Friday, February 28, 2014

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.)

Year 5. Week 28.

Well guess who decided to join the party; even if they're late to help out. Seems that large government sanctuary that was up in the northeast had some of those forces still around. They've been holed up in the mountains and regrouping after the disaster that was the northeast.

With all the radio chatter we've been broadcasting to keep the groups between Nevada, Colorado and northern California they picked up our transmissions and got in contact with us in Reno. They are deciding to lend their remaining forces to team up with ours so we can go back to Carson City and finish the job once and for all. Over the past week we've gotten more of those survivors who cannot fight out of town and over the border to the other survivor camps.

Review - Shadows of Oblivion: Better Days One-Shot


"You're such a ninja wannabe."

We all need saving sometimes. Not all of us though are afforded the luxury of having a very capable ninja and equally capable hacker teaming up to save us, let alone have the story told to others. It's all good clean fun in Shadows of Oblivion: Better Days One-Shot. The one-shot is written and illustrated by Shawn McCauley.

Rat Queens Gets Collected in March


In the game of royalty, there are kings and queens, princes and princesses. In the game of rat royalty, there are only Rat Queens. Image Comics has told tales of said rodent royalty and now those tales are being collected in a trade paperback. The only catch is that they're not really "rats" per se; just a group of high fantasy heroines who handle all sorts of business. The Kurtis J. Wiebe/Roc Upchurch collaboration that follows Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen will hit shelves on March 26.

The Queens embark on a quest of rare importance, promising fame and fortune should they succeed in this most dangerous of — OK, so they have to clear some goblins out of a cave. But things take a surprising turn, and the Queens are going to have to use their wits and weapons to uncover a plot on their lives. This paperback volume of the series collects the first five issues, with a cover by Fiona Staples.

The book hits comic stores March 26 and bookstores on April 8. Full press release below.

Armor Hunters Unlocks Five Chromium Covers


Remember the 90s? When comics had all manner of foil, gold, silver and chrome covers? Valiant is feeling a little nostalgic and throwing things back to a different era. How so? By offering five wraparound Chromium covers this June and July for the Armor Hunters crossover event. And the publisher is probably the right one to do it, considering they introduced Chromium covers to readers way back when.

"Valiant introduced Chromium to comics and we won a slew of innovation awards for Joe Quesada's beautiful Chromium cover to the original X-O Manowar #0. We've received countless requests to bring Chromium back since our return in 2012, but wanted to wait until we had a story that justified its return. Now, with Armor Hunters, we have that story. In the wake of the announcement of Valiant First and Rai #1, the timing couldn't be better to launch our biggest crossover event yet with the armor-plated opening salvo it deserves," said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce.

Valiant will offer qualifying retailers worldwide the chance to "unlock Chromium" with five specially manufactured, limited edition Chromium covers for Armor Hunters #1 (of 4), Unity #8 and X-O Manowar #26 in June; and Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1 (of 3) and Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 (of 3) in July. Non-chromium standard editions of all five titles will also be offered for sale. The covers will feature art by Jorge Molina, Mico Suayan, Clayton Crain, Philip Tan and Lewis LaRosa.

"This is bigger and bolder than anything we've done before. With Armor Hunters, Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite are laying down what could quite possibly be the most ambitious, most high stakes, most consequence-filled story in Valiant's history. We're going to be equally bold with our marketing and sales, and the first of those initiatives is Chromium. It's a story-centric enhancement that reaches right back to Valiant's roots and we're proud to be able to offer these five Armor Hunters Chromium Editions as on-the-shelf items for excited fans across the world," said Valiant CEO and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.

Retailers will be eligible to "unlock Chromium" based on their orders of Armor Hunters #1 (of 4), Unity #8, X-O Manowar #26, Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1 (of 3) and Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 (of 3). After "unlocking" each separate title, qualifying retailers may order as many Chromium editions of the corresponding title as they like. Retailers be advised: due to the lead time needed to manufacture this special cover process, print runs for all five Armor Hunters Chromium editions have already been set. Supplies are robust but limited, and allocations may occur. If allocations do occur, they will be made based on initial orders.

Full press release below.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review - Guardians #2


"You'll pay for this."

A superhero's work is never done. Especially when a supervillain is threatening the safety of the city that superhero calls home. When the superhero has a brother though and the two of them work together, maybe safety isn't too far away. Cue Chaos and Element in Guardians #2 from BlackMagic Wolf Productions. The issue is written by Todd Black and illustrated by Alex Garcia.

Four-Issue Dejah of Mars Series Spinning Off


In a first for Dynamite Entertainment, the publisher is excited for Warlord of Mars #100. What's the first? That would be the fact that the Warlord of Mars series is hitting the century mark. In order to more fully appreciate and celebrate the work, Dynamite Entertainment is planning to offer a four-issue miniseries that picks up exactly where #100 leaves off. Dejah of Mars #1 will be written by Mark Rahner, drawn by Jethro Morales and with covers by Jay Anacleto, Fabiano Neves and Mel Rubi.

In Dejah of Mars #1, John Carter has gone missing. And to find him there's nothing Dejah Thoris won't break. No one she won't hurt. No hornet's nest she won't kick. But the Warlord of Mars stole an important Helium artifact before he disappeared, so not only is the princess on her own this time - she has to get Carter before anyone else does.

"John Carter has rescued Dejah Thoris countless times, and now it's her turn to rescue him," says Rahner. "After everything she's been through - getting kidnapped by Tharks who wanted her for meat, outwitting a terrorist who aimed to ruin the peace, surviving a suicide mission among Warhoons - Dejah Thoris isn't screwing around. She's going to find Carter and make whoever took him pay. And Issus help whoever gets in her way."

Full press release (and somewhat mature image) below.

Zenescope Entertainment Announces Plans for Wizard World Sacramento


In a world where it seems that every weekend has some convention on the calendar, Wizard World continues to offer one of the more enduring and consistent events. Wizard World Sacramento is no exception and Zenescope Entertainment will be bringing their wares to the show that takes place March 7th-9th at the Sacramento Convention Center. The publisher will be exhibiting at booth #605 and will have on hand its newest trade paperback releases, high-end art prints, hardcover collections and exclusive comics.

This includes a Sacramento limited edition exclusive, for Grimm Fairy Tales Code Red #4 with artwork by Michael Dooney. The Sacramento exclusive is limited to only 350 copies and all fans who purchase the issue will also have a chance to win a limited edition art print. Head to booth #605 for details. Zenescope will also be holding the Grimm Fairy Tales Animated panel on Saturday, March 8th, at 5:00 PM in panel room 104. The panel will be hosted by Zenescope editor and writer, Pat Shand. The screening will feature the 20 minute Grimm Fairy Tales animated pilot (mature audiences only) as well as behind-the-scenes footage with Lena Headey and Chris Hardwick. Fans who attend will be invited back to Zenescope’s booth for a free signed comic from Shand.

Zenescope Entertainment will also be giving away free comics randomly all weekend long and Shand will be available to sign throughout the weekend.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


Some movies don’t age well. Others? They just get better the more you see them.

I watched Ghostbusters just a month or so ago. It kills me that in all the time that’s gone by, this film has never lost any of its polish. The scenes that were funny then are still funny now.

