Thursday, February 28, 2013

Archaia Off to Emerald City Comicon

Archaia is taking their talents to the Emerald City, looking to make an impact on all the fans at the convention sharing the city's name. And they're ensuring they'll have something you won't be able to find anywhere else in everything Hawken: Genesis.

Several Archaia creators will be on hand to sign copies of their books or promotional items at the Archaia booth (#808), including: Andrew E. C. Gaska, Chandra Free, Dave Marquez, David Petersen, Royden Lepp and Yehudi Mercado. What's more is that special advance copies of the Hawken: Genesis graphic novel will debut at the show. Writers Khang Le and Jeremy Barlow will be on hand to sign copies at the Archaia booth (#808) and at the Meteor booth in the Gaming Area.

In addition, a promotion through FourSquare will give fans the chance to win a prize pack comprised of autographed copies of Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152, Rust Vol. 1: Visitor in the Field and Hawken: Genesis. The publisher will also be hosting a panel called "Archaia Presents: How I Broke in to Comics (and How You Can, Too!)."

Full press release below.

Review - Legend of the Shadow Clan #2

Working late isn't really a lot of fun. You miss out on dinner, don't really have a social life and have to contend with ninjas smashing through your window trying to kill you. At least, those are all completely possible if you're Richard Himura in Legend of the Shadow Clan #2 from Aspen Comics.

David Wohl handles writing duties, with Cory Smith on pencils and inks, John Starr on colors and lettering by Josh Reed.

Image Comics Gets Ten Grand From J. Michael Straczynski

Joe's Comics is set for a relaunch. It's been a while since the imprint that created Midnight Nation and Rising Stars; nearly ten years in fact. Image Comics is dusting the imprint off though and have hired the brains behind Joe's Comics himself in J. Michael Straczynski and a new book in Ten Grand, set to debut May 1 and pairing him with Ben Templesmith.

"The temptation to bring back Joe's Comics has been very powerful over the last few years,” said Straczynski, "but I really wanted to wait until I had a collection of stories that I absolutely had to tell, that, like Midnight Nation, wouldn't let me go until they were told. Stories that could be dark, funny, deeply personal but also played out on a large stage in terms of action. As those started to show up over the last few years – often in the middle of the night, which is why Joe's Comics bears the slugline 'where it's always five minute to midnight' – I began to pull them together until I felt I had what I needed, and made the deal with Image to move forward.”

The premise behind Ten Grand: Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agrees to one last job, little realizing that the man he's been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survives Joe's attempt and comes after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lies dying, an angelic force promises that if Joel agrees to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn't most people.

"How could I say no to working with the guy that created Babylon 5, that fairly well shaped how I think about science fiction and long form TV?” Templesmith said. "It was an honor to be asked and I can but hope to rise to the occasion.”

The first two issues will features variant covers by Bill Sienkiewicz and Phantom variants. THe series will run in a twelve-issue installment, with two to three months in between each. Readers will also find a QR code in the back of the first issue that will lead them directly to an audio performance of the book's dialogue by some of the top voice actors in the business, including Babylon 5 alumnus Robin Atkin Downes, Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt.

"Watching this project come together with JMS and Ben has been thrilling,” said Patricia Tallman, CEO of Studio JMS, parent company of Joe's Comics. "The ideas and concepts flying between them are so edgy and awesome, I can't wait to share them with fans everywhere. Hang on, you're in for one hell of a ride!”

Ten Grand #1 is available for preorder in the March issue of Previews. Not only that, but the second title from Joe's Comics--Sidekick--will debut at Comic-Con in July, followed by Protectors, Inc. and Alone.

Full press release below.

Sequential Pulp Comics Announces New Tarzan Graphic Novel

Swinging through the jungle is easier when you've got good role models to look up to. That is, if you've got some monkeys willing to raise you and "show you the ropes" so to speak, you've got a good chance at surviving. Tarzan is the classic jungle survival story and Sequential Pulp Comics has just announced a new graphic novel based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Jungle Tales of Tarzan.

The one hundred and forty four page graphic novel will be authorized by ERB, Inc. through Sequential Pulp’s distribution arrangement with Dark Horse Comics. The book will be designed as an anthology collecting the twelve loosely connected short stories written by Burroughs chronicling the life of his most famous character, Tarzan of the Apes. All the events of the original work take place within chapter eleven of Tarzan of the Apes between Tarzan’s avenging of his ape foster mother’s death and his becoming the leader of his ape tribe. The original stories ran in Blue Book magazine from September 1916 through August 1917 prior to the book’s publication in 1919.

The work will be helmed by Martin Powell, a veteran of the industry who's been around the block a few times since 1986. Along with Powell, Sequential Pulp is bringing a veritable who’s who of exciting illustration talent. With an amazing cover and specialty art by Daren Bader to exciting story art by Pablo Marcos, Terry Beatty, Will Meugniot, Nik Poliwko, Antonio Romero Olmedo, Mark Wheatley, Diana Leto, Steven E. Gordon, Lowell Isaac, Tom Floyd and Jamie Chase. Each story has been matched up with an artist whose passion and love for Burroughs’ Tarzan and specifically for the story selected will go a long way towards making this one highly anticipated book in the Tarzan canon.

Each story will run twelve pages in length and the book will be in full color. Sequential Pulp is planning a standard trade paperback and a very limited signature deluxe signed edition.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Seven Percent Debuts from Red 5 Comics

At the rate the human race is going, Earth won't be a very viable planet to inhabit. Maybe, in a year like 3499, the planet will actually be abandoned by what little population there remains. What's more, maybe the human mind has been unlocked and science has managed to put the mind to its limit, but can't seem to get past 93% activation? That remaining seven percent is the focus of the comic Seven Percent by Red 5 Comics, written by Jeremy Fiest and illustrated by Jarreau Wimberly.

