Monday, February 28, 2011

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)



I really can’t believe that Power Girl has gotten as popular as she has. It isn’t that she isn’t worth the time- I mean, it’s refreshing to have some female lead other than Wonder Woman in the spotlight for a few moments. DC’s cast hasn’t exactly had a lot of ‘new blood’ up until just this last decade or two. It's not that they didn’t TRY, it’s just that it seemed like none of their characters could quite break out from the pack and get into the ranks of the D.C. pantheon that everybody already knew.

There’s a new -and memorable- X-Men character every year, it seems. DC superheroes that I expect to be a household name in ten years? Harder to come by. Power Girl just wasn’t who I expected! I mean- with the DC continuity shifting constantly, I wholly assumed that sooner or later Supergirl would be Supergirl and Power Girl would just disappear (maybe, even, literally when you start dealing with Infinite Final Crisis on Multiple Earths kind of situations). But there’s something about Kara Zor-L (yeah that’s Zor-L, not Zor-El) that people are drawn to lately.

Well, there’s the obvious. The superhero equivalent of Pamela Anderson, Kara makes even boldly drawn, disproportionate comic book women look asexual by comparison. So, hey she’s easy on the eyes. But I guess, what I’m shocked to find is the number of female readers who love her!

It always seemed to me that Wonder Woman had this penchant for splitting female readers right down the middle. Half seem to think that she’s the ultimate icon of empowerment and liberation and the other half seem to feel like Diana actually represents the kind of stereotypical adolescent figure that women are fighting against. It’s like women just can’t make up their mind about Wonder Woman and whether she’s a good thing to have around.

Kudos to Greg Rucka and accomplished author Jodi Picoult for what I like to call blending -not breaking- the fourth wall in this regard. How does Wonder Woman stand up as media icon in the DC universe? Is she the ultimate symbol of Feminism or is she an unhealthy role model? For that matter what IS a healthy role model, for women? Veronica Cale, a recent edition to the Wonder Woman cast, has become a sort of Lex Luthor of the book, serving as a cautionary tale of the kind of compromises that women make in the world we live in. It’s a nice touch. It raises all sorts of questions about just what, exactly, women are aspiring to be these days. But I digress.

Kara Zor-L. Like I said: women like her. There’s something about her no-nonsense, in-charge I’m-not-going-to-let-any-man-show-me-up attitude that female readers have flocked to. Kara is just so unapologetic about who she is; her power, her sexuality, whatever. And I guess that kind of freedom feels good. Of course, I may be about to plunge this post far away from the philosophical realm of ‘what is feminism’ into the annuls of DC comics continuity, but I think it’s the weird factor that the fans (male and female) have come to really love.

Kara already had a bit of her star moment in Infinite Crisis (which I love even though you need like the equivalent of literary annotations to follow what the HELL is going on in it), along with other continuity anomalies like Psycho-Pirate, Superboy Prime and Alexander Luthor. But it’s like, we just love this concept that, somehow, across time and space, Kara sort of slipped through while all of the reality she belonged to was erased. It doesn’t make sense that she exists, really. In fact, Kara has had so many different origin stories that it’s not hard to make an identity crisis a plot point in her ongoing series.

Of course, I’m probably happiest when I see Kara heading up a reunion of the Justice League International (which is a bit of what’s been going on lately, if you’ve been following along). The JLI could warrant a post all on their own. Suffice to say, I kind of love the surprising role that these guys have taken on in the last few years. Like sure, they’re not exactly the first string of superpowered crime fighting legends out there, but they’ve had this way, lately, of being right on the pulse of the DC universe. People don’t seem to notice or believe what exactly they say is going on.

Ted Kord’s death still haunts me as one of DC’s darker moments but I really love that it’s served as this kind of catalyst for the former JLI to reinvent themselves a little bit and take themselves (and their own sacrifices) more seriously- at least a little. Look for cameos (and flashbacks) in the most recent Power Girl issues as she tracks down now heinous DC villain (and former JLI benefactor) Max Lord, even with the team’s former de-facto leader, Batman. Interesting stuff…

Zombies vs. Robots Optioned for Film


When the apocalypse arrives there are a few scenarios we could be faced with. The Terminator movies has Skynet taking over and seeking to eradicate all humans from the planet. Stories such as The Walking Dead and the Dead series (Night, Day, Dawn, etc.) has us succumbing to a wave of zombies seeking to eat us. Obviously, the unification of the two enemies would be more than beyond evil and dangerous right? If there were only a way to pit them against each other. Wait! There is!

Zombies vs. Robots pits the last remaining human in the world against zombies. The catch is that he an assortment of robots at his disposal to protect him, giving us the newfound war between machine and falling flesh. The robots mistakenly expose a human infant's presence to the zombies, leading to the aforementioned all out battle. The series -created by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood- has been acquired by Sony Pictures and will be a co-production among IDW, Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes and Circle of Confusion. IDW CEO and co-founder Ted Adams will produce, alongside Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Dave Alpert and Rick Jacobs.

No word on production schedule or release date, but I guess I can just say stay tuned. Full press release after the jump.

Post-Apocalyptic Comic Series to Be Co-Produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes and IDW

IDW Publishing's popular ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS comic series is headed to Hollywood. The series, which was created by writer and IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall and artist/painter Ashley Wood and launched in 2006, has been acquired by Sony Pictures.

The film will be a co-production between IDW, Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes, and Circle of Confusion. IDW CEO and co-founder Ted Adams will produce, alongside Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Dave Alpert, and Rick Jacobs.

In the ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS comic series, the last remaining human in the world is protected by an assortment of robots against overwhelming zombie hordes. When the robots mistakenly expose the human infant's presence to the zombies, it leads to an all-out battle for the survival of mankind. The series takes a playful look at a far-fetched concept, resulting in something that transcends the usual "vs" approach. Subsequent series include Zombies vs Robots vs Amazons, also illustrated by Wood, as well as Zombies vs Robots: Aventure, a series that presented three separate prequel stories. The ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS world also played a major role in IDW's first-ever event series, INFESTATION, and an all-new ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS series subtitled "UnderCity," with art by Mark Torres, launches in April.

THE COMPLETE ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS is now available as both a hardcover graphic novel ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-60010-809-9) and a trade paperback ($19.99, ISBN 978-1-60010-328-5).

ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS: AVENTURE is now available as an oversized hardcover graphic novel ($24.99, 10" x 13", ISBN 1-60010-717-7).

ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS: UNDERCITY #1 (of 4, $3.99, 32 pages) will be available in comic stores in April. Diamond order code FEB11 0315.

New Thundercats Trailer


It's been a long time since Thundercats was on the air. Short of various Robot Chicken sketches lampooning the team dynamic there really hasn't been a way to see new content. Until now.

Cartoon Network has a reboot that's been in the works and is slated to start some time this year. There's a trailer after the jump for your judgmental enjoyment. It features all the favorites and definitely has a Saturday morning cartoon feel to it. Intrigued? Hit the trailer after the jump.


The War of the Green Lanterns


Marvel isn't the only one building up buzz for their films. Save for Batman and Superman, DC's offerings on the film front have been a lot of pretty bad second and third-tier character adaptations. Green Lantern looks to change and all that and with Blackest Night last year they've been focusing on the Lanterns for a while now. Cue the above teaser image, offering the reader to beware the power of the Green Lanterns. Hopefully olive isn't mad at lime green. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 25, 2011

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.)

