Monday, January 31, 2011

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


WHOA- Deadman! Big hero these days! Lead role in Brightest Day practically. I mean, it makes sense. Blackest Night was all about DEATH and Brightest Day is all about LIFE. Who better to put centerstage in a story about some of the biggest names in the DCU coming back (after far too long, I might add)? I’ve had it a bit with the whole constant revamping of superheroes…I like that these are the ORIGINALS- Aquaman, Firestorm, Hawk, Hawkman, Hawkwoman. Boston Brand, of course- supernatural spirit; not quite dead, not quite alive.

I’ve got something else to say about all this, though, and it might not be what you expect. So follow me on this.

The last ten, fifteen years has been a new age for comics, I think. I’ve lost track of what the names are exactly; if it’s number, or brands of metal, or whatever. And here, I think, is what the new age of comics is all about: re-telling. That’s right- revamping and re-telling older stories. It’s sort of like the art of modernizing, updating and refining a story that’s already been told. So Superman: Man of Steel revises Superman’s origin in the 1980’s, but oh, Superman: Birthright comes along a few years later, and- LO and BEHOLD, Superman: Secret Origins does a nice job of blending both origin stories and even adding a few bits and pieces from Smallville. This is the new process. Every time, we get a little better telling of the story. Every time, we add a few details that make the characters better connected, make the themes in it a little more pertinent to the modern day. Thus: Batman- Adam West, Batman- Tim Burton, Batman- Christopher Nolan. See what I mean?

Now, this has been a GOOD thing for DC comics I think. I mean, let’s face it- with a few exceptions, DC’s characters just didn’t have the same…longevity, that the Marvel characters had. A lot of times? I think it might have just been poor planning. People like to make fun of superhero names and Marvel has a few in there that are easy to take cracks at (although, I’m not sure if anyone makes fun of these characters better than Marvel themselves)- ‘Stilt Man’ comes to mind. But DC? If you pick a noun, verb, or adjective and attach a color or ‘man’ or ‘woman’ to the front or back end? That character exists. It’s a DC comics character.

They’re obscure, they’ve only been featured in like three issues. But they exist. I swear. It’s like they were just picking names and weren’t worried too much about the depth of the character, sometimes. Deadman always struck me as this type. It was sort of like they just decided ‘hey- what about DEAD-man…that sounds cool, right?’ without REALLY taking the time to think "how’s this going to fit in the DCU? Does it kind of ‘work’, in the big picture?" Nowadays Deadman isn’t exactly a nobody (well he is, in the sense that he’s a ghost…ah, you know what I meant). He’s gotten ‘serviced’ by the DC writers in that he's been given a personality, a fleshed out mythology and origin story and THAT’S what this age is all about, I think. Bringing an old, out-of-date story to life (no pun intended).

Sure, Doom Patrol had its heyday in the fifties but nobody remembers them now. DC gave the team a reboot but that reboot stays TRUE to the source material. THAT’S the catch. No one wants some hyped up, overhauled book that doesn’t resemble its predecessor. I think the comic industry learned this the hard way in the nineties. Make something old new and not break from tradition. All of which is just a long, roundabout way of saying me likey. Really, I dig the continuity. I like that DC has got the most recognizable versions of their characters back in place: Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Arthur Curry…yes, even Bruce Wayne (kind of copped out quick here, didn’t we DC? C’mon- would another year have hurt? Just to see what it would have been like?)

It’ll be interesting what picks up as the next movement in storytelling for the superhero genre, you know? Tough to imagine…

Preview - Fantastic Four #588

Well, Marvel has already killed off one of the members of the Fantastic Four. You probably already know by now who it is thanks to Marvel alerting the mainstream media, but I'm not going to say just in case you still haven't open that polybag. Anywho, the last step in the "destruction" of the Fantastic Four is the end of their series with Fantastic Four #588.

From Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta and Mark Brooks, Fantastic Four #588 is the final issue of the series. This one is a doozy, featuring tons of Marvel characters and the promise of a new future for the remaining Fantastic Three. The three must make decisions that honors the forgotten while simultaneously changing the Marvel Universe.

“The reaction from fans and retailers to Fantastic Four #587 was overwhelming and we’re excited to show fans, who have been chomping at the bit, to see what’s next!” exclaims SVP of Sales, David Gabriel. “It may be the end of the series, but it’s the beginning of something much bigger.”

