Tuesday, June 30, 2015

X-O Manowar Hits 50 in 2016

Long live the king. X-O Manowar #50 hits stores in 2016.

Review - Will Eisner's The Spirit #1

Is that...? I-I don't believe it! Colt! You're...alive?!"

Being killed by the criminals you're chasing doesn't typically end well for the one on the side of justice. There are some instances though where such an event galvanizes a man of justice into something of a hero. In Will Eisner's The Spirit #1 from Dynamite Entertainment, that's exactly what Danny Colt goes through. The issue is written by Matt Wagner, illustrated by Dan Schkade, colored by Brennan Wagner and lettered by A Larger World Studios.

Joe Golem Returns to Life in November

While Hellboy garners his fair share of accolades and praise, there are other ideas that come from his creator Mike Mignola. One of those ideas is Joe Golem and it's an idea he's returning to with Christopher Golden and Dark Horse Comics. And Joe Golem is making his first comic book appearance in a new five issue miniseries called Joe Golem: Occult Detective, written by Mignola and Golden and illustrated by Patric Reynolds.

“For years now, since we first saw Baltimore work as a comic, Chris and I have talked about doing comic book sequels and prequels to Joe Golem,” said Mike Mignola. “But, as always, we needed to find just the right artist and when I saw Patric Reynolds’ recent work on an Alien comic I knew he could pull off the world we created in the novel and capture the mood we were looking for. When you find the right artist for something you don't want to let him get away.”

The new series takes place prior to the events of the illustrated novel Joe Golem and the Drowning City. Set forty years after an earthquake leaves Lower Manhattan partly submerged under 30 feet of water, Joe Golem must hunt a horrifying creature that is pulling children into the depths of the city’s canals. Like their collaboration on the Baltimore graphic novels, the events of Joe Golem take place outside of the “Mignolaverse”, the strange, shared universe inhabited by Hellboy, BPRD, Abe Sapien, and Frankenstein Underground. The horror of Joe Golem is distinctly urban; the series offers a haunting dystopian mid-twentieth century New York.

"Joe Golem is full of pulpy goodness, weird alternate history, monsters, and magic and it's full of insanity you're not going to find anywhere else." said Golden. “We're telling the story of Joe Golem: Occult Detective, solving mysteries in the flooded streets of mid-20th century lower Manhattan with the ancient Simon Church, who's keeping himself alive with magic and machinery at the same time he's keeping Joe in the dark about his own origins. We want to immerse you in Joe's world, what life is like in the Drowning City, and with issue one, we dive right in."

Full press release below.

Dynamite Down with Homies

Surge Licensing, Inc. and Homeshop, LLC are teaming up Dynamite for some good stuff. That good stuff will generate the first-ever officially licensed Homies publications. The deal includes rights for a "History of the Homies" comprehensive retrospective hardcover art book, which will feature all of the toys ever released, along with behind-the-scenes art, info and photos on the development of the characters, brand, and merchandise, including interviews with its creator, David Gonzales and the story of how the Homies blew up. In addition, the deal includes the right to create original comics and graphic novels in all sizes, as well as reprint existing comic material.

"The Homies started as an underground comic strip back in the 70's, and it has always been my dream to have them published in a comic book of their own. I have also always wanted to create a Homies history book of some sort to establish the legacy of Homies, and to share the stormy, controversial, and wild ride that they have taken me on," says David Gonzales. "I am very pleased that Dynamite has recognized something special in my creation, and will champion me and my Homies in this quest."

The Homies first began as an underground comic strip created by Gonzales that ran in Lowrider Magazine in 1978 and was based on his friends and lifestyle. Homies was licensed for figurines in the vending machine toy industry, where all sales records were broken, with over 150 million figurines sold worldwide. The licensing program soon spread to products such as action figures, remote and die-cast cars, notebooks, posters, plush, Halloween masks, video games, music and more, and were carried by specialty and mass retailers, such as Walmart, K-mart, Kay-bee Toys, Spencer Gifts, Walgreens and many others. Today, the Homies are enjoying a comeback with new T-shirts, toys and more in the works.

"We're not only excited to bring Homies to the comic and book market, but we also get to kick this off at San Diego Comic Con! For fans who come to our panel on July 9th, we're going to give away a collectible Homie to each and every fan. The panel is in Room 6DE on Thursday, from 5:45pm to 6:45pm, and we can't wait to talk more about Homies and our additional Dynamite projects," says Dynamite CEO and Publisher Nick Barrucci.

Full press release below.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Review - Transference #1

"Welcome to espionage everyone."

One of the unwritten rules of time travel is that you should make every effort to preserve history as it is. Going back in time (or forward) will likely have an effect on subsequent time periods, so it's crucial that you leave things the way you found them. Sometimes though, there are time travelers with more nefarious motives, as in Transference #1 from Black Mask Studios. The issue is written by Michael Moreci, illustrated by Ron Salas, colored by Tamra Bonvillain and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Cats Are Out of the Bag

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, including felines. That might explain why Hero Cats has been such a hit for Action Lab Entertainment, only they're not done. A spinoff title for Midnight (one of the actual Hero Cats) is slated for release. Hero Cats of Stellar City Volume Two contains issues four through six and also stars Galaxy Man, the hero who had, previously, appeared in back ups.

“Each issue is a stand alone story. Different members of our cast grow as explorers, spies, and detectives,” said HERO CATS writer/creator, Kyle Puttkammer. “The second Hero Cats trade paperback really allows our cats to grow and cover new ground.”

“As a writer, it allowed me to explore not just the characters I'd created, but the world they live in,” said Puttkammer. “The art team has really gained confidence and that has allowed us to tell richer stories. Not just showing new environments, but also delving deeper into each cat's relationship with each other.”

Hero Cats of Stellar City Volume Two is currently available for pre-order via Diamond Previews (Order Code #JUN150861). Issue Seven (JUN150860) of Hero Cats is also currently available for pre-order in the June Previews. Full press release below.

