Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Joe's Comics' TEN GRAND Comes to Image

From Image:

The solicitations that went out the weekend of February 16th confirm the news: the relaunch of Joe's Comics, the imprint that created Midnight Nation and Rising Stars, is officially underway with the first of what will be an entire line of new, original titles.

TEN GRAND, the first title to come out from Joe's Comics, will be published by Image Comics and officially debut May 1st, with a convention variant to be unveiled at C2E2 in Chicago the week before.

The premise: Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agrees to one last job, little realizing that the man he's been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survives Joe's attempt and comes after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lies dying, an angelic force promises that if Joel agrees to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn't most people.

The return of Joe's Comics has been in the works for several years, awaiting the right time to go forth.

"The temptation to bring back Joe's Comics has been very powerful over the last few years,” said creator J. Michael Straczynski, "but I really wanted to wait until I had a collection of stories that I absolutely had to tell, that, like Midnight Nation, wouldn't let me go until they were told. Stories that could be dark, funny, deeply personal but also played out on a large stage in terms of action. As those started to show up over the last few years – often in the middle of the night, which is why Joe's Comics bears the slugline 'where it's always five minute to midnight' – I began to pull them together until I felt I had what I needed, and made the deal with Image to move forward.”

The art on TEN GRAND (interiors and covers) is being provided by Ben Templesmith, the New York Times best-selling Australian comic artist and writer most widely known for co-creating 30 Days of Night with Steve Niles and Fell with Warren Ellis.

"How could I say no to working with the guy that created Babylon 5, that fairly well shaped how I think about science fiction and long form TV?” Templesmith said. "It was an honor to be asked and I can but hope to rise to the occasion.”

Straczynski spoke about TEN GRAND to MTVGeek , which also ran an exclusive preview of Templesmith's interior art.

Issues #1 and #2 will also feature variant covers by Bill Sienkiewicz as well as Phantom variants. Like the other Joe's Comics titles, TEN GRAND will run in twelve-issue installments, with two to three months in between each installment to make any corrections and get ahead on finished books.

"Watching this project come together with JMS and Ben has been thrilling,” said Patricia Tallman, CEO of Studio JMS, parent company of Joe's Comics. "The ideas and concepts flying between them are so edgy and awesome, I can't wait to share them with fans everywhere. Hang on, you're in for one hell of a ride!”

Phil Smith, production editor for Joe's Comics, had this to say: "Whenever someone suggests a small way to do something, Joe comes back with 'Why don't we do it bigger?' Bigger? In an age of figuring how to get something for nothing, Joe is pushing himself and his work to the cutting edge. Tapping not just the best creators but the right creators to express, not just his ideas, but their artistic ideas through his name branded line of books, will, again, set a new standard in the world of creator-owned works.”

"The most important thing we would do with this launch was, and is, to ensure that the issues hit retailers on schedule,” Straczynski said. "So we started early, stockpiling scripts and art. We had our first lettered, finished issue last November, for a book that wouldn't be coming out until May.”

In keeping with the innovation and experimentation that has been the hallmark of Joe's Comics, readers will find a QR code in the back of the first issue that will lead them directly to an audio performance of the book's dialogue by some of the top voice actors in the business, including Babylon 5 alumnus Robin Atkin Downes, Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt.

"We wanted to give readers an option of reading the book in the usual way, or sitting back to listen to the parts being performed while enjoying Ben's amazing artwork. We're very happy with how the first staged reading worked out,” Straczynski said, "and if there's enough demand, we may do more of these in the future.”

TEN GRAND #1 is available for pre-order in the March issue of Previews.

SIDEKICK, the second title to be launched from Joe's Comics, will debut at Comic-Con International in San Diego with a convention variant. This will be followed in the fall by ALONE and PROTECTORS, INC. (artist announcements pending).

