Tag: Image

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    Redneck #2: Death and Destruction Have Come To Sulphur Springs

    In Redneck #1, Donny Cates introduced us to the Bowmans, a clutch of vampires that survives on the outskirts of a small Texas town called Sulfur Springs and who own the local barbecue joint. So far, they’ve avoided scrutiny by drinking blood collected from the cattle they slaughter for the restaurant.

    Feedin’ People, Instead Of On People

    Redneck #2 cover
    Cates wastes no time dancing around introductions. By the sixth page, we’ve met most of the Bowman clan. There’s Bartlett, previously human, JV, the patriarch, Seamus, Slap, and Greg, the boys, Perry, the youngest, and Granpa.

    We meet the Landrys later, the only other family in Sulfur Springs who recognize the Bowmans for what they are. A generations-long feud has been simmering, each side waiting for the other to make a move.

    The three brothers head to town against JV’s orders to blow off steam at a local gentleman’s club. Bartlett follows to make sure they don’t get into too much trouble. By the time he catches up, all hell’s about to break loose. Bartlett finds the boys in an alley, about to face off with a group of Father Landry’s kin.

    In the very next scene, Bartlett’s passed out on the front porch of the Bowman homestead covered in blood. He has no recollection of the previous night’s events. Slap is swinging by his neck from a branch, engulfed in flame. The family’s livestock has been slaughtered and left in the sun to rot.

    The Sun’s Setting Soon

    Redneck #2 opens with the Bowmans caring for their dead and contemplating the next move. Traditionally, when a vampire is killed, their brood would ride on the town, “facts and reason be damned. For fear of not killing the right one, (they) would just kill everyone.”

    Shots have been fired. As the sun begins to set, JV has to figure out quickly what he and his family can do to survive. He is a pacifist, but now his wife and son have both been buried. A war is coming to his doorstep, whether he likes it or not.

    This second chapter is absolutely as brilliant as the first. Donny Cates is solidly establishing himself as a heavy hitter in horror comics. Lisandro Estherren’s art sells Cates’ gritty story beautifully. In an exclusive interview with TFAW last month, Cates told us “Lisandro draws ugly things really pretty. That kind of blend of hideous and beautiful, mean and emotional was just perfect for this book.”

    Redneck #1 sold out on its first day of release, so make sure you pick up the second printing that’s hitting comic shops on May 24th.

    Don’t miss out on the opportunity to grab the first printing of Redneck #2. Pre-order your copy today!

    Redneck #2, Skybound/Image Comics, releases May 24, 2017, rated 16+, written by Donny Cates, Art by Lisandro Estherren, color by Dee Cunniffe, $3.99

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    Nick Fury Is Back — No Not That Nick Fury

    This week, for New Comic Book Day, we’re bringing you the rebirth of Lana Lang, a brand new spy thriller, and the start of a bizarre adventure. As always, this is only a small batch of the many great comics that came out this week.

    Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Superman #9
    By: Kate Perkins, Stephen Segovia, Billy Tan

    Superwoman #9 presents a turning point for both the comic and Lana Lang as a whole. Superwoman #9 is a tie-in to the brand new Superman: Reborn – Aftermath event.

    The book revolves around Lana Lang coping with the loss of her powers. When she is at her lowest, her childhood friend Superman is there to give her a pep talk. It’s heartwarming in that classic Superman sort of way.

    Kate Perkins takes over the writing duties in Superwoman #9. She has no problem capturing the voice of the characters, especially Lana and Clark. Stephen Segovia, as usual, kills it on art duties.

    Superwoman #9 is a great time to jump into the book if you’ve yet to check out this series. The comic brings readers up to speed while planting the seeds for some future plots. These plots not only involve Lana Lang but also Superman. [Josh P at TFAW.com]


    Nick Fury #1
    By: James Robinson, Aco, Huge Petrus, Rachelle Rosenberg

    James Robinson wrote a perfect psycidellic love letter to Jim Strinko’s run on Nick Fury – Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 70’s. This color popping spy thriller is what a Nick Fury comic should be. Ever since the First Look preview first hit, I’ve been waiting for the final comic. I was not dissapointed.

