Mice Templar Finale

After almost a decade, Image Comics’ Mice Templar is coming to a close. Volume 5, issue #5 is the final issue of this great fantasy epic from writer Bryan J.L Glass, and artists such as Mike Avon Oeming, Victor Santos and many others. It’s certainly been an impressive feat and the creative team have truly birthed a rich mythology. It’s never too late to catch up, or course, and there’s handy guide to all things MT right here.

Congrats to all those behind this impressive tale!

MT Finale

Wayward #1 Script Online

Writer Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Samurai Jack) and artist Steven Cummings launched their hot Image series, Wayward a year ago and to celebrate its success, Zub has released the entire script for the first issue on his blog. It’s a great read, and a great blog, for those curious about the creative process of comics and those wanting to get a peek in to the industry. He’s very honest about the workings of the comci sbiz and his blog includes insights such as pitches and even sales figures. Great stuff.

I tried to grab the first volume of Wayward from my local comic shop, but they regularly sell out, which is a good sign. I’ll be reading it when it arrives though, and if you haven’t read it yet either, the TPB of the first 5 issues is available now.

Here’s the official description to whet your appetite.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER FOR A NEW GENERATION! Rori Lane is trying to start a new life when she reunites with her mother in Japan, but ancient creatures lurking in the shadows of Tokyo sense something hidden deep within her, threatening everything she holds dear. Can Rori unlock the secrets of her power before it’s too late? JIM ZUB (SKULLKICKERS, Samurai Jack), STEVE CUMMINGS (Legends of the Dark Knight, Deadshot), and JOHN RAUCH (INVINCIBLE) team up to create an all-new Image supernatural spectacle that combines the camaraderie and emotion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the action and mystery of Hellboy. Don’t miss it!

Wayward

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

 

Tales of Honor Comic

Well, this is ambitious. I must confess my ignorance to David Weber’s sci-fi books, but this multi-part adaptation/extension looks to be a fairly intense undertaking.

TALES OF HONOR: COMIC LAUNCHES MULTI-PLATFORM STORYWORLD TO INTRODUCE NEW FANS TO THE “HONORVERSE”

Evergreen Studios to transform David Weber’s critically acclaimed science fiction book series into a visually rich experience.

TALES OF HONOR #1 lands this March, kicking off the first of many immersive science-fiction comics, games, webisodes, and TV episodes, leading up to the release in 2017 of a feature film. Based on the USA Today and New York Times bestselling science-fiction novels, Honor Harrington, by David Weber, the stories are set 2,000 years in the future when hyperspace travel has allowed humanity to colonize the far reaches of the universe. TALES OF HONOR follows the life and times of a brilliant, genetically engineered female spaceship captain, Honor Harrington, as she heroically leads her crew through a series of epic political, military, and personal adventures.

“We chose the comic platform to launch the Honorverse to the uninitiated because it emphasizes visual storytelling and introduces our characters in a strong, iconic way. Comics also offer us the opportunity to interact with audience on a monthly basis to find the right tone and style for this new incarnation of Honor Harrington and her world,” said Scott Kroopf, Chief Creative Officer, Evergreen Studios.

The first comic series introduces Honor on the eve of her execution. From her cell, she recalls her first command assignment in a hellish backwater star system, where she discovers an enemy fleet massing for a sneak attack and must find a way to stop them with her lone ship.

“Weber’s story world is so cool because it’s based in real science, which gives it a feeling of authenticity. TALES OF HONOR is to Science Fiction what JASON BOURNE is to spy movies: realistic, gritty, and action-packed,” said Scott Kroopf, Chief Creative Officer, Evergreen Studios.

Matt Hawkins from Top Cow agrees. “I have never taken on outside comic projects, but when Evergreen approached me and I read the books, I was truly intrigued. David Weber has a level of detail that is not given in a lot of stuff now. The way they do the spaceship combat is actually realistic. The idea that the ships are so far apart and have to deal with inertia is something you don’t see in Star Trek or Star Wars. You can’t just turn a ship on a dime that’s going that fast.”

