Tag Archives: z2 comics

SDCC 2019: Poppy to Perform a Free Concert

As pop culture’s finest creators descend upon San Diego for San Diego Comic Con, Z2 Comics has announced a free concert by the musical enigma Poppy. Poppy will be performing to celebrate the release of her first-ever graphic novel Genesis 1The concert is scheduled for Thursday, July 18that 7:00PM at The Quartyard (1301 Market Street). Fans interested in attending can sign up for free tickets. There is also a bundle that includes a ticket as well as a special pin created specifically for the event available for a small donation

Genesis 1 is written by Poppy, Titanic Sinclair and Ryan Cady and drawn by Masa Minoura and Ian McGinty and tells the elusive origin story of Poppy. The story of the graphic novel is as much of a mystery as the icon Poppy herself is. Is she a girl? Is she a machine? Is she humanity’s redemption, or its damnation? Don’t be scared — either way, she is Poppy… and you love Poppy. The original graphic novel is bundled with an exclusive brand-new album and can be purchased via Amazon.

Genesis 1

Z2 Comics and Yungblud Presents The Twisted Tales of the Ritalin Club

Z2 Comics is expanding its music-affiliated graphic novels with a new original concept with Yungblud. Yungblud presents The Twisted Tales Of The Ritalin Club slated for release in October. The graphic novel will come with an exclusive EP of new music created by Yungblud specifically for the graphic novel.

The deluxe edition, limited to 1000 copies, comes autographed and contains three exclusive prints. The deluxe edition is now available for pre-order. The standard edition is also available in the United States via Amazon and in the United Kingdom at Amazon UK.

The story of Yungblud Presents The Twisted Tales Of The Ritalin Club was created by Yungblud and Ryan O’Sullivan and follows pupils attending Blackheart’s Boarding School. All students must be punctual, masked, and heavily medicated. The displaying of superpowers is strictly forbidden. Any pupils encountering Yungblud or any member of his so-called “Ritalin Club” are to seek a teacher immediately. Failure to comply with any of the above rules will result in execution. The graphic novel will be drawn and inked by a collection of some of the brightest talents in the comic world today.

Z2 Comics has found success with a string of graphic novel partnerships with musicians and artists such as BabyMetal, Andy Black, Skillet, and Grateful Dead.

The Grateful Dead Partners with Z2 Comics for Grateful Dead Origins in 2020

With the recent success of partnerships with BabyMetal, Andy Black and Skillet, Z2 Comics continues to solidify their place as the premier creator of music-affiliated graphic novels. The company has entered in to their largest partnership to date creating a graphic novel for the iconic Grateful Dead.

Grateful Dead Origins takes an in depth and personal look at the formation of one of the most important American rock bands of all time, exploring the early days of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart. The story of the band’s transformation from a bar band performing as the Warlocks to becoming the creators of their own sound and forefathers for the jamband culture is depicted in the original story written by Chris Miskiewicz and illustrated by Noah Van Sciver. The graphic novel will be scheduled for release in early 2020.

Grateful Dead Origins will be available in a standard edition and a limited run collectors deluxe edition. The standard edition will come in a softcover version that will feature an exclusive download of Grateful Dead music from their early years to serve as a companion to the graphic novel. The limited run collector’s deluxe edition will come in a hardcover, oversized, individually-numbered coffee table edition featuring prints and autographed by the comic creators. It will also come with a selection of unreleased Grateful Dead music from the era on vinyl. Pre-orders are now available for all configurations of Grateful Dead Origins.

C2E2 2019: Interview with Writer Ryan Cady

On Sunday at C2E2, I had the opportunity to talk with writer Ryan Cady about his work on the Image/Top Cow sci-fi series Infinite Dark with artist Andrea Mutti as well as his upcoming Z2 graphic novel, Genesis 1 about Internet music star Poppy that he is co-writing with Poppy and Titanic Sinclair. Previously, Cady has done work for Marvel (Old Man Logan), DC (New Talent Showcase), Lion Forge (Rolled and Told), and Archie (Big Moose) as well as co-writing the Magdalena relaunch for Top Cow with Tini Howard.

Graphic Policy: You were a part of the DC Talent Development Workshop. How did that impact your work on Infinite Dark?

