Thursday, May 31, 2012

MoCCA NY Gets a Miami Makeover

Adventurous collaborations deserve documentation and the collaboration between Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Dominique Sapel is being chronicled in a new exhibit at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art called "Miami Makeover: Almost Anything for Beauty." The exhibit opens on June 14 and runs for the summer, but on Wednesday, June 13, from 6 to 8 PM there will be a panel discussion featuring the chroniclees.

"Being a cartoonist," said Kominsky-Crum, "I wanted to find a way to capture this atmosphere and these fabulous women – the creators and their creations! I am fascinated by their idea of beauty and by what women are willing to do to achieve it. As a 63-year-old woman raised in the Five Towns of Nassau County on Long Island, logically I should be 'one of them,' but I was touched at age 8 by some divine intervention and was propelled in a very different direction- I became an artist/observer. Still, there’s a part of me that is curious and can identify with this 'other type' of female."

Kominsky-Crumb and Sapel set out to entirely re-imagine their body image. Donning new outfits, wigs, jewelry, nails, makeup and padding in just the right places, the two artists remade themselves in the image of a modern Miami woman.

"With this seed of an idea in my head," continued Kominsky-Crum, "I asked my cousin Ilana Arazie, whose mother is also one of Cookie’s clients, if she wanted to do a film about the beauty parlor. She was game, and I came up with a premise. I asked my French friend and art partner, Dominique Sapel, to come with me to Miami and get a total makeover at Hair Magic. Nothing would be permanent, and all of it fake: just a week as a blonde bimbo! Not having a clue as to what she was in for, Dominique was a willing and enthusiastic partner."

Admission is $5 (and free for MoCCA members).

Full press release below.

Review - The Jungle Book #3

Zenescope's take on The Jungle Book started with four orphaned kids, focused on one and then two. Now, in The Jungle Book #3, the third of those orphans gets some serious time.

The Jungle Book #3 is published by Zenescope and is written by Mark L. Miller, with pencils by Carlos Granda, colors by Liezl Buenaventura and Tim Yates and letters by Jim Campbell.

Hoax Hunters Gets Ongoing Comic

Hunting hoaxes shouldn't be confused with hunting horcruxes. The previous features primarily skepticism while the latter features primarily wizardry. Hunting hoaxes is slightly more popular, as evidenced by Image Comics choosing to publish a new comic following that line of work. The new series by Steve Seeley and Michael Moreci and illustrated by Axel Medillin follows the team of investigators traversing the world to debunk hoaxes.

"Thanks to having an ongoing series, Mike and I have been able to expand upon the already vast world of Hoax Hunters," said Seeley. "Issue one and the arc that follows promises to be fun and epic ride."

Hoax Hunters first appeared in Hack/Slash and a collection of those serials was published in Hoax Hunters #0. On July 5, Hoax Hunters #1 hits stores and starts the new ongoing series.

“Steve and I are having fun—we’re writing the comic we’d love to read," added Moreci. "It has a little bit of humor, suspense, and brain candy. The story blends genres, histories, and folklore into something unique and unusual. If we achieve that month in and month out, we’ll feel like we’re doing our job.”

Full press release below.

Extermination #1 Sells Out

Readers clearly like extinction level events when depicted in comics, as Extermination #1 by BOOM! Studios has sold out in advance of its release date.

The new series written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Jeffrey Edwards features an alliance between superheroes and villains, forged when facing an apocalyptic alien invasion. Nox and Red Reaper have taken it upon themselves to set the gold standard for partnership in fighting the invasion.

The first issue hits stores June 6.

Full press release and covers below.

Stan Lee Added to Baltimore Comic Con

When you're Stan Lee and you can pretty much get a free meal just about anywhere, there's not much to do that's tremendously new. So why not attend random comic conventions, where you're guaranteed to be the Guest of Honor? Stan Lee is returning to Baltimore Comic-Con in the Guest of Honor capacity for the second year in a row. Lee will only be making public appearances on Saturday, September 8, 2012, signing autographs and posing for photographs with guests in attendance of the show.

"Stan's first appearance at the Baltimore Comic-Con was an unmitigated success last year," said Marc Nathan, show promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "Having him return for a second go-around is simply amazing and a great opportunity for those who missed him last year to meet a living legend in the comic industry!"

In addition to his Baltimore Comic-Con appearance on Saturday, Stan will participate in the Harvey Awards on Saturday evening. Details regarding ticket pricing for autographs, photographs, and VIP packages will be released over the next few weeks.

"We couldn't be happier to welcome back the biggest star in all of comics," said Nathan. "Not only is this a real treat for us, but one for the fans planning to attend the show as well!"

Full press release below.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Killing Comics the Marvel and DC Way

Tim Marchman recently wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal essentially eviscerating Marvel and DC. The article was written under the guise of a review of Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics, a new book that profiles writers and artists in the industry throughout its history.

