Friday, July 29, 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 was a weekly broadcast of news from around the globe and a tip to help survival, but now I have been bitten and partially cured now searching for a full vaccine.)

Hello… Hello.. how does this thing work…no you're gonna f it up if you keep smacking it like that..be quiet you undead asshole…here you use it then, see if you can get it working. Here this is how you do it….yes I am being held hostage in a warehouse complex out off of I 95 in Pennslyvania…near the Jersey border…Hey give me that radio back, come get it… oh shit he bit Tedd… shoot’em both..blam…bang…bang…man that was rough.

I've managed to get a gun and take care of these guys, but who knows how many are up above and around on top of taking a bullet throw the leg. These guys have had me captured for the past two days with some sort of luck holding out as they just finally found the radio where I hid it in my gear. Grabbing what gear I see and binding the leg with some support to not tear anything and now making my move. Escaping by biting the guys who were guarding me so they can turn and start attcking their own. Hopefully with enough confusion going on it should be enough to allow me to make an escape. They're doing the job well enough that I am taking my chance. I will broadcast again if I make it….

Review - Broken Pieces #0


Aspen Comics continues to expand their universe from Fathom with titles such as Lady Mechanika, Executive Assitant: Iris and Charismagic. They're not done adding to that total as their newest series Broken Pieces is set to debut next month. Fortunately for you Broken Pieces #0 is available in stores. The series is created and written by Mark Roslan, with illustrations by Micah Kaneshiro (letters by Josh Reed).

Broken Pieces #0 looks at the country in the aftermath of a terrorist attack so severe that it dwarfed the destruction of September 11. A biological bomb has been detonated that has lead to a steady increase of infections across the country and the government struggling to contain it rather than cure it. This sets up a moral ambiguity in the way of Trinion, a large pharmaceutical company with a leader struggling to find said cure (and the personal stake for one Director Ludas). There's hints that a particular Project Trefoil may be the savior, but the powers that be want more in the way of Dr. Gabrielle Adams (or Gabby for short).

There's two other stories running through the zero issue. The first focuses on Richard and Gabby, where Richard has a secret he's keeping from his wife. The second focuses on a creature of sorts, affectionately referred to as "The Monster" in the character sketches at the end of the issue. He's around long enough to wreak some havoc on an armed military unit while being half-complete. A military unit tasked with keeping watch on a Trinion scientific outpost. It's a pretty safe bet that The Monster is the secret Richard is keeping from Gabby, who will most likely be forced to learn that in an effort to find the cure.

The issue follows a layout of Past, Present and Future. The Richard piece seems to have occurred in the past, while The Monster piece is the present. Director Ludas and Trinion's cure is in the future. From that standpoint the story flows relatively smoothly. One point of contention though is the panel layout. Some of the pages were a little difficult to follow in terms of which panel to read next. Not only that, but in the conversation between Director Ludas and his surperior. Some of the dialogue bubbles are a little confusing, so the conversation between the two is a little hard to follow.

Roslan's story is somewhat intriguing, but right now it's playing out like many others where the world is faced with a post-apocalyptic scenario. In this case it's not zombies or anything, but one can see the spread of the infection transforming into something else entirely. Further, The Monster is most likely tied to the infection, as well as whatever secret Richard's keeping from Gabby as far as his health goes. There's little detail in Kaneshiro's art, relying instead on defined bodies and objects. This style adds an almost detached realism to the book.

Overall, the story is presented with lots of internal connections, but they're a little hard to see at first. It should come together over the course of the story though. Broken Pieces #0 is in stores August 3. It includes the aforementioned sketchbook section and never before seen art. Interiors below.




Review - Marksmen #1


Not quite sure how much I’ve got to say about this yet.

For starters- HUGE fan of the art in this book, boasting the talents of Javier Aranda, Garry Leach, Jessica Kholine and a cover by Tomm Coker. I mean, the character images are nice, standard comic book fare. The backgrounds and the conceptual design are pretty exotic, I have to say. It’s sort of like what I would envision if the Road Warrior, Fallout and a Clint Eastwood movie had a baby together.

Seriously, Marksmen #1 gets big points just for being a really cool setting. The story by David Baxter and Dave Elliot features lots of action that's all wild west style and it happens FAST. In fact this comic is pretty much all action so far. Not uncommon for a first issue, but I think that’s the ‘style’ that this book is all about. And the fight choreography isn’t half bad. But see maybe that’s a problem. Sometimes I feel like this comic can’t figure out what it’s trying to be yet.

Maybe the most interesting thing about Marksmen #1 is just how Drake McCoy does WHAT he does. That is, the way he fights and the way he resolves conflicts. But then again, maybe the most interesting thing about McCoy is his personality, what makes him tick and the people that he ends up surrounded by.

It’s sort of like these two conflicting views of the hero. Is it the Marvel comics style where you really understand the hero and can kind of imagine yourself BEING the hero and knowing everyone they know? Or is it the DC comics style of you’re as mystified as the hero’s opponents by their seemingly incredible ability to finish the job? Not that those are the only two styles, but this book has that sort of character vibe in a sense.

I really like the opening of Marksmen #1. I really like it when a comic is willing to just make the action the meat of the comic. Panels of fighting with little text or narration, emulating what a fight might really look like, is no boring comic to me. It’s just that about half way through, the comic kind of detours into McCoy rescuing the obligatory gunslinger-chick love interest and talking and all that. It’s this sort of identity crisis, I think, halfway through the issue.

So, it begs the question: who IS Drake McCoy exactly? Is he the ‘Man With No Name’? Or is he that modern action hero who gets by with a band of 3-5 characters that he relies on to help him? Right now, I feel like the writers are trying to do both. And it feels a little awkward to me. Still, the book has got style and I think there’s potential here. The book should be in stores now.

Marvel Releases Teaser for The Avengers Teaesr


If you've seen Captain America: The First Avenger and had the foresight to hang out afterwards for the after credits scene then you got a glimpse at The Avengers. If you didn't hang around or haven't seen Cap in theaters yet and want to know what you're missing out on, check out a teaser for The Avengers teaser after the jump. It shows off everyone, which is expected from a teaser. Full spoiler warning: the ending to Captain America: The First Avenger as it pertains to The Avengers is in the clip, so if you'd rather wait to see it on the big screen don't go after the jump.

Grimm Fairy Tales Volume One Hits Second Sellout


Zenescope's got a bonafide hit on their hands. Their main title Grimm Fairy Tales Volume One has sold out yet again, bringing the printing count to seven. Not only that, but Grimm Fairy Tales Volume Three and Volume Five trades and will be going back for their third and second printings, respectively. Zenescope will be offering Grimm Fairy Tales Volume One at a discounted retail price of $9.99 through Diamond Distributors in September Previews.

“It’s amazing to think a small independent we self published six years ago has found such a widespread audience.” said Zenescope Editor-in-chief Ralph Tedesco “It’s a humbling accomplishment to get to a seventh printing of one book and we’re so appreciative of our fans.”

The volume was originally released way back in 2006 and featured the tales of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel. 150,000 copies later Zenescope is on the verge of releasing Grimm Fairy Tales Volume Ten this fall. The series has taken on a life of its own and has brought such fairy tales back into the limelight. It's definitely a series worth checking out and does feature more than just beautiful women. Although they do help.

Full press release and trailer after the jump.

ZENESCOPE'S GRIMM FAIRY TALES VOLUME ONE SELLS OUT AGAIN!

Comic book and graphic novel publisher, Zenescope Entertainment, has announced that Grimm Fairy Tales Volume One Trade Paperback has sold out yet again and will be releasing a seventh printing of the book in order to meet continued high customer demand. Zenescope has also announced that it has sold out of Grimm Fairy Tales Volume Three and Volume Five trades and will be going back for their third and second printings, respectively. Zenescope will be offering Grimm Fairy Tales Volume One at a discounted retail price of $9.99 through Diamond Distributors in September Previews.

“It’s amazing to think a small independent we self published six years ago has found such a widespread audience.” said Zenescope Editor-in-chief Ralph Tedesco “It’s a humbling accomplishment to get to a seventh printing of one book and we’re so appreciative of our fans.”

