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Patrick A. Reed

‘Andre The Giant’ Cartoonist Box Brown Talks Wrestling, Fact-Checking, And Adapting Real Life For Comics

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Earlier this year, First Second released Box Brown's Andre The Giant: Life And Legend – a graphic novel biography of the wrestling legend that immediately jumped onto the New York Times bestseller list, and has been met with great acclaim from wrestling fans and comics critics alike. Our own Chris Sims described the book thusly:

"It shows Andre as a person. Not the giant with a dubious fifteen-year undefeated streak, not as the monster who was bodyslammed by Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III, not as the absent father that was put on blast by A Current Affair shortly before his death, and not even as the drinker and prankster behind the scenes in the world of wrestling. It shows him as all of those, as a person whose life was larger than everyone’s, but whose flaws were no bigger or smaller than anyone else’s. It makes the Giant relatable without ever undermining him. There’s a love in this book, but there’s an honesty, too, and it comes through in every scene..."

Recently, we got the chance to sit down and speak with Brown about the culture of professional wrestling, his artistic approach to comics, and how he went about adapting Andre's outsized life for a graphic novel.

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I Wanted This To Be Dangerous: Black Mask’s Matt Pizzolo Talks ‘Godkiller’ And Pushing The Limits Of Comics [Interview]

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Since co-founding Black Mask Studios with 30 Days Of Night writer Steve Niles and Epitaph Records owner (and legendary punk musician) Brett Gurewitz in 2012, Matt Pizzolo has established the company as a home for all manner of genre-busting, boundary-pushing comic books – their initial slate included the all-star Occupy Comics project, Darick Robertson and Adam Mortimer's hyper-violent sci-fi series Ballistic, Matt Miner's animal-liberation vigilante yarn Liberator, and Matthew Rosenberg and Ghostface Killah's 12 Reasons To Die.

Black Mask is now in the process of launching their second wave of titles, and first out the gate is Pizzolo's return to the role of comic creator, collaborating with artist Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk on a new incarnation of his dystopian multi-media Godkiller project. Upon its release last month, Godkiller: Walk Among Us #1 became Black Mask's first ever title to go to a second-printing, and with #2 hitting comic shop shelves this week, we sat down to talk to Pizzolo about the inspirations for the series, his collaborative process, and his vision for Black Mask as a creative and commercial endeavor.

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‘Zita The Spacegirl’ Creator Ben Hatke On Writing For Young Readers (And Not Boring Their Parents) [Interview]

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Writer/artist Ben Hatke caught the attention of readers with his Zita The Spacegirl series, a trio of YA graphic novels from First Second that tell the story of an average earth girl who tries to save her best friend from an alien invasion -- and in the process becomes a spacefaring superhero. His latest project, Julia's House For Lost Creatures, is a picture book featuring a strange young girl who opens her home to goblins, faeries, mermaids, and all manner of fantastical monsters. ComicsAlliance sat down with him to discuss his approach to storytelling, and his upcoming projects.

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Behind The Scenes Of Ghostface Killah’s New Album & Comic ’36 Seasons’ With Writer Matthew Rosenberg [Interview]

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Earlier this month, Ghostface Killah announced the release of 36 Seasons, an ambitious new album on Salvation/Tommy Boy Records which is accompanied by an exclusive 20-page comic booklet that features work by top-tier artists. The disc's storyline and packaging are the brainchild of Matthew Rosenberg, a comic creator who worked with Ghostface on last year's 12 Reasons To Die limited series from Black Mask Studios. We recently got a few minutes to speak with Rosenberg about his work on the record, the artists he sought to contribute, and his experience straddling the line between the music and comic industries – and we're excited to premiere a trio of illustrations from the project by Michael Walsh, Palle Schmidt, and Chris Pyrate, as well as showcasing some roughs and behind-the scenes material.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Deluxe Edition Comics And Art Books

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If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you have a great affection for deluxe edition books that offer historical overviews of various pop culture topics, reprint the great works of the comics medium, and/or collect classic storylines (and supplement them with all kinds of bonus material)… And with the gift-giving season now in full swing, you're likely looking for the perfect gifts for your follow geeks (or possibly, wanting to give your relations some suggestions for things you'd like this year, in lieu of another ill-fitting sweater). So as a public service, we've compiled this list of some of the best expensive, large, and mind-blowingly ornate titles that you can find at your local comic shop or from online booksellers.