"I've always been fascinated by the concept of human potential, especially of the mind," said series creator Luke Keith, "Modern science, with all it's advances, is still nowhere close to understanding the dynamic labyrinth that is the human brain. What if in the distant future science found a way to unlock and control it? Who would take advantage of that power? What kind of universe would it be if our minds were no longer our own? What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to be human? This is what our story is about."

Seven Percent #1 debuts today on the both the comiXology and iVerse comicsplus digital platforms for just $1.99. It's one of the first books the publisher has done with more of a science-fiction bent.

"Despite its influence on our company origins, we haven't done any pure space-faring sci-fi," said Red 5 Comics co-founder, Paul Ens. "With 'Seven Percent', we finally found a unique take on the genre that we think independent comic fans will love. It's smart, with a great premise and stunning art."

Full press release below.

Review - Amala's Blade #0

Robot pirate monkeys have a way upping the awesome quotient in just about anything they appear in, which, sadly, isn't much. That's ok though, because a book like Amala's Blade #0 doesn't rely entirely on such a monkey to provide an interesting story.

The work features the writing and lettering of Steve Horton and art by Michael Dialynas.

Zenescope Entertainment Gives Fans What They Wanted

Robin Hood doesn't always rob from the rich and give to the poor. When the character is a she and she spells her name with a "y," then that Robyn Hood has more of a thing for freeing repressed kingdoms. She's not content to stop there though and Zenescope is more than happy to continue exploring her story in Robyn Hood: Wanted this May, written by Pat Shand.

Robyn Hood: Wanted picks up shortly after the first series ended. Robyn has found her way out of the realm of Myst and back into the modern world. Her unwavering pursuit of justice has taught her enemies not to cross her, and has shown her friends a new level of loyalty.

"I’m thrilled to return to this character," said Shand. "With “Wanted,” we are upping the stakes, introducing some new major threats, and really getting into what makes Robyn tick. I remember describing the series as “Veronica Mars” meets “Game of Thrones,” and I think that is truer in this sequel than ever before. Everything is on the line this time around. We’re going to see Robyn in a whole new situation which will redefine her in ways that readers will have never imagined."

The original series is available in TPB form today. Full press release below.

Deathmatch Volume 1 Hitting Stores in April

If you've been averting your eyes from the chaos that is BOOM! STudios' Deathmatch, then you might not be able to do so for much longer. Come April 17, all the carnage, battling and deathmatching will be collected in a TPB that will set you back $9.99 and present to you the first few issues of the Paul Jenkins/Carlos Magno collaboration.

A powerful and mysterious supervillain has imprisoned the world’s greatest superheroes, forcing them to fight to the death until there is but one victor. It’s kill or be killed as we settle the score on all those hypothetical superhero match-ups in the ultimate deathmatch. The mystery of who their captor is, what his ultimate motivations are and why these heroes keep agreeing to the matches will drive readers from volume to volume!

This hard-hitting, emotional first volume collects the first four issues of the smash hit comic series that introduces the audience to a brand new universe. The volume ships under Diamond order code FEB130865.

Full press release below.

Shrugged #1 Sells Over 32,000 Copies and Offers Tons of Retailer Covers

Every book these days comes with a slew of variants. Few of them likely come with so many covers that just about every retailer gets their own, which is the case for Shrugged #1. Even Aspen owner and President Frank Mastromauro felt the need to comment.

“As the writer and co-creator of the series, I couldn’t be happier with the great response we’ve had to the long awaited return of Shrugged. After having it on the schedule for several years, seeing it come back as one of the ‘10 for 10’ launch titles is a complete thrill. This volume was born with an idea Michael Turner had for the sequel to our first volume of the series, and I couldn’t be more proud bringing to life for everyone!”

Aspen is pricing each debut #1 “10 for 10” issue for only $1 and is also offering other incentives for each release such as original hand-drawn sketch covers, CGC editions and special retailer incentive covers by popular artists J. Scott Campbell and Eric “Ebas” Basaldua. Fans and new Aspen readers who add each of the “10 for 10” titles to their comic shop’s local subscription service will be eligible to receive the special Aspen Reserved Edition variant covers. Those fans who collect all ten Aspen Reserved Edition #1 covers will receive a free full-size Aspen “Perfect 10’s” Jam Poster featuring all ten “10 for 10” covers on one image colored by superstar colorist Peter Steigerwald. The Shrugged #1 Aspen Reserved Edition cover features artwork by series artist Jonathan Marks and Steigerwald.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review - Uncanny Skullkickers #1

Astonishing. Superior. Fantastic. Dark. Uncanny. These are all adjectives with a history of being paired with superheroes in comic book titles, often indicating an equivalent awesomeness within the pages. The words go a long way in making a grand promise, but do the books really deserve the superlatives? In the case of Uncanny Skullkickers #1 from Image Comics, the answer is yes.

The adjective laden title is written by Jim Zub (@jimzub), penciled by Edwin Huang (@ironpinky), inked by Huang and Kevin Raganit, colored by Misty Coats (@xsaydax) and Ross A. Campbell, color flatted by Ludwig Olimba and lettered by Marshall Dillon (@marshalldillon).

Preview - Mask of the Red Panda #1

Pandas are most famous for the black masks they wear. How many times do you see a red panda wearing a black mask though? Not often, unless you're reading a comic from Monkeybrain Comics called Mask of the Red Panda #1.

The title is written by Gregg Taylor and illustrated by Dean Kotz.Racketeers, gangsters, the occasional power-mad supervillain - all have fallen before the iron resolve of the city’s masked protectors. But when forces with powers from beyond this world threaten to bring their war to the streets of Depression-era Toronto, can even the Red Panda prevent disaster?

Bringing to life characters from The Red Panda Adventures, Decoder Ring Theatre’s award-winning radio drama series, Mask of the Red Panda is pulse-pounding pulp perfection for all those who love the classic two-fisted adventures of the golden age of radio, classic movie serials and the hero pulps.

By the way, you're not really reading about a red panda with a black mask. Although that would be cool. Interiors below.

