Q: Hey Chris, what's the worst story from the best writer? -- @starr226
A: I've gotten this question a few times over the past few weeks, and it's one that's really interesting to me for a few reasons, the most important of which being that nobody in the history of comics has a perfect record. Once you put out more than, say, four comics, everyone from Jack Kirby on down has stunk up the room at least once in their career, and it can be really fun looking at something to try to figure out exactly why something doesn't work, when everything else from that particular creator works so well.
For me, though, as easy as it would be to hit a soft target like Alan Moore and Scott Clark's Spawn/WildC.A.T.S: Devil Day, the biggest and most surprising drop will always be Larry Hama and Scott McDaniel's surprisingly terrible run on Batman.
Okay, so there's good news and bad news. The good news is that ComiXology is having a massive sale on Batman comics, and has knocked a bunch of them down to 99¢ each, which means that you can grab some great stories on the cheap. The bad news? Since this whole thing is in honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, they've put 750 comics on sale, plus a handful of graphic novel collections. All things considered, that's a pretty good problem to have, but still, that can be pretty overwhelming.
Fortunately, we're here to help. As the World's Foremost Batmanologist, I've sifted through the sale to bring you safe bets for what you should be grabbing during the sale. Assuming you've got the obvious ones -- like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One and the recent runs by Morrison, Snyder, and Capullo -- here's what to grab next!
Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips have collaborated on a number of different spins of the noir variety over the years: hard-luck stories (Criminal), supervillain parables (Incognito), even mixing in Lovecraftian on occasion (Fatale). Now, the creative team is taking on another aspect of noir: old Hollywood's seedy underbelly.
The first project announced since the two inked their five-year carte blanche deal with Image Comics, The Fade Out will kick off August 20 with a 40-page first issue which will include exclusive back-matter articles not to be collected in later editions. Readers can also buy an oversized "movie magazine replica" edition of The Fade Out #1, with eight extra pages of art.
When you think of the film genres that have inspired comics writer Ed Brubaker's work, 1940s noir/crime and 1970s conspiracy movies are the ones that immediately spring to mind. Perhaps 1960s spy flicks. But 1980s slasher/exploitation movies aren't really part of the equation.
But Brubaker is apparently branching out into the genre. ScreenRelish is reporting that he'll be penning the script for a remake of the 1988 slasher film Maniac Cop, one of the true gems of the trash cinema that filled the horror shelves at VHS rental stores.
You might have heard that there's a new Captain Americamovie coming out on April 4. If Marvel's marketing department has gotten its way, this news may very well be tattooed on the inside of your eyelids in phosphorescent ink. Let's say, however, you've never read any Captain America comics before, but now that he's been legitimized as a multi-million dollar film franchise, you're suddenly very interested in that dude with little wings on his head carrying around one of Uncle Sam's rims.
Since being created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon all the way back in 1941, the hero also known as the Sentinel of Liberty has passed through the hands of some eminently talented writers, artists and editors. Some of these creative teams depicted Cap's adventures for a few months -- some of them for a few years -- before passing the torch to the next creators to keep the flame (or trademark) alive. In comic books, these tenures are called "runs," "series" or "eras," and they're the readers' way of distinguishing one era of a character's saga from the next. Chances are you're not sure where to dive into a a publishing legacy that's spanned more than 70 years, so here is a list, in chronological order, of the Sentinel of Liberty's 10 most interesting and influential comic book runs.
One of the most significant -- and to many readers, one of the most exciting -- developments in comics in the last few years has been the growth of Image Comics, with many of the most popular writers and artists in the industry currently producing much, if not all, of their creator owned work through the publisher. As such, Image Expo has become a highly anticipated event, as publisher Eric Stephenson uses the annual show to announce several upcoming books from both established and new talent.
Today's Image Expo continued that tradition, as more than a dozen new titles were announced, from Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Burnham, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender and more.
2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
We’re kicking things off with Best Writer, and you can cast your vote after the cut.
The comic book series that kicked off a years-long collaboration between writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips is poised for a film adaptation produced by some recognizable names, among them Matt Damon and longtime collaborator Ben "Dardedevil/Batman" Affleck.
The pair will produce a film version of the Wildstorm series Sleeper. No director has been attached yet, but the screenplay will be written by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan and collaborator David Wiener.
When Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting relaunched Captain America in 2004, they came to the book eager to return the elements of espionage that had been largely absent from the title for years. While most of what we remember are the big events – Bucky’s return, Steve Rogers’ assassination – it was really the spy aspect that drove the story, the behind-the-scenes machinations that made the book so incredibly tense. Now, with Velvet #1 from Image Comics, the team reunite (with Bettie Breitweiser on colors) for another trip into the shadows, a taut thriller about spies, double-crosses, and a middle-aged secretary who’s much more dangerous than she seems to be.
In stores next month is Velvet #1, the newest spy tale from Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, the team that spent years on arguably the most celebrated Captain America run in the character's history. Much of that run was driven by spy/espionage sensibilities, and the duo is bringing that aspect of their work to Velvet, the story of a veteran agent named Velvet Templeton who returns to the field to clear her name after she's framed for the murder of the world's top secret agent.
The series is a significant moment in the careers of both creators. For Brubaker, this was the first book announced after he left Marvel to focus on his own projects, and for Epting, Velvet is the veteran artist's first creator owned work.
With the first issue due out next month, and final orders due on Monday, ComicsAlliance joined a conference call with Brubaker in which he discussed, among other things, the research he did for the series, how cell phones have ruined suspense stories, the British spy who tried to seduce one of FDR's best friends, and how all of that influenced Velvet. You can check out some of the highlights from the call, plus preview art from the first issue as well as the cover to issue #2, below.
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