Think Tank Melts Minds this Autumn

If you thought Matt Hawkins and Rashan Ekedal had run out of ideas for Think Tank, then maybe you should think again. In fact, the two are planning to team up for another go-round in Think Tank: Creative Destruction #1, set to debut this September 23. In Think Tank: Creative Desrruction #1, an unknown enemy savages the technological infrastructure of the US. Panic and conspiracy theories spread as David Loren and his misfit science team continue work on the TALOS project, trying to make “Iron Man” suits a reality in California.

"Think Tank is the reason I'm writing comics today,” said Hawkins. “It's a passion project in every way that can be described. This is my best work, with a most gifted co-creator and collaborator in Rahsan Ekedal.”

Think Tank: Creative Destruction #1 (Diamond Code: JUL150619) hits stores on Wednesday, September 23rd. Cover B by Ekedal can be ordered with Diamond Code JUL150620. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, August 31st. Full press release below.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1

"The prophecy was coming. It was my job to stop it."

The Grimm Fairy Tales universe has its fair share of heroines and heroes, one of whom is Baba Yaga. The powerful witch has cut a swath through the universe, stopping those in her path. When she goes up against Crusaders in Grimm Fairy Tales Coven #1 from Zenescope however, things may get a little tougher for her. The issue is written by Zach Calig, illustrated by Diego Galindo, colored by Michael Bartolo and lettered by Charles Pritchett.

Action Lab Entertainment Invades SDCC

Action Lab Entertainment is headed to the SDCC party in a couple of weeks. And the publisher will be setting up shop in the Independent Publishers Pavilion (booth 2006). Additionally, Action Lab will be conducting a talent search for writers and artists to work on our line of company produced titles. We’re also looking at original creator-owned submissions throughout the week. Check the Comic Con website for more details and times.

Action Lab Entertainment, and it’s sister imprint Action Lab: Danger Zone will be exhibiting throughout the week, with limited show exclusives and a plethora of talent from many of Action Lab’s most popular and up and coming creators. That talent includes John Reilly, Susan Beneville and Bryan Hess, DeWayne Feenstra and Axur Eneas, Jeremy Whitley and Emily Martin, Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa, Mia Goodwin, John Perez, James Wright and Jackie Crofts, Michael Martin, Dan Mendoza and Jason Martin, Dave Dwonch, Shawn Gabborin, Kevin Freeman and Comic Con International Special Guest Katie Cook.

Full press release below.

Wolf Leads the Pack in July

Ales Kot needs no introduction as a comic creator, as his work speaks for itself. When he teams up with artist Matt Taylor for a brand new fantasy crime-noir series called Wolf, Image Comics is aiming to make his talents more widely recognized. The first issue hits stores this July and Kots has a lot to say about it.

"… if I go to where the inspiration really came from…it could be simply the image of Antoine Wolfe, our main protagonist in #1, a hard-boiled ex-army detective who can see too much for his own peace of mind, living in a glorified shack in Echo Park surrounded by boxes of books, empty bottles of booze, prescription pills and some things we can’t quite figure out until the end of issue one. It’s a cliché, but the biggest clichés are often clichés because they are true: it all starts with a character. And Antoine is real."

"And Antoine Wolfe does, which means he’s in demand. Of course, there’s also something strange crawling through the hills, ripping people up… a girl who just lost her parents… a hyper-wealthy racist named Gibson Sterling… vampires… werewolves… and a whole lot of uneasy, oozing atmosphere. But not all is doom and gloom, because we’re in a hyper-sunny LA, the kinda place where it might be Christmas and you won’t even notice."

Wolf incorporates the crime noir thrills and character development of True Detective with the mythical stakes of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in this original fantasy, horror saga. Antoine Wolfe is a hard-boiled paranormal detective with a death wish and has to cope with sudden responsibility for an orphaned teenage girl who might be the key to the impending apocalypse, California-style.

The road to hell and back begins in a maximum-sized first issue, with fifty-eight pages of story and no ads. Wolf #1 (Diamond Code: MAY150550) will be available on July 22. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, June 29. Full press release below.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cognetic Reimagines the End of the World

BOOM! Studios is preparing for the end of the world. Granted, this isn't their first go-round with such an event, but they're getting James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan back on board for Cognetic. This fall, Tynion and Donovan explore the fundamental human desire for control and how absolute power can topple civilization. In Cognetic, every human believes they are a self-reliant, self-determined individual, each set on their own course. They've built civilizations, they've built culture, they've built lives...but what if that isn't the right track? What if there is a singular mind ready to take back control and finally right the destiny of mankind and build a better tomorrow?

Cognetic is the story of a powerful psychic being that once controlled one-third of the world's population as a part of its hivemind, and his return to humanity in modern-day New York City. It's a psychic action thriller, precariously positioned on the edge of outright apocalypse. It's also the story of a young woman, the assistant to the director of the FBI, who might be the only one who can save humanity, but at a terrible, terrible cost.

Cognetic #1 contains an oversized 48 pages of story and will arrive in comic shops this October. Further details will be available closer to the release date. Full press release below.

Review - Dead Squad: Ayala Tal #1

"You are the one they call the Angel of Death."

The life an assassin is exciting and thrilling, but it does come at a cost: you're constantly risking your life for your profession. For many though, that's not nearly that much of an issue. When you're an assassin as good as Ayala Tal in Dead Squad: Ayala Tal #1 from Darby Pop Publshing, there are other things that are issues. The issue is written by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, illustrated by Metho Diaz, inked by Jonas Trindade, colored by Thiago Ribeiro and lettered by Troy Peteri.

Book of Death: Chapter Zero Launches as Weekly Webcomic

Book of Death #1 is nearing its start. Ahead of the big reveal on July 15 though, Valiant Entertainment wants its readers to be, well, entertained. To that end, they've just announced the launch of a weekly webcomic called Book of Death: Chapter Zero at Comicbook.com. The weekly webcomic will feature the talents of Robert Venditti, Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite.

