Tag Archives: Comics

BOOM! Studios Celebrates 10 Years in Style

boom 10 yearsBOOM! Studios turns 10 years old, and to celebrate this milestone anniversary, the publisher has announced a yearlong cover strategy starting in January designed to spotlight all of its new launches and reward many lucky retailers and fans. Every launching issue in 2015 will include a uniquely designed “10 Years” incentive variant cover featuring work by one of 16 of the industry’s best cover artists. Each artist (or artist team) will provide all the covers to all of the newest titles coming out from BOOM! or one of its imprints (KaBOOM!, Archaia, and BOOM! Box), with the roster rotating each quarter. The special “10 Years” covers will be retailer incentives available to order for retailers for every 10 copies they order of the title’s main cover.

For the first quarter of 2015 (January-March), the artists are:

  • All launching BOOM! Studios titles: Trevor Hairsine (Captain America, Eternal Warrior)
  • All launching KaBOOM! titles: Joe Quinones (Harley Quinn, Big Trouble in Little China)
  • All launching Archaia titles: Ramón Pérez (Amazing Spider-Man, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand)
  • All launching BOOM! Box titles: Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb (Adventure Time, The Midas Flesh)

Cover artists for the remaining quarters of 2015 will be announced at a later date.

In January, new launching titles to receive the “10 Years” Cover treatment include:

  • Burning Fields #1 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1 (KaBOOM!)
  • Feathers #1 (Archaia)
  • Munchkin #1 (BOOM! Box)

The cover images will be revealed closer to each title’s order deadline.

In addition, BOOM! will select one launching title each month and slip one, rare exclusive cover intermixed into every 100 copies of the main cover printed. Dubbed the Jackpot Variant, these special covers will show up randomly at any comic shop that orders at least one copy of the title. For January, that title is Munchkin #1, a new ongoing series from BOOM! Box based on the hit adventure card game. The Jackpot Variant cover for Munchkin #1 is illustrated by Evan Palmer (Cooking with Food).

Finally, should any of its new titles in 2015 launch with a final combined initial order of over 10,000 copies, BOOM! will unlock an additional 1-in-10 intermixed special variant that will ship with the main cover.

To help mark its 10th anniversary, BOOM! will include a new “10 Years” trade dress logo that will be featured on the covers of all its single-issue releases in 2015.

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We Talk Princeless: The Pirate Princess with Jeremy Whitley, Rosy Higgins, and Ted Brandt

PL_V3_1_SMALLPrincess Adrienne is back! This time Adrienne and Bedelia have found another young princess locked away in a tower and decided to rescue her. But Princess Raven is more than meets the eye and Adrienne may have finally met her match.

After a bit of a break writer Jeremy Whitley returns with a new volume of Princeless adventures, Princeless: The Pirate Princess! Joining Jeremy is a new artistic team, Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt.

The new adventure is in the latest issue of Previews out this week, so you can make sure to pre-order it for its January release. Until then, we chatted with Jeremy, Rosy, and Ted, about the new series, what we can expect, and the new art team.

Graphic Policy: It’s been a bit since we last saw Princeless. How long has this latest volume been in the works?

Jeremy Whitley: This volume has been in the works in one for or another since May of 2013. I wrote a portion of issue 1 for our Free Comic Book Day issue. Originally that was all I had planned, but when I got to the end of the story I discovered I had a lot more to say about Raven. So we put together this volume, which is all about the adventure Adrienne and Raven have together.

GP: The comic is just hitting Previews now. How long is this volume supposed to go for? How is it broken up?

JW: This volume is another four-issue story, just like the first two volumes of Princeless. It will run in January, February, March, and April. Hopefully the trade will be out shortly after this. Much like the first volume, the first two issue work separately and the last two issue tell one piece of the story together. When you put it all together you get a full story.

GP: In this new volume you introduce Princess Raven bringing our heroines from two to three. Did you have an idea you’d be adding more in the first volumes?

