Saturday, June 28, 2014

First State Comic Con Guest Profile: GREG LAROCQUE

First State Comic Con.

 

What are you doing this Sunday?  For a mere $3 U.S. funds, you can spend the afternoon rubbing elbows with like-minded comics enthusiasts, score some bargains on back-issues, and meet and greet various writers, artists and creators. Don’t forget to stop by the FIRST STATE COMIC CON in Delaware this weekend.  Head over to the Mill Creek Fire Hall, this year’s host of the First State Comic Con, located at 3900 Kirkwood Highway, Marshalltown, Delaware from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Among the more notable guests attending is comics artist Greg LaRocque, also a veteran of several decades in the business.

 

          Greg LaRocque is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and began his comics career in 1980 with Marvel Comics.  His work at Marvel incudes MARVEL TEAM-UP STARRINGlarocque-florida-supercon-848x315   SPIDER-MAN; WEB OF SPIDER-MAN; THE AVENGERS; and POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.

          LaRocque obtained even more recognition after moving to DC Comics where he became the ilarocque flashllustrator for the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES scripted by Paul Levitz. LaRocque then illustrated THE FLASH with writer William Messner-Loebs from 1988 through Issue #79 (written by Mark Waid).

           Greg also earned a reputation for quality work in the independent comics realm, having for for Exliled Studio, London Night Studio, Peregine Entertainment, Realm Press, Catfish Comics and Avatar Press.  In 2010, he helped launch the revival of Dave Cockrum’s FUTURIANS for David Miller Studio, and illustrated the cover.   LaRocque also exhibits his art, most recently at Gallery Provocateur in Chicago, which conincided with his appearance at the 2010 Chicago Comic Con.

larocque legions        

One of his most notable independent works is the creator-owned THE EXILED, a 3 issue min-series, which preceded CRYBABY, the first color book for Exiled Studio.  LaRocque followed this up with EXTINCTION, an 80 page graphic novel, and THE DREAMING, both from Exiled Studio.

       While still in school in Baltimore, Greg was hired at the age of 17 to be an assistant art teacher at the Professional Institute of Commercial Art.  His work as an illustrator and designer has included detailing Sponge Bob Squarepants, Bugs Bunny, Batman, Justice League, Harley Davidson, and the Grateful Dead.  Greg receives commission work from various countries, including Italy, Spain, Canada, the UK, France and the Phillipines.

laraocque spideys

Friday, June 27, 2014

First State Comic Con Guest Profile: NEIL VOKES

 

First State Comic Con.

 

What are you doing this Sunday?  For a mere $3 U.S. funds, you can spend the afternoon rubbing elbows with like-minded comics enthusiasts, score some bargains on back-issues, and meet and greet various writers, artists and creators. Don’t forget to stop by the FIRST STATE COMIC CON in Delaware this weekend.  Head over to the Mill Creek Fire Hall, this year’s host of the First State Comic Con, located at 3900 Kirkwood Highway, Marshalltown, Delaware from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Among the more notable guests attending is comics artist Neil Vokes, also a veteran of several decades in the business.

        

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 Neil Vokes debuted in 1984 in the early days of Comico, a major independent publisher at that time whose books were sold through news stands, book sellers, and comic shops (back before they went to a distributor to comics shop system). Along with inker Rich Rankin they adapted the Japanese cartoon-based ROBOTECH MASTERS for American audiences.  From there, Vokes and Rankin teamed up again on EAGLE, self-published under the Crystal Comics imprint.

   When the black and white comics market went dry, Vokes went to work for a variety of publishers. As he told it to Comic Vine in an interview several years ago:  “ Among the many comics I've drawn:  SUPERMAN ADVENTURES with the legendary Terry Austin;  TARZAN THE WARRIOR with old friends Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel;  Douglas Adams' LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING;  ADVENTURES OF THE MASK with that demi-god of inkers, Jay Geldhof;  UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN, with writers Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern (and Jay again on inks);  JONNY DEMON with Kurt;  CONGORILLA (yes, I said Congorilla) with Steve Englehart and Jay (you seeing a pattern here?); NINJAK with Kurt and lil bro,Mikey Oeming;  JURASSIC PARK with Engleheart and old friend Rich;  the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES;  PARLIAMENT OF JUSTICE with Mikey; THE BLACK FOREST 1 & 2 and THE WICKED WEST 1 & 2 with good friendsvokes-ninjak Todd Livingston and Bob Tinnell-I've left quite a few out due to space and humility...well, ok, just space. “

   Among his most notable projects are the re-boot of NINJAK with Kurt Busiek for Acclaim Comics (who purchased the publishing rights to Valiant’s creations with the intention of creating video games based on the characters. Acclaim later folded up shop, and Valiant was absent for many years.)  A complete departure from the original Ninjak as developed by the Jim Shooter edited Valiant Comics, Busiek and Voke’s NINJAK was notable for its angst-plagued teenage hero and meshing of video games with comics.  (The current Ninjak at Valiant Entertainment has reverted back to the original template – assassin for hire.)     A good example of Vokes at his best would be PARLIAMENT OF JUSTICE, a collaboration with a then-young Mike Oeming.

Vokes Flesh   Blood

   More recently, Vokes is working again with writer Robert Tinnell on FLESH AND BLOOD a four volume series for Monsterverse which features classic monsters and classic characters  (Baron Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, Van Helsing, etc.) in a story spanning several decades that also pays homage to vintage Hammer horror films.  Three volumes have been published so far, in what in this editor’s opinion is the absolute best work of Voke’s career so far.

