Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review - Abigail and the Snowman #1

"Go...away. Just...go away. G'wan. Shoo."

What's the expected reaction to encountering a snowman? If it's winter, you might want to throw some more snow his way. If it's any other season, you might want to help him find the nearest freezer as fast as possible. Regardless, the encounter will likely be memorable, as it is for Abigail in Abigail and the Snowman #1 from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written and illustrated by Roger Langridge and colored by Fred Stressing.

Preview - Boo! Holiday Special #1

Mixing holidays often leads to mixed results. Mixing two such disparate holidays as Halloween and Christmas offers even more mixed results, but that's just what Monkeybrain Comics does in Boo! Holiday Special #1. The issue features the writing talents of Dylan Todd, RJ White, Matt Smigiel, Scott Faulkner, Jordan Witt, Karla Pacheco, Kelly Tindall and Jon Morris and illustrative talents by Morris, Manning Krull, Smigiel, Faulkner, Witt, Sean Poppe and Tindall. It's Halloween in December as the BOO! Regulars reunite to spread tales of holiday horror.

Check out the book in stores now with interiors below.

Valiant Unveils Valiant Next Variant Covers

The difference between "Valiant" and "Variant" is one letter. The difference in the six upcoming Valiant Next variant covers is significantly more, even though each cover looks just as awesome as the next. The reason for that awesomeness is because Valiant paired graphic designer Tom Muller with their artists for an all-star celebration of the initiative. Starting on January 21 with Ivar, Timewalker #1, each Valiant Next cover will boast a special variant cover born from the aforementioned partnership.

"Tom is one of the most talented designers working in the industry today, and his first collaboration as a member of the Valiant Next team is nothing short of an absolute knockout," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. "Each series in the Valiant Next line-up is the product of hard work and vision by some the finest creators working today, and Tom's contributions – combined with the stellar artwork of Paolo Rivera, Mico Suayan, Trevor Hairsine, and Clayton Henry – will ensure that these titles practically leap off the shelf of your local comic shop."

Ivar, Timewalker #1 [OCT148442] pairs Muller with Clayton Henry and The Valiant #2 [OCT148443] pairs Muller with Paolo Rivera and hits stores January 21. Imperium #1 [DEC141704, February 4], Divinity #1 [DEC141709, February 11] and Ninjak #1 [JAN151641, March 11] pairs Muller with Trevor Hairsine. Finally, Bloodshot Reborn #1 pairs Muller with Mico Suayan and hits stores April 15. Supplies of each Valiant Next variant cover will be strictly limited. Contact your local comic book retailer for information on how to pre-order yours today.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review - Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #1

"If I do say so myself, you make most convincing Klingons."

If you find yourself on the U.S.S. Enterprise, then you're in good company. You might know Captain Kirk, maybe Spock. There's a list of others on the ship who would also be good company and you would want those folks if you find yourself stuck on the Planet of the Apes. In Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #1 from IDW Entertainment, those folks are put to the test. The issue is written by Scott Tipton and David Tipton, illustrated by Rachael Stott, colored by Charlie Kirchoff and lettered by Tom B. Lang.

Image Comics Brings Jazz Age Glamour and Gothic Horror in Madame Frankenstein TPB

In 1932, Vincent Krall, an impoverished medical student, sets out to create his perfect woman by reanimating the corpse of the woman he loved but could not possess. But in this dark tale of obsession, Vincent finds that a man cannot master life and death, and a woman is not so easily controlled. All that takes place in Madame Frankenstein from Jamie S. Rich and Megan Levens, a graphic novel debuting in February from Image Comics.

“Though we certainly are hoping readers will root for Gail to get her freedom, the story is more of a tragedy,” Rich said. “There are no heroes in a traditional sense. Rather, it's a tale of several people whose lives are hopelessly entangled, and the bad things this relationship causes.”

Madame Frankenstein began as a drawing in artist Levens’ sketchbook. After she met Rich, the two began trading ideas, and the idea became a fully-fleshed story. Rich is known for his romantic graphic novels, but Madame Frankenstein is far from a love story, as the creators explained. A graphic novel combining the horror of classic gothic fiction with the glittering tragedy of The Great Gatsby, Madame Frankenstein will be in comic book stores on February 25 and in bookstores on March 10. It is available now for pre-order.

“Vincent believes he has a chance to create a woman who is completely within his control, reprogrammed and taught to think and behave how he thinks she should,” added Levens, whose evocative art captures the emotional subtleties of her and Rich’s characters and the story’s mounting dread in striking black-and-white. “As an artist I was very conscious and deliberate about showing, through the characters' expressions and body language when they interact, that their relationship is based on her fear and his desire for control.”

Madame Frankenstein hits comic stores on February 25 (Diamond Comic order code DEC140674) and bookstores (ISBN 978-1-63215-197-1) on March 10. Full press release below.

Valiant Offers First Look at Quantum and Woody Must Die #1

You may be one of the biggest fans in the world of the duo of Quantum and Woody, but even those two heroes will face death at some point. Who knew that Valiant would make such a big deal about it and "celebrate" it with a brand new series in Quantum and Woody Must Die #1. The issue features the talents of James Asmus and Steve Lieber and hits stores January 28, giving readers a chance to jump on with a brand new beginning for the acclaimed series. The issue even features coves by Mike Hawthorne, Johnnie Christmas and Chip Zdarsky.

They came. They saw. They pissed off a whole lotta folks. And now a team of mystery vigilantes has singled out Quantum and Woody for complete and utter destruction. The first target: their minds! But who are all these all-new enemies? Are Quantum and Woody really in couples counseling? And, dear god, what have they done to the Goat? Is this real life? Or an elaborate deception? And just who – or what – is pulling the strings? When the dust settles only one thing will be certain – the world's worst superhero team is dead meat.

Check out the preview images below.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review - Pirouette #1

"It won't come off!"

There's a lot to be said about a family outing to the circus. The sights, the sounds...all of it makes for a rather exciting day. What attendees aren't privy to is the goings-on with the employees of the circus. Sometimes, the interactions are just as ugly some of the circus performers themselves and that ugliness is on full display in Pirouette #1. The issue is written by Mark L. Miller, illustrated by Carlos Granda and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Dark Horse Bids Farewell to Star Wars

Disney's purchase of Lucasfilms a few years ago was pretty shocking to most everyone. Everyone had an idea that Disney had ideas as to what they would do with it, including what would happen to the comics. With Disney also owning Marvel, it was expected that the Star Wars comics would go to Marvel. In the meantime though, Dark Horse still has the rights and for the final days of their ownership, the publisher is offering every single Star Wars comic for $300. For the final five days of 2014, Dark Horse is offering all digital Star Wars comics at 50% off. Or pick up the Farewell MegaBundle that includes every single Star Wars comic published for the ultralow price of only $300—over 28,353 pages of Star Wars goodness!

The Wookiees will be missed and bounty hunters will be sad. But take heart, young Jedi, for in these last few days, you can seal in carbonite the entire Dark Horse Digital library of Star Wars. Get every comic, every panel, and every battle in perfect digital format in your collection. Access via the Cloud City whenever you want. Many of these comics may never be in print again, and this is your chance to get over twenty years of Star Wars comics history at a once-in-a-lifetime price.

