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Long-Ago Times and Far-Away Galaxies: Celebrating The Visual Inspiration of Ralph McQuarrie!

Ralph McQuarrie is one of people whose name may not be known to the public at large, but whose imagination gave rise to some of the most indelible, incredible imagery in all pop culture. He was a designer, a concept artist, and a creator who could take fantastic ideas and give them form, serving an essential role in the making of classic films and TV shows.

Born on this day in 1929, McQuarrie designed the spaceships seen in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and E.T., he conceived the look of the original Battlestar Galactica, he was responsible for a central image in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, he production designed Cocoon, and he worked as visual consultant for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. But inarguably, his major achievement was defining the look of the Star Wars universe.

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Fantastic Five: Best Adventure Strips

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

These days, if people remember that they still make newspaper comics at all, they probably think of gag-a-day humor strips, like Garfield, or one of the few remaining soap opera strips, like Apartment 3G, or whatever Mark Trail is. But in the 1930s and '40s, the adventure strip ruled the roost. Two-fisted men and women sockin' jaws, flyin' planes, and rightin' wrongs, three panels at a time. This video counts down five of the best, most exciting, and most beautifully rendered adventure strips of all time.

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The 100 Greatest X-Men Of All Time

Who are the greatest X-Men of all time? To mark the release of X-Men: Apocalypse, we came up with the ultimate list of the top 100 characters ever to wear the X as part of the extended family of Professor Charles Xavier's Westchester school. These are the very best heroes (and sometimes villains) in more than fifty years of stories about Marvel mutants fighting for a world that hates and fears them!

The final list was determined by a combination of our expert panel's rankings and our readers' votes, and as you might expect, the results offer an amazing selection of icons, powerhouses, and gorgeous freaks --- not to mention a few unexpectedly popular weirdoes. But it wouldn't be the X-Men without embracing the appeal of the weird.

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12 Facts You May Not Have Known About Charles Schulz’s ‘Peanuts’

Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!

Charles Schulz's Peanuts is one of the most popular and influential newspaper comics of all time, running from 1950 until Schulz's death in 2000. Even in the years since that time, Peanuts has continued to run in nearly every major American newspaper in reruns, and thanks to animated specials, movies, and merchandising, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Woodstock and the rest are familiar presences all across the world. In this video you can learn about good ol' Charlie Brown and the gang from their earliest days to the end of the strip and beyond.

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Best Comic Books Ever: Free Comic Book Day 2016 Edition

Best Comic Books Ever (This Week) is our weekly guide to the best new comics in stores, but today we're taking a special look at the best free comics on offer at this year's Free Comic Book Day on Saturday 7 May.

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event in which publishers offer readers a chance to pick up free comics and samplers at local comic book stores. To find a participating store near you visit FreeComicBookDay.com. Most stores will only let you pick up a limited number of free comics, so that there are enough to go around, so here are our recommendations of the cream of the crop.

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Business and Brews, Masterpiece Growler

This event specifically will take place at Draught Works Brewery and you will be able to show off your creative side.

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Batman ears by Dick Sprang and Kelley Jones
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An Extensive And Exhaustive Examination Of The Most Important Question In Superhero Comics: How Long Should Batman’s Ears Be?

Some of the most intense debates over minor comic details often come from one single element of the superhero genre: Batman's costume. Yellow oval or black bat? Belt pouches or capsules? Blue and grey or all black? With as many variations as there have been on one of the most iconic looks in history, there's no shortage of things to argue about, and today, we're going to settle one of the most long-lasting debates: How long should Batman's ears be?

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2016 Western Montana High School Art Show

Congratulations to all artists who have their art on display during this years show!

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She Doesn’t Need Superman: Author Tim Hanley On ‘investigating Lois Lane’ [Interview]

Lois Lane wasn't designed to be a headliner, but simply a player in Superman's adventures. Over the years, she's evolved to become his rival, foil and competitor, his friend, partner and colleague, and his girlfriend, lover and wife. She's been a damsel in distress, a sidekick, and yes, a hero in her own right.

In Investigating Lois Lane, author Tim Hanley traces the character from her inspirations to her appearances in receny comics and adaptations. We talked to Hanley about his new book, what works best for the character, and where he thinks she should go next.

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Ask Chris #282: Getting Into The Golden Age

Q: Aside from laying groundwork, most Golden Age stuff I've read is not very good. Are there any must-reads from the era? -- @TheKize

A: Listen, if you're having trouble getting into Golden Age books, I do not blame you. I've read my fair share of them over the years, and while I definitely think it's worth tracking down some of those early superhero comics if you're looking to broaden your horizons a little bit, I'll be the first to tell you that they can be hard to get into for a variety of reasons --- and as you said, chief among them is the fact that a lot of those old comics are just not very good.

Of course, you could say that about pretty much any era of comics and you wouldn't be far off from the truth. More than that, though, I think there's a big barrier that keeps the average reader from getting into those comics, and it has a lot to do with when, how, and why those comics were being made.

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