His main point of contention is that if a movie based on a comic book property can reap billions in revenue (The Avengers), then why doesn't the comic with the same name perform similarly? His argument is that the more popular comics today from publishers like Marvel and DC require a primer to get into. That the big publishers have abandoned mainstream audiences in lieu of cash.

And he's right. Sort of.

Review - America's Got Powers #2

Realty TV is considered to be a downside of humanity. Often, it depicts relatively mindless people overacting for the sake of attention and the promise of a lucrative book/movie/music/etc. deal. In the world of America's Got Powers though, reality TV takes on a whole new meaning: combat to the death.

America's Got Powers #2 is the second issue in the series published by Image Comics. It's written by Jonathan Ross and illustrated by Bryan Hitch, with inks by Andrew Currie and Paul Neary, Paul Mounts on colors and Chris Eliopoulos as the letterer.

New York Anime Festival Folded Into New York Comic Con

One of the more lasting memories of New York Comic Con 2011 was the New York Anime Festival more or less crammed into a hallway on the second floor. I'm sure there was more to that part of the show than that, but it really felt like nothing more than an anime flea market. Hopefully, that's not how you like it, as the NY Anime Festival has completely been folded into New York Comic Con.

"This move has nothing to do with our loyalty or commitment to the anime community and everything to do with the growth and identity of New York Comic Con as a leading pop culture event," notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President of ReedPOP and Show Manager of NYCC.

"NYCC embraces all elements of the pop culture world, including anime, and we have evolved to a point where the existence of NYAF outside our universe is almost a contradiction. We will be better able to serve the anime community from within the NYCC infra-structure rather than have a show which is separate and which will always be dwarfed by everything that New York Comic Con represents and is. We will present the very best anime programming at NYCC, and we look forward to providing for the anime community in a manner that does service to the legacy of NYAF."

The first show that features the new mix will be the 2012 event, taking place October 11-14 at the Javits Center in New York City. The show is still committed to booking top Japanese entertainment guests and will continue to feature anime and manga panels at the show. The show will also continue to feature exhibitors across the anime and manga space, with publishers already signed up for NYCC 2012 including FUNimation Entertainment and Vertical, Inc.

NYAF's traditional Saturday Masquerade will turn into daily, evening costume contests, the show will feature one live-events stage with both comic and anime content instead of separate comic and anime stages and the Anime Artist Alley will fold into NYCC's overall Artist Alley. Speakers interested in presenting an anime-themed panel should submit their information into NYCC's online submission tool and artists looking to set up with anime-inspired art should apply to NYCC's Artist Alley now.

Full press release below.

Alpha Girl Pays Homage to the Movies

Paying tribute to the classics is very worth it. How else can you let someone know you appreciate what a movie has meant to you? Alpha Girl has a fairly simple way of showing that appreciation with a series of covers inspired by great films. And tattoo artist Jeff Rassier is pleased as punch at the opportunity.

“I have been a lifelong lover of comic books," he said. "I collect comic art and put out an underground comic of my own, but to be able to do a cover for Image – of ZOMBIES – greatest job ever! It’s been fun following the creation of ALPHA GIRL; I really dig the story. I can’t wait to see more people chewed and spewed by zombie chicks.”

The series creators Jeff Roenning and Jean-Paul are planning to pay tribute to Lolita, The Graduate, La Femme Nikita, Star Wars and Enter the Dragon with issues one through four (the second issue has two covers).

Bonjour, who has a number of tattoos by Rassier, explained: “Jeff Rassier's artwork is hands-down amazing. It was a treat to get him to sit in as a special guest artist on issue #4 and recreate the most iconic poster in the martial arts world — Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon."

Bonjour continued, “When it was time to come up with cover ideas, being old movie buffs, Jeff Roenning and I both thought it would be great if we could pay homage to some of the classic movie posters of the past, with an ALPHA GIRL slant, of course. It really makes my inner Film Geek happy to see."

Alpha Girl #3 (featuring the Star Wars cover) will hit stores June 13. Alpha Girl #4 with the Enter the Dragon inspiration will be available August 1. The fourth issue is when Diego Simone will be taking over full interiors art duties.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review - Spring Heeled Jack

Demons enjoy tormenting humans. It's a "rivalry" that's withstood the test of time and given demons plenty to find joy in. Loki is probably the most infamous prankster demon, but another, less Norse one was Spring Heeled Jack. It's Jack who's the subject of the second story in the "Surreal Murder Mystery Series" from CDComics.

Spring Heeled Jack is written and illustrated by Craig Daley.

Video Games Delayed to 2013 A Good Thing?

Every fall there seems to be a glut of games that fill up the October and November months, leaving gamers with many choices to make. Go with this game over that? Should I wait to pick this up after the holidays or buy it now and play it when I finish this other game? All the publishers want to get their game out there for the holiday season, but with such a game overload they are killing possible sales they would get if the games were released in the slow period of the summer or early part of the year.

Thankfully, a few high profile games have been delayed which, strangely enough, is actually welcomed. Bioshock: Infinite, Aliens: Colonial Marines and the new Tomb Raider reboot have all been pushed to early 2013 releases. And this is actually great news for gamers.

