Friday, January 30, 2015

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 23.

Loaded up and heading out. We got the supplies we needed and got the hell out of dodge before it got worse. We started sending out loaded up trucks with convoy cover late last night planning to rendezvous a few hundred miles down the road. We did it this way out of necessity because of the mayhem bearing down on us at the warehouse in the form of a massive herd of zombies. With that type of threat bearing down on us, it made getting all the loaded up trucks we had ready to go out of there even more important. Those supplies are going to go a long way for our survival and are a lot more important than a lot of us. While the trucks and most of the convoy providing cover left, the rest of us got busy setting traps and little surprises for that zombie horde.

Review - The Disease


"Feel like I've been hit by a truck. Didn't think I drunk that much last night."

The rules of the apocalypse are simple: stay alive and survive. You could argue they're essentially one and the same in essence, but that doesn't make them any less important. In The Disease, one man is forced to contend with a destroyed world, ravenous zombies and an isolated mentality. The one-shot is written by James Mulholland, illustrated by Daniel Romero and lettered by Micah Myers.

Action Lab Brings a Gronk to the Super Bowl


Rob Gronkowski is one of (if not) the most dominant players in the NFL now. He's a beast to cover and punctuates scoring plays with a vicious spike that's been known to deflate footballs. He won't be the only Gronk at the Super Bowl though, seeing as how Action Lab Entertainment and Katie Cook's plan to bring their own version to the show. She’s small, green, adorable and is about to make her network television debut. Action Lab's Gronk will be featured on the NFL Network’s Superbowl Pregame Show, NFL Game Day Morning.

Gronk, the adorable little monster created by popular comic book writer and artist Cook shares a name with New England Patriots tight end, Robert “Gronk” Gronkowski. Both She and her creation will be part of a feature as the NFL meets other “Gronks.” Cook, interviewed by host Steve Cyphers, drew Gronk dressed as “Gronk” for the cameras. Published weekly online since 2010, Cook has built up quite the following for her adorable bacon loving, pop culture obsessed creation.

Gronk is Action Lab Entertainment’s 2015 Free Comic Book Day offering, and will be released on Saturday May 2nd,2015 but you don’t have to wait that long because the first Gronk: A Monsters Story collection will hit store shelves in February. You can catch Katie and Gronk on the NFL Network’s NFL Game Day Morning, this Sunday, February 1st before Super Bowl XLIX starting at 9:00 AM EST.

Full press release below.

Dark Horse to Publish Rubín's The Hero


Champions are born with something special. Something that makes them stand out from those around them. That gives them an edge in almost all the day. Something that warrants a special tale be told about their travails. Storyteller David Rubín plans to reexamine the life of the world’s greatest champion in The Hero, coming this June from Dark Horse. Heracles, the son of Zeus, came into the world with strength, charm, and a fighting spirit. Featuring an introduction by John Arcudi, The Hero brings the legend to life through Rubín’s masterful storytelling and dynamic art!

Throughout Heracles’s incredible adventures from his innocent boyhood to his meteoric rise to popularity as he tackles the Twelve Labors, his journey is tempered by a steady decay that never relieves him of his heroic burden. And this burden becomes his only grip on reality as Heracles edges toward his fateful end. Preorder your copy of The Hero Book 1, coming in June 2015. The Hero Book 2 will be available in December 2015.

Full press release below.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Speculating the Comic Book Movie Bust


It's a great time to be a comic book fan. Besides what the big two are doing, smaller publishers like Image Comics, Dark Horse, IDW and BOOM! Studios are consistently putting out quality titles on a weekly basis. Other publishers such as Dynamite, Aspen Comics and Zenescope are climbing the ladder as well. And there's also Comixology and Comixology Submit, giving non-affiliated creators their own chance to get their book in front of as many eyes as possible. The barriers to entry in writing and illustrating a comic have been shattered and now anyone with the motivation to contribute their talents to a book can do so.

