Comic Book Feeds

Superhero Design Work

The Splintered Realm - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 20:00
I had a lot of fun designing Cupcake Scouts (which you should totally check out, by the way), especially in terms of some of the visuals of the monster design work. I started playing with silhouettes as the primary way to convey images, and I ended up liking them quite a bit. They end up giving you more iconic interpretations of monsters. Just for fun, I did some of the same stuff for a theoretical second edition of Sentinels of Echo City, and these are the things I knocked out in a few hours... I like it for exactly its archetypal, iconic approach. These are not particular characters: they are iconic sorts of characters, although they also somehow evoke quite a bit. I somehow know a lot about each of them, without knowing anything at all.



An Army Ants Page... Just Because

The Splintered Realm - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 18:19
For some reason, I felt like drawing an Army Ants page for the first time in three years... so I did. What the heck, right? I decided to play with color a little bit. I'm getting more confident and a bit cleaner in using color. My first few dozen tries at color have almost universally been a bit muddy. This is starting to look a little bit sharper...

And no, I don't plan on doing anything with this. It's just a page.


Wednesday Comics: Storm: The Hounds of Marduk

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 03/21/2018 - 11:00
My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.


Storm: The Hounds of Marduk (1985) 
(Dutch: De Honden van Marduk) (part 4)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

An aircraft carrying the newly evolved hound and a group of the Theocrat's soldiers lands in a field outside of town. They carry with them a device to locate the Anomaly aka Storm.

Meanwhile, Storm and friends are meeting with the rebel leader. He wants to know why Storm as the Anomaly is so important to Marduk. Storm reluctantly explains Marduk's theory as to how his travel through time and space has filled his body with some sort of energy. Storm demonstrates:


But that's enough to make him show up on the Hound's device. The Theocrat's men track Storm to an abandon temple.


The rebel leader tries to sell Storm on letting the rebellion harness his power. Storm isn't buying it. The rebels detect the incoming Theocrat troops. The temple is full of ancient traps. They kill some of the troops, but the Hound figures out how to avoid them and a contingent makes it through. I firefight breaks out, and the rebel leader attempts to get Storm and friends away.

The Hound, again thinking quickly, uses a prismatic Tear of Pandarve to reflect the energy beam from the booby trap against the rebel forces.



He leads the Theocrat's men forward, but they are stymied by another trap.

Meanwhile, Storm and friends have had about enough of being pushed around by the rebels:


Unaware what's going on in the other room. The rebel leader surrenders to the Hound and his troops who have just made in through. He promises to give them the anomaly in return for his life.

TO BE CONTINUED

The Greatest Royal Rumble to Feature Seven Championship Matches

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 20:16

Tickets Available Saturday, March 31

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia & STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Following an agreement between His Excellency Turki Al Sheikh and WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invites the world to the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. AST to celebrate the Greatest Royal Rumble event in WWE history. Tickets will be available Saturday, March 31, and this historic event will feature seven championship matches, including the WWE Championship, Universal Championship, Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship, Raw Tag Team Championship, SmackDown Tag Team Championship and Cruiserweight Championship.

In addition to the seven Championship matches, the event will also include the first-ever 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble match.

Fans will get to see WWE Superstars John Cena™, Triple H™, Roman Reigns™, AJ Styles™, Braun Strowman™, The New Day™, Randy Orton™, Bray Wyatt™ and Shinsuke Nakamura™, among others. Additional ticket details and broadcast information will be available in the coming weeks.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

WCW Thunder Added to WWE Network

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 20:14
After two years on the air, attendance for WCW Thunder tapings fell so low the company began filming the show immediately after Nitro on Monday evenings. This system would continue for the next 15 months until the company was purchased by WWE.

According to a report from WWE Network News, 72 episodes of Thunder have been added to the library, which is a handful off from the total number of shows aired. As with other shows the Network has added, it may take several weeks for further episodes to be rolled out.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

FREE APP CHRONICLES 80 YEARS OF COMICS THAT INSPIRE TODAY’S FILMS 

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 20:00

CHICAGO – March 19, 2018Avengers: Infinity War – Marvel’s most anticipated movie to date – is the culmination of a decade’s worth of storytelling.  The film will include over 70 superheroes who finally come face-to-face with the Mad Titan Thanos, the antagonist behind events leading up to the April 27th movie release.

Yet it took much longer than a decade to develop the characters and storylines that are the framework to Hollywood’s biggest box-office successes.  For fans who want to collect the source material from their favorite comic movies, Key Collector Comics mobile app provides a guide:
  • Captain America Comics No. 1 (1941) – 1st appearance of Captain America
  • Tales of Suspense No. 39 (1963) – 1st appearance of Iron Man
  • Iron Man No. 55 (1973) – 1st appearance of Thanos
  • The Thanos Quest No. 1 & 2 (1990) – Thanos collects the Infinity Gems from celestial beings throughout the universe
  • Silver Surfer No. 44 (1990) – 1st appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet
  • The Infinity Gauntlet (1991) – a six-issue crossover event that assembles the Marvel Universe to stop Thanos whose mission is to appease Death by causing mass annihilation by way of the Infinity Gauntlet
  • New Avengers No. 8 (2013) – 1st appearance of the Black Order AKA Cull Obsidian, a group of intergalactic mercenaries who serve Thanos
Marvel fans aren’t the only ones to benefit from the information on Key Collector Comics.  DC Comics has just announced the answer to Marvel’s epic Avengers: Infinity War with the intergalactic saga New Gods helmed by director Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle In Time).