Ryan Cady: I developed Infinite Dark before the workshop and started scripting halfway through the workshop. When I started Infinite Dark, it was much more isolated story, and Scott Snyder, in the workshop, was good about getting us to examine higher stakes. From the beginning, Infinite Dark was going to be an end of the universe/last people on Earth story.

The initial pitch was more inward, character focused and weird Grant Morrison-y stuff. Not that’s a bad thing. I love that stuff and could do it well. After working with Scott and the DC projects in the class and focusing on the balance between character and action, I really decided to start ramping things up. And, obviously, something like [the workshop] makes you a better writer. It’s 10 weeks of doing scripts, getting them reviewed by not just Scott Snyder, but a bunch of really talented peers and examining your own work really critically. It forces you to think “What do I suck at? How do I need to get better?”

GP: From the first page of Infinite Dark, it’s all about staring into the abyss. How do you get into the zone to write about characters who gaze into literal nothingness?

RC: When I was really developing Infinite Dark in earnest, I was in the midst of a really bad depression. I kind of had the basic ideas there, but when I sat down to write the project, I was really miserable. At that point, it felt like a bleak work. (This was before the DC Workshop.)

When it came time to script, I focused a lot on staring into [nothingness] and overcoming it and survival as a virtue. In the script, I tried to tiptoe between those two. About how coming out of this I feel stronger and what it means to survive the worst year of your life versus diving back into those feelings a little bit if I wanna get grim. Sometimes, to write the darkest parts of the book, I have to dive back into those bad, weird feelings because it’s my first creator owned story.

GP: Infinite Dark has a big monster in the book called the Entity that I really enjoyed. What was your inspiration for them?

RC: In the very original pitch for the book, the Entity was something that claims to be God. I’m not an atheist, but I really thought the “No, fuck you, God” idea would be a cool take. God, in the original pitch, was like “I seem like a monster, but it’s because I need to create a new universe, and you guys are getting in the way.” [The protagonist] Deva was going to shoot God. That was the very Grant Morrison part of it. God was going to be like “I made you guys. You’re the best thing I ever made, but I’m making a new thing.” And Deva was gonna be like “No, you made us to survive.” and shoot God.

That was early days. It’s changed a lot since then. The initial idea was always the shadows. A thing you can’t understand, not even a Lovecraftian thing from beyond, but something that doesn’t interact with physics like we do.

GP: My favorite character in Infinite Dark was Smith, the A.I. I love him so much. In a lot of these kind of sci-fi stories, the A.I. is always evil. Why did you decide to make Smith more of a humanist and an ally to humanity?

RC: Thank you for that reading. I’m always antsy if it’s going to make it in or not. I play with [the humanism] a lot in the next volume without spoiling anything. Because that’s such a trope, I believe we as people are always like “The next thing is going to usurp us.” It’s tied into the whole killing God thing. This thing we made is going to hate us for a reason, maybe, because we think we’re putting our worst selves in it.

But my whole thing with Smith is that I don’t know if I believe in that trope. [Some] people (Granted a lot of people who work in tech and in Silicon Valley are awful and scary technocrats.) make stuff earnestly with the idea you would make a life with the idea of “This is designed to love all the good things about humanity.” Smith’s creators are like “We believe in all these things.” I wanted to emphasize that and double play on “The A.I. is so evil.”, but not at all.

My favorite thing that I’ve written for the whole series is Smith’s speech in issue 3. I’m glad people liked it, and it landed. When I wrote this, I turned to my girlfriend and said, “I never say this, but I’m really proud of what I wrote here.” This is great, but the rest of the issue sucks.

GP: Yeah, that speech is awesome. Lots of text, but it’s definitely one of things I’ll remember about Infinite Dark.

So, the antagonists of Infinite Dark are the technolinguists. How did you come up with this cool, sci-fi concept?

RC: The idea came up because I’m not good with computers. Also, it makes sense if you’re setting a story fifty years from now to extrapolate what we have. Infinite Dark takes place 10,000 years from now so computing is going to be something that’s so fundamentally different. There’s the idea of people who can interact with this future’s version of code on an informational language level. Linguistically, they interact with computers.

I made them bad guys because really early on, there was a notion that the Entity could interact with them because the techno-language they speak is similar to the fundamental building blocks of reality. You know that theory that the universe is just a VR simulation? In Infinite Dark, they have simulations they go into sometimes, and we wanted to play with that. If we end up having more issues then these eight, I might go into that even deeper.

