New York City feels like there's a museum on every block. I've lived here my whole life, and I like to think I've spent a good amount of that time as a semi-regular visitor of some of the historical sites and cultural institutions my hometown has to offer, yet I am not remotely close to having seen even a quarter of the museums this city has to offer. Many of them you know -- some are iconic, seemingly enormous, and world renowned, while others are smaller and occasionally temporary, but nonetheless significant. Basically, when it comes to taking in the culture in the largest city in the history of civilization, you do the best you can.
But sometimes you make seeing something a priority. And Prototype Alpha -- the "Pop-Up" museum created by the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center that was open for seven days only this past week -- was one of those times. Located on Manhattan's Lower East Side, just a few blocks from where the iconic artist was raised, the museum was the first physical presence for the organization, and served as a wonderful testament to a man who is inarguably one of the most important artists New York City produced in the 20th century.
Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner-winning Image Comics series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and drawn by Charlie Adlard, is well underway. While the survivors grapple with the apocalypse and each other, ComicsAlliance’s John Parker will be following along all season to see who lives, who dies, and who earns a deeper understanding of sacrifice, because it's just that kind of show.
Last week, Rick left Carol in both a literal and physical cul-de-sac, and there was a lot of talking, mostly about how everybody was changing and nobody liked it. This week, the prison stands on its last legs, the flu takes down lots of people we don't really care about, walkers mob the fences, and Hershel finally gets his much-deserved dap.
In this column last week, I mentioned how responding to news of a creator you like doing something indefensible with a boycott could have some unintended consequences, such as damaging the careers of artists who took a job with an established writer, perhaps not knowing about all the associations that came with it. A lot of times, those artists could use all the support they can get to help their careers take off.
A few folks on Twitter -- friends of mine -- took issue with that, saying I was concern trolling. That people who associate with creators who do bad things deserve the harm, too. Or that the damage to the person who transgressed is worth the collateral damage that comes with it.
In the days since, I've been thinking about it a lot. On the one hand, I don't want to create problems for, lacking a better term, "innocents." On the other, I have no problem sitting at home and not going to see Ender's Game because of views one person, Orson Scott Card, expressed, though I know hundreds of other people, also "innocents," were involved in the production. That might make me a hypocrite -- certainly I don't claim to be any kind of moral bastion. It's also just really, really complicated. There are a lot of factors involved.
When we last visited the DC Universe in the wake of Forever Evil, it was a dark, grim and gritty place -- well, darker, grimmer and grittier than usual, anyway. Most of the members of the Justice League of America, Justice League Dark and Justice League Vanilla mysteriously disappeared after encountering the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3, the evil doppelgangers of Earth-New 52's greatest heroes.
Rallying an army of supervillains behind them, the Syndicate announced the death of the Justice Leagues, outted Nightwing as Dick Grayson, moved the moon to eclipse the sun, and exiled the Teen Titans into the time stream. With the world pretty much conquered, the Syndicate went about the business of ruling it -- you know, establishing a currency and economic system, redrawing maps, writing up a constitution, designing a flag, developing a body of laws, intervening in disputes between countries and the meetings! Oh, the many meetings they'll have to have!
Is that what we're in for with the remaining issues of the seven-part series? Perhaps we would be, were it not for a handful of villains unwilling to sign up with the Crime Syndicate. Villains with home-world pride. Bad guys who are bad, to be sure, but not that bad. They're just almost always evil, not forever evil, and this issue, they start to get organized.
The X-Men have had their share of epic tales over the past fifty years, including the Dark Phoenix Saga, Inferno, Age of Apocalypse and Avengers vs X-Men. So how did the Battle of the Atom stack up against the franchise's history, and where does it leave the characters as they head into the next fifty years? ComicsAlliance splits the atom. Spoilers follow.
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance's Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character -- not to mention artistic skill -- but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we're celebrating in this all-new recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
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.”
This week's subject is comic creator Rachael Anderson. Readers may know her work from her knitting webcomic Worsted For Wear, which she pencils, inks, colors, and letters.
The first volume of Burn the Orphanage by Sina Grace and Daniel Freedman introduced the world to Rock, a buff, broody street fighter inspired by classic side-scrolling beat 'em up games. With the help of his friends Bear and Lex, Rock, fought his way through drunken goons and stripper ninjas to track down the guy who burned down the orphanage he grew up in.
In volume two, Demons, the action moves in a darkly demonic new direction. Comics Alliance talked to artist and co-writer Sina Grace to find out more about Demons and its leading man, and to get Grace's thoughts on what the macho aesthetic Rock represents means to gay comics fans like him.
While top talent -- as in, Moebius, Bruce Timm, Stan Sakai, just to name a few -- have elevated Mattel's Masters of the Universe toy, cartoon and movie franchise to something special, so far the closest thing a comic book creator had come to getting their own MOTU figure was sometime He-Man scribe Geoff Johns' childhood creation Sir Laser Lot being produced. But, thanks to the magic of... being Stan Lee? Stan Lee, who has co-created scores of iconic Marvel super heroes in addition to curiosities like Stripperella -- but has never had anything to do with MOTU -- has received a new alter ego in the realm of Eternia by the name of Standor.
Agents of SHIELD returned from a week off last night with a new episode that finally put the focus on one of its least developed characters. Obviously we're grading on a curve, there.
This being the sixth episode, I feel like I ought to now have a decent grasp on what drives all six of the show's main characters. Even with this episode, which puts the spotlight on Gemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), I still feel like I'm in the company of strangers. Spoilers follow.
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