Of Monsters and Mages (Weekend Pattering for March 5rd, 2017)

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week

I'm not really too sure what's going on in this variant cover for the new issue of The Wicked + The Divine by Alison Sampson but it's maybe my favorite cover of the series.  As Jamie McKelvie has been doing different visual themes for each arc of this series, some of the variant covers have really just been mindblowing.  "The Imperial Phase (1)" has really rewritten the path of this book, particularly the last issue, and the series is starting to get really uncertain and exciting that way.

Sampson's cover reflects the uncertainty of recent events and the roles that these various "gods" are going to play in whatever the big battle is going to be.  It's becoming more and more evident that the first few arcs have been a lot of setup and misdirection.  With this cover, while recent events may be focusing the story, it's not too clear what that picture is going to be once it's focused.  


** Bleeding Cool Talks To Matt Wagner About Mage: The Hero Denied, The Final Chapter, Announced By Image Comics At ECCC 2017 (Bleeding Cool)--  So many thoughts about this.  
THE HERO DISCOVERED was authored while I was actually experiencing that particular stage of my life. And then progressing maturity meant that I needed a bit of distance in regards to the next stage…I was five years or so past certain life events when I did THE HERO DEFINED. Now, for THE HERO DENIED, I found that I really needed a bit more time to see how other aspects of my life were gonna fully play out before being able to translate them into MAGE. I know it can be frustrating from a reader’s end of things…but that’s just the way it had to work out. I couldn’t really rush the process and still keep it true to the ideals that made MAGE special in the first place. But, c’mon…hate my fans? I fucking LOVE that my readers have stuck with me for this long. I owe it to them to make sure this final part of the trilogy is both genuine and unexpected.
When can I get a new shirt and can I buy a case of them?

What color will magic be this time?

With this done, any chance that Wagner may revisit The Aerialist next?  (Doubt it.)

In some ways, I don't want this story to end.  I'm one of those people who has been waiting around 30 years for this and I don't know if I'm ready for the end of Kevin Matchstick's story.  In all of the writing I've done, I've never really delved into a lot of Wagner except for a few Grendel stories here and there.  The second Mage series was over and done with years before I started doing a lot of this stuff.

That said, Wagner's Mage is an important book to me.  Mage: The Hero Discovered #14 is probably one of my favorite single issues.  The end of Wagner's Mage is going to be the end of something for me but I'm really not even too sure what yet.

But I'll be there, reading every issue.

** Teenage Alienation: Castellucci And Zarcone On Where ‘Shade, The Changing Girl’ Fits In (Comics Alliance)-- The jury is still out on DC's Young Animal line but Shade, The Changing Girl has been one of the most fascinating looking books that they've put out lately.  Zarcone's thin line does a great job of portraying the alienness of otherworldly creatures as well as the alienness of teenage life.

MZ: Personality has an incredible influence on a person’s physical appearance, so I depend heavily on facial expressions and body language to differentiate the two. Megan is confident, cruel, and she can be petulant when things aren’t working in her favor, whereas Loma Shade is an inquisitive, wide-eyed, outsider, steadily going through a stream of unfamiliar hormonal responses. Even if they had identical hair and clothing, I think the divide would be very apparent.

** TAMRA BONVILLAIN: THE DIFFERENCE A COLORIST MAKES (Book Riot)-- Speaking of Young Animals, I'm not too familiar yet with Tamra Bonvillain other than her work on Gerard Way's Doom Patrol but she's easily demonstrated there that she's a colorist to keep an eye on.

Just in this image above, you’ll notice that the use of color, specifically the orange in the lower half panel layout emphasizes the trauma of a recollection. In other cases, you might find that certain colors kind of “signal” places or settings. Tamra confirms this is part of her process: “I try to make locations and specific scenes stand out from one another by making certain colors dominant, or by modifying the coloring approach some way. Ideally, it should be instantly recognizable by color alone. This works better on projects where I can go more stylized, so I can really push the colors, making the differences more pronounced. Even when colors are more down to Earth, I try to signal differences, just more subtly. ”

** First, Emil Ferris Was Paralyzed. Then Her Book Got Lost at Sea. (The New York Times)-- I've barely cracked my copy of Emil Ferris' My Favorite Thing Is Monsters but pretty much every page has been amazing.
And monsters are more than a metaphor for Ms. Ferris. “I still do love monsters,” she said. “And when I was a kid, they were really important to me. I couldn’t wait for Saturday night.” Because Saturdays meant the local creature double-feature and fright-fests like “Carnival of Souls” and “The Pit and the Pendulum.” 
Ms. Ferris says those film terrors provided a crucial counterpoint to her own life: “This was the ’60s. I watched protests being broken up by the police. I saw bigotry. It made me think about our own inner monstrousness.”

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