What made Ghostbusters so great--besides a hefty dose of Saturday Night Live cutting humor--was how it sort of "did it all" in one movie. In one two hour sitting, you saw a movie that was funny, scary and that kept you on the edge of your seat. And it somehow blended all of those feelings together so seamlessly that, honestly, even almost thirty years later, most movies can’t compare.

Review - One-Hit Wonder #1


"That's the idea doc...that's the idea!"

Childhood actors get a lot of grief for all their troubles. Sure, they typically bring in ratings for their respective shows, but Hollywood has a way of chewing them up and spitting them out. Image Comics has a book that offers a slight twist on that story in One-Hit Wonder #1. The issue is written by Fabrice Sapolsky, illustrated by Ariel Olivetti, bonus art by Jean-Marie Minguez and lettered by The Wolfpack.

Hail Toshiro!


Solving the equation steamupunk plus horror for X is a little difficult. Primarily because the equation has yet to be offered for someone to solve. Jai Nitz and Janusz Pawlak have the answer though in Toshiro from Dark Horse Comics.

“Toshiro bends and blends genres to make something altogether new. Janusz and I wanted to play with Victorian steampunk, alternate history, Lovecraftian monsters, and the magic of Tezuka’s Astro Boy to tell a story,” said Jai Nitz. “We wanted to wear our influences on our sleeves, but do the hard work of creating something new. I think this book will appeal to any fans of adventure.”

The mechano-samurai Toshiro travels a Victorian clockwork world, battling horrors too dark for mankind. With his mysterious partner, the world-famous adventurer Quicksilver Bob, Toshiro must face Earth’s greatest foe yet: the soul-stealing, zombie-creating jellyfish from beyond. Janusz Pawlak’s jagged inks and moody watercolors create a world of dread and mystery.

The book is on sale in comic shops on June 4 (Diamond code FEB140081) and June 17 in bookstores everywhere. Full press release below.

Everybody Relax! I'm Here.

Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos Announce Kickstarter Stretch Goals

Fairy Quest Stretch Goals

Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos had a little Kickstarter going. Their goal? $60,000 to publish a beautiful hardcover of Fairy Quest Vol. 2: Outcasts, the second volume in their Fablewood saga. Turns out, fans were really keen on the idea, successfully funding the project with three weeks left to go. In order to pay back the fans, the pair has announced a series of Stretch Goals that will add extra content to the book should the various milestones be met.

“Humberto and I are so stoked about the early success of FAIRY QUEST: OUTCASTS' funding via Kickstarter,” said Jenkins. “It proves to me that for the right projects, Kickstarter is not just a viable outlet, it is the preferable way to initially publish. We have always stated proudly that we consider our backers to be our co-publishers. And now we can proudly state that once again, our publishers have stood behind us and supported us!”

Every backer who contributed at least $30 will get a free PDF of the completed book. At $75,000, a custom tip-in bookplate will be added for everyone who has pledged $30 or more. The bookplate will feature a "handwritten" thank-you note from Paul that will not be available once the book comes out in wide release. $90,000 will net fans pages of black-and-white art and background text on the Fablewood universe will be added to each Deluxe Edition of Fairy Quest: Outcasts. $105,000 will add the $90,000 bonus to both the regular and deluxe editions of the book. Finally, $120,000 will list every backer in the hardcover.

Fairy Quest is set in the world of Fablewood, where all of the stories that have ever been told live side-by-side, separated only by genre borders. At the very center of this amazing world, the children's stories are forced to tell their tales exactly as written, or risk having their minds wiped in Mister Grimm's dreaded Mind Eraser. Two outlaws—Red Riding Hood (Red) and the Wolf (Mister Woof)—seek to end this tyranny and escape to a place where they can remain as friends forever. When we last left Red and Woof, they were about to enter the Dark Forest to find the Map Maker who will show them how to escape to the safe haven of Realworld. What lies ahead for them in the Dark Forest?

Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Comic Art Professional Society's eBay Auctions Benefit Stan Sakai's Family


The work of Stan Sakai speaks for himself. As an industry legend, the amazing and talented artist has churned out quality illustration after quality illustration. Unfortunately, all his talent won't help his wife, who is currently battling a debilitating brain tumor for some time; after an extended hospital stay and convalescence, she is currently at home, but her condition requires 24-hour care and medicine that costs more than the Sakai's insurance covers. To that end, the Comic Art Professional Society will launch an ongoing series of eBay auctions of original comic art. Its goal is to raise funds for medical care for Sharon, with 100% of the proceeds of these auctions going directly to Stan and Sharon Sakai to help pay their ongoing medical expenses.

The CAPS auctions will be conducted through eBay beginning on Thursday, March 6, with a new set of auctions every following Thursday. Each auction, sold under the seller name of "CAPSauction", will be ten days in length with twenty to forty items in each set of auctions. The donations of original artwork and collectibles (including newly created art unique to this event, vintage comic book pages, comic strips, illustrations, animation art, limited edition statues and IDW Artist's editions books) number over three hundred with new items arriving every day. The artists contributing to the auction include:

Adam Hughes, Alex Maleev, Arthur Adams, Batton Lash, Darwyn Cooke, Eric Powell, Jan Duursema, Jerry Ordway, Jordi Bernet, Matt Groening, Michael Allred, Mike Mignola, Paul Gulacy, Sanjuliàn, Scott Shaw!, Jim Steranko, Tim Sale, William Stout, Bill Sienkiewicz, Cameron Stewart, Dan Brereton, Daniel Parsons, Dave Gibbons, Dean Yeagle, Doug Sneyd, Dustin Nguyen, Bill Morrison, Tone Rodriguez, Sergio Aragonés, Fabio Moon, Francisco Francavilla, Gene Ha, Geof Darrow, Gilbert Hernandez, Jack Davis, James O'Barr, Kevin Eastman, Jeff Lemire, Jeff Smith, Kazu Kibuishi, Liam Sharp, Tom Richmond, Michael Jantze, Olivia, Oscar Martin, Paul Chadwick, Richard Corben, Tom Mandrake, Walter Simonson, Charles Vess, Dan Spiegle, J. Scott Campbell and many more.

Many of the pieces featuring Usagi Yojimbo will appear in a new oversized hardcover book from Dark Horse, The Sakai Project: Artists Celebrate Thirty Years of Usagi Yojimbo, which will be released on July 23, 2014. All proceeds from this book will go to Stan and Sharon Sakai. Much of the custom Usagi Yojimbo art created for this book will also be sold as a part of CAPS' online auctions.

Full press release below.

Review - Tomb Raider: Survivor's Guilt #1


"We found Yamatai. But we lost most everything else."

Lara Croft is one of the most enduring icons in pop culture today. She burst onto the scene way back in 1996 with tons of publicity and heralding a new age in lead characters. Almost countless games later, Crystal Dynamics recently decided to reboot the franchise and offer her a fresh start in Tomb Raider, a critically acclaimed return to roots for her and the franchise. Dark Horse is picking up that reboot torch and running with it in Tomb Raider: Survivor's Guilt #1. The issue is written by Gail Simone, penciled by Nicolás Daniel Selma, inked by Juan Gedeon and colored by Michael Atiyeh.

