Friday, July 22, 2016

Aspen Universe Teases Wave 2

As publisher whose primary character is all about the ocean, Aspen Universe is all about making waves. And they've got a couple of them coming up as just recently teased at San Diego Comic Con.

Shout! Factory Adapts Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues as Motion Comic Film

Red Sonja hasn't had as much success on the big-screen as her counterpart Conan the Barbarian, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't get her chances. Dynamite and Shout! Factory are teaming up to announce an adaptation of Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani into a full-length, animated feature. Measuring 72 minutes in length and featuring voice acting (including the talented Misty Lee of Ultimate Spider-Man), sound effects, and music, the Red Sonja film transforms the seminal, epic comic book series' artwork into a thrilling experience of motion and sound. The film is available in Blu-Ray and DVD formats on August 2, 2016.

Writer Gail Simone says, "Red Sonja's my favorite character, and seeing my words and the dazzling art of Walter Geovani brought to life has been absolutely thrilling. It's just a big, fun, sexy, sweaty epic with the best sword and sorcery character of all time!"

"We were fortunate to work with Gail and Walter as they had an incredible run on Sonja that had incredible critical acclaim," says Nick Barrucci, Publisher and CEO of Dynamite. "That we could work with them to create this movie to reach a larger fan base is incredibly rewarding."

In the Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues film, the crimson-tressed heroine intends to pay back a blood debt owed to the one man who has gained her respect... even if it means leading a doomed army to their certain deaths! Who is Dark Annisia and how has this fearsome warrior accomplished what neither god nor demon has been able to do: force Sonja to her knees in surrender? An epic tale of blood, lust, and vengeance, Queen of Plagues takes the She-Devil with a Sword from the depths of her own grave to the heights of battlefield glory.

"Queen of Plagues is one of the best books we have ever put out," says Luke Lieberman, President of Red Sonja, LLC. "It is new canon. Gail and Walter did an amazing job, and Shout! Factory brought the pages to life!"

Shannon Kingston, voice actress on the film, says, "This was up there as one of my favorite acting roles! Getting to bring the words of the great Gail Simone to life was an honor and so much fun. Her writing is so relatable, and funny when it's called for! I'm hoping to do the next two books!"

Full press release below.

Review - Betty & Veronica #1 (@ArchieComics)

"Bad word. Censored."

Friendship is a fickle beast. Some days you and your friends are loving life, whereas others something comes between the two of you and causes strife. Few duos have had as turbulent a relationship as Betty and Veronica of Archie fame and that turbulence continues in Betty & Veronica #1 from Archie Comics. The issue is written and illustrated by Adam Hughes, colored by José Villarrubia and lettered by Jack Morelli.

Dark Horse Comics Teams with Blizzard Entertainment for Overwatch Publishing Program

Dark Horse Comics and Blizzard Entertainment are the best of buds. One brings the comic book publishing savvy while the other brings video games that fans all over the world love to play. Ovewatch is the latter's latest phenomenon and now the former is developing a publishing program based on the game that consists of digital comics, a graphic novel and an art book. Dark Horse has already begun republishing a series of free digital comics by Blizzard Entertainment that further illuminate the characters and world of Overwatch. A number of eight-page digital comics are already available through Dark Horse’s digital comics platforms, with more currently in production and slated for release in the future.

A hardcover original Overwatch graphic novel has been slotted for release in April 2017. This brand-new entry in the Overwatch canon will contain one hundred pages of sequential artwork telling the story of the original Overwatch strike team. Summer 2017 will see the release of The Art of Overwatch, a stunning collection of never-before-seen concept art from the critically acclaimed game.

Full press release below.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review - E.V.I.L. Heroes #1 (@Zenscope)

"Hey mom, that a bird? Or a plane?"

Superheroes typically use their power for good. When they don't, they're referred to as supervillains. What it is that requires them to do good things is largely because of society projection expectations on them. They don't always like those terms though and Zenescope explores that notion in E.V.I.L. Heroes #1. The issue is written by Joe Brusha, illustrated by Eric J and Cristhian "Crizam" Zamora, colored by Marco Lesko and lettered by Matt Krotzer.