The Valiant heroes. X-O Manowar. Bloodshot. Ninjak. The Harbinger Renegades. Unity. This is how they lived. This is how they died. Now we know. The Book of the Geomancer has recorded it all. But only a young girl – the last in a line of the enigmatic mystics who protect the Earth known as Geomancers – has seen this future come to pass, from the coming cataclysm to the dawn of the 41st century. Alone with her sworn protector, the Eternal Warrior – a soldier battle-forged across five thousand years of combat – the duo must defy their allies to stop the Dark Age that now threatens to eclipse our world. Together, they are the number one target of every hero and villain on Earth. Either the Eternal Warrior hands her over…or they take him down. But can even he single-handedly protect one child when the entire Valiant Universe wages war against him?

Full press release below.

Sina Grace is Self-Obsessed

Sina Grace is going back to his roots. Those roots will be on full display in Self-Obsessed, a new graphic novel memoir from Image Comics. The book comes from the one-shot of the same name, bringing with it over 80 pages of new material. Folks who enjoy digging into the mindset of an artist asking himself what depths he’ll need to plumb to be anybody’s somebody.

“It felt like the world took away every incentive to live, love, and make stories,” Grace said. “After a lot of grieving and introspection, I decided that all I wanted to do was tell stories that were 100% the realest me I could give the reader. #YOLO.”

A number of personal tribulations—including a death in the family and the end of a longterm relationship—derailed all momentum and sent Grace spiraling into a depression. After leaving his hometown of Los Angeles and traveling across the American Southwest, Grace found his passion project for 2015: himself. Influenced by nights spent poring over Joan Didion, Arthur Rimbaud and Anders Nilsen, the scope of stories in Self-Obsessed reflect the ups-and-downs of breaking into comics, reconciling relationships past, and discovering what true selfhood looks like. Mixed with long-forgotten strips unearthed from the creator’s messy archives, conversations with contemporaries Ryan O’Connell and Colleen Green, as well as essays exploring gender, identity, and pursuing one’s dreams, Grace brings a whole new spin to memoir for the Twitter age.

Self-Obsessed (ISBN: 978-1-63215-449-1, Diamonde Code: JUL150640) arrives September 30 and will be available for $9.99. The graphic novel will include an introduction from Jeff Lemire, as well as a free audiobook download. 

Full press release below.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review - Fallout Shelter

Fallout 4 hits this fall as the much anticipated and welcomed next-gen game in the Fallout series. For those who just cannot wait and are on iOS right now, you can download Fallout Shelter, a free game that gives you control over your own vault (the Android version will be out in a few more months). You decide who comes into your vault, what job they do and how they progress; basically you are the computer controlling it all.

Sierra Hahn Joins BOOM! Studios as Senior Editor

BOOM! Studios is adding another arrow to its editor's quiver in Sierra Hahn, who's slated to join the publisher as Senior Editor starting July 1. Hahn will oversee and develop several of the company’s upcoming original series, licensed comics, and original graphic novels. She will also assist in seeking out new projects to develop into comics. She will report directly to BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.

“Sierra not only brings with her years of expertise as an editor, but also the respect and admiration of some of the industry’s greatest creators,” said Gagnon. “Sierra is a phenomenal addition to our team who will make an impact on day one. In her role as Senior Editor she'll be bringing in new projects, helping mentor some of the younger editors on our staff, and be an important voice for our company on new projects, initiatives, and throughout the industry at large. One of our core missions at BOOM! is to help build a better, healthier industry for everybody who loves comics; Sierra not only shares that sensibility, she's an important part of helping all of us move closer to our goals.”

Hahn is a former Editor at Dark Horse Comics where she worked for eight years, having edited projects like Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Joss Whedon, the Eisner Award-winning Green River Killer: A True Detective Story by Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case, and the forthcoming Two Brothers by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá. The impressive list of creators in comics she’s worked with includes such industry greats as Neil Gaiman, Eric Powell, Mike Mignola, Guillermo del Toro, Gerard Way and Brian Wood. Hahn began her career in comics in 2005 at DC Comics/Vertigo, where she served as Publicity Representative under then Vice President of Publicity David Hyde and worked with notable talents like Brian Azzarello, Becky Cloonan, Bill Willingham, Brian K. Vaughan, Jason Aaron and Cameron Stewart. In 2007, she realized her dream of becoming a comics editor and moved to Portland, Oregon to work for Dark Horse under Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie.

"With titles like Lumberjanes, Bee and Puppycat, Giant Days, The Fiction, and the upcoming Strange Fruit, BOOM! Studios consistently delivers fun, edgy, and unexpected books,” said Hahn. “Their growing backlist brings a wide range of exceptional talent to readers of all ages and tastes, but their monthly titles for kids and young adult readers are especially compelling for me. I'm honored to be part of this innovative, tight-knit publishing house."

Full press release below.

Twitter Presents Official #ValiantSummit Periscope

Twitter HQ has had no shortage of high-powered celebrities, politicians and athletes make their way through the halls for whatever reason. Now, Valiant Comics is looking to set foot inside the home of the blue bird, teaming up with Twitter for an exclusive panel celebrating 25 years. And it all goes down via Periscope from Twitter HQ on Tuesday, June 30th at 3 PM EDT/12 PM PDT. Robert Venditti, Jen Van Meter, Dinesh Shamdasani, Warren Simons and Hunter Gorinson will be hosting an hour of news, announcements and live Q&A.

