Friday, January 30, 2015

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 23.

Loaded up and heading out. We got the supplies we needed and got the hell out of dodge before it got worse. We started sending out loaded up trucks with convoy cover late last night planning to rendezvous a few hundred miles down the road. We did it this way out of necessity because of the mayhem bearing down on us at the warehouse in the form of a massive herd of zombies. With that type of threat bearing down on us, it made getting all the loaded up trucks we had ready to go out of there even more important. Those supplies are going to go a long way for our survival and are a lot more important than a lot of us. While the trucks and most of the convoy providing cover left, the rest of us got busy setting traps and little surprises for that zombie horde.

Review - The Disease

"Feel like I've been hit by a truck. Didn't think I drunk that much last night."

The rules of the apocalypse are simple: stay alive and survive. You could argue they're essentially one and the same in essence, but that doesn't make them any less important. In The Disease, one man is forced to contend with a destroyed world, ravenous zombies and an isolated mentality. The one-shot is written by James Mulholland, illustrated by Daniel Romero and lettered by Micah Myers.

Action Lab Brings a Gronk to the Super Bowl

Rob Gronkowski is one of (if not) the most dominant players in the NFL now. He's a beast to cover and punctuates scoring plays with a vicious spike that's been known to deflate footballs. He won't be the only Gronk at the Super Bowl though, seeing as how Action Lab Entertainment and Katie Cook's plan to bring their own version to the show. She’s small, green, adorable and is about to make her network television debut. Action Lab's Gronk will be featured on the NFL Network’s Superbowl Pregame Show, NFL Game Day Morning.

Gronk, the adorable little monster created by popular comic book writer and artist Cook shares a name with New England Patriots tight end, Robert “Gronk” Gronkowski. Both She and her creation will be part of a feature as the NFL meets other “Gronks.” Cook, interviewed by host Steve Cyphers, drew Gronk dressed as “Gronk” for the cameras. Published weekly online since 2010, Cook has built up quite the following for her adorable bacon loving, pop culture obsessed creation.

Gronk is Action Lab Entertainment’s 2015 Free Comic Book Day offering, and will be released on Saturday May 2nd,2015 but you don’t have to wait that long because the first Gronk: A Monsters Story collection will hit store shelves in February. You can catch Katie and Gronk on the NFL Network’s NFL Game Day Morning, this Sunday, February 1st before Super Bowl XLIX starting at 9:00 AM EST.

Full press release below.

Dark Horse to Publish Rubín's The Hero

Champions are born with something special. Something that makes them stand out from those around them. That gives them an edge in almost all the day. Something that warrants a special tale be told about their travails. Storyteller David Rubín plans to reexamine the life of the world’s greatest champion in The Hero, coming this June from Dark Horse. Heracles, the son of Zeus, came into the world with strength, charm, and a fighting spirit. Featuring an introduction by John Arcudi, The Hero brings the legend to life through Rubín’s masterful storytelling and dynamic art!

Throughout Heracles’s incredible adventures from his innocent boyhood to his meteoric rise to popularity as he tackles the Twelve Labors, his journey is tempered by a steady decay that never relieves him of his heroic burden. And this burden becomes his only grip on reality as Heracles edges toward his fateful end. Preorder your copy of The Hero Book 1, coming in June 2015. The Hero Book 2 will be available in December 2015.

Full press release below.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Speculating the Comic Book Movie Bust

It's a great time to be a comic book fan. Besides what the big two are doing, smaller publishers like Image Comics, Dark Horse, IDW and BOOM! Studios are consistently putting out quality titles on a weekly basis. Other publishers such as Dynamite, Aspen Comics and Zenescope are climbing the ladder as well. And there's also Comixology and Comixology Submit, giving non-affiliated creators their own chance to get their book in front of as many eyes as possible. The barriers to entry in writing and illustrating a comic have been shattered and now anyone with the motivation to contribute their talents to a book can do so.

The success of indies (in addition to Marvel and DC) has ushered in a Golden Age of comics on film. The First Era featured major titles such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Dark Knight and Spider-man trilogies, among others. There were also a few X-Men films and a bunch of other properties from smaller publishers, such as Hellboy, Wanted, Road to Perdition and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The quality of those movies is by and large phenomenal, speaking to a renewed dedication and focus on doing quality adaptations. The First Era was punctuated by The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, both of which seemed to cap off a phenomenal ten years or so of great comic book films.

Since 2012, it feels as if the number of films based on comic book properties have skyrocketed. Marvel is digging deep into their character reserves, planning films for Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther. DC has four shows on television in Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Constantine and a Supergirl show planned as the fifth. And other publishers are also getting into the action, with films like B.P.R.D., 2 Guns and Oblivion getting the big-screen treatment. There's a growing sentiment among new creators now that the path to success is create a great comic, sell a lot of copies and then get a call from Hollywood about adapting the comic into a film. Basically, anything and everything do with comics is all the rage, causing publishers and creators to put out as many comics as possible for success. If this formula sounds a little familiar, then chances are you were a comic book fan in the 90s when the speculator bubble popped and the bottom of the industry fell out.

Review - The Dying and the Dead #1

"If you think about it, they died the moment they made their choice."

Life is meant to be lived. It's full of ups and downs, highs and lows. It inevitably ends in death, which makes everyone dying from the moment they're born. Being able to cheat death in exchange for an offer of extended life is tantalizing indeed. In Image Comics' The Dying and the Dead #1, it's an idea that's explored to great effect. The issue is written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Ryan Bodenheim, colored by Michael Garland and lettered by Rus Wooton.

Red One Reveals Another Russian Spy

Image Comics isn't one to shy away from hot-button topics. The publisher has made a name for itself in publishing all manner of content, most of which is pretty solid work overall. Their latest foray into a fun era comes courtesy of Xavier Dorison and Terry and Rachel Dodson in Red One. It's 1977—the height of the Cold War between the USSR and the US—and the Kremlin has a plan to win the war against Uncle Sam: propaganda.

Vera Yelnikov is an elite agent in the Soviet Army during the Cold War—she IS the atomic bomb. Vera is sent to Los Angeles by her bosses at the Kremlin. Her mission? Become a true "American superhero." She must spearhead a propaganda operation of communist values from within the United States and fight against the "Carpenter"—a fascist serial killer who blames America's ills on liberals. In her cover identity "Alabama Jones," Vera must find a day job that conceals her true mission—to do the Kremlin's bidding when the USSR needs Red One.

