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Chris Sims

A Career Full Of Highlights: A Birthday Tribute To Walt Simonson

Thor by Walt Simonson

For any other creator, Thor would've been enough. It's a four-year masterpiece, one that I've frequently called the single best run of superhero comics of all time thanks to its perfect blending of comic book action and the high fantasy of Norse mythology, and that's not a really difficult argument to defend. There are issues with bone-shattering larger-than-life battles, and there are issues that hit so hard emotionally that I still get a little choked up thinking about them, and there are issues that do both at the same time. Thirty years later, it still holds up as an unparalleled high point of the genre, and for any other creator, that would be enough.

For Walt Simonson, born this day in 1946, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

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The Transformed Man, Act 21: Onyx Interface

The Transformed Man, Act 21: Onyx Interface

I've never liked the Transformers. The franchise didn't get its hooks into me as a kid, and while I've tried to give it a shot as an adult, it never really clicked. But now, with a recommendation from almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale that left me with three years worth (and counting) of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics, I'm going on a quest to see if these comics can turn me from someone who has never cared at all about Optimus Prime into someone who uses words like "Cybertron" and "alt-mode" with alarming regularity. And Primus help me, it's working.

This week, everyone hates Prowl.

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Cheryl Blossom’s Taking Over In The Digital Collection Of ‘Queen B’ [Preview]

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As much as they've been getting coverage for the bold new direction in stuff like the reboot of the core titles and the horror-themed imprint led by Afterlife With Archie, one of Archie Comics' greatest strengths has always been that it has so much content in its back catalog. It's one of the reasons that Archie has been able to put out so many of those massive 500-page Best Of collections in recent years, but one of the most interesting the publisher has done with all that content has been its approach to digital releases.

You might have missed them if you don't keep an eye on Comixology, but the usual idea is that Archie puts out a bunch of reprints built around a particular theme, like when it collected all the stories about pro wrestling from over the years. This week, it's reprinting "Queen B," a pretty fantastic story about Betty and Veronica's most bitter rival, by some of Archie's best creators.

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Struggles And Journeys: Greg Pak On Building The World Of ‘Kingsway West’ [Interview]

Kingsway West, art by Mirko Colak and Wil Quintana

After years of working on characters like Superman and the Hulk, writer Greg Pak is finally launching his first-ever creator-owned series through Dark Horse, alongside Mirko Colak, Wil Quintana, and Simon Bowland. Kingsway West is the story of a gunslinger and a mysterious swordswoman making their way across an Old West dominated by the new discovery of magic. It's an intriguing project, and one that promises a big adventure right from the start, complete with a man riding a gigantic jackalope right there on the page.

To find out more, I spoke to Pak about why he decided to do a Western, his plans to make the book easy for readers to find at their local comic shops, and his influences, both fictional and historical.

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‘Zinetendo’ Is Up For Preorder With All The Zelda, Pokemon And Mario Content You Need

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I've identified with a lot of Dinosaur Comics strips, but I don't think any of them have ever spoken to me quite as much as the one where T-Rex talks about how Nintendo is the only corporation that he thinks of as a friend. As I've said before here at CA, I've spent more time with Mario than I have with most members of my own immediate family, and that's not a decision I regret. And if you have similar feelings and also love comics by amazingly talented young creators --- which I assume is why you're here in the first place --- then I've got something that you're probably going to want to check out.

Zinetendo, a new full-color, 46-page zine devoted entirely to Nintendo's greatest hits, is available for preorder now, and it's awesome. Check out some of my favorite pieces below!

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DC Is Set To Release An 800-Page ‘Gotham Central’ Omnibus Collecting The Entire Series

Gotham Central, art by Michael Lark

At this point, it's difficult to imagine that you, the discerning ComicsAlliance reader, do not already own Gotham Central in at least one format, but I imagine there are some folks out there who have just been waiting to get the whole series in one go. If that sounds like you --- or if you're just looking to pick up one of the greatest DC Comics ever printed in a third or fourth format --- then we have good news: The solicitations for DC's upcoming paperback and hardcover releases have revealed that it's planning a massive Gotham Central Omnibus for release next May.

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Ranger Station Episode 3: Teamwork

Ranger Station Episode 3: Teamwork

With almost 800 episodes over the course of 22 years, the Power Rangers television show is arguably the single most successful live-action superhero franchise of all time, and certainly one of the strangest. Adapted from Japan's long-running Super Sentai series, created by manga legend Shotaro Ishinomori, the Power Rangers combined the giant robots and monsters of their Japanese counterpart with a completely different set of secret identities and problems, and became a pop cultural phenomenon. That's why we're looking back with an in-depth guide to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, including its source material, Kyuoryu Sentai Zyuranger, in ComicsAlliance's Ranger Station!

This week, the Rangers get their weapons and we have an exclusive as we hear directly from a rather surprising actor who appeared in this actual episode!

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Jake Wyatt Shares His Design Process For ‘Necropolis’ And It’s Unsurprisingly Awesome

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It wasn't that long ago that Jake Wyatt started Necropolis, a new fantasy webcomic that quickly became one of my favorite things to read. In the strips published so far, Wyatt shows off an incredibly engaging fairy tale style that blends the sinister bargains of its main character with some of the most beautiful pages of the year.

Unfortunately, the comic hit a delay in updates thanks to a cross-country move, but rather than leaving his readers waiting for the next few pages without anything to tide them over, Wyatt has taken the opportunity to share some of his design process --- including full short stories that he made to test out the Third Sword's look.

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Filed Under: , Category: Art, Webcomics

Mind Your Manners With ‘X-O Manowar’ #40 [Preview]

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I'd like to think that I'm pretty polite most of the time, but I'll admit that I have no idea what's expected of me in extremely formal situations. I mean, it was only a few weeks ago that I learned that there's actually a huge (and sometimes insulting) difference between addressing someone as "your highness" and "your majesty," so in the unlikely event that I ever actually meet a king or queen, I'm going to be at a loss.

I do, however, know one thing about meeting royalty: You don't spit on them. Especially if the royalty in question is a barbarian king from the fifth century. Especially if it's Aric of Dacia, a barbarian king from the fifth century who is also wearing a suit of high-tech armor that recently allowed him to defeat an entire alien army pretty much singlehandedly. That's... that's not going to work out well, and it's a hot tip that you could probably share with the cast of X-O Manowar #40, by Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval. Check out a preview!

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The Greatest Of All Time: A Birthday Tribute To The King Of Comics, Jack Kirby

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Jack Kirby, born on this day in 1917 in New York, is the greatest comic book creator who ever lived.

That's not something that I consider to be up for debate. It's something that's self-evident every time that you sit down to read one of his comics — and, more than that, one of anyone's comics on the stands today — and have your mind blown by a driving energy and the limitless possibilities that have always marked superheroes and the medium they defined. The simple fact is that Kirby's work wasn't just great in and of itself, but that superhero comics as we know them quite simply would not exist without him.

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, Art, Marvel

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