Jack Kirby is very probably the single most influential figure in the history of American comics. He produced countless stories in a career that spanned seven decades, inventing and re-inventing genres and styles every step of the way. He inspired generations of artists and writers; created and co-created thousands of characters; defined the visual vocabulary of superheroes; and believed in the potential of comics to be both entertainment and art, long before most people imagined these stories would be remembered past the four weeks that they sat on newsstands.
This week would have been Kirby’s 97th birthday, so to celebrate, we asked some of our favorite creators and other comic pros to contribute their impressions of his characters, life, and legacy – and the response has been overwhelming. Yesterday, we posted the first set of these all-star tributes, and here's the second, even more expansive selection!
This week Image Comics released the first issue of Tech Jacket by Joe Keatinge and Khary Randolph. And while this may be the first time many of today's readers have heard of the title, it's actually been lurking around the edges of the Image line for over a decade. Created in 2002 by pre-Walking-Dead Robert Kirkman and artist E.J. Su, the eponymous Tech Jacket is a wearable cache of the most powerful weapons in the universe, bestowed irreversibly unto teenager Zack Thompson when he encountered a dying alien. Naturally, Zack used his newfound abilities to become a galactic warrior of great worth and protecting Earth from universal threats with more enthusiasm and wide-eyed wonder than other Earthborn space cops you might have heard of.
The original series ran for only six issues but the story was later continued as a back-up in the pages of Kirkman and Ryan Ottley's Invincible. Then, earlier this year, Keatinge and Randolph produced a trio of digital issues that revitalized the concepts and characters and paved the way for this new ongoing series.
With issue #1 on sale now from Image and Kirkman's Skybound imprint, ComicsAlliance spoke to the creative team about what drew them to these characters and concepts, and what plans they have in store for the series.
C.C. Beck was born on June 8, 1910, attended art school in Chicago, and started his career in pulp magazines with Fawcett Publications in the early 1930s. When the popularity of pulps began to fade, he moved over work on Fawcett's line of comics – and in 1939 he co-created a character that originally bore the name "Captain Thunder", but was re-dubbed Captain Marvel shortly before the release of his first adventure. In that initial story, young newsboy Billy Batson meets a great wizard, and is given the power to transform into "The World's Mightiest Mortal" when he says one magic word...Shazam!
Today, one day after what would have been his 104th birthday, w've reached out to a few of today's best comics creators to ask for their thoughts and impressions on Beck and his creations.
On sale this Sunday from DC Comics, Adventures of Superman #48 concludes the three-part "Strange Visitor" digital-first storyline. Written by Joe Keatinge, the story is one of the warmest and most mind-bendingly meta Superman tales released in recent memory, seeing the Last Son of Krypton in eras ranging from the earliest years of his creation to billions of years in the future as he -- to put it as simply as possible -- tries to rescue the occupants of a rocket ship marooned in a dimension more treacherous than any Superman's visited before, one that he will have to prepare his whole life to traverse.
Over the past year, DC's digital Adventures ofSuperman anthology has played host to some of the most exciting creative teams working in comics today. With the current story, though, the scale of the whole project has gotten much bigger in both creative team and subject matter. Writer Joe Keatinge has been joined by an incredible roster of talent that includes Ming Doyle, Brent Schoonover, Dave Williams, Tula Lotay and Jason Shawn Alexander to chronicle a three-part epic that spans Superman's life from 1939 all the way to the end of time, and the end result is one of the best Superman stories I've read in a while.
To find out more behind how the project came to be and what he wanted to accomplish with it, I spoke to Keatinge and got his thoughts on the reason for multiple artists, the influence of Jack Kirby on the story, and how he compares and contrasts Superman and Dracula.
Next month, Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca are launching Shutter, an all-new adventure series about a woman named Kate Kristopher and a world full of strange adventures, and from the looks of things, they've decided to do it in style. Not only do they have colors by Owen Gieni, letters by Ed Brisson and a trade dress designed by Tim Leong (of Super Graphic and ComicsAlliance fame), they're also kicking off the first issue with a set of variant covers by some of the best in the business.
Today, we're finally getting an exclusive look at the first issue variant by Multiple Warheads and Prophet mastermind Brandon Graham!
One of the most significant -- and to many readers, one of the most exciting -- developments in comics in the last few years has been the growth of Image Comics, with many of the most popular writers and artists in the industry currently producing much, if not all, of their creator owned work through the publisher. As such, Image Expo has become a highly anticipated event, as publisher Eric Stephenson uses the annual show to announce several upcoming books from both established and new talent.
Today's Image Expo continued that tradition, as more than a dozen new titles were announced, from Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Burnham, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender and more.
Even though the crowds of Comic-Con International might be a huge hassle, there's one thing that we can all agree on as being well worth the trouble: Burritos. And being able to talk to our favorite creators about their upcoming projects, I guess, but seriously, the burritos out there are amazing. Fortunately for me, I was able to combine both of those things when I grabbed lunch with Joe Keatinge, and we spent the walk back to the convention center chatting about his upcoming Knight story in the Batman Incorporated special, and the launch of Marvel Knights Hulk later this year.
Dormant since 2010's Spider-Man: Fever series, as revealed by today's solicitation info the Marvel Knights imprint is coming back in a big way. It's a little bit of a different creature than you might remember, though. The imprint will still feature top-tier Marvel characters, but exclusively in mini-series by creators whose names one might associate with creator-owned work.
Marvel announced three such series today: Marvel Knights: Spider-Man by Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing), Marvel Knights: X-Men by Brahm Revel (Guerilla) and Marvel Knights: Hulk by Joe Keatinge (Glory) and Piotr Kowalski (Sex).
While touring San Francisco in advance of this week's Image Expo, Glory and Morbius writer Joe Keatinge came upon this excellent street mural that recreates the iconic "Starwatcher" illustration. According to Juxtapoz, the mural was painted by artists Mark Bode, Stan 153, and Cuba, in tribute to the late French master who passed away in 2012.
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