Remember comic books? Those flimsy sheets of paper emblazoned with colorful superheroes battling diabolical supervillains in space, in an underground lair, in a bunker, under the sea, or in parallel dimensions? Those passports to wonder that are the progenitors of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes and their respective television properties? Yeah, they’ve been completely overshadowed by their on-screen interpretations. Most people enjoying super heroics on the big and small screens aren’t comic fans. This isn’t a bad thing. I know tons of people who loved the Harry Potter films, but have yet to read word one of J.K. Rowling’s epic texts. There are still some of us who are huge comic book fans, and have been feeling a little cheated by the Big Two.
Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems
When you read the guest list of a comic convention, what do you see? Usually I notice the big names first, maybe a few iconic, and then a spatter of new faces whose work drew my attention in the past year. I skim the headshots and begin to add unrecognizable faces to their recognizable names, and as I browse through the photos and my eyes begin to blur, something strange happens: it begins to look like a Magic Eye puzzle we used to play with in 3rd grade. The pictures merge to show a single representation. That’s when I look away, shake it off, and start looking for my favorite women.
And lately, that’s becoming easier to find.
Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems
For a comic fan, attending a convention is a mass gathering of distant relatives — the one you play Titanfall with online, that guy whose reviews you browse online, that girl you haven’t seen since the last convention — all in one place. It’s a family reunion of sorts, and in the case of New York Comic-Con, it’s a big one. But for those of us who are artists, designers, writers, cosplayers, or any other type of creator, a convention is more than a fan space, it’s a networking opportunity for you to share your work. These are your future collaborators, guidance counselors, business partners, and consumers, so approaching a convention from that perspective means the difference between being a fan of someone else’s work, and being on track to add fans of your own.
I’ve been excited for Gotham Academy since the book was first announced back in July. While the revamped Batgirl got most of the mainstream media attention, my sights were set on what I thought was one of the most interesting and out-of-the-box books in all of DC Comics. Now that it’s out, I can confidently say that I am all in on Gotham Academy!
In just 22 pages, Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher have accomplished what the rest of the DC brain trust have not been able to do since the company rebooted in 2011; namely, make the DC Universe an interesting and relevant place to visit every week. It helps that Karl Kerschl’s art is gorgeous and 180 degrees from the “house style” the publisher has employed post-New 52.
The best thing about the book, though, is — interestingly — the one thing that hasn’t really been covered in all of the hype surrounding it. The cast of characters of Gotham Academy is one of the most diverse in mainstream comics.
I have made no bones about my dislike of the direction DC Comics has taken in the last several years. From the sameness of the “DC House Style” aesthetics to the many narrative and PR missteps along the way, the New 52 has been divisive to say the least. While I’m not a fan of the overall strategy, I will admit that it hasn’t been all terrible. Most of Scott Snyder’s Bat books, Greg Pak on the Superman books, Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman, and Bernard Chang on Green Lantern Corps were highlights, for sure1.
As a longtime DC fanboy, it’s always pained me to hop on the DC Comics bashwagon, but sometimes it was hard to root for the publisher that let this and this and this and this happen. Over the last several days, though, news of DC’s plans for the last quarter of 2014 and beyond are proving that maybe on my world, the DC logo means hope, too.