Smash Pages Q&A: Francis Manapul on ‘Clear’

The artist of ‘Flash,’ ‘Justice League’ and more discusses his new creator-owned title with writer Scott Snyder.

Francis Manapul has been drawing comics for more than 20 years now. He became an artist to watch while working on Top Cow comics like Witchblade before moving on to DC Comics. While there, he drew Legion of Super-Heroes, Detective Comics and Justice League, among other titles, but he might be best known for his work on The Flash, which he eventually wrote in addition to drawing it.

After years at DC, Manapul is collaborating with his former Justice League partner-in-crime, Scott Snyder, for a new creator-owned comic called Clear. It’s one of several titles written by Snyder as part of his deal with comiXology Originals, and the second issue became available on the digital comics platform yesterday. Snyder and Manapul are clearly having fun with the neo-noir science fiction environment they’ve created that’s a departure from the bright world of superheroes, as Snyder said in our interview with him that was posted yesterday.

“People think of [Manapul] as doing this bright vibrant exuberant superhero work with a lot of emotionality that has a light, painterly feel,” Snyder said. “With this he’s showing that he has this whole range that hasn’t been explored with darkness and nightmarish kinds of abilities that he didn’t get to do much in superheroes.”

I spoke with Manapul at length about the origins of Clear, the opportunities that working on a digital comic have given him and drawing on the styles of other artists to create the “skins” featured in the first issue.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Scott Snyder on ‘Clear’ and more

The writer and teacher discusses the first three comics released through his exclusive deal with comiXology Originals.

Scott Snyder made a splash earlier this year by announcing eight new comics coming out digitally through comiXology and then in print from Dark Horse Comics.

Three very different first issues have already come out from the line:

  • We Have Demons, which re-teams Snyder with Greg Capullo after the duo’s long run on Batman and other DC projects.
  • Clear, a cyberpunk tale featuring art and colors by Francis Manapul.
  • And Night of the Ghoul, a monster horror tale drawn by Francesco Francavilla.

With these three books out, I checked in with Snyder about the books and how they represent what he’s thinking about right now.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | ‘Immortal Hulk’ meets its end

New comics and graphic novels arrive this week from Al Ewing, Mattson Tomlin, Andrea Sorrentino, Ryan North, Guillermo Sanna, Hope Larson, Scott Snyder, Francis Manapul, Evan Shaner and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital this week.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit Diamond’s website for this week’s almost complete list of new comics arriving in stores. You can visit Lunar Distribution’s home page to see DC’s releases, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

I should also add that the list of what is actually arriving at your local shop can vary from what’s on anyone’s official website for a myriad of reasons — so always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability

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Are you ready for ‘Scottober’?

Your Best Jackett’s required for a month of new comics from Scott Snyder, comiXology Originals and more.

This October, prepare yourself for a lot of Scott Snyder.

The writer of American Vampire, Death Metal, Batman, Nocterra and more — as well as comic book instructor on Substack — will kick off his new line of comiXology Originals titles with We Have Demons, his collaboration with Greg Capullo, who he worked with on Batman and more. The first issue arrives next Tuesday, Oct. 5, followed by two more titles later in the month.

“October has been deemed ‘Scottober’ at comiXology Originals,” said Chip Mosher, comiXology’s Head of Content, in a press statement. “With the arrival of We Have Demons featuring widescreen action and the kind of jaw-dropping storytelling twists that have made Snyder and Capullo the bestselling creator duo of the last 25 years, followed by Clear, Snyder’s first noir thriller and Manapul’s first ever creator-owned book, which is a dazzling, sci-fi thrill ride into a strange dystopian future, and in the lead up to the most terrifying night of the year, Snyder and Francavilla—two modern masters of horror—collaborate for the first time with Night of The Ghoul, a bold and bloody re-imagining of monsters that celebrates classic creature features.”

Here’s a trailer for the three October — sorry, Scottober — titles:

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