    ACO, Huge Petrus and Rachelle Rosenberg come together to create a beautiful comic. The art screams late 60’s spy thriller, and I loved every panel. The gorgeous panel layouts reminded me of the fantastic J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman – Elegy series. While I had issues following one double-spread panel, on the whole the action was easy to follow.

    If you’re looking for a solid series that is unaffected by the rest of the ever-changing rosters in the Marvel Universe, this comic is it. Nick Fury #1 is my top pick for this week’s new comics and is one book you should pick up. [Martin M at TFAW.com]


    Plastic #1
    By: Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard, Andrew Robinson

    One of the taglines that Image Comics is using to promote the new Plastic series is a quote by Robert Kirkman, the author behind The Walking Dead, which states “This is the weirdest @%#* I’ve ever read. I love it!” After reading Plastic #1, I can safely say that Mr. Kirkman was 100 percent right in his assessment.

    There is no backstory to Plastic #1. The comic doesn’t ease you into the weirdness of its story – it dumps you right in and either you sink or you swim. However, because it’s weird doesn’t mean it’s bad. Writer Doug Wagner presents an engaging tale with some unexpected twists and turns. We’re going to keep this review brief on purpose, as the best thing you can do with Plastic #1 is go in blind. Trust us when we say you’ll want to experience the story with a fresh set of eyes.

    This comic isn’t going to be for everyone, but everyone should give at least the first issue a try. This is one of those comics that you need to experience for yourself before making any sort of judgment call on it. Definitely, give it a shot and go in with an open mind, and you may just find your new favorite series. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Captain America’s lies continue

    NCBD 2/22/17

    This week’s NCBD reviews include Greg Rucka’s new series, Captain America’s lies, and Serenity. As always theses are only a few books that came out this week. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Captain America Steve Rogers #12
    By: Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Javier Pina, Paul Renaud

    Man, do I need to go back and re-read these past 12 issues. THere is a lot coming out of this. Like the cover says Taskmaster knows Steve’s secret, and he wants to cash in with S.H.I.E.L.D.

    This series has been pretty controversial, and it’s easy to see why. But man, is it a compelling story. If you haven’t been reading Nick Spenser’s Captain America: Steve Rogers because of that HUGE drop in the first issue, I can tell you that this will be a story arc told for ages!

    My favorite part of this issue was reading Steve’s memories during WWII. It really puts a spin on what we’ve known and what he believes happened. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    The Old Guard #1
    By: Greg Rucka, Leandro Ferndez

    A brand new series of Greg Rucka, The Old Guard tells the tale of a small team of men and women who cannot die. Set in our time they seem to be coping in their own way. In this issue, our protagonist is Andy, a hard-headed leader who ok’s a mission to save school girls who were kidnapped. Of course, this is issue 1, and things are never so simple.

    In a world of technology, it will be hard for Andy and her team to keep their secret hidden.

    Greg Rucka again pulls out all the stops for this new series. He proves again why he is on my top 5 writers list. In this short time with these characters, I’ve already grown attached to them and can’t wait to see where this goes.

    Leandro Frenández does a fantastic design job with fading panels to emanate lighting, and even how Andy’s axe is stored, it’s the only panel but it looks so cool. Daniela Miwa’s colors fit it so well. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this series! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse #5
    By: Chris Roberson, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Wes Dzioba, Dan Dos Santos

    River and Iris are being held captive by Operative Kalista, who is ready to turn them back into Agents of the Alliance. This reader doesn’t reckon that Mal will take to kindly to losing these girls once again to who knows where. I’m sure Mal has a plan, it ain’t likely to be a good one but it will likely get the job done – messy like. Check out Issue #5 of No Power in the ‘Verse. [Angela G. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Justice League #12 goes deeper into Justice League vs Suicide Squad

    Let’s get crazy with Moon Knight, bite off more than we can chew with Nailbiter, and learn some new things in Justice League this week. As always these are only a few choice highlights from this weeks new releases. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Justice League #12
    By: Tim Seeley, Christian Duce, Tony S. Daniel

    As a tie-in to Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Justice League #12 gives us a view inside the motivations of the event’s villain, Maxwell Lord. Captured by Amanda Waller, Max is under interrogation the entire issue. But is he really the one being interrogated? This book cuts between the present interrogation, and various scenes of Max’s career.

