Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review - And Then Emily Was Gone #1

"And then Emily was gone."

There are stories parents tell to their children to keep them in line. Stories that teeter on the edge of being downright evil. And while many of the stories are just that--stories--there are people in the world who are capable of more evil than the fictional characters of morality. Those people exist in our world and are explored in And Then Emily Was Gone #1 from ComixTribe. The issue is written by John Lees, illustrated by Iain Laurie, colored by Megan Wilson and lettered by Colin Bell.

Preview - Vertigo Quarterly: Magenta #1

It's summer, which means another quarter of the year is in process. Vertigo likes to celebrate those quarters with quarterlies and the Vertigo Quarterly: Magenta #1 is on tap for that occasion. The anthology brings together some great talents, including stories by Carla Berrocal, Jody Houser, Rachel Deering, Annie Mok, Rian Hughes, Fabio Moon, Peter Milligan and art by Matteo Scalera, Nathan Fox, Carla Berrocal, Rian Hughes and Fabio Moon.

The book is in stores now with interiors below.

Mystery Builds in Outcast

From all accounts, Robert Kirkman is pretty popular. In fact, word has it that when he took the floor at SDCC, he was mobbed at every turn, no doubt much like something he would write. Where people shamble towards him with the intent of swarming him and getting a piece of the action. Turns out though, he writes about more than just Walkers and his latest work Outcast (alongside Azaceta) is all the rage, with the second issue being rushed to a second printing. The first new series written by Kirkman himself in years, this demonic possession-focused horror comic builds on the mystery and mounting terror in its second issue and has hooked fans of classic horror. Fox International Channels announced late last week that Cinemax has green lit the pilot for Outcast.

Still reeling from the revelations of issue #1, Kyle Barnes is faced with the implications of what he’s learned about demonic possession and the time during his childhood when his mother was possessed by evil. Kyle must put the pieces together and uncover the truth behind why he seems to attract darkness and demonic activity at every corner.

Outcast #2 remains available for purchase across all platforms, including the Image Comics website, the official Image Comics iOS app, Comixology’s website (, iOS, Android and Google Play. The second printing of the second issue ((Diamond Code JUN148240)) will be available August 27, alongside the third issue ((Diamond Code JUN140563).

Full press release below.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Charles Gunn cracks me up.

Seriously, I feel like he’s got the best lines on the show. Why? Because everyone else is always expressing themselves in this hyper-verbal Buffy-speak all the time. You know, it’s quick-witted, lightning fast, etc.? But Gunn sort of just tells it like it is, flat out, short and to the point. And the contrast always cracks me up.

I’m a fan of Gunn’s inclusion on the show because I like the idea that he’s a vampire hunter and not a vampire slayer. Gunn is no lightweight despite not being some magical child of destiny born to fight vampires. He’s just a guy who's had to fight off vampire attacks his whole life to survive. He hasn’t got Buffy or Faith’s powers, but what he does have is some slick moves and some ingenuity. The LA of the Buffyverse sort of seems to exist--demons included--in this Jim Henson, don’t question it, sort of way. Still, some of the show’s dialogue leads us to believe that while the majority of people live somewhat insulated lives, never knowing about the seedy underbelly of demons afoot in LA, others are not quite so fortunate.

Review - Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1

"Poyo was there. There to save the day. To dispense justice. And vengeance."

There's a fear of the robots uprising and enslaving humanity. Maybe the fear should shift the other way, towards the animals humanity has domesticated for whatever reason. Because when one of those creatures is domesticated with the ability to easily handle any enemy in combat, we're likely going to be in big trouble. Poyo is one such character and he's doling out even more justice in Chew Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written and lettered by John Layman and illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory (with color assists by Taylor Wells).

Saga Gets Deluxe Hardcover Treatment

Deluxe hardcover collections are somewhat a dime a dozen these days, with so many properties going that route. Many of them are worthy of the adaptation, but few of them are as worthy as the fantastic Saga from Image Comics. Thankfully, that work is getting the deluxe hardcover treatment, bringing the first three paperback volumes of the phenomenal work by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. The 500-page-plus Book One will feature a brand-new cover art by Staples and will be released on November 25, 2014.

"Saga is the story of Hazel, and each hardcover edition will feature her at a different stage of life in a new cover from co-creator Fiona Staples,” said Vaughan. “I have no idea how Staples will top this first one, which perfectly captures our heroine's first few months in the universe. But we're even more proud of what's under the cover, 500 pages of story and never-before-seen extras, including a weirdly detailed creator roundtable about how the team makes a complete issue of our comic, from daydreaming to shipping."

Vaughan’s and Staples’ announcement came the day after they received three Eisner Awards at the annual ceremony held during Comic-Con. Saga received a Best Continuing Series Eisner, Vaughan received Best Writer, and Staples was awarded Best Painter/Multimedia Artist. The book is available for preorder under Diamond Comic order code MAR148090 and ISBN 978-1-63215-078-3. The 504 page book will set you back $49.99.

Full press release below.

And Then Emily Was Gone Trailer

ComixTribe is getting closer and closer to the release of And Then Emily Was Gone. That means, it's time for a trailer! The 5-part monthly comic event is created by John Lees and Iain Laurie and features variant covers by Riley Rossmo, Nick Pitarra, Garry Brown and more.

Greg Hellinger is a man who sees monsters. A former detective driven to the brink of madness by terrifying apparitions, he is tasked with finding a missing girl named Emily. Hellinger’s search takes him to a remote community in the Scottish Orkney Islands, where strange and terrifying things are happening… EMILY #1 features a variant cover by superstar artist Riley Rossmo (Bedlam, Drumheller.)

Check out the trailer below.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review - Low #1

"We huddle together. My small family seeking comfort from a world determined to separate us."

Family coping amidst harsh living situations always makes for fascinating reading. How those families cope in situations where they can play a pivotal role in the survival of the human species if even more fascinating. That's what the reader finds in Low #1 from Image Comics, written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini and lettered by Rus Wooton.

Dark Horse Poised to Publish The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Dark Horse is big on their art books. That's with good reason too, as all of their books always showcase various properties through a variety of phenomenal art. There's seemingly nothing stopping them from offering artistic looks at any and everything you can possibly want. Well, they've taken their sweet time, but they've finally got around to offering an artistic look at He-Man in The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Made in close cooperation with Mattel and He-Man historians, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe collects over 30 years of behind-the-scenes material, lore and classic imagery.

In 1982, the world was introduced to He-Man and Masters of the Universe. What followed was a cultural sensation that changed the landscape of children’s entertainment forever. Join Mattel and Dark Horse in this comprehensive retrospective chronicling the decades-long epic journey of He-Man® from toy, to television, to film, to a true pop culture phenomenon. The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe includes rarely seen images of concept sketches, prototypes, and more from Mattel’s archives. Featuring beautifully restored art from master illustrator Earl Norem—celebrated artist of the most memorable He-Man images.

