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.
When Justice League United#0 ships to stores late in April readers will encounter a new roster of mostly familiar faces and one new hero, Equinox. A sixteen-year-old girl with powers tied to the changing seasons, Equinox is already notable ahead of her first appearance for being one of the few First Nations heroes currently appearing in superhero comics.
While the 50th anniversary of the X-Men has received significant attention, another 50th anniversary for a similar team has gone largely unnoticed. Created in 1963 by Arnold Drake, Bruno Premiani, Murray Boltinoff and Bob Haney (though Haney's role is disputed), the Doom Patrol were the oddball, outcast hero team for DC Comics, in some ways the equivalent of Marvel's X-Men -- though the Doom Patrol actually debuted first. And while Marvel's premiere mutants have become a pop culture phenomenon, and have about 37 different monthly series right now, the Doom Patrol have never quite experienced the same success. There have been memorable runs on the title, most notably by writers Grant Morrison and Rachel Pollack, but for the most part the team is largely left unused, and spent their 50th birthday without so much as their own monthly title.
But it wasn't for lack of effort from Travel Foreman and Jeff Lemire. The two creators, whose work on Animal Man ranks among the most praised collaborations of DC's New 52 initiative, pitched a Doom Patrol series shortly after Foreman's run on Animal Man concluded. Alas, it was rejected, but Foreman has revealed art from the pitch, a series he is very much still interested in doing but says isn't likely to happen.
Though weekly series were recently a major part of DC Comics' plans, the publisher took a few years off from them to focus on its New 52 initiative. Now, more than two years into the new DC Universe, the company is returning to the format with perhaps its most significant attempt at weekly comics yet. On the heels of the recently announced Batman: Eternal year long weekly series, this morning DC revealed plans for The New 52: Futures End, its second weekly book in 2014.
One of the bright shining lights of The CW show Arrow's first season was the character of John Diggle and the actor portraying him, David Ramsey. Far more than a sidekick, Diggle really took on a life of his own. He's proved popular enough that he has made the transition to comics, in the tradition of Jimmy Olsen (who originally appeared on the Adventures of Superman radio show).
To mark Diggle's brief appearance in Green Arrow #24 and in anticipation of his co-starring role in issue 25, the series' "Zero Year" issue, we sat down with series writer Jeff Lemire and Ramsey himself to talk about the transition.
If you've been following the story of Vertigo -- the DC Comics mature readers imprint that's home to The Sandman, Preacher, Scalped and much, much more -- you know that there was a time in the recent past when it seemed the once legendary label had lost its prestige, especially when founder Karen Berger left the company. Thankfully that downward trend has been steadily reversed with the progress of JH Williams III and Neil Gaiman's new Sandman project, critically acclaimed new titles like FPB: Federal Physics Bureau, The Wake and Trillium, and promising books to come like Hinterkind. All these projects speak to the variously dark and wild-eyed visions that defined the Vertigo line at the height of its influence, but what you may not recall is that this creative refocusing began in earnest where so many great comics do: within the pages of relatively innocuous anthologies.
On sale this week, The Unexpectedis a paperback collection of The Unexpected #1 and Ghosts #1, two Vertigo anthology one-shots released in 2011 and 2012, respectively, that signaled the imprint's aesthetic resurrection. The book compiles done-in-one horror shorts from the imaginations of some of comics' most enduring talents as well as promising newcomers, including one of the final works of master cartoonist Joe Kubert and a rare mature readers outing from DC's top superhero writer Geoff Johns.
If your money was on Marvel turning Alpha Flight into the Northern Avengers before DC could introduce a Canadian version of the Justice League, pay up.
DC Comics will announce the launch of Justice League Canada at Toronto's Fan Expo today, though it's less of a launch than a renaming. Next spring, writer Jeff Lemire (who grew up in Essex County, Canada, and who lives in Toronto) will take over Justice League of America and transport it to his home country, the Toronto Star reports.
Welcome back, Trinity Warriors! The Justice League Vs. Justice League Vs. Justice League conflict that is Trinity War is back in full force after a few week's downtime, and thus so are we.
What terrible event could cause three superhero teams with almost identical names to do battle with one another? The pale, purple-clad, villainous community organizer The Outsider and a gun-toting version of the mythological Pandora (a card-carrying member of "The Trinity of Sin") both had designs on the Justice League: Outsider wanted to destroy them to take over the world or whatever, while Pandora wanted the pure-of-heart Superman to re-open her magic box and thus re-imprison the sins of the world. Later, Shazam (nee Captain Marvel) flew to Khandaq on a personal errand and caused a violent international incident. During the stand-off between Shazam, the Justice League and Amanda Waller's hand-picked Justice League of America, Superman seemingly murdered the hero Doctor Light. Thinking Pandora and her magic box were the key to Superman's unusual outburst, Wonder Woman recruited the occult Justice League Dark to help her track Pandy down. Meanwhile, Batman and Trinity of Sin member the Phantom Stranger have their own ideas, as do Superman and the Question, the third component of the Trinity of Sin, who believes the villainous mind-manipulator Doctor Psycho may have been behind the Man of Steal's murderous actions.
In case you haven't heard, the first issue of writer/artist Jeff Lemire's new Vertigo series Trillium is a flipbook. That is, it has two covers and two stories. Read one side and you get the story of a future-space scientist named Nika. Turn to the other and you get the story of a World War I soldier returned home named William.
It sounds like it could be gimmicky. And, let's be honest, it kind of is. But it's also beautiful.
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