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John R. Parker

The Many Faces Of Batman: A Celebration of the Dark Knight

batman-feat

Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27, which collectors believe first appeared on newsstands on this day in 1939. Since his debut, Batman has undergone many drastic changes, but somehow our collective perception remains pure.

The origins of Batman are complicated. After the massive success of Superman, comic book publishers were hungry for more costumed adventurers, and National Publications (which would become DC) commissioned a superhero from Bob Kane, who had previously been at Fleischer Studios. He made a proposal for a winged, red-suited avenger with blonde hair and a domino mask called Bird-Man. He enlisted the aid of Bill Finger, a writer he had befriended at a cocktail party, and Finger smartly urged Kane in a different, far better direction.

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, DC

The Evolution of Daniel Clowes

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Born April 14 1961, Daniel Clowes is one of the most respected and influential cartoonists of the modern era, and there's probably nobody who hates that fact more than Dan Clowes. Known primarily for his long-running alt-comic Eightball, the Chicago-born artist has been praised and awarded regularly since the late 1980s, which is especially impressive considering that he didn't reach his full creative potential until much, much later.

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Running the Gauntlet in Mark Beyer’s Cruelly Funny ‘Agony’ [Review]

Mark Beyer
Mark Beyer

Originally published by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly's RAW Books, and featuring characters that appeared in several issues of RAW magazine, Mark Beyer's Agony is a highlight of the 80s art comics movement, spearheaded by that landmark publication. Now available in a new edition as the first release of the New York Review Comics line, the abstract, absurd, and bleakly funny comic book returns, and it's just as oddly beautiful and relevant as ever.

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Honoring Will Eisner, The Original Dreamer

Will Eisner
Will Eisner

The American comic book would not be what it is today without Will Eisner. A relentless innovator who initiated vital changes at crucial points in the medium's history and left behind a lifetime of literary art, Eisner has directly or indirectly influenced everyone who followed him. Born March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn New York, Will Eisner changed the world of sequential art, and it's only appropriate that we celebrate his comics, his accomplishments, and his spirit.

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Damaged Beauty: Why You Should Visit Caitlin Skaalrud’s ‘Houses Of The Holy’

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As a reviewer, it's a rare gift to be handed a comicbook that's so unlike anything else you critique that it enables you to abandon your own rules; when the typical criteria of structure, character, dialogue and technique don't really apply, and you're forced to evaluate a creative work on completely different terms.

I was given that gift in Caitlin Skaalrud's Houses Of The Holy from Uncivilized Books; a gift I repaid by not actually writing a review of the book for two months after I received it, and I was angry at myself pretty much the entire time. Because Houses Of The Holy might be the most dazzling and immersive book I've read in a long, long time.

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Alejandro Jodorowsky And The Art Of Transformation

Alejandro Jodorowsky, El Topo
Alejandro Jodorowsky, El Topo

Born February 17, 1929 in Tocopilla, Chile, Alejandro Jodorowsky has left his mark on this world as a filmmaker, mime, poet, writer, artist, and mystic. Best known in the comics world as the writer of the "Jodoverse," which includes The Metabarons, The Incal, and The Technopriests, Jodorowsky has dedicated his life to artistic expression in a variety of media. But no matter what form his ideas appear in, you can usually tell that they come from Jodorowsky.

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The Great Art Comic Evangelist: A Tribute to Art Spiegelman

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Many comics creators can be applauded for garnering the art form a more popular legitimacy, but it can be argued that nobody has done more than Art Spiegelman. Born to Holocaust survivors on February 15, 1948, Spiegelman has acted as comics' ambassador for decades, working to reduce the gap between the perceived high art of the galleries and the perceived low art of the comics page. And it wasn't entirely because of Maus...

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Grant Morrison And The Great Work

Frank Quitely
Frank Quitely

In magical practice, the term magnum opus has a different meaning than in popular context. Latin for "the Great Work," its been used since the early alchemists, and taken on various shades of metaphorical meaning through different traditions, but they're all essentially referring to the same thing: the total actualization of one's will, and the creation of the idealized self. Grant Morrison, the most inventive writer in comics, has been at it for a while now.

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No Longer Waiting For Something That’s Never Going To Happen: Eric Stephenson On The Return Of ‘Nowhere Men’

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Image Comics' Nowhere Men is one of the most talked-about series of the last few years, but public opinion is fickle. A pop-sci fi tour de force by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire, and Fonografiks, it quickly gathered critical acclaim and a handful of Eisner nominations before --- just as quickly --- effectively disappearing.

Now, more than two years since the last issue, the series is finally returning, with Nowhere Men #7 landing this Wednesday, January 20. In advance of the return, Eric Stephenson spoke with ComicsAlliance about the delay, the comeback, new artist Dave Taylor, and taking inspiration from David Bowie.

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Filthy Genius: A Birthday Tribute To Garth Ennis

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There might be writers more talented than Garth Ennis, but none are as bafflingly talented as Garth Ennis. Nobody else has such an immense capacity for complex human drama hidden beneath a surface so utterly drenched with puke jokes.

An unabashed lover of scatological humor, extreme violence, and vicious satire, the Northern Ireland-born writer, born 46 years ago tomorrow on January 16 1970, is something of an acquired taste. One might even go so far as to call him polarizing. For everyone who dismisses Ennis as juvenile, vulgar, and vile, you'll find at least one more who will tell you that Garth Ennis is a special kind of brilliant.

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