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Review: Appalachian Apocalypse #1

Appalachian Apocalypse #1

After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia!

Cave Pictures Publishing is a new publisher whose mission is to create spiritually focused comics. Think of them as the comics equivalent of Christian films that do quite well in theaters. It’s a great concept and one that hasn’t quite taken off, though others have tried.

With that wide open gap, I’ve been very interested in seeing what their releases would be like and this week we get our first look with Appalachian Apocalypse #1.

Written by Billy Tucci, the first issue is about as religious and spiritual as an Indiana Jones film. An object from biblical times is sought after and found and that leads to an outbreak of zombies. It’s a fine concept and could work. But, here it doesn’t due to lack of focus.

Over a third of the comic is backstory putting us in the Civil War where Union forces fight Confederates as the Confederates attempt to do something with a stick. It’s all set up but the storytelling is so disjointed it’s hard to figure out why I should care. There’s a lack of intensity and urgency so by the time that we learn that something important is happening, pages and numerous panels have been wasted. This is a spin on the Ark sequence for Indiana Jones but in that case we know what’s going on, we don’t need to learn. There’s also just a smattering of soldiers for something that seems important. The lack of set up is an issue as there’s just no threat present.

The characters too lack likeability. We have scientists having affairs. “Rednecks” which are nothing but stereotypes. There’s no one to really rally behind. Everyone is either mean, caricatures, or insulted to a point of losing any respectability. I’d be happy with a great flood to take care of them.

The art by Ethan Nicolle with color by Ben Glibert doesn’t help matters. There’s a lack of details that’s almost laughable at times. Flags missing stars is an example. Add in scenes that don’t flow where characters just seem to change locations. The comic also has a style of Plants vs. Zombies which could work if the comic was supposed to be a comedy. But, it doesn’t seem to be, at least I don’t think it is.

The comic is a pretty safe start which doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The concept is fine but it lacks the spiritual heft to it beyond the bauble things revolve and some pages dedicate to its history. The art style is comedic not quite matching the tone within. The comic isn’t a complete mess but it comes off that there was a few concepts without a visionary to really focus it.

Cave has something with their focus of a company but this first issue doesn’t really instill confidence they’ll pull it off. Others have tried and it’s looking like Cave may be just another attempt.

Story: Billy Tucci Art: Ethan Nicolle Color/Letterer: Ben Glibert
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Cave Pictures Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Appalachian Apocalypse #1 (of 6)

APPALACHIAN APOCALYPSE #1 (of 6)

Script: Billy Tucci
Art: Ethan Nicolle
Cover: Ethan Nicolle
On Sale Date: January 16, 2019
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.
Item Code: NOV181683

After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia. Billy Tucci (Shi) and Ethan Nicolle (Axe Cop) team up for a hilarious zombie romp like you’ve never seen before!

APPALACHIAN APOCALYPSE #1 (of 6)

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Cave Pictures Publishing’s Appalachian Apocalypse #1

At New York Comic Con, Cave Pictures Publishing announced their line up of “spiritually inclined” comics. The publisher looks to be filling a gap and deliver entertainment for a segment that comics hasn’t focused on unlike the film industry which has found success in movies of that nature.

We’ve got a reveal of the cover to Appalachian Apocalypse #1, one of the comics announced. Written by Billy Tucci with art by Ethan Nicolle, the comic is out January 16, 2019 and will retail for $3.99.

After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia.

The series is described as a “hilarious zombie romp like you’ve never seen before!”

Describing the series Ethan Nicolle said:

Appalachian Apocalypse sort of has a “Dukes of Hazard in a zombie Apocalypse” feel to it. It’s unapologetically American. I enjoy drawing zombies and this has got me drawing tons of them. It’s a very fun, fast-paced zombie adventure with a Tennessee twist.

And when it comes to working with Tucci, Nicolle added:

I’ve been a Billy Tucci fan since the ’90s when I subscribed to Wizard Magazine and he was constantly in the top ten artists in the industry. To be working with him is both thrilling and intimidating as an artist, but luckily he’s possibly the nicest guy in comics.

Tucci is a comic book and graphic novel illustrator and author best known for his creator-owned title and character Shi, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. Tucci penciled Heroes for Hire for Marvel Comics and produced DC Comics’ Sgt. Rock: The Last Battalion.

