Friday, December 19, 2014

Defense With The BoomStick

(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. This is my story of survival)

Year 6. Week 17.

The time has come for our final fight. If we had more time help would arrive, but that's a luxury we're not afforded. No, for us our day has come today. Soon after I finish this entry, fate will decide for the two of us. All the planning, plotting and preparation that has been completed has gives us a chance at making it out of the fight alive.

Right now we're in a small, one-road town waiting for the fight to begin, but also waiting and hoping help will arrive. One of the buildings here had a radio we got working and used it to call in backup from Kansas City. The downside is they are hours away and the fight is gonna go down sooner. A person can only run so far and so long before reaching the point where you know if you go one step further it will end in ruin. We reached that point a day or two ago and decided to fight on our terms in a place of our choosing. With the work we’ve done and traps we’ve set it’s either gonna work like gangbusters or we're going to go down in glory. Too bad if we do go down in glory; there’ll be nobody around to see it but us two.

Review - Holy F*ck #1

"You don't get it, do you? There's only one God. And he's sent his son to save the world!"

The beauty of organized religion is the constant of a deity (or deities) at the top. There's someone you know is there; someone who you can presumably put your faith in without question. When that someone does something that causes you to lose faith, then perhaps it's time to find another faith. Or just try to fix that person like Sister Maria does in Holy F*ck #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written by Nick Marino and illustrated by Daniel Arruda Massa.

BOOM! Studios Unveils Its First '10 Years' Covers to Kick Off a Yearlong Celebration

Burning Fields #1 10 Years Cover

BOOM! Studios has something big planned for 2015. Not just because they're really looking forward to the year, but because the publisher will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. To celebrate that milestone, the publisher will be offering up "10 Years" covers to celebrate. Designed by BOOM! Studios Production Design Manager Scott Newman, each wraparound cover features an exclusive image illustrated by a dedicated artist or artist team—one assigned per imprint (BOOM! Studios, KaBOOM!, Archaia, and BOOM! Box) and per quarter. The cover design also features a short biography of each artist and their signature.

“With 2015 marking 10 years of publishing comics, we wanted to share our excitement with retailers and fans by creating these special covers,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “We’ve enlisted some of the best cover artists in comics to help convey what a special milestone this is for us. We’re kicking things off with Trevor, Joe, Ramón, and Shelli & Braden. And this is just the beginning! We’ll be announcing some more surprises to help us celebrate our 10th year!”

For the first quarter of 2015 (January-March), the artists are:

All launching BOOM! Studios titles: Trevor Hairsine
All launching KaBOOM! titles: Joe Quinones
All launching Archaia titles: Ramón K. Pérez
All launching BOOM! Box titles: Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb

In January, new launching titles to receive the 10 Years cover treatment include:

Burning Fields #1 (BOOM! Studios)
Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1 (KaBOOM!)
Feathers #1 (Archaia)
Munchkin #1 (BOOM! Box)

Retailers will be able to qualify for these incentive covers based on their orders for the main cover of each title. Fans should check with their local retailer on the availability of these special commemorative covers. Full press release below.

Explore Dreamstone Mythology in Five Ghosts: Special #1

Ever wonder what you would do if you saw a ghost? What if you saw five ghosts? If freaking out is the top of your list, then Image Comics might want to go for another reaction to five ghosts. That's why they're set to publish Five Ghosts: Special #1 on March 25, 2015, bringing together Frank J. Barbiere and S.M. Vidaurri on a special Fabian Gray backstory. It's is an oversized issue that also features an all-new story from Barbiere and artist Jamie Jones. This special backup features Fabian Gray in an unforgettable literary heist that readers won’t want to miss.

“I’m very excited to present readers with a deeper look at the mythology of Five Ghosts,” said Barbiere. “We’ve spent a lot of time building this world and it’s an amazing opportunity to see just how far back our story goes. S.M. Vidaurri has graced many of our covers with his wonderful art and it’s truly our honor to have him painting a full length story. S.M is a fantastic talent and has put together a great story that will resonate with Five Ghosts fans old and new.”

Five Ghosts: Special #1 features a full-length story written and painted by Vidaurri that explores the history of The Dreamstone—a magical relic that gives Fabian Gray his ghostly powers—and introduces us to a brave medieval knight named Emma. The story also features demons, wizards, a bold new villain with supernatural powers, and some famous literary figures making surprise appearances. Five Ghosts: Special #1 (Diamond Code JAN150579) hits shelves on March 25.