Dark Horse Announces New Serenity Installment

If you though Joss Whedon is just sitting around his home and twiddling his thumbs then you clearly don't know Joss Whedon. In addition to the recent announcement that Buffy Season 11 is in the works, Dark Horse has just announced another entry in the Serenity series in Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse. Serenity begins its next chapter with a story written by Chris Roberson and illustrated by Georges Jeanty. The first issue will hit stores October 26.

“I’ve been a devoted fan of Captain Reynolds and company since the first episode of Firefly aired,"said Roberson, "and have followed the exploits of the Serenity crew through TV, film, and comics ever since. It’s an unbelievable thrill (and an enormous responsibility!) to help chart the course for their further adventures.”

Serenity: No Power in the ’Verse finds Malcolm Reynolds and his crew struggling through some difficult times. Tensions are at an all-time high when the crew receives a call to help find a missing friend. The crew must come together to discover the answers to her mysterious disappearance. Will they find her in time? No Power in the ’Verse is preceded by the Serenity comics Those Left Behind, Better Days, The Shepherd’s Tale and Leaves on the Wind.

Roberson will sign on Thursday, July 21, from 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. on Dark Horse's Hellboy signing stage and on Sunday, July 24 from 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Whedon will host two signings on Saturday, July 23 on Dark Horse's Hellboy signing stage. His first signing is from 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. His second signing is from 6 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. Firefly and Serenity cast members Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk will join Joss at this signing.

Full press release below.

Dynamite Entertainment Offering New Collectibles

Dynamite Entertainment is in the entertainment business and that includes more than just comics. Their latest offerings in the collectibles realm reaffirms that, as the publisher is offering the Chaos! Comics Enamel 4-Pin set. The announcement of these fashionable and frightening pieces of flair arrives in tandem with the company's expansion of their collectible Women of Dynamite statue line to include Red Sonja "Diamond Eye", Dejah Thoris "Diamond Eye", and Jungle Girl "Black & White" statue variants, each one limited to only 99 statues of its kind in the world.

"Its really exciting to bring 'wearable art' to the fans of Chaos! and its iconic characters," says Georg Brewer, founder of the Brewing Factory. "These high quality pins are perfect for a jacket or backpack, and stand out as cool graphics on their own right, even if you don't follow the comics. It was a blast going through the library of awesome artist and covers, but not so easy to edit our list of 'must-haves' to just four!"

These four enamel-covered, wearable pins feature classic characters Evil Ernie (art by Dan Brereton), Lady Demon (by Mike Mayhew), Purgatori (Michael Turner), and - of course - Smiley the Psychotic Button! Each pin measures approximately 1.25" wide, and comes with a durable "butterfly cap"-style zinc alloy pin back. The entire set is packaged in a deluxe clear-top acrylic display box detailed with a gold foil Chaos logo stamp. The Chaos! Comics Enamel 4-Pin Set will be available for sale at fine comic shops in November, and will retail for $17.99.

"Variety is the spice of life, or so they say! For over a decade, Dynamite Entertainment has delivered a wide range of comics and graphic novels for fans to enjoy, with genres of every kind -- from horror to Westerns, pulp heroes to cartoons, sci-fi to crime. Now, we're venturing into merchandise with the characters you love, in different product types that you're bound to enjoy," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite. "Whether it's collectible statues or busts, fun and functional barware like our Red Sonja pint glasses or Smiley bottle opener, or this new announcement of the Chaos! Comics pin set, Dynamite is moving and shaking! Who knows what new properties we'll be bringing to stores near you... and soon!"