Nicolle is an American comic book creator, artist, and writer. He is best known for Bearmageddon and Axe Cop, a series he created with his younger brother, Malachai. Axe Cop won top prizes as a web-based comic at both the 2011 Shel Dorf Awards and the 2011 Eagle Awards. Nicolle was also nominated for the Best Humor Publication at the 2009 Eisners.

Cave Pictures Publishing is Launching Comics for the Spiritually Inclined

“Christian” films is big business. With low budgets, they return many factors for their studios making them a very profitable business. While there’s been some attempts to bring that sort of storytelling to comics, no publisher has recreated the marketing that has led to success in films. Cave Pictures Publishing looks to break through and change that.

The publisher revealed a slate of new titles during last week’s New York Comic Con, with a new vision for modern myth-telling. Founded by entertainment executive Mark Rodgers of the cause marketing and creative production firm More Partnerships, Cave Pictures Publishing’s line of spiritually inclined comics debuts in comic shops this January.

The new line of comics mini-series features work from some of the industry’s brightest lights, crafting top-quality and spiritually meaningful stories.

The first title, the horror comedy Appalachian Apocalypse, launches in January from writer Billy Tucci and artist Ethan Nicolle.

Following series launching each month thereafter include:

The Light Princess, a fairy tale by writer Meredith Finch with art by Renae De Liz & Ray Dillon.

The Blessed Machine, a sci-fi escape thriller by Jesse Hamm and company founder Mark Rodgers with art by Hamm.

The No Ones, action-packed superhero drama by writer Jim Krueger with art by Well-Bee.

Wylde, a supernatural western by Daniel Bradford.

Cave Pictures draws its mission and vision from Plato’s allegory of the cave; that what we see with our eyes is often a shadow of greater reality.

More details on each series will be announced in coming months.

Preview: Brother Nash #3

Brother Nash #3

Writer / Artist: Bridgit Connell
Cover A: Ethan Nicolle
Cover B: Bridgit Connell
Publisher: Titan Comics
FC, 52pp, $5.99, On sale: August 1, 2018

American Gods meets Preacher and Hellboy on the midnight road to Sacramento! Nash is a trucker, he also sees ghosts, and when the moon is on the rise and violence threatens his friends… He roams as a wolf… As the Highway Beast! When Nash takes on a mysterious hitchhiker heading for Tuscon, he and his friends are dragged headfirst into his biggest and most dangerous adventure yet!

Bearmageddon Vol. 1 by Axe Cop creator Ethan Nicolle is now available on comiXology!

From the creator of Axe Cop (the webcomic and animated show) comes the collection of the webcomic series Bearmageddon.

Now available on comiXology for the first timeBearmageddon Vol. 1 (171 pages/color/$11.99) is Ethan Nicolle‘s latest ferocious and amusing series that originally ran on his blog.

When Wow Mart employee, Joel Morley and his slacker friends ditch society to live in the forest, they discover a mass exodus of bears heading back to civilization to declare war on mankind. They enlist the help of a half-feral mountain man named Dickinson killdeer to aid them in returning to the city to find their families. But with bears mutating, growing tentacles and invading in massive numbers, it looks like the end of civilization as we know it.

Ethan is currently at work writing and drawing Volume 2.

bearmageddonvol1 cover

The Week in Comic Reviews

It’s been a while since I’ve done some quick comic reviews, but I do read a hell of a lot each week, and I don’t have time to do long reviews for each. So, I decided to bring back my quick reviews to give everything I read their due, and let you know what I think. These won’t be in depth, but you’ll get an idea of what I think of each.

The 7th Sword #2

In the aftermath of a vicious attack, Zenzion’s new leader, Kathleen Galway, seeks out battle-weary Daniel Cray to help defend her people and her home. But will the reluctant warrior pick up his Malathane blade one final time?

The series is two issues in and have been pretty interesting. This is a western/samurai tale set on an alien world. Each issues has been good, but I think the greater story together is what to measure this one by. Still, good for those who enjoy either genre.

Story: John Raffo Art: Nelson Blake II
Story: 6 Art: 5 Overall: 5 Recommendation: Read

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Artifacts #37

When someone uses math to access an ancient and evil power, it’s up to Tilly Grimes to find the answer to stopping them. But even with Tom Judge and the Rapture on her side, this may be too big a problem for the Numeromancer to solve.

