Tag Archives: webcomics

Man Plus Leads The Charge Of Titan’s New Web-First Comics!

33530_MAN-PLUS-#1-HAv3Titan Comics has launched their all-new web-first comics program with dystopian thriller Man Plus by André Lima Araújo, with updates scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at manpluscomic.com!

Titan’s web-first program is aimed at building new audiences for print and digital by letting you read the greatest next-gen comics…TODAY!

With other amazing web-first projects soon to follow, Titan’s new initiative gives readers and retailers direct immersion in never-before-seen creator-owned worlds before they hit the comic racks.

Print editions of web-first comics will also be crammed full of can’t-miss bonus material – from character profiles, interviews and deep-dives into the worlds of each comics universe, to unseen art pages and more!

The first 12 pages of Man Plus #1 are live right now on the official Man Plus website!

Welcome to Olissipo City: a shimmering metropolis where technology rules with a heavy hand, cyborg strike teams are commonplace, and the lines between man and machine grow hazier every day.

From artist/writer André Lima Araújo comes a high-octane dystopian thriller that whisks the reader into the thick of a robotic skirmish and the unsettling conspiracy that lies at its heart…

Review: Strong Female Protagonist

logo2Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag‘s webcomic Strong Female Protagonist follows the life and times of twenty-something Alison Green (AKA Mega Girl) former super-hero, current university student.

The story begins with Alison, but it quickly unfurls to include a large variety of characters including an angry, cocky current-super hero named Furnace (a real hot-head, badum-cha), Alison’s friend and room-mate who is a wanna-be political activist with a bit of first-world-white privilege to overcome first who sometimes misuses her friend’s super powers, Alison’s former super-team, her doctor, her family, and the students on campus are all woven into the tapestry of the story. All are important and surface in ways you won’t expect.

The comic also showcases Mulligan’s degree in philosophy by tackling many current-event issues, like date-rape, organ donation, foreign aid, etc.

Perfect for the feminist, the twenty-something struggling to find their place in the world, and generally anyone with a human soul who loves superheroes.

Story Brennan Lee Mulligan  Art: Molly Ostertag
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Read it NOW, why aren’t you reading it yet?!

Atomic Robo Heads to the Web Starting Wednesday

Atomic Robo Ghost of Station X #1 CoverRight now it’s hip to bring webcomics to print, but starting this week Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener‘s Atomic Robo is heading to the web. After seven years, the fantastic comic that doesn’t get enough love from folks is heading to being a full-time webcomic. You can find it starting this Wednesday 21 at Atomic-Robo.com.

The whole run, all nine volumes, will be online for free, and build to the tenth volume Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire which should be released this Summer. That means not only will all future volumes be readable on the web, but also means thousands of pages of the existing material will be available for free too.

The entire first volume goes up on Wednesday, followed by a Monday/Wednesday/Friday update schedule. That’s full issues being put up three times a week.

Collected editions will remain in print and through digital services like comiXology. The material will be online first and then collected later for those who want it like that.

Reached for comment, Clevinger confirmed that the collected editions of Robo will remain in print and available through ComiXology: “New material will be free online first and collected into issues/trades through ComiXology for folks who wants ‘em like that. We’ll also print the new stuff as trades as, y’know, they get finished.”

The first volume, Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne, will be available  this Wednesday.

(via ComicsAlliance)

Shinobi: Ninja Princess Announces Free Webcomic

Action Lab Entertainment’s popular coming of age action series, Shinobi: Ninja Princess is well into its run with issue 4 coming soon. Now, Series creator Martheus Wade is introducing new fans to the world of Shianndrea “Jetta” Toshigawa with a new tie in webcomic.

These 1-4 page webstories weave into and out of the existing 6 issue mini series published by Action Lab Entertainment. Each story will give readers more information on the characters and world of this martial arts adventure as well as serve as a gateway for new readers.

The stories mix the lighter side of the series and answers those burning questions fans have been asking for such as “how did the Azumi Ninja Clan get the contract to find Shianndrea Toshigawa in the first place?” and “What do young ninjas do to blow off steam?”

The free webisodes are available at the official Jetta website at http://toshigawa.com/

SHINOBI NINJA PRINCESS WEBCOMIC

Edgar Rice Burrough’s The Mucker Webcomic Launches with Ron Marz & Lee Moder

Mucker TitleReturning to the spotlight for the first time in a century, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic rough ‘n tumble man of action, The Mucker, is making a  digital debut this Saturday, January 18, 2014, in an all-new adventure strip written by Ron Marz and drawn by Lee Moder. The strip will be available on the Burroughs website.

