Friday, May 31, 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.)

Another day and still alive. Flagstaff is behind me, with all those zombies that wanted a piece of me for what felt like the past month. I’ve been following I-40 out west for a good while now. It’s been slow going as the bicycle I'm riding can only go so fast.

I came across a town on the road called Williams about two days ago. From my scouting about the area it looks to be pretty deserted down in there and this town is small enough that any zombies that could have come from here will be gone. With the state of my supplies and needing to rest I decided to go in for a look.

Review - Charismagic Vol. 2 #2

Magic. Magic is everywhere. Some people can control it and others bring it with them when they come through a portal hellbent on destroying earth. Aspen Comics has that and more in Charismagic Vol. 2 #2.

The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, illustrated by Vincenzo Cucca, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by Emilio Lopez and lettered by Josh Reed.

Sinister Dexter Comes to IDW

2000 AD is known for more than just Mr. "I Am the Law" himself. No, they've got other works as part of their repertoire and one of those works will bring Finnigan "Finny" Sinister and Ramone "Ray" Dexter stateside when IDW reprints Sinister Dexter in 2014. The title will be written by Dan Abnett and illustrated by Andy Clarke.

"With its deft mix of black comedy and gritty urban action, the exploits of Sinister Dexter have remained a popular mainstay in 2000 AD for the past 17 years," said 2000 AD's Editor-in-Chief Matt Smith. "With IDW reprinting a selection of their tales, I hope a whole new audience is going to enjoy meeting the gun-lovin' criminals."

The pair of futuristic "gun sharks"-read: hit men-will be roaring in hot from Downlode, the European mega-city they call home, and they'll be bringing an unbelievable cast of characters with them! From the original stories written by Dan Abnett and drawn by Andy Clarke, SINISTER DEXTER chronicles a vibrant, madcap world of futuristic intrigue and action. Deadly ninjas, acrobatic flying car chases, shape-shifting robot assassins, a devious Yakuza? All in a day's work, dear reader. All in a day's work.

"I'm happy to expand our relationship 2000 AD," said Chris Ryall, IDW's Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief. "It's been a pleasure working with the guys there, and even moreso because the books that we're producing together are such fun things to expose to this market in an even grander way. Abnett and Clarke's Sinister Dexter stories are gritty, crazy, and action-packed bursts of adrenaline and I can't wait to set them loose among American comic readers."

Specifics still need to be worked out, but the knowledge of the property headed here to the States has to be worth getting somewhat excited over. Full press release below.

Two Months Till Midnight

No, your clock isn't wrong: it really is two months till midnight. Stay tuned for more from Dark Horse.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review - The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #1

The Wizard of Oz seems to be pretty hot right now, with publishers like Zenescope and Arcana venturing into the mythical land of Oz. They're not the only ones however, as Big Dog Ink is making their own foray into the historic property with The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #1

The issue is written by Tom Hutchison, with art by Alisson Borges and colors by Kate Finnegan.

Vampirella Goes Southern Gothic

Vampirella is a heroine who's as deadly as she is beautiful. She relies on a combination of the two as she wrecks shop against any who stands in her way. She's definitely had a fair amount of tales told about her past, but what's there just isn't enough. Dynamite Entertainment is offering a new, five-part miniseries called Vampirella: Southern Gothic, written by Nate Cosby and illustrated by Jose Luis and slated to hit stores in August.

"The South's my wheelhouse. I'm from Mississippi, and figured I'd bring the vampire down to my home," says Cosby. "The South is a strange, beautiful, frustrating place. It wears some of its history like a chip on its shoulder, and it tucks other parts of history away. It's a good setting for the noir-ish potboiler I wanted to write."

In the brand new series, Vampirella has no idea what she's in for along the shores of the Mississippi. As the story begins, Vampirella confronts a demon whose blue blade leaves her with a glowing, mystical wound. Heading to the Deep South to recover, she is reunited with an old flame... and finds herself drawn into a murder mystery thick with old time religion and blood, blood, blood.

"There's a surprising amount of great writers that have told VAMPIRELLA stories in the past,"said Cosby. "In prepping for this series, I read tales by Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, and many others. What I liked was that they were all different takes on this fun, dark, sometimes-campy character. She's got a malleability that allows creators to take her central vampire conceit and spin off into all different sorts of stories and storytelling. "

Full press release below.

IGN Presents Quantum and Woody Weekly

Quantum and Woody are bringing their A game back to readers. Their series is slated to debut on July 10, but why should fans have to wait have the summer to really get a feel for the Summer of Valiant? They shouldn't and that's why the publisher is offering up a weekly webcomic featuring the duo over on IGN, written by James Asmus and illustrated by Ty Templeton.

"Valiant has delivered nothing but quality since they launched last summer, so I’m proud and honored to partner with them to debut Quantum and Woody Weekly exclusively on IGN," said IGN Senior Editor Joey Esposito. "We’re excited to help Valiant’s expansion into web comics, as well as explore IGN Comics as a platform for original comic book content. Plus, you know, goats!”

Once upon a time, Eric and Woody Henderson were inseparable. Adopted brothers. Best friends. Brilliant minds. Years later, they are estranged siblings, petty rivals, and washed-up failures. But when their father’s murder leads them into the throes of a life-altering scientific accident, Eric and Woody will find themselves with a whole new purpose – and a perfectly legitimate reason to wear costumes and fight crime. Quantum and Woody are coming...and the zeitgeist-shredding exploitation stunt comic you demanded is here at last. (And, yes, there will be a goat too. Eventually.)

