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Make The Funny Happen: Conversations With The Cast And Creators Of ‘Teen Titans Go’

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Teen Titans Go is big, loud, and uncompromisingly silly. Recent episodes have included animated puppets, time-traveling with George Washington, and a subplot devoted to Starfire wearing a rubber mask of an old man's face and referring to herself as Jeff.

Nearly every character is voiced by their actor from the original 2003 series, which, paired with Dan Hipp's vivacious art direction, makes for a frantically fun trip down the more ridiculous avenues of childhood. As the second season kicks into high gear, ComicsAlliance spoke to Tara Strong (Raven), Scott Menville (Robin), and Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), and producers Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath, about getting the band back together, testing what they can get away with, and keeping things weird.

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Let The Characters Do The Talking: Terry Moore On ‘Rachel Rising’ And ‘Strangers In Paradise’ [Interview]

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Terry Moore writes almost exclusively about women. He self-publishes his work through Abstract Studios, his independent Houston-based imprint, and he's been doing the kind of stuff that's currently inspiring strurm-und-drang in the comics world ever since the Internet first tied up our phone lines.

Today he works on Rachel Rising, a horror story where a pretty young murdered woman wakes up in a shallow grave and decides to take back her life — or, at least, her afterlife — from the otherworldly forces that wrenched it from her. With work ranging from science fiction (Echo) to epic love story (Strangers in Paradise), and even some superhero experience (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane), Moore cuts a distinctive creative figure in the industry. ComicsAlliance spoke to him at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss female comedians, stories about underdogs, and the future of self-publishing.

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‘Girl’ Is Not A Personality Type: An Interview With The Creators of ‘Lumberjanes’

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Lumberjanes is many things: paranormal adventure, ode to friendship, celebration of girlhood, viral success, emblem of a changing industry. A lesser book might have crumbled beneath these ambitions and expectations. It very immediately became not just a highly-anticipated comic, but -- for reasons included the fact that it's written, drawn, colored, lettered and edited by women -- an important comic, and that's as promising as it is dangerous. Privately, I had my doubts—it looked interesting, but I've been burned before by important books and I kept my excitement at a low simmer.

But five issues into the Brooke Allen-drawn series, Boom! Studios/Boom! Box's Lumberjanes has firmly established itself as one of the cleverest, most good-natured comics on the market. The story of a delightfully plucky troop of wilderness girl scouts (not to be confused with the Girl Scouts) and the variously hilarious and supernatural adventures they get into at summer camp, the book is buoyed by the emotions and friendships of early adolescence, and can be enjoyed by neophytes and collectors alike—including, happily, young girls. It is never didactic or (most crucially) boring, and it balances character focus and plot extremely well.It is, simply and uncommonly, fun.

ComicsAlliance sat down with creators Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters to discuss Disney movies, comics on Tumblr, and what's coming next for our favorite hardcore lady-types.

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After Plans To Expand Convention Center Fall Apart, Will Comic-Con International Leave San Diego?

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Comics-industry insiders say Comic-Con International's history with San Diego is too well-established for the convention's organizers to ever pick up and move to another city, but many are fretting about just that after a tax plan that would have paid for an expansion to San Diego's convention center went bust.
Last month, the Fourth District Court of Appeals struck down a hotel levy that would have been the main funding mechanism for improvements to the convention center. The San Diego City Council decided last week not to appeal that ruling, leaving the convention center in quite a fix. The expansion plan was a big reason why Comic-Con re-upped with San Diego through 2016.

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Comics’ New Golden Age: Spike Trotman Talks Taking Down The Gatekeepers [Interview]

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Spike Trotman is a visionary. She sees possibility where others throw their hands up in defeat. She sees innovation where others see stagnation. She is fundamentally optimistic about the future of comics — and why shouldn't she be? Trotman has conducted massively successful Kickstarters — plural — organized some of the best talent in comics into anthologies like Smut Peddler and The Sleep of Reason, made money-producing Poorcraft (a comic about not having money), and, all the while, maintained Templar, Arizona, her long-running and beloved webcomic.

Comics have been good to Spike Trotman, but her success is very much the result of hard work and fresh thinking rather than chance—hard work that has left her one of the most interesting people in the industry. So, naturally, ComicsAlliance tracked down her booth at San Diego Comic-Con to talk Kickstarter foibles, “porn for chicks,” and a new golden age for comics.