It's been 14 hours since the first zombies hit us and they haven’t stopped since; just streams of them coming at us. Combined with the intense rain storms we've been having it's making it difficult to fight the zombies, especially without being able to use fire on them. I had thought that these large zombie groups were in the southeastern parts of the United States, but I guess reports were wrong. So far no breaches in the walls or any losses at the moment and hopefully this battle with the zombies will not last that long so we experience neither of those. Enough reporting on that as we need to get to the news and tip so I can get back in the fight.

News for today is mostly good. There's a little bit of bad as more places have gone off the air, meaning either they managed to escape or were overran. With the bad news out of the way let’s go with the good part as I've heard word that a lot of places that were hit hard managed to get evacuated out to more secure locations. In addition to getting the people out they even managed to airlift what supplies remained at some places too, making it an overall good week for all those lucky people.

The last bit of good news is that the government forces helping out survivors tackle large scale zombie attacks are doing aerial bombing to shrink there numbers. More places that were broadcasting asking for help have stopped all together, making you wonder if they got rescued or were overran. Who knows when all these zombie attacks are going to end, but hopefully soon we'll all catch a break.

In light of the past few weeks we've had I figured my tip for this week will be more of a general reminder that you have to combat boredom and the monotony that the days bring to keep your sanity. Beyond constant patrolling, workout regimes and inspecting and cleaning your gear you have to do something fun to help give you something fresh.

This is where games come in handy. Card games, dice, etc.; depending on the space you have they can do even more elaborate ones as well. I know you're wondering why bother doing any of that, but if you are stuck in fight or flight mood for too long it just drains you too much. When that happens your reflexes suffer and your mental state overall decreases, both of which can cause you to make mistakes that could cost you or others their lives.

That's all for this week. With the fight going on outside the walls here I hope we can survive, but for all the survivors out there keep surviving.

Review - Bonnie Lass #2


Bonnie Lass is back. Still seeking the Eye of Leviathan, Bonnie Lass #2 slows things down considerably and gives tons of insight into Bonnie's childhood, her troubled relationship with her father and the catalyst for her being the way she is. It's a stark contrast the fast pace of Bonnie Lass #1 but does answer quite a few questions

The trio of Bonnie, Benjamin Lass and Trick Fischer meet Doogan, an older gentleman with a seafarer's nature still in his blood. Over many, many beers, the four of them discover the scroll is tied in with a stone tablet that represents a map of sorts, most likely for the Eye of Leviathan. This serves as an excellent plot device to continue them on their quest for the treasure, with the issue ending on a somewhat sour note for the treasure hunters.

The bulk of the issue is a flashback as Bonnie is regaling Trick with tales of her youth. Michael Mayne and Tyler Fluharty successfully use that flashback to show Bonnie's transformation from her father's daughter serving under his command to the more free spirited incarnation you have now. She put up with a lot being the only female on the ship and proved to be more than a handful for most of the crew members. You also get the sense that Benjamin has stuck with her through thick and thin, shedding light on their current relationship as brother and sister.

My one complaint about Bonnie Lass is Bonnie Lass. I get that she's a free spirit and that she's big on throwing caution to the wind, but I feel like she does it almost too recklessly. Maybe I'm being a little prudish in evaluating her and she's supposed to be that reckless but for some reason it just rings a little hollow as I read. She comes across as less swashbuckling and more brash, which may be what ultimately redeems her further down the road.

Overall, the second issue answers a lot of questions while successfully moving the story along. Mayne pulls double duty as the artist as well, and his work is light and adds to the overall jovial tone of the book. This is Red 5's second issue of the digital only series and it should be available now. Check it out for an interesting pirate tale with a strong female lead, action-packed fights and rapid dialogue.

Zenescope's Grimm Myths & Legends #1 Sells Out


Sellouts are all the rage these days and are nothing but good news for the publishers. They're not so good news for the readers that may have missed the initial run as they won't have a chance to get their hands on the issue. In the case of Zenescope Entertainment's Grimm Myths & Legends #1 Zenescope still has a limited number of regular and exclusive copies on hand for your enjoyment.

"We're thrilled that fans and retailers have gotten behind Myths & Legends like they have. We sold through a 15,000 issue print run very quickly and that's exciting for us," said Zenescope Editor-in-Chief Ralph Tedesco. "This is a new, on-going title that gives us the ability to revisit numerous fairy tales and Grimm Universe characters within modern day settings while also including the horror elements that have made the original series so popular."

Grimm Myths & Legends #1 is written by Raven Gregory and features art by David Miller and Jason Embury (covers by J. Scott Campbell, Nei Ruffino, Ebas and Mike DeBalfo). It revisits Britney from the very first issue of Grimm Fairy Tales as she is stalked by a shapeshifting werewolf intent on killing her. You can expect to see a second printing of the first issue with cover art by Ebas to coincide with the release of the second issue.

Full press release after the jump.

ZENECOPE’S GRIMM MYTHS & LEGENDS #1 SELLS OUT

Zenescope Entertainment is reporting that the #1 issue of new comic book title Grimm Myths & Legends has sold out through Diamond Comic Distributors. Zenescope does have a limited number of regular and exclusive copies of the series still available by contacting their Sales Manager at davef@zenescope.com.

Zenescope’s Grimm Myths & Legends is a new ongoing series that is now one of the hottest original independent titles of the year. This first arc revisits the main character, Britney, from the very first issue of Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales title "Red Riding Hood" as she is stalked by a shapeshifting werewolf intent on taking her life.

"We're thrilled that fans and retailers have gotten behind Myths & Legends like they have. We sold through a 15,000 issue print run very quickly and that's exciting for us," said Zenescope Editor-in-Chief Ralph Tedesco. "This is a new, on-going title that gives us the ability to revisit numerous fairy tales and Grimm Universe characters within modern day settings while also including the horror elements that have made the original series so popular."

Grimm Myths & Legends is being written by Raven Gregory and features interior artwork by David Miller and Jason Embury. This first issue features cover art by J. Scott Campbell, Nei Ruffino, Ebas and Mike DeBalfo. With the release of issue #2 on the horizon, Zenescope plans to release a second printing as soon as possible featuring cover art by Ebas. You can expect to see it in Diamond’s April Previews ad as well as Diamond’s Previews Plus.

Zenescope Entertainment was founded by Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco in 2005 and has quickly grown into one of the top comic book and graphic novel publishing companies in the world. Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales and subsequent spinoff series such as Escape From Wonderland, Neverland and The Piper, which put a dark twist on classic fables, are some of the best-selling and longest running original independent comic books on shelves today. Zenescope's licensed titles include the on-going, critically acclaimed Charmed series, based off of the long-running popular television series, as well as Se7en and Final Destination, based off of New Line Cinema's successful film franchises.

Preview - Soulfire Vol 3. #0


It's almost March 9, an otherwise inconsequential date with one exception: Aspen Comics is releasing Soulfire Vol. 3 #0 by J.T. Krul, Jason Fabok and John Starr.

Desperate times have fallen on Malikai, Grace and others. The bond among them has started deteriorating following the battle with Rainier and his forces. The struggle between magic and technology continues with Malikai absent the festivities. The 24 pager will cost $1.99 and you can check out some interiors and covers after the jump.





X-Force Shines in Year of the X-Men


It's the Year of the X-Men, but that could be expanded to include X-Force. An all new mission kicks in for the foreceful Xs in Uncanny X-Force #11 as part of MMXI written by Rick Remender and Mark Brooks. The epicness starts this June.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Preview - R.P.M. #3


Watch out for Sock-o. He'll sneak up on you make you tap out. Comic fans are happy when Sock-o isn't in play because that means Mick Foley is working on R.P.M. #3 alongside Shane Riches, Jose Holder, Michael Wiggam and Brian Stelfreeze. In the third issue, Revere learns that the hired guns aren't after the diamond in his possession but something else. It's up to him though to get to their target before they do by infiltrating a high security embassy in Washington, DC.