The issue hits stores February 23 and interiors are after the jump.




Minx: Dream War Slated for Spring Release


Andrea Grant's Minx is gearing up for something big: its first graphic novel release. Minx: Dream War is a full-length graphic novel written by Andrea Grant and illustrated by Rey Arzeno, published through Copious Amounts Press. The ten year project hasn't been so easy though and, as most indie creators can attest to, money is an object here. That's why Grant has set up a Sokap page for additional funding for artwork, printing, publicity, and promotional materials.

The story behind the graphic novel? Minx is a struggling young artist in New York city whose life is changed after being attacked and slipping into a coma. She awakes in the alternate reality we inhabit as we sleep called Dreamtime, which means that she's no longer a struggling artist but a powerful, sophisticated warrior. She's then charged with protecting people from an agenda looking to make nightmares reality and vice versa.

There's no firm release date just yet, but Grant is aiming for sometime in the next few months. Check out the interiors and video after the jump and if you like what you see head on over to her Sokap page and make a donation.









Henry Cavill Cast as Superman

How was your weekend? Mine wasn't so bad. Relaxed, enjoyed the weekend. Standard stuff. Zack Snyder and the folks at Warner Bros. were a little busier, what with announcing the casting of The Tudors star Henry Cavill as Superman.

The casting pretty much came out of nowhere and there have been whispers that Cavill wasn't even an original choice for the project. It seems that when McG was attached to the reboot he wasn't very high on Cavill, but since DC film godfather Christopher Nolan has come on board he was very impressed with Cavill and his screentest for the role and cast him. Snyder stated, “In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time, and I am honored to be a part of his return to the big screen. I also join Warner Bros., Legendary and the producers in saying how excited we are about the casting of Henry. He is the perfect choice to don the cape and S shield.”

Cavill is definitely young so this may actually be a reboot and not a film crammed into the middle of the Superman movie mythos like Superman Returns was. Although, if DC plans on doing a Justice Leage movie it will probably be to their benefit to introduce Christian Bale to Cavill. In response to an interviewer's question about Cavill's casting involved staring blankly at the camera and saying "Well done for whoever you mentioned."

Full press release after the jump.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that Henry Cavill has won the coveted role of Superman, the iconic superhero.

The film will be directed by Zack Snyder, who stated, “In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time, and I am honored to be a part of his return to the big screen. I also join Warner Bros., Legendary and the producers in saying how excited we are about the casting of Henry. He is the perfect choice to don the cape and S shield.”

Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film. The screenplay is being written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are serving as executive producers.

Cavill recently wrapped production on “The Cold Light of Day” and stars in the upcoming “Immortals,” opening this fall.

Targeted for release in December 2012, the new Superman movie will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Friday, January 28, 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.)

Still here, alive, surviving and kicking in this zombie world. It’s been another trying week for us around here with all the zombies to dispose of that froze over after that last big snowstorm. Suffice to say that snowstorm saved us around here as without it we would have been overwhelmed and wiped out by a massive undead horde. With more cleanup ahead of us I've had time to receive more news ato take my mind off focusing on simply survival.

The news is pretty upbeat -at least in the United States- with most of the country being hit by snow and blizzards zombies have been slowing and freezing all over. This has allowed survivors to go on supply runs and destroy large swaths of zombies all over these frozen regions with minimal loss of life. I've picked up transmissions from Michigan and Wisconsin about survivor camps there clearing more areas and fencing them off for others to help repopulate. These camps are located in the northern regions of the state and they have been working like crazy to get more fencing up to secure bigger borders.

At the moment that's all I have for news reports. Hopefully I'll hear more good news in the future with more of this cold weather aiding us in keep zombies slow and frozen. With that let's have the tip of the week.

Today's tip is going to be about how to approach a coastal area or town in search of supplies that protects you while not alerting zombies in the area to your presence. When doing supply runs from the coast it's best to avoid all major shipyards and city coasts, but look for the smaller port towns to hit. Never take your main boat in unless you absolutely have to as it's better to row a small dingy or inflatable raft to the dock. Doing this method gives you the advantage of making a lot less noise then an engine would make. Stick to two or three people groups going in at a maximum; if you can have someone stay with the boat and row it out a little bit while the others go on shore for supplies.

