All Hail The King is a short movie -- a "one shot," as Marvel calls them -- about what happened to Iron Man 3 character the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) after he went to prison, written and directed by Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce. It's light, it's funny, there are some good lines and a neat twist. For the most part, I liked it.
One thing left a bad taste in my mouth.
If you haven't watched the Marvel one-shot/short movie All Hail The King, released a supplemental feature with Thor: The Dark World on Blu-ray/DVD, and you haven't watched Iron Man 3, and you want to see either of them unspoiled, skip the rest of this post. That's your spoiler warning.
Sam Orchard has been making his webcomic Rooster Tails since 2010; a series of weekly autobiographical strips about life as a transguy in New Zealand. It's an honest, sweet, nerdy, funny, and charming insight into one person's experience with transitioning.
Orchard has expanded his canvas to look at the experiences of other queer and transgender people in his new book, Family Portraits, and he's turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund the book and an American promotional tour. Rewards include PDF and print copies of the book, postcards, art prints, and custom comics. ComicsAlliance spoke with Orchard to find out more about the project.
We like diversity here at ComicsAlliance. We've said it before, and we'll say it again. We're also big fans of superheroes, and that probably goes without saying.
We especially like diversity with our superheroes. Diversity broadens the genre's reach, encourages respect and understanding of people's differences, and gives minority audiences more chances to see themselves in fiction, and those are all great things. Because of this, we've come up with a new way to look at diversity in superhero comics - particularly team books. We call it the Harvey/Renee Index.
GLAAD, a high profile media advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, has announced the nominees for its 25th annual GLAAD Media Awards, including five nominees for Outstanding Comic Book. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize high quality productions that represents LGBT people in fair, inclusive, original, and impactful ways.
A new year. A new start. A new chance to make a change. Long-time readers of this site may know that we at ComicsAlliance are proud cheerleaders for a more representative industry. We like political correctness. We like feminism. We like diversity. We want the industry at large -- and the superhero publishers in particular -- to embrace these things.
To that end, we have a few suggestions for how superhero publishers might change in 2014. Some of you may look at this list and say it's too ambitious, or that we're asking for too much. We say this list is a good start. These are our ten resolutions for the industry.
Good news; Marvel is launching a new ongoing series with an LGBT lead character. Loki: Agent of Asgard debuts in February from the creative team of writer Al Ewing and artist Lee Garbett, and Ewing confirmed via Tumblr that the lead character will not only be portrayed as bisexual --but be able to change gender. Bad news; Loki is not exactly a good guy. He's a trickster, a manipulator, a supervillain. He's also the second bisexual male to get his own ongoing book at Marvel, and here's the problem; the other one was Daken, son of Wolverine, and he was also a trickster, a manipulator and a supervillain.
The first volume of Burn the Orphanage by Sina Grace and Daniel Freedman introduced the world to Rock, a buff, broody street fighter inspired by classic side-scrolling beat 'em up games. With the help of his friends Bear and Lex, Rock, fought his way through drunken goons and stripper ninjas to track down the guy who burned down the orphanage he grew up in.
In volume two, Demons, the action moves in a darkly demonic new direction. Comics Alliance talked to artist and co-writer Sina Grace to find out more about Demons and its leading man, and to get Grace's thoughts on what the macho aesthetic Rock represents means to gay comics fans like him.
Feeling tired, True Believer? Worn out by superhero controversies? Convinced that vital issues are out there in the genre sphere, deserving of discussion, but suspicious that the typical online back and forth amounts to so many weedy paddles 'round the sunken perimeter of a draining pond? Were you nonplussed when Harley Quinn rode that wrecking ball naked into Batwoman's wedding the other week? I have difficulty even keeping things straight anymore, and it's not because the underlying topics are frivolous or unimportant; I just think there are richer, weirder superhero terrains to explore.
So take my hand, tiger! Let us turn our eyes east, for just one post, to the wide world of anime! You remember Battle of the Planets, right? WELL YOU'D BETTER FORGET IT, because there's a new Tatsunoko superhero cartoon in town -- twelve episodes in total, streaming for free with English subtitles -- and it's a hell of a thing: Gatchaman Crowds.
In a posting to JH Williams III'swebsite late Wednesday night, the acclaimed artist and his Batwoman co-writer W. Haden Blackman announced that due to what they described as a preponderance of "eleventh-hour changes" to stories that had been planned a year or more in advance, they're walking off the book. Among the grievances alleged by Williams and Blackman was publisher DC Comics' refusal to allow principal characters Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) and her fiancé Maggie Sawyer to get married.
I hold Marvel's gay characters in special affection. I love them because they're Marvel characters -- flawed, freaky, forever young. I love them because they're gay characters; they live and love and fear and lust like I do. That's an aspect of fiction that I never got to enjoy when I was a kid.
But, reader; I worry. These characters are currently enjoying a moment in the spotlight, but what if it's only a passing beat? What if these characters -- and their lesbian and bisexual cohort -- only exist as a temporary corrective to the medium's, the genre's and the publisher's past shortcomings? What if the desire to make that correction passes, and the gay characters fade away?
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