Tag Archives: jim calafiore

Graphic Re-Reading Secret Six: 1st Rate Comics about Last Rate Supervillains

“The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead of the DCU”– John Arminio.

Secret_Six_Vol_3_36

Secret Six is easily one of the 5 best cape comics of the 21st century. Staring a diverse team of D-List supervillians, the series was created by Gail Simone working with artists including Nicola Scott, Jim Calafiore, and Brad Walker.

The true heir to the legendary 1980s’ Suicide Squad, this comic lovingly depicts mercenaries fucking up their contracts, backstabbing each other, then coming back together to tell the world to go to hell.

I’m joined by comics retailer and critic John Arminio for a deep dive into this brilliantly dark, funny and groundbreaking early 00s series.

Discussed:

  • Why D-List characters are so much fun
  • Scandal Savage Is Living the Lesbian Dream
  • Cigarettes, pools of blood and butts of all genders
  • Godbless you Nicola Scott for making Catman a sex symbol
  • Is this Bane?
  • Yes, you should watch Doom Patrol (we covered the 1st two Doom Patrol episodes here )

Also we are now on Spotify! So check us out http://bit.ly/GraphicPolicySpotify

Graphic Re-Reading Secret Six: 1st Rate Comics about Last Rate Supervillains

“The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead of the DCU”– John Arminio.

Secret_Six_Vol_3_36Secret Six is easily one of the 5 best cape comics of the 21st century. Staring a diverse team of D-List supervillians, the series was created by Gail Simone working with artists including Nicola Scott, Jim Calafiore and Brad Walker. The true heir to the legendary 1980s’ Suicide Squad, this comic lovingly depicts mercenaries fucking up their contracts, backstabbing each other, then coming back together to tell the world to go to hell.

I’m joined by comics retailer and critic John Arminio for a deep dive into this brilliantly dark, funny and groundbreaking early 00s series.

Discussed:

  • Why D-List characters are so much fun
  • Scandal Savage Is Living the Lesbian Dream
  • Cigarettes, pools of blood and butts of all genders
  • Godbless you Nicola Scott for making Catman a sex symbol
  • Is this Bane?
  • Yes, you should watch Doom Patrol (we covered the 1st two Doom Patrol episodes here )

Also we are now on Spotify! So check us out http://bit.ly/GraphicPolicySpotify

Indie Icons: Armorines #2

Armorines LogoComixology currently has over 75,000 comics and it is now my job to dig through them all and find the strangest, most outrageous, and most fun comics deep within the depths and bring them to you at great danger to my own personal sanity. This week, we follow a small group of elite soldiers called the Armorines, as they look to steal a nuclear core from a submarine. This seems like a pretty straight forward, simple mission, except for all of the mutated shark monsters and a whole lot of bad decisions.Armorines coverWe start our story on a helicopter that’s flying off the coast of Australia, where the crew is frantically screaming for the Armorines to respond. It is also interesting to note, that everyone on the helicopter looks exactly like they are all failed versions of Cyclops who were just not cool enough to be in the X-Men. And that’s saying a lot. If you have awesome eye visors and are still not cool enough to beat out Cyclops, then there’s a problem. (Side note: I’m not a huge fan of Cyclops.) Also, their computers show them nothing more than giant orange and yellow pixels which seems…very useless. But hey, it was the mid 90s, computers were still young and clearly not everyone understood how they worked.

Armorines CyclopsWe soon discover that the reason the Armorines are ignoring Cyclops’ siblings is because, they are busy fighting giant mutated sharks that look like they are decaying in the water. Apparently, they have been hanging out too close to the sunken underwater nuclear sub but, they shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The Armorines have a suit with giant glowing swords and ion cannons that shoot from their arms. They should be fine right? Right?

Armorines Sword and CannonNo. It won’t be alright because the Armorines for some reason brought down a group of divers who decided to put some foam on the top of some tupperware containers and smash it onto their face as a diving mask. They don’t have any useful weapons or protection either but, damn it if they aren’t brave to the point of stupidity. After the Armorines fight off a few sharks, the remainder start to feed on what’s left of the dead. This gives the Armorines and friends the perfect opportunity to enter into the safety of the sunken sub through a large hole in the side. With all of them finally in the ship, they do what any sane person would do in this situation. They leave the ship to go stab some more sharks. The problem is, our friend Tristan forgets his has no stabbing weapons but shows a lot of bravery by playing chicken with one of the mutated monsters.

