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The Comics Alliance Collection: Cool Stuff We (And You) Got This Week

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The ComicsAlliance staff is a diverse lineup writers, editors, artists, photographers and designers, but before we’re any of those things we’re simply fans. Appreciators. Collectors. Almost every day we share with each other via Instagram all the great books, toys, artwork, apparel, and other beautiful and/or inescapably cool objects we collect almost ceaselessly in comics stores, at conventions, and from all kinds of sources all over North America (and sometimes beyond). Displaying (i.e. showing off) some rad swag typically inspires everyone to one-up their pop-archeologist game in the never ending quest to find awesome stuff, and simply posting the week’s new comics usually causes someone to discover a new title or artist, which in turn inspires a whole new line of excavation.

In the past we’ve published photos of our “con hauls” here on CA and the resulting discussion with readers — i.e. collector kudos — has always been fun, so with the ComicsAlliance Collection we’re going to do it every week. But more importantly, we want to see your collection too. Show us new additions to your collections by using the hashtag #CAcollection on Instagram or tag us @ComicsAlliance and we’ll embed the best stuff alongside our own recent acquisitions.

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Darren Rawlings Imagines Pop Culture’s Most Famous Vehicles As Transformers

Art by Darren Rawlings, rawlsy.deviantart.com

If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for a while, you may already know that I'm not really a big fan of the Transformers. It's nothing specific against them, you understand, they just never clicked with me. I think part of the problem is that, as with so many things,they're just not Batman.

Fortunately, that is a problem that has now been solved. In a series of pretty fantastic pieces of art, Darren Rawlings has taken some of our favorite vehicles from comics, movies and TV, from the Batmobile to the ECTO-1 to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Party Wagon, and imagined what they'd be like if they were Transformers. It's a pretty simple pop culture mashup, but it's also really awesome. Check out the best below!

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Sean Dove Kickstarts James Bond-Inspired ‘Last Days Of Danger’ Art Book

Goldfinger by Sean Dove

I've been getting back into James Bond movies pretty heavily over the past few months, but my interest in the world's most famous spy is clearly small change compared to Sean Dove. In December, Dove took on a project called "#Decembond," where he drew a piece of art inspired by all 23 James Bond movies. Now, he's collecting them all in a hardcover called Last Days of Danger and using Kickstarter to fund the printing.

At 56 pages, the book not only includes the art, but also commentary for each film based on Dove's experience watching them for the project, but really, that's just icing on the cake. The art alone is worth the price of admission.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Fatale, Lana Del Rey, Iron Giant, Lobo, Audrey Hepburn 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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The ROM Remix Project Recreates ‘ROM: Spaceknight’ #1 To Raise Funds For Bill Mantlo

ROM Remix art by Super Ugly

ROM: Spaceknight is unquestionably one of my all-time favorite comics. Part of that is just because of how weird it is -- a licensed toy tie-in launched before G.I. Joe and Transformers for a line of action figures that only included exactly one toy that fleshed things out by dropping him straight into the Marvel Universe and ended up running for 75 issues, plus annuals -- but really, it's more because it was really good. Writer Bill Mantlo managed to take the bare minimum of source material and build something that was operatic and compelling, on par with anything else of the era.

Tragically, Mantlo -- also the co-creator of Rocket Raccoon -- was struck by a hit-and-run driver in 1992 and suffered a traumatic brain injury, bringing his comics writing career to a close and leaving him in need of constant care. There's been a surge of awareness about him lately, and the the latest is coming from Rob Harrington, whose ROM Remix Project has seen 20 artists re-creating the entirety of ROM #1 in an effort to lead more people to Mantlo and raise money for his ongoing care.

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Hire This Woman: Cartoonist Lucy Knisley

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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.”

Cartoonist Lucy Knisley attended both the Art Institute of Chicago and the Center for Cartoon Studies. She's written two graphic novels, French Milk and Relish, the latter of which was a New York Times bestseller. She's also worked for many comics publishers including Boom! and Marvel.

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Archie Comics Releases All-Star Series of Variant Covers, Weirdly They’re To Commemorate Archie Andrews’ Death

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What is assuredly the weirdest sentence I'll have written in all my years at this website: Archie Andrews will heroically sacrifice his life to save that of a deae friend in the penultimate issue of Life With Archie in July

Written by Paul Kupperberg with art by Pat & Tim Kennedy and Fernando Ruiz, Life With Archie #36 will depict the title character's death and come with a plethora of variant covers by some of our favorite artists like Francesco Francavilla, Fiona Staples, Ramón Pérez, Walt Simonson, Jill Thompson, Mike Allred, Cliff Chiang, Adam Hughes, Tommy Lee Edwards and Alex Ross.

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Kai-Xiang Xhong’s Life-Sized Cardboard Iron Man Suit Is Corrugated Awesomeness [Art]

Kai-Xiang Xhong's cardboard sculptures

So you know Stan Winston, the Academy Award-winning special effects designer who worked on Terminator, Predator, Jurassic Park and Iron Man? Well, it turns out that he founded a school, and if that list of movies wasn't enough to make you think you could probably learn a thing from it, then they now have the best possible advertisement they could ask for in Kai-Xiang Xhong, who builta life-sized, wearable suit of cardboard Iron Man armor and earned himself the nickname "The Taiwanese Tony Stark."

The suit -- which, fortunately, did not involve Xhong being kidnapped and held for ransom by terrorists allied with the Ten Cardboard Rings faction -- is just the tip of the iceberg for his creations. Check below for more, including Optimus Prime, lifelike animals and an amazing dragon that was his first-ever cardboard sculpture!

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Comics Alliance Podcast 105: Emerald City Comicon Wrap Up

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Welcome back to the ComicsAlliance Podcast, covering the latest comic book entertainment culture, news, humor and commentary. This week, Senior Editors Andy Khouri and Caleb Goellner and Senior Writer Chris Sims share their impressions of this year's Emerald City Comicon and discuss in-depth what distinguishes the fabulous Seattle, Washington show from other conventions of note.

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Josh Cooley Transforms R-Rated Movies Into Highly Inappropriate Children’s Books [Art]

Art by Josh Cooley, http://cooleycooley.blogspot.com

Listen, I'm going to be real with you for a second: I love 1980s action movies more than I love most members of my own family. I mean, hell, if we're talking about Die Hard, I love that movie more than I love pretty much every member of my own family (sorry mom). So when I saw Josh Cooley's series of illustrations where he turns movies like Die Hard, Predator and Road Warrior into Golden Books style storybook pages, my first thought was utter delight.

Well, no, that's a lie. My first thought was "Where's Commando?" but then came the delight, I assure you. Check out a few of our favorites below!

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