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2014 Top 50 Comic Book Artists #15-11

Here are the next five artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,040 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).
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1987 And All That: Aristocratic Xtraterrestrial Time-Traveling Thieves #1-6

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born. Click here for an archive of all the previous posts in the series.

XThieves1Aristocratic Xtraterrestrial Time-Traveling Thieves #1-6 (Comics Interview) by Henry Vogel, Mark Propst, T.R. Davidson (#1-2), Jim Massara (#3-6), Dwight Jon Zimmerman, David Anthony Kraft

I’ve made seven or eight attempts at writing an opening sentence for this review, and none of them have quite clicked for me, so now I’m doing this. The trouble is that it’s hard to know where to start with Aristocratic Xtraterrestrial Time-Traveling Thieves. Every issue is a full, self-contained story, and each of those stories has its own themes and narrative focus, so on the one hand the series is a little all over the place. On the other hand, it always maintains a very particular comedic tone, even if it uses that tone to tell a wide variety of tales. The main characters, Fred (full name Pansafredicopacog) and Bianca, have a natural, fun relationship with one another, and their shared spirit of adventure and self-interest is at the heart of every story. They’re up for anything, and always aiming to come out on top, which allows writer Henry Vogel and artist Mark Propst to throw their protagonists into all kinds of crazy situations with equally entertaining results. The comic can sometimes be brazenly meta; Bianca and Fred are aware of their existence as comicbook characters, occasionally talking directly to Vogel and Propst and even, in one instance, escaping the book itself. At other times, it’s a much more direct, simple, even familiar series about a pair of lovable criminals getting into and out of trouble with the law, pulling off heists, and other such low-stakes antics. No matter what is going on plot-wise, AXTTT is never just one thing, because its stars and creators are too energetically playful to let the book sit still or even settle into any single idea for very long. Yet it manages never to stray too far from the central concept of any given issue, consistently telling complete, clear stories even as it refuses to entirely define itself. Continue Reading »

2014 Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar

As with any traditional Advent Calendar, each day reveals a treat. Just click on the current day and you’ll be linked to a neat comic-related Christmas treat. This year, we’re spotlighting Silver Age Christmas, Christmas tales from the Silver Age of Comics (1956-1970)!

Nick Perks did a brand-new drawing for this year’s Advent Calendar! Thanks, Nick!

Year of the Artist, Day 351: Frank Miller, Part 4 – Dark Horse Presents #114 and 300 #5

300-10 (2)

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Frank Miller, and the issues are Dark Horse Presents #114 and 300 #5, both of which were published by Dark Horse and are cover dated October 1996 and September 1998, respectively. Enjoy!
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Committed: In Praise of Newbies

121714_readingWithout even meaning to, I’ve noticed a pattern lately of enjoying my friend’s “late” adoption of comic books, science fiction, and other so-called geeky things I thought were just mine. It’s surprisingly rewarding to vicariously experience the things I love through people who are new to them. New readers’ excitement about the books I have forgotten how to be surprised by, has become a wonderful way to stop taking them for granted. There are so many amazing things to enjoy that I can get jaded and forget how incredible they seemed when they were new to me. That’s why I love newcomers and even though I understand the instinct that makes some feel wary of them, it only takes letting them in a very tiny bit to feel how much their enthusiasm brings to the genre we love. Continue Reading »

2014 Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar

As with any traditional Advent Calendar, each day reveals a treat. Just click on the current day and you’ll be linked to a neat comic-related Christmas treat. This year, we’re spotlighting Silver Age Christmas, Christmas tales from the Silver Age of Comics (1956-1970)!

Nick Perks did a brand-new drawing for this year’s Advent Calendar! Thanks, Nick!

2014 Top 50 Comic Book Writers #20-16

Here are the next five writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,040 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).
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Year of the Artist, Day 350: Frank Miller, Part 3 – Elektra Lives Again

EPSON MFP image

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Frank Miller, and the issue is Elektra Lives Again, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated March 1990. Enjoy!
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2014 Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar

As with any traditional Advent Calendar, each day reveals a treat. Just click on the current day and you’ll be linked to a neat comic-related Christmas treat. This year, we’re spotlighting Silver Age Christmas, Christmas tales from the Silver Age of Comics (1956-1970)!

Nick Perks did a brand-new drawing for this year’s Advent Calendar! Thanks, Nick!

