Category: Preview

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    Redneck Puts an East Texas Spin on Vampire Mythos

    Vampires have come a long way since John Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819. Popular culture has since seen creepy vampires, sexy vampires, and even high school teen angst-y vampires (in both buff and sparkly categories). In Redneck #1, Donny Cates takes the standard set of vampire mythos and applies them to a redneck family in East Texas.

    Redneck #1
    Redneck #1

    The Bowmans run the local BBQ in a small East Texas town called Sulphur Springs. Secretly a clutch of vampires, the family survives on cow’s blood and mostly keeps to themselves. Father Landry and his brood are the only other family in Sulphur Springs that suspects the Bowmans’ true nature.

    Bad Blood Tends to Beget Bad Blood

    The Landrys and Bowmans have literally been at each other’s throats for generations. It’s been pretty quiet for a spell, but the tension is building. A couple of drunk kids out on the town is about all it would take to start an all out war.

    “It’s a story about a family’s quest to turn themselves into more than the monsters they’ve always been. To find a little peace in a world that hates them,” says Cates of his new series in an exclusive interview with TFAW. “It ain’t gonna be easy. And it’s sure as hell gonna be bloody. But it might just be the best time you’ve ever had reading a book about vampires!”

    Image Comics is seeing the payoff after going to the well again with Cates. He smashed it with God Country and is riding that success into another promising series. Fans of God Country, Harrow County, vampire lore, and horror comics will definitely want to get in on this series.


    Redneck #1, Image Comics, Release Date April 19, 2017, Written by Donny Cates, Art by Lisandro Estherren and Dee Cunniffe, Letters by Joe Sabino, $3.99

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    Show Your Skills in TFAW’s BAIT Contest

    Chuck Palahniuk's BAIT Coloring Contest

    BAIT Contest at TFAW.comNew York Times bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk collaborated with incredible comic book artists to create BAIT: Off-Color Stories for You to Color, a coloring book unlike any that you’ve ever seen.

    Palahniuk invites readers to collaborate on this unprecedented hardcover edition: “Maybe between your colors, the artists’ designs, and my stories we can create something that endures. Something worth keeping. Let’s create a well-bound book that can sit on any shelf and be available for a new generation to discover and enjoy.”

    To celebrate the release of this ambitious book, we’ve partnered with Palahniuk for a special BAIT Coloring Contest that runs through December 12, 2016.

    We want you to take some time to unplug, express your creativity, and share your talents with the world. Visit our contest page to view contest details and learn how to enter.

    Extraordinary Prizes Await BAIT Contest Winners

    • Third Place Prize (Six Winners): Fight Club 2 Poster signed by Chuck Palahniuk.
    • Second Place (Ten Winners): Severed arm collectible signed by Chuck Palahniuk.
    • First Place (Three Winners): One of the following (to be determined at random)
      • Fight Club Signed Collector’s Edition HC
      • Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread Signed Collector’s Edition HC
      • Survivor Signed Collector’s Edition HC
    Severed Arm Collectible
    Fight Club 2 Poster
    Signed Collector’s Edition Hardcovers

    These are some amazing prizes, and the folks at TFAW are really jealous of the folks who will end up winning the contest. You all rock, and we can’t wait to see your art!

    Bonus for People Who Purchase BAIT at

    Hand-signed BAIT Bookplates will be included with copies of BAIT for a limited timeYou don’t need to win the contest to get something signed by Chuck Palahniuk! For a limited time while supplies last, we will be including special gilded bookplates that are handsigned by Palahniuk! Order your copy of BAIT as soon as possible to increase the chances that you’ll get one of these special copies.


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    Walking in a Winter Wasteland with Frostbite #1

    frostbite #1 review

    frostbite #1 coverThe year is…well, it’s unclear what year it is. All we’re told is it’s been more than half a century since the Earth’s temperature dropped, leaving once-balmy regions like Los Angeles steeped in sub-zero conditions. Welcome to the world of Frostbite, the new Vertigo comic book series from Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Nailbiter, Birthright) and Jason Shawn Alexander (Empty Zone, The Secret).

    To survive amid the severe change of climate, most people have congregated in large cities, resulting in over-crowding, rampant crime…you know, the standard state of affairs in dystopian urbania. What’s more, the chilly conditions have brought about a new disease known as “frostbite,” an apparently contagious ailment that causes the infected to freeze from the inside out.

    Frostbite #1 Preview at TFAW.comFollowing an ominous introduction, we are introduced to a small team of transporters (smugglers?), headed by the female protagonist, Keaton. Readying for their next long haul, the group is approached by a pair of doctors, father and daughter, who are seeking transport from L.A. to Alcatraz Island. The pair’s quality attire makes Keaton question why they’d want to hitch a ride with a hauler rig, but she ultimately agrees. Her suspicions are substantiated when the team is suddenly attacked by a unit of assassins, under orders from the sinister and mysterious crime boss known simply as “Fuego.”

    The artwork culminates in a stunning minimalism that nicely fits the simple, yet stark reality the story is set within.

    Turns out these doctors have something Fuego wants, and are willing to kill to obtain it. Now, without supplies or means of transportation, Keaton and her team must find a way to get their precious human cargo to Alcatraz before Fuego catches up with them.

    Frostbite #1 Preview at TFAW.comIn both concept and execution, this book rides the current zeitgeist of female-fronted dystopian sci-fi. Every element here feels familiar, like someone combined the best elements of Mad Max: Fury Road, Judge Dredd, and Snowpiercer.

    As intriguing as the story itself is, where this book really shines is in the artwork. Artist Jason Shawn Alexander’s scratchy, shadowy inking is great to look at, especially when he zooms in on a character’s face and amps up the detail. Even better is the watercolor work by Luis NCT, which relies on a spare color spectrum (basically blue, orange, red, and brown), and every few pages features a really cool ink spatter effect. Altogether, the artwork culminates in a stunning minimalism that nicely fits the simple, yet stark reality the story is set within.

