VALIANT PARTNERS WITH DRIVETHRU COMICS FOR DIGITAL COMICS, GIVES AWAY EIGHT FREE #1 ISSUES
Following the successful launch of a Valiant Comics roleplaying game on DriveThruRPG.com, the publisher announced this week that it will partner with the RPG site’s sister site, DriveThruComics.com, to offer its entire comics library — the old and the new — DRM-free, as PDFs. New comics will be available day-and-date.
Not only that, but for the next 30 days, Valiant will offer eight of its number-one issues for free through the DriveThruComics website; Archer and Armstrong, Unity, Bloodshot, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, Quantum and Woody, Shadowman and X-O Manowar.
Valiant’s free-issue offer seems to be a big vote of confidence for the partnership. Prior to hosting Valiant’s library, DriveThruComics’ biggest titles were from 2000 A.D. and Top Cow. (Also featured: Blue Water Comics.)
BIZARRO BACK ISSUES: KAMANDI FIGHTS FOR THE MOB! (1979)
By Chris Sims
This week sees the start of DC Comics’ big The Multiversity event series, and if the related books on sale over at ComiXology – ostensibly to get everyone up to speed — are anything to go by, then that thing’s going to be chock full of weirdos. Seriously, I already knew they were going to be throwing Captain Carrot in there, and for some reason people can’t get enough of that one story where Batman becomes a Dracula, but there are some deep cuts in there, like that one Chuck Dixon comic where the Justice League are all cowboys, and this weird thing from the ’90s called Kingdom Come, where Superman fights Cable.
And then there’s Kamandi.
But should Kamandi start crossing over into the main DC Universe, it won’t be the first time. For that, you have to go back to Bob Haney and Jim Aparo’s Brave and the Bold #157, for a story where Kamandi was sent back in time, and ended up being brainwashed, made invulnerable, poisoned with snake venom, joining up with the mob and punching Batman in the face. It… It’s a weird one.
MARVEL AND ICON COMIC BOOK RELEASES FOR NOVEMBER 2014 [SOLICITATIONS]
Courtesy of Marvel, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions and graphic novels going on sale in November 2014 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s mainline Marvel Universe titles, Ultimate Comics, the mature readers MAX imprint and the creator-owned label Icon. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy.
BILL WATTERSON’S ‘PEARLS BEFORE SWINE’ ARTWORK RAISES $62,000 TO BENEFIT PARKINSON’S DISEASE RESEARCH
By Chris Sims
Even those of you who don’t keep up with daily newspaper comic strips probably heard about Bill Watterson‘s secret return to comics earlier this year. In a storyline in Stephan Pastis’s Pearls Before Swine, Pastis was briefly replaced by a second-grader named Libby, who claimed she could draw the strip far better than Pastis had been. While the strip was running, Pastis hinted at a “mind-blowing surprise” for readers, and he definitely delivered when he revealed that “Libby” was actually the legendary creator of Calvin & Hobbes, brought back to comics for the first time since 1995.
HIRE THIS WOMAN: ARTIST ELSA CHARRETIER
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Artist Elsa Charretier has primarily produced comics in her home country of France, including previous works Aeternum Vale, an issue of Le Garde Républicain, and backup pages for the Image comic One Hit Wonder. Her current project, The Infinite Loop, which she’s pencilling, inking, and coloring, had a very successful crowdfunding campaign.
SHANOWER & RODRIGUEZ ‘RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND’ IN GORGEOUS NEW ‘LITTLE NEMO’ SERIES THIS WEEK
By Chris Sims
Just in case you’re not up to speed on classic newspaper strips, Winsor McKay’s Little Nemo is one of the most innovative comics of the 20th century. Originally running in newspapers from 1905 to 1926, it was arguably one of the first real masterpieces of the form, with McKay’s surreal dreamscapes taking the form of beautiful imagery and page layouts that creators are still trying to recreate today.
