T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1 – Let's Look at the Relaunch

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When DC announced the 52 relaunch, there were a handful of titles I was concerned about: Xombi, Legion of Super-Heroes, Jonah Hex and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. As it turns out, the only one I got burned on was the criminally under-appreciated Xombi. Last week, the new volume of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents came out.

The first question is: “Did the last series count or is this a total reboot?”

Must read: Best American Comics 2011 Notable list now online

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Best American Comics series editors Matt Madden and Jessica Abel have just posted the Notable Comics of 2011 list, those comics that did not make the contents of this year’s Alison Bechdel-edited book, but are still worthy of notice. The listing includes covers, links and more information:

Nice art: Victor Ambrus

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That should really be F*&K Yeah! Victor Ambrus — one of the liveliest and most versatile kids book illustrators of the last 40 years. At age 75 he’s appeared on TIME TEAM as the archaeological illustrator who reimagines how people lived in the past.

And draws stegosauruses.

The Ambrus website does not have all the tons of meaty illustrations one might hope for, but it is still worthy of exploration.

Platinum pays contractors in stock instead of cash

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What is Platinum up to now that COWBOYS & ALIENS finally came out? Well, according to this call with shareholders, lots of COWBOYS & ALIENS merchandising and licensing…meaning it has now taken the place of MEN IN BLACK in the SCott Rosenberg bio. But new stuff is coming! And in a cost-cutting measure they have hired a company to rep them — but instead of paying cash they pay stock. Elsewhere, it’s a LOT of cost-cutting — not a bad idea given the huge losses they have been reporting.

Cyanide and Happiness in development at Comedy Central

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Among the lists of Twitter-base comedies, roast spin-offs and other hapless men in a hostile world of supermarkets and doorknob comedies,Comedy Central announced one deal based on a webcomic, namely CYANIDE AND HAPPINESS, the generally amusing stick-figure theater comic by Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Matt Melvin and Dave McElfatrick, all of whom will exec produce. The show is described as “a half-hour animated show featuring the twisted humor of a world populated by glorified stick figures.”

The CYANIDE crew has already been producing shorts and an iPhone app, so this is just anther step in their world conquest.

Nancy Silberkleit still helping the children with comics

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When last we saw Archie Comics co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit, she was being slapped with a restraining order by Archie Comics and accused of some rather odd behavior. The widow of former Archie owner Michael Silberkleit, Nancy was accused of harassing Archie employees by yelling out words for genitalia at meetings and other odd stuff.

Whatever the state of these internal affairs, Silberkleit is still out there using comics to teach children to read, according to a recent story about her visiting various elementary schools:

Casting a Paul: Jenkins replaces Cornell on Stormwatch

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Oh that old New 52 gang…the memories. But it’s breaking up so fast. Over on Twitter writer Paul Cornell confirmed that he was off STORMWATCH with issue #6, but

I’ll be staying on Demon Knights and Saucer Country, but #6 is my last issue of Stormwatch. Thanks, everyone, and good luck to Paul Jenkins.

The new STORMWATCH writer is Paul Jenkins, but he’s only been confirmed for two issues.

Clowes and Beaton make Time's Top 10 Fiction list

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Time is rolling out its top 10 lists and two graphic books made the ‘Top 10 Fiction Books list: THE DEATH RAY by Daniel Clowes and HARK! A VAGRANT by Kate Beaton, both published by Drawn & Quarterly. (To see the individual listings you’ll need to go through the annoying, hit making slideshow format.) Confirming the nerd-friendly tenor of the list, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R. R. Martin topped the list, although more traditional literary tomes were at other spots.

Comics-mole Lev Grossman penned the entries for the books. It was only a few years ago that Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME topped theTime list, and announced that graphic novels were just books with ideas and themes, too.

Nice art: Ed Piskor's Wally Wood beer label

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Toonseum, the Pittsburgh-based comics museum, has teamed with East End Brewing Company to produce Illustration Ale, a pen-and-ink friendly brew that has six different labels by illustrators. Ed Piskor has posted the process for his label which features Wally Wood:

Tom Brevoort on Marvel's distaff dearth

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Over on his ever-informative Formspring account, Marvel’s Tom Brevoort was recently asked about Marvel’s lack of a female-led title. And this is what he said:

Q: Do you feel like you have a social (beyond financial) responsibility to feature more female (or other underrepresented minority) headliners in titles? EX: DC has Batgirl & Woman, Voodoo, Wonder Woman, but Marvel has no book named after&featuring a woman. :

20 Days of Christmas: The Angry Birds Christmas Comic

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Did you think I was going to miss this one? The noisy birds from the world’s most popular mobile game are back with a new Christmas comic which is rolling out a page a day. See how the blue bird functions as the triplicate chorus, a la Huey Dewey and Louie?