Genesis from Image Comics

Writer Nathan Edmondson is one of my fave comics scribes, with series such as Olympus, The Light, Who Is Jake Ellis? and now Black Widow from Marvel. His new work with Image Comics is a one-shot with an intriguing premise, and the first work from artist Alison Sampson. Official lowdown below.

 

GENESIS WILL TAKE YOU ON A JOURNEY OF CREATION AND DESTRUCTION

Sweeping visuals and poignant writing make Nathan Edmondson and Alison Sampson’s new one-shot

Nathan Edmondson (WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?, The Punisher, Black Widow) and debut artist Alison Sampson’s, GENESIS, pairs sweeping visuals with poignant writing to bring readers a one-shot that cannot be missed.

GENESIS is a trippy journey of creation and destruction as one man finds himself with the ability to manifest anything by thinking it—only to learn that with seemingly unlimited power comes unstoppable terror.

“Genesis was a fun opportunity to let storytelling and art run wild with the idea of creativity itself—of the boundlessness of imagination and the inevitable vertigo that comes from the unlimited ability to manifest anything into being,” said Nathan Edmondson.

Sampson has a background in architecture which informs her style. “The comic page is built up like I’d design a bit of architecture, with leading and secondary spaces and places and so on. I found it hard to be linear, to cater to a reader—comics and architecture are not always the same,” explained Sampson. “It amazes me what level of design skills comic artists bring to their pages, even as someone who designs every day. I miss the excitement of being on site, but you can do all sorts of things on paper you can’t do in real life, and there is a lot of that still to explore.”

“I’m really grateful for Nathan asking me to do this. The script let me draw on my architectural background (twenty five years of it) to bring something special of my own to the project and I hope that comes across—Nathan is a designer’s writer,” said Sampson. “I’m relatively new to comics and there was a steep learning curve, but Nathan works with some amazing artists, so there was a standard to meet and this made me work harder.”

GENESIS (ONE-SHOT) arrives in stores on 4/16, and will be available for $6.99. It can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code: FEB140504.

GENESIS_COVER-Image Comics

 

Who Is Jake Ellis? Film

Talented writer Nathan Edmondson’s Who Is Jake Ellis? mini-series, which he created with artist Tonci Zonjic is becoming a film! That’s exciting news indeed. It was one of my fave comics of recent years, and definitely has big screen potential. Director David Yates is attached, who was behind four of the Harry Potter films.

Edmondson recently wrote the Splinter Cell comic that tied in with the new game, Blacklist, and promises on his blog that the remaining issues of the sequel, Where Is Jake Ellis? will be out soon. He also has two Marvel projects that will be announced at next week’s New York Comic Con.

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Nathan Edmondson Interview

At Broken Frontier you can find my chat with one of my fave comics writers Nathan Edmondson (Who Is Jake Ellis?, The Activity). He talks about his May releasing (and in the current Previews catalogue) Image series, Dancer.

Who Is Jake Ellis Launches In January

One of my fave mini-series this year has been The Light from writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Brett Weldele. Edmondson is definitely a writer on the rise, proving that his comics debut Olympus was no fluke. His next series hits shelves next year. I’m so there. Official details below.
Writer Nathan Edmondson made people afraid to look into the light with THE LIGHT, a sell-out five-issue miniseries drawn by Brett Weldele (The Surrogates). Now, he brings new life to the spy genre with WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?, an all-new series from Image Comics.
The first issue of JAKE ELLIS will be in stores in January 2011. Tonci Zonjic (POPGUN, The Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil) joins Edmondson on the book, producing action-packed art and covers for the series.
“Tonci and I are bringing the idea of psychological thriller to a whole new arena,” says Edmondson. “One part mystery, one part friendship, one part James Bond and Jason Bourne lovechild, and one other part sci-fi spy. You’ll be asking yourself the whole ride through — just who is Jake Ellis?”
Jon Moore is the most sought after spy-for-hire in Europe’s criminal world. This is because of Jake Ellis, a man who is invisible to everyone except Moore. When a deal goes bad, the only one who can protect Moore from Europe’s most dangerous criminals is Jake Ellis. No one but Moore can see Jake Ellis. But Jake Ellis can see everything.
WHO IS JAKE ELLIS? #1 (NOV100403), a 32-page, full-color comic book from Image Comics, will be in stores January 5, 2011, for $2.99. THE LIGHT VOL. 1 TP (OCT100471), a 140-page full-color graphic novel for $16.99, will be in stores December 15, 2010.
For the latest updates, follow Nathan Edmondson on Twitter, www.twitter.com/nhedmondson, and check out the Jake Ellis website at www.whoisjakeellis.com.