The exciting series poses a chilling question, one rife with political overtones: What happens when America's Greatest Hero... is actually a Russian Spy? It hits stores on March 18 and can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code JAN150575. Full press release below.

Crossed Fans Celebrate Fourth Annual Crossed: C-Day

If you're a Crossed fan, then you've likely got Wednesday, April 15th marked on your calendar. Sure, it's the end of tax season, but it's also the fourth annual C-Day. Avatar Press, publisher of extreme horror comics, designates one Wednesday a year to all things Crossed and now comic shops worldwide encourage rabid fans to don their Crossed cosplay costumes and come in for parties, photos and an opportunity to become a new reader ambassador for the comic series that redefined grueling horror. Fans of extreme horror have a lot to celebrate as a golden age of Crossed settles in during the early months of 2015.

Alan Moore has created an all new vision of the future in Crossed +100 and the bi-weekly Crossed: Badlands core series continues to deliver the most disturbing uncensored horror being published. For the first time ever, the C-Day event is centered on a writer other than Crossed’s prolific creator, Garth Ennis. Uber scribe Kieron Gillen brings a story of the Crossed in the ancient past to the bi-weekly series Crossed: Badlands beginning with the milestone issue #75 which arrives on Wednesday, April 15th - C-Day. The new story arc “Homo Tortor” takes readers to a point in history where the human race nearly slipped into extinction and uncovers what role the vile plague played in that event.

Avatar Press and will be promoting stores and fans participating in the cosplay events by running their pictures online and in social media for everyone to see. All they ask is that everyone keep the event in perspective, have fun and be safe. Crossed is extreme horror fiction that allows you to step into the most frightening scenario ever published. But in the real world they want to encourage everyone to be responsible and courteous to non-readers and families also enjoying their visit to the comic book shop.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Ghostbusters, like so many great franchise of the past, will get its chance to shine in the sun again it seems.

My reaction to an all female cast? Mixed.

It’s not for the reason you think. It’s not that I am in any way opposed to the idea of female Ghostbusters or even to a science-fiction movie that might potentially appeal to a female audience a bit more than a male one. See, it all has to do with the kind of movie the people making this reboot want to make (and if it even is a reboot and not a sequel disguised as a reboot as the kids are calling it these days).

I guess the thing that has made Ghostbusters unique is also part of why it’s been stuck in development hell for so many years. The thing is, it turned out to be a really fun, exciting, action-adventure movie. And the fanbase around it for many, many years has worshipped that aspect of Ghostbusters. The 80’s cartoon show, the IDW comics and even the recent video game (which I actually really enjoyed and sort of accept as the third movie Ghostbusters deserved in its own right) all expand the quirky, strange, but heroic fantasy of the Ghostbusters fighting evil. Or at least, paranormal phenomenon that would interfere with our life in New York city.

Push #ComicsForward

The following is an editorial written by BOOM! Studios Founder and CEO Ross Richie that is appearing today in PREVIEWS magazine to kick off Push #ComicsForward, an initiative that BOOM! Studios hopes will spark a movement to actively shape what the comic book industry should look like in 10 years. This is a conversation seen taking place already in different places throughout the industry; BOOM! simply hope to unify and amplify all of those voices under one banner, #ComicsForward, to inspire, motivate and support comics publishers, creators, professionals, press and fans who want to see an industry that welcomes all types of readers.

Check out his letter below.

Review - Munchkin #1

"Warning! You may also be betrayed."

Munchkin is actually a very enjoyable card game. It relies on the player to be savvy and willing to risk friendships over gaining a simple level...or winning the game. That sort of game lends itself to a narrative, one which BOOM! Studios is crafting in Munchkin #1. The issue is broken into four stories. "What is a Munchkin" and "Humans Got No Class" are written by Tom Siddell, illustrated by Mike Holmes, colored by Fred Stresing and lettered by Jim Campbell. "Ready for Anything" is written by Jim Zub, illustrated by Rian Singh and lettered by Campbell. "Table of Contents" is written and illustrated by John Kovalic.

The Fade Out Offers Fame, Sex and Death

Fame, sex and death all make for quite the entertainment. When those topics are thrust into the hands of talented storytellers such as Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, then the result is greater than the sum of the three parts. Image Comics is pleased to inform readers that the first four issues of the series are gearing up to be collected in The Fade Out, Volume 1, due in stores on February 25.

"So far, The Fade Out is the most popular and most-widely written about book that Sean and I have ever done," said writer Brubaker. "And I'm so proud of that, and the work that Sean and our amazing colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser are doing on the series, that I just wanted to make it easier for new readers to try us out. And hopefully this move will help stores meet demand, since we keep selling out of the issues the first week they come out."

The Fade Out focuses in on the chaos in a Hollywood studio that follows the death of a starlet under suspicious circumstances and one writer’s guilt over a secret he’s keeping to save his skin. With a $9.99 price tag, The Fade Out, Volume 1 is one of more than fifty Image Introduces titles that have specially priced first volumes to encourage readers to delve into their next favorite comic book series.

The Fade Out, Volume 1 will be in comic book stores on February 25 (Diamond Comic order code DEC140664) and in bookstores on March 10 (ISBN 978-1-63215-171-1). It is available for pre-order now. Full press release below.

Curb Stomp Carries on Tradition of Punk Rock

Curb Stomp #1 Main

Curb stomp is a pretty vicious and deadly maneuver that typically leaves your opponent incapacitated and, quite frankly, unrecognizable. The sheer brutality of the act is abhorrent, buoyed by what has to be an innate disdain for the target of the action. That's the bad definition of "curb stomp." The better, slightly more upbeat definition comes when it's applied to the title of a new comic by Ryan Ferrier and Devaki Neogi. In February, BOOM! Studios' Curb Stomp will create the unflinching story of Machete Betty and the girls of The Fever, a gang fiercely committed to protecting their home of Old Beach.

“Turf wars, fierce ladies, teeth-rattling action—Ryan and Devaki are going to be keeping readers on the edge of their seats with this series,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “It’s got everything we love about punk rock, and it’s got everything we love about a good story. There’s a lot of heart in this one. It’s just studded with spikes.”

Machete Betty leads a small gang of women under the self-appointed task of protecting their home of Old Beach, one of three boroughs surrounding a rich metropolitan city. When Betty takes the life of a rival gang member in an act of self-defense, she sets off a chain reaction of retaliation, gang warfare, and unlikely allies. It’s up to the The Fever—Machete Betty, Derby Girl, Bloody Mary, Daisy Chain and Violet Volt—to defend their turf at all costs.