Marz is a long time Burroughs fan. In a release he explained:

I grew up on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, to a large extent, I’m the kind of writer I am because of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I’m following not only in his footsteps, but in those of so many other creators who have left their mark on these concepts and characters. My job is to make these stories worthy for existing fans and completely accessible for new fans.

Though not as well-known as Burroughs’ other works of science fiction, fantasy and adventure, like Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars, The Mucker is a unique story about the exploits of Burroughs’ only anti-hero – Billy Byrne, a brash and brawling street tough from Chicago’s West Side – grounded in the harsh realities of life in the slums of the early 1900’s. Decades before Indiana Jones uncovered the Lost Ark and Rambo fought his personal guerrilla wars, the ruthless Mucker would find himself on whatever side of the law suited his savage nature, taking on crooked fight promoters, brutal gangsters, sinister kidnappers, ferocious headhunters and a femme fatale or two.

Artist Lee Moder, known for his work on Legion of Superheroes, Wonder Woman and Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., combines a classic sense of design, setting and anatomy with a flair for exciting storytelling.

The first four strips will be available for free and upcoming episodes will be available anytime, anywhere for just $1.99 a month with a subscription to the official Edgar Rice Burroughs Digital Comic Strips service. The service includes numerous other series to enjoy including:

  • The Mucher™ by Ron Marz, Lee Moder, Troy Peteri and Neeraj Menon
  • Tarzan of the Apes™ by Roy Thomas, Pablo Marcos and Oscar Gonzalez
  • Thew New Adventures of Tarzan™ by Roy Thomas and Tom Grindberg
  • Carson of Venus™ by Martin Powell, Thomas Floyd and Diana Leto
  • The Eternal Savage™ by Martin Powell and Steven E. Gordon
  • The War Chief™ by Martin Powell and Nik Poliwko
  • The Cave Girl™ by Martin Powell and Diana Leto
  • Pellucidar™ by Chuck Dixion and Gary Kwapisz
  • The Land That Time Forgot™ by Martin Powell, Pablo Marcos and Oscar Gonzalez­

Egypt’s Hijab-clad Superheroine

8451I_qahera1Egypt has its own superhero, and the comic book crime fighting Qahera is a hijab wearing crime fighter taking on prejudice and representing strength.

Created by Deena Mohamed, the character was started as a web comic as a way to respond to frustrations at the time. The web comic has gained a following world-wide, not just in Egpyt. The popularity has grown to the point it’s moved from digital to print.

Qahera is the Arabic word for Egypt’s capital, Cairo and also means the conqueror or the vanquisher. An appropriate name for a character whose donning of a hijab is to fight the stereotype that women who wear the Islamic attire can’t also be strong.

The comic is written in English as Mohamed had a Western audience in mind from the beginning, another reason for the hijab. The character is partially a response to the backlash to Islam and meant to address that. In a recent story, that was the main plot with western women calling the outer-wear a sign of “oppression.”

The character also takes on the increase of sexual harassment and attacks on women in the streets of Egypt. An issue that’s been on the rise in recent years. She’s taken up arms, literally with a sword, to battle the issue.

Lately the web comic has taken on more recent history, paying tribute to the women who took part in the 2011 uprising protests.

A fine example of a comic series documenting recent experienced history through the guise of a superhero.

qahera

Devil’s Due, Dirk Manning Ink Deal for Mr. Rhee

Devil’s Due Entertainment has signed horror writer Dirk Manning to release comic book based on his successful horror/noir online comic, Tales of Mr. Rhee. The existing web series is to be collected into a print volume, as well as made available on digital comic platforms. Future Mr. Rhee content is also in the tentative planning stages.

Five years ago Hell invaded Earth in a “nightmare world” scenario, only for the demons to be driven back into the abyss after three days of world-wide oppression.

Society has now rebuilt itself, though, and everything is back to normal…or so most people choose to believe.

There are still wicked things left behind that occasionally emerge from the shadows, prompting the involvement of the cryptic and enigmatic paranormal troubleshooter known only as “Mr. Rhee.”

Look for details regarding the print release of Tales of Mr. Rhee to be announced soon, with product shipping this Winter. Manning and Devil’s Due intend to utilize a combination of digital distribution, national store distribution and crowd funding platforms to maximize the success of Rhee, as well as exploring options in other areas of the entertainment field.

Review: Hominids #1-3

This review originally appeared in a slightly different form on my now-dead, short-lived personal blog back in May. But Graphic Policy is a much better location for this review!

