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Concrete Park Creators Make Their Mark at DNC

Tony andf Erika_type.jpg

The award-winning creative team behind the graphic novel series Concrete Park (Dark Horse), Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander will be in Philly to show their support to Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention this week. Puryear will be continuing his work with art as protest group Comixcast while Alexander will actually be speaking on Tuesday, July 25 at the DNC.

“As a Black artist, I make a comic, “Concrete Park”, featuring people of color in the future. Lately, there are days when I worry we won’t make it there. This is why I was so honored to be invited to be  part of Comixcast 2016.” – Tony Puryear

Comixcast is a diverse group of progressive comics creators, artists and activists joining together with the stated goal of stopping Donald Trump. Helmed by veteran political comics writer Joyce Brabner, their efforts began last week in Cleveland during the RNC, where there were plenty of police and security teams, but apparently, few protestors. Puryear will share his unique perspective with commentary from the convention floor at the Wells Fargo Center from July 25th through July 28th. Using their pens, brushes, cameras and words, Puryear, along with other Comixcasters, including Tim Fielder (Dieselfunk), will contribute to a live feed of political comics, cartoons, photos, YouTube videos and commentary.

Follow Tony on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and his website to stay updated on his DNC converage!

tony puryear, hillary clinton, dnc, graphic policy

2008 Hillary Clinton Campaign poster created by Puryear

Puryear is no stranger to the Clintons’ political spotlight. His iconic poster for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign is in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. His wife, the actress Erika Alexander, another Hillary supporter, is scheduled to speak in prime time at the DNC on Tuesday, July 26.

“This is a historic moment for America. It’s awesome. I am honored to have been asked by Hillary to introduce Ryan Moore. It’s a bonus to do so in my adopted hometown of Philadelphia.” – Erika Alexander

Best known to TV viewers as “Maxine Shaw” from FOX’s classic sitcom Living Single, Alexander grew up in Philadelphia, was discovered and began her show-biz career there. On Tuesday night, in an emotional homecoming, she takes the national stage before a packed Wells Fargo Center audience.

Alexander will introduce Ryan Moore. Ryan, originally from South Sioux City, NE, has Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Dwarfism and has known Hillary Clinton since 1994, when his family came to Washington, DC for an event to advocate for health care reform. Brian Moore, Ryan’s father, lost his job when his employer was unwilling to cover treatment for Ryan’s health condition. Ryan has stayed in contact with Hillary ever since.

About Tony Puryear

In 1996, Puryear became the first African-American screenwriter to write a $100 million-dollar summer blockbuster with his script for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Eraser. He has written films for Oliver Stone, Mel Gibson, Jerry Bruckheimer and Will Smith. He co-created and co-writes (with Erika Alexander) Concrete Park, 2016 Glyph Award Winner and a Best American Comic, 2013. He also draws the book. Together they have taught comics and graphic novel-making from Los Angeles to Central America to Harvard. He recently contributed illustrations for Dark Horse Books’ new adult coloring book Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color from best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club).

About Erika Alexander

The role of “Cousin Pam” was created for Erika Alexander on The Cosby Show in 1990 and she went on to a star as fan favorite “Maxine Shaw” in the hit series Living Single in 1993, winning two NAACP awards for Best Actress in a Comedy. She recurs on the ABC Tim Allen comedy, Last Man Standing as Carol Larrabee “The Black Sarah Palin,” on Freeform’s 2017 sci-fi drama Beyond and on Oprah Winfrey’s and Ava Duvernay’s new drama, Queen Sugar, debuting on OWN, September 2016. She also co-stars in Jordan Peele’s horror movie, Get Out. Erika is the co-creator and co-writer of the critically acclaimed, award-winning graphic novel, Concrete Park, a Best American Comic 2013, and a 2016 Glyph Award winner, published by Dark Horse Comics.Alexander is an advocate for women and children and a national surrogate for Hillary Clinton 2007-2016.

Mini Reviews

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.


