Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review - Heads #1

"Well that got a little bit intense."

Ever find yourself in a new city with people giving you odd looks and a bag full of something that needs delivering? Fortunately for you, you're probably not symbolized by a simple color, like Yellow in Heads #1. The book is written and illustrated by Nicholas Gilligan Williams.

BOOM! Studios Doubles Down on Calgary and Chicago

Adventure Time #27 Calgary Expo Exclusive

BOOM! Studios believes in diversifying their bonds. That means partnering with publishers like Archaia, creating KaBOOM! Studios as another publishing branch and hitting two shows in two countries on the same weekend. The publisher will exhibit both at Calgary Expo in Alberta, Canada, from April 24-27, and Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) in Chicago, Illinois, from April 25-27. In Canada, you can find them at booth 119, while in Chicago they'll set up shop at book 616.

Canadians (and other international visitors will find Ed Brisson, Megan Hutchison, Mike Kunkel, Brooke Allen, Ian McGinty, Kate Leth, Wook-Jin Clark and Zack Sterling. Convention exclusives will include Lumberjanes #1 by Hutchison and Adventure Time #27 by Tait Howard. C2E2 attendees will find Caleb Monroe, Jeff Dyer, Michael Alan Nelson, Paul Jenkins, James Tynion IV, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Marc Evan Jackson, Claudio Sanchez, Chondra Echert and Coleman Engle. Exclusive variants will include The Woods #1 by Jenkins, Translucid #1 by Khary Randolph and Adventure Time 2014 Annual #1 by Mad Rupert.

Full press release and signing schedule below.

Image Comics Will Spread

It's not really a surprise, but Image Comics is spreading throughout the world. The publisher consistently churns out hit after hit and their popularity is at an all-time high. That doesn't stop them from releasing a series focused on that spread in the appropriately titled Spread, written by Justin Jordan and illustrated by Kyle Strahm. Not only that, but there's some social media action going on as well. Post the cover image of Spread #1 with the caption “it’s spreading…” and tag @kstrahm and @Justin_Jordan on Twitter and/or Facebook with the hashtag #itsspreading for a chance to cameo as an extra character in the book, plus other Spread swag. Winners will be revealed on the day of release, July 9.

Ten years ago, humanity dug too deep and unleashed something ancient that couldn’t be controlled. Something that couldn’t be stopped, twisting everything it touched into more of itself. The Spread. Humanity was nearly destroyed before finding a way to slow the Spread to a crawl. Now, deep inside the quarantined zone, one man has found what might be the key to stopping it forever: a baby girl. And if he can save her, he might save the world.

“It’s Lone Wolf and Cub in a world where John Carpenter’s The Thing ate North America,” said Jordan. “Sean Shields, mostly called ‘No’ in the book—because he’s taciturn enough that it’s most of his dialogue—is one of the survivors. No is ‘Spread-immune,’ unable to be converted by the Spread biomass, and this means he can get closer to the Spread to scavenge useful bits of what used to be civilization—but not without danger. "

The Spread itself is comprised of more than just its threat for virulence the creatures that lurk and thrive within it are equally nefarious. "I've designed piles of crazy organisms that form the Spread ecosystem. [Colorist] Felipe Sobreiro and I have crafted a look for these things that we're very proud of,” said Strahm. “From tiny scavengers to massive predators, every creature has a spot on the food chain and looks pretty cool occupying that spot. The organisms least equipped to survive in the Spread are human beings. Gross things happen when they get too close."

Spread #1 arrives in stores on 7/9 and is available for $3.50. It can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code MAY140579. Full press release below.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PAX East 2014 - Defense Grid 2

In any industry, the indies typically have the toughest uphill battle. The obvious reason is lack of resources to throw at unexpected problems, but there are many other things that indies have to contend with to bring their precious baby to the masses. Hidden Path Entertainment delighted fans in 2009 with Defense Grid, a tower defense grid that gave the player the chance to repel advancing alien forces. After a few years (and tribulations), the publisher is back with an even more ambitious sequel, which was on display at PAX East 2014. They're developing the game for Steam, Xbox One and PS4 and were on hand at PAX East, where founder and CEO Jeff Probst sat down with Omnicomic.