Chapter-2_cover_SmallA few months ago (back in May) I helped to organize a local convention at my university, serving as a panelist coordinator, and while the convention wasn’t the most successful to date in the history of cons, it was nonetheless a wonderful experience to be involved in, and especially to meet all of the wonderful artists, writers, cosplayers, and even actors who participated in our wide-ranging panels. I got the opportunity to check out our exhibition hall, where we had several comic book industry insiders, including Brandon Jerwa (VampirellaBattlestar GalacticaG.I. Joe), Mark Rahner (VampirellaWarlord of MarsRotten), Mike Catron and Gary Groth (co-founders of Fantagraphics Books and the guys who took over The Nostalgia Journal and turned it into today’s famous The Comics Journal), James Taylor (artist and co-founder of Jet City Comic Show), and a number of authors (Danika Dinsmre, Janet Lee Carey), several professors from Western Washington University and the University of Washington, and many vendors from Portland, OR to Vancouver, B.C.

One of the best finds of the con, however, was meeting Jordan Kotzebue and cashing in a well-spent $15 for the first three issues of his Hominids series. Kotzebue’s work in this creator-owned, independent comic series is outstanding, with a playful artistic style that is beautiful, fun to look at, and richly detailed. One quick flip through his books and I was sold (quite literally) on their ability to at least visually captivate and tell and solid story. I was not disappointed, either, by the writing, especially after the story comes into its own in issues #2 and #3 (it feels as though #1 was written by someone completely different).

Hominids is not just good and original art, though, it’s also a really intricate and playful story which deals with complex issues that plague society today. While it’s not necessarily a good review to say “this connects to society,” since almost every comic or piece of Nerd media nowadays is talking about issues pertinent to modern, globally conscious citizens (this is, after all, due to the fact that media is partly a reflection of its time and grapples with the complexities its consumers face in situ), Koztebue’s work does more than just calmly allude to race and, to a lesser extent, gender relation in the U.S. and elsewhere. Instead, Hominids vividly challenges notions of biologized racial attributes by showing that culture and historical circumstances are what shape individuals’ and groups’ actions.

Disavowing the idea that racial and ethnic groups have innate, born-in-the-bled differences is incredibly important to achieving racial inequality, since arguments about biologized race have been the basis for oppression, genocide, ethnocide, linguicide, and slavery for hundreds (thousands) of years of interaction between Western Euro-America and the largely non-White rest of the world. And while I can’t say for sure that Kotzebue means to create a parable about race and the nature vs. nurture/biology vs. culture debates, the prehistorical context with multiple Hominid groups vying for dominance in their respective ecological niches provides a great foil for this kind of fun, lighthearted exploration of a very serious present-day issue.

By virtue of its temporally distant setting, Hominids can call into question the belief that race is something genetic. The Homo sapiens (Humans) in the second issue are shown as a violent species, constantly warring with the other Hominid groups, but especially Kotzebue’s forest-dwelling, tree-climbing Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals). With the introduction of the human character Icari, who was cast out of his human city for believing he found the One True God (which looks like a demon on a spaceship…time travel?!), antagonism and mistrust erupts in the Neanderthal pack, who want little to do with a violent human. However, pack leader Zona points out that this human might be proof that the humans’ culture is to blame for their violence, and not their nature.

The second and third issues are packed full of useful insights that hearken to issues of colonialism worldwide, but which especially parallel the struggle of Native Americans against Whites, a point made all the more potent since all the humans drawn thus far are ‘Caucasian’ (and, curiously, so are the Neanderthals). There are also issues raised about disability, given that two of the main characters are albino; while not a physical or mental disability, albinism is definitely a social one.

In terms of gender dynamics, it could be pointed out that the female characters bearing their breasts is sexualizing, but given the context of the story (Hello, they’re Neanderthal’s…who look just like humans…) and the fact that Zona and Sno don’t seem to be hyper-sexualized like most comics these days, Hominds doesn’t strongly reinforce stereotypes about female characters, and even goes so far as to provide a major female leader. It is possible, though, that Sno’s albinism and Icari’s fascination with her could easily develop overtones of objectification of Sno as a goddess figure. I trust in Jordan, though, given Hominids‘ other overall themes.

Issue-3_store_largeAs a reader, I’m wondering whether or not the savage and chimp-like peoples will get their fair say as well, or if Zona’s argument about culture driving action will fall in on itself and contradict what is one of the most socially conscious and critical points of the whole series thus far.

I find Hominids a thrilling, light-hearted and yet somehow serious, additional to my comic collection. Primatology and Hominid evolution is great fun to study in class, but it’s so much more exciting in fiction (think, Planet of the ApesTarzan of the Apes, Auel’s Earth’s Children series), not the least of which because pondering what-ifs regarding our nearest ancestors and cousins is so delightfully threatening to our assumed specialness as evolved, intelligent, and evolutionarily successful critters.