For those who wish to identify the comic books that laid the groundwork for films set in Marvel, DC and other comic book universes, download the world’s first resource focused entirely on the comics that matter, Key Collector Comics.

Download the FREE mobile app by searching Key Collector Comics on the Apple App Store or Google Play or go to keycollectorcomics.com.

Key Collector Comics Database and Price Guide© is a concise and comprehensive resource that isolates highly collectible comics known as “key” issues – first appearances, iconic covers, classic storylines and more – from the Golden Age of the 1930s to today.  Updates to the database are made daily and new features are added every 2 weeks.  Whether spring cleaning and wanting to get rid of those old comics or building a legendary collection, our goal is to give everyone the power to identify valuable comic books on the convenience of their mobile device. For more information, visit the Key Collector Comics website at keycollectorcomics.com/

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

“INCREDIBLES 2″ LANDS AT DARK HORSE!

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 19:57

Dark Horse Introduces New Comic Series and Graphic Novel Featuring Characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2”

(Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Crisis in Mid-Life! & Other Stories #1 cover by Gurihiru)

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (March 19, 2018)—With the highly-anticipated release of Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 quickly approaching, Dark Horse is excited to return to the adventures of the Parr family and announce some incredible new content: a graphic novel for younger readers and a three-issue comic series based on the new film! Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Heroes at Home graphic novel for younger readers will go on sale on June 12, 2018. The first issue of Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Crisis in Mid-Life! & Other Stories goes on sale July 11, 2018.

Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Heroes at Home finds Dash and Violet doing their best to help out at home while their mom and dad—Mr. and Mrs. Incredible—take on new and very different jobs. First, Dash and Violet must secretly go into Super mode when they interrupt criminal activity on a routine grocery trip to pick up some essentials! Then, helping out at home, their efforts to keep up with their chores are unknowingly obstructed by the innocent mischief of their little brother, Jack-Jack!

Writer Liz Marsham (Disney Princess Beginnings) pens this graphic novel while artist Nicoletta Baldari (Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny) brings her illustrative skills to the Parr family’s latest crime-stopping mission. Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Heroes at Home features stories that are accessible to young readers—but enjoyable for everyone! In these two tales featuring story elements from the film, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack must balance their everyday lives with being secret Supers.

Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Crisis in Mid-Life! & Other Stories #1 contains part 1 of “Crisis in Mid-Life!,” part 1 of “Bedtime Story,” and a standalone Jack-Jack story. While dedicating a new submarine, Mr. Incredible is interrupted by the dastardly Bomb Voyage—who is intent on crushing the crowd of onlookers underneath the sub! Mr. Incredible struggles to save the day, which has him questioning his super powers—could something be wrong? In “Bedtime Story” part 1, Bob tells Jack-Jack a bedtime story that has Violet and Dash calling foul: this battle from his glory days seems too amazing to be true. Then in his own adventure, at a visit to the park, Jack-Jack uses his powers to overcome a worthy opponent!

The adventures of the Parr family—AKA, The Incredibles—continue in this super comics collection, written by Christos Gage, and Landry Q. Walker, and illustrated by Gurihiru, J.Bone, and Andrea Greppi and Roberta Zanotta. Every issue in the three-issue miniseries will feature two original ongoing stories, plus Jack-Jack focused shorts in issues #1 and #2, set during and after the events of Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Heroes at Home is available for preorder on Amazon and TFAW, and at your local comic shop. This 48-page graphic novel retails for $7.99.

Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2: Crisis in Mid-Life! & Other Stories #1 is available for preorder at your local comic shop.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

BRUTAL REVENGE TALE SHANGHAI RED DELVES INTO THE UNDERSIDE OF PORTLAND HISTORY—LITERALLY

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 19:53

PORTLAND, OR, 03/19/2018 — Eisner-nominated writer Christopher Sebela (High Crimes, Heartthrob, We(l)come Back), artist Joshua Hixson (The Black Woods), and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (Felix & Macabber) team up for the all-new revenge thriller SHANGHAI RED, coming this June from Image Comics.

“Moving to Portland, Oregon was the thing that jump-started my comics career, so I wanted to pay it back the best way I know how: by putting it in a book,” said Sebela. “After studying its history and going on a tour of the Shanghai Tunnels, I came out with Red, our main character. She’s as bloody and complicated as the city she’s come back to, and getting to do justice to both of them alongside Josh and Hassan has made this book a dream/nightmare come true for me.”

Red is one of hundreds shanghaied out of Portland in the late 1800s. Drugged, kidnapped, and sold to a ship’s captain, she wakes up on a boat headed out to sea for years, unable to escape or reveal who she truly is. Now, she’s on her way back, in a boat covered in blood, to find her family—and to track down the men responsible for stealing her life out from under her.

“I’m really excited about what we’ve all put into this book,” said Hixson. “It has everything I love about a good revenge tale, but it’s also not without heart. It’s violent and bloody but centered around a story about family and belonging. That’s what drew me to the book the most.”

