Tag Archives: graphic novels

Around the Tubes

It was new comic day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What did you like?

Around the Tubes

Graphic Novel Reporter – Alison Bechdel wins MacArthur “Genius Grant” – Congrats!

Publishers Weekly – Bookscan: Graphic Novels Up 10% In 2014 So Far – This is good news.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – All-New X-Men #32

The Spire – Batgirl: Futures End #1

Comic Vine – Batman and Robin: Futures End #1

Comic Vine – Daredevil #8

Comic Vine – Deadpool Bi-Annual #1

Comic Vine – Edge of Spider-Verse #2

CBR – Edge of Spider-Verse #2

Comic Vine – Elektra #6

Comic Vine – The Life After #3

Comic Vine – Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #4

Comic Vine – Superior Spider-Man #33

Comic Vine – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time #4

Comic Vine – Thor: God of Thunder #25

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Elric Vol. 1: The Ruby Throne Trailer

A stunning new comic adaptation of the classic Elric of Melniboné novels by Michael Moorcock!

The ancient island of Melniboné has been ruled by Elric, the albino emperor, for millennia. Reliant on magic and herbs for his strength and prolonged life, Elric’s grip on Melniboné is crumbling, as his people slide into decadence. Now his envious cousin Yyrkoon, Prince of Melniboné, plots to overthrow him and claim the Ruby Throne for himself!

Lavishly illustrated, this new comic adaptation has been produced with the full and enthusiastic endorsement of Moorcock himself, who has written an original introduction for this edition.

Elric Vol. 1: The Ruby Throne is on sale September 17.

Small Press Expo Comes to Amazon. Amazon Comes to Small Press Expo.

spx_amazonThe Small Press Expo is running this weekend just outside of Washington, DC in Bethesda, MD. The show is the premiere convention for independent comics, not just drawing big names, but also some amazing talent who don’t get the exposure deserved, and are overshadowed by the more known mainstream publishers at other conventions. Walking the floor of the convention, you can see that there’s truly something for everyone when it comes to comic books and graphic novels, and there’s fantastic independent and small press comics being produced. But, that’s on the show floor, and in previous years this knowledge and fact was confined to the hotel ballroom, social media, word of mouth, and the various blogs that covered it all.

In steps Amazon, who, in their comics and graphic novels section, is highlighting some of the amazing comics and graphic novels you’ll find at the show from the exhibitors and Ignatz nominees. Started in 1997, the Ignatz Awards is the show prize of the Small Press Expo recognizing outstanding achievements in comics and cartooning. For some of the offerings you can buy print copies, and others you can get it right away for the Kindle, all at the solid prices you’d expect from Amazon.

It’s wonderful to see this, not only is the giant in online sales promoting graphic novels, it also promotes the convention itself, putting it out there for many to see. Amazon has even gone so far as to promote it all through their email program, putting SPX and the graphic novels in front of a potential audience that many would kill to be shown to.

spx_amazon_2This promotion is on top of what comiXology is doing on their site. ComiXology, the leading digital comics platform, has been running a bundle deal where you can purchase 82 comics from folks exhibiting and attending the show for just $10. They’ve promoted it through their social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. That bundle deal ends later today, so get purchasing (and you can pay through Amazon payments)!

While comiXology has supported SPX, and the Ignatz before, this is a first for Amazon, who has previously supported the Eisners, the awards from San Diego Comic-Con. This is a huge boost for independent comics, and particularly the Small Press Expo, a gem of a convention.

ComiXology was purchased by Amazon earlier this year, and now you have two heavy weights (part of one family) showing much love for the indie comics scene. While some have been worried about the acquisition, moves like this show why it is a good thing, and overall, the purchase of comiXology by Amazon is a positive for the comics community as a whole.

We Talk Ricky Rouse Has a Gun with Jörg Tittel

Ricky Rouse has a Gun CoverRick Rouse is a US Army deserter who, after running away to China, gets a job at Fengxian Amusement Park, a family destination heavily “inspired” by Western culture, featuring Rambi (the deer with a red headband), Ratman (the caped crusader with a rat’s tail), Bumbo (small ears, big behind) and other original characters. The park’s general manager is convinced that Rick was destined to greet Fengxian customers dressed as none other than Ricky Rouse. But when American terrorists take the entire park hostage, only Ricky Rouse can save the day. In a furry costume. Introduced by Christopher Sprigman, author of The Knockoff Economy, this original graphic novel is a relentless action comedy, a satire of US-China relations, a parody of Western entertainment and a curious look at China, a country that, once we look past its often outrageous infringements, is a culture ripe with innovation and a unique, courageous spirit.

