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Double Fine and Oni Press Team Up with Zac Gorman to Bring Costume Quest to Comics!

Halloween is awesome. It’s pretty much the apex of human achievement and that’s science, buddy.  It can’t be disproven, so don’t even try.

But let’s face facts. Humanity isn’t content to rest on its collective duff. We crave accomplishment, we settle for nothing less than domination, and we demand to be apex predators in every possible arena.  Halloween might be the best thing we’ve ever done, but we can rebuild it, we can make it cooler, we have the candy.

That’s why when Double Fine Productions released Costume Quest in 2010, gamers and fans of radness the world over lost their minds. Not only had the sugar-fueled exhilaration of Halloween been captured in a game that could be played all year long, but the stakes had been raised and the true wishes that fuel every October 31st were finally realized.

In Costume Quest, a night of capricious gallivanting transformed into an epic, heroic mission; and earnest, handmade costumes became super-powered alter egos, catapulting intrepid trick-or-treaters into a magical world. Now Double Fine is returning to that world with Costume Quest 2, and Oni Press is bringing daring trick-or-treaters even deeper with Zac Gorman’s Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers!

Invasion of the Candy Snatchers tells the story of Klem, a misunderstood misfit member of the menacing Grubbins from the first game. While his fellow Grubbins live to snatch trick-or-treaters from our world, Klem is an adorable outcast who only cares about one thing: CANDY! Will Klem be able to make his way amongst the Grubbins while staying true to his sugar-loving soul? There’s only one way to find out!

Rather than being a blatant grab for more of fans’ hard-earned dough, Invasion is a lush, deluxe, oversized hardcover that tells a story from the Costume Quest world that isn’t seen in the games, expanding the overall experience through Zac’s incredible comics. As anyone who’s read Magical Game Time and played any of Double Fine’s collection of amazing games can attest, this is a real chocolate and peanut butter situation, folks.

That’s science, too.  Look it up.

Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers will hit stores this October, in time for Halloween and the release of Costume Quest 2!

With an arsenal like that, every other holiday is gonna be super bummed out.

costume conquest

 

Oni Press Stands Up for Marriage Equality

In an open letter posted to their Twitter account, comic publisher Oni Press “fired” their office and shipping supply company ULine over the issue of marriage equality. ULine’s CEO has been helping fund Family-PAC, an organization that describes itself as “pro-family, anti-tax political action committee in Illinois.”

The organization has been campaigning against SB10, which legalizes same sex marriage in Illinois. The legislation has passed and the hatemongers PAC have vowed to continue to fight for “Christian values” and against marriage equality as it says on their site, much like the fight against abortion has continued even after the Supreme Court’s decision (their comparison).

Sigh…

Congrats to Oni for doing the right thing and speaking with their dollars. Hopefully comic fans will reword them by speaking with theirs and purchasing a few more of their comics.

Sell-Outs and New Printing Roundup

BOOM! Studios

Day Men #3 has officially sold out at the distributor level. The comic will see a new printing and ships with a new cover by Brian Stelfreeze. The comic hits shelves April 23.

DAY MEN #3

Image Comics

Deadly Class #2 and #3 has been announced as a sell outs. Image announced the series by Rick Remender and Wes Craig. Image Comics has also announced that a special second printing of Deadly Class #3 will feature a variant cover and will be free to all retailers. Both issue 2 and 3 will be available again on April 23. Issue 4 hits shelves on April 30.

DEADLY CLASS #3 2nd print

Chris Roberson and Paul Maybury‘s new fantasy series Sovereign has sold out its first issue at the distributor level. The issue is going back to print and will be available on April 23, that’s the same day the second issue is released.

sovereign #1 2nd print

Oni Press

The Auteur #1 by Rick Spears, James Callahan, and Luigi Anderson has sold out at the distributor level. Plans will be coming about a new printing.

