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Halloween in the Skull Cave

Just a short one, this time out. Between school stuff, Halloween stuff, and story deadline stuff, something had to give, and so you are only getting a half-size column this week. But this really awesome comic came out Wednesday that made me ridiculously happy, and I have a hunch some of you may not be aware of it because it’s not from one of the big publishers. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 304: Lucy Bellwood Super-Duper Deluxe Edition!

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Lucy Bellwood, whom I interviewed about most of her comics works and her process. Enjoy!
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #495

Welcome to the four hundred and ninety-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and ninety-four. This week, was Robin nearly in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth? Did Peanuts coin the term “security blanket?” And was Mockingbird nearly black?

Let’s begin!

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The Line it is Drawn #213 – Happy Halloween 2014 From the Line!

Welcome to our weekly gallery of amazing art by our great collection of artistic talent, all working from YOUR suggestions!

Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Bill Reed, Greg Burgas, Sonia Harris, Melissa K. and Ken H.

I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our blog sketch artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post them here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 3pm Pacific Friday).

The topic is…

In honor of Marvel’s announcements of Phase 3 of their Marvel Cinematic Universe, suggest Marvel movies that you don’t think we’ll ever see in Phase 4. Like U.S. 1…the movie! Feel free to make casting suggestions, as well, if you’d like.

Read on for the sketches that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

For our annual Halloween edition, place comic characters into famous horror stories, whether they be novels, short stories, movies or television shows

Enjoy!
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What should I buy on Wednesday November 5?

Next week, my pull list is looking pretty small: Futures End #27 and Miracleman #13. So, I figured I’d take the opportunity to try out two or three new titles and I want you, the readers of Comics Should be Good, to pick them. Starting now, until Tuesday November 4 at 8pm EST, you can leave a comment telling me up to three specific comics coming out on Wednesday November 5 that I should buy (sorry, no trades!). I’ll do my best to get the three comics that get the most votes. Obviously, since I will be going off the rack, the top three may not be available when I go to my shop (so maybe don’t vote for the more obscure stuff on the Diamond list). But, I’ll take a short list and go in order of preference. I will, then, write up some short reviews/thoughts on the new books and we’ll see if anything sticks. The list is below with a few caveats added by some of the titles…

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Savage Dragon #193 Review

dragon193Savage Dragon #193 was a significant departure for Erik Larsen’s long-running series, as after a year or so of sharing the book with his his father, Malcolm Dragon now takes over the title as the sole lead character. The original Dragon is still around, but he is powerless and busy with his own plotlines, so while he is still a cast member in the title, Malcolm is the clear star now. Malcolm’s first issue is a strong display in Larsen’s unique storytelling approach. He mixes in two distinct styles – his characters age in real time and he never shies away from the real life consequences of what a superhero would be like in real life. At the same time, though, Savage Dragon is not a cynical comic book. It manages to be realistic without being dour. Malcolm is the rare modern hero where his inspiration for doing good is not some grand tragedy in his youth but rather a simple desire to, you know, do good. It’s a refreshing stance to see in modern superhero comic books. Plus, of course, the book always looks great with Larsen’s pencils (the colors are currently by Nikos Koutsis.
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Year of the Artist, Day 303: Ted Naifeh, Part 5 – Courtney Crumrin #9 plus some added Batman bonus material!

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Ted Naifeh, and the issue is Courtney Crumrin #9, which was published by Oni and is cover dated January 2013. These scans are from Courtney Crumrin volume 6: The Final Spell, which was published in 2014. PLUS: There are some examples from Batman ’66, the digital version of which was published in October 2013 and the print version of which is cover dated February 2014. Enjoy!
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Rasputin #1 Review

rasputin1 I sometimes think that if you could just harness the kinetic energy that is present in Riley Rossmo’s artwork, we wouldn’t need to look any further for alternate fuel sources because he’d light up the entire country. There are few artists whose work possesses the amount of vivacity that is present in Rossmo’s work. This vibrancy is particularly appropriate in his newest comic, Rasputin, written by Rossmo’s old Proof collaborator, Alex Grecian (with colors by Ivan Plascencia), which tells the story of the seemingly unkillable Russian icon Grigori Rasputin. It is only fitting, then, in a book that is about a man cheating death, that he would be depicted by an artist whose work is brimming with verve and vigor. What I was really impressed with in this first issue was the way that Grecian has enough confidence in the work that, for the most part, after a dramatic opening sequence, he mostly steps out of the way in this first issue and allows Rossmo and Plascencia to go nuts on extended wordless sequences. It makes for a dramatic and unique first issue.
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We Know How You Feel, Mark…

So in today’s Groo vs. Conan #4, the letter column had the following (I did some crude photoshopping to get the end of the letter on to one page, as originally it carried over to the second page)…

grooconan4a

Congrats, Travis!

