Since romance comics had gone out of style well before I was born, I had no idea just how popular and prolific the genre had been. I had always assumed it was some kind of short-lived craze that fizzled out like other comic fads, but then I started noticing how high the issue numbers were on so many of the covers I selected. Turns out romance comics enjoyed an incredibly successful three-decade run from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. I also learned that the comic that launched the genre, 1947’s Young Romance, was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby! You know, the guys that created Captain America a few years earlier.
This was without question the easiest one of these galleries I’ve ever had to pull together, because almost every single cover I came across was a home run. They’re all just amazing! There was no sorting and sifting and really trying to get through all the underwhelming garbage to get to the good stuff. It’s all good stuff.
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 offers something for those of us who miss the days of Spidey's marriage to Mary Jane, and also anyone who wants to read Gerry Conway's Spider-Man again. Conway is joined by artist Ryan Stegman for a series set on a world where One More Day never happened, and the Parkers have a young daughter named Annie.
Decades after its release on March 13 1973, The Amazing Spider-Man #121 by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita and Tony Mortellaro remains one of the most affecting, heartbreaking superhero comics to see publication. What starts off as a traditional superhero versus supervillain battle over the fate of the hero’s love interest takes a tragic turn when Gwen Stacy dies despite the hero's best efforts to save her --- and in that moment, superhero comics grew up in a major way.
Over the past half a century, many artists have put their own spin on the hero who came to be Marvel’s best known and best-loved character, Spider-Man. With this series, The Artist's Spider-Man, ComicsAlliance takes a look at the artists who made the character their own, and had the biggest influence on those that followed.
Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man, but the artist who arguably made him a mainstream superhero was his successor, John Romita Sr. Working with writer Stan Lee, Romita polished many of the rough edges that Ditko intentionally made part of the Spider-Man's DNA, and in the process made him the highly adaptable character he is today.
When listing the great living legends of comics, there are few who loom larger than John Romita Sr. He's the man who defined the look of Marvel Comics for generations of readers, serving as the company's in-house art director, drawing hundreds of comics and designing many of the company's most famous characters.
John Romita was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 24 1930, and showed a keen interest in drawing from an early age. He attended high school at the School Of Industrial Art on 79th Street in Manhattan, and after graduating in 1947 took on commercial art jobs for a year before breaking into the comics industry in 1949 with a story in Eastern Color's Famous Funnies.
The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it’s disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it’s also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.
In this week's edition: Replacing Peter Parker with Otto Octavius for 31 issues was a neat demonstration of how strong Spider-Man's supporting cast is -- and The Superior Foes of Spider-Man has removed its title character from the equation altogether and gotten a terrific series out of it. Even before the big mind-swap, though, there was a little tradition of Spider-Man comics without Spider-Man in them. (He doesn't appear in Amazing Spider-Man #654.1 or #676, for instance, both among 2011's best done-in-one issues of the series.) Here are some of the most entertaining examples on Marvel Unlimited.
I didn't make it out to the theater to see TheAmazing Spider-Man 2 this weekend -- I had some crucial paint drying that needed to be watched -- but all the hype surrounding it actually did make me want to go back and read some classic Spider-Man stories. The only question was which one would have everything that I wanted, which was pretty tricky since I've only really seen Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone lately thanks to their appearances on The Tonight Show.
But then I found one of the all-time classics, Amazing Spider-Man #89, the one where Spider-Man has to go to the laundromat with a bag on his head because he's trying to get money by appearing as a guest on a talk show. It's even got Electro in it -- although I don't think any of the other 83 villains from the movie make an appearance.
If early reports are accurate, one of writer Gerry Conway's most famous Spider-Man stories has been adapted in the new TheAmazing Spider-Man 2movie. Yet the studio behind the movie, Sony Pictures, has yet to contact or acknowledge the writer.
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
On the off chance that you're buying a gift for someone who likes Spider-Man and rolicking, non-theatrical musicals, don't bother with that whole Broadway fiasco. Instead, grab the original Spider-Man musical from 1975, in which Doctor Octopus sings a song about finally defeating the Silver Surfer.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images 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.
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