The ComicsAlliance staff is a diverse lineup writers, editors, artists, photographers and designers, but before we’re any of those things we’re simply fans. Appreciators. Collectors. Almost every day we share with each other via Instagram all the great books, toys, artwork, apparel, and other beautiful and/or inescapably cool objects we collect almost ceaselessly in comics stores, at conventions, and from all kinds of sources all over North America (and sometimes beyond). Displaying (i.e. showing off) some rad swag typically inspires everyone to one-up their pop-archeologist game in the never ending quest to find awesome stuff, and simply posting the week’s new comics usually causes someone to discover a new title or artist, which in turn inspires a whole new line of excavation.
In the past we’ve published photos of our “con hauls” here on CA and the resulting discussion with readers — i.e. collector kudos — has always been fun, so with the ComicsAlliance Collection we’re going to do it every week. But more importantly, we want to see your collection too. Show us new additions to your collections by using the hashtag #CAcollection on Instagram or tag us @ComicsAlliance and we’ll embed the best stuff alongside our own recent acquisitions.
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.
This week, The Simpsons adds another auspicious guest director to its list of achievements with this latest couch gag by French animator Sylvain Chomet, the Academy Award-winning director of The Triplets of Belleville.
While not quite as difficult to believe as a 25-years-later sequel to Tron, it's still pretty surprising to lay eyes on the honest-to-god trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the sequel to the 2005 hit by Robert Rodriguez based on Frank Miller's black-and-white Dark Horse graphic novel series. A prequel (of sorts... the timelines are complex, ok) to the first film, A Dame to Kill For stars Eva Green in the title role and is adapted from what might be Miller's most intensely dark and violent Sin City yarn of all.
On sale throughout April, What If? Age of Ultron is a weekly five-issue series written by Joe Keatinge that takes the central story mechanism of Marvel's Age of Ultron -- what would happen to the Marvel Universe if Hank Pym had never created the malevolent artificial intelligence Ultron -- and applies it to some of the publisher's iconic heroes. What would happen in a world without the Wasp? What would happen in a world without Thor? And so on.
What If? Age of Ultron is particularly notable for its artist roster, which includes Chris Stevens on covers with interiors and variants by talents not typically associated with Marvel titles. Among them, Ming Doyle, Piotr Kowalski, Mico Suayan, Ramon Villalobos, Raffaele Ienco and James Stokoe, whose variant cover for issue #2 you're seeing here for the first time.
On sale in May, Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1 relaunches the saga of its titular superhero in high style, featuring a a particularly cool variant cover by Fiona Staples that you're seeing here for the first time. The co-creator of Image Comics' very popular and much acclaimed Saga, Staples is an artist whose routinely gorgeous covers for DC Comics, WildStorm, Archie IDW and Dark Horse have earned her numerous award nominations, but not until now has the artist's work graced the cover of a Marvel Comics publication.
As I scrolled through all 356 pages of Selected Ambient Works: 11-13, a free PDF download compiling tons of sketches, fan art, comic book pages and finished illustrations by Giannis Milonogiannis, creator of Archaia's Old City Blues and contributing artist to Image's Prophet, I thought to myself, "Is Milonogiannis a retrofuturist? Is he doing with the 1980s and cyberpunk what Dean Motter did with the 1930s and noir?"
The best Superman comic book currently published is about to get even better with the addition of Steve Rude, arguably one of today's best living American comic book artists. The April 14 edition of DC Comics' digital-first Adventures of Superman anthology will see the master storyteller collaborate with writer (and a brilliant, influential artist in his own right) Jerry Ordway for a Superman story starring OMAC, a cult favorite creation of Rude's hero, Jack Kirby.
But Rude and Ordway are just two of the creators DC has lined up for the weekly Adventures of Superman -- one of ComicsAlliance's picks for the best comic books of 2013.
Welcome back to the ComicsAlliance podcast, covering the latest comic book entertainment news topics. Joining Senior Editors Andy Khouri and Caleb Goellner for this episode is CA writer Matt D. Wilson for a conversations about the the keynote address delivered by Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson to the ComicsPro Retailer Conference in Atlanta. Stephenson made a characteristically iconoclastic and not altogether unassailable presentation, urging retailers to become community leaders, abandon their support of gimmicky, high-priced publishing practices, and draw a distinction between good and bad comics.
We’ll contrast Stephenson’s remarks with those of Dan DiDio, his counterpart at DC Comics, one of the stop superhero publishers, who in an interview this week confirmed plans to double— even triple-down — on weekly comics, crossovers and 3D covers, publishing strategies that are seemingly exactly the sort of thing Stephenson that criticized.