Armorines Shark CrushThe lesson here guys, is to never play chicken with a shark, especially one mutated by nuclear radiation. And if you do, bring more than bravery to the fight. It’s not as effective as you may have been told. This finally leads to everyone deciding to enter the submarine and stay in the submarine. Lessons are being learned. The team of Armorines quickly splits up, one to grab the nuclear core and another to plant explosives on the ship. Why? No idea. I guess there is other important information on there that they just don’t feel like carrying around and explosives seem like more fun. It’s not a terrible argument.

Before anything else happens, we get a quick cut away to the captain of the warship floating above the Armorines. He is getting word that his men are being eaten by sharks and vows to see reinforcements. He says its time to bring in the special rescue team. It seems like these are a very important unit, who only come when situations are extreme, so I assume these are some tough people. The problem is, the captain never actually sends any help. Or the special rescue team is actually nowhere near the coast of Australia, and they’re still on the flight over while the Armorines are working. This would have actually been a great time for the rescue team to come because, a giant Hammerhead has made this ship his home. And he does not like intruders.

Armorines HammerheadHe also has a very cute mutated stingray best friend which is nice to see. Even mutated creatures need friends. The shark quickly eats a scuba diver, again making me question why they were brought along without an armored suit. The shark then makes the mistake of attacking the Armorine who pokes out his eyes, instantly killing him. Incorrect fact of the week: All of a sharks vital organs are located in its eye and if poked the entire creature dies. A second hammerhead comes and is quickly stabbed. This leads to one of the Armorines deciding it is time to leave the ship even though they haven’t accomplished their mission yet. He quickly learns that there are consequences for slacking off at work when, what appears to be, Mother Brain from Metriod zaps him with a laser and kidnaps them.

Armorines Mother BrainNo one really seems to notice this, as the very next page they are lifting the nuclear core into a transport helicopter above. Then, the most ridiculous thing in this comic, a comic that includes mutant sea creatures and a giant brain like alien ship with tentacles, happens. Four dolphins randomly appear wearing harness and ready to help the divers not quite qualified enough to be Armorines. These dolphins were apparently trained by the Navy for situations just like this. And, while this may seem strange to… well, anyone really, the divers are only shocked because they thought the Navy abandoned the dolphin project a long time ago. It’s never really address why there was a dolphin project in the first place but, I need to hear that story. Hopefully, whenever Hollywood gets a hold of the Armorines license they’ll add that in as a gritty flashback.

Armorines dolphinA few dolphins get needlessly sacrificed but, the divers eventually escape with the help of a few Armorines who have come back to murder a some more sharks before they decide to finally call it a day. Then, we get back to the Armorine that went off to set explosives in the submarine that I completely forgot about because, his job seemed pointless to start with. After seeing how he handles his escape, I’m not surprised they sent him off on a useless mission because he is not good at things. The Armorine leaves the ship but, not before being speared into the submarine by a shark that nuclear radiation has clearly given the skill set of Goldberg.

Armorines SPEARThis destroys his propulsion system but, not his cannon, which he uses to blast the shark through the face, essentially disintegrating it. Now, I may not be a scientist, I may actually have a degree in history, (Yes, history. Leave me alone.) but, I think all of that heavy metal armor he is wearing should drag him to the bottom of the sea. Or, he has incredibly strong legs to overcome the force pulling down on him. It turns out to be the latter as he casually swims to the surface. He did accidentally hit the submarine with his cannon blast though, sending it over the edge of the cliff it was on. He seems pretty distraught about it too, even though it blows up 50 feet further down from where it was originally going to blow up but, I’m not an Armorine so maybe I am missing something. And so, I guess the day was saved? They captured the core, a large amount of innocent men and dolphins dies, and they blew something up. Alright, so they really didn’t save anything but they’ll need to do some saving here soon. Remember that guy captured by the Mother Brain ship? Yeah, here’s where he ended up…

Armorine endIn a room completely filled with corpses. Yup. Welcome to Indie Icons.

Simone & Calafiore Reunite for Surviving Megalopolis

When you escape from a city full of superheroes turned evil, what could possibly compel you to go back? This January, the critically acclaimed team behind the original graphic novel phenomenon Leaving Megalopolis returns to the city in ruins with an answer!

Surviving Megalopolis continues the story of the highly successful Kickstarter graphic novel in an all-new six-issue run by acclaimed series creators Gail Simone and J. Calafiore.

Surviving Megalopolis #1, published by Dark Horse Comics, hits stores in January.

Surviving Megalopolis #1
Gail Simone (W), J. Calafiore (A)
$3.99
January 2016

Surviving Megalopolis 2

Preview: Archer & Armstrong #25

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #25 (ANNIVERSARY HULLABALOO!)