Here's what some of the best lights in the comics business have to say about the first issue of TEN GRAND:

"Ten Grand is equal parts PI noir thriller and supernatural revenge tale. JMS is in cracking form as is Ben Templesmith's moody, disturbing art. Like its damned hero, Joe Fitzgerald, Ten Grand is worth every cent!”
– Andy Lanning (Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, Legion Lost)

"Ten Grand is grim and ugly and disturbing ... which is exactly the way it's supposed to be. This is Straczynski and Templesmith doing what they do best.”
– Ron Marz (Witchblade, Artifacts, Shinku, Green Lantern)

"Straczynski's new book brings the supernatural back down to earth in a way we haven't seen since John Constantine – all the way down to the bar, the back-alley and the gutter. Joe Fitzgerald is a hitman with values. Straczynki's hard-edged narrative is perfectly matched with Ben Templesmith's raw, uncompromising and hopefully beer-stained art.”
– David Hine (Spawn, The Darkness, Bulletproof Coffin, Storm Dogs)

"With Ten Grand, Straczynski and Templesmith deliver a heartbreaking story about a former hitman named Joe who, unfortunately for him and those around him, knows all too well that the reality we all know and love isn't the only reality out there. No, sir. There's also a reality where demons run amok, angels communicate by possessing the bodies of strippers, and a special keyboard shows you the real Internet. This is great stuff. More, please!”
– William Harms, award-winning writer of InFamous and Impaler

Sequential Pulp To Publish Edgar Rice Burroughs' JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN Graphic Novel

From Dark Horse:

Sequential Pulp Comics, a graphic novel imprint distributed by Dark Horse Comics, specializing in works of classic and pulp literature is proud to announce a new graphic novel based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic novel, Jungle Tales of Tarzan.

The one hundred and forty four page graphic novel will be authorized by ERB, Inc. through Sequential Pulp’s distribution arrangement with Dark Horse Comics. The book will be designed as an anthology collecting the twelve loosely connected short stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs chronicling the life of his most famous character, Tarzan of the Apes. All the events of the original work take place within chapter eleven of Tarzan of the Apes between Tarzan’s avenging of his ape foster mother’s death and his becoming the leader of his ape tribe. The original stories ran in Blue Book magazine from September 1916 through August 1917 prior to the book’s publication in 1919.

Writer Martin Powell will helm the graphic novel. Powell is well known for his work as the author of hundreds of science fiction, mystery, and horror stories. He has worked in the comic book industry since 1986, writing for Marvel, DC, Malibu, Caliber, Moonstone, and Disney, among others, and has been nominated for the coveted Eisner Award. He is also a respected and award winning author of children’s books, and frequently contributes prose for many short story anthologies. He resides in Saint Paul, MN.

Along with Powell, Sequential Pulp is bringing a veritable who’s who of exciting illustration talent.  With an amazing cover and specialty art by Daren Bader to exciting story art by Pablo Marcos, Terry Beatty, Will Meugniot, Nik Poliwko, Antonio Romero Olmedo, Mark Wheatley, Diana Leto, Steven E. Gordon, Lowell Isaac, Tom Floyd and Jamie Chase. Each story has been matched up with an artist whose passion and love for Burroughs’ Tarzan and specifically for the story selected will go a long way towards making this one highly anticipated book in the Tarzan canon.

Each story will run twelve pages in length and the book will be in full color. Sequential Pulp is planning a standard trade paperback and a very limited signature deluxe signed edition.

Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell return to FROM HELL, Jess Fink says WE CAN FIX IT!

In this month's DIAMOND PREVIEWS (for pre-order), we explore the past with two incredible books of the future: Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell reveal the secrets of their creative partnership on the legendary FROM HELL, and Jess Fink brings her erotic whimsy to bear on a hilarious and thoughtful sci-fi memoir.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dark Horse and Happygiant Announce Usagi Yojimbo Game

From Dark Horse:
New York, NY, ­February 22, 2013 - HappyGiant, in association with Dark Horse Comics, announce “Usagi Yojimbo: Way of The Ronin”, a game now available for iPhones & iPads, and coming soon to Android devices and desktop PC’s (

In conjunction with the release of the game, Dark Horse Comics is announcing the first new Usagi Yojimbo collection after a year hiatus working on 47 Ronin. The first new book will be Usagi Yojimbo: A Town Called Hell, which will see release on July 17.

Usagi Yojimbo is the beloved character and world created by award winning author and illustrator Stan Sakai, following the tales of a ronin (masterless samurai), set in feudal Japan. This is the first videogame based on the property in over 25 years and will introduce the epic series to a new generation of fans.

“It’s been far too long since the last Usagi game, and I am so excited to be working with HappyGiant to bring Usagi and his friends back to these new platforms,” said Stan Sakai, “The game turned out great!”

