Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Diamond Distribution prepares for future with new warehouse

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The following article will share information with readers regarding how Diamond, the primary global distribution source for comics and graphic novels, is investing in the future of the comic book specialty market.  Rather than edit the size of this article, we present it in full.  Readers interested in learning more about the expansion of Diamond’s Olive Branch Distribution Center, can get the details here.  We at BC Refugees have always been interested in the business side of comics, and the role that Diamond plays in that effort.  While we recognize that having a single source for printed material can sometimes cause issues for local comics stores, it is encouraging to see a supplier divert some resources to invest in the future.  It helps that Steve Geppi, president of Diamond, is a life long comics fan and supporter of the industry.  His letter to retailers prefaces the article.

Thanks to Megan Cosman, Public Relations Associate at Diamond, for providing this information!

A Letter from Steve Geppi 

***To our valued retailers:

I have met many of you, but even those I haven't met are counted amongst my friends. Together, we have a passion for comics that binds us into the best community I've ever been a part of.
It's been my pleasure to own Diamond Comic Distributors for what will be 35 years next February. In that time, the industry has been through many ups, downs, and transformations. From the rise of the Direct Market and decline of newsstands, to the growth of collected editions and graphic novels as a vital segment of the industry, Diamond has been working with publishers and retailers to get comics into the hands of every man, woman, and child possible.
In the last few years, we've experienced a new golden age of comics, with greater recognition than ever before for the art form we all love. More and more comics are produced, and sales continue to climb. That's great for the industry, but it requires all of us to look to the future to make sure we are prepared for the next 35 years.
To that end, my teams at Diamond have been working on a project that represents one of the largest investments I've ever made in Diamond and our industry. When I gave final approval to begin the project more than a year ago, it was a proud moment for me. I knew that I had the best people working on something that will really prepare us for all the great things that are still coming for this industry, and I'm excited to play my part in it. 
Here, then, are the people on the front lines of this project to tell you all about it. 

Steve Geppi  President & CEODiamond Comic Distributors 

OB Expansion  3

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (September 21, 2016) — Hundreds of Diamond's retailing and publishing partners gathered recently in Baltimore for the 2016 Diamond Retailer Summit. This year's theme was "Future Vision: Building the Comic Shop of Tomorrow," something we see retailers doing every day in greater and greater numbers. Of course, supporting the stores of tomorrow requires new approaches to distribution and logistics, and Diamond Vice President of Operations John Wurzer recently outlined a number of projects that are currently underway in Diamond's Distribution Centers. 

OB Expansion  2
For everyone who was unable to attend the Summit, here's a glimpse into the massive project that's happening right now at Diamond's central inventory and shipping distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi


"In 2009, we opened the Olive Branch Distribution Center, the largest facility we or anyone else had built for the distribution of comics and pop culture merchandise,” said Wurzer. "Using historical data and our own experience to make projections, a team of engineers predicted that the new warehouse would meet the industry's needs through 2020."

Our Olive Branch facility is 600,000 square feet in area, 35 feet high, with its own server room equipped with generator back up power, and room for 150 people per shift to work on more than two miles of racking and conveyors that move product around the building. Design and construction of the building was a massive project, surpassed only by the huge job of moving in and getting it up and running.

The industry, however, went through massive shifts that no one had anticipated at that time. With the explosion of interest in comics and related products, sales to retailers all over the world grew tremendously. While these shifts were good news for the industry, the change to the status quo presented some serious challenges to the Distribution Center and Operations staffs at Diamond. Part of the shift in the industry was the growth of collected editions and the proliferation of variant covers for comics, each of which occupies its own physical space at the Distribution Center. In short, the warehouse exceeded both its projected 2020 storage and order processing capacity by 2014, and immediate action had to be taken.


Storage of millions of periodical comics, trade paperbacks, and the vast array of related products presents an interesting and unique challenge. For Diamond's Distribution Center teams to effectively pick products, each is given a physical address, referred to as a “pick face”, “bin”, or “storage location” where it is stored and pulled from when ordered by a customer. When there are not enough pick faces for all the products, a night crew must pull products from other locations to move them into bins that are accessible to an order picker. This frequent moving of product can lead to inefficiencies, and can add to the time required to find product and fill orders.

