Tag Archives: fred van lente

Preview: Weapon X #23

Weapon X #23

(W) Fred Van Lente (A) Yildiray Cinar (CA) Rahzzah
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 05, 2018
SRP: $3.99

GUEST-STARRING DEADPOOL!
• When a secret clan of Satanists wants hell on Earth for mutants…
• Weapon X-Force is the only team standing in their way! You won’t believe who’s moving heaven and hell to end mutantkind this time!

Preview: Weapon X #22

Weapon X #22

(W) Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (A) Yildiray Cinar (CA) Rahzzah
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 15, 2018
SRP: $3.99

A FRESH START FOR WEAPON X!
They were hunters who became the hunted… They were enemies forced to become allies… They were a ticking time bomb that had no choice but to fall apart… Out of the ashes of Team Weapon X, a new crew is borne! Sabretooth is putting together a team that is willing to do what other X-Men won’t, willing to wade into blood and filth to protect mutantkind! But who will make the cut? Don’t miss the debut of WEAPON X-FORCE!

Preview: A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong Deluxe Edition HC

A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG DELUXE EDITION HC

Written by RAFER ROBERTS with FRED VAN LENTE
Art by DAVID LAFUENTE, MIKE NORTON, RYAN LEE, CARY NORD, CAFU, and MORE
Colors by BRIAN REBER, ADAM PASSALAQUA, and MORE
Letters by DAVE LANPHEAR and  DAVE SHARPE
Cover by KANO (MAY182102)
$49.99 | 368 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JULY 11th
OVERSIZED HARDCOVER | ISBN: 978-1-68215-275-1

Join Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts (HARBINGER RENEGADE) and superstar artists David Lafuente (Ultimate Spider-Man) and Mike Norton (Revival) as they take Valiant’s (somewhat) dynamic duo on an all-out assault on the senses right here in the complete deluxe edition hardcover.

Meet Armstrong: Since the ancient city of Ur, this immortal adventurer has spent the last 7,000 years drinking and carousing his way through history alongside some of the greatest merrymakers the world has ever known.

Meet Archer: A sheltered teenage martial arts master and expert marksman that was raised for a single purpose – to kill the devil incarnate. Little did he know that this undying evil was actually Armstrong (he’s actually a pretty good guy…once you get to know him) and, since hitting the road together, the two have become great friends and even better partners.

Now: Archer is about to set off on his most dangerous mission yet – a quest into the mystic reaches of Armstrong’s bottomless satchel to liberate his friend and comrade from the clutches of the mad god Bacchus!

Collecting A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #1-12, IMMORTAL BROTHERS: TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1, and ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 along with more than 20 pages of rarely seen art and extras!

Preview: Comic Book History of Comics: Comics For All

Comic Book History of Comics: Comics For All

Fred Van Lente (w) • Ryan Dunlavey (a)

At last! The amazing, inspiring story of the comics medium in comics form goes global! In this volume, Fred and Ryan tackle the origins of Japanese manga, French graphic albums, the British Invasion of the American scene, the battle for creators’ rights in the US, and how comics have invaded cyberspace and Hollywood! Plus: the Her-Story of Comics continues, and we spotlight other countries’ funnybooks across five continents! The Comic Book History of Comics goes wherever comics go—which is everywhere!

TPB • FC • $15.99 • 104 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-255-4

Get Tromafied! Dynamite to Publish the Art of Troma!

Dynamite has partnered with Troma Entertainment to deliver an art book not for the faint of heart hitting shelves in September!

Written by New York Times Bestselling author and Troma aficionado Fred Van Lente, this incredible 256-page collection features never-before-seen film stills, rare posters, candid interviews, and buckets and buckets and BUCKETS of fake blood.

For over forty years, Troma Studios has blazed its own bloody, slime-covered trail, making movies their own damn way. From The Toxic Avenger to The Class Of Nuke ‘Em High to Poultrygeist to Tromeo And Juliet, Lloyd Kaufman never compromised, waving his independent freak-flag freely, and helped jumpstart the careers of luminaries such as James Gunn, Trey Parker, Eli Roth, Oliver Stone and countless others.

The Art of Troma will hit shelves in both hardcover and limited editions. The limited version of the hardcover book comes in a VHS-themed slipcase and features both a print signed by Lloyd Kaufman and a supplemental book featuring art from Troma fans.

