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Becky Cloonan

‘Gotham Academy’ #1 Gets An A++ (And Extra Credit For A Batman Appearance)

Gotham Academy cover by Becky Cloonan

Gotham Academy is exactly the comic book I want to read.

That probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been reading ComicsAlliance for any significant amount of time. I mean, if you made a list of the things I like seeing in my comics, then Batman, teenage mystery solvers, and high school drama set in a superhero universe are all things that are going to land pretty close to the top of the list, and those three elements form the exact core of Gotham Academy's premise. It's so perfectly designed to fit my very specific tastes that you'd actually have to work hard to combine them into something that I wouldn't like.

Because of that, it might be tempting to write off anything nice I have to say about the book, but trust me: this first issue of Gotham Academy is great, not just because it's got a bunch of stuff I want to see, but because Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser, and Dave McCaig, have produced one of the most solid starts of the year.

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DC’s Newest Heroines Olive & Maps Get The Grand Tour In ‘Gotham Academy’ #1 [Preview]

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Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl's Gotham Academy is the comic I never knew I wanted until it was announced, and every moment since then has been an eternity of waiting for it to actually hit shelves. Now, with the book set for release this Wednesday, we are finally on the verge of living in a world where there is a high school adventure drama that also has Batman in it.

If, however, you can't wait, then I have some good news. Today, DC released a five-page preview of the new series, in which our lead characters, Olive SIlverlock and Maps Mizoguchi, take a tour of the ominous and imposing Gotham Academy, before immediately being caught in an equally ominous and imposing thunderstorm. Because of course there's a thunderstorm; heavy rain and blood-red skies are the only two types of weather allowed in Gotham City.

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Best Abs Ever (This Week): An Appreciation Of Male Comic Book Eye Candy

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In the process of writing my article about muscles vs curves, and how the big dudes of superhero comics typically fail to represent the tastes of most androphile women, I gathered a collection of images and recommended artists from my correspondents that illustrate the sort of art they'd love to see more of -- but which there's sadly very little of compared to all the T&A fan-service targeted at straight men.

I had far too many recommendations to put in the article, so I've compiled the collection (and a few personal favorites) into a very special one-off post. The collection includes pin-ups, fan art, sketches, and some traditional superhero art from artists who aren't afraid to put a little male eye candy in their work!

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Why Big Superhero Muscles Aren’t ‘The Same Thing’ As Sexy Curves

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As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits -- or as I like to call him, Namor.

Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it's my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I'm fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I'd find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.

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Gotham Academy: Becky Cloonan’s Super Cool Hero Portraits, Character Breakdowns and Guerrilla Marketing

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I don't think it's possible for the staff of ComicsAlliance to get more excited for Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl's Gotham Academy than we already are, but if there's one thing that could do it, it's seeing the characters for the new book in a set of brand-new promo images drawn by Cloonan. Today, that's exactly what we've got, so prepare yourself, because they are fantastic.

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Gotham Academy: Cloonan & Fletcher On Women, Children And The Future Of DC’s Batman Line [Interview]

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DC Comics' upcoming Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl is one of those ideas that's so good that it's amazing that it took a full 75 years of Batman comics for it to actually happen. Set in a prestigious private school in the middle of Batman's hometown, Gotham Academy will debut this October following the adventures of two young students at a private school in a city known mostly for its truly staggering population of supervillains.

One assumes that hijinks will ensue, but to find out more, ComicsAlliance's Juliet Kahn spoke to Cloonan, Fletcher and Batman group editor Mark Doyle at San Diego Comic-Con.

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Photo Gallery: The Creators of San Diego Comic-Con 2014, Part 1

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Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.

Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat's great photos from San Diego.

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Image Expo: 12 Auspicious Announcements And The State Of The American Comics Union

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In the final few hours before San Diego Comic-Con opened its doors to the public for Preview Night on Wednesday, Image Comics Expo took place in an upstairs ballroom at the nearby San Diego Bayfront Hilton, where the publisher welcomed a group of press, creators, and fans to watch as the company announced, discussed and otherwise promote a great variety of upcoming Image titles.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Emma Frost, Batgirl, Astro Boy, Lobo, Saga, More Batgirl

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Doyle & Masters’ ‘The Kitchen’ Cooks Up A Crime-Infested 1970s New York

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Comics fans are likely to at least have some familiarity with New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood as a setting for crime stories -- the area provides a location for many of Marvel's Daredevil comics. In reality, the area has been substantially gentrified since the early 1990s -- and Daredevil doesn't really live there.

That's why artist Ming Doyle (Mara) and writer and comics newcomer Ollie Masters are taking things back to the 1970s for their eight-issue Vertigo Comics series The Kitchen, when the neighborhood was still under-developed and plagued by crime. The series follows the lives of three mob wives whose husbands get shipped off to prison, leaving them to take up the family business. Check out covers, preview art, and a video interview with editor Will Dennis.

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