Bergen Street Comics happens to be one of my favorite all-time comic shops, and it's been fascinating to watch them grow their carefully curated small press operation. ComicsAlliance has been pretty vocal about our love for Bergen Street's first offering, Michel Fiffe's Copra, and so it's surely unsurprising that we're just as excited about Copra Round 2, shipping and arriving in shops next week.
Bergen Street is also working with Chuck Forsman on his series violent vigilante series Revenger, and a special Revenger Armory zine is being offered exclusively with preorders for Revenger #2.
At this point, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're already familiar with Copra, the amazing tribute to Suicide Squad written, drawn, lettered, and published by Michel Fiffe. I mean, it's pretty consistently been one of ComicsAlliance's picks for the best thing going since it started. Unfortunately for newer readers, there was a while where it was pretty difficult to jump on.
Owing to its nature as a self-published project, the single issues of Copra have been extremely scarce -- especially the early ones with a very limited print run. Thankfully, now you can get the whole thing. This month, Copra: Round Two is being solicited, collecting #7 - 12 of what Fiffe calls "The Juggernaut of Violence" and finishing the book's debut story.
Listen: Michel Fiffe's Copra is great. If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for any significant amount of time -- or even if you've just been listening to the Every Story Ever segments on the War Rocket Ajax podcast where we've ranked it above stuff like "Robin Dies At Dawn," JLA: Year One and Grant Morrison's first arc on New X-Men -- then you already know that.
But at the same time, you could be forgiven for thinking that maybe, after that first run of twelve amazing DIY comics, Fiffe might've slipped a bit. After all, it's pretty rare for something to stay that good forever, and now that Fiffe's picking up mainstream work from Marvel in the pages of All New Ultimates and Dynamite with Captain Victory, you'd have a good reason to think that Copra would be on the back burner. But if you did, you would be wrong.
If, for whatever reason, you haven't been reading the second act of Copra, where Fiffe turns his attention to spotlighting individual members of the team, then you're missing out on some of the most amazing comics of the year -- and the latest issue, where Fiffe drops a treatise on and rejection of Randian objectivisim in the form of a story about a superhero sent to an interdimensional prison, is the best of the bunch by far.
While his name isn't hugely well-known outside fan circles, the late Archie Goodwin played a huge role in the world of comics for over four decades. Born on September 8th, 1937, he started out writing stories for Warren Publishing in the early '60s before moving on to key editorial roles first at Marvel and then at DC.
His good humor and kindness provided an inspiration to generations of fans and creators, and his influence is felt to this day – and in that spirit, a trio of our favorite creators reached out to offer tributes to the man and his legacy:
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations 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, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
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, Chris and Matt talk at length about the five concurrent stories in Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke's Justice League #31, using Superman #32, by Johns and John Romita Jr., as a measuring stick for comparison. Once that examination is all over, they pivot to Michel Fiffe's Copra #15.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we love Michel Fiffe's Copra more than just about any other comic on the stands. It's easily one of the best comics of the past ten years, a sharp, occasionally surreal, character-driven action story inspired by DC's classic Suicide Squad, done as as done as a labor of love by one of the most talented cartoonists working today. There's really only one problem: Since the book is written, drawn and published entirely by one person, the initial print runs were very small. Even with the Copra Compendia that came about after, it all led to a fantastic, critically acclaimed comic that a lot of readers simply could not get their hands on.
Now, that's all getting ready to change. With the first 12-issue story finished and the second story underway, Bergen Street Comics Press has announced Copra: Round One, a collection of the first six issues, due out in September.
A little over a decade ago, when Marvel's Ultimate Universe was really coming into its own, the creative teams behind the Ultimate books established a distinct storytelling style that seemed to serve as a contrast to the mainstream books being published at the time. The pacing was deliberate, with a lot of time spent on character conversations. The art was big, bold and filmic, with an emphasis on realism. Iconic characters had long arcs.
All-New Ultimates #1 by writer Michel Fiffe, artist Amilcar Pinna and colorist Nolan Woodard doesn't do any of that (other than perhaps the art being bold). It's lightning-fast, takes place in a very heightened reality and, Spider-Man aside, revels in its focus on characters you're unlikely to see starring in a movie anytime soon. In many ways, it's a rejection of the established Ultimate style, a very Ultimate idea, indeed.
If you're a regular ComicsAlliance reader, then you've no doubt seen us talk about Michel Fiffe'sCopra before. Inspired by Fiffe's love of the classic 1980s run of Suicide Squad by John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell, it was one of the most impressive comics in recent memory -- 12 self-published issues that were built on incredible art and masterful craftsmanship that made it something more than just a story about analogues and pushed it to the top of our Best of the Year list.
When the series ended with #12, fulfilling Fiffe's commitment to producing a year of monthly comics by himself, the question everyone was asking was whether the series would eventually continue, and now we know exactly when that's going to happen: as revealed in a video teaser, Copra is set to return in April at MoCCA for another six issuerun. Check out the teaser below!
Considering that we've taken every opportunity to tell you all how great Copra is, I'm going to guess that most ComicsAlliance readers are already pretty familiar with the work of Michel Fiffe. Today, though, we all learned something new. It seems that before he launched his self-published tribute to Suicide Squad, Fiffe made one final effort to try breaking into mainstream comics by submitting two pages of tryout art for G.I. Joe to IDW.
That's right, everybody: Michel Fiffe has drawn Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Roadblock, the Baroness and Destro, and guess what? It is rad as hell. Check out the pages with his distinctive style in both pencils and inks below!
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