Full press release below.

Vlad Dracula and Elizabeth Bathory Prepared to Cross Paths

Dracula is a centuries old legend whose reputation is bolstered by his bloodthirst. Blood Queen is a little newer to the fold, portrayed by the historical blood countess Elizabeth Bathory as a tragic figure whose descent into villainy is not without good reason. The two of them have yet to cross paths, but Dynamite is looking to change that with the first-ever confrontation between the two of them in a four-part storyline. Written by Troy Brownfield and illustrated by Kewber Baal, the series will debut with cover images courtesy of artists Jay Anacleto, Fabiano Neves, Ardian Syaf and Lucio Parrillo.

"Having the Blood Queen face off with Dracula seems like the most natural thing in the world," says Troy Brownfield, who introduced the villainous Elizabeth Bathory in Dynamite's 2014 series, The Blood Queen. "Considering that the historical personages that they're based upon come from the same area of the world, and that they've had a strong and occasionally linked profile in pop culture forever, it struck me as a pretty solid place to go. It certainly doesn't hurt that I wrote a Dracula novel, Prince Dracula, for Dynamite last year, either."

In Blood Queen Vs. Dracula, the Prince of Darkness returns from war to face a potential threat in the form of the Blood Queen. Will they become allies, or adversaries? Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: blood will be spilled. "You always want to challenge your characters," says Brownfield. "Is there a bigger challenge for Elizabeth than the Prince of Darkness? I'm really excited at the chance to expand the Blood Queen world, and to do new and different things with Dracula while I'm at it."

Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher, says, "I'm very happy to announce Troy Brownfield's participation in this project. His work on our Prince Dracula novel was such an intimate look at the vampire lord's dark passion and tragic history, and it's that kind of character examination that's going to play so well once our Blood Queen enters the fray. They're similar creatures... which will undoubtedly lead to some bloody conflict. And speaking of the blood that will flow, Kewber Baal is a welcome addition to the creative team, since he spilled so much during his work on our Jennifer Blood title."

Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' January 2015 Previews catalog and slated for release in March. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #1 with their local comic book retailers. Blood Queen Vs. Dracula will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

UDON Entertainment Announces Capcom Fighting Tribute Art Initiative

If Capcom knows anything, it's fighting games. The publisher has put out countless iterations of games that have become immensely popular and iconic in the genre. Fans of those games have proven just as devoted to mastering them as Capcom is to making them perfect and now those fans have the chance to show the world their passion and raw talent once again, as UDON today announces the latest entry in their line of tribute art books in Capcom Fighting Tribute. UDON is calling on professional and fan artists around the world to knock our socks off with your best artistic tributes to the iconic characters of beloved Capcom fighting and beat ‘em up series like Street Fighter, Final Fight, Power Stone, Captain Commando, Star Gladiator and Battle Circuit and for the hardcore fans who really know your lore, original Capcom characters like Ruby Heart and Amingo are also fair game.

“The 1990s were a Golden Age that saw the release of many peerless fighting games, and some of the best Capcom artwork also comes from that special time,” said Matt Moylan, UDON’s Managing Editor. “Capcom Fighting Tribute will be an exhaustive homage to the great games and amazing artwork of that era, and with so many featured properties, we expect this to be our biggest and most diverse Tribute project yet!”

The full list of franchises eligible for inclusion in Capcom Fighting Tribute includes Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Rival Schools, Red Earth, Star Gladiator, Power Stone, Cyberbots, Capcom Fighting Evolution, Puzzle Evolution, Puzzle Fighter, Pocket Fighter, Final Fight, Battle Circuit, Captain Commando, Armored Warriors, Knights of the Round, The King of the Dragons, Avengers (Hissatsu no Buraiken) and Capcom original characters Ruby Heart, Son-Son, and Amingo. The best and most unique pieces of art UDON receives will be included in Capcom Fighting Tribute, which will debut with a gorgeous, exclusive 300-page hardcover edition at San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

In the spirit of covering such a diverse range of Capcom characters and series, UDON is looking for just as wide a variety in art submissions. Group shots, single-character images, and crossovers between available properties are just a few of the kinds of tribute art UDON is excited to receive from professionals and fans. All submissions must be received on or after December 17, 2014 and no later than January 31, 2015 to be considered eligible for inclusion in Capcom Fighting Tribute. For full Capcom Fighting Tribute submission details, head to:

Full press release below.