Dark Horse Announces Emerald City Comicon 2013 Schedule

Better late than never right? Dark Horse has waited until the week of Emerald City Comicon to announce their presence at the show. And they're bringing a ton of talent and exclusives to their booth #1102.

Signings will feature the likes Tyler Crook, Doug Sneyd, Frank Barbieri, Francesco Francavilla, Michael Avon Oeming, Josh Williamson, Steve Lieber, Camilla d'Errico, Alexander Freed, Matt Kindt, Howard Chaykin, Eric Powell, Brian Wood, Garry Brown, Paul Tobin, Rob Reger, Emily Ivie, Jeremy Barlow, Tony Parker, Mike Mignola, Christos Gage, David Walker, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Randy Stradley, Jeff Parker and Erika Moen.

The publisher will even have a few panels, including "Dark Horse Superheroes," "From Victim to Hero," From the Pages of Hellboy: A Conversation with Mike Mignola" and "Star Wars in Comics!", which will probably be one of the last times Dark Horse gets to host a Star Wars panel.

Full press release below.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

The X-Men do not want for bad guys. That’s part of what’s given the comic such longevity over the years: they go up against so many weird and different kinds of villains. And frankly, there’s as many cool and interesting villains as there are heroes in the X-Men universe.

Of course, if you had to make a list of the toughest X-Men baddies it would be filled to the brim with near-omnipotent mutants like Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister. And in truth, I don’t play favorites much: I kind of love them all. But I'm a bit of the classicist. While comic book continuity is a nightmare I’d like to sort of imagine that if our heroes had an ongoing television show or something there’d be some bad guys that’d be likely to show up before others.

You know, these would be the villains the X-Men tangled with in season 1 or 2 or something.

What I present to you today is not the top five most outrageous, hardcore X-Men villains, but who I think are the top five most classic and iconic X-Men villains. The kind that come to mind when you think about the X-Men.

Without further ado:

Review - Bodie Troll #1

A good fairytale is generally the backdrop for a solid story. There's a lot of room for creative license and rather outlandish scenarios, usually resulting in an unlikely hero facing off against a beastly enemy. Bodie Troll #1 from Red 5 Comics is no exception.

The issue is written and illustrated by Jay P. Fosgitt.

IDW Publishing Second Volume of Eternal Descent

IDW is a collector. Not in a creepy, collector way. But in a collecting comics in trade paperback way. Their latest collection returns to the world of heavy metal and fantasy comics in Eternal Descent. The series is created by Llexi Leop, written by Justin Peniston and illustrated by Shaun McLaughlin.

The TPB collects six single issues, an exclusive "Cobalt" one-shot and extensive art galleries in a 200-page graphic novel set to hit stores in March. Not only that, but the collection will also feature some of the biggest names in metal, including Arch Enemy, Firewind, Periphery and Joe Satriani.

With the fallen Sirian consigned to his fate and Lyra consumed by her inner demons, Loki's designs draw ever closer to their terrible conclusion. As the conflict rips into the fabric of time, Gus G. returns with an unlikely guide, offering a glimmer of hope for our heroes... The disturbance reaches far across the universe and heralds the arrival of Joe Satriani, The Extremist, whose incredible energies bring balance to the cosmos, but leave our world consumed by Khaos magic. Michael Amott lies at the heart of this volatile new reality, empowered by mysterious amber artifacts and rivaled only by Misha Mansoor, a time-traveling wanderer wielding unparalleled technology. With lives lost, heroes reborn, and darkness rising, don't miss the climactic resolution to the series.

Full press release below.

Image Comics at Emerald City Comicon

The Emerald City is not quite an emerald, but it is a city. It's a city who's rapidly gaining popularity in the comic convention world, with Emerald City Comicon becoming something of a big deal. Image Comics is never one to miss on a big deal, bringing the full force of their line-up to the show.

Available for purchase at the show will include Lost Vegas #1 by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (convention exclusive cover by Dan McDaid), Sex #1 by Joe Caset and Piotr Kowalski, The Walking Dead: The Governor Special by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard and Uncanny Skullkickers #1 by Jim Zub and Edwin Huang. All convention exclusives are available in limited quantity at the beginning of each convention day, during creator signings and at creators' Artist Alley tables.

There will also be three panels at the show. Putting the "Graphic" in Graphic Novels, Skybound: On the Rise and Wondrous Worlds, Fractured Futures: Speculative Fiction and Image Comics.

Full press release and covers below.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Defense With the BoomStick

(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. Originally it was a post of news and tips to help survivors make it one more day alive, but now it has became a story of my fight to survive and to keep on living.)

Huff…huff. Chasing me. Keep moving.

That car I was in hit a zombie and flipped me out of it. Unfortunately, half my gear was tossed over a good bit of road with the rest thankfully stuffed into my duffel landing near where I landed. Me? I didn’t make it out so lucky with a number of scrapes, bruises and what feels like a possible broken arm from when I smacked into the ground. I managed to hit the side of the road versus the road itself, as I'm pretty sure I would be up walking around as a zombie by now if the former was the case.

I’m not sure how long I was laying out there, but when I woke up there were a few zombies within eyesight shambling my way. So tired.

Review - The Answer #2

What do you do if you've got an exclamation point on your face? Dash about the city via rope, manhole cover and plain old running. All that movement in the name of saving an extremely intelligent damsel in distress. All that action is in The Answer #2 from Dark Horse Comics.

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

Clayton Crain Joins Harbinger Wars #1

When faced with war, it's advantageous to bring along as much help as you can. Joshua Dysart, Duane Swierczynski and Clayton Henry want even more help for Harbinger Wars #1, so they've enlisted the help of Clayton Henry. On April 3, the newly supported issue will pit Bloodshot and Harbinger against a new generation of superhuman.

"Clayton Crain is a phenomenal talent and we're extraordinarily happy to have him joining Valiant for Harbinger Wars #1," said Valiant Executive Editor Warren Simons. "He will be handling a pivotal sequence introducing Generation Zero, the strike force controlled by Project Rising Spirit that inadvertently sets the Harbinger Wars in motion."

