Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Arrivals: December 2, 2010

Last week featured Thanksgiving, chock full of turkey, stuffing, gravy and everything else you do for the eating day. I doubt the night involved tequila though, as I'm sure many a night of tequila drinking has lead to less than favorable results. I highly doubt though that tequila drinkers have ever faced a night like Albert faces in Blue Agave and Worm from Viper Comics.

Blue Agave and Worm is written by Kirker Butler and features art by Beware of the Art Studio. Albert is a struggling stand-up comic who lives at home with his parents. Until he gets drunk on tequila one night and becomes The Blue Agave. It's not quite radioactive spider bite, but it does feature a sidekick in Tony, who also goes by the name of Worm.


Remember kids...comics release on Thursday this week because of the holiday last week. Enjoy!

New Arrivals: December 2, 2010

Defense with the BoomPick


Another week has gone by and it only gets us closer to Christmas, bringing the new year with it. We aren’t at the any of those yet; no we have new comics out Thursday to look forward to.

With a whole slew of good ones coming out it were once again a tough choice to pick only one, but when I saw this comic on the list I knew it was the one. This comic is going back to the heyday of afternoon cartoons. Not G.I. Joe or Transformers, but Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers #1. BOOM! Studios has really been bringing out the cartoon favorites of the 90’s, recreating them masterfully in comic form and hopefully they won’t stop doing this anytime soon.

Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers #1 features our favorite crime fighting bunch along for a new adventure. When these two chipmunks aren't fighting over who gets to be with Gadget, they're solving all sorts of mysteries and adventures. The series goes along with the Darkwing Duck and Talespin cartoon era and were some of my favorites to watch. Speaking of Talespin I hope we get to see a comic about Baloo and crew as well in the near future. If you are looking to relive those days again make sure to pick up the Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers #1 on Thursday and you will feel like you haven’t missed a thing.

Preview - Ultimate Comics Captain America #1

Jason Aaron and Ron Garney are two names you should know if you like Captain America. Their upcoming Ultimate Comics Captain America #1 hypothesizes what would've happened if Steve Rogers wasn't the only one to emerge from the Super Soldier project. Enter the Captain America of the Vietnam War. What you, the reader gets, is a battle between the two Caps.

The first issue hits stores January 5. Interiors after the jump.



Get Silver Circle to 10,000 Fans

December 1. That's the first of the month and the last day you can get in your fanness for Silver Circle's Facebook page. Make it happen kids.

Review - The Walking Dead: Wildfire

I am not sure how much more praise I can give The Walking Dead as it’s just such a phenomenal show. Each episode continues the compelling story of these survivors fighting against the walkers and striving to find a better way to live. With only one episode left for this amazing first season if you haven’t been watching I have to say a few things. One, what is wrong with you? This show is freaking awesome. Two, you got a week to catch up before the season finale so go do that. In this past episode named “Wildfire” the human emotion is brought out tenfold in the survivors and leads them to make some tough choices. Read on for the review (some spoilers ahead).

At the end of the last episode the camp was attacked by a small number of “walkers” that decimated about half of the survivor group. In the beginning of this one we see the aftermath as the remaining survivors clean up the camp, burning all of the “walkers” bodies while piling the people they lost together for burial. It’s during the cleanup that Jim is discovered to have been bitten during the fight pretty much sealing his fate. Daryl attempts to put Jim down before he can turn and gives another one of those human moments with Rick promising to shoot him if he tries to kill Jim. These are those scenes that show that even in the toughest of times and situations the best and the worse can come out.

Rick suggests heading to the CDC for safety, figuring if anybody was working on a cure it would be there to maybe help save Jim, while Shane suggests heading to Fort Benning thinking there would be soldiers and protection there. This sort of infighting is putting stress on the group with no clear leader taking charge, but for Shane the situation is more complicated because of his relationship with Rick's wife. When Shane, Rick and Dale are out patrolling the surrounding woods a moment occurs when Rick and Shane are talking about his family. Shane reminds Rick how he protected them and even points his gun at Rick, itching to pull the trigger. It was a damn tense moment as you can see the thought process of Shane as to whether he could actually do it.

They decide on heading towards the CDC since its closer and they are more likely to make it there with what vehicles they have. One family of survivors decides to head towards Birmingham instead taking the chance their family located there will still be alive. The groups part ways heading to the different destinations, but Rick makes sure to leave a note for Morgan to follow them to the CDC if he makes it to their old camp. Morgan is the man from the first episode who helped Rick in the beginning and understands what is going on and Rick wanted to make sure if Morgan and his boy came to Atlanta they didn’t walk into the same trap he did. Another sad moment hits for this band of survivors as Jim’s condition only gets worse on the road to the CDC with him deciding to be left behind as he can’t go any further. These survivors just can't catch a break or any joyful moments it would seem with tragedy after tragedy affecting them.

During the episode we see a man located inside the CDC attempting to work on a cure to this horrible plague. He uses a video log to detail his work and vent his frustration at the lack of progress he has been having in addition to the affect isolation is having on him. Needless to say when Rick and the others arrive at his front door he is somewhat shocked and kind of wanting them to go away as he watches them on a monitor. Rick isn’t going away as he sees the camera watching them begging for the steel doors to be open so they can be let in. Rick was especially raw with his emotions here as he pleads with the camera to let them in while walkers are slowly rising all around them. The last scene of the episode raises more questions, with the most poignant being whether or not this place is going to be safe enough for them.

It has been a great first season so far and when I first heard they were turning the comic into a TV show I knew it was going to be great. The comic is just that good of a story, with compelling characters that give it life and sow human emotion you would expect if the world ended by zombies taking over. The TV show did its homework in the casting department as all the actors are just amazing; Andrew Lincoln is transforming into Rick Grimes. I really can't wait for next week’s episode and know it will be a long wait for that new season. Seriously if you haven’t been watching this show you need to be as it's just that good. AMC has really set the bar high for what a show should be and the quality it should have.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Defense with the BoomStick

(Disclaimer: This post is set in a world where zombies have taken over and people live in small spots all over the world. It’s a weekly broadcast of news from around the globe and a tip to help survival.)

