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You may know that Cliff Chiang is one of my favorite comic artists. I love his bold graphic style and his ability to capture the personality of a character in a look, a wink or the way they hold their body. He also manages to draw women that are sexy but never objectified. He is also one of the few artists that draws clothing for characters that I’d actually like to wear.
Chiang is the focus of a new book from the TwoMorrows publishing and if you are also a fan of Chiang or the artist’s process I highly recommend it. You can buy a copy here.
In an a long form interview with Chris Arrant, the book provides an overview of Chiang’s career from student/intern at Marvel to editorial assistant at Vertigo to his emergence as an artist at DC Comics. For those who want to work in comics, it provides a valuable overview of the difficulties of breaking into the comic business.
The book also covers Chiang’s reboot of Wonder Woman with Brian Azzarello including the approach the two had originally planned for the character.
This week brings the first issue of DC Comics new Bat-centric weekly series, Batman Eternal. First announced last year, the series will be written by four writers with Scott Snyder acting as showrunner. DC has been dropping clues about the plot lines hints for months. In February Batman #28 gave a look at the Gotham that will ultimately be the focus of the book. I chatted with one of the writers on project, James Tynion IV (Talon, Red Hood and the Outlaws) about the book, about that surprise appearance in #28, who else might show up and … monkeys?
There are a few new books featuring the women of DC Comics and they are targeted at the youngest of readers.
In September Downtown Bookworks will publish, DC Comics: My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg.
Here’s a few images:
Jose Luis Garcia Lopez artwork is preferable to some of the more modern takes on DC Women.
And that’s not all!
April is here and there look to be a lot of comics to look forward to over the next few months. Let’s take a look at some of them out this week - or as I like to call it “the return of the rip snorting red headed writers”!
As you know I like to start with first issues and this week I have a very good one for you from Boom.
This is close to a perfect first issue - the set-up by writer Christopher Sebela keeps you reading as you have no idea, much like the main character, where you are going or what you will find. And then it gives you sweet gift in its last two pages that will make you say, “What. Of course. Give me that next issue.” The art by Chris Visions matches the car off the wheels feel of the first issue. I also want to call out the color by Ruth Redmond which is vibrant and evocative. Pick this up and let me know what you think.
The next comic doesn’t have a #1 on the cover but it is a first issue - for the creative team. A few years ago I had the chance to see Francis Manapul discuss his work on the Flash book in front of a group of fans. I was impressed with the care and thought he gave every question and the clear and obvious love he has for comics and the characters of DC Comics. Manapul has left the Flash book (sadly just as the seem to be bringing back his beloved Wally West) and he’s moved on to Detective Comics. This is his first issue with his Flash collaborator Brian Buccellato and the preview look great.
Did you pick up Veil last month? The second issue is out today and, yes, you’re going to want to read it.
Gail Simone’s Red Sonja is back after a few months and filled with stink and innuendo!
And you know what else is back? Pretty Deadly by Kelly DeConnick and Emma Rios.
And speaking of rip snorting red heads
I hope that this book gets a lift from Captain America. Hey you know what, when you go see Captain America: The Winter Solider let’s all tell one person who is sitting near us, “Hey did you know Natasha has her own comic?” Maybe they’ll buy it!
Another cinematic ready character is out this week in a book that is very, very fun.
I also may pick up Earth 2 today as the preview has Green Lantern in it.
That’s my list - what’s on yours?
While DC Comics’ new 52 has had some interior art and covers that have raised some eyebrows, all out nudity has been a line that has not been crossed in the mainline books. Recently, for example, Guillem March showed and discussed on his blog some rejected interior artwork for Catwoman that left little to the imagination.
March also included a chart showing how the page views of his blog dramatically increased with the revelation of the nude images.
This current banning of nudity, however, may be changing with a new line of “adult” books which are being described as “soft core” porn and featuring both sex and nudity.
(Obviously NSFW for some works.)
