Tag Archives: jose villarrubia

Preview: Killers #1 (of 5)

KILLERS #1 (of 5)

Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Cover B by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover C by KEN LASHLEY
Pre-Order Edition by WHILCE PORTACIO
Blank Variant Cover also available
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JULY 31st

Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by their former sensei, the mysterious Jonin!

But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him?

Each of these assassins can channel their ki—the spiritual energy within all beings—in different ways, granting them incredible powers, essentially making them “superninjas”!

KILLERS #1 (of 5)

Fernando Dagnino Talks bringing out his inner Killers for the New Valiant Series

Killers #1

With art by Fernando Dagnino, five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by their former sensei, the mysterious Jonin!

But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him?

Each of these assassins can channel their ki—the spiritual energy within all beings—in different ways, granting them incredible powers, essentially making them “superninjas”!

Coming July 31st is Killers from writer B. Clay Moore, art by Fernando Dagnino, colors by José Villarrubia, and letters by Jeff Powell.

We got a chance to talk to Fernando about the new series and letting the art tell the story.

GP: Killers follows a cast of characters who haven’t really been seen too much, if at all, before. How much creative input did you have with their design?

Fernando Dagnino: I took the concept art done by AJ Jothikumar for the Ninjas as an initial reference, but then I was given freedom to adapt the designs while maintaining the idiosyncrasy of the characters. My reference was the sort of underworld portrayed in such films as John Wick or Atomic Blonde

Fernando Dagnino Killers #1

GP: I’ve never been to Italy, despite having grown up in Europe, but the backgrounds of those scenes were immediately recognizable to me as a Mediterranean setting. How much time do you spend researching the locations in the series?

FD: In fact when I first read the script of #1, one of the things that shocked me most were the settings, in particular, the Italian scene because I had traveled to Burano two years ago. So I knew perfectly well how it looked like and how to render the scene. Burano is a beautiful island near Venice, Italy, where all the houses are painted in beautiful saturated colors and of course it´s crossed by channels just like Venice. I found it to be really original and daring to set a crime scene in such a colorful scenery.

But the constant change from one gorgeous scenery to the next one is an essential part of story and describes perfectly well the lifestyle of these sophisticated killers. In that sense building up well documented settings provides a greater realism to the story.

Fernando Dagnino Killers #1

GP: The first issue features quite a few moments where the narration allows the art to tell the story, especially within the opening sequences. As an artist, how do you approach these pages when you see the script?

FD: I’ve felt really comfortable working with B.Clay Moore´s script from the beginning because it allows space for the art to tell the story. I personally prefer to work like that. It makes me feel like I´m part of the storytelling too and I really get more passionate and excited about the story.

GP: Do you know roughly what you want to do for each page before you start the thumbnails and rough layouts, or does it take you a few different tries to find the best choice for each page?

Fernando Dagnino Killers #1

FD: When I first read the script I make some illegible thumbnail layouts on the paper on which I have printed the script. I got stuck in the ’90s, I still print and read!

Then, taking those cryptic thumbnails as a reference, I begin drawing on the Ipad an initial layout that would be halfway between a layout and a pencil.

In these layouts I also mark the grey scales so I get a better idea of the composition and the atmosphere of the page. That´s what I send the editors for approval and then I go on to the final art.

Some pages really come out easy whereas others I tend to resolve not so gracefully or rather using mechanical resources, in those cases I like to give a second or third try in order to step out of the way so that something simpler and more direct comes up.

GP: How much freedom do you have with the layouts and page construction with this series? Do you prefer working from a full script, or do you prefer the “Marvel Way”? 

FD: I really must thank the editors Karl Bollers and David Menchel because they have placed total trust on my narrative skills and I have felt part of the storytelling from the beginning.

Fernando Dagnino Killers #1

As you´ve mentioned some scenes are left open for a looser interpretation of the narrative, and personally not only do I feel much more comfortable from a creative point of view, but it also helps me get more involved in the story and with the characters. B.Clay Moore is to thank here for understanding the nature of the process in comic books so well. 

GP: You’ve also worked with the Walt Disney Company Imagineers. How does that experience influence your approach to comics, if at all?

FD: That was back in 1998 I was really young when I worked for the imagineers.  It was a wonderful experience being in L.A. (Glendale and Burbank). I had the chance to visit the old studios in Flower street and they even sent me to Disneyland one whole day to conduct research!

It has influenced me a lot professionally as it was my first contact with high level artistic professionals and with a working process full of talent and excellence.

