Friday, March 30, 2012

Defense With The BoomStick

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

Another week of good and bad news. Still reeling from losing my traveling companion as he was good to have around...really useful. Since being back on my own I've made more inroads traveling and I'm at the Vermont border.

I think.

Childish Gambino Takes Li'l Depressed Boy to Camp

You really can't say enough about Donald Glover. When he's not building blanket forts with the hopes of meeting the man with the really curly fingernails, he's Childish Gambino, an up and coming artist with really intelligent lyrics. He's also a big comic book fan, so of course he's going to welcome Li'l Depressed Boy to camp.

"When I came across his music, it quickly ascended to the top of every playlist,” said writer S. Steven Struble. “I feel a kinship with what he says in his songs. He's creating something earnest and true to his life, and I'm trying to do the same with mine."

The Li'l Depressed Boy #10 will feature a special appearance by Childish Gambino, starting his "Camp" tour on April 5 in Austin, TX. A limited number of copies featuring an exclusive cover designed by artist Sina Grace will be available for purchase only on the Camp Tour starting in Iowa City on April 16th.

In the issue, a concert rekindles a memory of loneliness and a person who made a difference in Li'l Depressed Boy's life -- rapper Childish Gambino, who urges him to climb out of his cocoon and experience the world. The experience will lead Li'l Depressed Boy on a new path in his life, sending the comic series in a new direction. The appearance in the comic marks the first time a guest will participate in the actual narrative and not just as a setting.

"It's eerily alarming how much the themes in Childish Gambino's 'Camp' are going to play out not only in this issue, but the story arc to come," said artist Sina Grace.

The Li'l Depressed Boy #10 will include additional story pages and will be in stores April 25.

Full press release, interiors and tour dates below.

Review - Reset #1

Ever get to a point in your life where you wonder if you made the right decisions? Maybe you should have talked to someone you didn't? Act a different way? Change your whole perspective? These are all thoughts that run through our minds at one point or another, only there's really nothing you can do about them. Or is there?

Peter Bagge's Reset #1 looks at those questions and more. The slightly off-kilter four-part series from Dark Horse ponders a life with a reset button.

Sea Lion Announces Release Date for Hush, Hush

Becca Fitzpatrick has been hard at work on a new graphic novel called Hush, Hush from Sea Lion Books. The graphic novel is a bridge between Books One and Two, filling in some of the holes in the story. That graphic novel has finally gotten a release date on April 18.

The story is about Nora Grey, who was never really attracted to the boys at her school, regardless of her best friend Vee's insistence otherwise. Then Patch came along. And of course she's into him.

The graphic novel has the look of Twilight, so if that's your thing then this is your book. Check out some interiors below.

Dark Horse Releasing Joe Golem in Hardcover Edition

If you find someone who doesn't like a good hardcover you've found someone who doesn't really like comics. Those folks can stand over there. The rest of you that enjoy a good hardcover you'll want to pay attention. Dark Horse is announcing such an edition of Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden's latest collaboration in Joe Golem and the Drowning City.

After a séance gone horribly wrong, strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits abduct the aging psychic Orlov the Conjuror, sending his young assistant Molly McHugh racing through the canals of a submerged Manhattan. As Molly flees her captors through a sunken city full of scavengers, her one hope comes in the form of two strange men: Simon Church, a Victorian-era detective kept alive by clockwork gears and magic, and his assistant, Joe, whose mysterious past is hinted at in dreams of stone and witches.

“Joe and his world are made up of all those things I love: crumbling ruins, strange Victorian devices, and unknowable supernatural forces,” said cocreator Mike Mignola. “These are the very same elements that went into the creation of Hellboy, but here hammered into different shape and relocated to New York City. Hellboy is Joe’s country cousin.”

The deluxe collection features illustrations by Mignola, as well as a signature plate signed by the two creators and presented in a slipcase. Only the Dark Horse edition will include the previously unpublished story "Joe Golem and the Copper Girl." It's limited to 1,000 copies when it hits stores September 26 for $99.99.

Full press release below.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review - Alpha Girl #2

Zombies have seen many different variations, all of which present a unique problem for the unlucky bastards who have to fight them off. In the latest of Alpha Girl from Image Comics, they got one hell of a crazed zombie tale on their hands.

The first two issues have just hit the nail on the head in terms of a crazy and funny zombie story. It's written by co-creators Jeff Roenning and Jean-Paul Bonjour with art by Robert Love, Dana Shukartsi, Diego Simone and Drew Gill.

Daredevil Born Again: Artist's Edition Available for Preorder

If there's one thing David Mazzucchelli knows it's having plenty of double consonants in his last name. That and being pretty darn good at his craft. He lent some of his talents to an arc of Daredevil in "Born Again," a seven-issue saga that's getting the Artist's Edition treatment. And is available for preorder.

The series was originally written by Frank Miller and illustrated by Mazzucchelli. The Artist's Edition features each page personally scanned from Mazzucchelli's personal collection of original art. The edition clocks in at 12 x 17 inches and 200 pages, shipping in a custom cardboard box.

Scott Dunbier oversees this fine collection as editor. It hits stores in late June for $125.

"Radio Ga Ga" Latest to Join Dark Horse Presents

Chad Lambert is joined by Apriyadi Kusbiantoro for some good stuff. That good stuff will make its debut in an upcoming Dark Horse Presents #14. The story is "Radio Ga Ga" and it's due out July 18.

In it, a young man with a dream gets mistaken for an assassin. People think radio personalities are crazy, but sometimes it’s the listeners who are truly nuts. Especially when they can get you arrested by the Secret Service.

“Writers are supposed to write what they know, and no one knows how to fail at broadcasting more than me. I never realized my pain was so funny to others,” said Chad.

“I’ve been sitting on these radio stories for fifteen years, but I was always kind of embarrassed to share them. Then one day, out of the blue, my wife informed me that these tales would make fascinating comic-book stories. So, if you like ‘Radio Ga Ga,’ blame her.”

