Author Archives: Brett

Dynamite and Smosh Team for Comics and Graphic Novels

dynamite-logoIn a deal brokered by The Joester Loria Group, DEFY Media’s YouTube sensation SMOSH has licensed with Dynamite Entertainment to develop a series of comics and graphic novels.

Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox are the duo behind the powerhouse comedy brand SMOSH. SMOSH catapulted to YouTube’s #1 most subscribed channel in 2013, ranks among YouTube’s Top 3 most viewed channels of all time with more than 6 billion lifetime views, and counts over 30 million combined channel subscribers and 20 million social followers. SMOSH’s multi-faceted enterprise, based around its flagship YouTube channel and highly trafficked website, includes multiple record-setting channel spinoffs, including SMOSH Games – among YouTube’s fastest growing channels ever – and Shut Up Cartoons, top-charting musical endeavors, merchandising, magazines, mobile, OTT and gaming apps – and, coming soon, The SMOSH Movie.

  • SMOSH, the powerhouse digital comedy brand with more than 30 million subscribers across multiple YouTube Channels and over 20 million social media followers, launched in 2005 as the brainchild of Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla.  Founded in 2004, Dynamite Entertainment has become a leading comic publisher focusing on creating adaptations of top entertainment properties.
  • An extension of DEFY Media’s SMOSH comedy brand, which includes multiple YouTube channels, a highly trafficked website, mobile, OTT and gaming apps, and merchandising, the comic & graphic novel series will give Hecox and Padilla a new platform for their distinct brand of humor, and will provide SMOSH fans with another way to connect with their favorite digital channels.
  • The SMOSH Graphic Novels and Comics will hit retail shelves Holiday 2015 and will retail for $3.99-$4.99 for comic books, $14.99-$19.99 for soft cover graphic novels, $24.99-$49.99 for hard covers.
  • The program will target the growing community of graphic novel and comic book enthusiast in the young millennial demographic
  •  Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla have been listed as the highest ranking public figures among teens 13-17 years old according to a 2014 survey commissioned by Variety
  •  Domestic sales of comics and graphic novels have been rising for years, reaching $870 million in 2013, up from $265 million in 2000, according to estimates by Comichron’s John Jackson Miller and ICv2’s Milton Griepp.

Baltimore Welcomes Comics Legends Adams,Garcia-Lopez, Heath, and Simonsons

All-New Captain America Adams VariantCome to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on September 25-27, 2015 for the 16th annual Baltimore Comic-Con. The convention has announced legendary members of the comics creative community: Neal Adams, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Russ Heath, Louise Simonson, and Walter Simonson.

Neal Adams‘ work on such DC Comics characters as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow redefined an era of comics, bringing a photorealistic feel to the pages of their respective books. In the late-’60s, while freelancing for DC Comics, Adams also began working at Marvel Comics on X-Men with Roy Thomas. He continued to work for DC and Marvel throughout the late-’60s and ’70s, working on The Avengers, Detective Comics, and Green Lantern/Green Arrow. More recently, Adams worked on the 7-issue second volume of Batman: Odyssey for DC Comics, handled art duties on Marvel Comics’ First X-Men, and can be seen on variant covers from Marvel’s All-New Captain America.

Batman 66 Lost EpisodeOriginally hailing from Spain, artist extraordinaire Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez has spent the vast majority of his illustrious career providing art at DC Comics. He has worked on characters large and small, ensemble casts and individual characters, and has received praise from his writers and editors alike. Some of his noteworthy work includes Jonah Hex, DC Comics Presents, New Teen Titans, Road to Perdition, Twilight, and Wednesday Comics. You can find recent work from Garcia-Lopez on All-Star Western, the Adventures of Superman: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez hardcover, Batman ’66: The Lost Episode, and covers of Justice League: Gods and Monsters.

