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Hire This Woman: Artist Chrissie Zullo

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Artist Chrissie Zullo got her break in comics via the DC Comics Talent Search in 2008 and has been working consistently ever since. She has worked for a variety of major comics publishers, including Archie, Dark Horse, IDW, and Vertigo, on covers and interiors for series including Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love, Fairest In All The Land, Womanthology: Space, Madame Xanadu and Life With Archie.

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No, You’re The Joke: The Cast Of ‘Steven Universe’ At Comic-Con 2014 [Interview]

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Cartoon Network's Steven Universe has quickly become one of my favorite shows on television. The action, the comedy, the fact that there's an episode all about secret underground pro wrestling where the lead character becomes a manager named Tiger Millionaire, these are all things that I tend to respond to pretty favorably.

That's why I sat down for a roundtable interview at Comic-Con International with Zach Callison (Steven), Deedee Magno (Pearl),Michaela Dietz (Amethyst) and Tom Scharpling (Greg Universe) to go behind the scenes and find out what their favorite episodes are, what the response has been, and the magical formula for turning into Aimee Mann.

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She’d Rather Not Talk About It: New ‘Spider-Woman’ Team On Jessica Drew’s Past (And Future)

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Last weekend at the "Women of Marvel" panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Comics announced a new ongoing Spider-Woman series that will debut in November, from writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Greg Land, which will follow directly on from events in the Spider-Verse crossover. We had the opportunity to have a quick chat with the creative team in the wake of the announcement, and ask a few questions about their plans for the series.

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Be Unafraid: The Official ‘Wake’ Exit Interview With Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy

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Creators Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's mind-bending, centuries-spanning Vertigo Comics horror/sci-fi series The Wake comes to an end today, and it has covered a lot of ground in its 10 issues -- which is quite an accomplishment for a book that takes place in a world almost entirely covered by water.

A mix of horror and mythology spanning three different time periods, The Wake features a group of scientists, led by Dr. Lee Archer, attempting to uncover the secrets of a vicious Merman-like creature captured by the U.S. government. As Dr. Archer and her team do their best to discover the truth, the creature -- with the ability to invade their thoughts, granting them each what they believe to be their heart's desires -- has other plans. The creature unlocks many of mankind's myths of the sea -- and, consequently, itself -- and propels a wild-eyed, high adventure narrative that traverses centuries and brings in monsters, pirates, super-science, post-apocalyptic cultures and some of the most haunting psychological horror Vertigo's published in years.

Throughout, the Eisner-winning series has taken the emotional, intellectual and philosophical and made them manifest on the page with some highly innovative and bold storytelling techniques, such as when, after five issues of following Dr. Lee's adventure, the book jumps hundreds of years into the future to focus on a new protagonist and her cybernetic dolphin. The final issue takes that approach to a whole other level, telling a creation myth while providing closure for the characters. It's quite an accomplishment, and we talked with Snyder and Murphy about how they pulled it off.

WARNING: Issue #10 spoilers ahead.

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‘Mad Men’ With Capes: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel Talk ‘C.O.W.L.’ At Comic-Con 2014 [Video]

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COWL is an Image Comics series which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-”swinging” 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval — including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it’s a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.

Besides the very cool and original artwork of Rod Reis, we like COWL because it avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Crucially, despite its “real-world” premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it’s even really funny. The book also bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.

Last week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, we had a chance to talk to COWL co-writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel about their series.

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Starting With Character: Matt Kindt And Jeff Lemire Discuss ‘The Valiant’ [Interview]

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Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, the co-writers of the upcoming miniseries The Valiant -- a prestige-format miniseries featuring Bloodshot, Geomancer and Eternal Warrior -- have each done superhero work in the past, but they've really made their names with creator-owned work that they wrote and drew. Kindt's Mind MGMT has taken off, and Lemire struck a chord with series including Sweet Tooth and Trillium.

Those credentials are part of why Valiant invited the two creators to work on the new miniseries -- one that's being touted as an entry point for new readers, but also as a turning point for the whole Valiant Universe. They've been given some wiggle room to develop a character-based story and put their creative voices to work. The result is something both writers seem really proud of, not to mention a story that's bound to look good, with artwork by Paolo Rivera.

