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Charlie Adlard, Alex Paknadel, James Devlin, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, and more Present Planet DIVOC-91

Planet DIVOC-19

This summer, an ambitious storytelling experience will bring the world of science to comics like never before. An impressive roster of comic book creators — including Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Friendo writer Alex Paknadel, UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, colorist and designer James Devlin, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are collaborating on Planet DIVOC-91, an ambitious webcomic debuting July 15, 2020 on WEBTOON.

The nine-part webcomic, which is funded by some of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the UK, is an offbeat sci-fi satire about a pandemic outbreak in the far reaches of outer space. In Planet DIVOC-91, all young adults between the age of 16-25 have been transported to an earth-like planet which has been terraformed, so that both humans and aliens can breathe the air. Each chapter features the work of a different creative team and cover artist and is interspersed with short articles, links to videos, and other pieces of art by young adults about issues related to COVID-19, and mixes from world-renowned DJs and Producers.

Planet DIVOC-91 follows the adventures of two earthlings: Sanda Oung, a 23-year-old girl from the UK, and Champo Oung, Sanda’s 19-year-old, non-binary sibling. In the series, 15% of the world’s population of 7.5 billion people are now stuck on another planet, miles from the safety of home. Sanda learns that humans have been brought to Planet Divoc-91 because the Earth is at risk of an extinction-level event – and young adults have been moved to safety by the Board of Adversity Scientists for Intergalactic Leadership’ (BASIL), led by a charismatic and fearsome alien named ADRO.

The series will feature covers from all-star artists Elsa Charretier, Marco Finnegan, Leslie Hung, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, VV Glass, Matt Kindt, Alitha Martinez, Anand RK, and David Rubín.

The series’ first chapter is written by Sara Kenney and illustrated by legendary Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard. The first chapter features a cover by acclaimed artist Elsa Charretier, 17 pages of comic storytelling, and 17 pages of extra material. Subsequent chapters will feature between 6 and 8 pages of comic storytelling, in addition to the essays and reporting.

Planet DIVOC-91 is produced by Dr. Bella Starling, Director of Vocal at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Sara Kenney, Creative Director at Wowbagger Productions, in association with the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. The project has since grown in scale and ambition, and there is a young editorial team from UK, India, South Africa, and Malawi who are interviewing experts from scientists to historians, ethicists to anthropologists, and from that material curating articles, creating art and videos in reaction to the interviews.

The project was kick started via NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre seed funding who are providing continued support. Additional supporters include The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC); Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC); The University of Manchester through the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund award; Sarah Iqbal,  DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance; Anita Shervington, Blast Fest and Nabeel Petersen, Interfer (South Africa). The series was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Negan Lives #1 Gets a Second Printing while Fire Power #1 is Over 150,000 Copies

The New York Times bestselling, award-winning creative team behind The Walking Dead phenomenon — Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard — have done it again with an instant sell-out at the distributor level of the surprise release, Negan Lives #1, last week. A new printing has been greenlit for retailers to reorder stock of the buzzy one-shot story and will be available on Wednesday, August 5.

Fans snagging their Negan Lives #1 issue last week were simultaneously introduced to an all-new series from Kirkman and Chris Samnee, Fire Power. Over 150K promotional copies of Fire Power #1 were quickly wiped out and fans eagerly added their Fire Power, Vol. 1: Prelude trade paperbacks to buy piles in anticipation of the August single issue series launch.

Fire Power #1 (Diamond Code JUN200038), Fire Power #2 (Diamond Code JUN200076), and Negan Lives #1 second printing (Diamond Code APR208954) will be available for purchase on Wednesday, August 5.

Review: Negan Lives!

Back the comeback with Negan Lives!, a special one-shot to help comic stores get back on their feet. What was Negan up to in between The Walking Dead #174 and the finale? This special comic fills in some of the story.

Negan Lives! is like revisiting an old friend and a perfect read in these times.