The success of indies (in addition to Marvel and DC) has ushered in a Golden Age of comics on film. The First Era featured major titles such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Dark Knight and Spider-man trilogies, among others. There were also a few X-Men films and a bunch of other properties from smaller publishers, such as Hellboy, Wanted, Road to Perdition and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The quality of those movies is by and large phenomenal, speaking to a renewed dedication and focus on doing quality adaptations. The First Era was punctuated by The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, both of which seemed to cap off a phenomenal ten years or so of great comic book films.

Since 2012, it feels as if the number of films based on comic book properties have skyrocketed. Marvel is digging deep into their character reserves, planning films for Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther. DC has four shows on television in Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Constantine and a Supergirl show planned as the fifth. And other publishers are also getting into the action, with films like B.P.R.D., 2 Guns and Oblivion getting the big-screen treatment. There's a growing sentiment among new creators now that the path to success is create a great comic, sell a lot of copies and then get a call from Hollywood about adapting the comic into a film. Basically, anything and everything do with comics is all the rage, causing publishers and creators to put out as many comics as possible for success. If this formula sounds a little familiar, then chances are you were a comic book fan in the 90s when the speculator bubble popped and the bottom of the industry fell out.

Review - The Dying and the Dead #1


"If you think about it, they died the moment they made their choice."

Life is meant to be lived. It's full of ups and downs, highs and lows. It inevitably ends in death, which makes everyone dying from the moment they're born. Being able to cheat death in exchange for an offer of extended life is tantalizing indeed. In Image Comics' The Dying and the Dead #1, it's an idea that's explored to great effect. The issue is written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Ryan Bodenheim, colored by Michael Garland and lettered by Rus Wooton.

Red One Reveals Another Russian Spy


Image Comics isn't one to shy away from hot-button topics. The publisher has made a name for itself in publishing all manner of content, most of which is pretty solid work overall. Their latest foray into a fun era comes courtesy of Xavier Dorison and Terry and Rachel Dodson in Red One. It's 1977—the height of the Cold War between the USSR and the US—and the Kremlin has a plan to win the war against Uncle Sam: propaganda.

Vera Yelnikov is an elite agent in the Soviet Army during the Cold War—she IS the atomic bomb. Vera is sent to Los Angeles by her bosses at the Kremlin. Her mission? Become a true "American superhero." She must spearhead a propaganda operation of communist values from within the United States and fight against the "Carpenter"—a fascist serial killer who blames America's ills on liberals. In her cover identity "Alabama Jones," Vera must find a day job that conceals her true mission—to do the Kremlin's bidding when the USSR needs her...as Red One.

The exciting series poses a chilling question, one rife with political overtones: What happens when America's Greatest Hero... is actually a Russian Spy? It hits stores on March 18 and can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code JAN150575. Full press release below.

Crossed Fans Celebrate Fourth Annual Crossed: C-Day


If you're a Crossed fan, then you've likely got Wednesday, April 15th marked on your calendar. Sure, it's the end of tax season, but it's also the fourth annual C-Day. Avatar Press, publisher of extreme horror comics, designates one Wednesday a year to all things Crossed and now comic shops worldwide encourage rabid fans to don their Crossed cosplay costumes and come in for parties, photos and an opportunity to become a new reader ambassador for the comic series that redefined grueling horror. Fans of extreme horror have a lot to celebrate as a golden age of Crossed settles in during the early months of 2015.

Alan Moore has created an all new vision of the future in Crossed +100 and the bi-weekly Crossed: Badlands core series continues to deliver the most disturbing uncensored horror being published. For the first time ever, the C-Day event is centered on a writer other than Crossed’s prolific creator, Garth Ennis. Uber scribe Kieron Gillen brings a story of the Crossed in the ancient past to the bi-weekly series Crossed: Badlands beginning with the milestone issue #75 which arrives on Wednesday, April 15th - C-Day. The new story arc “Homo Tortor” takes readers to a point in history where the human race nearly slipped into extinction and uncovers what role the vile plague played in that event.

