Leave Your Spandex @t the Door: Indy News

Welcome to the 20th instalment of the new Leave Your Spandex @t the Door!

This week: I have managed to outdo myself in news this week, passing the maximum allowed character limit for a column on the Nexus! For that reason, the column will come twice this week. First the Indy News today, and the reviews tomorrow! Enjoy 🙂

Indy News & Views

12Gauge comics: James O’Barr and Cully Hamner join up

12 Gauge Comics’ President Keven Gardner announced today that his company has reached new working agreements with creators James O’Barr and Cully Hamner:

“This is exciting news for 12 Gauge!” Gardner said. “James O’Barr (creator of THE CROW, the best selling independent graphic novel of all time) is one of the most influential comic creators of the modern era and he is itching to get back on the scene. It’s very good news for the industry that James is ready to write stories and do sequential art again.”

James O’Barr had this to say: “12 Gauge is composed of people I like and admire and I’m happy to be counted among their pit-crew. In such worthwhile company, I look forward to having my turn behind the wheel of THE RIDE, taking on the challenge of adding my own special brand of depth, poetry — and a whole bunch of violence — to what is essentially one long car chase. I’m having fun doing comics again and that’s what brings out my best work.”

Gardner adds, “James is already at the drawing table and we should have something to show at the Heroes Con in Charlotte at the end of the month. James O’Barr fans everywhere will definitely be rewarded for their faithfulness!”

On another front, Cully Hamner, currently the artist of the smash-hit DC comic BLUE BEETLE, is coming on board at 12 Gauge as a creative consultant. Gardner said, “Cully was with us from day one, and has always been on hand to help and advise—its just time we made it official. He’s had so many irons in the fire over the past few years that he simply didn’t have time to commit in a way that worked for everyone. Recently, though, he’s felt comfortable enough to accept the title of creative consultant, with his focus on talent relations and story editing. On top of that, he has a few ideas rolling around in that dome of his that we hope to turn into comic books down the road.”

“I’m pumped to officially be with all my buddies at 12 Gauge” Hamner said. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in the middle of all this talent and positivity? I can’t wait for readers and fans to see the stuff we have in store for them.”

After Hours Press: Impossible Tales


NEW JERSEY – After Hours Press announces “IMPOSSIBLE TALES,” a new
comic book series that mixes sci-fi, adventure, and mythology in a
high-energy action series.

Written by Valiant Comics alumni Darren Sanchez (Celestial Alliance,
Armorines) and new talent Hassan Godwin, the first story arc hits the
stands August 9, 2006. Interior art is by Michael Harris and colors
are by the amazing David Brame. Marvel Comics fans will recognized
covers by Juan Doe, who is known for “X-Men: The 198” & “X-Men: Civil

All Impossible Tales stories will be told in two-issue arcs. In the
first story a young genius from the future becomes a fugitive in time
when he discovers the secret to TIME TRAVEL. In the race for his life
he accidentally strands himself — along with a luxury cruise ship and
crew — 65 million years back in time! Stuck on the lethal Cretaceous
Ocean with his time device fried, our science hero must figure out how
to get himself and the terrified crew of the Orca II, back home alive.
LOST meets JURASSIC PARK in this adventure.

“If you liked Back to the Future, or Planet of the Apes, then you will
love this book. It’s serious and realistic sci-fi stuff told with a
humorous feel. And the hero, Ray Wells, is a character that I could
write dozens of stories around,” says Darren Sanchez, creator and
Publisher of After Hours Press. “The look of the book came out better
than I could have hoped. The pencils are clean and sharp, and the
colors have a Monet-like water color look that I’ve never seen before
in a comic. It’s impressive for new, unpublished artists to have done
such a professional job. And it’s a look that you’ve never seen

PREVIEW ART: http://ahpcomics.com/comics/impossible/index.html

All Thumbs Press: cartoonists, drag queens, porn stars, and drunks

Justin Hall and All Thumbs Press has sent the Nexus the following letter for all his fans:

Hello there peoples!

This is your cordial invitation to the closing reception of “No Straight Lines: Queer Culture and the Comics” at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum (http://www.cartoonart.org) on this Thursday, June 22nd, from 7-9pm. This is the world’s first museum show devoted soley to the works of LGBT cartoonists, so come check it out! The reception is an Official Pride Week event, and is co-sponsored by the Queer Cultural Center (http://www.queerculturalcenter.org) and the GLBT Historical Society (http://www.glbthistory.org).

Special guests at the reception include several of the exhibition artists such as myself, Paige Braddock, and Ariel Schrag, along with entertainment by local celebrity drag queens Anna Conda, Kiddie, Downie Soft, Frieda Laye, Hoku Mama, and Glamamore. Come join this motley San Francisco crowd of cartoonists, messy queens, porn stars, and drunks to drag a museum into the cultural abyss! It’s free, and there are door prizes and booze!

Feel the love!

Justin Hall

Aspen: Shrugged #2 preview pages

Aspen has provided Newsarama with a preview of July’s Shrugged #2, by Michael Turner, Frank Mastromauro and Micah Gunnell. The solicitiation for the issue reads:


Michael Turner; Frank Mastromauro – writers / Micah Gunnell – pencils / Jason Gorder – inks / Beth Sotelo – colors

As Theo continues to unravel the puzzle that is his adolescent life, Ange and Dev begin to discover that something fishy is going on in their home world of Perspecta. Too bad they’re busy dealing with the What If Mafia, fire drills, and track meets to find out more! They won’t have to wait long for answers though, as the leader of Perspecta puts in motion a dastardly plan that spells bad news not only for Perespecta, but Earth as well!!

After experiencing the thrill of SHRUGGED #1, make sure to keep your seatbelts fastened because this ride is about to get a WHOLE LOT crazier!! From Michael Turner, the same creative mind behind the hit series Fathom and Soulfire, artist Micah Gunnell, inker Jason Gorder, and colorist Beth Sotelo, Aspen’s thrilled to offer you the next installment of comics newest hit franchise, SHRUGGED!! You won’t be disappointed!

