Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crystal Dynamics and Dark Horse Bring Lara Croft Back to Comics

Crystal Dynamics has been hard at work returning Lara Croft to her roots. Stripping away the pomp and nobility and instead throwing her into survival mode in the publisher's upcoming game Tomb Raider. Dark Horse isn't going to quite the same extremes, but they are working with Crystal Dynamics to bring her back into comics under fairly similar circumstances. The two are pairing up to release Tomb Raider: The Beginning, the first installment in the new series set as a prequel to the game and written by Rhianna Pratchett.

“Lara Croft is an icon across all forms of media, including comic books,” said Karl Stewart, global brand director for TOMB RAIDER and Crystal Dynamics. “The team at Crystal Dynamics has worked closely with Dark Horse on ‘The Beginning’ to bring the relatable, re-imagined Lara Croft back to the comic book world.”

A 48-page, six-part hardcover omnibus, Tomb Raider: The Beginning follows the story of how the crew came together for The Endurance's fateful mission to discover the lost Japanese kingdom of Yamatai. Originally intended to feature as the latest installment of Dr. James Whitman's successful archaeology show, Whitman's World, the show-biz archaeologist gets more than he bargained for when he enlists the help of Captain Conrad Roth. As Roth's unique and eccentric crew gradually come together and share their stories and secrets, the expedition faces unexpected threats before it's even begun.

"Whilst penning Lara’s origins story for the game I had lots of ideas about the world she and the other characters inhabited, and the story behind their voyage: as great to be able to flesh out the world of TOMB RAIDER and work with the talented team at Dark Horse to bring Lara Croft back to comics,” said Rhianna Pratchett, lead game writer for TOMB RAIDER.

Fans will be able to get their hands on the comic as a bonus when they pre-order the game at Best Buy.

"The bold new vision of the game demanded we bring an equally fresh approach to the comics," said Dave Marshall, editor at Dark Horse. “We’re excited for TOMB RAIDER fans to experience a new side of Lara Croft as they accompany her on the earliest parts of her first adventure.”

Full press release below.

Review - Mortifera #2 & #3

Demons are a fickle bunch. If they're not seeking to enslave mankind, they're seeking to wreak as much as havoc as possible. Or they're destined to serving some master for whatever purpose. Generally, they find common causes to rally around; however, there are times when not all demons think alike, as is the case in Mortifera #2 & #3 from Mortifera Comics.

The issues are written by Stephen Frost and illustrated by Sarah Partington.

Preview - Bad Medicine Vol. 1 GN

An apple a day supposedly keeps the doctor away, but not much can be said for keeping bad medicine at bay. The peril to your health is never something that's sought after, unless it's in a comic book form and you really, really want to read it.

Bad Medicine Vol. 1 GN is written by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, with art by Christopher Mitten and colors by Bill Crabtree. Pulled out of exile from a dark corner of the world, renowned-surgeon-turned-fringe-medicine-eccentric Doctor Randal Horne must return to New York City to investigate a tragic research lab accident that’s left one man dead and inexplicably headless. Now with the help of a distrusting NYPD detective and a team of doctors from the CDC, Horne must diagnose this and other seemingly unexplainable medical phenomenon in a world where the line between medical science and science fiction is blurry at best.

The book hits stores January 30 from Oni Press. Check out the interiors below.

Bedlam #3 and Nowhere Men Sell Out

Normally, if you heard that people enjoying going insane or nowhere, you'd be suspect. Both places don't seem to be all that fun (of course, that's a matter of perspective), but readers seem to be all about them. So much all about them that Bedlam #3 and Nowhere Men 1 &3 have sold out at the distributor level.

Here at Omnicomic, we're definitely fans of Bedlam #3. Our review touted it as "a comic that's very deranged, but isn't apologetic about it."

The issues will be reprinted, with an in-store date of February 27, 2013. Orders for the second printings of Bedlam #3 (DEC128204) and Nowhere Men #3 (DEC128202) and the third printing of Nowhere Men #1 (DEC128205) are due in stores by February 4.

Full press release below.

Deathmatch #2 Hits Second Print

The appeal of watching two people fight to the death appears to be too tempting to resist. BOOM! Studios knows this firsthand; the second issue of their new series Deathmatch has sold out it's first printing. The title is written by Paul Jenkins and illustrated by Carlos Magno.

The battle royale continues as the world’s greatest superheroes are forced to fight each other to the death in a mysterious, otherworldly prison. Who will be crowned the victor in this month’s grudge match? More importantly, who will be the loser? And will the cabal of Sable, Meridian, Sol Invictus, and the Manchurian be able to decipher the mysteries of the prison before one of them is selected to enter the arena?

The second print will ship with a new cover by Tom Derenick (colored by Blond) with a Diamond order code of DEC128189.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review - Executive Assistant: Iris Volume 3 #2

The Executive Extinction agenda presses on, with Iris at the center of it. It's a big deal in the Aspen universe, so it only makes sense that one of their marquis characters happens to be primary character throughout. The storyline continues in Executive Assistant: Iris Volume 3 #2.

The issue is written by David Wohl, illustrated by Alex Lei, colored by Teodoro Gonzalez and lettered by Josh Reed.

Fantagraphics Set to Release Wilfred Santiago's Michael Jordan: Bull on Parade

Incredibly creepy, Resident Evil licker look aside, Michael Jordan's pronounced dangling as he went airborne was a sure sign that magic was about to happen. Magic that usually ended in a vicious dunk, deflating the opposite team and setting the Chicago Bulls up for yet another victory. It's an iconic look that is slated to be part of a brand new book published by Fantagraphics, called Michael Jordan: Bull on Parade, by Wilfred Santiago. Eric Reynolds, Associate Publisher and known ball-hog, had this to say on the upcoming release in March of 2014:

"Wilfred's dynamism makes Jordan as visually electric as a Kirby superhero comic, but Santiago also brings a good biographer or documentarian's passion for getting at the essence of his protagonist. I can't believe there aren't more American comics like this, but few cartoonists have the skill and feel for the subject of sports to pull it off as artfully and maturely as Wilfred."

The book promises to deliver even more of that "Be Like Mike" swagger MJ exhibited, both on court and off. The kinetic graphic novel will depict Jordan's public successes, private struggles and all the noise in between. The book will also offer a somewhat intimate look to the reader, engaging them by showing Jordan's progression from a teenage and college superstar to leading the Bulls to six NBA championships.

Santiago says, "Michael Jordan is a once in a lifetime phenomenon. Add the exhilarating game of basketball and you get one hell of a graphic novel."

The 200 page hardcover will be in full-color and set you back $24.99. Full press release below.