“What impressed me about THINK TANK was how clever and scientifically grounded it was, which made it very accessible and believable. Matt studied science and grew up in a military family, which made him the perfect person to adapt this story as a comic,” said Scott Kroopf, Chief Creative Officer, Evergreen Studios.

Evergreen Studios, the company behind WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, currently in theatres, develops stories whose characters, plots, and ideas can unfold over multiple platforms.

The mobile game, Tales of Honor: The Secret Fleet, will be available on iOS and Android and releases shortly after the first comic. This free-to-play strategy game will allow people to battle a multitude of enemies in ship to ship combat across the breadth of the “Honorverse”.

David Weber wrote 28 Honor Harrington novels, including an anthology series, two spin-off series, and a recent young adult series. The most recent entry in the series, Beginnings, was released July 2013.

For more information, go to www.tales-of-honor.com or www.topcow.com

TALES OF HONOR #1

Story: Matt Hawkins

Art/Cover A: Jung-Geun Yoon (Diamond Code: JAN140539)

Cover B: Stjepan Sejic (Diamond Code: JAN140540)

Cover C: Rahsan Ekedal (Diamond Code: JAN140541)

Cover D: Patrick Tatopolous (Diamond Code: JAN140542)

March 5, 32 pgs $2.99

Tales of Honor Comic

 

Who Is Jake Ellis? Film

Talented writer Nathan Edmondson’s Who Is Jake Ellis? mini-series, which he created with artist Tonci Zonjic is becoming a film! That’s exciting news indeed. It was one of my fave comics of recent years, and definitely has big screen potential. Director David Yates is attached, who was behind four of the Harry Potter films.

Edmondson recently wrote the Splinter Cell comic that tied in with the new game, Blacklist, and promises on his blog that the remaining issues of the sequel, Where Is Jake Ellis? will be out soon. He also has two Marvel projects that will be announced at next week’s New York Comic Con.

WHO-IS-JAKE-ELLIS-tpb

This Week’s Winners

East of West #1East of West #1. Another month, another possible hit series from Image Comics. Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta bring us this inspired Western/sci-fi tale. It begins with three naked children (with the rude bits obscured obviously) appearing in the middle of the desert through a Stonehenge-like monument, but they are missing their fourth companion.

As is the case with Hickman, this is filled with big ideas, but thankfully they remain a springboard for an interesting story. The basis for that story is that after America’s Civil War, a meteor landed, and ended the hostilities, and created the Seven Nations of America. On the same day, Prophet Longstreet, and chief Red Cloud penned some important writings and promptly died, while years later Mao Zedong finished their work with his own writings, on his deathbed. These works came to be known as the Message. Like I said – big ideas.

In the future, three pale beings walk in to a bar, and seeing as two of the three are unwelcome Indians, and they’re in a bar filled with Union soldiers, a fight brews. Well, it’s a fight we don’t see until it’s over and then we see blood soaked pages, to be followed later by more of the same.

It turns out that the three warriors are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and yes, they are missing one, which I’m guessing will lead to a frenzied team-up, or cool showdown, or both.

Dragotta’s character designs are great. The three protagonists look like fighters from an unmade Street Fighter game, but with devoid eyes ready for cruelty. It makes them an interesting choice for lead characters actually, as so far, there’s nothing heroic or sympathetic about them, but we do know bad things have been done to them and they aim to seek justice. The first stop is the President, who must pay for his past crimes.

The setting is great too, and at times it merges Blade Runner with any John Wayne Western and it looks grand.

As an extra length debut, it’s very impressive and Hickman doesn’t get bogged down with huge concepts to make the tale impenetrable, and sets out the link between the kids at the start and the adults in the bulk of the issue, so we don’t feel frustrated at the lack of answers just yet. However, there are plenty of intriguing questions left.

SavageSkullkickers1Savage Skullkickers #1. Paying homage to Frank Cho’s recent Savage Wolverine #1 is this fun fantasy series by Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang. It’s actually issue 20, but is rebranded to have a little fun, so last month was Uncanny Skullkickers, next month it becomes Mighty Skullkickers, May sees it morph in to The All-New Secret Skullkickers and in June it becomes Dark Skullkickers. It’s hard not to love a series that takes such fun in ribbing the often frustrating reboots of Marvel and DC with such boldness.