“Josh Hixson’s art is going to blow you away,” added Otsmane-Elhaou. “It captures the grit, the desperation, the desolation, and most importantly, the humanity of it all. Where he’s been hiding, who knows, but getting to see him work his magic on every page is awesome, and I’m just trying to stay out of his way!”

This June, SHANGHAI RED will take you on a violent journey of vengeance, identity, and family.

SHANGHAI RED #1, Cover A by series artist Josh Hixson (Diamond code: APR180478) and Cover B by Tyler Boss (Diamond code: APR180479), hits comic book stores Wednesday, June 20th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, May 28th.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

“Dream Daddy” Artist Shanen Pae Covers Fence #5 At BOOM! Studios

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 19:45


 Fence #5 Variant Cover by Shanen Pae

March 19, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA) – BOOM! Studios is proud to unveil an all-new variant cover to FENCE #5 from Dream Daddy superstar artist Shanen Pae, in-stores April 18. The hit series, from best-selling novelist C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince) and popular online sensation Johanna The Mad, brings together the worlds of teen soap opera with the adrenaline rush of competitive fencing for an exciting journey of self-discovery that has won over legions of fans worldwide since its debut the celebrated BOOM! Box imprint in November 2017.

Additionally, FENCE #5 will hit stores on the same day in April as FENCE VOL.1 DISCOVER NOW EDITION, a comic-shop exclusive collection featuring the first four issues from the sensational series, also featuring a cover by Shanen Pae, with an MSRP of $9.99

“We launched FENCE with a special variant cover by Shanen Pae and as we begin the next arc of the series, we knew we had to have her back for more!” said Dafna Pleban, Editor, BOOM! Studios. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the outpouring of support from fans after every issue of Fence and we feel really lucky we get to continue telling Nick and Seiji’s story!”

In July, a standard edition of FENCE VOL.1, featuring a different cover and including additional behind-the-scenes material, will be released to comic shops and bookstores worldwide, with an MSRP of $9.99. While this standard version will remain in print, FENCE VOL.1 DISCOVER NOW EDITION will be strictly limited to the initial print run and then never reprinted again.

Print copies of FENCE VOL.1 DISCOVER NOW EDITION and FENCE #5 will be available for sale at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) on April 18. Digital copies of FENCE #5 will be available to purchase on digital book marketplaces, including ComiXology, iBooks, Google Books, and the BOOM! Studios app.

FENCE is the latest release from BOOM! Studios’ critically acclaimed BOOM! Box imprint, home to popular original series such as Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen, and Noelle Stevenson; Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin; The Backstagers by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh; SLAM! by Pamela Ribon, Veronica Fish & Mar Julia; and Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams.

For news on FENCE and more from BOOM! Studios, stay tuned to www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter.


 
Fence #5 Interior Art by Johanna The Mad and Joana Lafuente

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RIVERDALE DIGEST #7 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 19:36

RIVERDALE DIGEST #7
See how everything led to the CW’s Riverdale TV show with this digest-sized collection featuring stories from our relaunched titles as well as classic Archie stories!
Script: Various
Art: Various
Cover: CW Photo Cover
On Sale Date: 3/21
128-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

ARCHIE #29 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 19:36


ARCHIE #29
The Blossom family secret has erupted, taking all of Riverdale by surprise—and that includes Cheryl and Jason! What’s the truth about their long-lost father?
Script: Mark Waid, Ian Flynn
Art: Audrey Mok, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Audrey Mok
Variant Covers: Pete Woods (B), Pete Woods (C)
On Sale Date: 3/21
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS #4 preview

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 19:35

THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS #4
The epic battle rages on! It’s Eliminators vs. the remaining Crusaders who aren’t under Dream Demon’s control. May the best team win!
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Kelsey Shannon, Ryan Jampole, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Kelsey Shannon, Matt Herms
Variant Covers: Rich Buckler, Phil Jimenez with Steve Downer
On Sale Date: 3/21
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

JEZ'(RE): 2018 – 3/19

First Comics News - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 18:46

So—this is MY column and I can say pretty much whatever the fuck I want.

Always have.

And—have.

The last few weeks have been crazy.

Had to leave MI.

Couldn’t do it anymore.

The four friends I had all winter wore me the fuck out.

I mean—love them to death—but, fuck…

I’M. A. SOCIOPATH.

AND. CAN. ONLY. TAKE. SO MUCH. OF. ANYONE. FOR. PERIODS. OF. TIME.

…anyway…

Rik emailed me Dec. about paneling at WonderCon 2018.

I mean, it’s a big deal for us, and wanted to do an amazing panel—as these peoples also own SDCC—and, the last few years of approval waiting have been worrisome being a small press panel as SDCC grows more towards entertainment and away from comics.

Knew I probably wasn’t going to be able to make it but had him put me on the list just in case.

And—certainly tried.

Spent most of my second to last paycheck to catch a Greyhound to Austin two (2) weeks ago, today…

Had a jobby within 7 days.

Worked 48 hours this week.

Have an interview in fine dining Wed.

Suppose to be paneling Sat.

Don’t get paid until Friday.

I’m flat fucking broke.

Today is Monday.

Can’t afford the plane ticket.

Already paid the hostel—so out $100.

…sigh…

I’m annoyed.

Like—really.

…sigh…

It’s fine…

Everything is fine…

I’m fine.