The book hits stores soon and previews after the jump.





Review - Who is Jake Ellis #2



Over the years I've read many different types of comics that are each unique in their own way that basically is what make comics so great to read. Well the latest issue of Who is Jake Ellis #2 is one of those comics as it was a pretty good read and features anintriguing story packed. One thing I really enjoy about this comic is the structure of the panels makes it a lot easier to read and enjoy. If you're a fan of Jason Bourne and movies of that ilk I think you will enjoy this comic as well.
Jon Moore is in trouble again, this time in the form of being under arrest and about to be picked up by people that are probably going to kill him. Sound like a comic you would want to read right? Of course, since Jon is the one of the main characters it's pretty obvious they don't kill him in the second issue. It turns out that Jon and Jake have an evergrowing number of fans in pursuit, counting among them Americans and members of the facility that Jon escaped from.

Jake's role as sort of a guardian angel is interesting and I'm curious to see how it's explored in future issues. He's there at every turn as Jon seeks to be forgotten for his past with the CIA. It's an interesting approach that tackles the whole fate vs. free decision debate, as you wonder whether or not Jon would make these choices on his own should Jake not be guiding him.

Nathan Edmondson's writing is somewhat of an almost rapid back and forth between Jon and Jake. Jon has relatively one-sided conversations with Jake where Jake doles out instructions. Jon realizes that questioning them does no good really so he just goes along with them. Tonci Zonjic's art has a stylish vibe to it that gives the book an espionage feel, playing well with the story and dialogue.

I love the tense feeling this comic gives you as you read the pages and wonder what is going to happen next. An overall solid second issue that drives the story home to the reader and hooks you in even more as you continue to learn about Jon’s past. I can see this series going in so many different directions and I hope they stick with Mr. Ellis for more.

Solicitation - Vampirella and the Scarlet Legion #1


Vampirella is busy these days. Beyond her revival in the new ongoing series at Dynamite Comics, she's also involved in another title from the publisher called Vampirella and the Scarlet Legion. It's written by Joe Harris and illustrated by Jose Malaga (covers by J. Scott Campbell, Sean Chen and Billy Tucci) and features the Crimson Chronicles fortelling the coming of Chaos the Destroyer. Vampirella needs the help of the Scarlet Legion to stop the beast from taking over the world.

The book hits stores in May but you can check out the other covers after the jump.



Image Teaser


Image Comics using an image as a teaser? Surely you jest. The image doesn't say much other than the fact that riding a bear is more exciting than riding a horse. Until the bear bucks you and eats you with its bear friends. Remember, there's always a fry at the bottom. Stay tuned kids.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review – Abyss #1 (Vol. 2)


Ever wonder what it would be like to be a superhero in training? How much MORE complicated would that be if your recently jailed father was formerly the world’s biggest supervillain called Abyss? Welcome to the world of Eric Hoffman! The league of heroes in this almost reminds me of a cross between Watchmen and Teen Titans, only with a smattering of some adult heroes to give parent-like lectures to the kiddies. The mix is intriguing and provides for some comedic moments mixed with genuine superpower to the rescue scenes. I think it's a winning combination.

Red 5 Comics is the publisher with Kevin Rubio writing and a talented art team including Alfonso Ruiz, Garry Henderson, Troy Peteri on letters and cover and coloring by Andrew Crossley. It's a slightly lighter fare superhero book that has some real appeal to it. Rather than dealing with epic social and political issues, we're faced with a complex question: How would the son of a former super villain gain the trust of heroes?

Let’s delve into some of the issues and underlying tension revealed in this first issue of the new volume. One major issue is probably the fact that Eric is using his dad’s former war machines as his new superpowered helpers. He seems a “vast fortune and access to impressive technology” type of hero rather than a “born with or acquired superpowers” type. There seems to be a mix of the two in this book. Quiver, a cute 23 year old college student who Eric worked with to bring down his father acts as a quasi-love interest for the boy as well as a mentor. She is more established as a hero, but really doesn’t have SUPERpowers either.

Why would putting his father away not immediately gain him the trust of others? Part of the problem seems to be Eric’s attitude. He is sort of carefree and easily distracted, leading to a botched attempt to avert disaster in this first issue. All is not lost thanks to the intervention of some other super friends, but at least one of them – Mr. Magic, a person with what appears to be true superpowers – thinks that Eric is a brat. Unfortunately the young man reacts poorly and tries to have his robot helper handle the situation. All this results in is some underwater excavation for the young man later on.

Seeing how all these conflicting personalities manage to work out whenever the next disaster strikes will be really interesting. In some ways Eric is similar to Peter Parker in learning to handle being a hero despite hormones and maturity getting in the way. Props are also due to Rubio for putting in some sidebars to explain some of the events that took place in the first volume of this series. It made some of the interactions MUCH easier to understand and allowed me to enjoy this book much more.

This title has a lot of promise and is a nice change of pace from many of the darker superhero titles out there right now – even though I love them s well. Check it out in stores when you get the chance and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree.

Check Into Old Folks' Home


Today is February 23. 58 days from now Garry McLaughlin and Laser Age Comics hope to have $3,500 raised. Why should you help? Because the third work in the "Year of Fear" series needs a little capital kick in the pants to become a reality.

The Abortion and Yellow were written by Jamie McMorrow and illustrated by McLaughlin. The Abortion was silent while Yellow was based on Giallo cinema and presented in the first person. The next in the series is Old Folks' Home which details what happens when the parents return looking for a revenge on their grown-up kids. Contributions will give the publisher the ability to cover the expenses around the book's publishing, including equipment, studio costs and printing.

$10 will get you a special printed copy of Old Folks' Home signed by the creators and include unique development art in the back (in addition to a digital copy of the issue). $100 will get you a piece of original art from the comic signed by the artist and the $10 bonus. If you're feeling really saucy and want to donate $1,000, well you'll get all of the above in person at the studio where you meet McMorrow and McLaughlin.

Check out the Indiegogo page here. Full details after the jump.

We are Laser Age Comics - a new small press publishing house based in Glasgow. We are in the business of releasing exciting, independent comics that explore forgotten genres and play with the existing rules of the medium. Our books are intelligent, quirky and fun.

Our first two releases, The Abortion and 'Yellow', were part of the Year of Fear series, a run of horror one shots designed to revive the old genre, both written by Jamie McMorrow and drawn by Garry McLaughlin. Each issue has a different tone and art style, so where the first was a starkly drawn, silent, suspense driven horror, the second was based on Giallo cinema, all viewed through the first person. Both these titles received excellent reviews in Ain't It Cool News, The List and Forbidden Planet blog, to name but a few.

We are working on a number of other scripts, all written by Jamie McMorrow. The next of these is "Old Folks' Home", a madcap, Tarantino-esque script about what happens when the parents return home looking for revenge on their grown-up kids.
The Impact

Your contribution to Old Folks' Home will ensure we build on the momentum of the first two comics. Running a small press comic business is hard work, especially when all of the team members need to take on full time work in order to pay the bills. There's little profit in this - we create comics because we must, because it's what we love doing, and we hope that over time, we'll build up enough exposure through Laser Age Comics to get professional work. Until now, we have relied on dipping into meagre wages and savings to cover the costs of putting these books together, and that is why we are looking for your help.

