Comics as we know it is wide and fractured. There's Direct Market comics, bookstore comics, webcomics, indie comics, manga, Eurocomics, and several more subcultures. I'm curious about what working under the broad umbrella of "comics" is like for creators, publishers, critics, academics, and more. Over the course of this month, I'm going to interview several people whose work, position, or goals I find interesting and attempt to paint a picture of what "comics" means today. For this installment I'm talking to Whit Taylor, creator of Watermelon...and things that make me uncomfortable as a black person, Madtown High, and Stethoscope Microphone.
Koyama Press has unveiled six new books it has coming out this fall, and they run the gamut from avant-garde horror to cultural satire to funny-animal hijinks for all-ages.
Check out the full list of titles from cartoonists Renee French, Patrick Kyle, Michael DeForge, Walter Scott, John Martz, and Britt Wilson, with solicitations, below.
Nearly four years after a Kickstarter campaign netted $11,200 for its development, Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork from developer Pixeljam and cartoonist James Kochalka is about to hit your iOS device very soon.
The game is due out during the first quarter of this year (and that's already a third over). It mashes up Space Invaders and Galaga-style shooting with platforming for a major retro gaming experience. Check out a trailer after the jump.
Back in 2012, Namco launched ShiftyLook with an eye on turning older video game franchises like Bravoman and Rolling Thunder into webcomics, and they've done a good job of it, too. Galaga, in which Ryan North, Christopher Hastings and Anthony Clark reimagined space combat as the story of two teenage girls building spaceships out of giant pixels and blasting off to defend Earth alongside a two-fisted President, was one of ComicsAlliance's best comics of 2013, and now, they're giving the team a second chance at capturing that magic.
Today, North, Clark and Hastings launched DigDug, a short story based on the classic 1982 arcade game. I spoke to the three creators to find out more about how they adapt an 8-bit game into a character-based story, where they find time to take on an additional project and whether they've officially named their team.
On the list of things I'm a complete and total sucker for, outer-space westerns are up at the top of the list, right under comics about Batman punching a gorilla or crocodile. I love those things, and the more obvious the connection to westerns, the more I tend to love it. Cowboy Bebop? Great. Firefly, with its train robberies and galactic civil war veterans? Yes. Heck, I've even got a passing interest in BraveStarr, and that thing is so on the nose that it takes place on "Planet Texas." Seriously, you put cosmic six-shooters and I'm basically in, no questions asked.
Of course, it helps if the end product is actually good, too, and while it was the premise and a quick look at the art that got my interest piqued in the first place, Matthew Ritter and Adam Elbatimy's Nova Phase is every bit as good as I wanted it to be.
With the third and fourth chapters of The Umbrella Academy on the way this year, you'd think former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, who just wrapped up The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys at Dark Horse last month, would be plenty busy on the comics front.
But the writer and singer just keeps on revealing new character designs. Last week, he revealed images of three cats, Jones, Lemon, and Koko, who will apparently be the stars of a new series titled All Ages (which clearly won't be an all-ages book, because Jones is smoking; bad Jones!) Check out his tweets about the series after the jump!
Google “Best Crime Comics of All Time” and you’ll find a lot of lists, including a couple from ComicsAlliance, filled with many of the usual suspects: Criminal, Sin City, Torso, Scalped, and Darwyn Cooke’s Parker adaptations appear several times, alongside the archetypal series that defined the genre like Crime Does Not Pay, Dick Tracy (before Chester Gould started sending Tracy off to adventures on the Moon), and Crime SuspenStories. These are all undisputed classics in the genre that should be read by everyone, but notably, criminally absent (sorry, couldn’t help it) from every one of the lists that I came across was David Lapham’s Stray Bullets.
Every. Single. One.
Now that the title is returning, with new stories from Image Comics after nearly a decade-long absence, we may be able to rectify these egregious errors. Stray Bullets is the best crime comic of all time. And I will injury-to-the-eye-motif anybody who says different.
Michel Fiffe's Copra, a strange, superheroic adventure inspired by John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell's classic Suicide Squad, just completed its initial 12-issue run. In that time, Fiffe wrote, drew, lettered, published and even shipped every issue himself, once a month. As he says, it was essentially all he did for an entire year, but the end result was unquestionably one of the single best comic books of the year, if not the decade.
Fiffe plans to continue the series, but during his self-imposed vacation, I spoke to him to get his thoughts on Copra, the year of his life he spent doing exactly the comic he wanted to do, and why he wants to continue.
I've loved pro wrestling almost as long as I've loved comics, but it takes a lot to get me interested in those two things joining together. Books like Super Pro KO and The Legend of Ricky Thunder are absolutely fantastic, don't get me wrong, but when it comes to making comics that are actually based on the real-life stars of World Wrestling Entertainment, I've been burned pretty much every single time. That said, if there's one thing that could've gotten me excited about WWE Superstars, the latest attempt at bringing pro wrestling to the page, it was the announcement that it was being written by one of my all-time favorites, Mick Foley.
That was more than enough to get me to read it, and I'm glad I did, because this book is ridiculously entertaining -- and part of that comes from the fact that it is also one thousand percent bonkers.
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.