ComicsAlliance

Oct 18

‘BIRDMAN’ DIRECTOR SAYS SUPERHERO MOVIES ARE ‘CULTURAL GENOCIDE’
By Matt D. Wilson
Birdman, the movie in which former Batman actor Michael Keaton stars as an actor who rose to superstardom playing the titular superhero, comes out today, and it looks to be a pretty strong dark comedy.

If you’re looking for a little context before you head off to see it, the movie’s director, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, minced no words when asked about his opinion of superhero movies in a Deadline interview this week. The key soundbite would be “cultural genocide.” There’s a little more to it than that, though.

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‘BIRDMAN’ DIRECTOR SAYS SUPERHERO MOVIES ARE ‘CULTURAL GENOCIDE’

By Matt D. Wilson

Birdman, the movie in which former Batman actor Michael Keaton stars as an actor who rose to superstardom playing the titular superhero, comes out today, and it looks to be a pretty strong dark comedy.

If you’re looking for a little context before you head off to see it, the movie’s director, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, minced no words when asked about his opinion of superhero movies in a Deadline interview this week. The key soundbite would be “cultural genocide.” There’s a little more to it than that, though.

READ MORE

SKETCHBOOK SPOTLIGHT: DECLAN SHALVEY’S NYCC 2014 COMMISSIONS
By Chris Sims
Around here, New York Comic-Con marks the end of convention season, capping off a long summer of announcements, reveals, and other assorted fun. As such, it’s also one of the last big places for fans to get amazing sketches and commission pieces from artists, who tend to cap off the season with some truly amazing art.

For Declan Shalvey, producing amazing art is pretty much just a standard operating procedure. Books like Moon Knight, Deadpool and Venom have shown fans how great he is at sequential art, but the sketches he produced at cons are every bit as next-level as his pages. Seriously: There’s a Batman he drew that is one of the best Batman sketches I’ve ever seen. Check out our favorites, gathered from Shalvey’s Twitter feed, and then visit his website to see more beautiful art and inquire about getting an original piece of your own.
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SKETCHBOOK SPOTLIGHT: DECLAN SHALVEY’S NYCC 2014 COMMISSIONS

By Chris Sims

Around here, New York Comic-Con marks the end of convention season, capping off a long summer of announcements, reveals, and other assorted fun. As such, it’s also one of the last big places for fans to get amazing sketches and commission pieces from artists, who tend to cap off the season with some truly amazing art.

For Declan Shalvey, producing amazing art is pretty much just a standard operating procedure. Books like Moon KnightDeadpool and Venom have shown fans how great he is at sequential art, but the sketches he produced at cons are every bit as next-level as his pages. Seriously: There’s a Batman he drew that is one of the best Batman sketches I’ve ever seen. Check out our favorites, gathered from Shalvey’s Twitter feed, and then visit his website to see more beautiful art and inquire about getting an original piece of your own.

SEE MORE

COMICS, EVERYBODY: THE HISTORY OF WOLVERINE EXPLAINED!
By Chris Haley
Spoiler alert: Wolverine is dead. The most unkillable character in the Marvel superhero pantheon finally met his maker in this week’s Death Of Wolverine #4 by murderers Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. The development — which we are naturally very certain is permanent and shan’t be reversed in a similarly bombastic fashion in approximately one year’s time (or however time works in the Marvel Universe) — brings to a close decades of Wolverine comics publishing that’s seen the ceaselessly popular mutant go through twists and turns that would snap the neck of anyone whose bones weren’t bonded with unbreakable metal.

Without divulging the details of his demise for those of you who’ve yet to read the story, the following is an utterly comprehensive, wholly accurate and otherwise unassailable digest of Wolverine’s long history in comics, courtesy of cartoonist Chris Haley of Let’s Be Friends Again with colors by Jordan Gibson. Whether you’re new to Wolverine and curious to learn more about his ridiculous past or you’re a hardcore Marvel nerd looking to Um-Actually this feature into oblivion, you’ll be sure to enjoy this special tribute to he who is the best at what he does… er, did.
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COMICS, EVERYBODY: THE HISTORY OF WOLVERINE EXPLAINED!