    Tim Seeley continues to be one of the best go-to writers DC has. His understanding and treatment of characters always honors their past but pushes them into the future. Christian Duce’s art is wonderful; to the point that I’m surprised I haven’t seen his work on a more consistent basis.

    Tie-ins can feel like less of a whole story sometimes. This team, however, brings a stand-alone issue that actually enhances the whole event. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Nailbiter #28
    By: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson, Adam Guzowski

    28 issues and still going strong. With the last issue leaving off with Alice coming home to her mom being attacked. She snaps into action saving her. But for how long? Someone is planting bombs under Buckaroo Oregon, but I think this may just be a distraction. It seems this person may want the whole Nailbiter family instead.

    Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson have been at this from the beginning. Mike’s dynamic art really pops with Adam Guzowski’s colors on this issue, especially when it comes to the explosions.

    If you’ve missed out on this series at the beginning. It’s worth the catch-up. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    Moon Knight #10
    By: Jeff Lemire, Wilfredo Torres, Greg Smallwood, Jordie Bellaire

    Death and Birth starts now! Though this is issue #10 this is a great jumping on point. The team of Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire do an amazing job of pulling you into Marc Spector’s insane life. A new glimpse of his history, a splash of his present predicament, and a proper push to more adventure take place in this issue.

    Take your time with this issue. There are little treats for the eye in almost every panel. In addition, Lemire captures your emotional spectrum once again. With brilliant storytelling, pacing, colors and panel layout, you will not be disappointed! Just when you thought it was over…MOON KNIGHT takes off! [Sean W. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Black Friday Deals and Doorbusters

    Our Black Friday Sale is going strong, with over 700 products selling out in the past few days! This is our best sale of the year, so be sure to shop now for the best selection.

    Starting 11/25 at 6:00AM (PST), our 60% discount increases to a 70% discount on remaining items + we’ll be adding the doorbuster deals listed below.

    Quantities are extremely limited. TFAW uses a live inventory, meaning items are not reserved until you complete your order. Items may sell out if another user completes their order first. Savings may differ at Things From Another World retail stores.

    Join us for Black Friday here online at TFAW.com!

    Get amazing deals right from the comfort of your own home! Save 70% off thousands of items during our Black Friday Sale starting (6AM PST) November 25th.


    Doorbusters starting at $4.99!

    Witcher Volume 1: House of Glass TPB
    Retail Price: $17.99
    Doorbuster: $7.99
    World of The Witcher HC
    Retail Price: $39.99
    Doorbuster: $9.99
    Witcher 3 Figure: Geralt
    Retail Price: $29.99
    Doorbuster: $14.99
    Witcher 3 Figure: Triss
    Retail Price: $29.99
    Doorbuster: $14.99

    Paper Girls TPB Vol. 1
    Retail Price: $9.99
    Doorbuster: $4.99
    Doctor Strange: The Oath HC (LCSD 2016 Exclusive)
    Retail Price: $39.99
    Doorbuster: $29.99
    Legend of Zelda GN Vol. 1 Ocarina Time
    Retail Price: $17.99
    Doorbuster: $9.99

    Doctor Who Travels In Time Coloring Book
    Retail Price: $14.99
    Doorbuster: $9.99
    Flash An Adult Coloring Book TPB
    Retail Price: $15.99
    Doorbuster: $4.99
    Faber-Castell Triangular Colored EcoPencils – 24 CT
    Retail Price: $6.99
    Doorbuster: $3.99

    March GN Book 1
    Retail Price: $14.95
    Doorbuster: $7.99
    Incal HC New Printing
    Retail Price: $44.95
    Doorbuster: $29.99
    Over The Garden Wall TPB Miniseries
    Retail Price: $19.99
    Doorbuster: $9.99

