Comics A.M. | Relaunching Justice Society, rebuilding Billy Batson

Creators | Alex Zalben talks to James Robinson about his rebooted version of DC Comics' Justice Society in Earth 2, and the process of creating a world of one's own: "It always starts with certain plot points that immediately come to you, and you always want those moments to happen at some point, and you work towards them. There are some characters that come to you almost fully formed in your mind, and those are you anchors. And same with the world, there are some aspects of the world that you say, this is what I want to do, here or there, or there. They’re the anchors, and you slowly begin to add the other pieces so it links, and forms, and becomes a whole tapestry." [MTV Geek]

Creators | Geoff Johns talks about the new, more nuanced version of Billy Batson that he and artist Gary Frank are creating in the Shazam back-up stories in Justice League: "Billy is trouble, but trouble in a way that I think we’ll find understandable, relatable and fun. He has a heart, a big one, but he also has a protective shell around it. He’s mischievous, independent and strong. He’s conflicted, tough and sad. And many other things. For us, Billy had to be as complex and as interesting as his alter ego." [Hero Complex]

Creators | The Bulletproof Coffin writer David Hine explains why he prefers to publish creator-owned comics through Image rather than "play in the sandbox" at the Big Two. [Broken Frontier]

Creators | Brian Michael Bendis credits actor Donald Glover for "helping knock down the perception wall" that made it possible for the new Ultimate Spider-Man to be a person of color. "We had started our work on Miles. Then, as a cute little cutaway joke, they showed Donald on Community dressed in Spider-Man pajamas and, I have to say, I thought he looks fantastic. That's when I knew Miles was going to work. It just kind of looked right." [Houston Chronicle]

Creators | Meanwhile, Richard Whittaker talks to local-boy-made-good David Marquez, who has taken over as the artist on Ultimate Spider-Man. [Austin Chronicle]

Creators | Courtney Crumrin creator Ted Naifeh answers 15 questions about storytelling, process and his career. [Sequential Highway]

Creators | Kristin Bomba talks to writer Alex Woolfson about his webcomic Artifice, a sci-fi story that mixes in themes of love, isolation, and the individual versus society. [Comic Attack]

Comics | David Brothers notes that the free digital issue of New Avengers #1 doesn't list the full creative team anywhere, which is probably a glitch, but there is a whole page devoted to the Marvel executive team: "This is a nitpick. I’ll cop to that. But at the same time… it really isn’t. Mainstream comics has a real problem with valuing the people who actually make the comics, and I think the prioritization of corporate over creative, which is exactly what this is, is pretty screwed up." [4thletter]

Manga | Shaenon Garrity is convinced that what the comics industry needs is more cats — specifically, more cat manga — and she has done the footwork for them by locating the crackiest cat manga that hasn't been licensed yet. [comiXology]

Fandom | As he makes the transition to digital comics, Stephen Totilo looks back on all the comics stores he loved before — and admits he will never totally quit them. [Kotaku]

Commentary | Ng Suat Tong makes another run at compiling a list of the best comics criticism of 2012, with a slightly different format than in previous years. Readers are invited to send in their own suggestions. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

Culture | Aaron Sagers looks at books that wreak havoc because of their contents or, in a few cases, their context. [Geek Out!]

Culture | The New 52 character designs were the first clue: It's time for the 1990s nostalgia craze to begin! [Speed Force]

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