Dead or Alive #1 Preview

From Red 5 Comics this week is the debut of a new 4 part mini-series, written by Scott Chitwood, with art by Alfonso Ruiz. The Comic Book Page podcast conducted an interview with Chitwood about Dead or Alive, and other stuff, on a recent episode.

Here’s the official description of the issue:

Story: “The Good, The Bad, and the Zombie”

When two down-on-their-luck cowboys capture the most wanted outlaw in the West, they get more than they bargained for when they discover a Comanche shaman has infected him with an ancient zombie virus. If the zombie doesn’t kill them, the Comanche, rival bounty hunters, and other outlaws will!

Atomic Robo and Billy Tucci

Red 5’s Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #2 is out now and as usual is an all-ages fun fest. Check out my review right here.

Also at Broken Frontier is an exclusive preview of Billy Tucci’s (Shi, Sgt Rock: The Lost Batallion) much anticipated Christmas one-shot, A Child is Born. It’s released on November 23.

Atomic Robo For Everyone

Red 5’s flagship character Atomic Robo is currently in it’s sixth volume, the second issue of which is due out this month. On the official Robo blog, writer Brian Clevinger shares an encouraging letter from a mother about her son. Here it is:

My 6 year old son, Bobby Jr., just got done readingAtomic Robo: Ghost of Station X (part 1). Tomorrow he is taking it to school to read it to his first grade class.

He is the most advanced reader the school has ever had (he is reading at a 5th grade level now). I started reading comics to him since he was 3, and now we both can’t get enough. Every year he goes as a comic book superhero for Halloween. And everyday he builds robots with LEGO.

It is because of the hard work of his teachers and I, and his extreme love of comic books that he has excelled. It is because of writers and artists like yourselves that we both want to read. The wanting makes all the difference.

Thank you Red 5 for making reading fun for my son. I am really grateful that we saw your booth at the Dallas Comic-Con earlier this year. Now we make sure to pick up any Red 5 issues we can find. Thank you again.

-A very proud mom.

Great stuff. Check out Brian’s response, and pics of Bobby reading the issue to class at the blog here, and grab any issue of Atomic Robo for some good, funny, all-ages entertainment.

        

Atomic Robo: The Ghost of Station X #1 Review

At Broken Frontier is my review of the sixth volume’s debut of Red 5’s flagship hero, Atomic Robo.

Read my full review here.

 

David Ziebart Interview

Now at Broken Frontier is my interview with writer David Ziebart about his new Red 5 series, Foster Broussard: Demons of the Gold Rush, an entertaining supernatural/ action mini-series set in the Californian gold rush.

You can read the interview here.

Atomic Robo Volume 5 #1 Review

I remember when Red 5 debuted, as I was writing for the unique website/magazine Infuze at the time. Sadly that site is no longer around, but Red 5, and their flagship character Atomic Robo thankfully still are.

The regular partnership of writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener once more provide readers with another instalment of zany fun that anyone can ease into. The beauty of Robo’s format of multiple mini-series (this is the fifth volume) means that there’s no prior knowledge required. Every mini-series and individual issue is self-contained. If you feel like comical comics, then just pick up any ish of Robo you see and satisfaction will be guaranteed.

This debut issue of a new series, titled Deadly Art of Science opens in Chicago, and later New York, in 1930, when Atomic Robo (creation of famed scientist Nikola Tesla) is new to the world and the adventures that can be had within it. Before we see Robo, who’s getting bored with Tesla’s experiments, we are introduced to Jack Tarot, Gunfighter and his daughter Nightingale, who is kind of a low-tech Oracle, offering assistance and guidance to Tarot in the midst of a car chase against some gangsters.

Tarot is a man’s man; a no-nonsense hero with a red mask/handkerchief (a maskerchief perhaps?) and a sense of style and the kind of derring-do that gets things done, and usually results in dead bad guys, much to his daughter’s frustration.

It’s great to see Robo as a curious wannabe adventurer, as all previous mini-series have largely shown an established and confident Robo. He’s still confident (and witty) here too, but is also slightly overawed by all the gunplay going on around him. He sees the daring life of Tarot (stuck on a bad guy’s windshield as he zooms past a street sweeping Robo) and wants in. After some relentless curiosity, Robo follows Tarot, who sees the metal man as nothing more than an annoyance. Teaming the slightly madcap Robo with a seasoned hero is a masterstroke filled with buddy cop potential. It’s like Indiana Jones teaming up with Spider-Man. Sort of.

Clevinger’s fast paced script and Wegener’s tight and expressive pencils define the word, “romp,” and it’s no surprise that both men have been noticed by the big boys. Clevinger is now writing Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet, a rather humorous take on the classic cosmic storyline from Marvel. Clevinger has also done some recent work for the publisher on titles such as Punisher War Journal. The pair really do work well together, with this great mix of action and comedy. Of course, both of those things are reliant on timing and expression and here, like in every other Atomic Robo series, these two guys know what they’re doing when it comes to that, which means every page is just a joy to devour.