Action Lab Launches NFL Rush Zone Comic Book at NFL Experience

It's Super Bowl week, which means we're drowning in stories about Ray Lewis, the Harbaugh brothers, Alex Smith being Wally Pipped and whether or not Beyonce will lip sing the halftime show. That's all good and well, but what about some comic news during this busy week for football? Believe it or not, there is some and it comes from Action Lab Entertainment, with their release of the NFL Rush Zone comic at the NFL Experience during the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Action Lab,” proclaimed Action Lab President Kevin Freeman. “Both Nicktoons and the National Football League have universal recognition, well beyond the comic book market. The NFL RUSH ZONE comic book series is full of exciting stories that expand the history and lore of the characters from the show. We are honored that the NFL chose Action Lab as its licensee for this exciting action series.“

The comics based on the animated TV show NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians will debut at the 21st NFL Experience Driven by GMC. It's located at the Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center in New Orleans until February 3, the date of the Super Bowl. This event offers interactive games, entertainment, Youth Football Festival, a major football memorabilia show and free autograph sessions with NFL players. The Action Lab team will be a part of the experience, promoting limited-edition Super Bowl copies of the first NFL Rush Zone TPB, along with other special offers for fans. The Action Lab booth is conveniently located next to the NFL RUSH ZONE for Kids area.

“We are very pleased to be working with Action Lab on NFL RUSH ZONE comic books based on our animated TV series,” said Leo Kane, Senior Vice President of Consumer Products for the NFL. “Their action packed stories are certain to encourage young fans to learn more about their favorite NFL team. We are certain that kids will love the Rush Zone characters.”

This will be followed shortly by the digital release of the TPB and first issue of an ongoing series, beginning January 30th, and the general release to comic book shops on February 13th. Each issue will feature Ishmael "Ish" Taylor, an eleven-year old boy who serves as the primary protagonist, as well as other NFL Guardians. Guardians are the chosen young protectors of the players and their teams. Issues will feature current NFL players and one or more NFL Rusher, who assists the Guardians in protecting the NFL and the world from would-be conquerors. Each of the 32 NFL teams has Rusherz, and over time every team will have stories directly related to their games.

Action Lab and the NFL have plans to distribute the comic book series and TPBs to retail outlets, booksellers and the NFL RUSH ZONE website, as well as making it available at NFLShop and in team shops at NFL stadiums. The NFL RUSH ZONE books will also be available digitally through digital comic book outlets such as Comics Plus and ComiXology.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review - The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia HC

Believe it or not, there are some people out there who never owned a Nintendo growing up. That doesn't make them any less of a friend. It just means they might have missed on the historic magnitude of The Legend of Zelda. The game hits consoles with a fury in 1986. Since then, it has gone on to sell over 67 million copies of all incarnations of the game, cementing its place in video game history.

Now, Dark Horse has joined with Nintendo to present The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia HC to sate your historic Zelda thirst. The 276-page art book and story guide covers a good chunk of the green warrior's travails and is about to be unleashed upon the US.

Valiant Goes Zero With Shadowman and Archer & Armstrong

Both Archer & Armstrong and Shadowman are well into their runs as cornerstones in the new Valiant universe. That doesn't mean the two titles can't return to their roots in a sense. Both comics are doing just that, hitting the reset button in a way and getting zero issues.

Shadowman #0 will pair Justin Jordan, Patrick Zircher and Trevor Hairsine to chronicle the rise and fall of the title hero. Twenty-five years ago, Josiah Boniface was the Shadowman, and he had more problems than simply Master Darque – things from beyond are trying to eat the world, the police are trying to send him to jail and now he’s got to rescue Helena LeBreton from a murderous cult, whether she likes it or not.

Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry join like the names in the title of Archer & Armstrong #0 to wreck shop in a slightly different way than A&A. And they're going way back to the early days of Armstrong himself. How early? How’s ancient Ur sound?! For the first time, the 100 percent true story behind the Epic of Gilgamesh can be told. A tale of three warrior brothers, the Anni-Padda – better known to the Valiant Universe as Armstrong, the Eternal Warrior and Timewalker – on a quest to the mysterious Faraway. What they find is a lost land full of danger, excitement – and the greatest secret of the Valiant Universe.

Both hit stores in May. February 6 gets things started with the launch of Harbinger #0 from Joshua Dysart and Mico Suayan and Pere Perez. Full press release and interiors/covers below.

IDW Announces X-Files Ongoing Series

If the truth is out there, it certainly took IDW a bit of time to find it in comic book form. Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products decided to give them some classified information as to its whereabouts, as the latter has collaborated with the former on a brand new comic book series in brand new form starting June 2013. Oh, and collections from the classic issues published intermittently between 1995 and 2009 are also on tap.

“The fans of THE X-FILES have remained loyal to the series since its conclusion. What better way to continue the show’s legacy and give back to them than through new stories in a different medium,” said Jeffrey Godsick, President of Fox Consumer Products. “IDW has worked with a number of our Fox properties, and we know they’re going to do great things with these iconic characters.”

Over two movies and two hundred television episodes the work is a juggernaut of science fiction-tinged intrigue, unique characters and carefully constructed stories. That impact was felt in the comic world in the past, thanks to Topps and Wildstorm, with the last appearance of the duo coming in 2009 thanks to Wildstorm/IDW in 30 Days of Night/The X-Files.

“Few shows have captured the zeitgeist and fans’ imaginations like THE X-FILES, and fewer shows still have left people hungry for more in the way this one did,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief. “Our new series will be picking up where the second film left off, which will hopefully be as exciting for fans to read as it is for us to develop.”

Full press release below.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Star Trek and Star Wars are interesting subjects. They're two long-standing titans of science-fiction and science-fantasy and you’d be hard-pressed to argue that everything under the pop-culture sun hasn’t been influenced by these two in some way. You can see their influence in almost anything: Mass Effect, Marvel and DC comics, Transformers, The Matrix (that’s right, The Matrix... What the hell happened to that franchise anyway!?).

It isn’t terribly surprising that people get the names mixed up. But of course, as any fan will tell you, they are very different. That first sentence probably sums it up best--Star Trek isn’t so much science-fiction as it is, well, SCIENCE-fiction. While I don’t think the US government is ever going to discover a warp drive, the business of space travel in Star Trek is not entirely off-the-map in regards to what it could one day actually be.

People don’t zip around in one man fighters; thousands of people build massive ships that require crews of hundreds to operate. Space travel in Star Trek is a lot like sailing on the open sea in the 1700’s. It takes time to get places and the show is filled with fantastical, yet plausible, ideas about how the human race would explore the final frontier one day.

