Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fantasy Adventure Goes Full Reyn

Fantasy tales never seem to get old. They have a way of tapping into our imaginations and staying there, offering stories that are just as outlandish as they are exciting. The sword and sorcery genre is a great facet of fantasy tales and in January, Kel Symons and Nathan Stockman visit that well for an all-new series in Reyn #1, a sweeping fantasy following two unlikely adventurers on the path to uncovering the mysteries that surround their destinies.

“Reyn pays tribute to adventures that dazzled my imagination,” explained Symons. “Fantasy tales, particularly Dungeons and Dragons, was a huge part of my formative years. I doubt I was the first kid who wanted to live in epic worlds like Middle Earth, Greyhawk or Hyboria. Tolkien and Howard created remarkably timeless worlds and practically invented the language of modern fantasy. Honestly, it's hard to believe they were created in the 1930s.”

Reyn #1 introduces the main character of the same name, Reyn, a freelance swordsman and monster hunter who also might be the last of the legendary “Wardens” of the land of Fate, whose ranks long since faded into myth. Haunted and driven by visions from a “guiding angel,” Reyn sets out on a great quest—though he’s hardly the errant knight-type. Along the way he’ll rescue and partner with the sorceress Seph, a member of a coven known as the Followers of Tek, hunted as heretics for their beliefs, but who may also know what secrets Fate holds...

“His guiding angel is hardly a blessing, because it's just not in his nature to be a do-gooder—he's too unprincipled for that,” said Symons. “I imagined some of Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name from the Dollars trilogy in Reyn. In fact, when I pitched this to Image, I said the vibe for the series should be 'What if Frazetta painted spaghetti westerns?' His traveling companion, the witch Seph, provides a nice emotional counterpoint to Reyn's moral ambiguity. She was born to a cause and brings passion where Reyn lacks an emotional connection to the destiny that's been forced upon him.”

Reyn #1 (Diamond Code NOV140564) is in stores on January 21. Full press release below.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review - Retropunk

"I was debating whether or not your fleshy body was worth saving. I have often contemplated the aesthetic you would make on impact. -BZZZR- That, or I was stuck in traffic."

Bounty hunters have a penchant for always being in the thick of things. Their jobs require a lot of danger and risk on their part, but the payoff is typically worth it. Sometimes though, their bounty brings with it other bounty hunters, some of whom are going after the original bounty hunters. It's a fun dynamic to keep up with in Retropunk from Markosia. Retropunk is written by James Surdez and Matthew Ritter and illustrated by Jhomar Sorian.

Archaia Takes a Joyride

AT&T U-Verse has a documentary out called "Comic Book Artists: Next Generation," which is about the Toronto-based collective artists studio, the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design (also known as RAID Studios). During said documentary, the studio (in conjunction with BOOM! Studios) announced Joyride, an upcoming original series from its Archaia imprint created by the Hacktivist team of artist Marcus To and writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing. Based on an idea To had when he was in high school, the project was developed jointly by the trio after they enjoyed working with each other on Hacktivist. In Joyride, when the Earth of the future becomes a totalitarian nightmare, three free-thinking teenagers bust free and discover real freedom in the vast reaches of unexplored space.

“Marcus is an incredibly talented artist we’ve seen evolve by leaps and bounds on Hacktivist and on Cyborg 009 before that, so when he, Collin, and Jackson approached us for a new original series with teenagers rocketing through space, we couldn’t turn it down,” said BOOM! Studios President of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik. “Their chemistry was so great on Hacktivist; it’s nice to see the old band back together with Jackson and Collin writing and Marcus on art. It’s going to be a blast, and we can’t wait to take everyone along for the ride.”

"Joyride is the culmination of everything I love about comics,” said To. “We're excited to tell relevant stories that engage our young and boisterous fans.”

"This is the book we've been dying to write,” said Kelly and Lanzing. “Joyride is about friendship, anarchy, punk rock, and freedom—about following your heart, even when it leads you into the vast unknown. Working with Marcus on Hacktivist was incredible, but creating a new universe alongside him has given us a whole new appreciation for his talent. We're insanely excited to be back at Archaia, telling new stories and exploring totally bonkers new worlds."

Additional details, including a release date, will be revealed at a later time. Watch the video in which To, Kelly and Lanzing speak about Joyride here. Full press release below.

Dynamite and Arcane Wonders Announce Mage Wars Licensing Deal

Dynamite Entertainment knows a good licensing deal when they see it. And a partnership with Arcane Wonders is just that, bringing with it multiple product categories based on Mage Wars. Dynamite will debut their first Mage Wars project in January 2015, an original prose novel subtitled Nature of the Beast. Written by Will McDermott, Mage Wars: Nature of the Beast is the first official prose story set within the expansive world of the game. Following the January print and digital launch, Dynamite plans to expand the line into comic books, graphic novels, additional prose novels, prints, lithographs and an art book.

