Category Archives: Cartoons

Cave Pictures Publishing is Launching Comics for the Spiritually Inclined

“Christian” films is big business. With low budgets, they return many factors for their studios making them a very profitable business. While there’s been some attempts to bring that sort of storytelling to comics, no publisher has recreated the marketing that has led to success in films. Cave Pictures Publishing looks to break through and change that.

The publisher revealed a slate of new titles during last week’s New York Comic Con, with a new vision for modern myth-telling. Founded by entertainment executive Mark Rodgers of the cause marketing and creative production firm More Partnerships, Cave Pictures Publishing’s line of spiritually inclined comics debuts in comic shops this January.

The new line of comics mini-series features work from some of the industry’s brightest lights, crafting top-quality and spiritually meaningful stories.

The first title, the horror comedy Appalachian Apocalypse, launches in January from writer Billy Tucci and artist Ethan Nicolle.

Following series launching each month thereafter include:

The Light Princess, a fairy tale by writer Meredith Finch with art by Renae De Liz & Ray Dillon.

The Blessed Machine, a sci-fi escape thriller by Jesse Hamm and company founder Mark Rodgers with art by Hamm.

The No Ones, action-packed superhero drama by writer Jim Krueger with art by Well-Bee.

Wylde, a supernatural western by Daniel Bradford.

Cave Pictures draws its mission and vision from Plato’s allegory of the cave; that what we see with our eyes is often a shadow of greater reality.

More details on each series will be announced in coming months.

Review: Basewood

Carlos Bulosan, was one of those writers I heard about in my household many time over, as his boos spoke to my mother generation and every generation of Filipino after that. His book, America Is in The Heart, is his probably his mostly widely known and read book and for good reason. It spoke of growing up but also of the American spirit of adventure and how this need for discovery has shaped all of us, and those who are enamored with it, such as the characters in that book. I might be overstating it, but it inspired many immigrants from the Philippines to come to America, not necessarily the book itself, but the idea of a better life, which was the promise America was.

This sense of adventure is not uncommon to the world, but it holds a special part within our national identity. In Manifest Destiny, the adventures of Lewis and Clark, has been given new life, as they are retold with supernatural elements. The need for the characters in Stand by Me, to go on a journey to see a dead body, encapsulates this drive. In Basewood, Alec Longstreth crafts a tale which intersperses this human need with the ever so short cycle of life.

In the opening pages, we meet Ben, who has just woken up, disorientated, no knowing who he or where he is. He soon encounters a wolf like dragon which chases him until an old man saves him, by the name of Argus. Together the two men live together, for a while learning how to survive this vast forest. Before long, Ben feels a need to leave, and in another encounter with the dragon, is saved by his wife., who soon helps him remember who he is and how he got there. By the end of the book, the need to leave the forest drives Ben and his wife with their now newborn child, to leave once again, bringing Argus, with them, but not all ends as expected and a bittersweet ending, is what the reader ultimately gets.

Overall, an epic journey, one which tested men’s wills, and their innate sense of survival, and one where the reader realizes every one’s journey is both same and different. The story by Alec Longstreth is very much heartfelt, tender, has moments of levity, and shows redemption is ultimately attainable for anyone. The art by Longstreth is vivid and lifelike. Altogether, a story which allows you to feel a range of emotions and will forever change the reader.

Story: Alec Longstreth Art: Alec Longstreth
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 4/8

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Alex

NTW_Cv18_open_order_varBatman #20 (DC) Well I Am Bane is finally over. That’s a good thing. The comic… meh. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Iron Fist #2 (Marvel) I was not a huge fan of the first issue, but I came back for #2 because I’m enjoying the Netflix show… and I’m kinda glad that I did. Definitely an upward curve from the first issue for me, although the comic is basically one long kung fu fight. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Nightwing #18 (DC) For as much as I hated Batman #20, I loved this issue. From the interplay between Dick and Damian, and the way the comic effortlessly brings back the vibe od their Batman and Robin run… Tim Seeley is writing the best biweekly Bat-book right now. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel) Huh. Well, I’m surprised. This was in every way a throwback to the way I remembered the X-Men being – not that the same characters are in the book, but the themes are the same, and there’s some great down time… this is a helluva promising start. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Logan

