Amory Wars For Newbies

Musician Claudio Sanchez (from the band Coheed & Cambria) is also an accomplished comics scribe, with his sci-fi epic Amory Wars continuing at BOOM! Studios. I interviewed the man himself right here (on page 60) and if you’re like me and new to the Amory Wars story, now’s the time to see what it’s all about.





Claudio Sanchez and THE AMORY WARS fans prepare for a release of gigantic proportions as today, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, three fantastic titles take you back to Heaven’s Fence with THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #1 $1 EDITION, THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 Vol. 2 and THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #9. Start, catch up and continue the epic sci-fi saga written by musical mastermind Claudio Sanchez with comics legend Peter David , and featuring sensational art by BATMAN & ROBIN’s Chris Burnham, Kyle Strahm and Aaron Kuder!

For anyone who’s never experienced Claudio Sanchez’ intergalactic 12-issue tour de force, THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #1 $1 EDITION is an amazing way to jump straight into the action for $1. That’s right! For only one dollar, begin Claudio Kilgannon’s adventure of war and rebirth against the evil forces of galactic dictator Wilhelm Ryan!

Enjoy the series but not sure if you’re reading the whole story? THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 Vol. 2 collects issues #5-8 and drops you right in the middle of the greatest war Heaven’s Fence has ever known! It’s heart-stopping action as Inferno leads his rebel forces against the sinister Wilhelm Ryan and Mayo Deftinwolf’s Red Army. But when the dust settles, the war is far from over.

Once you’re caught up, continue the unfolding space opera with the latest release THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #9! The grand victory of Inferno and the rest of the Rebellion soon gives rise to their biggest fear. When an evil figure reappears…Heaven’s Fence faces its darkest hour. Claudio Kilgannon must step up and be the hero the universe needs — but will he answer the call?

THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #1 $1 EDITION is written by Claudio Sanchez and Peter David with art Chris Burnham. This issue carries Diamond Code of JAN111024 and a price point of only $1. THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 Vol. 2 collects issues #5-8 and is written by Claudio Sanchez and Peter David with art by Chris Burnham with Kyle Strahm and Aaron Kuder. This issue carries Diamond Code of JAN111022 and a price point of $14.99. THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #9 is written by Claudio Sanchez and Peter David with art by Aaron Kuder. This issue carries a Diamond Code of JAN111021 and a price point of $3.99.

Unknown God Is A Book Of The Year Finalist

Robert Luedke’s great Eye Witness series of OGNs continue to get the praise they deserve. Press release below.

Head Press Publishing received notification today that the fourth book in our Eye Witness series, Unknown God, has been named a finalist for the 2010 Fore Word Reviews, Book of the Year Awards!

According to ForeWord, “The finalists were drawn from more than 350 publishers and were selected from 1400 entries in 56 categories. These books are examples of independent publishing at its finest.”

Eye Witness: Unknown God is a finalist for the 2010 Awards in the graphic novel category.  “Given the quality of the titles and creators also named in this year’s finals, I’m quite humbled and honored,” stated Eye Witness author/illustrator Robert Luedke.   Here is a list of the graphic novel finalists:

■Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin

■Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires■Blacksad by Juan Daz Canales

■Book of Hours by George A Walker

■Days Missing Vol. 1 by Ian Edginton, Phil Hester, David Hine and Matz

Eye Witness by Robert James Luedke

■Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 2 by Tom Siddell

■Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann

■Tumor by Joshua Hale Fialkov

■Wanderlust by Megan Speers

Eye Witness: Unknown God, is the final book in the Eye Witness tetraology and it features a unique and fast paced combination of a modern-day action thriller with an adaptation of the Biblical book of Acts.

