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Boys, Toys, Electric Irons, and TVs 14: Futures End #15

So, what’s the deal with Superman? We’re rushing towards the big reveal of why Superman wears a mask now and why his personality seems to have changed, and it’s apparently none of the reasons people previously thought. His conversation with Lois here is one of the longer ones he’s had in the series – and one of the most revealing.

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Things That Turned Out Bad – The Racially Segregated Superhero of the Future!

In this column, I will spotlight plotlines by writers that probably weren’t a good idea at the time and have only become more problematic in retrospect. I’ll try to stick with stuff that’s more ill-conceived than flat-out offensive (like racist stereotypes of characters during the 1940s).

Today we look at the introduction of the first black member of the Legion of Super-Heroes…
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Saturday, to My Immediate Right

It was kind of a rough week here in our household– nothing terrible, just stupid work stuff and car trouble and a concurrent inability to shake any money out of the seven different establishments that owe us some. And then there’s all the news, about equal parts beloved celebrities dying and political things that give a fellow the “warm sweet urge to hit congresscritters repeatedly in the face,” as one friend of mine Tweeted. So this week I figured on something short and cheerful, and then it occurred to me that maybe some of you would like to play along at home. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 228: Norm Breyfogle, Part 2 – Whisper #10

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Norm Breyfogle, and the issue is Whisper #10, which was published by First Comics and is cover dated December 1987. Enjoy!
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Comic Book Easter Eggs – These ARE the Easter Eggs You’re Looking For! More Star Wars Easter Eggs!

In this feature, I share with you three comic book “easter eggs.” An easter egg is a joke/visual gag/in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg). They range from the not-so-obscure to the really obscure. So come check ‘em all out and enjoy! Also, click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured so far! If you want to suggest an easter egg for a future column, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).

Today we take a look at some more Star Wars easter eggs!
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Year of the Artist, Day 227: Norm Breyfogle, Part 1 – New Talent Showcase #11 and Marvel Fanfare #29

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Norm Breyfogle, and the stories are “Pacer” in New Talent Showcase #11 and “Story” in Marvel Fanfare #29, the first of which was published by DC and is cover dated November 1984 and the second of which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1986. Enjoy!
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #484

Welcome to the four hundred and eighty-fourth 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 eighty-three. It’s an all-Batman legends edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed this week! First off, was the first Batman comic book story seriously taken from a Shadow story? Did Bob Kane actually draw Batman’s confrontation with Joe Chill? And did the producers of Batman Forever fire Robin Williams from the film?

Let’s begin!

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The Line it is Drawn #202 – Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Mash-Ups!

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 the great Robin Williams, team-up or mash-up comic book characters with Robin Williams characters from film or television

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

The Guardians of the Galaxy have dominated the box office, but they’re not stopping there! They want to take over ALL movies! So mash-up the Guardians of the Galaxy (single members of the team or the team as a whole) with other famous movies! The Groot, the Bad and the Ugly, stuff like that.

Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 226: Tony Harris, Part 5 – Chin Music #1

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Tony Harris, and the issue is Chin Music #1, which was published by Image and is cover dated May 2013. Enjoy!
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1987 And All That: Fallen Angels #1-8

FallenAngels1Fallen Angels #1-8 (Marvel) by Jo Duffy, Kerry Gammill (#1-2, 4, 7), Marie Severin (#3), Joe Staton (#5-6, 8), Tom Palmer (#1-3, 7), Val Mayerik (#4-6), Tony DeZuniga (#8), Petra Scotese, Jim Novak (#1-2), Bill Oakley (#3, 5-8), L.P. Gregory (#4), and Ann Nocenti

As a story about a group of misfit superpowered kids, it’s appropriate that Fallen Angels would be something of a misfit superhero series, too. It’s not at all a bad comic, but it doesn’t look, feel, or move like your typical cape-and-cowl adventure. Its cast is cobbled together from characters old and new, popular (at the time, at least) and obscure, and the characters are constantly butting heads with one another. This internal conflict leaves little room for external enemies, so there aren’t really any villains for the stars to face until the last couple issues. There also aren’t a lot of codenames or costumes used; even Sunspot, the protagonist and narrator, is referred to by his real name, Roberto “Bobby” da Costa, more often than not. It’s a non-traditional team with mixed morals and motives, not fighting for good or evil but merely sticking together for the sake of survival and some semblance of friendship/family. Fallen Angels is a coming-of-age story for the entire titular team, and it is more interested in studying human behavior than the high-powered violence of the average superhero tale. In this story, being a teenager comes first, and having powers comes second, an interesting and unusual prioritization that makes for an entertaining if not astonishing read. Continue Reading »

