Ben Blacker

Strip Panel Naked: Breaking the Mold In 'Death be Damned'
Strip Panel Naked: Breaking the Mold In 'Death be Damned'
Striking imagery in any visual medium can only really come about when taken in isolation. You could have a comic that is full of stunning pages, image after image of the most gorgeously rendered scenes ever, and it can lose context in book form. By overloading incredible imagery, it becomes commonplace, and you have to work even harder to sell a visual that you might need to be particularly stunning. If you could take a single image out of said book and present it in isolation, that beauty would flood backs to it. You can achieve this effect pretty easily in comics when you restrict your style to a set look and feel, and then bring in small changes when necessary to create a massive change to the images. For an example, check out the new book Death be Damned, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Andrew Miller, Hannah Christenson, Juan Useche, and Colin Bell.
Review: Flash Gordon Annual 2014
Review: Flash Gordon Annual 2014
Annuals get a bad rap. I'm pretty sure it's because they formed the core of some truly terrible crossovers starting in the '90s -- lookin' at you here, Bloodlines -- but there's nothing congenitally wrong with them. In their purest form, annuals are just extra comics, and since we all like comics, that ought to be something to get excited about. And in the case of Dynamite's Flash Gordon Annual 2014, we've got something worth getting excited about. Flash Gordon is already one of my favorite books on the stands, and this week's Annual continues that trend by providing a fantastic roster of great stories -- including a solo tale for Dale Arden that needs to be made into an ongoing series yesterday.