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Matt Fraction’s full timeline breakdown of ‘Hawkeye’ #8-13

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Reading Hawkeye month to month instead of in trade is an awesome experience, but it can sometimes be rather confusing for readers, especially in the most recent arc in which Matt Fraction played a bit with the timing of each issue. It was only during the recent Hawkeye #13 that the full timeline of events came to light, and now Fraction has posted his outline for the full arc on his blog.

Fraction’s photo shows 28 index cards with timestamps, issue numbers and brief description of events from Thursday at 8 p.m. to Wednesday evening in an almost-hourly breakdown of plot. The descriptions make perfect sense once you figure out Fraction’s code (“C” means Clint, “K” means Kate most of the time, “B” means Barney, “L” is Lucky the Pizza Dog.), and it’s certainly a cool insight into the most recent arc and Fraction’s process.

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NYCC ’13 | Marvel reveals convention exclusives

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With New York Comic Con just nine days away, Marvel has announced the lineup of new and exclusive merchandise from comics, television and film that will be available for purchase at the company’s booth (#1354). The items range a Rocket Raccoon plush with Skottie Young print to assorted glass tumblers to T-shirts featuring Pizza Dog, Groot and Rocket Raccoon, and the periodic table of Thor: The Dark World.

See the list below. New York Comic Con will be held Oct. 10-13 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.

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Comics A.M. | Image, manga dominate July bookstore sales chart

Sailor Moon, Vol. 12

Sailor Moon, Vol. 12

Graphic novels | ICv2 has the July BookScan numbers, and six of the Top 10 titles are from Image Comics (four Walking Dead, plus both volumes of Saga). The latest volume of Sailor Moon tops the list, and the first volume of Attack on Titan shows up at No. 12, which is pretty good for a book that came out more than a year ago. The only DC Comics or Marvel titles to crack the Top 20 were Hawkeye, Vol. 2 (No. 18) and perennial bestseller Watchmen (No. 19). [ICv2]

Conventions | Fans are gearing up for next month’s Salt Lake Comic Con (which another article estimates will attract more than 25,000 attendees), but the announcement that professional cosplayer Jessica Nigri will be there has caused a minor controversy. [The Salt Lake Tribune]

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Francesco Francavilla, the hardest-working artist in comics?

It’s rare that you see an artist do a continuous long run on a monthly comic series these days. Mark Bagley, Charlie Adlard and John Romita Jr. are among the relative few, and even their tenures are sometimes broken up by extra-sized issues or a biweekly shipping schedule. But joining those ranks of the most prodigious artists in comics is a fairly new face: Francesco Francavilla.

The Italian artist has been steadily working up through the ranks in the comic industry since his debut in 2006, but 2012 was his breakthrough year, as he won an Eisner Award for his covers, saw his creator-owned series Black Beetle start at Dark Horse and drew two arcs of Captain America and a fill-in issue of DC’s Swamp Thing. But in October, things are getting crazy, with Francavilla working simultaneously as the artist on three series — Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Archie’s Afterlife with Archie at Archie, and his own Black Beetle: Necrologue at Dark Horse.

This has already been a blockbuster year for Francavilla, with seven complete issues already released — Black Beetle #1-4, Batwoman #21, Hawkeye #10 and #12 — plus an astonishing 46 covers for various publishers. Forty-six!

In an interview earlier this year with ROBOT 6, he commented on his amazing flurry of work by dubbing it “Creative ADD,” and even admitting he sometimes forgets what he does due to the sheer volume.

“The other day I was flipping through Previews and I saw a cover I forgot I did!” The artist told Tim O’Shea. “Then I went to check if I forgot to invoice it too!”

James Brown ain’t got nothing on Francesco Francavilla.

Of course Pizza Dog is on a T-shirt now

pizza is my business

After Hawkeye #11, I fully expect to see a Pizza Dog miniseries, if not a monthly spinoff … and even a guest spot in an upcoming episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Heck, maybe Marvel is just waiting until Comic-Con International to tell us one of those 2016 film-release dates already claimed is going to the dogs …

That’s just speculation, of course, but what I do know is that Pizza Dog has made his way to a T-shirt. WeLoveFine.com has a new design featuring David Aja and Matt Hollingworth’s art from that issue, in both men’s and women’s sizes. Pizza is his business, and business is good … check ‘em out below.

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Report Card | From ‘Hawkeye’ to Spongebob to ‘Green Team’

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Welcome to “Report Card,” our new week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.

So read on to find out what we thought of Hawkeye #11, the second issues of Green Team and The Wake, SpongeBob Comics Annual #1: Super-Giant Swimtacular and much more.

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Amazon reveals its 10 best comics of the year — so far

marble seasonBecause it’s apparently never too early to get a jump start on best-of-the-year lists, Amazon.com has rolled out a rundown of the best comics and graphic novels of the year so far, led by Gilbert Hernandez’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story Marble Season (Drawn and Quarterly). Here’s the full Top 10, arranged according to sales:

  1. Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon, by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido and others (Marvel)
  2. Solo: The Deluxe Edition, by various (DC Comics)
  3. Thor: God of Thunder, Vol. 1: The God Butcher, by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic (Marvel)
  4. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley (First Second)
  5. MIND MGMT, Vol. 1, by Matt Kindt and Brendan Wright (Dark Horse)
  6. The Property, by Rutu Modan and Jessica Cohen (Drawn and Quarterly)
  7. The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
  8. Marble Season, by Gilbert Hernandez (Drawn and Quarterly)
  9. Iron: Or, the War After, by Shane-Michael Vidaurri (Archaia)
  10. The Creep, John Arcudi, Scott Allie and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse)

The editors’ picks for the best of the year so far in each category can be found here.

