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Preview: King: The Phantom #1

King: The Phantom #1

Brian Clevinger (w)
Brent Schoonover (a)
Darwyn Cooke (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
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Rob Liefeld Exclusive Art retailer incentive cover
Ron Salas Exclusive Art retailer incentive cover
Rob Liefeld B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Ron Salas B&W Art retailer incentive cover

“What IS The Phantom?” Welcome to the KING, full of TWO-FISTED SCRAPPING and RUGGED COURAGE and UNSTOPPABLE PURPOSE and DARING INFILTRATION and BREAKNECK COMBAT and INDESTRUCTIBLE LEGACY and GHOSTS…WHO…WALK!

Prepare yourself for BULLETPROOF BRAWLING by BRIAN CLEVINGER (Atomic Robo) and BRENT SCHOONOVER (Adventures of Superman) with a connecting King cover by comic legend DARWYN COOKE!

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Preview: King: Flash Gordon #1

King: Flash Gordon #1

Ben Acker, Ben Blacker (w)
Lee Ferguson (a)
Darwyn Cooke (c)
FC • 34 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Darwyn Cooke B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Rob Liefeld Exclusive Art retailer incentive cover
Ron Salas Exclusive Art retailer incentive cover
Rob Liefeld B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Ron Salas B&W Art retailer incentive cover

“He’s nothing but a man!” Welcome to the KING, full of UNCANNY PLANETS and ENORMOUS EXPLOSIONS and FURIOUS HOLOGRAMS and IMPOSSIBLE BRAVERY and GALACTIC HEISTS and SAVAGE GUERILLAS and MYSTERIOUS FLOBOTANIM and MASSIVE HANGOVERS and GRINNING IMPOSSIBILITY!

GET PUMPED for ASTOUNDING FUN by BEN ACKER & BEN BLACKER (The Thrilling Adventure Hour) and LEE FERGUSON (G.I. Joe) with a connecting KING cover by comic legend DARWYN COOKE!

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Image Expo 2015

image expoImage Comics had a banner year in 2014, launching numerous high-profile, well received, projects from some of the industry’s top creators. Today’s Image Expo was not just a look back at was, but what will be coming, as the publisher attempts to take its momentum and capture even more of the market share.

General Announcements:

  • The publisher has introduced $9.99 Volume Ones that create an easy and cheap access point for those interested in exploring any of these series
  • Image Has been awarded the Diamond Comics’ Publisher of the Year Gem Award for the second year in a row
  • Image finished the year with a double-digit market share
  • Image has announced a $2.99 price point
  • They reported a double digit year-to-year growth from 2013
  • Image had a 16.48% market share for graphic novels in the book market in 2014

New series:

  • Savior  asks what if the most dangerous man on Earth was also the one trying to do the most good? Announced by Todd McFarlane, by Brian Holguin.
  • Paul Jenkins has been announced as the new writer for Spawn.
  • James Robninson and Phillip Tan announce a new sci-fi series where humans go to war with God called Heaven.
  • Starve is announced by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj, and Dave Stewart
  • Black Road is announced by Brian Wood and Gary Brown.
  • 8House is mentioned, it’s created by Brandon Graham with art by Marion Churchland, Emma Rios, Hwei Lim and more. This series has been mentioned at previous events.
  • Brandon Graham announces Island, a new comics magazine.
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios’ series Pretty Deadly will return with a second arc set during World War I.
  • Emi Lenox‘s travelogue graphic novel set in Japan Tadaima was announced.
  • Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire will bring us A.D. After Death.
  • Jeff Lemire also has Plutona with Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire about a group of kids who find a dead super hero in the woods.
  • We Stand on Guard by Brian K. Vaughan and Scott Skrooce has “giant fucking robots”
  • Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda bring us Monstrous
  • Brian Buccellato and Tony Infante team up for Son of the Devil
  • Eric Canete and Jon Tsuei announce Run Love Kill
  • Kieron Gillen, and David LaFuente are blessing us with The Ludocrats
  • No Mercy by Alex DeCampi, Carla McNeil, and Jenn Manley Lee is announced
  • Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie‘s The Wicked + The Divine will have guest artists focusing on individual gods.
  • Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod have Kaptara coming, which he calls a “gay Saga,” a sci-fi comedy series where they can do “whatever (they) want”
  • Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie will bring us Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl which will be a final statement to those characters
  • Darwyn Cooke returns to Image with Revengeance
  • Skottie Young‘s I Hate Fairyland has been announced
  • Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang will bring us Paper Girls where four 12-year-old girls experience something very strange the day after Halloween

We’ll provide more information as it is released.