Since it’s premier in 2004, Luedke’s Eye Witness series has garnered four indy book awards and been named a finalist in four others.  Besides the ForeWord honor,Unknown God has already been named the winning graphic novel in the 2010, book of the year awards and listed as a finalist in the catagory of “Young Adult” literature in this year’s Christian Small Press Publisher, Book of the Year Awards.
ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards program was established to help publishers shine an additional spotlight on their best titles and bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors.  ForeWord is the only review trade journal devoted exclusively to books from independent houses.Winners will be determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers selected from the ForeWord readership. Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners, as well as Editor’s Choice Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction will be announced at a special program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans this June.

My Maj Monologue Review

I did my first interview (on the other side of the keyboard for the first time) and now I’ve received my first review. How exciting. My monologue (performed by an actor) went down well and almost every night at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth was sold out last week. It was a great honour to be a part of the theatre scene and although I didn’t win any of the 3 awards, just being a finalist and having my words coming out of someone else’s mouth on stage was very exciting. Here’s my first and only review of my monologue, Nut Job.

Nut Job by Kris Bather. Actor Nick Candy bounced his way through this often hilarious work about a very dark subject; testicular cancer. The pace was relentless and the double entendres and witticisms were reminiscent of a Seinfeld episode. Even more so when our hero moves to New York. Bather developed the plot extremely well – there was pathos as well as black humour and a clever twist to the love interest angle in the story. A gentle warning to men in the audience was a subtle touch with which to finish.

Yep, my name in lights. Kinda.

Mladen (the hairy one) and me. Your Extra Sequential podcast hosts.

Jonathan Hickman’s New Image Series

This is a surprise. I thought the days of writer Jonathan Hickman unveiling a new creation were long gone, since his now busy days writing for Marvel. Hickman made his name as writer and artist with the awesome The Nightly News, which is perfect for comic newbies, graphic designers and anyone who likes to see experimental sequential art. Since then, he’s hardly done much art and has focused on his mad writing skills, particularly for Marvel. Now, he’s back with Image with a brand new concept. Expect this series to sell out quickly, probably before it hits shelves in July.

Jonathan Hickman Debuts New Creator-Owned Series at Image in July

No one can ever claim Jonathan Hickman is lazy. Not content with helming head-turning runs on Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors and S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention re-imagining the FF for his most recent hit, The Future Foundation, Hickman returns to Image this summer with an all-new creator-owned miniseries, THE RED WING.
“We’re all pretty excited for this one,” Hickman explained. “We believe we not only have a solid concept for an engaging new series, but even at this early stage, THE RED WING has that lightning in a bottle feel to it. I think people are really going to like it.”
Written by Hickman, with art by amazing newcomer Nick Pitarra and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, THE RED WING marks Hickman’s first creator owned work since the conclusion of the critically acclaimed A RED MASS FOR MARS.
“Nick is going to really surprise some people,” Hickman said. “When the art for this starts hitting the web, and then when the finished product shows up in stores, many of them are going to wonder where this guy has been hiding. Nick’s a very hungry, special, special talent. I consider myself fortunate to be working with him.”
Set in a future where the best fighter pilots in the world not only have to master their craft and perfect their skills, the heroes of THE RED WING also have to learn how to navigate through time. Described by Hickman as “the greatest battle in the history of the history of three worlds,” the four-issue miniseries is but the first concept to be mined by Hickman & Pitarra as part of Hickman’s ongoing “PLUS!” project.
“Well, I’ve been promising I’d get to this for over a year, so now it’s time,” Hickman said. “We’ll start with THE RED WING, and then I’ll be writing and drawing something called, FEEL BETTER NOW, before Nick and I move on to our next exciting project. We have a busy, aggressive slate of exciting stories to tell, and, like I said before, it’s time.”
“It’s a real privilege to be working with Jonathan and the incredible team he’s assembled for THE RED WING,” added Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. “Since his comics debut with THE NIGHTLY NEWS, Jonathan has been one of the most unique and visionary voices in contemporary comics, and after hearing what he has planned for THE RED WING and the rest of the PLUS! series, I can guarantee you he’s not planning to rest on his laurels anytime soon!”
THE RED WING #1 (of 4), a 32-page full color comic with a cover price of $3.50, will be available for order now in the May issue of Previews and will go on sale July 6.

