Zombillenium is French animator and cartoonist Arthur De Pins' ongoing series of graphic albums about a horror theme park run by actual monsters... pretending to be regular people pretending to be fake monsters... all as an elaborate way of hiding in plain sight. Published first in France, it's being translated and republished by NBM in English. The third volume, Control Freaks, was just released this summer.
J. Caleb Mozzocco
What if The Avengers formed a decade earlier, before Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and their fellow writers and artists at Marvel Comics had created Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, Ant-Man and The Wasp? Before there even was a Marvel Comics?
This was an idea explored in a classic What If, revived for the 2006 Agents of Atlas, and revived again for Secret Wars in October, Jimmy Woo, Namora, Marvel Boy, Gorilla-Man, Venus and M-11 the Human Robot, are returning in one of the domains of Secret Wars' Battleworld in the upcoming Secret Wars: Agents of Atlas. We spoke with writer Tom Taylor and editor Mark Paniccia about what we can look forward to.
The success of Jurassic World means that superhero movies are over! Forever! Why, we wouldn't be surprised if Fantastic Four and Ant-Man went straight to DVD and studios pulled the plug on the dozens of superhero movies already in production. Dinosaurs are the new superheroes, and in the future we expect all big-budget, would-be blockbuster films to be dinosaur movies.
Does this mean that comic books and graphic novels will lose their coveted place as the breeding ground for Hollywood's favorite source material? Not at all; there are plenty of dinosaur comics, ripe for film adaptation. Let's take a look at some of the more popular ones, and how likely it is that they may be coming to a theater near you... instead of Wonder Woman, Doctor Strange, or Justice League.
The Justice League of America and The Avengers are the top teams in comics, super-groups composed of the most popular, most powerful and most iconic superheroes in their respective publisher's fictional universes. Jon Morris' League is... not that kind of league.
Morris, a graphic designer, cartoonist and writer, has devoted himself to compiling and chronicling the weirdest superheroes from throughout comics history on his blog Gone & Forgotten, which he's maintained since the late 1990s. Those efforts have lead to a new book, The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes From Comic Book History, which features a full 100 of the most spectacular misfires of the 20th century comics industry, from 1939's Bozo The Iron Man to 1997's Maggot, from shoe shill AAU Shuperstar to the compressed air-powered speedster Zippo. We spoke to Morris about his selection process and what it really means to be "regrettable."
Anyone can make fun of DC comics. Don't believe me? Go ahead and look around the Internet. I'll wait. The publisher's long life, huge catalog of characters and hundreds of thousands of pages of material have certainly provided a target-rich environment.
But it takes a very special mindset and skill set to make fun of DC comics within the pages of a DC comic – and I'm not just talking gentle ribbing or affectionate teasing, but fairly scathing satire. That Garth Ennis and John McCrea were able to do so on such a regular basis for so long in the pages of their 1997-2001 Hitman is pretty remarkable; almost as remarkable as the fact that DC invited them back for All Star Section Eight, a series that necessarily focuses on and amps up the superhero parody of the pair's Hitman series.
Exquisite Corpse is the English language debut of French cartoonist and hyphenate Pénélope Bagieu, a blogger, editorial illustrator, rock and roll drummer and honest-to-goodness knight (Well, a Chevalier des arts et des lettre; I don't think she carries a sword or anything).
Originally published in 2010 as Cadavre exquis, it's come to America courtesy First Second. It tells the story of Zoe, a twenty-something product rep at sales shows --- which mainly entails dressing up and posing in photos with handsy jerks in front of cars and suchlike --- who goes home to an unemployed loser boyfriend. A chance encounter with an older, reclusive author with a very weird secret (and even weirder publishing plan) introduces her to an odd new lifestyle that's better in many respects, although a loser boyfriend is a loser boyfriend, whether he's an uneducated, uncouth soccer fan or a wealthy narcissist.
This One Summer's artist Jillian Tamaki's next book was just released, and it's very different to her collaborations with her cousin Mariko, which also include 2008's Skim. The Drawn and Quarterly-published SuperMutant Magic Academy collects Tamaki's webcomic of the same name, featuring a cast of characters of unusual abilities, backgrounds and appearances, who all attend the same private school. What is perhaps most extraordinary about the characters --- who include fox spirit Wendy, immortal Everlasting Boy, and aggressive performance artist Frances --- is just how familiar they all are under their unfamiliar surfaces.
SMMA is a comic about a special school full of special kids, but it focuses on the parts of them that aren't special... or at least, the parts that they have in common with us. Which, of course, helps makes the comic special. Tamaki is currently touring to promote SMMA. We took the opportunity to talk to her about her work.
Noelle Stevenson's Nimona is not your typical fantasy comic heroine. I say that not because of her style, which includes a partially shaved head, with dyed hair and piercings; and not because of the way she dresses, which is in practical chain mail and leather adventuring gear; and not because of her build, which is short and stocky, in sharp contrast to the tall willowy male characters.
No, Nimona is not your typical fantasy comic heroine because Nimona is not a hero period. She's a villain.
At least, that's what she keeps telling the reader, and herself, and anyone who will listen in Stevenson's Nimona, the Lumberjanes co-creator's webcomic, which has recently been collected and published as an extremely charming, remarkably cerebral graphic novel.
IDW has made excellent, if limited, use of Popeye after they acquired the license for E.C. Segar's iconic comic strip character. They published the excellent 12-issue series featuring original material by Roger Langridge and a handful of other artists that managed to capture some of the raucous spirit of the original Segar comedy adventures. They published a very weird Mars Attacks Popeye one-shot crossover by Martin Powell and Terry Beatty. And, since 2012, they've been publishing Popeye Classic Comics, which reprints the comic book work of long-time Popeye cartoonist Bud Sagendorf.
While the content may be classic, the marketing has been decidedly modern. The series has often featured variant covers, a popular tactic for claiming rack space in comic book shops. Unlike most comics, however, Popeye Classic — a product of IDW's relationship with Yoe Books — rather exclusively features excellent, often oddball artwork from some unlikely artists.
Aside from their first initial, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Archie Andrews have never had all that much in common. That changed this week, when Dark Horse Comics released Archie Vs. Predator, and the alien big game hunter that menaced a dirty, sweaty, well-muscled cast lead by Schwarzenneger in the 1987 film Predator set his sites on Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and their quite killable gang.
In film, Predators have been mostly content to hunt humans, and aliens from the Aliens franchise, across a series of five films — Predator, Predator 2, AVP: Alien Vs. Predator, Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem and Predators — but in comics, they've pursued and usually failed to obtain some pretty exotic skulls.