Some weeks ago, a tweet from Jamie McKelvie, artist on the tremendously popular series The Wicked + The Divine and Phonogram, caught my eye. Writing about the physical difficulties of a heavy drawing schedule, McKelvie said he felt he could keep drawing for only 15 more years. Just a few tweets away on my timeline, graphic novelist Faith Erin Hicks, author of Friends with Boys, Superhero Girl, and The Nameless City, commented that a full day of drawing had left her with sore wrists.
Being a comic book artist is a physically taxing job. Long hours sitting at the literal drawing board (whether drawing on paper or digitally) can strain muscles in the back, neck, and shoulders; repetitive motions inflame tendons in the arms. Combine this demanding work with the life of a freelancer, which, in the United States, does not come with any form of health care, and you’ll realize that many comics artists are living one injury away from economic disaster. An injury will not only cost money to treat, it will also cost time as it heals --- time that could be spent drawing --- resulting in lost income.
Last week's release of the Lumberjanes one-shot special Beyond Bay Leaf introduced two new creators to the world of Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, and while audiences should know writer Faith Erin Hicks from her career of excellent webcomics and teen-friendly tales like Friends With Boys and Adventures of a Superhero Girl, artist Rosemary Valero-O'Connell is just starting to make her name, and the Lumberjanes one-shot is one of her first published works.
ComicsAlliance chatted to Valero-O'Connell about her story of stargazing and ghost ponies, and her relationship to the Lumberjanes characters, and she offered us an exclusive look at her art process, from pencils to finished pages.
Boom Box's Lumberjanes continues to go from strength to strength, sweeping up awards, putting out luxurious collections, and now launching its first ever one-shot special featuring two truly excellent guest creators, writer Faith Erin Hicks and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell. Check out an exclusive preview of next week's Lumberjanes: Beyond Bay Leaf.
Despite its important market share, huge visibility and ever-rising, record-breaking sales numbers, manga is still largely ignored or scorned by the Western comics community — a term that here means retailers, readers, publishers and some creators — while the critical press and general public thinks of manga as something separate from comics. But why?
If you were paying attention back when it was originally solicited, you probably already know that the smash hit Lumberjanes started out as an eight-issue miniseries before it was (thankfully) upgraded to an ongoing on account of uncommon awesomeness. With the last issue, that original first story came to a close, and left us wondering what our favorite campers were going get into next. The answer comes next week, and it turns out that it's a collection of spoooooky stories.
There will also presumably be s'mores.
That's right, everybody! They're gathering around the campfire for a bunch of shorter tales, each told by a member of the Lumberjanes, written by series regulars Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters, and illustrated by an all-star cast of amazing artists that includes Faith Erin Hicks, Brittney Williams, Aimee Fleck and more!
Annuals get a bad rap. I'm pretty sure it's because they formed the core of some truly terrible crossovers starting in the '90s -- lookin' at you here, Bloodlines -- but there's nothing congenitally wrong with them. In their purest form, annuals are just extra comics, and since we all like comics, that ought to be something to get excited about. And in the case of Dynamite's Flash Gordon Annual 2014, we've got something worth getting excited about.
Flash Gordon is already one of my favorite books on the stands, and this week's Annual continues that trend by providing a fantastic roster of great stories -- including a solo tale for Dale Arden that needs to be made into an ongoing series yesterday.
Faith Erin Hicks is one of North American comics' most versatile talents, a writer/artist who's gained critical acclaim and commercial success, and raised her profile with each successive project she's released over her 15+ year career.
This year's San Diego Comic-Con was particularly eventful for Hicks, as she announced her new graphic novel series from First Second books and won an Eisner Award for Dark Horse's collection of her The Adventures Of Superhero Girl webcomic. We caught up with her in San Diego the morning after the Eisner awards to talk about current projects.
The 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony took place Friday 25th July in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, as part of San Diego Comic-Con. It was a good night for Saga, Hawkeye, and the Hernandez brothers. Presenters included Orlando Jones, Reginald Hudlin, Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick, Sergio Aragonés, Phil LaMarr, and Kevin Eastman. ComicsAlliance has a full list of winners, as well as the other nominees in each category.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images 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, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
In honor of this year’s 20th anniversary of the first appearance of Hellboy, the enduringly popular and endlessly entertaining ex-paranormal investigator created by Mike Mignola. One of comics' most idiosyncratic characters with a supporting cast to match, Hellboy is cited by many artists rivaling Batman as the most fun character to draw and reimagine in different styles. Throughout the existence of Best Art we've featured loads and loads of visions of Hellboy and his friends in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and what follows is a compilation of some of our favorites.
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
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