Brianne Drouhard's Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld animation shorts are easily one of our favorite DC Comics media projects of the past few years. The serial is exciting, it's got great action, and it's an incredibly interesting spin on Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Ernie Colon's original idea, sending Amy Winston into a video game fantasy world where she has to level up and fight the bad guys to get home. And it's also an incredibly beautiful series.
The character and monster designs are fantastic, but the backgrounds are breathtaking, which is why I was excited to see that background painter Mari Hosaka had posted a bunch of them at her Tumblr. Check 'em out below to take a trip through Gemworld's forests, volcanoes and caves -- and, if you're me, get frustrated that you can't actually take a vacation there.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Longtime ComicsAlliance fave Marguerite Sauvage had already established herself as a fashion and commercial illustrator with work for companies as varied as Marie Claire, Playstation, and Louis Vuitton, not to mention animation art and writing and drawing comics for the French market. It was only recently that Sauvage made waves in the US with her celebrated work in Sensation Comics, where she reimagined Wonder Woman as a contemporary feminist rock star. Just this week, Sauvage was announced as the artist of a new Thor story to be written by Lumberjanes co-creator Noelle Stevenson.
Years after her rebooted New 52 series debuted, the Bat Signal illuminates the iconic hero Batgirl more brightly than ever before in a retooled title written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, drawn by Babs Tarr (from layouts by Stewart) and colored by Maris Wicks. A stark, dramatic departure from the decidedly dour tone of previous issue, the new book introduced Barbara Gordon's new life in the newly created and decidedly hip Burnside neighborhood of Gotham, where she makes time for crime fighting in between her graduate studies and hanging out with her new supporting cast. Vividly youthful, funny, cute, action-packed and even sexy, the new Batgirl of Burnside sparked interest amongst existing fans, lapsed Batgirl readers and curious newbies (and inspired criticism from people who just hate fun). Crucially, cosplayers immediately started replicating Barbara's new self-designed Bat-digs while the Batgirl of Burnside Tumblr debuted with daily boosts of fan art inspired by the hero's new look.
With the new run's inaugural issue, Batgirl #35, flying off the shelves and Batgirl of Burnside cosplayers running, jumping and otherwise posing all around the Javitz Convention Center, Barbara Gordon was the It Girl of last month's New York Comic Con, where we sat down with the series creators to talk about fashion, boys, and Batgirl's new villains, the Jawbreakers -- a gang of cosplaying bikers making their debut in this week's issue #36.
With six decades of work under his belt, Russ Heath is arguably one of the most important creators in comics. It was his art that was, to put it charitably, "adapted" by Roy Lichtenstein for the pop art pieces that made him famous. Of course, as is unfortunately so often the case for hard-working creators in comics, while Lichtenstein made millions lightboxing panels Heath had drawn in the pages of DC's romance and war comics, Heath himself never saw a dime, despite continuing a career that saw him become one of the most respected elder statesmen of the industry.
Now, at the age of 84, Heath has written and drawn a short comic (with colors and lettering by Darwyn Cooke) about his experience not only with Lichtenstein, but with the Hero Initiative and how they've helped his life as well.
Seems like every few months we get teased with the possibility of sequels to beloved films -- stuff like 'Hellboy 3' or a new 'Blade Runner.' While some of these films may or may not ever happen, a new art exhibit explores the idea of sequels that will probably never exist, including sequels to 'Fight Club' and 'The Rocketeer.' Sure, franchise fatigue is real and it's a problem, but this artwork sure does make these sequels seem mighty attractive.
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.
I'm going to be honest with you, folks: I only made it about eight episodes into Breaking Bad before I had to tap out. It's not that it wasn't good, you understand, but man, it was just too intense. I was watching that thing at the gym and by the time Jesse was trying to dissolve that body in the bathtub instead of just buying a damn plastic tub, I felt like my heart was going to explode. It was not a show for me.
But that doesn't mean that I can't recognize when someone's doing something pretty awesome with it, which brought me to Dennis Culver and the poster he made featuring 55 characters from the series.
At this point, I'm starting to think that IDW Publishing's line of Artist's Edition hardcovers are a sinister plot to separate me from my money as efficiently as possible, but that might just be because of how beautifully they're produced. In case you're unfamiliar with the format, the basic idea is that they reprint the art of some of the best and most historically important comics of all time using high resolution scans of the original penciled and inked pages to reproduce what it's like to read the original art, which is often much larger than the published comics, and they are gorgeous.
In the past, they've done Artist's Editions for comics like Walter Simonson's Thor and Frank Miller's Daredevil, but the one that got my instant purchase was the massive 11" x 17" reproduction of New Gods. Now, the publisher announced that they're following it up with another piece of the Fourth World saga: Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle, reprinting seven complete issues of Kirby's masterpiece of action and escape artistry.
If you're following any comic book artists on Twitter or Tumblr, then there's a pretty good chance that you saw the word "Inktober" pop up an awful lot over the past four weeks. Created by artist Jake Parker in 2009, it's a month-long exercise in getting better at working with ink (as opposed to just pencils) by producing a piece of art every day for all 31 days of October. And it's also exactly the kind of thing that we love to see here at ComicsAlliance.
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
Fear, passion, beauty, love, and monsters. There's a feast of wonders in the best of October's comic book covers, with exceptional work from Becky Cloonan, Jorge Molina, Megan Hutchison, Kyla Vanderklugt and more -- taking us to some extraordinary places, and showing us some incredible sights.
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