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Ask Chris #174: DC Santa Vs. Marvel Santa

Ask Chris Christmas Special Art by Erica Henderson

Q: How do the holiday mythologies compare between Marvel and DC? -- @crcovar

A: How did you know, Crovar?! Another excuse to drop nine thousand words about the underlying differences in the structure of imaginary universes and how they've affected their storytelling over the past seventy years? It's exactly what I wanted for Christmas!

Nah, I'm just kidding. We can probably get through this one in five or six thousand. Seven, tops.

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The House That Silence Built: Harassment in the Comics Industry

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On October 1, Graphic Policy published a story by Janelle Asselin that alleged a history of harassment and inappropriate behavior committed by Dark Horse executive senior editor (formerly editor-in-chief) Scott Allie. In it, Joe Harris, who writes The X-Files comics, claimed that at the Hilton Bayfront hotel bar during Comic-Con in San Diego this year, Allie grabbed his crotch and bit him on the ear.

Speaking to ComicsAlliance, Harris explains why he went public about his experience. “I was outraged that it happened, and because people rarely feel comfortable coming forward, and I'm sick of hearing about this cr--, generally,” he said. “I've experienced a range of emotions since the incident, from embarrassment to anger to pity for the perpetrator and anger at the company that had him out there, swimming around like a shark in the aquarium when this was not an isolated incident, as I'd later learn.”

Harris says the incident made what is regarded as a widespread, unspoken problem in the industry very real to him.

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Digital Comics: Successful, Accessible, and Ruining How We Read Comics?

Hassan
Hassan

It's incontestable that the availability of digital comics has revolutionized the genre.

Digital comics are making entire runs of mainstream comics accessible to anyone from anywhere --- as long as they have an appropriate device. But have we really considered the effects of our transition to digital reading? Is it possible we've sold our comic soul to the technological devil, without realizing what we’ve done? Is Mephistopheles coming for the very characteristics that make comics a unique form of media?

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Lost in Transition: 2015’s ‘Prez’ And A Robot Named Tina

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Prez is an ongoing political satire set in a world so bonkers it could only be an outgrowth of our own. Satire has to sweat to keep up with a 2015 where a reality TV star who looks like he angered his barber has a chance at being elected President of the United States, and the creators of Prez decided the best way forward was to look back to the 1970s, to the Prez series by Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti.

The eclectic cast of the new series includes Tina, the President's Christian transgender robotic bodyguard. Is this a well-intentioned attempt at diversity and crafting an interesting supporting character, as with the original series' Eagle Free, FBI director? Or does it miss the mark, as with the original's Eagle Free, FBI director?

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What’s A Star War? An Expert Explains ‘Star Wars’ To A Novice

Tim Hildebrandt
Tim Hildebrandt

Andrew Wheeler doesn't know much about Star Wars. Dylan Todd knows possibly everything there is to know. Most people probably fall somewhere between the two of them in terms of knowledge and passion about the franchise. In order to help those with less-than-perfect insight into Star Wars to prepare for The Force Awakens, Dylan has agreed to answer some of Andrew's probably stupid questions about the original trilogy, the prequels, and what to expect from the new movie.

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Why Iron Fist Needs To Be An Asian American Hero, Not Another White Savior Cliche

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A few months after Marvel and Netflix first announced plans for a live action Iron Fist TV series as part of their Defenders slate --- which also includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the upcoming Luke Cage --- the website Nerds of Color launched a campaign calling for an Asian American actor to be cast in the lead role. We covered that campaign at the time, but interest has surged following the recent appointment of former Dexter writer Scott Buck as Iron Fist showrunner, and a conversation has emerged around the #AAIronFist hashtag on Twitter. Yet, according to one report, Marvel has already considered the fans' appeal for an Asian American Iron Fist and rejected the idea.

Hopefully this is not the end of the conversation, because the conversation itself has exposed an uncomfortable truth; Iron Fist is a troubling concept to sell with a white guy in the lead. Comics fans have debated the pros and cons of turning a white martial artist into an Asian hero, but the debate has largely ignored the reality that Iron Fist's whole origin and conception belong to the past --- if he's a white guy.

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Drama And Allure: Kevin Wada Talks About Redesigning The Scarlet Witch

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Scarlet Witch has been a growing force in the Marvel Universe of late. Not only has she been a fixture of Uncanny Avengers, but she’s made appearances in the all new Doctor Strange, and The Vision, and of course she made her big screen debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron, played by Elizabeth Olsen.

And now she's the star of her own ongoing series, from writer James Robinson and a roster of star artists, including issue #1's Vanesa R. Del Rey. The series sees Wanda dig in to the nature of witchcraft in the Marvel Universe, and the book has received particular buzz for its new costume designs; created by the always stylish Kevin Wada. ComicsAlliance spoke to Wada about the redesign, its cues from modern fashion, and how modernization plays into Wanda’s new direction.

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Drawing the Floating Box: An Examination of the Art of Queen & Country

Oni
Oni

There is an espionage term called a "floating box," where a target of observation is tailed and watched from multiple angles, forming a box that moves as the subject moves. This term never appeared in Queen and Country, but it wouldn't be out of place, because Queen & Country always tried to keep its espionage as realistic as possible, consequences be damned.

Queen & Country itself had a floating box around it, coordinated by series writer Greg Rucka and carried out by a small army of comics' finest, observing its ongoing narrative from a variety of perspectives and angles. None of the various artists that Queen & Country employed were rubber stamps of each other. No slight is intended on the other terrific artists who worked on Queen & Country, but for the purposes of brevity, this article will be focusing on three of the most distinct, and how their styles shaped the book.

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Heroes For Her: Why We Need ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Jessica Jones’, And What We Can Learn From Both

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Two new superheroine shows debuted this fall; CBS’ Supergirl and Netflix’s Jessica Jones. Jessica Jones received acclaim from critics and viewers alike, while Supergirl has already received a full season order for its first season. Both shows have wildly different themes, different tones, different distribution channels, and different core demographics… and yet within a few days of Jessica Jones' release, opinions popped up about how the dark, gritty Jessica Jones is a sign that bright, optimistic Supergirl will fail, or that the arrival of Jessica Jones means that Supergirl is irrelevant and unnecessary.

Let’s not talk about what one show has over the other, or why one show will “make” the other one fail. Instead let's talk about something the shows have in common --- an ability to connect with female audiences --- and how that can provide a template for more successful superheroine shows.

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The Delinquents: A Beginner’s Guide to ‘Bloodshot’ and ‘Harbinger Wars’

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Valiant Comics‘ shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.

Last time, JAM was champing at the bit to talk about Harbinger, one of the flagship titles of the Valiant Universe. This time, she and Steve are back to finish out the Harbinger Wars and talk about Bloodshot, the Jason Bourne of the comics world!

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