Friday, March 05, 2010

Punisher MAX Butterfly Pick Of The Week On G4's Fresh Ink!

Blair Butler just picked Punisher MAX: Butterfly as her Pick Of The Week on G4's Fresh Ink Blog!

She also had some good words for Girl Comics #1!

I...gah! I just feel really good right now. That's all.

Another Punisher MAX: Butterfly Review

From the 13 Minutes blog:

"If there’s more where this came from, then she can easily hold her own with the likes of Greg Rucka, Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Azzarrello, and Jason Aaron. This book was very weighty and absolutely worth the $4.99 price tag, feeling like a novel’s worth of content hiding in the confines of a pamphlet, transcending those disposable trappings. This is something unique and extraordinary. I can’t wait for her next project; I wonder if she has an ongoing in her or this was an isolated explosive bout of creativity. Either way, I’ll cherish this."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Reviews For Punisher: Butterfly & Girl Comics #1

I want to thank everyone who has supported Girl Comics #1 & Punisher MAX: Butterfly: your emails, Tweets, and Facebook messages are deeply appreciated. Thanks to those who came out to attend the signing at Jim Hanley's Universe, and thanks to Jim Hanleys for really doing a great job and making us at Girl Comics feel very welcome!

And these stories would not have been possible without the talented artists, Nikki Cook & Laurence Campbell, who brought them to life, and editorial teams who were smart, sensitive, and very supportive.

First, some "Butterfly" reviews:

On a review posted on the iFanboy site, The Last Champion wrote:
"It takes a lot of guts to publish a comic that doesn't have the title character in it. It all depends on whether the story ends up being good to justify the 'disappearance'. I'm not familiar with the work of Valerie D'Orazio but I will say one thing about her writing skills. She could've made this a story about a random thug in the MAX universe and I'd still be intrigued to read it."

Dan Philips @IGN gave it an 8 out 10:
"Having read Valerie D'Orazio's Occasional Superheroine blog and her Goodbye to Comics series of posts in particular, I fully expected her mainstream comics debut to be as unflinching and unapologetic as anything she's written about herself or the comics industry. I just didn't expect it to be as impressive and polished as Punisher MAX: Butterfly is. D'Orazio doesn't just channel the same passionate, extremely personal style of writing she's shared over the Net into a crime story set in the periphery of the Punisher MAX universe, she also makes it a slick moving, intricately layered page-turner. It's one hell of a read."

And The Reverend's Weekly Comic Reviews at Comics Con Queso wrote a somewhat spoilery review:

"I think this book simply proves my point that the Punisher is only as interesting as the people he kills. Garth Ennis knew this. Jason Aaron knows this. And Valerie D’Orazio knows this."

Next, a smattering of Girl Comics #1 reviews. Me & artist Nikki Cook did the Punisher story.

IGN's Miguel Perez enjoyed Girl Comics #1, writing:

Like any good collection, Girl Comics #1 offers a fantastic mixture of art, subject matter and tone. There truly is something for everybody in this book."

Perez went on to say:
"If I have to pick a favorite, I'd go with the Punisher story by Valerie D'Orazio and Nikki Cook. This hilarious short story used juxtaposition wonderfully as I just could not stop laughing at the sight of both men getting ready for their eventual confrontation. Little artistic details like the clown shower curtain and the guy's creepy pedo-smile made this story stand out for me. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good Punisher story."

The Nerdy Bird from Has Boobs, Reads Comics called Girl Comics "great" and went on to declare it "the Tampax Pearl of...girl comics." For the guys reading this, trust me, comparing it to the Pearl is big endorsement.

Randy Lander wrote in his blog,
"...some great art throughout, and is worth it for the "posies" panel in Valerie D'Orazio's story and the Colleen Coover intro pages alone."

And @LarrysComics Tweeted:
"How do you illustrate the "SOUL" of a character in 4 #comics pages? Ask @ValerieDOrazio She SHOULD be writing the ongoing Punisher series"

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the buzz, and really just grateful that I have been given the opportunity to write this stuff. That's pretty much it. I know my life has had its ups and downs, but in the end, I think I turned out to be a very lucky and blessed person.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Who Is This Valerie D'Orazio Anyway?

I'm totally not making a duck face in this pic

This is just an introduction to my site & who I am, as a refresher:

I'm a lifelong comic book fan. I owned a Mego Batmobile, was a Marvel Age penpal, and did my 6th grade "People I Admire" report on Stan Lee. I also sent Marvel a pitch for a Punisher story when I was 12 or 13; in response they offered me an internship (I was too young to accept).

I studied American Lit in college, with a special interest in Mark Twain, the Beat Generation, and Comics-As-Literature. Spent a summer semester studying Shakespeare in England. Was on an honors track for grad school. Dumped it all to go work at Acclaim Comics in 1996.

From 1996-1998 I worked as an assistant editor at Acclaim (formerly Valiant). I was there for the planning stages of the relaunch, and watched as each Valiant character was rebooted to become an Acclaim character; I always found that the most interesting part of my tenure there. I assisted on their Disney and Classics Illustrated lines, as well as Magnus Robot Fighter, Shadowman, and Master Darque.

When the larger part of Acclaim Comics folded in '98, I went into advertising and marketing. Within weeks of receiving my big promotion at my marketing job, I sent out a number of "cold call" letters to various DC and Marvel editors looking for work. Within two days of sending out these letters, I received 3 calls from DC and ended up with interviews with 5 different editors by the next week.