This digital sale runs through 11:00 PM (PST), Wednesday, December 31. Get the Star Wars Farewell MegaBundle before it is gone like the Death Star. Please note: all Star Wars comics purchased before 1/1/2015 will remain in your digital collection. The free Dark Horse Digital comics app is now available worldwide through all modern web browsers and features cloud storage in both Google Play and iOS apps.

Full press release below.

Deep State #1 & 2 Go Back to Press

Deep State #1 3rd Print

BOOM! Studios loves a sellout as much as the next publisher, but it's especially sweet when the property's rights were sold as a television drama for 20th Century Fox. In the case of Deep State, the first two issues have sold out and are going back to print to get the issues in the hands of those who missed out. The Justin Jordan/Ariela Kristantina collaboration still has a few first printings floating around out there.

“We’re barely getting started with Deep State and there’s already been an incredible reaction to the series,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “A shadowy government agency, gripping twists, and rich characters like Agents Harrow and Branch combine for a different kind of ‘conspiracy theory’ story. We’re going back to press on these first two issues so new readers have a chance to get in on the ground floor of Justin and Ariela’s fantastic new series!”

In Deep State, John Harrow doesn’t exist, and his job is to make sure that other things don’t exist, too. At any given time, the government is running dozens of black book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Some of these are innocuous. Some of them are monstrous beyond reason. And most of the time, they go as expected and the public is never the wiser. Most of the time. John Harrow’s job is to handle them when things go wrong, and do anything to make sure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret. If you’re interested in conspiracy theory stories from comics like Planetary and Sleeper to films like Enemy of the State and Three Days of the Condor, you’ll be gripped by Deep State!

Deep State #1 third print ships with a new cover by Eric Scott Pfeiffer and carries a retail price of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of NOV148092. Deep State #2 second print ships with a modified cover by series cover artist Matt Taylor and carries a retail price of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of NOV148091. Final orders close for retailers on December 29th. It's anticipated to be in stores on January 21st.

Full press release below.

Friday, December 26, 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. This is my story of survival)

Year 6. Week 18.

When you get the chance to rest and reflect what comes to mind? For me and my comrade in arms it's survival.

It’s been a week now since we got out of that battle and back to Kansas City. Resting up and taking it easy now, as the amount of pain and struggle the past few weeks has been a rough one. Even after a week I'm still banged up all to hell and barely able to walk--let alone run. We're lucky to be alive and that's putting it mildly. Thinking back on that day I'm still amazed the traps worked and the way things worked out for us in general. Because there were a lot of zombies gunning for us and if our buddies didn’t show up when they did I wouldn't be writing this down.

World's Greatest Assassin Pulled Out of Retirement

When you blend homage and comedy, the results sometimes aren't the best. There's enough there in the homage piece to make it recognizable as a tribute, but sometimes it falls short when blending in other aspects. Fortunately for readers, Kyle Starks' Sexcastle doesn't have that shortcoming. In this original graphic novel by Starks, the World’s Greatest Assassin has left the world of killing and moved to a small rural town—only to be pulled back into the field in the original graphic novel from Image Comics debuting on March 18, 2015.

"I was raised on '80s action movies, romanced by the genre: the big action, tough guy dialogue, ridiculous situations and fantastic villains,” said Starks. “I just wanted to make the best possible comic using that language and I'm excited to share it with as many people as I can.”

Sexcastle (ISBN: 978-1-63215-300-5) is an exciting and hilarious action romp in the style of classic '80s action films and in the vein of Grosse Pointe Blank. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code JAN150621 and even has the attention of folks like Matt Fraction.

“Sexcastle is a perfect mix of homage and comedy, action and irony, loving tribute and hilarious send-up of the great, good, and ungodly-bad action movies of the ‘80s. I don’t remember the last time a debut book hit me this hard. Literally, this book punched me in the face. It’s THAT mean.” —Matt Fraction

Full press release below.

Scientific Minds Offer Cern-Spiracy

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Review - The X-Files X-Mas Special #1

"Why would you want to take a dip anywhere, Scully? It's freezing outside."

What do The X-Files and X-Mas have in common? Well, the X is a dead giveaway, but what about the implications of that X? Implications such as crossover. Implications that IDW Entertainment is more than happy to make in The X-Files X-Mas Special #1. "Season 10 Greetings" is written by Joe Harris, illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith, colored by Jordie Bellaire and lettered by Shawn Lee. "Merry Christmas, Comrade!" is written by Karl Kesel, illustrated by Loston Wallace, colored by Matheus Lopes and lettered by Lee.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review - Graveyard Shift #1

"Okay, I know I'm still drunk but...that was weird, right?"

There are three things in life you can count on: death, taxes and vampires. At least, vampires are reliable in the past decade or so, as seemingly everything creative to come out in that time frame offers some variant of the bloodthirsty individuals. There's still the potential for some interesting stories to be told about them and that's what Image Comics is aiming for in Graveyard Shift #1, written by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Fran Bueno and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

Divinity #1 Introduces Readers to Valiant's Most Powerful New Force

Many have mused what if a god was one of us. What would he look like? Would he be religious? Capitalist? Marxist? Maybe even a communist. That's clearly how Valiant envisions him in Divinity #1, a new series debuting in February 2015 by Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine. The issue will also feature covers by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, Tom Muller, Hairsine and Lewis LaRosa.

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union – determined to win the Space Race at any cost – green lit a dangerously advanced mission. They sent a man farther into the cosmos than anyone has gone before or since. Lost in the stars, he encountered something unknown. Something that…changed him. Long thought lost and erased from the history books, he has suddenly returned, crash-landing in the Australian Outback. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity – one who turned the scorched desert into a lush oasis. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. Now the rest of the world’s powers must decide for themselves – will the enigmatic DIVINITY offer his hand in friendship or will Earth’s heroes find themselves helpless against the wrath of the divine?

Debuting in the deluxe Valiant Prestige format, Divinity #1 (of 4) completes complete with matte-laminate card stock covers, custom-designed end sheets, exclusive back matter and much more – all with no advertisements and a standard $3.99 cover price. Contact your local retailer to pre-order your copy today. Full press release below.

Last Call for Humble Dynamite Mega Holidays Bundle

Chances are, your shopping for the holidays may be all set. Still, there may be that one little thing you need to grab for someone at the very last minute. If that someone is a comic book fan, there's still time to get them a ton of comics for cheap, courtesy of Dynamite's 10th Anniversary Grand Finale Humble Bundle. The sale runs today until 2:00 PM EST and is the last chance to get books from the likes of Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, Gail Simone, Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, J. Michael Straczynski, David Mack, Howard Chaykin, Bill Willingham, Sean Phillips, Tim Seeley, Chuck Dixon, Andy Diggle, Duane Swierczynski, Joshua Hale Fialkov and many more fantastic writers and artists.

"This is the last call and we won't be repeating this promotion with these titles in one bundle again, as it's a special promotion for our 10th anniversary," says Dynamite Publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci. "Purchase the bundle to not only help support Dynamite and the creators we work with, but also to support charity. The Humble Dynamite MEGA Bundle is the perfect chance to do something good this Holiday season."

Fans who choose to pay what they want for the Dynamite Bundle will receive 56 comics with a value of over $200 which includes Kevin Smith's Green Hornet #1, Dead Irons #1-4, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1, Devilers #1-2, Hack/Slash/Eva: Monster's Ball #1-4, Doodle Jump #1, Alice Cooper#1, Mark Waid's The Green Hornet #1-3, Howard Chaykin's American Flagg! #1-6, Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword #0-6, Chaos! #2-3, Legenderry #4-5, Pathfinder Vol. 2: Of Tooth and Claw, Dark Shadows: Year One #1-6, Queen Sonja #1-2, The Warriors #1-4 and Ex-Con #1.

