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You Don’t Want Your Mom Around During Your Male Power Fantasy: Gene Yang Talks ‘The Shadow Hero’ [Interview]

The Shadow Hero, First Second

Even though it only came out today from First Second, Gene Yang and Sonny Liew's The Shadow Hero is already one of my favorite graphic novels of the year. Through their revival of an obscure Golden Age character called the Green Turtle, Yang and Liew have gone back to tell a story about one of the forgotten heroes of the first wave of American comics, blending a story full of action and adventure with rumors about the true motivations behind what may have been the first Asian-American superhero.

To find out more, I spoke to Yang about how he discovered the Green Turtle, what he hopes comes out of his work on a public domain character, and why he focused on the Green Turtle's relationship with his mom.

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Gail Simone’s ‘Comics Survival Kit’ Tumblr Is Full Of Great Advice For Aspiring Creators

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Writer Gail Simone, who is getting ready to wrap up a sometimes-tumultuous run on Batgirl, has started a new Tumblr called Comics Survival Kit that aims to help up-and-coming or aspiring comic creators navigate the tricky landscape that is professional comics work.

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Comics Alliance Presents ‘Kate Or Die’ In ‘Girl Power’

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Welcome to the latest episode of ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate offers some words of encouragement to the creators and publishers putting forth new women-friendly superhero comics, including Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, and the ferociously well received news of a Batgirl revamp by Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr and Brendan Fletcher.

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Best Cosplay Ever (This Week): The Rocketeer, Kate Bishop, Ken & Barbie, Him And More

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Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.

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Filed Under: Category: Cosplay, Culture

Nostalgia As A Weapon: The Sailor Moon Renaissance Is A Feminist Mission Behind The Lines Of Pop Culture

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Sailor Moon is inescapable. There’s the new anime of course, and the new musicals, the merchandise, and the retranslation of the manga. But it’s the emblem of a wider renaissance as well, a resurgence of love for mahou shoujo, or magical girl anime and manga — a movement led by women well out of their childhood years. A quick stroll through Tumblr reveals Sailor Moon cupcakes, punky Sailor Moon jackets, heartfelt essays about what the portrayal of lesbianism in Sailor Moon meant to the reader, dozens of artists working together to reanimate an episode of the anime, Sailor Moon nail art tutorials, cats named Luna, Beryl, Haruka and everything in between, hand-sculpted figurines, ornate embroidery projects, and an endless avalanche of fanart. Sailor Moon as an Adventure Time character. Sailor Moon cheekily clutching a Hitachi Magic Wand. Sailor Moon as a vicious biker chick. Sailor Moon protesting the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.

Sailor Moon fans have not so much rediscovered their love for Naoko Takeuchi’s sword-and-sparkle epic as they have elected her queen mother of their imaginations and ultimate aspirational self. She is, simultaneously, symbol, cause, and leader.

This resurgence is animated by more than typical fannish passion. This is a need to return to a world where young women are in charge. This is an anger at the pabulum of Good Role Models for Girls, at boob windows and “fridging" and “tits or gtfo.” This is 15-year-olds covering their notebooks in “MERMAIDS AGAINST MISOGYNY” stickers, yet also gravely serious grad students applying bell hooks to Takeuchi’s use of Greco-Roman myth. This is a collective invoking of spirits, made more potent in their absence — Usagi Tsukino and all her friends as saints and saviors, carrying the light of childhood optimism to an adulthood in sore need of it. This is nostalgia as a weapon. “Pretty soldiers” indeed.

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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 and we’ll embed the best stuff alongside our own recent acquisitions. And please do follow us @ComicsAlliance.

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The Joe Shuster Centennial: A Tribute To Superman’s Co-Creator On What Would Have Been His 100th Birthday

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To celebrate the centennial anniversary of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster's birth, some of the men and women who've benefited from his tremendous artistic influence have paid homage to and shared their impressions of Shuster's work, his legacy, and his signature character.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): New-Look Batgirl Fan Art Edition

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It's always nice to have a good news day in comics -- and DC probably agrees after the rapturous reception to yesterday's announcement of the new direction for Batgirl from the new creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Jordie Bellaire, and new discovery Babs Tarr (who we've been telling you about for aaages).

Judging by all the Batgirl fan-art produced since yesterday's announcement, we feel sure there's a big appetite out there for a Batgirl comic deliberately designed to appeal to a female and family audience -- and for Batgirl's smartly designed and stylish new costume. With credit to Batgirl fan ComixBookGurl for her Twitter call-to-action, we collected all the new Batgirl fan art we could find in order to celebrate what may be the best Batgirl... ever?

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Happy Birthday, Murphy Anderson: A Modest Tribute To An All-Time Great

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An artist who played an integral role in the superhero renaissance of the late '50s and early '60s, and whose line lent a smooth and elegant air to every character he touched, Murphy Anderson is one of the true living legends of the comic book business. This week sees the artist's 88th birthday.

Anderson began his career in comics in the mid 1940s, and worked on titles for a number of different publishers over the next decade, including Timely/Atlas, Ziff Davis, Pines, and the company that would prove to be his primary home for the next four decades – National/DC Comics. In the 1950s, DC increased his assignments and he became a fixture of the company's sci-fi and superhero titles, pencilling a number of different features and providing inks for many of the early Silver Age's most enduring and influential stories, working over artists such as Gil Kane, Carmine Infantino, and Mike Sekowsky.

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Filed Under: , Category: Art, Culture, DC, News, Opinion

Ms. Marvel: Alienation, Exhilaration, And The Beating Heart Of Superhero Comics

Jamie McKelvie
Jamie McKelvie

I was excited for Ms. Marvel from the moment it was announced. I reblogged it, retweeted it, called my mother about it, chatted it up at my local comic shop. But secretly, I was more than a little certain that it would suck in all the usual ways. Sure, the cover was splashy, and sure, I was hearing good things about G. Willow Wilson. But I was girded for — and expected — twenty or so lackluster issues before cancellation.

The first issue came out, and it was good. Really good. It was bright and fun and electric with personality in every way a comic can be, from its color palette to its ending splash. Still, though, I was unconvinced — fantastic first issues have given way to mediocrity before.

But the second issue was great. And the third. And the fourth. And with the fifth issue and the first arc completed, I feel that I can finally let out the breath I've been holding and say that Ms. Marvel is truly wonderful work.

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