Image Offers Jan's Atomic Heart and Other Stories


Simon Roy and Brandon Graham want to venture a little outside the realm of Prophet. Well, Roy did venture out earlier with some short stories showcasing his talents in creating futuristic alien worlds. Now, Image Comics is collecting those short stories in Jan's Atomic Heart and Other Stories. As with so much of Roy’s work, the title story in this collection deposits the reader in a fully-formed world while allowing them to see just a tantalizing slice of life in it. Jan is waiting for a new body after his previous body was destroyed in a car accident and he’s none too pleased with the outdated robot “loaner” he’s using in the meantime—even before he begins to suspect it played a role in a Lunar terrorist attack.

In every story, Roy brings familiar attitudes to strange settings, whether it is in the banal brutality of imperialism, the unpredictable bond of friendship, or the everyday concerns that exist even in the most alien of places. The tone ranges from grim to poignant and even humorous—even within a single story. Roy’s tendency to juxtapose the quotidian with the alien and to find perspectives at odds with each other may have its roots in his time studying in Ukraine, the “old world” as he called it.

Jan's Atomic Heart and Other Stories collects seven stories, some of them never before published: “The Cosmonauts,” “Jan’s Atomic Heart,” “Good Business,” “Shipwrecked with Dan the Gorilla,” “Bar Fight,” “Homeward Bound,” and “Hunter Killer.” It will be in comic book stores on March 26, in bookstores on April 8, and is available for preorder now.

Full press release below.

Unseen Shadows Launches Next Bob Kelsey Webcomics


Unseen Shadows took advantage of 2013, launching works such as the new webcomic series Bob Kelsey Investigates, following the adventures of a very unscrupulous reporter who fell afoul of a centuries old cult he is now on the run from. Unable to keep his reporter’s nose for a story out of other people’s business, he now runs an underground blog investigating the weird, the strange and the downright surreal. In 2014, the publisher plans to keep things rolling, by offering new stories for Bob Kelsey to embark upon.

“These are not just nice little side stories with no impact on the events surrounding them,” Barry Nugent, the found of Unseen Shadows explains. “The spin-offs expand and enhance the characters lives and relationships within the novels. It was important to me that the spin offs can be read, watched and listened to independently of each other and the novels, but you will get more insights into the characters by experiencing everything the Unseen Shadows universe has to offer.”

The idea behind the project is that a different creative team takes the helm for each 1-6 page story. In "Killing the Soul" he’s on the tail of a grisly serial killer and his methods of trailing the elusive criminal are questionable, to say the least. After finding a valuable clue he keeps the police in the dark, hoping to catch the killer himself. The work is written by Richmond A. Clements and illustrated by Roy Huteson. In the second story "The Return," Bob Kelsey faces his biggest enemy yet…The IRS! This one pager see’s our ‘hero’ grapple with assassins, sea monsters and a pretty humourless IRS agent. That story is written by Dan Thompson and illustrated by Jake Rowlinson.

"The Return" is due in stores February 27th, with "Killing the Soul" out the following week. Full press release below.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Review – Killer of Men


“I never used to think about it. Killing. We’re trained not to.”

Life after the military is nothing short of impossible for most soldiers. There are some, however, who manage to come out of active combat without nary a psychological scar and what appears to be enhanced abilities to mete out justice as they deem fit. It’s those characters that make books like Killer of Men from New Kingdom Entertainment. The graphic novel is written by Chris Calkins, Alexander Storm and Julian Brantley, illustrated by Manuel Martin, colored by Mauricio Finzon and lettered by Brantley.

Axe Cop Returns with American Choppers


American Choppers is (was?) a show that focused on a family running a body shop who loved motorcycles. It may not be the ratings grabber it used to be, but the idea of choppers that/who are American isn't foreign to Dark Horse Comics. When they combine that concept with a property like Axe Cop, well, things are just going to get crazy. Crazier even most likely in Axe Cop: American Choppers bringing Ethan and Malachai Nicolle back for a three-part miniseries.

“Axe Cop is comics taken straight back to their source — to a child’s unharnessed imagination. And there’s also axes." said Axe Cop voice actor Patton Oswalt.

President of the World Axe Cop reunites with Super Axe (an old friend from college) and the two decide to start a superteam of axe-wielding heroes to defend America—the American Choppers. They are joined by Captain Axe, Axe Girl, Axe Woman, Axe Dog and other axe-wielding heroes. The only problem is that there are no bad guys left, but that all changes when mysterious giant creatures attack the city!

Axe Cop: American Choppers #1 debuts May 21 in comic shops everywhere. Catch up with Axe Cop Volumes 1–5. Full press release below.

Rush and BOOM! Studios Think Big With Clockwork Angels

Clockwork Angels A

Rush needs no introduction. BOOM! Studios needs no introduction. Rush and BOOM! Studios together needs an introduction and they're being made in an effort to prepare readers for Clockwork Angels, a new series based on Kevin J. Anderson's New York Times bestselling novel and legendary rock band Rush’s concept album of the same name. Rush lyricist and drummer Neil Peart and Anderson, along with interior artist Nick Robles and cover artist Hugh Syme, create the steampunk world of Albion in comic book form for the first time.

“Rush is one of our all-time favorite rock bands here in the office, so we immediately jumped at the chance to work on CLOCKWORK ANGELS,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “The icing on the cake is that author Kevin J. Anderson is somebody we’ve always wanted to work with, so this is an all-around thrill. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Peart have brought us a breathtaking story that illustrator Nick Robles has beautifully visualized.”

Owen Hardy, like all the people of Albion, has lived his whole life under the rule of The Watchmaker. His entire life has been planned down to the exact second. But what happens when a young boy decides that things should not always goes as planned? Clockwork Angels #1 arrives in comic shops on March 19th, the four-year anniversary of the album’s initial announcement by the band members, with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN140981. The first issue will ship with two variant covers including a subscription cover and a retailer incentive. ECW Press will release the paperback version of Kevin J. Anderson’s bestselling Clockwork Angels novel (ISBN: 978-1-77041-156-2, $14.95) in May. Full press release below.

Friday, February 21, 2014

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.)

Year 5. Week 27.

A simple entry for today. Work's been busy. Folks have been burning the hard hours and getting it done. Not to say this week has not been without losses. A few people out on scouting missions had bad run-ins with zombies and we lost a few folks.

Between getting the defenses done up around here in our Reno location and organizing people around here to travel to a safer locations it’s been downright a madhouse going. For those who have gotten strong enough to travel will head out to Colorado to support and reinforce the survivor camp there. For those who can't travel yet, they are staying here to get stronger, but they are doing what they can around here so as not to be a burden.

Review - Nitro Battlers #1


"We were handed these powers and told to go save the world. It never occurred to us that we might die."

When faced with an alien invasion, we need superheroes on tap. Superheroes who can hold their own and save the day when the day needs saving. Superheroes like the Nitro Battlers in Nitro Battlers #1. The issue is written and illustrated by Eric Kim.