The first thing that our Operations and Finance teams had to do was locate an additional warehouse that could handle some of the overflow of product. However, this was not a satisfactory, long-term solution. In the end, we were able to lease two new facilities in Olive Branch, one for processing of weekly new product shipments and the other for storage of products that are not available for same-day Direct Ship reorders. Those additional facilities provided us with a little breathing room, allowing Wurzer, Executive Director of Operations Shawn Hamrick, Executive Director of Business Intelligence Steve Tipton and a team of outside consultants to begin planning the next phase of our Distribution Center's evolution.


The mezzanine was a huge undertaking with the construction project going on for the last six months

Over the course of last year, we brought in experts to work with our own internal teams to devise what would become a complete reimagining of the Distribution Center's layout and operations. 

"Millions of data records reflecting ordering patterns, inventory velocity, and growth trends were dissected, organized and analyzed during the process of developing what ultimately became the solution we decided to implement,” said Tipton. “New software and procedures will be paired with new materials handling equipment to provide much more storage space, along with the capability to manage many more orders."

There are three main objectives for this project: increase storage capacity, increase throughput capacity, and increase order accuracy while reducing damages.

Increasing Storage Capacity

While we can't increase the physical size of the warehouse, we can use the space in different, more efficient ways. A second floor, called a mezzanine, was added to a portion of the warehouse to expand the pick modules available. These modules, where product is stored for picking, and the expansion and addition of a fourth module, will give us over 21,000 new locations where products can be stored and then picked for orders. We are also in the process of adding space for 16,000 additional pallet positions to store back stock to accommodate the industry's continued growth.


Increasing Throughput Capacity

Throughput is a measure of how many orders per hour can be picked and packed by the Distribution Center. Increasing this capacity takes a combination of new materials-handling equipment, such as conveyor belts and automatic sorters, and changes to our processing procedures.

To that end, we are adding over a mile of conveyor, which will move product and orders through the warehouse, eitheA ceiling mounted monorail circulates an unending stream of empty boxesr to other parts of the building or to waiting trucks when shipments are ready to go to customers. We are also adding machines that automatically weigh boxes, measure their dimensions, and apply shipping labels, which gives us much better information about the packages and reduces the potential for human error. A ceiling-mounted monorail circulates an unending stream of empty boxes, which allows the people on the warehouse floor to focus on picking and packing orders, and a similar system automatically moves empty product boxes to an area where they can be processed out of the warehouse. As boxes are filled and sealed, they will move down an automated line that will sort them via barcode readers that scan the boxes. This will then move the boxes to the appropriate pallets or trucks for delivery to customers, reducing opportunities for boxes to end up in the wrong place.


Increasing Accuracy

While it's important to increase our ability to process orders quickly, it's just as important that we do so accurately. The changes we've made in this area are the most dramatic and have taken the most time to research; a great deal of analysis has gone into determining what constitutes best practices, given the many different types of products that Diamond distributes to its customers every day.

The first change will be to our pick method. Currently, a box (or group of boxes) moves through the warehouse and the order picking team uses automated headsets to pick products from their assigned area and place them in the box as it moves through. Under the new system, the pickers will pick all product for a group of orders at once, scanning the barcode on the product to ensure they have the correct items, which will then go into specially-designed totes and move to an order sortation area. In this area, the barcode is scanned again, and a large wall with an area for each order will indicate which orders need that item. Once all items for an order have been pulled and verified, an order packing specialist will choose the appropriate size box, and pack the box in such a way as to minimize damage to the products. As they do so, the items are scanned a final time, and any items that are missing or are identified as damaged are flagged and pulled for the shipment before it is sealed and sent out for delivery.

"We believe that this is the best possible solution, allowing our pickers and packers to be both fast and efficient," said Hamrick. "With a person making decisions about the size of the box and the way the product is put into it, the amount of product damaged in the packing and delivery process should decrease. We are also researching different types and sizes of boxes and packing paper, while keeping in mind the delicate balance of damages vs. increased freight costs."


Where We Are Right Now on the Expansion


At this point in the process, the mezzanine has been built and is in use, and many of the new materials-handling equipment is on-site. The existing pick modules have started to be expanded, and the new module has been built and partially integrated into our operations. We are currently testing the software integration that must be completed before we can move on to other phases of building and testing, so that the transition can proceed smoothly. 

One of thOB Expansion  4e greatest challenges is that the warehouse has remained fully operational during design, construction and various implementation phases, and must continue to do so.

