Friday, July 31, 2015

HANG DAI coming to Baltimore Comic Con

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - July 31, 2015 - Five members from Brooklyn's legendary Hang Dai Studios will be attending Baltimore Comic-Con, being held the weekend of September 25-27, 2015 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Featuring artists and writers Dean "The Fox" Haspiel, Gregory "B+F" Benton, Christa "Ghetto Klown" Cassano, Jonathan "Plunder" Lang, and Vito "Stray" Delsante, they will be playing the dozens and selling their latest comix, prints, graphic novels, and be available for commissions. Hang Dai Editions (in conjunction with Alternative Comics), will be debuting their three new graphic novels: Smoke by Gregory Benton, Beef With Tomato by Dean Haspiel, and Schmuck by the late Seth Kushner.




Emmy award winner and Eisner Award nominee Dean Haspiel created Billy Dogma, illustrated for HBO's "Bored To Death," was a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, is a Yaddo fellow and a playwright, helped pioneer personal webcomics with the invention of ACT-I-VATE.com and TripCity.net, and is the co-founder of Hang Dai Editions in Brooklyn, NY. "Dino" has written and drawn many comic books, including The Fox, Spider-Man, Batman, X-Men: First Class, Fantastic Four, Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Godzilla, Mars Attacks, Garbage Pail Kids, Creepy, The Walking Dead, and collaborations with Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Ames, Inverna Lockpez, Jonathan Lethem, Mark Waid, and Stan Lee. Look out for his upcoming graphic novel memoir, Beef With Tomato (Alternative Comics). http://deanhaspiel.com/

Gregory Benton's book B+F was awarded the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's inaugural Award of Excellence at MoCCAFest 2013. An expanded version of B+F was published in the autumn of 2013 through Adhouse Books (USA) and Editions çà et là (France). The long form edition of B+F was selected for the Society of Illustrators' first Comics and Cartoon Art Annual in 2014. Gregory has written and drawn stories for Nickelodoeon, Vertigo, DC Comics, Disney Adventures, Watson-Guptil, and Entertainment Weekly. Gregory has also produced numerous limited-edition mini-comix, some of which reside in The Library of Congress' rare books collection. Gregory's latest book Smoke, published by Hang Dai Editions, makes its BCC debut! http://www.gregorybenton.com/

Christa Cassano has a background in fine arts and began making comics in 2012 when she attended The Atlantic Center for the Arts. In 2013 she became a member of Hang Dai Studios in Gowanus, Brooklyn, where she wrote and drew The Giant Effect, did a comix-accordian collaboration with Dean Haspiel called A Letter Lasts Longer, and contributed to The Hang Dai Comix Anthology and Seth Kushner's Schmuck. Christa recently co-adapted John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown, coming out this fall from Abrams, and is currently working on her own graphic series, titled Pawnland. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ccassano/

Swifty Lang was born in Liege, Belgium and raised in South Florida. He received his M.A. in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam. He is a comix writer and filmmaker. He won a Van Gogh Award for World Cinema Directing in 2015 from the Amsterdam International Film Festival for his film The Showing. Swifty is co-creator of the critically acclaimed, Feeding Ground (Archaia), which was optioned by Pressman Films in 2014. He was a contributor to Occupy Comics (Black Mask). He has worked with IDW on Garbage Pail Kids with Dean Haspiel, and lived his childhood dream of creating a GPK. His mini-series Plunder was published by Archaia in 2015 and a collection is forthcoming in 2016. He has been a member of Hang Dai Studios since 2013. He is a founding partner of S/Lang Entertainment. http://www.slangentertainment.com/

Vito Delsante is a comic book writer/graphic novelist and the co-creator of Stray, published by Action Lab Entertainment. He's written for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and Simon & Schuster, including stories for Superman, Batman, X-Men, and Scooby Doo, and his stories have been reprinted overseas. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Michelle, his daughter, Sadie, his son, James and his dog, Kirby. http://www.incogvito.com/




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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ostrander & Mandrake fans will love Civil War vampire tale KROS

EDITOR'S NOTES: I've been a big fan of writer John Ostrander since the Suicide Squad and Grimjack days. When he paired up with artist Tom Mandrake for a long run on The Spectre they took that book to the next level of greatness. Pledging to this Kickstarter campaign was a no-brained for me. They are super-close to their fundraising goal with a short time remaining. Please check it out. you won't be sorry!
Comic Book Legends Mandrake & Ostrander Launch Kros: Hallowed Ground


From the official press release . . . . .


Vampire horror at Gettysburg in this dark and haunting Civil War era tale from John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake.