Curb Stomp #1 arrives in comic shops on February 25th from BOOM! Studios with a main cover by Tula Lotay for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code DEC141182. Also available in limited quantities is a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Trevor Hairsine and a retailer incentive cover by Marie Bergeron. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is February 2nd. Full press release below.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review - Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1

"This calls for...FURIOUS FIERY FELINE!"

Sugar and spice and everything nice makes for a great little rhyme. When you mix in a little bit of the Chemical X though, the results could easily be catastrophic. Fortunately, when you've got a genius like Dr. Utonium at the helm, the results are a bit more capable of crime-fighting. The trio of the Powerpuff Girls fight the good fight, even if it takes them out of Townsville in Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1 from IDW Entertainment. The issue is written and illustrated by Derek Charm and lettered by Neil Uyetake. The Courage, the Cowardly Dog bonus story is written by Jeremy Whitley and illustrated by Jorge Monlongo.

The Humans, Volume 1 Offer Motorcycle Apes

Humans sometimes have a tendency to join groups. It's possible that those groups are even biker gangs. In the 1970s in Bakersfield, CA, there was a specific group of humans called The Humans who just so happened to be apes. They deal out beatings, cook drugs, party endlessly and struggle to keep their turf and status amongst the numerous outlaws, rival gangs, and bonafide killers — all of whom are trying to take their spot at the top of the heap. It's not until The Humans, Volume 1 from Image Comics that a member of the gang long thought dead returns…haunted by memories of hell on earth. It's written by Keenan Marshall Keller and illustrated by Tom Neely.

“I just love me some biker flicks and exploitation/genre in all forms,” said Keller. “It wasn’t like I was trying to do an ape project and settled on them being bikers… The Humans were bikers from the start. It’s my love affair with the fringe, with outlaws and no-good-doer’s and made me focus on biker culture.”

Neely has relished the chance to draw full-time. “I get up and draw monkeys and motorcycles all day and it’s the best,” he said. “It’s also really great collaborating with another artist – Kristina Collantes is doing the coloring and I love to see how she transforms my pages. I love my black and white drawings for this book, but they really don’t come to life to feel like a real comic book until Kristina’s colors complete the picture.”

The Humans, Volume 1 will be in comic book stores on March 11 (Diamond Comic order code JAN150630) and in bookstores on March 25 (ISBN 978-1-63215-259-6). It is specially priced at just $9.99 and is available for pre-order now. Full press release below.

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service: Book One Gets Omnibus Edition

Death and taxes are really the only two things guaranteed in life. The IRS handles the taxes, but the dead get different attention. They may have unfinished business that needs attending and Dark Horse has just the thing to help them finish things up. The last wishes of the dead are about to be realized in a big way this August when acclaimed manga series The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service gets the omnibus treatment from Dark Horse Comics.

Translated from the best-selling Japanese series, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service: Book One Omnibus collects the first two volumes of Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki’s acclaimed story following five recently graduated university students that specialize in the deceased—and your body is their business. The quintet uses their special skills of channeling, dowsing, ESP and more to help the dead move on to their next reincarnations.

The first in a series of omnibus editions for The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, this book features 640 pages for only $19.99. Each volume comes shrink-wrapped and carries an 18+ advisory. Preorder your copy now from Amazon.comBarnes & NobleIndieBound or contact a local comic shop through Comic Shop Locator.

Full press release below.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review - Quantum and Woody Must Die #1

"Maybe if season five didn't have that fake serial killer storyline. I mean--it's still such a great show."

Quantum and Woody are one of the better definitions of the "odd couple." The two are in something of a sticky situation considering their powers, but they still manage to make the best of things. That doesn't stop some from taking a strong disliking to them and seeking their deaths, as is the case in Quantum and Woody Must Die #1 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by James Asmus, illustrated by Steve Lieber, colored by Dave McCaig and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

Dark Horse Teams with Naughty Dog for The Art of Uncharted Trilogy

Naughty Dog knows about crafting games rife with sterling narrative, complex characters and meticulous gameplay. Dark Horse also knows about sterling narrative, complex characters and illustrating meticulous gameplay. The overlap of talents and abilities make the two teaming up for The Art of the Uncharted Trilogy make perfect sense. In April 2015, fans will get to see the fruits of those labors.

“With each UNCHARTED game we make we strive to set a new bar for video game art, design, and tech,” said Erick Pangilinan, art director at Naughty Dog. “This book is an inside look at our creative process, the technology, and the artistry that goes into making Nathan Drake’s adventures come to life. Fans of the series and art in general will find many hidden treasures in this book.”

A breathtaking, comprehensive exploration into the critically acclaimed Uncharted video game franchise, The Art of Uncharted Trilogy offers a detailed look at the art of one of the most exciting game series of this generation. Filled with never-before-seen art from Naughty Dog spanning Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, with insightful commentary from the games’ creators, this epic volume is an incredible opportunity to own a piece of Uncharted history.

Available in April, The Art of the UNCHARTED Trilogy retails for $39.99 and can be preordered now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound. Full press release below.

Oddly Normal Conjures Adventure in March

Otis Frampton is big on offering otherworldly and charming stories. Oddly Normal is one such story and in it, Frampton tells the story of a girl who doesn’t feel like she fits in, no matter where she goes. The young heroine of the March graphic novel from Image Comics endures the bullying of other kids for her green hair and pointed ears. Oddly got those traits from her mother, who is a witch, but didn’t get the ability to use magic along with them. Or so she thought. A fateful wish on her 10th birthday leads to her parents disappearing, and Oddly must travel with her eccentric Auntie to Fignation, the weird world of supernatural beings, to find out how to get them back — if she can get them back. There, as the first “Earther” that her new classmates have ever seen, Oddly feels as much of an outsider as ever.

“Oddly’s parents may have had a fairy tale romance, but kids (especially kids whose parents are from different cultures) often have to blaze their own trail,” Frampton said in an interview at the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex. “The Oddly we meet at the start of the story is a sullen, reclusive kid. She’s become somewhat numb to insults and really doesn’t do much to make friends.”

How will Oddly navigate the perils of a magical middle school and find her parents? And will she ever find a place where she’s accepted? One thing is sure, though — Oddly is going to have to learn to stand up for who she is if she’s ever going to have any hope of being happy, wherever she ends up. Fans can find out in Oddly Normal, Book 1, which hits comic book stores March 11 (Diamond Comic order code JAN150646) and bookstores March 24 (ISBN 978-1-63215-226-8).

Full press release below.

Friday, January 23, 2015

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 22.

Bit of a boring week we've had around here. Not a single zombie has been seen or killed.