FC/ $2.99

Ballantine: Kazu Kibuishi on FLIGHT vol. 3
Kazu Kibuishi is a creator who believes that a man can reach for the heavens above.
Originally published through Image Comics, comic book fans instantly fell in love with the wonderful stories within the two Flight compilations that’d been made available thus far.
Critics praised the efforts of both his and fellow creators who’re made up of rising stars as well as the comic, film and animation industries’ pros.
Last year, an established book trade publisher took notice.
It’s about to take flight again end of this month when Kibuishi and Ballantine Books present the third Flight anthology to an even wider audience.
The creator has made it known on his blog and related websites that he’s seen and read the published version of the new Flight. According to Kibuishi, it’s been an interesting journey. “I’m just glad that the dust is all settled so that we can focus on creating good content for the readers,” he told Newsarama. “With this book, I finally feel like we’re making major strides towards being a more professional outfit, since I was able pay advances against royalties to the artists, get proper contracts made out, and the book wasn’t rushed through the printing process. I remember thinking that the scheduling for Flight at Ballantine seemed so far ahead of what was necessary. It turned out that we would use nearly every day of that extra time, and we were able to produce the book at a comfortable pace so that we could get everything just right.”
Read the rest of the article at Newsarama, along with a lot of preview art from this beautiful tome

BlueWater Studios: Ray Harryhausen joins up


JUNE 14, 2006 — Filmmaker Ray Harryhausen has joined forces with BlueWater Productions on a series of new comic book ventures and merchandising under the “Ray Harryhausen Presents” banner. Harryhausen is now part of the BlueWater team developing projects that tap his extensive creative talents.

BlueWater will produce six titles with Harryhausen, advancing the adventures of the characters the filmmaker brought to life in his classic sci-fi and fantasy franchises. Slated for release later this year are “Wrath of the Titans,” “Sinbad’s Voyage to Mars” and “20 Million Miles From Earth.”

Plans for feature films and a television series are being developed by Left Field Film Corp.

Harryhausen will be at the San Diego Comic-Con July 21 and 22 with the BlueWater team, where he’ll sign posters from the upcoming series. Details will be available on the BlueWater website, www.bluewaterprod.com.

The collaborative projects will provide springboards for the next generation of characters based on Harryhausen’s films. Harryhausen also plans on crafting a story line featuring BlueWater’s signature character, the 10th Muse. “X-Men” author Scott Lobdell will write the updated “10th Muse” series based on Harryhausen’s take.

Each comic will feature five pages of original artwork from Harryhausen’s collection, thanks to a partnership with Every Picture Tells a Story, the Santa Monica-based gallery that sells the artist’s works. Harryhausen’s artwork also will grace the covers.

“As an artist, I’ve always enjoyed exploring new and interesting areas,” Harryhausen says. “Although many of my feature films, beginning with ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad,’ were adapted into the comic book format, I have never been directly involved with that particular art form — until now. I am very happy to be working with BlueWater Productions, who have already done wonderful work with their ’10th Muse’ and ‘Isis’ comic books, and look forward to seeing characters from my films in new and exciting adventures.”

BlueWater President Darren Davis says he’s humbled to have Harryhausen aboard. “Ray Harryhausen is one of the reasons I create comics. ‘Clash of the Titans’ made a priceless impression on my career. I’m honored to work with Ray. He inspired and motivated me to take ‘Legends’ into different media.”

BlueWater Art Director Nadir Balan is equally excited to work with Harryhausen. “Ray Harryhausen’s films have a timeless appeal that extends beyond special effects and monsters. My goal is to capture the essence and charm of his films and adapt them to action-packed comics so both new readers and existing fans can catch up on the ongoing adventures. I’m thrilled to be part of the team dreaming up new futures for these great characters.”

More projects showcasing the Harryhausen-BlueWater partnership are in the works and will be announced soon.

For more information and high-resolution images of the Harryhausen-BlueWater projects, contact BlueWater President Darren Davis at darrengd@aol.com

Brian Fies: Mom’s Cancer

When Brian Fies’ mother contracted lung cancer, he took on the challenge of chronicling her battle and his family’s struggle to cope with that battle in the online comic strip Mom’s Cancer. His exploration of his – and his mother’s struggles both struck a chord with audiences and has paid off – Fies won the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic and all the strips have been collected into a hardcover and released by Harry Abrams.

We spoke with Fies about the process and the collection.

Newsarama: This was something that you started as a very personal means of coping, so how did Mom’s Cancer get to the publisher Harry Abrams?

Brian Fies: I found out Abrams was interested before I found out I was nominated for Eisner Awards. What happened I finished up the web version around Thanksgiving 2004 and pretty quickly I started putting it in envelopes and mailing it out to publishers. I wanted to see if there was a chance for it to become a book. I heard through a cartooning friend named Pat Byrnes, who did a book called What Would Satan Do, that Abrams was doing cartoon books. I always thought of them as an art book publisher. But Pat said he was doing a book through them so I thought” “Well what the heck, I’ll put Abrams on my list.” I also sent it to all the usual places who publish graphic novels. Then around the beginning of 2005, my envelope ended up on the desk of Charlie Kochman at Abrams. Within a couple months, we were talking about a book contract and that’s about the same time I found out about the Eisner nomination.

NRAMA: That must have been pretty incredible. Did the book change from the web to book form?

BF: It changed a little bit. We probably added no more than five pages just to clarify things a bit. Certain things puzzled my editor but it’s probably 95 percent the same as it was online.

NRAMA: Do you think those pages helped?

BF: Yeah, in that case it was really just another set of eyes. I was obviously so deep into the story that things that seemed clear to me weren’t always clear to everybody else. One of the very nice things that came out of my work being serialized online was that I got a lot of feedback from readers. So by the time it got to Abrams some of that was taken care of already but my editor was able to look at it as an outside observer. One neat thing is my editor actually came up with the idea for the cover, which is a close up of one of my inside pages. He liked the horizontal panel split. He thought that communicated more than just a two panel thing so now it is like a window looking into this world. It’s a separation between what was going on with my mother between her head and her body. He really liked that and wanted to use that for the cover. So one of the nice things he suggested was, “let’s make the last page of the book, the very last page, a mirror of that horizontal split cover.” That made a nice bookend for the piece. I tease him now that his biggest contribution to my book is a page that has no words on it.

