InvestComics One and Done Anthology Now Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Palm Beach, Florida
January 31, 2012 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

InvestComics Announces “One and Done” Anthology Available for Purchase Online

Charitable anthology of “deadly tales” features contributions from industry creators
to support Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)

(West Palm Beach, Florida; January 31, 2012) – Comic book and entertainment information website InvestComics is proud to announce that “One and Done” − a charitable anthology to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund − is now available for purchase on the Mira Publishing website at www.mirashartshop.com. “Today marks the beginning of InvestComics’ fight against censorship and the right for Freedom of Speech,” said Jay Katz, President of InvestComics. “We are proud to support such a great cause and will always be a strong supporter of CBLDF.”

Bob Heske, a graphic novelist, web columnist and editor on the anthology, added, “We’re thrilled to get a book out that features worldwide talent for such a great cause. The one-page graphic tales that each end in death are like a box of chocolates − you don’t know what you’ll get until you bite inside!”

“I am proud to be a part of such a fantastic charity like CBLDF” echoed Sebastian Piccione, also an editor on the book and a regular contributor to the InvestComics website. “The mix of stories and styles from accomplished and emerging creators makes this book unique and fun to read.”

InvestComics reached out to industry creators with a call for submissions on its website in June 2011. The rules were simple: Stories could be of any genre as long as they were one page in length and the last page ended in death (shown or implied).

According to InvestComics Katz the response was overwhelming. “This unique anthology asked creators to be generous in their submission and extremely creative in their content. And I’m proud to say they’ve stepped up to the plate big time and hit it out of the park,” says Katz in reference to the quality of submissions received. The InvestComics One and Done Anthology features contributors from all over the globe including established industry pros like Mark McKenna, Duncan Eagleson, Rob Jones, and Peter Palimotti and emerging talent on the cusp of being recognized. Nearly 50 “One and Done” tales were accepted. There is also a special section called “Killer Extras” featuring additional original works by Bob Heske, Duncan Eagleson, David Paul, and also a pinup page from cover artist Gary T. Becks.

Orders can be placed directly on line at http://www.mirasmartshop.com/ at this URL:

http://www.mirasmartshop.com/InvestComics-Presents-One-Done_p_322.html

Also, if you are in Florida, the One and Done Anthology can be purchased at Tate’s Comics in Lauderhill, Florida. Tate’s Comics web address is www.tatescomics.com.

InvestComics will announce random winners of prizes to be given out by Tate’s Comics as well as interviews to be carried on the InvestComics website and InvestComics TV website. The first interview will be posted the week of January 23rd featuring South African creators Arno Hurter and David Edwards who had five stories accepted for the book (the most of any creator team), and will appear in Bob Heske’s popular IndieCreator column.

About InvestComics

InvestComics™ started as a magazine in 2006; the first issue wasn’t released until June of 2007. The magazine was distributed as a free comic book Investment Guide throughout local comic shops in South Florida. It was also a giveaway on Ebay for any winning bid to receive with their order.

Although the InvestComics™ web site was on line in 2005, it wasn’t until 2007 the web site became the main focal point and the magazine ceased. InvestComics™ wanted to start reaching a broader audience and began to rapidly expand. InvestComics™ became the “Entertainment” Investment Guide as a result of covering many areas in the industry, focusing on entertainment as well as highlighting investment opportunities. Most recently the launch of InvestComics TV (ICTV) has made the site multi-media, attracting some of the biggest names in the industry to appear in a split-screen 10-12 minute interview format.

About Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals. If you wish to support CBLDF, you can visit their website at http://cbldf.org/.

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 2-1-12

Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 2-1-12

The InvestComics Anthology benefiting Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; One and Done is here! Big announcement/press release on Tuesday, but for now you can order your copy right HERE! We are the number one best seller on Mira Publishing.com right now; take a look at the front page right HERE in case you don’t believe us! This book was a tremendous learning experience for a tremendous cause and I personally want to thank everyone involved including, David Paul, Rob McClelland, James Reed, Tate’s Comics, Mira Publishing, Sebastian Piccione, and Gary T. Becks. Thank you all!

….And to my right hand man on this project, Bob Heske of Heske Horror. Without Bob Heske, this project never comes to fruition. He is a professional, a class act, a mentor and above all a friend. Thank you.

Now on to the Hot Picks for this coming Wednesday.

It looks as though Marvel is testing the waters again with Captain America’s sidekick, err, well not Bucky, but Winter Solider in Winter Soldier #1. The character Winter Soldier created in Captain America vol. 5 #1 (2005) by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting was a well received character to say the least. The asking price for WS first appearance is $20. Not too shabby for a 2005 comic. At least it’s not falling in those quarter bins right? This comic is a great buy right now given the large amount of interest Marvel is showing towards their love for the big screen. Will there ever be a Winter Soldier solo movie? Maybe, no one knows, but it certainly would make a fantastic continuation/spinoff of the Captain America movies. Winter Soldier is a badass and speaking of badass, if you happen to have a quarter of a million dollars laying around, Captain America Comics #1 (1941) dons the first appearance of Bucky……oh and Cap too. A better investment right now than the housing market, guaranteed. This comic will be a half a million dollar book in 4 years, if not less.

…On the lighter side of things (your wallet), Uncanny X-Force #21 debuts Lady Briton? Yes Psylocke has been Captain Britain and Lady Mandarin, but never Lady Briton. Eh, either way, great comic according to Shaun Sorenson of Famous Faces & Funnies – FFFIC.

DC rolls on with their New 52. A highlight this week focuses on newbie Rankoor. Take a look at that Red Lanterns #6 cover, he looks pissed!

What’s better than a zombie book these days? How about a hot chick that kicks their asses? Well then Alpha Girl #1 is for you! Won’t be long before this is a television show…..

So that’s it for this week, be sure to order your One and Done Anthology for a great cause right HERE. Press Release coming!

Take a look at 9 covers that made the cut this week – Covers of the Week below.

See you next week, Invest wisely.

Jay Katz

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Zach Bassett and James Whynot

Andra Walt chats with 2 All Stars within the Comic Book Community. Cosmic Times boys and more, Meet Zach Bassett and James Whynot.

Andra Walt: What first got you interested in working in comics?

Zach Bassett: The art and superheroes, I wanted to inspire young artists like myself just as my influences had inspired me.

James Whynot: Ever since I can remember, I was always drawing. I was brought up on late eighties, early nineties cartoons. So I was always drawing the characters. It wasn’t until I was five when I received the Jim Lee run on X-men, that I really become interested in comics. But I was always interested in making my own characters. Don’t get me wrong, I could probably write some wicked good X-men or team type books for Marvel or DC.

AW: How did you first meet each other?

ZB: I met James in college – a time where you’d think I’d be surrounded by like minded people I felt totally out of place.

JW: It was my second quarter at SCAD, and Zach’s first quarter. We met through a mutual friend. And back in the day Zach and I looked very similar. Through this friend we went to a concert with a girl I was dating at the time. We had similar music tastes, but I don’t think we ever talked about comics then. It wasn’t until a year later that we realized we were both in the same major and the same class. And from there its history, we have been best friends ever since in our going on 6 year friendship.

ZB: Just about anybody that meets both of us would say we’re not that similar, we had the most in common of all the people I met there, including my wife – ha!

AW: Tell me about your time at SCAD?

JW: It was pretty awesome. It’s a really wonderful thing when something like college can work in so many different ways. For example, you are there to learn a skill and take to where you could work in the professional environment. Through college, I treated the classes as every man for himself (just a figure of speech, this there were girls in the class). I would look at the best person in class and try to be better than they were. But towards the end of my time at SCAD, I built up a lot of working relationships with people in my classes, and with some of them they have lead to working on projects with them.

ZB: It was a very inspiring and idealistic time, I really did a lot of work and really got the creative juices flowing that have basically kept me going ever since. I got the confidence behind my own, really improved on my strengths and grew to identify and address my weaknesses. I developed a philosophy about my art that has defined my work ever since – for better or worse. And it really seemed like I was firing on all cylinders – when my personal and artistic life was really taking off.

JW: My wallet is hurting a little bit from paying tuition but it’s a great experience. Highly recommended.

AW: Tell me what From Blood is about?

JW: Now my views on this book are totally different from really what the book is about. Anybody that knows me knows that I am an extremely excitable guy. So when I tell people about the book I only mention the violence. But it’s really so much more than that. Its got great character moments and development.

ZB: My original blurb was this: A psychiatrist (Dr. Reese) takes a personal interest in trying to help a particularly violent patient to overcome his mysterious past. When things escalate to the point that a SWAT team opens fire on the two of them, as the patient is trying to break out, he protects the Doctor, who in turn helps him escape. Has the Doctor risked her career on a hopeless muscle-bound psychopath, or can he transcend a past born “from blood?”

AW: So, how did From Blood come to be?

JW: I was taking a “writing for comics” class in college. And one of the stories I turned in was “From Blood” at the time it was titled “One” then “27” but I’m happy with the title now. Since Image has a book called 27. But “From Blood” is a great title and really explains so much about the character and his past.

ZB: I had just graduated college, gotten married and moved to Texas where I was working part time and trying to get my first few gigs in comics. Those ran dry pretty quick, so while walking my dog one day I had time to read James’ final script for a writing class at SCAD (complete with the teacher’s notes and all) and something about it caught my eye. Not for what it was necessarily, but for its potential. I gave James a call and asked for his blessing to add to the script, while preserving what he had written. He wasn’t even sure he still had a copy to refer back to, but agreed and off I went. I wrote as much more than he originally had, tying together plot points that James understood as connected but hadn’t shown in the script and adding some scenes that made the book mean something to me. Anyway, long story short, in about a week I had effectively doubled the length of the book to around 60 pages and gotten it to the point I was happy with it too.

AW: How do you approach writing with Zach?

JW: We work so well together and we bounce ideas on each other. If I could explain it to people it’s kind of like how Craig Kyle and Chris Yost work. They’ll take a book and either split it page per page, or one takes a plot and then the other writes it out the issue. But for anything Zach and I have worked on, we take the same sort of process. I’m more of the high concept guy and Zach adds great character stuff.

AW: How and where did you meet Martin Pierro?

ZB: At Megacon ’09, I think, I grabbed a free promo card for the first Arthur book Martin had done, trying to make contacts and find some paying work. I emailed him a link to my portfolio and we went on from there.

JW: I met Martin at Florida Super Show. Zach told me that he had been working with Martin and maybe I should go check out his company and see what they had to offer. Since meeting Martin, he has become my mentor, and second father. I come to him for advice for comic purchases, work questions, and really anything. Cosmic Times is really such a great place to work on comics. We have a real tight bond. Everyone involved in the books being published always talk.

AW: How did Cosmic Times become involved in this project?

JW: One of the companies that wanted From Blood had to pass because of financial problems they were having. So they passed. A couple months later at one of the conventions, I pitched Martin the story, but he wasn’t in love with the idea initially. I made the book sound like an ultra violent gore fest.

ZB: About 8 months later James had been inking Souled, for Cosmic Times, which I was penciling, and Martin and I were going back and forth on literally hundreds of properties and ideas for 2012, after he explained he was wanting to get as many books out this year as possible. I got him to read our script and showing him all the pencils and partial inks after re-pitching him the story through email or a phone call.

AW: Did Martin contribute to the writing process?

ZB: He initially rewrote almost all of the dialog for the first issue, using the finished art as a guide and we batted it back and forth on probably more than 15 color-coded drafts between the two of us to get everything just right and set everything up to tie back together for the conclusion in issue two. He also asked that we change two or three panels, one to tone down the gore and the others to make the page make sense.

AW: Where would you most like to focus, writing or drawing?

ZB: Well later this year my wife and I will be having our first child and I doubt I’ll have as much free time as I did before. So I will probably be trying to focus more on writing, and possibly doing layouts but my days of detailed penciling are probably starting to move behind me.

AW: Did you read comics in your youth? If so what titles were you into back then?

ZB: I’ve started to find comics I used to have and repurchase them for the nostalgia. I didn’t have other friends that were into it as heavy as I was and none that were artists. I got into reading comics right after the crash, so I was caught between collector and reader, which caused me to get a subscription to Wizard magazine to keep me up to date on what was new, while I bought about $30 of discounted 10-cent-bin comics from my LCS a few times a year.

JW: I think for anyone that knows me and has seen my comic collection. It’s massive. I’ve been reading and buying comics since I was a child. I had an uncle that worked in comics so every time I would see him he would give me a couple long boxes of stuff to read. A lot of X-books, so Avengers, pretty much anything that had come out. I would see him a lot so there was always a ton of comics. I can’t really remember all of them. When I was a child, I was a Marvel kid all the way. I had a DC book here and there but for the most part, just Marvel books because that was what my uncle was into.

ZB: I remember at one point I cut all my favorite panels out of my collection, made a few scrap books for inspiration and maybe kept a handful or issues or so and tossed the rest – which I now totally regret. Thankfully most of the issues I had aren’t worth that much more now – ha!

JW: Being a child of the late 80’s and early 90’s I was a huge fan of Image books. I loved Spawn, and anything that Greg Capullo was working on. Back then I loved the artwork more than the stories; I have since gone back and read all the comics I had from when I was a child.

ZB: I really liked Scott McDaniel’s Nightwing and remember buying Malibu comics’ Mortal Kombat: Blood Thunder #6 as a kid and my mom throwing it away after she told me not to buy “violent” comics. I got a lot of Classic Star-Wars with Al Williamson after seeing the Dave Doorman covers for Dark Empire that was coming out at the time, and I remember liking Darkhawk for some reason.

AW: Do you remember the first comic book you bought?

JW: I remember buying with my own money the first issue and variants of Ultimate Spiderman. Little did I know at the time that those white variant covers were worth money.

ZB: For me it was definitely at the grocery store – back when they used to still carry them in with the magazines – and it was probably one of a few that I can remember: Superman #59, Back to the Future #4, 6, 7, Wild West Cowboys of Moo Mesa #1, or an issue of Ultraman.

AW: Do you currently read comics? If so what titles interests you now?

ZB: I think my mentality of cheap comics from my childhood buying habits still has a strong hold on me. So I don’t buy nearly anything at anywhere near cover price unless I really love the creators. My library is my best friend as far as indie stuff and big events but on a issue to issue basis it’s really spotty – usually I’m just following an artist or an obscure character, then I get into the story. Buying the whole run of Elementals on ebay for $50 has probably been the most rewarding thing I’ve read in the last few years.

JW: I currently read too many comics. I have a stack of about 50 plus comics I have not got the chance to read yet. A lot of the new DC 52 books. Which I’m enjoying. Swamp Thing and Animal Man are two of my favorites right now. And the Green Lantern books. I can’t give enough praise to Green Lantern- new guardians. I seriously love that book. I recommend it highly to fans of GL books.

ZB: Recently I liked the Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger three-issue series – the art was phenomenal, and there has been a lot of cool stuff in Spider-man: the gauntlet, David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp has such a different style then his earlier Batman: Year One type of work, it is an amazing accomplishment to see him do as an artist. But most of the stuff I’m actually interested in the story for is from two-decades or more back: The shadow, the question, dr. fate, Peter David’s Aquaman, The Spectere, and Daredevil just to name a few.

JW: There is so much I read every month. I would have to say I’m enjoying all of it. And of course The Strange Talents of Luther Strode. Since it’s a great book, and my buddies Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore work on it.

AW: What do you think of the DC reboot?

JW: I think the DC reboot is great, like I said I was never a big DC guy but since the launch its been the only books I’m really getting now. So I would say its worked on me, even though I do read a Marvel book here and there. But I love the new books that have come out of the relaunch.

AW: Who is your comic hero and why?

JW: If we are talking who do I take a lot of influence from, it would have to be Greg Capullo, even as a child I tried to draw like him. But now I try to incorporate aspects and techniques of people I like into my own work and still keep it my own. But there are a lot of people I take influence from. If we are talking Comic book super heroes. Martian Manhunter is my favorite character ever. He is a great combination of brains and brawn. Great origin and he’s got so many powers. And could go toe to toe with Superman and probably beat him.

ZB: As far as creators go it’s a toss-up. There are so many, but right now I’m really trying to get my work to look as effortless and instinctual as guys like Walt Simonson and Rick Leonardi seem to. For a character I would say Grifter from Wildcats, because I’ve always seen him as a mix of three of my other favorite characters, Gambit, Punisher, and Batman.

AW: Zach, it seems that you have become the house penciler for Cosmic Times, how is it working with Martin?

