Tag Archives: comic books

Preview: Letter 44 #20

Letter 44 #20

Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque with Dan Jackson

DARK MATTER Part 6 – Third Arc Finale. President Blades’ back is against the wall, and he’s considering truly desperate options. The Clarke astronauts try to wrest control of the planet-killing Chandelier away from the alien Builders. A great city is destroyed. A sacrifice is made. Deep truths are revealed. It’s the end of the world, and the latest game-changing chapter in the Letter 44 saga.


Space Goat Productions in November 2015

EVIL DEAD 2: TALES OF THE EX-MORTIS: The Special Edition #1

Page Count: 56 pages
Release: November
Price: $5.99

A groovy early holiday present for Evil Dead fans! A special gruesome edition of our official Evil Dead 2: Tales Of The Ex-Mortis #1, complete with the original Ash-centric stories of Deadites, ghouls, monsters, and more. But now, this newly expanded edition contains not only the complete first issue of the classic movie anthology, it has an added Kandarian boost to 56 pages with these special one-time only features:
* A Deadite Gallery of the Dead
* Sketchbook pages and character studies, and behind-the-scenes art from our anthology artists: Enza Fontana, Gabriel Rearte, Alan Quah, Eduardo Garcia.

This is the companion series for the OFFICIAL EVIL DEAD 2 SEQUEL before the other sequel, EVIL DEAD 2: BEYOND DEAD BY DAWN! Certified Groovy with expanded content for the new print edition!

EVIL DEAD 2 TALES OF THE EX-MORTIS the Special Edition #1

Mixtape #2 (OF 5)

Page Count: 32 pages
ON SALE DATE: November 11th
Price: $3.99

Tune in and turn on as Lorelei lands her dream internship at the local radio station and discovers its secret cache of albums spanning the history of Alternative Rock. With all the music she’s ever craved finally at her fingertips, she faces increasing temptation to use it to gain the popularity she’s always wanted, despite the risk to her future.

A group of teens struggle with relationships, the future and their place in the world against the backdrop of the ’90s music scene.

For Fans Of…Love & Rockets, Ghost World, Craig Thompson’s Blankets

Love, life and loss during the rise (and fall) of Generation X and the Alternative Rock era of the 1990s as experienced by five music-obsessed teens.

Mixtape #2 (OF 5)


Page Count: 96 pages
ON SALE DATE: November 11
Price: $12.99

Keira Zeleznovova gets way more than she bargained for on her first day as an unpaid intern at Mage, Inc. A homunculus is summoned, a mage dies, magic fights magic, and then there’s all that paperwork! Book One collects the first three issues, the complete story arc of “The Intern.” With bonus extras, including sketches, behind-the-scenes artwork, and a sneak preview of the next Mage, Inc. mini-series!

The trials, mishaps, and adventures of Keira Zeleznovova, an everyday teen girl who goes to work at the dysfunctional Mage, Inc.

FOR FANS OF … Harry Potter, Courtney Crumrin, Batgirl, and Ms. Marvel.

For readers of every age, Keira’s adventures with her curmudgeonly mentor will delight and entertain. Join her as she quickly realizes there’s more near-death experiences to magic than she ever imagined. And it’s only her first day on the job!


Preview: The Bunker #14

The Bunker #14

Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Joe Infurnari

Someone besides Heidi finally pays Billy a visit… but things don’t go exactly as planned. Meanwhile, Heidi makes a decision that could alter the fate of the Bunker–and the world–forever.


BOOM! Studios in November 2015

KLAUS #1 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Dan Mora
Jackpot: Frazer Irving
BOOM! 10 Years Incentive Cover: Brian Stelfreeze
Incentive Cover: Chris Burnham

What’s to Love: Grant Morrison is one of the most prolific and best-selling writers in comics, earning a reputation for his ability to effectively revamp superheroes like Animal Man, Batman, and the X-Men. His creator-owned titles are also highly praised, including The Invisibles, Nameless, We3, and Joe the Barbarian because no one tells mythical stories better than him. In Klaus, Grant reimagines one of the biggest cultural myths in history, and we could not be more excited to pair him with one of our homegrown talents, Dan Mora (Hexed)!

