Finally, a year after my research trip to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the comic I went there to research LIVING LEVEL-3: IRAQ is live online and free. Chapter 1 can be read right now! New chapters will be uploaded to the Huffington Post World page every day this week. It’s thirty-five pages of story done from four different character perspectives.
Here’s a trailer that the World Food Programme communications team cut together. Below it are links to the actual comic as well as to interviews and extras, including a blog write-up I did for Huffpo. There’s also some art and some love for the WFP communications team that acted as my guides while I was there. I hope you’ll check it all out…
I was recently hit with some questions about the presence of politics and ethical enquiry in my Unknown Soldier and Harbinger comics. I liked the places these questions made me go to in thinking about my characters and why I’ve made certain creative decisions, so I’m sharing some thoughts on that here… Read more
Here’s a nice little interview about Harbinger and Unknown Soldier, and about my process. Check it!
Excerpt: ““I wanted to be everything when I was growing up. A scientist, a historian, an adventurer and a journalist. A pacifist and a pugilist. I wanted to spend my life in a room with one window looking out at the mountain contemplating the arc of all things, and I wanted to be out on that mountain always doing and living and never being able to see the mountain for being on the face of it. I wanted to always be learning new things. I wanted to love and understand all people. It turned out that there’s only one way to be everything and do everything and always stay a student and openly love and hate and struggle for understanding. And that’s to be a writer.”
Comic Bastards: “It’s great to see human nature truly captured in a comic book about extraordinary powers.”
The few things I’ve seen online functioning as negative criticism seem to focus on two things. First, I’ve seen people express the notion that Faith is too fat, with one poster going so far as to say, “there should never be that much blubber on a comic book character.” To those of you who feel that way, I say go find another book to read. Faith is beautiful. All kinds of people should be represented in comics. There are people that look like Faith in the real world, and they never, ever get to be the hero in comics. Well they do in ours. And if you can’t clue in to the poetry of a 215 lb woman who wakes up one day light as a feather, then friend, this really isn’t the series for you.
The second criticism is that Harada isn’t villainous enough for some readers. Rarely does this come off as an aesthetic issue, which I could understand. More often it’s a kind of confusion over who the reader should root for. Well, my lovelies, that’s the whole of the point. If you need a story to clearly draw lines between what’s right and what’s wrong, then I say again, this isn’t the book for you.
Everyone else, go out there and buy issue 5! Man’s gotta eat!
New arc starts next month!
Flamingo is coming for your ass, fanboy.
NEW YORK COMIC CON
So New York was a madhouse. I generally favor NYCC to San Diego as the NY show just seems more comic book-centric somehow. But the Javits Center sucks! The crush of humanity was oppressive, and getting on and off the floor meant being filtered through the bottleneck of a handful of escalators (I didn’t think to use the stairwell exits until the last day, but once I figured it out, it was bliss). Saturday was a nightmare of human congestion.
Fortunately artist alley was separated from the discouraging maine floor and was packed with amazing talent. It was one of the best artist alley’s I’ve seen in a long while. While still crowded, it was never unmanageable and I ended up spending 90% of my time there catching up with friends and introducing myself to artists I adore.
The highlight of the con was meeting Khari Evans in person for the first time. What a sweet, wonderful, talented man.
So that’s the quick con report, for what it’s worth. Now lets get to the good stuff. Here’s a piece of news I’m ecstatic about…
JEFF LEMIRE’S VARIANT HARBINGER COVER!
The great Jeff Lemire goes punk rock for his Harbinger 8 Variant Cover.
Jeff Lemire is a dear friend of mine. I adore him and his handsome ass Canadian grin. He’s also the author and/or artist of a lot of great comic books, not the least of which is ESSEX COUNTY, which I consider one of the top ten graphic novels of the last decade. We’ve been struggling to work together literally since before SWEET TOOTH hit at Vertigo. But things always conspired against us. Now I finally get the pleasure of having the great, lovely, kind and talented Lemire work on something I’m involved with, albeit in a passing fashion.
The DIY aesthetic of the piece he turned in totally embraces the very reason why Jeff’s line speaks to me so deeply. There is an energy and spirit in the work that betrays its simplicity. I couldn’t be more happy.
As part of the press release Jeff had this to say…
“Josh Dysart is one of my favorite people and favorite writers in comics. We’ve wanted to work together for a long time now, but things never seem to line up with both of our busy schedules. When I heard Josh would be a part of the incredible Valiant relaunch with Harbinger, I immediately asked editor Jody LeHeup if I could do a variant. It may not be a full comic, but at least Josh and I have finally done something together. I’m really excited about the high quality books Valiant has been putting out and it’s great to be a part of it in even this small way. I was so thrilled that Jody and the Valiant guys let me go nuts with my lo-fi ballpoint pen idea, I had a blast!”
Assistant Editor on the book, the brilliant Jody LeHeup released this statement…
“Jeff routinely conjures some of the most engaging images and stories in comics and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with him again. This incredible cover is a testament to that fact and to his love for the outstanding work that Joshua Dysart, Khari Evans, Phil Briones and the rest of the Harbinger crew are doing right now.”
I hope you’re all cool with public displays of affection, because this is a goddamn love fest.
CBR has some great coverage of Valiant at NYCC. Including a full run down of our FUTURE OF VALIANT panel.
They also do some justice to our announcement that there will be a Harada centered Zero issue of Harbinger heading your way very soon, featuring interior art by the wonderful Mico Suayan.
There’s a full interview I did with CBR regarding the zero issue here. Check it for all the details!
THE RENEGADES INTERVIEW
Ladies and gentlemen, Torque by Khari Evans. Yes, that’s an Ed Hardy shirt.
The new arc is coming your way very soon. And Bloody Disgusting sat me down for a conversation about it. Click the website link for the full interview, but here’s just a dash of what I had to say…
“Ours isn’t a world where people call themselves heroes and fly around saving the day. This is a world of corporate backed hyper-psychics that manipulate markets, eliminate competition and control the future. But all it takes is the imagination and soaring (that’s right, I said it!) spirit of one plus-size teen girl to change that. Faith believes in things. She believes in heroes and in saving the day and wearing cool costumes, and her influence on Peter and those who choose to follow him will entirely remake the world. Faith is 215 lbs of pure weightlessness. Faith is the best soul in the book. And if any good comes out of Peter’s powers, it’s because Faith made it happen”
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE READING VALIANT COMICS!
Complex Pop Culture has done a super cool article covering exactly why you should be reading Valiant. Inside are lots of great quotes from Fred Van Lente, Robert Venditti, Duane Swierczynski and myself. Check it out if you want an overview of our team philosophy regarding the books.
Cool! I think that’s all the news and art that’s fit to print for now!! Keep reading comics! Especially mine!