Extra Sequential Podcast #59-Donald Duck & DuckTales

55 mins. Don’t cry fowl, but we discuss the whacky and funny Fantagraphics collection of Carl Barks’ much loved 1940s Donald Duck stories, and compare them to BOOM! Studios’ current DuckTales…tales. Also, Ninja Turtles, Mythbusters and capitalism.






You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

2:53 NEWS

Amanda Waller gets retconned to a thin woman!

Marvel is no longer publishing any of French publisher’s Soleil’s great comics

Batman: Year One animated clip


John Dies at the End cast pics


We tell you why creator Carl Barks is loved for his storytelling prowess and surprisingly funny and absurd humour in his Donald, Scrooge, etc tales and compare it with the modern equivalent in BOOM! Studio’s latest DuckTales mini-series.

You can get Fantagraphics’ Donald Duck in Lost in the Andes in November.

The 4 issues of BOOM!’s DuckTales series, Rightful Owners, are available now.



Smurfs, Shrapnel and The Traveler Games

Want something to distract you in between bouts of reading comics? How about games based on comics, then? Three different comic publishers have all made launches within days of each other.

First up is Papercutz with their first of many games based on The Smurfs.

Smurftastic news! Papercutz, the premier publisher of such popular graphic novel series as BIONICLE, DISNEY FAIRIES, GERONIMO STILTON, NANCY DREW, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, and THE SMURFS has posted the first of three all-new Smurfs games on its website. “Brainy’s Bad Day” is now available to play at www.papercutz.com/smurfs. Papercutz will post more free games in the following months. These games can be played online and on any Flash-enabled phone with a web browser.

Recently, Capcom launched its iPhone game “Smurf Village” which quickly became the most popular game on the Apple iPhone App store. “Brainy’s Bad Day” lets you take on the role of a mischievous Smurf attempting to bean Brainy with a tennis ball. You have 30 seconds to score 10 points and move on to the next round. For extra points, try to bop Brainy as he walks through the woods. Highly addictive and great for all ages, “Brainy’s Bad Day” is easy, free, and more fun than a barrel of smurfberries!

Radical Publishing’s game based on their sci-fi Shrapnel series has the most potential to please serious gamers.

Gamers take on the role of Vijaya “Sam” Narayan, a former military hero, who is fighting to save the galaxy from the Solar Alliance. Gamers navigate Sam and the Alliance across multiple planetary terrains, battling enemies, all while unlocking secret missions and compiling money to purchase weapons and upgrades. During game play, players also accrue points to stay atop of the leader board in hopes of winning cash prizes.

Unlike other games, this dual stick shooter is based on an intelligent engine that modifies game difficulty based on the player’s ability – perfect for the novice or expert player.  The 3-D graphics and sound effects make game play realistic and engaging.

“Once you start battling enemies, it is hard to stop playing … the game play is very addicting.” stated Barry Levine, President of Radical Studios. “Our partner, Moyo Studios, has created a fun and challenging game that immerses casual gamers inside Sam’s world”.

Specific Game Play Features Include:

16 mission types + 5 secret missions

9 weapons and upgrades to help Sam defeat her enemies

Unlock codes to increase points on the leader board

For a limited time, Shrapnel is available for $.99 at the Apple App Store.

Lastly, BOOM! Studios have released a new game based on their new Stan Lee’s The Traveler comic.

Alongside the much anticipated release of the time-bending superhero saga STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER #1, comes the debut of STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER in SPLIT-SECOND MAYHEM available now in the iTunes store for the iPhone & iPod Touch and brought to you by Stan Lee, BOOM! Studios, GameSalad, and D7!

In this fast-paced puzzle game, you play as The Traveler battling against the Split-Second Men to defeat evil and save the future! Speed up or slow down time to navigate citizens through perilous traps and dangerous encounters with the Split-Second Men. Straight from the pages of STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER, SPLIT-SECOND MAYHEM makes you the hero and puts you in control of the adventure!

Stan Lee’s The Traveler #1 Preview

Legendary creator Stan Lee has a few new series coming out from BOOM! Studios, starting with The Traveler. Below is a preview, official info and some of the covers from the November releasing title.

STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER #1, currently available for Comic Book Retailers to order from Diamond Comic Distributors and Haven Distributors, is written by Eisner and Harvey Award-nominee Mark Waid (KINGDOM COME, IRREDEEMABLE) with art by Chad Hardin (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and ships with seven covers, including A & B covers in a 50/50 split by Scott Clark and Chad Hardin respectively, a 1-in-25 incentive by Joe Benitez, 1-in-50 Undressed Scott Clark Variant, 1-in-75 Undressed Chad Hardin, 1-in-150 Undressed Joe Benitez Variant and a special 1-in-300 Stan Lee signed variant cover with all new cover art by Paul Rivoche. STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER #1 carries a Diamond Code of SEP100889 and is shipping this November.

