Toy Fair 2014 kicks off this weekend, but DC Collectibles is getting a jump on the biggest trade show of the year by releasing images of much of its wares a few days in advance. We'll be on hand to see the company's many new action figure lines, statues and even (Bat)man Cave" items -- stuff like pool cues, poker sets and dart boards -- in just a few days, but in the meantime you can hit the jump to get a load of new toys based on Son of Batman, the Infinite Crisis video game, the New 52, Batman the Animated Series and more.
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 recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
ComicsAlliance's official position on Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie may be a little more harsh than other people's, but even I can't deny its importance in bringing superheroes to life in movies. To this day, it remains a pretty fascinating film, and one of the biggest touchstones that comic books have to mass media, even when we're seeing movies like The Dark Knight and Avengers make a billion dollars at the box office.
So if you're holed up avoiding the snow -- or just looking for a way to kill time on your lunch break -- you could do a lot worse than to take 25 minutes and check out The Making of a Hero. Originally produced in the UK during the filming of Batman '89, it's a behind-the-scenes look at how the movie was made, featuring crew members like Tim Burton himself and designer Anton Furst, along with Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger and Robert Wuhl. Give it a watch below, but be warned: That jerk Bob Kane shows up to ruin everything.
I think it's been well established over the years here at ComicsAlliance that the purest and most beautiful way to express your love for another person is by saying it with Batman -- and apparently, we're not the only ones who think so. Thanks to the indispensable Mark Anderson, a cartoonist whose Andertoons blog is an endless source of comics ephemera, we can now have a look at a series of bizarre Valentines from the late '60s, inspired by the Batman TV show!
It's not just the Caped Crusader himself, either. It's probably to be expected that you'd get the Boy Wonder involved, but special guest villains like Zelda the Great are in there, too, and if you've ever wanted to see the romantic side of the Penguin, folks, you are in luck. Check out a few of our favorites below!
Last weekend's news that James Gordon will be portrayed by actor Ben McKenzie on the new Fox series Gotham, a look at the pre-Batman days of the DC Universe city has been followed today be even more casting info.
Robin Taylor (Another Earth), an actor notable for his svelte physique will take on the role of a young Oswald Cobblepot, of all people. Yup, the Penguin will start off skinny. Burn Notice actress Zabryna Guevara will play police Capt. Sarah Essen, the eventual second Mrs. Gordon in the comics. And Sean Pertwee, son of Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee, will portray Wayne family butler Alfred Pennyworth.
In what will doubtlessly prove to be a very good move on DC Comics' part, the publisher has named Mark Doyle as the new Group Editor of its bestselling Batman line. Replacing Mike Marts, who announced a move to Marvel as Senior Editor earlier this month, Doyle will oversee the Dark Knight through the character's 75th anniversary and comes to the Bat books from Vertigo, DC's mature readers line, where he worked -- and will continue to work -- on such favorites as The Wake, American Vampire and Trillium.
We've been paying close attention to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's work in Zero Year, the current Batman storyline that looks back at one of the Dark Knight's earliest adventures in Gotham. But the upcoming issue #28 offers a brief intermission, jumping out of Batman's past and into his near future. Written by Snyder and James Tynion and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, the issue offers an early look at what's to come in Batman Eternal, the weekly series starting in March. Taking to Twitter back in December, Snyder described it as a "spoiler issue": “We agreed that with all the crazy stuff that's going to happen in 2014 - and my goal above all in 2014 is to keep things daring and fun - it'd be a thrill to do a total spoiler issue," said Snyder "A stand-alone issue that takes place in the near future and reveals all sorts of massive surprises coming to Gotham.”
Snyder will be a guest on DC All Access, DC Comics' web series that features interviews with creators, editors, and more. The publisher has provided ComicsAlliance with a sneak peak at the interview, which includes a look at some of Nguyen's art, that you can check out below.