A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
August offers a feast of shape and color, with striking covers by Scott Fischer, Victor Santos, Chrystin Garland, and Tula Lotay, some bold juxtaposition, and a quirky take on a pulp archetype or two -- including a Nazi airship and some poor sap being held in a giant hand. It's a classic!
Natasha Allegri is leading a movement. A quiet, earnest, doe-eyed movement to be sure, but one that is unstoppable, and unquestioningly vital. Bee and Puppycat, her already widely beloved series produced for Frederator's Cartoon Hangover channel, is about to relaunch, to widespread fan salivation. Her social media accounts swell with more and more followers every day. Puppycat plushes and inflatable swords were everywhere at San Diego Comic-Con, as was cosplay and fan art.
Allegri's work, in its sincere, unfailingly sweet way, has announced to the world that animation aimed at an adult (or at least teen) female audience is not just viable — it is a verified path to critical and commercial success. ComicsAlliance sat down with her at SDCC to discuss her success, the importance of cuteness, and what we can expect from the new Bee and Puppycat animated series.
In her review of the first two issues of Natasha Allegri's Bee and Puppycat comic, ComicsAlliance's own Juliet Kahn declared it to be the product of "a creator raised on Jim Davis and CLAMP," and really, that's the best way you could possibly describe the aesthetic heritage of this project: a perennially unemployed twenty-something magical girl and her strange, eternally scowling and space-faring pet of indeterminate species going on adventures in an equally uncertain but nevertheless compellingly cute universe of weirdness and wonder.
For the third issue of BOOM! Studios' comic book version of the Cartoon Hangover animated series, Allegri hands her creation over to cartoonists and storyboard artists Tait Howard, Aubrey Aiese, Madeline Flores, Ian McGinty, Fred Stressing and Anissa Espinosa for a quartet of new stories. For their chapter, Howard and Aiese pit Bee and Puppycat against an apartment in desperate need of cleaning, and shows just what they're willing to do to get out of washing dishes. I think we can all relate.
We've written about the Humble Bundle before here at ComicsAlliance, but let's be real here: It's kind of the perfect idea. Being able to pay what you want to grab a whole cartload of comics while also supporting a charity is a setup that has literally no downside, and it's almost impossible to take advantage of -- especially when it's something like the new Boom! Studios bundle.
For the next two weeks, you'll be able to pay what you want for a massive amount of downloadable comics while also supporting the good work of the Comic Book Legal defense Fund. And, if you pay at least $15, you'll get ComicsAlliance favorites like Lumberjanes, The Midas Flesh and Bee and Puppycat thrown in for good measure.
The interesting thing about this particular bundle is that it includes some very recent comics. Books like Lumberjanes #4 and Midas Flesh #8 were only released this month, and RoboCop #2 actually came out in stores today. Being able to get them here digitally is a pretty big deal.
Terrifyingly, it's just a few weeks until Comic-Con International annexes most of downtown San Diego and with it, our souls. But with a new comics convention comes a new offering of exclusive stuff from BOOM! Studios. The publisher of the Adventure Time line of comics as well Lumberjanes and Bee and Puppycat and others is known among rarities collectors for its convention-only releases, and they'll be back at their booth with more at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. Check out the company's latest assortment of exclusives below, including the hardcover Mathematical Edition of Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens.
Bee and Puppycat is really, really cute. It is also funny, bizarre, and occasionally wistful. Above all though, it is cute: there’s the pastel palette, the fat pink bows on Bee’s shoes, the warm roundness of its characters, literally everything about Puppycat. Its absurdism is soft and its softness is absurd -- “I got fired today,” Bee intones flatly, the rain spattering her cat-faced pinafore dress. She’s a dumpster-diving Sanrio character, Strawberry Shortcake late for her appointment at the temp agency. The beginnings of a plot prod gently at her from time to time, but never with anything like urgency -- two issues into its run, Boom! Studios' Bee and Puppycat comic has meditated on strawberry donuts, embarrassing pajamas, and platform shoes, but not much else. Creator Natasha Allegri (along with collaborators Madeleine Flores and Garrett Jackson) would rather devote three pages to QR-coded music boxes than set about untangling Puppycat’s origins or the nature of their magical, mysterious employer.
In these qualities, Bee and Puppycat is right in line with Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Bravest Warriors, its closest brethren in tone and form. Beyond the creator overlap between the four franchises and the fact that all of them now span both animation and comics, they’re all content to hunker down in that pocket of the zeitgeist that brings together childhood nostalgia and bizarre Internet-age humor, where atmosphere reigns over plot.
But Bee and Puppycat stands out among them, and marks a sea change in comics -- particularly in how franchises are formed, what is considered marketable, and what demographics are seen as worthy of being catered to. In its weird, witty way, I believe that Bee and Puppycat emblematizes the future of this industry.
Thanks to a hugely successful Kickstarter, Natasha Allegri's Cartoon Hangover series Bee and PuppyCat is set to return with nine new episodes later this year. Fans don't have to wait that long to enjoy their favorite characters, though, as Allegri and Garret Jackson's comic book series debuts on May 14 with Bee and PuppyCat #1 from Boom! Studios. Click through to get your first-look at the new adventures of Bee and her extradimensional new pet.
Offering a notably comics-specific, distinctly warm and fuzzy vibe that's not to be found at some of the massive and monstrous, comics-suppressing conventions here in the US, Seattle's Emerald City Comicon feels a lot more like comics summer camp than it does a media trade show. Comics professionals from all dimensions of the industry -- creators, publishers, press and beyond -- all look forward to ECCC for the same reasons attendees do; it's a great weekend to meet your readers, meet your favorite authors, and celebrate the medium we all love.
Also, buying cool stuff.
That same summer camp quality that makes ECCC worth attending may also make it worth commemorating, which is why it makes sense that geek fashion hausWe Love Finehas made its first ever partnership with a convention with a limited edition line of t-shirts. Featuring Marvel characters like Captain Marvel, Hawkeye and Deadpool as well as other We Love Fine licenses like My Little Pony, Transformers, ElfQuest, Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time and Bee & Puppycat alongside Seattle iconography (very cute), the ECCCxWLF collection will be available exclusively for $25 each at the Seattle show from March 27-30.
When Cartoon Hangover launched its Kickstarter to fund a full first season of Natasha Allegri's Bee and PuppyCatanimated series back in October, fans quickly noticed that comic books were among its backer rewards -- and just as quickly deduced which publisher would be bringing them to life. Boom! quickly confirmed it was working with Allegri (with a teaser that playfully read "Of Course we're doing the comic!"), following their successful team-up on her Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake comics and now the publisher is ready to confirm the book's full launch details. Bee and PuppyCat #1, co-written by Allegri and Garrett Jackson, with art by Allegri, and colors by Allegri and Patrick Seery, is set to arrive in stores and digitally in May.
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