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Magniber ransomware improves, expands within Asia

Malwarebytes - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:00

This blog post was authored by @hasherezade and Jérôme Segura.

The Magnitude exploit kit is one of the longest-serving browser exploitation toolkits among those still in use. After its inception in 2013, it enjoyed worldwide distribution with a liking for ransomware. Eventually, it became a private operation that had a narrow geographic focus.

During 2017, Magnitude delivered Cerber ransomware via a filtering gate known as Magnigate, only to a select few Asian countries. In October 2017, the exploit kit operator began to distribute its own breed of ransomware, Magniber. That change came with an interesting twist—the malware authors went to great lengths to limit infections to South Korea. In addition to traffic filtering via country-specific malvertising chains, Magniber would only install if a specific country code was returned, otherwise it would delete itself.

In April 2018, Magnitude unexpectedly started pushing the ever-growing GandCrab ransomware, shortly after having adopted a fresh Flash zero-day (CVE-2018-4878). What may have been a test campaign did not last long, and shortly after, Magniber was back again. In our recent captures of Magnitude, we now see the latest Internet Explorer exploit (CVE-2018-8174) being used primarily, which it integrated after a week-long traffic interruption.

In this post, we take a look at some notable changes with Magniber. Its source code is now more refined, leveraging various obfuscation techniques and no longer dependent on a Command and Control server or hardcoded key for its encryption routine. In addition, while Magniber previously only targeted South Korea, it has now expanded its reach to other Asia Pacific countries.

Extracting the payload

There are several stages before the final payload is downloaded and executed. After Magnigate’s 302 redirection (Step 1), we see a Base64 obfuscated JavaScript (Step 2) used to launch Magnitude’s landing page, along with a Base64 encoded VBScript. (Both original versions of the scripts are available at the end of this post in the IOCs.) After CVE-2018-8174’s exploitation, the XOR-encrypted Magniber is retrieved.

Figure 1. Traffic view of a Magniber infection, via Magnigate redirection and Magnitude EK

Figure 2. Decoded Javascript shows redirection to Magnitude’s landing page

Figure 3. VBScript code snippet showing part of CVE-2018-8174

Once exploitation of the Use After Free vulnerability in Internet Explorer (CVE-2018-8174) is successful, the VBScript will execute the following shellcode:

Figure 4. Byte array (shellcode)

Functionality-wise, this shellcode is a simple downloader. It downloads the obfuscated payload, decodes it by XOR with a key, and then deploys it:

Figure 5. Downloading the final payload via InternetOpenUrlw API

The downloaded payload (72fce87a976667a8c09ed844564adc75) is, however, still not the Magniber core, but a next stage loader. This loader unpacks the Magniber’s core DLL (19599cad1bbca18ac6473e64710443b7) and injects it into a process.

Both elements, the loader and Magniber core, are DLLs with Reflective Loader stub, that load themselves into a current process using the Reflective DLL injection technique.

Behavioral analysis

The actions performed by Magniber haven’t changed much; it encrypts files and at the end drops a ransom note named README.txt.

Figure 6. Ransom note left on the infected machine

The given links lead to an onion page that is unique per victim and similar to many other ransomware pages:

Figure 7. Magniber’s payment page

The files encrypted by this version of Magniber can be identified by their extension: .dyaaghemy. While in the past each file was encrypted with the same AES key, this time each file is encrypted with a unique key—the same plaintext gives a different ciphertext. The encrypted content has no patterns visible. That suggests that a stream cipher or a cipher with chained blocks was used (probably AES in CBC mode). Below you can see a BMP file before and after being encrypted by Magniber:

Figure 8. Visualizing a file before and after encryption

Code changes

Magniber is constantly evolving with big portions of its code fully rewritten over time. Below you can see a code comparison between the current Magniber DLL and an earlier version (8a0244eedee8a26139bea287a7e419d9), created with the help of BinDiff:

Figure 9. Comparing an older Magniber with the newer one

Obfuscation

The authors put a lot of effort in improving obfuscation. The first version we described was not obfuscated at all. The current, in contrast, is obfuscated using a few different techniques. First of all, API functions are now dynamically retrieved by their checksums. For example:

Figure 10. Calling API functions via checksum

Comparing the new and the old version, we can see some overlapping fragments of code:

Figure 11. Old version with normal import calls vs. new version with dynamically retrieved functions

The function pointer is retrieved by searching through export tables of the DLLs that are currently loaded. This technique requires that the DLL from which we want to retrieve the function to be already loaded. This algorithm of retrieving function was added to Magniber a few months ago, for example in the sample 60af42293d2dbd0cc8bf1a008e06f394.

In addition, some of the parameters for the calls are dynamically calculated and junk code is added in between the operations. A string that is supposed to be loaded is scattered through several variables.

Figure 12. Adding junk code to make analysis more tricky

File encryption

We can also observe some changes at the functionality level. The early versions relied on the AES key downloaded from the CnC server (and in case if it was not available, falling back to the hardcoded one, making decryption trivial in such case). This time, Magniber comes with a public RSA key of the attackers that makes it fully independent from the Internet connection during the encryption process. This key is used for protecting the unique AES keys used to encrypt files.

The attacker’s RSA key is hardcoded in the sample in obfuscated form. This is how it looks after deobfuscation:

Figure 13. Deobfuscated RSA key

Each time a new file is going to be encrypted, two 16-byte long strings are generated. One will be used as an AES key, and another as an initialization vector (IV). Below you can see the fragment of code responsible for generating those pseudo-random strings.

Figure 14. Generating pseudo-random strings

The interesting fact is what they use as a random generator—a weak source of randomness may create a vulnerability. We can see that under the hood GetTickCount is called:

Figure 15. Random generator using GetTickCount

The full reconstruction of the code generating the key and IV is available in the following snippet: https://gist.github.com/hasherezade/7fb69fbd045315b42d7f962a83fdc300

Before the ransomware proceeds to encrypt the file, the RSA key is imported and used to encrypt the generated data (key+IV):

Figure 16. RSA key import right before file encryption begins

It produces an encrypted block of 256 bytes that is passed to the encrypting function, and later appended at the end of the encrypted file. Apart from those changes, files are encrypted similar to before, with the help of Windows’ Crypto API.

Figure 16. Setting the AES key and initialization vector

Figure 17. Encrypting and writing to a file

Geographic expansion

In early July, we noted exploit attempts happening outside of the typical area we had become used to, for instance in Malaysia. At about the same time, a tweet from MalwareHunterTeam mentioned infections in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Following the changes in the distribution scope, the code of Magniber got updated to whitelist more languages. Now the list expanded, adding other Asian languages, such as Chinese (Macau, China, Singapore) and Malay (Malysia, Brunei).

