Friday, May 29, 2015

Review - Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1

"This is my life. Killing these things."

If a vampire hunter encounters a necromancer who wins? Is the fight even-matched? Does one trump the other? Will banter be exchanged? Those questions and more are answered one way in Zombie Tramp vs. Vampblade #1, published by Action Lab Danger Zone. The issue is written and colored by Jason Martin (co-written by Dan Mendoza), illustrated by Winston Young and lettered by Adam Wollet.

BiblioBoard Expands Comic Collection to Include Valiant Entertainment

BiblioBoard knows a good thing when they see it. The thing is, not everyone may be able to see the same good thing they do, which is why they're working to fix that. A new partnership with Valiant Entertainment will bring the publisher's library to BiblioBoard's Comics and Graphic Novels catalog for digital consumption in libraries nationwide. Spanning nearly one thousand titles, from Bloodshot to Divinity to Quantum and Woody and X-O Manowar, Valiant’s universe of superhero characters are now available on BiblioBoard Library with no multi-user limitations or turnaways. This means no checkouts, returns or waitlists.

“Libraries are critical centers for community, youth and the arts. At Valiant, we’re highly committed to working with libraries and librarians to reach the next great generation of fans and readers,” said Valiant Chief Operating Officer & CFO Gavin Cuneo. “Libraries are rapidly expanding in the digital space and BiblioBoard is uniquely positioned to help us achieve our mission.”

BiblioBoard’s Comics and Graphic Novels catalog now contains over 3,500 titles with nearly one thousand titles from Valiant. Valiant Entertainment’s content is being sold as a ReadersFirst, subscription-pricing model with pricing tiered per library size, putting the collection within the budget of any library.

“From strong female roles to intriguing character backstories, the Valiant Universe of characters are relatable to library patrons. The comic book space is changing and Valiant is committed to providing libraries content in a sustainable manner to expose their characters to new fans,” says Jonah Canter, Director of Publisher Relations The new content is available in BiblioBoard's Comics and Graphic Novels catalog accessible on both the web and through award-winning native apps on Apple and Android tablet devices.

Full press release below.

Jughead Gets Due

Hamburgers, a crown made of paper and a mysterious "S" on a shirt have nothing do with Superman. When you mix in a god named Hot Dog, you're treated to Jughead--otherwise known as the greatest comic book of all time. And this October, Archie Comics will be launching a new ongoing Jughead series by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson. Featuring the adventures of Archie’s hamburger-loving best friend, the new series will debut with an all new #1 issue from two of the comic book industry’s brightest stars. Zdarsky, known for his work on the hit Image series Sex Criminals, will bring his unique brand of comedy to comics’ biggest jokester.

“Jughead is the one character that I totally attempted to emulate when I was younger,” said Zdarsky. “Cool without being cool, voracious appetite, a slacker who doesn't always live up to his potential.”

The new series will run alongside the upcoming Archie series, launching on July 8, by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, telling off-the-wall and hilarious stories in the new and revamped Riverdale. On getting inside of Jughead’s head, Zdarsky said, “He has moments where he shines and then goes back to being cool and zen. I love Jughead. He's the teen who's comfortable with himself, which is such rare, weird thing.”

Jughead #1 will be available in comic book stores and digitally on October 7. Full press release below.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review - Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo-John

"Why are we pretending the Holo John is a greenhouse?"

The Holodeck on the Enterprise was always thought to be a truly marvelous piece of technology. Entrants could create and inhabit any world imaginable, moving to and fro as if they were actually there. There was an elegance to the design of the chamber that's nowhere to be found in Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo-John from KaBOOM! Studios. The one-shot is a collection of tales tied to the mysterious Holo John. "Mr. Tickle's" is written by John Omohundro, illustrated by Eryk Donovan, colored by Whitney Cogar and lettered by Corey Breen. "Heist" is written and illustrated by Kat Leyh. "Do Holo Johns Dream of Electric Pee" is written by Ryan Ferrier, illustrated by Jorge Corona, colored by Jeremy Lawson and lettered by Breen. "Father/Daughter Fun Day" is written by Paul Allor and illustrated by Adam Del Re. "Plant Bonanza" is written and illustrated by Mad Rupert and colored by Cogar.

