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Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week): Ryan Kelly, Steve Lieber, And Cafu

Best Sequential Art

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 all-new recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).

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Three Slaves Are On The Run From 300 Spartan Warriors In Gillen And Kelly’s ‘Three’ #2 [Preview]

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Three, the new miniseries from Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire, was first conceived when, after flipping through the pages of Frank Miller's 300 one night, Gillen had a bit of an angry realization. Miller's popular graphic novel presents the famed warriors of Sparta in a wholly positive, heroic light. Portraying the Spartans purely as heroes, defiant in the face of oppression and persecution while declaring themselves "The only free men the world has ever known," ignores one crucial detail that Gillen screamed into his copy of 300 that fateful night: Spartan warriors hunted slaves. And from this realization, Three was born. While it may not be a total repudiation of Miller's comic, it certainly presents the other side of the story, as readers witness three Helot workers attempt to escape the savage brutality of 300 of the most revered warriors in history.

The end of the first issue revealed the beginning of a mass slaughter. In issue #2, three survivors of the carnage race toward the free city of Messene, with 300 warriors on the their heels. Image Comics has provided ComicsAlliance with a six page preview of the issue, which you can view below.

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First Look: ‘Three’ #1 Cover For Kieron Gillen & Ryan Kelly’s Anti-’300′ Image Book

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What you're seeing here for the first time is the cover of Three #1, the first chapter in a new miniseries written by Kieron Gillen (Phonogram, Young Avengers) and drawn by Ryan Kelly (Saucer County, Local) that takes a much different, more historically accurate look at the violent world of ancient Sparta and the legendary 300 warriors than we've seen in some other comic books of note. Specifically, Gillen and Kelly's Three undermines the notion of Sparta as a free and heroic society -- as dramatized by Frank Miller in his celebrated graphic novel 300 and its hugely popular film adaptation -- by telling the story of three slaves on the run for their lives.

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Image Announces New Hickman, Fraction, Chaykin And Gillen, Reprinted Pope And More [NYCC 2012]

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Image Comics kicked out the jams last weekend at New York Comic Con, where publisher Eric Stephenson announced loads of new series that once again demonstrated his company's ability to court big name mainstream talents away from Marvel and DC Comics. Image confirmed new work from cr

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‘You Hunted Slaves!’: Kieron Gillen on Spartan Culture and His New Series ‘Three’ [NYCC 2012]

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Two years ago, after New York Comic-Con, I invited--dragged might be a better word--Ryan Kelly and Kieron Gillen out to dinner with me and a few friends. I had in mind that they'd become friends and someday work together, and my nefarious scheme seems to have paid off

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