Bleeding Cool first mentioned Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards' follow up to Turf last year. The Golden Age, a tale about superheroes in retirement. At this weekend's North Carolina Comic Con, Tommy Lee Edwards showed a lot more. David LaFuente was also on hand to show off his comic with Jonathan Ross. Home Run, first mentioned at San Diego this year. And at NCCC Bleeding Cool had a small reporting team to capture the action. Steven Burks of Iconograph Studios writes for Bleeding Cool;
This past weekend, Jonathan Ross' global team of artists got together at the North Carolina Comicon and talked about their upcoming projects and shared some peeks for the first time. David LaFuente (artist on Ultimate Spiderman, New Mutants) joined Tommy Lee Edwards (artist on 1984), who also worked with Ross on Turf, to discuss their respective series.
Edwards opened with some story-setting on Golden Age which focuses on a retirement home for heroes. One of the main characters, Mr. USA is the archetypical patriotic hero who is forced into retirement by the government. Edwards explained the idea began while he and Ross worked on Turf and the last issue of that series featured a very early concept piece for Golden Age to show readers the tone and idea. "An artistic pleasure" is how Edwards defined working with Ross as he expanded on the idea of the golden age of heroes mixing with the golden age of people. Edwards earliest work on the series was an actual brochure for the retirement home showing special amenities for the super powered. It came with quotes from residents like "Since coming to Golden Age I feel super," and "I feel I can really stretch out," says the Mr. Fantastic, Elasti Girl archetype character Johnny.
Edwards showed some of concept art on the characters and stated the story is in the modern day but is a great homage to the older heroes. Among the pictures was Mr. USA with his kids as he retires and gets a plaque. "Here's a plaque, now go away," Edwards joked. The story also features elements such as pre-teens being trained as the heroes of tomorrow and a 1970s style cartoon show that showcased a team called the Fighting Furies.
Talking about working with Ross, Edwards said things are always evolving and growing and he really works closely on matching his designs to the writer's vision. He provided one example about the size of the She-Beast character and Ross being concerned about her being too big for the retirement home. "She might break through the roof," Edwards said of the Ross's concern. "I thought that would be funny." Edwards also revealed that there is another place beside the old folk's home. A place were those who don't cooperate go. "Like spies or villains."
Edwards let on that Matthew Vaughn is looking to produce a film version of the Golden Age story too. "It's been a year and half getting here," Edward summed up, "on Monday, I start drawing."
Home Run, which is drawn by LaFuente and written by Ross, is like a reverse story of the Superman/alien visitor plot. In this work, an Earth boy goes to an alien world and gains superpowers. LaFuente said that Ross told him he was working on an idea and wanted to provide some thoughts. "I was thinking 2 pages, but it was 35 pages with enough stories for 50 or 60 issues!" Ross asked him how we wanted to proceed. "It was like getting into the kitchen," to see the writer progress and not just get the final product script like at DC or Marvel.
He discussed working on designs for the series and in particular the goggles worn by the main character. "I went through 7 or 8 designs. But they have a reason to be there." LaFuente also wanted to make sure that the characters expressions would come through. He went on to talk about creating the alien world and how great it is to get to design something new, which happens so little at Marvel and DC. "I was worried about Avatar though," he explained when Ross talked about floating cities and the forest scenes. In the end, the city evolved to be a hierarchical construction with wealthier citizens having houses on columns. The higher the column correlates to greater the wealth and the richest people have houses that float.
LaFuente showed concept art including the main character wearing his backpack. "It's really a robot dog," he explained. And showed one of the first scenes were the character is coming home through a forest. "I was worried about Avatar again and said 'what if the creature is like a jellyfish?'"
The discussion moved to the nature of global comic teams with LaFuente in Spain, Edwards in America, and Ross in England. The internet and FTP make it all work explained Edwards. LaFuente shared a story about a fellow Spanish artist that struggled to find work on biographical comics in Spain. Someone suggested France and that is what he did. "Now he lives in Spain, but his career is in France," LaFeunte joked.
Both Home Run and Golden Age are expected to hit shelves in 2012 fro0m Image Comics.