    Neil is a resident of New Jersey, and along with his family is a regular participant and guest of Free Comic Book Day at Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, Delaware, along with other events in the area.  In fact, he is in possession of a trophy noting his longevity as a guest artist for Captain Blue Hen.   You can visit Neil at his blog: http://vokesfolk.blogspot.com

 

NeilVokes_WWD07b

Hell Never Looked This Good

GHOST RIDER: THE ROAD TO DAMNATION
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Clayton Crain
Marvel Comics | TPB | $19.99
Once I saw Ghost Rider: The Road to Damnation, I knew I had to pick it up, it had my dream team of writer and artist. Garth Ennis is best known for Preacher but has worked on books such as Punisher Max and is currently closing out his series, The Boys. His upcoming project is Red TeamClayton Crain first got my attention when he illustrated Carnage USA, he has also worked on various Spider-Man titles.
Ghost Rider is a character that should be awesome. A flaming skull and a bad-ass bike all against the backdrop of the greatest story ever told, absolute good vs. absolute evil. Instead often times, we get a ripoff Ghost Rider penance-staring into the Hubble telescope like the last volume. Or we get flashbacks to Chicago style gangster Ghost Riders and British flying ace Ghost Riders like the volume before that. Let’s face it, more often than not, Ghost Rider sucks. If anyone could make him cool again, it had to be Ennis.
In this six issue mini, the Ghost Rider is sprung from his eternal torment in Hell by an angel with his own agenda. Hunting down an escaped demon who is seeking to bring on the Apocalypse all while racing against both Heaven and Hell’s agents, the Rider must be the first to bag his prey or he will be cast back down into the pits.
The writing in this book is classic Ennis. The story has asides of brutal things happening to minor characters. The person responsible for summoning the demon is a truly despicable oil executive who is so disgustingly evil, he actually somehow breaks the mold for evil executives. The bounty hunter for Hell, in particular, is hilarious.
The art in the book is absolutely amazing. Although some people criticize Crain’s digital style, he is my favorite artist. The book has clean lines and is totally saturated in color very similar to Carnage USA. The depictions of Hell are terrifying and not in the least bit hackneyed. If you like his work as much as I did, be sure to pick up Rai #1 from Valiant (now in its third printing, likely due in part to Crain's art). 
Easily the best Ghost Rider series out there, The Road to Damnation is everything you want in a GR book and nothing you don’t. For example, The Rider never reverts to Johnny Blaze even though Blaze is the host.  Sadly, Blaze has never resonated as a leading man and Ennis’ bold decision to not focus on him at all pays off. The religious overtones here are played to great effect, reminding me of Ennis’ other masterpiece, Preacher.  My only complaint is that Ennis didn’t do more than six issues.  Like PunisherGhost Rider seems like a book that Ennis could become the iconic writer for and save the character from obscurity. Here’s hoping their paths cross again.
Final rating (out of 5): 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

First State Comic Con Guest Profile: David Michelenie

First State Comic Con.

 

What are you doing this Sunday?  For a mere $3 U.S. funds, you can spend the afternoon rubbing elbows with like-minded comics enthusiasts, score some bargains on back-issues, and meet and greet various writers, artists and creators. Don’t forget to stop by the FIRST STATE COMIC CON in Delaware this weekend.  Head over to the Mill Creek Fire Hall, this year’s host of the First State Comic Con, located at 3900 Kirkwood Highway, Marshalltown, Delaware from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Among the more notable guests attending is comics writer David Michelinie, a veteran of several decades in the business.

david_michelinie_pic

         Michelinie is best known for his legendary scripting of several key storylines at Marvel for The Amazing Spider-Man and Iron Man titles.  Some of his earliest work appeared in DC’s House Of Secrets as well as a run of Aquaman stories in Adventure Comics which helped lead to a renewal of Aquaman’s own book in 1977.  Madame Xanadu was first introduced to readers in Doorway To Nightmare #1 ( 1978), developed by Michelinie and Val Mayerik.

         

demon

Michelinie later moved over to the Marvel stable, where along with artist Bob Layton they received recogniton and acclaim for their two runs on Iron Man in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The “Demon In A Bottle” storyline brought Tony Stark’s issues with alcoholism to the forefront.  Later Micheline and Layton developed all the specialized armor variants, a trend which continues to this day.

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, David Michelinie was the prime writer on The Amazing Spider-Man, working with such noted artistic talents as Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, and Mark Bagley.  He introduced the super-villains Venom and Carnage, as well as presiding over Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson.

spideyjpg                  spider-man-vengeance-venom-david-michelinie-paperback-cover-art

In fact, Michelinie made comics history with that issue. Both Michelinie and artist Paul Ryan are the only comic book creators to have been involved in the wedding issues of both Spider-Man and Superman (to Lois Lane in 1996).

  Michelinie later returned to DC and helped launch Justice League Task Force before becoming the feaD mich 2tured writer of Superman in Action Comics (1994+).  He then became a key writer for the first era of Valiant Comics in the 1990’s. working on the titles Turok: Dinosaur Hunter; H.A.R.D. Corps; and Rai.

Michelinie later teamed up with Bob Layton and Dick Giordano to launch Future Comics,  short-lived comics company.  Since that time he has been involved in several mini-series for Marvel, including Iron Man: Legacy Of Doom.

 

 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Value-priced Dynamite 10th Anniversary Comics digital variety package benefits charities, including CBLDF

from the official press release . . . . .

HUMBLE DYNAMITE 10TH ANNIVERSARY BUNDLE COLLECTION
REWARDS FANS WITH VALUE-PRICED COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

PROMOTION ALSO BENEFITS THREE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS - THE COMIC BOOK
LEGAL DEFENSE FUND, MAKE-A-WISH, AND DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

Dynamite no ent no yellow

June 25, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  To celebrate their first decade of comic book publishing, Dynamite Entertainment launches its first ever Humble Bundle promotion which will allow fans to purchase over 100 digital comics books and graphic novels (the largest Humble Bumble comics collection in history) at a cost of each person's choosing, granting existing and new fans significant purchasing power.   In keeping with the tradition of promotions hosted and arranged by Humble Bundle, Dynamite will contribute a portion of the proceeds to three important charitable organizations, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

