Morality Is A Social Constuct: Jason Shiga Conjures His ‘Demon’
Demon, the webcomic about a nihilistic body-jumping killer from the twisted, brilliant mind of Jason Shiga, recently wrapped up its 720-page, five-days-a-week schedule with an announcement: First Second will publishing the complete work in four voumes rolling out this year. To accompany the reveal of the cover to volume two, ComicsAlliance sat down with Shiga to talk about panel layouts, morality, and planning ahead.
The Art of Color: Nathan Fairbairn and Lighting for Location
While there are many different qualities that a colorist brings to a comic book, one of the most beneficial and subtle effects is the effect a good colorist can have on the line art, shaping a good artist into a great artist and a great artist's work into something transcendent. Unless you're consistently comparing the black & white original pages to the finished color versions, it can occasionally be difficult to accurately assess what a colorist is really doing to change the work. Thankfully, Nathan Fairbairn is not only one of the best collaborators in the comics industry, he also dedicates time to showing the color theory and thinking that goes into his process on his Tumblr; an indispensible resource for anyone interested in learning more about colorists and comics coloring.
Dogpocalypse: Chris Koehler and Sam Sattin Discuss ‘Legend’ [Interview]
What happens when you combine the animalistic focus of Homeward Bound with the difficulty of forging a new world in the ashes of the old? Novelist and essayist Sam Sattin and illustrator Chris Koelher have joined forces to figure out that question in Legend, a comic series that follows a pack of dogs finding their way through a post-apocolyptic, post-human world full of monsters, cat gangs, and existential crises. ComicsAlliance sat down with the two of them to discuss influences, symbolism, and what attracts readers to animal-focused stories in the first place, with an exclusive look at the cover of the upcoming Legend.
Bizarre Adventures In Criticism, Part One: Is ‘Phantom Blood’ Any Good?
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a hugely popular manga series written and drawn by Hirohiko Araki that began in 1984, following the supernatural adventures of a family line of characters each with names that can be abbreviated to JoJo. Since it began, it's had eight different main characters and a full-on western-comic-style reboot, and it's developed a passionate fanbase and established a unique aesthetic. But is it actually any good? In a new series of articles looking back over the various iterations of the series, critics Ziah Grace and Claire Napier are going to offer their unvarnished and unapologetic opinions on JoJo's Bizarre Adventures, starting with the initial arc, Phantom Blood.
A Boy And His Robot Explore A Haunted Castle in Ben Sears’ ‘Night Air’ [Preview]
Hot off of Ben Sears' runner-up placement in the Best Cartoonist category of our Best Of lists for 2015, Koyama Press has released a four-page preview of his upcoming book Night Air. Following the adventures of a boy and his robot as they investigate a haunted house looking for treasure, it looks like the perfect showcase for Sears' charming style and intriguing character designs.
A Life In Motion: A Birthday Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki
Today marks the birthday of one of far-and-away the most talented, hard-working animators working in the last century: Hayao Miyazaki. He’s been called the Japanese answer to Walt Disney or Steven Spielberg, but all comparisons aside, Miyazaki's work is unmistakably his own. Miyazaki’s art shows clear, fluid motions, with an emphasis on emotions and expressiveness, and lush, evocative backgrounds. He’s probably best known to American audiences for his work on the films Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, but his longest serialized work is the manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
‘Silk’ #1 Remembers The Past While Looking Towards The Future [Review]
Silk, the wall-crawling hero with slightly less baggage than the other spider-people in the Marvel Universe, gets a new #1 this week in the relaunch (that's really a continutation) of her solo series. It's a first issue that finds its strongest and weakest moments in how it handles the status quo. Marvel has done a great job in recent years of finding excellent artists whose styles wouldn't normally fit in a Big Two superhero book, and Stacey Lee's art on Silk is no exception. Her art has a gentle roundness to it, with a natural sense of animation, and strong character designs. Lee stuffs her panels with character details that round out the characters presented without needlessly distracting the eye.
It’s Dumb and Tickles Our Funny Bones: John Layman on the Home Stretch for ‘Chew’ [Interview]
For five years, Chew has been one of the most funniest, most surprising comic books on the stands. Rob Guillory and John Layman's series about a police officer who gets a psychic impression from anything he eats --- and the bizarre supporting cast that surrounds him --- has introduced readers to everything from government conspiracies to cybernetic killer roosters. With the recent release of the 51st issue, Chew is closing in on its big issue #60 finale --- so ComicsAlliance took the opportunity to sit down with John Layman to discuss his plotting for the series, how he balances comedic highs with tragic lows, and how a chicken became the breakout star of the book.
Art of Color: Muntsa Vicente’s Vibrant Visions
Comics coloring has come a long way since the "four-color" process of yesteryear. As printing and technological innovations allow for greater artistic improvisation, colorists today are blessed with a wider palette, easier research, and the (deserved) recognition that they're an equal part of an artistic team. Muntsa Vicente is one of the few colorists working in comics today who's able to evoke the limited color schemes of those old comics, without letting her own style be subsumed.
Art of Color: Javier Rodriguez, Color Chameleon
Javier Rodriguez's coloring work first came to my attention during his work on Daredevil, alongside Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera. It's interesting that a comic starring a blind superhero should have such vibrant, noticeable colors, but Rodriguez's work refuses to be ignored.