Marvel And BOOM! Promotions

First it was Dan Didio, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee who got promotions at DC, followed quickly by Joe Quesada from EIC to CCO at Marvel. Now both Marvel and BOOM! Studios are patting staff on the back. Details below.


Marvel Worldwide, Inc announced today that it has promoted C.B. Cebulski to Senior Vice President, Creator & Content Development of Marvel Entertainment.  In this new role, Mr. Cebulski will report to Jim Sokolowski, Chief Operating Officer – Publishing, Marvel Worldwide, Inc., C.B. will discover, develop and nurture new talent, brainstorm new initiatives and advise on creative directions for Marvel’s key titles. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Cebulski will work on creative aspects of development of larger corporate initiatives. The announcement was made today by Dan Buckley, Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc.

Mr. Buckley stated, “It’s with tremendous pride that I announce C.B Cebulski’s promotion to Senior Vice President, Creator & Content Development. C.B. has been an instrumental part of Marvel’s success, recruiting the top talent in the industry and developing key global relationships. As he moves into this new role, I’m excited to see just what kind of new talent and creative directions C.B. brings to Marvel.”

Having started his career as an editor at Marvel, Mr. Cebulski was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Marvel’s Talent Management department, where he then worked as a talent scout, recruiting international artists for Marvel’s ever-growing stable of premiere pencilers and painters. Mr. Cebulski has also written fan favorite stories featuring all of Marvel’s key heroes, including the X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, Runaways, and the Loners. He also served as head writer for Activision’s Marvel: Ultimate Alliance video game, which drew praise from all corners for its nuanced storytelling and faithful adaptation of Marvel’s most popular characters.

“I was first welcomed into the Marvel family almost a decade ago, and the company and I have grown together through all the amazing changes that Marvel has experienced,” said C.B. Cebulski. “I’m thrilled by the prospects and challenges this new position offers and to be working with Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso to expand Marvel’s already amazing line of comics and characters. This marks not only the next step in my personal path at Marvel, but also the next phase in our relationship with our creative partners and talent.”

BOOM! Studios, 2009’s “Best Publisher” and the recipient of 7 Eisner and 5 Harvey Award nominations announced today that Mark Waid has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer.

Matt Gagnon has received a promotion to Editor-in-Chief.

For the past three years, Mark Waid has been serving as Editor-in-Chief of BOOM! Studios and has been one of the leading factors in the amazing growth that’s seen the company increase its market share tenfold. Managing Editor Matt Gagnon has, likewise since his hiring in 2008, been a critical player in the company’s explosive expansion.

“Mark Waid is one of the most well-loved and dynamic personalities in comics,” said Ross Richie, Chief Executive Officer of BOOM!. “When he assumed the editorial reigns at BOOM! in 2007, he had his work cut out for him – I had not run the trains on time, and much of the editorial schedule was wrecked. Mark used his 25 years of experience in the business to methodically put our core titles like ZOMBIE TALES and CTHULHU TALES back on track, added fresh comics creators with fresh voices to our line, and righted our business and helped define our brand. Without that intervention, there’s no way we could have achieved the meteoric growth we’ve enjoyed. He’s been a world-class talent, and it’s a pleasure to commemorate that with this promotion.”

Waid added, “Ross is too kind and perhaps drinks a little much. Let’s save the accolades for Matt Gagnon. He’s got an uncanny eye for talent and a gift for finding diamonds in the dark, secret mineshafts in which freelancers dwell. He’s unearthed breathtaking talents, among them HEXED’s Emma Rios, THE UNKNOWN ’s Minck Oosterveer, and IRREDEEMABLE’s Peter Krause. Moreover, Matt has worked hands-on to make sure that BOOM!’s books are there for readers every month, on time, and that they’re great reads. I am extremely proud of his accomplishments, and we’re overdue in acknowledging them as I shift my responsibilities within the company to focus on our expanding opportunities both inside and outside publishing. Between the upcoming line of comics and graphic novels we’re doing with Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment, our increasing digital-media strategies, and our continued growth in Hollywood, my energies are more dedicated to BOOM! than ever before.”