Harvest Debuts from Image/Shadowline in August

Nothing says "happy" like a nightmare that features human trafficking, rogue medical teams, Yakuza run organ mills and a six year-old drug fiend. While those elements typically don't add up to any sort of elation, they do add up to a new five-issue series called Harvest by AJ Lieberman and Colin Lorimer.

Image has released the above and below teaser images to get your blood pumping for the release of Harvest #1 in August. Enjoy.

Dark Horse Knows Vampires

Do you find yourself shying away from daylight? Unable to fix your hair in the mirror? Not a big fan of garlic? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then chances are you're a vampire. Or someone who's phengophobic, doesn't like the taste of garlic and owns no mirrors. Either way, you might want to take a look at the Dark Horse Does Vampires Right Sampler.

The one-shot features samples from Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1, Angel and Faith #1, Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1 by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, House of Night #1 by P.C. and Kristin Cast and The Strain #1 by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Plus, the entirety of a short story entitled "Magical Mystery Tour Featuring the Beetles," a previously unreleased, digital-only retailer exclusive from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 is also included.

Seeing as how you're going to be inside all day, it might be a good idea to check the issue out.

Review - Winter City #2

Things never seem to work out for organized crime in big cities. There always to be some vigilante or superhero looking to make their life miserable, either through disrupting their life or just flat out ending it. The hero (antihero?) in Winter City #2 has chosen the latter, laying waste to those that have sinned with little prejudice.

The second issue is written by Patrick and Carl Purcell, with illustrations by Pablo Verdugo Munoz and colored by David Aravena Riquelme (special pin-up artist Jerry "The Franchise" Gaylor).

Preview - Queen Sonja Vol. 3: Coming of Age TPB

Before Queen Sonja was royalty, she was a wild child with red hair and room to run through the Hyrkanian wilderness. She was even a thief in Pah-Disha and bringing a reckless approach to life. Surviving the tough years so to speak taught her to fight, hunt, steal and kill. It's up to Dynamite to teach her how to have her stories collected.

Queen Sonja Vol. 3: Coming of Age TPB is written by Luke Lieberman and illustrated by Mel Rubi, with a cover by Lucio Parrillo. The collection includes issues 11 through 15 of the ongoing series, as well as all the covers by Parrillo, Carlos Rafael, Fabiano Neves and Mel Rubi.

It hits stores May 30 for $19.99 and interiors are below.

First Look at X-O Manowar #2

Robert Venditti and Cary Nord aren't going to leave you hanging in what happens next for Aric of Dacia. No sir. They've got a second issue in the series due in stores June 6th and preview pages available now.

Trapped on The Vine, Aric and his fellow captives are plotting a bold escape, fighting against the technological extraterrestrial army facing them. And it's a good bet that Aric actually dons the armor this time around, giving him the space edge he needs to win his freedom.

The second issue will have two covers, one by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic and another by Arturo Lozzi.

Full press release and interiors below.

Manhattan 1930 About The Man in the White Suit

White suits get dirty awful quick. Sure, they look stylish, but one ill timed ketchup drop and that suit is ruined. There's another white suit though that likely isn't subject to condiment mishaps and that's the white suit of a scientist. That scientist happens to be Nikola Tesla and the comic is Manhattan 1930: The Man in the White Suit from CDComics.

Tesla has been linked with numerous scientific breakthroughs, while Aleister Crowley is an English occultist known as "The Beast" and known as the Wickedest Man in the World. Throw them together and you've got a book that has prototype Nazis, ninjas, femme fatales and masked characters with powers. It follows the exploits of Harlem PI, working alongside a new partner named Pilot Ace.

The 40 page full colour first issue is available to download priced $0.99/70p UK. Full press release and links to buy below.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review - Call of Wonderland #1

In case you haven't noticed, Wonderland is a pretty messed up place. Tea parties hosted by demented hatters, a grinning cat that appears and disappears at will and a queen determined to behead everyone that crosses her. Wonderland is even crazier through the eyes of Zenescope and the upcoming series Call of Wonderland #1 returns readers to the insanity.

Call of Wonderland #1 is written by Dan Wickline, with pencils by Matt Triano and Nacho Arranz, colors by Stephen Downer and Thomas Bonvillain and letters by Jim Campbell.

Dynamite's The Shadow #1 Hits Second Printing

In order to have a shadow, you need a body. In order to have a second printing of The Shadow #1, you need to have a tight story and great art that--combined--are so popular that the first printing sells out. Dynamite has a little bit of it all at play, as The Shadow #1 is getting a second printing with a brand new cover by Francesco Francavilla.

"We want to thank the fans and publishers for supporting The Shadow #1! We also want to thank the creators - Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell - for such a superb job with the series. It's gratifying to see fan and retailer support on such an iconic character on such an important launch for Dynamite!" states Dynamite Publisher Nick Barrucci.