ZB: Honestly, if it weren’t for my positive experiences with Cosmic Times I might have quit by now. The worst people I’ve ever met are people I’ve met in the comics industry, just in the few years I’ve been in it. That may sound pretty depressing but such an immense amount of time goes into making these comics, time away from our families, friends, other hobbies or time we’ll tell ourselves the next day that we should have spent sleeping, all for relatively nothing besides the satisfaction of seeing our work in print. All that unintentionally gets tied up into our work on these books, so that when a project goes south and you get that horrible feeling when you realize you know a project will never see the light of day, it can get very personal very quickly. You have to grow kind of a thick skin to be your own rep and with the anonymity of working with others over the internet, I’ve been saved by James’ cynical perspective more than a few times while being roped along by someone promising untold fortunes only to have it all fall apart after I’ve done my part, but it’s earnest guys like Martin that keep me moving forward to the next project, trying not to get hung up on the snags along the way and believing that there are others like him out there just as eager to find me, just as I am them.

AW: James, you are also inking Souled for Cosmic Times, how is it like working with Martin and Chris?

JW: I don’t come into play really with what happens in the story, Chris and I talk sometimes about stories and ideas, and Martin will get my input on the story here and there. I do like the group mentality that we have with Souled. For example when all of us are at conventions, we normally have a meeting about the books and ideas for books. So that is the perfect time to give your two cents about the current books we work on and maybe any improvements. Four brains is always better than one.

AW: Zach, you also worked with Martin on a book for Bluewater what can you tell me about that project?

ZB: I had planned to do three issues with Bluewater, after Martin had told me about them when we met at Super Show ’10 while he was working on Ariana Huffington So as I finished my first book with them and he wrapped up writing Huffington, we both talked to the editor and asked to work together. We’re both unabashed Star-fans, be it Trek or Wars, so Martin set the story of Bill Gates’ life against a futuristic pair of robots looking back at the history of the computers that allowed them to be built so I could draw some futuristic cities and environments. There are a bunch of nerdy references on billboards and so on that I had fun thinking up, and a few familiar faces in the crowd to round it out. Lastly, there are some double-page-spreads (which is something I’ve only gotten to do a handful of times) in there, that I am especially proud of.

AW: What other projects have you worked on for Bluewater?

ZB: My first book for Bluewater was Female Force: Cher, which I spent as much time penciling as it would have to just ink so on my second book I chose to do both. The result was Steven Hawking’s biography comic, which I am very proud of because so much of that book is actual drawing and creating because there aren’t that many images of Hawking not in a wheelchair, at least not doing the things the script called for. But there’s not a page in that book I didn’t like and the writer was able to fit in similar nerdy Easter-eggs that made it fun to draw, and there’s lots of cosmic stuff that was great fun too.

AW: How much research is involved in working on a Bluewater biographical comic?

ZB: Usually it’s a bunch of research to find reference images, which I usually don’t do as much of, and then finding out as much as I can for the panels where I don’t have any specific reference, so that I can create it as accurately as possible. So with those constrictions I try and have fun with it, like a page in Cher that goes over her history as an actress, I have a reel of film swirling through the page to divide the panels and on Bill Gates we have something even cooler planned.

AW: James, you seem to be Zach’s go to inker, how does that process work for you two?

JW: Zach I know each other styles so well, that it’s easy to work with him. I know what he is looking for when I ink or do finishes over him. And when he is drawing he’ll leave me some stuff to do that plays to my strengths. I would say it’s hard for him, just because my style is always improving and changing. It’s really a good surprise for him when he sees what I have done. We really just help each other grow as artists. We have great chemistry when we work together and the final product always comes out better than we thought at first.

AW: What other comics have you worked on?

ZB: Well, right now, I’m finishing up my third and final issue of a western called No West to Cross that I’m also doing covers on. I’ve done a few stories either penciling, inking, doing both, writing or coloring for various anthologies – usually working with James. A few other small projects here and there but nothing as consistent as with Cosmic Times, with which I’ve now done five issues.

JW: To name a few, Zach and I both worked on a book called Kord and Harley for Arcana comics. I’ve done some issues for Bluewater productions, some anthology work. I just finished up TS-101 for Creature Entertainment.

AW: What comic book conventions are you planning on attending in 2012?

JW: I always try to hit up the big cons. San Diego and New York. 2011 was my con year. I loved Heroes Con. so I might try to do that one. C2E2 maybe. Supercon. Its tough to make a choice of which con to go to. I’ll be gone for most of the summer this year, since I will be in Paris and then Israel. So hopefully I can hit up a few before I leave.

ZB: Living in the midwest it costs a lot to travel and since I’m starting this year, I’ve had to cut back to just Megacon and Denver Comics Fest.

AW: Do you have any interesting or humorous convention stories that you would like to share?

ZB: Well I met Larry Watts (who did the Megacon edition cover for From Blood for Cosmic Times) at Megacon ’09 – my first convention. I was getting a portfolio review at a booth and Larry was in line behind me. While the guy was talking to me, Larry kept bugging me to see my portfolio after he was done. So after it was over we took a look at each other’s stuff and traded numbers. We met back up that night in the hotel lobby where we were both staying and ended up hanging out at the bar for about two hours with Darwyn Cooke and Jimmy Palmiotti. Me and Darwyn started talking about his work on Batman Beyond and the Richard Starking Parker novels, which we both loved. So it’s kind of ironic that just in the last year or two he’s been doing the comic book adaptations, which are great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JW: I’m not going to go into specifics but any time Martin, Zach, and myself attend cons it’s always a good time. We are like teenage boys that pull pranks on people.

AW: Where will you be located at Megacon?

ZB: I’ll be at the Cosmic Times booth, last year we had two separate booths on opposite sides of the convention center, but this year we will all be together.

JW: You can find me at the Cosmic Times booth and the Creature Entertainment booth. I’ll have to keep people posted on the times for the Creature Entertainment booth though. You can also find Martin and I at the Nerd Nation panel after the con on Saturday I think. Not sure. But go to the two booths, you’ll find me. And if not just look for Greg Capullo’s table, I’ll be standing there being a fanboy – just kidding.

AW: Will you be selling any art at Megacon?

ZB: James and I will be doing sketch covers for Souled #1, and will have the original art for sale from From Blood #1 and Souled #1-2. I may have the pages from Decisions #1-2, but since I penciled and inked them and my wife hand-lettered them they are particularly special to me. But we’ll see.

JW: I will always have my portfolio with me. And everything in that is for sale. I’m not sure if I will have any prints with me this year. Only because it’s more about the books we were doing.

AW: Can you tell me about any of your upcoming projects that you are currently working on?

ZB: I’m collaborating with Martin and James on the concluding issue of From Blood (#2), writing and maybe drawing issue 3 of Decisions and working with Martin on a new title, but I’ll let him talk about that if he decides to. I’m also writing James’ comic mini-series and drawing and working on the plot with Chris Faulkner (of Souled) on an original horror comic mini-series called Undercurrent, which we think Larry Watts will be inking.

JW: I’ve also worked on Bellringers which is waiting for a response from the publisher to move forward on that. Zach and I co-wrote another story called Counterparts which is in production right now. I’ll be working with the writer of Souled on a book that he created. I’m in talks right now to work on a children’s book with a writer right now. I’ve got a lot stuff going on for this year.

AW: Do you try to stay plugged in to the comic book world or follow any news sites or podcasts?

ZB: I used to listen to Comic Geek Speak but now Uncanny X-Cast gives me about all I can stomach of the state of the industry as seen through the eyes two average guys reading the X-universe, and I always get a few laughs. James spends more time in a comic shop per week then he does anywhere else and I talk to him for a few hours probably three times a week or more at night – so I hear it all through the grapevine.

JW: I try not to have upcoming stories ruined for be by going to comic sites, but I do listen to podcasts a lot including Nerd Nation & Uncanny X-Cast.

AW: Do you use social media networks? Why, or why not? If so how can people find you?

JW: I use face book and deviantart. You can find me by searching for James Michael Whynot on Facebook and JamesWhynotInks on deviantart. I think social networking is such a part of people’s lives now, I can’t think of what we did before it, to stay connected with people.

ZB: I see Facebook as a necessary evil for now, it’s reformed the way we interact and stay in touch with our friends – and not necessarily for the better if you ask me. But I have some people that I only keep in touch with through there, so it’s more of an address book of sorts, than anything else. I update xaqbazit.deviantart.com every few weeks or as soon as I finish a project, have some relevant news or images for one of my new my books that are coming out etc. Then I also keep a blog at xaqbazit.blogspot.com, but I’ve become more and more personal over the years and try to keep my nose to the grindstone, believing that if I keep at it I’ll end up where people are looking rather then getting them to look where I am.

AW: How do you think the digital world will affect the comic industry?

ZB: I’ve had some very heated discussions at length about this topic, drawing a very similar opinion to the Uncanny X-Cast podcast I mentioned earlier, but in short: The medium, or way that we interact with it, to experience music has stayed the same, no matter if the actual recording is digital or analog, but with comics the medium is will actually change which is a subtle difference but a paradigm shift in our experience as readers. And I think it will take a new generation of never knowing analog (paper) and a system for sorting through the now possibly infinite middle class of quality (the equivalent of iTunes for comics) for them to ever fully be embraced as anything but a substitute to long time readers like myself. And for digital, I think the price has to be right; if I’m paying more for a digital copy then I can find a physical one and they didn’t have to print, distribute, sort and shelf the issue, then that discount should be passed on to me the reader, I feel. Especially since file formats are so quickly ever changing and evolving, that if I buy a .cbz file now, there’s no guarantee that in five years I’ll be using a reader that even supports that file type and I may be out an issue that I paid for that I can no longer read, while in print I could have kept and read it till I died. But if we don’t find a way that they embrace comics could die with my generation. They’re no longer in grocery stores, barley in newspapers and rarely seen as anything more than a step in the path towards becoming the next intellectual property that TV, movie and toy companies can use to fill their pockets. At one point in time, Stan Lee left Marvel comics to get the cartoons running that introduced the generation before me into the comics wrote and pioneered, but now we’ve made it so easy to get into comic book characters in a post-literate world that you can do it without ever picking up a comic book. Though some have suggested a Netflix or sorts for comics, a flat rate to read anything and permanently own nothing. But that all depends on the mentality and demands of readers. For now I’ll buy what I want to keep and stick to my library card for the rest. But I’m not saying I bought my wife an e-reader for Christmas this last year just so she could read her books. Guess that wasn’t so short, but the transition could mean the difference between a new life or the end of the industry, so it’s on everyone’s minds on the inside of the field and if we’re lucky outside it as well.

JW: I’ll buy a digital comic here and there but I have not made the transition over to completely digital yet. But I don’t know if I will ever just stop buying issues from a comic store. I think it’s a great idea but it’s so young in the stages that it’s in now. I think with ever changing technology it will get better but as of now it’s not for me. I think maybe 10 years from now it will put the LCS out of business just like E-books are doing to book stores. But for now I still love going to the comic shop and picking up my books. I could give you a dissertation on digital verses traditional comics but it would take about a week.

Be sure to catch up with Zach and James at MegaCon! Be sure to check out and BUY From Blood from Cosmic Times at MegaCon! Also, stop by the Cosmic Times table and say hello to CEO Martin Pierro!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One and Done Dual Interview – Arno Hurter and David Edwards

Now that ONE AND DONE, InvestComics’ anthology in support of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, is available and ready to order, we are beginning a series of IndieCreator columns featuring some of the marquee talent that contributed to the book. What better place to start than with the talented tandem from South Africa that contributed more tales (five!!!) than anyone else? Writer/Letterist Arno Hurter and Illustrator/Colorist David Edwards are absurdly talented comic creators you probably aren’t aware exist but definitely should know. I “discovered” them (actually they submitted material to a Heske Horror anthology that blew me away) a few years ago, and I have been an avid − no, make that “rabid” − fan since. What makes them so entertaining is that they are versatile and can spin any graphic tale with an acumen that would make Stan Lee blush. Take a trip with me to the far corner of Earth and meet two guys with some amazing stories to tell … here’s Arno and David! 

1) Arno Hurter and David Edwards is destined to become South Africa’s version of Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night). How’d you two hook up, and what was your first piece that was published?

HURTER: Hi Bob and audience. Thanks for the compliment, as well as the opportunity. Dave’s wife and I used to work together, through whom we eventually met. Dave’s a full-time freelance illustrator in the coastal city of East London, South Africa, and I was well aware of his exceptional artistic ability (he’s somewhat of a local legend, but is way too modest to ever tell you so himself, whereas I have no such qualms) and I’ve long been a great admirer of his. We were passing acquaintances for years until, not having seen each other in absolute ages, we bumped into one another at a local DVD rental store, then again in a grocery store about a week later. On both occasions Dave asked if I’d be interested to collaborate on creating comics with him. Unable to believe my lucky stars, I immediately said yes and our partnership – STOMPIN’ MASTODON (the naming of which is a story unto itself, but we’ll save that for another day) – was born. Many brainstorms and beers have followed since —

EDWARDS: Good times.

HURTER: — As well as some pretty cool pages. We’re still plugging away, doing what we love, and the creation is still an absolute joy. As for our first published piece… well, Bob, we have youto thank for including our first two stories in your remarkable anthology – 2012: FINAL PRAYER – that was published a few years back. It was our ‘first’ and, as such, will always be fondly remembered. BTW you were real gentle, Bob ;). The day those comp issues arrived, all shiny and magic-dust new, knowing that two children born of our imagination had found a home within those sheltered pages… man, what a buzz!

2) You have the most entries in InvestComics’ ONE AND DONE anthology which benefits the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Arno, give us a one line on each story title.

HURTER: Before I give with the one line per one-pager, let me just say that writing and illustrating a complete (and hopefully satisfying) story in the meager space of one measly page is quite a challenge and really got our creative juices flowing. What we tried to do is condense as much story as possible within the constraints of the assignment, I mean we really tried cramming it in there, so hopefully it feels like 2 pages worth of narrative per yarn (if we got lucky, perhaps even more).

“… COLD!”: The title in panel one actually follows the last word of dialogue at the end of panel twelve (hence the quotation marks), which gives this brief B-movie a looping quality that hopefully makes you want to read it twice in a row.

SAYING GRACE: Perhaps my favourite title, it features a vampire priest trying to save the world one orphan at a time – throw in a psychotic serial killer and a thirsty young protégé and you’ve got yourself a nicely rabid little tale.

PRIME DIRECTIVE: This one’s a welcome change of pace as it turns the basic premise of ONE AND DONE (tales that end in death or the implication thereof) on its head by positing: what if the horror came not from dying, but being forced to live; also, Dave draws one kick-ass cybernetic artificial life-form, which was a thrill to see realized.

THE VOW: I love revenge stories and have a particular fondness for pathos, so I drew a vial of scarlet inspiration from Bram Stoker’s DRACULA (the movie starring an incendiary Gary Oldman) and wrote this sucker to its soundtrack – also, this is the only tale I did some actual research for, which is vital if you’re using history as a backdrop.

FINAL TAKE: This is our pick of the bunch and, as it’s the only tale that could actually conceivably happen (an horrific indictment of the world we live in), it’s also the most genuinely dark and disturbing.

3) OK, David — now your turn. Which of the five was the funnest to draw and which was the most challenging?

EDWARDS: I would say SAYING GRACE was the most fun. I love the idea of an old man and a kid turning the tables on an arrogant serial killer. The challenge for me was shifting from my preferred 4-6 panels per page to 8, 10 or sometimes even 12! In this game the words ‘fun’ and ‘challenge’ mean more or less the same thing. We enjoyed the one page format so much that we are definitely going to be doing more.

4) You also currently have 3 different graphic novels in the works. Let’s begin with ALTERED NATE. What’s the premise and where does the project currently stand? Are there any links where readers can preview some pages?

EDWARDS: ALTERED NATE (“AN”) is about a scientist who has a very bad day at work.

HURTER: Heh. To put it mildly. AN is a vigorous re-imagining of the Jekyll and Hyde archetype. After a teleportation experiment goes horribly wrong, our titular character(s), Dr. Nathan Vos, finds himself literally torn into physical manifestations of his id, ego and super-ego (in the case of the latter, an almost infinite number of ghost-like “echoes”). An uncompromising battle of monstrous consequence ensues. There are some killer supporting characters fleshing out this tale, including an ex-Russian model turned secret agent as well as a lethal, utterly deranged field operative in the employ of a clandestine American-led international agency (GOD – Global Observation & Defense) who’s been tasked with either capturing or killing the unknowable new threat created in the wake of the teleportation mishap. ALTERED NATE moves with the ferocity and momentum of an avalanche, one whose snow is bright, arterial red.