(This is my montra, if you haven’t noticed… I say it to myself until it’s true)

So, I’m not going to Anaheim.

I’m not paneling.

I failed.

But—it’s fine.

Getting stable here is more important…

I fucking guess.

I’ve been neglecting my regular life.

Which has then impeded on real life—con life.

I like Austin.

Pretty much everyone I work with has tattooes.

And—I came at a good time.

SXSW is this week.

A 10 day music fest in the city.

Except, some asshole has been going around placing package bombs on people’s doorsteps.

…sigh…

…humans…

But—two (2) dishwashers  quit at my work last week, so it was easy for them to hire me.

Also; pretty sure my boss loves me, now.

Though, they generally do.

I’m awesome.

Really.

There’s really nothing I can’t do.

I’m a doer.

It’s what I do.

Anyway…

Was also approved “volunteer” for WOZ SQUAD at Silicon Valley Comic Con— quotations because they pay—in two (2) weeks.

Pretty sure I bust my ass hard enough until then, it’s totally reasonable to go.

Might lose one or more jobs in the process but whatevs.

I’ll have the money to pull it off.

Plus, this will be my third official comic con related paying gig.

Kind of a big deal.

We’ll see what happens.

I need to pay rent.

I need to eat.

And—let’s be real—I do have vices.

Plus—I like to be… comfortable.

AKA I’m expensive.

Honestly—most of my money goes to tipping, when out—and, I like to go out.

Minimum 30%

Usually higher.

My way of giving back to my community.

Sometimes it’s funny to watch their faces.

Not many things are enjoyable to me.

Sociopath, remember?

Well always said I was just a fangirl of myself.

I don’t really like things, just myself with things XD

He still cracks me the fuck up—and, we haven’t spoken in 8 months.

I’m still sad.

I don’t want to be sad anymore.

But, like, how are you suppose to move on and be okay when you literally can still hear the person in your head?

Just moving forward.

Several friends have urged me to date—that I’m just punishing myself in sorrow.

Gotten in fights/arguments with guys about not dating/sleeping with them—I’m selfish and shallow, apparently.

But, like—aren’t I doing them a favor?

Like—it wouldn’t be fair.

I’m clearly not okay.

Whatever.

Humans are weird.

Keeping myself busy.

As I’ve said before 9gag saves my life.

Also, have become super addicted to LinkedIn XD

Whatevs.

A game on my STEAM wishlist was on sale for 1.99 so I bought it.

Q.U.B.E: Director’s cut.

It’s decent—portal is better—played through the first 3 areas before going brain dead and needing to stop.

Picked it back up 2 days ago and all progress lost.

…sigh…

Haven’t had the emotional fortitude to start again.

Downloaded 4 new mobile games—three of them are gone already—kept Sims.

But—I might delete it soon—because, I’m starting to feel like a creep:

Anyway…

Did a review on I HATE FAIRYLAND, December.

Interviewed Skottie Young Last month:

Read issues 11-16 on the bus…

And—luster is already gone.

Most of them were, essentially, filler.

…sigh…

Some stories need to have endings.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the character and the world.

But, it had an ending—and ended—and, then got rerouted into a running title without cohesion.

Maybe it will take him a few early issues to get to a decent story arc going.

I mean, it is new.

But—he’s got, like, three other new books coming out—we’ll see if IHF gets the love it will need.

Just spent the last 30 mins coming up with a logo as feature image so came up with something quick because Rik won’t let me post without one—I tried—once.

Not exactly what I would have expected from me—and, looks cheap as fuck—but, I dig it.

Today is my day off.

I’m hungry.

And—fin.

K. Done—byee!

 

HAPPY NERDING : ) and SUPPORT INDIE <3

jEZ OUt

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Crashing the Sea King's Party in a Yellow Submarine

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 03/19/2018 - 11:00
Imagine this underwaterOur 5e Land of Azurth campagin continued last night with the party hearing a desperate plea for aid from Old Freedy, the kaleidoscopic tophat-wearing frogling ambassador from the Land of Under-Sea. It seems the utopia of Under-Sea has been overrun by the evil toad people from beyond the Blue Wall. Kully's father, Cory, and the cat-man Calico Jack were in Under-Sea at the time and are now aiding the froglings in finding champions.

The party quite reasonably wonders what they can do against a toad people army. Old Freedy explains that their are not actually that many toads, but that are too tough for the froglings to handle. The party was suggested by Cory Keenstep and Calico Jack (who had heard of them through his sister, Calico Bonny). Freedy discloses they have hired the party's old friend, the steam-powered  Commodore Cog to command the submarine craft they brought from Under-Sea.

This is all pretty incredible, but the most adventurous members of the party are eager to do it, and they overrule the more strictly avarous members. The first step (Freedy now reveals) is rescuing Cory Keenstep from the Sea King's folly. It seems he beat the libertine old merman in cards too many times, and the King won't let him go until he has gotten his money back.

The party traveled down a tube of airy water to the Sea King's palace. Only the female members were allowed inside by the sahuagin guard. They learn that the Sea King is sulking in his sanctum to avoid his ex-wife Cecaelia, who had taken over the second floor lounge. She was monopolizing Cory's attentions there. On a tip from some sea elf party-girls, Shade drugged an octopus body guard so that the males in the party could sneak in the back door. Unfortunately, the sahuagin and his four sharks caught them in the act and a bloody underwater melee ensued. The party was victorious, but at least 3 were seriously wounded.

