RVA Comics X-Change: Issue 35

by | Jan 14, 2020 | MAGAZINES & BOOKS

Happy new year, comic fans! Welcome to a new year of new goals, new opportunities, and — most importantly — new comics.

This year we are bringing you more of the best in comic news, upcoming comics, and events. We will be covering GalaxyCon once again this year, where we will talk to upcoming illustrators and creators, and of course all of your celeb favorites. But before we get there, we are also going to be talking to voices in the scene we haven’t met before.

The first of those new voices to the column is co-creator of Atomic Robo and author of 8-Bit Theater Brian Clevinger. He has lived in Richmond for the last ten years along with Atomic Robo co-creator Scott Wegener, where they are about to embark on volume fourteen. If you couldn’t tell, he’s a big fan of robots (and history and British detective shows. So all of the good things, really).

Clevinger originally got his start back in 2001, while in college. He began 8-Bit Theater as a webcomic during a time when all you had to do to succeed at webcomics was just exist. Aside from that and Atomic Robo, he is known for freelance work he has done for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse, amongst others.

While Atomic Robo is naturally one of his favorites, mostly due to the structural nature of the series, a small project for Marvel comes to mind as something he has particularly enjoyed so far in his career. 

“One of my Marvel gigs was with Scott comes to mind,” said Clevinger. “It was a silly little tie-in comic for Taco Bell. I think around the time of the second Iron Man movie. No one really cared about it, so we got to tell a goofy story about MODOK attacking Tony Stark with lawyer assassins.”

The biggest thing that he wishes people understood about the Richmond comics scene is simply enough that it is far larger than it gets credit for. It is a very indie scene, but large and proud.

“New York has a lot of momentum as a comics town because all the publishers were there when things got started up in the 20th century,” said Clevinger. “Portland is the other big comics town, thanks to publishers like Dark Horse and Oni setting up shop there. I think Richmond is easily positioned to be the next big comics town. The South needs one, dammit.”

Clevinger brings us a good teaser recommendation to bring us into the new year, and he makes it count. Manga classic Kamen Rider by Shotaro Ishinomori helps lead your comic recommendations into 2020.

Kamen Rider is a long-running manga franchise that crosses not only manga but television and films, with various iterations that have spanned decades, such as Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Amazon, and Kamen Rider X, among an endless list of others. Originating in 1971, the series follows the story of a man who becomes a masked motorcycle riding superhero fighting monsters and evil organizations. The protagonist himself differentiates depending on the installment at hand.

News this week is a little light, but sees among other things the departure of Doctor Strange’s director and Marvel Studios wanting you to know they will not resurrect the dead.

Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness Director Scott Derickson has left his role as director, and claims the departure is amicable. He tweeted his announcement this week and claimed as well that he will remain in his other role as producer.

“Marvel and I have mutually agreed to part ways on Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences,” Derrickson said on his Twitter. “I am thankful for our collaboration and will remain on as [Executive Producer].”

Marvel also claims that it is amicable, and that this will not affect the predicted release date of May 2021, even though a replacement has not been found. 

When Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher died in 2016, one of the first questions asked was what would happen to General Leia Organa now that her actress was no longer with us. Lucasfilms was quick to respond with “CGI, obviously.” Marvel, however, will apparently not be taking that route in the future.

“We haven’t considered that,” said Marvel Studios Vice President and Avengers: Endgame Executive Producer Victoria Alonso to Yahoo! Movies.

James Dean, Warner Bros. publicity still for for the film Rebel Without a Cause, via Wikimedia

The question originally sprung up because of controversy surrounding the announcement that Finding Evan will be digitally CGIing iconic actor James Dean into the film posthumously. The idea even roused up Captain America himself, Chris Evans, who tweeted his thoughts.

“This is awful. Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso,” Evans tweeted. “Or write a couple new John Lennon tunes. The complete lack of understanding here is shameful.”

That wraps it up for us this week, comic fans! What are you looking forward to in 2020?

Until next time.

Ash Griffith

Ash Griffith

Ash is a writer and improviser from Richmond. She has a BA in English from VCU and an associates in Theater. When she isn't writing or screaming on a stage, she can usually be found wherever the coffee is. Bill Murray is her favorite person along with her black cat, Bruce.

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