Full press release after the jump.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review - Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1

Comics are soaring in popularity these days. We're well past the time of Superman being faster than a speeding bullet and are in an age where they actually mean something. Characters die (albeit not for long) in comics now. They grapple with social issues like immigration and gay marriage. And more and more are focusing on family as a key cog in the superhero dynamic.

Halcyon & Tenderfoot #1 is the latest to capitalize on family ties, written by Daniel Clifford and illustrated by Lee Robinson (published by Art Heroes). It's about a superhero who defends a city and brings his son along for the ride.

Preview - Medusa #1

Medusa can only be defeated by viewing her own reflection or by beheading. Those are relevant to the more traditional, Greek mythology Medusa. The Medusa in Blue Water Comics' Medusa #1 doesn't have quite the same proclivities.

Written by Nick Lyons and illustrated by Brandon Hendricks and Carl Ruley (colors by Antonio Bennett and Miguel Marquesdasilva, letters by Warren Montgomery and cover by Claudio Sepulveda), Medusa #1 features Gloria Merrick. Gloria cuts herself on the sword that beheaded the original Medusa, transforming her into a gorgon as well.

Medusa's sisters, Stheno and Eryale, aren't happy that Gloria is pretending to be their sister and seek to see her dead. Gloria must battle wits with the duo while deciding whether or not being Medusa is the right career choice.

Medusa #1 is in stores April 1 with interiors below.

Rocketeer Flying with Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

The Rocketeer doesn't need to be explained. He's a high-flying hero of a different time. He's also a legend and probably Dave Stevens' greatest creation. This August, his tales will be guided by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee in The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom! from IDW.

"As someone who bought every Rocketeer comic the day they first came out, this is a dream project for me. Dave Stevens created a terrific, iconic hero who beautifully and uniquely spans the gap between the pulp heroes of the 1930s and the comic-book crimebusters of the 1940s”, said Mark Waid, “He's got a foot in both those worlds, and he's a ball to write. And working with Chris Samnee was the part of IDW's offer that sealed the deal for me.”

Chris Samnee echoes Waid’s enthusiasm: “I couldn't be more excited to be drawing The Rocketeer. I've been a fan of the character, and a massive fan of Dave Stevens's work since I was a kid, and getting a chance to draw him is a real dream come true. I can't wait for folks to see what we've been cooking up.”

Full press release below.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blue Mammoth Games Releases Dungeon Blitz

There are two trends in games these days that bear watching: F2P and browser based. The beauty of both of them si that they require little investment on your part to actually enjoy them. That and usually the fact that they're both free to start. Blue Mammoth Games is bringing some of both in their brand new game Dungeon Blitz.

The game combines side-scrollers with the customization of RPGs and sprinkling in the interaction and cooperative combat of MMOs for a nice finish. New players can immediately jump into the action and play a full game session in as little as 10 minutes.

“Talking with friends, we realized there are tons of guys like us who used to be hardcore MMO players but just don’t have the time anymore. Our goal was to create a fun, light, but still challenging title that would let us get together with friends as well as get an online fix — but to do it in bite-sized chunks,” Lincoln Hamilton, Founder, Blue Mammoth Games, explains. “By taking advantage of the browser environment, we’ve created a new twist on side-scrollers with a mash up of the best features from brawlers, RPGs and MMOs.”

The combat system is easy to learn as well, with point-and-click controls. Characters will learn physical and arcane abilities while moving and dodging, all in real time. There's even the classic "let's combine our powers" trick that generates even more power. There are even three different classes to choose from: Paladin, Rogue and Mage.

Dungeon Blitz is now available at Full press release, video and screenshots below.

New Arrivals: March 28, 2012

It's not often that a two-issue miniseries is worth your time, but that's just the case with a quick series from Dark Horse. It features one of Dark Horse's better known properties in the B.P.R.D. and its quest to find the weird stuff in life. That book is B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: Pickens County Horror #1.

Red 5 Studios Brings Firefall to PAX East

You'd think Luke Skywalker is running things today because it's a Red 5 sort of day. First, there was Red 5 Comics and now there's Red 5 Studios and Firefall. The open world, PC shooter set to debut at PAX East next month (booth 536).

Players will receive live demos of the exclusive beta, which will contain new elements of the game's immersive open world experience as well as new PvP content. Everyone that checks it out at the show will be given access to an invite-only beta and the chance to meet key characters. As in Typhon and Mourningstar.

Firefall has players portraying the last remnant of humanity on Earth, fighting to survive against the odds on a hostile planet. The planet is under attack from the Chosen, a mysterious humanoid race. The game touts a "polished" PvP combat system and a great open world expereince.

Firefall, an upcoming free-to-play, open world PC action shooter, is set in a unique and beautiful science fiction universe 200 years in the future. Players are part of the last remnant of humanity on Earth, fighting to survive against all odds on a hostile planet ravaged by an aggressive energy storm and under attack by a mysterious humanoid race, known as the Chosen. One of the most anticipated PC games of 2012, Firefall consists of two triple-A components that will entice shooter fans: a polished PvP combat system tuned for elite-level eSports competition and a robust open world experience designed to immerse players in a deep storyline with dynamic events and social gameplay.

Full press release below.

Review - Atomic Robo Presents... Real Science Adventures #1

Atomic Robo is a lot like Hellboy. Both square off against really strange adversaries and both have a little trouble "fitting in" with the human crowds. That doesn't stop them from doing what they do best though in fighting to keep the world safe.

Red 5 Comics is looking to expand on Atomic Robo's universe with a brand new series called Atomic Robo Presents... Real Science Adventures #1. The first issue is broken into five individual stories, each illustrated by someone different. The writing in the whole book is by Brian Clevinger, with colors by Matt Speroni, letters by Jeff Powell and cover art by Scott Wegener and Ronda Pattison.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Celebrates Heavy Metal

It's Heavy Metal Magazine's 35th Anniversary. That qualifies for a yearlong celebration, starting with the epic graphic novel series The Four Hoursemen of the Apocalypse - Book One: Helldiver on April 13. Kevin Eastman is keen on it.