Figure 17. Expanded language checks

Continuing evolution

While Magniber was not impressive at first, having simple code and no obfuscation, it is actively developed and its quality continuously improves. Their authors appear professional, even though they commit some mistakes.

This ransomware operation is carried with surgical precision, from a careful distribution to a matching whitelist of languages. Criminals know exactly which countries they want to target, and they put their efforts to minimize noise and reduce collateral damage.

Malwarebytes users are protected against this threat thanks to our anti-exploit module, which blocks Magnitude EK’s attempt to exploit CVE-2018-8174 (VBScript engine vulnerability):

Thanks to David Ledbetter for his help with deobfuscating the VBScript.

Indicators of compromise (IOCs) 178.32.62[.]130,bluehuge[.]expert,Magnigate (Step 1) 94.23.165[.]192,69a5010hbjdd722q.feedrun[.]online,Magnigate (Step 2) 92.222.121[.]30,08taw3c6143ce.nexthas[.]rocks,Magnitude EK (Landing Page) 149.202.112[.]72,Magniber

Code snippets

Magniber (original)

6e57159209611f2531104449f4bb86a7621fb9fbc2e90add2ecdfbe293aa9dfc

Magniber (core DLL)

fb6c80ae783c1881487f2376f5cace7532c5eadfc170b39e06e17492652581c2

The post Magniber ransomware improves, expands within Asia appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

A week in security (July 9 – July 15)

Malwarebytes - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 15:00

Last week, we talked about domestic abuse fuelled by IoT, doing threat intel programs right, blocking ICO fraud, and man-in-the-middle attacks. We also explained why we block shady ad blockers and provided tips to online shoppers for Prime Day.

Other news:

Stay safe, everyone!

The post A week in security (July 9 – July 15) appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Cryptozoic Will Offer Exclusive Collectibles, Trading Cards, and Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game at San Diego Comic-Con 2018

Cryptozoic - Mon, 07/16/2018 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment, leading creator of board games, trading cards, and physical and digital collectibles, today announced that it will sell ten exclusive vinyl figures, several convention-exclusive trading cards, and Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game for the first time anywhere at Booth #115 at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, July 19-22 . In addition, the company will release Series 3 of its popular DC Lil Bombshells figures, the Classic Harley Quinn figure, and the Harley Quinn Puddin’ Pop Statue at the show. Cryptozoic will have signing sessions with Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini on Friday, July 20 and Yoshinori Ono on Saturday, July 21.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A primer: How to stay safe on Amazon Prime Day

Malwarebytes - Sun, 07/15/2018 - 17:34

Bank card—check!

Shopping list—check!

Lumbar back support pillow—check!

Noise canceling headphones—check!

And, of course, coffee—check!

If you’re an Amazon shopper, then you know by now that Prime Day is nigh!

And if you’re one of the many who dreads bidding the weekend goodbye, this is probably the one Monday of the year you look forward to.

It’s true that Amazon Prime Day isn’t your regular Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping event, but it has quickly become massive enough to warrant one unintended consequence: catching the attention of online threat actors.

A very big deal

Amazon launched Prime Day in 2015 during the company’s 20th anniversary. And they’ve been stepping up their game ever since.

To date, Prime Day is hailed as the biggest shopping event in the company’s history, surpassing its 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday revenue.

Orders placed via mobile devices also spiked, thanks to the Amazon app that many users have downloaded and installed just for Prime Day. And because a huge chunk of sellers on Amazon are small businesses, increases in overall sales also translates to increased profits for small businesses.

It won’t be a surprise, then, to expect that Prime Day 2018 will be even bigger than last year—and cybercriminals may be counting on this.

Prime Day security reminder list: Do’s and don’ts

Regular readers of the Malwarebytes Labs blog know that Amazon has been used in several threat campaigns to target its users. In 2015 and 2016, we documented spam emails that circulated the web bearing the Amazon logo, and their ruses ranged from requesting users to confirm their account information to filling in a survey in exchange for a small fortune and redeeming a soon-to-be-expired $100 Amazon Prime credit.

Then in 2017, Mark Jones (writing for Kim Komando) reported on a phishing email that Komando herself received almost a month after Prime Day ended. The email offered recipients a $50 voucher as a bonus for reviewing a product they recently bought on Prime Day, according to the post. Clicking the link in the email redirected victims to a fake Amazon login page.

More fake Amazon Prime emails could—and likely will—materialize from here on. But these shouldn’t stop users from enjoying Amazon’s services, or another other e-commerce site’s, for that matter.

If you enjoy shopping on Amazon during the Prime Day sale (or any other time), protect yourself by protecting your account credentials and shopping transactions. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts you should keep handy alongside your shopping list.

Do…

…download only the legitimate Amazon app from the Google Play and Apple App stores, which you can find here and here, respectively. In doing so, you’ll avoid getting confused as to which app to install—as there are a variety of them—and which ones to trust—as there may be impersonators. Threat actors targeting users on mobile devices have become craftier; their latest tactic being the use of Unicode, which allows fake apps to use famous names to pass through security scans.

Read: Phony WhatsApp used Unicode to slip under Google’s radar

…setup two-factor authentication (if you haven’t already). This is for added security, of course. If you’re the type of shopper who takes their time, you may find it quite annoying to re-enter your creds and authentication number multiple times. But having this enabled is so worth the extra hassle because it makes blunt-force entry or even using stolen credentials next to impossible for criminals.

…use your credit card when paying for purchases as much as you can. This is because credit cards, and not debit cards, are insured by the bank. Although a type of consumer protection called a chargeback is in place, it is not a legal protection. This means that your card provider may or may not award a chargeback if funds from your debit card are stolen, depending on the case.

…look at emails originating from Amazon with a critical eye. It’s a prevention mechanism we should all be practicing when handling emails, as doing so will save you a lot of headache and firefighting in the long run. Always be cautious. Always question if the email is legitimate or a spoof.

…familiarize yourself on how to report phishing emails and pages to Amazon. Why? Because fellow shoppers may not be quick enough to sport the fake email you just spotted. Amazon has a handy guide on walking users through the reporting process in this Help & Customer Service page.

…buy items from sellers you trust or are comfortable with. Like any other e-commerce site, Amazon has bad sellers, too. And by that, we mean those who (1) impersonate legitimate companies by stealing their brand and the showcase of products they sell, (2) purport to sell products but never ship them and attempt to run away with your money, or (3) sell you counterfeit or knock-off goods.

