Matt Fraction

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You don’t want to be the one who replaces the legend, you want to be the one who comes after that.

I realize now that I wasted $4 on Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez’ take on Hawkeye. Not because the book is bad or because Lemire and Perez aren’t talented, but because I’m just not ready for Clint and Kate to have an all-new adventure. Especially since Matt Fraction and David Aja haven’t yet concluded the old one. (more…)

We told you last month about the Aurora Rise benefit that is being organized by All C’s Collectibles in Aurora, CO to help the victims of the Aurora masacre and now, with Aurora Rise set to go on this weekend we wanted to remind you about this awesome event and the collective comic book community response to this tragedy.

In the time since late July the event has grown immensely — securing Mike Mignola, Steve Niles, Matt Fraction and others for in-store signings and appearances. They have also added the support of DC and Marvel, who have joined Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics as sponsors.

The event has now been picked up and covered by Comic Book Resources, Newsarama, Bleeding Cool, and serveral other outlets, with Rich Johnston and company over at Bleeding Cool repeatedly reporting on the event and donating items to All C’s. Speaking of items that have been donated that list is astonishing and with all proceeds from the silent auction going to the Alex Sullivan Fund and Giving First Aurora, this is bound to make an impact on the lives of those most affected by those horrific events. You can check the Aurora Rise Facebook page for updates on the list of products that will be available, including a small selection of items that may be auctioned online.

In the time since I first heard about Aurora Rise I have spoken with a number of people in the comics community and the sense of purpose and the selflessness that I have encountered has been awe inspiring. From Mr. Farnsworth dedicating his time and turning over his store to help not just the people he knows and knew but also victims that he had never encountered, to Aub Driver over at Dark Horse sounding the horn to the comic book media and Sarah DeLine over at Image coordinating across multiple imprints like Top Cow and Skybound to get people to Aurora and get donations in — all so impressive, all so helpful. I spoke to artist Tim Daniel via email about the event as well and I wanted to share with you what he told me.

The genuine nature of Jason [Farnsworth]’s desire to assist the victims and families of the Aurora shooting was palpable. I could feel the emotion in his words; the simmering frustration and outright shock mixed with a real hope to help make a difference in these people’s lives. Jason’s words gave voice to my own feelings about the shootings. Through his efforts, I had a chance to contribute something, because none of what happened that night made any sense to me. Selfish really, when I think about it – but also in a way, cathartic  – being able to contribute some marketing materials and help grow the awareness of the Benefit Event. Once again though, credit to someone else here, in the person of Colorado artist Anthony Gregori, who took my rough graphics and banged out polished art elements for me to arrange within 24 hrs. Having Tony hail from Colorado, only made it more appropriate and personal.

All of this comes from my admiration of the comics industry as a community, having been witness to so many selfless acts by creators over the last several years; whether it was benefit auctions, donations, appearances – there is always someone in need and often, I’ve seen members of the comics industry step-in with money or goods or whatever, in order to assist others. I’m very grateful to find myself to be a part of such a kind, generous, compassionate community. Jason’s customers, his friends and fellow Aurorans, whether they were in that theater or not – support this industry every Wednesday – there is an undeniable relationship there between each of them and those of us making comics. I’m proud to see the various publishers and individual creators that have stepped forward and  acknowledge that connection.

The Aurora Rise event takes place this weekend, August 25th and 26th at All C’s Collectibles. All C’s is located at 1250 South Abillene Street Aurora, CO. Their phone number is: (303) 751-6882 and their email is: allcs@comcast.net. If you live in the Denver/Aurora area or if you know someone who lives in the area please either stop by or let them know that they should stop by to watch Jason Farnsworth and the comic book community rise up to help those in need in the moments after many have forgotten the hell that they have and will go through as time goes on.

 

COMICS REVIEW: ‘Hawkeye’ #1

I have what I’d like to consider an advantage in reading and reviewing this comic, and that is that I have no clear idea in my head of what a Hawkeye comic book looks, feels or reads like. I know who Hawkeye is, of course (and yes, I knew who he was before the damn movie, so lay off), but he’s never been one of those characters who grabbed me. I used to feel the same way about Iron Man, though, and Matt Fraction is one of the writers (along with Warren Ellis) who turned that around for me. So, putting my faith in Fraction and dynamite artist David Aja, I snagged this debut issue and found myself swept into a gritty little world with a compelling, funny and completely freestanding Clint Barton at the center.

