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Struggles And Journeys: Greg Pak On Building The World Of ‘Kingsway West’ [Interview]

Kingsway West, art by Mirko Colak and Wil Quintana

After years of working on characters like Superman and the Hulk, writer Greg Pak is finally launching his first-ever creator-owned series through Dark Horse, alongside Mirko Colak, Wil Quintana, and Simon Bowland. Kingsway West is the story of a gunslinger and a mysterious swordswoman making their way across an Old West dominated by the new discovery of magic. It's an intriguing project, and one that promises a big adventure right from the start, complete with a man riding a gigantic jackalope right there on the page.

To find out more, I spoke to Pak about why he decided to do a Western, his plans to make the book easy for readers to find at their local comic shops, and his influences, both fictional and historical.

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I Want To Make This A Performance: Grant Morrison Discusses His Plans For ‘Heavy Metal’ [Interview]


When it was announced last month that Heavy Metal magazine had signed Grant Morrison to serve as their new editor-in-chief, it seemed to be the exact real-world approximation of that comic cliche: a team-up that nobody anticipated, but that makes perfect sense when considered from the right angle.

Heavy Metal is a title that, in its '70s/'80s heyday, redefined the limits of comic book form and content, much as Morrison has eschewed conventional stylistic and genre constraints throughout his career. Today, the magazine's name is shorthand for a specific style of exploitative genre fiction --- usually involving some combination of sci-fi, sword & sorcery, swearing, and sex --- but owners Jeff Krelitz and David Boxenbaum have been vocal about their hopes to expand the Heavy Metal brand and reignite the revolutionary spirit that it originally embodied.

ComicsAlliance sat down with Morrison at this summer's San Diego Comic-Con to talk about his personal history with Heavy Metal, ask some questions about his plans, and get a glimpse into the approach he's bringing to his new role at the magazine.

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Building A Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy: Paul Cornell and Tony Parker Talk ‘This Damned Band’ [Interview]


Earlier this month, Dark Horse released the first issue of This Damned Band, a new series from writer Paul Cornell and artist Tony Parker that tells the story of the seminal early '70s band Motherfather --- a group that attempts to enjoy the trappings of rock stardom, but at the same time become mixed up in forces far beyond their control.

In advance of issue #2 hitting stands next week, ComicsAlliance had the opportunity to sit down with Cornell and Parker to talk about the series.

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True Blue, Part 12: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

blue 12

Welcome to the eleventh installment of True Blue, our weekly recap of Archie Comics‘ crossover event between the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man series, “Worlds Unite.” Each installment, we’ll recap the notable moments of the latest chapter in “Worlds Unite” with Archie Action Editor Vincent Lovallo, and take a look at what lies ahead for the next chapter of the crossover event.

Previously in “Worlds Unite," Sigma, major big bad from Mega Man X's future, traveled through a Genesis Portal to the world of Lost Hex in Sonic's universe. There, he forcibly teamed up with Eggman to create an army of robots and to have Sonic's nemesis aid in the creation of the Unity Engine. To that end, Sigma also brought in Dr. Wily from Mega Man's world, and together with both doctors, Sigma was able to quickly put his plan to sap the power from all the known (and unknown) universes to fuel his ascent into godhood.

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Vanity Cases: Sina Grace Reveals His Favorite ‘Self-Obsessed’ Icons


A little self-obsession is a prerequisite of autobiographical comics, but learning to actually love yourself? That's a near-mythic destination that cartoonists might hope to someday reach, and that's the journey undertaken by Sina Grace (Burn the Orphanage with Daniel Freedman; Li'l Depressed Boy with Steven Struble) in Self-Obsessed, his upcoming collection of comic strips and personal essays from Image Comics. Taking 'self as project' as its premise, Self-Obsessed is a frank exploration at sexuality, relationships, and a life in comics.

But what does it really mean to be self-obsessed? We asked Grace to pick five icons of vanity and personal indulgence to help us unpack the phenomenon of masterful self-obsession. He also shared a few select strips from his book, so that you too can get to know him a little better!