Jeffrey Cruz’s ’80s Mash Up

The lively art of Aussie Jeffrey “Chamba” Cruz is eye meltingly good as anyone who’s seen his stuff on Udon’s Street Fighter comics knows. Here is a nifty piece showing all manner of cartoon faves from the 1980s. Ninja Turtles, Danger Mouse, Mighty Mouse, Inspector Gadget and more below.

See more of Cruz’s great work here and here and my interview with him in the first issue of the Extra Sequential magazine here (on page 22).

This Is Lois Lane!

It’s hard to believe, but redhead Amy Adams is 36 years old. Wow. The actress from Doubt, Enchanted, The Fighter and more is also the new Lois Lane. She joins Brit Henry Cavill as Superman, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as his earthly parents. The reboot, directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) is due out in December next year and the cast, though surprising, is impressive. The last time the feisty reporter was seen on the big screen she was played by Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns and there was nothing about her character that would catch the eye of the Man of Steel. Margot Kidder in the original Richard Donner films and Erica Durance in TV’s Smallville have shown us the perfect portrayals of the classic character.  Independence, toughness and a well hidden sweet centre is what Lois needs on the big screen. Hopefully Adams can give us that. To refresh your memory about all the actors who’ve played Clark Kent/ Superman read this nifty post.

On a related note, Joanne Siegel, the widow of Superman co-creator (with Joe Shuster) Jerry Siegel passed away last month at the age of 93. Before she did the original inspiration for Lois wrote a letter to the CEO of Time Warner in relation to the ongoing court case regarding Superman’s copyright. In it, she reveals all the attributes mentioned above.

So I ask you to please consider – do these mean spirited tactics meet with your approval? Do you really think the families of Superman’s creators should be treated this way?

As you know, DC and Warner Bros. have profited enormously from 72 years of exploiting Jerry and Joe’s wonderful creation. Superman is now a billion dollar franchise and has been DC’s flagship property for all this time.

Read the entire letter here.

Extra Sequential Podcast #33-Tie-in Comics

54 mins. We shall not let minor technical issues stop us from talking about comics! No sir! Gianni joins us again to form the geek trio in our special on comics related to video games and other pop culture products. We discuss all the below, plus Boston Legal, CSI guest stars, how to be a “pack leader” and more.


1: 15 NEWS

Kevin Costner as Pa Kent in the Superman remake

Marvel’s deal with Starbucks

Wonder Woman’s shiny new TV costume

The new DC Nation TV show to be shown on the Cartoon Network


Kris watched Battle Los Angeles and read the TPB of Image’s fun fantasy series Skullkickers and Erik Larsen’s amusing Herculian one-shot.

Gianni’s been reading the Dead Space mini-series based on the game as well as the new Mass Effect.

Mladen has been watching The Dog Whisperer. Yes, we laughed at him too. He also read Asterix and the Falling Sky, and Price Valiant Volume 3.


Phew. Tomb Raider, Sonic the Hedgehog and more have been produced over the years, and continue to be made, for video game fans to become comic book fans, and vice versa. There have been many more video game tie-ins recently too, such as Dante’s Inferno, Prototype, Infamous, Halo, God of War, Batman: Arkham City, World of Warcraft, Warhammer 40, 000 and more. Plus, anime and novel tie-ins and movie adaptations, including Tron.

Superman: The Possibilities

Voices From Krypton has a great, but short, chat with director Bryan Singer about 2006’s Superman Returns. The only director who is ever candid about Hollywood is Kevin Smith, so it’s refreshing to see Singer open up about where that film went wrong.

QUESTION: One final point I’d like to make is the fact that Luthor stabs and nearly kills Superman, but it seemed wrong to me that the two characters never came back together again; that there was no comeuppance for Luthor.