This project represents a massive investment by Diamond, but one we feel is necessary to meet the current and future needs of a market that continues to grow and evolve. 

Members of the Operations and Business Intelligence teams of Diamond have spent significant amounts of time away from home, supervising the construction at Olive Branch and coordinating teams of programmers inside Diamond and with our outside vendors. Millions of dollars and thousands of employee hours have been spent working on the expansion, and there is still a lot of work to be done. 

We'll be providing more updates as we progress through different phases of the project which are expected to progress into early 2017, and are looking forward to showing you more!




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New graphic novel anthology to support Orlando tragedy

from the official IDW Publishing press release . . . .


San Diego, CA (September 21, 2016) – IDW Publishing, with the support of DC Entertainment, will honor the victims of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub tragedy by publishing LOVE IS LOVE, an anthology graphic novel curated by writer Marc Andreyko (BATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN ’77). In the wake of this devastating event, Andreyko assembled a group of fellow comic book creators to contribute to the benefit project. Andreyko received an overwhelming response across the comic book community and beyond, with over 200 writers and artists lending their talents to LOVE IS LOVE, a collection of over 100 short graphic stories. All material has been donated by the writers, artists, and editors, with all proceeds going to victims, survivors, and their families via EQUALITY FLORIDA. 
LOVE IS LOVE will debut in comic book shops and bookstores this December. The anthology graphic novel is a 144-page love letter to the LGBTQ community containing moving and heartfelt stories—some using iconic DC characters—from some of the greatest talent in comics, including Phil JimenezSteve Sadowski, Paul JenkinsMike CareyMatt WagnerMarguerite BennettAnekeDamon LindelofPatton OswaltSteven OrlandoRafael AlbuquerqueJason AaronJason LatourJames AsmusMing DoyleJames Tynion IV, Cecil CastellucciBrandon PetersonJesus SaizOlivier CoipelLeinil YuElsa Charretier, and many more to be announced.
“When tragedy happens, art responds. And after the Pulse massacre, the comics community responded quickly, decisively, and with open hearts,” said project organizer and writer Andreyko. “I could not be more proud of this book, or to be a member of the comics community. The talent and emotion on every page is staggering. LOVE IS LOVE mourns the 49 lost, honors the survivors, and celebrates love in all forms.”
“When Marc brought this project to me, there was no hesitation about us getting involved,” said IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall. “To echo Marc’s sentiments, we are proud of the hard work and talent that has gone into this project and to be involved in any way to support the survivors and their families in the face of tragedy.”
“We’re deeply thankful to all the participants who donated their work to LOVE IS LOVE,” said Sarah Gaydos, Group Editor for IDW Publishing. “The outpouring of emotion from their work honors the LGBTQ community, and helps express the grief we’re all feeling.”
“Marc's heartfelt passion for this cause and this project has inspired everyone involved in LOVE IS LOVE,” explains Jamie Rich, Group Editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint. “As an editor on the book, I continue to be moved every day by the expressions of hope and love the contributors have put forth, and can only imagine the profound impact the book will have on readers, as well.”
The contributors behind LOVE IS LOVE have banded together to send a powerful message through their art that they stand with the victims of this national tragedy. Help spread the love this December and become part of this historic comics event.
Pre-order LOVE IS LOVE here =
Click here for more information on EQUALITY FLORIDA = .

Sneak Peek: HARBINGER RENEGADES debuts in November

from the official Valiant Entertainment press release . . . . .


They’re inside your towns. Inside your schools. And inside your head…

Valiant is proud to present an advance preview of HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – the FIRST ISSUEto the ALL-NEW ONGOING series exploding out of the “FUTURE OF VALIANT” initiative! On November 16th, multiple Harvey Award nominee Rafer Roberts (A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG) and comics superstar Darick Robertson (The Boys, Wolverine) document a powerful and subversive new beginning for the most fearless superhero series of the shelves! Kris Hathaway, Peter Stanchek, Faith Herbert, and John Torkelson thought they could go underground. They thought they could get their old lives back. They were wrong. And when a violent, new superpower movement begins to spread across the suburbs, America’s only hope will be the teenagers it wished it could forget...

“I’ve been describing the series as 'Jack Kirby’s Trainspotting,' which is as good an elevator pitch as any,” series writer Rafer Roberts told Newsarama. “The Renegades are trying to save the world from the bottom up. They’ve already taken on the world’s greatest super villain… and failed. In fact, the argument could be made that they actually made the world worse. Learning from that mistake, they are focusing on battles that they can win. Small victories are still victories.”

