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Kris Anka

Spider-Gwen, Spider-Gwen, Does Whatever, She’s Spider-Gwen: ‘Spider-Gwen’ #1 Preview & Variant Covers

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Everyone needs to get on board the Spider-Gwen train, because the hooded Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman was one of the most exciting new (or improved) characters of 2014, with our favorite new costume of the year, and with February's Spider-Gwen #1, by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi, she'll aim to really make her mark as the best spider-themed hero out there. OK, that's a tall order. But definitely in the top three, which places her in the top 1% of spider-heroes.

Marvel has released a three-page unlettered preview of Spider-Gwen #1 showing Gwen in action, plus a look at three awesome variant covers by Adam Hughes, Skottie Young, and Kris Anka. The Hughes cover offers a glimpse of classic Gwen; Young serves up another of his fantastic baby variants; and Anka treats us to a shot of an unmakes Spider-Gwen delighting in the joy of webswinging. It's a gorgeous image that shows Gwen every bit at home on the end of a webline as Peter Parker. (She might want to put that mask back on, though. J. Jonah Jameson would kill for this picture.)

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BOOOO: Mean Old Marvel Says No To Hunks And Babes; Anka & Wada Drop ‘Swimsuit Special’ Plans

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The world needs a new Marvel Swimsuit Special. Not because the old ones were great works, and not because there's any shortage of cheesecake in the pages of superhero comics today, but because a new Swimsuit Special has the potential to be something wonderful. From a smart publisher, a book of pin-ups could celebrate the diversity of superhero sex appeal for a broad audience in a non-exploitative way, breaking down the old cliches about the genre. The world is ready for fun, positive, equal opportunity cheesecake and beefcake -- and Marvel has the artists to do it.

Indeed, two of those artists were already doing it. Anyone following Kris Anka or Kevin Wada on Tumblr will have noticed of late that they were working on a "secret" project that plainly featured Marvel heroes in swimsuits. Today, Anka took to Tumblr to confirm that he and Wada had indeed been working on a new Marvel swimsuit book -- but that they have stopped production after failing to reach an agreement with Marvel. The Swimsuit Special the world deserves is not going to happen. This is terrible news.

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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): December 2014

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A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month

For the final covers of 2014, we showcase excellent work by some of the year's most reliable talents, including Kris Anka, Michael Del Mundo, and Riley Rossmo; some truly standout work by R.M. Guera and Jay Shaw; and the very best 'theme month' of the year.

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Oh Thank God: Spider-Woman Rocks A Great New Look, Courtesy Of Kris Anka

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As everyone knows, Spider-Man's costume is the best; a true masterpiece of design. The webbing, the colors, the chevron belt, the split arms, the wide-eyed mask; it's all perfect. Steve Ditko smashed it out of the park. It's also inspired some amazing costumes, like the black Spider-Man costume designed by Mike Zeck in 1984 (reportedly based on a suggestion by fan Randy Schueller), and this year's Spider-Gwen costume by Robbi Rodriguez.

And then there's Spider-Woman. Her costume was designed in 1972 by Marie Severin, and it hasn't really changed since -- and I hate it almost as much as I love Spider-Man's costume. It's ugly, tacky, and it doesn't match the personality of Jessica Drew, the woman behind the mask. So I'm delighted that artist Kris Anka has given Jess a new set of togs that look chic, modern, and appropriate to her character.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Blade Runner, Batman ’66, James Bond, Spider-Gwen, Bojack Horseman And More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations 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, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Sketchbook Spotlight: Kris Anka’s New York Comic-Con Commissions

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Around here, New York Comic-Con marks the end of convention season, capping off a long summer of announcements, reveals, and other assorted fun. As such, it's also one of the last big places for fans to get amazing sketches and commission pieces from artists, who tend to cap off the season with some truly amazing art.

Case in point: Kris Anka. You may know him as the artist of Marvel's All New X-Factor or Uncanny X-Force, but this weekend, he busted out the pencils to create some fantastic pieces of art, taking on characters like Star-Lord, Kitty Pryde, and even everyone's favorite irredeemable scumbag, Gambit. Check out a few of our favorite picks from his NYCC commissions below!

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Best Abs Ever (This Week): An Appreciation Of Male Comic Book Eye Candy

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In the process of writing my article about muscles vs curves, and how the big dudes of superhero comics typically fail to represent the tastes of most androphile women, I gathered a collection of images and recommended artists from my correspondents that illustrate the sort of art they'd love to see more of -- but which there's sadly very little of compared to all the T&A fan-service targeted at straight men.

I had far too many recommendations to put in the article, so I've compiled the collection (and a few personal favorites) into a very special one-off post. The collection includes pin-ups, fan art, sketches, and some traditional superhero art from artists who aren't afraid to put a little male eye candy in their work!

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Why Big Superhero Muscles Aren’t ‘The Same Thing’ As Sexy Curves

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As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits -- or as I like to call him, Namor.

Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it's my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I'm fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I'd find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.

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Who Run The World? Girls: Nine Unbeatable All-Lady Justice League Line-Ups

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If you spend as much time thinking about comics as I do, you probably find yourself creating hypothetical-based thought experiments about super-team line-ups and such. Usually I only share them with Chris Sims, who then goes on to turn them into an Ask Chris and get paid for my idea. [cough]

But a few weeks ago, I took to Twitter to ask people who they would recruit for an all-female, seven-member Justice League. The response at the time was great, with lots of interesting variation in potential team rosters, but then the idea got a bump again when artists started posting drawings of their ideal Justice Ladies teams on Twitter and Tumblr.

I've collected nine such line-ups, including my own, which kicked everything off, but you can check my Twitter feed to see all the responses I received.

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Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): August 2014

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A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.

August offers a feast of shape and color, with striking covers by Scott Fischer, Victor Santos, Chrystin Garland, and Tula Lotay, some bold juxtaposition, and a quirky take on a pulp archetype or two -- including a Nazi airship and some poor sap being held in a giant hand. It's a classic!

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