What It Is: Set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the story of how Santa Claus really came to be. Where did he begin? What was he like when he was young? And what happens when he faces his greatest challenge? Drawing on Santa Claus’ wilder roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism—taking in the creepier side of Christmas, and characters like the sinister Krampus—Klaus is “Santa Claus: Year One.”

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Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Tonci Zonjic
BOOM! 10 Years Incentive Cover: Brian Stelfreeze
Incentive Cover: Matthew Dow Smith

What’s to Love: We were instantly taken with newcomer Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s inventive high concept story and mature characterization. Throw in a crime thriller element and Matthew Dow Smith’s moody art and Last Sons of America can be the perfect answer to the question, “What if Elmore Leonard wrote Children of Men?”

What It Is: When a biological terrorist attack makes it impossible for anyone in America to conceive children, adoption of kids from other counties explodes. Brothers Jackie and Julian are adoption agents based in Nicaragua. They usually do all their options through legal means, but they’re facing increasing competition from straight-up kidnappers. One desperate move from Jackie could put them in the cross-hairs of some very dangerous people.

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Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Cover Artist: Jeff Stokely

What’s to Love: Calling all process junkies! If you’re as much a fan of the behind-the-scenes process of illustration as you are of the finished product, you will love this in-depth look at the making of the critically acclaimed Six-Gun Gorilla.

What It Is: This next installment of the Pen & Ink series collects Six-Gun Gorilla issues #1-2 in an oversized, 11” x 17” format that features Jeff Stokely’s inks alongside new commentary and creative insights from Stokely and writer Simon Spurrier.



Retail Price: $4.99
Author: Charles M. Schulz, Jason Cooper
Artist: Vicki Scott, Charles M. Schulz
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Charles M. Schulz
Incentive Cover: Charles M. Schulz

What’s to Love: With The Peanuts Movie set to debut this month, it’s the perfect time to recognize everyone’s favorite beagle in this Snoopy-centric special, featuring a new, original story.

What It Is: Celebrate the release of the new film with this one-shot Snoopy Special. Follow Snoopy, the World Famous Sergeant-Major of the Foreign Legion, on the mission of a lifetime to save his dear brother Spike, encountering adventure at every which corner of the neighborhood—from Lucy’s Psychiatric Booth to Schroeder’s piano.

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ROWANS RUIN #2 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Mike Perkins
Cover Artist: Mike Perkins

Synopsis: Katie begins to see a mutilated figure in the mirrors of Emily’s home.


COGNETIC #2 (of 3)

Retail Price: $4.99
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Eryk Donovan
Cover Artist: Eryk Donovan

Synopsis: Annie is back to square one and starts amassing a crew of FBI agents to take out Blue.



Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard
Cover Artist: I.N.J. Culbard

Synopsis: Susan and Peter flee to warn the world about the aliens, Fawkes and Alph are working with the military, and Clive is captured by ministry men.



Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Eric Carrasco
Artist: Victor Santos
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Victor Santos
Incentive Cover: Robert Sammelin

Synopsis: The battle between The Wild Hunt and the Witnesses rages on, with the entire Hexenmeister community caught in the middle.

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WELCOME BACK #4 (of 4)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Cover Artist: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer

Synopsis: Tessa and Mali come face-to-face in search of something different from when they began.


JOHN FLOOD #4 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Cover Artist: Jorge Coelho

Synopsis: John’s first encounter with Tate doesn’t exactly end how he’d planned it.



Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer
Cover Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer

Synopsis: Lee Pepper attempts to escape the Boatmen in the real world, and in Arcadia, the Homesteaders discover that Giacomo might have unprecedented control over the simulation.



Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Maxim Simic
Cover Artists:
Main: Jason Copland
Incentive: Ibrahim Moustafa

Synopsis: Snake gets trapped with the former President in a live interview.

