Indie comics fan/artist revises classic covers for our pandemic time

Social distancing has been taken to the extreme on another Earth, perhaps not very different as out own.

That’s what artist, cosplayer, and total comics fan Santi Strange recently posted on Imgur.com account (link here). With some clever removal of familiar figures on famous covers, some other changes and captions; we got some cool fan-art variants to relate in our social distancing times.

Here’s a few more….

For the rest check out Santo Strange’s Imgur post here. He also has multiple social media pages focused on his art, cosplay, and other creative work. Just look for @santi.strange or just Santi Strange.

And stay safe out there.

How the trending #SixFanarts challenge helps art communities in this tough time

What is the #SixFanarts art challenge? It’s a collective new trend hitting the comics art community, and a testament of social media beauty for a tough time.

Amid this terrible COVID-19 crisis and quarantines in significant areas, an incredible little challenge has grown from the heart of the fan art artistic community in mid-March. This challenge is simple, as the template says below (as started by artist comic book Melissa Capriglione through her Twitter account @mcapriglioneart). Post the templates. ask for six characters to draw, then follow through on requests:

The result has been noticeably impressive for many reasons. It initially gives a fresh challenge to try something new, gives their perspective on a beloved pop culture icon, or show appreciation for something a little more obscure. The process offers range across mediums of the graphic arts, cinema, serialized work, interactive games, and much more. The exercise encourages communication between fans and artists, finding out more of just what the audience enjoys. Maybe seeing your favorite artists take on something different that caters to something different in the realms of geek culture can catch by surprise. Sometimes, the artist’s interpretation can shed new artistic light on a favored character. The finished work gives indie artists some fresh exposure through the hashtag and ties the community closer. It’s timeliness is also helping artists cope through this very difficult time.

#SixFanarts is a remarkable trend, which I hope it carries for much longer. It will also help bridge various sub-genres of pop cultures, closer together. In the meantime, here are some favorite results across Twitter. Note the creative use of lettering, space, and composition on some.

And there is are many more posted finished pieces across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more to check out just by searching the #SixFanarts. With that, I encourage anyone who appreciates fan art to check out, discover new artists, and help support the community.

And try it yourself. Here is the template…

Reach out, see what you can do, and be ready to surprise yourself and others!

SW Video Channel: Opening the Mars Attacks Uprising sample cards pack

Here’s an awesome look from our developing Stranger Worlds Youtube channel at some sample packs of the Mars Attacks Uprising trading cards, currently in Kickstarter development, and eventually released for public consumption. Here, our host, Captain Orion, opens a pack sent in from SideKick Labs, of which we send our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for. Captain Orion loves Mars Attacks, and was quite excited to check these out (but new at this whole YouTube thing). And now, watch the results and share in the excitment!

For more on the Mars Attacks Uprising trading cards, check out www.kickstarter.com/projects/sidekicklab/mars-attacks-uprising

Also, please subscribe to the channel if you like the video, or would love to see more (and better) videos from us. That would mean a lot. Thanks!

Short Film Find: Contact: An Animation About Connection in Space

Contact – An Animation About Connection in Space

  • Director, Designer, Animator: Katy Wang (www.katywang.co.uk)
  • Writer: Gabriel de Bruin (Gabriel Greenough) and Katy Wang
  • Sound and music producer: Ambrose Yu
  • Published: Kingston University/Kingston School of Art 2017
  • NOTE: Originally a graduation project by Katy Wang, now featured in on a few video streaming pages

Synopsis: Stranded on a distant planet, a lonely astronaut sends out a signal in search of human contact.

Personal Thoughts:

Beautiful presentation, especially with the visuals and sound design. Also, I think there is a deeper meaning about loneliness, feeling lost, trying to connect in space where we many of us might as well be on Mars. We use our computers and online connections to reach out, hopefully eventually a stranger from some other world, and then connect. Then, even in the vastness of space, we feel that connection of finding each other. And that’s the best kind of contact!

Persona game artist Shigenori Soejima, Art Works 2 book, releasing this Fall

Udon Entertainment recently announced a new release of famed artist Shigenori Soejima work with Shigenori Soejima & P-Studio Art Unit: Art Works 2.

Shigenori Soejima is best known for his directional artwork in the Persona series of role-playing video games, published by Atlus. He also worked on the Shin Megami Tensei series, CatherineStella Deus (a highly underrated classic), and more.

