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RICH REVIEWS: Aberrant # 4

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 19:13

Title: Aberrant # 4
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Writer: Rylend Grant
Artist: Davi Leon Dias
Colorist: Iwan Joko Triyono
Letterer: HdE
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: www.actionlabcomics.com , www.halfevilcomics.com , www.risingspiritfilms.com
Comments: The Russian President lets the world know he now has a Aberrant military unit.
Lance Cordrey is a billionaire and former Aberrant. How the mighty have fallen. He had it all and now only has money. You might even feel a little sorry for Lance. He though is one of the main villains. He is being treated like a puppet by others only this puppet still has real teeth.
Lance decides to make a change to his situation. He does just that and does it with a bang. The excitement rockets up and you feel for him. He is doing what needs to be done. This ex super-hero turned villain is creating all kinds of excitement here.
It is great to see Lance featured he makes for a wonderful character.
The art is done beautifully as it shows off the various people.
The music throughout the comic adds a nice touch and gives you something that is so easy to follow along to.
This comic does read like a super-hero/action/drama movie. Things pick up this issue for Lance as he goes all out.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: Aberrant # 3

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 19:13

Title: Aberrant # 3
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Writer: Rylend Grant
Artist: Davi Leon Dias
Colorist: Iwan Joko Triyono
Letterer: HdE
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: www.actionlabcomics.com , www.halfevilcomics.com , www.risingspiritfilms.com
Comments: A prisoner escape is anything but ordinary. Their rescuer is one huge freak of a man. This guy is drawn with muscles on his muscles.
Article 13 is giving David a tour. So we see this is not just a superpowered people beating up superpowered people comic. Article 13 is like a government spy operation. Will David join? That is the question.
The art has a nice clean cut look to it. The creature from David’s past is a horrific thing to behold. This monster would scare anyone.
This issue we finally get to see David using his abilities. He really can kick some butt. Than David encounters the guy from the prisoner escape. This guy with the huge muscles shows David that he is not the only Aberrant here. The fight is one of extreme brutality.
David for all his powers we see he is still just human with human doubts. He is unsure of himself. He was a soldier but is he still?

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Fresh Monkey Fiction opens pre-orders for Amazing Heroes Wave 2 

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 16:43
Los Angeles, CA. (March 31, 2018)  – Fresh Monkey Fiction opens pre-orders for wave 2 of their retro-inspired action figure line Amazing Heroes.

The Amazing Heroes Wave 2 collection features a selection of creator owned characters: Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus and a cosmic version of Michael Allred’s Madman. Plus limited editions (100pcs) of Golden Age Heroes:  American Crusader, Captain Future, Chrometurion and the villainous Puzzler. This will be the first time many of them will become action figures.

Each retro-inspired Amazing Heroes figure stands 4.5″ tall and includes collector friendly interchangeable packaging

The pre-order is currently open and runs through May 1st, 2018.

You can pre-order the Amazing Heroes Wave 2 Retroverse figures and find special offer pricing on a few remaining Wave 1 figures at:

https://amazing-heroes-action-figures.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Introducing the 2018 Ringo Awards Jury

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 16:33

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – March 31, 2018 – The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the creativity, skill, and fun of comics. The awards will be presented on Saturday, September 29, 2018 as part of the fan- and pro-favorite convention, The Baltimore Comic-Con. The Ringo Awards is currently in the midst of the 2018 nomination process, which is inclusive of fans and comic book professionals alike. Please submit your nominations before voting closes at midnight on May 30, 2018.

 

The Jury

An esteemed jury of comics professionals will participate in the nomination process, selecting favorite works in over 20 categories. The 2018 jury was chosen as a representative cross-section of the comic book industry, with members representing seasoned and venerated educators, retailers, press, and creators across numerous genres. Michael Cavna is a cartoonist and creator of The Washington Post’s Eisner-nominated Comic Riffs column. He is also emcee and co-programmer of the Graphic Novel Pavilion events at the Library of Congress’s annual National Book Festival. In 2017, Cavna’s work was honored by the National Headliner Awards and the national Society for Features Journalism. A San Francisco native and UCSD alum, Cavna also wrote the Harvey Award-nominated prose for the Eisner Award-nominated anthology book Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s. His viral “Wise Up” cartoon launched the #Draw4Atena campaign on behalf of the jailed Iranian artist-activist Atena Farghadani, and his updated-monthly cartoon marked the 545-day detention of American-Iranian journalist Jason Rezaian. Those cartoon campaigns were cited by the National Press Club, the Poynter Institute and the Cartoonist Rights Network International. Cavna has created artwork and features for five syndicates, including Universal Uclick/Andrews McMeel.  Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz once told Cavna at a black-tie awards dinner: “You do funny things”; to this day, he does not know for sure whether Schulz was referring to Cavna’s syndicated comic Warped or to his tragically askew cummerbund.

Marty Grosser is the Editor of Diamond Comic Distributors’ PREVIEWS catalog, and has been involved with the publication since its inception in October of 1988. Before that, he started in the comics industry in the summer of 1981 as a counterman and Assistant Manager for Northern California’s Comics & Comix retail chain. In 1986, he left C&C for comics distributor, Bud Plant, Inc., where he worked in the Customer Service department before becoming the writer of BUD PLANT’S QUICKLIST (the catalog precursor to PREVIEWS) in 1987. This position eventually lead to his move to Maryland in 1988 following the purchase of BPI’s West Coast distribution network by Diamond Comic Distributors.

Karla Marsh-Southern is the Event and Exhibitor Coordinator for Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find and the Heroes Convention located in Charlotte, NC. She has served the Heroes Convention for over 14 years, and has done so in a full-time capacity for the past six. She began attending the Heroes Convention 13 days before her actual birth in June of 1982 when her mother agreed to accompany her brother to Charlotte’s first “Comic Book Convention”. She has attended every Heroes Convention since, with this year’s show marking her 36th consecutive Heroes Convention. Learning to read using Wonder Woman and Batman comics in the early 1980’s, Karla is an avid reader of series from across all genres. She is also a life-long fan of all things Masters of the Universe and has assisted in the management of the He-Man and She-Ra-themed Convention, Power-Con based out of Los Angeles, CA.

Rob Stull is an accomplished illustrator, curator, teacher, penciler, inker, designer, and creator of comic books. In addition to working through his own studio, Ink on Paper, he has worked over two decades for every major publisher in the industry, including Marvel and DC Comics, where his projects include: Spider-Man Adventures, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Iron Man, X-Force, Wolverine, Nightwing, 52, Firestorm, and more. He was a member of the original Tellos creative team with Todd Dezago, Mike Wieringo, and Paul Mounts, and inked Mike’s pencils on the initial series run published by Image Comics. He also inked the covers for the Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute books and drew a chapter in Volume 1. He created and curated Sequential Art: The Next Step, a 10-year traveling exhibition spotlighting the work of African American comic book artists and their contributions to the industry and popular culture, and his work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States. He is featured in the ground-breaking books Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art and Culture and The History of American Graffiti. “I have always believed that all art is relative,” says Stull. “Sequential Art is a storytelling medium, but most visual art is telling a story of some kind.” Gus Vazquez is an illustrator who has worked in nearly every field, including comic books, trading cards, storyboarding for music videos, commercials, animation and film, logo design, character and toy design, and more. He started his career in comic books working as an assistant to comic book artists Adam Pollina on X-Force, and Kevin McGuire on Trinity Angels. He got his first solo gig at Marvel Comics drawing the covers and interiors for Sunfire and Big Hero 6, the series that introduced the characters featured in Disney’s Oscar winning Big Hero 6. He has worked on such Marvel titles as Deadpool, X-Force, Spider-Man, What If? Civil War, What If? Back in Black, The Official Handbook if the Marvel Universe, and more. For DC, he has worked on such titles as Green Lantern, JLA, Blue Beetle, and most recently on Flash, Suicide Squad, and Green Arrow. Gus was the artist on several issues of Claudio Sanchez’s (of rock music group Coheed and Cambria) The Amory Wars, and was instrumental in helping bring together the creative team of his friends, David Atchison (writer) and Tony Shasteen (illustrator), and his niece, film and TV actress Rosario Dawson on 12 Gauge’s The O.C.T. Currently, Gus has been working for DC Comics on The Sasquatch Detective, a backup story which can be found in the pages of Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, as well as DMC (Daryl Makes Comics) and on La Borinqueña. He is also working on his creator-owned book, Fang.