Read the rest of the interview at Newsarama.

BOOM! Studios: Planetary Brigade returns!
Boom studios has provided the Nexus with the solicitation and two covers for the new Planetary Brigade mini-series coming out in September.
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Drawn by Julia Bax
Old School cover by Keith Giffen $3.99
New School cover by Julia Bax $3.99
Full Color, 24 pp
Captain Valor! The Grim Knight! Mauve Visitor! Mr. Brilliant! Earth
Goddess! And introducing The Fighting Man! Now it can be told for the
first time – how the Planetary Brigade formed! A three issue
mini-series telling three different stories from three different eras
of the Brigade, but featuring one single villain, the nefarious MISTER
MASTER! In this issue – a Brigade formed! In this issue – a Brigadeer
quits! Man, that was fast, huh? More Bwah-ha-hilarity from Giffen
and DeMatteis, a follow-up to the sold-out critical fan favorite
Planetary Brigade mini-series!

BOOM! Studios: John Paul Leon on theBLVD Sketchbook

Far from the the traditional studio as artists banding together in a common working environment, the crew of theBLVD bonds through the magic of technology. This fall, Boom! Studios will publish theBLVD’s second sketchbook collective, featuring designs and character studies from the minds of Bernard Chang, Sean Chen, Tommy Lee Edwards, Trevor Goring, and John Paul Leon. We had a chance to chat with JP Leon about the studio, the sketchery, and the return of the Wintermen.

Newsarama: First, we should probably address the somewhat unusual nature of this sketchbook—it’s a showcase for a studio rather than a single artist. How did you get together with theBLVD crew, and what do you feel are the advantages of putting this together as a group effort?

JP Leon: We’ve all been friends for years. Most of us started working professionally in comics and/or illustration around the same time, the early 1990’s. Trevor Goring is the exception. Trevor’s been at this a lot longer.

I think there are great advantages to producing this sketchbook as a joint effort. First of all, you get a wider range of art styles than you might normally get if this were just a solo effort. Everything from pencil drawings to Photoshop-enhanced images are represented here. Also, with each of theBLVD artists currently working on various projects that often crisscross between fields, fans will be presented with a variety of problem solving techniques and solutions. Sean Chen and myself are mainly doing mainstream comics and licensing work right now. Bernard Chang has really been doing a lot of advertising illustration and storyboards. Trevor Goring has been working as a story board artist on major Hollywood films and completing his own, creator owned comic book series, Waterloo Sunset. Tommy Lee Edward’s work ranges from comics to illustration to conceptual design and beyond. Consider this sketchbook an “aesthetic potpourri” of sorts, with each artist contributing selections that range from fully realized and finished pieces to looser, more conceptual layouts and sketches along with each artist’s personal commentary accompanying the art.

Additionally, each of us have contributed an original short story to our respective sections. Never before seen material that I think makes this much more than just your average compilation of sketches and doodles. It’s a going to be a nice looking book

Another great reason to do this as a team is that we can reach a wider audience together. Fans who might be picking up the book because they are only familiar with one or two of us and not know who these other artists are will likely be turned on to the others. Personally, I’m so confident in the quality of this book and in the strength of each of the members of theBLVD as individual artists that I’m sure a lot of people will come away being turned on to something new.

Read the rest of the interview at Newsarama.

BOOM! Studios: Tommy Lee Edwards on theBLVD Sketchbook
theBLVD is a virtual studio, consisting of five of today’s leading comic book illustrators (who also are heavily involved in entertainment design). This August, Boom! Studios is releasing theBLVD SKETCHBOOK, featuring 120 pages from John Paul Leon, Bernard Chang, Sean Chen, Trevor Goring, and Tommy Lee Edwards.
Edwards, who — in addition to J. Michael Straczyinski’s upcoming “Bullet Points” and the recent “Question” series with Rick Veitch at DC — did design work on this month’s “Superman Returns,” took some time to talk about the “Sketchbook” and theBLVD.
CBR:As an artist, what’s the appeal of a sketchbook release?
TLE:I love sketchbooks. Most creative people enjoy getting insight into a creative process. Whether it be with drawings, paint, dance, film, music, writing, or whatever, the “behind the scenes” stuff is always fun and educational. “The BLVD Sketchbook 2.0” gets a bit more in-depth than our first volume. Each piece of art is accompanied by commentary from each artist, which informs on everything from a drawing’s process and medium, to the inner-workings of the art as a business.
CBR: theBLVD is a virtual studio. How does that work? Since it’s made possible by the internet (I assume), how much does it differ from a real studio?
TLE:The BLVD consists of Bernard Chang, John Paul Leon, Sean Chen, Trevor Goring, and me. We’re all pals, and have known each other for years. Many of us started-out together as illustrators in the early 1990s. Trevor has been at it for a lot longer than that. Anyway, as most freelance artists will relate, the five of us have our solitary studios in or behind our homes. The only real “interaction” we get with like-minded people is when we’re on a job that needs us to work on location. For me, that could mean spending a week at EA Games, or a few days at DreamWorks, or a month on a movie set. Trevor and I got to spend some time together in Sydney last year while he was working on the “Logan’s Run” remake, and I on “Superman Returns.” The interaction you get with other creative people is very important as a place to talk business, complain, ask advise, shoot ideas back and forth, get a critique, etc, etc. The BLVD guys all have that. We also work together a lot. We recommend each other for jobs, and help each other out when needed. I may help JP with the art chores on a comic, while he in-turn has aided me on video game and children’s book projects.
All of this is done in different cities, by the way. I’m in North Carolina. Trevor and Bernard are in LA. JP is in Miami. Sean is in New York. With email, FTP, and FedEx, there’s little need for us to work face-to-face.
The final “official” reason to form theBLVD was to give ourselves a presence at comic book conventions. We get more out of the cons by appearing as a group, and I think the fans do, too. We enjoy ourselves as a “studio,” are always willing to do con sketches and talk shop.
Read the rest of the interview at CBR