"We have a seriously cool new series percolating with Quantum and Woody, but before it kicks off in July, our friends at IGN were kind (and crazy) enough to let James Asmus and Ty Templeton bring the hilarity of the world's worst superhero team to their readers on a weekly basis," said Quantum and Woody Editor Jody LeHeup. "James and Ty have done their darnedest to deliver some special stuff for old fans of Q&W and new readers alike, so rejoice y'all – Quantum and Woody are back a bit early and in a whole new way."

Be sure to check out the first installment here and check back weekly for more. Full press release below.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review - Strange Attractors

Dr. Ian Malcolm was the somewhat eccentric character in Jurassic Park, waxing poetic on chaos theory and the fact that two droplets of water don't follow the same path. He also had a firsthand encounter with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but that's neither here nor there. Still though, his knowledge of chaos theory is rooted in fact and it's that fact central the new graphic novel Strange Attractors from Archaia Entertainment.

The graphic novel is written by Charles Soule, with illustrations by Greg Scott, colors by Art Lyon and Matthew Petz and letters by Thomas Mauer.

Preview - Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #1

If you have the misfortune of being present when your planet falls, chances are you wouldn't hang around for 1,000 years afterwards. That is, unless you happen to be a robot dinosaur. In Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters #1, the Dinobots have been spending time on Cybertron for a millenia, despite its less than ideal situation as a fallen planet.

The issue is written by Mairghread Scott and Mike Johnson, with art by August Padilla, colors by Priscilla Tramontano and letters by Tom B. Long. The book is in stores today with interiors below.

BOOM! Studios Returns to Heroes Con

BOOM! Studios is on a tear in 2013. They're hitting up all the shows and making sure everyone gets a chance to see their wares. The next stop on that step before world domination? Heroes Con in Charlotte from Friday, June 7 through Sunday, June 9. Not only that, but the publisher will also be bringing along exclusive variant covers.

Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake #5 will get the convention cover treatment, courtesy of Andy Hirsch, as well Suicide Risk #1, courtesy of Dan Panosian. Both covers will be available only at the BOOM! Studios booth (#920). On top of the exclusives, Jerry and Pennie Gaylord and Eric Esquivel will be making appearances to sign books and just say hi.

The show will be taking place at Charlotte Convention Center located at 501 A. College St. Charlotte, NC 28202. On Friday, the show hours are from 11 AM - 7 PM, on Saturday they are from 10 AM - 6 PM and on Sunday the show runs from 11 AM - 6 PM.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Realm Knights One-Shot

Clearly, the people of Earth need help defending themselves, as it seems we're one alien invasion away from being destroyed. Whether or not we have a super team to get us through the dark times remains to be seen, but in the Zenescope universe, a team of being assembled that will save the day. Grimm Fairy Tales Realm Knights One-Shot is the introduction to that team.

The issue is written by Pat Shand, with pencils by Noah Salonga and Wagner Souza, colors by Jeff Balke and letters by Jim Campbell.

Preview - Death Sentence #1

What would you do with superpowers – and six months to live? That's the dilemma facing three people who've contracted the G+ Virus, a terrifying new STD. What can graphic designer Verity, failing indie guitarist Weasel and roguish media personality Monty do in the time they have left? Fade away – or go out in a blaze of glory?

Monty Nero and Mike Dowling unite to answer those questions, looking at celebrity, loss, passion and creativity along the way. It's a book loaded with shocks, quotable dialogue and character. And it's in stores now with interiors below.

Dynamite Entertainment Finds Lady Rawhide

Rawhide is something dogs love to chew on. They can crank through a piece like it's nobody's business, savoring every last bit of it. Humans don't really have a rawhide equivalent they can devour. Fortunately, there's about to be a literary version of rawhide they can mentally ingest in Lady Rawhide from Dynamite Entertainment, written by Eric Trautmann and illustrated by Milton Estevam (cover by Joseph Michael Linsner.

"Lady Rawhide is a thief, a bandit, a rogue," explains Trautmann. "But she exists in a time and place where, as a woman, society has strictly defined what her behavior should be. Her vigilante, Robin Hood-esque actions are subversive, and her overtly flamboyant costuming rejects those social conventions. She's driven by a desire to control her environment on her terms… and society's encumbrances be damned."

The first of five issues debuts in August, where the masked heroine faces not only the corrupt forces of the government - bent on intimidating the populace through privation and cruelty - but also a new team of vigilantes known as the Sisters of the White Rose. The Sisters, inspired by the legends of Zorro and Lady Rawhide, have taken up the struggle against tyranny. While Lady Rawhide supports their goals, she cannot condone their bloody methods and finds herself facing off against her own devotees.

Lady Rawhide (along with her alter-ego Anita Santiago) was introduced into the Zorro mythos in 1994, a masked vigilante skilled with swords, guns, and her signature bullwhip. Driven to avenge her brother's suffering at the hands of a crooked government, she first had an antagonistic relationship with Zorro, but eventually became his confidante and staunch ally. Lady Rawhide's popularity as a Zorro regular grew, leading to her headlining several comic series.

Trautmann explains, "I want to capture a sense of fun - this isn't a grim, gritty book. It's pulpy, swashbuckling fun at heart."