I never thought it was possible to have a good week in this zombie world, but this past one was exactly that. We didn’t have any zombie encounters or bandit attacks and we even managed to get all of our equipment and systems fully functional as well. It was nice to relax even if only for a week and not worry about zombies killing us all. Sorry I don’t mean to brag or gloat about our good fortunes around here, but I had to share that maybe the world is getting better and one day will be zombie free. Now time for the news and tip of the week.

News for today is coming out of Canada, specifically from Newfoundland in regards to where some safe settlements are located at. A good majority of them are up in the northern part of the island near the towns of Anchor Point, Saint Anthony and Hawke’s Bay. As most of these are places with ports allowing survivors in boats to get there and also bring in more supplies to keep them going. With the vast wilderness on the island giving these places additional protection zombies there can’t traverse the terrain so easily in addition to the cold slowing them down. A report from the safe zone in Anchor Point has stated they have an abundance of seafood and are sailing it down to some ports in Maine to help out there.

Tip today is going to cover the pros and cons of working lone wolf style versus going at it in a group.

If you are deciding to survive in this zombie world on your own, first I have to say this is a tough road to go down. Not only do you have to keep a constant watch out for zombies, but you have to carry all your supplies, find a safe spot and setup to rest by yourself. It’s a lot of things to handle on a daily basis on your own, but being on your own means you are responsible for just you. Only have to worry about feeding, defending, scavenging and watching out for yourself and not worry about someone else getting you killed. If surviving on your own finding a good spot and making that your place will up your odds to get sleep without fear.

Now being a part of a group does have a few more added benefits versus going at it alone. With a group you have more people to defend each other and more eyes to watch the perimeter for zombies or scavengers. You can survive being on the move with people among the group taking shifts keeping lookout, letting everyone get sleep and can carry more supplies with you as well. The downside of being in a group is you are only as fast as the slowest person that could make travel difficult if you need to make a quick escape.

Also, you have to procure more supplies to keep everyone fed and spirits up or else you can find people turning on one another. Personally I feel being a part of a group is better for survival in the long run and improves even more if you have a place to secure and defend. It’s always easier to defend a spot with more people than by yourself. Keep that in mind when coming across other survivors and deciding whether to band together with them or go you own way.

That’s all for this week. Until next week keep fighting and keep surviving.

Preview - G.I. Joe: Future Noir

Here's a riddle for you on this fine Monday. What's 56 pages, black and white with greytones and features fond memories of your childhood? If you said G.I. Joe: Future Noir then you're correct!

IDW Publishing released the book by Andy Schmidt and Giacomo Bevilacqua last week and is an anime influenced take on the real American heroes. In the special, two part adventure Duke and Scarlett are investigating the COBRA cult and why it has Japan under its control. The book sells for $7.99 and interiors are after the jump.

Garth Ennis' Jennifer Blood #1


Allow me to introduce you to Jennifer Blood, a suburban wife and mom by day and a ruthless vigilante by night. She's adept at those two things, running the house on a daily basis as well as fighting crime on a nightly basis. The first issue will include additional bonus material, sketches, and interview with Garth Ennis, the series creator. Readers of The Boys #50 will also get a preview of Jennifer Blood #1.

The first issue ships in February and boasts the collective creative talents of Ennis, penciler/inker Adriano Batista and covers by Tim Bradstreet, Eric Basaldua, Ali Garza and Jonathan Lau.

Boston Comic Con 2011

It really seems like Boston Comic Con 2010 just blew through Boston and also blew away everyone's expectations. I was pleasantly surprised at the talent on hand as well as the amount of people at the show. If you were one of the people that went to the show last year, or you didn't and want to this year, mark April 30 and May 1 on your calendars.

First off, the show's size has been doubled and, as such, it's been moved to Hynes Convention Center. Wizard World Boston attendees will be familiar with the location and it was a reasonable size for that show. Second, you can buy tickets NOW at www.bostoncomiccon.com. Thirdly, and this is the best part probably, is the talent at the show.

Frank Quitely, Adam Hughes, Frank Cho, Tim Sale, Darwyn Cooke, Art Adams, Matt Wagner, JG Jones, Stan Sakai, Terry Moore, Ryan Ottley, Dave Johnson, Gahan Wilson, Tony Harris, Mark Brooks, Stephane Roux, Khoi Pham, Sean Galloway, David Mack, and Howard Chaykin. Well then. Throw in Joe Kubert as a special guest on Sunday and March Chiarello from DC Comics on hand for portfolio reviews and the show should be quite the dandy.

Full press release after the jump.

Boston Comic Con 2011 - TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

THE BCC IS BACK AND BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER- April 30th and May 1st 2011 at the HYNES Convention Center (that's right we've moved again).

First off, we wish to to thank all the dedicated fans who had to wait in line last year. We apologize for that inconvenience but we didn't anticipate the extreme popularity of the event. Fear not for this year will be different. First off, we've doubled the size of the venue by moving to the HYNES CONVENTION CENTER. Secondly, you can now BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE ON LINE on the BCC website (www.bostoncomiccon.com).

Our 2011 guest list is so far is, of course, nothing short of spectacular! Check it out...

Frank Quitely, Adam Hughes, Frank Cho, Tim Sale, Darwyn Cooke, Art Adams, Matt Wagner, JG Jones, Stan Sakai, Terry Moore, Ryan Ottley, Dave Johnson, Gahan Wilson, Tony Harris, Mark Brooks, Stephane Roux, Khoi Pham, Sean Galloway, David Mack, and Howard Chaykin!

We are also please to announce that comic book legend Joe Kubert will be appearing as a special guest on sunday only.

In addition we are happy to welcome back Marc Chiarello, Art Director for DC Comics, who will be joining us again this year to do on site artist portfolio reviews both days. Do you have what it takes to be the next great DC artist? Sign up at the show!!