ArtOfRossHC

          The Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Bundle event begins Wednesday, June 25th, at 2:00pm EST, and runs through Wednesday, July 9th, at 1:59pm.  Every day at 2:00pm throughout the promotion, a digital comic book will be made available as a free download to fans, kicking off with a free digital copy of Red Sonja #1 - written by fan-favorite author Gail Simone (of Batgirl and Wonder Woman fame). . . . . .  https://www.humblebundle.com/books

     Dynamite is proud to announce that, through the Humble Bundle, the following titles will be available to purchasers at a price they personally determine.   While full descriptions can be found at the Humble Bundle website, it's noteworthy to point out the high caliber of contributing authors in this assortment:  Warren Ellis (Planetary, Moon Knight),  Grant Morrison (Batman, Happy!),  Tim Seeley (Batman: Eternal),  Fred Van Lente (Incredible Hulk),  Mark Millar (Kick Ass, Ultimates),  Amanda Hocking (of the paranormal Hollowland series),  Bryan Johnson and Walter Flanagan (stars of AMC TV's Comic Book Men show), and much more.

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• Amanda Hocking's The Hollows: A Hollowland Graphic Novel (Multiple Issues)
Chaos #1
Cryptozoic Man (Multiple Issues)
The Mocking Dead Vol. 1 (Multiple Issues)
My Little Phony: A Brony Adventure
Project Superpowers Vol. 1 (Multiple Issues)
Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1: The Trial of Sherlock Holmes (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Masters Series Vol. 1: Grant Morrison & Mark Millar (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Masters Series Vol. 2: Warren Ellis (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Vs. Fluffy

     As the Humble Bundle event proceeds, additional titles will be added, and customers will be notified of the updates.   The additional titles will be unveiled at a later date.

     To anchor the promotion, the Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Bundle will offer the following selection of comics and graphic novels to those consumers who "beat the average" of buyer-determined pricing.   Boasting an impressive list of contributors such as Kevin Smith (filmmaker of Clerks and Chasing Amy), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Jim Butcher (of the bestselling Dresden Files novels), Bill Willingham (Fables), Alan Moore (Watchmen), and more, this list includes some of the most acclaimed and beloved titles in the Dynamite roster.

WildCardsV1
• George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards: The Hard Call (Multiple Issues)
• Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: War Cry #1
• Kevin Smith's Green Hornet Vol. 1 (Multiple Issues)
• Kevin Smith's Green Hornet Vol. 2 (Multiple Issues)
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure (Multiple Issues)
Pathfinder Vol. 1: Dark Waters Rising (Multiple Issues)
Red Sonja Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues (Multiple Issues)
Vampirella Masters Series Vol. 4: Alan Moore (Multiple Issues)

     As a final incentive for fans to buy into the program, the Humble Bundle offers two highly desirable items, The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time (the latter of which includes over 35 issues), only available to those buyers who exceed a fixed pricing threshold.  With over ONE THOUSAND pages of gorgeous full-color artwork between them, these two epic titles make fantastic additions to any readers' digital library.
The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross
• Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Vol. 1 Complete Series (Multiple Issues)
 

     "Marking our tenth year of publishing, 2014 has been very special to everyone here at Dynamite, as we reflect back on all our hard efforts, and look forward to the accomplishments and new heights to come," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment.   "Our Humble Bundle promotion runs through July, leading up to our anniversary month, as a way to celebrate and reward current fans (and entirely new fans) with accessible, entertaining digital comics at an incredible price.  With the wide attention that Humble Bundle generates, we hope to reach outside our market to attain new readers of both digital and printed comics, helping our overall industry to grow."

     Regarding the partners in the program, Barrucci adds, "I applaud Humble Bundle for their innovative collection program, and am proud that Dynamite is one of the premiere comic publishers to participate in their program.   Also, thanks to the additional charity aspect of its structure, we are working hand-in-hand with the Humble Bundle organization and socially-conscious fans to support three incredible organizations - the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and Make-A-Wish - in their worthwhile efforts."

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     Reflecting on the Humble Bundle program, CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, "Ten years of Dynamite!   Congratulations to Nick Barrucci and his tireless crew on this outstanding milestone!   We're so grateful to be a part of the celebration, and thrilled that the comics people buying into this Humble Bundle will help CBLDF continue to do important work protecting the freedom to read comics."

     Thanks to the generous contributions from customers, Humble Bundle has enabled the community to contribute more than $39 million to charity so far.  "With the advent of our new Book tab on Humble Bundle in May, the interest from publishers to participate in our Book program has skyrocketed," says Kelley L. Allen, Director of Books at Humble Bundle.   "It became very clear to me instantly that Dynamite would be an excellent fit for a bundle and we are absolutely thrilled to be kicking off Dynamite's tenth anniversary celebration with this ebullience mega-bundle of comics."

     Proceeds from the Humble Dynamite 10th Anniversary Bundle will contribute to three very worthy charities.   The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers.   Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is a private international association, comprised mainly of doctors and health sector workers, that delivers emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care.   The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization that grants the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions, significantly changing the lives of the children and their communities by inspiring hope, courage, and further philanthropy.

About Dynamite Entertainment:
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more.   Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.   In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent.   Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Project Superpowers - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors.   In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011.   The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

About Humble Bundle:
Humble Bundle organizes pay-what-you-want plus charity promotions for awesome digital content and puts the power directly in the hands of the consumers, offering them fully-featured titles at prices they set themselves.  Consumers pay what they want and decide how to allocate their money between content creators, charity and a humble tip.   Humble Bundle also offers the Humble Store, a digital storefront that features great games at great prices with a portion of sales going to select charities.  Thanks to the generous contributions from our community, we have enabled our community to contribute more than $39 million to charity so far. For more information, please visit https://www.humblebundle.com.

 

Chu, Dale, Gerhard, Randall all added to Baltimore guest list

from the official press release . . . . . .

Baltimore Comic-Con Welcomes Amy Chu, Jeremy Dale, Gerhard, and Ron Randall!

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - June 23, 2014 - Come to the Baltimore Comic-Con's premiere inaugural three-day event, September 5-7, 2014, at the Baltimore Convention Center!