Fans who beat the average price will also receive 105 comics total with a combined value of over $380 including Living Corpse Omnibus, Doodle Jump #2-4, Dean Koontz: Frankenstein - Prodigal Son, Curse of the Wendigo, Monster War #1-4, Devilers #3-4, Twilight Zone #1-4, Uncanny #1-2, Alice Cooper #2, Mark Waid's Green Hornet #4-6, Red Sonja Vol. 2 #7-10, Pathfinder Vol. 2: Tooth and Claw, Kirby Genesis #0-8, Shaft #1, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol.2 and Jim Butcher: Dresden War Cry #1-5.

Super fans who support Dynamite's comics and creators by spending $15 or more will receive 143 comics total with a combined value of over $600 and receive all of the above, plus Zorro Vol. 1, The Complete Dracula, The Romita Legacy, The Boys: Definitive Edition Vol. 1 and The Heart of the Beast Graphic Novel 20th Anniversary Edition.

The Humble Dynamite MEGA Holidays Bundle supports Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Make-A-Wish, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund which defends first amendment rights of comic book professionals nationwide. To date, Humble Bundle has raised over 49 million dollars for charities around the world. As with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their purchase dollars are allocated, between the publisher and charity. With the help of the Dynamite promotion and fan support, Humble Bundle was able to give over $100,000.00 to charity during The Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Bundle this past July.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review - The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #1

"If there is one thing the island knows--it's carnage and war."

Fighting and war are seemingly eternal stressors applied to the world. No matter how many peaces are brokered, more conflicts will arise. At some point though, the world on which those battles are waged will wage one of its own to stop the fighting forever. That's the stakes in The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #1 from Zenescope Entertainment. The issue is written by Mark L. Miller, illustrated by Michele Bandini, colored by Grostieta and lettered by Matthew Krotzer.

The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition Has the Power

He-Man has quite possibly the best resume out there. The first (and only) job he's got listed on it is "Master of the Universe," which gives him power. And boy, does he have a lot of power. So much power in fact, that the adventures of he and his cohorts have merited the attention of fans both young and old. Those same fans now get a chance to lavish even more attention on him, as the Dark Horse and Mattel art book The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe will receive a limited edition release in 2015.

Restricted to 4,000 copies, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition comes packaged in a deluxe Castle Grayskull slipcase, with an exclusive foil embossed cover and portfolio print, coming in at just under 400 pages with commentary written by Tim & Steve Seeley. 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, interviews with Dolph Lundgren, Paul Dini, Erika Scheimer and many more.

In 1982, the world was introduced to He-Man and Masters of the Universe. 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 Limited Edition is on sale in comic shops April 15th and April 28th in bookstores. Pre-order your copy today from these retailers:

Full press release below.

Dynamite Takes Familiar Characters to Altered States

Dynamite Entertainment is excited. Granted, they have a lot of things to be excited about. There's one thing in particular though that's really got them amped. That's the announcement of the first wave of its all-new Altered States line where familiar characters from Dynamite's comics will appear in brand-new adventures unlike anything fans have seen before. Vampirella, Red Sonja, The Shadow and Doc Savage will each star in their own story set in a parallel reality in the vein of DC's classic Elseworlds and Marvel's What If! where anything can - and will - happen to them.

"What If? and Elseworld stories have been a part of comics for 40 years," said Dynamite Publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci. "There's always that "Would that be cool" or "what if we had him or her do that" story that doesn't fit in to continuity. Now we can pick some of the best stories and create "Altered States" for our branded characters. These 4 books stand on their own yet will be the foundation for this universe of characters."

Writer Brandon Jerwa teams up with artist Juanan Ramirez for Altered States: Red Sonja, a story about a red headed museum worker in New York City who soon finds herself fighting for survival in a dystopian-inspired Hyborian wasteland. In Altered States: Vampirella, veteran Vampirella scribe Nancy A. Collins and artist Francesco Manna turn the tables on Ella Normandy after she survives a crash landing to become the sole human on a planet full of Vampires. And writer David Avallone pulls double duty in this special event, teaming up with artist Ivan Rodriguez for Altered States: The Shadow and a tale that proves once and more that there are worse things in the world than the evil that lurks within the hearts of men. Then in Altered States: Doc Savage, David and artist Dave Acosta explore what happens when the world's most powerful man is turned into a rampaging beast whose very humanity may be lost forever.

Each Altered States story will unfold in a 32 page full-color comic and feature a cover by Billy Tan, with a new issue planned for release every Wednesday in March. Altered States will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' January Previews catalog and slated for release March 2015. Altered States will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Review - Cogs and Claws

"The Animaloid galaxy. Myriad worlds. Myriad lifeforms."

When animals fight, it makes for an interesting watch on channels like National Geographic. When animals fight in space, it could still make for an interesting watch on National Geographic. That is, assuming the channel can capture the full scope of animals waging war across the galaxy, as they do in Cogs and Claws from Markosia Entertainment. The graphic novel is written by Jimmy Pearson and illustrated by Brian 'Clank' Bennett.

Dark Horse Announces 2015 FCBD Silver Offering

FCBD 2015 promises to bring with it all manner of free books, general jovialness and Bandette making mischief. Well, the last part will be done on behalf of Dark Horse, whose Silver Offering will feature all new stories from Avatar: The Last Airbender (by Gene Luen Yang and Carla Speed McNeil) and Plants vs. Zombies.

Recently passing the 500,000 sales mark and counting, Plants vs. Zombies dishes out a new battle. As he works on a strange new invention, Dr. Edgar Zomboss sends three unique zombies into battle against neighborhood defender Crazy Dave. Will Tugboat, Frogpants and Nigel Blimpbottom be a match against Dave’s niece Patrice, young adventurer Nate Timely, and a plucky pack of backyard plants? Plus Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover’s Eisner Award–winning Bandette returns with a tale of the mischievous cat burglar called “Theft at the Theater!” in which Bandette and her crew target high society to steal an important cultural artifact—and some fun.

This promises to be Dark Horse’s biggest Free Comic Book Day yet, with two free comics, each packed with three separate stories. Dark Horse Comics’s Gold offering was announced last week and will feature Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Eric Powell’s The Goon & Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain. Dark Horse offers up the best of the very best for next year’s Free Comic Book Day, taking place exclusively at your local comic shop on May 2, 2015.

Full press release below.

Nailbiter Crosses Paths with Hack/Slash

What do you get when you mix Joshua Williamson and Tim Seely, with a little Mike Henderson and Emili Laiso mixed in? Aside from a quartet of talent, a fantastic crossover in Nailbiter/Hack/Slash one-shot coming to Image Comics on March 4, 2015. The crossover features two brand new tales of terror by the creative teams of the Image hits Nailbiter and Hack/Slash and Tim Seeley makes his grand return to the character he created to give readers a nasty blast from the past.

“Josh and I share a fascination with B-movie horror and serial killer culture,” said Seeley. “As soon as I read Nailbiter I knew our worlds were gonna collide.”

