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.
Patrick A. Reed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Real Life tells the story of Anda, a young girl who discovers that video games aren't always an escape from the problems of everyday life. Immersed in the fictional world of massive multiplayer roleplaying game Coarsegold Online, she learns that her life inside the game can influence and shape her life outside it, and vice versa.
Published by First Second in October, In Real Life is adapted by Jen Wang from a 2004 short story by Cory Doctorow. ComicsAlliance recently sat down with Doctorow to discuss the feeling of seeing his work adapted to comic form, the ever-shrinking divide between virtual and real worlds, and the unconscious elements of design and storytelling.
Next month Boom Studios releases the first issue of Escape From New York, the latest title from the publisher to present a sequel to one of John Carpenter's cult-classic '80s movies -- following on the heels of the popular Big Trouble In Little China series.
The publisher has hand-picked an excellent creative team to follow in the film's footsteps and put Snake Plissken through his post-apocalyptic paces, in the form of Eisner-nominated High Crimes writer Christopher Sebela and acclaimed Irredeemable artist Diego Barreto. ComicsAlliance spoke to Sebela about his plans for the book, his affinity for the source material, and the experience of adapting such a well-loved property to the comics medium.
Kenny Keil is one of our long-time favorite artists here at ComicsAlliance. He first grabbed our attention a few years ago, when he published a series of drawings mashing up superheroes and classic Hip-Hop album covers to incredible effect, and since then, he's gone on to co-create and illustrate the all-ages sci-fi/rap comic Rhyme Travelers, provided the art for Big Boi's Mash-Up Mondays series of releases, become one of Mad Magazine's "Usual Gang Of Idiots", and been a regular contributor to our series of "Celebrating Comics History" posts.
And recently, he's once again melded the iconography of music and comics in creative and unusual fashion, and begun to release a new series of images that casts comic and cartoon characters in a giant dance-off, taking famous moves and routines and pairing them with appropriate heroes and villains (with plenty of in-jokes along the way for continuity and pop music fans) – some are single panels, some are sequential, some are delivered in animated gif form for maximum comedic effect, and all are wildly entertaining. The full ongoing series can be viewed on Keil's tumblr, but we've decided to showcase a few of our favorites, and provide some annotations for good measure!
All Hallow's Eve. Halloween. The Day Of The Dead. Samhain. No matter what name one uses to refer to it, October 31 is the craziest, spookiest, creepy-crawliest evening of the year – a night of costumes, trick-or-treating, ghosts, goblins, monster movie marathons, and of course, comic books!
So today, we've reached out to some of our favorite modern-day creators to ask for their takes on the scary comics that they found inspiring, and to get their riffs on the critters and characters that have influenced their work. Happy Halloween!