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First look at art from relaunched Aquaman and Wonder Woman

Cosmic Book News continues to parcel out scans from the DC Comics: The New 52 preview, offering a look at a page from Aquaman #1 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, as well as penciled art from Wonder Woman #1, by Cliff Chiang and Brian Azzarello (see the full pages at Cosmic Book News). It’s worth noting that the latter provides further confirmation that the star-spangled shorts are indeed returning.

Check out the Aquaman art after the break. DC Comics: The New 52 preview will be available later today at Comic-Con International in San Diego and in comic stores nationwide. Wonder Woman #1 goes on sale Sept. 21, followed a week later by Aquaman #1.

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Is this the triumphant return of Wonder Woman’s star-spangled shorts?

Two versions of Cliff Chiang's cover for "Wonder Woman" #1: left, the updated version; and right, the orginal

Despite her depictions on promotional materials and the covers for the debut issues of Justice League and her own title, it appears as if Wonder Woman will once again don star-spangled shorts come DC Comics’ September relaunch.

The evidence emerged this morning with the announcement of the DC Comics: The New 52 preview book that will be released next Wednesday in comic shops and at Comic-Con International in San Diego. In the upper left-hand corner of the cover is a slightly modified version of Cliff Chiang’s art for Wonder Woman #1, with the Amazon Princess now sporting shorts for the first time in more than a year — when Jim Lee’s divisive costume redesign was introduced as part of J. Michael Straczynski’s short-lived new direction for the character.

Wonder Woman #1, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, will be released on Sept. 21.

SDCC Wishlist | Cliff Chiang’s Epic Proportions shirt

by Cliff Chiang

I already have one Cliff Chiang shirt in my wardrobe, and hopefully come San Diego I’ll have another — the above shirt from Epic Proportions, a Comic-Con exclusive. EP has a whole line of signature tees by artists like Walt Simonson and Geof Darrow, so hopefully this will just be the first of many from Chiang.

For more on the shirt and Chiang’s upcoming run on Wonder Woman, head over to PopCultureShock for an interview.

Grumpy Old Fan | Blowed up real good

Justice League #1

[Note: This post was written Wednesday night, before the latest round of announcements.]

I was barely into the back yard when the lawn mower exploded.

This mower was far from new. My wife had owned it since a few years before we met, and it may have been old when she got it. It had cut the grass of at least four different addresses in three different states, and had been maintained and serviced fairly faithfully throughout its life. This summer, however, its persistent little engine had been making ominous noises that my amateur care could not entirely mitigate. When it ran over that big limb, which it tried mightily to shred as it had so many others, the stresses proved to be too much. The next thing I knew, there was a puff of smoke, a spray of oil, and a silver-dollar-sized hole in the mower’s side.

I pointed that out to my wife, to drive home the extent of the damage. “See that in the hole? That’s the piston.”

“We’ll take it to Sears in the morning,” was her reply.

Well, needless to say, by this point we were talking about an ex-mower. The most the Sears mechanics could suggest was to order a part that would cost more than a new mower. This was the tipping point for my wife, when practicality superseded sentiment. Indeed, the new mower is remarkably efficient by comparison, atomizing clippings and leaving a uniform green carpet in its wake. It is cool and bloodless, like a Secret Service agent or an athlete in prime condition. With luck, it will serve us as long and as well as its predecessor.

Now, clearly I am not telling you about my lawn mower because this has turned into “Grumpy Old Garden.” Neither am I saying DC had a gaping hole in its superhero line and we readers thought it could be simply patched. There was, and is, no simple solution — not even starting over entirely — to DC’s array of small and large ailments. A few weeks ago I talked about the relationships we readers form with these characters over time, and I can see a couple of ways to roll back whatever Flashpoint facilitates.

Still, after a week’s worth of pondering September’s lineup, I have decided it is time to embrace the new.

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If this was the rebooted Birds of Prey

Songbirds of Prey?

… I’d be down with that. But while that may not be the case, this piece featuring Wonder Woman and other DC heroines in a Runaways-esque pose drawn by Cliff Chiang will be included in the HeroesCon art auction this weekend. Which is pretty rockin’.

Get inked with Cliff Chiang art at C2E2 (for a good cause)

Art by Cliff Chiang

As a huge fan of artist Cliff Chiang, here’s something I’d be all over — if I were attending next week’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo and if I weren’t, y’know, deathly terrified of needles. It’s an eBay auction for a custom tattoo by Chang and tattoo artist Brian Stringer. Proceeds benefit The Hero Initiative, so it’s win-win!

The above art, which accompanies the auction listing, would make a fantastic tattoo. But here’s the thing: The winner can have Chang draw the character or subject of his or her choice (with a few caveats, I imagine) in advance of the show. The tattoo will be in black and gray; any color is at the tattooer’s discretion. Oh, and no face or neck tattoos. Visit the eBay listing for more details — and to bid, of course. The auction ends on March 16.

SDCC ’10 | Threadless unveils shirts by Thompson, Chiang, Moore and Baltazar

threadlesscomics

The T-shirt site Threadless has unveiled four new shirts by comic artists Jill Thompson, Cliff Chiang, Tony Moore and Art Baltazar just in time for San Diego. The shirts can be purchased separately for $20 each or as a collector’s set for $70. You can read more about how the artists became involved here.

