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Alicia Korenman

Sandman to Teen Titans To X-Babies!

As I predicted last week, a LOT of exciting news came out at SDCC, hitting pretty much every corner of the comic book world — there should be something for everyone in this post! First up, what I personally am most excited about: MORE SANDMAN! Not only is Neil Gaiman writing this new miniseries, but the artist is JH Williams III, the guy who makes Batwoman so freaking awesome. This isn’t the first time Gaiman has returned to the Sandman well — he put out The Dream Hunters and the Endless Nights anthology — but it will be the first time that the Sandman himself will be the focus of the story — and it’ll be serving as a prequel to the series, as well as answering a big question that informs the whole work (“just what was Dream doing that allowed him to be captured, which then altered everything else for him?”).  (There have also been a few Sandman spin-offs — I particularly like Jill Thompson’s Little Endless storybooks and her two manga-style volumes about the Sandman’s sister Death — but Neil Gaiman himself doing a new miniseries is BIG NEWS.) This is a good time to get into Sandman if you haven’t, or to reconnect with the series if you have, because the art was just recolored in 2009 for the Absolute Sandman editions, which were then...

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Things That Are On My Monkeybrain

This weekend is San Diego Comic-Con, probably the biggest annual event for comic book fans–and since the Con has begun branching out to tv shows and movies, for popular culture in general. In fact, it’s become so popular to premiere big things at the show that this year’s lucky fans will get to see new footage from the upcoming Hobbit movie, as well as next year’s Superman reboot and the new Twilight movie (a franchise that I am relieved is ending, so I don’t have to read any more news articles about it!).  Plus everyone will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of my favorite comic, Love and Rockets.  All sorts of news will be coming out at the Con, so expect new trailers, clips, and other stuff next week! But for this week, let me tell you about two Archie-related stories that came out. (I don’t know why I find Archie Comics so fascinating, and I apologize if you don’t.) Archie is still attempting to keep itself relevant to current audiences with a Glee crossover, featuring Rachel, Finn, and other characters I don’t really know anything about. That’s fine and dandy, but let me tell you about the second story, which I am legitimately excited about: Archie makeup!! Yes, Archie is teaming up with the awesome MAC Cosmetics for a line called Archie’s Girls and I can’t wait to...

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Spider-Ennui Tingling!

So the new Spider-Man movie opened this week, and you probably think I’m excited about it! But I’m really not. For one thing, there are only so many superhero movies I can be interested in, and right now my brain space is reserved by the Avengers and all its related movies, and the Christopher Nolan Batman movies (though I am, at this point, a bit tired of Christian Bale’s raspy Batman voice, and am mostly going to see the new one because it was shot in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Of course, you might not want to trust my judgment, because of all the earlier Batman movies, my favorite was always the Val Kilmer one). And those earlier Batman movies bring me back to my issues with the new Spider-Man movie—it’s just too dang soon for a reboot. Not that I’m super attached to the Tobey Maguire version—I never even saw his Spider-Man 3, because, like I said, I can only care about so many superhero franchises. But with the Batman movies, eight years elapsed between the last Clooney movie and Nolan’s reboot, and that was after over a decade of Batman movies starring four different dudes. That’s the approach I wish they’d taken with this new Spider-man movie—recast it, bring in Emma Stone/Gwen Stacy as a new love interest (Peter Parker didn’t meet her till college anyway) and...

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Born on the Fourth of July

In honor of the upcoming July 4th holiday, today I’m going to devote this column to Captain America, patriotic superhero! Cap is one of the original superheroes, created by comics legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, debuting in 1941 as a deliberately political/patriotic character (since, of course, America was then at war). Captain America was originally one Steve Rogers, a scrawny young man who desperately wanted to fight Nazis, and so signed up for a super secret super soldier program that would enhance his physical abilities, turning him into the hero we all know and love today. (You can read his biography at the Marvel website here) Really, all of Cap’s adventures are worth reading, but with over 600 issues, it’s hard to know where to start. I’m partial to the more recent storylines (starting in 2004) by Ed Brubaker (of Criminal and Incognito, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before).  Things start off with the introduction of the mysterious Winter Soldier. This storyline does eventually include (SPOILERS) the death of Captain America, but don’t worry, superheroes never stay dead long, and it’s a really compelling story arc (as Cap’s sidekick takes over his mantle). And if you haven’t seen the recent Captain America movie yet, you should! It’s actually my favorite of the pre-Avengers Marvel movies—I think it has the strongest story, and the love interest is one of...

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HeroesCon Be Choosers

Another weekend, another AMAZING COMIC BOOK CONVENTION IN NC! Wait, what? Yes, it’s true, Charlotte NC is home to one of the awesomest comic book conventions out there—HeroesCon, which has its 30th anniversary this weekend and is celebrating by being even better than ever. If you’ve never been to a comic book convention, don’t be afraid to give it a try! Heroes is an especially good one for newbies to check out—it’s known for being family-friendly, there are a lot of different panels (ie, comic book people sitting on a state and discussing comics and taking questions from the audience) on all sorts of different topics, PLUS lots of artists who you can actually go and talk to! I actually can’t make it this year—one of my cousins picked this weekend, of all weekends, to get married—but if I was going, there’d be a lot I’d want to check out! So here is a mini guide to HeroesCon in case you’re heading down there! For artists, I’d definitely want to visit Jaime Hernandez (one of my all-time favorites, as a previous column here can attest), Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer of Milk and Cheese/Action Girl/Yo Gabba Gabba fame (apparently their young daughter is selling homemade hair accessories at their table this year), Bill Willingham of Fables, David Petersen of Mouse Guard, Mike Mignola of Hellboy/BPRD, Skottie Young of the...