Warehouses are secured, patrols are monitoring the fences and cataloging the gear has begun. Driving straight through the days allowed us to make some amazing time getting to the Amazon warehouses here in eastern Tennessee. This process should take us optimistically four to six days of getting through all the aisles of goods and grabbing what will help us survive and fight.

The tractor trailers are all kept close to the warehouses with support monitoring and guards on them just in case. It’s been a long time since we've heard any reports or even seen bandits, but you can never be too cautious when you find a bounty of goods this large. Everyone who came on this journey is part of a certain group sorting and loading gear, monitoring the process or patrolling the fences.

When we get closer to being finished some members of the sorting group are going to do recon in the area. They are going to be doing a more in depth recon; as the last time me and the other two members of my team didn’t have a chance to due to lack of food supplies. This time around we are a lot more heavily supplied, armed and mobile allowing us to do a lot more scouting. When we driving here we did pass endless acres of overgrown corn and soybean fields that we are going to try and see if any of it can be harvested.

Review - Burning Fields #1

"This is the moment where my interest is supposed to be piqued, right?"

While the world in general is in turmoil, there's a good bit of it focused on the Middle East. Most of it surrounds the oil generated there, but there's plenty of political and combat aspects to the region that make it a hotbed of activity. Using that as a backdrop is Burning Fields #1 from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written by Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel, illustrated by Colin Lorimer, colored by Joana Lafuente and lettered by Jim Campbell.

KaBOOM! Celebrates the 65th Anniversary of Peanuts with an Oversized Issue #25

Peanuts #25 Main Cover

Snoopy knows better than most what goes into a happy dance. The beagle can move his feet faster and with more excitement than most others around him. He's likely to be doing an extra happy dance knowing that Peanuts is celebrating its 65th anniversary. And BOOM! Studios is getting in on the action, announcing the February debut of their first non-anthology issue in Peanuts #25 with an oversized, original story inspired by the masterworks of Charles M. Schulz.

“Peanuts has been loved across multiple generations, and we’ve had the honor of sharing that love for more than two years now,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “We wanted to celebrate that milestone, and especially the 65th anniversary, with something we’ve never done with Peanuts before, and we’re very excited to show you the results!”

Paige Braddock and Vicki Scott—two creators who have long worked on KaBOOM!’s Peanuts issues and graphic novels—are taking Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts back to summer camp so readers can escape the winter weather in a 32-page, long-form story. Peanuts #25 arrives in comic shops from KaBOOM! on February 18th with a main cover by Scott for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code DEC141218. Also available in limited quantities is a retailer incentive cover by Schulz. (Please check with your local comic shop on its availability.) The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is January 26th.

Full press release below.

The Tithe Offers Heists of Biblical Proportions

Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal are really good at a lot of things, but there's one good thing in particular. They're really good at making new series with Top Cow that are interesting and outlandish. In this case, The Tithe is an all new, thriller suspense series due in stores in April.

"If you're fan of heist movies like Heat and The Town, you'll get a kick out of The Tithe," said Hawkins. "Instead of banks or art museums however, we're robbing mega-churches and the morality of all involved is put to the test."

In The Tithe, mega-churches are being robbed for millions of dollars by a crusader hacker group known as Samaritan who is giving the money to causes they deem more worthy. This modern day “Robin Hood” is being pursued by two FBI agents who actually admire their quarry but want to stop the theft before it escalates.

The Tithe offers the start of a high-stakes heist adventure on April 15. Cover A by Ekedal can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code FEB150488, while Cover B by Ekedal can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code FEB150489. Full press release below.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Evolve and the "Evolution" of Gameplay

The Evolve Open Beta ended recently and I'm still not sure what to think. After the Big Alpha they had last year the game has taken many strides forward as game development progressed. The Beta was fun, especially when playing as one of the Hunters. Still, I just had this nagging feeling after playing through a few rounds. That feeling of familiarity. The game's hype is similar to that for Titanfall and how when it first came out was simply amazing game. It was fun, always plenty of people to play with, simple gameplay and immensely fun. Now Titanfall lobbies take a long time, barely anyone is playing and with it being an online and multiplayer only game the replay value at zero. Titanfall came out at the right time in the market as Xbox One fans were chomping at the bit for a game to put their new system to the test and Titanfall fit the bill.

I bring up Titanfall as it was a multiplayer game, online only, no story campaign to speak of and had a bit of grind to it to get the new gear. Evolve is also a multiplayer co-op game, but you can play it solo with bots as the other hunters and monster. There's still no story or campaign modes, but I can see the Evacuation mode trying to be one and after playing the Beta you definitely have to grind if you want to unlock new characters or pay money to unlock them all. Evolve does have more substance and variations to keep you coming back and playing more versus what Titanfall had, but even then it can only pull you back so many times.

Review - Reyn #1

"Seriously, I could use a break here."

Heroes of legend are just that: legend. Their tales are told throughout history, giving them a certain status that makes them both feared and revered. Sometimes though, the reality doesn't match up to the legend and people are treated to someone less than a hero. Someone like Reyn in Reyn #1 from Image Comics. The book is written by Kel Symons, illustrated by Nate Stockman, colored by Paul Little and lettered by Pat Brosseau.

Dynamite Presents Uncanny: Season Two

Dynamite Entertainment is the home of Uncanny, a series that has won over all the critical acclaim it can muster. It pairs Andy Diggle with Aaron Campbell for a modern crime noir with unnatural human abilities. This April, the duo will reunite for Uncanny: Season Two and it will feature covers by Jock and Ben Oliver, as well as a special cover by interior artist Campbell reserved for subscription customers.

Diggle says, "In the new season of Uncanny, artist Aaron Campbell and I rip away Dominic Weaver's veneer of self-assured cool to reveal the flawed, frightened and conflicted kid hiding beneath it. Weaver has a lot of growing up to do and little time to do it, if he wants to stay alive."

Uncanny: Season Two continues the story of Weaver, a man gifted with the supernatural ability to steal knowledge and skills from other people. On the run from authorities and criminals alike, he finds himself used as bait in a high stakes game of cat and mouse. Now it's time for Weaver to turn the tables on the shadowy organization known as Cadre, as he begins his quest to find the source of his own powers.

