Godzilla Comic, Storykiller and JLA Film

Legendary Pictures turned their hand to comics a while ago, and although they don’t produce a lot of sequential art, it’s always pretty slick, such as The Tower Chronicles, and Shadow Walk.

Like they did with Pacific Rim, Legendary Comics is producing another prequel. Their latets project is a comic tieing in to the May 16th release of the Godzilla cinematic reboot, which is directed by Gareth Edwards (the excellent, low budget Monsters) and starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The original graphic novel will hit stands a week before the film’s premiere, and is set a few decades before the events of the film. Below you can see Edwards’ announcement about the project.

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Hacktivist #1 Preview

Out now from BOOM! Studios is the premiere issue of a new four issue mini called Hacktvist, from a concept by TV star Alyssa Milano (Charmed). Below is a nice looking preview, plus BOOM!’s official description.

WHY WE LOVE IT: From the creative mind of Alyssa Milano, with artist Marcus To (Huntress, Red Robin), and writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, Hacktivist is a fast-paced cyber-thriller about friendship and freedom in a time war.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: Fantastic characters and stunning action set pieces, beautifully illustrated by Marcus To (Cyborg 009, Red Robin) and Eisner-nominated colorist Ian Herring (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand).

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft are young, brilliant, and the co-founders of YourLife, a social networking company that has changed the way the world stays connected. In secret, these best friends are also “sve_Urs3lf,” the largest, white-hat hacking group on the planet, exposing information and sparking revolutions across the globe.

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Titan to Publish Doctor Who Comics

In a surprise move UK based publisher Titan have gained the rights to publish Doctor Who comics, specifically those of the newer incarnations. IDW have held the rights for six years, publishing both new adventures and reprints starring the various versions of the Time Lords over the decades. There’s only a mention of the Doctors portrayed by Matt Smith, David Tennant and the upcoming Peter Capaldi coming to Titan though, so uncertainty exists about new comics starring all the previous incarnations.

DOCTOR WHO REGENERATES WITH TITAN COMICS
BBC Worldwide and Titan Comics team up 
for all-new Doctor Who comic book adventures
In the universe of Doctor Who regenerations bring not only a new Doctor but often a fresh look and feel to the series and BBC Worldwide is bringing that same approach to Doctor Who comics as it signs a new deal with Titan Comics. The deal will open up the world of Doctor Who and provide fans with new stand alone adventures featuring the Tenth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor and after the new series launch, the Twelfth Doctor. Creative and production teams will be announced in the coming weeks and the first comic books will be released in 2014.

The Doctor Who Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor, saw Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor regenerate into the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. The next season is now in production and will premiere in 2014. In 2013, Doctor Whoset ratings and social media records for BBC AMERICA.

Doctor Who is sold to over 200 territories across the world and last year was awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest TV drama simulcast ever after the 50th Anniversary special was broadcast to 98 countries at the same time as well in thousands of cinemas across the globe.

Titan Comics is the comics and graphic novel division of global publishing giant Titan, a pioneer that has proven itself over three decades with internationally-recognized brands such as James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, as well as creator-owned successes like Tank Girl, Lenore, and Death Sentence. Titan’s magazine division is the largest publisher of licensed entertainment properties in the US.

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Perth Writers Festival

You may remember me mentioning the highly entertaining documentary, Comic Book Heroes last year. It focused on West Australian publisher Gestalt Comics and their struggle to great success. It aired on Australian TV last year and is really worth watching. If you missed it however, fear not!

As part of this year’s Perth Writers’ Festival, you can see it for free, along with a Q and A of some of the talented Gestalt crew, at Octagon Theatre, Nedlands on Saturday February 22.

City of Wanneroo Pop Culture Festival

City of Wanneroo pop_culture_festivalIt’s always encouraging when libraries or local governments encourage arty and creative activities. The City of Wanneroo, here in Western Australia recently started their Pop Culture Festival, with a focus on cosplaying, but also a discussion, and workshop wit writer/artist Justin Randall (the excellent horror comic Changing Ways), as well as an anime film festival.

Go here for further info.

