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

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WB130 CoverC

WB130 recap

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War Of The Witchblades Conclusion

September’s Witchblade #130 will end the epic War of the Witchblades saga that has exploded from the Top Cow title as of late, and will reveal who exactly will be the new Witchblade, and Angelus, wielders. Top Cow are playing coy and have revealed three alternate covers for the issue, with the identities up for debate. Press release, and covers, below.

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that “War of the Witchblades” will reach its conclusion in Witchblade #130.  Who will emerge as the sole bearer of the Witchblade?  Will it be Sara Pezzini or Dani Baptiste?  Or will it be a completely new bearer?  And who will become the new Angelus?  

Witchblade #130 will be the landmark 50th issue of Witchblade written by Ron Marz, The issue is also the 22nd collaborative Witchblade comic with Ron Marz and Sjepan Sejic.  Witchblade #130 is expected in comic book stores on Wednesday, September 9, 2009.  

Ron Marz had this to say about the issue:

“The book has very much been a two-character drama since we introduced Dani. We might not have had both characters in every issue, but both characters were definitely a presence in the book. At the end of this storyline, we’ll be back to focusing on one character and that character’s life.”

“There are a lot of different plot threads going on in this arc – Sara, Dani, Sara’s sister Julie, Dani’s friend Finch, the Angelus. And while they might seem like disparate threads now, they’ll all tie together.”

“I will say this: when I kill somebody in one of my books, they stay killed if I have anything to say about it. Death shouldn’t be a revolving door, because it saps the drama out of a story. Sara’s first partner, Jake, took a dirt nap, and it’s gonna stay that way. If somebody is really dead, they’re dead.”

“Somebody ends up with the Witchblade, somebody ends up as the Angelus. But I’m not telling who. That’s why we solicited three different possible versions of the Sejic cover to #130. Obviously we’re only going to press with one of them – but the question is, which one?” 

Witchblade #130 will ship with three covers; one by regular artist Sejic revealing the identity of the new Angelus bearer, as well as two covers by classic Witchblade artist Adriana Melo (Ms. Marvel) featuring Sara and Dani respectively. The issue will carry a cover price of $2.99, maintaining Top Cow’s pledge to lock in a $2.99 cover price for all their normal comics in 2009.

Witchblade #130

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The Blade of Dracula

I interviewed partners Leah Moore (yes, Alan’s daughter) and John Reppion regarding their great new Sherlock Holmes series from Dynamite. Now, from the same company and same creators is The Complete Dracula. It’s a very faithful retelling of Bram Stoker’s legendary horror novel for comic fans. My interview with the pair is here and my review of the latest issue of the impressive Witchblade monthly is here.                                                

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Top Cow Freebies

Official press release below about the 25 participating US and Canadian retailers for April’s excellent Witchblade giveaway programme. See if your LCS is on the list.

TOP COW CONTINUES ‘LET US WIN YOU OVER’ INITIATIVE WITH WITCHBLADE #126
wb126_covs_page_1Top Cow Productions, Inc. revealed today the names of the participating retailers in their “Let Us Win YOU Over” initiative for April and the program would continue the second part of their “War of the Witchblades” storyline – Witchblade #126.
The “Let Us Win YOU Over” initiative is a yearlong campaign by Top Cow Productions to give out free copies of its regular comics to potential fans in the U.S. and Canada through participating comic book stores. Each month, a different set of stores, each month a different free comic. The stores vary by geography and demographics. Top Cow has partnered with ComicsPRO to bring this promotion to fans and all of February’s retailers are members of ComicsPRO.
Witchblade #126 continues the six-part “War of the Witchblades” storyline, which promises to shake the status quo of Witchblade to its foundation. Since the events of First Born, Detective Sara Pezzini and dancer Danielle Baptiste have shared the mystical gauntlet, the Witchblade; but recently cracks have appeared in their relationship. The cracks widen in issue #126 pointing an inevitable battle. Regular writer Ron Marz writes the story with art by ongoing artist Stjepan Sejic. The issue will be in comic shops on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 and normally retails for $2.99.
“It’s not a coincidence that we decided to run Let Us Win YOU Over in conjunction with one of our best stories in Witchblade to date,” said Filip Sablik, Publisher of Top Cow. “The second chapter of “War of the Witchblades” digs deeper into the roots of Sara and Dani’s conflict and serves as another great jumping on point for new readers.”

“We are very excited to be a part of this Top Cow promotion,” commented Anna Warren, owner of Illusive Comics & Games of Santa Clara, CA, “Readers love free samples as a generous way to get a taste of a series they might not have otherwise picked up.  And the promotion Top Cow has been doing is a great help to comic book stores, getting new comic book fans into stores. ”

“Top Cow has really listened to retailers and is doing what it takes to fully market Indie titles to the average comic book reader,” added Warren.

