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The Issue: Double Exposure In ‘Shutter’ #23 [Fantasy Week]

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Throughout its run, Shutter has delighted in pushing the boundaries of comics. Leila Del Duca turned her pen to pastiches of everyone from Hergé to Winsor McCay to Richard Scarry. Owen Gieni separated his colors out into cyan, magenta and yellow to tell three stories on a single page. One memorable sequence depicted the creation of a single panel of the comic itself, from Joe Keatinge's script to final lettered product, before being printed, delivered, and finally read by someone in a coffee shop.

By those standards, the storytelling in issue #23 is almost disappointingly conventional. It's the most straightforward the comic has been since it debuted. Since the very first issue, in fact. Come to think of it, doesn't that cover look a little familiar?

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The Issue: Cold And Alone In ‘Transmetropolitan’ #8 [Sci-Fi Week]

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Welcome to The Issue, where we look at some of the strangest, most interesting, and most distinctive single issue comic stories ever to grace the medium. For Sci-Fi Week at ComicsAlliance, we're looking at one of comics' best single issue science fiction stories.

Transmetropolitan writer Warren Ellis is probably the king of the single-issue story. Transmet is absolutely packed with memorable one-off issues. “Another Cold Morning” might just be the best.

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The Issue: Time To Choose Your Own Adventure Time [Kids’ Comics]

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Adventure Time #10, "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Time," by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb, puts you in charge of Finn and Jake as they try to overcome a dastardly spell, by picking their actions, from punches to toots.

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The Issue: 28 Days Later in ‘Locke & Key: February’

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Welcome to The Issue, where we look at some of the strangest, most interesting and most distinctive single issue comic stories ever to grace the medium. You know the ones; silent issues, sideways issues, backwards issues... and issues that tell a whole month's worth of story, day by day.

“February” is the third issue of Locke & Key's fourth volume, Keys to The Kingdom, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Given the way the comic plays around with its format, trying to match it seemed like the right thing to do. So here are 28 reasons this issue is great.

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Filed Under: , , Category: IDW, Opinion, Reviews

The Issue: ‘Generation Hope’ And The Pain Of Being Different [Pride Week]

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One of the most notable things about queer characters in comics, especially in the heart of the superheroic mainstream, is their absence, at least on a textual level. Queer subtext, though? There's plenty of that, whether it's same-sex relationships that read as romantic, or in the use of mutants as a metaphor that can be applied to LGBTQ experiences.

Which brings us to Generation Hope #9, “Better”, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. It's not an issue explicitly about the LGBTQ experience, but it uses the mutant metaphor to tell a standalone story about real-life events that very much are.

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The Issue: X-Amining (and Re-X-Amining) X-Factor’s Therapy Sessions [Mutant Week]

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Welcome to The Issue, where we look at some of the strangest, most interesting and most distinctive single-issue comic stories ever to grace the medium. To mark the upcoming release of X-Men: Apocalypse, and the upcoming reveal of the top 100 X-Men of all time, we're also celebrating our own "Mutant Week" here at ComicsAlliance.

For the Mutant Week edition of The Issue, we're looking at two issues published nearly 15 years apart, in two completely separate runs with a largely different roster of characters, and a core concept that switched from government-sponsored superteam to mutant detective agency --- but it's the same title, the same writer, and almost exactly the same format. The books are X-Factor Vol 1 #87 and Vol 3 #13, "X-Aminations" and "Re-X-Aminations" --- or as they're more commonly known, those issues of Peter David's X-Factor where the team goes to therapy.

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The Issue: Escaping the Box in Morrison & Van Fleet’s ‘The Clown at Midnight’

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Welcome to The Issue, where we look at some of the strangest, most interesting and most distinctive single issue comic stories ever to grace the medium. You know the ones; silent issues, sideways issues, backwards issues... and issues that make you ask questions like 'When does a comic book stop being a comic book?'

Batman #663 is 22 pages of words and pictures --- the former courtesy of Grant Morrison, just a few issues into his landmark run on the title, the latter by digital artist John Van Fleet --- but the two elements are mixed into something that's closer to an illustrated storybook. Look at any given page, and you'll be faced with as many words as an average issue of traditional comics, interspersed with Van Fleet's posed CG characters resembling a gritty reimagining of '90s animated series ReBoot.

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The Issue: The Not So Just So Story Of Rudyard Kipling And ‘The Unwritten’ #5

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Mike Carey and Peter Gross' The Unwritten is a Vertigo fantasy thriller starring Tom Taylor, the namesake --- and potentially word-made-flesh incarnation --- of fictional boy wizard Tommy Taylor, as he tries to take down the shadowy cabal threatening his life. At the end of issue #4, we're left with a major cliffhanger, with Tom arrested for a murder he didn't commit, a killer on the loose, and the unexplained appearance of his magical alter ego's pet winged cat.

Instead of picking up those threads, The Unwritten #5, "How The Whale Became," recounts the life story of Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book, a full two centuries before Tom's tale begins. There's no explicit magic in the issue, and most of the events it depicts are a matter of historical record. But only most of the events in this issue are true, and that's where it starts to get really interesting.

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The Issue: A Very X-Men X-Mas in ‘Uncanny’ #143

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What makes something a piece of Christmas culture? Does a late December setting qualify? Is a smattering of snow and tinsel enough? When that one friend tells you their favourite Christmas film is Die Hard or Gremlins, or if they're being especially stubborn, Iron Man 3, are they wrong?

See, Chris Claremont and John Byrne's Uncanny X-Men #143 features plenty of festive imagery: the bulk of the issue takes place on December 24th, with a brief 'night before Christmas' riff, and there are Christmas trees and snow, the latter apparently summoned by Storm. But it's not really a Christmas story.

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The Issue: The Moebius Strip Madness of ‘Silver Surfer’ #11

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Welcome to The Issue, where we'll take a look at some of the strangest, most interesting and most distinctive single issue comic stories ever to grace the medium. You know the ones; silent issues, sideways issues, backwards issues; the comics that try to do something different with the form, and stand out from the series they belong to.

We're kicking off with a recent example, one that seems to have come from an alternate universe where the rules of the comics form are slightly different: Dan Slott and Mike Allred's Silver Surfer #11.

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