Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jenny Frison For Hero Initiative: A Ladies' Night Event

Graham Crackers Comics Ladies' Night is a monthly meeting of female comic book fans at the Chicago loop comic book store. The next event taking place tomorrow, August 1st, will be a charity benefit. In addition to the usual comic book related discussion, artist Jenny Frison will be on hand to create sketches and sign comics with all of the proceeds going towards the Hero Initiative, a charity that helps support creators in their times of need. All are welcome to join us, men and women alike, though the discussion will be the usual group of ladies only. The event begins at 6, but feel free to come early as we are expecting a large turnout.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Comic Book Candy: And Then There Were Two

Earlier this week I started receiving frequent mentions on twitter, all with the same content: "Photoset:› @comicbookcandy:›› AVENGERS AND POKEMONS ASSEMBLE!››(By: *[FerioWind] )". Initially, I thought it was well targeted spam (because I'd totally be interested in some Avengers and Pokemon mashup artwork). But then I cautiously followed the link and it became clear where the confusion stemmed from: another blog with the title Comic Book Candy.

A tumblr comprised of various comic book related artwork, gifs, and movie stills, I began to worry that readers may become confused by what site I write for. I've begun to attend conventions as a member of the press with my small comic book related blog, I have contributed guest posts to other blogs as Comic Book Candy, and I comment on various websites as Comic Book Candy. There is no question that we do different things; the tumblr blog is an aggregator while I focus on creating original content in articles, reviews, and commentary. This also means that I am no where near as prolific as someone creating posts 3-5 times a day. The opportunity for confusion would only continue, especially when it comes to auto-generated tweets referring to the tumblr CBC.

After researching if it is even possible to change a tumblr blog name (it's surprisingly simple and doesn't result in the loss of followers),  I hoped for the best and contacted this blogger to see if anything could be worked out:

Some bloggers may have tried to rally support from their followers or simply ignored my request altogether. But in a classy move CBC placed my question on her blog, and I happily responded back with suggestions that would still match her current banners. 

With no legal right to the name, she did not have to change her tumblr but still did so upon request. In a day and age where the cruelty of the online community is front and center, this is a sign that things may be moving in the right direction. I suggest you check out her tumblr under the new name Comics Before Candy and retweet her posts as frequently as possible; a class act like her deserves generous hits  and a large audience. And with readers like "anonymous", maybe a few more open minded followers will be beneficial as well:

Call it pretentious but I like to ensure that I don't get credit for other people's work and vice versa. The majority of blogs are not for profit, but amateurs are no less worthy of recognition for their work. As part of the good e-karma that is sure to head her way, here's to recognizing this act of kindness by Comics Before Candy with a public thank you, and I hope she snags the twitter handle while she can.

One thing is for sure, there is always room for more geeky gals blogging about comics.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Captain Marvel #1

"A debut issue is a challenging beast in comics; this is doubly so for a book that is re-introducing an established character to old and new fans alike. It is a delicate balance between showing what we know to be true while still offering a fresh perspective. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy bring us a first issue that attempts to reconcile the needs of all readers, and it is not always successful. Though the focus may shift between keeping old and new fans interested, one thing that is unwavering throughout is the voice of Carol Danvers, and that’s definitely something new...."

You can read the rest of the review over at my guest blog post on the Women Write About Comics blog. Enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

SDCC 2012: Announcements Worth Noting

This year's Comic Con International, or "Nerd Mecca", ended yesterday after four days of exciting comic book, film, and television announcements. It would be impossible to cover every single revelation, but here are the ones that got the most people talking, the most retweets, and reblogs, and maybe a few announcements that we're just a little more excited about than others.

DC's got the prequel fever, but unlike Before Watchman, Sandman's original creator Neil Gaiman is willingly spearheading the project. The five issue mini will focus on revealing the background of Morpheus leading up to his unexpected imprisonment.

Everyone is still heartbroken over the cancelation of Firefly, but that's okay

As if missing Comic Con International wasn't hard enough year after year, 2012 was particularly difficult to miss due to a cast reunion of Serenity, a show having now been off air for ten years. The emotional panel included creator Joss Whedon and was followed by a private round table discussion among the cast that will be televised this fall on the Science Channel. Check out the link above to view the panel.

MAC cosmetics to release Archie line in Spring 2013

Fans of MAC's previous comic book inspired Wonder Woman line will be anxious to get their hands on the cosmetic company's upcoming Archie themed make-up. Not much has been revealed, though the it appears the "Archie's Gals" collection will focus on whether you're a Betty or Veronica.

Avengers Babies Vs. X-Babies written by Skottie Young with art by Gurihiru Studios coming October

The perfect follow up to Marvel's much touted AvX event, this upcoming one shot was inspired by Skottie Young's Midtown Comics exclusive variant cover (as seen above). It will be more adorable than any other Marvel title this year.

IDW to release My Little Pony comic this November

Written by Katie Cook with art by Andy Price, the series will focus on the characters from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Bronies everywhere rejoice.

Captain America 2 will be Brubaker's Winter Soldier

The sequel will focus on the return of Bucky Barnes, an exciting announcement for fans of Ed Brubaker's (soon to end) run on Captain America. The Cap sequel wasn't the only film news from Marvel; rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy film were confirmed, and test footage was shown from Edgar Wright's upcoming Ant-Man. Robert Downey, Jr. himself even showed up to reveal details about Iron Man 3, which is being filmed now.

