Tag Archives: brian bolland

DC Collectibles Expands to Walmart

DC Collectibles is bringing its acclaimed Batman: Black and White statue line to Walmart stores as 4″ mini-figures. The new figures are direct transformations of the company’s acclaimed 9″-scale figures and feature designs from many world-renowned artists including Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke and many more.

Batman: Black and White is DC Collectibles’ longest-running statue line and one of their best-sellers.

But, there’s a twist…

The 4″ line of figures will be packaged in individual blind bags stocked next to DC Comic Giants. Each month a new wave of six figures will be released widening the selection and upping the surprise factor.

The first waves of DC Collectibles Batman: Black and White 4″ figures heading to Walmart stores include:

February 2019:

  • Batman by Amanda Connor
  • Batman by Darwyn Cooke
  • Batman by Jason Fabok
  • Batman by Patrick Gleason
  • Batman by Frank Quitely
  • Batman by Dick Sprang

April 2019:

  • Harley Quinn by Bruce Timm
  • Robin by Frank Quitely
  • Batman by Mike Allred
  • Batman by John Romita Jr.
  • Batman by Gary Frank
  • Batman by Eduardo Risso

June 2019

  • The Joker by Jim Lee
  • Batman by Dustin Nguyen
  • Batman by Mike Mignola
  • Batman by Sean “Cheeks” Galloway
  • Batman from Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Batman by Jim Lee

August 2019

  • Penguin by Brian Bolland
  • Robin by Carmine Infantino
  • Batman by Carmine Infantino
  • Batman by Chris Uminga
  • Batman by Jae Lee
  • Batman by Brian Bolland

The Walmart exclusive Batman: Black and White figures are priced at an MSRP of $5.00 each.

Batman: Black and White Wave 1
Batman: Black and White Wave 2
Batman: Black and White Wave 3
Batman: Black and White Wave 4

DC Collectibles Announces PVC Statue Line and More for August 2018

DC Collectibles is kicking off the New Year in a big way by revealing a fresh new slate featuring two unique statue lines. Taking center stage in August 2018 will be a first-ever PVC statue line from DC Collectibles titled DC Core. The line will present striking new interpretations of fan-favorite DC characters and will be offered at an attractive $50.00 price point. DC Collectibles will also release an inventive multi-part statue set that showcases the Teen Titans characters as seen in the famous New Teen Titans #1 cover by legendary artist George Pérez. Additional DC Collectibles items debuting in August 2018 include a Designer Series Batman mini statue by Brian Bolland, a Batman: The Animated Series Harley Quinn expressions pack and a DC Cover Girls: Batgirl statue based on the artwork of superstar artist Joëlle Jones.

Charting into new territory, DC Core is DC Collectibles’ first line of 9″ scale statues produced in PVC. The character designs and attitudes are conjured up by DC Collectibles’ executive creative director Jim Fletcher and his award-winning design team, and will feature dazzling, dynamic poses. Each figure will stand upon a character-specific base that will include the same intricate details as the statue itself.

The Joker is the first DC character to be transformed into a DC Core statue, and the spectacular sculpt by David Pereira features the Clown Prince of Crime holding his prized Joker cane on top of his equally iconic “HAHAHA”-themed base. The Joker statue hits stores August 2018 and will be followed by Batman, Batgirl and Wonder Woman statues later this year.

DC Collectibles will also release the first two characters from the company’s 6″ scale New Teen Titans multi-part statue set. The set stars the entire superhero team featured in George Pérez’s popular New Teen Titans #1 cover—Starfire, Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and Raven—and the versatile bases allow fans to become their own storytellers. Fans can display one or a few of their favorite characters independently, or for those wanting to own the whole set, the bases fit perfectly together to recreate the iconic Pérez cover image. Each sold separately, Starfire and Robin are the first characters to hit shelves in August. The remaining characters will be released at separate times throughout the year.

See below for the list of DC Collectibles items debuting in August 2018 and beyond!

