At the dawn of 1992, comic books were booming. Tim Burton's Batman had kicked off a new wave of big-budget film adaptations. Superhero products could be found in nearly every aisle of every department store and supermarket. New comic shops were springing up in shopping centers and malls, publishers were seeing their highest sales figures in years, and new companies were making names for themselves as serious players. And Marvel Comics was the unquestioned big fish in the pool, with their stock booming in the six short months since they'd gone public, and an unparalleled creative stable.
But big changes were afoot. In December of 1991, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, and Jim Lee, Marvel's three biggest artists, informed publisher Terry Stewart that the company's policies toward talent were unfair, that creators were not being appropriately rewarded for their work, and that they were leaving, effective immediately. In the month thereafter, they joined forces with a few more like-minded artists from Marvel's top-selling titles, worked out a deal with small publisher Malibu Comics for production and distribution, and decided on the title for their new company --- recycling a name that Liefeld had originally intended for an aborted self-publishing venture. On February 1st, 1992, a press release was sent out announcing the formation of Image Comics.
Image Comics' Nowhere Men is one of the most talked-about series of the last few years, but public opinion is fickle. A pop-sci fi tour de force by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire, and Fonografiks, it quickly gathered critical acclaim and a handful of Eisner nominations before --- just as quickly --- effectively disappearing.
Now, more than two years since the last issue, the series is finally returning, with Nowhere Men #7 landing this Wednesday, January 20. In advance of the return, Eric Stephenson spoke with ComicsAlliance about the delay, the comeback, new artist Dave Taylor, and taking inspiration from David Bowie.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite characters in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at Todd McFarlane's Spawny guy, the most successful creator-owned superhero ever based on salmon mating rituals. If you haven't read Spawn since your Hot Topic days, maybe there are some things you forgot or never knew. Great news! This is a video where you can learn about how Spawn used to be a spaceman, the many lawsuits of Todd McFarlane, and the crushing realization that we could have had a Spawn movie starring Snoop Dogg.
A few weeks ago, ComicsAlliance had a nice long chat with writer Steve Orlando about Virgil, the queersploitation graphic novel set in Kingston, Jamaica that he's been working on with artist J.D. Faith, colorist Chris Beckett, and letterer Tom Mauer. In honor of the book's release, we sat down with Faith, Beckett, and Mauer to hear about their experiences working on the book, and how they operated together as a team.
Reissues give you a chance to re-read an old book --- maybe even a a mostly-forgotten one --- with fresh eyes. Now that Image is reprinting Larry Young and Charlie Adlard's Astronauts In Trouble in its entirety, a lot of readers get to look back on a book that had a lot of buzz surrounding it near the turn of the century.
This weekend, the Hugo Awards nominations were announced, and almost every category was affected by the "Sad Puppies" campaign, which encouraged anti-liberal voters to push specific works by conservative authors. While every award event with nomination voting has people pushing for votes in specific directions, this systematic approach to affect every single category and make it less about the quality of the work has made these nominations pretty useless. The good news is that the campaign had very little effect on the "graphic story" category, which covers comics, but the Sad Puppies voters did manage to get their one selection in that category into the nominations as well.
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.
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.
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.
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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