2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
Click after the jump to vote for your favorite design work on a comic in the past year.
I'll be honest with you: I'm getting just as sick of writing about Shia LaBeouf's continued efforts to win the Jerk Olympics as you may be of reading about him, but he keeps trying to top himself after initially being accused of plagiarizing Daniel Clowes (and now, many others) and it's impossible to ignore.
This time around, he tweeted a photo of a storyboard for "my next short," "Daniel Boring," clearly a not-even-thinly-veiled rip-off of Clowes' "David Boring," which he serialized in his series Eightball. Clowes' attorney, Michael J. Kump, sent LaBeouf's attorney a cease-and-desist order, and the Transformers actor posted that, too.
If you missed it yesterday, Shia LaBeouf, star of Disturbia and author of comics including one called Cyclical that involves motorcycles because of symbolism, adapted a Daniel Clowes comic, "Justin M. Damiano," into a short film and showed it at film festivals. Problem is, Clowes and his publisher, Fantagraphics didn't know about it, weren't credited, and weren't paid.
The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.
Failed comic book creatorShia LaBeouf, who we understand was in some movies once, has just released a short film titled HowardCantour.com. The film, directed by LaBeouf, follows the emotional trials and tribulations of an online film critic as he struggles with the frustrations of his chosen profession, including the emotional conflict of hero-worship and interacting with other bloggers, among other annoyances. Starring Jim Gaffigan as Howard Cantour, the film is seemingly an adaptation of "Justin M. Damiano," a short story by cartoonist Daniel Clowes.
Clowes, the creator of the graphic novel Ghost World, has seen his work adapted to the screen in the past. The difference this time? It would appear that LaBeouf, in no way, shape or form, had permission from Clowes to adapt his work, nor does he credit him anywhere in the film. In fact, the two have never even spoken.
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.
If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you’re a fetishist for expensive hardcover books that are available only in absurdly limited numbers and packaged in exquisite slipcases and loaded with supplemental material and artwork. With the gift-giving season rapidly winding down, people like us are looking for those last-minute gifts that are so expensive and so impressively large that they could never actually seem like you totally forgot to get your shopping (or blogging) done in a timely and responsible manner. The best sort of gift along those lines is of course the deluxe edition comic or art book, and I’ve put together a list of some great ones that you can still find at your local comics stores and online booksellers before the clock runs out on the season.
NOTE ON PRICES: We have included the list prices for each item. Because of holiday sales, you will very likely find discounts at your local comics shops, Amazon and elsewhere.
Fantagraphics Books hit its $150,000 Kickstarter funding goal Tuesday, only one week into its campaign to keep the company afloat after the death of co-Publisher Kim Thompson dealt it a serious financial blow earlier this year.
That's great news. Without that support, Fantagraphics would at the very least have had to drastically reduce its publishing schedule for 2014, and that would have left a big, gaping hole in the world of graphic novels and independent comics. But I do have to wonder if Fantagraphics set a precedent with its campaign, and whether it's a workable one.
When Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson died earlier this year, the company suffered more than just the loss of one of its key figures. As an editor, Thompson was responsible for a great deal of the translation and distribution of European comics, and with his sudden, unexpected diagnosis of lung cancer and his death just four months later, the publisher had to delay a third of their line. As you might expect, this caused a pretty significant financial shortfall.
Now, the company is turning to its readers to make up the difference. In order to support their Spring line of titles, including work by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Floyd Gottfredson, Don Rosa, Dan Clowes, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez and more, they're attempting to raise $150,000 via Kickstarter. Check out more information, as well as a very, very strange Kickstarter video, below.
Ed Piskor has been having a good year. His hacker culture graphic novel telling the story of Kevin "Boingthump" Phenicle, Wizzywig, was nominated for an Eisner Award for the cartoonist's distinctive book design, and was recently translated into a handsome French-language edition from Dargaud. Piskor also became the second recipient of the Columbus Museum of Art and Thurber House 2013 Graphic Novelist Residency. On November 2, Fantagraphics will release the first print edition in a series collecting the artist's widely-read webcomic, Hip Hop Family Tree, which chronicles the history of Hip Hop's most influential artists. ComicsAlliance contributor Tom Scioli got in touch with the artist to discuss his work, his approach to creating comics and more. You can read the full interview, after the jump.
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