Nick Barrucci, Publisher and CEO of Dynamite Entertainment, says, "Uncanny is one of my personal favorite Dynamite projects, a brilliant concept perfectly executed by two immensely talented creators. Andy Diggle is an extraordinary writer, with a long list of acclaimed comics under his belt, including The Losers, Daredevil, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, and Batman Confidential. As Aaron Campbell stated, this was a very personal story for him, and we wanted him to take his time as it is more important to him than ever before. Aaron debuted his comic career here at Dynamite, having contributed to Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, Green Hornet, and more, and his skill has grown expontentially over the years. I'm going to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the Uncanny fan base in my anticipation of seeing Season Two in print."

Uncanny: Season Two #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' February 2015 Previews catalog and slated for release in April. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Uncanny: Season Two #1 with their local comic book retailers. Uncanny: Season Two 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.

Archie Comics Launches First Ever Humble Bundle

There's a first time for everything they say. First time you drive. First time you travel out of the country. First time you offer a Humble Bundle as a publisher to benefit two worthwhile charities in CBLDF and The Hero Initiative. This diverse collection of digital comics, valued at over $149, features some of the world's most popular characters, including Archie, Betty, Veronica, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and video game icons Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man. The Humble Archie Comics Bundle runs from now until Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 2 PM EST time.

Humble Bundle's unique "name your price" system allows customers to choose their own price for the bundle. Customers can pay any amount and will receive Afterlife with Archie Magazine #1, The Fox: Freak Magnet, Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Collide Vol. 1 and The Best of Archie Book One. Users who pay above the average price of the Archie Comics Humble Bundle will receive The Death of Archie, Archie Meets Kiss, The Best of Archie Book Two, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 and Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Collide Vol. 2. Customers who pay $15 or more will receive all of the above plus Afterlife with Archie Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale, Archie Comics Spectacular: Party Time, Archie: The Married Life Vol. 1 and Sonic/Mega Man: Worlds Collide Vol. 3.

As with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their money is allocated, between the publisher and charities. The Humble Archie Comics Bundle supports The Hero Initiative, which creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization that protects the freedom to read comics through legal action and education initiatives in support of the readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers, and educators of comics.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

The first Marvel Comics I ever read (besides the Transformers ongoing series- which was surprisingly good at times) was Secret Wars. I actually collected every issue. I had never done this before and to this day I have a burning love for that arc. Besides Spider-man, I had never even encountered most of the Marvel characters until then. This was a great introduction to them and their relationships with one another, which I think was played out to great effect (including some interactions between characters who rarely crossed paths...up to that point, anyway).

I get tantalized on the rare (VERY rare) occasions when Marvel harkens back to everything that happened on Battleworld. So of course I was excited when the new Secret Wars started getting teased. Now that I’ve had some time to mull it over, I suspect that this Secret Wars will have little to do with the comic story that I loved as a kid. It seems to me that Marvel is setting the stage for their first real universal reboot. I mean, I suppose there’s a possibility the Beyonder could make an appearance or something like that, like the vehicle of the deus ex machina. But I guess even the title of the series and the planet is enough to help me feel like Marvel hasn’t forgotten about this era of comic books which, in my opinion, is at least the most iconic era for them if not the greatest.

But yeah a reboot, a la Crisis on Infinite Earths. At least, that’s the impression I’m getting here. Maybe I’m going to be very, very wrong, but I think there might be a 52 relaunch kind of thing with every comic going back to issue one when this is all over. Maybe not. Now, I’ve been critical of DC rebooting every five years or so, it seems like, these days. So my opinion on Marvel doing this?

Well frankly, they’ve earned it.

Review - Ivar, Timewalker #1

"Seventy-fifth-century antigrav pads. Pretty sweet, huh?"

Being able to time-travel is something that everyone dreams about, but no one really knows how to do it. It's a gift and a curse if it ever is settled, as there are immense benefits and drawbacks to it if achieved. Having someone along for the ride who's been around the time-traveling block a few times is always a good thing. That's where Ivar comes in as the main character of Ivar, Timewalker #1 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by Fred Van Lente, illustrated by Clayton Henry, colored by Brian Reber and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

Dynamic Forces Offers Original Artwork from Big Talent

Dynamic Forces CEO Nick Barrucci opens up some of his personal art collection to the public. The collection offers one-of-a-kind, original pieces of comic book art from some of the industry's top names, including Tom Raney, Mark Bagley, Scott Hanna and Patrick Zircher. These pieces include pages from The Outsiders, The Punisher, Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man, The Order, Robin and more. Each page is completely unique and available for fans to own.

"Art collecting has been a passion of mine for years," says Barrucci. "For the past 30 years, I have been picking up pieces from my favorite artists whenever I can. I look at my collection on a regular basis, as I love to appreciate the form, and I was looking at some of these pages by great artists including Mark Bagley, Patrick Zircher and one of my favorite contemporary art teams - Tom Raney and Scott Hanna, and thought that while I have a great collection, I couldn't possibly appreciate it all properly, as with Mark, Patrick, Tom and Scott I have over 400 pages of these fantastic artists and a few other incredible contemporary artists. I had contemplated selling these via auction houses, but realized that many fans may not have access to original art, and thought it would be cool to offer to the comics fan base first. This is the ultimate one-of-a-kind comics collectible as there is only one of each piece of original art, which is why we need to fill each order randomly."

Part of all sales of these one-of-a-kind works of art goes to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The CBLDF is a non-profit organization who provides legal aid, education, and advocacy to protect the First Amendment rights of the readers, creators, retailers, publishers, and librarians of comics, manga and graphic novels. While orders will be randomly filled, it will be per artist. Fans can order Bagley pages and/or Zircher pages and/or Raney and Hanna pages. Each random page will be available at $75.00 plus shipping and handling.

"Nick's sincere enthusiasm for comics shines through in everything he does, and we're honored that he continues to advocate for the CBLDF's important work with projects like this one." states Charles Brownstein of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Full press release below.

Legacy of Luther Strode Concludes Series

Historically, if you showcase a bevy of muscles and have glowing, gold hair, then chances are you're a Super-Saiyan. There are other instances where such an appearance might be the case, as in Legacy of Luther Strode #1 from Image Comics. On April 1, Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore plan to reunite for the final chapter in the trilogy.

“This is what we’ve been building to. All those questions? They get answered here,” said Jordan. “This is Luther Strode taken worldwide. We’re going bigger, crazier and bloodier than before, and there’s no guarantees anyone is making it out alive.”

For five years, Luther Strode and Petra have been on the run. Now the time for running is over, and the Murder Cult is going down. The road to Cain starts here in the double-sized debut of Legacy of Luther Strode #1. Just an average nerd, Luther Strode sends away for a bodybuilding course from an old comic book—one that ends up working a lot better than he ever imagined. Though his newfound strength and strange talents make school a lot easier, they've also caused some very, very bad people to take a very, very keen interest in him.