JW: No. Raven wasn’t planned. When we discovered last year that we would be doing a Princeless book for Free Comic Book Day, I didn’t want it to be a reprint. I wanted something fresh that would let new readers know what Princeless was all about. So I wrote what was supposed to be a short story about Adrienne rescuing another princess. As it turned out, I made Raven too interesting to just leave at that. She had her own story that I wanted to tell. And along with the continuation of Adrienne’s story, we get that here.

GP: You also mix in pirates to the fantasy setting mixing things up a bit. Those are two genres that I don’t normally think together historically. How are you bringing the two worlds together?

JW: Really? I remember that after you open up the first bridge to leave you homeland in the first Final Fantasy game you go across a river to a port city. That city is overrun by pirates, whom you have to defeat in order to get a boat so you can get to other lands. It never dawned on me that pirates didn’t fit into fantasy.

Now what I do like is that adding pirates adds a whole separate set of mythologies into the world. As a guy that didn’t learn to swim until I was twenty and has never actually swum in anything deeper than a pool, I find the open ocean mysterious and terrifying. Sea creatures fascinate me. The idea of doing more with the open ocean in Raven’s story gets me really excited.

GP: There’s a new art team in Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt. How did they come aboard?

JW: We found each other through Tumblr! I had another artist I was planning on working with who had done some work on the FCBD book. Unfortunately, life got in the way and the story kinda got set adrift. I made a little announcement about it on tumblr, letting people know the schedule would have to be rearranged. Then Rosy and Ted hit me up, asking if they could take a crack at it. They whipped up some character designs and I was sold. Their style fits great with the overall style of the Princeless books while having a distinct style and flavor of its own.

GP: Rosy and Ted, obviously you’re coming into an existing series which has had a look, and a look that’s important to its message. How did you approach mixing the existing look with your own style?

Ted Brandt: For me, the most important part of a book’s design is its central messages and themes: the design needs to speak to that at every level. The thing that was motivating me throughout my work on this volume was ComicsAlliance’s quote that Princeless was the book “Disney should have been doing for the last 20 years.” Of course, I wasn’t really the designer here, it was more Rosy’s job, and she hit the nail on the head.

Rosy Higgins: Honestly, when it came to designing our versions of the characters I just read the previous volumes and then drew the characters. There wasn’t a huge amount of mental preparation in that. I think that reading the story so far, and also the scripts for the current volume, gave such a clear depiction of who the characters are that it wasn’t really that difficult to put our version of them onto the page. The most difficult character to translate was Sparky, and as a result, she’s probably the most visually altered aspect in this volume.

GP: The comic is very empowering and positive for women and minorities in both story and look. As artists, is the something you think about while designing the characters and drawing the comic?

RH: When drawing the characters the main thought in my head was that they are people. I know that probably sounds pretty obvious, but I think a lot of people can brush over that when creating stories – particularly when it comes to female characters. I wanted to make everyone as distinct from each other as I could, no cookie-cutter people going on here; different faces, different body types, different ethnicities. The ethnicities were very important to me to get right – so I hope I didn’t do too bad a job at it.

GP: When it comes to comics, especially fantasy comics, you think of large-chested, big muscled, skimp outfit characters. Princeless not only thumbs its nose at it, but has addressed it in previous issues. In a lot of ways, it throws the book out the window. How does that feel as an artist? Do you put your own spin on that in a way with what you design?

RH: Well, I’d never really drawn that sort of stuff to begin with, so really it was a relief that our first job was one where I didn’t have to!

GP: How do you two work as a team? Who handles what part?

TB: I’d love to give you a straight answer, but there isn’t one. When we started, it seemed like our respective strengths gave us a really straightforward system: I would do the layouts, Rosy would pencil, I would ink, she would color and I would letter. It really didn’t work out that way at all, though.

