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Francis Manapul

A Superman Super-Fan On Max Landis’ Flawed-Yet-Impressive ‘American Alien’

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Max Landis is a divisive figure in modern pop culture, to say the least. The son of acclaimed director John Landis, he burst on the scene as the writer of the found-footage film Chronicle, about three friends who gain immense superpowers and find their friendships tested. He’s also known for his online rants about how Rey from Star Wars is a Mary Sue, or defending the casting of Scarlett Johansson in Ghost of the Shell.

So he’s a man with opinions who likes to share them. He also recently finished up his first miniseries at DC Comics, Superman: American Alien, backed up by an impressive roster of A-list art talent, including Nick Dragotta, Jae Lee and Jock. The series follows Clark Kent at various points in his life from childhood through to his early days as Superman, and takes a more grounded approach to the Man of Steel, but often skims and bounces off the ground a bit too hard.

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DC Rebirth: All The Teams and Announcements From WonderCon

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DC Comics hosted a special livestream event at WonderCon in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to unveil the creative teams behind its DC Rebirth event, which relaunches the entire DC Universe line with new issue #1s and multiple double-shipping titles. The relaunch will set the future course of DC Comics at a time when fans are wondering whether the company will embrace a new and diversifying audience or double down on serving a shrinking core audience.

The event was introduced by DC All Access host Tiffany Smith, with DC co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and chief creative officer and Rebirth chief architect Geoff Johns introducing and interviewing the creative teams as they joined them on stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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Weekender: Kirby Tributes, ‘Wayward’ Words, SPX Guests and More

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The week's over! You did it, and did it in sensational style. But while you've been off working and living and doing all those things that humans do, what have you missed in the world of comics? With Weekender, ComicsAlliance is here to give you a heads-up on some of the stories that you might have overlooked, and to showcase some great writing on comics for you to enjoy over pancakes this weekend.

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Thumbnail: Francis Manapul’s Masterful ‘Detective Comics’ Layouts

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One of the most pleasant surprises of the New 52 relaunch was Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato's run on The Flash. With clever, Will Eisner-inspired titles pages and chaotic compositions that emphasized movement rather than structure, Manapul's layouts were impressive without being superfluously...flashy. Eye-popping, complex designs weren't slathered across every page; they were saved for the moments when it best served the story. So it's not too much of a surprise that his work on Detective Comics looks completely different.

Where The Flash was colorful and kinetic, the current story in Detective Comics is a dark mystery, and appropriately, Manapul takes a different approach.

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Discover The Life Of A Comic Artist With AT&T’s R.A.I.D. Studio Documentary

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Drawing comics is time-consuming, sometimes crushing, occasionally rewarding, and almost impossible to quit if you love it. And it helps if you get to do it around other artists who love it as much as you do.

Those are some of the key takeaways from Comic Book Artists: Next Generation, an AT&T U-Verse documentary about the artists at Toronto's R.A.I.D. Studio (a.k.a. the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design; though it's not a real Royal Academy in the strictest sense). The studio has ten resident artists, but the half-hour documentary shines a light on four key players: Ramón Pérez, Marcus To, Francis Manapul and Kalman Andrasofszky.

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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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Watch Francis Manapul Draw A Canadian Hero Punching Out Hitler For The Johnny Canuck Kickstarter [Video]

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While Captain America is perhaps fictional history's best-known Hitler-puncher, he is far from the only hero to sock old Adolf in the jaw -- and now Canada gets its turn courtesy of Francis Manapul's fundraiser sketch for the Johnny Canuck Kickstarter. The Toronto-based Detective Comics co-writer and artist filmed himself as he sketched, and the video offers a fascinating glimpse of his process.

Like Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Brok Windsor, Johnny Canuck is one of the lost Canadian comic heroes of the 1940s, a time when American comics weren't allowed into Canada because of restrictions on non-essential trade. Long out of print, a new generation may get to enjoy his adventures thanks to this Kickstarter.

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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): June 2014

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A great comic book cover has a lot of work to do. It’s both an advertisement and a work of art; both a statement and an invitation. Sometimes they convey character, sometimes mood, sometimes moment. Sometimes they pastiche the classics or pay tribute to the past; sometimes they strive to show us something entirely new. Always they show us a glimpse of somewhere else 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 month that was.

Bloodbaths, glowing hands, and sinister animal silhouettes; these are a few of comics' favorite things, judging by the comic book covers from June 2014. Read on for great covers from Riley Rossmo, Christian Ward, Russell Dauterman, Jerome Opeña, and more.

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War Rocket Ajax Early Edition: Detective Comics, Dead Letters and Ultimate Spider-Man [Podcast]

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Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.

This week, it’s Chris is back from Emerald City and he's talking to Matt about three of the big comic releases of the week: Detective Comics #30 by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, Dead Letters #1 by Christopher Sebela and Chris Visions, and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #200 by Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez and a bunch of other artists.

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