Against this army of hungry undead rides one man, a vampire slayer known only as Kros. Alone against a vampire army, Kros, a dampyr with an inborn hatred of vampires, knows that if he fails he could become one of the creatures he loathes.

Inspired by films in the genre of John Carpenter's The Thing and stories like Ambrose Bierce's Occurrence at Owl Creek, KROS: HALLOWED GROUND melds history and horror. Writer, John Ostrander, says, “ KROS is THE story we've been wanting to tell! Neither of us are afraid of the dark or taking you there with us! KROS: HALLOWED GROUND isn't only about the war between North and South—to a vampire, you're all part of the feast!”



THE CREATORS

Renowned for their dark, chilling stories on The Spectre series for DC Comics, as well as for their runs on Martian Manhunter, Batman Grotesk and The Kents, Ostrander and Mandrake are are thrilled to be collaborating once again on KROS: HALLOWED GROUND. “Working and creating together, we feed off each others energy,” says Ostrander. Mandrake adds. “Doing this graphic novel as a creator-owned project will allow us to take what we've done before to the next level.” Add to that mix Tom's daughter, Sian Mandrake, on color for the title. “My first thought was to do Kros as a black and white,” says Mandrake,” but Sian's color brings out the moody atmosphere I am going for with the art.”


THE KICKSTARTER

Tom Mandrake and John Ostrander have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds their new Civil War era horror graphic novel, KROS: HALLOWED GROUND. “KROS has been waiting in the wings for far too long,” says Ostrander. “War is hell--war can also be a nightmare. War is always a horror story and we have a hell of a story to tell.” Mandrake, who recently traveled to Gettysburg to sketch the battlefields and to try to understand the scope of what took place there, agrees. “Many who have visited Gettysburg will swear they have seen a soldier standing on those battlefields. There is a haunting atmosphere there. Ghosts still walk.”

Ostrander and Mandrake are funding KROS: HALLOWED GROUND though Kickstarter because they want to bring their fans and readers the kind of story that is not often seen in mainstream comics. KROS: HALLOWED GROUND is a tale of supernatural obsession, the horror of war and of the monster lurking within humankind.



THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

KROS: HALLOWED GROUND is a graphic novel created by John Ostrander (GrimJack, Suicide Squad, The Spectre, Star Wars: Legacy) and Tom Mandrake (The Spectre, John Carpenter's Asylum, Lance Henrikson and Joe Maddrey's To Hell You Ride). John Ostrander's haunting story of obsession and vengence features darkly atmospheric and brooding artwork and cover by Tom Mandrake.

The KROS: HALLOWED GROUND KICKSTARTER is in progress https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kroshallowedground/kros-hallowed-ground

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/KrosGraphicNovel?fref=ts

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Wynonna Earp television series announced for Syfy channel

From the official IDW press release . . . . .

SEVEN24 Films and IDW Entertainment announced today that Syfy has acquired the U.S. rights to Wynonna Earp, a live action television series based on the IDW Publishing comic created by Beau Smith. Emily Andras (Lost Girl, Killjoys) developed the series for television and will serve as Executive Producer and Showrunner.



With an initial order of 13 one-hour episodes, Wynonna Earp is a fast-paced, contemporary thriller that follows Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter as she battles demons and other supernatural beings. Wynonna is a witty and wild modern day gunslinger, using her unique abilities and a dysfunctional posse of allies to bring the paranormal to justice. The series is scheduled to premiere in April 2016.

“Wynonna Earp is a unique contemporary western that will bring high octane, full-throttle, supernatural action to Syfy,” said Chris Regina, SVP, Programming, Syfy. “It is wildly imaginative and we are excited to work with Seven24 Films, IDW Entertainment and Emily on this truly original concept that will showcase fun, stylized visuals and pure escapism.”


Melanie Scrofano (Damien, Gangland Undercover) will star as Wynonna Earp. Tim Rozon (Being Human, Instant Star) will play legendary con artist Doc Holliday, and Shamier Anderson (Defiance, Constantine) plays the mysterious Agent Dolls.

“Together with SEVEN24 Films, IDW Entertainment, and a virtual dream cast, I’m confident we have something special on our hands: a female-led supernatural series with grand themes of redemption, honor, and the struggle to define good vs. evil. Not to mention, a kick-ass biker babe fighting demon outlaws,” said Emily Andras.

Wynonna Earp will be produced in Calgary by SEVEN24 Films, and distributed by IDW Entertainment. Production is slated to begin in August. SEVEN24’s Jordy Randall and Tom Cox will serve as Executive Producers. IDW CEO & Publisher Ted Adams​, David Ozer, Peleton Entertainment’s Todd Berger, and Circle of Confusion’s Rick Jacobs packaged and facilitated financing for the series.

