Hotwire: Deep Cut #3 Review

Since Steve Pugh’s first Hotwire series from Radical in 2009, I’ve been hooked on this adventurous sci-fi/horror blend. It’s one of those rare titles that manages to capture and hold the attention of anyone who reads it. Believe me, I have a wealth of #1 issues that I grab out of curiosity and then drop after being unfulfilled. This isn’t the case here, thanks to its charming protagonist. Alice Hotwire is a no-nonsense action gal with a confidence and subtle sexuality that belies her tiny frame, and puts the pale heroine somewhere in the ballpark of Lt. Ellen Ripley and Lisbeth Salander.

Set in a future Britain in which ghosts cause havoc, and the titular detective exorcist rescues the city and her fellow, suspicious cops from danger, it’s a setting that fans of 200AD will be somewhat familiar with. It’s a glowing world yet one in which there are hidden dangers and rebellious elements.

This final issue of the second series wraps things up nicely, though it still makes sense if you haven’t read the previous doses. However, you won’t regret picking up any previous issues.

Hotwire has assistance in keeping the so-called blue-lights at bay with her partner Mobey and fancy gadgets such as ceramic tombs and suppressor towers that are scattered around the country. In this finale, a dead soldier, with a pregnant woman in his arms, who sees Alice as her angel, has let his fellow deceased soldiers out of the confines of the forrest in which they were contained (and bored) for decades. Now their blue tendrils and scary forms are making their way to the city and their first stop is a passenger train.

Alice also has to deal with the far less careful efforts of a team from Bear Claw Security (of which there is an ad for in these pages) and in one of this issue’s best sequences, she jumps out of a hi-tech helicopter to get to the ghosts first. With technical hitches, and a possession of one of the soldiers, it means it’s all up to the small, feisty exorcist to save the day.

Pugh makes each page a dazzling ocular spectacle. The last issue came out in October and it’s obvious why it takes the artist so long. The digital paintwork is extraordinary and he never skimps on the details. His design work for vehicles, costumes and weapons is worthy of a grand sci-fi blockbuster and the page layouts and even sound effects and speech are diverse.

Granted, the story isn’t full of surprises, though I do like the addition of an upgraded teddy bear as a new friend for Alice, as shown at the end.

The tale ends in an intriguing fashion, with Alice in charge of the Bear Claw crew. Hopefully Pugh will give us a third series in which this plucky solo operator must learn to lead a team.

Smurfs, Shrapnel and The Traveler Games

Want something to distract you in between bouts of reading comics? How about games based on comics, then? Three different comic publishers have all made launches within days of each other.

First up is Papercutz with their first of many games based on The Smurfs.

Smurftastic news! Papercutz, the premier publisher of such popular graphic novel series as BIONICLE, DISNEY FAIRIES, GERONIMO STILTON, NANCY DREW, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, and THE SMURFS has posted the first of three all-new Smurfs games on its website. “Brainy’s Bad Day” is now available to play at www.papercutz.com/smurfs. Papercutz will post more free games in the following months. These games can be played online and on any Flash-enabled phone with a web browser.

Recently, Capcom launched its iPhone game “Smurf Village” which quickly became the most popular game on the Apple iPhone App store. “Brainy’s Bad Day” lets you take on the role of a mischievous Smurf attempting to bean Brainy with a tennis ball. You have 30 seconds to score 10 points and move on to the next round. For extra points, try to bop Brainy as he walks through the woods. Highly addictive and great for all ages, “Brainy’s Bad Day” is easy, free, and more fun than a barrel of smurfberries!

Radical Publishing’s game based on their sci-fi Shrapnel series has the most potential to please serious gamers.

Gamers take on the role of Vijaya “Sam” Narayan, a former military hero, who is fighting to save the galaxy from the Solar Alliance. Gamers navigate Sam and the Alliance across multiple planetary terrains, battling enemies, all while unlocking secret missions and compiling money to purchase weapons and upgrades. During game play, players also accrue points to stay atop of the leader board in hopes of winning cash prizes.

Unlike other games, this dual stick shooter is based on an intelligent engine that modifies game difficulty based on the player’s ability – perfect for the novice or expert player.  The 3-D graphics and sound effects make game play realistic and engaging.