Genesis from Image Comics

Writer Nathan Edmondson is one of my fave comics scribes, with series such as Olympus, The Light, Who Is Jake Ellis? and now Black Widow from Marvel. His new work with Image Comics is a one-shot with an intriguing premise, and the first work from artist Alison Sampson. Official lowdown below.

 

GENESIS WILL TAKE YOU ON A JOURNEY OF CREATION AND DESTRUCTION

Sweeping visuals and poignant writing make Nathan Edmondson and Alison Sampson’s new one-shot

Nathan Edmondson (WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?, The Punisher, Black Widow) and debut artist Alison Sampson’s, GENESIS, pairs sweeping visuals with poignant writing to bring readers a one-shot that cannot be missed.

GENESIS is a trippy journey of creation and destruction as one man finds himself with the ability to manifest anything by thinking it—only to learn that with seemingly unlimited power comes unstoppable terror.

“Genesis was a fun opportunity to let storytelling and art run wild with the idea of creativity itself—of the boundlessness of imagination and the inevitable vertigo that comes from the unlimited ability to manifest anything into being,” said Nathan Edmondson.

Sampson has a background in architecture which informs her style. “The comic page is built up like I’d design a bit of architecture, with leading and secondary spaces and places and so on. I found it hard to be linear, to cater to a reader—comics and architecture are not always the same,” explained Sampson. “It amazes me what level of design skills comic artists bring to their pages, even as someone who designs every day. I miss the excitement of being on site, but you can do all sorts of things on paper you can’t do in real life, and there is a lot of that still to explore.”

“I’m really grateful for Nathan asking me to do this. The script let me draw on my architectural background (twenty five years of it) to bring something special of my own to the project and I hope that comes across—Nathan is a designer’s writer,” said Sampson. “I’m relatively new to comics and there was a steep learning curve, but Nathan works with some amazing artists, so there was a standard to meet and this made me work harder.”

GENESIS (ONE-SHOT) arrives in stores on 4/16, and will be available for $6.99. It can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code: FEB140504.

GENESIS_COVER-Image Comics

 

Read Deadpool: The Gauntlet For Free

The first issue, that is. As of last week, Marvel have been distributing free copies of the first issue of Deadpool: The Gauntlet, a 13 part series that is made specifically for their new Infinite Comics line. It will all be collected on paper at some point.

I’d like to take this opportunity to let you now that there are always some good freebies to be had at your generous comic book shop. It’s always promotional material, but I’ve grabbed heaps of plastic Green Lantern rings, posters, coasters, bookmarks, temporary tattoos, etc for my nieces and nephews (and occasionally myself), over the years. You don’t get that kind of stuff at a digital store! I have nothing against digital stores by the way. I o prefer reading on paper, and socialising with my fellow witty comics clerks and readers though.

There’s aslo Comic Shop News, which is a free weekly newspaper which covers the latest releases and announcements, and interviews. Your comic shop may not carry copies though. It’s been running for years and is a good way to catch up on all the news in the comic book biz if you’re not one to jump online for such things.

Free Deadpool: The Gauntlet

Digital Comics Fans Around The World

We all like handy infographics right? Excellent. Then here you go. Digital comics app comiXology is doing well all over the globe it appears. That’s good news. Interesting and encouraging press release below.

Where In The World Is ComiXology?

ComiXology Charts As The Top-Grossing iPad Book App For 2013
In France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, & The UK

ComiXology Worldwide

Last week you learned that comiXology, the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform, charted as iTunes’ #1 Top Grossing non-game iPad App for 2013 in the U.S., this week comiXology reveals that they also charted as the Top-Grossing iPad Book App for 2013 in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the UK!

ComiXology is also making available an infographic, “Where in the World Are Digital Comics Fans?”, showing the penetration of digital comics readers on the comiXology platform across the globe.

Below are some fun facts from the infographic:

  • 51% of comiXology users are outside the U.S.
  • ComiXology is also currently the Top iOS Book App in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, The Philippines & many more.

ComiXology’s domination in the 2013 international Top-Grossing iPad Apps lists caps off a year that has seen comiXology’s growth driven by ongoing innovation and international expansion.