Grumpy Cat Inks Dynamite Comic Book Deal

It's hard to argue that the rise in popularity of the internet has a direct correlation to an affinity for cats. Love them or hate them, the felines have made a name for themselves across the web in videos, GIFs and countless other incarnations. One of the most famous cats is known as Grumpy Cat and now "The World's Grumpiest Cat" has entered into a deal with Dynamite Entertainment (via Grumpy Cat Limited) to develop print and digital comic books/graphic novels. Grumpy Cat will debut the first of her all-new misadventures in a three-issue miniseries, released in Fall 2015 and collected into a hardcover graphic novel in time for the holiday season. Dynamite also plans to launch a website this summer where new Grumpy Cat comic strips will go up online every week.

"With her ever-present pout and sassy disposition, Grumpy Cat has won the hearts of people everywhere. I can tell you, we're thrilled, just absolutely thrilled, to bring this adorable curmudgeon's misadventures to the comic world!" says Keith Davidsen, Marketing Manager of Dynamite Entertainment. "One of the most important responsibilities for today's comic publishers is creating content that will attract fresh new audiences to experience the wonders of the medium, and Grumpy Cat is the perfect combination of unbearable cuteness, instant fan appeal, and established multimedia presence to make just such a thing happen. If you love the memes, the videos, and that irresistable scowl, then get ready for the wildly fun antics of Grumpy Cat and Pokey in Dynamite's all-new, all-sensational Grumpy Cat comics!"

Grumpy Cat's global following includes 7.6 million Facebook fans and over 31 million YouTube views. Since her photos first went viral in 2012, Grumpy Cat has gone from Internet star to real-life celebrity. She has two New York Time Best Selling Books, her own Lifetime movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (voiced by actress Aubrey Plaza), has made numerous appearances including the MTV Movie Awards, American Idol, The Bachelorette, The Today Show, SXSW, Good Morning America and even hosted WWE Monday Night Raw. Grumpy Cat is Friskies official "Spokescat," has filmed videos with Disney and Sesame Street and appears in commercials for McDonald's and Honey Nut Cheerios. Licensed Grumpy Cat merchandise is currently available at retailers worldwide.

Full press release below.

Heart in a Box Opens Digitally

Heart in a Box isn't slated to hit stores until September, but that won't stop some intrepid young fans from getting a jump on the work by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren. As a special advance look, Dark Horse will serialize Heart in a Box in seven chapters over the next six weeks, with the first two chapters available now on Dark Horse Digital. The first chapter is FREE for all users, and all subsequent chapters will be priced at an affordable $0.99.

“We couldn’t wait to share Heart in a Box with readers, so we’re very excited to get it out early through our digital platform,” said Dark Horse editor Brendan Wright. “Kelly and Meredith have created something truly special, and after fans read it digitally, they’re definitely going to want to have a copy for their shelf.”

In a moment of post-heartbreak weakness, Emma wishes her heart away, and a mysterious stranger—who may or may not be totally evil—obliges. But emptiness is even worse than grief, and when Emma learns that her heart can be regained piece by piece, she takes the strange bargain. But will the cost of her heart be her soul? Heart in a Box goes on sale in stores September 29 for $14.99. It can be preordered now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound or your local comic shop.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review - Fresh Romance #1

"Three-hour window. Don't be late."

Janelle Asselin had a vision; reviving a lost genre in romance. To achieve that goal, she enlisted the talents of some of the best writers and artists in the industry for her imprint Rosy Press. The first book to come out of that shop is Fresh Romance #1, a collection of stories that afford the creators their own interpretations of romance. "School Spirit" is written by Kate Leth, illustrated by Arielle Jovellanos, colored by Amanda Scurti (color assists by Ensley Chau and Claire DeZutti) and lettered by Taylor Esposito. "Ruined" is written by Sarah Vaughn, illustrated by Sarah Winifred Searle and lettered by Ryan Ferrier. "The Ruby Equation" is written by Sarah Kuhn, illustrated by Sally Jane Thompson, colored by Savanna Ganucheau and lettered by Steve Wands.

Aspen Brings Summer Heat to Phoenix Comicon

Aspen Comics plans to be in Phoenix this weekend for Phoenix Comicon. The publisher will bring a slew of exclusives to the show, in addition to some talented individuals. Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Vince Hernandez, Siya Oum, Tom Hutchison and Heather Finley will be making an appearance at booths #9067 and #1066. Not only that, but Aspen will also have four Phoenix Comicon-exclusive variant issues available for purchase: Fathom: Kiani #4 by Michael Turner and Steigerwald, Psycho Bonkers #2 by Agnes Garbowska, Shahrazad #3 by Nei Ruffino, and Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam #2 by Oum. The latter two exclusives will be premiering at Phoenix Comicon before officially hitting stores next Wednesday, June 3rd. Oum and writer Hernandez will be available through the weekend to sign the Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam exclusive variant.