Now, I haven’t read this series for months, and this is part two of a story entitled Eighty Eyes on an Evil Island, but it all made sense to me, and that’s a great bonus, as so few series these days are newbie friendly.

The playfulness kicks off immediately with a naked dwarf (one of the series’ heroes) landing in a pile of bones, while dialogue boxes from a narrator break the fourth wall, referring to the previous narrator, who died in issue 17.

After reading this issue I now regret not reading all the previous issues. I haven’t laughed this much from a comic since Axe Cop, and The Goon. There’s just so much to love here, from the dwarf’s ignorance of the deathly serious situation he finds himself in, to  his fellow warriors’ ape fighting in the jungle to the constant narration, and dialogue, that is just filled with superb comic timing.

There’s also a few bonus pages here, showing off the amazing fan art that shows Skullkickers has many talented fans, and after enjoying this issue, I can confidently say that it deserves even more. Well paced, funny, and two plots that both look to be heading to some far out places. Yep, Skullkickers is a fun comic. We need more of those.

It looks great too. Huang’s manga-ish art is just joyful and expressive and Misty Coast and Ross A. Campbell’s colours give the pages the vibrancy that the story and art demand. The whole package looks like an adaptation of a crazy anime that was never made, because it was too out there for any studio.

 

The Image Revolution Trailer

Last week, Sequart released a trailer for their upcoming doco about Image Comics, which will be a fascinating insight into one of comics’ best and worst periods. It’s already looking better than their last two docos, on writers Grant Morrison, and Warren Ellis.

The Image Revolution will examine one of the most important and daring moves in modern comic book history. Twenty years ago, a group of artists left Marvel Comics to create their own company, a company that continues to influence mainstream comics and culture to this day. Image Comics began as more than just a publisher — it was a response to years of creator mistreatment, and it changed comics forever.

The Image Revolution will tell the amazing story of this from-scratch company, from its founders’ work at Marvel, through Image’s early days, the ups and downs of the ’90s, and the publisher’s new generation of creator-owned properties like The Walking Dead. We will tell this story through new interviews with the people who made it happen. And what better time than during Image’s 20th anniversary to do it?

Ten Grand Preview

Joe’s Comics, the Top Cow imprint that gave birth to Midnight Nation and Rising Stars from celebrated scribe J. Michael Straczynski is back, now at Image. The first series to be released is Ten Grand, about murder, resurrection and love. The press release gives a much better idea of the story, which kicks off on May 1, with renowned artist Ben Templesmith.

The premise: Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agrees to one last job, little realizing that the man he’s been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survives Joe’s attempt and comes after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lies dying, an angelic force promises that if Joel agrees to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn’t most people.

Image have also released 11 text-free preview pages from the first two issues, and below are two of those spooky pages.

MAR130432-01

MAR130432-02

 

Skullkickers In May

Image Comics’ charming fantasy series, Skullkickers is going through somewhat of a cheeky Marvel inspired revamp in May. Official details below.

ONE ADJECTIVE ISN’T ENOUGH FORSKULLKICKERS IN MAY

All-New #1 is All-New, Secret

This May, Image Comics forces you to wonder why we keep pushing this silly comic book over and over again in a new adjective-laden comic called– THE ALL-NEW SECRET SKULLKICKERS!

“We can’t stop now. It… it has a life of its own. This reboot-itis has permeated our souls,” said Image PR and Marketing Director Jennifer de Guzman. “I hated it at first but now it feels kind of good. Warm… safe… In a darkened world full of uncertainty it’s all we have left.”

THE ALL-NEW SECRET SKULLKICKERS #1, written by promotional broken record Jim Zub and drawn by innocent mp3 Edwin Huang, continues the epic six-arc SKULLKICKERS storyline on a haunted island of mystery, apes and rampant violence. It’s good.

“At this rate I figure we’re still a couple months away from using up any goodwill I might have built up in this industry,” said series creator Jim Zub. “This is the kind of thing that can happen when you let creators write their own press releases.”

