Read Letter 44 #1 For Free

A new series from Oni Press and writer Charles Soule and artist Alberto Jiminez Alburquerque entitled Letter 44 is now available to read for free. Well, the entire first issue anyway. The second issue is out now. io9 describe it thusly: the newest president is taken aback when he reads the letter from the man who preceded him — a man who seemed to tank the economy and embroil the nation in needless wars — but was actually secretly preparing America for an imminent alien invasion.

Letter 44 #1

Holliday Interview

At Broken Frontier here, you can read my interview with writer Nate Bowden and artist Doug Dabbs. They are the creators of Holliday, an OGN that is released later this month, and is an entertaining crime tale that re-imagines Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and other Wild West gunslingers in the 21st century.

The Sixth Gun Sale

Until Thursday you can get issues 2 to 17 of the hugely popular supernatural western series, The Sixth Gun for only 99c each from ComiXology. Plus, the first issue of the Oni Press series is free, so for newbies to the title, now’s the time to see what all the fuss is about.

Skullkickers And The Sixth Gun

The two co-creators behind two successful new series talk to each other about breaking into comics and all manner of things. It’s a very insightful discussion between writers Jim Zubkavich (Image’s Skullkickers) and Cullen Bunn (Oni Press’  The Sixth Gun). It’s a must read for aspiring writers and is quite encouraging.

Zub: Time management is everything. I looked at these opportunities and said to myself, “I want to do all these things. They mean so much to me.” Constantly thinking, “This is what I want to do and if I don’t do them will I regret it?” The answer has always been “yes,” so that drives me when I work.

I’m not perfect about organizing or productivity, but when this all started I looked at what I was spending the majority of my free time doing — watching TV, playing video games or whatever. Social time with friends and family is important but even looking at that I realized what was important and what needed to be prioritized in order to get the work done. I guess I’m just obsessive-compulsive.

Cullen: No, I think that’s a good point. I talk to a lot of people who want to break in and they don’t know how to do it while making ends meet, and I was right there with them for many years — trying to write fiction, short stories and novels. It wasn’t until I started really treating this like a job that I was able to make any headway whatsoever.

Zub: I think people look at this and they say, “Well, it’s just comics” or “Hey, I’ve got a cool idea,” but everyone has ideas. Are you going to develop it, work on it, make it into something and really push yourself? That’s the difference between an idea and completing something worthwhile.

Cullen: Folks always say, “I just don’t have time to do it,” but when they sit down in front of the TV watching shows they don’t even enjoy, some sit-com they don’t even laugh at -– there’s 30 minutes right there. You have to make the time.

Awesome, right? Check the whole thing out here and part two of the chat here.

Free Oni Press Mixtape

Nerdcore rapper Adam Warrock has teamed up with indie publisher Oni Press to create some funky new tunes. What a grand idea. Official info and track list below, and if you want more geek centred music, check out the excellent Kirby Krackle.

The internet’s foremost comic book nerdcore rapper and the comic industries creator-owned publishing powerhouse unveil twenty tracks inspired by Oni Press creators and their work.

The ONI PRESS MIXTAPE features master lyricist Adam WarRock giving his spin to Oni comics including: Queen & Country, Super Pro KO, Possessions, The Sixth Gun, Hopeless Savages, Wasteland, Salt Water Taffy, Guerillas, The Crogan Adventures, and Stumptown. The album also features interlude tracks with creators Antony Jonston, Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, Greg Rucka, Jarrett Williams, and Jen Van Meter!

The best part about it? It’s F. R. E. E. So go grab yourself the ONI PRESS MIXTAPE at his website!

http://www.adamwarrock.com/

Tracklist and credits:

1. “Intro”
Beat used: RJD2 “Things Go Better”
Samples: Grosse Point Blank, Henry Rollins interview

2. “Japanese Demons”
Beat used: David Byrne & Brian Eno “Strange Overtones”

3. “Super Pro K.O.”
Beat Used: The Last Emperor “Here We Are”

4. Jarrett Williams Interlude

5. “Guerillas”
Beat used: PJ Harvey “Meet Ze Monsta”

6. “Queen & Country” featuring Tribe One
Beat used: Soul Position “Run”

7. “The Sixth Gun”
Beat Used: Julian Casablancas “The Tourist”

8. Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt Interlude

9. “Crogan’s Vengeance” by Tribe One
Beat used: The Zutons “Pressure”

10. “Salt Water Taffy”
Beat Used; The Bees “Who Cares What the Question Is”