"We are truly honored and excited to be working with Dynamite. To partner up with such a professional team to bring Mage Wars and the world of Etheria to our fans is a dream come true," cheers Bryan Pope, President of Arcane Wonders. "We have worked so hard to develop each of these characters and this universe and look forward to this partnership to share our vision with our fans."

Mage Wars is the customizable strategy game of dueling mages. Players take on the role of powerful mages, stepping into an arena to battle for supremacy. A unique genre-breaking concept, Mage Wars combines the best elements of customizable card games and tactical miniature games. Players can choose from multiple mages like the Wizard, Warlock, Beastmaster, Priestess or many others, each with their own unique strategies and style of play. The game is fast-paced and exciting, with challenging decisions every turn. Since its debut in 2012, the game achieved critical success and has accrued dozens of industry accolades. Tom Vasel of Dice Tower, a leading podcaster and reviewer in the gaming community, ranked Mage Wars as the Second Best Game of All Time in his "Top 100 Games of All Time" list.

"Since its launch, the Mage Wars game has been celebrated by critics and fans alike, a true sensation in the gaming world," says Nick Barrucci, the CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "It's a great privilege and honor to sign with Arcane Wonders, a true innovator in game design. They've created a fantastic universe to explore, and we're proud to work hand-in-hand with their staff in building upon that expansive landscape with new creative content."

The first novel, Mage Wars: Nature of the Beast, takes place in the world of Etheria, and follows an unlikely cast of characters refreshingly removed from the trappings of traditional fantasy adventure. "Nature of the Beast is not your average Hero's Journey tale" says McDermott. "This is the story about the other guys -- the loners and the outcasts, the guards and the stewards, the folks who normally stay behind when the adventure starts -- the forgotten characters. It is a journey not toward the light, but into the darkness, both literal and figurative, where these characters must face their foibles and fears, their painful pasts and their lonely lives. It is a story about how true heroes are born, not through trial by fire, but by forging friendships that help them discover their own inner strength."

The book is slated for release January 2015 with the full press release below.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review - Archeologists of Shadows: Volume 3

What is life and what is death? Does everyone have a destined path? Or are we free to choose how our lives should go? These are the sort of question one ponders about after reading Archeologists of Shadows: Volume 3. I had the chance to check out it out and once again I was just blown away by the visuals, the story and enjoy the questions posed by the third installment. Publisher Septagon Studios has one amazing graphic novel on hand, as co-creators Lara Fuentes (Writer) and Patricio Clarey (Artist) have created a polished graphic novel that just keeps you turning the page to see what's in store for the characters. This has been a project five years in the making and in reading this latest volume you can tell it was a labor of love for all those involved.

Drifter Reveals Early Artwork

Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein have a reputation as a fantastic comic creating duo. It's a reputation that engenders a great amount of respect from industry peers and readers. And Image Comics is slated to publish a new book from them called Drifter, launching on November 12.

In Drifter, mankind has spread across the universe in a frantic rush to survive and has colonized and strip-mined countless planets in the process. Abram Pollux barely survives a crash landing on Ouro, a lawless backwater world where life is cheap. This world’s unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.

Drifter #1 will be available on November 12 and the Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is 10/20. Full press release below.

The Boys Are Back

The Boys is a comic that has managed to span 90-issues during its run. Dynamite Entertainment has spanned much more than that in its run as a publisher, but there's no reason to believe the two can't coexist and release something commemorating both milestones. And The Art of the Boys: The Complete Covers by Darick Robertson is just that. This 208-page collection will showcase series co-creator Robertson's finished cover artwork from the ongoing series, plus three spin-off miniseries, Herogasm, Highland Laddie and Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker. In addition to never-before-seen bonus contents like pencil sketches, a brand new cover image and artist commentary, The Art of The Boys includes a cover gallery featuring alternate covers by Jim Lee, Dave Gibbons, Howard Chaykin, David Lloyd and John Cassaday, as well as an afterword by film producer Adam McKay. Scheduled for release in December, this high-end art book will make the perfect holiday gift for fans of this highly regarded comic series.

"Dynamite has put together a great collection featuring all the cover art from The Boys, presenting alternate version, early drafts, sketches, and more into a cool hardcover collection," says Robertson. "I'm proud of this book as I really enjoyed my collaboration with (Garth) Ennis while creating these covers, and am pleased to show The Boys fans a peek behind the curtain as to what went into creating these covers. I think this will be a very unique collection and a must-have for any fan of The Boys series."

In addition to The Art of The Boys hardcover edition, Dynamite will make two collectible editions also available, each featuring a personal touch from Robertson. A Signed Edition, limited to only 250 copies, will feature Robertson's autograph in the front of the book. Also, a Remarked Edition will feature a character illustration and signature from Robertson; this especially rare edition is limited to only 100 copies in existence.

The Boys, a monumentally successful comic book series co-created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, introduced a world where superheroes may stand as pinnacles of justice... but when they abuse their power and authority, who brings justice to the superheroes? The answer: The Boys do. Billy Butcher, Wee Hughie, Mother's Milk, The Frenchman, and The Female comprise the tough-as-nails crew that keep the "supes" in line - protecting mankind from some truly deranged superheroes.