Zenescope Entertainment first released their Grimm Fairy Tales Volume One Trade Paperback in 2006 that included the dark and twisted tales of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel, among others. In trade paperback format, the Grimm Fairy Tales series has sold more than 150,000 copies since it’s take off to a fan base that continues to grow. Zenescope will be releasing the Grimm Fairy Tales Volume Ten Trade Paperback this Fall.

Grimm Fairy Tales Volumes One to Nine will be available in stores in the upcoming weeks and customers are encouraged to pick up their copy before the next sell-out. Go to Zenescope’s website at www.zenescope.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/Zenescope and Twitter @Zenescope for more information. Also check out Zenescope’s YouTube page for their Grimm Universe trailer: http://www.youtube.com/zenescope

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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Preview - Bomb Queen: All Girl Special #1




The Bomb Queen is all about girls, so much so that she's part of the Bomb Queen: All Girl Special # 1 by Jimmie Robinson. There can be only one queen and she's not going to be happy until she's traveled to London to kill the Queen of England. Riveting stuff here.

The book hit stores yesterday and interiors are below.





Blank Slate Books Reveals The Survivalist


Blank Slate Books is aiming to get their survival on in teaming up with Box Brown to release The Survivalist this October. The new comic follows conspiracy theorist Noah Wartowsky in the wake of a cataclysmic meteorite blast. That would be a situation that warrants survival for sure. The Survivalist and its 48 pages will be part of Blank Slate Book's deluxe, saddle-stitched format imprint Chalk Books.

In The Survivalist, Noah lives a normal life, save the conspiracy theory piece. This has led him to build a fully functional bunker underground in case of emergency. His "foresight" proves advantageous as the bunker saves his life from a meteor collision, leaving him the last man on earth and settling into a new life as such, with a specific focus on illustrating comics. Everything is copasetic until he encounters Fatima, a mysterious female. October definitely seems to be the perfect time for an apocalyptic survival guide.

Full announcement after the jump.

Whoa! Stop the presses! Eagle-eared listeners of Mike Dawson and Alex Robinson’s always excellent Ink Panthers podcast will have learnt by now that we’re publishing an all-new story by Box Brown entitled The Survivalist. Due for release in October 2011, the comic follows conspiracy theory- believing survivalist Noah Wartowsky in the wake of a cataclysmic meteorite blast.

Day to day, Noah appears to lead a normal life. He works in a boring cubicle, in a boring office, surrounded by people that just ‘don’t get him’. However, as a regular listener to extreme conspiracy podcasts, Noah has built a fully functional underground bunker in the event that a supposedly “safe” passing-meteor collides with the Earth.

Unfortunately for most of the population, the conspiracy believers are proven right. The lone survivor of the cosmic catastrophe, Noah emerges completely blasé to the fall-out and destruction around him. With barely a second thought, he settles into a new life without work, without the man, and—most importantly—days full of pursuing his true passion: drawing comics.

Slowly growing sick of the monotony of being the supposed last man alive, Noah’s days of wine and irradiated roses grind to a halt when a mysterious female, Fatima, arrives on the scene. At first suspecting her to be a terrorist, a significant relationship soon blooms amongst the wreckage, forcing Noah, at long last, to genuinely connect with someone.

Appropriately for the man behind floppy-comic revival Retrofit, Box’s 48 page story will be part of our deluxe saddle-stitched format imprint Chalk Marks. Box has been working on this in secret behind the scenes for several weeks, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally let the cat out of the bag.

FYI: during our teasing of the title reveal on Twitter, fellow Blank Slater Nick Edwards totally hit the nail on the head, correctly identifying the teaser image on the Chalk Marks page as Box’s work. Bravo, Nick!

Hawkmen Creator Tim Truman Coming to Baltimore Comic-Con


Comic-Con has come and gone. Baltimore Comic-Con is on the horizon and is chock full of talent and almost everyday it seems like new talent is being added to the show. The latest to be added? Timothy Truman and a first look at artwork, covers and designs for Hawkmen.

Co-created with his 28-year-old son, writer Benjamin Truman, the new project tells the tale of ghost-haunted pistolero Kitchell Hawken and his blood-drenched vendetta against the men who scalped and tortured him then left him for dead. The first issue ships in November from IDW Publishing.

Renowned for his work on such titles as hard-hitting action titles as Grimjack, Scout, Wilderness, Hawkworld, Turok, Jonah Hex, and Dark Horse Comics' Conan, Timothy is hardly a stranger to the BCC. "Baltimore is by far my favorite convention every year," Truman says. "I attended my first show several years ago, after I decided to take the day off and check it out as a 'civilian.' I was immediately impressed. Baltimore Comic-Con made me feel like a 'fan' again. I haven't missed a show since." To mark the Baltimore preview, Tim and Ben are preparing limited edition Hawken BCC t-shirts and prints especially for the appearance.

Each of the six issues of Hawken will cost $3.99 and contain 32 pages printed in antiqued duo-tone. Full press release after the jump.

Timothy Truman Brings the Weird West to 2011 Baltimore Comic-Con

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - July 27, 2011 - Legendary comics artist and writer Timothy Truman will give East Coast fans an exclusive first look at artwork, covers, and designs for Hawken, his highly-anticipated western horror series, at this year's Baltimore Comic-Con , August 20-21, 2011, at the Baltimore Convention Center , 1 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Co-created with his 28-year-old son, writer Benjamin Truman, the new project tells the tale of ghost-haunted pistolero Kitchell Hawken and his blood-drenched vendetta against the men who scalped and tortured him then left him for dead. The first issue ships in November from IDW Publishing.

Renowned for his work on such titles as hard-hitting action titles as Grimjack, Scout, Wilderness, Hawkworld, Turok, Jonah Hex, and Dark Horse Comics' Conan, Timothy is hardly a stranger to the BCC. "Baltimore is by far my favorite convention every year," Truman says. "I attended my first show several years ago, after I decided to take the day off and check it out as a 'civilian.' I was immediately impressed. Baltimore Comic-Con made me feel like a 'fan' again. I haven't missed a show since." To mark the Baltimore preview, Tim and Ben are preparing limited edition Hawken BCC t-shirts and prints especially for the appearance.

In his featured blog for the pop-culture site The Morton Report , journalist Bill Baker gave readers a taste of what to expect from the new tale:

"Over the course of his long and storied career, writer-artist Timothy Truman has had brushes with all manner of killers and antiheroes. But his latest encounter with the darker side of humanity, in the supernaturally-charged Western miniseries features Hawken, a character that he freely admits is perhaps the worst of the lot.

"According to Truman, the titular character, Kitchell Hawken 'has been many things in his day: Scout, tracker, trader, scalp-hunter, raider, hired gun.... But mostly, he's been a nasty son-of-a-bitch.'

"Each issue of the six-part tale follows the aged Hawken as he wreaks bloody vengeance upon the very men he used to work for, a cartel of corrupt politicians and arms merchants called the Tucson Ring. Along the way readers learn more about Hawken's reason for turning on his former employers and the many horrors that the haunted gunman has committed over the course of a blood-soaked life.

"And just to be clear, 'haunted' literally describes Hawken's situation, as the remorseless killer's accompanied throughout his vendetta by the ghost of every person he's killed, all unwilling companions forced by a curse to assist the gunslinger with his vengeance.

"Truman, who's become known for his ability to portray unlikable loners in convincing manner, freely admits, 'Folks would be hard-pressed to find a character as ruthless as Kit Hawken. He has good reasons for his rampage, and believe me, a rampage it is. For once, the bad guys have truly messed with the wrong man.'

"And while anyone might be hard-pressed to describe the proceedings as family fare, it is, in fact, a family affair. That's because Tim Truman's creative partner on this project is none other than Ben Truman, his son.

"Ben, who's scripting the series, works as a teacher in Tucson, AZ. As he describes it, the character and his sordid tale arose almost by chance during one of his parents' visits to the area last year. The younger Truman recalled that 'while driving through Crater Park I asked Dad if he's ever seen any accounts where a man had survived a scalping. Somehow, that kicked it off.

