Tag Archives: don handfield

Going back to The Source! Second printing for Scout’s latest hit!

Scout Comics and Entertainment has announced that The Source #1 by Don Handfield, Joshua Malkin, and Leno Carrvalho has completely sold out and has gone back to a second printing.

The Source is the story of Bennett Miller, a high school teacher in East St Louis who still lives with his grandmother. One day, Bennett is approached after his class by a mysterious old woman, Ms. Putnam, who tells him that magic is real… and he’s the one prophesied to return it to humanity. The only problem…it’s been outlawed for thousands of years by the ancient Few, a powerful sect who hoard it to prolong their own lives…and will stop at nothing to keep it secret. The Source is based on true history, real legends, actual folklore and myths.

Please use Diamond code SEP188132 to order The Source #1 2nd printing coming to stores December 2018.

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Don Handfield, James Haick III, and Scout Comics’ The Mall in Development for TV by Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Pictures

Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Pictures has picked up Don Handfield and James Haick III’s critically acclaimed comic series The Mall, published by Scout Comics. Handfield, the co-creator of History Channel’s Knightfall will adapt for the small screen through his Motor Television banner.

Set in the golden age of kiosks, arcades and food courts,The Mall tells the story of three teenagers — the QUARTERBACK, the PRINCESS and the GEEK, who all find out they’re related when their real father, a mid-level crime boss, dies and leaves them each a store inside the local mall. The catch is, the stores are fronts for the mob, and the teens must decide whether to break bad or go legit, all while trying to navigate the high stakes John Hughes type drama that is high school in the 1980s. Finding a date for the prom is one thing, doing it with the Columbian drug cartel out to kill you is another.

Handfield’s first comic series The Rift was also optioned for television and his upcoming new comic series The Source, also from Scout Comics, co-created with Joshua Malkin launches at New York Comic-Con 2018 with a limited edition glow-in-the-dark variant cover.

Haick is the creator of another successful ongoing Scout series Solar Flare, about mankind’s quest to survive after a x-class solar flare wipes out the world’s electrical infrastructure, along with the upcoming Long Live Pro Wrestling series.

Review: The Mall #1

To put things simply, Scout Comics’ The Mall #1 is The Breakfast Club meets Goodfellas complete with three very different teenagers going not to Saturday detention, but meeting with Lenny, the brother of dead crime boss, Gino Cardini and each of their fathers. Except with some shared characters and the concept of the children of a dead crime boss running his mall mob fronts, The Mall #1 doesn’t line up plotwise with the Free Comic Book Day issue. However, writers Don Handfield and James Haick III, artist Rafael Loureiro, and colorist Dijjo Lima make a solid effort at combining the worlds of the crime saga and coming of age story with more than a little darkness along the way.

In the three protagonists Diego, Lena, and Dallas, Handfield and Haick riff off the archetypes of Brain, Rich Girl, and Jock, but The Mall #1 doesn’t fall into the lily white John Hughes movie trap and features a diverse cast of characters. Handfield and Haick also use the archetypes as a foundation to build on instead of leaning into stereotypes. For example, Lena might live in a huge mansion, but wants to have a job (Even if it’s selling hot dogs at the mall food court.) so she can build a life for her and her mother apart from her stepfather, who sexually abuses her. She is fiercely independent and has a soft spot for animals, which is why Lenny gives her the pet store to manage. The panels of her holding cute puppies are a nice relief from the violence, bullying, and racism and homophobia that pervade The Mall #1 because, hey, people are pretty terrible.

Diego is the “geek” of the unlikely trio, but has poor grades because he works at his dad’s window washing business to help ends meet, which cuts into his studying time and also causes his peers to bully him. He daydreams about a better life where kids don’t make fun of him and hurl racist slurs at him, and this causes him to lash out at his hardworking father. With a talent for music, Diego has potential, but his family doesn’t have money to send him to a more advanced school for more opportunities. This whole idea of class and opportunity is at the core of Dallas’ character, who is a football playing “jock”, but he is a backup for now and can’t afford expensive cleats without shoplifting them. He is transferring to another school to have a bigger shot at getting a college scholarship, but the kids in his neighborhood resent this and beat him up giving him bruises in a punishing sequence from Rafael Loureiro.