For decades, Toyo Harada's Harbinger Foundation and the government's own Project Rising Spirit have been waging a secret war over the rarest resource known to man – the unruly superhuman telekinetics known as Harbingers. Over the years, they've each collected a small army of these empowered children to inflict their agendas on the world. But now, the reformed Harbinger hunter known as Bloodshot needs to atone for his crimes – and he's going to start by releasing two dozen of the most volatile Harbingers from their PRS prison and into the world.

Bloodshot wants to lead them. Toyo Harada wants to control them. And Peter Stancheck, a teenage renegade with immense powers of his own, wants to give them free rein. But the runaway children of PRS have their own ideas for the future...and, as the body count rises, the Valiant Universe will realize that power this immense cannot be contained. It must be exercised. Who will survive the Harbinger Wars?

The issue kicks off a 12-issue crossover event. The action continues with all-new jumping-on points in Harbinger #11 and Bloodshot #10 – the first issues of new standalone, four-issue story arcs chronicling the fallout of the Valiant Universe's first full-scale superhuman conflict. Spanning 12 issues total, follow the story independently in Harbinger Wars, Harbinger or Bloodshot, or read them all to experience the full scope and intensity of the Harbinger Wars saga.

Full press release below.

Living to the Maximum on Minimum Wage

Bob Fingerman is something of a legend when it comes to comics. His unique style has garnered nothing but praise and devotion, especially his work Minimum Wage from the late 1990s. That time seems like so long ago, so Image is making sure those who missed it then have a second chance, releasing Maximum Minimum Wage as a hardcover collection in March.

"Minimum Wage is an important comic," Kirkman writes in the introduction. "If I were tasked with introducing someone to comics in an attempt to make them love and cherish the medium as much as I do, I'd give them Watchmen, Bone, Savage Dragon, and Minimum Wage."

At the center of Minimum Wage are Rob and Sylvia, a freelance cartoonist and a beauty salon manager — young, in love, and just trying to make their way to their real lives. An array of vivid characters and New York City "personalities" round out the supporting cast. Fingerman's previous collection of Minimum Wage, Beg the Question, was nominated for two 2003 Eisner Awards (Best Graphic Novel — Reprint and Best Publication Design), one 2003 Harvey Award (Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work) and one 2003 Ignatz Award (Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection).

The new hardcover includes the "lost" first issue of Minimum Wage, Minimum Wage Book One, as well as the script for the never-drawn eleventh issue, and an impressive collection of pin-ups by top comics artists, including Peter Bagge, Guy Davis, Dean Haspiel, Gilbert Hernandez, Joe Infurnani, Roger Langridge, Kevin Nowlan, Dave Johnson, Ted McKeever, Mike Mignola, Jill Thompson and more.

A 384-page, black-and-white hardcover book (with 16 pages in full-color), Maximum Minimum Wage will be in stores on March 20 and retail for $34.99. Its ISBN is 978-1-60706-674-3.

Full press release below.

Bodie Troll Stalks Goats in April

You never know when a goat-eating troll is on the prowl. It's bad enough farmers have to worry about wolves, foxes and other barnyard predators; throwing a troll into the mix is just uncalled for. Unless that troll is cute and cuddly like Bodie Troll, the main character of the new comic of the same name from Red 5 comics, written and created by Jay P. Fosgitt.

“Fans of such classic works as Jay Ward's ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’, Jim Henson's ‘Muppets’, and Maurice Sendak's ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ will feel at home in the wild, warm and whimsical romp of Bodie's adventures,” said Fosgitt.
Bodie will be introduced to Red 5 Comic’s largest-ever audience as he will share pages with Atomic Robo in this May’s Free Comic Book Day issue. Retailers will want to have copies of Bodie Troll #1 on hand for the event.

In the fairytale village of Hagadorn lurks Bodie Troll, a fuzzy little grump who wants to be big and scary, but is doomed to be cute and cuddly. But what Bodie lacks in terror he makes up for in mischief. Silly and suspenseful adventures await just beyond his bridge.

Red 5 wants to make sure you can snag a copy of Bodie Troll when it hits stores on April 17. Basically, get with the pre-ordering before February 28 with order code FEB131119.

Full press release below.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Aspen Comics Goes on Tour in 2013

2013 will feature a lot of travel for Aspen Comics. The publisher is looking to celebrate their tenth anniversary in style and what better way to do so than by making an aggressive convention push from February through November.

Aspen’s next stop will be at the Emerald City Comic Con on March 1st-3rd with Aspen creators Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Siya Oum and David Wohl appearing all weekend long at the Aspen Comics Booth #2206. Aspen will also be debuting a special Legend of the Shadow Clan #2 Emerald City Comic Con exclusive cover by Oum as well, in addition to an all-new Aspen Tour Print 2013 Anniversary Edition limited to 125 editions and a new series of Aspen prints for the show.

Full press release below.

Review - Jungle Book: Last of the Species #1

A jungle book isn't as exciting as it sounds. Well, it's sort of exciting. But it usually does involve lots of angry animals fighting each other for battle of said jungle. Sometimes, humans get caught in the middle of it. Jungle Book: Last of the Species #1 is one of those times.

The first issue in the new series is written by Mark L. Miller, with pencils by Jorge Mercado, colors by Liezl Buenaventura and letters by Jim Campbell.

Dark Horse Deluxe Partners with Toy2R for Hellboy

The International Toy Fair has come and gone, leaving in its wake some news that may not have garnered top-billing at the time. Dark Horse and Toy2R have aan announcement that they want to make sure isn't one of those that fell through the cracks so to speak. The two companies have teamed up to produce a new range of 5" vinyl figures in the "Mini-Qee" format for none other than Mike Mignola's Hellboy universe.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be involved in this program,” Dark Horse Product Development head David Scroggy said. “We have worked with Toy2R for many years, and to see their fun take on Hellboy is a thrill. These vinyl figures will be in very tight edition quantities, so we expect a quick sellout of most of the variants.”

