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Louis Southard, David Hahn, Ryan Cody, Buddy Beaudoin, and Kalman Andrasofszky take us to the Midnight Western Theatre

During a time when it’s kill or be killed, a peculiar duo of adventurers come face-to-face with the dark and disturbing things that inhabit the wild west.

Welcome to the Midnight Western Theatre! Our feature presentation is a series of tales spanning across the turbulent 1860’s of the United States of America. It is a time where rights have been wronged! Where the guilty plague the innocent! Where man and beast have little difference! HOWEVER, the new frontier has far more dangerous threats than the folly of man! Threats that are MYSTERIOUS!!! STRANGE!!! DEADLY!!! In such a chaotic era, who is brave enough to face these most dastardly beings? Enter our heroes, The Woman In Black and her right-hand man, Alexander Wortham! Together, they must confront what no one else can on this journey of blood, betrayal, and self-discovery!

Midnight Western Theatre is by writer Louis Southard, artist David Hahn, colorist Ryan Cody, letterer Buddy Beaudoin, and features Kalman Adrasofszky. It’s out this March from Scout Comics.

Midnight Western Theatre

Preview: Livewire #4

LIVEWIRE #4

Written by VITA AYALA
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN & PATRICIA MARTÍN
Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE
Cover A by ADAM POLLINA
Cover B by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY
B/W Cover C by ADAM POLLINA
Pre-order Variant Cover by PAULINA GANUCHEAU
On sale March 13, 2019

No friends, no teammates, no mentor…and soon, no hope!

Once, Livewire dreamed of devoting herself to the betterment of humankind. Now, her most steadfastly held ideals are about to be tested like never before as she struggles to stay alive in the clutches of a fearsome new foe! But who is the mysterious psiot mercenary hunting her…and more importantly, who do they work for?

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Uncork Armstrong and The Vault of Spirits #1 – In Stores February 7th!

Valiant has released a first look inside Armstrong and The Vault of Spirits #1 – an all-new standalone special spotlighting the first landmark solo adventure in the very (very, very) long life and times of Valiant’s disorderly immortal! On February 7th, New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente and rising star CAFU cordially invite you to a party hosted within Armstrong’s own private reserve…where five millennia worth of secret revelations – the sword-shattering battles, the epic-inspiring love affairs, and the head-spinning hangovers – from the never-before-explored chronicles of Earth’s eternal hedonist are about to come bursting forth!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the Crusades, raise a glass as Armstrong recounts the true stories of his wine-soaked path down through the ages and the artifacts that reside within his own secret archive!

The festivities begin featuring covers by Kalman AndrasofszkyJuan José RypRyan Bodenheim, and Clayton Henry!

Review: Captain Canuck Season 3 #1

The Chapterverse continues! Captain Canuck returns with a brand new first issue! Tom Evans has walked away from Equilibrium, his brother Michael, and the mantle of Captain Canuck, choosing to return instead to a simple life on the reservation near Flin Flon where he grew up. What a terrible time for an extraterrestrial incursion!

Captain Canuck is back in a brand new volume that’s a continuation of what’s come before and serves as a decent jumping on point for new readers. Writer Kalman Andrasofszky delivers a “debut” issue that has Captain Canuck retired in a way, walking away from what he saw as needless escalation and a focus on protecting the “haves.” That part to me is the most interesting and Adrasofszky subtlely puts in some Canadian history and politics into it all that might not be apparent for non-Canadian readers. Talk of First Nation and areas left behind has really kicked up recently in Canada and this issue is no stranger to addressing that and in a way may create an even bigger way for Canada’s hero to stand out from his American counterparts. Go small instead of big.

The issue is set up though with an alien incursion threatening and we don’t get Captain Canuck in suit battling away. Instead the issue is a lot of background, which isn’t bad as it’s an easy way to catch up even for long time readers. So, those looking for the Maple Leaf to do battle will be dissapointed but instead what we get is a tension build up of a comic that’ll hopefully lead to something really interesting.

The art by Leonard Kirk is solid as it bounces around in locations and situations. Quieter talks, high-tech bases, alien battles, it’s all here and it flows effortlessly in a way that’s dynamic and entertaining. The art like the writing is engaging and helps draw the reader in.

Basically, this is a comic without it’s lead character in many ways and feels a little like when Captain America walked away from his title, which isn’t a bad thing. The issue builds to what I assume is an eventual return and more importantly builds the world that is the Chapterverse, an under the radar superhero universe that’s one that should be checked out.