Little Archie #1 (Archie Comics) It’s super adorable to see Art Baltazar’s fun crayon art style take on the Archie gang in Little Archie #1. This is definitely a throwback to classic Archie comics with wacky hijinks, Jughead’s crown hat, and Archie’s “R” sweater all Riverdale #1_FernandezVarmaking appearance. Some of the gags are overlong, but Baltazar and Franco throw in some clever references to Afterlife with Archie, and the fact that adults are pretty much useless in Riverdale. This comic is definitely geared to a younger audience, but is worth a read if you’re missing old school Archie. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Riverdale #1 (Archie Comics) Joe Eisma’s stylish artwork breathes some life into a couple lightweight stories about “Hell Week” for Riverdale High’s cheerleading and football teams. Writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Will Ewing, Michael Grassi roll every high school “prank” cliche into one comic book from near death experiences to streaking and of course, stealing an object from the rival school. Archie’s story centers around him helping out Moose, who I don’t think he’s spoken to the whole season while the Betty story is stronger because it focuses on her bond with Veronica. Seriously, Season 1 of Riverdale isn’t over, and they’re already coming up with an Expanded Universe in the comics. There really isn’t much of a sandbox to work with. Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Jughead #14 (Archie Comics) Unfortunately, Ryan North’s time writing the coolest of teens is over. But he goes out it the comic book equivalent of the dankest of all memes skewering Internet culture in a joke dense way. And along the way, North and artist Derek Charm (Who is staying on the book) shore up the friendship between Betty and Jughead, roast Archie, and craft the most intimidating Veronica yet. This comic is worth picking up for the double page spread of Jughead becoming various overused Internet memes alone and its quirky self-aware take on the Archie mythos will definitely be missed as a new creative team takes over. (Hopefully, Veronica will still have a “hunk budget”.) Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

RockCandyMountain_01-1Batman #20 (DC)**  So that’s “I Am Bane,” huh? A fist-fight that Batman wins with a well-timed head-butt (whoops, spoilers). Issue after issue of buildup for — this? Tom King and David Finch have really bottomed out on this book; time for some new blood. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass.

Rock Candy Mountain #1 (Image)**  Kyle Starks is a superb cartoonist whose work has always reminded me more than a bit of the legendary James Sturm, and Sturm himself would, I think, be more than pleased to see his “spiritual successor” turn his keen artistic eye toward early-20th century “hobo culture.” Amazingly well-drawn and written with a real ear for dialogue authenticity, this is indie comics at their best, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Eleanor & The Egret #1 (Aftershock)**  John Layman is a natural to write this off-kilter historical art-heist “caper,” and Sam Kieth’s art is as sumptuous as ever. Top it off with lush colors from Ronda Pattison, and you’ve got a winner that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. My only gripe is that the story is a bit on the slight side, but on the whole this was a joy to both read and look at. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Flintstones #10 (DC)**  Mark Russell and Steve Pugh can do no wrong with this book in my opinion, and it looks as though we’re going to get the series’ first (and, sadly, only) multi-part story spread over the last few issues here. The Trump comparisons are getting more obvious than ever with Bedrock’s inept, stupid mayor, which is a ton of fun, but there’s some serious heartbreak in these pages too as a beloved member of the cast meets his end. Yes, this comic will make you laugh — it always does — but don’t be too surprised if you shed a tear this time around as well. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

america2America #2 (Marvel) I will keep this one to a few words:funny, meta and nothing like it in the Marvel Universe. We catch up with America after she punches Hitler. Definitely a different voice at Marvel that not only is entertaining but woke. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #1 (Marvel) There’s something truly wondrous about when adaptations get the story right in the minds of its most rabid fans. This is exactly what happened when the minds at Marvel decided to tackle the first spinoff from the Star Wars universe, as this captures all the moments that the were spoken about in online fodder about the missing moments. What makes it even more authentic, is the blessing of the director and the screenwriter. The most pivotal scene to me that they cut out is the crisis of conscience that Gail Erso undergoes and what he entrusts Bodhi with, makes you understand why Bodhi was so committed to meeting Saw Gerrera. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Man /Deadpool #16 (Marvel) This book get funnier with every issue. This time we follow this crazy duo to Latvia to battle Shiklah. So they recruit Dracula into the fight but with some ribbing of him and his human slave. By issue’s end, a fight between both forces ensues. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

 

 



Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

An Inaugural Signing at JHU with R. Sikoryak

This past Friday, as the nation inaugurated its 45th President; I attended another function at Jim Hanley’s Universe in Midtown Manhattan. One which the President himself designated for “losers.”