The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe arrives in comic shops on April 1, 2015 and in bookstores April 14, 2015. Preorder your copy today. Full press release below.

Aspen Announces SDCC 2014 Announcements

One year wasn't enough for all the action that Lola XOXO is bringing to readers. Aspen Comics has announced as part of their SDCC surge that the property will see new life in 2015 with Lola XOXO: Volume 2 by creator Siya Oum. Not only that, but fans of the series can also look forward to Lola XOXO: The Wasteland Madam, featuring an all-new heroine struggling to maintain control over a renegade force of post-apocalyptic survivors, while trying to come to grips with her horrific and tragic past.

Aspen's series Dellec by Frank Mastromauro and Vince Hernandez returns for a second volume, with art pencils by Pasquale Qualano. This return of one of Aspen’s leading heroes focuses on the aftermath of the catastrophic first volume’s climax, while offering an all new jumping on point for new readers. Legend of the Shadow Clan returns next year with creator/writers David Wohl and Brad Foxhoven returning to the family clan of ancient ninja heritage with art by penciler Giuseppe Cafaro. 2015 will also see the debut of the first series of Aspen Sourcebooks line, featuring essential and never-before-seen handbooks of Aspen’s most popular and longest-running titles, including Michael Turner’s Fathom, Soulfire and Executive Assistant: Iris, written by Hannibal Tabu, with future editions planned for Aspen’s later titles.

Aspen Novels, the new prose imprint from the publisher, will release its second novel this November, Seven to Die, from author T.G. Roberts. Seven to Die tells the story of Lex MacArthur, a San Francisco college student who comes into possession of an enigmatic clay pendant that unlocks a bevy of dormant superhuman genes. She’s stronger, she’s faster, and she’s on a mission to find out why. As Lex sets out to discover who she is and where she really came from, she comes face-to-face with Egil, a killer who has been tracking Lex her entire life. At the helm of an enormous operation to eradicate all of Lex’s kind, Egil captures Lex’s long-lost mother, forcing Lex to confront him head on and save those she loves from certain death.

This October, Aspen continues its push to a broader reach with a more kid friendly library with the release of Fathom: The Adventures of Ernie on October ComicFest 2014. This kid-friendly coloring and activity book will feature a story written by Hernandez with art by Agnes Garbowska. Aspen has signed on with the consulting firm, The Powell Group, to expand their multi-media publishing in the video game industry with a plan to adapt their popular titles into several platforms. Aspen has teamed up with the app beacon company Webble to produce a Cosplay Card Set featuring the industry’s most popular cosplayers as Aspen’s top characters.

Full press release below.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review - The Chronicles of Faro: Chapter 1

"You can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

History is filled with defining events, both good and bad. Every event has consequences unlike any other event and arguing the merits of whether or not that event should be changed (if it were possible) always makes for a fun evening. There are some characters who feel the need to change some events though for whatever reason and their journeys through time offers up pretty fascinating reading. The Chronicles of Faro: Chapter 1 from HooligansCO recounts such a tale. The book is written by Faro Kane and features illustrations by Ale Garza, Pat Broderick, Richard Clark, Franchesco, Paolo Pantalena, Elias Chatzoudis and Monte Moore.

Star Trek Ventures to the Planet of the Apes

The mission of the Enterprise is simple: to boldly go where no man has gone before. Aside from being a split infinitive, it's a very ambitious aim for a ship full of diverse characters. Their journeys take them to all manner of planet and civilizations, but nothing is likely to prepare them for their next destination. The crew of Star Trek will venture to the Planet of the Apes, courtesy of a crossover from BOOM! Studios and IDW Publishing. The series will pair the original U.S.S. Enterprise crew with Taylor, Nova and the cast from the original Planet of the Apes film.

“Planet of the Apes and Star Trek are groundbreaking science-fiction properties and both deal with many of the same social issues and themes,” says Greg Goldstein IDW President & Chief Operating Officer. “A crossover between the two is a natural and long overdue.”

“Before I could read comic books as a child, I could watch science fiction on my television. My dad used to wake me up way past my bedtime to watch Star Trek in syndication—it came on after the nightly news—and I took a Planet of the Apes lunchbox with me to kindergarten every day,” says BOOM! Studios Founder and CEO Ross Richie. “Suffice to say, teaming up these two titans of science fiction on the page in a way that they probably will never meet each other on the silver screen is a huge moment for me personally and emotionally.”

Star Trek scribes Scott and David Tipton will handle the writing, while Rachael Scott will tackle the art duties. IDW will publish the crossover, which will mark the first time BOOM! Studios has partnered with another publisher on a series.

“With the Klingons secretly backing a renegade gorilla general in a coup for control of Ape City, Captain Kirk finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to help out Dr. Zaius' orangutans,” explains Tipton. “Taylor won't be happy with that!”

“What an epic pairing! I'm so excited to see Taylor, Kirk...and those damned dirty our upcoming comic,” says IDW editor Sarah Gaydos, “We're eager to team up these exciting creative forces to bring this to life.”

Full press release below.

Death is Not the End

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Assassin's Creed Unity Gets Animated Short Film

Leave it to Rob Zombie to collaborate with Ubisoft on a new animated short film for Assassin's Creed Unity. Fans of The Walking Dead will also be happy, as artist Tony Moore lends his talents to the video. In the game, set amidst the chaos of 18th Century Paris, Arno, a young Master Assassin, will embark on an extraordinary journey to expose the true powers behind the French Revolution. His pursuit will throw him into the middle of a ruthless struggle for the fate of a nation and ultimately carve a new destiny for the people of France.

Assassin's Creed Unity will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later this year and you can check out the video below.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Defense With The BoomStick

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

Year 5. Week 48.

Licking one's wounds is never a pleasant experience, but it's certainly leaving an impression on all of us.

After that debacle in Amarillo and the way our forces were just about manhandled, we’ve begun to reevaluate our procedures and methods of intelligence gathering. At the moment we can't afford to lose anybody else with our reduced strength; with that going on we also can't plan any more strikes or movements until reinforcements arrive.

So far we've spent the time since getting back to Salt Lake City, resting up and reinforcing our perimeter. Every time one of those types of situations comes about I'm thankful I made it and hate that others did not. Our momentum definitely took a hit after that fight, even though we accomplished our objective of taking out the radioactive zombies that were located there. Killing them all is the only sure way of winning this war once and for all. With no leaders, the regular zombies will just wander around and eventually die off.

Review - Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1

"The long winter is coming, Snake Eyes. Better smarten up."

