Marvel launches the eighth of its nine solo titles with a female lead in November with Spider-Woman #1, and the book sadly already has a cloud over it. A variant cover by master erotic artist Milo Manara stirred enough controversy last week to garner mainstream attention. The cover featured Spider-Woman with her apple-shaped butt raised high in decidedly unheroic manner. It was exactly what one would expect from Manara, who has created a number of superheroine illustrations for Marvel, but the image suggested a particularly overt tone of sexual objectification that could alienate the sort of readers who attended the Women In Marvel panel at San Diego where the series was announced.
As far as I can recall, Marvel has more female solo titles now than ever before, with a ninth title, Angela: Asgard's Assassin, launching in December. On paper, that suggests a laudable effort to reach out to superhero comics' growing and under-served audience of female readers. Yet the Manara incident serves to remind us that books about women can very easily be targeted to a male audience.
There's currently an unspoken contest between Marvel and DC to see who can produce more comics aimed at a female audience. It's possible the contest only exists in my head, as I've been keeping a tally of solo titles with female leads for the past several months -- but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that editors at the two publishers have also been keeping track.
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
July's comic book covers bring some gorgeous high contrast images and striking character portraits. There's a moment of grief; a moment of action; a moment of reflection; and a moment of revelation. Check out amazing work from Christian Ward, Eleanor Davis, Tommy Lee Edwards, and Lucy Knisley.
Kansas City's Planet Comicon has steadily grown into what may be the biggest comics and pop culture convention in the Midwest. After spending several years in the Overland Park Convention Center, a mid-sized facility in a suburb of Kansas City, last year Planet Comicon moved to Bartle Hall, a much bigger facility in the heart of downtown. This year, the convention doubled in floorspace, drew cosplayers likes flies to vinegar, and brought in a litany of television and pop culture stars, including legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, pretty much the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the puffy one himself, Sir William Freaking Shatner.
But this site is called ComicsAlliance, and what we really care about are the comics and the creators who make them. Click onwards for a sometimes-blurry Blackberry camera gallery of guests, friends, and artist alley residents of one of the fastest-growing cons in the country.
Fashion brand Shoes of Prey used its customizable design website to style some superhero-inspired heels and flats as examples of footwear that customers can tweak and purchase for themselves with the Shoes of Prey 3D Designer, which gives the wearer selection of colors, materials, and alter various detailing parameters such as heel height, toe and heel detailing.. Each pair of shoes is handmade to fit the customer's chosen aesthetics and run at least $100 per pair.
As a fan of both Shoes of Prey and comics, customer Mandy Kerr designed some heels and flats inspired by Batman, Iron Man, and more (seen in the grahguc below). Inspired by Kerr's excellent Robin-inspired oxfords, I utilized the Shoes of Prey 3D Designer to create a few of my own shoe designs, including flats and platformed wedges inspired by Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Batwoman, and more.
GLAAD, a high profile media advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, has announced the nominees for its 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards, including five nominees for Outstanding Comic Book. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize high quality productions that represents LGBT people in fair, inclusive, original, and impactful ways.
It's a rough time to be a fan of DC's comics. The publisher has made so many problematic moves in the past couple of years that the brand is now as strongly associated with disgruntled talent and unhappy readers as it is with iconic characters like Superman and Batman.
In the wake of the inauspicious departure of the Batwoman creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, I intended to write something about DC's editorial troubles. I got as far into the opening paragraph as noting, "I have to write quickly because there'll be another fiasco along any minute," before another fiasco came along - the Harley Quinn try-out controversy.
At this stage, talking about any individual incident at DC as a blip seems too narrow. A good week is now a blip for DC. The company has profound problems, and the question we have to ask is, can it be fixed?
In a posting to JH Williams III'swebsite late Wednesday night, the acclaimed artist and his Batwoman co-writer W. Haden Blackman announced that due to what they described as a preponderance of "eleventh-hour changes" to stories that had been planned a year or more in advance, they're walking off the book. Among the grievances alleged by Williams and Blackman was publisher DC Comics' refusal to allow principal characters Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) and her fiancé Maggie Sawyer to get married.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we've discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
One of our favorite comic book artists, JH Williams III routinely bewilders us with the always beautiful illustrations and impressive designs he creates for Batwoman, the DC Comics series he also co-writes with W. Haden Blackman that was among our selections of the best comics of 2012. Having had the pleasure of seeing Williams' original art in person at last year's MorrisonCon, I can confirm that all the delicate and precise intricacies of the Batwoman artwork are right there on the page, which for those of us not gifted with drawing talent seems impossible to believe and invites the question: how the hell does he even do that?
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