If you are a jaded, bitter superhero reader like we are here at ComicsAlliance, America's Grumpiest Comic Book News Site™, then you probably respond with announcements of variant covers with an eyeroll and a noncommittal grunt, and may even go as far as to say "Variants! Bah!" out loud to an empty room full of action figures. That's what we usually do, but not today, friends and neighbors. Not today.
Because today, DC Comics announced that most of the cape (and one He-Man) comic they publish in December is going to have a "widescreen" variant by Darwyn Cooke, and holy cats, they are some of the most beautiful DC superhero pictures we have ever seen.
We live in a time of awesome superhero costumes in comics. The rise and rise of cosplay culture, the emergence of comic artists with a savvy understanding of fashion, and the slow diversification that's making heroes palatable to a broader audience, have all contributed to a costuming culture with more to offer than capes and pants.
Superhero costumes have always been an asset to the industry, because iconography helps establish character and create a brand. But the value of costumes in reaching audiences and reinventing characters seems to be recognized now as never before, leading to the rise of artist-designers like Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka, who don't even need to be on a particular book in order to be called in to make-over the characters. This is a great leap forward in understanding just what a good costume can do -- and the special skills required to do it.
When the New 52 launched back in 2011, one of the interesting things about the lineup of titles was the presence of a lot of books that attempted to break out of the standard superhero genre, at least a little. There were horror, fantasy and war comics, but the most creatively and commercially successful by far was DC Comics' All Star Western, featuring Jonah Hex. Now, however, All Star Western is coming to an end after three years with a story where Jonah Hex is faced with what may be his toughest foe yet: Jonah Hex.
This issue marks a pretty notable conclusion for a few reasons, most notably being that, if you count the Jonah Hex series that launched back in 2006 before rebooting as All Star Western, writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are two of DC's longest tenured creators, having written over a hundred issues about Jonah Hex, the disfigured old west era bounty hunter originally created by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga in the early 1970s.
The second is that the issue marks the auspicious return of award-winning artist Darwyn Cooke to the character for his final adventure.
One of the most discussed news items from last month's Comic-Con International was the first look at Wonder Woman as she will appear in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the new DC Entertainment film by Zack Snyder. Played by Gal Gadot, this will be the first cinematic appearance of William Moulton Marston's Amazonian princess and feminist icon in her nearly 75-year history, and naturally fans have had a lot to say about the portrait debuted in San Diego. In reaction to the image, members of the ComicsAlliance staff assembled to discuss and critique Gadot's costume, depictions of super-women on film, and the current state of superheroine fashion in general.
Today's participants include CA's superheroic sartorialist Betty Felon; clinical psychologist and Arkham Sessions co-host Dr. Andrea Letamendi; comic book editor Janelle Asselin; journalist Juliet Kahn; comics writer/artist Kate Leth; and blogger/vlogger Angelina L.B. aka ALB, who makes her CA debut in this in-depth analysis. Join us for our roundtable discussion on Wonder Woman's newest live-action steez, high heels, and the balance between practicality/realism and style in superheroine costume design.
The 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony took place Friday 25th July in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, as part of San Diego Comic-Con. It was a good night for Saga, Hawkeye, and the Hernandez brothers. Presenters included Orlando Jones, Reginald Hudlin, Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick, Sergio Aragonés, Phil LaMarr, and Kevin Eastman. ComicsAlliance has a full list of winners, as well as the other nominees in each category.
Canada is comics’ secret super-power. As far back as 1938, when Toronto-born Joe Shuster created Superman with Cleveland’s Jerry Siegel, Canada has been a vital partner -- a Wild Child to America's Sabtretooth. (Age of Apocalypse version.)
”We have so many great artists and writers to choose from, it’s such an embarrassment of riches,” says Ty Templeton, a writer and artist who has worked for most major publishers and on most big name characters, and who knows just about everyone in the business. When he says Canada's creative community boasts an embarrassment of riches, he knows what he's talking about. So on this beautiful and proud Canada Day, we at Comics Alliance have to ask; why hasn't a Canadian creative team ever taken on Canada's best-known superhero team, Alpha Flight?
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.
Darwyn Cooke just can't get enough of Richard Stark's Parker.
The writer/artist has already adapted four (five, if you consider that one adaptation, The Outfit, is a combination of two) of the novels author Donald Westlake wrote under the name Richard Stark. Now, Cooke is teaming up with IDW to illustrate new, deluxe editions of those novels starting in June with the first in the series, The Hunter. Attendees at the Toronto Comics and Art Festival next week will have the opportunity to grab The Hunter a bit early, in the form of a super-fancy limited edition.
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.
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