The money raised will give us the ability to concentrate on our next release without worrying about where we'll find the money for equipment, printing etc.
What We Need & What You Get

We need $3500 (a little over £2000) to help cover the expenses raised in creating the Old Folks' Home comic book. The money we raise will contribute to equipment needed, studio costs, and the biggest expense, printing. With recent price hikes by online self-publishing outlets such as Lulu.com, and with other companies requiring bulk purchase, small press printing has become a difficult concern. The ability to print a bulk order of our comic would help us to promote it across the country. The money raised would also help us to market the book out at conventions etc.

Other Ways You Can Help

Please share this campaign with anyone you think would be interested: on Facebook and other social networks, on any forums you belong to, and by telling people you know.

Image Takes a New Look at Moriarty


If there were an all-time greatest villain list somewhere (I'm sure there is) Moriarty would, no doubt, be up there somewhere. The fact that he was capable of going toe to toe with Sherlock Holmes speaks volumes to his sheer deviousness. His natural proclivity as a supervillain makes it pretty easy for Image to develop a comic about him in that role. Moriarty, written by Daniel Corey and illustrated by Anthony Diecidue, is set to debut this May. The comic seeks to answer the question: What would happen if Professor Moriarty finally achieved mortal victory over his ages old nemesis?

“Would Moriarty revel in victory, spend the rest of his life smoking cigars and sleeping on stacks of money?” Daniel Corey wondered. “Probably not. I think he’d fall on hard times, and it would take one heck of an event - say, a World War - to jolt him back to life.”

Corey continued, "Moriarty's not an evil person - not in his own mind. In working with Anthony Diecidue to create this series, I thought we’d take a look at things from Moriarty’s perspective, get to know his thoughts. Along the way, we could see him delve into some mind-blowing deductive reasoning, get into a few sword fights, decipher riddles and discover technology 50 years ahead of its time. Would we expect any less from the original super-villain?"

When comics tackle literary characters with the statute of Moriarty they can be pretty great. It's always nice to see a new take and I like to think that this one could really give Moriarty the chance to showcase his true evil. As long as he doesn't end up facing up against Holmes every issue I think we'll be ok. Full press release after the jump.

IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT SHERLOCK
Moriarty Offers a New Take on Literature’s Original Super-Villain

Berkeley, CA - February 22, 2011 - Image Comics presents another new title as well as some exciting new talent with MORIARTY, a collaboration from the up and coming creative team of writer Daniel Corey and artist Anthony Diecidue. This new series, set to debut in May, will follow the world’s greatest criminal mastermind as he adjusts to life without a foil.

Although the venerable series created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle covered a great deal of ground, it left one question unanswered: What would happen if Professor Moriarty finally achieved mortal victory over his ages old nemesis? With Diecidue's art evoking the dark and foreboding atmosphere of London after dark, Corey will show readers how he imagines the story without a Sherlock Holmes.

“Would Moriarty revel in victory, spend the rest of his life smoking cigars and sleeping on stacks of money?” Daniel Corey wondered. “Probably not. I think he’d fall on hard times, and it would take one heck of an event - say, a World War - to jolt him back to life.”

Corey continued, "Moriarty's not an evil person - not in his own mind. In working with Anthony Diecidue to create this series, I thought we’d take a look at things from Moriarty’s perspective, get to know his thoughts. Along the way, we could see him delve into some mind-blowing deductive reasoning, get into a few sword fights, decipher riddles and discover technology 50 years ahead of its time. Would we expect any less from the original super-villain?"

MORIARTY #1, a 32 page full-color science fiction noir comic book, is in stores in May 2011 for $2.99.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Arrivals: February 23, 2011

February is almost gone and spring is almost sprung. One more new comic day this month to fill your comic shelf coffers with a smattering of new books for your reading pleasure. I've got one you should consider and it's all about your typical family issues. It's Abyss: Family Issues #1.

Writer Kevin Rubio and artist Alfonso Ruiz features Eric Hoffman taking over his father's fortune, lair, robot and Abyss costume. With all that though he can't escape the supervillain legacy. Naturally, it would be time for a scandal on his mother's side to change his life.


Defense With the BoomPick
There a lot of good titles coming out tomorrow, including the new Captain America, Deadpool, Who is Jake Ellis...all real solid comics. In addition to all the greats coming out there is also Muppet Sherlock Holmes proving that when there are Muppets involved you know it will be good.

The star of the series as Sherlock Holmes himself is Gonzo and the ever loveable Fozzie bear as Dr. Watson. The duo go about the streets of Muppet London to solve cases and save the day with each issue of the four part series being its own mystery. This is a title you can't beat as for only ten bucks you get four complete mysteries with all of your favorite Muppet characters thrown in.



Enjoy!

New Arrivals: February 23, 2011

Review - Echoes #2


Echoes #2 has hit stores and in it Joshua Hale Fialkov and Rahsan Ekedal continue telling the tale of Brian Cohn, a man forced to come to terms with his recently deceased father's grisly secret. That secret? The small cache of dolls found in his basement created from the flesh of his victims. For as disgusting as that sounds it's not what's shown that gets you most with Echoes; it's what's not shown that is truly frightening.

The second issue features Brian still reeling from his discovery. The fact that he's already plagued with sometimes debilitating mental illness only makes it that much more difficult to cope with his father's decisions. That's the first powerful thing about this comic that I love. Brian's father confesses to his sins on his deathbed, leaving no chance for Brian to talk it out with his father to learn more about his decisions.

To someone with schizophrenia being left with that gaping hole of unknown is terrifying, as evidenced by Brian's hearing his dead father in his thoughts. In fact, the entire issue follows Brian struggling to return to a normal routine. Typically, when faced with the death of a loved one there is a grieving period and returning to "normal" is difficult enough as it is. When you factor in Brian's doubts about himself as a person as a result of his father's confession you have a LOT more room for him to break down.

I also really like how Brian is characterized. There are a couple of pages of him questioning himself, overlayed on smaller panels of some of the dolls he found. There's another panel where you can see he's slightly overweight and I feel that makes him very relatable. I'm not saying we're all overweight schizophrenics, but depicting him that way allows the reader to connect more readily making it that much more unsettling. He's not a super jacked up twenty something, feigning mental illness. He's an average, slightly overweight late thirty/early forty something adjusting to a new reality.

This is a book meant to assault your thoughts and idea of reality and it does a marvelous job in doing so. Probably the greatest part of the issue though has to do with the ending. I won't spoil it because it's a great twist but we're beginning to see the full extent of Brian's doubts. Fialkov has done a superb job in telling the story of a man teetering on the brink of insanity. I'm really digging what Fialkov and Ekedal are doing with Echoes. Fialkov's dialogue is masterfully crafted and paired perfectly with Ekedal's chilling grayscaled illustrations. It's a slow, steady descent into madness and we're all along for the ride.

The book is in stores now and is published by Minotaur Press (a Top Cow imprint).

Mouse Guard and The Dark Crystal Going the Free Comic Route


I'm a big fan of free. It's the bee's knees as they say. Free Comic Book Day is a day that has grown in popularity and continues to be awesome despite having the same theme every year. Since it's in May, we're going to start seeing more and more publishers releasing news on their entries into the freeness. Archaia is getting the ball rolling here with Mouse Guard/The Dark Crystal Free Comic Book Day Flipbook.

The 32 pager is written by David Petersen and Brian Holguin and illustrated by Petersen and Alex Shekiman (Mouse Guard cover by Petersen and The Dark Crystal cover by Brian Froud). The two new stories chronicle another adventure featuring everyone's favorite mice warriors and gives true fans a treat. The Dark Crystal side is a prequel to the upcoming graphic novels of the same name and features covers, art direction and concepts by Brian Froud. It begins the story of the world of Thra.