The Autuer #1 cover

The Bunker #2 by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari came out this week, and before it even hit shelves, Oni announced it had sold out at the distributor level. Plans are underway for a second printing.

The Bunker #2

Valiant Entertainment

Both X-O Manowar #23 and X-O Manowar #24 – featuring Prelude To Armor Hunters, Valiant’s summer 2014 crossover event – have both completely sold out at the distributor level and will return to store shelves with new covers featuring the art of Diego Bernard.

X-O Manowar #23 hits shelves April 23 and X-O Manowar #24 May 21.

XO_023_SECOND-PRINT XO_024_SECOND-PRINT

Review: The Bunker #2

The Bunker #2Each of the friends must decide their fates, as they’re faced with the first day of the rest of their lives. By the end, lines are drawn between the Believers and the Skeptics, while another shadowy figure from the future is watching them to make sure they all decide ‘correctly.’

Ever since The Bunker launched as a digital comic, I’ve been excited to read each installment of writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Joe Infurnari‘s time-warping, mind bending series. The digital installments were just enough to tease and have me salivating for more. Now, teaming up with Oni Press, the series is being released as physical copies, and with complete material none of us have seen previously as a digital release. And with just this second issue, everything is twisted around, and what we thought we knew, we clearly were wrong.

The Bunker in simplest terms is about free will, destiny, and how much of our life we’re in control of. Some friends receive notes from their future selves found in a mysterious bunker explaining how their lives will generally play out and how they cause the apocalypse. After reading the first issue, I had a general sense of what was going on, and where things were. Of course there were tons of mysteries still left out there, but you had an idea of the basis of the story and some ideas as to what these individuals “missions” were, if they so choose. Will they continue their path, and lead to death and destruction? Can they change the future?

So here we are in the second issue, and with just but a few pages at the end, and so much of the above for me is torn away. Fialkov has taken what we suspected, and upended that (at least for me, maybe you’re smarter in that department). Before he does that though, he focuses more on what exactly these letters say, the future world, the idea of destiny, and the type of tasks they need to do. The philosophical debates throughout the issue are impressive and gets the reader to think themselves.

But, writing isn’t everything. Infurnari’s art adds a gritty style that adds to the storyline. Each individual, whether  the present or future, is unique in their look, and matching the characters Fialkov has created. The style is wonderful and enhances the experience.

This is a comic I can give to a non-comic reader and know they’ll be coming back for more and asking me what else is like it. We not only have a hit, if sales are any indication, but we have a series I expect to see on many “best of 2014″ lists come next year. Make sure to put this one on your pull list, because you don’t want to miss out on the series everyone will be talking about. So far this series is one of my favorites of 2014 (though not a shock since it was up their with last year’s digital releases) and this issue is my favorite issue of any comic so far in 2014. This is only the second issue, so get a copy before you’re left behind what’s shaping up to be a hell of a ride.

Story: Joshua Hale Fialkov Art: Joe Infurnari
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Letter 44 #5

Letter 44 #5An expedition to explore an alien artifact turns into a desperate fight for survival; and President Blades orders a special forces team to take down the most unlikely target imaginable. In the fifth issue of Letter 44, writer Charles Soule‘s political sci-fi thriller, we get a hell of a turn of events, in both the special forces’ mission and also what happens with the alien artifact. So much packed into one single issue.

In the last issue, we’re left with some of the astronauts making it on to the alien artifact. It’s a moment I felt would come much further down the road of the series, being built out for at least the first half of the year, if not a whole year. Instead, we’re thrown right into it. This issue though shows us more of this alien world, and how easily things can go wrong in first contact. It’s an entertaining turn of events that are believable and at the end leave us with even more questions as to where things will go next.

Then back on Earth, Blades has figured out something is up within his administration and also sends a special forces team on a mission. Who or what is the target of the mission? We find that out at the end of the issue, and that’s rather fascinating. Also, how Blades deals with the snakes among him is fantastic as well. It all feels like something that might happen in the real world.

