Category Archives: comic art
Sure, Jack Kirby’s a revered artist, and he created some of the best known comic characters around. Captain America and the Avengers and the Inhumans and the X-men, Galactus and the Silver Surfer and Red Skull and Darkseid, Kirby had a major hand in the stories and look of the heroes and villains currently raking in millions upon millions for film franchises on both sides of the ‘verse divide. He’s a giant of a figure, as BBP continues celebrating a summer of Kirby at 100. But did you know Jack Kirby was a spy?
His artistry was, and remains, so innovative and influential in the comic book zeitgeist that the industry named awards after him. Heck, they even named a visual image after him: the affectionately known, “Kirby Krackle.”
How pervasive is writer and artist Jack Kirby in pop culture?
You can scan the litany of comic book characters that the man created or co-created and you’d be certain to find dozens that are your favourites. From the globally renowned Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men series of characters, to the populace’s burgeoning awareness of Darkseid and Black Panther, to the more niche creations of Kamandi, Etrigan the Demon and Destroyer Duck. With Kirby, the list of great characters goes on and on and on.
Without him, pop culture and comic books wouldn’t be at all what we know it to be today.
This August marks the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby and we here at Biff Bam Pop! mean to celebrate that auspicious centennial with a plethora of written accolades all summer long!
This is your cordial invitation to our #Kirby100 party!
I, like many others, became familiar with the work of Darwyn Cooke through his DC: The New Frontier (2004), a six-issue miniseries that reexamined DC Comics’ stable of superheroes within the confines of the mid twentieth century and the changing political shape of America after World War II and into the Cold War era. DC: The New Frontier introduced readers to dozens of world-famous characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and even not-so-famous-but-beloved characters like the Challengers of the Unknown, meeting each other for the first time – in the same chronological order that they were originally published during the mid-twentieth century. It brought characters and ideas through the Golden Age of comic books (1930’s to 1950’s) to the burgeoning silver age (1950’s to 1970’s), with the story actually culminating in the foundation of the Justice League of America.
It was a brilliant idea. A tribute as much to the publishing history of comic books as it was a rollicking superhero adventure, the acclaimed series would garner multiple awards including Eisner Awards for Best Limited Series, Best Coloring and Best Publication Design. It also won Harvey Awards including Best Artist, and a Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist. DC: The New Frontier has been collected in numerous formats include a Deluxe and Absolute version, and was made into a direct-to-video animated film which preserved Cooke’s distinctive artistic sensibilities.
Things are going Ballistic for comic book fans this week, as Black Mask Studios unleashes a new series from writer/filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer and The Boys artist and co-creator Darick Robertson. This steampunk/futurist tour de force is something pretty amazing – it’s entirely unique. How often do we get that in comics? We’re very luck to have had the opportunity to talk to Adam Mortimer via email about the series, what to expect and lots more. This is the first of our regular feature on the series, so dig in and enjoy!
Andy Burns: Congrats on a kickass first issue of Ballistic! For everyone who is about to discover the series, why don’t you give them the basics of what the series is about?
Adam Egypt Mortimer: Thanks man! It’s taken us a while to get here and now the fun begins!
So… Ballistic is the tender story of a simple air conditioning repair man and his foul mouthed, drug addicted, psychotic gun. So it’s kind of the ultimate buddy action story, really.
An eco-apocalypse has fueled a meltdown in the western hemisphere. New forms of technology have had to replace the old, environmentally destructive forms. Here on Repo City State, technology is alive. Not only is it inspired by nature, it is grown from the endless possibilities of DNA. Red algae converters and living solar panel membranes power a city full of jellyfish streetlights and winged drones that eat off off electrical lines. Long extinct species live again and are engineered into unthinkably weird new forms.
But technology has not cured the human condition. People are still assholes. The dominant goal in this city is to be a famous gangster. So much so that TMZ-like blogs cover the styles and tastes of criminals.