Waid has been, for over twenty years, one of America’s best-selling comic book authors, having contributed to every major publisher and having written a wider range of well-known comic characters than any comics writer in history, including Spider-Man, The X-Men, Batman, Superman, Archie, and Captain America. The series Waid launched at BOOM! last year, IRREDEEMABLE, was nominated for “Best New Series,” “Best Writer,” and “Best Cover Artist” in the 2010 Eisner Awards and “Best Writer” and “Best New Series” by the 2010 Harvey Awards. This success has been followed up with the critically acclaimed sister title, INCORRUPTIBLE.

Gagnon came to BOOM! from Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, one of the most influential comic book retail stores in the country. Meltdown is renowned for a cutting-edge approach to retailing and a sophisticated and varied line of products, a philosophy that Gagnon had a hand in shaping at the super-store. He brings that same approach to BOOM!, breaking new ground with a strong editorial voice.

BOOM! on iPad

Press release below, revealing a good move from BOOM!.

Today BOOM! Studios is pleased to announce the arrival of the BOOM! Studios Comics app for the iPad and iPhone in the iTunes App Store. Built on comiXology’s popular digital comic platform, the BOOM! Studios Comics app launches with a number of top pop culture-inspired titles including comics based on 28 DAYS LATER, DIE HARD and a word-for-word comic translation of Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, as well as BOOM! Studios’s top-selling original series IRREDEEMABLE, INCORRUPTIBLE and THE UNKNOWN.

Partnering with comiXology to create an incomparable reading experience for BOOM! Studios fans and comic fans everywhere, BOOM! Studios launches its mobile app with nearly 50 comic book titles optimized specifically for mobile devices. In addition to stunning high-resolution comics in an amazingly easy-to-operate user interface, the BOOM! Studios Comics app utilizes comiXology’s patent-pending Guided View™ technology to create a completely immersive digital comic experience for new and old fans alike. The app also comes fully equipped with comiXology’s Retail Locator, giving fans unprecedented access to BOOM! Studios titles both on and offline.

“While comic-based movies are thriving on the big screen, the reality is most fans have never been exposed to comics books as a medium unto themselves,” said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. “Digital comics give us the opportunity to reach a broader audience and inspire them to connect with the comics community through titles they’re already passionate about.”

An innovator in the field, BOOM! Studios, in partnership with MySpace, was the first publisher to offer digital comic releases the day and date of print releases in 2008. BOOM! Studios was also one of the first comic book publishers to make comics available on the iPhone and Android mobile devices. BOOM! Studios continues its mission to fill the void between comic book culture and pop culture with digital distribution. With the release of the BOOM! Studios Comics app, the company marks a significant move toward engaging pop culture fans with the comics that have inspired by world.

Through the app, fans will have access to new issues of each current series, released on a regular basis, and BOOM! Studios’s entire back catalog in the coming months. The BOOM! Studios Comics app will also offer readers the first half of every first issue in each series for free.

“Comics have long since been the landscape for pop culture. So many comics have inspired movies, television and video games, but so few people have encountered the actual comic books that form the basis for that inspiration,” said BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher. According to Mosher, “comiXology has proven, time and again, that digital comics are the key factor in uniting these worlds and exposing the pop culture audience to comic culture. Now they’re helping BOOM! Studios do the same.”

With the BOOM! Studios Comics app, now available for free in the iTunes App Store (link to be included), BOOM! Studios fans and comic fans everywhere can experience some of the best comics available anywhere starting at $1.99 each.

78 Planets, 7 Psychopaths And 1 Duck

BOOM! Studios have got to be one of the busiest indie publishers out there. Thankfully, their quality is consistently good. Now, here’s 3 new press releases spotlighting something for everyone.





THE AMORY WARS comic book returns this May, now from BOOM! Studios! Don’t miss the next chapter of the Coheed & Cambria mythos, straight from the band’s lead singer, Claudio Sanchez (KILL AUDIO) and now joined by legendary comic book writer Peter David (THE DARK TOWER: THE LONG ROAD HOME, SHE-HULK) with THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #1 this May.

Fans who missed the first go round have no excuse not to get caught up, as BOOM! Studios presents THE AMORY WARS: ULTIMATE EDITION HC collecting the first two trades, including never-before-seen material.

Both the new THE AMORY WARS comic series and hardcover come on the heels of COHEED AND CAMBRIA’s new album YEAR OF THE BLACK RAINBOW this April, co-released with a novel of the same name, also written by Sanchez and David.

