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Devil’s Due and 1First Comics Merge

Devils Due 1First Comics New LogoIn a merger that seems to have come out of nowhere, comic publishers Devil’s Due and 1First Comics will be merging into a new studio. The deal merges the two company’s studios, infrastructure, operations, and comic libraries. Both publishers located in Chicago, have been developing more than two dozen titles over the last year. The new series will begin shipping in September. Through the end of the year the imprint will release six original graphic novels and launch five original monthly series, as well as ship trade collections of some of each company’s fan favorite titles.

Starting in September all titles from 1First Comics and Devil’s Due Entertainment will ship under the Devil’s Due / 1First Comics label, available to retailers through Diamond Comic Distributors. Titles will also be available to fans and retailers directly from the publisher. Devil’s Due had announced in May that it’d be turning to a digital first model for some of their series.

1First Comics was founded in 1983 and had a run until 1991. It produced well known series such as American Flagg!, Grimjack, Nexus, Badger, Dreadstar, and more. The company also had a few high profile lawsuits. One against Marvel Comics claiming they flooded the market with titles in order to shit out new companies, and another against a printer for “anti-competitive activities.”

Devils DueThe company was acquired as part of a public offering in 1992, and co-founder Ken F. Levin moved into working with some of the comics industry’s top writers individually. After the new owners allowed the company’s publishing to linger, Levin reacquired 1First Comics.

In 2011 Levin announced the return of 1First with new projects, and this September will see its return to North American bookstores through Diamond Distributors. Its first year of releases will include both original monthly series and original graphic novels from such creators as Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner, Dan Schaffer, The Fillbach Bros., Orlando Harding, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Sean Azzopardi, the Soska Twins, Steve Stern, Dan Cote, Matt & John Yuan, Dan Dougherty & Raf Nieves, Omaha Perez, Dan Schaffer, Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus, John Lucas, Annie Wu, Kelley Jones, Glenn Farrington, Mike Baron, David Hahn, Val Mayerik, Max Allan Collins, and a host of others.

After being founded in 1999, Devil’s Due was relaunched in 2012 after various issues. Since the relaunch it has built a diverse line of independent and creator-owned titles, with successes including Squarriors, Solitary, Plume, Scorch, Mercy Sparx, Yumiko: Curse of the Merch-Girl, and Tales of Mr. Rhee.

devils_due_first_comics_website

Devil’s Due Turns to Digital First

Galaxys for Hire Convention Preview - Art by Sherard JacksonKeeping up with the trends, Devils’ Due Entertainment has announced they’re expanding their digital first comic offerings. The first to be released is the sci-fi action series Galaxys for Hire by Shawn DePasquale and Sherard Jackson. The series centers around two rivaling sisters, Tanna and Mallori Galaxy, trying to survive a rigorous life in space in the 51st century.

The plan for the publisher is the add this distribution channel along with their crowdfuding and print releases. The publisher said in their release that while some titles do well in stores, others do better at conventions, some better with online sales, or through crowdfunding.

The digital first program will see several titles released in digital format followed by third party digital distributors such as comiXology and Drive-Thru Comics, and (for certain titles) to its crowd-funding campaign backers and additional marketing, all which serve as marketing to promote the comics in anticipation of print distribution through the comic book shop Direct Market and several large comic-cons.

Already known for their huge presence as web-comics, Plume (by K. Lynn Smith) and the recently added Scorch (by Ashley Witter), are also published by Devil’s Due and will maintain their own independent web presence.

The full line-up of digital first comics include:

  • Galaxys for Hire by Shawn DePasquale and Sherard Jackson – May 2015
  • Mercy Sparx by Josh Blaylock, Matt Merhoff and various artists starting with issue 8 – May 2015 (still scheduled for print release as solicited).
  • Drafted by Mark Powers which ran as a critically acclaimed twelve-issue maxi-series from Devil’s Due a few years ago, in development as a film by Benderspink Productions – Summer 2015
  • Tales of Mr. Rhee vol. 3 by Dirk Manning and various artists – Fall 2015
  • Solitary vol. 2 by CW Cooke – Fall 2015

Squarriors is Coming!

I know squirrels are evil and can do lots of damage. Just ask my former car and the engine one decided to make its home. They’re ninja warriors, full of stealth and destruction. Devil’s Due Entertainment realizes to destructive nature of the rodent, and have acquired the creator-owned property Squarriors by Ashley M Witter and Ash Maczko.

Squarriors features the story of a small group of animals surviving after the fall of humanity, bringing about a mix of brutality, adorableness and a touch of sci-fi through Witter’s fantastic visuals.

Squarriors will see a crowdfunding campaign start in July. The comic’s “Spring” mini-series is set to debut nationwide in December.

Squarriors - Tin Kin - Ash Maczko Ashley Witter squarriors

C2E2 Release: Devil’s Due Summer Titles Announced, Eric Powell, Leinil Yu, CW Cooke

Devil’s Due has officially announced its publishing plans for Summer 2014, including new titles, exclusive editions, and significantly increased convention presence.