Written by FRED VAN LENTE, JOHN LAYMAN, RAY FAWKES, JUSTIN JORDAN, DONNY CATES & ELIOT RAHAL, and JOEY ESPOSITO
Art by CLAYTON HENRY, RAMON VILLALOBOS, ANDY KUHN, KHARI EVANS, RAFER ROBERTS, JOE EISMA, and BARRY KITSON
Cover A by CLAYTON HENRY (AUG141720)
Cover B by SHAWN CRYSTAL (AUG141721)
Variant Cover by PERE PEREZ (AUG141722)
Throwback Variant by JIM CALAFIORE (AUG141723)
Variant Cover by MICHAEL WALSH (AUG141724)
$4.99 | T+ | 48 pgs. | On sale OCTOBER 29th

IT ALL ENDS HERE…SERIOUSLY…THIS TIME IT LITERALLY ALL ENDS HERE. (MAYBE?!)

Be here front and center as the original creative team of Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry lead off a 48-page A&A hollapalooza honoring Valiant’s most dysfunctional duo! Plus: Armstrong’s first drink! And much more! Featuring a who’s who of funnybook madcappery with all-new stories and shenanigans from John Layman (Chew), Ray Fawkes (Batman Eternal), Justin Jordan (Dead Body Road), Donny Cates (Buzzkill) & Eliot Rahal (Dark Horse Presents), and many, many more!

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Baltimore Comic-Con 2014: Calafiore, Chen, Curtis, Kitchen, and Stanton

manowarBaltimore Comic-Con is expanding, and this year marks their inaugural 3-day event which takes place on Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 2014! Joining them in Baltimore‘s Inner Harbor for their 10th annual show are Jim Calafiore, Jo Chen, Mike Curtis, Denis Kitchen, and Joe Staton!

Jim Calafiore, whose early work was for the now-reformed Valiant Comics on titles like X-O Manowar and Armorines, has made a name for himself working extensively for the Big Two: DC and Marvel Comics. Calafiore had noteworthy runs at Marvel on titles such as Black Panther, Deadpool, Exiles, and Iron Man, and over at DC on Aquaman, Batgirl, Red Lanterns, and Secret Six. More recently, his successful Kickstarter effort, Leaving Megalopolis (with Gail Simone) has been published by Dark Horse Comics, he’s done interior work for Dynamite’s Red Sonja title, and he’s provided covers for Archer and Armstrong at Valiant.

buffy Jo Chen (at the show Saturday and Sunday only!) was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and came to the US in 1994. Working professionally in the Asian comic book industry since age 18, her work in the U.S. comic book scene caught people’s attention with her art work for the Racer X mini-series from Wildstorm/DC Comics in 2000. From there, her artwork graced interiors and covers of titles like Fight For Tomorrow, The Demon, and Robin from DC Comics, Runaways, Taskmaster, and Thor from Marvel Comics, and her covers for Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer became the title’s trademark. Recently, her work has been seen on covers of DC Comics Presents: The Demon – Driven Out.

alcappThe Harvey Award-winning (and nominated again this year!) Denis Kitchen began his comics career as a self-published underground cartoonist (Mom’s Homemade Comics, 1969), but quickly became primarily a publisher. His Kitchen Sink Press for three decades published such legendary and diverse artists as Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, R. Crumb, Mark Schultz, Charles Burns, Al Capp, Scott McCloud, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, Dave McKean, Howard Cruse, and countless others. Kitchen also founded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and chaired it for eighteen years. A monograph of his cartoons, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, was recently published. Kitchen curates exhibitions, is an art agent, a literary agent, a comics historian and author (The Art of Harvey Kurtzman and a biography, Al Capp), and has recently brought back Kitchen Sink Books as an imprint of Dark Horse Comics with partner John Lind. This is Denis’s 5th appearance at Baltimore Comic-Con where he has a special connection: as the representative of the Kurtzman estate, he was responsible for bringing the annual Harvey Awards to us. Nominated for the same awards this year are Denis’s work on Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground from Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics and Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary with Michael Schumacher from Bloomsbury.

dicktracyMike Curtis and Joe Staton are the writer and artist respectively of the Harvey Award-winning (and, like Denis above, nominated again this year!), Dick Tracy comic strip. Curtis, began working in comics in the 1980s for kids comics publisher Harvey Comics, writing for titles such as Richie RichCasper the Friendly Ghost, and New Kids on the Block. From there, he created Shanda the Panda for Mu Press and, later, Antarctic Press. He later went on to create the publishing house Shanda Fantasy Arts. Staton got his start in the comics industry in 1971 with publisher Charlton Comics, where he worked on E-Man, and went on to work for Warren and Marvel Comics as well. He moved to DC Comics to provide art duties on All Star ComicsAdventure Comics, and DC Special where he illustrated tales of the Justice Society of America, and on titles like Superboy and the Legion of Super-HeroesShowcaseMetal Men, and Green Lantern. His career at DC Comics brought him to other titles too, like MillenniumGuy GardnerThe Huntress, and, most recently, Scooby Doo.