Django Unchained movie comic to be released by DC

Jim Lee brought a very distinguished and unexpected guest into DC's Before Watchman panel: filmmaker Quentin Tarantino himself was present for the announcement of DC's upcoming Django Unchained mini series. Tarantino will be penning the book, but no word yet on an artist. Vertigo will release the series at an unknown future date.

Image Comics and all of your favorite creators are releasing new books

Fraction. Rucka. Graham. DeConnick. Any of these names sound familiar? They're only some of the hottest writers working in comics today. And each of them has an exciting new book coming out from Image Comics. I'm particularly interested to read Pretty Deadly, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Emma Rios, a spaghetti western revenge tale featuring a scarred assasin.

These are not all of the announcements to come out of San Diego Comic Con this year, not by a long shot; but these are just the big ones. Here's hoping next year we may be able to attend in person to offer more extensive coverage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Marvel Swimsuit Special: An In-Depth Analysis Part III

On the eve of San Diego Comic Con and having passed the 4th of July weekend, we've reached the pinnacle of summer in 2012. What better way to celebrate than with a final look at the 94' Marvel Swimsuit Special? It's been a titillating journey, but this comic proves that yes, you can have too much of a questionably good thing. However, here at Comic Book Candy we are considering tracking down Marvel's other classic pin-up collections for further analysis should public demand prove sufficient. Until then, enjoy this final visual feast before you and fondly remember the 90's comic book landscape.


Doc Samson is Marvel's resident psychiatrist, and frankly I'm a little disappointed with the lack of creativity displayed in this depiction. Maybe some bookish glasses, a notepad, and Doc wearing these same swimmers while inviting us, the viewer, to lie on his couch, now that's something that would demonstrate the "allure of science" as Uatu says. It is worth noting that this is the first character that has been shown as practically faceless, so there's that.

Doc Samson's reign as the only faceless character was short-lived as a very tan Polaris quickly follows. This one is equally uncreative in conveying the character's unique aspects, but stands out for being more uncomfortable to view. From the crotch-cutting bathing bottoms to the bolted on breasts, we don't need to see all of her face to know that this is probably not a comfortable outfit or pose to execute. There is a face in this image, but it isn't Polaris staring back; an odd rock formation to the right of her leg is hard to miss. Distracting and creepy, it's a double fail.

Here I thought we'd get through the swimsuit special without a brokeback pose! Impressively, Silver Sable manages to be shown as both threatening and vulnerable. Take away her knife and guns and she looks very much like a person surrendering to a foe from behind. Uatu implies that even on vacation she cannot abandon her dedication to her profession as an assassin; this would be an accurate theory if she were say, polishing her knife collection. In reality, she just looks batshit insane because she's either cornered by a non-existent foe or she's trying to rock climb but can't psychologically put down her weapons.

Black Panther seems unfazed by taking a shower in green, smoking, dragon infested Moon water. Then again, if you're the King of Wakanda, unfazed is your default state.

New Warriors characters Firestar and Silhouette (who?) are supposedly enjoying an "impromptu sauna" though the color choices make that difficult to discern without reading the description. Who wears their sneakers and socks in a sauna? Perhaps these ladies are just returning from an excersice class at an Inhumans' gym. Even if they are in a cave, this scenario doesn't exactly push the boundaries as far as "superheroes on a moon vacation" go. This is more akin to a "superheroes stay at a mid-western 3-star hotel vacation".

Guys. Colossus is a never nude. And that isn't the only thing he has in common with Tobias Funke. Notice his complete disinterest in the scantily clad moon-women bathing him (and I swear the one at the top left is giving him a manicure). The artist has really gone out of his way to ensure that Colossus is the sole focus here, especially in the comical way each of the women's heads have been cut off / obscured by biceps. His posturing and downward glance also imply that even Colossus can't help but admire his own spectacular reflection.

Possibly the only character to wear more in her swimsuit special attire, Emma Frost is equally useless on the Moon as she is on Earth. In other words, she's one super powerful woman that is frequently shown as a very pretty non threatening mannequin. The White Queen should never be this boring.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another Side Of Riverdale

Jill Thompson's take on Jughead and Betty.
What makes the cast of Archie such appealing subjects for comic book artists? Fond memories from childhood? The simplicity of the well established archetypes? Maybe Archie and the gang are just really fun to draw. More interesting than the widespread desire of comics professionals to draw Jughead is seeing the surprising results. What happens when artists with uniquely recognizable styles draw the Riverdale gang? Awesome happens. Here's a small collection of some alternative takes on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead.

An adorable Hero Initiative sketch cover by Agnes Garbowska.

A very young Lucy Knisley's own Archie comic (at 8 or 9 and already a "cynical cartoonist").

Not only does this crossover make perfect sense, but it's great to see Art Baltazar draw Robin dancing to Josie and the Pussycats. 
Aviv Itzcovitz's version of a classic Jughead cover, as seen on the blog Covered

A commissioned sketch by Chris Samnee

Of course Cliff Chiang's Archie gang is stylish and rocking out.

Dan Clowes' Archie is definitely a little more sinister (as seen on Comics Beat)

Many a customers purchased this crossover just for Francesco Francavilla's covers.

Betty definitely looks more...lively in Joseph Linser's version.

A classic Kate Beaton strip.

If only Archie #600 were like Leonard Kirk's cover.

This is kind of perfect. I want Tony Fleecs to draw Jughead everyday.