While I generally thought the story was ok (though resolved rather quickly), my biggest issue with this story arc has been the art, which is WAY too dark at times to figure out what’s going on. Artifacts has seen better days in story and art.

Story: Dan Wichline Art: ROM
Story: 6 Art: 5 Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Artifacts37_Cover

Axe Cop: The American Choppers #1

President of the World Axe Cop reunites with Super Axe, an old friend from college, and the two of them decide to start a superteam of axe-wielding heroes to defend America, called the American Choppers. They are joined by Captain Axe, Axe Girl, Axe Woman, Axe Dog, and other axe-wielding heroes. The only problem is that there are no bad guys left, but that all changes when mysterious giant creatures attack the city!

I’m very new to the whole Axe Cop thing. I watched the ADHD cartoon series, which lead me to this. My “first issue” and it’s enough for me to come back for more of the Axe family. For folks who are reading this after seeing the cartoon, does Axe Cop now sound like Ron Swanson?

Story: Malachai Nicolle Art: Ethan Nicolle
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

axe cop american choppers 1 cover

B.P.R.D. #119

As Manhattan erupts with Lovecraftian demons, a young psychic must lead the remaining B.P.R.D. crew through the monster-packed streets of New York back to headquarters for safety, as Liz Sherman goes supernova.

This arc comes to a close, and it’s a solid ending. There’s a lot here that gets wrapped up, and that’ll lead to what comes next. I think all those threads that are left hanging are partially why I have this as a read. There’s some plot points I wish were a bit more completed. B.P.R.D. fans should be happy though.

Story: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi Art: James Harren
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

bprd 119 cover

Brain Boy: The Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T. #1

Agent Price’s new mission pits him against a doomsday cult leader with a political agenda that poses a direct threat to the president. But a mysterious hive mind has more menacing plans for Brain Boy. He’ll have no choice but to go head to head—brain to brain—with the mysterious Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T.!

To say Brain Boy is fun is an understatement. There’s a mix of pulp, there’s a mix of modern action. This second volume starts off with a bang and I’m sure this second volume will be as exciting as the first. I mean, the first part of the issue is really exciting, and what a twist.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Freddie Williams II
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

brain boy gestalt 1 cover

East of West #12

A last ditch effort is undertaken to avoid a war between the nations by the most unlikely person on the planet. The remains of the Chosen reassemble.

I’m not sure what I like more, the story or the art. So much happens in this issue, and those actions will reverberate for a long time. An amazing series if you haven’t had a chance to check it out. It’s not too late… though it might be for the nations.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Nick Dragotta
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

EastofWest12_Cover

Flash Gordon #2

As Flash’s heroic reputation grows across the cosmos, his fantastic talents are tested by the Beast Men Of The Outer Lands Of Arboria!

The classic character is back and Parker is doing it with some retro pulp fun with an updated story. If you’re a fan of the character, do yourself a favor and check out the series.

Story: Jeff Parker Art: Evan Shaner
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

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Forever Evil #7

It’s evil versus evil in the shocking “take-no-prisoners” conclusion to Forever Evil! What will be the fate of Lex Luthor and his Injustice League? Who will live – and who will die? And why is The Hooded Man the most feared being from the Syndicate’s world? Do not miss this startling finale that will leave the DC universe reeling and reveal the secrets to the future!

The DC event wraps up. But something seemed a bit off. While there’s some cool moments, everything wraps up quickly, and the titanic battle I was expecting doesn’t happen. The ending is good, just not as great as it could have been… and we’re not going to go into the delay.

Story: David Finch Art: Richard Friend, David Finch
Story: 7.25 Art: 8 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

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Invincible #111

A new beginning for Invincible as things take a turn down a dark path. Everything changes as Invincible is betrayed by one of his own. You won’t want to miss this explosive issue #1… 1… 1! It packs the punch of THREE relaunched number one issues!

Wow what a brutal issue. I know I’m late to the series, but holy crap is this issue good. It’s a brutal starting point that shakes up the Invincible universe.

Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Ryan Ottley
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Invincible111_CoverA

Justice League #30

It all changes here with the first chapter of “Injustice League”! The next era of the Justice League begins as heroes quit, villains join and a Justice League roster you’ve never seen before emerges, led by the world’s greatest hero — Lex Luthor?! As the dust settles and the bodies are buried, the violent consequences of Forever Evil must be dealt with — while a mysterious new force sets its target on the League. But is this force friend or enemy? And why does he want Luthor dead? (If you ask Batman, it’s a long list.)

If you want to know where the DC universe goes post Forever Evil this is a good comic to start with. Villains are heroes. Heroes are villains. It’s very interesting, and a great issue to kick off where DC goes next.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Joe Prado, Ivan Reis
Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

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Justice League of America #14

In the wake of Forever Evil, the Justice League of America’s mission has come to an end – so where do they go from here? No one’s survival is assured!

As a follow up to the major event, there’s nothing wrong with the series, it’s a good bridge to what comes next. The issue is the fact we already have two issues of Justice League United out, so we know what has happened for the most part.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Eber Ferreira, Eddy Barrows
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

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Magnus the Robot Fighter #3

How do you kill a robot fighter? Send a human. LEEJA CLANE: HUMAN HUNTER! Her guns are huge! Her car is fast! Her theme music is awesome! How’s Magnus possibly going to survive against an opponent with no robot parts?

The return of the classic character has been fun so far, but I’m waiting to figure out exactly what’s going on with this world and Magnus. It feels a bit like the Matrix, but with Robots, which is kind of cool.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: Cory Smith
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

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Original Sin #2

WHO HOLDS THE EYE? WHO KNOWS ITS SECRETS? The cosmic manhunt for the Watcher’s killer continues. More bodies are discovered. The killer’s trail leads to the far corners of the universe and beyond. And just when Nick Fury and the Avengers think they’ve cornered their murderer… EVERYTHING EXPLODES, unleashing the Marvel Universe’s greatest secrets.

So far this new Marvel event has been interesting, and in the second issue we get one reveal. Overall, the series has been good, though it’s a bit choppy jumping around so much between the various investigative teams.The individual issue is good, I think the overall story will be much better.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Julian Totino Tedesco
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: Recommendation: Buy

original sin #2 cover

Saga #19

Saga returns! New planet, new adversaries, and a very new direction, all from the same old Hugo Award-winning team.

So, so, so, so, so, so good.

Story: Brian K. Vaughan Art: Fiona Staples
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

Saga19_Cover

Solar: Man of the Atom #2

In the stunning wake of Issue One’s shocking climax…where is SOLAR? What will massive doses of unstable radiation do to his family? And even if they survive, what horrors are lurking in the stars?

The first issue was good, this second issue has really caught my attention. Where this series goes from here, I’m game and want to see.

Story: Frank Barbiere Art: Joe Bennett
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Buy

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Transformers: Windblade #2

Cybertron UNDER FIRE! Someone is out to kill Windblade—but discovering who means turning to some less-than-savory ’Bots. Can Windblade trust her informants enough to stake her life on them? And who will she turn to when the events of Dark Cybertron come back to haunt them all?

A breath of fresh air for the Transformers comics. The look and style of the story are both very different from what’s come before. The style has a manga/anime feel about it, and the story is more of a detective story. Both are very cool, and that, along with such an interesting new character have created an awesome new Transformers series.

Story: Mairghread Scott Art: Sarah Stone
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

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Undertow #4

Anshargal and Ukinnu Alal dine with a cannibal god, but it’s more than Kingu can stomach. Zikia’s rescue team is closing in, and so are the deadliest killers ever indoctrinated by Atlantis. The secret origin of the Atlantean missing link as the exploration action roars on!

The excellent series continues into the second half of its miniseries. There so much going on including a discussion of god, country, and so much more. It’s been a fascinating read for four issues, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Artyom Trakhanov
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

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V-Wars #2

With the Vampire Wars burning hotter and bloodier with each new day, Reporter Yuki Nitobe is abducted and brought into the vampire underground. When Yuki is shown the world of these new species of vampires, she realizes no one has been telling the truth! Does she risk everything by exposing both sides or file the report that she knows gives her the biggest ratings?

This series, which is also a book, and soon to be television series, is an interesting mix of politics and action. Here, the vampires are a minority persecuted by normal humans. Are they as innocent as they claim? Is there some greater conspiracy? The second issue continues to look at that bigger picture, but it’s a bit disconnected from the first issue.

