If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week the bats are out of the belfry as we look at five of Batman’s greatest team-ups!
Ask anyone who was alive and reading comics in the late 1980s and early 1990s to name a Spider-Man artist, and nine times out of 10, you'll always get the same name: Todd McFarlane.
Plenty of artists in the 1970s and '80s did great work on the character, and the black costume put a new coat of paint on him, but nobody since John Romita transformed the character like McFarlane did. The character was still instantly recognizable as Spider-Man, but lots of the details changed to pull the character into the 1990s, and all the while, there was an undeniable, unmistakable energy to the art.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (go Flames go) on this day in 1961, comics superstar and business mogul Todd McFarlane initially wanted to play baseball for a living, but an injury caused him to focus on his art. When looking for professional work, he sent out seven hundred different submissions before finally breaking into the business with his first professional gig: a backup story in Steve Englehart’s Coyote, published in 1984.
At the dawn of 1992, comic books were booming. Tim Burton's Batman had kicked off a new wave of big-budget film adaptations. Superhero products could be found in nearly every aisle of every department store and supermarket. New comic shops were springing up in shopping centers and malls, publishers were seeing their highest sales figures in years, and new companies were making names for themselves as serious players. And Marvel Comics was the unquestioned big fish in the pool, with their stock booming in the six short months since they'd gone public, and an unparalleled creative stable.
But big changes were afoot. In December of 1991, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, and Jim Lee, Marvel's three biggest artists, informed publisher Terry Stewart that the company's policies toward talent were unfair, that creators were not being appropriately rewarded for their work, and that they were leaving, effective immediately. In the month thereafter, they joined forces with a few more like-minded artists from Marvel's top-selling titles, worked out a deal with small publisher Malibu Comics for production and distribution, and decided on the title for their new company --- recycling a name that Liefeld had originally intended for an aborted self-publishing venture. On February 1st, 1992, a press release was sent out announcing the formation of Image Comics.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite characters in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at Todd McFarlane's Spawny guy, the most successful creator-owned superhero ever based on salmon mating rituals. If you haven't read Spawn since your Hot Topic days, maybe there are some things you forgot or never knew. Great news! This is a video where you can learn about how Spawn used to be a spaceman, the many lawsuits of Todd McFarlane, and the crushing realization that we could have had a Spawn movie starring Snoop Dogg.
Image held the latest in its series of one-day Image Expo events in San Francisco on Thursday, putting a spotlight on a slate of new titles for 2015, and introducing some new creators to the Image family. In concert with the expo, Image also released a new Humble Indie Bundle that includes an Image Expo Preview book containing art from the newly announced titles, plus some forthcoming books that were previously announced.
Titles featured in the preview include Savior by Brian Holguin, Todd McFarlane, and Clayton Crain; Injection, by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire; No Mercy, by Alex De Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, and Jenn Manley Lee; Island, by Brandon Graham and a whole host of artists; RunLoveKill, by Eric Canete, Jonathan Tsuei, Leonardo Olea, and Manu Fernandez; and Starve, by Brian Wood and Danijel Zezelj; the book also includes a one-page ad for Marjorie Liu's new book with Sana Takeda, Monstress, and an ad for the second season of Pretty Deadly, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.
Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.
Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat’s great photos from San Diego.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
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, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
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