Kids Love Silverline!

Or they will, after these two OGNs, which debut in August. We’re at a good time at the moment, where publishers recognise the need for quality all-ages comics. BOOM! is doing well with their Disney books, and Archaia’s recent partnership with the Jim Henson company means Dark Crystal, Fraggle Rock and Labyrinth comics are on the way too. Silverline is an imprint of Image Comics and has been putting out good, high quality kid’s books for a while now, such as the excellent Dear Dracula. These two new books look as intriguing as their titles claim them to be. Press release below.

 

SILVERLINE BOOKS DEBUTS TWO NEW CHILDREN’S GRAPHIC NOVELS, THE LAVA IS A FLOOR AND TIMOTHY & THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL, THIS AUGUST!


Silverline Books expands line of children’s graphic novels with THE LAVA IS A FLOOR and TIMOTHY & THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL!


This August Silverline Books, the children’s graphic novel imprint from Image Comics, debuts two all-new titles showcasing the human side of two very fantastic situations, THE LAVA IS A FLOOR by writer Justin Shady with artist Jeremy R. Scott and TIMOTHY & THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL by writer Michael Bullock with artist Michael Metcalf!

“I was immediately impressed with the way THE LAVA IS A FLOOR and TIMOTHY & THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL both appeal to a child’s sense of humor, while the vivid imagery captures the imaginations of new and reluctant readers alike, ” Silverline Publisher Jim Valentino said. “Both books give unique twists on the everyday experiences of children, making them enjoyable for both kids and their parents.”

Silverline Books continues its tradition of bridging the gap between comics and children’s story books for a new generation of fans with THE LAVA IS A FLOOR and TIMOTHY AND THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL.  THE LAVA IS A FLOOR is the story of a brother and sister troubled by a typical childhood dillema; they’re bored.  Although these are not your typical sibling duothey’re monsters living in the crater of a volcano!  Using their imaginations they pretend to be the strangest creatures they can think of: humans!  In TIMOTHY AND THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL, a young boy named Timothy soon finds out that with a seemingly normal beach towel he can transport himself to other worlds and times, including into the midst of an inter-galactic war! 

THE LAVA IS A FLOOR (JUN090325), a 32-page full color hard cover book for $12.99, will be in stores August 5, 2009. TIMOTHY AND THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL (JUN090327), a 112-page full color book $16.99, will be in stores August 26, 2009. For more information please see http://www.silverlinebooks.com.

The Lava is a Floor

Timothy and the Transgalactic Towel

Comics On Comics With Don Murphy

The Comics on Comics crew are really getting the big names these days for their amusing and casual pop culture love-ins. Details, and a classy trailer for the event,  below.

Comics on Comics Live w/ Transformers Executive Producer Don Murphy this Saturday June 27 @ Meltdown Comics in Hollywood!
Autobots, Rollout! On Saturday, June 27, it’s Comics on Comics vs.Transformers at Meltdown Comics!
 
Host Juan-Manuel Rocha welcomes mega-producer Don Murphy(TransformersTransformers: Revenge of the FallenShoot ‘Em Up), animation and video game writer/producer Flint Dille (GI JoeTransformers), along with comedians Tom Franck (Comics and Comics), Asterios Kokkinos(Cracked MagazineNPR’s Marketplace) and Claude Stewart (Comics UnleashedLast Comic Standing) as they explore The Transformers’ cultural impact and social significance, the movie adaptations, and all things giant robot!
 
The taping begins at 8pm and admission is FREE! Be sure to show up early to grab a good seat!
 
You can RSVP for this event on facebook or you can find us online here.
 
Meltdown Comics is located at 7522 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.
 
For general inquiries, please email press@comicsoncomics.com.
 
About Comics on Comics:
 
Comics on Comics is a WebTV series where “The Greatest Comic Minds Meet The Greatest Minds In Comics.” The show, which gathers three professional comedians and one comic book creator for a round-table discussion of the latest comic book news, is hosted by Juan-Manuel Rocha and is taped in front of a live audience.Comics on Comics is produced and distributed by Retcon Media.

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Marvel Goodies

Here’s two free comics for you, from Marvel. Press release below, plus a few nifty covers of issues going on sale tomorrow. If you want to see Marvel’s full list, click the link at the bottom.