“Once you start battling enemies, it is hard to stop playing … the game play is very addicting.” stated Barry Levine, President of Radical Studios. “Our partner, Moyo Studios, has created a fun and challenging game that immerses casual gamers inside Sam’s world”.

Specific Game Play Features Include:

16 mission types + 5 secret missions

9 weapons and upgrades to help Sam defeat her enemies

Unlock codes to increase points on the leader board

For a limited time, Shrapnel is available for $.99 at the Apple App Store.

Lastly, BOOM! Studios have released a new game based on their new Stan Lee’s The Traveler comic.

Alongside the much anticipated release of the time-bending superhero saga STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER #1, comes the debut of STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER in SPLIT-SECOND MAYHEM available now in the iTunes store for the iPhone & iPod Touch and brought to you by Stan Lee, BOOM! Studios, GameSalad, and D7!

In this fast-paced puzzle game, you play as The Traveler battling against the Split-Second Men to defeat evil and save the future! Speed up or slow down time to navigate citizens through perilous traps and dangerous encounters with the Split-Second Men. Straight from the pages of STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER, SPLIT-SECOND MAYHEM makes you the hero and puts you in control of the adventure!

Get Published With Radical

All you budding artists take note of this awesome opportunity from one of the best comics publishers around. Here’s the press release telling you all you need to know.

GET PUBLISHED WITH RADICAL

Looking to have your artwork published in a Radical comic? Well, now is your chance! Radical Publishing is pleased to announce a new contest to test your illustration skills. Simply draw your best version of the villainous Jebediah Crone, based on a scene from Radical’s newest horror miniseries, ABATTOIR. For each of the first five issues, Radical will select a winner to be featured on a per issue basis, with 5 winners in total. For a chance to be featured in Abattoir #2, upload and email a link of your Jebediah Crone artwork to promotions@radicalpublishing.com no later than November 10th, 2010. Your illustration MUST be based on a scene of Jebediah Crone as seen in the pages of ABATTOIR #1.

Winner #1 will be announced on November 17th with runner ups featured on Radical Publishing’s Facebook page. Each artist is limited to one illustration and all illustrations are judged exclusively by Radical Publishing’s Art Director, Jeremy Berger.

That’s not all. After the release of ABATTOIR #6, Radical will hold a contest for fans to pick the best entry amongst the five individual winners. The winning illustration will then be featured in the ABATTOIR trade paperback collection.

Created by director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw Franchise, Mother’s Day), written by Rob Levinand Troy Peteri and illustrated by Bing Cansino, ABATTOIR #1 goes on sale October 27th, 2010. Taking place shortly after a brutal massacre occurs in a gorgeous house, Real estate agent and family man Richard Ashwalt is assigned the impossible task of picking up the pieces and selling the property. As Richard inspects the blood-soaked grounds, a twisted old man journeys to the house with a sinister and terrifying purpose. Richard is about to be drawn into a web of shadows, murders and massacres that will shatter him to his very core!

 

The Last Days of American Crime #3 Review

The finale in Radical’s latest bi-monthly offering has many things going for it. Sam Worthington’s attachment to the film version, writer Rick Remender’s (The Punisher, Fear Agent) high concept tale and Greg Tocchini’s eye melting art. Every issue of this series should come with a complimentary combination eye wash and brain soap. It’s dirty, but very entertaining. As with all good tales, it’s the central story idea that is the fundamental building block to a rollicking good time. Remender has not only a great concept, but the skills to build upon it.

The American Peace Initiative is a signal that will be broadcast America-wide, rendering all knowing criminal thoughts (and thus, activities) non-existent. Of course, it’s not necessarily a popular decision, with many leaving the Staes for Canada and Mexico, but for some opportunists they see the chance of a lifetime. Middle-aged Graham Bricke is one such man, and the focus of Last Days. The first two issues saw him form his team, consisting of lovers Kevin Cash and Shelby Dupree, as well as battle it out with Bricke’s former partner, Enrique.

This finale opens with a bloodied Graham and Shelby on their knees facing Enrique’s angry goons while their leader screams about his dead daughter. In case you’ve forgotten what kind of comic this is, the initial pages will “gently” remind you. With Bricke’s narration adding tension like a piano wire, it gets off to a good start and thankfully only gets better.