In the first issue, it's 1938 and The Shadow returns, as a night of carnage on the New York waterfront plunges the vigilante into a conspiracy involving the fate of the world itself. Meanwhile, American Military Intelligence meets with Lamont Cranston, determined to beat a boat of spies and assassins to what some would consider a great prize.

On top of that, The Shadow #2 will feature covers by Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, Ryan Sook, Jae Lee and John Cassaday.

Full press release and covers below.

Baltimore Comic-Con Welcomes Back Joe Kubert

Things haven't been so rosy in Baltimore lately for geeks, so it's a welcome sight when a show like Baltimore Comic-Con continues to add talent to the show. The latest addition is Joe Kubert, the man, the myth, the legend.

Kubert started way, way, way back in 1939 at the age of 13 as an unofficial apprentice at MLJ Studios (that eventually became Archie Comics). Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, he made a name for himself at DC Comics working on such characters as Hawkman and Sgt. Rock. Aside from his art duties on several books at DC, Kubert also served as the company's Director of Publications from 1967-1976.

Kubert has recently contributed to a new Sgt. Rock story to the Wednesday Comics in 2009, as well as drawing the lenticular cover to Craig Yoe's Amazing 3-D Comics in 2011. Along with Andy Kubert, Joe is currently working on Before Watchmen: Nite Owl.

"We are absolutely delighted have the legendary Joe Kubert attending our show again this year," said Marc Nathan, show promoter for the Baltimore Comic-Con. "His inspiration and impact on the industry continues to be felt through not only his work, but the work of those who were trained through the Kubert School."

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 8-9, 2012. 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, September 8th.

Full press release and current talent list below.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review - The Intrepid #1

The world needs heroes. We're not at a point where the individuals we call heroes have the word "super" in front of them. Right now, our heroes are soldiers, firefighters, police, etc. This would be a different conversation if we had a Heroic Age, where all the superheroes came and went. That is, until they return, as in Intrepid #1.

Published by Graphic Illusions Comics, Intrepid #1 is written by Jose Loeri, illustrated by Montos (cover colors by Diogo Nascimento) and lettered by Alan M. Cole.

Defense With The BoomStick

(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. Originally it was a post of news and tips to help survivors make it one more day alive, but now it has became a story of my fight after being bitten and partially cured to walk as a half-zombie among them.)

The day has been long with the weather not cooperating at all. A constant downpour of rain has made slogging along and getting to the coast of the Great Lakes in New York a challenge. I was actually making great time the past two days after holing up longer at that farmhouse then originally planned.

Review - Winter City #1

There's vigilante justice and then there's VIGILANTE justice, the latter being the more severe of the two (in case you couldn't tell by the caps). It takes a special being to execute the more severe. Batman can do it. So can Spawn. Even Punisher. One being that probably trumps all of them however is Death itself, who just so happens to be meting it out in Winter City #1.

Winter City #1 is written by Carl and Patrick Purcell, with art by Pablo Verdugo Munoz, colors by David Aravena Riquelme, letters by P. Purcell and guest pin-up art by Danny Cruz.

Preview - Bloodshot #1

Typically, blood follows a shot. It's not usual for the blood to come before the shot. When it does, expect action and the return of one of comic's most famed heroes in Bloodshot and the aptly named Bloodshot #1 from Valiant.

The first issue is written by Duane Swierczynski and illustrated by Manuel Garcia and Arturo Lozzi, with covers by Lozzi, Mico Suayan, David Aja and Esad Ribic. Bloodshot is the pinnacle of human technological achievement, fighting to save his old war buddy Apanewicz.

The issue hits stores July 11th with interiors below.

No Man's Land Investigates Life and Death

Blexbolex is a strange name. While it's a strange name, it's applicable to an amazing artist with a penchant for a very unique art style, all on display in the brand new No Man's Land.

In the wake of a national conspiracy, a hard-boiled detective finds himself on the wrong end of a death sentence. The executioner: himself, firing two suicidal shots to the head for his revealed crimes against society. However, as the bullets tear through his synapses, something strange happens. Snapping into overdrive, his brain refuses to give up without a fight, throwing him into an intense psychological odyssey of survival.

The fascinating thing about the book is that it takes place entirely in that single moment. The hero's subconscious it refusing to accept the inevitable, assembling strange scenarios to play out and blurring reality and fiction together. It's been three years in the making and serves as the sequel to 2010's Dog Crime.

The book is available now. Full press release and interiors below.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review - Resident Alien #1

Aliens walk among us! Or they don't. Who knows. It's a common plot point though, the notion that an alien is hiding among the humans. Usually, that alien has the ability to help people, an ability on full display in Resident Alien #1.

Published by Dark Horse Comics, Resident Alien #1 is written by Peter Hogan and illustrated by Steve Parkhouse.

Interview - Mike Baron and Steve Rude

There are characters that have lasted seemingly forever. Superman, Batman and Captain America all come to mind. There's another character who recently turned 30 in Nexus and has never really disappeared. Instead, the character has shown longevity as well. He's not quite as old as the three earlier mentioned heroes, but he's getting there.