Keep watching the BCC website for more news on programming, limited edition t-shirts, and more special guests!

The Boston Comic Con is hands down the best comic book show in New England featuring over 37,000 square feet of comic book artists and vendors. The BCC is privately owned and is not affiliated with any other shows or promoters. We are dedicated to delivering the fun, magic, and excitement that's supposed to be a comic con. If you didn't have fun, we didn't do our job!

You won't wanna miss this! See ya April 30-May 1, 2011.

'Nuff Said.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Been working through the holidays. Kind of not fun.

Earlier this week- Omnicomic’s resident editor mentioned that Alex Ross had to be one of the hardest working comic book writers/ illustrators in the business. I gotta agree: I really gotta tip my hat on this whole Invaders thing, for example. It’s hard to explain just how Ross does what he does. It’s sort of like he writes these things with these lifelike illustrations that jump off the page; that make it feel like what’s happening COULD really happen.

And yet -somehow- it still FEELS surreal. As surreal as the Golden Era comic books felt. Part of you says ‘it’s really happening!’ and another part of you says ‘this could never be!’. Sort of like Santa Claus appeared in front of you and really embodied all of those ridiculous, magical qualities you imagined he would. But it was really happening. It’s an addictive trick and one that ensures that books with Ross’ cover sell like hotcakes.

I was psyched to hear that Ross was taking on an Invaders project. I sort of love this piece of Marvel history- I mean, partly, because Cap-mania is at an all time high. But I also love it because it is SO WEIRD. To this day, I am still kind of in awe of the bizarreness that is Namor the Sub-Mariner. I mean in a lot of ways, he’s one of the most well developed characters in the Marvel universe.

But, in a lot more ways, he’s sort of like the poster-child of the kind of science-fiction that was getting cranked out in the 1940’s and 50’s. Like the kind of thing you’d see on Mystery Science Theater 3K or something. It’s almost like you can picture some strapping actor in a black and white movie, with little wings attached to his feet and everything. And it’d be one of THOSE movies where the audience was sort of, kind of, almost supposed to sympathize with Namor, even though he was the villain, and in the final scene of the movie the ‘professor’ and the ‘girl’ would muse about how tragic it was that this all had to happen this way…

(Years later, Namor’s relaunch into the Marvel universe sort of WAS the story I just described. You know- the professor was Reed Richards, the girl was Susan Storm…)

And the Human Torch? I mean- THE Human Torch- not Johnny Storm/Human Torch? Do you know anyone who even understands what the deal with this character was supposed to BE? I have tried so many times to wrap my head around it. I think -in the simplest terms- the Human Torch is a robot that can burst into flames. I’m not quite sure if the robot has feelings, or thinks it’s human, or has the creator’s brain in its body, or anything like that. But the Torch is definitely synthetic. Which makes sense, I guess. So the robot probably just has some slots that flames jet out of it. And it’s made of an inflammable material. So that works. I guess.

Oh- and the robot can fly.

Again this is a great example of this era’s weirdness. It just doesn’t quite all add up. It’s super-science. And it’s cheesy and it’s a little over the top. But I suppose that’s my point of all this- Ross is the only guy I could imagine taking this on. And walking that tight, tight line between making the Invaders ‘alive’ in the modern sense and somehow making you feel like you’re reading a comic from the 1940’s.

Now- I haven’t heard super flattering things about Invaders Now. And I admit: It’s not Kingdom Come (But hey- what is, right??). Hell it’s not even Earth X (which I ADAMANTALY STAND BY and Ross only did the creative inspiration for. Jim Krueger- if you’re out there- you are still my HERO. If I ever come into a large sum of money, I will personally commission the final issues of Paradise X.). But I think as just an EXPERIENCE I am a huge fan of this comic. I just like that this piece of Marvel history gets its chance to shine, because it sometimes seems so distant and disconnected from everything that happened from Fantastic Four #1 on.

Villains are no exception to this feel either. The events and characters of this era always clashed just a bit from the main Marvel experience. Red Skull is part of what makes the Cap mythology tick, Baron Zemo has taken on an interesting not-quite-hero-not-quite-villain role in the Marvel U. (Or I think maybe it’s actually the original Zemo’s kid now, or something? Or brother? God, who can keep track- anyway, the sometimes surprisingly heroic Thunderbolts are Zemo’s brain child)…

Now- Arnim Zola?

WOW.

Just…WOW. Words fail.

If you’ve never seen Zola in a Marvel comic book before? Look him up, right now. It’s the kind of thing that people actually make FUN of comics for. I swear I saw a few episodes of The Tick that spoofed on this. All that stuff with The Terror, The Decency Squad and Joseph Stalin (which makes me lose it, every time, by the way) has the Cap era written all over it, really. Now the bizarre irony is that Zola actually got created in 1977! Zola’s cracked-out robot body with a human face peering out of his chest has been showcased quite a bit in the Marvel Universe since that time. But still it never felt quite right, you know?

I mean Zola has got 1950 all OVER him, like Namor and the Torch. I mean just look at this guy, and tell me you wouldn’t have believed me if I had told you he had been around when Marvel (Timely) got started!? It’s like Zola belongs in this era. Not just in revised continuity flashbacks.

Well, long story short- I’m getting the impression Ross is shipping up to put Zola a little more on the map with this story. And -if only out of fascination- I’ve gotta see this happen.

Morning Glories Fans Give Thanks

Comic book fans might not have much more to be thankful today after yesterday's smorgasbords of food and desserts. Fans of Morning Glories though are a bit more fortunate than the rest of us as Image Comics has decided to do a little something nice for them. Nice as in dropping the cover price of Morning Glories #7 to $2.99. The issue (and series) is written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Joe Eisma (covers by Rodin Esquejo) and will also be part of the TPB release collecting the first sixth issues for $9.99.