And that’s the excellence of the series, Soule is able to make this fantastical event(s) seem realistic through actions that all are believable in how they play out. Also, the guy packs each issue with so much. Any of this might play out an issue unto themselves in the hands of another writer.

Artist Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque adds to the amazement of the series as he’s able to deliver art that works with all of these different settings.

Overall, Letter 44 continues to be one of my favorite series mashing up science fiction and politics into a story that’s gripping and unpredictable.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Oni Press Unveils Amazing Plans for 2014

Oni Press has given a glimpes of what we can expect for 2014 and it’s impressive. Get your wallets ready, all of these should be on your “buy” list and you’ll probably want to add them to your pull list to make sure you get them!

THE LIFE AFTER
July 2014

In an infinite city fueled by despair, there is one man capable of breaking free. The Life After tells the story of Jude, a unique man who will fight good, evil, and bureaucracy to escape purgatory and save humanity. Kicking off in July after a special preview issue at WonderCon in April, this dazzling, unique, new ongoing series comes from the deft hands of writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Gabo and features covers by The Manhattan ProjectsNick Pitarra!

I WAS THE CAT
August 2014

To Burma, having nine lives means having nine chances to conquer the globe.  Written by Paul Tobin and illustrated by Benjamin Dewey, I Was the Cat is an original graphic novel that tells the tale of an aspiring feline despot, present for many of the modern world’s pivotal changes, but perhaps playing a more active role than anyone would suspect…

THE PEOPLE INSIDE
August 2014

Ray Fawkes, creator of the Eisner-nominated One Soul, has created another groundbreaking, wholly unique take on the graphic novel.  16 people travel through the stages of life, love, and death, changing the page with each new step they take. Joining together, being torn apart, burning bright, fading away—each stage of life becomes an indelible change to the storytelling format.  Simply put, The People Inside is not a book to read, it’s a book to experience.

THE SIXTH GUN: DAYS OF THE DEAD
Summer 2014

Comics supergroup Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, Mike Norton, and Bill Crabtree spin a prequel yarn to the ongoing The Sixth Gun series, uncovering how the villainous Pinkerton Jesup, and Sword of Abraham priest Brother Roberto became embroiled in a race to thwart the awakening of the monstrous god Yum Kimil in this spin-off to the critically acclaimed fantasy-western saga!

METEOR MEN
September 2014

On a summer night, Alden Baylor sits in a field watching the largest meteor shower in human history. What began as teenage adventure becomes something more–the celestial event brings travelers who will change the world completely, and Alden discovers a connection to one of them.

How does a young man who had to grow up fast handle the invasion of his planet? Can Alden keep humanity from oblivion? From writer Jeff Parker (AQUAMAN, HULK) and artist Sandy Jarrell (BATMAN 66) comes this original graphic novel about adolescence, friendship, and hard decisions.

MERMIN BOOK 3: DEEP DIVE
September 2014

Joey Weiser’s all-ages hero, the prodigal merman returns! No one knows much about Mer, the underwater kingdom where Mermin the merman was born, but due to a rising conflict with the people of Atlantis, Mermin is needed back home immediately. Which means that his human friends get to accompany him and see all the aquatic wonders of Mer. But once again, Mermin is tight-lipped about his past – even when it’s swimming right in front of him. And there are enemies lurking in the seedier depths of Mer, who’ve got their sights set not only on Mermin, but on Pete and his friends!

STUMPTOWN
September 2014

Dex Parios is  back in action and she’s sticking around! This September, Portland’s favorite beleaguered P.I. stars in a brand-new, ongoing Stumptown series written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Justin Greenwood with colors by Ryan Hill and letters by Crank!

