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Comic Riffs
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Posted at 12:44 PM ET, 06/03/2011

‘RIFFS PICKS: Five Favorite Images of the Week

From Fantastic Four spoofery to Napoleonic goofery, here are Comic Riffs’ Five Favorite Images from the comics week in review:


(Karl Kesel - via Team Cul de Sac)
As the scores of artful contributions continue to pour into Team Cul de Sac, a particularly dazzling one has now gone public. Superhero master Karl Kesel has donated an inspired take on Fantastic Four No.-1 — the groundbreaking book (literally and figuratively) rendered by Jack Kirby and published a half-century ago this November.

Bring on ... The Cul-de-Sac Quartet! Where Invisible Girl once wriggled, Alice Otterloop is drawn with a realism that makes us want to see an entire such book. Petey as Mr. Fantastic’s spatial surrogate is equally swell, and the real thriller might just be Dill the “Human Trebuchet” as the Human Torch.

The deadline for artists to submit work is June 15 for the book and auction, from which Team Cul de Sac hopes to raise a quarter-million for Parkinson’s research. Among the many other cartoonists who have signed up to co-opt Richard Thompson’s characters are Stephan Pastis, Jim Davis, Lynn Johnston and Politico’s Matt Wuerker — as well as Bill Watterson with his first public art in nearly 16 years.

Numerous illustrators, too, have donated their work for a “Cul de Sac”-sprung comics fanzine, titled “Favorites,” that will be sold this weekend at Charlotte’s much-loved HeroesCon , where Thompson will be among the guests hosted by Shelton Drum.


(Cliff Chiang - DC Comics)
DC Comics has rolled out its September shake-up over days this week. Renumbered titles and 52 “first issues”! Same “day-and-date” digital delivery! And the latest news that DC honcho Geoff Johns will write the relaunch of Green Lantern.

As DC began to unveil its teamings of first-issue talent, Comic Riffs was particularly beguiled by Cliff Chiang’s take on Wonder Woman No.-1. (If only the costume for the recently scuttled TV pilot had looked half that artful.)

The thick outlines and forceful motion. The attention to tiny detail over cascading hair. The gift with crafting flora as a virtual character. In a single cover, we see so much of what made Chiang’s art for Neil Young’s ”Greendale” such lush fun.

Now, we can only hope the Amazon’s book itself lives up to such promise.

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(Kate Beaton - Drawn & Quarterly)
The ever-popular Kate Beaton was at the 65th annual Reuben Awards in Boston over the weekend, where she — along with “Sheldon’s” Dave Kellett and “xkcd’s” Randall Munroe — talked webcomics with a membership largely born of the print world. And the day after the event, Drawn & Quarterly teased with the cover to Beaton’s “Hark! A Vagrant” book, due to drop in October.

Of the Reubens, btw, Beaton says: “I met many heroes of the newspaper comics page, and it was really wonderful to do so.”

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. (Valiant Comics )
Good to see the ol’ Valiant compass point in one direction: Toward its return.

It turned Comic Riffs’s head when Valiant Entertainment announced that its 1,500 characters would be finding their way to print and digital in 2012.

More eye-catching, though, was the piggybacking announcement that the new prince Valiant would be chairman Peter Cuneo — the ol’ Marvel vice chairman and CEO.

Cuneo, of course, left Marvel in 2009, when new owner Disney moved in and plunked down $4-billion for the company.

Valiant not only reportedly sold 80-million books between its 1989 birth and the 2005 demise of parent company Acclaim, but also worked with such superstars as Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Warren Ellis, Neal Adams, Joe Quesada — really, the list goes on and on.

Much is promised from Valiant. With enough capital and veteran vision, maybe Manowar will stand a fighting chance.


What is black and white and has a screw loose? (Tom Toles - The Washington Post)
It’s an inside job, but somebody’s gotta do it: Happily plug the latest Tom Toles Cartoon Caption Contest.

Last we looked, some 400 entries had been submitted via the Comments thread. The deadline is “11:59 p.m. ET on June 6.”

So if you’re so inspired, enter now — before opportunity, like a copter-expensing politico, flies away.

Now, if only Paramount had a preview image of the “Penny Arcade” guys matriculating to Hollywood.

By  |  12:44 PM ET, 06/03/2011

Tags:  cul de sac, heroescon, dc comics, wonder woman, cliff chiang, valiant entertainment, tom toles, kate beaton, hark a vagrant, reuben awards

 
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