Hi, Andy Lanning here, I've been working in the comics industry for over 30 years and have been involved in projects such as Guardians of the Galaxy and War of Kings

My life's journey has now taken me to the games industry and Web3 space. I've officially started a new weekly motion comic for the digital card game Metropolis Origins. I also made art for 31 cards that have been released in their first Free to Play deck

My co-writer Austin Grossman, best-selling author and part of the writing group on the System Shock and Dishonored series is also here today answering questions. Don't be afraid to ask him anything game related!

Proof of me and Austin: https://imgur.com/a/rFqr0xO

Fallen City Episode 1: https://www.metropolis-origins.com/fallencity

The Metropolis Origins Website: https://www.metropolis-origins.com/

Ask us anything about:

-The comic book industry

-Comic creation, and comic art

-The video games industry

-Creating and writing for a new game world

-The challenges and opportunities of working in the new Web3 internet

Comments: 83 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

Coolman_Rosso10 karma

Hey Andy, you and Dan's run on GOTG is probably my all-time favorite run on any comic (barely beating out Steve Gerber's Man-Thing). It essentially brought the team from obscurity onto the mainstage for a few years and paved the way for the film and further recognition.

Did you have any input in helping James Gunn tweak the premise from "rag-tag paramilitary unit" to "rag-tag outlaws" when the characters made the jump to film?

Andy-Lanning11 karma

No, we didn't have any direct input but were very lucky that James invited us to visit him at the studios where we read the script (complete with soundtrack!) and saw all the preproduction art etc and we also got to watch them filming on another day. James was very generous to acknowledge the core material and really captured the spirit of the comic series.

Grantagonist1 karma

I disagree with the question's premise. They were always ragtag!

Andy-Lanning2 karma


Andy-Lanning6 karma

FYI I'm sketching while we speak, will take suggestions.


wray_nerely4 karma

How did you go about masterfully inking Phil Jimenez pages without going insane?

Andy-Lanning6 karma

Oh, it left emotional and physical scars, for sure! :)

Andy-Lanning4 karma

TBH I always LOVED inking Phil's work, other inkers would shy away from it, and I can understand why bc of the level of detail and work he puts into every page but that was what I loved so much about them. Also, Phil is probably the nicest person I know.

wray_nerely2 karma

I grew up in the George Perez Crisis on Infinite Earths era of comics, so seeing that style echoed in the stuff you collaborated with Phil on took me back to my early teens. I love all that magnifying glass worthy detail, thanks for helping bring it to life.

Andy-Lanning3 karma

Cheers, matey, appreciate that and both Phil and I grew up on George's work too. He's such an inspiration for so many artists and writers.

MeAmBizarro3 karma

We're seeing more diversity in comics now which is wonderful. Most seems to be involving more non-white characters and embracing different gender identities and sexual orientations.

One area I'm not hearing much of, if any, are more characters with disabilities. Is there ever any internal talk with these companies to create super powered characters with disabilities? I think it would be an interesting concept that certain aspects of someone's physical ability would be hindered but super powered in other aspects.

Maybe someone who can't use their legs but can fly. A person with the inability to speak but has has telepathy or mind control. Or a street level vigilante who has trouble with wheelchair access. The struggle is real!

Andy-Lanning2 karma

Really good points. I was actually lucky enough to work on a Stan Lee title from BOOM! studios called, Soldier Zero. The central character in that series was an ex-veteran in a wheelchair who becomes empowered when he bonds with an alien technology. It was a really interesting premise and ahead of its time. There was a genuine effort by the creative team to show the main character's day to day life, his challenges, his accomplishments and offset that against the time when he is empowered and blasting around the cosmos like a rocket. The latter wasn't always the best thing for him!

MeAmBizarro1 karma

That's awesome! I'll have to check that out too.

I would love to see more along the lines of this but not necessarily needing to use super technology as a crutch....figuratively and literally.

Btw, I wouldn't be the least bit saddened if you created a badass blonde hair, blue eyed girl in a power wheelchair in your comic and named her Alexa. You can even call her Lex for short. :)

My daughter would love it. Just sayin'.

Andy-Lanning2 karma

That's wonderful!

Neujahrskind3 karma

Whats your favorite card design ?

Andy-Lanning2 karma

Big fan of Desmond (who isn't) and Disposable Muscle.

Neujahrskind1 karma

the retro one is my favorite

Andy-Lanning2 karma

This is what I'm sketching while we chat https://imgur.com/a/yhJCbI8

eoswatchdogs1 karma

Awesome close up of the muscle

Andy-Lanning1 karma


elepiech3 karma

Who is your favorite character in the Metropolis Universe so far? Why?

Andy-Lanning3 karma

I love Charlie-14 he's the right blend of fun droid to hang out with in a bar and terrifying serial killer to be avoided for your life!

yarkcir2 karma

If you were given the reins to another Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing run (still sad about the cancellation of the Ewing/Cabal run), who would you want for the roster?

Andy-Lanning3 karma

Oooooh, good one...

I still have a lot of time for the line up we had: Starlord, Rocket, Groot, Drax, Mantis, Gamora. It was fun putting non-cosmic heroes on the team too, like Jack Flag because he was such a fish out of water.

Just before the initial run was cancelled, we had proposed relaunching as the Cosmic Avengers with the Guardians acting as the cosmic outpost of the Avengers team- on the watch out for cosmic threats and dangers. The idea was to have a regular Avenger do a 'tour of duty' each story arc. I was really looking forward to putting Spider-Man in space (this was around 2010 waaaaay before Marvel movies went cosmic) particularly seeing how web shooters worked in zero G!

