Interviews, panel appearances, fan mail -- artists and writers understandably get much of the focus when we talk about professionals in the American comics industry. But beyond the front lines there's a whole host of people working hard to keep the business running: accountants, lawyers, publicists, librarians, production staff and many others. Most of these people don't have the opportunity to talk about their work with the people who read the comics they help put in their hands, but the work they do is important -- often integral -- to this industry. Whether it's making sure creators get paid, designing logos, or even planning a convention, these people affect how the whole package of our industry comes together.
In the first of what we've planned as a series of spotlights on the behind-the-scenes comics pros, we're speaking with Alex Segura, Archie Comics' Senior Vice President - Publicity and Marketing. Segura started his career in comics as a journalist but has spent nearly a decade doing publicity at DC Comics and Archie, the latter of which has been especially praised by this site and others for revitalizing its brand. One of the architects of the new Archie Comics, Segura sat down with us to talk about how he ended up as a publicist and what exactly that job entails.
Norm Breyfogle, one of the definitive Batman artists of the late 80s and early 90s, is in hospital as a result of a stroke, according to a Facebook post by his former partner Barbara De La Rue. De La Rue says that he is expected to make a full recovery, and has asked that people keep him in their thoughts and prayers. We at ComicsAlliance extend our best wishes for a full and speedy return to health.
One of the great strengths of DC's digital-first line of comics is that it's a showcase both for emerging talent and for some unorthodox storytelling approaches. DC's digital wing plays to the strengths of the anthology format, telling the sort of stories that the main line just isn't interested in telling. For a character like Wonder Woman, an icon beloved by a lot of people who aren't invested in the rigmarole of month-to-month continuity, the approach is especially liberating.
The latest writer to tackle Wonder Woman for the digital-first Sensation Comics series is Amy Chu, an up-and-comer who we've profiled in the past. Chu has collaborated on short stories with Larry Hama, Steve McNiven, and Janet K. Lee, and has self-published her comics through her Alpha Girl Comics imprint. Her Sensation Comics story, 'Rescue Angel,' tells a Wonder Woman tale with a focus on a different female warrior, a young combat pilot, with art by Bernard Chang and colors by Wendy Broome.
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.
If you've been keeping up with "Endgame," the current story raging through Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia's Batman, then you've seen a lot of stuff going on. I mean things are apocalyptically bad in Gotham City on a scale that they haven't been since... well, since the last big Batman story. Still, it's pretty rough out there, what with the millions of zombie-like citizens infected with airborne Joker toxin. But in all the action of the latest issue, you may have missed the most important part: Jim Gordon's ringtone.
It might seem like a minor detail, but it's actually a pretty significant piece of the ongoing Batman mythology -- mainly because I suggested it on Twitter back in November, and now that it's canon, I will never, ever shut up about it.
I'm going to go out on a festively decorated limb here and guess that you are, of course, already familiar with Mike Maihack's fantastic and adorable Batgirl/Supergirl strips. He's been doing them for a few years now, chronicling the perky, cheerful Kryptonian heroine, the slightly grumpier Gotham City vigilante, and their continuing adventures as best friends.
They're all pretty great, but my favorites by far are the annual Christmas specials. This year, though, they're even more special than usual, as Batgirl and Supergirl are joined by a special guest star for an evening of caroling in exchange for candy. It's a Christmas Miracle!
And like that, ‘Suicide Squad’ has seemingly added another big name to its already impressive ensemble. According to the latest rumor, two-time Academy Award nominee and ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ star Viola Davis has nabbed the role of Amanda Waller in David Ayer’s upcoming supervillain team-up film. We’ll see how the actual movie shakes out in a little under two years, but this may very well be the craziest cast ever assembled for a comic book adaptation.
Though 'Batman: The Animated Series' had its share of action figures back when it was on the air, the collectibles could hardly be considered more than children's toys. This year, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Batman, DC Collectibles went back to the animated well for a new series of figures based on the now classic Bruce Timm designs.
Incorporating characters from the original 'Batman: The Animated Series' as well as the under-appreciated 'The New Batman Adventures', the figure line's aesthetic (more articulation and accessories, as well as a higher price point) is geared towards the adult collector. This series is aimed directly at those who spent their afternoons after school patiently waiting to see the latest episode, and who are now old enough to have disposable income.
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.
One of the chief criticisms of ‘Man of Steel’ was the way that Superman dealt with his epic battles—primarily, that he wasn’t concerned enough about ensuring the safety of the citizens of Metropolis, and how he recklessly used the entire city as his battleground. Thanks to the outspoken dissatisfaction with the film’s climax, it seems as though the script for ‘Batman vs. Superman’ will address those complaints and try to make Superman a more likable and cautious hero.
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