“Developing the series has been a passion for our entire creative team and we’re excited to share this new series with Syfy’s equally passionate audience,” said Jordy Randall of SEVEN24 Films.

“Wynonna is an incredible character that will appeal to a global audience. IDW Entertainment is thrilled that Syfy will be the U.S. home for this fabulous series and we look forward to bringing Wynonna to the global market,” said David Ozer of IDW Entertainment.


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Industry Legend Jules Feiffer is special guest at Baltimore Con

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - July 27, 2015 - The Baltimore Comic-Con announces the addition of industry veteran Jules Feiffer as a special guest. The Baltimore Comic-Con returns to the Baltimore Convention Center the weekend of September 25-27, 2015.



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Feiffer began his storied career in comics back in the 1940s working under comics giant Will Eisner at Eisner's studio. Initially working on art clean-up chores, Feiffer soon found himself with writing responsibilities, finishing Eisner's plots on The Spirit. He eventually launched his own comic, Clifford, which ran within the pages of The Spirit between 1949 and 1951.

Generally thought of as the godfather of alt-weekly newspaper comix, Feiffer launched his own strip, Sick Sick Sick, in the pages of The Village Voice in 1956. It was later renamed Feiffer's Fables, and finally just the eponomous Feiffer, which ran in the paper for over 40 years. Feiffer was nationally syndicated, and has been collected in books from McGraw-Hill and Fantagraphics.




More recently, Feiffer created his graphic novel, Kill My Mother. Released by the Liveright division of W.W. Norton, Kill My Mother garnered accolades such as winning the 2015 NCS Reuben Award for Graphic Novel, being declared a Vanity Fair Best Book in 2014 and a Kirkus Review Best Fiction Book in 2014, as well as being nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album-New.


Beyond his work in comics, Feiffer is a man of many talents. He is a novelist, a non-fiction writer (including The Great Comic Book Heroes), an autobiographer, a playwright, and a children's book author. He has adapted works to musicals and film alike. He has taught at ivy league universities and continues to hold an adjunct professorship at Stony Brook Southampton. And beyond his aforementioned accolades, he has been recipient of an Academy Award, an Obie Award, an Outer Circle Critics Award, a Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning, a George Polk Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writers Guild of America, a Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society, and has been inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.




"This is such a privilege," said Marc Nathan, promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "Jules Feiffer is one of the greats of our industry, not to mention his many accomplishments outside of comics. He has seen and done so much, and continues to produce great work to this day. We couldn't be more pleased to have Jules joining us in 2015!"


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Friday, July 17, 2015

Comics Podcast Of The Damned now available on ITunes

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Podcasts come and podcasts go.  I listen to several, especially comics-related podcasts.  However, there aren’t many that manage to hold my attention and keep me coming back week after week. I usually end up getting bored with the commentary or tired of certain individuals whose peculiarities begin to annoy me.  I’ve been a regular listener of both predecessor From The Booth and now Comics Podcast of the Damned.  Some may read this article and protest “favortism” or “cronyism” because Ken is also a contributor/reviewer to this site. We will often feature an article on a specific podcast on this site. If you think we are unfairly “playing favorites” then you can chose to not check out the podcast. You will be missing entertaining and informative episodes.  Try one out before you decide to grumble and turn the page.

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by KEN of Comics Podcast of the Damned

A New podcast for a new generation.

I love podcasts. During my college days  I had to take a five hour bus ride to Penn State and back from my parent’s home in South Jersey.  I’ve been grateful for the funny or informational shows that I’ve been able to download to my phone and listen to with earphones or through my car radio.

I moved to Delaware after college,  and I was listening to the local comic shop’s podcast when they advertised an opening. Although I had no history in public speaking, I decided to try out for the position and ended up getting it. Throughout the next four and half years, the line-up would change so much that I would go from being the junior caster, having been hired by the other two, to being the senior caster and replacing the entire cast twice over as people left the area or left for other projects.

However, in Spring of 2015 as we had the strongest line-up in years, we were forced to go independent to maintain our vision of what we felt the podcast should be. Now the cohosts of the original podcast, From the Booth, have assembled under the banner of Comics Podcast of the Damned.  We also have other original members as occasional cohosts such as Madonna (the less famous one) and new fan favorites like Joe.

Every week on Fridays (or sometimes Saturdays if we’re running behind!) we release a 90-120 minute podcast that discusses TV shows, movies, comic and pop culture related news, and comic books. Billed as an uncensored take on all things pop culture, you always know where we stand. Because we don’t have sponsorship from a shop or advertisers, we are free to offer our unfiltered opinion.

