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.
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).
To put it mildly, JudgeDredd has had a rough couple of years. His city's been put through the wringer yet again, he's questioning the justice system, and crime shows no sign of slowing down no matter how many times he shoots it with high explosives. Fortunately for him, Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas have stepped up to send him on a vacation this January in Judge Dredd: Mega City Two, a new miniseries from IDW where Mega City One's most famous lawman takes a trip to the West Coast to see what post-apocalyptic California has to offer.
To find out about the series, we spoke with Wolk, a long-time Dredd fan, about why he loves the series, what the inspiration was for (re)building Mega City Two, how he's rewriting the book with Farinas as he goes, and what stories new Dredd readers should check out.
If you thought Mojo Jojo relinquishing his capacity for supervillainy in IDW's Powerpuff Girls #2 was a shocker, next weeks' Powerpuff Girls #3 by Troy Little and colorist Jeremy Colwell will continue to blow your mind. It turns out that nearly every villain Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup ever protected Townsville from has also turned over a new leaf and insist on honoring the once sole guardians of the city. IDW's provided us with an early look at the confounding events of the issue before it arrives on November 27, but we're still stumped as to Little's maniacal endgame for the PPGs.
As you can probably tell from the title, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is pretty heavily based around, well, friendship. Being nice to each other, supporting their fellow ponies through the tough times, sharing common interests and overall kindness. So, you know, what better way to express those ideas of friendship and togetherness than by ditching Ponyville and heading out to the high seas for a life of lawless pillaging under as pirates!
That's the premise of Heather Nuhfer and Brenda Hickey's story in MLP:FiM #13, where everyone's favorite Equestrians join up with Hoofbeard the Pirate for an all-new buccaneer adventure. We only have the first few pages, but from what I've seen so far, I'm fully expecting it to mirror the plot of Assassins Creed IV, right down to someone air-assassinating an ocelot. Check it out below!
Last week, we brought you the news that IDW was launching My Little Pony: Friends Forever, an all-new, all-pony team-up series kicking off in January. The idea behind the new ongoing title is to pair up two members of the MLP cast for new adventures, and things are starting off in the first issue with a team up that's even more interesting than Pinkie Pie and Applejack having a bake-off: writer Alex de Campi and artist Carla Speed McNeil.
This week, I spoke to de Campi and McNeil to find out more about their approach to the characters, their favorite moments from the show and their ideal plans for Rainbow Dash -- which I can assure you are awesome.
I was born just a little too late to be part of that generation that was continually burned by the misleading promises you'd get from the ads in comic books, and to be honest, I've always been a little saddened by that. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I want to be ripped off, but for decades, the disappointment that came from cardboard X-Ray Specs and $2.98 nuclear submarines was an important part of the medium. Also, I've always been curious about the secrets of dynamic tension.
Fortunately for me, I can live out the thrill of disappointment through a purple cartoon dragon that lives in a tree that is also a library with a pony (also purple) in this week's My Little PonyMicroseries#9! The story, focusing on Spike and brought to you by Rob Anderson and Agnes Garbowska, finds Twilight Sparkle's #1 assistant attempting to get a pet of his own by sending off for sea monkeys, with hilarity to ensue upon delivery. Check out a preview below!
Here at ComicsAlliance, we love pretty much all things Judge Dredd (with maybe oneexception). We're also admirers of the work of illustrator Ulises Farinas. As such, any combination of the two is going to pique our interests, so when we found out Farinas and colorist Ryan Hill would be teaming up with writer -- and Judge Dredd historian -- Douglas Wolk on an upcoming Judge Dredd miniseries for IDW and 2000 AD, we were intrigued. And if this early piece of promotional art is any indication, readers are in for a treat.
Crack open your history books and mark it down, everybody: 2013 is the year that the superhero genre finally gave up its stranglehold on the medium of comic books and was replaced by its new successor: Pony Comics. This week, we have seen the first step in the equestrian takeover as IDW has announced the creative team for My Little Pony: FriendsForever, a second ongoing series set to launch in January starring everyone's favorite friendship-based horses, starting with a story about Pinkie Pie and Applejack from the creative team of Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil.
The casts of IDW's two flagship Transformers titles are set to collide this Wednesday with the release of Transformers: Dark Cybertron #1, the kickoff of a potentially apocalyptic event that could reshape the Autobot and Decepticon's homeworld forever... as in, like, leaving everybody dead. The issue is the first of a twelve-part series that will alternate between Transformers: Robots In Disguise and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye each month through its conclusion in March. IDW has provided CA with a first-look at the beginning of the Transformers event, which is co-written by James Roberts and IDW senior editor John Barber, with layouts by Phil Jimenez, finished art by Andrew Griffith, prologue art by Brendan Cahill, and colors by Josh Perez and J.P. Bove. Transform and roll out past the cut to see Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.
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