If you’re like some of the ComicsAlliance staff, you have a great affection for deluxe edition books that offer historical overviews of various pop culture topics, reprint the great works of the comics medium, and/or collect classic storylines (and supplement them with all kinds of bonus material)… And with the gift-giving season now in full swing, you're likely looking for the perfect gifts for your follow geeks (or possibly, wanting to give your relations some suggestions for things you'd like this year, in lieu of another ill-fitting sweater). So as a public service, we've compiled this list of some of the best expensive, large, and mind-blowingly ornate titles that you can find at your local comic shop or from online booksellers.
Who doesn't love a good postmodern murder mystery? Boring people, that's who. Dull, uninspired, abandoned buildings pretending to be human beings who prefer their detective stories to be streamlined and logical, with a series of clues that can be interpreted to lead to a definite answer, and no funny business with fragmentation, parallel narratives, or the sudden appearance of the author in their own story.
If, however, you're an interesting, exciting, attractive person with an undeniable elan, Vertigo's Bodies might be more your style. Written by Si Spencer and drawn by a team of four artists, Bodies takes place in four distinct time periods ranging from the 19th century to the far future, where four detectives investigate four identical murder cases. Not just identical in that it's the same M.O., with the exact same injuries and found in the exact same spot throughout time; identical in that, over a span of 160 years, it's the same body.
Most comics tend to have a high-concept fueling them; some twist which reveals the characters live in a heightened world where readers can’t predict what will happen next. The rules keep changing, and that’s how we define the characters we read. The cast of Fables could have anything happen to them in each issue – their capacity to endure the fantastical is one of their central traits. By contrast, the first issue of Vertigo's new eight-part miniseries The Kitchen is set in a totally real, unfiltered world, where the characters and setting feel authentic and full. The central trait of this series is that is starts from such a relatively unremarkable premise and does so much with it.
From Ollie Masters, Ming Doyle, and Jordie Bellaire, The Kitchen surprises from the concept on. This is kitchen-sink drama, the type Michael Gambon and Julie Walters might’ve appeared in twenty years ago, but with an updated, contemporary sense of space and character. Rather than the typical angry young man, here we have three very angry women. Set in the wilds of Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s, the ice in their hearts and fire in their fists promises that something's eventually going to crack.
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.”
Cartoonist Carla Berrocal writes, draws, colors, and letters her comics. She has published comics in her home country of Spain and is a contributor to Vertigo's Dial H and CMYK: Magenta anthology. She is currently at work on an original graphic novel.
Courtesy of DC Comics, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions, graphic novels, toys, statues and other collectibles going on sale in January 2014 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s New 52 superhero line; the mature readers Vertigo imprint; the DC Entertainment brand of special projects, digital-first, all-ages and licensed titles; and the limited edition products from DC Collectibles. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy before they sell out.
As Vertigo's two currently longest-running series head to a close -- Bill Willingham's Fables and Mike Carey and Peter Gross's The Unwritten -- the DC imprint is doubtless looking for new series with long-term potential to run alongside FBP, Astro City, and American Vampire.
At New York Comic-Con on Friday the publisher announced two titles that might fit the bill, both from DC writers making their Vertigo debut. Grayson writer Tim Seeley will team with former Madame Xanadu artist Marley Zarcone on Effigy, while once and future Secret Six author Gail Simone and former 2000 AD artist Jonathan Davis-Hunt are the team behind Clean Room.
New Line Cinema's rights to the Vertigo series Y: The Last Man have officially lapsed, reverting back to creators Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, according to director Dan Trachtenberg.
The studio announced early last year that Trachtenberg -- who doesn't have any features to his credit, only a handful of short films, including a very well-received Portal film -- would helm the project. He and the studio only had a limited window of time to get a movie finished, and that time has come and gone.
That fan response to Marvel's Spider-Gwen one-shot Edge of Spider-Verse #2 was so profound can be chalked to a number of important factors that we've covered before, but perhaps none as crucial as the exhilarating visuals created by artist Robbi Rodriguez and colorist Rico Renzi. The duo earned praise from us and others for introducing a kind of crackling, almost reckless sense of energy and fun into an already aesthetically diverse Marvel Universe (or alternate universe, as the case may be).
But this came as no surprise to readers of FBP: Federal Bureau Of Physics, the Vertigo series Rodriguez and Renzi launched last year with writer Simon Oliver. FBP's mantra is "the impossible is always possible" thanks to its universe's occasional and frequently catastrophic breakdown of all known laws of physics. It's a premise that allows artists to be artists, and Rodriguez and Renzi dive wildly into their talents for hugely expressive, hypercolored images that -- along with routinely gorgeous covers by Nathan Fox -- have made FBP one of the most visually compelling American comics around at the moment.
Writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are slowly but surely working on the pilot for AMC's new TV adaptation of the Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon Vertigo series Preacher, and as they write, it appears they're also recruiting cool directors.
Rogen struck up a Twitter conversation with Duncan Jones, director of Moon (which is super great) and Source Code (which is flawed but well made) -- and also, incidentally, the son of David Bowie -- to gauge his interest. Right now, Jones is working on a Warcraft movie, but he seemed extremely enthusiastic about taking the reins on some Preacher episodes.
Courtesy of DC Comics, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions, graphic novels, toys, statues and other collectibles going on sale in December 2014 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s New 52 superhero line; the mature readers Vertigo imprint; the DC Entertainment brand of special projects, digital-first, all-ages and licensed titles; and the limited edition products from DC Collectibles. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy before they sell out.