If you don’t know which seller to trust, check out the third-party supplier’s Amazon page and see when their profile was created. Usually, the scam ones are those that have just been launched and suddenly have pages upon pages of a variety of cross-industry products, which are often just stolen images from real sellers. Also, watch out for third-party sellers with too-good-to-be-true glowing reviews as (1) they may have been auto-generated by bots or (2) they’re paid reviews designed to put sellers in a favorable light.

Don’t…

…reuse passwords. If the Amazon account password you’re using now is the same as your, say, Twitter password, it’s time to change that. You’re just making it easy for criminals to access two or more of your online accounts.

…enable macros. Let’s say an “Amazon” email has convinced you that it’s real. You open the attachment. It asks you to turn on macros. You should consider stopping at this point because doing what it tells you to could open two possible scenarios: one, nothing will happen; two, you just got your computer infected with malware. Think about this.

…fall for Amazon gift card scams. We rarely read about this, but it happens. Usually, questionable sellers ask prospective buyers to pay for an item outside of Amazon in the form of gift cards. If a seller suddenly asks you this, disengage from the conversation and report them to Amazon immediately.

…use public Wi-Fi to shop. You’re only exposing yourself to Man-in-the-Middle attacks. It’s better to shop at home or at work during your break time.

If you make it a point to address our (potential) security issues first and make mental notes of the rest in our list, then Prime Day 2018 shouldn’t be that stressful.

So, what are you waiting for? Ready, set, shop!

Other posts related to Amazon you might be interested in reading:

The post A primer: How to stay safe on Amazon Prime Day appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

RICH REVIEWS: Sovereign Traces: Not (Just) (An)Other Vol. 1

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:43

Title: Sovereign Traces: Not (Just) (An)Other Vol. 1
Publisher: Makwa Enewed/Sovereign Traces Series
Written by: various
Artist by: various
Book and Cover Design by: Charlie Sharp
Cover Artwork by: Elizabeth LaPensee
Price: $ 29.95 US
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: http://www.msupress.org
Comments: “Werewolves on the Moon” Written by Stephen Graham Jones and illustrated by Delicia Williams.
Now, this is a werewolf story and beautifully illustrated. It is unlike any other werewolf story you have read. If you want to read a short story about werewolves and enjoy the artwork this is for you.
“The Prisoner of Haiku” Written by Gordon Henry Jr. and illustration & colors by Neal Shannacappo.
One boy believes in his history and he will not give it up, his native language is important to him. He has faith in who he is and no one can take that away from him. He brought his art to life as a way for the ancestors of his people to strike back at a society that was threatening it.  The art brings out this man’s passion for his people.
“Ice Tricksters” Written by Gerald Vizenor and illustration & colors by GMB Chomichuk.
This story flows along so smoothly. Do you know what a Trickster is well after reading this story you might almost know. Nice use of blue in the art here. The art brings out the atmosphere of this story.
“An Athabasca Story” Written by Warren Cariou, illustration & colors by Nicholas Burns.
Here we see Elder Brother and that he is a man in need of warmth. He does as the white man and steals from the earth to warm himself. One man though does not have the power of the white people. Elder Brother though does live on and he can still be heard wanting his freedom. This story does not make total sense. The art looks good illustrating the Elder Brother.
“Trickster Reflections” Written by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and illustration & illustration & colors by GMB Chomichuk.
This story is about a man and a Trickster. It does not really go anywhere. The art is done in such a way that it is hard to fully make out at times.
“The Strange People” Written by Louise Erdrich and illustration & colors Elizabeth LaPensee.
This short story is about love. The art uses colors really well to accentuate the art.
“Deer Dancer” Written by Joy Harpo and illustration & color by Weshoyot Alvitre.
A beautiful woman dances fully nude in a bar and then leaves. Was she a woman or a deer? The woman’s skin is pasty looking at how it is colored. The deer now looks amazing. It is drawn very lifelike.
“Mermaids” Written by Richard Van Camp, illustration by Scott B. Henderson and colors by Donovan Yaciuk.
Why did God kill the mermaids? This story is about mermaids and merman but also about love. Yes, two people can find it anywhere. Just pure love. This is a touching story filled with wonderful art.
“Just Another Naming Ceremony” Written by Gwen Neil Westerman and illustration & colors by Tara Ogaick.
This story comes across as fun yet it makes no sense. The art is done in an amateur way.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Katie Cook to Deliver 2018 Ringo Awards Keynote Address

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:36

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – July 11, 2018 – The 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards will be presented at the Ringo Awards Banquet and Ceremony in conjunction with the 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con on the evening of Saturday, September 29, 2018. The final ballot is now open to comic book creative professionals to submit their votes. A limited number of tickets are available to the public to attend the Banquet and Award Ceremony and spend a fun evening, share a drink, and enjoy a meal with the comic book professional community.

Ringo Awards tickets include a full cocktail hour (cash bar), a full service dinner (featuring a Baltimore crab cake), the awards ceremony, and a gift bag, and are now available for $125. Please visit our website to purchase with credit card: baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets The Ringo Awards Committee is proud to announce the addition of Katie Cook to the 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards ceremony as the Keynote Address speaker! Katie Cook is a comic artist and writer that has been in the industry for a while. She’d list just how long here, but isn’t that a faux pas of admitting that she’s old? I mean you can always Wikipedia her birthday if you want to get stuck on this topic. Why are we still talking about this?

She is the creator of the comic Nothing Special on LINE WEBTOON, an all-ages adventure about a girl, a boy with fairy wings, and a dead Radish. It’s her favorite thing and you should read it. Katie also wrote and drew the webcomic Gronk: A Monster’s Story, which lost several awards but is still delightful.

In mainstream comics, Katie has carved out quite the little gallery of titles she’s worked on… Did you ever watch that documentary about this fascinating woman in NYC that puts on a bizarre mix of costume jewelry and eclectic clothes every day? Iris? That’s Katie’s career… A little over here at IDW, a little over there at LucasFilm Press, who thought Katie was a good idea for a Sex Criminals cover, oh look now she’s drawing Spider-Man? A mixed bag of adorable all over this place.

Katie spent several years as one of the primary writers on IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and has also done projects with Marvel, BOOM! Studios, and more (she apologizes for referring to some of you as “and more”). She’s also illustrated several Star Wars children’s books for Disney LucasFilm Press, and created artwork for the Disney Wonderground Gallery. Artist and writer! Double threat! (She thinks a triple threat in comics would be when someone is also an excellent editor, but any editor that has ever worked with her will attest that she thinks spell-check is something from Harry Potter.)

