Alien invasion stories have always been fertile ground for allegory. Throughout the history of the sub-genre, spaceships filled with arachnid creatures, little green men, shape-shifting Skrulls, omnipotent super-beings, and brain-eating slugs have come to represent oppressive and militaristic governments, Communism, the disenfranchised, and several more variations of the great and unknowable Other, usually influenced by politics or social issues. Yet with all the metaphoric territory the alien invasions have covered, in Image Comics' Trees, Warren Ellis and Jason Howard prove there's still plenty left unsaid.
MPH, the new super-speedster book from Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo, debuts from Image Comics this week. And apparently it's pretty awesome, because it's already getting its own movie, optioned by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura just one week after Fox bought the rights to Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu's Superior. If Millar didn't already have a tight-enough grip on the nexus of Hollywood and comics, Superior and MPH movies would give him the metaphorical finger-strength to squeeze it into a diamond. So is MPH worthy of the same treatment as Kick-Ass and Wanted? Please read this next part with the inner voice of Dateline's Keith Morrison: Or is Hollywood, much like Roscoe Rodriguez in MPH, moving a little... too... fast? Thank you for playing.
A common lament among comics lovers is that there aren't enough books for kids anymore, and it's a valid one. The average comic is written to be understood by preteens and up, while the average reader hovers somewhere around the age 30, and it’s unlikely that this trend is going to reverse anytime soon. But most of those 30-year-olds aren’t readers today because they started in their late teens or early twenties, they’re readers today because they had their initial exposure to comics probably before the age of ten. Even though we’ve been trying to convince the rest of the world that comics aren’t for kids anymore since 1986, kids are absolutely necessary to the medium’s survival. If comic books hope to have a future amidst rapidly-evolving children’s media and Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program, then a healthy percentage of comics published today need to be geared toward the under-ten crowd, and they need to be good.
Fortunately, we have Mike Kunkel’s Herobear and the Kid: Saving Time #1 to show everybody how it’s done.
In a year full of great comics, Dream Thief by Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood was one of 2013's most compelling new books. After finding an aboriginal mask in a museum, John Lincoln discovers that while he sleeps, the dead possess his body in search of vengeance. A tricky and intense horror-crime hybrid, Dream Thief routinely played on readers presumptions, delivered waves of surprises, and featured one of the most impressive artistic debuts in recent memory. With the first collection from Dark Horse now on shelves, and the announcement of the follow-up Dream Thief: Escape, Nitz and Smallwood spoke with ComicsAlliance about dirtbags and panel structures, and provide an exclusive six-page preview of the upcoming sequel.
Look, we all know it's okay for comic book characters to kill people. It's just that when cops do it, it's something of a grey area. Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak's Red Team, recently collected by Dynamite, takes an old idea and makes it new again, exploring the moral conundrum of taking the law into your own hands. One of the least-talked-about great comics of 2013, Red Team is tense, real, and dead-serious. Which is funny, because I used to think Garth Ennis was stupid.
I'm leaving both of those hanging, by the way. Garth Ennis and the killing thing: hanging.
It was beginning to feel like Jason Aaron and Jason Latour were holding back. Not holding back their talents, obviously, but not showing us just how savage they could be. In the year and a half since the conclusion of Scalped, Aaron has written a slew of great Marvel books. After the last issue of the razor-sharp Loose Ends, Latour penned an arc of Winter Soldier and is now taking on Wolverine and the X-Men. Since the ends of their respective creator-owned series, everything that each creator has done has been top-notch superhero comics. But they were still superhero comics.
As great as their work in superheroes may be, Aaron and Latour have done their best work far outside that realm. In their best books, bullets kill you dead, horrible people do horrible things, and there always seems to be a redneck around the corner. After hanging around the superhero world for a while, the pair team up for a trip down south with the new redneck crime series Southern Bastards. And baby, it feels like going home again.
Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner Award-winning Image Comics series launched by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and now drawn by Charlie Adlard, is well into its second half, and the despair has been turned up to eleven. ComicsAlliance’s John Parker is following along to see who lives, who dies, and who appears for one scene.
It’s all smiles on The Walking Dead this week, as lovers reunite, nerds run the world, and Daryl learns a fun new game. That’s okay. After last week’s soul-shearing horror, we needed a break.
Kansas City's Planet Comicon has steadily grown into what may be the biggest comics and pop culture convention in the Midwest. After spending several years in the Overland Park Convention Center, a mid-sized facility in a suburb of Kansas City, last year Planet Comicon moved to Bartle Hall, a much bigger facility in the heart of downtown. This year, the convention doubled in floorspace, drew cosplayers likes flies to vinegar, and brought in a litany of television and pop culture stars, including legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, pretty much the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the puffy one himself, Sir William Freaking Shatner.
But this site is called ComicsAlliance, and what we really care about are the comics and the creators who make them. Click onwards for a sometimes-blurry Blackberry camera gallery of guests, friends, and artist alley residents of one of the fastest-growing cons in the country.
Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner Award-winning Image Comics series launched by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and now drawn by Charlie Adlard, is well into its second half, and the despair has been turned up to eleven. ComicsAlliance’s John Parker is back again to see who lives, who dies, and oh my god the horror.
This week on The Walking Dead: nothing. Nothing happens. Carol and Tyreese and all three kids just have a nice, chilled-out episode where they point out shapes in the clouds and stuff. Literally nothing at all happens, so we can talk about something else now. Something pleasant and uplifting, like Darfur, or terminal cancer.