Comics

Comic books and graphic novels

Fri
07
Aug

Two GI Bros Crash on Paradise Island During Monster Hunt in Ravage: Kill All Men #1

Ravage Kill All Men Redux 1

RAVAGE: KILL ALL MEN began as a Kickstarter campaign under the Cautionary Comics banner. It was loudly heralded and brought with it high expectations, due to the gravitas lent to the series by writer Chuck Dixon who joined Benjamin Henderson in crafting the story. The dynamic and sexy cover by Geebo Vigonte and Lorenzo Thellier D'Auzers also no doubt moved units to the success of the crowdfunding campaign.

Since then, the title has shifted its masthead to Fanatic Comics, and is getting a second "redux" printing through an Indiegogo, which is still in the offing.

So lets dig into this offering, both external and internal, and deliver the breakdowns.

Fri
31
Jul

Bill Willingham Reaffirms $10K Embezzlement Claims Against HMH's Stephanie Cooke

Stephanie Cooke Bill Willingham Embezzlement

In the hotly anticipated second installment of Bleeding Fool's exposure of the Women In Comics Facebook group, colloquially referred to as the "Whisper Network" came surprise allegations from FABLES creator Bill Willingham against Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Stephanie Cooke of embezzlement "in excess of ten thousand dollars."

The claim dates back to 2015 and references the period when Cooke was Willingham's assistant. Willingham reconfirmed that this is still an open case, hampered by the fact that Cooke had since moved back to Canada.

Thu
30
Jul

Engineward Posits a Post-Earth Civilization

Engineward #1 from Vault Comics

In the distant future, long after the humanity has fled planet Earth, people live in a desert environment threatened by gigantic reptilian monsters. Water is a precious commodity, rationed and dole out by an elite faction called Celestials, who live in excessive luxury and fashion themselves after the zodiac.

On this world, a team of archeologists has recovered an artifact from the days of arrival, a metal head found in the face of a mountain near the site of the rusted out shell of a crashed spaceship. The discovery is taken as a prize by the team leader, Ichabod, to a plucky young engineer -- called an engineward in this evolution of the English dialiect -- named Joss, who is excited about the relic and what it might teach them about early Earth -- or "Oert" as it has etmologically transformed.

Thu
23
Jul

Villainous a Mad Good Comic from Mad Cave

Villainous 1

Matilda Anderson is having the best day of her life: she's been accepted into the Coalition of Heroes' intern program as a sidekick under her new code name, RepTilly, due to her lizard-like physiology.

The Coalition of Heroes is a vast organization, and the super-powered people working for it get tasked to do jobs from the mundane to the extraordinary. When RepTilly gets assigned to the most high-profile hero of the team, Showdown, she's over the moon -- even when she finds her training program includes things like taking out the dry cleaning, dusting the office, and sending flowers to his many girlfriends. Whatever it takes, she'll do it to become a full-fledged superhero and do battle against the evil Shadow Order.

Tue
21
Jul

Chris Ryall Leaving IDW To Start New Publishing and Entertainment Venture

Chris Ryall

Focused On Developing New Voices Alongside Industry Veterans

Transitions To Advisory Role At IDW Publishing

Tue
21
Jul

Lobdell, Marques Pack Action into Dynamite Comics' Latest Green Hornet Launch

Green Hornet 2020 #1

The Green Hornet is possibly one of the earliest legacy heroes in comics, his grandfather having been the Lone Ranger. (Yes, I know The Phantom is older, but The Phantom is more of a mantle than a legacy.)

Britt Reid is a man of action, whether in his civilian identity as a crusading newspaper publisher, or at night when he's the wanted criminal, The Green Hornet. Yes, criminal -- he's wanted by the police. But that's a double-cover, because he establishes himself in that identity to infiltrate actual criminal gangs and take them down from the inside.

We're throwin right into the middle of the story with the opening shot, that includes a gorgeous 2-page splash across pages two and three. The plot pits the Green Hornet against the U.S. Army, for reasons that will be established as the story unfolds. And the story is a strange one indeed, because the Green Hornet is pretty much used to fighting thugs and mob bosses -- street level and corporate level evil.

Sun
19
Jul

Defused: Dynamite Cancels Crowdfunding Project After Pros Turn Nasty

Defused. Dynamite cancels Cecil, Delay

Dynamite Comics has an interesting side-model to their business of producing monthly comic books starring licensed properties like BETTIE PAGE, VAMPIRELLA, RED SONJA and others. They allow for creators in the industry to create unique covers for already published books, and then crowdfund the publishing of these books. It's a neat way for collectors to get limited edition artwork, and it gives Dynamite some extra mileage from work that's already been done and paid for.

