Wednesday, April 23, 2014

HARBINGER #22: Death Of A Renegade Part 1

EDITOR’S NOTE:  With just four issues to go, many new and curious readers will want to know if this is a proper jumping on point to check out this title.  It absolutely is.  I’m also reading this book out of sequence, and I had no trouble picking up the story and following it easily.  We’ll tell you just enough here to whet your appetite, and avoid spoilers.  Our regular exploration of this series will continue after this brief intermission . . . . . .

HARBINGER #22  (Valiant Entertainment, April 23, 2014 release date)  Writer: Joshua Dysart.  Art: Clayton Henry.  Color Art: Brian Reber.  Letters:  Dave Sharpe.  Covers: Michael Walsh, Zach Montoya, Barry Kitson

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          The credits page of every Valiant issue is a model of economy. Every book manages to summarize the story up to the current point in just a few paragraphs.  Even if a reader has never picked up a HARBINGER book before, the opening paragraph gets to the root of the main storyline . . . . .

         “Peter Stancheck was a young man with incredible psionic abilities and a history of drug abuse and mental illness.  Adrift in the world and on the run from the authorities, Peter had reached his nadir when a powerful businessman named Toyo Harada -  also imbued with amazing psionic abilities – recruited him for training at the Harbinger Foundation.  At the Foundation, Peter learned to shape his powers and sharpen his thinking, but he soon realized that Harada, the Foundation’s leader, had few qualms about using violence to achieve his ends.  Leaving the foundation forever, Peter found other psiots, and along with his childhood friend, Kris, formed a powerful team know as the Renegades.”     

           This is the first of three parts leading up to the final issue of HARBINGER, beginning the campaign by the Renegades to take the confrontation back to the opposition’s home-front with the intention of disabling the Harbinger Foundation. It also alludes to the upcoming death of a Renegade member and drops hints as to who that might be.  Again, the contents page informs the reader in a clear and concise fashion, and brings us right up to the current point in time . . . . .

“Recently a computer hacker named @X claimed responsibility for a world wide leak of Project Rising Spirit and Harbinger Foundation data, revealing the true nature of Harada’s instituion, as well as the existence of psiots. . . . . .  Local authorities nearly captured @X, but Peter and his band of Renegades intervened and rescued the young hacker. . . . . Seeking refuge in their underground base, @X revealed to the Renegades that he had planned to draw them out, hoping to join the band of young psiots in their war against Harada.  The Renegades quickly joined forces with @X, and began working on a plan to defeat Harada once and for all.”

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          There’s a budding (and physical) romance between Faith and Torque.  While Peter comes up with the big ideas and big plans, it still appears that non-psiot Kris is still acting as manager of the team and exerts much control/influence. There are still trust issues between Kris and Peter.   New addition @X gets involved in the battle plan immediately, as the Renegades plot to strike at the Harada facility in Pittsburgh, and have him extract as much data as possible.  Gotta love that nickname - - @X!  How appropriate as well!  What does an “axe” do?  Hack, hack.

     Harada amasses the majority of his forces in what he believes to be a frontline location for the upcoming battle,  and makes a passionate speech to bind them to his fanatical cause, portraying his organization as pacifists and the Renegades as war-mongering trouble-makers.  The Renegades team plan looks good on paper, and the opening moves include some activity that Harada was not expecting. But still, his fortifications are strong and his acting chief operating officer (Ion) is extremely powerful.  Harada’s team fights back and fights hard, managing to drive a splinter into the team that allows self-confidence to falter.

  It’s still not possible to tell who will get the upper hand, and while the closing pages seem to indicate which Renegade member is in the most danger, there’s still more story and battle to come.  It’s a very fast-paced and exciting story that won’t disappoint.  Highly recommended.

Extinction Parade Optioned for Television Series

. . . . . From the official press release . . . . .

April 23, 2014

Max Brooks and Avatar Press have announced Legendary Television and Digital optioned the New York Times Bestselling Author Brooks’ Extinction Parade as an original property for development as a new television series. Brooks is closely tied to the development of the project and will be writing the Pilot episode.

“I only brought the idea to one company, Legendary, because they do the kind of quality work of which any writer would be proud." stated Brooks.

"Max Brooks is a visionary with an incredible ability to tell stories that deliver a fresh approach to the horrors that haunt our nightmares. His work on Extinction Parade has been a stunningly rich tapestry of cultures in decline and a biting indictment of the perils of privilege. It will make the perfect television series to appeal to fans who have until now settled for thinly veiled soap operas parading as horror,” said William Christensen, Publisher of Avatar Press.

Legendary is the studio behind recent blockbuster film 300: Rise of an Empire and the upcoming release of Godzilla this spring. Their slate of film projects has firmly targeted the pop culture and comic book reading community and provided some of the best blockbuster genre movies ever created. They bring the ideal approach to adapting a hit property like Extinction Parade into a successful television series.

Brooks is known for his meticulously researched zombie fiction and is the author of the bestselling novels World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide. Recently World War Z was adapted into one of the biggest theatrical horror releases of 2013 and now Extinction Parade is set to follow suit as an upcoming television series.

"While the comic series from Avatar continues, I am thrilled to be working with Legendary to develop Extinction Parade into an innovative new series for television,” stated Brooks.

