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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): June 2014

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A great comic book cover has a lot of work to do. It’s both an advertisement and a work of art; both a statement and an invitation. Sometimes they convey character, sometimes mood, sometimes moment. Sometimes they pastiche the classics or pay tribute to the past; sometimes they strive to show us something entirely new. Always they show us a glimpse of somewhere else 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 month that was.

Bloodbaths, glowing hands, and sinister animal silhouettes; these are a few of comics' favorite things, judging by the comic book covers from June 2014. Read on for great covers from Riley Rossmo, Christian Ward, Russell Dauterman, Jerome Opeña, and more.

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New Creators Kate Leth & Ian McGinty Make The Bravest Warriors Barf And Maybe Die In Issue #21 [Preview]

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The greater population of ComicsAlliance are already huge fans of Pendleton Ward's Bravest Warriors series for Cartoon Hangover and its BOOM! Studios spinoff, but I confess that the project was stuck in my "to-do" pile while Caleb Goellner blogged about it with the expertise and enthusiasm you've come to expect from this site. Fortunately for me, Caleb's exit from CA syncs up with the arrival of Kate Leth, who takes over as the new writer of Bravest Warriors beginning with next week's issue #25. Joined by artist Ian McGinty, Leth's first issue, as it turns out, is a good entry point for new readers curious to check out just what all the fuss is about.

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The Revolution Will Be Pastel: ‘Bee & Puppycat’ Embraces Manga, The Web And Femininity To Maximum Effect [Video]

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Bee and Puppycat is really, really cute. It is also funny, bizarre, and occasionally wistful. Above all though, it is cute: there’s the pastel palette, the fat pink bows on Bee’s shoes, the warm roundness of its characters, literally everything about Puppycat. Its absurdism is soft and its softness is absurd -- “I got fired today,” Bee intones flatly, the rain spattering her cat-faced pinafore dress. She’s a dumpster-diving Sanrio character, Strawberry Shortcake late for her appointment at the temp agency. The beginnings of a plot prod gently at her from time to time, but never with anything like urgency -- two issues into its run, Boom! Studios' Bee and Puppycat comic has meditated on strawberry donuts, embarrassing pajamas, and platform shoes, but not much else. Creator Natasha Allegri (along with collaborators Madeleine Flores and Garrett Jackson) would rather devote three pages to QR-coded music boxes than set about untangling Puppycat’s origins or the nature of their magical, mysterious employer.

In these qualities, Bee and Puppycat is right in line with Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Bravest Warriors, its closest brethren in tone and form. Beyond the creator overlap between the four franchises and the fact that all of them now span both animation and comics, they’re all content to hunker down in that pocket of the zeitgeist that brings together childhood nostalgia and bizarre Internet-age humor, where atmosphere reigns over plot.

But Bee and Puppycat stands out among them, and marks a sea change in comics -- particularly in how franchises are formed, what is considered marketable, and what demographics are seen as worthy of being catered to. In its weird, witty way, I believe that Bee and Puppycat emblematizes the future of this industry.

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New ‘Regular Show’ Graphic Novel ‘Hydration’ Examines The Wonder Of The Mystery Pool In Full Color

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As the band Solid Bold so indelibly noted in their song "Summertime Loving, Loving In The Summer (Time)," "It's Summertime and you know what that means / Gonna head down to the beach, gonna do some beachy things."

One of those beachy things could be plopping down on the sand and reading a graphic novel about Regular Show...uh, regulars Mordecai and Rigby trying to figure out how and why a mysterious pool appeared in their park in the midst of a blistering heat wave. That's the premise of the new Boom! Studios graphic novel by Ed, Edd and Eddy writer Rachel Connor and artist Tessa Stone (Bravest Warriors). The beautiful cover above is by Allison Strejlau, artist on the monthly Regular Show series.

