As everyone knows, Spider-Man's costume is the best; a true masterpiece of design. The webbing, the colors, the chevron belt, the split arms, the wide-eyed mask; it's all perfect. Steve Ditko smashed it out of the park. It's also inspired some amazing costumes, like the black Spider-Man costume designed by Mike Zeck in 1984 (reportedly based on a suggestion by fan Randy Schueller), and this year's Spider-Gwen costume by Robbi Rodriguez.
And then there's Spider-Woman. Her costume was designed in 1972 by Marie Severin, and it hasn't really changed since -- and I hate it almost as much as I love Spider-Man's costume. It's ugly, tacky, and it doesn't match the personality of Jessica Drew, the woman behind the mask. So I'm delighted that artist Kris Anka has given Jess a new set of togs that look chic, modern, and appropriate to her character.
Interviews, panel appearances, fan mail -- artists and writers understandably get much of the focus when we talk about professionals in the American comics industry. But beyond the front lines there's a whole host of people working hard to keep the business running: accountants, lawyers, publicists, librarians, production staff and many others. Most of these people don't have the opportunity to talk about their work with the people who read the comics they help put in their hands, but the work they do is important -- often integral -- to this industry. Whether it's making sure creators get paid, designing logos, or even planning a convention, these people affect how the whole package of our industry comes together.
In the first of what we've planned as a series of spotlights on the behind-the-scenes comics pros, we're speaking with Alex Segura, Archie Comics' Senior Vice President - Publicity and Marketing. Segura started his career in comics as a journalist but has spent nearly a decade doing publicity at DC Comics and Archie, the latter of which has been especially praised by this site and others for revitalizing its brand. One of the architects of the new Archie Comics, Segura sat down with us to talk about how he ended up as a publicist and what exactly that job entails.
I think we can all agree that the announcement of a new Jem and the Holograms series by Kelly Thompson and Ross Campbell is the single most important comic book news of 2014/ever, but until now, we've only really had half of the equation. Sure, the book and the creative team were announced, but we only got to see the new designs for Jerrica Benton and her sisters. The Misfits, the rival group that bears no relation to the real-life Glenn Danzig/Jerry Only band of the same name, had yet to take the spotlight.
Now, though, Roxy, Pizzazz, Stormer and Jetta have been revealed in all their punk rock glory, ready to both make better songs and also commit seriously egregious felonies in the name of rock supremacy.
Norm Breyfogle, one of the definitive Batman artists of the late 80s and early 90s, is in hospital as a result of a stroke, according to a Facebook post by his former partner Barbara De La Rue. De La Rue says that he is expected to make a full recovery, and has asked that people keep him in their thoughts and prayers. We at ComicsAlliance extend our best wishes for a full and speedy return to health.
One of the great strengths of DC's digital-first line of comics is that it's a showcase both for emerging talent and for some unorthodox storytelling approaches. DC's digital wing plays to the strengths of the anthology format, telling the sort of stories that the main line just isn't interested in telling. For a character like Wonder Woman, an icon beloved by a lot of people who aren't invested in the rigmarole of month-to-month continuity, the approach is especially liberating.
The latest writer to tackle Wonder Woman for the digital-first Sensation Comics series is Amy Chu, an up-and-comer who we've profiled in the past. Chu has collaborated on short stories with Larry Hama, Steve McNiven, and Janet K. Lee, and has self-published her comics through her Alpha Girl Comics imprint. Her Sensation Comics story, 'Rescue Angel,' tells a Wonder Woman tale with a focus on a different female warrior, a young combat pilot, with art by Bernard Chang and colors by Wendy Broome.
Outside of David Uzumeri, who spent a good portion of last week learning about Spiral Dynamics just so he could talk about Pax Americana in excruciating detail, I'm as big a fan of Grant Morrison as you're likely to find. For me, JLA, New X-Men, his seven year run on Batman and even the 11 issues of Aztek that he co-wrote with Mark Millar are easily on my list of the all-time greats. That said, if we're being completely honest with each other, I'm not that keen on his work outside of mainstream superheroes. I can take or leave The Invisibles and The Filth didn't do much for me, and while I like Joe the Barbarian a lot, that book basically has Snake-Eyes from G.I. Joe in it, so it barely even counts.
As a result, I wasn't really paying attention to Annihilator, the book Morrison and Frazer Irving are doing through Legendary, until the aforementioned Uzumeri was singing its praises. Curiosity got the better of me, so today I sat down with the first four issues to see if it was worth all the hubbub, and the result was that I liked it a lot. It's a bizarre and compelling sci-fi epic where Irving is doing some of the best work of his considerably impressive career -- and on top of that, it is quite possibly the most Grant Morrison comic of all time.
It’s just about halfway through the shoot for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ in London, and Whedon doesn’t as much sit down for our interview as he does collapse into a chair. It’s a bright and sunny day in London, but he looks like he hasn’t seen the sunshine in weeks. He’s completely wiped out—”raggedy” as he puts it—by his schedule, which he describes thusly: “I do this, I go home, I rewrite, I go to sleep. I do this, I go home, I rewrite, I go to sleep.”
On Monday I reported on the controversy surrounding the most recent issue of Batgirl, issue #37, and the hurt it caused readers with the presentation of a character who played into transphobic tropes. On Tuesday we ran a piece by activist J. Skyler that further placed the story in the broader cultural context of transphobic media. In both cases, our hope was to showcase and respect the opinions of the critics and put their voices ahead of those of the authors or any defensive fans. These are critics who are often marginalized and shouted down; what they had to say about this controversy is important and must be recognized and listened to.
As I also mentioned on Monday, Batgirl is a book at the vanguard of a movement towards genre stories for young, progressive, predominantly female readers -- a more modern and diverse readership than the one traditionally associated with the superhero genre. Because of this, and because the creators apologized for their mistakes, I think Batgirl still deserves support. Issue #37 damaged the book's image and reputation, but it remains one of the best and most important superhero books being published today.
If you've been keeping up with "Endgame," the current story raging through Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia's Batman, then you've seen a lot of stuff going on. I mean things are apocalyptically bad in Gotham City on a scale that they haven't been since... well, since the last big Batman story. Still, it's pretty rough out there, what with the millions of zombie-like citizens infected with airborne Joker toxin. But in all the action of the latest issue, you may have missed the most important part: Jim Gordon's ringtone.
It might seem like a minor detail, but it's actually a pretty significant piece of the ongoing Batman mythology -- mainly because I suggested it on Twitter back in November, and now that it's canon, I will never, ever shut up about it.
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