VODKA O’CLOCK 1511
AMBER LOVE 09-MAR-2015 Now you can sponsor Vodka O’Clock and AmberUnmasked.com through PATREON. Just go to Patreon.com/amberunmasked to pledge as little as $1.00 per creation which could mean per Vodka O’Clock episode or through written content. Eric Grissom came back on the show to discuss his latest project, PLANET GIGANTIC, an all-ages comic published by Action Lab. It’s not exactly an hour of us gushing over David Halvorson’s art but it’s pretty close.
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PLANET GIGANTIC BOOK ONE: NEW WORLD HOME is a collection of shorter stories about two (clones) siblings Valentina and Yuri who are not average Earth kids. Their mother figure is a computer program that they save and bring with them on their mission to explore and collect data for scientists back on Earth. During this journey, the twins try to help Queen Neva’s army only to realize what a huge mistake that was. The rock monster Ignatius who was fighting Neva’s army ends up becoming an important ally later in the story. There’s a lot of big insect monsters, robots, and other creatures on the planet.
Yuri has the power to control electromagnetic fields. Valentina has control over gravity. Valentina is befriended by Lyana who is a Seeker for the Ayres kingdom. Lyana has a full set of combat skills and she teaches Valentina not to rely solely on special powers to solve her problems. When twins are reunited, they survive a battle with Lyana who then sets out to her own adventure in a special one-shot that’s included in this trade.
Queen Neva uses a shadowy magician Narog to gather ingredients and keep a spell going to make her powers stronger. She posses the Eye of Shadows which Lyana was after. Lyana ends up going after the Eye of the Sun instead. There’s a big story happening involving the seven ruling sisters and Book One is solid first arc.
I spaced out on the French comic name that PLANET GIGANTIC reminded me of while we recording, but if you’re curious, it’s called VALERIAN AND LAURELINE (writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières). Eric and I talked about what some of the actual influences were that helped him envision the characters and stories. They included things like THE DARK CRYSTAL, HERCULOIDS, THE NEVERENDING STORY, HE-MAN and even a little XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. Eric will supply some references for ideas, but he credits David Halvorson with the visual brilliance of PLANET GIGANTIC.
Besides Halvorson, Eric was also able to bring in DEADHORSE artist Phil Sloan and his friend Will Perkins for a couple short stories. When I got to The Frog Runner story, I knew that had to Will Perkins illustrating it. Will Perkins is part of the Perkins Brothers comic team and they write the BEWARE! sci—fi comics, one of which strongly featured frogmen from outer space. Phil’s illustrations with Dave’s colors has been one of my favorite visuals in comics since I first read DEADHORSE.
Inside the pages of PLANET GIGANTIC, you’ll see advertisements to join The Astro-Spies. This is a real thing! It’s like the old Justice League of America memberships. You can send in a couple of dollars and a self-addressed stamped enveloped to join the Astro-Spies and get the membership card and other bonuses. Eric has made a lot of decisions about including small extras or Easter eggs within the books and on websites. This is a lot of extra work besides his writing and world building.
You’ll be able to meet Eric and Phil at the East Coast Comic Con (formerly Asbury Park). Your best bet to get the first trade of PLANET GIGANTIC would be to order it from your local comic shop.
PLANET GIGANTIC SAMPLE PAGES:
From Action Lab:
- Fight like a Girl
- Hero Cats
- Part-Time Princesses
- Trees (adult)
- Oddly Normal
- Penny Dora & the Wishing Box
Eric suggests Jim Starlin’s WARLOCK and of course, he is forever reading Kirby/Ditko works.