Preview: Quantum and Woody Deluxe Edition Book 2 HC

QUANTUM AND WOODY DELUXE EDITION BOOK 2 HC

Written by JAMES ASMUS, FRED VAN LENTE and TIM SIEDELL
Art by STEVE LIEBER, KANO, and PERE PÉREZ
Cover by PAOLO RIVERA (APR181869)
$49.99 | 304 pgs. | T+ | On Sale JUNE 13th

Join Multiple Harvey Award nominee James Asmus (Thief of Thieves), New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (IVAR, TIMEWALKER), Eisner Award-winning artist Steve Lieber (Superior Foes of Spider-Man), and explosive artist Kano (Daredevil) for the next deluxe hardcover of the superhero joyride Salon calls “one of the year’s funniest comics”!

Quantum and Woody are the world’s worst superhero team. Archer & Armstrong are a mismatched pair of conspiracy-busting adventurers. When a mysterious force collides with these ill-suited and irresponsible “heroes,” they’re in for a cross-country race through the darkest corners of American mythology…and all hell is bound to break loose. Can two busted pairs become four of a kind in time to defeat the Hobo King, save the day, and make it back home for happy hour? Let’s hope so…’cause these guys make a really, really bad team. (And you don’t even want to know about the Goat.)

Collecting THE DELINQUENTS #1–4, QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE! #1–4, VALIANT-SIZED QUANTUM AND WOODY #1, and UNITY #25 along with 20+ pages of rarely seen art and extras, plus THE DELINQUENTS Board Game!

Advance Book Review: Fred Van Lente’s The Con Artist is a Nerd Noir Page Turner

In his second novel, Fred Van Lente, who is known for his comic books like Action Philosophers, Marvel’s The Incredible Hercules, and Valiant’s Archer and Armstrong  spices up the murder mystery genre by setting it at San Diego Comic Con where super fans, Hollywood types, and yes, even some comic book creators rub shoulders in a four celebration dedicated to things that they make Funko Pops of. His protagonist is Mike, a comic book artist known for his work on popular Atlas Comics (A stand-in for Marvel) character Mister Mystery and his indie pro wrestling book Gut Check, which has given him a decent level of fame. Mike is divorced and either lives out of his car or at the hotels at the various comic convention he attends and is only at SDCC to give Ben K, his long time mentor, a lifetime achievement award and to make sure his Artist’s Alley table isn’t given away in the future.

Unfortunately, Ben passes away as soon as Mike gets to San Diego. And, then, Van Lente kicks the actual murder mystery plot into high gear when Atlas editor, Mike’s arch nemesis, and his ex-wife’s boyfriend Danny Lieber turns up dead the night they got into a bar fight and was thrown out of the hotel bar. Mike’s weekend of drinking, drawing commissions, and self-loathing is transformed into police interrogations, basically becoming a private eye, and even more insane things as the novel continues.

The Con Artist is marketed as an illustrated novel, but Tom Fowler‘s illustrations aren’t just fanservice for the comic book crowd and actually connect to the events of the story. Something that might have seemed like a throwaway bit of surrealism, like “Eastboro Baptist Church” protesters juxtaposed with obsessive anime otakus trying to break a Guinness world record, ends up helping Mike piece together bits of the mystery. Early, in the book, Mike talks about how he likes making art, even sketches for fans because it has a “purging” effect for him, and several times, he mentions how much the act of creation means to him even though he hasn’t drawn a comic in a long time. And Mike’s ability to use comic books and what Scott McCloud calls “closure” (The concept is Ben K’s in the books.) to help put together pieces of this labyrinthine mystery, involving both the creative and corporate side of the comic book industry as well as Mike’s friends and foes.

The early scenes at parties or on the convention floor might seem like wheel turning or a chance for Van Lente to get out some great one-liners about the comics industry, geek culture, or conventions, but they establish the relationship that Mike has with a decent sized cast of characters from his BFF Dirtbag, who was Ben K’s assistant and now is volunteering at a The Walking Dead meets Orange is the New Block TV show attraction and his table buddy and successor on Mister Mystery Katie Poole to his number one fangirl Violet and my personal favorite character, Sebastian Mod, who is a pitch perfect combo parody of Mark Millar and Grant Morrison with Alan Moore’s religious beliefs thrown in for good measure.