Full press release below.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review - Amala's Blade #2

Assassins rarely rely on any help. If they can't get the job done by themselves, they should probably rethink their profession. Some assassins have some form of help though; help in the form of an army of ghosts of those the assassin has killed. Amala has a veritable running crew in Amala's Blade #2 from Dark Horse Comics.

The issue is written by Steve Horton and illustrated by Michael Dialynas.

The Leaning Girl Launches Stateside

It's been a decade since, well, 2003. The year was a few after the turn of the centuries and it was also the time when Les Cités Obscures (The Obscure Cities) from Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten. The wait was too long for some and, fortunately, the creative team are returning to the United States with The Leaning Girl. And Stephen Smith's Alaxis Press is on the job.

“I have been surrounded by the very best in commercial and fine art throughout my career,” Smith said. “But after seeing the film, HUGO, I realized it was important to bring the incredible European comic strip art form to the US and to the English-speaking public.”

Smith, a longtime fan of the series and of the creators, licensed the rights to the entire series from Casterman Editions, Belgium, owners of the classic international comic series TinTin, and publisher of Les Cités Obscures since the debut volume, Les Murailles de Samaris (The Great Walls of Samaris) in 1987. He then proceeded to translate the volume himself.

Smith launched a Kickstarter campaign, with the goal of raising $30,000 in 45 days. In his first four days, the campaign was at $12,500, just $2500 away from the halfway mark.

“This is my opportunity to share these great stories and beautiful art with the American market,” Smith added.

The Leaning Girl is the first graphic novel to be produced under Smith’s new imprint, Alaxis Press and will release in October 2013. For more information, visit Full press release below.

The Bounce #1 Gets Second Printing

Joe Casey and David Messina have a character who's something of a slacker. A pothead even. Jasper Jenkins isn't your typical superhero at all, but he's got something that a lot of people don't: an uncanny ability to bounce around and a sold out first printing of the first issue. And the second issue? June 26.

"All of us working on THE BOUNCE are more than gratified that people seem to give a damn," said writer and co-creator Casey. "The first issue is just the beginning, though. Stick around and you won't be sorry. Meanwhile, there's no better feeling in the world than selling out at Image Comics!"

The second printing of is available for pre-order now (Diamond code APR138113) and will be in stores the same day as the second issue, June 26. The Bounce #2 will feature a special variant cover by Sara Pichelli. Be sure to check out Omnicomic's review of the first issue here.

Full press release below.

Friday, May 24, 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.)

Trapped in a car is no way to die. When the zombie outbreak happened and over the past few years I’m sure many a person found themselves trapped in a car surrounded by zombies. Facing one of two ways to die by dehydration/starvation or the eventual zombie horde busting in and taking bites aren't pretty ways for someone to go.

You sit watching your fate outside the windows banging and banging to get in and tear you apart. In all my time out beyond the safety of a wall I never had to take refuge in a car to escape a pack of zombies, but I’ve finally found myself in that situation. When you're completely cut off from an escape route and surrounded, jumping in a car was the only choice, short of going out in a blaze of glory.

Review - Anti #4

The anti-christ has to have a busy schedule. Subverting God, destroying the world...just all in a hard day's work. There's usually another that can stop him, but whether or not he actually does it always makes for good theater. Anti #4 from 12-Gauge is good theater.

The issue is written by Peter Calloway, illustrated by Daniel Hillyard, colored by Charlie Kirchoff and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

Elephantmen Hits Half-Century Mark

Fifty issues is a milestone to celebrate. Giant, angry elephant men tend to celebrate the milestone with even more gusto, primarily by offering a spin-off book called Hip Flask. Oh and there will be a 50th issue of course, slated to hit stores on July 17. And Richard Starkings is at the center of it.

"Fifty issues! One more and ELEPHANTMEN is as old as I am!" marveled creator and writer Starkings. "When we launched the series in 2006, I thought maybe I had six issues in me, yet here we are, seven years later and six ELEPHANTMEN collections in stores and another in preparation for release this summer!"

Following a group of human/animal hybrid super-soldiers who are struggling to integrate themselves into a society that is often hostile to their very existence, the series has gone on be collected into six hardcovers and trade paperbacks. It has featured art by Ladrönn, Boo Cook, Chris Burnham, Shaky Kane and Axel Medellin. Elephantmen #50 is called "Blue Collar Blues" and features a cover by Frank Quitely, coming after the close of the "Sleeping Partners" story arc. It follows one Elephantman in particular.

The issue is illustrated by series regular Medellin and Gabe Bautista and also includes a re-presentation of Elephantmen #1, with art by Moritat, and a gallery of covers by Brandon Graham, Camilla d'Errico, J. Scott Campbell, Brian Bolland,, Chris Weston, Ladrönn, Ian Churchill and Ed McGuinness. The 50th issue is available for pre-order from the May issue of Previews (Diamond code MAY130418). The revised and expanded Elephantmen Volume 1, which now includes issue #0 with art by Ladrönn and an introduction by Jonathan Ross, will be in stores on May 22. The newest collection, Volume 6: Earthly Desires, due in stores in July 10, is also available for preorder (MAY130420).

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Releases First Adventure Time Annual

Any time is a good time for adventure. Adventure is even better when it's celebrated annually and BOOM! Studios is all for that train. In fact, they're releasing Adventure Time Annual #1, jam-packed with a variety of special short stories in the Land of Ooo, slated to hit stores on May 29.