Her mother thinks she is funny. Sometimes. Maybe. “Mike Wieringo once said, ‘I just try to keep things fun. I like to do fun comics’ and that’s the attitude that I love in comics,” said Cook. “It’s my own goal as well… Comics are so many things to so many people, but for me, they are fun. I am thrilled that I was asked to be a part of the Ringo Awards this year as the Keynote speaker, and I hope to get a chance to talk about the things I love in this industry that are bright and wonderful to me and make you to sit in a room and listen to me talk about them. I swear, if I see you get up during it to sneak to the bar, I will call you out – just try me Andy Price. Also, polite applause is mandatory.” “Katie was my first and only choice to be our Keynote speaker this year,” said Marc Nathan, Baltimore Comic-Con promoter. “She’s witty and entertaining, and I’m sure will give a great speech.”

Voting on the 2018 Final Ballot is restricted to the comic book industry creative community — anyone involved in and credited with creating comics professionally. Don’t miss the presentation of final ballot winners, Fan-Only Favorites, Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement and Dick Giordano Humanitarian Awards, and the Mike Wieringo Spirit Award on the evening of Saturday, September 29th, 2018!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SDCC: SPENCER & LOCKE 2 Puts New Spin on Classic Strips with Roach Riley

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:35


His partner’s imaginary… but the
madness is all real! Can Spencer and
Locke survive their deadliest foe yet?

SPENCER & LOCKE 2, Due in Stores

and Digital Devices Winter 2019
from Action Lab: Danger Zone

Writer: David Pepose

Artist: Jorge Santiago, Jr.

Colorist: Jasen Smith

Letterer: Colin Bell

Main Covers by Jorge Santiago, Jr., Variant Covers by Maan House and Joe Mulvey

The Ringo-nominated saga returns in SPENCER & LOCKE 2, written by David Pepose and illustrated by Jorge Santiago, Jr.! Suspended by Internal Affairs, Detective Locke continues to wrestle with the demons of his past alongside his trusty partner, his talking imaginary panther Spencer. But when Spencer and Locke face Roach Riley, a scarred former soldier set on violence and terror, will their partnership become the latest casualty on Roach’s hit list? Find out when the twisted nostalgia of Action Lab’s SPENCER & LOCKE 2 arrives in comic shops and digital devices Winter 2019, or be one of the first to enjoy the story at San Diego Comic-Con with an exclusive variant of SPENCER & LOCKE 2 #1 by artist Joe Mulvey!

“We’ve told fans from the beginning that there was a much larger universe for SPENCER & LOCKE to explore — and we’re excited to expand their world further with their latest adversary, Roach Riley,” Pepose said. “Half The Deer Hunter, half Heath Ledger’s Joker, Roach is only the beginning of Locke’s latest gauntlet, as every classic comic strip from your childhood will be fair game for parody in our action-packed sequel.”

“I think people that enjoyed the first volume will love where SPENCER & LOCKE 2 takes them,” added Santiago. “In both scale and scope, Spencer and Locke will have a lot more riding on things with Roach lurking in the shadows.”

The first volume of SPENCER & LOCKE recently earned five nominations at the 2018 Ringo Awards, including Best Series, Best Writer, Best Cover Artist, Best Colorist and Best Letterer.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

DC: Anatomy of a Metahuman

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:25

Dissects Classic Characters and Shares Batman’s Theories on How to Defeat Them

Written by S.D. Perry and Mathew K. Manning / Illustrated by Ming Doyle

Concerned about the threat that so-called metahumans may pose to the world, Batman has begun compiling a detailed dossier on their incredible physiologies and abilities, trying to learn how to defeat them. From DC Super-Villains like Killer Croc, Bane, and Brainiac to Batman’s own comrades, including Superman and Cyborg, DC: Anatomy of a Metahuman (Insight Editions / September 18, 2018 / $50.00) brings together the Dark Knight’s fascinating personal theories on the unique anatomical composition of these formidable individuals.

This stunning and unique book created in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, dissects the incredible abilities of DC characters like never before. Using beautifully illustrated anatomical cross sections depicting twelve different characters, the book, told from Batman’s unique perspective, will explore how these metahumans’ physical makeup differs significantly from that of the average person.

From detailed theories on how Superman’s eyes shoot heat rays to an in-depth exploration of how Aquaman is able to breathe underwater, the book delves into the deepest secrets of these classic characters.

Featuring all-new, original illustrations by world-renowned comic artist Ming Doyle, this tome will change the way DC fans look at metahumans forever.

About the Contributors:

S.D. Perry lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two children. She writes horror–sci-fi–fantasy multimedia novelizations and tie-ins for love and money, dabbling in the universes of Star Trek, Aliens, Alien vs. Predator, and Resident Evil, among others.

Matthew K. Manning is a comic book writer, historian, and fan. He has written many comics for DC and Marvel, including Beware the Batman, Batman, The Batman Strikes!, Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, Spider-Man Unlimited, and Marvel Romance Redux. When not writing comics themselves, he writes books about the comic book medium and its rich history. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife, Dorothy, and their two daughters, Lillian and Gwendolyn.

Ming Doyle is a Boston-based comic book artist and writer. Her work has appeared in products by DC (Constantine: The Hellblazer, DC Bombshells), Vertigo (The Kitchen), Image (Mara), Marvel, Valiant, and more.n the world.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Comics and Graphic Novel Sales Down 6.5% in 2017

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:21

According to New Estimate by ICv2 and Comichron

 

 

The comics and graphic novel market slipped 6.5% in 2017, with sharper declines in comic store and newsstand sales mitigated by stronger sales in the book channel and digital, according to a new joint estimate by ICv2’s Milton Griepp and Comichron’s John Jackson Miller.  Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada remained above $1 billion at $1.015 billion in 2017, a $70 million decrease from sales in 2016.

 

“After a multiyear growth run, the comics shop market gave back some of its gains in 2017, with lackluster response to new periodical offerings and, consequently, graphic novel sales,” Miller said.  “The third quarter of 2017 saw the worst of the year-over-year declines, leading into what has turned out to be a stronger spring for stores in 2018.”

“While there was some softness to the market in 2017 (which we attribute to cyclical rather than secular change), there were positive signs,” Griepp said.  “The relative strength in the graphic novel and digital markets, especially the growing market for kids titles across print channels, bodes well for the future.”

