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Interview: Kurt Busiek on Redhand

Friday, May 29, 2015

With the June release of Redhand: Twilight of the Gods fast approaching, we wanted to speak with Kurt Busiek about Redhand, The Avengers, and more. This interview was conducted by Jo Witherington (Marketing & Social Media for Humanoids).

1. How did Redhand: Twilight of the Gods come about?

I'd been thinking for a while about doing a project about a sword-and-sorcery title, and playing around with ideas about fate and gods, and trapping a hero in an inescapable "destiny" or freeing others from control.

So when the guys at Humanoids asked me if I had any projects I might do for them, I had all that to build on. And they brought in the fantastic Mario Alberti, who made it all look amazing.

2. The project evolved over many years. What are your thoughts on the final product?

It's not quite what I'd have done solo — I had a much more rambling, episodic series in mind — but I think Sam Timel (Milan K.) wrapped it all up in a dramatic and fitting way, making it into a nice taut trilogy instead of the long, journeying ramble I'd originally had in mind. So I think it worked out nicely.

3. How did you get into writing?

I've wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. But I was always intimidated, even as a kid, by the idea of writing something as long an intensive as a novel or a screenplay, knowing that your first efforts would almost certainly be awful. I didn't think I'd have the guts to get up and do another one after that. But when I started reading comics regularly, I realized that hey, they were pretty short, so maybe I could try that, and if the first one was awful, so what? I wouldn't have wasted all that much time.

So I talked a friend of mine — Scott McCloud — into drawing a comics story I'd write. And it took us years, and it was awful, but by the time we were done with it, we'd fallen in love with the comics form and started to figure it out, so we were both charged up to do more. Scott went on to do ZOT! and UNDERSTANDING COMICS and more, and I aimed myself at Marvel and DC.

I interviewed Dick Giordano — then DC's editor-in-chief — for a college term paper, and told him I wanted to write comics. He invited me to submit some sample scripts, so I went back to school and wrote up a bunch of stuff. He liked it enough to show it around to the editors of the books they were written for, and one of my samples, a Flash script, got me a chance to write a Green Lantern backup story.

From there I pitched stuff at Marvel, and wrote Power Man/Iron First for them for a year, and I've just kept going from there, moving more and more toward wanting to do my own stuff, and learning and getting better with practice.

4. What are your thoughts on comics today?

I think there's an amazing amount of great stuff coming out today, from great creator-owned work to classic comic strip reprints, and everything in-between. I'm most drawn to books that have a strong and individual creative vision, so things like HELLBOY and SANDMAN and such have been favorites. I like a lot of what Image and Vertigo have done in recent years, but there's a huge amount of creativity going on all over the place. From SAGA to LOCKE & KEY to THE FADE OUT to FABLES to LUMBERJANES and more, there's just a terrific amount of variety and a wonderful fount of talent. It's really a comics Renaissance.

5. What is your basic scripting process like?

I rough out the story, then break it down into pages, fairly loosely. Then I script from that, pacing it out and fine-tuning incidents and dialogue as I go along. I used to outline much more tightly, but after over 30 years of practice, I'm much more flexible and confident about my ability to write a good story.

But the script is only the starting point. Once the artist draws the pages, I'll fine tune the script before it's lettered, reworking it to match the art better. Because in the final analysis, the job isn't to write a terrific script, it's to write a terrific comic. So whatever I can do to improve the final product, I want to do it.

6. If Redhand were a movie, who would you cast as Redhand? Who would direct?

I really never know — I think about the characters from the inside out, so I rarely have any idea who should play them in a movie. And then if I do have ideas, they're invariably too old, because I'm remembering a performance from a decade ago or more.

How about Jared Leto, directed by Guillermo del Toro?

7. Would Redhand have made a good member of your Avengers?

No. He's not a team player, and he's not a superhero. If he wasn't in the situation he's in, he wouldn't volunteer to go off and fight bad guys; the Avengers have plenty of people to do that. He'd try to find somewhere he could live peacefully.

8. Redhand Vs. Captain America: Who wins?

Gotta say, probably Captain America. Not that Redhand isn't a terrific fighter, but his world isn't as over the top as Cap's. It's heroic fantasy, but it's a bit closer to realistic levels, when it comes to the action, than the exaggerated mayhem of a superhero world, particularly a Jack Kirby world.

So he's the best there is in his world, but Cap's world is just bigger, wilder, and more extreme.

9. What are you currently working on?

I'm doing ASTRO CITY, my creator-owned series about life in the madness of a superhero universe, every month through Vertigo, with Brent Anderson and Alex Ross. And I'm doing THE AUTUMNLANDS, a new heroic fantasy epic in a world of beast-people, with Benjamin Dewey at Image. Some ideas I wasn't able to fit into REDHAND have already shown up in AUTUMNLANDS, so if you like one of them, try the other!

