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?

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