Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review - Low #1

"We huddle together. My small family seeking comfort from a world determined to separate us."

Family coping amidst harsh living situations always makes for fascinating reading. How those families cope in situations where they can play a pivotal role in the survival of the human species if even more fascinating. That's what the reader finds in Low #1 from Image Comics, written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini and lettered by Rus Wooton.

Dark Horse Poised to Publish The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Dark Horse is big on their art books. That's with good reason too, as all of their books always showcase various properties through a variety of phenomenal art. There's seemingly nothing stopping them from offering artistic looks at any and everything you can possibly want. Well, they've taken their sweet time, but they've finally got around to offering an artistic look at He-Man in The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Made in close cooperation with Mattel and He-Man historians, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe collects over 30 years of behind-the-scenes material, lore and classic imagery.

In 1982, the world was introduced to He-Man and Masters of the Universe. What followed was a cultural sensation that changed the landscape of children’s entertainment forever. Join Mattel and Dark Horse in this comprehensive retrospective chronicling the decades-long epic journey of He-Man® from toy, to television, to film, to a true pop culture phenomenon. The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe includes rarely seen images of concept sketches, prototypes, and more from Mattel’s archives. Featuring beautifully restored art from master illustrator Earl Norem—celebrated artist of the most memorable He-Man images.

The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe arrives in comic shops on April 1, 2015 and in bookstores April 14, 2015. Preorder your copy today. Full press release below.

Aspen Announces SDCC 2014 Announcements

One year wasn't enough for all the action that Lola XOXO is bringing to readers. Aspen Comics has announced as part of their SDCC surge that the property will see new life in 2015 with Lola XOXO: Volume 2 by creator Siya Oum. Not only that, but fans of the series can also look forward to Lola XOXO: The Wasteland Madam, featuring an all-new heroine struggling to maintain control over a renegade force of post-apocalyptic survivors, while trying to come to grips with her horrific and tragic past.

Aspen's series Dellec by Frank Mastromauro and Vince Hernandez returns for a second volume, with art pencils by Pasquale Qualano. This return of one of Aspen’s leading heroes focuses on the aftermath of the catastrophic first volume’s climax, while offering an all new jumping on point for new readers. Legend of the Shadow Clan returns next year with creator/writers David Wohl and Brad Foxhoven returning to the family clan of ancient ninja heritage with art by penciler Giuseppe Cafaro. 2015 will also see the debut of the first series of Aspen Sourcebooks line, featuring essential and never-before-seen handbooks of Aspen’s most popular and longest-running titles, including Michael Turner’s Fathom, Soulfire and Executive Assistant: Iris, written by Hannibal Tabu, with future editions planned for Aspen’s later titles.

Aspen Novels, the new prose imprint from the publisher, will release its second novel this November, Seven to Die, from author T.G. Roberts. Seven to Die tells the story of Lex MacArthur, a San Francisco college student who comes into possession of an enigmatic clay pendant that unlocks a bevy of dormant superhuman genes. She’s stronger, she’s faster, and she’s on a mission to find out why. As Lex sets out to discover who she is and where she really came from, she comes face-to-face with Egil, a killer who has been tracking Lex her entire life. At the helm of an enormous operation to eradicate all of Lex’s kind, Egil captures Lex’s long-lost mother, forcing Lex to confront him head on and save those she loves from certain death.

This October, Aspen continues its push to a broader reach with a more kid friendly library with the release of Fathom: The Adventures of Ernie on October ComicFest 2014. This kid-friendly coloring and activity book will feature a story written by Hernandez with art by Agnes Garbowska. Aspen has signed on with the consulting firm, The Powell Group, to expand their multi-media publishing in the video game industry with a plan to adapt their popular titles into several platforms. Aspen has teamed up with the app beacon company Webble to produce a Cosplay Card Set featuring the industry’s most popular cosplayers as Aspen’s top characters.

Full press release below.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review - The Chronicles of Faro: Chapter 1

"You can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

History is filled with defining events, both good and bad. Every event has consequences unlike any other event and arguing the merits of whether or not that event should be changed (if it were possible) always makes for a fun evening. There are some characters who feel the need to change some events though for whatever reason and their journeys through time offers up pretty fascinating reading. The Chronicles of Faro: Chapter 1 from HooligansCO recounts such a tale. The book is written by Faro Kane and features illustrations by Ale Garza, Pat Broderick, Richard Clark, Franchesco, Paolo Pantalena, Elias Chatzoudis and Monte Moore.

Star Trek Ventures to the Planet of the Apes

The mission of the Enterprise is simple: to boldly go where no man has gone before. Aside from being a split infinitive, it's a very ambitious aim for a ship full of diverse characters. Their journeys take them to all manner of planet and civilizations, but nothing is likely to prepare them for their next destination. The crew of Star Trek will venture to the Planet of the Apes, courtesy of a crossover from BOOM! Studios and IDW Publishing. The series will pair the original U.S.S. Enterprise crew with Taylor, Nova and the cast from the original Planet of the Apes film.

