As someone who will argue vehemently against the very existence of a second Pipettes album, I've been a fan of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's comics about the (literal) magic of pop music since day one. The only problem I've had with them is that they tend to lack the true indicators of quality literature: Explosions and people getting punched in the head with lightning bolts. This, incidentally, is why Street Fighter remains the high point of modern art.
Fortunately, The Wicked + The Divine is out to remedy that with as much explosion-based storytelling as Gillen and McKelvie can cram into it, and this week's issue takes things to the extreme. Not only are there finger-snapping kabooms and electric Falcon punches, there's a full-on riot in the streets going down. And also, I suppose, minor vandalism, but that's a little less impressive in the scheme of things.
The way things are going, it's won't be much longer before we start referring to Image Comics as "that European sci-fi publisher.... but American." Over the last few years, Image has been host to a string of challenging and offbeat titles with strong Euro SF influences, and so far they've all been exceptional. With the combined comics goodness of Saga, Prophet, Nowhere Men, Black Science, and Starlight, stylish science fiction is trending upwards, and with Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein's forthcoming Drifter, the trend continues.
In advance of the November release of Drifter #1 (final order cutoff is next week, for you pre-orderers and retailers), Image has provided ComicsAlliance with an advance copy of the book, and boy, is it purdy.
Image Comics' Southern Bastards has a lot to offer people who enjoy a good crime/revenge comic like I do. There's palpable tension, a sense of some serious wrongs that need to be righted, and people fighting each other with bats (one of them the remnant of a tree that grew out of a grave and was struck by lightning) in the middle of the street.
But, you might say, there are lots of crime comics out there. Heck, Jason Aaron, the writer of Southern Bastards, has penned a good many himself. Scalped and his Punisher run, to name a couple. Southern Bastards is something really special, though, because of the way Aaron and artist Jason Latour embrace its setting so deeply and wholeheartedly.
At this year's Fan Expo in Toronto I was lucky enough to see some of the pages for Ray Fawkes' new Image series Intersect up-close; beautiful painted pages depicting a world of darkness and dread. Fawkes is a self-taught artist who balances a mainstream career writing books like Constantine and the forthcoming Batman horror series Gotham By Midnight with more personal and often boldly experimental work, like his Oni Press books One Soul and The People Inside, which use the comics page to explore lives in parallel.
Intersect is an ongoing horror story set in a grotesquely distorted city -- but to know more than that, you'll need to read the book. ComicsAlliance spoke with writer and artist Ray Fawkes to learn more about the process behind Intersect and how he balances the different sides of his career.
If there's one problem that we as comics readers all share, it's that we just have too much money. Sure, we keep trying to give it to publishers and creators, but sometimes there just aren't enough comics to buy, and that's why we always need more great books out there to pick up. Fortunately, the good folks over at Comixology are doing their best to make that as easy as possible, and this week, those efforts are taking the form of the Image Comics "New Hits" Sale.
A ton of great new Image books like Southern Bastards, The Wicked + The Divine, Velvet, Burn the Orphanage and more have seen their first few issues dropped down to 99 cents each, and on top of that, there's a bundle of 20 first issues for just fifteen bucks.
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.
September's covers include masterclass composition from Genndy Tarkakovsky and Noelle Stevenson, some beautiful uses of light, color, and contrast, and some very different portraits of gods, old and new.
As the record will show, I'm a pretty big fan of Ryan Browne's God Hates Astronauts, but every time I read a new issue, I'm always left with one question: How exactly is Browne going to top himself next time? I mean, the book's major selling point is that it's 20 pages of unrestrained id that just keeps getting weirder and weirder, but when your starting point is hillbilly rocketships being taken down by a superhero with the spectral head of a ghost cow, that's a little harder to do than it might seem.
Fortunately, Browne is up for the challenge, which is why the second issue of the new ongoing series, out this week from Image, kicks off with astronauts (who are presumably hated by the Almighty) playing golf on the moon. Oh, and the astronauts are owls and there is also a swarm of evil space crabs on there too. Check it out below to see just how weird things can get in three short pages!
If you've been reading Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals (and honestly, I'm pretty sure that if you're reading this, you are), then you've probably noticed that one of the best parts of the comic comes in the letters page where the two creators offer the reader tips for a better sex life. Wait, no. "Better" is probably not the right word. Oh well, you get the idea.
Either way, the tips have been very enthusiastically received, and with the success of Sex Criminals, Fraction and Zdarsky are looking to spread the word and penetrate the market by collecting them in Just The Tips a handsome, 96-page hardcover that will look great on your coffee table, or hastily thrown under the sofa when your parents visit. And just in case that doesn't arouse your interest, we've got a massive 23-page preview of the tips and sex positions ready for your perusal.
Please be advised, though, this is extremely not safe for work, unless your work is 100% cool with drawings of boners and buttholes, in which case you probably work for ComicsAlliance and saw it already.
On its own, the police procedural doesn't have that much traction within modern comics. In the early days of the medium -- especially in newspaper strips -- it was a different story, and straight-up police tales were among some of the most popular of the day. A little over a decade ago, though, everybody seemed to realize the potential to mix police procedurals with other genres, frequently to fantastic and award-winning results: Alan Moore and Gene Ha's Top Ten; Gotham Central, by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and others; and Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Those books realized the natural fit that cop stories had within superhero stories, and thus a sub-genre was born.
But there's still plenty of room left for cop shows in comics, and over the last few years, the sci-fi procedural has definitely been in its ascendance. With Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood's The Fuse, we have a new standard by which to judge all others.
Otis Frampton's all-ages comic Oddly Normal has been around for a decade now, starting in 2004 as a webcomic, then a four-issue miniseries, a graphic novel, a Kickstarter-funded book in 2012, and now a brand new Image Comics series.
At its core, Oddly Normal is about a 10-year-old girl who wished her parents away. Now Frampton intends to dig into the origins of Oddly, his half-witch protagonist. The new series examines what it's like to be different and how mean kids can be, and explores how the drastic measures kids take when they're fed up with that cruelty can lead to... unintended consequences.
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