GP: Yeah, I Googled “technolinguists”, and I guess they’re not a thing yet.

RC: They’re antagonists, but they might not be bad guys.

GP: Your book’s definitely in a moral grey area.

RC: I like to play with that when I can. Except Smith. He’s just good.

GP: Could you tease the upcoming arc of Infinite Dark?

RC: The next volume of four issues starts in April, and without spoiling anything if you haven’t read the first volume, weeks have passed in issue five. But it’s not gonna feel like “Bam, bam, things are happening again.” It’s a lot of aftermath and cleanup stuff. But, also, oops, an act of saving everybody doesn’t necessarily save everybody. There’s still so many things that can go horribly wrong.

It’s very character conflict focused. All these people have survived the end of the universe twice, and yet, that alone is not enough to have them cooperate and get along because we have such fundamentally different ideas about what it means to do the right thing. How do these people faced with impossible choices, who have survived so much, reconcile that? I talk a lot philosophically in the book about survival being a virtue, but this arc is about what the next “good is. If we survive, how do we move past that.

GP: Like the whole “survive and thrive” Pinterest board idea.

RC: Yeah, we’ve reached “survive” on our Pinterest board. How do we “thrive” without it becoming worse or inequality or dooming ourselves again?

GP: I had a couple questions about the Poppy graphic novel Genesis 1. With these musician graphic novel projects, I’m really curious about how much input Poppy had on the graphic novel and what that collaborative process was like. She has all those YouTube followers.

RC: I’ve never met Poppy because she’s a robot, probably. I’m sure she’s very nice and only has our best interests at heart. And her church is not a cult. I’ve been given absolute freedom, and I speak in total earnestness. This is 100% me and mine. I’m nobody’s mouthpiece. This is my version of her story, and I believe it 100% and am not part of a cult.

GP: A lot of Poppy’s ideas are about how she’s beyond humanity and is very post-human. Why is her origin story being told in an older medium like comics?

RC: Even though it’s an older medium, comics is still really dynamic. It’s not limited to what you can get across on one side in a YouTube video. It’s not limited by time. I talked to an editor who brilliantly said, “In comics more than any medium, you can do a good job of controlling the flow of time.”

Also, there’s a weird element of apocrypha to it. Is this Poppy’s origin story? It’s this comic, and we play on this in the story. If this is really Poppy’s gospel and her origin, why would it be in this graphic novel? Why would it be told in this way, and how would that be obtained? Is the story true? Is the story stolen? It’s about to get too religious in here. We’re playing a lot with a sense of time and futurism, and how that blends with the occult and weird hacker people.

Infinite Dark #5 is set to be released on April 10, 2019 from Image/Top Cow Comics. Genesis One will be released in summer 2019 from Z2 Comics.

Follow Ryan Cady on Twitter.

Z2 Comics Partners with Skillet for Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel

Coming on the heels of Apocrypha: The Legend Of BabyMetal and the upcoming The Ghost Of Ohio graphic novel, Z2 Comics has announced their next title is a collaborative partnership with multi-platinum, GRAMMY-nominated rockers Skillet. Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel is based on an original story idea created by Skillet frontman John Cooper alongside the creative team of Z2 Comics: Josh Frankel and Sridhar Reddy. Writers Alex Paknadel and Dan Watters of Random Shock Studios are writing the comic with Cooper. Artist Chris Hunt created the cover and will be working on the pages of the comic scheduled for release late Summer 2019.

The story of Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel follows the two main characters of John and Korey (based on the real life Coopers). To save their family and town they must uncover the mystery of what lies behind the dreams of a prophecy that threaten to consume them. They set out on a quest that will take them through the barren wastelands and gleaming cities of a near-future Tennessee. Bandmates Seth Morrison and Jen Ledger are also focal characters in the story about survival, determination and strength of personal beliefs. Fans can pre-order the standard edition of Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel. A deluxe edition of Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel, available for $99.99 and limited to 1000 copies, is autographed by John Cooper and comes in a large, coffee table bound edition with four exclusive prints.

Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel

Around the Tubes

Batman #63

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots on tap for you. That’s after a weekend of getting 2019 in order for us! What geeky things did you all do? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Publisher’s Weekly – Z2 Comics Finds Niche in Graphic Novels and Music – Yes, yes they have.

The Beat – Emil Ferris wins the Fauve D’Or for My Favorite Thing is Monsters – Very well deserved.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics – Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood adapted to comics by Emi Gennis – This sounds awesome and free comics!

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics – Young Adult Fantasy Monsters that Comes from the Heart in Monster Pulse – Free comics!

Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman #63
Black Girl Nerds –
Oliver #1
The Beat –
Sovereign Traces Vol. 1
Talking Comics –
Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

Poppy Announces First Ever Graphic Novel, Genesis 1. Out July 2019.

Today, Poppy announced her first ever graphic novel, Genesis 1 which will be available this July. Written by Poppy, Titanic Sinclair, and Ryan Cady and drawn by Masa Minoura and Ian McGinty, Genesis 1 tells the elusive origin story of Poppy.

I am Poppy. I am Poppy. I am Poppy. I am Poppy. I am Poppy. I am Poppy.

Is she a girl? Is she a machine? Is she humanity’s redemption, or its damnation? Don’t be scared — either way, she is Poppy… and you love Poppy. Witness the genesis of the internet phenomenon in this original graphic novel, bundled with an exclusive brand new album.

500 copies of the limited deluxe edition of Genesis 1 will be available for pre-sale on Z2 Comicswebsite. This deluxe edition will include an oversized 9×15 Slip Cased Hard Cover, a free print and vinyl signed by Poppy.

Genesis 1
Poppy Genesis 1 slipcase

Z2 Comics’ Tales of the Music Makers Will Feature Two New Harvey Pekar Comics

On February 12, 2019, Z2 Comics will release Tales of the Music Makers, an original graphic novel that showcases the stories of Southern musicians — including the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Taj Mahal and the Como Mamas — and explores the origins and mission of the Music Maker Relief Foundation — a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern music gain recognition and meet their day-to-day needs. The Tales of the Music Makers features a downloadable soundtrack, with music recorded by the Music Maker Foundation; an extensive black and white photography archive spanning Music Maker’s 25 years; stories written and drawn by Gary Dumm; and two never-before-published stories written by Harvey Pekar, the legendary creator of American Splendor and a jazz and blues aficionado. Tales of the Music Makers will be released by Z2 Comics as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the non profit organization, and all profits from the book will go to the creators and The Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Tales of the Music Makers tells the stories of:

  • Music Maker Foundation’s guiding light, blues great Guitar Gabriel, AKA “Razorblade.”
  • Cora Mae Bryant, daughter of Georgia guitar legend Curley Weaver and friend of the great Blind Willie McTell.
  • Piedmont-style fingerpicking guitar legend Etta Baker.
  • Louisiana soul singer and Dan Auerbach collaborator Robert Finley.
  • GRAMMY-winner, Blues Hall of Famer, and Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winner Taj Mahal, who explains why he sits on the Music Maker advisory board.
  • Mississippi gospel trio and Daptone Records group Como Mamas.
  • Rhythm & blues and jazz pianist and vocalist and World War II veteran and former member of the Ink Spots Eddie Tigner, who still plays regularly in Atlanta.
  • Adolphus Bell, known as the One-Man Blues Band.
  • Willa Mae Buckner, a performer known as the snake lady who performed in an all-black tent show, stripping, singing bawdy songs, swallowing swords, and handling snakes.

The book notably includes two stories that Harvey Pekar wrote in 2003. They will be the first Pekar-written stories to be published since December 2010 when Marvel Comics published the last story he wrote, “Harvey Pekar Meets the Thing”, following the writer’s death earlier that year.

Music Maker founder, Tim Duffy explains how Pekar became involved in the project, following a conversation two decades ago.

I got a call from Harvey in 1998 because he was writing a story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about a tour we were on with Music Maker artists called the Winston Blues Revival. The interview went great and when the tour hit Cleveland I got to meet Harvey, we hung out and went to the Cleveland Art Museum and became good friends. Soon after, I asked him if he would write a comic for Music Maker since I had long been a fan. Harvey was a huge music head and loved Music Maker’s mission and would often clue me in on obscure musicians that he knew. His basement was full of tens of thousands of records and CDs – he loved music. Harvey was a huge fan of the underdog and the working class so creating the comics for Music Maker made a perfect sense to him. In a single page Harvey could capture the essence and complexity of these musician’s lives and he understood them because he loved the working class and was working class himself. To me, Harvey was the absolute greatest of underground comic storytellers of his generation – for his last comics to be about Music Maker artists Preston Fulp and Willa Mae Buckner still blows my mind to this day.