If you’re a diehard collector of SKULLKICKERS who’s sad that you won’t have a SKULLKICKERS #22 to add to your collection, fret no longer. In addition to the regular “All-New Secret” cover we’re offering a special “issue #22 variant” B cover to make sure your numbers stay in order. You can tell everyone you started reading “before they became horrible sell-outs.”

We’re sick. We can’t help it. Comic price guide makers will curse this stupid string of title changes for the rest of their natural lives. THE ALL-NEW SECRET SKULLKICKERS #1 will be available in May wherever fine comics are sold. Pre-order it now from the March issue of Previews and stop the hurting.

all-newsecretskullkickers01b-585x900

Where Is Jake Ellis? #1 Review

Who Is Jake Ellis? from Image Comics was on many lists, including mine, of the best comics of the year. Now the sequel, by the same creative team of Nathan Edmondson and Tonci Zonjic, has arrived.

Here’s my review of the great first issue.

Dancer TPB Review

The Trade Paperback collecting the recent Dancer mini-series is now out from writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Nic Klein. It’s great, but here’s my more detailed review.

The Walking Dead Magazine

THE WALKING DEAD, THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE LAUNCHES TOMORROW!

Hotly anticipated first issue of The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine hits newsstands and digital platforms.

Titan Magazines and Skybound’s premier issue of The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine, based on Robert Kirkman’s Eisner Award-winning comic book series, best-selling graphic novels and Emmy-winning AMC television series, hits newsstands and digital platforms on October 23.

This 100-page issue features an inside look at the TV show, comics and everything in-between: The Walking Dead creator/writer Robert Kirkman reveals what’s coming up next on the TV show, which broke basic cable records again with the season three premiere, and how the shocking events of issue #100 of The Walking Dead Comic will affect Rick and our favorite survivors; an exclusive interview with Danai Gurira, who plays the iconic character “Michonne”; an exclusive prologue to the new Walking Dead book, The Road to Woodbury, about the rise of Philip Blake aka The Governor written by Jay Bonansinga and Robert Kirkman; behind-the-scenes set visit report; executive producer/showrunner Glen Mazzara tells us why he’s so excited about season three; plus, all the latest news, revelations and tips for fans of the entire The Walking Dead universe.

The first issue debuted at this year’s New York Comic-Con with a special NYCC variant cover, and an additional nine variant covers are released tomorrow: a newsstand cover featuring “Michonne”; an alternative art cover by The Walking Dead comic artist, Charlie Adlard and colored by The Walking Dead comic colorist Cliff Rathburn; seven retail variant covers with stores Comickaze, Forbidden Planet, Midtown Comics, Redd Skull Comics, Ultimate Comics, Ultimate Treasures and Wade’s Comic Madness, each featuring art by Adlard and Rathburn.

Discussing what fans can expect from the magazine, Robert Kirkman, creator/writer of The Walking Dead, says, “We’ll be talking about what’s coming up on the TV show, we’ll fill you in on what to expect from the comic and you’ll hear from all the talented people who work on all the various Walking Dead projects. This magazine is going to rock!”

The magazine will also be available to read on the iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire starting tomorrow, giving Walking Dead fans an exciting alternative to the print edition and a high quality digital reading experience. Just search ‘The Walking Dead Magazine’ on your device’s newsstand or app store.

The magazine is currently offering fans an exclusive FREE The Walking Dead T-Shirt (not available in stores) with new print subscriptions. For more information on this subscription offer and other offers in your territory, visit the magazine website,www.TitanMagazines.com/WalkingDead. Readers can also join the magazine on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WalkingDeadMag and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WalkingDeadMagazine to keep up to date with news and special offers and www.Skybound.com, the source for all news on The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman and all Skybound titles.

The Walking Dead, The Official Magazine issue #1 will be available on newsstands and comic book stores in the U.S. on October 23, in the U.K. on November 8 and Australia & New Zealand on December 18. Digital editions will be available globally on the iPad, Nook and Kindle Fire from October 23.