The #ValiantSummit panel presents a comprehensive introduction to Valiant's groundbreaking superhero universe and the origins of its greatest heroes, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Ninjak, Divinity and more. Then, the first official #ValiantSummit continues with revelations about the publisher's upcoming Book of Death summer event series by Venditti and artists Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite; exclusive first word on upcoming series and special events coming in late 2015 and beyond; and questions and answers, live from fans around the world submitted via Twitter.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, Valiant is one of the most successful comic book publishing companies in the history of the medium with more than 81 million comics sold and a library of more than 2,000 distinct characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong and many more. Established by a brain trust of legendary comics creators – including former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter; seminal Iron Man writer and artist, Bob Layton; and the visionary writer and illustrator of Wolverine: Weapon X, Barry Windsor-Smith – Valiant’s heroes and villains inhabit the largest independently owned superhero universe anywhere in comics. In recent years the company has returned to great commercial and critical success, winning a Diamond Gem Award for Publisher of the Year and numerous industry awards and accolades. Valiant’s titles consistently rate among the best reviewed in comics.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review - Mulan: Revelations #1

"Hell is empty..."

Being a great warrior requires quite a few traits--most of which can be taught. There are some traits, such as courage and leadership, that can't be taught and require finding the right individual. Sometimes, you have to reach pretty far back for said individual, as in Mulan: Revelations #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Micah Kaneshiro and lettered by Nate Piekos.

Imagine Agents Gets Batman

Brian Joines' Imagine Agents features the artwork of Bachan and is the story of two agents who work for clandestine organization I.M.A.G.I.N.E. to keep kids’ imaginary friends under control. Little do they know that an abandoned “friend” from long ago is about to disrupt the status quo and turn everything upside down. The series was published from October 2013 to January 2014, with a collected edition released in December 2014 and now Michael Keaton is signing on to produce and star in a film adaptation for 20th Century Fox.

“Imagine Agents has been the most rewarding project I've worked on and the fact it's going to be a movie with Michael Keaton, whose work had a huge impact on my teenaged years and indirectly played a role in my decision to become a writer, is just a mind-blowing continuation of that reward,” said Joines.

BOOM! has a first-look feature film deal at 20th Century Fox that includes first-dollar gross on films based on any of its comics, which the publisher splits with its creators. BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie will produce the film with Keaton and Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar. President of Development Stephen Christy will executive produce with Anonymous Content’s Eli Selden. Senior Vice President of Film Adam Yoelin will co-produce in cooperation with Anonymous Content’s Ashley Zalta.

Full press release below.

Image Comics Announce Signing Wars

Canada doesn't go up against the United States in very many scenarios, unless you're Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Generally speaking though, Americans have little problems with our friendly neighbors up north. There are some in the United States who want to stir the pot a little and Image Comics is one the one holding the spoon. To promote the release of We Stand on Guard #1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Steve Skroce, the publisher will be kicking off an international signing war.

Vaughan and Skroce will be enjoying Canada Day, July 1st, in the United States, with an epic release party at the world-famous Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, CA from 7 – 9 PM. Then, they’re be spending their Independence Day, July 4th, in Canada, at the acclaimed Golden Age Collectibles in Vancouver, B.C. at 1:30 PM. Both events are free to the public, and the oversized 40-page first issue of We Stand On Guard is priced at only $2.99. Vaughan and Skroce will be happy to sign whatever readers bring—time and lines permitting.

Which signing will be better attended? “Nobody knows,” said Vaughan, before warning: “But whichever nation loses will be forced to keep Justin Bieber… forever.”

We Stand On Guard is an action-packed military thriller about a futuristic conflict between Canada and the United States, so in honor of their story, the creators will be appearing together at two different signings, one in each of their home countries. And if you’d rather not pick a side, Vaughan and Skroce will also be appearing together at this year’s Image Expo on Thursday, July 2, on the relatively-neutral ground of San Francisco, at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts.

Full press release below.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review - Princeless: Be Yourself #1

"Bedelia, squirrels are nice and fluffy."

Being a princess is no easy feat. Well, for those willing to accept the role and the preconceived notions that come with it there's little to do. But for those who want more out of life than just being a damsel in distress, well, the adventuring can be a little difficult. Not so difficult that things are impossible, but difficult nonetheless, especially for a character such as Adrienne in Princeless: Be Yourself #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Emily Martin, colored by Brett Grunig and lettered by Emily Spura.

Dark Horse Announces SDCC 2015 Exclusives

When Dark Horse shows up at a show as big as SDCC, they show up just as big. This year they'll be bringing a ton of exclusive content to booth #2615, including:

The Goon 3D Print
Halo UNSC Pelican Dropship Replica - SDCC Exclusive Bronze Edition
Games of Thrones: Robert Baratheon Crown - SDCC Exclusive Mini Replica
Dragon Age: Inquisition Deluxe Playing Cards - Series Two - Convention Exclusive
Fight Club 2 #1 Convention Exclusive Variant Cover by Joëlle Jones
Archie vs. Predator #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Colleen Coover
Rebels #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Becky Cloonan
Plants vs. Zombies: Bully for You #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Charlie Adlard
Groo vs. Conan San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Hardcover Edition
The Goonies 30th Anniversary San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Print by Eric Powell
Prometheus: Fire and Stone Slipcase - Convention Exclusive
Elfquest: The Final Quest Hardcover - Convention Exclusive

Full press release below.

BOOM! Studios Paves Road to SDCC 2015 with Announcements

Fans shouldn't rest on their laurels in the week or so leading up to SDCC this year. If you're looking for some news from BOOM! Studios, the publisher will unveil 10 announcements in the days leading up to the big show July 8-12. The announcements will include a mixture of new projects, creator reveals, and new partnerships.

“Comic-Con is always one of the highlights of our convention schedule, and every year we look forward to sharing some cool news about upcoming titles with our fans,” said BOOM! Studios Marketing Manager Mel Caylo. “Last year, we couldn’t hold out until Comic-Con with announcements that included new projects with J.G. Jones and Mark Waid, Justin Jordan, Grant Morrison, and others. This year, we couldn’t contain ourselves again!”