Writer Mike Baron and illustrator Steve Rude are poised to bring the character back in Dark Horse Presents #12. The two managed to find time to talk to Omnicomic about Nexus, Fusionkasting and the comic climate now versus then.

Review - No More Heroes #2

A suicidal superhero isn't good for business. In No More Heroes #2, the aftermath of such a situation is what Sid Millar is faced with after unknowingly being part of Dark Justice's suicide.

The issue is written by Gordon Mclean, illustrated by Caio Oliveira, colored by Stas Leonov and lettered by Kel Nuttal.

Preview - Fathom Volume 2 #2

Fathom is still pissed and waging her war. She finds herself back in Marielle after the explosion (and destruction) of the Blue and Human cooperative research facility. It's at the city of Marielle that she sets to establish a new base of operations for her team.

Meanwhile, tensions between the Elite Council (led by Siphon) and Saba's commander Thallassar have really escalated, as Saba's citizens begin fleeing to join Kiani's cause.

The work is written by Vince Hernandez and illustrated by Oliver Nome, with colors by John Starr. It's in stores now with interiors below.

Saga #1 Reaches Fifth Printing

There's a sobering reality about a book that manages to find its way to a fifth printing. It's got to have such a quality story and art that really has people clamoring to read it. Saga #1 has both of those, managing to continue its tear by reaching a fifth printing. The fourth printing is already sold out, not even in stores yet.

Image Publisher Eric Stephenson revealed that the issue was "getting to the 70,000 mark." Stephenson also cited strong sales of the title in the digital marketplace. The fifth printing of the first issue will be in stores June 13, the same day as the second printing of Saga #3. Saga #4 will hit stores June 20.

There's plenty of chances to check out Saga if you haven't already. It's worth it.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review - Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison

The Empire. When someone says that which Empire comes to mind? For most it could be one of the numerous empires that have existed throughout history, leaving their own marks on the world. For others though when we hear the word "empire" only one can come to mind: the Imperial Empire of the Star Wars Universe. An empire that instilled fear and obedience throughout the galaxy with the Emperor at the helm, served faithfully by Darth Vader.

Out now is a new comic run from Dark Horse that shows another side of the Empires’ rise to glory in Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison #1. Written by Haden Blackman and with art by Agustin Alessio, Michael Heisler and covers by Dave Wilkins and Tsuneo Sanda, the comic features the untold stories within the Star Wars universe. One of these stories shows the early years of this new Empire and the pitfalls one unlucky new graduate is going to face.

Preview - Soulfire #8

The magic has returned! At least, that's what J.T. Krul, Jason Fabok and John Starr want you to know in Soulfire #8.

In addition to the magic returning, the light has grown dark, with the war of ages between the Sethoru and Rahtumi raging on to its finish. Malikai must confront a revelation in the chaos creatures intent on tormenting the world being part of his own soul.

This is the conclusion to the third volume of Soulfire, featuring new adversaries, exotic locations and a fresh cast of characters.

Check out some interiors below and the issue in stores today.

Hypernaturals Launches in July

Fans seemed to take to the Free Comic Book Day Edition of Hypernaturals #0. Not only because it was free (although I'm sure that helped), but also because it's a solid story that left them wanting for more. Their wants will be answered this July, when the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA apparently) collaboration hits stores for an all-new, ongoing series.

“We are excited and thrilled to be in the DnA business, and it’s clear from the fan reception that they’re doing what they do best,” said BOOM! Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie. “I’m excited to see where they can take things when the gloves come off in their own storytelling universe, where characters can die, major events can change, and Dan and Andy are unleashed to do their own thing, unfettered by decades of continuity or obligation to trademarks.”

The first issue will feature covers by Francesco Mattina, Timothy Green II and Trevor Hairsine, with interior art by Brad Walker and Andres Guinaldo. In it, the human race has finally colonized the galaxy, maintaining prosperity thanks to the Hypernaturals. At least, it worked that way until the Hypernaturals inexplicably vanished. Now, it's up to a group of retired Hypernaturals to save the galaxy from complete destruction.

"I couldn't be more excited about this series," says Matt Gagnon, Editor-in-Chief of BOOM! Studios. "DnA have built a devoted fan base by being phenomenal storytellers who bring integrity and passion to everything that they do. In THE HYPERNATURALS they truly take the gloves off and craft a breathtaking, original world."

Full press release and interiors below.

Review - The Almighties #1

You might have heard that the Avengers have assembled on screen. The film is pretty much owning the box office, with Joss Whedon successfully bringing the superhero team to film with lots of action. The film's release is a capital moment for the parodies to start coming out and Actuality Press is on it with The Almighties #1.

The title is written by Sam Johnson and Mike Gagnon, illustrated by Eleonora Kortsarz, Pablo Zambrano and D.C. White and colored by Gagnon, Gulliver Vianei and Jennifer Scott, with letters by Kris Johnson.