In Legacy of Luther Strode #1, Luther became more than a nightmare for the evil men in his city... he became a legend. He found himself hunted by a legendary killer and ended up with a measure of redemption and a new mission in life: stop the people that made him what he is. Legacy of Luther Strode #1 takes Petra and Luther across the world, from Russia to Hong Kong to some place east of Eden, hunting for the man who started all of this: Cain himself. The story ends here.

The double-sized Legacy of Luther Strode #1 will land in stores on April 1 and can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code FEB150498. Full press release below.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2K Games Offers Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Ever since the first Borderlands came out the series has been one hell of an enjoyable experience. What’s not to love about great co-op game play, a bazillion different guns to use, interesting and fantastic stories and a dose of good ol’ fashion fun to boot.

It's been announced that those wonderful folks over at 2K Games are going to be releasing Borderlands: The Handsome Collection for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 on March 24. Not only will us next-gen players get the chance to play the Borderlands Pre-Sequel game that was a last-gen exclusive, but we'll also get Borderlands 2 in all its revamped glory as well. On top of that all of the DLC that has come out for both games before the release date of March 24th will be included. Throw in the expected improved graphics and four-way split-screen cooperative action for good measure.
Oh did I forget to mention all this is yours for the price of $59.99?

Review - Groo: Friends and Family #1

"I signed on to battle Groo! Why do I keep having these urges to do away with myself?"

When you're recognized for skills in combat, people go out of their way to avoid you. They fear the combat as a direct influence on their longevity. It's not that often that people avoid you because they're scared of what disaster you'll bring along. In Dark Horse Comics, Groo: Friends and Family #1 brings a character rife with problems. The issue is written by Mark Evanier, illustrated by Sergio Aragonés and colored by Tom Luth.

Bad Karma Volume One From Dynamite Entertainment Features Top Talent

Karma is an entity that is not to be trifled with. It comes in both good and bad flavors, each offering their own characteristics that make life interesting. Dynamite Entertainment is more interested by the bad side, as they're offering Bad Karma Volume One from creators Alex Grecian, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore and Seth Peck. And the work will be available for the first time in comic book stores and book retail chains in April 2015.

Bad Karma Volume One features 200 pages of original comic book and prose stories, plus pin-up artwork, by a huge selection of the industry's up-and-coming creative people. At its core, Bad Karma highlights four separate, creator-owned concepts: Hellbent, by Peck & Tigh Walker; Old Dog, by Moore & Christopher Mitten; Middleton, by Grecian and Phil Hester; and Chaos Agent, by Haun and Mike Tisserand. The four aforementioned writers also collaborate on The Ninth Life of Solomon Gunn, with Haun performing double-duty on art chores.

Additional Bad Karma contributors include Tony Harris, Ben Templesmith, Francesco Francavilla, Rebekka Isaacs, Chris Samnee, Jenny Frison, Shane White, Shaky Kane, Andrew MacLean and many more. The first volume of this anthology series also features a fold-out gatefold by noted print-maker Mark Englert. Bad Karma Volume One came to realization thanks to fan support by way of the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. Since its successful campaign, the creators connected with Dynamite Entertainment for greater distribution and marketing opportunities.

"What's so great about Bad Karma is that it can appeal to such a diverse audience," says Keith Davidsen, Marketing Manager of Dynamite Entertainment. "Within its pages, readers will find gritty crime noir, Victorian mystery, gun-blazing Western action, tentacled monsters, mind-blowing pin-up illustrations, and more. Anyone can pick up this book and find something to love... and that's just for starters, because the sheer high quality of this package, the considerable wealth of talent involved, will draw eyes to each and every page. We're exceedingly proud to count Bad Karma as part of our release schedule for 2015."

Bad Karma Volume One will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' February 2015 Previews catalog and slated for release in April. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Bad Karma Volume One through their local comic book retailers, bookstores or online retailers. Full press release below.

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia Diamond's #1 Book for 2014

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is a fantastic hardcover that pays homage to one of the greatest game franchises ever. When it debuted in February 2013, it did so to a slew of fanfare. Now, nearly two years later the book has made it all the way to the top of the Nielsen BookScan charts, making it the number-one book in America. The book also reached number one on the Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller lists. Dark Horse announced a record print run and the number continues to grow as The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia dominates orders in the UK, China, Italy, Spain and Canada.

This handsome hardcover contains never-before-seen concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the games and much more. Starting with an insightful introduction by the legendary producer and video-game designer of Donkey Kong, Mario and The Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, this book is crammed full of information about the storied history of Link’s adventures from the creators themselves. As a bonus, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia includes an exclusive comic by the foremost creative team of The Legend of Zelda manga Akira Himekawa.

Full press release below.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pre-Order Bonuses and Post-Playing Woes

Pre-ordering a game years ago simply meant you were guaranteed a copy of the game at launch. It made sense to pre-order a game, as brick and mortar stores were really the only option to get the hottest games when they first came out. If you liked a game, you pre-ordered it. If you were on the fence, you waited until it comes out so you can hear what your friends think about the game. Word of mouth is the greatest indicator and promotion a game can receive, because if your friends like it you'll be more likely to buy it too. Now though, gamers are being put through the ringer when it comes to what reviews can be trusted or where you're going to pre-order the game from. In that regard, DLC has gotten out of hand, with season passes and certain retail stores getting custom content.

Pre-orders in this age of gaming is a tougher choice. Examples of games that had great pre-order bonuses, but proved to be bad choices to pre-order were Assassin’s Creed Unity, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and DriveClub. Were these games just rushed out to meet a sales date for the companies that own them? Or has quality assurance testing just taken a nosedive in importance?

Review - The Age #1

“Where were you when you were first made to feel small and frightened and alone?”

On the off chance that the world ever does encounter some form of being more advanced than a human, things are going to get weird. Humans have a penchant for not quite embracing change as quickly as they should. Coexistence will likely be mandatory, even if one side isn’t as keen on it as the other. Living alongside a brand new race of multi-colored humans in The Age #1 is a society a little confused and intrigued. The issue is written by James Brad Maroney, illustrated by Jim Rodgers and lettered by Joshus Cozine.

Frank Cho Returns to Jungle Girl

Frank Cho has been off the Jungle Girl radar for a bit of time, but that doesn't seem to sit right with him. He's looking to amend that and is headed back to the series that showcases Jane, a primal heroine in a prehistoric Lost World. Co-written by Doug Murray and illustrated by Jack Jadson, Jungle Girl: Season Three will debut with a new #1 issue in April 2015, featuring a cover by Cho. Dynamite Entertainment is the publisher working on bringing Jana back to the readers.