The first announcement will be made today. BOOM! Studios will participate in Comic-Con as an exhibitor and can be found at Booth #2229. Look for separate announcements to come for BOOM!’s talent, panels, exclusives and 10 Year Birthday Bash taking place during the show.

Full press release below.

Friday, June 19, 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 43.

We are strong and only getting stronger. Taking a recap of the number of survivors we know of among all of our outposts is getting us up there in numbers.

Among Washington state, the northern California stronghold, the Salt Lake City outpost, the southern Colorado outpost, the Kansas City outpost, Fort Bragg and Fort Sumter outposts, there are about 15,000 of us with most of those being in Washington state. While it’s not as large a number as the population once was, we've got a really good start for rebuilding.

Right here in Fort Sumter there are about seventy of us, with more on the way to help build up the infrastructure and get some of the larger docks and communication gear going so we can have an operational port on the east coast. The plan is that once we're able to keep this place secure, well feed and operational, we'll find boats that can take us down the coast to the Caribbean and hit the islands down there. If anyone was to survive these past seven years it will be folks on islands.

Dark Souls II: Design Works Looks at World of Dark Souls

Dark Souls as a series is one the most beloved and challenging properties ever made. Players cherish its difficulty and necessity to learn the patterns of a variety of fascinating looking enemies. The looks of those enemies are getting the hardcover treatment in Dark Souls II: Design Works from UDON Entertainment. Dark Souls II: Design Works collects all the chilling and haunting fantasy artwork behind the critically-acclaimed game in a prestigious hardcover tome. Featured inside are armor and weapon designs, character concepts, enemies, locations, rough sketches, an exclusive interview with the game's creators and more.

Completing the book is a bevy of concept material from all three chapters of the game’s DLC trilogy, “The Lost Crowns”. Dark Souls II: Design Works will hit stores on October 2015 with ISBN 978-1-927925-56-0 for $49.99. Dark Souls: Design Works is currently available for $39.99.

Full press release below.

Review - Empty Zone #1

"Nobody in this biz can do what I do."

How do you plan on surviving the apocalypse? If you've got some survival skills, talent or physical ability, then chances are you stand at least a passing chance of surviving. Is it really worth surviving the collapse of society though? Empty Zone #1 from Image Comics boasts an interesting approach to the lack of humanity. The issue is written and illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, colored by Luis Nct and lettered by Sherard Jackson.

Kate Leth and Matt Cummings Power Up

BOOM! Box has got some power up their sleeves this July. That power will come in the form of Power Up, a collaboration between Kate Leth and Matt Cummings that combines a deep love of Sailor Moon with Scott Pilgrim.

“With a charming and hilarious cast of characters and a strong dose of positivity, Power Up exemplifies everything that the BOOM! Box imprint stands for,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Kate and Matt have both been a part of the BOOM! family for some time now; they’re super talented and this original series is the perfect story for them to cut loose.”

It has been foretold that four noble warriors of incredible strength would be gifted with cosmic abilities at a moment of planetary alignment...which, yeah, something definitely went a little weird here. Amie is a disaffected twenty-something with a lot on her plate, Kevin is a washed-up athlete way past his prime, Sandy’s a mother of two teenagers, and Silas...is a goldfish. Just a normal goldfish. Are we sure we read that prophecy right?

Power Up #1 (of 6) arrives in comic shops on July 22nd with a main cover by Cummings for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code MAY151091. Also available in a limited quantity are a 10 Years incentive cover by Lucy Knisley, a retailer incentive cover by Babs Tarr and an unlocked FOC variant cover that retailers can order in any quantity by Ian McGinty. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is June 22nd.

Full press release below.

Z2 Comics Announces New Creator Owner Periodical Line

What happens when you combine Paul Pope, Harvey Pekar, Dean Haspiel and Miss Lasko-Gross? In addition to a ton of talent, you also get Z2 Comics, the boutique graphic novel publisher. Now, they're announcing a new line of creator owned perodical comic books. The new line will debut in fall with three new titles: the first creator owned comic book by Ian McGinty, an international adventure caper by Paul Pope’s protege Chris Hunt and the comic book debut by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver writer Will Tracy and co-writer Gabe Koplowitz.

“There’s no house style to Z2 Comics, because our comics are spectacularly diverse,” said Z2 Comics Publisher Josh Frankel. “We have an all ages comic book chock full of demons and monsters about the eternal tension between a slacker son and his ambitious father who literally wants to take over the universe. There’s a world trotting caper full of sex, intrigue and adventure. And then there’s a hilarious fantasy story about an aspiring cartoonist who must avenge his father’s death.”

Welcome to Showside by McGinty features the adventures of Kit, a lovable kid with a monstrous secret: his dad is the Great Shadow King and he wants Kit to take over the family business of destroying the world. Carver by Hunt starts after an absence of five years, globe trotting and notorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to Paris in 1923. He has come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he has ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Francis will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.

Finally, Allen: Son of Hellcock by Tracy, Koplowitz and Miguel Porto is about Allen. Allen is cowardly, directionless, and less physically menacing than a daffodil. He’s also the only son of the mightiest hero ever to plunge his sword hilt-deep into the dark heart of evil… the mighty HELLCOCK. Enjoy the ride as Allen is thrust sword-first into a not-so-classic fantasy quest that, frankly, he would rather just sit out. All Z2 Comics standard periodicals will be 32 pages and priced at $3.99; they will be distributed at comic book stores nationwide via Diamond and will be available digitally via ComiXology.

“Z2 Comics are wildly eclectic,” said Frankel. “What does a graphic novel from Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel or Miss Lasko Gross have in common with the periodicals announced today? They are exceptional works from exceptional creators and comics you’ll want to read.”

Full press release below.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review - Death Head #1

"Just a quick look. Then we're outta here."