“This incredible three-book series featuring the stories of Michael Mendheim and art of Simon Bisley have sparked special fan incentives promotions and contests like the “What’s Your Vision of Pestilence? Art Contest that aim to thrill our die-hard Heavy Metal followers.”

The celebration gets even better if you're an artist with your own vision of Pestilence. Artists can submit their original artwork or photography interpretations to the Pestilence Art Contest through April 28. The top 10 finalists will have their artwork celebrated in Heavy Metal Magazine's September 2012 issues and receive a subscription.

The top 5 finalists will also receive signed copies of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Book One: Helldiver and Dystopia Rising: Table Top RPG from Eschaton Media with the Grand Prize Winner also taking home an original, signed Simon Bisley painting of Pestilence.

"I feel we have created a top-notch horror story that combines the feel of the Matrix with Hellraiser.” said Michael Mendheim, creator and writer. “We’ve already received a lot of great reviews and response from fans who’ve got an early peek at the story. We’re running the Pestilence Art Contest as a way of saying thank you to Simon’s fans as well as the life-long fans of Heavy Metal.”

Comics legend Simon Bisley adds “This book demanded a lot from the team and I think we all have something to be proud of. I’m thrilled to be a part of the story and to give Kevin Eastman and Heavy Metal Magazine a great way to celebrate 35 years of publishing incredible stories. I can’t wait to share one of my paintings with the winner of the Pestilence Art Contest.

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios at Emerald City Comic Con

If you're going to Emerald City Comic Con be sure to stop by booths #502 and #402 for some quality BOOM! Studios action.

Check out the entire signing and schedule below.

Hero Initiative Goes Bowling at Emerald City Comic Con

There's a lot you need to pack for a convention. Comics to be signed, camera, hand sanitizer, bowling shoes. Yes, bowling shoes. That is, if you plan on attending Emerald City Comic Con and want to bowl for a good cause.

The Hero Initiative will be bowling to raise money for their cause on Friday, March 30 at 8 PM. There are 24 spots to bowl with a special guest including Jim Valentino, Francis Manpul, Barry Kitson, Tony Parker and more at Garage Billiards at 1130 Broadway in downtown Seattle.

For $40 you get 2 games with a special guest, shoe rental, a drink ticket and five raffle tickets to win a bowling pin designed by artists such as Joe Linsner or Matt Wagner.

If you don't want to bowl you still have a chance to win the custom bowling pins. Raffle tickets are $5 each and tickets will be sold all day Friday at booth number #807 and all evening at the event. And there will be guests at their booth all weekend long.

Full press release and signing schedule below.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

You know, I’ve been thinking.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if every superhero game you played was as great as Arkham Asylum? As breathtaking as Arkham City? This is a tall order. I know. I KNOW.

I mean, let’s face it. Half of WHY Arkham Asylum is so great is because the source material was so rich. It’s like the Batman universe just jumped off the frickin’ page. You just couldn’t believe how well Batman and the assorted characters associated with him fit into this sort of almost survival horror game. They almost seem like they’re SUPPOSED to be in a video game. Meant to be.

Created for it, specifically, as surely as any character was created for Resident Evil, Metal Gear or Silent Hill. The Arkham games just feel RIGHT when you play them. The characters seem alive and fresh and interesting. It’s so addictive.

Review - Homemade Heroes #1

Homemade Heroes #1 is an interesting book. It's not so much one overarching story but a series of strips presented in the old school newspaper format. It's about a world of gifted people that call themselves superheroes. Only instead of every panel being them doing heroic things, you're more likely to see them being a bit more human. Well, as human as superheroes can be.

Homemade Heroes #1 is written and illustrated by Russ Walton, who goes by the pseudonym Grim Rascal Presents.

Boston Comic Con Hosting Inaugural Public Auction

2012 is shaping up to be what the planners of Boston Comic Con hope to be another successful year in the show's young history. What could they do besides bring in tons of talent to help that cause? An inaugural public auction of original comic book art is a good start.

The auction will be held on Saturday April 21, 2012, at 7:00 PM at the Hynes Convention Center in Suite 102, hosted by guest auctioneer Todd Dezago. Bidders will get the chance to own original art from some of the most notable artists in the industry. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to The Mike Wieringo Scholarship for aspiring comic book artists.

The auction comes on the back of BCC's success as an "old school convention for comic book purists, collectors, and art enthusiasts." The first annual art auction is aimed at generating additional proceedds for the show to improve the artist alley, as well as to contribute to a worthy comic book art related charity. Many of the guest artists have chosen to support the BCC and the Mike Wieringo Scholarship by voluntarily donating a piece of their original art to the auction.

Full press release below.

Aspen WonderCon Announcements

WonderCon 2012 brought along quite a few announcements, Aspen included. They've got some great stuff on tap, which of course means you should read on.

First off, Charismagic: The Death Princess will be an all-new, three issue miniseries written by Vince Hernandez and illustrated by Emilio Lopez and Jocelyn Dunn (covers by Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez). Additionally, Charismagic: Sparkles one-shot will be released digitally over the summer, written by Hernandez and illustrated by Siya Oum. Proceeds from that will benefit the Make A Wish Foundation.

In August, Homecoming will debut from the minds of Michael Turner, David Wohl and Scott Lobdell. It's a new high school supernatural adventure series that combines aliens with high school. It features art by Emilio Laiso and Stefani Rennee.

Idolized is Aspen's first-ever superhero comic by David Schwartz and illustrated by Michah Gunnell and David Curiel. It's the story of girl with super-powers and a tortured past, who seeks revenge, and ultimately finds redemption, over the course of competing in a televised super-hero competition show.