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Jim Rugg’s Insane ‘Adventure Time’ Run Concludes In Next Week’s Issue #29 [Preview]

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Finn and Jake have been on a crazy ride over the last four issues of BOOM! Studios' Adventure Time series. Courtesy of Eisner-winning series writer Ryan North and visiting artist Jim Rugg, the plucky pair have traversed dark dungeons, confronted mind-body dualism by dying and becoming ghosts, pranked the Ice King, reprogrammed BMO, and been busted by spook hunter Ant-Ghost Princess. Naturally along the way they've made some eminently bad calls that have screwed everything up for basically everybody in the Land of Ooo. Also we saw the Mecha Lumpy Space Princess. Finally, this particular saga comes to an end in issue #27, which BOOM! promises will see the intervention of an "unlikely" ally.

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Meet Jake Lawrence’s ‘Teen Dog’, The Latest Weird-Cute Book From BOOM! Box

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I recently became acquainted with the excellent webcomics of Jake Lawrence, an Australian cartoonist whose Timecowboy blog showcases his talents for creative character design, pixel art and of course good old fashioned cartooning. His work ranges from funny autobio to fantasy-fused action adventure.

And then there's Teen Dog.

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Tanpopo: Camilla d’Errico Draws A Beautiful Line Between Pop Surrealism, Classic Literature and Sailor Moon [Interview]

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My college dorm room was a dizzying collage of prints, posters, and postcards — but nothing drew as much attention as the Camilla d’Errico pieces I had pinned up over my bed. People would peer at them, asking who drew these strange portraits of girls entwined with pythons, wearing huge, complicated helmets, and melting into candy-colored puddles. Every time, I’d wish that I had something discrete to point them towards, something that gathered the style and themes of d’Errico’s work into a coherent package.

Enter Tanpopo. Originally self-published, d’Errico’s passion project tells the story of the titular Tanpopo, a brilliant, yet emotionless girl, and Kuro, the devil who persuades her into a journey of self-discovery. The text is taken entirely from the work of such luminaries as Goethe, Coleridge, and Pu Sungling: in the first volume, excerpts from Faust explore Tanpopo and Kuro’s meeting, while text from Rime of the Ancient Mariner chart the former’s growing distrust of the latter. Tanpopo’s 170-page second volume, on sale now from BOOM! Studios, uses Shakespeare, Poe, and the 1001 Arabian Nights to similar effect.

To explore this unique work more deeply, ComicsAlliance spoke with d’Errico about pop surrealism, teenage girls, and more.

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War Rocket Ajax Early Edition: Big Trouble In Little China, Nailbiter, Afterlife With Archie [Podcast]

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This week, Chris and Matt talk about how much they love Big Trouble in Little China, and how much they enjoyed the first issue of the new comic sequel by Eric Powell and Brian Churilla in spite of some art hiccups; then it's on to Nailbiter #2 by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson; and finally they discuss the first volume of Afterlife With Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla.

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Roger Langridge To Adapt Unproduced Jim Henson Script, ‘The Magical Monsters Of Turkey Hollow’

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A 1968 script by Jim Henson and longtime collaborator Jerry Juhl is finally being produced, as a TV special and as a brand new graphic novel by Snarked, Popeye and The Muppets cartoonist Roger Langridge.

Archaia will publish the Thanksgiving themed graphic novel The Magical Monsters of Turkey Hollow in October, which means the project has a real Henson pedigree. Not only has Langridge produced acclaimed Muppets comics for Archaia parent Boom! Studios, but the graphic novel that really put Archaia on the map in 2011 was Tale of Sand, an adaptation of another unproduced Henson/Juhl script.

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The Reverse Curse Seizes Ooo In ‘Adventure Time: The Flip Side’ #6 [Preview]

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Remember that scene in Ghostbusters where Bill Murray is talking about the catastrophic effects of shutting down the containment unit, and he's all like "Cats and dogs, living together! Mass hysteria!" Of course you do. Now, if you ever heard that and thought "well that sounds like a pretty good premise for a comic book story about my favorite characters from the smash hit TV show Adventure Time," then friend, you are in luck, because that's exactly what's going down in Adventure Time: The Flip Side #6, the final installment of the miniseries by Colleen Coover, Paul Tobin and Wook Jin Clark!

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