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Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Cover Artist: Michael Dialynas

Synopsis: New story arc! The results of the election turn the students against their allies, and Karen learns more about the Aboriginal people and their control over the power of the Woods.



Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Dan McDaid
Cover Artists:
Main: Joe Eisma
Incentive: Felipe Smith

Synopsis: To free Margo from mental enslavement, it’s time for Mr. Burton to ante up. In this game of poker, the Jack is wild!

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Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Pat McHale
Artist: Jim Campbell
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jim Campbell
Subscription Cover: Nick Cross
Incentive Cover: Levon Jihanian

Synopsis: Before the woodsman was busy chasing after the beast, he lived in the woods with his daughter. The day she disappeared was when the woodsman’s journey began.

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Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Jen Wang
Artist: Britt Wilson
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Jen Wang
Subscription Cover: Jessie Wong
Incentive Cover: Diana Huh

Synopsis: Cake has finally made it to the Floop Master, but will she be able avenge LSP? Can she defeat the Floop Master after neglecting Fionna for so long?

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Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Mad Rupert
Artist: Laura Howell
Cover Artists:
Main: Fellipe Martins
Subscription: Christine Larsen

Synopsis: New story arc, and introducing new main series artist Laura Howell! Benson gets wind turbines for the park to save energy, but when Mordecai and Rigby turn them up super-fast to cut corners they send the park into the clouds!

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Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Chris Hastings
Artist: Zachary Sterling
Cover Artists:
Main: Missy Pena
Subscription: Vivi Ng

Synopsis: When one of Joshua’s old spells wears off, Finn and Jake find themselves facing an old childhood friend that neither of them can remember!

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Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Tyson Hesse
Artist: Tyson Hesse
Cover Artist: Tyson Hesse

Synopsis: Diesel’s powers activate the mysterious flying engine, sending her into the trash-strewn expanse below the clouds known as The Wasteland.


POWER UP #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Matt Cummings
Cover Artist: Matt Cummings

Synopsis: The Corners are four warriors who have been training since birth to receive the powers from the prophecy…the powers that went to Aimee and her woefully unprepared new friends instead!


GIANT DAYS #8 (of 12)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: John Allison
Artist: Max Sarin
Cover Artist: Lissa Treiman

Synopsis: A brutal winter hits Sheffield, but things heat up when Esther has a fling with a faculty member! Daisy probably has a Friday Night Lights reference for this occasion…



Retail Price: $3.99
Writer: Tom Siddell
Artist: Ian McGinty
Cover Artist: Bridget Underwood

Synopsis: Spyke and Flower go kicking down doors, exploring dungeons and stealing loot!



Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
Artist: Carolyn Nowak
Cover Artists:
Main: Carolyn Nowak
Incentive: Shannon May

Synopsis: It’s a mermaid war! April has made a real mess of things by trying to get her mer-pals back together, but can she make things better with the help of her friends?

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Retail Price: $3.99
Author: Mairghread Scott
Artist: Kelly & Nichole Matthews
Cover Artist: Kyla Vanderklugt

Synopsis: Lady Macbeth enters stage left.



Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Bradford Winters & Larry J. Cohen
Artist: Daniel Izirrari
Cover Artist: Michael Choi

Synopsis: Owen and Tonto mobilize towards Derek, but Agent Arroyo is looking for him, too.


HACKTIVIST VOL. 2 #5 (of 6)

Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Marcus To
Cover Artist: Marcus To

Synopsis: Nate and Reggie confront some of the hackers on their search for the truth about The Tower.



Retail Price: $3.99
Writers: Matthew Daley & Mairghread Scott
Artist: Carlos Magno
Cover Artist: Benjamin Carré

Synopsis: Rattled by the revelation that Killian is more dangerous than he’d realized, Sander ventures back into the Underground in search of his missing wife.



Retail Price: $19.99
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Dan McDaid
Cover Artist: Jay Shaw

What’s to Love: Officially set in continuity of the new films, writer Michael Moreci (Burning Fields) and artist Dan McDaid (Mind the Gap) effectively bridge together events between Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, offering additional details and insight into the mindsets of apes Caesar and Koba, and human Malcolm.