"The Hit List Agenda" was Aspen's big event last summer and has generated the publisher's first ever ongoing series in Executive Assistant Assassins, written by Hernandez and illustrated by three different teams. The first three-issue arc--"Life After Death"--focuses on Lily and features art by Jordan Gunderson and Teodoro Gonzalez (covers by Joe Benitez, Dustin Nguyen, Eduardo Francisco and more).

Additionally, Aspen's got Executive Assistant: Iris Volume 3, Shrugged Volume 2 and Fathom Volume 5. Aspen's also got plans for Soulfire: Search for the Light Summer Event. It will feature five separate one-shots that will combine into one massive story arc, leading directly into Soulfire Volume 4.

The five one-shots include Soulfire: Hope by JT Krul and Jose Varese, Soulfire: Despair by David Schwartz and Jonathan Marks, Soulfire: Faith by Amanda McMurray and Siya Oum, Soulfire: Power by David Wohl and Khary Randolph and Soulfire: Grace by JT Krul and Pasquale Qualano.

And, just because Aspen likes you, there will be reprints of Lady Mechanika, all three featuring new cover art by Joe Benitez and Peter Steigerwald.

Full press release below.

Dynamite Entertainment Lauches Pantha Ongoing

Vampirella is someone we all know and love. She kills vampires and looks good doing it. She's not alone in that universe in both regards, being joined by Pantha as an ally. The Egyptian cursed to live forever first appeared in Vampirella #30 and starting in June she'll get her own series in Panta #1, written by Brandon Jerwa and illustrated by Pow Rodrix (covers by Mark Texeira and Sean Chen).

"Like her good friend VAMPIRELLA, the character of PANTHA has many layers," says writer Brandon Jerwa. "My series is an equal mix of horror, suspense, mysticism, Egyptian mythology, and yes, I'll say it: Superheroic Action. To my mind, this is a comic for people who love comics as an insane, boundless platform for storytelling. You don't have to know anything about Pantha or Vampirella to understand this book, but I'm confident that longtime fans will appreciate some familiar themes and a slew of guest-stars from the vast Vampirella universe."

In Pantha #1, Pantha stalks the night, fighting the forces of Chaos. She's an avatar for the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet and she's on track to learn a lot more about her past. The first issue, "Dangerous Game," will be a cornerstone for the future of the Vampirella universe.

"We waited to launch Pantha because we wanted to give her the same long term planning we have given Vampirella," says Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. "Writer Brandon Jerwa has presented a great launch pad and long term plan, and Pow Rodrix's art compliments it very well. The "icing on the cake" are beautiful and striking covers by Mark Texiera and Sean Chen. This is a great creative team that will hit this one out of the park!"

Full press release below.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Defense With The BoomStick

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

Well I'm getting closer.

I say that judging by the amount of traps and layers of security they have in this place.

A few days back one of those traps got the guy traveling with me, the poor bastard never saw it coming. It's been a rough few days since then and all I can do is continue to press forward. Find somebody who can lead me out of this mess and to where I need to find who's in charge.

Review - 3 Story: Secret Files of the Giant Man

The world today is rife with zombies, vampires and werewolves. It seems like everyone that dies will end up as one of those three "creatures" of vicious mindsets. What about mummies? Swamp people? Giants?

Giants are a group that's rarely used these days, so it's refreshing when someone like Matt Kindt comes along and does so. His latest work from Dark Horse, 3 Story: Secret Files of Giant Man, does just that, revisiting his most beloved creation in Craig Pressgang as he travels the world as a spy.

Supercrooks Director Nacho Vigalondo Heads to Kapow!

Kapow! just got a little crime-ridden, with the announcement that Supercrooks director Nacho Vigalondo attending the show in May. Supercrooks is the latest comic book series from Mark Millar, in case you were wondering.

Nacho explains, “I visited Kapow! last year to have a look around and enjoy myself, and believe it is the perfect platform to start talking about my plans for the Supercrooks movie. I really love comics, and of course movies, so Kapow! is my idea of a perfect weekend”.

The work was co-created and illustrated by Leinil Yu and is about a group of supervillains who head to Europe to pull off a massive heist, figuring that that there are too many superheroes in America these days. Marc Platt, who produced Wanted, is on board to produce with actors yet to be officially attached.

Kapow! takes place May 19th and 20th at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

Full press release below.

Spawn Pays His Respects

Image Comics celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and you'd be hard-pressed to say that Spawn didn't have a hand in that milestone. He's not the only character to come from those founding fathers, but he's definitely one of the more recognizable. It only makes sense that Todd McFarlane's creation celebrates the 20th anniversary as well, both of Image and the series.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the comic, McFarlane will return this June as the cover artist for the remainder of 2012. He'll also take the lead in writing for the commemorative issue, Spawn #220.

I celebration of the 20th anniversary of Image Comics, the first of the nine covers by McFarlane depicts "Savage Spawn," referencing the first issue of Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen.

“Early in my career one of the things I looked forward to after I finished the interiors on a book, was to sit back and try and come up with a single image that would catch the fan’s attention,” said McFarlane. “I had a pretty decent run with some of the Hulk, Spider-Man, and Spawn covers, and I’m going to come back and see if I can draw a few covers that will intrigue everybody.”

Spawn #220 will also have a variant cover paying tribute to Rob Liefeld's Youngblood #1, as well as an original cover by McFarlane himself. Additionally, current Spawn artist Szymon Kudranski has created a cover based on the original Spawn #1 cover by McFarlane for the Spawn: 20th Anniversary Collector's Special. That issue publishes Kudranski's art in black and white in addition to content looking back at a sampling of McFarlane's inked pages from Spawn #1. That's limited to 2,500 copies.