RH: Yeah, one particular job overlap was due to time constraints and so Ted also became my assistant flatter for the colours. He was also very helpful when it came to correcting some of my anatomy mistakes, because sometimes you need someone else who hasn’t been staring at the page to notice when something isn’t looking quite right.

TB: It’s also worth pointing out that Rosy also often fixed layouts for me, and picked up on inking mistakes. It was a pretty fluid process.

GP: Princeless is a pretty important comic, won numerous awards, lots of prestige, how does it feel to step onto a comic like this? Any pressure?

TB: Pressure? Absolutely. The awards weren’t the biggest pressure for me, though, it was more that we were coming onto an established book, with a hardcore fanbase. It’s a lot to think about to make sure you aren’t going to disappoint readers who already love the book, you know?

RH: Oh yeah, disappointing the fans is way more of a concern. Sure, the previous volumes have gained a critical acclaim, but it’s the readers that are the most important part of this whole thing.

GP: Jeremy, with Princeless you were out front of what is a wave of female and minority lead comics. How does it feel to see the market changed so much in the short time Princeless has been around?

JW: It feels so incredibly good. Part of why I chose to write this book is because there were no books like it. While it’s still quite distinct, I now have plenty of books I can read to my daughter. We read Lumberjanes and Ms. Marvel together every month. Personally I love that books like Captain Marvel and Rat Queens have a place in the current market. Even though my daughter is not ready for those books, I’m glad the larger companies realize the need to make these books.

GP: What else can we expect from everyone?

TB: We can’t tell you just yet, unfortunately, but I can say we’ll be working with Jeremy for a little while yet!

RH: It’s gonna be fun!

JW: Well, I have two other books in the November previews – both licensed books from IDW – and I’m hoping there’s a lot more of that in my future. I’m really having a ball playing in someone else’s sandbox for a while. But as soon as this volume of Princeless wraps up, Emily Martin will be returning to art duties for Volume 4, which is our swamp based super-moody goth story involving goblins, vampires, swamp monsters, and maybe even a few zombies!
Other than that, as you know, Heather Nunnelly and I are hard at work on our Kickstarted project “Illegal”. I’m also pitching some more projects that I’d like to see find a home in the next year. It’s going to be a wild 2015!

Preview: Black Science #10

Black Science #10

Story By: Rick Remender
Art By: Matteo Scalera
Art By: Dean White
Cover By: Matteo Scalera
Cover By: Dean White
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: AUG140638
Published: October 29, 2014

Fueled by a long string of failures as a leader, Kadir launches a mad rescue attempt. Can he live up to his promise and finally redeem himself, or will he fall beneath the crawling chaos of a million psychic millipedes?

BlackScience10_Cover

Marvel Teases Spider-Man Renewing His Vows in Summer 2015

amazing spider-man renew your vows

Review: Southern Bastards #5

So here we are, back in Craw County after a brief hiatus. We come back to a little bit of a breather. A little bit of place setting. And that’s okay, because we learn a lot this episode too.

One of the big questions about the first arc was who exactly is Coach Boss? Earl said they played football together, but past that we knew nothing. How did he become so powerful? How did he become comfortable enough to kill a man in the street, in front of plenty of witnesses, and think he could get away with it? (He even went to the funeral and gave the sheriff the business!) While we don’t learn that, we do learn a lot about the man himself.

Coach Boss is ordinary, except for one defining trait: he doesn’t give up. In flashbacks he’s told that he’s terrible at football, and that he should quit. His family is insulted, and he’s told he should quit. He’s sexually assaulted, and he’s told he should quit. But he gets right back up and makes for the tackling block, like nothing even happened. So we learn that he’s an average player with an unhappy childhood, which is not a unique history, but he’s also the most stubborn man in Craw County. He makes it work. And he wants people to remember it, which is why he tempts fate and puts Earl’s stick (the weapon Boss used in the murder) right up on the wall of his barbeque joint. Fair enough.