As these two fan favorite undead species prepare to make their television debut under the direction of Brooks’ definitive vision joining programs like The Walking Dead and Hannibal as the best horror on television, the first chapter of the Extinction Parade graphic novel series is set to premiere this coming July. The trade paperback collection offers a unique opportunity to step into the world of zombies vs vampires and experience a terrifying new chapter in horror.

Extinction Parade, a softcover graphic novel with color interiors is available for preorder from your favorite comic book retailer, Amazon, and B&N, 6.5″ x 9.5″, 160 pages is on sale 7/1/14. – ISBN 978-1-59291-234-6 $19.99 (US)

Max Brooks is a critically acclaimed author most widely recognized for his New York Times bestselling novels World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide. World War Z was adapted into a blockbuster theatrical release in 2013 and has an upcoming sequel in development. His graphic novel, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, is also a New York Times bestseller.

Legendary Entertainment Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world's most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $8 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit: www.legendary.com

Avatar Press is a groundbreaking independent publishing company which produces a wide variety of cutting-edge comic books, graphic novels, and original web content. Their high-quality publications include the work of such industry luminaries as Garth Ennis (Crossed, Chronicles of Wormwood), Warren Ellis (Freakangels, No Hero), Christos Gage (Absolution, Crossed), Kieron Gillen (Uber), Max Brooks (Extinction Parade), Jonathan Hickman (God is Dead), and Alan Moore (Neonomicon, Fashion Beast). For more information about Avatar Press, their publications, and creators, please visit www.avatarpress.


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Sometimes They Come Back

REVIVAL Vol. 1
Writer: Tom Seely
Artist: Mike Norton
Image Comics | graphic novel | $12.99
Image is one of my favorite publishing companies. Along with Vertigo and Dynamite, Image is a great place to find creator owned, non-capes and tights stories that are consistently compelling. Revival is the latest breakout hit from the same company that brought us such fan favorites as FataleElephantmenInvincible and Saga.
You might know Tim Seely as the writer of Hack/Slash and as the penciler of the New ExilesMike Norton has illustrated extensively for DC and has his own webcomic, Battlepug.
Revival is the story of a small town in Wisconsin where the dead are returning to life but it’s not a Walking Dead wannabe. When the dead rise they are just as you remember them, a doting grandmother, a son taken too soon or a dearly missed spouse. In a town that is under government quarantine, decried by the clergy and under siege from grave robbers looking for the key to immortality, Officer Dana Cypress is trying to solve a murder that may have been committed by the of the Revived.
The writing in the book often jumps from the main narrative to short vignettes of people in the town dealing with the otherworldly implications of the dead returning to life. While I usually don’t like straying far from the main narrative, Seely does a good job at this. Sometimes he weaves some minor characters into the main tale and other times the small stories help to flesh out the town while having unexpected payoffs. The art in Revival is clean but detailed. The flat tones help impart the noir feel the book is going for but also works well for action scenes of which there are many.
The book succeeds at turning the zombie genre on its head and exploring its novel premise with asides while moving the main story forward in the first trade. I eagerly anticipate buying the second.
Final rating (out of 5): 5_Star

From The Archives: continuing down the HARBINGER trail

Editor’s Notes:  Today marks the beginning of the end for the current HARBINGER series, with part 1 of a 3 part “Death Of  A Renegade” story arc in HARBINGER #22 that leads up to the final issue in July with HARBINGER #25.   I am still in shock to learn that my favorite Valiant title is going away, but also a little giddy with anticipation as I expect things to wrap up in a very big way.   If you haven’t been following the HARBINGER stories, I will review them all here so you can catch up.  Just make sure you score a copy of Issue #22 today!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

HARBINGER 2: A Valiant young Harada

          The new Valiant books are all worthwhile, combining engaging story and intriguing art. The best of the bunch is HARBINGER, which recently supplanted X-O MANOWAR as my favorite of the new titles based on recent issues.  Get them both - - but if you’re on a tight budget then pick up HARBINGERIssue #0, which drops in comics stores today (2/06)  is a great starting point.   Just in case you’re not a regular reader of this website, HARBINGER was named my PGHHEAD PICK FOR THE BEST REBOOT OF 2012 and you can read more about the first story arc in our Blog Archive for January 8, 2013.

          HARBINGER is a thoroughly entertaining look at the seemingly unlimited power of the mind as exhibited by various characters and epitomized by the two main protagonists - - the wealthy “humanitarian” Toyo Harada and Peter Stanchek the extremely powerful but uncontrollable rebellious student who didn’t last long before breaking out of Harada’s school for mentally gifted.  They are two defined opposites.  Consider careful planning versus spontaneous reaction.  Harada is a character you admire but don’t trust, and therefore have a hard time liking.  Stanchek is an unstable, unpredictable, disturbed character who also happens to be in possession of super-powers and uses them improperly - - and is even harder to really like.  But because of the scripting talent of Josh Dysart you become fascinated and can’t get enough of either one of them.

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HARBINGER #6 -8 (Valiant November 2012 – January 2012)  Writer: Joshua Dysart.  Penciler: Phil Briones (#6).  Art: Barry Kitson with Lee Garbett and Khari Evans (#7)  Art: Lee Garbett (#8)  Inkers: Andrew Hennessy with Phil Briones (#6).  Colors: Ian Hannin (#6). Color Art: Ian Hannin with Dan Brown (#7).  Color Art: Moose Baumann (#8). Lettering: Rob Steen.