Story: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Cover Colors: Dave McCaig

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Zeus Comics

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Negan Lives this July to Benefit Comic Retailers

The New York Times bestselling, award-winning creative team behind The Walking Dead Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard — returns to the beloved series for a surprise one-shot story, Negan Lives #1, which will arrive in stores this July.

This shipment arriving in July will be without financial burden to receiving retailers—with no freight cost for them to worry about.

In the announcement, Kirkman said:

I’ve been inspired by Steve Geppi and Diamond’s efforts to shine a light on how essential the Direct Market is to our beloved industry with their #backthecomeback campaign. While Charlie Adlard and I had laid the series to rest, this felt like something special we could do for the store owners who made our series a success to begin with. To that end, I’m happy to report that 100% of the revenue generated from this book will go to the stores selling it. The retailer community does backbreaking work to get comics into the hands of our loving fans, we should all be doing more in these trying times to show them how appreciated they are.

Negan Lives #1 will not be available digitally and will be available exclusively at comic book shops. Fans interested in ordering a copy can find the comics store closest to them on Local Comic Shop locator. Many comic book shops are fulfilling orders online and via curbside pickup.

Spurned by a slowly rebuilding society, Negan lives a life of desperate isolation… or does he? In the tradition of Here’s Negan, this all-new story in Negan Lives #1 gives readers a glimpse into what has happened to one The Walking Dead‘s most popular characters in the time since his last appearance in The Walking Dead #174.

As long-time readers of the post-apocalyptic survival series will recall, The Walking Dead #174 proved to be a pivotal point for Negan, as he was tracked down and confronted by a vengeful Maggie, still heartbroken and furious over the murder of her husband, Glenn, in The Walking Dead #100.

Negan Lives #1 (Diamond Code MAR208199) is a 36-page, black and white comic book, available exclusively at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 1. There are extremely rare Gold (Diamond Code MAR208201) and Silver (Diamond Code MAR208200) foil variants of Negan Lives #1 in limited quantities, inquire with your local comic shop for availability and further details.

Negan Lives #1

ABLAZE Inks Exclusive Distribution Deal with Diamond

Ablaze

Diamond Comic Distributors has announce that it has signed a distribution agreement with ABLAZE to exclusively distribute their products to comic book specialty markets worldwide. Diamond was also awarded the rights to exclusively distribute ABLAZE’s new releases to the North American book market under the banner of Diamond Book Distributors.

ABLAZE is an independent publisher of original comic books, crowdfunded titles, and art books with a focus on increasing diversity and amplifying the voices of their creators. The company aims to highlight new voices in the comic book industry by bringing together some of the best content from all corners of the globe. Co-founded by Rich Young, ABLAZE promises quality above all else in their line of titles, which features a variety of formats, genres, and age ranges. 

ABLAZE boasts an ever-growing library of work, which ranges from comic books to graphic novels to art books and beyond, featuring tales from across a variety of genres such as horror, action-adventure, sword and sorcery, and coming-of-age, among others. Vampire State Building, written by Patrick Ange-Renault with art from The Walking Dead’s Charlie Adlard, is a horror-thriller centered around a solider, who finds himself trapped at the top of the Empire State Building by a horde of vampires, and must find a way to save himself, his friends, and the city of New York. Wild Thing Or: My Life as a Wolf, from Clayton Junior, tells the tale of an affectionate and inquisitive Labrador who wants to fill his life with adventure. Upon meeting a trio of wolves, the Labrador is enticed by their freedom, and joins their pack, leading to the discovery of love and adventure, as well as the ravages of human civilization and its impact on the animal kingdom. The Old Geezers Vol. 1, from Wilfrid Lupano with art from Paul Cauuet, is a slice-of-life story centering around three septuagenarians who have been friends since childhood, despite following different paths in life. Told through a series of cutscenes between the 1950s and present day, The Old Geezers Vol. 1 stands as the tragic-comic story of our time by underscoring the human impact of the social, political, and cultural upheavals of modern history. Indie Games, written by Bounthavy Suvilay and edited by Sarah Rodriguez, is a strikingly curated art book bursting with anecdotes, illustrations, and behind-the-scenes looks at some of the most successful independent video games to ever stand toe-to-toe with their blockbuster counterparts.