The Con Artist definitely gets dark and violent from the get go, but Fred Van Lente balance things out with a wicked sense of humor and simultaneously satirizing and celebrating comic books and geek culture. For example, it might be weird that copyright friendly named Kevin Durant’s super rich cousin wants a commission of obscure Plastic Man villain Disco Mummy shaking her butt, but Mike and Katie have a good time watching the old Plastic Man Filmation shorts and see the elegance and humor in her design. (And, of course, weird commission guy is connected to the bigger mystery in some strange way.) When it comes to introducing characters and settings and transitioning between them, Van Lente doesn’t just merely describe them and move on. He does a comedic riff on them that gets you laughing, immersed in the story, and able to vividly picture the scene. Van Lente’s observational humor is also fresh and sharp if occasionally inside baseball for people who have never been to a con or aren’t familiar with the comics industry. For example, I love his running joke about people at comic book conventions picking up conversations like the last con never happened or just narrating their surroundings.

With a timely July release, Fred Van Lente’s The Con Artist is the perfect balm for readers, who have a love/hate relationship with geek culture just like its protagonist Mike. However, it’s also filled with some truly inspirational passages about storytelling, worldbuilding, and how awesome the comic book medium is, and these thoughts (and one great keynote speech) really make Mike an endearing character in spite of all his issues. It also happens to be a damn good mystery and a bit of a noir with jokes and funny descriptions to boot and hits the proverbial afterburners at the end.

Overall Rating: 8.8

Quirk Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Underrated: The Comic Book History Of Comics: Birth Of A Medium

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Comic Book History Of Comics: Birth Of A Medium.



 

choc.jpgThere are numerous books on the history of comics, some of which sit partially read on my shelf, but there are very few comics or graphic novels about the history of comics. Enter Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s Comic Book History Of Comics. It is exactly what it says; a history of comics told in comic book form. But it’s more than just a history of comics, it also attempts to show the evolution of art into the sequential art we know today as comics; to show the differentiation from cartoons to comics. Originally published by IDW as a six issue miniseries, I picked up the collected edition a few months ago

and only finally read it this week.

Frankly, I was astounded that it had taken me this long to read it, and  little surprised that fewer people were talking about the project. After all, what better way to tell the early history of comics than in comic form? It almost makes you wonder why it hasn’t been done before.

The Comic Book History Of Comics: Birth Of A Medium packs a LOT of information into its 150 odd pages, but it isn’t a definitive history. How could it be with only 150 some pages of sequential art? But it is a fantastic introduction to some of the medium’s more architectural sons and, to a lesser extent daughters (but that’s an issue  with the book and the industry itself – Van Lente and Dunlavey do include sections entitled The Comic Book Herstory… but one gets the sense that these are far less prominent than perhaps they should be). That being said, this is a fun way to learn about the history of comics if you’re unfamiliar, and even if you think you have a good handle on things, I’d put money on Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey having unearthed something that you were previously unfamiliar with.

There’s a ton of information packed within these pages, but never once does the delivery feel stagnant or anything less than thoroughly entertaining. There are visual puns amidst the art, examples of Dunlavey literally showing you what Van Lente is talking about in terms of panel usage, and some wonderful caricatures of historical figures. I paid $24 for this book (I’m in Canada), and it was worth every penny and then some. Ultimately, this is a brilliant addition to my bookshelf, and one I will revisit more often than not.

I can wait to get the next volume.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

​LINE Webtoon Announces Slate of Upcoming Releases

LINE Webtoon has announced the upcoming release of nine new titles and a new season for popular Katie Cook series Nothing Special. The rollout includes new series from creators Thom Zahler, Marvel Zombies scribe Fred Van Lente, Monica Gallagher, three-time Eisner-winner Paul Tobin, and others, ranging in a variety of genres from comedy and action to romance and horror.

These new titles will release alongside the previously announced line-up of Outrage, by Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza and artist Reilly Brown; Finality, by Warren Ellis and four-time Eisner-winner Colleen Doran; Backchannel, by Stan Lee, Tom Akel, and Andie Tong; and Caster, by Austin Harrison, Mike Raitch, Zah Howard, and Jason Masters, with original music by Common; as well as the highly anticipated return of Sanford Greene’s 1000 and 2018 Eisner-nominee Brothers Bond by Ryan Benjamin and Kevin Grevioux.

The new releases include:

Eat Fighter by Fred Van Lente (Marvel ZombiesBig Trouble in Little China), Crystal Skillman, and Fernando Pinto – launching this summer.