Fan and Pro Nomination Categories

* Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist)
* Best Writer
* Best Artist or Penciller
* Best Inker
* Best Letterer
* Best Colorist
* Best Cover Artist
* Best Series
* Best Single Issue or Story
* Best Original Graphic Novel
* Best Anthology
* Best Humor Comic
* Best Comic Strip or Panel
* Best Webcomic
* Best Non-fiction Comic Work
* Best Kids Comic or Graphic Novel * Best Presentation in Design Jury-Only Nomination (with four bonus jurors) * The Mike Wieringo Spirit Award Fan-Only Favorite Categories * Favorite Hero
* Favorite Villain
* Favorite New Series
* Favorite New Talent * Favorite Publisher Hero Initiative Award (selected by the Hero Initiative) * The Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award * The Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award

“We are always going to be asking ourselves how to continue to ensure the quality of the Ringo Awards,” said Marc Nathan, Baltimore Comic-Con promoter. “We created the basic jury blueprint in our inaugural year, and we were very happy with the outcome. With that in mind, we asked this year’s jurors to participate based on their respective backgrounds in and knowledge of the industry, and we’re confident the results will be worthy of voters’ consideration.”

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: 40 Thieves

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 16:19

When a game arrives in a cloth sack, and you open it to find a stack of cardboard discs with art that seems right out of Arabian Nights, you have to be intrigued.

Which is the case with 40 Thieves from Canadian publisher JackBro Playful Creation.

Now admittedly my copy is a preview one, the game is currently on Kickstarter, but appears likely to succeed as they are near 50 percent of their goal and the campaign will run until Apr. 26, but I’d guess my copy is close to what the finished product will be.

So what is 40 Thieves about?

“In a medina on the borders of the kingdom, thrives a dishonest merchant with excessive wealth,” details the company website at www.jackbro.com (a site that is in French but thanks to the Internet a passable translation is a keystroke away. “Gold coins, fabrics, and carpets pile up in its hidden and well-guarded landmark. In the middle of his treasure, nine bluish sapphires of great purity. Nine precious stones that make you dream. In the city, looters, thieves, and other knaves are challenging themselves: whoever steals the most of these stones by night will be crowned king of thieves.

“Will you answer the call? Will you brave the forty thieves who keep the loot?”

The game comes to us from designers Jean-Thomas Rioux and Étienne Rioux.

The game, which accommodates two to four players, is made of 40 thieves cards and 20 special cards. Each card has a colour and a symbol on the back, but only one is true. Players have to use deduction, memory and push their luck to arrange suits of symbols or colours to steal a sapphire.

The game starts with the placement of 16 cards into a 4 x 4 grid face down.

Through four phases players work to collect sapphire gems. When the last gem is taken, the game ends.

Jean-Thomas Rioux was good enough to answer a few questions regarding 40 Thieves via email, starting with the initial idea.

“Everything can get you to your creation ideas,” he said.

Rioux explained his brother is an illustrator, so a few times they start the creation process with drawings he did.

“Other times we just do brainstorming,” said Rioux. “There are no rules in game development. Ideas come from every aspect in your life; funny news, events, movies or from my three little kids.”

Rioux said games also take on a life of their own in terms of how they come together.

Vikingar, a previous game from the design team, took a couple of years to come together, said Rioux.

“But for 40 Thieves the situation was different,” he said. “The first version was really near of the final product. We had a lot of very good feedback on our first play test session. The game was already balanced.”

The biggest part of the process is being able to give up on some game ideas you initially thought to be brilliant, offered Rioux.

“The most difficult aspect is that you have to manage your emotions and be able to destroy your own ideas,” he said. “You need to be able to challenge yourself at all times.

“Another difficult aspect is not to go too fast in visuals and prototypes of qualities. These details are very expensive and often limit us in our modification.

“It is often easy to turn round corners and not to take enough time to experience a game mechanics, or the fluidity of the game.

“It is also difficult to design a game and to predict developments to limit certain costs of production.”

Rioux said they also wanted to create something as unique as possible.

“We always try at Jackbro to make games that are different and not really comparable in the market,” he said. “We also try to make strong visuals.

“We always try to make sure that our mechanics come to amplify the theme of the game.”

The game of 40 Thieves is the first game in a 1001 Knights series that Rioux said they are working on.

This is a deduction and luck game that has a fairly unique look which should appeal to people who like the process of in-game discovery by having a good memory and some good old intuition.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Get Adler

Sat, 03/31/2018 - 09:04

London, 1937 — Intelligence has discovered that Top-Secret documents are missing. So, too, is MI6 Agent Adler. The only clue is an intercepted message: “Trafalgar at seven.” MI5 Agent Gold, Inspector Sharpe of Scotland Yard, and Constable Townsend have been thrown this task: “Find and eliminate Adler.” They’ve got seven hours.

So starts the introduction to Get Adler from designer Randy Thompson and the Canadian publisher Caper Games.

Originally released in 2016, the game is getting a new edition and is on Kickstarter until April 11, but I’m sure the new edition will be available for a while as it has already reached its funding goal.

The company website (www.capergames.ca) describes the game as “a multi-player card game in which secret characters investigate each other to unmask Adler. Once the traitor is revealed, the game transforms into an action-packed race against time to eliminate Adler and to recover top-secret documents.”

So up front, you have to be a certain type of gamer for Get Adler. There are certain people who are not into the mental exercise of deduction style games, and they are not necessarily a good fit for every gaming group.

But, a good thing about Get Adler is its versatility, playing from two-to-eight players. That makes the game quite adaptable for a gaming group. Those who like deduction games can play Get Adler, the couple that doesn’t can opt to play cribbage, (never a bad alternate choice in my world).

So what is a key element in Get Adler?

For the answer, I turned to designer Thompson for the answer figuring he knows the game better than a humble reviewer like myself.

“We always seem to get at least one new innovative twist into our games,” he said via email. “With Get Adler! the interesting thing is that there are two distinct parts that work very well together. The first few rounds are all about trying to deduce who Adler is.

“But the last few rounds (after he is found out!) it’s all about trying to catch him. If you try to arrest him, he will most likely play an escape card: a motor-car, or jump on the bus, or take a bike, or take the tube or take a boat along the Thames. The good guys can match the escape card! Adler can then play another one, and then another hero can match it. “There is also a shootout and Adler can throw a bomb. So the escape and chase is the best element.”

Just as background Thomson grew up in beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. “Looking back on my childhood, I can remember inventing games,” he states in his online bio.

“At around 9 and 10 years of age, I used to sit down outside and show hockey cards to my beloved dog Spotty. I also made mini baseball games in the dirt with sticks and small pebbles. And best of all, I used to cut out those same hockey cards and play hockey at the kitchen table, with a silver ball for the puck: the foil from my mother’s cigarette package.”

As of 2017, he has designed seven games and authored two books.

But back to Get Adler; I am always fascinated with how a game comes to exist in the first place.

“My girlfriend and I were watching a few episodes of Sherlock Holmes from Britain, starring Jeremy Brett (Granada TV),” explained Thomson. “At some point around this time, the idea popped into my head. I always thank God for any new idea I get. I still remember drawing out the first four characters on cut out bristle-board: Inspector Sharpe, MI5 agent Gold, Constable Townsend and double-agent Adler. Gold was also inspired by Laura Holt from Remington Steele.”

But a few rough notes is a long way from a published game.

“We worked on Get Adler! for two years,” said Thompson. “I drew out the first characters in early 2014. I really wanted a female character in the storyline and created Sarah Gold from MI5.

“We Kickstarted the first edition of Get Adler! in January 2016. In early 2017, we Kickstarted the Premium Edition and currently, we are on Kickstarter with our Signed Edition (just raising extra funds for shipping and customs).”

There were, of course, a few bumps on the design road.

“Originally the game was designed for four players, but a distributor in Britain asked us if it would be possible to expand the game to six players,” said Thompson. “So I had to come up with two additional characters. Although characters five and six were easier for me than (eventually), characters seven and eight. Character five became Kate Collins, an accomplice for Adler. She is now essential to the game. I am so glad I was challenged to come up with more characters. Russian good-guy agent Tarasov became character six. I love them all.”

And there was, of course, the hurdle of money.

“As a small Indie publisher the biggest hurdle was raising money to manufacture,” said Thompson. “I had never done a Kickstarter before, so that was very interesting. And thankfully we funded.

“What I learned, though, is that shipping and customs can add lots of extra costs, and you have to be ready for that. You are manufacturing and shipping not only for your backers but for the rest of the games you will need to sell that year. I’m very thankful for Kickstarter.”

My first impression of the game was two-fold.

