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Dennis Hopeless Reunites The ‘All-New X-Men'; Hope They Survive The Experience? [Interview]

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All-New X-Men has quickly proven itself to be a fan-favorite title within the X-Books since it started last year, with Dennis Hopeless, Mark Bagley, Nolan Woodard and Cory Petit bringing together a team of young teen characters to valiantly surge forward through a world that hates and fears them. Despite having everything stacked against them, the cast have struck home with readers due to their determination to fight back and proudly stand up for who they are... and not what the world thinks they might be.

Although characters like X-23, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Idie, and Angel all stand poised in the dark shadows of their past and possible futures, the series stands out as a more purely entertaining and character-driven series than anything else. It's fun, and a lot of that fun is down to the immediate creative synergy between Bagley and Hopeless. ComicsAlliance caught up with Hopeless to get a closer look at the unruly team of teen heroes he's assembled, and to get a glimpse into what awaits the characters over the next few months.

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Kevin Jay Stanton and Annie Stoll Raise ‘1001 Knights’ on Kickstarter [Back Pages]

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Crowdfunding has become an important part of how comics get made, allowing creators to pitch their work directly to readers, and providing opportunities for comics that traditional publishers may not consider. With Back Pages, ComicsAlliance hopes to provide a spotlight for some of the best comics crowdfunding projects we can find.

With 1001 Knights, editors Annie Stoll and Kevin Jay Stanton are bringing a staggeringly colossal, magnificently giant work of titanically stonking proportions to Kickstarter. Made of three volumes each representing a noble trait of knighthood, the project sees a stunning array of artists, writers, poets, and artistic types gathered together to tell stories about a diverse range of knights. Starting life as a zine --- before rapidly racing off into a far grander project --- 1001 Knights has already flown past its funding target. ComicsAlliance spoke to Stoll and Stanton about the anthologies.

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Leaping into Asian Myth with ‘Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales’ [Back Pages]

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The Cautionary Fables and FairyTales project has been running for several years now; an anthology series that tells stories based around the fairy tales, myths and legends of a different continent each time, starting with Europe, then Africa, and now Asia. The anthology is the work of editors and cartoonists Kel McDonald and Kate Ashwin, and features work from a number of creators both new and established --- including Gene Luen Yang, Meredith McClaren, Nilah Magruder and Carla Speed McNeil.

As with the previous volumes, the team has to Kickstarter to fund the 200-page, black and white Asia anthology. Asia is a particularly wide topic to handle, so ComicsAlliance spoke to both Ashwin and McDonald about how the series has grown over time, what stories will be featured in their latest collection, and how Kickstarter has helped bring the whole thing together.

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Writer and Letterer Joe Caramagna on the History and Mystery of ‘Wyatt Earp’ [Interview]

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Joe Caramagna is a writer and letterer best known for his work at Marvel, where he writes much of their all-ages line and letters titles including Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil. His newest project is the Kickstarter-funded miniseries The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp, with artist Scott Koblish. The history of the infamous cowboy --- much of which is myth, some of it legend, and maybe even some of it true --- is a tangled knot, which Caramagna slices through to provide readers with some of the most interesting Wild West stories in recent comics history.

To find out more, Caramagna spoke to ComicsAlliance about the series, the man behind the legend, and how the Kickstarter process developed for him. We also asked him about his role as a letterer, to learn what makes a great letterer, and what life is like as a lettering pro.

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Gail Simone Talks About Nightwing and Oracle’s ‘Convergence’ Reunion

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Barbara Gordon's Oracle identity will return in April, at least temporarily, with Gail Simone and Jan Duursema as the creative team for a new two-part storyline that teams her up with her sometime lover Dick Grayson in Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle. The series is part of DC's big spring event storyline that brings back several fan-favorite characters, including Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya and, uh, Parallax --- but Nightwing and Oracle's return is probably one of the ones that fans are most excited for.

We spoke to Gail Simone to learn where this new story finds the pairing, to ask why Nightwing is so hot, and to learn how she was basically baited into writing the series by DC’s co-publisher!

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Mairghread Scott Brings Windblade Soaring Back, Just in Time for “Transformers: Combiner Wars” [Interview]

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Last year saw the debut of a fan-chosen new character to the IDW Transformers Universe, as Windblade came to comics courtesy of writer Mairghread Scott and artist Sarah Stone. The four-issue mini series Transformers: Windblade saw the character living on Cybertron, where she worked alongside her ally Chromia against the scheming of Cybertron's ruler Starscream to try and keep the planet in one piece.

Following the success of that miniseries, Windblade will be back later this year -- but she won't be alone. She's going to be an integral part of the six-part event crossover 'Combiner Wars,' starting in March, which sees the arrival of the Combiners. Combiners are groups of Transformers that can assemble together into giant, hulking great new machines, and these new Transformers could threaten the very existence of everyone Windblade knows.

Giant planet-threatening robots? That's the sort of thing ComicsAlliance can really get behind. So to get a better look at what "Combiner Wars" means for Windblade - and the Transformers in general - ComicsAlliance spoke with Scott about her plans for the storyline.

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Tim Seeley Talks Celebrity Culture And Small-Town Spookiness In Vertigo’s ‘Effigy’ [Interview]

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This week sees the debut of Effigy, a new Vertigo title from Grayson/Revival scribe Tim Seeley and Madame Xanadu artist Marley Zarcone. The series follows Chondra Jackson, a woman who, as a child, starred in a beloved kids' sci-fi/mystery TV show, and now lives a quiet life as a police officer in small-town Ohio – until she gets pulled into a mystery involving ritual sacrifices, a shadowy celebrity-worshipping cult, and pieces of her past coming back to haunt her.

To mark the launch of the book, we spoke with Seeley about his work process, his inspirations, and how the world of celebrities and comics intersect.

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ReedPOP Goes In-Depth On Plans For New York Super Week [Interview]

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Last week, ReedPOP (the company behind New York Comic Con) announced that it would present an event called "New York Super Week" in October -- a ten-day festival of pop media events at venues all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. And while the initial press release was full of hype and excitement, and contained a few intriguing tastes of planned events (Neil DeGrasse Tyson! Podcasts! Concerts!), the announcement came with very little information. There was no language about pricing, ticketing, or other logistics. The just-launched Super Week website contains links to forms so retailers and restaurants/bars can sign up to offer special promotions in association with the festival, as well as a submission form for organizations and individuals to propose events -- but again, concrete details were light on the ground.

As might be expected, this has led to a variety of reactions from the comic and entertainment community. Many welcomed the idea of an expanded event, unbound by the confines of a convention center, while other conversations on websites and social media expressed skepticism about the motivation for crowd-sourcing venues and events, and commented that it seemed like an attempt for ReedPOP to monetize satellite events not actually organized by the company.

ComicsAlliance reached out to Matthew Wasowski, the Festival Director of Super Week, to ask for clarification on some of these issues, and get answers to a few of the questions that have arisen.

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One of Harvey Pekar’s Final Interviews Released Online [Audio]

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Almost two years after his death, audio from what may be the final interview from comics icon Harvey Pekar has appeared online. Conducted over Skype as part of a series of interviews about the creative process for TrickCoin, the newly released conversation gives an insight into Pekar's prolific workflow up until a month before he passed...

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Link Ink: Soundgarden’s ‘Avengers’ Song, ‘Game of Thrones’ Pizza and Comic Crafts

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Music: Soundgarden's song for The Avengers movie soundtrack sounds like this. So... what do you think? -- Update: The original 107.7 song on Soundcloud vanished, so here's a brief snippet from "Live to Rise...

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