Review - Rumble #1

"What color of darkness that makes blind the eyes of a caring God?"

Heroes come in all shapes sizes, which is something that can also be said of demons. The conflict between the two is often storied and epic, with few instances of either side relenting easily. That might not true when it comes to Bobby in Rumble #1 from Image Comics; a bartended with a brand new weapon and a lot of people after it. The issue is written by John Arcudi, illustrated by James Harren, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Chris Eliopoulos.

New BOOM! Series Burning Fields Delves Beneath Kirkuk

BURNING FIELDS #1 Cover A by Colin Lorimer

Curse has earned all the critical acclaims as it were, giving BOOM! Studios yet another solid book to count among its titles. The team of Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel and Colin Lorimer has put together a solid series that shows good things when the three of them come together. BOOM! Studios realized that as well, grouping them together for a brand new series called Burning Fields.

“Michael, Tim, and Colin are proving to be an unstoppable force of creativity, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them back with another new twist on horror,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “They showed with Curse that they’re capable of delivering razor sharp, character-driven genre stories that are complex and gripping. Just wait until you see what terrors they’re digging up in Burning Fields.”

Dana Atkinson, a dishonorably discharged army investigator, is pulled back to the Middle East when a group of American oil technicians disappear under bizarre circumstances. With the help of an Iraqi investigator, what Dana discovers is unimaginable: a series of unusual incidents at the drill site lead her and her unlikely ally to discover a mythic evil that has been released, one that threatens both the lives of the entire region and the fragile peace that exists.

Burning Fields #1 arrives in comic book shops on January 21st with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code NOV141067. The issue ships with a main cover by series artist Colin Lorimer, a 10 Years variant cover by Trevor Hairsine and a retailer incentive cover by Riley Rossmo. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is December 29th. Full press release below.

Dynamite Entertainment Announces Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro Crossover

The wild, wild west was just that: wild. It was tough on everyone and criminals typically had a free run of the place with very few willing to stand up to them. Things were even tougher for women, so finding any women who had the ability to step up was pretty rare as well. Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro aren't like other women, but they are willing to step up and stop the bad guys. And they get their chance in Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1 from Dynamite Entertainment March 2015. Written by Shannon Eric Denton and featuring interior artwork by Rey Villegas, Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1 features cover artwork by Lady Rawhide co-creator, Mike Mayhew.

Denton says, "Women were a huge part in the settlement of the Old West but are often overlooked in the historical context. With characters like Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro, they don't let you overlook them. They're two powerful characters with equally powerful personalities that tamed what is now Southern California. As a current Los Angeleno, I couldn't be happier to contribute to their mythology and the mythology of this part of California."

In Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1, the two female vigilantes must live up to the legend of Zorro after the inspirational hero is murdered! When brutal slavers descend upon a village and steal away all its adolescent girls, Lady Zorro and Lady Rawhide - who would sooner ride alone than ride together - must put aside their ideological and methodical differences to free the missing girls from a fate worse than death.

Lady Rawhide (along with her alter-ego Anita Santiago) was introduced into the Zorro mythos by writer Don McGregor and Mayhew in 1994, a masked vigilante skilled with swords, guns, and her signature bullwhip. Driven to avenge her brother's suffering at the hands of a crooked government, she first had an antagonistic relationship with Zorro, but eventually became his confidante and staunch ally. Lady Rawhide's popularity as a Zorro regular grew, leading to her headlining several Lady Rawhide comic series. Lady Zorro is a more recent addition to the Zorro mythos, created in 2012 as a strong supporting cast member of the Zorro Rides Again series by Matt Wagner and John K Snyder III. Seeking vengeance after her husband was murdered by corrupt government officials, Lady Zorro cut a bloody swath across the countryside until the elder swordfighter calmed her rage. The character appeared in a successful 2014 self-titled series by Alex De Campi and Rey Villegas.

Regarding his contribution to the overall Zorro mythos, Denton says, "I'm honored and thrilled. Outside of growing up loving the comics and TV shows, my life has intersected with the character several times. I've lived in places where they filmed Zorro like Cerrillos, NM, and my current home in Los Angeles. I currently live near frequent movie site Vasquez Rocks, which is named after notorious bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, the inspiration for Don Diego de la Vega (Zorro). Zorro roamed what is now Los Angeles, so I'm surrounded by his mythology all the time. Being able to contribute to characters within Zorro's mythology, like Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro, is incredibly rewarding!"

