A big part about what makes comics work is eyelines. I’ve talked before about Chris Samnee’s genius use of them on the current Black Widow series, but another great example caught my attention this week.
The opening page of James Bond: Hammerhead, by Luca Casalanguida, Chris Blythe, Andy Diggle and Simon Bowland struck me immediately. It brings you straight into the action with the rather dynamic, but simple, page design.
I've been excited about Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Wil Quintana, and Simon Bowland's Kingsway West ever since it was announced. Not only am I a fan of pretty much everyone involved already, but the idea of a Chinese gunslinger roaming through an Old West blasted apart by wars over "Red Gold," a mysterious substance that makes magic happen? That, friends and neighbors, is exactly my jam.
But if you need a little extra reason to get hype for it, Greg Pak --- a man who is always staying on his grind --- has provided. Check out a full-on video trailer below, featuring art from the comic, narration from Pak, and an original Kingsway West-inspired song by Adam Warrock!
Launching a shared superhero universe is a pretty daunting task even for the best creators in comics, but 2013's Kings Watch from Jeff Parker and Marc Laming is hands down one of the best I've ever read. Built around the idea of Ming the Merciless arriving on Earth with an invasion plan that starts by simply turning off global communication --- and returning printed newspapers to the kind of prominence they haven't had since the last century --- the story threw Flash Gordon, the Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician into high adventure and provided the springboard for some great comics.
Now, Parker is returning to Flash Gordon with artist and co-writer Jesse Hamm, colorist Grace Allison, and letterer Simon Bowland, for an all-new five-issue story called "Kings Cross," set to make its debut in November --- and they're bringing Ming the Merciless back with them.
After years of working on characters like Superman and the Hulk, writer Greg Pak is finally launching his first-ever creator-owned series through Dark Horse, alongside Mirko Colak, Wil Quintana, and Simon Bowland. Kingsway West is the story of a gunslinger and a mysterious swordswoman making their way across an Old West dominated by the new discovery of magic. It's an intriguing project, and one that promises a big adventure right from the start, complete with a man riding a gigantic jackalope right there on the page.
To find out more, I spoke to Pak about why he decided to do a Western, his plans to make the book easy for readers to find at their local comic shops, and his influences, both fictional and historical.
I'll admit that I'm a pretty easy mark when it comes to high concepts, but I'd like to think that I'm at least a little picky about how they actually play out. Like, if you were to tell me that there's a story about an old but hard-boiled cop in charge of upholding a 500 year-old treaty between London and Hell, I'd be intrigued, but I'd have to admit that it could go either way. If, however, you then told me that the story also involved a kid fighting demons with a combination of parkour and Gymkata --- the famous martial art that combines the skill of gymnastics with the kill of karate --- then that's pretty much that. I am in.
Fortunately for me, a story matching that exact description is hitting shelves this week in the pages of 2000 AD in Prog 1934: Absalom: Under A False Flag, the newest installment of Gordon Rennie, Tiernen Trevallian and Simon Bowland's supernatural crime drama --- and you can read the entire first installment as a preview right here!
As a Briton living overseas, I am always delighted to see people from the old country shamelessly milk their Britishness to sell themselves abroad. The more we ham it up, the more people seem to love it, as evidenced by Eddie Redmayne's Oscar win. So it's in that same glorious spirit that Titan Comics is playing up the "Downton Abbey and crumpets" angle for its May comics promotion, Best of British, featuring new and classic works from a roster of creators that includes Peter Milligan, Si Spurrier, Alan Martin, D'Israeli, and the late Brett Ewins. Check out the trailer above, debuting exclusively on ComicsAlliance.
Of all the comics that could indulge in one of my beloved Holiday Specials, Flash Gordon seems like a pretty unlikely candidate. I mean, now that I think of it, if comics can give us that story where Superboy gets caught up in the Christmas Spirit and decides to get the Legion of Super-Heroes to hunt down the star that the Magi followed to the manger and ends up rescuing a race of alien bird-people from a flood in what can only very charitably be called a miracle, I guess you can wring a little holiday cheer out of just about anything. Still, the adventures of three humans trapped in an alien empire full of tree monsters and beast-men doesn't quite seem like it would easily lend itself to the spirit of the season.
And yet, that's exactly what the folks at Dynamite have done with the new Flash Gordon Holiday Special one-shot, and while I could not possibly be more in the target audience for this thing -- my interest in space adventure is only outstripped by my love of Christmas -- it's well worth picking up.
As it is prone to do perhaps more often than some of its American competition, British sci-fi weekly 2000 AD has designed its latest issue to be especially welcoming to new readers. Four brand new stories begin in this week's 2000 AD Prog 1850, each meant to introduce audiences to the unique blend of art, attitude and insanity that can typically be found every week in "the galaxy's greatest comic." Among them, a new Judge Dredd strip as well as new work by Al Ewing (Mighty Avengers), Pat Mills (Marshal Law), Ian Edginton (Victorian Undead), and INJ Culbard (The New Deadwardians).
The new-reader-friendly prog is part of a concentrated effort to raise awareness of 2000 AD and Judge Dredd in particular so as to persuade the powers that be that a Dredd movie sequel is something they should put into production at once. That effort includes an official Dreddsequel petition and the latest issue of Judge Dredd Megazine, which introduces a new strip that will continues the continuity of the cult favorite Karl Urban film.
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