Over the past few years, Archie Comics has taken a lot of inspiration from the world of superheroes. We've seen inter-company crossovers, high-profile creators, the launch of a Mature Readers line and a couple of superhero imprints, and now, they're embracing the superhero comic's most time-honored tradition: For the first time since 1942, the Archie title is getting relaunched with a new #1.
That's kind of a big deal in and of itself -- with 661 issues as of this December, I'm pretty sure that Archie is currently the longest-running monthly comic on the stands that has never been rebooted or renumbered -- but the bigger news comes from the announcement of the new creative team handling Archie's biggest new direction yet: Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.
Earlier this year, First Second released Box Brown's Andre The Giant: Life And Legend – a graphic novel biography of the wrestling legend that immediately jumped onto the New York Times bestseller list, and has been met with great acclaim from wrestling fans and comics critics alike. Our own Chris Sims described the book thusly:
"It shows Andre as a person. Not the giant with a dubious fifteen-year undefeated streak, not as the monster who was bodyslammed by Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III, not as the absent father that was put on blast by A Current Affair shortly before his death, and not even as the drinker and prankster behind the scenes in the world of wrestling. It shows him as all of those, as a person whose life was larger than everyone’s, but whose flaws were no bigger or smaller than anyone else’s. It makes the Giant relatable without ever undermining him. There’s a love in this book, but there’s an honesty, too, and it comes through in every scene..."
Recently, we got the chance to sit down and speak with Brown about the culture of professional wrestling, his artistic approach to comics, and how he went about adapting Andre's outsized life for a graphic novel.
DC's new take on Batgirl has been one of the pioneers of a new movement towards mainstream comics for a progressive young female audience -- a movement whose other flagbearers have become a mantra of sorts in 2014; Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, Gotham Academy, etc. In the hands of creators Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr, Batgirl offered a satisfyingly contemporary and feminist take on Gotham superheroics.
So it came as a particular disappointment when last week's Batgirl #37 contained themes and imagery that were transphobic and transmisogynistic, leading several critics to call out the creative team for their insensitivity. This weekend the creators offered a statement of apology, saying, "we want to acknowledge the hurt and offense we've caused."
Everyone has assumed that, at some point towards the end of this current Marvel Cinematic Universe, the paths of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers would cross. Yes, one superhero team is busy protecting Earth, and the other occupied in outer space, it makes too much sense to not have them meet up in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ right? Never mind the “it makes sense” part, we just really want this to happen. Well, we might never happen according to ‘Guardians’ director James Gunn who warns fans about making such assumptions.
Stjepan Šejic is an artist who's been on the verge of a breakthrough for a while now -- and he's apparently just had two of them back-to-back. Šejic is an excellent artist, remarkably fast, and by all reports very easy to work with, which means he delivers the trifecta for promising talent.
That talent will be put to excellent use on a book in dire need of a great artist; Šejic has been named as the new permanent artist on Rat Queens, the hit fantasy series from writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and Image's Shadowline imprint. This news comes just a couple of weeks after reports that Šejic's creator-owned erotic graphic novel Sunstone received the highest ever advance orders for any book published by Image's Top Cow imprint.
Comic book publishing is a difficult world to survive in, particularly for small and independent publishers. C. Spike Trotman and her Iron Circus Comics, however, has found a way to thrive. When we spoke with Trotman earlier this year for Hire This Woman, we spoke primarily about her role as a creator. Today, this is only a small part of the role Trotman plays in comics, as the slate of books from Iron Circus continues to increase.
As a publisher, Iron Circus places a high value on inclusivity and publishing books that are too often ignored in mainstream comics. To wit, the publisher has a currently-running Kickstarter for Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here written by Ryan Estrada and drawn by Diana Nock. The 130-page black and white book is the the followup to Trotmans original Poorcraft, and is available in a variety of formats at eminently sensible price/reward tiers.
With less than one week left to pledge to the Kickstarter, we reconnected with Trotman to talk about webcomics, publishing, smut, and paying the bills.
Now that Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ has bid adieu until March, Peggy Carter prepares to come out of retirement for her own series, the January 6 premiere of ‘Agent Carter!’ To wit, Marvel has unleashed a snazzy new poster of Cap’s best gal, as well as the full two-part premiere synopsis, guest stars and all.
If you were paying attention back when it was originally solicited, you probably already know that the smash hit Lumberjanes started out as an eight-issue miniseries before it was (thankfully) upgraded to an ongoing on account of uncommon awesomeness. With the last issue, that original first story came to a close, and left us wondering what our favorite campers were going get into next. The answer comes next week, and it turns out that it's a collection of spoooooky stories.
There will also presumably be s'mores.
That's right, everybody! They're gathering around the campfire for a bunch of shorter tales, each told by a member of the Lumberjanes, written by series regulars Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters, and illustrated by an all-star cast of amazing artists that includes Faith Erin Hicks, Brittney Williams, Aimee Fleck and more!
In her new memoir Tomboy, Liz Prince explores the thorny world of gender expression, puberty, and girlhood, as experienced by someone who bucked every norm of it. It’s not always an easy read, but it is one of the most necessary comics published this year.
Prince’s work is tender, wry, and above all, honest. It is this honesty that so illuminates her work, from the single travails of Alone Forever to her chronicles of the punk scene. As Tomboy makes the rounds of Best of 2014 lists, ComicsAlliance spoke with her about autobiography, internet fame, and being “not like other girls.”
Archaia tells ComicsAlliance that the publisher of David Petersen’s multi-award winning Mouse Guard is working on a third volume of Legends of the Guard. The anthology project invites some of comics’ most talented creators to tell stories set throughout Petersen’s endlessly charming, frequently funny and always harrowing mediaval world of mice.
Launching in March 2015, the book celebrates the tenth anniversary of Mouse Guard with new work by Petersen and such talents as Skottie Young (Rocket Raccoon), Ramón K. Pérez (Tale Of Sand), Dustin Nguyen (Li'l Gotham), Becky Cloonan (Gotham Academy), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Hannah Christenson (Jim Henson's The Storyteller) and Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man), with more yet to be announced.
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