We learn about Bricke’s criminal past, his “flirtation” with an honest life and the motivation for this last job. With less seemingly random acts of violence Remender brings a laser-like focus in these 56 pages, and like any good heist film, makes the job one worth waiting for. Of course, there’s double-crossing, murder and the sense that you never really know what the outcome will be until the final page is turned, and when the broadcast goes out during the final few minutes of the job, it makes things even more interesting, and heightens my desire to see a faithful film adaptation. There is perhaps a tad too much exposition in the conclusion, but not enough that it ever gets distracting, and it doesn’t take away from the suspense and mystery from the entire series.

As much as Remender’s bloody fingerprints are all over this book, so are those of Tocchini. This is a series whose visual approach is as daring as its story. Tocchini’s pages could almost be the work of a team of artists, with inking, colouring and page layouts being a work of perfect tandem. He somehow manages to give scenes of flying fingers and bullet wounds an air of light-filled delicacy, maintaining an effective balance between dazzling beauty and bludgeoning brutality.

Radical prove again that they know what comics are capable of and are waiting for the other guys to catch up.

Ryder, The Rising Reviews

Part of Radical Publishing’s new Radical Premiere line of comics (which seems to be mature first issues for only $1) are these 2 great reads, which were included in Radical’s 7 new releases for last week (their most yet I believe).

First up is The Rising. With a name like that it may sound like some dodgy horror film from the ’90s in which some mysterious creature devours hapless townfolk. What it’s really about is more interesting. A brutal sci-fi tale with the kind of profanity and blood that makes me think it’s a lost 2000AD story, The Rising could be something quite entertaining. Could be, but it isn’t there just yet, which is just as well considering this is a teaser for next year’s mini-series.

It does well to present a beautifully painted package from J.P. Targete, who’s working on the upcoming John Carter of Mars film, filled with the kind of sweaty soldiers and creepy aliens to lay a solid foundation for what would make a great video game. The story by E. Max Frye (from HBO’s Band of Brothers) throws out enough concepts loosely familiar to fans of Aliens and Avatar, but also intriguing elements that reveal the future mini-series has a solid ground upon which to build an intriguing universe.

It opens with a squad of rugged sci-fi soldiers desperately fighting some well armed aliens. The sergeant carries a man writhing in pain called Blithe, before the pair of them get hit, and separated, by a lightning strike from a hovering drone. Then an astonishing 7 almost silent pages follow. Yes, 7. At first I thought I thought the text had fallen off these pages or had somehow became invisible. After a second read, it actually made perfect, although unexpected, sense. Basically the mute pages show Blithe discovered by an attractive near naked woman who takes him back to her village, where he gets a beard and a loincloth, heals, watches a tribal dance, cosies up with his rescuer and then, of course, escapes with his life as his newfound forest friends get attacked by those pesky alien intruders.

Cut to future New York, in which we primarily learn there’s a female President (who announces the end of the war with the alien Dracs), and Blithe’s brother is apparently a powerful politician who has no patience for his sibling. Oh, and Blithe is a prisoner in a tough camp who receives a visit from a hypocritical reverend who unleashes a man mountain called Darwin on the rebellious Blithe for a Fight Club of sorts.

The second half is much better. It’s wordier and more happens, and there’s something about a virus which must certainly become more prominent in the mini-series. That, and the mixed feelings about the Drac’s arrival on earth could make for a good tale. So far, it’s not entirely original, but thankfully there’s also hints of its ambition. Plus, every page looks colourful, dazzling and gaze worthy, as any sci-fi comic should. See a preview here.

Ryder on the Storm is another $1 primer, though a more mature offering than The Rising. Writer David Hine and artist Wayne Nichols throw a mix of influences on the page, but they all work splendidly together. It’s kind of like a future as seen through 1930s eyes, or a noir film set in the world of Batman: The Animated Series.

Ryder is a P.I who’s approached by a lady  with a mysterious back tattoo, as she’s somehow found herself in a room with her rich dead boyfriend, who killed himself with a power drill. Or so it seems.

Hine introduces several characters with ease and Nichols clean, crisp (even in the bloody parts) artwork may not be as lush as Radical’s usual titles, but it works well here.

With a classic pulp approach (ice queen, “voice-over”, people with secrets) this is a great set up with enough dangling hooks to make the upcoming 3 ish, bi-monthly mini a worthwhile read. See a preview here.