At last year’s Festival de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême, comiXology announced the opening of Paris-based comiXology Europe, the company’s first overseas subsidiary, which is spearheading international language content acquisition across Europe. French language navigation, a precursor to full French localization, was added to comiXology’s iOS apps in June of 2013. The Franco-Belgian market is home to a ravenous base of comic book fans, which account for a $700 million annual market – roughly on par with the U.S. market.

With over 45,000 comics and graphic novels from more than 75 publishers, comiXology offers the widest selection of digital comics in the world. ComiXology’s immense catalog and unique Guided View reading experience is available across the iPhoneiPadAndroidKindle FireWindows 8, andwww.comixology.com – making it the best digital platform for comic and graphic novel fans worldwide.

Son of Batman Animated Film Trailer

Well, this is a surprise. DC Comics/Warner Bros. release about two animated films based on classic, and new, DC series every year, but this one came from nowhere. Usually there’s a press release with a few details, but not this time. Bam! Here you go internet, thanks to TV Guide. What a nice surprise it is though.

Son of Batman is based on the awesome and highly recommended 2006 Batman and Son comic written by Grant Morrison with art by Andy Kubert. It was a great story arc, and notable for having introduced Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son with Talia al-Ghul, Ra’s al-Ghul’s daughter. Voicing Batman is Jason O’Mara, who also voices him in next month’s Justice League: War animated film. It looks to be fairly close to the comics, including Man-Bat, but also throwing in Deathstroke who was absent from the original tale, but I guess he’s popular now, thanks to TV’s Arrow.

The film will premier at California’s WonderCon in April, and then hit Blu-ray and DVD, and a new edition collecting the comics goes on sale on January 29.

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Darth Maul Prequel Novel Preview

Every month Del Rey Books release a very generous 50ish page preview of some of their upcoming releases. This time, if you’re a Star Wars or Transformers fan, then you’re in luck.

Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown is set before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, in which Darth Maul still had his own legs. It’s written by Joe Schreiber who made a splash with his “zombie Stormtroopers” novel, Star Wars: Death Troopers. You can read a gripping excerpt right here, and if you like transforming ‘bots, then here’s a preview of Transformers: Retribution. Below are the covers and official descriptions for the novels, both of which go on sale on January 28.

Maul Lockdown

Set before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, this new novel is a thrilling follow-up to Star Wars: Darth Plagueis.

It’s kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy.

Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious are determined to possess the prize. And one of the power-hungry duo has his own treacherous plans for it. But first, their fearsome apprentice must take on a bloodthirsty prison warden, a cannibal gang, cutthroat crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and an unspeakable alien horror. No one else could brave such a gauntlet of death and live. But no one else is the dreaded dark-side disciple known as Darth Maul.

Transformers Retribution

For decades, Transformers fans across the globe have marveled at the mighty clashes of Megatron and Optimus Prime, and speculated about their arrival on planet Earth. Now, in Transformers: Retribution, the prequel to the Transformersanimated series, the epic odyssey of these two great warriors is finally revealed as Autobots and Decepticons battle one another . . . and the most diabolic foe they’ve ever encountered.

Aboard the Ark, Optimus Prime leads his Autobots through deep space, searching for the AllSpark so vital to their home planet, Cybertron. Megatron’s not far behind, and his Decepticons are itching for war. But a mysterious planet conceals an enemy far more cunning and powerful: the Quintessons. Masters of tyranny, technology, and twisted double crosses, the Quintessons are out to enslave both Autobots and Decepticons. Their deadly bag of tricks includes fiendish trials and a secret link all the way back to Cybertron, where Shockwave is wreaking havoc with supercomputer Vector Sigma. In the coming conflagration, Star Seekers, Wreckers, Alpha Trion, and Sharkticons all have their parts to play. For none can dodge the Quintesson juggernaut of evil, and none will escape the cataclysmic life-and-death battles that will catapult Autobots and Decepticons to Earth.

Drawn + Quarterly’s Upcoming Releases

Publisher Drawn + Quarterly have just released the list of diverse goodies they’ll be releasing in 2014. Possibly the most diverse publisher of graphic novels from days gone by, and comics creators from around the world, D+Q always have an eclectic list of goodies.