So why should you listen?

Because we have the best cohosts of any geek podcast out there!

Mike, our resident movie expert, contributes to several sites such as www.bluraysteelbooks.com and  www.highdefninja.com.  His ability to give an IMDB-like rundown of just about any actor or actress off the top of his head keeps the conversation moving.  Jim is a tech genius who has been reading comics for decades, is an avid moviegoer and still watches the Batman Animated Series with his young daughter.  As for me, I own seven thousand single issues, several hundred trades and a couple thousand digital issues.  I like movies but prefer Netflix to the theater.  I’m an incurable Buffy fanatic and am always watching and rewatching old series for nostalgia. Last but not least, we bought all new equipment with a higher sound quality than before.

There has never been a better time to become a new listener.  Find us on Facebook, visit our website, and don’t forget to add us on iTunes. If you want to ask us a question that we’ll answer on air send it to hosts@comicspodcastofthedamned.com.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Monsterjunkies finds a home with Red Anvil Comics

Editor’s Note:  We are always looking for the appropriate comics to recommend as starting points for young readers.  While we haven’t previewed Monsterjunkies, the subject matter and setting seem like they would be interesting to middle school and perhaps younger readers. It bears checking out. Small Press novel’s Graphic Novel adaption is listed in the June Diamond Catalog.

from the official press release . . . . .

July 9, 2015 - Eagle Award nominee publisher Red Anvil Comics is proud to announce Erik Shein’s “THE MONSTERJUNKIES” Volume One, an Original Graphic Novel that explores the important themes of bullying, conservation and animal preservation in today's ever changing world through a most entertaining and innovative series of books.

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Follow us to 1313 Road to Nowhere, to a small New England town called Foggy Point, where behind massive stone walls lies a secluded Gothic mansion. Home to a most usually family and their menagerie of protected, exotic and non-existing legendary creatures called the Monsterjunkies. This family, called strange by society, are continually confronted by harsh bullying simply because of their odd personal style and their unusual sounding name that evokes an imagined fear in their community. This fear allows distrust to flourish that can only bring about hurtful behavior upon the entire Monster Junkie Family. It will be available in October just in time for Halloween.

As the adventure unfolds, teenagers Crow and Indigo, together with their parents Talon, an accomplished crypto zoologist and Pandora, an extraordinary slightly mystical botanist, learn to overcome the town's harassment. Eventually the Monsterjunkies throw open the gates to their home and private sanctuary. To everyone's surprise, once the secret is exposed, the fear disappears and acceptance of the family's unique individuality begins to grow.

Red Anvil Comics welcomes you to THE MONSTERJUNKIES  world, where the magical is real and the bizarre is quite normal.

“The reason I dedicate myself to helping animals so much is because there are already so many people dedicated to hurting them.” - Erik Shein.

Joe Martino, Co-Publisher at Red Anvil Comics says “We are very happy to welcome THE MONSTERJUNKIES series to Red Anvil Comics. It is an amazing story that will definitely make people want to come back for more.”

THE MONSTERJUNKIES was adapted from the original novel by Erik Shein and Theresa A. Gates by Jay Fotos Studios, produced by James Costello and published by Red Anvil Comics.

Red Anvil Comics is a New Jersey based comic publisher that boasts the Eagle Award Nominated War of the Independents and critically acclaimed comics, The Mighty Titan, Owlgirls, Penance, Unti 5, Shadowflame and Cyberines.

Diamond Order Code - JUL151567 F MONSTER JUNKIES GN

ISBN: 978-0-9963872-0-0

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Scuttlebutt for July 8, 2015: compiled from press releases, web sites, etc.

SHEENA MOVES TO DYNAMITE: Dynamite Entertainment has completed an agreement with the current rights holders to publish original comic book and graphic novels for SHEENA, QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE.  The agreement also includes reprints of Sheena’s classic jungle fantasy material.  Her first new adventure at Dynamite will teaSheena Joe Jusko Paintingm her with Edgar Rice Burrough’s TARZAN.  Dynamite also obtained rights to statues, trading cards, action figures, lithographs/fine art and t-shirts featuing Sheena.

SHEENA, QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE is the 1937 creation of Will Eisner and S. M. Iger. She was the first female comic book character to carry a dedicated series, preceding WONDER WOMAN #1 by four years. The original series spanned 167 issues and twenty years.