The cards look great, with a sort of ‘vintage British’ feel to them, which works perfectly.

But I have to say with Adler in the name I would have loved this to be a full-blown Holmesian game. I recognize such rights might have been nearly impossible to acquire but it would have added an extra layer of interest for me.

The greatest strength though goes back to the two to eight player option. Not many games easily accommodate such a range.

As designer Thompson remains happy with his creation now that it has been out in the hands of the gaming public.

“Love it,” he said. “We always listen to feedback and then try to improve the rules with any new edition. We did that with the Premium Edition, so I think that overall the rules and gameplay are excellent. It is our best game to this point.”

And just as a hint of what might come next.

“We are just finishing up our playtesting for Vertium – a strategic game of space colonization,” said Thomson. “We have a teacher in the USA who is playtesting it at the moment. We have tested it and developed it a lot. There are two phases in this game also. The first part is all about competing with other factions as you try to colonize the planets of Coper in Quadrant 1 of the Milky Way. The second phase is all about battling for those planets. We have an excellent new mechanic that has to do with moons, but you will have to wait for the Kickstarter to see that.”

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The Inkwell Awards Voting Open From April 1-15

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 08:00

(New Bedford, MA/USA—March 29, 2018) Who’s your favorite inker? The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic book inking, invites all to vote for the industry’s best of the year. The official public ballot will be available on the Inkwells’ homepage from April 1 through April 15.

Voting is open to fans and professionals alike. In addition to “Favorite Inker,” categories include “Most Adaptable,” “PROPS” (inkers deserving more attention), the “S.P.A.M.I.” (Small Press And Mainstream/Independent) and “All-In-One” for pencilers who ink their own work.

As a courtesy, also listed on the ballot are the nominees for the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame (“HoF”), a lifetime achievement honor for an outstanding inking career of 25 or more years in American comics, whose winners are chosen by an internal committee (to avoid a “popularity contest” where recent names have more influence than past masters). Two nominees are awarded each year.

Also to be chosen internally is the Special Recognition Award. This lifetime achievement honor differs from the HoF award due to one or more factors such as the artist being out of the “public eye,” having limited name-recognition due to semi- or full retirement or death, limited-yet-influential output, social barriers such as gender/race, or other factors that might otherwise limit them from being nominated for a traditional HoF award. The SRA nominees are not listed on the ballot but will be discussed at the awards ceremony. As announced at last year’s ceremony, the award has been renamed the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA) in honor of the longtime member of the non-profit who succumbed to cancer a year ago after a 10-year battle.

“We’re as excited as ever for this event, where the best of the best ink artists and their work get the recognition they deserve,” said Bob Almond, founder, and director of The Inkwell Awards. “Though inkers have their own fans and followers, many often go unnoticed or are glossed over by most awards events. Ours caters specifically to ink artists and allows them to be recognized and appreciated in various categories. We encourage everyone who appreciates good work to participate; the more voters, the better.”

Once voting ends after April 15, the winners will be announced at the live awards ceremony at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC on Friday, June 15th.

The Inkwell Awards is the only existing official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and contributors from within the comics community. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.

THE INKWELL AWARDS are for 2017 cover-dated

interior American comic-book material.

Favorite Inker: Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist.

A) John Dell: The Clone Conspiracy (Marvel)
B) John Floyd: Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil (DC)
C) Jonathan Glapion: Action Comics, Dark Nights Metal (DC); Reborn (Image)
D) Mick Gray: Superman/Justice League (DC)
E) Dan Green: The Sandman Special (DC)
F) Scott Hanna: All-New Wolverine, Black Panther, Black Panther & The Crew, Great Lakes Avengers, Ultimates 2, X-men Blue (Marvel); Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special, DC Holiday Special, Justice League Of America, Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special, Superman, Trinity (DC)
G) Seth Mann: Batman, Trinity (DC)
H) Bill Sienkiewicz: Batman, Black Racer, And Shilo Norman Special, Deathstroke (DC)

Most-adaptable: Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists. (Every nominee must have at least two sources cited.)

A) Jonathan Glapion: Action Comics, Dark Nights Metal (DC); Reborn (Image)
B) Scott Hanna: Booster Gold & Flintstones Special, DC Holiday Special, Justice League Of America, Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special, Superman, Trinity (DC); All-New Wolverine, Black Panther, Black Panther & The Crew, Great Lakes Avengers, Ultimates 2, X-men Blue (Marvel)
C) Jay Leisten: Green Lantern, Suicide Squad (DC); Incredible Hulk, Monsters Unleashed, Secret Empire, Weapon X, X-men Gold (Marvel)
D) Mark Morales: Aquaman, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Special (DC); Immortal Brothers: The Tale Of The Green Knight (Image); Astonishing X-men, Spider-Man/Deadpool (Marvel)
E) Dexter Vines: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 11 (Dark Horse), Batman Beyond, Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps, (DC); Invincible, The Wild Storm (Image); Black Panther (Marvel)
F) Walden Wong: All-New X-Men, Astonishing X-men, Black Panther, Inhumans, Kingpin, Star Lord, Venom X-Men Blue (Marvel); Harbinger: Renegade (Valiant)

Props award: Ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencil artists.

A) Marc Deering: All-New Wolverine, Black Panther, Star Wars: Dr. Aphra (Marvel)
B) Michelle Delecki: Catwoman: Election Night, The New Gods Special (DC)
C) Daniel Henriques: Green Lanterns, Justice League, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Supergirl (DC)
D) Tony Kordos: Batman & Robin Eternal, Cyborg, Flash, Justice League: Darkseid War (DC)
E) Jason Paz: Deathstroke, Justice League, Wonder Woman (DC)
F) Joe Prado: Justice League Of America: Rebirth, Green Lanterns, Superman (DC)

The S.P.A.M.I: Favorite Small Press And Mainstream/Independent ink work over another pencil artist (non-Marvel or DC work).

A) Sal Buscema: Rom (IDW)
B) Irene Flores: Hi-Fi Fight Club/Heavy Vinyl (Boom Studios)
C) Stefano Gaudiano: Manifest Destiny, Walking Dead (Image)
D) Mark Morales: Immortal Brothers: The Tale Of The Green Knight (Image)
E) Rodney Ramos: Normandy Gold (Titan Comics)
F) Robin Riggs: Black (Black Mask Comics)
G) Ryan Winn: Eternity, Divinity III (Valiant)

All-in-one award: Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencil work.

A) Mitch Gerads: Mister Miracle (DC)
B) Joelle Jones: Lady Killer 2 (Dark Horse); Batman (DC)
C) David Marquez: Civil War 2, The Defenders, (Marvel)
D) Terry Moore: Motor Girl (Abstract Studios)
E) Dan Panosian: Slots (Image)
F) Stan Sakai: Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse)
G) Liam Sharp: Justice League, Wonder Woman (DC)
H) Mico Suayan: Bloodshot Salvation (Valiant)

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH INTERVIEWS: Rylend Grant Creator/Writer for Aberrant 

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 07:24

First Comics News: So why did you decide to make “Aberrant?”

Rylend Grant: I’m a screenwriter by trade. I’ve been paid handsomely to write poppy Hollywood action movies for about 12 years. I’ve penned scripts for folks like Ridley Scott, Justin Lin, F. Gary Gray, John Woo, and Luke Besson. I’ve rewritten some stuff you’ve seen, I have a ton of projects in the pipe/in development but I don’t actually have my name on anything yet.

Hollywood has changed a ton in the past few years. It’s become almost entirely IP (Intellectual Property) driven. The studios aren’t interested in original ideas anymore. Every movie that gets made needs to be based on something… a book, a video game, a comic, whatever. After a few years of pushing our original script bolder uphill, my writing partner (for the film/TV stuff) Dikran Ornekian and I came up with a whacky idea. If Hollywood wanted IP, we’d give it to them. We took an idea we’d had for years, something we’d tried unsuccessfully to sell several times as a pitch or a spec script and turned it into a short story. We got that published and then we had a bidding war for the movie rights overnight. We had Justin Lin on one side, coming off of his FAST 5 success/the largest summer opening in Universal history and Robert Deniro and Brett Ratner on the other. Folks in town thought that sale was a fluke at first, but then we did it THREE more times, setting projects up with Fast 8/Straight Outta Compton Director F. Gary Gray, Game of Thrones Director/Producer Matt Shakman, and most recently with Tony/Grammy award-winning star of Hamilton on Broadway Daveed Diggs.

Writing those short stories was really fulfilling. The success in Hollywood was great, obviously, but more than that… for the first time in a long (long enough) career, I was writing stuff that people were actually reading/experiencing.

