R News Episode 3

Radical Publishing are hoping to produce their new video series, called R News, on a bi-weekly or monthly schedule. From this latest episode host Josh Berger is joined by new co-host Karolina Nilsson as they put the spotlight on the dark sci-fi mini-series After Dark and it’s 3rd issue. It’s a short video, but is well made and not a bad way at all to let the world know of Radical’s great (and great looking) books.

 

Radical in New York Times

Radical Publishing may not be as prolific as their competitors but they sure do make pretty books. See Hotwire, Last Days of American Crime and Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost as proof. They’re also making waves in the mainstream because of their ambitious aims, including the now obligatory Hollywood desires, but also others including video games and music. There’s a feature article on the company in today’s New York Times, with an interview with a few people in the know, including head honcho Barry Levine. I met him briefly at Comic Con last year and was rather surprised to discover his age in the NYT article (he’s 62!). You can read the article on the Times’ site here and below is what it looked like in the actual newspaper.

The Last Days Of American Crime #1 Review

Ever since I first heard about this project I’ve been intrigued. Seeing preview pages at Comic-Con this year made the anticipation grow even more, and now that Sam Worthington is attached to produce and star in a film adaptation, hopefully more people will see this. The concept alone is worth the price of admission.

Like a classic noir tale, it begins with a death (presumably) and then a flashback that explains what led up to it. It seems that in 2 weeks the U.S government will launch the American Peace Initiative as a, “necessary step to protect our nation from further acts of domestic terrorism.” What that means is (and this is the enticing hook of the whole story) is that a broadcast will go live across America, effectively rendering any criminal desires obsolete, and so crims nation wide have a fortnight to get all their illegal ways out of their system. Yes, it really is the last days of American crime.

As is the norm in high concept tales like this, TV news handles most of the heavy exposition (rioting across the country, a mass exodus of people to Canada, etc) but it never lets the story get bogged down. Most of that story revolves around hard man and opportunist Graham Bricke (also referred to as “Brick” in Radical’s promo materials however) as he recruits a gang of similarly minded individuals for one last job. There’s glimpses from the noir handbook, such as Graham’s voiceover describing “that broad’s” walk and the taste of her lips, but writer Rick Remender (Punisher, Fear Agent) digs deeper by making Graham a thrice married man who lives with his Mum in a trailer. Graham also works as a security guard at a large bank and wants to use his know-how to strike quickly before paper money makes way for digital transactions.

There’s a lot of profanity here and a smattering of blood, and sex but Remender is putting all these pieces together like a chess master, making us readers wait for him to strike. This first issue (of a three ish bi-monthly series) is mostly set up, like the first 30 minutes of a classic heist film, but the bulk of the groundwork has been laid. I have a feeling next issue will consist of a lot of action, betrayal and a few bad decisions.

Greg Tocchini’s art works splendidly with Remender’s well paced script. After this, he’s sure to go places. With a painterly style that is hard to compare to anyone else (I’ll say it’s like a more detailed Phil Noto, but that’s not quite right), the artist knows when to use detail and when to approach pages with more subtlety. It’s simply a beautiful book, and Tocchini makes even bathrooms and bars look mundane yet somehow magical. See a huge preview here to get a glimpse.

Also included in this 64 page issue is a sketchbook section by Tocchini and an interview with Remender. Radical prove yet again that they know how to mix good looking books with grand concepts in a delicious cocktail.

FVZA Contest

RADICAL PUBLISHING AND EERIETUBE.COM ASK,

“ARE YOU INFECTED?”

Are you infected? Radical Publishing in conjunction with Eerietube.com is pleased to announce an exciting new opportunity for fans to win some amazing prizes, including a copy of FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #1.

FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency, written by David Hine (Spider-Man Noir, Strange Embrace) and based on the website www.FVZA.org, takes place in a world where a deadly virus known as HVV is turning normal humans into undead zombies. The only force standing in the way of a global takeover by the infected are the expert government agents of the FVZA. Throughout history, from the Civil War to World War II, the FVZA protected humanity from the blood-sucking, flesh-eating hordes — until a cure was discovered that sent the undead to their graves. The once-contained virus has resurfaced and now the FVZA has been called back into action.