    Frostbite #1 Preview at TFAW.comI look forward to seeing what the creative team does with the premise going forward.

    Frostbite #1, Vertigo Comics, Released Sept 28, 2016, Written by Joshua Williamson, Art by Jason Shawn Alexander, Colors by Luis NCT, Letters by Steve Wands.

    Review by James Florence.

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    Review: The Fix #5 — Best of Partners? No.

    The Fix #5

    the fix #5When a beautiful teenage actress is killed by two masked hoodlums, it’s up to Cheryl, uh, Lieutenant Cheryl Harrison and Detective Roy Garney to figure out what’s going on and who committed this high-profile crime. Except they don’t get along. I mean, they really don’t get along. Like cats-and-dogs don’t get along. And Harrison being part of the hated Internal Affairs certainly isn’t helping things progress smoothly.

    But there are depths to the case that make it quite complicated, not the least is that “The Kid”, 28yo Mayor Kendall Kincaid, son of beloved former Mayor Henry Kincaid, who is possibly implicated in the crime. Certainly Roy has a relationship with the “vic” that makes things a bit awkward. And there’s Josh, who is busy meditating and doing yoga when he’s not torturing people to keep them in line.

    It’s all madness in this dark, slacker vision of Los Angeles, with detective Roy suggesting to the mayor after a tough video game session that he “swat” a particularly hated young rival, just to have the mayor really send out a SWAT team to intimidate the boy. And when a suspect surfaces, what he says to Roy turns the case on its head. Or does it?

    There’s lots to like in this tough, gritty and very mature audience mystery where everyone talks the patois of the street (“uses a lot of cuss words”) and the interconnected relationships are explained slowly and gradually. Is there something strange going on between Roy, the mayor and the girl who has been murdered? Undoubtedly. But you’ll need to read this issue and head right on to #6 to find out more.

    The Fix #5, written by Nick Spencer, art by Steve Lieber. Published by Image Comics, Sept 14, 2016. Available for pre-order now!

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    Review: Seven to Eternity #1 — In My Father’s Footsteps

    Review of Seven to Eternity #1

    Seven to Eternity #1Seven to Eternity #1 is fantastic, a powerful vision of a far-flung world where generations of natives have been oppressed and exploited by Garils Sulm, The Mud King, who rules by subterfuge and spreads dissent and disharmony through whispered gossip, doubt and innuendo. He has crushed every family he encountered on the way to becoming the feared ruler of the planet. Except for the Osidis clan, where old Zebadiah refused to listen to the siren song of The Mud King and eventually escaped to a wilderness hundreds of miles from civilization.

    The Mud King isn’t satisfied with partial subjugation, however, and spreads the rumor that the Osidis clan are cowards, even while they were living far, far away, far away from the war. Wars have a way of showing up, even when you’re not looking to be involved. Even when you’re doing your very best to escape.

    The story is told from the perspective of Zebadiah’s oldest son, Adam, who is married and has a child, along with his two siblings Peter and Sandra. They’re a clan in the middle of nowhere, harming no-one, and they just want to be left alone, but that’s not how this world works, and when Sulm decides it’s time to bring the Osidris family back into his world, the result is an explosion of powers “not o’ this world”. And an offer Adam might not be able to refuse…

    This is the start of a bold new series that’s part James Cameron’s Avatar, part Alien, and a whole lotta imaginative story with lush, breathtaking art by Jerome Opeña. And it’s only just beginning of the tale…

    Seven to Eternity #1, written by Rick Remender, art by Jerome Opeña, color by Matt Hollingsworth, lettering by Rus Wooton. Published by Image Comics, Sept 21, 2016. Available for pre-order!

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    Review of Hadrians Wall #1

    Hadrian's Wall coverKyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis launch an all-new sci-fi noir tale, set nearly 70 years in an alternate future in which the Cold War was ended through a joint space colonization effort between the U.S. and Russia.

    The story opens with the mysterious death of Edward Madigan, a worker for Antares Interspace, with ties to our protagonist, Simon Moore. Simon’s tasked to investigate this death on the labor ship, Hadrian’s Wall, located in an area with mounting hostilities. The story that begins to take shape has all the hints of intrigue, conspiracy, personal relationships, and seedy characters that are cornerstones of great noir tales.

    The book takes on a tone reminiscent of classic sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and Alien, while also delivering it’s own unique contribution in the form of ship design, fashion, and use of technology. The main character’s life seems to be more sterile and organized, which is at odds with the world around him that’s shown as more gritty and industrial.

    Hadrian's Wall page 1Hadrian's Wall page 2Hadrian's Wall page 3

    Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Batman Beyond) and Alec Siegel (Batman Beyond, C.O.W.L.) work great as a writing team. The dialogue seems to bounce with ease from character to character. The pacing of the panels is done with precision. And most impressively, the quiet moments in space are beautiful, lonely, and terrifying.

    Rod Reis (C.O.W.L.) delivers beautiful visuals that, even when full of blood, darkness, and scope, still feel focused, clean, and easy to follow. The aesthetic, while obviously inspired by sci-fi staples, feels like it’s a fresh take on those classics with interesting choices for fashion and interior design. Unlike a lot of sci-fi that feels like the creator’s idyllic world or worst nightmare, Hadrian’s Wall is more realistic in its depiction of the future.

    Hadrian’s Wall has the unique ability to stand on its own as a noir crime tale with a sci-fi setting, that we don’t often get exposed to. If you’re a fan of either genre, Hadrian’s Wall is something you should definitely check out.


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    Post-Killing Joke: DC’s Next Animated Film – Justice League Dark

    If you’re any sort of fan of DC Comics, then you’ve heard of the Justice League, but did you know that there’s another league in the DC universe? One that handles weird and supernatural situations that the more visible Justice League can’t? Of course I’m talking about Justice League Dark, or JLD, featuring John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, The Changing Man, Shade, Swamp Thing and Zatanna. First introduced in Justice League Dark #1 back in November 2011, JLD brings a much needed sense of the eerie and mysterious to the DC world.