“Happy Giant is thrilled to be working with Stan Sakai and Dark Horse to bring Usagi Yojimbo to the mobile and gaming worlds”, said Michael Levine, CEO of HappyGiant. “This is one of the most treasured properties in the comics world, and we are proud to be adapting it as a game for fans, and for a new generation of fans who will discover it for the first time. This is a real labor of love.”

The title is a “2D side-scrolling hack-and-slash game”, done in the comic’s art style, and in the vein of the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade game, to which Usagi is often linked, as the characters have appeared in each other’s comics and TV series over the years. The game features over 60 different enemies, over 13 boss monsters and several of Usagi’s friends who fight along his side as companions.

About HappyGiant
Founded by veterans of LucasArts and Pileated Pictures (, HappyGiant develops and publishes games for mobile, tablets and emerging platforms.

About Dark Horse Comics
Founded in1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Felicia Day, Guillermo Del Toro and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties such as The Mask, Ghost, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys, Serenity, Game of Thrones and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

About Usagi Yojimbo
Usagi Yojimbo is a comic book series created by Stan Sakai in 1987. In 2011 IGN ranked Miyamoto Usagi in the top 100 comic books heroes of all time. Set primarily at the beginning of Edo period of Japan (early 17th century), with anthropomorphic animals replacing humans, the series features a rabbit ronin, Miyamoto Usagi, whom Stan Sakai based partially on the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Usagi wanders the land on a musha shugyo (warrior's pilgrimage) occasionally selling his services as a bodyguard. Usagi Yojimbo is heavily influenced by Japanese cinema and has included references to the work of Akira Kurosawa (the title of the series is derived from Kurosawa's 1960 film Yojimbo) and to icons of popular Japanese cinema such as Lone Wolf and Cub, Zatoichi, and Godzilla. The series is also influenced somewhat by Groo the Wanderer by Sergio Aragonés (Sakai is the letterer for that series), but the overall tone of Usagi Yojimbo is more serious and reflective.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Living to the Maximum While Making the Minimum

From Image:

Fumbling lives and loves, a New York City so real you can smell it, people with everyday problems, hopes, and heartbreak — this is the world of Bob Fingerman's Minimum Wage, a slice-of-life comic that captured a devoted following in the late 1990s. One of that following is Robert Kirkman, who writes the introduction to the definitive edition of Fingerman's seminal work, MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE, a hardcover collection to be released in March.

"Minimum Wage is an important comic," Kirkman writes in the introduction. "If I were tasked with introducing someone to comics in an attempt to make them love and cherish the medium as much as I do, I'd give them Watchmen, Bone, Savage Dragon, and Minimum Wage."

At the center of Minimum Wage are Rob and Sylvia, a freelance cartoonist and a beauty salon manager — young, in love, and just trying to make their way to their real lives. An array of vivid characters and New York City "personalities" round out the supporting cast. Fingerman's previous collection of Minimum Wage, Beg the Question, was nominated for two 2003 Eisner Awards (Best Graphic Novel — Reprint and Best Publication Design), one 2003 Harvey Award (Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work), and one 2003 Ignatz Award (Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection).

MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE includes the "lost" first issue of Minimum Wage, Minimum Wage Book One, as well as the script for the never-drawn eleventh issue, and an impressive collection of pin-ups by top comics artists, including Peter Bagge, Guy Davis, Dean Haspiel, Gilbert Hernandez, Joe Infurnani, Roger Langridge, Kevin Nowlan, Dave Johnson, Ted McKeever, Mike Mignola, Jill Thompson and more!

A 384-page, black-and-white hardcover book (with 16 pages in full-color), MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE will be in stores on March 20 and retail for $34.99. Its ISBN is 978-1-60706-674-3.


"Fingerman is a brilliant satirist, artist and mind.” ⎯ Trey Parker (South Park, The Book of Mormon)

"Bob Fingerman is a narrative master, as brilliantly adept with words as with images. His vision is urbane, riotous, and unflinching.” ⎯ Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude, Omega: The Unknown)

"Mr. Fingerman is a deeply talented, creative, and disturbed man.” — Max Brooks (World War Z)

"It doesn't seem fair that Bob Fingerman gets to be such a funny, savvy, cool and smart writer who can also draw. It gives him an advantage and I may need to have him assassinated.” — Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors)


"Fingerman's visual style is a witty combo of old-school underground-comics grunginess and new-school precision; his dialogue is worthy of the stage — it's terrific screwball-comedy byplay that rings true. A-” — Entertainment Weekly

