San Diego Comic-Con is underway, bringing over 130,000 people to enjoy the pop culture extravaganza taking place inside and outside the convention center. There is a lot to see and do every day during SDCC. More likely than not, if you don't go in with a plan for experiencing the things that you most want to check out, you'll miss them!
With the exception of perhaps Marvel, Dark Horse Comics may have been the publisher that broke the most news about its upcoming books at New York Comic-Con this year. That includes new stories from Eric Powell and Sergio Aragonés, the latest adventures from the Eisner-winning Itty Bitty team, prestige collections of Kabuki and Pistolwhip, brand new horror tales from some of the masters of the form, and much more.
Sergio Aragones was born in Spain in 1937, moved to Mexico with his family in the early 1940s, and after attending the University Of Mexico, settled in the United States in 1962. His cartoons first appeared in Mad Magazine at the end of that year, and he quickly became one of the publication's most popular contributors. In the years since, he's become well-known to comic readers as the co-creator and writer of DC Comics' western hero Bat Lash and a contributor to countless other titles (including Plop!, Fanboy, The Mighty Magnor, The Simpsons, and Actions Speak); he's continued his association with Mad (appearing in 452 of the 453 issues published since his debut); he's produced a number of bestselling paperback books; and, of course, he continues to produce comics telling the stories of his best-known creation, the bumbling barbarian with a weakness for cheese dip, the inimitable Groo The Wanderer.
To mark the occasion of his birthday (September 6), we've reached out to a few of our favorite modern-day creators to join us in paying tribute to Sergio and celebrating his life and work.
Even in the world of comics, where crossovers happen all the time involving heroes blundering into each other's books and causing all kinds of trouble, it's rare for a character to team up with their own parody. I mean, I've seen Superman hang out with Bugs Bunny before, but seeing someone in pitched battle against a character created pretty directly to make fun of them? It doesn't happen often.
And yet, next month, that's exactly what's going to happen in Conan vs. Groo, where the world's most famous barbarian ends up battling against the world's most obliviously destructive barbarian, in a crossover Dark Horse bills as featuring "three swords, two barbarians, one brain.
Longtime MAD Magazine artist Sergio Aragones is well known for how much stuff he can get on a page -- he's been filling the magazine's margins for decades. So just imagine what he could do with a gigantic pullout poster!
Well, you don't have to imagine it. Aragones has condensed more than 60 years of MAD history in one big image for Entertainment Weekly.
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.
Launched in 2005 by what was then called DC Direct, the Batman: Black & White statue series is DC Collectibles’ three-dimensional spinoff of the hugely acclaimed, Eisner-winning 1990s comic book anthology edited by Mark Chiarello that invited some of the world’s best and most idiosyncratic artists to express their own uninhibited visions of the enduringly popular and graphically compelling Dark Knight. Like the original book, the Black & White statue line has become a favorite among collectors and illustration enthusiasts for its high quality craftsmanship and impeccable taste in collaborators. Some of the artists who’ve designed for the Black & White series include Paul Pope, Simon Bisley, Eduardo Risso, Mike Mignola, Steve Rude, Alex Ross, Frank Miller, Matt Wagner, Neal Adams, Bruce Timm, Cliff Chiang, Darwyn Cooke, Frank Quietly... the list is very long and almost embarrassingly auspicious.
Having collected numerous DC and Warner Bros. Animation-related statues from the days when they were still licensed out to sculptors like Randy Bowen, the artists of Graffiti Designs and the talents at the much missed Warner Bros. Studio Store, I’m obviously a great admirer of the work of DC Collectibles. There’s something very hard to describe about how a great statue or other three-dimensional representation of your favorite hero can express their true, well, awesomeness in a way that’s utterly distinct from line art or even film or animation. It’s arguable that no collectibles line possesses this power in greater quantities than Batman: Black & White, as the line’s success with fans and creative professionals continues to demonstrate as it releases its fiftieth statue this week, designed by longtime ComicsAlliance favorite Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, The Wake).
To celebrate the occasion (which also syncs up nicely with the long-awaited return of Chiarello’s beloved anthology, for which a photograph of Murphy’s statue will serve as a variant cover), we connected with DC Collectibles VP - Creative Services Kevin Kiniry and Design Director Jim Fletcher to talk about the history of Batman: Black & White, the possibility of a Black & White villains spinoff, and why so many comic book artists consider working on the line a “badge of honor.”
Published between 2004 and 2006, Solo was a DC Comics anthology series with an innovative twist: each issue was created from the ground up by a single cartoonist and collaborators of his own choosing...
Have you ever wanted to see Dilbert creator Scott Adams naked? Yeah, we haven't either, but apparently someone thought that was a good idea. Adams is one of 72 cartoonists who have provided nude self-portraits for the upcoming Naked Cartoonists book from Fantagraphics, joining artists like Will Eisner, For Better Or For Worse creator Lynn Johnston, Jeff Smith (feel free to make your own Bone joke here) and, as seen above, legendary MAD artist Sergio Aragones...
Movies: The very purple Abin Sur gets his own Green Lantern movie poster. Spoiler warning: I don't think he's going to make it.
Charity: G-Man creator Chris Giarrusso is drawing free sketches for fans who donate at least $25 to the American Liver Association's current fund-raiser...