Review: Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1

harley covHarley Quinn is probably the most bizarre of all supervillains across the entire medium of comics.  Although she is presented as certifiably insane and pure evil in some contexts, in other she is presented very differently.  In a way this is maybe even comparable to her major nemesis, Batman, who at times is presented very differently in his own titles, versus those of the bigger universe.  So Harley is either a murderous psychopath or a mischievous anarchist more interested in fun than harm.  It would seem as those that are big fans of the character regard her more as the latter, as a fun-loving character with the morality turned off.

For those fans of the latter, they are likely to enjoy the Harley Quinn Holiday Special (given #1 as an issue number, does DC plan to make this a yearly thing?)  This issue contains three stories, all of them loosely tied together with the concept introduced in the first one.  And those expecting to find a murder-themed Christmas special are only going to find puppies here instead.  Lots of puppies.  While the characters is not particularly Christmas themed, it is handled well here as her own neuroses and harley carpsychoses are melded well into the stories, two focusing on Christmas and one on New Year’s Eve.  In so doing she is shown to capture somewhat the Christmas spirit, even when the match doesn’t seem natural.

In terms of quality this is probably a bit far off of what most readers expect out of mainstream superhero comics, although fans of the character are likely to find this issue exactly on mark.  DC deserves some credit though for trying something a little different here.  Although trying new directions was lauded as one of the inspirations of the new 52, it has often been absent, and despite the previous holiday themed special falling flat (the Young Justice Valentine’s Day special), it is evident here that at times DC does let its creative teams have a wider net in which to catch.  This is by no means great comic writing, but it is quaint and fun, which is part of what Christmas is supposed to be about anyway.

Story: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti  Art: Brandt Peters, Darwyn Cooke and Mauricet
Story:  8.2 Art: 8.2  Overall: 8.2  Recommendation: Read

Amazon’s Jet City Comics Comes to comiXology

WOOL_Issue_1Amazon Publishing’s graphic novel and comics imprint Jet City Comics and comiXology have announced that the first digital issue of Wool: The Graphic Novel, an adaptation of Hugh Howey’s #1 Kindle best-selling science fiction novel, will go on sale today on comiXology and Amazon.com. Single issues in the six-issue run will release every two weeks and sell for $2.99 on comiXology. The entire comics run will also sell for $4.99 as a Kindle Serial on Amazon.com, with new issues delivering automatically to customers on the same release dates, and as a $4.99 bundle on comiXology once all six issues are released. The print edition of the collected graphic novel will be available on Amazon.com and at other retailers in late August.

This is the first joint release since Amazon acquired comiXology, and I expect to see more of this in the future.

Howey’s dark, dystopian novel Wool (the first novel in the Silo Saga trilogy) was a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Kindle best seller and is one of the most-reviewed science fiction novels ever on Amazon, with over 8,000 customer reviews. With an all-star team including comics writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Hugo-nominated illustrator Jimmy Broxton, and acclaimed cover artist Darwyn Cooke, Wool: The Graphic Novel brings Howey’s dark, dystopian vision to life like never before.

Darwyn Cooke Takes Aim at The Hunter in a New Way

It’s no secret that Darwyn Cooke has garnered wide acclaim, including multiple Eisner and Harvey awards, adapting Donald E. Westlake’s world of Parker into graphic novels. But what should catch your attention is that the acclaimed writer/artist is providing all-new illustrations for the classic Parker novels by Richard Stark (Westlake’s pen name), presented for the first time in a deluxe format. The series will be released in chronological order, and launch with The Hunter, the inaugural Parker story. Each book will contain 10 gorgeous paintings by Cooke, and, with the design and typography overseen by the renowned artist, this series promises to be a stylish tour-de-force.

Parker: The Hunter, will be available everywhere this June. But the debut of the book will come earlier as it makes a special advance unveiling on May 10th & 11th
at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Cooke, a special guest of the show, will be appearing both days to the sign the book, which features a unique dust jacket and signature plate.

The Hunter debuted in 1962. Stark’s resilient creation would become one of the most influential American literary characters of the 20th century. The crime-infested world of Parker has been translated to the screen multiple times feature films like Point Blank, Payback, The Outfit and, most recently, Parker.

Darwyn Cooke and IDW Publishing have teamed up to release four graphic novel adaptations thus far: The Hunter, The Outfit and The Score. The fourth, Slayground was released in December 2013 to high praise and critical acclaim

Lauded as a classic of the genre, The Hunter follows Parker on a cold-blooded mission of revenge. Betrayed by those closest to him, Parker sets out for retribution in a world of corruption, violence, and retribution. Whether you’re a fan of Stark, Cooke, or both, Parker: The Hunter will be an essential addition to any library this June.

Cover of the TCAF Limited dust jacket

The Fox #1 “Sold Out!”

Red Circle Comics is proud to announce that The Fox #1 has SOLD OUT of its 1st print run from Diamond Comics Distributors as of 10am this morning. The highly anticipated debut issue of the series is by Emmy Award winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel with words by Eisner Award winning writer Mark Waid, their first collaboration together.

The Fox follows the lead of the mega successful Afterlife With Archie, which sold out in less than 5 hours of release, continuing the publisher’s successful streak of releasing select TEEN+ comics exclusively to comic shops. A 2nd printing is in the works with details forthcoming.

In addition to the stellar creative team, Red Circle Comics has enlisted today’s top talent to contribute cover art including such A-listers as Darwyn Cooke, Fiona Staples, Paul Pope, Mike Allred, David Mack and many more yet to be revealed. This all-star event continues when issue #2 hits 12/4 where Haspiel and Waid will be joined by more top tier talent in writer J.M. DeMatteis, and the art team of Mike Cavallaro and Terry Austin on The Shield back-up.

NYCC 2013: Darwyn Cooke to Illustrate Parker Prose Novels at IDW

IDW Publishing announced its plan to expand their relationship with Darwyn Cooke and the Estate of Donald E. Westlake to include illustrated Parker novels. Cooke, who will continue producing his award-winning Parker graphic novel series for IDW, will now also illustrate Westlake’s ground-breaking crime novels. For the first time, the Parker novels will be published in a deluxe, hardcover format, and with Cooke designing the series, as well as providing stunning color illustrations to accompany Westlake’s (AKA, Richard Stark’s) crime classics! The first book, The Hunter, will arrive in the first half of 2014. Additional editions will be released in chronological order thereafter.

Darwyn Cooke and IDW Publishing have released three Parker graphic novels to date, with the trio winning multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards. The fourth graphic novel, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, will be released in December.

Richard Stark was the most famous pseudonym of world-renowned author Donald E. Westlake. In 1962 he created the master thief Parker and began a series of novels that have been recognized as seminal works in crime fiction. Several of Westlake’s books have been adapted by Hollywood, including Parker earlier this year. He has won numerous awards for his fiction, including being named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, that prestigious society’s highest honor

Parker Will Return in Slayground!

SLAYGROUNDCVRDarwyn Cooke’s acclaimed Parker series from IDW continues to expand with the classic Slayground. In this newest graphic novel, Parker is put to the test against crooked cops and sleazy gangsters after a heist goes south and he finds himself trapped in an amusement park closed for the winter, and embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse… a game that slowly starts to favor the mouse.

Based on the influential novels by Richard Stark, AKA, Donald Westlake, Parker is a coldly calculating master criminal, one with a very rigid code. The IDW adaptations by Darwyn Cooke of The Hunter and The Outfit have received multiple Eisner and Harvey  awards. The Score, released last year, was nominated for an Eisner Award at last week’s San Diego Comic-Con International. Slayground will be the fourth Parker adaptation in the popular and much lauded series.

Darwyn Cooke’s distinct style has made him a premier writer and artist in the comic book industry. A former animator, Cooke entered mainstream comics in 2000 with his critical hit Batman: Ego for DC Comics.

Donald Westlake, writing as Richard Stark, was the acclaimed author of the Parker series. He was a three-time Edgar Award winner, as well as being named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, that prestigious societies highest honor.

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