EDWARDS: The full synopsis is in our ebook (http://www.myebook.com/stompin-mastodon/), along with character profiles and the opening eleven pages. Our hope is to find a publisher who’d be willing to assist us complete the book. This would also make an awesome movie! For more on our comics (and all sorts of other interesting things) you can go to my website – http://artcore.co.za/ – and check it all out.

5) You’ve also been working on THE MUSE and ROXY. Give us a quick spiel on each of these and where they’re at.

EDWARDS: THE MUSE is a Faustian fable for the modern age with the world’s biggest rock star as its protagonist. As with ALTERED NATE we did an eleven page pitch introduction for it. While we would love to finish the story, we have been sidetracked with other projects, but would like to return to it at some stage (perhaps with a grittier style). ROXY is an action packed sci-fi meets surfing adventure that has tons of mainstream appeal. We’ve done a lot of pre-production and are in the process of kick-starting this baby. We’ll let you know as soon as its about to launch. Surf’s almost up. Can’t wait to ride the waves.

 

 

6) Your latest collaboration – BRUISER’S MOON — pairs a hit man and a porn star in an unlikely and bittersweet love story with action, thrills and kills. Tell us about it.

HURTER: At this stage BRUISER’S MOON is a novel in early progress that Dave will provide full-color illustrations for. The story’s going to be a wild excursion indeed, blending pulp fiction elements, some gritty, grisly noir; oh yeah, and a healthy dollop of unconventional romance. I’m really drawn to damaged characters (the more down on their luck and desperate, the better) doggedly seeking salvation.

As you mentioned, BM features a hit man and a former porn star trying to outrun the crushing weight of who they were and all the terrible things they’ve seen and done. Both end up in an anonymous, quiet little town where they try to make a brand new start and things actually go pretty well for a while. They’ve never been happier, except when it comes time to dream, when wolves of the past with men’s faces snarl hungrily from the dark, teeth bloodied and jaws snapping foam. They bump into one another at every turn and fall hopelessly in love against their better judgments (initially unaware of each other’s past, but sensing the baggage and hurt seared into their kindred souls), but theirs is a bruising love not to be contained or controlled. Its something much larger than themselves, a force that makes them mighty, yet renders them vulnerable in the extreme. They’re running from their collective sinful past, which has a nasty way of catching up, especially when stolen money and injured mobster’s pride are at stake, particularly when two relentless killers – one a psychotic giant, the other a sadistic dwarf – lead remorseless packs of hateful men to hunt our star-crossed lovers down, hoping to retrieve what’s theirs and carve monstrous reputations out of butchered human hides.

BRUISER’S MOON is ultimately a tale about the power of redemption and the interventions of grace, about love and guts, brawn and bullets and staying true to all you hold dear against demonic odds. No half-measures here. It should be a bumpy, bloodied rocket ride.

7) What else have you done recently?

HURTER: We’ve completed another six-page comic short called HANDS that’s a pretty full-on excursion into horror – it was designed to make your skin crawl. We’ve sent that off to Heavy Metal magazine, whose sensibilities this story was tailor-made for, so we’re anxiously awaiting their response. Other than that, I’m busy writing both Bruiser’s Moon and Altered Nate as novels. Dave and I are also keen to continue with the Altered Nate, The Muse and Roxy graphic novels, see if we can’t get a corporate sponsor or publisher on board to really add some momentum.

8) Since you contributed a sci-fi story (ANNIHILATION REVELATION) and a gloomy graphic tale (BIRD’S EYE VIEW) to Heske Hororr’s 2012: FINAL PRAYER Armageddon anthology, you’re well aware we bite the dust on 12/21/12. Which or your works will you bury in a titanium container for the next species that inhabits our planet to discover to know you were here?

HURTER: Here’s hoping that what we “hatched” (inside joke here) in Bird’s Eye View doesn’t come to pass, nor any of the other ways the string unravels as imagined by the tales in your Armageddon anthology. Extinction wasn’t part of my new year’s resolutions. I think. Better double-check on that one. As for which of our works to preserve for the next dawning of life-forms to discover… gosh… darn… Hmm, well, I really wouldn’t mind the five tales we’ve contributed right here, y’know. They cover a lot of territory (three contemporary, one historical and one futuristic), so I feel – even though they’re brief – they say a lot. That and Altered Nate, I think. At least at this stage.

9) Regarding your BIRD’S EYE VIEW story, I should let everyone know that your story received rave reviews from just about every person who critiqued and reviewed the book (As did HARKINTON, by Sandman #38 illustrator Duncan Eagleson, which is also re-printed in ONE AND DONE extras section). Have people in the industry finally started to take note of your talent?

HURTER: The critical acclaim we’ve received has certainly been gratifying and tremendously appreciated, as it often feels like you’re working in a vacuum. We can only hope that even more editors and publishers A) become aware of us, B) like what we have to offer as keen, committed storytellers and C) are prepared to give us a shot at the big(ger) time. Regardless, we’ll keep on telling tales, man, the taller and more imaginative, the better.

EDWARDS: Bring it on!

10) What’s in store for 2012? And please provide links to websites where we can follow your work. And are you guys for hire in case anyone out there is looking to hire a writer/artist team that’s ready to break out?

HURTER: Any editors or publishers out there willing to harness our abilities and give us a shot at doing this even for a part-time living, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and make some storytelling magic together. Once again, thanks for the opportunity, Bob. Hopefully you’ll rope us in on your next anthology, ’cause it’s sure to be a class act. Congrats to everyone else who made it into the collection; we can’t wait to check it out.

EDWARDS: Yeah, looking forward to it. Any interested parties, please feel free to contact us via ed-art@mweb.co.za (Dave) or arnohurter@gmail.com (Arno). You can also visit my website at http://artcore.co.za/ for more info. Thanks, Bob. It’s been a blast.

HURTER: Happy reading, folks…

Thanks guys! I encourage everyone to check out Arno’s and David’s work at the websites above and in ONE AND DONE. For only $6.99, ONE AND DONE is a great little book supporting a great cause, unveiling new talent as well as established creators.

Buy it here.

An award-winning indie comic creator and screenwriter, Bob Heske is currently writing/producing a micro-budget horror film called UNREST (http://www.indiegogo.com/unrest). Bob wrote THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST, a vampire horror series to be published by Studio 407 (http://www.studio-407.com) with film rights optioned by Myriad Pictures. Through his Heske Horror shingle, Bob self-published his critically acclaimed horror series COLD BLOODED CHILLERS. Bob’s trade paperback BONE CHILLER (a “best of” CBC anthology) won a Bronze medal in the horror category at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His “end times” anthology 2012: FINAL PRAYER was also released in late 2009. Bob was editor and contributor to InvestComics’ ONE AND DONE charitable anthology. Email him at info@coldbloodedchillers.com.

 

Cosmic Times presents Decisions Issue 2

“Life – the sum of all your choices.”

Cosmic Times presents

Decisions

Issue 2

 

About Decisions

Olivia’s life hangs on by a thread . she has lived a long life and now in her final hour, she is given a unique opportunity.  Two guides take her back through her life – through all the heartbreak and pain she suffered.  They take her to a moment in time when a series of events changed the course of her life, and the repercussions of that time followed her to her death bed. Now faced with the chance to change the course of her own history, will she make the decision to do it?  If so . how will things really turn out for her?
Decisions issue 2 continues the themes and stories of the first issue that has been called “Quantum Leap meets Highway to Heaven”.  For fans of the first issue, this book had been a long time coming.  If you have never read Decisions before, this story stands on its own and is self contained.
Decisions Issue 2 “A Circular Presence” is a 28 page black and white comic published by the South Florida based studio Cosmic Times.  This comic reunites the team from the first issue – writer Martin T. Pierro and artist Zach Bassett, and also features a stunning cover by newcomer Jeff ‘Dekal’ Becker.  This issue will debut at MegaCon in Orlando, Florida on February 17th 2012 – soon followed by a wide release.

About Cosmic Times
Established in 2009, Cosmic Times has become a small-press favorite with such diverse titles as Arthur: The Legend Continues, From Blood and Souled. Publisher Martin T. Pierro (who named Cosmic Times after a fanzine he published back in the mid 80s while still in middle school) is continuing to focus on his goal of making Cosmic Times into a true independent publishing house that focuses on quality storytelling.

More information about Cosmic Times and Decisions can be found at – www.CosmicTimes.net.

 

Jan 25th

 

Thanks for all the votes last week. As you can see your choice was LARGE, and here it is.

Very soon Gary and I will be making a kit for submission to King Features. For that kit we will need two Sunday comics and this is the first that will be included in that kit, although formatted for display here at IC Web Comics.

Thanks for all the support!

BOOM! STUDIOS’ SUPURBIA FLIES INTO STORES THIS MARCH

January 25, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – What goes down when the capes come off? This March, BOOM! Studios debuts SUPURBIA — written by Bleeding Cool’s Grace Randolph (Marvel’s NATION X, HER-OES) and drawn by red hot artist Russell Dauterman — a new series that features the secret lives of the world’s greatest heroes’ spouses! 

Housewives to the all-powerful tell all! We all know that behind every great hero is the woman or man who makes their world run. SUPURBIA tells the other side of the superhero story… and a whole lot more. This 4-issue series brings you a can’t-turn-away look at the private lives of superheroes and the drama, conflict and outrageous behavior of their everyday lives. When the hero’s away…

“So often in superhero comics, the girlfriend or boyfriend is left totally in the dark and unable to participate in their loved one’s heroic activities.  But in the real world, significant others not only know what their other half is up to, but they have an opinion!” said writer Grace Randolph.  “These couples have a fabulous and fascinating mix of ordinary problems seen through the superhero lens, and superhero problems seen through the ordinary lens.  However, what really makes this book soar is that with BOOM! I’m able to push these characters in directions that the bigger publishers simply can’t or won’t.  See your favorite archetypes explored as you only wish they could be and should be.”

“Superheros are an institution in comic books. It’s always fun and interesting to tell a story that shows a different side of the genre,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.  “Grace’s writing is top-notch. It delivers all the drama of a really juicy tabloid story.”

Meet the Real Housewives of Earth’s greatest super-team, the Meta Legion! It’s the egos, the tantrums, and the betrayals of the super set. Find out what happens behind the masks as superhero families are faced with the sordid problems of everyday life — and then some! This series takes the familiar super-team and turns it on its head with a scandalous, TMZ-fueled look at what it’s like to live with a superhero! Let the battle for the neighborhood begin!

SUPURBIA #1 by writer Grace Randolph and artist Russell Dauterman will ship in March, with an Alè Garza cover and 32 pages of story for $3.99 carrying a Diamond Order Code of JAN120927 .

About BOOM! Studios
Founded by Ross Richie, BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com) is 2009 and 2010’s “Best Publisher” and an Eisner and Harvey Award winner, generating a constellation of bestselling comic books and graphic novels with the industry’s top talent, including Mark Waid’s IRREDEEMABLE, new HELLRAISER comics written by Clive Barker, PLANET OF THE APES, 28 DAYS LATER, and Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?. BOOM!’s all-ages imprint KABOOM! publishes Charles Schulz’ PEANUTS, Roger Langridge’s SNARKED, and Scholastic’s WORDGIRL. BOOM!’s lit comix-focused imprint, BOOM! Town, recently won the Eisner Award for its first book, Shannon Wheeler’s I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romeo and Juliet: The War from 1821 Comics

Coming out tomorrow from 1821 Comics! Take a look at some of the Interior below of this beautiful book!

Romeo and Juliet: The War | Collector’s Edition, Hard Cover

Hard Cover Collector’s Edition 152 Pages Full Color!

Created by: Stan Lee and Terry Dougas
Based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Written by: Max Work
Artwork by: Skan Srisuwan
In association with POW! Entertainment 

THIS IS THE STORY OF…

Two groups of superhuman soldiers who turned the Empire of Verona into the most powerful territory on earth. The MONTAGUES, powerful cyborgs made of artificial DNA, and the CAPULETS, genetically enhanced humans known for their speed and agility, worked in tandem to destroy all threats to the city. With no one left to fight, the Montagues and Capulets found themselves a new enemy: each other.

THIS IS THE STORY OF…

A young Montague boy and Capulet girl who fall in love. They secretly plan to marry, hoping their union can be what brings peace between the warring factions. But forces beyond their control begin to conspire against them, threatening their love, their lives… and the entire Empire of Verona.

THIS IS THE STORY OF….

A tragedy that spans all of space and time.

THIS IS THE STORY OF…

Romeo and Juliet: The War

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MARS ATTACKS ONGOING SERIES!

EISNER-WINNING CREATORS TAPPED FOR MARS ATTACKS ONGOING SERIES

John Layman, John McCrea to reimagine cult sci-fi classic in June

[Mars Attacks Cover]San Diego, CA (January 23, 2012)— IDW Publishing and Topps are pleased to announce the multiple Eisner Award-winning creative team for MARS ATTACKS, an all-new ongoing comic series based on the fan-favorite Mars Attacks franchise.

Debuting in June 2012, IDW’s comic series will offer the first stories of an all-new Mars Attacks universe, bringing the brand’s outrageous action and dark humor to a new set of tales. Writer John Layman, author and co-creator of the Eisner-winning series Chew, will pen the series, with art by John McCrea, best known for his collaborations with Garth Ennis, including Eisner-winner Hitman.

“I’m a huge fan of Mars Attacks from a long way back. I own about half the original card set from 1962 and have a pretty big collection of collectables and doodads,” Layman said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to destroy the Earth and inflict huge degrees of suffering on the rest of humanity. With this Mars Attacks series, I finally get my chance.”

Created in 1962, Mars Attacks celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012 with major product launches throughout the year. IDW’s new comic series, as well as high-quality reprints of existing material, will be a cornerstone of that effort.

Originally published by Topps as a series of trading cards, Mars Attacks was created by Len Brown and Woody Gelman, after Brown was inspired by the Wally Wood cover to Weird Science #16 (EC Comics). The cards went on to achieve cult status for their then-shocking imagery—fully painted by pulp legend Norm Saunders and based on designs by Wood and Bob Powell—and remains a staple of pop culture. Topps revived the franchise in the mid 1990s with a second card set, comic book series and toy line. The story was also adapted into the 1996 feature film Mars Attacks!, directed by Tim Burton.

“We were excited to hear of the award-winning creative team that IDW had secured,” said Ira Friedman, Topps vice president of global licensing. “John McCrea was our first choice to illustrate Mars Attacks and we were thrilled that IDW was able to bring him aboard. His experience drawing over-the-top violence on comics like Hitman, Judge Dredd and The Boys, coupled with John Layman’s penchant for twisted, offbeat humor makes them the perfect team to relaunch Mars Attacks.”

MARS ATTACKS will include covers by McCrea and alternate covers by such comic-book luminaries as Sam Kieth, Ben Templesmith and Eric Powell. The first issue will also feature a unique approach to variant covers: It will ship with 55 different covers, each depicting one of the original trading cards from the debut set of Mars Attacks from 1962. A complete collector’s set of the 55 covers in a box that replicates the original card packaging will be offered separately as well.

MARS ATTACKS #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores in June 2012.

Visit IDWPublishing.com to learn more about the company and its top-selling books. For information on Topps, please visit topps.com.

About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Toho’s Godzilla; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.

IDW’s original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com.

About Topps
Founded in 1938, The Topps Company is the preeminent creator and brand marketer of sports cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery. Topps leading sports and entertainment products include Major League Baseball, National Football League, WWE, UFC, Star Wars, Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company’s top confectionery brands include “Ring Pop,” “Push Pop,” “Baby Bottle Pop,” “Bazooka” bubble gum, “Sharkies” and “Juicy Drop Pop” products. For more information, visit www.topps.com.

For all the latest on Mars Attacks, follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarsAttacks

 

ROCKETEER ADVENTURES Vol. 2 #1 Coming in March!

IDW to release second all-new anthology of Dave Stevens’ beloved character

[Rocketeer Adventures Vol. 2 #1 Cover]San Diego, CA (January 24, 2012) – The second all-new, all-fantastic Rocketeer Adventures series launches into stores in March! Each extra-long issue—boasting 25 pages of story and art— will feature covers by Darwyn Cooke and Dave Stevens. The first issue’s line-up includes Peter David, Marc Guggenheim, Sandy Plunkett, Stan Sakai, and Bill Sienkiewicz, with Arthur Adams supplying a pin-up.