In Nailbiter/Hack/Slash, the infamous serial killers of Buckaroo, Oregon meet the ultimate serial killer hunter, Cassie Hack. Let the blood-bath begin. In this one-shot it’s Cassie Hack vs. the Nailbiter and Vlad vs. the Lucha Eliminador. IT’S ON!

Williamson added: "Hack/Slash has been one of my favorite books for a long time, and once we started running with Nailbiter, I knew we were playing with some of the same tropes and twisting them. Cassie and The Nailbiter HAD to meet. Doing this flip book with Tim has been a blast. One of the scariest and most messed up scenes we've done in Nailbiter takes place here. Whenever I tell people about it, I can see their skin crawl."

Nailbiter/Hack/Slash (Diamond Code JAN150593) one-shot clocks in at 40 pages and hits shelves on March 4. Full press release below.

Friday, December 19, 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. This is my story of survival)

Year 6. Week 17.

The time has come for our final fight. If we had more time help would arrive, but that's a luxury we're not afforded. No, for us our day has come today. Soon after I finish this entry, fate will decide for the two of us. All the planning, plotting and preparation that has been completed has gives us a chance at making it out of the fight alive.

Right now we're in a small, one-road town waiting for the fight to begin, but also waiting and hoping help will arrive. One of the buildings here had a radio we got working and used it to call in backup from Kansas City. The downside is they are hours away and the fight is gonna go down sooner. A person can only run so far and so long before reaching the point where you know if you go one step further it will end in ruin. We reached that point a day or two ago and decided to fight on our terms in a place of our choosing. With the work we’ve done and traps we’ve set it’s either gonna work like gangbusters or we're going to go down in glory. Too bad if we do go down in glory; there’ll be nobody around to see it but us two.

Review - Holy F*ck #1

"You don't get it, do you? There's only one God. And he's sent his son to save the world!"

The beauty of organized religion is the constant of a deity (or deities) at the top. There's someone you know is there; someone who you can presumably put your faith in without question. When that someone does something that causes you to lose faith, then perhaps it's time to find another faith. Or just try to fix that person like Sister Maria does in Holy F*ck #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written by Nick Marino and illustrated by Daniel Arruda Massa.

BOOM! Studios Unveils Its First '10 Years' Covers to Kick Off a Yearlong Celebration

Burning Fields #1 10 Years Cover

BOOM! Studios has something big planned for 2015. Not just because they're really looking forward to the year, but because the publisher will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. To celebrate that milestone, the publisher will be offering up "10 Years" covers to celebrate. Designed by BOOM! Studios Production Design Manager Scott Newman, each wraparound cover features an exclusive image illustrated by a dedicated artist or artist team—one assigned per imprint (BOOM! Studios, KaBOOM!, Archaia, and BOOM! Box) and per quarter. The cover design also features a short biography of each artist and their signature.

“With 2015 marking 10 years of publishing comics, we wanted to share our excitement with retailers and fans by creating these special covers,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “We’ve enlisted some of the best cover artists in comics to help convey what a special milestone this is for us. We’re kicking things off with Trevor, Joe, Ramón, and Shelli & Braden. And this is just the beginning! We’ll be announcing some more surprises to help us celebrate our 10th year!”

For the first quarter of 2015 (January-March), the artists are:

All launching BOOM! Studios titles: Trevor Hairsine
All launching KaBOOM! titles: Joe Quinones
All launching Archaia titles: Ramón K. Pérez
All launching BOOM! Box titles: Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb

In January, new launching titles to receive the 10 Years cover treatment include:

Burning Fields #1 (BOOM! Studios)
Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1 (KaBOOM!)
Feathers #1 (Archaia)
Munchkin #1 (BOOM! Box)

Retailers will be able to qualify for these incentive covers based on their orders for the main cover of each title. Fans should check with their local retailer on the availability of these special commemorative covers. Full press release below.

Explore Dreamstone Mythology in Five Ghosts: Special #1

Ever wonder what you would do if you saw a ghost? What if you saw five ghosts? If freaking out is the top of your list, then Image Comics might want to go for another reaction to five ghosts. That's why they're set to publish Five Ghosts: Special #1 on March 25, 2015, bringing together Frank J. Barbiere and S.M. Vidaurri on a special Fabian Gray backstory. It's is an oversized issue that also features an all-new story from Barbiere and artist Jamie Jones. This special backup features Fabian Gray in an unforgettable literary heist that readers won’t want to miss.

“I’m very excited to present readers with a deeper look at the mythology of Five Ghosts,” said Barbiere. “We’ve spent a lot of time building this world and it’s an amazing opportunity to see just how far back our story goes. S.M. Vidaurri has graced many of our covers with his wonderful art and it’s truly our honor to have him painting a full length story. S.M is a fantastic talent and has put together a great story that will resonate with Five Ghosts fans old and new.”

Five Ghosts: Special #1 features a full-length story written and painted by Vidaurri that explores the history of The Dreamstone—a magical relic that gives Fabian Gray his ghostly powers—and introduces us to a brave medieval knight named Emma. The story also features demons, wizards, a bold new villain with supernatural powers, and some famous literary figures making surprise appearances. Five Ghosts: Special #1 (Diamond Code JAN150579) hits shelves on March 25.

Full press release below.

Vlad Dracula and Elizabeth Bathory Prepared to Cross Paths

Dracula is a centuries old legend whose reputation is bolstered by his bloodthirst. Blood Queen is a little newer to the fold, portrayed by the historical blood countess Elizabeth Bathory as a tragic figure whose descent into villainy is not without good reason. The two of them have yet to cross paths, but Dynamite is looking to change that with the first-ever confrontation between the two of them in a four-part storyline. Written by Troy Brownfield and illustrated by Kewber Baal, the series will debut with cover images courtesy of artists Jay Anacleto, Fabiano Neves, Ardian Syaf and Lucio Parrillo.

"Having the Blood Queen face off with Dracula seems like the most natural thing in the world," says Troy Brownfield, who introduced the villainous Elizabeth Bathory in Dynamite's 2014 series, The Blood Queen. "Considering that the historical personages that they're based upon come from the same area of the world, and that they've had a strong and occasionally linked profile in pop culture forever, it struck me as a pretty solid place to go. It certainly doesn't hurt that I wrote a Dracula novel, Prince Dracula, for Dynamite last year, either."

In Blood Queen Vs. Dracula, the Prince of Darkness returns from war to face a potential threat in the form of the Blood Queen. Will they become allies, or adversaries? Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: blood will be spilled. "You always want to challenge your characters," says Brownfield. "Is there a bigger challenge for Elizabeth than the Prince of Darkness? I'm really excited at the chance to expand the Blood Queen world, and to do new and different things with Dracula while I'm at it."

Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher, says, "I'm very happy to announce Troy Brownfield's participation in this project. His work on our Prince Dracula novel was such an intimate look at the vampire lord's dark passion and tragic history, and it's that kind of character examination that's going to play so well once our Blood Queen enters the fray. They're similar creatures... which will undoubtedly lead to some bloody conflict. And speaking of the blood that will flow, Kewber Baal is a welcome addition to the creative team, since he spilled so much during his work on our Jennifer Blood title."

Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' January 2015 Previews catalog and slated for release in March. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Blood Queen Vs. Dracula #1 with their local comic book retailers. Blood Queen Vs. Dracula will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

UDON Entertainment Announces Capcom Fighting Tribute Art Initiative

If Capcom knows anything, it's fighting games. The publisher has put out countless iterations of games that have become immensely popular and iconic in the genre. Fans of those games have proven just as devoted to mastering them as Capcom is to making them perfect and now those fans have the chance to show the world their passion and raw talent once again, as UDON today announces the latest entry in their line of tribute art books in Capcom Fighting Tribute. UDON is calling on professional and fan artists around the world to knock our socks off with your best artistic tributes to the iconic characters of beloved Capcom fighting and beat ‘em up series like Street Fighter, Final Fight, Power Stone, Captain Commando, Star Gladiator and Battle Circuit and for the hardcore fans who really know your lore, original Capcom characters like Ruby Heart and Amingo are also fair game.

“The 1990s were a Golden Age that saw the release of many peerless fighting games, and some of the best Capcom artwork also comes from that special time,” said Matt Moylan, UDON’s Managing Editor. “Capcom Fighting Tribute will be an exhaustive homage to the great games and amazing artwork of that era, and with so many featured properties, we expect this to be our biggest and most diverse Tribute project yet!”

The full list of franchises eligible for inclusion in Capcom Fighting Tribute includes Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Rival Schools, Red Earth, Star Gladiator, Power Stone, Cyberbots, Capcom Fighting Evolution, Puzzle Evolution, Puzzle Fighter, Pocket Fighter, Final Fight, Battle Circuit, Captain Commando, Armored Warriors, Knights of the Round, The King of the Dragons, Avengers (Hissatsu no Buraiken) and Capcom original characters Ruby Heart, Son-Son, and Amingo. The best and most unique pieces of art UDON receives will be included in Capcom Fighting Tribute, which will debut with a gorgeous, exclusive 300-page hardcover edition at San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

In the spirit of covering such a diverse range of Capcom characters and series, UDON is looking for just as wide a variety in art submissions. Group shots, single-character images, and crossovers between available properties are just a few of the kinds of tribute art UDON is excited to receive from professionals and fans. All submissions must be received on or after December 17, 2014 and no later than January 31, 2015 to be considered eligible for inclusion in Capcom Fighting Tribute. For full Capcom Fighting Tribute submission details, head to:

Full press release below.

Review - Rumble #1

"What color of darkness that makes blind the eyes of a caring God?"

Heroes come in all shapes sizes, which is something that can also be said of demons. The conflict between the two is often storied and epic, with few instances of either side relenting easily. That might not true when it comes to Bobby in Rumble #1 from Image Comics; a bartended with a brand new weapon and a lot of people after it. The issue is written by John Arcudi, illustrated by James Harren, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Chris Eliopoulos.

New BOOM! Series Burning Fields Delves Beneath Kirkuk

BURNING FIELDS #1 Cover A by Colin Lorimer

Curse has earned all the critical acclaims as it were, giving BOOM! Studios yet another solid book to count among its titles. The team of Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel and Colin Lorimer has put together a solid series that shows good things when the three of them come together. BOOM! Studios realized that as well, grouping them together for a brand new series called Burning Fields.

“Michael, Tim, and Colin are proving to be an unstoppable force of creativity, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them back with another new twist on horror,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “They showed with Curse that they’re capable of delivering razor sharp, character-driven genre stories that are complex and gripping. Just wait until you see what terrors they’re digging up in Burning Fields.”

Dana Atkinson, a dishonorably discharged army investigator, is pulled back to the Middle East when a group of American oil technicians disappear under bizarre circumstances. With the help of an Iraqi investigator, what Dana discovers is unimaginable: a series of unusual incidents at the drill site lead her and her unlikely ally to discover a mythic evil that has been released, one that threatens both the lives of the entire region and the fragile peace that exists.

Burning Fields #1 arrives in comic book shops on January 21st with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code NOV141067. The issue ships with a main cover by series artist Colin Lorimer, a 10 Years variant cover by Trevor Hairsine and a retailer incentive cover by Riley Rossmo. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is December 29th. Full press release below.

Dynamite Entertainment Announces Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro Crossover

The wild, wild west was just that: wild. It was tough on everyone and criminals typically had a free run of the place with very few willing to stand up to them. Things were even tougher for women, so finding any women who had the ability to step up was pretty rare as well. Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro aren't like other women, but they are willing to step up and stop the bad guys. And they get their chance in Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1 from Dynamite Entertainment March 2015. Written by Shannon Eric Denton and featuring interior artwork by Rey Villegas, Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1 features cover artwork by Lady Rawhide co-creator, Mike Mayhew.

Denton says, "Women were a huge part in the settlement of the Old West but are often overlooked in the historical context. With characters like Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro, they don't let you overlook them. They're two powerful characters with equally powerful personalities that tamed what is now Southern California. As a current Los Angeleno, I couldn't be happier to contribute to their mythology and the mythology of this part of California."

In Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1, the two female vigilantes must live up to the legend of Zorro after the inspirational hero is murdered! When brutal slavers descend upon a village and steal away all its adolescent girls, Lady Zorro and Lady Rawhide - who would sooner ride alone than ride together - must put aside their ideological and methodical differences to free the missing girls from a fate worse than death.

Lady Rawhide (along with her alter-ego Anita Santiago) was introduced into the Zorro mythos by writer Don McGregor and Mayhew 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 Lady Rawhide comic series. Lady Zorro is a more recent addition to the Zorro mythos, created in 2012 as a strong supporting cast member of the Zorro Rides Again series by Matt Wagner and John K Snyder III. Seeking vengeance after her husband was murdered by corrupt government officials, Lady Zorro cut a bloody swath across the countryside until the elder swordfighter calmed her rage. The character appeared in a successful 2014 self-titled series by Alex De Campi and Rey Villegas.

Regarding his contribution to the overall Zorro mythos, Denton says, "I'm honored and thrilled. Outside of growing up loving the comics and TV shows, my life has intersected with the character several times. I've lived in places where they filmed Zorro like Cerrillos, NM, and my current home in Los Angeles. I currently live near frequent movie site Vasquez Rocks, which is named after notorious bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, the inspiration for Don Diego de la Vega (Zorro). Zorro roamed what is now Los Angeles, so I'm surrounded by his mythology all the time. Being able to contribute to characters within Zorro's mythology, like Lady Rawhide and Lady Zorro, is incredibly rewarding!"

"The folks here at Dynamite love two-fisted, gun-blazing, whip-cracking action, and that's exactly what Lady Rawhide / Lady Zorro delivers," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher. "With his flair for pulp action, Shannon is a perfect choice to take up the reins on the new miniseries. And there's no one better suited for bringing these two pistoleras together than Rey Villegas, whose supreme skill brought both characters to life in their respective solo series. Buckle up, comic fans - it's going to be a wild ride!"

Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro #1
will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' January 2015 Previews catalog and slated for release in March. Lady Rawhide/Lady Zorro will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital. Full press release below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review - Harbinger: Faith #0

"Los Angeles is beautiful. And everyone is so cool to us, but it's really strange being famous here in the land of fame."

