Monday, June 30, 2014

Review - Splinter Cell: Echoes #1

"The world is small, nasty and complicated. Everyone dies alone."

Protecting the free world requires people willing to sacrifice just about everything to keep the world safe. There are few individuals though who are so talented and skilled in that profession that their reputation exceeds that of myth. Sam Fisher is one of those individuals and his talents are on display in Splinter Cell: Echoes #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. The issue is written by Nathan Edmondson, illustrated by Marc Laming (additional inks by Dave Stokes, Michel Lacombe and Salgood Sam) and colored by Ian Herring.

Tickets on Sale for Baltimore Comic-Con 2014

Baltimore Comic-Con gets bigger and bigger every year. It's so big that this year, it's adding Friday to the weekend of events! The event takes place September 5-7 at the Baltimore Convention Center in downtown Baltimore and tickets are now available.

"This is such an exciting year for us, adding Friday to the weekend," said Marc Nathan, show promoter for the Baltimore Comic-Con. "We know our fans have been anxiously awaiting ticket availability to buy for themselves, family members, friends, students, award winners, and any number of other scenarios we've heard about, and we genuinely appreciate everyone's patience. This is going to be our biggest year ever with a third day and an even larger space in the Baltimore Convention Center, and we're thrilled to have everyone to experience it with us!"

Weekend tickets are $55, Friday and Sunday are $25 and Saturday is $30. Children 10 and under are free and VIP packages are available now. Check out tickets here.

Full press release below.

Steed and Peel Are Needed

Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed #1 Cover A

BOOM! Studios have an in with a certain crime-fighting duo have been under wraps for a while. That is, they're under wraps until they're needed and it seems that in Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed, well, they're needed. Ian Edginton and Marco Cosentino will team up to bring two, three-issue story arcs featuring John Steed and Emma Peel.

“Bringing back STEED AND MRS. PEEL with Ian Edginton and Marco Cosentino has been a project we’ve really been looking forward to,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Ian’s voice for the characters is dead-on and Marco brings the spy-fi style in spades. You can tell they’re having fun, and it translates to the page.”

When an old associate of John Steed is killed, a grand conspiracy is suspected. This leads Steed and Peel to a strange village and an unexpected imprisonment for one of the spies. In the second story arc, Steed and Peel investigate a mysterious menace inside a prison. Prisoners are being mind-controlled by an unseen force and it’s up to Steed and Peel to discover how and what for.

Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed #1 arrives in comic shops on July 23rd with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code MAY141140. The main cover is illustrated by Stacey Lee and the retailer incentive cover will be available in a limited quantity by Babs Tarr. Full press release.

Friday, June 27, 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 44.

Salt Lake City was a dead zone.

There was no sort of life anywhere on those streets; zombies, other survivors, animals--hell, not even birds were flying through. It was the eeriest place I've been in. The path through the city took what felt like forever because of the worry an ambush would be around any corner or when venturing into that next building. The whole situation was putting us all in a heightened edge of nervousness and tension that had us jumping at shadows.

Sure, we found signs of people who might have lived here and remnants of battles long since past. We also found some supplies and material we can use to help reinforce a base we are creating here, as we need a new outpost for trade and survivors to pass through as they head west or east. I have to say this outpost we have here is one of the most secure there could be, as it's the old NSA server facility from back before the zombie outbreak. This is where all the data they combed and stored was kept and I have to say the buildings they have above ground pale in comparison to the amount of real estate underground.

Review - Super Secret Crisis War #1

"Hey Buttercup! There's a villainous horde on the way! Toss me some more heroes!"

Behind every great hero is a great villain. More often than not, that villain is soundly defeated at the hands of the hero and time marches on. Sometimes though, that villain gets the idea to team up with other villains against multiple heroes. It's in those moments that things sometimes seem a little bleak for the heroes. It's also those moments that generate massive crossovers in comic universes, such as Super Secret Crisis War #1 from IDW. The book is written by Louise Simonson, illustrated by Derek Charm and lettered by Tom B. Long.

Sin City Meets Up With Hong Kong

Make a little more room on that shelf of collectibles you've got going on, as Sin City fans will definitely be interested in a brand new collaboration between Frank Miller and Eric So. Enter Marv, a vinyl figurine of Sin City's beloved brute. While Marv is depicted in his customary trench coat, he has been transformed through So’s unique approach to angles and features. Still, the influence of Miller’s signature style shines through.

“Besides the figure itself, the packaqe is innovative and fun” noted Dark Horse vice president of product development, David Scroggy. “Eric has come up with a gray translucent plastic blister that is the flat front of the box. The Marv figure inside is visible in silhouette. The outer surface is over-printed in white, creating the illusion of a shadowy Marv walking in the snow. This was inspired by Miller’s classic Silent Night story. It is a striking package design.”

This beautiful thirteen-inch piece will be produced in a limited run of 950 and will arrive just in time for the release of Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Mark your calendars for September 10, when this figure goes on sale for $150. Each figure is individually hand painted and comes with a pack of band-aid stickers, which collectors may affix to Marv as they like. Also included is a certificate of authenticity, signed by both Miller and So.

Full press release below.

Supreme: Blue Rose Offers New Take on Old Superheroes

Warren Ellis is getting back in that comic book groove. It's not as if he ever went anywhere, but Trees is definitely an interesting book showcasing his talents. Now, he's teaming up with Tula Lotay on Supreme: Blue Rose #1 to reintroduce the central Image Comics characters Supreme. Ellis resurrects the Supreme universe beginning with an ethereal dream sequence that warns the unemployed investigative journalist, Diana Dane, to beware of Darius Dax and ending with a proposition for adventure and intrigue from Supreme himself, “Have you heard of a blue rose, Ms. Dane? Blue roses do not occur in nature. My practice tends to specialise in blue rose cases.”

“As an emerging artist the opportunity of collaborating with Warren on his latest story has been a dream come true,” said Lotay. “Supreme: Blue Rose came about through conversations with Warren regarding a different story that didn't happen. Warren thought my style, which is quite free and loose, would fit the story he wanted to tell and that creative freedom really appealed to me. Indeed, throughout the creative process if Warren thought I was trying to create panels that had a more 'finished' feel he would say 'you're not drawing for yourself, you have to relax and enjoy it'—some of the best advice I've ever had which has also informed my approach to other work.”

“Supreme really appealed to me in that it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours," said Lotay. "I've never spoken to Warren about this, but it's a story with very strong female characters, the women shine through and that's a pretty rare thing to see in sci-fi. I think it's far from your typical superhero story, a million miles from the originalSupreme. It's definitely strange, it's a sci-fi mystery with a Lynchian edge. I've fallen in love with these characters and I hope the people picking this series up can get into the strange world we've created.”