Through a few wordless panels we also learn a lot about present day Coach Boss. His home is modest; he’s the only one sleeping in his bed; the empty half of his closet, and the one high heel on the floor that he hasn’t picked up, imply that he used to be married or be in some kind of relationship, which in turn implies a gloomy former life. These panels are drawn in pale, muted colors, which make the scene stand out from the red, heat soaked panels of the flashbacks. It gives the scenes of his home life a sterile feel; it makes him seem lonely.

The rest of the book is given to the funeral, which is okay, as well as the introduction of presumably major players who will soon be introduced/play a large role, which is much more interesting. We get a reference to a hunter who lives in the woods, twin young women who own the bank, maybe a reference to the Dixie mafia, a sick mayor and his wife (who most likely wields the power), as well as a panel solely focused on the sheriff, who was introduced in the last arc. Earl’s daughter is finally given a name (Berta), and I hope she comes to town really soon. She ought to bring Hell with her.

All of these pieces of story are pulled together by the once again incredible artwork. I already mentioned the coloring choices, but this issue proved again that Jason Latour is just as deft with quiet scenes as he is with violence. The scenes at the funeral lose none of their grit just because there’s a lot of talking.

Now that we know a little bit more about Coach Boss, and the table has been set, I’m really excited for what will hopefully be a big next issue. Bring the pain, Berta!

Story: Jason Aaron Art; Jason Latour

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Around the Tubes

So, it was new comic book yesterday! What stood out to you? Anything you read that you’ve really like?

Around the Tubes

The Florida Times-Union – IRS fails to find a buyer in Jacksonville for former lottery winner’s comic books – At $5 a book? Um, nope.

ICv2 – New ‘Richie Rich’ Show – Huh.

Reuters – Xtreme Justice – Some real life heroes.

Paste Magazine – Tentacles & Madness: 10 Comics That Continue H.P. Lovecraft’s Horror Legacy – Some good ones on the list.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Aliens: Fire and Stone #2

Comic Vine – AXIS: Carnage #1

ICv2 – Barkamon Vol. 1

Comic Vine – Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America #1

Comic Vine – Deathlok #1

CBR – Deathlok #1

Comic Vine – DMC #1

Comic Vine – Elektra #7

Comic Vine – Guardians of the Galaxy #20

Talking Comics – Magi Vol. 8

Comic Vine – Rasputin #1

Comic Vine – Savage Dragon #199

The Spire – Some People

The Fandom Post – The Way of Shadows

Preview: Sex #17

Sex #17

Story By: Joe Casey
Art By: Dan McDaid
Art By: Piotr Kowalski
Cover By: Dan McDaid
Cover By: Piotr Kowalski
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: AUG140676
Published: October 29, 2014

“Breaks on a bus, Breaks on a car! Breaks to make you a superstar! Breaks to win and Breaks to lose – but these here Breaks will rock your shoes!”

Sex17_Cover

KaBOOM! Studios’ Capture Creatures from Tiny Kitten Teeth’s Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson

KaBOOM! has announced Capture Creatures, a new, original series from popular Tiny Kitten Teeth creators Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt. Based on a yearlong blog challenge and following a successfully funded Kickstarter for an art book and a widely attended gallery showing of Dreistadt’s original painted art, Capture Creatures is a heartwarming story about over one hundred strange creatures that suddenly appear on Earth and the two teens who will do whatever they can to keep them safe and figure out where they came from.

Capture Creatures #1 arrives from KaBOOM! in comic shops on November 26th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code SEP141165. The main covers are illustrated by Becky Dreistadt and Joy Ang, with retailer incentive covers by Missy Pena and Amanda Visell.

