If you're like me, the start of summer means unbearable heat and the switch over from hot coffee to iced coffee, and that's pretty much it. Like pro wrestling, thinking about Batman has no off-season. This year, however, Comixology is looking to make the summer months a little more pleasant with their Summer Reading List.
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In the pages of Batman, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia are retelling the origin of Batman for the modern DC Universe with "Zero Year." Told over the course of a year, "Zero Year" is divided in to three arcs, each representing a facet of Gotham City and Batman's growth into a superhero, and it's been wild right from the start. For each arc, ComicsAlliance is going in-depth with Snyder to find out more about how the story came together and what these elements mean, and with "Dark City" finishing just a few weeks ago, it's time once again for our conversation to resume.
Today, in the first part of our interview, Snyder discusses the return of Dr. Death, why he wanted to pay homage to Frank Miller's Year One and Dark Knight Returns while at the same time breaking away from them as much as possible, and why "Dark City" was the most challenging part of the story to write.
Click through to start off your week of links.
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.
When I spoke to Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy about their Vertigo series The Wake last April, about a month before the first issue’s release, we talked quite a bit about what types of movies influenced it. Several titles of horror movies and movies based around ocean settings came up: The Thing, Jaws, The Abyss. But we barely scratched the surface.
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.
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).