Our hero, Butch, is a guy that shares this view of celebrity. He is an air conditioning repairman, but he longs to be the John Dillinger of his time. He’s in that mode of life where he is trying to psych himself up to make some kind of big move — like rob a bank — but he keeps getting in his own way. He partner and friend — maybe his only friend — is his GUN. A living weapon, it is a cranky motherfucker who essentially berates Butch for being a failure and cajoles him into making terrible choices.
In the first issue, Butch is finally propelled into taking a shot at a big heist, and when his gun does not cooperate, their cataclysmic failure sends them off into a very unexpected adventure involving a city-wide plot involving warring crime lords, tech moguls, and a disease that drives technology insane.
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If you’re living in the Toronto area or are thinking about visiting the city this weekend, you’re in for a treat. The 10th anniversary of The Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) is happening on Saturday and Sunday – and if you’re a fan of sequential art and storytelling in all of its forms, TCAF is the place for you to be!
If you haven’t been before, this isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill comic book convention. No, it’s much, much more interesting: truly a celebration of art, storytelling and the small-press and independent comic book industry by and for the people that love to create in unison with the people that love to read.
Love is a word that can be used often with TCAF.
The festival is indeed an international love affair and you can find out more info and some highlights after the jump!
I’ve been waiting for some new Paul Pope work.
Sure, there have been covers, short stories and the other whatnots in the comic book industry, but what I would really like to see is something a bit longer-form. I’m curious to see what comes next from the writer/illustrator and acclaimed Eisner Award winner of Batman: Year 100, the sci-fi Heavy Liquid, 100% and the absolutely amazing Adam Strange weekly serial that ran within the pages of Wednesday Comics, published a few years ago.
All of these works (available in smart hardcover compilations, too) point to new directions from a beloved creator of sequential art. But even with today’s release of The One Trick Rip-Off + Deep Cuts, we’ll all still be waiting for that new material (his Battling Boy is on the way, we’re promised). You see, today’s release compiles work from the 1990’s – early stuff in Pope’s career.
But to see where an artist is going, you need to see where an artist come from.
Fan Expo 2012 is about to hit Toronto and for the weekend of August 23-26th, nerds will rule. This marks the 18th year of Fan Expo and probably the 3 or 4th time I’ve attended… going to comics, sci fi, horror, anime, gaming conferences steels you against the extremes of fandom.
I expect this to be another crazy, cosplay filled, celebrity spotting type of conference; certainly nothing out of the ordinary for Fan Expo.
For a quick look at what’s in store and schedule hilights, read on.
The Comic Book History of Comics is a treasure that any comic book fan will want to own; a detailed homage to the absolutely unique story of comics, in comic book form! And thanks to Biff Bam Pop, you can win a copy of your very own.
From the award-winning team of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, this collection out from IDW offers something truly special for comic book fans. The Comic Book History Of Comics includes all the most important figures in comics/manga history: Jack Kirby, R. Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Alan Moore, Stan Lee, Art Spiegelman, Osamu Tezuka and many more.
We know Biff Bam Pop readers are serious about comic books, so we’re giving away one copy of this epic history of the comic book industry to one of YOU! Read the rest of this entry
All month long at Biff Bam Pop we’ve been featuring various origin stories. Today I asked comic book creator Emily McGuiness to share her own origin story and that of her graphic novel, Ties. Take it away, Emily!
My name is Emily McGuiness and my origin story is quite a tale. I am a comic book creator and all around art maven. I am the writer, penciller and inker of my slice-of-life comic book Ties: A Chronicle of Letters and Scotch. I also have my hands in about a million other projects like gallery shows, film, illustration, etc.
It’s a shame to say that I had preconceived expectations of the negative kind heading over to Toronto’s Fan Expo this year. Last year’s convention of all things comic book, sci-fi and anime was messed up. Too many people made for too many lines and staff, under the pressures of overcrowding and (rightfully) demanding patrons, broke down and showed their worst, most uncooperative and unaccommodating sides. Read the rest of this entry