    Star Munchkin Deluxe Edition
    Retail Price: $29.99
    Doorbuster: $17.99
    Supergirl TV 6″ Action Figure
    Retail Price: $28.99
    Doorbuster: $14.99
    Action Base Mini (2 pack)
    Retail Price: $5.99
    Doorbuster: $2.99

    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Captain Marvel PVC Figure
    Retail Price: $45.00
    Doorbuster: $19.99
    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Spider-Gwen PVC Figure
    Retail Price: $45.00
    Doorbuster: $19.99
    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Catwoman Noir Vinyl Figure
    Retail Price: $29.99
    Doorbuster: $14.99
    SDCC 2016 Exclusive Dark Knight Returns Bank
    Retail Price: $19.99
    Doorbuster: $5.99

    Limited quantities available on doorbusters so log in early.

    Get your Black Friday savings (6AM PST) November 25th through November 27th!


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    Local Comic Shop Day at Oregon TFAW Stores

    LCSD Lying Cat Statue givaway

    Things From Another World is excited to be taking part in the second annual Local Comic Shop Day (LCSD) on Saturday November 19th, and we’re doing what no other comic shop is doing: giving away three Limited Edition Saga Lying Cat Statues!

    We’re Not Lying!

    We will be giving away one of the Local Comic Shop Day Exclusive Lying Cat Statues from the hit series, Saga! Only 300 of these were made, and each one of our Portland/Metro stores is giving one away.

    Local Comic Shop Day Exclusive Lying Cat Statue

    So how can you get one?

    Just come to one of our Portland Area stores anytime during business hours (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.) on Local Comic Shop Day, Saturday, November 19th. Each store will draw a winner from applicable entries and will announce the winner via the store’s email newsletter on November 21.


    No purchase required, but feel free to check out thousands of other amazing products in our store, including other Local Comic Shop Day exclusive items like the Exclusive Hardcover of Doctor Strange: The Oath from Saga writer Brian K. Vaughn, Neal Adams’ Champions #1 cover, and the highly sought after Moonshine #1 (Frank Miller Variant Cover). All of these are limited in quantities so make sure you stop by early!

    LCSD Variants

    Local Comic Shop Day is all about showing support for the comic shops in your area, but we wanted to go a step further and show our gratitude to the many great customers that make each of our Things From Another World comic shops such a special place.

    So come on down November 19th for your chance to win this limited and exclusive statue!

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    Between the Occult and the Detective

    Between the Occult and the Detective

    There are two comic themes that when combined can make for enthralling reading — detectives/private eyes and magic. This coupling of sleuthing and the supernatural (including religion, the occult, sorcery and more) is pervasive in comics and the noir characteristics just heighten the thrills.

    hellblazerAnd no one fits that bill better than the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Created originally in Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing in 1985, it wasn’t until 1988 when Hellblazer #1 hit the stands. Ever since, John has been working his magic in comics, on film in the Constantine movie, and in the short-lived and underrated Constantine television show. He’s  also part of pop culture in general (the Supernatural TV series borrows heavily from John Constantine for Castiel’s character).

    With 30-plus years of this character’s history, it can be daunting to know where to start. A good entry point is a graphic novel. Surprisingly, it’s not the  first volume — John Constantine, Hellblazer: Original Sins, but the fifth volume: Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits. Written by longtime Hellblazer writer Garth Ennis, this volume actually inspired parts of the 2005 Constantine movie.

    The story is pretty simple — John’s dying. All those cigarettes have caused an advanced terminal lung cancer. Knowing that his soul is damned and Hell is ready for him, John moves to cure his disease and save himself. What happens after he sets down this course is truly amazing.

    Another must read Hellblazer arc was created by celebrated crime novelist, Ian Rankin, for Vertigo’s crime imprint called Dark Entries in 2009. This was the first Original Graphic Novel (also called an OGN), meaning it was never released as single issues. The plot involves John trying to figure out why a house on a reality TV program is haunted. Of course, he can’t stop production, so he joins the series and starts to unravel the mystery.

    One of the big draws is the inclusion of religion within the series. It’s not just focused on Christianity. Voodoo magic is used regularly not only by Constantine, but his frenemy Papa Midnight. Although Catholicism is most prominent, the series never ignores the idea of other religions in the world.