Comic Book Six Degrees: Yeager to Fafhrd

I name two comic book characters. You then have to connect the two using only shared appearances in comic books (official appearances in comics only – no cameos like Terry Austin sneaking Popeye into the background of a panel and no outside comic book appearances, like cartoons and the like). You have to do so using less than six comics total. Covers and pin-ups do not count – only actual appearances in the same comic book story (so it doesn’t count if they each appeared in separate stories inside the same anthology). Mythological characters, public domain characters (other than public domain comic book characters, they’re free game) and real people (by the way, unless a fake name is used for a real person, like Ronald Raygun or whatever, you can use the person even if they are not officially named in the comic) are unique to their own comic book appearances (so DC’s Thor is different than Marvel’s Thor, DC’s Ronald Reagan is different from Marvel’s Ronald Reagan, etc.). But a licensed character is the same in all of their various comic book companies (so the Marvel Red Sonja is the same as the Dynamite Red Sonja) and approved appearances by a real person can go across comic book companies, as well (so, for instance, you can use Marv Wolfman from his Teen Titans appearance to connect with Marv Wolfman in his Fantastic Four appearance – you just can’t use modern appearances by Jack Kirby from one company to connect to Jack Kirby appearances from Marvel Comics, since obviously Kirby can no longer give approval for his appearance). Approval tends to be the key.

Every installment, whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next match (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly among the people who sent in challenges for the next match – except this time, as I told Loki he could automatically win the next tie). Last time was Sonic to Siryn. Loki was one of three people to get it in three moves. Here is how Loki connected the two…

NOTE: Before I begin, let me again request that when you folks send in your answers to please include your suggestion for the next match if your answer is chosen. Oh, and it would be nice if you demonstrate that it IS possible to connect your two suggested choices. Thanks!

*Siryn in Youngblood & X-Force #1 with Badrock*
*Badrock (Bedrock) met Savage Dragon in Savage Dragon #3*
*Dragon met Sonic in Sonic Super Special #7***

Loki’s challenge is…

Yeager to Fafhrd

E-mail me your answers at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Do NOT post your answers in the comments section!

Whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of comics gets to pick the connection for next time around (I’ll pick a random winner in the event of a tie)!

Remember, only authorized appearances in comic books count (for instance, all the Marvel characters in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck do not count)!

The Line it is Drawn – 2014 Artist Try Outs: Week One!

Welcome, folks! We have quite an array of artistic talent for you this week and next! Today, we’ll show entries by the artists who want to draw for the Line. Then next week we’ll show one more entry from each artist. Then you’ll vote next week for your favorites and I’ll add two artists based on your votes and then I’ll add three more based on my own judgment (and probably a secret panel of people helping me out).

There’s so many entries that I’m splitting them into groups of ten, each group is on its own individual page. I’m posting them in the order that I received them. These will be the groups for Week 2, as well, for ease of remembering each artist. By the way, this week is all cover homage, but I think you can figure out what cover is being homaged, so I’m not going to detail each one.

As an aside, man, this is going to be rough picking out only a handful. Soooo many good artists.

NOTE: For the try-out artists themselves, I’ve placed the choices for next week on the very last page. So if you’re one of the try-out artists, feel free to go right to Page 9. And for everyone else, feel free to skip Page 9, as there is no art on that page.

Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 349: Frank Miller, Part 2 – Ronin #5

EPSON MFP image

Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Frank Miller, and the issue is Ronin #5, which was published by DC and is cover dated May 1984. These scans are from Absolute Ronin, which was published in 2008. Enjoy!
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She Has No Head! – 25 Favorite Fictional Females, 2014

It’s that time of year again, the time for a million lists, including my 25 Favorite Fictional Females in comics list. Like all years, this was tough. Like all years, I’m never quite convinced I’ve got the list right, but for better or worse, here we are!

Fair warning, if someone was repeated from a previous year, I often cribbed some of the text from my previous post with some light updates to reflect changes. Here are last year’s list and the first list in 2010 (as well as a 10 ladies making a run for the title list) in case you’d like to read about even more female characters in comics. It was a really exciting year and with a promising 2015 ahead of us I’m very excited about where we are when it comes to our progress with female characters – as always things are a bit two forward and one back, but we’re making progress! I’d like this list a bit better if there were more indie ladies on it (there are so many that are worthy) but Marvel’s push with female characters this past year did a good job of gobbling up a good number of spots.

Like last year, what I found most interesting is how some characters managed to triumph over lack of material or worse, bad material. Wonder Woman, despite the fact that I can’t read her book, hasn’t fallen much– maybe she’s just got so much iconic power that others are helpless to overcome the big shadow she casts? I spent a lot of time when trying to organize my list this year thinking about the characters that I’d most like to see creators work with in new series – that was how I ended up defining where they fell – how interested I found myself in seeing them in new stories. Still, you can’t underestimate the power of reading both old and new – Black Widow makes the list this year (finally) thanks to some damn fine work by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto, while Big Barda shoots up the list because I took some time out this year to read/re-read all her classic Kirby stories…and how can one deny her utter dominance after doing that??

25-Favorite-Females 2014 Continue Reading »

2014 Top 50 Comic Book Artists #20-16

Here are the next five artists that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,040 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).
Continue Reading »

The Great Comic Book Cover Homage Streak: Week 116

It occurs to me that it seems like many comic book covers are homages. Which is fine with me. I have no problem with it. It just made me think, though, how long could I go before I hit a week where NO new comic book was released that had a cover that was an homage to something? Let’s find out! Here is an archive of all the cover homages featured in the streak so far!

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