Canada offers an impressive range of comics talents, but its comic industry has usually been overshadowed by the buying power of the U.S. market -- but for one brief period in modern history. During the Second World War Canada restricted the import of non-essential items -- and that included comic books. For much of the 1940s, Canadians could only read Canadian comics. The era has become known as the Canadian Golden Age.
Hope Nicholson was a researcher on a documentary about the characters created during this era, Lost Heroes. Fascinated by the subject, Nicholson and her partner Rachel Richey launched a project to restore and republish the stories of one of the first comic superheroines, Adrian Dingle's Nelvana of the Northern Lights. With that book now in print, Nicholson has launched a Kickstarter to revive another lost Canadian hero; the square-jawed action man Brok Windsor.
Faith Erin Hicks is one of North American comics' most versatile talents, a writer/artist who's gained critical acclaim and commercial success, and raised her profile with each successive project she's released over her 15+ year career.
This year's San Diego Comic-Con was particularly eventful for Hicks, as she announced her new graphic novel series from First Second books and won an Eisner Award for Dark Horse's collection of her The Adventures Of Superhero Girl webcomic. We caught up with her in San Diego the morning after the Eisner awards to talk about current projects.
Next month, DC Comics will launch Sensation Comics, a digital-first anthology series featuring new Wonder Woman stories from a wide variety of creators and styles. This approach follows in the footsteps of the acclaimed Adventures Of Superman series, and is similarly structured – a new 10-page digital chapter will be released each week, and the stories will then be collected in a monthly print edition, with paperbacks presumably to follow.
During last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, we got the chance to hang out at the DC booth and have a quick round-table conversation with legendary Love & Rockets cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez, Smallville illustrator Cat Staggs, and Vampire Diaries writer Sean E. Williams, and ask about what they have planned for their installments of the new Wonder Woman book.
Arguably the "biggest" announcement of Comic-Con weekend was Marvel's unveiling of the creative teams for its first three all-new Star Wars comics. The new books have been hotly anticipated since plans for Marvel Star Wars books were first announced back in January, shortly after the company's corporate parent, Disney, acquired Star Wars creator George Lucas' Lucasfilm.
Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca will team for a Darth Vader ongoing series; Mark Waid and Terry Dodson will author a five-issue Princess Leia miniseries; and Jason Aaron and John Cassaday have been named as the creative team for a Star Wars ongoing series. The three series will launch through the first quarter of 2015, each telling original stories set between the events of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back — the obvious place within the original trilogy to expand the universe and explore the characters.
The core Star Wars title from Aaron and Cassaday will naturally focus on the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as they go up against Darth Vader’s imperial forces. To learn more about the project, ComicsAlliance spoke with Aaron and series editor Jordan D. White (unfortunately Cassaday was not available for comment before publication time).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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