Nathan Edmondson Talks About The Light Ending

Over at Broken Frontier is my interview with writer Nathan Edmondson about his series The Light, which is one of my fave new series of the year. The 5th and final issue of the mini is out now from Image and the TPB comes out in December.

The Light #2 Review

Nathan Edmondson and Brett Weldele make for a formidable duo on this new mini-series from Image. The writer of Olympus and artist of The Surrogates really do work well together, and there is a brave story being told within these pages. Yes, this issue has been out for 2 weeks now, but in order to catch up you can read the entire first issue for free here and Edmondson’s commentary on the same issue here.

The “elevator pitch” is that there’s a mysterious infection making contact with anyone who looks into a light source, killing them instantly. In this mad panic are thrust bad dad Cole and his initially skeptical daughter Avery. It may appear to be an unpublished Stephen King story, but the creative duo behind the series make it their own. The first issue was a remarkably bold exercise in dramatic storytelling. The status quo was set up with great economy before father and daughter woke up to their dangerous new world. Here, the confusion and running continue. The cliffhanger from last issue is not resolved yet, but I know it will be before the remaining 3 issues hit shelves.

The scale is larger here, while still remaining the simple glimpses of humanity that give The Light its appeal. The first few pages reveal Avery and Cole on the run, or rather drive, and arguing about Avery’s mother, before almost being destroyed by an airplane seeking a desperate landing. This sequence is handled particularly well, in that it’s not directed like a scene from an action film, but with a subtlety that lends genuine surprise. After wondering what their next step is, the pair find an understandably shocked survivor who seems genuinely unaware of the catastrophe around her.

Edmondson’s great afterword focuses on heroism, whereas it focused on interconnectivity in the debut issue, and it’s those two elements that are at the core of this engaging series. Whenever we are offered a glimmer of hope, The Light snuffs it out with reckless abandon. It’s the kind of page turner that we don’t have enough of in today’s comics, and I can already see myself grabbing the TPB as well as the individual issues, so I can share it’s raw magic with others.

Edmondson reveals superb skills at pacing within this taut tale and Weldele’s sketchy yet enchanting art is the best of his career and a perfect fit for the story of the darkness within the light.

Nathan Edmondson and Brett Weldele Interview

Writer Nathan Edmondson (Olympus) and artist Brett Weldele (The Surrogates) have just launched a spectacular mini-series form Image called The Light. It’s a great new concept with suitably creepy and dramatic visuals. You can read my interview with the creative duo at Broken Frontier here.

The Light #1 Review

On sale April 14 is this excellent debut from Image. Written by scribe on the rise, Nathan Edmondson (the equally excellent Olympus) and art by the always dependable Brett Weldele (The Surrogates) this is a hard to resist welcome to a new 5 issue mini-series. The Light is bookended with an excerpt from a poem by Alfred Noyes and an afterword by Edmondson in which he ruminates on the engulfing rise of technology and interconnectivity. As the characters in this issue discover, “there is no escape from it.”

Edmondson wisely reveals very little, and dramatically kicks things off straight away. It’s a daring choice, but also one that makes perfect sense. I can’t imagine anyone picking up this first issue who won’t want to see what happens in the months to come. This is a comic written with intelligence and restraint. There’s no time to take a breath and catch up on exposition here.