BRYAN SINGER: I’ve always felt that the origin of Superman is the story of Moses – the child sent on a ship to fulfill a destiny. And this was a story about Christ – it’s all about sacrifice: “The world, I hear their cries.” So what happens? He gets the knife in the side and later he falls to the earth in the shape of a crucifix. It was kind of nailing you on the head, but I enjoyed that, because I’ve always found the myth of Christ compelling and moving. So I hoped to do my own take, which is heavy shit for a summer movie. But definitely the nostalgic, romantic aspects of it worked against people’s expectations of it in the climate. And if I was going to do another one, it would be a reboot. I would go back and redo the original, but I only thought of that recently. It would be a much less romantic, more balls-to-the-wall action movie. It would be a very different pace than Superman Returns, which I can say at this point because I have distance from it now.

Read it all here.

Ah, what could have been. Comics publishers have stacks of rejected proposals and writer Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Witchblade) reveals a few.

A Hulk-Ghost Rider graphic novel with painted art by Joe Chiodo.

A 64-page Batman story with overtones of Poe’s tales, set in Arkham Asylum, with art by Claudio Castellini.

A Martian Manhunter prestige-format one-shot drawn by Bryan Hitch.

A period Hawkman-Green Lantern adventure, set during World War II, with art by Dusty Abel.

A companion to the Batman-Tarzan project I wrote at Dark Horse, featuring Superman and John Carter of Mars.

A retelling of the Arthurian legends, but featuring the Green Lantern cast.

I would buy all of those, except the John Carter one probably, but Claudio Castellini is an awesome artist and I’ve hardly seen any more of his work since he did Marvel vs DC back in the ’90s.

Most interetsing is Marz’s propsal, with character designs by Cully Hamner, about a Supes/Bats story.

The purpose is to reexamine the origins of DC’s two primal heroes — Batman and Superman. Who would these men have been if their pasts had been different, if their pasts had in fact been reversed? What if Bruce Wayne’s parents had not been killed when he was a boy? And what if Clark Kent had been witness to the murder of this parents at a young age?

Clark Kent still becomes Superman, but without the guiding hand of his parents, a darker and more revenge-obsessed Superman. And without the loss of his parents, Bruce Wayne’s obsessive nature is never given outlet by becoming Batman. So rather than a costumed hero, he becomes a businessman to whom wealth and power are one and the same. Bruce Wayne, in effect, becomes a Lex Luthor-style corporate emperor.

Inevitably, the two will clash, and from the ashes of their war will be born Superman’s most bitter enemy — Batman.

Oh and if you haven’t already, you HAVE to read this great proposal called Sueprman 2000 from Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Tom Peyer and Mark Millar. Man, what a dream team!

Finally, not really a ‘what could’ve been’ story, but a ‘what will be’ one. The excellent animated series Batman: Brave and the Bold is finally getting a team-up with Superman. Sticking to the series’ old shool visual flair, it also features Lex, Lois, Jimmy, Krypto and more. Screen shots and  2 clips here, one of which is a Dark Knight Returns-like showdown.

Sigil #2 Preview

Here’s a text-free preview of next month’s issue of Sigil, the second title (along with Ruse) of the relaunched ex-Crossgen titles.

Your First Look At SIGIL #2

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Sigil #2, from New York Times bestselling author Mike Carey and artist Leonard Kirk! The genre-defying, century-spanning CrossGen epic continues! What exactly is Samantha Rey…and how did she manage to jump from the modern day to the deck of a seventeenth century pirate ship? The crew of the El Cazador knows, but they’re only telling one truth – they killed Sam’s mother, and now they’ll see that she too gets acquainted with the end of a cutlass! It’s time for Sam to take hold of the power within her – or die trying – only inSigil #2, on sale this April!

SIGIL #2 (of 4) (FEB110513)

Written by MIKE CAREY

Penciled by LEONARD KIRK


Rated T+ …$2.99

FOC-3/28/11, On-Sale-4/20/11

Battle Los Angeles vs Skyline

Both are alien invasion films based in American cities with a young and relatively unknown cast. Both are centred on one place with glimpses of cities around the world and both are also extremely disappointing.