     Adding to an already vast variety of guests, we are proud to welcome to our show Amy Chu, Jeremy Dale, Gerhard, and Ron Randall!

     Amy Chu has recently written for DC Comics' Vertigo Quarterly: Cyan #1.  She is also the creator of the Alpha Girl Comics anthology series, Girls Night Out, and the horror mystery The VIP Room. A frequent speaker at conventions, she was a member of our "Self Publishing Panel" along with Jimmy Palmiotti, George O'Connor, Danielle Corsetto, and Carolyn Belefski at last year's Baltimore Comic-Con.

Jeremy Dale is best known for his artwork on G.I. Joe comics for Hasbro and IDW as well as the Harvey Award-winning Popgun v.1 from Image Comics and Miserable Dastards from Dial C for Comics (recently optioned as a feature film).  He is currently working on several projects, including the creator-owned Skyward series through Action Lab Entertainment. 

Gerhard is renowned for his fantastic background artwork and environmental design on the indie comics masterpiece Cerberus the Aardvark.  Working with creator Dave Sim, Gerhard was responsible for creating the lush landscapes in which the storyline took place, starting in issue #65 and working for 20 years on nearly 5,000 pages.

Ron Randall started his professional career at DC Comics with a two page back-up story in Unknown Soldier, which was followed by stories in Sgt. Rock, The Warlord, Arak, Son of Thunder, and Swamp Thing.  He is well-known for having created Trekker at Dark Horse Comics back in 1987 for Dark Horse Presents, and he published the character again in a new serialized version of the same title starting in 2013.

     "Amy, Jeremy, Gerhard, and Ron really add some unique flavor to our guest list," said Marc Nathan, promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con.  "They're fantastic talents, every one, and really reinforce the pioneering spirit of creating something new and unique!"

     This year's previously confirmed guests for the show include: Marty Baumann (Pixar artist); Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl); Mark Buckingham (Fables); Dave Bullock (Batman Black and White); Greg Capullo (Batman); John Cassaday (Doc Savage); Bernard Chang (Green Lantern Corps); Sean Chen (Amazing Spider-Man); Jimmy Cheung (Infinity); Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman); Frank Cho (X-Men:  Battle of the Atom); Richard Clark (House of Gold & Bones); Steve Conley (Bloop); Alan Davis (Wolverine); Rachel Deering (In the Dark); Todd Dezago (Tellos); Tommy Lee Edwards (Star Wars); Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys); Ray Fawkes (Constantine); David Finch (Forever Evil); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (All-Star Western); Dave Gibbons (Watchmen); Keith Giffen (The New 52: Future's End); Bryan JL Glass (Mice Templar); Michael Golden (The Ravagers); Cully Hamner (Animal Man); Dean Haspiel (The Fox); Fred Hembeck (Garfield); Adam Hughes (Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan); Justin Jordan (Luther Strode, Green Lantern: New Guardians); Dan Jurgens (The New 52: Future's End); Barry Kitson (Empire); Aaron Kuder (Action Comics); David Mack (Shadowman); Kevin Maguire (Guardians of the Galaxy); Alex Maleev (Moon Knight); Billy Martin (Vitriol, The Hunter); Ron Marz (Witchblade); Bob McLeod (X-Men: Gold); Tradd Moore (Deadpool Annual); Mark Morales (New Avengers); Dan Parent (Archie, Veronica, Kevin Keller); David Peterson (Mouse Guard); Joe Prado (Justice League); Brian Pulido (Lady Death); Tom Raney (Incredible Hulk); Ivan Reis (Aquaman and The Others); Budd Root (Cavewoman); Don Rosa (Donald Duck); Craig Rousseau (Perhapanauts); Joe Rubinstein (The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe); Andy Runton (Owly); Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man); Louise Simonson (Power Pack); Walter Simonson (Thor); Andy Smith (Superman #23.1: Bizarro); Allison Sohn (sketch card artist); Charles Soule (Thunderbolts); Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity Revelation); Ben Templesmith (The Memory Collectors); Peter Tomasi (Batman and Two-Face); John Totleben (Swamp Thing); Herb Trimpe (GI Joe:  A Real American Hero); Billy Tucci (Shi); Rick Veitch (Saga of the Swamp Thing); Mike Vosburg (Lori Lovecraft); Mark Waid (Daredevil); Lee Weeks (Daredevil); Bill Willingham (Fables); Renee Witterstaetter (Joe Jusko: Maelstrom); Thom Zahler (My Little Pony); and Mike Zeck (Secret Wars).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Valiant promotes Executive Editor Warren Simons

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

          JUNE 24, 2014:  Valiant Entertainment today announced that Executive Editor Warren Simons has been promoted to the position of Editor-in-Chief.  Since joining Valiant as Executive Editor in 2011, Simons has overseen the relaunch of the resurgent publisher's comic book line with an array of best-selling, critically acclaimed series including X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot, Archer & Armstrong, Unity, Rai, and more.

VALIANT_simons_headshot

         In his new role as Editor-in-Chief, Simons will continue to preside over all day-to-day operations of Valiant's editorial department, and manage Valiant's growing editorial team.  Additionally, Simons will also continue to edit a stable of Valiant's flagship series and special projects, including Rai, Unity, Harbinger, X-O Manowar, and this summer's Armor Hunters crossover event.

         "Warren has been an enormous asset in Valiant's tremendous success.  He's built one of the most talented rosters of creators anywhere in comics today, and has played an integral role in accomplishing the numerous critical and commercial successes that Valiant has achieved in a very short time," said Valiant Chairman Peter Cuneo.

          "Warren has played an essential part in making Valiant one of the most well-regarded and formidable publishers in the industry.  Our exceptional success to date has built the perfect platform for future growth.  We have even bigger plans for the next three years.  The future is bright for Valiant and we're proud to have Warren playing an even bigger role," said Valiant CEO and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.