“Working with Claudio has been an absolute revelation in terms of Coheed and Cambria’s popularity,” said AMORY WARS co-writer Peter David. “I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve encountered people who don’t read “X-Factor,” never heard of “Fallen Angel,” but I mention that I’m working with Claudio and they instantly declare their undying love for all things C&C. They start rattling off titles, song lyrics, and they absolutely cannot wait to get their hands on the next installment of Claudio’s epic science fiction vision. For those fans who have been waiting years for this new comic series, the wait is over. For anyone who’s going to be entering Claudio’s world for the first time, welcome to Heaven’s Fence.”

“I know fans have been waiting for this story for years,” said Coheed and Cambria lead singer and AMORY WARS writer Claudio Sanchez. “I’m excited about partnering with Peter David and BOOM! Studios to finally get this story out of my head and into your hands.”

THE AMORY WARS tells the story of Claudio Kilgannon, son of Coheed and Cambria, the subjects of a privately developed anti-terrorist unit. The insidious Supreme Tri-mage Wilhelm Ryan, self-proclaimed ruler of Heaven’s Fence a network of 78 planets, sets forth to decimate those that could stand in his way, which include Coheed, Cambria and their children. Claudio must discover his role in this galactic turmoil and come to terms with his own growth in worlds that are always changing. THE AMORY WARS is the story behind the band Coheed and Cambria’s music, and fans have tried to unlock the true course of events encrypted in the lyrics since the band first debuted.

The complete SECOND STAGE TURBINE BLADE saga will be collected in THE AMORY WARS ULTIMATE EDITION, also released in May, and is perfect for fans to get caught up on the story behind the band’s music. This release is also timed to coincide with the April release of Coheed and Cambria’s newest album, YEAR OF THE BLACK RAINBOW. THE AMORY WARS ULTIMATE EDITION HC is priced at $29.99.

THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #1 hits shelves in May, featuring covers by Tim Bradstreet and Scott Keating, a 1-in-10 incentive cover, and interior art by Chris Burnham. THE AMORY WARS: IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3 #1 is $3.99.



This May BOOM! Studios brings you a World War II epic like no other with 7 PSYCHOPATHS, written by Fabien Vehlmann and interior art by CRIMINAL co-conspirator Sean Phillips.

With World War II in full swing, there’s only one way to draw the war to a quick end: kill Hitler. But who would be insane enough to try? One person knows just the men to do it. Insane? Psychotic? Mad? Call them what you will, but the 7 PSYCHOPATHS are now the only hope the world has!

7 PSYCHOPATHS is probably the most difficult story I’ve ever drawn,” said 7 PSYCHOPATHS artist Sean Phillips. “Nine or ten panel pages, having to find reference for everything I had to draw, drawing a type of story I’d never tackled before, it was hard work. Many times I wondered if it was worth the effort. Then I started to receive jpegs of Hubert’s coloured pages, and it was definitely worth it. He’s made it look like a book drawn by someone who knew what he was doing! It seemed as if I could do Fabien’s great story justice after all.”

7 PSYCHOPATHS #1 hits shelves in May, is written by Fabien Vehlmann and features cover and interior art by Sean Phillips. Cover price for 7 PSYCHOPATHS #1 is $3.99.




He is the terror that flaps in the night. He is the super-hero that is about to make his return. He is…DARKWING DUCK! This June, Disney and BOOM! Studios herald the triumphant comeback of the beloved Disney Afternoon star with DARKWING DUCK: THE DUCK KNIGHT RETURNS. Lanchpad McQuack, Gosalyn Mallard, and the fiercest of Darkwing’s rogue gallery all join the daring duck of mystery in an all-new, completely original four-issue mini-series: DARKWING DUCK: THE DUCK KNIGHT RETURNS!

Whether you’re a Darkwing fan from the hit TV show or want to discover this cherished character for the first time, this new mini-series delivers all the madcap adventurous spirit that made a fan out of millions!

Written by Ian Brill (ZOMBIE TALES) and James Silvani (MUPPET KING ARTHUR), the mini-series sees Darkwing’s city of St. Canard under the control of a mysterious corporation. Darkwing’s been out of commission for a while but when his friends and family are under attack…you better watch out you bad boys! Darkwing fights new villains as well as old, for Megavolt, Quackerjack, Liquidator and Bushroot are on the loose!

“It’s such a dream to bring back Darkwing, a favorite of mine and millions of other’s,” says series writer Brill. “Everyone involved in this book are working tirelessly to make sure this comic has the same feel of anarchic fun of the TV series, while still presenting a whole new adventure in the life of Darkwing.”

Debuting in 1991 as a spin-off of the hugely popular DUCK TALES, DARKWING DUCK brought super-hero action and excitement to the Disney Afternoon animation block, captivating viewers for years. Shown around the world, DARKWING DUCK is still a fan-favorite of pop culture fans everywhere.