Contact Details Of Stores With Variant Covers:

Comickaze Comics, San Diego, CA –www.comickazeonline.webs.com

Forbidden Planet, London, U.K. – www.forbiddenplanet.com

Midtown Comics, New York, NY – www.midtowncomics.com

Redd Skull Comics, Calgary, Canada – www.reddskull.com

Ultimate Comics, Durham, NC – www.ultimatecomics.com

Ultimate Treasures, 11240 Village Lane Clinton, MI 49236-9595

Wade’s Comic Madness, Levittown, PA – www.comicmadness.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love Trouble

And the express train of new talent and fresh ideas from Image Comics continues. Here’s the official skinny on I Love Trouble, which lands on shelves in December.

SUPERPOWERS LEAD TO SUPER PROBLEMS IN I LOVE TROUBLE

New Image Comics series debuts in December

Felicia Castro, the protagonist of the new Image Comics series I LOVE TROUBLE by Kel Symons andMark Robinson, debuting in December, doesn’t have much going for her. A New Orleans grifter on the run from a mobster, Felicia has to flee the Big Easy to hide out in the Midwest. Then her plane crashes.

Instead of it being the end for the Felicia, the crash turns out to be a new beginning. Felicia discovers she has the ability to teleport, a power she thinks will be an easy fix to all of her problems. But Felicia is someone who follows trouble, and her power opens up a whole new world of crime and exploitation.

“I imagine her as someone who was always on the run from one thing or another in her life — came from a broken home, had terrible experiences with relationships — and when things got bad she just picked up and left,” said writer Symons. “So the idea of teleportation fed into that.”

The premise of Felicia’s power being tied with her personality was what artist Robinson said won him over. “Kel’s ideas were crisp and sharp,” said Robinson. “The book is supposed to be more about the person than the power. Kel’s scripts leave me a lot of room to do my thing visually, which I am grateful for.”

The breathing room has allowed Robinson to shine, said Symons. “There’s a uniqueness to what Mark’s doing — you can just see he’s working on another level, that he takes what’s in a script and finds something you didn’t even realize was there and runs with it.”

Robinson names Will Eisner as one of his primary influences in drawing I LOVE TROUBLE. “It’s not a superhero story, yet it needs to capture the same excitement and sense of the fantastic that Eisner puts into his work,” he said. “I want people to see the characters do things in this book that puts them right in the middle of a scene from their own life.”

Symons was a producer of The Dungeon Masters, a documentary about Dungeons and Dragons players, and also produced and directed the documentary Excavating the 2000-Year-Old Man. He was involved, as a development executive, in the film adaptation of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan noveI The Sum of All Fears. He also developed the feature films Sahara and Invictus. I LOVE TROUBLE is his first comic book series.

Robinson has been drawing comics professionally since 2001 and is best known for his work on the IDW series Storm Shadow and the Marvel series Hulk and Skrull Kill Krew.

I LOVE TROUBLE is a full-color, ongoing comic book series. Its first issue will be in stores on December 5 and is available for pre-order in the December issue of Previews.

Free Image Comics

Well, isn’t this nice? Yes. Yes it is.

Image Comics for Free at comiXology

Prices permanently slashed on 20 first issues

The first issues of many of the new series launched in the first half of Image Comics’ iconic twentieth anniversary year are now free at the digital distributor comiXology. The issues will remain free permanently, starting on August 24.

The free issues include the first issues of some of 2012’s best-selling comics, including SAGA #1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, FATALE #1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra, THIEF OF THIEVES #1 by Robert Kirkman, Nick Spencer, and Shawn Martinbrough, AMERICA’S GOT POWERS Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch, and MIND THE GAP #1 by Jim McCann, Rodin Esquejo, and Sonia Oback.

The other free first issues are ALPHA GIRL #1, CREATOR-OWNED HEROES #1, DANCER #1, DANGER CLUB #1, EPIC KILL #1, GLORY #23 (first issue of the relaunch), GRIM LEAPER #1, HELL YEAH #1, HOAX HUNTERS #1, NO PLACE LIKE HOME #1, PETER PANZERFAUST #1, PLANETOID #1, PROPHET #21 (first issue of the relaunch), and SECRET #1.

Many of these titles have been or will soon be collected into trade paperbacks, making the free issues the perfect way for readers to sample new Image Comics titles before purchasing collections.

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