If it could be put on your local comic bookstore pull list, I would recommend everyone to do so. Unfortunately, for now, we’ll have to settle for the online version and what becomes available in Kotzebue’s e-store. Hominids is available page-by-page online and updated every Tuesday, but I thoroughly suggest that you buy the individual issues through his e-store, not only because they are a wonderful addition to any comic collector’s stash, but because they look so much better in person! Also, I’m a sucker for getting to interact physically with the media I consume–there’s nothing better than smell and feel of new comics and old books! And supporting an up-and-coming artist is a way you can contribute personally to the creation of great, socially conscious art.

You can check out Hominds on Facebook, and follow Jordan Kotzebue on both Twitter and Tumblr, where you can check out his non-Hominids art and experience the full range of his dynamic style.

Story and art: Jordan Kotzebue
Story: 8.5  Art: 9  Overall: 9  Recommendation: Buy

Dylan Meconis Joins PvPOnlinecom Writers’ Room for 15th Anniversary of the Comic!

dylanphotoWebcomic staple PvP began publishing online May 4th, 1998 at a time when the World Wide Web was still dialup and most self-published comics were being printed in zines. Chronicling the tales of a videogame magazine of the same name, PvP and its creator Scott Kurtz became a fixture in the comics and gaming industries over the next decade-and-a-half. For its 15th Anniversary, PvP is again breaking new ground in the comic medium with the creation of the PvP Writers’ Room and the addition of its first new staffer, Dylan Meconis.

“The last fifteen years has been an amazing ride and I’m not interested in stopping anytime soon,” commented series creator Scott Kurtz. “We’ve always tried to stay ahead of the game, remain fluid and never be afraid to experiment. That’s why the creation of the PvP Writers’ Room and bringing in Dylan is the first step of the next decade of PvP.”

“In early January of 2013, as we were in pre-production for our 2nd webcomic Table Titans (TableTitans.com) Scott injured his back. Being laid up and unable to draw for eight hours a day, we reached out for help,” said PvP Director of Business Development and Brand Management Cory Casoni. “I’d met Dylan on several occasions and knew of her love for PvP, so we asked if she’d be willing to fill in for a week. The scripts she delivered were dynamite and one week turned into almost three. That’s when Scott started talking about adding her to the team.”

New writer Dylan Meconis added, “I’m really excited to be working with Scott on PvP. I’ve been an avid reader for years, but when Cory and Scott invited me to fill in, I was surprised by how natural it felt to step into the world of the strip. Being asked to continue as a regular contributor is a delight, not least of all because I might get to talk Scott into drawing things I’ve always wanted to see, like Brent riding a llama. Writing for a beloved daily strip like PvP is a big departure from my previous projects. I’m used to toiling over long stories without the benefit of a collaborator, much less one with the talent and experience of a Scott Kurtz. I can’t wait to see the results.”

“The problem with deadline-based comic strip writing is that sometimes you’re forced to go with your first idea over the best idea.” said Kurtz. “Being a part of a writing team on other projects I learned that with more than one writer, you can get the best idea and maintain the schedule.”

Readers may not realize it but they’ve already been enjoying Meconis’ work. The current PvP storyline, leading up to the New PvP, has all been a product of the combined efforts of Scott Kurtz and Dylan Meconis in the PvP Writers’ Room.

“If you’ve never read PvP now’s the time to start and if you’re a long time fan of the strip get ready for an all new chapter in the series,” concluded Kurtz. “ In just a couple of writing sessions, Dylan and I have laid down the broad strokes for some exciting changes in the PvP comic strip. This is only the beginning of what’s to come. We have big plans, a lot is going to change, and the future of PvP is bright!”

ShiftyLook Premiers Galaga From Ryan North, Christopher Hastings, & Anthony Clark!

During one of its recent livestreams, ShiftyLook announced a webcomic adaptation of Galaga, written by a giant cardboard cutout of Ryan North, illustrated by Christopher Hastings and colored by Anthony Clark. Good news everyone! ShiftyLook has since secured the real, live Ryan North and the new Galaga webcomic has just launched today on ShiftyLook.com!

Based on the retro arcade classic from NAMCO BANDAI Games, Galaga delves into the lives of Penelope and Betty as they do what gamers do best: protect the earth from alien invaders! Galaga is the latest in ShiftyLook’s ever-growing line of retro games-turned-webcomics. Ryan, Chris and Anthony join the ranks of the ever-growing line of creative superstars working with ShiftyLook, including Alex Culang and Raynato Castro, Scott Kurtz and many more.

Galaga updates twice a week on Mondays and Fridays, exclusively on ShiftyLook.com!

welcome to Galaga

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