Mice Templar: Destiny

mice templar tpbThis is a series definitely worth following. Mixing elements of The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and epic battles involving talking mice in medieval garb. Don’t let that last part fool you though – if Walt Disney and Tolkien had a love child…actually, no, forget that. Ewww.

Mice Templar is a thoroughly entertaining read. The second volume, entitled Destiny has just begun and the third ish hits on September 2 – all for only $2.99, despite what the cover says. That’s good value for a 32 page comic. There’s a recap in each issue in case you’ve missed one, and it’s obvious that writer Bryan J.L. Glass has thought about the lore here. There’s a rich tapestry unfurling involving visions, prophecies, all manner of vicious creatures and a young mouse called Karic. With lines like, “Long ago, beneath the great dimmed eye of Wotan,” and “what glorious, self-righteous wretches we were,” Glass shows his skill at the craft of building an invigorating fantasy. It’s all very bloody, and Oeming’s work is nothing short of remarkable. This, and Rapture, his current Dark Horse series with his wife displays his diversity extremely well. His battle scenes jut out from the page and make you feel like you’re in the thick of the action, with limbs flying, and claws slashing, and his watercolour pieces are just as superb.

Mice Templar is a series that demands commitment and is better enjoyed as a TPB. The first series is available as such now, or you can check out 100 (!) gorgeous pages from it at the MT site.

Mice Templar Volume 1 p17

Mice Templar Volume 1 p60

Broken Trinity Deluxe Hard Cover

The Trade collecting Top Cow’s excellent Broken Trinity x-over now also contains all of the associated First Born stories. I must say, I was never a big fan of Witchblade but Top Cow changed my mind with the stories contained within this volume. Press release and Stjepan Sejic’s great cover for the hefty collection, below.

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that they will be expanding the deluxe edition hard cover containing Broken Trinity to include First Born. The limited edition volume will now contain both epic crossover miniseries that forever altered the course of the Top Cow universe. Presented in a new oversize prestige format, the 352 page First Born/Broken Trinity Deluxe Hard Cover collects all three issues of Broken Trinity, the three tie-in issues featuring The Darkness, Angelus, and Witchblade, and Broken Trinity: Aftermath. In addition, the collection will now also include all three issues of First Born as well as the Harvey Award winning tie-in issues of Witchblade #110–112. The hard cover also reprints the previously uncollected First Born: Aftermath, making the entirety of the First Born epic available in a single volume for the first time.

The First Born/Broken Trinity Deluxe Hard Cover reprints the ground-shaking stories from current Witchblade creative team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Seijic and current The Darkness Phil Hester. The story of First Born explores the conflict between the forces of Light and Dark as New York City Police Office Sara Pezzini prepares to give birth to her first child. Desiring a tip of the power balance in their own favor the forces of Light and Dark covet the offspring of the Witchblade bearer! Broken Trinity acts as a thematic bookend, when a new Angelus bearer rises and two brand-new Artifact bearers make their first appearance in the Top Cow Universe. With new players on the board upsetting a delicate balance, a Trinity will be broken and one bearer will die.

Broken Trinity/First Born TPB Cover

The First Born/Broken Trinity Deluxe Hard Cover is fleshed out with art by industry heavyweights Luke Ross (Captain America), Stephen Sadowski (Avengers/Invaders), Rick Leonardi (Vigilante), Kevin Nowlan (Wednesday Comics), Mike Mayhew (Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps), Lee Moder (Dragon Prince, Red Sonja), Jorge Lucas (The Darkness), Brian Stelfreeze (Wednesday Comics), Nelson Blake II (The Darkness), Tyler Kirkham (Fusion) and Ryan Sook (X-Factor).

Additionally, the oversized 9” x 12” slipcased hard cover will feature an extensive behind-the-scenes section delving deep into the development process, a new wraparound cover by artist Stjepan Sejic, and a 24” x 36” full color poster.

“We were so incredibly pleased with the way that the Midnight Nation Deluxe Hard Cover turned out, and wanted the Broken Trinity edition to be just as impressive,” explained Top Cow Publisher, Filip Sablik, “So we decided to increase the content and page count and give the fans more value without increasing the price. There’s no doubt this is a premium collectible item, but one that really highlights some of the high points in the Top Cow Universe in the last few years. Plus as a fan, I really wanted to see Stjepan Sejic’s beautiful painted work in an over-sized format.”

Orders for the previously solicited First Born Deluxe Hard Cover will be cancelled through Diamond and retailers will have an opportunity to adjust their orders for the new First Born/Broken Trinity Deluxe Hard Cover through Diamond’s FOC program.

New Casper Series

Casper the Friendly Ghost turns 60 this year and Ardden Entertainment (the people behind the recent Flash Gordon series) are dusting off the ghost and his pals. I don’t think purists with fond memories will like this, but I could be wrong. The covers look different and not what you’d expect from Casper, and J.M DeMatteis and Todd Dezago are veterans in the comics biz, so it could very well be a great all-ages series that brings kids, and perhaps some adults, into comics. Press release below.

CASPER AND THE SPECTRALS Features All-New Graphics and Storylines for Casper the Friendly Ghost®, Wendy the Good Little Witch™, and Hot Stuff™

First Issue in Series Debuts Halloween 2009 timed with the 60th Anniversary of Casper’s debut in comic books

CASPER #1Ardden Entertainment, an exciting new force in the comic book industry, announced today the creation and launch of a spellbinding new comic book series based on well-known characters Casper the Friendly Ghost®, Wendy the Good Little Witch™, and Hot Stuff™. CASPER AND THE SPECTRALS will debut in the fall of 2009, timed with the Friendly Ghost’s 60th Anniversary as the title character in his own comics.

CASPER AND THE SPECTRALS is based on a concept by veteran comic book creator and writer J.M. DeMatteis and Ardden co-founder Brendan Deneen, and will be written by Todd Dezago and illustrated by Pedro Delgado. The series will introduce updated graphic designs, brand-new new themes and storylines for each character. Dezago has worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Image, and Dark Horse Comics for more than fifteen years on such titles as Spider-Man, X-Factor, Batman, Impulse, and the Justice League of America. He is best known for his quintessential run on Sensational Spider-Man with the late Mike Wieringo, and for his series, The Perhapanauts. A comics penciler and graphic designer, Delgado’s portfolio includes the Flash Gordon 75th Anniversary anthology book (The Secret History of Mongo), character designs for Funrise ToyCorp., several animated TV productions, and the redesign of DeviantART and L.A. Kings mascots.

Ardden Entertainment is the publisher of the critically-acclaimed monthly FLASH GORDON comic book series. The company, whose business model is to produce contemporized versions of classic licenses and exciting new creator-owned titles, was formed in 2007 by former Miramax/Dimension Films executive Deneen and former Markosia EiC, Richard Emms. Joining Deneen and Emms is DeMatteis, who works as Ardden’s Editor-in-Chief.

“Ardden Entertainment is extremely excited to be working with Classic Media on CASPER AND THE SPECTRALS,” said Emms. “Todd and Pedro have done an excellent job bringing the world’s most famous ghost into the 21st Century and we hope that this is the first of many adventures for us with Casper, Wendy and Hot Stuff.”

In this exciting new comic book, Casper and friends fight a fearsome threat from the past! There is a city within New York City known as Spooky Town, but most humans are unable to see it. Within this city live the Spectrals, the ghosts, goblins, demons and witches of the world…including Casper, Wendy and Hot Stuff! When an ancient entity known only as the Volbragg threatens both New York and Spooky Town, Casper and his friends are forced to band together and defeat an unimaginable evil!