What It Is: Two years following the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, humanity has fallen, giving way to the dawn of Caesar’s civilization. While the apes of the world find themselves unable to advance as a species, Caesar and Koba work tirelessly to find a way to unify them to join their cause. On the other side of the country, Malcolm must venture into the decaying Americas with his family to find a cure for the plague slowly killing his wife while world powers shift and civilizations simultaneously collapse and rise. Collects the entire six-issue miniseries.



Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artists: Ariela Kristantina
Cover Artist: Matt Taylor

Synopsis: At any given time, the U.S. government is running dozens of black-book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Control agents handle these operations when things go wrong, and ensure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret. Agents Harrow and Branch’s recent operations have them covering up the truth behind advanced military technology and the assassination of JFK. But while hiding answers from the public, the two partners are forced to confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other. Collects issues #5-8.



Retail Price: $14.99
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Bridget Underwood
Cover Artist: Drew Green

Synopsis: BMO and Jake are getting ready for the biggest costume party ever, they have invites from everyone! As the party-hop they realize that each party has one thing in common, it has a prankster. Detective BMO is on the case to figure out what is going on with the help of Jake, his sidekick. Join them as they go across Ooo to find who the culprit is, while still enjoying some fun times with friends.



Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Kevin Burkhalter, David Degrand, Laura Howell, Yehudi Mercado, Scott Roberts, and more
Artists: Kevin Burkhalter, David Degrand, Laura Howell, Yehudi Mercado, Scott Roberts, and more
Cover Artist: Robb Mommaerts

What’s to Love: Adventure Time. Regular Show. The Amazing World of Gumball. Steven Universe. Can you tell we love Cartoon Network’s shows? We’re excited to welcome Uncle Grandpa to KaBOOM! It’s quirky, goofy, and oh-so-fun—a perfect formula for the four-color page. This MAD Magazine-style comic
features all manner of short strips, games, and more goofy things. If you’re a a fan of cartoonists like Don Martin, Gary Larson, and Tex Avery, you’ll enjoy Uncle Grandpa!

What It Is: Prepare yourself for Uncle Grandpa. He is everyone’s magical uncle and grandpa, and he’s here to help kids with their problems in surreal and wacky ways! Explore a collection of zany shorts and games starring Uncle Grandpa, Pizza Steve, Mr. Gus, and all the other crazy characters from the hit Cartoon Network show created by Peter Browngardt. Collects the complete miniseries, issues #1-4.



Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Megan Brennan, Jeremy Lawson
Artists: Katy Farina, Jeremy Lawson
Cover Artist: Katy Farina

What’s to Love: The mixed-media look of The Amazing World of Gumball lends itself perfectly to comics, but now, we get to tell a full-length story, much like what it’d be like if you were watching a super-sized episode of the animated series!

What It Is: It’s a beautiful day for a Renaissance Faire, and the Watterson family is having a blast taking in ye olde fun and games…until a magician’s illusion turns into a real spell, and all of Elmore is cast into a fairy-tale world of quests, danger, and magical adventures! Can Wizard Darwin, Knight Anais, and Jester Gumball save Richard from his everlasting, turkey-leg-induced sleep, or will the citizens of Elmore remain trapped in the Middle Ages forever?



Retail Price: $19.99
Author: David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Skottie Young, Dustin Nguyen, Jake Parker, Ramon K. Perez, Becky Cloonan, and many more!
Artist: David Petersen, Mark Buckingham, Skottie Young, Dustin Nguyen, Jake Parker, Ramon K. Perez, Becky Cloonan, and many more!
Cover Artist: David Petersen

Synopsis: The third volume in the New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning series, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume Three features tales written and illustrated by a collection of award-winning and critically acclaimed storytellers personally selected by series creator David Petersen. Once again, patrons at the June Alley Inn are challenged to tell the best Mouse Guard tale, with the winner getting their tab cleared!