    Look Overseas for Great Horror Comics

    Hellblazer isn’t the only series to blend magic and religion. Around the same time, Italian writer Tiziano Sclavi was introducing the world to Dylan Dog. A self-proclaimed Nightmare Investigator, Dylan, unlike John Constantine, was likeable. By 2011, Dylan Dog reached 300 issues, but only a handful made it to the United States.

    Dylan’s occult interactions mainly revolve around the classic monsters like vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Although, demons have crossed paths with him a few times.

    Many were first introduced to this character in the Dylan Dog Case Files from Dark Horse Comics. This graphic novel featured selected stories that were translated and released just prior to the Dylan Dog: Dead of Night film that starred Brandon Routh. The Dylan Dog Case Files is a great compilation of stories from the Italian series, but up until September 2016 it was the only source of Dylan Dog stories available in the U.S. Now, new stories are starting to come out from Epicenter Comics. Reportedly, there will also be reprints of past stories.

    How to Steal a Ghost

    ghostedAnother series that blends crime and the occult is Joshua Williamson’s Ghosted. Williamson is currently heading up The Flash series in DC’s Rebirth, and it’s been great.

    Ghosted, published by Image Comics, is further evidence that Williamson is the real deal. The series follows one of the world’s greatest thieves as he’s pulled into the world of the occult. He’s broken out of prison and offered the chance to steal something no one else has — a ghost.

    Think equal parts Ocean’s 11 and The Shining. Things are never as they seem, and our hero has to rely on more than his wits to get out of this situation. Pulling together a team of experts to help him steal this ghost, he assembles a psychic, an occult historian, a tech guy to record the ghost, and a skeptic. Overall, if you want to add a little heist into your horror, Ghosted is for you.

    Don’t Fear, The Slayer is Here

    buffyWho could really forget about the hit television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Buffy hunts vampires, but her adventures go WAY further than that including her best friend going into full-witch mode on her!

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is Buffy Summers, the chosen one in a long line of young women destined to battle evil forces. She becomes “The Slayer” giving her increased physical strength, endurance, agility, accelerated healing, intuition, and a limited degree of clairvoyance. Buffy receives guidance from her Watcher, Giles, whose job is to train and assist the Slayers. Then it gets more complicated.

    But when the TV show ended, the fun didn’t. After the official comic book continuation of the series in Buffy Season 8, 9, and 10, we’re poised to jump into Buffy Season 11 in November 2016. Unencumbered by network television show budgets, this comic has gone to some great heights in recent years.

    The World’s Greatest Paranormal Investigator

    hellboyHellboy is one of the longest running, most widely celebrated horror series. With hundreds of issues and dozens of spinoffs, Mike Mignola has done something really amazing with this series by creating a new universe.

    Aside from DC and Marvel, there really aren’t a lot of big universes in comics, especially ones that walk that horror/mystery line so well. Hellboy or the “Mignola-verse” is a rich tapestry that features a variety of complex characters set a world that draws on centuries of folk-tales, yarns, and fables.

    Hellboy remains one of the few series that begs you to re-read the stories regularly. It’s great for curling up with during inclement weather or when you find yourself with an extended weekend.

    There are plenty of other occult and horror comics that split their genre with detective and noir storytelling. What are some of your favorites? Let us know below.

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    Review: Chew #50

    chew #50 coverChew #50’s wraparound cover leaves no subtlety as to what’s about to take place. At last, we’ve arrived at the denouement to the series-long conflict between Tony Chu and the Collector, giving our protagonist the chance to avenge his sister’s death. In order to be a match for the Collector, whose accumulated powers have made him practically invincible, Tony has picked up a performance-enhancer of his own: he has feasted on the flesh of Poyo and absorbed the rooster’s unfettered badassery, a transubstantiation that turns him into an efficient vehicle of vengeance.

    It’s unlikely any fan of the series wasn’t upset by Poyo’s abrupt demise in issue #45. However, even if unnecessary on a logistical level (Couldn’t they have just sent Poyo in to take out the Collector?), it’s nonetheless vital on a thematic one. No one but Tony can face the Collector, and, as his departed twin sister affirms during their psychic encounter, this is the only way Tony can defeat him. Fortunately, Layman and Guillory make it a point to pay tribute to the Poyo throughout the issue, giving a sense of his presence that even the most rankled reader should find satisfying.