"We simply couldn't let our ten year anniversary end without tipping our hats to the series that, even after all this time, is still beloved by so many fans," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite. "The Boys was a runaway hit that served as a cornerstone of our company throughout its run. Darick Robertson's cover artwork, with its powerful imagery and uncompromising attitude, made it the can't-miss item on comic shop racks everywhere. It's high time we celebrate his vast body of work on this seminal Mature Readers title!"

The Art of The Boys: The Complete Covers by Darick Robertson is currently solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' October Previews catalog and slated for release in December. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Art of The Boys with their local comic book retailers. The Art of The Boys 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.

Friday, October 17, 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. Originally it was a post of news and tips to help survivors make it one more day alive, but now it has became a story of my fight to survive and to keep on living in this zombie world.)

Year 6. Week 8.

After that rough time we had last week with the battle and the continued search for more zombies, this week has been quiet. We continued to send out search parties to hunt down radioactive zombies. That's been about the only excitement any of us have gotten around here, which is fine by me. The downtime has become a necessity for us; blowing off some steam is required to keep one's sanity. Makes you miss the comforts you had before the zombie world.

Go catch a game, drink a beer, play some video games or even just relax on a porch and stare at the sky without fear of a zombie wandering up and munching on you. Being able to not pay attention to your surroundings is something you miss; that feeling of just being in the moment and shutting out the outside world. Now you do that you are probably gonna die or get bit and become a zombie that will lead you to hurt and kill others. With this break in the action we've gotta create or find ways to keep us relaxed.

Review - Planet Gigantic #1

"Nice landing. Some "master of gravity" you turned out to be."

Exploration brings with it a lot of unknowns. Discovering those unknowns is the fun part and naming them can be even more exciting. Sometimes though, it's just as simple to name a place something based on its physical description, as in Planet Gigantic #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written by Eric Grissom and illustrated by David Halvorson. It's broken into two stories: "Planetfall!" and "The Eye of the Sun."

BOOM! Studios Cracks the Code in Deep State

Deep State #1 Main Cover

Whether you want to believe it or debunk it, stories of the faked moon landing, government-sanctioned assassinations and brainwashing have been around for generations. Fancy yourself a conspiracy theorist and you're in luck. Why? BOOM! Studios is dabbling in the conspiracies, teaming up with Justin Jordan on a new book called Deep State that asks what if those conspiracy theories were planted to cover up an even darker truth? The book teams Jordan with Ariela Kristantina.

“Justin is a writer we’ve been dying to work with,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “His stories are visceral, smart, and they just bleed cool. With Deep State, Justin is setting up a little patch of land for himself at BOOM! and we’re excited to have him. Ariela Kristantina is teaming up with Justin and turning in some spectacular artwork on this series—she’s definitely an artist on the rise. Get ready for them to introduce you to John Harrow in November.”

In Deep State, John Harrow doesn’t exist, and his job is to make sure that other things don’t exist, too. At any given time, the government is running dozens of black book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Some of these are innocuous. Some of them are monstrous beyond reason. And most of the time, they go as expected and the public is never the wiser. Most of the time. John Harrow’s job is to handle them when things go wrong, and do anything to make sure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret.

Deep State #1 arrives in comic book shops on November 12th with a main cover by Mondo print illustrator Matt Taylor and a retailer incentive cover by Artyom Trakhanov, with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code SEP141117. The Final Order Cutoff Date for retailers is October 20th.

Full press release below.

Masterplasty Gets Reprinted

James Harvey has what some would consider to be a cult sensation in Masterplasty. The problem with that sensation is that it's only been experienced online. Image Comics is keen on changing that, as they're bringing the work to shelves in a standard trim size for $3.99. This is technically the second printing of the work, considering the massive popularity of the oversized-edition that hit shelves earlier.

“James initially wanted to issue Masterplasty in an over-sized format, and I think doing so underscored how different this project was from everything else on the market,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “That being said, we both agreed that reprinting the book at standard comics size would help his work reach a wider audience, whilst simultaneously making the first printing something truly special for everyone who bought it.”

In Masterplasty, a young man decides to leave his college girlfriend after undergoing a new medical procedure which drastically modifies the physical appearance of the human body in ways both beautiful and hideous. But will changing the outside change what’s within? If you didn't read more the first time, November 12 is your chance to dive in and get acquainted (preorder with pre-ordered with Diamond Code SEP148035).

When pressed for a quote, James responded, "now you can all stop asking me how you carry this thing home in the rain. Just kidding. I love you."

Full press release below.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review - Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

"Now that you ask, there's a small coven in Greendale, just starting up..."

Life as a witch brings with it equal amounts of joy and pain. The times when you're on and tapping into your abilities are great, but the times when you're being scorned for your powers and inadvertently summon unspeakable evils aren't so good. Adding those into the perils of high school just adds another layer of complexity, something that Archie Comics explores in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1. The issue is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, illustrated by Robert Hack and lettered by Jack Morelli.