Retail Price: $14.99
Writers: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick
Artists: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick
Cover Artists: Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick

What’s to Love: Cyanide & Happiness is one of the longest-running, most popular, humor comic strips on the web, easily earning millions of hits per week. With its crudely drawn art and snarky humor, Cyanide & Happiness has touched many a funny bone and is accessible to a legion of fans worldwide.

What It Is: Once again, creators Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick combine some of their best strips and a host of never-before-seen comics into a new, collected book. In the best, sickest tradition, Cyanide & Happiness’ simply drawn figures and the wildly inappropriate topics they cover—including cannibalism, murder, and incest—is most reminiscent of South Park, but offers a profane sensibility all its own. Includes a foreword by comedian Bo Burnham and Poetry Corner, a collection of demented rhymes.



Retail Price: $39.99
Authors: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis
Artist: Brooke Allen

What’s to Love: We’re overwhelmed by the love, support, and enthusiasm from Lumberjumbies all over the world for this Eisner Award-winning series! Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), and Brooke Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter) have crafted a heartfelt series built on the power of friendship and positivity, and we’re thrilled to present the original eight-issue story arc in a deluxe hardcover for the first time.

What It Is: At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. Includes Lumberjanes #1-8, a foreword by Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters), the never-before collected Lumberjanes short from BOOM! Box 2014 Mix Tape, all of the Rad Mix Playlists, and more!


Preview: X-O Manowar #40


Cover A by RAFA SANDOVAL (JUL151685)
Cover B by TOM FOWLER (JUL151686)
Variant Cover by ROBERT GILL (JUL151687)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale SEPTEMBER 2

“EXODUS” – PART 2! Two peoples. One world. Can a man of war broker peace between Earth and the alien nation it now harbors?

In the aftermath of a horrible tragedy, Aric is trapped between the two worlds he’s sworn to protect. As X-O Manowar, he has made it his mission to protect the Vine’s mass of alien refugees…but his people want them dead…and G.A.T.E. wants them gone! Now, an old enemy will attack Aric at his weakest moment – and the Earth may pay an impossible price for Aric’s loyalty.

EXODUS unleashes a monumental new chapter as New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Green Lantern) and Rafa Sandoval (X-Men: Legacy) continue the series-defining X-O Manowar epic of the year!


Preview: Harrow County #6

It’s said that everyone has an evil twin—and in Emmy’s case that may be true! But if Kammi is evil, she’s also charming, clever, and sweet, and she could lure Emmy down a dark and dangerous path—one that leads ever closer to fulfilling the legacy of the long-dead witch Hester Beck!

Harrow County #6
Cullen Bunn (W), Tyler Crook (A/Cover)
$3.99, 32 pages
On sale October 14; FOC September 21

Harrow County #6 Cover

Master Darque Brings Down the Darkness in Book of Death #3 (of 4) – Coming in September!

Valiant has released an advance preview of Book of Death #3 (of 4) – the next 40-page chapter of Valiant’s smash-hit summer event! On September 23rd, writer Robert Venditti and artists Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite reveal the sinister mastermind behind the events foretold in the Geomancer’s book as Master Darque descends on the Valiant Universe! History’s most powerful necromancer has returned with a powerful new ally at his side…and if he can’t manipulate the Eternal Warrior and new Geomancer into joining him, he’ll destroy human civilization instead!

As the terrible future chronicled in the Book of the Geomancer continues to reveal itself via a series of horrible, unnatural calamities, an unexpected and untold player – Master Darque – has emerged to make his play for young Tama, the latest in the line of Earth-communing mystics called Geomancers… But does the reappearance of Darque mean that the apocalyptic future foretold by Tama has been avoided…or guaranteed? As the heroes of the Valiant Universe fall and nature itself turns on humanity, all that stands between the devastated planet and ultimate evil is the Earth’s undying Fist and Steel himself…Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior!