Don Handfield and James Haick imbue these pretty one dimensional high school movie stereotype with an awareness of class and race in The Mall #1 and then add the mob elements. Unlike the Free Comic Book Day issue, Handfield and Haick almost immediately throw Diego, Lena, and Dallas into a world of guns and rivalries as Lenny is threatened by a homophobic member of another rival gang. In some of Handfield and Haick’s harshest writing, he basically uses Reagan era AIDS rhetoric against his opponent, but before the teens can settle into setting up their mall stores, they are drawn into a fire fight. Loureiro’s panels tilt, his art is more stylized, and Dijjo Lima’s color palette is more intense to show the brave new world that these teens are in. This isn’t an after school job or scholarship program; this is war.

In The Mall #1, Handfield, Haick, and Loureiro do a good job introducing its three main characters, its high concept coming of age meets mob movie premise, and then throws everyone into the deep end after taking its time getting to the gangster stuff. It will be interesting to see each protagonist’s reaction to the violent world that they have been thrown into, and the best part of this book is the three distinct viewpoints on the world given to Diego, Lena, and Dallas. They certainly have plenty of problems, and even before the crime family angle is introduced, The Mall #1 has an ugly, harsh take on the world with cheerleaders forced to give oral sex in return for shopping sprees, friends beating up friends because they are betraying the neighborhood, and Lena getting sexually assaulted by her stepfather.

Story: Don Handfield and James Haick III Art: Rafael Loureiro
Colors: Dijjo Lima Letters: DC Hopkins
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Discussing Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield’s The Rift from Red 5 Comics

the-riftIn 2013 Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner and writer/producer Don Handfield created The Combine, a production company focused on high quality, dynamic and emotional storytelling. The company is currently producing The Founder starring Michael Keaton and the new scripted series Knightfall premiering on The History Channel in 2017. Now they’ve set their sights on the comics industry with a plan to bring the same high-quality dramatic storytelling to the graphic novel format. Partnering with Red 5 Comics, The Combine will present its first comic series in January 2017.

Presented by Renner and written by Handfield and Richard Rayner, The Rift tells the story of a single mother, Mary Ann, and her son, Elijah, whose lives change forever after witnessing a WWII fighter pilot from 1941 crash-land in present-day Kansas. They find themselves drawn into the work of Section 47, a secret government organization responsible for responding to Rifts that open in space and time. Section 47 – so named because they have only 47 hours before these Rifts close – must safely send all matter from the past back through these portals before time runs out or else the Rifts go nuclear.

Past disasters have been covered up by well-known incidents like Roswell, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.  The scientists believe it’s a matter of physics, but Mary Ann suspects something more spiritual in nature.  She believes people arriving from the past have unresolved problems that must be settled before the rifts can close without harm.

The Rift will be four issues running from January to April 2017 with an additional story in the Red 5 2017 FCBD issue.

I got a chance to ask Hanfield some questions about what we can expect from the series and their concept of time travel.

Graphic Policy: Where did the idea for the Rift come from?

Don Handfield: My grandfather was a test pilot in World War 2 who was a father figure to me I lost young. I was in traffic on the 405 one day and missing him and had this daydream of a sonic boom and a WW2 plane crash landing on the freeway, then seeing that this plane was my grandfather coming back to me through a rip in time and space. The idea sprung from there.

GP: The Combine is currently producing a film, what got the company interested in comics?

DH: Whether it’s Jeremy (Renner) and I as producing partners, or Richard Rayner and I as writing partners, our job and our passion is to tell stories and create content in whatever medium. The beauty of comics is we can really control the process from start to finish with a singular vision. It’s been an amazing experience on this book for everyone involved.

GP: You’re releasing The Rift with Red 5 Comics. How’d you get involved with the publisher?

DH: Honestly, we went to comic shops and found books we liked, then reached out to the publishers. We thought RED 5 had great books and speaking to them they really talked us through the process in a clear, straight forward way that made it easy to partner with them.