May and June see the release of Mercy Sparx issue 6, as well as the release of the second trade paperback featuring Josh Blaylock and Matt Merhoff’s saga about a foul-mouthed, boozing devil-girl drafted to work for Heaven, caught between the conflicts of Heaven and Hell’s higher ups.

Exclusive convention editions of Mercy Sparx issue 5 debut at this month’s C2E2 Comic-Con in Chicago, IL, where Devil’s Due is kicking off its 2014 convention circuit. A list of confirmed convention stops are included at the end of this release.

August sees the launch of Tales of Mr. Rhee: Karmageddon, a four issue miniseries written by creator Dirk Manning with art by Seth Damoose, and featuring a cover by Eric Powell [The Goon], for a first issue cover price of $1.99. “Karmageddon” is a follow-up to Devil’s Due’s release of the collected edition of Manning’s Tales of Mr. Rhee: Procreation [of the Wicked]

August also sees the re-release of How to Be a Comic Book Artist: Not Just How to Draw, written by Tim Seeley, a companion piece to Josh Blaylock’s How to Self-Publish Comics: Not Just Create Them.

Solitary is the story of an immortal hero facing death row in prison. A facility operated by a warden who blames him for the death of his family. Written by CW Cooke with art by Nando Souzamotta, Solitary debuts in September as a four issue bimonthly miniseries, with an online web-comic companion.

K. Lynn Smith’s Plume also returns in September with an all new mini-series, once again collecting the extremely popular web-comic strip which Smith both writes and illustrates. The trade paperback collection of the original miniseries Plume: The Collected Edition vol. 1 debuts in comic shops this month.

Finally, Drafted, the critically acclaimed, oft-Hollywood-courted sci-fi series returns in a new four issue miniseries in October, featuring covers by Leinil Yu and Chris Lie, and interior art by Rahmat Handoko. Mark Powers returns as writer, and plans both an online web-comic and Kickstarter component working closely with Devil’s Due.

Josh Blaylock, Matt Merhoff, Talent Caldwell, Dirk Manning, and Greg (of Greg & Fake) will be signing at the Devil’s Due Entertainment booth (#643) all weekend.

Drafted Cover by Chris Lie Drafted Cover by Leinil Yu mercy sparx #5 mercy sparx #5b plume #6 Solitary Issue no. 1 by Carl Yonder Solitary Issue no. 2 by Carl Yonder Tales of Mr. Rhee Karmageddon #1 Cover by Eric Powell

Devil’s Due, Dirk Manning Ink Deal for Mr. Rhee

Devil’s Due Entertainment has signed horror writer Dirk Manning to release comic book based on his successful horror/noir online comic, Tales of Mr. Rhee. The existing web series is to be collected into a print volume, as well as made available on digital comic platforms. Future Mr. Rhee content is also in the tentative planning stages.

Five years ago Hell invaded Earth in a “nightmare world” scenario, only for the demons to be driven back into the abyss after three days of world-wide oppression.

Society has now rebuilt itself, though, and everything is back to normal…or so most people choose to believe.

There are still wicked things left behind that occasionally emerge from the shadows, prompting the involvement of the cryptic and enigmatic paranormal troubleshooter known only as “Mr. Rhee.”

Look for details regarding the print release of Tales of Mr. Rhee to be announced soon, with product shipping this Winter. Manning and Devil’s Due intend to utilize a combination of digital distribution, national store distribution and crowd funding platforms to maximize the success of Rhee, as well as exploring options in other areas of the entertainment field.

Review – Plume #1

Plume #1 CoverMeet Vesper, the thrill seeking daughter of a renowned world explorer, and her guardian spirit, Corrick.

K. Lynn Smith‘s hit web comic, Plume, captures the Wild West feel and turns it on its head with the magic and adventure the likes of Indiana Jones. The reinvigorated Devil’s Due Entertainment has taken the comic and packaged it to hit shelves this week.

There’s a lot I like about the comic. I’ll admit the story seems a bit thin, but as a first issue, it’s still solid. We start off on an adventure then flashback to Vesper’s life and how she met Corrick. That’s about it for this first issue. It’s very much an origin tale, but no direction as to where the story is going. That’s not necessarily bad for a story arc, but as a first issue, something just felt missing to me.

What stands out most though is K. Lynn Smith’s art. I love it, with this great feel like you’d see in an animated film. Something about it just really appealed to me. Also is what seems like an entertaining female protagonist. As a lead Vesper seems to be entertaining and strong, not the stereotypical female comic character, another solid thing about the series.

As a first issue goes, I was hoping for a bit more, but I think the overall sum will add up to be greater than it’s parts. So, the series has me intrigued, looking forward to see what we can expect when the second issue rolls around. My gut says this will be a series that starts off slow, but pays off once it gets rolling.

Story and Art: K. Lynn Smith

Story: 7.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Devil’s Due Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

SDCC 2012 – Ohiya and Devil’s Due Team Up

Ohiya has announced they’re partnering with Devil’s Due Entertainment to release a custom t-shirt and comic-zine for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Both Ohiya and Devil’s Due will be exhibiting at booth #2229.