    The final showdown unfolds in a fairly straightforward and ultimately satisfying fashion. However, I was troubled by the ominous epilogue, which comes out of nowhere to leave things on a needlessly sour note. Then again, Layman and Guillory have a knack for uniting seemingly loose ends later on, so who knows—maybe by issue #60, it’ll seem more fitting.

    Chew #50, written and lettering by John Layman, art by Rob Guillory. Published July 2015.

    Review by James Florence.

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    SDCC 2012 Update: Preview Night Coverage

    SDCC 2012 Video Coverage

    Preview Night of San Diego Comic-Con 2012 debuted tonight, and we’ve got some exclusive video coverage just for you! Get a tour of the new TFAW booth #5625, visit the new AMC’s Walking Dead display, and see the new Dark Horse Comics booth, the Marvel and DC booths, and much, much more!

    Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! Our SDCC videos are complete and uncut, so watch at your own risk!

    SDCC 2012 Preview Night


    We’ve made it simple to share this video on Facebook and other social media outlets with the social networking buttons near the title. If you wouldn’t mind doing us a solid and sharing this video with your friends, we’d be eternally grateful. What should we cover next at San Diego Comic-Con? Post your picks below and we’ll see what we can do!

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    Walking Dead TV Show Debuts on Halloween

    AMC LogoClose your windows, lock your doors and clear your schedules. Come this Halloween, you’ll have more to fear than trick-or-treaters. AMC has announced that its newest original series, The Walking Dead, will premiere on Halloween night, Sunday, October 31 at 10PM | 9C. The Sunday night series will debut with a 90-minute premiere episode. Subsequent episodes will be hour-long presentations.

    If that isn’t enough to whet your undead appetites, perhaps footage from the series will: the official four-and-a-half-minute trailer, first screened at Comic-Con, is now available here online in full-screen HD:


    All the hair on my arms stood up when I first saw this footage down at San Diego. I’m so excited for this show! So, what do you think? Impressed? Excited? Let us know below.

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    Laptop Theft Creates Difficulties for Underground Team!

    Sadly, Steve Lieber reports that he and his wife were burgled, leaving them without computers at home, nor with the free time in the coming days to focus on the promotion of Underground, his upcoming title with Jeff Parker! You can learn more about the burglary, and what promises to be an awesome new series, right here.

    And be sure to check out our sneak preview of Underground. We were lucky enough to read the first issue and can tell you firsthand, it’s great. Check it out for yourself!

    Our support goes out to Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber, and we encourage you to help get the word out. If you know anything about these burglaries, please report the matter to the police.

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    John Layman and Rob Guillory Dish on CHEW

    Chew #1 Cover ImageTony Chu is one hell of a detective. As long as he doesn’t mind nibbling on a corpse or two…

    You see, Tony’s Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. He knows things about the food he eats that no one should know.

    He knows what pesticides were used on that apple he ate this morning. He also knows which tree it was picked from, what pesticides were used on the crop, and when it was harvested.

    That’s the premise behind CHEW, the new comic book series by John Layman (Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness, House of M: Fantastic Four, Xena, Puffed) and Rob Guillory.

    It’s a dirty job, and Tony has to eat terrible things in the name of justice. We had the chance to chat with Layman and Guillory about the FDA ban on poultry, cops, cooks, cannibals, and clairvoyants. Here’s how it went down:

    TFAW.com: The idea of a cop that eats murder victims to solve crimes is really intriguing, where were you and what were you doing/eating when inspiration hit you?

    John Layman: You know, I have no idea what the genesis for this book was. I know it was an idea I’d had for a very long time, one that I’d been talking about for years.

    I think I had to step away from comics for a while to make this happen. I’d been doing a lot of licensed work-for-hire stuff, and not a lot of it was really satisfying, beyond it paying bills. I took a full-time job in video games, writing the Champions Online MMO video game.