BRIDES OF HELHEIM
October 2014

Cullen Bunn, Joëlle Jones, and Nick Filardi return to their smash hit Viking horror/fantasy series Helheim! Alone in the wilderness and living in seclusion, the Viking warrior Rikard is confronted once again by black magic and arcane monstrosities. But this time, Rikard seeks vengeance against the warlock who was once master to the witches who wove our undying hero’s bloody fate.

HELLBREAK
October 2014

Not black ops. The blackest of ops. A group of elite soldiers has been recruited by the shadowy Kerberos Corporation for a series of special missions—breaking souls out of Hell and returning them to their bodies… and replacing the evil demons possessing their mortal shells here on Earth.

A gothic, action-packed vision of Hell in a new ongoing series that evokes Inception and Aliens by way of John Carpenter from the creative forces of writer Cullen Bunn, artist Brian Churilla, and colorist Jordie Bellaire!

CIUDAD
December 2014

Created by acclaimed writer Ande Parks and Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with art by Fernando Léon, Ciudad is a brutally violent, action-packed thriller about a world-weary mercenary hired by a powerful drug lord to pull off an impossible retrieval mission in one of the world’s most dangerous locales while battling warring factions, a corrupt police force, and an city full of hired killers.

ORPHAN BLADE
December 2014

From the team of late, great writer Nick Almand and artist Jake Myler comes a manga-tinged graphic novel that tells the classic tale of a boy and his sword. Hadashi is a simple boy with simple dreams, but his life changes when a horrific accident maims his hand. Unable to hold a sword, he’s kicked out of the dojo he once called home. But the Orphan Blade is no ordinary sword. When Hadashi finds it abandoned in a marsh, he finds that not only is he able to wield it — the sword seems to be wielding him! Too bad Hadashi isn’t the only one interested in the Orphan Blade, and his ownership draws the attention of the Five Fingers of Death — a legendary and deadly group of mercenaries who have their own magical weapons.

JUNIOR BRAVES OF THE APOCALYPSE
Early 2015

After a camping trip out in the mountains with their grizzled old scoutmaster Padre, a troop of scouts, the Junior Braves, discover that the world has been wiped out in an apocalyptic disaster, and overrun with bloodthirsty mutants. Using all their scouting skills and knowledge, these young boys try to survive on their own, while searching for clues to the whereabouts of their evacuated families. It’s The Goonies meets The Walking Dead, in this first in a new young adult graphic novel series by writers Michael Tanner & Greg Smith, and artist Zach Lehner.

ARES & APHRODITE
2015

A new original graphic novel by Jamie S. Rich and Megan Levens! Will Ares is a successful divorce lawyer — which means, invariably, that he’s always pissing someone off. He’s also a hopeless romantic (go figure). Gigi Averelle is a wedding planner who’s seen enough failed marriages to know that true love doesn’t exist. And with their respective clients — movie producer Evans Beatty and Hollywood starlet Carrie Cartwright — getting hitched, Will and Gigi are about to see a whole lot more of each other. As Beatty’s ex-wives come out of the woodwork and cause mayhem for the upcoming marriage, Gigi proposes a bet — should Evans and Carrie go through with the wedding, Gigi will go on a date with Will. Should they break up, as Gigi suspects, Will must put a full-page ad in the paper revealing the number of marriages he’s ruined. Is Will a fool for love, or is this the start of a beautiful relationship?

Come see Oni Press at the following 2014 conventions across the continent! At each convention, they’ll be giving away special items and publications exclusively to fans that come to their panels and line up for signings at our booth.

Emerald City Comicon – Seattle – March 28-30
WonderCon – Anaheim – April 18-20
TCAF – Toronto – May 10-11
VanCAF – Vancouver – May 24-25
HeroesCon – Charlotte – June 20-22
SDCC – San Diego – July 23-27
PAX Prime – Seattle – August 29-September 1
NYCC – New York – October 9-12

Emerald City ComiCon will see the premiere of The Bunker #2 with an exclusive cover by Chew’s Rob Guillory as well as the debuts of Rick Spears and Chuck BB’s Black Metal Volume 3, and Cullen Bunn, Joëlle Jones, and Nick Filardi’s Helheim Book One: The Witch War!

