The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
Lawyers are not heroes. I don't say that to be unkind; I'm sure there are valiant and principled people in the law as in most walks of life. Jennifer Walters, the eponymous star of the new She-Hulk ongoing series from writer Charles Soule and artist Javier Pulido, is one of those good people.
Yet as a profession, lawyers do not represent "good" the way that superheroes do. Soule, a practicing lawyer himself, clearly recognizes this; he even has one character state, "I am neither bad nor good. I am simply Legal." The muddy ethics of lawyering provide a very different set of challenges to a superhero used to punching out their problems.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
Marvel has announced the next book in its "All New Marvel Now" initiative, and it's definitely one that will stand out. Starting early next year, Jen Walters gets her own monthly series again with She-Hulk #1, written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Javier Pulido, according to USA Today.
Before you get too wrapped up in Zero Year, this Wednesday you'll have a chance to get caught up on Year One. Because that's how we do things in comics now: we go backwards. On sale this week is a brand new collection of two great Year One stories that sharpened up the continuity of their respective characters, and added new depth and clarity to backstories that were previously kinda flat and fuzzy. Batgirl/Robin: Year One gathers two separate miniseries that could each claim to be the definitive story for their Bat-family members: Robin: Year One by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, and Javier Pulido; and Batgirl: Year One by Scotty Beatty, Chuck Dixon (same writers, different listing) and Marcos Martin. And let me tell ya, Batgirl and Robin are two great tastes that go great together.
On sale this week from DC Comics is The Shade #7, concluding a three-issue run drawn by the great Javier Pulido. Known for his work on Human Target, The Amazing Spider-Man and Robin: Year One, Pulido joined Shade writer James Robinson for the 12-issue series' latest arc which takes place in the artist's home country of Spain -- specifically, Barcelona, where the titular and enigmatic antihero crossed paths with La Sangre, a new vampiric super-heroine, and the Inquistor, a Satan-worshipping villain who wants every soul in the entire city so he can unleash Hell on Earth.
"I'm excited for issue #7 to come out for a lot of reasons," Robinson told DC's The Source blog. "It wraps u