Some would argue that being a child in the 80s was the best time to do so from a cartoon perspective. There were so many great shows on that viewers could pretty much pick and choose just about anything. Two of the bigger shows were Transformers and G.I. Joe, both of which were awesome in their own right. One of the biggest fantasies of fans of the shows was a crossover, which seemed outlandish at the time. Now, in a day where transmedia is all the rage, comics especially are getting into some of these crazy stories and IDW is looking to cross those two over in Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1. The issue is written by Tom Scioli and John Barber and illustrated, colored and lettered by Scioli.

Dynamite Sings Ron Marz to New Ongoing John Carter: Warlord of Mars Series

Dynamite Entertainment is really big on the literary classics and one of those they're biggest on is John Carter: Warlord of Mars. The Edgar Rice Burroughs property is always a hit with the readers and now the publisher has another ace up their sleeve with a brand new story. Oh and did we mention it's written by Ron Marz? Illustrated by newcomer Abhishek Malsuni, John Carter: Warlord of Mars is the newly-minted cornerstone of the publisher's Warlord of Mars line, launched in the wake of their May 2014 announcement of the comprehensive licensing agreement between Dynamite and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

"We are incredibly excited about Ron coming on board for this project," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "When we originally launched the Warlord of Mars series in 2010, Ron and I ran into each other at a comic convention, and Ron grabbed me by the shoulders and said something to the effect of, 'How can you launch a John Carter series and not call me to write it?' It was a statement! As we looked at the potential creators for this series, we instinctively remembered Ron's passion for the mythos. He is simply the perfect fit. Add in the fantastic art by Abhishek Malsuni and Neeraj Menon, this series will take John Carter to new heights."

John Carter: Warlord of Mars welcomes science fiction and fantasy fans to the exotic landscape of Barsoom, where displaced earthling John Carter has to save his adopted world, not to mention his beloved Dejah Thoris, from an enemy like no other he has ever faced. John Carter must truly become a Warlord of Mars against an adversary who is every bit his equal on the savage red planet.

Marz's enthusiasm for John Carter has been building for many years. He says, "This is literally a job I've been wanting to do since I was twelve years old. I was just the right age when I discovered John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, and the wonder of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars. It fired my imagination like almost nothing else. So to finally get a chance to write these characters, to visit that world, is a dream come true for me."

John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' September Previews catalog and slated for release in November. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 with their local comic book retailers. John Carter: Warlord of Mars will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Visits Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Bestiary

Hellraiser: Bestiary #1 Cover A

You would think for as much hell that Clive Barker as raised, there wouldn't be much left. Still, BOOM! Studios keeps managing to find a new room in the blazing inferno to explore, with the latest being Hellraiser: Bestiary. The book will be a new anthology-style limited series that picks up where classic horror anthologies like Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror left off. This series will feature comics’ rising stars like Ed Brisson and Michael Moreci and the first issue will feature the comics debut of award-winning novelist Victor LaValle.

“Clive Barker has created an entire mythology that has become a cornerstone of the horror genre,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Now we get to dive back into the world of HELLRAISER with some of our favorite creators, exploring this dark world in ways we haven't experienced before. Clive himself chose many of the contributors in BESTIARY and the talent within this series is something to behold.”

Step into the Bestiary for all-new tales of the LeMarchand Device and its guardians. This first issue contains the start of a six-part serial written by Mark Miller and Ben Meaes and drawn by Carlos Magno, where a team of mercenaries are hired to steal Pinhead’s pins. Also, LaValle teams with artist Colin Lorimer to tell a story set on the outskirts of New York City, as a close-knit community is torn apart by the presence of the puzzle box.

Hellraiser: Bestiary #1 arrives in comic shops on August 20th with a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JUN140941. The first issue will ship with a main cover by Conor Nolan and retailer incentive covers by Kim Herbst and Sam Shearon.

Full press release below.

Image Expo Announcements Include Twelve New Books

Not to be outdone by Dark Horse, Image Comics has their own twelve announcements that poise the publisher to be kind of a big deal. And tied with Image Expo making it's first appearance at SDCC, the publisher has a ton of new books they want you to know about.

“Each and every year, it is our goal to grow the comics marketplace with new creativity, and this current slate of talent is intent on doing exactly that,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “It’s nothing short of thrilling to be involved with so much unique and inventive talent, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work these amazing men and women are developing as we finish out this year and head into the next. We don’t pass out assignments or dictate directions here, we ask writers and artists what they want to do and let their creativity guide us. For some, relying on so much new material might seem like an uncertain way forward, but I prefer to look at every venture into uncharted territory as yet another path to the future. Thanks to these creators and more, that future is looking brighter than ever.”

Tokyo Ghost - from Rick Remender and Sean Gordon
Tokyo Ghost welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for. Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the "law" enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines." The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.

From Under Mountains from Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson and Sloane Leong
Set in the isolated country of Akhara, rival houses face off in the struggle for political power and military security in FROM From Under Mountains. Three unlikely figures—a lord's daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief—will change the fate of their world, but the only hope of peace may lie with the mystery shrouded goblins and witches, and the ancient powers they command.

Valhalla Mad from Joe Casey and Paul Maybury
Valhalla Mad introduces a set of brand new characters: the Glorious Knox, Greghorn the Battlebjorn and Jhago the Irritator. The series depicts this particular trio of fun-loving gods' return to Earth—Manhattan, specifically—to drink and party and revel in their resplendent godhood after many decades of being away. Needless to say, they find a very different world than the one they last visited.

Rumble from John Arcudi and James Harren
Rumble is a strange book, that’s for sure—like a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher—with a supporting cast of odd characters, many of whom aren’t even human.

Intersect from Ray Fawkes
Bodies shift and merge, warring with themselves. Blood rains from the skies. A child’s song is translated into toxic, thought-destroying whispers. Everything is changing. Everything is wrong. This is the world of INTERSECT.

The Humans from Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller
Apart, they are nothing… deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are The Humans! Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas and chrome.

Kinski from Gabriel Hardman’s and Invisible Republic from Hardman and Corinna Bechko
Kinski, previously a digital-only collection, both written and drawn by Hardman, promises to be a quirky crime thriller about Joe, a down-on-his-luck salesman who finds a cute puppy. The thing is, this puppy already has a home. What starts as a simple rescue mission from neglectful owners quickly escalates into a righteous crusade. Hardman announced a second project to be executed with frequent collaborator Bechko. Described as a gritty sci-fi series, Invisible Republic explores the secret history of one man's rise to power after an unspeakable act of violence elevates him to folk-hero status on a war-torn planet seeking independence.

