The Art of Moon Knight

Comics | Marvel Comics 0

Moon Knight #4 Cover

I really like the newest volume of Moon Knight. I really, really like the newest volume of Moon Knight. I’ve already spoken about it once here, rave about it every month on Twitter, and just purchased my very first piece of original comics art from Declan Shalvey because of his work on the series. It’s one of my favorite things right now. So when a friend asked me why it was so good over social media, I decided it would be a much better idea to respond with a 1,000+ word column than type a quick response on Facebook. Read More

Moon Knight #4 Cover

I really like the newest volume of Moon Knight. I really, really like the newest volume of Moon Knight. I’ve already spoken about it once here, rave about it every month on Twitter, and just purchased my very first piece of original comics art from Declan Shalvey because of his work on the series. It’s one of […]

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Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Comics Magazine

Comics | Jack Kirby | Marvel Comics 1

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Bleeding Cool posted a news story today that Marvel Comics may be putting their Fantastic Four line on hiatus.

My initial reaction was disbelief. Fantastic Four #1 was the comic that started the Marvel universe and the series still proclaims itself to be “The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine” right on its cover. It is not just the cornerstone of Marvel Comic’s superhero properties, but also of comic’s history. However, the decision begins to seem plausible when corporate interests are considered. Disney owns Marvel and cannot legally use the property in film, the most lucrative aspect of the superhero properties. They stand to profit a great deal more by focusing on properties like the Inhumans and Guardians of the Galaxy. And unlike Spider-Man or the X-Men, the Fantastic Four is not integral to Marvel Comic’s current publishing success. Only two monthly comics are directly related to the brand, and neither is printed in a significantly high quantity.

This isn’t a reaction of fear or anger about the scoop though. An anonymous source and circumstantial evidence hardly confirm a news story. However, the possibility of Fantastic Four being removed from comic shelves provides good cause to reflect on why fans are bound to react to this story. Read More

Bleeding Cool posted a news story today that Marvel Comics may be putting their Fantastic Four line on hiatus. My initial reaction was disbelief. Fantastic Four #1 was the comic that started the Marvel universe and the series still proclaims itself to be “The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine” right on its cover. It is not just the cornerstone […]

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Sex Criminals: It’s a Hard Life

Comics | Image Comics 0

SC - Title

What’s the best way to explain Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals? It’s a comic with a strange premise, complex characters, and many as-of-yet unexplained mysteries. So instead of walking through all of that, here’s a music video from Queen.

Don’t skip the video. I’ll still be here in a few minutes. Read More

SC - Title

What’s the best way to explain Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals? It’s a comic with a strange premise, complex characters, and many as-of-yet unexplained mysteries. So instead of walking through all of that, here’s a music video from Queen. Don’t skip the video. I’ll still be here in a few minutes.

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Rat Queens: Takin’ Care of Business

Comics | Image Comics 0

RQ 1

I’ve been a fan of Rat Queens since I saw the Fiona Staples cover to the first issue. After reading it, my gut reaction was confirmed. Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch have created a comic filled with humor, action, great dialogue, and the pleasant mangling of fantasy tropes. As someone who has hosted the same ongoing Pathfinder campaign for about three years, it struck all of the right notes for me. The part of the comic that I find most interesting though is its cast. The four characters who form the titular team are all women. Read More

RQ 1

I’ve been a fan of Rat Queens since I saw the Fiona Staples cover to the first issue. After reading it, my gut reaction was confirmed. Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch have created a comic filled with humor, action, great dialogue, and the pleasant mangling of fantasy tropes. As someone who has hosted the […]

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10 Great Superhero Cosplays for Young Women

Comics | Cosplay 1

Cosplay - Featured Image

I sit on the volunteer board for a charity race held in Omaha called the 5K Superhero Run for CASA. It is a superhero themed run that supports child advocacy efforts in the Omaha area. Although the race is still growing, it is a lot of fun for both adults and children, giving them an opportunity to dress up and support a great cause. A close friend and I are the designated comic fans of the organizers and this week we were asked what young girls could dress up as for the event. I was surprised at how much the question saddened me. Read More

Cosplay - Featured Image

I sit on the volunteer board for a charity race held in Omaha called the 5K Superhero Run for CASA. It is a superhero themed run that supports child advocacy efforts in the Omaha area. Although the race is still growing, it is a lot of fun for both adults and children, giving them an […]