Spawn #220 will be in stores June 6th. Full press release below.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review - Rebel Blood #1

A comic is both art and writing. The art tells a story alongside the writing, with the words usually advancing things through dialogue. It's a combination that's worked well to this point and will continue to work. Sometimes though an absence of dialogue is a good thing. Opening a comic with five pages sans dialogue is a rebellious thing.

Rebel Blood #1 from Image Comics is written by Riley Rossmo and Alex Link and illustrated by Rossmo. And it does something rebellious.

Valiant Entertainment Launches X-O Manowar #1 in May

This summer is setting up for a superhero epic in X-O Manowar from Valiant Comics. To celebrate that release, Valiant Comics is announcing a special first issue that clocks in at 40 pages. That's a lot of epic superhero action.

THe new series is written by Robert Venditti and Cary Nord and is all about the transformation of the fifth century Visigoth Aric of Dacia into the weapon of destruction known as X-O Manowar. That first issue is 29-pages of lead story paired with an extra preview of Valiant's June debut issue of Harbinger #1.

"Valiant is committed to giving fans and retailers alike as many reasons as possible to pick up X-O Manowar #1 on May 2nd," said Publisher Fred Pierce. "This isn't just the first issue of one new series, it's the first issue of the all-new Valiant Universe. X-O Manowar #1 is a milestone in every sense of the word, and lengthening the book to 40 pages is the perfect way to do it justice -- both for our readers and the story."

Not only that, but days after X-O Manowar #1 hits shelves, Valiant will be dropping their Free Comic Book Day 2012 Special on Saturday, May 5. That FCBD edition has first looks at Harbinger #1 in June, Bloodshot #1 in July and Archer Armstrong #1 in August.

Full press release and interiors below.

The Darkness Kicks Off With New Team

The Darkness has done Top Cow proud, making it to 100 issues. That's an accomplishment for any comic, so kudos to the folks at Top Cow for making it happen. That being said, the people who helped get the series to that milestone issue are no more. Fear not though, as they're being replaced by two more than capable creators in David Hine and Jeremy Haun.

“The Darkness is one of Image's longest running books and Jackie Estacado is one of the few truly classic characters in independent comics. That makes it a genuine honor to be entrusted with taking the book into its next phase,” explained Hine. “Issue 101 is the start of a roller coaster ride into some dark and scary places. Our intention is to mess with your heads. You have been warned..."

Hines takes over from long-time writer Phil Hester, picking up the story of Jackie Estacado after the events of Artifacts #13. He and Haun join Tim Seeley and Diego Bernard on Witchblade and Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic on Artifacts. The three creative teams will shepherd the Top Cow universe along into a new era.

“It isn't often that you are invited to really put your stamp on a character," Haun added. "Top Cow has really given David and me the chance to let go and tell the next chapter of Jackie Estacado's life. We're staying true to everything that's come before in the 100-issue span of the book and adding a new twisted layer to things. I'm having the time of my life drawing each page of twisted madness. The Darkness is something we're really proud of.“

The Darkness #101 is titled "The Crack in Everything" and is in stores now. Full press release below.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Michael Bay and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Alien Turtles

Michael Bay is a director, producer and man about town. He's made tons of movies and has caused tons of damage through explosions. He's also made Transformers a household name (thanks to his better than expected film in 2007) and is being tapped to revitalize another franchise that's recently come back into the spotlight.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Only according to Bay, they're not going to be "mutants," but aliens.

Where to begin.

Review - Fathom Vol. 4 #5

There's a whole lot going on in the depths of the ocean. A whole lot that you probably wouldn't know about seeing as how we can't quite manage to get down that deep. Aspen Matthews can though, the child of Black and Blue and unsung hero of the waters. And she sees a lot of this stuff firsthand.

Fathom Vol. 4 #5 from Aspen Comics continues her experience. It's written by Scott Lobdell and David Wohl, penciled by Alex Konat and Cory Smith, colored by Beth Sotelo and lettered by Josh Reed.

Soldiers of Fortune Ambushing Comics

Soldier of Fortune is a magazine not content with just one format that features glossy pages. Nope. They want to get on some other glossy pages (or semi-matte I suppose) and is teaming up with Bluewater Productions for a new ongoing comic book called Soldier of Fortune Presents: Stealth.

"Finally a real adventure graphic novel for real men," said Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown, USAR (Ret.), publisher of Soldier of Fortune Magazine.

The new series will debut in June and will be written by March Shapiro and illustrated by Steven Black. It focuses on a fictional secret Special Ops team hired by the government to do the jobs that the military can't.

"I'm writing Soldiers Of Fortune with the idea of creating the ultimate war comic. Lots of action, lots of humor, lots of character and more firepower than you can shake a bazooka at. Big guns. Big attitude. Guts and grit,” says Shapiro. “This book is it. I'm putting everything I have into every panel in hopes that the reader will be as passionate about this book."

Full press release below.

IDW Announces Womanthology Ongoing

Women are in comics and it's awesome. More and more are finding their way in as both writers and artists. Paying respects to that talent will be IDW with their upcoming Womanthology ongoing series, inspired by Womanthology: Heroic by Renae De Liz, debuting September 2012.

“Womanthology: Heroic was such a big, wonderful experience, and not in my wildest dreams could I have hoped that it would go on to further adventures! I hope that Womanthology: Space! is just the start of a long line of amazing books that further open doors for women in comics everywhere. I hope this will be a continued outlet to have their work showcased and appreciated, and help many take that next big step towards a career in comics,” said project manager, De Liz.

“Again there will be all ages and experience levels accepted. This has always been so important to me, as I know first hand how even one show of support can offer so much confidence and motivation in your work. This not only helps aspiring creators gain valuable experiences and a platform to help further careers, but it also allows established professionals to reach out and lend their comics knowledge and know how. I am so glad that the positivity and fun of Womanthology is going further, this time into Space!”

