One of the lesser explored stanchions of the Western genre is the fairly consistent notion of the dominant invading culture moving into indigenous lands and, over time, brutally removing said peoples from that land. Usually our focus is so narrow within the genre that we rarely realize that this is exactly what is happening. The dreaded “Indian raids” of many a John Ford classic are lensed so thoroughly through the perspective of the white-faced hero or anti-hero that an audience can’t help but miss the absurdity of maligning sovereign nations responding to mass invasions by another sovereign nation. Go try and start a mass migration into Putin’s Russia and see how that goes for you.
I bring this up because Sergio Toppi’s The Collector is acutely focused on this precise issue. The collection of stories which make up this stunning tome from Archaia all occur on the knife’s edge of colonialism and western expansion -- and almost without fail, Toppi’s Collector sides with the invaded side rather than with colonizers the way his forebears -- and, really, antecedents -- might.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Heidi Arnhold is a comic book artist (pencils, inks and colors) and illustrator whose work has included contributions to Archaia's Fraggle Rock comics and Tokyopop's Legends of the Dark Crystal and Star Trek: The Manga. A student of Savannah College of Art and Design's prestigious comic book training program, Arnhold's next work is an original graphic novel from First Second.
Now that this whole vampire trend that's been dominating media has finally started to cool down, it's time for us to predict what's going to be next. Werewolves have been done and mummies seem pretty unlikely, so if I had to guess, I'd say that the next big thing is going to be bird people. Just folks covered in feathers everywhere 2K15, you mark my words.
Or at least, that's the impression that I'm getting from the announcement of Archaia's newest comic, Jorge Corona's Feathers, which launches in January with a six-issue miniseries. Corona will tell the story of a feather-covered boy named Rin who makes a friend for the first time in his life, and attempts to guide her home through a world of twisted back alleys and smoky chimneys, and it looks amazing.
The subgenre of woman-led spy comics seems to be making a healthy surge right now, and Archaia is adding another title to the mix.
Butterfly, a new, four-issue series written by Marguerite Bennett (Angela: Asgard's Assassin) and Arash Amel (Grace of Monaco), and drawn by Antonio Fuso (G.I. Joe: Cobra), will start up Sept. 24 with a Phil Noto cover. It'll follow a deep cover agent who is a complete ghost--no birth certificate, no Social Security number--meeting her long-lost dad after being set up for murder. Turns out her dad was a spy, too.
We've written about the Humble Bundle before here at ComicsAlliance, but let's be real here: It's kind of the perfect idea. Being able to pay what you want to grab a whole cartload of comics while also supporting a charity is a setup that has literally no downside, and it's almost impossible to take advantage of -- especially when it's something like the new Boom! Studios bundle.
For the next two weeks, you'll be able to pay what you want for a massive amount of downloadable comics while also supporting the good work of the Comic Book Legal defense Fund. And, if you pay at least $15, you'll get ComicsAlliance favorites like Lumberjanes, The Midas Flesh and Bee and Puppycat thrown in for good measure.
The interesting thing about this particular bundle is that it includes some very recent comics. Books like Lumberjanes #4 and Midas Flesh #8 were only released this month, and RoboCop #2 actually came out in stores today. Being able to get them here digitally is a pretty big deal.
If you've ready any of writer/artist David Petersen's Mouse Guard comics from Archaia, you may recall a handful of scenes in which the mice play a game called 'Swords And Strongholds.' It sounds a little bit like chess and looks a little bit like the Chinese game Go, but there are cards involved.
As it turns out, Petersen didn't really have any rules in mind for the game when he dreamed it up for the comics, so he asked the creator of Burning Wheel and the Mouse Guard RPG, game maker Luke Crane, to come up with some. He did, Petersen designed a board, and they've gone to Kickstarter to get some funding for a limited run. Just a few days in, it's already funded at $18,000, so if you contribute $30, you're guaranteed a game.
Terrifyingly, it's just a few weeks until Comic-Con International annexes most of downtown San Diego and with it, our souls. But with a new comics convention comes a new offering of exclusive stuff from BOOM! Studios. The publisher of the Adventure Time line of comics as well Lumberjanes and Bee and Puppycat and others is known among rarities collectors for its convention-only releases, and they'll be back at their booth with more at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. Check out the company's latest assortment of exclusives below, including the hardcover Mathematical Edition of Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens.
A 1968 script by Jim Henson and longtime collaborator Jerry Juhl is finally being produced, as a TV special and as a brand new graphic novel by Snarked, Popeye and The Muppets cartoonist Roger Langridge.
Archaia will publish the Thanksgiving themed graphic novel The Magical Monsters of Turkey Hollow in October, which means the project has a real Henson pedigree. Not only has Langridge produced acclaimed Muppets comics for Archaia parent Boom! Studios, but the graphic novel that really put Archaia on the map in 2011 was Tale of Sand, an adaptation of another unproduced Henson/Juhl script.
As I scrolled through all 356 pages of Selected Ambient Works: 11-13, a free PDF download compiling tons of sketches, fan art, comic book pages and finished illustrations by Giannis Milonogiannis, creator of Archaia's Old City Blues and contributing artist to Image's Prophet, I thought to myself, "Is Milonogiannis a retrofuturist? Is he doing with the 1980s and cyberpunk what Dean Motter did with the 1930s and noir?"
The first chapter of cyberpunk cop drama Old City Blues vol. 2 opens with a quote from Joe Keatinge -- the writer of Glory, Morbius and Hell Yeah, and one of the editors of the Eisner-winning “graphic mixtape” comics anthology PopGun -- in which he declares cartoonist Giannis Milonogiannis’ work to be “the world comics style prophesied by Paul Pope fully realized.” Keatinge is referencing Pope’s frequently espoused creative ideal that sees comic book authors draw inspiration from a multitude of works and cultures beyond their immediate experience, with a view towards creating “21st century comics... which can speak to people everywhere.”
That’s extremely high praise for Milonogiannis, who’s still a newcomer (he's also drawn several issues of Prophet), but Keatinge knows what he’s talking about when it comes to comic book art, particularly that from the studios of Europe and Japan. After reading Milonogiannis’ work -- which is a seductive, moody synthesis of the characterization, action, pacing and drawing styles from eurocomics, manga and American influences -- it’s very easy to see why Keatinge was reminded of Pope’s world comics “prophecy” by the pages of Old City Blues.
But if this young cartoonist’s embodiment of the progressive creative philosophy of one of our mediums great masters doesn’t really impress you, that’s fine. The riveting future-cop yarns of Old City Blues surely will.
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