2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
We’re kicking things off with Best Writer, and you can cast your vote after the cut.
The comic book series that kicked off a years-long collaboration between writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips is poised for a film adaptation produced by some recognizable names, among them Matt Damon and longtime collaborator Ben "Dardedevil/Batman" Affleck.
The pair will produce a film version of the Wildstorm series Sleeper. No director has been attached yet, but the screenplay will be written by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan and collaborator David Wiener.
When Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting relaunched Captain America in 2004, they came to the book eager to return the elements of espionage that had been largely absent from the title for years. While most of what we remember are the big events – Bucky’s return, Steve Rogers’ assassination – it was really the spy aspect that drove the story, the behind-the-scenes machinations that made the book so incredibly tense. Now, with Velvet #1 from Image Comics, the team reunite (with Bettie Breitweiser on colors) for another trip into the shadows, a taut thriller about spies, double-crosses, and a middle-aged secretary who’s much more dangerous than she seems to be.
In stores next month is Velvet #1, the newest spy tale from Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, the team that spent years on arguably the most celebrated Captain America run in the character's history. Much of that run was driven by spy/espionage sensibilities, and the duo is bringing that aspect of their work to Velvet, the story of a veteran agent named Velvet Templeton who returns to the field to clear her name after she's framed for the murder of the world's top secret agent.
The series is a significant moment in the careers of both creators. For Brubaker, this was the first book announced after he left Marvel to focus on his own projects, and for Epting, Velvet is the veteran artist's first creator owned work.
With the first issue due out next month, and final orders due on Monday, ComicsAlliance joined a conference call with Brubaker in which he discussed, among other things, the research he did for the series, how cell phones have ruined suspense stories, the British spy who tried to seduce one of FDR's best friends, and how all of that influenced Velvet. You can check out some of the highlights from the call, plus preview art from the first issue as well as the cover to issue #2, below.
The team that reinvented Sharon Carter's super-spy character in the pages of Captain America is getting back together to tell tales starring a female spy of their own creation.
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's new Image Comics series Velvet, originally revealed at this summer's Image Expo, is set to arrive in comic-shops and digitally on October 23, and it'll feature some really sharp-looking art influenced by the covers of spy novels from the 1960s and 1970s.
A new volume of Batman: Black and White kicked off last week, continuing the DC Comics anthology's tradition of high quality. Debuting in 1996, the original Batman: Black and White series quickly set the comics world ablaze with a collection of short, powerful tales told by some of the industry's finest. Edited by Mark Chiarello, the four issues gathered sixteen original eight-page black and white stories from a who’s who of influential creators, including Archie Goodwin, Joe Kubert, Howard Chaykin, Brian Bolland, Bill Sienkiewicz, Neil Gaiman, and several more. It won the Eisner Awards for “Best Short Story” and “Best Anthology,” inspired a ton of great statues (one of which you can win), and two follow-up volumes in 2002 and 2007, mostly made up of backup stories from the Batman: Gotham Knights series.
In celebration of the new series, I read all three volumes of Batman: Black and White (I also did other stuff, I have a life), and after poring over all 600-plus pages, I can confidently say that these are the ten best stories from the original volumes, presented here in chronological order.
Tuesday marked the second annual Image Expo, the banner event where Image Comics announces its slate of upcoming projects for the year to come. Last year's expo featured announcements of a slew of new comics; this year's had a similar abundance of news, so much of it from established Marvel creators that comics creator Phil Hester took it upon himself to (probably jokingly) announce via Twitter that Marvel's creator-owned imprint Icon "is done."
The nominees for the 2013 Eisner Awards were announced this afternoon, and it is a varied and impressive list. In terms of publishers, Fantagraphics leads the pack with a robust 24 nominations, followed by Image Comics with 17 (and one shared) and IDW with eight (also with one shared...
On sale now from Image are two new comics that see some of our favorite creators apply their very distinct styles to the old west. In the case East of West #1, writer Jonathan Hickman (FF, The Manhattan Projects) reunites with his Fantastic Four collaborator Nick Dragotta (Vengeance) to create an old west that's somehow neither old nor necessarily west, but an alternate history of an electronic American frontier on the brink of a supernatural apocalypse...
I'm a big fan of the Badass Digest video features Devin Faraci creates for the Cinefix network. Hardly the typical movie hype clip you see everywhere, Faraci likes to assemble panels of interesting guests for roundtable discussions (often with booze) of variously zeitgeisty topics concerning the world of cinema...
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