That moment when you get special powers is a pretty powerful moment. How you react to that moment and in the future will define you. You can fight evil with it or commit evil with it. In whichever scenario, there's a very real possibility that new doors will open up for you. Doors like those for Faith in Harbinger: Faith #0 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by Joshua Dysart, illustrated by Robert Gill, colored by Jose Villarrubia and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

"Dead Hand" Comes Alive in March 2015

X-O Manowar has proven an ability to withstand almost any and all comers. Aric of Darcia is a hero for the centuries who has gone up against a wide variety of enemies, most of whom he's defeated in the end. He may meet his match in March in X-O Manowar #34 from Robert Venditti and Diego Bernard. The issue pits him against Dead Hand, the ultimate fail-safe of an extinct alien race. The civilization that built them has fallen...and, now, to combat the doomsday threat that destroyed their world, DEAD HAND will complete the mission that their creators could not. Soulless and brutal, this billion-strong legion is the phantom army of a dead world…and it will cleanse the universe by any means necessary. But what unthinkable menace were they created to destroy? And will DEAD HAND's slow march across the galaxy spell death for countless worlds?

"DEAD HAND is going to take the mythology surrounding the X-O Manowar armor, and the entire Valiant Universe, in a direction not seen before," said writer Robert Venditti. "As formidable as the adversaries in the series have been to date, none of them measure up to this single-minded, doomsday threat. X-O Manowar has made a habit of taking what readers expect and turning it on its head. We've challenged ourselves to do that again."

Born into battle, Aric of Dacia, the fifth century Visigoth now called X-O Manowar, has never known peace. Abducted and enslaved by the savage alien empire known as The Vine, Aric finally escaped his captors after stealing their ultra-powerful X-O Manowar armor and returned to Earth…only to find that more than a thousand years had passed in his absence. Stranded in the modern day, the most primitive man on Earth now wields the most powerful weapon in existence as X-O Manowar – one of the Earth's most formidable new heroes and a member of the international superteam codenamed Unity. Together, X-O Manowar and Unity have wrenched the world back from the chaos wrought by the invasion of the unearthly Armor Hunters…but, in 2015, the fate of all life – human and alien alike – will be thrown into dire peril…

"Last summer, X-O Manowar went up against the Armor Hunters for a full-metal throwdown between Earth and alien life. Well, we won the battle, but that doesn't mean we've won the war," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. "Somewhere out there, something colder, grimmer, and more calculating is about to come online. And it won't concede that war, even in death. An extinct world has saved a nasty treat for the Valiant U – something insanely effective that could only exist in the wake of their failure – a dead hand. Venditti's cooked up a good one, folks."

Full press release below.

Mad Science Returns in The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars

If science isn't weird or mad, then you're not doing it right. What fun is science when it's just about science right? Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra know a thing or two about regaling readers with tales of science gone awry and slightly off-kilter in Manhattan Projects, a universe they're happy to return to in The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #1, hitting stores March 11, 2015.

"Nick and I are really excited about the new format," noted co-creator Hickman. "We're looking forward to telling stories that have a tighter scope because then we believe we can really open it up. Do some really big stuff."

"I just want to draw Russian dogs fighting aliens," said co-creator Pitarra. "And if I can throw in a few opposable thumbs as well, fantastic!"

In The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #1, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is lost in space—and only now does he find his true calling. With all new stories told in a brand-new format, the greatest feel good, bad science book in the long history of man returns in The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond the Stars #1. The book is available under Diamond Code JAN150586. Full press release below.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review - Rocket Salvage #1

"I always knew I was destined for greatness, Dr. Utzman. This ain't luck. It's pure skill."

Life as a space racer is all glitz and glamour when you're winning. When you're not winning, things get a little less exciting for the loser. Life goes on regardless and things have to be done to live that life, including running something like a salvage yard. In Rocket Salvage #1 from Archaia, that's just what Primo Rocket is forced to endure. The issue is written by Yehudi Mercado, illustrated by Bachan, colored by Jeremy Lawson and lettered by Deron Bennett.

Marceline and Princess Bubblegum Shake Up Friendship

AT: Marceline Gone Adrift #1 Cover A

Friends fight. It happens. They move on. It's rare though that the friends represent royalty and music, as are Marceline and Princess Bubblegum from the Land of Ooo. In Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1, writer Meredith Gran and artist Carey Pietsch bring readers an all-new story featuring everyone’s favorite BFFs, Marceline the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum.

“Meredith wowed us with Scream Queens, and we’re very excited to have her back for this new miniseries,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “She and Carey are the perfect team to show off one of Adventure Time’s most popular friendships. We’re journeying outside of Ooo for this one, so get ready to see what kind of trouble Marcy and PB can get into on a different planet!”

Marceline is on a rampage for mysterious reasons, and the kingdom of Ooo is desperately scrambling to stop her. In trying to save both Ooo and Marceline herself, Princess Bubblegum accidentally propels Marceline into the farthest reaches of space...and strips her of her powers! Guilt-ridden, Princess Bubblegum sets off on a space rescue that’ll test the power of her well as the power of friendship.

Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1 arrives in comic shops on January 14th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code NOV141125. The issue ships with main covers by Reimena Yee and Mychal Amann, a retailer incentive cover by Britt Wilson, and a special BOOM! 10 Year Anniversary retailer incentive cover by Joe Quinones. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is December 15th.

Full press release below.

Archie Comics Relaunches Series With Archie #1

Archie Comics is known for some of its characters, many of whom have what you would call "longevity." Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Josey and the Pussycats and Sabrina the Teenage Witch are all pretty recognizable and offer a lesson in maintaining relevance. Still, characters with such extensive backgrounds bring with them equally as extensive baggage so to speak, so it's a good thing every now and then to hit the reset button. Archie Comics is doing just that in a big way, as Archie #1 will boast the talents of Mark Waid and Fiona Staples when it launches next year.

“The Archie characters aren’t in need of a tune-up, ‘shocking change,’ or revision. These characters have stood the test of time and resonate to this day – we’ve proven that over the last six years,” said Archie Comics Publisher/CEO Jon Goldwater. “What ARCHIE #1 will do, though, is bring together two of the most talented creators in comics in Mark Waid and Fiona Staples and create a surprising and definitive take on Archie’s origin – a story that has never been. The book will bring back some of the bite of Archie’s original tales in a modern, forward-looking manner, while still retaining the character’s all-ages appeal. What better way to celebrate 75 years of Archie Andrews?”

Waid, no stranger to major comic book storylines – having penned DC’s Kingdom Come, often cited as one of the best comic series in history among many sterling credits – will bring his knack for reinvigorating long-running properties to create a comic that not only presents Archie and his friends squarely in the present, but also turns up the humor. The story will get its visual personality from the unique direction and presentation of Staples, the artist on the perennial bestseller and critical darling comic series Saga.

The groundbreaking relaunch kicks off a bold and multi-platform celebration of 75 years of Archie starting in the latter half of 2015 and rolling through the anniversary year of 2016. The “Archie 75” celebration will start with Riverdale a one-hour drama written by Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa based on the iconic Archie comic book characters will debut on Fox, produced in tandem with Warner Brothers Studios and studio-based Berlanti Productions. Set in the present, the series offers a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, exploring the surreality of small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. Marc Eckō has signed on to design an exclusive line of Archie themed apparel for men, from teens to adults, under the Unlable.ME brand. And finally, a robust and diverse publishing initiative is gearing up that will feature 75th anniversary-themed periodical, graphic novel, digital and specialty product geared toward new and longtime fans. Editorially, fans can expect to see a targeted digest program retaining the “classic” Archie look and style and the expansion of the world being built in the new Archie series via additional ongoing titles.