Story: Kalman Andrasofszky Art: Leonard Kirk Cover: John Gallagher
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Chapterhouse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Under The Fleur De Lys: A Closer Look at Quebec Superheroes

The patriotic superhero has been a staple of comics since Simon & Kirby’s Captain America. Canada has had a few of its own, beginning with the wartime adventurer Johnny Canuck, through Captain Canuck in the 1970’s, Northguard in the 1980’s and their recent reboots from Chapterhouse Comics. But what about superheroes from Quebec?

After all, Quebec is an important part of Canada, going back as far as 1763, when France ceded New France to the British. In 1791, the original Province of Quebec was divided at the Ottawa River into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario). In 1841, the two were re-combined into the United Province of Canada. Finally, in 1867, Quebec became one of the founding provinces of the Dominion of Canada. In fact, the term “canadien” was originally used to mean francophones.

Knowing this, English-speaking Canadian writers generally feel it’s important to include Québécois characters in any Canadian series. But despite the best intentions of the creators, it is very difficult to write Quebec superheroes with authenticity.

First of all, there are not one, but two language barriers at work. Not only is it a challenge for  English-Canadian comics writers to write French fluently, but the French that is spoken and written in Quebec is unique. Joual, as it is known, is a highly-specific dialect, like Yiddish or Creole (some go so far as to call it a language of its own). Because of its historically lower-class status, it was not taught as “correct” French; even my peers who spent years in French immersion schools never learned how people in Quebec actually speak. Writing it is something else entirely: until the Quiet Revolution of the 1960’s, and the work of writers such as Réjean Ducharme and Michel Tremblay, joual rarely, if ever, appeared in print.

Toronto writers such as Kalman Andrasofszky (Captain Canuck, Agents of P.A.C.T.) and Meaghan Carter (La Fantôme) use translators for the dialogue of their Québécois characters. But this practice has its limits: in the case of Carter, her translator and proofreader (Mederic Berton and Xaviere Daumerie) are European and use expressions that, while French, are not Québécois. (“tu nous as fichu une sacrée pagaille,” for instance.) Also, as Andrasofsky pointed out to me (which I can confirm from my own experience), no two translators ever totally agree. To write Kébec’s working-class dialogue, Andrasofsky turns to a number of francophones, including Gabriel Morrissette, co-creator (with Mark Shainblum) of Fleur de Lys. For example, one person may translate “son-of-a-bitch” to Kébec calling an enemy “un câlisse,” but another may have gone another route. In the 1980’s Northguard stories written by Shainblum and drawn by Morrissette, Morrissette provided the Québécois dialogue.

Morrissette acknowledges that American readers simply don’t understand that Quebec French is different from European French. You can see that difference in the first appearance of Northguard, when a security guard calls in for backup when the hero blows past: “J’ai un fou qui se garroche en d’dans!” the guard exclaims in perfect joual. In Northguard, he and Shainblum worked hard to give the book authenticity: “If we were going to show Montreal, we were going to show it as it really was,” he told me.

But to show something as it really is requires research. Morrissette, having grown up with European comics as well as American, was used to artists who were able to do extensive research and use accurate references. But with the tighter production deadlines of American comics, “even three days to do research was a luxury!” Mark Shainblum, in writing Northguard and Fleur de Lys, was able to draw on the fact that he had grown up and lived in Montreal: “I was immersed in all of it. I grew up during the rise of Quebec nationalism and the election of the first PQ government in 1976 [the Parti Québécois’ raison d’être is to make Quebec an independent country] and all the psychological shocks to the system that meant for Quebec, anglophone and francophone alike.”

For La Fantôme, Carter visited Montreal and its Ecomuseum and collected reference photos. But, she adds, “I’ll be perfectly honest and admit I did absolutely zero research for the character’s background!… If the story was about being a Montrealer/Quebecker… then I would have placed a lot more importance on that kind of research – or would have felt completely out of bounds writing such a thing. However, I feel that Fantome’s story is not about her background and more about investigating the Ecomuseum and being a superhero, so that’s where I focused the writing on.” Andrasofszky echoed a similar reluctance, stressing that both Fleur de Lys and Kébec are “supporting characters in other peoples’ books.” He also pointed out that, in action series, no matter how much you want to put in, “you have to cut, and cut, and cut again… It’s hard to find the time. I just want to get to the alien invasion.”