"I'm delighted to be back with my co-creator, Doug Murray, and finish out the final story arc of Jungle Girl," says Cho, one of today's most recognizable names in comic book illustration. Cho began his career with a cartoon strip called University2, published in the Diamondback student newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park. The series evolved into the nationally syndicated comic strip Liberty Meadows, later published and expanded in monthly comic books. Cho became the go-to artist for high-profile comic book projects, including Mighty Avengers, X-Men: Schism, Savage Wolverine, and many more. Over the years, he has garnered numerous awards including an Emmy Award for the Frank Cho's World documentary, the National Cartoonists Society's Awards for Best Comic Book and Book Illustration, the Eagle Award, the Charles M. Schulz Award for Excellence in Cartooning.

Jungle Girl: Season Three picks up where the previous series left off, following Jana's escape from an underwater city and a gigantic, otherworldly creature. However, her father soon reveals that those actions have doomed the Lost World in which they all live, as a wormhole appears in the sky and flaming debris begins to fall through. As the jungle burns, Jana and her friends must contend with stampeding behemoths and displaced, murderous natives. Furthermore, the rift presents a new, fearsome threat, for the fire from an alien dimension was not the only thing to come through.

"Season Three is when all hell breaks loose," says Murray. "Up to now, Jana has been a sort of wild card, going where she chooses, interacting with whomever she wants. Now, due to her actions in Season Two, everything is hitting the fan. The huge creature inside the ‘God Mountain' has called out to its fellows -- and they're coming to get it out! Jana, her father, and her friends can't allow that to happen. If it does, the entire world -- not just their portion of it -- will be destroyed. They have to find a way to fight back, which is not easy when your opponent is as big as a house and has a flying saucer! Jana has to grow up. She has to work with her dad to find a way to save the world, no matter what it costs her... or her friends."

Jungle Girl: Season Three #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' February 2015 Previews catalog and slated for release in April. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Jungle Girl: Season Three #1 with their local comic book retailers. Jungle Girl: Season Three 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.

Bang!Tango Provides Sex, Violence and Ballroom Dancing

It takes a lot of guts to get out on the dance floor. Even more so if you're out there dancing ballroom dance, which requires a certain level of devotion and willingness to step on a few toes. Going after the New York mob requires a different sort of guts and some level of insanity, all of which will be on display in Bang!Tango from Image Comics this February. Written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by Adrian Sibar, Bang!Tango is shocking, seductive and visually explosive. Originally published by Vertigo in 2009, it is now being collected for the first time by Image with a near complete artistic face lift by co-creator Sibar.

“I'd never tried a crime book before, but knew that if I was going to go there, I was really going there,” said Kelly. “The characters in Bang!Tango aren't just broken, they're shattered. They are also complicated, sexually provocative, over-the-top and on occasion... even a bit redeemable. But this is a crime noir... no one really gets out clean, do they?”

The horrors of Vinnie’s years in the New York mob are a distant memory. Now he has a new life as the best tango dancer San Francisco has ever seen…until Autumn blows into town. Autumn: the one who broke Vinnie’s heart. In Bang!Tango, Autumn pulls Vinnie into one last job — robbing The Jock, the mob boss who wants Vinnie dead, so that Autumn can pay for gender reassignment surgery that will make her the woman Vinnie always wanted.

Bang!Tango will be in comic book stores on February 11 (Diamond Comic order code DEC140652) and in book stores on February 24 (ISBN 978-1-63215-250-3). It is available for pre-order now. Full press release below.

Friday, January 16, 2015

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 21.

Convoys on the move and those supplies are gonna be in our grasp before you know it.

We left three days ago and right now we're on the border of Tennessee, camped out. It’s been a slow-going process with the amount of vehicles in our convoy. Plus we want to make sure this mission goes off without a hitch and the more cautious you are the better. Even more so when you are dealing with zombies.

Speaking of zombies, so far we’ve only had light interactions with them. Mostly seeing some walking down the road that our scouting team takes out before the rest of the convoy flies past. Even when we break camp for the night--minimal zombie contact. Figure they have just been wiped out of this area or gone somewhere else. Whatever the case may be I'm not liking it. Just doesn’t feel right so after tonight we aren’t going to break camp anymore.

With the amount of people in this convoy we're just gonna keep on driving and only stopping to refuel vehicles; this will save us time and minimize zombie run-ins. We get there, load up and get our asses back to where those supplies can be used. They never said every day in the zombie apocalypse was going to be a walk in the park or exciting. It’s quite relaxing though watching the scenery fly past and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it as we start our nonstop driving.

Review - The Cowboy With Many Hats

"You don't know what's coming to ya, Sheriff."

When you're a small business owner, there's an old adage that you have to wear many hats. Now, assuming you're not running a haberdashery, that's a figurative saying, as it means you have to take on varied responsibilities to get the job done. Getting the job done could even go a far as surviving, as is the case on The Cowboy With Many Hats. The issue is written by Christopher Lee Reda and illustrated by Tadd Galusha.

Victor Gischler Hellbound to Dark Horse

Road trips can make for a really good time. Get some good company, some solid music and plenty of unhealthy snacks you wouldn't eat otherwise and you're on your way to your destination. There are some times though when road trips are a little less than exciting. When the road bites back so to speak. Victor Gischler plans to craft one such tale in Hellbound from Dark Horse Comics. He'll be working alongside Davide Dileo and Riccardo Burchielli on the graphic novel.

“I’ve had nothing but good times with Dark Horse, and considering their fantastic track record with horror, I’m thrilled they are bringing Hellbound to an American readership,” said Gischler. “A great partnership for a great book.”

Adapted from the hit Panini series Highway to Hell, Hellbound follows the exploits of two disgraced FBI agents sent to investigate gruesome murders along the highway, but there’s much more to the case than a garden-variety serial killer. It's a road trip of horrific nightmares in small-town America—kept at bay by one man in junkyard armor. It features a cover by superstar artist Lee Bermejo.

Arriving in September, Hellbound will be available for $17.99, and can be preordered from Full press release below.

Archaia Turns the Tides in Plunder

Plunder #1 Main Cover

February is a month of cold and Valentine's Day. It's also a good month for debuting a new comic book series. In February, Archaia will debut another series that further cements their position as one of best publishers out there. That series is called Plunder and it will pair Swifty Lang with Skuds McKinley for a tale of terror reminiscent of Captain Phillips and The Thing.

