Terry Moore: A Modern Master

TerryMoore2          This week at the Banana Stand I wanted to spotlight a creator who I think every comic fan should know about and support.  Artist/writer Terry Moore is important to comics; not just because he has written some of the absolute greatest characters in the medium, or because his art is–even objectively–some of the best put to page, but because he has managed to have a successful career on his own terms and without the help(read: control) of a major publisher.  There are very few self publishers around today who achieve the level of notoriety that Moore has;  Jeff Smith and Dave Sim are probably the only others.  So join me in this discussion of why I think Moore’s work is important, and why you should be running out and buying anything he does.  Continue reading Terry Moore: A Modern Master

#Bat75: Top Ten Batman Artists

In honor of what has been called “Batmonth” around here, I thought I would put together a list of our favorite Batman artists. Who we consider the best hands to draw the wrinkles on Batman’s cowl. It was an intense process, with hours spent screaming ourselves horse. Eventually, we settled on these ten names…

10. Greg Cupallo

 “Where would Batman be today without the pencils of Capullo? He has defined the new Batman, not to mention Gotham City. The extreme precision and grace of his panel layouts ensure the correct emotional response from the reader. He creates suspense and mystery when necessary but can also deliver on the fast paced, action packed moments. Capullo brings you Batman in a way you have never seen before.”

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Review of Secret Files of Project Black Sky

Project Black Sky The Field

Dark Horse Comics is building a superhero universe, linking together its corporate superhero characters created in the 1990s (X and Ghost) with classic characters (Captain Midnight and Brain Boy) and modern creations like the character Blackout.  The glue that connects all of these different superhero characters is the secret government group “Project Black Sky”.  As Captain Midnight – a hero from the 1940s mysteriously transported to the present day – says about the organization, in the Free Comic Book Day:  Project Black Sky comic:  “It was founded in my day to combat horrors.  And in doing so… it may have become a horror itself.”

While the Free Comic Book Day:  Project Black Sky issue and other Dark Horse comics give a hint about the organization’s sinister agenda, the organization’s past activities are a mystery.  What “horrors” was Project Black Sky created to fight?  How did the organization become a “horror” itself?

Dark Horse Comics is exploring those questions in a webcomic entitled Secret Files of Project Black Sky, which can be accessed here.

The webcomic is written by Fred Van Lente, and promises, over the course of five issues, to pull back the curtain and show readers what Project Black Sky has been up to over the years.   The first issue is entitled “The Field”; a spaceship crashes to Earth in a rural field on October 30, 1938.  Van Lente’s choice of date isn’t random; not only is this the date of Orson Welles’ panic-causing War of the Worlds radio broadcast, it’s also the year in which the world’s first superhero character, Superman, debuted in Action Comics #1.  The spaceship’s crash landing, and the subsequent discovery by an investigating couple that the spaceship contains a baby, is taken straight from Superman’s origin story.  Then Project Black Sky agents show up; what happens next is horrible, and artist Steve Ellis’ art expertly renders a despicable action that should make readers sick to their stomachs.

Project Black Sky The Launch

The second issue is entitled “The Launch” and is currently ongoing.  If “The Field” was about the cold measures Project Black Sky took to stop a Superman analog, “The Launch” is about the organization’s efforts to stop characters that resemble Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four.  In June 1961 (the cover date for the first issue of Fantastic Four) military personal arrive too late to stop a rocket launch.  Astronaut Rand Roberts and three other crew members escape into space, in the hope of discovering new worlds.   Van Lente and artist Michael Broussard have crafted an exiting comics story that is still unfolding, and readers will have to read  future updates to the webcomic to learn what happens next.

Indubitable Issues

LOOKING FOR BOOKS TO BUY THIS WEEK?  

LOOK NO FURTHER.  

HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.

 Dean says this book will make you…
Shutter 2Shutter #2
 
Two words for you, ninja ghosts.This book is full of adventure and fun. Leila Del Duca penciled some incredible panels in issue #1 and I expect much of the same from issue #2. The expressiveness of Kate makes her instantly lovable.
 

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Batman Essentials: Hush is No Secret


320px-Batman_hush_coverBatman: Hush By Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee collects Batman #608-619 from December of 2002 until September of 2003. Hush has been a mystery to me for quite some time. If you google “top ten Batman stories” some lists you will see Hush on and some you will not. There are even lists out there where Hush holds down the number one spot. Personally I think any list that has it ranked at the top has a few more bat books to read but I am going to dive into why Hush is an essential Batman story.

 

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