"Issue 7 starts a new story arc, making it the perfect jumping-on point for new fans," says Spencer. "The combination of the specially priced trade and the lower price for issues is a boon, both for myself and the fans. I get to keep telling an electrifying story while fans get to enjoy all the thrills at a more affordable price!"

Adds Shadowline Publisher Jim Valentino, "We wanted to thank the dedicated fans of MORNING GLORIES for all their support. We wouldn't be able to drop the price of the comic if they hadn't embraced the series so whole-heartedly. So, thank you, and stay tuned for more twists as the Glories take on the Academy!"

The seventh issue is in stores February 23. Full press release after the jump.

WORTH EVERY PENNY
Image Comics and Shadowline thank MORNING GLORIES fans with specially priced trade and price drop

Berkeley, CA - November 24 2010 - The fans have spoken, making MORNING GLORIES a bestseller! Each issue of the series has been a sellout, and to thank fans, Shadowline and Image Comics are dropping the cover price from $3.50 to $2.99 with issue #7!

For those of you who may have missed an issue of the hit series -- written by Nick Spencer (FORGETLESS, EXISTENCE, SHUDDERTOWN) and drawn by Joe Eisma (EXISTENCE) with covers by Rodin Esquejo -- Image is also releasing the first trade for the special introductory price of $9.99! The trade collects the first six issues of the hottest series of the year and will be in stores February 16, 2011, one week before MORNING GLORIES #7.

"Issue 7 starts a new story arc, making it the perfect jumping-on point for new fans," says Spencer. "The combination of the specially priced trade and the lower price for issues is a boon, both for myself and the fans. I get to keep telling an electrifying story while fans get to enjoy all the thrills at a more affordable price!"

Adds Shadowline Publisher Jim Valentino, "We wanted to thank the dedicated fans of MORNING GLORIES for all their support. We wouldn't be able to drop the price of the comic if they hadn't embraced the series so whole-heartedly. So, thank you, and stay tuned for more twists as the Glories take on the Academy!"

Morning Glory Academy is one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country. But behind its hallowed doors, something sinister and deadly lurks. When six brilliant but troubled new students arrive, they find themselves trapped and desperately seeking answers in a place where nothing is what it seems to be!

MORNING GLORIES VOL. 1: FOR A BETTER FUTURE TP (DEC100470), a 192-page full-color graphic novel for the special introductory price of $9.99, will be in stores February 16, 2011. MORNING GLORIES #7 (DEC100486), a 32-page full-color comic for the new low price of $2.99, will be in stores February 23, 2011.

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Review – The Magdalena #4

Welcome to another rousing review of The Magdalena friends. Top Cow is back with #4 and Ron Marz at the helm. Nelson Blake, Sal Regla and Dave McCaig are the masters behind the art and this series is really starting to heat up.

I have to admit, thus far, despite the blood of Christ flowing in her veins and her training, Magdalena seems to be the weakest of the Artifact bearers. She seems to narrowly get by and only because her mentor Kristof is always close by her side. Patience seems to get into trouble regularly and while Kristof’s bullets can’t hurt the various demons and villains she fights, they do provide the distraction that gives an opening to win fights.

Overall in the story the two warriors of the church are hunting for a boy who The Vatican believes might be the anti-Christ. A cult has arisen around the boy calling itself Lucifer’s Children. In this issue the two have finally tracked the boy and his cult to Paris and are looking to put an end to this threat. Will they succeed? Read on to get a hint.

We open in the catacombs beneath Paris with two knights of the church called Garduna. They are an advance scouting party who is checking the location prior to Patience and Kristof’s arrival. They find a ritual room and unfortunately are a little late, as an elder demon is also there to greet them. Patience and Kristof eventually make their way to the same area where they find a boy. Kristof tries to tell the Magdalena that he is probably the one they are looking for and she should kill him. Instead she trusts the boy who leads them into a trap. The odds are overwhelming and quite the cliffhanger is left at the end of the issue. The rule of thumb I’m taking away from this situation is don’t trust little boys alone and unharmed in catacombs.

The quality of the story and the art is what you’d expect from The Magdalena. We don’t see anything drastically different. The demon is significantly stronger than the past few our dynamic duo has dispatched of and they struggle to contain it. The catacombs are dark and gloomy just like you’ve expect them to be. I like the way the story progressed as there could have been a few issues where no progress is made towards finding the cult. Marz is definitely keeping things moving along.

Given the events of Artifacts that are going on and shaking up the whole Top Cow Universe I’m a little curious how this cliffhanger will be written in. I’ve no doubt that Marz has already planned that out as he wouldn’t be the architect of so many great titles if he wasn’t capable. Overall, I like the pacing and the art is top notch. I really just hope Magdalena can discover some other power beyond a fancy spear and her unique lineage or else she isn’t going to last long as an artifact bearer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review – Artifacts #3

All I can really say about this series is WOW. Sara Pezzini, perhaps known better as The Witchblade, has just had her sister murdered and her daughter Hope kidnapped. Her estranged husband Jackie Estacado, also known as The Darkness, has shown up to help track Hope down. In addition Dani Baptiste, The Angelus, has shown up to help as she is a close friend and former wielder of half The Witchblade.

As if having three of the primal forces of the universe in one place and angry wasn’t enough, Tom Judge – the former priest and current wielder of Rapture – has shown up fresh from hell to deliver a message to them. The kidnapping isn’t random. Someone is trying to gather the thirteen artifacts of power together to bring about Armageddon. He doesn’t know who, but Hope is a key. He has learned this from an old man known as The Curator. Judge knows there is a battle at hand and someone needs to stop it.

Top Cow and Ron Marz bring us this universe altering series. Michael Broussard, Bart Sears, Rick Basaldua, Joe Weems, Sal Regla and Sunny Gho all lend their artistic talents to bringing this ambitious crossover to life. Essentially every major character in Top Cow’s stable has a major stake in this event and I have a feeling some will be altered forever. Read on for the latest.