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If The Joker Isn’t Weird Enough, Check Out ‘Gotham By Midnight’: An Interview With Writer Ray Fawkes

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On November 26th, DC releases the first issue of Gotham By Midnight, a new series by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith that blends black magic and police procedurals, and exposes the supernatural shenanigans that go on below the surface of Batman's hometown. Along with recent successes Gotham Academy, Arkham Manor, and the newly-revamped Batgirl, the book is part of a substantial overhaul and expansion of DC's Bat-family of titles under editor Mark Doyle.

ComicsAlliance sat down with writer Ray Fawkes to get some insight on what he and Templesmith have planned for Detective Jim Corrigan -- who longtime DC fans know is the original host of the vengeance of God, the Spectre -- and his shadowy squad of GCPD operatives.

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You Are Now Leaving Paradise Island: Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang Discuss Their Epic ‘Wonder Woman’ Work [Interview]

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Azzarello and Chiang's Wonder Woman has been praised for putting forth an epic, cohesive and narratively self-contained superhero drama with flourishes of the urban fantasy that once defined DC's Vertigo imprint, but has also been criticized for the changes it made to Wonder Woman's core myth. What's not in dispute is that the pair have created the most memorable and talked about Wonder Woman story in years -- maybe in decades -- and to mark the conclusion of their work, we caught up with Chiang and Azzarello to look back at their run and talk about their novel take on the feminist icon.

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Ann Nocenti And Trevor McCarthy Stake Out Their Dark Corner Of The DCU In ‘Klarion’ [Interview]

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In October, DC launched Klarion, Ann Nocenti and Trevor McCarthy's new series re-imagining Jack Kirby's cult-favorite "witch boy". Klarion, in this incarnation, is a magical being from a parallel earth who lands in New York City and proceeds to act in the manner one might expect from a hyper-powered juvenile with a taste for chaos.

Nocenti and McCarthy have big plans for their strange little boy. CpmicsAlliance caught up with the creative team at New York Comic-Con to talk about decoding Kirby, planting secret messages in art, and letting the character lead the weirdness.

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Joe Keatinge And Leila Del Duca Talk Fantasy, Character & Inspiration In ‘Shutter’ [Interview]

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Since the first issue hit stands earlier this year, Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca's Shutter has established itself as one of Image's most popular new titles. The tale of Kate Kristopher, a world-famous ex-explorer who gets embroiled in all manner of mystery and adventure, it's been winning over readers with its idiosyncratic blend of science fiction, urban fantasy, and good old-fashioned derring do.

With the first paperback collection released this week, ComicsAlliance sat down with the series' creators to talk about developing the world's characters, the story so far, and pushing the limits of their self-created reality.

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Educating By Entertaining: The Success Of ‘Adventures In Cartooning’ With Co-Creator Andrew Arnold [Interview]

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Over the last few years, First Second's Adventures In Cartooning books have become something of a sensation. Created by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost, the at once entertaining, educational and even hilarious series follows the deeds of a magical cartooning elf and a knight as they help a princess to literally draw her way out of an encounter with a dragon and other harrowing scenarios; help Santa Claus inspire kids to trade their video games for books; assist an eccentric director in making a crazy movie; and go camping. Their blend of humor and clarity, welded to straightforward lessons on storytelling techniques, have met with acclaim from librarians and educators, and have inspired a generation of kids to start making their own comics with the drawing lessons and other activities built into the narratives.
We spoke to AIC co-creator Andrew Arnold about how he and his collaborators achieve the series' signature mix of smart, silly, and scholarly.

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