Burn the Orphanage Returns with a Reign of Terror


Burn the Orphanage was a hit for Image Comics. You wouldn't think that a book with such a title would be, but the Daniel Freedman/Sina Grace collaboration proved to be something Image Comics wanted to revisit. Rock finally returns home, only to find his city under siege. And you won’t believe who is the cause of all the chaos. The story moves readers into the the next phase of Burn the Orphanage. While Rock and his team of street fighters have gone on a lot of adventures together, they've never faced such overwhelming odds.

“We tested our fans with the oversized and sprawling chapters in Born to Lose, so Reign of Terror should feel like an unlocked level of absolute fun,” said Grace. “The gang is back together and we are glad to have them on their home turf, working with and against some familiar faces.”

Rock will be taking back his city in Burn the Orphanage: Reign of Terror #1, which arrives in stores on May 7 and will be available for $3.50. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR140488. Cover B by Andy Belanger can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code MAR140489.

“Friendships and allegiances will be tested as our heroes are put through a gauntlet of new and old foes, betrayal, and oversized robot mayhem,” said Freedman. "Reign of Terror is exciting because it's the first in a series of longer form story arcs we have ready to tell. BURN THE ORPHANAGE is only just getting started."

Full press release below.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Digital Comic Continues


Team NINJA and Dark Horse Comics feel that finishing what they start is a big thing. So big, in fact, that they're committed to getting more issues of the Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z digital comic that continues the saga of the cyborg's fabled sword Heartless. Part two finds Yaiba continuing on his quest to attain the mystical “Heartless” sword, encountering a new ally along his way. With different motivations, but both ultimately in the name of revenge, the two must work together in unexpected ways to conquer “the River of Three Crossings” and reach the Storm Temple.

Initially released digitally with an all-new full color print comic to be available with first run retail releases of the PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 versions on March 18, 2014, the series is brought to life by writers Tim Seeley and Josh Emmons, artist Rafael Ortiz, colorist Carlos Badilla with special cover art by James Harren. The comic will be available for free download at the Dark Horse Digital Store, www.digital.darkhorse.com, as well as through the Dark Horse Comics app (available through iTunes & Google Play).

In Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, players will battle fierce zombies as Yaiba, a cyborg ninja who will do anything to get revenge and stay alive. Cleaved in two, he is brought back to life with cyber-technology. Brandishing his ninja sword and the mecha weapons in his cyber arm, he slaughters zombies with brutal, over-the-top abandon. Step into a stylized living comic book where stunning graphics depict a world gone mad. Hordes of undead can only be stopped by Yaiba’s willingness to use any means necessary to get the job done. Will he kill by turning his cyber arm into a razor chainsaw for slicing up undead—or just rip off an opponent’s arms to use as zombie nunchucks? Both possibilities fill Yaiba’s heart with twisted laughter in this collaboration between famed developers Team NINJA and comcept’s Keiji Inafune.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z will be available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 March 18, 2014 and Steam (PC) on March 21, 2014. This title has been rated M (Mature) by the ESRB. Full press release below.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

EVE: True Stories Available for Free Download


It goes without saying that EVE Online is a very successful MMORPG. And you know that they say behind every successful MMORPG there's an equally successful comic book. It's not quite a common adage yet, but at the rate we're going, it'll be the norm instead of the exception before long. Having said all that, Dark Horse Digital is proud to offer up "Thieves Among Us," the first tale in EVE: True Stories for free, in conjunction with CCP Games.

Issue #1 of the EVE: True Stories graphic novel dramatizes the opening throes of one of the greatest gaming stories of the last decade – the fall of the player alliance known as the Band of Brothers. Filled with action and intrigue, “Thieves Among Us” is inspired by actual player-driven events. It's written by Daniel Way and illustrated by Tomm Coker, with cover art by David Palumbo. Future instalments of EVE: True Stories will arrive digitally on March 5th, 19th March and April 2nd 2014, via Dark Horse Digital.

The hardback prestige collected edition of EVE: True Stories, containing all four comics, will go on sale in book and comic book stores on June 4th, 2014. Full press release below. No word on how many ships carrying the digital comic were lost in the epic space battle.

Review - The Lawless Ones #1


"When have I ever let you down, Red? Of course we're ready."

You don't cross mobsters. You just don't. Especially if you're in the same mob you're double-crossing. Things go from daring to bad in a heartbeat in The Lawless Ones #1. The first issue is written by Victor Wright, illustrated by Federico Zumel, inked by Nino Cajayon, colored by Wesley Wong and lettered by John Burton.

Preview - FUBAR: Guts and Glory #1


When things go bad, they go really bad. When they go bad in combat, soldiers affectionately refer to the situation as FUBAR. When zombies are involved, things are a little worse than that.

In FUBAR: Guts and Glory #1 by Chuck Dixon and Glen Ostrander, the one-shot is filled with 44 pages of zombie-stabbing action. From the road to Rome to the walled city of Troy, nothing is sacred as the undead come face to face with famous warriors from antiquity who fight for survival and the glory of the empire. New to FUBAR? This one-shot is a great place to jump on board.

Check out the book in stores now with interiors below.

Rise of the Magi Offers Creeping Apocalypse for FCBD


It doesn't take much for an apocalypse to creep up on an unsuspecting populace. In fact, there's probably one creeping up on us right now, but the thing is, we don't have forbidden magic to save us. Marc Silvestri and Sumeyye Kesgin plan to change that in Rise of the Magi, presenting us with a new ongoing fantasy adventure series set in both the worlds—magical and mundane—in which we live.

A small black sphere contains all the magic that exists—past, present, and future. Without it, two worlds would not survive. But someone has done the unimaginable: stolen a piece of the sphere and fled from the world of magic into the world of man. Now only the very common Asa Stonethrow can find him. Asa thought saving two worlds was great enough a burden… until he meets a girl. The Magi are awake and they are legion, and only seven magicians, sorcerers, thieves, and killers can stop them. But as Asa will soon find out that there truly is no honor among thieves.

“The unfamiliar, the uncomfortable, and the things that scare us are what make us grow as people,” said Silvestri. “It’s safe then to say that in Rise of the Magi, Asa and a cast of characters both strange and familiar, will be doing a lot of growing.”

Rise of the Magi #0 will be available on Free Comic Book Day on May 2 for readers looking for a head start on all the action. The adventure continues in Rise of the Magi #1, which will be available on May 21 for $3.50. Cover A with art by Silvestri can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR140483. Cover B with art by Stjepan Sejic can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR140484. Cover C with art by Kesgin can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR140485. Cover D (retail incentive) with art by Silvestri will be available to pre-order with Diamond Code MAR140486.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


Well played, Marvel Studios. Well played indeed.

I continue to be impressed with how well-produced Marvel's movies have been since they set up their own shop to make films. I'm not saying I'm dissatisfied with the X-Men and the Spider-man movies, but I actually wouldn't at all be unhappy with a relaunch (yes even another round of relaunches) on these fronts if and when these licenses make their way back to Marvel's hands.

For all I know the Guardians of the Galaxy movie could still be, well, a flop. But I have to give Marvel applause for the trailer in that they so clearly know how to market a movie--even a movie with characters this obscure--to an audience. If the trailer is any indication, they know what they're doing making this movie and they know how to give even relatively unknown characters enough love and attention to make you care.

Review - Undertow #1


"Ukinnu Alal. You can die right here, or you can be reborn."