    With the recent release of the animated Batman: The Killing Joke on DVD/Bluray, Warner Bros. animation announced that its next project would be none other than Justice League Dark, releasing a dynamite eight minute sneak peak at San Diego Comic Con 2016:

    If you haven’t heard of Justice League Dark or its individual members that’s ok, because I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce some of the team.

    John Constantine:
    A Magician originally appearing in Allan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing, he grew out into his own Vertigo series Hellblazer. Lasting for 300 issues from 1988 to 2013. Then John joined the DC universe with the New 52 and has been there ever since.

    Sorcerer, con-man, stage act, asshole. John is a lot of things, but what has kept him around for so long is his mischievous, manipulating ways. Reading his stories, you feel for him when he’s in danger, but know this: He ALWAYS has a way out.

    Swamp Thing:
    Debuting in House of Secrets 1979. It has had various incantations, such as (the original) Alex Olsen, Allan Hallman, and Aaron Hayley. The most well known and longest lasting person to take on the mantle is Alec Holland.

    Swamp Thing has the ability to control any plant life, native or extraterrestrial. Along with controlling it, he can also travel by the plants getting from one spot on earth to another in a matter of seconds. If wounded he is able to regrow parts to heal.


    A stage illusionist, and magician. Zatanna first appearing in 1964’s Hawkman series, over the years has appared in several DC books including Detective Comics, Seven Soldiers Of Victory, Vertigo’s Hellblazer series and even Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic.

    Being one of the most gifted Sorcoress’ in the DCU. Zatanna has the ability to control elements, conduct energy based attacks. Even heal. Most of the time she has been limited to conducting spells if she cannot speak them. In some cases she has been able to write a spell down to cast it, or in rarer occasions cast with doing either.

    AKA Boston Brand, first appearing in Strange Adventures in 1967. Brand was a trapeze artist kill during a performance by The Hook. His powers were granted to him by the Hindu Goddess “Rama Kushna” in order for him to obtain justice.

    Deadman is in all context dead, he is a ghost. What he can do is posses living creatures but is limited by their physical limitations. So say he possessed you or I, he couldn’t fly, but if he possessed Superman, he could. Deadman also has the ability to pass through any object, and has the ability to travel to both the land of the living and the dead.

    Ready to rock ‘n roll with Justice League Dark?

    After the success of Batman: The Killing Joke, I’m definitely eager to see what Warner Bros. does with the colorful cast of Justice League Dark. If thi animated feature does well on the small screen, along with Doctor Strange in the theater, perhaps we’ll see that live action Justice League Dark Guillermo del Toro spoke of years ago?

    Catch up on the entire Justice League Dark story here at TFAW.

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    Interview with Joelle Jones and Preview of Lady Killer 2 #1

    Interview with Joelle Jones

    lady killer 2, #1 coverWhat can be more all-American than a housewife who hosts Tupperware parties, has a hot meal on the table for her busy husband when he comes home, and is always ready with a kind word and plate of hot cookies for her children after a tough day of school? Well, if you’re Josie Schuller, you’ve got one more thing to juggle, because she’s also a killer, running a successful assassination business on the side. I mean, a girl’s gotta have something to break up the monotony, right?

    We first met Josie and the whole Schuller family in writer Joëlle Jones’ Eisner award-nominated Lady Killer series, but for the new storyline, they’ve just moved into a picture-perfect Cocoa Beach, Florida during the early years of the Space Race (the 1960s). Like Desperate Housewives, all the women in Cocoa Beach have lives completely independent of their worker-bee husbands, and while Josie is clearly trying to fit in with her Tupperware party, it’s a catty community of insecure, snotty women and she’s not really someone you want to piss off.

    The bigger problem is that someone else in the family actually knows her side job and doesn’t like it much at all. But would you want to confront the stone-cold killer in your family, or would you try your very best to stay on their good side? Yeah, me too.

    There’s a breezy fun about Jones’ story, a sort of Stepford Wives meets The Long Kiss Goodnight that is eminently readable — I’m definitely ready for the next installment as this first issue ends in a huge cliffhanger! — enhanced by the wonderful artwork of Michelle Madsen. Indeed, Madsen could easily be straight out of a time machine from an ad agency in the 1960’s, so faithfully does she capture technicolor shades of the era and enhances Jones’ art.

    Lady Killer 2 #1 Preview

    We were lucky to catch up with Joëlle to ask her a few questions about the Lady Killer 2 series. Here’s what she shared with us:

    TFAW: What was your original inspiration for the Lady Killer series? I loved the first series, where will you be taking Josie this time around?

    Joëlle Jones: The Schuller family has moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where life carries on as usual. Josie continues to juggle Tupperware parties, her kids, and a few human heads. However, when someone from her past tails her on a hit, she may be in for more than she bargained for.

    lady killer tpbTFAW: You chose a female protagonist with a decidedly dark side, then set it in ’60s America. What appeals to you about the tensions and duality of that era and her “side” job?

    Jones: I’ve always been drawn to stories about people with dual natures…and I thought setting the series in this particular time in American history really highlights that duality.

    TFAW: From the artwork, we figure that Lady Killer 2 takes place concurrent with the Space Race that was such a prominent part of Florida in the ’60s. Is that going to be woven into the story?

    Jones: Yes! Josie and her family move to Cocoa Beach because of her husband’s job. He works for a company that is connected to the aerospace industry..

    TFAW: Really love your style of art in this story too. How do you stay true to the ’60s artistic sensibility while still offering the visual pizazz that modern readers demand?

    Lady Killer 2 #1 PreviewJones: I’m constantly looking at the great illustrators from that mid-century period. I also try to keep up with current comics. So, I suppose those to things merge in my mind and translate to the page.