Solomon’s Thieves and Earp

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything for Broken Frontier as I’ve been busy with Extra Sequential and its journey from on-line mag to print. Hopefully good news to report on that soon. Anyway, here’s my review of Solomon’s Thieves, a rousing OGN written by Jordan Mechner, Prince of Persia’s creator.

Also up at BF is one of the best interviews I’ve done in a while (not that I can take credit for that) as the writer of Radical’s new sci-fi series Earp: Saints for Sinners is one interesting fella. Read my chat with M. Zachary Sherman here.

Hotwire: Deep Cut

Woo hoo! Writer/artist Steve Pugh’s wild sci-fi series Hotwire is retruning to shelves in July. The gorgeous TPB collecting the first series is now out, and below is all you need to know on the next mini-series starring Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist.

HOTWIRE: DEEP CUT #1 NOW AVAILABLE FOR ORDER THROUGH DIAMOND PREVIEWS

Detective Exorcist Alice Hotwire is back in a brand new adventure! Radical Publishing is proud to announce that the first issue Hotwire: Deep Cut, follow-up to the acclaimed Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead, is now available for order through Diamond Previews. Written and illustrated by Steve Pugh and co-created by Warren Ellis, Hotwire: Deep Cut delves further into the life and mind of the city’s only supernatural investigator, Alice Hotwire.

Directly following the explosive events of Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead, Alice Hotwire is taking some much needed R&R. But when a ghost from her storied past appears at her door, it sets off a series of events that lead Hotwire and her partner, Mobey, across the city as they try to stop a secret government project from turning the city into a living nightmare. In Hotwire: Deep Cut, Steve Pugh takes readers on a new supernatural adventure that will offer a glimpse into Alice Hotwire’s past, as well as her future, with a host of familiar faces including the unsettling Coroner Love and the rest of the Metro Police.

“Iconic characters like Alice Hotwire deserve to have their stories told,” said Radical President and Publisher Barry Levine. “With Requiem for the Dead just released in trade paperback, we felt it was time to continue the story that Steve and Warren began. This time around, Steve has upped the ante for Alice and I can’t wait to see how the fans react to some of the surprises he has in store.”

Hotwire: Deep Cut #1 is the first of a three-issue miniseries and is listed in the May 2010 edition of Diamond Previews, shipping July 2010. Hotwire: Deep Cut #1 is 32-page comic retailing for $3.50.

Fans are encouraged to visit the Radical Publishing website at www.radicalpublishing.com for more information.

Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #3 Review

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Radical’s luscious books, as is anyone who looks at them really, and with the good news that a new volume of Steve Pugh’s excellent Hotwire lands in July, I’m a happy man indeed.

And on that note, Aladdin #3 concludes another great, and great looking, entry in Radical’s line up. Written by Ian Edginton with art by Stjepan Sejic, this has been a well crafted tale. It’s the kind of series that doesn’t demand attention, in that it’s not a high concept book (like Radical’s The Last Days of American Crime) and it doesn’t resort to cheap storytelling tricks and ‘mature’ updates of a myth to generate readers. It’s simply an attractive and accessible well structured story and unfortunately that’s all too are these days.

This final issue concludes the previous two (umm..obviously) but its simplicity means that every issue can be dove into without trying to rack your brain regarding what happened in the last installment. However, for those new to this title – Aladdin is a bit of a no hoper and a thief when he discovers a magical ring, meets wise adventurer Sinbad, tries to rescue Princess Soraya from the evil wizard Qassim and finally journeys to the undreground city where he and Sinbad get betrayed by the Mantis Queen. Kind of like Star Wars in the Middle East, but not really.

Edginton has used the familiarity of the legend including the titular hero, and wish granting djinn as the first steps on a grander epic. Throwing in surprises such as the appearance of Sinbad is just a nice bonus. The attack on Sinbad’s ship opens the issue, as Aladdin gets eventual aid from the djinn in his magical ring, who has a connection to the other djinn…the one in the lamp from the first issue, which is now held by Qassim’s greedy fingers.

Where this issue differs from the previous issues is its more hectic (though never harried) pace, the introduction of a few more scary beasts, the greater use of magic and the examples of love, and the heroism or selfishness it brings.

Sejic shines as always, quite literally, with his landscapes and dazzling cities looking like they belong in a Prince of Persia film as if made by Peter Jackson. He’s one of the industry’s brightest and most consistent artists and his sense of design when it comes to characters and layouts, holds immense visual appeal.

