Weekly Process Roundup 8/12/11

The weekly process roundup is a collection of sketches, pencils, inks, thumbnails, everything other than finished product, really, from The Long and Shortbox of It's favorite artists, illustrators, and writers, hitting every Friday.


Two years ago last week, I said "Jon, let's start a comics blog," and then we did. Two years ago, The Long And Shortbox of It came online. We've come a long way since then. Some changes have been made. Some creators have been interviewed. Some comics have been reviewed. There's more of all that to come, and some other pretty sweet stuff on the horizon too.

We're looking forward to what's next. And we're glad to have you along.

Gotham Central

I don't know what to do with this new Punisher #1, not really. There are too many blank spaces, too many possibilities to really know how to evaluate it as the first part of a larger story. I have a guess, though: I think this Punisher volume is going to be a Marvel Universe Gotham Central, focusing mainly on the cops who pick up the pieces as The Punisher wages his war. That Greg Rucka is writing is key. The fact that Frank Castle doesn't utter a word is another part of this suspicion, as is the fact that he is mostly a presence and not really a character. In fact, the only of the book's various presences that I would call characters (rather than caricatures) are two cops, detectives Clemons and Bolt, one of whom is the titular avenger's unwilling informant. Still, mostly they're sketches: by the time you hit the staples, you've neared the conclusion of the first of two stories, and you know next to nothing about either of them. Maybe you have a feeling, but in order for a technique like that to work, the art has to speak much more effectively than Marco Checchetto's does here.

Although there's nothing wrong with his tendencies toward dark and sketchy, particularly in a book like The Punisher, Checchetto is not nearly a proficient enough storyteller to carry this tale. His faces are always wearing funny expressions, his backgrounds are clearly designed using photoshop, some central characters are almost visually identical, and some of his passages (particularly a montage at the beginning) are impossible to follow. There's nothing here to back up the writing, and the book fails because the art does. Still, the post-staples second story (although not being very much better than the first) piques my curiosity a little bit. If Greg Rucka's story ends up being about the cop and not the anti-hero, it will be something worth keeping an eye on. If not, though, it's going to lose readers fast, just like every other Punisher series from the recent past. Maybe Rucka's got something new in him (and I certainly believe he might). If he doesn't, though, perhaps it's time to end Frank Castle's misery, and move on.

Incidentally, Rucka has this sweet new webcomic, Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether. You should check it out; it looks like a pretty killer steampunk tale to me.

Quote for the Week 8/8/11

"Call me an old fart, if you must, but ... just because you can do something doesn't mean that you need to. So, if someone said to me: Okay let's figure out a way to treat Mr. Mxyzptlk dark and grim and seriously, my first response is going to be: Why? Why do you need to? That character exists to create a certain kind of tone."
~ Marty Pasko (@MartinPasko), former writer of Superman - Word Balloon episode August 4th, 2o11 - "The DCU Past Present and Future".

I Stand Corrected: Here is the San Diego Comic-Con COMICS News

I wrote on the site's Twitter account last night:


I stand by the third sentiment, i.e. nobody's talking about any of San Diego's announcements. And a great deal of the announcements that were made really were about video games, movies, and television adapted from comics, and had very little to do with Comics. The only thing I hear about again and again is DC's (@DC_NATION) complete loss of the opportunity to salve fears over their relaunching of 52 series at the end of this month, which Josh (@IamJoshKopin) and I have already spoken a great deal about here, here, here, here, and here.

Marvel (@Marvel), Image (@imagecomics), and IDW (@IDWPublishing) were the only companies with new COMICS news at the San Diego Comic-Con this year.

The few small announcements:

[via CosmicBookNews.com]

[via @Robot6]

+ Marvel and J. Michael Straczynski (@straczynski) will finally be completing "The Twelve" after a hiatus of roughly two years. Some covers are already drawn by the awesome Paolo Rivera (@PaoloMRivera)! This is a long, long time coming.

[via @iFanboy]

+ Josh already posted on the site about Marvel's "Avengers: Origins" series of one-shots giving us new takes on several characters' inceptions here.

Thorough description from Marvel here.

[via @Marvel.com]

+ Marvel has also given us a run-down of their "Fear Itself" aftermath series: "The Fearless", "Battle Scars", and "Shattered Heroes". Superhero characters dealing with death and loss in the wake of the war-like events of "Fear Itself".

"Battle Scars" especially sounds pretty exciting to me because it's being written by "The Sixth Gun" co-creator Cullen Bunn (@cullenbunn)!

[via @Marvel.com]

+ But the most exciting? Marvel intends to counter DC's wildly successful "Earth One" series of graphic novels with a line of GNs called "Season One"!

I covered, in detail, the stages of development and release for "Superman: Earth One" and I will do my best to offer comparable coverage to Marvel.

"Spider-Man: Season One" [preliminary art from which is to the left] will also be written by Cullen Bunn (@cullenbunn). This man is going places. Hell, I'd almost go so far as to say he's arrived.

Surprisingly, unlike DC's original graphic novel line, these stories will attempt to 'play nice' with established continuity. The goal being a shelf-full of fully-fleshed-out book-length comics that lead-into the comic-books on Marvel's New This Week racks. Ambitious. Impossible? Pointless? We'll see.

More original graphic novels giving the characters I love 'feature-length' sequential art stories makes me very happy so, no matter the continuity, I'm looking forward to giving these comics a read.

[via @iFanboy]

And DC had... no news other than the release of some of the costume designs for a few of the relaunching/re-booting characters. This lends credence to the rumor bouncing around that DC rushed to announce their big plans because Rich Johnston (@richjohnston) of BleedingCool.com was going to beat them to their own story. That's the game folks. But if it's true that the company making the boldest move in comics in a decade is playing catch-up? Heaven help us all.

~ @JonGorga

P.S. ~ Side note: It appears Jeph Loeb and the new MARVEL TV division I announced the creation of back in July of 2o1o does still exist and has actually been hard at work on pushing through some new stuff. At least enough to merit a panel talking about it at the big show as iFanboy posted here. Jessica Jones getting her own live-action TV show? And a new live-action Hulk? Cool.