Radical Publishing and Eerietube.com are giving fans the chance to put their best dead face forward by submitting an image of their best infected zombie or vampire caused by the horrific HVV virus.

One first prize winner will receive one copy of the City of Dust: A Philip Khrome Story trade paperback by Steve Niles, one Radical t-shirt in their size and one copy of FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #1.

One second prize winner will receive one Radical t-shirt in their size and one copy of FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #1.

One third prize winner will receive one copy of FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency #1.

For a complete set of rules, go here and enter to win. Entries must be submitted by October 31st, 2009. Winners will be announced on November 3rd, 2009.

FVZA prizes

The Last Days Of American Crime Preview

Now, Radical Publsihing put out a lot of great looking books, with equally great concepts behind them, and it was no wonder their panel showcasing their upcoming works at Comic-Con was packed. Greg Tocchini’s pencils for The Last Days of American Crime make Rick Remender’s unique story seem even more jaw dropping. Below is the press release for the series and 2 random pages from the mature first issue.

In the not-too-distant future, as a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans in secret to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. To keep this from the public, the government creates a distraction, installing a new currency system using digital charge cards.

Radical Publishing is excited to announce the December 2009 debut of The Last Days of American Crime, created and written by critically acclaimed author Rick Remender (Punisher, Fear Agent) and Illustrated by Greg Tocchini (Thor, 1602: New World). The three-issue miniseries will be the latest in Radical Publishing’s 64-page bookshelf format with a low $4.99 price point.

The Last Days of American Crime #1 Covers

The Last Days of AmericanCrime tells the story of Graham Brick, a petty criminal never quite able to hit the big score. In a grand scheme, Graham intends to steal one of the charging stations, skip the country and live off unlimited funds for the rest of his life. But the media has leaked news of the anti-crime signal one week before it was to go live… and now Graham and his team have just a few days to turn the heist of the century into the last crime in American history.

“The Last Days of American Crime is one of the most unique crime stories on or off the printed page and Radical is very proud to be a part of it” said Radical Publishing President and Publisher, Barry Levine. “We’re especially excited to work with Rick Remender, one of the most talented creators in comics today. His writing is bringing a new and unique voice to the crime genre and we couldn’t be more pleased to help bring his story to life.”

In discussing how Last Days came to Radical, Rick Remender states, “Barry Levine called me after reading some of my other books and said he was looking for original genre pitches. I had one that I’d been itching to do for a long time in The Last Days of American Crime. It’s hardcore crime with an apolitical bent and it took someone like Barry and Radical to see the potential of such a thing.”

Readers can preview the first 15 pages of The Last Days of American Crime on Radical Publishing’s MySpace page.

The Last Days of American Crime #1 appears in the October 2009 issue of Diamond Previews and features two separate covers, one by Alex Maleev (DCD# OCT091056) and another by series artist Greg Tocchini (DCD# OCT091057).

The Last Days of American Crime #1 p2

The Last Days of American Crime #1 p5

Hotwire Collected

Hotwire, the grand sci-fi mini-series from writer/artist Steve Pugh is now collected in Trade form. It’s by far Radical’s best series and is one of the best looking books of recent times. If you like tough, pale heroines with Blade Runner-like visuals, techno-ghosts and a superb sense of design, just grab this book. Trust me. Details below.

RADICAL COLLECTS THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED HOTWIRE

Hotwire_HC_CoverIn the near future, the living and the dead share the same space. Known as “Blue Lights,” the non-living are mostly harmless, roaming the streets, hiding from city lights, scuttling in the shadows. But when they begin to appear as ghostly weapons of mass destruction, Metro Police has only one person for the job: Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist. Underfunded, undermanned and under investigation, her department is the only thing standing between the city and certain destruction.

Radical Publishing is proud to announce a hardcover edition of Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead, available this November. Written and illustrated by Steve Pugh (Preacher: Saint of Killers) and co-created by legendary writer Warren Ellis (Planetary, Transmetropolitan), Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead tells the story of a detective exorcist who must uncover a supernatural mystery and a new form of ghostly terrorism.

