The Image Comics slate for 2015 is something of an embarrassment of riches, with new work coming from some of the most exciting creators in North American comics, including those who've been building their fan bases with acclaimed work at Marvel and DC Comics for several years.
Among those who'll be creating original work for the first time in a long time is Dustin Nguyen, who's been one of DC's most reliably great artists of the decade. Known for his fantastic chibi book Li'l Gotham, beautiful backups in Superman Unchained and all sorts of striking work in the Batman line, Nguyen's inkwash and watercolor technique has sort of typecast him as a go-to cute and/or gothic artist. But those who've followed his career closely know that Nguyen is passionate about science fiction. He's worked on DC's Justice League Beyond and his own Wildstorm creation Manifest Eternity, but what's likely to be the cartoonist's biggest impact in the genre he loves so much is Descender, his new Image monthly with Jeff Lemire.
Those of you who have been keeping up with Valiant may have wondered just what's in store for Bloodshot (the character who has the best, most '90s comics name of all time) in the future. He's currently teaming up with the rest of the universe (including Ninjak) in the pages of The Valiant, but that's only a four-issue miniseries, so what comes next? Well, if the art for the new Bloodshot: Reborn ongoing series is any indication, we know exactly what he's going to be doing for the forseeable future.
When the Valiant Universe returned a few years back with some of the most entertaining and engaging superhero comics on the stands, I think we all knew that it was only a matter of time before some world-shaking calamity brought a bunch of the heroes together in a big ol' crossover event. That's exactly what's happening in the form of The Valiant, in which Ninjak and other, less important heroes are gathering to prevent a scary monster from plunging the world into a new dark age.
It's pretty exciting stuff -- five years ago, I don't think any of us would've expected to see a big superhero event comic written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt -- but the biggest draw for me is the art team of Paolo Rivera and Joe Rivera. Thanks to his work on books like Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil, Paolo Rivera is easily one of the best artists in comics today -- and when he draws Bloodshot kicking the living crap out of a door, it looks amazing. Check it out in an unlettered preview below!
This weekend at New York Comic-Con, Marvel unleashed a host of announcements, revealing new series and projects galore. One of the most fascinating bits of news came out of Sunday's 'Axel-In-Charge' panel, where the Marvel editor-in-chief announced a new ongoing Hawkeye series launching in March 2015, from the creative team of Jeff Lemire and Ramón Peréz.
The book follows hard on the heels of the current critically acclaimed run on the title by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu, and while the new series will continue to focus on the characters of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, Lemire and Perez are determined to tell their own story in their own way. We spoke to the creative team to find out more.
One is perhaps the most predictable solo title Marvel could launch in 2015; the other may come as more of a surprise. 2015 sees new #1s for two Avengers; Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man in January, and Clint Barton, Hawkeye, in March -- hot on the heels of the resolution of the previous Eisner-winning Hawkeye series from Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu.
Announced at the Axel-in-Charge panel at New York Comic-Con on Sunday, Ant-Man is an ongoing series from writer Nick Spencer and artist Ramon Rosanas -- and the first trade collection should be safely in stores in time for Ant-Man movie to hit theaters in July. Meanwhile Hawkeye #1 sees Jeff Lemire make his Marvel debut, teamed with artist Ramon Perez on pencils.
When I talked to writers Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire about their new Valiant Comics miniseries The Valiant at San Diego Comic-Con this year, they said that the kernel of the story, the real heart of it, was something small and personal.
It's not that I don't believe them -- the new, nine-page preview of the series released by Valiant this week includes one page in which Geomancer has a conversation with an unseen person in a library, and it's fairly quiet -- but the eight other pages are full of historical battles, prehistoric battles, future battles, and mythical battles. There are a lot of battles, with Eternal Warrior in the center of some, and Bloodshot in a few others. Artist Paolo Rivera makes it all seem gigantic.
Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, the co-writers of the upcoming miniseries The Valiant -- a prestige-format miniseries featuring Bloodshot, Geomancer and Eternal Warrior -- have each done superhero work in the past, but they've really made their names with creator-owned work that they wrote and drew. Kindt's Mind MGMT has taken off, and Lemire struck a chord with series including Sweet Tooth and Trillium.
Those credentials are part of why Valiant invited the two creators to work on the new miniseries -- one that's being touted as an entry point for new readers, but also as a turning point for the whole Valiant Universe. They've been given some wiggle room to develop a character-based story and put their creative voices to work. The result is something both writers seem really proud of, not to mention a story that's bound to look good, with artwork by Paolo Rivera.
We sat down with Lemire and Kindt at San Diego Comic-Con International to ask them about their collaboration, how their backgrounds in cartooning inform their superhero work, and how Valiant's universe differs from others.
Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.
Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat's great photos from San Diego.
Over the last twelve days, Dark Horse has thrown a spotlight on twelve new creator-owned titles that they plan to promote at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. The series include the Fight Club sequel from Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart, a new Hellboy series from Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, and Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich's Lady Killer.
Also in the mix; new series from Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Rafael Albuquerque, and Cullen Bunn, and sequels to Colder, from Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra, and Alabaster, from Caitlin R. Kiernan and Joëlle Jones.
In the final few hours before San Diego Comic-Con opened its doors to the public for Preview Night on Wednesday, Image Comics Expo took place in an upstairs ballroom at the nearby San Diego Bayfront Hilton, where the publisher welcomed a group of press, creators, and fans to watch as the company announced, discussed and otherwise promote a great variety of upcoming Image titles.
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