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.
REVIVAL, REINVENTION, RESURRECTION: THE POWER OF GREAT SUPERHERO COSTUME DESIGN
We live in a time of awesome superhero costumes in comics. The rise and rise of cosplay culture, the emergence of comic artists with a savvy understanding of fashion, and the slow diversification that’s making heroes palatable to a broader audience, have all contributed to a costuming culture with more to offer than capes and pants.
Superhero costumes have always been an asset to the industry, because iconography helps establish character and create a brand. But the value of costumes in reaching audiences and reinventing characters seems to be recognized now as never before, leading to the rise of artist-designers like Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka, who don’t even need to be on a particular book in order to be called in to make-over the characters. This is a great leap forward in understanding just what a good costume can do — and the special skills required to do it.
RACHEL & MILES X-PLAIN THE X-MEN: SPECIAL GUEST KURT BUSIEK ANSWERS FOR ‘THE PHOENIX RETCON’
Welcome back to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, a weekly podcast in which X-Perts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes explore the ins, outs, and retcons of fifty years of Marvel’s greatest superhero soap opera!
This week: Special guest Kurt Busiek is the J. Robert Oppenheimer of X-Men, Rachel and Miles learn to love the Silver Age, Cyclops gets a job, Bernard the Poet falls from grace, we really wish X-Men: The Secret Years was a real book, everyone recites poetry, and we still don’t get around to Marvels.
- METOXO, the Lava Man
- The true, secret purpose of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men
- The Phoenix retcon
- Archival pocket dimensions
- Enid Blyton’s X-Men
- Early-to-mid-20th Century American Jewish Socialism
- Why the X-Men are terrible mutant P.R.
- Band names of the Silver Age
- An X-Men series that might have been.
- Why Cyclops should be the Rachel Maddow of Marvel
- Quicksilver’s childhood dreams
- The Coffee-a-Go-Go
- Bernard the Poet
- Zelda Kurtzberg
- The Barefoot Beats
DARK HORSE ALL UP IN THE AWESOME WEBCOMICS COLLECTIONS WITH ‘BANDETTE,’ ‘POLAR’ AND ‘MURDER BOOK’
By Chris Sims
One of the best things about digital comics is that you can read them online pretty much anywhere, but sometimes, every now and then, you want to read them in print. Whether it’s the extra features that inevitably come with a printed collection, the texture of paper or just the comforting reminder that physical objects exist and you are therefore not alone and isolated in a formless void, printed webcomics have a lot to offer today’s discerning reader, and Dark Horse is stepping up to give you three of the most exciting collections of the year.
Set for release next spring, Eisner winning digital comic Bandette and the webcomic Polar: Eye For An Eye are returning to Dark Horse for the book trade customers, but the third, Murder Book is a newcomer, and it looks awesome.
SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST X-MEN FILM DIRECTOR BRYAN SINGER DROPPED BY ACCUSER
Michael Egan, the former model who filed sexual abuse charges against X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer in civil court, has withdrawn his suit following the recent departure of his former attorney, Jeff Herman. Egan insists that his decision is no reflection on the merits of his case against Singer, and instead reflects his inability to continue without representation.
BUILDING A BETTER REALM: AN INTERVIEW ABOUT WEBCOMICS AND ART WITH BENIGN KINGDOM’S EVAN DAHM
By Juliet Kahn
Benign Kingdom fills a niche that lay absurdly open for too long: well designed and curated artbooks from webcomic creators. Somehow, the idea never occurred to me or most anyone for years, despite the absolute cavalcade of talent on display. Who knew Danielle Corsetto, creator of Girls With Slingshots, produced such gorgeous figure drawings? Who knew Yuko Ota, co-creator and artist of Johnny Wander, could fill a page with such whimsy and menace?
One enormously successful Kickstarter later, Benign Kingdom has presented the world with these awesome talents, but also helped demonstrate the viability of self-publishing. ComicsAlliance sought out Evan Dahm, co-founder of the Benign Kingdom project and creator of the webcomic Rice Boy, to discuss a changing industry and their place within it.