Featuring some of the hottest talent in comics today putting their creative spin on the land of Ooo. A great tool for bringing readers into the series and an awesome book for die-hard Adventure Time fans. Featuring stories from Roger Langridge, Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Cox, Josh Williamson, Jason Ho, Bryce Carlson and others.

Adventure Time Annual #1 ships with a main cover by Ale Garza and variant covers by Natasha Allegri and Derek Fridolfs. It's available for order under Diamond order code MAR130950. Full press release below.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review - Jirni #2

A daughter's quest to find her mother is one fraught with peril and emotion. For whatever reason, the mother needs to be found and Ara is hellbent on finding hers. Her journey continues in Jirni #2 from Aspen Comics.

The issue is written by J.T. Krul, illustrated by Paolo Pantalena, colored by Brett Smith and lettered by Josh Reed.

Valiant Prepares for Phoenix Comicon

Ready for Phoenix Comicon this weekend? Valiant is and they're bringing their comic ruckus to the show to booth #652. The publisher will be bringing along exclusives, panels and some signings.

Stop by for a full selection of Valiant comics, trade paperbacks, hardcovers and merchandise – including convention-exclusive, double-sided Shadowman #1/Harbinger Wars #1 Sketch Flipbooks. And get an advance look at the summer's biggest releases with the Valiant Summer 2013 Preview Edition – a FREE convention-only comic book, featuring a look inside Quantum and Woody #1 by James Asmus and Tom Fowler and an extended preview of Harbinger Wars #1, the debut issue of Valiant’s first crossover event. And look for signings by Harbinger Wars creators Joshua Dysart and Clayton Henry throughout the weekend.

Then, get the inside track on the Summer of Valiant 2013 on Friday, May 24th at 1:30 pm in room 125B at the Valiant 2013: Harbinger Wars and Beyond panel presentation, featuring special guests Dysart, Henry, Christos Gage and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. Find out everything you need to know about the next year of the Valiant Universe directly from a panel of Valiant insiders.

Full press release below.

Ghosted Debuts in July

Finding ghosts is a lot easier said than done. You need someone who knows what they're doing and actually has the ability to find said ghosts. Jackson T. Winters is one such man in Ghosted from Image Comics, written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Goran Sdzuka (colors by Miroslave Mrva).

"For years my obsession has been to do a book that took place in a haunted house; a crime and horror title, one that was fun but went to some dark edgy places,” said Williamson. "'Gritty' has become a sort of pop word to describe a certain kind of book but it really is the best way to illustrate Ghosted.”

Winters has spent the last decade languishing in prison after his last heist went horribly wrong. Now, in return for breaking him out, a rich eccentric tasks him with capturing a ghost for the millionaire's macabre collection. The dark, supernatural mystery is crossed with a classic caper. Expert thief Winters must assemble a completely different kind of team than the one he lost ten years before, made up of ghost hunters and paranormal experts. But the haunted house they enter may be more of a match than they'd bargained for.

Williamson isn't shy about putting his characters' dark sides on display, either. "One of my favorite things to write are the bad guys. The underbelly of the crime world. Characters that are tortured, and are kind of jerks. Ghosted has plenty of that and has been a blast.”

The first issue of the five-issue miniseries is set to go on sale on July 10. It can be pre-ordered now (Diamond Code MAY130405) from the May issue of Previews. Full press release below.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review - The Bounce #1

Superheroes. Every day it seems like more and more of them are springing up, capitalizing on whatever problem or event in their life to become a new persona. Why those heroes do what they do sometimes remains a mystery. What they actually do however, often doesn't. If a character is called The Bounce, it's pretty self-explanatory, such as in The Bounce #1 from Image Comics.

The issue is written by Joe Casey, with art by David Messina, colors by Giovanna Niro and letters by Rus Wooton.

Zenescope Entertainment Uniting All-Stars in Realm Knights

Every publisher loves a good crossover. Crossovers lead to team-ups, bringing together a slew of familiar characters to fight on one super-team against a common enemy. Zenescope wants to create their own super-team, bringing together some of its most popular Grimm Universe characters for Realm Knights, written by Patrick Shand.

“It's a great mix of fantasy, action, horror and humor.” says writer Patrick Shand. “It's a blast to take these characters out of their separate titles and allow them to come together against common threats while also trying to get along with one other. For Grimm Fairy Tales fans, the elements will be familiar but also feel fresh and different.”

The brand new four issue mini-series teams up characters such as Robyn Hood, Van Helsing, Red Riding Hood and Sela Mathers. Together the group forms the Realm Knights, a powerful modern day team of heroes that is chosen to help eliminate daunting supernatural threats against our world. The first issue of Realm Knights is available now for pre-order in Diamond's June 2013 edition of PREVIEWS and will be released both in print and digitally in August. The #1 issue will feature covers by Anthony Spay, Marat Mychaels, Alfredo Reyes and will also include a unique “suiting up” connecting cover by Spay that will spread across all four issues.

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Debuts at Phoenix Comicon

Phoenix Comicon isn't quite so new, but some publishers appearing at the show are a little greener than others. Take--for instance--BOOM! Studios. The publisher has been around for a while, yet have somehow managed to avoid hitting Phoenix. 2013 will change that, with the publisher poised to bring its wares to the show for the first time to Booth #559. Not only that, but 2 Guns creator Steven Grant will also be on hand.