By Chris Haley

Spoiler alert: Wolverine is dead. The most unkillable character in the Marvel superhero pantheon finally met his maker in this week’s Death Of Wolverine #4 by murderers Charles Soule and Steve McNiven. The development — which we are naturally very certain is permanent and shan’t be reversed in a similarly bombastic fashion in approximately one year’s time (or however time works in the Marvel Universe) — brings to a close decades of Wolverine comics publishing that’s seen the ceaselessly popular mutant go through twists and turns that would snap the neck of anyone whose bones weren’t bonded with unbreakable metal.

Without divulging the details of his demise for those of you who’ve yet to read the story, the following is an utterly comprehensive, wholly accurate and otherwise unassailable digest of Wolverine’s long history in comics, courtesy of cartoonist Chris Haley of Let’s Be Friends Again with colors by Jordan Gibson. Whether you’re new to Wolverine and curious to learn more about his ridiculous past or you’re a hardcore Marvel nerd looking to Um-Actually this feature into oblivion, you’ll be sure to enjoy this special tribute to he who is the best at what he does… er, did.

READ MORE

Oct 17

BEST ART EVER (THIS WEEK): BLADE RUNNER, BATMAN ’66, JAMES BOND, SPIDER-GWEN, BOJACK HORSEMAN AND MORE
Compiled by Andy Khouri
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
Above: Blade Runner by Laurie Greasly
SEE THIS WEEK’S SELECTION AT COMICS ALLIANCE

BEST ART EVER (THIS WEEK): BLADE RUNNER, BATMAN ’66, JAMES BOND, SPIDER-GWEN, BOJACK HORSEMAN AND MORE

Compiled by Andy Khouri

We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

Above: Blade Runner by Laurie Greasly

SEE THIS WEEK’S SELECTION AT COMICS ALLIANCE

ASK CHRIS #216: WHEN DO HORROR STORIES BECOME SUPERHERO STORIES?
By Chris Sims
Q: What major superhero can be most effectively dropped into a horror plot without causing it to stop being horror? — @KaosExMachina
A: Y’know, I don’t wanna make any of the other 215 people who have Asked Chris feel bad or anything, but this is easily one of my favorite questions that I’ve ever gotten. It’s probably obvious by now, but I have a lot of fun thinking about different genre conventions and how they work, and this is the sort of thing that you can play around with forever, and that you can ask your friends and get all sorts of different answers and justifications, something that I actually did while I was getting ready to write this article. But it’s also a really difficult one to answer.
It’s like you said: When you add superheroes to horror stories, they tend to stop being horror stories.
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ASK CHRIS #216: WHEN DO HORROR STORIES BECOME SUPERHERO STORIES?

By Chris Sims

Q: What major superhero can be most effectively dropped into a horror plot without causing it to stop being horror?  @KaosExMachina

A: Y’know, I don’t wanna make any of the other 215 people who have Asked Chris feel bad or anything, but this is easily one of my favorite questions that I’ve ever gotten. It’s probably obvious by now, but I have a lot of fun thinking about different genre conventions and how they work, and this is the sort of thing that you can play around with forever, and that you can ask your friends and get all sorts of different answers and justifications, something that I actually did while I was getting ready to write this article. But it’s also a really difficult one to answer.

It’s like you said: When you add superheroes to horror stories, they tend to stop being horror stories.

READ MORE

SUPERMOVIES: THIS IS WHAT THE NEXT FEW YEARS OF YOUR LIFE LOOKS LIKE [INFOGRAPHIC]
By Andrew Wheeler
The Warner Bros. announcement on Wednesday of ten upcoming movies based on DC Comics properties neatly fills in a calendar of dates that the studio previously provided — and help flesh out an extraordinary timetable of DC and Marvel superhero movies over the next six years from Warner Bros, Marvel Studios, Fox, and Sony Columbia.
ComicsAlliance’s own graphics maestro Dylan Todd put together a timeline that reveals what those six years look like, including 29 confirmed release dates between now and the end of 2020, with several dates and titles still to be announced. For anyone who remembers the days when just one Spider-Man movie seemed an impossible dream, it’s an astonishing representation of how comic book superheroes now dominate popular entertainment.
READ MORE

SUPERMOVIES: THIS IS WHAT THE NEXT FEW YEARS OF YOUR LIFE LOOKS LIKE [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Andrew Wheeler

The Warner Bros. announcement on Wednesday of ten upcoming movies based on DC Comics properties neatly fills in a calendar of dates that the studio previously provided — and help flesh out an extraordinary timetable of DC and Marvel superhero movies over the next six years from Warner Bros, Marvel StudiosFox, and Sony Columbia.