AgentsOfAtlas_01Marvel is proud to announce the debut of Agents of Atlas #0 today, available free to all fans courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Collecting three new-reader friendly short stories from Secret Invasion: Who Do You TrustDark Reign: New Nation and Agents of Atlas #7, all written by critically-acclaimed scribe Jeff Parker, you’ll get the answers to your questions! Who are the Agents of Atlas? What role did they play in Secret Invasion? What’s their new mission during Dark Reign? And just what’s it like to take a peek inside the mind of the enigmatic Mr. Lao? Find out here.

Plus, we’ve made Agents of Atlas #1 live on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited—and it’s free to check out! Find out why Kevin T Brown of ComicsBulletin.com raves, “I’m going to be recommending this book to everyone I know. It looks like Marvel has struck gold once again” You can check it out here.

If you haven’t checked out one the years most acclaimed new series, now’s your chance—don’t miss Agents of Atlas #0 and Agents of Atlas #1 for free courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited at www.marvel.com/digitalcomics

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Pocket Guide To The Bible Review

Pocket Guide to the BibleRelevant Books was a spin off of the Relevant magazine that combines two of my favourite things – God and pop culture, though it’s a site for those who aren’t really passionate about either too. Their Books divisions stopped in 2006, when this was released, but there’s still catchy books available, with titles such as The Naked Christian and Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, But Nobody Wants To Die.

I picked up Pocket Guide To The Bible at a Christian book shop last year and I finally finished it. It’s just less than 200 pages but I sped through this like a hot lunch. Written by Jason Boyett (who also wrote two Pocket Guides one on Adulthood, and one on the Apocalypse) this digest sized book is funny. Yes, funny. Sure it helps if you’re familiar with God’s greatest book but Boyett managed to make me laugh more than when I watched Role Models. That was a very unfunny film anyway, but my point remains. Boyett is a guy after my own heart. He speaks to the iPod, broadband, gaming culture with plenty of Gen X and Y references and an approach that’s refreshing without ever resorting to mockery. It’s obvious this guy has done his homework, as this is basically a condensed form of all that the Bible is. The good bits, the bad bits, the confusing bits and the strange bits. Boyett has unashamedly embraced them all with equal relish.

It’s broken down into tidy chapters such as an A-Z of characters, a summary of what happens in the Old and New Testaments, a history of all the translations over the centuries and a few crazy lists straight out of a late night talk show. It’s punctuated with his casual approach that makes you seem like you’re in on a witty conversation with an old mate. There’s also some great quotes about Scripture from such notables as C.S. Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, philosopher Immanuel Kant and Mark Twain (“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”)

I was pleasantly surprised by what surprised me. The history of the different translations since 900 BC and all the translators that were brutally killed for daring to bring God’s Word to the “common folk” is astonishing, and it’s filled with tidbits such as the fact that The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien helped translate the Jerusalem Bible in the 1960s.

The book speeds through centuries of history like a bullet train and it made me want to read more of the Bible to really grasp it. Some will undoubtedly be offended, but to those people I say, “Lighten thee up!” It’s hard to pick my favourite pages, but here goes.

From Boyett’s list of Five Health Conditions That Sound Absolutely Awful – smited bowels, and bloody flux. From Nine Miscellaneous Things You Must Not Do, According To The Law Of Moses – eat a bat, audibly mock the deaf or attempt to trip the blind, or pity a woman who gets her head cut off because she grabbed the genitals of a man who was attacking her husband. Remember, this is all from the Bible, and Boyett uses Scripture to support it all. He’s not making all this up! The best of the rest (of the lists) Seven Lesser-Known Bible Stories That Probably Shouldn’t Be Told To Children, The Four Best Moments For Donkeys, Nine People God Smites, Seven Phrases From The Book Of Judges That Would Make Awesome Band Names. (The Nether Springs, Forsake My Sweetness), and Ten Common Phrases With Biblical Origins. Of course, how could I not mention One Statement By Paul That, When Taken Out Of Context, Makes Him Sound Relatively Hip – “Peace to the brothers.”

Boyett’s also not averse to getting real with it and explains that the raunchy Song of Solomon book is an actual account of two lovers. As Boyett explains it is, “what amounts to the Hebrew Kama Sutra, starring Solomon and his nubile lover. For kicks, here’s a lyrical sample, spoken by the female, “Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Uh..her “garden?” Not really a garden. Bomp-chicka-bow-wow.”

Sure it’s light hearted, but Boyett is both respectful and entertaining. He doesn’t write anything that will make most Christians throw this in the bonfire with The DaVinci Code. It’s a pleasant reminder that, like His followers, God too has a sense of humour. However, looking at all His mysterious and loving ways throughout history, He at least knows what He’s doing.