DC Core PVC Statues

  • Size: 1:8/9″ scale
  • MSRP: $50.00 (Each sold separately)
  • Characters
    • The Joker (On sale August 2018)
    • Batman (On sale September 2018)
    • Batgirl (On sale November 2018)
    • Wonder Woman (On sale November 2018)

The New Teen Titans Multi-Part Statue Set

  • Size: 1:12/6″ scale
  • MSRP: $80.00 (Each sold separately)
  • Based on the artwork by George Pérez
  • Sculpted by Joe Menna
  • Characters
    • Starfire (On sale August 2018)
    • Robin (On sale August 2018)
    • Beast Boy (On sale September 2018)
    • Cyborg (On sale September 2018)
    • Kid Flash (On sale October 2018)
    • Wonder Girl (On sale October 2018)
    • Raven (On sale November 2018)

Batman: The Animated Series: Harley Quinn Expressions Pack

  • Size: 1:12/6″ scale
  • MSRP: $50.00
  • On sale August 2018
  • Accessories include: eight different expressions, two hyenas, multiple pieces of weaponry, roller skates, a fish head costume and a deluxe base

DC Cover Girls: Batgirl by Joëlle Jones Statue

  • Size: 1:8/9″ scale
  • MSRP: $125.00
  • Designed by Joëlle Jones
  • Sculpted by Jack Mathews
  • On sale August 2018

Designer Series: Batman by Brian Bolland Mini Statue

  • Size: 1:10/7″ Scale
  • Based on the artwork from Brian Bolland’s Eisner Award-winning BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE
  • Sculpted by David Giraud
  • MSRP: $80.00
  • On sale August 2018

Review: Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1

ww75as_cv1_dsWhen it comes to Wonder Woman, it never surprises me, that although her stature in the comics world is as immense as it is, that she has never had a solo movie until next year. This character who, has inspired women of all ages for decades, and has even been on Ms. Magazine, never truly has gotten her due. Her life in the comics world, is as just as big as her contemporaries, Batman and Superman. Her backstory is also just as interesting, if not more, as she ascends from royalty, revealing a long extenuating misogyny within the fandom.

Surprisingly, most people still don’t know that she was created by a doctor, who researched bondage and other depravities, but also sought to understand the human condition. Wonder Woman, is the perfect example of the human experience, as she does take the hero’s journey, becoming a stronger character by leaving her home. Since her inception, her character has grown with society, as she initially followed tropes but eventually came to challenge each one. She even challenges the trope of relationships, where she takes the more dominant roles in her relationships with Batman and Superman.

In the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special, several writers and artists collaborate to create stories in which makes us all look at Diana different. “Big Things One Day Come” has Diana and a new superhero by the name of Star Blossom take on a kryptonite powered gorilla, which is both funny and action packed. “Gives Us Strength” follows Diana as she fights some Nazis and actually helps liberate France during World War II. The last piece that stands out is the interview Lois Lane does with Wonder Woman, which answers some questions, but brings up even more.

Altogether, this special is more a love letter to this character which has inspired millions and continues to every day. The writers all bring their love to the story. The artist more so as they see her in each, a different light. Overall, a fun tribute to an icon.

Story and Art by: Liam Sharp, Rafael Scavone and Rafael Albuquerque, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, Fabio Moon, Hope Larson and Ramon Bachs, Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon, Jill Thompson, Annie Wu, Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn, Sebastian Fumara, Claire Roe and Jordie Bellaire, Marcio Takara and Marcelo Maiolo, Phil Jimenez and Romulo Fajardo Jr, Brian Bolland, Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage, Jenny Frison, Gail Simone and Colleen Doran
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Doom Patrol #1

Doom Patrol #1

Written by: Gerard Way
Art by: Nick Derington
Cover by: Nick Derington
Variant cover by: Babs Tarr, Brian Chippendale, Jaime Hernandez, Sanford Greene, Brian Bolland

The atoms are buzzing. The daydreams crowd sentient streets, and the creative team has been warned, “Turn back now or suffer the mighty consequence of sheer, psycho-maniacal mayhem.” Generation-arsonists unite—this is DOOM PATROL, and the God of the Super Heroes is bleeding on the floor.

