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Ziah Grace

Bizarre Adventures In Criticism, Part One: Is ‘Phantom Blood’ Any Good?

jojo-feat

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a hugely popular manga series written and drawn by Hirohiko Araki that began in 1984, following the supernatural adventures of a family line of characters each with names that can be abbreviated to JoJo. Since it began, it's had eight different main characters and a full-on western-comic-style reboot, and it's developed a passionate fanbase and established a unique aesthetic. But is it actually any good?

In a new series of articles looking back over the various iterations of the series, critics Ziah Grace and Claire Napier are going to offer their unvarnished and unapologetic opinions on JoJo's Bizarre Adventures, starting with the initial arc, Phantom Blood.

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A Boy And His Robot Explore A Haunted Castle in Ben Sears’ ‘Night Air’ [Preview]

Sears-feat

Hot off of Ben Sears' runner-up placement in the Best Cartoonist category of our Best Of lists for 2015, Koyama Press has released a four-page preview of his upcoming book Night Air. Following the adventures of a boy and his robot as they investigate a haunted house looking for treasure, it looks like the perfect showcase for Sears' charming style and intriguing character designs.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Previews

A Life In Motion: A Birthday Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

The Wind Rises
The Wind Rises

Today marks the birthday of one of far-and-away the most talented, hard-working animators working in the last century: Hayao Miyazaki. He’s been called the Japanese answer to Walt Disney or Steven Spielberg, but all comparisons aside, Miyazaki's work is unmistakably his own.

Miyazaki’s art shows clear, fluid motions, with an emphasis on emotions and expressiveness, and lush, evocative backgrounds. He’s probably best known to American audiences for his work on the films Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, but his longest serialized work is the manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

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‘Silk’ #1 Remembers The Past While Looking Towards The Future [Review]

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Silk, the wall-crawling hero with slightly less baggage than the other spider-people in the Marvel Universe, gets a new #1 this week in the relaunch (that's really a continutation) of her solo series. It's a first issue that finds its strongest and weakest moments in how it handles the status quo.

Marvel has done a great job in recent years of finding excellent artists whose styles wouldn't normally fit in a Big Two superhero book, and Stacey Lee's art on Silk is no exception. Her art has a gentle roundness to it, with a natural sense of animation, and strong character designs. Lee stuffs her panels with character details that round out the characters presented without needlessly distracting the eye.

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It’s Dumb and Tickles Our Funny Bones: John Layman on the Home Stretch for ‘Chew’ [Interview]

Art by Rob Guillory.
Art by Rob Guillory.

For five years, Chew has been one of the most funniest, most surprising comic books on the stands. Rob Guillory and John Layman's series about a police officer who gets a psychic impression from anything he eats --- and the bizarre supporting cast that surrounds him --- has introduced readers to everything from government conspiracies to cybernetic killer roosters.

With the recent release of the 51st issue, Chew is closing in on its big issue #60 finale --- so ComicsAlliance took the opportunity to sit down with John Layman to discuss his plotting for the series, how he balances comedic highs with tragic lows, and how a chicken became the breakout star of the book.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Image, Interviews

Art of Color: Muntsa Vicente’s Vibrant Visions

ArtofColor-MuntsaVicente

Comics coloring has come a long way since the "four-color" process of yesteryear. As printing and technological innovations allow for greater artistic improvisation, colorists today are blessed with a wider palette, easier research, and the (deserved) recognition that they're an equal part of an artistic team.

Muntsa Vicente is one of the few colorists working in comics today who's able to evoke the limited color schemes of those old comics, without letting her own style be subsumed.

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Art of Color: Javier Rodriguez, Color Chameleon

artofcolor-rodriguez

Javier Rodriguez's coloring work first came to my attention during his work on Daredevil, alongside Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera. It's interesting that a comic starring a blind superhero should have such vibrant, noticeable colors, but Rodriguez's work refuses to be ignored.

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Art of Color: Reinvention Through Limitation With Cris Peter’s ‘Casanova’ Colors

ArtofColor-Peter

The purpose of this Art of Color series is twofold: to highlight some of the best colorists working in comics, and to explain what it is about these artists' work that makes their comics better. With Cris Peter's work in Casanova: Luxuria, we have someone who perfectly exemplifies both criteria.

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Art of Color: The Infinite Horizons of Sloane Leong

ArtofColor-Sloane-Leong

Comics coloring is one of the most unappreciated aspects of the medium, despite enhancing the thematic subtext of a work and just making it look better. In this series I’m going to shine a spotlight on some of the best and most interesting colorists in comics.

Sloane Leong colors horizons better than any other colorist in comics. Any artist worth her salt knows that you can't just plop down a single color for the sky and sit with your feet back, but Leong has a particular knack for punctuating the emotions of a scene with a unique gradient.

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Art of Color: The Dazzling Palettes of Rico Renzi

ArtofColor RicoRenzi

Comics coloring is one of the most unappreciated aspects of the medium, despite enhancing the thematic subtext of a work and just making it look better. In this series I'm going to shine a spotlight on some of the best and most interesting colorists in comics.

Rico Renzi is one of the most recognizable colorists in the business. Whether he's working on Marvel comics like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, She-Hulk, and Howard the Duck, or a Vertigo title like FBP, it's easy to spot a Renzi-colored comic. Renzi always employs a striking color palette. His backgrounds and spot colors take advantage of the fact that comics don't always need to be realistic. While Marvel and DC comics are often colored in a more orthodox style, Renzi employs bold contrasts even there.

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