The She-Devil with a Sword, poised on a snow-covered battlefield, is based on the original design of J. Scott Campbell and sculpted by the talented Jason Smith. Hyrkania's most lethal warrior stands approximately 11.5" in height upon a decorative 5.5" wide base. Hand-painted on cold-cast porcelain with ABS details, This rare variant edition of the Women of Dynamite: Red Sonja statue comes individually numbered as part of a Limited Edition run, and is packaged in a four-color box with a hand-numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The Princess of Mars is proudly brought to three-dimensional life as the fifth entry in the brand-new "Women of Dynamite" statue line, inspired by the art of Frank Cho. Sculptor Smith and the team at the Brewing Factory poured over the very finest illustrations of Dejah Thoris from Dynamite's wildly successful library of Warlord of Mars comics to find just the right inspiration, resulting in this gorgeous statue, measuring 12" high (to the tip of her sword) and 4.5" deep, with a 6" base. Hand-painted on cold-cast porcelain with ABS details, each statue is individually numbered as part of a Limited Edition run, and comes packaged in a four-color box with a hand-numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Finally, an extremely Limited Edition Jungle Girl statue based on the work of Cho and sculpted by Smith, will feature Jana in all her primal glory. Hand-painted on cold-cast porcelain, the Jungle Girl statue stands approximately 12" in height with a 6" base. This rare variant edition of the Women of Dynamite: Jungle Girl statue comes packaged in a four-color box with a hand-numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review - Oblivion #1 (@ActionLabDanger)

"I shoulda chosen a more 'economic downturn safe' profession."

The space opera always seems to have a certain sense of wonder and excitement that always makes for a good story. The crux of the story typically revolves around some sort of outlaw making their way through space and contending with obstacles. Sometimes those obstacles are outlaw parents as in Oblivion #1 from Action Lab Danger Zone. The issue is written by Tim Seeley, illustrated by Romnia Moranelli, colored by Marcelo Costa and lettered by Dave Dwonch.

Dark Horse and Joss Whedon Announce Buffy the Vampire Season 11

Joss Whedon is one of the busiest creators in the industry and he's about to get even busier. Whedon and Dark Horse have just announced that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is hitting Season 11. Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs are teaming up for more shenanigans from the Scoobies. After overcoming the struggles of Season 10, Buffy and the Scoobies give themselves a well-deserved break from fighting evil. Unfortunately, the momentary peace comes to a screeching halt when a supernatural disaster wreaks havoc on the citizens of San Francisco, and the gang is forced to save the world from imminent doom, again.

“Buffy fans have been wonderful to Rebekah and me throughout Season 10," said Gage, "so I couldn’t be more excited to keep our creative team together for Season 11! True to form, Joss is not content to just rest on his well-earned laurels, so Season 11 will shake things up with a story that’s shorter, bigger, more epic, and presents what may be the greatest challenge Buffy and the Scoobies have ever faced. We hope the readers will enjoy the ride!”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 will have twelve issues total. The first issue goes on sale November 23, 2016. Karl Moline (Fray) will create a special Dark Horse 30th Anniversary variant cover for the first issue. Whedon is signing on Saturday, July 23, from 5 PM to 5:50 PM in the Dark Horse booth at San Diego Comic-Con. Gage will sign from 1 PM to 1:50 PM on Thursday, July 21. Full press release below.

Dynamite Entertainment Joins Paizo Publishing for Pathfinder: Worldscape

October will be a big month for Dynamite Entertainment and Paizo Publishing as the two team up for the launch of Pathfinder: Worldscape. The massive crossover will give writer Erik Mona and illustrator Jonathan Lau the chance to team up characters from both universes. The first issue will also feature covers by Reilly Brown and Ben Caldwell, with a special subscription variant by Sean Izaakse that serves as a homage to the fan-favorite cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. An Ultra-Limited variant edition by Tom Mandrake will also be available.

"Pathfinder: Worldscape teams up the Pathfinder heroes with the adventure fiction legends that inspired fantasy roleplaying games in the first place," says series writer and Pathfinder publisher/co-creator Erik Mona. "From Robert E. Howard's Red Sonja to Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter, Tars Tarkas, and Tarzan, to Frank Frazetta's lost-world hero Thun'da, Pathfinder: Worldscape presents a sword-and-sorcery super-team unlike anything we've seen before. The series brings all of these heroes - and many of their darkest villains - to a mysterious dimension of warriors and wizards that allows us to explore the origins and impact of some of fantasy's most influential characters."

"Erik Mona is the perfect choice to combine these worlds, as not only is he a Pathfinder expert, but he's a pulp and comic book fan of the highest order. Add in Jonathan Lau - one of our very best - and you've got a cross-over that's going defy all expectations," says Joseph Rybandt, Executive Editor.