    I knew I didn’t want to leave comics, but being able to step away showed me how unsatisfying doing non-creator-owned work was. And I knew when I came back, it had to be with something really close to my heart. So I took this idea I’d been thinking about for a very long time, and start, polishing, polishing, polishing it, until it became CHEW.

    TFAW.com: It sounds like we meet Tony Chu well after he found out that he’s got this ability. Was it hard deciding where to start and which questions to leave unanswered?

    JL: The first issue tells the story about how Tony leaves the police force and joins the FDA, which, after the bird flu hits and the government institutes a Poultry Prohibition, is the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet. It seems like a good starting point. If this was a sports story, it would be the equivalent of the protagonist leaving a Triple-A team to join the Big Leagues.

    TFAW.com: Poultry’s been outlawed?

    JL: This was originally a reaction to life in a post 9/11 world. If the bombing of a building by terrorists could have such far-reaching societal impact, I wondered what would happen if the Bird Flu we periodically hear about in the news would happen, and how governments would react–and perhaps overreact.

    Oddly, as I write this, the world is gripped with worry over a swine flu. Today I read that Egypt is slaughtering 35,000 pigs in hopes to stem the spread of this virus . . . and suddenly the high-concept of a post-bird flu Poultry Prohibition seems considerably less ridiculous or unbelievable.

    TFAW.com: I know it’s early, but has the original idea or art changed very much since you’ve moved on from the concept stage?

    JL: It’s grown more than changed. I have a big storyline planned, and a definite ending that’s anywhere from 25 to 50 issues away. CHEW is intended to be an ongoing with a finite ending, like a Transmet or a Preacher. As I’ve gotten to know the characters and fleshed out the universe, I’ve figured out what the overall story is about, and how it’s going to end. That is, what was once just a high concept (“cannibal cop”) has evolved into a deep and rich tapestry of story.

    Tony Chu and Mason SavoyRG: On the art side of things, I experimented a bit with a couple of different looks early on, but settled on what comes best for me. It’s just a really quirky, nuanced animated look with a bit of an edge, I guess.

    TFAW.com: What’s up with the big guy on the second cover? He looks pretty badass. Is he also a Cibopath?

    JL: He is indeed. That is Mason Savoy, one of, if not THE, series’ absolute scene-stealer. When Tony Chu joins the FDA, Mason is both a partner and mentor. Savoy is a little more accepting of his abilities than Tony, and a lot of the first story arc is about Savoy trying to get Tony to be, if not accepting, at least less resistant to the idea of using his powers.

    Rob Guillory: Savoy’s a personal fave of mine. Just a really imposing, kinda scary guy with a really prissy disposition.

    TFAW.com: Who are some of the other characters we’ll meet along the way?

    JL: Most of the supporting cast will be introduced during the first story arc, issues #1-5, “Taster’s Choice,” with the exception of a mysterious third Cibopath who will be introduced in the second arc. My personal favorite of the supporting cast is Mike Applebee, Tony Chu’s new boss at the FDA, who intensely hates Tony for no good reason and makes Tony’s life an absolute living hell. He is a blast to write, and all the scenes with him and Tony are real high points for me whenever they occur.

    The other major supporting character is Amelia Mintz, the love interest. Like Tony, she has a weird power. She is a Sabocrivner, a food critic able to write about food so accurate you get the sensation of taste when you read her reviews. She pretty down on the culinary world when we meet her, so she writes reviews of the city’s worst restaurants, so when we first meet her, she’s given about half the city food poisoning.

    Chew Supporting Characters
    TFAW.com: All of the preview images of the supporting characters look amazing. How’d you come up with these crazy-looking characters?

    RG: Well, Tony was pretty straightforward since he’s based on actor Ken Leung, so I just went with a slightly geeky little guy who has the ability to have a bit of an edge of sarcasm and heroism from time to time. For Savoy, John used Orson Welles as a reference point, so I just took a bit of his look, blew his physical proportions up ridiculously and made him really proper and well-dressed. I’m pretty proud of the monocle in hindsight, actually.