Southern Cross from Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s
Now boarding: Southern Cross, tanker flight 73 to Titan. Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though—How did her sister die? Where did her cabin mate disappear to? Who is that creep across the hall? And why does she always feel like she’s being watched?

Descender from Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Descender will explore one young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.

Drifter from Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein
Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless in Drifter. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.

Tooth and Claw from Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey
In Tooth and Claw, a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary champion back through time to save the world, with disastrous consequences. Swords, sorcery, animal-wizards, gods, empires, golems of radioactive decay, crystalline badlands, con women, ancient armories, young love, mystery, blood and death and treachery and destiny...Tooth and Claw is an epic story you won’t want to miss out on.

Injection from Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey
Injection explores how loud and strange the world is becoming, and the sense that it's all bubbling into chaos—a chaos poised to become the Next New Normal—and that we did this to ourselves without thinking for a second about how we were ever going to live inside it.

Full press release and covers below.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review - Supreme: Blue Rose #1

"And then it all changed."

Characters and properties are created by creators all the time. Some of them go onto live full, creative-infused lives rife with multiple comic books and various other forays into transmedia. Others are left to their own devices, typically not much more than a solid idea that doesn't really get the backing it may deserve. Supreme: Blue Rose #1 from Image Comics is something that falls into the latter category, with a brand new take on an familiar book. The issue is written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Tula Lotay and lettered by Richard Starkings.

Dynamite Celebrates 75th Anniversary of The Spirit

Batman isn't the only masked crimefighter celebrating 75 years of existence. Will Eisner's iconic hero The Spirit is also celebrating the three-quarters century mark. And thanks to a recent licensing agreement with Dynamite Entertainment, that celebration will kick off with some style.

"We are thrilled that Will Eisner's The Spirit has found a new home with Dynamite Entertainment," state Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Eisner estate in a joint announcement. "At Dynamite, The Spirit will be joining many iconic heroes including Flash Gordon, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and others. Will Eisner created The Spirit in 1940 as a syndicated seven-page newspaper supplement, where The Spirit fought the villains of Central City weekly until 1952. We're hoping to see Dynamite's new comics of The Spirit surpass the circulation of the Will Eisner's original series."

Originally published in 1939 by Quality Comics, The Spirit has long been admired for the ingenuity of its creator, Will Eisner. Eisner's amazing artistic skill and groundbreaking storytelling techniques in the weekly Sunday strips helped pave the way for modern comic books. His career spanned over seventy years, and he is largely considered as the inventor of the "graphic novel." In addition to The Spirit, his most celebrated works include A Contract with God and Last Day in Vietnam. The industry's highest accolade, the prestigious Eisner Award, is named in his honor, and awarded annually at San Diego Comic-Con International.

"Bringing The Spirit to Dynamite is a dream come true. Actually, that's not a strong enough sentiment. It's a lifelong dream come true," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "The Spirit is one of comicdom's greatest characters, and has stood the test of time for nearly 75 years. Will is one of the greats, and his influence as a storyteller is incredible. I've loved all of Will's work from The Spirit to his graphic novels from A Contract with God to The Dreamer, and his entire body of work. This is a huge responsibility that we've undertaken as there have been some great creators involved in The Spirit throughout the seven decades of his career. I'm honored that Carl and Nancy feel that we are up to the task, and have entrusted us to publish The Spirit, especially beginning at such a landmark year - his 75th Anniversary. I believe that, with our proven track record for high-quality pulp comics by incredible talents (like Matt Wagner, Garth Ennis, and Kevin Smith), the addition of The Spirit to our line of classic adventure titles is a major win for longtime fans of Will Eisner's original crime fighter. I cannot emphasize enough how important publishing The Spirit is to us."

Full press release below.

The Wicked + The Divine Reveal Variant Cover

To say that The Wicked + The Divine is popular would be an understatement. Everyone loves the somewhat fractured tale of gods as pop stars and all the trappings that go along with that popularity. And keeping up with that trend, The Wicked + The Divine #3 will likely be even more popular, thanks to a variant cover by Stephanie Hans. Oh, and both Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie will come back as well.

In the third issue of The Wicked + The Divine, Laura has no choice, she’s made a pact with Luci and now must seek out gothest-of-gods: The Mórrígan. The Wicked + The Divine #3 arrives in stores on August 20 and will be available for $3.50. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code JUN140587. The variant cover B by Stephanie Hans is available to pre-order with Diamond Code JUN148168. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is July 28.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I finally managed to get some friends to watch Angel; it took some serious nagging on my part. While maybe not always as well formulated and executed as its 'big sister' Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, I remain a die-hard fan of the show and the title character. I often bug people who've watched Buffy but taken a pass on Angel to watch the show just because I think it's a show worth watching on its own merits. For me, Angel is a show about finding--sometimes even creating--hope where there is none. Personally, Angel is my favorite character in the Buffyverse and I find that people who don't like him will concede that Angel's choices, especially in the shows final episode "Not Fade Away," have at least earned their begrudging respect.

Now, given that Joss Whedon is sort of the undisputed master of creating strong, relatable female characters on screen, it doesn't entirely surprise me that people who watched the show and don't even care much for Angel are very drawn to Cordelia. Played by the vivacious Charisma Carpenter, it's hard not to love her because she brings that dose of comedy and quick-witted Buffy-ness to a show that has a lot less levity. But as time goes on, Coredelia ends up being a lot more than just a callback to Buffy.

Review - The Delinquents #1

"You damn, dirty hobos!"

Fans of Valiant Entertainment already know about two of their more dysfunctional relationships in Quantum and Woody and Archer and Armstrong. Sure, other characters like X-O Manowar, Bloodshot and Rai are fighting the good fight and trying to save the world, the aforementioned duo of duos are typically fighting amongst themselves and for themselves. So what would happen if all four characters came together in one epic book? The Delinquents #1 wants to answer that question. The issue is written by James Asmus and Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Kano.

Dark Horse Offers Twelve New Creator-Owned Series

2014 is halfway done, but Dark Horse isn't quite finished with their efforts for the year. No, the publisher is proud to announce twelve new creator-owned series from twelve creative teams that will take the world’s most popular art form to new levels through 2015. With Comic-Con International commencing, Dark Horse gives you everything you need to know about the next wave of critically acclaimed titles from the biggest independent publisher in comics.

The titles include:

Colder: The Bad Seed - Writer: Paul Tobin Artist: Juan Ferreyra - October 22, 2014

Life goes on for Declan Thomas after his deadly encounter with the psychotic Nimble Jack, but Declan’s strange powers continue to develop, offering him a profound connection with the nature of insanity. Little does he know that the malevolent Swivel wishes to pick up where Nimble Jack left off!