The Rocketeer takes us back to another time,” said series editor Scott Dunbier, “one stuffed to the brim with heroism and thrilling adventures. Some might call these stories old-fashioned—and what’s wrong with that?”

Other contributors to the series include Kyle Baker, J. Scott Campbell, Eric Canete, Paul Dini, Michael Golden, Dave Johnson, David Lapham, John Paul Leon, Bill Morrison, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Chris Sprouse, Tom Taylor, Matt Wagner, Colin Wilson, and more. Rocketeer Adventures is in the current issue of Diamond Previews.

As with the first series, a portion of the profits from Rocketeer Adventures will be donated to the Hairy Cell Leukemia research. Dave Stevens, the creator of The Rocketeer, died of the disease in 2008 at the age of 52.

ROCKETEER ADVENTURES VOL. 2 #1 ($3.99, 32 pages; full color) will be available in March 2012. Diamond order code: JAN12 0408.

Visit IDWPublishing.com to sign up for updates and learn more about the company and its top-selling books.

About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Toho’s Godzilla; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.

IDW’s original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com.

 

Kevin LaPorte and Amanda Rachels

I was fortunate to be able to speak with Kevin LaPorte and Amanda Rachels, the creative team behind Clown Town.  They will be at Megacon, so be sure to stop by and say “Hello” and pick up their books and some of Amanda’s artwork.

Andra Walt:  What are your backgrounds, ie: schooling, families, interests, etc.

Kevin LaPorte: I’m a lifelong Mobilian, raised by a single mom with two younger brothers. In high school, I was a geek prototype – chess club, valedictorian, math competitions and lots and lots of comics. College brought me a Master’s degree in Psychology and a career in mental health that’s included sixteen years helping others at a state psychiatric hospital.

Amanda Rachels: I’m from the beautiful little town of Magnolia Springs near the Alabama Gulf Coast.  There’s not much more here than woods, water, and a magnolia tree or two, but I adore it. Growing up, I had to keep up with my older cousins and do everything that they did, so when they got into comic books so did I.  I’ve been obsessed them since I was five.  My dad got so sick of the weekly drive to the nearest shop an hour away that he opened his own comic shop when I was 13. Since then, I’ve worked either on comics or near them almost constantly, and couldn’t be happier.

AW: How did the idea of Clown Town come up?

KL: Amanda and I needed a concept to enter the 2010 Small Press Idol competition. We knew we wanted to wrap our story around a core theme, addressing the tragedy of child abuse, and brainstormed to come up with avenging spirits for child victims. Our epiphany was CLOWNS! They’re supposed to be entertainment for children but too often are symbols of abject fear to adults. The killer clowns we developed protected children from offending adults and in some pretty brutal ways.

AW: How many issues will there be of Clown Town? Is this a min-series or an on-going book?

KL: Clown Town is a 4-issue, 92-page limited series, the last issue of which will be released in late February/early March, 2012. There are two 8-page Clown Town short stories published in Indie Comics Magazine #’s 3 & 4. But ALL of our Clown Town stories will be collected and fully re-edited, re-lettered and re-scripted for a collected, 120-page Clown Town Graphic Novel!  Both Clown Town #4 and the 120-page Clown Town Graphic Novel are available for pre-order NOW on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/znS0AI

AW:  Kevin, with your experience in the psychological/psychiatric field, does this contribute to any of the stories in Clown Town?

KL: Only insomuch as my clinical experience has exposed me to the long-term effects of child abuse, in its many forms, on the internal make-up of adults. Those scars linger and, untreated, can affect choices and emotions and behavior throughout life. This fact is definitely a core theme of Clown Town and is one of the underpinnings of the clowns, the circus, and the origins of them all.

AW: Do you find it hard to get recognized by the big boys (DC and/or Marvel) because you are an “Indy” publisher?

KL: We’ve gotten some really nice remarks and feedback from some creators for the big two, but we live in the nursery of the comics publishing ward. We’ve been at this for a few years, and we’ve come a long way, but we’re still learning. Recognition by the powers that be is still a bit down the road, I think.

AR: I’m enjoying my Indy status. I don’t think that makes it any harder to be noticed. I still have a lot to learn, and self-publishing has been the best way to get that experience. I’ve been getting advice and encouragement from some creators who work for the big companies and I’m thrilled with that!

AW:  Have you tried to get your book in Diamond Distributors? How has that been?

KL: We submitted Clown Town to Diamond and got some nice feedback, but they rejected it based on their belief that they couldn’t market this type of story. That’s pretty vague…was the issue with clowns, horror, some combination of the two? We’ll try again with our next project…

AW: How is your book marketed, and how may the public purchase your book?

KL: We market through convention appearances, social media (Facebook, Twitter and message boards). We also have our own website at http://inversepress.com, which is also where our online storefront can be accessed and our books purchased. We’ve had some good fortune fundraising and marketing Clown Town on http://kickstarter.com as well.

AW: Explain how Kickstarter works, and how that has helped get you books published.

KL: A carefully planned and executed Kickstarter campaign has funded our print runs for all three issues of Clown Town that we’ve self-published. It’s a matter of identifying rewards that make potential donors feel a part of the publication process, making them accessible at a fair price-point and then producing them in a timely manner, along with the comic itself. Self-publishing is expensive and produces little income, particularly early in the career of comic creators, so Kickstarter offsets both ends of the issue to make self-publishing do-able while simultaneously introducing your work to a new audience more likely to continue following you.

AR: Kickstarter is wonderful!  It lets you present a project on the site and allows viewers to pledge money to help produce it. We’ve had several successful campaigns that have made it possible to publish our books and produce exclusive material for our donors.  We actually have a Kickstarter campaign that is running currently for the Clown Town Graphic Novel and issue #4, so I hope you’ll check it out at Kickstarter.com

AW: What is ‘Blind Eye’?

KL:  The Blind Eye was our first long-form comic work. It is a web comic that ran through much of 2010 and has been collected into a print edition that can be purchased through our online store, or viewed for free at http://blindeyecomic.com. It’s a superhero, noir tale of a post-Katrina New Orleans type of environment, in which the storm washed in an unseen evil – a Lovecraftian god of the deeps that lurks below the floodwaters and corrupts the entire city, leaving only a few brave, costumed souls to protect the survivors. We learned a ton about comics producing and publishing through this story, much of it the HARD WAY…but we’re very proud of it to this day.

AW: Amanda, some of your work has appeared in The Gathering by Grayhaven Comics. How did that come about?

AR: Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time on Brian Michael Bendis’ message board and a lot of the board members are creative folks.  Andrew Goletz had the great idea to get the artists and writers from that forum and others together to produce short stories for what became The Gathering Anthology.  It focuses on one theme (hope, romance, horror, ect.), and the creative teams get anywhere from 2 to 6 pages to work with.  Andrew invited myself and Kevin to participate in issue #2 and we have been frequent contributors ever since.  I’ve been able to work with Kevin and other writers on the Hope, Horror, Romance, and Sci-Fi issues, and have started doing some covers for them!   Andrew has even gotten some pro contributors like Gail Simone and Sterling Gates to help out and The Gathering has become an ongoing series.  They’ve branched out a bit and are also featuring webcomics on the Grayhaven website.  Kevin and I will have one starting in early February. It’s pretty wild.

AW: Do you have other titles in the planning stages? Can you share any information about these?

KL: There are a few projects in production right now. Amanda and I will be publishing a weekly web comic called Rail through Grayhaven Comics (publishers of The Gathering Anthology) beginning the week of February 6 at: http://grayhavencomics.com. Think of Rail as, “It’s 1903, and teleporting hobos save the world from an incursion by alien evil!”  I’m also working on a print limited series with artist, Nathan Smith – I can’t release any details on this one yet, but, in general, it’s a tale of Armageddon occurring in a Steampunk version of the Old West!

AW: Have you found that “social networking” has helped get the word out?  If so, how?

KL: It’s been the most successful marketing we’ve done, honestly. Facebook, in particular, is the heart of the Clown Town community, with around 1600 fans who carried us to 2nd place in the Small Press Idol competition, and have sustained us throughout the 2-year process of publishing the full story. Simply updating regularly with previews of art and tidbits on what’s coming soon with the project goes a long way to keeping fans interested and invested.

AR: We are always on Facebook. That has been the best way to market Clown Town and our other work. Most of our supporters have been with us on the Clown Town fan page since the very beginning- everyone spreading the word and telling their friends about us is how the project really took off in the Small Press Idol Competition.

AW: Where are you based, and is there a large ‘comic community’ in your area?

KL: We’re based in/near Mobile, Alabama, and there is almost NO comic community here. The only comic seller runs his operation out of a dusty, sweaty flea market booth and is the stereotypical “comic shop owner”. NOT conducive to an active comic community.  We are aware of one other, active comic creator locally, and we’re working to involve some other talented artists in projects to expand on that.

AR: We’re based out of Mobile, AL where there is next to nothing as far as a comic community. Most of my contact with anyone remotely local has been online. We’re all so scattered. Thank goodness for Facebook!

AW: Have you been able to get your books in any of your local comic shops?

KL: Oh, if only there WERE a local shop. Short answer:  No.

AR: I wish we had a local comic shop. Unfortunately we don’t, so, no.

AW: Have you found help from other Indy publishers?

KL: Yes, particularly in the forms of cross-promotion and feedback/advice. Cross-sharing of this type of help is common at conventions and one of the prime benefits of attending those events. 

 AR: We’ve met quite a few others who are doing exactly what we are through conventions, so it’s been great to have other Indy publishers to talk to and learn from.

AW: You are going to be at Megacon, but what other conventions are you looking at attending in 2012?

KL: The only other convention we’ve finalized at this time is the New Orleans Comic Con on Jan. 28-29.  There will be others, but we simply haven’t firmed those dates up yet.

AR: We’ll be at Wizard World New Orleans January 28-29, but we are still trying to get our schedule ironed out for the rest of the year.

AW: Where will people be able to find you at Megacon?

KL: We’ll be at table Yellow 9 in Artist Alley at MegaCon!

AW:  Who do you look up to in the Comic industry, and would like to emulate?

KL: Terry Moore. He consistently produces story and art at the highest level of the medium and handles every aspect of the production and the business himself, without a middle man (or overlord) publisher to meddle in his work.  And he makes a living doing it. The ultimate indie role model.

AR: First off, I agree with every part of Kevin’s answer. Terry Moore is the hardest working man in comics and I totally admire that. There are so many artists with unique styles that just inspire me to work harder and be better…Nicola Scott, Leinil Yu, JG Jones…I just zone out and ooooooh over their work.

 

 

 

 

 

AW:  What do you think about the DC Reboot, and what are some of your favorite books?  Also, what are some of your favorite Marvel books?

KL: The New 52 has been fun for the most part. Batman is reaching new heights under Scott Snyder, and I’ll buy anything drawn by Doug Mahnke, so Green Lantern is a visual candy store every month. But I miss Secret Six. Badly!. That’s really my only gripe with the reboot. As for Marvel, Tony Stark has been my favorite character in comics since I was ten years old, and that’s no different now. Matt Fraction has restored him as the true star of Iron Man, rather than the armor, and it’s the best book at Marvel, in my opinion. Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men is weird and fun and a plethora of characterization on every single page. And add my name to the list of fanboys lining up the accolades for Mark Waids’ Daredevil. Cutting-edge comics from a pair of fellow native Alabamians right there.

AR: I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve had a chance to read from the reboot. I love Batman and Detective Comics. From Marvel my favorite has to be Uncanny X-Force.

AW: Kevin do you do the writing and Amanda the art, or do you work together on the story and art?         

KL: We work together on both aspects. We brainstorm the stories and actually work the layouts together, sometimes from MY thumbnails – it’s true. I’ve sketched out some of the pages before Amanda takes them and makes them into ACTUAL art. Our synergy now is such that we can do a lot of it with far fewer words than in the past. It’s a hell of a fulfilling process, and it’s really shining through in our satisfaction with more recent projects. Wait ‘til you see what we’re up to next.

AR: It’s a team effort from start to finish for us. I’d go so far as to say we’ve developed some kind of creative telepathy! Well, almost- I still have to redraw some things here and there.

(Kevin may not know it but I have saved ALL of his drawings from our projects…)

 

 

 

 

AW:  What forms of Media are you using to get noticed?

KL: Social media, message boards, the occasional podcast, our own websites and local newspaper articles when the opportunity arises.

AR: I started with message boards and a few art forums. Deviantart is a nice place to show off your work and interact with people who are doing the same type of thing. I’ve had a few recent requests for custom art in novels so that’s been a new and entertaining side project for me. We also have an app in the works which we’re really looking forward to utilizing in our promotional efforts.

AW: What is the ultimate goal for Inverse Press?

KL: Simply put, to be a self-sustaining independent comics publisher. We don’t have to carry an extensive line of comics to meet our goals, but we hope to successfully publish the stories that we develop and feel deserve to be seen. We’re optimistic but also realistic.

AR: I’m usually so engrossed in whatever page is in front of me, I have a hard time focusing on an ultimate long-term goal. I just want us to continue to grow and develop as creators so we can keep telling stories that will entertain our audience.

AW: Do you purchase any books through a digital site?  If so, which do you buy digitally?


KL: I have not yet purchased any digital comics. I’m not opposed to it, but, in my opinion, phones are simply too small for fully appreciating comics, and (full disclosure) I don’t have a tablet device more suited to digital comic presentation.

AW: How do you think the digital market will affect the comic community and the Local Comic Stores?


KL: There’s no way to tell beyond the way digital has ALREADY affected comics and comic retailers – the same way music-sharing affected music and music retailers…EROSION. The more people who buy or – more often – pirate digital comics, the fewer will buy from traditional retailers, weakening the brick-and-mortars and, consequently, the one distributor and the publishers who feed the beast. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the efforts of the major publishers to incorporate mainstream digital sales have any positive effect, but I just look to the music analogue. Music artists now make their money touring, some incessantly, not by sales of the studio versions of the music. What’s the comic industry’s equivalent of touring?  I don’t know. If I knew, I’d be doing it…

Thank you Kevin and Amanda! Be sure to check them out at MegaCon and BUY Clown Town, It’s fantastic!

Take a look at this New York Comic Con 2011 video footage from InvestComics that features Amanda’s “The Gathering” comic!

Legacy Series: Tom Wilson

 

 

Last September the world of Cartooning lost one of its greats. Tom Wilson was indeed a legend. His single panel strip “ZIGGY” could say so much with so little space. And although it’s been since 1987, when he handed the reigns over to his son Tom Wilson Jr., the affects of senior’s efforts will continue to live on in so many syndicated papers.

Thomas Albert Wilson (August 1, 1931 – September 16, 2011), better known as Tom Wilson, was an American cartoonist. Wilson was the creator of the comic strip Ziggy, which he drew from 1971 to 1987. The strip was then continued by his son, Tom Wilson, Jr.

Wilson served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955. He attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1955.He was a Cooper Union art instructor from 1961 to 1962.

Wilson’s career began in 1950, doing advertisement layouts for Uniontown Newspapers, Inc. In 1955, he joined American Greetings (AG) as a designer, becoming Creative Director in 1957 and vice-president of creative development in 1978.While at AG he developed the Soft Touch greeting card line.He also served as president of Those Characters From Cleveland, AG’s character licensing subsidiary.

 

 

Ziggy

The Ziggy comics panel, syn­di­cated by Universal Uclick (for­merly Univer­sal Press Syn­di­cate), launched in 15 news­pa­pers in June 1971. It expanded to appear in more than 500 daily and Sun­day news­pa­pers and has been fea­tured in bestselling books and cal­en­dars. Ziggy merchandising has included plaques, T-shirts, buttons, glass tumblers, lunch boxes, coffee mugs and greet­ing cards. In 2002, Ziggy became the official spokescharacter for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Through­out his career, Wil­son demon­strated a remark­able abil­ity to anticipate future trends in the mar­ket­place. A vet­eran of the licens­ing busi­ness, Wil­son headed up the cre­ative team that devel­oped such char­ac­ter licens­ing block­busters as Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears.

Ziggy first appeared in the 1969 collection When You’re Not Around, published by American Greetings. The newspaper strip began in June 1971. In 1987 the strip was taken over by Tom Wilson II.