Avatar Press and www.bleedingcool.com will be promoting stores and fans participating in the cosplay events by running their pictures online and in social media for everyone to see. All they ask is that everyone keep the event in perspective, have fun and be safe. Crossed is extreme horror fiction that allows you to step into the most frightening scenario ever published. But in the real world they want to encourage everyone to be responsible and courteous to non-readers and families also enjoying their visit to the comic book shop.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


Ghostbusters, like so many great franchise of the past, will get its chance to shine in the sun again it seems.

My reaction to an all female cast? Mixed.

It’s not for the reason you think. It’s not that I am in any way opposed to the idea of female Ghostbusters or even to a science-fiction movie that might potentially appeal to a female audience a bit more than a male one. See, it all has to do with the kind of movie the people making this reboot want to make (and if it even is a reboot and not a sequel disguised as a reboot as the kids are calling it these days).

I guess the thing that has made Ghostbusters unique is also part of why it’s been stuck in development hell for so many years. The thing is, it turned out to be a really fun, exciting, action-adventure movie. And the fanbase around it for many, many years has worshipped that aspect of Ghostbusters. The 80’s cartoon show, the IDW comics and even the recent video game (which I actually really enjoyed and sort of accept as the third movie Ghostbusters deserved in its own right) all expand the quirky, strange, but heroic fantasy of the Ghostbusters fighting evil. Or at least, paranormal phenomenon that would interfere with our life in New York city.

Push #ComicsForward



The following is an editorial written by BOOM! Studios Founder and CEO Ross Richie that is appearing today in PREVIEWS magazine to kick off Push #ComicsForward, an initiative that BOOM! Studios hopes will spark a movement to actively shape what the comic book industry should look like in 10 years. This is a conversation seen taking place already in different places throughout the industry; BOOM! simply hope to unify and amplify all of those voices under one banner, #ComicsForward, to inspire, motivate and support comics publishers, creators, professionals, press and fans who want to see an industry that welcomes all types of readers.

Check out his letter below.

Review - Munchkin #1


"Warning! You may also be betrayed."

Munchkin is actually a very enjoyable card game. It relies on the player to be savvy and willing to risk friendships over gaining a simple level...or winning the game. That sort of game lends itself to a narrative, one which BOOM! Studios is crafting in Munchkin #1. The issue is broken into four stories. "What is a Munchkin" and "Humans Got No Class" are written by Tom Siddell, illustrated by Mike Holmes, colored by Fred Stresing and lettered by Jim Campbell. "Ready for Anything" is written by Jim Zub, illustrated by Rian Singh and lettered by Campbell. "Table of Contents" is written and illustrated by John Kovalic.

The Fade Out Offers Fame, Sex and Death


Fame, sex and death all make for quite the entertainment. When those topics are thrust into the hands of talented storytellers such as Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, then the result is greater than the sum of the three parts. Image Comics is pleased to inform readers that the first four issues of the series are gearing up to be collected in The Fade Out, Volume 1, due in stores on February 25.

"So far, The Fade Out is the most popular and most-widely written about book that Sean and I have ever done," said writer Brubaker. "And I'm so proud of that, and the work that Sean and our amazing colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser are doing on the series, that I just wanted to make it easier for new readers to try us out. And hopefully this move will help stores meet demand, since we keep selling out of the issues the first week they come out."

The Fade Out focuses in on the chaos in a Hollywood studio that follows the death of a starlet under suspicious circumstances and one writer’s guilt over a secret he’s keeping to save his skin. With a $9.99 price tag, The Fade Out, Volume 1 is one of more than fifty Image Introduces titles that have specially priced first volumes to encourage readers to delve into their next favorite comic book series.

The Fade Out, Volume 1 will be in comic book stores on February 25 (Diamond Comic order code DEC140664) and in bookstores on March 10 (ISBN 978-1-63215-171-1). It is available for pre-order now. Full press release below.