Fernando Dagnino Killers #1

But I was already a comic addict by then so my main influence has always been comic book artists and writers.

GP: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the final question; which is better? Ninjas, cowboys, aliens or zombies, and why?

FD: That´s a tricky question. To be honest, the idea of brainless hordes of undead trying to eat the remaining freethinkers of the world resonates to me now more than ever. So I go for zombies.

GP: Thanks for chatting and excited to check out the series!

Review: Punk Mambo #3

Punk Mambo wants revenge. Best of luck to anyone standing in her way.

For some reason, I’m sure it’s a coincidence, I’ve been listening to Bad Religion, Black Flag and other punk bands. The raw yet refined nature of their anger mixed with strangely infectious tunes springs to mind as I read this comic. I love bands that you really can’t hum along to, so my definition of an infectious tune will differ. It’s the raw and refined anger of punk music that Cullen Bunn captures so well within these pages.

Punk Mambo’s willingness and comfort doing her own thing when facing down a powerful enemy is a great example of her mentality. Just because people think you should do a thing, doesn’t mean you should. Especially if you don’t give a shit what they think.

This issue shows us the mental toughness of the character as she faces a brutal trial by combat after wandering through a muted effervescent factory floor filled with mystics. It’s a scene the showcases Adam Gorham‘s grasp of visual presentation. His use of two double page spreads one after the other serve as the visual focal point of the comic. That’s bookended by some interesting use of perspective with the panel and grid layouts. That highlights the descent into the supernatural verses. The more structured pages earlier in the comic where the story focuses on more real-world concerns.

Beyond Bunn’s grasp of the character’s nature, and his ability to weaves that into a compelling tale about the structure of voodoo and the mystic arts, we’re treated to an exciting visual masterpiece from Adam Gorham and colorist Jose Villarrubia. It’s the perfect representation of the story in your hands. It’s a gritty, yet odd enticing tale that makes for a brilliant comic book.

Punk Mambo #3 is the middle part of a series that, right at the halfway point has fallen into my Must Read pile with a screaming guitar and some pounding drums. I don’t know what I expected from a Valiant series focused on the publisher’s unconventional Voodoo practitioner. It sure as hell wasn’t a tale that pulled me in so completely.

I’m not normally a fan of magic based stories unless there’s a healthy dose of sword with my sorcery, but there’s something about this character, and this comic, that just has me excited. Punk Mambo has that X factor that so many comics just fall short of, and it is glorious. For a great comic, and a series that may be read through independently of any of her previous appearances. Punk Mambo #3 is easily one of the best comics I’ve read this month – don’t miss this book.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Adam Gorham
Colours: Jose Villarrubia Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Punk Mambo #3 (of 5)

PUNK MAMBO #3 (of 5)

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by ADAM GORHAM
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by DAN BRERETON
Cover B by ZU ORZU
Cover C by CRIS DELARA
Pre-Order Edition by ADAM GORHAM
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JUNE 26th

Uncle Gunnysack: 1, Punk Mambo: 0!

Punk Mambo wants revenge. Best of luck to anyone standing in her way.

Prepare yourself for some mystic mayhem!

PUNK MAMBO #3

Early Preview: Killers #1 (of 5)

KILLERS #1 (of 5)

Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Cover B by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover C by KEN LASHLEY
Pre-Order Edition Cover by WHILCE PORTACIO
Blank Cover Also Available 
On sale July 31st, 2019 (FOC July 8th, 2019) (FOC July 8, 2019)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color

Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by their former sensei, the mysterious Jonin!

But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him?

Each of these assassins can channel their ki—the spiritual energy within all beings—in different ways, granting them incredible powers, essentially making them “superninjas”!

KILLERS #1 (of 5)

Early Preview: Punk Mambo #3 (of 5)

PUNK MAMBO #3 (of 5)

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by ADAM GORHAM
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by DAN BRERETON
Cover B by ZU ORZU
Cover C by CRIS DELARA
Final Order Cutoff June 3rd, 2019
On sale June 26, 2019
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | Full Color

It’s Uncle Gunnysack: 1, Punk Mambo: 0!

She wants serious revenge—best of luck to anyone standing in her way.

Prepare yourself for some mystic mayhem!

PUNK MAMBO #3 (of 5)

Review: Punk Mambo #2

Punk Mambo #2

A totally disgusting demon named Uncle Gunnysack is abducting powerful spirits called loas in Punk Mambo #2. Can Punk Mambo stop the drooling, sharp-toothed fiend before it strikes again?