There are unwritten rules about horror movies. One of them happens to be that you don't explore anachronistic villages for the sake of curiosity. Doing so often doesn't end well for the explorers, something that's potentially on tap in Death Head #1 from Dark Horse. The issue is written by Zack and Nick Keller, illustrated by Joanna Estep, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick and lettered by John J. Hill.

Dynamite Entertainment Partners with Visionbooks

Dynamite Entertainment is all about special editions and paying homage to their characters. They're doing a little bit of both in partnering with Visionborne on a special edition release of Vampirella: Feary Tales. The series is featured on the Visionbooks platform in a new format that showcases movement and visual effects in every panel of the comic book. Vampirella: Feary Tales celebrates Vampirella's 45th Anniversary with five issues of twisted tales, bizarre bedtime stories and fearsome fables in the tradition of the original Warren magazines, each featuring everyone's favorite sexy, kick-ass vampire-turned-monster hunter.

"It's been really cool to see Vampirella come to life with Visionbooks' technology," says Dynamite Director of Business Development Rich Young. "We are excited to be working with them and think fans of the character will enjoy these comics."

In Feary Tales, Nancy A. Collins, assembled a team of today's most accomplished writers to contribute "twisted tales, bizarre bedtime stories, and fearsome fables" in the tradition of the classic Warren Vampirella magazine publications. The anthology is held together by a unique, cohesive framework which grants freedom of creative storytelling for contributing talents Gail Simone, Stephen R. Bissette, Elmo Eklabuz, Ronilson Freire, Devin Grayson, Jack Jadson, Joe R. Lansdale, Elaine Lee, Stuart Moore, Steve Niles, John Shirley, Denis St. John and Eric Trautmann.

"With our technology, we wanted to bring something new, engaging and dynamic to the world of comics. Thanks to our collaboration with Dynamite, we can push the envelope even further in bringing to life one of the most iconic characters in the comic universe: Vampirella," remarks Visionbooks co-founder, Simone Offredo.

Full press release below.

Action Lab Offers Dungeons, Dragons and Dice

Action Lab Entertainment knows a thing or two about fantasy titles. Their work on books such as Princeless, Beyond the Western Deep and Vamplets all boast elements of sword and sorcery and now Action Lab is capitalizing on those works to go one step further. Archon: Battle of the Dragon is a new series by ohn Parez and Marco Maccagni delves deep into the mythos that accompanies dragons and knights.

"It's a 1980s sword and sorcery fantasy/thriller set in a medieval themed Las Vegas Casino,” according to Perez. “When Gareth Thompson, a hard accented Southerner, Vietnam veteran and single father accepts a security job at the Archon he soon discovers all his orc, elf and dragon coworkers are not people in costumes but actual creatures of myth and legend. It's a world where dwarves are bartenders, gnomes are valets, elves are accountants, dragons are Wall Street hustlers and everyone is looking for a slice of the American dream.”

Joining Perez on the title is artist Marco Maccagni. Says Perez, “He stood out immediately when I did a general call looking for an illustrator choosing the most difficult pages for his proof of concept. His style works brilliantly for Archon, which at its core is a whimsical contemporary fantasy tale.”

There is an added bonus in every issue of Archon...that of an actual tabletop gaming campaign. “The supplemental material in the back is for obsessives, like myself. It gives additional info on the world, albeit its written under the guise of a D&D dragons manual meant for kids, but it’s actually doublespeak.”

Archon: Battle of the Dragon is currently available for pre-order in Diamond’s Previews catalog, under the Action Lab Entertainment section and ships with two covers. The Marco Maccagni cover (JUN150854) and the Erin Fusco cover (JUN150855), which is limited to 2000 copies. Full press release below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review - Swords of Sorrow; Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler #1

"Oh dear God..."

Crazy creatures in Parliament are definitely the last thing you'd expect amidst the yelling and general rawkus. In some London eras however, there appears to be just that. That era is in Swords of Sorrow; Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. The issue is written by Leah Moore, illustrated by Francesco Manna, colored by Inlight Studio and lettered by Erica Schultz.

BOOM! Sci-Fi Series Arcadia #2 and Broken World #1 Go to Second Print

Arcadia and Broken World are two of the newest series from BOOM! Studios, but that didn't stop them from joining the ranks of many of the publisher's other sellouts. Both Arcadia #2 and Broken World #1 have sold out at the distributor level and are going back to print. Arcadia #2 second print ships with a new cover by series artist Eric Scott Pfeiffer and carries a retail price of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of APR158748. Orders close on June 22nd, and it is anticipated to be in stores on July 8th. Arcadia #1 also sold out at the distributor level shortly after release and a second print is currently available for order with a retail price of $3.99 under a Diamond Code of APR158123. Broken World #1 second print ships with a new cover by series artist Christopher Peterson and carries a retail price of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of APR158749. Orders close on June 22nd, and it is anticipated to be in stores on July 8th.

Alex Paknadel and Eric Scott Pfeiffer make their comics debut with the sprawling sci-fi thriller Arcadia. When 99% of humankind is wiped out by a pandemic, four billion people are “saved” by being digitized at the brink of death and uploaded into Arcadia, a utopian simulation in the cloud. But when Arcadia begins to rapidly deplete the energy resources upon which the handful of survivors in the real world (aka “The Meat”) depends, how long will The Meat be able—and willing—to help?

In Broken World, Frank Barbiere and Christopher Peterson take readers to Earth in the final days before a catastrophic meteor strike. Time is running out for Elena Marlowe. While most of the planet’s population and her family were approved by the government to escape on one of the giant spaceships headed to another planet, her application was denied due to her mysterious past. With the meteor fast approaching, Elena tries desperately to find a way to fake her way onto the last ship or else be left behind to die with the rest of Earth’s rejected denizens.

Full press release below.