Digital sales were flat, the strongest performance of any channel in 2017.  The book channel (mass and specialty retail chains, online, independent bookstores, book fairs) was the strongest print channel, with only about a 1% decline, helped by booming sales of kids’ graphic novels.  The comic store channel, the largest channel overall, dropped around 10%, while the smallest channel, newsstand, shrank to a size not seen since the dawn of comics as the last remaining DC comics left newsstands in August.

As presented above and in the accompanying infographics, the analysis by Comichron and ICv2 was divided up between periodical comics (what some call “floppies” or “pamphlets”), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales.  All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup.  Digital sales do not include subscription or “all you can read” services.

This is the fifth joint market size analysis from ICv2 and Comichron; the first was for 2013 sales.

ICv2
ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, hobby games, and showbiz on its website, www.ICv2.com, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence.  For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn’t something that can be left to chance-it’s a basic necessity for being successful.  That’s why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines.  ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.

 

Comichron
Comichron is the world’s largest public repository of comic-book sales figures, featuring data from the 1930s to today about comic book and graphic novel circulation, cover prices, and market shares on its website, www.comichron.com.  With data and analysis on the distant past as well as the present, Comichron serves as a trusted resource for academics studying the historical reach of the medium and for collectors seeking accurate information about how many copies of a comic book originally circulated.

 

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Baltimore Comic-Con’s Yearbook Returns in 2018 with Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:06

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – July 14, 2018 – Come to Baltimore’s Inner this September 28-30, 2018 for the return of the Baltimore Comic-Con, appearing at the Baltimore Convention Center. Tickets to the show are now available! Our annual tradition, the Baltimore Comic-Con Yearbook, returns in 2018 for the seventh year, celebrating creators appearing at this year’s show. This year’s book of art features interpretations of characters from Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise, as well as his other creations, sometimes in conjunction with the contributing guest’s own creations, and celebrating creator-owned properties. Beautifully designed by returning guest and Time and Vine creator Thom Zahler, the book comes in a standard and, for VIP ticketholders, a limited VIP cover edition. Artwork by David Petersen

As described by Moore in the introduction to The Collected Strangers in Paradise, Volume One, “SiP,” as it is referenced by its fanbase, is “this story about 2 girls and a guy who gets to know them”. Readers will recognize this as a dramatic oversimplification of what has become a very layered and intricate character-driven story that follows the relationship between two women, Helen Francine Peters (who goes by Francine) and Katina Marie (“Katchoo”) Choovanski, and their friend David Qin. Katchoo is in love with Francine and David is in love with Katchoo and Francine is best friends with Katchoo. The story explores the love triangle (which eventually turns into a love rectangle when Casey Bullock joins the cast, marrying Francine’s ex-boyfriend Freddie Femmur, and becomes even further complicated when she divorces and pursues both David and Katchoo romantically!), explores Katchoo’s past as an underage lesbian hooker, and delves into the Parker Crime Syndicate. David’s sister Darcy runs the “Parker Girls” under an international crime syndicate called the Big Six which has influence over the world of politics. Additionally, Parker Girls are used to control, manipulate, spy upon, and ultimately kill men and women in positions of power and authority for the Big Six. Artwork by S.L. Gallant “Baltimore Comic-Con’s Yearbook is a special treat for pros and fans alike,” said Moore. “It’s such an honor to see my characters represented in this year’s book. The talent and imagination of the contributing Baltimore creators is second to none. I know this for a fact because I’ve seen some of the artwork already and it’s fun, gorgeous, and inspiring. I can’t thank everyone enough for this incredible honor. I’m humbled by your talent and support.” Artwork by Thom Zahler