The other thing I noticed with this issue was Edginton’s approach to dialogue. With an ancient-set story like this it could easily become a bad mix of Shakesperean talk via the mouth of Thor, but thankfully there’s nothing like that here. It somehow feels old and I don’t mean because there’s no iPhone references. Every character speaks with the kind of purpose and heroism, and villainy, that you’d expect and want from a Middle Eastern epic journey.

The Last Days of American Crime #2 Review

In the age of Tarantino and Ritchie it’s unsurprising that this series was picked up, by producer/actor Sam Worthington, with such immediacy. With new concepts like this, Radical show that they know what it takes to make comics like the best examples of bold cinema.

The debut issue of this bi-monthly series introduced us to the world of ageing Graham Bricke who, like many others, wants to choke every opportunity they can before the U.S government broadcasts a signal throughout the nation, rendering criminal desires null and void. It’s one of those simple concepts that can be described in a sentence, yet whose potential is limitless. No wonder Hollywood are keen. Writer Rick Remender never gets bogged down by the hug scope of the idea though. There’s hints to actions outside of the happenings involving Bricke and his fellow crims, but it’s the ragtag bunch of ne’er-do-wells who are the charismatic centrepiece. The signal combined with the complete and total transfer of paper money to digital transactions ensure that the window of opportunity for Bricke and co. is becoming narrower and deadlier.

Issue 2 begins, with only 7 days left so Bricke (or Rory as he’s also known) has to move things along quickly with his new partners, safe cracker Kevin and his hacker girlfriend Shelby (who Bricke had a brief …encounter with last issue). The 3 characters are largely separated during the story, which means with only one issue left in this series, the finale is set up to be explode.

There’s no doubt that the world of American Crime is a filthy one. Rick Remender is writing the Punisher after all, so he knows a thing or two about the criminal mind, but whereas his work on that series, and Fear Agent shows a deft ability to welcome the fantastic, here he has a different agenda. From the opening pages in which members of a Mexican gang threaten a rival’s naked partner, it’s blindingly obvious that this isn’t one for the kids. Remender knows his boundaries though. There’s never a point, despite all the profanity and loose morals, that he’s puffing his chest out to show how ‘cool’ he is. He shows restraint and makes sure to give the reader a breather, and that’s something that Mark Millar could do with learning. There is a lot more violence, nudity and drug use in this issue than the debut, but there’s also the sense that Remender is ramping up his grandiose story, with the reason to the signal being given, as well as its implications on society’s freedoms.

This is a well paced tale, with Bricke as the guiding force, but the scenes involving Kevin’s run-in with some local drug dealers, his visit to his unique and wealthy family, and Shelby’s kidnapping, (along with the possibility of backstabbing) means that this is a guaranteed page turner. With a world filled with hardcore characters in the Sin City realm, and the approach of a Hollywood blockbuster, American Crime is an intoxicating, if sometimes shocking, mix.

A large part of the razzle dazzle is due to Greg Tocchini’s sizzling artwork. I’ve never seen an artist who can colour his own pencils with such verve. He has a rough approach, but one that is filled with details lesser artists wouldn’t bother with. By choosing unique angles it really does feel like a movie directed by the next big thing from the world of music videos.

This is another great entry in this series, and for a cheap 64 pager with a production and design gallery included, it’s pretty hard to pass by.

Hotwire TPB and Last Days of American Crime

These are two series from Radical that demand “Must Buy” stamped boldly on their covers. The Hotwire TPB is out on April 28, as is the second print of The Last Days of American Crime #1. Steve Pugh’s Hotwire is an awesome, and visually stunning addition to the realms of great sci-fi, and Last Days does the same for hard edged urban crime tales. Last Days #2 and Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #3 are also out on April 28, and certainly purchase worthy.

Like City of Dust, I also collected all the individual issues of Hotwire, but having it in a collected form on high quality paper, with a cover gallery and extras means that it can be easily shown off to mates, as well it should.

Below is the official description of the Hotwire TPB and the cover of the 2nd print of Last Days #1.

