ELEGANT ENNUI: MICHAEL CHO TALKS ‘SHOPLIFTER’ [REVIEW + INTERVIEW]
I admit a reticence towards the “20-something stuck in a rut” narrative, the “how did I end up here so far from all that I’d hoped and dreamed?” Part of this is simply ugly cynicism, that whilst recognizing the feeling and experience as real, I can’t help but eyeball it with a sense of melodrama: not achieving what you’d hoped, not even being on the path towards it when you’re that young is hardly a deal-breaker; many people are yet to figure out exactly what it is they want from life, and as you get older you realize it’s a condition that continues to permeate in some form or other: the human condition is such we all feel we should be better, have better.
Armchair psychology aside, as excited as I was when Shoplifter, Michael Cho’s first book-length comic, was announced, it was tempered somewhat upon learning the thematic strain.
PREVIEW: LEMIRE, KINDT AND RIVERA GO BIG IN ‘THE VALIANT’ #1
By Matt Wilson
When I talked to writers Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire about their new Valiant Comics miniseries The Valiant at San Diego Comic-Con this year, they said that the kernel of the story, the real heart of it, was something small and personal.
It’s not that I don’t believe them — the new, nine-page preview of the series released by Valiant this week includes one page in which Geomancer has a conversation with an unseen person in a library, and it’s fairly quiet — but the eight other pages are full of historical battles, prehistoric battles, future battles, and mythical battles. There are a lot of battles, with Eternal Warrior in the center of some, and Bloodshot in a few others. ArtistPaolo Rivera makes it all seem gigantic.
JACK KIRBY: A ‘KING-SIZED’ 97TH BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE SPECTACULAR, PART TWO!
Jack Kirby is very probably the single most influential figure in the history of American comics. He produced countless stories in a career that spanned seven decades, inventing and re-inventing genres and styles every step of the way. He inspired generations of artists and writers; created and co-created thousands of characters; defined the visual vocabulary of superheroes; and believed in the potential of comics to be both entertainment and art, long before most people imagined these stories would be remembered past the four weeks that they sat on newsstands.
This week would have been Kirby’s 97th birthday, so to celebrate, we asked some of our favorite creators and other comic pros to contribute their impressions of his characters, life, and legacy – and the response has been overwhelming. Yesterday, we posted the first set of these all-star tributes, and here’s the second, even more expansive selection including:
- Christian Ward
- Joe Keatinge
- Kris Anka
- Jim Rugg
- Scott McCloud
- Nick Pitarra
- Gabriel Hardman
- Fred Van Lente
- Andy Suriano
- Corey Lewis
- Nick Gazin
- Ramon Villalobos
- Andy Kuhn
- And more!
ASK CHRIS #210: THE STRANGE SAGA OF BATGIRL CASSANDRA CAIN
By Chris Sims
Q: Cassandra Cain: WTF happened? — @IamMedellin
A: Here’s the least shocking thing you’re going to read this week: I love Cassandra Cain. That probably goes without saying, given that she’s a relatively obscure member of the Batman family that made her debut when I was a teenager, but really, it goes deeper than that. She came out of the gate with a compelling edge, some phenomenally solid storytelling, and a hook for drama that put her in contrast to the rest of Gotham’s assorted heroes and hangers-on, while still feeling like a natural compliment to the other characters. And then, less than a decade later, she’d gone from being a new character with an incredible amount of potential to an also-ran who only really shows up to fill space in crossovers — something that almost never happens to characters in the Batman family, especially when they’ve got 70+ solo issues under their utility belts.
So what happened? Man, I can’t even tell you, I just read the darn things. But folks, it got really weird there at the end.
BEST ART EVER (THIS WEEK) - 08.29.14
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: Wonder Woman by Alex Ross
SPIDER-MAN GETS (A LITTLE) MORE SERIOUS IN NEW CLIPS FROM ‘ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN: WEB WARRIORS’ [VIDEO]
Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man is kicking off a new season on Disney XD Sunday with a slightly modified title–it’s now Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors–and, from the looks of these clips, a somewhat modified tone.
The two-part season opener, titled “The Avenging Spider-Man,” will follow Spidey as he joins up with the Avengers to take on a whole bunch of villains including Loki, Doctor Octopus, Fin Fang Foom, and Attuma. Things go awry when Loki takes control of Spider-Man’s body, and the whole affair simply seems less goofy than the show’s previous efforts.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF CHANGE: A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ‘LEGEND OF KORRA’ BOOK 3 FINALE
By Juliet Kahn
I re-watched “Sozin’s Comet” last night, in the wake of The Legend of Korra’s third season finale. It was still wonderful, still grand and gorgeous and heavy with emotion. But it felt different this time. It felt…funnier.
And really, it is. Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s four-episode finale starts with a beach party. Sokka cracks jokes as he scrambles across a crumbling airship. The last spoken line is a blind joke. It is clear to me, in a way that it wasn’t when I first watched it, that these characters are young teens. Young teens dealing with genocidal dictatorships, Orwellian city-states and the general mayhem of war, absolutely, but their age lends the whole affair a constant, underlying levity. The adults that exist are kept at arm’s length from the action—present, but unmistakably marked as “grown-ups,” and thus distant. Youth, and all its connotations of hope and humor, are the engine of the show.
Legend of Korra, in contrast, is downright grim. The central team all falls between 17 and 20 years old, and 50-somethings like Lin and Tenzin are as present in the story as they are. Their relationships feel less timid, less blushy. Characters like Mako have solid careers and murky pasts involving gang membership. Azula was a terrifying and tragic villain, but baddies like Zaheer (and Amon, and Unalaq) wield philosophical weight alongside their grinning evil.