Review - Sleepy Hollow #4

When vengeance comes for you in the form of a headless horseman hellbent on taking your head, you best run. Sleepy Hollow #4 is out from Zenescope Comics and for those fools who took part in the death of Craig Marsters it's the end game for them. The last issue of the series brings all the blood, gore and head-chopping you could ask for, making it a grand finale issue.

The issue is written by Dan Wickline, illustrated by AC Osorio, colored by Erick Arciniega and lettered by Jim Campbell.

KaBOOM! Studios Goes Regular Show

KaBOOM! Studios is filled with a bunch of regular folks. They're making regular comics, with nothing really to see about them. Standard, comics. Or are they that only in name? The latter seems to be the case, as the publisher is all set to launch Regular Show, a new comic based on the Cartoon Network animated series created by J.C. Quintel. It'll be written by K.C. Green and illustrated by Allison Strejlau.

“It's exciting to be able to work on this comic as I am a fan of the show. Probably the funnest part is going back over the episodes again for inspiration (and just enjoying them also)," commented writer Green, "Plenty of ideas popping up just working on writing them down and getting the voices of each character just right. That is important, especially with this project."

Join Mordecai, a blue jay and Rigby, a raccoon, a couple of best bros in their twenties just tryin’ to chill for a bit. But when you’re livin’ in as crazy a world as they are, no day can be called regular though. The fact that the book will feature covers by Nick Edwards, Nathan Fox, Phil McAndrew, John Allison, Noelle Stevenson, Chuck BB, Chris Houghton and Dustin Nguyen make the book even less regular.

"I’m really excited to see Regular Show in comic form," added creator Quintel. "Can’t wait to see what K.C. Green does with it. As someone who also only has two letters for a first name, I’m sure he’s going to make it awesome."

Regular Show #1 is available for order under Diamond Code FEB130826-28. The complete box set comes in a shrink-wrapped commemorative slipcase that retails for $24.99 and is available for order under Diamond Code FEB130829.

Full press release below.

Joe Mulvey Serves Retailers a Knuckle Sandwich in Scam #3

Joe Mulvey has a bone to pick with retailers across the country. Scam #3 saw its fair share of delays, none of them really because of Mulvey himself. No, the retailers are the ones suffering for the delay, mainly by being on the receiving end of some vicious punches in the pages of Scam #3.

"For a little guy, Joe sure packs a mean punch," said Jetpack Comics owner Ralph DiBernado, while icing bruised jaw (and ego), after being on the receiving end of a beat down in the pages of SCAM #3 from ComixTribe. "I don't know what could have set him off," said Larry Doherty of Larry's Wonderful World of Comics. "It's not like I'm one to start controversies, or anything."

Doing Mulvey's dirty work in the book is Pint, the super-powered con man who gives new meaning to beer muscles. Also caught up in the melee were super-star retailers from Double Midnight Comics, Hypnocomics, Thirdeye Comics, Maximum Comics and Newcastle Comics. Not even Joe Field, ComicsPRO president and owner of Flying Color Comics, was spared from Mulvey's rage. Field was unable to be reached for comment and it's unclear whether this incident will impact ComixTribe's participation as a Silver Sponsor in the 2013 Free Comic Book Day program.

"ComixTribe does not approve of, or condone Mulvey's actions," said publisher Tyler James, in an official statement. "We wish each and every one of those retailers, all class-acts and tops in their field, a swift recovery. We particularly hope they recover in time to get their large orders in for SCAM #4 ( JAN131006 ) which is in Previews now!"

With Crosswords preparing for all out war, and Tru and crew’s plan hanging by a thread, the team has to make a final decision: Is it time to fold or go ALL IN? The book is due in stores soon, so you can find out then.

Full press release below.

Star Wars #1 Sells Out Second Time

Long, long ago, in a comic book publisher in Oregon...

Sounds pretty ominous right? It's not quite as vague as you think though, as it's the opening crawl to the multiple sellouts of Star Wars #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The Brian Wood penned book pairs him with Carlos D'Anda on a new series set in the time of the original trilogy and has sold out its second printing.

The book takes readers back to the adventure-filled days following the destruction of the Death Star. The days when the Empire ruled, Rebels were on the run and the galaxy was just a flat-out dangerous place. It's got some praise heaped on it too.

“With the focus on our beloved characters rather than just space battles (although there will be some of those), not to mention art by Carlos D’Anda and a cover by Alex Ross, this is the most excited I’ve been for a new Star Wars title in any medium in years.”—Wired/Geek Mom

“It all just feels like Star Wars, and for a franchise that has been around for over 30 years, D’Anda somehow finds a way to inject new life into it.”—Complex

For retailers, Star Wars #1 can be ordered with the code DEC128188 D. Full press release below.

Friday, January 25, 2013

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 to survive and to keep on living.)

Being alive and human again has taken a bit to get used to. That hunger from before in part-zombie I could push to the side and still function has now been replaced by the need to eat just to keep moving. The sweat, aches, soreness and feelings of fear have all been coming back to me and man how I've missed and hated them at the same time. No matter all the pitfalls and troubles that come with it; I love being full flesh and blood again, with no zombie side ready to rear its ugly head.

Another downer is having to stop and sleep more now that I can’t push my body as far on less rest. It really makes walking a lot tougher to do, as I have to sneak around zombies now since they can smell me and only walk so far before needing to stop to eat or rest. I’ve come to value the skills I picked up about moving silently now that zombies seem to be lurking around every corner.

Review - Criminal Macabre: Final Night #2

Ghouls and zombies don't like each other. Maybe it's because they're competing for the same food source, maybe it's because they're competing for sleeping space. Or maybe it's because a vampire wants to bring mankind to its knees as in Criminal Macabre: Final Night #2 from Dark Horse Comics.

The book is written by Steve Niles, illustrated by Christopher Mitten, colored by Michelle Madsen and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot.

Jim McCann and Janet Lee Reunite in Lost Vegas

When Jim McCann and Janet Lee get together, magic happens. Return of the Dapper Men is one of the finest works of imagination out there, a striking beauty of a book. They're working on a sequel to the book, but in the meantime, you'll have to simply enjoy a new collaboration of theirs called Lost Vegas.

Lee says of the book, "Artistically, Lost Vegas is the alien love child of The Hustler and The Wizard of Oz. It's filled with alien opulence, every type of creature I can imagine, fabulous costumes, scoundrels, thieves, and hard-hitting grit — you know, exactly like the real Las Vegas.”