"Fingerman's dialogue is biting and realistic, and his drawing is exceptional.” — Publishers Weekly

"Beg The Question's episodic, interwoven tales of career disappointments and romantic complications take on the mesmeric quality of a good soap opera…the writing and the art contain plenty of stark, truthful moments.” — The A.V. Club

"Fingerman depicts their eventful if directionless lives with humor and empathy… Anyone who has lived or envied la vie bohème should relate to this dead-on evocation of a contemporary version of it.” — Booklist

"Beg the Question is a coming-of-age graphic novel for twenty-somethings and anyone who remembers being that age. It is a funny, heartwarming, and poignant work. It helps make the case for comics being THE great American art form.” — The Comic Buyers' Guide

"…a meticulous, smutty, hilarious quasi-autobiographical slice of life about a young cartoonist maintaining grownup relationships while struggling to rise from the 'low-end of the New York food chain.' Funny if you've been there, even funnier if you still are.” — The New York Press

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Diggle and Jock's Snapshot #1 gets Snapped Up

From Image:

SNAPSHOT #1 by Andy Diggle and Jock, the Image Comics debut of the renowned creative team, has sold out after hitting stores on February 6. A second printing (JAN138087) is set to be on shelves on March 13.

The four-issue, black-and-white mini-series follows Jake Dobson, an ordinary comic book nerd who becomes entangled in a bizarre murder plot when he finds a cell phone with a gruesome photo stored on it. Now, whoever is responsible for the killing depicted wants the phone back and Jack out of the way... permanently!

To celebrate the success of SNAPSHOT — and as a nod to its City-by-the-Bay setting —James Sime, owner of Isotope Comic Book Lounge in San Francisco, is launching a special SNAPSHOT contest for fans of the book!

Simply take a picture of a staged "murder" on your cell phone and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #snapshotcomic or on the Tumblr page The pictures will be posted on the Tumblr page, and selected fans whose pictures are posted will receive a limited edition SNAPSHOT bookplate signed by the series creators. In addition, Diggle and Jock will choose their favorite picture as the grand prize winner, who will receive a piece of original art by Jock from SNAPSHOT!

"Diggle & Jock's SNAPSHOT is so great, definitely one of the best reads on store shelves!" said Sime. "And the action takes place in a comic store here in San Francisco? On Fell street at Gough?! The Isotope had to celebrate!"

The first issue has garnered excellent reviews:

"Reading Snaphot #1, the world that Jock draws has the paradoxical feeling of being both detailed and minimalistic at once. He is selective -- choosing to focus the reader's attention in certain places with densely rendered patches of texture and depth and in other places, using only a few lines to suggest space and presence. The reader gets a sense that every line was precisely placed and serves a purpose, just like how in good prose, every word counts."

- Comic Book Resources

"Jock and Diggle have established strong creative chemistry over the years, and Snapshot takes advantage of both creators' strengths to create a satisfying story with striking visuals."
-The A.V. Club

SNAPSHOT #2 will be in stores on March 6.

Monday, February 18, 2013

This May, One Adjective isn't Enough for Skullkickers!

From Image:

This May, Image Comics forces you to wonder why we keep pushing this silly comic book over and over again in a new adjective-laden comic called– THE ALL-NEW SECRET SKULLKICKERS!

"We can't stop now. It... it has a life of its own. This reboot-itis has permeated our souls,” said Image PR and Marketing Director Jennifer de Guzman. "I hated it at first but now it feels kind of good. Warm... safe... In a darkened world full of uncertainty it's all we have left.”

THE ALL-NEW SECRET SKULLKICKERS #1, written by promotional broken record Jim Zub and drawn by innocent mp3 Edwin Huang, continues the epic six-arc SKULLKICKERS storyline on a haunted island of mystery, apes and rampant violence. It's good.

"At this rate I figure we're still a couple months away from using up any goodwill I might have built up in this industry,” said series creator Jim Zub. "This is the kind of thing that can happen when you let creators write their own press releases.”

If you're a diehard collector of SKULLKICKERS who's sad that you won't have a SKULLKICKERS #22 to add to your collection, fret no longer. In addition to the regular "All-New Secret” cover we're offering a special "issue #22 variant” B cover to make sure your numbers stay in order. You can tell everyone you started reading "before they became horrible sell-outs.”

