The end of the year is a time of reflection in many ways, and that often means thinking about and assessing what the very best releases in any particular medium were. As we prepare to cross the threshold into 2017, we've been collecting some of the best covers of the year by publisher for your perusal, and today we're looking at fifty of the best comic book covers released from Image Comics in 2016.
On June 12th, 2016, a gunman entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and killed forty-nine people, as well as wounding fifty-three more. It was the biggest terror attack on American soil since September 11th, and a purposeful attack on predominantly Latinx gay and bisexual men in what was supposed to be a safe space.
This December, DC Comics and IDW are coming together to publish an anthology titled Love Is Love, which sees over one hundred comics creators coming together to contribute stories, with all proceeds going to Equality Florida and the fund to benefit the survivors of the attack.
Valiant Comics‘ shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.
In April, JAM and Steve covered Divinity and Unity, which sort of bummed JAM out as an exercise. So in order to see if we can get a bit of verve and fun back into Valiant, this month we’re going for one of the most entertaining books the publisher has put out since the relaunch --- Quantum & Woody, the adventures of two extremely dysfunctional brothers who are sort-of trying to be superheroes.
Acclaimed young adult author Gwenda Bond is no stranger to comics heroes, having written the novels Lois Lane: Fallout and this year’s Lois Lane: Double Down, but now her own heroes are coming to comics courtesy of Jet City Comics. Girl Over Paris, a miniseries set in Bond's Cirque American world, comes out later this year from writer Kate Leth and artist Ming Doyle, and fills the gap between Girl On A Wire and its follow-up, Girl In The Shadows, also due for release this year.
When you think about John Constantine, you probably imagine his more sinister, conniving feats of magic, like that time he tricked the devil himself into drinking holy water, or that time that he tricked three other devils into curing him of cancer, or that time that he somehow managed to not look like a complete dork while wearing a trenchcoat and smirking for something like thirty years. What you don't think about, I assume, is that he might be in life-threatening danger from a magical land of fairies where a pegasus bleeds rainbows.
That's exactly what happens in Constantine: The Hellblazer #10, by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, Travel Foreman, Joseph Silver, Ivan Plascencia, and Tom Napolitano. The book finds everyone's favorite magician on his own in a world full of tinkerbells (tinkers bell? Let's go with tinkerbells), being hunted down by his arch-nemeses. Check out a preview, but be warned: There is explicit pegasus violence involved.
The Kitchen has reached the midpoint of its eight-issue run, and from here you might get a sense of which direction things are heading in for Kath, Raven, and Angie --- mob wives turned mob bosses in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York in the late 1970s. In the fourth issue of writer Ollie Masters and artists Ming Doyle and Jordie Bellaire's crime drama, the husbands got out of prison --- and as you might imagine, the reunions weren't entirely happy ones. In issue #5, the men are ready to reassert themselves, but the women aren't going to just fade into the background.
The series is building to a fascinating confrontation in its really rather... unorthodox examination of women's changing roles in the workforce in the latter half of the 20th century. This is a comic that takes a serious and mature approach to storytelling, and it's easy to imagine that it won't end well for anyone, and it certainly can't end well for everyone.
A group of comic artists including The Kitchen's Ming Doyle (artist site), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's Erica Henderson (artist site), Howard the Duck's Joe Quinones, (artist site) and Where Is Jake Ellis's Jordan Gibson (artist site) recently came together to brainstorm and illustrate some of their favorite celebrities for #DCBend, a Tumblr-based fancast of the heroes and villains of the DCU with women in male roles and men in female roles.
While the concept of gender-swapped casting and fan art for comic movies is not a new one, DCBend has lead to some really inspired choices by some of the rising stars of comics. Check out the entire gallery, including some that are debuting for the first time on ComicsAlliance.
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.
Available for free right now is Pressure/Sensitivity, the very cleverly titled inaugural anthology project produced by Wacom. The book is a natural step for Wacom to make, as makers of the tablet technology used by an increasing number of comic book artists to create their work. Because Pressure/Sensitivity: An Awesome Comics Anthology is edited by former ComicsAlliance editor Caleb Goellner (currently Wacom's Social Marketing Specialist), it comes as no surprise that the book is populated by contributors well known to CA readers for their distinctive styles and technical prowess: Ben Sears, Giannis Milonogiannis, Ming Doyle, Meredith Gran & Mike Holmes, and Ulises Farinas & Ryan Hill.
Most comics tend to have a high-concept fueling them; some twist which reveals the characters live in a heightened world where readers can’t predict what will happen next. The rules keep changing, and that’s how we define the characters we read. The cast of Fables could have anything happen to them in each issue – their capacity to endure the fantastical is one of their central traits. By contrast, the first issue of Vertigo's new eight-part miniseries The Kitchen is set in a totally real, unfiltered world, where the characters and setting feel authentic and full. The central trait of this series is that is starts from such a relatively unremarkable premise and does so much with it.
From Ollie Masters, Ming Doyle, and Jordie Bellaire, The Kitchen surprises from the concept on. This is kitchen-sink drama, the type Michael Gambon and Julie Walters might’ve appeared in twenty years ago, but with an updated, contemporary sense of space and character. Rather than the typical angry young man, here we have three very angry women. Set in the wilds of Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s, the ice in their hearts and fire in their fists promises that something's eventually going to crack.