Making trailers for comic books has become fairly common practice over the past few years, but writer/director Dennis Liu and artist Jason Piperberg are taking the art to a whole new level with their video promoting their new, self-published series Raising Dion.
The series bills itself as "a superhero story from a parent's point of view," and focuses on a single mom named Nicole and her 7-year-old son, Dion, who has superpowers. A lot of superpowers.
All things considered, Steve Ditko has had a pretty strange career. I mean, he co-created Spider-Man and Dr. Strange and Squirrel Girl, and went solo to create the Question, Blue Beetle, and Shade the Changing Man, and even nowadays, he's still going, quietly producing creator-owned work from a studio in Manhattan. But that stretch in between is where it really gets weird. In the '80s and '90s, he did everything from Mr. A to Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos. And then there was the Missing Man.
In a career that was full of characters so odd that one of them was even called Odd Man --- and he lived up to the name, I assure you --- the Missing Man might have been the weirdest. And as the name implies, it's not what's in the stories that's so weird, it's what's not.
If you're familiar with Ryan Browne's work from God Hates Astronauts, his ongoing series from Image, then you already know that he makes some weird comics. I mean, honestly, weirdness is kind of GHA's defining characteristic, right down to the first volume's focus on a superhero whose giant head explodes and is then replaced with a spectral cow. Now imagine what you'd get if there was absolutely no filter on Browne's creative process and a time restraint that meant he had to go with anything that popped into his head.
That's how we ended up with Blast Furnace: Recreational Thief, an "improv comic" project that Browne first put together in 2012, where he had to write, draw and letter a comics page in a single hour every day. Needless to say, the 130-page original makes for an interesting read, but now, Browne's bringing it back for a Kickstarter campaign set to double the length and add full-color pages.
The '90s were a magical time for the world of comic books. Thanks to a massive boom in popularity, readership and, let's be honest here, sales driven by speculators who genuinely believed that copies of Superman #75 were going to pay for an early retirement in a solid gold mansion, the idea of jumping onto superheroes to capture kids' attention bled into plenty of other industries. It became a golden age of PSAs and promo comics, with everything from Christian weightlifters to national parks being cast in superheroic adventures.
That's right, everybody: National Parks. It seems that sometime in the mid-90s, someone decided that the natural grandeur of the Grand Canyon was having a rough time appealing to kids in an age of rap music and Super Nintendos, and that what America's greatest landmark needed was a team of vaguely heroic characters to explain why littering is bad: Chasm and the Eco Squad!
Michelle Czajkowski’s webcomic, Ava’s Demon, has become a beacon of independent success. Financially, it’s garnered over half a million dollars in Kickstarter backing over the course of two campaigns. Culturally, fans are popping up in highly-saturated body paint wherever cosplay is exhibited. Artistically, it’s become one of the most luminously lovely comics currently produced.
Yet its origins are simple: a story about a girl possessed by the ghost of an alien queen, created in the scant few hours Czajkowski had to herself between the end of her formal workday and sleep. ComicsAlliance sat with Czajkowski to learn more about her influences, her career transformation, and the future of webcomics as she sees it.
The Humble Bundle's biweekly book sales have become a bit of a risky proposition for people on the lookout for cheap comics. On the one hand, you can get a whole bunch of stuff for whatever price you want to pay, with more content unlocked at a still-pretty-low price of $15, and you get to support a charity while you're at it. On the other hand, sometimes you end up reading a bunch of Transformers comics for the next six months.
Really, though, it's almost always worth looking into, and the bundle that launched this week is no exception. The theme is comics based on music, and for $15, you can grab the first volume of The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram, Nowhere Men, Hip Hop Family Tree, and more.
Cartoonist Lucy Bellwood launched a Kickstarter on Monday, July 20, for a collection of her minicomics about tall ships titled Baggywrinkles: A Lubber's Guide to Life at Sea. Bellwood has sailed on these historical ships herself and channeled this fascination into a project that is partially auto-biographical, partially historical, and partially fun facts about sailing. The campaign has already gone well over its funding goal and hit some important stretch goals, including getting a full color treatment.
ComicsAlliance sat down with Bellwood to talk about the project, her love of pirates, crowdfunding, and her secret plans for the Kickstarter booty.
I'm not what you'd call a "morning person" and have very little trust for those who are, so at first glance, I thought that the main character of Susan Beneville and Brian Hess's Awake might be the most diabolical supervillain of all time. I mean, someone with the ability to "wake up" entire planets? C'mon, what if that planet was trying to ease into its day? What if it had a late night? Let it stay asleep a little while longer!
But then I read the preview pages provided by Action Lab and saw that it's more of a metaphorical thing, and that Regn doesn't just wake planets up, she also speaks to them and heals them --- and that it's a pretty interesting premise with some absolutely beautiful, downright Disneyesque art.
I imagine that there are a lot of really great things about being named "Rampage Jackson," but chief among them has to be that when the inevitable time comes to lend your image to a new superhero comic, you don't even have to change the name. That, at least, seems to be the idea behind Lion Forge's upcoming Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier anthology, which casts the MMA fighter and actor as a superhero who battles evil alongside his faithful dog, Andronicus.
In all the years that I've been going to comic book conventions, I'm pretty sure that Ben Marra is the only person I've ever walked up to and said, "I'd like to buy one of everything you have." His comics, and I mean this in the absolute best way possible, have the aesthetic of weird, stapled together drawings done in the back of math class once he'd finally perfected the Van Halen logo, and while that's probably not for everyone, it is exactly the VHS action movie-meets-80s black and white boom aesthetic I am into.
Now, everyone's getting the chance to hand over their hard earned cash for some of Marra's most bizarre comics. Not only is the completely bonkers Terror Assaulter: OMWOT: One Man War On Terror getting a full-length release from Fantagraphics, Marra has launched a Kickstarter for an oversized version of Blades & Lazers, printed with metallic blue and fluorescent pink ink.
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