“This book contains a collection of art that spans around eight whole years, so it gives me a lot to reflect on,” says Soejima. “Whether you’re an old school fan or you recently got into this kind of thing, I’m really thankful that you’re joining me on this journey.”

Filled with amazing visuals from the Catherine and Persona 5 video games, Shigenori Soejima & P-Studio Art Unit: Art Works 2 also includes a bevy of new pieces for other installments in the Persona series and its many spin-offs. Topped off with exclusive, in-depth interviews with the artist himself and the creative team at P-Studio Art Unit.

Udon Entertainment will also bring the long out of print Shigenori Soejima: Art Works 1. This beautiful art book features Shigenori Soejima’s best work from the Persona 3 and Persona 4 games, as well as other projects such as Stella Deus and Momoiro Taisen Pairon. Shigenori Soejima: Art Works 1 also includes an exclusive interview with the artist himself!

Shigenori Soejima & P-Studio Art Unit: Art Works 2 and Shigenori Soejima: Art Works 1 will be released on October 29, 2019.  Both are not available for preorder now.

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Appreciating the Spider-Verse movie soundtrack

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Yes, it is known, the animated Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse movie is an awesome masterpiece. It’s beautiful creative artful animation, combined with a gripping story packed with action, humor, laughs, and drama well-earned it an Academy Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics Choice Award for Best Animation film of 2018.

But, I felt a part of it went unnoticed by the big critic heads out there: that is Spider-Verse’s excellent movie score and soundtrack.

The vocal tracks are a mix of current music artists including Post Malone, Swae Lee, Nicki Minaj, Anuel AA, Juice Wrld, Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla Sign, Thutmose, Ski Mask the Slump God. The results are an excellent feed of the best examples of modern hip-hop and urban beats.

And wow, it’s two single hits are damn perfect for this film. The first being Post Malone and Swae Lee’s “Sunflower,” a dreamy style, unlike anything expected based on past Spider-Man media, but really sets the mood and animated world centering on Miles Morales. Just listen to it!

And there is my personal favorite track, which I think is the best vocal ever set for a superhero film, “What’s up Danger,” by Blackway and Caviar. This piece exemplifies everything that one needs to know about the spirit of Spider-Man’s character. Listen:

There are many other great vocal tracks throughout the movie to gush about. But, the end credits with its mindbending animation, is heightened much further by its “Elevate” track by DJ Khalil with Denzel Curry, YBN Cordae, SwaVay, Trevor Rich. It’s adrenaline pumping, head thumping, body-energizing awesomeness. It’s a good track to put in your exercising playlist, to give that extra boost to keep going. Gotta go hard!!

So yes, great vocals…but now let’s move on to the cinema score of Spider-Verse, done by Daniel Pemberton, whose other recent work includes Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs and Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Here, his original work is masterful and sets a roller coaster of suspense, mystery, tension, raw emotions at perfect moments throughout.

Every track sets the mood, and in some parts really enhances the tension and drama. Some tracks tell a story just from its tone and progression. Visions Brooklyn 1,2,3 is a perfect example, and a personal favorite. But to truly appreciate, one needs to listen to the whole track…

Prowler’s theme is memorable, sending chills to the viewer as it perfectly signifies the stalker hunting its prey, closer and closer. You hear this, and you run!

The “Spider-Man Loves You” track feels like an addition to a legacy of Spider-Man films. It may not be as catchy as the iconic 60’s cartoon intro, but there is a feel to it that is special to this new expansion of Spider-Man towards a new generation of fandom; which I believe has done far more than the MCU live-action movie and tie-ins in the preservation of its original premise.

So yes, the Spidey-Verse soundtrack is amazing. I think it’s better than the Black Panther movie soundtrack, which did receive the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. Yet, I think with all the love for Spider-Verse from its fans, there will be many repeat viewings for decades to come, and the love and appreciation for its soundtrack will grow with age.  

Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation art book coming to new book shelves soon.

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News from a recent release for Evangelion fans (myself included)…

Udon Entertainment recently announced a soon to be released hardcover release of Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection. Credited with revitalizing the anime industry, Neon Genesis Evangelion infused the genre with incredible depth and emotion, telling the story of a world on the brink of destruction and the teenagers that are tasked with saving mankind.