"'Hawken grew out of the landscapes of each new place we visited: His name in Flagstaff, his past in Bisbee, the curse in Tempe, his vendetta in Tombstone. By the time we left San Xavier Mission, the first issue was plotted.'

"The elder Truman gained widespread notoriety with his first two major efforts, Scout and .Grimjack These comics were some of the most critically lauded independent comics of the '80s, fan-favorites that catapulted Truman and his various creative partners into the upper echelons of the mainstream comics industry."

Each of the six issues of Hawken will cost $3.99 and contain 32 pages printed in antiqued duo-tone. The book joins such popular IDW titles as 30 Days of Night, Hasbro's Transformers and G.I. JOE, Paramount's Star Trek, Toho's Godzilla, HBO's True Blood, and the BBC's Dr. Who.

For more information, visit Tim's website or visit IDWPublishing.com.

Don't forget, individual Stan Lee Autographs and Photo Ops, as well as VIP Packages, are still available for pre-purchase by visiting baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/! Don't miss out on this opportunity to meet one of comics' Living Legends!

Confirmed guests for this year's Baltimore Comic-Con include: Guest of Honor, Stan "The Man" Lee; Jason Aaron (Scalped, PunisherMAX); Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead); Nick Cardy (Aquaman, Teen Titans); Greg Capullo (Spawn, Batman); Cliff Chiang (Greendale); Frank Cho (50 Girl 50, X-Men: Schism, New Ultimates); Todd Dezago (Super Hero Squad, The Perhapanauts); David Finch (Brightest Day, Batman: The Dark Knight); Ron Frenz (Spider-Girl); Jose-Luis Garcia-Lopez (Wednesday Comics, Batman Confidential); Mike Gold (former DC Editor); Michael Golden (creator of Bucky O'Hare); Mike Grell (Action Comics, The Pilgrim); Brad Guigar (Evil, Inc., Courting Disaster); Steve Hamaker (Bone); Cully Hamner (Red, Red: Eyes Only); Marc Hempel (Sandman: The Kindly Ones); Dean Haspiel (The Alcoholic, Act-i-Vate); Jamal Igle (Supergirl, Zatanna); J.G. Jones (Doc Savage, DC Universe Legacies); Barry Kitson (Secret Invasion, Amazing Spider-Man); Laura Martin (New Avengers, Thor); Mark Morales (Fear Itself cover artist); Kevin Nowlan (Wednesday Comics); David Petersen (Mouse Guard); Brandon Peterson (Ultimate Vision, Strange); Craig Rousseau (Marvel Her-Oes); Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo); Walter Simonson (Thor); Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL); Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Iron Man 2.0); Brian Stelfreeze (Wednesday Comics); Karl Story (DC Universe Legacies); Robert Tinnell (The Wicked West); Tim Truman (Conan the Cimmerian, Hawken); Neil Vokes (Flesh & Blood, Eagle: The Original Adventures); Mark Wheatley (Blood of the Innocent, Mars); and Thom Zahler (Love and Capes).


Attending the Baltimore Comic-Con? Show your support online!
Simply change your social network (Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.) avatar pictures to the "See You in Baltimore!" image and let the world know you're attending the show!


In coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found at our website, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 20-21, 2011. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, August 21st.

Contact Information
Please use the following e-mail addresses to contact the Baltimore Comic-Con:
press@baltimorecomiccon.com - for any general press inquiries or to be added to our PR distribution
promoter@baltimorecomiccon.com - for requesting exhibitor, publisher, and Artist Alley applications
registrar@baltimorecomiccon.com - for inquiries about submitted registrations
harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com - for communications regarding the Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet
general@baltimorecomiccon.com - for general Baltimore Comic-Con inquiries

About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 12th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 20-21, 2011. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 6 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fox International Channel Announces The Walking Dead Launch Dates


Fox International seems to think that inetrnational fans of The Walking Dead want to know when season 2 kicks off and they're probably right. The somber and intense first season has pretty much got everyone hooked and excited for round 2 of Frank Grimes and co. versus the living dead. Now there's a date to look forward to in October 17th, one day after the US premiere on October 16th.

“The Walking Dead audience wants to see this show live,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, SVP of Scripted Programming. “The first season became a hyped global water cooler event and we feel obligated to bring the show to international viewers right after its US launch.”

All thirteen episodes of the second season will reach markets such as Australia, UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Balkans, Baltic, Norway, Netherlands, all Latin America, all Middle East, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa. It's great news for fans of the show who aren't in the US but still love them some US comics properties.

The news comes right after Frank Darabont announced he was stepping down as producer of the show. But hey, the show will still be awesome!

Full press release after the jump.

FOX INTERNATIONAL CHANNELS ANNOUNCES "THE WALKING DEAD" SEASON 2 LAUNCH DATES

Just off the heels of Comic Con, Fox International Channels (FIC) today announced October 17th as the kickoff launch date for the highly anticipated second season of the television series The Walking Dead.

Once again, a few hours after AMC’s premiere Sunday, October 16th, FIC will begin its second season rollout on Monday, October 17th. All FIC markets will be launching the first episode during the week of July 17th and before the second episode is released in the US.

“The Walking Dead audience wants to see this show live,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, SVP of Scripted Programming. “The first season became a hyped global water cooler event and we feel obligated to bring the show to international viewers right after its US launch.”

Second season of The Walking Dead will reach FOX audiences in 122 countries, speaking 35 languages and will be seen by over 200 million internationally. Markets include: Australia, UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Turkey, Balkans, Baltic, Norway, Netherlands, all Latin America, all Middle East, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.

FIC and AMC are working closely on a global marketing campaign and communication strategy for this year’s thirteen episode series.

Season one of The Walking Dead marked the best performance for a US cable show in the international market. It delivered record breaking ratings in both the US and internationally. It was nominated for several awards including but not limited to: Best Television Series Drama at the 68th Golden Globes and has also been nominated for three awards for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in the US. Internationally, season one won Best Series, Best Writer and Man of The Year for Robert Kirkman at the Stan Lee Awards in the UK and has been nominated by the Seoul International Drama Awards for Best Series and early this year, Fox International Channels won a Promax Award for best global campaign for the first season.

Early tomorrow, FIC will release The Walking Dead second season trailer to the international community with a message about the global launch. The trailer will be available on http://thewalkingdead.foxinternationalchannels.com/.

The Walking Dead is AMC’s first wholly-owned original series. FIC owns all international rights for the project, in all international markets outside of North America and recently made a deal with eOne to handle Broadcast TV rights and Digital/DVD rights in all markets.

The Walking Dead is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. Kirkman serves as an executive producer on the project and three-time Academy Award-nominee Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) serves as writer, director and executive producer. Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens, Armageddon, The Incredible Hulk), chairman of Valhalla Motion Pictures, serves as Executive Producer. David Alpert from Circle of Confusion serves as Executive Producer. Charles “Chic” Eglee (Dexter, The Shield, Dark Angel) serves as Executive Producer.

About FOX International Channels

FOX International Channels (FIC) is News Corporation’s international multi-media business. We develop, produce and distribute 183 wholly- and majority-owned entertainment, factual, sports and movie channels across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, in 35 languages. These networks and their related mobile, non-linear and high-definition extensions, reach over 300 million subscribing households (875 million cumulative) worldwide. We also operate a global online advertising unit, .FOX (pronounced “dot-fox”) specialized in online video and display, and four TV production houses. In operation since: August 14, 1993.

About AMC

AMC reigns as the only network to ever win the Golden Globe® Award for Best Television Series - Drama three years in a row and the only basic cable network to win back-to-back Primetime Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade from the most comprehensive library or creating acclaimed original productions, the AMC experience is an uncompromising celebration of great stories. AMC's original stories include the Emmy® Award-winning dramas Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and insightful non-scripted programming such as AMC News. AMC further demonstrates its commitment to the art of storytelling with curated movie franchises like AMC Hollywood Icon and AMC Complete Collection. Available in more than 95 million homes (Source: Nielsen Media Research), AMC is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, which includes sister networks IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and Wedding Central. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Story Matters Here

Sam Sarkar Signing The Vault at Golden Apple Comics


The Vault is a chilling tale of treasures and impending doom. And there's a man behind that chill in Sam Sarkar, the creator and writer of The Vault. If the book strikes your fancy and want to meet Sarkar in person, you're in luck. Today at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles from 7 to 9 PM Sarkar will be at the store for a signing of the first issue.