ComicsAlliance’s own graphics maestro Dylan Todd put together a timeline that reveals what those six years look like, including 29 confirmed release dates between now and the end of 2020, with several dates and titles still to be announced. For anyone who remembers the days when just one Spider-Man movie seemed an impossible dream, it’s an astonishing representation of how comic book superheroes now dominate popular entertainment.

READ MORE

LEN WEIN ON HARLAN ELLISON, GARCIA-LÓPEZ AND ‘BATMAN ’66: THE LOST EPISODE’ [INTERVIEW]
By Patrick A. Reed
On November 19, DC Comics will release Batman ’66: The Lost Episode, a bookshelf-format one-shot by writer Len Wein and penciller José Luis Garcia-López — superhero comics legends, both — adapting a previously-unknown story that Harlan Ellison wrote for the classic Adam West and Burt Ward TV show: the introduction of Two-Face. The project is a very special companion to DC’s popular and critically acclaimed digital-firstBatman ’66 series. In addition to its prestigious veteran storytellers, the book also features inking by Joe Prado, colors by Alex Sinclair and cover art by Alex Ross, all industry leaders in their disciplines.

At New York Comic Con this past weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Wein and discuss the origin of the project, his friendship with Ellison, and the experience of adapting an unfilmed television episode into the comic book format.
READ MORE

LEN WEIN ON HARLAN ELLISON, GARCIA-LÓPEZ AND ‘BATMAN ’66: THE LOST EPISODE’ [INTERVIEW]

By Patrick A. Reed

On November 19, DC Comics will release Batman ’66: The Lost Episode, a bookshelf-format one-shot by writer Len Wein and penciller José Luis Garcia-López — superhero comics legends, both — adapting a previously-unknown story that Harlan Ellison wrote for the classic Adam West and Burt Ward TV show: the introduction of Two-Face. The project is a very special companion to DC’s popular and critically acclaimed digital-firstBatman ’66 series. In addition to its prestigious veteran storytellers, the book also features inking by Joe Prado, colors by Alex Sinclair and cover art by Alex Ross, all industry leaders in their disciplines.

At New York Comic Con this past weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Wein and discuss the origin of the project, his friendship with Ellison, and the experience of adapting an unfilmed television episode into the comic book format.

READ MORE

Oct 16

DISCOVER THE LIFE OF A COMIC ARTIST WITH AT&T’S R.A.I.D. STUDIO DOCUMENTARY
By Matt D. Wilson
Drawing comics is time-consuming, sometimes crushing, occasionally rewarding, and almost impossible to quit if you love it. And it helps if you get to do it around other artists who love it as much as you do.
Those are some of the key takeaways from Comic Book Artists: Next Generation, an AT&T U-Verse documentary about the artists at Toronto’s R.A.I.D. Studio (a.k.a. the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design; though it’s not a real Royal Academy in the strictest sense). The studio has ten resident artists, but the half-hour documentary shines a light on four key players: Ramón Pérez, Marcus To, Francis Manapul and Kalman Andrasofszky.
READ MORE

DISCOVER THE LIFE OF A COMIC ARTIST WITH AT&T’S R.A.I.D. STUDIO DOCUMENTARY

By Matt D. Wilson

Drawing comics is time-consuming, sometimes crushing, occasionally rewarding, and almost impossible to quit if you love it. And it helps if you get to do it around other artists who love it as much as you do.

