Q: You mentioned "The Problem" in last week's column. So, what is "The Problem?" --@green2814
A: Last week, I dug in a little into the idea that even though they share prominent creators and have influenced each other back and forth over the course of the last 50 years, the DC and Marvel Universes have some fundamental differences in the way they're structured. One of the things I really wanted to get across in that column was that neither one is really fundamentally better than the other, they're just incompatible in a lot of ways, and I touched on how that results in something I call The Problem. Since that's still pretty fresh in everybody's mind, and since you were nice enough to set the ball right on the tee and hand me the bat, I might as well elaborate on that now. It's actually pretty simple.
To put it bluntly, The Problem is that DC wants to be Marvel, and they have for the past 50 years.
New York City feels like there's a museum on every block. I've lived here my whole life, and I like to think I've spent a good amount of that time as a semi-regular visitor of some of the historical sites and cultural institutions my hometown has to offer, yet I am not remotely close to having seen even a quarter of the museums this city has to offer. Many of them you know -- some are iconic, seemingly enormous, and world renowned, while others are smaller and occasionally temporary, but nonetheless significant. Basically, when it comes to taking in the culture in the largest city in the history of civilization, you do the best you can.
But sometimes you make seeing something a priority. And Prototype Alpha -- the "Pop-Up" museum created by the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center that was open for seven days only this past week -- was one of those times. Located on Manhattan's Lower East Side, just a few blocks from where the iconic artist was raised, the museum was the first physical presence for the organization, and served as a wonderful testament to a man who is inarguably one of the most important artists New York City produced in the 20th century.
Following the conclusion of the publisher's Infinity event, next month Marvel will release Avengers #24.NOW, from creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic. Meant in part to be a jumping on point for readers, the issue will also serve as the introduction to the publisher's All-New Marvel NOW launch -- Avengers #24.NOW is concurrently being billed as Avengers #1 under this new initiative.
But as part of it's push to promote the new, Marvel is also celebrating its past. Several variant covers to Avengers #24.NOW are being produced, and some are homages to famous past covers, including some of the more memorable cover art from the 50 year history of the X-Men. To that end, Marvel has enlisted artists Mike Deodato, Daniel Acuña, Lee Garbett, and more to create images in homage to the cover work of Jack Kirby and John Byrne, and you can check out some examples below.
Back before the VHS tape made it possible to watch the movies you wanted when you wanted (as long as Blockbuster had a copy in stock), movie novelizations and comic book adaptations of films were some of the only options fans had when it came to reliving a movie they wanted on-demand. While the majority of these were rightly viewed as cash-ins that let comics companies float on someone else's success, there were the occasional pieces of work that proved to be something more. For example, Marvel's off-model, six-part Star Wars adaptation proved to be so popular in the summer of 1977 that many credit it for helping the company pull out of a fiscal free-fall, even as it acted as a bog-standard 1970s Marvel book in a lot of ways.
Now that we can watch Magic Mike on our phones any time we want, comic adaptations can seem like a quaint throwback. However, some of them are legitimate pieces of comic history in their own right, providing an alternate look at our favorite films even as they gave a few comic creators the chance to play with the medium in a new way. In this piece, we take a look at five of them, including long lost work by Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Walt Simonson, Kyle Baker and Bill Sienkiewicz and more.
You may want to sit down for IDW's New York Comic Con 2013 Artist's Editions... today the publisher announced that it will be releasing Jack Kirby'sNew GodsArtist's Edition, two Jim SterankoMarvel Artist's Editions and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen Artifact Edition.
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.
For the past few years, I've been taking a sketchbook to conventions across the country and getting pieces of art with a single theme: Characters created or co-created by the King of Comics, Jack Kirby. After 52 sketches, you'd think I'd be running out of characters, but with only a couple repeats, it's still going strong. Today, in honor of Kirby's 96th birthday, I'm putting all the sketches in one place to show some of the best artists working in comics celebrating Kirby's lasting legacy as a creator!
If you read comics -- or heck, if you've been to the movies in the past five years -- then you've gotten a lot of entertainment from Jack Kirby. In a career that spanned six decades, Kirby was the driving creative force in comics, creating or co-creating lasting characters like Darkseid and the Demon, the entire genre of romance comics, the entire Marvel Universe and, when you get right down to it, modern comic book storytelling as we know it. The thing is, comics like Thor, Avengers, Fantastic Four and The New Gods were only the tip of the iceberg.
To say that Kirby was prolific is sort of like saying the sun is a little warm, and while we've all seen his most famous creations in comics, movies and TV shows over the years, he has a list of creations that remains unrivaled. That's why today, in celebration of the 96th birthday of the King of Comics, we're throwing the spotlight on some of his most under-used ideas -- ten Kirby Creations that really ought to be a lot more famous.
A week from today would have been Jack Kirby's 96th birthday.
To celebrate, the Hero Initiative has recruited more than 40 artists to "Wake Up and Draw" a birthday card to Jack next Wednesday. The art will be available to view in a gallery at ComicArtFans.com and will later be auctioned off to support the charity, which helps comics creators with financial needs. Meanwhile, the King's granddaughter, Jillian Kirby, has recruited comic book stores around the country to donate some of the proceeds from their sales that day to The Hero Initiative as well.
Tally another legal victory for the Big Two vs. comic creator heirs. A federal appeals court ruled today that the family of Jack Kirby, the artist who famously co-created characters including The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Silver Surfer and the X-Men, can claim no rights to those Marvel Comics characters.
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