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.
2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
We’re kicking things off with Best Writer, and you can cast your vote after the cut.
It’s a rare thrill and kind of a pain when you come across a comic that so stubbornly defies explanation it easily wriggles out from the grasp of any words that you hope to entangle it with. Such is the case with Pretty Deadly, the new Image series by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos, and Jordie Bellaire. I’ve already written and undone four descriptions, wincing every time I found my fingers typing words like “mashup” or “genre-bending,” then leaning on the DEL key to undo my lame attempts to classify such a mercurial book. So let’s try this: Pretty Deadly is an Eastern myth incubated in a Western womb; a story within a story within a story; a dark fairytale about bad men, worse women, and Deadface Ginny, the reaper of vengeance, the daughter of Death. Commence head-banging now.
Last summer, Image Comics had what was perhaps the most significant moment in the recent history of the publisher. At a panel at San Diego Comic Con, Editor-in-Chief Eric Stephenson was joined on stage by a collection of some of the most acclaimed creators in comics, to announce the launch of several new series, including Lazarus, Multiple Warheads, Satellite Sam, Sex and more. With so many titles, from such a deep collection of talent, being announced at once, it's a challenge for any book to stand out.
But Pretty Deadly did. The first creator owned project from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos, who were first introduced after collaborating on Osborn for Marvel, Pretty Deadly is a western/horror comic that chronicles the story of Death's daughter, as told from the point of view of a butterfly and a dead rabbit. If you follow either DeConnick or Ríos on social media, you're no doubt familiar with the book. And if you have any sort of presence on comics related social media in general, you're likely aware that this is one of the most anticipated titles of the fall, if not all of 2013. And after a year and change of anticipation, discussion, and promotion, Pretty Deadly #1 arrives in stores next Wednesday. Image Comics has provided ComicsAlliance with a six page preview of the debut issue, which you can view below.
Marvel's final panel at New York Comic-Con this year was billed as “Superior Spider-Man & Friends," which does not mean Iceman and Firestar, but rather all the books coming out of the Spider-office led by line editor Steve Wacker – which include the last new "teased" titles to be unveiled at the show.
Wacker was on hand to lead the panel, joined by writers Dan Slott, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Nick Spencer, editors Sana Amanat, Ellie Pyle, Jake Thomas and Tom Brennan, and artist Humberto Ramos.
Saturday afternoon's Marvel panel was billed as an Inhumanity panel, but most of the announcements were for new Marvel solo books, and there was almost – almost – news about the future of the Ultimate Universe. But not quite.
Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort took the lead, joined by Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Ultimates editor Mark Paniccia, as well as writers Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dan Slott.
Announced at last year's San Diego Comic-Con, Pretty Deadly -- the western/horror/fantasy pastiche from creators Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos about a butterfly, a dead bunny and the daughter of Death -- is next in line for Images' newest slate of creator driven original series, and one of the most anticipated new titles of the year. For months, DeConnick and Ríos have discussed the project, often at length, while promoting the book in creative ways that clearly illustrate how important it is to both of them, and how close they feel to it. The Pretty Deadly tumblr features a countdown to the release of issue #1, gives readers a peek behind the curtain at the creative process, shows fan art for the series (and there's plenty of it, despite the book having not yet been published), and more.
With Pretty Deadly due to arrive in stores October 23, and final orders due next week, ComicsAlliance joined a conference call with DeConnick to discuss the series. You can check out a few preview pages below, as well as highlights from the call, where the writer discussed what it's been like to work on her first creator owned book, how the title has changed since it was first announced, advice legendary comics writer Neil Gaiman gave her, and why Ríos gave her the nickname "Sister Kraken."
So this is cool. Bestselling Gun Machine novelist and acclaimed comic book writer Warren Ellis is making a return to monthly cape comics for the first time since he concluded his Secret Avengers run last year, and it's as Kelly Sue DeConnick'sco-writer for a special Avengers Assemble arc tying in to Marvel's next crossover event, Inhuamnity.
Following the success of the recent Ghost miniseries from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto, and increasing Dark Horse's efforts to develop their superhero comics, today the publisher announched the launch of a Ghost ongoing series. DeConnick will be returning, with Christopher Sebela joining her as co-writer and Ryan Sook providing interior art. Issue #1 will have a cover from Terry Dodson and a variant cover from Paolo Rivera, which you can view below.
Although its first issue has yet to be released, the forthcoming Image Comics title Pretty Deadly has been near the top of many must-read lists since it was first announced last July. The book is a mythic revenge fantasy inspired by sources as diverse as the spaghetti western films of Sergio Leone and contemporary fashion design, starring an enigmatic heroine whose scarred face resembles a dia de los muertos mask and whose story is narrated by a dead rabbit.
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