11. Jen Van Meter Interlude

12. “Hopeless Savages”
Beat Used: The Thermals “Now We Can See”

13. “The Damned”
Beat used: Squirrel Nut Zippers “Hell”

14. Greg Rucka Interlude

15. “Stumptown”
Beat Used: Infamous MC “Y’all Not Ready”

16. “Possessions”
Beat used: Mountain Goats “Romans 10:9″

17. Antony Johnston Interlude

18. “Wasteland”
Beat Used: Passion Pit “Swimming In the Flood”

19. “D.I.Y” (Outro)
Beat Used: Spoon “Don’t You Evah”

20. “Stumptown (Portlandia Remix)”
Beat Used: Washed Out “Feel It All Around”

Scott Pilgrim vs The World Movie Review

Man, oh man, what a great film. I’ve been a fan of the great series of graphic novels by creator Bryan Lee O’Malley since I picked up Volume 1 last year. Since 2004 there have been 6 of the enchanting black and white digests, with the final volume, entitled, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, having just been released.

The books, from publisher Oni Press, centre on slacker Scott Pilgrim, who in his own words remarks,”I don’t need fun to have a good time.” Basically the story is like a manic soap opera that wears its much loved influences boldly on its sleeve. Those influences include pop culture, from comics to video games and classic TV series, and O’Malley manages to weave all that and more in his seemingly rambling, but not really, tale of Scott and his numerous friends as he must defeat the 7 evil exes of the new love of his life, Romana Flowers. Perhaps the trailer can explain it better than I can.

There couldn’t be a better director for the film version than Edgar Wright. The British director has proved his love of pop culture is as evident as O’Malley’s in his TV series Spaced, and showed that he knows how to combine heartfelt drama, comedy and wild action with his first two films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

This was always going to be a hard film to make, not merely because there’s over 1000 pages of source material, but also because it’s not a straight forward tale, with its ever growing cast of characters and a concept that may be hard to grasp for some. As a loyal reader, I can honestly say that the movie exceeded my expectations. Michael Cera (TV’s Arrested Development, Juno) was the only logical choice for the confused, yet dedicated man-boy that is Scott Pilgrim, while Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Die Hard 4) lays on quiet charm and beauty as the object of his affection and relative newcomer Ellen Wong is great as Knives Chau, the immature teenager that Scott is dating at the film’s beginning, and who is also a huge fan of Scott’s average band Sex Bob-Omb.

The evil exes don’t appear for long, as there are seven to get through after all, but thankfully they are played very well and the battles that are sprinkled throughout the film are unique and visually remarkable. Comic book fans have more reason to see this film, as Chris Evans, who has played The Human Torch in Fantastic Four and is currently acting as Captain America in next year’s film shows up as ex-skateboarder/current hammy action star Lucas Lee, while Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh is a mindreading Vegan and Jason Schwatrzman arrives at the climax as mastermind Gideon Graves, the man behind the League of Evil Exes. Thomas Jane (The Punisher) and Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek) also show up as Vegan cops.

With its cast of sometimes selfish friends and a world charmingly placed in fantasy land, in which fights resemble something from a frantic video game, it won’t be for everybody, and the first half is more concerned with hilarious jokes and visual gags, while issues of love and maturity are the focus of the second half.

You’ll get more out of it if you’ve read the comics, and don’t mind going with the rich and hypnotic world in which Pilgrim is set. This is not a film for those who like cinema to reflect reality. However, it does have a surprisingly emotional centre (more so than even the comics) and an unashamed sense of child-like, and often childish, fun. Filled with a hectic pace, yet never seeming rushed, it explodes onto the screen like a multicoloured volcano and entices you to pay attention lest you miss a joke. There are plenty of those here, whether it be a running gag about Pilgrim’s haircut or a scene complete with the Seinfeld theme and a laugh track. Yep, charming nonsense has a new name and it is Scott Pilgrim.

Oh, and this is what I’d look like in Scott Pilgrim’s world. See yourself right here.

New Oni Press Website

Publisher Oni Press have wisely made the most out of the attention they’ve been getting with the Scott Pilgrim film and Bryan Lee O’Malley’s last volume in the excellent series, both of which I’m hoping to enjoy tomorrow.

I just noticed that they’ve also relaunched their site, with a bunch of features, including a Twitter feed from its talented creators and a host of classy previews. Check it out here and an interview with Oni publisher Joe Nozemack about translating their comics for the cinema screen here.

As a bonus, here’s a short trailer for the nostalgic side-scrolling Scott Pilgrim game, now with a code for zombie fun!

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