Dark Horse’s Vampires

Vampires and zombies are the darlings of pop culture at the moment, and regarding the former, Dark Horse have you covered. I must say, the Horse are publishing some superb horror titles right now and they always have a new, accessible series on the go.

Dark Horse Does Vampires Right Digital Sampler

If you’ve got a taste for bloodsuckers, then look no further! Dark Horse does vampires right and gives readers who crave creatures of the night a crypt full of creepy comics!

Step into the world of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9, as everyone’s favorite Slayer adapts to her new life in San Francisco. Then check out Angel & Faith, where the vampire with a soul and the once-evil Slayer work to atone for past sins.

This preview issue also features Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden’s Baltimore, which follows a vampire hunter living in a world beset by a post–World War I vampire infestation; samples from P. C. and Kristin Cast’s story of a vampyre boarding school in House of Night; and Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain, in which Manhattan suffers from a vampiric plague!

• Issue features selections from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1,Angel & Faith #1, Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1, The Strain #1, and House of Night #1. Plus, the entirety of a short story entitled “Magical Mystery Tour Featuring the Beetles,” a previously unreleased, digital-only retailer exclusive from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9.

Michael Midas Champion

Next month a new all-ages series debuts from former Batman editor Jordan B. Gorfinkel. The pic below looks awesome, and the premise sounds cool too.


Behind Every Cape And Cowl There’s A Human Side.

This June, BOOM! Studios is proud to announce MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION by Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Scott Benefiel. Wrapping a classic fairy tale in superhero comic book clothing, MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION blends the heart of It’s A Wonderful Life, the majesty of The Princess Bride and the thrills of Spider-Man.

MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION is the inspirational life story of Michael Midas, who, as told by a grandmother to her grandson, grows from being a boy—dealing with a playground crush stolen from him by a tormenting bully—into a crimson hero who dons a mask and battles evil, particularly the bully of his youth, who has, naturally, become his supervillain arch-nemesis. Through his triumphs and trials, Michael becomes a superhero so dedicated that he loses touch of what’s important in life—his loved ones—puttting them and the whole Earth on a path to complete destruction. But given a rare second chance, can Michael Midas Champion set things right? Will he?

Chris Renaud, director of DESPICABLE ME and DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX, said, “MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION delivers a dynamic narrative and spectacular illustration while answering the question, ‘How do you balance a family and superpowers?’ Everyone can recognize their own life in the character of Michael Midas and that’s what makes it fun. I truly enjoyed reading this story.”

MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION is a full throttle, heart string tugging, all ages book filled with suspense, action, romance and wonderfully poignant scenes told in a cinematic wide-screen layout. A story that will touch a part of everyone that reads it.

Bonus: each issue also showcases an original short story, created by The Troika, the former Batman editors Jordan B. Gorfinkel, Scott Peterson and Darren Vincenzo, and special guests, including legendary Dark Knight writer/creator Denny O’Neil.

MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION will ship this July. This title is a six-issue mini-series which is accessible to all ages. Attention Consumers and Retailers–All six issues of Michael Midas Champion are complete, insuring on-time delivery and low-risk ordering.

Each issue will run 48 pages (with no interior ads) in a unique “Widescreen Comics” landscape format and will carry a $4.99 price point, with a Diamond Comics Distribution Order Code of MAY120978.

Skyfall Teaser Trailer

Finally, another James Bond film, set to open in October, four years after the last one. I actually just watched Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace this week, and they’re both good films, although Royale is the better entry. This 23rd Bond film is directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) whose last film was the underrated 2009 comedy/drama, Away We Go.

Skyfall stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes. Under the rather cool trailer, which features an interesting variation of the familiar theme, is the also just released poster.

Captain Marvel #1 Preview

Ms. Marvel gets a new costume, a promotion to Captain, and a new series starting in July. Here’s a text-free preview of her debut ish.

Introducing The All-New CAPTAIN MARVEL!

This July, take flight as Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Captain Marvel #1! From the creative team of fan-favorite writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and rising star artist Dexter Soy, Carol Danvers suits up to tackle a threat only she can handle. Earth’s Mightiest Hero has a new name, a new mission and all the power she needs to make her life a living hell. With Captain America guest starring, and covers by Ed McGuinness & Adi Granov – no fan can miss this explosive new ongoing that will send shockwaves throughout the Marvel Universe. So what are you waiting for? Go tell your local retailer to hold you a copy – that’s an order!Captain Marvel #1 flies into comic shops everywhere, the Marvel Comics app and the Marvel Digital Comics Shop this July.