Now, Nemo is returning to the comics page in Return To Slumberland. Not to be confused with the forthcoming Dream Another Dream anthology, this new series from Eric Shanower, Gabriel Rodriguez and Nelson Daniel launches this week from IDW Publishing, and it is beautiful. Seriously, just hands down one of the prettiest comics I’ve seen in a long time, and even though the first few pages don’t quite get into the strangeness of walking beds and stair-step city skylines, I get the feeling that all of that stuff shows up right where the preview ends.
COMICS’ NEW GOLDEN AGE: SPIKE TROTMAN TALKS TAKING DOWN THE GATEKEEPERS [INTERVIEW]
By Juliet Kahn
Spike Trotman is a visionary. She sees possibility where others throw their hands up in defeat. She sees innovation where others see stagnation. She is fundamentally optimistic about the future of comics — and why shouldn’t she be? Trotman has conducted massively successful Kickstarters — plural — organized some of the best talent in comics into anthologies like Smut Peddler and The Sleep of Reason, made money-producing Poorcraft (a comic about not having money), and, all the while, maintained Templar, Arizona, her long-running and beloved webcomic.
Comics have been good to Spike Trotman, but her success is very much the result of hard work and fresh thinking rather than chance — hard work that has left her one of the most interesting people in the industry. So, naturally, ComicsAlliance tracked down her booth at San Diego Comic-Con to talk Kickstarter foibles, “porn for chicks,” and a new golden age for comics.
Spike Trotman: Nowadays, the audience of people who call themselves comics readers… you can be an incredibly avid comics reader and never step foot in a shop. There are no more gatekeepers to that sort of fandom. What you need these days to be an avid comic reader is internet access. Without having to jump through editors who have to be concerned about bottom lines, appealing to the audience they currently have of 45-year-old men who want cape books.
You have these people who can put their stuff online on Tumblr, on Smack Jeeves, and that’s the curb they have to jump, and it’s lower than it’s ever been. And sure that means a lot of really low quality stuff gets online but that also means that some of the stuff that gets online is stuff that would normally not be seen as editorially viable at mainstream places, but has the potential to have a huge audience that’s just never been tapped before. I think about things like Homestuck when I say that, or Questionable Content. These were comics that wouldn’t even get a meeting at DC but you see the way the internet reacts to them and it just goes to show that there are people out there that want to read comics like this, they just haven’t been marketed to. I think that’s awesome, I’m all for what’s happening to comics. I think we’re in a golden age right now. Comics are more exciting now than they’ve ever been.
SINA GRACE & MICHAEL STOCK & HOPE LARSON REIMAGINE PANDORA MYTH AS ALL-AGES FANTASY SERIES ‘PENNY DORA & THE WISHING BOX’
By Chris Sims
When I was reading Burn the Orphanage, the one thought that kept running through my head was “Hey, this violent tribute to games like Streets of Rage is great and all, but what I’d really like to see is an all-ages fantasy story about a young girl and a magic box that grants wishes drawn by the same person!”
Okay, no, that’s actually a lie — but the only reason I didn’t think that is because I didn’t know how bad I wanted it until I saw that exact thing. Written by Michael Stock and drawn by Burn the Orphanage artist Sina Grace, Penny Dora and the Wishing Box is a modern re-telling of the Pandora myth inspired by a story written by Stock’s eight year-old daughter, Nico.
“The first issue is basically an expansion of her original story,” Stock said in an Image press release. “Since then the story has grown through talks we had in the car on the way to school in the mornings via a playful papa/daughter back and forth game of ‘what if.’ The cat in the book, Iggy, is based on our cat (also named Iggy, and also a great lover of ham).”
Featuring cover art and lettering by Eisner-winning cartoonist Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time, Who is AC?), Penny Dora and the Wishing Box launches in November with a special 28-page first issue.
BEST COSPLAY EVER (THIS WEEK): DC BOMBSHELLS, BATGIRL ’66, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, STEEL AND MORE
Compiled by Betty Felon
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.