‘Constantine’ Primer: The Five ‘Hellblazer’ Stories To Read Before The Show Premieres

On Friday, NBC premieres Constantine, a supernatural drama based on Hellblazer, a long-lived but relatively niche DC Comics title about a Liverpudlian punk-rocker-turned-sorcerer with suspect decision-making skills. Given the post-Whedon ubiquity of wisecracking antiheroes battling literal and figurative demons, those unfamiliar with the character can hardly be blamed for rolling their eyes at the prospect of another addition to the ghostbusting pantheon. And yet, if the showrunners do their jobs right, John Constantine has the potential to eclipse the trenchcoat brigade of paranormal investigators that preceded him to the small screen. He springs fully-formed from 25 years of paradigm-shifting comics that hit consistent high notes in terms of literary and artistic ambition, propelled by the (yes, I’ll say it!) auteurist idiosyncrasies allowed to flourish under DC’s once-hallowed Vertigo imprint. … Read More

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Anti-Harassment Policies and Diversity Panels: How NY Comic Con Worked to Make Geek Culture More Inclusive

One of the first things you see upon entering New York Comic Con is a large sign that unequivocally states, “Cosplay Is Not Consent.” ReedPOP and NYCC 2014, with the help of The Mary Sue, introduced a new policy dictating zero tolerance for harassment (which it defines as including “unwelcome physical attention,” “offensive verbal comments,” and “bathroom policing”). Putting aside the obvious frustration that any of this has to be spelled out in the first place, it’s refreshing to see the anti-harassment policy so prominently displayed. (It’s also in the program and on the official mobile app; in just a few taps, you can report an incident immediately.) Combined with the impressive number of progressive panels in 2014, it’s indicative of NYCC’s growing concern with making the convention safer, friendlier, and more inclusive, especially for women, even if the convention — and “geek culture” as a whole — still has a long way to go. … Read More

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“Women as Supporting Characters Is a Problem”: NY Comic Con Panels Take on Strong Female Characters and Trans Themes

Sponsored by girl-geek destination site The Mary Sue, Saturday’s New York Comic Con panel on “Strong Female Characters: The Women Shining in Geek Media” began by making clear what a strong female character isn’t. “There’s a lazy definition of the strong female character,” Lindsay Ellis, creator of YouTube’s Nostalgia Chick channel, notes. “Which is: ‘female character that do guy things. And she punch and she fight.'” Along with “Secret Identities: Transgender Themes in Comic Books,” convened 24 hours later in the same filled-to-capacity room at the Javits Center, the panel took a hard look at representation in the works celebrated at this weekend’s Comic Con — both how far it’s come, and how far it has to go. … Read More

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Justice Is Served! Amazon Prime Revives Cult Classic ‘The Tick,’ With Patrick Warburton

What? This news is crazy. If you are a fan of Ben Edlund’s brilliant comic book series-turned-cartoon-turned-live action show (and… Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: Read an Excerpt From Liz Prince’s ‘Tomboy’

Liz Prince has been a cult and beloved figure in the world of comics for awhile, and in her autobiographical book Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir, she discusses the subject of growing up, in her inimitable, honest and simple style. Prince was never a girly-girl, and watching her navigate between the two poles of who she was and the (pink) box people wanted her to fit into makes for a fascinating look at what “identity” means in the process of growing up. The book’s out on September 2nd, but we have an exclusive look at some pages now. Check it out below. … Read More

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Gloriously Subversive Comic Book Beefcake: Brett White’s Superhero Parodies

When Marvel Comics decided to have an erotic artist, Milo Manera, illustrate a variant cover for Spider-Woman #1, the results were… well, they were what you would expect from an “erotic artist,” and distinctly striking in their porn-like feeling. As a result, the cover caused a lot of outcry and protest online, especially considering that the world of comics has a tendency to treat female characters like sex-symbol appendages and that’s it. (Google “Power Girl boob window” if you want more to be depressed about.) However, Brett White responded with his own funny mock-ups of super-sexualized male superheroes, taken from the “Marvel Swimsuit” Issues from 1991 – 1995 and the result makes the point with pictures that say 1,000 words. (We spotted these via Comic Book Resources — you can also check out White’s Tumblr.) Take an erotic trip to hunk city, and collect all ten hot-guy comic book covers. Wolverine is totally going in my locker. … Read More

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An Attempt to Explain the Utterly Inexplicable San Diego Comic-Con

There are certain traditions that have snuck into our popular culture so quietly and casually that we don’t stop to think how ridiculous they are, and the San Diego Comic-Con (which concluded Sunday) is one of them. Just try explaining it sometime to someone who doesn’t know anything about comic conventions or blockbuster marketing: “Oh, well, it’s a big gathering for fans of comic books and genre films and television and basically all of the expensive things that Hollywood does. They all pack into a California convention center in July — some of them in costume as their favorite characters — and wait in ridiculously long lines so they can go into giant convention halls and geek out over things that haven’t come out yet, but which they think will be cool.” … Read More

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See Lady Gaga Play a Waitress in ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ Trailer

A lot of important entertainment news premieres at Comic-Con each year, much of which is entirely irrelevant to the world… Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: Preview ‘C.O.W.L.,’ the Comic Described as ‘The Avengers’ Meets ‘Mad Men’

Superheroes need to unionize. Imagine if Batman, tired of living that vigilante lifestyle, joined up with his fellow superheroes in order to earn a living wage while fighting for justice. That’s the premise behind the new creator-owned Image Comics series C.O.W.L. The title stands for “Chicago Organized Workers’ League,” and in this ’60s-set story, tired superheroes who banded together as C.O.W.L. are facing an uncertain future. It’s a fresh reimagining of superheroes who feel far more realistic than men in tights. Flavorwire emailed with C.O.W.L. co-writer Kyle Higgins, who’s expanding the world of his original short film, “The League.” Read ahead for Higgins’ insight and exclusive images from C.O.W.L. #2, available on Wednesday, June 25. … Read More

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How the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Came to Dominate ’90s Culture

For a bunch of layabouts who live in a subterranean cave and obsess over pizza, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had impressive staying power. No longer just a hazy ’90s memory, the heroes in a half-shell — Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo — are on the comeback trail, with a revived show on Nickelodeon and a Michael Bay-directed film coming out this summer with Megan Fox as April O’Neill. … Read More

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