Tag Archives: james haick

Scout Comics Announces a New Corporate Structure and Officers

Very few Indie publishers have had the explosive success that Scout Comics has enjoyed in 2018. With breakout hits like Stabbity Bunny, Long Lost, and The Mall, Scout has released an impressive lineup of comics for a new publisher. With this unprecedented growth, Scout Comics has unveiled the revolutionary new Scout Comics & Entertainment, Inc. The new structuring of Scout’s corporate landscape will include Brendan Deneen (CEO) and Tennessee Edwards (CCO), along with new additions James Pruett (COO & Publisher) and James Haick (President).

Scout Comics and Entertainment has strategically established their new corporate headquarters in one of Florida’s most charming and comic friendly cities, Fort Myers.

 

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

Scout Comics’ Solar Flare #1 Gets a Second Printing and New Cover

Scout Comics has announced that Solar Flare #1 by creator James Haick, artist Branko Jovanovic and colorist Song Ye, a dystopian tale of a world that has been plunged back into the dark ages when a solar flare wipes out all the electricity and modern technology in the world, has sold out of its first issue and gone back to a second printing with a brand new cover.

Please use Diamond code MAR178525 to order this edition — coming to stores June 7, 2017. Branko Jovanovic has created a new cover for this second printing as a thank you to the readers that made this possible.

Review: Solar Flare #1

Where were you when the world went dark? The world has been plunged into darkness and society as we know it has launched into chaos. Jake Clifford was just a regular guy, a man trying to achieve greatness in his career and a father doing his best to be the man his daughter deserved. That is, until a solar flare makes contact with earth, wiping out all electricity and modern technology with one fatal blow. Now Jake must adapt to this new world, hoping to one day be reunited with his daughter who was states away when the lights went out.

Apocalypse stories are a dime a dozen at this point, so to stand out you either need to present it in a new way or do something really solid with the material. Writer James Haick III doesn’t necessarily give us something new, but what he does do is present it in a way that the story feels fresh and interesting.

The first issue of Solar Flare is a slow build to the collapse. The various players on the board are introduced and situations set up enough that we care about who they are and how they’re connected. But, beyond the relationships, Haick focuses on building tension. I knew the basic idea before reading this, but even with that I could feel the intensity build until that final page when things hit. This is the 15 minutes of the disaster film before the disaster hits, but instead of just setting up the situations the various characters will need to overcome there’s also a focus on setting and vibe.

That’s the thing I really enjoyed with this first issue. We know electricity and electronics are about to go bye-bye, but there’s a subtle focus on what that means without being in our face about it. And through pages dedicated to a countdown of sorts those two combined really builds the setting and situation.

Branko Jovanovic’s art adds to it all. There’s a nice focus on technology without things being over the top and we get to see how much of it is in the various characters’ lives. Haick and Jovanovic form like Voltron to emphasize what’s about to happen without beating us over the head with it. The characters all look different as well. There’s no cheats here, each person is unique in their own way and distinguishable.

Solar Flare #1 is a fantastic start of a disaster comic whose focus on tension and the build pays off by the end of the issue. I can’t wait to see if that continues throughout the series, but no matter, this is a great issue to start things with.

Story: James Haick III Art: Branko Jovanovic Cover: Song Ye
Story: 8.50 Art: 7.95 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Here Comes Solar Flare from Scout Comics

Scout Comics and Entertainment has announced the April release of Solar Flare, part of their expanding line of comics. The series is written by James Haick with art by Branko Jovanovic and cover art by Song Ye.

Solar Flare is a modern-day story where a massive x-class solar flare hits Earth wiping out all electronics and electricity. The comic is based on real science and focuses on Jake Clifford and his friends as he attempts to road trip it in an electronic-less world to reunite with his daughter. There’s also a scientist who’s attempts to get to a secret military base, ground zero in re-establishing the country’s electrical infrastructure.

With society unraveling, the journey is perilous.

solar-flare-1-cover solar-flare-2-cover

Scout Comics Announces Seven New Comics for 2017

Scout Comics has announced seven incredible comic book series for 2017! They run the gamut as far as genres and styles. Check out some of what you’ll find on shelves this year.

ELLA by Alex Giles and Ammar Al-Chalabi

When Ella’s Great Grandma passes away and she is left a gift, her world turns upside down. This twelve-year-old is now the legacy holder of the ‘Amulet of Sharzim,’ which grants her the ability of anthropomorphism and sends her on an adventure with talking animals, both good and bad, culminating in an epic battle!

ella-1-cover

HEAVENLY BLUES by Ben Kahn and Bruno Hidalgo

What happens when the souls of the greatest thieves in Hell team up to pull the ultimate heist in Heaven? The answer (and so much more) can be found in HEAVENLY BLUES by Ben Kahn and Bruno Hidalgo, the creators of the critically-acclaimed book SHAMAN.

heavenly-blues-1-cover

LONG LOST by Matthew Erman and Lisa Sterle

Two estranged sisters must reunite and return to their Appalachian hometown after their mother goes missing.  In the vein of Stranger Things, LONG LOST, created by a husband and wife team, is a horror mystery about the pains of estrangement and the overwhelming nature of being lost.  And monsters.

long-lost-1-cover

SMOKETOWN by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Scott Van Domelen

From acclaimed writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Warlords of AppalachiaLast Sons of America), and introducing artist Scott Van Domelen, comes the first in an interconnecting series of chapters in the tradition of David Lapham’s Stray Bullets, Brubaker/Phillips’ Criminal, and Pulp Fiction. Each chapter explores the final days of a murdered soldier from a new perspective, each one exposing the criminal side of a small industrial Pennsylvania town.

smoketown-1-cover

SNOW WHITE ZOMBIE APOCALPYSE by Brenton Lengel and Hyeondo Park

Snow White awakens to Prince Charming’s kiss 28 days after the zombie apocalypse, only to find herself locked in a vicious love triangle and hunted by the reanimated corpse of the Big Bad Wolf.  Based on the hit 2012 play by the same name, written by critically-acclaimed playwright Brenton Lengel and illustrated by Dark Horse-alum Hyeondo Park.

swza-1-cover

SOLAR FLARE by James Haick and Branko Jovanovic

After a massive x-class solar flare hits Earth, wiping out all electronics and electricity, Jake Clifford desperately travels from Florida to Tennessee in this new electronic-less world in the hopes of reuniting with his daughter.  During his journey, Jake is recruited by a scientist to reach a secret military base.  The base will act as ground zero in re-establishing the country’s electrical infrastructure. However, as society starts to quickly unravel right before their eyes, their journey becomes more and more dangerous with every day that passes.

solar-flare-1-cover

TINKERS OF THE WASTELAND by Raul Trevino

“Tinkers of the Wasteland is like Mad Max and The Goonies jumping around inside your brain and causing nothing but trouble. I love it!” – Skottie Young, two-time Eisner Award winner.  Nuff said!

tinkers-1-cover