IDW’s PDFs

I interviewed Eric Reichert for the first issue of Extra Sequential, regarding Eagle One Media’snew Street Fighter animated comics. Now, IDW is wisely getting in on the action and making some of their impressive titles available as downloadable PDFs through the company. Official press release below.

IDW Publishing, known for its wide array of comic books and graphic novels, has partnered with Eagle One Media to start a comprehensive backlist on the Web. Featuring a range of books from the Eisner-nominated artist and co-creator of 30 Days of Night, Ben Templesmith, to the Presidential Material: Barack Obama and McCain comics, to work by acclaimed artist Ashley Wood, each title will be available for download as a PDF for a minimal $1.99 fee.

250_gomtpbEagle One Media’s President, Eric Reichert, is excited about this new relationship. “Being able to work in partnership with IDW to make a significant number of their comics available for download to fans worldwide is a great opportunity for us. We’ve simplified the process so that comic fans can easily and quickly download complete PDF-style issues to their computer. They can also print the issues and save them to more than one computer if needed.

“Plus, with a sales price below the printed books, we give fans the opportunity to discover and try out comics which they may not have had access to in the past, in an innovative format. IDW joins our growing list of publishers who have made their comics and graphic novels available in our retail download store at: http://www.eagleonemedia.com.”

Chris Ryall, IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, added “I love seeing our comics expand into areas that allow readers to sample books that are new or unfamiliar to them. Eagle One’s formatting is clean, quick, and easy for anyone who wants to read comics on their computer, and when you consider that you can download an entire issue of the 72-page Doomed magazine for $2, a great value, too.”

This pairing ushers in a brand-new platform for fans to enjoy IDW’s extensive backlist, with titles to appeal to a wide array of fans. Currently available for download are Blood-Stained Sword, Cobb, CVO, D’Airain Aventure, Doomed, Everybody’s Dead, Grumpy Old Monsters, Igor, Lore, Lost & Found, Pirat Tales, Presidential Material, ShadowPlay, Singularity 7, Snaked, and Zombies!: Feast. This already impressive backlist will be frequently updated at Eagleonemedia.com.

Groom Lake #1 Review

groomlake1a_sm

My latest review is up at Broken Frontier. It’s all about a unique four issue mini-series from IDW Publishing that centres on UFOs, government cover ups and all that craziness.

Written by Chris Ryall, with art by Perth lad done good, Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The first issue is released in March, but for people who find The X-Files too serious and Men In Black not gory enough, this is the book for you!

Check out my full review here.

Dinobots Debut From IDW

image0061Those loveable Dinobots were fan favourites in the Transformers cartoon in the 80s and hold a dear place in many Transfans’ hearts. Now, IDW, the current publisher of original Transformers comics, including tie-ins to the next live-action movie, are giving them the attention they deserve.

The first issue of Maximum Dinobots is a new-reader friendly 32 pager and will be released on December 10.Written by long-time Transformers scribe, Simon Furman, with art by Nick Roche, the series shows the Dinobots reunion and features the huge bad guy Scorponok, and two Autobots – namely, Hot Rod and Sunstreaker. Cool! That’s a lot of robots in disguise in one issue.

Clive Barker’s Thief of Always on Your iPhone

Here’s the official lowdown on one of the latest comics available for your purchase from iTunes for your funky mobile gizmo.

thief_1_titleUCLICK®, America’s #1 provider of comics on mobile phones, has added the graphic novel version of Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always to its rapidly growing line of comic book titles optimized for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Like the children lured to Mister Hood’s Holiday House in the novel, once fans begin reading this engrossing tale, presented in vibrant color and rich detail on their iPhone screens, they too will find it impossible to leave.

Creator of the well-known horror films Hellraiser, Nightbreed and Lord of Illusions, and author of more than a dozen horror novels and short story collections, Clive Barker has long been considered a master of the horror genre. Barker originally published The Thief of Always in 1992 as a fable for young readers. The novel was serialized as a graphic novel in 2005 by IDW Publishing, with story adaptation by Kris Oprisko and art by Gabriel Hernandez. All three installments of The Thief of Always are now available on the iPhone App Store for only 99 cents each.

“We feel very fortunate to once again be working with IDW and now Clive Barker,” said Uclick CEO Douglas Edwards.  “Mr. Barker is a legend and literary genius. We are honored to bring his masterpiece to millions of fans on the iPhone through the Uclick graphic story player.”

“The Thief of Always graphic novel is based on one of Clive Barker’s most popular stories,” IDW’s CEO Ted Adams said. “We’re very excited that this critically acclaimed title is now available for readers to download on the iPhone through the App Store. This is a great new way for fans to experience some of the best work in comics.”

The Thief of Always is the tale of Harvey Swick, an average boy bored with school until he receives a visit from an otherworldly stranger. Mister Rictus invites Harvey to Mr. Hood’s Holiday House, a child’s paradise where, Rictus declares, Harvey will find everything his heart desires. The Holiday House proves to be all Rictus promised, but Harvey soon discovers that its pleasures come at a heavy price.

Uclick continues to add to its already diverse collection of popular graphic novels and webcomics available on the iPhone App Store. IDW Publishing’s adaptation of the beloved Clive Barker fable joins Jeff Smith’s Bone, the cosmic sci-fi superhero series GODLAND, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles anthology series Tales of the TMNT, and webcomics Pibgorn and Basic Instructions.