    TFAW: A family where Mom has a secret identity. Any chance Dad or the rather witchy mother-in-law might have something up their proverbial sleeve?

    Jones: Probably! But I’m not going to tell you about that here. I guess you’ll just have to read and find out!

    TFAW: You’ve brought Michelle Madsen in for the fun this time around. How did she become involved with Lady Killer 2?

    Jones: We only had Laura Allred for the first series and filling her shoes was a daunting task. I’ve always loved Michelle’s work and when we got the opportunity to bring her on to the team I was pleased as punch! She’s a perfect fit for the book. Amazing work!

    TFAW: For those who haven’t discovered Lady Killer yet, what’s your elevator pitch for the series?

    Jones: Ha! I get asked this a lot. “Donna Reed meets Dexter.”

    TFAW: What other projects are you working on right now?

    Jones: I’m going to be very busy for the next two years but I really can’t talk about it. Lots of exciting stuff!

    TFAW: What comic books are you enjoying right now?

    Jones: I just finished reading Harrow County and I loved it! Thought it was fantastic. I’ve been digging some of the DC Rebirth books and I’ve also been going back to some 90’s Punisher books. All great stuff!

    Lady Killer 2, #1, written by Joëlle Jones, art by Jones and Michelle Madsen. he first issue will arrive August 3, 2016, and the first two issues are available for pre-order – and you’ll want to pre-order this one, gang!

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    Sneak Peek at Briggs Land #1 and an Interview with Creator Brian Wood

    Interview with Brian Wood

    You don’t have to look very far to find someone who wants to secede from their country, to set up a tiny nation-state of their own where they can make the rules that they think make the most sense. In certain parts of the Pacific Northwest there are even regions where groups have banded together to create their own countries. Like the fictional Briggs Land, the latest creation from master storyteller Brian Wood.

    We caught up with Brian and asked him some pointed questions about Briggs Land and what he was thinking as he created this exciting new series, a story that’s already been picked up by AMC TV to make into a series!

    But first, a preview of Briggs Land #1:

    Briggs Land #1 coverGrace Briggs is a family matriarch whose husband Jim rules Briggs Land, a hundred square miles of wilderness that’s set up as another country entirely. Drive up to the gate and signs state “You are now leaving the United States”. Problem is, the head of the Briggs family, Jim Briggs, is locked up in a Federal prison with a lifetime sentence for attempted murder. He still does his best to run the family and land, but Grace is fed up and wants to take control from her husband. So she shows up to his prison and tells him the news: she’s taking over. And there ain’t nothing he can do about it.

    It’s not going smoothly, however, from the FBI agents following Grace around to the Briggs boys being unsure whom to support during this family coup. Everyone else in Briggs Land also has to decide if their loyalty is with Jim or the upstart, Grace, who has really been running the land for years anyway. The results are the last thing that propper secessionists ever want: danger from within, as is clear when there’s an incident late at night, a threat to life and limb.

    This is clearly a story in the same vein as the popular TV shows Sons of Anarchy and Justified, and indeed, AMC is working with writer Brian Wood on a TV series based on the Briggs Land story. It’s  an engrossing tale, enhanced by the flowing sketch art of Mack Chater and Lee Loughridge.

    If you want a head start on the upcoming TV series so you’ll be the expert in your circle of friends, Briggs Land #1 is a must buy beginning of a powerful and intriguing series.

    Briggs Land preview page 1TFAW: What’s the inspiration for the Briggs Land series? It’s an intriguing storyline, for sure, and quite timely!

    Brian Wood: Timely, absolutely, but its been timely for awhile, going back, for me to the 90’s, with Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City, which were my first exposures to the idea of domestic terrorism and this sort of off-the-grid secessionist culture. I should add that by terrorism I refer to Timothy McVeigh, not the Weavers.

    So that combined with the fact that in doing research for DMZ and later for Rebels, I came across a lot of material about US militia groups, hate groups, Patriots and Sovereigns, and it stuck in my head as something that would make a great series someday.

    Briggs Land preview page 2TFAW: You chose a female protagonist as the main character, wresting control of the Briggs family business and property from her husband? Love the dynamic, but what made you choose her rather than, say, one of their children to try a coup?

    Wood: An early version of this has the husband, the patriarch of the family, in control. A very Tony Soprano type of guy. Which certainly worked, but was also very typical – it read like a traditional sort of mafia story. And because of that the people I showed it to, including AMC, didn’t love it like I think they should. So after sitting with it awhile I decided to rewrite the pitch with the wife in charge, and the difference was night and day. It immediately brought forth all sorts of interesting conflicts, both in the Briggs family itself as well as the culture surrounding it, that just didn’t exist before. It made it ten times as rich and compelling, and that’s when people started to respond to it.

    Personally, it also gives me a chance to write a nuanced, complex mother character, something I have not yet done but want to.

    TFAW: What state do you have in mind as the setting? Idaho? Montana? And how does that affect the story in terms of FBI surveillance, etc.

    Briggs Land preview page 3Wood: It’s New York State, which may not initially seem like a place with a surplus of empty, rural land, but it has a tremendous amount of it. The fact its New York isn’t a primary element in the story, but it does enable us to bring in a more diverse cast simply because it’s an area far less homogeneous that say rural Idaho or Montana, which is pretty white. There’s also rust belt-esque elements upstate, such as decaying towns, abandoned mills and railways, and other things like that that let us cast this secessionist culture in not just a visually-interesting world, but an economically depressed setting that would support a large culture of disaffected types like the Briggs community.

    TFAW: Really love the art styles of Mack Chater and Lee Loughridge. How did you all come together for this new series?

