When it debuted in June of last year, Starfire brought alien princess Koriand'r to the Florida Keys with a bright new attitude and a great new costume. Written by the Harley Quinn team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, the book includes beautiful lineart from Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy, with Elsa Charretier taking over lineart this week in Starfire #9, plus vibrant color work from Hi-Fi. All this comes together to tell the tale of a sunny-dispositioned superheroine making a life for herself in the strange land of Florida.
But in the last month or so, rumors of changes coming to the DC line has readers questioning what would happen to Starfire. We got together with Conner and Palmiotti to discuss female friendship, Kori's views on love and sexuality, and the fate of the book in the coming months.
It's Black History Month! And what better way to celebrate than by looking at our past and using it to head into the future --- even if that future is lifetimes away from now. That's exactly what Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams' plan to capture in Tuskegee Heirs. The forthcoming graphic novel pays homage to the Tuskegee Airmen as it follows five talented pilots in their teenage years on their journey to defend the world --- eighty years from now. Oh, and there are big fighting robots involved too.
Comic book fans have been buzzing with excitement for the upcoming new series which was funded over Kickstarter within days of its start in January. Now, with four days to go, the duo has raised over five times the amount of their original goal of $10,000, gaining them enough funding to create six issues and a mobile game app. But they're really eyeing a possible animated series --- and we can already imagine some exciting scenes. (We mentioned the big fighting robots right?)
ComicsAlliance spoke with Burnham and Williams about the latest project, what scenes they're looking forward to animating, the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, and what readers can expect in the first graphic novel.
Welcome to Limbo, a world where ‘50s noir and ‘80s neon are smashed together to produce one truly surreal comic. Think Lovecraft meets Cronenberg as Innsmouth and Videodrome collide in an explosion of magic, myth, jazz and Kafka. It's an Image comic that's hard to define, but it’s clear that artist Caspar Wijngaard and writer Dan Watters are having the time of their lives.
From color palettes that follow narrative and character while also setting the tone, to the clean sharp lines that somehow still scream punk, Limbo is worth buying for the art alone --- which makes it all the more satisfying that the story is so wickedly sharp, embracing the surreal world that Wijngaard brings to life with existential humour, a subversively twisty plot, and a complete refusal to hold the hand of the reader. This is subjective storytelling at its best, which made an interview an absolute must.
Mildred Louis' webcomic Agents of the Realm has recruited a growing legion of fans since it started almost two years ago. The story of five girls who have just started college, things start to get weird when ghostly monsters maraud the premises. Then magical brooches appear --- and wouldn't you know it? Before anybody can say a thing, the girls have formed a superteam ready to defend the planet.
At heart a huge adventure series about magical girls, this is also a profoundly real story, with women who experience life in all its ups and downs. To find out more about how the series first came together, and about the current Kickstarter to bring the story to print, we spoke to Louis about all things Agents of the Realm.
With Morgan's Organs, the team of Daniel Brodie and Rob Jennex are taking a familiar concept and sending it off in a completely new direction. Set inside their lead character, the comic brings a group of organs to life and pits them off against one another, their squabbles and ambitions leading their human into new and confusing situations.
But this isn't an all-ages comic --- rather, this is the "inside the body" comic that finally gives voice to a penis, and pits it as the main opponent to the brain. It's very silly, but it also makes some surprising and delightfully funny points about how humans function. To find out more, ComicsAlliance spoke to Brodie about the project.
At the end of last year, publisher Joe Pruett and editor Mike Marts launched AfterShock Comics, a new publisher for a new line of creator-owned comics. The first titles to carry the AfterShock banner came from creative talent including Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner; Marguerite Bennett and Ariel Kristantina; and Garth Ennis and Simon Coleby. The publisher made an immediate impression on the comics marketplace, and it's fascinating to watch them grow.
AfterShock has big plans for 2016. It's finding a home at a growing number of retailers, and made its catalogue available digitally on ComiXology, and a slate of new titles are on the horizon. The question is whether a new publisher can carve out an audience. ComicsAlliance spoke to Pruett and Marts to find out how AfterShock came together, and how it plans to move forward. They also revealed three of the new series they will be launching later this year.
2016 marks the tenth anniversary of FirstSecond, the graphic novel publisher that has been home to work from talents including Faith Erin Hicks, Gene Luen Yang, Sonny Liew, Scott McCloud, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki --- a huge range of writers and artists, telling stories from the subtlest biography to the most outlandish adventure. Eisner and Ignatz-nominated cartoonist Sam Sharpe will join the FirstSecond family with the graphic novel Mom: A Story of Love and Mental Illness, in 2018.
The book is a retelling of a key moment in Sharpe's life: the moment he first met his mother as an adult, following a childhood where she was absent due to her schizophrenia. The story details their reconnection, as Sharpe looks at how their relationship both before, during and after their meeting shaped who he is today as an artist and person. Told in black and white, the book sharply depicts mental illness, and family ties. ComicsAlliance spoke to Sharpe to learn how the story came together.
Jem and the Holograms has been one of the best comics on the stands ever since its debut, and one of the things that really makes it work is how it expands on the original cartoon in ways that make perfect sense. Jerrica's stage fright, Stormer and Kimber's super-cute relationship, and the recasting of Rio as a music reporter put off by Jem's standoffish nature, have all helped to build Kelly Thompson, Sophie Campbell and Emma Vieceli's story into a great, fleshed-out world.
Now, with "Dark Jem" kicking off this week, they're turning that world upside-down. The Misfits have lost a lead singer, the Holograms are going dark, and something's wrong with Synergy. To find out more, ComicsAlliance spoke with Thompson about the direction for the next arc, the challenge of making Pizzazz and the Misfits sympathetic, and why the current arc has an awful lot to do with The Karate Kid.
Crowdfunding has become an important part of how comics get made, allowing creators to pitch their work directly to readers, and providing opportunities for comics that traditional publishers may not consider. With Back Pages, ComicsAlliance hopes to provide a spotlight for some of the best comics crowdfunding projects we can find.
Alex Heberling has been working full time on webcomics since 2013 with her series The Hues. Mixing sci-fi with high fantasy, The Hues follows a group of young women as they attempt to fend off an alien invasion --- with magic powers they've only just realized they have, and haven't quite got the full hang of yet. Alex has taken to Kickstarter this year for her second campaign, seeking to fund a second print volume of the comic. ComicsAlliance spoke to her to find out more.
Over the past eight issues, Midnighter has sent its title character on a grand tour of some of the weirdest corners of the DC Universe, pitting a leather-clad fighter with a computer brain against custom-made vampires, combination animals, an endless string of easily murdered clones, and more. And through it all, writer Steve Orlando and artists David Messina, Stephen Mooney, ACO and Alec Morgan have crafted one of the best books on the stands, full of adventure, action, and a surprising amount of gut-punching emotional content.
It's a great book, which is why I spoke to Orlando about the process of fitting the Midnighter into a world that already has Batman, the big reveal in #6, the rocky relationship between Midnighter and Apollo, and the plans for the book's future --- which involve the Midnighter getting shot out of a giant gun into space. It's based on a true story.
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