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Best Art Ever (This Week): Blade Runner, Batman ’66, James Bond, Spider-Gwen, Bojack Horseman And More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Sketchbook Spotlight: Declan Shalvey’s NYCC 2014 Commissions

Art by Declan Shalvey, via twitter

Around here, New York Comic-Con marks the end of convention season, capping off a long summer of announcements, reveals, and other assorted fun. As such, it's also one of the last big places for fans to get amazing sketches and commission pieces from artists, who tend to cap off the season with some truly amazing art.

For Declan Shalvey, producing amazing art is pretty much just a standard operating procedure. Books like Moon Knight, Deadpool and Venom have shown fans how great he is at sequential art, but the sketches he produced at cons are every bit as next-level as his pages. Seriously: There's a Batman he drew that is one of the best Batman sketches I've ever seen. Check out our favorites, gathered from Shalvey's Twitter feed, and then visit his website to see more beautiful art and inquire about getting an original piece of your own.

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ComicsAlliance Vs. The DC Comics Monster Cereal Redesigns

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If there's one thing I've learned in a lifetime of reading, selling, making and writing about comics, it's that people who like comic books also tend to have a pretty healthy interest in breakfast foods. That, I assume, is why the people at General Mills decided to spice up their annual revival of the Monster Cereals -- Boo Berry, Franken Berry and the immortal Count Chocula -- with a set of redesigns for their principal characters, courtesy of artists Jim Lee, Dave Johnson and Terry and Rachel Dodson. In other words, your breakfast just got a New 52 reboot.

The whole thing is even marketed as a co-production between General Mills and DC, with the former presumably handling the cereal while the latter concentrated on art. Obviously, this means that these cereals are technically an edible DC Comics title, so with Halloween creeping up on us like a restless spirit, I have taken it upon myself to examine the new look for the spoooookiest of breakfast cereals to find out just how these new designs hold up to the originals.

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Sketchbook Spotlight: Marcio Takara’s New York Comic-Con Commissions

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For most people New York Comic-Con marks the end of convention season, capping off a long summer of announcements, reveals, and other assorted fun. As such, it's also one of the last big places for fans to get amazing sketches and commission pieces from artists, who tend to cap off the season with some truly amazing art.

Marcio Takara may be best known to long-time readers for his extraordinary "tiny characters" series, or for his work on Captain Marvel, Smallville, and the Kickstarter-supported original graphic novel Earthward with writer Bryan Q. Miller. He's also one of the hardest working artists you'll find in any Artists' Alley at convention season, and New York was no exception; his commissions include Captain Marvel, Rocket Raccoon, and a very striking Illyana.

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Sketchbook Spotlight: Kris Anka’s New York Comic-Con Commissions

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Around here, New York Comic-Con marks the end of convention season, capping off a long summer of announcements, reveals, and other assorted fun. As such, it's also one of the last big places for fans to get amazing sketches and commission pieces from artists, who tend to cap off the season with some truly amazing art.

Case in point: Kris Anka. You may know him as the artist of Marvel's All New X-Factor or Uncanny X-Force, but this weekend, he busted out the pencils to create some fantastic pieces of art, taking on characters like Star-Lord, Kitty Pryde, and even everyone's favorite irredeemable scumbag, Gambit. Check out a few of our favorite picks from his NYCC commissions below!

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Amazing James Jean Artwork Inspires Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toys From Good Smile [NYCC]

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I hold my hands up: I've whinged and moaned before about comics sites covering toy news, and here I am doing the very thing (I have nothing against toys/figures/collectibles; I'm just a bit of a snooty purist). Anyway, the news of Japanese 'hobby products' company, Good Smile, teaming up with Nickelodeon to create new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures based on James Jean's illustrations, was simply too good to pass up. The validity of this statement can be gleaned by glancing at the image above. The four individual large-scale models, which will roll out separately beginning with the releases of Leonardo this November, will also have the capacity to combine, creating one huge diorama.The remaining three statues will receive a staggered release over the course of 2015.

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A Belated Birthday Celebration Of The Great Ramona Fradon

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Ramona Fradon is one of the great living legends of comics, a creator with an instantly recognizable style who has worked on some of DC Comics' best-loved series -- and co-created a few classic characters along the way. Her crisp, lyrical line has elevated every book she's touched over her six-and-a-half decades in the business, and her work continues to influence and inspire creators to this day.

Fradon graduated from Parsons School Of Design in 1950, and began working at DC almost immediately, pencilling the Shining Knight backup story in Adventure Comics #165 – and when that feature was replaced by Aquaman two issues later, Fradon found her first signature character.

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20 Awesome Covers From Classic ‘Shonen Jump’

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It's no exaggeration to say that Shonen Jump is one of the cornerstones of manga. Since it started in 1968, the weekly anthology has given rise to some of the biggest titles in manga history, including One Piece, Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and more -- and, judging by the covers, an awful lot of stories about baseball.

And I know that, because I just spent a good amount of time browsing an incredible Flickr gallery from Sao Paolo, Brazil's Kami Sama Explorer Museum, where they've collected a massive amount of covers from Shonen Jump's 46-year history, going from the first issue in July of 1968 all the way up to 2009. It's fantastic to see them lined up next to each other, because you can see the evolution of some of the most dominant styles in manga as you browse through, but there are also a lot of really great individual covers. So before you head over and take a look at the full gallery, check out 20 of my favorites below!

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‘Akira’ Creator Katsuhiro Otomo Designs Gigantic Ceramic Mural

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As one of many thousands of people who keep a vigilant eye out for anything Katushiro Otomo -- author of the seminal Akira, Domu, Memories, and more -- does, it's always interesting to see what projects he does choose to become involved in. I loved the collaborative illustration catalogues he did with Japanese fashion house Comme des Garcons and British comic publishers, Nobrow, although that was mostly with the use of older images, and then there was that amazing Astro Boy cover he produced for an anime magazine, but Otomo is generally known for carefully selecting his work, often with gaps of years before something news of something new crops up.

And it looks like he's decided to go big for his next piece: 258 square feet big. Due for completion in March 2015, Otomo's currently working on a vast, as of yet untitled, ceramic mural that will be displayed in the lobby of the terminal building of Japan's Sendai Airport.

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Filed Under: Category: Art, News

Marguerite Sauvage’s Wonder Woman And The Slowly Changing Face Of Comic Book Fashion

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For the most part, mainstream comics don’t care about fashion. But sometimes, something sneaks through and reminds us all of why this matters. Sensation Comics #7, illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage from a script by Sean E. Williams, is that rare, trembling shaft of light into the dank, Dragon Ball Z-print-button-downed basement that is the state of fashion in comics.

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