘Nicholas Brendon, he’s supposedly the nicest guy in the world.’ I want to do good work, but more than that, I want to stay a good human being. That’s more important than any character I play.” -Nicholas Brendon

Nicholas Brendon has been in my life for 17 years.  Typing that seems so surreal, and it makes me seem much older than I really am.  When I was 9 years old, Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted on TV, and I was hooked from the start.  I instantly knew I was Buffy, and subsequently, Nicholas Brendon’s Xander Harris became my best friend.  When I was in 5th grade, I was the new girl in school.  I made fast friends with a boy and a girl and I often roped them into playing “Buffy” with me on the playground.  It worked out well that the boy was named Alex, and he was the best Xander any 10 year old could ask for.  15 years later, when I was lucky enough to attend San Diego Comic Con in 2012, I had the opportunity to meet the real life Xander Harris, Nicholas Brendon.  I remember being very scared, even at 25, to meet one of the people who influenced my thought process and language.  He even gave me the oft said line, “It’s funny if you’re me.”  I nervously approached his table and as sweet as pie, he asked if I wanted a hug.  Who would say no?

Adrian and Nicholas Brendon 2012 SDCC
Nicholas Brendon and I San Diego Comic Con 2012.

Nicholas Brendon was born in 1971 in Los Angeles.  And yes, he does have a twin brother named Kelly. And yes, it is mind boggling how similar they look.  Brendon was a huge baseball fan growing up.  As a child, he dreamed of being a Dodger.  Brendon loved baseball so much that at his own prom, he decided to watch a Dodger game instead.  “We had better music at Sunnydale’s prom than at my real-life prom. And at my prom, I didn’t really have a date, which is sort of what happens to Xander. At my real prom, I kind of ducked out the hotel ballroom and watched a Dodger game until 3 a.m. because it went about 22 innings. And my friends were saying, ‘Oh no! Where’d Nick go?’ I think I was trying to get people to worry about me. That whole teenage angst thing.”  When he was a teen, he injured his arm, making his professional chances slim.  After dabbling in many different careers, Brendon decided at age 25 to try to become an actor.

Brendon’s career really began with Buffy.  He had been in showbiz for about 3 months before he got the job of a lifetime, playing Buffy’s quirky, yet lovable best friend, Xander.  Before Buffy, Brendon had played background roles in Married with Children and Children of the Corn III.  It has been highly publicized that Brendon has a stutter.  He has talked very positively about how he has dealt with it, becoming a role model for people who also stutter.  When it comes to his decision to act, he has said, “I always wanted to be an actor, but with a speech impediment it’s kind of tough. I decided to roll the dice and take an acting class, which was very, very nerve-wracking… my stomach would just be in knots.”  His roll of the dice led to his most notable role.  For 7 years, Brendon was a lead role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, appearing in 143 episodes.

Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris in BtVS.

Brendon’s Xander started out as a goofy, not so popular skater, and best friend to other not so popular Sunnydale High sophomore, Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan).  Over the shows 7 seasons, Xander became more than just comic relief, although he was always good at that.  In his relationship with Buffy and Willow, he was the heart of the group.  Along the way, he ended up becoming the secret boyfriend to the most popular girl in school, the go-to guy about weapons due to his knowledge of the Army, and the only guy on the show without some sort of “label” who also saved the world.  Xander may have been “The Zeppo”, but Brendon’s portrayal of the character allowed everyone to love him.  And led everyone to cringe, wail, and yell violently when he got his eye poked out.

Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris with his gals Buffy and Willow (Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan).
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris with his gals Buffy and Willow (Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan).

Since Buffy ended in 2003, Brendon has been in roles intermittently, though he admitted in his panel at Comicpalooza 2014 that he believes he has been typecast.  Despite that, he is a recurring character on Criminal Minds as Kevin Lynch, a technical analyst and love interest to the character Penelope Garcia.   He also played Lee McHenry, a rapist, who had a 4 episode arc in Private Practice.  He has spoken on how emotionally difficult that was to play.  Aside from acting, in 2010, Brendon and artist Steve Loter started an online comic, Very Bad Koalas.  Currently, Brendon helps write the comic adaptation of Buffy, contributing largely to his own character, Xander.  In two weeks, Brendon’s new movie Coherence will come out in theaters,  Coherence is a science fiction drama about a group of friends who are together when a comet passes over Earth.  It is being highly touted, and you can read a spoiler-free review here.

Hush Comics is very excited for Nicholas Brendon to come to Denver Comic Con.  Buffy may have ended 10 years ago, but Xander will always be “the heart.”

Most of the media in this article belong to Hush Comics; it  belongs to their respective properties (Mutant Enemy). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with chameleon Karl Urban.

written by Adrian Puryear