read/RANT Banner Contest (free comics)

readrantFirst – and the grand prize – will go to whoever creates a winning banner!  PLUS prize details and future (lame) competitions coming up!

Details inside…

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The Next Three New 52 Cancellations?

Rob Liefeld joins three ongoing series

Can DC honestly not understand that Rob Liefeld’s contribution to Hawk and Dove was the worst thing about it and – I have no doubt – one of the primary reasons it didn’t sell particularly well?

Their next step after canning the low-selling Hawk and Dove – GIVE LIEFELD THREE OTHER TITLES TO F@#$ UP!!!

Every so often I can look at a single Liefeld drawing and find something slightly appealing about it (I didn’t mind him on Deadpool Corps just from a historical perspective), but he is an AWFUL visual storyteller.

And as bad and lazy as a visual storyteller he is, he’s an even worse writer – from Youngblood (cough Teen Titans cough) to Agent America (ahem … no further comment necessary) his work is first and foremost derivative and unoriginal.  Let’s not even discuss the obvious links between Deadpool/Wade Wilson and Deathstroke/Slade Wilson (especially in the beginning before Deadpool’s character was developed in a way that differentiated him significantly from the DC villain).

Once again, DC are making decisions that make the New 52 feel less like a “bold, new direction for the future of comics” and more like Image Comics circa 1992.

New 52: The First 6 Cancellations (and their replacements)

Anyone who has been paying attention to comic sales has doubtless seen countless reports on the performance of the New 52.  And while DC’s ambitious relaunch has done a lot of good for their market share (with Justice League routinely topping the charts and four books selling over 100k copies per month), the sales for a number of their books started lower than they hoped and dropped fast to pre-relaunch levels.  Cancellations were imminent, and today, DC made the announcement, naming six books that will be concluding with issue number eight.

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The 10 Best Graphic Novels of 2011

read/RANT's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2011

When I began compiling my list of the year’s best graphic novels, I found myself including dozens of books with little rhyme or reason. To help me narrow my list down a little bit, this is the rule I created: the first English-language collected edition or original graphic novel had to be released in 2011. And while this excluded some of my favorite books from the year (Waid’s Daredevil, Rozum’s Xombi, and Lemire’s Animal Man, to name three), it was a good guideline when I was constructing the list.

Obviously, we missed some things – sometimes great things. We don’t read every graphic novel that comes out (as much fun as that would be!). I even know for sure some major releases that I missed, like The Death Ray. So feel free to tell me just how wrong I am! What were your favorite releases this year? Because these were some of ours…

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Help support a memorial for legendary comic creator Harvey Pekar

We’ve seen Kickstarter used to help people with art projects, film, comic collaborations and, perhaps most memorably, to build the city of Detroit a statue of Robocop.  But I’ve seen few causes as worthy as this one: help build a Harvey Pekar memorial in the Cleveland Heights Public Library.  Harvey is rightfully considered one of the greats when it comes to comics – if you haven’t read any American Splendor,  you really should – and this project looks like a fantastic way to memorialize him in the city he loved: not with a massive statue of the man, but of a memorial to the art form he so influenced in a location he loved.

As always, donations can get you some pretty sweet prizes, everything from your name on an online thank you list for the memorial to complete sets of Harvey’s comics work, calls or coffee dates from Harvey’s friends, family, collaborators (who include folks like R. Crumb, Alison Bechdel, Gilbert Hernandez and Alan Moore – though I hasten to add, there’s no mention as to who, specifically, you’d be talking to)  and the stars of the 2003 American Splendor film adaptation.

But even if there weren’t any gifts offered to those who pledge money, it’d still be worth your while.  As a longtime Clevelander currently trapped in Atlanta, I know I’d love to come home one day and be able to celebrate comics culture in the city that raised such immensely talented creators as Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster (Action Comics), Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man), Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and, of course, Harvey Pekar (American Splendor).  Help support comics culture, and Pekar’s legacy in Cleveland.

Batmonth!: The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises?” I hear you ask quietly, a little confused and scared that you have somehow overlooked a classic Batman story, that your geek cred has been challenged.  “What, good sir, is this?” you would ask in that ceaselessly polite way you only ever see on the Internet.

Christopher Nolan, who recently finally confirmed that he would be directing the third Batman film and that it would be his last, spoke today with the L.A. Times.  Nolan is notoriously loathe to drop too many hints about his movies too far in advance, but he did drop a few hints in the article (which I would be more than willing to bet all of you have already left this page to go read).

First and foremost: the title.  Nolan’s third and final Batman movie will be called The Dark Knight Rises.  Other confirmations?  The film will NOT be shot in 3D (thank goodness, says I), the villain will NOT be the Riddler or Mr. Freeze, and Nolan will NOT tell you what you want to know.

Anyway, hop on over to the LA Times to read the story and start getting excited.  Only, uh, two more years until the movie hits!

Let the hype machine begin!

– Cal Cleary