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Filed Under: , Category: Image, Interviews, Previews

Kurt Busiek And Brent Anderson On The 20th Anniversary Of ‘Astro City’ [Interview]

Astro City #1, 1995

In 1995, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross launched Astro City, and in the years since, it's been one of the most consistently amazing superhero comics on the stands. Built around the idea of looking at the lives of superheroes from a perspective that didn't always follow the major cataclysms and battles of good against evil, Astro City gave us a person-on-the-street view of things like secret identities, flight, and even shifting continuity, in a way that no other comic ever had.

With this week's Astro City #26, Busiek and Anderson celebrate the 20th year of their universe. To mark the occasion, I spoke to them about how their process has changed over the course of two decades, the way the stories are built, and their favorite moments from the book's long history.

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A Tale Of Survival: Ryan North On Being Trapped In A Hole With His Dog For 40 Minutes [Interview]

The view from within the hole, photo by Ryan North

Yesterday, the world of comics was rocked by a true life story that rivaled any cataclysmic event that we have ever seen on the printed page: Ryan North, award-winning comic book writer, was trapped in a hole in a Canadian skate park for almost an hour. Throughout the harrowing experience, North was communicating with the outside world, sharing the drama of the experience with his Twitter followers who, as a community, came together to help North escape his predicament and return to the surface world.

In the aftermath of that experience, I spoke with North about the struggle of escape, how he refused to save himself and leave his loyal companion behind, and how being trapped in a hole can affect all of us --- even the very tall.

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Filed Under: , Category: Humor, Interviews

I Just Love the World-Building: Jeff Lemire Discusses His Sci-Fi Opus ‘Descender’


In his career in comics, Jeff Lemire hasn't shied away from building worlds. Essex County, Sweet Tooth, Trillium, and even his work at Valiant Comics have all presented readers with fully realized, fleshed-out settings. But Descender, Lemire's Image Comics science fiction series with painted art by Dustin Nguyen, may be his most ambitious project.
The series focuses on a child-like robot in a war-torn galaxy full of mistrust and betrayal. It wrapped up its first six-issue arc last week, so we talked to Lemire about his plans for the next arc, the mystery behind the destructive force known as the Harvesters, and his influences. We also touched on his new series, Plutona, which steers back to the superhero genre.

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True Blue, Part 11: The Gang’s All Here, But Can They Win?

true 11

Welcome to the eleventh installment of True Blue, our weekly recap of Archie Comics‘ crossover event between the Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man series, “Worlds Unite.” Each installment, we’ll recap the notable moments of the latest chapter in “Worlds Unite” with Archie Action Editor Vincent Lovallo, and take a look at what lies ahead for the next chapter of the crossover event.

Previously in “Worlds Unite,” Sonic, Mega Man and their friends had followed Sigma's forces to a whole lot of new universes to track down the Unity Engines before they could be activated. For the last two issues, that's pretty much been the mission everyone's been involved with, which has allowed for the introduction of numerous Capcom and Sega characters into the crossover. While it's been fun seeing all these new faces, there are bigger stakes at large back in the Sonic homeworld. It's about time the heroes returned home to tackle the main source of all their troubles.

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Coming Out Stronger: Steve Orlando Talks Respect, Sexuality, and Violence in ‘Virgil’


Virgil is a project long in the making. The creative team of Steve Orlando, J.D. Faith, Chris Beckett, and Tom Mauer first launched the story in August 2013 as a "queersploitation" graphic novel publicly funded by Kickstarter. At Image Expo in July, Image announced that the book would join its upcoming line-up and receive a wider distribution, which was great news for the team’s fans.

The graphic novel is set in Kingston, Jamaica --- a country where anti-gay violence is unfortunately prevalent --- and follows the story of Virgil, a police officer on a mission of violent revenge after his boyfriend is kidnapped. ComicsAlliance sat down with writer Steve Orlando to talk about queersploitation, inspiration, and representation.

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