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Baumann, Calafiore, Forstner, Pascoe, Staton, Stelfreeze, & Tucci Hit Baltimore

Baltimore Comic Con 2021

The Baltimore Comic-Con is coming up this October 22-24, 2021 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to welcome Marty Baumann, Jim Calafiore, Trish Forstner, Jim Pascoe, Joe Staton, Brian Stelfreeze, and Billi Tucci to this year’s event. Get your tickets online!

Marty Baumann is an illustrator, graphic artist, and production designer. He has contributed to some of the most popular, Oscar-winning animated films of all time. Marty has worked as an artist at Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios as an illustrator, graphic artist, and production designer on such films as Toy Story 3Big Hero 6ZootopiaCars 2PlanesWreck-It Ralph 2, and many others. He also helped develop theme park installations, toy packaging, and Pixar corporate branding. Marty has rendered illustrations and developed characters for toy manufacturers, magazines, and newspapers, and illustrated children’s books, created logos, info-graphics, broadcast promotions, and presentation art for Hasbro, Universal Studios, National Geographic, Scholastic Books, Nickelodeon, and many others. Recent projects include his role as concept artist for the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the visual development of Sir Paul McCartney’s feature film, High in the Clouds.

In 30 years working in comics, Jim Calafiore has spent extended time at Valiant, DC, and Marvel, notably on Peter David’s Aquaman, Judd Winnick’s ExilesGotham Underground with Frank Tieri, Red Lanterns with Charles Soule, various Batman books, Deadpool, and Black Panther. After a run on the critically-acclaimed Secret Six with Gail Simone, they reunited with for their creator-owned Kickstarter success Leaving Megalopolis, and volume 2 of the saga, Surviving Megalopolis. Volume 3 is in the works.

Trish Forstner is from Baltimore, Maryland and is a relative newcomer to the comic industry but brings a lifetime of experience in creating fun, lovable characters. She’s been drawing since she could hold a pencil. Trish is inspired by classic animation and has drawn influence from many sources, particularly Classic 80s and 90s toons. You’ve seen her work in IDW’s My Little Pony comic series. Most recently she co-creates Stray Dogs with Tony Fleecs, published by Image Comics.

James Pascoe has been a freelance illustrator for over 30 years, most of it in the comics field. He has done inking, pencilling, painting and/or digital coloring for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Valiant. His credits include AzraelEmpireBatman/Punisher, and Thor, among others. He also lovingly restores comic book and comic strip art with missing logos, balloons, and captions, does cover re-creations, and is currently illustrating the California Tarot – Shadows & Light tarot card deck.

Joe Staton has been drawing comics since he started working for Charlton Comics in 1971, where he co-created E-Man and Michael Mauser. Though the bulk of his work has been for DC Comics, at last count, Staton has worked for at least 30 publishers and 100 different editors. Among his many comics credits are Action ComicsGreen LanternThe LegionClassics Illustrated, and various incarnations of Batman. During his time on Green Lantern, he co-created several GLs, including Kilowog, Arisia, and Salakk. He also designed GL Guy Gardner’s “bad boy” look. More recently, with his writer-wife Hilarie, he produces medical comics such as Pete Learns All About Crohn’s and Colitis and Amy Goes Gluten-Free. In 1998, he received the Eisner Award for his work on World’s Finest: The Superman-Batman Adventures. He penciled over 100 issues of the Cartoon Network’s Scooby Doo comic. He illustrated a graphic novel adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Anthem for NAL and a graphic biography of Ronald Reagan. Since 2011, working with writer Mike Curtis, Joe has been the regular artist for the long-running Dick Tracy newspaper strip (available online at www.gocomics.com/dicktracy). Dick Tracy received Harvey Awards in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for Best Syndicated Strip or Feature.

Brian Stelfreeze, one of the original Gaijin Studios members, is a multi-talented artist, with experience and credits penciling, inking, coloring, painting, and even writing. His comic book covers have gained him much attention and lauding, and his run painting covers on DC Comics’ Shadow of the Bat for over 50 issues is noteworthy by itself. Brian’s creative output can be found on BOOM! Studios’ Day Men, Marvel Comics’ Black Panther, and be sure to pick up BOOM! Studios’ The Signature Art of Brian Stelfreeze to get a definitive look at the works of his publishing career.

