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 talk at length about the five concurrent stories in Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke's Justice League #31, using Superman #32, by Johns and John Romita Jr., as a measuring stick for comparison. Once that examination is all over, they pivot to Michel Fiffe's Copra #15.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we love Michel Fiffe's Copra more than just about any other comic on the stands. It's easily one of the best comics of the past ten years, a sharp, occasionally surreal, character-driven action story inspired by DC's classic Suicide Squad, done as as done as a labor of love by one of the most talented cartoonists working today. There's really only one problem: Since the book is written, drawn and published entirely by one person, the initial print runs were very small. Even with the Copra Compendia that came about after, it all led to a fantastic, critically acclaimed comic that a lot of readers simply could not get their hands on.
Now, that's all getting ready to change. With the first 12-issue story finished and the second story underway, Bergen Street Comics Press has announced Copra: Round One, a collection of the first six issues, due out in September.
A little over a decade ago, when Marvel's Ultimate Universe was really coming into its own, the creative teams behind the Ultimate books established a distinct storytelling style that seemed to serve as a contrast to the mainstream books being published at the time. The pacing was deliberate, with a lot of time spent on character conversations. The art was big, bold and filmic, with an emphasis on realism. Iconic characters had long arcs.
All-New Ultimates #1 by writer Michel Fiffe, artist Amilcar Pinna and colorist Nolan Woodard doesn't do any of that (other than perhaps the art being bold). It's lightning-fast, takes place in a very heightened reality and, Spider-Man aside, revels in its focus on characters you're unlikely to see starring in a movie anytime soon. In many ways, it's a rejection of the established Ultimate style, a very Ultimate idea, indeed.
If you're a regular ComicsAlliance reader, then you've no doubt seen us talk about Michel Fiffe'sCopra before. Inspired by Fiffe's love of the classic 1980s run of Suicide Squad by John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell, it was one of the most impressive comics in recent memory -- 12 self-published issues that were built on incredible art and masterful craftsmanship that made it something more than just a story about analogues and pushed it to the top of our Best of the Year list.
When the series ended with #12, fulfilling Fiffe's commitment to producing a year of monthly comics by himself, the question everyone was asking was whether the series would eventually continue, and now we know exactly when that's going to happen: as revealed in a video teaser, Copra is set to return in April at MoCCA for another six issuerun. Check out the teaser below!
Considering that we've taken every opportunity to tell you all how great Copra is, I'm going to guess that most ComicsAlliance readers are already pretty familiar with the work of Michel Fiffe. Today, though, we all learned something new. It seems that before he launched his self-published tribute to Suicide Squad, Fiffe made one final effort to try breaking into mainstream comics by submitting two pages of tryout art for G.I. Joe to IDW.
That's right, everybody: Michel Fiffe has drawn Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Roadblock, the Baroness and Destro, and guess what? It is rad as hell. Check out the pages with his distinctive style in both pencils and inks below!
Last month, ComicsAlliance launched its first ever Reader Choice Awards. We spend all year telling you what we like (and don't like), but we wanted to hear from you. We had seven different polls, asking voters to make their choices for best editor, colorist, writer/artist, cover artist, design, artist and writer for the previous year in comics.
Voting concluded this morning, and the results are in. Thanks to all of you who voted, and otherwise spread the word. You can check out a list of the winners below.
One of Jack Kirby's most celebrated (if short-lived) post-DC creations is once again getting an all-star treatment from its latest publishing home at Dynamite Entertainment. Coming this July is a new Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers series from writer Joe Casey and an army of artists including Farel Dalrymple, Ulises Farinas, Michel Fiffe, Nathan Fox, Jim Mahfood, Benajmin Marr, Jim Rugg and Connor Willumsen.
It's been fourteen years since Marvel launched its Ultimate line of comics, with the goal of establishing a universe in which its characters were younger and modern, and where many of the continuity restrictions of the established Marvel line didn't apply. Over that time, many changes have been made and several significant characters have died -- most notably Peter Parker, who was replaced in the role of Spider-Man by young hero Miles Morales.
Now, the Ultimate line will once again embrace change. Following the conclusion of the current line-wide Cataclysm event -- featuring the heroes of that universe facing off against Galactus -- Marvel has announced Ultimate Marvel NOW, an initiative that will see a new direction and new titles from creators Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Michel Fiffe and more.
Michel Fiffe's Copra, a strange, superheroic adventure inspired by John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell's classic Suicide Squad, just completed its initial 12-issue run. In that time, Fiffe wrote, drew, lettered, published and even shipped every issue himself, once a month. As he says, it was essentially all he did for an entire year, but the end result was unquestionably one of the single best comic books of the year, if not the decade.
Fiffe plans to continue the series, but during his self-imposed vacation, I spoke to him to get his thoughts on Copra, the year of his life he spent doing exactly the comic he wanted to do, and why he wants to continue.
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