Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Road to Armageddon 2010: Comics Guests

Above: Mike Allred's 'Madman'. Copyright Mike Allred 2010.

With last year's Armageddon Expo barely in the rearview mirror, there's a new convention season just around the corner. Kicking off with Armageddon 2010 at the Christchurch Convention Centre, March 27-28; followed by a three day Easter Weekend event April 2nd-4th at the Wellington TSB Bank Arena.

Above: Mike Allred with his wife and colourist Laura.

This year's comics guest list is headlined by arguably one of independent comics most influential creators: Mike Allred!

Allred's clean-line pop culture flavoured artwork draws it's inspiration from the great 60's comic artists: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Bruno Premiani, mixed with a quirky sense humour and sensitivity that is uniquely his own. He collaborates on his comics with his wife Laura Allred, who colours all his projects.

His most well-known creation is 'Madman', an entertaining mix of pop culture, super-heroics, romance and philosophy. It has been in development as a movie to be directed by Robert Rodriguez ('Sin City') for well over a decade (fingers crossed it happen sometime soon). His other creations include the early Marvel flavoured super-team 'The Atomics' and the critically acclaimed rock history-meets-aliens series 'Red Rocket 7'.

Above: The 'X-Statix' featuring a resurrected Princess Di! Copyright Marvel comics 2010.

He was also the co-creator of the series 'X-Statix', a radical re-imagining of the X-Men superhero team 'X-Force', with writer Peter Milligan for Marvel Comics. The series cleverly defied expectations, contrasted Mike friendly clean-cut style with shocking violence and plot twists (most of the new team were killed off in the first issue!). The series used the X-men concept to explore issues of fame and the fascination with tabloid celebrity culture. Pushing this concept to it's breaking point, a controversial unpublished issue was to feature a resurrected Princess Di joining the team.

Allred is currently working on 'The Golden Plates' an re-telling of the entire Book of Mormon, and the Vertigo series 'I, Zombie' with writer Chris Roberson.

Above: Francis Manapul.

Francis Manapul is making a return visit to New Zealand after his last Armageddon appearance in 2005.
Manapul is best known for his work on 'Witchblade' and 'The Necromancer' for Top Cow. In 2007, he signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics. Since then he has worked on a variety of projects, including: 'Legion of Super-Heroes' with Jim Shooter, and ‘Adventure Comics' with Geoff Johns.

Above: 'Flash' by Francis Manapul. Copyright DC Comics 2010.

He was recently named as the artist on the re-launched 'Flash' series written by Geoff Johns, starring Barry Allen and Wally West.

Above: Artist Nicola Scott at work.

Nicola Scott will also be making a return appearance at Armageddon (Christchurch only), having previously appeared at the Auckland show in 2007.

Above: Cover art from 'Secret Six' by Nicola Scott. Copyright DC Comics 2010.

Scott has previously worked on 'Birds of Prey' and is the on-going artist on 'Secret Six' for DC Comics. She recently completed the mini-series 'Wonder Woman: Blackest Night' with writer Greg Rucka.

For more information and updates, visit the official Armageddon Expo site HERE.


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