DC Fifty-TOO

Posted by Grey Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Haters of the controversial "DC Comics - The New 52" initiative, doubtful over the abilities of the current batch of creator to relaunch the DC Universe characters of your preference? You are not alone.

With only two titles published tomorrow, we will witness a new age of DC Comics come tomorrow when the final issue of Flashpoint and the first issue of Justice League hit the stands. Uncertain and exasperated by the prospects of your particular favorite characters in the DC Universe? Perhaps sharing your opinions, cartoonist Jon Morris has kicked off with a new blog entitled "DC FIFTY-TOO" in response to the major shake-up in the DC Universe. So just what exactly is "DC FIFTY-TOO"? In Morris's own words:

As you've probably heard, DC Comics is less than a month away from relaunching their entire line of superhero comics, fifty-two all new titles starting (or starting over) at the first issue. Most of their characters are getting new looks, some are getting streamlined or updated histories, and some older and more obscure characters are getting a turn in the spotlight.

Once DC started releasing the cover images of what the New DC Universe would look like, it got me wondering what the New DC Universe would look like ... if it were out of DC's hands.

I contacted a plethora of very talented - and very different - cartoonists with a simple challenge: If DC approached you and offered you any DC property - past or present - of your choice to be your own new ongoing part of the DC Universe, what would the cover to the first issue look like?

Fifty-two artists (and then some) responded, and that brings us here - DC FIFTY-TOO, The New DC Universe as imagined by fifty-two independent cartoonists. Starting on August 15th and running up through August 31st - the day the New DC Universe launches - this blog will unveil four new covers for DC Comics that never were but probably ought to have been, brought to you by artists like Indigo Kelleigh, Joel Priddy, Zack Soto, Matthew Allison, Robert Wilson IV, Mike Norton, Amy Mebberson and many many many more!

For two weeks, fifty-two artists come together to present fifty-two mock covers for fifty-two DC Comics titles that won't be hitting the stands anytime soon. And the result is exhilarating.

With tomorrow both marking the beginning of "DC Comics - The New 52" initiative and the last four entries in the amazing DC Fifty-TOO project, we take a look at a number of some of the intriguing, entertaining, and innovative take on the DC Comics characters that we have known and loved.

KAMANDI #1 by Robert Wilson IV
Robert Wilson IV is a comic artist and illustrator who currently lives in Dallas, TX with his wife Tiffany. He co-created and self published Knuckleheads, a super powered buddy comedy, along with writer Brian Winkeler.

Kamandi was created by Jack Kirby.

CREEPER #1 by Matthew Allison
Matthew Allison is an illustrator and comic book artist working in Denver, CO. The most valuable comic he owns is a NM Flaming Carrot #1. If anyone is interested in buying this comic it is NOT FOR SALE!
However, his comic book Calamity of Challenge can be purchased by checking out his website at loafdish.blogspot.com, or you can just go there and read the thing for free, cheapskates.

The Creeper was created by Steve Ditko.
Swamp Thing was created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson.

NEW GODS #1 by Benjamin Marra
Benjamin Marra is the notorious, controversial and influential creator of the comic books NIGHT BUSINESS, GANGSTA RAP POSSE and THE INCREDIBLY FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF MAUREEN DOWD (A WORK OF SATIRE AND FICTION). Marra's comic books have drawn comparison to mainstream masters Jim Steranko and Paul Gulacy as well as underground comix legends R. Crumb and Spain Rodriguez. Marra's illustration work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, The Society of Publication Designers, American Illustration and the Art Directors Club. Some of his clients include Playboy, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Marvel Comics, Vice, Nylon, Widen+Kennedy and McCann-Erickson. Marra's work is beyond the cutting edge. It is in the cut itself. His website is here.

The New Gods were created by Jack Kirby.

TEEN TITANS #1 by Tim Seeley
Tim Seeley is a comic book writer and artist living in Chicago. He is the creator if Hack/Slash, the current writer of Witchblade, and the artist on a mess of things he has trouble keeping track of. He collects He-Man figures, because he is pretty much a large, hairy nine year old. His website is here.

The Teen Titans were created by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani.

DEADMAN #1 by John Bishop
John Bishop's artwork can be found at eyemelt.blogspot.com

Deadman was created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino.

UNEXPECTED #1 by Trevor Alixopulos
Trevor Alixopulos draws comics and illustrations. he has two graphic novels published by Sparkplug Comic Books, Mine Tonight and The Hot Breath of War. The latter was nominated for an Ignatz award for Outstanding Graphic Novel.