Aboard the luxury space station Lost Vegas, only the highest rollers in the galaxy are allowed. No bet is too high, and no game off-limits. But be careful — while you could win a fortune if you go all in, a much darker fate awaits if you get too far in debt here and in casinos and back-room gambling halls in every planet around. Once you're over your head, you lose the last thing available: your freedom, something a con-man gambler Roland learned the hard way. Roland, now enslaved to the casino, has a plan to steal back his freedom. In just 24 hours, he must pull off the heist of the millennium.

"The system of "working off debt" is rigged in the houses' favor, like most things," writer McCann explained. "It'll never happen. For him, there's only one option: ...cheat the system, get enough money to get a ship, and escape the cruiser with a new life."

The first of four issues will be in stores March 6, with covers by Lee, Dan McDaid and Francesco Francavilla.

Full press release below.

Dream Thief

The thought of someone walking or talking in their sleep is nothing big. Killing in your sleep is something altogether crazier. Dark Horse has got you covered.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Titan Comics Launches DmC: Devil May Cry: The Virgil Chronicles Comic Tie-In

When it comes to DMC, the run variety is probably the most storied. There's another variety though that's a little more recent, but has its own core following and devoted fans. That DMC stands for Devil May Cry, the franchise from Capcom that's about to get a reboot, which is a perfect time for a comic tie-in from Titan Comics called DmC: Devil May Cry: The Vergil Chronicles.

The first of two comics is available digitally, with an expected print in May. The first comic takes place before the game DmC: Devil May Cry and reveals the unmissable backstory of Vergil and Kat; with never-before-seen revelations. It's written by Guillaume Dorison (aka Izu) and illustrated by Robin Recht and Patrick Pion.

In print, DmC: Devil May Cry: The Vergil Chronicles #1 is on sale May 15 and #2 is on sale June 19. Retailers can order DmC: Devil May Cry: The Vergil Chronicles #1 from the February 2013 edition of Diamond PREVIEWS.

Full press release below.

Review - Legend of the Shadow Clan #1

Ninjas have maintained a place in legend and history, despite their impact being weakened as the tradition has faded. It's not gone entirely, but it's also not like you see ninjas walking down the street. Unless you're in New York and work for a large, multinational company such as in Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 from Aspen Comics.

The issue is written by David Wohl, with art by Cory Smith, colors by John Starr and letters by Josh Reed.

Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 Celebrates Digital Variant Cover

Bringing in multiple parties on a creative endeavor only amps up the creativity quotient. There's really no tried and true formula predicting the level of creativity amping, but it's a sure thing to say good things will happen when Archaia, Ishinomori Production Inc. and comiXology team up. Throw in a celebration of Shotaro Ishinomori's 75th birthday and a digital comic cover is born.

“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the innovative work of manga legend Shotaro Ishinomori than debuting the groundbreaking ‘truly digital’ variant of Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 by Archaia,” said co-founder of comiXology John D. Roberts. “We knew that comiXology’s Guided View would play a big role in the evolution of comics storytelling but this ‘truly digital’ variant is an exciting leap into a whole new direction. Here’s to the first of many!”

Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 previews Archaia’s full-length hardcover graphic novel, featuring a contemporary take on Ishinomori’s classic Cyborg 009 characters. It will debut at Comic-Con International in San Diego this July. Written by F.J. DeSanto and Bradley Cramp, illustrated by Marcus To and colored by Ian Herring, Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 is available today exclusively across comiXology’s entire digital comics platform.

Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 features the first 17 pages of the forthcoming Cyborg 009 graphic novel from Archaia, as well as the first 61 pages of the original Cyborg 009 Volume 1 manga, which, along with other works by Ishinomori, are also available for purchase on comiXology. Conceptualized and brought to life by Marcus To, Ian Herring, Jon Adams, Stephen Christy and John D. Roberts, the Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 cover is available exclusively through comiXology.

“After changing the way people think about printed books the past few years, one of our missions at Archaia for 2013 is to change the way people think about digital storytelling,” said Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy. “What we’ve produced with comiXology for Cyborg 009: Chapter 000 is almost a digital ‘flip book’ cover for the 21st century, with Marcus To and Ian Herring brilliantly bringing to life a fight between Cyborg 009 and an unnamed agent of series villain, The Black Ghost. I can’t wait for comics fans around the world to see what Marcus and Ian have created.”

Full press release below.

Legend of the Shadow Clan #2 Gets J. Scott Campbell Incentive Covers

Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 is a big hit, selling over 35,000 copies. That's not any cause to slow down though and Aspen has no plans to do so. The second issue will feature some of the same incentives as the first, including a special J. Scott Campbell Retailer Incentive cover amongst other incentive offers for fans and retailers.

In the second issue, the Arashis believed themselves to be just an average family, but everything changed the night that Dr. William Arashi inadvertently found himself in a battle with well-armed assassins, and he not only survived, but he defeated them. Exhilarated and confused, Arashi now discovers that this attack was not random, and that he and his family are anything but ordinary--they are members of an ancient and powerful ninja family known as the Shadowclan. But now that their secret has been discovered, they realize they are ALL in great danger!

Legend of the Shadow Clan #2 will feature a direct cover by series artists Smith and Starr and will also feature an Aspen Reserved Edition cover by Billy Tan with colors by Peter Steigerwald. Fans and new readers who add the series to their local comic shops’ subscription service are eligible to receive the special Aspen Reserved Edition cover. Those customers who add all ten new Aspen “10 for 10” number one issues to their store’s pull box will then be eligible to receive the free full-size Aspen “Perfect 10’s” jam poster featuring all ten Reserved Edition covers on one image colored by Steigerwald.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review - Comeback #3

Time travel takes you, well, all over time. Very rarely though does that travel involve going back and preventing deaths for the right cost. That typically comes with a slew of warnings about time paradoxes and wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff. You need a company like Reconnect in Comeback #3 from Image Comics to manage it all.

The issue is written by Ed Brisson, illustrated by Michael Walsh, colored by Jordie Bellaire and lettered by Brisson.

Ninjak Gets Valiant Masters Treatment

Ninjak as a character has the capability to hit 200 pages. He could do it quite quickly and with ruthless efficiency if he wanted to. That's not what Valiant has in mind though, as their Valiant Masters: Ninjak Vol. 1 – Black Water has another means of hitting 200 pages. Mainly by being a book that's 200 pages long.

Valiant Masters: Ninjak Vol. 1 – Black Water collects the definitive origin and debut solo adventure of super-spy Colin King's masked alter ego – plus an exclusive compendium of more than than a dozen rare and never-before-seen Joe Quesada pencils and process art direct from the Valiant vaults. Re-presenting Ninjak (1994) #1-6, #0, and #00, the collection gives readers a fresh take on a storied property.