WonderCon 2014 is fans’ first chance to get their hands on some of Oni’s exciting new titles as they premiere early editions of The Life After #1 and Princess Ugg #1!

Review: The Sixth Gun #39

The Sixth Gun #39“Go Drake, GO! Get her to safety! Save her…I’ll kill this fool!”
- Nahuel while saving Drake, Becky and Nidawi.

The Sixth Gun #39 continues its current arc with issue #39 and part four of “Not the Bullet, But the Fall”. This arc is riddled with action sequences and plenty of great story lines by Cullen Bunn for us to sink our teeth into. The last issue was, by far, one of the craziest and best of the series to date with Drake and Becky being as formidable a duo as ever. There were also many dismal and mournful moments as well with the deaths of -*Spoilers* – Gord and Asher: they will be sorely missed, RIP.

Issue #39 brings back one of my favorite comic book villains in General Oliander Bedford Hume. No, he is not back from his chained up state, but rather in a flashback. Bunn doesn’t make it clear who is having the flashback or if it is just a plot device but I would assume it is Drake remembering his old General and his war-time cries. We get a glimpse into what the Knights Of Solomon are up to and it appears that Cullen Bunn is preparing us for the end. We only see them for a few pages but I suspect that the next arc will feature them more prominently.

Drake, Beck and Nidawi are still caught in their hazardous position with Jesup and his minions surrounding them. Nidawi comes to Becky’s aid before getting wounded and it appeared their lives were all but lost along with the ancient guns and their journey coming to an abrupt and bloody end. However, the self-sacrificing Nahuel saves the day by offering his own life to save his three friends. He battles Jesup himself and gives Drake and Becky enough time to transfer Nidawi to safety. Nahuel, being the great warrior that he is, is no match for Jesup, who has control of the Fifth Gun, granting the owner the ability to heal from even a fatal wound. The issue ends with a peek into the world of Grisleda, the mysterious Grey Witch, and her schemes and plots to wrest the Six from Becky and Drakes hands; She will most likely feature in the next arc as well. It’s only a matter of time before her and Drake’s paths cross and I, for one, cannot wait for that encounter.

Issue #39 kept the action going in what is definitely the bloodiest arc to date. The action sequences in the middle are outstanding. Brian Hurtt is one of my favorite artists in comics right now and he does not disappoint. The panels of the end of Nahuel showcase what I’m talking about along with colors by Bill Crabtree. The sequences really pop when needed and dwindle and fade where necessary. It is really a wonderful book and Cullen Bunn’s writing makes The Sixth Gun one of the best comics on the shelves today and should no doubt be on everyone’s Pull-List.

Thoughts and Questions

- What is happening to Drake’s shoulder? It looks like the Guns are transforming his body and the way his shoulder looked made me think of the tiled mural a few arcs back. Remember the one that looked like Drake? We still don’t know all the answers about that.

- What happened to Kirby? I am not convinced he is gone just yet. He may be a jerk but I liked having him around.

- Where does Drake and Becky go from here? With Gord, Asher and now Nahuel gone they will need more help if they are going to win this fight that I’m certain is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Brian Hurtt Colors: Bill Crabtree
Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Letter 44 #4

letter 44 4 coverThe crew of the Clarke has their first real encounter with the alien technology being built in the asteroid belt, while back on Earth, President Blades discovers the truth behind the brutal attack on his closest adviser, and unseen forces continue to move against him.

Four issues in and this series keeps on building up the anticipation, excitement, and intrigue. Master writer Charles Soule balances so much in each issue and somehow pulls off moving each plotline along just enough to keep us satisfied. There’s the aliens themselves and the mission to see what’s up, the interaction of the ship’s crew and their personal issues, and then the President’s political situation at home. Any one of those things could be a series unto itself. But each is moved along satisfyingly and entertainingly, like a sci-fi soap opera.