The showcase is produced entirely by women, showcasing the talents of over 140 creators. Those creators include Blair Butler, Fiona Staples, Jessica Hickman, Bonnie Burton, Ming Doyle, Stacie Ponder and many more. Each issue will present three stories, focusing on the theme of the series, “Space”, where creators will use the concept and a sub-theme to inform and inspire their individual story. In addition, the series will also include pinups and ongoing mini-comics by different artists, as well as tips from professionals.

“We’re extremely excited about the ongoing and continuing to showcase the talented and inspiring work by women in the industry at all levels. Whether they’re just starting out or seasoned veterans, these creators all have something to say with their stories and being able to offer them this opportunity just shows that a little idea can make a huge difference,” said editor Mariah Huehner. “Heroic was such an incredible experience and Renae is, without exaggerating, an incredible person and artist who deserves a huge round of applause for making a real difference. We knew Heroic wasn’t the end, so join us in Space!.”

Womanthology: Heroic is a 300-page hardcover for $50 and available now (ISBN 978-1-61377-147-1). Womanthology: Space! #1 will be available September 2012.

Full press release below.

Higher Earth Launches in May from BOOM! Studios

BOOM! Studios must know something the rest of us don't because they affirm that space is dead. They wonder why conquer other planets when there's a perfectly good Earth in the universe next door? That Earth is Higher Earth, the new sci-fi thriller from the publisher, written by Sam Humphries and illustrated by Francesco Biagini. And the first issue will only be $1 when it hits in May.

“Higher Earth is a sci-fi revenge story set in an empire that has conquered over a hundred earths across alternate time-lines,” says Humphries. “We follow Rex and Heidi as they slash a bloody path through an empire where going from one time-line to the next is as natural as taking a flight from New York to London. It’s a massive cognitive leap that is now a day-to-day reality for a civilization of a thousand billion citizens."

The first issue ships in may with main covers by Joe Benitez, Phil Noto, Frazer Irving and Ben Oliver in a 30/30/30/10 split, a retailer incentive variant by David Aja (1:15), a "You Are Illegal On This Earth" variant (1:25) and a sketch variant by Joe Benitez (1:50). There will also be a special CGC certified 9.8 Near Mint variant by legendary artist Michael Golden (1:100).

“This is the sci-fi thriller Sam has been waiting to tell after his huge success with OUR LOVE IS REAL,” says BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.

Full press release and interiors below.

Image Exclusives at Emerald City Comicon

The Emerald City has their Comicon, one of the bigger shows on the west coast. In fact, it's pretty much holding down the Pacific northwest as far as conventions go. It works out well that Image is celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year, bringing a slew of extras to the show March 30 to April 1.

On tap will be a blood-smeared variant cover of Bloodstrike #26, the relaunch of Rob Liefeld's Extreme title by Tim Seeley and Franchesco Gaston. It's a throwback to the cover of the 1993 debut that invited readers to "Rub the blood!" That cover will set you back $5.

The Walking Dead ECCC exclusive T-shirt will feature an illustration by Charlie Adlard for $20. Also at the ECCC booth will be the exclusive Marc Silvestri IMAGE HEROES T-shirt featuring the line art of the image that graces ECCC's program guide. The unisex T-shirt is $20.00. The print featuring the full-color Silvestri art will be at the Top Cow booth, #414, and the 11" x 17" print is limited to 300 copies and $20.00.

There's also an exclusive The Darkness signed print by Jeremy Haun for $20, again coming in at 11" x 17" and limited to 300 copies.

Debris is a new series by Kurtis Wiebe and is set to debut in July. ECCC attendees will get a sneak peak thanks to a poster available at booth #310. There will also be a night vision variant cover of The Activity #4 by Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads for $10.

An exclusive hardcover edition of Gerry Duggan's and Phil Noto's retelling of The Odyssey, The Infinite Horizon, will be at table #P-03 for $20. Also present will be Skullkickers #13 in a limited Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund Sketch cover variant for $10.

In addition to these ECCC exclusives, Image will also debut the convention-exclusive Alpha Girl #2 cover. The first issue of the series by Jean-Paul Bonjour, Jeff Roenning, Robert Love, Dana Shukartsi and Diego Simone sold out, and the second issue will be in stores on March 28. The issue will be available at the Image booth, #310, for $5.00.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Arrivals: March 21, 2012

Lots of good stuff out this week, including Fathom #5, The Goon #38 and even Vampirella #15. None of those title characters though have quite the "natural" experience that the title character of Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales: The Jungle Book #1.

Review - B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1

The B.P.R.D. has seen its fair share of weird. Hellboy and his running crew are no stranger to the strange, yet every series featuring them continue to be relatively fresh and surprising. B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror #1 is definitely another in the series that continues this trend.

The title is written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, with art by Jason Latour, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins and covers by Becky Cloonan (with Dave Stewart) and Mignola (with Stewart). Dark Horse has another chapter in the B.P.R.D. saga ready to go.

The Infinite Horizon Collected in April

Here's hoping you've read the Odyssey, otherwise the news that The Infinite Horizon is being collected into a trade paperback won't really excite you that much. It should excite you regardless, as the Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto collaboration is coming back to stores five years since the first issue's release. Five years ago.

"When Phil and I began the comic in 2007 we tried to imagine scenarios that would make make a soldier's ten-year journey home believable," said writer Duggan. "I hope we made some interesting choices about the loss of technology and a crippling energy crisis, but I know we did a pretty good job of imagining a world that's pulling itself apart. We could not have imagined the Arab Spring, but the fractured world of The Infinite Horizon seems much less fantastic just five years later."

The 186-page trade paperback collects issues #1-6 of the series, as well as bonus material from Noto. It takes place in the not-too-distant future, where a small group of abandoned soldiers are being led home by The Captain. The Captain earns the title through escaping shipwrecks, being an opponent wearing cycloptic combat armor and fights the sirens's call.