DARKWING DUCK: THE DUCK KNIGHT RETURNS #1 is written by Ian Brill with interior art by James Silvani. The debut issues features two covers in a 50/50 split by Magic Eye Studios and Silvani respectively and a 1-in-10 incentive cover by Silvani and Jake Myler.

Incorruptible #1 Review

It only seems like yesterday that a website opened up simply declaring, “Mark Waid Is Evil.” Some speculated that it was created by a group of fanboys who for some reason disliked the work of the legendary writer of Kingdom Come and great runs on The Flash and Spider-Man. What it really was was a clever marketing ploy from BOOM! Studios, the indie publisher that Waid is the Editor In Chief of.

The slogan proved true when Irredeemable launched (now in it’s 9th issue) from the writer and artist Peter Krause that focused on hero turned bad, The Plutonian. Like many others, I’ve been bowled over by the dark superhero series, and now it’s joined by a spin-off, Incorruptible. Also written by Waid, and with art by Jean Diaz this series is the other side of the coin, representing a villain turned hero in the wake of The Plutonian’s gruesome acts of destruction.

It begins with Max Damage’s gang pulling a heist, after waiting impatiently for their leader who’s been gone  a month. He now shows his new colours, and he’s on the side of the angels, surprising cops and villains alike in an impressive action sequence on a bridge. It’s then off to Max’s hideout where he shows his new attitude to his sidekick of sorts, the appropriately named Jailbait and a police captain.

It’s obvious that this ties firmly into the structure of Irredeemable and is definitely not just a mere tie-in series quickly pumped out to cash in on the success of that series. There’s no real hints as to Max’s origin, and we know from BOOM! that he changes his name from Max Damage to Max Daring, but that’s not set up just yet. In fact not a lot happens here. It feels like the first few minutes of a Lethal Weapon film; all action, high-stakes drama and tough men with weapons, but Waid makes it all so charming and appealing.

I like Peter Krause’s work on Irredeemable, but Jean Diaz’s work is superior. Overall, this series after only one issue, looks set to be even more grungier than it’s originator. Jailbait seems like a Garth Ennis character, and the conflict between our new hero and her, plus all his former villainous team-mates, and the distrust of the remaining heroes should play out brilliantly.

Plus that last page is a doozy and it appears as though Max’s early encounter with The Plutonian became his life turning moment with good reason. Irredeemable demands a high quality story of anything associated with it. Incorruptible looks to be a more than capable sparring partner.

Comic-Con Friday

Radical_07243 panels today. I kicked off this morning at Room32AB, which was filled with people. Not surprisingly, as pretty much everyone who reads comics wants to create comics and the topic was focused on just how to do that. Entitled From Fan to Creator: Goal Setting for Creative Types it was run by teacher and founder of Toucan Learning Systems Douglas Neff. Neff has given this seminar at other cons and was certainly comfortable in front of the eager audience. Think of him as a Tony Robbins for the geeks. Neff had an amusing Power Point presentation filled with inspirational quotes, comic art and sound effects. With references to The A Team, The Lord of the Rings and Mario Bros. getting a few laughs, Neff was reminded that the listeners were “my people.” What he had to say wasn’t exactly revolutionary, but would’ve been a good encouragement for some. His helpers all had Blue Lantern t-shirts, symbolising hope, and that’s something he was trying to dish out to the creative hopefuls. With a rundown of his “Ten Magic Coins to Collect Along Your Path to Success” he focused on steps such as making specific, measurable and attainable goals, playing to your strengths and never giving up. Again, not entirely original but many were nodding and taking notes. A few attendees revealed their goals, such as opening up a comic shop and working for an animation studio and hopefully everyone learned, or was reminded, that a dream without hard work is just a fantasy, and also that every pro working in comics today was one day a fan too.

The Radical Publishing Panel was by far the best one I’ve been to. It was moderated by Harry Knowles of AICN. Though he didn’t really say much his enthusiasm for Radical’s impressive titles was obvious. Editor-In-Chief David Wohl kept things moving briskly with a look at their most successful series with a brief rundown by each book’s creator. Legendary painter and snappy dresser Jim Steranko talked about how he was influenced by a tough guy in the neighbourhood of his youth when designing Hercules and president Barry Levine showed off a tattoo of the character on his arm. Writer Jimmy Palmiotti ran from the Jonah Hex panel to talk about his new time travel WWII series Time Bomb, Steve Niles talked about City of Dust and Rick Remender discussed The Last Days of American Crime, which is a great premise (the U.S government is about to broadcast a signal in a few days making criminal thoughts impossible, so a grifter has one last chance to get away with the perfect crime).