Comics had been my first love since I was a kid. I was one of the rubes roped in by DC’s Death of Superman arc, but what really changed my whole worldview/blew my mind was that Image revolution in the 90’s. As I started exploring writing in other mediums, comics was an obvious fit. I actually almost dove into that proverbial pond in college – I wish I had, my career might be very different right now – but getting a book drawn/colored/lettered was crazy hard back then. You basically had to know an artist that lived in your town. You were dealing with physical drawings. People were coloring and lettering by hand. Basically, I tried, but I just couldn’t get the collaborators together.

Over the last few years, with digital workflow and social media (deviant art, facebook groups and the like) this stuff has just gotten SO MUCH easier. I organize/moderate GETTING YOUR FIRST COMIC PUBLISHED panels at cons a lot (most recently at WonderCon) and I preach this all the time: It has never been easier/more possible to get your comic made than it is right this second. I have four titles in the works right now. I have artists working in Brazil, Mexico, and Hungary. My go-to colorist is in Indonesia. My letterer is UK-based. We communicate almost exclusively via email. I pay them through PayPal. This wouldn’t have been possible (at least not this possible) even five years ago.

I guess that’s just a long-winded way of saying, I always wanted to make Aberrant – more than anything actually – but it never quite seemed doable until right now.

The funny thing is, I’m coming up with fewer and fewer movie ideas now. Most everything I drum up these days is better suited for comics. It’d be nice, obviously, but I just don’t care anymore if these stories ever become movies. So few films get made these days, it’s really heartbreaking… but I can write a comic script, hand it off to an artist friend, and have pages back in a day or two. It’s really fulfilling. After 12 years of writing movies that didn’t get made, I actually cried when I got the first test pages back on Aberrant… and if you know me, I’m definitely not the sort of guy that cries.

1st: Can you tell us a little about the plot in “Aberrant”?

Rylend: David, a U.S. Army Special Operations Commander, distraught after losing his entire unit to a superhuman attack, wages an absolutely brutal one-man war on the eccentric billionaire and former superhero, Lance Cordrey, whom he believes is ultimately responsible. That is until Nelson Little, the head of a clandestine paramilitary outfit called Article 13, presents David with evidence that Cordrey may be a patsy, that David’s men were killed as part of a vast and twisted government/military conspiracy. Armed with this new information, David sets out to dismantle the machine of said conspiracy piece by human piece while coming to terms with his own mysteriously emerging superpowers and wrestling with sincere doubts about Little’s trustworthiness.

1st: What is Article 13?

Rylend: Short and sweet, Article 13 is a component command of S.O.C.O.M. (United States Special Operations Command = BAD dudes) that guards the line between things human and superhuman.

The slightly longer version? Article 13 was inspired by the early days of America’s JSOC military unit (Joint Special Operations Command), the black ops force that took down Bin Laden. In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration – specifically Dick Cheney – turned JSOC into a global capturing and killing machine. Read up on them. It’s fascinating. Even today, our (meaning the United States) entire war on terror is being fought by these guys. They aren’t subject to oversight by the Joint Chiefs or Congress like a traditional military unit. They report directly to the executive branch of our government, meaning the office of the President… and that’s all kinds of twisted and messed up.

The bleeding heart-types love to pin this whole deal on W. Bush/think of it as a Republican problem. Don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not preaching here. I’m a zealous moderate. I’m equally disgusted with people on both sides of the aisle. But the first thing Obama did after taking office was triple the size of JSOC, so both parties have dirty hands. Article 13 was born from a simple question: What would JSOC necessarily look like if our world were teeming with superpowered individuals?

1st: Why are David and Lance Cordrey enemies?

Rylend: That’s a great question, but I have to be careful how I answer it. Our story takes a number of bold twists and turns over the course of ten issues and I necessarily don’t want to give too much away. As I alluded to before, David – a Special Operations commander – loses his entire unit to a superhuman attack and he wholeheartedly believes that Lance Cordrey is responsible. It won’t take David long to find out that Cordrey isn’t quite as culpable as he initially thought. In fact, Cordrey might be getting kicked in the mouth with the same boot David is if you get my drift.

1st: What do you mean by this is a filmic tale?

Rylend: I’m a screenwriter by trade. I have an undergraduate degree in film history and I have a Masters degree in film directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory. So, I tend to approach crafting comics exactly like I would approach directing a film. In fact, I went so far as to give myself a writer/director credit in ABERRANT. There will probably be a few comic-types out there that’ll want to kick my ass over that, but screw them, I think it suits the book.

In crafting ABERRANT, I went out of my way to channel the spirit of some of my favorite paranoid spy/action thrillers from the ‘70s like THE CONVERSATION and MARATHON MAN. In fact, my go-to elevator pitch is always something along the lines of: “ABERRANT is a military-slanted THREE DAYS OF A CONDOR (the 1975 Sidney Lumet mindbender). You know… if there was a snarling superpowered badass waiting around every corner, hell-bent on stomping a mudhole in Robert Redford.” Tell me that doesn’t sound fun.

My hope is that when you read ABERRANT, you experience the same euphoric intellectual adrenaline rush I experienced watching modern CONDOR-inspired Hollywood thrillers like Tony Gilroy’s MICHAEL CLAYTON or Tony Scott’s ENEMY OF THE STATE.

There are other, more specific “filmic” touches here too. Each issue has a sort of Hollywood-movie-like company credit roll at the beginning. We’re more careful about shot selection than your average creators. It’s all standard master/coverage stuff here. We’re sticklers for the 180-degree rule (check your filmmaking 101 handbook).

The coolest bit? Each issue of ABERRANT packed with music, which is really a rarity in comics. I wanted the book to feel like a really great action movie, obviously… Well, really great action movies always have REALLY great soundtracks. It wasn’t easy to pull off. Clearing music for use in print publications is costly and time-consuming, but it was well worth it in the end. I think the music is incorporated in a really clever way here. We’ve definitely produced something that people haven’t seen before. We have hit songs from artists like Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, The Temptations, Bobby McFerrin, Wilson Phillips, and R. Kelly in the first trade and – no lie – I’m trying to get Kenny Loggins to do an original song for the 2nd series. My friends have been trying to convince me to make up a Spotify playlist.

1st: What kind of person will enjoy this comic?

Rylend: Every new FAST & FURIOUS movie makes about a billion dollars worldwide. EVERYONE sees them… and EVERYONE walks out of the theater smiling. I’ve written for the directors of 5 of those movies. I’ve got the formula down. I’d like to think that anyone who gets excited about those movies will flip for ABERRANT. Just give it a chance, huh?

1st: Who is the artist on “Aberrant” and what do you think of their art?

Rylend: Two part answer…

Issue 1 was drawn by a Hungarian artist named Zsombor Huszka. His art is raw and unkempt in the BEST way imaginable. It’s a stiff glass of bourbon, a quick kick to the Jimmy. He is ungodly talented and wildly in demand and so he was, unfortunately (unfortunate for ABERRANT, not for him) hired away from me to draw an animated feature of his creation – a samurai-western mash up – called ORIENT CITY… something he co-directed with a really prolific pit bull of a filmmaker named Ryan Colucci (SUBURBAN COWBOY). If you haven’t seen it… OH, MY GOD… GO… GO NOW… It will blow your mind. It’s so good, so wildly inventive. If you’re interested in making comics or movies, this really is a master class on world building.

Issues 2–10 were then drawn by a very close friend of mine, a Brazilian artist named Davi Leon Dias. As I said, I have a few other books in the pipe right now and Davi has drawn some of those/really hit it out of the park. His style is a bit cleaner and more elegant than Zsombor’s (again, no slight meant to either, these are two crazy talented guys). Davi’s art is a glass of fine white wine, a romantic dance with a beautiful woman. He’s exactly what publishers are looking for these days. There is so much humor in what he draws, too. He has me roaring twice a day with some fit of craziness.

1st: Is there any chance “Aberrant” could become an animated movie or series?

Rylend: It’s funny that you say that. I don’t know that this has been made public yet, but the animation rights to the book were quickly scooped up by a legit player in the animation game, Spoke Lane Entertainment, producers of the award-winning animated films BATTLE FOR TERRA and the aforementioned ORIENT CITY. I’ll be co-directing with Zsombor. The film is being produced by Colucci. These are really smart guys. We’re full steam ahead and I’m really happy with the way things are shaping up.

1st: Which other comic book besides “Aberrant” that you worked on would you most recommend?