Billy Tucci is an award-winning cartoonist best known for his modern-day samurai fable, Shi. Through Billy’s Crusade Fine Arts, the multi-Eisner Award-nominated Shi has been printed in five languages and sold more than 3 million comic books. He has also worked on a litany of projects for DC Comics, including Sgt. RockHarley QuinnFlash Vs. Superman, and Batman. His earnest retelling of the Christmas story, A Child Is Born, has quietly turned into an international blockbuster after winning the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award. 2021 celebrates Billy’s 27th Anniversary in comics with the release of the Shi: Return of the WarriorShi: Haikyo, and the Shi: Omnibus Vol. 1. He also illustrated Wonder Woman: Angel of Battle for DC Comics and wrote the comics return of June Tarpe’ Mills’ golden age icon, Miss Fury for Dynamite Entertainment.


2021 GUESTS

This year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Tom Akel (Stan Lee’s Backchannel, courtesy of Rocketship Entertainment), Chris Bachalo (Non-Stop Spider-Man), Art Baltazar (Big Alien Moon Crush), Marty Baumann (Disney/Pixar), John Beatty (Secret Wars), Carolyn Belefski (Curls), Brian Michael Bendis (Action Comics), Ziggy Blumenthal (Operation Pajama Pants), Russ Braun (The Boys), Brett Breeding (Superman), Reilly Brown (Deadpool), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Jim Calafiore (Welcome to Megalopolis), Chris Campana (The Adventures of Parker Reef), Castillo Studios, Cliff Chiang (Paper Girls), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Becky Cloonan (Dark Agnes), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Steve Conte (Action Figure Kingdom), Katie Cook (Nothing Special), Jamie Cosley (Light Side), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), J. Robert Deans (Crass Fed), John Dell (Lobo, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Vito Delsante (Stray), Todd Dezago (Perhapanauts), Jason Douglas (Parallel, courtesy of Source Point Press), Charles C. Dowd (Lilith Dark), Ryan Dunlavey (M.O.D.O.K. Reign Delay), Garth Ennis (The Boys, Friday and Saturday only), Trish Forstner (My Little Pony), Franco (The Ghost, The Owl), Bob Frantz (Metalshark Bro), John Gallagher (Max Meow: Cat Crusader), Kami Garcia (Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity), Mitch Gerads (Mr. Miracle), Joe Giella (Green Lantern), Mike Gold (Green Arrow), Michael Golden (Micronauts), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Laura Lee Gulledge (Page by Paige), Gene Ha (Mae), Scott Hanna (Icon and Rocket), Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), Glenn Hauman (They Keep Killing Glenn), Mike Hawthorne (Happiness Will Follow), Marc Hempel (The Sandman), Jamal Igle (Wrong Earth), Klaus Janson (Daredevil, Saturday only), Dave Johnson (The Good wiAsian), Chris Kemple (Artist Alley Comics), Tom King (Batman), Scott Koblish (Deadpool, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Leeanne M. Krecic (Let’s Play, courtesy of Rocketship Entertainment), Robert Lemieux (Life in the Comics), Joseph Michael Linsner (Red Sonja), Howard Mackie (Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance), Chris Mariano (Claire Lost Her Bear At The World’s Fair), Mark Mariano (Far Out Firehouse), Whitney Matheson (Pandemix: Quarantine Comics in the Age of ‘Rona), Ian McGinty (Adventure Time), Bob McLeod (New Mutants), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Frank Miller (Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Saturday only), Karl Moline (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mark Morales (The Next Batman: Second Son), Trevor Mueller (Albert the Alien), Josh Neufeld (A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge), Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground), Jerry Ordway (The Power of Shazam), James Pascoe (Azrael), Andrew Pepoy (Simone & Ajax), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Sinestro: Year of the Villain), Khoi Pham (Star Wars: Crimson Reign), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Christopher Priest (Black Panther, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Joe Quesada (Daredevil), Tom Raney (Guardians of the Galaxy), Amy Reeder (Wonder Woman: Black and Gold), Afua Richardson (Omni), Andrew Robinson (Halo), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Jennifer Rouse (Frankenstein Mobster), Craig Rousseau (The Perhapanauts), Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man), Stuart Sayger (Army of Darkness: 1979), Gregg Schigiel (SpongeBob Comics), Chris Schweizer (The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton), Doc Shaner (Strange Adventures), Jim Shooter (Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars), Matt Slay (Equilibrium), John K. Snyder III (Killers), Mika Song (Donut Feed the Squirrels), Joe Staton (Dick Tracy), Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Paul D. Storrie (Storm Kids: Stanley’s Ghost), Arthur Suydam (Merc with a Mouth), Martha Thomases (Dakota North), Peter Tomasi (Batman and Robin), Ben Towle (Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat), Tim Townsend (Non-Stop Spider-Man), Timothy Truman (Grimjack), Billy Tucci (Shi), Fred Van Lente (Action Philosophers), Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Friday and Saturday only), Emilio Velez Jr. (The Dodgeball Teens), Robert Venditti (Hawkman), Mark Waid (Dr. Strange), Lee Weeks (Batman/Catwoman Special), Mark Wheatley (Songs of Giants), Emily S. Whitten (The Underfoot), Matt Wieringo (Stargate Atlantis: Gateways), Keith Williams (Thor the Worthy), Marcus Williams (Tuskegee Heirs), Renee Witterstaetter (Guardians of the Galaxy), Javier Cruz Winnik (Puerto Rico Strong), Rich Woodall (Electric Black), Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan), Kelly Yates (Doctor Who), and Thom Zahler (Love and Capes).

It’s Dog Days for Stray Dogs in December

Breakout hit series Stray Dogs by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner is back with a new spinoff, Dog Days. This upcoming two issue miniseries will launch in December from Image Comics.

A series of vicious short stories howling straight out of the pages of Stray Dogs, 2021’s surprise cartoon/horror smash hit! In Dog Days, each stray will get their moment to shine—questions will be answered, mysteries will be solved, and old wounds will be torn open. Starting this December… every dog has its day.

Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 Cover A (Diamond Code OCT210051) and Stray Dogs: Dog Days #1 Cover B Horror movie homage variant (Diamond Code OCT210052) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, December 29.

Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner Brings Stray Dogs to Dynamite Variants

We’ve seen crossovers from publishers when it comes to comics but have we seen one that’s just variant covers Dynamite has revealed that artists Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner will create a trio of exciting covers matching Dynamite’s biggest characters with dogs! The covers will be found on Red Sonja #2Army of Darkness: 1979 #2, and Vampirella #25. The dogs are a riff on the duo’s popular series Stray Dogs published through Image Comics.

Stray Dogs has been a huge hit, with the first issue going up to a whopping five printings to meet demand from retailers and a rabid fanbase. Now they’re bringing that energy to Dynamite’s hits.

Part of the fun of Stray Dogs has been many of the variants paying homage to classic horror films, as it bills itself as a unique take on Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs. Or the alternate comparison of The Secret Life of Pets meets Seven, as coined by Brian Michael Bendis. That inventive crossover style and Fleecs’ and Forstner’s beloved artistic portrayal of man’s best friend lead to a left field, but brilliant idea.

Stray Dogs meets the Dynamite Universe in an exciting totally unofficial crossover!

Every Issue of Stray Dogs is Getting a New Printing

Image Comics has announced that every issue of the wildly popular Stray Dogs by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner will be rushed back to print—for the final time—to alleviate the untamed reorder activity on the series.

In this suspenseful miniseries, readers meet Sophie, a dog who can’t remember what happened. She doesn’t know how she ended up in this house. She doesn’t recognize any of these other dogs. She knows something terrible happened, but she just…can’t…recall…Wait! Where’s her lady? Now Sophie has to figure out where she is, what’s happening, and how she’s going to survive this. They say there’s no such thing as a bad dog—just bad owners. 

Stray Dogs is a five-issue, Don Bluth-style mystery/horror miniseries best described as Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.