Codenamed Ninjak, Colin King is gifted with a brilliant mind and lethal training in the world’s most dangerous fighting techniques. Both will be put to the ultimate test as he is drawn into a globe-spanning mission to apprehend Dr. Silk, mastermind of the WEBNET terror network, before the mysterious weapon known as “Black Water” goes online. From the British Isles to the land of the Rising Sun, Ninjak is about to leave an indelible imprint on the Valiant Universe – or die trying.

The second in Valiant's new line of hardcover collections hits stores February 27. If you're a little on the fence about picking it up, you can check out a preview of the collection in the Valiant Masters: 2013 FCBD Showcase Edition. Coincidentally, that hits stores on Free Comic Book Day 2013, which is May 4.

Full press release below.

Top Cow Gets Amazing in Arizona

January 25-27 sees the first big convention of the season in Amazing Arizona Con. Why makes it amazing though? Well, publishers like Top Cow making an appearance definitely goes a long way to ensuring the convention earns the adjective.

The publisher will be sending Matt Hawkins to the show (Booth #409). It's there he'll be selling two Think Tank exclusives. The first is a photo wraparound cover of Think Tank: Military Dossier #1, the behind-the-scenes look at the characters and technology from series by Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal. The variant is limited to 250 copies.

The second exclusive is a lithograph by Stjepan Sejic, depicting David Loren in his natural element of explosions and equations. The exclusive lithograph is limited to 25 copies.

In addition, Hawkins will also be appearing on three panels at Amazing Arizona Con: Breaking into Comics, Image Comics and Kickstarter.

Full press release and panel schedule below.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Interview - Pat Shand (Unleashed)

Remember Pat Shand? He's the one who's brought new life to an old character in Zenescope's Robyn Hood. He's also putting a new spin on an old god in Zeus, courtesy of Godstorm. Now, he's spearheading Zenescope's massive universe spanning event called Unleashed, which he was more than happy to talk about.

Oh and Jessica Nigri pops up as well. She's swell.

Review - The Answer #1

Librarians come with all sorts tropes attached to them. Sexy, smart, shushing. Depending on the person, what kind of person that librarian is goes a long way in determining their ability to cope with intense situations. And The Answer #1 from Dark Horse puts librarians in death-defying situations.

The issue is written by Dennis Hopeless, with art by Mike Norton, colors by Mark Englert and letters by Crank!.

Vampirella Strikes #1 Sells Out

Get your copy of Vampirella Strikes #1? No? Well, then at this point you might have missed out, as the first issue has sold out and is getting harder and harder to find. That's WITH a large overring on the part of Dynamite. It might be something like the Johnny D cover or the Vampirella Strikes #1 Subscription Special Limited Edition Photo Cover, limited to initial orders, has also sold through its entire print run.

Dynamite Entertainment wants to announce that three other superb cover editions of Vampirella Strikes #1 are still available, including those by the late, great Michael Turner, all-star artist David Finch and "good girl" legend Milo Manara. And as a reminder, Dynamite has - for the first time ever - made each of the remaining cover editions available for individual order, granting fans and retailers the freedom to pick-and-choose their favorite images!

Writer Tom Sniegoski has returned to the franchise, launching a new miniseries with a familiar name: Vampirella Strikes. Sniegoski is one of the most successful, beloved writers to ever pen the raven-haired heroine, having previously written multiple Vampirella series (including the long-running Vengeance of Vampirella #1- #25).

In Vampirella Strikes #1, the first chapter of a six-issue series, Vampirella - fearful that her monstrous nature is taking control - takes solace in some extreme violence in a Boston tavern overrun by demons. Living in a world of growing supernatural threats, our heroine never knows what she will be facing from one moment to the next, but what she finds waiting for her in her Boston Brownstone when she returns from a night of hunting is the most unexpected of all. Angels of Heaven have been sent by God...and they want Vampirella to work for them.

Full press release below.

Aspen Announces Retailer Exclusives for Shrugged

2013 keeps up the awesomeness for Aspen Comics, as it's got something special on tap for Shrugged: retailer incentive covers! The second release in the publisher's "10 for 10" initiative and Shrugged #1 will hit stores March 13 with a slew of covers, courtesy of Michael Turner, Frank Mastromauro, Jonathan Marks and Beth Sotelo.

Theo and his friends are entering their final year of high school, and even though Ange and Dev are still along for the ride, a host of new characters have joined in on the adventure! But, everything isn’t all fun and games this time around as an evil force has also returned and is preparing to silence those voices inside their heads…permanently. If you thought you knew what fear was, you haven’t seen anything yet.

As part of the “10 for 10” initiative and to thank retailers for their support in getting Aspen Comics to the milestone decade mark, Aspen is releasing the first issue of Shrugged for $1. As well, every subsequent #1 issue for each new release in Aspen’s “10 for 10” program will be offered at the same low price. To support comic shops’ push for Shrugged #1 and the Aspen “10 for 10” titles to follow, Aspen is offering a multitude of special incentives for stores to choose from on the debut issue, wholesale priced at a near Free Comic Book Day level to retailers:

Every fan or new reader who lets their local retailer know to add Shrugged #1 to their subscription box is eligible to receive the special “Aspen Reserved Edition” cover. Fans who collect all ten Aspen “10 for 10” #1 Reserved Edition covers at their local comic book store will then be eligible to receive the free Aspen “10 for 10” Jam Poster featuring characters from all ten titles and colored by superstar colorist Peter Steigerwald. Any retailer who orders 50 copies of the dollar-priced Shrugged #1 will receive a signed and numbered copy of the direct cover edition, along with a certificate of authenticity.

Retailers who order 100 copies of the dollar-priced issue one will receive the above listed incentive as well as one free CCG 9.8 Reserved Edition cover of Shrugged #1. For every 250 total combined copies of the standard and Reserved Edition covers ordered, retailers will receive all of the above listed incentives and one free original hand drawn Sketch Cover by Shrugged series artist Marks. Each retailer who orders 750 total combined copies of the standard and Reserved variant edition covers ordered are eligible to receive those copies (minimum 300 copies) with an exclusive cover featuring their store logo or image incorporated into the cover illustration. Qualifying retailers will be contacted to confirm the specifics of your exclusive image.

And for stores who order 1500 total combined copies of the standard and Reserved variant edition covers, those retailers will receive a special store signing appearance by either the creator or an artist of Shrugged, receive 200 additional past Aspen exclusive comics for the signing, and be included in an interior ad page of the comic promoting the event. Qualifying retailers will be contacted to confirm the specifics of your signing. This incentive is limited to five participating stores.

Full press release below.