Supreme: Blue Rose #1 arrives in stores on July 23 and will be available for $2.99. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAY140571. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is June 30. Full press release below.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review - The Amazing World of Gumball #1

"I'm gonna be so listless that I blend into the couch itself."

As a student in school, the best day of the year was the last day. That was the day when you realized you had the entire summer ahead of you to get into all manner of trouble and hijinks. Certain books remember those days more fondly than others and The Amazing World of Gumball #1 from KaBOOM! Studios is one such book. The issue is written by Frank Gibson and illustrated and lettered by Tyson Hesse.

Paul Jenkins Launches Fiction Squad Kickstarter

Fiction Squad

Whether you want to believe it or not, there's some truth to the notion that virtually every children's story is a crime scene in some way, shape or form. Obviously, there is still some inherent value in those fairy tales in terms of the morality they espouse, but that lesson typically comes at something of a cost. Paul Jenkins explored that notion a bit in Fablewood and now he's further expanding upon it in Fiction Squad, which is getting off the ground via Kickstarter. And it's teaming him up with artist Ramon Bachs.

“As I’ve said in the previous Kickstarter for FAIRY QUEST: OUTCASTS, the world that Red and Woof are in is so much bigger, and I’m so excited to show off the rest of Fablewood to everyone,” said Jenkins. “In FICTION SQUAD, we’re switching gears a bit and getting into a hard-boiled detective story that involves everyone’s favorite childhood nursery rhymes. Ramon Bachs is an incredibly talented artist who I worked with on Civil War: Front Line and I’m so grateful to be working with him again. Most of all, though, I’m thankful for the support of all the fans who back us, because it simply couldn’t happen without them. Many thanks to all of you, and here’s to a new campaign!”

Fiction Squad takes place in the world of Fairy Quest, the Fablewood-set story about Red and Woof as they fight against the system in order to remain best friends. But Fablewood is a giant place—there are thousands of people, and, much like everyday life, each one has their own story. Fiction Squad posits that every nursery rhyme you know is actually the result of a crime. The City of Rimes is controlled by two mafia families, the Queens of the Card Crime Syndicate and the Wicked Witches of the East and West Side. It’s up to failed detective Frankie Mack and his partner, Simple Simon, to prevent a full-scale war from breaking out after Humpty Dumpty and the Wicked Witch of the East both meet untimely demises under suspicious circumstances.

If successfully funded, Fiction Squad will be released as a six-issue limited series featuring covers exclusive to Kickstarter backers, followed by a collected hardcover available only through the campaign. Full press release below.

Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Collection Helps

Humble Bundles are great ways to get a slew of great games or books for dirt cheap. Not only does it afford users the chance to check out things they previously likely wouldn't have, it also tends to benefit some great causes. To that end, Dynamite Entertainment launches its first ever Humble Bundle promotion which will allow fans to purchase over 100 digital comics books and graphic novels (the largest Humble Bumble comics collection in history) at a cost of each person's choosing, granting existing and new fans significant purchasing power. And in keeping with the tradition of promotions hosted and arranged by Humble Bundle, Dynamite will contribute a portion of the proceeds to three important charitable organizations: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"Marking our tenth year of publishing, 2014 has been very special to everyone here at Dynamite, as we reflect back on all our hard efforts, and look forward to the accomplishments and new heights to come," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "Our Humble Bundle promotion runs through July, leading up to our anniversary month, as a way to celebrate and reward current fans (and entirely new fans) with accessible, entertaining digital comics at an incredible price. With the wide attention that Humble Bundle generates, we hope to reach outside our market to attain new readers of both digital and printed comics, helping our overall industry to grow."

The titles included in the Humble Bundle include:

Amanda Hocking's The Hollows: A Hollowland Graphic Novel (Multiple Issues)
Chaos #1
Cryptozoic Man (Multiple Issues)
The Mocking Dead Vol. 1 (Multiple Issues)
My Little Phony: A Brony Adventure
Project Superpowers Vol. 1 (Multiple Issues)
Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1: The Trial of Sherlock Holmes (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Masters Series Vol. 1: Grant Morrison & Mark Millar (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Masters Series Vol. 2: Warren Ellis (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Vs. Fluffy

Additionally, the Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Bundle will offer the following selection of comics and graphic novels to those consumers who "beat the average" of buyer-determined pricing.

• George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards: The Hard Call (Multiple Issues)
• Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: War Cry #1
• Kevin Smith's Green Hornet Vol. 1 (Multiple Issues)
• Kevin Smith's Green Hornet Vol. 2 (Multiple Issues)
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure (Multiple Issues)
Pathfinder Vol. 1: Dark Waters Rising (Multiple Issues)
Red Sonja Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Masters Series Vol. 4: Alan Moore (Multiple Issues)

As a final incentive for fans to buy into the program, the Humble Bundle offers two highly desirable items, The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time (the latter of which includes over 35 issues), only available to those buyers who exceed a fixed pricing threshold. With over ONE THOUSAND pages of gorgeous full-color artwork between them, these two epic titles make fantastic additions to any readers' digital library.

The Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Bundle event begins Wednesday, June 25th, at 2:00 PM EST and runs through Wednesday, July 9th, at 1:59 PM. Every day at 2:00 PM 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 #1. As the Humble Bundle event proceeds, additional titles will be added and customers will be notified of the updates. The additional titles will be unveiled at a later date.

Regarding the partners in the program, Barrucci adds, "I applaud Humble Bundle for their innovative collection program, and am proud that Dynamite is one of the premiere comic publishers to participate in their program. Also, thanks to the additional charity aspect of its structure, we are working hand-in-hand with the Humble Bundle organization and socially-conscious fans to support three incredible organizations - the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and Make-A-Wish - in their worthwhile efforts."

Proceeds from the Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Bundle will contribute to three very worthy charities. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is a private international association, comprised mainly of doctors and health sector workers, that delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions, significantly changing the lives of the children and their communities by inspiring hope, courage, and further philanthropy.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Man, this whole Otto Octavius as Spider-man thing? This was weird. Really weird. Uncomfortable kind of weird. I'm quite glad to have Peter finally back in the driver's seat of his body. And of course, it's sort of perfect writing to keep Peter Parker in a perpetual state of confusion and one down in his life. Otto did a lot of things Peter wouldn't have as Spider-man, burned a lot of bridges, etc..

I believe Spider-man has the dubious honor of having some of the best--and the worst--written comic book stories ever. The Clone saga and that whole nonsense comes to mind. I still look back fondly at Maximum Carnage, although I admit it might not age as well as I wish it might over time. Now, what I'm going to say about Superior Spider-man is this: it was well executed. You can't half-*%$ a story as bizarre as that. You've got to embrace it and go with it. And give Marvel a lot of credit here...Superior Spider-man ran for like, what, a year? That's a lot of issues starring Otto as Spidey.