There is one character that I can muster a little more warmth for = Kris Hathaway, Stanchek’s childhood “friend” who was telepathically manipulated to love him.  She was later freed from Peter’s mental control, leaving her feeling betrayed, angry, empty and used in the worst way.  Issue #6 shows her recovering from her mental funk and coming to terms with her situation.  She’s very smart and totally bored with school, but these are just “normal” mental powers that she developed through her own personal readings.  I’m reminded of Spider-Man a little bit by her situation.  She’s not living with relatives like Peter Parker did, but her family situation is shaky.  Her father is unemployed, uninsured and recovering from a stroke.  Her mom tries to manage the rising medical bills, hang onto their home while keeping the debt collectors at bay and hopes for spiritual support to get by.  Peter Parker used his super-powers initially to try and make some money to help his family.  Kris is a powerless Peter Parker.  Instead she uses the abilities of others to try and make/obtain some money and aid her family.  She opts to become the manager of Peter Stanchek’s life, help him plan his comeback/revenge on Harada, and grab some money (bank-robbing, etc.) as compensation for her efforts.  Okay, maybe she’s not totally righteous and proper but I’m still rooting her to come out on top.

          The other character to keep an eye on is Faith (who names herself Zephyr so she can realize her superhero fantasies).  Faith is an eternally optimist overweight high school misfit whose psiot powers are activated by Peter.  In gratitude for her feats of flight, she rescues a badly beaten Peter from what could have been a fatal confrontation with Harada. My second favorite line of Issue #6 is a thought caption from Kris: “Faith is a good name for this woman.”  (You’ll need to read it in context to fully appreciate it.)  My favorite line is also a thought caption from Kris regarding Harada:  “This man can do anything.  Kill anyone.  Affect everything.  And I ask myself, why is it considered heroic when a person with great power decides what’s right for the rest of us?”

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          The resourceful and becoming admirable Kris also gets the better of Harada while avoiding the next confrontation, and obtains the list of “rogue” psiots not under the protective umbrella of the Harada Foundation.  She then helps Peter start to form a group of Renegades so that his side will have a better chance next time. She seems to be the brains of this loose group and Peter begins to act a little more stable and less chaotic after allowing her to pull his strings.

         In Issue #7, the other secret organization interested in Peter and other psiots - the militaristic Project Rising Spirit – returns.  We meet some new latent psiots which Peter and Kris recruit and then activate.  There’s pole-dancing Flamingo with incendiary abilities.  Her initial meeting and back and forth trash-talking conversation with Kris is funny and not to be missed.  In Issue #8 we meet Torque, the dumb but strong and powerful protector of his crippled, bedridden brother.  Oh, wait - - the muscular guy may just be a projection made physical by the mental abilities of the guy with the useless legs.  This should be interesting.

          OK.  I’ve caught you up with events without giving away too much.  Remember to check out this next issue, which debuts February 6.  I was lucky enough to get an advance preview.

HARBINGER #0 (Valiant, February 2013)  Writer: Joshua Dysart.  Artists: Mico Suayan & Pere Perez.  Color Art: Brian Reber.  Letters: Dave Lanphear with Rob Steen.

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         Which brings us to this issue, and a great place to begin as well as a great place to continue.  “Few know the events that put Harada on the road to save the world from itself . . . and fewer still know why that mission is so personal” - - - and this issue gives us the details and background.

          Hiroshima, Japan August 1945 is when Harada’s powers were activated by the atomic bomb devastation during which he lost his family.  This issue flips back and forth between a very young and alone Harada finding his way (and his powers) where selfishness and corruption bloom anew amidst devastation.  These events probably turned Harada perceptions enough to help determine his future mission - - - however he learned way too early the power of violence and fear.  This background story contrasts with the present when an also young Darpa gets his first mission from mentor Harada and uses his powers to influence events in modern Syria.  It’s a dark little one-shot story that’s sure to make you want to look further within HARBINGER.

 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From The Archives: HARBINGER first story arc reviewed

EDITOR’S NOTES:  As we begin the final story arc of HARBINGER tomorrow with Issue #22 (April 23, 2014 release date) it’s time to revisit this landmark Valiant title.  If you aren’t already familiar with this book, maybe this reprint of a BC REFUGEES blog from January 08, 2013 will encourage you to check it out . . . . . 
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PGHHEAD PICK for Best of 2012: HARBINGER

           Every single one of the Valiant character revivals in 2012 was excellent.  I cannot say the same for all of the revived DC and Marvel titles of 2012 - - likewise for the other comics companies whose books I read last year.  So, Valiant was my choice to select as a “pick” for 2012 - - but which book ?  That was a tough choice.  While X-O MANOWAR was an early frontrunner, HARBINGER started out amazing and just got better with each issue.  So, my PGHHEAD PICK FOR THE BEST REBOOT OF 2012 is HARBINGER. **********

If you have over-looked this title you are missing one of the most engaging and different books among the current choices.  Valiant is wisely putting out the first-story arcs of their new titles in affordable $9.99 trade paperback editions.  Lucky you!   The HARBINGER Volume One trade paperback (Issue #1-5, “Omega Rising”) hits comic store shelves tomorrow!