Ricky Rouse Has a Gun is part action story, part parody, part commentary on intellectual property, and totally entertaining.

We got a chance to chat with writer Jörg Tittel about the graphic novel’s origins, Shanzhai (the Chinese culture of knocking-off the intellectual property of others), and more!

Graphic Policy: Where did the idea of Ricky Rouse Has a Gun come from?

Jörg Tittel: I ripped it off, of course. But seriously, the idea of setting a Die Hard knockoff in a Chinese knockoff theme park first came to me when I was living in Los Angeles a few years ago. As the budding filmmaker I was then, I was probably a bit frustrated with the fact that everything that was actually getting green-lit was based on a brand, a remake of a classic, or an unnecessary sequel. Or preferably all of the above. And then I saw a YouTube video of an actual fake Disneyland in China. Add the fact that Bush was still very much the US president, mix it all together, and you get closer to the dangerous cocktail recipe that infected my brain and refused to get out.

GP: The graphic novel skewers a lot, first Shanzhai. How did you first come across it, and why have a story that revolves around it?

JT: There is something utterly hilarious and bizarre about a drastically and beautifully different culture appropriating Western cultural icons and renaming them to their heart’s content. On the internet, that stuff is called fan art. But in the world of multinational corporations, it’s considered theft. I obviously don’t condone anyone profiting from stolen intellectual property – it’s a disgusting practice – but I’m equally appalled by the “West’s” apparent lack of original ideas and our now standard practice of ripping ourselves off “legally” by buying 20th century ideas and franchises and reheating them ad infinitum. I’m worried we’ll all get cultural salmonella poisoning.

GP: Do you think the book itself both skewers intellectual property and Shanzhai? You take on both with the character of Ricky Rouse, but also action movies too. There was a Die Hard vibe I got from a lot of the story.

JT: I didn’t really set out to “take on” anybody. I see the whole thing as both a warm embrace and a full frontal assault where (hopefully) noone gets spared. A “fuck you hug” if you will for Hollywood, China, plagiarists, US foreign policy and whoever else may get referenced in the book. I’ll leave that to your readers to discover. As far as Die Hard is concerned, I believe it is the perfect action movie still to this day: inventive, funny, suspenseful, violent, with characters you actually care about. People are still desperately trying to make the next Die Hard. Look at Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down for instance… two films that both rip off the Die Hard “formula” and each other, all at the same time. You wouldn’t find such big budget knockoffs in China. You have to go to Hollywood for that. That said, I’m a total hypocrite of course, because despite all its “higher” ideals and satirical tone, Ricky Rouse Has a Gun is my silly attempt to make my own Die Hard. Anything to erase those sequels from my memory! Hah!

GP: The underlying theme of the book to me seems to be about control and co-option, either through pop culture/intellectual property or through military force, soft and hard power. How do you see these two in today’s world stage?

JT: There has been a lot of talk, especially since 9/11 and Bush’s wars, of these being signals of the “fall of an empire” akin to the Roman Empire eventual demise. And in some ways, that may indeed be true. Disney is more powerful than it’s ever been but it took buying the three biggest entertainment brands (Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars) rather than coming up with beautiful, original stories. America, too, has had to expand outwards. American productivity and manufacturing has been going down. Tens of thousands of its kids have been sent to fight dubious wars (many of them for oil etc.) abroad instead of making anything of value at home, and many more foreigners (including, tragically, Chinese children) have been manufacturing America’s biggest “export”, the iPhone. All the while, Apple has hardly paid a single tax dollar in its native country. We are no better here in Europe, of course. At this rate, all this control and co-option could lead to an implosion of our beloved “West.” I’m worried we’ve become a snake eating its own tail. But hey, STOP, what are we talking about? My book is FUNNY and ACTION PACKED!

 

GP: Shanzhai is interesting to me, as it both thumbs its nose at intellectual property, but also is controlled by it, since that’s what it is influenced by.