Citizen Press: Jonny Repeat interview
With a wonderful cadre of artists and a very passionate writer, this summer’s Johnny Repeat from Citizen Press is set to explode onto the comics scene at the San Diego Comicon. We spoke with the comic industry’s newest über-couple — the writer, Jason James, and his publisher and wife, Elizabeth James — about their journey thus far and the road ahead.
Not only did they answer our questions, but they also provided us with several copies of Johnny Repeat, which we’ll give away in a contest that starts tomorrow. Check back then, and be sure to read the interview for clues that might help you win the contest …
Blog@Newsarama: Tell us a little bit about Citizen Press and how it came to be.
Jason: It’s all Lizzie’s fault!
Elizabeth: Citizen Press was born on Valentine’s Day 2005. We were having dinner with Richard Bruning, senior VP-creative director, DC Comics, and Karen Berger, VP-executive editor, Vertigo, who were friends of ours from Jason’s Warner Bros. days. Jason had produced and co-wrote Gotham Girls and worked with Richard on the DC Comics website.
We were talking comics at one point during the dinner when Richard suggested the idea of self-publishing. Richard has always been a strong supporter of Jason’s writing and felt he should really consider getting something out there. And me? I instantly fell in love with the idea. Poor Richard and Karen! I must have grilled them for what was about an hour so, learning the ins and outs of comic book publishing.
Jason: I knew I was really in trouble on the drive home when Elizabeth nonchalantly said, “You know, we should do that.” Citizen Press. Entertainment for the People. Johnny Repeat. These were ideas that had been swirling in my head for years, but it wasn’t until Elizabeth nudged me that I was really able to start chasing my dream
Read the rest of the interview at Blog@Newsarama

Conceptopolis: Blood&Roses returns



June 16, 2006 – The girls of time are back in this new on-going comic book series. Blood and Rose’s creator Robert Wayne Hickey is at the helm writing the latest adventure where Blood and Roses meet up with a few old friends that older fans will recognize and new fans will love. Robert has hired Conceptopolis (an Intellectual Property management company) to promote the new comics and to ensure that it gets the press it deserves, while being able to concentrate on the series.

This new adventure is a great jumping on point where “Infinity”, home of the Time Lords, is under siege by enemies. Blood and Roses are the only survivors and now must continue the mission of restoring the timestone.

“Christiana Blood, a warrior from the time of the Crusades, refused the right to fight because she was a woman. Tamara Rose, a cop from the future, constantly at odds with the red tape of “the system”. Two rebels brought together by the Time Lords as agents to repair mistakes, distortions and the corruptions of the Timestream. Christiana and Tamara are Blood and Roses!”

It’s been a long time since those words have been in print. Robert Wayne Hickey is excited and wants to let fans know, “This latest Blood and Roses project has been a blast to produce! It’s been a while since we’ve seen the girls in action and I felt that the time was right to give long time fans what they wanted. Plus, I felt that it was time to introduce the girls to a new generation who would love to see some time traveling action in comics. Sci-Fi fans are in for a big treat, so sit back and enjoy the show!”

Look for the solicitation in PREVIEWS at your favorite comic book store now!

Afterburn Comics

24 pg. Illustrated with Grey tones, full color covers.
SRP $2.99 Bi-monthly


ISBN# 85454900022501011


Special Card Stock Cover.
By Robert Wayne, Frederico Zumel painted cover by Robert Wayne

24 pg. Illustrated with Grey tones, full color covers.
SRP $6.99 Bi-monthly

ISBN# 85454900022501111

BLOOD and ROSES: TIME LORDS SAGA #1 signed by Robert Wayne

Comes bagged and boarded with certificate of Authenticity.

24 pg. Illustrated with Grey tones, full color covers.
SRP $12.99 Bi-monthly

We will place stickers with Diamond item codes on the back of this product.


Afterburn Media was formed in 2005 as a small press comic book publisher, game publisher, commercial art studio and art supplier. It is the parent company for Blue Line Art and Afterburn Comics. Blue Line Art is the premier art store for the comic book industry, having supplied high quality products for over a decade. Afterburn Comics publishes the following comics titles: BLOOD AND ROSES, RACE DANGER , STORMQUEST, TEMPERED STEELE, WARLACE and DARKNESS CHRONICLES. For more information on Afterburn Comics and Afterburn Media, please visit the website: http://www.afterburnmedia.com


Conceptoplois was formed in 2006 to manage IP (Intellectual Property) specifically from the comic book and gaming industries. Conceptopolis consults with clients on intellectual property, marketing those creative properties to companies who have interests in developing toys, film and video games. For more information on Conceptopolis, or to inquire about IP management, please email Sara Hübrich at info@conceptopolis.com. Conceptopolis, where great ideas live.

Devil’s Due: G.I.Joe: declassified #1 limited exclusive cover

Racine, WI – June 19, 2006 – YoJoe.com and Devil’s Due Publishing, Inc. (DDP) are proud to announce a special team-up to bring consumers a limited, exclusive cover for Larry Hama’s long awaited return to G.I. JOE comics, in an all-new 3-issue limited series from DDP – G.I. JOE: DECLASSIFIED! G.I. JOE is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS).

The YoJoe.com (http://www.yojoe.com/) limited exclusive cover for G.I. JOE: DECLASSIFIED #1 is spectacularly drawn by Jeremy Haun (G.I. JOE SPECIAL MISSIONS: MANHATTAN, Battle Hymn, Paradigm) and colored by Steve Buccellato (X-Men, Batman, Amazing Spider-Man). This unique and iconic image of patriotism was inspired by the first panel of Marvel Comics’ G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #1, which was based on the many compelling images of the raising of the American flag throughout history.

Limited to just 1,000 copies, this exclusive will first be made available to attendees of the 2006 Hasbro International G.I. JOE Collectors’ Convention, being held June 29 through July 2 in New Orleans, LA. Convention copies will be available for $10 each (tax included) at the YoJoe.com booth.