Toy2R’s Qee format gives Hellboy a new look, altering his appearance in several ways, all of which were personally approved by Mignola. The results have already gotten comics fans and toy collectors alike talking, after they were revealed on Tomopop last week. All three were on display at the Dark Horse exhibit booth at this year’s Toy Fair at the Jacob Javits Center.

Dark Horse Comics is the exclusive North American distributor of the Hellboy Mini-Qee line and will handle sales to the specialty market in Europe and other territories. Toy2R will be the exclusive sales entity to Asian territories. Slated for release in July 2013, the figures will be produced in various limited edition sizes, all with a retail price of $19.99.

Full press release below.

Valiant Heads to Emerald City Comicon

Valiant is sort of the new kid on the publishing block. That's not stopping them from hitting any and all conventions possible, including Emerald City Comicon 2013. To that end, the publisher will be on hand, giving away free swag, showing exclusive products and bringing along a few special guests.

Visit Valiant at Booth #2008 all weekend long to get a sneak peek at the future of the Valiant Universe inside the pages of the Harbinger Wars Sketchbook. The book is a free look at the big Valiant event set to touch down this summer. Plus, for the first time ever, Valiant will also be debuting new Shadowman logo t-shirts for sale, alongside a complete selection of Valiant comics, trade paperbacks, hardcovers and blank convention-only flip books.

The publisher will also be hosting a panel about the Valiant Universe in 2013 on Sunday, March 3 at 12 PM in Room 3AB.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aspen Previews Jirni #1

Aspen's "10 for 10" initiative is a great way for the publisher to introduce new series to both old and new readers. One of their new titles is Jirni, written by J.T. Krul, with art by Paolo Pantalena and Brett Smith.

Trekking through a violent and dangerous frontier of savage barbarians, devious thieves, and wild creatures, a warrior-princess named Ara searches for her mother, who was stolen away from her kingdom by a mysterious sorcerer with the help of his powerful D'jinn. What great and terrible secrets await her in the distant horizon? Prepare to experience an epic tale of fantasy and wonder without boundaries. This is Ara's quest. This is Ara's destiny. This is Ara's ... JIRNI.

The first issue is scheduled to hit stores on April 17. Enjoy the previews below until then.

Review - My So-Called Secret Identity #1

Comics have navigated a strange and winding path since their inception almost a century ago. They've moved from Superman leaping tall buildings to Dr. Wertham led book burnings to Peter Parker being bitten by a spider. Throughout those eras, female characters have generally been treated as eye candy or plot objects in need of saving. That's not to say there aren't books that feature women wrecking shop, but by and large, there's still a gender gap when it comes to comics. My So-Called Secret Identity looks to shatter that barrier as a new webcomic devoted to showing a female superhero with awesome powers and little reliance on her looks and expected gender role.

The comic is written by Dr. Will Brooker, with art by Susan Shore and Dr. Sarah Zaidan.

Shannon Wheeler Shows up in Dark Horse Presents #21

Tiger Lung isn't the only story debuting in Dark Horse Presents #21. Shannon Wheeler has a story in the issue as well, bringing along Villain House for the ride.

The first Villain House story is about two villains, the Pachyderm and the Squid, who break out of prison to go on a crime spree, albeit a short one. The ending is a tragic, below-the-belt plot twist that is more than a little heartbreaking. The second story is about a blind date gone bad involving Satan’s Son. The third story has multiple supervillains meeting up at the house of the Buzzard to plan a bank robbery.

“All the stories drip with irony and plot twists. Characters from one story are picked up in another story so that while each plot is independent there’s an odd overlap. For example, one of Satan’s Son’s henchmen from the second story shows up in the third story to help plan the bank heist,” noted Wheeler.

Catch Villain House appearing in Dark Horse Presents #21, on sale Wednesday, February 20th!

Full press release below.

Snapshot #1 Snapped Up

Snapshot #1 is quite the big hit amongst the readers out there. The Andy Diggle/Jock collaboration has sold out after hitting stores on February 6. This means there's a second printing on it's way, set to be released March 13.

The four-issue, black-and-white mini-series follows Jake Dobson, an ordinary comic book nerd who becomes entangled in a bizarre murder plot when he finds a cell phone with a gruesome photo stored on it. Now, whoever is responsible for the killing depicted wants the phone back and Jack out of the way... permanently.

James Sime (owner of Isotope Comic Book Lounge in San Francisco) is launching a special contest for fans. Simply take a picture of a staged "murder" on your cell phone and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #snapshotcomic or on the Tumblr page The pictures will be posted on the Tumblr page, and selected fans whose pictures are posted will receive a limited edition Snapshot bookplate signed by the series creators. In addition, Diggle and Jock will choose their favorite picture as the grand prize winner, who will receive a piece of original art by Jock.

"Diggle & Jock's SNAPSHOT is so great, definitely one of the best reads on store shelves!" said Sime. "And the action takes place in a comic store here in San Francisco? On Fell street at Gough?! The Isotope had to celebrate!"

Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aspen Presents Emerald City Comic Con Exclusives

Aspen's "10 for 10" initiative is storming through the new year, but it's generally a good idea for such a push to have a convention presence as well. To that end, Aspen will be at Emerald City Comic Con and they'll have tons of good stuff to remind you why they're always one to keep an eye on. Talent on hand will include Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Siya Oum and David Wohl.

To celebrate the successful launch of Legend of the Shadow Clan, Aspen is making a special Emerald City variant for the second issue. The Legend of the Shadow Clan #2 Emerald City Comicon 2013 exclusive cover is fully illustrated by Seattle native Oum and is limited to only 200 copies. Oum and Legend of the Shadow Clan creator Wohl will be at the Aspen Booth all weekend long to sign copies of this limited exclusive.