Trevor says of this piece: I chose "UNEXPECTED" because I enjoy that old comic, with its hosts Mildred, Mordred and Cynthia. I've also always been amused by the very low-stakes, prosaic title. I like to imagine a new series based on fairly mundane events in their lives. You can see more of my work at www.hautejunk.blogspot.com

ELECTRIC WARRIOR #1 by Aaron Conley
Aaron Conley dropped out of little league to spend his days fully engrossed in a healthy dose of 25 cent Werewolf by Night and Marvel Tales featuring Spider-Man comics. When he realized there probably wasn’t going to be a chance of him actually turning into a wolf-man, the next best thing would probably be drawing werewolves all day and thus the desire to be a cartoonist was born. You can see most of these cartoons on the website he shares with fellow artist Damon Gentry.

The Electric Warrior was created by Doug Moench and Jim Baikie.

DEX-STARR #1 by Katie Cook

HOUSE OF MYSTERY #1 by Matt Kaufenberg
Matt Kaufenberg is a freelance illustrator currently living in Minnesota. He's inspired by the illustration styles of the 60's and 70's and always tries to imbue his work with a sense of humor.

See more of his work at www.illustrationaday.com, and follow him on Twitter at yaksquatch

BLACKHAWKS #1 by Scott Godlewski
(colors by Ryan Cody)

Scott Godlewski is a freelance illustrator based in Gilbert, AZ, having most recently worked for BOOM! Studios as artist on Codebreakers and Dracula: The Company of Monsters. He is also co-creator of both the action anthology, Mysterious Adventure Magazine; and the live comic art blog, Comic Improv. His website is http://www.scottgodlewski.com/.

Scott says: The detonation of the hydrogen bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki signaled both the end of the second World War and the beginning of the Atomic Age. Secrets man was not meant to know and a power man was not meant to wield have been loosed on the world. Now the greatest aces of World War II will unite and wage a new war against the unbelievable and the impossible, aided by the very science that has birthed their horrifying adversaries. These brave men are all that stand between humanity and the unimaginable madness of the atom's power. They are the BLACKHAWKS.

The Blackhawks were created by Will Eisner, Chuck Cuidera and Bob Powell.

LOIS LANE #1 by Anthony Vukojevich
Anthony Vukojevich majored in Illustration at Long Beach State. He self-published a comic book called Chick Magnet. He also did a comic called Envelope Licker for Robot Publishing. Anthony then got a job drawing Animation Backgrounds for Wild Thornberrys and As Told By Ginger. He has spent the last 5 years working on Phineas and Ferb for Disney. He draws props and does the character clean-up and color for posters and merchandise. Anthony has attended San Diego Comic-Con since 1981. Oh yeah, he also started a blog called Repaneled in which artists redraw comic book panels.

Anthony Vukojevich's blog is here: http://vukojevich.blogspot.com/

Lois Lane was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Tony Esteves is a Canadian cartoonist hailing from the frozen wilderness of Edmonton, Alberta. From 1998 to 2008, he drew the webcomic Cigarro & Cerveja, a comic strip about a cigarette-smoking rabbit and a beer-drinking goose. Earlier this year, he launched Legendary Woodsman, an action adventure comic for all-ages. Tony also thinks he can dance but we know better.

Richard Dragon was created by Dennis O'Neil and Jim Berry.
The Yeti was created by Grant Morrison, J.G. Jones, and Joe Bennett.

SUPERGIRL/BATGIRL #1 by Mike Maihack
Mike Maihack lives in Tampa, FL and draws a popular webcomic called Cleopatra in Space with the help of his two Siamese cats. He draws a bunch of other stuff too, but his cats don’t help much with those things. In fact, they don’t help much on Cleopatra either now that he thinks about it… Let’s start over: Mike lives in Tampa, FL with two very lazy and useless cats. Also with a loving wife and soon-to-be newborn son (who will hopefully wind up being a much better assistant). More of his work can be found at cowshell.com

Mike says: Can the same blonde-haired, wonder teen from Metropolis who helped Barbara Gordon finally put an end to Killer Moth's week-long crime spree also be the new popular transfer student at Gotham High? Good thing they have superheroics in common because Babs' and Kara Zor-El's student lives are about to clash."

That's a rough tagline for a book that shouldn't come as any big surprise for those who have followed me online for longer than a week. I would take a more all-ages approach to the series, placing Babs and Kara in high school who, despite some social differences, eventually become best friends. That's when I would introduce an idolizing fourteen-year-old Mary Marvel to annoy the heck out of them.

Batgirl was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino.
Supergirl was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.

KID ETERNITY #1 by Neal von Flue
Neal Von Flue is an artist whose day-job consists of teaching art, painting murals, drawing pictures, and accomplishing a wide array of art services. By night, he likes to make comics about old folk songs and play banjo and musical saw in Hang Dog Expression.