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R. Sikoryak was on deck, signing copies of his dark satirical comic book pamphlet “The Unquotable Trump.”

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“Robert Sikoryak is an American artist specializing in comic adaptations of literature classics, producing a mashup of high culture and low culture. Under Masterpiece Comics, he has produced “Crime and Punishment” rendered in Bob Kane–era Batman style, becoming Dostoyevsky Comics, starring Raskol; and Waiting for Godot mixed with Beavis and Butt-Head, becoming Waiting to Go.” (see Wikipedia).

As he elegantly signed and sketched my copy, we chatted for a while, expressing hope that our new President will at least try to do the right things for our nation, but expressing fear at what his past behavior forebodes; and that is what this little gloomy comic book is about.

It is a collection of some of Trump’s most horrific quotes mashed up with comic book villainy. You can magically hear the Darth Vader theme song in your head, as you flip through this slim book’s black and white drawn parody pages of famous comic book covers from the past.

My favorite is Trump portrayed as Magneto, in the iconic X-Men # 1 comic book cover from the nineties:

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This one, however, gave me the heebie jeebies …

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No matter whose side you are on, pick up a copy, if only to remind yourself of what led to this day, and to remain vigilant.

New Doritos ‘Batman v Superman’ Digital Comic Available Exclusively at Walmart

BATMAN v SUPERMAN DAWN OF JUSTICE - UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRSDoritos is teaming up with Walmart for a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice tie-in bringing the battle to the digital space. Starting February 29, Walmart shoppers get exclusive access to a custom DC Comics digital comic book when they purchase a specially marked Family Fun Mix multipack.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Upstairs/Downstairs is a 24-page digital comic from writer Christos Gage, penciler Joe Bennett, inker Sean Parsons and colorists Hi-Fi Studios, and is inspired by the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie in theaters March 25.  The graphics, illustrations and content are never before seen and feature Batman, Superman, and the unveiling of the Man of Steel’s new statue in Metropolis. In addition to the custom comic, the purchase of the specially marked Family Fun Mix multipack will give shoppers three bonus entries into the national “Choose Your Side. Choose Your Prize.” program.

How it works: 

  1. Purchase Doritos Batman v Superman Family Fun Mix
  2. Go to Doritos.com and choose your side.  Are you Team Batman or Team Superman?  You choose.
  3. Register and submit your unique on-pack code.
  4. Instantly receive a code to unlock your FREE DC digital comic book on ReadDCEntertainment.com

Rhode Island Comic Con 2015: Interview with Will Friedle

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What’s better than meeting one Batman? How about two? At Rhode Island Comic Con I did just that when I met the voice of Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond himself: Will Friedle. Will was kind enough to take the time and answer a few brief questions on what the Batman mythos means to him.

Graphic Policy: Hi Will, thank you for your time and I just wanted to get your thoughts on a few quick questions.

Will Friedle: Hey no problem, absolutely.

Graphic Policy: So what does the Batman legacy mean to you?

Will Friedle: The Batman legacy means a ton to me, first and foremost because it was the first animated show I ever did. So it means a lot to me just from the voice over realm, but also Batman’s always been my favorite superhero because I love how he doesn’t have any superpowers. He’s just a man and his will. That’s what I love.

Graphic Policy: Same here. Were you and Kevin (Conroy) ever in the booth together when recording?

Will Friedle: Kevin and I recorded almost every single, if not every single episode together and the movie together. Yes, always together.

Graphic Policy: You told me your favorite episode earlier, but do you have a favorite voice over performance, Batman Beyond or otherwise?

Will Friedle: No, you know I think Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is definitely up there as my favorite performance I’ve ever done.

Graphic Policy: It was definitely a most memorable one for me to be sure. Stellar job by everyone.

Will Friedle: Couldn’t agree more.

Graphic Policy: So last question. How did you make the transition from Boy Meets World to voice over acting?