To learn more about The Thief of Always and other iPhone releases from Uclick, visit the Uclick section in the App store.

Yo Joe!

I stand firm that the ’80s was the best decade ever. Best music. Best cartoons. Best toys. Best fashion. Um…yeah. The middle of the decade was the high time for pre-pubescent dreams in the form of Robots in Disguise, Masters of the Universe and Real American Heroes. Now there’s a resurgence. The Transformers film did rather well at the box office, and while we wait for He-Man and Thundercats, we get the live action G.I Joe movie hitting screens next year. Now’s the time to familiarise yourself with these great characters at IDW. The Joes have been the hot potato of comic franchises, and have had homes at Marvel, Dark Horse and Devil’s Due. Well, here’s my interview with Andy Schmidt, the editor at IDW discussing the company’s bold publishing plan, which includes three different series and legendary writer Larry Hama. Cool.

gijoe1_dellotto

IDW Film Prequels Galore

terminator_color_rungeIDW has some impressive TV and film licences, including CSI, Angel, Ghost Whisperer and Doctor Who. Come Januray, they’ll also be launching three different mini-series that will effectively act as prequels to some of 2009’s biggest  films. They include January’s Terminator Salvation Movie Prequel #1 by Dara Naghi and Alex Robinson, and two different series for the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel. Alliance starts next month, with art by Alex Milne and Defiance begins in January, with art by Dan Khanna. Both series are written by Chris Mowry. Perhaps their most exciting movie prequel is the one tying into the new Star Trek film. Official press release below, as is the cover, and if you haven’t seen the fantastic new trailer for the film, beam down here.

IDW Publishing has joined with Paramount Pictures, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, Kurtzman/Orci Productions and CBS Consumer Products to publish a four-issue limited comic book series tied to next summer’s new Star Trek movie, which will be released in theaters on May 8, 2009.

The first comic in the series, Star Trek: Countdown #1, will be released in January 2009 to the comic book direct market. The story is presented by Abrams and plotted by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is written by Mike Johnson (Superman/Batman) and Tim Jones, and features stunning art by David Messina (Star Trek: Mirror Images). Messina also provides covers for the series.

“There was a lot of back and forth about doing this project, how to do it, what it would be about, but what all parties agreed on was that we needed the right story and that it needed to matter. It had to count both on its own merits and when read in conjunction with the new movie,” said series editor Andy Schmidt. “I couldn’t be happier with the project and what it means to the overall Star Trek franchise!”

“Star Trek: Countdown lays the groundwork for what happens in the movie,” said Roberto Orci. “It’s our way of passing the baton from the Next Generation characters and their movies to the new film.” Star Trek: Countdown is sure to be in huge demand as eager fans look for a sneak peak into director J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek vision! Star Trek: Countdown #1 (Diamond item code NOV08 4113), a 32-page, $3.99 comic, premieres in January 2009.

image006

All Hail Megatron # 1-2 Review

Humans used to just be an afterthought in the Transformers cartoon back in the day, (The day was at some point in the 1980s) but now every screen incarnation and especially the latest toon re-imagining, feels compelled to throw in a few annoying kid sidekicks to keep the youngens happy, but it annoys us jaded Generation 1 lovers, or maybe just me.

Well, IDW’s latest series happily swings things in the ‘bots favour, thanks to writer Shane Mc Carthy and artist Guido Guidi. It begins with the Constructicons tearing up New York, and loving every minute of it, with a smashing (literally) arrival of Megatron who shows the Decepticons how it’s really done. It’s a great intro to this 12 ish series, and I could even hear the characters voices in my head, like I was 12 years old again, sitting in front of the TV on a Saturday morning.
Then the US Army try their noble best, but against transforming fighter planes, their efforts are brave, but futile. The last two pages are silently set on Cybertron as the Autobots try in vain to revive their fallen leader, Optimus Prime.
The second issue begins with a name familiar to Trans Fans – Witwicky, a Colonel in fact, who gets interrupted at a party and brought up to speed about the Decepticons destruction. Meanwhile Andy Reid, a survivor from issue one’s counter attack is doing his best to dodge a “large mechanical dog,” ie, Ravage and save bystanders while doing so. There are a lot more humans, and talking, in the second issue, but there’s also Soundwave (yes!), a surprisingly frightening attack from that manic cassette tape, Frenzy and finally, an attack from Devastator, the united Constructicons behemoth. There’s nary an Autobot to be seen here, which is fitting considering the title, but one would assume the robo-heroes would show up soon, as the humans resistance is looking limp.

As a non regular TF reader, I can’t say where this fits into the TF universe, but apparently it does slot into to current IDW continuity. This is a great series for newbies though, and old Gen Xers like me. It’s action packed, well paced and creatively written. Guidi is an unusual artistic choice, but it works. His pencils are the antithesis of the standard manga inspired fare, replete with the minute technical details that often accompany Hasbro’s most famous franchise. Guidi’s pencils are rougher and he manages to convey the erratic nature of battle well, while still creating an epic scope, especially in Megatron’s arrival and Devastator’s construction.
IDW obviously believe in this series, with a combined total of 8 variant covers for these first 2 issues alone. They’re also releasing it when they already have 5 other Transformers related books currently available. With as many fans as there are out there of the old school Robots in Disguise, from IDW’s point of view, it’s a safe bet though. And they’d be right.