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 the month of February, I'm taking over the Inkstuds podcast in order to introduce Inkstuds Spotlight, a focused look at what it means to be in comics. A comprehensive look isn't my goal. My goal is to show you several different slices of life in comics, as the people I'm interviewing this month play a wide variety of roles in comics. Today, I'm talking to Darryl Ayo, cartoonist and critic.
Last month, ComicsAlliance launched its first ever Reader Choice Awards. We spend all year telling you what we like (and don't like), but we wanted to hear from you. We had seven different polls, asking voters to make their choices for best editor, colorist, writer/artist, cover artist, design, artist and writer for the previous year in comics.
Voting concluded this morning, and the results are in. Thanks to all of you who voted, and otherwise spread the word. You can check out a list of the winners below.
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.
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.
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, includinga couple fromComicsAlliance, 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.
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