If the above two weren't enough to get you to grab this free issue within you haul, there's also going to be a sneak peek of Jim McCann and Janet Lee's Time of the Dapper Men due this fall. AND there's an advance look at the Tale of Sand, an original graphic novel based on a never-before-seen screenplay from Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl.


Peanuts Go Kaboom!


BOOM! Studios has just released a kid's imprint called Kaboom! (aptly called that I'd say). One of the new titles being released under the banner will be Peanuts. Is it not enough that we have to see Charlie Brown suffer in comic strips and holiday specials that we need a comic book?

All I can hope is that Lucy goes easier on him in the comic. I'm not optimistic though.

Stay tuned for details.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)



I have to admit I wasn’t super wowed with the first Thor trailer. Maybe it was the costumes. It just seemed a little Tim Burton-ish, to me. A little too larger than life. But now- NOW- with the second trailer blazing across the internet, I find myself jumping everytime I hear the name, searching through pages of internet rumor and gossip. O Mighty Odin- WHY is May so far AWAY!? Two months? It’s not fair.

If I was going to give an award to the Marvel comic that has transitioned, I think, from least likely to captivate an audience in the modern era to most wildly and epic story you could be spending your five bucks on it would be this comic. I’ve said this before but I suspect this Thor movie is going to bridge the gap between what (to me, anyway) are the two greatest incarnations of the character.

The first is Walt Simonson’s run in the 80’s which I’ve already elaborated on in a few past posts. Long story short, Simonson made the cast and mythology of Thor sort of come alive. Up until Simonson, I always kind of felt like Thor was a ridiculously powerful guy, flying around in a cap and cape, fighting bank robbers. It was ludicrous. Yet everyone knew he was the Norse God of Thunder and they were fine with that. It just DIDN’T add up.

Under Simonson’s dedicated hand we got an upfront seat to the alien and breath-taking Asgardian ‘Nine Worlds’ as well as all the relationships and ambitions of the Norse Gods and their brethren- Odin, Sif, Heimdall, Baldur, etc. Even long-time sappy Thor villains like Amora (the Enchantress) and her love-struck henchmen Skurge (the Executioner) developed a complexity and personality that made them compelling. Simonson’s Thor is like Shakespeare. Or modern day Arthurian and Greek myth. This run on Thor really IS this epic. Skurge’s death (while, like all comic book deaths, has recently come into dispute, but, to Marvel’s credit, they let this one ride for about twenty years) is still one of my all time favorite moments in all of Marvel history. Seriously I won’t ruin it for you with the details, but it’s so poetically badass it’s practically heartbreaking. I’m always surprised people don’t notice this more, in their top ten lists of Marvel deaths or whatever!

And Simonson’s stuff was all very self-contained. The Thor ‘universe’ suddenly became a BIG place for Thor and his buddies, sort of like how elaborate X-Men had been for so long. Thor, the individual comic, suddenly really didn’t need cameos and crossovers to get by. It's more like the events unfolding in the comic seemed so pressing and central, it was tough to fit the events of others comics in the same scope. It kind of dominated, in a way. Now all that being said, who's the other great Thor that I suspect is going to be brought to bear in this movie? Mark Millar’s Ultimate Thor (introduced in Ultimates- in the spotlight for what seems now like far, far too short. Oh Ultimate Marvel- what did they do to you? Just when you were turning into something great.).

I have never seen anyone portray the CHARACTER as well as Millar. That is, not just that you, the reader, understand Thor’s motivations and personality. But exactly what it’s like to have Thor walking around, in our world. Notably, it’s the following touches that Millar put in there that I think really just bring it home: 1. Thor is all about nature. As the God of a natural force, Thor is more into letting nature (and, events) run their course than he is into letting humans scramble around chopping down trees and putting up skyscrapers left and right. It isn’t that Thor doesn’t come to love- and even champion- the human race. It’s just that destroying whaling ships in the Atlantic ocean is actually more likely to be on his agenda than stopping a bank robbery. 2. Thor does not work for ‘the man’. The God of Thunder doesn’t exactly go around taking orders from government employees. Hell, from Thor’s perspective human governments are petty children compared to the Asgardian one. In fact, Thor might very well decide that he doesn’t like something that America or China or Russia is doing and he has absolutely no moral compunction against taking action to stop it.

My favorite scene from the Millar’s Ultimates features a Sam L. Jackson based Nick Fury hitting up Thor for an Ultimates (Avengers) membership. The dialogue is lazy, cynical- kind of giving you the impression that they’ve already had this conversation too many times and now they’re just going through the motions as a joke? Fury says: “C’mon Thor. I thought you said you were here to save the world.” Thor’s respone: “Oh, I AM here to save it, Colonel Fury. From people like you.” 3. Thor sounds like a paranoid schizophrenic. Seriously! Like I said before it just doesn’t add up, right? If some blond guy with a hammer started spouting off about the Rainbow Bridge and frost giants you’d think he was crazy, right? So he’s a big guy with a hammer talking crazy talk! Isn’t that a little worrying? I’d love to see some of this subtle tension in the actual Avengers movie. Throughout Millar’s run, Cap and Iron Man seem to ‘tolerate’ Thor more than accept him. Everytime he starts to go off about his father, Odin, and Ragnarok you can just picture them shooting glances at each other out of the corner of their eyes.

This tension finally boils over when Thor insists that his half-brother Loki has traveled from another world as part of a plan to conquer all of reality leading the Ultimates to actually hunt Thor down for psychiatric treatment. Of course, what I REALLY love about this is that little element of doubt- just that little opening- for Loki to grab onto and use. Loki’s greatest weapon to use against Thor is, of course, trickery. And in this case maybe just convincing the God of Thunder, and everyone around him, that he and Thor don’t exist is his greatest trick. Could all of Asgard just be in Thor’s head? I mean, it isn’t like anyone has been practicing the Norse religion any time recently. So with no followers to speak of and being supposedly ‘banished’ to ‘Midgard’ who’s to say Thor ISN’T some former mental patient who’s developed some wild delusions? Will the God of Thunder be able to do much…if he doesn’t even believe that he’s real?

The Mighty Thor #1 Simonson Variant


Walt Simonson knows Thor very well (ask Tedd). Seeing as how there's a new movie coming out Marvel is pulling out all the stops to ensure that Thor gets all the reminiscing treatment imaginable, including getting Simonson to illustrate a cover for The Mighty Thor #1. He teams up with Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel to take Thor to the edges of the Marvel Universe to save Asgard from Galactus. The issue hits stores April 27 but you can enjoy the cover above.

Jeremy Haun Picks Up Art for Artifacts


Remember a few weeks ago when Jeremy Haun was announced as having signed officially with Top Cow? His work on Berserker probably had you convinced that the already was officially with them, but not it's official official. And Top Cow's not one to waste talent, as their brand new toy is being put to work on their flagship series in Artifacts #9-12. Haun is the latest artist after Michael Broussard and Whilce Portacio and is expected to add his own style to the massive storyline.

Jeremy Haun said, "I've been looking for a project for quite a while where I can really grow as an artist and produce something truly epic that I can be proud of. Artifacts is just that project. I can't wait for people to see what Ron and I are doing on the book. It's going to be... BIG."

"All writers have lists of artists they want to work with." commented Ron Marz. "Jeremy has been on my list for a while, so I'm really pleased ARTIFACTS is going to be our chance to collaborate."

Marz added, "Of course, with the epic scale of the storyline, and literally dozens of characters taking part, I intend to leave Jeremy a broken man ... er, artist ... by the time we hit the last page of issue #12."

Artifacts #9 hits stores May 25 for $3.99. And Jeremy, we know you're not a toy. Although, if you were, you would probably come with an "M" rating. Full press release after the jump.