Monday, January 21, 2013

BOOM! Studios Launches Polarity in April

Come April, BOOM! Studios is messing with the balance of life. It's not as if they're trying to make the world go crazy or anything, but they do plan on dabbling a bit in Polarity, a new release by Max Bemis and Jorge Coelho.

“In perhaps what is the most exciting development to me in my artistic life since I formed Say Anything, I'm thrilled to announce that my first comic series, POLARITY, will be debuting in April through the wonderful folks at BOOM! Studios. I am an obsessive comics fan to say the least so this is the actualization of a long time dream, and I foresee myself continuing to write A LOT in the future, so this will, hopefully, be where it all begins,” says Bemis.

Timothy Woods is a bipolar artist stuck in the world of hipsters, meaningless sex and vain art -- better known as Brooklyn. After he survives a near fatal car accident, Timothy discovers that his mental instability is more than just a disorder. His bipolar medication hasn't just been subduing depression and uncontrollable mania, it's been suppressing his superpowers. Now it's time for Timothy to stand up to his disease alongside an onslaught of wretched human villainy as he finally finds his place in the world.

“I think fans of my music in particular will be excited that the roots of POLARITY lie in the story that I created for the musical that never was, but became the blueprint for our first record …IS A REAL BOY. In many ways, this is that same story, told through a different medium,” added Bemis.

Polarity #1 ships in April with a cover by Frazer Irving, along with retailer incentive covers by W. Scott Forbes and Irving. The first issue is a 32 page, full color issue that retails for $3.99 and is available for order under Diamond Code FEB130853.

Full press release below.

Review - Bedlam #3

A serial killer is on the loose. The police are grasping at straws trying to catch them and they've possibly gotten a break in the case when someone calls confessing to the crimes. Of course, that would be too easy now wouldn't it? Good thing it isn't; otherwise, you wouldn't be as enticed to read Bedlam #3 from Image Comics.

The issue is written by Nick Spencer, with art by Riley Rossmo, colors by Jean-Paul Csuka and letters by Kelly Tindall.

Hermes Press Acquires Scratch9

Hermes Press is making moves to help the publisher to sell comics at a pace the company's namesake would be proud of. If that plan includes adding an Eisner Award nominated title to the line-up, well, that's a no-brainer of a decision. That decision was made when it came to adding Scratch9 to the publisher's line-up, written by Rob M. Worley.

“I thought I couldn't be more thrilled to have Scratch9 join Hermes Press and their slate of high quality books,” Worley said. “Then they told me they would reintroduce my super cat buddy to young readers as a Free Comic Book Day selection and, what do you know, I am more thrilled!”

The all ages title features Scratch, a curious cat who gets lost, must summon his nine lives to aid him in rescuing pets from the C.R.U.E.L. Corporation. Scratch9 will also be featured as a Hermes Press Free Comic Book Day title. Scratch9 debuted in 2010 to considerable acclaim and nominated for numerous awards, including the Will Eisner Comics Industry Award in the Best Publication for Kids category. It was also named one of School Library Journal's top graphic novels in 2010.

“Scratch9 is a fantastic feature and is clearly in the tradition of the great cartoons and strips created by Hanna Barbera,” observed Publisher Daniel Herman. “As Scratch9 has been on hiatus I thought we’d reacquaint fans with Scratch and rev up interest in the series by offering a recap of issue #1 for Free Comic Book Day.”

Following the FCBD edition comes the all-new Scratch9: Nine Tails series which teams Worley with nine different creators to tells solo adventures of the super-cat’s nine lives. Joining Worley are such creative voices as Shane Houghton, Chris Houghton, Armand Villavert, Jr, Shannon Eric Denton and many more.

Full press release below.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth a Hit

The Ugly Duckling is one of the most well-known works about finding beauty in every shape and form. It's a premise that's proven successful, so much so that the first issue of a book from Image with a similar feel in Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth has sold out. Of course, this calles for a reprint. Folks around the internet agree.

"Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth is a fantastic book like no other. This oddball story features slightly risqué humor with fantastic art. Perker and Kristensen have a lot to live up to with the remaining three issues. If it's anything like the first issue, we're in for a great ride."
- Comic Book Therapy

"Kristensen and Perker are two endlessly talented individuals and Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth is the culmination of their shared vision. Give it a shot. You might be surprised."
- Geeks of Doom

"Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth is a fantastic mini-series to sink your teeth in. Ken Kristensen definitely shows that his screenwriting chops translate well to the ink and color form, as in one issue we already have a good idea of what drives each and every character."
- Watch Play Read

The four-issue miniseries by Ken Kristensen and MK Perker tells the story of a hapless, happy-go-lucky kid loathed by his deadbeat family and bullying classmates who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. The second issue hits store shelves on February 13 and final orders from comic book retailers are due today. The second printing of the first issue hits stores February 20.

Full press release below.

Friday, January 18, 2013

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 to survive and to keep on living.)

What the hell? My heart...it's beating again.

I never thought this could happen. Or would happen.

I thought this zombie virus would ravage me for the rest of my days, keeping me half human and half zombie. Felt I would never be able to feel my heartbeat or sweat again. I don't know how I did this or how the virus has been beaten, but I'm human again.

I did get a mild shock from a battery I was messing with trying to get this car started. By mild I mean it knocked me backwards, but I didn’t think it left any lasting effects on me. Now I have this to deal with; running from zombies was hard enough. Now it's even worse as they can smell me again and will double their zeal in finding me.

Review - Archer & Armstrong #6

Geomancers are rare in this world, so everyone will go to great lengths when one shows up. What makes a Geomancer even more powerful is their ability to endure, as evidenced by the latest one in Archer & Armstrong #6 from Valiant Entertainment.

The issue is written by Fred Van Lente, illustrated by Emanuela Lupacchino, inked by Guillermo Ortega and colored by Matt Milla.

Aspen's Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 Sells Over 35k Copies

Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 is quite a hit with the preordering crowd. The book has yet to hit stores, but it's already managed to hit over 35,000 copies sold, leading Aspen to offer an array of retailer exclusive covers personalized for each individual store.

“We are tremendously thankful to our fans and retail partners who helped make our first “10 for 10” release a huge success," said Frank Mastromauro. "Legend of the Shadow Clan is an exciting new property for us, and we’re honored to have such a great response to the launch. We worked extremely hard to make sure to contact each and every retailer who participated in the exclusive cover incentive, in order to ensure that their cover was unique and personalized to their own retail shop’s logo design. No two covers turned out alike, and I think they all look amazing.”