CageHero01_Cover-COLORSAlex

Cage Hero #1 is a surprisingly enjoyable mix of superpowers and mixed martial artists. A fun comic that has an amusingly unique take on the superhero origin story (even if the high school setting is somewhat familiar). Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

One of the more interesting takes on the vigilante heroes lately has come in the form of The Black Hood. Issue #6 is a standalone tale that focuses on the title character’s battle with an addiction to prescription  pain killers while he continues to go beyond the law in administering justice. The art is crisp and the colours entice you into the brutally honest world within these pages. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Mono is a superbly envisioned collection about a secret agent with a prehensile tale that is, frankly, visually stunning. This was a collection that captivated me from start to finish with it’s mix of pulpy goodness and pseudo history, it was a joy to read. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Brett

Art Ops #1 – A fascinating new Vertigo series I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It’s basic idea is that art is real, and there’s this agency that protects the beings within the pictures. At least that’s my understanding of it. It’s pretty out there. Not sure if I’m totally sold, but it’s absolutely original. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

ARTOPS-Cv1-96f41The Black Hood #6 – A one-shot that seems like it’ll lead into the next story arc. Howard Chaykin joins on art, and while I figured out the twist a bit before it was revealed, the comic is still really entertaining. If you’re looking for a comic about a cop/junkie/vigilante, then look no further! Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Chew #51 – The series is coming to its finale and this is our first look after its major confrontation and battle. We get to see where some characters are in their lives and what the world is like. There’s still some big questions to be answered, but this comic continues the over the top humor that consistently gets me to laugh. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Hangman #1 – This first issue is fascinating. It doesn’t quite get us to what I think is where the series goes next, but we learn about the boogeyman that is the Hangman in the mob. The comic is absolutely adult, and really puts the “dark” in Dark Circle. It definitely piqued my interest. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Revival #34 – What brought all the folks back to life? We still don’t know what’s behind Revivers, but this issue has some impressive revelations that started to make the puzzle clearer. It’s also a hell of a confrontation between Dana and her father. It’s an issue full of emotion and catharsis, a great jumping on point. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Daphne

The final issue of the A-Force miniseries was awesome. Ending it with an all-out war that showcased dozens of Marvel Comics ladies was a great decision, and makes me super excited for the full series to come out. The series itself wasn’t as strong in the middle as its beginning, but it ended with a great climax and I can’t wait to see more. Overall Score: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ms. Marvel ended on a high note in time for the big company-wide relaunch initiative. With Kamala’s world ending we finally get some plot points wrapped up in really satisfying ways, and the story ends in a really optimistic and emotional that is totally worthy of the Miss Marvel name. This was probably the best “Last Days” story to come out of Secret Wars, and I love that it left us with both closure and a great setup for things to come. I can’t wait to see what happens with the relaunch. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Elana

Catwoman-45This has been a banner month for Catwoman, Constantine and Gotham Academy. Each has just printed it’s best issue yet. Each of these comics reaches a pinnacle of a completely compelling storyline here and delivers and delivers and delivers. These are among the best comics today. Buy. Buy. Buy.

Over the Garden Wall issues 1 and 2 are lovely contributions to the world of the animated show. I rewatched the cartoon after reading them and they fill in the blanks in the series so well that I would strongly suggest anyone who likes the cartoon pick up these comics immediately. They are charming and wistful like the series. They even contain a page of sheet music in the back! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Heathen from comixology submit: promising fantasy/folklore story from a promising new creative talent Natasha Alterici. Compelling queer female lead. Evocative painted art. You can shiver it it looks so cold. I hope she continues the series! I’ll give it an 8 if she can keep this up! Recommendation: Buy.

Revenger from comixology submit: this is an angry comic. The art evokes Benjamin Marra (his art is also angry). If you are in the mood for angry, revenge violence with a very raw nerve core then give this a go. It’s got that ugly but compelling look to the art. Badass black butch female lead who reminds me of a cross between Grace Jones and The Man with No Name. Feels pretty punk rock. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Concrete Park Volume 2 this is a radical scifi book with politics on it’s sleeve. Striking character design. Impeccable world building. Check out those maps! The world they invent is completely unique. An urban dystopia in space. Strong critique of the prison-industrial system and sexism. It deserves a full length review. This was the best thing I got at New York Comic Con. I love it so much! And I’ve only read the 2nd volume. Definitely going to buy the first one but I think it speaks to how well written the 2nd volume is that I was able to get totally involved in it without any of the earlier information. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Kenny