Rylend: I worked on a politically charged book about a rogue superhero with a pair of ass-kicking Brazilian artists (Fabio Alves – pencils/inks & Edson Ferreira – Colors) that I think will have a lot of people talking… cheering or pissing and moaning, depending on who they voted for (again, I’m a moderate. I delight in angering BOTH liberals and conservatives). I’m really hoping to see that in stores sometime next year.

And Davi and I are working on another book, a Tokusatsu joint. Tokusatsu, for the uninitiated, is the Japanese sci-fi action genre (Voltron, Ultraman, Power Rangers) that includes Kaiju (monster movies like Godzilla). I’m actually co-writing the series with a guy named Brad Warner, who – in addition to being a wildly popular author of Zen Buddhist books (read HARDCORE ZEN, it will change your life) – worked as an executive in Japan for 12+ years for a company called Tsuburaya Productions, which was founded by the guy who created Godzilla… they make all of the Ultraman shows now. That project is really shaping up nicely and will be ready to shop when we take ABERRANT to San Diego Comic Con.

1st: You wrote a novel “Bobbi” what is it all about?

Rylend: I can’t say too much here because it hasn’t been released yet (novels take years to find their ways into stores), but BOBBI is a small sci-fi thriller in the vein of EX-MACHINA or GATTACA. It’s got a great kick-you-in-the-teeth twist at the end. I think folks will really dig it.

1st: You’re a Pro Wrestling fan who are some of your favorites and why?

Rylend: As I type this, I’m actually staring at the Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Macho Man Randy Savage LJN action figures in my office and grinning from ear to ear. I LOVE old school WWF/WCW. I’m a child of the ‘80s and still a rabid, unapologetic consumer of all of its pop culture fair.

This will sound INSANE, but I actually own the world’s largest collections of major league baseballs autographed by professional wrestlers. Macho Man, Ric Flair, Rick Rude, Brutus Beefcake, Kurt Henning, I literally have dozens more. I just started collecting them over the years because they were weird. Now, folks just give them to me.

Those guys were my favorites. They were just larger than life. Big, bold characters. Watching Saturday morning wrestling as a kid was probably my first substantial writing lesson. The stories were so engaging, so simple, so clean. When I sit down to write a screenplay now, I’m still channeling that stuff, still praying I can create characters as memorable as Vince McMahon and his troupe did back then.

Actually, one of the best days of my life was when I finally got to meet Hulk Hogan. He was just the ABSOLUTE MAN when we were kids. There was no bigger star. A mutual friend introduced us at a convention. This is going to sound completely weird, but I teach Zen meditation on the side. The temple where I teach needed a picture for their website. Most of the other teachers just handed over a generic picture of themselves in their robes. I wanted to make a splash. So, I brought my robes with me to meet Hogan. To this day, my “teacher” picture on the temple website is me, in my robes, standing next to a flexing Hulk Hogan. It’s incredible.

I also once drank WAY too many beers with a slurring, expletive-spewing Brutus Beefcake backstage at the Iron Sheik Roast at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. But that’s probably a story for another time…

1st: What superpower would you most like to have and why?

Rylend: I actually already have a superpower. I can HEAR naked people. It’s incredible and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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

Rylend: Aberrant – Issue 1 is currently available for preorder with the Diamond item code APR181190. You can preorder the special “William Dee Williams – Aberrant Works EVERY time” variant edition (by Issues 2-10 artist Davi Leon Dias) with Diamond item code APR181191. Preorders drive EVERYTHING, so if it sounds interesting to you, please head down to your local comic shop and tell them you want it. It’ll be in shops proper on June 27th, 2018.

 

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

PORTAL BOUND #1 preview

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 07:05

PORTAL BOUND #1

Mark Roslan; Gabe Carrasco – Story  / Alex Arizmendi – Art / Wes Hartman – Colors

 

Their Future Depends on Each Other in Aspen’s newest series!

 

The warrior world of Havos is in peril! The megalomaniac Emperor Atilus, and his bio-mechanical beasts known as the Fymiera are hell bent on a plot that spells doom for their parallel world, Earth! Enter: Sybil, a soldier princess who has come to Earth seeking aid from the only person on the planet who can help her take down the Emperor: 17-year old high school student, Elias Rivera. Teamed up with the brilliant scientist, Riley, and the quick-witted Brett, in order to save both worlds, Elias and Sybil will have to fight as one… literally.

 

Don’t miss the premiere issue to Aspen’s brand new action-adventure saga from writers Mark Roslan (BubbleGun, Broken Pieces) and newcomer Gabe Carrasco, with artist Alex Arizmendi (Edge of Venomverse: War Stories, Secret Empire: Brave New World) as they bring us a tale of two earths in need of two heroes!

 

PORTAL BOUND #1 is in stores April 4th, 2018!

FC                               32 pages                                 $3.99

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

THE AVENGERS WILL FIGHT AS ONE!

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 21:14

Introducing the all-new Avengers roster: Iron Man & Captain Marvel!

New York, NY—March 28, 2018—In the wake of NO SURRENDER, a new AVENGERS team will rise, and a brand-new, epic story by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness will begin!

AVENGERS #1 will reunite the powerful Big Three, with Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man joining Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Hulk (Jennifer Walters) and Doctor Strange as they fight as one to save the world from one of their most powerful enemies yet.

Check out your first look at the new Avengers team, drawn by celebrated 2018 Young Gun Pepe Larraz! This art will be available as special character lithos starting this May, as part of Marvel’s AVENGERS #1 celebration. Retailers can find more information in this week’s Marvel Mailer.

AVENGERS #1
Written by JASON AARON
Art and Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
On Sale 5/2/18

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Wonder Woman & La Borinqueña team up for the RICANSTRUCTION!

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:23

Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuiliding Puerto Rico is an anthology featuring contributions from writers and artists from the comic book industry like Gail Simone, Greg Pak, Reginald Hudlin, Denys Cowan, Tony Daniel, Ken Lashley, Bill Sienkiewicz, Yanick Paquette, Gabby Rivera, Will Rosado, Jorge Jimenez, Mike Allred, Chris Sotomayor, to Puerto Rican and Latinx celebrities like Rosario Dawson, Rubén Blades, Javier Muñoz, Sonia Manzano and over 100 more. Produced and also featuring stories written by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, this anthology teams up his original character LA BORINQUEÑA with some of the most iconic comic book heroes of all time from DC COMICSWonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Aquaman, The Flash and many others. Original stories also take us to the past to explore the beautiful history of PUERTO RICO as well as tales that envision a stronger and rebuilt island. 100% of the proceeds from this anthology will go to the continued work to help over 3 million Americans living in Puerto Rico, providing solar-powered lamps, food, clothing and so much more. These short stories remind us all that the true power of being a hero is inside each of us. When we come together as a united people, we will never be defeated! ¡El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido!

Thanks to DC for generously giving our studio, Somos Arte, permission to use some of DC’s iconic characters in original stories for this anthology, whose proceeds Somos Arte will contribute towards the continued hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

PREORDER YOUR COPY ON AMAZON CLICK HERE

RETAILER FOR WHOLESALE/BULK PURPOSES CLICK HERE

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RIPLEY JOINS THE EAGLEMOSS CREW IN TIME FOR ALIEN DAY 2018!

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:17

Month-long Celebration of Sci-Fi’s Most Terrifying Film Franchises Kicks Off with Ultimate Giveaway

 

(March 28, 2018 – New York, NY) – She’s arguably the most beloved character from the Alien movie franchise – at least among the humans.  She’s certainly the most badass.  Now she’s finally back where she belongs – together with her USCSS Nostromo crewmates and xenomorphs of every size, shape and disposition in the Official Alien & Predator Figurine Collection from Eaglemoss Collections.

 

This is the 1:16 scale figurine fans and collectors have been asking for – and Eaglemoss is thrilled to introduce the original Lt. Ellen Ripley to the collection just in time for this year’s Alien Day. The annual celebration of all things Alien related is held on April 26th and commemorates LV-426, the moon of the planet where the Alien saga began.

 

Ripley’s arrival also coincides with the start of this year’s “Alien Day Ultimate Giveaway.” This easy-to- enter online sweeps (shop.eaglemoss.com/usa/alienday2018) will award more than 200 prizes, including five Grand Prizes of a special edition set of large format statues – the 12.5” Mega Xenomorph and the 13.5” Mega Predator. Ten First Prize winners will receive a complete set of figurines from the original Alien consisting of Ripley, Dallas, Parker, Lambert, Brett, Kane and, of course, the original Xenomorph.