Happenings under the sea are largely a mystery. There may be a lot more answers if Atlantis was currently a place you could visit relatively easily, as it would give us insights into one of the most storied civilizations in history. Were you to visit in Undertow #1 from Image Comics though, you'd be greeted by a city aware of its importance and, consequently, prideful of that fact. The issue is written by Steve Orlando, illustrated by Artyom Trakhanov and lettered by Thomas Mauer.

Caliber Comics Returning


Like Valiant Entertainment, Caliber Comics was one of the leading independent publishers of the 1990s. And--also like Valiant Entertainment--Caliber Comics is seeking to rekindle that old flame of publishing, announcing their return to the comic world in 2014. The company, founded and run by Gary Reed, had suspended publishing in 2001 and over its initial 12 year publishing history, released over 1,400 comics and help to launch the careers of many of today’s comic creators. The new Caliber Comics will be a division of Caliber Entertainment, LLC. which was formed by Reed and partner, Eric Reichert who is President of Eagle One Media, a distributor of independent films and a producer of animated comic products.

Caliber was a company that catered to creator owned titles where creators could spotlight their talent and many creators had their first work published by the company. Michael Allred, Guy Davis, Vince Locke, Ed Brubaker, Brian Bendis, Mike Perkins, David Mack, Dean Haspiel, Mike Carey, Jim Calafiore, Georges Jeanty, Patrick Zircher and many others launched their careers at Caliber.

"Caliber will continue with primarily creator owned titles," said Reed, "and we have a number of releases lined up. Our focus will be graphic novels and/or collections of previously released material although we will have some original content as well." The company will print physical copies in addition to making its library available on most of the digital formats.

"As far as new monthly comics go, that is a massive undertaking that we’re not going to tackle immediately. We will likely look to partner up with an established company on the comic 'floppies' because in today’s market, you can’t just make it unless you have enough awareness in the comics market,” Reed said. "We’ll be approaching things in a lot of different ways and hope to be announcing some exciting details soon."

Reed also said that Transfuzion Publishing, a company he co-founded with Rafael Neives in 2007, will cease operations and the titles will fold into Caliber. Transfuzion had released about 70 graphic novels over the last few years and they will continue in print but now with a Caliber imprint. The transition will happen over the next couple of months.

Reichert added, "With almost 25 years of publishing history, Caliber Comics has built up a large library of works that we are actively pursuing to develop along all global media platforms including print, digital, film, television, web, and even consumer products. With our existing creator relationships and incoming stable of future creator/artists the 'Caliber' brand offers some tremendous multi-media opportunities. However, first and foremost Caliber will do what it has done best, publishing great independent comics and graphic novels, and becoming a premier publishing house for these types of works."

Caliber will begin releasing new titles in the next few months and is currently preparing its current titles in digital formats. A more detailed publishing schedule will be announced over the next couple of months. For titles and more information on Caliber, visit www.calibercomics.info.

Full press release below.

Substrata Represents Passion Project from Top Game Artists


All work and no play make artists dull people. For as much work as they put into honing their craft and taking the jobs they have to in order to get by, sometimes their passion projects fall by the wayside. For a group of some of the top video game artists in the world, the opportunity to come together on something that's long been a desire of theirs. Substrata is the culmination of that passion, a book that shows what happens when over 80 creators from the world’s top video game studios join forces to create the ultimate dark fantasy game. The answer is Substrata, a brilliant new art book collecting designs for the heroes, enemies and landscapes of this hypothetical new game world…

“SUBSTRATA gave us all a chance to conceive and execute our own ideas in our own voices,” said Paul Richards, Project Curator. “This is a mighty win for artists devoted to making exciting, original game content for its own sake. In that spirit, we’re proud to say all proceeds from the book will go to the charity organization Gamers for Good. Please visit them at www.gamersforgood.com.”

Substrata is the brainchild of Richards, who conceived of the project as a way to reunite his fellow artists from Vigil Games, makers of the Darksiders franchise. Together, they rallied a global community of artists and the result is a breathtaking tome, featuring a who’s-who of top-tier talent from across the gaming industry. Substrata is a true passion project, where artists were encouraged to forsake conventions, inhibitions and technological limitations to create something never seen before. The artists who have lent their passion to Substrata have worked on some of the industry's top-rated AAA games.

The contributors include Allods Online, Assassin's Creed IV, Darksiders I & II, DayZ, Destiny, Diablo 3, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Doom 4, DotA 2, EVE Online, Evolve, Firefall, Gears of War, Guild Wars 2, Halo 4, Hearthstone, Hunted, League of Legends, Left 4 Dead 2, Overlord, Overlord 2, Portal 2, Rift, Runescape, Saints Row, SMITE, Star Citizen, StarCraft 2, Uncharted 3, Wildstar and World of Warcraft.

“UDON is honored to be involved with the Substrata project,” said UDON’s Managing Editor Matt Moylan. “We get to publish a book with some of the greatest game artists from around the world, and the book itself is gorgeous, really, that’s its own reward. But it was UDON’s publication of The Art of Darksiders II that spurred Paul to want to work with his studiomates again, and all of us at UDON take pride in knowing that we contributed to the inception of SUBSTRATA, and now, we’re helping to bring it to gamers and makers everywhere.”

Gamers, artists, and up-and-coming developers alike, this is your chance to see a world created from the ground up, and no fan of video game artwork should miss this unique, uncensored peek at a game project from the moment of its conception. Substrata is now available for pre-order through comic book stores, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and wherever great books are sold. It'll set you back $44.99 for 240 color pages and proceeds from the sale of Substrata will be donated to Gamers for Good.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review - Loki: Ragnarok and Roll #1


"You're honestly going to believe that maniac over me? He carriers around a hammer like it were some sort of security blanket. And not just to battle--everywhere! He takes the thing to the market!"

Loki gets a bad rap. He's an extraordinarily intelligent and sharp-tongued god who never quite seems to fit in, regardless of the company he keeps. BOOM! Studios has another audience in mind they feel will be a better fit for him in Loki: Ragnarok and Roll #1. The issue is written by Eric M. Esquivel, illustrated by Jerry Gaylord, colored by Gabriel Cassata and lettered by Ryan Ferrier.

Amelia Bloomer Loves Princeless


Princeless is the flagship title for Action Lab and it does a lot of good things. Besides being an immensely entertaining and fun book, it also shatters numerous preconceptions about women and what they're capable of. It's a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed by many in the industry, including the Amelia Bloomer Project.

The Amelia Bloomer Project has Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless to be honored this year on the Amelia Bloomer Project List. Each year the Amelia Bloomer Project List selects the best books with significant feminist content that will appeal to young readers from birth to 18 years old, published in the previous 18 months. The Amelia Bloomer Project is part of the American Library Association, Social Responsibilities Round Table’s (SRRT) Feminist Task Force (FTF). They create an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18.

You can view the complete list of recommended titles at here. Full press release below.

Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter #1 Sells Out


People love their dinosaurs. That's most likely because they're long extinct and don't pose a threat to humanity as we know it. If they were alive and we still co-existed with them (or at least attempted to), it's likely people would love their dinosaur hunters as well. So much so that Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter #1 has sold out. In advance of Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter #2, as an extra incentive for retailers to order these comics, Dynamite is offering Steampunk versions of the #2 cover in color and black and white Both the #1 second printing and Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter #2 will be in-stores on March 5th. Here's a First Look of the Second Printing #1 cover and both versions of the steampunk covers.