    Briggs Land preview page 4Wood: I think I asked Tula Lotay for some suggestions, and Mack was one of them. I admit I had not heard of him before, as he’s new to comics (but has had a rich career in character and game design). But I found some samples that had this gritty, realistic style that seemed perfect for a crime comic, and lo and behold they were pages for a George Pelecanos comic! It was intimidating to ask him to work with me after working with someone like Pelecanos, but Mack was kind and said yes. And Lee… he’s a legend as far as I’m concerned, seeming to have worked on an endless list of amazing comics. It’s a great team. Plus Tula Lotay on covers!

    TFAW: You’ve said that the AMC TV series (congrats on that!) and the comic book published by Dark Horse will add to each other. Can you give us any hints on what we can expect?

    Wood: What I mean by that is the fact that I’m writing both the comic and the pilot at the same time, more or less, and that unique (I can’t think of another example of someone doing this) perspective allows me to step back and look at the comic from the POV of needing to adapt it, and to step away from the pilot script and look at the comic with fresh eyes, and use each of these Briggs Lands to support each other.

    Briggs Land preview page 5Maybe a better way to explain that is to say that since comics is a very finite space — only so many words in so many panels for so many pages — the show allows me to expand on characters and the world and in doing so, create an overall richer world. And the fact that the comic has no television producers laying rules down means we can get away with things in the comic we can’t put in the show.

    So at the end, for me, Briggs Land is both formats complementing each other to create an overall story that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each can stand alone, for sure, but together it’s richer.

    TFAW: In an ideal world, how many issues do you have planned for this series?

    Wood: Fifty? Maybe more? I’ve said that Briggs Land feels like DMZ in terms of it being this world that can support an endless number of stories. So it would be nice to have a nice long run like that.

    TFAW: You’ve worked with Dark Horse Comics on several other titles like The Massive, Rebels, EVE Valkyrie, and Aliens: Defiance. How has it been working with the folks over there from a creative perspective?

    Wood: I love Dark Horse (obviously). After Vertigo changed and it was no longer a publisher where I could do the sorts of books I wanted to do, I wanted to find a home that was stable and had a great support system to help these projects succeed. I can see the appeal of a publisher like Image, but I’m in this business to be a writer, not a self-publisher, or a publicist, or a sales rep, or any of that type of thing that takes away from the actual writing. There’s a team at Dark Horse that has my back, and I like that.

    TFAW: Who do you think is going to fall in love with this new series?

    Briggs Land preview page 6Wood: This is such a classic “Brian Wood” book that my regulars will absolutely find a lot to love. Like you said at the top, this is timely and relevant to mainstream current events and it doesn’t seem like that will change any time soon. This is also a crime drama, something that’s a little new for me, so there’s potential for fans of that genre to get into this. Plus the TV show element, which assuming all goes as planned, will open up a huge audience that may not be regular comics people.

    TFAW: What other books are you working on right now?

    Wood: There’s Starve and Black Road at Image. Aliens: Defiance and at least one other project for Dark Horse.

    TFAW: What comic books are you enjoying right now?

    Brian: I don’t read as many comics as I like, since my leisure reading time is consumed with research reading for my books, but when I do I tend to read titles written or drawn by friends of mine, rather than following certain characters or companies. So, Jason Aaron is someone I’ll always read, as is Greg Rucka and Warren Ellis.

    Great, thanks for the time and your thoughtful answers, Brian! We wish you the best of success with the new Briggs Land, and we’re definitely eager to see where you go with the series.

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    Christopher Sebela Gives Us a Sneak Peek Inside the Newest Image Horror Series, “Demonic”

    Interview with Christopher Sebela

    demonic #1 coverNot only did I get a chance to read the first few issues of the upcoming Demonic series, but I also had a chance to hit up writer Christopher Sebela (High Crimes, We(l)come Back) with some questions about the series. And you’re going to love it!

    Demonic starts out as a classic cop drama, but there’s a weird undertone of demonic possession and a palpable presence of evil in the urban setting. The main characters are Scott and Dani, plainclothes beat cops who’ve been partners on the street for years. When a murder suspect bars herself in her apartment and drops the name Novo, Scott forces his way in for a private conversation, risking his life. But the murderer might be possessed or, worse, she might be evil itself, as she tells the cop “You’re already dead, just no one bothered to tell you.”

    Things then spin out of control for family man Scott, with the beautiful Aeshma showing up and offering a devil’s bargain of a life for a soul, and the story takes a decidedly dark twist as we learn about Scott’s background and his childhood. A childhood spent partially with the cult-like Novo clergy. A childhood that broke him, however much he seeks to heal or deny his past…

    TFAW: What’s the inspiration for the Demonic series? It’s a powerful storyline!

    Christopher Sebela: Thanks! Well, Demonic originally happened long before I showed up. Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri did the original #1 issue way back in 2009 as part of Top Cow’s Pilot Season. When I got asked to come on board and write the whole story, there was a lot of back and forth between myself, my editor Sean Mackiewicz and Robert. While we all liked that original #1 issue, we eventually came to the decision to take the foundation and rebuild it from the ground up.

    So, for me, the inspiration was very much about someone who appears to the world as a paragon of sorts and all the ugly things that everyone hides away under their exterior. Scott Graves is a cop, a husband, a father, he seemingly has it all, but he’s barely holding on to all of it. He’s had a lot of rough patches and is trying to be a better person, and the demons inside him become a bit more literal.

    TFAW: You chose a male protagonist to have a dark side as manipulated by Aeshma. Why male?

    Sebela: Scott Graves was already in place as the protagonist when I came on board, so I didn’t have a lot of choice there, but I thought it was an interesting dynamic to play with. Scott is, at first glance, very much the clean-cut, all-american generic hero-type dude role. And there’s nothing I love more than scraping away at that and showing how messed up people like that actually are when no one is looking. With Scott, it became about how he kind of deflects all the bad stuff he’s done onto other people in his life.

    demonic #1 sample artwork

    His partner, Dani, he pushes her away because of their past together. His wife and his daughter, he loves them, but he did wrong by them and maybe he kind of blames them for how hard he has to work at being a good person now. And Aeshma is the woman in his life of kind of exemplifies how he sees it all, a demon on his back who won’t let him forget who he is and what he did. It’s not a book that’s a huge screed about all this, but as tiny little subtle signifiers, I think it allows a couple of different ways to read into everything.