Nick Simmons, son of KISS’ Gene got a warm welcome with his new book as writer and artist, Incarnate which is a fresh spin on vampire mythology. The space opera Shrapnel (which has a follow up called Hubris coming) and western series Caliber were discussed, with the latter being developed into a film, which director John Woo has pulled out off. Caliber writer Sam Sarkar said, seemingly with some seriousness that Woo wanted to make a more comedic Blazing Saddles approach. The biggest cheer was saved for Steve Pugh’s beautiful Hotwire book, which is a series everyone should be reading. New series such as David Hine’s FVZA, Arthur Suydam’s When Giants Walk The Earth, a Caliber sequel entitled Book of the Dead which focuses on Lancelot’s visions of the dead, and Hine’s noir-like Ryder on the Storm. All of Radical’s books have the distinction of having phenomenal art and many heads were turned at the screen which showcased some of their best current and future work.

The BOOM! Studios panel was hosted by PR guy Chip Mosher who soldiered on despite battling a cold. E-I-C Mark Waid showed he was a good egg when the team talked about the Mark Waid Is Evil promo for the Irredeemable series, and Andrew Cosby, Ross Richie and relatively new editor Matt Gagnon joined them for a few laughs and a look at new acquisitions such as their Disney/Pixar line including the now ongoing The Incredibles, Cars and now Mickey Mouse and co. The Muppet Show received an impressive round of applause, and it was announced that Waid’s series about a dying woman’s investigation into the afterlife, The Unknown now has a sequel. Their brave word for word adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? has sold out and their new series include more Cthulhu, Kill Audio and a new series from Waid which just may be called Incorruptible. Maybe.

After the panels I talked to a few people in Artists Alley promoting their wares and picked up a few sketchbooks and some books from SLG and Fantagraphics. It’s so hard to choose!









Irredeemably Cheap

In August you can grab the first 5 issues of the mega-awesome dark superhero tale, Irredeemable from BOOM! Studios for just $11 – American. Written by Mark Waid with art by Peter Krause, it really is a guilty pleasure. The TPB collecting the first four issues will be released on the same day as the new 5th issue, for only 99 cents. That’s an evil bargain!

Irredeemable TPB Ad

Die Hard at BOOM!

DieHard_001AThose whacky funsters at BOOM! Studios seem to have a knack for headline grabbing (at least on the comics interwebs) franchise acquisitions. Cars, The Incredibles, Muppets, Farscape, Eureka and now Jennifer’s Body (the upcoming Megan Fox film written by Juno’s Diablo Cody) and the classic Die Hard. That’s a diverse line-up. The Die Hard promo is in the latest Previews, for release in July. It stars a rookie John McClane and is written by Howard Chaykin. This could very well work. Here’s the official lowdown on the new series.

BOOM! Studios is proud to present America’s greatest action hero translated into the sequential art form for the first time! Every great action hero got started somewhere: Batman Began. Bond had his Casino Royale. And for John McClane, more than a decade before the first DIE HARD movie, he’s just another rookie cop, an East Coast guy working on earning his badge in New York City during 1976’s Bicentennial celebration. Too bad for John McClane, nothing’s ever that easy. Join legendary industry creator Howard Chaykin on a thrill ride that’s rung up over $1 billion in box office worldwide and become the gold standard for classic action! Yippee Ki Yay!

Jennifer's Body OGN

Zombie Tales 2061 Collected

ZTALES009-ABOOM! Studios anthology, Zombie Tales, proved that there’s still some life left in the ever popular zombie stories hovering around pop culture like flies on a resurrected corpse. Writer Kim Krizan’s three short stories about a zombie infested future earth were often the highlight. They were both darkly funny and frightening at the same time. Now they’ve been collected into one volume, for release in July. Press release below.


The living dead walk among us! Zombies have taken over the planet! Humans only exist as novelty attractions… or worse. But today is the day of revolution and soon the tide will turn on undead supremacy! Enter the world of ZOMBIE TALES 2061. From Academy Award-nomintated writer Kim Krizan (BEFORE SUNRISE, BEFORE SUNSET) comes an epic saga ripped from the pages of the critically acclaimed ZOMBIE TALES anthology and collected in one volume for the first time! 