Get ready for magical brawlin’ in a bazaar!

Ahhhh Punk Mambo. The character with less shits to give that a constipated fish.

With Punk Mambo #2, Cullen Bunn highlights Mambo’s abrasive character. It’s a delight for readers as she acts as a thorn in the side of men and gods. Se also refuses to do anything she doesn’t want to do. It’s another way that Bunn allows readers unfamiliar with the character to get to know all they need. While it focuses on Punk Mambo’s attitude and world view – there isn’t a lot revealed about her past. When you know who she is, knowing what she’s done is secondary.

She’s an abrasive punk rocker with magical abilities, and that’s on full show this issue.

I maintain that Adam Gorham‘s art is suited to the character. It isn’t quite smooth and there isn’t a lot of polish or flashy digital effects immediately prevalent. The overall effect and impression of the art is brilliant. Last issue Punk Mambo unleashed her magical abilities. In Punk Mambo #2 she demonstrates her ability to take names and kick some arse. If you didn’t know anything about the character before, she’s going to be making a hell of an impression.

Punk Mambo #2 is very akin to the impact punk music has on those tired of the mundane over-produced music of today. Punk Mambo #2 is a breath of fresh air, followed by a shot of adrenaline. The reader is encouraged to be lost in the music (or the comic) and get taken along on a musical trip. Cullen Bunn, Adam Gorham and colorist Jose Villarrubia have produced one of the freshest feeling comics I’ve read in a long time. Don’t miss this.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Adam Gorham
Colours: Jose Villarrubia Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

B. Clay Moore Talks Valiant’s Killers with an Exclusive Look at Killers #2’s Covers

With the August comic solicits being revealed, we’ve got an exclusive look at the covers for Killers #2! Writer B. Clay Moore drops some insight as to what we can expect from this new series!

But, what is Valiant’s new series Killers?

Killers spins out of the world of Ninjak! Five deadly assassins are recruited into a game of cat and mouse by the mysterious Jonin! But what does the Jonin want from them, and what do they gain out of helping him? Each of these assassins can channel their ki in different ways, granting them incredible abilities!

Killers #1 is out July 31 from Moore, artist Fernando Dagnino, colorist José Villarrubia, and letterer Jeff Powell.

We got a chance to ask Moore some questions about the new series. After that is the reveal of Killers #2‘s covers!


Graphic Policy: Based upon the early solicits, Killers clearly takes its cues from Ninja-K. Does a reader need to be familiar with that series in order to enjoy Killers?

B. Clay Moore: No, not at all. While readers of Ninja-K will be glad to see an element of that book expanded upon, this is, for all intents and purposes, ground zero for a new group of characters.

GP: There are so many possibilities and stories to tell when it comes to MI6’s Ninja Programme. What can readers expect from Killers

BCM: An expansion on the nature of those MI6 ninjas who were trained by the Jonin, for starters. Mainly, though, Killers is an example of picking up seeds from previous stories about the Ninja Programme, and watching them grow into a related but wholly separate concept. That’s a testament to the work previous creative teams have put into fleshing out a three-dimensional world for us to plunder.

GP: Killers expands upon and delves a little deeper into some former Ninja Progamme operatives; what made you decide to go with the letters you did? What makes them stand out from each other?

BCM: Editor Karl Bollers and I sort of kicked around the eras in which we figured the various Ninjas had operated, and then examined how much information had been previously revealed about each operative. In most cases, there was a lot of room to build almost from scratch, so we took that opportunity to do so. We then constructed separate sets of abilities for each character, and then mapped out what they’ve been doing since leaving the Programme. In essence, once they’ve left the Programme behind, any similarities—beyond their killer natures—are left behind, as well. 

GP: With a cast of characters to focus on, what were you looking for as far as a gateway character?

BCM: Ninja-G, who has been fleshed out the most in the Ninja-K book, was our natural choice as a gateway character. Enough had been established to give us a solid base upon which to build, and the fact that she was a seventies-era badass was also appealing. And a relationship that had been hinted at previously became the springboard with which to launch her into the story. 

GP: Other than the operatives, will we also get a little more insight into the Ninja Programme, and the lengths they went to train their operatives?

BCM: Very much so. New revelations about the nature of that training is sort of at the heart of the book, and defines not just the characters, but also their motivation for coming together.

GP: Are there any other Ninjas you would like to explore a little more in the future?

