Tag Archives: z2 comics

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.

Panels to Chords: Talking Instrumental with Creator Dave Chisholm

In this latest episode, Ben and Madi chat with the creator of the musical comic Instrumental, Dave Chisholm. He tells us about how the book came to be and how creating a concept album adds a new layer to the reading experience.

Instrumental is available from Z2 Comics and can be purchased at Amazon, local comic shops and bookstores.

The concept album is available at Bandcamp:

 

Get Metal with a Babymetal Graphic Novel

There’s no band in the world like Babymetal, the metal dance unit, whose hit songs like “KARATE,” “Gimme Chocolate,” and “Megitsune” have captured the imaginations of fans around the globe. This fall, Z2 Comics, Hollywood film/TV production company Amuse Group USA, and Babymetal’s producer Kobametal are collaborating on a brand new, original story for the graphic novel Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal, featuring art by award-winning illustrator GMB Chomichuk.

Formed in 2010, Babymetal is a metal dance unit made up of three performers, Su-Metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal. With their combination of powerful metal sound and dance performances, they are by far the most unique band out there. Since its inception, the Japanese metal dance unit has developed a devoted fan base that describes their concerts as both energetic and unforgettable. The band has received glowing praise from the industry’s top acts, including Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Guns N’ Roses’ Slash and Rob Zombie.

The book will be published by Z2 Comics, who has previously collaborated on acclaimed music-inspired graphic novels with the likes of rockstar Dan Auerbach, bluesman Robert Finley and the Music Maker Foundation, platinum selling DJ Paul Oakenfold and jazz musician Dave Chisholm.

The graphic novel based on the band, Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal will be on sale in comic book stores and bookstores in October 2018 and will retail for $24.99. Also, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Kinokuniya USA, and Japanese online market Asmart will each release a limited special cover edition of the graphic novel (pre-order dates for Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Kinokuniya USA are TBD).

Panel To Chords: Instrumental by Dave Chisoholm

NEW EPISODE OF PANELS TO CHORDS. This time, Ben and Maddi review Instrumental by Dave Chisoholm, a comic about a struggling trumpet player wanting to become the best musician he can, but he might inadvertently bring on the apocalypse in the process. Instrumental is a unique reading experience with a concept album by the writer/artist. What better way to talk about comics and music then a comic with original music to accompany it?

Dave Chisholm’s bandcamp for the concept album:

Review: UnPresidential

The pure spectacle of the presidential election has left America and the world stunned, that such a thing can happen. A person who beforehand was reality television star, becomes president and hopes people take him seriously.  It has made the world believe that anyone can become the most powerful person in the world, as any level of integrity is no longer a requisite but another bullet in the resume. This is why we have musicians like Kid Rock to pornstars looking to run for office, as there is no longer a type who can occupy a public servant title.

These very reasons is why the movie, The Interview, starring Randall Park, James Franco and Seth Rogen, seems more like reality than fiction, as here in America, we have a front row seat to how someone so absurd can lead a country. The way Park portrayed President Kim, as a man with a childish mind, still is one of the best portrayals of an oligarch the film world has ever seen. Since that film, just about every world leader has said something about North Korea, which is a wonder why popular culture has not tackled North Korea’s leader more. In Kevin Bieber and Victor ReynoldsUnPresidential, the creative team propose an alternative history where President Trump has disappeared and Kim Jung Un, decides to run for president of the united States.

In the opening pages, a town hall takes place where all the superPACs for the GOP have gathered, to figure out how they will select the next president, as the Trump has gone missing, and every Republican politician next in succession ids dead as all of them died on a Russian cruise. This by far not the craziest detail, Kim Jung Un appears at this town hall and props himself up as the next American president, as his strong family lineage and years of political experience, makes him the best option. What follows is basically what makes every great robbery crew movie montage, he puts together a bunch of unqualified people to be his cabinet. By book’s end, the most improbable and now, most possible thing happens, and he has no idea what he is doing or what is going to do.

Overall, probably one of the funniest political satire books I have ever picked up, as this creative team pulls no punches, and leaves no one in the political arena safe. The story by Kevin Bieber and Victor Reynolds goes for the jugular and will have the reader in stiches. The art by Jeremy Labib is in the style of George Plimpton, and serves this book well. Altogether, a crazy, funny, and ultimately enjoyable book that you will soon not forget.

Story: Kevin Bieber and Victor Reynolds Art: Jeremy Labib
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Kevin Bieber and Victor Reynolds Get UnPresidential

The President has gone missing, and America is holding a special election to replace him! But who has the charisma, sexiness, and compassion to lead the free world? Kim Jong Un, the fascist dictator of North Korea, of course! A hilarious satire of American culture, Un-Presidential focuses on the journey of the Un-likeliest candidate of all in his quest to save democracy!

We’re not even a full year into Trump’s reign and writers Kevin Beiber and Victor Reynolds have spoofed him, Kim Jong Un and our entire political system in UnPresidential. Publishing by Z2 Comics, the graphic novel pulls no punches and takes on… pretty much everything.

I got a chance to talk to Kevin and Victor about the comic and their fear of pissing off a certain dictator.

Graphic Policy: Where did the idea for UnPresidential come from?

Kevin Bieber: We looked at all of the serious issues and problems facing America today, and found the one thing that Americans really need most right now: A comic about Kim Jong Un running for President after Donald Trump has gone missing between tweets, the Republican line of succession is lost on a romantic Russian Cruise, and Hillary Clinton is stuck in Mexico after plastic surgery gone horribly wrong…

So in a nutshell, UnPresidential is our attempt to bring the far-right and far-left together through their mutual hate of our book. It’s the first common ground they’ve had in years, and I’m really proud to have played a part in it. If just one Trumper hugs an SJW tonight because they both hate us, we’ve done our job.

