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Patrick A. Reed

Comics, Prose, And Virtual Realities: Cory Doctorow Discusses ‘In Real Life’ [Interview]

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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.

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Return To ‘Escape From New York’: Christopher Sebela Revives A Cult Classic [Interview]

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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.

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One Multiverse Under A Groove: Kenny Keil Draws Superheroes’ Favorite Dance Crazes

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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!

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Comics Creators Celebrate Their Halloween Favorites With Spooky Tributes

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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!

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‘Don Heck: A Work Of Art’ Retrospective Shines New Light On The Silver Age Great

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Don Heck is something of an odd man out when it comes to comics history. He was one of the architects of the Marvel Universe, co-creating Iron Man, Hawkeye, and other famous characters; he was held in high esteem by his peers – yet he's rarely mentioned in the same breath as Romita, Ditko, Kirby, Buscema, Ayers, and other Silver Age greats. He was, for many years, the Avengers artist, but often goes unnoticed when fans make their lists of the definitive super-team pencillers. He defined the down-to-earth qualities of Marvel while his contemporaries were pushing toward the cosmos, rooting his characters in reality as others pushed the boundaries of possibility. And while that precise mix of magnificent and mundane was what truly defined Marvel, his contributions were nevertheless destined to be overshadowed by the flashier offerings that the rest of the bullpen provided.

The latter day appreciation of Heck's work continues with TwoMorrows' publication of Don Heck: A Work Of Art, is a handsome full-color hardcover recounting the artist's life story. The layout is clean and clear, the printing is up to TwoMorrows' usual high standards, and the selection of art is nothing short of superb – from published pages and panels, to roughs and sketches, to pieces shot directly from Heck's original art, it's all here, and all reproduced beautifully.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Art, DC, Marvel, Opinion, Reviews

‘Shaft’ Comics Writer David Walker On The Character’s History In Media [Interview]

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Next month, the world's most famous fictional Private Dick / Sex Machine / Bad MotherSHUTYOURMOUTH will make his first-ever appearance on comic shop shelves, when Dynamite Entertainment releases the premiere issue of Shaft, by the creative team of David Walker and Bilquis Evely. And while John Shaft is a well known figure to moviegoers and soul music listeners worldwide, this title promises to focus on the rough-and-tumble version of the character that originated in Ernest Tidyman's series of novels. We spoke to series writer Walker about the character's long history in multiple media, and his plans for the comic incarnation.

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An Illustrated Birthday Tribute To The Great Mary Blair, Legendary Walt Disney Artist

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While not a household name to most, Mary Blair's star looms large in the fields of animation, illustration, comics, and character/scenic design. She's an "artist's artist", someone whose designs for Walt Disney reached countless millions -- yet she worked in relative anonymity through most of her lifetime.

Blair's first major assignment for Disney was as supervisor and concept artist for Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, and she went on to produce designs, concepts, and color stylings for many of the studio's best-loved films, including Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice In Wonderland.

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The Deadly Power Of Ideas: James Tynion IV And Eryk Donovan Go In-Depth On ‘Memetic’

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Later this month, BOOM! Studios will release the first issue of Memetic, an oversized-format, three-part limited series by the team of James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, The Woods) and Eryk Donovan (The House In The Wall) with colorist Adam Guzowski that puts a distinctly modern spin on classic apocalyptic fiction formulas. The title is an adjective referring to memes -- self-replicating ideas or entities that start with an individual before spreading to more people and across various media.

The story of Memetic is kicked into motion by the unleashing of the kind of adorable animal image many of us have seen and shared. In this case, it's "Good Times Sloth," and it becomes the most viral piece of internet content in history. Unfortunately, Good Times Sloth turns out to be weaponized meme that leads straight to the end of the human world as we know it.

It's a fascinating and unique concept, and to get a bit more insight, we spoke to Tynion and Donovan about the project's inception from initial idea to finished product.

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Len Wein On Harlan Ellison, Garcia-Lopez And ‘Batman ’66: The Lost Episode’ [Interview]

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On November 19, DC Comics will release Batman '66: The Lost Episode, a bookshelf-format one-shot by writer Len Wein and penciller José Luis Garcia-López -- superhero comics legends, both -- adapting a previously-unknown story that Harlan Ellison wrote for the classic Adam West and Burt Ward TV show: the introduction of Two-Face. The project is a very special companion to DC's popular and critically acclaimed digital-first Batman '66 series. In addition to its prestigious veteran storytellers, the book also features inking by Joe Prado, colors by Alex Sinclair and cover art by Alex Ross, all industry leaders in their disciplines.
At New York Comic Con this past weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Wein and discuss the origin of the project, his friendship with Ellison, and the experience of adapting an unfilmed television episode into the comic book format.

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The Next Chapters For Kate And Clint in Jeff Lemire And Ramón Peréz’s ‘Hawkeye’ [Interview]

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This weekend at New York Comic-Con, Marvel unleashed a host of announcements, revealing new series and projects galore. One of the most fascinating bits of news came out of Sunday's 'Axel-In-Charge' panel, where the Marvel editor-in-chief announced a new ongoing Hawkeye series launching in March 2015, from the creative team of Jeff Lemire and Ramón Peréz.

The book follows hard on the heels of the current critically acclaimed run on the title by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu, and while the new series will continue to focus on the characters of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, Lemire and Perez are determined to tell their own story in their own way. We spoke to the creative team to find out more.

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