The other person (or two people) can go on shore for supplies; I suggest two as two sets of eyes keeping watch is better than one. Most small coastal towns have grocery stores or supply shops real close to the water specifically for boaters which should be made your primary targets. Only after you check out those stores and come up empty should you venture any further inland. You don’t want to go too far inland as the longer you stay in town and further in you go the higher chances there are for zombie attacks. In going for supplies you can do it in daylight or under darkness; the time of day more depends on what places you plan on searching. As always do your planning before going ashore, because without a good plan you are going to end up dead.

Until next week keep surviving.

Preview - Hulk: Planet Savage


Hulk, Hulk, Hulk. Definitely one of the more marquis characters in the Marvel universe stable right now, Hulk is about to get another major storyline going in "Planet Savage." Debuting in Incredible Hulk #623, the storyline will focus on Hulk and Skaar finding the Savage Land, but learning that you can't just always take what you want when rulers such as Ka-Zar are in place. The first issue, written by Greg Pak and ilustrated by Dale Eaglesham, hits stores February 23. Interiors after the jump.





Escape Into the Fantasy of Nonplayer

That guy? He's just riding what looks to be some sort of dinosaur while some fairies look on cautiously from the bushes. Does it make him a legitimate badass? Yes. Yes it does. Who is that character you ask? Just a little something writer Nate Simpson created in his new six issue series Nonplayer.

Nonplayer is the story of Dana Stevens, a young woman with a penchant for escaping the doldrums of the rat race into the digital fantasy realm of Jarvath, where she's a fearless warrior. Inevitably, the space-time continuum does not agree with her exploits as she begins to volley back and forth between reality and digital reality.

"It's always a pleasure to link up with a creator as well-rounded and imaginative as Nate. Every aspect of NONPLAYER is so well-considered, it's like working with an old pro. As first timers go, Nate is one of the most impressive I've ever seen," said Image Publisher Eric Stephenson.

The "draw" to Nonplayer is primarily the sequential art form used, where each page boasts more detail than the previous page. The style has been likened to the style found in European comics, but of course Simpson has his own twist on it.

“A comic book is just about the most elaborate thing a person can create without assistance, which sounds like heaven to somebody who's spent fourteen years in video game development,” Simpson explained. "I've had a lot of fun putting all the nuts and bolts of this story together and figuring out how best to approach everything in terms of production, and I can't wait to share this story with people."

European comics definitely do have their own distinctive voice and I really hope Simpson is successful with Nonplayer. I could see the sci-fi/fantasy comic seeming a little Matrix-y at times, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The first issue hits stores April 6 for the intrigued and the press release is after the jump.

ESCAPE INTO THE FANTASY OF NONPLAYER
Newcomer Nate Simpson Makes Monumental Debut at Image

Berkeley, CA - 25 January 2011 –

Image Comics carries on its tradition of introducing the best new talent with an all-new title from rising star Nate Simpson. Combining references to massively multi-player online roleplaying games and science fiction/fantasy mainstays with exquisite illustration, Simpson's NONPLAYER is planned as a six-issue miniseries, with the first installment out in April.

NONPLAYER is the story of Dana Stevens, a young woman who retreats from the dismal workaday world of the future into the digital fantasy realm of Jarvath, where she's a fearless warrior. Dana is not alone in her pursuits, however, and before long, her adventures begin to cat-and-mouse back and forth between the two worlds.

Prior to NONPLAYER, Simpson made video games come to life for their players in his previous job as a concept artist. After taking a year off to "learn how to make comics," though, he is quickly establishing himself as not only as a gifted illustrator, but as a storyteller with a wonderfully unique voice as well.

“A comic book is just about the most elaborate thing a person can create without assistance, which sounds like heaven to somebody who's spent fourteen years in video game development,” Simpson explained. "I've had a lot of fun putting all the nuts and bolts of this story together and figuring out how best to approach everything in terms of production, and I can't wait to share this story with people."

Added Image Publisher Eric Stephenson, "It's always a pleasure to link up with a creator as well-rounded and imaginative as Nate. Every aspect of NONPLAYER is so well-considered, it's like working with an old pro. As first timers go, Nate is one of the most impressive I've ever seen."