"THE VAULT is kind of a contemporary Pandora’s Box story," explained creator and writer, Sam Sarkar. "Though it appears on the surface to be a pretty straightforward story, it has most of its mythology buried deeply. It gets uncovered both literally and figuratively as the pit gets excavated."

If you're not already aware, The Vault is about a small team of treasure hunters, struggling to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the "Graveyard of the North Atlantic." Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature's fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash.

Full press release after the jump.

MEET SAM SARKAR, CREATOR AND WRITER OF THE VAULT

On July 27th, starting at 7:00 P.M., Golden Apple Comics will present an autograph signing with Sam Sarkar, for the release of the new comic book from Image Comics, THE VAULT.

THE VAULT is about a small team of treasure hunters, struggling to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the "Graveyard of the North Atlantic." Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature's fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash.

"THE VAULT is kind of a contemporary Pandora’s Box story," explained creator and writer, Sam Sarkar. "Though it appears on the surface to be a pretty straightforward story, it has most of its mythology buried deeply. It gets uncovered both literally and figuratively as the pit gets excavated."

THE VAULT issue #1 autograph event will take place in Los Angeles at Golden Apple Comics on July 27th, 2011 from 7-9 P.M. at 7018 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. For more information, please call 323-658-6047.

ABOUT GOLDEN APPLE COMICS
Golden Apple Comics has been the premier comic book & pop culture store in Los Angeles for over 30 years.Always cutting edge & proactive in the community, Golden Apple views this as a great opportunity to attract new readers to our thriving industry. A place in LA for anything groundbreaking in the comic world.

ABOUT SAM SARKAR
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sam Sarkar is a 23-year veteran of the entertainment industry. He began his career as an actor and was one of the leads on the long-running, syndicated television series Neon Rider. Following the series, Sam decided to pursue writing and worked for the hit television series Beverly Hills 90210. Stemming from his work on the show, he also co-wrote a television pilot for Spelling Entertainment under the direct guidance of TV legend Aaron Spelling. Deciding then to embark on feature films, Sam took some chances, following a varied path of writing screenplays and working as a sound technician. In 2004, after working on several films with actor Johnny Depp, Sam was asked to help run Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil, headed by Christi Dembrowski. As Senior VP at the company, he continues to serve the varied needs of Hollywood as an executive, producer and writer.

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

Dark Shadows Returns to Comics


Dark Shadows was a television show about Barnabas Collins, readjusting to life under a vampire's curse while his ally and trusted friend Dr. Julia Hoffman has her own secrets. The series ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971, which was well before this writer's time at least. Dynamite Entertainment plans to release the series as a comic book in the here and now, written by Stuart Manning and illustrated by Aaron Campbell (covers by Campbell and Francesco).

Says writer Stuart Manning, "With stunning artwork capturing the likenesses of the classic actors and exciting new serialized stories, the Dark Shadows comic will appeal to both the original generation of fans who ran home from school and new audience of fans ushered in by Tim Burton's forthcoming big screen remake, starring Johnny Depp."

Collinwood is an ancestral mansion on the remote Maine coastline and home to the Collins family, a dynasty haunted by secrets and a supernatural curse spanning two centuries. Barnabas Collins is facing an uncertain future and new threats. Cursed in 1795 by the witch Angelique, Barnabas has lived as a vampire for almost two centuries. Out of his own time and now a self-appointed protector for the Collins family, accompanied by his loyal confidante Dr. Julia Hoffman, Barnabas lives in fear that Angelique might return as he seeks a cure from his vampiric affliction. Picking up directly where the original daytime episodes of Dark Shadows left off, the new comic book will bring the familiar residents of Collinwood further into the 1970s, facing threats both old and new.

Jim Pierson of Dan Curtis Productions, the show's creator, declares "Dark Shadows still casts its imaginative spell on so many devoted fans who have discovered the series over the past four decades, captivated by its unique blend of Gothic romance, mystery, horror and a touch of science fiction."

The series is slated to hit stores this October. Full press release after the jump.

THIS HALLOWEEN, DARK SHADOWS RETURNS!
IN COMIC BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE THIS OCTOBER, ONLY FROM DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT!

July 18, 2011 - Runnemede, NJ - Television's original reluctant vampire is back! Barnabas Collins is re-adjusting to life under his vampiric curse. Haunted by terrifying dreams of his age-old lover and nemesis, Angelique, and fighting his bloodlust, Barnabas fears that danger lies ahead for all who live at Collinwood. Meanwhile, Barnabas's ally and trusted friend Dr. Julia Hoffman is harboring secrets of her own. Written by Stuart Manning and drawn by Aaron Campbell, with covers by Campbell and superstar artist Francesco (Black: Panther: Man Without Fear, Swamp Thing) make sure to get the horrifying Dark Shadows #1!

Collinwood, an ancestral mansion on the remote Maine coastline, is home to the Collins family, a dynasty haunted by secrets and a supernatural curse spanning two centuries. Barnabas Collins is facing an uncertain future and new threats. Cursed in 1795 by the witch Angelique, Barnabas has lived as a vampire for almost two centuries. Out of his own time and now a self-appointed protector for the Collins family, accompanied by his loyal confidante Dr. Julia Hoffman, Barnabas lives in fear that Angelique might return as he seeks a cure from his vampiric affliction. Picking up directly where the original daytime episodes of Dark Shadows left off, the new comic book will bring the familiar residents of Collinwood further into the 1970s, facing threats both old and new.

Jim Pierson of Dan Curtis Productions, the show's creator, declares "Dark Shadows still casts its imaginative spell on so many devoted fans who have discovered the series over the past four decades, captivated by its unique blend of Gothic romance, mystery, horror and a touch of science fiction."

Says writer Stuart Manning, "With stunning artwork capturing the likenesses of the classic actors and exciting new serialized stories, the Dark Shadows comic will appeal to both the original generation of fans who ran home from school and new audience of fans ushered in by Tim Burton's forthcoming big screen remake, starring Johnny Depp."

"I am so happy to work with someone of Stuart's expertise and caliber," states Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. "Aaron's fantastic work on Sherlock Holmes and Green Hornet: Year One and Francesco Francavilla's covers are truly a sight to behold!"

"We've really put together a great team," adds Editor Joe Rybandt. "Stuart is crafting a tale for fans old and new, and Aaron's incredible detail will find a perfect home with this title, capturing the mood and atmosphere of Dark Shadows perfectly. It's gonna be a truly Gothic affair."

To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com

For art and more information, please visit www.dynamite.net

ABOUT DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT:

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, Green Hornet, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Project Superpowers, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, and more!

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and best-selling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high-profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Michael Avon Oeming, Mel Rubi, Marc Guggenheim, Stephen Sadowski, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up and coming new talent!

DYNAMITE is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic-book publishers, and several of their titles--including PROJECT SUPERPOWERS--debuted at #4 in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%). The company has also been nominated for several industry awards, including the prestigious Eisner Award.

Dynamite also controls and owns multiple libraries, including but not limited to the Vampirella library of casts and characters, The Superpowers library of characters, The Kirby: Genesis world of characters, and the Chaos! Comics universe of characters.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Arrivals: July 27, 2011


Some of you are still getting over that Comic-Con stupor of happiness and geekiness. And rightfully so as, like every year, the show can be draining for all its excitement. Life moves on though (until next year's show at least) and new comics are hitting your local comic shop. This week, there's a war brewing between two storied robots in Robocop and Terminator and, as always, humans are caught in the middle.

The Terminator Robocop #1: Kill Human is written by Rob Williams and illustrated by PJ Holden (covers by Walt Simonson, Tom Feister and Jonathan Lau). In it, the Terminator slams into the law enforcement beast that is Robocop. Alex Murphy is awakened to a world where he remains among the last of humanity and is forced to decide which part of him will win out.