Essentially this issue sets up the greater battle to come. Teams are being formed. Led by an unnamed mastermind and the assassin android Aphrodite, one wants to bring the Artifacts together to destroy the universe, or at least reshape it. The aforementioned forces lead the group trying to stop them.

The forces of good seem to consist of The Darkness, The Witchblade, The Angelus, The Rapture and their associated persons. Thus far Aphrodite seems to have recruited the bearers of The Ember Stone – Glorianna Silver, the Wheel of Shadows – former angelus warrior Sabine, Alina Enstrom – bearer of Pandora’s Box and Ian Nottingham – who recently recovered his prized artifact the Blood Sword. Some other characters are involved but WOW…that is an insane match up.

The remaining artifact bearers have not yet pledged allegiance but allow me to venture a few guesses. I somehow doubt that a warrior for truth and good like the Magdalena and her Spear of Destiny would go towards the side looking to destroy the universe. Given that Michael Finnegan’s status is in a bit of limbo after having the Blood Sword violently taken from him in this issue, I’d say he is going to hesitate to join the team that person is on. The Necromancer – Abby Van Alstine – shares her powers and the Heart Stone with the demon Mali. Those two are polar opposites and will have to face each other for ultimate control and to see which side will have their powers in the end.

The Coin of Soloman is an artifact that we still haven’t seen, although there is a pretty awesome finish to this issue that gives us a glimpse of its possible power. The thirteenth artifact is a total mystery. Call me crazy but I’m going to guess Hope is an important part of that mystery.

If you’ve never read Top Bow before Artifacts is really where you should start. The series highlights every major character and even has artist bios at the end to tell you who they are and what projects they work on. War of the Witchblades was a great story arc to get into Witchblade. Artifacts is the definitive Top Cow series for everything else. The outcomes will likely affect the characters for a while after the crossover ends and the action and art is just great. Check it out in stores, you won’t be disappointed.

Image Comics Collects Li'l Depressed Boy

I normally don't endorse little boys that are depressed. I mean, little boys should be running around the neighborhood and wreaking havoc in a playful way right? They shouldn't be depressed and dealing with existential identity crises every passing day. Image Comics is collecting the adventures of a depressed boy with some happiness involved. Li'l Depressed Boy follows the adventures of a ragdoll going about his ordinary life. In the first issue ragdoll meets girl with the "romantic and stylish lovelorn charm that characterizes movies such as (500) Days of Summer." That movie was something of a kick in the proverbial heart, but I digress. The work was originally created in 2005 by S. Steven Struble and featured illustrative talents of Sam Keith, Jamie McKelvie, Jim Mahfood and more (Sina Grace stepped in on cover duties in 2008).

"The Li'l Depressed Boy comes from so many personal experiences, which I think correlates to why people relate to the story," says Struble. "We've all been that quiet person who can barely muster a smile. With Sina as the regular artist and our first story arc together under the Image 'I,' it's a dream come true."

Adds Grace, "When I started drawing the Li'l Depressed Boy, I was so excited to be collaborating with someone who wanted to tackle comics the same way I did: with earnestness, fun, and a touch of self-deprecation. After all these years, I'm happy to say that the work we are presenting with Image Comics maintains those core values."

The 32-page first issue hits stores February 9 for $2.99. Full press release after the jump.

BETWEEN A (LI'L DEPRESSED) BOY AND A GIRL
Image Comics collects cult favorite web series this February

Berkeley, CA - 23 November 2010 - He found a home first on the Internet. Now, Li'l Depressed Boy comes to print with LI'L DEPRESSED BOY #1, out this February from Image Comics.

LI'L DEPRESSED BOY follows the adventures of a ragdoll as he goes about his ordinary life. In the first issue, Li'l Depressed Boy meets girl, with all the romantic and stylish lovelorn charm that characterizes movies such as (500) Days of Summer.

The cult favorite web series was created in 2005 by S. Steven Struble, a comic colorist (CHEW, Kick Drum Comix) and nationally competing slam poet, who continues to write the series. Early Li'l Depressed Boy strips were drawn by comics luminaries such as Sam Keith (THE MAXX), Jamie McKelvie (PHONOGRAM), Jim Mahfood (MIXTAPE), and more. Sina Grace took over art duties on the acclaimed web comic in 2008. His illustrations can be seen in various publications, most recently in Among the Ghosts, a young adult novel written by Amber Benson (Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

"The Li'l Depressed Boy comes from so many personal experiences, which I think correlates to why people relate to the story," says Struble. "We've all been that quiet person who can barely muster a smile. With Sina as the regular artist and our first story arc together under the Image 'I,' it's a dream come true."

Adds Grace, "When I started drawing the Li'l Depressed Boy, I was so excited to be collaborating with someone who wanted to tackle comics the same way I did: with earnestness, fun, and a touch of self-deprecation. After all these years, I'm happy to say that the work we are presenting with Image Comics maintains those core values."

LI'L DEPRESSED BOY #1 (diamond code), a 32-page full-color comic book for $2.99, will be in stores February 9, 2011. Meet the Li'l Depressed Boy by visiting www.lildepressedboy.com.

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Sells Out

For a company like Archaia a sell out is a good thing. Sure, there's no more product on the shelves for those that actually want to buy it, but isn't that what a second printing is for? Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard has just reached that threshold after the initial run of 15,000 copies sold out in two days.

“Archaia and I put a lot of thought into how we would want to make and present a MOUSE GUARD anthology,” said Petersen. “After seeing the contributors execute their stories so well and seeing the final book layout and design, I am very happy the public agreed with our choices and rallied behind this book enough to have us sell out of a first printing so quickly! It gets me very excited for what we will have in store with LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 2.”

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard is sold out at the distributor level, but the 144-page book is available at local retailers. Set inside the June Alley Inn, located in the western mouse city of Barkstone, mice have gathered to tell tales, each trying to outdo the other. A competition, of sorts, begins. The rules: Every story must contain one truth, one lie, and have never been told in that tavern before. Petersen writes and draws the scenes in the inn while the contributors he selected write and draw the tales. The contributors include Jeremy Bastian, Katie Cook, Guy Davis, Lowell Francis, Gene Ha, Alex Kain, Karl Kerschl, João Lemos, Terry Moore, Ted Naifeh, Craig Rousseau, Sean Rubin, Alex Sheikman and Mark Smylie.