Aspen Comics To Attend the Phoenix Comicon 2012

There's a first time for everything and Aspen Comics is making their first appearance at Phoenix Comiccon 2012 this weekend, May 24-27th. The publisher will be bringing with them the requisite talent, exclusive books and prints to make it worth your while as well.

In attendance at the Aspen Comics Booth #900 throughout the weekend will be creators Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Mark Roslan, J.T. Krul and Joe Benitez at the Aspen Comics Booth, with Aspen artists Mike DeBalfo and Tony Parker also in attendance at the show in Artist’s Alley.

The publisher will be offering a special Fathom: Kiani #2 Phoenix Comicon 2012 cover by newly announced Soulfire Volume 4 artist DeBalfo with colors by Beth Sotelo. The special Phoenix Comicon exclusive will be limited to only 500 copies and fans are encouraged to visit the Aspen Comics Booth early to secure their copy.

Aspen will also be offering a special Lady Mechanika #2 Outlaw Exclusive Edition that will be debuting at the show, featuring an all new cover by Benitez and Steigerwald, limited to 1500 copies.

An exciting new line of Aspen’s industry-leading art prints will be released at the show featuring the latest version of the Aspen Tour Print 2012 by Michael Turner and Steigerwald. In addition to the Aspen Tour Print, the publisher will also be offering new prints featuring covers from popular titles such as Fathom, Soulfire, Lady Mechanika, Executive Assistant Iris and more.

Full press release and previews of the show exclusives below.

Oni Press Translates Bad Machinery to Print

Have you ever heard of John Allison? No? You should have, as his webcomic Bad Machinery is quite a hit on the interwebs. Some folks might not have access to said interwebs, so Oni Press is taking it upon themselves to collect the webcomic into a series of books, the first time the material has seen print since its inception in 2009.

“We couldn't be more thrilled to be working with John,” Oni Press editor in chief James Lucas Jones stated. “His comics have helped define how the art form has translated to the internet. His writing displays an impressive balance of suspense and humor, and the book's characters are well-rounded and interesting so you want to know what happens to them. And that doesn't even touch on how John is one hell of a cartoonist.”

The serialized webcomic is about two rival teams of kids who investigate supernatural mysteries, often competing to solve the same case. The story is set in a fictional English town and all the kids go to the same school. There is the girls group—Shauna, Charlotte, and Mildred—and the boys group—Jack, Linton, and Sonny—and though they each tend to start an adventure from opposite ends, they usually end up in the same place by story's end.

“It seemed like it was about time I had some Bad Machinery books out there,” Allison explained, “and Oni Press feels like the perfect fit. Their production standards are the best in comics, and I can't wait to see how they handle printing my strips.”

Bad Machinery, Vol. 1 is scheduled for a March 2013 release. You can check out the comic online now at www.badmachinery.com.

Full press release below.

Michael Midas Champion Hits Stores in July

We've all been there before. Children playing on the playground, our crush a few feet away. We desperately try to find the words and confidence to go up to them and say hi. Until we wait too long and a bully moves in and steals the crush from us. What do you do? Naturally, you don a mask and battle evil, pretending that evil is that bully. Who just happens to become your supervillain archnemesis.

Michael Midas Champion recounts this tale, as written by Jordan B. Gorfinkel and illustrated by Scott Benefiel. It's told from the perspective of a grandmother speaking to her grandson and it's really about becoming so dedicated to something that you lose touch of what's really important in your life.

Chris Renaud, director of DESPICABLE ME and DR. SEUSS' THE LORAX, said, “MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION delivers a dynamic narrative and spectacular illustration while answering the question, ‘How do you balance a family and superpowers?’ Everyone can recognize their own life in the character of Michael Midas and that’s what makes it fun. I truly enjoyed reading this story.”

Each issue will also showcase an original story cerated by The Troika. The Troika happens to be former Batman editors Gorfinkel, Scott Peterson and Darren Vincenzo, with a little Denny O'Neil sprinkled in for good measure. The first issue ships in July, while each issue will run 48 pages with no ads and in a "Widescreen Comics" landscape format for $4.99.

Full press release below.

Taking a Look at The Activity TPB

It's not as if the United States military isn't already doing enough for the country that they decide to team up with Image Comics on a comic taking a look at Black Ops. Specifically, the men involved in Operation Neptune Spear, the famous mission from May 2, 2011. It's that mission that Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads used as inspiration for The Activity, now hitting the shelves as a TPB.

The insight into the lives of special operatives, as well as the bleeding-edge technology they employ in their missions, is founded on Edmondson's desire to create a true-to-life depiction of life in Special Forces. A trip to Washington D.C., as well as extensive research and networking, yielded defense contractor contacts and sources within special ops.

"I flew to Washington, D.C. and interviewed colonels and captains and a general face-to-face, gleaning what info I could," Edmondson said. "I’ve had the scripts reviewed by individuals from the Pentagon and JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command].... Often it was a matter of those advisors directing me and us to specific reading material, or simply telling us, 'no, that doesn’t make sense.'"

