Tag Archives: mike baron

Preview: The Chronicles of Corum: The Queen of Swords

THE CHRONICLES OF CORUM: THE QUEEN OF SWORDS

Writer:  Mike Baron
Artist: Mike Mignola
Publisher: Titan Comics
Hardcover, 112pp, $24.99, On sale: August 14, 2018
ISBN: 9781782763260

After his defeat of the Chaos Lord Arioch, Prince Corum has little time to rest. His actions have angered Arioch’s sister, Xiombarg, known as the Queen of the Swords.

The Prince in the Scarlet Robe must fight on, facing the formidable Mabden armies, and taking on the might of the Queen of the Swords herself. Faced with immense powers of evil on all sides, Corum must reach the City of the Pyramid. But first he will encounter nightmarish creatures, unsettling sorcery, and uncanny new planes of existence.

Preview: The Michael Moorcock Library: The Chronicles of Corum Vol. 1 – The Knight of Swords

THE MICHAEL MOORCOCK LIBRARY: THE CHRONICLES OF CORUM VOL. 1 – THE KNIGHT OF SWORDS

Writer: Mike Baron
Artist: Mike Mignola
Publisher: Titan Comics
Hardcover, 112pp, $24.99
On sale: February 13
ISBN: 9781782763253

Featuring the work of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and Batman artist Kelley Jones! Prince Corum Jhaelen embarks on an epic journey of fate and vengeance through all the fifteen planes of Earth, even to the very center of time – the still, blue city of Tanelorn.Mike Baron’s take on the stunning blend of magic, heroism and wonder by acclaimed writer Michael Moorcock.

The Chronicles of Corum Vol. 1 – The Knight Of Swords is Out February

February 20, 2018, sees the next installment of Titan’s critically-acclaimed Michael Moorcock Library series – The Chronicles of Corum Vol. 1 – The Knight Of Swords!

Hellboy creator and artist Mike MignolaBatman artist Kelley Jones and Eisner award-winning writer Mike Baron bring Michael Moorcock’s timeless story of order versus chaos to vivid life in this brand-new hardcover collection.

To celebrate this exciting new edition to the Library series, Titan are releasing a special video interview with Michael Moorcock, where the acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author shares his thoughts on comic book adaptations of his best-selling novels.

Ninjak Gets a Complete Classic Omnibus Oversized Hardcover

Valiant has announced Ninjak: The Complete Classic Omnibus Oversized HC – an 800+ page oversized hardcover compendium collecting the groundbreaking debut and complete adventures of the Valiant Universe’s master super-spy in November! From his deadly debut in the pages of Bloodshot in 1993 all the way to the final mission of his best-selling solo series, the complete classic adventures of Valiant’s deadly secret agent have finally been collected between two covers for the first time anywhere!

Colin King — sophisticated British playboy by day, elite super-spy by night! Codenamed Ninjak, King is gifted with a brilliant mind and lethal training in the world’s most dangerous fighting techniques. Both will be put to the ultimate test as he is drawn into a globe-spanning mission to bring down a cavalcade of covert agents and criminal cartels, including his greatest nemesis – the Webnet terror network and its villainous mastermind, Dr. Silk! From the British Isles to the land of the Rising Sun, Ninjak is about to leave an indelible imprint on the Valiant Universe — or die trying.

Featuring all-time classic contributions from acclaimed writers Mark Moretti, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Jorge Gonzalez, Mike Baron, Kevin VanHook and more alongside legendary artists Joe Quesada, Bryan Hitch, and Luke Ross, this oversized, omnibus hardcover bursts with more than 800 pages of non-stop action and special features, including:

  • Over 30 full-color issues, including Ninjak’s landmark first appearances from BLOODSHOT (1993) #6–7, his complete solo series run from NINJAK (1994) #1–26, #0 and #00NINJAK YEARBOOK 1994 #1, and SECRET WEAPONS (1993) #5 – collected together in one volume for the first time anywhere!
  • Over 20 pages of bonus content, including rarely seen artwork and extras!
  • A stunning cover by comics legend Joe Quesada, fully remastered by Paul Mounts (The Ultimates)!
  • An oversized, deluxe hardcover presentation!

This November 22nd, find out where the legend of one of Valiant’s greatest icons began!