"In the years following the 9/11 attacks I re-examined the poem and found it to be very fresh and relevant to our society," he said. "We're now living in a state of almost perpetual war. Contractors and drones will probably remain behind long after combat troops are withdrawn. The burden of these conflicts are not shared. Military families shoulder the load, and I have doubts about whether or not they are adequately supported for their service and sacrifice."

The book hits stores April 11. Full press release below.

Zenescope Presents Call of Wonderland Miniseries

There so much action in Wonderland these days that it's a wonder anyone ever manages to get out in one piece. Zenescope has plans to make the land of wonder just a tad more crowded, announcing both an ongoing Wonderland series, as well as a four issue miniseries called Call of Wonderland.

“We realized that fans want more and more of this universe so creating an ongoing series following the life of a fan-favorite character like Calie made perfect sense,” said Zenescope Editor-in-chief Ralph Tedesco. “The important thing was to also come up with a story that invites new readers who are looking to dive into our version of Wonderland and that’s what Call of Wonderland will provide. This allows us to appease both hardcore fans and newcomers alike.”

The new ongoing series is scheduled for a July 2012 release with issue #1 set to debut at Comic Con International in San Diego. The series is being developed by Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco. It tells the story of Calie Liddle and her daughter Violet as they attempt to lead a normal life. Calie knows though that it's easier said than done.

Call of Wonderland will be written by Dan Wickline. Wonderland will be written by Raven Gregory, with cover art by J. Scott Campbell, Greg Horn and Eric Basaldua.

Full press release below.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Vandal Savage. How can you not love this guy?

Like a lot of great DC bad guys, Savage has spent an extended hiatus in the realms of obscurity for many, many years. Recently he’s been starting to really ‘pop out’ here and there, you know?

Savage is the sort of Doom of the DC universe (no pun intended). He recently starred as the big bad in the DC comics animated film Doom, a sort of super-cool retelling of the old Justice Friends cartoon show’s battles against the Legion of Doom. Complete with the whole weird Swamp-base thing.

I just love Savage’s STORY. I mean, he’s even got Ra’s al Ghul beat for "creepiest immortal in the DC universe."

Savage’s name isn’t just catchy. He literally started life as a caveman. But the radiation that he was exposed to during a meteor shower transformed him, making him immortal.

The end result is that Savage has literally lived thousands of years. He’s watched civilizations rise and fall, heroes come and go.

Review - Peepholes

Everyone has secrets. Sometimes those secrets are revealed to those close to us, while other times they remain ironclad. It's usually the ironclad secrets that surprise us most and are the truest indicator of a person. Peepholes by Laurie J. Proud (published by Blank Slate Books) is all about ripping those secrets from their hiding places.

Heavy Metal Announces Monster Massacre Edition

Everyone likes a special edition. Especially one that advertises massive monsters, bad babes and giant guns. Allitteration aside, that's an impressive presentation. That combination can really only be pulled off in one work: Heavy Metal.

That's right. The limited edition version will debut at San Diego Comic-Con 2012 with a wraparound cover collaboration from IFS founder Stanley “Artgerm” Lau and comic legend Jim Steranko. The special issue boasts a bevy of topnotch creators, including Barnaby Bagus, Toby Cypress, Dave Dorman, Dave Elliott, Alex Horley, Andy Kuhn, Ron Marz, Mark A Nelson, Tom Raney, Philip Tan and Dave Wilkins

“This issue is going to be a blast.” States Atomeka co-founder, Dave Elliott. “Last years issue with Imaginary Friends Studios was great to help put together, but this year I get to contribute as well.” On the subject of the variant covers Dave adds, “The Direct Sales and Newsstand audiences are different, so by offering two covers I hope we can appeal to different audiences that will both enjoy the diverse content.”

The Newsstand cover will be provided by Lau while Sam Bari and Jessica Kholinne will create the Direct Sales cover. There will also be a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive cover produced in conjunction with DeviantART and joining Lau with Steranko. The back covers to all three editions will have covers by winners of a competition run by Kevin Eastman and Dave Elliott through their DeviantART pages. Lau will help judge the finalists.

The September edition that ships in July will be $7.95 for 116 pages. Full press release below.

Crossed: Wish You Were Here Moves to Webcomic

Print may not be enough when looking to get your Crossed fix. If it's not, Avatar Press has something that will take care of that, making sure you get both your print habit for Crossed AND the webcomic habit. Yeah, there's a new webcomic called Crossed: Wish You Were Here. The full-color series will be written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Javier Barreno.

Spurrier says, “In the real world, folks who are practically-minded, farmers and fishers and builders and butchers, are rarely the ones making the Big Decisions. So what happens when everything goes insane, when the class system no longer exists? When the minimum-wage guy who knows how to tune an outboard motor or set a trap is suddenly more important, more indispensable, than a millionaire or politician? What does a writer do in a world where the one thing he’s any good at, the only skill he’s ever used to judge his self-worth, suddenly means nothing?”

Crossed: Wish You Were Here introduces two dozen human survivors who survived the "Crossed plague," a worldwide outbreak that transformed part of the population into violent, insatiable murderers. This incarnation sees a group determined to hold their own by converting an island into a defensible stronghold.

The webcomic ties into a larger event called C-Day. That day debuts Crossed: Badlands, alongside promotional giveaways, decorative displays and costume parties. The first issue is written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Jacen Burrows.

Full press release below.

Dark Horse Joins Geek & Sundry

Felicia Day is something of a geek goddess. She's made a name for herself with The Guild and was everyone's favorite "damsel in distress" in Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog. That's a great resume as it is, but Dark Horse isn't satisfied with great. They want even awesomer and now they're going to get it with Day and an all-new YouTube channel called Geek & Sundry, starting April 2.

“We’re so incredibly excited to produce and develop a channel based on what we think the fans will enjoy the most,” said Day, cofounder, producer, and star of Geek & Sundry. “From Dark Horse Comics to Wil Wheaton, there’s a killer team of talent on camera and off that will help build on the success of The Guild and Dragon Age: Redemption.”