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. - Writer: Mike Mignola with John Arcudi Artist: Alexander Maleev - December 3, 2014

A bizarre series of murders and rumors of something worse lead Professor Bruttenholm to send a young Hellboy to a Brazilian village on his first mission. Hellboy and a small group of agents uncover something terrible in the shadows of a sixteenth-century Portuguese fortress . . .

Lady Killer - Writers: Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich Artist: Joëlle Jones - January 7, 2015

The Schullers are every bit the American family: father, mother, and twin girls. Daddy has a good job, and though he works in the city, he can afford a nice house for his family in the suburbs. It’s a good place for the kids to grow up, away from the crime and questionable morals of city life. But what if the crime and the violence aren’t that far away? What if Mom isn’t just a housekeeper and a cook, but she’s also a highly paid professional assassin?

Dead Vengeance - Writer: Bill Morrison Artist: Stéphane Roux - January 21, 2015

It’s 1940, and a phony body on exhibit in a carnival sideshow suddenly springs to life and shambles away. Not so phony after all, he is John Doe, radio commentator and archenemy of Detroit’s notorious Purple Gang. But why did he disappear in 1930, and why did the mayor, the mob, and the cops all want him dead?

EI8HT - Creators: Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson - February 2015

Welcome to the Meld, an inhospitable dimension in time where Joshua, a chrononaut, finds himself trapped. With no memory or feedback from the team of scientists that sent him there, he can’t count on anything but his heart and a stranger’s voice to guide him to his destiny.

Neverboy - Writer: Shaun Simon Artist: Tyler Jenkins Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick - March 4, 2015!

In what world do you belong? Neverboy, an abandoned imaginary friend, wants the real world. Julian Drag, a struggling artist, wants the imaginary. When Neverboy’s drugs wear off, the surreal hangover he’s been running from sets in. And a trip down the rabbit hole is just what Julian has been dying for. When these two meet, the real and the imaginary worlds collide in absolute chaos. Julian and Neverboy, the dreamer and the dream, will have to face who they are in order to put things right again.

The Black Hammer - Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Dean Ormston - March 11, 2015

They were the greatest heroes of a lost era. But the age of heroes is over, and Abraham Slam, Col. Weird, Golden Gail, Barbalien, and Madame Dragonfly have been wiped out of continuity! Following a cosmic battle known only as the Event, the heroes awoke on a farm in a small town they are unable to leave, with the massive iron hammer of a fallen teammate the only reminder of the world they came from. As their tenth anniversary on Black Hammer Farm nears, they’ve largely given up on any chance of return, until the arrival of the Black Hammer’s daughter throws their new existence into chaos! The Black Hammer is part human drama, part multiverse-spanning adventure, and part journey into the DNA of the superhero genre!

PastAways - Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Scott Kolins - March 18, 2015

When a deep-time research mission goes awry, four future explorers find themselves stranded in our present, where a side effect of their mission grants them unexpected immortality! As further time breaches cause dinosaurs to appear in Greece and buildings from the future to crash into Toronto, the unlikely heroes find themselves humanity’s best line of defense from the onslaught of time itself! The team achieves worldwide fame, and their adventures become more and more bizarre, even as their failure to get back to their own time leads to infighting and catastrophe!

Rebels - Writer: Brian Wood Artist: Andrea Mutti Colorist: Jordie Bellaire Cover Artist: Tula Lotay - April 2015

From Brian Wood, the creator of DMZ, Northlanders, and The Massive, comes Rebels, a gritty, ground-level look at the men and women who fought to win independence from tyranny and those who would stand in their way.
Cocreator Andrea Mutti (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) illustrates the opening story, introducing us to the Green Mountain Boys, America’s first militia, and one young couple’s journey across the battlefields of New England. Colorist Jordie Bellaire and cover artist Tula Lotay complete the team with gorgeous palettes and striking illustrations.

Harrow County - Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Tyler Crook - April 8, 2015

“Her earliest memories were of the taste of freshly turned earth and the bleating of goats.”
There’s them that say you ought not get lost in Harrow County. Because once you lose your way among the pines and briar thistles and those sweet-smelling scuppernong, you won’t never find your way back. Born on the very day a hateful witch was put to violent death, seventeen-year-old Emmy has always felt a bit lost . . . but never alone. The deep, dark woods surrounding her home crawl with ghosts, goblins, and the restless dead. These haints whisper to Emmy, promising her that she has great power, warning her that the people of Harrow County want her dead.

Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird - Writer: Caitlín R. Kiernan Artist: Joëlle Jones - May 20, 2015

A year after Dancy Flammarion’s death in a burning barn, her seraph comes to collect her from a hell of her own creation. A new evil haunts the sun-scorched back roads and ghost towns of the American South: murderous twins who command a legion of ghouls. Once again, Dancy must face down demons, both those who walk the world unchallenged and those in her own shattered mind.

Fight Club 2 - Writer: Chuck Palahniuk Artist: Cameron Stewart Cover Artist: David Mack May 2015

The first rule is you don’t talk about it.

Full press release below.

Valiant Entertainment Teams with Visionbooks for Animated Digital Comics

With SDCC starting, the deluge of news is preparing to flood the internets. Ahead of that wave though is a little bit of news from Valiant Entertainment on the animated comics front. The publisher has announced a partnership with Visionbooks to offer animated digital comics. To kick that off, Valiant is offering X-O Manowar #1 for free. Visionbooks revolutionizes comic book reading by transforming two-dimensional comic books into a digital animation experience. By combining traditional comics with cutting-edge technology, Visionbooks creates dimensional action like explosions, smoke, weather, character conflicts and action, all within static comic panels.

“This partnership with Valiant gives Visionbooks an opportunity to work with classic superheroes and create a cinematic reading experience that engages the next generation of new comic book fans,” said Francesco Scrufari co-founder of Visionbooks.

From Robert Venditti and Cary Nord, X-O Manowar is the acclaimed series that relaunched Valiant’s publishing line in 2012 to critical and commercial success. Named the “Best Revival of 2012” by The Onion/A.V. Club and “Best Ongoing Series” by Ain’t It Cool News, the tale of Aric of Dacia’s transformation from fifth-century freedom fighter to modern-day America’s most powerful superhero begins right here with the chart-topping debut that IGN calls “one of the best books being published right now, period.”

“Visionbooks is pushing the envelope with our new digital technology. Who better to partner with than Valiant, a publisher who is also known for their innovation and creativity,” said Simone Offredo, co-founder of Visionbooks.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BOOM! Studios Nabs Grant Morrison

The last of BOOM! Studios' announcements leading up to San Diego is pretty self-explanatory.