Beyond that, I'm doing a long-in-development BATMAN project at DC with John Paul Leon, kind of a thematic companion to my SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY series. And I've got several other things in the pipeline, but nothing that's ready to be firmly announced yet.

10. If you could write any major comic book today, what would it be?

Aside from what I'm already doing? It'd be something of my own creation, I'm sure. Probably something you haven't seen before.

But if I had to pick an existing series, I'd probably pick either WONDER WOMAN or LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. If I could do them my way, not to someone else's direction.

11. Do you see future stories for Redhand or did everything get wrapped up?

I think it wrapped up pretty solidly. That said, you never know with these adventure heroes...

12. Favorite artist that you NEVER worked with?

Hard to choose between Jack Kirby, Alex Toth and Frank Robbins. But as for the ones who are still with us, I haven't given up yet!

To pick an unexpected name, I'd love to do comics someday with Claire Wendling, who did LES LUMIERES DE L'AMALOU in France. Absolutely amazing fantasy art. Not sure she's doing comics any more, though she does covers here and there.

13. Favorite comic book movie adaptation?

For superhero movies, it might be a tie between THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and the first AVENGERS film.

For non-superheroes, I dunno — but ROAD TO PERDITION would be way up there on the list.

Thanks again to Kurt Busiek for for being so generous with his time. Redhand: Twilight of the Gods will be available June 17, 2015 on our store and wherever Humanoids titles are carried.

Tags: Interview

Across the Pond: Wonderlands UK Graphic Expo

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Across the Pond is a column written by Humanoids UK liaison Tim Pilcher.

This Saturday (30 May) I'll be at the inaugural Wonderlands: The UK Graphic Novel Expo in Sunderland. This exciting day is the brainchild of Bryan Talbot (Grandville, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes) and celebrates and explores the graphic novel format in it's many guises. I'll be interviewing graphic novelists such as Ian Edginton, Dylan Horrocks, Woodrow Phoenix, and Paul B Rainey about storytelling.

Plus Humanoids are taking part in The Current State of Graphic Novels and the Future panel where we'll be discussing publishing in the UK with fellow publishers, SelfMadeHero, Jonathan Cape, and 2000 AD/Rebellion, hosted by Paul Gravett (who wrote the foreword to Barbarella and the Wrath of the Minute-Eater). Come along and find out Humanoids publishing plans for the rest of 2015.

Plus, you'll be able to pick up some of our latest releases from the Waterstones stand including Redhand: Twilight of the Gods and Sanctum Redux, and advance copies of Child of the Storm and the new edition of The Incal before they hit the shops!

Best of all, the whole event is FREE! See you there!

When: Saturday May 30th 2015
Time: 10.00am - 8.00pm
Admission: Free
Where: University of Sunderland - CitySpace

Tags: Across the Pond

Spotlight: Redhand - Twilight of the Gods

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Redhand: Twilight of the Gods
Story by Kurt Busiek and Sam Timel, Art by Mario Alberti and Bazal

A powerful and enthralling sci-fi epic about a perfect warrior unleashed in an age of barbarism and sorcery, and fated to one day destroy the gods.

Set free in a foreign world and without memory of his origins, all Redhand wants is a peaceful life. But destiny wants it otherwise. Touched by a prophecy, imbued with incredible fighting skills and immune to magic, he is preordained to bring about great change to a land burdened by strict worship practices and warring factions.

Quick facts about Redhand: Twilight of the Gods:

Kurt Busiek is prolific and respected American writer of numerous comics including Astro City (Image/Vertigo), The Avengers, Iron Man, Marvels (Marvel). He is the winner of over 15 Harvey and Eisner Awards, including two for Best Writer.
• Award-winning Italian artist Mario Alberti has illustrated Nathan Never (Sergio Bonnelli) and several covers for DC Comics and Marvel, as well as the bestselling Spider-Man and the X-Men and Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four series (Marvel).
• Concluded by Sam Timel, author of Milan K: The Teenage Years
Bazal (Oscar Bazaldua) is a veteran Mexican comics artist whose work includes the Sci-Fi series Retroworld (Humanoids).
• Ideal for fans of action/adventure, science fiction and fantasy epics.

Available below is the desktop wallpaper of Redhand: Twilight of the Gods. Click the picture to choose your resolution

Redhand: Twilight of the Gods arrives in stores June 17, 2015 with an MSRP of $34.95/£23.99

Tags: Spotlight

Spotlight: Child of the Storm

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Child of the Storm

Story by Manuel Bichebois, Art by Didier Poli and Giulio Zeloni

Orphaned by lightning. Possessor of an unimaginable strength. Destined for legendary feats. He is the Child of the Storm. Fear the tempest.