 

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LACKLUSTER WORLD UPDATE:  We previously reported on the Kickstarter campaign to fund creator/writer/artist Eric Adams’ anthology.  The campaign has concluded, reaching the goal and earning $10,657 to fund the publication. Things are behind schedule for the original planned timeline, with books shipping in August.  October is the new goal, and surveys should be going out to backers next week.  Adams will be at San Diego Comic Con this week in the IP Pavillion at Booth #2203., showcasing some Lackluster World single issues and merchandise.

 

IS DEATH EVER PERMANENT IN THE WORLD OF COMICS?  Here’s your opportunity to see how things get handled in the Valiant universe with the debut next week of THE BOOK OF DEATH #1 of 4.  I have higher expectations based on how well Valiant has handled some mega-events and cross-overs so far.  They take it more seriously than some other comics companies.

BOD_001_COVER-A_GILL                     BOD-GEOMANCER_001_COVER-SAUVAGE

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.”The Valiant heroes. X-O Manowar. Bloodshot. Ninjak. The Harbinger Renegades. Unity. This is how they lived. This is how they died.

“Now we know. The Book of the Geomancer has recorded it all. But only a young girl – the last in a line of the enigmatic mystics who protect the Earth known as Geomancers – has seen this future come to pass, from the coming cataclysm to the dawn of the 41st century. Alone with her sworn protector, the Eternal Warrior – a soldier battle-forged across five thousand years of combat – the duo must defy their allies to stop the Dark Age that now threatens to eclipse our world.”

OK, then.  We’ll soon see (July 15th release date) how things play out. With writers Robert Venditti and Robert Gill plus artist Doug Braithwaite it should be a great read for sure.

If you’re going to follow this limited series, don’t overlook the BOOK OF DEATH: LEGENDS OF THE GEOMANCER #1 of 4 by writer Fred Van Lente and artist Juan Jose Ryp.  This series reveals the history of the Geomancers, and won’t be collected in the eventual trade paperback.

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DEVILS DUE TO UNVEIL SPECIAL PROJECT AT SAN DIEGO:  At San Diego Comic Con tonight it is preview night all over as well as at Booth #2001 where DEVILS DUE 1FIRST COMICS (partnership between old and new?) will be unveiled.  It also marks the penultimate deadline for another worthy Kickstarter program - - just seven days left to contribute to SCORCHED, artist/writer Ashley’s Witter’s creative project.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Free Comic Book Day 2015 Reviews 9: Tales Of Honor

Editor’s Note:  Why are we still reviewing Free Comic Book Day titles when that event is now two months in the past?  1) Because these books have a shelf life far beyond the event.  2) Collectors seek them out, and want complete sets of certain titles.  3) It’s an inexpensive way to check out some titles you might not want to risk spending your comics dollars on 4) The 2015 books have been exceptional, a banner year.  Just look at all the titles we gave high rankings too.  5) We are completists, and the job isn’t done yet!

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TALES OF HONOR VOLUME TWO, ISSUE ZERO  (Image /Top Cow May 2015)  Matt Hawkins, writer.  Linda Sejic, artist.  Troy Peteri, letterer.  Set in the Honorverse created by David Weber. www.tales-of-honor.com

COVER APPEAL: Simplistic yet appealing. A woman (the main character, Honor Harrington)  in a space-faring military outfit holds a big-ass gun with a spaceship exploding in the background.  Makes you curious to look inside. 2.5 Points.

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STORY: Based on the military science-fiction tales of David Weber featuring his signature female spaceship commander Captain Honor Harrington, this short tale set in the same universe in a great introduction to the genre. Space pirates. Slavers. Maneuvers and strategy.  I’ve read a few of Weber’s novels and this comics adaptation seems to make the heavy emphasis on military tactics a lot more interesting to me when there are illustrations rather than long, detailed explanations.  This lets you get into the story quicker without being bogged down with all the finer points. I actually like the comics adaptation better than the books.  3 Points.

ART: A very clean and stylish look.  It suits the subject matter.  The choice of panel sizes and positioning is particularly effective at moving the story along.  2.5 Points.

YOUTH APPEAL: Not sure at all that this will pull in young adults. Unless the visuals make a Star Wars like (not) connection and they get curious. 1.5 Points.

NEW READER APPEAL: It’s not hard at all to jump into this story and follow along without need of any background material. 3 points.

PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: All story and some cool graphics containing background info and maps.  The only promotion is for the other books in the series.  Nothing at all about what else Top Cow has to offer.  A missed opportunity here.  1 point.

BONUS POINTS: WOULD I PERSONALLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? Yes, with limitations.  OI would certainly suggest this to anyone I know who has an interest in space opera / military science fiction. It’s a great example of the genre and an easy introduction to novices. 2.5 Points.

FINAL RANKING FOR TALES OF HONOR:   16 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED