Practitioners 5: Eduardo Risso

As a catch up for all new visitors to Beyond the Bunker, we’ll be representing the original Practitioners series 1-55 (Simon BisleyChris Bachalo and featuring the most influential comic creatives in history). Thoroughly incomplete but featuring legends like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Frank Miller and Alan Moore already more will be hitting the site every two alternate weeks. For now though, sit back every Tuesday for a run-down of the men and women who created the comic industry we know today. (Or check the full list in the menus above). This week: 100 Bullets and Batman artist and long-running Azzarello creative partner, Eduardo Risso.

Following on from the previous feature on Brian Azzarello we’re looking at the other creative that made 100 Bullets what it was – a pivotal, gravitational piece of visceral and memorable power.


Only an artist with the craftsmanship to make a coffee machine a focus in a scene filled with tension and intrigue could have maintained the awe inspiring integrity and scope of a series like 100 Bullets. Every once in a while an artist will simply prove the power of a black line on a white canvass and no one shows the clarity and purpose of line placement better than Eduardo Risso. He is the dangerous surgeon of the practitioners – his knowledge of anatomy, feature and form informing a sharp, efficient and unflinching style that tears the page between pitch blackness and sharp simple colours – a playground for colourists Grant Goleash and Patricia Mulvihill. In a yankee-centric medium Risso is now synonomous with Brian Azzarello and 100 Bullets, however Eduardo Risso is a multinational artist reknowned in North and South America and Europe for his graphic, noirish linework and efficient and poster-natural artwork. As a western reader, embedded in American comic books anyone’d be forgiven for believing his name was made in the US. Not so.

Like a wandering Mariachi, Risso was born in Leones in Córdoba Province, Argentina and started as a cartoonist in 1981, drawing his first collaborations for the morning paper La Nación and the magazines Erotiocon and Satiricon in his home country. In 1986, he worked for Eura Editoriale of Rome, Italy, and in 1987 he drew Parque Chas, scripted by Ricardo Barreiro. The series was first published by Fierro in Argentina, comic history, and then by Totem in Spain, Comic Art in Italy and finally the complete series as a graphic novel in France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Poland and the United States – no doubt catching the attention of comic industry decision makers there. In 1988, he drew Cain, again scripted by Barreiro, again in Black and White giving rise to a clear inking style that was unforgiving to detail. With each new series Risso’s work has increased in clarity and precision.

He is prolific in his work – every year of working on 100 Bullets turfing up other work including Batman 620-625. Most recently he can be found in the pages of Logan 1-3. The canuckle head giving a character that could’ve been born with Risso in mind to Risso’s gritty and dominating style. While 100 Bullets remains Risso’s most prominent achievement (covering 11 years of his working history and earning him an Eisner for Best Artist) we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

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Dark Knight Rises: Trailer 3

Hold on to your Batarangs Bat-fans as the slow climb to the top is almost over before the inevitable thrill-drop ride of Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s bone crunching, pseudo-realistic, city street demolishing Batman trilogy. From the looks of it this will be the biggest so far, the scale visibly going well beyond that of the previous two as Bane kick drops Brucey out of Gotham City and it would appear tries his own revolution on the streets of Gotham. Exactly what the US Army would have to say about that is left decidedly out but it looks like Batman might just return to save the day.

Based on the Broken Bat series of the early 90s that introduced Bane it suggests a fight back from absolute defeat at the hands of Bane (something they’ve made no attempt to keep secret in the trailer) but there are plenty of questions left unanswered. Like how Catwoman influences things, how Commissioner Gordon will help and where he stands on the hunt for the Batman following the death of Harvey Dent in the last film and how Joseph Gordon-Levitt managed to work his way into this film as well.

There is the issue of how it will all end. Comic book characters have proven increasingly resilient to rebirths. There has been absolutely no ambiguity over whether this is the last of the trilogy and history decrees it’d be 10 years before a reboot (by which time the fans’ll be crying out for it anyway) – so there is, I think, a very real possibility that the Dark Knight will fall in the Dark Knight Rises. The themes apparent in the trailer would suggest that figureheads and leadership are clear here – could Batman be more influential dead?