Will Friedle: Well you know, I got very lucky. Bruce Timm who created Batman Beyond, his wife was a big Boy Meets World fan. So she said oh you’re doing this new young Batman, so you should call Will in. They did and the rest is history.

Graphic Policy: Awesome stuff, thank you for your time.

Will Friedle: Well thank you.

 

*I just wanted to take the time to point out that the reason the interview is so brief, Will is a super cool guy and he had insane lines all weekend long. He took the time to make each and every single person’s experience with him as memorable as possible. Very nice person. 

 

Rhode Island Comic Con 2015: Interview with Kevin Conroy

KevinConroy

Last weekend at Rhode Island Comic Con I got to live a personal dream and meet the man who shaped mine and many people’s childhoods. The voice of the Dark Knight himself: Kevin Conroy!

Graphic Policy: Thank you so much for taking this time, I know you’re very busy. it’s an honor.

Kevin Conroy: Sure. It’s my pleasure.

Graphic Policy: Lets dive right into it. What does the Batman legacy mean to you?

Kevin Conroy: Being part of the Batman legacy has been an incredible privilege. He’s such an iconic character and he’s such a cultural icon for just about everybody and to be associated with that is a real honor. More than that, he’s such a noble character and he embodies such goodness for so many people. You know when I come to these Comic Cons it’s interesting, I meet a lot of autistic kids and a lot of kids who had trouble growing up, and they so relate to Batman. He seems to reach something in them that other characters don’t. So to be associated with that is such an honor.

Graphic Policy: I couldn’t agree more. By far and away Batman is my favorite character.

Kevin Conroy: He reaches so many people. It’s amazing.

Graphic Policy: Well this is my first time meeting you and from what I’ve seen, you take the time and give so much back to each fan, what does Comic Con mean to you?

Kevin Conroy: Well I view comics as sort of our cultures mythology. Like the ancient cultures had Achilles and Agamemnon, we have Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. They’re our iconic myths. They are how we teach young people the difference between good and evil, and justice and injustice. It’s just how our culture does it, and I think they become that important, especially to young people. Batman in particular, since I’ve been involved for 23 years, I meet the children of the kids who grew up with me who are now in their thirties and forties.

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Graphic Policy: That’s me!

Kevin Conroy: (laughing) Which is amazing! So there’s this sort of cross generational thing going on. I love coming to these Cons because there is such a cultural resonance. You meet people from all sections of society here. You meet the incredible wealthy hedgefunder who just comes loaded with stuff for his kids, and then you meet someone who can barely afford the entrance fee, just because they want to shake your hand. So it’s amazing and cross cultural. These are real interesting places these Comic Cons.

Graphic Policy: They sure are. Just a few questions left. One, do you have a favorite voice over performance or episode?

Kevin Conroy: I really liked Perchance to Dream. That one they got into the real psychology of the Batman character, which is what I think makes him so interesting. Plus it’s what makes fans love him so much. He’s such a complicated character and his mind is complicated and people relate to that. So it’s fun as an actor especially to have those different colors to play with. He’s not just a stock superhero with a square jaw, those characters are dull. He’s a really complicated guy with as he says, a lot of issues. (laughs)

Graphic Policy: Haha yeah, I think that’s putting it fairly. You know though, I always watch that episode (Perchance to Dream) and wonder about that bit where they say reading comes from the right side of the brain while dreams come from the left, so it’s impossible to read something in a dream. I always wonder, is that a fact or is are you guys just messing with us?

Kevin Conroy: (slyly) Possibly.

Graphic Policy: Last thing and I thank you for your time so much..

Kevin Conroy: Sure.

Graphic Policy: What can we expect from you going forward. I know the “Arkham” games have wrapped, is there anything else.

Kevin Conroy: Yes. There’s a lot actually, that’s coming out by the end I think of 2016. I can’t say anything because of the non disclosure agreements that I’ve signed and they haven’t been announced yet but I’m leaving on Wednesday to go back to Warner Bros. There’s a lot going on.

Graphic Policy: That’s awesome to hear. Before I go can you say “I am Batman”.

Kevin Conroy: (Batman voice) I.. am.. Batman.

Graphic Policy: Wow. Amazing. This was terrific.

Kevin Conroy: Great. It was great meeting you.

