There's always been a seamless crossover between video games and comic books, and odds are if you're a fan of one, you're a fan of the other. Comics have been adapted into video games and vice-versa for almost as long as video games have been "a thing," and as both mediums have evolved, so too has the quality of those crossovers. With the holidays around the corner, we've put together a selection of some of the best video game related comics and art books for the gamer in your life.
Faith Erin Hicks
Before Ms. Marvel was a superhero, she was a fan. A superhero fan specifically, writing fanfic for the internet's consumption about the Avengers and other heroes. That's a big reason she was so excited to become a hero, and even more excited when she was asked to join the Avengers at the beginning of All-New All-Different Avengers.
Now readers of that series get to dive into that world with her in All-New All-Different Avengers Annual #1. The book features "fan fiction" stories of the Marvel universe written by G. Willow Wilson, Mark Waid, Natasha Allegri, Faith Erin Hicks, Scott Kurtz, and Zac Gorman, and features art by Allegri, Hicks, Kurtz, Mahmud Asrar, Chip Zdarsky, and Jay Fosgitt. It seems like just the relief we all need from the grimness of Civil War II, and it goes on sale August 10.
CBS' Supergirl adaptation proved to be one of the highlights of the past year's season of television, packed with action, drama, excitement and a whole lot of heart. One of the best things about the show was that in a time where so many superhero adaptations are grim morality plays that pit friend against friend, Supergirl was a bright ray of sunshine that focused on the power of teamwork and the hidden strength in us all.
Last night saw the final episode of Supergirl's first season, and if you're still reeling and can't for season two, we've assembled a list of five of the best independent comics for you to try next that are fun, strong and powerful, just like Supergirl.
Hajime Isayama’s Attack On Titan has been one of the biggest crossover hits in modern manga, with a successful anime series, movies, video games and more spinning off from the original manga. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where society lives behind giant walls to keep the monstrous Titans at bay, and follows members of the military who seek to keep their cities safe from the Titan threat.
This October, Kodansha Comics USA will release an Attack On Titan Anthology, featuring some of the best creators from the worlds of manga and western comics, and we’ve got exclusive pages from the likes of Michael Avon Oeming, Evan Dorkin, and the Batgirl team of Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr.
The rise of Faith Erin Hicks and Jordie Bellaire in the last decade is easy to explain. Both women are insanely talented and ridiculously prolific. Bellaire's racked up hundreds of credits as a colorist alone since 2010. And since Hicks' webcomic Demonology 101 began in 1999, she's written and/or drawn everything from her own graphic novels like Friends With Boys and the Eisner-winning The Adventures of Superhero Girl to works by other writers like Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (written by Prudence Shen) and an upcoming OGN with best-selling YA author Rainbow Rowell.
Now two of the hardest-working creators in comics unite with The Nameless City, the first in a trilogy of original graphic novels from Hicks' longtime publisher, First Second, as part of its tenth anniversary slate of books. How lucky we are as readers to get this incredible story full of sweeping detail, beautiful artwork and endearing characters.
Ever since she burst onto the comics scene in 2007 with the debut of her first original graphic novel, Zombies Calling --- and heck, even before that with her webcomic, Demonology 101 --- Faith Erin Hicks has been one of the most exciting and entertaining creators in comics. There's a personality to her work, a depth of character that comes through in spite of, and often because of, the strange situations in which her characters find themselves. As a result, any new project of hers is worth talking about, but her latest is even more interesting than usual.
In interest of full disclosure: I am an unabashedly biased about Faith Erin Hicks, whose work I’ve loved for more than ten years now. Every since I found a mini-comic called Zombies Calling in the submissions when I was editor-in-chief at SLG (Slave Labor Graphics) Publishing, I knew she was a cartoonist who was going somewhere. I went on to edit the graphic novel, as well as Hicks’ second graphic novel The War at Ellsmere.
Hicks’ newest graphic novel is The Nameless City, a young adult graphic novel set in a fictional world based on 14th-century China, and the first in a trilogy. A boy from the provinces eager to learn more about the mysterious city and a scrappy girl who grew up within its walls forge an unlikely friendship, despite the rift between their people.
Some weeks ago, a tweet from Jamie McKelvie, artist on the tremendously popular series The Wicked + The Divine and Phonogram, caught my eye. Writing about the physical difficulties of a heavy drawing schedule, McKelvie said he felt he could keep drawing for only 15 more years. Just a few tweets away on my timeline, graphic novelist Faith Erin Hicks, author of Friends with Boys, Superhero Girl, and The Nameless City, commented that a full day of drawing had left her with sore wrists.
Being a comic book artist is a physically taxing job. Long hours sitting at the literal drawing board (whether drawing on paper or digitally) can strain muscles in the back, neck, and shoulders; repetitive motions inflame tendons in the arms. Combine this demanding work with the life of a freelancer, which, in the United States, does not come with any form of health care, and you’ll realize that many comics artists are living one injury away from economic disaster. An injury will not only cost money to treat, it will also cost time as it heals --- time that could be spent drawing --- resulting in lost income.
Last week's release of the Lumberjanes one-shot special Beyond Bay Leaf introduced two new creators to the world of Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, and while audiences should know writer Faith Erin Hicks from her career of excellent webcomics and teen-friendly tales like Friends With Boys and Adventures of a Superhero Girl, artist Rosemary Valero-O'Connell is just starting to make her name, and the Lumberjanes one-shot is one of her first published works.
ComicsAlliance chatted to Valero-O'Connell about her story of stargazing and ghost ponies, and her relationship to the Lumberjanes characters, and she offered us an exclusive look at her art process, from pencils to finished pages.
Boom Box's Lumberjanes continues to go from strength to strength, sweeping up awards, putting out luxurious collections, and now launching its first ever one-shot special featuring two truly excellent guest creators, writer Faith Erin Hicks and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell. Check out an exclusive preview of next week's Lumberjanes: Beyond Bay Leaf.