Following the convention, remaining copies will be available online exclusively at the YoJoe.com Store (http://www.secure.figures.com/yojoe/catalog/). Online copies will be available for $10 plus shipping and handling. For any questions regarding the exclusive, please contact us at exclusive@yojoe.com.

Cover image can be found here – http://www.yojoe.com/exclusive/yojoedeclassified.shtml

In the face of growing threats to freedom, the U.S. creates an elite team of soldiers to become a daring new anti-terrorist force: G.I. JOE! The recruitment of the original 13 agents, and the missions that happened before G.I. JOE #1 are finally revealed! Also, a deadly anger brews in the heart of a frustrated used car salesman… COBRA is coming… Three issues of classic military action written by the man who started the whole saga! This is where all the death-defying action and military adventure you’ve come to know and love began. Featuring: HAWK! STALKER! SCARLETT! SNAKE-EYES! BREAKER! ROCK N’ ROLL! GRUNT! STEELER! CLUTCH! GRAND SLAM! SHORT-FUSE! FLASH! and ZAP! like you’ve never seen them before. Watch as they struggle, for the first time, against the forces of terror that threaten our nation. 48-pages, bi-monthly, written by Larry Hama (G.I. JOE, Wolverine), illustrated by Pat Quinn & Valentine DeLandro, and covers by Francis Manapul (Witchblade, Tomb Raider, Necromancer).

Devil’s Due: Reminding everyone that pop culture IS our culture.

Devil’s Due Publishing was formed in 1999 as both a commercial art studio and a small press comic book publisher. DDP’s first breakout success was 2001’s revamp of G.I. JOE, returning the long-lost 1980s characters to comics. Fans bought over 100,000 copies per month, immediately propelling G.I. JOE to the top of the charts. Today, DDP’s lineup includes FORGOTTEN REALMS, DRAGONLANCE, G.I. JOE, FAMILY GUY, eigoManga, Hack/Slash, Capcom’s Killer 7, Monkey Pharmacy’s Elsinore, and indie comics’ magazine Lo-Fi.

The Hasbro Properties Group (HPG), the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc., (NYSE:HAS), translates one of the industry’s richest portfolios of brands into a world of fun and excitement for children and adults globally. Through a host of publishing, digital media, lifestyle and entertainment platforms, HPG is able to surround fans worldwide with consumer products that expand Hasbro’s core brands, such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, MY LITTLE PONY, MONOPOLY, G.I. JOE, TONKA and PLAYSKOOL.

G.I. JOE and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc., and are used with permission

IDW Publishing: Fallen Angel #6 preview pages
IDW Publishing has provided CBR News with a look at the June 21st shipping “Fallen Angel” #6 by writer Peter David and artist J.K. Woodward. This issue begins a two-part story that picks up from the excommunicated angel’s fall from grace. In it, series artist J.K. Woodward debuts a new pen and ink style that captures the spirit of the tale. The solicitation text and preview images follow below
Fallen Angel #6
Peter David (w); J.K. Woodward (a&c) You’re an angel and you’ve just monumentally pissed off God. Stripped of your wings and pretty much everything else, you’re sent hurtling to Earth and crash land in a desert, where you’re found unconscious by passing Arab nomads. How do you handle what happens next? Come up with your own answer, and then compare it to that of Lee, the Fallen Angel. Written by New York Times Best-selling author Peter David (Spike: Old Times) with art by J.K. Woodward. Diamond Code: APR063221
$3.99 o FC o 32 pages

Markosia Comics to adapt Nassise’s Heretic: the Tamplar Chronicles book 1

Markosia Enterprises Ltd. is proud to announce that they have acquired the rights to adapt the top selling series of novels, THE TEMPLAR CHRONICLES, for comics. “HERETIC, book one of the Templar Chronicles, is the first in a new dark fantasy series by Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Award nominee Joe Nassise, in which modern Templar Knights act as a secret combat arm of the Vatican and are charged with defending mankind from the supernatural.

“We are very pleased to have the chance to work with Mr. Nassise”, stated Markosia Managing Partner and Director, Harry Markos. “HERETIC plays so nicely into such a visual medium as comics. I couldn’t put it down from the first minutes I started reading the book.”

The story takes place in the here and now. The ancient Templar Order has been resurrected as a secret combat arm of the Vatican, charged with defending mankind from the supernatural enemies that surround us. The world at large is unaware of the Order’s existence and the Templars take great pains to keep it that way. “Sometimes the Lord’s work is best accomplished in the shadows”, is a popular saying among the troops.

At center stage is Knight Commander Cade Williams, a veteran of the Order and a man torn between his thirst for vengeance and his need to discover what happened to him during an encounter with a supernatural entity five years before. Cade leads the famed Echo Team, a special forces-style unit that is called in only when the situation has become particularly dire. Echo is the best of the best, there is no doubt about that, but the fact that they are led by a man rumored to have more than a few unusual abilities of his own leave many within the Order more than a little uncomfortable in dealing with them.

Darkness surrounds us, even in the light of day, and the series is designed to reflect this. In the Templar world, all is not as it seems, and it is up to the Order to protect man from his own ignorance.

Adapting the book for comics will be Chuck Satterlee, who also writes THE LEXIAN CHRONICLES (issue 8-on) for Markosia as well as his two creator-owned series. (OF BITTER SOULS with Norm Breyfogle and SMOKE & MIRROR) The artist for the series will be newcomer and artist extraordinaire, Loren Meyer. Loren has been hard at work on the series for some time now and will be penciling, inking and coloring all issues.

“Joe and I have been working very closely on the series.” says Satterlee. “It has been wonderful getting to peek into Joe’s head for advice as we go. Adaptations are hard work as we need to fit an entire novel into a six-issue mini-series.”

The series will be solicited later this fall for a late 2006/early 2007 release.

Nassise, a former president of the Horror Writers Association, says “Script writer Chuck Satterlee has done a tremendous job of adapting the novel, with just the right amount of action and intrigue. When I saw his work paired with the art from Loren , I knew Markosia had put together a winning combination!”

Paper Dragonz: 48

Long awaited Sci-Fi noir comic series hits the stands July 1, 2006.

