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, it's an extra-special, ComicsAlliance-exclusive set of comics reviews. Chris and Matt are chatting about the brand-new Daredevil #1 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, Superman Unchained #6 by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, and Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals #5.
One of the things The Wake does so, so well is it constantly upends audience expectations. One way it does that, issue by issue, the genre seems to change. It isn’t just horror. That’s the easiest way to categorize it, but Snyder and Murphy work within the established tropes of multiple genres to, for lack of a better word, toy with the audience. What they’re doing goes beyond homage to film. It sets an expectation in the reader’s mind so that, when the big surprise comes, it’s all the more jarring. As the series digs into its second half, here’s a quick -- and slightly spoilery -- rundown of all the touchstones the series has hit so far.
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.c
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
In what will doubtlessly prove to be a very good move on DC Comics' part, the publisher has named Mark Doyle as the new Group Editor of its bestselling Batman line. Replacing Mike Marts, who announced a move to Marvel as Senior Editor earlier this month, Doyle will oversee the Dark Knight through the character's 75th anniversary and comes to the Bat books from Vertigo, DC's mature readers line, where he worked -- and will continue to work -- on such favorites as The Wake, American Vampire and Trillium.
We've been paying close attention to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's work in Zero Year, the current Batman storyline that looks back at one of the Dark Knight's earliest adventures in Gotham. But the upcoming issue #28 offers a brief intermission, jumping out of Batman's past and into his near future. Written by Snyder and James Tynion and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, the issue offers an early look at what's to come in Batman Eternal, the weekly series starting in March. Taking to Twitter back in December, Snyder described it as a "spoiler issue": “We agreed that with all the crazy stuff that's going to happen in 2014 - and my goal above all in 2014 is to keep things daring and fun - it'd be a thrill to do a total spoiler issue," said Snyder "A stand-alone issue that takes place in the near future and reveals all sorts of massive surprises coming to Gotham.”
Snyder will be a guest on DC All Access, DC Comics' web series that features interviews with creators, editors, and more. The publisher has provided ComicsAlliance with a sneak peak at the interview, which includes a look at some of Nguyen's art, that you can check out below.
One of the most significant -- and to many readers, one of the most exciting -- developments in comics in the last few years has been the growth of Image Comics, with many of the most popular writers and artists in the industry currently producing much, if not all, of their creator owned work through the publisher. As such, Image Expo has become a highly anticipated event, as publisher Eric Stephenson uses the annual show to announce several upcoming books from both established and new talent.
Today's Image Expo continued that tradition, as more than a dozen new titles were announced, from Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Burnham, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender and more.
2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
We’re kicking things off with Best Writer, and you can cast your vote after the cut.
Batman’s origin has been told many times before, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s never been done quite like Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo‘s “Zero Year.” They’re telling the story of what they call a “punk rock Batman,” a younger Bruce Wayne who returns to Gotham to challenge a city that’s already being crushed under the weight of a new kind of crime, and they’re packing everything they possibly can into it. So much, in fact, that the twelve-issue epic has been divided into three distinct arcs, and with “Secret City” ending last month, we’re talking to Snyder in a series of interviews, going in-depth to discuss what these first four issues mean for Batman, his world, and Snyder personally.
Today, after discussing the story in general terms in part one, we get into the specifics of the first arc: The villains, what they represent, the role of the Wayne Family in shaping Snyder and Capullo's take, and Bruce Wayne's development as the Batman of a new kind of city full of new kinds of fears -- and how Batman's greatest enemy is an empty, meaningless life.
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