What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more --- but the comics industry has been busy too, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed.
ComicsAlliance has got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on. New comics, new stories, new hirings, new podcasts, new art being made --- it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
Everyone's favorite spacefaring flora/fauna duo are together again in Rocket Raccoon and Groot #1, written by Skottie Young with art by Felipe Andrade. Frankly, putting them in one comic makes a lot more sense than giving them each a solo book, like Marvel did the last time everything was All-New. They're partners, after all. (And Groot only ever says that one thing.)
The preview for series, launching January 6, begins in one of those space cantinas that have been so popular since 1977, and features a cloaked Groot leading what appears to be another talking rodent/walking plant team to meet Rocket Raccoon. The big mystery is why Rocket's on a throne, and why he's wearing that oddly familiar helmet and cape.
Remember how the prequel trilogy jumped over those awkward pre-teen years of Anakin Skywalker's life after Episode I, and went straight to all the teen angst you could handle in Episode II? Well you'll soon be able to enjoy all those formative years you missed with Obi-Wan and Anakin, a new limited series from Marvel's Star Wars universe.
Written by Charles Soule and drawn by Marco Checchetto, both fresh off Star Wars stints on Land and Shattered Empire respectively, Obi-Wan and Anakin will follow the newly minted Jedi master and his padawan as they grow into their new roles, exploring the limits of patience a teacher can have with a new apprentice. Can you imagine being a twenty-something whose closest friend just died and then being put in charge of a bucket of raging hormones who happens to be one of the most powerful space wizards in the galaxy? I was a nightmare at that age, and I didn't even have a lightsaber.
I saw The Wizard of Oz for the first time last year. That's a pretty good movie! You all should watch this obscure, little-seen, never-discussed motion picture right away.
Like everything else I do in my life, I took the most roundabout way possible towards L Frank Baum's magical Land of Oz, shown in that movie in glorious Technicolor and featuring the singing talents of Julie Garland. I'm mildly allergic to musicals, and since I used to be young and boring, any movie older than I was got written off sight unseen.
But then, I learnt about the character of Princess Ozma, and not long after that, I realized I was transgender --- so the path I took into Oz started with her.
At San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, Marvel unveiled its first ever collectible pins. Given the Disney connection, it was only a matter of time after Marvel was acquired by the Mouse House that it too would offer its own versions of the tradable pins that had been a mainstay for Disney fans for over 15 years. Yes, pins were at Disney well before the year 2000, but the pin trading collective really only got its start during the Millennium Celebration at Disney World. Pin trading had also found its way to other geeky conventions, like PAX, where it's been steadily expanding, but now that comic cons are getting in on the fun, there's almost nowhere you can go to escape.
I promised myself (and ComicsAlliance EiC Andrew Wheeler) that I wouldn't fall prey to pin collecting now that Marvel was in on the action. I bought a few sets at SDCC, but one set was for friends who couldn't make it, and the others I thought I'd pick up for my wife. She's only ever looked at them, as they've become part of my own collection now. I have become the thing I said I never would; I am a pin collector now. I thought maybe I'd only have to deal with my addiction once a year at SDCC, but Marvel's announced a new collection of pins to debut exclusively at New York Comic Con this coming week, and that's going to be a whole new problem for me.
The last few years have really nailed home how important it is to see representation in comics --- for readers to get the chance to see characters who represent them, or the heroes they spire to be. One of those comics is the Duck series by Tana Ford. A gay woman, the eponymous Duck is far from perfect; she faces problems, exhibits her own prejudice, and lives in a fully-realized, three-dimensional world where friends and society clash in ways that feel honest and realistic.
The series has been hugely acclaimed, with the first volume winning the PRISM Comics Queer Press Grant, and volume two nominated for a LAMBDA literary award. And the good news is that third volume of the series, Duck! Third Time is the Charm, is now running on Kickstarter. ComicsAlliance spoke to Ford about the series, the character, and the overall importance of getting honest, interesting representation in comics.
Marvel released almost all of its cosplay variant covers for the coming months a few weeks back, but there were two omissions that we're unveiling exclusively today. The first is Eddie Newsome's Captain America cosplay for the cover of Sam Wilson, Captain America #1, by Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuña. The second is for a new title that was only announced last week; Hurley Fx brings the Monarch of Planet X to life for the cover of Rocket Raccoon & Groot #1, by Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade.
Nostalgia is a powerful drug. Now that almost all the kids that were collecting the likes of Kenner's Super Powers and Mattel's Secret Wars toys are closer to 40 then they are their pre-teen years, there's a built-in audience for revisiting these memorable action figure lines. What's more, these eternally young-at-heart fans now have disposable income, and can afford re-issues that are solely for collecting and not playing.
While you may initially scoff at the idea of paying around $100 for a jumbo-sized Secret Wars Wolverine or Super Powers Superman, it's hard to quiet the child inside when you see Gentle Giant's modern replicas in person. Not only are the figures captured from the original plans, but the packaging too is rendered almost exactly as it was all those years ago. The value of how cool it will look on your shelf immediately begins to tip the scales from how much just one of these figures will impact your wallet. These figures, as well as Gentle Giant's Star Wars and Batman: The Animated Series lines, toe the line at the intersection of comic art and nostalgia.
Not everyone can make it to San Diego Comic-Con to see what's happening in person, but ComicsAlliance has you covered! We know that it's not just about the news that comes out of the biggest con of the year --- it's also about seeing the booths, checking out new collectibles, and putting faces to names of your favorite creators. Thankfully talented photographer Pat Loika is on hand to document as much as he can for your enjoyment.
Scroll down for some exceptional photography of the people, places, and things that SDCC has to offer. Sore feet, aching back, and claustrophobia not included.
Within hours of Mad Max: Fury Road hitting theaters, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram exploded with fan art featuring the neon wasteland desert and its high octane inhabitants. One character, though, inspired artists like no other --- Imperator Furiosa, the steely warrior of Immortan Joe's army. ComicsAlliance has compiled a collection of our favorites, including a brand-new piece by the talented Greg Ruth, and an exquisite black and white sketch by Jamie McKelvie.
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