We sat down with Lemire and Kindt at San Diego Comic-Con International to ask them about their collaboration, how their backgrounds in cartooning inform their superhero work, and how Valiant's universe differs from others.

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Archie’s Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Announces ‘Afterlife’ Followup ‘Archie Is Legend’ [Video]

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Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is the chief creative officer of Archie Comics and the writer on both the critically acclaimed oddball horror comic Afterlife With Archie and the forthcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch series -- and he's helping oversee a huge creative renaissance at Archie.

Chris Sims caught up with Aguirre-Sacasa at San Diego Comic-Con to talk about the Dark Circle relaunch and the Shield redesign, the 1960s setting of his Sabrina horror comic, the chances of a Josie and the Pussycats appearance in Afterlife With Archie, and whether there's such a thing as "too far" in an Archie zombie horror comic! Plus... any chance of an appearance by Jingles the Christmas Elf in the forthcoming Afterlife With Archie Christmas Special? (Yes, that's a real thing.)

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I, Vader: Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca Talk ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader’ [Interview]

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Few in the Star Wars universe are more enigmatic, more revered, or more quoted than Darth Vader. And yet, despite being introduced to Vader's conflicted adolescence and troubled past in George Lucas' most recent film trilogy, we are still not fully aware of who the galaxy's most sinister villain really is beneath that obsidian faceplate. Sure, some of us root for the rebels. Some align with the Empire. But we all, without a doubt, want to peek under the mask of the most interesting villain in the universe; especially during that mysterious time between the first Death Star's destruction and The Empire Strikes Back.

Now we finally get more pieces of the personality puzzle with a story taking place during a time when Vader's vengeful thirst for power solidifies. It's a period explored before in various Expanded Universe stories, but never before by Kieron Gillen (Young Avengers, The Wicked + The Divine) and Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny Avengers). Their new ongoing series, Star Wars: Darth Vader, is one of three new series announced by Marvel at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend, the first since Marvel acquired the Star Wars comic book license as a consequence of Lucasfilm's acquisition with Marvel parent Disney.

We spoke to the creative team, cover artist about the psychology of sci-fi's most famous villain and what to expect from the new ongoing series.

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Unapologetically Strong: Mark Waid & Terry Dodson Talk ‘Star Wars: Princess Leia’ [Interview]

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Princess Leia is, of course, one of the most famous characters in science fiction, and very arguably the most famous female character. She's iconic, recognizable, and quotable. Leia is a character with a lot of implied depth that the Star Wars movies didn’t fully explore, even across three films in which she appeared. Of course, hardcore Star Wars fans could tell you a lot about Leia's numerous adventures in the Expanded Universe of novels, comics and games, but as evidenced by Marvel's plans to start anew with its own adventures that are fully canonical with the films and new animated series, there's something to be said for offering film fans a fresh start with this most important character.

That start is to be facilitated by some of American superhero comics' most popular creators: writer Mark Waid and penciller Terry Dodson, who along with editor Jordan D. White spoke with ComicsAlliance about their auspicious new gig.

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Amy Reeder Talks Rocket Girl, Kickstarter And Redeeming ’80s Fashion [Interview]

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Amy Reeder made a name for herself in the comics scene with Fools Gold from Tokyopop, but became a favorite of comics art lovers for her excellent occasionally breathtaking work on Vertigo's Madame Xanadu, which saw the versatile stylist to depict a complex and beautiful heroine across vast expanses of time and in all the aesthetic luxury that affords. Her profile rose further with a major level up on Batwoman, synthesizing her manga storytelling influence with tightly rendered yet loose and dynamic action. Whether you quiet scenes with exquisite facial expressions and palpable mood, or diverse body types in the throes of big splash-page comic book action, Reeder's got you covered.

Possibly the most Reeder book ever, Rocket Girl is about a teenage girl who's a cop in the future sent back to the middle of the 1980s to investigate Time Crimes, and in so doing discovers secrets that reveal her utopian home-time isn't so great after all. The premise allows Reeder to indulge herself fully, and in the best sense possible. Full of action, fashion and drama, Rocket Girl is a pleasure to read -- partly because it's obvious that its artist has so much fun drawing it.

We sat down with Amy Reeder at Comic-Con International in San Diego to talk about Rocket Girl, Kickstarter, and the evolution of her unmistakable style.

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