As if that wasn’t enough depth, Moore has incorporated characters from his other comic titles into the SiP canon. These include characters from: Echo, which revolves around Julie, a young photographer who inadvertently discovers a high-tech battle suit; Rachel Rising, which follows Rachel Beck, a young woman who wakes up in a shallow grave and begins trying to solve her attempted murder, only to learn of a plot to destroy her town which she must save along with a group of allies; and Motor Girl, a diverse tale involving an Iraq War veteran with PTSD, a junkyard that has a high volume if UFO traffic, an imaginary friend who is a gorilla, a weapon against UFOs, alien visitors, an abduction of an alien visitor, an attempt to free the abducted alien, and an all-out alien invasion. Artwork by Matt Slay Once again, our popular scavenger hunt returns in 2018! When you buy the book, you’ll get a list of Yearbook contributors and their table numbers. If you succeed in your hunt, you can get your choice of bonus prints! “Terry Moore creates amazingly unique work” said Marc Nathan, show promoter for the Baltimore Comic-Con. “His artwork is beautiful and distinctive, his characters are stunning and diverse, and his stories are utterly mesmerizing. It has been a treat watching all of the different artists’ interpretations coming in and seeing Terry’s characters presented in a variety of styles. This Yearbook should prove to be a must-grab item for our attendees in 2018!” Art created for the 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con Yearbook celebrating the characters of Terry Moore will be auctioned off at the Baltimore Comic-Con Art Auction on Saturday, September 29th at 5pm. Fans and art collectors alike won’t want to miss this opportunity to win these one-of-a-kind items, only available at the Baltimore Comic-Con! The book will be sold in the Exclusives Booth in the lobby. The book will be available at the Baltimore Comic-Con for $29.99. The art auction featuring original art from the book will be held at 5pm on Saturday, September 29th in our Main hall. In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Arthur Adams (Guardians of the Galaxy), Joel Adams (Bucky O’Hare Graphic Novel Coloring Book), Neal Adams (Deadman), Zeea Adams (Neal Adams Monsters), Ethan Scott Ambruson (Azteca: Ciudad Paradiso), Marc Andreyko (Jeepers Creepers), Arantza (fantasy artist), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Mike W. Barr (The Outsiders), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), Marty Baumann (Big Hero 6), John Beatty (Batman), Carolyn Belefski (Curls), Simon Bisley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bodycount), Ziggy Blumenthal (Operation Pajama Pants), June Brigman (Power Pack), Pat Broderick (Micronauts), Harold Buchholz (Mystery Science Theatre 3000), Mark Buckingham (Scooby Apocalypse), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Buzz (Superman: The Coming of the Supermen), Jim Calafiore (Leaving Megalopolis), Frank Cammuso (Wrong Earth), Chris Campana (Pathfinder: Worldscape – Vampirella), Greg Capullo (Dark Knights: Metal), Joe Carabeo (Black Magic Tales), Christa Cassano (Ghetto Klown), Howard Chaykin (Captain America), Joyce Chin (All-New Wolverine), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Michael Cho (Batwoman), Amy Chu (Red Sonja), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Steve Conte (Action Figure Kingdom), Katie Cook (Thanos Annual), Denys Cowan (The Question), Paris Cullins (WWE Superstars), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), J. Robert Deans (The Bear from A.U.N.T.), Tom DeFalco (Spider-Girl, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jose Delbo (Spongebob Comics), Vito Delsante (Midnight Tiger Stronger), Todd Dezago (Tellos), Dave Dorman (Black Hops: U.S.A.-*-G.I.), Charles C. Dowd (Lilith Dark), Emily Drouin (Eplis), Anne and Jerzy Drozd (Science Comics: Rockets), Todd Emko & Piggy (A Piggy’s Tale), Garth Ennis (Jimmy’s Bastards, Friday and Saturday only), David Finch (Trinity), Meredith Finch (Rose), Ramona Fradon (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Franco (Encounter), Jenny Frison (Wonder Woman), John Gallagher (Captain Canuck Season 4), Will Gallagher (EPIC Bros.), S.L. Gallant (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs. the Six Million Dollar Man), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (DC Nation), Steve Geiger (Web of Spider-Man), Joe Giella (The Flash), Michael Golden (Micronauts: Wrath of Karza), Daniel Govar (Thanos: A God Up There Listening), Jimmy Gownley (Zootopia), John Patrick Green (Mickey Mouse Shorts: Season One), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Tom Grummett (The New Titans, courtesy of Hero Initiatiive), Laura Lee Gulledge (Will & Whit), Bob Hall (Squadron Supreme), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), Marc Hempel (Sandman), Clinton Hobart (Disney fine artist), Ken Hunt (Lady Death: Devotions), Jamal Igle (Molly Danger), Tony Isabella (Black Lightning), Klaus Janson (Nightwing, Saturday and Sunday only), Todd Johnson (Tribe), Justin Jordan (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps), Chris Kemple (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Karl Kesel (Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77), Tom King (Batman), Barry Kitson (The Flash), Todd Klein (Black Hammer: Age of Doom), Alisa Kwitney (Mystik U), Jade F. Lee (Rolled & Told), Leo Leibelman (Heavy Metal), Paul Levitz (Brooklyn Blood), Mike Lilly (The Tick), Joseph Michael Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Kevin Maguire (Man of Steel), Mike Maihack (Cleopatra in Space), Mike Manley (Judge Parker), Chris Mariano (Claire Lost her Bear at the World’s Fair), Mark Mariano (Adventure Time), Shawn Martinbrough (Shadowman), Ron Marz (Fathom Vol. 7), Ed McGuinness (Avengers), Bob McLeod (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero), Carla Speed McNeil (Empowered & Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Dawn McTeigue (Divinica), Adriana Melo (Plastic Man, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Frank Miller (Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander, Saturday and Sunday only), Stuart Moore (Deadpool the Duck), Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise), Mark Morales (Justice League), Michael Moreci (Nightwing), Tony Moy (Mainstream), Trevor Mueller (Albert the Alien), Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground), Denny O’Neil (DC Universe Holiday Special, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jerry Ordway (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs The Six Million Dollar Man), Rachel Ordway (The Elvis Adventures), John Ostrander (Suicide Squad, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Tom Palmer (Avengers), Dan Parent (Betty & Veronica Friends Forever), Jeff Parker (Future Quest Presents), Paul Pelletier (Titans Special), Andrew Pepoy (Mighty Moe Szyslak), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Green Lanterns), Tom Peyer (Captain Kid), Richard and Wendy Pini (Elfquest), Ed Piskor (X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis), Chase and Mark Poulton (Pizza Tree), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), David Proch (Quarter Moon), Tom Raney (Giantkillers), Frank Reynoso (Garbage Pail Kids: Fables, Fantasies and Farts), Roy Richardson (The Flash), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Craig Rousseau (Startup), Stephane Roux (Faith: Dreamside), Jim Rugg (Street Angel), Andy Runton (Owly), P. Craig Russell (Salome and Other Stories), Stuart Sayger (GI Joe: A Real American Hero vs. The Six-Million Dollar Man), Brian Shearer (William the Last), Jeff Shultz (Archie Jumbo Comics Digest), Mimi Simon (Judge Parker), Louise Simonson (Action Comics #1000), Walter Simonson (Thor), Matt Slay (Equilibrium), Dan Slott (Tony Stark: Iron Man), Andy Smith (Demi-God), John K. Snyder (Fashion in Action), Scott Snyder (Justice League, Saturday only), Mark Sparacio (Chelsea Dagger), Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity Siblings, Saturday and Sunday only), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Jim Steranko (Action Comics), Paul Storrie (The Viking Queen), Larry Stroman (Tribe), Rob Stull (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Peter Tomasi (Superman), Tim Truman (Grimjack), David Trustman (God Slap), Sarah Trustman (The Memory Arts), Billy Tucci (Shi), Ted Tucker (Disney World caricature artist), Gus Vazquez (Sunfire and Big Hero Six), Rick Veitch (Rick Veitch’s The Pantha), Emilio Velez Jr. (Dodgeball Teens), Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl), Mark Waid (Captain America), Adam Wallenta (Punk Taco), Adam Warren (Empowered & Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Michael Watkins (Pantha), Larry Watts (Evil Dead 2: Cradle of the Damned); Todd Webb (Mr. Toast Comics), Dexter Weeks (Savage Eve), Mark Wheatley (Stargate Atlantis Singularity), Bob Wiacek (All New Wolverine), Matt Wieringo (Stargate Atlantis Gateways), Marcus Williams (Hero Cats of Stellar City: Year One), Javier Cruz Winnik (A Reason to Smile), Renee Witterstaetter (X-Force Epic Collection), Rich Woodall (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), John Workman (Kick-Ass), Thom Zahler (Time & Vine), and Mike Zeck (The Punisher).

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 Launch Trailer

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:03



New adventures! New apartment! New villains! Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley are taking Peter Parker to brand new heights with the debut of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1! Featuring Nick Spencer, Executive Editor Nick Lowe, and Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SUGAR, VOL. 1—A SWEET NEW ROMANCE FOR FANS OF SWING AND SUNSTONE

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 14:01

PORTLAND, OR, 07/13/2018 — Writers Matt Hawkins and Jenni Cheung team up with artist Yishan Li for an original graphic novel companion to SWING and SUNSTONE in the romantic and sexy, SUGAR, VOL. Image/Top Cow tease preview pages from the first of the graphic novel series, which will launch this July.