Check out their full list of upcoming releases right here for something other than the typical American/superhero approach to sequential art. Pascal Girard’s Petty Theft sounds interesting (“What’s an endorphin-loving cartoonist to do? In a bid to distract himself, Pascal throws himself into his other pleasure: reading. And while at the bookstore one day, he spies a young woman picking up his own book. But then she darts out of the shop without paying. Bemused, he decides to figure out why she did it.”) Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet’s Beautiful Darkness, and the funny Benson’s Cuckoos by Anouk Rickard look very interesting too.

The best part is – you can read a few pages of these releases at the link above! Yay!

Pascal Girard Petty Theft

Listen To Switchfoot’s New Album For Free

Switchfoot have been around since 1996, and are one of my favourite bands. Their 9th studio album, Fading West was released last week and you can listen to all of it for free over at the excellent site, Relevant.

Fading West Album

 

There’s also a film related to the album featuring the band on tour, which is now available on Video on Demand services, and hopefully on Blu-ray/DVD in the near future.

Curse #1 Review

Curse_01_rev_Page_1Released last week was the debut issue of this new four issue mini-series from BOOM! Studios. It’s got werewolves in it. With Teen Wolf and the new series Bitten starring Laura Vandevoort (Supergirl on Smallville), could werewolves be the new vampires or zombies? If Curse, has anything to say about it, then yes, and what it does say, it says in style.

Written by Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel and with art by Colin Lorimer, and Riley Rossmo, Curse is so far, a horror debut executed very well.

The creators may not necessarily be household names in the world of comics, but they have some impressive titles on their resume, with Moreci’s work on Hoax Hunters, and Daniel’s on Enormous, both with Image Comics. Lorimer created UXB in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, and Rosmo has crafted the art for Drumhellar and Cowboy Ninja Viking, both from Image Comics.

As you can see by the preview pages after the jump, it starts in a most intriguing fashion. Two men – one chained, and one angry. Then we see how they got there.Well, we get hints as to how they got there in this premiere.

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It’s All Happening With The JLA

The Justice League of America. My favourite superteam! Grant Morrison’s run in the ’90s is oen of the best superhero series I’ve read. I haven’t been reading much of the New 52 version though, but it looks like some interesting developments are happening.

Namely, bald baddie Lex Luthor is joining them! This is actually a good idea. He’s proven that he is  a resourceful genius, and after the events of Forever Evil, things are changed. He’s also bringing Flash baddie Captain Cold with him. Writer Geoff Johns is a huge fan of Cold, so that’s no surprise. He’s given him great prominence in the last few years. That means Superman and The Flash are being replaced by their own enemies which will certainly bring the friction.

“With fame and spotlight comes scrutiny and detractors,” said Johns, adding Luthor is breaking new and unfamiliar ground.

“I think the most interesting thing is that Lex doesn’t realize what it’s like to be a super hero, what the life is like. You make enemies, they attack you on a personal level. And he’s just Lex Luthor. He has no codename, no mask,” he said. “He has to deal with the ramifications of that.”

Lex Luthor's League

Look for Luthor’s JL debut in Justice League #30 on April 23.

JLA doesn’t stand for Justice League of America anymore. Well actually it still does, but now there’s a new League too – a Canadian League that is. Marvel have had a Canadian superteam for years (Alpha Flight), but I don’t believe DC ever has, until now. Members include Stargirl, Martian Manhunter and ( a now Canadian) Adam Strange, whose sci-fi travelling between worlds will figure prominently in the new series.

Justice League United, written by Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Sweet Tooth), with art by Mike McKone (Teen Titans, Marvel’s Avengers Academy) also launches in April.

“It was really important for me to try to reflect different aspects of our country,” the writer says. “I thought it’d be great to create someone who represented that aspect of the culture.

“I’ve gotta say I’ve put more work into this book than I have for anything I’ve ever done for DC. It’s been really fulfilling, and hopefully on top of all that it’s a big fun action-adventure superhero comic that people will enjoy.”

JL United

Finally, Man of Steel 2, which features both Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman (and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman) has been delayed a whopping ten months (possibly due to Affleck’s recent leg injury), which means it will now be released on May 6th, 2016 rather than its original date of July 17, 2015. That’s okay though, as 2015 will be a stellar year for films anyway, with Star Wars: Episode VII, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genesis, and new Fast and Furious and James Bond films.