Best known for writing the generation definining romance movies BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET, Krizan jumped into the horror genre with both feet, delivering a unique new vision of the zombie apocalypse for Zombie Tales: The Series #1. Originally planned as just an 8 pager and slotted between stories from more seasoned horror vets Steve Niles and Joe R. Lansdale, critics and fans spotlighted Krizan’s freshman horror venture and clamored for a sequel. Krizan immediately expanded her Zombie universe into a triptych, finally collected in one easy reading volume with ZOMBIE TALES 2061. 

“When horror tastemaker RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE begs for a sequel, you know you have a hit on your hands,” said Publisher Ross Richie. “I really don’t think people have seen as an original take on Zombies since Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. That is how blown away I was by this book.” 

“It was great fun for me to write ‘2061’ and it’s an honor to have it collected,” said ZOMBIE TALES writer Kim Krizan. “Though it seemed on the surface to be a light, fun project, it really gets to the heart of what I believe about our species. For me, zombie dominance is now!” 

Outside garnering an Academy Award nomination for BEFORE SUNSET, Krizan also acted in the cult films SLACKER, DAZED AND CONFUSED and WAKING LIFE. Her turn as high school teacher Ginny Stroud in DAZED AND CONFUSED led her to speak the immortal lines “…this summer when you’re being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don’t forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.” 

When asked about the rumor of a Zombified follow-up to the BEFORE SUNRISE franchise, Krizan had no comment. 

ZOMBIE TALES 2061 features 24 pages of interior art by newcomer Jon Reed and a cover by Patrick McEvoy. SRP: $3.99, Diamond Order Code: MAY090726.




The Unknown #1 Review

The Unknown #1 CvrNot that Mark Waid needs to prove himself anymore. Long ago he elevated himself into superstar status but since leaving The Big Two, and taking up residency with BOOM! Studios, the writer has varied his output considerably. Moving away from his mastery of superheroes (though he still has something to say on the topic, as can be seen in the astonishing Irredeemable), he seems to be embracing every genre he can get his hands on, from crime in Potter’s Field, to kid-friendly adventure in The Incredibles and now to the mysteries of science in his latest series.

The Unkown is a 4 ish mini that follows Catherine Allingham. Apparently she’s a very smart woman – the world’s smartest person in fact, though we are only given hints as to why. The take charge private eye only has 6 months to live, thanks to an incurable, and growing, brain tumour. She seems very confident and as focused as a laser beam, assumedly because of her limited time left on this earth, but perhaps she was like that before her death sentence.

The first few pages aren’t a flattering start. They’re staged quite awkwardly, with page transitions that need to be re-read to get a sense of time. Catherine wakes up to a hallucination (that occurs again, twice) of a creepy Frankenstein lookalike, before making it disappear thanks to some pills. She’s then called into a murder scene and deduces the culprit almost immediately before heading home. On the way she meets James Doyle, a perceptive bouncer. Before Doyle knows it, he’s teaming up with the famous detective and on a plane with her to Vienna. It is there that the new partners find twin scientists working on a huge machine. The Faderbauer brothers claim they are victims of the world’s first quantum crime, while Catherine discovers what their machine is capable of measuring.

This left me unimpressed. It’s a great premise, to be sure. The world’s best investigator chasing down the world’s last mystery – life after death. Well, this mission isn’t stated in this story, but that’s what the promos tell us. Presumably, Catherine is on a quest to grasp what has eluded mankind since it first discovered death – what happens next. Motivated by the tumour that’s robbing her remaining days, she’s in a hurry. That makes sense and is intriguing. The problem here is that we not given any real glimpse into who Catherine is. Hopefully that will come in future issues, but I found myself wanting to know more about Doyle than her. The way Waid handles Catherine kind of reminded me of how some writers handle Batman. To prove his proficiency, they make him always appear to be the smartest person in the room. He easily solves dilemmas and dashes to the next one, leaving those in his wake appear helpless. Catherine is not so much a character as a force of nature, merely a blur of multi-tasking self-reliance. Now that can work, but there’s no anchor to her humanity. She’s not aggressive, or rude or cocky, which in the hands of a lesser writer she easily could have been. It’s just that there’s no awareness of her as a real person.

Minck Oosterveer’s art is great though. Similar to John Paul Leon, with his use of blacks and muted textures, he can draw pretty much anything. It all looks real and never awkward. Felipe Martin’s colouring is perhaps too restrained however, though it does add a noir feel with the use of shadows and silhouettes.

I’d be a foolish man to give up on Waid. He knows what he’s doing and BOOM! has had a superb recent history with strong female characters, such as with Hexed. Hopefully Catherine Allingham can be one more, but it’s not immediately obvious just yet.

