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‘Mad Men’ With Capes: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel Talk ‘C.O.W.L.’ At Comic-Con 2014 [Video]

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COWL is an Image Comics series which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-”swinging” 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval — including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it’s a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.

Besides the very cool and original artwork of Rod Reis, we like COWL because it avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Crucially, despite its “real-world” premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it’s even really funny. The book also bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.

Last week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, we had a chance to talk to COWL co-writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel about their series.

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Despair At Its Finest: David Lapham’s ‘Murder Me Dead’ [Review]

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When discussing the oeuvre of David Lapham, the comic that comes up again and again is obviously Stray Bullets. As great as Stray Bullets is, though, it tends to overshadow the rest of Lapham's body of work rather unfairly in some cases. Despite the several very good comics that Lapham has produced besides his most famous title – including the incomplete Young Liars, the raucous Juice Squeezers, and of course WWF Battlemania – none can match the near-mythic level of quality and reputation of Stray Bullets, and tend to just get left out of the conversation.

The new trade paperback collection of Murder Me Dead, available July 23 from Image Comics, could help change that trend. A dark, stirring, and emotionally manipulative noir about self-destruction, lies, and guilt, it may be the best “other” Lapham comic in his catalog.

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Amy Reeder Talks Rocket Girl, Kickstarter And Redeeming ’80s Fashion [Interview]

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Amy Reeder made a name for herself in the comics scene with Fools Gold from Tokyopop, but became a favorite of comics art lovers for her excellent occasionally breathtaking work on Vertigo's Madame Xanadu, which saw the versatile stylist to depict a complex and beautiful heroine across vast expanses of time and in all the aesthetic luxury that affords. Her profile rose further with a major level up on Batwoman, synthesizing her manga storytelling influence with tightly rendered yet loose and dynamic action. Whether you quiet scenes with exquisite facial expressions and palpable mood, or diverse body types in the throes of big splash-page comic book action, Reeder's got you covered.

Possibly the most Reeder book ever, Rocket Girl is about a teenage girl who's a cop in the future sent back to the middle of the 1980s to investigate Time Crimes, and in so doing discovers secrets that reveal her utopian home-time isn't so great after all. The premise allows Reeder to indulge herself fully, and in the best sense possible. Full of action, fashion and drama, Rocket Girl is a pleasure to read -- partly because it's obvious that its artist has so much fun drawing it.

We sat down with Amy Reeder at Comic-Con International in San Diego to talk about Rocket Girl, Kickstarter, and the evolution of her unmistakable style.

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Watch The Ridiculous (In A Good Way) Trailer For Larime Taylor’s ‘A Voice In The Dark’

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Larime Taylor is an extraordinary talent. He has a condition, Arthrogryposis , that requires him to hold a Cintiq pen in his mouth in order to draw. Working in this way he's managed to produce seven monthly issues of his Top Cow series A Voice In The Dark, and now the first collected volume of the series is available for purchase. In order to promote the collection, Taylor has released this enjoyably bombastic trailer, complete with a Don LaFontaine soundalike.

A Voice In The Dark is the story of Zoey Aarons, a college freshman who killed once and fears she'll kill again. Unfortunately for Zoe, she's picked a college in a town with the highest population of serial killers in America.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Image, News

Eric Stephenson’s Keynote Speech From Image Expo 2014: Diversity, Originality, Grave-Robbing [Video]

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Image Comics held another one-day Image Expo in San Diego this week just ahead of San Diego Comic-Con, to shine a spotlight on a slate of upcoming titles, including new work from Rick Remender, Ray Fawkes, Marian Churchland, Jeff Lemire, and Becky Cloonan.

It was also a chance for Image publisher Eric Stephenson to talk about Image's position in the comics market. In his keynote speech he called out his competitors for their reliance on "grave robbing the past," hailed the importance of diversity, and derided the term "creator-driven".

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The Comics Alliance Guide to San Diego Comic-Con 2014: What To Do On Sunday

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With hundreds of panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con, the show can be an overwhelming experience — and it’s far too easy to miss a panel you think you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!

ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best programming at the con. Today we offer our suggested highlights for the final day of the show, Sunday July 27, 2014, when most of the family programming is scheduled. We’ll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.

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Image Expo: 12 Auspicious Announcements And The State Of The American Comics Union

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In the final few hours before San Diego Comic-Con opened its doors to the public for Preview Night on Wednesday, Image Comics Expo took place in an upstairs ballroom at the nearby San Diego Bayfront Hilton, where the publisher welcomed a group of press, creators, and fans to watch as the company announced, discussed and otherwise promote a great variety of upcoming Image titles.

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From Under Mountains: Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson and Sloan Leong Subvert Clichés With A New Fantasy Adventure

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There will be magic in From Under Mountains, an ongoing fantasy series coming from Image in 2015 and announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Set in the world of Akhara, the story introduces us to a lord's daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief whose unlikely partnership will change the course of a world locked in a bitter conflict between rival clans. There will be goblins and witches and knights as well, lost in the churning of a world in turmoil. Great houses will square off for power. Thieves will dash into the shadows. Naïve youths will learn that the world is vaster and more terrible than they ever imagined. In these warm, well-worn ways, it will embrace the best that fantasy, as a genre has to offer: sweeping scope grounded in the lives of heroes, villains, and everything in between.

Creators Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong have worked on everything from Elephantmen to magical girl comics about anthropomorphic wolves, and they are bringing their varied experience to bear upon From Under Mountains and the fantasy genre in ways both familiar and innovative. ComicsAlliance talked with them to discuss breaking new ground with thoughtfulness, experience, and memories of Ursula Le Guin.

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The Comics Alliance Guide to San Diego Comic-Con 2014: What To Do On Saturday

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With hundreds of panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con, the show can be an overwhelming experience — and it’s far too easy to miss a panel you think you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!

Take heart, brave reader. ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best programming at the con. Today we offer our suggested highlights for day three, Saturday July 26, 2014 — with an emphasis on comics programming. We’ll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.

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Universal’s Cable Arm Picks Up Remender & Dwyer’s ‘Night Mary’, Barbiere & Mooneyham’s ‘Five Ghosts’ And Original Series By Warren Ellis

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Universal Cable Productions, the cable and digital arm of NBCUniversal, announced three new projects rooted in the comic book realm, including what will be Planetary and Transmetropolitan writer Warren Ellis' first original series developed especially for television. Additionally, UCP optioned Night Mary, a 2005 IDW drama by Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer about a young woman trained to enter the dreams of serial killers; and Five Ghosts, the recent critical hit from Image Comics/Black Mask Studios and creators Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, who tell the story of Fabian Gray, a 1930s adventurer possessed by the spirits of five literary ghosts — Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Miyamoto Musashi, and Dracula. Five Ghosts began as a miniseries but its success resulted in an upgrade to ongoing, and now, it seems, an "upgrade" (because comics are the best, obviously) to television.

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