There will be four exclusive variant covers, available only at the booth. Those books will include Adventure Time Annual #1 and Regular Show #1 (both by Meredith McClaren), Suicide Risk #1 (by Joëlle Jones) and Clive Barker Next Testament #1 (by Haemi Jang). Talent on hand will include Gant, Eric Esquivel, Caleb Monroe, Grace Randolph and Travis Hill. BOOM! Studios is also a proud sponsor of the Bleeding Cool Fan Awards, to be presented at Phoenix Comicon on Friday at 6PM in Room 132. Attendees will receive a free Adventure Time #16 limited edition variant cover, which only available by attending the awards.

Phoenix Comic Con will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center located at 100 N 3rd St. Phoenix, AZ 85004. On Thursday the 23rd, the shows hours are from 4 PM-9 PM, on Friday the 24th, the hours are from 10 AM-7 PM, on Saturday the 25th, the hours are from 10 AM-10 PM and on Sunday the 26st, the hours are from 10 AM-5 PM.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Aspen Comics Announces Phoenix Comic Con 2013 Exclusives

Aspen Comics is at Phoenix Comic Con. That's not really news. What is news is all the exclusives the publisher will be bringing to the table, including creators and exclusives. Among the creators will be Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Vince Hernandez, Mike DeBalfo, J.T. Krul, Brett Smith, Nei Ruffino and Alex Konat will be appearing at the Aspen Booth throughout the weekend for signings, sketches and more.

The popular Aspen Splash swimsuit pinup book by Aspen returns this year with an oversized special edition featuring both new and classic pieces by Aspen’s top talents and more. The Aspen Booth #873 and 972 will be offering an exclusive Aspen Splash 2013 Phoenix Comics Con edition with a cover by Michael Turner along with Steigerwald, limited to 250 copies.

The best-selling “10 for 10” initiative celebrating ten years of Aspen Comics continues with two all new “10 for 10” exclusives for the convention. Charismagic will feature a special Charismagic #2 Phoenix Comic Con 2013 cover by artist Paolo Pantalena and Steigerwald limited to 200 copies, two weeks prior to its release exclusive only for PCC attendees. Aspen will also be offering an exclusive with a Jirni #2 Phoenix Comic Con cover by series artist Pantalena and Steigerwald, limited to 200 copies.

In addition to exclusive comics, Aspen will be releasing an all-new series of their industry-leading art prints including the Aspen Tour Print 2013 Phoenix Comic Con Edition by Turner and Steigerwald limited to 100 editions. Also, Aspen will be offering new Aspen Splash, Charismagic, Jirni and Shrugged prints by Turner, Eric “Ebas” Basaldua and Pantalena.

Full press release below.

Review - Akaneiro #1

Little Red Riding Hood had a basket of food and was off to see her grandmother. Little did she know of the perils of traveling through the forest alone or that she would be set upon by a bloodthirsty wolf. Had she brought an axe however, well, then maybe the trip would've been a lot easier. Akaneiro #1 from Dark Horse Comics is an adaption of sorts of Little Red Riding Hood, proving that even an axe may not be enough.

The new series is written by Justin Aclin, with art by Vasilis Lolos, colors by Michael Atiyeh and lettering by Michael Heisler.

Dark Horse Publishes Last Man Standing

Most comics start with issue number one. Few start with a 272-page tome that establishes the entire universe for the comic. Dan LuVisi does things a little differently, giving readers a lot to take in Killbook of a Bounty Hunter from Dark Horse Comics. Yes folks, the book is set for reprint.

The hardcover book will include thirty pages of all-new material and a new cover. This bible takes the form of a scrapbook filled with maps, history, over forty character biographies and dossiers, tons of faux advertisements, and much, much more. A limited San Diego Comic-Con exclusive edition is currently in the works, with a special cover shown here, which will only be for sale through Dark Horse at Comic-Con International 2013.

Gabriel is the last of a genetically engineered breed of supersoldiers known as the Paladin. After winning an interstellar war between Earth and Mars, Gabriel is celebrated back home and given the new title of Protector of Amerika. All goes well for the newly entitled superhero as he begins to rid the streets of the scum that plagues it. However, as Gabriel is distracted by his duties, a terrorist organization known as Pandemonium frames the hero for a series of atrocious crimes.

Now stripped of his title and prestige, Gabriel is sentenced to the notorious Level-9 Facility, where he endures nine long years of torture and imprisonment. But as the clock ticks down to Gabriel’s eventual demise, he is introduced to the elusive Agent O, who offers the Paladin a chance at redemption. Learn his story—and that of his allies and enemies—through Gabriel’s eyes, as he begins to orchestrate his revenge in the scarred and vivid world of New Amerika.

Last Man Standing is on sale November 6, 2013. Full press release below.

Sheltered Teaches the Way of the Doomsday Prepper

The cold reality is that it's very likely we'll be faced with an apocalyptic, Mad Max situation where leather is valued like gold and there are no rules. It'll be a time when doomsday preppers may have the upper hand (until the less seasoned ones are taken advantage of and dispatched for their resources). Still though, they make for entertaining stories and Image Comics plans on telling some of them in Sheltered, a new series by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas hitting stores on July 10.

"Initially, I was researching preppers — people who are actively preparing for natural disasters, nuclear war, societal breakdown — to get and idea of how people would be able to survive any of the above,” said Brisson. "My initial idea was to do a post-apocalyptic story. Through my research, I started to get obsessed with the culture — from the outside! I don't own a bunker! — and how it would affect children raised in that sort of environment.”