In SUGAR, a couple embarks on a relationship that starts off as more of an arrangement, but ends with them falling in love—at a cost. Neither has ever done anything like this before, and the emotional swings they face threaten to undo what could be a perfect match in this companion book to both SUNSTONE and SWING.

SUGAR, VOL. 1 trade paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0641-7, Diamond Code MAY180085) will hit stores on Wednesday, July 25th and bookstores on Tuesday, 31st. It can be ordered on AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndieBound, and Indigo.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Tarot#111:Happy Ending?

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 13:51

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

To Bring Down the Sky

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 11:12


By Benjamin Gibson
Coldlight Press
5e/Pathfinder/1e
Level 4

The overcast sky and dusty road are working in concert to make for a truly dismal day. It’s almost a relief to hear something out of the ordinary, like a wailing cry of panic and a harsh, coughing roar. Looking up to the clouds, a thin human figure hurtles down, chased by a savage beast with reptilian wings. But looking up past the two is an even stranger sight…three mighty isles loom out of clouds, impossible and yet somehow real.

This 49 page adventure, with about four actual adventure pages, takes place on three islands floating in the sky. The party travels there to recharge a feather of mass fly, and ends with fighting an quantum ogre. It’s terse, got good encounters, has a couple of interesting product concepts, and delivers on the “everything you need for one night” promise that so many other products fail at.

Normally, a 49 page adventure with four pages of content would arise my ire. This is PWYW, with a price of $1. I can pay a $1 for four pages. But wait, there’s more! This promises everything I need for a one shot/one night of adventuring. So many products do that. I’m pretty sure I’ve yet to see one deliver. Except this one. All of those other pages are support material. Blank character sheets. Party handouts. Pre-gens. Gear lists. A one page primer on how to play. 25 pages of battle maps. Some printable mini’s. I’d have a hard time imaging how someone could do better than this.

Then the adventure does something else interesting. There’s a DCC adventure that you can use when someone dies. You go off to the underworld to save their soul, if I recall. Blades Against Death. You pull out the adventure when someone dies. At that time I called it a whole new genre, the SItuational Adventure. You pull it out when a certain situation arises. I’m not sure I’ve seen another one in that genre since I reviewed Blades in 2013. Until now. This adventure gives you a magic feather that has, essentially, a mass fly spell. If your party needs to get a long distance, fast, then you can whip this one out. At the end they will have an item that can take them a long distance quickly.

Of the four pages of actual adventure you might consider two of them background. You read those ahead of time, once. They provide some background, a general overview, some clarification of wider goals, the preamble, hook of the adventure, and so on. Then there are two pages that are used during play, one a map and one a key. The map, isometric (I love isometrics for larger/complex places! DL1 to the rescue!) contains a few other pieces of information as well; some personality overviews and some stats.

Those personalities overviews are something Ben has done before/frequently, and I love them. He gives an NPC a three word description. The apprentice wizard on the isle is helpful, curios, and panicky. The old caretaker couple is dour, scared, and nostalgic. These perfectly communicate what you need to know to run the NPC and integrate them in to the adventure in a fun way. Panicky and curios gives you ideas. Nostalgic and scared gives you ideas.

The adventure uses a lot of techniques that I’m willing to call The Ben Style. Centered around a one or two pager, or a series of them, these short NPC descriptions, terse stat blocks and key descriptions, and some background information that is generally read-once orientation. It’s a great format. He also does things like give adventure follow-on suggestions, social mind maps for NPC interactions(Yeah!), and gives location reference in the text descriptions so you know what/where to look for things.

The encounters, proper, are interesting as well. The halfing couple are trapped in their house, with wyverns in the barn … along with the calf they don’t want to leave behind. A bridge pulls away from the main island. Wyverns lie sleeping, gorged. Bathing an artifact in the quantum ogres blood recharges it. They are interesting and make sense.

There ARE a few things that annoy me. The bridge that pulls away, it does that 30 minutes after the players arrive. That could have used some bolding or otherwise some sort of standout text instead of it being in the key description. Likewise, the monster descriptions are a little light. There’s at least one sentence/thing I don’t understand at all: “Pass to second isle exit is behind secret door.” Huh? The isle is connected to the main one by ropes … how can there be a second exit?

Is this one of the Best? I would say it has done as much as you can with with the format of the one/two pager. A little light on monsters descriptions, or evocative text. But … it’s a one pager. There’s a limit, I think, to the amount that can be accomplished with this format, and I think Ben has pretty much reached it. This is, absolutely, an acceptable level of adventure writing. If you were looking for an adventure and picked this up you would be satisfied, both with the adventure and with the claims it makes. It’s a good, solid performer. This goes against my absurd desire for every adventure to be an evocative tour-de-force, which is stupid. This is a good adventure. Ben would be my go to for 5e/Pathfinder content, at this point.

This is Pay What You Want at DriveThru, with a current suggested price of $1. The preview shows you the main four pages of the adventure, all of the actual content. How can you ask for more than that?
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/244681/One-Session-Kit-K3-To-Bring-Down-the-Sky

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

SDCC: LION FORGE AND KNOW YOURSELF ANNOUNCE DEBIAN PERL: AN ORIGINAL SERIES

First Comics News - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 08:07

Co-Developed with Know Yourself and Creative Director Samuel Sattin, the Series Will Find a Home Under the Caracal Banner in 2019

ST. LOUIS—Days before the opening of the exhibit hall at Comic-Con International 2018, Lion Forge reveals a new series for middle-grade readers developed in conjunction with computer scientist and entrepreneur Tim Howe’s Know Yourself, the Oakland, California–based public benefit corporation dedicated to self-literacy in early education.

“Know Yourself was founded on the belief that character and story are essential to helping kids and teens learn about themselves and the world around them. We could not be prouder to have Debian Perl and her friends meet the world and start helping readers on this journey. And we could not be more excited to be working with Lion Forge, the world’s most innovative comic book publisher, whose philosophy of cultural diversity and comic books for all we wholeheartedly share.”—Tim Howes, CEO

Megalopolis used to be the city hub for all the makers, doers, and dreamers. It was a better time according to Debian Perl, a technomancer known for her out-of-date computer programming skills. Now the city streets are filled with “Egg-heads,” those in thrall to the ease and simplicity of new technology as opposed to Debian’s way of doing things. Digits is one of those Egg-heads. She is a young social media guru and knows her way around all the newest, latest technology.

