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Five Stars: Starting At The End With Jeff Smith [Interview]

FiveStars-Smith

There are few cartoonists more admired than Jeff Smith. Inspired himself by the serialized newspaper strips he read as a child, Smith went on to create a string of acclaimed, inspirational comics works that have not only proved evergreen in terms of story, but have brought in generation after generation of new excited cartoonists to make their own comics.

Five Stars spoke to Smith about his career in comics through five milestone works, tracing a career through self-publishing, work-for-hire, and webcomics, and exploring the inspirations that inform his work.

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Five Stars: How The Seeds of ‘A Distant Soil’ Helped Colleen Doran Shake Up Comics

DC Comics
DC Comics

Colleen Doran made her first comic when she was twelve, and she's still writing and drawing it today. A Distant Soil stands apart as a unique project within the comics sphere; an epic longform story that has spanned decades in the real-world, and yet remained contemporary and compelling.

Doran has also worked at Marvel and DC, and collaborated with writers including Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis. Along the way she's gained many admirers, but also vocal critics who tried to push her out of the industry. ComicsAlliance looks back over some of the milestones of her career, to chart how she became one of the most acclaimed artists in the industry today.

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Five Stars: Jimmy Palmiotti Guides Us From Eternity to New York City

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Jimmy Palmiotti knows the comics industry. I don't just mean that he knows how it operates, although his thirty-year career has proved that to be the case; Jimmy Palmiotti literally knows everybody in the comics industry, having started out as a freelance inker working with people like Gene Colan before turning his hand to writing and publishing.

Palmiotti has been at the heart of the industry throughout his career as part of the New York comics scene, and his work has pushed publishers to be more bold and creative. We spoke to him about five of his career milestones.

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Five Stars: How Kyle Baker Broke New Ground

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Kyle Baker is one of the most accomplished cartoonists in comics today, and he's been producing hugely acclaimed comics ever since he first started working in the industry in the early 1980s, with work ranging from madcap comedy to breathtakingly sharp biography. With eight Eisner awards to his name, along with a bevy of Harvey and Glyph awards, he's also one of the industry's most decorated talents.

Steve Morris spoke to Baker about his career in comics through five milestones in his career, in a conversation that covers navigating a changing market, writing comedy versus writing drama, and why Baker chooses to self-publish.

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Five Stars: Karen Berger On The History Of Vertigo And The Future Of Innovation

FiveStars-KarenBerger

Karen Berger came to DC comics at the cusp of the 1980s as editor for titles including Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld and House of Mystery. As executive editor of Vertigo, Berger made stars of writers and artists who have gone on to dominate the industry, and the imprint became synonymous with an experimental, stylistic approach which gave it an added edge over every other publisher.

In 2012, Berger resigned from Vertigo. She has been largely absent from comics since, but at Image Expo earlier this year she announced a new series from writer Sara Kenney and artist John Watkiss called Surgeon X, with herself as editor. ComicsAlliance spoke to Berger to look back at her extraordinary career, and her continued dedication to bringing new and experimental ideas to the medium.

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Five Stars: How Larry Hama Made Comics History One Issue At A Time

FiveStars-Hama

Larry Hama's career in comics has spanned more than forty years, not just on the page but also behind the scenes, where he's mentored countless new writers and artists as they make their way through the industry. He continues to redefine the industry and the way people approach comics as a whole.

ComicsAlliance spoke to Hama about his artistic career by discussing five of his milestone works.

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Five Stars: How Declan Shalvey Went From ‘Hero Killers’ to Writing Nick Fury

FiveStars-Shalvey

Five Stars is a new interview feature in which Steve Morris looks back over an artist's career by discussing five of their milestone works. We kick off the series with an interview with Declan Shalvey.

Throughout his career, Shalvey has chosen his projects carefully, and moved between creator-owned projects and work-for-hire in a way that has made him one of the most impressive and prolific artists of his generation.

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