Need To Know… #47

Hey Everybody, you can come out now, Ribic is back on Thor! And that isn’t even the best anticipatory link we’ve got this week, as Kirkman/Azaceta project Outcast gets previewed, the Lobster gets got, BOOM! Box are introducing the Lumberjanes (courtesy of Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Shannon Watters), and Vertigo are teasing a quarterly anthology that’s going to be … colourful? Yeah, hard to know what to make of that one. Harder still to know what to make of DC & Vertigo’s marketing efforts all round. Still, at least they let us know Wally’s coming back.

In less predictable news, the estimable Lucy Knisley is bringing two books to Fantagraphics, Brandon Graham is continuing to play den mother to a host of indie talent over at Image, and even if you’ve never heard of Takeshi Obata or his manga (Deathnote, Bakuman), this preview art and the title All You Need is Kill are alluring, right? Still, he’s got nothing on those Southern Bastards.

Barry Windsor-Smith sure could draw, couldn’t he? No context for that one, just fact.

Some people are still reviewing 2013, and this post seems like the most comprehensive comics-biased pop culture retrospect around, but for a more contentious rearward survey, check this collection of Doc Ock’s defining moments of Spidey superiority. Could he actually be a better wall-crawler? If you’re really spoiling for a fight, how about debating the merits of 90’s comics, though a Good, Better, Best character redesign series?

There’s a bunch of stuff for you to do in London, coming up. First and foremost, this very Wednesday at our humble store we have Live Action Painting from The Battle Of The Eyes! Rock’n Roll Art Making! If your tastes run a little cleaner and tighter, this Sunday sees a one day masterclass in creating a graphic novel, while in February Paul Pope will be in London for a Comica conversation. To the diaries!

By the way, Retrofit comics have now gone digital as well as print, and not reading any of their stuff has been outlawed. Officially. Unless you’re working really hard. Like, as hard as a manga master works. Then you’re excused.

Alright, we’re almost at the free comics part, but first, some insight for you. Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, they have a great article on interpreting Mind MGMT, a book that may read better if you know your angle of attack. Over at The Beat, the question of what exactly happened to Marvel Knights get addressed. If you’re interested in a sensible take on diversity and the affirmative action style efforts visible in the comics industry, check out the mercurial blonde’s blog. If you just want Chris Burnham to talk gross, horror nightmare research for upcoming Morrison project Nameless, or Remender to go high concept (in a great way) about his soon-to-rock Low, well, that can happen too. Or you might just want some half-assed cosplay ideas.

Alright, alright, free comics. Enter The Tunnel (if you dare, those vulnerable to existential horror should not click through), be there when the Saints go Marchin’ in, sample Dash Shaw’s latest on Study Group, or best of all, spend some time with Julia Wertz as she explains why the Fart Party really stinks. It’s a very honest memoir of cartooning and alcoholism, that’s about much more than either topic.

Important question: how do you defeat someone who gets stronger as you hit them? Science knows!

Almost finally, isn’t it sad that covers like these are rarities, rather than the general approach? Remember Wagner’s Batman #631 cover? Why aren’t there more like this?

Especially for the Gosh Darned Batman.

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