“Comics” Need to Deal with their White Supremacist Issue Before Hashtags Mean Anything

With the country still in shock and the civilized part outraged by the events this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia many have wondered what they can do about the domestic terrorists that plague our nation. While they might hide behind labels such as “alt-right,” the triumvirate of White Supremacists/Nationalists, KKK, and Nazis are exactly that, domestic terrorists responsible for the murder of Heather Heyer and injury of 19 others.

The comic industry does what it does best in these situations, hashtag their way to involvement while ignoring their own numerous issues in their backyard that involves creators, fans, the press, and the publishers that enable it all.

Not even a month ago we ran a story about a comic about white “American nationalist” Kyle “Based Stick Man” Chapman being created with quite a few “mainstream” creators who publically haven’t seem to be condemned for their involvement. Mike Baron, Donald Jackson, Rick Miller, Brett R. Smith, and Mort Todd have escaped in their involvement mainstreaming through propaganda a comic an individual who sided with those domestic terrorists this weekend. These five individuals aren’t conservatives in the industry, these are five individuals who are working with a racist that’s on the radar of both the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. They are aiding and abetting a racist.

Brett R. Smith went so far to call it a “war”:

This is not only a culture war, this is war. The highest form of warfare is to subvert the culture because you don’t have to raise a standing army. We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.

And, I’m sure Smith will suffer no consequences for his comments continuing to get work much like the other deplorables in the industry have been protected in the name of “free speech,” “art,” or whatever other excuse is in vogue for the week. I’m sure some creators will brush this entire post off as “mob justice” with an agenda (there is one, fuck Nazis).

But should we be surprised by the industry’s inaction? No. It’s the latest in a long string of instances where publically we’re told “diversity” and “inclusion” but those words ring hallow as behind the scenes reality is anything but. The industry still makes money off of material that called “art” and “challenging” (ex. Image’s Airboy and Divided States of Hysteria) but in reality is the same edginess that makes the Fryer’s Roast still a thing. It’s a bygone mindset that hasn’t been “in vogue” for decades now. They profit off of it catering to a dying breed of “cis het white males” that are the same cesspool that gave us things like GamerGate, Trump, and Charlottesville.

Beyond a few creators, the industry has been silent about the above comic and outright defends insensitive material not realizing you can defend it’s right to be published and condemn the content at the same time. Instead those (often marginalized groups and individuals) raising concerns are dismissed instead of being listened to with creators rallying the wagons around in defense in the name of “art.” But how many creators will refuse to work with the above? How many publishers? How many conventions will not invite them? When push comes to shove few creators really act on their convictions instead settling for a few Tweets of support.

But, one doesn’t have to look far to understand why this is the case. The industry still sees those cis het white males as their customers.

Marvel Comics made news when a quote by their Vice President of Sales David Gabriel was taken out of context:

What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” Gabriel told ICv2. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not … We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.

“What Marvel has heard” has led the publisher to rethink their sales slump and return to a “core” and “traditional” set of their characters, mainly “cis white and male.” What few seem to connect is this same narrative is the one that has plagued the video game industry for years now and gave rise to GamerGate. Video game companies were catering to “social justice warriors” by making their stories and characters more diverse. In reality one can easily argue those same companies are instead positioning their releases for a broader worldwide market. Where in video games there was a name for this neolithic and backwards movement, in comics it hasn’t revolved around a hashtag instead being push as a narrative by fans, stores, and even the a duped media who while discussing “sales” push the narrative that diversity doesn’t sell.

For months the narrative has been the same, the industry’s (re Marvel and DC) sales have been in a decline during the period they have attempted to diversufy their characters and much slower the creators. Though sales numbers are incomplete and often off by thousands (something I’ve confirmed directly with creators) a lack of deep dives into market trends, changing consumption rates, shifting business models, broken distribution systems, keeps the narrative focused on “numbers” and “diversity” playing into the regressive fan narrative. Further when pointing to sales years ago without further insight can only lead one to a conclusion that those backwards looking individuals must be right. There is no counterpoint only flawed numbers.

But beyond the sales, lack of condemnation, there’s a simmering acceptance of articles and discussions that don’t get called out for what they are.