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          HARBINGER provides an adventurous exploration of all aspects of enhanced mental abilities through the way that various characters utilize them.  They are referred to within the storyline as “psiots”; and exhibit powers of “telekinesis, levitation, spatial atomic distortion, electro-psychokinesis, etc . . .”  The two most prominent characters are both psionics = wealthy “humanitarian” Toyo Harada and fugitive Peter Stanchek, seemingly at opposite ends of the universal spectrum like Order and Chaos, or Ying and Yang.  There are also various scenes within the book that contrast how these two characters handle similar situations, beginning with the opening of Issue #1 which highlights two separate incidents when they were both 18 years of age.

          Things get intriguing from the get-go as it all begins in 1951 when a very young Harada (then 18) braves the unknown to uncover an uncharted monastery in Tibet, and holds off a heavily-armed security force with only the power of his mind.  He finally meets the “bleeding monk” who has inhabited and haunted his dreams and who aptly names his discoverer “harbinger”.  This new mentor (who later accompanies Harada back to the U.S.) can see into the future and describes Harada as “an unassuming wind . . . waiting to be whipped into a storm.”

          Those words foreshadow the panels introducing Peter Stanchek (18 years old in 2012), also battling some waking dreams as his mind acts like a radio receiver, constantly picking up the thought patterns of every single person within his perimeter of reception. (Issue #1 features a fantastic expressive cover which details a barrage of thought balloons bombarding Stanchek from all sides.)  Rather than meet his challenges head-on (as Harada did in Tibet) he seeks to muffle or conceal them by using pharmaceuticals to keep himself in a constant stupor.

          Toyo has a vision for the future and a purpose, and his every action is calculated to move those plans closer to fruition.  (Acquire the building blocks. Develop. Create events that move things forward. Control. )  Pete does not think beyond today, and his actions are immediate and more spontaneous rather than thought out or planned.  ( Satisfy immediate needs only. Get numb through sedation. Escape. Avoid.)

          So which of these two is the main character in this book?  And who should we root for?  The answer is both and neither.  As the story progresses it becomes clear that the fates of Harada and Stanchek are intertwined and dependent on each other (but not equally).  Toyo does have admirable qualities but you immediately sense that something much darker is hiding behind the curtain of his persona.  (One of the reasons I’m following this book - - I want to find out more).  There is even less to like about Pete - - - he’s dangerously unstable and an explosion waiting to happen.  He’s on the run and not sure where to turn.  We can understand his plight and empathize with his situations.  But we are unlikely to get warm and fuzzy in the way that issues of teen angst made us root for PETER PARKER, SPIDER-MAN.  Stanchek’s problems are self-induced and far removed from simple adolescent angst.  He’s a certified “nut job” (apologies to anyone who thinks I’m referring to them).  Sure, there have been mentally disturbed characters in comics before.  THE BADGER (First Comics, 1980’s) comes to mind as an extreme example.  However, he was crazy and funny at the same time. S tanchek is more crazy, and he’s not funny at all.  In fact, he’s realistic in a very frightening way.  Imagine a mentally disturbed person with super-human abilities.  (This is a another reason I’m following this book - - this makes it different than the usual fare).

          In the hands of a writer with average abilities these situations would seem more fantasy than reality.  We would not care because it would not feel real.  Writer Joshua Dysart is a master at this type of writing, and can make you feel it as if it is happening to you.  Watch and marvel at his style.  (Check out VIOLENT MESSIAHS and THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER for more evidence).  Artist Khari Evans brings a realistic style to this book that helps enhance the effect even further.

          There are several Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition) definitions for “harbinger” = 1) a person sent ahead to provide lodging;  2) one that pioneers in or initiates a major change (precursor), and  3) one that presages or foreshadows what is to come (forerunner).  Between Toyo Harada and Pete Stanchek, which one is the “precursor” and who is the “forerunner”?   Are they both “harbingers”? Let’s pile up some more evidence before deciding that.  Right now it seems able to go either way.

ISSUE #1 HIGHLIGHTS:

          We get the details on the duration and reason for Pete’s flight and meet his also conflicted companion.  We learn of the vast scope of Harada Conglomerates and their efforts to help prop up struggling world economies while providing humanitarian aid to areas of famine or political turmoil.  Pete is so disturbed (and lonely) and has struggled so hard to cope that he has to reach back eight years to find any instance of companionship or love.  He trashes that relationship and manipulates situations in the worst possible way. The panels in which this occurs will make you sad.  There are other organizations besides Harada Conglomerates that are looking for Stanchek and they may be equally dangerous. Pete’s “friend” Joe Irons is operating within an entirely different level of disturbed, and his personal state of confusion causes him to slip up and bring trouble to them both.  (They recently escaped together from a mental institution).  Toyo has the ability to project images and converse long-distance and communicates with Pete, who only sees a talking dog.  He can also mentally project an imaginary setting and make it seem real. T oyo explains his purpose and mission, and offers Pete a chance to join his organization and learn to control his powers, find happiness, perhaps . . . .”  Dysart crams so much information into the debut issue that it requires several readings to recall it all.  But it’s not clutter.  The script has a real flow with perfect pacing so you never notice how much goes on and how quickly it happens until you get to the last panel.