Decoding Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer #1

Every universe starts somewhere and this July, Fred Van Lente and Juan José Ryp are going back to the beginning of the Valiant universe. In Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer #1, fans will go along with them to discover the never-before-told origin of the ancient order of the Geomancers. Created specifically to promote Valiant’s upcoming Book of Death event, all four issues of Book of Death: Legends of the Geomancer will be printed in limited quantities and will only be made available to retailers who qualify based on their orders of Book of Death #1-4.

At last, the saga of the very first Geomancer – a mysterious tribal warrior known only as Anni – and the sacred pact that swore her to the service of the Earth can finally be told…but, with it too, the source of the divine mysteries that have haunted the Geomancers' line for centuries. But has Anni's mission redeemed or corrupted the world that followed in her wake…and will the ultimate secrets of the Geomancers’ book doom us all in the end?

Full press release below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

E32015 - Final Fantasy VII Remake Trailer

For as near and dear to our hearts that Final Fantasy VII is, a remake only made sense. When Square wants to remake Chrono Trigger though, there's going to be even more jubilation.

E3 2015 - UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End Trailer

If you're not excited for UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End, then you're not excited for games.

E3 2015 - Gears of War 4 Trailer

If you thought the Locust were done wreaking havoc on the world, think again.

Review - Outré #5: Desire

"Could really use a cigarette right now."

Human desires range from simple to complex. Few to many. The one constant is that humans do have desires and how we achieve those desires changes based on the person. In Outré #5: Desire from Outré Press, desire takes centerstage. The anthology is broken into four stories. "Dying for a Smoke" is by Mick Schubert, Mike Century and Josh Jensen. "Begierde Uberhaupt" is by Derek Adnams, Adam Bryce Thomas and Brandon Bullock. "Better Health" is by Jonathan Clode, Bern Campbell and April Brown. "What the Heart Wants" is by Glenn Matchett, Alena Lane and E.T. Dollman.

E3 2015 - Mirror's Edge: Catalyst Trailer

The Dark Horse comic news didn't exactly keep the fact that Mirror's Edge was getting a sequel a secret. Still, it's exciting to see Mirror's Edge: Catalyst in action, both now and in February 2016 when the game releases.

E3 2015 - The Last Guardian Trailer

Stuck in development limbo since the halcyon days of the PS3, The Last Guardian is finally ready for primetime on PS4. We think.

E3 2015 - Mass Effect: Andromeda Trailer

It feels like it's been forever since Mass Effect 3, but forever ends in 2016.

Valiant 25th Anniversary Heats Up for Florida Supercon

It's not quite officially summer, but the weather is already hot. That's especially true for Florida, which is hot all year around, but is getting a little hotter for Florida Supercon. From June 25-28, the show will take Florida by storm and Valiant Entertainment is planning to be there for the ride. They'll be at Booth #306/407 inside the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, FL for a weekend packed with special guests, convention-only exclusives, new merchandise and more from the best that the Valiant Universe has to offer.

Stop by all weekend long to shop a complete collection of Valiant trade paperback and hardcover collections, then visit the Florida Supercon store booth and the Past Present Future Comics booth to pick up the X-O Manowar 25th Anniversary Special #1 Florida Supercon Exclusive Variant. Featuring a limited edition cover by artist Jeff Dekal, jump on board here with an all-new introduction to Valiant’s number one hero here as Robert Venditti and CAFU reteam to reveal the origin of the indestructible X-O Manowar armor.

Valiant is also offering one-on-one portfolio reviews for aspiring artists at Florida Supercon. To sign up for this event, visit Valiant Entertainment at Booth #306/307 in Hall C, then head to Room D240 on Saturday, June 27th at 6 PM for personal feedback and creative insight from Valiant staff members.

Full press release below.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Review - The Tomorrows #1

"I am Toshiro Mifune having sex with David Bowie. I am death in a denim jacket."

Creativity has long been the fire that burns brightly and pushes the world in new directions. What makes someone "creative" is a little subjective though. In The Tomorrows #1 from Dark Horse Comics, the concept of creativity is pitted against analytics. The issue is written by Curt Pires, illustrated by Jason Copland, colored by Adam Metcalfe and lettered by Colin Bell.

Aspen Gambles on Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con

Las Vegas in June is hot, but still fun. In fact, it doesn't matter what time of year it is, people in Las Vegas will typically have a good time. Aspen is hoping attendees at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con have a memorable time as well, setting up shop at the show at booths #317 and #416. The publisher will be making an appearance concurrent with their appearance at Supanova Sydney. Vince Herndandez, Josh Reed, Tom Hutchison, Eric Basaldua and Jordan Gunderson will all be in attendance, as will two Amazing Las Vegas exclusive variant covers: Fathom: Blue #1 by Eric Basaldua and Psycho Bonkers #2 by Valentina Pinto.

The latter book is making its official debut at the convention and will not be available in stores until the following Wednesday, June 24th. Hernandez, the writer of both series, will be available for signing throughout the weekend. Aspen will also have a selection of their industry-leading prints with them, including a full-size version of the Amazing Las Vegas Con Fathom: Blue #1 exclusive. Visit the booth for official run numbers and other convention exclusive prints.

Full press release below.

Fionna and Cake Bring A-Game in Card Wars

You can never have enough cake. That holds especially true when the cake comes with Fionna of Adventure Time fame. KaBOOM! Studios and Cartoon Network agree, as the two are partnering up to announce an all-new limited series Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake: Card Wars. Writer Jen Wang and artist Britt Wilson unite as Fionna and Cake seek out a worthy opponent for Card Wars champ Cake. As a bonus, each first-printing copy of issue #1 will come with an exclusive Adventure Time: Card Wars card, playable in the Cryptozoic Entertainment card game that itself was created based on an Adventure Time episode of the same name.

“Adventure Time is some of the most fun we have creating comics, and telling new stories with Fionna & Cake is a treasure in and of itself,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Rejoining this fierce duo has us giddy with excitement, especially with Jen and Britt on board, and with an exclusive card in the first issue, we’re inviting readers to play along as well!”