Friday, January 30, 2015

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 23.

Loaded up and heading out. We got the supplies we needed and got the hell out of dodge before it got worse. We started sending out loaded up trucks with convoy cover late last night planning to rendezvous a few hundred miles down the road. We did it this way out of necessity because of the mayhem bearing down on us at the warehouse in the form of a massive herd of zombies. With that type of threat bearing down on us, it made getting all the loaded up trucks we had ready to go out of there even more important. Those supplies are going to go a long way for our survival and are a lot more important than a lot of us. While the trucks and most of the convoy providing cover left, the rest of us got busy setting traps and little surprises for that zombie horde.

Review - The Disease


"Feel like I've been hit by a truck. Didn't think I drunk that much last night."

The rules of the apocalypse are simple: stay alive and survive. You could argue they're essentially one and the same in essence, but that doesn't make them any less important. In The Disease, one man is forced to contend with a destroyed world, ravenous zombies and an isolated mentality. The one-shot is written by James Mulholland, illustrated by Daniel Romero and lettered by Micah Myers.

Action Lab Brings a Gronk to the Super Bowl


Rob Gronkowski is one of (if not) the most dominant players in the NFL now. He's a beast to cover and punctuates scoring plays with a vicious spike that's been known to deflate footballs. He won't be the only Gronk at the Super Bowl though, seeing as how Action Lab Entertainment and Katie Cook's plan to bring their own version to the show. She’s small, green, adorable and is about to make her network television debut. Action Lab's Gronk will be featured on the NFL Network’s Superbowl Pregame Show, NFL Game Day Morning.

Gronk, the adorable little monster created by popular comic book writer and artist Cook shares a name with New England Patriots tight end, Robert “Gronk” Gronkowski. Both She and her creation will be part of a feature as the NFL meets other “Gronks.” Cook, interviewed by host Steve Cyphers, drew Gronk dressed as “Gronk” for the cameras. Published weekly online since 2010, Cook has built up quite the following for her adorable bacon loving, pop culture obsessed creation.

Gronk is Action Lab Entertainment’s 2015 Free Comic Book Day offering, and will be released on Saturday May 2nd,2015 but you don’t have to wait that long because the first Gronk: A Monsters Story collection will hit store shelves in February. You can catch Katie and Gronk on the NFL Network’s NFL Game Day Morning, this Sunday, February 1st before Super Bowl XLIX starting at 9:00 AM EST.

Full press release below.

Dark Horse to Publish Rubín's The Hero


Champions are born with something special. Something that makes them stand out from those around them. That gives them an edge in almost all the day. Something that warrants a special tale be told about their travails. Storyteller David Rubín plans to reexamine the life of the world’s greatest champion in The Hero, coming this June from Dark Horse. Heracles, the son of Zeus, came into the world with strength, charm, and a fighting spirit. Featuring an introduction by John Arcudi, The Hero brings the legend to life through Rubín’s masterful storytelling and dynamic art!

Throughout Heracles’s incredible adventures from his innocent boyhood to his meteoric rise to popularity as he tackles the Twelve Labors, his journey is tempered by a steady decay that never relieves him of his heroic burden. And this burden becomes his only grip on reality as Heracles edges toward his fateful end. Preorder your copy of The Hero Book 1, coming in June 2015. The Hero Book 2 will be available in December 2015.

Full press release below.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Speculating the Comic Book Movie Bust


It's a great time to be a comic book fan. Besides what the big two are doing, smaller publishers like Image Comics, Dark Horse, IDW and BOOM! Studios are consistently putting out quality titles on a weekly basis. Other publishers such as Dynamite, Aspen Comics and Zenescope are climbing the ladder as well. And there's also Comixology and Comixology Submit, giving non-affiliated creators their own chance to get their book in front of as many eyes as possible. The barriers to entry in writing and illustrating a comic have been shattered and now anyone with the motivation to contribute their talents to a book can do so.

