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Image Comics Archives - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Committed: Making Comic Books

sex_ad_previewThis week I have no desire (or time) to write about comic books because I’m too busy making them. If you’re a regular reader then you probably already know that I work in graphic design and a few of my clients are comic books. With some of them I’m deep in it right now; compiling the trade paperback books, researching imagery, sketching people, and all manner of other time-consuming activities (I know it sounds weird, it’ll all make sense when they come out).

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Manga in Minutes: Top 10 Comics of 2013

As you know by now, CBR has posted its list of Top 100 Comics of 2013. As one of the site contributors I took part in it, but naturally not everything I selected for my personal Top 10 made the list. With that in mind I thought I’d try something a little different to kick off the new year and post my personal Top 10 Comics of 2013 as my first column of 2014!

A little information regarding the criteria for this list. The comics/manga has to have come out in 2013 or, in the case of mini-series, the final issue had to have been published in 2013. Also, any foreign material that first saw print in the US during 2013 is eligible.

With that out of the way, here are my Top 10 picks, a runner up, and my thoughts and comments.
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She Has No Head! – Ten Things

I’ll be doing a post later this month about 10 specific “NEW” books to buy in 2014 where I talk in detail about some new series coming out that I’m excited to read in 2014 (and you should be too). However, I thought I’d do a list of more generally “comics related” things I’m excited about as well since there are a good number of them this year.

There’s a lot of Marvel on this list, guys. But what I can I say? I like the cut of their jib these days aka they’re dominating like a BOSS.

Lady=tastic Marvel

From Left: She-Hulk, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Elektra, and Ms. Marvel

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 063

Hey! It’s our 63rd Episode!3 Chicks Blue Brown Final2sized

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN, DOWNLOAD, AND/OR SUBSCRIBE TO ITUNES NOW.

Inside this episode! Not one, but TWO advance reviews! First up we have an advance review of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios’s PRETTY DEADLY #1. Next up is an advance review of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s VELVET #1. Both reviews are spoiler free. After some “state of the industry” talk, mostly about NYCC 2013 we are joined by the fantastic Colleen Coover who talks about her work on everything from her current MonkeyBrain comic BANDETTE, with writer Paul Tobin, to her recent stint as an artist on the Batgirl and Catwoman focused issue of BATMAN ’66. After the interview I talk a bit about how THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING has almost 150 Amazon Reviews – and offer a prize to the 150th! By popular demand, we wrap up with a short and sweet (and long awaited) DRAMATIC READING! Enjoy, kids!

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

3 Chicks Covers Ep 063

3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 062

Hey! It’s our 62nd Episode 3 Chicks Blue Brown Final2sized

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN, DOWNLOAD, AND/OR SUBSCRIBE TO ITUNES NOW.

Inside this episode! A review of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s new book from Image – Sex Criminals #1 as well as a review of the triumphant return of The Powerpuff Girls #1 from IDW by Troy Little. There’s no guest this week (schedules!! amirite?!) We discuss some of our “comfort comics” that we return to time and time again over the years – feel free to sound off in the comments about some of your comfort comics! Also on deck is a discussion of Superheroines on film in general and a surprisingly in-depth spontaneous Kickstarter/self-publishing conversation. After the credits stay tuned for a small peek at Sue’s and my third (is that right?) Batfight. I didn’t include the whole fight cause frankly, we sounded like assholes and I couldn’t bear to publish the whole thing…but I figured you guys deserved a peek at least. And I don’t know why the only the thing we fight about are things related to Batman…that probably is deserving of further analysis. Enjoy, kids!

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

*As always beware of spoilers if you haven’t read the books in question!

3 Chicks ep 62 covers

 

Committed: Christian Ward – Drawing Spirals & Bubbles

Like many creative superheroes, Christian Ward leads a double life. Half the time he teaches children about art, leading them in experimental projects to learn about the tools and capabilities at their disposal. The other half of the time, he is creating unique and beautiful comic books.

082813_christianward5

Three years ago I met Ward in a comic shop when he was on vacation in San Francisco. We immediately bonded over our shared love of comic books and art, and have been friends ever since. At the time, Christian had just begun work on his first comic book; Olympus, a psychedelic journey of colorful gods which looked like no other comic book. His bold, colorful watercolors and his stylish characters are incredibly distinctive, and when he began work on Infinite Vacation it was great to see his work receiving a wider audience. When I visited London last month, we met up to talk about what projects are next. Continue Reading »

Dancing With Bullets: Performing Masculinity in Image Comic’s “Dancer”

dancer_2

There are so many reasons I love Image Comic’s Dancer. I’m a sucker for international thrillers with spies and hitmen (throw in a little sci-fi action and we’re golden), I always wished I could be a ballerina despite my complete lack of coordination, and Nic Klein’s art is incredibly breath-taking and both inspires me as an artist and makes me feel incredibly inept (which is the highest compliment I can pay). So needless to say, I was hooked from the first page, but I honestly wasn’t entirely sure why. The story wasn’t exactly groundbreaking in originality, and the character types were all pretty familiar and straightforward. The script was thrilling, so maybe that was it?

Then I started thinking about Dancer in terms of its identity politics and what it’s actually saying about who we are, who we want to be, and more importantly, who we can be or become under the right circumstances. As The Fox says, “It’s time to stop thinking that you are what you are not, Alan.” As much as it’s about escaping near-certain death, it is about Alan’s struggle with his own identity as a hitman, facing down his own barbarism, brutality, strength, and tenacity…in the form of his clone. His younger self is a pitch-perfect stereotype of the hitman character: he’s strong, relentless, intelligent, and always seems to have the upper hand. The hitman/spy is a pretty standard trope of masculinity, where masculinity has typically been figured in terms of embodied violence and strength. It is monstrous and brutal, a technology of murder that is cold and calculated.

