Artists unsheathed their talent for ‘Swordtember’

Check out a few of the awesome artists who drew blades and more during September’s daily drawing challenge.

As we move into October, a month where many creators take on daily drawing challenges and produce a whole bunch of cool art, I thought it first important to point out that September got in on the action early. The ninth and best* month of the year transformed into “Swordtember,” as many creators decided to dedicate the month to drawing awesome swords.

The idea came from artist Faith Schaffer, who offered prompts for each day to inspire the artists who participated. (For her part, Schaffer drew several new sword tattoos that you can find in her Gumroad store, in addition to daily drawings).

Ron Chan, whose work you may know from the Plants vs. Zombies comics and the recent Earth Boy graphic novel, created a single sword image for each day of the month that not only stood on its own, but also all connected into a month-long story.

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‘Batgirls’ launches in December from DC Comics

Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Jorge Corona and Sarah Stern bring Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown and Barbara Gordon together for a new series.

Three former Batgirls will share the spotlight in a new ongoing series, appropriately titled Batgirls. Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad will write the new series, with Jorge Corona and Sarah Stern providing art.

The all-ages title features Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown and Barbara Gordon, “who are only able to navigate the dark, gritty, and oftentimes scary Gotham City by leaning on each other’s friendship.”

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What Are You Reading? | Sometimes what is lost can still be found

The Smash Pages crew shares what they’ve been reading lately, including ‘Amazing Fantasy,’ ‘Star Trek: Year Five,’ ‘The Legend of Auntie Po,’ ‘Bloom County’ and more.

Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our (cough, cough) weekly (cough, cough) look at what the Smash Pages crew has been checking off their “to read” list lately. Ok, so it’s been a little more than just a week since we last shared what we’ve been reading, but we’re back now, locked and loaded with all kinds of comic reviews just for you.

Let us know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments or on social media.

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DC announces ‘Wonder Woman: Black & Gold’

The six-issue anthology series debuts in June.

Following in the footsteps of Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman has staked out her portion of the color wheel with Wonder Woman: Black & Gold.

The six-issue anthology series will feature stories by various creators, told in two colors — black and gold, “the color of her famous lasso.”

For the first issue, DC has recruited John Arcudi, Becky Cloonan, Amy Reeder and more to tell stories featuring the Amazon.

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DC reveals additional creative team changes after ‘Future State’

DC held several panels at Brazil’s CCXP to announce new titles, creative team changes and more.

For two months, DC will focus on the future of the DC Universe as they present DC Future State in January and February. Limited series starring future version sof Superman, Batman, Wonder and more will temporarily replace their regular titles.

Come March, though, many of the creators bringing Future State to life will stay on to work on the ongoing titles as well. DC revealed many of these creative changes during CCXP, a big comics convention held in Brazil. This year, the event was held virtually, of course, and DC used it as an opportunity to highlight several of these changes.

Here’s a rundown of what we know so far on what to expect from DC’s regular line-up when it returns in March after their two-month hiatus:

(Note: I’ve updated this based on the press release from DC that came out Dec. 7, with new details and artwork)

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Mail Call | ‘X-O Manowar’ returns, ‘Death Metal’ one-shots and more

A round-up of news from DC, Marvel, Image Comics, Valiant and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

The Dark Nights: Death Metal event grew again this week, as DC announced two new anthology one-shots for November prior to releasing their full November solicitations.

The first one is focused on Lobo and is titled Dark Nights: Death Metal Infinite Hours Exxxtreme! #1. It will feature “Uncle Lobo” telling “familiar yet freaky stories of the DC Universe, exactly as he remembers them: with blood and guts and exxxtreme gratuitous violence.” The creators involved include Frank Tieri, Becky Cloonan, Dale Eaglesham and more, with a cover by Kyle Hotz.

If that one isn’t ridiculous-sounding enough, the second one, Dark Nights: Death Metal The Multiverse Who Laughs “offers the curious—and the brave—a glimpse into the nightmare realities that the Batman Who Laughs has created in tales by creators who know what it means to have a truly twisted sense of misfit humor.” As you can tell by the cover, one of those worlds features evil super pets. It includes stories by Amanda Conner, Patton Oswalt, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Snyder, Brandon Thomas, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Chad Hardin and more.