The launch of Wonder Woman pivoted from the success of a female led superhero film to a discussion as to whether actress Gal Gadot was “white.” Numerous sites ran think pieces on the debate while little was dedicated to the anti-Semitic nature of the discussion as a whole and it playing into the Nazi/KKK/white supremicist narrative. In an industry founded be Jewish individuals, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Joe Simon, Will Eisner, the cluelessness within the “comic community” over the discussion was astounding. Argue Gal Gadot isn’t white you’re reinforcing racists beliefs that Jews are “other.” Argue Gal Gadot is white and you’re reinforcing racists beliefs that Jews “blend in” and are “sneaky.” So maybe it’s best to not even have the discussion let alone have it run on (formaly) reputable sites? But, that’s rarely, if ever, brought up. Instead the discussion as a whole is treated as a valid one to have and it reinforces a belief of racists.

But should we be shocked by any of this? A publisher can’t even condemn the use of their character’s iconography by racists a simple act that even the Detroit Red Wings were able to do.

In an industry that was founded as a haven for individuals that couldn’t get work due to their gender, skin, or religion, and whose earliest works challenged the status quo championing a progressive outlook, we’ve slipped over its 100 years of existence.

It’s time to remember our roots and practice the lessons taught by the champions we love on the pages. We don’t need hashtags, we need real heroes who will stand up.

The Alt-Right’s Hero Based Stick Man is Coming to Comics

You might not know the name Brett R. Smith, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen his work through Image, Devil’s Due, Aspen and DC Comics. The colorist is now hoping to make money off of hate by delivering a comic for the pro-Donald Trump conservative movement hate group alt-right.

Smith is a staunch conservative and recently worked on the Clinton Cash graphic novel adaptation which Smith claims was commissioned by White House propagandist Steve Bannon in 2016 in an attempt to sway millennials. That graphic novel become a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Now Smith is working to bring the criminal controversial conservative web celebrity Kyle “Based Stick Man” Chapman to comics.

“Based Stick Man the Alt-Knight” was a nickname given to Chapman after a video featuring him assaulting Antifa protesters with a wooden rod went viral in March during protests at the University of California, Berkeley. He was arrested for the assault and spent a few days in jail during that time he became an alt-right white nationalist celebrity. Chapman has a long history of arrests including robbery, theft, and selling weapons which has led to repeated incarceration and parole violations.

While Chapman doesn’t consider himself racist, his wife is Asian and son half-Asian, he is the founder of the “virtually all-white Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights” and considers himself a “proud defender of ‘American nationalism'”. That has put him on the radar of hate group watchdogs like the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. It shouldn’t be surprising he’s become a celebrity in the white power nationalist movement and that celebrity is being turned into a comic.

Now Smith, along with conservative comic writer Mike Baron (Nexus, The Badger), are bringing the racist icon to comics in hopes of taking on the “social justice warriors” in the comic industry. Baron has issues with companies changing the race and gender of characters to reflect the shifting demographics of America as opposed to creating new characters. Baron also apparently overlooks the comic industry’s past history of just slapping on “woman” or “girl” to an existing character (Batman, Batwoman, Batgirl) or long history of mantels being passed down (Hal Jordan to Jon Stewart and the apparently ok Hal Jordan to Guy Gardner).

Smith has said “This is not only a culture war, this is war. The highest form of warfare is to subvert the culture because you don’t have to raise a standing army. We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.”

It’s unknown if Smith and Baron are aware of Chapman’s long rap sheet and their promotion of a repeat violent offender.

This isn’t the first conservative comic to be released and it certainly won’t be the last, but it’s the most blatant attempt for a cash grab to make money off of the alt-right movement in comics.

(via Mic)

Preview: Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier, Vol. 1

Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier, Vol. 1

Fabian Nicieza, Mike Baron, Barbara Kesel, Tom Peyer, Martin Pasko, Adam Beechen, Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, Lucas Werneck (w) • Leonardo Romero, Fabiano Neves (a) • Dan Panosian (c)

Rampage Jackson has touched the lives of millions, and when one of them reaches out for help against a terrible threat, he swings into action. With astonishing new super powers and his faithful dog, Andronicus, by his side, he must prepare for bone crunching throw downs in over-the-top adventures! An anthology of amazing self-contained stories, Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier marks the beginning of a bold new era of superhero fun!

