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, it's an extra-special, ComicsAlliance-exclusive set of comics reviews. Chris and Matt are chatting about the brand-new Daredevil #1 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, Superman Unchained #6 by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, and Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals #5.
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
With the possible exception of whoever's in charge of determining which comics get banned from being sold on Apple devices, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarksy's Sex Criminals has been universally hailed as one of the best comic books of the year. The story of strange sexual awakenings, bank robberies, and the untold impact of porn left in the woods has earned its creators a huge fan following, a fourth printing of the first issue set for January, and being declared Time's best comic book of the year.
To cap off a pretty triumphant year, I talked to Zdarsky about how he hooked up with Matt Fraction, his reaction to the response the book's been getting, and, perhaps most importantly, the secret origin of Sexual Gary.
This is not a joke and not an imaginary story. It's a real cover.
The artwork for the fourth printing edition of the thrice sold-out Sex Criminals #1 features creators Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky dressed in sweaters, staring ahead, and in front of a portrait-studio background. It is a visual wonder that must be seen to be believed.
With hundreds of comics released to stores every month, a great cover can make a big difference. That tiny rectangle needs to grab the eye, set a mood, convey an idea, and entice a reader to pick the book up and look inside. It takes a great cover artist to get all of that right.
ComicsAlliance continues its look back at some of the best cover work in 2013 from some of the most talented cover artists in the industry. This week we pick highlights from the work of Nathan Fox (Collider/FBP), Francesco Francavilla (Black Beetle), Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals) and John Paul Leon (The Massive).
Last month Sex Criminals writer Matt Fraction revealed via Twitter that the second issue of his and artist/co-creator Chip Zdarksy's acclaimed new series would not be available for in-app purchase via the ComXology app or anything else in Apple’s iOS marketplace. Sex Criminals is, as the title would suggest, at times a sexually explicit comic. So while it was disappointing, it wasn't overly surprising to learn that Apple would not make issue #2 or #3 available given the App Store's notoriously nebulous content guidelines, through which all downloadable content must pass. The surprise came when, as noted yesterday by Zdarsky, Apple not only rejected the upcoming issue #3 from iOS devices, but retroactively removed issue #1 as well, once again calling into question a curation policy that can best be described as consistently inconsistent.
Welcome to the latest episode of ComicsAlliance Presents "Kate or Die," a series of exclusive comic strips created by one of our longtime favorite webcomics cartoonists, Kate Leth! In this episode, Kate takes on a new workplace hazard that creators Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have introduced to comics shop employees.
Here's a fun fact: when you Google Sex Criminals, the first result you get does not, in fact, refer to the new Image Comics series from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. Instead, in a deft maneuver to remind us of the blackness that surrounds us, the byzantine network of pneumatic tubes that constitutes Google’s search engine front-loads the page with a link to the National Sex Offender Registry. For the record, internet: Sex Criminals is a funny, engaging, and inventive new comic book about sex, love, and fighting the man, with a clever sci-fi twist. Sex offenders are not. For more on the hilarious differences between the two, continue reading.
One of the most unique comic book launch parties in the history of the industry occurred last night at Wicked nightclub in Toronto.
The book was Sex Criminals, a genuinely touching, romantic and indeed erotic new mature readers miniseries illustrated by Chip Zdarsky and written by Zdarsky and Matt Fraction and published by Image Comics, about a pair of criminals with the power to stop time with their simultaneous orgasms. The venue was not a typical nightclub; it has beds, and a hot tub, a public shower, and strange holes in the bathroom wall. Wicked is a sex club. For sex.