Variant Cover by ADI GRANOV

FOC – 6/25/12, ON-SALE 7/18/12

The Future Is Japanese Anthology

Available now is this new Japanese prose sci-fi anthology from Viz Media. Details below.


New Literary Release Features 13 Innovative Stories From And About Japan By An International Collection Of Some Of Sci-Fi Fiction’s Most Acclaimed Authors

VIZ Media’s Haikasoru imprint announces the release of THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE, a new fiction anthology featuring science fiction and fantasy stories from some of today’s greatest writers from both Japan and the English-speaking world. The book is now available from the company’s Haikasoru imprint and has a MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN. An eBook edition will also be available for the Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iBooks Store, the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books Store, and the Sony Reader™ Store.

Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, and is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation.

THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE offers a selection of original and classic science fiction about Japan from some of the greatest writers in the world. Stories include a web browser that threatens to conquer the world, the longest, loneliest railroad on Earth, a North Korean nuke hitting Tokyo, a hollow asteroid full of automated rice paddies, and a specialist in breaking up “virtual” marriages. And yes, giant robots. These thirteen stories from and about the Land of the Rising Sun run the gamut from fantasy to cyberpunk, and will leave readers knowing that the future is Japanese!

“THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE is a stirring new anthology and the first release of original prose fiction by Haikasoru,” says Nick Mamatas, Haikasoru Editor. “Japan is a nation long renowned for its futuristic worldview, and THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE will engross readers with short stories by authors such as cyberpunk legends Pat Cadigan and Bruce Sterling, New York Timesbestselling author Catherynne Valente, the enormously popular and prolific Japanese writer Hideyuki Kikuchi, and hot new writers Rachel Swirsky, David Moles, and Ken Liu, who have all already won or been nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards. We look forward to readers discovering and enjoying this new collection!”

For more information on THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE and the Haikasoru imprint, please visit the dedicated website at www.haikasoru.com.

Grab DC’s FCBD Issues

If you missed DC Comics Free Comic Book Day offerings two weeks ago, now you can grab them both right here. There’s the New 52 comic, and the all-ages sampler. Go for it!

Whether in print or digital, these are two books you want in your collection. The New 52 FCBD Special Edition boasts an unbelievable creative team and a storyline that leads directly into next year’s major event, “The Trinity Wars.”

It also includes:

    • A cover by legendary artist Jim Lee, who also illustrated five interior pages—including a gorgeous, four-page gatefold.
    • An all-new story written by New York Times bestselling author Geoff Johns and illustrated by Jim Lee, Ivan Reis, Gene Ha and Kenneth Rocafort.
    • Exclusive preview material from DC COMICS–THE NEW 52 “Second Wave” titles, including BATMAN INCORPORATED, DIAL H, EARTH 2, G.I. COMBAT, THE RAVAGERS and WORLDS’ FINEST.

You can download the New 52 FCBD Special Edition right here.

Meanwhile, the all-ages DC Nation/Superman Family Adventures flipbook includes new kid-friendly stories from GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and YOUNG JUSTICE and a preview of the highly anticipated SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES, from the Eisner-winning creative team behind TINY TITANS.

You can download the DC Nation/Superman Family Adventures flipbook here.

Empire’s Top Ten Female Avengers

Film mag/site Empire has a list of ten female Avengers they’d like to see in the sequel. There’s Moondragon, Tigra, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk and others only comics fans would know about. Oh, and also Miss Piggy. Um…yeah. Seeing as The Avengers has now made over a billion dollars and is the 9th highest grossing film of all time, a sequel is inevitable, and the rich history of Marvel’s superteam is filled with potential. I just hope that get Joss Whedon back.

While you’re in The Avengers mood, check out Newsarama’s list of ten characters who have never been in the sprawling cast of The Avengers.

Unmasked, and Dancer Reviews

Catch two recent reviews of mine at Broken Frontier, including the sleazy supervillainy of Unmasked #1, and the new surprise thriller mini-series Dancer, from Image.

Dark Avengers #175 Preview

The Dark Avengers are back in June. Text-free preview below.

Your First Look At The ALL-NEW DARK AVENGERS #175!