GP: The first two issues I read had this real solid Twilight Zone feel to it. What were some of the influences for the comic series?

DH: Twilight Zone certainly is a bit of the vibe, but we were really influenced by the magical realism and emotion of movies like Field of Dreams. Spielberg was a big influence, whether it’s Amazing Stories or how he took a subjective entirely everyday character approach to an alien encounter in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We always loved how it wasn’t the expert taking us into the world, it was these everyday characters.

GP: Though the series is very sci-fi, there’s a touching human aspect to it. The second issue is really emotional on top of the ticking clock aspect to it. As creators how hard is it to properly balance the two?

DH: The high concept was always conceived as a vehicle for emotion with a ticking clock. As the series develops it really becomes more supernatural than science fiction. We always saw the Rift as living more in the real of Star Wars as far as being more about fantasy/magic and dealt with feelings/emotion, than Star Trek or other science fiction series which are much more about the science and cerebral.

GP: How did Leno Carvalho get involved with the series on art?

DH: We put an ad on Digital Webbing and got hundreds of artists submitting work. His art was so perfect for portraying the realism slash Spielberg movie feel we wanted for this.

GP: There’s tons of time travel stories out there each with their own rules in how it all works. Did you sit down to figure all of that out?

DH: We established a set of rules to drive the series, but the biggest thing was that this would always be more about personal connection and emotion of the characters within it rather than changing or righting the course of historical events. A lot of these shows do the big moments in history thing effectively and it’s fun, but the stakes are a bit removed and the emotion is a bit binary, we either fail or succeed to kill Hitler, etc. We wanted the time travel aspect to bring in characters that could deal with different emotions almost in the vein of Highway to Heaven — a couple dealing with saying goodbye, a little boy dealing with abuse, a father looking to find out who killed his daughter. Personal stakes that lead to real emotional catharsis for our main characters was always the aim of this concept. 11/22/63, the Hulu series and Stephen King novel did a great job of making the story personal for the lead character beyond the stakes of the time travel stop Kennedy’s assassination element. We too want to make sure the focus of the series is always emotion and character over high concept. We were set from the beginning on the high concept always serving as a vehicle to increase the stakes in service of the character and emotion as opposed to the other way around.

GP: What have you found to be the biggest differences with putting together a movie compared to putting together a comic series?

DH: There are a lot of similarities as far as production flow — but with a comic you are responsible for a lot more aspects as a creator – and have a lot more creative control which is amazing.

GP: The series is four issues, do you have more plans for it?

DH: You will see volume one ends with questions — questions we hope people will want answered!

GP: Thanks so much and look forward to reading the rest of the series!

Jeremy Renner Presents The Rift – In Stores January 2017

In 2013 Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner and writer/producer Don Handfield created The Combine, a production company focused on high quality, dynamic and emotional storytelling. The company is currently producing The Founder starring Michael Keaton and the new scripted series Knightfall premiering on The History Channel in 2017. Now they’ve set their sights on the comics industry with a plan to bring the same high-quality dramatic storytelling to the graphic novel format. Partnering with Red 5 Comics, The Combine will present its first comic series in January 2017.

Presented by Renner and written by Handfield and Richard Rayner, The Rift tells the story of a single mother, Mary Ann, and her son, Elijah, whose lives change forever after witnessing a WWII fighter pilot from 1941 crash-land in present-day Kansas. They find themselves drawn into the work of Section 47, a secret government organization responsible for responding to Rifts that open in space and time. Section 47 – so named because they have only 47 hours before these Rifts close – must safely send all matter from the past back through these portals before time runs out or else the Rifts go nuclear.

Past disasters have been covered up by well-known incidents like Roswell, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.  The scientists believe it’s a matter of physics, but Mary Ann suspects something more spiritual in nature.  She believes people arriving from the past have unresolved problems that must be settled before the rifts can close without harm.

The Rift will be four issues running from January to April 2017 with an additional story in the Red 5 2017 FCBD issue.

the-rift