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ISSUE #2 HIGHLIGHTS:

          Harada’s mental powers surfaced during the Hiroshima bombing.  New character Darpan (“The Mirror”) can bring horrible memories to life again and incapacitate a person by doing so.  Phased electromagnetic pulses at a certain frequency will disrupt the nervous system of psiots.  (Good to know!)  Pete reveals more of his powers (a psychic wall with enough force to repel and propel assailants) to add to his thought-reception and mind control / memory wipe abilities.  Meet Harada team members Rachel Hopson, a psiot sensate with tele-link abilities and Edward Sedgewick (Stronghold), who draws energy from mass, pulling it from building structures, etc.  Pete accepts Toyo’s offer in exchange for a promise of safety for his friends.

ISSUE #3 HIGHLIGHTS:

          Peter gets assigned quarters at the Harbinger Foundation, the secret school where he hopes to learn to better control and develop his powers.  Meet new character Amanda McKee (Livewire), able to control machines with her mind.  Toyo gives more insight into his operation, explaining that it’s a “culture” more than a corporation.  The pre-cog powers of the Bleeding Monk still see Peter Stanchek as a threat.  Hidden Moon is the headmaster of the school and a psionic dampener.  The students access their specific powers through a painful process referred to as “activation”.  Ingrid Hillcraft is a telepath who conducts the psychological evaluations for the school.  Her consultation with Pete reveals that his powers manifested at an early age and in a violent way, when he was being taunted at a playground.  His efforts to bring out similar abilities in others cost him a family member. Eventually everyone became so afraid of him that (while still of elementary school age) he was put under the care of one mental institution after another.  Student Daniel Hessler (Ion) controls electricity.  Lunchtime and the social hour go badly for Pete.

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ISSUE #4 HIGHLIGHTS:

          New character teenage Faith Herbert is blond and big and lacks confidence, but seems to act on hope.  Training at the school reveals more of Pete’s powers: a mind whip called “the sting”, thought-transference, limited telepathy, and impact psychokinesis (the repelling wall of force).  He worries about his friends and begins to see them in hallucinations.  The board members at Harada have mixed opinions and are conflicted about how to best handle Stanchek.  Pete learns of the gruesome consequences as Toyo shows him an activation session that ends up failing.  Toyo suggests that Pete may be able to activate latents with his mind, thereby avoiding the dangers of the machine process. Pete manages (with unexpected help) to get away from the compound and then rebels when he learns the news about his friends.

ISSUE #5 HIGHLIGHTS:

          Toyo Harada does not seem to deviate from his professed calling to help engineer a better world.  But mixed in with his public projection as a great humanitarian/benefactor we see evidence of lack of compassion .  He seems a great contradiction.  The man who wants to help mankind will also easily accept risking the lives of others to achieve those ends.  Didn’t someone once say that “deeds, not words” take a true measure of a person?  If so then his stated intentions mask an inner heartless being.  Pete gets angry and turns extreme, forcing a showdown with Toyo.  He get help from those unexpected sources.

          As you may suspect, there is an awful lot of great stuff occurring in this title.  Just look how many words it took me to try and describe some of it to you !  The contents of Issue #1 alone would take multiple chapters of text to truly convey, but Dysart and the art team pull it off through the visual power of the comics medium.  Good stuff.  Get some for yourself.

 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Advance info on HARBINGER: shockers ahead!

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(Editor’s Note: I’ve been  a big advocate for HARBINGER as Valiant’s best title, not an easy choice to make as all their books are high quality.  After reading the first story arc multiple times (and loving it) I stock-piled the following issues, planning a marathon reading binge at some future point. After learning of these two upcoming developments, I feel the urge to begin reading HARBINGER again as soon as possible. Here’s the first announcement  - - only second in importance due to the nature of the next announcement. Without that, this would probably be an even bigger deal.)

          Per the official press release, writer Joshua Dysart  “has made no bones” about his plan to kill a member of Valiant’s beloved teenage heroes, the Harbinger Renegades . . . . . but who will fall?   The devastating answer will be revealed in a three-part milestone called “Death Of A Renegade”.   This begins this Wednesday, April 23rd, featuring more incredible artwork from Clayton Henry.  It’s been labeled as the “most powerful story Valiant has released to date.” 

 

 

HAR_022_VARIANT_KITSON                         HAR_022_VARIANT_MONTOYA

(Editor’s Note:  The following announcement is the one that has me shocked. On the plus side, I fully expect a dynamic story with a finite ending.  As a consolation, at least there will be two Harbinger mini-series scripted by Dysart to get us through the summer.)

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          Spinning out of the deadly consequences of "Death of a Renegade" in next week's HARBINGER #22, Valiant is proud to announce two major milestones coming this summer for the wildly acclaimed ongoing series HARBINGER by New York Times best-selling writer Joshua DysartAs detailed  at WonderCon 2014, the title will reach its long-planned finale with July's HARBINGER #25 – an oversized, anniversary milestone issue featuring the final chapter of Dysart's long-running confrontation between Harbinger's super-powered team of teenage Renegades and their omega-powered ex-mentor, telekinetic zealot Toyo Harada.

          "I've always tried to remind readers that these are kids and they're in over their heads and they've never been very good at what they do.  There's just repercussions to this kind of behavior even if you have superpowers," writer Joshua Dysart revealed in an interview with Comic Book Resources.   "That's what we're moving toward, we're moving toward that final statement – really saying that strongly for the reader, 'This is what the story was always about.' It was about inexperience in the face of great danger."


