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.
Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.
Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat's great photos from San Diego.
In the final few hours before San Diego Comic-Con opened its doors to the public for Preview Night on Wednesday, Image Comics Expo took place in an upstairs ballroom at the nearby San Diego Bayfront Hilton, where the publisher welcomed a group of press, creators, and fans to watch as the company announced, discussed and otherwise promote a great variety of upcoming Image titles.
There will be magic in From Under Mountains, an ongoing fantasy series coming from Image in 2015 and announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Set in the world of Akhara, the story introduces us to a lord's daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief whose unlikely partnership will change the course of a world locked in a bitter conflict between rival clans. There will be goblins and witches and knights as well, lost in the churning of a world in turmoil. Great houses will square off for power. Thieves will dash into the shadows. Naïve youths will learn that the world is vaster and more terrible than they ever imagined. In these warm, well-worn ways, it will embrace the best that fantasy, as a genre has to offer: sweeping scope grounded in the lives of heroes, villains, and everything in between.
Creators Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong have worked on everything from Elephantmen to magical girl comics about anthropomorphic wolves, and they are bringing their varied experience to bear upon From Under Mountains and the fantasy genre in ways both familiar and innovative. ComicsAlliance talked with them to discuss breaking new ground with thoughtfulness, experience, and memories of Ursula Le Guin.
What if Shonen Jump starred wolves instead of humans? And what if the manga serial were made principally by a group younger, imaginative and wildly expressive cartoonists from all over the place doing personal rather than more commercial stories? The answer to that question can already be seen at the Wolfen Jump online anthology, but provided helmer Rory Morris can raise the group's goal of $8,000 in the next 25 days, fans could also consume wolf comics aplenty in print.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Our subject this week, Sloane Leong, is a talented colorist who has worked on comics for publishers like Boom!, Dark Horse, and Image, but she is also a cartoonist who has created many comics of her own from start to finish.
This March two curious kids get the best friend they could ever ask for: A legendary, undead sea captain who helps solve mysteries. That's right, Davey Jones and the Mystery of the Monocle Men by Dennis Culver is set to debut in Dark Horse Presents #34. Described by DHP Associate Editor Jim Gibbons as "A Scooby-Doo type mystery by way of the Hardy Boys with a big zombie pirate and nautical trappings," Davey Jones is set to run for three DHP installments through issue #37. Click through as CA works to crack the mystery of just what Culver has in store for DHP.
When it comes to the subject of DC Comics' "Villains Month" -- whereby every title in the publisher's New 52 line of superhero books is being "taken over" by a supervillain -- most of the conversation seems to focus on arcane retailing controversies about the initiative's 3-D covers or reader debate about questionable character revamps. What really got our attention was Dial E, the villain takeover issue of Justice League #23.3, a comic that's distinct because it serves as a coda to one of DC's best series in years, the recently concluded Dial H created by China Miéville and Mateus Santolouco about Nelson Jent, a schlubby bro who temporarily becomes a brand new and occasionally universe-traversing superhero when he dials "H-E-R-O" on a mysterious phone-like device. Dial E is an auspicious sendoff for the quirky and acclaimed series, one that features 20 pages each drawn by a different artist. Many of them are ComicsAlliance favorites like Jock, Emma Rios, Frazer Irving, Sloane Leong and. Annie Wu.
Courtesy of DC, we've got advance looks at five artists' pages, but even better, they're without any letterings so you art fans can enjoy their great work without any obfuscations. Additionally we're pleased to preview the first five story pages as well, featuring the words of Mieville and pictures by Mateus Santolouco, Carla Berrocal, Riccardo Burchielle and Liam Sharp.
One of the true joys of comics is that, if you're willing to stroll around the medium, you inevitably encounter new work that makes you feel like you opened the door to the wrong house and made yourself comfortable before realizing your mistake. Artist Sloane Leong's comics have been hitting me that way for awhile, but it wasn't until the increasingly prolific creator and contributing colorist on comics including Prophet, Change and Sabertooth Swordsman's latest solo release that I could pinpoint why her evolving style resonated so well. It's the mystery. Available to read in its entirety at Vice and as a paid download on Gumroad, Clutch is a haunting black-and-white short that takes place as much on the page as in a reader's psyche. ComicsAlliance got in touch with Leong to get some insights into her latest work, her approach to creating and why sometimes the best coloring is no coloring.
Change is the new book from Image Comics by the team of Ales Kot, Sloane Leong, Morgan Jeske, and Ed Brisson. It is the story of loosely associated individuals working against a Lovecraftian apocalypse