“Planet of the Apes and Star Trek are groundbreaking science-fiction properties and both deal with many of the same social issues and themes,” says Greg Goldstein IDW President & Chief Operating Officer. “A crossover between the two is a natural and long overdue.”

“Before I could read comic books as a child, I could watch science fiction on my television. My dad used to wake me up way past my bedtime to watch Star Trek in syndication—it came on after the nightly news—and I took a Planet of the Apes lunchbox with me to kindergarten every day,” says BOOM! Studios Founder and CEO Ross Richie. “Suffice to say, teaming up these two titans of science fiction on the page in a way that they probably will never meet each other on the silver screen is a huge moment for me personally and emotionally.”

Star Trek scribes Scott and David Tipton will handle the writing, while Rachael Scott will tackle the art duties. IDW will publish the crossover, which will mark the first time BOOM! Studios has partnered with another publisher on a series.

“With the Klingons secretly backing a renegade gorilla general in a coup for control of Ape City, Captain Kirk finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to help out Dr. Zaius' orangutans,” explains Tipton. “Taylor won't be happy with that!”

“What an epic pairing! I'm so excited to see Taylor, Kirk...and those damned dirty apes...in our upcoming comic,” says IDW editor Sarah Gaydos, “We're eager to team up these exciting creative forces to bring this to life.”

Full press release below.

Death is Not the End

Friday, July 25, 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.)

Year 5. Week 48.

Licking one's wounds is never a pleasant experience, but it's certainly leaving an impression on all of us.

After that debacle in Amarillo and the way our forces were just about manhandled, we’ve begun to reevaluate our procedures and methods of intelligence gathering. At the moment we can't afford to lose anybody else with our reduced strength; with that going on we also can't plan any more strikes or movements until reinforcements arrive.

So far we've spent the time since getting back to Salt Lake City, resting up and reinforcing our perimeter. Every time one of those types of situations comes about I'm thankful I made it and hate that others did not. Our momentum definitely took a hit after that fight, even though we accomplished our objective of taking out the radioactive zombies that were located there. Killing them all is the only sure way of winning this war once and for all. With no leaders, the regular zombies will just wander around and eventually die off.

Review - Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1

"The long winter is coming, Snake Eyes. Better smarten up."

Some would argue that being a child in the 80s was the best time to do so from a cartoon perspective. There were so many great shows on that viewers could pretty much pick and choose just about anything. Two of the bigger shows were Transformers and G.I. Joe, both of which were awesome in their own right. One of the biggest fantasies of fans of the shows was a crossover, which seemed outlandish at the time. Now, in a day where transmedia is all the rage, comics especially are getting into some of these crazy stories and IDW is looking to cross those two over in Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1. The issue is written by Tom Scioli and John Barber and illustrated, colored and lettered by Scioli.

Dynamite Sings Ron Marz to New Ongoing John Carter: Warlord of Mars Series

Dynamite Entertainment is really big on the literary classics and one of those they're biggest on is John Carter: Warlord of Mars. The Edgar Rice Burroughs property is always a hit with the readers and now the publisher has another ace up their sleeve with a brand new story. Oh and did we mention it's written by Ron Marz? Illustrated by newcomer Abhishek Malsuni, John Carter: Warlord of Mars is the newly-minted cornerstone of the publisher's Warlord of Mars line, launched in the wake of their May 2014 announcement of the comprehensive licensing agreement between Dynamite and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

"We are incredibly excited about Ron coming on board for this project," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "When we originally launched the Warlord of Mars series in 2010, Ron and I ran into each other at a comic convention, and Ron grabbed me by the shoulders and said something to the effect of, 'How can you launch a John Carter series and not call me to write it?' It was a statement! As we looked at the potential creators for this series, we instinctively remembered Ron's passion for the mythos. He is simply the perfect fit. Add in the fantastic art by Abhishek Malsuni and Neeraj Menon, this series will take John Carter to new heights."

John Carter: Warlord of Mars welcomes science fiction and fantasy fans to the exotic landscape of Barsoom, where displaced earthling John Carter has to save his adopted world, not to mention his beloved Dejah Thoris, from an enemy like no other he has ever faced. John Carter must truly become a Warlord of Mars against an adversary who is every bit his equal on the savage red planet.

Marz's enthusiasm for John Carter has been building for many years. He says, "This is literally a job I've been wanting to do since I was twelve years old. I was just the right age when I discovered John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, and the wonder of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars. It fired my imagination like almost nothing else. So to finally get a chance to write these characters, to visit that world, is a dream come true for me."

John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' September Previews catalog and slated for release in November. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 with their local comic book retailers. John Carter: Warlord of Mars will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Visits Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Bestiary

Hellraiser: Bestiary #1 Cover A

You would think for as much hell that Clive Barker as raised, there wouldn't be much left. Still, BOOM! Studios keeps managing to find a new room in the blazing inferno to explore, with the latest being Hellraiser: Bestiary. The book will be a new anthology-style limited series that picks up where classic horror anthologies like Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror left off. This series will feature comics’ rising stars like Ed Brisson and Michael Moreci and the first issue will feature the comics debut of award-winning novelist Victor LaValle.