 

Additional prizes include pairs of figures from the Alien & Predator Figurine Collection and officially licensed Alien & Predator Collection T-shirts. Winners will be selected and announced on Alien Day, April 26, 2018.

 

For official rules and to enter, fans are asked to go to shop.eaglemoss.com/usa/alienday2018. Once there, they can simply provide their name and valid e-mail address and they’re in! No purchase is necessary to enter the Alien Day Ultimate Giveaway.

 

The promotion is meant to drive fan attention to the Official Alien & Predator Figurine Collection, the most extensive range of classic characters and creatures ever assembled from the Alien, Predator, AVP and Prometheus movie franchises. Officially authorized by Twentieth Century FOX Consumer Products, each figure is presented in realistic detail at 1:16 scale (about 5-1/2 inches tall) and in an iconic pose taken right from the movies. The collection is available by subscription, in leading comic shops and online at shop.eaglemoss.com. At the online shop, fans will enjoy 15% off all regular issue figurines from the collection, plus an additional 20% off with the purchase of 2 or more Alien and Predator items and use of the code ALIEN.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

DEATH OF…

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:10

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

ASPEN COMICS REVEALS FAN EXPO DALLAS 2018 EXCLUSIVE AND CREATOR APPEARANCES

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:08

Aspen Comics has debuted their full guest list of creators appearing at Fan Expo Dallas 2018 on April 6th – 8th. The publisher is continuing their 15-Year Anniversary with an ambitious con tour schedule. Aspen creators Frank Mastromauro (Shrugged, Overtaken), Peter Steigerwald (Kick Ass, The ZooHunters), Mark Roslan (Portal Bound, BubbleGun), Gabe Carrasco (Portal Bound) and Wes Hartman (Soulfire, Portal Bound) will be appearing at the Aspen Comics Booth #417 all weekend long to meet with fans and sign autographs.

 

The publisher will be premiering their all-new series Portal Bound at the show with a special con-exclusive Portal Bound #1 Fan Expo Dallas 2018 exclusive cover by Mirka Andolfo with colors by Wes Hartman, limited to 200 copies. Co-creators Roslan and Carrasco, along with Hartman, will all be in attendance at the Aspen Comics Booth #417 all weekend long. Solicitation for Portal Bound #1 reads:

 

Their Future Depends on Each Other in Aspen’s newest series! The warrior world of Havos is in peril! The megalomaniac Emperor Atilus, and his bio-mechanical beasts known as the Fymiera are hell bent on a plot that spells doom for their parallel world, Earth! Enter: Sybil, a soldier princess who has come to Earth seeking aid from the only person on the planet who can help her take down the Emperor: 17-year old high school student, Elias Rivera. Teamed up with the brilliant scientist, Riley, and the quick-witted Brett, in order to save both worlds, Elias and Sybil will have to fight as one… literally. Don’t miss the premiere issue to Aspen’s brand new action-adventure saga from writers Mark Roslan (BubbleGun, Broken Pieces) and newcomer Gabe Carrasco, with artist Alex Arizmendi (Edge of Venomverse: War Stories, Secret Empire: Brave New World) as they bring us a tale of two earths in need of two heroes!

 

Aspen Comics will have limited copies of their recent con-exclusive variant covers including Jirni #1, Shrugged #1 and Charismagic #1 available at the Aspen Comics Booth as well. Aspen will also be offering prints, merchandise and more.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

3/30 – 4/1: Awesome Con 2018

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:05

Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2018) – The sixth annual Awesome Con by LeftField Media, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier pop culture convention, is excited to announce programming highlights planned during the show from March 30-April 1. Fans of comics, technology, science, television and film, custom art, and over-the-top cosplay can dive into hundreds of hours of panels, workshops and more at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mt Vernon Pl NW). A full programming schedule is available now at www.awesomecon.com, where attendees can also reserve tickets for daily passes, weekend passes, and exclusive limited-access events with stars from the worlds of film, comics, and more.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

Smithsonian Magazine Future Con

Awesome Con is proud to bring back Smithsonian magazine Future Con, highlighting the intersections of science, technology, and science fiction inside D.C.’s largest pop culture event. An Awesome Con badge allows access to Smithsonian magazine Future Con guests, booths, and events including exclusive screenings, demos of the latest advancements in tech, and more.

Science of “Black Panther”

Shattering the glass ceiling can be tough, but shattering the glass (Marvel Cinematic) universe can seem impossible. However, “Black Panther” continues to shatter movie records and science stereotypes. An expert panel will explore the realities and the possibilities of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) in the film, the intersection of pop culture, Africa and Afrofuturism, and how imagination and innovation translates into art, awesome technology, and rewarding careers.

  • Date: Friday, March 30
  • Time: 4:00 PM
  • Location: Ballroom

 

Netflix’s “Lost In Space” Exclusive Screening and Discussion

Catch an exclusive screening of the first episode of “Lost in Space,” premiering worldwide April 13. The screening will be followed by discussion with “Lost in Space” Executive Producers and Writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, scientists Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar (President/CEO, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration), Dr. John Grunsfeld (Astronaut/Scientist/Explorer), and Dr. David Grinspoon (Astrobiologist, Science Communicator and Author). Panelists will touch on the themes of the show in the context of space travel, space exploration, and the possibility of finding life in the universe, all considering the big question: how close are we to seeing the world depicted in “Lost in Space?”

  • Date: Saturday, March 31
  • Time: 1:30 PM
  • Location: Main Stage

 

BB-8 and the Future of Droids

Come learn more about the technology behind your favorite droids in a galaxy far, far away! Lucasfilm’s Matt Denton, Electronics Design and Development Supervisor, and Josh Lee, Senior Animatronic Designer, discuss fan-favorite droid BB-8, their inspiration behind the design, and how creativity is driving the future of robotics.

  • Date: Saturday, March 31
  • Time: 3:15 PM
  • Location: Ballroom

The Science of Mad Science

Rich DeVaul, Director of Mad Science at X – The Moonshot Factory, will show how the company brings science-fiction sounding technologies like driverless cars and balloon-powered internet to life.

  • Date: Saturday, March 31
  • Time: 12:00 PM
  • Location: Main Stage

 

Pride Alley Presented by Geeks OUT

Awesome Con partners with Geeks OUT for the second year to present Pride Alley, shining a spotlight on LGBTQ creators and fans at the show. A more robust dedicated section of Artist Alley within Awesome Con will feature more LGBTQ creators than ever before, and three days of panels and special events promoting and facilitating discussion about the modern queer geek community.

John Boyega Panel

John Boyega (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Pacific Rim: Uprising”) will host a wide-ranging Q&A session to discuss his exciting career and to answer questions from the audience on Awesome Con’s Main Stage on Saturday, March 31. The panel is open to Saturday and Weekend pass holders on a first come, first served basis, but attendees can reserve a ticket for $75 that guarantees a seat in the Main Stage’s first 10 rows, or a ticket for $150 that guarantees a seat in the center of the first 4 rows.

  • Date: Saturday, March 31
  • Time: 6:00 PM
  • Location: Main Stage

DC Comics Writer Panel and Meet & Greet

Friday, March 30 brings celebrated writers and artists Tom King, Frank Tieri, Joshua Williamson, Sam Humphries, Matthew Rosenberg, and James Tynion IV together for an intimate hour-long Q&A with attendees. Tickets for this special experience are available for $100 and include an autographed variant comic cover featuring each guest’s work, a photo opportunity with all the guests, and up to five autographs from each guest. Attendees must also have a Friday pass or Weekend pass to Awesome Con.

  • Date: Friday, March 30
  • Time: 6:30 PM
  • Location: 203

Batman Metal Q&A and Meet & Greet

The creative minds behind Batman comic miniseries “Dark Nights: Metal” come together at Awesome Con for a Batman Metal Q&A and Meet & Greet on Saturday, March 31. Artist Greg Capullo, writer Scott Snyder, and inker Jonathan Glapion host a private one-hour Q&A with attendees, who will each receive a color Greg Capullo Batman print, a black-and-white Greg Capullo Batman print, and an inked Batman variant comic book cover by Jonathan Glapion. The iconic trio of guests will sign the prints and comic cover along with up to five items per attendee. Tickets are available for $100 and attendees must also have a Saturday day pass or Awesome Con Weekend pass.

  • Date: Saturday, March 31
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Location: 203

 

“Star Wars” Exhibits Presented by Lucasfilm

Fans of the most recent “Stars Wars” films will love stopping by Awesome Con to check out official props and a collection of complete costumes from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” on display in Awesome Con Jr on the show floor. BB-8 makes special scheduled appearances throughout the weekend for photo opps.