JEREMY HAUN PICKS UP ARTIFACTS
Announcing New Official Artist for Artifacts #9 -12

Berkeley, CA - February 18, 2011 - As the final act of ARTIFACTS draws near, Top Cow proudly announces that Jeremy Haun (Berserker, Detective Comics) will be the official artist for issues 9 through 12 of this star-studded epic series. After recently becoming a Top Cow exclusive artist, Haun will now bring Ron Marz’s potentially cataclysmic ARTIFACTS story to its conclusion before he tackles his scheduled ongoing run on The Darkness.

Many great artists have preceded Haun on this title, including the recent contributions of Michael Broussard (formerly of Top Cow’s Pit) and original Image co-founder Whilce Portacio. In addition, the 13th issue of ARTIFACTS will feature a not yet announced special guest artist for this comic book that Comic Book Resources called, “...a world-changing, landscape-sweeping carnage-filled adventure.”

Jeremy Haun said, "I've been looking for a project for quite a while where I can really grow as an artist and produce something truly epic that I can be proud of. Artifacts is just that project. I can't wait for people to see what Ron and I are doing on the book. It's going to be... BIG."

"All writers have lists of artists they want to work with." commented Ron Marz. "Jeremy has been on my list for a while, so I'm really pleased ARTIFACTS is going to be our chance to collaborate."

Marz added, "Of course, with the epic scale of the storyline, and literally dozens of characters taking part, I intend to leave Jeremy a broken man ... er, artist ... by the time we hit the last page of issue #12."

Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik stated, "All of us at Top Cow are thrilled to have Jeremy Haun as part of the Top Cow family and when we realized he'd have a 6+ month lead up to The Darkness the perfect opportunity presented itself to make him part of our biggest event ever!"

As apocalypse approaches in ARTIFACTS, how will Witchblade bearer Sara Pezzini and Darkness bearer Jackie Estacado’s daughter Hope influence the ultimate battle for the fate of the Top Cow universe?

ARTIFACTS #9, a 32 page full-color comic book by writer Ron Marz and artist Jeremy Haun, with covers by Eric Canete, Dale Keown and John Tyler Christopher, is in stores on May 25, 2011 for $3.99.

Darkwing Duck: Crisis on Infinite Darkwings

Crisis on Infinite Earths is one of the most notable crossover events ever created by any publisher. The yearlong epic gave us the memorable cover of Superman carrying a dead Supergirl and was the first of an unofficial three-part trilogy (alongside Identity Crisis and Final Crisis). Enough crazy crisis backstory for you? Good, because none of it will help you understand the upcoming Darkwing Duck: Crisis on Infinite Darkwings, other than perhaps you can clearly see where BOOM! got the inspiration for the title.

Written by Ian Brill and illustrated by James Silvani, Darkwing Duck: Crisis on Infinite Darkwings features Darkwing Duck facing off against an army of twisted Darkwings under the control of Negaduck and Magica De Spell.

“It's more Darkwings than you'll know what to do with!” says BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher. “The Darkwing dynamic duo of Ian Brill and James Silvani truly outdid themselves in this arc, combining action, hilarity and not to mention a metric ton of Easter eggs all throughout. This is a volume Darkwing and comics fans alike need to get!”

The TPB collects Darking Duck #5-8 and ships this April for $14.99. Full press release after the jump.

DARKWING DUCK: CRISIS ON INFINITE DARKWINGS TPB COMING THIS APRIL!

February 18, 2011 - Los Angeles, CA - This April marks the return of your favorite masked mallard as the smash-hit DARKWING DUCK continues with a brand new trade paperback, CRISIS ON INFINITE DARKWINGS! Fan-favorite author Ian Brill (CHIP 'N' DALE RESCUE RANGERS) and phenomenal artist James Silvani (MUPPET KING ARTHUR) bring you the latest and greatest volume of the St. Canard crime fighter in this tale of too many Darkwings! Whether you're a loyal fan or just jumping aboard you won't want to miss DARKWING DUCK: CRISIS ON INFINITE DARKWINGS coming this April to a comic shop near you!

“It's more Darkwings than you'll know what to do with!” says BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher. “The Darkwing dynamic duo of Ian Brill and James Silvani truly outdid themselves in this arc, combining action, hilarity and not to mention a metric ton of Easter eggs all throughout. This is a volume Darkwing and comics fans alike need to get!”

In DARKWING DUCK: CRISIS ON INFINITE DARKWINGS you'll see that Darkwing Duck is back, and back, and back and back some more as the city of St. Canard is under siege by an army of twisted Darkwings under the control of the original deranged Darkwing double, Negaduck, and his new partner in crime, the wicked witch Magica De Spell! How will our hero dispense justice when he's public enemy number one?!

DARKWING DUCK: CRISIS ON INFINITE DARKWINGS collects issues #5-8 of the fan-favorite DARKWING DUCK ongoing series written by Ian Brill with art by James Silvani. This trade collection ships in April and carries a price point of $14.99 with a Diamond Code of FEB110863 and ISBN of 9781608866267.

About BOOM! Studios
Award-winning "Best Publisher" BOOM! Studios(www.boom-studios.com) generates a constellation of bestselling comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent, including the bestselling Mark Waid series IRREDEEMABLE, Stan Lee's SOLDIER ZERO, THE TRAVELER, and STARBORN (the first new series in print from the industry icon in 20 years), new HELLRAISER comics written by Clive Barker as well as 20th Century Fox's PLANET OF THE APES, 28 DAYS LATER, and DIE HARD, Philip K. Dick's DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, and The Henson Company's FARSCAPE. BOOM!'s youth imprint, BOOM Kids!, is an undisputed industry leader, publishing Disney/Pixar's THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, and TOY STORY, as well as Disney's THE MUPPETS, MICKEY MOUSE, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE, and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES.

Disney Publishing Worldwide
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, with over 250 million children’s books sold and around 400 children’s magazines titles published each year. DPW's business units include Global Children's Magazines, Disney Family Fun Group, Disney English, and Disney Global Book Group. Disney Global Books and Global Magazines encompass a tremendous worldwide licensing structure; Disney Book Group consists of vertically integrated publishing imprints in the U.S. which include Disney Editions, Disney-Hyperion, Disney-Jump at the Sun and Disney Press. In addition, Disney Libri, DPW's Italian vertical operation, publishes books for children of all ages. DPW's Disney FamilyFun Group publishes Disney FamilyFun and Disney en Familia. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Disney Publishing Worldwide publishes books and magazines in 85 languages in 75 countries.

Friday, February 18, 2011

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 figured any day or week in this zombie world could be worst then the one before, but this past week and yesterday especially take the cake. It has been bad news day in and day out around the world in addition to the woes going on around this area. For us we've had zombies hitting us in droves for days, finally getting them cleared out this morning. It was not without great costs though as a number of people died in the fighting as well as the ammo and supplies lost during this siege. When the day finally comes with no more zombies I'm not sure what I would to celebrate that moment, but I hope it's a day I see.

Once again no good news to report about as I've still been hearing broadcasts go out requesting help with evacuations and in pushing back zombie attacks. On top of that a lot of places have stopped broadcasting completely meaning they have either fled, been rescued or been overrun by zombies. Most of the southeastern United States safe spots and peoples are the quietest. A lot of spots in the United Kingdom have also gone dark along with Portugal, Turkey and many more places; really hasn’t been a great few days anywhere. It might be a few weeks before all of this sorts itself out and we get a final tally on how many of us are actually left when are able to broadcast under better conditions. That’s all for the bad news, because now it’s time for the tip.

