We're now several weeks in to the new school year, which means disillusioned and exhausted teachers may have started calling in sick to work already, and it's time for the substitutes to step up. Thankfully Mad Magazine's usual gang of idiots --- specifically Kenny Keil and John Kerschbaum --- have provided a helpful illustrated guide to the challenges of substitute teaching in the upcoming issue #536, and we've got an exclusive first look. Of course, it's about as respectful of the profession as you might expect.
Kenny Keil is one of our long-time favorite artists here at ComicsAlliance. He first grabbed our attention a few years ago, when he published a series of drawings mashing up superheroes and classic Hip-Hop album covers to incredible effect, and since then, he's gone on to co-create and illustrate the all-ages sci-fi/rap comic Rhyme Travelers, provided the art for Big Boi's Mash-Up Mondays series of releases, become one of Mad Magazine's "Usual Gang Of Idiots", and been a regular contributor to our series of "Celebrating Comics History" posts.
And recently, he's once again melded the iconography of music and comics in creative and unusual fashion, and begun to release a new series of images that casts comic and cartoon characters in a giant dance-off, taking famous moves and routines and pairing them with appropriate heroes and villains (with plenty of in-jokes along the way for continuity and pop music fans) – some are single panels, some are sequential, some are delivered in animated gif form for maximum comedic effect, and all are wildly entertaining. The full ongoing series can be viewed on Keil's tumblr, but we've decided to showcase a few of our favorites, and provide some annotations for good measure!
Ramona Fradon is one of the great living legends of comics, a creator with an instantly recognizable style who has worked on some of DC Comics' best-loved series -- and co-created a few classic characters along the way. Her crisp, lyrical line has elevated every book she's touched over her six-and-a-half decades in the business, and her work continues to influence and inspire creators to this day.
Fradon graduated from Parsons School Of Design in 1950, and began working at DC almost immediately, pencilling the Shining Knight backup story in Adventure Comics #165 – and when that feature was replaced by Aquaman two issues later, Fradon found her first signature character.
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!
There had certainly been plenty of heavily-merchandised blockbusters before, but the Batman '89 phenomenon affected pop culture in so many ways and crept into every dimension of commercial entertainment. Twenty-five years ago, it was just always there; part of the atmosphere of the era, reflected wherever you turned. From candy-filled Keaton heads in supermarket checkout aisles, to endless souvenir magazines on newsstands, to articles in newspapers and magazines, to the packs of trading cards and stickers on countertops, to Batmobile toys in Happy Meals, the entire world had gone Batty.
Twenty-five years later, we've reached out to some of our favorite creators and entertainers to look back on the summer of Batman.
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.