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The Price of Comixology

Comics 0

Amazon-Comixology

On Saturday, April 26th I felt a great disturbance in the comics Force, as if thousands of voices suddenly cried out in terror and ran to internet message boards. Comixology announced that they would no longer be supporting in-app purchases in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. They updated the Comixology app to remove in-store purchases from all non-Android devices and released a new Comics app to replace it. The original app is still being supported for now, so fans can continue to access their library and download already purchased comics. Comixology released a brief message explaining this transition to their customers. Read More

On Saturday, April 26th I felt a great disturbance in the comics Force, as if thousands of voices suddenly cried out in terror and ran to internet message boards. Comixology announced that they would no longer be supporting in-app purchases in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. They updated the Comixology app […]

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Archer Coe and the 99 Cent Comics

Comics 0

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Last week I wrote a lot about the increasing price of comics. Fans of the medium must be more selective than ever when they enter a comic store. Unless your reading habits avoid Marvel and DC Comics entirely, than it’s likely you are encountering lots of comics you want to read that cost $3.99, $4.99, or even more. The increasing price of many digital comics is no reason to limit reading habits though. Comixology and small comic publishers like Monkeybrain and Oni Press are continuing to explore alternatives in both pricing and genre. Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks is an excellent example of both and is currently being released for a paltry 99 cents. Read More

Last week I wrote a lot about the increasing price of comics. Fans of the medium must be more selective than ever when they enter a comic store. Unless your reading habits avoid Marvel and DC Comics entirely, than it’s likely you are encountering lots of comics you want to read that cost $3.99, $4.99, or […]

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The Price of Comics

Comics | Marvel Comics 2
Art by Javier Pulido

Art by Javier Pulido

Preface

This column discusses the business of comics. It’s a topic that is raised regularly by fans, but is often based on poor assumptions and bad data. For that reason it’s important to establish what is actually known and my professional background before attempting to address the topic. Read More

Drawn by Stuart Immonen

Preface This column discusses the business of comics. It’s a topic that is raised regularly by fans, but is often based on poor assumptions and bad data. For that reason it’s important to establish what is actually known and my professional background before attempting to address the topic.

Read More

Legend Comics & Coffee 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraiser

Comics 0

Legend Comics Crew

Comic book fans are some of the best people in the world. There’s proof at Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, NE right now.

They are currently hosting the Legend Comics & Coffee 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraiser. It is a month long drawing for a variety of prizes ending on Free Comic Book Day. Every year the store donates a significant comic along with various other prizes and donations from local businesses to be drawn for at $5 per ticket. All proceeds go directly to Make-A-Wish, while prizes, Paypal fees, manhours, and other costs are all paid for by the store. The homepage of the fundraiser can be found here. Read More

Legend Comics Crew

Comic book fans are some of the best people in the world. There’s proof at Legend Comics & Coffee in Omaha, NE right now. They are currently hosting the Legend Comics & Coffee 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish Fundraiser. It is a month long drawing for a variety of prizes ending on Free Comic Book Day. Every year […]

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Getting Schooled

Comics 0

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About a month ago I published an article about the need for comics specific education and programs. I wrote that no current area of study fully encompassed the medium and what it is capable of. It is not the first time I have written on that subject and it will certainly not be the last. Only a week later the subject was raised in conversation with a friend of mine whom I respect a great deal. Upon hearing that I wanted to develop collegiate programs to study comics, he asked me what the benefit of those classes would be. Why should schools pay to fund those courses? Instead of providing an earnest answer, I responded flippantly, “They pay for film studies, so why not?”

The moment I said it, I regretted it. That answer isn’t good enough. Not even close. So I’m going to take a mulligan on this one. I’m going to answer the question the way it deserves to be answered. Read More

About a month ago I published an article about the need for comics specific education and programs. I wrote that no current area of study fully encompassed the medium and what it is capable of. It is not the first time I have written on that subject and it will certainly not be the last. […]

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Dennis Hopeless on Avengers Underground

Comics | Interview 0

Dennis Hopeless

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Dennis Hopeless on Saturday. Hopeless’ new series, drawn by Kev Walker, Avengers Undercover debuted on March 12th. It’s the sequel to their previous collaboration Avengers Arena, picking up directly where its predecessor left off.

We spoke primarily about the transition between the two series and Hopeless process in constructing a book in the mainstream Marvel universe, as well as the themes that emerged from the conclusion of Avengers Arena and his collaboration with Kev Walker. Read More

Dennis Hopeless

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Dennis Hopeless on Saturday. Hopeless’ new series, drawn by Kev Walker, Avengers Undercover debuted on March 12th. It’s the sequel to their previous collaboration Avengers Arena, picking up directly where its predecessor left off. We spoke primarily about the transition […]

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The Shockingly Different Superhero Movie You Need to See

DC | Films 0

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You only need to open your eyes to see that animation and live-action are entirely different. One of the most difficult things about making a movie is properly framing a shot, doing it in a way that exudes competency but also creativity. Animating all your shots is a good way to remove the physical hurdles from that process. The creative ones are still there, but you can always, ahem, go back to the drawing board if it doesn’t look how you want it to.