The Stray Dogs #1-5 final reprints will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, August 4:

  • Stray Dogs #1 fifth printing, Cover A – MAY219398
  • Stray Dogs #1 fifth printing, Cover B blank – MAY219399
  • Stray Dogs #2 fourth printing – MAY219400
  • Stray Dogs #3 fourth printing – MAY219401
  • Stray Dogs #4 fourth printing – MAY219402
  • Stray Dogs #5 second printing, Cover A – MAY219403
  • Stray Dogs #5 second printing, Cover B 1:10 copy incentive – MAY219404
Stray Dogs #2 fourth printing

Review: Stray Dogs #5

Stray Dogs #5

I love how Stray Dogs #5 wraps up the comic series but at the same time, I’m not sure I love the issue as a whole. It’s an issue that’s full of action, tense moments, and sadness. But, it also feels a bit “short” and too much of a quick read. The contents of Stray Dogs #5 feels like it’d have been fine in an extended fourth issue than merits an issue on its own. But, it also means the series will likely be a fantastic read once it’s collected.

With a story by Tony Fleecs, the dogs know the truth and the Master is clearly a murderer. They need to escape or they’ll likely meet a deadly fate as well. This means they have two options to fight and to flee. What Fleecs does with this issue is fantastic. It’d be so easy to turn this final issue into a “Home Alone” like battle with the dogs tripping master or setting up obstacles so they can get away. Instead, Fleecs keeps it all grounded. They run and they fight. No tricks, only panicked attempts to escape. It also delivers a sadness to it all in the fact that they’re dogs. They’re boxed in by fast moving cars they don’t know what to do with and have to face a world they don’t know at all.

A lot of that emotion is delivered in the art by Trish Forstner with colors by Brad Simpson. Featuring layouts by Tone Rodriguez and Chris Burnham and work by flatter Lauren Perry, the art continues its amazing Don Bluth-like style. The look and colors creates a sweetness about the dogs it’s hard to not feel bad for them. Their fear and panic ooze off the page. There’s also an interesting bit of reserved quality about the finale. It’d be easy to have gone over the top in the blood and gore. Instead, what’s shown is minimal emphasizing the aspect just enough to make it clear where things stand.

Stray Dogs #5 is a solid ending to the series. It wraps things up nicely with an emotional rollercoaster that at times tugs at heartstrings. But, the issue doesn’t quite stand on its own. It feels like returning to a film “after the break” and in ways is a little unsatisfying as a stand alone issue. Yes, it’s part of a single story but it’s a single story broken up in issues and in this case the issue itself feels a little thin. But, it works so well as part of the whole. If you haven’t read the single issues, it’s a story that sticks the landing and will be a collection that’s well worth picking up when released.

Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner
Color: Brad Simpson Layouts: Tone Rodrigeuz, Chris Burnham Flatter: Lauren Perry
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Every Issue of Stray Dogs Heads Back to Print

Fans are piling on to the popular thriller/mystery Stray Dogs by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner and every issue of the series so far has now sold out at the distributor level. Image is rushing all four issues back to print in order to keep up with demand. All four of the reprints will feature clever new homage art by Forstner that give nod to the iconic horror movie posters of Midsommar, The Evil Dead, The Thing, and Psycho.

New readers and series devotees alike will also enjoy a FCBD edition of Stray Dogs available on August 14, at participating comic shops. It will feature a brand new prologue, “That Doggie in the Window”—the unnerving story of the very first dog to ever come to the Master’s house.

The Stray Dogs series is a five-issue Don Bluth-style suspense thriller that is best described as Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs.

In Stray Dogs, Sophie can’t remember what happened. She doesn’t know how she ended up in this house. She doesn’t recognize any of these other dogs. She knows something terrible happened, but she just…can’t…recall…WAIT! Where’s her lady?

Available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 7:

  • Stray Dogs #1, fourth printing – Diamond Code APR219537
  • Stray Dogs #2, third printing – Diamond Code APR219538
  • Stray Dogs #3, third printing – Diamond Code APR219539
  • Stray Dogs #4, third printing – Diamond Code APR219540

Stray Dogs #5 comes to shops on June 23.

Preview: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 10 Vol. 1

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 10 Vol. 1

(W) Jeremy Whitley, Mary Kenney (A) Andy Price, Trish Forstner (CA) Brenda Hickey
In Shops: Jun 02, 2021
SRP: $17.99

Season 10 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic begins here! Explore new worlds and go on new adventures with your favorite fillies in these graphic novels that continue the beloved animated series.

Twilight’s first act as ruler of Equestria is to recruit her friends to explore mysterious-and potentially dangerous-areas of the land. She sends Applejack, Zecora, Rockhoof, and Tempest to Zecora’s home country where they learn exciting, surprising information about her. But sometimes friendship can be hard work, and that’s what Zecora is discovering as she reunites with Marini, Dust Devil, Cactus Rose, Medley Brook, and Crystal. Plus, an adventure to find the home of the mysterious Grootslang! Collects issues #89-93 of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 10 Vol. 1

Stray Dogs #4 and Stray Dogs #1 Go Back to Print

Stray Dogs #4 by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner—which just landed in stores last week—as well as Stray Dogs #1, have sold out completely at the distributor level. Image will fast-track both issues for reprints in order to keep up with overwhelming demand for the much talked about series.

In Stray Dogs #4, time is running out. Hackles are raised, tensions are high, and nobody’s had a thing to eat. When the Master’s away, the dogs will drag everything awful into the light. And the awful truth is nobody’s coming to set them free. 

Available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 23:

  • Stray Dogs #5 Cover A – Diamond Code APR210337 
  • Stray Dogs #5 Cover B Horror movie homage variant – Diamond Code APR210338 
  • Stray Dogs #4, second printing – Diamond Code APR218875
  • Stray Dogs #1, third printing – Diamond Code APR218874

Preview: My Little Pony/Transformers: The Magic of Cybertron #2

My Little Pony/Transformers: The Magic of Cybertron #2

(W) Sam Maggs, Ian Flynn (A) Priscilla Tramontano, Trish Forstner (CA) Tony Fleecs
In Shops: May 26, 2021
SRP: $3.99

The Seekers and the Wonderbolts have formed an uneasy alliance-can Starscream and Rainbow Dash work together to stop the evil attacking Cybertron?! Plus, Applejack and Wildwheel come face-to-face in a wild, wild showdown for the ages!

My Little Pony/Transformers: The Magic of Cybertron #2

Review: Stray Dogs #4

Stray Dogs #4

The previous issue of Stray Dogs had me guessing as to whether “Master” was really a killer or the dogs’ memory made it seem that way. Stray Dogs #4 gives a pretty definitive answer as the house of horrors is revealed. I’m not sure how you can explain away what’s revealed.

In the previous issue, Victor tried to call for help and Earl ratted him out to Master. Victor was then taken out behind the shed where we were left with a “bang”. Stray Dogs #4 picks up on that as panic sets in and the dogs attempt to figure out what happened to Victor. The revelations are a spiral of gross and sickening as the issue just builds and builds until its final moment.

This is house of horrors level of crazy and it’s been impressive that writer Tony Fleecs has kept readers guessing up to this point. But, with all that’s shown in this issue, it’s hard to dismiss any of it. This is a level of crazy that just builds and builds with one horrible thing leading to the next in a series of shocking revelations. Fleecs masterfully builds it all up using the dogs’ reactions to drive home to escalation. He also brilliantly sows dissension among the dogs. Sophie and Rusty attempt to make their case with Earl not wanting to accept the truth.

And that’s part of the brilliance of the issue. We’re not quite sure what is the truth until this issue. You can understand Earl’s reluctance to accept reality. He’s been treated well from what he remembers. But as things build, the panic that sets in is felt and reverberates from the page. It’s everything that works for horror stories in a cute package.

That “package” is delivered through the art of Trish Forstner. With color by Brad Simpson, layouts by Tone Rodriguez, and flatter Lauren Perry, the art continues to be beautiful. The style is classic animation with the dogs being their adorable self. What’s amazing is that mix of tones with this “cute” art juxtaposed with the very horror driven plot. The revelations keep the style but add a sense of terror. The mix is interesting and works really well.

Stray Dogs #4 is a fantastic issue that lays the cards on the table. You find yourself yelling “get out of the house” much like you would a horror film. The build up of revelations is perfectly executed delivering a punch in that last page. This is the issue where the truth is clear and will make you want to see what happens next immediately.

Story: Tony Fleecs Art: Trish Forstner
Color: Brad Simpson Layouts: Tone Rodriguez Flatters: Lauren Perry
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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