It begins with middle-aged welder Coyle losing his job. It’s not soon before you realise that this “hero” is also a wife beater and alcoholic, as he returns home to his daughter (who he’s raising with his mother’s help) who he wants to avoid and the next bottle that he wants to befriend. So, not your typical protagonist, but mere moments later Coyle must man up. He wakes up in the early hours to his neighbour running down the street screaming to not look into the light. We soon discover, with Coyle, that “the light” is not a particular orb of incandescence hovering in the sky, but a much more dangerous threat – all light.

Putting on his welding goggles, and waking his disbelieving (though not for long) daughter Avery, he blindfolds her and leads her through suburban streets of chaos as those that do indeed look into lamp posts and light bulbs spontaneously combust with some sort of electrical discharge. It’s a no hold barred introduction to a new story, and one with a hectic pace.

Weldele’s art is absolutely perfect for this. It fits into Edmondson’s tale wonderfully. His moody, subtle renderings and contrast of light and dark  put an extra urgency onto these pages. It’s hard to imagine anyone interpreting this unique concept with greater visual flair. For those who may have found his minimalist approach to sci-fi in The Surrogates jarring, you’ll be much more welcoming here, as he shows that even suburban streets can be creepy.

Whether this is a national, or global outbreak is yet to be seen. There are no answers here, only confusion and fear, which puts the reader right in the running shoes of the survivors. From what seemed like a concept almost too simple (“Light as a killer?” Really?”) The Light will quickly erase any doubts with its crisp storytelling and horror premise.

This Week’s Ramblings

comiXology is giving away over 30 free comics for use of your iPhone, as part of its new comics by comiXology application. Go here to see what’s available.

The new Batman and Robin team continue to entertain in the DCU. Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen are also a great pair on their Streets of Gotham series. The third issue focuses on the man known as The Broker and his shady acquisitions of properties to be used as hideouts for Gotham’s criminals. This is a mature issue, as The Broker questions his morals and  mentions that the Mad Hatter is, “aside from the little girl thing, a prince.” He also shows a place to the new look Mr. Zsasz who buys the abandoned property and promptly wheels in tiny cages holding kidnapped children. All that, plus the Manhunter co-feature starring a skinless woman make this one gruesome issue. It also has a cameo by The Great White Shark bad guy seen in the excellent Batman: Arkham Asylum game.

Justice League of America #38 AdImage’s tale of eternal brothers Olympus series is finished, with #4 now out. I picked up the finally released TPB of Pax Romana this week, and the comparisons between Jonathan Hickman’s design sense and Olympus’ artist Christian Ward seem obvious to me. Go here to see some Olympus pages to know what I mean. Both men use the page as their own template for a new kind of approach to visual storytelling. They’re not afraid to be bold and use negative space to great effect. The last ish of Olympus is probably the best looking and I hope Ward has another outlet soon. Writer Nathan Edmondson is sure to be going places too.

So the new Justice League has been announced, as seen in this week’s DC releases. The roster has had more changes than ever in the last few years. Writer of the current mini-series Cry For Justice, James Robinson is teaming up with artist Mark Bagley (Trinity) but the character selection isn’t doing a lot for me. I miss the days of Grant Morrison and the Big Seven. At least, there’s still DC’s Trinity, or at least stand-ins for Superman (Mon-El while Supes is on New Krypton), Batman (Dick Grayson replacing the dead Bruce Wayne) and Wonder Woman (one-time Wonder Girl Donna Troy). Check out this informative Newsarama post that examines if the new members are worthy of being in the JLA.

The new 3 ish mini Anti-Venom: New Ways to Live is off to a rollicking start. Pure, hard-core entertainment with another ending 6 pages after the one you think it is. Focusing on the original Spider-Man foe Venom, Eddie Brock is now a good guy as the Anti-Venom and is dedicated to cleaning up the streets and the people in it. Writer Zeb Wells showed in the recent Dark Reign Elektra mini that he knows how to write full throttle action and does so again here. I’ve never seen anything by artist Paulo Siqueira but man, I’m very impressed. With superb pacing, fluid action and scenes of horror oozing darkness onto the pages I’m definitely picking up the next 2 issues.