  • Date: Saturday, March 31
  • Time: 12:00 PM; 4:30 PM
  • Location: Autographing, Table 15

Awesome Con Jr Easter Egg Hunt

Awesome Con is hosting an Awesome Egg Hunt for kids 10 and under on Sunday morning when the doors open at 10:00 AM! Eggs will be hidden in the Awesome Con Jr area on the show floor for little ones to collect. All kids ages 10 and under are welcome to participate (must have valid Awesome Con kids badges to participate.) Golden eggs will contain special prizes from Awesome Con and partners. The Easter Bunny will also be making a special stop at Awesome Con Jr at Booth 221 on Sunday, April 1 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM for photo opportunities.

  • Date: Sunday, April 1
  • Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Location: Awesome Con Jr

GUEST HIGHLIGHTS:

  • John Boyega(Pacific Rim: Uprising, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Cast: Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Sean Gunn (Kraglin)
  • Stephen Amell(Arrow, New Girl, Private Practice)
  • John Barrowman(Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Torchwood, Doctor Who)
  • Cress Williams(Black Lightning, Prison Break, Hart of Dixie)
  • Tom Welling(Smallville, Lucifer)
  • Michael Rosenbaum(Smallville, Guardians of the Guardians Vol. 2, IMPASTOR)
  • Joonas Suotamo(Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story)
  • Ben Savage(Boy Meets World, Girls Meet World, Chuck, Dear John, Little Monsters, Without a Trace)
  • Will Friedle(Boy Meets World, Girls Meets World, Batman Beyond, Kim Possible, Guardians of the Galaxy animated series)
  • Rider Strong(Boy Meets World, Girl Meets World, Cabin Fever)
  • Charisma Carpenter(Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel)
  • Phil LaMarr(Futurama, Samurai Jack, Pulp Fiction, Justice League Unlimited, Mad TV, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

WHEN:  Friday, March 30; exhibit hall hours 12pm – 8pm, programming until 10pm

Saturday, March 31; exhibit hall hours 10am – 8pm, programming until 10pm

Sunday, April 1; exhibit hall hours 10am – 5pm

 

WHEREWalter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mt. Vernon Pl NW

Washington, DC 20001

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

THE AVENGERS WILL FIGHT AS ONE!

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:00

Introducing the all-new Avengers roster: Black Panther and Thor!

New York, NY—March 28, 2018—In the wake of NO SURRENDER, a new AVENGERS team will rise, and a brand-new, epic story by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness will begin!

AVENGERS #1 will reunite the powerful Big Three, with Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man joining Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Hulk (Jennifer Walters) and Doctor Strange as they fight as one to save the world from their most powerful enemies yet.

Check out your first look at the new Avengers team, drawn by celebrated 2018 Young Gun Pepe Larraz! This art will be available as special character lithos starting this May, as part of Marvel’s AVENGERS #1 celebration. Retailers can find more information in this week’s Marvel Mailer.

AVENGERS #1

Written by JASON AARON

Art and Cover by ED MCGUINNESS

On Sale 5/2/18

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Valiant Heads To C2E2 2018 with Panels, Exclusives, and More Surprises!

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 19:58

Chicago’s biggest pop culture convention of the year is right around the corner, and Valiant will be there with a spectacular slate of panels, signings, exclusives, apparel, merchandise, graphic novels, and even a HARBINGER WARS 2-themed beer!

From Friday, April 6th through Sunday, April 8th, join Valiant inside Chicago’s McCormick Place at Booth #317 for a complete selection of trade paperbacks and deluxe hardcovers from the largest independent superhero universe in comics today, with critically acclaimed and award-winning titles including X-O MANOWAR, SECRET WEAPONS, BLOODSHOT SALVATION, BRITANNIA, DIVINITY, FAITH, QUANTUM AND WOODY, and many more!

Also, be sure not to miss the SHADOWMAN (2018) #1 C2E2 Exclusive Variant, featuring a stunning limited-edition cover by high-octane artist Stephen Segovia (Action Comics)! In the epic tradition of X-O MANOWAR and BLOODSHOT REBORN, a staggering new beginning for Valiant’s supernatural icon starts here with PART ONE of “FEAR OF THE DARK” – a tense and gripping three-issue introduction pushing Jack Boniface to the farthest edge of fear itself…and into a startling, adrenaline-fueled fight for survival as Shadowman takes command of the birthright he was born to uphold!

Plus: Get ready for the all-star talent charging into the Valiant booth for signings and free sketches, including Stephen Segovia (SHADOWMAN) and New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR, Mind MGMT)!

Next: Valiant has partnered once again with Pipeworks Brewing Co. for the LIVEWIRE RASPBERRY IPA WITH LIME, a new limited-edition brew created to celebrate the upcoming HARBINGER WARS 2 – Valiant’s seismic six-part crossover event combining the talents of X-O MANOWAR creative team Matt Kindt and Tomás Giorello with SECRET WEAPONS creative team Eric Heisserer, Raúl Allén, and Patricia Martín! A portion of the proceeds from all sales of the LIVEWIRE RASPBERRY IPA WITH LIME will benefit Hope for the Day (HFTD.ORG), a Chicago-based proactive suicide prevention and mental health education non-profit.

Pipeworks Brewing Co.’s LIVEWIRE RASPBERRY IPA WITH LIME is a limited release and will be available in select Illinois and New York bottle shops. Find participating retailers and distributors via Pipeworks’ location page, or visit them directly Thursday through Saturday at the Pipeworks Brewing Co. Bottle Shop (3912 W Mclean Ave., Chicago, IL 60647).

Then, head to Room S405a on Friday, April 6th at 5:30 pm for the Valiant Presents: Harbinger Wars 2 and Beyond panel presentation! This summer, HARBINGER WARS 2 – Valiant’s biggest, most ambitious and most impactful comic book event of all time – is about to erupt in full force! The Valiant Universe will never be the same as X-O Manowar, the Harbinger Renegades, Bloodshot, Secret Weapons, and a cast of thousands draw their battle lines in HARBINGER WARS 2! Valiant’s next major leap forward starts here with exclusive announcements and artwork, first at C2E2 2018! Plus: SHADOWMAN, BLOODSHOT SALVATION, NINJA-K, QUANTUM AND WOODY!, and much, much more!

The excitement continues on Saturday, April 7th at 5:15 pm in Room S405b for Valiant Presents: Shadowman Spotlight! This March, Shadowman – more powerful, more terrifying, and more relentless than ever before – storms to the forefront of the Valiant Universe in an adrenaline-fueled ongoing series from superstar writer Andy Diggle and high-octane artist Stephen Segovia! Now, with a staggering new beginning for New Orleans’ supernatural guardian just around the corner, find out what the future holds for one of 2018’s most anticipated new series as Valiant assembles an all-star panel of staff and creators to reveal never-before-seen news and artwork, first at C2E2!

Finally, join us on Sunday, April 8th at 12:15 pm in Room S405b for Valiant: The Craft of Comics! Join some of the talented creators and staff behind Valiant’s slate of critically acclaimed comic series for a candid, behind-the-scenes panel discussion! Find out just what it takes to put together a compelling story from start to finish, how to make your series stand apart, and how the editorial process functions at the highest levels – from the award-winning industry veterans behind the Valiant Universe’s greatest hits and a host of fan-favorite titles, including X-O MANOWAR, BLOODSHOT SALVATION, DIVINITY, and more!

We’ll see you in the Windy City!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

C2E2 2018: BRIAN WOOD PENS AN ACTION-PACKED TERMINATOR ADVENTURE!

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 19:56

“Terminator: Sector War” Debuts at Dark Horse This Summer

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (March 28, 2018)—Dark Horse Comics has teamed up with writer Brian Wood (Aliens Defiance, Briggs Land) and artist Jeff Stokely (The Spire, Six-Gun Gorilla) for a brand new four-issue Terminator series, Terminator: Sector War.

Many are familiar with the story of The Terminator’s time-traveling quest to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor in Los Angeles. Adding a new spin to the timeline, Terminator: Sector Wars follows a second Terminator sent to 1984 New York City to take out NYPD Officer Lucy Castro, a rookie cop assigned to one of the worst sections of the city. When she faces off against the relentless T-800, she will have to rely on unlikely allies to survive till dawn as the machine that never sleeps stalks his prey through the city that never sleeps.

With Brian Wood’s experience writing some of the best licensed sci-fi at Dark Horse Comics, including the hit series Aliens: Defiance, and with Stokley’s kinetic art, this is Terminator at its best!

