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The Wednesday Waffle issue #31: Open the gates!

It's Wednesday, and we have a waffle! It's also New Comic Book Day, and there are some great comics out this week - click here to check out this week's rack!


Before we get started though, some sad news to report:


JOHN PAUL LEON

26.04.1972 - 01.05.2021


Like many - if not most - comics artists, John Paul Leon was not a household name. But if you've read comics in the last thirty years then you've probably seen his work.


A page from Robocop: Prime Suspect, pencils by John Paul Leon.
A page from Robocop: Prime Suspect, pencils by John Paul Leon.

His life as a professional artist began in the late eighties when, at the age of sixteen, he started providing illustrations for Dungeons & Dragons magazine. It wasn't long before he made the segue into comics, landing his first proper comics job as the pencil artist on the Dark Horse mini-series Robocop: Prime Suspect in 1992.


He was twenty, and studying illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York, under the tutelage of such giants as Will Eisner and Walter Simonson. It was pretty obvious that his star was rising, and would rise high.



A year later, his work on the comic Static was not just his first work for a DC Comics imprint, but was also accepted by his tutor Walter Simonson as his coursework for that semester! He was on his way.


Leon graduated from the SVA in 1994 and immediately began working for both Marvel and DC, as well as producing the style guides for several of the early DC movies, including Superman Returns and Batman Begins.


Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.




MORE GATEKEEPING


And now on to the opinionated bit.


A meme was circulating a couple of weeks ago along the lines of "The problem with new Star Wars fans is that they're like 'Oh, I love Rey and Kylo! Sorry? What's a Revan?'" The suggestion being, once again, that if a person doesn't know everything about every aspect of a franchise they're somehow not a real fan.


I've banged on before about how much that attitude infuriates me. Apart from anything else is the person complaining in the meme was a "real fan" surely rather than rolling their eyes at the person who doesn't know who Revan is they'd be delighted to be able to share their knowledge and passion for the character - that's the geek thing to do.


We seem to have hit a point in many fandoms where there's a vocal minority intent on making everything a "closed shop", excluding "outsiders" - by which they mean "people who are not like us". Another example of this was highlighted last week when Comic Book Resources ran an article on Eve Ewing's experience of writing comics (which you can read in full HERE).