The new channel and company is founded by Day and will start with an initial lineup of six original series. The channel will present the very best of indie geek culture by exploring fun themes in comedy, gaming, comics, music, and literature that are sure to captivate audiences every week. Geek & Sundry will also provide a social destination and community for fans connecting online and offline about nerd culture worldwide.

The channel will also feature content by Wil Wheaton, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. Not only that, but expect to see some Dark Horse motion comics up there as well.

Dark Horse will air a new motion-comics episode every Wednesday, featuring characters like Hellboy, Conan the Barbarian, Usagi Yojimbo and Gerard Way’s The Umbrella Academy. The motion comics will be directed by Erik Bruwhiler and produced by Mike Richardson.

"This is an exciting new extension of our comics business. Our technology is state of the art and the tales are extremely engaging. Add Erik's genius to some of the greatest creators in the comics business and the project becomes irresistible." Said Dark Horse President Mike Richardson.

Full press release below.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Zenescope Announces Grimm Fairy Tales Animated Series

Synergy is a buzzword in business these days, as companies strive to find that combination of contributions that takes things to another level. When a company like Zenescope teams up with Titmouse Inc. animation studio for an all new Grimm Fairy Tales Animated Series, well, you can't say there's not synergy there.

Kicking off today and running through May 1, 2012, is a Kickstarter campaign seeking $175,000 for the pilot episode and to produce the foundation materials necessary to continue the series beyond that. The official announcement of the series was just made at the Hollywood and Comics panel at WonderCon by Ben Jackendoff and series director Joe Schnepp. Both are available to discuss the project in more detail at the Zenescope booth, booth #100, at WonderCon, where Jon will also be signing during the show.

“We believe that our Grimm Fairy Tales comic book series would make an excellent animated series, and we've been pitching the idea to the Hollywood big-wigs for years. They've said "There is too much Fairy Tales stuff out there", or "No one wants to see a gritty, dark, modern take on the fairy tales." That's where they're wrong. We have tons of devoted fans that would love to see more of our series, and that is our chance and yours to make it happen.”

Full press release and Kickstarter video plea below.

Defense With The BoomStick

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

For being such a large government encampment on this side of the wall, it's really quiet here. We've been moving around now for a week and haven't seen any zombies for starters, but we also haven't seen any living people either. Nor have we heard any sounds or noises that could be vehicles. Honestly, I'm not sure if we're still in a burned out area or they just haven’t settled anyone here yet.

Marc Silvestri Making Splash at Emerald City Comic Con

If both Image and Top Cow are set to invade a convention, there's a good bet that Marc Silvestri may be in the mix as well. The convention is Emerald City Comic Con and yes, Silvestri is involved. He even provides the cover to this year's guide.

“Marc Silvestri is a creator that our fans have been asking about for a long time,” commented ECCC Convention Director Jim Demonakos. “To not only have him appear at the show, but for him to have created this amazing piece that celebrates both Emerald City Comicon and Image Comics, is really something special.”

The cover will feature iconic characters from each of the current Image partners. Witchblade, Spawn, Savage Dragon, Shadowhawk and Invincible crouch atop the iconic Space Needle in an homage to the classic King Kong scene. Silvestri penciled and inked the image and Sunny Gho of IFS provided the colors. The artwork will also be available as an Exclusive Print at the Top Cow Booth (#414) and an Exclusive T-Shirt will be available at the ECCC Booth (#514).

“ECCC is known as one of the best comic shows around and I can't wait to hang out with the fans and share the love of comics!” said Silvestri. “I was honored when asked to do the cover for the con program to help celebrate ECCC and the 20th anniversary of Image Comics, and I couldn't think of anything more appropriate than a West Coast version of King Kong! But, unlike the original chest-thumping ape, these Image monkeys aren't falling off the building!”

Full press release and Silvestri works below.

Review - Exile on the Planet of the Apes #1

To this point, the apes have risen, returned and been betrayed. Having been through all that won't stop them from being exiled though, as depicted in BOOM! Studios' upcoming Exile on the Planet of the Apes #1. The apes just can't seem to catch a break.

Exile on the Planet of the Apes #1 is written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman and illustrated by Marc Laming. The colors are by Jordie Bellaire and letters by Ed Dukeshire, with covers by Hardman and Bellaire.

Indie Publishers Want in on Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is one like no other. The comics flow freely like water from a faucet. A lot of the free comics though come from some of the bigger publishers, with the indies left a little cold. That's where you, the reader, and Kickstarter come in.

Fubar Press is teaming up with fellow independent publisher 215 Ink to bring free comics to stores on FCBD through a new publisher called Liber with the help of Kickstarter. Both publishers are contributing 28-page standalone comics to the event and need help from Kickstarter to get the funding for their printing.

“Kickstarter has been an immense game changer for independent comics in general and small-press indie comics in particular. A few years ago we couldn’t even hope to participate in an event like Free Comic Book Day. Kickstarter has been great because not only does it help us raise funds, but it also is an excellent tool to help spread the word on events like FCBD and introduce comic shops to a new distributor like Liber.” says Jeff McComsey, Editor in Chief of FUBAR PRESS.

Andrew DelQuadro of 215 INK had this to add, “My only regret is that we didn’t start this project earlier and pull in a few more of our fellow indie publishers and make this a gigantic event. Next year We want to go bigger.”

The campaign is asking for a mere $1,200 by March 31. Included in the FCBD offering will be Fubar: The Devil's Dance Floor by Steve Becker and Jeff McComsey and a flip book from 215 Ink that includes Vic Boone: Sea of Trouble by Jim McMunn, Shawn Aldridge and Jason Copland and Apes With Uzis: The Package by McComsey, Mark Bertolini, Peebo Mondia and Rolf Ledejgard.

Full press release below.