Terminator: Sector War #1 (of four) goes on sale August 15, 2018, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Legendary Graphic Novel Publisher Humanoids Announces New Literary Imprint LIFE DRAWN

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 19:53

March 28, 2018: Humanoids, the publisher of some of the world’s most iconic and groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy graphic novels, is launching a new literary imprint in 2018, timed to the company’s 20th anniversary of publishing its acclaimed books in the United States. Best known for seminal genre works including The Incal (Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mœbius) and The Metabarons (Jodorowsky, Gimenez) and internationally renowned creators, including Milo Manara and Jose Ladronn, Humanoids will make a bold break from tradition with its new endeavor. Launching on April 4th, the LIFE DRAWN imprint will publish graphic novels featuring deeply personal and powerful political narratives; these are stories grounded in life on earth, not among the stars.

 

“Since its inception in the ’70s, Humanoids has published some of the greatest science fiction and fantasy tales ever told—including international best sellers such as The Incal and The Metabarons,” said Humanoids CEO and Publisher, Fabrice Giger. “After so many years of exploring imaginary universes, I felt the urgency for us to also explore . . . real life. Our new imprint LIFE DRAWN will bring our readers down to earth, where humanity is just as captivating as any alien world. With LIFE DRAWN, Humanoids is committed to publishing diverse voices and stories from different points of view, whether it’s powerful political and personal stories from Afghanistan or Vietnam or a biography of Hedy Lamarr.”


LIFE DRAWN’s debut season features titles representing a wide spectrum of art styles, tone, and social and cultural perspectives:

Kabul Disco: How I Managed Not to Be Abducted in Afghanistan by Nicolas Wild

Publication date: April 4, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594658686; 160 Pages; $19.95

LIFE DRAWN debuts with the first volume of a satire-laced travel memoir by cartoonist Nicolas Wild about his experiences in Afghanistan, drawing an adaptation of of the Afghan constitution. Wild provides insights into international politics, a war-ravaged country and the lives of his fellow expatriates. In a dazzling passage, Wild explores the fragile state of American democracy through the story of a woman who was working for the Bush campaign in 2000 and was responsible for vote counting in one of Florida’s three counties, ultimately making the fateful phone call that helped swing the election. Acclaimed cartoonist Guy Delisle (Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea) declares that Wild’s “satirical and at times absurdist perspective plunges us into the daily life of a group of expatriates in the heart of Kabul, a city still reeling from the last war. His witty sense of humor makes him an excellent travel companion.” Book Two will be published in September.

Vietnamese Memories: Leaving Saigon by award-winning writer and artist Clément Baloup

Publication date: May 29, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594656583; 164 Pages; $19.95

The first of a three-volume testimonial to the courage and endurance of five different families displaced from their native country by war and colonialism and forced to assimilate in unfamiliar lands, watching their heritage slowly disappear. As Doan Hoang, the award-winning director of Oh, Saigon, says in her introduction of Book One, “History is mostly told by the privileged and powerful, and rarely by those who are most affected. . . . In this sumptuously beautiful and important graphic novel, you will intimately bear witness to what so few in the world have been privy to.”

Luisa: Now and Then by Carole Maurel, Adapted by‎ Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer)

Publication date: June 20, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594656439; 272 Pages; $29.95

A queer transformative tale about self-acceptance and sexuality, written and illustrated by Carole Maurel and adapted by national bestseller Mariko Tamaki, Caldecott Award–winning creator of This One Summer. A disillusioned photographer has a chance encounter with her lost teenage self who has miraculously traveled into the future. Together, both women ultimately discover who they really are, finding the courage to live life by being true to themselves. The book will be published in June, timed to Pride Month.

Madame Cat by Nancy Peña

Publication date: July 4, 2018; ISBN: 978-1594658136; 128 pages; $12.95

Hilarious vignettes presenting the love, laughter and frustrations of a pet who thinks she’s an owner! With narrative mastery, creator Nancy Peña brings us bite-sized sketches that appeal to cat lovers of all ages.

 

With upcoming releases dedicated to subjects as diverse as the life of Hedy Lamarr and the New York Marathon, Humanoids’ LIFE DRAWN imprint will capture deeply personal stories that run the gamut from political travelogues to coming-of-age and coming-out stories. For more updates on LIFE DRAWN, follow Humanoids on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

About the LIFE DRAWN Creators:

 

Comic book writer Nicolas Wild finds inspiration in the Indo-European world, and has earned critical acclaim with titles such as Kabul Disco and Silent was Zarathustra. He currently resides in Strasbourg, France.


Clément Baloup, acclaimed cartoonist of Vietnamese and French heritage, is exploring their stories and struggles in gripping and moving graphic novels. Clément Baloup has an atypical artistic trajectory through comics, moving from his experience as a comics reader to his artwork as a professional cartoonist.

 

Carole Maurel worked as a graphist and animator for TV programs, before she published her first graphic novel Les Chroniques Mauves, a collective work about the lesbian community. She has since published several graphic novels, always a characteristic mix of feminine sensibilities and humor.

 

Mariko Tamaki‘s works include the comics This One Summer (First Second/Groundwood Books), Skim (Groundwood Books), with Jillian Tamaki, Emiko Superstar (DC Comics), with Steve Rolston, and the YA novel (You) Set Me on Fire (Penguin Canada). Her upcoming YA novel, Saving Montgomery Sole (Roaring Brook Press), is about unsolved mysteries, California and frozen yogurt. You can read all about her adventures at marikotamaki.blogspot.com.

 

Nancy Peña is an author with a very distinctive style, one sure to delight readers. As an artist, her drawings are inspired by engravings, creating whimsically appealing pages. She is an Art Academy teacher in France and has published more than 12 graphic novels.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SCOOBY-DOO’S LEADING LADIES STAR IN THEIR VERY OWN LIVE-ACTION FEATURE FILM “DAPHNE & VELMA”

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 05:01

(March 27, 2018 – Burbank, CA) – Jeepers! Your favorite mystery solving teenagers are back in an all-new, live-action feature length movie! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release “Daphne & Velma” on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on May 22, 2018. The film stars Sarah Jeffery (Disney’s “Descendants: Wicked World”) and Sarah Gilman (ABC’s “Last Man Standing”), and is produced by Ashley Tisdale and Jennifer Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Productions. “Daphne & Velma” will carry a suggested retail price of $19.98 for the DVD and $24.98 for the Blu-ray.

State of the art robots and high-tech gadgets are common sights at Ridge Valley High, an innovative center of learning for some of the brightest minds in the country, including new transfer student, the bright & optimistic Daphne Blake (Sarah Jeffery) who is excited to finally go to school with her online bestie, the whip-smart & analytical Velma Dinkley (Sarah Gilman). But not everything is as innocent as it seems as mysterious disappearances begin to plague the top-performing students on campus. Once cheery and full of life, kids now appear in a “zombiefied” state – lifeless and shells of themselves. Can Daphne and Velma learn to work together and save the students or will they become the next victims? Get ready for thrills and laughs as we follow the first adventures of Mystery Inc.’s fierce female duo.

“Daphne and Velma, the smart and resourceful women of Scooby-Doo fame, come to life in this all-new mystery,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WBHE, Vice President, TV Marketing, Family & Animation. “Young girls will be delighted to discover how these clever heroines come together for their very first mystery demonstrating that no mystery is too big for these ‘meddling’ girls to solve!”

“Daphne & Velma” is produced by Blue Ribbon Content and Blondie Girl Productions with Production Services provided by Lifeboat Productions Inc. Ashley Tisdale (“Young & Hungry”), Jennifer Tisdale (“Her Universe Fashion Show”), Amy Kim (“Confess,” “Chosen”), Jaime Burke (“Cassandra French’s Finishing School,” “Quantum Break”) and Suzi Yoonessi (“Olive and Mochha: First Kiss”) serve as producers, with Yoonessi also directing from a script written by Kyle Mack & Caitlin Meares.

Bonus Features:

“Daphne & Velma: A New Ambition”
“An Updated Classic Mystery”
“Iconic Styles of Daphne & Velma Reimagined”
Gag Reel
Digital HD:
“Daphne & Velma” will be available to own on Digital HD. Digital HD allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital HD is available from various digital retailers including Amazon Video, CinemaNow, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage through participating UltraViolet retail services including CinemaNow, Vudu and Flixster Video.

Basics:
Street Date: May 22, 2018
Order Due Date: April 17, 2018
Total Runtime: 72 minutes
SD: $19.98 SRP
BD: $24.98 SRP

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

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