Russ Heath‘s storied career began when he was still in high school, freelancing as a penciller and inker on Captain Aero Comics from Holyoke publishing in the 1940s. After his time in the Air Force in WWII, Heath found work as a staffer at Timely Comics where he worked on many westerns, like Wild Western, All Western Winners, and Black Rider. His work expanded throughout the wide range of genres offered by Timely, including the war comics for which he became reputed. He went onto work for other publishers, like EC Comics (Frontline Combat), St. John Publications (3-D Comics), and DC Comics (Our Army at War, G.I. Combat, and Star-Spangled War Stories). Heath was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2009, and has received the National Cartoonists Society’s Milton Caniff Award in 2014.

GI CombatLouise Simonson has, like her husband Walter, contributed significantly to the comic book industry. “Weezie”, as she is known, began her comics career as an editor at Warren Publishing before leaving for Marvel to edit titles including X-Men, New Mutants, and Star Wars. Departing the editorial role in favor of writing, Weezie has contributed to storylines in Marvel’s Marvel Team-Up, Web of Spider-Man, and Red Sonja, and was responsible for the introduction of Apocalypse in X-Factor as well as the launch of Power Pack. At DC Comics, she worked on Superman: The Man of Steel and The Adventures of Superman. She has lately been writing for DC Comics’ Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel.

Walter Simonson has made vast contributions to comics publishing, as a writer, an artist, and even in founding publishing imprints. He was recognized in 2012 at the Harvey Awards in Special Award for Excellence in Production/Presentation and Best Domestic Reprint Project for Walt Simonson’s The Mighty Thor, Artist’s Edition from IDW, and in 2013 for Alien: The Illustrated Story from Titan Books for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work. He also received the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 at the Harvey Awards. Walt’s career began in the 1970s at DC Comics, where he worked on titles such as Weird War Tales, Manhunter, Metal Men, Orion, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Vigilante, and Hercules Unbound. Over at Marvel Comics, Simonson has had numerous noteworthy runs, including The Rampaging Hulk magazine, X-Factor, Fantastic Four, and Thor, on which he was responsible for the introduction of Beta Ray Bill and Thor as a frog. You can find his artwork gracing the covers of DC’s Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel.

This year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Neal Adams (All-New Captain America); Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl); John Beatty (Secret Wars); Christy Blanch (The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood); Mark Buckingham (Fables); Sean Chen (Secret Origins); Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman); Frank Cho (Jungle Girl); Steve Conley (Bloop); Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn); Katie Cook (Gronk); Darwyn Cooke (Richard Stark’s Parker); Ramona Fradon (Spongebob Annual-Size Super-Giant Swimtacular); John Gallagher (Buzzboy); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Batman ’66: The Lost Episode); Cully Hamner (Convergence: The Question); Dean Haspiel (The Fox); Russ Heath (G.I. Combat); Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets); Klaus Janson (Superman); Dave Johnson (Inhumans: Attilan Rising); JG Jones (Strange Fruit); Denis Kitchen (The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground); Barry Kitson (Empire: Uprising); Paul Levitz (Convergence: World’s Finest Comics); Mike Manley (Darkhawk); Mark Mariano (The Other Side of Hugless Hill); Ron Marz (Convergence: Batman and Robin); Terry Moore (Rachel Rising); Tom Palmer (The Avengers); Jimmy Palmiotti (The Con Job); Dan Parent (Archie); Andrew Pepoy (Afterlife with Archie); David Peterson (Mouse Guard); Khoi Pham (X-Men Legacy); Ron Randall (Convergence: Catwoman); Budd Root (Cavewoman); Don Rosa (Donald Duck); Andy Runton (Owly); Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo); Matteo Scalera (Black Science); Bart Sears (Bloodshot); Louise Simonson (Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel); Walter Simonson (Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel); Andy Smith (Earth 2); Charles Soule (Uncanny Inhumans); Marcio Takara (Armor Wars); Ben Templesmith (Gotham by Midnight); Frank Tieri (Suicide Squad); Peter Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps); John Totleben (Swamp Thing); Billy Tucci (Shi); James Tynion (Constantine: The Hellblazer); Rick Veitch (Saga of the Swamp Thing); Charles Vess (Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream); Mark Waid (Daredevil); John Watson (Red Sonja); Kelly Yates (Doctor Who); Thom Zahler (My Little Pony: Friends Forever); and Mike Zeck (Secret Wars).