Aspen will also be unveiling their second offering in their Aspen Tour Print 2013 Anniversary Edition series by Michael Turner and Steigerwald, which debuted earlier this year in Arizona. The Aspen Tour Print Anniversary Edition is limited to 125 editions. Aspen encourages fans to arrive early to ensure their print edition of this highly limited product. Aspen will also be offering two new Legend of the Shadow Clan prints by J. Scott Campbell and Cory Smith, respectively. The publisher will also feature an all new print featuring popular characters Aspen and Grace by Turner and Seigerwald, limited to 125 editions.

Full press release and covers below.

BOOM! Studios Reveals Emerald City Comicon 2013 Exclusives

It's not a comic-con if there's not con exclusives. Emerald City Comic-Con will feature a wide variety of publishers plying their wares, but few of them are bringing as much to the show as BOOM! Studios is.

The publisher will feature exclusives from Adventure Time, Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake, Bravest Warriors, Peanuts, Deathmatch and Freelancers. Plus, their newest series Aliens vs. Parker (created by Paul Scheer and Nico Giovannetti will debut with a cover by Joe Quinones. There's also an exclusive wraparound cover available for Adventure Time by Dustin Nguyen. Brian Stelfreeze and Mike Kunkel will be on hand as well, part of two new projects debuting at the show.

Everything happens at the BOOM! (#2002) and KaBOOM! (#2102) booths. Full press release and covers below.

Review - Scam #3

It's not often that a crossword threatens to kill you. Sure, it can really piss you off and make you want to kill someone else (damn you Will Shortz!), but they're not meant to push you to that point. Unless you're a villain with a penchant for torture and a power drill. Then, crosswords become an entirely different beast. Crossword in Scam #3 from ComixTribe is such a beast.

The issue is written and illustrated by Joe Mulvey, colored by Chris Sotomayor and lettered by Deron Bennett.

ComixTribe Releases Trailer for The Red Ten #3

ComixTribe hasn't forgotten that The Red Ten is only two issues in. The highly-anticipated third issue is set to be released in April, which is still a little over a month away. Thankfully, there's a trailer to keep your intrigue. Meanwhile, The Red Ten #2 will be re-released through Diamond in two weeks.

"THE RED TEN #3 has been a long time coming," says series co-creator and writer Tyler James. "But Cesar Feliciano and I, and the rest of the TRT team have worked hard to make it worth the wait."

The never before released The Red Ten #3 is available for preorder in Preview now (FEB130894) and will be out in April. It continues the ten-issue, superhero retelling of Agatha Christie's classic whodunit "And Then There Were None," written by Tyler James and drawn by Cesar Feliciano, with covers by CP Wilson, III.

ComixTribe is also a Silver Sponsor of Free Comic Book Day and is releasing The Red Ten #0 at thousands of participating retailers for free. No matter where you live, make a date with your Local Retailer on Saturday, May 4, 2013 and celebrate comics. ComixTribe would especially like it if you celebrated with their book!

Full press release and trailer below.

Skullkickers Gets Obj...Adjective

It's no big secret at this point that the Skullkickers are going secretive. In May, the comic gets a little more hush-hush, thanks to the debut of The All-New Secret Skullkickers #1, written by Jim Zub and illustrated by Edwin Huang.

"We can't stop now. It... it has a life of its own. This reboot-itis has permeated our souls,” said Image PR and Marketing Director Jennifer de Guzman. "I hated it at first but now it feels kind of good. Warm... safe... In a darkened world full of uncertainty it's all we have left.”

While Skullkickers #22 has been kicked in the skull so to speak, fans can still get something closely resembling it. In addition to the regular "All-New Secret” cover we're offering a special "issue #22 variant” B cover to make sure your numbers stay in order. You can tell everyone you started reading "before they became horrible sell-outs.”

"At this rate I figure we're still a couple months away from using up any goodwill I might have built up in this industry,” said Zub. "This is the kind of thing that can happen when you let creators write their own press releases.”

The issue hits stores in May. The hype is hitting now. Full press release below.

Tiger Lung Debuts in Dark Horse Presents

Besides telegraphing his moves, Sagat in Street Fighter yelling "tiger" before every move was also meant to intimidate the opponent. Whether or not it worked depends on the player, but preceding everything with tiger isn't always bad. In fact, Dark Horse Presents #21 will feature a tiger lung coming at the reader, courtesy of Simon Roy and Jason Wordie in Tiger Lung: Under the Ice.

“The Tiger Lung concept is about taking the animist, shamanistic worldview of the hunter-gatherer and exploring what it would look and feel like to the shamans that literally lived within that worldview. Setting it in the ice age also gives us a chance to touch on more varied themes, too—mainly, how the world would have looked to humans who did not rule nature, but who were just a part of it,” explained Simon Roy.

Tiger Lung: Under the Ice is a story about Tiger Lung, an ice-age shaman, and his journey underneath a glacier and into the spirit world beneath it to retrieve the corpse of his father. But dark spirits abound beneath the ice, and should Tiger Lung fall, the souls of both him and his father will be trapped there forever.

“We found the format for Dark Horse Presents to be very interesting. It seemed to be well suited for exactly what we wanted to do with a Tiger Lung story—classic adventure!” added Jason Wordie. “Being that the format is split into three parts, it insured that we kept it fresh and exciting every step of the way, including lots of twists and turns. We focused on old-school serialized adventure, while also trying to bring in some more modern ideas.”

The story will debut in Dark Horse Presents #21, in stores February 20. Full press release below.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Okay, I’m getting psyched. Psyched to see some SENTINELS!

X-Men: Days of Future Past might just deliver the X-Men movie I've been dreaming about for so long. With Hugh Jackman and Ellen Page headlining, it’s looking more and more like a straight-up re-telling of THE story that first got me into Marvel comics to begin with.

Peter Dinklage is an excellent addition to the cast. I really think he’s a phenomenal actor. Who will the guy be playing though?

Initially, a lot of the speculation was centered around Puck from Alpha Flight. Now, I don’t think this would have been terrible. But I would have a couple of problems with it.

