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Best Comic Books Ever (This Week): New Releases For June 24 2015

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The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.

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Michael Keaton to Star in and Produce ‘Imagine Agents’ Comic Book Adaptation

Christopher Polk, Getty Images / Boom! Studios
Christopher Polk, Getty Images / Boom! Studios

Although his most recent film offered a cynical critique of comic book films, Michael Keaton’s next project finds him re-entering the realm of comic book movies. Imagine Agents isn’t your typical comic book film, though, and Keaton will not be wearing a cape or cowl. He will, however, have some imaginary friends.

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Trick or Treat Yo’ Self: Free Comics Revealed for 4th Annual Halloween ComicFest

Photo from Halloween ComicFest 2014 At Collector's Corner
Photo from Halloween ComicFest 2014 At Collector's Corner

For the fourth year in a row, Diamond is holding their Halloween ComicFest, where comic shops will have special Halloween-related events and offer a bunch of free comics. Basically, it's like a Halloween-themed Free Comic Book Day, which seems like a fun deal all around. Plus, some shops will be selling mini-comic packs of 25 comics that people can give out to trick-or-treaters! There are 21 free comics available this year, and you can check them all out below!

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Marketing to the #comicsmarket: How to Avoid Hashtag Hazards

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Hashtags. They’re a necessity for marketing on social media, but for corporations, their use is a path dotted with pitfalls. In the democratic environment of Twitter, users are sensitive to being manipulated and pandered to for corporate gain, and a “hashtag fail” can result in viral public embarrassment for a company. This is particularly unstable ground for comics publishers, since comics readers have long formed strong online communities and are particularly savvy to corporate attempts to infiltrate those spaces.

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Familiar Villains, Intriguing Heroes in Waid and Jones’s ‘Strange Fruit’ #1

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Period piece comics can be precarious if not handled with care, but when done properly they make for inventive narratives drawing from a rich historical backdrop. Enter Strange Fruit, the upcoming Boom Studios series from the heavyweight creative team of J.G Jones and Mark Waid. Set in the fictional town of Chatterlee, Mississippi, issue #1 of Strange Fruit begins with the arrival of the Mississippi Flood of 1927, one of the most destructive natural disasters in US history. Heralding a much more significant anomaly, the flood plays as a secondary plot device to brewing racial and classist tensions in what appears to be a former plantation town.

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Exclusive Preview: College Shenanigans in ‘Giant Days #4′

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Giant Days #4 comes out this week, and it looks to be another hilarious issue of the entertaining series about college friends. One of the gang turns 18, and that means it's time for a party... but with less drinking than you would think, given that they live in England. Plus, hilarity over zine bootlegs! Writer/creator John Allison and artist Lissa Treiman look like they've really hit their stride together. Check out ComicsAlliance's exclusive preview!

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For Second Year In A Row, Female Readers Are A Growing Market

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Publishers Weekly released findings from their comics retailer survey last week, and once more all signs point to growth, particularly in regards to female readers. This is great news not just for people who care about representation in comics, but for people who care about the health of the comics industry. An influx of younger readers of any gender is what the comics industry needs so that publishers can engage them and keep them reading for years to come. It seems like a wide variety of publishers are getting this job done.

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Illustrator Ryan Lang Makes His Comics Debut in ‘Legends Of The Guard’

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Earlier this week we ran an exclusive preview of Legends of the Guard #4, the final installment of the latest collection of short stories told by amazing creators in the world of David Petersen's Mouse Guard. One of the standouts among the many stories told through the three volumes of the anthology is Ryan Lang's "The Watcher's Stone," a moving and inventive ten-page story.

Lang is completely new to comics, but he's an accomplished freelance illustrator and animator whose credits include work on last year's Disney animated movie Big Hero 6. ComicsAlliance spoke briefly to Lang about his artistic process and how he came to Legends of the Guard.

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Exclusive: Tyson Hesse Take to the Skies with ‘Diesel’ [Interview]

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Boom Box, the imprint from Boom Studios that encourages creators to let loose with their wildest ideas, has been on an incredible roll recently. New comics from artists and writers like Noelle Stevenson, John Allison, Ryan North, and Jake Lawrence have seen the imprint go from strength to strength, in many cases taking some of the best webcomics talents out there and bringing them into print. That streak looks set to continue, as ComicsAlliance can exclusively announce that webcomic creator Tyson Hesse will brings his series Diesel to Boom for a four-issue miniseries in September.

The story of a young girl and her airship, the series follows Dee Diesel in a coming-of-age story set high up in the skies. The daughter of a world-famous pilot, she's grounded when her greatest rival takes her father's airships and zips off into the clouds. All seems lost until, from nowhere, a mysterious new ship crashes down in front of her and offers her the chance to fly. It's a beautiful, brilliant story, and ComicsAlliance got to speak to Hesse about how it got off the ground.

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Becky Cloonan, Ryan Lang and Aaron Conley Tell the Final ‘Legends of the Guard’ [Preview]

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Sad news; the third volume of Boom Studios/Archaia's Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard comes to an end next week with the fourth of its collections of short stories by some of the most talented artists in the industry, spinning their own mousey tails tales within the world of David Petersen's Mouse Guard.

But good news! The series is going out just as strong as it came in, with new stories illustrated by True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys' Becky Cloonan, Big Hero 6 animator Ryan Lang, and Sabertooth Swordsman's Aaron Conley in stories of ghosts, monsters, and a drunken journey into the belly of the beast. And best news, we have a two-page preview of each story for you to enjoy.

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