I suppose congratulations are in order for Joe Keatinge: His head-turning work on Rob Liefeld’s Glory and his own Hell Yeah! have landed him a gig at Marvel, chronicling the earliest adventures of cosmic heavy Thanos in Thanos: Son of Titan. If you’ve been following Glory and Hell Yeah! – both of which have trade paperbacks collecting their initial arcs out in August – you know already know that Joe’s one of the most exciting new writers in comics. If you’re not familiar with Joe, though, and you haven’t checked out Glory and Hell Yeah! – you should rectify that immediately. Both series are insanely awesome and while Thanos: Son of Titan is essentially retroactive continuity for a character that has been around since the early ’70s, Glory and Hell Yeah! take place right here, right now. If you can’t wait for the trades, both Glory #28 (Joe and artist Ross Campbell’s sixth issue) and Hell Yeah! #5 are out later this month.
That Eric Stephenson is a classy dude.
He also had some kind words to say about another fella, Jim Starlin, the creator most associated with Thanos. He suggests you pick up Starin’s Image Comics published creator owned series, ‘Breed. I concur. I also suggest you check out his Dreadstar, recently published in an edition by Dynamite.
Starlin’s work has had a major impact on me - as a kid when I first read THANOS QUEST, INFINITY GAUNTLET, INFINITY WAR, WARLOCK AND THE INFINITY WATCH and more recently as I dove into 1970s Marvel Comics and was blown away by the original WARLOCK run. So, yeah, I can’t stress enough how you should give his work a good, hearty read if you haven’t already.
Hot damn. Look at what Ross Campbell dragged in.
GLORY #23 is finally a real, printed comic book that exists on Earth.
Ross has copies. You’ll have yours on next Wednesday, February 15th.
Twenty years after deciding, “yeah, I want to write comics for the rest of my life,” these four variant covers each contain twenty-four pages of story within two saddlestitches that make this a reality. Yeah, I’ve written short stories and edited a whole bunch of comics, but writing these things in complete single issue units is what I’ve desired forever. And it’s here. Finally. In the format I intended it to be read.
I’m pretty damn stoked.
So here’s a massive thank you to Image Comics Publisher and Extreme Editor Eric Stephenson as well as Extreme creator Rob Liefeld for taking a huge chance on a relatively new writer, especially considering the immense amount of freedom they afforded to the whole team. An extra tip of the hat to Rob for providing a variant for this issue. Considering how much of an impact the birth of Image had on me, well, it means a lot to have the guy who released their first book draw the variant cover of my first ongoing series.
Speaking of which, another massive thank you goes to Ross Campbell, for being the most ideal collaborator for this project. Every single line he puts down makes me grateful to have someone of his talent to work with. The dude’s insanely talented and this is gonna make people rethink a lot of what he’s capable of.
Also on the team are colorist Ms,Shatia Hamilton and letterer Douglas E. Sherwood. Ms,Shatia has blown me away with every single page she’s turned in. She has a unique color palette, unlike anything else in comics, which distinguishes this book from anything on the stands. I’m very thankful to have her on board.
Doug has been a huge help as well and there’s a major reason he’s lettering both this and Hell Yeah. The guy’s a perfect fit and easy to work with. Seriously, if you need a letterer, Douglas E. Sherwood’s your man.
I also owe a massive thanks to everyone at Image Comics from marketing to production to accounting to… everything. Seriously. You guys super rule.
Finally, for every retailer and reader who preordered a copy: you guys are the best. I’m very happy by the numbers and it looks like there’s a good chance this book will be around for a bit. That’s due to you. If we’re ever at the same convention or store, well, I owe you a high five at the very least. Extra special thanks go to Jimmy Jay of Amazing Arizona Con & Image Expo for getting his own variant cover, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I hope the CBLDF’s copies earn them a crap ton of money.
Can’t wait to get home and get my paws on my own copies.
Let me know what you think.
Image Comics Publisher and Extreme Editor Eric Stephenson has read GLORY #23 and wrote it up:
Writer Joe Keatinge and artist Ross Campbell have done a masterful job, not just in taking over a moribund character from the ’90s and making her work, but in drawing me in right from the get go. Considering it’s my job to shepherd Glory along through the creative process – just as it was when I worked at Extreme Studios way back when – that’s no mean feat, really, but here I am, excited to see how things unfold in the next issue. And more to the point, as excited as I would be if I had no involvement in this book whatsoever. It’s a good comic book, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to see it.
Eric Stephenson, Publisher of Image Comics and Former Boss/Current Friend, is always great for an interview. Six months ago he did one with Multiversity Comics and earlier today, he did a follow up. It’s a must read for a variety of reasons, but I was particularly touched by this exchange and thought I should reprint it here. Huge thanks to Eric for the flattering words. Massive thanks to Multiversity for conducting such a great interview. Interviews are much harder to pull off than it looks and they always do a great job.
A person who has long been affiliated with Image thanks to the Popgun anthology series has been having a big year thanks to his work with Frank Cho. How important to Image is Joe Keatinge, and is he one of the underrated names in comics?
ES: Actually, I think 2012 is going to be Joe’s big year. Joe’s editing 50 Girls 50 for Frank, but the work they’re doing together isn’t going to be released for some time yet. And Joe’s writing some other things, but again, that’s all next year.
Joe’s a valued friend of the company, and I’m happy that he’s finally doing the kind of work he’s always wanted to produce. Is he underrated? Well, he doesn’t have much of a CV at this point. He’s done a few short stories here and there, but he’s really just embarking on his career as a comic book writer. I think he’s come a long way from his first efforts, and based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m looking forward to his continued development.
Shit, that sounds really professorial, doesn’t it?
The bottom line is this, though: Joe’s not content to wallow in the past. Like most people in this business, he has a healthy appreciation of the comics and creators that made him fall in love with the medium, but he’s not chained to that stuff. He’s eager to try new things, to explore new ideas, to create. Creators like that are indispensable.