Battle Los Angeles stars Aaron Eckhart (Two-Face in The Dark Knight) and Michelle Rodriguez (Lost, Avatar) as its big name actors, with the rest of the cast filled out with characters who are quickly forgotten and possess no remarkable traits. Really, they should’ve cut the cast in half to retain a sharper focus. Most of the characters add nothing but bland dialogue, and yes, if you’ve read any reviews of this film, you’ll know that describing the dialogue as bland is being kind. It really is laughable at points with the kind of jingoistic action man talk we’ve heard of in many bad films from the early works of Van Damme or Seagal.

It wants to be an American version of District 9, but has none of that film’s charm, and it offers no surprises. It starts well, with the Staff Sergeant played by Eckhart running on the beach as he’s soon passed by a group of much younger men. Facing his retirement and discussing life and purpose with an old friend is a good way to start a film that focuses on humanity overwhelmed by alien invaders. However, that potential is gone within 10 minutes and then the shaky camera work, rather unthrilling action and lack of characterisation begins. The aliens look interesting with their bio-mechanical features and like Skyline, we know nothing about them, other than that they’re probably after our water.

Skyline is a lot more derivative. War of the Worlds, Aliens, Independence Day seems like obvious inspirations in key scenes and like Battle Los Angeles, it has aliens that don’t speak and whose origins remain mysterious. They do seem to like stealing brains though, which is almost laughable in a 1950s sci-fi film manner. Skyline has a more streamlined cast and although it’s generally all set in one huge, fancy apartment building it remains visually impressive, though the CGI creatures and vehicles are more realistic in L.A’s movie, though the designs are better in Skyline, as is the interplay between the characters, though it offers no real surprises.

Both films champion spectacle over plot and unfortunately both have done well as they are ‘turn your brain off’ movies. To see sci-fi with plot and interesting characters, see District 9 or Moon.





Marvel At Starbucks And DC On TV

Some very impressive team-ups have been announced in the last day. Marvel is partnering with all 6,800 Starbucks coffee shops across America to give customers free (browsing, presumably) access to their growing Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited library. Good work Marvel! Hopefully this gets newbies in to comics. More info right here. Maybe if they did this last year Starbucks wouldn’t have had to close all those stores! Doubtful.

DC are making the most of their restructuring and desire to grow closer to their film and TV arm, by having their own TV show on the Cartoon Network called DC Nation. It won’t be until next year, with CN also hosting the ThunderCats remake and Green Lantern animated series, but this is a grand idea. I always thought a comics show would work. We don’t know many details, but I guess there would be looks at DC related films and TV shows, plus interviews with writers and artists of their comics. More info here.

My Maj Monologue

Yay! A friend told me about this annual competition at Perth theatre, His Majesty’s (the only operating Edwardian theatre in the Southern hemisphere!) so I entered and I made it into the final 8. Woo hoo! The theme for this year is Treachery and Lechery in the 21st Century and we had to create a monologue for an actor that was 8-15 minutes long.

Last night was the premiere and it runs until Saturday night. I gotta say, it was a blast. My monologue is entitled Nut Job and is a dark comedy based on my cancer experience. I’m all good now though.  It’s great to hear my words coming out of someone else’s mouth, and to hear a packed room laugh at all the right places. It’s such a blessing and an encouragement.

Below are a few (they don’t show much, as I couldn’t distract the actors) photos of last night and an interview with me that appeared in a local paper last week, with my Zoolander pose. It was fun to be on the other side of an interview I must say.

Hulk #34 Preview

Good old Hulk has had a lot of related titles and different coloured cast members over the last few years. Here’s the newest story, with an awesome, text-free preview.