Full press release after the jump.

‘MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD’ SELLS OUT, NEW PRINTING BEING RUSHED TO RETAILERS
ANTHOLOGY COLLECTION FEATURING CONTRIBUTIONS BY CREATORS HANDPICKED BY DAVID PETERSEN IS A HIT WITH FANS OF ALL AGES

Los Angeles, CA (November 23, 2010) – Fresh on the heels of news that one of its publications, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN, sold out of its initial run of 10,000 copies at the distributor level in just 24 hours, Archaia is proud to announce that the MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 1 collected edition hardcover has sold out of its initial run of 15,000 copies within the first two days of its availability!

The latest MOUSE GUARD hardcover has charmed critics and readers alike with its eclectic mix of storytelling and art styles, all set in David Petersen’s wonderful world of mice with swords. A second printing is being rushed and will arrive in stores in time for the holidays.

“Archaia and I put a lot of thought into how we would want to make and present a MOUSE GUARD anthology,” said Petersen. “After seeing the contributors execute their stories so well and seeing the final book layout and design, I am very happy the public agreed with our choices and rallied behind this book enough to have us sell out of a first printing so quickly! It gets me very excited for what we will have in store with LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 2.”

While MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 1 is currently sold out at the distributor level, copies are still available at local and online retailers wherever books are sold. Be sure to pick up or order your copy today! To order a copy, use ISBN code 978193238694-3.

MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD (hardcover, full color, 144 pages, 8” x 8”, $19.95), is set inside the June Alley Inn, located in the western mouse city of Barkstone. Mice have gathered to tell tales, each trying to outdo the other. A competition, of sorts, begins. The rules: Every story must contain one truth, one lie, and have never been told in that tavern before. Petersen writes and draws the scenes in the inn while the contributors he selected write and draw the tales. The contributors include Jeremy Bastian, Katie Cook, Guy Davis, Lowell Francis, Gene Ha, Alex Kain, Karl Kerschl, João Lemos, Terry Moore, Ted Naifeh, Craig Rousseau, Sean Rubin, Alex Sheikman and Mark Smylie.

MOUSE GUARD is the fan-favorite, Eisner Award-winning property created by David Petersen that chronicles the adventures of an elite group of mice that have been tasked with protecting common mice from predators, the elements and other dangers. It is, essentially, mice with swords! Two series, MOUSE GUARD VOL. 1: FALL 1152 and MOUSE GUARD VOL. 2: WINTER 1152, have been collected into hardcovers thus far. The first issue of the follow-up series, MOUSE GUARD VOL. 3: THE BLACK AXE, launches in December. Petersen and Archaia have also already announced a LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 2 collection is planned, with creators like Eric Canete, Janet Lee, Jim McCann, Kenneth Rocafort, Stan Sakai and Bill Willingham on board.


About Archaia
Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds. Archaia is: Artesia, Awakening, Beautiful Scars, Berona’s War, Critical Millennium, Cyclops, The Dark Crystal, Dark Fall, Days Missing, The Devil’s Handshake, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson, The Engineer, Everlast, Feeding Ground, Fraggle Rock, God Machine, The Grave Doug Freshley, Gunnerkrigg Court, Hybrid Bastards!, Inanna’s Tears, Johnny Recon, The Killer, Killing Pickman, Labyrinth, The Lone and Level Sands, Lucid, Miranda Mercury, Moon Lake, Mouse Guard, Mr. Murder Is Dead, Okko, One in a Million, Primordia, Return of the Dapper Men, Robotika, Saga, The Secret History, Some New Kind of Slaughter, Starkweather: Immortal, Syndrome, A Tale of Sand, Titanium Rain, Trial By Fire, and Tumor.

Stan Lee's The Traveler #1 Long Pitch

Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Arrivals: November 24, 2010

I'm convinced that Alex Ross is pretty much one of the hardest working individuals in comics. It seems that everything he's involved in has him writing it and doing the illustrations which is a lot to take on singlehandedly. His latest work is DF Invaders #1, with the DF from Dynamic Forces.

The greatest superheroes of WWII are back in action, except they're a little out of place being in the modern world. The original team is back together and a mysterious force has drawn them all together to face a threat to all life on Earth. Fans can check out Captain America, The Sub-Mariner, the original Human Torch, Thor, Golden Age Vision, Spitfire, Union Jack and Captain America.


Enjoy!

New Arrivals: November 24, 2010

Defense with the Boompick


Here we have a special week for many folks with Thanksgiving happening Thursday and the shopping days of all shopping days on Friday. If you can’t wait until Friday to get some shopping done you are in luck as you have a slew of new comics tomorrow to pick up. With a high number of kickass comics coming out it was a tough choice for my pick today, but I went with an old favorite of mine whom I haven’t seen in awhile. Yup, you guessed it. Going with a Deadpool comic in Deadpool #29 from Marvel out tomorrow.

In this new issue we see the end of a little mini storyline involving Deadpool fighting alongside Captain America. This series has the unlikely partners battling terrorists in a fight that hasn’t been going exactly as planned. Captain America is being the stick in the mud type of guy around Deadpool, but he isn’t worried about that because he has the plan of all plans to fix it. What sort of plan can Deadpool come up with that could save the day you ask? Well, needless to say it involves a lot of guns, a lot of action and loads of jokes to save the day.

Savage Dragon #166 Is a Poorly Kept Secret

Image Comics is touting Savage Dragon #166 as a "senses shattering" book that releases this Wednesday. In it is a huge, cataclysmic, Earth-shattering event and Image isn't spoiling the secret on it.