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COMICS REVIEW: ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ #7

We’re now officially more than halfway through Avengers vs. X-Men, and that means the endgame’s going to start shaping up any day now. But just as the Marvel architects behind this event haven’t been content to keep this story to a simple clash between two superhero teams, they don’t seem content yet to let everything fall into place. There are new challenges to be explored, new story threads to run out. Avengers vs. X-Men #7 is proof of this kind of continued ambition.

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COMICS REVIEW: ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ #5

The Marvel “architects” that masterminded Avengers vs. X-Men have been promising for a while now that they’ll deliver us big, unpredictable things in this story, and with the first third of this 12-part event complete, it’s about time they started delivering. By the end of Round 5, the story has taken a new shape, the stakes have been raised, and it’s confirmed for all of us that this is most definitely not just a Civil War rehash.

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COMICS REWIND: ‘The Immortal Iron Fist’

(Welcome to Comics Rewind, a weekly column devoted to discovering – or re-discovering – great comics published some time in the past. Here you will find looks back at comics published in every era, from the Golden Age to the Modern Age, as well as retrospectives on the work of important comics writers, lists of “essential” comics, and evaluations of important works, as well as works worthy of a second look or a wider audience. Enjoy!)

After his heyday in the late ’70s and early ’80s as a part of Heroes for Hire and the best buddy of Luke Cage, it was a bit hard to keep tabs on Iron Fist. He had a rather spotty time of things at Marvel, and then Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and David Aja launched this short-lived but amazingly fun ongoing series that brought things back to basics and reminded us all why Iron Fist is one of the Marvel Universe’s great badasses.

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COMICS REWIND: ‘Casanova: Luxuria’

This is the part where I admit my limitations as a writer.

I generally attempt to give some sense of what exactly you’ll encounter if you happen to pick up any of these comics I’m recommending to you each week. I try to outline the mainframe of the plot, give you a few character names to make you feel at home, maybe even tease a spoiler or two. I can’t do that this time. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to, it’s just that this time we’re talking about Casanova, and Casanova isn’t easy to peg.

Matt Fraction is now the guy who writes The Invincible Iron Man (and wins Eisners for it), the guy who engineered Marvel’s Fear Itself event, the guy who turned in impressive runs on Uncanny X-Men and Immortal Iron Fist, the guy who brought The Mighty Thor back to cosmic glory. Before he was those things, he trumpeted himself to the comics world with this book. Why is it so hard for me to articulate just why Casanova is worth your attention? Read on, because I’m at least going to try.

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Marvel Unleases Fear Itself

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We finally have some new information regarding the next Marvel Comics big event, entitled: Fear Itself!

Earlier today, Marvel held a press conference detailing a little bit more about the upcoming big event, which will be written by Matt Fraction with pencils by Stuart Immonen, and is currently slated to hit in April and run seven issues.

The conference, held by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, opened with him describing the current state of fear we are all exposed to:

All you need to do really is turn on a TV, a computer, a radio, and you’re sure to find a pundit, a politician, a prophet out there ready to tell you what you should be afraid of, who’s responsible and why you should be afraid of them. It’s a world divided. At the end of the day, you’ve got to ask yourself who should you trust? Who do you trust? 24 hour news cycles, weather change, WikiLeaks, depression, recession, bailouts, bankers … From World War II to Apollo 11 to September 11; the events that shaped our world have shaped the Marvel Universe

The true nature of the event is still being kept under wraps, but Quesada added, rather mysteriously, “Who will be the eight most worthy on the planet?”
Who indeed …

At the end of the conference, writer Matt Fraction spoke and said that this will be the biggest story Marvel has told, and that fans should expect an “extinction-grade threat.”

Everyone is afraid of something right now … the Marvel heroes versus the god of Fear. The more you fear him, the stronger he gets.

Perhaps this is a reference to Phobos (the god of fear and son of Aries, the god of war), and that he finally goes off his rocker? Stay tuned and find out!

According to IGN, Vice President and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort stated that Fear Itself will be comparable to Civil War in its scope, but more akin to Secret Invasion in the way they handle the tie-in series and crossovers. He also confirmed that the seeds for Fear Itself have been planted over the last year, and that readers should have a good time going back to find them all. A central idea of Fear Itself will revolve around a long-hidden event that occurred at some point in the past that, when revealed, will change the way we look at the Marvel heroes.

Fear Itself hits in April 2011, proceeded by a prelude issue written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Scot Eaton.

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