The animated 1982 Christmas television special Ziggy’s Gift, which contained the Harry Nilsson song “Give, Love, Joy”, won an Emmy Award.

There are annual calendars produced as well as various books and promotional items.

Tom Wilson has acknowledged that one in five Ziggy cartoons makes direct reference to the mathematical concept of the Axiom of choice. In his 2009 autobiography, Wilson stated that this recurrent theme is “my own unique way of expressing my love for mathematical analysis. Cartooning has been a career for me, but math was always my passion.”

In 1987, Wil­son passed the Ziggy torch to his son, Tom Wil­son Jr., after the younger Wil­son had served as an assis­tant on the strip for many years.Even though Tom Sr. lived in Cleveland and Tom Jr. lived in Cincinnati, the two worked as a team, collaborating by fax and phone.

Wilson was a talented painter with works appearing in exhibitions throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Society of Illustrators annual show in New York.

He made his mark in animation with the 1982 Emmy Award-winning Christmas special, Ziggy’s Gift, which was released on VHS video in 2002 and DVD in 2005.

He received the Purchase award in the Butler Institute of American Art‘s annual exhibition.

Wilson was a survivor of lung cancer. He died in his sleep on the night of September 16, 2011 of pneu­mo­nia at a Cincin­nati hos­pi­tal. He was 80.

 

 

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-25-12

Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks for 1-25-12 

InvestComics visited Tate’s Comics in Lauderhill Florida yesterday for the Hero Initiative DC Comics event. The event had George Perez, Alex Saviak and also an unannounced visit by Mr. Captain America himself Allen Bellman. It was a fantastic event that had about 35 original sketch covers (all Justice League of America) that were to be auctioned off at the store after the signing’s and sketches that George and Alex were doing for the flock of fans. InvestComics will have coverage of this event coming shortly on the site, but for now you can get a taste of what was on display there. Click on the image to the right to enlarge; It’s legend John Romita’s contribution to the Hero Initiative Justice League of America cover. It’s a beauty isn’t it?! 

In this very short week of coverage, we go with a common theme that has run ramped throughout the comic book industry. It’s simply two words that will make any reader/collector cringe when they read it, “Status Quo”. Just like the “Death” in a comic book has become sort of a novelty, the Status Quo has just about run its course a while ago. This week though, three comic books stamp the claim that their “Changing of Status Quo” has arrived. Remember when the phrase Status Quo actually meant a little something? 2 Big events that actually were BIG EVENTS and they both happen to gave us that one issue that became a standalone, instantaneously becoming forever marked within the comic book history books and our brains. Talking about 1984’s Secret Wars and 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. Now just by the mere mention of these two juggernaut events, a comic collector will remember a pair of key issues. One being Secret Wars #8 and the other being Crisis #7. No need to get into why these issues are special in their own way (you should know), but let the truth be known these issues “changed things!”

Now with all of that said regarding Status Quo we come to this week with the three claims.  Two of the 3 books are forever doing this almost every month while one book will probably make good on their promise. X-Men Legacy #261 and Witchblade #152 declare the status quo mumbo jumbo on us. The book that will probably truly give us a story bending, mind blowing, event changing, gut wrenching WHAT?! will be Walking Dead #93. You can bet the house on this. No not the House of Ideas, or a New 52 deal, no this is Walking Dead. 

Scroll through 3 nice covers coming out this week below. 

See you next week.

Invest wisely. 

Jay Katz

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RADICAL ENTERTAINMENT® AND DARK HORSE JOIN FORCES

RADICAL ENTERTAINMENT® AND DARK HORSE JOIN FORCES

TO UNLEASH THE ULTIMATE SHAPE-SHIFTING COMIC SERIES

All-New Comic Series Bridges the Enigmatic Conclusion of the Original PROTOTYPE® and the Action-Packed Beginning of PROTOTYPE®2

Santa Monica, CA – January 17, 2012 – Radical Entertainment, the creators behind one of 2012’s  most anticipated open-world/action games – PROTOTYPE 2 – and Dark Horse Comics, the leading publisher of gaming comics and graphic novels, have joined forces to create an all-new comic series set in the PROTOTYPE universe.  With the game due out April 24, 2012 from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), fans looking for a jumpstart at getting a deeper look into the world of PROTOTYPE 2 should keep an eye out for this exciting collaboration launching February 15, 2012.

The all-new digital comic series will be broken into three original stories that bridge the gap between the original blockbuster game and the highly anticipated sequel, PROTOTYPE 2.  The first entry, “The Anchor,” illustrated by Paco Díaz, continues the story of Alex Mercer, the protagonist from the first game, while the
second story, “The Survivors,” illustrated by Chris Staggs, follows a small group of residents of New York trying to escape the city after it has been transformed into NYZ with the outbreak of the Blacklight virus.  The third and final story, illustrated by Victor Drujiniu, is “The Labyrinth” and provides fans a deeper look into the backstory of PROTOTYPE 2’s new protagonist, Sgt. James Heller.  Each comic in the series will be available at Digital.Darkhorse.com every other week beginning February 15, 2012.

“We’re always looking for meaningful ways to expand the PROTOTYPE universe, and Dark Horse Comics is an industry-leading creative powerhouse delivering best-in-class graphic storytelling that integrates deeply to the core of our IP,” said Ken Rosman, Studio Head, Radical Entertainment.  “With this partnership, our fans will finally be given answers to some dramatic loose ends from the first PROTOTYPE game, as well as the truth behind Alex Mercer’s descent and evolution into a twisted shadow of his former self for PROTOTYPE 2.”

“Sgt. James Heller’s heart wrenching backstory meshed with the sheer amount of over-the-top shape-shifting action in PROTOTYPE 2 lend themselves perfectly to a comic book series,” said Dave Marshall, Editor, Dark Horse Comics.  “We worked extremely close with Radical Entertainment’s story team for PROTOTYPE 2, and can’t wait to visually walk fans through the many dark secrets strewn throughout the tattered world of New York Zero!”

The sequel to Radical Entertainment’s best-selling open-world action game of 2009, PROTOTYPE 2 takes the unsurpassed carnage of the original PROTOTYPE and continues the experience of becoming the ultimate shape-shifting weapon.  As the game’s all-new infected protagonist, Sgt. James Heller, players will cut a bloody swathe
through the wastelands of post-viral New York Zero with unparalleled locomotion, building up a vast genetic arsenal of deadly, biological weapons and abilities as they hunt, kill and consume their way toward the ultimate goal – to kill…Alex…Mercer!

To find out more about PROTOTYPE 2, follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/radical_ent or check out www.prototypegame.com for the latest trailers, screenshots, special promotions and more!  And for the truly dedicated, go to www.facebook.com/prototype and join the PROTOTYPE Army – a community of over
360,000 (and growing) fans that receive constant updates from the team at Radical, and early sneak peeks at new information and assets.

PROTOTYPE 2 is currently in development for Xbox® 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.  The game is currently rated “RP” (Rating Pending) by the ESRB, with an expected “M” (Mature – Content that may be suitable for persons 17 and older) rating.

About Radical Entertainment
In September 2011, Radical Entertainment celebrated its 20th anniversary in the business of creating hit video games, including 2009’s multi-million-unit-selling PROTOTYPE, The Simpsons Hit & Run, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Scarface: The World Is Yours and more.  We treat our properties with the reverence they deserve and gamers demand, and the commitment to our partners and fans continues to set us apart.  Our Vancouver-based studio allows Radical Entertainment to bring the talent, tools and technology together to create entertainment that captures the world’s imagination. Owned by Activision Publishing, Inc, Radical is
continually ranked as one of the best places to work in B.C, according to BC Business magazine and Watson Wyatt.  In 2006-2008 MediaCorp Canada ranked Radical as a Top 100 Canadian Employer, Top 10 Canadian Employer for Young People, and Top 20 B.C. Employer. For more information, please visit www.radical.ca.

About Dark Horse Comics

Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists.  In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, Will Eisner, and best-selling prose author Janet Evanovich, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and the Occultist. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Mass Effect, Serenity, and Domo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the United States and is recognized as both an innovator in the cause of creator rights and the comics industry’s leading publisher of licensed material.

About Activision Publishing, Inc.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.

 

Jan 19th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re trying something new here at IC Web Comics and we want you to vote on exactly HOW you like to view “JOSEPH!”

Version 1 above is slightly smaller than the view below. For a bigger and clearer image just click on each individual panel.

Below is version 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so now is your chance to vote. Which of these layouts do you prefer – how do you like to view “JOSEPH!” Let us know.

DC’s SUPERMAN FAMILY April Solicits

DC’s the SOURCE blog has added the SUPERMAN family April Solicits. Looks the return of Silver Banshee, a rebooted Brainiac (which is a shame, ’cause Geoff Johns only just rebooted him in the Old DCU), and the WILDSTORM UNIVERSE invades superan’s world with Helspont and the Daemonites in SUPERMAN and GEN 13’s GRUNGE in Superboy, where FAIRCHILD is already a cast member.


ACTION COMICS #8

Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art by RAGS MORALES and RICK BRYANT
Cover by RAGS MORALES
Variant cover by GARY FRANK
1:200 B&W Variant cover by RAGS MORALES
On sale APRIL 4 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
It’s the epic 30-page conclusion of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales’ majestic opening storyline! $3.99 gets you front row seats to the ascension of the DC Universe’s first Super Hero as The Man of Steel goes toe to tentacle with the all-new Brainiac for the final fate of Metropolis!
This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.


SUPERMAN #8

Written by KEITH GIFFEN and DAN JURGENS
Art by DAN JURGENS and JESUS MERINO
Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
1:25 B&W Variant cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Superman, agent of the Daemonites?! How has Helspont bent The Man of Steel to his will?

(Not final cover)

SUPERBOY #8
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art by R.B. SILVA and ROB LEAN
Cover by SHANE DAVIS
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Well, that rescue mission didn’t go exactly as planned…and things have only gotten worse for Superboy, as N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s plans for him and the Teen Titans take a deadly turn! If he wants to keep his head, he’s gonna have to take down another dangerous young metahuman for them: the bruiser once known as Grunge!


SUPERGIRL #8

Written by MICHAEL GREEN and MIKE JOHNSON
Art by GEORGE PEREZ and BOB WIACEK
Cover by GEORGE PEREZ
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
As the NYPD hunt her down, Supergirl takes refuge with a new friend named Siobhan. While Supergirl may have temporarily escaped her troubles, Siobhan’s are just about to catch up with her: the curse of the Silver Banshee has risen, and this time it’s brought its family with it…
Don’t miss this special issue featuring artwork by comics legend George Pérez!

DC’s JUSTICE LEAGUE group solicits for April 2012

DC’s JUSTICE LEAGUE group solicits for April, as posted on DC’s THE SOURCE blog.


JUSTICE LEAGUE #8

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by CARLOS D’ANDA
Backup story art by GARY FRANK
Cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:25 Variant cover by MIKE CHOI
1:200 B&W Variant cover by JIM LEE
On sale APRIL 18 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
In the five years that the Justice League has been a team, Green Arrow has never once been a member. And he intends to rectify that right here, right now! One member against his candidacy: Aquaman!
Plus, in “The Curse of Shazam” part 2, Billy arrives in his new foster home just as an ancient evil is uncovered halfway across the world.
This issue is also offered as a special combo pack edition, polybagged with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.


JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #8

Written by DAN JURGENS
Art by AARON LOPRESTI and MATT RYAN
Cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
On sale APRIL 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The plan was for the JLI was to be installed as Earth’s official protective team. But once Breakdown attacked, that all came to a swift and sudden end. Now, as the pall of death and injury hang over the team, all that matters is survival. Featuring the introduction of a surprise new team member!

(Previous interior art shown)

AQUAMAN #8
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
1:25 B&W Variant cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Part 2 of “The Other League”! As a deadly hunter continues his murderous quest for the Atlantean trident, an unknown chapter of Aquaman’s life is revealed! Before he was a part of the Justice League, Aquaman was Arthur, the man from Atlantis, and leader of a mysterious team of adventurers. Armed with weapons forged in Aquaman’s past, these men and women were on their way to becoming the most powerful people on Earth – until it all came crashing down.


WONDER WOMAN #8

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO and CLIFF CHIANG
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 B&W Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
To march on Hell itself, you’re going to need some sensational weapons – and Wonder Woman intends to call in a few family favors to get them! Armor of Hephaestus? Check. The pistols of Eros? Check! But will any of it be enough to wrest an innocent soul from the grasp of Hades? And what does Hermes know that Diana doesn’t…yet?


THE FLASH #8

Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
Art by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Variant cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
1:200 B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The Flash gets pulled into the Speed Force that gives him his super-speed powers…and he learns he’s not alone in there! Introducing Turbine, a prisoner of the Speed Force who just wants out – even if it means trading places with The Flash!


CAPTAIN ATOM #8

Written by J.T. KRUL
Art by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II
Cover by MIKE CHOI
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Ever since a tragic accident turned him into the überpowerful Captain Atom, Nathaniel Adam has wanted nothing more than to connect and relate to the people around him again. But coming face-to-face with a future version of himself is not what he had in mind! What is the meaning for this strange encounter? What impending doom is the future Captain Atom trying to avoid? And what exactly is the timestream?!


THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #8

Written by JOE HARRIS and ETHAN VAN SCIVER
Art and cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Jason Rusch rockets to Europe to thwart the next Rogue attack, only to find that other Firestorms have beaten him to it! Introducing the all-new Firehawk, France’s own atomic defender, and Hurricane, Great Britain’s officially sanctioned Nuclear Man! Meanwhile, out of the ashes of last issue’s shocking climax, Ronnie Raymond and the Russian Firestorm, Pozhar, begin a long, mutual descent toward the dark underbelly of the Firestorm Protocols. New cowriter Joe Harris (Ghost Projekt) continues this acclaimed series with superstar artist Ethan Van Sciver, who provides another stunning issue of full interior art!


GREEN ARROW #8

Written by ANN NOCENTI
Art by HARVEY TOLIBAO
Cover by HOWARD PORTER
On sale APRIL 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Part two of a three-part story introducing new creative team of Ann Nocenti and Harvey Tolibao!
Green Arrow faces off against the enraged father of three beautiful sisters, which might not seem so unusual for Ollie until you add in the part about being trapped in a frozen tundra with a horde of bloodthirsty, mutating animals. Things aren’t what they seem as Green Arrow must race to uncover the truth about this “family” before he becomes a monster snack – or a frozen corpse!


MISTER TERRIFIC #8

Written by ERIC WALLACE
Art by GIANLUCA GUGLIOTTA and WAYNE FAUCHER
Cover by J.G. JONES
On sale APRIL 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T • FINAL ISSUE
Guest-starring The Blackhawks! It’s Mister Terrific vs. the technological monstrosity called Digitus – and to destroy his greatest foe yet, Michael may be forced to destroy Holt Industries! But as one enemy is defeated, another rises from a shocking source: the U.S. Government! Also, betrayal rocks Mister Terrific’s life when he discovers that his ex-girlfriend, the mysterious Karen Starr, may be more than she seems.


DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #8

Written by DAN DIDIO and JERRY ORDWAY
Art by JERRY ORDWAY
Cover by RYAN SOOK
On sale APRIL 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
As more and more of the Challengers of the Unknown are killed in action, the remaining few must press ahead on their quest! They have to uncover the secret behind the talismans they’ve been collecting before Ace and the spirits from the Well of Souls can finish the job that started with the plane crash!


THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #8

Written by TONY S. DANIEL and JAMES BONNY
Art and cover by PHILIP TAN
On sale APRIL 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Hawkman has a violent encounter with a past adversary: the beautiful alien shapeshifter Askana, who once tried to kill him! But his time she needs his help, claiming that agents from her homeworld have tracked her to Earth to terminate her. How can Hawkman trust her – or help her?

Manny Cartoon – Bootleg Reboot!

Manny Cartoon is a professional commercial artist and fan of all things Geek. In his career he’s worked on everything from t-shirts to video games to night lights. He’s done work for Disney, Carnival and many more big name companies. He also creates art based on geek culture and the things he grew up loving. 

Bootleg Reboot is his fourth art book collection. “It’s going to be the best in the series”, says Manny. It offers 40 packed pages of art and insight into his working processes as well as glimpses of never before seen work that you can only get here. 

“The book is set up the way I wish more art books were. Full page art on the right and key sketches, thumbnails and layouts on the left along with some thoughts and insights into working process. I enjoy sharing the different aspects of the art from beginning to end.” 

