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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 »

The Great Comic Book Cover Homage Streak: Week 98

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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Review time! with Displaced Persons

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“In the wind we hear their laughter, in the rain we see their tears”
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Year of the Artist, Day 224: Tony Harris, Part 3 – Obergeist: Ragnarok Highway #2

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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 Obergeist: Ragnarok Highway #2, which was published by Image/Top Cow/Minotaur and is cover dated June 2001. Enjoy!
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Comic Book Six Degrees: Miracleman to Stardust the Super Wizard

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 week, whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next week’s match (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly among the people who sent in challenges for next week). Last time was Fin Fang Foom to Lord Fanny. buttler was one of a few people to get it in three moves. Here is how buttler 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 next week 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!

Lord Fanny was in The Invisibles #14 with Tezcatilpoca
Tezcatilpoca met Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman #316
Wonder Woman fought Fin Fang Foom in JLA/Avengers #1

buttler’s challenge is…

Miracleman to Stardust the Super Wizard

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)!

Year of the Artist, Day 223: Tony Harris, Part 2 – Starman #43

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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 Starman #43, which was published by DC and is cover dated June 1998. Enjoy!
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She Has No Head! – Sony Makes Their Move

Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy Mash Up

Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman (or something similarly Spider-y)

Just an hour before my column about the ladies of the Marvel Studio movies went up, a column that in part lamented our lack of announcements on female-led films, we got an announcement about a female-led superhero film being developed.

UTTER JOY!!!

But that announcement came not from Marvel Studios but Sony.

MUCH MORE RESTRAINED JOY. :(

It’s not rocket science. While Marvel Studios have been killing it with their films – and they seem to be getting better and better – The Avengers (2012), Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) are their three best films (except perhaps Iron Man (2008) which set us off on this incredible superhero resurgence in the first place) – Sony has been kind of the opposite of killing it.

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Year of the Artist, Day 222: Tony Harris, Part 1 – Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #7

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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 story is “Ashes to Ashes” in Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #7, which was published by DC and is cover dated Winter 1993 (it shipped in October). Enjoy!
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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Did Squirrel Girl Just Beat Up the REAL Thanos?

In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, we take another look at the idea of Thanos clones, with Thanos’ (rather short) battle with Squirrel Girl.
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Year of the Artist, Day 221: Bill Sienkiewicz, Part 5 – Rocketeer Adventures (volume 2) #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 Bill Sienkiewicz, and the story is “The Ducketeer” in Rocketeer Adventures (volume 2) #1, which was published by IDW and is cover dated March 2012. Enjoy!
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Saturday’s Reflex Reaction

My friend Mike Gillis at Radio Vs. The Martians dared me to write this one. So blame him. Continue Reading »

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – The Time a Guy Used the Powers of a Grumpy Orange Cat to Seduce a Beguiling Neighbor Lady

Every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment! Today’s story is presented to you by Jacque Nodell of Sequential Crush.

Hey y’all! Jacque here. If you are familiar with my blog, Sequential Crush, you know that I specialize in all things romance comics from the 1960s and ’70s — sometimes serious, sometimes a little bit on the kooky side. Today’s story is definitely one of the stranger romances. Join me as we take a look at how a plaid pants wearin’ guy used his grumpy orange cat to seduce his beguiling neighbor in “The Green-Eyed Monster” from Falling in Love #130 (March 1972). Credits for art here are a little murky, but I definitely see Tony DeZuniga (of Jonah Hex fame) in many panels. A colleague suggested John Calnan may have had a hand in this one as well. Anyway, on to the strangeness!
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Year of the Artist, Day 220: Bill Sienkiewicz, Part 4 – Big Numbers #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 Bill Sienkiewicz, and the issue is Big Numbers #1, which was published by Mad Love (Publishing) and is cover dated April 1990. Enjoy!
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