Review - The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2

The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2
Intrigue! Detective work! Nazi Werewolves! All that and more make quality books and Dark Horse made sure to include all in The Black Beetle: No Way Out #2, the latest issue of the smash mini-series that proves even jetpacks need modifications.

The issue is written and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla.

Preview - The Shadow: Year One #1

The Shadow has endured, both as a character and as an icon of justice and all that good stuff. He's a character who's never too dated or old to revisit and Dynamite Entertainment is all over that with the upcoming The Shadow: Year One #1, written by Matt Wagner and illustrated by Wilfredo Torres.

Shrouded in mystery, The Shadow's origins have been explored and hinted at over the years…but never fully revealed. Much is known of Kent Allard/Lamont Cranston’s years spent in the Orient and Central America—wherein he gains his powers and purpose…but not how he first developed his persona as the Master of Darkness. The new limited series will explore the dynamic events that first drew Cranston back to the States, how he first met his companion and lover, Margo Lane, how he began to assemble his vast network of agents and how he first adopted the famous black hat and cloak as his alter-ego's disguise—all secrets that, up until now…only The Shadow knew.

The first issue hits stores February 20 with interiors below.

Pop Culture Shock Sentences You With New Judge Death Statue

If you thought Judge Dredd was a man worth fearing, then clearly you know nothing (or very little) of Judge Death. The antagonist of the dreadful judge is being primed to judge you from your bookcase, desk or wherever else you display such memorabilia.

Pop Culture Shock Collectibles presents the leader of the Dark Judges, who hails from an alternate dimension where “the crime is life, the sentence is death.” The 21” tall statue, depicting 2000AD’s most evil & twisted character, is expertly crafted in museum quality Polystone. For those wanting a bit more gore-for-their-buck, a Death Sentence variant will also be available including three interchangeable pieces: “Grinning Head”, “Impaled Judges Helmet” and “Impaled Angel Gang members head”.

"I can vividly remember the first time I saw Judge Death in a comic. I was instantly captivated!" recollected Jerry Macaluso, President and Founder of Pop Culture Shock Collectibles. "Death’s body is so twisted and filled with grotesque was an absolute blast to sculpt.”

The standard edition will set you back $360 USD, limited to 275 pieces and scheduled to ship 3rd quarter 2013. The Death Sentence variant will cost $375 USD and be limited to 120 pieces. Preorders start February 25 at 3 PM PST.

Full press release below.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Review - Bedlam #4

A lunatic, a superhero and an archangel walk into a bar. It sounds like the start of a really bad joke, but it's really the start of a twisted tale involving all three at odds with one another and lots of deaths left in their wakes. A death count that only gets higher in Bedlam #4 from Image Comics.

The issue is written by Nick Spencer, illustrated by Riley Rossmo, colored by Jean-Paul Csuka and lettered by Kelly Tindall.

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.)

Rumors and hints.

Rumors are all you can go off of when you hear about a possible safe place or read signs that could lead you to safety, with hints or clues along the way. Recently I found out some information about a mother-lode of a spot with some gear that just might change things.

While driving I came across a group of army vehicles--all destroyed and bloody; clearly a battle went down here a month ago. First, I was shocked there were Army folks still alive and kicking to be out this far and wondered what sort of battle went down. The good part about all this carnage is that I found is a map tucked into one of the doors that was still in one piece.

Review - America's Got Powers #5

America's got powers! At least, some of America does, thanks to an event that granted youths with a variety of powers, all of which were harnessed and put on display for sport. The Powers are fighting back though, seeking control over their lives in America's Got Powers #5 from Image Comics.

The second to last issue is written by Jonathan Ross, with art by Bryan Hitch, inks by Paul Neary and Jason Paz, colors by Paul Mounts and lettered by Chris Eliopoulos.

Dynamite Announces Black Bat #1 Creative Team

The Black Bat is a hero with a past. A past of mythos, mystique and pulpy aura that has endured through time. That is, until May 2013, when Dynamite Entertainment relaunches the hero in Black Bat #1. And it's got a slew of top-notch artists on hand for covers, including J. Scott Campbell, Joe Benitez, Ardian Syaf, Billy Tan and Marcos Martin. The title will be written by Brian Buccellato and illustrated by Roman Cliquet.

"Anyone familiar with my self-published work, Foster, knows that I enjoy exploring dark worlds, flawed characters, and redemption," said Buccellato. "Black Bat covers some of that ground. At the same time, it's still a superhero book and isn't a departure from my work on Flash. Tonally, I'd like to think it merges the gap between those two worlds."

Black Bat brings back a classic pulp hero from the 1930s, a seminal character that inspired several well-known comic icons. Now, Tony Quinn is a brash defense attorney for the mob, one who compromises his ethics for financial gain. However, when he refuses to cross the line and commit murder, he is tortured and blinded by his gangster employers. But then, a fortuitous meeting with a covert agency gives him a chance to make amends, and Tony dons the dark mantle of the Black Bat in his redemptive quest to right the wrongs of his past.

"My personal relationship with Brian goes back many years, and he's one of the most gifted creators in comics. In the New 52, his writing with Francis Manapul on The Flash is one of my personal favorite series, and the stories only get better. Not only is he a phenomenal writer, as well as an artist and colorist, he pushes himself with new projects outside of comics. I can't express enough how proud we are to have Brian writing the Black Bat. In May, fans will know what we already know, it's going to be one of the best new super hero books of the summer!" states Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci.

Black Bat #1 hits stores in in May 2013. Full press release below.

The Dream Merchant Livens Up Dreams in May

Dreams have whatever meaning ascribed to them. Truth, premonition, fantasy; the meaning is up to the dreamer. In May, there's the possibility that dreams will have more meaning, thanks to a new comic from Image called The Dream Merchant, written by Nathan Edmondson and illustrated by Konstantin Novosadov.

"I started thinking about dreams as something one could exchange, and trade," said Edmondston, in a mini-interview at the Image Comics blog, "which eventually yielded the idea behind Winslow's dream."