    Really, my mission here is to make every issue a huge cornucopia (food pun!) of really quirky, iconic characters. Every character has its own story to me, regardless of whether John has anything in mind or not. I just want each and every one to be fun and interesting. I draw upon favorite actors, musicians, or just people I see on the street and dial them up to 11 in a way that I either find interesting or funny. It’s a blast.
    Chew Supporting Characters
    TFAW.com: John, we already know you can write for Zombies, Deadites and Marvel’s First Family, but has CHEW challenged you to change your style a bit?

    JL: If anything, stylistically, it’s the closest to IDW’s Scarface: Scarred for Life miniseries that I wrote. I think that’s the book where I finally let loose and got 100% comfortable with a really rollicking, anything-goes, very confident narrative style. There was something about that book that really clicked for me as a writer, and even though it was not a book that sold very well, I think it was a turning point of me as a writer.

    TFAW.com: How did you guys meet?

    JL: I’d been looking for an artist for a while, reaching out to friends, reaching on to online message boards. I hit paydirt through Brandon Jerwa, who’d been working with Rob on a Tokyopop pitch. Some of the stuff on Rob’s website was EXACTLY what I was looking for, and we talked, and I gave Rob the scripts, and it was just a good match all around.

    TFAW.com: Rob, your art is awesome. It looks like you have the perfect style for the story. How’d you get the gig? Do you typically ink your own pencils?

    Tony Chu before and afterRG: Yeah, I was just minding my business, and this craziness totally landed in my lap [laughs]. I was actually packing up for San Diego Comic Con last year, and John emailed me outta the blue. I was already familiar with some of his work (Puffed is a personal fave), so I was immediately interested. Then he told me what it was, and after an initial “What the?” reaction, I realized what John had lightning in a bottle here. And reading the first script on the plane ride over really sealed the deal for me. We met the next day, and that’s history.

    I handle all art on CHEW, all design, breakdowns, pencils, inks, and colors. For me, I visualize the entire image, so I don’t consider the work complete until all those aspects are put in. I’ve always done all the work myself. I’m pretty anal, so I couldn’t imagine letting anyone else touch my art.

    TFAW.com: What’s your favorite aspect of CHEW?

    JL: Perhaps the idea of a cop that gets psychic impressions from what he eats sounds limiting, but the way CHEW is set up–and this will become evident as the book progresses–the book has almost limitless potential for different types of stories. Even the first five issues are radically different from one another, and as a writer I really enjoy the freedom it gives me.

    RG: Well, there’s a lot that I love about this book. First, there’s a level of originality to it that’s just refreshing. There is not another book like CHEW, and I think that’s a huge accomplishment in this era of constant creative recycling. It’s different. It’s fun. It’s quirky, and it’s really, really good.

    Secondly, I totally agree with John. There’s SO much variety and richness within this story. Every issue takes the reader somewhere else and expands its world just a little bit more. And as an artist, that’s HUGE, because that means that I’m constantly being challenged to stretch myself in a new direction. It’s very liberating.

    TFAW.com: What do you say to the person who hears the word cannibalism and bails before they find out other things about the story and characters?

    JL: I curse at them.

    RG: They’re nuts. They have no idea what’s in store here. There’s WAY more than meets the eye to this book, and I think that’s gonna become more apparent as the story progresses.

    TFAW.com: The more I see or read about CHEW, the more excited I am. Any other morsels we haven’t covered?

    JL: I think you covered everything, though I want to thank anybody in advance who picks the book up for giving something different in today’s market a chance, and assure you Rob and I are doing everything we can to make sure CHEW is completely unique and entertaining and worth every penny you spend on it. Thanks!

    RG: Ditto. It’s very cool that so many folks have been very vocal about supporting the book, and I don’t think they’ll be disappointed by any stretch. It’s a fun ride.

    We want to thank John and Rob for taking time out of their busy schedules to chat with us. CHEW begins next month and the first two issues are available for pre-order right now. Still don’t know if this book is for you? Check out our CHEW #1 First Look and try before you buy. Be sure to check out our blog next month for a review of the first issue!

    What do you think? Are you as excited about this book as I am? Already got your pre-order in? Let us know below!

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