I am a big Doc Ock fan. By far my favorite of all the Spidey villians, Spider-man 2 holds a special place in my heart because there's just something so classic about the Spidey vs. Ock match-up. Given that Otto and Peter actually have some strange things in common, this kind of story is not totally untoward. It's not like Electro or the Vulture became Spider-man or anything. Peter and Otto were both science nerds who couldn't quite fit in as kids.

Review - The F1rst Hero #1

"What's at stake here is nothing less than the safety and security of the human race."

People fear the unknown. Whenever you take them out of their comfort zones, there's something of an uneasiness that forces them to want to retreat back to the familiar. That retreat is often done at the expense of progress and if there ever is a case where people are shown to have superpowers, it's expected that those without won't react very well. Then again, if those with powers go insane as they do in The F1rst Hero #1 from Action Lab Entertainment, then it's likely no one will react well. The book is written by Anthony Ruttgaizer, illustrated by Phillip Sevy and colored/lettered by Fred C. Stresing.

Outcast Returns to Stores

If you're looking for news of Andre 3000 and Big Boi getting back together for another album, you're looking for OutKast with a K. Outcast with a C is a slightly different entity; an entity that's being rushed to second printing in a series that teams Robert Kirkman up with Paul Azaceta. Since Kirkman is involved, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the book has sold out completely before even hitting its release date.

“The Walking Dead was grown out of the direct market, everything it's gone on to become wouldn't have been possible without support from the comic book retailer community,” said Kirkman. “To see Outcast selling out ahead of release like this was clearly unexpected, but it continues a reassuring trend that could see many more homegrown phenomenon that will keep this industry we love vibrant for centuries to come.”

The double-sized first issue debuts for $2.99 and introduces Kyle Barnes, his tragic past and his unusual gift. This eerie tale blends the supernatural with a realistic setting, a characteristic of Kirkman’s tone that echoes the grave, dread-building suspense of The Exorcist and The Sixth Sense while developing a complicated and tormented protagonist evocative of The Ghost Whisperer. Demons are here, demons are real and Barnes is at the center of it all.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Robert Kirkman over the decade plus I’ve known him, it’s to expect not just the unexpected, but everything from the twisted to the sublime,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “Robert is constantly developing as a writer, finding new ways to get under the skin of his characters and the ever-growing audience that loves them, and Outcast is probably his most adventurous work yet. Even if you think you know what he has in store for you, this book is going to both shock and scare you.”

The second printing of Outcast will be available on July 30 (Diamond Code MAY148172), the same day as Outcast #2 (Diamond Code MAY140719). Full press release below.

Empty Man Affects Comic Store Shelves

The Empty Man #1 2nd Printing

The Empty Man is a very eerie and creepy book about a strange illness taking hold and emptying people out. It's also a very eerie and creepy book that's emptying itself from the presence of comic book stores, as BOOM! Studios is excited to announce the first issue has sold out and rushed to a second printing. Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Vanesa R. Del Rey have something on their hands they're proud of.

“THE EMPTY MAN is our first time working with Cullen Bunn and the experience has been as rewarding as we expected,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “When Cullen came to us with this brilliant idea for a horror series we knew that pairing him up with Vanesa and her visceral artwork would be a prime-time event. These are two exceptional talents at work on a story that’s utterly suspenseful and haunting. Even though we’re sold out at the distributor level there are still some copies to be found at various retailers, and we’ll be delivering a second printing as quickly as possible.”

It’s been one year since the first reported case of the Empty Man disease and no drug has been able to slow its progress. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms include fits of rage, hideous hallucinations, suicidal dementia, followed by death, or a near lifeless, "empty" state of catatonia. As murder cults rise nationwide, the FBI and CDC enter into a joint investigation of the Empty Man, hoping to piece together clues to stop the cult and uncover a cure.

The Empty Man #1 second print ships with a new cover by Scott Newman and carries a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond order code MAY148124. It's anticipated to be in stores on July 23rd. Full press release below.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review - Red Sonja: Sanctuary (One-Shot)

"Welcome to our sanctuary, Sonja. I'm pleased that you are here."

Fighting takes its toll on all fighters. Sometimes, it's good to take a break. That break doesn't work out so well though when it completely changes the personality of the one taking the break. Let's just say that Red Sonja doesn't like taking breaks, especially in Red Sonja: Sanctuary (One-Shot) from Dynamite Entertainment. The issue is written by Marc Mason, illustrated by Noah Salonga, colored by Salvatore Aiala Studios and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Preview - Amanda Hocking's The Hollows TPB

It's Day One as a new pandemic sweeps the globe, and all over the world people are turning into mindless zombies. But for five people - siblings Remy and Max King, med student Blue Adams, rock star Lazlo Durante, and teenager Harlow Smith - it's the start of a journey that they can never return from. It's a chance for readers to learn for the first time how the characters of Hollowland started their journey.

Written by Amanda Hocking and Tony Lee and illustrated by Steve Uy, Hollowland is the first book in the young adult dystopian series The Hollows and Hocking has personally overseen and approved this Hollowland graphic novel project. This was previously available only in digital comic format. Amanda Hocking's The Hollows TPB is in stores June 25 with interiors below and will set you back $14.99.

Hacktivist Collected in Hardcover

July is as good a month as any to celebrate the hacking culture. The always exciting area of expertise pits savvy minds against seemingly impenetrable electronic safeguards, for a variety of reasons. In some cases, that reason involves bringing down an oppressive government, as is the case in Hacktivist from Archaia and BOOM! Studios and the brainchild of Alyssa Milano. The book was written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, illustrated by Marcus To, colored by Ian Herring and lettered by Deron Bennett, all of whom must be psyched that it's getting the hardcover treatment.

“HACKTIVIST is such a great concept, and we’re all thrilled that it was so well received when it came out as a miniseries,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “For those who may have missed out the first time, this hardcover edition is a beautiful collection of the entire series. And even if you’re already familiar with the story, we’ve packed in a bunch of great additions and extras. The overall presentation is gorgeous, as everybody has come to expect from Archaia.”

The world knows Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft as the young, brilliant co-founders of YourLife, a social networking company that has changed the way the world connects with each other. The world knows “.sve_Urs3lf” as the largest white-hat hacking group on the planet, exposing information and sparking revolutions across the globe. What the world doesn’t know is that this is a lie. Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft are .sve_Urs3lf. When their operation is discovered by the US Government, and their company is taken over by military contracts and the CIA, Ed and Nate must face the real world beyond the code and choose between friendship and what they believe to be right.