Kingsman: The Secret Service TPB Gets New Cover This July!

See the blockbuster movie? Read the book that started it all! Hot off the heels of the announcement of the upcoming sequel, Marvel has announced that the original Kingsman: The Secret Service collection will receive a new printing this July with a brand new cover! Catch up on the story that started it all after the action-packed thriller comes home on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital HD.

Superstar writer Mark Millar and legendary artist Dave Gibbons bring you a story that reinvents the spy genre for a new generation – and inspired the blockbuster hit motion picture. Launched as part of Marvel’s creator-owned ICON imprint, Kingsman: The Secret Service continues the tradition of telling bold, can’t miss stories from the biggest names in the industry.

Coming in July in a specially priced trade paperback collection, Kingsman: The Secret Service collects Secret Service #1 – #6.

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE TPB
Written by MARK MILLAR
Art by DAVE GIBBONS
ISBN: 9780785192770
On Sale July 8th

Kingsman_the_Secret_Service_TPB_Cover

Scarface ReAction in June

Say hello to our little friend! Tony Montana joins the ReAction world as part of our Scarface series.

He’s wielding his infamous AK-47 and ready to enact some vengeance, petty or not!

ReAction: Scarface is out in June from Funko.

Scarface ReAction

SDCC 2015: Mezco’s Exclusive Mortal Kombat X Ice Clone Sub Zero

This assassin is the steeliest of all Mortal Kombat characters, and now Mezco pays tribute to one of his most fiendish moves; the Ice Clone.

To ensure a game accurate likeness, correct to the finest detail, Mezco’s award-winning design team has digitally sculpted the figure using the digital files from the game developers themselves. This special limited edition version is cast in a unique translucent blue that replicates the ice blue effect seen in the game.

Sub-Zero’s ice clone comes with his game accurate ice ball and ice daggers, as well as a set of alternate hands. All the accessories in the limited edition version are cast in matching translucent ice blue color.

This 6inch scale version features 23 points of articulation, many with ball joints, allowing him to recreate all the moves and poses that have made him part of gaming legend.

Sub-Zero’s Ice Clone comes in a collector friendly blister card perfect for display.

Only a limited number of these figures are available, so get yours while you can online but don’t delay because once they are gone, they are gone forever! Be sure to visit Mezco at San Diego Comic Con at booth 3445.

Mortal Kombat X Ice Clone

Come Out and Play with the All-Ages Clarence Limited Series!

KaBOOM!, an imprint of publisher BOOM! Studios, and Cartoon Network Enterprises are pleased to announce the June debut of Clarence, a new comic based on Cartoon Network’s hit animated series. The series joins KaBOOM!’s lineup of successful all-ages comics and graphic novels based on Cartoon Network animated shows, including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, Amazing World of Gumball, Uncle Grandpa, and Over The Garden Wall. Writer Liz Prince teams up with artist Evan Palmer for the heartfelt adventures of Clarence, an optimistic fourth-grader who’s always on the search for fun with his best friends Jeff and Sumo. Life might throw a bully or a grumpy adult in his path, but Clarence puts a stop to that with kindness and treating everyone like a friend.

Clarence #1 arrives in comic shops on June 10th with a main cover by JJ Harrison for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code APR151236. Also available in a limited quantity is a Jackpot variant cover (1 in 100 intermix) by Scott Maynard, a subscription cover by series writer Liz Prince, a 10 Years incentive cover by Roger Langridge, and a retailer incentive cover by Kassandra Heller.

SDCC 2015: Diamond Select Toys and Action Figure Xpress Team Up for Four Exclusives

In their quest to get new and unique products into the hands of collectors, Diamond Select Toys has frequently teamed up with retailer Action Figure Xpress on exclusive items that expand on DST’s existing lines in very exciting ways. And at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, AFX will offer four new items developed by DST, each more exciting than the last! With new items from Alien, Predator, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Justice League Unlimited, there’s something for every kind of fan!