Comics A.M. | ‘Walking Dead’ slips, manga rises in May

Naruto, Vol. 61

Naruto, Vol. 61

Retailing | Naruto topped the May BookScan chart of graphic novels sold in bookstores, followed by two volumes of The Walking Dead, the latest volume of Sailor Moon, and Yen Press’ latest Twilight adaptation New Moon. Just three volumes total of The Walking Dead made the Top 20 (down from eight last month), and as usual, DC and Marvel got clobbered: DC had three titles on the list (two volumes of Court of Owls and Watchmen) while Marvel had one (Hawkeye), and none was above No. 15. Or to put it another way: Vol. 14 of Dance in the Vampire Bund, a high-numbered volume in a fairly niche manga series, placed higher than every Big Two book on BookScan last month. [ICv2]

Creators | With the second issue of their digital-only comic The Private Eye recently released, writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Marcos Martin talk about their story, why they decided to do it digitally, and what the response has been so far. [The Verge]

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All Hawkeye cosplayers need a set of these in their quiver

trick-arrows

With the popularity of Hawkeye –both the Clint Barton version, starring in his own stellar comic and various Avengers titles, and the Kate Bishop version, currently appearing in that same stellar comic and the snappy Young Avengers — it’s not surprising that Hawkeye cosplayers are taking aim at conventions around the world.

If you’re wanting to sport the gear of the younger, female Hawkeye, but aren’t sure where to get started, here’s a Tumblr by a devoted Kate Bishop cosplayer that should tell you everything you need to know. It’s appropriately titled “Gosh I Love Arrows,” and I think she goes above and beyond in the creation of a set of trick arrows based on David Aja’s illustrations from issue #3.

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What Are You Reading? with Allison Baker

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Happy Mother’s Day and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics, books and what have you we’ve been checking out lately. Joining us today is Allison Baker, co-publisher of Bandette, Edison Rex and all the other Monkeybrain Comics you can find on comiXology.

To see what Allison and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Francesco Francavilla on ‘The Black Beetle’

The Black Beetle: No Way Out 3

The Black Beetle: No Way Out 3

Frequent readers of ROBOT 6 know I’m a big supporter of Francesco Francavilla, and particularly his Black Beetle character. Wednesday marks the release of The Black Beetle: No Way Out #3, the penultimate issue in the first of a series of miniseries for Dark Horse. As much as I was eager to learn about the pulp-fueled noir comic, I was equally keen to chat with Francavilla about his approach toward layout and storytelling in general.

As part of the interview, Francavilla shared some preview pages for the latest issue.

Tim O’Shea: Comparing the early adventures of the Black Beetle, as shown in Night Shift versus No Way Out issues 1 and 2, how liberating did it feel to be increasingly ambitious with your layouts on the pages?

Francesco Francavilla: Very liberating. One of the tricky parts of doing Night Shift was to have three small installments (chapters) of eight pages. I wanted each single chapter to be meaty enough to be entertaining on its own, but I also wanted each chapter to end with a cliffhanger. Going from that to a full 22 pages a month with No Way Out, I have much more room now to have fun with different layouts and give extra room for some big reveal sequences.

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What Are You Reading? with Dave Dwonch

saga8

Happy Sunday and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at all the comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately. Today our special guest is Dave Dwonch, creative director at Action Lab Entertainment and the writer of such comics as Space-Time Condominium, the upcoming Ghost Town, Double-Jumpers and more.

To see what Dave and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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What if corporate-owned heroes had corporate sponsors?

sponsored heroes3

Booster Gold was introduced in 1986 as a glory-seeking time traveler eager to sign endorsement deals, and in his appearance on The CW’s Smallville wore a costume emblazoned with corporate logos, similar to a NASCAR racing suit. But what if other superheroes followed in Booster’s footsteps?

In his series “Sponsored Heroes,” Roberto Vergati Santos envisions costumed heroes from comics and films if they were getting some sweet, sweet sponsorship money from the likes of Nike, Apple and Coca-Cola (although why a cosmic entity like Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, would need corporate cash is beyond me).

Some of the results a much better than others. You can see a sampling below, or view the entire series at Behance.

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Cheat Sheet | From MegaCon to ‘Wolverine’

cheat sheet-march11 copy

Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6’s guide to the week ahead. Below you’ll find a roundup for Marvel’s announcements from South by Southwest, our contributors’ picks of the comics of the week, and the top events to watch for in the next seven days.

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It’s one-part ’90s, two-parts ’00s in ‘Age of Ultron’

age of ultron #1The first issue of Marvel’s Age of Ultron is definitely shiny, but is it new? Not hardly.

It is relentlessly focused on the evocation of nostalgia, to a degree that’s remarkable even among super-comics (a genre that’s built out of nostalgia-evocation), but what is perhaps most interesting about the book is the particular frequency of nostalgia the publishers appears interested in.

Yes, this is a comic book seemingly about other comic books, a comic book like so many other Marvel comic books you’ve already read, but which Marvel comic books, and from which decade? That’s what’s unusual about this particular go-round.

It’s hard to look at the cover and not think of the 1990s.

No longer content with variant-cover schemes, Marvel has upped the ante in its silly cover-gimmick arms race with DC Comics, and come up with an embossed gold-foil cover. There’s a metallic shine to the wrap-around cover (the back of which is really an ad for the second issue), justified in-story by the fact that this is about a robot. That robot, Ultron, like the “AU” and “Marvel” logos, is embossed, so the comic feels special — not just metaphorically, but literally. Run your fingertips all over it with your eyes closed; yeah, this isn’t your typical issue of Avengers!

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