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Home of the Brave

Today I’m taking a break from my usual comic-book coverage to talk about another big summer movie that should appeal to comic book fans—and don’t worry, it’s not The Avengers again! I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview of Brave this week andjust have to take the time to tell everyone how AMAZING it is. I mean, that’s probably not a surprise to anyone, given that it’s a Pixar movie, but I have heard some rumblings along the lines of a) how will Pixar’s first movie with a girl main character turn out?, and b) will boys want to see it too? My answers are: a) an emphatic IT’S AWESOME and b) an even more emphatic YES. (It’s rated PG for “some scary action and rude humor” which I believe are both appealing to the stereotypical boy child.) I don’t want to give away any plot spoilers, because the trailers have been purposefully vague (but don’t look at Wikipedia if you want to be surprised… and I suggest going in blind, because it wasn’t what I was expecting at all, and I think I loved it more for that), but there is plenty there to appeal to both adults and kids of all types: action, lots and lots of humor, and fond family feelings. Seeing it in a theater packed full of people of all ages really...

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An Interview with Alex Wilson

In super exciting comic book-related news, local author Alex Wilson has won an Eagle Award! The Eagle Awards are a long-running comic book competition presented annually at the MCM Expo London Comic Con, and this year they featured a special award sponsored by Snow White and the Huntsman, the MCM Expo Award For New Visionaries, aka the Huntsman’s Challenge. For the Challenge, competitors had to produce a five-page dark fantasy comic in the month of February. In the original announcement, two winners were going to be selected:  one for art, and one for story. But Wilson’s story, with art by Silvio dB, won both! Wilson graciously agreed to do a brief interview with me: AK: The Huntsman Challenge seems pretty intense in terms of constraints—having to complete a 5-page dark fantasy comic in just a month. What made you want to enter? Did you have an idea in mind already? Or were you inspired by the Snow White tie-in? It was all baby steps. I heard about the contest and thought coming up with a story would be a fun challenge. I felt the resulting script had merit, so I looked for an artist who might work with me on it. And when I found Silvio, I realized we had all the potential pieces of a great finished comic if it came together right, so this might be worth...

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Recommendations for the Younger Set

I’ve spent lots and lots of time lately talking about superheroes, superhero comics, superhero movies, etc—which is a little bit odd, since superhero comics are by no means my favorite genre in the world of comics. So today I’m going to tell you guys about more great comics for kids—specifically elementary and middle school readers. First up, Princeless, by Jeremy Whitley, M. Goodwin and Jung-Ha Kim. I’d been meaning to check this out for a while and a recent signing at Chapel Hill Comics gave me a chance to pick up the first collection and chat with author Whitley. This one is right up my alley, and hopefully other people’s alleys as well, about a young princess who is locked into a tower very much against her will to wait for a prince to rescue (and marry) her. Well, she’s not having any of that, and convinces her dragon guard to accompany her on a quest to rescue her similarly trapped sisters. By now, you all know that I love a well-written heroine, and Adrienne is basically the best. Boys should like this too—Adrienne has a twin brother who looks like he’ll be more prominent in future issues, plus there’s adventuring, comedy, and dragons to be had—so what’s not to like? In a similar vein for slightly older readers, there’s Rapunzel’s Revenge and its sequel Calamity Jack, about Rapunzel...

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Good Characters Who Happen To Be…

It has been kind of an interesting week for comic book fans this week, at least in my RSS Reader! For one thing, both DC and Marvel seem to be trying to get in on the Archie team’s talent for getting press coverage by making announcements about gay characters. In Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men, there’s going to be a gay marriage (there’s a preview of the super cute proposal here) between two fairly minor (but still interesting) characters. Astonishing X-Men has, historically, been a prominent and strong part of the Marvel Universe — the first 24 issues were written by Joss Whedon, of Buffy-creating and Avengers-directing fame, and the second run was written by Grant Morrison, one of the most highly-regarded writers working currently. So even though Northstar is not a particularly well-known member of the X-Men (to the general public, anyway), this is still pretty big news. Not to be outdone in getting press attention (and also dealing with relevant social issues, presumably), DC has announced that it plans to bring an established character out of the closet.  So much of the coverage thus far has revolved around which character this will be.  Obviously it’s not going to be Superman or Batman, but it would be interesting for some incarnation of Green Lantern or Flash to be gay (but since there are several versions of each character, this might...

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From All Avenging Angles

So I imagine most everyone has seen the Avengers movie by this point, judging by the fact that it had THE BEST OPENING WEEKEND EVER FOR A MOVIE and whatever other records it smashed. I hope all of you stayed through ALL the credits, because there were two extra scenes after the movie ended (one introduced a new villain, a guy named Thanos who is one of Marvel’s weirder creations: he’s in love with Death! No, seriously. His name even derives from the Greek word for Death. And the other scene is super funny but I won’t spoil it for you). When I went to see it, the theater was almost empty when that last scene played… so go back and see the movie again, if you missed it. Or is that my perpetual love for Joss Whedon talking? (Not to mention Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth.) Anyway, of course the movie did SO WELL that a sequel is already in the works, along with various other continuations in the series (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America). I wonder if they’ll try to get yet another Hulk movie going—third time’s the charm? I agree with most people who were totally enamored of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, but I’m just not sure the character can anchor a two-hour movie. I mean, all that happens when he’s a superhero is that, well, Hulk...

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