A blenderized reimagining of the ultimate series of the strange, DOOM PATROL combines elements from classic runs, new directions, and things that could not be. Our entry point is Casey Brinke, a young EMT on the graveyard shift to abstract enlightenment, with a past so odd that she’s not entirely sure what is real and what is not. Along with her partner, Sam Reynolds, the pair blaze a path through the city and its denizens, finding the only quiet that exists at 3am is the chaos of the brain. When the pair answer a hit-and-run call, they find themselves face to face with a familiar figure: Cliff Steele, AKA Robotman.

“It gets weirder from here,” writer Gerard Way had to say about the book, with artist Nick Derington gripping tightly on the wheel of the ambulance. The pair’s only communication? Shouting out of the open windows while at high velocity. Who needs a new roommate? Who names a cat “Lotion”? And when do we get to see all those muscles?

Find your answers inside the pages of this comic book, as we set the stage for new beginnings, as well as the re-introduction of some classic DOOM PATROL characters, including Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo, and Crazy Jane.

The debut title of DC’s Young Animal line kicks off with a removable sticker on its cover: Pull back the gyro to reveal its secrets, but be warned—there is no turning back.

dpa_cv1_

The Killing Joke: How the Adaptation Made it More Problematic and Less Fave

Despite the Killing Joke‘s place in the history of fridging women in superhero comics, I still have a great fondness for the Alan Moore/Brian Bolland story (in fact, I’ve often thought that the story could have been done without fridging Barbara Gordon at all) and so when I heard that it was going to be turned into an animated movie with Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Bruce Timm, I was thrilled and I got myself a ticket. (I even accidentally showed up a week early because I forgot which Monday the screening was…)

And then came rumors about the adaptation, and then came SDCC. I felt genuinely torn about whether to go ahead – if it was as bad as it sounded, I didn’t want to support the film; on the other hand, I hadn’t seen the film and wanted to be able to judge from primary evidence. Plus, I’d already bought the ticket and a bunch of my friends were going, so I waffled my way into going.

So is it as bad as people at SDCC thought? In some ways no, and in some ways it’s worse.

WARNING: Spoilers in full for the Killing Joke, which involves violence against women.

The Prologue:

So first let’s talk about the not-as-bad. Some of the reviews and first impressions that have come out suggest that “we meet Barbara Gordon as a young librarian who has started donning the Batgirl costume in order to attract the attention of Batman.” While everyone’s experience of a film is subjective, I think this reading is based on a mis-reading of one particular line.

There’s a scene in the Prologue where Batgirl is arguing with Batman over being taken off a case and she yells at him that she “got into this because of you.” (By the way, all of these quotes from the film should be taken as paraphrase from memory because I didn’t have the opportunity to take notes and there’s no script available) The context of her line is that Batman’s just told her that he doesn’t trust her because costumed crime-fighting is just a game for her, whereas Batgirl is pointing out that she became Batgirl because she was inspired by Batman and he’s been acting as her mentor. The two of them don’t have a sexual relationship at this point nor is Batgirl actively trying to start one, so I find this reading strange because it pushes the (arguably rather sexist) narrative that Batgirl is some sort of crazed groupie.

What might have led people to that conclusion is that after this line, Batgirl and Batman have sex. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with this in the abstract. While some might feel that “Batman has had a primarily parental relationship with Barbara, which makes this scene problematic for many fans on its most basic level,” I don’t agree. Having watched a lot of the Adam West show where Batgirl was substantially older than Robin and Batman would go into these rhapsodies about the perfume of this mystery woman, the idea isn’t without precedent.

However, the handling of this plotline is horrible, in ways that do minor damage to Barbara’s character, but arguably way more damage to Batman’s character. It’s bad enough that there is this framing of Barbara being hot for her yoga teacher, although her line that she has “a man in her life” is as much to try to fend off her camp gay coworker who might as well have stepped out of Patton Oswalt’s sketch on the “Gay Best Friend” as it is a statement of her interest. But what’s much worse is that the act itself is a horrible cliche slap-slap-kiss moment, where Batgirl is fighting Batman on a roof because she’s hit her limit with Batman’s bullshit, judo-flips him into the ground, and then pins him, and then they fuck. While a gargoyle watches.