"I'm so grateful to the retailers who are supporting the book so enthusiastically," says writer Greg Pak. "And much love to our artist Mirko Colak, our colorist Lauren Affe, and our letter Marshall Dillon, who are going above and beyond making the book look like nothing else on the shelves. And of course a huge tip of the hat to editor Nate Cosby and all the crazy kids at Dynamite who are hustling so hard to make this entire Gold Key line something special."

"What a great way to begin the Gold Key Universe," adds series Editor Nate Cosby. "Greg, Mirko, Lauren, Marshall and all of the amazing cover artists got us off to an incredible start, and the amount of people responding to the story has been such a joy to see. Here's hoping just as many people pick up MAGNUS in March, SOLAR in April, and SPEKTOR in May!"

Written by Greg Pak and drawn by Mirko Colak, Dynamite is putting out a book that is unlike anything else on the comic rack. Full press release below.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Review - The White Suits #1


"...sometimes you can tear a memory wide open."

Crime bosses have so much to contend with. Help who tend to rat them out, authorities looking to break them down, men in white suits looking to wipe them out. The latter is a little less common, but it does make for a good read from Dark Horse Comics in The White Suits #1. The issue is written by Frank Barbiere and illustrated by Toby Cypress.

Preview - The Royals: Masters of War #1


The year is 1940. As the Blitz destroys London and kills thousands, the Royal Family looks on. But in this world, the only people with special abilities are Royalty, and the purer the bloodline, the greater their abilities. So why don’t they stop the carnage with their powers? A truce between the Earth’s nobles has kept them out of our wars—until now. When England’s Prince Henry can take no more and intervenes, will it stop the planet’s suffering or take it to another level?

Rob Williams and Simon Coleby tackle that tale in The Royals: Masters of War #1 from Vertigo. History will be transformed in a way you’ve never seen before. Check out the interiors below and the book in stores now.

Weird Love Falls in Love


IDW and Yoe Books! teamed up for something special on Valentine's Day. The two "love" that they can offer the most sexy, bizarre, sick, twisted, politically incorrect, kinky "romance" comics of the 1950s and beyond in WEIRD Love.

"Amazingly in the repressed 1950s and the anything-goes 1960s in some so-called 'romance' comics, there were some stories jaw-dropping sick, perverse, strange, kinky, twisted, and by today's standards horribly politically incorrect. Only some kind of depraved person would now reprint them," says Craig Yoe, "So, I am very excited and proud to be reprinting these gems!"

Starting this May, the bi-monthly comic, will publish such luridly illustrated pulp comics classics like "Love of a Lunatic," "I Fell for a Commie," "I Liked Older Men," and "There's No Romance in Rock 'n Roll." More bizarro stories will include "I Was Too Beautiful," "I Was A Pickup," "I Joined a Teenage Sex Cult," not to mention "You Also Snore, Darling!" These are sure to elicit a fair amount of "OMG-I-Can't -Believe-This!" moments, we promise.

This full-color collector's edition which begins the Weird Love series "ends" with a pre-code comics ode to the female derrier(!). No wonder the censors wanted this stuff banned! Sure to be a must-have big-buzz comic-and it's bargain-priced! Who says love isn't cheap? Full press release below.

Friday, February 14, 2014

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.)

Year 5. Week 26.

While we were gone the people back at the base outside of Reno were busy at work. They were able to build up the walls higher and thicker with reinforcing material to keep them upright when a mass of zombies are pushing against them. Additionally, they expanding the wall out some to encompass more land so all those folks we rescued have a place to stay while we figure out our next move.

They were able to accomplish all this while we fought the zombies in Carson City and had them pursuing a group around the desert. It also helped when another band of survivors from northern California came over, bringing some much needed supplies from the land up that way. All of this will go a long way to getting the people we rescued back into fighting and surviving shape for the fight ahead. Being this close to Carson City is not going to be a smart long term plan with all the zombies still left there.

Review - Haunted #1


"Thirteen years since the sky ripped open. Since the sun and blue sky went away. Since they came and everything changed."

There are scary things in the world, both living and dead. The living things have a corporeal form and can seemingly be dealt with more effortlessly; it's the ethereal we have to worry about. When the ethereal rise up and invade our world, things are going to get really awful really quick, as they do in Haunted #1 from Red 5 Comics. The issue is written by Scott Chitwood, illustrated by Danny Luckert, colored by Ivan Plascencia and lettered by Troy Peteri.

BOOM! Studios Promises Big Things for FCBD 2014

2014 KaBOOM! Free Comic Book Day Cover

Free Comic Book Day won't be devoid of booms, kabooms or archaic stories. In fact, BOOM! Studios, KaBOOM! Studios and Archaia will all be contributing quality books to FCBD 2014 on May 3. In fact, their Gold Sponsor book KaBOOM! 2014 Summer Blast will feature short stories from Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, Herobear and the Kid, Peanuts, Garfield and other, yet to be announced properties. Archaia will be offering a Silver Sponsor Book called Mouse Guard, Labyrinth and Other Stories: A Hardcover Anthology, which will feature a collection of short stories from Mouse Guard, Rust, Jim Henson's Labyrinth and more.

“This year, we are thrilled to once again participate in Free Comic Book Day with two unique offerings that we believe perfectly capture the spirit of this fantastic tradition,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “The KaBOOM! 2014 SUMMER BLAST spotlights some of the best of what our all-age-friendly line of comics has to offer, and even features a sneak peek of two new properties we can’t wait to announce. In 2012, Archaia made history by releasing the first-ever Free Comic Book Day hardcover, and I’m happy to report we’re bringing it back again with a stunning new anthology! Both of these offerings should generate some excitement and be a fun contribution to one of our favorite days of the year.”

The 48-page KaBOOM! 2014 Summer Blast will feature a preview of Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar and Lamar Abrams, an excerpt from Adventure Time by Janes the Stanton, an excerpt from Adventure Time: The Flip Side by Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover and Wook Jin Clark, an excerpt from Regular Show by Jake Wyatt, an excerpt from Herobear and the Kid: Saving Time by Mike Kunkel, an excerpt from Garfield by Mark Evanier and Genevieve FT, an excerpt from Peanuts by Vicki Scott and sneak previews of two new comic series.

The Archaia book will feature an original Mouse Guard story by David Petersen, an original Jim Henson's Labyrinth story by Adam Smith and Kyla Vanderklugt, an original Rust story by Royden Lepp, an original Bolivar story by Sean Rubin, an Aurora Grimeon Story: Will o' the Wisp by Tom Hammock and Megan Hutchinson and a new Farscape short story by Ramón Pérez.

Full press release below.

New Vision of the Flood in Noah


Like it or not, the story of Noah and the flood is being turned into a blockbuster film with Russell Crowe in the lead role. It's also being directed by Darren Aronofsky, who's taken it upon himself to do an accompanying graphic novel published by Image Comics. He's paired with Ari Handel and Niko Henrichon, all of whom will add an extra layer to the fabled story. Drawing from myth, history and unchanging truths of the human experience, Noah offers a new perspective on the Biblical patriarch, his family, and the ill-fated world they inhabit.