Gail Simone Tackles Dynamite Event Focused on Women

Gail Simone is without question one of the best writers in the industry. She's also something of a force when it comes to advocating for female characters; crafting stories with women the focus in very strong roles. She's really good at what she does and the female characters are equally respectable. Dynamite Entertainment likes both aspects of that equation, tapping Simone to write The Women of Dynamite, uniting and celebrating the strong female characters of Dynamite's publishing line, including Red Sonja, Vampirella, Dejah Thoris and more.

"When I first spoke with Nick about working at Dynamite, he graciously offered my choice of a huge list of great characters, and I immediately chose a favorite, Red Sonja," says writer Gail Simone. "But that meant leaving behind amazing characters I loved! So doing this big, fun, noisy event book, full of action and fun and drama and sex and villainy, featuring some of the wildest female characters out there, that's just awesome. Getting to work with some of the most talented female writers in the industry only makes it better!"

The heart of The Women of Dynamite is formed by the three bestselling heroines (or female triumvirate) of Dynamite's line as the central characters: Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris. The "She-Devil with a Sword" known as Red Sonja, is fantasy fiction's most prominent female character, formerly a swashbuckling ally of the Robert E. Howard character, Conan. Vampirella, originally a horror hostess in her self-titled magazine, evolved over her forty-five year history into a supernatural detective. Finally, Dejah Thoris is the eponymous heroine of Edgar Rice Burroughs' original story featuring John Carter, A Princess of Mars, and an adventurous mainstay at Dynamite with the publication of such series as Warlord of Mars and Dejah of Mars. Additional female characters from Dynamite's ten years of publishing will be included in the event.

"After working so closely with Gail on Legends of Red Sonja, I am excited to see where we'll be going next with this epic character crossover," says Molly Mahan, Associate Editor of Dynamite. "The concept of a Women of Dynamite series has been something we've been circling around for a while now, but had to wait for the right concept and creators to come together to make the story as worthwhile as the concept. We are lucky to have Gail as the cornerstone on this project and I know we'll craft something that the fans and comics community will enjoy across demographics."

"Gail has been an absolute pleasure to work with," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "The thought of bringing together the strongest female characters that Dynamite publishes into an event has been discussed for years, and we could not be happier that Gail is the creator who will tell this tale. Her work on Red Sonja has been a delight, and as fans who read her work know, she has many tricks up her sleeve. Gail is going to make this event huge! Just wait until you see what she has in store for the rest of Dynamite's strong female characters."

The Women of Dynamite will be solicited in an upcoming Diamond Comic Distributors Previews catalog. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Women of Dynamite with their local comic book retailers. The Women of Dynamite will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital. Full press release below.

Review - The Goon: Occasion of Revenge #1

"How shortsighted must you be: to take your own life over matters of the heart? How self-absorbed? How selfish? Dumb? Just plain dumb."

The Goon is a character who really doesn't need much of an introduction to many. The thing is, there are a good number of readers who really don't know much about him, which is a shame. Any books featuring the character are always great reads and Dark Horse is adding another book to that repertoire in The Goon: Occasion of Revenge #1. The issue is written and illustrated by Eric Powell.

BOOM! Studios Announces SDCC Schedule

BOOM! Studios will bring tons of talent, tons of exclusives and the chance to drink with some of the industry's finest. You really can't beat that combination at all. Get plenty of sleep'll need it. Full press release, signing and panel schedule below.

UDON Entertainment at SDCC

UDON Entertainment is never one to miss out on a Comic-Con and this year is no different. The publisher is bringing all sorts of zaniness to the show and there are five important things they really want you to know:

  • The UDON Booth is #4529.
  • They're welcoming special guests Yoshinori Ono (Producer of Ultra Street Fighter IV) and Kaname Fujioka (Director of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate).
  • They have 5 Comic-Con Exclusive items this year, including UDON'S Art of Capcom: Complete Edition Convention Exclusive Hardcover
  • They will be announcing 10 new licenses at The UDON Panel 2014, Sat. July 26, 5:30-6:30, Room 26AB
  • The UDON Publishing and Creative Services Staff will be available all weekend.

Check out the full press release below. Take your time...there's a lot to take in.

Dark Horse Announces SDCC Signing/Panel Schedule

Dark Horse isn't really a dark horse contender when it comes to comics anymore, as the publisher has proven time and again it's just plain awesome. They're bringing that awesome and more to SDCC this year, offering a TON of creator signings and panels. Some signings require a wristband for entry, as noted on the schedule. Drawings for wristbands for these events will begin at show opening the day before and day of each signing. Come to the Dark Horse booth early for the best chance to join these events. Lines may also be closed for some signings due to crowding or time restrictions.

The publisher will have two signing stages: one featuring the art of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy; the other, the art of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain. The location of each signing is indicated by the following abbreviations: HB = Hellboy Signing Stage ST = The Strain Signing Stage. All events are subject to change. Some restrictions apply. Please see Dark Horse Comics staff if you have questions.

Full signing and panel schedule below.

Valiant Punks Your Chucks

Valiant Entertainment certainly isn't scared of a little transmedia cross-promotion action. They've done motion comics, 8-bit video games and even have a movie in the works. All that action isn't enough for them though, as now Valiant is proud to announce a new exclusive partnership with custom-painted apparel company Punk Your Chucks – the number one destination for unique, custom hand-painted Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, Vans, Nike Air Force Ones, tote bags and more on the web.

"Valiant is proud to be Punk Your Chuck's first exclusive partner in the comic book category," said Russell A. Brown, Valiant's President of Consumer Products, Promotions, and Ad Sales. "With an array of exciting, high-quality products in the works, the combination of Valiant's heroes and MAG's craftsmanship is something fans should look forward to."

Beginning this July, Punk Your Chucks will offer a wide array of made-to-order footwear and accessories featuring Valiant's award-winning library of comic book characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Ninjak, Rai and many more. Made on-site at Punk Your Chucks' New York studio, each item is painted by hand and completely one of a kind. Submit your order today at

Punk Your Chucks was founded by owner and artist “AKA MAG”, an urban graffiti artist originally from New York City. MAG started his love for painting, sculpting, and sketching in the cultural chaos of 1970s New York, where his playground was the city's subways, parks, rooftops, alleys, museums, zoos, and rivers. Valiant marks the latest addition to Punk Your Chucks extensive roster of licensors and celebrity clients, which currently includes Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Marky Ramone, Black Label Society and more.

"It is an amazing honor to have this opportunity to collaborate with Valiant Comics on many upcoming projects," said MAG. "As an apparel artist, I can't think of a bigger thrill than to be asked to work with such an outstanding organization. It's going to be really cool to hit the fans with some awesome custom and production Valiant merch. Stay tuned!"

Full press release below.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Thought You Were Dead

Review - Damsels in Excess #1

"You might be asking yourself by now, "what am I doing fixing my own wheel, and more importantly--what has happened to all the men?"