(Poor guys can’t even close their eyes…)

In the sold-out screening I was in, this was a moment where the entire audience erupted in groans and laughter, because it was such a cheesy scene and didn’t fit Barbara Gordon’s character at all. The rooftops location, the fight-fight-kiss dynamic, the costumes – this is a Catwoman scene and it’s a played-out Catwoman scene at that.

Is what follows accurately described as her “using sex and then pining for Bruce,” as Jeremy Konrad said in that now-infamous Comic-Con panel? No. In fact, it’s kind of the reverse (and this is why I said the Prologue does more damage to Batman than Batgirl). Batgirl handles the event like an adult, telling Batman that “it’s just sex, it doesn’t have to be a thing,” rather than trying to manipulate him in any way. It’s Batman who acts like an immature asshole, refusing to work with her or take her calls, and generally acting like a remote, emotionally-stunted jackass.

All of which reinforces the basic problem with Batman in the Prologue: he’s a giant control freak who literally tells Batgirl that she has to do everything he says, who orders her “off the case” like some grizzled police captain in an 80s buddy-cop film, and who tells Batgirl he doesn’t trust her because she hasn’t stared into “the abyss… where all hope dies.” (which is a really hoary 90′s grimdark anti-hero trope, lands with a thud in the moment, and arguably contradicts the thematic thrust of Moore’s story), and who literally mansplains objectification to Batgirl. (Yes, at some level he’s explaining it for the audience, but it’s still fucked up that it’s him doing it rather than Barbara, who as a grown woman knows far better than he what being objectified by a man is like.)

Needless to say, this doesn’t fit the Batman of the Killing Joke, who’s in an unusually introspective, empathetic, and contemplative mood – meeting with Joker in Arkham Asylum because he’s worried he’s going to end up killing him, rushing to comfort Jim Gordon, offering to rehabilitate the Joker. More on this when we get to that part of the movie. So there’s a really weird disconnection between the two halves of the movie, as we’re really getting two Batman, one written by Brian Azzarello and Bruce Timm and one written by Alan Moore, and the two don’t feel like they’re the same person.

Speaking of Azzarello and Timm, we have to talk about the source of the conflict between Batgirl and Batman, the main bad guy of the Prologue. He’s a brand-new villain named Perry Franz (mon dieu), a would-be high-tech crime-boss who becomes obsessed with Batgirl (to the point of hiring a sex worker to wear a Batgirl mask while they have sex) when she foils an armored-truck robbery. This guy is clearly meant to be a parallel to the Joker – he’s got the whole Xanatos Gambit thing going, he plays this cat-and-mouse game where he’s leaving messages for Batgirl with the cops and taunts her over the phone, and so on. Batman argues that Batgirl is letting Perry get to her and she’s underestimating him, and she rightfully takes this as Batman thinking she’s not up to the task.

However, Perry is just not that impressive, ultimately nothing more than the shallow “punk” Batgirl pegs him as when they first meet. In addition to the thing with the sex worker and the messages, his go-to move when they first fight is to roofie her (it’s not just a knockout gas, he talks about having “fun” with her after she passes out, although thankfully Batgirl manages to save herself). When you get right down to it, he’s a date rapist whose master crime come down to a failed bank robbery and stealing his uncle’s online banking password.

Now, I disagree with those who’ve argued that, in the film, “the damnable part is that Batman is proven right” about Barbara not being ready. In the final clash, Batman is the one who underestimates Perry, who hits the Batmobile with a couple RPGs, wounding him and forcing him into a desperate struggle to survive against machine-gun wielding thugs. Batgirl is the one who saves him with a motorcycle-and-steverdore’s hook combo, and she’s the one who takes down Perry. This is probably where Azzarello and Timm were coming from with the “she’s a strong character” argument.