Full press release below.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review - Herald Lovecraft and Tesla #1

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

Ever wonder if Tesla met Lovecraft what the result would be? Would the two hit it off instantly? Would they find disagreement in their differing views on life? Would they team up to save the life of Amelia Earhart? Only Herald Lovecraft and Tesla #1 from Action Lab Entertainment has the answer! The issue is written by John Reilly, penciled by Tom Rogers and inked/colored/lettered by Dexter Weeks.

Preview - The Gifted

A lone wolf, starved and broken, hunts for food amid Earth’s barren landscape. Drawn to an industrial plant at the fringe of a city, the wolf discovers a chance. But humans protect what they believe they own. Wounded and dying, the wolf seeks shelter. What he finds, ho1wever, proves far more powerful: the gift of consciousness. Discovering that he is not alone, the wolf leads his fellow animals in a violent uprising against humanity, fighting to bring color back to the world.

If any or all of that sounds appealing, then you like to check it out. It's written by Damian A. Wassel and illustrated by Nathan C. Gooden. The Gifted is in stores now with interiors below.

Dark Circle Comics Joins Free Comic Book Day

It's certainly not a Free Comic Book Day until you've got smaller publishers jumping into the fray. Dark Circle Comics is just that and they've offered to throw their hat in the ring with their own free comic book offering in FCBD Dark Circle Comics. The work features the writing talents of Duane Swierczynski, Mark Waid, Dean Haspiel, Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig and more, artistic talents of Michael Gaydos, Dean Haspiel, David Williams, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick, John Workman, Jose Villarubia and a cover by Francesco Francavilla.

Get in on the ground floor of Dark Circle Comics and experience the cinematic and creator-driven reinventions of these iconic properties. Who is the new Shield? How did the Black Hood come to be? Can things get more unpredictable for The Fox? Learn the secrets of the Dark Circle universe from the creators themselves via sneak peeks at the new series, creator interviews and a first glance at the next Dark Circle series.

Full press release below.

Friday, December 12, 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. This is my story of survival)

Year 6. Week 16.

Southeast Missouri is a vast space of nothingness. That's forced us to keep running without stopping for almost two days straight and caused me to make this entry later than normal. All last week we ran from the horde of zombies hot on our tails. No matter what traps we lay or how many we thin from their ranks, more appear to join their band hunting us down. Only now are we holed up in an abandoned barn, trying to rest and regain some strength before heading out again in a couple of hours.

It’s amazing the amount of ground you can cover when you barely stop to rest. The fact that we are in Missouri already is amazing in itself. If we could find a working radio, a lot of our problems would be solved as we could get a hold of the outpost in Kansas City and get some assistance. The ones we do come across are dead or non-functioning for what we need or just plain junk. About a week ago we did manage to get a car running and that allowed us the lead we have on our pursuit we are currently enjoying.

Review - Eternal #1

"Destructive behavior remains destructive behavior, even if there are no permanent consequences."

If you were immortal, what would you do? Try to experience everything possible? Or try to find a way to end it? Maybe you would use it for nefarious purposes, like crime. Or maybe you would use it for good, like helping others. Your decision and how it affects you (and others) is all the rage in Eternal #1 from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written by William Harms, illustrated by Giovanni Valleta, colored by Adam Metcalfe and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Dark Horse Announces 2015 Free Comic Book Day Gold Offerings

What's better than free comic books? Visiting a comic book store and offering up your hard-earned cash for some books that include the hard-work of creators. Dark Horse Comics is a pretty big part of Free Comic Book Day and on May 2, 2015, the publisher will offer three heavy-hitters as part of their Gold offering. Those will include Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart, a new tragedy in The Goon from Eric Powell and a new chapter in The Strain from Guillermo del Toro.

Acclaimed novelist Chuck Palahniuk continues one of his most beloved works with Fight Club 2, only in comics. This special FCBD short story revisits the final moments of the groundbreaking novel and is a great precursor to the new series launching in May. Eric Powell takes the Goon and Franky on an unexpected detour and The Strain examines one of the Master’s most terrifying allies with writer David Lapham and artist Mike Huddleston at the helm.

2015 promises to be Dark Horse’s biggest FCBD event yet, with not one, but two free comics, each packed full with three separate stories. Stay tuned for more details on the Free Comic Book Day: Silver Edition next week.

Full press release below.

Rat Quens Welcomes New Artist

Rat Queens is going through something of a transformation. The comic is going to continue, but it will do so with a new artist at the helm. Starting with Rat Queens #9 on February 25, Stjepan Sejic will start illustrating the book alongside Kurtis. J. Wiebe. Not only that, but Rat Queens Special: Braga #1 will boast art by Tess Fowler when it hits stores January 14.

"Having admired Stjepan's work at Top Cow for some time now I'm extremely excited about his coming on board to Rat Queens,” said Jim Valentino, Vice President of Image Comics. “He will usher in an exciting new era for one of our most popular titles."

"I'm excited to have Stjepan bring the Rat Queens to life in his distinctive style, a voice that understands both the heart and the humor of Hannah, Dee, Betty and Violet," added Wiebe. "The future of the series is brighter than ever and we're looking forward to getting new issues out to fans."

Rat Queens Special: Braga #1 hits shelves on January 14 and can be ordered with Diamond Code NOV140673. Rat Queens #9 will hit shelves on February 25 and can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code JUL140569. Full press release below.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review - Bitch Planet #1

"You will live out your lives in penitence and service here...may the mother have mercy on your souls."

Prison was designed as a deterrent. Unfortunately, it's become more of an extended stay for most, housing all manner of criminal (guilty or not) as a means of rehabilitating them for a return to society. Part of the prison routine is just that, a routine imposed by the guards. In Bitch Planet #1 from Image Comics, that routine is referred to as compliance and the prisoners are women. The issue is written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro, colored by Chris Peter and lettered by Clayton Cowles.

Humble Bundle and Dynamite Comics Re-Team for Holiday's Biggest Comics Bundle

If there's anything that the Humble Bundles know, it's offering a slew of great media for a good price that goes to a great cause. And seeing as how Dynamite Entertainment is celebrating it's tenth anniversary, it only makes sense that the publisher team up with the Humble Bundle for a second time this year. This time, they'll be pulling out all the stops with top tier titles such as Bob's Burgers, The Twilight Zone and the Django/Zorro crossover, co-authored by Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner. In addition, this bundle boasts works by some of the industry's biggest superstars including Mark Waid, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, Gail Simone, Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, J. Michael Straczynski, David Mack, Howard Chaykin, Bill Willingham, Sean Phillips, Tim Seeley, Chuck Dixon, Andy Diggle, Duane Swierczynski, Joshua Hale Fialkov and many more fantastic writers and artists.

"Humble Bundle allows us a venue to reward our existing fans, and also an entry level to bring in new readers," said Dynamite Publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci. "We were truly humbled by the response to our first partnership earlier this year and really wanted to bring the biggest bundle possible for the grand finale of our 10th Anniversary celebration! We've now exceed the number of issues of our first bundle to over 3,500 pages of comics to read and enjoy from Dynamite's best-selling and award-winning creators. giving fans a lot of books to read over the holidays. This is the perfect gift to give to oneself during the holidays while also supporting several great causes."