Indeed, Simpson has built a panoramic world through sequential art, with each interior page more lovingly executed than the last. The dual worlds of NONPLAYER are depicted with detailed rendering, whether in Dana's real world or in the lavishly real game world. The overall effect is not dissimilar to the lush artwork found in some of Europe's best and most loved comics, but with a distinct flavor all Simpson's own.

NONPLAYER, a 32-page full-color science fiction and fantasy comic will be in stores April 6, 2011, for $2.99. For more information, visit www.nonplayercomic.com.

Udon Releasing Mega Man Gigamix

I can't remember when the last Mega Man game came out. Part of it is because it's not really a game I play anymore and the other part is that I'm pretty sure most of the incarnations released recently were for handhelds. I do remember (well, I do now at least) when the next incarnation of Mega Man in manga form his stores, thanks to the upcoming Mega Man Megamix beast.

The epic, 3-volume saga clocks in at a whopping 600 pages. Gigamix Vol. 1 features Mega Man facing off against the Robot Masters of Mega Man 3 in addition to the Gamma robot. This serves as a prelude for Gigamix Vol. 2 and 3, where the robots all unite to defend Earth against the Stardroids. In these two volumes you'll find all robots from the first eight Mega Man games in addition to Bass, Treble, Proto Man, Duo, Rush, Beat, Roll, Dr. Wily, Dr. Cossack, Dr. Light and Mega Man.

The tome hits stores May 4. Interiors and full press release after the jump.

IT’S MEGA MAN’S MOST EPIC ADVENTURE YET!
UDON to release Mega Man™ Gigamix manga series

Toronto, ON – January 27, 2011 – This past year, Hitoshi Ariga’s classic Mega Man™ Megamix manga series was finally brought to English readers, much to the delight of Mega-fans who had been waiting to read the manga since its Japanese release over a ten years ago. Now, with another decade of experience under his belt, Ariga is back with the all-new Mega Man Gigamix, an epic 3-volume manga series set to become known as the greatest Mega Man story ever!

Gigamix Vol.1 sets the stage with an exciting outer space adventure, where Mega Man faces off against the Robot Masters of Mega Man® 3, as well as the gigantic Gamma robot! The space setting of this tale acts as a prelude to Gigamix Vol.2 & 3, where all robots good and evil alike must join forces to defend the Earth from the ultra-powerful Stardroids! This two-part epic features every single Robot Master from the first eight Mega Man® games, plus fan favorites like Bass, Treble, Proto Man, Duo, Rush, Beat, Roll, Dr. Wily, Dr. Cossack, Dr. Light, and of course the blue bomber himself – Mega Man!

All together, Gigamix is over 600 pages of pulse pounding Mega Man action that no fan will want to miss out on! Mega Man Gigamix Vol.1 arrives in stores May 4, 2011.






Thursday, January 27, 2011

Manga - The Other White Meat


Welcome back everyone! So I’m been thinking about why my attention lately has been waning for a series that held my interest for a while. I’m speaking of One Piece, the story of the straw hat pirates and Monkey D. Luffy – usually just called Luffy. I think one of the things that works as a double-edged sword in Manga is that it tries to cram what seems like close to 100 different characters and 5 different plotlines into about 17 pages on a weekly basis. One Piece in particular can have so much going on that it can be hard to follow what is going on.

Naruto is running into that right now. With this Shinobi World War we have seen in the last few weeks the introduction of 10-20 characters that are brand new to us, even if to ninjas of the world they are legendary. There is going to come a point where there are SO many legendary ninja that no one can really be legendary. It reminds me of Syndrome in The Incredibles saying, “When everyone’s super, no one is!”

So many legendary ninja are defeated by the everyday characters right now that I’m starting to glaze over every time I hear the word or about someone's “unstoppable jutsu” that just gets stopped. Right now only Madara and Kabuto seem TRULY legendary as they are basically taking on every major nation in the Naruto universe by themselves and no one seems to be able to stop them. THAT is legendary to me. /end rant

Onwards to the recaps for the week!

NARUTO

In Naruto Chapter 525 the joint Shinobi force is faced with a two front war. Zetsu – the member of akatsuki capable of replicating himself by the thousands to form the brunt of the force – has faced off with Gaara’s group and Darui’s group. Gaara’s group is a ranged attack force, but they are going to face a MUCH stiffer challenge in my opinion. Facing them are four former Kage’s that we have never seen before. The Second Mizukage, the Second Tsuchikage, the Second Kazekage and the Third Raikage are all there with Gaara. Darui won’t have a walk in the park however, as there are tons of impure world resurrection powerful ninja facing him as well.