The Hacktivist hardcover collection arrives from Archaia in comic shops on July 16th and bookstores on July 22nd with a cover price of $24.99 under Diamond Order Code MAY141168 and ISBN 978-1-60886-409-6. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and co-creator of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, who inspired Milano to create the story, provides a Note to Readers in the book, which also contains an interview with real-life hacker and inventor Pablos Holman and commentary and early process work from the creative team.

Full press release below.

Monday, June 23, 2014

BOOM! Loses Its Head

Yep, BOOM! Studios is a fan of a certain slumbering town.

Review - The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot)

"Well, no luck here. Three beers barback!"

Ever find yourself out on one of those nights where you can't really remember anything that happened? Fighting followed you from bar to bar, even as you were trying to help a new friends. If you're The Goon, you're more than capable of handling yourself, especially when you've got your trusty friend Franky on hand. Dark Horse Comics tells that tale in The Goon: One for the Road (One-Shot) written and illustrated by Eric Powell and colored by Dave Stewart (and a tribute cover by Jack Davis).

Preview - The Amazing World of Gumball #1

Gumball thinks he's the coolest kid on the block, but how often does reality line up with perception? In The Amazing World of Gumball #1, Gumball's little sister Anais begs to differ and Darwin seeks to keep everyone out of trouble. All that and more in the issue written by Frank Gibson and illustrated by Tyson Hesse.

The book hits stores June 25 with interiors below.

Dark Engine Chugs Home

If fiction would convince you of anything, it's that the world will inevitably fall apart. Along with the ensuing decay is expected to be all matter of chaos, civilization ruin and general madcap mayhem. Still though, the genre does have some interesting tales and Image Comics is poised to add to that collection with Dark Engine, written by Ryan Burton and illustrated by John Rivens.

Infectious beasts called SporeDevils roam the country, the air is full of dead men's ashes, and fallen colossi smother the ground with their decayed husks. A cult of madmen have created a killer named Sym from alchemy, outfitting her with an engine that will allow her to travel back in time to stop whatever it was that made their world so. But these Alchemists have no idea that this engine is sentient, it is thinking. The seed of their destruction is powering an unstoppable killer. Their world is paradise compared to what's to come when Sym is unleashed.

“Dark Engine narratively is many things; an otherworldly horrific poetic movement that is immediately immersive,” said J.H. Williams III. “It does not flinch in creating questions, bold in that it doesn't feel it must answer them in one chapter. Where would the fun be in that? Hooking deeply with high concept, strong visuals, and unusual characters is how I always feel reading something from Ryan Burton. And when I saw this concept by him featuring the very charged art from the talented John Bivens I knew that I was seeing something intriguingly unique. I wanted more. So I showed it to Eric Stephenson at Image."

Dark Engine #1 hits stores July 16 and can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAY140574. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is 6/23. Full press release below.

Friday, June 20, 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 43.

We've begun our offensive push towards the east. Stopping in Reno to see if any of that depots and outposts we abandoned have anything of use before continuing on. From there our group will follow the interstate heading east, with Salt Lake City being the first major city in our path. It would be foolish to go into the city as there are too many hiding spots and possible ambush points if any of those radioactive zombies are around. Still, we figure Salt Lake City is the best place to start our search for where all the zombies we've encountered out west are coming from.

This force has to keep on the move though. When we were stopping to clear out towns is when a sizable zombie force came at us and gave us a bit of trouble. Staying on the move and moving fast is going to be the only method for us if we don’t want to give zombies a chance to catch us off guard. Not sure how far east we plan on heading; figure we'll go until we find where all the zombies are coming from at all costs. Taking them out will make all of us a hell of lot safer because once they are taken care of then it’s just possible bandits to deal with. The best place for a zombie force to hide will be in a major city.

Review - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time #1

"Whooooo! Turtles can fly!"

It's a well-known fact that deep below the city in the sewers live all manner of creature. Rats, alligators, ninja turtles. Somehow, the being coexist and make a go of it, but sometimes those inhabitants need to get out and stretch their legs a bit. Even if that means traveling back in time, which is where everyone's favorite Renaissance turtles find themselves in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time #1 from IDW Comics. The issue is written by Paul Allor, illustrated by Ross Campbell, colored by Bill Crabtree and lettered by Shawn Lee.

Quentin Tarantino Goes to Dynamite Entertainment

Quentin Tarantino certainly isn't pining for suitors. He's proven to be a rather talented filmmaker and writer multiple times. Still though, creators get the itch to create regardless of the medium and Dynamite Entertainment is giving him an opportunity to create comics. And he really gets to go creative, bringing a sequel to Django Unchained that has the title character encountering Zorro. The title will be written by Matt Wagner.

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

"This project is an absolute thrill," adds Wagner. "When Quentin and I first met, it felt like we'd known each other for years. The give-and-take energy of our initial story sessions was just incredible! It's a particular buzz to be writing Zorro once again…and especially to team him up with the magnetic lead character from Quentin's most straight-up heroic movie, Django Unchained! The Wild West is never gonna be the same once these two come to town!"

Full press release below.

Adventure Time Goes DIY

Adventure Time #30 Cover B

If you've ever felt there's just something about Adventure Time that feels off, you're right. The show is pretty much insane incarnate. It's still really, really appealing, carrying itself as a successful show and parlaying that success into series of comic books. And KaBOOM! has something special in store for Adventure Time #30, presenting it as a special standalone issue that honors the DIY mini-comics culture. That means it'll be printed on uncoated paper and made to look like a homemade zine from the citizens of Ooo. Not only that, but the issue will boast the talent of a slew of indie creators, including Ryan north, Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, Liz Prince, Carey Pietsch, Rebecca Tobin, Kat Philbin, T. Zysk Cutler and Yumi Sakugawa.

“We love do-it-yourself zines and minicomics here at BOOM!, and some of us actually make them on our own time,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “It’s so much fun to see all of these artists, who have their own styles and POV making zines, bringing those talents to this unique issue.”

Enjoy this crazy special as the citizens of Ooo create their own zines to share. Marceline has a lot to say about her music, Peppermint Butler has a few life tips for anyone who will listen (and everyone should listen), and Finn creates his very first journal comic. A sick homage to DIY and mini-comics culture printed on uncoated paper and made to look like a zine from the Adventure Time gang.

Adventure Time #30 is available for pre-order now through comic shops under Diamond Order Code MAY141187 with a cover price of $3.99 and goes on sale July 16th. The main cover is illustrated by Mike Holmes, with a fan subscription cover by Nick Iluzada and a retailer incentive cover by Luke Pearson.