Safe Haven is a survivalist colony sure the end of civilization is at hand. Economic collapse, natural disaster, civil war — they're prepared for it all in their underground compound deep in the woods of America's northeast. The threat to their existence comes from a source they never expected: their own children. Raised in paranoia and isolation, they rebel against their parents and take over the compound. Two leaders emerge from the rebellion: the teenagers Lucas, who led the revolt, and Victoria, who leads another group of kids in their escape. With Victoria set to expose Safe Haven, Lucas and his faction are determined to hunt her and her group down before they reach the nearest town, forty miles away through dangerous wilderness.

"We're going to be facing down the apocalypse with these people," said Christmas," it's important to really get a sense of who they are and what they're capable of,” he said. "These kids aren't even out of high school, but they are probably the most prepared folks on earth, when it comes to riding out the end of the world.”

Full press release below.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Damian Wayne.

What can be said of this treacherous, bloodthirsty little monster? Probably the most accurate thing that can be said of Damian is that he’s the son of the Batman. Not Bruce Wayne, but Batman.

He embodies the most vicious, sadistic parts of Batman’s personality. And in a way, Damian is only kind of aspiring to what he thinks he should be. I mean, if Batman is his father and Talia al Ghul is his mother, given the League of Assassins' ideas about what Batman should be doing with his time, is it any wonder that Damian is kind of confused about what Batman stands for?

Totally remorseless and a prodigy in all of the ways that Batman is, Damian gives you a preview of what a Batman on the side of the Ra's al Ghul would be like. And it’s disturbing stuff to say the least.

Review - Steam Engines of Oz #1

If you're off to see the wizard, there's a good chance you're off to see the Wizard of Oz. Did you know there's more to Emerald City than just the man behind the curtain? Such as that the Tin Man is a king with an army? Or the Witch of the North lives in the cold and doesn't like engineers? That's all found in Steam Engines of Oz #1 from Arcana Comics.

The first issue is written by Erik Hendrix and Sean Patrick O'Reilly, with art by Yannis Roumboulias, colors by Chandran Ponnusamy and letters by Amanda Hendrix.

Jim Zub and Edwin Huang Join the H.A.R.D. Corps in July

Members of the Harbinger Active Resistance Division are slated to begin an all-new mission in Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14. The question those fine recruits is asking though is who will lead them on their merry way? Leave it to Jim Zub and Edwin Huang to make their Valiant debut in July with "Who Will Lead H.A.R.D. Corps?" short story.

"[We] were able to come up with a series of these little, short vignettes of the interview process," Zub told Comic Book Resources. "It's fun stuff because we get to run through a nice selection and variety of Valiant characters, some of which are appropriate, some of which are wonderfully inappropriate, how they fail the interview process and how Bloodshot succeeds over his competition."

X-O Manowar. Quantum and Woody. Archer & Armstrong. Shadowman. Bloodshot. What do these disparate champions from around the Valiant Universe have in common? They're all on the H.A.R.D. Corps' recruitment list. Now for the first time ever, Zub and Huang are bringing them together for a humorous one-shot tale of the Project Rising Spirit's latest – and perhaps last – membership drive.

Appearing as a back-up feature in each of Valiant's July releases, Zub and Huang's "Who Will Lead the H.A.R.D. Corps?" short will be available in Shadowman #8, Quantum and Woody #1, X-O Manowar #15, Harbinger Wars #4, Archer & Armstrong #11, Harbinger #14 and Bloodshot #13. The first appearance of the H.A.R.D. Corps shouldn't be missed on June 12 in Harbinger Wars #3.

Full press release below.

Aphrodite IX #1 Reprinted

For whatever reason, numbers I through VIII of the Aphrodite variety just don't have the same sway that Aphrodite IX seems to have with readers. The amnesiac assassin has a way with, well, everyone and readers everywhere agree, pushing Aphrodite IX #1 to a sell-out and second printing. The title was originally created by David Wohl and David Finch, but the reboot is being taken care of by Matt Hawkins and Stjepan Sejic.

On June 12, the first issue of the relaunch will hit stores. That also happens to be the same day as the launch of the second issue and it will boast an all-new cover by Sejic. In it, Aphrodite IX awakes to find she must navigate an unrecognizable Earth that is being contended over by warring factions of the cybernetically enhanced and genetically enhanced.

Aphrodite IX #1's second printing (APR138007), Aphrodite IX #2 (APR130429) and Aphrodite IX: Reloaded (APR130445) are available now for pre-order. Full press release below.

Friday, May 17, 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.)

The end is in sight. By end I speak of getting out of Flagstaff or die trying. As of today I'm a bit banged up and nursing some wounds on a store rooftop. I just managed to hit the beginnings of the suburbs again as it was a tough fight through the sprawling center of the city. It was that journey through that injured me. Bleeding a little now, but my goal is at least within sight now.

There was this one particular bad spot I found myself in when I was moving down a street, sneaking from car to car. I was moving around the front end of this one SUV and ran smackdab into the back of a zombie that knocked me backwards as it turned falling onto of me. That's where I picked up one of my injuries, as I sliced my arm on the car bumper when I went down and the pleasure of pushing the zombie up away from me as I fumbled for my knife. This fight would start off one long day for me that could rival a day in the life of Jack Bauer.