In the near future, the living and the dead share the same space. Known as “Blue Lights,” the dead are mostly harmless, roaming the streets as mindless drones. But when the Blue Lights start showing up as ghostly weapons of mass destruction, Metro Police has only one person for the job: She’s Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist. She’s the best there is at reining in the Blue Light beat…and she’s the only one who can save the city from certain destruction.

Written/ illustrated by Steve Pugh and based on a story by legendary creator Warren Ellis, this four-issue miniseries is collected for the first time as a trade paperback in a special “director’s cut” edition that includes creator notes and early character designs that evolved into the Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead series. This trade paperback edition also contains newly remastered tales from Alice Hotwire’s past, featuring never-before-seen pages written by Warren Ellis (PlanetaryTransmetropolitan) and amazing newly painted artwork. Also included is an extensive gallery showcasing the evolution of the character, Alice Hotwire, a spotlight gallery of artwork from celebrated artists Steve Pugh, Stjepan Sejic (Witchblade), Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic (The Immortal Iron Fist) and Garry Leach (Judge DreddMarvelman) as well as an in-depth interview with co-creator Steve Pugh.

Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #2 Review

So many good looking Radical books, so little time. My review of this week’s issue of their Aladdin reinvention is up now at Broken Frontier here. Written by Ian Edginton with art duties shared by Patrick Reilly and Stjepan Sejic, this second issue is a visually dazzling adventure. To prove my point, below the cover you’ll find pics of Sejic’s pages, uncluttered by text.

Legends: The Enchanted #0 Review

I was at one of my two local comic shops this week for my usual swag of goodies, when I noticed one of the guys bagging up the new releases. What caught my eye was Radical’s Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #1. Amongst all the Big Two offerings, it stood out like a Twilight fan at Comic-Con. It’s painted cardstock cover and general handsome presentation means that it should (as it deserves to) swivel heads looking amongst the latest floppies.

That’s indicative of pretty much all of Radical’s output though, and this year looks set to be the best yet from the relatively new company. Aladdin, BTW is definitely another book you should read. It’s swashbuckling in all the right ways. And now on to Enchanted.

The perceptive would’ve seen the Legends: The Enchanted OGN in this month’s Previews. That 128 page “deluxe hardcover” book arrives in April, and this zero ish acts as a primer. Comparing the premise to Fables and the works of Zenescope is the first description that comes to mind, but like most of Radical’s books it’s set just enough apart from anything else that it’s easily its own beast. They have a brief, yet solid history of dressing up great concepts with killer looks and Legends is no different.

It begins with Jack the Giant-Killer doing what his title implies, with Conan-like machismo, simultaneously saving and destroying the humble town of Krakenfield in the process, before riding off on a mean bike. Then we’re whisked away to Pinocchio, who is fully grown and is being tortured. It seems that not everyone in this fantastic world likes these “enchanted” folk and their powerful abilities, including the handy, but painful “healing charm.” We then see Red Riding Hood slicing up some wolves in the dark woods, and then meet some ugly folk (including one wearing a shirt with the Radical logo on it) in a tavern looking to stir up trouble, but who do not go unnoticed.

Creator Nick Percival does a superb job of teasing the world he’s created. The OGN will show us darker versions of Hansel, Gretel, Goldilocks and Humpty Dumpty amongst others, and this #0 issue is a great introduction –and it’s only $1! This is a grisly world filled with bionics and mechanics as much as grotesque creatures and medieval brutality. Sure, not a lot happens here, but Radical are obviously confident that Legends will find a greater readership and if nothing else Percival’s tale is the mark of a future talent to keep your eyes upon. There’s a richness to his painting style that Radical readers would be familiar with and a boldness to the way he approaches each page. He lets each scene breathe, and though it’s obvious he’s bursting at the seams with mad ideas, he’s in no rush to tell a complete story here. There will be plenty of time for that come April, and I for one am looking to visit this crazy world then.

Worthington In Last Days Of American Crime Film

The comics not even out yet and the film adaptation is already in its early stages. Radical’s forthcoming series The Last Days of American Crime has a premise begging for a film to spring from it, and the premise is this: In the near future the US government broadcast a signal to the public, making conscious criminal acts impossible to occur, so one desperate man decides to make the most of the time he has remaining, thus the clever title. Radical have some great high-concept books, and it’s good to see a fellow West Aussie becoming a part of one of their films. Press release below.