As for the industry itself, like everyone else, we got into independent comic books purely because we wanted to be rich. Is it working? You’ll have to ask my creditors, and my neighbors at the homeless shelter I’m currently breaking into.

GP: You easily could have done a book around President Trump, why go with Kim Jong Un?

Victor Reynolds: The answer is actually in your question: the reason we didn’t center our book around President Trump is because it would have been easy, and easy is never interesting. Simply put, we wanted to tell a no-holds barred story about the current state of American society, politics, and media, but needed a lens to capture that absurdity. After making sure that Disney didn’t own the rights to him, we thought that America’s biggest enemy, Kim Jong Un, was the perfect lens to highlight that absurdity.

GP: The satire of the graphic novel is pretty wide taking on pretty much everything. Was there any joke you felt went too far or something you didn’t think was appropriate to make?

KB: UnPresidential is Schrodinger’s Comic: too far and not far enough at the same time. UnPresidential goes after everyone and every possible agenda because, in our view, sacred cows are the most fun cows to slaughter. But other than Democrats, Republicans, white people, black people, Asians, straight people, gay people, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Bono, the military, men, women, and our elected officials, I can’t really think of anyone we’ve offended.

To answer your question about whether we’re hesitant: Not. At. All. We pride ourselves on satirizing everyone and every belief (including our own), and will not change that for anything (except money). To borrow the philosophy of our comedy idols from South Park: it’s either all okay, or none of it is.

GP: It feels like real world politics have itself turned into satire. Did that make things more difficult to write this?

VR: Absolutely. Like myself, UnPresidential was initially conceived at a KFC years ago before Trump even announced he was running for President (true story–the main reason we greenlit the book was because we loved the title). It’s gone through more re-writes and changes than almost every Kevin Spacey movie currently in production.

The fact that real world politics has itself turned into satire is a double edged sword. On one hand, it makes the satire in UnPresidential that much more on-point and topical. On the other hand, things change so rapidly that you can’t possibly keep up, which forced us to constantly re-write and update the book. On the whole, UnPresidential was by far the most difficult project we’ve encountered, but hopefully the amount of work and thought that went into it shows up to the readers.

GP: It’s believe that Kim Jong Un had Sony hacked because he was made fun of on film. Any fears or suspicious North Korean hacks yet?

KB: Nah, because North Korea doesn’t really attack creators; it only hacks the websites that interview the creators…

Seriously though, if we haven’t been hacked after printing the damn book in Korea, I don’t know what it will take. If this book actually gets on Kim Jong Un’s radar, something has gone horribly wrong… or right.

GP: We’re only about 10 months into President Trump’s reign and this is a sizeable book. How long did it take to work on?

VR: The final iteration of the book came together in about eight months. However, the actual concept of UnPresidential came about two years ago before Trump even ran for office–we wanted to create the most absurd election possible with the dumbest, least likely candidate ever and use that as a vehicle to poke fun at American society and the sad state it has become. We settled on Kim Jong Un in part because we LOVED the title UN-Presidential. But the project had no momentum after a year, until Trump was elected, which breathed new life into the project and its possibilities. Luckily, we found a great artist in Jeremy Labib (with amazing contributions by Jared Lamp, Aladdin Collar, and Matt and John Yuan), and a great distributor in Z2 Comics, which will allow UnPresidential to hopefully be taught in preschools someday.

GP: We’re at a point where reality is difficult to suss out from what’s fake. Is it more difficult to create in that environment?

KB: Yeah, and if there is a villain in this book (besides Kim Jong Un), it’s social media. I believe that Thomas Jefferson once said: “the world will end not with a bang, but with a tweet,” and I find that becoming more true by the day.

For all the substantial good that it’s capable of, I think the last few years have shown that social media is, in reality, Prometheus’s fire–it has basically created a cottage industry of abusive click-baiters whose only incentive is to spread misinformation and mobilize an angry society against itself. It’s no coincidence that Russia used targeted Facebook ads hoping to create dissension among Americans (maybe that’s #Fakenews though, who knows anymore?)

GP: The story takes place over a campaign. Have you ever been involved in one yourself? Volunteer at all?

KB: Oh geez, I worked on what was probably the most disorganized local election of all time. It was the Democratic candidate for County Judge, an administrative position despite its title (full disclosure: we consider ourselves neither Republicans or Democrats–we’re just a couple of far-center, radical moderates that have voted for candidates on both sides). I was a wide-eyed college kid hoping to do my civic duty and participate in democracy in action… and all I ended up doing was calling rich people and asking them for their money. Of course, we lost, and my desire to ever participate in another campaign was forever extinguished.

GP: What do you currently see as the silliest aspect of our current political reality?

VR: Two things: There is no longer any such thing as news–it’s all about hot takes, even with respect to issues that should not be partisan in the slightest. It’s Skip Bayless’s world, we’re just living in it.

Also, the influence of special interests keeps growing unchecked. In UnPresidential, we mock this when Kim Jong Un goes to “BribeCon 2017” and raises money by promising lobbyists that under his Presidency, corporations will no longer be people… they will be GODS!

GP: What else do you have on tap that folks can check out?

KB: My wallet thanks you for that question. We have quite a few books out, including a book about a geologist that fights inanimate rocks (called Man vs. Rock), a book about a woman who unknowingly starts the biggest cult in the world (called Cult Leaders Anonymous), and, believe it or not, an all-ages book about a space adventurer and her canine co-pilot (called You Can Sell Out, Too by Kevin Bieber and Victor Reynolds … or its other title, Furry Co-Pilots). Of course, if you’re interested in UnPresidential, you can order it now.

GP: Thanks for chatting!

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