Back at the Shinobi HQ, we get an overview on a battlefield map of where all the major forces are lining up for battle. The divisions are identified and things are really to explode. I have no idea how they are going to be able to depict this in a way that will make sense. Kakashi’s division and the advance recon team aren’t really mentioned but there is one group far away from the main line that is probably them. A battle strategy is laid down and the attack is ready to begin.

The major plotlines outside of the battle formations are that Zetsu has arrived in person – not one of his clones – at the home where the feudal lords are being housed. He may be looking to force surrender by kidnapping the leadership of the countries. In addition we haven’t seen Naruto, Killer Bee, or Sasuke in a while…only three of the main characters for the entire series. Next chapter I suspect we’ll get some battle scenes and people will probably die.

BLEACH

Chapter 434 in Bleach almost seemed like a stall tactic. The entire chapter was Ichigo coming home after two days to say hello with his sisters. Then magically he goes back out to the Xcution clubhouse – for lack of a better word – even though we never saw them contact him. The rest of the chapter consists of banter between the various members of Xcution and then Ichigo getting sucked into a tiny dollhouse to fight a stuffed animal as part of the training to regain his powers. It reminds me a lot of when he was training to regain his Shinigami powers with Urahara in the huge cave after he lost them before.

Looking like typical Bleach, rinse and repeat (it is named after a laundry additive afterall). Nothing new or innovative seems to be happening, and instead of a constantly growing and expanding storyline like Naruto, the formula seems to be:

Ichigo develops new power and there is a problem.
Ichigo fights a bunch of dudes and solves the problem eventually seeming to be on the verge of developing a new power.
Ichigo fights a boss more powerful them him.
Ichigo loses ALL his powers.
Ichigo is the title character so someone trains him and he regains his powers.

There you go…the Bleach formula. Maybe Ichigo should just keep his powers for a change at the end of an arc.

Review - Witchblade #141


Top Cow, with Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic at the helm, is back with another issue of Witchblade. Sara and her partner / boyfriend Patrick Gleason are completing the investigation involving the murder of a doorman. During their canvas of the building in the last episode they had a conversation with a babysitter and the two children in an apartment in the building.

They immediately begin to think something isn’t right with the kids as they are dodgy when questioned and uncooperative. Oh…did I mention that instead of cute drawings of bunnies and trains and whatever else little boys and girls like…they drew horrible disturbing pictures of monsters?

Just another day for Detective’s Pezzini and Gleason I suppose. A normal murder investigation wouldn’t be much of a challenge for the wielder of the Withblade after all. Issue #141 wraps up the investigation. Check out the quick recap and review after the break as well as some interiors.

Wouldn’t you know that those drawings ended up coming to life due to the kid’s powers and attacking the detectives after they left with the pictures? I HATE it when that happens. These monsters are some of the scariest I’ve seen lately in Witchblade. They are really just abominations. They look somewhat like Jackie’s darkness creatures, just on a larger scale and without the sense of humor.

While Sara works on the monsters in the street Gleason runs back inside to try to get to the kids. The only problem is that there is another monster waiting for him inside, and pistols don’t have nearly the stopping power with these creatures that the Witchblade can muster. Gleason shows that he is pretty resourceful though and doesn’t get eaten until Sara can finish up in the street to back him up.

After the kids are stopped from drawing the father pleads with Sara that there must be a way to avoid having them tried for murder. I don’t know if it is just because they are kids, but she kind of lets them off easy. It seems like somewhere in the writing here it gets lost that a doorman was brutally murdered by the creations of the kids. I guess it is hard to prove that in a court of law so Sara is forced to find other options. There are always places to put gifted children…and if you want to know where and why it wouldn’t shock me to see them again…you’ll have to pick up the issue now won’t you.

Check out the interiors below and go pick up another fun issue of Witchblade in stores.





Preview - Emma #1

I'm a really big fan of Return of the Dapper Men. The story by Jim McCann is very poignant on its own, but it's Janet Lee's illustrations that helps give the book its impact. Lee is back again with her brilliant illustrations in Emma #1 from Marvel, joining writer Nancy Butler.

