Friday, July 25, 2014

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.

Dynamite Celebrates 75th Anniversary of The Spirit

Batman isn't the only masked crimefighter celebrating 75 years of existence. Will Eisner's iconic hero The Spirit is also celebrating the three-quarters century mark. And thanks to a recent licensing agreement with Dynamite Entertainment, that celebration will kick off with some style.

"We are thrilled that Will Eisner's The Spirit has found a new home with Dynamite Entertainment," state Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Eisner estate in a joint announcement. "At Dynamite, The Spirit will be joining many iconic heroes including Flash Gordon, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and others. Will Eisner created The Spirit in 1940 as a syndicated seven-page newspaper supplement, where The Spirit fought the villains of Central City weekly until 1952. We're hoping to see Dynamite's new comics of The Spirit surpass the circulation of the Will Eisner's original series."

Originally published in 1939 by Quality Comics, The Spirit has long been admired for the ingenuity of its creator, Will Eisner. Eisner's amazing artistic skill and groundbreaking storytelling techniques in the weekly Sunday strips helped pave the way for modern comic books. His career spanned over seventy years, and he is largely considered as the inventor of the "graphic novel." In addition to The Spirit, his most celebrated works include A Contract with God and Last Day in Vietnam. The industry's highest accolade, the prestigious Eisner Award, is named in his honor, and awarded annually at San Diego Comic-Con International.

"Bringing The Spirit to Dynamite is a dream come true. Actually, that's not a strong enough sentiment. It's a lifelong dream come true," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "The Spirit is one of comicdom's greatest characters, and has stood the test of time for nearly 75 years. Will is one of the greats, and his influence as a storyteller is incredible. I've loved all of Will's work from The Spirit to his graphic novels from A Contract with God to The Dreamer, and his entire body of work. This is a huge responsibility that we've undertaken as there have been some great creators involved in The Spirit throughout the seven decades of his career. I'm honored that Carl and Nancy feel that we are up to the task, and have entrusted us to publish The Spirit, especially beginning at such a landmark year - his 75th Anniversary. I believe that, with our proven track record for high-quality pulp comics by incredible talents (like Matt Wagner, Garth Ennis, and Kevin Smith), the addition of The Spirit to our line of classic adventure titles is a major win for longtime fans of Will Eisner's original crime fighter. I cannot emphasize enough how important publishing The Spirit is to us."

Full press release below.

The Wicked + The Divine Reveal Variant Cover

To say that The Wicked + The Divine is popular would be an understatement. Everyone loves the somewhat fractured tale of gods as pop stars and all the trappings that go along with that popularity. And keeping up with that trend, The Wicked + The Divine #3 will likely be even more popular, thanks to a variant cover by Stephanie Hans. Oh, and both Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie will come back as well.

In the third issue of The Wicked + The Divine, Laura has no choice, she’s made a pact with Luci and now must seek out gothest-of-gods: The Mórrígan. The Wicked + The Divine #3 arrives in stores on August 20 and will be available for $3.50. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code JUN140587. The variant cover B by Stephanie Hans is available to pre-order with Diamond Code JUN148168. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is July 28.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I finally managed to get some friends to watch Angel; it took some serious nagging on my part. While maybe not always as well formulated and executed as its 'big sister' Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, I remain a die-hard fan of the show and the title character. I often bug people who've watched Buffy but taken a pass on Angel to watch the show just because I think it's a show worth watching on its own merits. For me, Angel is a show about finding--sometimes even creating--hope where there is none. Personally, Angel is my favorite character in the Buffyverse and I find that people who don't like him will concede that Angel's choices, especially in the shows final episode "Not Fade Away," have at least earned their begrudging respect.

Now, given that Joss Whedon is sort of the undisputed master of creating strong, relatable female characters on screen, it doesn't entirely surprise me that people who watched the show and don't even care much for Angel are very drawn to Cordelia. Played by the vivacious Charisma Carpenter, it's hard not to love her because she brings that dose of comedy and quick-witted Buffy-ness to a show that has a lot less levity. But as time goes on, Coredelia ends up being a lot more than just a callback to Buffy.

Review - The Delinquents #1

"You damn, dirty hobos!"

Fans of Valiant Entertainment already know about two of their more dysfunctional relationships in Quantum and Woody and Archer and Armstrong. Sure, other characters like X-O Manowar, Bloodshot and Rai are fighting the good fight and trying to save the world, the aforementioned duo of duos are typically fighting amongst themselves and for themselves. So what would happen if all four characters came together in one epic book? The Delinquents #1 wants to answer that question. The issue is written by James Asmus and Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Kano.

Dark Horse Offers Twelve New Creator-Owned Series

2014 is halfway done, but Dark Horse isn't quite finished with their efforts for the year. No, the publisher is proud to announce twelve new creator-owned series from twelve creative teams that will take the world’s most popular art form to new levels through 2015. With Comic-Con International commencing, Dark Horse gives you everything you need to know about the next wave of critically acclaimed titles from the biggest independent publisher in comics.