(See preview pages below)

The Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection collects the making of one of anime’s most influential series in the ultimate compendium of behind the scenes and archival design sketches for the 1995 television series, as well as the 1997 theatrical release. Draft artwork of characters, mecha, weapons, vehicles, as well as interior and exterior locations, are supported by the original artists’ detailed design notes. The Neon Genesis Evangelion television series revolutionized anime with its groundbreaking animation, sophisticated storytelling, and dynamic mecha designs. This massive 432-page tome is a must-have for any fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, animation production, and character design.

The Neon Genesis Evangelion TV animation Production Art Collection will be released in March 2019, with 432 pg, on an 11.75 x 8.25” hardcover, at a suggested retail price of $39.99 USD. Check your local comic store or retail book store for availability.

FLCL Archives, artbook for the anime classic is set for English release

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Good news for fans of FLCL, Gainax, or experimental anime classics…

UDON Entertainment recently announced the coming release of The FLCL Archives, translated in English for the first time.

FLCL, for those unfamiliar, is a mesmerizing, 6-episode series told at a breakneck pace, produced by studios GAINAX and Production I.G. It featured everything from giant, destructive robots, to a crazy, pink-haired, bass guitar wielding alien woman. Raising the bar to tell complex, fantastic stories in a short episodic run, FLCL’s continued impact on modern anime can still be seen today.

The FLCL Archives collects artwork from this landmark production, including key promotional art, character and location designs, and rough sketches in 248 full color, softcover pages. Early proposal sketches, concept art, and illustrator notes provide incredible insight into the making of this beloved and influential series.

The FLCL Archives will arrive in stores on March 19, 2019. Check with Udon online at www.udoncomics.com for more info.

Synergy: A Hasbro Creators Showcase, 48-page anthology for fans in 2019

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From a recent news release by IDW…

In recognition of Women’s History Month, IDW Publishing and Hasbro Inc. have teamed up to create Synergy: A Hasbro Creators Showcase, a 48-page celebration anthology of fan-favorite creators and new talent working with many of the most beloved Hasbro characters.

The Synergy anthology features five brand-new stories: autobiographical works written by Mairghread Scott (drawn by Sara Pitre-Durocher, reuniting the creative team behind the Transformers: Till All Are One series) and Katie Cook (of the hit My Little Pony comic), plus original tales inspired by G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Jem and the Holograms.

Mairghread Scott says, “Transformers is a brand that shaped both my childhood and adult life. I’m grateful for the chance to talk about what these amazing robots have meant to me, and others, over the years.”

Katie Cook says, “Hasbro was such an integral part of my upbringing. My Little Pony inspired a youth full of pastel imaginings and became a huge part of my cartooning career as I got the chance to make those imaginings real. I bonded with childhood friends over ponies in the 1980s, and as an adult, I crafted stories for My Little Pony alongside creators who have become the friends of a lifetime.”

In addition to storytelling, Synergy: A Hasbro Creators Showcase includes four new pin-ups, as well as a gallery of thirteen fabulous images from the IDW archives – dynamic illustrations that celebrate the women who have already made, or will soon make, an impact on the world of Hasbro for many years to come.

Synergy editor Megan Brown says, “This is a great coming together of creative talent and an amazing showcase for a host of wonderful authors, artists, and colorists — both old and new. I am beyond thrilled to be editing this compilation, and to be given the chance to highlight the amazing work of women in the comics industry.”

For information on how to secure copies of Synergy: A Hasbro Creators Showcase, please contact your local comic shop or visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you.

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New Tara McPherson “Wandering Luminations” art book set for 2019

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Recent Dark Horse Publishing news release

Extraordinary illustrations, vibrant colors, and bold fantasies fill the pages of artist Tara McPherson‘s most recent collection of work: Wandering Luminations: The Art of Tara McPherson.

The chaotic wonders of science, mythology, and the power of the feminine form are at the core of the works compiled in Wandering Luminations. This powerful collection showcases the artist’s most recent and ambitious creations from her Wandering Luminations solo exhibition, as well as works from her series of paintings: I Know It By Heart and Supernova.

This is the fourth collected volume of McPherson’s influential art and features paintings, prints, and her most well-known work: rock posters.

The dark, powerful femininity McPherson is known for shines through each page of the high quality, full-color hardback volume set to release in May 1, 2019 and is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at your local comic shop.