Olympus #4 Covers

Image’s series Olympus by new writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Christian Ward is kind of like another Image series – Viking. Both series really came from nowhere with a unique premise, a even more unique artistic approach and a bunch of well deserved critical praise. Below are the two covers for Olympus #4, which arrives on September 9. The variant cover is by Tony Harris and the main cover is by Christian Ward. This is the conclusion of this arc and the last issue. Hopefully, not for long though.

Olympus #4 Tony Harris Variant Cover

Olympus #4 Cover

Olympus #2 Preview

I was pretty impressed by Image’s debut of Olympus, a new series by Nathan Edmondson and Christian Ward. The second issue hits stands on June 17. Below are 5 pages from that issue of the unique Greek mythology/action blend.

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Olympus 2 p1

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Olympus 2 p5

The Aliens of Olympus

Aliens #1 CvrI’ve been working my way through the excellent 8 disc Alien Quadrilogy box set as of late. Every film in the franchise is so distinct yet it manages to tie-in to an overall story structure, which is impressive. This year is the 30th anniversary of the first Alien film by Ridley Scott and to celebrate, long-time holders of the franchise in comics form, Dark Horse are releasing a new Aliens series. Written by John Arcudi (who also launches next month’s new Predator series), with art by newcomer Zach Howard, I was impressed by this premiere. It wasn’t until the last page that I realised, very little of the aliens were shown, yet I didn’t care. Arcudi creatively introduces us to a new crew and in a shock that made me laugh with its audacity, dispatched them all in a swift  bloodbath. With its references to the events on the planet LV-426, where the first two films were set, it may very well become more closely linked with the mythos. It looks great, and as always in any Aliens story, the humans are the main players and there’s a scientific/military conspiracy at play, but this is only set up here. 

Howard’s art is is clean, yet murky and dark when it needs to be.  I suspect this tale may read better in completed Trade form as the plot appears disembodied at this point. Not being a huge fan of licensed properties in comics however, this bold entry made an impression. Go here for a neato preview of this issue.

aliens09_1p2

olympus1Olypmus is a new 4 ish mini from Image. Written by Nathan Edmondson with art supplied by Christian Ward, it’s focused on two brothers who are now eternal, thanks to the greek god Zeus. It reminded me of another new series by Image, the great Viking. That series also has two brothers coming to grips with the warring world around them and is daring in its visual approach. Whereas that tale is gritty and medieval, Olympus is light and sleekly modern. Some may be turned off by Ward’s art, which is kind of like Tommy Lee Edwards (who supplies the variant cover) in it’s sparseness, but it works well within the rambling, yet coherent, nature of the story.

It starts brilliantly with Pollux and Castor casually shooting each other at a New Year’s celebration, before flashing back to the pair chasing the winged Hermes and his staff through the city streets.  Most of the dialogue is centred on leaving Olympus, what immortality really means and defying the gods, but it never appears as high-falutin’ exposition. The brothers aren’t really immortal apparently, but they do get a free vacation every year in the underworld, ie, where you and I reside. This is a refreshing take on Greek mythology and the crazy shenanigans that go with it. It’s the pared down concept of  Blade Runner with a healthy does of mythology, and the extra pages consisting of Ward’s sketches and a well written prose piece assumedly by Edmondson complete this ably crafted adventure. This series is off to a grand and rollicking start.

Preview of this issue here.

Olympus #1 Prvw

Olympus and Praetorian

At Broken Frontier is my interview with Nathan Edmondson, the writer of Image Comics’ new series, Olympus, which centres on two eternal brothers. There’s also my review of the Praetorian OGN. Praetorian is written by Jason M.Burns with perty art by Ramon Espinosa. It’ not bad and uses elements of the thriller and supernatural and cop show genres well. Plus, it also has a few eternal guys running around.

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