Anyone you know could become a psionically powered “harbinger” with the potential to reshape the course of human history. Your neighbor. Your boss. Your best friend. Your kids.

Six months ago, a secret team of renegade whistleblowers leaked the existence of these extraordinarily dangerous individuals to a stunned world. Today, all across the country, crude, DIY psiot activation attempts have left hundreds brain damaged…or worse. The emergence of a new psiot in a community often leads to riots and mass violence. Gun sales are through the roof.

America is terrified of what could happen next.

With this revolutionary upheaval now in motion, Kris Hathaway, John “Torque” Torkelson, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert, and Peter Stanchek are about to discover their calling. Together, the HARBINGER RENEGADES are moving from town to town, building their ranks, and subverting authority one mind at a time…and setting out to prove once and for all that behind their power, there has always been a purpose.

On November 16th, stoke the flames of a nation on fire as Rafer Roberts and Darick Robertson activate Valiant’s most-demanded team of heroes and misfits in HARBINGER RENEGADES #1– featuring covers by Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan), Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (Thor), Dave Johnson (Superman: Red Son), Kano (Daredevil), Pere Perez (FAITH), Clayton Henry (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Bob Layton (Iron Man), and Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl)!

Then, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” continues with an all-new wave of ongoing series, prestige format projects and standalone events from a star-studded roster of some of comics’ most visionary talents! Beginning in July with FAITH #1, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” will extend throughout 2016 with a total of seven epic series – each introducing an innovative array of new concepts and characters…and firmly establishing Valiant’s place as the premier publisher of creative storytelling in comics today:
  • FAITH #1 by Jody HouserPere Perez & Marguerite Sauvage in July
  • GENERATION ZERO #1 by Fred Van Lente & Francis Portela in August
  • BRITANNIA #1 (of 4) by Peter Milligan & Juan Jose Ryp in September
  • BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1 (of 4) by Jeff Lemire & Doug Braithwaite in October
  • HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 by Rafer Roberts Darick Roberston in November
  • SAVAGE #1 (of 4) by B. Clay MooreClayton Henry & Lewis LaRosa in November
  • DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt & Trevor Hairsine in December
Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON (SEP162042)
Cover D by KANO (SEP162043)
Valiant x CGC Variant Cover by PERE PEREZ (SEP162044)
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (SEP162046)
Variant Cover by BOB LAYTON (SEP162047)
Variant Cover by JIM MAHFOOD (SEP162048)
Blank Cover Also Available (SEP162045)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale NOVEMBER 16 (FOC – 10/23/16)

HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – Cover A by Darick Robertson

HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – Cover B by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – Cover C by Dave Johnson

Sneak Peek: SAVAGE #1 debuts in November

from the official Valiant Entertainment press release . . . . .


Nature conquers all!

Valiant is proud to present an advance preview of SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – the FIRST ISSUE of the bone-breaking new series striking out of “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” initiative on November 30th! This fall, acclaimed writer B. Clay Moore (Aloha, Hawaiian Dick), and explosive artists Clayton Henry (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG) and Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN) hone their killer instincts for the must-read debut of Valiant’s next major hero! Marooned in an unforgiving prehistoric landscape, high society’s most privileged celebrity family is fighting tooth and claw – literally – for survival. Once they lose everything – and each other – what part of them will endure? Where will the man inside each of them end…and the animal begin?

Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star, his former supermodel wife, and their young son disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead… But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by prehistoric creatures from another time…

This is the story of how they lost their humanity.

“Throwing public figures into extreme situations is interesting to me because it challenges perceptions of these people, and, if the story is handled properly, forces the characters to re-examine their own self-perceptions,” series writer B. Clay Moore told Paste Magazine. “In the case of Savage, we’re dealing with people who fought hard to not have to fight any more. What happens when the only way they can survive, or save their son, is to fight harder than ever?”

On November 30th, learn to claw as B. Clay MooreClayton Henry, and Lewis LaRosa present the landmark first appearance of the fiercest Valiant hero of all, only in SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – presented in the deluxe VALIANT PRESTIGE format with high-grade cover stock, custom-designed end sheets, and more! Featuring covers by Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN), Jared Fletcher (Paper Girls), and Renato Guedes (Wolverine), the most punishing comic book debut of the year starts here this fall!