Preview: Legends of Red Sonja Vol. 1 TP

LEGENDS OF RED SONJA VOL. 1 TP

Gail Simone, Nancy A. Collins, Devin Grayson, Meljean Brook, Tamora Pierce, Leah Moore, Nicola Scott, Rhianna Pratchett, Mercedes Lackey, Marjorie M. Liu, Blair Buttler, Kelly Sue DeConnick (w)
Jack Jadson, Noah Salonga, Carla Speed McNeil, Mel Rubi, Cassandra James, Tula Lotay, Doug Holgate, Naniiebim, Nei Ruffino, Valentine de Landro,
Phil Noto, Jim Calafiore (a)
Jay Anacleto (c)
FC • 152 pages • $19.99 • Teen+

In this unique collection, ongoing RED SONJA series writer GAIL SIMONE hand-picked eleven of the fiercest, most talented, and most popular female writers from the worlds of comics, prose, games and television, to help her tell the greatest legends in the She-Devil’s long history!  A group of savage mercenaries hired to hunt and kill Sonja come across campfire tales of her at every turn, and Sonja does NOT like to be hunted. Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Marjorie M. Liu, Kelly Sue DeConnick and many more tell fascinating bits of Sonja’s legend, with a wrap-around tale by Simone herself, and art by the likes of Phil Noto, Jim Calafiore, Jack Jadson and more! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime collection!

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Preview: Legends of Red Sonja #5 (of 5)

LEGENDS OF RED SONJA #5 (of 5)

Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Blair Butler (w)
Jack Jadson, Valentine Delandro, Jim Calafiore (a)
Jay Anacleto (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

FINAL ISSUE!!! The epic mini-series featuring all-star creators concludes! This prestigious series, celebrating the She-Devil’s 40th anniversary goes out with a bang, including stories written by Gail (Batgirl) Simone, Blair (Attack of the Show, Heart) Butler, and Kelly Sue (Pretty Deadly) DeConnick, with gorgeous art by Jack Jadson, Valentine, and Jim (Secret Six) Calafiore. Sonja makes her final showdown against the brutal and deadly Grey Riders!

LegendsSonja05-Cov-Anacleto

Dark Horse Snags The Guns of Shadow Valley and Leaving Megalopolis

Coming to shelves this summer are two of Dark Horse’s hottest new titles, originally funded via Kickstarter: Dave Wachter and James Andrew Clark’s The Guns of Shadow Valley and Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore’s Leaving Megalopolis!

Dave Wachter and James Andrew Clark began The Guns of Shadow Valley as a webcomic of western adventure and the supernatural. It was nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic in 2010 and for the Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work in 2011.

Somewhere in Shadow Valley lies a secret that could forever change the frontier. Only a posse of gunmen with special abilities can defend that secret from a tribe of ghostly warriors, an advancing army led by a deranged colonel, and the perils of the valley itself.

GOSV HC CVR Guns of Shadow

Leaving Megalopolis, written by Gail Simone and beautifully illustrated by Jim Calafiore, reunites the classic Secret Six creative team, with no holds barred!

When the caped heroes of the world’s safest city inexplicably turn into homicidal maniacs, no one is safe. The only rational thing to do is to get the hell out of town. If only it were that easy. A small group of terrified survivors make a desperate run for the city limits, chased by unspeakable evil!

LMEGA CVR LeavingMega1

The Guns of Shadow Valley is on sale August 13, and Leaving Megalopolis is on shelves September 10.

Preview: X-O Manowar #22

X-O MANOWAR #22

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by CARY NORD with VICENTE CIFUENTES
Cover by LEWIS LAROSA (DEC131326)
Variant Cover by WILL CONRAD (DEC131327)
Valiant Signature Series Variant by JIM CALAFIORE (DEC131328)
$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE FEBRUARY 26th!

UNITY EPILOGUE! When X-O Manowar thought he had finally found peace, he instead found only more war, death, and destruction…

Now, at his lowest point, Aric of Dacia’s fate rests in the hands with the most unlikely of allies. Will X-O Manowar regain his lost power and seek bloody vengeance on his enemies, or will be forge a new path? A brand new era for Valiant’s flagship hero is about to begin..

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