Colder: Toss the Bones #2 continues its trend of being creepy as hell. Nimble Jack’s relentless tormenting of Declan plays on the idea of that feeling that someone is watching you. The story toys with that psychological idea to great effect. It is uncomfortable seeing Declan unknowingly having his life manipulated by Jack. Each of Jack’s action are so dark and uncomplicated by morality, that he has become a menacing figure who seems unstoppable at this point. This comic is still proving to be one of the best horror comics out and one that needs your attention. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is moving in a completely new and exciting direction after the epic conclusion of TMNT #50. Issue #51 sets the stage for a Turtles’ arc as they try and navigate their new position as, well, I won’t spoil it for you. Find out for yourself and see the one of the most interesting premises for a Turtles story I’ve seen in a long time. Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


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

Around the Tubes

It was new comic day yesterday, with lots of first issues. What did folks get, and what have you enjoyed so far?

Around the Tubes

The Spire – ‘Tooth & Claw’ Retitled as ‘The Autumnlands’ After Copyright Mix-Up – Doh!

Bleeding Cool – Concrete Park’s Last Two Issues Stealth-Cancelled, Will Appear In The Trade Paperback – That stinks.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Alias Omnibus

Comic Vine – Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1

Comic Vine – Batman Eternal #35

Comic Vine – Birthright #3

Comic Vine – Chew #45

Comic Vine – Deadpool #38

Comic Vine – Detective Comics #37

Comic Vine – Gotham Academy #3

CBR – Gotham Academy #3

Comic Vine – Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1

Comic Vine – Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #7

Comic Vine – Rai #5

Comic Vine – Robocop #6

Comic Vine – Secret Six #1

CBR – Secret Six #1

MoviePilot – Teen Titans: Earth One

Comic Vine – Thanos vs. Hulk #1

Preview: Concrete Park #1

A troubled young outcast from Earth awakens on a distant desert planet that’s gripped by gang war. Will the exiles of Scare City destroy each other or create something surprising, beautiful, and new? Concrete Park returns with volume 2’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T arc—a sexy sci-fi saga by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander!

Concrete Park #1 is on sale Septemer 3rd. Retailer FOC is Monday, August 11th.

concrete park #1

Wondercon 2014: Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander’s Concrete Park Returns!

With overwhelming fan support and critical success in Dark Horse Presents, Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander’s Concrete Park is slated for a new miniseries this fall!

When young Earth outcasts are exiled to “Scare City,” a vast outpost on a distant desert planet, they must find a path to redemption or be destroyed by their own violence. Concrete Park, a dark, sexy sci-fi saga by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander, is filled with unforgettable protagonists, a colorful supporting cast, redemption, romance, and nonstop action presented in an exceptional, vibrant style.

Concrete Park Volume 1: You Send Me collects the critically acclaimed graphic novel from the pages of Dark Horse Presents into a “director’s cut” hardcover featuring new pages and bonus materials!

The new miniseries, Concrete Park: R-E-S-P-E-C-T will debut September 3 as the first of five single-issue comics, sure to mix stylish noir with sci-fi twists!

Concrete Park Volume 1 is on sale October 1Preorder your copy today!

CPRK #1 FC-1 CPRKV1 HC FC

Concrete Park Earth Tour: Concrete Park Creators Bring Comic Book Skills to Belize!

Screenwriter Tony Puryear, actor Erika Alexander and writer Robert Alexander, the creators of Concrete Park held a series of comic book clinics for high school and college students in Belize in late October. The idea was to help spread the gospel about comics in the developing world.

Concrete Park is serialized in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, and within they spin stories that deal with issues of race, poverty and exile. From their home of Los Angeles they traveled to Belize, a county where those issues resonate, to teach a clinic in comic book creation and entrepreneurship. They judged a nation-wide Comic Book Competition For Schools at the University of Belize.

The team held five clinics in Belize City, in Placencia, in the capital city of Belmopan and in San Ignacio, from the auditorium at the University of Belize to the huge stage of the famous Bliss Institute.

