With Casanova: Acedia now underway, and a new collected edition of Casanova: Avaritia available, now is the perfect time to discuss one my favorite sub-sections of comics: semi-autobiographical genre books. Yeah, it's a real thing.
When you parse out the world of comics, there are these great big bins that most everything gets thrown into: mainstream and alternative/independent. The overwhelming majority of mainstream books are in the superhero genre, while autobiography is easily the most prevalent type of comic among the independents. There's plenty of great work in those two larger categories, but things get really fascinating to me when they intersect.
Few comic book writers are as hot right now as the wife-and-husband team of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction, so it’s not all that surprising that the couple has signed a deal with Universal to develop their work into television shows. What is a little surprising is that this duo found their success creating deeply personal and wildly experimental comics, which means that some of the best comic book writers working today are going to adapt some of the best comics currently being published. This could be something special.
Sex Criminals co-creator Chip Zdarsky and Infinite Kung Fu author Kagan McLeod plan to take readers to colorful, strange, and rather gay new worlds with their new Image ongoing title Kaptara this April. Announced by Zdarsky himself and Image publisher Eric Stephenson at the one-day Image Expo in San Francisco on Thursday, the book sees a waylaid earthman sent on an odyssey through peculiar worlds inspired by the action figures of the 1980s, on a mission to save his home planet.
The two Toronto-based writer-artists have known each other for years, and as they told ComicsAlliance, the roots of this collaboration go back to the studio they once shared. Kaptara is written by Zdarsky and illustrated in full color by McLeod, an acclaimed magazine illustrator making his return to comics. The story offers echoes of Flash Gordon and John Carter, and of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga, only... gayer. More gay. ComicsAlliance met with the team to find out just how gay, and to get the ball rolling on Motivational Orb mania.
If you've been wondering why people have been asking you "a/s/l?" all day and then following it up with a friendly "haha nice," it's because it's Cyber Monday! Today, we all set aside a little time for the tradition of shopping as our ancestors did so many snowy winters ago: on the internet in pajamas. Truly, it is the most wonderful time of the year.
To that end, a lot of your favorite online retailers are having sales today, including the digital comics retailers at Comixology! In fact, there's so much on there that we have decided to take it upon ourselves to guide you to the best of Comixology's Cyber Monday Sale!
I would give literally anything to read the high school term papers that kids who read Matt Fraction and Christian Ward's ODY-C instead of the original Odyssey are going to be turning in to their teachers in a few years.
The first issue is out this week from Image, and as you might expect from the title, it recasts the classic Greek epic by Homer as a star-spanning adventure through space that Fraction calls "our Barbarella," and flipping the genders around so that the story focuses on women is probably the smallest change. Captain Odyssia's journey on a shift-ship powered by a crew of women whose thoughts have been synchronized, tossed by vengeful space-titans, might follow the big beats of Homer's original, but it's definitely something all its own.
This weekend at New York Comic-Con, Marvel unleashed a host of announcements, revealing new series and projects galore. One of the most fascinating bits of news came out of Sunday's 'Axel-In-Charge' panel, where the Marvel editor-in-chief announced a new ongoing Hawkeye series launching in March 2015, from the creative team of Jeff Lemire and Ramón Peréz.
The book follows hard on the heels of the current critically acclaimed run on the title by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu, and while the new series will continue to focus on the characters of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, Lemire and Perez are determined to tell their own story in their own way. We spoke to the creative team to find out more.
If you've been reading Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals (and honestly, I'm pretty sure that if you're reading this, you are), then you've probably noticed that one of the best parts of the comic comes in the letters page where the two creators offer the reader tips for a better sex life. Wait, no. "Better" is probably not the right word. Oh well, you get the idea.
Either way, the tips have been very enthusiastically received, and with the success of Sex Criminals, Fraction and Zdarsky are looking to spread the word and penetrate the market by collecting them in Just The Tips a handsome, 96-page hardcover that will look great on your coffee table, or hastily thrown under the sofa when your parents visit. And just in case that doesn't arouse your interest, we've got a massive 23-page preview of the tips and sex positions ready for your perusal.
Please be advised, though, this is extremely not safe for work, unless your work is 100% cool with drawings of boners and buttholes, in which case you probably work for ComicsAlliance and saw it already.
Hawkeye is building ever closer to its apparent end (next month's issue is "The Finale Part 1"), and from the looks of the issue coming out this week, things are building to a head.
Hawkeye Kate Bishop, who took off to start her own private investigation firm in L.A. a few issues back, is looking for a way back to New York in issue #20 to help out also-Hawkeye Clint Barton, who readers last saw in the jam of all jams, and trying to assemble all the help he could get. But, of course, it isn't going to be easy. She's got cops breathing down her neck and one very angry supervillain in a mask attempting to bring her down.
Check out four pages (plus a recap) from the issue by Matt Fraction, Annie Wu and Matt Hollingsworth, plus a cover by David Aja, below.
Chip Zdarsky is clearly his own man. While other comic creators took their places behind their tables at Toronto's Fan Expo comic convention this past weekend, the co-creator of Sex Criminals set up his own independent 'Zdarscon' in a park across the street -- in the shadow of the CN Tower and a short distance from the Blue Jays baseball game at the Rogers Centre. Even his co-author Matt Fraction wasn't invited.
The day started with torrential rain, followed by blazing heat, but Zdarsky was attended at all times by Alex Hoffman, the life model who provides the likeness for his Sex Criminal character Jon. ComicsAlliance found Zdarsky seated on a sun-baked armchair on a wheeled platform, with his recently won Eisner Award bolted to a table. We grabbed five minutes with the writer/artist to ask... why, Chip? Why?
When it was announced back in January, we knew three things about ODY-C, the new Image series by writer Matt Fraction and artist Christian Ward: It was a retelling of The Odyssey, would take place in space, and the characters would all be gender-swapped.
What wasn't as clear was just how trippy and brutal it would be, but if the five-page prologue Ward posted to his Tumblr last week is indicative of what the whole series will be like, those are the words to describe it.
Ward was sure to note that these pages won't appear in the first issue of ODY-C, so get a good look at the prologue -- with its positively luminous color palette, sometimes unorthodox panel layouts, and one big scene of someone getting sliced in two with a sword -- now.
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