Enjoy!

New Arrivals: July 27, 2011

Review - The Vault #1


Just to start things off with my inner nerd I’m going to make a recommendation to all you treasure hunters out there. When there is an unexplained and seemingly impossible chamber buried hundreds of feet in the ocean in an underground flooded cave, think twice before tunneling in and taking stuff out. Haven’t these people seen the Lord of the Rings movies or read the books? When you dig too deep, you run the risk of unleashing really awful things on the world.

In The Vault – with writing by Sam Sarkar, art by Garrie Gastonny, colors by Sakti Yuwono and a cover by Bagus Hutomo – Image Comics brings us a tale of a small group of treasure hunters who have uncovered a great find. Off of Sable Island they are exploring what is known as the “Graveyard of the North Atlantic” for treasure and they think they’ve hit the jackpot. Sometimes the jackpot isn’t all it seems to be though. Ever heard of winning the lottery being a curse? What about the Madden curse? There are numerous examples in history of seemingly wonderful events being double-edged swords.

In The Vault, it appears we may have another such example on our hands.

Just in case the cover art of a diver going down to gold filled chests under the ocean while a menacing ethereal skeleton floats just above didn’t convey enough weight to the consequences of this treasure hunt, the first page opening with an epic battle of what appear to be angels should seal the deal. Uncovering this treasure apparently will have consequences. From this biblical opening scene we get to meet the small treasure hunting team as they attempt to dig through rock and sand to gain access to a small tunnel that they believe contains their prize.

A new investor is coming on board as the team is short on money and time. He brings with him an arsenal of weapons – which I have a feeling will be necessary – and a robot that is capable of digging at incredible speeds. They’ve already used all manner of modern technology and everything looks very fancy. Contained inside are underwater battles with squids as big as men, underwater acid layers that can melt suits and a sufficiently creepy ending to imply bad things are coming.

Vibrant colors are used throughout the book and the art style does a nice job giving the main focus of each panel an almost "pop off the page" effect. I’m not sure if it is or not, but the art has a nice clean digital look to it. The writing is pretty basic in this issue. We're introduced to the team, their various roles and simply see the beginning of the results of their presumed years of hard work and research in the form of some excavations. Everyone is happy that they’ve found things, however we also get an almost Alien-like (the original movie) sense of tension that a cloud is hanging over this whole expedition. The issue ends with a pretty big cliffhanger and while people aren't screaming in terror yet, I have a feeling that may be coming soon.

To meet the crew and see what all the fuss is about, pick this one up when it hits stores tomorrow, July 27th! For your convenience, check out a few interiors below to whet your appetite.

Happy reading.






Garry Leach and David Elliot Signing at Orbital Comics


Markmen hit stores July 13th. Two days prior to that, an exhibition started for one month that includes pages inked by Garry Leach, including pages from Judge Dredd, Warrior, The Twelve, Transmetropolitan and more. Also on display will be work from Chris Weston as well. But wait...there's more!

Garry and David Elliott (A1, 2000AD, Radical Publishing and editor-in-chief of Benaroya Publishing) will be signing copies of their comics on July 27th, starting at 5:00 P.M, at Orbital Comics. For those not in the know, Orbital Comics is located in London's West End, a few seconds from the Leicester Square Station.

Full press release after the jump.

ORBITAL COMICS PRESENTS GARRY LEACH EXHIBITION AND SIGNING WITH DAVID ELLIOTT

Orbital Comics is very proud to present an exhibition of work by the great Garry Leach (Miracleman, Hitman, Dan Dare), including pages inked by Garry from Benaroya Publishing's upcoming comic, MARKMEN, which goes on sale Wednesday, July 13th.

The exhibition, which will run from Monday, July 11th for one month, also includes pages from Judge Dredd, Warrior, The Twelve, pencilled by Chris Weston, Transmetropolitan and more.

Garry and David Elliott (A1, 2000AD, Radical Publishing and editor-in-chief of Benaroya Publishing) will be signing copies of their comics on July 27th, starting at 5:00 P.M.

ABOUT ORBITAL COMICS
Orbital Comics is one of the finest comic shops in the UK. We stock everything the modern comic enthusiast could possibly desire, from weekly shipments of imports, tons of those hard to find back-issues, graphic novels and all the latest trade paperbacks for all you trade waiters out there.

Orbital is very conveniently located in London's West End, just a few seconds away from Leicester Square Station. We are open seven days a week, from 10:30 to 19:00 Mondays to Saturdays and 11:30 to 5:00 on Sundays, with an extra half hour every Wednesday and Thursday. For more information, visit www.orbitalcomics.co.uk.

ABOUT GARRY LEACH
Garry Leach studied Graphic Design at St. Martin's School of Art. He was first noted for his early work for 2000 AD, which was mainly on one-off stories featuring Dan Dare and M.A.C.H. 1. He then became a fan-favourite for his work on Judge Dredd, Future Shocks and the series The VCs.

In 1981 he joined Quality Communications. where he worked as art director and was the first artistand co-creator with Alan Moore on the revival of Marvelman in Warrior. Leach and Alan Moore also created Warpsmith for Warrior together; Warpsmith featured in its own strip and eventually became a supporting character in Marvelman. With Dave Elliott, Leach set up Atomeka Press in 1988. Their first title was the anthology title, A1. Other titles Leach has worked on includeGarth Ennis and John McCrea's Hitman , Warren Ellis’ Global Frequency and with Chris Weston on Marvel’s The Twelve. He was also the cover artist for Garth Ennis’ highly successful Dan Dare series with Virgin Comics and for Ennis’ war series Battlefields for Dynamite Entertainment.

ABOUT DAVID ELLIOTT
Dave Elliott has more than 25 years of experience working in every aspect of the comic book industry from writer and artist to editor and publisher.He has worked on diverse titles such as A1, Deadline, Heavy Metal, Penthouse Comix, 2000 AD, Justice League of America, Transformers, GI Joe and Doctor Who.

In 2006, Dave co-founded Radical Studios. As both the co-publisher and Editor-In-Chief, Dave was integral to the development and launch of Radical’s premiere comic book titles, which included Hercules, Caliber (created by Sam Sarkar of The Vault), Freedom Formula, City of Dust (created by Steve Niles of 30 Days of Night), Hotwire (created by Steve Pugh) and Lords of Misrule, as well as a complete re-imagining of Aladdin, which was conceived by Dave.The success of these titles led to Radical winning the Diamond Comic Distributor's Gem Award for New Comic Book Publisher of the Year in 2009. Currently, Dave serves as Editor-In-Chief of Benaroya Publishing, a subsidiary of Benaroya Pictures, with titles Red Spike, Samurai’s Blood and Marksmen released under the Image Comics brand. Additionally, Dave Elliott has worked with the band Fall Out Boy for Image Comics’ Fall Out Toy Works as well as with Nascar/MMI to create and brand new IP, which he sites as examples of new media integration for a more immersive entertainment experience.

Brian K. Vaughan Returns to Image Comics


Brian K. Vaughan's most famous work in comics is probably Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina and Runaways, among other works. It's too early to tell if his new project with Image Comics, Saga, will supplant them in the eyes of his fans, but he's got to try right. The title was co-created and will be illustrated by Fiona Staples.

"It's an honor to be doing my first work with Image as they start to celebrate twenty years of publishing creator-owned comics," said Vaughan.

Vaughan continued, "I love this medium more than any other, and I've been dying to tackle one more epic ongoing monthly series, but I wanted to find the right story and the perfect collaborator. I'm more excited about SAGA with co-creator Fiona Staples than any project I've ever worked on, so I hope we'll be able to explore our strange new universe for years to come."

Fiona Staples is a Shuster Award-winning artist whose most recent work includes Jonah Hex, Mystery Society, Northlanders, and the Eisner-nominated North 40.

"I don't think I've made it a secret that Brian is one of my absolute favorite writers in comics and my enthusiasm for his excellent work makes me beyond excited to welcome him to the fold," commented Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. "Likewise, I've admired Fiona's work for years, and I think she and Brian are a perfect match. There aren't enough superlatives for a team like this!"