          Clocking in at a massive 48 pages, HARBINGER #25 will also feature the return of original series artist Khari Evans (Archer & Armstrong) – plus all-new stories and artwork from an incredible cast of talents, including Barry Kitson (Adventures of Superman), Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode), Lucy Knisley (Relish: My Life in the Kitchen), Riley Rossmo (Bedlam), Ron Wimberly (Prince of Cats), and many, many more.
Then, in August – out of the ashes of HARBINGER #25's devastating climax – find out what happens next to the most powerful players in the Harbinger universe as Joshua Dysart and heat-seeking artist Rafa Sandoval (Red Hood and the Outlaws) pick up of the pieces with an all-new, three-issue mini-series – HARBINGER: OMEGAS #1 (of 3) – that cloHAR_OMEGAS_001_COVER_LAROSAses the door on one generation of Harbinger Renegades…and prepares the foundation for another
.(Editor’s Note: Don’t forget the ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER mini-series as well.)


          "HARBINGER: OMEGAS is about both the surviving members of Harbinger and how they move on from the loss and the finality of the event at the end of the Harbinger book; and it's also about Harada rebranding, changing his empire, dismantling Harada Global HTC and refashioning himself as really, for lack of a better term, what we would see as a more traditional super villain in comics, because he hasn't been given a choice," said Dysart.  "It's a bridge story about the change in these environments and how we're going to get to the next chapter of the Valiant Universe."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dynamite debuts creator-owned titles in July 2014

from the official press release . . . . . . . . . .

JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV KICKS OFF A NEW CHAPTER AT DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT.  THE DEVILERS ARRIVING IN JULY FOR ONLY $2.99.

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April 18th, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite is proud to present the first book in a series of creator driven comics, featuring all new characters from the industry's best and brightest.  The Devilers is written by the acclaimed author Joshua Hale Fialkov, working with Dynamite for the first time, and accompanied by the incredible art of Matt Triano.

          Single issues in this line will be priced at $2.99, allowing fans the opportunity to affordably try all of the new series.  And to help retailers stock up with confidence, each launch issue will be completely returnable.  To sweeten the deal for fans and retailers alike, The Devilers #1 will feature covers by Eisner Award Nominee Jock and a beautiful retailer incentive by the masterful Marc Silvestri.  Be sure to look for The Devilers, coming this July to retailers and digital platforms.

          The following creator driven books are a small sampling of titles that will come after The Devilers, beginning August 2014 through 2015, to keep the momentum going, from the best comics has to offer:
Peter Milligan - Terminal Hero
Duane Swierczynski - Ex-Con
Andy Diggle, Angela Cruickshank, and Ben Oliver - Control
James Robinson - Grand Passion
More creators and titles are scheduled to be announced.

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          When the world is under siege from the pits of hell, it's up to The Devilers to set things right.  The world's greatest exorcists pit themselves against Satan's army, while all of creation hangs in the balance. From the writer of The Bunker, The Ultimates, and I, VAMPIRE comes a horror-fueled adventure through hell itself.

          "Fans of the work I did on I, VAMPIRE will find a continuation of a lot of the themes and ideas I started over there, but in a completely new package," says best-selling comic book writer Joshua Hale Fialkov, "It's been a blast to tell a big ol' supernatural horror adventure story again."

          "There's a great tradition of team books in comics and we've worked hard to continue that tradition here." - Joseph Rybandt, Dynamite Senior Editor.  "This series is the ‘Magnificent Seven' of different religious figures banding together to fight off an evil that will take all of their powers.  Joshua is an incredibly gifted writer who has proven that he can tackle any genre.  He has an impressive track record from Elk's Run and Tumor to his I, Vampire, Ultimates, Bunker comic series and more, and I will be biased in stating that The Devilers is his best work to date.  His writing is crisp and smart.  Add to that the incredible artwork that Matt Triano is delivering, and the unbelievably captivating covers by Jock, and you have an incredible series.  This is the first in an incredible line of creator driven books and we're launching off our creator-driven the line up with an incredible group of creators bring incredible passion for the launch series to help celebrate and usher in for the next chapter at Dynamite."

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          Joshua Hale Fialkov is the Eisner, Harvey, and Emmy award nominated creator of The Bunker, Tumor, Punks, and Echoes.  He was the writer of the critically acclaimed I, VAMPIRE for DC's New 52, and is an architect of the ULTIMATE UNIVERSE at Marvel Comics.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, daughter, two dogs, and a disgruntled cat.
The Devilers #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' May Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release on July 16, 2014.  Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Devilers #1 with their local comic book retailers.  The Devilers #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees announced

. . . Information courtesy of San Diego Comic Convention . . .

The awards will be given out in a gala ceremony on Friday, July 25, 2014 during Comic-Con International: San Diego.

From a personal perspective I have highlighted my favorites in italics.