This June, prepare for an all-new brand of justice as the fan favorite creative team of Jeff Parker and Declan Shalvey bring fans a new line-up of Earth’s Deadliest in Dark Avengers #175! Featuring the Dark Scarlet Witch, Dark Spider-Man, Trickshot, Ragnarok, Skaar and Luke Cage – this new team will take on a mission that only they can tackle! Can Luke Cage keep this team in check or is he in for a world of hurt? Find out in Dark Avengers #175 hitting comic shops, the Marvel Comics app, and Marvel Digital Comic Shop this June!

DARK AVENGERS #175 (APR120597)

Written by JEFF PARKER


FOC – 5/14/12, ON SALE – 6/6/12

Gestalt’s The Deep Wins Aurealis Award

Massive congrats to Gestalt, Tom Taylor and James Brouwer as The Deep: Here Be Dragons won the Aurealis Award for best OGN, and very well deserved, I say. This is the second time running Gestalt have won, and it’s a testament to the grand and diverse work they’re doing. Needless to say, if you haven’t got a copy of The Deep, rectify that pronto! It’s an enchanting all-ages book.

Aurealis Awards announce Australia’s best graphic novel(s) of 2011 

Gestalt Publishing’s The Deep: Here Be Dragons declared Australia’s best graphic novel, in a tie with Hidden from Black Pepper Press.

The Deep: Here Be Dragons has been heralded Australia’s best Graphic Novel during the weekend’s Aurealis Awards ceremony held in Sydney, tying with Hidden from Black Pepper Press.

A finalist in both Best Childrens Book (Illustrated) and Graphic Novel categories, Gestalt Publishing’s winning title is written byTom Taylor and illustrated by James Brouwer.

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for genre fiction, are for works of speculative fiction written by an Australian citizen, or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011.

Over 700 entries were received this year, a record number, indicating both the strength of the speculative fiction genre in Australia.

Three of Gestalt’s graphic novels were finalists in the Best Graphic Novel category this year – Torn by Andrew Constant, Nicola Scott and Joh James, The Eldritch Kid: Whisky & Hate by Christian Read and Michael Maier, and The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer.

Last year, Gestalt’s Justin Randall won the Best Graphic Novel category for Changing Ways Book 1.

Tom Taylor is one of only a handful of Australian-based comic book professionals to be regularly working in the enormous US comics market. His Star Wars and superhero comics sell tens of thousands of copies every month in the US but it is his work with Gestalt of which he’s most proud.

His award-winning book, The Deep: Here Be Dragons, illustrated by Brisbane-based artist James Brouwer, tells the adventures of the Nekton family – A multiethnic family of daring Aquanauts who live on a submarine.

“I hope all book stores stock these truly stunning books,” says Taylor. “Gestalt Publishing are doing things I always wanted to see in Australian publishing, They are engaging and championing local talent, and publishing some wonderful stories. However, what’s perhaps the most exciting, is the commitment to quality they are showing.”

“With so many people in the publishing industry looking to cut margins, Gestalt are bucking this trend.  Every book they publish is beautifully produced, it’s one of the reasons I’m so happy The Deep has been published through Gestalt. When I showed these books to editors at San Diego Comic Con last year, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Many commented that they were of a far better quality than anything they could possibly hope to produce and this is a testament to what Wolfgang (Bylsma) and Skye (Ogden) are doing with this company. With so many turning to digital, with a society that is turning more and more to disposable media, these guys are creating something permanent. They are producing books that are so gorgeous, you want to pick them up, hold them, and keep them forever. ”

The Aurealis Awards presentation ceremony was held on the evening of Saturday 12 May 2012 at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney.

Fact File
The Deep: Here Be Dragons received the Aurealis award for Best Graphic Novel
Gestalt received four nominations in this year’s Aurealis Awards
Gestalt wins Best Graphic Novel Aurealis Award two years in a row
Gestalt Publishing endeavours to encourage and inspire emerging and established comic creators
For more information on Gestalt go to www.gestaltcomics.com

Scar, and The Art of War Interviews

Now at Broken Frontier are two recent interviews of mine.

I spoke to writer Edmund Shern on his work on the Scar webcomic, which is part of the new ShiftyLook site that re-imagines classic arcade games as webcomics.

I also interviewed the pair behind the thrilling OGN, The Art of War to be released in July that’s inspired by Sun Tzu’s ancient treatise of the same name.

The Almighties #1 Review

Here’s my review of The Almighties, an Avengers parody. Check out some preview pages below, and free pages called Almighties Origins at the official site.

This Week’s Winners

Time for three quick reviews, although this first one came out last week.

