Comics: Tripwire x 2

By , Columnist

Looking for a glossy, upscale entertainment magazine that’s fun yet intelligent? Something that’s substantial, and filled with engaging interviews and features on creators and creations. A good, extended read that’s timely, yet timeless, offering well-reasoned reviews alongside an array of strips in genres known and yet unnamed?  A big, colorful piece of pop culture you can enjoy at the beach or during a coffee break, something you can read in the car or on the train and not be even a little embarrassed?

Looking for something like that… for free, on a bimonthly basis? Or perhaps you’d prefer print, and don’t mind paying $9.99 for 124 full color pages of healthy mind candy?

Look no further than Tripwire Magazine.

The brainchild of founding member and longtime editor-in-chief, Joel Meadows, Tripwire Magazine is a London-based print magazine that first appeared in 1992. Originally focused on the comics industry and the music scene, from the first it’s served as a showcase for thoughtful reviews, meaty features and interviews with the top talent in the comics industry, creators like Alan Moore, Mike Mignola, and Frank Miller.

Perfectly positioned to both witness and report on the maturation of the comics industry, its creators’ broadened conception and surer grasp of the medium itself, and the attendant acceptance of the legitimacy of the art form among mainstream audiences, Tripwire has also proven to be one of the more vital and valuable resources for smart, insightful criticism and commentary on the state of the art and business. And even as comics have grown in scope to include original graphic novels, collections and, most recently, concepts like webcomics and same-day-sales of digital downloads, so, too, has Tripwire undergone a renaissance of its own.

Currently, Tripwire is available in two formats—as a bimonthly free downloadable magazine, and as a hefty, full color annual, both sporting all-original content.

The latest edition of the hardcopy annual, issue #55, was solicited by the comics industry’s main distributor, Diamond, two months ago (item code MAY111336) and should be available soon via the magazine’s website, as well as at book stores, comic shops, and newsstands worldwide. Beneath a stirring painted cover by David Michael Beck of Elric, this year’s annual offers celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the debuts of Fantastic Four and the aforementioned albino magician, and an interview with that character’s creator, Michael Moorcock

Elsewhere, Walt Simonson presents a preview of his forthcoming The Judas Coin hardcover, Jason Aaron submits to an in-depth discussion about his work on the critically acclaimed Scalped and Wolverine comic books, an expansive history of webcomics as seen from the inside from Shaenon Garrity, the Stripwire comics section, and more.

Tripwire 0.02.pngThe latest digital issue -- designated Tripwire 0.02 -- recently went live. Among the highlights of this second virtual issue are a feature on the genesis of the X-Men First Class film, as well as interviews with a couple of its screenwriters, a look back at Otomo's Akira and a piece on Rebellion's Slaine The Horned God, among other pieces.

[In the interest of full and fair disclosure, it should be noted that Bill Baker has contributed to past issues of Tripwire, and likely will contribute to future issues, as well.]

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A veteran journalist who has covered the comics medium since 1998, Bill Baker is also the author of Icons: The DC Comics and WildStorm Art of Jim Lee and seven previous books featuring his extended interviews with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and other notable creators. You can learn more about Bill’s work…

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