Those are some of the key takeaways from Comic Book Artists: Next Generation, an AT&T U-Verse documentary about the artists at Toronto’s R.A.I.D. Studio (a.k.a. the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design; though it’s not a real Royal Academy in the strictest sense). The studio has ten resident artists, but the half-hour documentary shines a light on four key players: Ramón Pérez, Marcus ToFrancis Manapul and Kalman Andrasofszky.

READ MORE

COMICSALLIANCE VS. THE DC COMICS MONSTER CEREAL REDESIGNS
By Chris Sims
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in a lifetime of reading, selling, making and writing about comics, it’s that people who like comic books also tend to have a pretty healthy interest in breakfast foods. That, I assume, is why the people at General Mills decided to spice up their annual revival of the Monster Cereals — Boo Berry, Franken Berry and the immortal Count Chocula — with a set of redesigns for their principal characters, courtesy of artists Jim Lee, Dave Johnson and Terry and Rachel Dodson. In other words, your breakfast just got a New 52 reboot.

The whole thing is even marketed as a co-production between General Mills and DC, with the former presumably handling the cereal while the latter concentrated on art. Obviously, this means that these cereals are technically an edible DC Comics title, so with Halloween creeping up on us like a restless spirit, I have taken it upon myself to examine the new look for the spoooookiest of breakfast cereals to find out just how these new designs hold up to the originals.
READ MORE

COMICSALLIANCE VS. THE DC COMICS MONSTER CEREAL REDESIGNS

By Chris Sims

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in a lifetime of reading, selling, making and writing about comics, it’s that people who like comic books also tend to have a pretty healthy interest in breakfast foods. That, I assume, is why the people at General Mills decided to spice up their annual revival of the Monster Cereals — Boo Berry, Franken Berry and the immortal Count Chocula — with a set of redesigns for their principal characters, courtesy of artists Jim Lee, Dave Johnson and Terry and Rachel Dodson. In other words, your breakfast just got a New 52 reboot.

The whole thing is even marketed as a co-production between General Mills and DC, with the former presumably handling the cereal while the latter concentrated on art. Obviously, this means that these cereals are technically an edible DC Comics title, so with Halloween creeping up on us like a restless spirit, I have taken it upon myself to examine the new look for the spoooookiest of breakfast cereals to find out just how these new designs hold up to the originals.

READ MORE

SPANISH FILMMAKER ADAPTS NAOKI URASAWA’S ‘MIGHTY BOY’ INTO SHORT FILM: WATCH FOR FREE
By Zainab Akhtar
Friends, this is the sort of comic book movie news I enjoy writing about: Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto) can now add the honor of becoming the first manga author to have his work adapted into film in Spain. Spanish director Javier Yañez obtained the rights to one of Urasawa’s early short stories, Mighty Boy, from publishers Shogakukan, gaining approval from the master himself in the process. Although the film was largely privately financed, Yañez took the initiative to crowd-funding platform IndieGogo in order to raise the final $10,000 it required, and now it’s finished and available to watch in full, for free (subtitled in both English and Japanese).

I spent a bit of time trying to track down Urasawa’s original story online, with no luck (it’s not been translated in English, and was published as part of an anthology volume), so I’m unable to comment on how the adaptation translates, or how faithful it is, but I can tell you what the film is about and if it’s any good.
READ MORE

SPANISH FILMMAKER ADAPTS NAOKI URASAWA’S ‘MIGHTY BOY’ INTO SHORT FILM: WATCH FOR FREE

By Zainab Akhtar

Friends, this is the sort of comic book movie news I enjoy writing about: Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto) can now add the honor of becoming the first manga author to have his work adapted into film in Spain. Spanish director Javier Yañez obtained the rights to one of Urasawa’s early short stories, Mighty Boy, from publishers Shogakukan, gaining approval from the master himself in the process. Although the film was largely privately financed, Yañez took the initiative to crowd-funding platform IndieGogo in order to raise the final $10,000 it required, and now it’s finished and available to watch in full, for free (subtitled in both English and Japanese).

I spent a bit of time trying to track down Urasawa’s original story online, with no luck (it’s not been translated in English, and was published as part of an anthology volume), so I’m unable to comment on how the adaptation translates, or how faithful it is, but I can tell you what the film is about and if it’s any good.

READ MORE