Eat Fighter is a competitive eating, zombie murder epic that follows Miss, a thirty-something fitness nut who throws away her kale and step-counting ways to become a superstar on the competitive eating circuit. Following the lifestyle of her late brother, who was a champion competitive eater himself, she embarks on a quest to Seoul to become the World Champion Eat Fighter. But eating barrels of barbecue and acres of apple pie doesn’t come without a price—so what’s Miss’s secret as to why she can eat as much as she wants and never gain a pound? 

 

BOO! It’s Sex by Danielle Corsetto (Girls With Slingshots) and Monica Gallagher (Assassin Roommate) – launching this summer.

High school classmates Denise, Christine, Lindsey, and Kim, move into a former sorority house for their first year of college, and immediately discover the ghost of a dead sorority girl stuck in a discarded bottle of tequila. While the freshwomen are settling into college life, Tara settles herself into the center of their personal lives, acting as a seasoned mentor for their transition from girls to ladies. Being dead for a while (she never has the same answer for when or how) has given Tara a perplexingly thorough knowledge of sex, relationships, body stuff, and even friendship.

Renai the Witch by Keron Grant (SupermanIron Man) and Ytasha Womack – launching in late 2018.

Renai is convinced that madness follows her every step.  After her boyfriend Tory betrays her by falling in love with her best friend Angela, Renai becomes convinced that Angela cast a spell on him.  A meeting with her Aunt Kita confirms her suspicions of an underworld of sorcery.  In order to save her beloved Tory, she must connect with her inner witch and the light within herself to stand up to the grim forces in her way. 

Messenger by three-time Eisner-winner Paul Tobin (BandettePlants Vs. Zombies) and Ray Nadine – launching May 2018.

Messenger follows Dare Crilley, a bike messenger who is utterly unsurpassed. She scoffs at bad weather, traffic is barely an obstacle, and she’s never missed a delivery. That’s good, because Dare is about to discover her mysterious new client is literally divine, and that a dispute between the gods means the fate of the universe rests on a series of increasingly more difficult bicycle deliveries. Will Dare fail on any of these fateful missions? Can she assemble all the parts for the Legendary Divine Bicycle? One thing’s for sure, Dare never backs down when it’s time to deliver.

Shadow Pirates by Sean Galloway (Hellboy AnimatedThe Spectacular Spider-Man) and Ian Hopps – launching in late 2018.

In Shadow Pirates, Mao, leader of The Yakooza Group, is stuck behind bars in Old San Diego following an unfortunate run in with The Shadow Pirates.  After convincing a group of teenagers to aid in his escape by promising them a greater power than they can imagine the ultimate burst they are transported to New San Diego where they begin their adventure to unlock the burst in the form of The Four Horseman: war, pestilence, famine, and death.

Divination by Eisner-nominee Val Staples (CriminalX-Men), Gina Iorio, and Melinda Timpone – launching this fall.

In the gothic thriller Divination, readers will explore the world of death, demons, spirits, and angels, after Ana’s teenage life is thrown into chaos when she begins to see manifestations of the undead. As the mysterious Reapers continue to appear with more intensity, Ana soon finds herself on a path towards an uncertain destiny that will have drastic consequences for both her and the entire world.

Cupid’s Arrows by Thom Zahler (Warning Label, My Little Pony– launching in late 2018.

Cupid’s Arrows follows Rick and Lora, a team of Arrows who work for Cupid, the god of love, and attempt to execute the wishes of The Book of Love, which gives the details on which couples will get together for a legendary love story. They’ve received their newest mission and must work together to bring about the perfect and memorable moment, assuring a lasting start to their couple’s relationship.  However, even after working together for hundreds of years, they banter and bicker like brother and sister to cover the feelings they have for each other–will these Arrows finally realize they are more than just friends? 

Nothing Special Season 2 by Katie Cook

In Nothing Special, spirits, gods, and demons wander both their realm and ours. The series follows Callie, a lonely teen who grew up splitting her time between the human and spirit worlds due to her father’s job as an antiques collector in the spirit world. When her father mysteriously vanishes in the spirit realm, Callie is forced to journey further into the world than ever before in an attempt to rescue him. In Season 2, readers can continue to explore Callie’s world filled with adventure, family secrets, and romance.

Heart Wired by Leanne Hannah (Masters of the Universe) and Rod Hannah – launching this summer.