The success of indies (in addition to Marvel and DC) has ushered in a Golden Age of comics on film. The First Era featured major titles such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Dark Knight and Spider-man trilogies, among others. There were also a few X-Men films and a bunch of other properties from smaller publishers, such as Hellboy, Wanted, Road to Perdition and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The quality of those movies is by and large phenomenal, speaking to a renewed dedication and focus on doing quality adaptations. The First Era was punctuated by The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, both of which seemed to cap off a phenomenal ten years or so of great comic book films.

Since 2012, it feels as if the number of films based on comic book properties have skyrocketed. Marvel is digging deep into their character reserves, planning films for Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther. DC has four shows on television in Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Constantine and a Supergirl show planned as the fifth. And other publishers are also getting into the action, with films like B.P.R.D., 2 Guns and Oblivion getting the big-screen treatment. There's a growing sentiment among new creators now that the path to success is create a great comic, sell a lot of copies and then get a call from Hollywood about adapting the comic into a film. Basically, anything and everything do with comics is all the rage, causing publishers and creators to put out as many comics as possible for success. If this formula sounds a little familiar, then chances are you were a comic book fan in the 90s when the speculator bubble popped and the bottom of the industry fell out.

Review - The Dying and the Dead #1


"If you think about it, they died the moment they made their choice."

Life is meant to be lived. It's full of ups and downs, highs and lows. It inevitably ends in death, which makes everyone dying from the moment they're born. Being able to cheat death in exchange for an offer of extended life is tantalizing indeed. In Image Comics' The Dying and the Dead #1, it's an idea that's explored to great effect. The issue is written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Ryan Bodenheim, colored by Michael Garland and lettered by Rus Wooton.

Red One Reveals Another Russian Spy


Image Comics isn't one to shy away from hot-button topics. The publisher has made a name for itself in publishing all manner of content, most of which is pretty solid work overall. Their latest foray into a fun era comes courtesy of Xavier Dorison and Terry and Rachel Dodson in Red One. It's 1977—the height of the Cold War between the USSR and the US—and the Kremlin has a plan to win the war against Uncle Sam: propaganda.

Vera Yelnikov is an elite agent in the Soviet Army during the Cold War—she IS the atomic bomb. Vera is sent to Los Angeles by her bosses at the Kremlin. Her mission? Become a true "American superhero." She must spearhead a propaganda operation of communist values from within the United States and fight against the "Carpenter"—a fascist serial killer who blames America's ills on liberals. In her cover identity "Alabama Jones," Vera must find a day job that conceals her true mission—to do the Kremlin's bidding when the USSR needs her...as Red One.

The exciting series poses a chilling question, one rife with political overtones: What happens when America's Greatest Hero... is actually a Russian Spy? It hits stores on March 18 and can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code JAN150575. Full press release below.

Crossed Fans Celebrate Fourth Annual Crossed: C-Day


If you're a Crossed fan, then you've likely got Wednesday, April 15th marked on your calendar. Sure, it's the end of tax season, but it's also the fourth annual C-Day. Avatar Press, publisher of extreme horror comics, designates one Wednesday a year to all things Crossed and now comic shops worldwide encourage rabid fans to don their Crossed cosplay costumes and come in for parties, photos and an opportunity to become a new reader ambassador for the comic series that redefined grueling horror. Fans of extreme horror have a lot to celebrate as a golden age of Crossed settles in during the early months of 2015.

Alan Moore has created an all new vision of the future in Crossed +100 and the bi-weekly Crossed: Badlands core series continues to deliver the most disturbing uncensored horror being published. For the first time ever, the C-Day event is centered on a writer other than Crossed’s prolific creator, Garth Ennis. Uber scribe Kieron Gillen brings a story of the Crossed in the ancient past to the bi-weekly series Crossed: Badlands beginning with the milestone issue #75 which arrives on Wednesday, April 15th - C-Day. The new story arc “Homo Tortor” takes readers to a point in history where the human race nearly slipped into extinction and uncovers what role the vile plague played in that event.