          "Valiant is a company that was built and defined by some of the greatest visionaries in the medium, and it's an honor to be named Editor-in-Chief at this extraordinary publisher," said Simons.  "It's an absolute privilege to work alongside such incredibly talented and dedicated colleagues and creators every day.  In the last three years, the teams have helped fashion a new, bold voice in the industry, and 2014 is going to be an amazing year for Valiant and our fans. I'm energized and excited for what's on the horizon."

          One of the most critically acclaimed editors in the comic book industry today, Simons spent seven years at Marvel Entertainment, revitalizing some of the publisher's classic properties to great critical and commercial success.  Simons' credits during this time included Invincible Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, Immortal Iron Fist, and Sensational Spider-Man – titles which garnered numerous Eisner and Harvey Award nominations.

VALIANT_logo

         During his tenure at Valiant thus far, Simons' co-architected the hugely successful revival of the Valiant Universe – the third largest library of its kind in comics – beginning with X-O Manowar #1 by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti and Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord in 2012. Selling in excess of 50,000 copies, the issue ranked as one of the year's best-selling new series from an independent publisher, and was followed in quick succession by the "Summer of Valiant" – a slate of new ongoing titles, including Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong, that each debuted to rave reviews and sold-out status.

          After multiple awards and nominations, including a 2012 Diamond Gem Award for Publisher of the Year, Valiant forged even farther in 2013 with the debut of its first crossover event, Harbinger Wars, and the release of Unity #1 by writer Matt Kindt and artist Doug Braithwaite – the year's highest charting debut  issue from a non-premier publisher with sales in excess of 70,000 copies.  Just this past May, Valiant followed up with "Valiant First" – an all-new line of titles led by the smash-hit ongoing series, Rai, and its biggest crossover event to date, Armor Hunters.

ABOUT VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

          Valiant is a leading character-based entertainment company with a library of over 1,750 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman, Eternal Warrior, and many more. Established in 1989, Valiant has sold over 80 million comic books, and today its characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond.  Since its summer 2012 relaunch, Valiant has returned to the fore as one of the most highly regarded publishers in comics, winning a 2012 Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year.  Outside of the United States and Canada, Valiant titles are published in a number of languages and territories internationally, including Brazil, Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, China, and others.  Visit them online at ValiantUniverse.com.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rat–A-Tat: Short Blasts of Pulp - genre fiction showcase

EDITOR’S NOTE:  BC Refugees has great respect for classic pulp fiction and admires any attempt to revive this format, which embraces or enfolds many genres: action adventure, detective, crime, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and western.  From their home base in Arkansas, since 2010 Pro Se Press has done much to keep the format alive.  We feel honored to share the news of their latest and very ambitious plans.  We plan to update our readers on happenings at Pro Se on a regular basis . . . . . .

Pro Se Productions announces the release of one of its most interesting collections yet. Multiple genres get the Pulp treatment in stories of three thousand words or less in Rat-A-Tat: Short Blasts of Pulp. Like Bullets from a Tommy Gun, Pro Se Productions delivers Pulp like no one else in Rat-A-Tat: Short Blasts of Pulp.

Rat a Tat

          Today’s best Genre Fiction authors pull their fedoras down tight, charge their laser blasters, and barrel full speed ahead into Rat-A-Tat.  This collection features short short fiction designed to illicit the same emotions, the same edge of the seat thrill, the same action
and adventure as classic Pulp stories and New Pulp novels.  Thrill to Pulp delivered in quick, sharp blasts from a rogue’s gallery of authors:

Russ Anderson, Jr. . . .Ralph L. Angelo, Jr. . . Mark Gelineau                                               David White . . . Jaime Hudson . . . Philip Leibfried
Nick C. Piers. . . Teel James Glenn . . .Joel Jenkins                                                              James Bojaciuk . . .Edward J. Indovina . . . James Hopwood
Adam Lance Garcia . . . Logan L. Masterson . . .Kevin Rodgers                                                 H. David Blalock . . . A. Stuart Williams . . . James Kinley
Ken Janssens . . . Mark Bousquet

Rat-A-Tat: Short Blasts of Pulp featuring an atmospheric cover by David L.
Russell and cover design and print formatting by Percival Constantine is now available
in print on Amazon for $12.00.  The collection of flash pulp fiction is also available
as an eBook designed and formatted by Russ Anderson on Kindle exclusively
for only $2.99.

pro se logo

Writers Wanted

          Always striving to provide more of the best in Genre Fiction and New Pulp for you, Pro Se Productions has a continual list of anthologies and imprints open for writers to submit to.  We like to call it The Pro Se Open.  If you’re a writer interested in the possibility
of writing for Pro Se, check the Writers Wanted section (
http://prose-press.com/pro-se-open/) regularly to see if projects are still available and to keep up with all the new concepts open for submission from Pro Se Productions.

          Stories must be 10,000 words in length.  A proposal of 100-500 words must be submitted to submissions@prose-press.com.  Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals.
Authors whose proposals are accepted must submit the first four pages of their accepted stories as quickly as possible for review by Pro Se staff.  Final deadline for completed stories is 90 days following acceptance of proposals.  For more information on the
submission process, go to
http://prose-press.com/pro-se-open/.

Here is a sample of a recent submission call . . . . . . . . . .

EXPLORER PULP:  Pro Se Productions announces today an open call for
stories centered around a character that appeals to the curiosity, wanderlust, and thirst for adventure everyone has.  Authors are invited to dig into lost pyramids, excavate forgotten temples, and uncover forgotten civilizations and unknown dangers in Explorer Pulp.

          Pro Se is seeking stories that focus on those adventurers that seek treasure, knowledge, or a mixture of both in far away lands, hot jungles, frozen tundra, wherever on Earth secrets might hide.  The stories must be set anywhere from 1800 to the present day and the plot of the story must be an intentional exploration, not someone falling into a mystery by finding a map in a wall or other such conceits.  The men and women these tales will be about should preferably be adventurers at heart and explorers of some kind by trade. Explorer Pulp is scheduled for publication in 2015.