In 2000 I was hired as the Creative Service Coordinator at DC Comics. Within a year or so, I became an assistant editor, and soon I was involved with the "rebooting" of the DC line by new hire Dan DiDio. I assisted on such books as Batman Black & White, The New Frontier, Aquaman, JLA, Rose & Thorn, and a bunch more. I also did full editing duties on Arkham Asylum: Living Hell and Human Defense Corps. In 2004, me & DC parted ways. The last book I worked on at DC was Identity Crisis.

I briefly had a comics column at the old Silver Bullet Comics site, then started this blog, Occasional Supeheroine. In November '06 I deleted the contents of my blog and started a series of posts called "Goodbye To Comics." These posts quite frankly and sometimes graphically described a series of misadventures I had that were all comic book related. The posts caused quite a stir.

That began about 3+ years of steady posting on this blog, which had started to develop a cult following. Out of all the posts I ever did, the one on Supergirl remains my favorite. It started with me bemoaning the sexualized depiction of Supergirl, and ended with me (in real time, as I wrote the post) realizing that I was the one at DC who suggested that cheesecake artist Ed Benes take over the flagging Supergirl title in the first place. That tension and ambivalence between feminist ideals and comic book realities is one I own wholeheartedly and don't apologize for.

If I had to categorize this blog, it would be "Feminist Comic Book Blog That Mostly Men Read." I would say that out of all the fan email I get, over 75 percent are from guys. You would think those emails would include some weird stuff, but that's happened very very rarely. I've grown up around (mostly male) hard core comic book fans; that's the culture I know, the culture of the neighborhood comic shop. I think often what I write reflects the nexus point (or collision) between that world and women's issues that I've experienced/care about.

In 2009 I offered as an eBook "Memoirs of An Occasional Superheroine," which expanded on themes introduced in Goodbye To Comics. You can download it for free, until mid-March, here.

In March 2010, my one-shot Punisher MAX: Butterfly was released, as well as a short story also featuring the Punisher in the Marvel anthology Girl Comics #1. In May 2010, my one-shot X-Men Origins: Emma Frost, will hit stands.

What's next for me? I'm not really sure. Maybe I will have a long illustrious comic book writing career. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll have a baby. Maybe I'll go back to that graduate school plan I abandoned so many years ago. I've always wanted to break into horror movie/comics fandom, so maybe I'll look into that. Maybe I'll go write that sequel to Goodbye To Comics. And get the house painted.

Last story, that I've never told before: many years ago, when I first started using the Internet, I had created my own religion on MySpace. Honest to God. I mean, it had just started with me posting some anonymous stuff on philosophy, metaphysics, a few predictions, stuff like that. And then I got a following. And then things got weird, with people depending on me for insights, and the way I dealt with it was running away. Because I was just so freaked out by it. I'd make a lousy L. Ron Hubbard, I guess. So I ran away. And then I went to another New Age type forum, and then inadvertently started it all over again. And ran away. And then I gave that all up and started comic book blogging. This is the longest I ever stuck with anything like this. I guess that's what I'm trying to say.

Thanks, to those who have stuck with it. We'll see how far it goes.

"This was your idea. If you don't like your ideas, stop having them."
--Ginger Snaps

(I was going to make this a link section to all my interviews, etc., but if you just Google my name you'll get more links and info than you would ever need or hope for.)

Monday, March 01, 2010

The OS Journal, 3/1/10

Let's comics are coming out in two days and I'm as anxious as hell. It's a good anxious, but it's still anxiousness. It's like waiting for Christmas Day if you were waiting for Christmas day for 30 years.

I just made an appointment to get my hair done by a place that does NOT resemble the reliable, safe neighborhood salon. We will see how that goes. All I know is, I will not look the same when I leave there. I don't know if that's good or bad. The last cut I got, I was so neurotic about Change that I had them take like an inch off and just paid them and ran out. You couldn't even tell the difference. So now my hair is exceptionally long and shapeless. It's when I break the ponytail out that I admit defeat. You pull that hair back and spray it into place – done! Defeat! Then: walk of shame into salon.

Watched "Julie and Julia" yesterday. Thought they could do a "Goodbye To Comics" version where footage of Frank Castle taking down a Columbian drug cartel is intercut with me learning to use Blogger for the first time. "Look honey: I got a comment! From someone who didn't know me! (squee!)" Then: a safehouse in the middle of the jungle blows up. It's genius I tell you. Someone alert Sony.


My Munden's Bar with Martha Thomases going live was a welcome surprise. Norm did a great job didn't he? He was a real trooper. I remember seeing the first pages for this story come out, and spitting coffee all over the keyboard. And yes, it should be remembered here: Martha did create Dakota North in the 1980s. There was a lot of great female characters back then; somebody on the ComicMix boards mentioned "Whisper," and that's really true. Whisper was a GREAT book.

Ah, Sean Kleefeld has just sent me a mock-up of how I might look like in a post-disco Dazzler cut:

You know, that really ain't too bad. Now here is the BORIS original of that art:

If I could get that butt, plus the know, and the light powers...

Oh, and ordered my iPhone today. That's right. No more land-line. Change: it's scary, but fun too!

More reports as they unfold!


More Man-Crotch Than You Will Ever See In One Comic

ComicMix presents...a Thomases/D'Orazio/Breyfogle production...Munden's Bar in "Good For The Goose."

I've always been a big fan of Norm Breyfogle's comic work, so I got a big kick out of working on this.

Yeah, that's me in the t-shirt.

Bonus question: what Marvel heroine did Martha Thomases co-create in the 1980s?