Full press release below.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review - The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String

"I only take calls from my wife and direct communications from God."

A vicar is someone acting on behalf of someone else; typically, someone who ranks higher than they do. Still, they get a lot of leeway in terms of what they can do and what they can command, something which has its benefits. Enjoying a fast-paced life with people at your whim is just one of those benefits in The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String. The graphic novel is written by David Singleton and illustrated by Ben Singleton, adapted from Punk Sanderson's novel The Vicar Chronicles.

Joseph Michael Linsner Handling Dawn/Vampirella Crossover

Unlike peanut butter and jelly, vampires and daylight don't really go together very well. They're sort of odds with one another, largely owing to the fact that daylight kills vampires and all. Still, Joseph Michael Linsner is one man who can successfully bring the two together, which is a good thing for Dynamite Entertainment. Linsner will be writing and illustrating the upcoming Dawn/Vampirella #1 crossover that celebrates the 25th anniversary of Dawn and the 45th anniversary of Vampirella.

"Fans of good comics should love this book because I am giving it 200 percent," says writer/artist Joseph Michael Linsner. "I've been in the game for 25 years, so I've learned a thing or two. I'll be summoning all of my resources together to make this book rock. It's not going to be the ultimate "bad girl" comic, it's going to be a great comic with something in it for everyone."

In Dawn/Vampirella #1, our story begins when the silver tongued demon Masodik tricks and kidnaps both Dawn and Vampirella. He tells these two "Bad Girls" they are the most beautiful women in all of the worlds. Their demon host demands a "cat fight" to see who is best suited to his purposes, but the ladies suggest something more feminine -- a storytelling contest. Together they take us to the bloody shores of Draculon, to post-apocalyptic New York and to worlds beyond imagination. Only Ravana knows what rewards and punishment await the winner and the loser in this duel of horror hostesses.

"What a privilege it is for Joe (Michael Linsner) to work with us on Dawn's first cross-over ever," adds Dynamite CEO / Publisher Nick Barrucci. "To have that cross-over be with a character as iconic as Vampirella, and for Joe to make time in his schedule to both write and draw the series is just an incredible thrill!"

Dawn/Vampirella #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' July Previews catalog and slated for release in September 2014. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Dawn/Vampirella #1 with their local comic book retailers. Dawn/Vampirella #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Blood of Supers Will Save Us All

BLACK MARKET #1 Cover A by Victor Santos

Curing debilitating ailments such as cancer and AIDS has been something that medicine strives for. If humanity can conquer the "invisible" enemies, then we'd be that much more powerful and capable of defending our existence. What if that vaccination though required stealing the blood of superheroes? This July, BOOM! Studios explores a truly modern take on the superhero mythos with Black Market Frank J. Barbiere and Victor Santos.

“From IRREDEEMABLE, to SUICIDE RISK, to TRANSLUCID, we’ve shown time and again that we love to explore the dark corners of the superhero genre and really push those boundaries in unexpected directions,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Frank and Victor are the perfect combination to tell this story of a decent man whose back is against the wall, and the cost it has on your soul to care for the ones you love.”

Ray Willis is a broken man, a disgraced medical examiner making ends meet by preparing corpses at a funeral parlor and trying to care of his ill wife. His scientific genius is being wasted…that is, until his estranged criminal brother Denny shows up on his doorstep, supposedly cleaned up and proposing a once-in-a-lifetime partnership to cure not just cancer, but all disease. The catch? It exists within the DNA of superheroes.

Black Market #1 arrives in comic shops on July 16th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code MAY141135. The first issue will ship with a main cover by Santos and a retailer incentive cover by Cameron Stewart (Batman and Robin). Full press release below.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Duane Swierczynski Knows an Ex-Con

The exploits of ex-cons are typically pretty exciting. They've got a good mix of action, adventure and intrigue, all of which translates pretty well to media...including comic books. Dynamite Entertainment agrees, tapping Duane Swierczynski and Keith Burns for a brand new series called Ex-Con. Not only will single issues in this line will be priced at $2.99 MSRP, each launch issue will be completely returnable for retailers. To sweeten the deal for fans and retailers alike, Ex-Con #1 will feature covers by Tim Bradstreet.

"Ex-Con is probably my first balls-out crime story for comics, as opposed to other comics that have had a superhero or science-fiction element to them," says writer Duane Swierczynski. "Granted, Cody has an ability that could be considered a superpower, but he's no hero, believe me. Fans who've liked my darker novels -- The Wheelman or The Blonde, for instance -- will feel at home in Cody's twisted little noir world."

Ex-Con #1 begins in 1985 with L.A. con artist Cody Pomeray, who had a gift for looking inside a mark's soul with just a glance. But one fateful night, he targeted the wrong man -- and was sentenced to the most savage prison in California. Pomeray would have been beaten to death on his first day if not for the intervention of Barnaby Creed, the most powerful crime lord in the Southland. Now it is 1989 and Pomeray's out on parole, robbed of his special ability and tasked with doing Creed "a little favor." He has no idea he's just stepped into a long con, and this time, *he's* the mark!

Ex-Con #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' July Previews catalog and slated for release in September 2014. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Ex-Con #1 with their local comic book retailers. Ex-Con #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I've already written a lot about Chris Claremont and how much I love his run on Uncanny X-Men. I still insist that I want an X-Men feature film that spotlights Kitty Pryde as the main character and has Storm heading up the iconic 80's team I grew up with.

You know, I've never been a huge fan of the classic team. When I first started hearing about X-Men: First Class, I assumed that it would feature the original X-Men: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel. Of course, the film decided instead to break new ground and feature a team of X-Men who had never existed together to my knowledge, but I had been blasé about the idea of the classic team being in a film. The old X-Men just seemed strange, not very powerful and not very interesting compared to other teams. I never got a sense of that team's chemistry or the way they went together as characters.

Review - The Wicked + The Divine #1

"And once again, we return to this."

There's very little gods can't do; after all, they're typically all-powerful beings with a keen fascination with species considered to be beneath them (both figuratively and typically literally). It's not often though that they express any desire to walk among humans as something else those humans idolize. Sometimes though, you have to wonder if maybe Justin Bieber is actually a god and has an expiration date like the gods in The Wicked + The Divine #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, colored by Matthew Wilson and lettered by Clayton Cowles.

Howtoons Gets Even More Creative

Celine and Tucker are best known for two things. The first is as brother and sister. The second is that they're the heroes of Howtoons, kids who see potential for play everywhere. And they've got a challenge from their mother to make something other than trouble, kicking things off in Howtoons: Tools of Mass Destruction from Image Comics. Co-created by MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient Saul Griffith, Joost Bonsen, Nick Dragotta and Ingrid Dragotta, Howtoons: Tools of Mass Destruction will be published in July.