For the tip today it will be on how to make a plow for the front of a vehicle that can be useful to shove other cars and zombies out of your way. The easiest way to reach this goal is to find a snow plow truck somewhere, but you can't do that everywhere so here is how you can make one. The materials you'll need to collect are a car trunk lid and hoods from two cars and a mallet. Use the mallet to beat the metal into flatter pieces before attempting to combine it all together for the plow.

If you have access to welding equipment I suggest that method for combining the pieces as it's a lot stronger and can make the plow take more beatings. Another method to put the pieces together is to use bolts with ropes by binding the trunk lid to the hood in pairs of two in addition to using the mallet to work one end of each piece into a triangle hook so the two pieces can interlock. To attach all this to the vehicle to make the pieces form a big V without welding is to position them in the V shape and then attach ropes on the inside of the V to the car. So long as they stay tight and secure it will keep it in the right shape.

Until next week keep surviving.

Return of the Dapper Men Available for Reordering


Have you read Return fo the Dapper Men? The work by Jim McCann and Janet Lee is truly phenomenal and could possibly become a classic story that will be told to children for years and years. It's a truly imaginative work that has only grown in popularity since its release in November 2010. Such success has bred a second printing, giving retailers and readers the chance to get a copy if they missed out the first time.

“The continued support and love that fans have expressed for this book along with the positive word of mouth it’s still getting months after release continues to astound and humble Janet and I as creators,” said Jim McCann, writer of RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN. “We’ve had everything from starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal to major newspapers and webcasts, and all have been overwhelming in their praise. It’s exciting to see as we begin work on the second volume of the Dapper Men trilogy, TIME OF THE DAPPER MEN.”

The 128 page hardcover is $24.95 is a modern twist on classic fairy tales. The work is a great look at steampunk fantasy with an Art Nouveau feel. Plus it's chock full of pinstripe suits and dapper bowler hats. It wouldn't features "dapper men" in the title if it didn't boast those.

“It’s great to see that even a few months after release, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is selling stronger than ever,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy. “We’re happy that Jim and Janet have truly launched a new Archaia franchise with this title, and we can’t wait for readers to see what they’re cooking up for TIME OF THE DAPPER MEN and WORLD OF THE DAPPER MEN, the next two books in the DAPPER trilogy.”

Diamond customers can use Order Code: SEP10 0782. For others, use the book’s ISBN: 978-1932386905. Check out Omnicomic's review of the book here if you need more motivation. Full press release after the jump.

‘RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN’ IS MORE POPULAR THAN EVER! RETAILERS AND FANS CAN RE-ORDER THE BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Los Angeles, CA (February 17, 2011) – A recent spike in sales of Archaia’s critically acclaimed original graphic novel RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN has proven that the book has become increasingly popular since it was first published in November 2010, and with the second printing of the book now healthily in stock, retailers and readers can re-order the book with confidence.

As an example, during the weekend of February 5-6, 2011, sales of RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN on Amazon.com soared to its highest volume yet, ranking at #7 in the Graphic Novels category (#2 in the Fantasy sub-category), and breaking the top 1,000 of books overall, thanks in part to a review of the book on “The Totally Rad Show,” which can be seen at this link: http://revision3.com/trs/dapperman.

“The continued support and love that fans have expressed for this book along with the positive word of mouth it’s still getting months after release continues to astound and humble Janet and I as creators,” said Jim McCann, writer of RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN. “We’ve had everything from starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal to major newspapers and webcasts, and all have been overwhelming in their praise. It’s exciting to see as we begin work on the second volume of the Dapper Men trilogy, TIME OF THE DAPPER MEN.”

A visual tour de force, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN (hardcover, full color, 128 pages, 9.5” x 11”, $24.95), is the debut graphic novel from the minds of award-winning writer Jim McCann (Hawkeye & Mockingbird) and critically acclaimed gallery artist Janet Lee (Emma). A modern twist on classic fairy tales, this is a story about growing up, childhood fears and examining the origins of a world and the things that inhabit it. The incredible decoupage art style combines steampunk fantasy and science fiction with Art Nouveau for a truly unique and groundbreaking book, all sharply dressed in a pinstripe suit and a dapper bowler hat.

“It’s great to see that even a few months after release, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is selling stronger than ever,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy. “We’re happy that Jim and Janet have truly launched a new Archaia franchise with this title, and we can’t wait for readers to see what they’re cooking up for TIME OF THE DAPPER MEN and WORLD OF THE DAPPER MEN, the next two books in the DAPPER trilogy.”

Retailers: RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is currently available for re-order. Diamond customers, use Order Code: SEP10 0782. For others, use the book’s ISBN: 978-1932386905.

Fans: RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is available at your local comics shop (LCS) or wherever books are sold. To find an LCS nearest you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com/, or call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK.

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, The Black Knight, Bleedout, 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.

For more information on Archaia or any Archaia titles please visit www.Archaia.com. Archaia can also be found on Facebook (facebook.com/archaiacomics), Twitter (twitter.com/archaiacomics) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ArchaiaEntertainment).

Life After Savage Dragon


Contrary to popular belief, there is life after Savage Dragon. In Savage Dragon #169 inhabitants of the Windy City are forced to cope with the new reality that Malcom Dragon is the new defender of the city. I guess I should mention that his father, Savage Dragon, has died.

"In the last couple years, Dragon went from being a cop to being the greatest menace to ever appear in this book," said Image Comics founder and creator of SAVAGE DRAGON Erik Larsen. "Characters in SAVAGE DRAGON change just like people do in the real world. Malcolm didn't even exist when the series started, but readers have been there to see him grow from a baby to a guy old enough to star in his own book. This is a big step for him and a big turning point for the series. It's an exciting time for everybody."

The brand new chapter in the Savage Dragon saga hits stores February 23. It's being touted as a great jumping on point for new fans, so if you've been looking to get into the work of Erik Larsen this is your chance. Full press release after the jump.

LIFE AFTER DEATH OF SAVAGE DRAGON?

Malcolm Dragon Has Some Big Shoes to Fill in Savage Dragon #169

Berkeley, CA - February 16, 2011 - A changing of the guard is taking place next week in Chicago. Having lost its great protector, citizens of the Windy City and the family of Officer Dragon must face a new reality. Issue 169 provides a great starting point for new readers or those that wish to be reintroduced to this no-holds-barred superhero comic that includes plenty of heavy-hitting fist-a-cuffs, good-natured humor and universal themes at a time of great change for the characters.

As Malcolm Dragon, son of the famous (sometimes infamous) Savage Dragon, copes with the final loss of a superhero father who had not always been a reliable presence in his life, he must fend off nefarious villains and ne'er-do-wells. Malcolm may feel unprepared to assume such weighty responsibilities, as he must also deal with a life filled with the normal awkardness of being a teenager and feeling out of place, as well as the damaged legacy left behind by his father.

"In the last couple years, Dragon went from being a cop to being the greatest menace to ever appear in this book," said Image Comics founder and creator of SAVAGE DRAGON Erik Larsen. "Characters in SAVAGE DRAGON change just like people do in the real world. Malcolm didn't even exist when the series started, but readers have been there to see him grow from a baby to a guy old enough to star in his own book. This is a big step for him and a big turning point for the series. It's an exciting time for everybody."

SAVAGE DRAGON began in 1992, but the character was originally conceived of during Larsen's childhood. Since the beginning, the story has moved forward in real time, including the gradual growth and aging of characters. Now the young Savage Dragon that sought to fight crime in the early '90s is gone, but Chicago still needs a hero. Enter: Malcolm Dragon!

SAVAGE DRAGON #169 (DEC100491), a 32 page full-color comic book, is in stores on February 23, 2011 for $3.50.