What Dancer manages to do is take two typically gendered binary constructs – ballet and being a gun for hire – and parallels them to reveal the performativity lurking behind said stereotypes.

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 053

Hey! It’s our 53rd Episode!3 Chicks Blue Brown Final2sized

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN, DOWNLOAD, AND/OR SUBSCRIBE TO ITUNES NOW.

Inside this episode! Reviews of the final issue of Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell’s groundbreaking Glory run from Image. A review of Polarity #1 – a new miniseries from Boom! by musician Max Bemis and Jorge Coelho. We talk about random comics news and Sue makes an impassioned plea for DC to pay attention to Lois Lane’s 75th Anniversary – since she is celebrating along with Superman this year. We also interview badass superhero costume designer, cover artist, animator (and more!) Kris Anka! We’ve also got an open call for both future Chick of the Weeks you’d like to see, as well as your votes for some of the best comic book costumes around – both those that have stood the test of time, and which desperately need an update?

Here are the breaks:

Review of Glory #34 – 00:51

Review of Polarity #1 – 12:32

Random Comics Talk! – 21:35

Interview with Kris Anka! – 35:01

More Comics Talk! – 1:33:29

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

*As always beware of spoilers if you haven’t read the books in question! Advance reviews are always spoiler-free!

3 Chicks Covers 053

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So WHO Killed Spawn?

Every week, we will be examining 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 a look at the downside of having a shared universe when the characters in the shared universe aren’t owned by the same people, as a departure by an Image Comics founder led to Todd McFarlane having to come up with a new killer of Al Simmons, the man who would return to Earth after death as the hellspawn known as, well, Spawn.

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Committed: NOT MY BAG – Sina’s Scathing Fashion Comic Interview

Next week a new autobiographical comic book comes out from Sina Grace. Unlike so many of its predecessors, this one is about a man with a job. He might not like the job, nor even want it, but he throws himself into it with a totality that nearly undoes him, sucking him into a destructive, corporate, retail abyss and spitting him out the other side, ready to become the artist he was meant to be. Luckily for us, that man is Sina Grace and he shares every aspect of that journey in Not My Bag.

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3 Chicks Review Comics – Episode 043

Hey! It’s our 43rd episode!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN, DOWNLOAD, AND/OR SUBSCRIBE TO ITUNES NOW.

Inside this episode! We have an advance review of Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth’s Stumptown #1 and Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye #2.  We then have an awesome interview with Greg Rucka talking about Stumptown, Lazarus, Punisher, his time at DC – including the scoop on what actually caused him to leave DC, the new Wonder Woman pilot, and everything else we can think of! Chick of The Week this week is a long overlooked lady who is having a hard time in recent months at DC – Lois Lane!

Here are the breaks:

Stumptown #1 – 01:00

Hawkeye #2 – 08:43

Greg Rucka Interview – 24:15

Chick of The Week (plus Wonder Woman talk and a few other goodies) – 108:48

3 Chicks Review Comics is a podcast featuring female comics lovers and bloggers Sue from DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson from She Has No Head! Tune in to CSBG every other Monday at noon as we review comics and discuss hot topics of the week. In addition to the blogs above, you can also follow us all on twitter as well: Kelly and Sue.  Special thanks to Nik Furious for our awesome 3 Chicks theme song.

*As always beware of spoilers if you haven’t read the books in question!

Committed: My Giant, Dorky, Wonderful 2012 Comic-Con

This was a banner year for me at Comic-Con International, a lot of really mellow, random meetings with all these nice people and great comic book creators, a large pile of nifty comic books I picked up, and so many fantastic things to see.  Continue Reading »

She Has No Head! – 25 Great Superheroine Covers of the Past Year

Rogue by Kaare Andrews

I originally intended to pair this column with my “25 Great Superheroine Moments In Comics” post from two weeks ago in honor of Women’s History Month, but then Wonder Woman #7 happened and I felt compelled to write about that. So here we are with the unofficial “part two” in April. So it goes!

Those of you familiar with my blogging over on 1979 Semi-Finalist know I’m a big cover fanatic. I do a monthly post called “Drunk Cover Solicits In Three Sentences Or Less” where I…you guessed it…get drunk and talk about the newest Marvel and DC Cover Solicits. It’s supposed to be a chance to talk about some gorgeous art and also to make good-natured fun of some of the silliness…of course some rage occasionally seeps out (shocker). I also do a “52 Best Covers of the Year” in honor of SDCC every year.  But I realized recently that I’d never focused on covers that feature women and thought what better way to celebrate than to do that here.

My criteria was looking at covers from between March of 2011 and March of 2012* and only at saddle-stapled monthly comics that feature a woman as a minimum of 50% of the cover focus. These are entirely North American as that’s primarily what I have access to. I didn’t include trades or graphic novels either. I’m not going to write much about each, just a few lines about what I love about them. Enjoy!

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She Has No Head! – Support The Good

So, many of you saw that I broke the internet two weeks ago with my post about the visual representations of men and women in superhero comics and the apparently still radical idea that “No, it’s not equal”.  So how does one follow up THAT column?  Do you try to break the internet even harder?  Or do you go the completely opposite route?  Well, for starters, if you missed it, read this piece I did for my new gig at Lit Reactor, which is chock full of fantastic books that don’t commit any of the “No, It’s not equal” sins.

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Committed: Image Expo

This weekend will see the first Image Expo, a comic book convention supported by local Bay Area publishers Image Comics. Famous for their creator-owned comic books, Image Expo promises to be a very different sort of convention. With the move of Wonder Con to Southern California this year, this leaves the field wide open for something new and Image seem ready to meet the challenge. I spoke to Image Comics Publisher; Eric Stephenson about the convention and asked him some questions about what we could expect to find there.

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