on the company anchor: "Larry Young's Astronauts in Trouble
is a blueprint for small-press black and white comics. Young, an unknown at the time, had written a great story combining private space flight with hard-boiled journalism. He collaborated with talented artists and relentlessly self-promoted. The result? One of the funniest and most satisfying independent comics I've read. Astronauts in Trouble
isn't a navel-gazing introspective into the life of a sad cartoonist. It's a smart, action filled sci-fi yarn about media ethics and the ultimate high ground... the moon. Charlie Adlard, who earns my respect with every issue of Walking Dead,
gives the book a stylish and realistic feel. This is a good book; strong writing paired with strong visuals in a series of tales that transcend easy genre characterization. These are noir tales, mysteries, conspiracies... all told from the vacuum of space. Leave your lonely Marvel/DC world and see the stars."
on the company in general and on The Black Diamond
in particular: "Iíve long championed Larry Young as a far better writer than most give him credit for. Beneath the rugged manís-man demeanor and irascible salesmanís cap lies a subtle and contentious cerebellum of a born storyteller, and it is almost a tragedy that his responsibilities as mastermind of AiT/Planet Lar publishing keep him from writing more. When he sets aside his business responsibilities he proves himself to be one of the best mainstream writers in the business, consistently capable of welding high-concept adventure to surprisingly subtle execution... Itís this dichotomy that makes AiT/Planet Lar such a fascinating entity, the constant tug-of-war between high-concept genre entertainment and a more understated, cerebral sense of style."
about the Entertainment Weekly
Must List: "...on the list this year is Larry Young, founder of AiT/Planet Lar comics--a remarkable feat for an independent comic book publisher in any year.† But Young deserves this honor because he publishes fascinating comic book series like Demo, Black Heart Billy, The Couriers
and Black Diamond
-- books that major comic publishers wouldn't touch, but which are always entertaining and never obscure.† We may not realize but we are living through an age when the range of American comic book publishing is nearly as wide as it ever was and there are great books all over the spectrum from superhero series like Wanted
to illustrated reportage like Joe Sacco's War's End.
In the midst of this enormous range of titles from superhero teams to sexually explicit confessionals, Larry Young has developed a niche that is his alone -- no mean feat."
Wildly flattering the amount of attention the mention in the Entertainment Weekly
Must List has brought to the company in general and to The Black Diamond
in particular. Was talking to one of my old college roommates just now, and he was commenting on the amount of entertainment mindshare I have after only six short years as a writer and a publisher. I uncharacteristically demurred, which he caught right away. "You're thinking that it just took the rest of us six years to catch up to where you were on Day One, aren't you?" I had to admit that he was right.
weighs in on the latest Previews:
"It's probably a good thing Larry Young lives up in the bay area and I have no idea where Joe Casey lives, because they'd both be getting big wet sloppy man-kisses for publishing Full Moon Fever.
Werewolves on the moon. It's like they're publishing comics purely for my benefit now."
...and if you haven't seen this by now, in order to celebrate Comic Book Galaxy's latest iteration, we're giving away One of Everything.
Click the link and send an email.
I usually get a lot of the ol' "Larry Young, publisher of AiT/Planet Lar, is the 21st Century's version of Stan Lee."
so it's very flattering to read from H over at The Comics Treadmill:
"Somebody needs to check Jack Kirbyís grave to see if heís been dug up, reanimated and chained to the AiT/PlanetLar offices. Because AiT/Planet Lar publisher/idea man extraordinaire Larry Youngís latest effort, The Black Diamond: On Ramp,
contains all the wacky, super cool, imaginative ingredients that leave you pondering the unlimited potential of the concept long after putting the book down, a trick Kirby did so well."
+++++Tim O'Neil is clearly brain-damaged.
first review column for Comic Book Galaxy takes a look at The Black Diamond:
"While I don't know feasible this premise would be to execute in real life, here it makes for an intriguing premise and a good excuse for some Pulp Fiction
-ish dialogue and action thriller-type scenarios."
On the red carpet:
We now resume our broadcast day:
Back from NYC and the Entertainment Weekly
Must List party. Got some great photos that I'll post up here or at the Larry Young forum over at the Isotope Virtual Lounge tomorrow. Missed Jim Hanley at his Universe, but had a chance to talk to Gahl at Midtown on New Comics Day about their excellent shop. Big thrill to be there the day The Black Diamond
Speaking of TBD, lots of chatter on it last week. Still going through it all (how can being gone a week yield three weeks of catch up?), but here's a few mentions folks have pointed out or I've turned up. No doubt there's more to come:Sean Maher
sure gets what Jon Proctor and I are doing with the book: "The other thing I expect from Young is a little meta-commentary, a little something that rises above the story and speaks directly to the reader. We get that here, too, in an interesting discussion of stories themselves. How many stories are there? I seem to remember, a long time ago, that some jerk told me there were only forty-two stories or something like that, though I never found out what those forty-two were.
"It's a good thing I saved my time, because Young boils it down quite a bit more: there's 'Just trying to get home' and there's 'Stranger comes to town,' and everything else is a variation on the theme.
was compelling enough, because it got me thinking about a lot of stories and whether they fit into either category, but then Young pulls it down to just one. It's a thoughtful point that left me thinking, but without weighing the story down; no, the point is made while one character is loading a shotgun, and a scant four pages later we're treated to some really excellent explodo."
"That's what I like about some of AiT/Planet Lar's releases...the transparency of the process of creating the books, either as part of the package itself (as in this case, or in Proof of Concept
) or as a separate release (Making of Astronauts in Trouble, True Facts).
The rest of The Black Diamond: On Ramp
contains a few pages of Smoke and Guns,
a tough gal with... well, guns-type comic by Kirsten Baldock and Fabio Moon, as well as Matt Fraction and Steve Sanders' Five Fists of Science
with Nikola Tesla. Tesla? I'm sold right there. Altogether, a solid package stuffed with material, and well worth your three bones."
and Greg Burgas
both think the idea of an elevated highway of the future where lawless apeshit happens is "sketchy" and "dumb," respectively, although both seem to be provisionally on board nonetheless. I merely point out that action-adventure has not only given us Manhattan as a maximum security prison, a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence, a hard-rockin' neurosurgeon, a domed city where life ends at thirty... not to mention a planet where apes evolved from men and all sorts of other astronauts in all kinds of implausible trouble.
That's the business I'm in: I ask you to buy one ticket, and I'll rock your socks off if you get on my bus. If you want boring old plausibility, AiT/Planet Lar books are not for you.
gives us the nod for the Black Diamond
overship and says about the project: "The story has a good mix of action and Larry's distinctive sense of humor, filtered through his slightly off-kilter world view. It's a very brief tease for the upcoming series, concentrating more on setting the tone, with the details fleshed out with text pieces and the actual story commencing in the forthcoming first issue.
"Jon Proctor has a visually unique and expressive art style that is not going to be to everyone's tastes. It's got a rough-hewn look to it that puts me in mind of wood-cuts and the German Expressionist art style. His colors are very interesting as well. It's a subdued palette that adds to that nearly Expressionist style I mentioned above."