“We need every generation to be enabled to create their world,” the creators write in the introduction to HOWTOONS: TOOLS OF MASS CONSTRUCTION. “It starts with creativity and inventing one’s own toys and games. It involves knowledge of tools, materials, and process. It will be beautiful as we marry the art with the science, and the design with the engineering. Come play with us.”

Together, Celine and Tucker use items lurking in the corners of their garage, the dusty shelves of hardware stores, and even their own trashcan to create their own adventures. Through “The Legend of the Monkey Fist Clan,” the siblings learn to build a tree swing, find out the ultimate first-person shooter isn’t a video game in “The Infamous Marshmallow Shooter,” set up their own workshop, make ice cream without a freezer, play music with a turkey baster, and launch rockets. Along the way are instructions for projects seamlessly integrated into the storytelling that engage kids' creativity and natural interest in how the world around them works. From bubbles to bots, hippo farts to hovercrafts — Howtoons is the book for the next generation of explorers and makers.

The series will also be getting a moment in the spotlight at the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18, hosted by President Obama, where co-creator Griffith will be a guest. Griffith will be presenting Howtoons at the event, which “will feature Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life.” In addition, artist Dragotta will be at the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas on June 27, 28, and 29, in the Image Comics booth and will do a Howtoons workshop on the Graphic Novel/Gaming stage on Saturday, June 28 at 4 PM.

Howtoons: Tools of Mass Destruction will be in comic book stores on July 23 and bookstores on August 5 and it’s available for pre-order now. Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Teams with Madefire for Clive Barker's Next Testament Motion Comic

Next Testament #1 Motion Book

Madefire offers comic books in a way that's a little new to tried and true readers. Their books go a step beyond digital, eschewing the rather boring static panels in favor of motion panels. And while motion comics aren't exactly brand new, they still haven't quite hit mainstream. In partnering with BOOM! Studios, Madefire is hoping that their motion adaptation of Clive Barker's Next Testament gains the medium a lot more attention. And terrifies readers in the process.

“We are proud to be working with Madefire in making CLIVE BARKER’S NEXT TESTAMENT available in this immersive, innovative format,” said BOOM! Studios Vice President of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik. “The horror genre has always benefited greatly from the use of sound and movement to enhance the shock and suspense of a scene, so CLIVE BARKER’S NEXT TESTAMENT was a natural and fitting title to begin our relationship with Madefire. I look forward to working with Madefire to make more of our great titles available as Motion Books.”

Clive Barker's Next Testament is the first original comic series created and written by Clive Barker. Julian Demond, captain of industry, has left behind everything to begin a walkabout—he believes he’s on a mission from God. While in the wasteland, he comes across a figure unlike any other, who calls himself Wick...and claims to be God. Their journey will span the globe, as neither man merely wants to make a mark on the world, but a scar. Barker, with co-writer Mark Miller and artist Haemi Jang, come together to create the next legendary work in the canon of one of the great horror masters of our era.

"Madefire did an incredible job adapting the comic to form. It was like reading the book for the very first time, which is insane, because I wrote it!” said Mark Miller. “I hope readers find new things to love about the book—I hope it scares them more, intrigues them more, and brings more readers not only to the book itself, but to the Madefire platform at large.”

Clive Barker's Next Testament Episode #1 Motion Book is available now to experience for free on the Madefire app for iOS or via the Motion Books category on deviantART. Subsequent issues will be available for purchase and roll out on a monthly basis thereafter.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review - Thomas Alsop #1

"The monkey needs to dance. The dancing monkey. If you'll excuse me..."

Reality television makes celebrities out of the mundane. For some reason, viewers can't get enough of tuning into seeing the disaster that is those characters' lives. They don't need anything else to make them interesting, but if by some chance they also happened to hunt demons, things might get a lot more interesting. Such is the case in Thomas Alsop #1 from BOOM! Studios, written by Chris Miskiewicz, illustrated by Palle Schmidt and lettered by Deron Bennett.

Munchkin Brings Mayhem to Comics

Munchkin Box Art

Boots of Butt-Kicking? Check. Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment? Check. A card game masquerading as a comic? Check. While it's certainly not the first to make that transition, Munchkin is definitely one that will likely have a lot of fans. And BOOM! Studios is partnering with Steve Jackson Games on the adaptation.

“There’s a big contingent of fantasy RPG fans here at BOOM! HQ and Munchkin’s irreverent, wry approach to the tropes of the genre is right in our wheelhouse,” said BOOM! Studios Vice President of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik. “It’s weird and wacky, and we can’t wait to explore a side of the game that hasn’t been seen before.”

With millions of Munchkin games and accessories sold and tens of millions of monsters slain, Munchkin captures the essence of the dungeon experience...with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items! Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm...or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon…

“The best part of the comic books—besides seeing what sort of wacky stories the creative teams craft around Spyke, Flower, and all of the Munchkin characters—is that Munchkin fans will get to watch as the world of the game expands well outside of its gameland incarnation,” said Philip Reed, Chief Operating Officer of Steve Jackson Games.

Munchkin #1 will arrive in comic shops this fall. Full press release below.

Frank Tieri Takes on Red Sonja in The Black Tower

Red Sonja is one a of a few characters who can cut her swath through a countryside. She needs someone telling her tales to the reader and Dynamite has a great storyteller in Gail Simone. Still, there's always room for more to tell her tales and Frank Tieri, Cezar Razek and Amanda Conner are teaming up for a brand new tale featuring the warrior red-head in Red Sonja: The Black Tower #1 in stores this September. In Red Sonja: The Black Tower #1, the question is posed; what is the Black Tower? What startling mysteries does it contain within its walls? And most will its very existence cause the death of Red Sonja?

"Simply put, THE BLACK TOWER is an old fashioned mystery-and as we all know, everybody loves a mystery," says Tieri. "In fact, I'd say at times, this story is more in line with a Stephen King story than your typical Sonja tale. The Tower just appears out of nowhere one day-nobody knows why, nobody knows how. People are scared, they're confused-and they start turning on each other. That's when Red Sonja enters the picture. And what she finds is mystery that will span decades, which will pit people against each other, that will cost many lives… including her own. Now, I think that's a story fans will want to see how it turns out, don't you? I like that she's this total bad ass-that she's the WOLVERINE of her world, that she's The Man With No Name-- but she's also a woman. Because you don't often see that. You don't often see it being a woman that walks into a bar and everybody tenses up, everybody pees their pants. And in Sonja's case, if you underestimate her, if you just dismiss her as ‘just a woman'-she's going to make you pay for it. And then some."