June 15, 2006 (Prairie Grove, AR) – For their freshman outing new publishing company Paper Dragonz announced today that the four issue Sci-Fi noir series “48” will make it’s debut at the Heroes Con in Charlotte NC June 30 th-July 2nd.

48 will be only the first of three intended limited series from the newest publisher on the scene, and will be followed later in the year by Steven Forbes’ and Dave Simons’ “Bullet Time” and “Fallen Justice” By Cary Kelley and Harold Edge.

“We’re pretty pleased with the results.” said Cary Kelley, the writer of 48, who also functions as the Art Director for Paper Dragonz. “We hit some snags production wise over the last several months that set us back, and we weren’t prepared to put out anything less than our best work, so we waited until it was right. Now is the time, Heroes is the place, and we think people will really enjoy the book.”

48 takes place roughly 30 years from now, and is the story of 23 clones who escape from a cloning facility and attempt to survive in the wild for a period of 4 years (or 48 months) until a loophole in the laws governing citizenship allow them to officially petition for rights. The story also tracks the lives of two last chance cops who are assigned to investigate a murder they were never meant to solve. When their paths inevitably cross those of the clones, all bets are off. This title is scheduled for a July 1 st release, with writing by Cary Kelley, and complete art by Geoff Mosse (A Day in the Psychosis of David Price). It will retail for $3.00 and be 40 pages Black and white, with a color cover.

“If you like stories like Bladerunner and Sin City, you’ll enjoy 48.” Kelley continues. “Geoff brings a really unique noir style to the book. You just don’t see the kind of detail he uses in comics much these days.” Mosse, who has published work with Chanting Monks Press, and SUMM Publications already has a large lead on the next issue, having completed the pencils for issue 2, and is hard at work on issue 3! “We never intended this book to be a monthly, but the fans can rest assured they will get the entire 4 issues of the series. We’re committed to completing every series we publish.”

For more information on these and other Paper Dragonz titles, visit them online at http://www.paperdraonz.com !
# # # #

Paper Dragonz is a comic book publisher founded in 2005 by Susan and Cary Kelley. Paper Dragonz currently self publishes. Visit Paper Dragonz online at http://www.paperdragonz.com .

Scott Sava: the Dreamland Chronicles nominated for awards

Scott Christian Sava’s acclaimed THE DREAMLAND CHRONICLES, which in January moved from a print comic to an online comic at http://www.dreamlandchronicles.com/, has been nominated in the Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards. THE DREAMLAND CHRONICLES was nominated in four categories: Outstanding Newcomer; Outstanding Character Art; Outstanding Environment Design; and Outstanding Fantasy Comic. Winners in the over 20 categories are announced July 17.

Sava’s online serialization of THE DREAMLAND CHRONICLES began with issue #1 in January 2006. Updated Daily, the last six months have seen the first 2.5 issues re-presented online. Never-before-seen pages of what would be Chapter 4 begin in July.

“It’s been great watching more and more readers find their way to DREAMLAND,” said Sava. “I’ve found literally hundreds of thousands of new readers online, and I’m really enjoying the daily interaction with them. Now being nominated for an award after only six months online is just…wow. I’m extremely flattered to be in the same categories as the many talented creators who’ve been doing this for years.”

As for the future of THE DREAMLAND CHRONICLES, Sava says, “Believe it or not, I am done with Chapters 4 and 5 already. I’m having a blast doing this and as the first story arc is completed online, fans can look forward to a collected and printed edition.”

THE DREAMLAND CHRONICLES, an all-ages 3D-rendered story from Spider-Man: Quality of Life and The Lab artist Scott Christian Sava, tells the story about a young boy named Alexander who has incredible adventures in Dreamland every night with his friends—Nastajia the elf princess, Paddington the rock boy, and Kiwi the fairy. On his twelfth birthday his dreams stop. Eight years later, Alexander has started dreaming again and finds himself in a world filled with giants, dragons, mermaids, and pirates. Dealing with everyday life as a college student is hard enough; now Alex must deal with nightly adventures in Dreamland and his newfound feelings for his childhood sweetheart, Nastajia the Elf princess.

The first collection of THE DREAMLAND CHRONICLES will be released in winter 2006/spring 2007 and will be a whopping 250+ pages. Sava anticipates eight full volumes chronicling Alexander’s incredible adventures in Dreamland.

The Web Cartoonist’s Choice Awards Committee is an independent organization dedicated to the promotion and recognition of online comics and their creators. According to Mark Mekkes, Chairman of the Committee, “Internet comics are a relatively new form of entertainment, but they’re definitely built on the shoulders of the art forms that preceded it. This [award] is one small attempt to broaden the recognition of what fellow cartoonists we can.” Nominations and voting is based on the choices of all online comic artists. Anyone with an online comic is eligible to nominate and vote for the comics to which they want to bring recognition.

Tim Fish update

When was the last time I wrote to you? I don’t know… but don’t think it means I don’t love you! Get this:

-Barnes & Noble Chelsea (675 6th Ave) with Abby Denson Friday 6/23 @ 7 PM. More tour dates & locations @ www.timfishworks.com

-STRUGGLERS is in stores now! ISBN 0-9762786-3-4

-CAVALCADE OF BOYS V1,2,3 have sold out! You might be able to find 2 or 3 still, but good luck. Jumbo all-in-one complete edition (552 pages) in stores August, or now @ in person events! ISBN 0-9762786-6-9

-SOMETHING FISHY THIS WAY COMES, anthology of off-beat mini comics created by yours truly from 1989-2006, in stores August, or now @ in person events! ISBN 0-9762786-5-0

-I am on hiatus from creating comics! After I finished SOMETHING… in May, I decided I needed a break! So I am taking it easy this month. In July, I pick up BABY MAKES THREE again… I am determined to finish it! I’ll keep you posted.

-In overseas news, I have illustrated a book cover for H&O Editions (the folks that brought CAVALCADE to France). It’s a prose novel, without pictures! It was fun to do the cover… I’ll post the graphic once they affix the title and their logo. H&O also plans to print issues 5,6,and 7 as a TPB soon. Yay.