ALTERNATIVE AIR ADVENTURES: An innovative publisher of Genre Fiction, Pro Se
Productions reveals plans for an anthology that has its roots in Classic Pulp Fiction, but with a twist. The company announces open call for submissions for its very unique Flight tale collection, Alternative Air Adventures.
 

         Imagine that the Wright Brothers never built their airplane. Or that no airplane or helicopter, for that matter, ever got off the ground.  Stories for Alternative Air Adventures must look at a world where flight has indeed been achieved, but neither
by anything resembling an airplane or a helicopter. Zeppelins, hot air balloons, and many other things definitely fit the bill. It can be set as early as the mid 1800s all the way through today and must center around an aviator type hero. Just no planes or
whirlybirds allowed. Alternative Air Adventures is an opportunity for authors to really break loose and for all sorts of premises to come in.

          Alternative Air Adventures will feature stories set from approximately 1860 to the present day.  The central hero must be an aviator of some sort and air travel/flight must be a significant part of the story. Airplanes and helicopters are off limits for use and
Pro Se Productions may disqualify any proposal for hewing too close to using airplanes or helicopters. These stories may include supernatural or extraterrestial elements, BUT the mode of flight that is featured in each tale MUST be feasible scientifically, not utilizing any alien technology, mystical machinations, or other extranormal means of activity. Alternative Air Adventures is scheduled for publication in mid to late 2015 by Pro Se Productions.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Baltimore Comic-Con Announces On-Site CGC Grading for 2014

from the official press release . . . . .

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - June 19, 2014 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is excited to announce that Certified Guaranty Company, LLC (CGC) will be on-hand to conduct on-site grading at this year's show.  The show, which is expanding this year to three days, will take place the weekend of September 5-7 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

          According to Harshen Patel, Director of Operations for CGC, they will be accepting submission for all tiers of service - with the exception of Magazines - on a first-come, first-serve basis for all three days of the show.  In addition to the on-site grading, CGC will be partnering with Classic Collectible Services (CCS) to also offer attendees of the show on-site pressing service.

          "The Baltimore Comic-Con has always been such a successful show and CGC has shared in that success over the years," said Patel.   “With the show moving to 3 days, it was only natural for us to offer on-site grading to the collectors and dealers attending this year."

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          "We couldn't be happier to have CGC exhibiting at the show," said Marc Nathan, show promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con.  "The services that they provide in the collectible community are invaluable, and having them on-hand to provide on-site grading and pressing will make many of the show's attendees very happy!"

Pricing information for on-site services will be available as we approach the show date.

About CGC

Founded in 2000, CGC is the first independent, impartial, third-party comic book grading service.  A proven and respected commitment to integrity, accuracy, consistency and impartiality has made CGC the leader in its field.  In fact, in 2007, CGC crossed the million-book mark and has now graded over 2 million comic books.

Because we value our relationship with collectors who share our passion for comics, the hobby's vibrant history and its exciting future, we offer membership in the CGC Collectors Society.  Paid membership starts at $39 per year, and includes direct submission privileges, access to expert tools and resources like the Comics Registry, and dynamic interaction with fellow collectors.

To learn more about Certified Guaranty Company and its many offerings, including magazines, lobby cards, and photos, visit www.certifiedguaranty.com.

Explosive film-maker puts his hands in Dynamite !

Zorro-A

Django-A

from the official press release . . . . . .

June 18th, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:   The acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino comes to Dynamite for the first time with a sequel to his film Django Unchained, as Django meets the legendary Zorro.  Known for his incredible films that are uniquely "Quentin", such as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, Django/Zorro will stand-out from every comic book coming out this year.

            Django/Zorro is co-plotted by Quentin Tarantino and  comic book legend  Matt Wagner (Mage, Grendel, The Shadow, Zorro).   Reginald Hudlin, writer of the Eisner Award nominated Django Unchained screenplay adaptation and a producer of the Django Unchained film, will be working closely with Quentin and Matt as the editor of Django/Zorro. Stay tuned for information on Django/Zorro, set for release later this year from Dynamite Entertainment and DC Entertainment.

          "I'm very very excited about both this story and the opportunity to work with Matt.   It was reading his Zorro stories that convinced me what a good idea it was to join these two icons together.   And the story idea weDynamite-logo came up with is thrilling, and I think will be an exciting new chapter for both characters." said director Quentin Tarantino
"This project is an absolute thrill," adds writer Matt Wagner.   "When Quentin and I first met, it felt like we'd known each other for years.   The give-and-take energy of our initial story sessions was just incredible!   It's a particular buzz to be writing Zorro once again…and especially to team him up with the magnetic lead character from Quentin's most straight-up heroic movie, Django Unchained.  The Wild West is never gonna be the same once these two come to town!"

          "This series is the first time Quentin Tarantino explored the continuing adventures of one of the characters from his films," states Django Producer Reggie Hudlin.   "That he would do it in a comic book demonstrates his love and appreciation of the medium.  Quentin is not just a comic collector - he's got a spinner rack in his house!"

          "First and foremost, this is a dream project to have both Quentin and Matt, both master storytellers, collaborate for the first time by bringing the scope of cinema to the comics medium," says Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci.   "I can't express how happy I am to co-publish this series with DC Entertainment, and release what is sure to be THE Cross-Over event of the year."

          "We are excited to see that our Eisner-nominated Django Unchained movie adaptation has inspired Django's appearance with Zorro and are pleased to be part of what is sure to be a highly-anticipated crossover event," stated Hank Kanalz, Senior Vice President of Vertigo and Integrated Publishing, DC Entertainment.

          "In previous adventures, Zorro's rich history has teamed him up with the Shadow and with the Lone Ranger, as well as many other iconic characters," said John Gertz, CEO of Zorro Productions, Inc., "But this will be his greatest meeting yet!   Django and Zorro are the perfect team, and so are Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner.  It is an honor for us to work with these two masters of their craft."

