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Ask Chris #190: The Best First Three Comic Pages Ever

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: Supposedly it takes three pages to hook a reader before they drop off, so what are the best opening three pages in a comic? -- @shutupadiran

A: Huh. I don't think it's going to surprise anyone to find out that I'm a dude who thinks a lot about how comic books are structured and what you can do within that structure, but I've never heard that bit about the first three pages being where you have to hook the reader. It makes sense, though -- when you look at it, those first three pages, along with the cover, form a distinct storytelling unit, and it's the first thing you see when you pick up and pop open a comic.

Thinking back on comics that I love, there's a really distinct pattern there. I like stuff that builds to a big last page just fine, but the ones that I tend to rave about when those first issues hit always open up strong. It's like the first five seconds of a song. Some of them might build to a crescendo as they go along, but when you have something like the famous beat from "Be My Baby" or the opening harmonics from "I Get Around," you know instantly that you've got something.

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Ennis And Cermak Get Serious With ‘Red Team: Season One’ [Review]

Red Team Volume 1
Dynamite Entertainment

Look, we all know it's okay for comic book characters to kill people. It's just that when cops do it, it's something of a grey area. Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak's Red Team, recently collected by Dynamite, takes an old idea and makes it new again, exploring the moral conundrum of taking the law into your own hands. One of the least-talked-about great comics of 2013, Red Team is tense, real, and dead-serious. Which is funny, because I used to think Garth Ennis was stupid.

I'm leaving both of those hanging, by the way. Garth Ennis and the killing thing: hanging.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Dynamite, Reviews

AMC Officially Announces ‘Preacher’ TV Series

Preacher

After years of rumors, speculation, and various stages of development hell, today AMC confirmed that the network will be adapting Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Preacher to television. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are attached as executive producers, along with Sam Caitlin (Breaking Bad), who will serve as showrunner.  The duo will also write the pilot.

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AMC Orders Pilot For ‘Preacher’ Series

Preacher

With Breaking Bad now concluded, AMC needs a viable replacement for the series, and the network may have just found it. After years of unfounded rumors, and being stuck in various stages of development hell, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Preacher may finally be coming to the small screen, as AMC has ordered a pilot for the series be filmed.

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Ennis And Parlov’s ‘Fury MAX’ Presents A Soldier And Country That Can’t Live Without War [Review]

fury 1

If recent revelations can teach us anything, it's that Americans will always have a shadow behind us. Since the end of World War II, we have invested so much money and power and authority in our military-industrial complex and clandestine forces that it's categorically absurd to believe that our privacy has been anything but compromised, our national innocence -- if it ever existed -- anything but forfeit. For at least the last twelve years, American soldiers have been engaged in seemingly perpetual wars across the world, while potentially every electronic conversation we've had has been stolen and scrutinized, and the lie we've been told is that it's all been in the name of American freedom.

The truth is much worse. Like the titular character in Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov's just-concluded Fury MAX series, we simply love war, and we cannot stop ourselves from waging it.

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Ask Chris #155: Closing Time

AskChrisNew

Q: What's your favorite final issue of a comic series or run? -- @supergeekmike

A: Back when I was working at the comic book store, my friend Scott once told me that if I really wanted to know what a series was all about, all I had to do was read the first issue and the last issue. Admittedly, this is the same friend who told me that I really ought to start reading Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, but he had a good point. On those rare occasions in comics where someone can actually build to a last issue, that's where everything about the series can come together. And the results can be pretty great.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Ask Chris, Opinion

I’m David: Garth Ennis, Heroes, & Assumptions

steve-dillon---preacher---macho-bs

I'm starting to get the feeling that Garth Ennis doesn't like heroes very much. I don't mean superheroes, either. His ambivalence toward the spandex set is well-established and can easily be taken as read at this point. But heroes? The men and women we've built up to be larger than life and forces for good, immaculately moral and righteous? I'm starting to notice that he's pushing away from that concept in his work more and more often. He treats heroes like we would treat stereotypes or urban legends. He wants to debunk our idea of a hero, and it shows in his work.

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‘Hellblazer’ #300 Marks The End Of An Era For Constantine And Vertigo

hellblazer-lede

With the 300th and final issue of Vertigo's Hellblazer, out this week, several tumblers shift and lock into place. John Constantine moves to the New 52 on a full-time basis, with a new title beginning in March; the reset button is pushed on his continuity, and the most writer-driven character of the last thirty years is yanked from the comfort and promise of a Mature Readers label and forced to grow up again in a PG-13 world; and the longest-running title in the Vertigo line concludes a twenty year run, as the imprint focuses exclusively on creator-owned comics. It's a sad time for misfits everywhere, as Hellblazer is o

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Garth Ennis & Craig Cermak’s ‘Red Team’ Is A Good Start For a Dark Tale [Review]

red-team---top

Some people deserve to die. They're so vile or anti-life that leaving them alive would only result in misery for everyone they meet. At the same time, is it right to kill them? In Red Team, Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak are exploring this conundru

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The Dennis ‘D-Man’ Dunphy Memorial Awards: ComicsAlliance’s Best Comics of 2012, Part 3

03d-man-1356718348

We didn't realize when we set out to list our favorite comic books of 2012 that it had been such a fun year to be a fan of the medium that we all love so much. The last twelve months offered readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies; the return of much missed mangaka and the emergence of exciting new talent; a new crowd-sponsored visibility for self-publishing; and the ascension of the fan artist from bedroom dreamer to Tumblr tycoon. It was a busy a

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