Soule also keeps us on our toes. I have no idea what he has planned next. What happens when the astronauts reach the alien contraption? What Soule does, I wasn’t expecting. How will the President deal with the political machinations at home? We’ll see. How do you deliver a baby in space? I guess we’ll find out! There’s so much here to keep folks entertained, I’m amazing at how Soule finds the perfect balance for it all.

Backing him up on art duties is Jiménez Alburquerque who is able to balance the fantastical moments in space with those back on Earth. On top of that, each character is unique and distinguishable, with a look that’s unique. This is a solid pairing of writer and artist.

If you’re a fan of sci-fi stories, mysteries, or just good writing, do yourself a favor and check the series out. You’re not too late to catch up and you’ll absolutely be treating yourself.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Bunker #1

the bunker 1 coverWhen five friends go to bury a time capsule before going their separate ways, they find a mysterious bunker stamped with their names and containing artifacts from a time that has yet to come. Will their discovery save the world or doom it? Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov and artist Joe Infurnari have created a new ongoing series that proves outrunning your future is no easier than escaping your past.

One of the best debuts of 2013 is now in print for the first time with a double-sized issue that’ll show why so many have been buzzing about it. To say this series is good, is an understatement. When each chapter was released digitally last year, I immediately hopped on my computer to download each chapter. Now that it’s collected, I’ve been giddy that others might be more open to checking it out.

Fialkov is an amazing writer who has mastery of so many genres. Here he mixes the mystery of the television series Lost of an impending apocalyptic meltdown. The most difficult thing is to talk about why this comic is so good without spoiling any of the discoveries throughout.

But, what I can reveal and truly sticks out is Fialkov’s portrayal of the individuals who stumble upon the mysterious bunker. Their reactions, and interactions is fantastic and very realistic. You feel like this is how college age people would talk and interact in this extraordinary situation.

Fialkov’s writing is enhanced by Infurnari’s art which has a distinctive style and look. It fits the time bending series, both the frantic present and the gritty future.

Rereading the comic, I found myself digging at small details, trying to discern what’s up and trying to find clues as to the story. This is a mystery that sucks you in, a comic that I expect to transcend the comics medium.

Story: Joshua Hale Fialkov Art: Joe Infurnari
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Letter 44 #3

letter 44 #3 coverHow do astronauts have sex in space? Relationships among the Clarke crew are explored, while a signal from a mysterious asteroid provides clues to the nature of the alien presence in Earth’s solar system. On Earth, intrigue deepens as one of President Blades’ closest advisors suffers a savage attack!

Mixing science fiction and politics this series made it onto my “best of 2013″ list as one of the best new series of the year. Issues like this is a prime example why I’m totally behind this series and why writer Charles Soule is one of the hottest writers in the comic industry (and one of the hardest working people too).

Lets start with the science fiction. We found out in the last issue, one of the crew members was pregnant. With such few people, on such a long mission, clearly some issues are going to arise when it comes to pairing off. That comes up as we learn a bit more about the crew, including the “controversial” sex in space scene. The science fiction aspect is also awesome as some contact is made with the unknown aliens. What does their signal mean? That’s all debated and next steps are decided.

Back on Earth, President Blade reflects on his first two months in office where he hasn’t achieved what he has wanted to. His agenda sounds pretty similar to the current real world’s President and there’s discussion with his Chief of Staff as to what he can do about it. That leads to a pretty gutsy political decision, but how will the President’s other advisers react to that? Political intrigue!

Artist Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque balances the artistic needs of scenes set in a science fiction setting of space as well as those quieter more down to Earth moments as well. He does both masterfully bringing Soule’s tightrope balancing script to life.

If you’re a sci-fi fan, buy this book. If you’re a fan of politics, buy this book. If you like great concepts and original comics, buy this book. Pretty much, you should buy this book.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy

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