X-O Manowar #1. Valiant was one of a few publishers that launched in the 90s and Naughties but didn’t last. Now, they’re back, with this title as the first off the rank, and familiar series Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong on the way in the coming months. Firstly, I’m not aware of Valiant’s past work, so the nostalgia appeal has no sway with me, but I picked this debut up thanks to its creators. Robert Venditti wrote the excellent The Surrogates, and The Homeland Directive. Artist Cary Nord has done great work on Conan recently for Dark Horse.

The idea behind X-O Manowar is a good one, and is deeper than “man in hi-tech suit goes on adventures.” This is more than Iron Man-lite. The main difference is the man under the armour. He’s a barbarian from 402 A.D. That’s a nice touch. We open with a battle between the huge Roman army and the unprepared Visigoths. Aric is a heroic blonde Visigoth who is up to the challenge of taking on the invaders and rallies the army with a Braveheart-like speech. Amidst the bloody battle, some aliens descend and genetically tamper with the villager’s babies, and take Aric and his mates prisoner aboard their space heading vessel. While there Aric sees a bizarre ritual which will lead nicely to next month’s issue. There’s not much made of the humans’ reaction to all the sci-fi around them, but the collision of these two cultures is an intriguing concept. We don’t even see Aric become X-O which is another good choice, as Venditti allows us to care about the man before he becomes the hero.

Nord’s art is great, although not as detailed as his Conan work, but his pencils on the battles in the first half are splendid.

See a 6 page preview of this issue right here.

Avenging Spider-Man #7. This is the first issue I’ve picked up of this new Spider-Man team-up series since the debut, and again, it’s due to the creators, writer Kathryn Immonen, and artist Stuart Immonen. This series is a more accessible, light-hearted approach that features Spidey going on adventures with different superheroes of the Marvel Universe. It’s a great intro to the bigness of Marvel’s roster of characters, much like Batman: Brave and the Bold is to the DC Comics Universe. This issue has a nifty recap page that tells you the basic about Spidey, this issue’s guest star She-Hulk, and umm…cats, because cats are important in this tail, umm…tale.

The story centres on Hulk’s cousin and the Webslinger fighting a big fishy creature in a sewer and then going to a museum where the Egyptian goddess Bastet shows up and things go nuts. The Immonen’s work very well together, with Kathryn’s script showing Spidey’s casual approach to crimefighting, and She-Hulk’s exasperation at the same, and Stuart’s kinetic visuals, including the fact that she’s taller than him is a great touch.

See a preview of this issue right here.

Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #1. Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson know horror and show it here in this premiere of the IDW mini-series. Under the cardstock cover are many awesome black and white pages brimming with moody, eerie and creepy darkness and danger. This is a sequel to Mary Shelley’s original novel and looks at what happened to Frankenstein’s monster after the events of the classic book that introduced him to the world. Here, he is an a attraction in a freak show, finding some sort of life, and family at the circus, although the bulk of the issue is an origin tale of sorts as the monster talks to the ghost of his creator, Victor Frankenstein. Also included is a chat between the creators about their experiences with old Frankenstein movies, and a few letters that Mary Shelley’s brother Robert wrote to her.

Niles gets the voice of the time period well, and the monster’s inner dialogue is deeper than his few words of grumbling dialogue, and of course it looks well, especially in the rich black and white, with all the vast icy landscapes.

See a preview of this issue right here.

Invincible Iron Man #518 Preview

Text-free, and with some panels classified, Marvel is teasing a new Iron Man under a new iron mask. It wouldn’t be the first time someone other than Tony Stark has been Iron Man of course, with his best mate James Rhodes taking a turn before he became War Machine, and even Pepper Potts became the armoured Rescue. This is all good news for Shellhead fans, as Iron Man 3 gets closer to a reality, with the usual cast, plus Ben Kingsley and guy Pearce on board, and the fact that it seems to be based on the classic Extremis storyline from Warren Ellis and Adi Granov is all great news.


Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Invincible Iron Man #518, featuring the all-new Iron Man! Courtesy of the Eisner Award-Winning creative team of Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca, tensions mount as the Spymaster’s rampage within Stark Resilient comes to its bloody end. The Mandarin is throwing everything he’s got at Tony Stark including amped up super villains! With a big target painted on his back, can Tony Stark make it out alive? Can the new Iron Man save him in time? Find out in Invincible Iron Man #518, hitting comic shops, the Marvel Comics app, and Marvel Digital Comic Shop this June!


Pencils & Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA

FOC – 5/14/12, ON SALE – 6/6/12