Then, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” continues with an all-new wave of ongoing series, prestige format projects and standalone events from a star-studded roster of some of comics’ most visionary talents! Beginning in July with FAITH #1, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” will extend throughout 2016 with a total of seven epic series – each introducing an innovative array of new concepts and characters…and firmly establishing Valiant’s place as the premier publisher of creative storytelling in comics today:
  • FAITH #1 by Jody HouserPere Perez & Marguerite Sauvage in July
  • GENERATION ZERO #1 by Fred Van Lente & Francis Portela in August
  • BRITANNIA #1 (of 4) by Peter Milligan & Juan Jose Ryp in September
  • BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1 (of 4) by Jeff Lemire & Doug Braithwaite in October
  • HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 by Rafer Roberts Darick Roberston in November
  • SAVAGE #1 (of 4) by B. Clay MooreClayton Henry & Lewis LaRosa in November
  • DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt & Trevor Hairsine in December

Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA (SEP162049)
Cover B by JARED FLETCHER (SEP162050)
Character Design Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (SEP162052)
Variant Cover by RENATO GUEDES (SEP162053)
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (SEP162054)
Blank Cover Also Available (SEP162051)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | VALIANT PRESTIGE FORMAT | On Sale NOVEMBER 30th (FOC – 11/7/16)

SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – Cover A by Lewis LaRosa

SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – Cover B by Jared Fletcher

SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – Variant Cover by Renato Guedes

Sneak peek at Valiant's 2017 collectibles/merchandise at NYCC

from the official Valiant press release . . . . .
NYCC 2016: Valiant Makes Pop! Asia Vinyl Debut with Strictly Limited FAITH Import – Only at New York Comic Con 2016!


The superhero sensation of the year is taking flight at New York Comic Con 2016 with a special sneak preview of Faith’s forthcoming Pop! Asia vinyl debut!

In concert with POP Life EntertainmentValiant Entertainment is proud to announce that a strictly limited, Asian import edition of the forthcoming, first-of-its kind Faith Pop! Asia vinyl figure will be made available at the East Coast’s biggest comics and pop culture event in advance of its 2017 mass market release.

The first Valiant Pop! Asia vinyl collectible features Faith “Zephyr” Herbert – the high-flying hero of Los Angeles that captured the attention of the world with her five-time sold-out solo series debut in 2016 – will be available only at the Valiant Entertainment booth (#1635)!

This Asia-only convention import is an advance sneak peek into Valiant’s worldwide collectible and apparel merchandising efforts – the latest of which will begin hitting shelves in North America and Europe in 2017.

Also debuting at NYCC 2016, Valiant’s stratospheric Pop! Asia vinyl debut continues with an exclusive collection of apparel, including the Faith Pop! t-shirt and Faith Pop! hat – each showcasing the energetic Pop! Asia vinyl design of the year’s breakout super-heroine!

Created by former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and Eisner Award-winning writer and artist David Lapham in Valiant’s acclaimed HARBINGER series in 1992, Faith has long been a central icon of Valiant’s award-winning publishing line. Then, in January 2016, Faith took her long-awaited, much-demanded first step toward solo stardom with FAITH #1 (of 4) – a groundbreaking debut that quickly became the first and biggest breakout hit of the New Year from any major comics publisher. In the months since, Faith’s first solo adventure has garnered near-universal critical acclaim; generated attention from a host of international media outlets, including The Atlantic, The A.V. Club, Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, The Huffington Post, The Independent, MTV, The New York Times, NPR, PBS Newshour, People, Seventeen, Today, Vox, The Washington Post, and dozens more; and become the first series of 2016 to reach a much-vaunted fifth printing – making it one of only a handful of hit series in the past decade to achieve that pivotal benchmark of fan and commercial demand.

Then, Faith’s streak of unprecedented achievements hit a new high with the freshly sold-out FAITH #1 – a first issue that has already rocketed onward to become the highest selling superhero debut of 2016 from any independent publisher in the industry today.

Now for some debate relief: CURLY wins in the polls

Breaking Election News – Curly Wins Race for the White House! The Three Stooges - Red White & Stooge
On Sale September 28th 2016 


from the official American Mythology press release . . . . .