The first TPB will hit stores June 6, collecting the first five issues of the series. The Activity #6 will hit stores shortly thereafter, illustrated by Laming and showing events west of the Congo in the Civil Affairs career of Team Omaha's newest member Fiddler.

The Activity #7 will start a new story arc called "Goat Hunt," where Team Omaha is sent to Uzbekistan for their latest mission. That issue hits stores July 18.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Image Goes Enormous

Humans are quite fond of their place at the top of the food chain. They're not necessarily stronger or fiercer than many animals, but what they lack in fighting prowess they more than make up for intelligence. It's that intelligence that the humans in Image Comics' new series Enormous will have to tap into.

"By the time we enter the world of Enormous, being at the bottom of the food-chain is something humans have been experiencing for a while," said Daniel. "As a result, there is no consensus around how we're going to survive as a species.

Written by Tim Daniel and illustrated by Mehdi Cheggour, Enormous features a cataclysmic event that has spawned colossal beasts that overrun human civilization. Cities are reduced to ruins where survivors must scratch out a desperate existence, evading the giant creatures that hunt them.

Ellen Grace lives in the middle of all this, a woman who's lost everything and is braving the streets to find lost children and bring them to a safe place.

"There are a few human factions, each operating with a fairly distinct agenda, the motivations of which may well be far beyond their understanding," he added. "Regardless of what might prove to be the driving force for each character, the law of the land is simple: hunt or be hunted."

Enormous #1 hits stores July 5 through the Shaowline imprint of Image Comics.

Full press release below.

X-O Manowar #1 Sells Out

In the immortal words of Ron Burgundy, don't act like you're not impressed. In that case, Ron was talking about the "optical illusion" created by his pants, but in the case of Valiant they're hoping you're impressed that X-O Manowar #1 has sold out. And is coming back to stores for a second printing.

"We've been telling the industry for months that Valiant would have everyone talking in 2012, but these figures have exceeded even our expectations," said Publisher Fred Pierce. "We can't thank the retail community enough for the massive support they've shown us, and this sellout speaks volumes about the amazing job our creators are doing with this series."

To put this into context (and actual numbers), the first printing was 45,000 copies, which has completely sold out. The second printing will feature a wraparound variant by cover artist star Arturo Lozzi. The cover and second printing will be in stores June 20th.

"Valiant has never underestimated the resonance that its characters have with comics fans around the world," added Valiant CEO Jason Kothari. "X-O Manowar #1 has already taken a lot of people by surprise, and, with Harbinger #1 and Bloodshot #1 just around the corner, this is truly going to be a summer of Valiant."

Full press release below.

Review - Havoc Brigade #1

In the heyday of my cartoon viewing youth, there was one show that aired that often gets forgotten amidst Transfomers, He-Man and Thundercats. The show was Exosquad, which followed a group of soldiers who fought in robotic exo-skeletons and were known as Able Squad. It wasn't the first property to use that premise, but something about the show stood out. It was pretty awesome.

Studio-407 hopes their take on the premise stands out just as much in Havoc Squad #1, a new series written by Neal Marshall Stevens and illustrated by John Bosco.

Witchblade Uncovers Hidden Artifacts

It's not as if Witchblade needs any new promotions. The series is well known within comic circles as one of longevity and as a flagship franchise for Top Cow. It's those outside of that circle that may want to know more about the series and that's why Image, Top Cow and Wired's GeekDad to debut a new promotion effective May 21.

Cover artist John Tyler Christopher has done all the "A" covers for Witchblade since #151. Those covers bear a secret message though that you might not have recognized. The covers hold hidden clues that are tied to "artifacts" that can readers can find and fans who solve the puzzle will be given the chance to download exclusive bonus material by going to www.topcow.com/community/promotions and entering the solution.

“One of the many reasons I love working with John is that, as an illustrator, he’s not only capable of producing some truly mesmerizing covers, but he’s always thinking outside the box," said Top Cow Publisher FIlip Sablik. "The genesis of this idea really began with John’s desire to engage fans and give them more with every cover. And what better way to announce the project than on Wired, the best news source for innovation and technology?”

Wired's GeekDad plays in thusly. To celebrate "Week of Witchblade," the blog is debuting a new cover puzzle every day and also running a contest every day as well. Fans will be eligible for a Daily Prize and a Grand Prize by entering at www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/05/a-week-of-witchblade-issue-151.

Full press release below.

Seven Girls for Every Season

Omar Dogan's got a girl for every season. Seven girls to be exact. Seven lovely rendered girls in pin-up fashion.

Girl Seven is 176-page tome featuring over a hundred new drawings by Dogan, featuring rough sketches, full-colour illustrations, character profiles and creator commentary. If you're unfamiliar with Dogan, you might recognize his work from Iron Man, Vampi and Robotech.

The art in Girl Seven features a cast of seven lovely ladies. They are designed by Dogan and presented through a variety of artistic themes and settings, including summer visits to the beach, convention cosplay, martial arts tournaments, sports teams, uniforms and more. Fans will also get a sneak peak at Dogan's process, taking numerous pieces from roughs to pencils to completed illustrations.