Parker & Pagulayan Conquer PLANET RED HULK

This summer, fan favorite writer Jeff Parker and “Planet Hulk” artist Carlos Pagulayan are taking the Marvel Universe’s biggest, reddest bruiser off the map and into the unknown when “Planet Red Hulk” crash lands in Hulk #34 & 35! His country called and Red Hulk answered – until his top secret mission blew up in orbit and his face! Now, Big Red is stranded on an unknown world where only the strong survive…but he’s more than willing to fight his way to the top of the food chain!

Planet Red Hulk takes our hero further along his voyage of understanding that he is his own greatest enemy when Red is sent into a distant alien culture at war,” said writer Jeff Parker. “It seems to have inspired original Planet Hulk artist Carlo Pagulayan to make the most jaw-dropping art I’ve ever seen him do- and he was already incredible!”

“Carlo put an undeniably unique and imaginative stamp on green Hulk and now he’s bringing that magic to this arc of red Hulk,” said Marvel Senior Editor, Mark Paniccia. “He’s one of the best world-builders in the industry.”

But is it cosmic irony that two gamma-irradiated goliaths have now found themselves stranded on alien worlds? Or has a secret force been controlling their paths through the space ways all along? Whatever the answer, it’s a given that Red Hulk isn’t your average castaway. Watch him smash his all way to the top when the one-man conquest of “Planet Red Hulk”begins in Hulk #34 & 35, double-shipping this June!

HULK #34

Written by JEFF PARKER

Pencils & Cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN

Rated T+ …$2.99


HULK #35

Written by JEFF PARKER

Pencils & Cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN

Rated T+ …$2.99


Herculian Review

This (mostly) awesome one-shot from Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen came out at the start of March, but I only just got around to reading it. Herculian is slightly bigger than a regular comic (see photo to the left), in a similar size to 27 and Viking and with it’s thicker paper stock, ’70s-styled Marvel cover and slightly browned paper, it’s a throwback to the kinds of comics Larsen, and many others, grew up reading.

A 48 pager with a collection of short, complete stories it is whacky and often, though not always, funny. You can read an interview with Larsen about the genesis of the book here, but essentially it shows a few weird tales without a certain finned hero in sight. The best, and longest, in these pages is Guy Talk. I finished reading it yesterday and immediately gave it to a non-comics reading mate and he absorbed it all and laughed even more than I did at the punchline. A 24 page tale that was Larsen’s contribution to the annual 24 Hour Comic Day (in which you have to complete a comic within 24 hours) it is dark approach to romance. A man meets his grouchy and jaded brother in a diner to tell him of his new lady love. His head over heels status and firm belief in the power of love makes his sibling sick, as he’s been there, done that and has the heartbreak, selfishness and immaturity to prove it. Throughout this raw discussion  (that wouldn’t be out of place in an early Kevin Smith film) there are two silent, unnamed combatants fighting each other in the streets. Neither of the brothers acknowledge this battle, but Larsen creatively uses some of their dialogue to overlap the fight in key moments. It’s a highly entertaining story that whizzes by.

The rest of the tales aren’t as funny or long, but are just as strange. There’s a 6 page black and white  story called Cheeseburger Head that follows a man who wakes up and freaks out upon realising he’s..yep…a cheeseburger head.

Bacon Mummy, Carl Cosmic, Don Drake (who surprises his blind date with his duck face) and others show up here, and most are 1 or 2 page stories. 7 silent one page gags of the motionless Reggie the Veggie show the legless character in a series of similar panels in tales such as High Tide and Snow Day suffering from bad weather, and Mickey Maus adds to the political incorrectness by putting Mickey Mouse in the concentration camps of Art Spiegelman’s classic Maus.

Like all anthologies, some pages work better than others, and in fact some of the punchlines here are just odd rather than funny, but it’s worth buying for the lead feature, Guy Talk. Some stories are new, some have been seen in Image’s Popgun anthologies, but they all have a zany vibe to them.

Larsen’s work, and lettering, here is cruder than his usual charming sketchiness and the colouring is plain, but with the benday dots for tone it really does look like a long lost comic from decades ago.