But where they fall short is the follow-through. Even though Batgirl saves Batman, we don’t get a scene where he thanks her or admits that he was wrong and learned a lesson – the “strong female character” stuff that Azzarello and Timm argued they were doing isn’t incorporated into the text. Instead, Batgirl beats the living shit out of Perry because “you ruined everything” – and this, rather than the scene where she has sex with Batman on the roof is where she sounds like a crazied groupie – and this is her moment of staring into the abyss. Because she loses her temper and administers a beating far less egregious than many that Batman has handed out (which I think is what Timm was gesturing to with his comment about “pining over the violence”) because of this penny-ante and flimsy one-shot villain, she decides to hang up the cowl and stop being Batgirl. (Which again, kind of works against the Killing Joke’s story..)

It’s far too inconsequential and disconnected from any core elements of Barbara’s character – her family or friends, her motives for fighting crime, a more established villain with a stronger personal connection – to carry the weight of what should be a momentous decision. And that, rather than the fact that she has sex with Batman, is what weakens Batgirl as a character.

The Killing Joke:

What makes all of these creative choices so strange is that it’s not like the controversy over the Killing Joke was news to anyone involved. Everyone on the creative team knew very well that the problem with the Killing Joke is the Joker shooting and paralyzing Barbara Gordon in order to motivate Jim Gordon and Batman. It’s a classic case of fridging, and the gendered nature of the event is further emphasized by the Joker taking nude photos of Barbara to use in his haunted house ride.

No matter whether you think that Barbara becoming Oracle was an important moment for the representation of the disabled or whether you prefer the New 52 or Batgirl of Burnside as a reclamation of the character, the moment is still ugly, feeding into the worst aspects of 90s comics, and is ultimately unnecessary. There’s quite a few ways to make the story work without that scene, and it oddly contradicts the moment at the end of the comic where the Joker turns the joke-flag gun on Batman.

So you think they would have approached the adaptation with that in mind. Instead, as I’ve already suggested, the two halves clash. Given that in the comics, Barbara’s paralyzing was the moment where she had to stop being Batgirl and become Oracle instead, the Prologue has her retired when she’s attacked. Likewise, given that Batman’s had a much closer relationship with her than he did at this point in the comic, the fact that they decided to do the comic essentially page-for-page makes Batman’s very limited interactions with Barbara and muted emotional response both to the physical damage done to her and the Joker’s sexualization of the attack read like a non-response to what should be a huge deal. Moreover, it conflicts with Batman’s major arc in the story – his attempt to reach out to the Joker, even in the end, makes him seem completely uncaring about his former lover.

And of course, there’s the moment itself, which you’d think the creators of the film would treat with heightened sensitivity. Instead, the moment is intensified (in what is otherwise a very faithful adaptation of the comic) in two ways: first, the “shot” is held on what is the second-to-last panel on the right, with the Joker slowly moving his hand down Barbara’s chest and then the “camera” showing us Barbara’s opened shirt and bra. Second, later on when Batman is canvassing the city for the Joker, there’s an elaboration of a single panel where Batman’s interviewing a group of sex workers where we learn that the first thing that the Joker does when he gets out is to make use of their services, but this time he hasn’t and maybe he’s found a new girl. Now, you can argue that the Joker hasn’t come by because he’s busy with his quasi-suicidal mission to break Gordon and Batman, but the text leaves itself open to the interpretation that Joker did something more than just photograph Barbara.

As I’ve said above, the above page is my least favorite part of the comic, and even the people who don’t have a problem with that section will generally agree that the heart of the comic is in the hypothetical backstory for the Joker, his argument to Jim Gordon that madness is the only rational response to an irrational and random universe, his attempt to prove that any ordinary person is capable of turning into the Joker as a result of “one bad day,” Jim Gordon’s defiant hold on his sanity and his belief in the capacity of human beings to create meaning through institutions like the law, and Batman’s attempt to reach out to the Joker. So how does the film handle that?