    TFAW: What city do you have in mind as the setting? New York, perhaps?

    Sebela: Yeah. At first I was going to sort of set it in “Anycity, USA” but the more I dug into Scott’s background and all the secrets that make up his life, it felt like a good match to put him in a city that gives off its own vibe of “greatest city in the world” but has a lot of corruption hidden away under the things we usually see in postcards and movies. NYC is a city that tears its past down and builds over it constantly, always trying to improve, always projecting a certain image, but it can never wipe away all those things that plagued it for so long. And still plague it. It’s very much is who Scott is, a guy who gives off one impression to everyone around him, but has a lot of ugliness tucked away under the surface.

    TFAW: Really love Niko Walter’s art in this story too. How did you connect with him?

    Sebela: That’s all due to my editor, Sean. He ran across Niko as we were working on the story and had that magic editorial eye that saw how his pages and my pages could come together to form something new and better. Collaboration is a weird alchemy and you can never tell exactly how it’s going to work out until you both get your hands dirty and start making the thing. Once I saw Niko’s initial pages, I was pretty excited about the kind of book Demonic was about to become.

    TFAW: Scott’s blade hand seems very Wolverine-like. An inspiration?

    Sebela: My head was a lot more in the horror sphere when working on Demonic, so I’d say Freddy Kreuger was a much more potent inspiration for me. The blades Scott wields as Demonic aren’t a part of him. They could just as easily have been bought at a flea market and shaped into the weapons he uses. I think there’s something infinitely more frightening about that, about knives as a whole, how they can be used, all the damage they can inflict while still leaving the victim alive. I think Wolverine would be way less likely to cut off pieces of a person with his claws than Scott is when he puts on his weapons.

    demonic #1 sample artwork 2

    TFAW: Who do you think is going to fall in love with this new series?

    Sebela: Definitely horror fans. And not just slasher enthusiasts, but the kind of slow burn horror in movies like The Babadook or The Witch, where you feel unsettled from the get-go but it’s no so much about the jump scare and the screaming as it is about the squirmy feelings and kind of mumbling “oh no” to themselves. People who like dramas like Breaking Bad or The Americans or Mr. Robot — anything that really gets in up to its waist in characters that feel real and slightly broken and seeing how they react when thrown into situations that are well beyond anything they’ve had to deal with before. I wouldn’t have signed on if there wasn’t the opportunity to really dig in to Scott and his family and his job and pick at the threads of these things to see what kind of corruption I can find.

    TFAW: What other books are you working on right now?

    Sebela: Right now I’ve got Heartthrob with Robert Wilson IV and Nick Filardi coming out from Oni Press, a sort of lighthearted romance/crime book about heart transplants and semi-imaginary boyfriends. Jonathan Brandon Sawyer and I have joined forces again after our book We(l)come Back. We’re doing a book at Stela that’s a grindhouse version of Thelma & Louise. I’m also working on a two-issue Killer Croc story for DC’s Suicide Squad: Most Wanted that I’m really excited for people to see. Lastly, I’ll be putting out a non-fiction book about the time I lived in Tonopah, Nevada’s Clown Motel for a whole month. And I have secret stuff I cannot talk about or someone will hurt me.

    TFAW: What comic books are you enjoying right now?

    Sebela: Right now I’m really digging Shawn Aldridge and Scott Godlewski’s The Dark and Bloody. Easily one of the best horror books being put out. Ed Brisson and Adam Gorham’s The Violent as I’m a big crime geek and Ed is a master of that. Kate Leth and Brittany Williams’ Hellcat is never not completely fun and a nice change of pace from my usual doom and gloom. Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus is great and has been great through its whole run. Josh Williamson and Andrei Bressan’s Birthright is a fantasy book and I don’t normally like fantasy stuff, but it’s so well done I have no choice. Pretty Deadly and Bitch Planet from Kelly Sue are both masterpieces. Wicked + Divine. Sex Criminals. Harrow County. I have so many books on my list that are so good that they make me mad they’re that good. And they make me want to be better. But mostly mad.

    Thanks for the informative interview, Christopher! And readers, grab a pre-order of Demonic #1 now, while you can. We think they’re going to go fast!

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    Goldie Vance – Our Newest Sleuth

    Goldie Vance at If there ever was a contender for best crime book for kids, this would be on top. With a tagline of “Nancy. Harriet. Veronica. There’s a new Sleuth on the block.” I had to give it a read.

    Hope Larson (A Wrinkle In time) & Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker aka Hellcat, Legend of Kora) team up for a new all-ages detective book from Boom! in the same vein as Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy.

    The series focuses on Marigold “Goldie” Vance a 16-year-old who grew up at the Crossed Palms Resort, a nice resort in St. Pascal, Florida. Goldie has big aspirations beyond working the valet booth at the resort; she wants to be a Detective. She does her best to help Walter, the in house detective at Crossed Palms, although her help is not always wanted. Beyond that we have a great cast of characters, because a Sleuth is only as good as the company they keep. There’s Walter, as we spoke of before, and Cheryl LeBeaux, Goldie’s friend who also works the front desk. We also get introduced to Mr. Vance, Goldie’s father and the manager of the Crossed Palms, and Rob who helps Goldie run valet (and has a crush on Cheryl).
    Goldie Vance at

    What’s fun about this series is Goldie’s personality. She’s so eager to help and so sure of herself you can’t help but want her to solve every case. She is also pretty silly at times with how over confident she can be.