Saga #1 will debut in early 2023 and will chronicle the epic life and times of one family fighting survive in a neverending war. Full press release after the jump.

THE SAGA BEGINS IN 2012
Image Comics Welcomes Return of Brian K. Vaughan

Berkeley, CA – 25 July 2011 – Leading up to San Diego Comic-Con 2011, comics fans and the comics news media buzzed with rumors that Brian K. Vaughan, the acclaimed writer of Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways and Pride of Baghdad, was returning to comics. Vaughan's return was confirmed at Image Comics' Kirkman Talks Creator-Owned panel Saturday, when Vaughan announced that he is launching SAGA, an all-new ongoing title co-created with artist Fiona Staples, at Image in 2012.

"It's an honor to be doing my first work with Image as they start to celebrate twenty years of publishing creator-owned comics," said Vaughan.

Vaughan continued, "I love this medium more than any other, and I've been dying to tackle one more epic ongoing monthly series, but I wanted to find the right story and the perfect collaborator. I'm more excited about SAGA with co-creator Fiona Staples than any project I've ever worked on, so I hope we'll be able to explore our strange new universe for years to come."

Fiona Staples is a Shuster Award-winning artist whose most recent work includes Jonah Hex, Mystery Society, Northlanders, and the Eisner-nominated North 40.

"I don't think I've made it a secret that Brian is one of my absolute favorite writers in comics and my enthusiasm for his excellent work makes me beyond excited to welcome him to the fold," commented Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. "Likewise, I've admired Fiona's work for years, and I think she and Brian are a perfect match. There aren't enough superlatives for a team like this!"

Their science fiction SAGA will be an ongoing drama for adults, chronicling the epic life and times of one young family fighting to survive a never-ending war.

SAGA #1 will debut in early 2012.

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


I know that we talk about zombies quite a bit here at Omnicomic. Actually, these days everybody talks about zombies a lot. I don’t know why. It’s just in the last ten years everyone has just become OBSESSED with zombies!

Whether it’s your Marvel comics superheroes getting an undead makeover or some downloadable patch/version of Call of Duty or Red Dead Redemption that leaves you fighting hordes of the undead. we just love it. And I mean, what’s not to love? Zombies are scary as %$# on so many levels!


There’s the raw unstoppable component where they just keep coming. And there’s the un-natural component. Like what if the human brain somehow found a way to generate movement even if the neurotransmitters in your body were dead and severed?

It doesn’t make sense and no one in whatever comic/game/book could even get close enough to study what kind of freak miracle of nature is making this possible. But somehow, on some biological level, what if you (presumably?) stopped feeling pain and continued to generate some kind of instinctual movement/action? More just stimulus-response than alive?

There’s also the sort of human-like aspect on some level that these were people you knew. So are they still the same people in some form? And there’s that belief that everything can die. I have easily always believed that Dawn of the Dead (both the original and its remake) is the scariest zombie film of all time (although I admit all that playing around with the science of zombie physiology in Day of the Dead is some unsettling stuff).

It’s that slow realization -that dawning- on the characters that all of human civilization has, in fact, collapsed that REALLY makes it scary. It’s not that they’re dead. It’s that their way of LIFE is dead. There’s no TV stations. No phone lines or radio. There’s nothing out there. There’s no where to go.

Well, I’m going to go a little off the beaten path here and talk about a little jewel I came across that I find particularly useful to the zombie-inclined. I caught up with a friend of mine the other day- an old English teacher of mine, believe it or not. I hadn’t seen him in years. We caught a few beers and, of course, hit a comic book store.

We’re both big gamers (or you know, we were, when we lived a lifestyle that afforded us the time for this kind of luxury). So almost anything that those guys who sit behind the rack of graphic novels in your comic book store at that table are playing? We’ve played. I come across this game (a little old now): All Flesh Must Be Eaten, a zombie-horror survival guide role-playing game.

I really have to give the writers of this game some serious credit. I know the Zombie Survival Guide is pretty brilliant, but I really think AFMBE is one of the most thorough, definitive kind of ‘guides’ to zombie stories that you can find. I mean these guys have seen EVERY movie and read EVERY comic book you can think of that involves zombies! And I mean even really obscure ones, like Day of the Comet and Night of the Creeps.

Ostensibly, the point of AFMBE is to play a Resident Evil style zombie survival horror game. You and your friends make up some characters, the zombie outbreak happens and then you have to work together to survive. So one guy describes the action: “you’re in a room, you have this much ammo, etc.”, you say what you want to do, the ref rolls some dice and tells you what happens. Now- HERE’S what makes the game brilliant.

Imagine you sat down to play AFMBE every Saturday for two months straight. Now imagine that every time you played the zombies were a little different. That’s kind of the point of the game, see? In order to survive, you and your party need to figure out how the zombies are spreading and what to do to contain them or at least escape becoming ones yourself. And like I said these guys have thought of (seen/read) EVERYTHING zombie.

It could go down so many different ways (and I’m hardly spoiling anything for you) because they’ve even published additional sourcebooks for this stuff, filled with ideas you’ve never even heard of. For example, there’s the standard, George Romero ‘you get bit and you’re a zombie’ zombie. But let’s say a big ass comet hits the earth and spreads some weird dust into the atmosphere. IN this case, the zombie virus is actually an airborne toxin that -once inhaled- transforms you in a matter of hours. (Day of the Comet-ish)

OR: your party clips a few zombies in the head only to find some strange, little alien parasite hopping out of people’s skulls and slithering off to the graveyard to find a new host. In this case, the zombies are really just puppets of mysterious and parasitic alien invaders who are spawned by some weird brood queen in some alien spaceship or some such (Night of the Creeps style).

Or maybe some less than scrupulous industry has taken the liberty of dumping toxic sludge into the lake surrounding a local, forgettable swamp town? But hey, don’t drink the water because, you know, zombies (enumerous works of fiction)? Or even just old-school like there’s some voodoo priest in a room, somewhere, who is LITERALLY bringing the souls of the dead back to their body to do his misbegotten bidding (The Serpent and the Rainbow, some supposed real life accounts).

You can play it so many different ways! And the fun in the game is the kind of desperate-panicked-attempts to understand what the hell is happening while civilization collapses around you part. I mean, I didn’t even do half of what they have to offer. Not only that, but these guys have produced sourcebooks that let you incorporate zombies and other undead nasties into story genres.

Genres like Martial arts/Kung-fu science fiction cinema (Enter the Zombie), Pulp action adventure, Indiana Jones/The Mummy style (Pulp Zombies), The Wild West (A Fistful of Zombies), WWE style wrestling/one-on-one Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat style action (totally serious- Zombie SmackDown). Fantasy adventure (Dungeons and Zombies), science fiction (All Tomorrow’s Zombies) Swashbuckling pirate style (Argh! There be Zombies…my favorite title by far).

Really great stuff. For the true zombie connoisseur. Highly recommended.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Trailer


The Walking Dead was a surprise hit in 2010. So surprising that AMC only ordered six episodes...six episodes which seemed to go way to fast. The second season is set to debut October 16 and good grief will it amp everything up to 11.

Sure, a lot of the trailer probably happens in the first episode. The great thing is though that this season looks to really focus on the group splitting apart. They're sort of past the "rally around humanity" phase and are moving into the "every man for himself" phase. This show conveys the tone so well and the trailer for season two is downright chilling. You'd be hard pressed to say many shows are better than The Walking Dead.

If you didn't watch the first season you've got some time to catch up. It's highly advisable you do because this fall, everyone will be talking about The Walking Dead on AMC.


Paul Pope and Matt Wagner Join Legendary Comics


Beyond being awesome, both Paul Pope and Matt Wagner share something else in common: they've both worked on Batman. Those two things are enough to say they've got common bonds, but thanks to Legendary Publishing there's about to be another link in working with Legendary Comics.

Paul Pope’s art book Pulphope will feature more than 200 pages of Pope’s career retrospective and includes many never before seen pieces. The book is scheduled for release this holiday season. The Tower Chronicles is a new series by Matt Wagner that's a supernatural action/adventure that tells the story of a bounty hunter with a hidden past. John Tower and his team of high-tech mercenaries are all that stand between civilians and things that go "bump" in the night.