In addition to the hardbound edition with a cover by Henrichon, the lushly illustrated, 256-page graphic novel will also be available as a limited deluxe edition, signed and numbered by the creators. The Noah special edition will be oversized, with covers and slipcase bound in white linen and beautifully gold-foil-stamped with an elegant, minimalist design. The special edition will be limited to 300 copies and retail for $200. Both editions will be in stores on March 18.

Full press release below.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review - Dead Man's Party #1


"The TGV Milan to Paris is about as outside-the-box as I can get."

Besides being an episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, a dead man's party is an event that doesn't happen too often in the world of assassins and hitmen. When it does though, it has a tendency to bring everyone out of laying low and into the spotlight, as one of the competitors seek to cash in and add a notch in their assassination belt. Dead Man's Party #1 is an issue of a comic that takes the premise of a dead man's party and throws in a pretty savory twist. The issue is written by Jeff Marsick and illustrated by Scott Barnett.

Return to Fablewood with Fairy Quest Vol. 2: Outcasts


If you don't respect what Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos have done for the industry then you're likely either a fool or someone who's never read a comic before. The two are legends in their own right and they're looking to add to that legend with the second chapter of their Fairy Quest series. Fairy Quest Vol. 2: Outcasts has just kicked off with a Kickstarter.

“Humberto and I are are so immensely proud to return to Kickstarter with the second part of FAIRY QUEST,” said Jenkins. “We were amazed by the reaction to the book during the first campaign, and we’re excited to bring more of our Fablewood world to life. In this endeavor, the fans who back us truly are our publishers, and we’re incredibly grateful that they’ve shown how much they love the series. We could not do this without them! Much thanks also to our fellow pros who supported us when we launched the first time—it demonstrates that the comics industry can be one big family!”

The first Kickstarter campaign was one of the first instances where two high-profile, veteran creators went to fund a series that couldn’t exist any other way. The initial campaign was a huge success with over $95,000 raised for the passion project. The second six-week campaign is seeking to raise $60,000 to cover the costs of creative, printing, manufacturing of the rewards, and shipping. As with the first project, backers will have access to a number of exclusive items available only through Kickstarter. After the success of the first Kickstarter, BOOM! Studios proudly serialized the first chapter across two single issues and a soft cover edition for wider distribution.

Fairy Quest is set in the world of Fablewood, where all of the stories that have ever been told live side-by-side, separated only by genre borders. At the very center of this amazing world, the children's stories are forced to tell their tales exactly as written or risk having their minds wiped in Mister Grimm's dreaded Mind Eraser. Two outlaws—Red Riding Hood (Red) and the Wolf (Mister Woof)—seek to end this tyranny and escape to a place where they can remain as friends forever. When we last left Red and Woof, they were about to enter the Dark Forest to find the Map Maker who will show them how to escape to the safe haven of Realworld. What lies ahead for them in the Dark Forest?

The Fairy Quest Vol. 2: Outcasts Kickstarter campaign features a variety of rewards that will appeal to both fans of the first volume and those who are hearing about FAIRY QUEST for the first time. Aside from copies of an exclusive Kickstarter hardcover and other great collectible items, trips to C2E2 in Chicago and Comic-Con International in San Diego are up for grabs. Full press release below.

Things Get Stirred Up in Chew/Revival


John Layman, Rob Guillory, Tim Seeley and Mike Norton all have one thing in common: when they come together, great things happen. The former duo are the minds behind Chew, while the latter are the masterminds behind Revival. Now, those two properties are set to collide in a big way, as Tony Chu is gearing up to bring fans Chew/Revival #1.

“In my head I've got a checklist of all my favorite books I want Chew to crossover with, if for no other reason than it gives me an opportunity to visit a world that isn't mine, that I'd nonetheless like to play in,” said Layman. “Revival is a the top of the list, and I'm stoked I've got the opportunity to send Tony Chu to visit. It's a fun opportunity to check out both books for less than a single issue of each.”

“When John [Layman] proposed the idea, I told Tim [Seeley], ‘no way. That will never work,’” admitted Norton. “After a while I thought about it and went back to Tim and said, ‘yeah, no way, that will never work!’ But then, I thought even more on it. I think the way we’re doing it is reminiscent of when indie books of the '80s would cross companies and appear in each book even though you’d never expect those universes to collide. It’s just a matter of loosening up and having some fun.”

Seeley added, “Chew showed us all that there was a place for quality off-kilter series, and we're excited to have the cast of our 'rural noir' meet up with America's favorite cibopath. I think we've figured out a great way to take advantage of the ‘WHAT THE HELL’ factor of crossing over two very different worlds that'll make for a great read."

“Honestly, even I was shocked how well the two titles gelled together,” said Guillory. “It's a really, really fun experiment that will surprise fans of both books, I think."

Chew/Revival #1 is served in stores on 5/28 and will be available for $4.99. It can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code MAR140497. Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review - The Fuse #1


"Madam, I thank you, but I must ask you to step away from the crime scene and allow the professionals to work."

Eventually, we'll make our way into space and onto other planets. While making the trip to Mars will be close to a year in travel time, traveling to a space station orbiting the planet will be a little more manageable. When that space station is actually a floating city though, things get a little more complex, as they do in The Fuse #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Anthony Johnston, illustrated by Justin Greenwood, colored by Shari Chankhamma and lettered by Ed Brisson.

Valiant First Launches Valiant's Next Phase


Valiant has hit the ground running. Everything they're putting out is among the best, but they're not content to simply rest on their laurels. No, the publisher has big plans for 2014, with Valiant First getting their full support. Valiant First is a brand new publishing initiative primed to unleash a major #1 new series debut monthly throughout 2014, beginning this May with Rai #1 by Matt Kindt with fully painted interiors by Clayton Crain. In the far future of 4001 A.D., Japan is a single endless city-state, governed by a benevolent artificial intelligence and policed by an army of just one – the mysterious Rai, spirit guardian of the rising sun. But, soon, a single bullet will shatter the peace it has taken 2,000 years to secure…

"The defining goal of VALIANT FIRST is to give readers clear and accessible jumping-on points into Valiant’s award-winning publishing line," said Valiant Executive Editor Warren Simons. "Over the past two years, Valiant’s approach to the craft and business of comics has been widely imitated throughout the industry. We’re incredibly flattered by that fact, but we also see it as a challenge. Our response is to raise the bar even higher. We've been building momentum with a slew of awards and the best reviewed line of books on the market – but 2014 is where you’ll see us double our game without doubling the size of our publishing line."

Each month, Valiant will release an all-new series by some of the industry's top talent. The first is Armor Hunters #1 by Robert Venditti and Doug Braithwaite. A relentless and surgical strike team from the farthest reaches of space – sworn to exterminate the X-O Manowar armor and all like it – have found finally their last target. They will hunt. They will trap. They will kill. And they will rid the universe of the X-O Manowar’s incalculable destructive power…even if it means taking the Earth with it. Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1 is by Joe Harris and Trevor Hairsine and has the most dangerous weapon in the Valiant Universe coming in from the cold. With Earth under siege by the Armor Hunters, Bloodshot is the only thing standing between the destruction of the extraterrestrial intelligence agency known as MERO and the liberation of one of the Armor Hunters' own.

