ComicsAlliance concludes its celebration of the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton's Batman with a presentation of the 1989 Warner Bros. press release announcing Prince's involvement with the film, discovered after an exhaustive search of vintage movie memorabilia.
As part of the marketing blitz for the movie, the comic version of Batman naturally sold batloads [Editor's note: we apologize for nothing] and is a fixture of many a 30-something's comics collection. In an effort to extort as much as they could from the fanbase, DC Comics made the book available in two formats: a newsstand-friendly comic that set readers back a mere $2.50 and a prestige format version) with a painted cover and spine) that retailed for $4.95. Personally, the cheaper version’s cover has always appealed to me more, but I’ll admit that Batman kicking a clown has a visceral appeal to me than Batman standing on a gargoyle, even if it's nicely rendered. No matter what version you bought though, the interiors were the same, and they were among the best drawings of Jerry Ordway's already distinguished career.
Unfortunately, even with scripter Denny O'Neil's bonafides as one of the people behind the 1980s version of the caped crusader that inspired the film and Ordway's extraordinary ability to render likenesses, the comic is inert and suffers from a complete inability to be compelling on its own. That's something that can't be said about Burton's movie, as scattershot and disorderly as the final product is. Even if you're not a fan of the movie (and I'm not), if it's on a screen, you're going to watch its weirdness unfold — you can't say that about the comic version, no matter how pretty it is.
Rapper Froggy Fresh (formerly known as Krispy Kreme until a certain vendor of fried pastries told him he couldn't do that anymore) has released a music video that should certainly appeal to fans of Power Rangers, Predators getting kicked in the chest, and hip-hop. (In other words, probably the exact sort of person that reads ComicsAlliance.)
In "Street Rangers," Froggy Fresh and his best friend Mike discover a pair of Morphin' Watches and find themselves blessed with the ability to become super sentai sorts. Soon after, they come across a Predator bullying a kid at a playground, as Predators are apt to do when they're not destroying large sections of South American jungle or wreaking havoc in Los Angeles.
With his first two English language releases, What A Wonderful World and Solanin (both published by Viz), Inio Asano had gained a reputation for creating thoughtful slice-of-life stories that earned him the reputation as being the voice of a generation. March saw the debut of the Fantagraphics' edition of Nijigahara Holograph, a book that's as difficult to read as it is stunning to look at. Ostensibly about the repeated sacrifices of a young woman to save the world from apocalypse, the introduction of alternating timelines (with no clear delineation) and mature elements elevates it beyond exploitation, even as it forces the reader into uncomfortable territory that's reminiscent of the work of David Lynch.
Did you like The Incredibles and Flash Gordon? Are you completely unaware of the existence of Grant Morrison's take on English sci-fi icon Dan Dare? Then you are the perfect audience for Starlight, a new Image Comics project by Mark Millar and Goran Parlov that waves its influences in front of your face and hopes that's enough to accomplish what the actual book does not.
Much like their (rightly) acclaimed Judge Dredd comics, IDW's handling of the Star Trek license has managed to exceed reader expectations with high production values and an uncanny ability to tell engaging comics stories within the limitations of a tie-in book. Over the last three years, IDW has shifted the comics focus to tell stories from within the world of J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot team's cinematic Star Trek reboot. With the new status quo firmly established, writer Mike Johnson and a team of artists are going to be taking the Enterprise and her crew into all-new directions, starting with a gender-flipped parallel universe. The two-part "Parallel Lives" debuted last week with Star Trek #29 and gives new readers a chance to take a tour with the finest crew in the fleet while seeing them in an all-new light.
We talked to Johnson and artist Yasmin Liang for more information about their two-part Trek adventure, and got an inside look at the ins-and-outs of how they approach working on a license with such heavy fan expectations.
Back before the VHS tape made it possible to watch the movies you wanted when you wanted (as long as Blockbuster had a copy in stock), movie novelizations and comic book adaptations of films were some of the only options fans had when it came to reliving a movie they wanted on-demand. While the majority of these were rightly viewed as cash-ins that let comics companies float on someone else's success, there were the occasional pieces of work that proved to be something more. For example, Marvel's off-model, six-part Star Wars adaptation proved to be so popular in the summer of 1977 that many credit it for helping the company pull out of a fiscal free-fall, even as it acted as a bog-standard 1970s Marvel book in a lot of ways.
Now that we can watch Magic Mike on our phones any time we want, comic adaptations can seem like a quaint throwback. However, some of them are legitimate pieces of comic history in their own right, providing an alternate look at our favorite films even as they gave a few comic creators the chance to play with the medium in a new way. In this piece, we take a look at five of them, including long lost work by Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Walt Simonson, Kyle Baker and Bill Sienkiewicz and more.
We might be big fans of cosplay on ComicsAlliance, but we're bigger fans of the creators that make the worlds they celebrate possible. We hit Artist's Alley and the (very, very crowded) floor of his year's New York Comic-Con and tried to capture just a few of the talented individuals who had made the trek to the Javits Center.
All photos by Kevin Church. Yes, they're in black and white.
The idea of "noir" generally evokes a certain image in the modern audience: black and white, guns and dames, crimes and lowlifes. Real noir, however, goes deeper, exploring the nooks and crannies of fear and desperation. Crime is a common outlet for this sort of storytelling, but there are as many types of noir as there are genres of fiction.
Obviously noir lends itself to the graphic visual language of comic books, as exemplified in recent years by the the work of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips in titles like Sleeper, Criminal and Fatale, not to mention the classic Sin City work of Frank Miller and Darwyn Cooke's Parker series. Most of us are already intimately acquainted with those creators' distinctive brands of noir, so in this piece we're taking a look at five other titles that might be new to you. All of them cover a few of the noir bases, starting with the type that you're probably most familiar with and ending up on, as most things do at ComicsAlliance, Batman.
The hit film Star Trek Into Darkness is now available (as a digital download; the disc gets released in a couple of weeks), and you can stream the entirety of The Original Series, The Next Generation and more on Netflix and through other services. But what if you want more; what if you want the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk, Mister Spock, Doctor Leonard McCoy and that one redshirt who’s probably going to die before the cold open is over in your favorite four-color format?
The core storytelling element of Star Trek -- a group of heroes in brightly-colored costumes battle thinly-veiled analogues of Russia, China and other places while exploring the cosmos and teaching everyone lessons -- seems like it would be perfect for comics. And it is, and there are some good ones out there. Unfortunately, digging through the back-issue bins and the spotty collections that are available can be challenging, and that’s why I’m here to help you out with this navigation guide to 45 years of Star Trek comics.