BCM: Oh, sure. Now that we’ve established some new dynamics regarding former Programme operatives, I’d love to play a part in actively inserting other Ninjas from the past into the present. There’s still a lot of unearthed potential there. 

GP: Valiant does an excellent job of balancing the individual series and their bigger picture storyline. You can enjoy a single series or the richer story of everything. How does it work as a writer thinking about those two things?

BCM: As with the last Valiant book I wrote, Savage, I try to focus on creating something new and self-contained that still slots in logically with what we already know about the Valiant Universe. And, of course, everything is written with an eye toward how the characters we’re creating might interact with other Valiant characters in the future. With that said, I think Killers will definitely provide fodder for future stories beyond this initial title. The characters introduced here could logically find themselves tangling with any of Valiant’s heavy hitters somewhere down the road.


Check out the covers for Killers #2!

Killers #2 Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Killers #2 Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Killers #2 Cover B by SANFORD GREENE
Killers #2 Cover B by SANFORD GREENE
Killers #2 Cover C by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Killers #2 Cover C by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Killers #2 Cover D by JOHN K. SNYDER
Killers #2 Cover D by JOHN K. SNYDER III

Punk Mambo Stares Down the Loa in Punk Mambo #2

Punk Mambo finds herself face to face with some of the most powerful supernatural beings in the Valiant Universe! While others would quiver in her situation, Punk Mambo has no problem bluntly telling the mighty loa to sod off! Out May 29, Cullen Bunn and Adam Gorham unleash the second chapter of Punk Mambo!  

PUNK MAMBO #2 (of 5)

Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by ADAM GORHAM
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by DAN BRERETON
Cover B by DAVID MACK
Cover C by CRIS DELARA

A totally disgusting demon named Uncle Gunnysack is abducting powerful spirits called loas. Can Punk Mambo stop the drooling, sharp-toothed fiend before it strikes again?

Get ready for magical brawlin’ in a bazaar!

Guys, this comic has spirit snakessssss. They’re voodoo gods. And they’re giant snakes. It’s awesome.

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale MAY 29th (FOC May 6th)

Review: Punk Mambo #1

Punk Mambo #1

New characters, new digs, same Punk attitude! 

From writer Cullen Bunn and artist Adam Gorham comes this hilariously horrifying tale. Punk Mambo is a hard-living voodoo priestess who grew up in London, then relocated to Louisiana’s Bayou Country. Now, she’s a mystical mercenary for hire. In her first-ever solo series, Punk Mambo investigates a series of abductions in the New Orleans gutter punk scene, stumbling upon a deadlier mystery that takes her to the haunted shores of Haiti.

It would be easy to look at Punk Mambo as a riff on John Constantine, but aside from both characters being English (and likely both from London), and both are dabbers in the mystical and magical arts. While there are certainly similarities between the two, and comparisons are going to be made, Punk Mambo is far more than a Constantine knock off.

With Punk Mambo #1, Cullen Bunn gives the reader unfamiliar with the character all they need to know about the character through the course of the issue as he sets up story’s driving factor very early in the book. By doing this, the comic never quite gives you time to breath as you’re left reeling from one story beat to the next. But despite the amount of story condensed into a single issue, you never feel overwhelmed – and most importantly, new readers should feel very welcome.

You remember the comics you read as a kid where you always knew what was going on, even after missing a few issues (or starting a series at #124)? That’s the feeling you’ll get with Punk Mambo #1. You know the character has relationships and a backstory, that she’s got a rich history waiting to be revealed, but you don’t need to know everything before starting this series. It’s a first issue, and Cullen Bunn has made sure anybody can read it.

Adam Gorham‘s art feels perfectly suited to the character; there’s a rough edge or two, and at times the action in the panels can threaten to overwhelm the eyes (though it never does), which couldn’t make me happier. Even Mambo’s loa, a formerly Stay Puft Marshmallow like creature has taken on a more dangerous and edge visage. The scenes where Mambo is unleashing her abilities upon her enemies is gloriously chaotic, and almost too brief.

And yet there are moments of peace within the chaos. Moments where the beauty of the art stands unfettered and unencumbered by the character’s anger and bravado. The effect is disarming.

To borrow from the character’s name, like any great punk song the comic grabs you by the scruff of your neck and screams at you. It takes you on a journey through viscous cannibals, spirits and possession within the first third of the comic. It’s fast, it’s dirty and it’s fucking awesome.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Adam Gorham
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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