The saying goes that "women are from Venus and men are from Mars." The idea is that the differences between the two sexes are so great that they might as well be from different planets. What if one of those planets didn't exist though? How would the remaining sex deal with the sudden exodus? Damsels in Excess #1 from Aspen Comics seeks to find out. The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, penciled and colored by Mirka Andolfo, inked by Simone di Meo and lettered by Josh Reed.

Quentin Tarantino Headlines Dynamite 10th Anniversary SDCC Panel

Dynamite is turning ten this year and their celebrating in pretty big fashion. Not only will they be at SDCC and hosting the Dynamite 10th Anniversary Panel, but that panel will itself be hosted by none other than Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner. The two master storytellers will discuss bringing two Western icons together in Django / Zorro, the official comic book sequel to the blockbuster film Django Unchained, slated for release in November 2014 from Dynamite Entertainment and DC Entertainment. On stage, Tarantino and Wagner will join Reginald Hudlin, the co-editor of the Django / Zorro crossover and a producer of the Django Unchained film; Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment; and Joseph Rybandt, the Senior Editor of Dynamite.

"I'm very, very excited about both this story and the opportunity to work with Matt," says Tarantino. "It was reading his Zorro stories that convinced me what a good idea it was to join these two icons together. The story idea we came up with is thrilling, and I think it will be an exciting new chapter for both characters."

Dynamite Entertainment released a joint announcement with Zorro Production, Inc. and DC Entertainment on June 18th, announcing the Django / Zorro comic book series scheduled for release later this year. Tarantino and Wagner share plot duties on the new series, with Wagner providing final dialogue and Esteve Polls illustrating the work. The Dynamite 10th Anniversary Panel will take place on Sunday, July 27th, from 2:15 PM to 3:15 PM in Room 6BCF. The panel will be moderated by Alan Kistler and is open admission to all ticketed convention attendees.

"We're extremely grateful that San Diego Comic-Con was able to give us such a great time slot for our panel to help cap off the show, and excited that Quentin and Matt will help headline the panel. We cannot wait to interact with our fans, talk about our upcoming projects, and answer questions," says Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci.

Full press release below.

Image Comics Exclusives Available at SDCC

It wouldn't be SDCC if there weren't show exclusives. And Image Comics wouldn't be bringing the goods if they didn't contribute to those exclusives. They've got a ton for purchase at the show. Image Comics and Skybound releases can be purchased at the Image Comics booth (#2729), and Top Cow releases can be purchased at the Top Cow booth (#2629).

Exclusive issues include the following:

Image Comics:
- Low #1, by Rick Remender & Wes Craig, $10
- The Wicked + The Divine #2, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie, $10
- Supreme: Blue Rose #1, by Warren Ellis & Tula Lotay, $10
- Chew: Warrior Chicken Poyo #1 (Foil Cover) by John Layman & Rob Guillory, $10
- Nailbiter #3, by Josh Williamson & Mike Henderson, $10

- Manifest Destiny #8 (Connecting Cover), by Chris Dingess & Matthew Roberts, $10
- The Walking Dead #129 (Connecting Cover), by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard, $10
- Tech Jacket #1 (Foil Cover), by Joe Keatinge & Khary Randolph, $10

Top Cow:
- Aphrodite IX / Cyber Force #1, by Matt Hawkins & Stjepan Sejic, $10

Image Comics:
- Giant Sized Kung Fu Bible Stories, Edited by Erik Larsen & Bruce Timm, $20

Top Cow:
- Aphrodite IX: Rebirt, Vol. 2, $20

Image Comics:
- Dead Class, Vol. 1, by Rick Remender & Wes Craig, $35
- Rocket Girl, Vol. 1, by Amy Reeder & Brandon Montclare, $35

- Invincible Compendium Vol. 2, $100
- Manifest Destiny Vol. 1, $30
- Witch Doctor Vol. 1, $30
- Thief of Thieves Vol. 3, $30

- “I ♥ Comics” M/W S-XL, $20; XXL, $25
- “I ♥ SDCC” M/W S-XL, $20; XXL, $25

Full press release below.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Defense With The BoomStick

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

Year 5. Week 47.

Amarillo was a warzone.

I couldn’t put that any simpler. It was loud, bloody, hot, scary and a bit costly.

Since Wednesday we’ve been heading back to Salt Lake City and should be getting there today. Just going over what went down in that fight in my mind and thinking of how things might have gone differently or we could have done differently. Short of just bombing the entire city and not putting any folks near the city would have prevented any losses.

Image Comics SDCC Signing Schedule

Image Comics is pleased to announce the schedule of exciting creator signings that will take place over the course of San Diego Comic Con, Wednesday, July 23 - Sunday, July 27 at the Image Comics booth (#2729). Some signings will be ticketed, in which case tickets will be given out at the booth as soon as the convention floor opens. Tickets will be available for attendee badges only. There will be a limit of a maximum of 5 items per person for ticketed signings.

Grading services will not be permitted during signings for Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Chris Dingess and Matt Roberts. All books that want to be signed and graded by CGC must be taken to the CGC booth, #901. There will be a fee associated with these signings. Cutoff times for CGC signature submissions are as follows: Sunday, July 27th at 10 AM. for Robert Kirkman, Matt Roberts and Chris Dingess. Cutoff for Charlie Adlard is Thursday, July 24th at 3 PM.

Full press release and signing schedule below.

Review - Substrata: Open World Dark Fantasy

What happens when over 80 creators from the world’s top video game studios join forces to create the ultimate dark fantasy game? Well, you get the trappings of such a game with that much talent. You also get a slew of quality artwork. Substrata: Open World Dark Fantasy is a new art book collecting designs for the heroes, enemies and landscapes of this hypothetical new game world. It's the brainchild of illustrator Paul Richards, who conceived of the project as a way to reunite his fellow artists from Vigil Games, makers of the Darksiders franchise. The culmination of that work is Substrata: Open World Dark Fantasy from UDON Entertainment.

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

Evil Ernie Returns in New Series

It's conceivable that for as long as Bert and Ernie have been living together, that the two of them occasionally get on each other's nerves. That's what roommates do after all. Despite the random tiffs, it's likely that Ernie never goes full-on evil in dealing with Bert, which makes him a lot different than Dynamite's Evil Ernie. That version is a whole different breed of bad and he's getting a brand new ongoing series starting this October, written by Tim and Steve Seeley and illustrated by Rafael Lanhellas. The first issue will feature a wide selection of cover options by Tim Seeley, Jae Lee, Carlos Rafael, Ardian Syaf, Kyle Hotz, Ken Haeser and Andrew Mangum.