One of my favorite guest posters, Tim Hanley, has taken his love of comics to a new level. This week his book about Wonder Woman becomes available. I’ve read a copy and if you like Wonder Woman or woman in comics, you need to read this book. Buy it here. To celebrate the release, Tim is guest posting again and this time he takes on some misconceptions about Wonder Woman and her world.
Tim’s thoughts follow.
I may have just missed any mention of this but I was wondering what happened to the podcast. I know Kelly has a book coming out and I'm sure you both are probably busy. I really enjoyed it and was curious.
Thanks so much for asking about the podcast. Kelly has been very busy with her Kickstarter and other gigs. Hopefully we’ll be back very soon.
Have you ever read Superman: Red Son? If not, it's definitely worth a read. It's like, what would have happened if Superman were found in the Soviet Union instead of in Kansas? It's a very interesting read, especially from a historical perspective. (And it's got Wonder Woman and Batman too!)
I have read it. I can’t argue the premise is amazingly smart but I have issues with the execution.
At the Batman Eternal panel at Emerald City Comic Con, they revealed new art from the upcoming Batman Eternal weekly including a page that appears to show the moment that leads to this from the "Thanksgiving Teaser"
During the new 52 panel at Emerald City Comic Con, writer Charles Soule discussed how the next arc of the story will be about “change” as well as tie into a cross-over starring Doomsday that will take place across all the Superman books.
They also showed the dress cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #7 and it looks a bit different than what got solicited. Actually you could say bloody different:
First here is the original solicited cover
And here is the dress cover
Is Wonder Woman less invulnerable these days?
At the DC New 52 Panel at the Emerald City Comic Con, Gail Simone said her upcoming arc in Batgirl - issues 32-34 will include something or someone she’s been asking for since the start of the new 52. Simone said she’s “asked and asked”. When the moderator asked if she could say a name, she answered “probably shouldn’t.”
So what could it be? A returning pre-52 character? Weil they finally mention Oracle? What do you think?
Also here’s a look at the panel, which you’ll note is a rarity for DC at shows in having two female writers on the dais.
As previously reported actress Victoria Cartagena has been cast as Renee Montoya in Fox’s Gotham. And here is a look at the actress in character filming with Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon.
What do think?
Last month I brought you the very first look at the newest superhero in DC Comics. The character, created by Jeff Lemire, is a young Cree woman and was based on a real-life activist. Today the character was formerly introduced and her name is Equinox.
Equinox is, according to the CBC, ”a 16-year-old Cree teen from Moose Factory named Miiyahbin, whose power stems from the Earth and changes with the seasons.”
Here she is on the cover the update cover of Justice League United #0
You can read more about Equinox and see a sneak peek of the comic here.
David E. Kelley, creator of the ultimately awful attempt to create a Wonder Woman TV show, has once again weighed in on how hard it is to do what he tried and failed to do.
Speaking to a reporter at the Television Hall of Fame dinner where he was inducted for programs that did not include Wonder Woman, the writer stated:
“When you are going to do a super hero character, you’re competing with special effects. Television budgets are hard to match with respect to the future world. … Audiences are used to seeing the (film) exploits of Iron Man and Batman and that can’t be accomplished in TV. That’s the hurdle for anyone in the super hero franchise to take on.”
Kelley is married to actress Michelle Pfeiffer who played Catwoman in the film Batman Returns. Ironically last month several people (including myself) pointed out the resemblance of the young actress selected to play Selina Kyle in the in “Gotham” a upcoming TV show which will star a young Bruce Wayne as well as other characters from the Batverse.
That show will join Arrow and Constantine as television programs based on male characters from the DC universe that are not Wonder Woman.
Last year Amazon, the proposed television show starring a young Wonder Woman, was shelved by the CW who aired the long running Smallville.
Wonder Woman’s only media appearance outside of animation in almost 40 years is currently a “guest role” in the upcoming, unnamed Man of Steel film sequel referred to as Batman vs. Superman. She will be played by Gal Gadot.
Below is actress Adrianne Palicki, who was the best thing about Kelley’s attempt, in the classic “bathing suit” costume in the pilot.