Cake is a Card Wars champ who can’t be beat, and Fionna...is really tired of getting beaten! They set off in search of a challenger who can really test Cake’s mettle. When they stumble across some gamer slugs, they think they’ve hit the jackpot, but these guys have never heard of Cake and refuse to even play with her!

Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake: Card Wars #1 arrives in comic shops on July 15th with a main cover by Wang for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code MAY151096. Also available in a limited quantity is a subscription cover by Wyeth Yates, a 10 Years incentive cover by Jeffrey Brown and a retailer incentive cover by John Kovalic. Every copy of the first printing of issue #1 includes an exclusive Adventure Time: Card Wars card that can be used in the Cryptozoic Entertainment game. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is June 15th.

Full press release below.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Defense With the BoomStick

Year 6. Week 42.

Sorry for the delay in this report. On our trip to the South Carolina coast we decided to take a detour into North Carolina. The plan was to swing by Fort Bragg and see what we could scavenge. We found some good and a lot of bad.

We made it to Charleston and are setting ourselves up at Fort Sumter. The location is convenient and the infrastructure left behind when this was a museum is making it a lot easier to get up and running. This has all been the easy part since we got here; getting here was the hard part, what with the zombies and all.

First off, let’s talk about Fort Bragg. Getting there wasn’t too bad when we swung up through northern Georgia and southwest North Carolina. Being up in the mountains helped us out, with all the hills and winding roads zombies had a hard time keeping up and following us. On top of that we came across survivors living up in the mountains too. They've been doing a good job of surviving up there and gave us some pointers as well.

Just like everywhere else, Fort Bragg was pretty well destroyed and burnt. On the surface, there wasn’t much there we could see to be salvageable or useful. The funny thing is we didn’t find the useful stuf--it found us in the form of a small military unit that has called Fort Bragg home the entire zombie apocalypse. They were about sixty strong of mixed military members who have managed to survive and keep the fight alive. That certainly explained why we encountered no zombies in the immediate area of the fort.

Review - SinEater #1

"Come along Diedre. We mustn't watch the SinEater work."

Exorcists have the unenviable task of dealing with the most evil and vile entities imaginable. SinEaters share that job description to some extent and those with the task in older times were forced to reconcile their work with the public's perception of their work. All of that is on display in SinEater #1, published by Insane Comics. The issue is written by Jojo King and illustrated by Chase Dunham.

Aspen Down Under

Aspen Comics is making a trip across the Pacific Ocean to attend two Supanova Pop Culture Expo shows two weekends in a row. The publisher will be setting up shop in Sydney from 19th to the 21st and Perth from June 26th to the 28th. What's even better for Aspen fans is that the debut issue of Aspen’s all-new Fathom title – the first in over 10 years – Fathom Blue #1, will feature two mirrored Michael Turner covers, one exclusive to Sydney and the other to Perth, plus a Supanova Expo exclusive by Giuseppe Cafaro that will be available at both conventions.

Guests will include Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Mark Roslan, Siya Oum and Cafaro. With them, the Aspen team will have four Supanova exclusive variants covers. There will be a Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam #2 by series creator Oum, who will be available to sign throughout both weekends. Aspen will also have with them a selection of their industry-leading prints, including (but not limited to) full-size prints of the aforementioned exclusives: Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam #2 by Oum, Fathom Blue #1 by Cafaro and one of the two Fathom Blue #1 Turner/Steigerwald mirrored covers, dependent on region.

As a Supanova Pop Culture Expo special, Aspen will have “Down Under Walkabout” tour t-shirts in a variety of sizes for attendees to purchase. Shirts will feature full-color art from a variety of Aspen artists, and will be exclusive to Supanova Sydney and Perth. Supanova and Aspen Comics are also teaming up for the Aspen Down Under Talent Search. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to submit their portfolio for review, with the chance to score a paid cover gig. For more details, please visit the Supanova Activities page. And finally, Aspen will be hosting panels at both Sydney and Perth shows, where the team will discuss upcoming projects, show exclusive art, and take questions from fans and attendees. For times and locations of these panels, consult your Supanova Pop Culture Expo program guide.

Full press release below.

Humble Bundle Launches Jim Henson Comic Bundle

Jim Henson was definitely a humble man. His talents were immense, yet by all appearance, he wasn't a man keen on bragging. That sense of humility makes the announcement of the BOOM! Studios Jim Henson Humble Bundle make that much more sense. Published by Archaia, the bundle is based on some of Henson's most famous creations including Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal and the Eisner award-winning graphic novel Tale of Sand, adapted from one of Henson's unproduced screenplays.

Noteworthy creators who have contributed include Joshua Dysart, Kate Leth, Nate Cosby, Chris Eliopoulos, Marjorie Liu, Ron Marz, Jeff Parker, Ramón Pérez, former Henson conceptual designer Brian Froud and many more. Customers can name their price for Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: The Novelization, Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 1 & 2, Fraggle Rock Classics Vol. 1 & 2, Fraggle Rock Vol. 1 & 2 and Fraggle Rock: Journey To The Everspring #1-4. Those who pay more than the average price will also receive Jim Henson's The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow, Jim Henson's The Storyteller Vol. 1, Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Witches #1-4, Jim Henson's The Storyteller: The Novelization and Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Novelization.

Customers who pay $2 or more above the average price will receive all of the above plus Jim Henson's Tale of Sand. The Humble Jim Henson Comics Bundle presented by BOOM! Studios runs for one until Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 11 AM Pacific time. Full press release below.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review - Negative Space #1

"Who gets writer's block on their suicide note?"

If you've ever got the sense that there are things out of your control, you're probably not that far off. That they're not in your control and still manage to control you in some ways is a little deeper, speaking to the timeless debate of determinism vs. free will. All of the above and more are on display in Negative Space #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Ryan Lindsay and illustrated by Owen Gieni.