           "Django Unchained captures the same spirit as Zorro -- namely, that the bad guys get what's coming to them," says Keith Davidsen, Marketing Manager of Dynamite Entertainment.  "We're a culture that has thrilled to, and thrived on, the swift and brutal justice of the vigilante.  In the deft hands of mind-blowing filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and master storyteller Matt Wagner, the explosive comic book pairing of these two Western icons will surely satisfy that most guilty pleasure."

Django-B                  Zorro-B

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pro Se has ambitious plans for pulp revival

EDITOR’S NOTE:  BC Refugees has great respect for classic pulp fiction and admires any attempt to revive this format, which embraces or enfolds many genres: action adventure, detective, crime, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and western.  From their home base in Arkansas, since 2010 Pro Se Press has done much to keep the format alive.  We feel honored to share the news of their latest and very ambitious plans.  We plan to update our readers on happenings at Pro Se on a regular basis . . . . . .

New Pulp Delivered Hard and Fast - - Pulse Fiction Debuts            from Pro Se Productions

pulsefiction

          Pro Se Productions proudly announces the release of the first volume in a new series two years in the making.  Want stories that will get your heart racing, your blood pumping?  You’ll find them in Bishop and Hancock’s Pulse Fiction Volume One, available now from Pro Se ProductionsPulse Fiction takes the best of the past and shakes and stirs it with today’s finest Genre Fiction writers.  Encounter a cast of characters created by Bishop and Hancock and written into four color, over the top life by Eric Beetner, Barry Reese, D. Alan Lewis, Brian Drake, James Hopwood, and Hancock.  Just like the bygone magazines of the past, Pulse Fiction brings rich, vibrant characters embroiled in death defying adventure to readers, characters that will return in later volumes crafted by these and a whole myriad of other authors.

          “This,” says Hancock, “is not simply a homage to the classic Pulp tradition or those digests from the 1950s and 60s.  Although these stories are definitely ‘pulpy’ in every sense of the word, they also ring with a modern resonance and relevance.  These tales are certainly products of the past as well as the present and the authors we’ve gathered blend the two effortlessly.”

Bishop And Hancock’s Pulse Fiction Volume One is available in print at Amazon and through the Pro Se Store at http://tinyurl.com/n2jyob2 and features a fantastic cover by Jeff Hayes with cover design and print formatting by Percival Constantine for only $12.00. The collection is also available for $2.99 as an E-book formatted and designed by Russ Anderson on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.smashwords.com

Pro Se Single Shot Signature Digital Line Debuts                                    with Jake Istenhegyi, the Accidental Detective

accidential detective

          Pro Se Productions proudly announces the debut of the first series in its highly anticipated Pro Se Single Shot Signature line of digital singles.  Mystery, magic, and madness come together explosively in author Nikki Nelson Hicks’  A CHICK, A DICK, AND A WITCH WALK INTO A BARN, the first tale in Hicks’ Jake Istenhegyi, the Accidental Detective series.

          When Jake Istenhegyi inherited a used bookstore in New Orleans, he thought he had finally found a haven.  Thousands of miles away from the political unrest in Budapest as well as his mother’s gypsy clan that had hounded him since he was a boy.  Here, he could hide away and spend his days reading and drinking coffee in peace and quiet.  The American Dream come true, right?

          Then he rented out a room to Barrington “Bear” Gunn, WWI vet and aspiring gumshoe who dreamed of living the life of his pulp heroes, Spade and Marlowe.  Bear bartered his services to people in very low places and, in the end, pulled Jake down with him, enrolling him in a business that never goes out of business: fighting evil.

          A CHICK, A DICK, AND A WITCH WALK INTO A BARN is the first in Hicks’ Pro Se Single Shot Signature Series featuring her original character, Jake Istenhegyi, The Accidental Detective.  With cover and logo design by Jeff Hayes and E-bookk design and formatting by Russ Anderson, the book is available for 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, www.smashwords.com, and other ebook outlets.

Keep watching this blog site.  More new releases will be featured here.

Prose Logo

Writers Wanted

          Always striving to provide more of the best in Genre Fiction and New Pulp for you, Pro Se Productions has a continual list of anthologies and imprints open for writers to submit to.  We like to call it The Pro Se Open.  If you’re a writer interested in the possibility
of writing for Pro Se, check the Writers Wanted section (
http://prose-press.com/pro-se-open/) regularly to see if projects are still available and to keep up with all the new concepts open for submission from Pro Se Productions.

          Stories must be 10,000 words in length.  A proposal of 100-500 words must be submitted to submissions@prose-press.com.  Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals.
Authors whose proposals are accepted must submit the first four pages of their accepted stories as quickly as possible for review by Pro Se staff.  Final deadline for completed stories is 90 days following acceptance of proposals.  For more information on the
submission process, go to
http://prose-press.com/pro-se-open/.

Here is a sample of a recent submission call . . . . . . . . . .

ORIGINS & ENDINGS
Pro Se Productions announces an open call for submissions to a uniquely themed anthology-Origins & Endings.
          It will contain an equal number of first stories and last stories. The tales must be ‘Pulp’, in that they should be well paced plot driven tales with larger than
life characters.  Stories must either be the first adventure of the character or the final story of the character the author chooses to use. Characters can either be original and introduced in this anthology or they can be the proposing author’s existing characters already
published elsewhere.  If using an already established character, the story written for this volume must be original to this work, no reprints or shallow rewrites of already existing stories allowed.  Also, the stories in this volume will not be flashbacks, but the actual first
or last escapades of the character involved.
          Origins & Endings is scheduled for publication in mid to late 2015 by Pro Se Productions.

Keep watching this blog site. More submission calls will be published here.

Best of Wednesday 6/18/2014: HARBINGER #24

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  There will be no spoilers here. We believe every reader with an interest in reading a well-crafted follow-up to a major setback will want to read this issue. We intend to provide just enough information to encourage you to visit your local comic shop today.