Legendary Comics Editor-in-Chief, Bob Schreck stated: “We are thrilled to be working with Pope and Wagner on these upcoming projects for Legendary Comics. Just as our film division works with the best-in-class talent and filmmakers to produce content for the fandom demographic, so too will Legendary Comics move forward on our mandate to publish works from the best in the industry.”

Pope and Wagner were surprise guests at the Legendary Comics inaugural panel and were on-site to speak to fans directly about their upcoming projects. Honestly, anything that collects Pope's work (especially on Batman) has the potential to be special. Wagner on a new book about a bounty hunter will also be pretty good, if Grendel is any indication.

Full press release after the jump.

PAUL POPE, MATT WAGNER JOIN LEGENDARY COMICS

Official Press Release

Today the Legendary Comics panel at San Diego Comic-Con unveiled that the company will publish two exciting new projects from esteemed artists, Paul Pope and Matt Wagner.

Paul Pope’s art book, PULPHOPE, will feature more than 200 pages of Pope’s career retrospective and includes many never before seen pieces. Past projects from Pope include BATMAN: YEAR 100, Liquid and 100%. The book is scheduled for release this holiday season.

THE TOWER CHRONICLES, from GRENDEL and MAGE creator Matt Wagner, and developed with Legendary’s Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull, is a supernatural action/adventure that tells the story of a bounty hunter with a hidden past. John Tower and his team of high-tech mercenaries are all that stand between civilians and things that go "bump" in the night.

Legendary Comics Editor-in-Chief, Bob Schreck stated: “We are thrilled to be working with Pope and Wagner on these upcoming projects for Legendary Comics. Just as our film division works with the best-in-class talent and filmmakers to produce content for the fandom demographic, so too will Legendary Comics move forward on our mandate to publish works from the best in the industry.”

Pope and Wagner were surprise guests at the Legendary Comics inaugural panel and were on-site to speak to fans directly about their upcoming projects.


About Legendary Entertainment
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film, television and comics divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary is building a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world's most popular intellectual property. Among the wholly-owned film projects that Legendary Entertainment is currently developing in-house are Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro; an adaptation of the phenomenally successful interactive game universe Warcraft; Godzilla, based on Toho Company’s famed character; Warren Ellis’ Gravel; and Mass Effect, based on Electronic Arts and BioWare’s hit videogame franchise. Legendary has co-produced more than 25 Warner Bros. films, including the recent smash hit, The Hangover Part II, which holds the distinction of posting the highest opening weekend gross ever for a comedy film, the critically acclaimed Inception, which has been a box office smash grossing more than $825 million worldwide, as well as the global blockbusters Clash of the Titans ($493 million worldwide), The Dark Knight ($1 billion worldwide), 300 ($456 million worldwide) and The Hangover ($467 million worldwide).

KISS Returns to Comics With IDW and Archie


KISS is KISS. You know their music and their lifestyle. Soon you'll know them in comic form, thanks to two impending projects being published by Archie Comics and IDW Publishing. This marks the first time that two major publishers have entered into such a groundbreaking, simultaneous deal with such a popular property and trademark.

“KISS has a comic book history that spans almost four decades…but it was time to do things better than ever before,” said KISS founder Gene Simmons. “What’s bigger than two different companies sharing the KISS license? Archie and IDW will tell two unique and in-your-face tales of KISS, and we’re thrilled to be working with them on these projects.”

The band arrives in Riverdale this November in Archie #627, kicking off the four-part "Archie Meets KISS" storyline, written by Alex Segura and featuring art by Dan Parent. When one of Sabrina’s spells goes awry and a cabal of monsters invade the town, the Archie gang and KISS join forces to try and save the day.

IDW’s KISS series will kick off in a very special way in 2012. “Having done comics with Gene Simmons for a number of years already, I’m ecstatic to now be involved fully with the ‘hottest band in the world,’” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer. “We’ve found a very unique way to launch our KISS comics, and have big plans for the series that we’ll be revealing soon. I look forward to bringing KISS back to comics in a huge way!”

Full press release after the jump.

KISS, one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all-time, with over 100 million albums sold worldwide, returns to comics later this year with two major projects from publishers Archie Comics and IDW Publishing, as announced today at the San Diego Comic-Con, the premiere pop culture event of the year. This marks the first time that two major publishers have entered into such a groundbreaking, simultaneous deal with such a popular property and trademark.

No stranger to the comic book medium, KISS’ latest foray into four-color adventures will build on the group’s epic and unparalleled legacy, which continues to grow among the band’s fanbase – also known as the KISS Army.

“KISS has a comic book history that spans almost four decades…but it was time to do things better than ever before,” said KISS founder Gene Simmons. “What’s bigger than two different companies sharing the KISS license? Archie and IDW will tell two unique and in-your-face tales of KISS, and we’re thrilled to be working with them on these projects.”

KISS arrives in Riverdale this November in the pages of ARCHIE #627, which kicks off the four-part “ARCHIE MEETS KISS” storyline, written by Archie’s own Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing, Alex Segura, and featuring art by Archie superstar Dan Parent. When one of Sabrina’s spells goes awry and a cabal of monsters invade the town, the Archie gang and KISS join forces to try and save the day. Full of adventure, humor and – of course – rock, the story is certain to appeal to fans of the band and the Riverdale gang.

“We’re ecstatic to team up with Gene, Paul and the entire KISS Army for this project,” said Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “KISS is such a huge part of Americana and that goes hand-in-hand with Archie and friends. We’re honored and excited to help bring KISS back to comics in a huge way.

“This is a unique arrangement but one that we’re proud to be a part of. IDW – like Archie – know their audience and create high-quality and mass-appeal product. We’re looking forward to bringing two great KISS comic series out in the coming months that’ll appeal to the biggest audience possible.”

IDW’s KISS series will kick off in a very special way in 2012. “Having done comics with Gene Simmons for a number of years already, I’m ecstatic to now be involved fully with the ‘hottest band in the world,’” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer. “We’ve found a very unique way to launch our KISS comics, and have big plans for the series that we’ll be revealing soon. I look forward to bringing KISS back to comics in a huge way!”

Ryall added “I think this is the first time two comic publishers have shared a license at the same time, and I’m happy that setting this precedent are Archie and IDW. We both have very different audiences and distribution methods to reach our unique audiences, as well as both of us reaching traditional comics fans, too. We’ll be able to reach all ages of the KISS Army in ways never before equaled. We’re both ready to rock and roll (all night).”

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review - Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America may have been the first Avenger, but he was the last Avenger to get his own movie. Well, I should say first movie that matters and is actually good. And by good I do mean good, as Captain America: The First Avenger has a great feel to it that manages to engage the audience while staying true to the source material.

Captain America is a character that if you asked someone on the street who he was, they would probably have only a passing knowledge. He doesn't carry the same weight as Batman or Superman, but he's probably more culturally important than either. The character was created when the country was at war and at the height of patriotism and while he's artificially superpowered the film does a great job blending the two characteristics.

Don't get me wrong; Captain America: The First Avenger is a comic book film. It's a comic book origin story that feels like a comic book playing out onscreen and follows a nice, tidy arc. Captain America isn't someone that's vengeful like Batman or tormented like Wolverine. He's a patriot whose strength isn't the Super Soldier serum but the qualities and characteristics that make him Steve Rogers. This is where the movie excels.

Chris Evans plays the role very well. The magic of movies digitally attached his head to a smaller body for the Steve Rogers pieces and, well, we've all seen how jacked he got for the "meaty" role of Captain America. Like Robert Downey, Jr. and Tony Stark/Iron Man, Evans played both aspects of the character exceptionally well. Captain America is much like Thor in that their dual-personalities are really one and the same (Stark has to "become" Iron Man). Evans seemed to be a suspect pick at first, but I felt he played this role better than he played the role of Human Torch (and he played that role pretty well).