So does the fact that these are stories in the superhero genre limit the writing of these Québécois characters? “Quebec as its own unique entity has little if nothing to do with Fantome’s story,” says Carter. About Kébec, Andrasofszky says that he didn’t want her language to define her character: “I didn’t want to say, ‘Oh, she’s francophone and therefore…’ She’s a number of different things.” He tries to give an impression of their background (using language to highlight  their class differences, for instance), but stresses that they are “living individuals that are more than the product of their culture.” As for Kébec and Fleur de Lys’ costumes, he was more circumspect: “It (Captain Canuck) is a book about a flag-wearing super-hero… It’s not about addressing politics… Maybe it’s a missed opportunity… I don’t know that I’m qualified to deal with that.”

I asked Shainblum if it was possible to have a flag-wearing superhero who was not political. “No,” he said. “And why would you even try? It defeats the purpose of the project… I mean, we struggled with it, Phillip Wise [Northguard] struggled with it himself.” On creating Fleur de Lys: “I wanted a Quebec-themed female character in the series, a yin to Northguard’s yang. And I wanted her to be a Quebec sovereignist to balance the maple leaf effect of Northguard, and give them a chance to actually discuss the issue and let me air some of my feelings about it.” Indeed, in New Triumph #4, Phillip and Manon discuss the Quebec independence movement in a way that’s surprisingly sympathetic, coming from an English Montrealer, and gives us insight into both characters and their motivations. Shainblum’s treatment of Manon Deschamps is by far the most authentic portrayal of a Quebec character in superhero comics, and an excellent example of the possibilities within the genre.

Quebec holds a unique place in Canada and North America. Its distinct language, culture, and history can be obstacles to creators from outside the province working fast to meet deadlines and genre conventions. But those challenges could also provide rich opportunities for those who take the time and make the effort to dig deeper below the surface of the fleur-de-lys flag.

The Chapterverse Begins with Agents of PACT #1

Agents of PACT #1

Written by: Kalman Andrasofszky and Blake Northcott
Interior Art: Federica Manfredi
Colors: Caroline Nolasco
Covers: Sanya Anwar (#1) & Bella Rachlin (#2-4)
In Shops: Jan 25, 2017
Diamond Order Code: NOV161360
$3.99 (USD)
A blank sketch cover is also available for order. (NOV161361)

The Chapterverse launches with this brand new series! The X-Files meets Velvet meets Birds of Prey. In Canada. There’s an extra-dimensional breach in the Canadian North.  Enter P.A.C.T., the paranormal investigation arm of CSIS. With Captain Canuck AWOL, P.A.C.T director Manon DesChamps (formerly Fleur De Lys) must forge her own team of super-agents, pulled from Equilibrium, the Aurora Dawn, and other less savoury sources. She affectionately calls them her Fleurs de Conflit but to the world at large, they are: The Agents of P.A.C.T.!

agents_of_pact__1-1

Jay Baruchel Joins Chapterhouse for Free Comic Book Day 2017

Jay Baruchel joins the Captain Canuck team to co-write the Free Comic Book Day edition of Captain Canuck: Year One for Chapterhouse Comics with Editor in Chief and series writer Kalman Andrasofszky.

The first of the three-part series is drawn by Canadian superstar Marcus To and features a cover by David Finch.

The issue also includes an 8-page backup story- Die Kitty Die: Summer Beach Party created, written and illustrated by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz of Archie Comics fame.

chapterhouse-fcbd-2017

Prime Minister Trudeau Dons the Cover and Pens a Letter for the Chapterhouse 2016 Summer Special

Carrying on their long-standing Canada Day tradition, The Chapterhouse 2016 Summer Special is jam-packed with short stories featuring many of its new and upcoming titles- including Captain Canuck, the Pitiful Human Lizard, Spirit Leaves, Life, Death & Sorcery, and many more. All of this on top of a cover featuring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by Captain Canuck creator Richard Comely and a letter from the Prime Minister himself!

This 64 page spectacular is the ultimate in summer reading and collecting! It is also the first time that Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has been featured on the cover of a comic book or contributed an official letter to one. The collection will release in time for Canada Day, June 29, 2016. 