[Baltimore, Maryland] – There’s no need to wait until November. American Mythology Productions has all the presidential election news you need with the release of The Three Stooges – Red White & Stooge comic book. We asked which Stooge fans wanted to see in the Oval Office, and boy did the people want their votes to be heard!

Reaching out on social media, email, and websites, the response was overwhelming as eager fans cast their “votes” to see their favorite Stooge take center stage in the most powerful office in the world. Fans had to choose between Larry, Moe and Curly, and after a close campaign, a true champion of democracy stood tall.

American Mythology is proud to introduce our country’s next D.O.O.F.U.S. – Curly! That’s right, Curly pulled away from the pack, and ran away with the election. When asked for his thoughts about running for office, Curly had this to say, “Gee, I usually only run when Moe’s chasing me. Does the job come with pie? I’m starvinated after all this politicking.” Don’t believe us?! You’ll have to pick up your own copy of Red White & Stooge this coming Wednesday (9/28/16) and see for yourself, only from American Mythology Productions.

“When we came up with the idea to do a political issue and have fans vote their favorite Stooge into office, we never imagined the response we’d get,” said S.A. Check (Three Stooges, Pink Panther), the book’s writer. “It was nothing short of amazing! We saved the last couple pages of the book until we received the results, so readers get to find out who won at the end. With the presidential election in full swing, it was the perfect time to take a lighter look at the process, and have some fun with it.”

“The Three Stooges are American icons, known the world over for their comedy genius,” said Michael Bornstein, American Mythology’s Publisher. “It’s truly an honor to have a chance to help carry on their legacy by producing comics that we believe pay respect to their body of work, and introduce them to a new generation of fans. Working with C3 entertainment has been everything we’d hope for in partnership to put out quality books for fans to enjoy. Red White & Stooge is exactly the type of book we feel captures the essence of The Boys comedy while putting a modern spin on the story. And let’s face it, who hasn’t thought about how Curly would do as our Commander-in-Chief.”    

About C3 Entertainment, Inc.
C3 Entertainment, Inc. is a diversified Entertainment and Media company engaged in motion picture, television, digital and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution, as well as licensing and brand management of world famous classic brands and personalities. For more information, please visit and, and follow us at and The Three Stooges® is a registered trademark of C3 Entertainment, Inc. The Three Stooges characters, names and all related indicia are trademarks of C3 Entertainment, Inc.

About American Mythology Productions
American Mythology Productions (AM) is an intellectual property development firm that works in the areas of licensed, company-owned, co-owned and creator-owned comic books and other media. AM has working relationships with Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., C3 Entertainment Inc, MGM, Miramax, and other companies for titles including The Three Stooges, The Land That Time Forgot, The Pink Panther, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe, Equilibrium, and others.  AmericanMytho@Twitter   American Mythology/Facebook

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New Books: TALES OF THE WARDEN: HOPE CITY focuses on edgy villain

Buy Phillip Drayer Duncan's latest, get a FREE Ebook!
from the official press release .  . . . .

FREE BOOK PROMOTION-To celebrate the release of Phillip Drayer Duncan's TALES OF THE WARDEN: HOPE CITY, anyone who has purchased or purchases a print OR digital version of that digest novel before 5 PM CST Saturday, September 24th, will also receive a FREE digital copy of BLACK FEDORA, the anthology in which The Warden first debuted! Featuring stories by Duncan, BC Bell, and Kevin Paul Shaw Broden, BLACK FEDORA turns the spotlight on the villains! And for the purchase of HOPE CITY, You can get the BLACK FEDORA ebook for free!

Simply email proof of purchase of TALES OF THE WARDEN: HOPE CITY to and You will receive a code to download Your free copy of BLACK FEDORA!

In Pro Se Productions' BLACK FEDORA anthology, author Phillip Drayer Duncan introduced the worst enemy a super hero could have- The Warden. This enigmatic, evil collector of do-gooders proved so popular with readers of his debut tale that he simply demanded his own novel. Duncan’s latest full length novel, TALES OF THE WARDEN: HOPE CITY, is now available in print and digital formats from Pro Se Productions. 

“There aren’t many times,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “that writers come up with something that has such an edge, such a twist within it, that it stands out as truly original. Phillip Drayer Duncan’s The Warden is a character that does just that. Not the first villain to be able to command the lead in a story or novel, The Warden has so many facets to him that it’s simply hard to not enjoy every vile deed and devious thought he might have. TALES OF THE WARDEN: HOPE CITY puts not only the lead character, but this entire world, a place where a being such as The Warden can even exist, under a microscope and delivers a tale analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of good and evil without parallel.”

