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Mike Norton

Best Art Ever (This Week): New-Look Batgirl Fan Art Edition

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It's always nice to have a good news day in comics -- and DC probably agrees after the rapturous reception to yesterday's announcement of the new direction for Batgirl from the new creative team of Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Jordie Bellaire, and new discovery Babs Tarr (who we've been telling you about for aaages).

Judging by all the Batgirl fan-art produced since yesterday's announcement, we feel sure there's a big appetite out there for a Batgirl comic deliberately designed to appeal to a female and family audience -- and for Batgirl's smartly designed and stylish new costume. With credit to Batgirl fan ComixBookGurl for her Twitter call-to-action, we collected all the new Batgirl fan art we could find in order to celebrate what may be the best Batgirl... ever?

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Naifeh’s ‘Ugg’ Rides Norton’s Pug On A Fun ‘Princess Ugg’ #1 Alternate Cover [Preview]

Princess Ugg Mike Norton pug variant
Ted Naifeh/Oni Press

Having wrapped his landmark Courtney Crumrin series last year, artist Ted Naifeh is set to launch his next ongoing series at Oni Press with Princess Ugg #1 on June 4. The book stars Princess Ülga of Grimmeria, a barbarian from the land of Grimmeria who has made her way into polite society to attend Princess Academy riding the back of her trusty war mammoth. Celebrating the series' launch, Battlepug creator Mike Norton has swapped his series' warrior with Ülga for a special variant uniting Ugg with pug. Oni's provided us with a first look at the variant cover, along with ten interior pages from Princess Ugg #1, which you can check out below.

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Link Ink: A ‘Bakuman’ Movie, Pugvengers And X-Men: Days Of Future Axe

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Click through for all of Wednesday's links.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Hellboy 20th Anniversary Edition

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.

In honor of this year’s 20th anniversary of the first appearance of Hellboy, the enduringly popular and endlessly entertaining ex-paranormal investigator created by Mike Mignola. One of comics' most idiosyncratic characters with a supporting cast to match, Hellboy is cited by many artists rivaling Batman as the most fun character to draw and reimagine in different styles. Throughout the existence of Best Art we've featured loads and loads of visions of Hellboy and his friends in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and what follows is a compilation of some of our favorites.

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11 Of The Best Stories From DC Digital’s ‘Adventures of Superman’ Anthology

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With the wrap-up of writer Joe Keatinge's multi-artist "Strange Visitor" epic in Adventures of Superman last week, the series is nearing a full year of weekly, digital Superman stories. It's easily been the best, most daring Superman title DC Comics has been publishing in 2013 and 2014 (and not just because Superman gets to wear his real costume in it). Edited by Alex Antone,  Adventures of Superman invites creators from all strata of comics to put their own stamps on Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's original American superhero, free from the aesthetic constraints of the publisher's main line of New 52 comics and continuity. We like it so much, Adventures of Superman ended up on our list of the best comic books published in 2013.

We thought it would be a good idea to look back at the series so far, so I've compiled the following list of stories that readers unfamiliar with the series should go back and catch up with if they want the high points of the past year. At a dollar a pop, they're all well worth it.

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Best Art Ever (This Week): X-Men Selfies, RoboCop 2, Game of Thrones, Sonic, Jonny Quest, Blade Runner and More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Kieron Gillen Announces End Of ‘Young Avengers’ Run With Jamie McKelvie And Mike Norton

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In yet another example of a Marvel title wrapping up a "season," as it were, Young Avengers by writer Kieron Gillen and artists Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton will end with issue #15 in February 2014.

Gillen announced the run coming to an end in a post to his Tumblr, which also heavily hinted at a new season with new creators.

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Kieron Gillen Talks ‘Young Avengers,’ Pop Music And Why Subtlety Is Overrated [NYCC 2013]

Art from Young Avengers, Marvel Comics

Over the past year, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton's Young Avengers has been one of the most consistently enjoyable comics on the stands. The thrilling, completely unsubtle adventures that take teenage problems and blow them up into world-threatening monsters have revived Marvel's teenage heroes and put them back to the forefront in a way that fits perfectly with their position that universe.

At New York Comic-Con, I spoke to Gilllen about the first year of the comic, his approach to capturing the feeling of being a teenager, and, of course, those first four drumbeats of "Be My Baby."

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The Complete Jack Kirby Character Sketchbook (Summer 2013)

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For the past few years, I've been taking a sketchbook to conventions across the country and getting pieces of art with a single theme: Characters created or co-created by the King of Comics, Jack Kirby. After 52 sketches, you'd think I'd be running out of characters, but with only a couple repeats, it's still going strong. Today, in honor of Kirby's 96th birthday, I'm putting all the sketches in one place to show some of the best artists working in comics celebrating Kirby's lasting legacy as a creator!

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Thinking About Brian Stelfreeze’s ‘Day Men’ And The Reascension Of The Comic Book Artist

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On sale this week from BOOM! Studios is the first issue of Day Men, a new series that introduces readers to the human helping hands of the violent vampire elite who rule the world in secret. Written by Matt Gagnon (Freelancers) and Michael Alan Nelson (Supergirl), Day Men is a cool organized crime-tinged take on the enduringly popular vampire genre, but the major selling point for the series is that it marks the return to monthly comics of one of the American industry’s most talented but elusive artists: Brian Stelfreeze. Does the final product live up to the auspicious occasion? Yes and no, but that it exists at all might be more important.

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