Image Comics held its now traditional pre-San Diego one-day show on Thursday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and unveiled an impressive roster of new titles for the coming year that includes new work by familiar names such as Warren Ellis, Jason Aaron and Gail Simone; plus an encouraging number of relative newcomers and unknowns. Check out our rundown of all the news and announcements.
If there's one problem that we as comics readers all share, it's that we just have too much money. Sure, we keep trying to give it to publishers and creators, but sometimes there just aren't enough comics to buy, and that's why we always need more great books out there to pick up. Fortunately, the good folks over at Comixology are doing their best to make that as easy as possible, and this week, those efforts are taking the form of the Image Comics "New Hits" Sale.
A ton of great new Image books like Southern Bastards, The Wicked + The Divine, Velvet, Burn the Orphanage and more have seen their first few issues dropped down to 99 cents each, and on top of that, there's a bundle of 20 first issues for just fifteen bucks.
Of all the titles in DC Comics' "Digital-First" initiative, Batman Beyond 2.0 has been possibly the biggest surprise. Kyle Higgins and artist Thony Silas launched a series that expands the beloved Batman Beyond animated series storyline from the 1990s in exciting and unexpected ways, without losing the elements that made the Warner Bros. Animation original so popular, and fans have noticed and responded. The story of young Batman Terry McGuinness and his mentor Bruce Wayne and their adventures in Neo-Gotham, DC recently upgraded the Batman Beyond 2.0 from bi-weekly to weekly, and as of Chapter #25, Higgins brought his C.O.W.L. collaborator Alec Siegel and venerable comics veterans Phil Hester and Craig Rousseau onboard the series for what the team has promised to be a particularly dramatic new movement in the young series, one that includes a return of the Phantasm, one of Batman: The Animated Series' most rarely scene yet fan-favorite foes.
During a few spare minutes as San Diego Comic-Con, we stopped by the DC booth to chat with the Higgins and Siegel about their love for the Batman Beyond characters, their collaborative process, "Mark of the Phantasm", and their further plans for the book's future.
COWL is an Image Comics series which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-”swinging” 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval — including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it’s a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.
Besides the very cool and original artwork of Rod Reis, we like COWL because it avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Crucially, despite its “real-world” premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it’s even really funny. The book also bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.
Last week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, we had a chance to talk to COWL co-writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel about their series.
Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.
Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat’s great photos from San Diego.
Available for pre-order now from finer comics shops, COWL is a forthcoming series from Image Comics which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-"swinging" 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval -- including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it's a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.
The first issue of COWL avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Most obviously, COWL is not a Marvel or DC superhero book in disguise. Its characters aren't similar-to-but-legally-distinct versions of heroes we might know from the Avengers or the Justice League, but distinct, original creations of writers Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegal and artist Rod Reis. Similarly, despite its "real-world" premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it's even really funny. Finally, COWL bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.
We had a chance to talk to COWL co-writer Kyle Higgins (formerly of DC Comics' Nightwing and the writer of the impressive digital-first series Batman Beyond 2.0) about his new Image book and what kind of world readers will buy into if they pick up issue #1 next month.
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, Chris and Matt are offering up some extended reviews of DC Comics' Secret Origins #1 by Greg Pak, Lee Weeks, Kyle Higgins, Doug Mahnke, Tony Bedard, and Paulo Siqueria, and Marvel's Original Sin #0 by Mark Waid and Jim Cheung.
If you thought Terry McGinnis heading to college in DC's digital-first Batman Beyond 2.0 series was going to be all energy drink-induced panic attacks during all-night term paper writing sessions and/or having a shway time chilling at the quad with the Justice League, you'll be pleased to know that from the beginning of the series all the way through this week's Chapter 13 written by Kyle Higgins with art by Thony Silas, Batman's been all about fighting futuristic bad guys. And we have a first look at the upcoming issue to prove it!
Last week, two of the very small handful of writers still working on DC Comics' New 52 titles they launched announced they were finally ending their runs. In the case of Teen Titans writer Scott Lobdell, the catalyst was the complete cancellation of the title with issue #30. Nightwing, meanwhile, will continue, but Kyle Higgins won't be writing it.
A distinctly different animal than the independent cartoonist, creators-owned collaboration or even work-for-hire artist, writing gigs in ongoing cape comics have always been fluid, but the turnover seems to be faster and more common now than it's ever been. Whether a result of cancellations, writers moving on to other things (often finite, creator-owned work), or creative differences with editorial, Marvel and DC writer runs are getting shorter and shorter.
Or are they? Maybe it just feels that way?
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.