The comics world lost a pioneer last week with the passing of artist Tony DeZuniga, who died in the Philippines from complications from a stroke. DeZuniga is best known for being the co-creator of DC Comics characters Black Orchid and Jonah Hex.
DeZuniga’s association with Hex would span almost four decades: 38 years after introducing the character in All-Star Western in 1972, DeZuniga returned to draw Hex for a stand-alone graphic novel, Jonah Hex: No Way Back.
DeZuniga began working as an artist in his native Philippines as a teenager in the 1950s, during the country’s boom period for comics (or Komics, as they were called). In the early 1960s he moved to New York to study graphic design and advertising, a career he would pursue for a few years before returning to the U.S. toward the end of the decade and earning art assignments from DC editor Joe Orlando. DeZuniga became the first Filipino artist to break into the American comics market.
But more importantly, DeZuniga made sure he wasn’t the last to do so, as Comic Book Resources’ Kevin Melrose noted:
That same year DeZuniga collaborated with writer John Albano to create Jonah Hex, the disfigured Western antihero with whom the artist is so closely associated. “[John] asked me to draw the concept for the character, and one day I was at the doctor’s office and I saw this chart with a man, showing him half muscle and half skeleton,” DeZuniga recalled in a 2010 interview with Comic Book Resources. “I thought to myself, ‘This is neat,’ and I got the concept. When John Albano saw it, he was very happy.”
Under the cut you can find just a few examples of DeZuniga’s work with a variety of characters. Continue reading →
By Guest Contributor Cheryl Lynn Eaton, cross-posted from Digital Femme
Comics, completely consumed by superheroes, has only two active fandoms—Marvel and DC. Given that my budget allows for only one ongoing series and I don’t feel right illegally downloading comics, I’ll have to pick one fandom in which to participate.
I’ve chosen my comic. It’s Wonder Woman. I’ve chose my fandom. It’s DC.
I feel horrible. I feel like I’ve just chosen my gender over my race.
For me, the aura around Marvel’s X-Men franchise took a hit this year, thanks to the raceFAIL that derailed the otherwise enjoyable X-Men: First Class. After all, playing up a group of heroes as surrogates for the marginalized when they’re almost entirely white, cis-hetero folks was more far-fetched than any bit of sci-fi on the screen.
There’s something similarly problematic undercutting this year’s big story in the X-Men comic books, Schism. Much like First Class, Schism isn’t a bad superhero story so far, per se, but its’ focus on the team’s internal politics only highlights how Marvel’s creative process has done “too good” of a job of marginalizing mutantkind, both as a collection of characters and as any kind of representation of diversity.
Superhero movies routinely take liberties with established storylines and characters, with famously mixed results. But even with all the disappointment recent efforts brought to theatres, this summer offers one final comic-book adaptation with the potential to cleanse the palette.
Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The First Avenger hits theatres on July 22nd in hopes of joining Iron Man and The Dark Knight as financially successful comic book adaptations that earn the acclaim of critics and fans alike, bridging the gap between generations of comic-book lore and bringing characters and messages powerful enough to interest audiences beyond Cap’s customary fanbase. It would seem impossible for First Avenger to satisfy everyone, but one way the film could earn some goodwill from both fandom and mainstream audiences would be to introduce the man who was Captain America before Steve Rogers, Isaiah Bradley. Continue reading →
The San Diego Comic-Con’s growth shows no signs of slowing down, even before its’ host venue, the San Diego Convention Center, begins its’ own expansion. As things stand, however, you can expect virtually all of downtown San Diego to be awash in SDCC-related events of their own. With that in mind, this year’s guide will run in two installments, while also covering some of the extracurricular festivities and celeb sightings.
Case in point: if you’re a Whedonista getting into town before Preview Night on July 20, you should go see singer Jane Lui in a stage adaptation of TEH JOSS’ Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. The show premieres July 17 and runs thru July 30 at the Tenth Avenue Theatre. Tickets are available here, and you can see Lui talk about her transition to acting here:
With that in mind, click under the cut for a look at the POC-centric stuff going on and around SDCC. Highlighted panels will include the full description from the SDCC program. Continue reading →
It’s hard to imagine a more egregious anime or manga “re-imagining” than the debacle that was The Last Airbender, but this might do it.
The long-fearedrumored live-action Akira remakes garnered attention over the weekend when rumors spread that the “lead role” in the two-film series would be offered to … Zac Efron.
Yes, that would be Zac Efron as Shotaro Kaneda, leader of a gang of motorcycle-riding funboys in a post-apocalyptic urban dystopia. But it looks this remake wouldn’t necessarily be a whitewash – it’d be a complete westernization of the story.
DC Comics went back to the racial well this week in an interview with Comic Book Resources, which featured this exchange between CBR News Editor Kiel Phiegly and DC co-publisher Dan Didio:
CBR: There’s been a lot of discussion – and a lot of angry discussion, I’d say – coming out of some of the recent DCU storylines, specifically the death of Ryan Choi in the “Titans” Brightest Day launch…
Didio: And if I could jump in here for a second, I’d ask “What past that?” There seems to be a concern about us pulling back in diversity, and we identify Ryan Choi, but we don’t identify what more than that. If you’re talking about a single character, we can’t run backwards from the way we act and behave with our characters because we’re afraid of addressing characters of different race or putting them in stories that are bigger or more exciting, I’m sorry to say. This is an interesting thing to me, because since I’ve been here, we’ve been extraordinarily aggressive in trying to bring racial diversity and diversifying our cast of characters as much as possible. That’s been part of our agenda for the last five to eight years since I’ve been here. We’re talking about a single character with Ryan Choi, but I’d love to know about examples past that, because at the same time that we’ve got Ryan Choi, we’ve got a Great Ten series running. If you look at every team book and everything we’re doing, we go to extraordinary lengths to diversify the casts and show our audience in our books.
by Guest Contributor Cheryl Lynn, originally published at Digital Femme
A while back, David Brothers did a fantastic series of posts over at 4th Letter about the Black Trinity and how it relates to comics. He examined three concepts found not only in comics, but in other artistic forms as well–the Black Reality, the Black Fantasy and the Black Ideal.
If you’ve clicked the links I’ve provided for you, and you should, you’ll notice that David used only male characters as examples for these concepts.
David and I had “talked” for a bit off-blog about how some of the comic industry’s most popular black female characters could fit into his concept of the Black Trinity. He had even attempted to talk me into doing my own series of blog posts examining the Black Trinity from a female perspective, but at the time I was more than a bit weary of talking about comics at all.
Until this image right here.
Today? Today we are going to talk about the Black Fantasy from the female perspective. And the Black Fantasy is Storm. Storm is what black women want, or are constantly informed by the media that they should want, but are also told that they never will achieve. To be loved and to be beautiful. To be free. To be special. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World