HAR_024_COVER_LAROSA

HARBINGER #24  (Valiant Entertainment, June 2014)  “Wake”.  Writer: Joshua Dysart.  Artist: Khari Evans.  Colorist: Brian Reber,  Letterer: Dave Sharpe

          For a proper handling of the impact of death on surviving family members, you would be hard pressed to find a better example in comics than HARBINGER #24.  Unlike other publishers,  the death of a Renegade team member in Issue #23 is meant to be permanent in the Valiant universe.  That becomes more apparent as you read on in this issue. You can also see the beginning of the end as the threads that kept the team together begin to unravel.

            One Renegade member made the ultimate sacrifice in Issue #23, giving up their life in order to save another.  Issue #24 opens as some surviving team members come out of concealment and find each other four days later. Another beautifully illustrated image occurs on page 2 as one survivor carries away the charred husk of their fallen teammate in some of the saddest panels in comics you may ever view. This may leave another imprinted impression that will stay with readers whenever they think of this book.

          Readers are returned to the battle between Peter and Toyo from last issue.  There is also a battle of words occurring here that is very revealing of each character and may result in as much mental damage as their physical bodies are feeling.  An unexpected source interferes in their battle above one of Pittsburgh’s three rivers, and neither member scores a victory as they leave the battlefield - - most likely to return and perhaps continue until only one remains. For now, both are feeling used after receiving new information from the unwelcome referee.  Both are also bearing the physical scars of battle and struggle to maintain their former healthy appearances.

HAR_024_VARIANT_HENRY

   The survivors continue to talk and share memories, and then the confessions come out about their true feelings and intents.  This is all overheard by Peter who has concealed himself in order to recover his shape. There is an underlying implication that everything is coming apart and everyone may go their separate ways. Peter does his best to make his farewell speech to each member.

    In their brief time together, the Renegades worked as a force for change and a hope for all impounded psiots.  With the help of new recruit @X, the impact of their exposure of Harada and Project Rising Spirit is only beginning to be realized.  The concluding words of @X to the world press are prophetic:  “This is the end of our childhood as a species.  Now we must change our idea of what is real, and so I say to you again  . . .  Your culture is dead.  Your governments are tired.  Your dreams are small.  Your only hope is an end to secrets.  And a new era of self-governance. Your download begins now.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Catching up and cracking up with THE AUTEUR

 

THE AUTEUR #3  (Oni Press, May 2014)  THE AUTEUR #4  (Oni Press, June 18 2014 release date)  Written by Rick Spears.  Illustrated by James Callahan.  Colored by Luigi Anderson.  Lettered by Sick Rears.  www.onipress.com 

   The madcap parody of Hollywood (and to a lesser degree. modern society) that is THE AUTEUR continues in sarcastic fashion with Issues #3 and #4, leading up to the Issue #5 conclusion of the first story arc (more, perhaps?  . . . Please?) entitled “President’s Day”  (not in honor of the holiday, but the name of director/producer Nathan RexAuteur 3’s latest exploitation movie).   As with previous issues, this is intended for mature adult audiences (just the ones that read comics, mind you) and comes with the contents page disclaimer: “The shocking scenes you are about to see are not suggested for the weak or immature.:”  (Who’s left after that?) 

       Writer Rick Spears is sick, in a good way.  The script he brings up and spews out is like a breath of fresh air to those readers used to more semi-serious but still fantastic fare.  THE AUTEUR is grounded in reality (no super-heroics here) but it’s a reality as shocking as the real world can be  - - as long as it’s viewed through hazily tinted shades hiding bloodshot, hallucinogenic eyes.  Not since Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas has there been a tale as paranoid, weird and wacky as THE AUTEUR.  The art team of Callahan and Anderson is a perfect choice to illustrate and color this frantic fable.  The style will remind of classic MAD magazine (when it was an EC comic) and the wonderfully creative Little Annie Fannie  (a parody of Little Orphan Annie that ran for many years in PLAYBOY magazine).

       Having served as self-appointed defense for a serial killer in Issue #2, desperate producer Nathan Rex hires the bloody murderer as a special consultant to the “President’s Day” film.  In Issue #3, crazed killer Darwin decides to stand in for the actor wearing the President Lincoln mask and costume and takes method acting far too seriously.    Prior to this the opening pages feature an audition for the female lead portrayed in titillating fashion.  True to form (this is an exploitation flick, after all), it’s an audition of breasts (panel after panel, oh my).  

The Auteur #4_Page_01

    After the action scene becomes too raw and realistic, Nathan takes Darwin aside and gives him some pointers : “No more killing the cast!  If you must, keep it to critics, and agents, and anyone in development.”  A disappointed Darwin makes a side trip to the beach and takes out his frustration on a school of sharks. (Hard to tell the difference between them and Hollywood agents, I suppose). 

   Here’s another funny line / sequence:  Nathan then gets his sights on the attractive woman (Madame Coconut) that  he spotted (and dreamed about) from Issue #1.  As he tries to recruit her to replace the leading lady (and also charm her into sleeping with him) he introduces himself: “Nathan Rex.  I’m in pictures.”  The response:  “Coconut.  I fall from The Auteur #4_Page_07trees.” 

         Despite the developer’s keen interest in the film after viewing the dailies with new director Rex, Nathan has a change of heart and decides to turn “President’s Day” into a modern romance.  He attempts to transform the script based on his own lust-filled desires and motivations.  Of course, nothing can describe his heartfelt emotions like a great on-screen explosion.  (He’s also hoping that at the appropriate moment, this could be meant to seem like the earth just moved for the object of his affections.) However, there is a bit too much in the stunt, and the earth actually moves.

  How he will overcome this latest setback to the production is anybody’s guess.  The answers (and surprises, I’m sure) await us in the forthcoming last chapter in Issue #5. 

In addition to a great story and art, the covers to THE AUTEUR have been very expressive.  Both Issue #3 and #4 pay homage to the classic chest –burster from the ALIEN  films.  If you can’t be bothered to pick this up monthly, at least pick up the eventual trade paperback!