Fans who choose to pay what they want for the Dynamite Bundle will receive 56 comics with a value of over $200 which includes Kevin Smith's Green Hornet #1, Dead Irons #1-4, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1, Devilers #1-2, Hack/Slash/Eva: Monster's Ball #1-4, Doodle Jump #1, Alice Cooper #1, Mark Waid's The Green Hornet #1-3, Howard Chaykin's American Flagg! #1-6, Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword #0-6, Chaos! #2-3, Legenderry #4-5, Pathfinder Vol. 2: Of Tooth and Claw, Dark Shadows: Year One #1-6, Queen Sonja #1-2, The Warriors #1-4 and Ex-Con #1.

Fans who beat the average price will also receive 105 comics total with a combined value of over $380 including Living Corpse Omnibus, Doodle Jump #2, Dean Koontz: Frankenstein - Prodigal Son, Curse of the Wendigo, Monster War #1-4, Devilers #3-4, Twilight Zone #1-4, Uncanny #1, Alice Cooper #2, Mark Waid's Green Hornet #4-6, Red Sonja Vol. 2, Pathfinder Vol. 2: Tooth and Claw, Kirby Genesis #0-8, Shaft #1 and Jim Butcher: Dresden War Cry #1-3. Super fans who support Dynamite's comics and creators by spending $15 or more will receive 143 comics total with a combined value of over $600 will receive all of the above, PLUS Zorro Vol. 1, The Complete Dracula, The Romita Legacy, The Boys: Definitive Edition Vol. 1 and The Heart of the Beast Graphic Novel 20th Anniversary Edition. Customers who buy the bundle will receive the first three issues of Bob's Burgers and can share the first issue with a friend, by utilizing Dynamite's gifting promotion. Those who refer this bundle to a friend will be rewarded with a copy of the first issue of the Django/Zorro crossover.

Additionally, every day at 2:00pm EST throughout the promotion, a digital comic book will be made available as a free download to fans, kicking off with a free digital copy of Red Sonja #7 written by Gail Simone. And as with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their purchase dollars are allocated, between the publisher and charity. The Humble Dynamite MEGA Holidays Bundle supports Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Make-A-Wish, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund which defends first amendment rights of comic book professionals nationwide. The Humble Dynamite MEGA Holidays Bundle runs for two weeks and ends Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 11 AM Pacific time.

Full press release below.

Lion Forge Comics Partners with IDW Publishing for Miami Vice Revamp

Mixing new school with old, comics publisher Lion Forge Comics has partnered with IDW Publishing to bring the classic TV series Miami Vice to print with Miami Vice Remix this February. The work pairs writer Joe Casey with illustrator Jim Mahfood in a comic that follows the Metro-Dade Police Department detectives Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs through modern-day Miami as they go undercover facing dangerous encounters with voodoo, zombies and Crockett’s mysterious past. Miami Vice Remix is the latest Lion Forge title crossing over from digital to hard copy through IDW. The comic joins licensed and celebrity titles Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier and Saved By the Bell.

“Working with Jim is always a trip and taking on ‘80s TV icons like Crockett and Tubbs was too good to pass up,” said Casey, Miami Vice Remix co-creator and writer. “Whether you're familiar with ‘Miami Vice’ or not, this book will burn a hole in your brain.”

“Comics should be for everyone, regardless of how fans prefer to access and consume content,” said David Steward II, Lion Forge CEO. “With IDW’s innovative spirit, Lion Forge will reach more readers and bring new life to classic properties like ‘Miami Vice’.’”

“IDW is pleased to help re-imagine one of the most timeless TV shows of our generation,” said Greg Goldstein, IDW Publishing president. “The vibrant artistry and high-quality story telling in Miami Vice Remix is sure to bring readers all the energy and style from the original series.”

Miami Vice Remix #1 (Diamond code JAN150433) will be available at your local comic book stores February 2015. Full press release below.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I’ve never been a really hardcore Masters of the Universe fan. I mean, I remember it somewhat fondly from childhood as the toyline that did sort of usher in that 80’s era of toys and cartoon shows and franchising that I loved. I’ve heard of this time referred to as dreary, although I really never felt this way. Still, it’s never been something I spent tons of time looking back on and remembering every episode of He-Man there was or whatever. These days the relaunch/reboot has become an art form and I can appreciate anything that is kind of brought back from the dead as long as it’s done well.

Review - The Valiant #1

"You have no choice. This is the way of things."

Being immortal is a gift and a curse. Sure, you get to live forever and see all sorts of things. You also have to live with yourself and your actions, realizing that the consequences of some actions have longer to linger. For The Eternal Warrior, things have historically been a little rough, but in The Valiant #1 from Valiant Entertainment, there's a slight glimmer that things will improve. The issue is written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt and illustrated by Paolo Rivera.

Drifter #3 Boasts Cover to Covet

Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein are on to something with their new science-fiction series Drifter. The tale sketches the tale of an abandoned, lawless town in a strange and alien landscape. And now the third issue of this hit new series will have a sinister variant cover by Marko Djurdjević, ready to pass judgment on those who have yet to make the jump.

“Marko is one of the best cover artists in Comics today,” said Klein. “His version of the Priest embodies everything I love about the character, I love the design elements but the super creepy puritan eyes looking down at us sells the piece.”

In Drifter #3, Abram Pollux heads deep below the surface while on his quest for revenge. There he discovers that humans are not the dominant life form on Ouro. Drifter #3 will be available on January 21. Cover A by Klein can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code NOV140649. Cover B by Djurdjević can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code NOV140650. Drifter #1, second printing is still available with Diamond Code OCT148057. Drifter #2 Cover A by Klein will be available on December 17 with Diamond Code OCT140736, Cover B by Cloonan will be available with Diamond Code OCT140737.

Full press release below.

Ninjak Recruits Eisner Talent for Expansion

Ninjak #1 is the first issue of the upcoming Valiant Next series. It's already got the talents of Matt Kindt and Clay Mann, but now the book is getting another infusion of talent in Butch Guice. Guice will join the ongoing creative team for a new, monthly second feature spotlighting the never-before-revealed origin of the world's most dangerous intelligence operative. And where is this additional story going? Well, Valiant will be expanding the page count of each issue, beginning with March's Ninjak #1, to a colossal 40 pages per issue – all for the standard price of $3.99.

"Matt Kindt is one of the sharpest writers anywhere today, and he's crafted an intricate, intelligent, and action-packed debut for the series that fans have been demanding since Ninjak first stepped onto the scene in X-O Manowar #5," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. "Combine that with two of the most talented artists in comics today – Clay Mann and Butch Guice – and you have a book that's going to defy everything you thought you knew about Valiant's number one ninja super-spy. Over the course of the first few issues, you'll see these two time periods – Ninjak's training and origin, and his first solo adventure in the modern day – inform each other and, eventually, interact and overlap. It's an ambitious series – and we're excited to give it the space it needs to deliver at 40 pages monthly."

Then: Meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler. Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s hunting the Shadow Seven – a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.

"Ninjak is an incredibly important character within the Valiant Universe, and his first monthly series is going to be a major cornerstone of our plans for the future," added Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "With a team like Matt, Clay, and Butch at the helm and an expanded page count in each and every issue, we can guarantee that this is a series that no fan of the comics medium – new or old – will want to miss. The VALIANT NEXT initiative was forged around the belief that our greatest stories have yet to be told, and NINJAK embodies that mission statement in every regard. This is a series that is pushing the boundaries of what you have seen before."

Ninjak #1 hits stores March 11 with covrs by Lewis LaRosa, Mann, Johnson and Marguerite Sauvage. Full press release below.