 

JT: I warmly recommend you read Bianca Bosker’s excellent book Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China and Christopher Sprigman and Kal Raustiala’s The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation on this subject. Incidentally, Chris also wrote the awesome foreword in Ricky Rouse Has a Gun. The foreword is worth the price alone. Heck, don’t read the silly bubbles or look at John Aggs’ awesome art. Just buy the book for the foreword.

GP: There are obviously different opinions between China and the United States about the ownership of culture. War has been fought over physical goods in the past (oil being an obvious example), could you see the cold war over intellectual property ever turning hot like in the book?

JT: In many ways, it already has. Individual artists, authors and creators are making less and less money, while corporations fill their pockets under the guise of anti-piracy measures and technological progress.

GP: Now that the book is out there, have you heard from Disney at all? It seems interesting this is out there, when they’re currently in a fight with DeadMau5 over the mouse logo.

JT: The Deadmau5 story is interesting – and incredibly silly – but there’s a crucial difference: Joel Zimmerman (aka Deadmau5) filed for a trademark which Disney’s lawyers feel might threaten their iconic mouse logo, whereas Ricky Rouse is an obvious parody. I would however love to hear from Disney – Ricky Rouse Has a Gun would be a great Touchstone picture.

GP: There’s the obvious question about Disney’s opinion, but what about the Chinese? Have you gotten any feedback from folks there? Especially those involved in Shanzhai?

JT: I’ve had awesome feedback from Chinese readers so far but I’m hoping that a Chinese publisher will translate the book so I can hear what “they” really think!

GP: What can we expect from you next?

JT: My partner- and wife-in-crime Alex and I will be directing our first feature film next year, an adaptation of György Dragomán’s incredible novel The White King. And I’ve been working on a YA comic book series which I can’t wait to unleash on the world. Both projects are very very different from Ricky Rouse. Perhaps I’ll miss the bugger enough one day to write a bloody sequel. How meta would that be?

Preview: Regular Show: Hydration OGN

Regular Show: Hydration OGN TP

Imprint: KaBOOM!

Writer: Rachel Connor
Artist: Allison Strejlau

Mordecai and Rigby star in their very first original graphic novel for REGULAR SHOW—it’s a long-form story that will be like watching one of their TV episodes. And we’re pretty excited about the team on this: Cartoon Network veteran Rachel Connor (Ed, Edd n Eddy) and Bravest Warriors artist Tessa Stone!

It’s another ridiculous adventure featuring the crazy antics of park employees Mordecai the blue jay and Rigby the raccoon as they try to beat the summer heat.

The summer is turning into a roast-fest and Mordecai and Rigby are desperate to find a way to cool down. But when a mystery pool suddenly appears and offers a chance to beat the heat, it’s only a matter of time before these two best bros find themselves in totally water-logged trouble.

Regular_Show_OGN_cover

Explore the Origins of the Marvel Universe with Marvel Famous Firsts: 75th Anniversary Masterworks Slipcase Set

In celebration of Marvel Comics’ 75th Anniversary, Marvel proudly presents a deluxe collection of its 10 mightiest Masterworks hardcovers – plus the all-new, long-in-demand Not Brand Echh Vol. 1 and the Avengers 75th Anniversary by Alex Ross Poster signed by none other than Stan “The Man” Lee!

Each titanic tome in this limited-edition boxed set features a newly designed cover treatment and interlocking spine artwork, and the slipcase itself is patterned after stately Avengers Mansion!

Marvel Famous Firsts: 75th Anniversary Masterworks Slipcase Set arrives in local comic book retailers September 3rd.

Marvel_Famous_Firsts1

Check out all of the contents below the jump.

Read more

Preview: Talent Deluxe Edition TP

Talent Deluxe Edition TP

Writers: Christopher Golden, Tom Sniegoski
Artist: Paul Azaceta

The sold-out sensation is finally collected! Optioned in a five way studio bidding war by Universal Pictures, Talent tracks Nicholas Dane, miraculous sole survivor of a plane crash. As mysterious men arrive to kill Dane, he discovers he can channel the talents of the victims of the crash! Discover why Ain’t It Cool News said, “Since the company’s inception, BOOM! has been creating quite a rumble in the comics world, but with TALENT, they’re definitely living up to their name. Highly recommended.”