Review - Skyward #1

Remember the old-school JRPGs? Lufia and the Fortress of Doom? Breath of Fire? Those games that featured wide-eyed youths tasked with saving the world? They had a great feel to them that modern RPGs have lost. Fortunately, a new book called Skyward #1 from Action Lab Comics is stepping in to fill that void.

The issue is written and illustrated by Jeremy Dale, colored by Steve Downer and lettered by Thom Zahler.

You Will Answer to No One Else

Image Comics wants to remind you that you will answer to no one else. Remember that as you're teased.

The Art of Bioshock Infinite Hits Second Printing

People love Bioshock Infinite. The game takes players to Columbia (the city above the clouds) and is a return to form for the Bioshock franchise in general. It's so good in fact that it merited an art book from Dark Horse Comics that is equally as popular as the game, selling out its first printing and moving to a second one, due in stores July 3.

In The Art of BioShock Infinite, delve deeper into the sky city of Columbia and its inhabitants. This deluxe hardcover features an introduction by creative director Ken Levine and production designs and concept illustrations focusing on main characters Booker DeWitt, Elizabeth and Songbird from BioShock Infinite. See the evolution of Sky-Hooks, Heavy Hitters, the populace of Columbia, Vigors, airships and much more.

The second printing of The Art of BioShock Infinite can be ordered with the code OCT120060. Full press release below.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review - Zombie Tycoon 2: Brainhov's Revenge

If you could command an army of zombies to do your bidding as you take over the world or seek your revenge could you manage the pressure? Frima Studios poses that question with their latest game Zombie Tycoon 2: Brainhov’s Revenge, now on the Playstation 3 and PSP Vita.

In Zombie Tycoon 2: Brainhov's Revenge, you bounce between two main characters: Tycoon and Brainhov. Each character controls a different style of zombies. Tycoon's zombies are slow tanks and Brainhov's are faster and weaker. Each one is also a different color to help keep the zombies separate. At times the stages can get hectic and overwhelming when a huge horde of zombies is duking it out to see who wins. On top of having a horde of zombies at your disposal you get a few extra useful tools to aid you in the fight.

Preview - Transformers: Prime - Rage of the Dinobots TPB

Dinobots. Cybertron. Optimus Prime. And the Ark. It's all Transformers in Transformers: Prime - Rage of the Dinobots TPB.

The work features the talents of Mike Johnson, Mairghread Scott and Agustin Padilla. Check out the interiors below and the book in stores now.

Six Gun Gorilla Hits Stores in June

Gorillas are fearful enough as it is, but put six guns in their hands and things get even more ridiculous. Well, not quite six guns; six-shooters to be precise. In June, Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely will blend the two together in Six Gun Gorilla.

“The words “Six-Gun Gorilla” have squatted in my psyche – as immovable as only a revolver-packin’ primate can be – since I first heard them. How could I pass up the chance to breathe new life into such an insane, evocative title (so sinfully neglected since its inception as a 1939 pulp serial)?” explained Spurrier, “In deference to its unknown writer, our new version has mutated into a comic unlike any other: a relentless blast of deconstructive weirdness, gunsmoke, surreal frontiers and Awesome Ape Action. Six-Gun Gorilla is a head-poppin’, civil-warrin’, wilderness-crossin’ epic with sly sci-fi notes: a love-letter to the Western genre, signed with a flourish by a black-furred and blood-drenched fist.”

Welcome to “the Blister” -- a bizarre other-world colonized by humans sometime in the 22nd century, which quickly became a hotly-contested source of fertile land and natural resources long ago exhausted on Earth. In this new frontier, a rogue gunslinger and his companion wander across a wilderness in the grips of a civil war, encountering lawlessness, natives, and perversions of civilization in a world at the crossroads between the past and the future. The fact that said gunslinger is a bio-surgically modified silverback gorilla toting a pair of enormous revolvers is neither here nor there.

Six Gun Gorilla #1 will arrive in stores on June 12th with a cover by Ramón Pérez and carries a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond order code APR130933. And don’t forget to ask your retailer about the incentive cover by James Harren. Full press release below.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review - Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1

Edgar Allen Poe was a very troubled yet interesting man. His commitment to the macabre was legendary, lending itself to a variety of creative and dark works that are still referenced today. It only makes sense that a story like Fall of the House of Usher gets adapted into a comic and that's what Dark Horse is doing in Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1.

The title is written and illustrated by Richard Corben, with letters by Nate Piekos.

Preview - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TPB Vol #1

Friendship is magic. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. And in Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and all the other Ponies know that for real. Now's your chance to know it too, because if you haven't already been reading the brand new My Little Pony, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TPB Vol #1 will remedy that.

The TPB is written by Katie Cook, illustrated by Andy Price, colored by Heather Breckel and lettered by Robbie Robbins and Neil Uyetake. It's in stores today and will set you back $17.99. That's not too much to pay for friendship though right?

Check out the interiors below.

Image Offers Sex, Death and Live TV

Image is all about pushing all sorts of boundaries. There's a lot going on over there that really makes you enjoy being a comic book reader. Things are about to get a little stranger though, thanks to the duo of Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin throwing their talents behind a brand new series called Satellite Sam debuting in July.

"It's a detective story, a history of television, and a record of addiction, sex, and depravity during a time when the antiseptic shine off Ozzie and Harriet obscure what was really happening in the world,” said Fraction. "And these are just a few of the many joys that come from telling a story about television while it was being invented as a mass medium in New York City.”