DaddyDaz2 karma

I don't have a question, but wanted to compliment you on your inking. I own a page from Infinite Crisis #6 that you inked that I absolutely love. The work was so detailed it was split between two pages. Link to page. The whole piece is amazing, but the work on the hand is something else. Again, just wanted to say thanks for your work.

Andy-Lanning3 karma

Link to page

Thank you. I remember inking that page! If we were to do it today we would create layers in Photoshop but back in the day, we had to draw the separate elements on different boards to create the effect Phil was after.

Not sure if you saw it but we also worked on Phil's creator-owned book, Otherworld https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherworld_(DC_Comics))

This one had some REALLY complicated pages with often 3 or 4 layers! Must have been a nightmare for Jeremy Cox, the colorist ,but it looked bloody lovely!

Andy-Lanning2 karma

Thanks everyone,

let's do this again when more motion books are out,


BestGloomyLibrary2 karma

The comics and cards have a retro look to them - where does the style come from?

Andy-Lanning2 karma

The original game was made by Graeme in the 1980s so it has a wonderful Cyberpunk flavor of that time which we really wanted the new designs to echo. Just so happens that all things Cyberpunk, synthwave etc are coming back in a big way!

Maikello2 karma

What has it been like to move from a mostly non digital way of working to a digital one?

Andy-Lanning3 karma

Oh I'm still very much anlalogue! Pen and paper for me but the rest of the work is scanned in and digitally coloured, designed and assembled.

Grantagonist2 karma

The New 52 was very much a hit-and-miss cluster***, but I was disappointed that *Resurrection Man** didn't make the cut after the first wave. (I loved the 90s Resurrection Man!)

Were you and Dan able to tell the story you wanted to tell there, or was there unfortunate intervention by DC editors?

(Or, really, I'm curious about anything you have to say regarding that character.)

Andy-Lanning3 karma

It was great to get a chance to revisit the series again and do a 'reimagining' of the character and his origins. We completed the story we set out to tell but I am still more of a fan of the original series and still had more stories to tell in that continuity too.

We were even speaking to producers at the SyFY network at the time about a possible TV series but it didn't pan out. I think RM would make a great series now, especially with today's standard of FX

mugenhunt2 karma

Are there ever times where working solely as a writer, you saw someone else's penciled pages and went "Man, that would have been fun to finish?" and wished you had the time to do the inking as well?

Andy-Lanning4 karma

ALL the time! I look at what Phil has done on the wonderful Wonder Woman: 'Historia' GN and would have loved to have been involved in it but inking is a serious time sink and I just don't have the bandwidth atm.

Kivadavia1 karma

What are your inspirations to create new characters and worlds?

Andy-Lanning1 karma

Wow, that's a tough one. It really depends on what the end goal is. If I'm creating something new then inspirations can come from anywhere: the news, a book or article I read, film I saw, or something that pops into my head while I'm walking my digs in the woods.

However, if it's a project based on an existing IP, like a Marvel or DC book, then it's always good to go back and re-read as many issues as possible to find something about the characters and stories that you want to add to, develop or just mess with!

elepiech1 karma

What's your inspiration for the art direction in the Metropolis Origins' Fallen City comics?

Andy-Lanning2 karma

When we briefed the artists the words 'Blade Runner', 'Mega City One' and 'Akira' cropped up a few times

epod361 karma

Hi Andy, hope you’re doing well

I am a huge fan of yours and Dans cosmic work on marvel, in fact it’s what got me into marvel comics in the first place.

Is there any arcs or stories you wanted to do for Guardians but couldn’t and how do you feel about the guardians of the galaxy runs that followed yours?


Andy-Lanning1 karma

Oh, we had lots of stories we didn't get to; including just what was it that managed to behead a Celestial?

I'll be honest, I didn't really read the book once we were off it, it was time to move on and play with new toys, nothing to be gained from looking back at that point.

kralben1 karma

First off, thanks for the wonderful stories over the years! Getting a sub to Marvel Unlimited and reading the Marvel Cosmic stuff you helped make is what got me back into reading comics again after a long break.

For a question: Is there any established property (DC/Marvel or outside of that) that you would really like to write a story for, but never got a chance to?

Andy-Lanning3 karma

Thank you, that's really appreciated.

I've been very lucky to work on so many characters and titles over the years.

There's still a few I haven't had the opportunity to write for and they'll be some of my favorites, like Conan and Nexus spring to mind plus I'd love to have another crack at the Guardians ah=gain some time as well as the Legion of Superheroes.

Neujahrskind1 karma

Are you having plans to get onto diffent blockchains as well besides wax ?

Andy-Lanning1 karma

Yes, this is something we are actively looking into at the moment. More news when we have stuff to share.

TheZororoaster1 karma

This is a question for you and Austin:

What are the benefits/challenges of working for a small, independent studio vs working for large companies like Marvel and Arkane?

Would you recommend a new artist or writer try to start at a small startup like the one you're at now or at a larger one that's already been established?

Andy-Lanning1 karma

Great question:

The advantages of working for a smaller set up is you have more control over your creative vision, disadvantages, it tends not to pay as much but that control, including owning everything you produce can really pay off in the long term.

Neujahrskind1 karma

Can we get bella as a character, skin or avatar ?

Andy-Lanning1 karma

That would be a wonderful idea!

eoswatchdogs1 karma

What is your all time favorite comic book / hero that inspired you the most?

Andy-Lanning3 karma

All time favorite comic....SO MANY to choose from... I LOVE Ronin by Frank Miller and Nexus by Steve Rude and Mike Baron