RICH REVIEWS: Ghoul Scouts: I Was A Teenage Werewolf # 1

First Comics News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 23:17

Title: Ghoul Scouts: I Was A Teenage Werewolf # 1
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Story and Letters: Steve Byrant
Art: Mark Stegbauer
Colors: Jason Millet
Color Assist: Drew Browne
Cover: Mark Stegbauer & Jason Millet
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Website: www.actionlabcomics.com
Comments: In Full Moon Hollow at the Hemlock County Fair just outside of town a teenage werewolf runs loose.
The art is for all ages as is the story. Both are simple and straightforward to follow. The scouts are off to camp at Camp Lake Crystal.
The names of the places here are all from horror movies, books, comics or such.
The Ghoul Scouts do find the werewolf and we get a not overly violent fight. Then a chase which leads to certain conclusions.
The back story is prose “Where’d Jeff Go?” starring Jeff and Ann. These two kids do have a hair-raising adventure all their own.
Both stories move along fast and are over before you know it. Both though could have used more to the story.
The Ghoul Scouts are a fun group of kids that love adventures that are weird with a touch of horror to them.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH INTERVIEWS: John Jones Creator/Artist Professor Bizarre & Abominus, Co-Creator for Power Company 

First Comics News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 23:14

First Comics News: What is Heroes TCG?

John Jones: HeroesTCG (and its affiliated website http://www.heroestcg.com) was created in the very late 90s during the Pokemon crazy. I always loved to do art but I knew I wasn’t the best artist. I did feel I could do art that could fit in a two inch, by two-inch space and come up with a Trading Card Game (thus the TCG). I then needed characters and fast. I came up with a few hundred in a short time and cranked out the artwork. I worked on the rules and putting the art together and tweaking the rules for a few years. In 2003 I had a product ready to go and a few stores lined up to sell them. I was lacking one thing, a packaging solution. Due to life events, I had to put everything on hold for a full decade, the game, the art, the creativity. But now I’m back at it, and recently I’ve teamed up with another game designer and we’re working under the Legend Forge Games banner working on the Vigilante Deckbuilder game: vigilante.

VigilanteCardGame.com

1st: Who is your character or characters in “Power Company”?

John: I have contributed one hero and one villain to Power Company (or should I say, Damage Inc for the villains). Professor Bizarre is my hero creation and Abominus is my villain.

1st: What part does Professor Bizarre play on the Power Company team?

John: Prof Bizarre is the leader of Power Company, but due to circumstances not yet revealed, he has to bestow the field leadership to Five Star. The Professor gives the team guidance from a distance.

1st: How do you think your characters look in action in battle?

John: Professor Bizarre, again as stated, is a bit limited in the action he’ll see. But I can see Abominus getting his hands dirty and jumping into the fray. He can not only take a punch, but he can definitely dish it out too.

1st: Why will we love or hate Abominus?

John: I’m hoping everyone will hate him. His motivation is primarily greed, he’s in it for the money. Doesn’t care about power or world domination. He’s in it for him and him alone.

1st: What makes Professor Bizarre so bizarre?

John: He is a collector of all things that are supernaturally odd. But I would say the thing that makes him most bizarre, he’s a prisoner of his own domain. He dares not leave his abode. His number one arcane possession is the Emnity Stone which has borne itself into his forehead. It grants him vast powers, but it’s also a devastating curse. The stone constantly tries to corrupt his very being and possess him. Prof. Bizarre is able to keep it in check as long as he is in the sanctuary of his realm. He can venture out into the real world, but his defenses against the stone’s power are vastly diminished.

1st: Of Professor Bizarre or Abominus which one would you like the power of most and why?

John: I would go with Abominus’ powers, who doesn’t want super strength? I would probably abuse all the trinkets and baubles and artifacts that Bizarre has at his disposal, plus, who wants to be cooped up for centuries at a time?

1st: Which two super-heroes from Power Company would you most like to see battle each other and why?

John: That’s easy, Metalmorph and my own Abominus. In fact, I’ve done a couple of pictures with them facing off (I’m kind of the house artist for the group). And as you can imagine, Abominus always seems to come out on top.

1st: What most attracts you to comics?

John: Me being a wannabe artist, it’s the art itself that attracts me. I’ve always been a firm believer “Good art can save poor writing, but good writing can’t save poor art.” The art has to tell the story, where if you don’t read the dialog, you still know what is going on. For years, I’ve been an Alex Ross fan, I just love his visual style and realistic painting. I have other recent favorites, Esad Ribic, Genzoman, Artgerm, to name a few.

1st: What style comic book is “Power Company”?

John: We’re going for a throwback look. Even prior to the 90s. I can see Luis’ style even parallel some 70s style. This was the era I truly grew up on. I used to collect a lot of comics when I would spend the summer in Michigan (from New Jersey) with my grandmother. My parents would send me $5/week and I would go down to the local gas station and buy comics for 20 cents…then 25 cents…then 35 cents as the years passed. I try my hardest to remember some of the more fond stories I read as a kid and see if they are bundled together as graphic novels (I remember the Avengers vs Defenders story arc, looking for the components of the Evil Eye.)