That’s the good stuff… you can read the detail @ www.timfishworks.com

Top Cow: Witchblade #100 and Cyberforce #4 preview pages

Top Cow Productions has provided CBR News with previews of “Witchblade” #100 and “Cyberforce” #4, both arriving in stores this July.

Vertigo comics: $.25 FablesS #1 special edition


This October, just one week before the original hardcover graphic novel FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL is scheduled to arrive in stores, DC Comics will publish the FABLES #1 SPECIAL EDITION. This reprint of the Eisner Award-winning Vertigo series’ debut issue is specially priced at just $.25!

“This 25-cent edition of the very first issue (with some wonderful extra stuff) is our blatant attempt to reach those of you who love comics but haven’t yet tried FABLES,” says Willingham. “We want so much to lure you in the FABLES camp we’re willing to do absolutely anything. If it works, the entire run of FABLES stories is kept in print and waiting for you to discover them. And remember, any book you haven’t read yet is brand new. Isn’t that just too cool?”

Along with the classic story “Old Tales Revisited,” written by Bill Willingham with art by Lan Medina & Steve Leialoha and a cover by James Jean, the FABLES #1 SPECIAL EDITION includes a special sneak peek at FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL, plus an introduction by Willingham and advertisements highlighting FABLES collected editions and more!

The FABLES #1 SPECIAL EDITION and the FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL HC will be advance solicited in the July Previews (Volume XVI #7). The FABLES #1 SPECIAL EDITION is scheduled to arrive in stores on October 11. The FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL HC is scheduled to arrive in stores on October 18.

For more information on FABLES collected editions, please visit www.vertigobooks.com

Virgin comics: ready to launch

Next month, the comics market welcomes its newest – and most anticipated – player, as Virgin Comics launches its three debut titles: Devi, The Sadhu, and Snakewoman.
Given the name, Sir Richard Branson is involved – he’s at the top of the company, along with self-help guru Deepak Chopra, and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur. Heading up the day-to-day business side of things, Chopra’s son Gotham and Gotham Entertainment Group’s Sharad Devarajan.
As for a quick primer on the nuts and bolts – the company will have three lines, Shakti – which will be “Indian edged,” Director’s Cut – a place where Hollywood creators can come to tell their own stories; and Voices – an imprint for innovative creators.
Newsarama spoke with Gotham Chopra for a look inside the company, its titles, and its plans for the future.

VIZ Media: announces the release of first Rurouni Kenshin fiction novel

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the conclusion to its epic RUROUNI KENSHIN manga series with the release of Volume 28 on July 5. Fans need not despair – VIZ Media has just announced the release of the first RUROUNI KENSHIN fiction novel, VOYAGE TO THE MOON WORLD, to be released October 17. The novel, written by Kaoru Shizuka and published by VIZ Media, is the first offering in the SHONEN JUMP Fiction imprint and will retail for $9.99. VOYAGE TO THE MOON WORLD features the fan-favorite main character in a brand new adventure. VIZ Media will also release a new fantasy/action manga series, BUSO RENKIN, from RUROUNI KENSHIN creator Nobuhiro Watsuki on August 1. To add excitement to this announcement – it was just confirmed that Nobuhiro Watsuki will be VIZ Media’s guest at Comic-Con International in San Diego this July.

RUROUNI KENSHIN first appeared as a pair of separate short stories published in Japan in 1992 and 1993 in the manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. In 1994, Watsuki created an ongoing version that was published as a manga series. The title drew a massive fan base with its interweaving long story arcs, well-developed and often conflicted characters and accurate historical backdrops. A 95-episode anime series followed, as well as two OVA films and a feature length movie.

The novel, VOYAGE TO THE MOON WORLD is based on the popular manga. After years of bloodshed, Kenshin is now living peacefully in Tokyo at the Kamiya Kasshin-ryû dojo. But all that changes one afternoon when Tae from the Akabeko restaurant arrives with a pot of beef stew and a plea for help. What begins, as a simple case of a missing book soon becomes a dangerous mystery as Kenshin and his friends are tangled in deep secrets and dark plots! Also includes the story “Sanosuke and Nishik-e.”

The conclusion of the RUROUNI KENSHIN series is being celebrated in a multitude of ways by SHONEN JUMP magazine and VIZ Media. SHONEN JUMP magazine will feature many special previews and articles related to RUROUNI KENSHIN; the July 2006 issue (on newsstands June 6) will preview Kenshin creator Nobuhiro Watsuki’s new series, BUSO RENKIN, which will begin its graphic novel release under the SHONEN JUMP imprint from VIZ Media in August. The August 2006 issue (on newsstands July 4) will also include an excerpt of VOYAGE TO THE MOON WORLD. The September 2006 issue (on newsstands August 1) will contain a RUROUNI KENSHIN retrospective as well as “Yahiko no Sakabatô” (Yahiko’s reversed-edge sword), an exclusive manga one-shot from Kenshin creator Nobuhiro Watsuki, spun off from the RUROUNI KENSHIN storyline and no longer in print, even in Japan!

In addition, the final volume of RUROUNI KENSHIN will include a limited edition, exclusive double-sided poster showcasing a special RUROUNI KENSHIN 4-color illustration on one side, and on the other side, the covers of all 28 RUROUNI KENSHIN volumes! The final edition will also preview an excerpt of BUSO RENKIN.

In North America, the RUROUNI KENSHIN manga series has been a popular title in VIZ Media’s SHONEN JUMP manga imprint and several volumes were featured as best sellers on various national literary sales charts. Retail industry watchdog ICv2 named RUROUNI KENSHIN as the Top Manga Property of 2004 and the title was also the first graphic novel ever to make it on the USA TODAY Top 150 overall fiction list.

“It’s been a long and extremely successful run for the RUROUNI KENSHIN manga, and we are extremely pleased to offer fans a new RUROUNI KENSHIN novel that continues the adventures of everyone’s favorite swordsman,” states Yumi Hoashi, editor-in-chief of SHONEN JUMP and vice president, magazines, VIZ Media. “RUROUNI KENSHIN is a must-read for anyone interested in adventure, romance, history, and Japanese culture. We look forward to new and established fans of the series discovering the novel as well as the debut of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s new manga series, BUSO RENKIN, in August.”