There are villains. And there are heroes. And then there is The Warden. An enigma feared by all who stand for justice. He strikes where least expected, capturing heroes society depends on. Some say he collects them for display in his own private prison. Others doubt his existence. Yet all who bravely stand against the darkness have felt a tremor of fear at the utterance of his name. 

Now, one of the Warden’s favorite hunting grounds has become dry. A new criminal mastermind has taken up residence in Hope City, with an army of villains at his disposal. A hero named Lament stands against them, but he’s short on allies, outgunned, and has nothing except skill to rely on. The helpless Lament is of little interest to the Warden, but this shortage of heroes is a minor irritation he won’t allow. Just once, can the Warden find it in himself to play on the side of the angels? 

Tales of the Warden: Hope City by Phillip Drayer Duncan. From Pro Se Productions.

Featuring a stunning wraparound cover by Larry Nadolsky and cover design and print formatting by Antonino Lo Iacono, TALES OF THE WARDEN is available now at Amazon at and Pro Se’s own store at for $15.00. 

This villainous thriller is also available as an Ebook, designed and formatted by Lo Iacono for only $2.99 for the Kindle at for most digital formats via Smashwords at

Cats at Cosplay on Covers (Valiant, December)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We’re not big on the internet cat craze, but these are amusing.  Our vote goes to the BRITANNIA and WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR covers.


 from the VALIANT VOICE website . . . . . . . . .


Valiant Breaks the Internet with VALIANT CAT COSPLAY Covers – Clawing onto Shelves in December!

FAITH_006_CAT-COSPLAY-VARIANTFirst came fire… Then the wheel… Now, after centuries of struggle, the most acclaimed publisher in comic books today is proud to present the next great advancement in human civilization: the VALIANT CAT COSPLAY cover!

As revealed today at, Valiant is bringing the three capital Cs of popular culture – cats, comics, and cosplay – together for the first time anywhere in December as ordinary, household feline companions are transformed into the world’s most valiant heroes for a fur-bulous new line of shelf photo covers spanning 10 best-selling series! From teenage martial arts master Archer to reality-warping cosmonaut Divinity to sky-soaring sensation Faith and MI-6 super-spy Ninjak, each VALIANT CAT COSPLAY cover captures a furried friend pouncing into action as one of Valiant’s leading heroes inside a custom-built costume – tailor-made and photographed by the minds behind the Cat Cosplay of the Feline Variety blog.

Featured by CNET, CrunchyRoll, the Daily Mail, Geek and Sundry, IGN, Kotaku, Mashable, NPR, Paste Magazine, Tech Times, and dozens more around the world, Cat Cosplay of the Feline Variety is the gold standard of the “cat cosplay” genre and boasts a legion of fans and followers across Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook since its creation in early 2015. Valiant’s VALIANT CAT COSPLAY covers mark their first officially sponsored collaboration with a comic book publisher or entertainment company.

“This might be the single best thing anyone anywhere has done, ever,” said Valiant Assistant Editor Lauren Hitzhusen. “All of Valiant’s numerous accomplishments – the biggest debut of a new publisher in more than a decade, the best reviews in the industry, a record-setting 50 nominations at this year’s Harvey Awards – pale in comparison to the glory that you now behold before you. But, all joking aside… No, really, this is the best.”

Available as “order-all” covers across all of Valiant’s December 2016 series, each VALIANT CAT COSPLAY cover will be available for retailers to order in unlimited quantities at the standard suggested retail price:

  • BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #3 (of 4)
  • BRITANNIA #4 (of 4)
  • FAITH #6
  • NINJAK #22
  • SAVAGE #2 (of 4)

A portion of the proceeds from all VALIANT CAT COSPLAY covers sold will benefit the Brooklyn Animal Rescue Coalition (BARC), a New York-based non-profit that operates a beloved, no-kill shelter for cats and dogs in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. BARC’s mission is to provide a safe haven for abandoned animals – with quality food, shelter, medical attention, and the love they deserve – and to find permanent loving homes for them.

They’re intrepid! They’re fearless! They’re cats! This December, the animal kingdom is invading the Valiant Universe…and cat lovers and comics fans will finally stand united when VALIANT CAT COSPLAY covers scratch their way onto shelves worldwide! Contact your local comic shop to pre-order your VALIANT CAT COSPLAY covers today! (Lint roller not included.)











Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 2016 PREVIEWS Pre-Order Picks: ONI, Stranger, Titan, Valiant

EDITOR’S NOTES:  This is our final article of the month regarding recommended Pre-Order Picks from the September 2016 Previews catalog. Pre-ordering your comics is the best way to make sure that you get a copy of the books you want to read.  It also helps your local comics shop determine what to order so they can manage that ever-growing inventory of books.  Here’s some more books that we think worth adding to your list . . . . . .



MOTRO #1 of 10: W) Ulises Farinas (A/CA) Ulises Farinas:  Sounds like a worthy epic.  The art is very dynamic, with European influences (Mobius, etc).

From the Previews catalog:

"A reclusive young boy with superhuman strength follows a prophecy from his dead father on a mission to save people, but when he finds the area villagers are less than thrilled by his noble intentions and he faces adversaries both human and magical-mechanical, what will it take to fulfill his destiny? Can his miniature talking motorcycle help? From illustrator and intricate world-builder Ulises FariƱas (IDW's Judge Dredd), comes the first story in the life and legend of a fantasy hero for the ages."






VAMPIRE HUNTER D: MESSAGE MARS #1  (W) Sebastian A. Jones (A/CA) Michael Broussard : The weirdly strange and off-beat Vampire Hunter D of popular Japanese manga and film gets a U.S. comic book with a  new and interesting re-boot / concept for the main character.

From the Previews Catalog:

"Drawn to Mars by an ancient message from Cecile, a girl who could see the future, D arrives to find a colony that is little more than a blood farm. With Left Hand by his side, D sets out to cleanse Mars of the vampiric scourge!"




THE MUMMY #1: (W) Peter Milligan (A) Ronilson Friere (CA) John McCrea.  In a partnership with Hammer Film Studios, who brought to life popular versions of filmic monsters along with original creations, will be producing comic versions of the characters in new and original stories to continue the proud Hammer tradition. Scripter Peter Milligan, no stranger to tales of the strange, is the perfect choice to write this!

From the Previews Catalog:

"For 2000 years the Sect of Anubis have prolonged their life spans through human sacrifice and the enslavement of an Egyptian High Priestess cursed to walk the afterlife for all eternity. On one night every 30 years the Sect must offer up a human vessel to house the spirit of Nebetah so that they can kill her and drink her blood, thus granting them immortality. But this year they have chosen the wrong vessel and she's not going willingly…"




HARBINGER RENEGADES #1: (W) Rafer Roberts (A/CA) Darick Robertson. We are glad to see the return of the Harbinger series to Valiant after too long of an absence. Refer Roberts has been doing a bang-up job with his take on Archer & Armstrong.  Let’s see what he does with this great set of characters.
From the Previews Catalog:

"Six months ago, a secret team of renegade whistleblowers leaked the existence of these extraordinarily dangerous individuals to a stunned world. Today, all across the country, crude, DIY psiot activation attempts have left hundreds brain damaged...or worse. The emergence of a new psiot in a community often leads to riots and mass violence. Gun sales are through the roof.

With this revolutionary upheaval now in motion, Kris Hathaway, John "Torque" Torkelson, Faith "Zephyr" Herbert, and Peter Stanchek are about to discover their calling. Together, the HARBINGER RENEGADES are moving from town to town, building their ranks, and subverting authority one mind at a time...and setting out to prove once and for all that behind their power, there has always been a purpose."


SAVAGE #1: (W) B. Clay Moore (A) Clayton Henry (A/CA) Lewis LaRosa. Another all-new original series debut from Valiant.  This has a lot of potential. Can’t wait to see how Moore incorporates Savage into the rest of the Valiant Universe - - although we’re in no hurry to transport him away from an island of dinosaurs. There’s enough adventure there to keep him busy for issues on end.
From the Previews Catalog:

"Fifteen years ago, the world's most famous soccer star and his former supermodel wife -pregnant with their unborn child - disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead... But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by prehistoric creatures from another time...

This is the story of how they lost their humanity.

This November, acclaimed writer B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick) and explosive artists Clayton Henry (HARBINGER WARS) and Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN) present a relentless epic of survival in a cold-blooded land ruled by instinct alone as SAVAGE makes his brutal entrance into the Valiant Universe!"