Issue #16

Hello, comic fans, and welcome to Round 2 of "Comic Book Idol." I'm your host J. Torres. And I'm going to cut to the proverbial chase this week since this column is already running way behind its usual schedule…

Congratulations to the following 8 contestants for making it into our second round of competition:

Unfortunately, with those 8 moving on to the next round, we must say goodbye to 2 of our talented contestants:

Both these artists submitted Greco-Roman god designs for our first art assignment that were distinct and well drawn. Our panel of judges had both kudos and constructive criticism for them. And it's obvious from reactions on the boards that they have fans that simply love what they do. There are no "losers" here.

David and Hector, thanks for helping make this contest as exciting and eventful and entertaining as it's been thus far. We hope the experience has been a fun, positive, and even educational one for you. A lot of us will be keeping an eye on you guys and look forward to seeing your names in some comic books in the near future.

Now, as we move into Round 2 here is what to expect from our 8 contestants still in the running:

A pin-up for Greg Rucka's Eisner Award winning "Queen & Country."

I've already instructed the artists to make sure the dimensions of their artwork suit a standard comic book. They know that the piece must only be in black and white (as "Queen & Country" is a black and white book), but that the use of tones and grayscale is permitted. It's also their choice whether they wish to submit pencils alone, or ink the art if they have the time and inclination.

I am very keen to see what these guys come up with. "Queen & Country" has been drawn by a handful of different talented artists with very different art styles. That's basically why I chose it as a subject for this art assignment, because it's very open to visual interpretation. And, you know, it's one of my favorite reads.

Contestants, before you head off to your drawing boards, allow me to highlight a few random quotes from our jovial and just judges:

Ron "And Baby Makes Five" Marz: "Nice job, if not exactly tailored to the parameters of the assignment."

Joe "Fashionably Late" Quesada: "You got to give us more, bro, this is light."

Darick "Double Duty" Robertson: "Not bad, but a long way from Comic Book Idol, I'm afraid."

Scott "First Post" Shaw: "But where did her legs and feet go?!?"

Jamie "Straight Up Now Tell Me" Rich: "You went in and did something and made it your own--a real challenge given how long these characters have been around and how many designs they've had over the centuries."

Nudge-nudge. Wink-wink. Hint-hint.

Your deadline is Monday, August 25 @ noon (EST).

You all know the drill by now. The judges will have approximately 48 hours to review and rant or rave about your work (well, in theory anyway, barring any more black outs and babies being born). Then on Wednesday, August 22 around noon (EST) we open a 24-hour poll for CBR fans to vote in, and the two artists who end up with the least number of votes will be eliminated while the other eight move on to Round Two and the next art assignment.

So, go draw already!

In closing this week, I would like to thank everyone who has supported "Comic Book Idol," especially everyone behind the scenes helping me keep the trains running on time, keeping things fun, and generally keeping me sane throughout all of this merry madness. Also thanks to the fans who understand that this is the first time we're running such an event, so we're fine tuning various elements as we go along, and that while stuff happens, the show must go on. This contest has snowballed into something MUCH bigger than we expected. We are experiencing growing pains. But overall, I don't think we're doing such a bad job, are we?

In our first poll, we had 200 people cast votes. This time around, 669 fans, friends, and family members, including our new listeners in Shamokin, PA rocked the vote. And according to Jonah Weiland, CBR Executive Producer, we're setting some new records in terms of hits, new registered users, and browsers on the forum at the same time. In fact, in the last hour or so of the poll, I counted an "audience" of at least 70 people browsing the "Comic Book Idol" forum, presumably watching as anxiously as I was as the votes trickled in and moved contestants up and down the list in excruciating increments. That's definitely a record, at least for any forum I've ever hosted. Speaking of the ever-lovin' place, I'll see you and your conspiracy theories there…

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

Related Links:

Next week: Two will be eliminated. Six will move on. Also, Darick Robertson: The Second Coming. It's a long story folks, just enjoy the extra Darick…

Meanwhile, the Open Your Mouth forum is still open for other types of comic talk.

Thank you for your attention.

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