It's really starting to look like 2014 is the year of the giant, oversized offbeat anthology comic. Not only have we gotten books like Cosmic Scoundrels and Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories, but today, Boom! Studios announced the latest offering from their creator-owned imprint, the Boom! Box 2014 Mix Tape, and it already looks amazing.
Clocking in at an oversized 8.5 x 11", the Mix Tape is set to include a pretty impressive roster, including covers by Teen Dog creator Jake Lawrence and a new Lumberjanes story written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson, and a new story from the award-winning team behind Adventure Time, Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. And if that wasn't enough, we have an exclusive look at character designs for four short stories by Rian Sygh, including Teen Prez, which may actually be the Sensational Character Find of 2014.
Muppet Show and Popeye writer/artist Roger Langridge has announced a new series completely of his own creation at Boom Studios, and it looks downright adorable.
Abigail and the Snowman will be a four-issue, all-ages miniseries that focuses on a 9-year-old girl who moves to a small town where she knows no one. She has a tough time making friends, as kids sometimes do, until she meets a yeti named Claude.
Here's the thing about reviewing Teen Dog, the new comic from cartoonist Jake Lawrence: Doing so is almost completely unnecessary. Not only is it one of those beautiful high concept books where the entire premise is summed up in the title, but let's be honest here. If you are the kind of person who doesn't already want to buy a comic called "Teen Dog," then I doubt there's anything anyone could say that would make you change your mind. You already know, deep in your heart of hearts, whether Teen Dog is for you.
That said, if you are the kind of person who's going to pick up Teen Dog when it hits comic shop shelves this week, you are in for a treat, because it is every bit as radical as the title makes it sound.
In my experience, the best comics are the ones that answer questions that you didn't even know you were asking until you saw them, and Wild's End #1 does that pretty beautifully. The question: Wouldn't War of The Worlds have been better if it was about a sleepy English hamlet populated entirely by friendly anthropomorphic animals? The answer: Yes. Yes it would be.
As weird as that premise sounds, it's not that shocking that the book would turn out great. It's the product of writer Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) and artist INJ Culbard (Brass Sun), and if there's one thing I've learned from previous experience with those creators, it's that they're more than capable of taking strange sci-fi premises and running with them to create something incredible -- which is exactly what they've done here.
Lumberjanes is many things: paranormal adventure, ode to friendship, celebration of girlhood, viral success, emblem of a changing industry. A lesser book might have crumbled beneath these ambitions and expectations. It very immediately became not just a highly-anticipated comic, but -- for reasons included the fact that it's written, drawn, colored, lettered and edited by women -- an important comic, and that's as promising as it is dangerous. Privately, I had my doubts—it looked interesting, but I've been burned before by important books and I kept my excitement at a low simmer.
But five issues into the Brooke Allen-drawn series, Boom! Studios/Boom! Box's Lumberjanes has firmly established itself as one of the cleverest, most good-natured comics on the market. The story of a delightfully plucky troop of wilderness girl scouts (not to be confused with the Girl Scouts) and the variously hilarious and supernatural adventures they get into at summer camp, the book is buoyed by the emotions and friendships of early adolescence, and can be enjoyed by neophytes and collectors alike—including, happily, young girls. It is never didactic or (most crucially) boring, and it balances character focus and plot extremely well.It is, simply and uncommonly, fun.
ComicsAlliance sat down with creators Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters to discuss Disney movies, comics on Tumblr, and what's coming next for our favorite hardcore lady-types.
If you read our interview with Steven Universe comics creators Jeremy Sorese and Coleman Engle, then you saw them talking about the story that would become Steven Universe #2. Originally set to be the first issue of the series, it revolves around the annual Beach City Bike Race, with Steven dead set on entering, despite complaints from the Crystal Gems, because they're afraid that the danger would result in his death and they're uncomfortable and unfamiliar with ideas about mortality among humans. Really.
Like a good pop song, if a genre comic is going to keep you interested, it has to have a hook. It really doesn't matter if the art is exceptional, or it has an inventive structure or well-written characters. If it can't be distilled into one intriguing sentence of less than ten words, then it's not going to keep your attention. Blind guy fights crime; orphaned billionaire is world's greatest detective; six guns control the fate of the world; this Avenger is a freaking mess; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc. But you can't just have the hook -- a comic with bad art, poor writing, and a fantastic hook is still a mediocre comic.
Dead Letters Vol. 1: The Existential Op by Christopher Sebela and Chris Visions, is far from mediocre, with strong writing, captivating and kinetic art, and a hook that will grab you from the get-go: amnesiac detective joins gang war in Purgatory.
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.
August offers a feast of shape and color, with striking covers by Scott Fischer, Victor Santos, Chrystin Garland, and Tula Lotay, some bold juxtaposition, and a quirky take on a pulp archetype or two -- including a Nazi airship and some poor sap being held in a giant hand. It's a classic!
Boom! Studios has found success with a line of Adventure Time original graphic novels that's being published alongside the ongoing monthly comic, so it was only a matter of time before they expanded that strategy to include Regular Show as well. Now, we're just about to see the first full-color Regular Show graphic novel, Hydration, hitting shelves with a story of everyone's favorite raccoon and bluejay dealing with a heat wave that hits the park, sending them in search of a way to cool off. It's a simple idea, but under Rachel Connor and Tessa Stone, it turns into a sprawling adventure that's full of the magical realism and 8-bit video games that Regular Show fans have come to love.
To find out more, I spoke to Connor about the process of creating a story that would be longer and more complicated than any episode of the show, the strange twists that allowed it to expand to a full 155 pages, and why the Baby Ducks just had to make an appearance.
Natasha Allegri is leading a movement. A quiet, earnest, doe-eyed movement to be sure, but one that is unstoppable, and unquestioningly vital. Bee and Puppycat, her already widely beloved series produced for Frederator's Cartoon Hangover channel, is about to relaunch, to widespread fan salivation. Her social media accounts swell with more and more followers every day. Puppycat plushes and inflatable swords were everywhere at San Diego Comic-Con, as was cosplay and fan art.
Allegri's work, in its sincere, unfailingly sweet way, has announced to the world that animation aimed at an adult (or at least teen) female audience is not just viable — it is a verified path to critical and commercial success. ComicsAlliance sat down with her at SDCC to discuss her success, the importance of cuteness, and what we can expect from the new Bee and Puppycat animated series.
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