Best Short Story

“Go Owls,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #13 (Drawn & Quarterly)
“Mars to Stay,” by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang, in Witching Hour (DC)
“Seaside Home,” by Josh Simmons, in Habit #1 (Oily)
“Untitled,” by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
“When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth,” by Matthew Inman, theoatmeal.com/comics/house

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

Demeter, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
Hawkeye #11: “Pizza Is My Business,” by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Love and Rockets: New Stories #6, by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Viewotron #2, by Sam Sharpe (self-published)
Watson and Holmes #6, by Brandon Easton, and N. Steven Harris (New Paradigm Studios)

Best Continuing Series

East of West, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta (Image)
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Nowhere Men, by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde (Image)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)

Best Limited Series

The Black Beetle: No Way Out, by Francesco Francavilla (Dark Horse)
Colder, by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra (Dark Horse)
47 Ronin, by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
Trillium, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)

Best New Series

High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
Lazarus, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Image)
Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Image/Shadowline)
Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
Watson and Holmes, by Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi, Paul Mendoza et al. (New Paradigm Studios)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas, by Philippe Coudray (TOON Books)
The Big Wet Balloon, by Liniers (TOON Books)
Itty Bitty Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)
Odd Duck, by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon (First Second)
Otto’s Backwards Day, by Frank Cammuso (with Jay Lynch) (TOON Books)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
Hilda and the Bird Parade, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
Jane, the Fox, and Me, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood)
The Lost Boy, by Greg Ruth (Graphix/Scholastic)
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, vol. 2, edited by David Petersen, Paul Morrissey, and Rebecca Taylor (Archaia/BOOM!)
Star Wars: Jedi Academy, by Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox (Graphix/Scholastic)
March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puviland (First Second)

Best Humor Publication

The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
The (True!) History of Art, by Sylvain Coissard and Alexis Lemoine (SelfMadeHero)
Vader’s Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Anthology

Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
Nobrow #8: Hysteria, edited by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro (Nobrow)
Outlaw Territory, edited by Michael Woods (Image)
Smoke Signal, edited by Gabe Fowler (Desert Island)
Thrilling Adventure Hour, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker et al. (Archaia/BOOM!)

Best Digital/Webcomic

As the Crow Flies, by Melanie Gillman, www.melaniegillman.com
Failing Sky, by Dax Tran-Caffee, failingsky.com
High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain), www.monkeybraincomics.com/titles/high-crimes/
The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies, lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.com
The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman, theoatmeal.com

Best Reality-Based Work

A Bag of Marbles, by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)
Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 1, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, by Peter Bagge (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—New

Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown)
Good Dog, by Graham Chaffee (Fantagraphics)
Homesick by Jason Walz (Tinto Press)
The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
War Brothers, by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance (Annick Press)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium

The Castle, by Franz Kafka, adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and Jaromír 99 (SelfMadeHero)
The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, adapted by by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
Django Unchained, adapted by Quentin Tarantino, Reginald Hudlin, R. M. Guéra et al. (DC/Vertigo)
Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, by Edogawa Rampo, adapted by Suehiro Maruo (Last Gasp)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint

The Creep, by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse)
Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, by Ben Katchor (Pantheon)
Heck, by Zander Cannon (Top Shelf)
Julio’s Day, by Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
Solo: The Deluxe Edition, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips

Barnaby, vol. 1, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
Percy Crosby’s Skippy Daily Comics, vol. 2: 1928–1930, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
Prince Valiant vols. 6-7, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
Society Is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch, edited by Jonathan Barli (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books

Best of EC Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Canteen Kate, by Matt Baker (Canton Street Press)
In the Days of the Mob, by Jack Kirby (DC)
MAD Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Will Eisner’s The Spirit Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

Adventures of a Japanese Businessman, by Jose Domingo (Nobrow)
Goddam This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)
Incidents in the Night, Book One, by David B. (Uncivilized Books)
Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
When David Lost His Voice, by Judith Vanistendael (SelfMadeHero)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia

The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Summit of the Gods, vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)

Best Writer

Kelly Sue DeConnick, Pretty Deadly (Image); Captain Marvel (Marvel)
Matt Fraction, Sex Criminals (Image); Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, FF (Marvel)
Jonathan Hickman, East of West, The Manhattan Projects (Image); Avengers, Infinity (Marvel)
Scott Snyder, Batman (DC); American Vampire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Eric Stephenson, Nowhere Men (Image)
Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist

Isabel Greenberg, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Little, Brown)
Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Bird Parade (Nobrow)
Matt Phelan, Bluffton: My Summers with Buster (Candlewick)
Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

Nate Bellegarde, Nowhere Men (Image)
Nick Dragotta, East of West (Image)
Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Nate Powell, March (Book One) (Top Shelf)
Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born: A Graphic Novel (Bantam)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

Andrew C. Robinson, The Fifth Beatle (Dark Horse)
Sonia Sanchéz, Here I Am (Capstone)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Ive Svorcina, Thor (Marvel)
Marguerite Van Cook, 7 Miles a Second (Fantagraphics)
Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

Best Cover Artist

David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
Mike Del Mundo, X-Men Legacy (Marvel)
Sean Murphy/Jordie Belaire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

Best Coloring

Jordie Bellaire, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero (Image); The Massive (Dark Horse); Tom Strong (DC); X-Files Season 10 (IDW); Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery (Marvel); Numbercruncher (Titan); Quantum and Woody (Valiant)
Steve Hamaker, Mylo Xyloto (Bongo), Strangers in Paradise 20th Anniversary Issue 1 (Abstract Studio), RASL (Cartoon Books)
Matt Hollingsworth, Hawkeye, Daredevil: End of Days (Marvel); The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Frank Martin, East of West (Image)
Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, Baltimore: The Infernal Train, BPRD: Hell on Earth, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, The Massive, The Shaolin Cowboy, Sledgehammer 44 (Dark Horse)