Called “an all around phenomenal book,” by Ain’t It Cool News, and “one of the most entertaining bangs for your buck,” by Newsarama, the hardcover edition of Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead collects all four issues of the critically acclaimed series in a special “director’s cut” edition with additional story pages. Also included in this collection are newly remastered tales from Alice Hotwire’s past, featuring never-before-seen pages and amazing newly painted artwork, as well as newly unearthed, previously unreleased pages written by co-creator Warren Ellis; an extensive gallery showcasing the evolution of the character; a spotlight gallery of artwork from celebrated artists Steve Pugh, Stjepan Sejic (Witchblade), Jelena Djurdjevic (The Immortal Iron Fist) and Garry Leach (Judge Dredd, Marvelman); an in-depth interview with co-creator Steve Pugh as well as a dustjacket showcasing an all new cover by Steve Pugh

Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead hardcover trade will be 128 full color pages for $19.95 and is available to order in the September 2009 Diamond Previews catalog (Diamond order code: SEP090956).

Hotwire #4 Review

Hotwire #4 Cvr AI can’t recall the last time I was this sad at the end of a series. Not because it’s a disappointing end, but because Alice Hotwire’s standout adventures are now over. Steve Pugh has consistently delivered high quality entertainment over the four issues of this unique series from Radical Publishing and though I hope to see more, I’m also aware that it probably won’t be anytime soon. One look at any page and you’ll see why – it takes a lot of time to make pages like this.

For the uninitiated Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead is one of the best looking books on the stands, but it’s also a good old fashioned adventure to boot. You don’t really see stories like this any more, but Radical know how to make them. This title, and City of Dust are just two examples of easily accessible series from the publisher that anyone can pick up and be hooked on. They’re streamlined, but not simple, stories without the complications that some of our fave superhero titles can often be bogged down with.

So, what’s Hotwire about then? Alice Hotwire is a young cyberpunk English lass in a future London ravaged by “blue lights,” which are like electrical phantasms. Her job, as Detective Exorcist is to track down these resurrected corpses and get rid of them, and her partner Mobey is along for the wild ride. At the same time she discovers a conspiracy looking to use the ghosts as weapons, while the rest of the police force tries to deal with a public riot against police brutality.

Hotwire #4 Cvr BIn the last issue Alice and Mobey were separated at the Motts Island Cemetery while Alice stared at a flood barreling down upon her. Alice meets her unlikely saviour however, and we are given the first glimpse at her upbringing, which reveals her understanding of technology and the tragedy of her parents’ loss. This is a grand finale, with Hotwire and her fellow cops facing not only an angry mob wanting to tear apart a pair of violent detectives, but also the “man” behind the mob – the electronic puppet master. Compared to the previous three issues this is a lot more action packed, but it’s also over a little too quickly. It’s kind of like The Matrix Revolutions as compared to the original. It’s an entreaining tale, but won’t make much sense if this is your first dive into the Hotwire world.

Pugh has put everything on to these pages. The story was initiated with writer Warren Ellis, but Pugh boldly makes Hotwire his own. I even noticed the unique styles of the lettering and how he displays dialogue. His panel arrangements are chaotic, yet easy to follow and his costume and tech designs are straight from an unmade James Cameron flick. The luscious variety on display really is an eye opener. Pugh makes the art flow and dance across the page like a tattooed ballerina. It’s unexpected, daring and mesmerising.

When Radical releases the TPB collecting all 4 issues make sure to put it on your wish list. Hotwire has the edginess of 2000AD with the themes of The Matrix and the look of Blade Runner. Those comparisons don’t do it justice, but if you like your sci-fi more William Gibson than Star Trek you’ll be completely satisfied. It’s the kind of series you can pass to your non-comics reading mates to prove a point.

And now that it’s all over, I must say a hearty thank you to Steve Pugh. Job well done sir.

Hotwire #4 smacks shelves on September 2.

Hotwire #4 Int