Red Sonja: The Black Tower #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' July Previews catalog and slated for release in September 2014. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Red Sonja: The Black Tower #1 with their local comic book retailers. Red Sonja: The Black Tower #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Review - Eye of Newt #1

"The eye is cold and merciless, a window to death and destruction. Only a true hero, one with a courageous heart, can stare into the dragon's eyes."

If you ever find yourself face-to-face with a dragon, chances are there's not much you can do at that point to save yourself. For some reason though, if you are in a position to call that dragon a friend, then maybe you have a chance. And you might even be able to catch a ride if the dragon is headed your way. For tips like that and more, then Eye of Newt #1 from Dark Horse might be a good place to start. The issue is written and illustrated by Michael Hague and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot.

Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright Reunite

Quantum & Woody is a thoroughly enjoyable book that offers a slightly cracked take on superheroes. The title characters are all sorts of dysfunctional, with one being more upright and the other content on his back, passed out. Still, their exploits make for some fantastic reading and Valiant is visiting that well again in publishing Q2: The Return of Quatum and Woody #1 on October 15. Oh, and it just so happens to be the reunion of legendary creators Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright. Set in the original series continuity, 20 years on from Quantum and Woody's last adventure, Q2 marks the beginning of an all-new chapter for one of the most acclaimed series and creative teams of the last two decades.

"As a longtime Quantum and Woody fan, this project is a dream come true, as is diving into the material and working with these amazingly talented creators," said series editor Alejandro Arbona. "Getting in all-new scripts and all-new art of the new adventures of Eric Henderson and Woody Van Chelton is surreal. Quantum and Woody are back!"

Whatever happened to the world’s worst superhero team? Twenty years past their prime, the unlikely crime-fighting duo known as Quantum and Woody (not a couple) have long since parted ways…until a middle-aged Quantum suddenly reappears with a brand-new teenage partner. Now Woody is out to break up the all-new, all-different Quantum and Woody and put an end to Quantum’s recklessness…just as Quantum takes on a life-or-death personal mission for national security. Can these former friends set aside their differences…and their age…and their numerous health difficulties…to join forces one last time without driving each other crazy?

As a bonus for Quantum and Woody fans, The Complete Quantum and Woody Classic Omnibus will collect the entire original run for the first time ever. As the first in a new line of oversized hardcover omnibuses, the book will collect Quantum and Woody #0-21/#32 (1997), The Goat: H.A.E.D.U.S. #1 and X-O Manowar #6 (1996). Additionally, it will also feature the original backup stories from the Quantum and Woody trade paperback collections, and the never-before-collected story "Thunk" – plus a wealth of rarely seen sketches, character design, process art and promotional materials.

Full press release below.

Age of Darkness Hits Philadelphia

Zenescope is entering an Age of Darkness. It's not nearly as bad as it seems though, considering it really only affects the storylines in their books. Still, if you happen to see a dark cloud making its way over Wizard World Philly, it's likely because the publisher will be on-hand, bringing their version of darkness to the show in their hometown. Not only that, but they're also celebrating the launch of Grimm Fairy Tales #100.

The publisher will have several artist signings and panels during the course of the event at booth #1501. Zenescope promises free comics, exclusives, giveaways and coupons at the booth. Meanwhile, a separate booth for imprint Silver Dragon Books is # 1430.

Full press release below.

Friday, June 13, 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 42.

War has begun again. The plan of cleaning out smaller towns in northern California and southern Oregon has brought about a radical change in zombie behavior. Since last week we've been finding larger and larger zombie groups. The shocking part is where these zombies are coming from; as we've found items on their persons that would signify originating on the east coast and southeast parts of the country.

At the moment there's no telling how or why they've traveled all this way. It could have just taken this many years for them to make it to this side of the country or maybe something was driving them this way. Hell, they could have just saw one zombie walking this way and started following until bam--here they all are. The problem is they're here now and we have to deal with them or else they'll see something else and start off in another direction. Who knows what sort of damage or destruction they left in their wake heading out this way, but we want to keep it to just that and no more.

Instead of sticking around this area and waiting for such a large force of zombies to head our way and pick the battlefield for us we got a new plan in play. We're going to load up as many people, supplies, weapons and gear as we can and head east. Plan on going back on the offensive on a larger scale because I fully believe if we are known to be in the same general area those radioactive zombies will amass a force of zombies even larger than what was in Carson City and come after us. With a force that large there will be no way we can win; sure will take out a shit ton of them, but will still lose in the end.

If that were to go down I don’t think we would be able to rebound.

Review - Wildfire #1

"Creating potentially deadly organisms, purposefully or accidentally, could alter our ecosystem forever."

Activism causes cover the gamut. Don't like world hunger? Fight to end it. Against Wall Street running the show? Occupy it. Choosing which causes to fight though sometimes gives moral pause, as there are some good people trying to do good things, even if they're doing it with supposedly evil money. When that research gets out of hand though, things tend to get crazy, as they do in Wildfire #1 from Top Cow. The issue is written by Matt Hawkins and illustrated by Linda Sejic.

Preview - Fathom Annual #1

There's a first time for everything, which includes Fathom Annual #1. The annual is written by David Wohl, Nei Ruffino and Vince Hernandez, illustrated by Dennis Calero, Ruffino and Jordan Gunderson and lettered by Josh Reed.

Wohl gives readers an inside look at Aspen's former love interest, Chance Calloway, and his thrilling exploits away from her, as he adapts to a whole new world of Blue and Human cooperation. Ruffino debuts a new story all her own, as she handles the writing and art duties in a special tale featuring Aspen Matthews and her new close friend Judith. And Hernandez takes Aspen Matthews on a journey to discover a lost city hidden deep under the surface of the water, only what she discovers instead is far more shocking.

Check out the interiors below and the book in stores June 18.

The Killer Omnibus Vol. 2 Exits Retirement

THE KILLER OMNIBUS VOL. 2 Cover by Luc Jacamon

Retirement never lasts for a hired gun. That's just the way it is it would seem and this July, volumes 3 and 4 of The Killer are collected in The Killer Omnibus Vol. 2 by Archaia. Originally published as a five volume series in France from 1998 to 2003, Le Tueur quickly became known as one of Europe’s grittiest and most hard-boiled comics—a brutal, bloody, and stylish story of a professional assassin lost in a world without a moral compass. The creative team of artist Luc Jacamon and writer Matz continue their story of one assassin’s journey through a world of relentless violence. Though his brief retirement has not dulled his skills or resolve, new jobs will threaten his way of life and the very foundation of his morality.

“From the day it hit shelves in America, THE KILLER has not only been one of my favorite Archaia titles, but one of my favorite comics period,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “We can never get enough hard-boiled crime stories at BOOM!, and this series is the heart of European crime comics. Luc Jacamon and Matz have created a powerful story about a man with blood on his hands, and the moral struggle that comes with it.”