This year’s convention will see the joint-unveiling of the comic book Zombuddiez: Friends Who Nom Together Stay Together and a limited edition t-shirt featuring Ohiya’s resident zombie cat, Koki, feasting on the brains of the Devil’s Due logo.

Fans unable to attend the convention this year can get in on the action by visiting the Devil’s Due Kickstarter campaign. There, fans can snag Devil’s Due swag normally available only on the show floor.

Ohiya plans to unveil a plush of the newest member of the Zombuddiez family, Broozr, at booth #2229.

Barack The Barbarian Returns For Election Season

Devil’s Due sent out an email yesterday giving the heads up to expect more Barack the Barbarian in time for this year’s Presidential election.  This September will see the release of Barack The Barbarian: The Election Collection.  The harcover collects all four issues of the miniseries and the one shot special The Fall of Red Sarah into a collectible hardcover format.  There will also be an exclusive link inside to a digital epilogue to be released upon the 2012 Presidential election results.

More information should be coming soon, but for now, here’s a look at the cover.

MISfortune Cookies. Fun Snacks with a Story

MISFORTUNE COOKIES: Not so Fortunate Fortunes!

A STORY YOU CAN EAT

Today we launch a promotion for one of the darn cutest things we’ve ever been involved with: MISFORTUNE COOKIES.

Everyone has had a fortune cookie, but have you ever stopped to appreciate what goes into making them? All of the magics that must be summoned to bring forth such wise and foretelling statements?

Well, the FortuChan corporation and family knows! But something has happened and mischievous spirits are now loose in the factory, and they are F#$&ing up the fortunes!

No one is sure if it started when Grandma messed up a line summoning an ancestor for advice, or if one of the kids were careless with a Ouija board, but all that matters now is that Grandpa is stuck with a lot of inventory of fortunes that are a little more ominous… or … downright sarcastic and ornery than they should be.

This project supports Project Rectify

But Grandpa FortuChan would like to tell you this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to grab these collectors items! And he’s doing it on Kickstarter!

So what are you waiting for? Go see what they are all about and what [mis]fortune awaits you (or an unsuspecting friend).

Devil’s Due Has Returned

DEVIL’S DUE RETURNS IN 2012

Website Relaunched
Company Geared for Fusion Publishing
Project Rectify to Eliminate Talent Debts

CHICAGO, IL: Following the announcement last week that Devil’s Due Publishing and Diamond have resolved a two year dispute, and unveiling the newly christened Devil’s Due

Entertainment’s plans to begin releasing products to comic book stores in 2012, company founder Josh Blaylock has released the

following statement:

“Devil’s Due returns from the wilderness to a much different, and I think more exciting world of publishing. The old methods have changed and success now requires one to produce content in different media, not just one, and to sell through multiple channels – what I call ‘fusion publishing.’ But whether we’re printing, selling on iTunes, or funding projects through crowdsourcing, all of which Devil’s Due will be immersed in, these paths converge to help us meet the first priority, which is taking care of the remaining talent bills of the old DDP company.

Thanks to our new distribution abilities, and the eradication of some huge debts, a big weight has been lifted off of the company’s shoulders, making that goal much easier to achieve.

Our new line-up will be a small roster of high quality projects, but we’re treading cautiously. A decade ago licensed properties propelled the original DDP to the top, yet they did not do much long term. That is not how I wish to do things in the future, because chasing licenses to keep overhead and employees paid creates a vicious cycle. I’m still game to produce licensed goods that I’m passionate about, but there are now many more ways to cultivate a fanbase for original properties than there were 10 years ago.

Behind the scenes, in the past couple of years, I have been able to personally negotiate and reduce the old DDP’s debts of over a million bucks by a sizable six figures, but a large debt remains that is creator-related. Now though we will be able to distribute products and focus 100% on the creators, and I think, comic-community willing, we’ll be able to garner enough support to squash this debt once and for all.

I think we can do it within a year.

So long as any debt exists the Project Rectify label will accompany all products. People will know when they buy a PR labeled project, profits are going to help right that situation.

After Project Rectify has achieved its goal, if the industry will welcome it, I am looking to continue this imprint as a way to help other talent that find themselves hurt by defunct publishers, of which there are many, and I humbly hope that we can garner the support we need to achieve it. I’ve been here since 1996, Devil’s Due almost as long, and don’t plan on going away any time soon.”

Retailers and fans anticipating the relaunch of Devil’s Due may expect a publishing line-up to be released shortly, and some projects may be previewed at the newly re-launched www.DevilsDue.net.

ABOUT THE NEW DEVIL’S DUE: Devil’s Due Entertainment is an incubator and producer of pop culture content. As cartographers drawing the maps in an uncharted world of new media, Devil’s Due brings together a vertically integrated platform to develop stories and fantasy worlds, and implement the circulation of that content. In addition to its own creations, the company is servicing the needs of its partners who want to draw attention to and monetize their brands in the pop culture space.

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