I feel a new BTB Investigates coming on….

Moon hits Demoncon 2012

Moon hit Demoncon pretty hard in Maidstone yesterday we’re very pleased to say. Sharing a table with Cy Dethan, Nic Wilkinson, Barry Nugent and his lovely lady we settled in fast. While it wasn’t the biggest con Moon has ever attended there was wrestling in the other room – which was novel. Well received I’d like to thank everyone that showed so much enthusiasm for the golf ball head.

Also, thanks to Andy Lanning for donating his Starfleet Academy page from 1998 to the raffle that I won! Very, very cool. Plenty of inking tips and some frankly eye opening explanations about how lettering used to be done. Who knew that Richard Starkings was the godfather of modern comic book lettering, Dave Gibbons has his own lettering template so he doesn’t have to letter his own stuff anymore and Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have a new book out that does stuff that they weren’t allowed to in Guardians of the Galaxy.

MIB III trailer: The other Men in Black…

Here it is! It’s the Ghostbusters that didn’t die! If we’re being honest – more fun you can’t have in 1:50 – well not without serious misgivings by anyone else involved. It’s Will Smith being y’know… Will Smith! It’s got aliens in it and one of the best actor playin’ another actor swap ups you are ever likely to see.

That Brolin guy’s come a long way since the Goonies.

The Other Men in Black

WOOP! WOOP! WOOPWOOP!! Three Stooges remake causes fond memories of the original.

The remake machine has now belched out a Three Stooges movie. Fears of grave digging and creative CGI aside they’ve identified three actors reminiscent of the original trio. It’s not smart stuff by any stretch of the imagination but then, how intelligent was the original really? It’s vaguely in the spirit of the original films. Look forward to the Laurel and Hardy movie featuring Paul Rudd and Nathan Lane.

Quick admission – love the Iphone gag and the unfortunate looking babies.

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Assassin’s Creed Screenshots leaked onto the web

In Dan’s continuous hunt for infinite coolness on the web we found the ‘leaked’ screenshots from one of the most anticipated games in recent years.

A few days ago, news broke that the new installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, Assassin’s Creed 3 — not to be confused with the actual third Assassin’s Creed game that didn’t actual employ the suffix of “3″ — would be set in the American Revolution. The Internet freaked out, because that’s pretty darn cool (or terrible, depending on which way you freaked out regarding the news). Today, some screenshots have leaked into the wild, and show the still unidentified main character walking around a colony, as well as skulking around the wilderness.

The trim on the character’s outfit shows up as blue in these screenshots, though the reveal yesterday showed red coloring — blue and red being the colors of the opposing forces in the American Revolution. So, one could speculate that there will be some kind of disguise mechanic where the main character can flip between both sides of the war. Also look, he’s going to shoot some game:

Considering America didn’t exactly have huge, sprawling cities like the ones found in the previous games, this screenshot of the assassin hiding behind some trees, following a group of red coats could be a sign of how stealth will be handled in this game. After all, it’s the Revolutionary War, home of guerilla tactics.

We’ll be paying attention to the series a little more closely than usual now that the setting has been revealed to be the American Revolution — it’s something that high profile games tend not touch, and it’ll be pretty interesting to see if some historical figures play significant roles in the game’s narrative.

Kiss In the Eye 1: Skarpi Thrainsson’s Incredible Ice Caves

Has NASA released photos taken from a the interior of an alien world or the promo for a brand new spanking X-box game? Nope. Brave globe hopper and Photographer Skarpi Thrainsson has taken these beautiful photos during a visit to Iceland’s Vatnajokull glacier in December.

Seamingly quiet and peaceful, the Glaciers, Thrainsson tackled tempertaures of -12C to grab these shots. The Glacier itself has recently claimed the life of a fellow photographer. Beautiful, transluscent and ageless – it’s nice to know that places like this exist (for now) somewhere in this world.

This is the stunning natural beauty of ice caves caught on camera deep beneath the surface of Europes biggest ice cap. The other-worldly marble-like caverns form when melt water reacts with the enormous 3,100 km-square Vatnajokull ice flow, in Iceland.