Aspen will also have a selection of their industry-leading prints with them, including full-size versions of Phoenix Comicon exclusives Fathom: Kiani #4 by Turner and Steigerwald, Shahrazad #3 by Ruffino, and Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam by Oum. As well, there will be a fourth convention exclusive print available: the Retailer Incentive cover of Shahrazad #3 by J. Scott Campbell. Full press release below.

The Standard Returns with Deluxe Ultimate Collection Hardcover

Believing in superheroes is a tall order, despite all the success Marvel is having at the box office these days. There's still room for new superheroes to make a name for themselves and John Lees has just one character in The Standard. And his tale is getting the deluxe treatment in an ultimate collection hardcover on Kickstarter. The Standard Ultimate Collection will clock in at 200+ pages and will feature a silver metallic ink on a jet-black cover. Lee's work is improved by art from Jonathan Rector and Will Robson, colors by Mike Gagnon, Ray Dillon, Gulliver Vianei and Mo James and lettering from Kel Nuttall.

"I've been working on THE STANDARD for more than six years," said Lees of his first comic book series. "And while it was a true thrill to hold that final issue in my hand last fall, THE STANDARD won't be truly complete until it's collected in hardcover format and sitting on my bookshelf. I'm thrilled and excited to come to Kickstarter to make that possible."

The Standard tells the story of Gilbert Graham, a world-renowned superhero in a bygone era, now an elderly man living a quiet retired life as a high-school chemistry teacher. But when his former sidekick is brutally murdered, Gilbert is forced to don the mantle of The Standard one last time to find a missing girl his sidekick had promised to rescue before his death, to solve the mystery of his sidekick's murder, and to inspire a world who has lost sight of what it truly means to be a superhero.

ComixTribe has also announced that there would be a special early-backer bonus, for Kickstarter supporters who back the project in the first 48 hours. The Standard Ultimate Collection Hardcover starts at $35 USD, but the campaign has price levels at a wide range of price points, starting at just $1. The campaign will end on June 26, and has a funding goal of $8,500. Full press release below.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review - Indestructible: Stingray #1

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the newest member of the League of Defenders--Stingray!"

The motivations of a superhero are varied for sure. If it's not one thing it's another, but more often than not decisions are made that take into account the actions of others. What those decisions end up being aren't always viewed as the best, as they are in Indestructible: Stingray #1 from Darby Pop. The issue is written by Jeff Marsick, illustrated by Luca Reguzzoni, colored by Zac Atkinson and lettered by Troy Peteri.

Preview - Path of Exile TPB Vol. 1

Path of Exile is a pretty wildly successful free-to-play roleplaying game. Now--courtesy of Edwin McRae, Royal McGraw and Carlos Rodrigues, fans can find out how the nightmare began through Victario's eyes in the graphic novel that serves as prequel to the action-packed game. Before the Cataclysm, before the first exile set foot upon the corrupted shores of Wraeclast... there stood the Eternal Empire. There raged the Purity Rebellion. And there was Victario Nevalius, the People's Poet. Finding himself among the fearsome Karui, Victario negotiates an alliance with their king, Kaom, to oppose the tyranny of Eternal Emperor Chitus. Can Victario swell the Purity Rebellion's ranks with the greatest warriors in the empire? Can King Kaom defeat the finest archer in the empire, Marceus Lioneye? How will Victario survive to pen the tale? And how does this far-flung rebellion connect to the apocalyptic visions that plague Victario's every waking hour?

Check out the book in stores May 27 and interiors below.

Joester Loria Group Partners With Dynamite Entertainment

Smosh is a YouTube sensation whose popularity is large. It's so large that it's led to a partnership between Smosh and Dynamite Entertainment that will develop a series of comics and graphic novels. SMOSH has more than 30 million subscribers and 20 million social media followers, which is kind of a big deal. The new partnership with Dynamite Entertainment will act as an extension of SMOSH's comedy brand. The SMOSH graphic novels and comics will hit retail shelves Holiday 2015 and will retail for 3.99-$4.99 for comic books, $14.99-$19.99 for soft cover graphic novels, $24.99-$49.99 for hard covers. The program will target the growing community of graphic novel and comic book enthusiast in the young millennial demographic.

Full press release below.