The titles include:

Colder: The Bad Seed - Writer: Paul Tobin Artist: Juan Ferreyra - October 22, 2014

Life goes on for Declan Thomas after his deadly encounter with the psychotic Nimble Jack, but Declan’s strange powers continue to develop, offering him a profound connection with the nature of insanity. Little does he know that the malevolent Swivel wishes to pick up where Nimble Jack left off!

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. - Writer: Mike Mignola with John Arcudi Artist: Alexander Maleev - December 3, 2014

A bizarre series of murders and rumors of something worse lead Professor Bruttenholm to send a young Hellboy to a Brazilian village on his first mission. Hellboy and a small group of agents uncover something terrible in the shadows of a sixteenth-century Portuguese fortress . . .

Lady Killer - Writers: Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich Artist: Joëlle Jones - January 7, 2015

The Schullers are every bit the American family: father, mother, and twin girls. Daddy has a good job, and though he works in the city, he can afford a nice house for his family in the suburbs. It’s a good place for the kids to grow up, away from the crime and questionable morals of city life. But what if the crime and the violence aren’t that far away? What if Mom isn’t just a housekeeper and a cook, but she’s also a highly paid professional assassin?

Dead Vengeance - Writer: Bill Morrison Artist: Stéphane Roux - January 21, 2015

It’s 1940, and a phony body on exhibit in a carnival sideshow suddenly springs to life and shambles away. Not so phony after all, he is John Doe, radio commentator and archenemy of Detroit’s notorious Purple Gang. But why did he disappear in 1930, and why did the mayor, the mob, and the cops all want him dead?

EI8HT - Creators: Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson - February 2015

Welcome to the Meld, an inhospitable dimension in time where Joshua, a chrononaut, finds himself trapped. With no memory or feedback from the team of scientists that sent him there, he can’t count on anything but his heart and a stranger’s voice to guide him to his destiny.

Neverboy - Writer: Shaun Simon Artist: Tyler Jenkins Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick - March 4, 2015!

In what world do you belong? Neverboy, an abandoned imaginary friend, wants the real world. Julian Drag, a struggling artist, wants the imaginary. When Neverboy’s drugs wear off, the surreal hangover he’s been running from sets in. And a trip down the rabbit hole is just what Julian has been dying for. When these two meet, the real and the imaginary worlds collide in absolute chaos. Julian and Neverboy, the dreamer and the dream, will have to face who they are in order to put things right again.

The Black Hammer - Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Dean Ormston - March 11, 2015

They were the greatest heroes of a lost era. But the age of heroes is over, and Abraham Slam, Col. Weird, Golden Gail, Barbalien, and Madame Dragonfly have been wiped out of continuity! Following a cosmic battle known only as the Event, the heroes awoke on a farm in a small town they are unable to leave, with the massive iron hammer of a fallen teammate the only reminder of the world they came from. As their tenth anniversary on Black Hammer Farm nears, they’ve largely given up on any chance of return, until the arrival of the Black Hammer’s daughter throws their new existence into chaos! The Black Hammer is part human drama, part multiverse-spanning adventure, and part journey into the DNA of the superhero genre!

PastAways - Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Scott Kolins - March 18, 2015

When a deep-time research mission goes awry, four future explorers find themselves stranded in our present, where a side effect of their mission grants them unexpected immortality! As further time breaches cause dinosaurs to appear in Greece and buildings from the future to crash into Toronto, the unlikely heroes find themselves humanity’s best line of defense from the onslaught of time itself! The team achieves worldwide fame, and their adventures become more and more bizarre, even as their failure to get back to their own time leads to infighting and catastrophe!

Rebels - Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Andrea Mutti Colorist: Jordie Bellaire Cover Artist: Tula Lotay - April 2015

From Brian Wood, the creator of DMZ, Northlanders, and The Massive, comes Rebels, a gritty, ground-level look at the men and women who fought to win independence from tyranny and those who would stand in their way.
Cocreator Andrea Mutti (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) illustrates the opening story, introducing us to the Green Mountain Boys, America’s first militia, and one young couple’s journey across the battlefields of New England. Colorist Jordie Bellaire and cover artist Tula Lotay complete the team with gorgeous palettes and striking illustrations.

Harrow County - Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Tyler Crook - April 8, 2015

“Her earliest memories were of the taste of freshly turned earth and the bleating of goats.”
There’s them that say you ought not get lost in Harrow County. Because once you lose your way among the pines and briar thistles and those sweet-smelling scuppernong, you won’t never find your way back. Born on the very day a hateful witch was put to violent death, seventeen-year-old Emmy has always felt a bit lost . . . but never alone. The deep, dark woods surrounding her home crawl with ghosts, goblins, and the restless dead. These haints whisper to Emmy, promising her that she has great power, warning her that the people of Harrow County want her dead.

Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird - Writer: Caitlín R. Kiernan Artist: Joëlle Jones - May 20, 2015

A year after Dancy Flammarion’s death in a burning barn, her seraph comes to collect her from a hell of her own creation. A new evil haunts the sun-scorched back roads and ghost towns of the American South: murderous twins who command a legion of ghouls. Once again, Dancy must face down demons, both those who walk the world unchallenged and those in her own shattered mind.

Fight Club 2 - Writer: Chuck Palahniuk Artist: Cameron Stewart Cover Artist: David Mack May 2015

The first rule is you don’t talk about it.

Full press release below.

Valiant Entertainment Teams with Visionbooks for Animated Digital Comics

With SDCC starting, the deluge of news is preparing to flood the internets. Ahead of that wave though is a little bit of news from Valiant Entertainment on the animated comics front. The publisher has announced a partnership with Visionbooks to offer animated digital comics. To kick that off, Valiant is offering X-O Manowar #1 for free. Visionbooks revolutionizes comic book reading by transforming two-dimensional comic books into a digital animation experience. By combining traditional comics with cutting-edge technology, Visionbooks creates dimensional action like explosions, smoke, weather, character conflicts and action, all within static comic panels.

“This partnership with Valiant gives Visionbooks an opportunity to work with classic superheroes and create a cinematic reading experience that engages the next generation of new comic book fans,” said Francesco Scrufari co-founder of Visionbooks.

From Robert Venditti and Cary Nord, X-O Manowar is the acclaimed series that relaunched Valiant’s publishing line in 2012 to critical and commercial success. Named the “Best Revival of 2012” by The Onion/A.V. Club and “Best Ongoing Series” by Ain’t It Cool News, the tale of Aric of Dacia’s transformation from fifth-century freedom fighter to modern-day America’s most powerful superhero begins right here with the chart-topping debut that IGN calls “one of the best books being published right now, period.”

“Visionbooks is pushing the envelope with our new digital technology. Who better to partner with than Valiant, a publisher who is also known for their innovation and creativity,” said Simone Offredo, co-founder of Visionbooks.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BOOM! Studios Nabs Grant Morrison

The last of BOOM! Studios' announcements leading up to San Diego is pretty self-explanatory.

Gail Simone Tackles Dynamite Event Focused on Women

Gail Simone is without question one of the best writers in the industry. She's also something of a force when it comes to advocating for female characters; crafting stories with women the focus in very strong roles. She's really good at what she does and the female characters are equally respectable. Dynamite Entertainment likes both aspects of that equation, tapping Simone to write The Women of Dynamite, uniting and celebrating the strong female characters of Dynamite's publishing line, including Red Sonja, Vampirella, Dejah Thoris and more.

"When I first spoke with Nick about working at Dynamite, he graciously offered my choice of a huge list of great characters, and I immediately chose a favorite, Red Sonja," says writer Gail Simone. "But that meant leaving behind amazing characters I loved! So doing this big, fun, noisy event book, full of action and fun and drama and sex and villainy, featuring some of the wildest female characters out there, that's just awesome. Getting to work with some of the most talented female writers in the industry only makes it better!"

The heart of The Women of Dynamite is formed by the three bestselling heroines (or female triumvirate) of Dynamite's line as the central characters: Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris. The "She-Devil with a Sword" known as Red Sonja, is fantasy fiction's most prominent female character, formerly a swashbuckling ally of the Robert E. Howard character, Conan. Vampirella, originally a horror hostess in her self-titled magazine, evolved over her forty-five year history into a supernatural detective. Finally, Dejah Thoris is the eponymous heroine of Edgar Rice Burroughs' original story featuring John Carter, A Princess of Mars, and an adventurous mainstay at Dynamite with the publication of such series as Warlord of Mars and Dejah of Mars. Additional female characters from Dynamite's ten years of publishing will be included in the event.

"After working so closely with Gail on Legends of Red Sonja, I am excited to see where we'll be going next with this epic character crossover," says Molly Mahan, Associate Editor of Dynamite. "The concept of a Women of Dynamite series has been something we've been circling around for a while now, but had to wait for the right concept and creators to come together to make the story as worthwhile as the concept. We are lucky to have Gail as the cornerstone on this project and I know we'll craft something that the fans and comics community will enjoy across demographics."

"Gail has been an absolute pleasure to work with," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "The thought of bringing together the strongest female characters that Dynamite publishes into an event has been discussed for years, and we could not be happier that Gail is the creator who will tell this tale. Her work on Red Sonja has been a delight, and as fans who read her work know, she has many tricks up her sleeve. Gail is going to make this event huge! Just wait until you see what she has in store for the rest of Dynamite's strong female characters."

The Women of Dynamite will be solicited in an upcoming Diamond Comic Distributors Previews catalog. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Women of Dynamite with their local comic book retailers. The Women of Dynamite will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital. Full press release below.