Debian and Digits cross paths when they both stumble across a one-hundred-year-old lost robot named Ray-Bot. They soon learn that Ray-Bot’s CPU was suspiciously overclocked, leaving him unable to perform basic functions and commands. To find out where the robot came from, Debian must teach Digits everything she knows about computer coding and programming. Along their journey to bring Ray-Bot home, they begin piecing together the mysterious puzzle about his malfunction and uncover some sinister secrets.

Debian Perl: Digital Detective is a five-book series in which middle-grade readers will join Debian and Digits on mystery adventures all while building practical knowledge of coding, algorithms, algebra, and logical problem solving.

“I love working with Lion Forge, and co-developing the Debian Perlproject with them has been so exciting. The people working on this book (writers Mel Hilario and Lauren Davis, artist Katie Longua, our tech-advising CEO, Tim Howes) are putting so much thought and study into every page. With Andrea Colvin and myself overseeing, we hope to introduce something truly innovative for younger audiences. Yes, we want kids to learn how to code, but we also want to give them a new world to explore, characters to identify with, mysteries to solve, and present social messages to contemplate. Additionally, we have a lot of fun ideas and hope to expand beyond the scope of the books themselves.”—Samuel Sattin, Creative Director

“Know Yourself does amazing work creating content that is really fun and also really educational. They are the perfect partner for Lion Forge in crafting exciting graphic novels that also teach concepts of coding and computer science to kids.”—Andrea Colvin, Editor-in-Chief, Lion Forge Comics

“I’ve drawn my whole life because of the comics I grew up with. They were an incredibly important part of my childhood and shaped the career I have today. It’s an honor to work together with Lion Forge and get the chance to have that impact on kids growing up now.”—Katie Longua, artist, Debian Perl

“When I was growing up, I wanted magic to be real because so many of the stories that I loved were about magic. Technology grows more and more magical every year, and I want younger readers to realize that they have access to that magical technology—that they can harness it, control it, and create new things with it. It’s been exciting to work with Lion Forge because they’ve shared our vision of making the magical more accessible.”—Lauren Davis, co-writer, Debian Perl

“When I was younger, I escaped into books; today, I see them as not just an escape but as a means of transport—both as joy and journey.  Stories make things significant, especially when a reader can find something of themselves or their own lives in the characters. In a way, fiction is the clearest path to truth.  Kids can see that.  Writing for them keeps me from losing the kid in myself.”—Mel Hilario, co-writer, Debian Perl

Debian Perl is created in partnership with Know Yourself, a company dedicated to helping kids learn more about themselves and the world around them. This incredibly entertaining new series combines logic, puzzles, and learning with page-turning, action-packed, mystery-adventure stories. The first volume in the series is due to arrive in summer 2019.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Review & Commentary On The Free OSR Adventure Resource - ZA1: The Temple Of Chaos by Joseph Moar For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 07/14/2018 - 05:19
I'm eternally on the look out for ways of getting the maximum utility out of classic old school modules. Is it because I'm a cheap or shabby gamer? Well in fact no I'm not a gamer at all but an OSR  hobbyist. What's the difference? The hobbyist is always looking to expand the hobby & the gamer is always in the middle of the infinite sea of play & product that washes around the shoals of the Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Now available - all 12 Battle Boards!

Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 23:45
Use them with all of our Fantasy games!
12 full color Battle Boards playable with Talomir Tales or any THW Fantasy rules. Heck, you can even use them for ANY set of Fantasy Rules. 
These 8" x 10" color card stock boards replace the terrain on the table when you want a quick sand easy game or are pressed for time. 
You'll find the following Battle Boards:
  • Alley. 
  • Banquet Hall. 
  • Camp. 
  • Cemetery. 
  • Dungeon Passage. 
  • Ford. 
  • Market. 
  • Street. 
  • Swamp. 
  • Tavern. 
  • Treasure Room. 
  • Woods. 


  • Available in both PDF or Printed form. PDF included with your Print order!


  • Battle Boards!
    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Not Going to Historicon Sale - 25% Off through the 22nd

    Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 21:31

    Since I stopped going to Historicon (great convention BTW) I've run this annual 25% off sale. Use the coupon code

    25hist

    and get 25% off of your entire order.

    THW


    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Son of Breaking Through with G.E.V.

    Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 16:34

    The thing about G.E.V.’s break through scenario: the first few times you play it, you are just not that likely to break through. That harsh learning curve in the context of an otherwise simple system is going to be a real kick in the teeth for an entire class of gamer, too. I’ll tell you, though, the ones that stick around for a few more sessions…? They will experience some of the best gaming of their lives. No foolin’!

    But before we take a look at that, let’s highlight the some more of that profound agony that goes with those first few humiliating defeats.

    Having witnessed entire squadrons of G.E.V.s get eaten by a handful of infantry in the swamps on the northeastern section of the board, our intrepid Combine player decides to take a stab at blitzing up through the western side of the board. The Paneuropeans meanwhile has chosen four heavy tanks and two missile tanks for defense:

    What could possibly go wrong? The only thing impeding the G.E.V.s’s escape is this river. How bad can it be?

    The G.E.V.’s are in a hurry, so the risk crossing the river with five of their units, hoping to clear a way for the other seven.

    Unfortunately for the Combine, they only succeed in disabling one heavy tank. They are now in a critically exposed position, set to be swarmed by angry defenders!

    The defense kills a whopping six G.E.V.’s and disables two others. The Combine picks off one measly heavy tank in exchange. This is a disaster!

    And once again, the G.E.V. player fails to move a single unit off the north side of the map.

    There will be no breakthrough today! If anything, there will be a breakdown.

    And then there are the inevitable recriminations: Who designed this game, anyway? This thing is completely imbalanced. The G.E.V.’s are too weak! I would have had a chance if I didn’t roll so many ones!!!!

    It doesn’t have to be that way. Because maybe… just maybe… it’s not the scenario. Maybe it’s not the dice, either. Maybe it’s your tactics that are completely broken here. And the only way you’re going to find out is by picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and running yourself through yet another meat-grinder!

    Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

    Easy Cold Shoulder V-Neck Top

    Moogly - Fri, 07/13/2018 - 13:48

    The Easy Cold Shoulder V-Neck Top combines all the features you’ve been looking for – simple stitching, a flattering neckline, sleeves that reveal and hide all the right spots – and all this in 8 sizes! Excited? I am! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials provided by Red Heart Yarns, Brittany Needles, and Clover USA. [...]

    The post Easy Cold Shoulder V-Neck Top appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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    Categories: Crochet Life

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