The book takes a look at the world of nineteenth century courtship where local matchmaker Emma Woodhouse can make anyone the perfect pair if she can figure out how to get all the men from falling for her. It hits stores March 2 and interiors are after the jump.

SuicideGirls Coming to IDW

The SuicideGirls are a group with their own set of rules and core group of followers. About the only part of the world they haven't broken into yet is the world of comics and, as you can assume by reading this post, that's about to change.

IDW Publishing and the SuicideGirls have teamed up to announce a "contemporary" take on girls in comics starting this March. SuicideGirls will be a new comic helmed by wrier Brea Grant and illustrated by David Hahn (with covers by Cameron Stewart) and will pit a gang of "beautiful, tattooed, ladies against the deranged leader of a techno-religious cult, with lots of butt-kicking and witty banter." The work will be overseen by Missy Suicide, one of the founders of the group and brand.

From SG headquarters, Missy enthused "SuicideGirls and comic books are a natural fit. We are huge comic nerds and are thrilled to finally be bringing a book we can be proud of to the fans that have been asking us at conventions for years. We couldn't be more excited to be bringing the adventures of these beautiful modern pin-ups to the genre."

As editor Mariah Huehner puts it, "I'm sure everyone will have a pre-conceived idea of what this series will be all about. And hey, it WILL have nudity and pretty girls and tattoo's. But it also defies conventions, has an irreverent sense of humor, and takes on the cultural idea of what 'normal' and 'sexy' really mean. Plus, explosions!"

Personally, this really just feels sort of hollow to me. Comics are probably one of the few avenues that the SuicideGirls have yet to tackle, so that part makes sense to me. But a comic series, even though it's limited, is a little outlandish. It's vaguely reminiscent of what Jenna Jameson tried to do with her book Shadow Hunter, making herself out to be this badass fighter. I have absolutely nothing against the SuicideGirls in general and, in fact, applaud their approach to life and their empowerment ideals. I just think they're making a comic about themselves as an ego boost pretty much for the sake of making a comic.

SuicideGirls #1 will be in stores March 2011 for $3.99. Full press release after the jump.

The SuicideGirls Bring Unique Lifestyle Brand to Comics

Danger, mystery and sex combine in all-new mini series coming in March

IDW Publishing and the SuicideGirls are excited to announce a contemporary take on girls in comics, kicking off in March. A four-issue series, SUICIDEGIRLS is a wild adventure helmed by writer/actress Brea Grant (We Will Bury You), with art by David Hahn (Bite Club). This series features covers by Cameron Stewart, who also will be contributing mini-historical tales of the SuicideGirls in each issue. SUICIDEGIRLS pits an awesome gang of beautiful, tattooed, ladies against the deranged leader of a techno-religious cult, with lots of butt-kicking and witty banter.

The up-coming series is created under the direction of Missy Suicide, one of the founders of this respected contemporary lifestyle brand. SuicideGirls offers a unique attitude of alterative cultures in a vibrant, positive community of women and men.

From SG headquarters, Missy enthused "SuicideGirls and comic books are a natural fit. We are huge comic nerds and are thrilled to finally be bringing a book we can be proud of to the fans that have been asking us at conventions for years. We couldn't be more excited to be bringing the adventures of these beautiful modern pin-ups to the genre."

Beginning in March, the four monthly issues boast tattoos, breasts and butt-kicking as well as the secret history and adventures of these beautiful pin-up girls, all plotted by Steve Niles, Missy Suicide and Brea Grant. Each issue of SUICIDEGIRLS will feature a cover by Eisner-winner Cameron Stewart (Seaguy), and variant SuicideGirls photo covers!

As editor Mariah Huehner puts it, "I'm sure everyone will have a pre-conceived idea of what this series will be all about. And hey, it WILL have nudity and pretty girls and tattoo's. But it also defies conventions, has an irreverent sense of humor, and takes on the cultural idea of what 'normal' and 'sexy' really mean. Plus, explosions!"
SUICIDEGIRLS #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores in March 2011. Diamond order code: JAN11 0500.



Visit IDWPublishing.com to learn more about the company and its top-selling books.


About IDW Publishing รข€¨IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro's The Transformers and G.I. JOE, Paramount's Star Trek; HBO's True Blood; the BBC's Doctor Who; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studios; and is the print publisher for EA Comics and ComicMix.