Irredeemable #2 Review

irredeemable_002aSure, the first two issues of this excellent series from BOOM! Studios have sold out, but second printings will be available very soon. I heaped my praise on the first issue (as did many others) and will do so again now.

Irredeemable is a new series from writer Mark Waid. If you have any interest in comics, you owe it to yourself to Google that name and pick up whatever you can find with his name on it at your LCS or bookstore. Waid is legendary. The classic Kingdom Come is as good as he gets, though it means more to long-time readers, though he’s proved with all the monthly assignments he’s had over the years, (The Flash, Captain America, etc) that he knows how to welcome newbies too. Irredeemable will satisfy both parties.

Issue 1 was a great set up. It’s such a simple premise, that I’m certain it’s been done before, but surely without such panache. Waid knows superheroes. The mindset, philosophies, the grand soap operas, the relationships in constant turmoil. All that stuff, plus fist fights between spandex clad characters is the glue that makes superhero comics great. With Irredeemable Waid respects those conventions, yet shatters them at the same time. His skill lies in not being too flamboyant and in yoir face, like other superhero ‘re-examinations’ such as The Authority or Kick Ass attempt. Waid is a gentleman, and doesn’t resort to nudity, profanity and blood letting to get his point across. However, saying that, as BOOM!’s marketing ploy reminded us weeks ago, “Mark Waid is evil.”

So here’s the story – The Plutonian was a great do-gooder; a costumed inspiration in the vein of Superman. Now he’s turned bad and is swiftly executing his former Paradigm team-mates. As is the trend of story telling these days, it’s told in a non-linear fashion. We are given glimpses of the past (during sunnier times, when the cracks started to show in the heroic visage) and mainly of the present with the world’s most powerful man on a vicious rampage. Kaidan, one of The Plutonian’s former allies,  seeks The Plutonian’s initially surly girlfriend for answers. She tells Kaidan of their romance, and how the only villain he ever feared was Modeus, and gives hints to his background.  I won’t spoil anymore than that. There’s a tremendous sense of urgency in this issue. We are never shown The Plutonian in the present. He exists only in flashbacks, yet Waid builds the menace like a crafty architect.

If you’ve ever enjoyed superhero tales for any length of time, you must grab this series. Sure, the characters are all new, but we recognise them instantly. It seems to me that over all the years Waid has been writing comics, he’s been storing away ideas for this series in the dark corners of his notepad. He unleashes blistering pages with ease. The highlight of this issue is an unpleasant, yet realistic, twist on the classic secret identity concept. It’s obvious Waid has really thought about this whole superhero thing and just what it means as part of a practical, daily existence, with all the desperation, responsibility and horror that accompany it.

Peter Krause’s art is suitably dark and frightening, and grounded in reality. It’s a perfect match for what Waid is up to. There really is a tremendous piece of fiction being unveiled here, with precision and fury. Don’t miss out on this series. It’s one of the very few that have me looking forward to each astonishing instalment.

Hexed #4 Review

Hexed #4This has been an excellent series with every issue. It’s been tightly scripted with a genuine momentum, and especially when compared to the disappointing finale of The Remnant, this is a truly satisfying conclusion to a great adventure.

By keeping the number of characters to a minimum, namely teenage magician/thief Luci, her friend Val, bad guy (and Luci’s former boss) Dietrich and badder girl Madame Cymbaline, writer Michael Alan Nelson has been free of confusing sub-plots and unnecessary diversions. Along with artist Emma Rios, he has crafted a dark supernatural tale of friendship, thievery, secrets and power lust. This final issue brings Luci’s desire for the death-dealing item, the carasinth, Dietrich’s machinations and Luci’s relationship to Madame Cymbaline all to a tidy conclusion. Luci shows she’s more wily than she’s given credit for and Val learns the pain of being a bargaining chip at gunpoint.

I’ve praised Hexed ever since it began. Fans of Buffy must grab this, and when the Trade comes out, I hope they, and others do so. The art by Rios is bold and fluid and with Cris Peter’s colour choices, violence and blood letting have never looked so strangely appealing.

Hexed could definitely carry the weight of an ongoing series, and this is a great primer. Writers who want to know how to craft an intelligent and entertaining introduction to a new universe should take notes. The mini-series format is an artform in itself. Hexed is one of the new breed that would easily fit in the done-in-one format of a Trade, without the sometimes unnecessary recaps in every issue. It barrels along and is a perfectly captured realization of a taut tale that can be read by anyone without getting bogged down in stray details. Telling an engrossing story these days while keeping things simple at the same time, is an honourable feat. Nelson and Rios have done it with Hexed.

Go here for a preview.

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