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‘Gotham Academy’ #1 Gets An A++ (And Extra Credit For A Batman Appearance)

Gotham Academy cover by Becky Cloonan

Gotham Academy is exactly the comic book I want to read.

That probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been reading ComicsAlliance for any significant amount of time. I mean, if you made a list of the things I like seeing in my comics, then Batman, teenage mystery solvers, and high school drama set in a superhero universe are all things that are going to land pretty close to the top of the list, and those three elements form the exact core of Gotham Academy's premise. It's so perfectly designed to fit my very specific tastes that you'd actually have to work hard to combine them into something that I wouldn't like.

Because of that, it might be tempting to write off anything nice I have to say about the book, but trust me: this first issue of Gotham Academy is great, not just because it's got a bunch of stuff I want to see, but because Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser, and Dave McCaig, have produced one of the most solid starts of the year.

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Owls Vs. Crabs On The Moon: Things Get Even Weirder In ‘God Hates Astronauts’ #2 [Preview]

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As the record will show, I'm a pretty big fan of Ryan Browne's God Hates Astronauts, but every time I read a new issue, I'm always left with one question: How exactly is Browne going to top himself next time? I mean, the book's major selling point is that it's 20 pages of unrestrained id that just keeps getting weirder and weirder, but when your starting point is hillbilly rocketships being taken down by a superhero with the spectral head of a ghost cow, that's a little harder to do than it might seem.

Fortunately, Browne is up for the challenge, which is why the second issue of the new ongoing series, out this week from Image, kicks off with astronauts (who are presumably hated by the Almighty) playing golf on the moon. Oh, and the astronauts are owls and there is also a swarm of evil space crabs on there too. Check it out below to see just how weird things can get in three short pages!

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Boom! Studios New York Comic Con 2014 Exclusives Include Most Amazing ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Cover Possible

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New York Comic Con is right around the corner, and if you're planning on heading to Manhattan's Javits Center next weekend, the good people at Boom! Studios want to give you as many chances to part with your money at Booth 1344 as they possibly can. To that end, they're offering up a slate of pretty amazing looking variant covers, including a beautifully painted wrap-around cover for the Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake hardcover and an NYC-specific image where Jake Lawrence's Teen Dog takes a ride on a cosmic subway.

My personal favorite, though, is the first issue of Sleepy Hollow, the tie-in to the amazingly bonkers Fox television show, which features Abbie and Ichabod charging through the forest with a hot pink lantern, as drawn by Lumberjanes co-creator Noelle Stevenson. It is basically amazing.

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FunkyWatch: September’s Most Depressing ‘Funky Winkerbean’ And ‘Crankshaft’ Strips

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Over the past 40 years, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean has transitioned from a gag-a-day comic strip about a high school to an ongoing chronicle of pure, abject misery. Thanks to the commentary on Josh Fruhlinger’s Comics Curmudgeon, I am now completely obsessed with it, which is why I spend a little time every month rounding up its finest examples of crushing despair.

After last month hit rock bottom with the worst Funky Winkerbean strips on record, I was dreading diving into September's offerings even more than usual. That said, it seems like Batiuk has decided to take the month off from pure despair, instead taking a hard left turn into a set of comics that make absolutely no sense. Unless you count the one where an elderly woman is so frustrated with her neighbors that she literally renounces God, I mean. That one could really go either way.

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Just The Tips: Master Your Genitals With 23 Pages Of Fraction & Zdarsky’s Guide To Sexing [NSFW]

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If you've been reading Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals (and honestly, I'm pretty sure that if you're reading this, you are), then you've probably noticed that one of the best parts of the comic comes in the letters page where the two creators offer the reader tips for a better sex life. Wait, no. "Better" is probably not the right word. Oh well, you get the idea.