So with that in mind, hear me out when I say that the most courageously awesome superhero-movie maker working today is not Joss Whedon or Chris Nolan or–for the love of God–Zack Snyder. It’s a California storyboard artist and animation director named Lauren Montgomery.

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You only need to open your eyes to see that animation and live-action are entirely different. One of the most difficult things about making a movie is properly framing a shot, doing it in a way that exudes competency but also creativity. Animating all your shots is a good way to remove the physical hurdles […]

Read More

James Robinson on The Saviors

Comics | Image Comics | Interview 1

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 12.44.18 PM

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with James Robinson after a panel on Saturday. Robinson currently writes both All-New Invaders and Fantastic Four at Marvel Comics. He also launched a creator owned series with J. Bone called The Saviors at Image Comics last December.

We spoke about his and J. Bone’s work on The Saviors for about fifteen minutes, discussing its origin, tone, connections of current affairs, and his collaboration with J. Bone. Read More

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with James Robinson after a panel on Saturday. Robinson currently writes both All-New Invaders and Fantastic Four at Marvel Comics. He also launched a creator owned series with J. Bone called The Saviors at Image Comics last December. We spoke about his […]

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Greg Rucka on: Kickstarter, Lazarus, Veil, and a Whole Lot More

Comics | Image Comics | Interview 4

Greg Rucka

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Greg Rucka before the show opened on Saturday. Rucka currently writes Lazarus (Image Comics), Veil (Dark Horse), and Lady Sabre. He is also the upcoming writer of Cyclops (Marvel) and is returning to Stumptown (Oni Press) in the fall.

We spoke about a wide variety of topics over the course of forty-five minutes including: Kickstarter, working at Image, world building, True Detective, and sex in American culture.

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Greg Rucka

Last weekend at Planet Comicon in Kansas City, I had the opportunity to speak with Greg Rucka before the show opened on Saturday. Rucka currently writes Lazarus (Image Comics), Veil (Dark Horse), and Lady Sabre. He is also the upcoming writer of Cyclops (Marvel) and is returning to Stumptown (Oni Press) in the fall. We […]

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Planet Comicon 2014

Comics | Convention | Jack Kirby 3

Planet Comicon Logo

Kansas City’s premiere comics convention Planet Comicon concluded its first three-day show on Sunday. For many the primary attractions were the media guests with all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast assembled in one place minus Patrick Stewart. Yet the collection of comics talent was incredible. Lines were few and far between, allowing attendees to discuss comics with some of their favorite creators or to commission a sketch.

Conventions like Planet Comicon have very little in the way of official announcements or reveals, which are typically saved for San Diego or New York. The best part of small and medium sized shows is the interaction between professional creators and the fans who love their work. The diversity of those fans was immense. Children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly all came to re-experience classic stories and discover new ones. Read More

Kansas City’s premiere comics convention Planet Comicon concluded its first three-day show on Sunday. For many the primary attractions were the media guests with all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast assembled in one place minus Patrick Stewart. Yet the collection of comics talent was incredible. Lines were few and far between, allowing attendees to discuss […]

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Coloring Comics with Jordie Bellaire

Comics 2

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 4.58.43 PM

Moon Knight #1 was released to much critical acclaim a little more than a week ago. It topped Reddit’s comic book pull list and received lofty reviews from most websites and blogs. Like many of the comics developed under Marvel editor Steve Wacker, it is a comic with a very distinctive personality and style. This is due to its immensely talented creative team. Warren Ellis, the writer, has been a comics’ darling for decades, creating seminal works like Planetary, Transmetropolitan, and Nextwave. Declan Shalvey, the artist, is a rising star. He comes from the British comics scene and has gained increasing prominence in Marvel titles like Deadpool. Both Ellis and Shalvey are immensely talented comics creators, but they aren’t the only contributors to the success of Moon Knight #1. One very important name has been largely left out of the conversation: Jordie Bellaire. Read More

Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 5.02.54 PM

Moon Knight #1 was released to much critical acclaim a little more than a week ago. It topped Reddit’s comic book pull list and received lofty reviews from most websites and blogs. Like many of the comics developed under Marvel editor Steve Wacker, it is a comic with a very distinctive personality and style. This […]

Read More

The Real Thing

Comics | Image Comics 0

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 8.07.06 PM

Eric Stephenson delivered a speech at the ComicsPRO annual meeting that has received a lot of attention. He emphasized throughout the speech that direct market growth would stem from good comics. This is an opinion that should please a lot of comics readers and is backed up by Image’s incredible growth over the last few years. Some of his points were less popular, however.