In addition, the site has announced a new design challenge, where they ask artists to design a shirt based on a particular theme. This time around the theme is comics, and the shirt will be worn by a character in an upcoming issue of John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew.


SDCC Wishlist | Cliff Chiang creates new Star Wars propaganda posters

Fett ... Boba Fett

Fett ... Boba Fett

Based on the popularity of the propaganda posters he created for a line of Topps Star Wars cards, Greendale artist Cliff Chiang was invited to create some new posters for Acme Archives, which will debut in San Diego next week.

“We have an Art Deco-inspired Imperial recruiting poster, a Chairman Mao-style Rebel poster, and a 60’s spy film poster featuring the galaxy’s slickest bounty hunter (and a few others),” he said on his blog.

The posters will be available at the Acme Archives booth or via their website next week.

Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Spawn #9

Spawn #9

Legal | A federal judge in Madison, Wisconsin, heard testimony Monday from Neil Gaiman, Todd McFarlane and Dark Ages Spawn writer Brian Holguin, but didn’t rule on Gaiman’s claim that he’s owed royalties from the characters Dark Ages Spawn, Domina and Tiffany.

In 2002, a jury found that Gaiman co-owned the copyrights Medieval Spawn, Angela and Cogliostro, which he created in 1993 for McFarlane’s Spawn series. Since then the two creators have attempted, with little success, to determine how much money Gaiman is owed for the three characters.

On Monday, Gaiman testified that he thinks Dark Ages Spawn is merely a copy of Medieval Spawn, while Domina and Tiffany are copies of Angela. Holguin, who created Dark Ages Spawn, said any similarities to Gaiman’s character were unintentional, while McFarlane argued that all of the versions of Spawn share certain features. The judge gave both parties until June 25 to submit additional arguments. [The Associated Press]

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Straight for the art | Cliff Chiang rocks the Archie 50 covers project

Cliff Chiang rocks an Archie cover

Cliff Chiang rocks an Archie cover

Cliff Chiang shares his cover for the Hero Initiative’s newest cover project, which features artists drawing their own rendition of the cover to Archie #600. You can check out more covers and read more about the project here.

Straight for the art | Cliff Chiang’s C2E2 sketches

Kitty Pryde by Cliff Chiang

Kitty Pryde by Cliff Chiang

With convention season moving into full swing, there’s lots to look forward to — an endless array of comic announcements, cosplaying, waiting in lines for autographs … and probably my favorite thing, sketches. By folks like Cliff Chiang, who regularly updates his blog with the sketches he does at conventions, like this batch right here from this past weekend’s C2E2. Go check’em out.

C2E2 | Baltazar, Chiang, Moore, Thompson to create comic story on shirts

Threadless shirt by Jill Thompson

Threadless shirt by Jill Thompson

Threadless announced today during C2E2 that they’re teaming up with comic creators Art Baltazar, Cliff Chiang, Tony Moore and Jill Thompson to create a series of four shirts, each of which tell part of a story written by Thompson. The tees will be revealed at a party during Comic Con International in San Diego in July.

Straight for the art | Cliff Chiang’s Baltimore sketches

Zatanna and Batman

Zatanna and Batman

One of the fun things about comic conventions is checking out all the sketches that artists drew and post on their blogs afterward — such as Cliff Chiang, who posts not only this Batman and Zatanna sketch, but others featuring the Doom Patrol, Power Girl and more. Go check’em out.

Straight for the art | Cliff Chiang’s SDCC sketches

Bigby and Snow White

Bigby and Snow White

Artist Cliff Chiang shares several sketches he did while at the San Diego Comic Con last week, including Zatanna, Argent, Bigby and Snow White (above), Adam Strange and Green Arrow.

Six by 6 | Six comics that made us laugh out loud

dr13coverA couple of weeks ago Chris Mautner and I listed the six comics that made us cry. You guys responded with more than 160 comments filled with memories of comics that brought you to tears as well. It was very cool and kind of overwhelming to see that many people open up like that, so from both of us, thank you.

One commenter, cinorjer, suggested we name “six comics that made us laugh out loud.” Which we thought was a great idea — thanks, cinorjer! — so wipe away your tears and get ready to exercise your funnybone.

Joining Chris and I this week is Tom Bondurant, who was quick to come back with an example when I asked for suggestions. So let’s make with the ha ha’s and get down to it … and please share your own favorites in the comments section.

1. “What am I s’posed to do with a whole dollar!?”

I laughed aloud at much of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s “Architecture & Mortality” storyline from the recent Tales of the Unexpected miniseries. There were the Primate Patrol’s obvious (but well-executed) Planet of the Apes references; Traci 13′s “paper covers rock” spell; and the part where Infectious Lass says she’ll never know the touch of a man, about which I … Vampire! observes “perhaps if you changed your name….”

However, I particularly liked Dr. 13′s first real meeting with Genius Jones, the smartest little boy in the world. He’ll answer any question for a dime, but he won’t deal with Dr. 13 — because the Doc only has a dollar bill. “What am I s’posed to do with a whole dollar!?” Genius wonders.

“Tell you what — I have ten questions,” Dr. 13 responds.

“Do you have ten dimes?”

Eyes practically bulging out of his glasses, and beads of sweat leaping off his forehead, Dr. 13 spits, “I have a DOLLAR!”

It goes on like that for another few panels, until the head of the Primate Patrol bursts in: “How ’bout I geev you a nickel saun’wich?” And … scene!

Tom Bondurant

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