Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai has been in the news quite a bit over the past few months as his peers, publisher and fans have raised money to help him out of a dire financial situation. Plus, it's Usagi's 30th anniversary.
So far, the efforts seem to have gone pretty well, and there seems to be more good news on the horizon: An animated, direct-to-DVD feature film starring the rabbit ronin, whose exploits are currently published by Dark Horse Comics.
When Wendy and Richard Pini released the first issue of Elfquest in 1978, the landscape of the comic industry was wildly different. The "direct market" model of retailing was still in its infancy, with a loose network of regional companies distributing titles to comic shops around the country, and there was a sharp divide (in both content and style) between the mainstream superhero titles of Marvel and DC, and the adult-themed "comix" from underground publishers. Star Wars was a pop culture sensation, and the public was hungry for more adventure, seeking out all manner of sci-fi and fantasy in theaters and bookstores.
It was the perfect moment for Elfquest to appear, and almost immediately, the Pinis had a best-selling comic on their hands. Within a few years, they sparked a second revolution, collecting Elfquest in a series of full-color paperbacks that pioneered the influx of comics into mainstream bookstores, and effectively laid the groundwork for the graphic novel market.
Now, 36 years later, they're still working on their signature creations, and have partnered with Dark Horse to publish a new series, Elfquest: The Final Quest, as well as new collections of the original series and a special "Gallery Edition," shot from the original artwork. ComicsAlliance got the chance to catch up with them at the Dark Horse booth at San Diego Comic-Con, and discuss how Elfquest has impacted the world of comics, both creatively and business-wise.
Faith Erin Hicks is one of North American comics' most versatile talents, a writer/artist who's gained critical acclaim and commercial success, and raised her profile with each successive project she's released over her 15+ year career.
This year's San Diego Comic-Con was particularly eventful for Hicks, as she announced her new graphic novel series from First Second books and won an Eisner Award for Dark Horse's collection of her The Adventures Of Superhero Girl webcomic. We caught up with her in San Diego the morning after the Eisner awards to talk about current projects.
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.
July's comic book covers bring some gorgeous high contrast images and striking character portraits. There's a moment of grief; a moment of action; a moment of reflection; and a moment of revelation. Check out amazing work from Christian Ward, Eleanor Davis, Tommy Lee Edwards, and Lucy Knisley.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Artist Chrissie Zullo got her break in comics via the DC Comics Talent Search in 2008 and has been working consistently ever since. She has worked for a variety of major comics publishers, including Archie, Dark Horse, IDW, and Vertigo, on covers and interiors for series including Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love, Fairest In All The Land, Womanthology: Space, Madame Xanadu and Life With Archie.
Eighteen years after Fight Club first saw print, author Chuck Palahniuk is returning to the world of Project Mayhem for a sequel — Fight Club 2 -- which will take the form of a ten issue comic book series illustrated by Cameron Stewart and published by Dark Horse.
In this interview conducted at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the author talks to ComicsAlliance about why he chose to revisit the world of Fight Club, why he chose to do so in the comics medium, the process of learning how to write comics, his collaboration with Cameron Stewart, and how his ant-hero Tyler Durden may be much more than a figment in the Narrator's imagination, but a force of nature dating back millennia, shaping all of human history to facilitate a plan he has for the Narrator's nine-year-old son. And quite a bit more besides.
Remember 2005? Back when we didn't have a lot of good comic book movies to celebrate? Back before the first 300 movie, when the whole idea of that posturing "no homo" otherness-phobic carnival of green screened pomposity seemed like it might be exciting? Back before Frank Miller's swastika-festooned The Spirit left a bad taste in everyone's mouths? Back when people were still insisting The Dark Knight Strikes Again was actually good satire, before Holy Terror confirmed that, no, Frank Miller is actually frighteningly sincere? Back when we clung to deniability?
Good news, everyone! It's 2005 again, and we get another chance to pretend Mickey Rourke poking his head through a loaf of bread is a thing that works. Here's another Sin City: A Dame To Kill For trailer, and it's everything you'd expect it to be; stylish and insubstantial, with the promise of ample degradation. It's also 'Red Band,' which means you have to be a mature person to watch it, ironically.
Over the last twelve days, Dark Horse has thrown a spotlight on twelve new creator-owned titles that they plan to promote at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. The series include the Fight Club sequel from Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart, a new Hellboy series from Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, and Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich's Lady Killer.
Also in the mix; new series from Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Rafael Albuquerque, and Cullen Bunn, and sequels to Colder, from Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra, and Alabaster, from Caitlin R. Kiernan and Joëlle Jones.
With hundreds of panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con, the show can be an overwhelming experience — and it’s far too easy to miss a panel you think you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!
ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best programming at the con. Today we offer our suggested highlights for the final day of the show, Sunday July 27, 2014, when most of the family programming is scheduled. We’ll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.
Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo is a favorite here at ComicsAlliance for a very good reason. For the past thirty years, it's been one of the most beautifully constructed comics on the stands, blending note-perfect character work with epic storytelling, building a world that feels real even when it's populated by wandering bunny rabbits and grumpy rhinos. Now, in celebration of the book's 30th anniversary, Dark Horse is putting out a massive tribute to Sakai and Usagi Yojimbo called The Sakai Project, with a roster of 262 creators paying tribute to one of comics' true masterpieces.
The Sakai Project will debut this week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where it will be available at the Dark Horse booth for $29.99. All proceeds will go to Sakai and his wife, to help them with recent medical expenses. Check out the full roster of creators below!
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