Avatar Press and www.bleedingcool.com will be promoting stores and fans participating in the cosplay events by running their pictures online and in social media for everyone to see. All they ask is that everyone keep the event in perspective, have fun and be safe. Crossed is extreme horror fiction that allows you to step into the most frightening scenario ever published. But in the real world they want to encourage everyone to be responsible and courteous to non-readers and families also enjoying their visit to the comic book shop.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


Ghostbusters, like so many great franchise of the past, will get its chance to shine in the sun again it seems.

My reaction to an all female cast? Mixed.

It’s not for the reason you think. It’s not that I am in any way opposed to the idea of female Ghostbusters or even to a science-fiction movie that might potentially appeal to a female audience a bit more than a male one. See, it all has to do with the kind of movie the people making this reboot want to make (and if it even is a reboot and not a sequel disguised as a reboot as the kids are calling it these days).

I guess the thing that has made Ghostbusters unique is also part of why it’s been stuck in development hell for so many years. The thing is, it turned out to be a really fun, exciting, action-adventure movie. And the fanbase around it for many, many years has worshipped that aspect of Ghostbusters. The 80’s cartoon show, the IDW comics and even the recent video game (which I actually really enjoyed and sort of accept as the third movie Ghostbusters deserved in its own right) all expand the quirky, strange, but heroic fantasy of the Ghostbusters fighting evil. Or at least, paranormal phenomenon that would interfere with our life in New York city.

Push #ComicsForward



The following is an editorial written by BOOM! Studios Founder and CEO Ross Richie that is appearing today in PREVIEWS magazine to kick off Push #ComicsForward, an initiative that BOOM! Studios hopes will spark a movement to actively shape what the comic book industry should look like in 10 years. This is a conversation seen taking place already in different places throughout the industry; BOOM! simply hope to unify and amplify all of those voices under one banner, #ComicsForward, to inspire, motivate and support comics publishers, creators, professionals, press and fans who want to see an industry that welcomes all types of readers.

Check out his letter below.

Review - Munchkin #1


"Warning! You may also be betrayed."

Munchkin is actually a very enjoyable card game. It relies on the player to be savvy and willing to risk friendships over gaining a simple level...or winning the game. That sort of game lends itself to a narrative, one which BOOM! Studios is crafting in Munchkin #1. The issue is broken into four stories. "What is a Munchkin" and "Humans Got No Class" are written by Tom Siddell, illustrated by Mike Holmes, colored by Fred Stresing and lettered by Jim Campbell. "Ready for Anything" is written by Jim Zub, illustrated by Rian Singh and lettered by Campbell. "Table of Contents" is written and illustrated by John Kovalic.

The Fade Out Offers Fame, Sex and Death


Fame, sex and death all make for quite the entertainment. When those topics are thrust into the hands of talented storytellers such as Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, then the result is greater than the sum of the three parts. Image Comics is pleased to inform readers that the first four issues of the series are gearing up to be collected in The Fade Out, Volume 1, due in stores on February 25.

"So far, The Fade Out is the most popular and most-widely written about book that Sean and I have ever done," said writer Brubaker. "And I'm so proud of that, and the work that Sean and our amazing colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser are doing on the series, that I just wanted to make it easier for new readers to try us out. And hopefully this move will help stores meet demand, since we keep selling out of the issues the first week they come out."

The Fade Out focuses in on the chaos in a Hollywood studio that follows the death of a starlet under suspicious circumstances and one writer’s guilt over a secret he’s keeping to save his skin. With a $9.99 price tag, The Fade Out, Volume 1 is one of more than fifty Image Introduces titles that have specially priced first volumes to encourage readers to delve into their next favorite comic book series.

The Fade Out, Volume 1 will be in comic book stores on February 25 (Diamond Comic order code DEC140664) and in bookstores on March 10 (ISBN 978-1-63215-171-1). It is available for pre-order now. Full press release below.