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J. Caleb Mozzocco

Jill Thompson’s ‘The True Amazon’ And The Secret Strength Of Wonder Woman’s Confusing Origins


Gender is far from the only thing that separates Wonder Woman from her DC Comics peers Superman and Batman. One rather dramatic difference that has grown more and more pronounced over the course of the last three decades is the fluidity of the character’s origins.

Jill Thompson’s Wonder Woman: The True Amazon responds to the ambiguity around Wonder Woman's origins, not simply by filling a perceived hole with an analogue to Batman: Year One, but rather by capitalizing on that fluidity to tell a Wonder Woman story unlike any other.

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Tom Gauld On ‘Mooncop’, His Melancholy Comedy About A Cop On The Moon [Interview]


British cartoonist Tom Gauld's new graphic novel Mooncop imagines an actualization of the lunar colony concept of moonshot-era pop culture as it might be if the colony had followed the path of our collective gradual disenchantment with space. Gauld employs his signature simple style in service of a story that is at once an accomplished work of deadpan comedy and a meditation on the passage of time. ComicsAlliance spoke to to Gauld about his inspiration and his work.

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‘Birds of Prey’ TV Rewatch, Episode 13: ‘Devil’s Eyes’


This is it! The final episode of the series! A newly empowered Harley Quinn attacks the Birds of Prey head-on, taking over their base and plunging all of New Gotham into complete, apocalyptic (and decidedly off-screen) chaos! It will take the combined efforts of all three Birds of Prey and both Bros of Prey (Alfred and Reese) to punch and kick the city back to safety!

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‘Birds of Prey’ TV Rewatch, Episode 11: ‘Reunion’


In this episode, Helena Kyle (Ashley Scott) is completely uninterested in attending her five-year class reunion... until her former classmates start showing up dead, the apparent victims of a metahuman killer. Meanwhile, Barbara Gordon (Dina Meyer) struggles to balance crime-fighting with her relationship with Wade (Shawn Christian), Alfred (Ian Abercrombie) cleans stuff, and Dinah (Rachel Skarsten) wanders around aimlessly, looking for stuff to do.

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Can Batman Be The Hero In Paul Dini’s ‘Dark Night: A True Batman Story’?


It's no secret that, before he came to comics, Paul Dini worked as a writer in animation on series including Batman: The Animated Series and, before that, Tiny Toon Adventures --- both from the then-resurgent Warner Bros Animation studio. Dark Night, his new graphic memoir detailing a traumatic event from that time in his life, is premised as the Dini of 2016 pitching the story as he might have pitched an animated episode, pinning sketched-out storyboards to a wall before an unseen audience that will have their say when his presentation is over.

The elaborate narrative set-up isn't the only unusual thing about Dini's Dark Night. Unlike the vast majority of comics memoirs, in which the memoirist is also a cartoonist and thus writes and draws the story, this one has the more traditional division of labor/creation of superhero comics, with Dini scripting and artist Eduardo Risso handling the art. And it's also got Batman in it. A lot.

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Imaginary Friends Turn Fiends In Brecht Evens’ Harrowing ‘Panther’


I just read one of the most remarkable comics that I've experienced in recent memory and, as is often the case when I read a really great comic, I wanted immediately to tell everyone about it and suggest they seek it out to experience it for themselves.

When I sat down at my computer to do just that, however, I found that this particular book, Brecht Evens' Panther, presents a challenge to the critic. The subject matter is as dark and disturbing as it can get, but a large part of the book's power is the way that Evens only very gradually reveals what's really going on. Panther seems slightly off, then hints, then suggests, and ultimately demonstrates that something sinister and sickening is going on, before a somewhat equivocal ending that implies it's far worse than one initially thought.

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Whoever Wins, We Win: A Brief History of Aliens vs Predator

Dark Horse
Dark Horse

Ruthlessly efficient biological killing machines. Fascinatingly grotesque and bizarre extraterrestrial monsters. More than a match for an entire cast of human characters. And, most importantly, stars of 1980s 20th Century Fox-distributed films and licensed to Dark Horse Comics. These are the similarities that forged a decades-long bond between the Aliens and Predator franchises, linking them into a symbiotic relationship that has infested medium after medium, and lasted over 25 years now.

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Praying For It: Chester Brown’s ‘Mary Wept Over The Feet of Jesus’ [Review]


They say that any joke you have to explain isn't a very good one. Chester Brown's latest work, the powerful and challenging Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, is no joke, but he certainly feels the need to explain it. At great length.

First, there's the sub-title, which emphasizes subject matter that isn't terribly obvious in the comic itself --- Prostitution and Religious Obedience in the Bible --- and then there are the copious notes. The comics portion of the book is just 170 pages long, with two-to-four panels per page; the afterword, acknowledgments and notes are 100 more pages.

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First Second’s Tenth Year: Editor Calista Brill On What Makes First Second Special [Interview]

First Second
First Second

In 2006, First Second Books emerged as a fledging publisher with a distribution deal with Macmillan. Over the subsequent ten years the publisher has introduced American readers to international talents; promoted the work of new cartoonists to a wide audience; and produced some of the most talked-about books of recent years, including Laika,Boxers and Saints, The Sculptor and This One Summer.

All this week we've been speaking to some of the cartoonists associated with First Second about their last ten years in the industry, including Sara Varon, George O'Connor, and James Sturm. Today, however, we're talking to one of the architects of First Second's continued success, senior editor Calista Brill, about how she came to the company, what her job involves, and what it is that defines First Second.

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First Second’s Tenth Year: James Sturm’s Decade of Adventures in Cartooning [Interview]


As original graphic novel publisher First Second celebrates its tenth anniversary, we’re talking to some of the cartoonists and creators associated with the publisher to reflect on their work over the last ten years.

Today we speak to James Sturm, one of the most established and respected cartoonists in the business. Sturm's comics include early '90s work for Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly and acclaimed graphic novels such as The Golem's Mighty Swing, Market Day and Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. In the last decade, he has become known as much for being an educator of cartoonists as for being a cartoonist himself, having co-founded the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont in 2005. His work for First Second includes the Adventures In Cartooning series, created with two of his CCS student.

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