Aspen is pricing each debut #1 “10 for 10” issue for the affordable price of only $1 and is also offering other incentives for each release such as original hand-drawn sketch covers, CGC editions, and special retailer incentive covers by popular artists J. Scott Campbell and Eric “Ebas” Basaldua.

Fans and new Aspen readers who add each of the “10 for 10” titles to their comic shop’s local subscription service will be eligible to receive the special Aspen Reserved Edition variant covers. Those fans who collect all ten Aspen Reserved Edition #1 covers will receive a free full-size Aspen “Perfect 10s” Jam Poster featuring all ten “10 for 10” covers on one image colored by superstar colorist Peter Steigerwald.

Aspen encourages everyone to check out the release of Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 for only $1 on February 6th.

Full press release and a ton of covers below.

Fearless Dawn Returns in Kickstarter for Jurassic Jungle Boogie Nights

Fearless Dawn has been MIA for a while now. Steve Mannion has kept her sidelined for whatever reason, but when she's needed, she'll be there. A good time to make an appearance is for a brand new Kickstarter set up by Mannion for a brand new book called Jurassic Jungle Boogie Nights. Mannion's words on that matter are succinct.

"What the heck. Let's give it a try."

The setting is World War II and the Nazis are threatening world domination. A new hero rises to fight the Axis in Fearless Dawn. With her trusty Retro-Rocket and Sidekick Betty, there's plenty of action. Enter the evil Helga Von Krause, Fearless Dawn's arch-nemesis and the sparks begin to fly. Helga's cooking up a plot to invade with an army of genetically-modified Dinosaur warriors that threaten to smash everything in the free world unless she is stopped.

As of writing, the book has exceeded its goal, but throwing more money Mannion's way could lead to even more rewards. Current rewards include original art, Steve Mannion 2012 sketchbooks, Fearless Dawn signed packs, original sketches and more.

Full press release below.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review - The Black Beetle #1

Sometimes you need your stories hard-boiled like your eggs. Some people like their eggs that way, but just about everyone likes their stories that way. Those hard-boiled stories like The Black Beetle #1 from Dark Horse Comics, the first of four issues.

The issue is written and directed by Francesco Francavilla.

Hunter Quaid Ravages Dark Horse Presents

Dark Horse Presents is becoming the go-to anthology for titles both new and old to make an appearance. That includes titles such as Hunter Quaid from Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal. And it's their Dark Horse Presents debut.

“The book is a ton of fun, something that Eliot and I feel is missing from a lot of modern comics. We couldn’t be more excited to begin our story in the Eisner Award–winning Dark Horse Presents. It’s an honor,” stated Cates.

Hunter Quaid is a drunken, misanthropic, time-traveling detective from the forties, but that’s not all. His journeys reveal that not all is as it seems (is it ever?) and if you're paying attention, you'll find clues to the book's secret. It's the classic story of a perfect hero, who can be relied on when the world needs him.

“Donny and I love comics; they have the amazing ability to embody positivity, and that’s really what Hunter is about. We were just two desperately alone, and drunk, strangers who became best friends that wanted to write a funny, real, and inspiring character,” Rahal explained. “Hunter is a labor of love and would be nothing without the uncanny conceptual art of Melissa Curtin, and the deadly color work of Lauren Affe; we are all so honored and thrilled for Hunter to have found his first home at Dark Horse Presents.”

Catch Hunter Quaid appearing in Dark Horse Presents #24, on sale May 22, 2013. Full press release below.

Aspen Comics Kicks Off 2013 Convention Season to Amazing Arizona Con

Have you got your convention calendar prepared for 2013? One of the first big shows of the year is the Amazing Arizona Con, taking place January 25-27. Aspen feels it's the perfect show to launch their all new "10 for 10" initiative at the show, starting with Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 by David Wohl.

Starting on February 6th, Aspen will be launching their “10 for 10” initiative featuring an all new series release for ten consecutive months, with each debut #1 issue offered for only $1. Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 will be the first offering for Aspen’s “10 for 10”, and is created by Wohl and Brad Foxhoven with art by Cory Smith and John Starr.

Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 will be released nearly a week prior to its release date at the show, featuring an exclusive cover by Mike DeBalfo and colorist Peter Steigerwald. The Legend of the Shadow Clan #1 Amazing Arizona Con 2013 edition will be available at the Aspen Comics Booth all weekend long and is limited to 200 copies. Also at the booth will be Frank Mastromauro, Steigerwald, Wohl, DeBalfo, Nei Ruffino, Tony Parker and Vince Hernandez.

Aspen will also be featuring all new editions of their art prints available at the Aspen Booth all weekend long as well, including the year’s first edition of their anniversary flashback Aspen Tour Print 2013, featuring Aspen Matthews by Michael Turner and Steigerwald, limited to 100 editions. The publisher will also be offering a new Fathom print by DeBalfo and Steigerwald (Limited to 75) and two new Executive Assistant: Iris prints by Elizabeth Torque (Limited to 50).

Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Archaia and Meteor Entertainment Offer Hawken Exclusive

Still eagerly awaiting Hawken to get in on all that mech combat goodness? Feel like the current open Beta isn't enough to whet your whistle? If you're content with diving further into the Hawken universe via comics, then Archaia Entertainment has got you covered.

The third installment of the digital-only issue for the Hawken: Genesis series will be available exclusively through comiXology today. This latest installment will only be made available through comiXology, with no plans for a printed edition. Previous installments have offered an early look at chapters featured in Archaia’s forthcoming hardcover graphic novel of the same name.

The full-length original graphic novel is written by Jeremy Barlow with the concept by Khang Le, story by Dan Jevons and illustration by Kody Chamberlain, Federico Dallocchio, Nathan Fox, Michael Gaydos, Bagus Hutomo, Sid Kotian, Khang Le, Christopher Moeller, Alex Sanchez, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Francisco Ruiz Velasco. It will debut March 2013.

“No Witness So Dreadful” features story and cover by the game’s creator and creative director, Khang Le, with illustration by Hoang Nguyen and Kinsun Loh. It can be accessed through comiXology here.

Full press release below.

Review - Freelancers #3

Orphans get a bad break in life. How about giving them intensive martial arts training and the opportunity to take on freelance contracts for money? The thought sounds good in principle, until some of the members of the club turn against the others. See Freelancers #3 from BOOM! Studios.

The issue is written by Eriq Esquivel, illustrated by Joshua Covey, colored by Vladimir Popov and lettered by Pat Brosseau.

Harbinger Wars Unites Harbinger and Bloodshot

Now that the Valiant Universe has been established and all the characters making their ways in the new world, it's time to start unleashing anarchy among them. Harbinger Wars is a universe spanning crossover, with the first release being celebrated with interlocking pullbox covers.

