Witchblade Volume 7 Preview Part 1

The Top Cow crew have steadily built an entertaining universe over the last few years with their Witchblade, Darkness and associated characters. What I’ve read of these tales has been a consistent pleasure, mostly due to writer Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic. The duo are one of the most underrated working in comics today. If you want to see where my praise is coming from, then pick up Vol. 7 of their Witchblade epic, which goes on sale on June 16. The preview pages are too numerous and pretty to ignore, so I thought I’d post a few pages every day until it’s release. Here we go…

Witchblade Vol. 7 Trade Paperback

(W) Ron Marz (A) Stjepan Sejic (Cov) Stjepan Sejic

The new era of Witchblade featuring the team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic continues! The pair committed to staying on the title until at least issue #150 and their second complete arc together entitled “Crown Heights” is collected in this trade paperback. More importantly this storyline sets the stage and leads directly into “War of the Witchblades”.  Collects Witchblade #120-#124 plus a cover gallery featuring Stjepan Sejic, Matt Haley, Tyler Kirkham, and plenty of bonus materials.

Full Color 176 pages $14.99 trade paperback

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.

Angelus #1 Preview

Writer Ron Marz continues his great work, along with artist Stjepan Sejic on a new 6 issue mini-series focusing on Dani Baptiste, from the Witchblade series. Gorgeous preview pages below. Angelus #1 goes on sale tomorrow, December 23.

Angelus #1

(W) Ron Marz (A) Stjepan Sejic (Cov) Stjepan Sejic, Eric Basaldua

Taking flight from the pages of “War of the Witchblades”! Danielle Baptiste returns home to New Orleans to come to grips with her new role as the Angelus, the human bearer of the primal force of Light. To complicate matters she must sort out her undefined relationship with Finch while maintaining control of the Angelus host, some of whom covet her power.

Cover A – Stejpan Sejic

Cover B – Eric Basaldua, Rick Basaldua and Caesar Rodriguez

Cover C – Eric Basaldua

Full Color 32 pages $2.99 limited series

Dani Baptiste Is Angelus

Any excuse is a good one to show some Stjepan Sejic art, so here’s the cover for December’s Angelus #1 from Top Cow, and the official info from the Cow about the new series.

DANI BAPTISTE IS THE ANGELUS

ANGELUS #1

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that the Witchblade character Dani Baptiste will assume her new role as the Angelus in Angelus #1, the first in a six-part series, hitting comic book store shelves December 2, 2009.

Written by Ron Marz (Witchblade, Magdalena) and featuring art by Stjepan Sejic (Witchblade), Angelus #1 finds Danielle Baptiste returning home to New Orleans and coming to grips with her new role as the Angelus—the human bearer of the primal force of light. To complicate matters, Dani must sort out her undefined relationship with Finch, all while maintaining control of the Angelus host who covets her power.

“Sara and Dani were really dual leads for the better part of the last three years in Witchblade, and I liked having both characters be part of the storyline. But now that we’ve paid off everything we’d been working toward since issue #100, I’m looking forward to Sara regaining the solo spot in Witchblade.” said Marz. “Moving Dani into her new role as the Angelus, and into her own mini-series, allows me to approach her character and the concept from a fresh perspective. Just like when I took over Witchblade, my goal with Angelus is to start with the foundation we already have, and build something new and exciting from there.”

Angelus #1 begins where the Witchblade: War of the Witchblades storyline left off. The issue will carry a cover price of $2.99, maintaining Top Cow’s pledge to keep all normal comics locked in at $2.99 for the 2009 calendar year.

Angelus #1 Cover

Witchblade #130 Preview

On sale this Wednesday September 9 is the conclusion to the electric War of the Witchblades story arc by writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic. Top Cow describe it like so:

“War of the Witchblades” Part 6 (of 6)

(W) Ron Marz (A) Stjepan Sejic (Cov) Sejic, Adriana Melo

“War of the Witchblades” concludes here!

Will Sara Pezzini or Dani Baptiste emerge as the sole bearer of the Witchblade? Or will it be a completely new bearer? And who is the new Angelus?

Featuring a cover by regular artist Sejic and two variant covers by classic Witchblade artist Adriana Melo (Ms. Marvel)!

Cover A – Stjepan Sejic

Cover B – Adriana Melo Sara

Cover C – Adrian Melo Danielle

WB130COV_CoverB

WB130 CoverC

WB130 recap

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See Sejic At Work

Stjepan Sejic is one of my favourite artists. His great work for Top Cow always wows me. Now you can see him weave his magic at Meltdown Comics this Sunday. Press release below.

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that the exciting young artist behind Witchblade, Stjepan Sejic, will be hosting a live art demonstration and signing for fans at Meltdown Comics.  Since Witchblade issue #116, Sejic has been leaving readers awe-struck with his beautiful and unique digitally painted artwork.  Now, for the first time, fans will get a firsthand look into the artistic craft and process behind his work on the Witchblade series. 

Sejic will present his live art demo on Sunday, July 18, at Meltdown Comics from 4:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M. in their popular gallery area.   Following the art demo, from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., Stjepan Sejic will sign his comics including Witchblade, Broken Trinity, First Born, and more.   Meltdown Comics is located at 7522 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046 and can be reached at 323-851-7223.

Darkness and Pitt #1 Cover

Witchblade #128

Witchblade #126 Preview

Below is a preview of Top Cow’s Witchblade #126, which goes on sale on April 22. Written by Ron Marz with great art by Stjepan Sejic, it’s the second part of the War of the Witchblades storyline, in which Sara Pezzini, long-time ‘blade wielder and newbie Dani Baptiste become increasingly hostile towards one another. Despite the preview, it really is about more than just women in lingerie.

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