Why teach the basics of comic book creation in a country of 300,000, a country where comics are not even for sale? (the team is working to change that). Why encourage school kids to try this medium, let alone compete in it? Erika Alexander explains:

Whether you live in the first world or the developing world, ideas are the most valuable currency there is. Our message is that your story is unique and valuable. Pencils and paper are cheap, and comics, whether self-printed or self-published on the web are a simple, accessible medium for expressing ideas in stories. In teaching comics creation, we are also teaching storytelling, business skills, entrepreneurship and connectivity.

The whirlwind tour through Belize is the first stop in an ambitious agenda the team, in a nod to their sci-fi roots, has dubbed the “Concrete Park Earth Tour”. They plan on taking their comic book clinics to big, funky world cities like Mumbai, Johannesburg, Rio De Janeiro and Manila. “Concrete Park cities”, Puryear calls them. The kids in these cities face major challenges. Can a class in making comics make a difference? Team Concrete Park says “yes”. Erika Alexander continued:

We grew up as outsider kids, kids without a lot of access to formal art or writing training, comics were a way in to a world of imagination and creativity. It’s amazing what these flimsy little books can do.”

Robert Alexander added:

The poor kids in these cities have a story to tell, and they need to know their story matters. We’d like to help them tell that story.

Tony Puryear says:

New technology is blowing away barriers of race and language, making it possible to share your story, wherever you were born, whatever you look like. Though Belize is not a wealthy country, there is one cell phone there for every man, woman and child in the country, the highest per capita in Central America. We told the students there that they have powerful publishing platform right in their pockets. We can’t wait to see what they do with it, and we are thrilled to be a part of this world-changing process.

The comic book clinics in Belize were sponsored by the Belize Diaspora Network, an organization devoted to building links between the Belizeans scattered across the globe and their country of origin. Bruce Henry of the Belize Diaspora Network said:

This simple comic book clinic will be big for Belize, or rather, there’s nothing simple about it. Our kids will benefit from hands-on knowledge from professionals who are in the business of comic book art, but it’s not just about comics. It’s about entrepreneurship and reaching out beyond borders with new tools and media. Those skills are crucial to Belize’s future.

Other sponsors of the project include the Belize Tourism Board and NICH, the National Institute of Culture and History, The Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, Robert’s Grove Beach Resort in Placencia and The San Ignacio Hotel in San Ignacio.

Tony Puryear’s Concrete Park Returns to Dark Horse Presents!

TONY PURYEAR’S CONCRETE PARK RETURNS TO DARK HORSE PRESENTS!

May 16, MILWAUKIE, OR—With overwhelming fan support, Tony Puryear’s Concrete Park is slated for a new story arc in Dark Horse Presents #14–#17!

Concrete Park’s return in Dark Horse Presents #14 brings us dark visions for Isaac and an event that will rock all the inhabitants of Scare City, human and non-human. This ongoing sci-fi series, written and drawn by screenwriter Tony Puryear (Eraser) takes you to a far-off planet where Earth’s poor youth have been exiled, and where they now must make a new world.

“Working with Dark Horse, getting to appear in DHP alongside great new work by Mike Mignola and Neal Adams is a terrific honor,” Puryear says. “I’m gratified that the reviews have been so positive, and more importantly, that the fans are finding and following Concrete Park. And on a personal note—we got the cover!”

Praise for Concrete Park:

“The visuals on Concrete Park are a highly graphic style that is incredibly appealing.”—Comic Book Resources

“[Puryear’s] art . . . instantly grabbed my attention. His thick, heavy inks are striking, forming his characters with a great deal of confidence and force. Through his art, you instantly get a feel for this near-future [city]; the swagger of his characters and their surroundings just bursts off of the page.”—Read About Comics

“Concrete Park is no longer the unexpected surprise of Dark Horse Presents. Now that we are three chapters into the story, I expect it to be good. And it is. Screenwriter Tony Puryear is making his debut in comics with this series, and he is doing damn fine double-duty as writer and artist. Every time I think I know what is going on in Concrete Park, Puryear throws me for a loop.”—Comics Bulletin

Dark Horse Presents #14 is on comic stands July 18, 2012!