"The VALIANT FIRST line-up was very specifically chosen, and will continue our 'slow and steady' approach to growth. You won't see Valiant putting out more than nine core titles a month in 2014. We're focused on quality over quantity, and we'll be working hard to make sure that every VALIANT FIRST book is as good as anything else in the industry. You only have to look at the first wave of VALIANT FIRST titles to see that commitment – books like RAI #1 and ARMOR HUNTERS #1 are going to state our ambition with a vengeance," said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce.

Armor Hunters: Harbinger #1 is by Joshua Dysart and illustrated by Robert Gill, rising out of the ashes of Harbinger Wars, the volatile psiot strike force known as Generation Zero step into their very first adventure – and right into the crosshairs of the Armor Hunters. The Delinquents #1 is by Fred Van Lente and James Asmus and is illustrated by Kano. It’s the world's worst team-up when Archer & Armstrong meet Quantum and Woody! We apologize in advance for what can only be described as a swashbuckling, conspiracy-smashing, partner-trading, goat-fueled race across the USA. Finally, The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #1 is written by Jen Van Meter and illustrated by Roberto de la Torre. World-renowned parapsychologist Dr. Mirage and her husband Hwen were madly, deeply, stuff-of-legends in love – until the day a tragic accident stole Hwen away. Now, Dr, Mirage will have to use every ounce of her training and talents in the mystic arts to do the one thing Hwen taught her never to do – journey across the realms of Deadside and bring her love back to the land of the living.

"VALIANT FIRST came out of something fascinating that we've heard over and over again from our fans and retail partners. Not only did they tell us that they were now buying Valiant books as ferociously as the mainstays of the industry, but that the books they were most excited for, the books they reached for first were Valiant," said Valiant CEO and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.

Full press release below.

Markosia Unveils Serial Artist


Typically, when someone is described as "serial," it's usually in reference to their penchant for demonstrating psychopathic tendencies manifested in a spate of killings. In Markosia's case, they prefer to use to the term to describe someone else. Serial Artist is the chilling story of a fine arts gallery painter who has declared to the world that the subjects of his paintings are his murder victims and that all the clues necessary to solve his crimes are hidden in his works of art. Approached in the fumetti style, the 152 page graphic novel was photographed and painted by Netherlands-based artist Kevin Storm and written by American creator Robert Randle, who also provided the artwork for the Serial Artist’s controversial paintings.

“Markosia is very pleased to be the company to publish Serial Artist,” says publisher Harry Markos. “The book seems to have had a pretty profound effect on everyone who has read it so far, and I’m glad for the opportunity to share that experience with readers around the world.”

It’s one part fast-paced murder mystery, one part mind-bending meditation on the decay of western civilization and one part tour through the roiling psychosis of a disturbed young painter. Mix in the guiding hand of the I-Ching, render the illustrations using Adobe Photoshop, and you get Serial Artist, a four-part, underground graphic novel that strikes uncomfortably close to home. And that home is America: a capitalistic, parasitic, self-indulgent totem of rampant materialism, whose once-world renowned value system has spun off its axis and now breeds a race of slouching, mindless dependents. Here in the long shadow of the leviathan, the basest impulses govern existence, and the wanton pursuit of excess has sown the seeds for the empire’s own eventual reckoning. From the churning bile of this mire emerges a once-in-a-generation figure, a firebrand visionary whose métier is the deification of murder and whose rabid fan base brings new meaning to the term “cult following.”

The Serial Artist softcover will debut in March 2014 retailing for 
£14.99p/$18.99 and will be simultaneously released digitally in both graphic novel format for $4.99 and as four individual chapters for 99 cents each through ComiXology, iVerse, DriveThruComics, and other platforms. Additionally the Serial Artist graphic novel will be available on the Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Google play, Nook and iBooks.

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Resurrects Supernatural Mystery with The Returning

The Returning A

Some would argue you can never have too many near-death experiences. Some would argue that they'd be content if they never had one. Regardless of where you fall on the near-death experience spectrum, many of those experiences do make for rather interesting reading. At least, BOOM! Studios hopes so, considering their releasing The Returning by Jason Starr and Andrea Mutti.

“Jason and Andrea have crafted a smart, beautifully drawn thriller in THE RETURNING,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “It’s dark, intense, and sets up a compelling mystery around near-death experiences. I’ve been a fan of Jason Starr for years, ever since I read his novels from Hard Case Crime. He and Andrea Mutti are terrific storytellers, and if you’re not already a fan of their work, I think you will be by the end of this series.”

It’s the near future, and some people who have had Near-Death Experiences have come back "changed." They exhibit extreme behavioral changes, becoming increasingly paranoid and violent, and no one knows why. People who have had NDE's fall immediately under suspicion, and in some cases, are murdered by justice-seeking vigilantes. It is in this world where Beth, a quiet high school student with a bright future, will learn just how quickly friends and family will turn on her when she has the bad luck of surviving the worst night of her life...

The Returning #1 arrives in comic shops on March 12th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN140992. Full press release below.

Madame Frankenstein is Alive


While Percy Bysshe Shelley was more the Romantic poet, Mary was a little darker. So dark, in fact, that she penned Frankenstein, which in some way makes her a Madame Frankenstein of sorts. She's no longer writing, but Image Comics is launching a new title called Madame Frankenstein that sees a 1932 Vincent Krall setting out to create his perfect woman by reanimating the corpse of his recently deceased lover. The series will be penned by Jamie S. Rich and illustrated by Megan Levens.

“I have always been fascinated by the Frankenstein legend and the deeper mythological meanings in Shelley's original novel, so when Megan came to me with her concept for a My Fair Lady-style appropriation of the concept, it took me all of two seconds to say yes,” said Rich. “There seemed to be so much potential there, both in terms of exploring the thematic depths of the story and playing around with the look and feel of classic horror. The downfall of Victor Frankenstein was that he played God and tried to build his own version of man. His hubris was in thinking too highly of his own capacity for creation. Our mad doctor's bigger mistake is underestimating the power of women.”

A dark exploration of one man’s manic obsession to build the perfect woman, Madame Frankenstein is a terrifying retelling that would do Shelley proud. The first issue of Madame Frankenstein arrives in stores on 5/7 and will be available for $2.99. Cover A by Joelle Jones and Nick Filardi can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code MAR140478. Cover B by Christopher Mitten can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code MAR140479.

“I've always been strongly drawn to the moody, old-Hollywood glamour of the classic Universal monster films, and I felt that aesthetic would be a perfect match for the elements of horror and romance in this story,” said Levens. “The period of the early 1930s gave me so much to work with visually, as the architecture, costumes, and even minute details like glassware and wallpaper helped ground the fantastic elements of the story in a reality that still feels a bit removed from the world of the reader. But the aspect of those films that appealed most to me was that they derived their sense of horror from the emotions of the characters. Even the monsters were shown feeling fear, love, and loneliness… and a monster you can empathize with is perhaps the most terrifying of all."


Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Recipe for Resurrection