"Valiant's Pullbox cover program is designed to give our dedicated fans something special for supporting our ongoing series. Now, with Harbinger Wars gearing up to launch not only a standalone mini-series, but new story arcs in Harbinger and Bloodshot too, the time was right to try another first for Valiant – three interlocking Pullbox covers showcasing the true scope of the first crossover event for the new Valiant Universe," said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce.

On April 3rd, pick up the first interlocking Harbinger Wars Pullbox Exclusive Variant as Harbinger Wars #1 (of 4) by Joshua Dysart, Duane Swierczysnki and Clayton Henry slams into stores. Then, follow the fallout with new standalone story arcs on April 10th in Harbinger #11 by Dysart and Khari Evans and on April 17th in Bloodshot #10 by Swierczynski and Barry Kitson.

Two dozen highly volatile, untested and untrained teenage "harbingers" are breaking out of Project Rising Spirt and into the world. Now, with no guidance and no place to turn, these super-powered children have decided to forge their own future – and they'll take it by any means necessary. But when they terrorize a major American metropolis, the children of Generation Zero will find themselves in the middle of three-way firefight for the fate of the Valiant Universe. Bloodshot wants to train them. Toyo Harada wants to use them. And Peter Stanchek wants to set them free. Who will reach them first? And can anyone survive the all-out fury of the Harbinger Wars?

Full press release, release dates and covers below.

It's Anything But...

BOOM! Studios thinks it's anything but. I think it's anything but two silhouettes in front of crazy blueness.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Superpowers of Selling: Comics at Non-Comic Cons

If you’ve been to a comic book convention lately, chances are you might have a bout of temporary confusion. Why? Most of the shows are about one-third comics and two-thirds everything else. That everything else includes video games, movies and TV primarily, with a smattering of other geekery mixed in. That has a tendency to make the shows less “comic con” and more just “con” in a sense.

The cross-promotion is good for comics though. Even if the bulk of the attendees hit the floor for everything else, inevitably, they see some comics, even if they are from Marvel or DC. The cross-pollination of geeks where everyone attends a comic convention for something else but comes away with a new interest in comics, maybe there’s something else at play. What if comic companies started exhibiting at primarily video game oriented conventions?

San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con are two of the biggest comic book conventions annually. Both have turned into pop culture events, San Diego because of its proximity to Hollywood and New York because it’s New York. NYCC has maintained more of a comic book presence, but even it boasts long lines for media related panels. They do have a large comic book presence though, which is good for comic book business.

Renegade Arts Entertainment Tunes Into Channel Evil

Renegade Arts Entertainment is getting evil in the form of Channel Evil. Their version of evil just so happens to come in TPB form, as the publisher is poised to collect the four issues of the Alan Grant/Shane Oakley horror miniseries. What's more is that the deluxe paperback collection also includes a new, never-before-seen strip, "An Evening with Ba’al," written by Grant and illustrated by D’Israeli.

"The idea originally came to me while I was reading a book by a guy who had formed a 'channelling' group to contact the spirits of the dead," said Grant. "I did some research and found that, although it's ignored by the mainstream media, channelling has a huge audience all over the world. I wondered what would happen if, instead of channelling one of the boring spirits who advocate peace and love, somebody managed to channel the spirit of some long-forgotten scion of evil."

Channel Evil follows Jez Manson, a local TV chat show host ready to exploit everyone in a bid to make the big time.After watching a successful medium channel a benign spirit, Jez invites her on his show, ready to ridicule her for cheap laughs and a few headlines. But Jez is persuaded to try channelling himself.Full of scorn, Jez agrees, planning to fake it, but it turns out that Jez is a natural and finds himself channelling Ba’al, an ancient source of evil.

Trying to laugh the whole thing off, Jez is unaware that he has opened a door for Ba’al to exploit and return chaos and destruction to the world.Jez finds his dreams full of twisted nightmares that share too many details, matching the next day’s news reports. However, the channelling show has made the national news and Jez could be moving on to the big time. Persuaded to channel Ba’al again on live TV, Jez knows deep down he's on the edge of the abyss, but the lure of fame and fortune is too strong.What will he unleash this time?

"Working with Alan is another ‘dream box’ I’m ticking off," said Oakley. "We’ve been trying to get together on a project for over ten years and I’m still buzzing that we’ve finally got there. Alan’s scripts are great to work with, they’re lean and mean, he gets on with the story, doesn’t arse about or waste space.I love the idea it’s set at the English seaside, like a lot of kids (and grown ups) I had many day trips/weekends away in Blackpool, the place has a very seductive glamour, a glittering feast for the senses."

The 136-page, black and white book will be available soon. Full press release below.

Review - Executive Assistant Assassins #7

Nothing brings family together like international espionage, attempted assassinations and snow leopards. That's right, snow leopards as pets of assassins who are tied into international espionage. All of that and more is on display in Executive Assistants Assassins #7 from Aspen Comics.

The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, illustrated by Jordan Gunderson, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by Teodoro Gonzalez and lettered by Josh Reed.

1821 Comics and Stan Lee Present Stan Lee's Kids Universe Day

February 2 will be a day known throughout the cosmos. Nay, the universe. It's the day that Stan The Man Lee debuts a brand new event in conjunction with 1821 Comics in Stan Lee's Kids Universe Day. The day will showcase upcoming properties and titles from 1821 Comics and POW!'s new family-friendly publishing imprint Stan Lee's Kids Universe.

1821 Comics co-founder Paris Kasidokostas Latsis commented, “It’s an exciting time for 1821 Comics, after the successful launch of our first book with Stan Lee Romeo & Juliet The War, which was an instant NY Times Best-Seller, we get to officially unveil our new label STAN LEE’S KIDS UNIVERSE. The brand at its core is a fun, creative and family friendly imprint that we are hoping will change the game. We are looking forward to STAN LEE’S KIDS UNIVERSE DAY on February 2.”

Children participating in the event at Giggles N’ Hugs (www.gigglesnhugs) in Century City will get an exclusive look at the new line of family friendly properties and will engage in all sorts of fun and tomfoolery. That tomfoolery includes a book reading session for kids (and adults who want to be kids obviously) with Stan Lee, where he'll give out signed copies of books from the new imprint. There will also be lunch and games, playtime with rescued animals and arts and craft sessions for kids.

“STAN LEE’S KIDS UNIVERSE was created to provide children with big imaginations an entirely new universe to explore, with the aim of telling stories that they haven’t read before yet provide educational value as well,” said Stan Lee. “It’s a thrill to be able to bring this new franchise and its colorful characters to life. I am excited to meet a new generation of brigadiers.”

Full press release below.