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Vertical’s Ed Chavez On Finding Great Comics For Women And Surviving The Manga Bubble [Interview]

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Vertical Inc. publishes manga about eating disorders, adorable cat antics, 18th century prostitutes, and murderous high school cults. It brings avant-garde creators like Kyoko Okazaki and Moyoco Anno to Western eyes right alongside classic Tezuka work and more mainstream shonen fare like Knights of Sidonia and Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. I point to Vertical when friends ask me how to get into female manga creators, how to get into horror manga, how to get into josei (women’s) manga, or how to just take a break from the cycle of standard sci-fi and fantasy.

Vertcal is utterly singular and entirely necessary to the comics industry, and it was to the Vertical booth that I sped once the doors to the San Diego Comic-Con Exhibit Hall were open this year. After examining their new releases (I recommend In Clothes Called Fat, another glance into female anxiety courtesy of Moyoco Anno), I sat down with Ed Chavez, Vertical’s marketing director, to talk about past successes, present realities, and future plans.

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Battles, Ballads, And Comics As Music: A Conversation With Paul Pope [Interview]

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Paul Pope is one of comics' most respected and versatile talents. Over the past three decades, he's produced an amazing body of work, from his breakthrough self-published THB series to a number of acclaimed projects for DC/Vertigo. Last October, he unleashed his long-awaited Battling Boy graphic novel, which became a bestseller and won "Best Publication For Teens" at the Eisners last month. This coming September, First Second will publish the first of three tie-in volumes, The Rise Of Aurora West, written by Pope and J.T Petty, with art by David Rubin.

We sat down with Pope at the First Second booth at San Diego Comic-Con, the morning after the Eisners ceremony, and had a wide-ranging conversation about his creative inspirations, the changing face of the comics market, and his new and upcoming projects.

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Guillermo Del Toro Claims ‘Justice League Dark’ Movie Is Still Happening

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In the month or so that follows San Diego Comic-Con, things can get a little hazy. Stories can fall away, and there's some serious catching up that comes after the fervor and madness.

Case in point: When Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment released its extremely vague movie schedule last week, I speculated that one of the dozen or so movies set for release could be a Justice League Dark movie directed (or at least produced) by Guillermo Del Toro. It's a project del Toro has been talking about for a couple years. Now it seems like all but a done deal, if Del Toro's Comic-Con interview with IGN is much of an indication.

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Thank God There Was Korra: Actors Janet Varney & David Faustino Talk ‘Legend Of Korra’ [Interview]

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After weeks of limp ratings, the Nickelodeon animated series The Legend of Korra has been passed off to the Nick.com website, leaving many to wonder what the future holds for the series. Confusion is never far from the discussion, whether it's from spurned fans or crowing critics. The fans haven't so much hit a rough patch as been dragged through a ravine. Now it holds its breath, unwilling to be hurt again.

Which is all really unfortunate, because season three of Korra is easily the best yet. Voice actor Janet Varney’s Korra continues to be one of TV finest heroines, full of grit, passion, and unbridled talent, while David Faustino’s Mako has mellowed from a high-strung athlete to… well, a high-strung cop, but one who wears his heart on his sleeve. ComicsAlliance sat down with Varney and Faustino at San Diego Comic-Con to talk about where the series has been, where it’s going, and what its legacy will be.

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Timeless Fantasy And Indie Innovation: Wendy & Richard Pini On 36 Years Of ‘Elfquest’ [Interview]

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When Wendy and Richard Pini released the first issue of Elfquest in 1978, the landscape of the comic industry was wildly different. The "direct market" model of retailing was still in its infancy, with a loose network of regional companies distributing titles to comic shops around the country, and there was a sharp divide (in both content and style) between the mainstream superhero titles of Marvel and DC, and the adult-themed "comix" from underground publishers. Star Wars was a pop culture sensation, and the public was hungry for more adventure, seeking out all manner of sci-fi and fantasy in theaters and bookstores.

It was the perfect moment for Elfquest to appear, and almost immediately, the Pinis had a best-selling comic on their hands. Within a few years, they sparked a second revolution, collecting Elfquest in a series of full-color paperbacks that pioneered the influx of comics into mainstream bookstores, and effectively laid the groundwork for the graphic novel market.

Now, 36 years later, they're still working on their signature creations, and have partnered with Dark Horse to publish a new series, Elfquest: The Final Quest, as well as new collections of the original series and a special "Gallery Edition," shot from the original artwork. ComicsAlliance got the chance to catch up with them at the Dark Horse booth at San Diego Comic-Con, and discuss how Elfquest has impacted the world of comics, both creatively and business-wise.

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