Predator Exclusive Masked Predator Metal Bottle Opener

An Action Figure Xpress Exclusive! Predators love the heat, and nothing beats the heat like a cool, refreshing drink. Whether you’re slogging through an impenetrable jungle or walking the beat in a Los Angeles barrio, this AFX-exclusive Masked Predator metal bottle opener will pop the cap off of your favorite bottled beverage faster than you can say “Get to the choppah!” Plus, magnets on the back will hold it fast to your refrigerator or trophy case, so you’ll never have to “hunt” for an opener again! Packaged in a full-color slipcase. Limited to 1500 pieces! (PRICE: $20.00)

PredatorMaskOpener1

Alien Minimates 1979-Style Exclusive Retro Single Pack

An Action Figure Xpress Exclusive! In 1979, a nearly 2-foot tall Alien action figure appeared on toy store shelves, kicking off global excitement for the Alien film franchise and its numerous toy tie-ins. Now, 35 years later, Diamond Select Toys has created a 2-inch Minimates mini-figure of the Alien that pays tribute to that classic action figure! Contained in a classically styled window box, this single-packed Alien Minimate features 16 points of articulation and fully interchangeable parts, as well as a translucent skull dome with glow-in-the-dark skull, just like the original toy! Celebrate 35 years of horror! Limited to 2000 pieces! (PRICE: $7.00)

AlienBox copy AlienGlowHead AlienSDCC

Avengers: Age of Ultron Minimates Exclusive Box Set

An Action Figure Xpress Exclusive! The biggest Marvel movie yet continues to conquer the Minimates Universe! This five-pack of Minimates based on Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron features new characters and new looks that fans of the movie have been waiting for! Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Iron Man Mk. 45 and Iron Legion #01 take on a more powerful Final Form Ultron in the must-have box set for any Marvel movie fan! Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure features 14 points of articulation and fully interchangeable parts, as well as a clear display stand. Packaged in a full-color window box. Limited to 2000 sets! (PRICE: $28.00)

SDCC_AgeofUltronMMset1

Justice League Unlimited Femme Fatales Exclusive Supergirl PVC Statue

An Action Figure Xpress Exclusive! Diamond Select Toys kicks off their line of DC Animated Universe products this fall, but AFX is kicking things off early with an exclusive Femme Fatales statue of Supergirl! Featuring Kara In-Ze in her blue-and-red uniform from later seasons of Justice League Unlimited, this statue of Supergirl poses above an icy arctic landscape, ready to hurl herself at the next foe to threaten her adopted planet. Measuring approximately 9 inches tall atop her sculpted base, Supergirl comes packed in a full-color window box, and is in scale with other Femme Fatales PVC statues. Sculpted by Steve Varner Studios. Limited to 1500 pieces! (PRICE: $50.00)

JLU_Supergirlstatue1

Movie Review: Gaming in Color

Gaming_In_Color_movie_posterGaming in Color is a documentary exploring the story of the queer gaming community, ‘gaymer’ culture and events, and the rise of LGBTQ themes in video games. A lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer gamer has a higher chance of being mistreated in an online social game. Diverse queer themes in storylines and characters are still mostly an anomaly in the mainstream video game industry. Gaming In Color explores how the community culture is shifting and the industry is diversifying, helping with queer visibility and acceptance of an LGBTQ presence.

Filmed in between GamyerX 1 and GaymerX 2 conferences, the film examines the LGBTQ gaming community, the good, the bad, and the future. The documentary begins focused on the issues within the gaming community and experiences of the gay individuals as gamers. It throws you in the deep end, jumping right into the subject. Each person comes off as very relateable in their experience, no one is abrasive, or comes off bitter or angry. Instead there’s a fine mix of experiences that doesn’t really paint anything negatively, instead it shows things honestly. Personal experiences are hard to refute, and the documentary going that route was a smart decision that changes the tone from an academic one to a human one.