The book takes a look at the darkness behind the small screen when, in 1951, Carlyle Bishop, the star of the beloved serial "Satellite Sam” turns up dead in a filthy flophouse. Carlyle's son Michael has a hunch that his father's death was anything but natural, but the only clue is a box full of photographs of women in various states of undress — and Mike can't bring himself to stay sober long enough to make any sense of it.

The creative team researched television's early days in preparation for the series, getting a feel for the era and for the people who lived real lives while inventing an idealized — and fictionalized — image of families and relationships.

"We'd been talking about SATELLITE SAM for a while, but what really got it going was a long Winter's day Matt and I spent wandering New York, feeling the city's ghosts, its lost and found architecture, ending up at the Paley Center, where we watched kinescopes of long dead men and women, acting out children's fantasies, while living complex lives off-camera,” said Chaykin. "To say that I'm both having the time of my life collaborating on this project, and getting my ass kicked in the process, is to grossly understate the case.”

The ongoing black and white series will see its first issue hit shelves on July 3. Full press release below.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review - Charismagic Vol. 2 #1

Magic is a finnicky thing. If you can control it, you can control anything. If you can't control it, things could get out of hand very quickly. It's also got a habit of attracting all manner of being, including those of the mammoth, invading monster variety, like in Charismagic Vol. 2 #1.

The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, penciled by Vincenzo Cucca, inked by Mark Roslan, colored by Emilio Lopez and lettered by Josh Reed.

Conan and the People of the Black Circle Announced by Dark Horse

Conan finds an anger within he taps into for dispatching all manner of villain, evil and everyone (and everything) else. He's a warrior king with volumes of tales written about him. Dark Horse is tapping Fred Van Lente and Ariel Olivetti to add one more to his legend in Conan and the People of the Black Circle, a new four-issue miniseries.

“I’m thrilled to be working from one of the best Conan stories Howard ever wrote, with the most interesting female lead and one of the Cimmerian’s most compelling adversaries,” stated Van Lente. “But what I’m most excited about is seeing what Ariel Olivetti does with my scripts—he was born to draw Conan, and his painted artwork should attract anyone who doesn’t know anything about Conan or Robert E. Howard but just loves things that are awesome.”

Assassins, dark magic and a beautiful noblewoman mean trouble for the Cimmerian barbarian unlike he’s ever seen in this full-tilt escapade through the mountains of Afghulistan. Conan and the People of the Black Circle #1 is on sale October 16 in comic shops everywhere.

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Revives Robocop

Frank Miller. Steven Grant. Korkut Ozetkin. Declan Shalvey. All that talent has to be coming together for a good reason. Robocop from BOOM! Studios is a good reason. August 2013.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Maybe you’ve heard the term phrase "Woman in a Refrigerator" if you’re a comic book fan. It refers to the unfortunate tendency for female characters to have no real substance other than to serve as plot points for the hero of the story by being killed off. The term refers to a VERY questionable decision on the part of a few DC writers to kill off Green Lantern Kyle Raynor’s girlfriend in the most gruesome and unnecessary of ways.

The backlash of this has been interesting. After all, those of you who grew up in the 90’s and the 2000’s sort of know that pop culture has gone the other way with all of that. Today, pop culture is all about empowering women. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wonder Woman, Xena. Everywhere you look there’s tough, beautiful women who kick ass and don’t let anything get in their way.

Of course, the problem is that’s kind of just another shade of the same problem. The market is FLOODED with female protagonists, but only a few of them (like Buffy, for example) seem to have a lot of depth or character development. We live in a time when female characters are put on pedestals, but sometimes aren’t given the same painstaking care to be developed and understood as well as their male counterparts. I suppose that was a long-winded way of introducing the controversial character I’d like to discuss: Stephanie Brown, aka Spoiler, aka Robin IV, aka Batgirl III.

Review - Dream Thief #1

What would you do if you woke up in a strange room and you didn’t know where you were, or what you’d done the night before to get there? Not everyone is lucky enough to have some suaveness to them that they can piece the previous night together. Some have a problem of not being able to piece the present together. Enter Dream Thief #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

Read more:

The issue is written by Jai Nitz, with interiors and letters by Greg Smallwood.

Ugli Studios Schedules Second Anthology for Release

Ugli Studios is keen on making you, fine reader, aware that they are making things that aren't ugly. No, they're making some pretty things; pretty things that look great when compiled next to one another in a handy, dandy anthology. Ugli Studios Presents #2 contains three stories from Jason Lenox, Brian Allen and Joseph Freistuhler, with an expected availability date of summer 2013. The book will make its official release at Baltimore Comic Con.

“Ugli Studios dares to tell the stories the big guys refuse to because they're playing it safe!" said Don Everett Smith Jr., comic book writer and author.

The Painted Ladies of San Quentin is aviolent western set in the backdrop of a dangerous Northern California town in 1850 as a land deal gone wrong turns the wheels of violence on the guilty and innocent alike and only one man is willing to stand up for what's right, Elijah Holman. Allen - The Courier is a dark but humorous story about a slave's final attempt to deliver a mysterious package to the heart of an alien ship, and to send the invading creatures back home for good. And Thirteen looks at when a serial killer clones himself repeatedly to create the ultimate killing machine he learns an important lesson about natural selection.

The anthology needs some help, so check out the Kickstarter link. Full press release below.