The answer is that it does only an okay job, there’s a few moments where it becomes something special (I especially love this shot of the Joker watching the carnival lights come on, because it has some energy that’s often missing), but nothing near good enough to make up for everything it gets wrong that we’ve already talked about. Kevin Conroy is fine, Mark Hamill puts in a great vocal performance, but the art and direction fall short of what Moore and Bolland and John Higgins (the colorist) accomplished on the page. For example, let’s take the famous last page of the comic, shown above. There’s a lot that can and has been said about these nine panels – the use of the palette of reds and purples and oranges and yellows that runs throughout the comic, the way that the headlights turn into the flashlight beam from the joke (which Moore has already set up from the scene where Batman goes to the lunatic asylum, which he further emphasizes with the use of repeating dialogue), the ambiguity of the laughter and the siren that convinced Grant Morrison that Batman killed the Joker, and on and on.

In the movie? It’s just a shot of a puddle. No beam of light, no paralleling, nothing of what made this comic special in the first place. Maybe Alan Moore was right – there are some things comics can do that movies can’t.

Review: Judge Dredd Classics: Dark Judges HC

JudgeDredd_CLASSICS_DarkJudges-e1441736448370-659x863I remember growing up in New York City, that when it came to comics, you could buy it at your local bodega, as they had a stand just for comics, and often stocked a good variety, so there really was no need to go to your comic book store unless they did not have something you were looking for . One of the first comics I remember picking up was Judge Dredd, which instantly grabbed me with its wild visuals, futuristic setting and procedural storylines. Soon after picking up my first issue, I wanted to know where it had been all my life . Eventually, I had to go to Jim Hanley’s Universe in Staten Island, to pick up back issues and then I found out there were other series which had Judge Dredd in it including 2000AD.

Eventually my interest in Judge Dredd waned due to the emergence of Image Comics, which offered even more interesting characters than I had been accustomed to in Dredd’s storylines. My interest was not helped by the lackluster movie starring Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider, which only reduced the character in mainstream media’s eyes as cartoonish mediocrity and a ripoff of Demolition Man (which I really do not see the connection?) It would not be until the superior Dredd starring Karl Urban, that my interest in the character and the comic was piqued again. It had been an almost 22 year time gap, since I picked up my last issue of Dredd, and picking up the Judge Dredd Classics single issues were the way to go, as they captured the essence of who the character was.

No storyline showed who Judge Dredd was more, than The Dark Judges. Within this volume, Judge Death, his brothers, Fear, Fire and Mortis, have judged that every life within Mega City One is sentenced to death and serves as the origin story of Judge Death in three separate stories. Within these stories collected for the first time in color versus the standard black and white in which it was originally published, you will not find better protagonists than Judge Death and his brothers. The most intriguing part of this collection is the way John Wagner and Alan Grant, writes Anderson, in this series, as I feel this is the first time she actually finds her voice. The collection ends with the Judges marooning Judge Death in limbo, and Anderson evading an enquiry.

Overall, this is definitely one of the better storylines written by Judge Dredd’s creators and definitely fits the title of “classic”. These stories by John Wagner and Alan Grant, shows us why everyone who reads these stories, are utterly engulfed in them. The art by Brian Bolland, Brett Ewins and Cliff Robinson, is gritty yet beautiful. Overall, an intriguing collection of stories which introduces newcomers to one of the better protagonists to come out of comics.

Story: John Wagner and Alan Grant Art: Brian Bolland, Brett Ewins and Cliff Robinson
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Sequential to Offer Knockabout Titles on Kindle

UK comics publisher Knockabout Comix has announced that its graphic novels are now available worldwide on Kindle across all platforms. The digital versions have been put together by the team behind Sequential, the graphic novel app for iPad.

The range of titles includes A Disease of Language by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, Bolland Strips! by Brian Bolland and the award-winning Pinocchio by Winshluss. Also on offer is a range of books by Hunt Emerson including Calculus Cat, Dante’s Inferno and CityMouth. These titles are already available for iPad on the Sequential app, but this is the first time they have been made available for other platforms including Android tablets and Kindle Fire.