Story: Jonathan Maberry Art: Alan Robinson
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: ReadVWars02-cvrA copy

 

Velvet #5

The first arc draws to a shattering conclusion. This series has been absolutely been amazing from start to finish. The art, the story, the amazing female lead, all of it has been fantastic, and makes up one of the best series on the market.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Steve Epting
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

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Axe Cop Returns With American Choppers!

Fresh off their television debut on Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def, Ethan and Malachai Nicolle return with a three-part miniseries chock full of action in Axe Cop: American Choppers!

President of the World Axe Cop reunites with Super Axe (an old friend from college), and the two decide to start a superteam of axe-wielding heroes to defend America—the American Choppers. They are joined by Captain Axe, Axe Girl, Axe Woman, Axe Dog, and other axe-wielding heroes. The only problem is that there are no bad guys left, but that all changes when mysterious giant creatures attack the city!

Axe Cop: American Choppers #1 debuts May 21 in comic shops everywhere!

AxeCopAmericanChoppers-1-59a1e AXECOPAC #1 PG 05 SOL

Axe Cop Premieres to Decent Ratings

This Saturday saw the premiere of Axe Cop based on the webcomic/Dark Horse comic as part of Fox‘s new latenight block of animated shorts, Animation Domination High Def. The early Nielsen ratings estimate that that half hour averaged a 0.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.5 million viewers overall. That’s up from the previous week’s repeat of Hell’s Kitchen which had a 0.3 rating and 1 million viewers.

Axe Cop makes up 15 minutes of that half-hour block, and High School USA the other half. That matches the first-season average of the initial telecasts of FX’s Archer in the same 11 p.m. half-hour during the 2009-10 TV season. In total viewers, Archer averaged nearly 1 million viewers. Archer has since grown and built a loyal audience and changed time slots. The rating is also similar to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim at that same time block.

This is an experiment by Fox to expand its animated offerings and grow new concepts. There’ll be more announced for the ADHD block, but the network is waiting for these initial shows to establish themselves. The prospects look good for the long-term as Fox has college football which will end between 10 and 11 when it returns later this summer. That should pair up nicely with these shows.

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SDCC 2013: You Axed for It! Come Meet The Creators Of Axe cop With Mezco Toyz

To commemorate both the upcoming television premiere of Axe Cop (July 21, 9:30pm, on Fox) as well as Mezco‘s Summer Exclusive Axe Cop Badge prop-replica, Mezco will be hosting a special signing by the Axe Cop creators at San Diego Comic Con.

On Friday, July 21st, from 12noon-1pm, both writer, 8-year-old Malachai Nicolle, and artist Ethan Nicolle, will appear at Mezco’s booth # 3445 to sign Mezco’s Summer Exclusive Axe Cop Badge prop-replica.

Autograph sessions with both creators are very rare so this is a very special event for Axe Cop fans. This will be their only scheduled autograph signing at SDCC. Malachai’s autograph is especially sought after by fans, as he rarely does signings because of his young age.

Axe Cop was originally created when (then) 5 year old Malachai told his older brother, Ethan, the story of Axe Cop one day while playing. At the time, neither of the brothers ever imagined Axe Cop would grow into a cultural phenomenon comprised of a popular website, best selling graphic novels, a cartoon, and action figures.

Fancy enough for formal occasions yet casual enough for a relaxed evening of target practice, the Axe Cop Badge Replica compliments any outfit.

Featuring a sturdy pinback, this full size replica badge lets evil doers know what side of the law you are on….the side with the axe!

The packaging for the badge was designed specifically for this autograph event and includes a spacious autograph area! The badge is available for $5 at the Mezco booth or for the same price online at http://www.mezcotoyz.com/axe-cop-badge-replica   (online badge is not autographed).

There will also be a limited number of Wexter Plush and Avocado Soldier Plush available for purchase at the Mezco booth.

During the show, Mezco will also be revealing Series 2 of the Axe Cop action figure line. Series 2 will include fan favorite characters:

  • Baby Man
  • Axe Cop in Cat Suit
  • Candy Candy
  • Axe Cop from President of the World Comic

Series 1 of the Axe Cop toys will be chopping their way into stores in October.

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