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Comics Unmasked: UK Comics’ Rebel Edge At The British Library

Photograph by Tony Antoniou, courtesy of the British Library.
Photograph by Tony Antoniou, courtesy of the British Library.

Comics have seized center stage at the venerable British Library in London this summer in an exhibition celebrating the history of British comics and the work of British creators. Subtitled, 'Art and Anarchy in the UK', the Comics Unmasked exhibition places an emphasis on protest, outsider culture, and anti-authoritarian voices.

Curated by Adrian Edwards, Paul Gravett, and John Harris Dunning, Comics Unmasked draws heavily on the British Library's own collection to establish and define Britain's relationship to the comics art form -- stirring up nostalgia, scandal, and some surprising discoveries along the way. And Kieron Gillen's giant head.

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Original Spin 5: Going Commando [Marvel Original Sin Recap]

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Inexplicably cleared in the phone hacking scandal, ComicsAlliance is back with the fifth installment of Original Spin, the only Original Sin recap that... exists, maybe? We don't know! We haven't done any research. That's what makes us a name you can trust.

The Watcher is dead. Nick Fury is also dead. A bunch of disparate heroes spent four issues wandering around crime scenes before discovering they're maybe all working for Nick Fury, who isn't dead, and was maybe responsible for all those crime scenes, so.. what? The Watcher probably also won't be dead, eventually. That's the story so far. With issue #5... that's... still the story, because nothing really happened. But here's a recap anyway!

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‘The Wicked + The Divine’ #2 Variant Cover Gazes A Gazely Stare

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Because you're young you may not realize the latest Wicked + Divine variant cover is a particularly cheeky reference to a 1976 mugshot of David Bowie, himself a major inspiration on the Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie series about ancient gods reincarnated as glamorous pop stars. But hang on to yourself; the only way to get ahold of this conversation piece is to buy it from Beach Ball and Corner Store Comics in California.

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Oh Snap! The Godlike Genius of ‘The Wicked + The Divine’

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The mark of a great pop song is not just that it's a pleasure to hear and hear again, but that it rewards struggling with it. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie have been conflating pop music and comics since they first collaborated on Phonogram ten years ago; Gillen's described the central conceit of their new series The Wicked + The Divine as "gods as pop stars, and pop stars as gods." That's a good way of describing the story itself -- but the comic is also about presenting Gillen and McKelvie as pop stars, and as pop mechanics. It's the product of a decade spent working out what makes comics click, and how to make them speak to a mass audience.

I've been fortunate enough to read the first two issues of The Wicked + The Divine; they're marvelous, a little bit maddening, and thoroughly worth wrestling with.

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The Wicked + The Divine: The Entire Creative Team Talks Story, Art, Design, Color, Letters + Music [Interview]

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The creative team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie first made their mark with the 2006 Image Comics release Phonogram: Rue Britannia, a thrilling and thoughtful story about magic, music, modern sorcery, and how the records we listen to affect our lives and identities. The series combined cultural touchstones and urban fantasy trappings in a way that captured the imagination of critics and readers, and its success ultimately led to Gillen and McKelvie becoming separately and together some of comics' most fan-favorite creators on books like Journey Into Mystery, X-Men Season One, Suburban Glamour, a second series of Phonogram, and their rmuch-lauded collaboration on the recently concluded reinvention of Young Avengers.

This week, they're releasing the debut issue of their latest (and most ambitious) project: The Wicked + The Divine, an ongoing series from Image that blends together many of their favorite subjects: youthful reinvention, manifest deities, supernatural superpowers, and, of course, the transformative power of pop music. The first issue is both intriguing and exhilarating, depicting the adventure of a superfan as she rubs elbows with ancient gods who return every ninety years, this time in the form of gorgeous young people who become 21st century celebrities. At once sublimely understated and action-packed, the first issue grabs you instantly and leaves you anxious to read more.

ComicsAlliance connected with the entire W+D creative team of Gillen and McKelvie; designer Hannah Donovan; letterer Clayton Cowles; and colo(u)rist Matt Wilson for an in-depth conversation about the story they're telling, their collaborative process, and the artistic and cultural inspirations for the series. Along the way, we're revealing some previously unseen behind-the-scenes materials and an exclusive previews of The Wicked + The Divine #2.

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Kieron Gillen Explains How To Pre-Order ‘The Wicked & The Divine’ (Or Any Comic), Fumetti Style

A Guide To Preordering Comics Kieron Gillen

Writer Kieron Gillen has a brand new comic with Jamie McKelvie and colorist Matthew Wilson (my nemesis) called The Wicked and the Divine, which comes to comic shops June 18. Certainly you could go to your local comic shop that day and hope to pick up a copy, but it isn't guaranteed unless readers pre-order it by the order cutoff date, which is Monday, May 26 and give your retailer an idea of how many copies to order (or to order it at all). "Pre-order?" you may ask. "How on earth do I do a thing like that?

Gillen's got you covered.

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Kieron Gillen’s Unused ‘Dazzler’ Pitch Is The Kieron Gillenest Kieron Gillen To Ever Kieron Gillen

Dazzler (Left), Kieron Gillen (Right)

You probably don't know this since he keeps it pretty quiet, but Kieron Gillen, the writer of Young Avengers, Iron Man and The Wicked + The Divine, is a pretty big fan of pop music. I know, I was surprised too, since it almost never comes up. But, back when he and artist Jamie McKelvie were working on the first volume of Phonogram, the word got out and Gillen was apparently asked to pitch a story starring Marvel's very own mutant pop star superhero, Dazzler!

The story was never picked up, likely owing to it being a Dazzler story about the Inhumans and the Celestials, but today, Gillen posted his full pitch on his Tumblr, and, as you might expect if you're familiar with Gillen's comics, it's actually pretty awesome.

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Gillen & McKelvie Preview ‘The Wicked & The Divine’ In Two-Page ‘Trailer’

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Described by writer Kieron Gillen as “a superhero comic for anyone who loves Bowie as much as Batman,” The Wicked & The Divine launches this June from Image Comics. To encourage retailers to pre-order the first issue, this month's edition of Diamond Comic Distributor's Previews catalog comes with an exclusive two-page strip introducing the stylish and esoteric new series drawn by Jamie McKelvie.

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Infographic Documents The Complexities Of Gillen, McKelvie And Wilson’s ‘Phonogram: The Singles Club’

Phonogram The Singles Club Infographic
Atoll Comics

Writer Kieron Gillen, artist Jamie McKelvie and colorist/my nemesis Matthew Wilson have a third volume of their hit image series about music, magic and demons series Phonogram coming later this year, but what if you're still trying to make sense of the second volume, The Singles Club?

The comic-book analysts at Atoll Comics have you covered. Their first of three infographics about the series lays out all the details of just which character was in which place as the series progressed.

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘The Wicked & The Divine’ #1 Covers By Jamie McKelvie & Matt Wilson

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Described writer Kieron Gillen as "a superhero comic for anyone who loves Bowie as much as Batman," The Wicked & The Divine launches this June from Image Comics. The first issue will come with two covers by series artist and co-creator Jamie McKelvie and colorist Matt Wilson that succinctly and spectacularly express the core relationship of the story, that of the goddess Luci(fer) and her devotee Laura, who wishes to make the move from fan-to-pro, as it were. Both covers are now available as high quality, limited edition giclee prints directly from the artist.

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