Our judges have adjudicated; our readers have voted. We’re proud to present to you the best character redesign of 2015 — and four great runners up.
In a striking blend of female empowerment and corporate synergy, ESPN has teamed with Marvel to commission a variety of comics artists to draw superheroic portraits of the 2015 Impact 25, a list of women who have had an "impact" on sports in the past year.
The images are uniformly striking, but they vary in both the familiarity of the subjects and the level of "super heroification" of the art. So on one end of the spectrum you have a Tron take on tennis giant Serena Williams by Aspen Comics artist Elizabeth Torque, and a literally world-spanning Women's National Soccer Team by the Ghosted art team of Goran Sudzuka and Miroslav Mrva. And on the other end you have camera-wielding filmmaker Lauren Greenfield by Joelle Jones and Rachelle Rosenberg, who handled the art for the recent Mockingbird one-shot, and a moody take on prima ballerina Misty Copeland by Black Canary artist Annie Wu.
Since the first issue of the new Archie comic, one of the driving forces behind the plot was the recent breakup between Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper, paving the way for Veronica Lodge to wrap Archie around her finger like a freckled piece of string. The impetus behind the breakup was "the lipstick incident," which was describned specifically as Archie not cheating on Betty – leaving everyone to ask, "what exactly happened?"
Archie #4, by Mark Waid and Annie Wu, answers the question.
Ever since Archie was rebooted with the status quo-shaking Andrews/Cooper breakup, there has been one question burning in the minds of readers: What tragedy could be so great, what transgression could be so dire, that it could cause Archie and Betty to break when even a 75-year love triangle couldn't do the job? The answer, of course, was "The Lipstick Incident."
The only problem is that we don't actually know what the Lipstick Incident was, as it has only ever been referred to in the vaguest possible terms... until now. When Archie #4 hits the stands on November 25, Mark Waid and Annie Wu are finally revealing all the heartbreaking details that we've been waiting for. But, if you can't wait, you can check out a preview of Wu's fantastic art --- along with covers that include a variant by Jaime Hernandez --- below!
The great thing about Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites is the ability for creators to fill a void with a product or project they're incredibly passionate about. More and more, we're seeing niche action figure and collectible creators turn to this method to get their ideas out there. It's a hard road to commercial success at retail, but if you can reach out directly to your audience, there's a chance you'll make some headway towards bigger things and wider availability.
Seeing a hole in the action figure market for not just female characters, but female characters more representative of real women, IAmElemental campaigned to bring such a series to life. After a successful round of crowdfunding in 2014, the company released its first line-up, Courage, this year. We caught up with Julie Kerwin, chief elemental officer at IamElemental, at New York Comic Con to talk about the line, where it's headed, and whether or not it can succeed in a crowded market.
Getting Fiona Staples to be the artist on the new Archie series was quite a coup for the publisher, but there's a price that comes with hiring superstar artists: They don't hang around forever. Staples will be exiting the book after the third issue.
That's the bad news, according Archie Comics President Mike Pellerito. Here's the good news: The publisher already has the next two artists lined up, and they're both very exciting in their own right: First, Annie Wu (Hawkeye, Black Canary) will step up for issue #4, and after that, Veronica Fish, who is the artist behind the promo image for the upcoming CW series Riverdale, will take over through the sixth issue.
Reading Black Canary wasn't just reading another comic book --- the character comes with a lot of baggage for me, so I felt bound to be more critical of it than I am of any other book. But by the time I finished issue #2, I felt like a character I'd loved for a long time had been given a new life. This is what we should want for our heroes.
Like pretty much everyone else who read it, my reaction to Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr's Batgirl relaunch was something along the lines of, "Yes, please, I would like more of this." That said, there was a pretty pessimistic part of me that didn't think we were actually going to get it. I just assumed that Batgirl was going to exist in isolation as one of those rare reboots that took things in an entirely different direction and breathed new life into a great character, yet didn't have an impact anywhere else.
Fortunately, I was wrong. This week saw the release of the new Black Canary series from Fletcher and Annie Wu, and for all intents and purposes, it's a spinoff of Batgirl that takes the same approach to rebuilding a great character for a new audience. This time, it's Black Canary recast as a mysterious lead singer who can't stop getting into fights, and y'all, it's pretty awesome.
This weekend at New York Comic-Con, Marvel unleashed a host of announcements, revealing new series and projects galore. One of the most fascinating bits of news came out of Sunday's 'Axel-In-Charge' panel, where the Marvel editor-in-chief announced a new ongoing Hawkeye series launching in March 2015, from the creative team of Jeff Lemire and Ramón Peréz.
The book follows hard on the heels of the current critically acclaimed run on the title by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu, and while the new series will continue to focus on the characters of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, Lemire and Perez are determined to tell their own story in their own way. We spoke to the creative team to find out more.
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.