"Steve and I first discovered Evil Ernie when the first issue (of the classic 1990s series) came out. We were both teenagers, and our dad was a big horror movie fan, so we were plenty familiar with mayhem and massacre," says Tim Seeley. "But something about seeing this punk teenager trying to take out the entire world really appealed to us. So, when a new Evil Ernie series was available, Steve and I figured it'd be a great time to debut out first brother-on-brother comic book collaboration, as we return Ernie to his anti-hero/slasher movie roots. This is going to be tongue-in-cheek, apocalyptic slasher movie comic book goodness, loaded with everything that two guys spent their teenage years neck deep in: heavy metal, horror, and comics."

In Evil Ernie #1, the teenage psychopath Ernest Fairchild is dead, resigned to Hell where he belongs. But when reality is threatened by an evil even the Devil can't handle, he calls on the only weapon that can prevent total megadeath: Evil Ernie himself. Meanwhile, the genocidal Mistress Hel has found new love... or perhaps the term "loves" would be more appropriate. A tale that follows in the wake of the Chaos! mini-series event yet welcomes new readers with an easy jumping-on point, Evil Ernie proves that the deadliest mass murderer of all time may be the world's only hope.

"Tim knows horror like few other writers in comics today. The Seeley brothers demonstrate their knowledge of and passion for Evil Ernie on each page of the scripts, and I can't wait for fans to read this suspense and horror-filled adventure," says Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci.

Evil Ernie #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' August Previews catalog and slated for release in October. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Evil Ernie with their local comic book retailers. As with sister titles Chastity and Purgatori, Evil Ernie will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories Kicks Down SDCC's Door

If you get Bruce Timm involved in anything, it's pretty much guaranteed to be solid. If you mix in a little Erik Larsen, then you've got sure-fire hit on your hands. And that hit will feature the talents of the two aforementioned creators in Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories, a deluxe limited edition collection featuring the original stories of the world’s greatest cartoonists. This treasury edition format includes seven eye-popping, mind-melting stories from Erik Larsen, Bruce Timm, Adam Warren (Empowered), Tom Scioli, Ryan Ottley, Andy Kuhn and Arthur Adams. A collection years-in-the making, readers won’t want to miss out on this amazing special collector’s issue, an Image Treasury Edition.

"Bruce Timm and I love Treasury Editions! Our goal was to create the greatest Treasury Edition in the history of mankind! To do that—we rounded up an all-star cast of killer cartoonists all committed to doing all-new characters and material worthy of the format!" said co-editor Erik Larsen. "The end result was something awesome to behold!"

Co-editor Bruce Timm gushed enthusiastically after having received his copies in the mail, "Got my box of big-ass funnybooks—y’know, it’s really great—good variety of stories and art styles—and it FEELS good—well worth the money."

A limited number of Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories will be available exclusively at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. It can be purchased at the Image Comics booth (#2729) for $20 each. Full press release below.

Dark Circle Unveils First Wave of Superhero Titles

Archie isn't wasting any time with Dark Circle Comics, their new superhero imprint. In fact, they're getting some pretty awesome talent. Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos team up on The Black Hood, Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig and Wilfredo Torres team up on The Shield and Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid team up on The Fox. All three series will be ongoing and launch early next year. The new titles – overseen by Dark Circle Editor Alex Segura – will serve as ideal jumping on points for new readers – providing unique, literary and cinematic takes on the classic properties in the Dark Circle Comics library that can appeal to new and long-time fans of the characters. The Black Hood #1 will feature a die-cut cover from Gaydos

“Alex and the Dark Circle Comics editorial team have done a masterful job of assembling the best talent around and matching them perfectly with the right characters,” said Archie Comics Publisher/Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “People are going to be hooked from the first page of each of these books, and we’re so excited to finally showcase these amazing titles for the first time. Welcome to Dark Circle Comics, a place where comic fans can expect top-line storytelling, unique characters and a truly cinematic experience.”

“Dark Circle Comics has truly been a labor of love for the company, and it’s supremely exciting to get it out in the open for all to see,” said Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. “Alex has taken a thoughtful and story-based approach that we’re certain will result in critically-acclaimed comics that bring something new to the table. This isn’t about aping DC or Marvel – this is about launching Dark Circle Comics and reinvigorating some of the most classic characters in the business.”

“I’m so proud of the teams we’ve assembled on these books, with the help of the Archie exec team and Editor Paul Kaminski,” said Dark Circle Comics Editor Alex Segura. “It’s really been a dream come true to be able to reach out to some of the most talented people I know and ask them to contribute to this amazing rebranding and publishing initiative.”

A dark crime saga in the vein of Boardwalk Empire and True Detective. A stunning and revisionist new take on the first patriotic hero. An off-the-wall adventure that meshes a DIY indie comix aesthetic with the best of superhero craftsmanship. Dark Circle Comics will present fans with a novelistic and thoughtful approach to superhero comics more akin to cable television shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Justified and Fargo.

“Duane and Michael are concocting a gritty, noir crime thriller that presents the Black Hood as the true urban vigilante he was meant to be. Chuck, Adam and Wilfredo are introducing a new Shield that will stand tall as the latest and best incarnation of the character – and she’s not to be messed with. A true super hero action-adventure that brings to mind the scope and grandeur of some of the best comic books have to offer,” said Segura. “Plus, another dose of THE FOX from Haspiel and Waid, two of comicdom’s mad scientists bringing their absolute A-game to the newly-minted ongoing series. Readers are in for a treat, and I only wish they could see the art and stories come in as quickly as I do. It’s going to be a fun ride.”

Full press release below.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review - Magic: The Gathering 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers

Recently I had a chance to try out the latest incarnation of Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering for Xbox 360, titled Magic: The Gathering 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers. I'm a big Magic fan, although I've only moderately enjoyed the Xbox and PlayStation releases of the game. The problem in designing a Magic game for next generation consoles is in limiting and balancing the ways that Magic is a free-form deck building game such that there is a standardized experience that gamers can sit down and get right into. That is: if Xbox Live hosted Magic online, it would certainly appeal to the hardcore Magic players on there. But I've played Magic online. And people's decks are just SICK. These days deck building seems to be at a sort of different level than it was when I was a kid. You can learn a lot playing Magic on there. You'll also be demolished right quick most of the time.

Review - Black Market #1

"What's a hero, really"

What makes a hero is an oft-debated topics in many comics. Some feel it's superpowers, while others feel it's personality traits such as courage and bravery. Regardless of what exactly it is, there's generally something hard-coded within the individual that gets them feeling sufficiently super. Finding what that is and leveraging it for other uses is an intriguing proposition explored by BOOM! Studios in Black Market #1. The issue is written by Frank J. Barbiere, illustrated by Victor Santos, colored by Adam Metcalfe and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.