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“Superman Red Son” artist Dave Johnson, “Unknown Soldier” artist Dan Panosian to appear at New World Comics on Saturday

by Matthew Price Modified: April 22, 2013 at 4:45 pm •  Published: January 11, 2013

The artist of an essential Superman graphic novel will appear in Oklahoma City on Saturday.

Artist Dave Johnson will join artist Dan Panosian (“Unknown Soldier”) for a three-hour signing at New World Comics, 6219 N Meridian. The event will run from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. Johnson is the artist of “Superman: Red Son,” a story written by Mark Millar that posits what might have happened if Superman had crash-landed in the Soviet Union as a baby instead of in the United States of America.

Henry Cavill told the Los Angeles Times in 2011 that “Red Son” was “essential” in his research into the Superman character. Cavill will play the hero in this summer’s “Man of Steel” film.

“When you’ve got two polar opposite viewpoints of the same character, you will see what the authors consider the important baseline trend,” Cavill told the L.A. Times. “I got to see that and see the different ways he would have developed and that was very useful to me. And because we are retelling the story and we are doing our own reinvention and a modernization for the screen, I get the opportunity to add my own interpretation of how he developed. So that was cool to look at ‘Red Son’ and see what changed, what didn’t change and what that reveals about the baseline of Superman. You can find what is essential to Superman and what is nature vs. nurture by locating that baseline.”

New World owner Brian “Buck” Berlin said “Red Son” is one of his store’s all-time best-selling graphic novels.

“It’s easily one of the best Superman stories ever,” he said.

With these two noted creators on hand, Berlin is expecting what could be his store’s biggest-ever crowd for an event outside of the annual “Free Comic Book Day” in May.

Johnson “has drawn a cover for just about every major title in comics,” Berlin said, and Panosian “has been in the industry for many years, so it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say about everything.”

Panosian recently drew “X-Factor Forever” for Marvel and “Conan: Road of Kings” for Dark Horse. In his career, he’s drawn high-profile characters including Captain America and Green Lantern. His time in the industry dates to the 1990s, with work on Image Comics, including “Prophet.” According to a Newsarama interview, from 1998-2008, he worked on storyboards, commercial art and more, including work on the video game “Duke Nukem Forever.”

Most recently, Panosian drew the backup strip in “G.I. Combat” as part of DC Comics’ “New 52.” His “Unknown Soldier” story was written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.

“For me, the most significant aspect of ‘The Unknown Soldier’s’ new incarnation was I wanted him to look like a cross between what you would see on today’s battlefields and what we enjoy most from video games,” Panosian said at DCComics.com. “I also wanted to give him a constant reminder of his family for his own inspiration. The three marks on his outfit represent the family he’s lost. It’s almost like a tattoo he’s wearing. That’s who he’s fighting for.”

- by MATTHEW PRICE
WORD BALLOONS
From Friday’s The Oklahoman

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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