Best Lettering

Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW)
Carla Speed McNeil, Bad Houses; “Finder” in Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse)
Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)
Britt Wilson, Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake (kaBOOM!)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland, www.comicbookresources.com
The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
Comics and Cola, by Zainab Akhtar, www.comicsandcola.com [9]
Multiversity Comics, edited by Matthew Meylikhov, www.multiversitycomics.com
tcj.com, edited by Dan Nadel and Timothy Hodler (Fantagrapahics), www.tcj.com

Best Comics-Related Book

Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary, by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen (Bloomsbury)
The Art of Rube Goldberg, selected by Jennifer George (Abrams ComicArts)
Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, by Art Spiegelman (Drawn & Quarterly)
Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
The Love and Rockets Companion, edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

Best Scholarly/Academic Work

Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920–1960, by Nathan Vernon Madison (McFarland)
Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)
Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art, edited by Jane Tolmie (University Press of Mississippi)
International Journal of Comic Art, edited by John A. Lent
The Superhero Reader, edited by Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design

The Art of Rube Goldberg, designed by Chad W. Beckerman (Abrams ComicArts)
Beta Testing the Apocalypse, designed by Tom Kaczynski (Fantagraphics)
Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: A Panorama, by Joe Sacco, designed by Chin-Yee Lai (Norton)
Little Tommy Lost, Book 1, designed by Cole


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Friday, April 11, 2014

INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE needs your Previews pre-order

INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE #8  (Aazurn Publishing, June 2014)  $6.49 black and white illustrations, 64 pages.  Available only through Previews April pre-orders for June 2014 release dates.  Video preview of Issue #8 here . . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDktK9SRFk4    

     It’s been a long time (October 2013) between issues of INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE.  Comics readers interested in independent creator-driven works have had to explore the hard way - - through painstaking searches on the Internet.  What INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE does so well is to showcase some of the cream-of-the-crop creators in a convenient print magazine that makes it much easier to get acquainted with the works of these hard-working writers and artists.  What better way to get a good taste of what’s available should curious readers choose to invest further.

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            What makes this infrequently published magazine so valuable is that every well written short story inside its pages is prefaced with a short biography of the writer and/or artist and includes web addresses where interested readers can see and purchase more of their works.

     The magazine is available only through pre-order in the monthly PREVIEWS catalog with print runs limited to 1,000 copies.  That makes it essential for anyone interested in this title to put their pre-order in ass soon as possible through their local comic book shop.  As much as we’d like to say that you can pick this up from your favorite comics store, it’s highly unlikely to see INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE on their shelves.  Most stores are going to carry only what their customers pre-order, and then hold the copies for them.

          What those who decide to give this title a chance will see in Issue #8 are ten original illustrated tales of action, adventure, horror, folklore, crime, newspaper dailies,  and non-traditional super-hero fare as well as graphic expressionism.  We’ve been reading INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE on a regular basis and are beginning to recognize some of the regular contributors.  You will be treated to stories of rock bands signing their souls over to the devil (with art done in a cool Scooby-Doo style), philosophizing paid assassin/snipers, cocktail afficianados, weird zombies with an interest in ants, reprints of a high quality indie daily newspaper strip, tatoos and voodoo, an albino super crime fighter, and some more zombies.

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22 Days Until FREE COMIC BOOK DAY !!!

 

"SNOOCHIE BOOCHIES!"  Jay Mewes likes Free Comic Book Day!  See what Jay has to say about it! . . . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfHL1CIToQ0

View and preview all 60 FCBD comics at  . . . .

http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/981

Find a participating comic shop near you to celebrate FCBD using the locator at  . . .

http://www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator

Exclusive look at the FCBD comics Magic Wind and Entropy . . .

http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/206?articleID=147344

Dress up for FCBD like cosplayer JoePool is! . . . . . . . .

http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/206?articleID=145862

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Breaking News: Amazon acquires Comixology

>EDITOR'S NOTES: I'm not sure how I feel about this. I suppose if Comixology is allowed to operate with the same business model they utilize today then I am okay with it. I just hope Amazon shares the same attitude of co-operation and sharing that Comixology has with the small comic book store and independent creators. On the plus side it could open new marketing doors and help ensure the preservation of our beloved form of storytelling.>>

SEATTLE—April 10, 2014—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon.com today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire comiXology, the company that revolutionized the digital comics reading experience with their immersive Guided View technology and makes discovering, buying, and reading comic books and graphic novels easier and more fun than ever before.

“ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms,” said David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology. “There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”

“Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world,” said David Naggar, Amazon Vice President, Content Acquisition and Independent Publishing. “We’ve long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.”

Founded in 2007, comiXology offers a broad library of digital comic book content from over 75 of the top publishers as well as top independent creators. Following the acquisition, comiXology’s headquarters will remain in New York.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

About comiXology
ComiXology has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology’s Guided View™ reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become a top ten grossing iPad app in 2011 and 2012 and the top grossing non-game iPad app in 2012 and 2013. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from over 75 publishers – and independent creators as well – comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. ComiXology is based in New York City, with offices in Los Angeles and Paris.

About Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth ’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Amazon Fire TV is a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV for easy and instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, SHOWTIME, low-cost video rentals, and much more. Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s best-selling and most advanced e-reader. It features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers. Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, features improved fonts and faster page turns. The new Kindle Fire HDX features a stunning exclusive 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2x more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features of Fire OS 3.0 including X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor and dual speakers at a breakthrough price.


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