“Clive Barker has created an entire mythology that has become a cornerstone of the horror genre,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Now we get to dive back into the world of HELLRAISER with some of our favorite creators, exploring this dark world in ways we haven't experienced before. Clive himself chose many of the contributors in BESTIARY and the talent within this series is something to behold.”

Step into the Bestiary for all-new tales of the LeMarchand Device and its guardians. This first issue contains the start of a six-part serial written by Mark Miller and Ben Meaes and drawn by Carlos Magno, where a team of mercenaries are hired to steal Pinhead’s pins. Also, LaValle teams with artist Colin Lorimer to tell a story set on the outskirts of New York City, as a close-knit community is torn apart by the presence of the puzzle box.

Hellraiser: Bestiary #1 arrives in comic shops on August 20th with a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JUN140941. The first issue will ship with a main cover by Conor Nolan and retailer incentive covers by Kim Herbst and Sam Shearon.

Full press release below.

Image Expo Announcements Include Twelve New Books

Not to be outdone by Dark Horse, Image Comics has their own twelve announcements that poise the publisher to be kind of a big deal. And tied with Image Expo making it's first appearance at SDCC, the publisher has a ton of new books they want you to know about.

“Each and every year, it is our goal to grow the comics marketplace with new creativity, and this current slate of talent is intent on doing exactly that,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “It’s nothing short of thrilling to be involved with so much unique and inventive talent, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work these amazing men and women are developing as we finish out this year and head into the next. We don’t pass out assignments or dictate directions here, we ask writers and artists what they want to do and let their creativity guide us. For some, relying on so much new material might seem like an uncertain way forward, but I prefer to look at every venture into uncharted territory as yet another path to the future. Thanks to these creators and more, that future is looking brighter than ever.”

Tokyo Ghost - from Rick Remender and Sean Gordon
Tokyo Ghost welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for. Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the "law" enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines." The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.

From Under Mountains from Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson and Sloane Leong
Set in the isolated country of Akhara, rival houses face off in the struggle for political power and military security in FROM From Under Mountains. Three unlikely figures—a lord's daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief—will change the fate of their world, but the only hope of peace may lie with the mystery shrouded goblins and witches, and the ancient powers they command.

Valhalla Mad from Joe Casey and Paul Maybury
Valhalla Mad introduces a set of brand new characters: the Glorious Knox, Greghorn the Battlebjorn and Jhago the Irritator. The series depicts this particular trio of fun-loving gods' return to Earth—Manhattan, specifically—to drink and party and revel in their resplendent godhood after many decades of being away. Needless to say, they find a very different world than the one they last visited.

Rumble from John Arcudi and James Harren
Rumble is a strange book, that’s for sure—like a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher—with a supporting cast of odd characters, many of whom aren’t even human.

Intersect from Ray Fawkes
Bodies shift and merge, warring with themselves. Blood rains from the skies. A child’s song is translated into toxic, thought-destroying whispers. Everything is changing. Everything is wrong. This is the world of INTERSECT.

The Humans from Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller
Apart, they are nothing… deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are The Humans! Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas and chrome.

Kinski from Gabriel Hardman’s and Invisible Republic from Hardman and Corinna Bechko
Kinski, previously a digital-only collection, both written and drawn by Hardman, promises to be a quirky crime thriller about Joe, a down-on-his-luck salesman who finds a cute puppy. The thing is, this puppy already has a home. What starts as a simple rescue mission from neglectful owners quickly escalates into a righteous crusade. Hardman announced a second project to be executed with frequent collaborator Bechko. Described as a gritty sci-fi series, Invisible Republic explores the secret history of one man's rise to power after an unspeakable act of violence elevates him to folk-hero status on a war-torn planet seeking independence.

Southern Cross from Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s
Now boarding: Southern Cross, tanker flight 73 to Titan. Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though—How did her sister die? Where did her cabin mate disappear to? Who is that creep across the hall? And why does she always feel like she’s being watched?

Descender from Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Descender will explore one young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.

Drifter from Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein
Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless in Drifter. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose 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.

Tooth and Claw from Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey
In Tooth and Claw, a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary champion back through time to save the world, with disastrous consequences. Swords, sorcery, animal-wizards, gods, empires, golems of radioactive decay, crystalline badlands, con women, ancient armories, young love, mystery, blood and death and treachery and destiny...Tooth and Claw is an epic story you won’t want to miss out on.

Injection from Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey
Injection explores how loud and strange the world is becoming, and the sense that it's all bubbling into chaos—a chaos poised to become the Next New Normal—and that we did this to ourselves without thinking for a second about how we were ever going to live inside it.

Full press release and covers below.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review - Supreme: Blue Rose #1

"And then it all changed."

Characters and properties are created by creators all the time. Some of them go onto live full, creative-infused lives rife with multiple comic books and various other forays into transmedia. Others are left to their own devices, typically not much more than a solid idea that doesn't really get the backing it may deserve. Supreme: Blue Rose #1 from Image Comics is something that falls into the latter category, with a brand new take on an familiar book. The issue is written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Tula Lotay and lettered by Richard Starkings.