The task of depicting Winslow's dreamscapes, as well as the dreariness of his ordinary life, is in the hands of talented Russian artist Novsadov. His impressionistic, color-washed style is a perfect complement to Edmondson's story of the mysteries of dream life and fantasy.

The first volume is a six-issue miniseries, with the first issue hitting stores May 15. Readers who want a sneak peek in advance are invited to submit their dreams to a special Tumblr site,

Full press release below.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review - Godstorm #4

The affairs of gods are never simple or resolved easily. Instead, they usually involve some brutal battle where powers are flung like rocks and the gods themselves tap into reserves saved for such occasions. Characters that are part-god have to learn on the fly and Julian is getting a crash course in Godstorm #4 from Zenescope Comics.

The concluding issue is written by Pat Shand, with illustrations by Jason Johnson, colors by Ben Sawyer and letters by Jim Campbell.

Aspen Announces Second Charismagic Volume

While the Death Princess is rampaging through her own title, Hank and Sudana are chomping at the bit to get back into action. Aspen Comics recognizes this and has scheduled a second volume of Charismagic, even positioning it as the publisher's fourth "10 for 10 release. And it'll be available on May 1, the same week as Free Comic Book Day. It'll be written by Vince Hernandez and illustrated by Vincenzo Cucca and Emilio Lopez.

“We’re really excited to bring Charismagic back for more fun, and we have really upped the stakes on the story to match the fans’ tremendous support for the first volume," said Hernandez. "And to top it all off, the book will debut in stores on Free Comic Book Day week so it’s the perfect time for new readers to jump in and experience this magical adventure! With Vincenzo coming onboard and combining his amazing artistic talents with Emilio’s colors and design work, this new volume already looks truly amazing. I’m certain fans will agree once they see the finished product. They are once again in for a visual feast like only this book can provide!”

Magician Hank Medley thought he had everything figured out. After saving the world from an ancient, ruinous evil, with the help of a Druid named Sudana and his magical talking cat Sparkles, Hank discovers the true nature of dark magic has arrived in his own realm—our world! Now, the trio must attempt to put an end to catastrophic events that will threaten to tear Earth apart under the weight of such a menace. Featuring a returning cast of Charismagic’s favorite characters along with several new and astonishing faces and creatures of magic, this new volume of CHARISMAGIC is a perfect jumping-on point for all!

As with all of Aspen’s “10 for 10” releases, the publisher will be offering a host of incentives for retailers and fans alike, including the extremely awesome price of only $1 for the first issue, Charismagic #1. Aspen will also be offering a special Aspen Reserved Edition cover for Charismagic #1 featuring art by Khary Randolph and colorist Peter Steigerwald. Fans who reserve this all new Charismagic volume with their local retailers will be eligible to receive the Aspen Reserved Edition of Charismagic #1.

Fans who collect all ten of Aspen’s “10 for 10” Aspen Reserved Edition #1 covers each month through their local retailer will be eligible to receive the full-size Aspen “Perfect 10’s” jam poster absolutely free. In addition to the debut issue, Aspen is also offering an Aspen Reserved Edition cover for Charismagic #2 by Amanda Connor and Paul Mounts, along with a Charismagic #2 J. Scott Campbell Retailer Incentive cover available in June. Aspen will be releasing more info on further Charismagic incentives and Aspen’s “10 for 10” soon.

Full press release below.

Image Comics Catches The Bounce

Superheroes pride themselves on their ability to be fit and popular. It's not often that they pride themselves on everything going right for them. Jasper Jenkins has everything going for him, so why not get a little crazy and embark on a crazy journey? Jasper Jenkins does just that in The Bounce from Image Comics, written by Joe Casey and illustrated by David Messina.

"As a storyteller, you pose the question, 'What would it be like if you were a typical guy in your early 20's and you had superpowers?' and then you try to answer it honestly," Casey related in a mini-interview posted on the Image Comics blog.

The work features a nod towards Spider-man's early days, blending those with Invincible's origin era. The result is a mature comic, starting with the first issue. That first issue will be in stores May 22 and is available for pre-order in the March issue of Previews (MAR130444).

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Archaia Sweetening Deal on Final Installment of Hawken: Genesis

The fourth and final installment of Hawken: Genesis is slated to hit comiXology today. It's the conclusion to the series tied to the game of a similar name, but this one has got a little something to make it worth your while. Those who purchase it by March 13 will fet a code for 50% off the full Hawken: Genesis graphic novel on comiXology and a code to redeem for 5,000 In-Game Credits. “The Cost of Doing Business” is written by Jeremy Barlow and with illustration by Nathan Fox.

The credits will allow gamers to buy items, accessories and to upgrade your mech in the Hawken game. The unique codes will be emailed to fans after March 13, 2013 by comiXology, to the address associated with their comiXology account. The graphic novel itself is written by Barlow (based on the concept by Khang Le and original story by Dan Jevons) and features art by Kody Chamberlain, Federico Dallocchio, Nathan Fox, Michael Gaydos, Bagus Hutomo, Sid Kotian, Khang Le, Christopher Moeller, Alex Sanchez, Bill Sienkiewicz and Francisco Ruiz Velasco.

Full press release below.

Review - Orius: Sent 2 Kill #1

Female assassins can handle themselves in just about any situation. Typically, they're not created by an alien race with the intent of being leveraged to settle a new planet. That's just the scenario in Orius: Sent 2 Kill #1 from Sea Lion Books.

The first issue is written by Brian Buccellato and David Wohl, with pencils by Pat Lee, inks by Craig Yeung, colors by Genzo, Siyanimation and Pee and letters by PLP.

Preview - The Walking Dead: The Governor Special #1

The Governor is quickly becoming the star of season three of The Walking Dead. It only stands to reason that fans revisit his origin story in his own one-shot to showcase his ruthlessness in a different medium. Written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Cliff Rathburn, the work contains a reprint of The Walking Dead #27, featuring the first appearance of the fabled character. It also happens to be the story that first appeared in the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2012.

The book is in stores today with interiors below.