Featuring covers by Cary Nord, Clayton Crain, Stephen Segovia, Pere Pérez, and Paolo Rivera, jump on board here to find out why fans and critics are calling Book of Death one of 2015’s best comic book events.

BOOK OF DEATH #3 (of 4)
Cover A by CARY NORD (JUL151656)
Cover B by CLAYTON CRAIN (JUL151657)
Cover C by STEPHEN SEGOVIA (JUL151658)
Valiant Icons Variant by PERE PÉREZ (JUL151659)
Artist Variant by PAOLO RIVERA (JUL151660)
$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On Sale SEPTEMBER 23 (FOC – 8/31/15)


Bloodthirsty Trailer from Titan Comics

Haunted by the catastrophe that tore his city apart ten years ago, Coast Guard veteran, Virgil Lafleur, struggles daily with the hardships of a post-Katrina New Orleans. But when his younger brother’s murder leads him into a vortex of intrigue, corruption, and violence, Virgil becomes obsessed with bringing the killers to justice and exposing the horrific secret hiding beneath the Mississippi.

Bloodthirsty is from screenwriter Mark Landry and artist extraordinaire, Ashley Marie Witter, comes this visceral revenge thriller that merges the real-world hopes and horrors of a post-disaster community with an engaging thread of political corruption, class divide and blood-curdling terror!


Review: Power Cubed #1

power of cubed #1What if you had a piece of technology that created anything you could possibly want, and all you had to do was imagine it? What would you wish for? For Kenny Logan, his first wish is to survive his eighteenth birthday! His unique matter-reinterpreting device has attracted the attention of a bumbling Nazi scientist with plans for world domination and an elite government agent who is hell bent on acquiring the device to stop an alien invasion at any cost. Aaron Lopresti delivers a comical coming-of-age tale in a fantastic sci-fi universe!

Nazi scientists, alien technology, and a covert government agency. That may seem like a random assortment of things that would go together like fire and water. Well it manages to work in this odd yet  brilliant way. Written by Aaron Lopresti, he manages to mix in all that with slight bits of humor, and a young man with complicated relationship with his genius father gives the story a unique feeling.

The artwork by Lopresit (who does double duty here) has an old Saturday morning cartoon feel to it.

Overall the world is bright, and vibrant. That bolsters the cartoonish feel the world has. Oddly enough that manages to blend with the story extremely well.

Story: Aaron Lopresti Art: Aaron Lopresti
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Kickstarter Spotlight: The Collaborative Development of Schismatic

by Andrew Adams

A few days ago I released my first comic book through Kickstarter. It’s a revenge thriller set in a fantasy world, titled Schismatic, which I wrote the script for. And we’ve been overwhelmed with the positive response that we’ve received in the first few days. We’ve gotten enthusiastic personal messages from readers, over a quarter of our (relatively ambitious) goal in less than 48 hours, and the issue has even wound up in the hands of movie producers considering it for a film option.

01 Schismatic Cover

But it took many failed attempts for me to finally get a full issue of a comic book produced. For several years I developed comic book ideas and wrote scripts on my own. Once they were complete, I would scour the internet for talented artists, send the scripts to artists whose styles I felt matched the tone of my writing, and wait anxiously to see if anybody was willing to make a comic book with me. I felt I had to do have a script in advance to prove to an artist that I could write a high-quality script worthy of their attention.

It failed every time. Most artists would pass completely, and the few who did begin to work with me would inevitably drop off of the project (for very valid reasons). It became very hard for me to find an artist whose passion for my projects matched my own. Which makes sense. After all, I had birthed this project into the world and it was full of my own ideas and not theirs.

There were two downsides to this approach which, in retrospect, seem incredibly obvious. One: it made me too precious with my own work, and less open to new ideas. Two: the incentives for an artist to work with me were weak. An artist would sign up either for financial reasons (except that my page rates were terrible) or to gain exposure in the industry (except that I only wanted to work with talented artists, and the big publishing companies would often scoop them up before we were done).