Surrounding Evans were primarily Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones as the headliners. Atwell's portrayal of Peggy Carter gave Steve Rogers someone to actually fight for beyond the little guy. She wasn't included strictly as eye candy, which is sort of how it seemed Blake Lively was used in Green Lantern. Atwell add substance to the film and proved valuable in Rogers' character development throughout the film. Jones played the gruff role he's known for, acting as something of a mentor to Atwell.

Weaving is someone that's probably not getting enough credit for his roles. He's reaching that territory where when you're watching him on screen sometimes you forget it's him (Gary Oldman has this locked down). Red Skull is a comic book villain that's not really rooted in reality and I was pleased to see Weaving's portrayal of him. He wasn't over the top for the sake of being over the top. Rather, he played his part in the story as Captain America's true foil.

Captain America is a period character, created as propaganda for the period of World War II. The ONLY way the character would work initially was if he was depicted in his original environment. A "reimagining" of him with his origin in modern times simply would've been inappropriate and lame. Thankfully, Marvel enlisted the help of Ed Brubaker, Mark Millar, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, all of whom have contributed to Captain America in the past. This isn't Brubaker or Millar's Cap though; this is the "Uncle Sam wants you" Cap created by Simon and Kirby.

The film even references this, presenting "Captain America" as a means of selling US bonds. It's something that embraced by Steve Rogers at first, but he gets the urge to actually get in the field and prove his worth. It's a nice nod to the character's origins by presenting him as a propaganda piece, right down to his famed punch. The progression of his uniform and shield was also organic and didn't feel forced, blending into the film nicely.

Speaking of the shield, director Joe Johnston incorporated it brilliantly. On display was hand to hand combat, blocking bullets and shield slinging, rife with the requisite ricochets. The costume itself was grounded in reality to an extent, not looking quite as spandex-y as Spider-man's. It's similar to the suit created by Christian Bale for Batman in that it blends function with form.

Early on in the film, there seemed to be too much technology, so much so that it was a little distracting and took away some of viewer's immersion. There's a nice reference to the "magic and science" mantra of Thor which ties it together and by the end of the movie all the technology that seems like it should be in present day makes sense during World War II.

Bucky Barnes. He's in the movie, but not in any of the roles you're probably most familiar with. He's got a frantic history, going from Captain America's sidekick to dead to the Winter Soldier to Captain America to dead again. Bucky's arc is primarily included to act as a baseline for the growth of Steve Rogers. There's one scene where he mans a sniper rifle, which could be a nod to his Winter Soldier role. There's no "next time" reference like there was in Iron Man with Rhodes and the possibility of War Machine.

A lot of people are going to rank the Marvel movies against one another. Captain America: The First Avenger has that same magic that Iron Man had, but was lacking in Thor. It's a likable movie that even non-comic fans may be attracted to and, despite its patriotic leanings, doesn't cram "America! F**k yeah!" like they could've done considering the times. It feeds into The Avengers relatively seamlessly, with an ending that's both intriguing and believable. The Avengers will be a fantastic film and Evans was definitely the right choice for the role.

Friday, July 22, 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 was a weekly broadcast of news from around the globe and a tip to help survival, but now I have been bitten and partially cured now searching for a full vaccine.)

Another long week it's been, but a pretty productive one in many ways. Since last week I've covered a good bit of ground heading towards the northeast government stronghold that I hope holds the key to curing me fully. On top of the ground I covered I got to learn more about these sorts of superzombies that I've come across.

The frightening part is the frequency that I've come across these stronger zombies as of late, as if they've been hiding out somewhere and only now are coming out. Really where have they been these past two years is the bigger question I ask myself anytime I see one or have to fight one.

As of now I have made back to Pennsylvania as after that super large horde of zombies a couple of weeks back I got sidetracked and ended up down in West Virginia. Part of getting lost was losing the tail of zombies I had as some of those radioactive superzombies do not give up easily and there were too many to take them all out.

I am still hearing broadcasts coming from that government safe zone, which I hope means they are all still going strong, but you never know sometimes though as a few have sounded about the same broadcast. It could just be an automated message being sent out or perhaps they have fallen back to a more northern location. Either way I won’t find that out until I get closer.

When I do get closer I'll have to make sure to take a route that won’t lead more zombies to their walls as sometimes I get the feeling these superzombies are following me.

Speaking of these superish zombies I learned why they are in such good condition for being zombies for almost over two and half years. I was able to observe a couple before they spotted me and gave chase, but it appears to me that they were actually feasting on other zombies- the ones that weren’t hit by any nuclear bombs. I don’t get how eating that dead flesh keeps them stronger and in better condition; maybe they can actually metabolize the dead flesh.

If I can find a strong enough location to hold up for a bit that is secure enough I will try and capture one to do a little dissection on it to see if I can find anything that will tell me how it ticks. When the superzombies get their hands on live flesh though, like an animal or human flesh, it seems to work even faster than dead flesh giving it strength.

I can see a pack of zombies coming over this hill behind me; I have to get a move on from here. These guys are moving quick and they have to be made up of recently turned zombies and the radioactive ones too. Before I go that's the other thing I don’t get. The two different zombie types will roam together, but the radioactive ones will just turn and feast on a regular one like it’s nothing while the others keep going.

I'll have to figure that one out too. Until next week keep surviving.

Review - I.C.E. #1


So Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (or I.C.E.). What do I think about this comic?

I.C.E. comes in as a pretty solid, hard-boiled action/gritty crime story title that isn’t a bad read. The art is this nice blend of dark realism and over-the-top comic book look that makes the comic ‘flow’ fast from panel to panel and easy to read. Written by Doug Wagner and illustrated by Jose Holder and Brian Stelfreeze (Michael Wiggam on colors) the book is currently available for only $1.

I guess what strikes me most about the comic is just the IDEA. Pop culture tends to take off in spurts- whether it’s Dungeons and Dragons, a bunch of Star Trek shows or even four or five different versions of Law and Order all over TV at every hour of the day. Crime shows are big right now- and the whole variety is out there. Criminal Minds, Burn Notice, CSI. Take your pick.

I.C.E. reads exactly LIKE what you’d expect from any other action comic of this type. It draws from that genre of TV but blends it with Die Hard action movie style comic book-ness. But I guess the most interesting part of the comic is the context; exactly what I wrote at the beginning of this review.

In all seriousness, this is a politically loaded book! So far it seems to tread carefully and not ‘push’ any part of the issues surrounding the kind of culture clash/integration that’s been going on in Mexico and the US for years. But obviously there’s the potential for I.C.E. to really delve into some pertinent and meaningful material here.

I mean I know this is the strangest thing ever said about an action comic, especially one with a cover like the one I.C.E. has. There’s some potential here for I.C.E. to be one of the most culturally sensitive comics produced today. Okay okay wait. Maybe ‘sensitive’ is a strong word. But it could at least be culturally meaningful.

I think I.C.E. could evolve into a really great comic if it really sank it’s teeth into some of this stuff- issues related to identity and culture and the blending of Mexican and American citizenship and ideas. How easily the war on drugs has this way of becoming a war against immigration which isn’t really fair. But when pounds of cocaine are getting smuggled across the border what are you supposed to do but make it harder to cross it? You know- stuff like that?

The Wire (as I’m sure everyone knows) was incredible at this. What’s great about The Wire is that it doesn’t really say anything is right or wrong about what happens. It’s just kind of ‘accurate’, you know? It just shows you how complex the relationship between law enforcement and drug trafficking really is. And it's NOT as simple as ‘the cops are the good guys’ and the ‘drug dealers are the bad guys’.

The grim reality is that these two lives are far more intertwined and interconnected than most people realize. And there are no easy answers about what’s right for the greater good of everyone. And I think I.C.E. could go there on a good day. So FAR, however, all I see the writers doing is making I.C.E. ‘cool’.

There’s a cool team and witty banter. I’m not criticizing it because I think the writers and artists need to draw a crowd of comic-book lovers in. And that’s how you do it really, with an interesting cast and fast action. My advice though to the creators, if they’re out there reading this would be this: don’t sell out, guys.

This is a good IDEA for a comic, but I encourage you to do more with this than just let it be an action-movie ride that we could get from The Fast and the Furious or whatever Michael Bay film is getting cranked out next year. It’s a great context- see where it takes you.