Tue
14
Jul

New Bettie Page Series a Soporific Departure from Action and Adventure

Bettie Page 1 July 2020

If you've been following the various volumes of BETTIE PAGE adventures from Dynamite Comics, then you've enjoyed a continuing arc of a noir-like X FILES with the queen of cheesecake. Aliens, elder gods, and secret agents have been the engine behind the successful runs that placed the iconic model at the fore.

The new writer, Karla Pacheco, takes the character in a new direction. It has the potential to be just as exciting, with Bettie being part of a Tolkien knock-off film on a tropical island that's potentially cursed. Unfortunately, it's anything but exciting. Bettie is a demure and submissive woman, just excited to actually get to be in a real picture, and when she loses the role to a floozy, her response is to get lachrymose, but puts on a Pollyanna attitude that she's glad to just still be a part of things.

This is not the gutsy, daring, take charge Bettie to which we have become accustomed.

Sat
11
Jul

Mike Baron Reveals New Nexus Project to be Published Through Richard C. Meyer's Splatto Comics

Florida Man

Writing legend Mike Baron went on a livestream with Critical Blast to talk about his new crowdfunded graphic novel, FLORIDA MAN (see video below) when he broke the news that there will be a new NEXUS comic story coming out in 2021. And who he's publshing with may raise a few eyebrows.

"I will have a three-issue series out through Splatto Comics next year drawn by Kelsey Shannon," Baron said, talking of the work he continues to do with Nexus. "It's a three issue story arc, and it's some of the best Nexus writing I've ever done. Richard [Meyer] went crazy when he read the first script."

The announcement comes at around the 18:00 mark in the video below. Check it out and get the full scoop on Baron and Todd Mulrooney's FLORIDA MAN graphic novel.

Thu
09
Jul

Busted! Comics' Whisper Network of Female Creators Outed by Bleeding Fool Journalist

Bleeding Fool Busts Whisper Network

Bleeding Fool Writer Outs Secret Facebook Group of Comics Professionals from Inside

On July 8, the pop culture website Bleeding Fool broke the story that a group of comics professionals were colluding in a secret Facebook group (a level higher than 'private' which allows it to evade being found by search results) where they would target and mock male peers within the industry.

Sun
05
Jul

Duel Identity Assumes Readers Know Where They Are

Duel Identity 1

Every comic book is someone's first comic book.

That's been a truism handed down from the founding fathers of the industry. You can tell the writers who adhere to it. You can pick up one of their books, no matter the issue number, and within moments you are pulled into the story with a comfort level where you don't feel like a stranger, and where you can enjoy learning the things you still don't know. Those are the writers who leave behind lasting books, and thankful fan bases.

Elaine Lee is not one of those writers.

Fri
03
Jul

American Mythology's Starring Sonya Devereaux a Comic Series That's Actually Fun!

Starring Sonya Devereaux - Spider-Shark vs Snake-Bear

When I saw STARRING SONYA DEVERAUX: SPIDER-SHARK VS. SNAKE-BEAR on the shelves at my local comics shop, I didn't even register the title or even the publisher. My eye was instantly drawn to the excellently done homage to the classic HOUSE OF SECRETS #92 (featuring not only the first Swamp Thing story, but also a portrait of comic book creative legend Louise Simonson on the cover). Only after it had already leapt into my hands did I notice any of the ancillary information.

Fri
26
Jun

Green Lantern 80th Anniversary Shines, But Dimly

Green Lantern 80th Anniversary

The GREEN LANTERN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTULAR is yet another prestige-bound release this month celebrating eight decades of a DC Comics brand. But whereas the anniversary issues for Catwoman and Joker focused on a single character, with stories viewed through the lens of some of the particular eras, this release is different. Because there is no single Green Lantern, but there are in fact a few thousand plus.

That's where this issue disappoints, because almost every story takes a different Green Lantern as a focus, turning this collection into something less "spectacular" and more into something that could have been just about any issue of TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS. That disappointment is compounded when you see the stories doing things like trying to retrofit the Golden Age Green Lantern's sexuality, or deliver yet another tired retread of the "people in red baseball caps are racist terrorists" trope.

Wed
24
Jun

Fear Leads to Codes for Survival in Comics Industry

CCA Pledge overlay image

It was a year of turmoil for comics professionals. Livelihoods were on the lines as those who worked in the industry began to see their peers picked off right and left, as the field of comics was being laid waste by the scythe of a force that had found it ripe for harvest. There were rules, arbitrary and unwritten, that had been broken, and the piper had come with the invoice, stamped "Past Due." In a rush of adrenalin-fueled panic, those still standing cobbled together a promissory note, a token to the aggrieved that they would change their behavior, codified for the world to see.

If you think this is a summary of the events of 1954 that led to the Comics Code Authority, it would be understandable. But it's 2020, and the professionals in comics are circling the wagons to protect themselves from threats internal, not external.

Tue
23
Jun

Creators Cut Loose with Solo Joker Tales for 80th Anniversary

Joker 80th Anniversary

Few villains have had the impact on literature as have the tricksters. Loki. Anansi. Joker. There's a magnetism that draws the reader into their story whenever they are involved.

Batman's arch-nemesis celebrates 80 years of crime and carnage this year, and to commemorate the event DC has released the JOKER 80TH ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR, with handsome card stock, variant covers, and some of the best talent the industry has to offer. The issue includes some of the more iconic covers of DC Comics stories that spotlighted the character, as well as some gorgeous pinups, interspersed among the stories, the likes of which haven't been given to The Joker since the Martin H. Greenberg anthology, THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE JOKER.

Sat
13
Jun

When Sequential Art Stories Eschew Both Sequence and Story: Legion of Super-Heroes #6

Legion of Super-Heroes 6 2020

The Legion of Super-Heroes. A group of teens with powers, one thousand years in the future, inspired by the legend of Superman and brought together to show teamwork and unity among the citizens of different planets. Over the years, I've been there for the classics. The death and resurrection of Lightning Lad. The sacrifice of Ferro Lad. Reflecto. The Great Darkness. The Cockrum era. The Grell issues.

You might say I'm a bit of a fan.

Fri
12
Jun

Shallow Hell: Death-Defying Devil #5 Wraps Longest Lunch Ever

Death-Defying Devil 5

The Devil has gone to Hell...and taken his readers with him.

The fifth and final issue of Dynamite's DEATH-DEFYING DEVIL pits the masked hero against the ultimate evil -- The Devil. But the father of lies has slipped a little over the eons, having fallen over the edge of the abyss into a bottomless pit of banality as he gets into a street brawl with Bart Hill, the Death-Defying Devil. Or, in this case, the Devil-Defying Devil, which someone must have thought was a cute idea.

Let's recap the last year of issues succinctly: Bart Hill awakes in a strange house populated by a handful of random people who talk his ear off and serve food. The street gang outside that harasses them constantly are actually demons, sons of Lucifer, and he wants a soul.

Where is this house? Who are these people? Why are they there? How did Bart get there? For that matter, does good triumph over evil, and see the righteous rescued from the clutches of the demonic hordes?

Thu
11
Jun

Has Everyone Figured Out the Bad Guy is The Joker...Again?

Batman 92

Batman is having a very long night. With Catwoman finally having filled him in on how The Designer met with the four major villains in Gotham and helped them work out their most nefarious plans, Batman went on to fight Deathstroke while Catwoman and Harley Quinn battled their way through a squad of zombied police officers (and we still don't know how these zombies operate or how The Designer sees/speaks through them; it's just comic book magic).

Having gained nothing from his fight with Deathstroke, Batman now finds himself challenged -- and I used the term loosely -- by The Riddler, who walls off the city (a feat that would challenge even the Wayne fortunes) into a crossword puzzle grid. Batman has to solve the clues for each block, and wrong answers will trigger bombs. And to make sure Batman doesn't cheat, he blocks off all electronic transmissions to Batman's cowl.

Tue
09
Jun

Red Rooster a Comic Worth Crowing About

Red Rooster #1

The comic book chase of 2020 isn't the search for BATMAN #92 or HELL ARISEN #3. Rather, it's the Quest for Allegiance, the upstart comic book company that bypassed the direct market and instead brokered a landmark distribution deal with the corporate juggernaut, Wal-mart. Mitch Breitweiser and his team have released four comic book series -- NORAH'S SAGA, BASS REEVES, THE FUTURISTS, and RED ROOSTER -- to the ubiquitous retail chain, complete with its own endcap display to highlight the item.

But it wasn't the smoothest launch. Not every Wal-mart put the books out, and since the books weren't typically displayed with the rest of the books and magazines, they were difficult to find in the store if that store had them in the first place. They were frequently in the toy department, and we have one report of them having been found in the electronics section.

Sun
07
Jun

Catwoman 80th Anniversary: Not Purr-fect, but Better Than Expected

Catwoman 80th Annivesary 100 Page Super Spectacular Adam Hughes cover

2020 sees a number of 80th anniversaries for major -- if not titular -- characters within the DC Universe, and if these 100-Page Super Spectacular releases are even moderately successfuly, we should start seeing the release of 85th anniversary issues in 2024-25.

What's interesting about getting to do this with Catwoman is that she has, of almost all the longstanding DC characters, gone through the most changes in her published life. She's gone back and forth over the line of hero and villain on more than one occasion. In the 80s she had become an ally to Batman until the Joker drove her insane and made her a villain again. Then she was given a reboot with Frank Miller's BATMAN: YEAR ONE, and a tragic backstory with Mindy Newell's miniseries that eventually launched Selina Kyle into her own iconic, long-running series with Jo Duffy and Jim Balent.

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