"The folks here at Dynamite love two-fisted, gun-blazing, whip-cracking action, and that's exactly what Lady Rawhide / Lady Zorro delivers," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher. "With his flair for pulp action, Shannon is a perfect choice to take up the reins on the new miniseries. And there's no one better suited for bringing these two pistoleras together than Rey Villegas, whose supreme skill brought both characters to life in their respective solo series. Buckle up, comic fans - it's going to be a wild ride!"

Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1
will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' January 2015 Previews catalog and slated for release in March. Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital. Full press release below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review - Harbinger: Faith #0

"Los Angeles is beautiful. And everyone is so cool to us, but it's really strange being famous here in the land of fame."

That moment when you get special powers is a pretty powerful moment. How you react to that moment and in the future will define you. You can fight evil with it or commit evil with it. In whichever scenario, there's a very real possibility that new doors will open up for you. Doors like those for Faith in Harbinger: Faith #0 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by Joshua Dysart, illustrated by Robert Gill, colored by Jose Villarrubia and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

"Dead Hand" Comes Alive in March 2015

X-O Manowar has proven an ability to withstand almost any and all comers. Aric of Darcia is a hero for the centuries who has gone up against a wide variety of enemies, most of whom he's defeated in the end. He may meet his match in March in X-O Manowar #34 from Robert Venditti and Diego Bernard. The issue pits him against Dead Hand, the ultimate fail-safe of an extinct alien race. The civilization that built them has fallen...and, now, to combat the doomsday threat that destroyed their world, DEAD HAND will complete the mission that their creators could not. Soulless and brutal, this billion-strong legion is the phantom army of a dead world…and it will cleanse the universe by any means necessary. But what unthinkable menace were they created to destroy? And will DEAD HAND's slow march across the galaxy spell death for countless worlds?

"DEAD HAND is going to take the mythology surrounding the X-O Manowar armor, and the entire Valiant Universe, in a direction not seen before," said writer Robert Venditti. "As formidable as the adversaries in the series have been to date, none of them measure up to this single-minded, doomsday threat. X-O Manowar has made a habit of taking what readers expect and turning it on its head. We've challenged ourselves to do that again."

Born into battle, Aric of Dacia, the fifth century Visigoth now called X-O Manowar, has never known peace. Abducted and enslaved by the savage alien empire known as The Vine, Aric finally escaped his captors after stealing their ultra-powerful X-O Manowar armor and returned to Earth…only to find that more than a thousand years had passed in his absence. Stranded in the modern day, the most primitive man on Earth now wields the most powerful weapon in existence as X-O Manowar – one of the Earth's most formidable new heroes and a member of the international superteam codenamed Unity. Together, X-O Manowar and Unity have wrenched the world back from the chaos wrought by the invasion of the unearthly Armor Hunters…but, in 2015, the fate of all life – human and alien alike – will be thrown into dire peril…

"Last summer, X-O Manowar went up against the Armor Hunters for a full-metal throwdown between Earth and alien life. Well, we won the battle, but that doesn't mean we've won the war," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. "Somewhere out there, something colder, grimmer, and more calculating is about to come online. And it won't concede that war, even in death. An extinct world has saved a nasty treat for the Valiant U – something insanely effective that could only exist in the wake of their failure – a dead hand. Venditti's cooked up a good one, folks."

Full press release below.

Mad Science Returns in The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars

If science isn't weird or mad, then you're not doing it right. What fun is science when it's just about science right? Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra know a thing or two about regaling readers with tales of science gone awry and slightly off-kilter in Manhattan Projects, a universe they're happy to return to in The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #1, hitting stores March 11, 2015.

"Nick and I are really excited about the new format," noted co-creator Hickman. "We're looking forward to telling stories that have a tighter scope because then we believe we can really open it up. Do some really big stuff."

"I just want to draw Russian dogs fighting aliens," said co-creator Pitarra. "And if I can throw in a few opposable thumbs as well, fantastic!"

In The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #1, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is lost in space—and only now does he find his true calling. With all new stories told in a brand-new format, the greatest feel good, bad science book in the long history of man returns in The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #1. The book is available under Diamond Code JAN150586. Full press release below.