1st: What inspires your artistic work?

John: As stated, Alex Ross, he’s my inspiration. I’ve even posted on his Facebook page about his Kingdom Come work (which is my all-time favorite work of his). If I had to have just one book on a desert island, that would be the book. I have read that book so many times. I have the 4 issues mini-series, and I’ve both the graphic novel twice (I wore out the first one).

1st: What are you currently working on and do you have anything planned for the future?

John: Currently I’m involved with Nelson Pearson in working on our game. We both went to GenCon50 last year and fell in love with a game called Hero Realms. I had never heard of deckbuilding games. We decided we wanted to create a deck-building game with superheroes and supervillains. But actually, the game really focuses around vigilantes. I’m not at liberty to give away too much. But if possible, I would hope your readership could follow us on Facebook: Vigilante Both Nelson and I do our own artwork for the cards involved in the game. We’ve been working on it for months, and we’re getting very close to producing it. 

facebook.com/vigilantethecomicbookcardgame

We also want to create a sourcebook for the characters featured in the game. Nelson and I were talking the other day. Marvel, DC, and Image all have established characters and there are games based on them. We have to go about it the other way. We are hoping people look at our cards and go, “Hey, who is this guy? I want to learn more about him!” We’re also teaming up with a writer to help us write the bios on all the characters and perhaps created some short stories based on the characters of our combined universe.

Currently, I’ve put my HeroesTCG game on hold while working on this joint effort. I’ve learned a lot in the past six months while working on the game with Nelson and feel I can apply some of what I’ve learned to my game. It has actually been my desire that when I create my game, I would love to open it up to allow other creators and let them put their characters on a booster pack to sell. I want to share the creativity, and a piece of the pie so to speak.

1st: Do you ever get asked about being the Martian Manhunter and are you really him?

John: All the time. And when I am ask, I can tell who are comic book fans.

1st: What do you have to say to all the fans of your art?

John: Really, two words. “Thank you,” I stated earlier, I put my art, my creativity, my passion on hold for a full decade. It is a huge regret for me. I went through a lot in those 10 years, divorce, lost my job, the death of both parents (and some other things, like having to work three jobs). But now, for the past few years, I’m back at it. I’m enjoying my role as Power Company house artist. Plus I also serve as the lead technical supervisor (which means I have to update the website haha). I love the indie comic book community and their encouragement. It feels so good to be doing my art again and it feels even better to be appreciated. 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Cupcake Scouts the RPG Now Available

The Splintered Realm - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 19:18

The Cupcake Scouts Song
We are the cupcake scoutsWe’re brave and kind and smartAnd when a vampire tries to biteWe stab it in the heart.
We are the cupcake scoutsAnd baking brings us joyBut sometimes we go to graveyardsThe undead to destroy.
We are the cupcake scoutsWe learn our lessons wellBut if a demon rises upWe send it back to Hell!


Cupcake Scoutsis a roleplaying game for two or more players. One player takes on the role of the Scoutmaster, the kindly spirit who sends the scouts to slay foul creatures and makes sure that they tuck in their shirts. Other players will take on the roles of cupcake scouts, girls who have joined a troop to make friends, learn how to bake, and drive the dark blight of chaos from this world.             To play the game, you need this book, a few standard 6-sided dice, pencils, some index cards or paper, and an activate imagination. You should probably have some cupcakes or brownies, too, because those make everything better.
Order your copy now!

RICH INTERVIEWS: Daniel Hoins Creator/Writer of Thunder Woman, Co-Writer for Power Company

First Comics News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 14:00

First Comics News: When and why did you get into comics? 

Daniel Hoins: While I’ve always been aware of comic books and comic book characters since I was very young, I never really got into comics proper until around the time the first Spider-Man movie came out, back in 2002. That movie was HUGE back then. I also enjoyed visiting bookstores at the time, and my favorite was one called “Books-A-Million”, and because of the movie, I became curious. I really liked the DK Ultimate Guidebooks because they allowed me to quickly get into and understand superhero comics quickly and easily. And then I began reading the comics themselves, but instead of the single issues, I went for the trade paperbacks. The ones that particularly got me were Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s “The Ultimates,” Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s “The Authority”, Grant Morrison’s “New X-Men,” “Ultimate Spider-Man,” and “Hellboy.” 

1st: Who is Thunder Woman and what are her powers? 

Daniel: Thunder Woman is the super-heroic persona of Samantha West, a young woman from a mixed race family who is a research associate at Newport University in the fictional county/city of Newport, Connecticut (think a blend of Boston and New York City). She works at the history and archaeology focused branch of NPU’s school for humanities, and as a research associate, her work consists of a mixture of teaching various history and folklore classes while assisting the more senior NPU faculty with their work, which can include research and accompanying them on special expeditions or historical projects. Her position means she is potentially on track to becoming a professor, and she is considering pursuing a doctorate.

She gained her powers as Thunder Woman when she and some fellow NPU faculty accidentally entered the dimensional realm where the Olympians and Greco-Roman mythical creatures dwell, and in the process foiled an attempt by the goddess Hera to usurp the Olympians with a pantheon of her own. Part of this involved her temporarily gaining divine powers, and as a reward for the role, she played the Olympians allowed her to return to Earth with a portion of those powers, and the ability to switch between her human body and a semi-divine one at will. 