    Brittney Williams’ designs are fantastic. If you’ve read her and Kate Leth’s Patsy Walker aka Hellcat series, the art is very similar. That’s most certainly not a bad thing; her art is very fun and perfect for a story like this.

    Goldie Vance at TFAW.comWith this only being a 4-part miniseries, I can only hope that this book finds its audience so we can get more adventures with Goldie Vance and gang.

    The first three Goldie Vance issues are currently available for order right now at! Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, Lumberjanes, Gotham Academy, or Scooby Doo.

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    Rick Remender Fills Us in on #WHATSNEXT: Black Science

    Black Science Comics#WHATSNEXT from Image Comics is Black Science, a new pulp science-fiction series from Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Uncanny Avengers), with art by Matteo Scalera and Dean White.

    Described as “The Swiss Family Robinson Meets Quantum Leap,” Black Science focuses on Dr. Grant MacKay, a scientist who breaks all the rules in his attempt at interdimensional travel. Unfortunately, when his device, called the Pillar, is damaged, he finds himself — with his group of colleagues and his two children — being hurled from dimension to dimension at random!

    We chatted with Remender about the genesis of Black Science, where his wild ride will take us, and what he’s excited for next! Make sure to pre-order Black Science now to save 20%. Plus, preview the first five pages of issue #1, courtesy of Image Comics.

    TFAW: What sparked the idea for Black Science?

    Rick Remender: It goes back to an outline that I was working on for a creator-owned book in 2006. I had the very basic concept, but I couldn’t find a way to make it work. It was about dimension traveling, but I couldn’t get the hook down. So I shelved it for a while, but it’s always been there, nagging at me.

    When I got up and running on this, I really I think it came from looking at Frank Frazetta Eerie and Creepy magazines. Every single one of those covers feels like it’s in a new world, with a new past, and every single one demands that I know more about it! It got me thinking about the concept of Black Science, about dimension traveling, which sort of gave birth to, “I’ve got to do this.” I want to hit what I feel when I look at those Frazetta paintings, and have the rules somehow work in a way to give me the ability to tell a story that travels to interesting new places every few issues. That was really the impetus, what kind of kicked me in the ass!

    TFAW: What is “black science,” exactly?

    Black Science #1 Preview Page 1RR: Well, the term is supposed to reflect black magic. In this world, our hero Grant MacKay is an anarchist, he’s an old punker who probably listened to too much Crass in the ’80s. As a strident individualist, he views man-made laws and hierarchical organizations as the wall between humans and discovery.

    And so, he has delved into all of the forbidden sciences, and all of the things that are illegal. The kinds of things that government bodies say are off-limits, that’s what he’s been doing in a secret bunker in the south of San Francisco in a hidden laboratory. He and some people who have named themselves the Anarchist League of Scientists — because they’ve read too many comic books — have devised this Pillar, as they call it, which can punch through dimensional boundaries and travel to other dimensions.

    In Grant’s eyes, delving into black science is the thing that will lead to utopia. Every time a scientist has revealed some truth to the public — like the world is round, or any truth the general population isn’t ready for — they’re stoned to death or they’re called crazy. And so he sees this as an opportunity to overcome the laws and boundaries between him and true discovery, and by mapping the roads to different dimensions, he’ll be able to pilfer any resource our world needs, in any instance.

    For example, you could find a dimension, a parallel universe, where cancer was cured, and he’d go take that. Any resource they may need, they can just find another dimension and they can go pilfer it. It’s like an imagination lockbox, where if you can imagine it, then that parallel dimension likely exists, and then you just have to map the road to go acquire it.

    So all of his intentions are good, he’s a good guy — he’s just trying to do it his way. But of course, there are consequences to these things, and that’s where we find them at the beginning of the first issue.

    TFAW: It seems like their plan went awry, and there was some sort of sabotage — and also, Grant’s children are with them, which I can’t imagine was part of the original plan.

    Black Science #1 Preview Page 2RR: No, and we’ll reveal in upcoming issues how that all came together. Basically, it was the perfect storm of things going wrong, and who it was that sabotaged the Pillar device, and how exactly it’s been damaged, and broken, to where now it’s jumping at random intervals to random dimensions for unspecified periods of time.

    So sometimes they’ll end up in a dimension for 30 seconds, and sometimes they’ll end up in a place for 30 hours. And every one of these dimensions has a new set of rules, as well, which adds to the high adventure and makes it exciting.

    But at its core, it’s still a character story. Somebody amongst them sabotaged the device, and obviously Grant’s kids are with him. The woman who helped him build the Pillar — the engineer behind half of what they’ve developed here — Rebecca, he began having an affair with her, so obviously he’s hiding that from his kids.

    So the ensemble cast drama starts bubbling, and at the same time they’re being hurled to new dimensions every issue or two. As a foundation, I’ve already plotted to issue #35 at this point. The concept lends itself very easily to long-form storytelling.

    TFAW: Besides Grant’s relationship with Rebecca, what are some other group dynamics?

    RR: I’m going to be playing a lot with the idea that there is no such thing as a hero or a villain. It’s all subjective, it’s all relative: what a human’s motivations are, and what those are colored by. Someone who has a tendency to do something that we would all agree is unsavory or unethical might have a whole sea of other positive characteristics that are not being looked at.

    Every one of these characters has that. I’ve made sure to temper them, so they’re all just complex human beings. As the plot grows and the cauldron bubbles and boils, we’ll start to unravel their back stories and see who they are, and that will help us pull a few whammies in terms of subverting expectations.

    Black Science #1 Preview Page 3People may expect things to go one way, but we’ll veer the car and go the other. Nobody is really who they seem at this point, because of where we decided to start the story. There’s a lot of interpersonal stuff: Shondra, who is sort of a sycophantic assistant, and Kadir, who is one of Grant’s former colleagues who became upper management, and is able to fund Grant. But of course Grant is anti-authoritarian, so he sees him as the enemy.

