February 20, 2012
Cesar Feliciano is the highly talented artist of The Red Ten. I had the pleasure of meeting him at New York Comic Con, and I have been really impressed by what I’ve seen of his work on The Red Ten #2. He’s an artist who’s continually upping his game, which is always exciting to see. Cesar posted some very kind comments about The Standard on his blog, and shared this wonderful piece of Standard fanart:
July 6, 2011
I’m really sorry for the lack of updates over the past week. Things have been a bit hectic over here. But I hope to make it up to you with a couple of cool tidbits before the week is out! Today, however, I simply provide a reminder that The Standard #2 goes on sale on Wednesday July 13th!
You will be able to buy The Standard #2 digitally from Graphicly, Wowio, MyDigitalComics, DriveThruComics and Oxicomics for $1.99, and in print form via IndyPlanet for $3.99. Readers in the Glasgow area should also be able to pick up issues at Forbidden Planet, A1 Comics and Plan B Books. As was the case with the first issue, the release is likely to be staggered across these platforms, with not every outlet making the comic available immediately from July 13th. But you will be kept updated on this blog when The Standard #2 goes on sale on each platform.
It’s been a joy seeing the pages come in for this. Everyone on the team is on top form, and those of you who enjoyed the first issue will not be disappointed!
The Standard #2 is published by Comix Tribe. The comic is written by me, John Lees, drawn by Jonathan Rector, colored by Gulliver Vianei and Mike Gagnon, lettered by Kel Nuttall and edited by Steven Forbes.
June 28, 2011
My apologies for the lack of updates recently. The death of Alex Thomas was a massive shock, and in amidst the media frenzy surrounding what happened, I felt it would be futile acting as one more buzzing voice in the swarm. Today, I don’t want to talk about that. Instead, I want to talk about something that was important to Alex when he was alive: Amy Harris.
In earlier blogs, I’ve talked about how 9-year-old Amy Harris went missing without a trace last month, and how Alex Thomas got invested in aiding in the thus-far fruitless search for her. Indeed, in his last public appearance before his death, on Tonight! With Howie Hollows, he made a point of mentioning Amy and reminding the audience and the viewers at home that she still needs our help. I made an appeal for people to contact me at email@example.com if they had any information on Amy’s whereabouts. We had a great response. Sadly, no one had any concrete, actionable evidence – I don’t think I ever seriously expected I could do what the police couldn’t – but what I did get was an outpouring of support that helped show me that Amy is not forgotten, and that some people still care about seeing her found and returned safely to her mother. Here is a sample of some of the messages I’ve received:
It’s terrible when a child goes missing. Too many of these faces show up on the news all over the world, and it’s easy for us to let one blend into another. But we shouldn’t do that. Every one of those faces means the world to someone, including Amy’s. The police should redouble their efforts to track her down. We can’t give up on her!
- Luke, Glasgow, Scotland
Maybe we could form some kind of group or initiative to help Amy, do things to raise funds and help continue the search and raise awareness? It might not be much, but anything we can do to make a difference is surely a good thing. Thanks for taking the time to write about Amy on your blog.
- Melissa, San Diego, California
Hello John. My name is Emily and I am 6 years old. My mum said I could write this letter to you because I heard about Amy Harris on the TV and it made me sad. They say on the TV that no one knows where she is but I know that the bogeyman has her. I know because I saw the bogeyman once and he tried to take me away with him but then my mum called on me and I ran away. He was very scary and he was a bad man. I think he took Amy and he maybe took other children too. I drew a picture of him which I will also send you. I say in my prayers that I want them to find Amy so she can go home to her mom. She must be very sad and scared and want to go home.
- Emily, Sky City
That girl didn’t run away. Somebody took her. Someone knows where she is.
- Tyler, Newburyport, Massachusetts
April 12, 2011
A few years back, a major news story was a series of high-profile murders amongst Sky City’s underworld community. Drug dealers and gang leaders were being taken out by an unknown figure. There were never any witnesses, not even any proof these killings were being carried out by the same individual. Then someone managed to take a photo at the scene of one of the murders, and The Corpse was revealed to the world…
April 8, 2011
Athena Linette is the creator of http://www.standardfanfic.com, a site which, as you might derive from the title, is devoted to fan fiction about The Standard. This is an unusual phenomenon, as fan fiction by its very nature is usually only written in tribute to works of fiction, not real people. But a surprisingly thriving subculture of devoted Standard fans making up their own adventures for him, his friends and his enemies to take part in has made Miss Linette’s site their central hub. Presented here is a passage from one particularly popular fanfic by Miss Linette herself:
THE CORPSE/THE STANDARD: A DANCE IN THE COLD SHADOW OF DEATH
A RUMINATION ON ANGST AND LONGING BY ATHENA LINETTE
It was a grim, stormy night in Sky City, the heavens raging with blinding flashes of lightning and howling blasts of thunder. But the fury of the skies was dwarfed by that which dwelled within the hardened heart of The Corpse, fuelled as it was by the cruel whims of pain and sorrow. It was a mighty rage, burning hotter than a shirtless werewolf, pushing harder than the tyrannical muse of a tortured poet, singing to him with the nightmarish sound of a hundred pixies being trampled by dying unicorns.
