Christmas is finally here, and while the CA staff, we'd like to take a look back at one of our favorite original art series every, the 12 Days of Christmas by the comics artists of Periscope Studio that reimagine the 12 days of the classic Christmas carol with a nerdy twist. Join us now as we count down through all twelve wonderfully nerdy images like 10 Lord Vaders a Leaping, 7 Bella Swans a Swimming, and 2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtledoves, from comics creators like Steve Lieber, Jeff Parker and Colleen Coover. Click through to embiggen the images, and have a very Merry Christmas!
Culture - Page 5
Q: What '80s or '90s cartoon do you think has the single best Christmas episode? -- @UncannyJay
A: Given the things I tend to write about in this column, it pretty much goes without saying that I absolutely love cartoon Christmas specials. I even wrote about a few of my favorites last year for ComicsAlliance, including the truly bizarre Christmas Comes to Pac-Land, in which a visit from Santa Claus makes it abundantly clear that Pac-Man's living nightmare of eating dots and being menaced by the vengeful spirits of the damned occurs on some kind of demi-plane that exists outside of the sight of God. That one has to be in my top three.
But beyond those three, there's definitely one Christmas episode in particular that I absolutely love: G.I. Joe's "Cobra Claws Are Coming To Town!"
Over the last few years, the centuries-old figure of Alpine Europe, the Krampus, has become increasingly well known in the United States, thanks to books (et al) by Monte Beauchamp, and appearances on The Venture Bros, some Anthony Bourdain show or other, and The Colbert Report. As a result, the Krampus has become the subject of popular merchandise, including t-shirts, greeting cards, stickers, and figurines, leading some to assert that the Krampus, perhaps like Christmas itself, has become too commercial.
Comics are no exception to this trend.
If hundreds and hundreds of holiday comics, TV specials and movies have taught us anything, it's that Christmas is a time of truly magical sights. And that even applies if you're somewhere like Gotham City, where"magical sights" tend to be the last thing you see before you're murdered by a mental patient or, if you're lucky, rescued by an equally terrifying vigilante. 'Tis the season for miracles!
So today, we're offering up the last of our four ComicsAlliance holiday cards, featuring art by the inimitable Anthony "Nedroid" Clark! Click through to see the full card and get a full-sized printable versionyou can give to your friends as a reminder that hey, maybe spending time at the grandparents' wasn't so bad after all!
Tomorrow marks this year's final observance of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. In honor of the holiday, cartoonist Jon Morris created an illustration of one of comics' Jewish characters for each night of Hanukkah, including some superheroes and cartoonified real-life legends, to create a cool and clever comic book menorah.
The creator of the Cornered, DC Fifty-Too and Marvel Universe Too blogs is an artist frequently spotlightedhere on ComicsAlliance, but Morris may have outdone himself with this lovely holiday series. Note how each character is perfectly expressed not just in how Morris draws them, but in the way they interact with their candles i.e. Batwoman perching on hers or Arthur worrying about dropping his.
Last year we collected 150 classic comic book covers celebrating the Santa-ier aspects of the holiday season and it was so popular, we dug into even more covers. Seriously, there's at least 200 now. There may even be more! Our fingers are covered in tape and bows and whatever from wrapping presents and cats are knocking over trees and there's a Tofurkey feast burning in the oven. It's chaos, man. Distract yourself from the season of giving with 200+ holiday comic book covers after the cut.
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.
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.
On Monday I reported on the controversy surrounding the most recent issue of Batgirl, issue #37, and the hurt it caused readers with the presentation of a character who played into transphobic tropes. On Tuesday we ran a piece by activist J. Skyler that further placed the story in the broader cultural context of transphobic media. In both cases, our hope was to showcase and respect the opinions of the critics and put their voices ahead of those of the authors or any defensive fans. These are critics who are often marginalized and shouted down; what they had to say about this controversy is important and must be recognized and listened to.
As I also mentioned on Monday, Batgirl is a book at the vanguard of a movement towards genre stories for young, progressive, predominantly female readers -- a more modern and diverse readership than the one traditionally associated with the superhero genre. Because of this, and because the creators apologized for their mistakes, I think Batgirl still deserves support. Issue #37 damaged the book's image and reputation, but it remains one of the best and most important superhero books being published today.
In my online discussions of transgender representation in media, I’ve mentioned that I expect a degree of transphobia is every medium I read, watch or listen to. That’s simply how pervasive the problem is -- and it may take the form of a joke, an off-the-cuff remark, or a non-essential character created intentionally or unintentionally to perpetuate stereotypes about gender variance or utilizing gender variance to underline said character’s psychosis.
It’s with a heavy heart I’m forced to discuss this long-standing media trope within the context of Batgirl, the one area of geek life I considered to be a safe-zone. Within the pages of Batgirl #37 we come across an impostor posing as Batgirl who ultimately plans to kill her in order to assume her identity. As you might imagine, my eyes nearly rolled into the back of my head, accompanied by an aggravated sigh, when the would-be murderer was revealed to be an individual assigned male at birth.