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 144 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-379-8

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Preview: Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier Vol. 1

RAMPAGE JACKSON: STREET SOLDIER, VOL. 1

by Fabian Nicieza, Mike Baron, Barbara Kesel, Tom Peyer, Martin Pasko, Adam Beechen, Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman, illo. by Leonardo Romero, Fabiano Neves
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
SRP: $17.99
Trim: 6.625 x 10.25
Publisher: Lion Forge Comics
Distributor: IDW Publishing
Pub Date: October 28, 2015
Diamond Item Code: AUG150459
ISBN: 978-1-63140-379-8

Larger-than-life MMA fighter Rampage Jackson faces his toughest opponents yet in this super-powered slug-fest; and this time the stakes are much higher than a championship belt!

Rampage Jackson has touched the lives of millions, and when one of them reaches out for help against a terrible threat, he swings into action. Rampage is different this time; with astonishing new super powers and his faithful dog, Andronicus, by his side, he must prepare for bone-crunching throwdowns in over-the-top adventures that take him around the world, to other worlds, and through time itself! An anthology of amazing self-contained stories, Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier marks the beginning of a bold new era of superhero fun!

LionForge-Rampage1_COV

Review: Airwolf: Airstrikes TPB

airwolf_airstrikesI can honestly say that growing up in the 1980s, was a real treat, for nerds everywhere as we were exposed to some of the best and the most innovative entertainment. The reverberations of my generation can still be felt in all mediums of entertainment , as shows like The Goldbergs, stands as a testament to just how influential , the popular culture of the era was and still is. The era was also filled with more action heroes than one can count on one hand, as I remembered many great TV shows like Fall Guy, A-Team and Knight Rider, had heroes that every kid in America wanted to be and urged our parents to buy their action figures. Then there were TV shows, that were truly unsung, until years later, when retro loving sites such as AV Club, gives it, it’s just due.

I can think of many TV shows, that fit this category, and yet to find it under any spotlight such as Stingray and the original Denzel Washington –less Equalizer. Another TV show, which I remembered that fits this category, and actually exceeded the expectations of its less than stellar movie counterparts, was Airwolf. The show surrounded a high tech military helicopter and the crew that supported it, as I remember people synopsizing it as “Knight Rider with propellers.” The show was more than that , it was spy craft with tons of action usually in high stake situations, and spoke very much of the times, as America was involved in the Cold War.

IDW has continued the missions of Airwolf, in its comic series, and to extremely interesting results, and none which were good. I came into reading this collection, hoping IDW would continue their string of successes in nostalgia comics, but this one falls flat on its face. This collection reintroduces you to the characters from the TV show as well as to new characters to bring it up to date. Sad to say, this collection comes off as no more than “a bad guy of the week” series as not one story I can talk truly of note.

Overall, I came into the trade paperback, hoping to relive the adventures of Stringfellow Hawke and rest of the Airwolf crew, and their struggles with the Firm, and felt seriously cheated, having met a poor copycat. The stories by Mike Baron, Jeff Mariotte, Marc Andreyko, Barbara Kesel, Rob Worley, Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman, were very much well intentioned but uninspired. The art by Jean Froes and Fabiano Neves, were probably the only highlight, but paired with the average stories contributed, diminishes their contributions. Altogether, IDW and the talented team, on this project, should have seriously construed their plans, as execution is always key, as this serves as a perfect example of when it is poorly done.

Story: Mike Baron, Jeff Mariotte, Marc Andreyko, Barbara Kesel, Rob Worley, Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman Art: Jean Froes and Fabiano Neves
Story: 3 Art: 7 Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Airwolf Airstrikes, Vol. 1

Airwolf Airstrikes, Vol. 1

Mike Baron, Jeff Mariotte, Marc Andreyko, Barbara Kesel, Rob Worley, Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman (w) • Jean Froes, Fabiano Neves (a) • Billy King (c)

Hawke, Santini, and the coolest attack chopper ever made are back in this epic reimagining of the hit TV classic! Airwolf, the nuclear-powered helicopter, is featured in this blistering anthology of stand-alone thrillers that redefines the classic for a new generation!

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 144 pages • ISBN: 978-1-63140-315-6

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