As an added bonus, each issue of Pathfinder: Worldscape contains a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game appendix that provides official game statistics for the greatest warriors of Hyboria, Barsoom, Golarion and Earth, bringing beloved characters like Red Sonja and John Carter into gaming continuity! Also, an original bonus tactical map will be bound into each issue, presented at the standard 1 inch = 5 feet tactical scale suitable for gaming miniatures.

"Dynamite's ongoing partnership with Erik Mona and the team at Paizo Publishing has produced epic fantasy stories for comics fans and gamers alike," says Dynamite CEO and publisher, Nick Barrucci. "Comics fans have come to expect the best in crossovers from us, and with Erik's help, we are going to tell a tale of swords-and-sorcery unlike anything on stands today!"

"If the first issue's swordfight extravaganza is an indication of the visuals we should expect from the entire series, then Pathfinder: Worldscape will more than prove to be the ambitious action fantasy that I'd craved drawing for a long, long time," says artist Jonathan Lau. "Without dragging pages of talking heads, Erik moves the narrative along based on the action, truly showing how dynamic combat comics should be written. With so many different and illustrious characters (like Tarzan and Red Sonja) in one storyline, the work itself motivates me better than any late night energy drink on the drawing table!"

Full press release below.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review - Groo: Fray of the Gods #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"There is no sign of Groo!"

A warrior's quest is one full of valor, danger and reputation. Many villages appreciate a warrior's arrival if they're something of a people's champion and fear them when they come to pillage. It's not often that you get a warrior that's a mix of both like Groo in Groo: Fray of the Gods #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier, illustrated by Aragonés, colored by Tom Luth and lettered by Stan Sakai.

Wolfcop Comes to Comics This Halloween

Wolfcop is a Canadian horror comedy that follows the exploits of a small town cop with a big time secret: he's a werewolf. Now, Dynamite Entertainment will have everyone's favorite alcoholic, lycanthropic lawman tearing out of the big screen and into the comic shop with an all-new series written by Max Marks with art by Arcana Studios. And Wolfcop #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' August 2016 Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market and slated for release in October.

"From the moment I created WolfCop, I saw him as a larger-than-life character that could exist in many formats," says Lowell Dean, writer and director of Wolfcop. "To date we've made two WolfCop movies - and I couldn't be happier that we're now bringing him into the world of actual comics! In comic form, WolfCop will be truly unleashed, no longer constrained by the budget of an independent film. More explosions! More monsters! More road trips! I'm so excited to bring Lou Garou and friends into this new realm with Dynamite. The WolfCop adventure is truly just beginning..."

Ever since hard-drinking local Woodhaven police officer Lou Garou had a late-night bender and stumbled onto dark magic, his life has been turned upside down. Now he moonlights as WolfCop, a rage-fueled, bourbon-swilling, magnum-toting, rabid warrior for justice! The Wolfcop comic book series will pit Lou Garou against bigger, badder, and meaner monsters than anything that has threatened Woodhaven before!

"Dynamite's love of horror comedy can be traced back over ten years to the first comic we ever published," says Dynamite CEO and Publisher, Nick Barrucci. "When we saw Wolfcop, we knew it would be perfect for comics! I think this badge-wielding beast will be right at home alongside Ashley 'Ash' Williams and our other tongue-in-cheek horror licenses!"

"The first time I read the script for Wolfcop, I thought that this was a character that belonged in comics," says Max Marks, writer of the upcoming Wolfcop comic series. "He's a wild, larger-than-life hero with the classic feel of the 80s but with enough of a modern edge. He's a werewolf, sure, but he uses guns, and his strength comes from liquor. When you see this character, you just want to see what he's going to do next... and what he's going to fight next. Naturally, when I was approached to adapt Wolfcop into comics, I knew the fans didn't just want a screen-to-page adaptation. They wanted more Wolfcop. More ass-kicking, more booze, more big guns, and bigger monsters. That's what we're delivering in this Wolfcop comic book series and I couldn't be more excited to bring it to his fans."

Full press release below.