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Ask Chris #238: Why You Should Probably Pick Up Walter Simonson’s ‘Orion’

Ask Chris #238 - Walter Simonson's Orion

Q: How immediately should we should we all be buying the new Orion by Walt Simonson omnibus? -- @atnorwood

A: Every now and then I like to take a swing at a softball question, but this one is just gently wafting over the plate, taking a moment to stop offer me an engraved invitation. So here's the quick answer: Ideally, you should be buying that Orion omnibus right now, if not sooner, maybe going as far as buying it in back issues too so you have something to read while you wait for it to be delivered. As a general rule of thumb, pretty much anything with the words "WALT SIMONSON" written on the cover is something that's going to be worth having on your bookshelf.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Tintin, Hardware, Grand Budapest Hotel, Michonne and More

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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 is awesome.

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Five Reasons To Read Simonson, Martin, And Workman’s ‘Ragnarok’

Ragnarok, IDW

I like to think I do a pretty good job keeping up with what's out on the stands, but somehow, some way, I managed to completely miss IDW's Ragnarok from Walt Simonson, Laura Martin, and John Workman, until just this week --- and believe me, I'm kicking myself for it. Ragnarok offers action-packed high adventure and sweeping storytelling from some of my favorite creators in comics, with a story that hooked me from the first page.

Of course, the bright side to coming late to the book is that I managed to catch up on the first three issues all at once rather than wait, and with how much I loved it, I'm pretty sure the bimonthly schedule that the book seems to be on would've been a nightmare. If you've been on the fence about picking up Ragnarok, here's five good reasons to give it a shot.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Blade Runner, Annie Hall, Mononoke, Endless, Agent Carter and More

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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.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Emma Frost, Batgirl, Astro Boy, Lobo, Saga, More Batgirl

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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.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Fatale, Lana Del Rey, Iron Giant, Lobo, Audrey Hepburn and More

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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.

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Archie Comics Releases All-Star Series of Variant Covers, Weirdly They’re To Commemorate Archie Andrews’ Death

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What is assuredly the weirdest sentence I'll have written in all my years at this website: Archie Andrews will heroically sacrifice his life to save that of a deae friend in the penultimate issue of Life With Archie in July

Written by Paul Kupperberg with art by Pat & Tim Kennedy and Fernando Ruiz, Life With Archie #36 will depict the title character's death and come with a plethora of variant covers by some of our favorite artists like Francesco Francavilla, Fiona Staples, Ramón Pérez, Walt Simonson, Jill Thompson, Mike Allred, Cliff Chiang, Adam Hughes, Tommy Lee Edwards and Alex Ross.

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Ask Chris #190: The Best First Three Comic Pages Ever

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: Supposedly it takes three pages to hook a reader before they drop off, so what are the best opening three pages in a comic? -- @shutupadiran

A: Huh. I don't think it's going to surprise anyone to find out that I'm a dude who thinks a lot about how comic books are structured and what you can do within that structure, but I've never heard that bit about the first three pages being where you have to hook the reader. It makes sense, though -- when you look at it, those first three pages, along with the cover, form a distinct storytelling unit, and it's the first thing you see when you pick up and pop open a comic.

Thinking back on comics that I love, there's a really distinct pattern there. I like stuff that builds to a big last page just fine, but the ones that I tend to rave about when those first issues hit always open up strong. It's like the first five seconds of a song. Some of them might build to a crescendo as they go along, but when you have something like the famous beat from "Be My Baby" or the opening harmonics from "I Get Around," you know instantly that you've got something.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Godzilla, Zatanna, Usagi Yojimbo, Star-Lord, Kill Bill, Daenerys & More

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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.

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‘RoboCop Vs. Terminator’ Gets Two Deluxe Editions From Dark Horse, As Befitting The Greatest Crossover Of All Time

RoboCop vs. Terminator, Dark Horse Comics

Back in the '90s, the comics industry was lousy with crossovers, and most of them were exactly that: lousy. The dream of seeing your two of your favorite properties collide was often undercut by a poor execution that didn't really leave anyone happy with the results. And then there was Frank Miller and Walter Simonson's RoboCop vs. Terminator, quite possibly the single greatest crossover of all time. Not only is it a thrilling, complex story where everything makes sense in the context of both properties, but, well, it's Frank Miller and Walter Simonson doing RoboCop vs. Terminator at the height of their careers. It's pretty great.

It's also been out of print for twenty years, but now, Dark Horse is getting it back into print with the fanfare it deserves. This July, RoboCop vs. Terminator returns with not one, but two special edition hardcovers.

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