 

*Sidenote: To hear him do the Batman voice in person was incredible. I will never delete that audio from my phone. List of childhood dreams, you are now not as long. What a great guy and class act. I hope all of you get a chance to meet him yourselves someday.

 

 

We Talk Gronk with Katie Cook

gronk002Katie Cook is an accomplished comic book artist, but the project closest to her heart is that of Gronk, her webcomic series which has been collected in volumes by Action Labs.  We got a chance to talk with her about the world of webcomics and about her recently released fourth volume of Gronk’s Tales.
Graphic Policy:  For those unfamiliar with Gronk can you give us a quick introduction to this world?
Katie Cook:  Gronk is a story about a cute monster who has left the monster world for ours! She learns about our current pop culture and tech obsessed world through joining up with her new family.
GP:  Is it hard to come up with the ideas for the short stories that make up Gronk?
KC:  Not since I had kids. Toddlers seem to be an every ready source of inspiration.
GP:  A lot of comic creators can cite some of the all time greats when they describe their inspiration, but Gronk is more like a a newspaper comic than a comic book.  Do you have any influences from that medium that inspired you?
gronk003KC:  A newspaper comic is exactly what I was going for. I grew up wanting to be the next Bill Watterson. I read the comics section of the paper every morning while my mom got ready for work… Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Garfield and Foxtrot were my favorites.
GP:  Gronk is also noteworthy as it is a webcomic.  Do you think that it is easier for people to break into a field like newspaper comics through a webcomic?
KC:  I have seen a few cases of people with webcomics that were picked up by newspapers… but it’s a rarity! The newspaper comic is a dying breed, webcomics seem to be taking over.
GP:  You also have a lot of experience with other more whimsical properties like My Little Pony or Fraggle Rock, but does the experience help when creating Gronk?
KC:  I worked on Gronk way before I was approached for My Little Pony! Really, I think my work on my own comic is what got me some more “mainstream” work.
GP:  Is it hard to have your own distinctive style one place and have to draw in another way elsewhere?  Especially as Gronk is a project that is 100% yours from top to bottom, do other works seem like you are cheating your true nature a bit?
gronk004KC:  Nope! I tend to stick to how I draw with my projects. I haven’t had to “force” my style since my days working in a studio doing licensed work. That was years ago.
GP:  Astronomy shows up often enough in the adventures of Gronk.  Are you a bit of an amateur astronomer yourself?
KC:  I am a fan of just sitting outside and staring up at the night sky while I drink a glass of wine. It’s very technical and scientific.
GP:  Speaking of recurring themes, have you ever tried to take a cat for a walk on a leash?
KC:  I have tried. I do not recommend it.

Preview: Rise Of The Magi #4

Rise Of The Magi #4

Story By: Marc Silvestri
Art By: Sumeyye Kesgin
Cover By: Sumeyye Kesgin
Variant Cover By: Stjepan Sejic
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: JUN140568
Published: September 17, 2014

Asa Stonethrow’s uneasy alliance of magic wielding criminals is beginning to unravel and trust becomes harder and harder to come by as the line between reality and illusion blurs. Asa is determined to fight the good fight, but is he really fighting the war he sees? Back in his home world of Rune, magic has laws and codes of honor; on Earth no such guides exist. While fighting for his life, Asa learns the terrible lesson that when pitted against the overpowering strength of chaos, order has little or no chance of victory.

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“Quantum and Woody Go to the Harvey Awards!” – Two Exclusive Webcomics by James Asmus, Pere Perez, David Baron, and Dave Lanphear!

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Valiant Entertainment
Presents…

QUANTUM AND WOODY GO THE HARVEY AWARDS!

Written by
JAMES ASMUS 
Harvey Award Nominee
for
Best New Series, Quantum and Woody
Best Writer, Quantum and Woody
Most Promising New Talent, Quantum and Woody
Special Award for Humor in Comics, Quantum and Woody

Art by
PERE PEREZ
Harvey Award Nominee
for
Most Promising New Talent, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger Wars

Colors by
DAVID BARON
Harvey Award-Nominated Team Member
for
Best Continuing or Limited Series, Archer & Armstrong

Letters by
DAVE LANPHEAR
Harvey Award Nominee
for
Best Letterer, Quantum and Woody

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