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Link Ink: Square Enix’s Comic-Con Batman Figure, ‘Robotech Academy’ Kickstarter And A Timeline Of Marvel Movies

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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.

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Nitz And Smallwood On The Fear-Driven Perfectionism Behind ‘Dream Thief: Escape’ [Interview + Preview]

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In a year full of great comics, Dream Thief by Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood was one of 2013's most compelling new books. After finding an aboriginal mask in a museum, John Lincoln discovers that while he sleeps, the dead possess his body in search of vengeance. A tricky and intense horror-crime hybrid, Dream Thief routinely played on readers presumptions, delivered waves of surprises, and featured one of the most impressive artistic debuts in recent memory. With the first collection from Dark Horse now on shelves, and the announcement of the follow-up Dream Thief: Escape, Nitz and Smallwood spoke with ComicsAlliance about dirtbags and panel structures, and provide an exclusive six-page preview of the upcoming sequel.

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Hire This Woman: Writer Corinna Bechko

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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.”

After working with animals for most of her life, writer Corinna Bechko's work debuted in comics with the creator-owned Heathentown. Readers may know her name best, though, from her work on major properties like Star Wars and Planet of the Apes.

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Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week): Wilfred Santiago and Jeremy Haun

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The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.

It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).

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Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week): Aaron Conley, Louis Roskosch, and Dustin Nguyen

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The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.

It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).

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Hire This Woman: Cartoonist Sloane Leong

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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.”

Our subject this week, Sloane Leong, is a talented colorist who has worked on comics for publishers like Boom!, Dark Horse, and Image, but she is also a cartoonist who has created many comics of her own from start to finish.

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Donny Cates On Bringing ‘Buzzkill’ To Dark Horse Comics [Interview]

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In September Dark Horse Comics debuted Buzzkill #1, co-written by Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek, illustrated by Geoff Shaw and colored by Lauren Affe. At a glance the cover for the first issue appears to present a somber, but otherwise with-it costumed superhero enjoying a cigarette and a bottle of wine as he leans over the ledge of a skyscraper surveying his city. But then there's the title, "Buzzkill," and an environment not dotted with highrises, but rather filled with enormous bottles of hooch. This hero has a problem. Turns out that not only is the protagonist -- who may or may not be named Ruben -- an alcoholic, but a retired crime fighter who depended on abusing substances to put his powers to use... not that he can tell the civilians in his new support group. Meanwhile, his former supervillain foes conspire in the shadows, plotting revenge for a catastrophic battle he can't even remember. ComicsAlliance got in touch with Cates to learn more about the new miniseries and what's in store for Buzzkill's less-than-heroic hero.

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Comic-Con: The Publisher Booths [SDCC 2013]

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When it comes to San Diego Comic-Con, every publisher approaches the show a little bit differently. Whether they house cosplay contests, interactive displays, photo ops with talent, creator signings and/or a whole lot of purchasable product, SDCC booths are an opportunity for the publishers that can attend to make a big impression on one of the most attended pop culture gatherings of the year. You can get a sampling of what publishers like Marvel, DC, Archie, Boom!, IDW, 2000 AD, Dark Horse, Image, Fantagraphics, Oni and others were up to on the show floor of this year's SDCC after the cut.

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Dark Horse Announces ‘Halo: Initiative’ Comic Miniseries By Reed And Castiello

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The Halo comic book license will jump from Marvel to Dark Horse this August 14, with the release of the first issue of a new miniseries titled Halo: Initiation. As revealed by Wired yesterday, the mini will be written by longtime comic book writer, Halo: Fall of Reach novelist and Halo 4 video game

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Dark Horse Unveils Gerard Way’s Finalized ‘Killjoys’ #1 Cover

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After 12 years My Chemical Romance has come to an end, but just as the band and its music live on, so too will Dark Horse's upcoming comic set in the futuristic world of their alter-egos, The Killjoys. MCR frontman and acclaimed Umbrella Academy creator Gerard Way, co-writer Shaun Simon, artist Becky Cloonan

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