Watsuki’s epic manga series about a vagabond swordsman is set during the Meiji era of Japan (1878), just as the country begins to have its self-imposed isolation ended by eager Western trade interests. Himura Kenshin, who carries a reverse-bladed sword and possesses an x-shaped scar on his cheek, is a rurouni, a wandering swordsman of utmost skill, who during the critical turning point of a war simply walked away. His travels lead him to Tokyo where he befriends a female Kendo master, a former thief, a brawler and a doctor – all with their own secrets. Together they fight an array of enemies surfacing from the dark past that Kenshin cannot escape while trying to help those they encounter during their journeys. The final volume of the series, Volume 28, will be out on July 5 and retails for $7.95.

VIZ Media celebrates 20 years

“Company Remains a Dominant Force Behind the Tremendous Popularity of Manga and Anime in North America”

VIZ Media began as Viz Communications, Inc. in 1986 and was formed by co-founders Seiji Horibuchi, who remains VIZ Media’s co-chairman and Satoru Fujii, who approached Shogakukan, Inc., one of Japan’s biggest publishing houses, about developing a vehicle that could publish popular manga (graphic novels) for English-speaking audiences. Horibuchi and Fujii were ardent manga and anime fans and Shogakukan was eager to offer its titles to a wider audience. While at the time, manga in North America initially existed as something of an anomaly, interest grew after VIZ published some of its first successful titles that included RANMA ½, AREA 88 and BATTLE ANGEL ALITA. In 1996, VIZ was catapulted into the mainstream of North American pop culture when it offered the first volume of what would become an anime phenomenon – POKéMON. The series about the adventures of wickedly cute Pikachu and his friends became a hugely successful runaway hit with millions of copies sold. A decade later POKéMON remains a strong title in company’s catalog. The success of the property also allowed VIZ to expand its repertoire and publish titles for older audiences with more refined tastes.

In 2003 Shueisha Inc. took a 50% ownership interest in VIZ and the company launched SHONEN JUMP magazine, marking another notable benchmark. The publication mirrored the popular manga anthologies in Japan that offered a variety of series each month. Many successful anime series initiallybegan in manga form in publications like these. With an affordable cover price and an expansive page count, SHONEN JUMP served as a launching vehicle for many successful VIZ series like DRAGON BALL Z, YU-GI-OH! and NARUTO. The magazine now touts a monthly circulation of 200,000 and has become the most successful manga monthly outside Japan. The success of SHONEN JUMP also led VIZ to launch a sister magazine, SHOJO BEAT, in 2005 which offers a similar format but with content geared towards the growing number of shôjo manga fans.

In 2005, VIZ merged with ShoPro Entertainment, an affiliate of ShoPro Japan and a subsidiary of Shogakukan Inc., to form VIZ Media. ShoPro served as a global licensor specializing in animation, entertainment production and consumer products and its core competencies complemented VIZ’s publishing operations and would provided for the further expansion of manga and anime across North America. Subsequent business deals with publishing powerhouse Simon & Schuster have further expanded the scope of VIZ Media’s reach at the sales, distribution and retail levels. In September of 2005 VIZ Media entered into a groundbreaking joint venture with London-based Copyright Promotions Licensing Group to form VIZ Media B.V. to drive the long-term growth of its Japanese manga and animation brands in the burgeoning European market.

Since its launch, VIZ Media has remained a dominant force behind the tremendous popularity of manga and anime in North America. The company’s manga titles are regularly featured best sellers on national literary sales charts and anime series like INUYASHA, NARUTO and ZATCH BELL! regularly draw millions of television viewers. In April 2006 of this year, VIZ Media announced an innovative joint venture with Cartoon Network for the broadband broadcast initiative – Toonami Jetstream. With this venture, VIZ Media extends its reach into new media and platforms, positioning the company for even greater success.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see how the manga and anime genres have been so wholeheartedly embraced by such a broad-based North American audience,” says Hidemi Fukuhara, CEO of VIZ Media. “Twenty years ago we never imagined that the public would respond to the degree that they have, and the momentum that drives VIZ Media has now inspired us to look to even greater goals for the future. Our continued publication of some of the most popular manga series, the expansion of our anime catalog, and the dedication to nurturing the growing shôjo phenomenon all exemplify our commitment. We look forward to the next twenty years being as exciting and gratifying as the first!” Also leading the company’s direction and strategy are the Executive Board members which include John Easum, Executive Vice President, Akira Fujita, Executive Vice President, Hyoe Narita, Executive Vice President, Madoka Ayaki, Senior Vice President, Administration, Tonik Barber, Senior Vice President Business Affairs, General Counsel and Dan Marks, Senior Vice President, International.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.

Viper Comics: A Dummy’s guide to Danger

Jason Burns has been prolific these last few months over at Viper Comics. On top of the recently released Expendable One, Viper is releasing another of his projects, A Dummy’s Guide To Danger, hot on its heels.

KEVIN NOEL OLSON: Jason, can you tell us a bit about your new series, A Dummy’s Guide To Danger?

JASON BURNS: Well, it’s the story of private investigator Alan Sirois who, for lack of a better term, is slightly off. His partner is Mr. Bloomberg, a ventriloquist dummy that Alan believes was shot in the back by an assailant, causing him to now live his life as a paraplegic. Of course, Mr. Bloomberg is just a puppet and Alan isn’t playing with a full deck, but that doesn’t stop him from being one hell of a private dick and in this particular series, the pair (or Alan playing both of them) is sucked into a case that involves a gruesome killer known as The Flesh Collector. It’s in the noir genre, but it’s really a buddy story about one guy and his relationship with himself. It’s dark, but there’s a sort of twisted humor to it… a dependency that you just can’t help but laugh at.

Read the rest of this interview at SBC

Aaaaand that’s a wrap for this week! I’m waiting your comments and feedback through email to Manolis@gmail.com. If you self-publish your own comics or represent an indy comics company, add me to your press release list, and I will run your news in this space every week.

Manolis Vamvounis
a.k.a. Dr. Dooplove