Capture Creatures #1 Chase Cover B (1 10) by Joy Ang Capture Creatures #1 Main Cover A by Becky Dreistad Capture Creatures #1 Retailer Incentive Cover C (1 15) by  Missy Pena Capture Creatures #1 Retailer Incentive Cover D (1 25) by Amanda Visell

Review: Harley Quinn Volume 1: Hot in the City

The influence of Deadpool comics is really quite apparent in DC’s current Harley Quinn series; she’s a nutty killer who doesn’t take anything seriously and finds herself talking to both the reader and to herself. Thankfully, however, Harley Quinn, a comic co-written by couple Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner and primarily drawn by Chad Hardin, doesn’t feel overly derivative. There is enough uniqueness to the way this book operates that the Deadpool comparison is easy to forget while reading. It’s also important to note that having something like this, shining a silly light in a cave of grim and gritty darkness, taking place in a modern DC comic is special. The first nine issues of this comic, collected in Harley Quinn Volume 1: Hot in the City, form a great read that offers loads of funny, simple fun, even though it isn’t very consistent in quality.

harley bob

While not without the rare instance of groan-worthy, juvenile humor that vaguely objectifies particularly attractive women, Harley Quinn is largely sex-positive and empowering when it comes to its portrayal of sexuality. The titular main character, along with Poison Ivy, a reoccurring character used to pal around with Harley, is sexually playful, but the sense that they are in control and comfortable is always clear. The characters are also ethically complex, but this dynamic is handled with intelligent care; for example, when Harley takes up a part-time therapy gig, she doesn’t do anything offensive that will upset those emotionally invested in issues of mental health.

Fortunately, Harley Quinn’s first volume treads careful ground and offers light-hearted entertainment that is easy-to-read. The characterization of Harley works incredibly well, embodying an infectious, care-free brand of goofy sociopathic behavior with some heart. Harley just wants to have fun, which for her means loads of violence, loads of food, and loads of cute animals. Every now and then that quest for a good time is interrupted by an impassioned tangent from Harley. Often, these little bits manage to be more touching than what one would expect.

The book is all over the place in terms of plot, but this is rarely a cause for concern. Various plot threads are touched upon for just a little while before the book moves on, but at the end of the day, no subplot is particularly substantial enough to need that much attention. A lot is built in this series in terms of supporting cast and activities for Harley to partake in, all carried along with another simple, overarching plot point that ties every issue together. Most issues more or less work on their own, all the while crafting a bigger narrative that is fun in its totality.

To the book’s detriment, the quality isn’t linear either. The first issue, featuring a ton of fourth-wall breaking comedy that ends up incorporating a cavalcade of big name DC artists, is fantastic fun that is never exactly matched by later efforts. Sometimes, a particular issue isn’t as solid as the average attempt, dragging down the pacing. Towards the middle, particularly in a two-issue arc found in issues five and six, certain sequences come off as rushed and to a certain extent, dull. The comedy is usually sound, but every now and then it gets a bit uncomfortable; the most striking example is in the fourth issue, featuring some violence towards a young boy that proves unnerving.

The art style of Harley Quinn is largely safe, but still compelling in its technical proficiency and emotive sense of style. Page layouts are standard, but the sense of movement and display of facial emotion works as good as one would want. While not remarkable in this regard, the book manages to look and feel exciting and energetic. There is plenty of color and detail, with solid background work as well. The medium of sequential art is also put to great work here when it comes to comedy; panels bereft of dialogue that work mainly to get across a character’s facial reaction to something ridiculous are plentiful and end up being hilarious.

All in all, Hot in the City is a load of fun that is easy to enjoy. It doesn’t maintain a consistent quality, but it’s always enjoyable to some extent: generally a great extent. Anyone looking to get a laugh out of something in DC’s lineup would be hard-pressed to find something better.

Story: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner Art: Chad Hardin
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

To check out Matt’s about.me, click here.

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Adventure Time #33

Adventure Time #33

Imprint: KaBOOM!

Writer: Ryan North
Artists: Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb

The Mnemonoid’s hold on Finn is proving to be stronger than anyone had thought and it’s taking the whole crew to band together to help their friend, only this time, there really might be nothing they can do. It’s up to Finn to stand up to The Mnemonoid, if only he could find the bully.

AdventureTime33_coverA

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