“The quality and amount of work that went into Girl Seven is a statement to Omar’s craftsmanship, consistency and passion for his work- ideals that I myself hope to achieve one day.”
– ARNOLD TSANG, Lead Character Concept Artist, Blizzard Entertainment

Omar Dogan’s Girl Seven is available in stores and online now! For full ordering and product information, visit The $39.99 book is available now.

Full press release and interiors below.

Mark Waid the Originator

Mark Waid is a busy man these days. A simple, visual press release from BOOM! Studios seems to indicate he's about to get busier.

The silhouette looks to be Emma Peel and John Steed of The Avengers fame. Could be interesting if Waid is breathing new life into the characters.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I heard an interesting rumor. You know how the WB/CW made a killing off of Smallville? Well, I suppose the news right now is that they’re going to do the same thing with Green Arrow (who has gotten BIG lately- anyone else notice that?).

But it looks like Marvel might be gearing up to hit the primetime TV circuit as well. I’ve heard that they’ve been looking into hiring writing crews to adopt a bunch of characters into primetime or lower budget films.

I would have to lean towards the former and not the latter if the past small-budget Marvel films are any indication. While their summer blockbusters are incredibly satisfying, I’ve been really worried about the prospect of anyone ever making a decent Ghost Rider or Punisher film (I think Thomas Jane’s isn’t bad here, actually, but I want more).

It looks like Daredevil and Fantastic Four are probably going to be given a second shot; a character and team who entirely deserve it, I might add.

But among the other properties Marvel is looking into?

Cloak and Dagger.

See, I LOVE this idea because I really think these two are an interesting (if not terribly miswritten) part of the Marvel universe.

Review - Ragemoor #3

Dealing with an opponent is relatively easy in the grand scheme of things. You study their strategy, find a weakness, get a good ambush point and strike. Fighting an opponent that is the ambush spot is a little trickier, as Master Herbert is quickly learning better and better each day he spends in Ragemoor.

Ragemoor #3 is published by Dark Horse Comics and is written by Jan Strnad, illustrated by Richard Corben and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot.

Vampirella Meets Barnabas Collins

Dynamite let's Vampirella have some fun in her universe. More often than not, that fun involves Vampires and/or Dracula. Dracula's not the only vampire in the world though, as Barnabas Collins is another. And Barnabas will meet Vampirella for the first time ever in Dark Shadows/Vampirella #1.

Written by Marc Andreyko and illustrated by Patrick Berkenkotter (with a cover by Fabiano Neves), the crossover will debut in August when the disappearance of a family friend brings Barnabas Collins to New York. He's not quite ready for what he encounters, especially when that includes Vampirella's battle against the Big Apple Butcher.

"Barnabas Collins and Vampirella are two classic characters in vampire lore, so getting the chance to pen their first meeting is a blast," says writer Marc Andreyko. "I remember watching Dark Shadows reruns and sneaking peeks at the Vampirella magazines when I was just a wee lad, so getting to do this book seems like fate! And I'm not going easy on Barnabas or Vampi in this series, either! They are going to be put through a gauntlet of terror before this book is through!"

Full press release and interiors below.

Joe Kubert's Tarzan of the Apes Swings Into IDW Publishing

An artist as revered as Joe Kubert deserves an Artist's Edition every now and then. IDW feels the time is now, bringing Kubert's Tarzan of the Apes to the publisher's Artist's Edition series.

“To have the Tarzan stories I drew commemorate the 100th anniversary of a strip I fell in love with as a kid is the thrill of a lifetime,” said Joe Kubert, writer and artist of all the stories in this Artist's Edition.

This Artist’s Edition collects six complete Kubert Tarzan adventures, including the classic four-part origin story. Each page is vividly reproduced from the original art and presented as no comics readers have seen before. It also happens to see release in the centennial year for Tarzan.

"I first read these comics when I was 10 years old, and they remain some of my favorite stories ever," said Editor Scott Dunbier, "this is Joe Kubert at his absolute best."

Joe Kubert's Tarzan of the Apes: Artist's Edition is $100 for a hardcover, black and white, 156 page book when it hits stores September 22.

Full press release below.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review - Football Crazy: The Theater of Nightmares on the Road to Insanity

The word "fan" is short for fanatic. Sports fans in particular fit that bill quite nicely, especially those fans of football. No, not the NFL. Football as in soccer. Those fans live and die by their teams, groups of individuals that represent local prides better than anything else. It's that fanaticism that can lead to some dangerous behavior, like, say, killing.

Published by CD Comics, Football Crazy: The Theater of Nightmares on the Road to Insanity is written and illustrated by Craig Daley.

Defense With The BoomStick

(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. Originally it was a post of news and tips to help survivors make it one more day alive, but now it has became a story of my fight after being bitten and partially cured to walk as a half-zombie among them.)

Gotta keep moving. No time to stop with zombies on your ass. Guess some decided to venture back on this side of the wall and head back towards middle of the United States looking for survivors to feast on.