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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): August 2014

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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.

August offers a feast of shape and color, with striking covers by Scott Fischer, Victor Santos, Chrystin Garland, and Tula Lotay, some bold juxtaposition, and a quirky take on a pulp archetype or two -- including a Nazi airship and some poor sap being held in a giant hand. It's a classic!

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Jesse Eisenberg On Playing Lex Luthor: ‘I Would Do It If It Was For Free’

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In a new interview in Total Film magazine, actor Jesse Eisenberg, who will portray Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, gives the movie and its writers more than just a ringing endorsement. He says he'd do the movie for no money at all if it was some low-budget flick. "I really liked it on its own terms. I would do it if it was for free and it was tiny."

That seems like quite a stamp of approval. Sure, actors have to talk up their movies for promotion, but saying, "I'd do this for no pay" is a fairly extreme endorsement. And it turns out from the rest of the interview that Eisenberg isn't exactly a fan of the superhero genre -- but he may be coming around.

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Truth, Justice And The Canadian Way: Royal Canadian Mint Issues Four New Superman Coins

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Last year, the Royal Canadian Mint issued seven collector's coins to celebrate Superman's 75th anniversary. Looks like it's a hard habit to break, because at this year's Fan Expo in Toronto, the mint announced it was issuing four more coins with images from covers dating back to Superman's debut in 1938.

Though he's widely considered a U.S. hero, Superman has Canadian roots. Joe Shuster, who co-created Superman with Jerry Siegel, was born in Toronto.

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Ask Chris #209: The Strange Saga Of Batgirl Cassandra Cain

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: Cassandra Cain: WTF happened? -- @IamMedellin

A: Here's the least shocking thing you're going to read this week: I love Cassandra Cain. That probably goes without saying, given that she's a relatively obscure member of the Batman family that made her debut when I was a teenager, but really, it goes deeper than that. She came out of the gate with a compelling edge, some phenomenally solid storytelling, and a hook for drama that put her in contrast to the rest of Gotham's assorted heroes and hangers-on, while still feeling like a natural compliment to the other characters. And then, less than a decade later, she'd gone from being a new character with an incredible amount of potential to an also-ran who only really shows up to fill space in crossovers -- something that almost never happens to characters in the Batman family, especially when they've got 70+ solo issues under their utility belts.

So what happened? Man, I can't even tell you, I just read the darn things. But folks, it got really weird there at the end.

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Revival, Reinvention, Resurrection: The Power Of Great Superhero Costume Design

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We live in a time of awesome superhero costumes in comics. The rise and rise of cosplay culture, the emergence of comic artists with a savvy understanding of fashion, and the slow diversification that's making heroes palatable to a broader audience, have all contributed to a costuming culture with more to offer than capes and pants.

Superhero costumes have always been an asset to the industry, because iconography helps establish character and create a brand. But the value of costumes in reaching audiences and reinventing characters seems to be recognized now as never before, leading to the rise of artist-designers like Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka, who don't even need to be on a particular book in order to be called in to make-over the characters. This is a great leap forward in understanding just what a good costume can do -- and the special skills required to do it.

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Jack Kirby: A ‘King-Sized’ 97th Birthday Tribute Spectacular, Part One!

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Jack Kirby is very arguably the single most influential figure in the history of American comics. He produced countless stories in a career that spanned seven decades, inventing and re-inventing genres and styles every step of the way. He inspired generations of artists and writers; created and co-created thousands of characters; defined the visual vocabulary of superheroes; and believed in the potential of comics to be both entertainment and art, long before most people imagined these stories would be remembered past the four weeks that they sat on newsstands.

Today would have been Kirby’s 97th birthday, and to mark the occasion we’ve assembled a series of posts commemorating the life and work of the man known to American comics fans as “The King.” For this piece, we asked some of our favorite creators and other comics pros to celebrate Jack Kirby with their impressions of his characters, life, and legacy – and we got so many responses, we'll have another installment of all-star tributes tomorrow!

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Why So Serious: Warner Bros. Reportedly Orders ‘No Jokes’ In New DC Comics Movies

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Comics fans have become well acquainted with the notion that sometimes, creative people learn the wrong things from successes. It's why certain comics have been dominated for going on 30 years by a "dark" and "mature" sensibility that often comes off as grim, self-serious and overcooked.

Well, get ready for that way of thinking to make its way to movie theaters very soon. According to a report at Hitfix, Warner Bros. has a strict rule for its upcoming DC Comics movies: "No jokes."

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Batgirl Takes The A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge (With A Very Special Guest)

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Since you are reading this on the Internet, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're already familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge, wherein folks are being nominated by friends, fans and colleagues to dump buckets of freezing cold water on their heads on camera to raise awareness of (and money to combat) ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord -- or Lou Gehrig's Disease, as it is popularly known. Over the past few weeks, we've seen plenty of famous folks taking the challenge, but now, it has busted right through the Fourth Wal, and all the way to Gotham City's Burnside neighborhood.

This particular challenge was issued by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, the creative team for the revamp of Batgirl, and the challengee is Barbara Gordon herself, who seems set on finding out just how helpful that new jacket is going to be in fighting off the cold.

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Gotham Academy: Becky Cloonan’s Super Cool Hero Portraits, Character Breakdowns and Guerrilla Marketing

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I don't think it's possible for the staff of ComicsAlliance to get more excited for Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl's Gotham Academy than we already are, but if there's one thing that could do it, it's seeing the characters for the new book in a set of brand-new promo images drawn by Cloonan. Today, that's exactly what we've got, so prepare yourself, because they are fantastic.

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Lois Lane Will Star In A New Young Adult Novel By Gwenda Bond

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Lois Lane hasn't been able to rate an ongoing series in DC Comics' The New 52, but the character is taking on a starring role in a different medium: young adult novels.

Next January, publisher Switch Press will release Lois Lane: Fallout, which will feature a young Lois starting her life in Metropolis after her military family moves there. Gwenda Bond, the author of the upcoming Girl on a Wire and The Woken Gods, and clearly a huge Lois Lane fan, has confirmed that she's writing the novel.

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