When in her Thunder Woman form, Samantha possesses vast superhuman strength, stamina, and toughness. She is immune to all forms of conventional biohazards and has none of the basic human needs except for sleep, and she heals much more quickly and completely than a normal human. In addition to these gifts, Zeus granted her the ability to supernaturally manifest and control weather phenomena like wind, lightning, rain, hail, tornadoes, and more. She can use this power to propel herself at supersonic speeds. Lastly, Zeus also had Hephaestus implant one of his thunderbolts into her body. This allows her to generate, project, and control electrical energies independent of her weather powers. 

1st: Why is Thunder Woman part of Power Company?

Daniel: The Kickstarter for The Power Company #1 started shortly after I joined ICC: Independent Creators Connection, a Facebook group dedicated to allowing creators to showcase their work and meet and connect with other creators. Thunder Woman had already made an impression via an event held by Carlos Raphael and Tony Klapper called “Clash of Champions” (which is how I got to know both of them), and then I saw that the PC#1 Kickstarter had a tier where you could have a character of your’s appear in the comic for a guest appearance as part of a team of heroes that defend the White House from a diversionary assault by members of the villain group Damage Inc. 

Normally these tiers tend to be hugely expensive, but this one was priced just low enough to be an option for me, and I felt that this would help to cement Thunder Woman as a character. This is also part of how Eric Bennett’s Steel Wolf got to be a part of it. This, plus our combined sponsorship of another friend’s character, Midnight Owl, helped to make the Kickstarter successful, and Carlos did a lot to promote this. 

Originally Coalition Comics had Joe Davis and Dorphise Jean as members, but they had to leave the group. Carlos approached Eric and I about joining Coalition Comics due to our passion and dedication, and after some consideration, I accepted his invitation, and brought Thunder Woman along to join the Power Company proper. 

In-universe, well, I recommend reading the Power Company comics, starting with #1, to find out. 

1st: Which Marvel or DC character is Thunder Woman closest to power wise? 

Daniel: The characters that I’ve always compared her to in my mind when it came to her strength and toughness were Alpha Flight’s Sasquatch, the DCAU version of Superman, and Robert Kirkman’s Invincible. She’s an upper tier character, but just below the level of power characters like Thor, the Hulk, and DC’s major flying bricks occupy. However, I’d say her weather control is at least on par if not greater than Storm’s, and her electrical powers at least as powerful as anything Thor can dish out, and with a greater variety of techniques. 

1st: In Power Company which member would be the best pick for a chance to beat Thunder Woman? 

Daniel: I tend to dislike pitting heroes against one another. It may be an old staple of superhero comics, particularly Marvel, but seeing people pit otherwise heroic and good characters against one another always bothered me, and that’s not helped by how prevalent it’s become in the past fifteen years or so. 

I also ascribe to the viewpoint that in fiction, any character can beat any other character and that it’s up to the writer to make it at least plausible. Battle board style logic has no place in writing in my opinion, though that should not be an excuse for a writer to completely ignore all logic either and have a normal human hurt a character who could otherwise withstand a tank shell, or for a competent but otherwise normal human land a hit on a character capable of moving and reacting beyond the speed of thought. 

But, with all that said, to answer your questions more directly, I would say Steel Wolf would probably be the best candidate, as he has the strength to overpower her, the toughness to withstand her attacks, and furthermore knows her and how she fights better than any of the other members, owing to their past experience with one another that predates the Power Company. 

Other Power Company characters that could be of use against her would likely be Fivestar and Forecast. The former because his strength, toughness, and energy powers would allow him to go toe-to-toe with her, the latter because his weather powers would allow him to counter many of Thunder Woman’s most powerful and useful abilities. 

1st: Which villain or villains does Thunder Woman fight in “Power Company”? 

Daniel: In The Power Company #1, she does battle with Brimcoal. She is also seen vaporizing some of the Necromage’s minions. 

1st: Does or will Thunder Woman have her own comic? 

Daniel: Right now, Thunder Woman’s sole comic appearance is in The Power Company #1. In #2 she will join the team in full. She is also slated to appear as a member of another team of heroes called “The Remarkables.”

As for her own comic, my current goal is to begin work on a Thunder Woman graphic novel in 2019, and so right now I am working to finish developing and fleshing out Samantha’s character and the world around her. 

1st: What inspired the creation of Thunder Woman?

Daniel: Thunder Woman was originally created to be my character in a shared superhero fiction setting on DeviantArt called “Angel Falls.” Many of her elements, such as her mythological roots, were part of an effort on my part to distinguish her from the more science-based heroes that the setting had at that point, and to add an element of mythology and folklore that I felt was lacking at that time. 

Thunder Woman is an amalgamation of many of my favorite comic book heroes. I drew upon elements of Superman, Captain Marvel/Shazam, Thor, Wonder Woman, Storm, Invincible, and even Spider-Man and Captain America for her.

1st: Will you be creating more characters to add to Thunder Woman? 

Daniel: I have mostly completed the selection of characters that occupy her world. I still need to develop more of a human supporting cast and antagonists that aren’t supervillains for her though. 

1st: Who are in Thunder Woman’s rogue gallery? 