The Killer Omnibus Vol. 2 softcover collection arrives from Archaia in comic shops on July 23rd with a cover price of $24.99 under Diamond Order Code MAR140977. Full press release below.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Three Publishers at E3: Where to Spend Your Money

Another E3 is wrapping up, providing gamers with a glimpse at all sorts of quality titles they can look forward to. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony (please note the alphabetical order so as not to enflame any arguments) all made their cases as to why their upcoming year will be bigger than the other’s. And all three definitely offered up a smorgasbord of properties that will vie for both your time and money in the coming months. How each one fares on both fronts remains to be seen, but there are a few pros and cons to each presentation that could sway you in one direction or the other.

Review - That's Because You're a Robot

"Jeff - Matt, I'll keep this simple. One of you is a real human cop--and one of you is a robot. Only we don't know which is which!"

There are philosophical questions about our lives that many have spent years attempting to answer. Some of those questions we'll never answer. For instance, the meaning of life still seems to escape us. A slightly less tumultuous question is whether or not your friend is a robot, possibly answered in That's Because You're a Robot from Image Comics. The issue is written by David Quantick, illustrated by Shaky Kane and lettered by Jimmy Betancourt of Comicraft.

God Hates Astronauts

Astronauts are rather cagey individuals. They're up there, floating around in space, making faster than light jumps and generally gallivanting all over the place. They're pretty close to what many would call heaven, but the jury's still out as to whether or not God really hates them. According to Ryan Browne though, God does and he's offering a new story this September from Image Comics in God Hates Astronauts.

"Jumping from weekly web-comic to large scale epic adventure has been extremely challenging and rewarding,” said Browne of his transition from webcomic to Kickstarter project to an ongoing print series with Image Comics. “It was very important to make God Hates Astronauts #1 a perfect jumping on point for new readers, while having enough allusions and references to the old material for the series' die hard fans. I hope you guys like astronaut farmers with laser pitchforks, space crab armadas, and three-dimensional cowboy narrators! Rest assured, it will all make sense yet be as stupidly-ridiculous as the law will allow!"

In God Hates Astronauts, a NASA-funded group of arrogant "super people" must stop a rash of farmers that have been using rocket-powered silos to launch themselves into outer space. As these Astro-Farmers fire themselves all over the galaxy, NASA must utilize their every resource (a guy with a ghost-cow head, a bunch of magic bears, and a Chicago cop with robot arms) to avoid an intergalactic incident.

The first issue of God Hates Astronauts arrives in stores September 3rd and will be available for $3.50 and can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code JUL140440. There will also be a variant cover featuring art by Geof Darrow available to pre-order with Diamond Code JUL140441.

Full press release below.

Land of Ooo Recruiting for Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy

AT: Banana Guard Academy #1 Cover A

There's a place for those in the Banana Guards. What is that place you ask? Why, protecting the Candy Kingdom. And now, Root Beer Guy is calling on all guards to join the best of the bet in Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy. The new, limited series debuts this July from KaBOOM! Studios and Cartoon Network Enterprises, marking the comic writing debut of Kent Osborne and featuring art by Mad Rupert.

“Having Kent write this series is a real treat,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “He’s written some of our favorite episodes of the show and created Root Beer Guy, who’s going to take charge of the Banana Guard and start recruiting some fan-favorite citizens of Ooo. We’re also excited to have Mad on board after her hilarious run on REGULAR SHOW: SKIPS. It’s a great team.”

It turns out that there is a lot to being a Banana Guard—but being a Banana is not mandatory. This crazy adventure follows Root Beer Guy as he starts his search for new recruits among Ooo’s citizens. Only the best will do in his quest to protect the Candy Kingdom. Adventure Time: Banana Guard Academy #1 is available for pre-order now through comic shops under Diamond Order Code MAY141185 with a cover price of $3.99 and on sale July 9th. The main covers are illustrated by Aimee Fleck and Michele Petrucci, with a retailer incentive cover by Natalie Hall available in a limited quantity.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

For as long as I've been reading comics, Marvel has committed to a big summer event every year. Now some of these events are a big deal and have long lasting impact on the status quo of the Marvel Universe. Some? Not so much. It isn't that they aren't meant to be be big. It's just for one reason or another, they don't catch on. You know, everyone remembers Secret Wars, but the events of Secret Wars II have fallen into relative obscurity. I think Fear Itself was pretty cool but for some reason it didn't strike me as well received as Avengers: Disassembled or Civil War. Infinity? Well, Infinity was out there...that's for damn sure. I dug it. But again, I'm just not sure if it sunk into the hearts and minds of comic fans everywhere.

I really had little interest to delve into Age of Ultron; I don't know why. Maybe because it seemed so clearly an attempt to generate some interest in a character that I suspect will be used in a new Avengers movie? Or maybe because after Days of Future Past, Age of Apocalypse and House of M, I was sort of like yeah, yeah, another timeline; big deal. But this weekend, I found myself feverishly reading this ten issue mini-series. As always, Brian Michael Bendis won me over by the end of it. I'm impressed with this series and I already fear it missed its due.

Review - Armor Hunters #1

"This world's cultures are imitating the armor? Do they not understand what it is, Primary?"

On the off-chance that an alien armor makes its way to Earth, it's very possible that someone will equip it. It could possibly work out for them or it could consume them. Either way, it's likely that others out there will be looking for it and will stop at nothing to get it. Valiant Entertainment is centering most of their universe around such an event in Armor Hunters #1, written by Robert Venditti, illustrated by Doug Braithwaite, colored by Laura Martin and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

From Spawn to Saga

Saturday, June 14th is a big deal for Image Fans. Mainly because the publisher will witness much of their history on display at an exhibit called From Spawn to Saga: Image Comics at 22. The show is presented by One-Shot Gallery and on Saturday, June 14th, from 8 to 10 PM at St. Mark's Comics, the fruits of that publisher's labor will be on display.
One-Shot is a micro-gallery that exhibits original contemporary art and prints inspired by and celebrating the aesthetics, characters and themes of comic books and original graphic novels.

In 1992, several high-profile artists that were frustrated with working for DC and Marvel struck out on their own to form Image Comics. These artists joined with other unique talents to give the creator-owned movement a shot in the arm by putting out books like Spawn, WildC.A.T.s and The Maxx which would become synonymous with comics in the '90's. Since then, Image has become the place for creator-owned projects, including critically-acclaimed series like The Walking Dead, Saga and Rocket Girl. This exhibit celebrates the awesome books published by Image Comics from ’92 to today.

Full contact details below.