This first issue of a 5 issue mini-series is available now.

The Lost Room Season 2 Comic

This is one of those announcements at San Diego Comic Con that I should’ve mentioned, but alas, faced with a barrage of good news, some things slipped through my net. Well, the writers of The Lost Room (a widely praised TV mini-series) will now have a follow-up in the form of a comic mini-series. Christopher Leone and Laura Harkcom’s We Kill Monsters was one of the surprise hits for me in the last few months (and is now available in TPB!) and The Lost Room is one of those shows I must get around to watching as it’s been recommended to me a few times and now might just be the time before Season 2 hits. Official press release below.

WE KILL MONSTERS writers Laura Harkcom & Christopher Leone announced at the Comic Con edition of “The Totally Rad Show” that “The Lost Room: Season II” will be published by Red 5 Comics next year!

The book is a sequel to their original television mini-series “The Lost Room,” which they co-created, co-wrote and co-executive produced for The SyFy Channel and Lionsgate Television. “The Lost Room” starred Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Kevin Pollak. The 6-hour series garnered much critical acclaim, with The New York Times calling it “…a jackpot for a mystery series,” and Entertainment Weekly citing it as “…one of the most creative ideas to hit TV in a while.” The show was nominated for two Emmys and a Writers Guild Award.

Since its debut in 2006, “The Lost Room” has continued to increase in awareness and build an ever-growing fan base.  In September of 2009, Salon.com featured an article about the show’s rising profile, raving, “Forget the latest from J.J. Abrams… ‘The Lost Room’ is a cult hit waiting to happen.”  Ain’t It Cool News said this weekend, “The Lost Room miniseries was, I thought, up there with ‘Battlestar Galactica’ as one of the best Sci-Fi Channel originals ever produced.”
The comic book picks up one year after the events of the miniseries. The story of the Key continues as it falls into the hands of a new protagonist: a hardened criminal who was finally framed for the one crime he didn’t commit.  The new Motel Man escapes prison looking for revenge, only to find himself in a new cell: Room 10.

“The Lost Room: Season II” is a 4-issue limited series that will publish monthly.  A search is currently underway for artists.

We Kill Monsters TPB

From Red 5 on July 14 comes the Trade Paper Back of the excellent mini-series We Kill Monsters. It’s wonderfully created by writers Christopher Leone and Laura Harkcom (The Lost Room TV series) with artist Brian Churilla (The Engineer, The Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet). The original 6 issue mini-series was one of the great recent surprises for me in the last few months and will be even better in collected form. It follows two mechanic brothers in a small town who are forced to do exactly what the title says,  and is a fun and surprisingly emotional throwback to classic action/horror stories. Most importantly, it’s accessible and very entertaining. Look for the TPB on shelves next week. Discover more of WKM right here.

Atomic Robo #4.2 Review

It’s about time the Atomic Robo writer got some grander opportunities. Of course, everyone and their grandma loves Robo for its refreshing mix of humour and action in a very aware pop culture package. It’s the kind of quirkiness that geeks like me find irresistible. Now, Brian Clevinger is writing an all-ages mini focused on The Infinity Gauntlet saga for Marvel. Nice one.

So, back to Robo. The old robot adventurer is really Red 5’s flagship character, as he should be. Instead of an ongoing series, Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener have wisely chosen to create a series of mini-series, of which this is the fourth, with the subtitle Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension. Last month’s first issue had Robo interviewing two candidates for an Action Scientist position, filled with the usual great dialogue such as:

Bernard: What were you doing in a volcano?

Robo: Action geology.

and an attack on Tesladyne Industries’ base by the titular “vampires.” This second issue (set in 1999) is fittingly titled Big in Japan, in which Robo meets Japan’s version of  his team, the Science Team Super Five! It’s not long after the introductions that a few nasties invade Tokyo Bay and the Science Team must go out on their first real mission with all the energy, dramatic posing and primary coloured costume wearing of the Power Rangers parody that they are. Then a rather…crabby former colleague of the Science Team’s leader shows his face and Robo comes to the rescue.

With a subtle Star Wars reference, a Mecha Robo and photocopiers as weapons, this is yet another winner in this series. It’s not as funny as previous entries, but there’s still two more issues to go (and presumably more of the vampires, as they don’t show up here). Wegener’s timing and spot on expressions are chuckle worthy as always. He and Clevinger really are a great duo, with an eye on reliable fun at all times, and show yet again that Robo is a witty and accessible series; the kind of book that both jaded fanboys and comic book newbies need.

Red 5’s Box 13

Press release below regarding Red 5’s latest project.

“BOX 13” ARRIVES AS GRAPHIC NOVEL THIS MAY FROM ZUDA AND HARVEY-WINNING TEAM OF GALLAHER AND ELLIS FEATURED IN RED 5 COMICS FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2010 ISSUE

The Harvey Award-winning creative team behind the smash hit “High Moon” are set to once again leap story-telling magic from pixels to print in their latest adventure, “Box 13”. The graphic novel trade paperback will be available this May from Red 5 Comics and ComiXology, the creators of Comics — the #1 iPhone application for downloading comics. Created by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, the first Zuda.com contest winners, Box 13 is a reimagining of the popular radio serial of the same name. It follows investigative author Dan Holiday who has spent the last several years of his life researching the secrets behind the MKULTRA project.

