On July 2nd 1963, the first issues of two different series hit newsstands, and launched franchises that would some day be recognizable to the entire world: The Avengers and The X-Men, the teams that would truly tie everything together and serve as the cornerstones of the Marvel Universe.
One of these books brought together the company's mightiest heroes; the other featured all-new characters and introduced the idea of mutants battling to save a world that hates and fears them.
Joe Caramagna is a writer and letterer best known for his work at Marvel, where he writes much of their all-ages line and letters titles including Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil. His newest project is the Kickstarter-funded miniseries The Further Travels of Wyatt Earp, with artist Scott Koblish. The history of the infamous cowboy --- much of which is myth, some of it legend, and maybe even some of it true --- is a tangled knot, which Caramagna slices through to provide readers with some of the most interesting Wild West stories in recent comics history.
To find out more, Caramagna spoke to ComicsAlliance about the series, the man behind the legend, and how the Kickstarter process developed for him. We also asked him about his role as a letterer, to learn what makes a great letterer, and what life is like as a lettering pro.
Kamala Khan is a superstar now. Introduced only a year ago by Marvel, she’s become a bona fide figurehead for the publisher. A young Muslim girl in America who develops powers and uses them to try and help people, her story has caught on with a mainstream audience and turned the Ms Marvel series into a real, actual hit, especially among the growing digital readership.
What’s fascinating about the character, though, is how clearly she’s embedded into the tradition of superhero comics, and how you can draw a direct line from her back through Marvel’s history, to some of the company's most popular female superheroes. Kamala broke through at just the right moment in time, in just the right way, for the readership to embrace her, but she owes a debt to several characters that came before her.
The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.
Today, The Nib released a beautiful and evocative comic by cartoonist Ronald Wimberly about race in comics. Wimberly tells the story of how a Marvel editor asked him to change the skin color of a character who had been historically Mexican and African-American. The editor wanted the character's skin tone to be lighter, and in Wimberly's piece he discusses why this is so problematic.
White privilege is absolutely a real thing, and the wide-ranging implications of this editor's request probably never occurred to her. Being an editor at a place like Marvel or DC means putting up with a punishing monthly schedule and many cooks in the same kitchen. Asking an artist to make a color change is pretty routine - and to many editors, this note would seem like a minor request. As Wimberly makes clear in his comic, however, the request has many problems.
This week sees Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas, Jordan Boyd and Travis Lanham launch a new book over at Marvel in the shape of Ant-Man. Featuring the Scott Lang version of the size-changing hero, the series is pitched as being about a C-List Avenger trying to turn around his post-Avengers career and get a new job, so he can provide for his daughter, Cassie. He has an upset ex-wife, a crappy apartment, a criminal past, and no hopes – and that's how the series begins.
With this first issue of the new series - which is on sale now - Spencer takes the jokey tone of his Superior Foes of Spider-Man series and downplays things significantly. While Foes was about villains trying to keep a criminal career going, here we have a hero trying to keep a heroic career going. Or, well, any career at all. It's a familiar concept for anybody reading Marvel at the moment, as most of their solo books are about the very same idea, played out in different ways.
From Wi-Fi at McDonalds to G.I. Joe action figures with more than 11 points of articulation, 2010 has a lot of things that the '80s sorely lacked. One thing that decade did better, though, was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's been a few years since I've woken up before noon to catch it, but if YouTube is to be believed the Masters of the Universe Float from '84 and the Marvel Floats from '87 and '89 alone are proof alone that the parade's floats just ain't what they used to be. See Skeletor whack Orko in the face with his Havoc Staff and the Silver Surfer hold on for dear life in the clips below.
The new Godzilla film opening this weekend will be the 30th to star the worlds' most famous giant monster. Toho made 28 Godzilla films in Japan, divided by fans into three cycles, each with their own continuity—the Showa series, the Heisei series and the Millennium series—and then there was the ill-fated 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed film that served as a sort of How Not To Make a Godzilla Movie cautionary tale for the makers of the new film.
While the movies are undoubtedly Godzilla's source turf, he's expanded his territory into other media over the years, from cartoon series to prose novels to video games -- and, of course, comic books, which he's been starring in for nearly 40 years now. With that in mind, we present a helpful primer for the King of Monsters' adventures on the paneled page.
When it comes to San Diego Comic-Con, every publisher approaches the show a little bit differently. Whether they house cosplay contests, interactive displays, photo ops with talent, creator signings and/or a whole lot of purchasable product, SDCC booths are an opportunity for the publishers that can attend to make a big impression on one of the most attended pop culture gatherings of the year. You can get a sampling of what publishers like Marvel, DC, Archie, Boom!, IDW, 2000 AD, Dark Horse, Image, Fantagraphics, Oni and others were up to on the show floor of this year's SDCC after the cut.
Last year Marvel launched Infinite Comics, a digital comics initiative designed specifically for mobile devices, for the purpose of creating content meant to take advantage of the creative and technological opportunities those devices provide...
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