No one knew of the sphincter-shredding agony that drove him, the silent tears that rolled down his cheeks under his fearsome mask, and they never would. All anybody needed to know was that The Corpse had dedicated his life to the eradication of evil, and that no criminal could rest easy so long as The Corpse patrolled the night. And The Corpse could not rest easy until every criminal, every wicked soul that walked the earth, was dead by his hand.
But he was not alone in patrolling Sky City. He was being pursued by The Standard, Sky City’s famed superhero. The Corpse had such a deep, powerful respect for The Standard, and all the good he had done, and yearned for him to accept that they shared the same goal. They both wanted Sky City to be safe and free from crime. Why then did The Standard hunt The Corpse like a lowly dog, like he was no better than the scumbags he killed?
The Corpse stood on a rooftop, the rain pouring down on him, water running from his sculpted chest and broad shoulders. He looked up to those stormy heavens, and released his scream of primal rage once more.
“Why, Standard, must you oppose me!? Why can we not fight as one!?”
“Because you are killing people in my city, Corpse. That I cannot allow.”
The Corpse spun around, his breath catching in his lungs. Standing before him, hands planted on his hips, was The Standard! He would recognise Alex Thomas anywhere, with his noble brow and his crisp, hardened jawline. It was the face that haunted his dreams, that plagued his thoughts in his every waking hour. Here was The Standard, his tormentor, here to challenge him once more.
“You’re under arrest, Corpse!”
The Corpse let out a snorting laugh of spitefulness, his show of bravado concealing the deep-seated heartbreak that lay within his manly bosom.
“Under whose authority, Standard? Yours”
“The authority of the law!”
“The law is a joke!” snarled The Corpse, “Your system is broken! I answer to a higher calling, true justice!”
“Killing people isn’t justice; it’s murder!” snapped back The Standard, “Who are you to decide who lives and who dies?”
The Corpse’s fist clenched, and his lips quivered. The Standard’s harsh words cut through his soul like a hot knife through butter, his soul butter melting under the metallic heat of The Standard’s sharp, cutting logic.
“You don’t know me!” he screamed, “You don’t know the pain I’ve gone through, the pain that I still go through every day! I’ve seen the face of evil. I know the malevolent glint in its eye. But I lived through it, and I know my calling is to prevent other people from going through the same pain that I have. That’s why I decide who lives and who dies!”
The Standard was taken aback by the raw emotion The Corpse expressed, his heart touched by his passion. For a moment, he could not speak, and so The Corpse continued.
“I have no desire to hurt you, Standard. But get in my way again… and I will.”
With a dramatic swish of his cape, The Corpse spun on his heels and jumped off the rooftop, landing on the roof of the next building.
“I can’t let you leave.”
The Corpse looked up. Already, The Standard stood in front of him. What incredible speed!
“You…” The Corpse growled, “Are in my way!”
With an angry yell, he threw a punch. The Standard caught his fist in his hand: The Corpse’s strength was no match for that of the world’s greatest superhero. They locked eyes, their intense stares burning through into each other’s brains. Well, The Standard couldn’t technically see The Corpse’s eyes through his mask, but he imagined they were very intense eyes. Here was the titanic struggle of light and dark, yin and yang, boiled down to its very essence…
The Standard and The Corpse started passionately kissing, their hands rubbing all over each other’s bodies, discovering each other. In this muscle lay The Standard’s dedication to justice. In that contour dwelled The Corpse’s resentment of the law. Emotions exploded within them, overtaking them before they knew what had come over them. All those deep, unspeakable feelings The Corpse had long felt for The Standard were now clear to him. It was more than just respect, more than anger. It was love.
“Oh, Standard,” he gasped, “Your opposing stance on capital punishment means we can never be together. But before we go to war, let us have one night of intimate peace that I can forever cherish!”
In a flurry of tights, boots, masks and capes, all sent scattering into the wind, the two crime-fighters were disrobed. Alex Thomas held The Corpse in his powerful arms, his strength now transformed from intimidating to reassuring and comforting. When held in the arms of The Standard, The Corpse could feel the dark forces that drove him subsiding, if only temporarily. Alex had brought calm to the storm in his heart.
“All this time I have been pursuing you,” The Standard whispered, “Unaware that what I was pursuing was love. You may always be an outsider, Corpse, but now you shall know what it feels to have someone inside you.”
Delicately bending The Corpse over, The Standard took his noble meat-pump of justice, throbbing with righteous, eager intent, and…
Ooookay! I think that’s a good place to stop! Be sure to come back next week, when we’ll be looking at how superheroes have changed in recent years, and exploring the true story of The Corpse.
April 7, 2011
Today, I would like to showcase some fantastic artwork sent to me by a talented Standard fan called Shedrick:
You can follow Shedrick on Twitter by going to twitter.com/ShedrickXYZ.
Does anyone else have Standard fanart they want to share? If so, send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll try and feature it on a future blog.
April 4, 2011
March 31, 2011
Within a month of Gilbert Graham’s farewell at the unveiling of his statue, Alex Thomas made a decision that would forever change not only his and Gilbert’s life, but the very meaning of The Standard. A public press conference was called and, with the whole world watching, The Standard took off his mask, and announced to the world that he was Alex Thomas.
As you can imagine, this was one of the biggest news stories in history. Here is one small example of the media hysteria generated, from the front page of the Sky City Gazette: