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IDW Publishing Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary with Epic IDW 20/20 Comic Book Initiative

IDW Publishing is celebrating its 20th anniversary beginning in January 2019 with an all-new weekly event, IDW 20/20!

Explore some of pop culture’s most iconic properties – GhostbustersJem and the HologramsMy Little PonyStar Trek, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – as secrets and startling revelations of these fan-favorite characters are revealed from 20 years into the future — or past! What made them into the heroes you love, and what twists does the future hold?

January 2019’s IDW 20/20 one-shot specials include:

Ghostbusters: IDW 20/20

By Erik Burnham (writer) and Dan Schoening (artist)
Twenty years in the future, and a new generation of Ghostbusters… is sent on all the jobs Ray, Winston, Peter, and Egon just don’t feel like taking on themselves. The Sanctum of Slime Ghostbusters—Bridget, Samuel, Gabriel, and Alan—have proven themselves many times over… first against the demon Dumazu, and later with the Ghostbusters of many other dimensions in the recent Crossing Over event. Now they’re ready for an easy gig, something like a simple haunted house. But they better be careful… you never know Wat could happen.

Jem and the Holograms: IDW 20/20

By Sina Grace (writer) and Siobhan Keenan (artist)
Jem and the Holograms are back with new music, old flames, and good friends in this adventure set 20 years in the future! Join Jerrica, Synergy, and the rest of your favorite holographic gals for a rockin’ reunion that’s sure to please old and new fans alike!

My Little Pony: IDW 20/20

By Ted Anderson (writer) and Toni Kuusisto (artist)
Ponyville’s most courageous and magical ponies celebrate friendship and fun in this adventure set twenty years in the past! Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and the rest of your favorite fillies are young foals—surely things can’t get too crazy, right?! One thing’s for sure: no matter what escapades they face, the magic of friendship will see them through!

Star Trek: IDW 20/20

By Peter David (writer) and J.K. Woodward (artist)
Twenty years before he took command of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Jean-Luc Picard sat in the captain’s chair of the U.S.S. Stargazer. Picard served with distinction aboard the Stargazer for many years on his way to becoming the most respected captain in Starfleet. But in this early mission, Picard shows us a vulnerable side as well as glimpses of the brilliant tactician he would become.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: IDW 20/20

By Paul Allor (writer) and Dave Wachter (artist)
Meet the Turtles of tomorrow in this adventure set 20 years in the future! The Utrom Civil War rages across Earth. When news of a backup Technodrome threatens hundreds of millions of innocent lives, it’s up to the Turtles to do what they do best—save the world.

Review: Iceman #1

Iceman is back from writer Sina Grace with new series artist Nathan Stockman and colorist Federico Blee. In the first issue of the new series, Grace and Stockman indulge in a little team-up action (and jog down memory lane for X-Men fans of the late 1980s) as Iceman and Bishop work together to prevent a new mutant massacre of the Morlocks. They have a really quirky dynamic with Bishop playing the serious focused on several possible futures, and Iceman being the one with the bad jokes and clunky Kanye references. However, Grace gives Bobby a little more self-awareness than the previous volume where he was just coming into his own as both a gay man and omega level mutant and trying to balance coming out to his parents and his first real boyfriend. In Iceman #1, he’s still developing as a person, but is a little more self-assured, which makes the book a little more fun.

Speaking of fun, Iceman #1 has some seriously action-packed setpieces courtesy of Nathan Stockman and Federico Blee beginning with a literal cold open where Bobby saves an old lady from a homophobic bad guy in Hell’s Kitchen while trying to meet a cute guy. (Oops, I have to put a dollar in the clunky dad joke jar.) One thing I love about heroes like Spider-Man is the intersection between their personal life, especially romance, and superhero action, and Grace and Stockman really get that dynamic with a gay superhero. It’s also seriously empowering to see a queer superhero kick a homophobic bad dude’s ass by completely encasing him in ice. And as a humorous cherry on top, pulling out an ice “glass” slipper on the dance floor made me laugh and cringe. Northstar really needs to give him dating lessons. This opening sequence really sets the tone for the first issue with Grace and Stockman, who seamlessly transition from fight scene to conversation without losing momentum handling everything from a main villain reveal to a text message conversation between Bobby and Kitty with style and grace.

Iceman #1 shows again why having an actual gay writer on an X-Book makes the X-Men as LGBTQ people more nuanced and powerful. In this case, there is the Morlocks. Sina Grace uses them as a metaphor for LGBTQ folks who don’t want to pass as straight or assimilate into a patriarchal, heteronormative society. That’s totally cool as Bobby begins to understand after a short conversation about why they don’t join the revolving door of the Xavier School. I also like how Grace refers to the Morlocks home as a “safe space” instead of creepy tunnels or whatever like previous writers.

However, in the context of the story, the Morlocks’ separatism and non-conformity leads to them being targeted by Mr. Sinister and the Marauders, who think they are hampering upward mutant mobility. At best, they’re the Marvel Universe version of Log Cabin Republicans, and at worse, they’re the “no fats, no femmes” guys on Grindr. To give them a little more real world relevance, Grace even makes the new look Marauders organize via the not so nice parts of the Internet like real hate groups. And Mr. Sinister is kind of a perfect villain for Bobby because he’s all about finding the perfect genetic potential, which Bobby kind of is as an ice golem creating omega level mutant.

Just like its protagonist at times, Iceman #1 is a highly confident start to Sina Grace, Nathan Stockman, and Federico Blee’s new series. It gives Bobby both a personal life as well as integrating him into the X-Men as a team, has well laid out action, and the most groan-worthy of dad jokes plus quirky banter between him and Bishop. As an added bonus, Grace writes the Morlocks with respect and empathy transforming them into badasses, who fight for their home and friends and won’t conform to society’s standards instead of empty cannon fodder like in the original “Mutant Massacre” story.

Story: Sina Grace Art: Nathan Stockman
Colors: Federico Blee Letters: Joe Sabino

Story: 8.8 Art: 8.2 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Iceman #1 (of 5)

Iceman #1 (of 5)

(W) Sina Grace (A) Nathan Stockman (CA) W. Scott Forbes
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
SRP: $3.99

He’s back!
Iceman is back! Which is good, because someone is hunting the Morlocks for sport. Now it’s up to Bobby Drake to prevent another potential Mutant Massacre. But who’s behind this horrific hunt? You won’t believe it if we tell you! Guest-starring Bishop!

FlameCon 2018: Writer Sina Grace Talks Iceman, Dad Jokes, and Li’l Depressed Boy

Sina Grace is a veteran L.A. based comic book writer, artist, and former editor whose body of work ranges from graphic memoirs like Not My Bag, Self-Obsessed, and Nothing Lasts Forever to an Iceman ongoing series for Marvel Comics. He has also done the artwork for the cult Image comic The Li’l Depressed Boy, which is written by Shaun Steven Struble. Self-Obsessed was made into a webseries starring Grace as himself and co-starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Amber Benson and Adam Busch.

At FlameCon, I had the opportunity to catch up with Sina Grace and chat about his upcoming Iceman miniseries and some other projects.

Graphic Policy: You’ve got the new Iceman coming up. What sets apart this miniseries from your initial run on the character?

Sina Grace: I’m really excited that I get to come back to the series after a passage of time. So, Bobby’s sort of done with the chapter of growing he went through in those first eleven issues, and in this one, we get to see him a little more settled in his skin. The reader will have so much more fun watching him do what he wants to do now that he’s like, “I am an omega level mutant. I am awesome.” He’s finally settling in.

With that comes a lot more fun and also some new challenges.

GP: What are some of those challenges?

SG: I’ve always thought that if you’re known for being an omega level mutant that means people with good and bad intentions are going to be paying more attention. Their eyes are on you. I’ve made it no secret that Mr. Sinister is the bad guy, and he kind of realizes that there’s something special about Bobby. Because Bobby is realizing there’s something special about Bobby. And you don’t want Mr. Sinister to be obsessed with you, I’ll leave it at that.

Then, similarly, we see Emma Frost come back into the fold, and their relationship is so rife with tension. I think one of the last times they had a very big talk about him, she seemed to be disappointed by his immense potential and how he never lived up to it. This series is really going to focus on him living up to his potential and being around people who can bring more out of him.

GP: I’ve talked to a lot of Iceman fans online, and they’ve wanted him to have more romantic and definitely more sexual relationships. What is Bobby’s dating and romantic life going to be like in the new series?

SG: I’m excited to keep Bobby single for a while. I think it’s going to be really fun to have him be single in the Marvel Universe and sort of show what that whole world looks like. How easy or how hard is it to be a mutant and in the X-Men and looking for romance. Usually, with all these other X-Men, they can date within the pool, but aside from Pyro, who they just wanted it to be what that evening was, there aren’t a lot of suitors out there.

He is dating. We get to see what that looks like for him. It’s adorable, but I’m not ready to have him fall in love just yet.

GP: You’re working with a new artist on the series, Nate Stockman (X-Men Blue). What has collaborating with him been like?

SG: Nate Stockman, and I’ve been so lucky because I’ve been saying this about the other artists, is really collaborative and so open minded in terms of taking notes from a writer who knows how to draw and has drawn comic books. Nate is injecting this level of humor that we didn’t quite hit with the previous artists, and I’m so happy because again and again I will say that this arc is a celebration. We got the book back. Bobby is a happier person. We’re just here to have a blast. It’s like a bonus round.

Nate really brings that energy. He’s just so happy and kind, and that’s all you can ask for in a collaborator. He also has really good insights as a storyteller and has helped me become a better writer in the end too.

GP: I saw Bishop on the cover of Iceman #1. What role is he going to play in the series?

SG: He’s mainly in issue one. He does show up at the end of the arc. I wanted a character where it’s the same thing as Bobby Drake. He’s always kind of around. But he’s always in the periphery. Bishop is like that too. There’s a lesson to be learned in the first adventure with them preventing the Mutant Massacre together that I felt he was able to speak to Bobby in a different way and help him understand things. I’ve always been drawn to the character, and I wanted to spend some time with him and see how his brain works. He’s cool.

GP: Yeah, wielding that big gun in X-Men Legends was when I fell in love with him.

SG: He’s also lived out the thing he needed to do in this timeline, and again, he’s in the periphery and on a similar, but different journey. So, I wanted to have these two personalities next to each other for that adventure.

GP: One thing that stands out about your Iceman is that he makes a ton of dad jokes. Why did you decide to make that a big part of his personality?

SG: It’s one of the consistent things about him. If you go through all these books, he makes really dumb jokes. His humor is a little stale, but I had to lean into as a writer because if you only do one or two, people think you can’t write a good joke. So, I kind of had to write 10 or 15 so readers would understand this is about the character kind of cracking wise.

Also, we talk a lot about how Bobby had been hiding a part of his identity from everyone. He’s filling the air. He’s nervous. These are nervous jokes. We’re going to be massaging that in the story talking about that, and how he changes on a micro-interaction level. Maybe, he’s gonna fill the air a little less with dumb jokes, or maybe his jokes will just be good. We shall see.

GP: Yeah, they’re a big part of his character. So, the X-Men have been used as a metaphor for LGBTQ themes for years. What experiences do you as a gay man bring to these characters that a straight writer couldn’t?

SG: I talk a lot about how the power of diverse storytelling lies in the details and specificity. On the way to the interview, we were talking about how opening up the restrooms at FlameCon and making them gender free opened my eyes to “Now I can’t just pop in and pop out. I have deal with a line.” But, cool, I’m aware of my privilege.

There’s no way you can have insight into a story so it’s not even in your eye line. But we bring the specifics of what the experience feels like. Case in point, in issue six of the first series, he falls head over heels with a guy he meets in L.A., Judah Miller. And he thinks about wanting to move to L.A. Resisters, and people who didn’t the like book as a whole, thought that was dumb, and gay Twitter had my back and was like, “No, girl, listen. This is what happens when you just come out, and you’ve spent your whole life thinking you can’t have something.”