Daniel: Thunder Woman has an incredibly huge rogues gallery. A friend of mine recently asked how many villains she has, and after putting all of the names into a spreadsheet I ended up with over 90!

She has 7 foes that are either recurring archenemies or are the big bads of major story arcs, 20 recurring major opponents, and a bunch of lesser villains that are either jobbers, limited to certain stories I have planned, or are members of teams she comes up against. Her primary archnemesis is Hera, the mad queen of the Twelve Olympians, who is hell-bent on revenge against her for Samantha’s part in stopping her attempt to replace the Olympians with her own “Heratheon.” Her other major recurring opponent is Helregin, an enigmatic amoral supergenius who is obsessed with eradicating death and suffering from the human condition, and believes that the thunderbolt inside Thunder Woman is the key to achieving this. 

1st: How has Thunder Woman changed since 2010? 

Daniel: For one, she is no longer a part of Angel Falls, but instead resides in my own fictional setting, the “Extraordinary Mythos,” a hybrid/fusion of almost every single superheroic character, concept, and setting that I have created since I first started creating my own characters back in 2004. Her personal corner of it has ballooned in size and has been altered to coexist with the other superhero characters and settings that I merged together to form the ExMythos. Her design has also changed greatly over the years, and she has gone through five distinct designs, the fifth being her current version that will appear in The Power Company #2. The version of her seen in The Power Company #1 is her fourth design, which was a major overhaul from her original look. 

1st: What comics did you read as a child and do you now? 

Daniel: I really didn’t read comics growing up. I was very well aware of superheroes as a kid, but I never really liked what I saw then in all the ads and merchandising. I felt the characters all looked too grim and mean, less like heroes and more like the monsters and villains that heroes were meant to defeat.

The first comics I read were when I began entering my adolescence. A friend of mine at the time had been given a collection of late 80’s and early 90’s comics, and so whenever I stayed over one of the things I did was read them. And I hated them! Mostly because the visual storytelling was confusing and nonsensical to me, and the characters were ridiculous looking to me. The only ones that I enjoyed were some issues of the late 80’s series “X-Men vs. Avengers,” which had much better art in terms of storytelling and layouts, and had characters I thought were much more interesting than any of the ones I saw in the 90’s comics. 

Really, if it wasn’t for those late 90’s/early 00’s comics that I mentioned earlier, I probably would still hate comics because of the art of guys like Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. I’ve grown to appreciate Lee’s work more I’ve matured, but Liefeld still makes me cringe. 

I don’t read as many comics or as often as I used to at my peak, which was between 2008 and 2012 when I was consuming entire omnibuses at breakneck speed. I simply don’t have the time for that sort of thing, though I do try and maintain a surface level knowledge of everything that is going on, thanks to groups like scans_daily. 

1st: What is your full-time job? 

Daniel: I am a communications coordinator for a local real estate association. 

1st: What would you like to say to the fans of your comic work?

Daniel: That I am honored and humbled by the idea that the things that I create bring such enjoyment and inspiration to them. I am so used to being a fan and consumer of comic and superhero media that the idea of being on the other end of that relationship is still a very strange one to me. And yet, whenever I see someone make some fan art, or say how much they enjoy my stuff or are inspired by it, I can’t help but feel this fountain of brotherly love and joy well up inside me. Few things make me happier than feeling and witnessing the loving connection of fellow human beings, and being a part of that web of love. 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Azurth Digest--Still copies available

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 14:00

The first issue of the Azurth Adventures Digest  print edition is still on sale, but only about 10 copies remain! Twenty-eight full color pages at 5.5 in. x 7.75 in. with art by Jeff Call and Jason Sholtis. There are random tables for the generation of quirky Motley pirates, a survey of interesting and enigmatic islands, and a mini-adventure on the Candy Isle. Plus, there are NPCs and a couple of monsters, all straight from my Land of Azurth 5e campaign.

 Go here for the print(+pdf) edition, while supplies last. If you only want the pdf, well, that's always available here.



RICH REVIEWS: Hero Cats # 21

First Comics News - Sun, 03/18/2018 - 13:54

Title: Hero Cats # 21
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Written by: Kyle Puttkammer with assist from Keek Stewart
Pencils, Inks, & Colors Assistance: Andy Duggan
Colors: Daniel Hooker
Letters: George Gant
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: www.actionlabcomics.com
Comments: Stellar City is getting a lot of snow more than usual. The snow is not stopping and it’s up to the Hero Cats to solve the problem.
These cats are smart they figure out what to do right away and act on it. The adventure turns into one of the strangest things you will ever see. Wait till you see how Rocket one of the Hero Cats gets them to a weather station. Once there Ice Fleas stand guard. Have you ever seen an Ice Flea?
Zoa is in need of help. The Hero Cats: Ace, Cassiopeia, Rocco, Rocket, Belle and Midnight make up this team of brave felines. They are not the only heroes in town as the Hero Bots help them out. They are cute looking robots.
Zoe the Zoapede is in need of help. With the Heroes around on Earth, she gets it and then some.
“Aftermath on Skyworld” Story by Kyle Puttkammer, art by Sarah Kuchta and letters by George Gant.
In Skyworld Bandit and Lancelot lead the team of heroes willing to defend Skyworld. It is all peace and quiet for now but you never know what evil lurks around the next bend or in a dark cave.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

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