The second part of the movie shifts to focus more on where things stand now. It does show progress from where things were, to where they are today. Again, the positive is emphasized not just showing off some of the LGBTQ games out there, but also why they’re important. The sense of community is strong, and that community is emphasized by a positive tone. They come off as a group that you should want to game with, whether you’re LGBTQ or not. But, while there’s positive advancement in representation, it’s not all the way there, and that’s how the movie ends, where things need to go.

My only knock at all, and it’s minor, is the documentary uses gaming as a general term, shows images of tabletop games, but primarily talks video games. It’s a weird mix, and a distinction between the board game community and video game community might have been good to do.

The documentary is a fine introduction to the LGBTQ game community. We’re not talking a deep academic look, or go too deep into the history or issues. Instead the documentary puts human faces to the experience, showing there’s a real person you’re interacting with through technology.

The documentary is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, PlayStation, Xbox, Vudu, VHX, Gumroad, and Vimeo. The film will also be coming to steam at a date to be announced. For those interested in LGBTQ issues, or gaming culture, it’s a film that’s an absolute watch.

Overall rating: 8.75

Graphic Policy was provided a FREE copy for review

BOOM! Studios Heads to the Mile High City for Denver Comic Con

BOOM! Studios will exhibit at the 2015 Denver Comic Con (DCC). DCC will take place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado during Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, 2015.

BOOM!’s appearance will be highlighted by the attendance of Liz Prince and Evan Palmer, the creative team behind the publisher’s new comic series based on the Cartoon Network program, Clarence. The comic launches in June.

BOOM! and its imprints Archaia, KaBOOM!, and BOOM! Box can be found at Booth #629 and will also host artists Ian McGinty and Carey Pietsch all weekend.

McGinty and Pietsch are available to create custom illustrations for fans for $30.00 on blank sketch covers all weekend. Interested attendees can place their order at the booth and return later for pickup.

A DCC Exclusive, 11” x 17” card-stock print of Clarence (limited to 200) is available for free at the BOOM! booth with the purchase of any two Cartoon Network items. Fans can get it signed by Prince, Palmer, and Pietsch, the artist of the print!

BOOM! will have a DCC Exclusive variant of Lumberjanes #13 illustrated by Prince for purchase at its booth. Exclusive variants of Bravest Warriors #33 illustrated by McGinty and Peanuts #25 illustrated by Robert Pope (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) are available for purchase through DCC’s merchandise booth.

BOOM! will also host the following panels at Denver Comic Con:

Saturday, May 23

1:20pm

Room 303

Push Fun Forward: The Importance of All-Ages Comics—All-ages comics are important now more than ever in helping to bring in new and lapsed readers, from practically every demographic. Join us as BOOM! Studios Associate Editor Whitney Leopard leads a discussion of the significance of all-ages comics—from what it has achieved thus far to what lies ahead—with creators Liz Prince (Tomboy, Clarence), Ian McGinty (Bravest Warriors, Munchkin), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Tony Fleecs (IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic), and Mike Kunkel (Herobear and the Kid).

Sunday, May 24

12:55pm

Room 304

Spotlight on ‘Clarence’—Cartoon Network’s hit animated series about the happy-go-lucky and goofy nine-year-old Clarence Wendell comes to comics this June! Join KaBOOM! Associate Editor Whitney Leopard, writer Liz Prince (Tomboy), and illustrator Evan Palmer (Munchkin) as they talk about what to expect from this new series. Come out and play with us as we reveal a sneak peek at covers, interior artwork, and other behind-the-scenes goodness from the Clarence comics!

Bravest Warriors #33 DCC Exclusive Variant by Ian McGinty Clarence DCC Exclusive Print. Free with purchase at BOOM! booth of two Lumberjanes #13 DCC Exclusive Variant by Liz Prince Peanuts #25 DCC Exclusive Variant by Robert Pope

Matt Fraction’s Complete Interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers

It’s not too often you get to see comic creators promoting their comics on late night television, by writer Matt Fraction was on last night’s Late Night with Seth Meyers to discuss Sex Criminals. There’s also talk of his time writing Hawkeye….. plus, sex advice!

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