His latest book has brought him a degree of notoriety, but a mysterious numbered box left on his book signing table is too much to resist. Once opened, the box sends him spinning on a harrowing journey of self-discovery and driving mystery… what is in Box 13?

While inspired by the noir-serial of the 1940s, the reimagining blends in the disorienting action mysteries of the 1960s like “The Manchurian Candidate”, “The Prisoner” and “Modesty Blaise” wrapped in a modern tale in a digital medium. “There is gunplay, conspiracy, romance, psychological drama, train chases, motorcycle chases, and danger!” author David Gallaher told CBR. “But, at its heart it’s a story about rediscovering your place in the world after everything in your life changes forever.”

Originally commissioned by ComiXology and released exclusively on the iPhone, the series was created from start-to-finish with print-ready layouts. “Who better than this beloved award-winning team to help demonstrate to the world the potential synergies of comics content in digital and print?”, posed ComiXology president David Steinberger. “Over a hundred thousand people have discovered the series on their screens, and are now clamoring for the printed graphic novel to complete the experience. At the end of the day, it’s all about telling a great story that people want to read.”

Not only will the generation of digital comic readers come looking for Box 13, but the title will be exposed to comic shop masses on May 1’s Free Comic Book Day. The entire 8-page first chapter of Box 13 is included in Red 5 Comics third-annual Atomic Robo FCBD issue — one of the most anticipated regular releases of the event.

The release of the Box 13 graphic novel on May 19 will complete the page-turning appetite for just $13. Pre-order your copy in March 2010 using Diamond Comics code MAR101130. (And ensure your copy of Red 5 Comics Free Comic Book Day 2010 edition featuring Atomic Robo, Box 13 and Neozoic using code JAN100030)

We Kill Monsters #6 Review

Red 5’s great series, We Kill Monsters is releasing its last issue this week.

It’s another winner in the tale of the Basher brothers and their battle against various beasties. Hopefully the Trade will be out in May or June and it will be a great treat for anyone new to comics, or readers who just want an entertaining and accessible story.

Read the review here.

We Kill Monsters #5 Review

I got the 3rd season of 30 Rock tonight and I’m strongly tempted to watch all 22 episodes, and wake up late tomorrow for work. However, I have a copy of Red 5’s great series We Kill Monsters and I’m choosing to read and review that instead. That should tell you how good it is.

Simple, well-written tales are a rarity in these days of multi-character epics that require many months (and dollars) of commitment. That’s where Red 5 come along. Series like their Atomic Robo and Neozoic are brilliant, because they’re entertaining and accessible.

WKM’s writing partners Christopher Leone and Laura Harkcom have taken a simple premise (two brothers fight aliens in their hometown) and put enough familial drama, action and alien mystery to create an intriguing narrative. Penciller Brian Churilla has really been getting a lot of attention lately, thanks to BOOM!’s new The Anchor series (also good) and he does magic with the few lines he uses here.

This penultimate issue starts with the continuation of last month’s discovery of the creatures’ origins. This leads to Vanessa, long-time friend of the heroic Basher brothers of the title, to question not only herself but someone very close to her, and that kind of doubt is never a good thing when you’re armed with a loaded rifle. Jake and Drew Basher then head off to the source of the monsters – a cereal factory that’s manufacturing living mascots. Yep, it’s one of those ideas that could almost be a “shark jumping” moment, but throughout this series Leone and Harkcom have proved adept at balancing humour with danger. And there are a few genuine laughs in this issue, aided greatly by Churilla’s perfect timing and expressive emotions, but there are also thrills and spills. It’s never an easy thing to make readers genuinely concerned about the welfare of a bunch of new characters, in a new series (and from new comic writers no less) but I’m certainly not the only one who’s noticed the fine work in this humble title.

I hope Leone and Harkcom continue to write sequential art once this series wraps. We Kill Monsters is the kind of series that I’d happily read again in Trade form, and is a great entry level tale for anyone new to the medium, or for veteran fanboys who want a refreshing reminder that simplicity doesn’t have to mean lack of creativity.

We Kill Monsters Interview

Over at Broken Frontier is my interview with the writers of Red 5’s mini-series, We Kill Monsters. As you can guess by the title , it’s about two brothers who…kill monsters. Christopher Leone and Laura Harkcom talk about the cool series here.

We Kill Monsters #3

Red 5 Reviews

Up at Broken Frontier are two new reviews of mine, both of which are for Red 5 comics. Atomic Robo #4 and We Kill Monsters #2. Robo’s the better choice, as it always is. It’s good, old-fashioned storytelling with a continual ode to pop culture.

Atomic Robo #4We Kill Monsters 32

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