As a special offer to InvestComics readers Manny is offering a special package that includes the print book, ebook and a letter size water color sketch for just $25! 

This offer ends February 1st. 

To place your order please contact Manny Cartoon Studio through Facebook or at mannycartoon9561@gmail.com

Below are some pages from Bootleg Reboot, check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zenescope – Jurassic Strike Force 5

Usually when you think Zenescope, you thing a whole lot of HOT ladies on covers doing what they do best.  But there’s a different side of Zenescope you’ve most likely never seen before (mainly because its new..haha)!  But Zenescope has teamed up with the Discovery Channel and are marketing books for kids ages 9 and up.  YES, you read that right!  ALL AGES BOOKS!!  How AWESOME is that??!!  The imprint company is called Silver Dragon Books!  Jurassic Strike Force 5 is just one of the books they’ve come up with.

Awakened from his 65 million year hibernation, the evil alien overlord Zalex is ready to resume his conquest of the universe and he’s starting with the earth. Backed by his army of evil, mutated Dino-soldiers there’s nothing that can stop him…nothing but Dino StrikeForce! Don’t miss the seminal issue in the first original series under Zenescope’s Silver Dragon Books imprint.

…..And the cherry on top of this awesome cake, our good friend and award winning colorist Jeff Balke is the colorist on the series!  This is something NOT to be missed (Balke meets Dinosaurs)!!  Issue 1 is due out early February.  Grab yours before they all go “extinct”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marvel Unveils Cover To AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1

This April, prepare for the biggest super hero war in comics history as Marvel is pleased to present your first look at the jaw-dropping cover to Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 by superstar artist Jim Cheung! From the
powerhouse creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brubaker, John Romita Jr., Adam Kubert and Olivier Copiel comes a groundbreaking event pitting Earth’s
Mightiest against the X-Men with the entire Marvel Universe at stake. Cyclops and his team believe the arrival of the Phoenix Force will save mutantkind, but Captain America is convinced it will destroy the world!
But who is right? Don’t miss out on all the action in Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 in comic shops worldwide and on the Marvel Comics app http://www.marvel.com/marvelcomicsapp  this April!

Which team will reign supreme? Join the conversation on Twitter with #AvX ttps://twitter.com/#!/search/avx !

For more on Avengers VS X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com http://avx.marvel.com/

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 (JAN120625)

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, JASON AARON, MATT FRACTION, JONATHAN HICKMAN, ED BRUBAKER

Art by JOHN ROMITA JR.

Cover by JIM CHEUNG

FOC – 2/27/12, ON SALE – 4/3/12

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Copany, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based ntertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-18-12

Welcome to InvestComics Hot Picks 1-18-12 

Jumping right into this week’s books, Uncanny X-Force #20 begins a 4 part saga “The Trail of Fantomex”. The first part features guest Captain Britain. The character was first introduced in the UK (naturally right?) in 1976. Captain Britain #1 debuted with writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe. A beautiful creative combo here to say the least. You would be hard pressed to find this newspaper weekly in Near Mint condition, but that shouldn’t deter you from owning the first appearance of Britain’s “Captain America”. A mere $30 could get you ownership of this book. Not bad at all considering the possible upside to the character. Upside pertaining to all of the re-launch possibilities, the movie possibilities, and the fact that Marvel hasn’t really had a breakout overseas of a “non-American” character in a while. Why else would Marvel throw out Captain Britain if they weren’t seeing what the potential market value is on him? If the demand is there, we may see more CB, if not, maybe Marvel is planning on putting forth the initial steps to try and break him out…. (again). Excalibur anyone? Cap’s first U.S. appearance came along in Marvel Team-Up #65 (1977). This comic (a reprint from the UK, redone) could be found in the 1 dollar long boxes at your local comic shop or Convention.

The British run on CB has one very interesting issue if you’re not aware of it. Captain Britain #8 features the first appearance Betsy Braddock. Who’s Betsy? Well if you’re an X-Man fan, (or a comic fan) you’d know that Betsy is also Pyslocke. This issue is the bigger prize (monetarily) within the CB run at $50, although the better value probably may lie in the number one issue. Maybe the British invasion will happen one day in the Marvel Universe, if it does it’ll start with Captain Britain.  

Staying with Marvel for a couple of more books here, Uncanny X-Men #5 introduces readers to a NEW Marvel universe, and that’s always a lot fun! The new abode is called Tabula Rasa. (And by the way, Tabula Rasa is not a fictionally made up “word, place, thing” in case you’re wondering. If you want to impress some of your friends click HERE to get the meaning and win prizes by betting with them! Thank us later!). The thing about new universes within a comic book company and or story opens up a broader possibly of bringing in new characters, new villains, etc. That said however, it usually does not equate to a collector’s item. Case in point Planet Hulk, Greg Pak did a divine job introducing an entire new universe with not much fanfare afterward, but he did open that proverbial door.

The last Marvel comic this week to cover is Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6. This one introduces the NEW Ultimate Scorpion (for the second or third time, but who’s counting?). 

DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes #5 brings a Legend on board for a single issue. Artist Walt Simonson graces us all with his amazing style. If you’re in the mood to have some fun you can look for Legion of Super-Heroes #94 from 1997, that’s the first Simonson Legion. He penciled 2 issues. Issue number 94 and 100. Yes they were both collaborating efforts, but a Legion book nonetheless.

Supergirl deals with a villain named Maxima in her 5th issue. Find Maxima’s first appearance in Action Comics #645 (1989) from another legend George Perez. 

…..On the topic of George Perez and legends. George will be appearing alongside Paul Levitz and Alex Saviuk in a Hero’s Initiative event at Tate’s Comics in Lauderhill Florida. InvestComics will go down and bring back some footage for you. Be sure to check that out. Questions for the legends anyone? Don’t be shy….

For more details on this big event, visit Tate’s Comic shop right HERE

Below are the covers of the week! 12 in all, wow pictures!

 

See you next week.

Invest wisely.

Jay Katz

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CONAN/GROO CROSSOVER!

Darkhorse sent out this press release to us, and man is this sweet or what?!? Take a look at that image they sent! Coolness!

CONAN/GROO CROSSOVER!

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!

January 13, MILWAUKIE, OR—What was rumored as an April Fools’ joke has turned into a full-blown miniseries sure to bring laughs and excitement. Dark Horse Comics is proud to announce Groo vs. Conan!

It had to happen: The most heroic warrior in history meets the stupidest, as Robert E. Howard’s immortal Conan the Barbarian crosses swords with Sergio Aragonés’s Groo the Wanderer in Groo vs. Conan #1!

This four-issue miniseries was concocted by the Eisner Award–winning team of Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragonés, aided by master illustrator Thomas Yeates and master colorist Tom Luth. Will Conan annihilate Groo? Will Groo turn out to be the man who can defeat Conan? We’ll see.

Groo vs. Conan is on sale April 18, 2012!

About Dark Horse Comics

Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists.  In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, Will Eisner, and best-selling prose author Janet Evanovich, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and the Occultist. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Mass Effect, Serenity, and Domo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the United States and is recognized as both an innovator in the cause of creator rights and the comics industry’s leading publisher of licensed material.

 

 

JOSEPH! Behind the Scenes

 

 

 

 

Unlike the hacks who simply throw “whatever” up and in the air and hope it comes together as a “comic book” we professional cartoonists take our jobs seriously. There’s no time for fun and there’s certainly no room for mistakes. It’s a brutal work environment here at IC and if the editors catch you “surfing” when you should be “working” there’s going to be hell to pay. I mean “real” “trouble”. For one they take away your ability to use quotation marks for the rest of your article, but okay! I quote guess unquote I will just have to do my quote best unquote.

Putting out a quality cartoon strip like “JOSEPH!” takes minutes a day. First we begin with the writing. As the writer it’s my job to wake up everyday, pound my head against the bathroom sink and pray to God for the day’s inspiration. After the spots have cleared and I’ve picked myself up from the bathroom floor I then come to this very keyboard and through the power of typing 10 words a minute I am able to pound out God’s inspirational humor in the form of an artist’s script. The first twenty minutes of work is usually drivel like, “David, stop banging your head against the bathroom sink.” at which point I immediately go to the kitchen sink. Later, much later, I return to the keyboard and thus begins the day’s work.

Typically I do not use old fashioned script terms like “panel”, or titles to indicate which character is saying what. The reason for this is the fact that artist Gary T. Becks is not a trained monkey but an actual man. Here’s an example of a script, exactly as I wrote it – no edits. Promise.

017

p1
Joseph is standing in front of the box office and a teenage girl is behind the window or counter.

I’d like one ticket for that zombie movie, please.

Is that for the later showing?

p2
same scene, different expressions.

No, I have to get inside the movie playing now. my kids are in there.

If you already bought a ticket you can in with your stub.

p3
same scene, different expressions.

I tried but that little Usher wouldn’t let me in.

usher? Usher isn’t little anymore. He’s like some old dude now. He’s like fifty.

Sigh. Just give me the ticket.

Okay. Some might see that as incomprehensible, but once you give them a banana they usually calm down. Gary on the other hand is a friggin’ genius. He’s able to understand my nonsense from p1 as meaning panel 1.

So let’s take a look at what he crafted from my so-called script.

Yup. Pretty straight-forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about panel 2?

All I had written in the script was “same scene, different expressions.” Despite my mother’s insistence I am not an artist, so I can only imagine this might prove challenging, if not annoying, for most artists. Editors, and many writers, HATE this kind of scripting. Just ask Robert Heske. He’d never write a script like this. But for me this kind of freedom given to the artist absolutely works, and works every single time. To prove this point let’s take a look at panel 3.

 

As a reminder, here’s the description:

p3
same scene, different expressions.

I tried but that little Usher wouldn’t let me in.

usher? Usher isn’t little anymore. He’s like some old dude now. He’s like fifty.

Sigh. Just give me the ticket.

 

Gary’s work for this panel was a huge surprise to me. My intention for the joke was the girl had misunderstood what Joseph was telling her. She thought he was talking about the performance artist “Usher”. Teenage girls are always thinking about something else when adults are talking to them.

What we see here is a joke that works in two ways. By illustrating the usher as an old dude Gary fit the joke in that Joseph had been waiting a very long time. This is why Gary is a genius. And not a trained monkey.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to be flogged for using quotations for the word Usher. And here’s the final product. Not that you were wondering. But yeah. That’s how it’s done.

Legacy: Bill Watterson

Welcome to an all new series here at InvestComics Web Comics. Unlike many, many web comics sites our aim here at IC Web Comics has been to bring you something different. Something you just won’t find anywhere else. With that in mind we’re turning an eye on history and showcasing legends of cartoon strips, to help shed light on how important these people have been on the world of comics. As we explore these legends and their legacies we hope appreciation for their contributions will grow in an age now sorely missing their brilliance.

 

 

Bill Watterson may not be the first name you think of when you reflect on the legends of cartoonists, but Watterson’s contributions to comics in news papers all across America helped change not only print media but the way in which comics and cartoons were presented. As you read you will see just how much his efforts affected each of us to this day with only ten years of his crazy successful “Calvin and Hobbes”, which remains one of the most popular cartoon strips since its final strip in 1995.

 

In 1980, Watterson graduated from Kenyon with a B.A. in political science. Immediately, The Cincinnati Post offered him a job drawing political cartoons for a six-month trial period:

The agreement was that they could fire me, or I could quit with no questions asked if things didn’t work out during the first few months. Sure enough, things didn’t work out, and they fired me, no questions asked.

My guess is that the editor wanted his own Jeff MacNelly (a Pulitzer winner at 24), and I didn’t live up to his expectations. My Cincinnati days were pretty Kafkaesque. I had lived there all of two weeks, and the editor insisted that most of my work be about local, as opposed to national, issues. Cincinnati has a weird, three-party, city manager government, and by the time I figured it out, I was standing in the unemployment lines. I didn’t hit the ground running. Cincinnati at that time was also beginning to realize it had major cartooning talent in Jim Borgman at the city’s other paper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and I didn’t benefit from the comparison.

Watterson explaining his short career with the Cincinnati Post

 

 

During the early years of his career he produced several drawings and additional contributions for Target: The Political Cartoon Quarterly. He designed grocery advertisements for four years prior to creating Calvin and Hobbes.

Watterson has said he works for personal fulfillment. As he told the graduating class of 1990 at Kenyon College, “It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when the work is done just for ourselves.” Calvin and Hobbes was first published on November 18, 1985. In Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, he wrotethat his influences included Charles Schulz for Peanuts; Walt Kelly for Pogo and George Herriman for Krazy Kat. Watterson wrote the introduction to the first volume of The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat.

Watterson’s style reflects the influence of Winsor McCay‘s Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Like many artists, Watterson incorporated elements of his life, interests, beliefs, and values into his work—for example, his hobby as a cyclist,memories of his own father’s speeches about ‘building character’, and his views on merchandising and corporations. Watterson’s cat, Sprite, very much inspired the personality and physical features of Hobbes.

Watterson spent much of his career trying to change the climate of newspaper comics. He believed that the artistic value of comics was being undermined, and that the space they occupied in newspapers continually decreased, subject to arbitrary whims of shortsighted publishers. Furthermore, he opined that art should not be judged by the medium for which it is created (i.e., there is no “high” art or “low” art—just art).

Watterson battled against pressure from publishers to merchandise his work, something he felt would cheapen his comic.He refused to merchandise his creations on the grounds that displaying Calvin and Hobbes images on commercially sold mugs, stickers, and T-shirts would devalue the characters and their personalities.

Watterson was awarded the National Cartoonists Society‘s Humor Comic Strip Award in 1988 and the society’s Reuben Award in 1986; he was the youngest person ever to receive the latter award. In 1988, Watterson received the Reuben Award a second time. He was nominated a third time in 1992.

 

Watterson announced the end of Calvin and Hobbes on November 9, 1995, with the following letter to newspaper editors:

Dear Reader:

I will be stopping Calvin and Hobbes at the end of the year. This was not a recent or an easy decision, and I leave with some sadness. My interests have shifted, however, and I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels. I am eager to work at a more thoughtful pace, with fewer artistic compromises. I have not yet decided on future projects, but my relationship with Universal Press Syndicate will continue.

That so many newspapers would carry Calvin and Hobbes is an honor I’ll long be proud of, and I’ve greatly appreciated your support and indulgence over the last decade. Drawing this comic strip has been a privilege and a pleasure, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.

Sincerely,
Bill Watterson

 

The last strip of Calvin and Hobbes was published on December 31, 1995.

Watterson opposed the structure publishers imposed on Sunday newspaper cartoons: the standard cartoon starts with a large, wide rectangle featuring the cartoon’s logo or a throwaway panel tangential to the main area so that newspapers pressed for space can remove the top third of the cartoon if they wish; the rest of the strip is presented in a series of rectangles of different widths. In Watterson’s opinion, this format limited the cartoonist’s options of allowable presentation. After his sabbatical year in 1991 he managed to gain an exception to these constraints for Calvin and Hobbes, allowing him to draw his Sunday strip the way he wanted. In many, panels overlap or contain their own panels; in some, the action progresses diagonally across the strip.

In early 2010, Watterson was interviewed by The Plain Dealer on the 15th anniversary of the end of Calvin and Hobbes. Explaining his decision to discontinue the strip, he said,

This isn’t as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of ten years, I’d said pretty much everything I had come there to say. It’s always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip’s popularity and repeated myself for another five, ten, or twenty years, the people now “grieving” for Calvin and Hobbes would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I’d be agreeing with them. I think some of the reason Calvin and Hobbes still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it. I’ve never regretted stopping when I did.

So that was the end of Calvin and Hobbes. But what of Watterson himself?

In April 2011, a representative for Andrews McMeel received a package from a “William Watterson in Cleveland Heights, Ohio”, which contained a 6″ x 8″ oil-on-board painting of Cul de Sac character Petey Otterloop, done by Watterson for the Team Cul de Sac fundraising project for Parkinson’s Disease. His syndicate, which since has become Universal Uclick, has said that the painting was the first new artwork from Watterson that the syndicate has seen since Calvin and Hobbes ended in 1995.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Watterson,

We appreciate all the joy you brought to the world. And you are sorely missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-11-12

Welcome to InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-11-12

First order of business, if you haven’t checked out the latest Interview from Andra Walt with writer Justin Gray (DC’s The Ray), you can click right HERE to do so. Great Interview!

