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War Rocket Ajax Not-So-Early Edition: The Best And Worst Of Comic-Con 2014

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Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show, usually several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.

This week is a little different because Chris and Matt attending Comic-Con International in San Diego, and time fell into a deep, inescapable vortex. It certainly wasn't all bad, though, so the two of them are listing their bests and worsts of the show this year, including seeing celebrities in their element, watching the Gotham pilot, buying cool stuff, cosplay, the massive crowds, and so much more.

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The X-Men Episode Guide 4×14: Secrets, Not Long Buried

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The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.

This week, it's Walking Tall starring Cyclops. For real.

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Despair At Its Finest: David Lapham’s ‘Murder Me Dead’ [Review]

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When discussing the oeuvre of David Lapham, the comic that comes up again and again is obviously Stray Bullets. As great as Stray Bullets is, though, it tends to overshadow the rest of Lapham's body of work rather unfairly in some cases. Despite the several very good comics that Lapham has produced besides his most famous title – including the incomplete Young Liars, the raucous Juice Squeezers, and of course WWF Battlemania – none can match the near-mythic level of quality and reputation of Stray Bullets, and tend to just get left out of the conversation.

The new trade paperback collection of Murder Me Dead, available July 23 from Image Comics, could help change that trend. A dark, stirring, and emotionally manipulative noir about self-destruction, lies, and guilt, it may be the best “other” Lapham comic in his catalog.

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Comics Alliance Presents ‘Kate Or Die’ In ‘Convention Aftermath’

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Welcome to the latest episode of ComicsAlliance Presents “Kate or Die,” a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our favorite cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate offers some advice to cope with the frequently painful aftermath of a big comic book convention like last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con International.

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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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The Batmanologist Guide To Comixology’s Massive 99-Cent Batman 75th Anniversary Sale

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Okay, so there's good news and bad news. The good news is that ComiXology is having a massive sale on Batman comics, and has knocked a bunch of them down to 99¢ each, which means that you can grab some great stories on the cheap. The bad news? Since this whole thing is in honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, they've put 750 comics on sale, plus a handful of graphic novel collections. All things considered, that's a pretty good problem to have, but still, that can be pretty overwhelming.

Fortunately, we're here to help. As the World's Foremost Batmanologist, I've sifted through the sale to bring you safe bets for what you should be grabbing during the sale. Assuming you've got the obvious ones -- like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and the recent runs by Morrison, Snyder, and Capullo -- here's what to grab next!

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Here’s The Thing Episode 17: Pokemon Fan Theories, Guest Starring Bulbasaur [Video]

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If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he dives into comics history to explain why you're wrong and he's right.

This week, Chris is joined by special guest Bulbasaur for a chat aboutPokémon, fan theories, "headcanon" and why so much of it is focused on this one game for tiny children.

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Marvel Unlimited Edition: The Steranko Effect

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The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it's disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it's also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.

Jim Steranko's reputation as one of the great American comic book artists rests almost entirely on the comparatively tiny body of work he drew for Marvel between 1966 and 1970: nine complete comic books, eighteen "Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." episodes that each occupied half of an issue of Strange Tales, and a pair of seven-page stories from anthologies, as well as a handful of covers. All of his Marvel stories can now be read on the Unlimited app... except for Nick Fury #5, for whatever reason. If you've never gotten to sample Steranko's psychedelic delights, here are three excellent starting points.

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‘Batman: Zero Year’ Finale Sticks The Landing For The Caped Crusader’s New Origin [Review]

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There was a lot to be wary of when Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia's "Batman: Zero Year" was announced. The most obvious reason was that it was the story that was set to replace my all-time favorite comic, Batman: Year One, going back to cover ground that had been stomped into concrete by one of the most influential stories of all time. Even the name was a response to Year One, and the expansion of what Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli had done so elegantly in four issues to a full year of comics felt like it could've easily been symptomatic of the trend towards decompression that drags everything out for the bookstores. Why sell one hardcover when you could sell three, right?
At the same time, I liked what Snyder and Capullo had been doing on Batman enough that I was looking forward to reading it, and from that first shot of Batman on a dirtbike, something that I am genetically hardwired to love on sight, I was hooked.

This week, the final issue came out, and while we're still too close to it to really tell how well it'll stand the test of time, what I know right now is that I love it, and there's a good chance that it'll end up not only as my favorite version of Batman's origin, but as one of my favorite comic books of all time.

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The Arkham Sessions: Paranoia, Dehumanization And The Psychology of Hospitalization In “Batman: Dreams In Darkness”

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If Batman ended up in an Arkham Asylum cell, would he be deemed "normal," or would the Gotham facility known for housing the "criminally insane" keep him under lock and key?

In an episode of Batman: The Animated Series called "Dreams in Darkness," the Dark Knight's worst nightmare may have come true when he finds himself being evaluated by psychiatrist Dr. Bartholomew at Arkham Asylum. The doc asserts that Batman is very "ill" and that the one place where "costumed persons with delusional personalities come to find compassionate help" seems like the best place for him. Fighting the onset of paranoid delusions and vivid hallucinations, Batman struggles to reveal the real cause of his insanity: The Scarecrow.

In this episode of The Arkham Sessions, we discuss the experience of being hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, the dangers of labeling people with disorders, and the feelings of dehumanization sometimes perceived by patients in the mental health care system.

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