After my third failed collaboration in a row, I got frustrated. I went back to the Internet in search of a talented artist to work with. And I discovered Rachael Briner’s portfolio on the website for Savannah College of Art and Design’s Sequential Art program.

02 Lihaaj 03 03 Lihaaj 05

I loved her style and could tell she was talented instantly, and a strong visual storyteller. But I didn’t have any story ideas that seemed right for her style.

Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We were forced to develop the story as a team, and I’m convinced this is why Schismatic has been successful so far.

I wrote her an e-mail which read, “I’m a huge fan of your art, and I’d love to develop something for it. I want to try writing/developing a series for an artist, instead of finding one after the development is done. So I don’t have anything super specific for you yet. I’d want to hear what you’re interested in, pitch you some ideas, and see if anything catches your eye.”

She responded with tentative interest. She wasn’t on board yet. But she told me, “I’m drawn to realism, slice of life, fantastical, and mythological stories. I’m not too picky on mood; I enjoy both uplifting and feel good, as well as dark and intense.”

I went back to her DeviantArt page and noticed that all of my favorite work of hers featured fantasy worlds or creatures. I also saw, listed under her favorite movies, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. And it sparked something. What would happen, I thought, if Tarantino wrote a fantasy story?

I pitched several one-sentence ideas to Rachael, including that one. And that’s the one that excited us both, so I pursued it.

I spent several days revisiting all my favorite fantasy stories and all my favorite crime tales, trying to identify which elements most attracted me to each. I brainstormed a variety of possible stories that all involved crime, heists, and revenge, and mapped them onto a few possible fantasy worlds. And when I shared the work with Rachael, she once again got most excited about the idea that I was most excited about. Maybe I pitched it more enthusiastically because I was more into it, or maybe our tastes just magically aligned. Whatever happened, it worked.

That idea, essentially, was: “What if there’s a world with thousand-foot tides, and a cult that worships deep sea creatures? And a pirate kidnaps our hero’s son for the cult, so they have to go get him back?”

04 Initial Concept Art

Rachael responded later that day with concept sketches, which I hadn’t requested.

She wrote: “An idea I played with is that the cult members are humanoids who attempt to make themselves look like their god. You said deep sea creatures, so I referenced those. I imagined that there would be different levels of transformation. Some would paint their skin black and dress up to look like their god with masks, others would ingest chemicals to make their veins and insides glow to look, and some would even surgically alter their selves: removing lower jaws, ears, and adding prosthetic teeth and more.

She also had an idea to make the villainous cult leader female, for smart thematic reasons.

Absolutely none of these ideas were mine, but I loved them. They instantly became a part of the story. And while I fell in love with the image of the woman in the headdress, I didn’t think she was scary enough to be the villain. So I went off and I wrote a two-page document imagining the backstory of this mysterious figure that Rachael had sent me, and what could have happened to make her more intimidating.

Rachael responded to that document, once again, with more concept art.

05 Jarra

And when I saw Figure #6, I felt like I suddenly knew the character.

This is how the entire process happened. I would pitch ideas to Rachael, and she would return with concept art that took it to the next level and introduced new elements I’d never thought of. Which would, in turn, inspire even more ideas in me. The mythology of the world kept getting deeper and denser, because we would share ideas that inspired one another.

We developed a rule, that the best idea goes into the story no matter who comes up with it. It was pure collaboration, where our ideas mixed and blended to a level that I no longer know who came up with what. And soon, we had a script that I loved. But, unlike other projects, I was not possessive of it. Even though it felt entirely like mine. Rachael appeared to be working in the same headspace: passionate about the project on a creative level because she owned it, but open to new input. It has become one of the smoothest collaborations I’ve ever been a part of.

And now that the first issue is released, the comment we hear most often is that our lead villain is terrifying. After incorporating Rachael’s ideas, this is what the “pirate” from my pitch became:

06 Jarra Page

Her name is Jarra, and she does some terrible things.

If you’d like to read Schismatic, the first issue is available for immediate download to anybody who pledges $5 or more to our Kickstarter campaign.






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