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Killjoys will make more noise this fall

‘The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem’ will arrive in October from Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, Leonardo Romero and Dark Horse Comics.

It’s been about seven years since Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan teamed up for The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the comic book spinoff of the My Chemical Romance album of the same name. Well, look alive, sunshine: The Killjoys, just like My Chemical Romance, are returning, in the new miniseries The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem from Dark Horse Comics.

According to Alternative Press, Simon and Way will be joined by illustrator Leonardo Romero, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Nate Piekos for the new series. Cloonan will return, but only to do variant covers:

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Cartoonists go all in on Hourly Comics Day

Check out comics by Becky Cloonan, Kate Beaton, Celeste Woods, Faith Erin Hicks and more.

It’s early February, which means its time for the annual #HourlyComicsDay, where cartoonists commit to making and posting a comic every hour for a day.

Most hourly comics typically fall into the “autobiography” category, as participants detail their day in comics form, but some will share fictional stories as well. Unlike Inktober, which has prompts and structure (and, apparently, legal issues now) Hourly Comic Day is just a fun challenge that artists choose to take.

Here are a few examples from this year:

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Dark Phoenix rises on Becky Cloonan’s Loot Wear shirt

The raglan shirt featuring the image is available this month only.

Comics creator Becky Cloonan has been doing some design work for Loot Crate, “the worldwide leader in fan subscription boxes,” and their sister site, Loot Wear. One of the pieces she’s done for them ties into the big summer superhero blockbuster, Dark Phoenix — and it is on fire.

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Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint returns in July

‘Collapser’ and ‘Far Sector’ join ‘Doom Patrol’ at the pop-up imprint.

Singer Gerard Way’s “pop up” imprint at DC Comics will roar to life once again in July, as the publisher has announced more Doom Patrol and two new titles under the Young Animal banner.

“We are thrilled to revitalize Doom Patrol, and to present both Collapser and Far Sector, two books that push the medium of comics and their respective genres through uncharted territory,” Way said in the press release. “Readers can expect everything from high doses of cosmic weirdness and positivity, to deep examinations of anxiety and emotions while wielding immense power, to sci-fi explorations of authority and control and what it means to be a guardian while a world hangs in delicate balance. More fantastic comics outside the norm, as only DC’s Young Animal can do.”

More details on the new titles can be found below.

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‘Detective’ #1000 to feature Dini, Lee, Bendis, Cloonan, Ellis and more

DC Comics has unveiled the line-up for Detective Comics #1000, the landmark issue that arrives in stores in March.

The comic will feature short stories by a variety of creative teams, from classic Batman creators like Denny O’Neil, Paul Dini and Kelley Jones, as well as more recent creators like Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Tom King.

“Following in the footsteps of the blockbuster Action Comics #1000, Detective Comics #1000 is going to be a must-have for every kind of Batman fan,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “Everyone we asked to be a part of this monumental issue immediately said yes and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the comic book.”

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Inktober Spotlight: Becky Cloonan’s Oracle Cards

The creator of ‘By Chance or Providence’ shares a new deck of Oracle Cards based on her stories.

October is also known as Inktober in artist circles. During Inktober, artists from all over the world create a different ink drawing every day of the month. While the official Inktober site provides a list of “prompts” to help inspire artists, many of them choose their own themes.

With many comic artists once again participating this year — you can find a lot of them on Twitter or Tumblr using the #inktober hashtag, and we’ve been posting a bunch on our own Tumblr — we thought we’d spotlight a few of the fun ones we’ve seen so far.

Comics creator Becky Cloonan has brought her distinctive writing and artwork to mainstream comics, independents and self-published small press, including titles like Punisher, Gotham Academy, Southern Cross, Demo, Pixu, The Mire and Batman, to name just a few. For Inktober, she’s creating a deck of Oracle Cards based on her collection of minicomics, By Chance or Providence. She explains in this tweet:

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