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Best Comic Books Ever (This Week) – New Releases For March 25, 2015

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The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.

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Thumbnail: The Wicked and The Decapitated – The WicDiv Covers of Jamie McKelvie

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Thumbnail is a new recurring feature on ComicsAlliance in which we invite our writers to reflect on comic book details that deserve a little extra attention, whether it’s a favorite character, and artistic choice, or a striking page. For this installment, Steve Morris looks at the meaning behind Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson's The Wicked & The Divine covers — and the cruel joke they've been building up to.

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Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s ‘Descender’ Totally Worth Sony’s Crazy Money

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Hollywood just can't keep its grubby little hands off of our stuff. Last week it was announced that Sony Pictures snapped up the rights to Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen's Descender well before the book's March publication, a practice becoming more common. This type of announcement may cause consternation among some, but you have to take it on a case-by-case basis: If anything Mark Millar writes gets a deal before publication, please, be offended; in all other circumstances, reserve judgment until a "professional" receives an advance copy and dictates your opinion to you. (This is my new persona: hated.)

Descender, on its way from Image in March, is epic, intelligent, and full of heart, and it looks like Sony was right on the money for once.

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Jeremy Haun’s Dino Day Kickstarter Is Good Parenting AND Good Art

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Comics artist Jeremy Haun is currently running a Kickstarter for a project he calls Dino Day, which the father of two created to engage his sons in the process of creating art. The end product will be a hardcover art book of all of his dinosaur drawings, which range from detailed and serious to loose or humorous.

Haun has drawn for DC, Marvel, Image, Top Cow, and more, and is currently the artist on DC's Constantine and Wolf Moon. He's also a part of the Bad Karma collective. While Dino Day has surpassed its funding goal, the Kickstarter is still running for another six days, so fans can still back the project to help it hit stretch goals like fancier printing and additional t-shirt designs.

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Push Comics Forward: Talking About The Future With Boom EIC Matt Gagnon

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Boom Studios has a reputation in the comics industry for publishing an increasingly diverse group of books and creators. This commitment to diversity in genre and people is reflected in an all-new initiative the publisher announced today in Previews with a letter from founder Ross Richie. While 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Boom, the publisher wants to talk about what's next rather than what's come before. They call this discussion of the future Push Comics Forward and they don't want it to be only about Boom.

Push Comics Forward is Boom's way of focusing on the ongoing conversation about diversity and the future of the industry. To learn more about this initiative and what to expect from Boom for the next ten years and beyond, we spoke with Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.

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Joe Keatinge And Leila Del Duca Talk Fantasy, Character & Inspiration In ‘Shutter’ [Interview]

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Since the first issue hit stands earlier this year, Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca's Shutter has established itself as one of Image's most popular new titles. The tale of Kate Kristopher, a world-famous ex-explorer who gets embroiled in all manner of mystery and adventure, it's been winning over readers with its idiosyncratic blend of science fiction, urban fantasy, and good old-fashioned derring do.

With the first paperback collection released this week, ComicsAlliance sat down with the series' creators to talk about developing the world's characters, the story so far, and pushing the limits of their self-created reality.

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Familiar Crimes In A Strange New World In Johnston And Greenwood’s ‘The Fuse: The Russia Shift’ [Review]

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On its own, the police procedural doesn't have that much traction within modern comics. In the early days of the medium -- especially in newspaper strips -- it was a different story, and straight-up police tales were among some of the most popular of the day. A little over a decade ago, though, everybody seemed to realize the potential to mix police procedurals with other genres, frequently to fantastic and award-winning results: Alan Moore and Gene Ha's Top Ten; Gotham Central, by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark and others; and Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Those books realized the natural fit that cop stories had within superhero stories, and thus a sub-genre was born.

But there's still plenty of room left for cop shows in comics, and over the last few years, the sci-fi procedural has definitely been in its ascendance. With Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood's The Fuse, we have a new standard by which to judge all others.

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Hire This Woman: Writer Sarah Vaughn

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Sarah Vaughn initially started in comics as an artist, working on the webcomic Sparkshooter (full disclosure: she also illustrated one installment of a comic strip I wrote for Bitch Media called Don't Be A Dick). When forced to cut back on drawing for health reasons, Vaughn switched gears to concentrate on writing instead. Her current project is the Image series Alex + Ada, where she is the head writer and co-creator with Jonathan Luna.

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Hire This Woman: Artist Elsa Charretier

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In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”

Artist Elsa Charretier has primarily produced comics in her home country of France, including previous works Aeternum Vale, an issue of Le Garde Républicain, and backup pages for the Image comic One Hit Wonder. Her current project, The Infinite Loop, which she's pencilling, inking, and coloring, had a very successful crowdfunding campaign.

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Rediscovering The Best Version Of Mark Miller In ‘Starlight’ With Goran Parlov

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When Mark Millar and Goran Parlov's Starlight was announced, I had mixed feelings. Goran Parlov may be one of the five best comics artists living today, and it sounded like a good idea: a retired hero in the mold of John Carter returns to the planet he once saved, decades after his prime, to be a hero once again.

But often it seems that no matter how good an idea is, Mark Millar can't help but screw it up. His love of sensationalism and his need to be controversial have sapped the power out of many of his strongest ideas, and I wasn't that surprised when our own Kevin Church ripped the first issue to shreds. I read it anyway, because Goran Parlov exists, and life is much better for it.

I was a little surprised to find out that I totally disagreed with Church's review. And I was shocked that the Mark Millar that I like actually decided to turn up.

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