Marvel Comics has a new Spider-Man number one issue this week. Not too bad actually, only 8 days in on the New Year and we have our first number one Spidey book. It seems like there should be 4 by now, but no wait, that may be the number of variants that Scarlet Spider-Man #1 will have this week. Whichever, the nonsense of the overabundance of variants will continue. Oh well.  So the Scarlet Spider-man will have its’ own book. And this being InvestComics, lets pass along the info of the first appearance! Look for Web of Spider-Man #119 (Kaine -1994) and pluck down a couple of bucks. You’ll be a proud owner of the first Scarlet Spider-Man.

Another back issue you could check out is Transformers #1 from Marvel Comics. This 1984 comic used to be in heavy demand (like so many others) and since then has tailed off dramatically. A nice pick up at around the $15 area. With IDW Publishing making their hard push with two new Transformer titles this week; Transformers More Than Meets The Eye #1 and Transformers Robots In Disguise #1, it’s a possibility that IDW can restart the interest in the back issue lot from the 1984 Marvel series. A very slight possibility, but one nonetheless.

With all of the restarts, and series that Wolverine has endured, Marvel cranks out the money machine in an “Explosive” milestone issue. Wolverine #300 pulls out all of the stops here. The “Extra Sized” issue, The “Instant classic story”, and the best reason to take a look at this book, an introduction of a new Silver Samurai. Well there you have it, Wolverine #300 your call.

Three number one issues from the land of Independent comics you should definitely check out this week. Dark Matter #1 from Dark Horse Comics looks very interesting, Aspen Comics’ Dead Man’s Run #1 from writer Greg Pak, and Whispers #1 from Image Comics.

Check out 10 Covers of The Week below.

See you next week.

Invest wisely

Jay Katz

 

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Justin Gray

*Note from Editor*

Ladies and gentleman please join me in welcoming the newest member of the InvestComics Interview team, Ms. Andra Walt. In comparison, Ms. Walt is the Barbara Walters of The InvestComics Interview team! The biggest question is who will open up and cry first?? Will it be Justin Gray?? Just kidding, read ahead as Andra Walt talks to one of the best writers within the comic book industry today, Mr. Justin Gray.  

Andra Walt: I’m speaking with Justin Gray, the co-author (with Jimmy Palmiotti) of the hot new DC book The Ray with Jamal Igle as the penciler. Okay Justin, let’s just get the the banal things out of the way first. 

You were born when and where? 

Justin Gray: Rapid City South Dakota many years ago. 

AW: Education? 

JG: I went to culinary school, switched to commercial art and discovered I’m not a fan of institutional learning. 

AW: How long have you worked with Jimmy Palmiotti? How did you meet? 

JG: I’ve been working with Jimmy since 1997 when I was an intern for Marvel Knights. Joe Quesada introduced me to Jimmy, Garth Ennis, Nelson and Amanda Conner around that time. I’d been harassing them online, pitching ideas and stories right when they started the Marvel Knights imprint.  

AW: Jamal Is really making a name for himself. How did you get him for Ray? 

JG: Jamal is such a great talent and we’re lucky to be working with him on The Ray for a number of reasons not the least of which is his clean and accessible storytelling. With a book like this you need to be able to guide a reader through the story with a blend of the fantastical and very human moments. Jamal excels at that and you continue to see that over the course of the four issues. 

AW: What is Lucien/Ray’s originality? I read a review that said he looked a little oriental, but the parents were caucasian.  I was wondering if he had been adopted? 

JG: He’s of Korean descent and was adopted by a Caucasian couple. 

AW: Do you have an interest in Yoga or the martial arts, as Ray seems to have those interests? 

JG: I’ve never done yoga, but I do appreciate yoga pants. I did train in martial arts for a number of years and have always loved the combat and spiritual sides to it. 

AW: Ray is so diametrically different from your other works (such as Jonah Hex). How did you come up with the concept? 

JG: I think we strive to create a new voice with every different project depending on the genre and concept behind it. It was important that Jimmy and I work against the grain with this title because we wanted to defy expectations. Not just with previous fans of The Ray franchise, but also with the trends in Superhero storytelling. You see that almost immediately in the first issue. 

AW: The girlfriend in Ray is different from the other superheroes in that she knows the powers of Ray. The other superheroes; ie, Superman, seem to feel that if their girlfriends know their powers they could be used against them. Why did you decide to go in this direction for the relationship? 

JG: Again it was a case of going against convention and shrugging off some of the superhero tropes in favor of a more grounded side to Lucien and his supporting cast. Faced with an origin story we decided to play off of people’s familiarity with superheroes by glossing over the stuff they’ve seen a million times in comics, film and even TV with shows like No Ordinary Family. We personally didn’t want to watch ANOTHER person with new powers make an idiot of them selves or sew a costume. 

AW: The introduction of Thaddeus Filmore caught a lot of readers off guard. The way he came into the story was genius! This is a great teaser, and I am wondering if you can give any insight as to how he will play into the book.

JG: The basic premise was that Batman and Gotham feels like theater or opera – very intimate, literary and grounded. Superman on the other hand always feels to me like his stories should be IMAX 3D summer blockbusters. With The Ray we tried to blend those ideas. So we’re introducing Filmore as a unique kind of megalomaniac super villain who views the world as a film set where he controls the script, the drama and the special effects. He views ordinary people as extras in his epic film. To him, after being away from the world for decades, The Ray looks like a movie star hero. That fact causes a lot of internal and external drama. 

AW: “So we’re introducing Filmore as a unique kind of megalomaniac super villain who views the world as a film set where he controls the script, the drama and the special effects.” This so reminds me of the Shakespearian quote “All the world is a stage and the people just characters” (or something to that effect).  Do you have any background in literature?

JG: Beyond reading as wide an array of material as possible I don’t have a background in Literature. I started out writing bad novels and even worse poetry, which I’m sure isn’t uncommon, but I’m largely a self-taught writer. I’ve taken two writing classes in my life, but the best advice came from reading and the best experience came from being rejected THOUSANDS of times. Once you get past the youthful anger of having someone tell you the truth about your work, you can start to look at it objectively and learn to make it better. Or at least try to make it better. 

AW: How do you think a new superhero will fair in the market of Superheroes? What do you feel will set The Ray apart from the others? 

JG: That’s the puzzle of superhero comics. The thing that makes them great is also the thing that can make them so frustrating. A good percentage of the audience has been trained to look at each new hero with the perspective of a long-term commitment. Everyone involved is committed to putting out the best 4 issues of The Ray that they can. We can’t worry about anything beyond that.  

AW: Is there a collaboration on the story ideas between you, Jimmy and Jamal, or do you just send him the script and allow him free rein on the designs?

JG: Comics are naturally collaborative, but what we try to do, unless there’s a specific visual element needed, is leave scripts open to artistic interpretation. The last thing you want is for an artist to feel like drawing a story is hard labor. Obviously no one gets into comics unless they love the medium and bring an enthusiastic joy to writing, illustrating, inking, coloring and lettering for a living. Anytime you design something there’s going to be a mash-up of different ideas and visions.

AW: Is The Ray going to be released digitally? How do you think the world of digital books will affect the LCS and the comic industy?

JG: The Ray is already available as part of the same day as print initiative, which I think is great for people that don’t live near or have a local comic shop. You take pride in your work and would like to see it available in as many places as possible. Comics have a very short leash when it comes to sales so the more people you can bring in the better chance you have of sustaining a title. Personally I like the digital platform for all media. I don’t buy hard copy anymore unless it is something special like an omnibus or an oversized hardcover edition. Digital makes it so much easier to pick up indie books that are under ordered or overlooked. That’s one of the things that ideally will help the industry grow. I do have some ideas about formatting and navigation that would make the buying experience much more logical, but it will get there eventually.

AW: It would appear that you and Jimmy are working on 3 books each month. How do you keep up with such a tight schedule, and how do you keep each book compartimentally separate in your minds?

JG: The key is to get way out in front of deadlines. From a creative and production standpoint there’s nothing worse than having a deadline hang over your head. We try to have at least six months of work finished, this way it allows for stories to progress organically. You can pick up and put down any story or character depending on inspiration. Of course being so far ahead comes with challenges when you’re working within a shared and every evolving fictional universe. Sometimes we have to go back and restructure or re-write, but having that six-month buffer works in our favor. It also helps the artist to know they’ll never be waiting on a script. I prefer having the freedom to work in chunks and by that I mean we might write three or four issues of one title in a two week span and not pick it up again for a month. That gives us time to breathe and come back with renewed enthusiasm.

AW: You alluded to a green lifestyle in the aside speaking of Lucien’s parents. Is this something that you think is important is this day and time?

JG: I think we should care about the world we live in and not just the part we occupy. Clearly with the population growing as rapidly as it is and having finite resources available on this planet we would be wise to find ways of keeping Earth from turning into a global episode of Hoarders.

AW: You also gave a “velvet hand” slap at the media on the first page. Do you feel the media works to hard in trying to push views on the public?

JG: That was more of a wink at the fans of the previous Ray. I thought the jab at social networking sites had more of a playful sting to it.

AW: You have worked with other versions of the The Ray while writing Uncle Sam, did you borrow much form them or was this a clean break?

JG: This was a completely clean break. Only the name and power over light are consistent.

AW: I am a real fan of All Star Western. In this, you bring up a “secret society” and the Batman books also are speaking of a “secret society”. Due to DC trying to get more continuity into the books, is this a plot line that is going to merge somewhere down the line in DC books?

JG: Thank you! We do love working on that book and hopefully there will be more “western” in it as we move forward. We’re discussing ideas regarding an expansion of those elements for a later date. Can’t say much about it now though.

AW: All Star Western also is setting up almost a Sherlock Holmes – Dr Watson pairing. Was this intentional?

JG: Once we included Arkham it seemed like an interesting pairing and to play on the differences between them. The plot had to involve more of a crime and urban scenario so that would allows Arkham to use his skill set for psychoanalysis.

AW: How much does the DC editorial team affect your storytelling?

JG: It depends on the project and if it stands alone or has a part in a larger storyline. That’s the beauty of the New 52 because the field is wide open to tell new stories and take books in directions that were previously unavailable.

AW: Will you be attending any Comic Conventions in 2012?

JG: Yes, I’m just not sure which ones yet.

AW: Now I would just like to ask a few questions about some of your earlier works.

It seems that a lot of today’s hottest talents have a history of working on Vanperella, you and Jimmy Palmiotti worked on the Vampirella Comics Magazine in 2003. What is it about that character that seems to be a rite of passage for writers and artists?

JG: I couldn’t say for sure.

AW: You and Jimmy launched a new Heroes for Hire series post Civil War where you worked with Billy Tucci and later Al Rio, though short lived. How was that experience?

JG: It was a great experience working with Billy and Al, both are very [talented] and of course I have a particular affection for Daughter’s of the Dragon.

AW: I really want to thank you Justin for being so open and accessible. I wish you much success for The Ray, and can’t wait for Issue 2. Thanks again. 

*Be sure to check out Justin Gray’s latest comic this week, DC’s big hit The Ray #2.

Stay tuned for more from the BW of InvestComics, our AW!

 

GENERATION LAST

GENERATION LAST
Joe Keatinge and Andre Szmanowicz Drag Superheroes Into the 21st Century

Berkeley, CA – 6 January 2011 –  The future is now as Eisner and Harvey award-winner Joe Keatinge and ELEPHANTMEN’s Andre Szymanowicz debut the last generation of superheroes in the new ongoing series HELL YEAH.

Twenty years ago, the world was rocked by the emergence of real-life superheroes. Sports and entertainment industries collapsed overnight as people run across the planet and punch through walls changed the word forever. A new global culture formed around these bigger-than-life beings and now the generation raised in its wake must fight to find a place in this brave new world! By pairing the energy and excitement of the original Image superheroes with modern, innovative storytelling, Keatinge and Szymanowicz have crafted a modern superhero epic that could only begin on Image’s 20th anniversary.

“HELL YEAH exists because Image Comics exists,” explained Keatinge. “I read superhero comics my whole life, but when Image Comics debuted, it made me realize all the rules and restrictions I saw in other superhero comics didn’t have to exist. Anything could happen. You could kill lead characters in first issues. Obliterate
long-standing villains in a page turn. They could be in different tone than what’s normally presented by the diversity shown in anything from YOUNGBLOOD to CASUAL HEROES. They didn’t have to be noble, they didn’t have to maintain the same status quo. It was turned into a genre where the term ‘impossible’ didn’t exist. Due to all this my imagination went into over drive and after twenty years of percolating in my brain, HELL YEAH was born.”

“I’ve been having a ball drawing HELL YEAH and watching how these characters develop, and at the same time its just a great blend of mainstream and indie comics coming together,” added Szymanowicz. “On one hand they are just like how I was at this age: aimless, going to rock shows and trying to find someone to date. Then there’s the side of it where they are in this superhero world and can sorta kick somebody’s ass (or get their own handed to them) from time to time.”

HELL YEAH begins with Ben Day, a college student who finds out versions of himself are being murdered throughout the Multiverse. He must determine where his life diverged from his other selves and just why these crimes have taken the interest of even the world’s greatest super-celebrities. Keatinge and Szmanowicz build a sweeping world with a massive cast of characters, a world that threatens to destroy Ben’s very existence.

“Nothing excites me more than raw, undiluted creativity, and HELL YEAH delivers that in spades,” said Image Publisher Eric Stephenson. “Joe and Andre are dragging superheroes kicking, screaming and spitting blood into a brave new world where the impossible is possible, nothing is sacred and no one is safe. HELL YEAH, indeed.”

HELL YEAH #1 (JAN120501), an 32-page full-color superhero comic book with no ads for $2.99, will be on sale in stores and digital platforms on March 7 and is available for order in the January issue of Previews. A preview of the first issue of HELL YEAH will be featured at the end of John Layman and Rob Guillory’s CHEW #23 on
January 18th.

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It
consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

LEGO® Videogame Sequel Featuring Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern

From DC Universe: The Source.

Get those videogame hands ready! DC gave fans some information regarding the sequel to their mega hit  Lego videogame. Check out what they had to say…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Highly-Anticipated Sequel to the Best-Selling LEGO® Videogame of All Time Returns with Help from Super Heroes including Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern

Burbank, Calif. – Jan. 5, 2012 – Batman is back to save Gotham City and the action will only build from here! Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group are teaming up once again to announce that LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes will be available beginning Summer 2012 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Wii™ system, and Windows PC, as well as the Nintendo DS™ hand-held system, Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system, and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. The game is the sequel to the best-selling LEGO® Batman™: The Videogame, which to date has sold more than 11 million units worldwide.

LEGO Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes complements the brand new, recently released LEGO® Super Heroes: DC Universe toy collection. The line includes five construction sets, such as The Batcave and three buildable, detailed action figures.

In LEGO Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes, the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin join other famous super heroes from the DC Universe including Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to save Gotham City from destruction at the hands of the notorious villains Lex Luthor and the Joker. Batman fans of all ages will enjoy a new and original story filled with classic LEGO videogame action and humor as players fight to put the villains back behind bars.

“LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes builds upon the action and cooperative gameplay experience established in our best-selling LEGO video game to date, LEGO Batman: The Videogame,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “We’re offering fans a rich and expansive Gotham City environment filled with cool characters, great customization options and plenty of surprises that families, young gamers and DC Universe fans can enjoy together.”

“LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes further extends and combines both the Batman and LEGO videogame experiences to create very fun gameplay,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Development and Production, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Fans of all ages are going to enjoy the action and light hearted humor that TT Games and LEGO provide.”

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes allows players to explore all new areas of Gotham City utilizing a variety of vehicles including the Batmobile and Batwing. In addition, they’ll be able to fight for justice by mastering new gadgets and suits, such as Batman’s Power Suit and Robins’ Hazard Cannon, and using all-new abilities including flight, super-breath and heat vision.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is being developed by TT Games and will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. For more information, please visit www.videogames.LEGO.com.

 

WITCHBLADE’S NEW START

Witchblade Moves to Chicago and Invites New Fans To Join Her

Berkeley, CA – 4 January 2011 – The New Year brings a slew of fresh starts and Witchblade bearer, Sara Pezzini, is no exception. Pezzini will start 2012 in Chicago with a new job and brand new life, thanks to the fresh ongoing creative team of Tim Seeley (HACK/SLASH) and Diego Bernard (The Man With No Name).