Get an Early Look at John Constantine: Hellblazer #1

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1

Written by Simon Spurrier (Coda, The Dreaming)
Art by Aaron Campbell (Infidel)
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by Aditya Bidikar
Cover by John Paul Leon
Variant Cover by Charlie Adlard
In Shops: Nov 27, 2019
Final Orders Due: Nov 04, 2019
SRP: $3.99

There’s nothing more wretched than a bastard with a conscience…” –Simon Spurrier

The original Constantine is back in a new series from Simon Spurrier (The Dreaming) and Aaron Campbell (Infidel), with nothing to his name but decades of bad memories and an unearned second chance. How, exactly, will he squander it? There’s only one way to find out…

John Constantine is back in London, back to his old tricks-and just in time, as things have become very dark indeed in his old stomping grounds. A small-time gang lord has found himself dealing with a big-time outbreak of supernatural weirdness…and without any allies to call on and nothing left to call his own, John doesn’t have much choice about taking a paycheck from one of London’s worst, or accepting the help of one of the gang lord’s would-be foot soldiers. But what should be an open-and-shut exorcism turns out to be nothing but…and the author of this madness may just be getting started on their terrible masterpiece!

John Constantine: Hellblazer will carry an Ages 17+ content descriptor (for mature readers) and will ship monthly.

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1

Review: Vampire State Building #2

Vampire State Building #2

Vampire State Building #2 is the horror film where I could care less about the characters beyond their tropes, and instead, just go with the flow and enjoy it. That’s not a bad thing at all and emphasizes the action more than anything.

Written by Agne and Patrick Renault, the Empire State Building has been taken over by vampires who have awakened their leader who was buried within. Trapped within the building are tourists who are now either being sacrificed or trying to escape.

The story follows a lot of tropes in many ways but it still works. The group work their way through the maze of the building while trying to not get caught. Every exit and plan looks like it has peril ahead. And that’s the real entertainment of the comic. How are they going to escape, if they do at all? The main cast of characters feel a little disposable and within the first two pages are removed one by one. And those deaths? I feel nothing. There’s a missing connection where I care if someone lives or dies in the comic. It’s an action film, all splash, little depth.

Charlie Adlard‘s art is solid as expected. Joined by Sébastien Gérard on colors, the art is Adlard’s usual style. He knows when to show the gore and when to hint at it and let our minds run wild. There’s also a lot of characters packed in no matter how insignificant their role and each look unique. I’d love to know how well Adlard captures the building though. It’d be an excellent addition in a collection edition.

Vampire State Building #2 reveals some history as to the vampires and there’s some wincing moments as far as that but when it comes to the basics, the story is a good one. This is more of a disaster film like the Poseiden Adventure than a vampire story. If you enjoy Adlard’s work or a slightly different vampire story, check the series out. It’s worth the read.

Story: Ange, Patrick Renault Art: Charlie Adlard
Color: Sébastien Gérard
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Ablaze provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Vampire State Building #1

Vampire State Building #1

Vampire State Building #1 is a new entry in the vampire genre and delivers enough originality to stand out. The debut issue does a solid job balancing the introduction of characters and the eventual chaos of vampires. The story in a nutshell, a mysterious space is discovered in the Empire State Building which sends out a call to vampires living in New York City who attack the building trapping everyone within.

Written by Ange and Patrick Renault the debut issue focuses on two things. First, we have an introduction to the various characters of the series. We get a good idea as to who they are and what they bring to the table. There are some tropes in there and so far the characters don’t have a lot of depth but hopefully, we get more than horror film cliches. The second thing about the issue is building tension.

There’s a great build-up in the issue. There’s a tension there. That begins with some of the interaction of the characters and then explodes during the eventual vampire attack. The use of the character strife to then transition into chaos is a great move. It really helps with the emotional rollercoaster of the issue. There’s also a smart focus on the chaos of the attack itself and keeping the readers on their toes with who dies and what exactly is going on. We experience the same chaos as those in the building. It’s also clear that anyone can die in this series as some of the introduced characters don’t make it.