"Since stepping down from his roll as Publisher a couple years back, Erik has quietly been producing one of the most uncompromising comics on the market," adds Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. "Where a lot of comics offer the illusion of change, SAVAGE DRAGON has continued to push boundaries and the events of these two issues take Erik's forward-looking approach to its ultimate conclusion. If you've ever been interested in this title, you definitely do not want to miss these two issues."

The 32-page issue hits stores November 24 (Wednesday) for $3.50. Full press release after the jump.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Image Comics has a secret... and that secret is the cover and contents of SAVAGE DRAGON #166

Berkeley, CA - 22 November 2010 - It's an event so unexpected -- so shocking -- that nothing will ever be the same. And we can't tell you a thing about it!

Prepare to have your senses shattered this Wednesday with the release of SAVAGE DRAGON #166 from Image Comics -- it's unlike anything you have ever read or imagined! Savage Dragon has reverted to his original identity, the evil Emperor Kurr, and...

...and...

...but that would be telling.

"There was a time when readers didn't know what to expect from the next issue of their favorite comic book," says Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen, "There were no sneak peeks, no previews or online news sources spelling out, in excruciating detail, what was going to happen in the comic books that were going to be released -- and I think that's taken away a lot of the excitement of going to the comic book store. I want to bring that excitement back!"

Make no mistake: SAVAGE DRAGON #166 and #167 contain huge, cataclysmic Earth-altering events. Your mind will be blown! Your senses will be shattered! But just this once, we'd prefer not to spell out the how, when and why -- we'd prefer you find out about it in the pages of the comics themselves.

"Since stepping down from his roll as Publisher a couple years back, Erik has quietly been producing one of the most uncompromising comics on the market," adds Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. "Where a lot of comics offer the illusion of change, SAVAGE DRAGON has continued to push boundaries and the events of these two issues take Erik's forward-looking approach to its ultimate conclusion. If you've ever been interested in this title, you definitely do not want to miss these two issues."

SAVAGE DRAGON #166 (SEPT100496), a 32-page full-color comic book for $3.50, will be in stores November 24, 2010. SAVAGE DRAGON #167 (OCT100515) continues the shattering finale on December 22, 2010.

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

Review - The Walking Dead: Vatos

Wow. That's all I can say about this past Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead. For an episode of a TV series this one had it all with action, emotion and story that get you hooked and concerned for the characters. I have nothing but praise for this show with great casting and keeping close to the source material and my only complaint is that this first season is only 6 episodes. This episode, titled “Vatos,” gives you a chance to see more of what sort of world Rick and the others are living in (here's a hint: it's an unforgiving one). Here is my take of this episode, Spoilers Ahead.

The last episode ended with Rick, T-Dog, Glenn and Daryl back on that roof only to find a hand, but no Merle. They follow his likely path off of the roof and come across some clues as to where he went with a few downed zombies, a spot where he cauterized his stump and eventual escaped from the building. With Merle’s whereabouts unknown they decided to go after the bag of guns to make it easier searching for Merle. They separate into two groups to cover Glenn as he makes a grab for the guns and the plan goes off almost exactly right, except for a run-in with another small group of survivors. This other group of survivors was looking for that bag of guns as well; they run off with Glenn, but leave behind one of their own with Rick’s group.

Meanwhile back at camp it’s a little more peaceful with warmer moments of the two sisters Andrea and Amy out fishing thinking about their parents. Actually they get into a discussion about their father and how he taught each of them a different way to fish, seeing how different the two are. A lot of this goes on in this episode, with each of the survivors sort of reflecting more about things from their past and how they ended up here. Another focal point of the episode is on Jim, another survivor there, seen by Dale digging a bunch of holes up on a hill with a blank look on him. It gets him worried enough that the group confronts him and we learn what happened to Jim's family that brought him here. It's pretty heartwrenching.

Rick and crew want Glenn back and while his captors want the entire bag of guns, but Rick ain’t having any of that. As they go in locked and loaded ready to kill as many as they can and get Glenn back, there standoff is diffused by an unlikely moderator. This other group is actually one with good intentions as they are holdup at a senior center protecting the people that were left behind by the doctors and staff doing what they can to protect them and survive any way possible. Rick's compassion really shines through here and is just about equally matched by Guillermo, a former janitor turned settlement leader.

Rick, Glenn, Daryl and T-Dog fear that the truck they used to get to the city was taken by Merle back to the camp with vengeance on his mind, leaving them no choice to hoof it. They get there just in time to deal with zombies coming out of the woods causing panic and death in their wake. What's great about the campfire dinner scene is you know something bad is about to happen and you expect Merle to come back ballistic; instead it's zombies. There are the requisite casualities of some other settlement survivors that haven't really been focused on much, but there are also two somewhat significant deaths as well. I mean with these characters you get involved with them and are invested in them, but this ending of the episodes shows that no survivor is safe from the zombies. It makes a death have more of an impact and sort of makes the show more real I feel.

This show has just exceeded my expectations in every way possible and really can’t wait until next week’s episode. The ending of this episode is really the first time we see zombies do what they do best in swarming survivors and taking them down. Since the comic and show started with the zombie outbreak already happening and the world falling you don’t see any of this chaos until now. It really shows the nature of the zombie up close and makes these survivors have to face choices and realize that where they are isn’t safe anymore. Daryl also showed some complexity to his character; he was concerned about Glenn being taken and he showed some trepidation upon discovering the truck was gone and Merle was possibly on his way back to wreak havoc. The characters are finally settling in and things are evening out a bit, meaning the last two episodes are going to be phenomenal.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Defense with the BoomStick


(Disclaimer: This post is set in a world where zombies have taken over and people live in small spots all over the world. It’s a weekly broadcast of news from around the globe and a tip to help survival.)

Bit by bit things are getting better around here with all the pieces being picked up and a lot of rebuilding to finish as well. It’s been a quiet week with minimal zombie activity near us, but with recent events I have been sending out scouts further just to keep an eye out. You never know where danger is going to come from next; with bandits and zombies pretty much everywhere you really can't ever get a break it seems. So far around here we have gotten the wall reinforced where the breach occurred and even worked in a few surprises to any more would-be saboteurs. Never came to mind that there is something worse out there then zombies, but the living that prey on each other are ten times worse, as if humans are to make it we all need to work together.