Adopted by a woodsman clan, the orphan Laith possesses miraculous and terrifying powers linked to the weather. When his path crosses with the sinister Professor Finrhas, and the power-hungry Minister Alghard, Laith's world is turned upside down. The young boy is forced to go in search of his origins, to better learn to control his immense power, and to save his foster family and friends.

This award-winning debut graphic novel by Manuel Bichebois, Didier Poli (Elric: The Ruby Throne), and Giulio Zeloni is a fantasy/steampunk adventure packed with political intrigue, where science and magic collide.

Quick facts about Child of the Storm:

Manuel Bichebois is a French computer games writer and designer. He is currently the lead designer at Dassault Systèmes. This is his first graphic novel.
• Paris-based artist, Didier Poli worked as an animator for
Dupuis, Ubi Animation and Disney, where he worked on Tarzan and The Emperor's New Groove. He has gone on to illustrate The Snow Foundation and adapted Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic, The Little Prince (both for Glénat), as well as drawn Elric: The Ruby Throne (Titan Comics).
• Italian artist Giulio Zeloni graduated from the International School of Comics in Florence in 2007 and has taught digital coloring there since 2010. This is his first graphic novel.
• Features an exclusive in-depth afterword by award-winning science fiction and crime novelist, and comics historian, Claude Ecken.
• Appeals to fans of steampunk and epic fantasy.
• Winner of the Salon de la BD de Nîmes' 2004 New Young Talent "Bronze Boar" Award.

Available below is the desktop wallpaper of Child of the Storm. Click the picture to choose your resolution

Child of the Storm arrives in stores June 17, 2015 with an MSRP of $34.95/£23.99

Tags: Spotlight

Sanctum... REDUX!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Horror fans can rejoice! Tomorrow, May 13, fans of Sanctum can return to the world once again.

Below are some behind the scenes looks at Sanctum Redux as taken from the "journals" of Stephane Betbeder. Showing specific photographs the author was inspired by when creating Sanctum Redux.


Here are several uncolored pages next to their final colored counterparts.


And last but not least... A comparison between one of the most iconic scenes taken from Sanctum to compare to the same scene in Sanctum Redux.




Sanctum Redux

Sanctum Redux emerges into stores May 13, 2015 with an MSRP of $34.95/£23.99

Happy Birthday Mœbius!

Friday, May 8, 2015


More than three years have passed since we lost Jean Giraud aka Mœbius. Giraud would have been 77 years old as of May 8, 2015. Humanoids wishes to pay tribute to the author and genius who was one of the founding fathers of Métal Hurlant and Les Humanoïdes Associés.

Tags: Moebius

Release for 5/13/15

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Next week sees the release of Sanctum Redux. Over 600 pages long, making the size of the book over an inch and half thick and over three pounds of searing action and terror for just $34.95!

Check out pictures of Sanctum Redux below.


Spotlight: Sanctum Redux

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sanctum Redux
Story by Stephane Betbeder, Art by Riccardo Crosa and Andrea Rossetto

Return to the terrifying secrets that lie deep beneath the ocean in this brand new manga re-imagining of the classic bestseller.

This vast, full-color manga completely reworks Christophe Bec and Xavier Dorison's bestselling Sanctum saga, by adding new characters, extra background storylines and unexpected plot twists. All this means that the horrific tale of the USS Nebraska submarine, trapped by demonic forces, remains as fresh and unique to fans of the original book as it does to newcomers.

Over 600 pages long, that's over an inch and half thick and over three pounds of searing action and terror.

Quick facts about Sanctum Redux:

• Compliments and expands upon on the world of Sanctum. If Sanctum is the movie, then Sanctum Redux is the TV series—making it perfect for old and new fans alike.
Stéphane Betbeder is a respected French graphic novel writer of The Return of Dorian Gray, Dr Watson (Soleil) and many other titles.
• Italian artist Riccardo Crosa has worked on many series including his furry one-shot, Kira (Phoenix), Vigilantes, and Highgate (also with Stéphane Betbeder) published by Soleil.
Andrea Rossetto is an Italian artist who drew the samurai manga series Tengu-Do (for Humanoids' French branch, Les Humanoïdes Associés). He teaches comic art at the Centro Culturale e di Espressione Ossidiana in Vicenza.
• Ideal for fans of action/adventure/horror manga and anime.
• Cover art done by Christophe Bec, artist on Sanctum and writer of Pandemonium and The Shadows of Salamanca.

Available below is the desktop wallpaper of Sanctum Redux. Click the picture to choose your resolution

Sanctum Redux arrives in stores May 13, 2015 with an MSRP of $34.95/£23.99

Tags: Spotlight