Either way, the tips have been very enthusiastically received, and with the success of Sex Criminals, Fraction and Zdarsky are looking to spread the word and penetrate the market by collecting them in Just The Tips a handsome, 96-page hardcover that will look great on your coffee table, or hastily thrown under the sofa when your parents visit. And just in case that doesn't arouse your interest, we've got a massive 23-page preview of the tips and sex positions ready for your perusal.

Please be advised, though, this is extremely not safe for work, unless your work is 100% cool with drawings of boners and buttholes, in which case you probably work for ComicsAlliance and saw it already.

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DC’s Newest Heroines Olive & Maps Get The Grand Tour In ‘Gotham Academy’ #1 [Preview]

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Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl's Gotham Academy is the comic I never knew I wanted until it was announced, and every moment since then has been an eternity of waiting for it to actually hit shelves. Now, with the book set for release this Wednesday, we are finally on the verge of living in a world where there is a high school adventure drama that also has Batman in it.

If, however, you can't wait, then I have some good news. Today, DC released a five-page preview of the new series, in which our lead characters, Olive SIlverlock and Maps Mizoguchi, take a tour of the ominous and imposing Gotham Academy, before immediately being caught in an equally ominous and imposing thunderstorm. Because of course there's a thunderstorm; heavy rain and blood-red skies are the only two types of weather allowed in Gotham City.

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The X-Men Episode Guide 5×07: Storm Front, Part One

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The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.

This week, it's that adaptation of X-Men Annual #3 that you wanted. What's that? Well, somebody wanted it.

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The Marvel Comics Connection To Super Sentai And Power Rangers [Video]

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You may have already noticed that I'm a pretty big fan of going really deep into the origins and minutiae of my favorite characters. That's one of the reasons that I really appreciate what ToyBountyHunters has been doing with their in-depth series on the origins of the massive, long-running Super Sentai series, the franchise that gave us the source material for our American Power Rangers. They spend a lot of time discussing the origins and development of the series, an as someone who really likes that stuff, it's fascinating.

The same goes for their latest video, the third part of their retrospective, where they turn their attention to the connection between Marvel Comics and the development of Super Sentai -- and while I already knew all about the tokusatsu series about Spider-Man -- known colloquially as Japanese Spider-Man -- there's a lot in there that I wasn't familiar with, like how Battle Fever J started out as a Captain America show.

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Ask Chris #213: A Brief History Of The Wrath Of God

Ask Chris #213: The Spectre, art by Erica Henderson

Q: Just re-read Gotham Central and it got me wondering, what's the deal with the Spectre? -- @BatIssues

A: The Spectre was originally created in 1940 by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, but it's worth noting that some sources -- including legendary editor Roy Thomas, who's about as big a fan of DC's Golden Age titles as you're likely to find -- give Siegel full credit for the whole concept, and that's the first interesting point. After all, Siegel is, as you may have heard, the co-creator of arguably the most enduring and significant character in comics history, who's known for his incredible physical strength: Slam Bradley.

Oh, and also Superman, I guess.

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Texas Preacher Declares ‘Vampire Knight’ Manga, Dried Roses To Be Satanic Works, Is Literally Villain From ‘Footloose’

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Censorship is a serious issue. It's one of the reasons that we here at ComicsAlliance always show our support to organizations like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and rally behind creators who have been subjected to governmental restrictions on their work.

Occasionally, though, there are incidents of people pushing to get books banned that slide right past concerning and directly into the world of hilarious ineptitude.

Such is the case with Reverend Phillip Missick of Texas's amazingly named King of Saints Tabernacle Church, who pushed for the Cleveland, TX public library to remove manga like Matsuri Hino's Vampire Knight from its library, owing, of course, to it being a demonic product of Satan that would drag otherwise saintly children directly into the gaping maw of Hell itself. That, of course, is nothing new. What makes it amazing is that he didn't stop there, going so far as to declare pretty much everything around the manga to be the product of Satan, including a few Harry Potter toys, a bouquet of dried roses, and the actual room itself to be "occultic and demonic."

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