New Thor Trailer


It was a scant two or so weeks ago that we got a glimpse at a new trailer for Thor during the Super Bowl. That trailer featured a lot of the same stuff as earlier trailers: explosions, screaming gods and Natalie Portman (approve). The new trailer has a lot of the same stuff (plus more Portman) but also fleshes out the actual story a bit more.

Sure, we know that Thor is banished from Asgard for whatever reason, but it really does appear that Thor will be an Earthbound movie. Hold on though Ness fans, not that kind of Earthbound. Rather, it looks to show Thor arriving on Earth, taking a liking to its inhabitants (most notably Portman) and then defending it against whatever evil Loki has in store for it. Typical Thor storyline.

Check out the new trailer after the jump. Did I mention it has lots of Natalie Portman in it?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review - Fly #1-3


Every now and then a comic comes out that puts a newer spin on how superpowers can come about in people and what consequences that might carry. What if I told you there was a new drug out there that could give you a whole new high by letting you fly? I think most people would want to give that a try. I could imagine one little catch though: drug users aren’t always the people with the best moral compass. Would you be able to pass up on all the bad things possible with superpowers? Let’s just say you'll get a good look at superpowered people that are not so super in Fly. I have a feeling that Fly is going to be one exciting and horrific – at least for some of the people in this title – ride.

The story follows current and past Eddie Patron with the acts of his youth come together with the consequences of the future. Unfortunately for Eddie his decisions seem to be coming back to haunt him. His childhood friend Francis and former wife Danielle also seem to be intertwined in the events that are slowly spinning out of control. We're also introduced to some mysterious villains that seem to have truly devastating powers and a personal grudge that connects them to our main trio of characters.

I've always liked stories told through present day and flashback sequences intertwined together. It gives you the opportunity to mix in action with character development without feeling like the story is stalling. The action here is plentiful and pretty crazy. Just in case you think flying – when you aren’t doing it I suppose – is boring, let me assure you that I have a feeling the drug will end up allowing more than just that.

Raven Gregory has created a world where superheroes don’t seem to mind crossing the line to being evil and Zenescope is more than happy to produce it for us. Through three issues I already sympathize for Eddie and the predicament he has found himself in. It usually takes me a little longer than that to get connected to a character. He faces some truly powerful foes from his checkered past and broken present life. He is the hero, but that doesn’t mean he is necessarily a “good” guy.

Eric J's artwork appropriately matches the raw emotion many of the characters seem to display, while Michael Garcia and Nei Ruffino do a great job with the colors. The artwork does a great job of conveying the emotional state of the various characters, and also makes it pretty convincing when they are suffering some cruel and unusual punishment.

I’m impressed with this title about drug induced superpowers gone bad. Fly is coming out in June so keep your eyes peeled until then as there are some seriously talented people working on it and I think it will provide a different and entertaining twist to the other superpower titles out there.

Aspen Comics Solicitations May 2011


It's not May yet, but that shouldn't stop you from planning on what comics to get when that month arrives. There are three big ones they've got coming out, including Charismagic #3, Soulfire Vol. 3 #2 and Fathom Vol. 4 #1.

Charismagic #3 has Hank, Sudana and Sparkles arriving at the Los Angeles International Airport in desperate need of an airplane to Costa Rica. Meanwhile, Samsun is face to face with a coven of dark witches in New Orleans seeking to destroy the mighty wizard Kon. It's written by Vince Hernandez and illustrated by Khary Randolph (Emilio Lopez on colors) and is due in stores May 25th.

Soulfire Vol. 3 #2 features the shattered alliance between Rahtumi and the Sethoru and a fully powered Onyx leading the charge into the kingdom of Anantia. Meanwhile, Malikai and Paul discover more about each other in a Russian mining town as told by J.T. Krul and illustrated by Jason Fabok (John Starr on colors). The issue hits stores May 18 for $2.99.

Finally, Aspen Comics' own spokeswoman herself returns in Fathom Vol 4. #1 by Scott Lobdell and illustrated by Alex Konat (Beth Sotelo on colors). Aspen Matthews is back byt dealing with the fallout from Blue and Black being exposed to the rest of the world. The first issue of the new volume is being heralded as a good spot for new readers to jump in and learn more about Aspen and her world. May 18 for $2.99.

Full solicitations and covers after the jump.

CHARISMAGIC #3
Vince Hernandez – Story / Khary Randolph – Art / Emilio Lopez - Colors

Everything you thought you knew about magic will…Vanish.

Journey into a world where the lines between magic and reality are blurred…And where one man will soon find himself as the last remaining hope for all mankind.

Hank, Sudana and Sparkles arrive at the Los Angeles Int Airport in search of a plane to fly to Costa Rica. Yet, their departure from the City of Angels proves to be far more deadly than they imagined. In New Orleans, Samsun encounters a coven of dark witches, who inform the malevolent being of their shared ambition—to find and destroy the mighty wizard, Kon. While in the Void Realm, Hector and Alle attempt to find a way to escape. But in their struggle, the pair manages to draw the ire of the shaman Serké’s insect drones, plunging them deeper into the abyss of the Void.

Created and written by Aspen’s own Vince Hernandez, with stunning art by Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez, make sure to open your eyes to the exciting new world of CHARISMAGIC!

CHARISMAGIC #3 is in stores May 25th, 2011!

$2.99 for 32 pages.




SOULFIRE (VOL 3) #2

J.T. Krul – Writer / Jason Fabok – Art / John Starr – Colors

The magic has returned! But, this time…the light has grown dark.

The alliance between the Rahtumi and the Sethoru is devastatingly shattered in a bloodbath in the Everlands! With the unrivaled venomous power now surging through her, Onyx leads the charge into the magical kingdom of Anantia…along with an army of horrific locust creatures seeking to devour anything in their path! And as the battle falls into darkness under the might of the evil army, not everyone will survive! Far away in a Russian mining town, Malikai and Paula discover more about each other, as their paths become intertwined in strange—and deadly ways.

New adversaries, exotic locations, and a fresh cast of exciting characters, including some from the Soulfire Universe’s long forgotten past, reign supreme in this epic third SOULFIRE volume!

Brought to you by red-hot writer J.T. Krul, with art by talented Aspen newcomer Jason Fabok, along with colorist John Starr, the latest volume of Michael Turner’s thrilling fantasy-adventure SOULFIRE series continues!

SOULFIRE (VOL 3) #2 is in stores May 18th, 2011!

$2.99 for 32 pages.




FATHOM (vol 4) #1
Scott Lobdell – Writer / Alex Konat – Pencils / Beth Sotelo – Colors

Michael Turner’s Fathom makes its return for the sensational fourth volume!

Aspen Matthews is back once again! But now, Aspen must deal with the global ramifications of the Blue and Black’s exposure to the rest of the world. However, this is an Aspen that is through being manipulated by the outside forces surrounding her life. It’s a brave new world for her and the rest of the cast of FATHOM, as they must attempt to piece together the fragments of a world shattered by the knowledge of their existence.

With FATHOM’s long awaited return at hand, some new creators and several familiar names are along for the ride! Artist extraordinaire Alex Konat of Mindfield fame is joined by acclaimed writer Scott Lobdell, a newcomer to the world of FATHOM, but ready to make his mark on the series unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Colorist Beth Sotelo also joins the FATHOM family and brings her lush color pallet to the world of the Blue!

For the legions of FATHOM fans who have been waiting to see Aspen in her element, taking control of her life, now is the time to jump on in—the water’s just fine!

FATHOM #1 is in stores May 18th, 2011!

$2.99 for 32 pages.