Neal says: My idea is to relaunch Kid Eternity as an all ages series. Instead of growing older, the kid would be still young and filled with all the angst and regular emotions that a young boy had, the Lost-Boy rebellion, etc. The deal is to see how a 10 year old who can summon any adult (or child) from the depths of history would react to any given situation. What kind of problems would he come across and how could he use his (possibly) limited knowledge of history to solve them? You know darn well he'd be pulling out cowboys and pirates and whatnot, but would he like these living icons when they got here? and furthermore, when he's not crime-fighting, would he call up Van Gogh for painting lessons, or Einstein to help him with his homework? What kinds of adventure and frustrations come about when a kid can run amuck in history in order to solve their problems?

Kid Eternity was created by Otto Binder and Sheldon Moldoff.

HECKLER #1 by Benjamin Birdie
Benjamin Birdie is the artist of America's longest running comic strip about a comic shop, The Rack (http://www.therackcomic.com). His site is currently under construction, but his work can often be found on his tumblr (http://benjaminbirdie.tumblr.com). He is a regular contributor to the world famous Twitter feed @FakeAPStylebook (http://www.twitter.com/fakeapstylebook) and provided gags and illustrations for their book, Write More Good, available now at book stores and bookselling websites and on electronic reading geegaws worldwide. He can be found horsing off regularly on his Twitter feed (http://www.twitter.com/benjaminbirdie).

Benjamin Says: When Jon first asked me to take part in this project, I was sort of at a loss as to what character to pick. But once I remembered that The Heckler was my favorite character ever in anything, the cover appeared to me fully formed. It was a risk making such an incredibly inside reference to one particular issue of a comic that only ran for six months and was probably read by four or five people, but it fit the context of the project so perfectly. One of the best things about The Heckler was how it subtly addressed the industry at the time. Hopefully I've reflected that sensibility in my own small way.

The Heckler was created by Keith Giffen and Tom & Mary Bierbaum.

KLARION #1 by Jemma Salume
Jemma Salume is awesome. There's some art omg style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 400px; height: 235px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-O6P6jbZHQ2I/Tl1fFphpQhI/AAAAAAAADjg/ElgXR_2L2pc/s400/Hiremy.Hirschl.Adolf.Souls.on.the.Banks.of.the.Acheron.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5646774058443424274" />

HER NAME IS DEATH #1 by Steve Rolston
Steve Rolston has drawn a bunch of comics such as Queen & Country, Pounded, Mek, The Escapists, Tales of the TMNT, Degrassi, Emiko Superstar and, most recently, the supernatural thriller Ghost Projekt. He also wrote & illustrated the slacker noir graphic novel One Bad Day. His website is www.steverolston.com

Dave McCaig colors things. He has used red, green and many other hues on Action Comics, X-Men, Avengers, Detective Comics, Northlanders, American Vampire, and countless other titles. He also runs Gutterzombie.com, the colorist message board.

Steve says: When coming up with ideas for this cover, I obviously had to think about what story I would tell if I got to do a series about the character Death. In a nutshell, it involves a young woman who realizes that a near-death experience in her youth left her with more than just emotional scars and hazy memories of a pale girl with a silver ankh around her neck. She discovers that, unlike most in the mortal realm, she has the ability to see the entity known as Death. And now a mysterious occultist wants to cut out her eyeballs and take that power for himself.

The hat that Death wears in the painting is a reference to la Calavera Catrina, an elegant female skeleton figure often portrayed in Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

Death was created by Neil Gaiman and Mike Dringenberg.

ZATANNA #1 by Eric Bonhomme
Eric Bonhomme is an illustrator living in Miami Florida. He has worked for various clients and continues o broaden his range in the illustration/design industry. He has created a self titled book "The Hunted" , an was Published thanks to the good folk's at the Passenger Press. Eric is currently working on his personal projects : Vintage 76/ Demon Ditch series. Follow him on his blog for the latest Ventures http://liquidstone.blogspot.com/.

ALL-OUT WAR #1 by Aaron Gillespie
Aaron Gillespie is an Iowa City based cartoonist and storyboard artist. His work has been in Negative Burn (Desperado), Golly (Image), The Wretch (Slave Labor) as well as other books. He is currently working on a graphic novel.

Aaron says: I've always been a huge fan of the Kanigher/Kubert war comics, so it was an easy choice of what book I wanted to revamp. I love the way those comics had multiple "panels" and tons of text on the cover, and I tried to recreate that.

I would also like to thank my pal Rick Hiltbrunner for coloring the cover. Rick is a talented cartoonist who does a webstrip you can read here www.skidmarksjohnson.com.

Check out these and more at DC FIFTY-TOO blog.


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