Heart Wired follows 16-year-old Cal Mills, one of the first of seven children born on Mars.
Cal has always dreamed of traveling to Earth and experiencing the birthplace of humanity firsthand. However, he is held back by his fragile body, genetically-engineered to tolerate the microgravity environment of Mars. His parents have religious and philosophical issues with the trans-humanist movement, which pushes for total replacement of the organic biological systems of the human body with the synthetic machine. Things change when communication with Earth gets cut off suddenly and it becomes clear that a war of annihilation has taken place. The final act of the automated space-based military forces will be to eliminate all rival extraterrestrial assets.

Metaphorical Her by James Maddox, David Stoll, and Justin Birch – launching this summer.

Humiliated and exiled, a young poet and her friends build an underground following while fighting against the white-collar criminals who threaten their careers. In Metaphorical Her, Eleanor “Laney” Petra makes a social misstep and offends the man who holds the keys to success in her chosen field of work, poetry. Discovering an unlikely audience in the local rock scene, Laney shows that she can build a sizable following of outsiders that will force the poetic scene to recognize her and her work. All the while, Laney must fend off the people who want to cage her, her friends, and hinder their ambition.

Review: Broken Frontier Anthology

The overused term, “rules are made to be broken,” has been said repeatedly when it is thought that someone has gone against convention. As the world slowly embraces the diversity that surrounds it, so has popular media. Comics have always challenged type but has mostly been monochromatic. It has only recently been proactive about being diverse in not only race and sexuality, but also ability. Wave Blue World‘s Broken Frontier offers up stories where they do just that, break the rules.

In “Phantom Limb Ghost Puncher,” a police officer who loses his arm during a rescue, magically receives a mystical weapon which changes his life instantly. In “Stranger Than Fiction,” a clairvoyant helps out a murder suspect, by revisiting the day of the crime through his unconscious mind. In “Dark Dark World,” young imaginative writer plays out a scene for a story, all in her father’s work shed. In “The Wall,” set in a dystopian future, societies’ fortunes are separated only by allegiance.

In “Flyer,”  a elderly man, gives a prep talk to his adolescent granddaughter, as she prepares to engage in a dogfight by way of rocketpack. “In The Night, Mountains Grew,” a ranger’s gross miscalculation proves fatal for those she protects. In “The Beard,” a young woman uncontrollably grows a facial hair at a unusually rapid rate, something befuddles her day after day, until she realizes her greater destiny, one that would change her life forever. In “Purgatory,” a woman falls into a coma, and gets transported to a different world, where she gets to be her true self.

In “The Trip,” a rather routine start of a morning for a man and his daughter, becomes a lesson in realizing every day is precious. In “Its About Time,” a scientist uses his considerable powers to time travel before his wife died, but what he finds out changes his whole outlook on her. In “Inside Outside,” a woman coming off her meds is constantly irritated by “cute squishy monsters.” In “Last dance at Omega Point,” as a rocket heads to its firing point, a woman’s life unpacks in alternate reality.

Overall, an excellent comic anthology which explores what can be or what will be. The stories by all the writers pluck the emotions of the reader in the best way possible. The art by the creators are all beautiful. Altogether, a plus sized comic treat which entertains on every page and you will wish was longer.

Story: Greg Pak, Tyler Chin-Tanner,Cullen Bunn, Phil Hester, Robert Dammelin, Justin Zimmerman, A. David Lewis, Fred Van Lente, Carla Berrocal, Jamie Coe, Edie OP, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Merguerite Bennett,Frederik Hautain, Kurt Belcher,  Adam Egypt Mortimer, Karrie Fransman, David Hine, Noah Van Sciver, Sean Wang, Salgood Sam, Box Brown,  PJ Holden, Scott Ferguson, INJ Culbard, Steve Orlando, Steve Bryant
Art: Steve Bryant, INJ Culbard, Yaroslav Astapeev, PJ Holden, Salgood Sam, Sean Wang, Box Brown, Noah Van Sciver, Mark Stafford, Karrie Fransman, Jeff McComsey, Facundo Percio, Rob Croonenborghs, Varga Tomi, Ryan Kelly, Edie OP, Toby Cypress, Jamie Coe, Robert Sammelin, Carla Berrocal, Daniel Warren Johnson, Nathan Fox, Alison Sampson, Noel Tuazon, Aysegul Sinav, Mike Lawrence, Tom Raney, Simon Bowland, Taylor Esposito, Gina Going, Jason Wordie
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

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