Cover Theme Game for 8/13

The cover theme game works like this: I’ll show you three covers. They all have something in common, whether it be a character, a trait all three characters share, a connection between all three characters, a locale, a trait all three creators share, SOMEthing. And it isn’t something obvious like “They all have prices!” “They all have logos!” “They all feature a man!” “They are all Avengers (who ISN’T?)!” “They’re all dead (who HASN’T been killed off?)!” “They’ve all been cloned (who HASN’T been cloned?)!” “They’re all mutants!” (who ISN’T a mutant?) “They’re all orphans!” (who ISN’T an orphan?) “They’re all legacy heroes” (who ISN’T a legacy hero nowadays?)! “They’re all by the same artist!” (too obvious) etc.

In addition, please note that you must have some familiarity with comic book history to correctly guess these themes. You cannot guess the connective theme just by looking at the covers solely, you must have some knowledge beyond the covers. The connections will ONLY have to do with connections in the actual comic books (so no incidental connections like “they share the same last names of Vice Presidents,” etc. Now, if the three characters were each named Gerald Ford, that’d be another story, as that’d no longer be incidental).

If you come up with an answer that works outside of what I intended, I’ll give you credit (well, provided I think it fits, of course).

One more thing – if there are floating heads on the cover, ignore them! They don’t mean anything! Same thing with corner boxes!

If you think you know the answer, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Don’t answer in the comments. This way, people who check in at different times of the day can still get credit for answering it correctly!

Here is an archive of all the past cover theme games, plus their answers. Before each new installment, I’ll post the answers to the previous week’s game.

Good luck and enjoy! Continue Reading »

Comic Book Dictionary – Retcon

Comic Book Dictionary is an occasional feature where I either introduce a term or explain how I use a term that is not always consistently applied.

Today we look at “retcon.”
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Year of the Artist, Day 225: Tony Harris, Part 4 – Ex Machina #10

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Tony Harris, and the issue is Ex Machina #10, which was published by DC/Wildstorm and is cover dated June 2005. Enjoy!
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Remember to Forget – Falcon’s Past as a Street Hustler

This is the first in a new series spotlighting never retconned comic book plot points that I think SHOULD be retconned, or at least completely forgotten.

We begin with the Falcon’s past as a street hustler.
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Committed: A Job in the Arts (or “Comics are actually really easy if you’re willing to work your balls off.”)

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Left: My cover art & designs for “Sex” volumes 1 & 2. Right: My cover design for “Gødland” volume 6 with art by Tom Scioli.

It has only recently become obvious to me that designing for comic books has absolutely changed my life in a number of unexpected ways. While I always hoped the work would be enjoyable, I didn’t expect to find out so much about my own taste and style. I’d always thought of myself as a cautious, rule-driven designer, somewhat trapped by my visually obsessive tendencies, in fact I once met a famous graphic designer who admired tremendously, but when I showed him my sketchbook he couldn’t stop laughing. “Everything you do is in a grid, even your rough sketches. You’ve got to loosen up!” he exclaimed. It wasn’t intentional, I just couldn’t bring myself to break the grid back then…

Life is a tricky thing, it is so easy to fall into a certain way of living that we hardly need to make any choices to do so. Even the tiniest action can result in a huge life shift. In tidying up my email recently, I discovered a hidden inbox of messages from a comic book company who had offered me a job 8 years ago. I’d completely forgotten about it, but at the time I nearly took a job doing production design (i.e. I would have been designing titles, ad copy, and sound effect too). At the time I was offered a job earning twice as much in a sports and commerce advertising agency, and I elected to take that one. My logic was that graphic design was graphic design, and it didn’t really matter where I was designing, so I might as well take the job which would make me more money. Now here I am, 8 years later, happily taking on comic book graphic design work because it is infinitely more fun for me. I’ve learned a lot in the intervening years, and for all I know, the job in the comic book company might not have been much fun… Back then I didn’t know what it would be like and how it would impact my own feelings about the world. But 8 years later I can say that for me, personally, I am a much better designer in this field than I was able to be in ad agencies, and when I do create advertising designs for my clients, I am far more excited and driven, because it isn’t what I do all day, ever day. The variety of working with comic book designs has revitalized and renewed my love of design. Continue Reading »

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