“Horror on the high seas,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “That’s what Swifty and Skuds have created with Plunder. This is a visceral horror story that has a killer setup and a flat-out intense narrative. Step on board for a wild journey!”

After facing off with an illegal Chinese vessel, a gang of Somali pirates tries to board what they think is a research vessel, only to find themselves in the midst of a massacre. As their worst nightmares become reality, the 14-year-old boy who went from translator to reluctant pirate not only becomes the key to survival, but must decide for himself how far he is willing to go in the name of self-preservation.

Plunder #1 arrives in comic shops on February 18th from Archaia with a main cover by McKinley for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code DEC141206. Also available in limited quantities are a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Ramón K. Pérez and a retailer incentive cover by Daniele Serra (Fade to Black). The Final Order Cutoff (FOC) deadline for retailers is January 26th.

Full press release below.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review - Rat Queens Special: Braga #1

"If they'd just accepted me for who I was."

It's hard enough being next in line to lead a tribe of orcs without having to contend with internal questions. Those internal questions can make choices that much more difficult, regardless of what they're about. In Rat Queens Special: Braga #1 from Image Comics, one Orc has a very tough choice to make between personal happiness and leading the tribe. The issue is written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, illustrated by Tess Fowler and lettered by Ed Brisson.

Image Comics Launches Mail-Order Subscription Service Image Direct

Whether you like it or not, digital comics are rapidly becoming all the rage. It's quick to get a book, easy to read and a breeze to stay up to date on the newest issues. Still, there are some out there who like a print book, but aren't exactly able to get to the comic book store every week. Image Comics has you covered, as they're launching a brand-new, mail-order subscription service called Image Direct. The new service offers readers the chance to purchase 12-issue subscriptions to their favorite Image comics and have them mailed to their door

“Even with all the wonderful work our retailer partners in the Direct Market do, the number one comment we get from fans is they frequently can’t find the Image titles they’re looking for,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “Given that there are fewer comic book stores than ever before, we’re hoping that Image Direct makes our titles available to fans who don’t have easy access to a local comic book store, or whose shop doesn’t carry the full range of Image titles.”

Image Direct will allow subscribing readers to receive the latest issues of over 35 titles, including The Walking Dead, Saga, Sex Criminals, Wytches, Black Science, Velvet, Rat Queens and more, immediately upon release. Subscribers will receive discounts of up to 30% off and will have the option to subscribe to every available title and receive 35% off. Image Direct launches today. Readers interested in subscribing to the service can find more information on how to sign up here:

Full press release below.

Eric Heisserer Debuts Shaper

Eric Heisserer is a man about the town of Hollywood. He's a writer and director known for The Thing (2011), Final Destination 5 (2011), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) and Hours (2013). That's not enough for him to be known for though, as he's now turning his eye towards comics. In a partnership with Dark Horse Comics, Heisserer is working with Felipe Massafera on Shaper.

A galactic empire hunts a race of shape shifters prophesied to overthrow its rule. When orphaned teenager Spry discovers that he is one of the hunted—a Shaper—he must learn to use his newfound abilities to escape the empire’s prime enforcer, Tor Ajax, and save his entire race!

Shaper #1 (of 5) is on sale March 18 in comic shops everywhere. Full press release below.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review - Atomic Fist Punch #1

"Skulls are tough and cool! You should know that."

Skynet's arrival will be heralded by a lot of death and "I told you so." What it won't bring with it are atomic fists made for punching. That is, unless Drew Maxwell has anything to say about it. And he does in Atomic Fist Punch #1, written and illustrated by Maxwell.

Magic and Myth Collide in Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory

Jim Zub knows a thing or two about crafting intelligent, fantasy tales. When you pair him with penciler Steven Cummings though, the result is even better. And their depiction of the busy streets of Tokyo in Wayward is phenomenal. You might have missed out on the first few issues, but Image Comics will give fans a chance to catch up in Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory.

"Wayward is about disaffected youth battling myths of old and, just like being a teenager, it's intense, funny, emotional, and violent,” said Zub. “'String Theory' is our first step into this twisted world of modern, mystic mystery and I'm excited to bring readers along for the ride.”

In Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory, readers meet Rori, a misfit teen reluctantly transplanted from Ireland to her strange and new home in Japan with her mother. From the get-go there are some cultural adjustments to be made and Rori feels like a fish out of water—but things take a turn for the weird when she begins glimpsing things—creatures—that no one else can see.

“Wayward is a coming of age tale that comes up against monsters set in the very real Japan that everyday people experience,” said Cummings. “Well, except they don't experience monsters... With every new step in the voyage we get to take our readers along for a guided tour of Tokyo and its Yokai side."

Wayward, Vol. 1: String Theory (ISBN: 978-1-63215-173-5) arrives in comic book stores on March 25 (Diamond Code: JAN150664) and bookstores on April 7 for the low introductory price of $9.99. Full press release below.

Help Us! Great Warrior Comes to BOOM! Box

Help Us! Great Warrior #1 Main Cover

February is a great month to kick butt. Save some hunks. Look good doing it. And being a fan of Help Us! Great Warrior. That month, BOOM! Box will bring all four things together in Madeleine Flores' new limited series. Possessing great strength and even greater self-confidence, Great Warrior protects her village from evil-doers and looks great in her armor while doing it. Based on Flores’ popular webcomic, Help Us! Great Warrior is the newest series from the BOOM! Box imprint and continues the tradition of jubilant comics made “for the love of it” like Lumberjanes and Teen Dog.

“Madeleine’s Great Warrior is someone we can all admire,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “She takes out the bad guys, eats too many potato chips, and is full of unwavering self-confidence. We fell in love with Madeleine’s hilarious webcomic and just couldn’t wait to bring these new adventures to print!”

Help Us! Great Warrior #1 arrives in comic shops from BOOM! Box on February 11th with a main cover by Flores for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code DEC141209. Also available in limited quantities are a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb and a retailer incentive cover by MAiS2. Please check with your local comic shop on their availability. The Final Order Cutoff (FOC) deadline for retailers is January 19th.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review - Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1

"Pointless and boring and bad!"

Marceline is one of those characters in the Adventure Time universe who punches above the maturity level of most everyone else in the Land of Ooo. She's always introspective, looking for untapped sources to make her music that much more soulful. She's not always successful in her search, but at least she does search. In Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1 from BOOM! Studios, her travels might take her a little farther than anticipated. The issue is written by Meredith Gran and illustrated by Carey Pietsch.