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 tackles the subject of freelancers not being paid in a timely fashion by publishers for work-for-hire projects, something that sadly rings true for many comic book professionals even today.
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.
This week, we're looking at cosplay inspired by the work of illustrator Babs Tarr. Best known in fandom circles for her Bosozoku Sailor Scouts piece, Tarr's art frequently incorporates a combination of femininity and toughness in both her original work and redesigns of licensed characters, creating a world where magical women and girl gangs are one in the same. With the onslaught of cosplayers creating their own takes on classic characters and pulling inspiration from fan redesigns, it's not surprising that Tarr's provocative style and whimsical aesthetic have caught the eye of stylish fans and inspired many cosplayers to incorporate her designs into their costumes. We spoke to Tarr about her work and about the cosplay that her work has inspired.
Make your Monday mighty with today's links.
I don't watch a whole lot of anime these days, but there was a time, my friends. There was a time. It's not often that I think about it, but when I saw the anime-inspired artwork of Mike Luckas, I was immediately drawn back to memories of those younger summers where I cared an awful lot about Faye Valentine and Vash the Stampede. It was sort of like getting in that time machine from Back to the Future, except that instead of having to help my parents hook up, I had to confront the fact that I have spent a lot of money on imported Japanese action figures in my lifetime.
But we're getting off track here. The point is, Luckas's art is awesome, whether he's drawing classic anime characters, video game stars like Metroid's Samus Aran, or his own creations. Check out some favorites below!
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.
Pinup art is always a risky proposition. The balance between fun and sexy and exploitation is a tricky one to walk -- and pretty subjective when you get right down to it -- but when it works, it can be absolutely fantastic. And fortunately, artist Bill Pressing can walk that line better than most.
With his art, Pressing not only provides a calendar of "Horoscope Hotties" and a sexy matryoshka doll (it's, uh, not as weird as it sounds), he also gives us a look at a World War II-era Iron Man and, alongside writer Matt Peters, the adventures of Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher! Check out some selections, including an amazing pinup of Dan DeCarlo's Jetta: Teenager of the Future below!
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.
We've seen some officially superheroic album covers over the years, but German artist Uwe de Witt answers the question: What if every musician lived in a comic book universe? ComicsAlliance and Ultimate Classic Rock have teamed up to feature de Witt's clever album cover parodies, which inject Marvel, DC and other characters into both classic and contemporary imagery popularized by The Beatles, Metallica, Lady Gaga, Pink Floyd and more. You can get a look at a few of our favorites after the jump before hitting Ultimate Classic Rock for another solid selection.
Compared to the many comic book conventions we cover throughout the year, I don't usually leave Toy Fair with much by way of swag. Since it's a trade show for businesspeople and journalists and not open to the public, most of the merchandise is for display only. Still, I did manage to get my hands on one special giveaway: Underwear. For my iPhone.
Comics as we know it is wide and fractured. There's Direct Market comics, bookstore comics, webcomics, indie comics, manga, Eurocomics, and several more subcultures. I'm curious about what working under the broad umbrella of "comics" is like for creators, publishers, critics, academics, and more. Over the course of this month, I'm going to interview several people whose work, position, or goals I find interesting and attempt to paint a picture of what "comics" means today.
For the month of February, I'm taking over the Inkstuds podcast in order to introduce Inkstuds Spotlight, a focused look at what it means to be in comics. A comprehensive look isn't my goal. My goal is to show you several different slices of life in comics, as the people I'm interviewing this month play a wide variety of roles in comics. Today, I'm speaking to Jay Potts, a cartoonist working on his new series and navigating how to respect his inspirations while still making his work his own.