About Tony Puryear

Tony Puryear is the first African American screenwriter to write a $100 million summer movie blockbuster. His 1996 hit Eraser catapulted him into a career writing pictures for A listers Jerry Bruckheimer (Buck Rogers), Will Smith, and Oliver Stone. Puryear’s adaptation of the Ray Bradbury classic Fahrenheit 451 for Oscar-winning director Mel Gibson has circulated in Hollywood for years as a legendary unproduced script. His latest script is Lady Scarface for the new RKO Pictures.

A talented artist and designer, Puryear was recently honored when his official campaign poster for Hillary Clinton’s historic 2008 presidential run was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress and Concrete Park cocreator Erika Alexander.

About Dark Horse

Founded in1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Felicia Day, Guillermo Del Toro and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties such as The Mask, Ghost, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys, Serenity, and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

Screenwriter Tony Puryear Creates “Concrete Park” for Dark Horse Presents!

Screenwriter Tony Puryear Creates Concrete Park, Edgy Graphic Novel, for Dark Horse Comics 

New sci-fi epic, written and drawn by Hollywood multitasker, appears in legendary anthology magazine Dark Horse Presents

Los Angeles, CA, February 8, 2012—Tony Puryear wrote the 1996 Arnold Schwarzenegger smash Eraser, becoming the first African American screenwriter to pen a $100 million summer blockbuster. He has written action and sci-fi scripts for a who’s who of Hollywood A listers, from Will Smith to Mel Gibson to Jerry Bruckheimer, and adapted storied sci-fi properties like Fahrenheit 451 and Buck Rogers for the big screen. Now he brings that Hollywood horsepower to the world of graphic novels.

Concrete Park, Tony Puryear’s first comics project, appears in Dark Horse Presents #8 from Dark Horse Comics, the premier independent comics publisher. “Concrete Park is a sprawling epic,” Puryear says. “It’s the sci-fi story I’ve been waiting to tell. It’s a perfect fit with Dark Horse Presents, the legendary anthology comic that served as a launch pad for innovative work by the biggest names in comics, including Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) and Mike Mignola (Hellboy). I’m honored to be in the company of these amazing world builders, and happy Mike Richardson of Dark Horse believes Concrete Park belongs with them.”

Richardson says, simply, “I love this strip.”

Concrete Park is a dark and provocative near-future story. It takes place in a turbulent mega-city on a distant desert planet (think Cairo or Rio in space). Young human exiles from Earth must fight to make a new world there. They are “young, violent and ten billion miles from home.” In its ambitious scope, it resembles nothing so much as George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, but with favelas and aliens, cops and cyborgs, ghettos and gangs, instead of castles and armies.

Concrete Park was cocreated by Puryear and his wife, actress Erika Alexander (Living Single, Déjà Vu), and her brother, writer Robert Alexander. Puryear handles the writing and art chores on the book, and in a refreshing twist for someone known as a writer, it’s his art that has drawn the most initial acclaim. Read About Comics said, “[Puryear’s] art . . . instantly grabbed my attention. His thick, heavy inks are striking, forming his characters with a great deal of confidence and force. Through his art, you instantly get a feel for this near-future [city]; the swagger of his characters and their surroundings just bursts off of the page” (http://www.readaboutcomics.com/2012/01/02/dark-horse-presents-7/).

 

About Tony Puryear

Tony Puryear is the first African American screenwriter to write a $100 million summer movie blockbuster. His 1996 hit Eraser catapulted him into a career writing pictures for A listers Jerry Bruckheimer (Buck Rogers), Will Smith, and Oliver Stone. Puryear’s adaptation of the Ray Bradbury classic Fahrenheit 451 for Oscar-winning director Mel Gibson has circulated in Hollywood for years as a legendary unproduced script. His latest script is Lady Scarface for the new RKO Pictures.

A talented artist and designer, Puryear was recently honored when his official campaign poster for Hillary Clinton’s historic 2008 presidential run was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress and Concrete Park cocreator Erika Alexander.

About Dark Horse Comics

Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, Will Eisner, and best-selling prose author Janet Evanovich, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and the Occultist. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan the BarbarianMass EffectSerenity, and DomoToday, Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the United States and is recognized as both an innovator in the cause of creator rights and the comics industry’s leading publisher of licensed material.