You do latch onto the first person who gives it to you and make very questionable decisions about moving across the country. I almost moved to Seattle for love. So, the thing I bring where I can have a character do something that works for the sake of dramatic storytelling, but is still rooted in a reality. I think if a hetero, cis writer did this, it would come off more problematically.

GP: Speaking of your experience, you’ve written a lot of autobio comics, like Self-Obsessed and Not My Bag. How do you switch gears from writing so personally about yourself to writing about a corporate property?

SG: I think actually switching back and forth makes doing both easier for me. I have a space where I can be myself and talk about myself and reconcile questions about the world that I have that may not be interesting to everyone. I have a space for that with an audience that is willing to watch me go down these paths. And, then, because I have this safety valve, I can really look outside myself when I’m speaking to an audience that is 10,000 to 20,000 readers, and I can think about stuff that a larger group of people would want to have explored.

I like that I have both. What’s awesome is that Marvel readers aren’t like, “Let’s go look at your slice of life tales.” They love action books so it’s very safe space to go down some deep ends.

GP: In those autobio books, you have playlists, and I low key got into Jenny Lewis because of Nothing Lasts Forever. Do you have playlists for Iceman?

SG: I create playlists for any character with a big speaking role in my comics because I find music to be a fascinating look into someone’s psyche. On a very surface level, it’s a good way for me to be like “My brain is different from his brain.” So, Bobby listens to stuff I don’t listen to.

I joke that I don’t much care for The Weeknd, but Bobby likes him. He likes the War on Drugs a lot. I don’t mind them. They’re actually good. But I wouldn’t have pursued them. They’re in his wheelhouse. They’re what he likes. I was dating a guy, and we spent the date joking about what he would listen to versus us. The great debate is if Bobby Drake listens to Coldplay. I don’t have the answer yet.

It’s a good exercise. Like for Daken, I was listening to a lot of dark, nihilistic, and loud music like Health and Nine Inch Nails. Dirty Beaches too. He’s a very swagger-y guy. It’s a cool tip to tell burgeoning writers. This is how you get into a different groove and force yourself into something: a different conversation.

GP: That’s good advice. I have one last question. I’m a big fan of The Li’l Depressed Boy. Any news on that front?

SG: Our only goal with this new series of The Li’l Depressed Boy is to have the entire arc done before we put it on the calendar. I don’t think anyone likes when a book ships late, and the series comes from a personal place for both [me and Shaun Steven Struble]. We’re just letting it take the time it needs. But there are pages drawn. There is a ton of script written out.

Shaun and I are lifelong friends and partners so as long as we’re in love with each other and the book, it’s always going to be on our minds and always going to be made. Having the book come out on time and having it be the best it can be is more important than anything. No rushing for us.

Iceman #1 will available from Comixology and local comic book stores on September 12, 2018

Follow Sina Grace on Twitter.

Spider-Man and Firestar Join Iceman to Take on Mr. Sinister in Iceman #3

This November, Iceman’s adventures intensify! Not only does Bobby Drake get to go on a blind date, he also gets to deal with a mad villain…none other than the evil Mr. Sinister!

Fortunately, Bobby isn’t alone – he’s getting a little help from his friends. And not just any friends. Some might say these friends are amazing.

Written by Sina Grace, with art by Nathan Stockman, and a cover by W. Scott Forbes, join Iceman, Spider-Man, Firestar and more in this extra special, extra amazing issue of Iceman #3, hitting comic shops on November 7th!

Preview: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Anniversary Special #1

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Anniversary Special #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Joe Quinones, Jessica Quinones, Sina Grace, Trey Moore, Matthew Groom, Michael Busuttil, Magdalene Visaggio
Artists: Joe Quinones, Sina Grace, Lucas Werneck, French Carlomagno, Da Jung Lee.
Cover Artist:
Main Cover: Steve Morris
Incentive Cover: Rahzzah
Incentive Cover: Joe Quinones
Colorists: Eleonora Bruni, Marcelo Costa
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Price: $7.99

To celebrate 25 years of Saban’s Power Rangers, superstar creators Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim), Joe Quinones (America), Sina Grace (Iceman), and more pay homage to the world-wide phenomenon with original standalone stories set throughout the Power Rangers universe.