Talent_DeluxeEdition_cover

Kickstarter Spotlight: Jon Eastman’s Murder & Midnight

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Kickstarter Spotlight. As a whole the service has been spotty for me with projects not meeting expectations, arriving late, or even falling through. As a whole I felt it was hard as a site to highlight, and ask individuals to back projects with their hard earned money, especially when it can go so poorly. I felt some responsibility for those choices.

That being said, we get a lot of requests from individuals to promote their projects. I have decided that a good compromise is to allow individuals to make their case, open our platform to them to do so.

 

 

Graphic Policy does not endorse any project, and remind individuals about the risks they take by doing so.

- Brett (aka the Management)

MMTITLE1At its core, Murder & Midnight is the story of a man who wants to forget his past and live out his life in peace. But some pasts aren’t meant to be forgotten…

The main character, Raith, is a mysterious man from the war-torn mainland who travels as far as any ship can take him – to a distant island at the edge of the world, his only companions his two black birds. It’s not known who Raith is, how he came by the strange symbol burned into his hand, what affliction causes him to constantly sip a flask of an unknown elixir, or how it is he’s able to communicate with his pets with a mere thought… but one thing’s for certain, he’s been damaged in every way a man can be: mind, body and soul.

For a time, it seems like his luck has changed, and Raith finds a home with a farmer and his young niece. But when the medicine that eases Raith’s waking nightmares runs low, he must find the key ingredient or face the demons that threaten to drive him to madness. And all the while, unknown to him, the past he so desperately wanted to escape is headed his way…

Murder & Midnight: Book One is the first volume in a fantasy adventure trilogy written by Jon Eastman (creator of 13 Legends, funded on Kickstarter in 2012) and beautifully illustrated by the artist, David Ward, and lettered by Kelly Eastman. An incredible amount of time and dedication have gone into every aspect of this project – from the story development, script, concepts, interior artwork, the website built from scratch, all the way up to the design of the printed book.

4From the beginning, we’ve wanted more than anything for the story to be read and enjoyed. That’s why we’ve been releasing Murder & Midnight serialized for free online (www.murdermidnight.com) since 2013. The positive comments we’ve received from readers along the way have helped keep the morale high. It’s a long road to go in a vacuum.

But the thing is, while we support the online version wholeheartedly, the story was always meant to be read in print. The pacing, the page layout, the tactile nature of the art – all of it screams BOOK!

Which brings us to Kickstarter!

The pages are 95% ready to go to print, and now we’re hoping is to raise the funds required to create a top quality 144 page hardcover with premium paper – to really make this book a beautiful object that houses a timeless story.

If you like fantasy, adventure, magic and monsters, or stories about human frailty and friendship, sacrifice and redemption, and characters that inhabit the fuzzy gray areas of life that lie between right and wrong, then we invite you to have a look at Murder & Midnight.

 

Review: Zaya

Zaya-t3_Page_01A secret agent in the distant future leaves her post to seek a normal life as an artist and mother. When a biomechanical threat starts attacking agents across the galaxy, she is called back into the field to find and stop the killer. The mission opens many questions about her own past, present, and future within not only the organization, but within the universe as she knows it.

Collecting all three books in the award winning series by writer JD Morvan and illustrated by Huang-Jia Wei, Zaya is a beautiful action thriller that pivots into a trippy sci-fi experience.

What I particularly enjoyed about the graphic novel is how it effortlessly flows from one type of story into another. At first, it’s a straight up familiar action story of a woman dragged out of retirement, and her family, to take on a threat to her former employer. That story pivots though, and the less I say about that the better, but generally we move into a trippy tale where identity is at the center, something that feels like it could be out of a Philip K. Dick novel. Basically we get two stories in one, and they flow right into each other and both are solid reads together, or on their own.

This sci-fi action-mystery is told through breathtaking design and illustration by Chinese artist Wei, known throughout the field for his bio-mechanical aesthetic and lushly painted artwork. The end result mixes have an anime like feel, just beautiful to look at. The design itself is amazing with a feeling of familiarity (to anime fans), but also new wonder.

Overall, the book is a solid read, especially for those who are fans of manga or anime. I began reading expecting one type of story, and came out the other end experiencing something completely different.

Story: JD Morvan Art: Huang-Jia Wei
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Magnetic Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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