In an interesting side note, Boyett has just signed a deal with a different publisher, so the existing book is available now from him (and cheap too!), or you can wait until August when the new edition is released from Jossey-Bass. Either way – get this book.

Supanova 2009

Last year was the first time the Supanova Pop Culture Expo visited the sunny shores of Perth, Western Australia. Apparently we broke Melbourne’s attendance and surprised everyone with how many geeks were hidden in the Perth suburbs.

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This year we can show ’em again. Held once more at the Claremont Showgrounds on July 3-5 there’ll be a few anime voice actors as well as Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings), Jake Lloyd (Anakin from Episode 1), and Gil Billingham from Twilight. Honestly though, the big one for fanboys will be Dave Gibbons – artist on Watchmen. They’ll also be premiering the Wonder Woman animated feature (a premiere for Oz at least) and the Watchmen Motion Comic, which I’ve seen and is way cooler than you may think. The schedule for the screenings, signings and panels can be found here, which includes the details of the original Battlestar Galactica trio reunion. Of course, there’ll be heaps of vendors too selling DVDs, shirts, toys, games and comics, naturally, including our two main local shops – Comic Zone and Quality Comics, who I’ve been assured will have heaps of tasty specials for sale. If that ain’t enough info for ya, here’s the programme. See you there!

Longbox Digital Comics

Longbox LogoAt Heroes Con this past weekend, Rantz Hoseley, who was the editor behind the popular Tori Amos inspired works within the Comic Book Tatttoo anthology, premiered Longbox. It’s nothing new exactly, as digital subscription services for comics have been around for a while now. However, there appears to be some genuine buzz about this software and just what it means. There’s an interesting interview with Hoseley up at comicbookresources now. BOOM! Studios and Top Cow are the first to sign up and individual issues can be bought for as low as 99c. Think of it as iTunes for sequential art. Hoseley has the right idea, and seems to know what he’s doing;

If there’s not the ability to have a very similar experience to what they would have going into a comic shop, then immediately it’s an inferior experience, not only in terms just purchasing comics whether print or digital, but also an inferior experience to other forms of digital retail like iTunes and downloadable content on WiiWare or X-Box Live. The idea of a secure, controlled distribution system that allows mass amount of content to come through in ways that modern consumers expect in terms of digital content, I think that’s a huge, huge part of it.

Read the rest of the interview here. The software has been in development for about three years and is expected to launch in September or October of this year.

Longbox Reader

Berserker #1 Review

beserker1You know what Berserker is like? It’s like a Rob Zombie film on paper. This first issue will make sense if you’ve already read the excellent #0 primer, but there’s enough going on here to not be completely perplexed.

It begins, and ends with a car crash, which leaves the bulk of the issue to deal with the how and why of said crash. Aaron and Courtney are a young couple fed up with their boring high school life. They need a break, or at least an escape, and after Aaron freaks out at a wrestling competition, they decide to take the opportunity to skip town for a new life.

Similarly an older couple, Farris and Eva are looking to leave their dull metal shop jobs and sleazy boss. Readers of the #0 issue will know Farris as the captured Marine somehow cursed with an unexplainable rage and a tendency to separate nearby heads from their bodies. There’s no further explanation as to the whys of all the bloodletting just yet, but the Norse mythology angle that was promised in the solicitations is more prominent in this issue.

We are introduced to two agents of some kind, namely Rowena Dauven and Ray Becket. The latter is apparently, “Asgard’s rising star,” and these two have a tug of war over Aaron and Farris. It’s a quick and brutal fight, and just what the interest in the two berserkers is has yet to be shown, but seeds are planted for future issues.

Writer Rick Loverd (Friday Night Lights) paces things well, and conveys the oppressive nature of a small town existence for the two leads beautifully. Jeremy Haun’s art is rich with blood and pulp and tissue and goo. He seems to be enjoying himself. It’s so grotesque that I couldn’t help but laugh at the black comedy of it all, especially the last page which is similar to the closer of the #0 issue. Haun brings forth the shock and horror of the few quick fight scenes splendidly, like a so-bad-it’s-good horror film from the ‘80s.

Without the Norse angle this could easily venture in to more mundane, schlock territory, but I reckon Loverd and Haun are creating a bold series that goes past blood and guts tactics. This book comes to shelves via Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia and his DiVide Pictures and Top Cow were the best publisher to bring it to. With series like Impaler and The Darkness, they get it, and are building an interesting stable of raw, mature titles. 

Berserker #1 p16