Iceman Returns in His Own Series from Sina Grace and Nathan Stockman

You asked for it – you got it! In response to popular demand, the critically acclaimed series Iceman, which garnered multiple award nominations during its original run, is returning to the Marvel Universe featuring original writer Sina Grace along with a brand new series artist, Nathan Stockman.

This September, get ready for more adventures of Bobby Drake in Iceman #1! The new series follows Iceman as he adjusts to super hero life after being a part of the X-Men…which isn’t as easy as he expects.

Iceman #1 is out September 12th with a cover by W. Scott Forbes.

Preview: Valiant High #1 (of 4)

VALIANT HIGH #1 (of 4)

Written by DANIEL KIBBLESMITH
Art by DEREK CHARM
Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE (MAR182006)
Variant Cover by SINA GRACE (MAR182007)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | ALL-AGES | On Sale MAY 30th

Valiant proudly presents its first ALL-AGES escapade with a pitch-perfect entry point for new fans and longtime readers alike!

Before they became legends, the world’s most formidable heroes were roaming the halls at Valiant High – a super-powered preparatory academy where Aric “X-O Manowar” Dacia is a record-setting running back, Colin “Ninjak” King is a debonair foreign exchange student, and Coach Bloodshot is way, way too into dodgeball. Now, Amanda “Livewire” McKee and her best friend, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert, are taking it all in for the first time at the one high school where power trumps popularity!

From rising star Daniel Kibblesmith (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) and Eisner Award-winning artist Derek Charm (Jughead), get ready for your first day of school inside a hilarious reimagining of Valiant’s award-winning superhero universe – one where the next world-ending cataclysm will have to wait until after prom night!

In the tradition of Archie and DC Super Hero Girls, this side-splitting adventure takes place outside of Valiant’s standard continuity…and comes packed with all-new incarnations of virtually every Valiant hero and villain! You’ve never seen the heroes of the Valiant Universe quite like this before!

Valiant High #1 – Daniel Kibblesmith & Derek Charm Bring Valiant’s First All-Ages Escapade to Comic Shops Everywhere on May 30th!

Valiant has announced that Valiant High #1 (of 4) – the FIRST ISSUE of AN UPROARIOUS ALL-AGES ESCAPADE from rising star Daniel Kibblesmith and Eisner Award-winning artist Derek Charm – is coming to comic shops everywhere just in time for summer vacation! On May 30th, get ready for your first day of school inside a hilarious reimagining of Valiant‘s award-winning superhero universe – one where the next world-ending cataclysm will have to wait until after prom night!

Before they became legends, the world’s most formidable heroes were roaming the halls at Valiant High – a super-powered preparatory academy where Aric “X-O Manowar” Dacia is a record-setting running back, Colin “Ninjak” King is a debonair foreign exchange student, and Coach Bloodshot is way, way too into dodgeball. Now, Amanda “Livewire” McKee and her best friend, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert, are taking it all in for the first time at the one high school where power trumps popularity!

You’ve never seen the heroes of the Valiant Universe quite like this before! In the tradition of Archie and DC Super Hero Girls, this side-splitting adventure takes place outside of Valiant‘s standard continuity…and comes packed with all-new incarnations of virtually every Valiant hero and villain!

Featuring covers by David Lafuente and Sina Grace!

Preview: Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions #4

Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions #4

Story: Sina Grace, Kevin Panetta Art: Hannah Templer, Abby Boeh
Lettering: Shawn Lee Color: Heather Danforth
Editor: Sarah Gaydos Assistant Editor: Chase Marotz

In “Jemojis,” by Kevin Panetta with art by Abby Boeh, The Misfits go to war with The Holograms over Jem’s themed emoticon app for phones. Will The Holograms rule the app store, too?! Not if Pizzazz (and Techrat) can help it!

And in a special story from Sina Grace with art by Hannah Fisher, Pizzazz struggles to control her own narrative amidst a nightmare combo of reality TV, social media, and social climbers.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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