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  • Matt Linton

Comics Collective Splash Page!

SPLASH PAGE (noun) - Often the first page of a comic, it is generally a full page image designed to introduce the story and draw readers in.

Hi everyone! Welcome to what will hopefully be the first in a weekly column looking at what's going on in the world of comics. The plan is to feature significant news, mini-reviews of comics-adjacent content (such as this week's look at the latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe), spotlights on new comics, and features on comic creators. I'll also be trying to include info about where you can get comics, including in-depth spotlights on local shops, how to find shops near you, upcoming events, and more!

RUSS HEATH (September 29, 1926 – August 23, 2018)

Veteran comic book artist Russ Heath passed away on Thursday at the age of 91. While not known at the level of some of his contemporaries such as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, or Curt Swan, Heath worked consistently from the early 1940s (working for Timely Comics - the company which would become Marvel) and continuing into the current decade. Heath made a name for himself working primarily on westerns and war comics, including G.I. Combat (where he co-created the feature "The Haunted Tank" in which "the ghost of 19th-century Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart, [...] is sent by the spirit of Alexander the Great to act as a guardian over his two namesakes, Lieutenant Jeb Stuart (named in the early stories as Jeb Stuart Smith, but eventually just shortened to Jeb Stuart) and the M3 Stuart that Jeb commands," Two-Gun Kid, and Sea Devils.

Image courtesy of David Barsalou's "Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein" - click image to visit his site.

Ironically, Heath's work is perhaps best known as the basis for two of acclaimed pop artist Roy Lichtenstein's painting"Blam!" The comic below, created by Heath for the Hero's Initiative, looks at Heath's feelings about this, although he mistakenly cites "Whaam!" (based on a panel by Irv Novick) as the work that was "borrowed" from.

2018 Hugo Awards/Comic News

While not explicitly comic-focused, the Hugo Awards for science fiction does have a few comic-related categories. This year, the winners include Monstress Vol. 2 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda (who also won for Best Professional Artist) for Best Graphic Story, Wonder Woman for Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form, and Nnedi Okorafor (writer of the upcoming Shuri series for Marvel Comics) for Award for Best Young Adult Book for Akata Warrior.

Comic Pick(s) of the Week: Black Panther #1-3 (2018)

I'm a few trades behind on the Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther run that began in 2016, so I considered holding off on this relaunch (with Coates remaining as writer, but joined now by Daniel Acuña on art). Ultimately, the premise - The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda - was too much for me to resist, so I jumped right in. I'm so glad I did. The premise is, essentially, that a Wakandan empire spans five galaxies in space. An unnamed slave with no memory leads an escape and is united with Nakia and M'Baku, two members of The Maroon, who are leading a rebellion against the Wakandans.

Black Panther #1 (Marvel Comics) - Art by Daniel Acuña

The slave is then given the name of T'Challa, after the legendary Avenger and warrior king of the Wakandans of Earth. Now, how any of this connects with the previous series, I couldn't tell you. And that's okay, because on its own this book is both an exciting space opera with beautiful art by Acuña, and also a story that, in a meta-textual way, functions as a reverse Afrofuturist re-telling of the Black Panther mythos itself, imagining the same rupturing and erasing of memory and culture as a result of slavery applied to the the unconquered/uncolonized Wakanda.

Black Panther #2 (Marvel Comics) - Art by Daniel Acuña


Friday, August 31st - Come join the Wayne State Comics Collective at Common Pub from 3:00PM - 5:00PM for the first of our monthly Meet and Greets! No reading needed for these, this is just an opportunity for new and old members to get to know one another, talk comics (or anything else), and hang out. Go to for more details.

Friday, August 31st - Vault of Midnight presents DETROIT COMIC BOOK CLUB - "Join us as we explore the breadth and width of the most exciting, innovative, misunderstood, and spectacular art-forms in the world. All levels of comic book familiarity are welcome!" - 7:00PM - 8:20PM @ Avalon Downtown Cafe & Bakery 1049 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI, 48226 (Click the link above for more details)

Oh, and speaking of Black Panther, the Detroit Film Theater is having a free screening of the 2018 film on Tuesday, August 28th and Wednesday, August 29th (3PM on both days) or you can catch a free outdoor screening on Wednesday, August 29th (Doors at 7:30PM, Movie at 8:30PM) at New Center Park at Second Avenue and W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit!


(click the image to find a shop near you)

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