A list of the participating retailers during the month of April (listed alphabetically by state) is included below. Additional information can be found at the official online home of the “Let Us Win YOU Over” initiative – www.topcow.com/freecomics. Customers who currently purchase Witchblade at the stores below will be able to purchase an extremely limited “All Beef” Edition (limited to just the stores listed below) at the regular cover price. Fans are encouraged to contact the retailer they wish to visit for specific details:

Continue reading

Witchblade #125 Review

My review of the anniversary issue of Witchblade #125 is now up at Broken Frontier. This ish is the start of the War of the Witchblades story arc and is written by Ron Marz with gorgeous art by Stjepan Sejic as usual. It’s a great introduction to the world of the Witchblade and an enjoyable read. This has been an impressive title lately.

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War of the Witchblades

Official press release below, regarding another milestone issue for one of Top Cow’s most famous titles (following The Darkness #75). 

wb125_cov_cTop Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that the company’s flagship title, Witchblade, will reach issue #125 in March 2009, and the publisher will celebrate this landmark event with an oversized issue including a bonus story. Witchblade #125 brings the series’ critically acclaimed team of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic together to begin the six-part story arc “War of the Witchblades” which the publishers note is the biggest and most ambitious plot they’ve attempted with their flagship character.

Following the events of 2008’s First Born, the Witchblade was split into two halves and the responsibilities split between long time bearer Sara Pezzini and newcomer Danielle Baptiste. Up to this point, Sara and Dani have worked together and developed a sisterly relationship, but that will all change beginning in issue #125. Witchblade #125, which will wrap up long standing plot conflicts Ron Marz has been adding to Witchblade since he first took over writing duties for the series in 2004 with issue #80, will begin a new era for the comic that the publisher aims to refresh the series for long-standing readers as well as make an attractive jump-on point for new readers unfamiliar with Witchblade. Sejic and Marz have committed themselves to working on Witchblade as the core creative team through issue #150. Sejic has been the regular artist for Witchblade since issue #116. Artist Chris Bachalo (Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man) joins Marz and Sejic for Witchblade #125 to contribute a two-part cover variant featuring protagonists Pezzini and Baptiste. A third cover by Sejic will also be offered.

Witchblade, which has been translated to TV as TNT’s #1 original film of 2000 and its subsequently successful TV series, has been Top Cow’s longest-running series. “Writer Ron Marz continues to plow up so much new ground on Witchblade that I’m beginning to suspect that rather than using a keyboard to pound out his scripts, he might actually be utilizing a 40-ton earthmover instead,” attests comic book talent Terry Austin (Uncanny X-Men). Jim Cheung, artist of Young Avengers and New Avengers comments, “With compelling stories by one of my favorite writers, and astonishing artwork that makes me want to tuck myself into a corner and cry, I can’t think why Witchblade shouldn’t be on everyone’s reading list.” Witchblade #125 will also feature a bonus story written by Rob Levin (Darkness: Butcher) and Marco Castiello (Secret Invasion: Frontline).

Top Cowabunga!

Now you can skate to the comic shop with reckless abandon and declare your love for Darkness, Savage Dragon or Witchblade at the same time! “Get out of my way!” you’ll scream as you tear past dordling pedestrians. “I’m a comic reader and I need my fix!” Anyway, Top Cow are releasing some perty decks in conjunction with Graphic Image Skateboards. Below is the official press release.

Top Cow Productions, Inc. and Graphic Image Skateboards are proud to announce new Witchblade and Darkness skateboards are available for purchase starting November 1, 2008. Pre-orders are now being accepted.

These skateboards are available as deck only, complete with trucks and wheels, and are made from seven plies of hard rock maple and feature high-resolution graphics that are nothing short of spectacular. A very limited number of skateboards are available signed by Top Cow Productions founder and CEO Marc Silvestri, who co-created Witchblade and The Darkness.

“The partnership with Top Cow is simply surreal to me,” marveled Andrew Brousseau, founder of Graphic Image Skateboards. “When Image and Top Cow were founded back in 1992, it really revitalized for me the excitement that was once found in visiting the local comic book store. And so in partnering up with Top Cow today to make skateboards, I really feel it’s an incredible opportunity to revitalize the excitement that was once found in buying a new skateboard deck.”

“We’re absolutely thrilled by this partnership,” exclaimed Top Cow President Matt Hawkins. “Graphic Image Skateboards produce fine, quality decks and we’re more than happy to lend our characters to their line.”

Graphic Image Skateboards also has a Savage Dragon deck available, based on the character created by Erik Larsen and published by Image Central, which, along with Todd McFarlane Productions and Top Cow, make up Image Comics.

For all pricing and pre-order inquires please contact Andrew Brousseau at abrousseau@mts.net, or visit www.graphicimageskateboards.com.

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