    Then you’ve got Pia, who is Grant’s daughter, who is 18 and hates him. He hasn’t been home for the last 10 years, he’s been in the laboratory. She sees him as a failure and an obsessive, somebody who’s turned his back on her mother, which he has. And then there’s Nathan, who’s 11 and sort of still loves his dad and doesn’t know any different. His whole life, Grant has only been around for the occasional dinners and maybe a movie here and there.

    And then you’ve got Shawn, who’s sort of the adopted son of Grant. He’s somebody who has a high genius-level IQ who Grant took under his wing and brought in on the project.

    Working with my editor Sebastian Girner, we’ve spent about seven months writing character sheets and ramping up the drama between the ensemble cast, as well as finding ways to tie it in and reflect it against interesting new worlds.

    TFAW: Image is calling Black Science “the spiritual sequel to Fear Agent.” How is Black Science similar to Fear Agent, and how is it different?

    RR: It’s mostly different. I think that it’s similar just in that they’re both pulp science-fiction. Fear Agent is more grounded in reality. Obviously we deal with dimension traveling and time traveling as well. But it was really the story of Keith Huston, this lonely alcoholic trying to redeem himself.

    With Black Science, the story is really the cast, and while Grant MacKay is definitely the lynchpin for part of it, he’s not the entire focus of the book. When we get to issue #7 through #10, I think people will see where we’re actually building to and going with this. The story really is more about the ensemble cast. I’m trying not to be specific and tell you which of the characters [is the focus], but it’s not the characters that you expect that you’ll be following through the story.

    Black Science #1 Preview Page 4TFAW: What do you think is going to be the most exciting thing about this book to readers?

    RR: We put in all of our time and energy to make sure that this is a character story at its core. The fun is obviously the high-adventure hijinks as they’re being hurled to different dimensions–each one completely different than the next.

    Taking artists like Matteo Scalara and Dean White and unleashing them on new worlds every few issues, where you can basically do anything you want and cook up any sort of “What If?” scenario visually, is the kind of comic book I’d like to see more of, where the artists are unleashed and really allowed to show what they’re made of.

    But underneath it all is this hodgepodge group of scientists and this family, and that’s the beating heart of it, while the color and Frazetta science-fiction of it all is the world traveling. It’s a nice middle ground between insane comic books and something that’s a character story with some heart.

    TFAW: Black Science seems to be phenomenally well planned out–you said you have about 35 issues plotted out, and you also mentioned that artist Matteo Scalera will stay on the book for the entire run. What spurred that for you?

    RR: That’s just the dream! With somebody like Matteo, who is not just incredibly talented and an amazing storyteller, but somehow fast — he’s the most valuable artist in the world, as far as I’m concerned! He’s that rare mix: he can hit his deadlines, and the pages look like he labored on them for six months.

    Black Science #1 Preview Page 5I like long-form stories. As a reader, I was with Hellboy from the beginning, and Preacher from the beginning. Those books kept coming out and kept feeding me stories, and had the same artists and the same writers and the same teams putting things together. Even when Mignola pulls in somebody, it’s Duncan Fegredo, somebody amazing. And on Preacher, they managed to keep Steve Dillon for everything.

    The consistency is important. On Fear Agent, I think one year we only shipped five issues, and that was a sacrifice that we made in order to keep either Tony Moore or Jerome Opena involved in some capacity in every one of the stories. Now that it’s finished and there are two volumes, and there’s going to be the second hardcover of Fear Agent, I think that that book stands as something I can be proud of, because of that artistic integrity, and because of the consistency of the art.

    I know as a fan I like it, and as a creator I definitely am excited by the opportunity to be able to tell a story that really builds this cast, and gets you invested in them with a consistent art team.

    TFAW: What comics are you reading right now? Do you even have time for that?

    RR: Very little! Right now I’m reading Dungeon Quest by Joe Daly, and I just repurchased Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown. Every few years I have to re-read Ed the Happy Clown. I just picked up Lost Cat by Jason. That’s what’s on my pile right now.

    Usually, if I have time to read and I’m looking for inspiration for the comic book stuff, I’ll try and go way back and read things like old, old Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury edited a series of short stories in the late ’30s and early ’40s, and that was the last thing I was picking away at. Or I’ll just try and tear apart old weird fantasy comic books and sink my head into the ’50s DC guys.

    TFAW: What other projects are you excited about right now?

    Black Science #3RR: We’ve got some pretty exciting stuff coming up with Uncanny Avengers, showing the consequences of all of the superheroes fighting each other that we’ve seen so much of over the past 10 years–from Civil War, to Schism, to AvX. I wanted to show the consequences for people when they lack the ability to cooperate, and give a consequence to all of the petulant squabbling we’ve seen amongst the superheroing community. So that stuff is coming up — I think issue #14 is when that really starts to come together. And that ships the same day as Black Science [November 27].

    Then I have Deadly Class coming up, which is about a high school for assassins set in 1987, so I get to delve into my stories of being a punker back in the mid-’80s, and also mix it in with some blood and murder, with kids. [laughs] Who doesn’t want that?

    I’ve recently pitched a lot of big exciting things for Captain America. Things that we haven’t seen before, so we’ll be shaking that title up in a pretty big way. I’m pretty excited. It’s probably not anything that we can announce for another five, six months.

    And then, obviously, the Fear Agent [Library Edition] Volume 2 hardcover. For people who read the first one, I think the second is even better. Tons and tons of Jerome Opena and Tony Moore art, and those guys just got better and better every single arc. And then, also, The Last Christmas has an oversized hardcover, a book written by Gerry Duggan and penciled by me, with Hilary Barta on finishes and Michelle Madsen on colors.

    Our thanks to Rick Remender and Image Comics for a fantastic interview! Make sure to order Black Science now and enjoy an all-new adventure.




    Are you excited for Black Science? What’s your favorite Remender series? Post your comments below!

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