Vampire State Building #1‘s big selling point is the art of Charlie Adlard, the artist behind The Walking Dead. There’s a familiarity in Adlard’s style so much so his characters feel like they could be in The Walking Dead. There’s both good and bad with that. If you enjoy Adlard’s style, it works. There’s nothing groundbreaking in panel use. But, Adlard hits the right beats much as he did with the more famous property.

Vampire State Building #1 is a solid debut issue. It’s not anything new or amazing but it’s just an entertaining start for those into this type of story. We’ll see where it goes in this tale of survival and hopefully it brings something different. The debut issue has done its job in getting me excited to see what’s next.

Story: Ange, Patrick Renault Art: Charlie Adlard
Color: Sébastien Gérard
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Ablaze provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Walking Dead #193 Heads Back to Print

Image Comics and Skybound have announced that The Walking Dead #193 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard—which concluded the long-running comic book series—is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with customer demand as the news of the book’s contents goes viral.

This final chapter in the bestselling zombie saga was hinted at by the events of issue The Walking Dead #192—but kept secret and surprise-dropped with fans today.

The Walking Dead #193 2nd printing (Diamond Code MAY198901) will hit stores on Wednesday, July 31. The final order cutoff for comic shop retailers to get their orders in to restock this 80-page issue is Monday, July 8.

The Walking Dead #193 2nd printing

Review: The Walking Dead #193

The Walking Dead #193

It’s near impossible to review The Walking Dead #193 without spoiling it. So, you’ve been warned.

*Spoiler Warning*

This is it, the end of this series. An unexpected finale sprung upon us much like the walker-filled world was sprung upon Rick Grimes.

With Rick murdered, there was a question looming over the series future and the direction it might go. We have that answer, and it’s on in our imaginations.

Writer Robert Kirkman delivers a finale that sticks the message and point he’s been building to throughout these years. The Walking Dead isn’t about the scares, it’s about building a future, a new society, from the ashes of the old one.

The Walking Dead #193 skips ahead with Carl Grimes now married with a child and a society rebuilt. It’s more Western than modern but “the trials” are now over. There’s law and order and protection. With that though comes forgetting of what was. And that’s the focus of the issue.

Walkers are now a traveling road show to be used to scare individuals. They’re a carnival act, not the dangerous things they once were. And that’s what the issue revolves around. Should the past be celebrated, forgotten, or is there a mix of that.

Rick Grimes helped forge this world and the issue celebrates that while also questioning the end impact. The world has forgotten its struggles. Carl still remembers it and does so to protect his family and so his daughter has a future.

And that’s where Kirkman soars. His story is about heart. It’s about family. And as a fairly new father, the scenes presented between Carl and his daughter got me right in the heart. They’re touching and the absolutely perfect end note. Carl reminds his daughter things are better though there are still dangers in the world. It’s a message that reflects in our every day lives. It’s a reminder of what we should be imparting on the next generation. We experience that complacency with our own walkers right around the corner. The underlying message Kirkman presents is one that we can take away with us today. It challenges the reader to do better and be better. It also focuses in on the point of the whole series from the beginning.

The art by Charlie Adlard with gray tones from Cliff Rathburn is fantastic. Along with lettering by Rus Wooton, we’re presented with an emotional issue. It’s not one full of scares or death and destruction. It’s all about human nature and feelings. And with the time jump, the art becomes key. It tells as much about where society is as to where it was. There’s a limited amount of pages to deliver the full story so the art details become a messenger for the reader to figure everything out. The art goes out on a high note matching an optimistic tone.

Fans of The Walking Dead might be both sad and happy with how things have wrapped. We’re not totally without future stories. From television shows to books, there’s much more life into this world yet to come and experience. And we can go into that with the knowledge that there’s hope for a future that’s a little better. A series whose message is that through trials and tribulations we can all make a better future. For a world built off of a bleak premise, its gift is one of a brighter future we can all make together.

Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn Letters: Rus Wooton
Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

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