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

The Marvel and the DC universes don’t want for big bads; there's plenty to choose from. And some are really interesting too, with very human motivations: you know, Magneto is a bit of a mixed bag as a savior to some and monster to others. Loki has done some awful stuff but somewhere deep down in there, maybe there’s just a good little kid that wants to be loved. Sinestro seems to think, in his own deluded way, that he’s the hero who’s going to restore order to the universe.

But let’s talk about BAD guys. You know, those villains who have no redeemable qualities whatsoever. The guys who are just monsters and have no goal other than the total annhiliation and/or subjugation of our heroes, the planet, etc.

Review - Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits #1

"Pretty day for the dead to come a-visiting."

Death has a funny way of not recognizing the permanence of the situation it finds itself in. Sometimes, the dead return for a myriad of different reasons, some of which involve the eating of chocolate infused with chile peppers. Greentea Publishing has a book in Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits #1 that's a little bit of all of the above. The issue is written by Vera Greentea, illustrated by Laura Müller and lettered by Frank Cvetkovic.

Bee and Puppycat #1 Find Publishing Home with KaBOOM! Studios

Bee and PuppyCat #1 Cover A

Natasha Allegri is pretty popular these days. She's a big part of Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake and has a web series going on called Bee and Puppycat #1, which broke the record for most funded web series on Kickstarter. Now, that series makes its way to comics, courtesy of KaBOOM! Studios in a comic by the same name. The first issue hits stores in May and pairs Allegri with Garrett Jackson on writing and featuring covers by Allegri, Zac Gorman, Coleman Engle and Becky Dreistadt.

“When Natasha and Frederator Studios put up the first ‘Bee and PuppyCat’ animated short last summer, we were instantly smitten, just like thousands of other fans,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Any opportunity to work with Natasha is a joy; ‘Bee and PuppyCat’ is a delightful (and hilarious!) series that readers of all ages can enjoy. And judging by the enormous fan response to the animated episodes, it’s sure to bring new readers to comics, which is one of our ongoing missions.”

It’s a quirky new take on the magical girl genre with Bee, the forever unemployed main character who can’t seem to figure out life, and the mysterious PuppyCat, a stray...whatever it is…that she stumbled across who has a powerful secret. Fighting bad guys has never been so funny.

Bee and Puppycat #1 arrives in comic shops on May 14th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code MAR140984. Cover A by Natasha Allegri and Cover B by Zac Gorman will ship in a 50/50 intermix. Variant covers by Coleman Engle and Becky Dreistadt will be available in limited quantities. Full press release below.

PAX East 2014: The Evil Within

The Evil Within. Not sure what I can say about this game. Does it scare the crap out of you? Yes it does. Can it create an atmosphere of terror where you are worried what sort of horror is around the next turn? Sure as hell can. Will you fear turning off the lights at night after playing just a taste of it? More than likely. The Evil Within is bringing the survival horror genre back with a fury and from what was shown this past weekend at PAX East, it's coming whether you are prepared or not.

I had the chance to check out some new gameplay footage of The Evil Within that showcased off just a tidbit of what will be in store for the folks brave enough to venture down the rabbit hole that is The Evil Within. The entire time watching the demo I didn't feel like I was watching a game, but being immersed in a world where death can come from any direction and if you don’t stay on your toes it will come quite often. From stunning visuals to some fast paced action, The Evil Within is sure to change the minds and ways players approach survival horror not since the likes of the first few Resident Evil and Silent Hill games with some Last of Us thrown in for good measure.

Dark Engine Pits Savagery Against Destiny

What do you get when you team up Ryan Burton with John Bivens? How about an all-new, ongoing series from Image Comics called Dark Engine. It's a book that apparently seems to focus on the evil inside us all. With ribsword in hand, with gore in her curling locks, Sym has been sent to the distant past to murder her creators’ enemies. But the twisted alchemists who made Sym do not know that the engine that powers her is sentient, that it is the seed of their destruction. By blood and by fury, Sym will carve out her destiny in this new ongoing series.