Deathlok #1 Review

deathlok1 Anyone remember Kiss Kiss Bang Bang? Not the great Robert Downey Jr. movie, but the old Crossgen comic book? It was sadly cut short by the collapse of Crossgen, but the five issues we got were really good. It was written by Tony Bedard with pencils by Mike Perkins. I was thinking of that while reading Deathlok, if only because it reminded me of just how awesome of an action artist Mike Perkins. That’s kind of a silly thought to have, honestly, since Perkins has done some great action comics in the years since (including a stint as the alternate artist with Steve Epting on Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run), so I don’t know why my mind went all the way back to 2004, but I guess you never know what kind of things will trigger a memory in your mind. Unless, of course, your mind is being manipulated by some secretive shadow agency to block out your memories and use you as a killing machine. Which just happens to be the exact plot of Marvel’s new series, Deathlok, by Nathan Edmondson, Mike Perkins and Andy Troy.
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A Town Called Dragon #1 Review

towndragon1The hook behind Judd Winick, Geoff Shaw and Jamie Grant’s new series from Legendary Comics (just as a quick aside – let me just express quickly how happy I was when Bob Schreck returned to comics as the Editor-in-Chief of Legendary COmics, that guy is great. Such an eye for talent) is a pretty simple one – what if dragons existed in our world? Would a small town be able to stand up to such a force? That simple idea makes for a great concept for a comic book, although I wonder if perhaps Winick’s desire to have an extra-sized first issue really ended up working against the story a little bit as the end result was roughly eighteen pages in the front of the comic that dragged on the overall narrative to a certain extent. When things get going, though, Winick, Shaw and Grant make a fine team in establishing the various personalities of this little town called Dragon (nestled just outside of Vail, Colorado) that will carry our story for the rest of this five-issue mini-series.
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Butterfly #1 Review

butterfly1Arash Amel is a successful movie screenwriter and that influence shows up clearly in his concept for the new series from Archaia/Boom!, Butterfly, which is scripted by Marguerite Bennett and drawn by Antonio Fuso and Adam Guzowski. When I mention the movie influence I mean the way that the book seems to be built around its high concept story idea. Butterfly has a great elevator pitch: A woman’s father dies at a young age and she grows up to become a successful spy in a deep cover program where you learn to trust no one. She seemingly gets burned by her agency and is forced to go on the run with only one person there to guide her – the father she believed died twenty years ago! Come on, you could easily imagine seeing that synopsis for a movie right now, right? That’s a fine hook. What interests me about Butterfly, though, is how Bennett goes beyond just that great concept and makes this a unique experience, particularly in the way that she uses a uniquely comic book storytelling device to great effect in the comic.
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Year of the Artist, Day 302: Ted Naifeh, Part 4 – The Gunwitch: Outskirts of Doom #3 and Polly and the Pirates #6

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Ted Naifeh, and the issues are The Gunwitch: Outskirts of Doom #3 and Polly and the Pirates #6, both of which were published by Oni, with the first cover dated August 2001 and the second cover dated June 2006. The first scans are from Nocturnals volume 2: The Dark Forever and Other Tales, which was published by Image in 2009, and the second scans are from the trade paperback, which Oni published in 2006. Enjoy! (Hey, it’s time to break out the Not Safe For Work warning again! Who’da thunk it?)
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Copperhead #2 Review

copperhead2 Just like its inspiration, Deadwood, I imagine that a key part of the appeal of Copperhead will be the slow but sure expansion of the cast of characters in this little alien mining town. This seems evident in the second issue of the series, as we meet the town doctor as well as learn more about the mysterious stranger who showed up at the end of last issue. What’s particularly striking about this second issue is that apparently while issue #1 was written via a detailed script by writer Jay Faerber, this second issue was written “Marvel” style, so that artist Scott Godlewski drew the series based on a more generalized plot by Faerber. What makes that striking is that there doesn’t really seem to be much of a difference between the first two issues as a reader, which shows to me that Faerber and Godlewski are really matching well as a collaborators (a good sign of this was already in the first issue, where apparently Godlweski added in the extra little detail of the Deputy mis-spelling Sheriff on his sign for the incoming sheriff, which I thought was an excellent demonstration of the difference between their two cultures – here was an obviously very smart guy who is still struggling with the language of the people who have conquered his own). Anyhow, let’s take a look at what this new writing arrangement entailed in the second issue of Copperhead…
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The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1 Review

drmirage1The original concept of Doctor Mirage was a rather novel one, as two paranormal investigators get caught up in a situation that ends up with one of them (Doctor Mirage) essentially dead, but still tethered to his living wife. So how do you go about continuing a marriage when one of half of the couple is now a ghost? That was a strong hook for the series, although the original The Second Life of Doctor Mirage series petered out a bit after a good beginning and then really fell apart once the original creators, Bob Layton and Bernard Chang, left the series about a year into it. The new Valiant take on Doctor Mirage is a similar idea, with a significant twist in both plot and how it is approached. Now the “Doctor Mirage” in The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage is the wife and rather than just being able to talk to her dead husband, she can talk to dead people…EXCEPT her dead husband. And while the original series took a sort of lighthearted look at the whole thing (with relationship issues being the driving force of the series) the new take is a good deal darker. Jen Van Meter, Roberto De La Torre and Dave Baron take on the character in a new mini-series from Valiant Comics that opens with an evocative and delightfully dark and moody first issue that gets to the heart of just who Shan Fong (Doctor Mirage) is and what kind of creepy adventures we can expect to see from her going forward.
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