News is up now and let me look over what’s been happening from other spots. Got a report out of Hawaii that a few of the safe zones they had set up have been infected and overran with survivors fleeing to the more far flung island northwest of Honolulu. The Marine Corps base located on the island has also been breached with the forces that were there have been helping evacuate people and setup a new base in the Moloaa Forest Preserve. A couple of boats are heading out from Guam to the islands to help out and resupply them as well until the survivors there become self-sufficient. The forces coming from Guam are actually doing pretty well there since it wasn’t too populated and they have managed to fend off ships carrying zombies onboard from making landfall. Don’t have any more news for this week so let us get to the tip.

Last week I talked about how to use a car’s trunk lid or the hood as wall material or make a shield out of. Today I will talk about using other parts of a car to aid you in fighting zombies.

First up tires. These can be used when you get them off of the rim and cut it to make a long strip. This long strip you can use to wrap around your legs or arms for added protecting against a zombies bite and tie the sides of the tire back together with chain or rope threaded through the tire. You could just about make a whole set of armor out of tires to protect you, but the trade off is a hit to your mobility if you have to make a long run for it.

The materials from the seats can also be used for the same sort of thing since good majority of cars have either leather or vinyl seats that can be tough for a zombie to bite through. This material will be easier for you to thread rope or a material to keep it tight and closed from prying hands. Also it’s a lot lighter to wear as well and you can wear it under your clothes too, letting it be a last line of defense. Plus it can be used as bedding either to lay on or as a blanket to when you manage to find a safe place to rest.

There you have it for this week, until next week remember to keep fighting and keep surviving.

Preview - Baltimore: The Plague Ships #5

Mike Mignola does do stuff besides Hellboy and Baltimore: The Plague Ships #5 is one example of such a work. Co-written alongisde Christopher Golden and illustrated by Ben Stenbeck (covre by Dave Stewart), the fifth and final issue of the series hits stores December 1 for $3.50. After a weird group of plague vampires attack them on the island shore, Vanessa suspects that Lord Baltimore might have a damnation problem.

Interiors after the jump.

George R. R. Martin Opens Doorways

The HBO promos during Boardwalk Empire promise that winter is coming. That winter would be Game of Thrones from George R. R. Martin, a part of a never-ending series that fans want him to finish but he seems to busy working on other stuff to do. Each issue of Doorways treats Dr. Tom Mason (and fans) to terrifying instances of incredibleness. Doors open to worlds that are twisted mirror images of ours. Mason is on a multi-dimensional journey to solve the mystery of Cat, a strange, feral young woman who pops up in his E.R. one night, injured and barely able to communicate, except by ripping off limbs.

"DOORWAYS was the great 'what if' of my career, the television pilot that was right on the edge of being greenlit to series... but in the end was not. I spent a year and a half of my life with Tom and Cat, writing about them, thinking about them, making plans for their adventures. It broke my heart when it all came to naught," said Martin. "But now, at last, thanks to IDW and the talent of Stefano Martino, the world will get to share some of those adventures. And even better, the comics format will allow us to do things with the story and the visuals that we would never have been able to do on television! I couldn't be more excited."

Rebecca Wrigley provides incentive covers and the first issue is available in stores. Full press release after the jump.

All-new comic series from award winning fantasy author
Now in stores

Acclaimed novelist and Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of The Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin, has teamed up with IDW Publishing to release an all-new miniseries, entitled DOORWAYS. Based on his pilot script for a television series that never was, DOORWAYS offers Martin's science-fiction genius in an initial four-issue series. Martin and artist Stefano Martino bring this reality-bending tale to life, now available in comic stores throughout North America.

"DOORWAYS was the great 'what if' of my career, the television pilot that was right on the edge of being greenlit to series... but in the end was not. I spent a year and a half of my life with Tom and Cat, writing about them, thinking about them, making plans for their adventures. It broke my heart when it all came to naught," said Martin. "But now, at last, thanks to IDW and the talent of Stefano Martino, the world will get to share some of those adventures. And even better, the comics format will allow us to do things with the story and the visuals that we would never have been able to do on television! I couldn't be more excited."

Every issue of DOORWAYS treats Dr. Tom Mason, and fans, to the very definition of terrifyingly incredible, as doors open to worlds that are twisted mirror of ours. Said DOORWAYS editor Mariah Huehner, "One of the most interesting is a world with no oil. Which is pretty timely."

DOORWAYS follows Dr. Tom Mason on a multi-dimensional journey as he tries to solve the mystery of Cat, a strange, feral young woman who pops up in his E.R. one night, injured and barely able to communicate, except by ripping off limbs.

Wearing rags that nearly disintegrate, Dr. Tom is drawn in the girl's strange fears, until he discovers that "Cat" is a person of interest to the government, and a very odd group of "people" that don't seem to be from around here... "here" being our dimension...

"Working with George on this project is a lot of fun," continued Huehner. "It's a dark sci-fi/fantasy, that's not unlike the Twilight Zone in terms of taking an ordinary person and suddenly confronting them with very bizarre events and people. Tom is a total "good" guy, loves his girlfriend, likes his job, and just wants to help people. But when Cat shows up she turns his comfortable world upside down."

Artist Rebecca Wrigley will provide incentive covers for each issue of the initial DOORWAYS series.

George R.R. Martin's DOORWAYS #1 (of 4, 32 pages, full color, $3.99) is now available in stores. Diamond order code SEP10 0362.

New Green Hornet Trailer

I was somewhat underwhelmed by the first trailer for Green Hornet that's been released to the interwebs. This new trailer has a lot more of the action and less of the "woe is me" attitude of Seth Rogan's character. I'm still not completely sold on the movie, but see for yourself after the jump.