Sara Pezzini has always been a born and bred New York City detective, in addition to wielding the ancient Artifacts, the Witchblade. That all changes with WITCHBLADE #151, the first issue by Seeley and Bernard, which finds Pezzini living outside of the Big Apple for the first time in the series history and working as a private
detective. The mystery of how and why Sara is in Chicago, as well as what else has changed about her situation, will drive the story and reader interest for the coming year. This issue kicks off the 5-part story arc, entitled “Unbalanced Pieces,” in which Sara must find a way to balance her new role in the Windy City.

“WITCHBLADE is a dream project or me: A great character, an epic art and editorial team, and an important legacy in the history of comic books!” said Seeley. “Top Cow is giving me an awesome opportunity to reintroduce Sara Pezzini to new fans, old readers, and to a whole new setting!”

WITCHBLADE #151 is the first issue in Top Cow’s REBIRTH, an initiative spinning out of the end of the ARTIFACTS event, which concludes in ARTIFACTS #13. REBIRTH will provide ground-level entry points for each of Top Cow’s Universe titles – WITCHBLADE, THE DARKNESS, and ARTIFACTS – and ushers in a bold new age of story-telling to coincide with Top Cow’s 20th Anniversary. In addition to containing the full first story by Seeley and Bernard, the issue will include a five page bridging sequence by Ron Marz (MAGDALENA) and John Tyler Christopher (ARTIFACTS) and an ongoing prose story backup feature by Seeley.

WITCHBLADE #151 is a 32-page full-color comic with no ads for $2.99, and will be available in comic stores and digitally today. This issue ships with two wraparound covers by regular cover artist Christopher. For more information, please visit www.topcow.com.

ABOUT TOP COW PRODUCTIONS INC.
Top Cow Productions, Inc. (www.topcow.com), a Los Angeles-based entertainment company, was founded in December of 1992 by artist Marc Silvestri, who also co-founded Image Comics earlier that same year. Top Cow currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and two licensed) in the industry’s Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise,WITCHBLADE, was TNT’s #1 original film of 2000 and the subsequent TV series was released on DVD on July 29, 2008.WITCHBLADE is also the first American property to be fully adapted in Japan as an original anime and manga by Studio GONZO in 2006. Top Cow’s other flagship property, THE DARKNESS, was developed into a major next-generation video game release by Starbreeze and 2K Games and achieved platinum sales status. A second game is slated for release from 2K Games in the Fall of 2011. WANTED, an Eisner-nominated miniseries published by Top Cow from 2003-2005, is now a major motion picture from Universal Pictures starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. Virtually all of Top Cow’s other properties are in development as feature films, live-action television, animation or video games. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die-cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and roleplaying games.

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It
consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain America’s Former Sidekick Takes Aim In WINTER SOLDIER #1!

Steve Rogers most trusted partner and a former Captain America, Bucky Barnes, must tackle his greatest challenge yet as Winter Soldier #1 hits store shelves everywhere this February! After going toe to toe with the Nazis and being assumed dead for decades, Bucky Barnes went through hell and back as the Soviet Union rebuilt his war torn body into their own one man army known to all as the Winter Soldier. But what if he wasn’t the only one?

From the blockbuster creative team behind Captain America, Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice send Bucky back into the shadows to take down the remaining ex-Russian sleeper agents and dismantle their diabolical plot.
Teamed with the Black Widow, the former Captain America will have his hands full when he finds out that he trained them all AND that Doctor Doom is involved! With the entire Marvel Universe thinking he’s dead, Bucky will have to tackle this threat head on with limited resources. Get in on all the action this February in Winter Soldier #1!

WINTER SOLDIER #1 (DEC110588)
Written by ED BRUBAKER

Pencils by BUTCH GUICE

Colors by BETTIE BREITWISER

Cover by LEE BERMEJO

FOC – 1/9/11, ON SALE – 2/1/11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com

 

InvestComics Comic Hot Picks 1-4-12

Welcome to InvestComics Hot Picks 1-4-12

Well holidays are over, hope they were good for you! Now back to business…..

The first order of business (in no particular order here actually) comes from Marvel Comics. (NOTE: This comic does not appear on the latest shipping list) With their release of Amazing Spider-man #677, they give us a Spider-Man/Daredevil team up. It got InvestComics thinking, when was the first time these two met up anyway? 1964 in Amazing Spider-Man #16 would be the issue. This issue features the artistry of Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee. Does it get better than this? Well maybe, but still a fantastic issue to own at $1,600.

Another team up this week brings us back to that preverbal wall at your local comic shop is Punisher #7. This issue pits two of the more underrated matchups in recent memory. Punisher and Daredevil. When these two get together, you know you’re going to be in for a good read. Action, drama, and attitude at its finest. None told a story quite like the man responsible for getting these heroes together for the first time. Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil still arguable remains one of the most elite runs of all time. The height of his run came in a single issue that blew the doors off. That issue is Daredevil #181 (1982). The cover alone has become etched within any collector’s brain cells. For a new comer, the affects of that cover does the same for them. Back when a “death” in a comic book meant something, Frank Miller did the unthinkable and knocked off Elektra. But today this is not why we speak about that issue. Today we talk about this comic as being the first time that Punisher and Daredevil crossed paths. If you don’t already own this comic, you should. It’s not only a great piece of a legendary run by Frank Miller, but a piece of Daredevil/comic history. $30 will buy you this Gem.      

Keeping on pace with traveling back in time for some back issues, going back to 1958 to Worlds Finest Comics #95 also brings us to the latest Green Arrow issue. The villain showing up this week is named Midas. The Worlds Finest Comics #95 features the first appearance of Red Dart Midas. At a $400, the only saving grace for this comic is the Curt Swan cover. 

Uncanny X-Men #5 eyes the return of the Phalanx in a special one shot issue. Uncanny X-Men #311 from 1994 from John Romita Jr. features the first Phalanx. Find this issue in the back issue bins at your local shop. 

Check out these number one issues this week….. Avengers Annual #1 from Brian Michael Bendis and Gabriele Dell’ Otto, Mondo #1 from Image Comics, and yet another number one Wolverine comic; Wolverine and The X-Men: Alpha and Omega #1.

 InvestComics would like to thank everyone for their continued support. Without you, we don’t get to enjoy what we love to do. Here’s looking at another stellar year!  

Take a look at the covers of the week below.  

See you next week 

 Invest wisely. 

Jay Katz

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IndieCreator with Decapitated Dan

A Ghastly Interview with Decapitated Dan, Purveyor of Dark Delights

There are many people with a passion for comics and horror. But a scant few take it to the nth degree of Designer by Day/Horror Savant by Night Dan Royer (AKA “Decapitated Dan”).

Who is this caped crusader and benefactor of all things dark, gruesome and bloody?

Sliced straight from his website, “Decapitated Dan Royer is a horror comic journalist living in Illinois. He has been covering horror comics since 2009. He hosts three podcasts; Discussions with Decapitated Dan, Tales from the Water Cooler and the ComicMonsters Podcast. Dan is affiliated with numerous websites, most notably FromtheTombMagazine.tk, ComicRelated.com, ComicMonsters.com and ComicAttack.net and it is on these sites that you can find all of his columns, reviews and audio shows.”

When it comes to horror icons, Dan’s severed head is slowly approaching the notoriety of Elivira’s ghostly cleavage (OK, maybe not quite that attractive!). As certain as the Grim Reaper finds the next soul to take, Decapitated Dan is sure to uncover the best fresh meat in indie horror. And as if he’s not busy enough, he’s recently teamed with a band of other prolific horror readers to create the Ghastly Awards.

1) How much work – or how many beers – does it take to create your own horror awards?

(DECAP DAN:)  Haha! It takes 10 beers and a slap across the face. No, in all honesty it just takes some time and dedication. If you ask the other judges, we hustled on this. I was working on one thing, while they were debating another and we just moved forward from there. We got the website up and running, I made a Google Doc form to record the nominations and BAM! … we started to get the word out. We are still working on a logo at the moment, but that is really the last thing on the check list. Like I said, this was all really spur of the moment planning. I think we accomplished it all in a week and a half, so we could get in the 2011 awards.

2) Give us a quick soundbyte to introduce Decapitated Dan and your panel of ghastly judges.

(DECAP DAN:)  Oh man, that’s a tough one. The easiest way to describe the panel is “Horror Comic Reading Professionals.” Breaking the group down we have: Lonnie Nadler who covers newer material for Bloody-Disgusting.com.

Then we bring in the 3 “Historians”:

Mike Howlett is an encyclopedia of horror comic knowledge and you can tell that by reading his book The Weird World of Eerie Publications.

Steve Banes runs one of the greatest sites online when it comes to old school horror, http://thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.com/.

Mykal Banta covers more than horror comics but when you take a look at his site http://www.bloodypulptales.com/, you can see that he knows his stuff.

And then there is me, and well what don’t I do horror comic wise?

 3) Which one of you is the scariest dude in real life?

(DECAP DAN:)  Hmm… since I haven’t met the guys in person I will have to go with Mike Howlett because he likes snakes and I HATE snakes. So when he posts pictures of himself with these slithering things I get grossed out.

4) What makes the Ghastly Awards different from other horror awards — such as the ComicMonsters.com Horror Comic Awards?

(DECAP DAN:)  Well, plain and simple the Ghastly Awards are for Comic Book Professionals to nominate who they think is the best in Horror Comics. This is a peer-based system much like the Eisner Awards. We have a nomination form that can be filled out, throughout the year, and then the nominations are counted up and we have our nominees. Then the judges choose the winners.

Awards like the ComicMonsters.com Awards are fan based. A group of awesome people behind that site create the list of nominees and from there it goes over to the fans to choose a winner. It’s almost like the Oscars vs. the People’s Choice Award. Both systems are awesome because you need to have a Fan’s voice to be heard as well as Creators recognizing who they feel is the best at what they do.

5) Tell us how to vote and what our favorite horror creators will win.

(DECAP DAN:)  Well only Comic Book Professionals are able to nominate. It is a very simple process of going over to http://www.ghastlyawards.com and clicking on the nomination form. Then just fill out who you think is the best at what was offered in 2011. We have a link on the form that will show you what titles came out through Diamond Previews in 2011. Of course, any horror book created in 2011 – whether it was in Previews or not – can be nominated.

Creators can nominate up to 5 times in one year, and can only nominate one name or title one time. They are not allowed to nominate themselves or books they have worked on.

Now since we are already at the end of 2011 and the awards were just announced, Creators will be able to nominate until February 29, 2012. That way we can get the 2011 Awards in. The 2012 nomination form will still be posted on the site January 1, 2012.

In terms of a prize, we know that we will be sending out certificates, possibly framed, to all the nominees who will be up for the win. We are still talking about the possibility of the winner getting a trophy of some kind. This is all based on the Sponsors, which we are looking for. The more money we can get into a pot, the better the prize we can offer. Sponsor info can be found on the website, if anyone is interested.

6) How are winners chosen?

(DECAP DAN:)  So once the year comes to a close I will tally up the people nominated. The top 5 in each category will be the nominees. From there the judges will take a look at the nominees and decide the winners.

7) How can sponsors support the Ghastly Awards, and how much does it cost?

(DECAP DAN:)  Like I mentioned earlier, we need Sponsors to help pay for the awards, and other fees like printing costs, mailing costs, etc. In the future we might do an actual award presentation at a show. I am currently talking to the Chicago conventions about this, since it is my hometown.

The options for sponsors are very simple, $10 or $25. For $10 you get your logo on the website. For $25 you get your logo on the website and on the certificates. If interested, click here.

8) Beyond the Ghastlies, you also do a podcast, have an online horror mall, and regularly attend conventions. Illuminate us, please!

(DECAP DAN:)  I do what I can for the horror comic fan, because that is what I am and what I care about. Cheese City on that line, huh? The easiest way to know what I do is to go to www.decapitateddan.com, but since you asked, I host 2 podcasts and participate on a third. I host Discussions with Decapitated Dan, which is a weekly show where I sit down with horror comic creators and discuss what they are up to. The second show is Tales from the Water Cooler, where myself, Infinite Speech and the Southern Sensation review books. We all choose a book of the week, make the others read it and review it. The third is the ComicMonsters.com Podcast, which is a monthly podcast to recap that month in horror comics. You can find them all on iTunes or on my site.

In terms of horror comics, I do the typical reviews, which I am so far behind on. I work a regular 45 hour a week job as a graphic designer, so all the comic stuff is on the side (and it doesn’t pay anything!). I always have to say that for fun. Anyways, yes in 2011 I went to 2 shows with the Decapitated Dan Dark Delights. This is a collection of horror comics from all over the world. The concept was to help people who can’t afford a table at a show in the Midwest, due to travel and table fees, and combine the books from all over so they would be represented at these shows. Since no shows are going on right now though, the store can be found online at http://dddarkdelights.ecrater.com/

The last thing I HAVE to mention is Dan Con!

Dan Con is my comic book show that takes place here in the Chicago Southland. The concept behind this show is simple… Comic Books and Chicago! I have sellers and comic shops from all over the Chicago area coming in and all of the area Creators I can find. For the 2012 show, which will be on Sunday, March 4, I have 20 sellers and over 60 Creators. If you are in the area please come out and meet the people who are here, plus it is only $2 admission. You really cannot lose! To see the list of creators and more on Dan Con you can go to www.danconcomiccon.com

9) What is your favorite…

a) Horror comic: Currently Locke & Key, but all time… Deadworld is the greatest!

b) Horror film: Dead Alive

c) Horror game: Don’t have any. I’m not a big video game guy. So how about Atmosphere the VHS  board game?

d) Horror book: Anything by Washington Irving; that man could write horror.

e) Horror app: Don’t have any.

Editor’s Note – I’ll pinch hit for Dan on the app and personally nominate Zombie Booth (which turns any photo into an animated snarling zombie short movie clip) and for a freebie game, Dead Runner which has you hauling ass through a cemetery, chased by some unknown entity, until you crash into a tree.

10) What horror icon would you most want to be decapitated by?

(DECAP DAN:)  I can’t really say anyone. I don’t fall into that celebrity stuff. We are all equal in life. So since I bombed on that answer I will tell you the story of how I became “decapitated”.

Most people know I want my comics to have a great story. Well, I don’t find that a lot in today’s comics, so while reading another boring Superhero book, I couldn’t take it anymore and I started to pull on my hair. Due to having spikey hair, the hair spray held and I pulled my head off. There are many theories as to how I lost my head but that is the real one 😉

11) 2012 is around the corner … oh the Horror! What upcoming comic fare are you anticipating the most.  And, just curious, what did you think of the 2011 remake of FRIGHT NIGHT.

(DECAP DAN:)  I have not seen the Fright Night remake yet. I am a DVD rental guy, and I want to share some news for all your readers. I don’t even pay to rent DVD’s! I get them from my local library, where they are free and I get to keep them for a full week! HAHA! So to answer that question I am still waiting. My early thoughts though are Meh. I will admit this though… I love Dylan Dog the comic and when I saw a movie coming out starring Superman (Brandon Routh) I was not happy. I told people to avoid this at all costs because it did not represent the comic at all. Well, when the DVD came in I watched and I loved it. It was hilarious! It was so far removed from the comic that I couldn’t piece them together if it wanted to (minus the name and profession.) So the move was worth watching but American horror comic fans NEED to read Dylan Dog. That way we can get more of it translated (which I am also working on with a publisher).

As for 2012 there is so much to look forward to. So many great horror miniseries will come out, the DC new 52 horror books might still be going strong, I love Animal Man, JL Dark and I, Vampire. I always look forward to what Antarctic Press will release, as I love their horror line. Other than that, though, I just look forward to each and every horror book I can get my hands on. And sadly I think Locke & Key will come to an end in 2012 and I expect that to be beyond amazing.

Thanks Dan, for your continued stewardship of all things indie horror. And here’s hoping your Ghastly Awards is the start of a long-running gruesome tradition.

An award-winning indie comic creator and screenwriter, Bob Heske is currently writing/producing a micro-budget horror film called UNREST. Bob wrote THE NIGHT PROJECTIONIST, a vampire horror series to be published by Studio 407 in April 2012 (http://www.studio-407.com) with film rights optioned by Myriad Pictures. Through his Heske Horror shingle, Bob self-published his critically acclaimed horror series COLD BLOODED CHILLERS. Bob’s trade paperback BONE CHILLER (a “best of” CBC anthology) won a Bronze medal in the horror category at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His “end times” anthology 2012: FINAL PRAYER  was also released in late 2009. Email him at info@coldbloodedchillers.com. Most recently, Bob was editor and contributor to InvestComic’s ONE AND DONE anthology to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.