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#Kirby 100: Jack and the Argo Nuts

 

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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?

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#Kirby100: BBP! Celebrates The King Jack Kirby All Summer Long

Jack Kirby.

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!

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Make It Population You In “Royal City #1” On The Wednesday Run

royal-city-1Over here in the Biff Bam Pop! community, we’re big, long-time admirers of Jeff Lemire’s comic book work.

For the better part of a decade, Lemire has been awing readers in a multitude of comic book genres with both company-owned characters and original creations.

Whether it’s his ground-breaking Essex County Trilogy in 2008, his post-apocalyptic series, Sweet Tooth, which brought the writer/artist mainstream attention and acclaim in 2009, his take on the “Invisible Man” in the graphic novel, The Nobody, the space/time bending Trillium in 2013, his riveting ongoing science fiction series, Descender, his brilliant take on Wolverine with Old Man Logan last year, or the current Moon Knight and Black Hammer superhero series that he writes for different publishers, Jeff Lemire never disappoints.

Whew.

That’s a lot of writing – and, often, drawing.

Today, we add another title to the ever-growing list of Jeff Lemire must-reads with Royal City #1!

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RIP Darwyn Cooke – It Was Truly A Golden Age

DC The New FrontierDarwyn Cooke was a giant talent in the comic book industry and a titan as a sequential artist. Last weekend, at the age of 53, the world lost the award-winning writer and illustrator to cancer.

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.

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SDCC 2015 Spotlight: Lonnie Millsap

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It’s that time again, where nerds rev up to go to nerd Mecca. Yes, it’s time for San Diego Comic Con.

Even if you don’t get to go this year, there are a host of artists and creators you should know about. They’re easy to follow on the web and they have a mountain of nerdy goodness for you all year round.

If you are about to brave the germ pool, you should stop by and say hello to Lonnie Millsap. Humorist and cartoonist, Lonnie has just released a new book entitled: I Asked For A Fork!

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Dead, Stinky, Artsy And Awesome – BBP! Speaks With Author And Illustrator Emily McGuiness

What do you get when you cross a hardworking and talented comic book writer and artist with the ABC’s of early childhood learning?

The answer to that question would be something entirely out of the ordinary.

Whether it’s a road-kill armadillo, a smushed firefly or a drum-sticked flamingo, Dead Stinky Animals A-Z, a recent release from writer/artist Emily McGuiness, is a bright, colorful, and fun look at the darker side of life.

Yes, you may recall her name. Emily is part of the family, after all. Follow us after the jump and we’ll tell you all about it.

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Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013– Art Supplies

Ah, so you’ve got a significant other who fancies themselves an artist? A son or daughter who loves the subject in school? A friend whose been longing to paint like they once did in college, but has never quite gotten around to picking up proper supplies?

Well, now that we’ve tweaked your noodle this holiday season, let’s nudge you in the right artistic direction shall we?

The one thing that every artist needs, whether new or well established, is materials – one can never have enough of them.

Follow me after the jump for a few suggestions that, when unwrapped, will be most welcome in their studio.

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Walks, Landscapes, And A Swear Down – Biff Bam Pop! Speaks With Comic Book Artist And Writer: Oliver East

Swear Down coverMany in North America first became aware of Manchester, England based artist and writer, Oliver East, through his album cover work for the acclaimed English alt-rock musicians, Elbow. His drawings and paintings for the band’s seminal albums, The Seldom Seen Kid and Build a Rocket Boys!, perfectly captured the spirit of that music: at once puzzling and implicit, melancholy and joyous. But East had been hard at work making comics too, eventually releasing four books over the last five years through publisher, Blank Slate Books.

Renown for landscape-fuelled inspiration, his latest comic book offering, Swear Down, is also his most personal story. It debuts at the upcoming Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF), an event that East will fly over the Atlantic Ocean to attend and exhibit as well as meet and greet like-minded sequential art lovers.

JP Fallavollita got a chance to speak with Oliver East via email about his love of exploring the world and understanding life through walking, his evolution as a writer and an artist, and his affinity for American comics.

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Not My Bag Is My Bag On The Wednesday Run – October 17, 2012

October is a time for scary things: lumbering zombies, non-sparkly vampires, serial killers in the closet, the flapping sound of leathery bat wings, strange lesions on the back of an arm, things that go bump in the middle of the night, missing time and surprise property tax bills.

October is also a time when comic book publishing companies release the darker-themed periodicals that they’ve been saving for the past nine months. One of those books, for instance, made this column last week. There will be another before the month is out, I promise.

Sure, monsters and evil and all the other bad things associated with the current change of season are frightening, but what could be more horrifying than the thought of being trapped on the wrong track of life, caught in the wrong occupation, while a special talent is slowly sucked away?

That’s the premise behind Not My Bag by Sina Grace, a new graphic novel from a fairly new voice in sequential art.

 

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Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide Day 15 – The Wacom Inkling

Wow! Fifteen days into the Biff Bam Pop! Holiday Gift Guide and we’ve already highlighted lots of cool things for you, a friend or a loved one to read, watch or listen to.

Finally, here’s something cool to actually do: sure, you might need to be a little artistically inclined, but the brand new Wacom Inkling has got that great “Holiday Artsy-Techy Gift Idea” aura all about it!

Whether you’re a graphic artist, an illustrator or just a doodler, the Inkling could very well be the answer to your paper-to-digital-file prayers.

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