The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this all-new recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
From the looks of what Diamond Comic Distributors has release so far, Free Comic Book Day2014 on May 3, will once again be a most family-friendly affair.
Diamond unveiled what it's calling its "gold-level title" list today, 12 books from publishers including DC Comics, Marvel, Image, Archie, Dark Horse, Viz Media, Bongo Comics, Boom! Studios and Fantagraphics. The fare is almost all kid-friendly stuff, with Hello Kitty, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spongebob Squarepants, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Uncle Scrooge comics all on tap.
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
We can all agree that the 1966 TV series is, of course, the One True Batman Above All Others, and recent developments in licensing have finally given us the toys we've (I've) wanted for years, but today, you can get them super cheap. I'm talking Surf Jams Batman for five bucks cheap.
After a few months of teases, DC Universe Online has illuminated its plans for new content in the coming year. A "War of the Light" DLC trilogy is set to kick off in early 2014 with a debut entry centering around Red Lantern-ly rage.
Today, IDW announced that Batman's Silver Age comic-strip adventures are getting a similar treatment in 2014, with the first volume collecting two years' worth of comics by creators Whitney Ellsworth, Shelly Moldoff, Joe Giella, and the late Carmine Infantino.
There are very few things I love in this world more than a story where a superhero teams up with Santa Claus to save Christmas. I mean, I love Christmas comics in general, but the ones where the Jolly Old Saint himself shows up are always just a little bit more special, especially when the hero in question is Superman. If I was in charge, you'd see Santa Claus literally every time there was a comic set at the Fortress of Solitude, because really, the North Pole has exactly three residents, and who else are they going to hang out with? But I digress.
My point is, Superman/Santa Claus team-ups are great, even when they're weird -- and folks, they do get weird. Take, for example, one of Superman's earliest team-ups with St. Nicholas, wherein they have to battle against the evil machinations of a dude who hates Christmas so much that he makes Santa Claus even fatter than he already was, and Superman has to help him lose weight.
Though weekly series were recently a major part of DC Comics' plans, the publisher took a few years off from them to focus on its New 52 initiative. Now, more than two years into the new DC Universe, the company is returning to the format with perhaps its most significant attempt at weekly comics yet. On the heels of the recently announced Batman: Eternal year long weekly series, this morning DC revealed plans for The New 52: Futures End, its second weekly book in 2014.
The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson will be following along to see how he fares.
This week, super powers officially become a thing on Arrow, Barry Allen makes his long-awaited first appearance, and a lot of arrows go into a lot of legs.
Q: What do you think about Harley Quinn? --@Gavin4L
I'll be honest with you, Gavin: Harley Quinn is a tough character to write about. I've been struggling for a long time now trying to figure out how to get started, because there's so much there built around a single character that gets into a lot of tricky, complicated areas, from her almost accidental creation and often mystifying popularity to how much she's changed and been altered in a relatively short period of time, and how you can almost chart the changing aesthetic of the entire company just by looking at a single character. It's a lot to get through, even if you're someone who lived through every bit of it as a fan.
Really, I guess that's as good a starting point as any. What do I think? Well, I like the character a lot, but when you get right down to it, she's one of the most misunderstood and misused characters in all of superhero comics.
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