“Some drive us, some are alive and thinking. And Sym will learn just exactly what drives her, and why she was sent back in time to essentially murder anything standing,” explained Burton. “Of course, John [Bivens] does a brilliant job of capturing the enormous scope of the story, whether it's showing the stygian machinations of Sym's creators or the harrowing vistas that are littered with the husks of old Lovecraftian monsters, it's all there."

Dark Engine #1 arrives in stores on 7/16 and will be available for $3.50. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAY140574. Full press release below.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PAX East 2014 - Out There

Survival horror is a genre of game that always seems to have a following, even if the pickings are relatively slim when compared to other genres. Resident Evil is probably the standard-bearer for the genre in terms of popularity, but there are tons of other games that don't necessarily rely on zombie pandemics to scare the gamer. Games like Silent Hill, Fatal Frame and even give the reader something to shy away from. Another game that could be considered survival horror with a bit of strategy mixed in is Out There from Mi Clos Studio. We went hands on with the game alongside Michaël Peiffert (one of the developers) to gain more insight into what to expect, even if you know that space is cold, desolate and hostile.

"Space is the most hostile place for mankind, so every tiny detail you forget can be fatal," said Peiffert. "We built the game around this idea. Knowing this, we wanted to make the game very brutal, where the pacing is very slow and you're always on your toes. It's very tense."

Review - Translucid #1

"There have been accusations he's fallen short while I've been away. This city cannot function with a lost hero."

Heroes and villains offer timeless struggles, both physically and mentally. How does a hero cope with the potential death of his nemesis? BOOM! Studios offers such a tale in Translucid #1. The issue is written by Chondra Echert and Claudio Sanchez and illustrated by Daniel Bayliss.

Aspen Comics Presents Wonder Con 2014 Schedule

Lola XOXO #! is something of a big hit for Aspen Comics. And the publisher is taking that momentum into Wonder Con, preparing for creator appearances, signings and more events scheduled for the weekend. Creators on hand will include Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Vince Hernandez, Mark Roslan, Siya Oum, J.T. Krul, Nei Ruffino, David Wohl, Ale Garza and Oliver Nome, all at booth #601.

The publisher will also be offering two new comic exclusive releases at their booth this weekend, Lola XOXO #1 (limited to 500 copies) and Fathom: Kiani #1 (limited to 200 copies), both of which feature WonderCon 2014 exclusive covers by Siya Oum. Fans can get their copies signed by Oum at the Aspen Comics Booth #601. Aspen will also be offering a new set of their industry-leading art prints featuring popular, recent cover art by Michael Turner, Oum and Eric “Ebas” Basaldua. Each print is hand-numbered and highly limited. Fans that visit the Aspen Comics Booth #601 throughout the weekend will also be treated to the publisher’s largest-ever free giveaway, featuring over 25,000 free comics over the course of the con weekend.

On Saturday, Aspen creators will be appearing in the Official Aspen Comics Panel 2014 in Room 208 at 2:30 PM to reveal looks at their upcoming new titles including Lola XOXO, Jirni Volume 2, Damsels in Excess, The Zoo Hunters and more. All fans in attendance will receive a free gift courtesy of Aspen Comics, following a special one-on-one Q&A with fans. Also, on Saturday from 4-5 PM, the publisher will be hosting a special “Free Sketch Hour” for fans featuring popular Aspen cover artists Ale Garza and Oliver Nome. Aspen encourages fans to arrive early, as this event will be first come-first serve only.

Editor-in-Chief Vince Hernandez will be holding the Aspen Comics Portfolio Reviews in Room 206B from 1:30-2:30 on all three days of the con, and Aspen strongly encourages those looking to get reviewed to arrive, early as spots are limited to one hour.

Full press release below.