“I am thrilled to stand next to Captain Canuck in this special Canada Day edition! I have long been a comic fan and it is a special privilege to follow the exploits of our Canadian superhero.” – Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Cover A- Justin Trudeau cover
by Richard Comely
Cover B- Sam Noir feat. Odeon Toys
Cover C- Blank Sketch Cover Variant

Written by Kalman Andrasofszky, Jason Loo, Rossi Gifford, Danny Zabbal, Fred Kennedy, Dan Parent & Fernando Ruiz
Illustrated by Jason Loo, Rossi Gifford, Danny Zabbal, Miko Maciaszek, Dan Parent & Fernando Ruiz
64 pages, 6.25/10.18,
Full Color  | 4.99
Diamond Order#APR161467
June 29, 2016

Valiant Entertainment Sends Ninjak #1 to London Super Comic Convention

This March, Valiant is crossing the Atlantic for the very first time to bring its award-winning publishing line to the London Super Comic Convention (LSCC) – the United Kingdom’s largest comic book convention – for a weekend packed with Valiant programming, special guests, and exclusive convention-only releases!

From Saturday, March 14th through Sunday, March 15th, Valiant’s first-ever UK convention presence begins at London’s Excel Centre where attendees will be greeted by the official LSCC program guide, featuring an all-new cover by fan favorite Kalman Andrasofszky! Featuring Bloodshot, Ninjak, London’s own Punk Mambo and more, look for this collectible program guide spotlighting Valiant’s greatest heroes in action!

Plus: don’t miss the Ninjak #1 LSCC Exclusive Variant, featuring a stunning cover by superstar artist Emanuela Lupacchino! Kicking off the highly anticipated ongoing series for Britain’s master super-spy by all-star creators Matt Kindt, Clay Mann, and Butch Guice, pick up the red-hot first issue of Ninjak’s debut solo series at LSCC’s merchandise booth – then get it signed in Artist’s Alley by LSCC attendees Clay Mann and Emanuela Lupacchino!

On Saturday, March 14th at 11 AM, join Valiant in Panel Room 2 for the Valiant 101: The Story Starts Here panel presentation, featuring, an in-depth introduction to heroes and creators that made Valiant one of the most acclaimed publishers in comics today. Get caught up on the origins and essential adventures of X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Bloodshot, Divinity, and more right here, as an all-star cast of Valiant staff and creators present a step-by-step examination of Valiant’s top heroes and villains. Each panel attendee will also receive a complimentary Valiant graphic novel.

Valiant is also offering one-on-one portfolio reviews for aspiring artists throughout LSCC. Visit the LSCC signing area on Saturday, March 14th at 12:45 PM and 4:30 PM, and Sunday, March 15th at 3:30 PM for personal feedback and creative insight from Hunter Gorinson, Valiant Entertainment’s Director of Marketing, Communications & Digital Media.

NINJAK_001_VARIANT_LSCC-EXCLUSIVE VALIANT_LSCC_PROGRAM-COVER_ANDRASOFZSKY

Earth’s Mightiest Are Earth’s Fightiest in Avengers VS #1!

Assemble! This April, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are doing battle against their deadliest foes for a quartet of can’t miss tales Avengers VS! Packed to the gills with action, adventure and excitement – experience four unique stories of the Avengers going toe-to-toe with four of their all-time greatest adversaries!

Writer Joe Caramagna brings you four interconnected, yet standalone stories showcasing the Avengers doing what they do best: saving the world and stopping the bad guys! Loki leading a Frost Giant raid on Asgard? Attuma and a group of Atlanteans sinking an tanker in the Arctic Ocean? M.O.D.O.K. and AIM building a doomsday device? Red Skull wreaking havoc on the streets of New York City? No matter, the Avengers stand ready to heed the call! Avengers Assemble!

In an interview with Marvel.com, Caramagna said:

AVENGERS VS is a collection of stories starring a cast of classic Avengers told in a classic Avengers style,” exclaimed writer Joe Caramagna in an interview with Marvel.com. “Whether you’re a fan of Marvel comics, movies, or all of the above, there’s something in AVENGERS VS for you!

Debuting this April exclusively on digital platforms, all four Avengers VS stories will see print in May’s Avengers VS #1 one-shot. Do you want to see the Avengers come head-to-head with four of their greatest villains of all time? Of course you, do True Believer! Well then no fan should miss out on the non-stop action and high-stakes thrills of Avengers VS digitally this April and in print this May!

AVENGERS VS #1
Written by JOE CARAMAGNA
Art by ANDREA DI VITO, WELLINGTON ALVES, RON LIM and DARIO BRIZUELA
Cover by TOM RANEY
Variant Covers by MICHAEL RYAN, KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY and RON LIM
56 Pages…One Shot
On Sale in May!

Avengers_VS_1_Cover

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