Knockabout Comix was founded in its first incarnation in 1975 by Tony Bennett as a means to distribute Gilbert Shelton’s hippy-slacker masterwork The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Knockabout has published legendary British talents such as Alan Moore, Hunt Emerson, Eddie Campbell, Brian Bolland, Neil Gaiman, Bryan Talbot, Kevin O’Neill and Dave McKean, as well as work from acclaimed international creators such as Melinda Gebbie, Paco Roca, Winshluss and Max. Josh Palmano started publishing with Bennett in 1999 and both formed Knockabout Ltd, as it is now, in 2010.

Knocabout Comix Sequential

 

 

 

 

 

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Vertigo to publish Eric Kripke’s Amped

DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint announced that it will publish Amped from acclaimed television creator Eric Kripke.

In the Fall of 2015, Amped will be released as a six-issue monthly comic book miniseries. The story will follow Josh Jaffe, a neurotic family man who buys an online ‘smart pill’ to increase his focus and jolt him out of his slump, but he gets much more than he bargained for. To his surprise, the pill gives him incredible strength and power. The story examines both the mighty highs and humiliating lows of being a real-life super hero.

Created and written by Kripke, Amped will feature interior art from John Higgins and cover art from Brian Bolland.

It was also announced that USA Networks that it’s adapting the story for a television series, one of numerous original series the network has recently announced.

Amped Promo Art_Final

Baltimore Comic Con 2013: Sculptor Paul Harding Meets Legendary Artist Brian Bolland

Paul Harding is a talented illustrator and sculptor, you’ve probably seen many of the toys and statues he’s created. One of his influences is legendary artist Brian Bolland, known for his work on Judge Dredd and Batman: The Killing Joke among many other things.

At Baltimore Comic Con, Harding presented Bolland with a one of a kind sculpture based on Bolland’s iconic Joker art from that classic tale, Batman: The Killing Joke.

Sequential, Literary Graphic Novel App, Now Available

Panel Nine, a Tokyo-based software developer and publisher, with offices in London, has released the digital graphic novel iPad app Sequential worldwide. Sequential is a storefront app for the iPad that specializes in sophisticated digital graphic novels designed for adults from the world’s leading creators. The app is free to download with users being able to purchase graphic novels from within the app (which also contains free downloads).

Currently Sequential features content from creators Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Brian Bolland, Eddie Campbell, Hunt Emerson, Nicola Streeten, Darryl Cunningham, Gilbert Shelton, Nick Abadzis, Oliver East, Kevin Mutch, Hannah Eaton, Woodrow Phoenix, and many more. The company has partnered with Blank Slate Books, Myriad Editions, Great Beast, Tabella, and Knockabout for content. Other publishers, such as SelfMadeHero and Walker Books, are in the pipeline — including Jonathan Cape, the publisher of work by British graphic novel legends Posy Simmonds and Raymond Briggs. Much of the material is exclusively available through Sequential as digital editions including titles from Blank Slate along with digital versions of underground classics, the Freak Brothers and Fat Freddy’s Cat from Knockabout.

Key US graphic novel publishers (including small press publishers) will be coming on board and separate announcements will be made soon.

Russell Willis, the CEO of Panel Nine, stated:

We believe that Sequential is the digital future of graphic novels and sequential art. We’re working with the world’s leading graphic novel publishers and creators to expand the market for one of the world’s most under-appreciated art forms — and rather than go the tired old commercial route with the touting of superheroes, a genre that has unwittingly tainted and held back the art form for too long, we stand for graphic novels that feature accessible, intelligent, entertaining, life-enhancing storytelling at its visual and verbal best – and haven’t been designed just for geeks.

The time is right to evangelise graphic novels and sequential art anew. Digital makes graphic novels conveniently available to a massive potential audience. Quality graphic novels are being nominated for – and winning – major awards such as the Costa prize in the UK, and the market for graphic novels with adult sensibilities is growing. Sequential’s mission is  to make quality graphic novels easily available to all in a specially-engineered deluxe format, acclaimed as the ‘gold standard’, with new features that expand the way in which graphic stories can be told, such as author commentaries and other special features. We are aiming  to expand the market for graphic novels for adults by focusing on materials that are designed for adults, not for the geek sensibilities that have continued to dominate the medium.

SequentialYou can get the app now.

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