IDW’S NEW YORK COMIC CON 2014 EXCLUSIVES INCLUDE NEW ARTIST’S EDITIONS, VARIANT COVERS
By Chris Sims
You would think that by October, the end of Convention Season as we know it, publishers like IDW would be running out of exclusive covers and new titles to debut at cons. But you would be wrong. The dogged determination of the people who make comics should never be underestimated, and when they set up at Booth #1844 next weekend at New York Comic Con, IDW is going to have plenty to offer.
Variant covers include new covers for the newly released G.I. Joe #1 and Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland #1, but the convention will also see the debuts of two new Artist’s Edition hardcovers, including one for classic Marvel Comics covers, and one collecting Watler Simonson’s work at DC Comics, including his work on the seminal Manhunter alongside Archie Goodwin. So if anyone wants to pick me up something this year, that is what I want. C’mon, it’s only $125.
‘JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS’ TRAILER: THE AQUAMAN MOVIE TO WATCH BEFORE HIS LIVE-ACTION OUTING
By Nick Romano
The trailer premiere for the animated movie ‘Justice League: Throne of Atlantis’ has emerged, and with it comes our first look at the sequel to DC’s ‘Justice League: War.’ Hey, it’s no ‘Batman vs. Superman‘ or the live-action ‘Justice League‘ trailer, but Warner Bros. animation is certainly nothing to scoff at.
BEST COMIC BOOK COVERS EVER (THIS MONTH): SEPTEMBER 2014
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
September’s covers include masterclass composition from Genndy Tarkakovsky and Noelle Stevenson, some beautiful uses of light, color, and contrast, and some very different portraits of gods, old and new.
‘GOTHAM’ SEASON 1 RECAP: EPISODE 2: ‘SELINA KYLE’ - WE’RE WAITING…
Oh, Gotham. You’re a show about the city that created Batman. The city that raised Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and the Penguin. With so much about these characters’ behavioral profiles already established by DC Comics, don’t you have at least a basic responsibility to teach us something about the development, manifestation and course of psychopathology? We’re watching because we want to know what led these characters down such crooked paths, and how Bruce Wayne rose out of his trauma to create the formidable crime-fighter we know as the Dark Knight. We already know the future’s end, so tell us something worthwhile about the beginnings. It’s the least you can do.
In my review of the pilot episode, I asked whether Gotham portrayed unhealthy parental relationships in a realistic and accurate way. The second episode focuses heavily on the undeserved, abused youth of Gotham City, lending some insight into Selina “Cat” Kyle’s troubles as a homeless teen. In fact, the new Fox crime drama dives right into the gritty topics of kidnapping, commercial exploitation of minors, and child self-mutilation. The show fails to tie in those very real horrors to what could be meaningful and redeemable lessons about the characters we loved prior to this prequel series. With so much focus on victimization of youths, this episode’s writing seems to miss the mark when it comes to accurately conceptualizing and explaining child psychology.
KOYAMA PRESS SPRING LINEUP INCLUDES BOOKS FROM HARBIN, LAPALME, SCHUBERT AND DEGEN
Koyama Press announced its spring 2015 lineup of graphic novels this week, and the books coming down the pipeline range from personal, diary-format comics to a weird Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pastiche. There’s also a surreal deconstruction of superheroes and an effusive celebration of color. Creators include Dustin Harbin, A. Degen, Alex Schubert and Ginette Lapalme.
SEE THE SOLICITATIONS AT COMICS ALLIANCE
AMY REEDER DESIGNS ANTI-HARASSMENT POSTERS FOR NEW YORK COMIC-CON
Amy Reeder, artist of Rocket Girl from Image, announced on her blog this week that she’d been asked by the organizers of New York Comic-Con to design some posters letting people know that harassment simply won’t be tolerated.
The result is some really neatly designed imagery that will hopefully grab people’s attention and help them understand that cosplayers should always be treated with respect and consideration.
‘GOTHAM ACADEMY’ #1 GETS AN A++ (AND EXTRA CREDIT FOR A BATMAN APPEARANCE)
By Chris Sims
Gotham Academy is exactly the comic book I want to read.
That probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been reading ComicsAlliance for any significant amount of time. I mean, if you made a list of the things I like seeing in my comics, then Batman, teenage mystery solvers, and high school drama set in a superhero universe are all things that are going to land pretty close to the top of the list, and those three elements form the exact core of Gotham Academy‘s premise. It’s so perfectly designed to fit my very specific tastes that you’d actually have to work hard to combine them into something that I wouldn’t like.
Because of that, it might be tempting to write off anything nice I have to say about the book, but trust me: this first issue of Gotham Academy is great, not just because it’s got a bunch of stuff I want to see, but because Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser,and Dave McCaig, have produced one of the most solid starts of the year.
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. SEASON 2 RECAP, EPISODE 2: ‘HEAVY IS THE HEAD’
Last week, Agents of SHIELD came back strong, and not, “oh, it’s better than it was” strong, but “oh, it might actually be good” strong, with the new ragtag outsider premise making for much more interesting dynamic — and the use of the Absorbing Man pushing all the right nerd buttons.
This week’s episode, ‘Heavy Is The Head’, directed by Jesse Bochco and written by Paul Zbyszewski, picks up where last week’s ended — but can it keep up the pace, the energy, and the quality? Has Agents of SHIELD ever had two good episodes in a row? Could this be that blessed day? Find out, thanks to our ComicsAlliance-exclusive S.H.L.E.I.D. recap system.
DC COMICS AGREES WITH OBJECTIONS TO SEXIST SUPERHERO SHIRTS
DC Comics has been the butt of a lot of jokes and criticism about sexist depictions of female characters and the company’s lack of female creators. But recently DC has been making strides towards employing more women in creative roles and publishing more progressive, women-centric books like Gotham Academy, the new Batgirl and the Wonder Woman anthology Sensation Comics that seem to have a lot to offer women readers. It’s disappointing, then, to see a rash of new licensed DC apparel aimed at women with sexist slogans like “Training to be Batman’s wife.” This kind of clothing does not send women the message that they are welcome within the DC Universe as anything but prizes to be won.
Fortunately, DC itself agrees. The publisher released a statement addressing the matter specifically:
DC Comics is home to many of the greatest male and female Super Heroes in the world. All our fans are incredibly important to us, and we understand that the messages on certain t-shirts are offensive. We agree. Our company is committed to empowering boys and girls, men and women, through our characters and stories. Accordingly, we are taking a look at our licensing and product design process to ensure that all our consumer products reflect our core values and philosophy.
FUNKYWATCH: SEPTEMBER’S MOST DEPRESSING ‘FUNKY WINKERBEAN’ AND ‘CRANKSHAFT’ STRIPS
By Chris Sims
Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.
After last month hit rock bottom with the worst Funky Winkerbean strips on record, I was dreading diving into September’s offerings even more than usual. That said, it seems like Batiuk has decided to take the month off from pure despair, instead taking a hard left turn into a set of comics that make absolutely no sense. Unless you count the one where an elderly woman is so frustrated with her neighbors that she literally renounces God, I mean. That one could really go either way.