We're sick. We can't help it. Comic price guide makers will curse this stupid string of title changes for the rest of their natural lives. THE ALL-NEW SECRET SKULLKICKERS #1 will be available in May wherever fine comics are sold. Pre-order it now from the March issue of Previews and stop the hurting.

Simon Roy's Tiger Lung to Debut in Dark Horse Presents

From Dark Horse:

February 18, MILWAUKIE, OR–Set to hit the pages of Dark Horse’s Eisner-winning anthology, writer Simon Roy and artist Jason Wordie’s Tiger Lung is going back in time!

“The Tiger Lung concept is about taking the animist, shamanistic worldview of the hunter-gatherer and exploring what it would look and feel like to the shamans that literally lived within that worldview. Setting it in the ice age also gives us a chance to touch on more varied themes, too—mainly, how the world would have looked to humans who did not rule nature, but who were just a part of it,” explained Simon Roy.

Tiger Lung: Under the Ice is a story about Tiger Lung, an ice-age shaman, and his journey underneath a glacier and into the spirit world beneath it to retrieve the corpse of his father. But dark spirits abound beneath the ice, and should Tiger Lung fall, the souls of both him and his father will be trapped there forever.

“We found the format for Dark Horse Presents to be very interesting. It seemed to be well suited for exactly what we wanted to do with a Tiger Lung story—classic adventure!” added Jason Wordie. “Being that the format is split into three parts, it insured that we kept it fresh and exciting every step of the way, including lots of twists and turns. We focused on old-school serialized adventure, while also trying to bring in some more modern ideas.”

Catch Tiger Lung appearing in Dark Horse Presents #21, on sale Wednesday, February 20th.

Superbia #1 Goes to a Third Printing!

From BOOM!:

February 18th, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA – BOOM! Studios is proud to announce that GRACE RANDOLPH’S SUPURBIA #1 has completely sold out of its second printing at the distributor level and the publisher will be going to a third printing as BOOM! Studios works actively to meet market demand.

GRACE RANDOLPH’S SUPURBIA #1 third print will be available through Diamond Comic Distributors in the February 18th Previews Plus.

Comic book fans should keep in mind second printings of GRACE RANDOLPH’S SUPURBIA may still be found at the local comic shop nearest you. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use to find one!

Meet the Meta Legion, the world’s foremost faction of crime-fighting capes. But what happens when the masks come off and the heroes are faced with the sordid problems of everyday life in the suburbs? From rising star writer Grace Randolph (Marvel’s NATION X, HER-OES) and hot new talent Russell Dauterman, GRACE RANDOLPH’S SUPURBIA is a unique new twist on the superhero genre that appeals to both diehard fans and readers completely new to comics. New stories, new characters, new drama... Don’t miss out on what Bleeding Cool called “The Superhero Comic We’ve Been Waiting For”!

GRACE RANDOLPH’S SUPURBIA #1 third print ships with a must- have all new cover by Joshua Covey with colors by Gabriel Cassata, with a Diamond order code of JAN138116

Thursday, February 14, 2013

THE DREAM MERCHANT from Image Comics and Nathan Edmondson

From Image Comics:
THE DREAM MERCHANT from Image Comics and Nathan Edmondson

From Nathan Edmondson (DANCER, THE ACTIVITY) and newcomer Konstantin Novosadov comes THE DREAM MERCHANT, a sci-fi series from Image Comics, about Winslow, a troubled mental patient in his late teens. Winslow suffers from a recurring dream that grows more intense every night — and when he discovers its true meaning, the world will literally change.

A friend's comment led Edmondson to contemplate the idea behind THE DREAM MERCHANT. "I started thinking about dreams as something one could exchange, and trade," he said, in a mini-interview at the Image Comics blog, "which eventually yielded the idea behind Winslow's dream."

The task of depicting Winslow's dreamscapes, as well as the dreariness of his ordinary life, is in the hands of talented Russian artist Novsadov. His impressionistic, color-washed style is a perfect complement to Edmondson's story of the mysteries of dream life and fantasy.

Volume I of THE DREAM MERCHANT is a six-issue, full-color miniseries. The first issue (MAR130450) will be in stores May 15 and will be available for pre-order in the March issue of Previews. Readers who want a sneak peek in advance are invited to submit their dreams to a special Tumblr site,