IDW's original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com.


About SuicideGirls
SuicideGirls has been redefining beauty since 2001. Since then, they have grown their audience to over 4 million unique visitors a month, becoming a cultural phenomenon along the way. Today, SuicideGirls has a social network reach of over 5 million people via their presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Now a full service entertainment company, SuicideGirls have produced a series of longform documentaries that have topped ratings charts on cable TV, and have been featured in numerous TV show and specials (including CSI: NY). The company's fourth feature film is currently airing on cable television. Additionally, SuicideGirls has published two coffee table art house books that have both become bestsellers on Amazon, they have a clothing line, a magazine, an iPhone app and now an upcoming comic book.

Visit http://suicidegirls.com to see more of the girls and join the community.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review - Charismagic #0


Aspen Comics is more than just Aspen Matthews and the rumor that Megan Fox will play her in the feature film.  One of their newer works is Lady Mechanika, which is currently wrecking it as far as popularity goes.  There's also Executive Assistant: Iris, another popular one with the fans.  In case you haven't noticed by now Aspen Comics is big on the strong, female character.  Not a damn thing wrong with that and with the release of Charismagic #0 it looks like they've got another one to add to their growing stable.  The zero issue is a primer for a larger run of six issues slated to begin in February and it looks like Aspen Comics may be onto something here.

The premise behind Charismagic is pretty simple: there are evil, magic forces reawakening and looking to wreak havoc in the modern day world.  Fans of Aspen Comics may realize this to be something of a departure from other Aspen works.  Sure, they've done magic before, but most of their other works dealing with magic take place in equally magical and faraway realms.  The setting of Las Vegas provides an automatic character that has a mythos about it which sets it up to be an adversary against the evil through magic of its own.  I'm not saying that Las Vegas itself is the main character going up against Samsun, the previously mentioned evil force has seemingly escaped eternal imprisonment in The Void Realm. There really seem to be two main characters at play here.

The first is Sudana.  Little is revealed about her but she is a telepath that is struggling to maintain what little order is left in the world in regards to magic.  She's aware of Samsun's impending return and is seeking others to combat him, but when you're living in Sin City (not the Frank Miller version...although some would argue there are similarities between that and Vegas) it's hard to rally the troops.  The issue ends with the introduction of the second main character, a Vegas performer named Hank the Magnificent introduced as a man with more potential than just being a dapper magician with a cat named Sparkles.  At the end of Charismagic #0 I'd say we know just as much about Sudana as we do Hank, but it's clear these two are destined to cross paths and perhaps even team up.

Considering this is more of a primer issue it's hard to comment on the actual story, but so far what creator and writer Vince Hernandez has going is chock full of potential.  It's easy to do a story about magic, but to set it in modern day Vegas could add a weight of reality to it that makes it a little less predictable.  Khary Randolph's illustrations are very well defined and add a certain bravado to the story.  Stage magic is all about showmanship and there's a little bit of that in the illustrations by Randolph and colors by Emilio Lopez.  I have one minor gripe with the lettering by Josh Reed: white font is hard to read.  The entire issue isn't in white font, but there a few pages that set up Samsun in white font that were a little tough to discern against the beigeish background.

The tagline for the book reads "Everything you know about magic will vanish!" which is pretty clever and should probably be kept in the back of your mind as you read.  I could see this series actually playing out very well, if the pacing of Charismagic #0 is any indication.  This may not be the most action-packed series out there, but I could easily see a few really cool magic "battles" playing out on the pages.  And this may be because I just watched Chuck last night, but I could easily see Yvonne Strahovski/Sara Walker in the role of Sudana.  She's looking to be a badass chick that will lead Hank out of (and inevitably into) lots of precarious situations while looking extremely good doing it.


The Killer Vol. 3: Modus Vivendi Hardcover


You may have missed it before, but Matz had a good thing going with The Killer: Modus Vivendi. Starting today though you'll get a second shot as The Killer Vol. 3: Modus Vivendi Hardcover is being released by Archaia Comics. Joining Matz is illustrator Luc Jacamon and clocking in at 176 pages, the $24.95 collection includes the entire six-issue series. It follows a professional assassin who comes out of retirement to take a job that drops him right in the middle of an international conspiracy.

The book hits stores today and interiors are after the jump.