This publication of Tales of the Music Makers marks Music Maker Relief Foundation’s second collaboration with Z2 Comics.  

The Tales of the Music Makers Soundtrack is included with the graphic novel, as a download, featuring:

1.     Alabama Slim and Little Freddie King – The Mighty Flood

2.     Adolphus Bell – Child Support Blues

3.     Algia Mae Hinton – When You Kill the Chicken, Save Me The Head

4.     Ben Payton – Singing About My Baby

5.     George Higgs – Blues Is Here To Stay

6.     Captain Luke – Old Black Buck

7.     The Como Mamas – Thank Him Enough

8.     Cool John Ferguson – Low Country Blues

9.     Cootie Stark – Jigroo

10.  Cora Mae Bryant – What Shall I Do

11.  Dave McGrew – Just Another Rainbow

12.  Dr. Burt – Girl, You The One For Me

13.  Drink Small and Cootie Stark – Come Out of the Wilderness

14.  Essie Mae Brooks – I Got So Much To Talk About

15.  Guitar Gabriel – Mississippi Farm

Music Maker’s 25th anniversary will also see release of the book Blue Muse Timothy Duffy’s Southern Photographs (February 25 / UNC Press in conjunction with the New Orleans Museum of Art) and the compilation CD ‘Blue Muse’ February 1.

The Music Maker Relief Foundation provides resources to elderly, southern musicians living in poverty and keeps southern, musical culture alive by recording albums, arranging concerts and museum exhibitions, and publishing books. Music Maker presents these musical traditions to the world so American culture will flourish and be preserved for future generations.

The graphic novel is available for pre-order now.

Tales of the Music Makers

Rock Out to a Preview of Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal, the Anticipated Graphic Novel

This week sees the release of one the most anticipated graphic novels of the year, Apocrypha: The Legend of BabymetalTo celebrate the book’s release, Amuse Group USA and Z2 Comics are releasing a preview of the book, which features the art of GMB Chomichuk and explores the unknown mythology of the band. The graphic novel is the first venture into the publishing world for Babymetal, whose hit songs like “Distortion,” “KARATE,” and “Gimme Chocolate!!,” have captured the imaginations around the world. 

In Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal, a mission from the Fox God – an entity frequently highlighted in Babymetal’s music and performances – takes three reincarnating protagonists on a time-traveling journey. The book can be ordered online; the standard edition of the book will be in comic book stores and bookstores on October 30, 2018 and retail for $24.99.

Amuse Group USA and Z2 Comics also announced today that, in response to high demand in Japan, Z2 has prepared a Japanese translation guide for Apocrypha. The guide, which directly translates the book line-by-line from English to Japanese, will be available via an exclusive link using a code found in the book. A definitive Japanese edition has not yet been determined.

NYCC 2018: Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal Rocks Out With a Limited Deluxe Edition

There’s no band in the world like Babymetal, whose hit songs like “Distortion,” “KARATE,” and “Gimme Chocolate!!,” have captured the imaginations of fans around the globe. This fall, Babymetal will venture into the publishing world with the original graphic novel Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal, which explores the unknown mythology of the band. In advance of New York Comic Con, Amuse Group USA and Z2 Comics are announcing a Deluxe Edition of the eagerly anticipated graphic novel, which will be released in a collectible 10×16 Clamshell Box, include 3 original prints, and will be signed and sketched by illustrator GMB Chomichuk. Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal Deluxe Edition is limited to 500 copies and will retail for $199.99, with shipping available worldwide, and will be available exclusively at the Z2 Comics website.

In the story, a mission from the Fox God– an entity frequently highlighted in Babymetal’s music and performances – takes three reincarnating protagonists on a time-traveling journey from prehistoric Kyoto to modern day New York City. The standard edition of the book will be in comic book stores and bookstores on October 30, 2018 and retail for $24.99.

Until now, the publication of Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal has largely been shrouded in secrecy, but that will begin to change at New York Comic Con. On Thursday, October 4th, GMB Chomichuk will appear at an Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal panel, where he will detail the development and creation of the graphic novel. The panel will be held at the Main Stage of Anime Fest at NYCC from 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM. Z2 Comics will also be selling 3 limited edition Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal posters at Anime Fest booth #5319 and NYCC booth #1255.

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