SAM WORTHINGTON TO PRODUCE AND STAR IN THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME

Radical Publishing is excited to announce that Sam Worthington (Clash of the Titans and James Cameron’s Avatar) has signed on as both star and producer for the film adaptation of The Last Days of American Crime, based off of Radical Publishing’s comic book series, The Last Days of American Crime, created and written by critically acclaimed author Rick Remender (Punisher, Fear Agent). Sam Worthington will be a producer along with producing partner, Michael Schwarz, and Radical’s president and publisher, Barry Levine. Rick Remender will be the executive producer/screenwriter for the film and Radical’s Executive Vice President, Jesse Berger, will executive produce.

The Last Days of American Crime is set 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. Graham Bricke, a petty criminal never quite able to hit the big score, 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.

“I had met Sam’s producing partner, Michael Schwarz, at the recent San Diego Comic-Con, who loved the concept for The Last Days of American Crime” said Radical Publishing’s President and Publisher, Barry Levine. “I figured that since Sam had done three tentpole movies back-to-back with Terminator Salvation, Avatar and Clash of the Titans, that he would want the more character driven role of Kevin Cash, the sociopathic partner to Graham Bricke. Michael had set up a meeting between Sam, CAA agents Kimberly Hodgert and Jon Levin along with myself to discuss Last Days. During the two hour meeting, we hit it off and Sam had committed to both star and produce.”

Rick Remender commented with “Sam is the perfect guy for this. He’s a scene stealer, made up in equal parts charm and intelligence. Seeing him play violent sociopath safe cracker Kevin Cash will be a treat all the world will enjoy.”

Readers can preview the first 15 pages of The Last Days of American Crime on Radical Publishing’s MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/radicalpublishing

The Last Days of American Crime #1 appeared 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 #2 appears in the December 2009 issue of Diamond Previews and features two separate covers, one by Alex Maleev (DCD# DEC090978) and another by series artist Greg Tocchini (DCD# DEC090979).

 

Incarnate #1 Review

Incarnate #1 CoverIn the new tradition of musicians creating comics comes Radical’s Incarnate, from Nick (son of KISS’ Gene) Simmons, and I gotta say, it’s not too bad. This 3 issue mini-series is a reinvention of the vampire mythos, but before you roll your eyes at that notion, let me say that Simmons, as both writer and artist does a respectable job of breathing new life in to the undead.

It opens with one of preacher/poet John Donne’s works about death, from a few centuries ago, before revealing a naked boy eating a dog in an alley, while speaking lines like, “I am a bloodhound tethered to an invisible master.” Right off the bat, you know this isn’t a typical vamp comic.

Mot, the naked kid grabs some clothes off a hobo he’s just drained blood from before shooting Connor, a vamp assassin in the face, but it’s just a flesh wound. The pair then go to a club of vamps, or “revenants” as they’re known in Incarnate where they discover that their old foe Solomon Vane and his family are tracking them. Not only that, they’ve finally discovered a way to kill them. A battle comences with Vane’s eager general Vincent and an army of well armed soldiers but only Mot and Connor remain behind to fight them, and things don’t look good for the pair.

Incarnate is off to an impressive debut. It’s wildly different from any of Radical’s other offerings. Their painterly, serious approach is not taken here and this resembles a standard comic that you’d find from another publisher. Having Nick Simmons’ name on the cover certainly helps, as does the exposure its received on his family’s reality TV show. Not  alot is revealed about the revenants at this point. We know they’re immortal and treat humans with disdain, but that’s about it. Two more issues isn’t much at all to build upon that mythology, but perhaps if this series is successful enough, more will follow.

The manga influences are strikingly obvious, but Simmons makes it work. His passion for manga can be seen on every page, with flowing blood, speed lines and jagged panels everywhere. However, there’s a sense of clarity and purpose to the design. It never feels cumbersome and the story is satisfyingly streamlined. I can only assume Simmons is the primary penciller, as there is also an inker, a colorist and three assistant artists given credit. I’ve never seen that before, but Nam Kim is the only one given the honour of a cover credit besides Simmons’ name. However, from all the interviews I’ve read, and his appearance at Radical’s Comic-Con panel, this is Simmons’ show all the way. Considering this is his first comic as both writer and artist, he’s off to a good start. Hopefully with his name attached, and its manga flavour, many non-regular comics readers will pay attention and give Incarnate the chance it deserves.

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