Stephenson made a point of calling out trends he perceived as being bad for the industry. Some of these are ideas that have been lambasted for years. Crossovers, weekly comics, increased prices, and event-style books were all mentioned. These issues focus on the largest publishers of comics, Marvel and DC Comics, whose reliance on the superhero genre has not seen any real market growth in decades. Stephenson raised a more controversial point that took aim of more diverse publishers like IDW and Dark Horse. Read More

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 8.07.06 PM

Eric Stephenson delivered a speech at the ComicsPRO annual meeting that has received a lot of attention. He emphasized throughout the speech that direct market growth would stem from good comics. This is an opinion that should please a lot of comics readers and is backed up by Image’s incredible growth over the last few […]

Read More

What Makes the Medium?

Comics 2
p5rn7vb

A Contract with God

Comics are becoming more widely accepted as a form of entertainment both critically and as a form of popular entertainment every year. It has been an ongoing trend since 1986, when Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and the first collected volume of Maus were all published. Yet the trend has increased in recent years and has managed to put much of the taint of the 90’s behind it. Yet as comics become more widely accepted, their place in popular culture, specifically in the arts, is undetermined. Many universities teach comics in their English departments, either as part of a wider study (Maus feature in Jewish literature courses as prominently as Elie Wiesel’s Night) or in their own special courses. Yet they are taught in a variety of other academic studies, such as media studies and design. Ivan Brunetti even teaches a specialized course in cartooning at Columbia in Chicago. So where do comics actually belong in the academic landscape? Are they a hodge-podge of other fields or a uniquely part of an existing one? Read More

p5rn7vb Comics are becoming more widely accepted as a form of entertainment both critically and as a form of popular entertainment every year. It has been an ongoing trend since 1986, when Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and the first collected volume of Maus were all published. Yet the trend has increased in recent years […]

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The Most Dangerous Game

Films 0

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What’s amazing about Zodiac, David Fincher’s 2007 mystery about the infamous killer who haunted the San Francisco Bay Area, is that its narrative structure tries, and often succeeds, to mimic what the detectives, reporters and intrigued civilians have experienced in their search for definitive answers regarding the Zodiac’s identity.

To proceed, it’s necessary to recognize two facts: the first is that, in the months following the Zodiac’s murders, there was every reason to believe he would be caught. He had sent numerous letters to the San Francisco Chronicle, the SFPD and others. At least one of his murders had witnesses. Two of his victims even survived, and one of them may have seen his face, if only for a moment.

The second is this: the Zodiac was never caught, there is no conclusive evidence as to who might have been responsible for the murders, and now, over four decades later, the chances of anything conclusive coming out are almost incalculably slim. Read More

What’s amazing about Zodiac, David Fincher’s 2007 mystery about the infamous killer who haunted the San Francisco Bay Area, is that its narrative structure tries, and often succeeds, to mimic what the detectives, reporters and intrigued civilians have experienced in their search for definitive answers regarding the Zodiac’s identity. To proceed, it’s necessary to recognize […]

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Reading Art

All Star Superman | Comics 6

There has been an ongoing conversation amongst some prominent comics creators and critics about the diminishing role of artists in the comics industry. Sean Murphy, one of the most distinctive and popular artists in modern comics, wrote a piece about how artists can establish themselves and manage their expectations. David Harper of Multiversity wrote a great article encouraging readers to pay as much attention to the artists that craft their favorite comics as the writers.

I initially wanted to throw in my two cents, but I would essentially just be agreeing with David Harper and he already wrote an article better than what I could have hoped to produce. Of course art is just as valuable as writing in comics. It’s a visual medium that conveys a story through a series of static pictures. You can have a comic without words, but not without art. It just seems so obvious to me, but that doesn’t mean it should be obvious to everyone else.

I don’t want to rant about the importance of art for one or two thousand words. I don’t think anyone wants to read that. An appreciation of art is absolutely intrinsic to appreciating comics, but you can’t create love and appreciation for art by shouting about it. You can help others love and appreciate art by sharing it.

This is my attempt to lead by example. Read More

AllStarSupermanNoText

There has been an ongoing conversation amongst some prominent comics creators and critics about the diminishing role of artists in the comics industry. Sean Murphy, one of the most distinctive and popular artists in modern comics, wrote a piece about how artists can establish themselves and manage their expectations. David Harper of Multiversity wrote a great […]

Read More
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