Tag: Andrei Bressan

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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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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Power Man & Iron Fist, Secret Six, Tomb Raider & Birthright

    Power Man and Iron fist team up for their new ongoing series, Lara Croft returns, and Catman takes on Batgirl! We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the sixth of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles. 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 too many spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again.

     	
Power Man & Iron Fist comics at TFAW.com Power Man and Iron Fist #1
    By: David Walker, Sanford Greene

    Sweet Christmas, this issue of Power Man and Iron Fist sets it off! The tone carried through each character is Baby Bear, that is to say “just right.” The art keeps it crisp like a new pair of kicks.

    Danny Rand sees the opportunity to get the band back together, Luke Cage wants to keep the situation under control, and both just want to help out a friend. Of course, nothing ever goes quite that simple for our Heroes for Hire.

    The wheels are in motion, and this initial arc is going to keep my attention. I can already see an investment in this story that I will be sticking around for the long haul. David Walker gets it! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Secret Six #11
    By: Gail Simone, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenick

    This issue of Secret Six represents my favorite part of Gail Simone’s writing! She has the team take the proverbial chill pill and let their human-ness spill out in this issue.

    After the Massive Magical Mayhem of the last issue, the team needs the break. However, their relaxation time is interwoven with life lessons, emotions, voices from the past, and a bit of action. With Alice, Strix, Porcelain, Ventriliquist, and Big Shot all dealing with several issues at once, you still see a real team dynamic here; almost family like. While we get a piece of every character, it is clear that the star of this issue is Strix. We are granted a nice/awful piece of her back story here.

    However, there is another star in this issue. Where is Catman? Catman is off on his own enjoying a nice walk. Enter Batgirl! Gail does a brilliant job of bringing Batgirl and Catman into the scene. In the classic Bat/Cat format, they quickly engage in the most whimsical banter and butt kickery!

    Artists Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick also do a great job of portraying the emotions that are pouring out of our characters’ faces in this issue. Whether it is joy, pain or anger, it is believable! With comedy, emotions and action all in tow, we also traverse into a new story arc. Get ready, things are going to get . . . violent. [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Tomb Raider #1
    By: Mariko Tamaki, Phillip Sevy, Michael Atiyeh, Agustin Alessio

    Tomb Raider starts off with Lara doing what she does best — finding treasure. At first we’re unsure what it is she searching for, but we find out that it revolves around the “Mushroom of Immortality,” and she’s not the only one looking for it.

    This first issue of Tomb Raider II does a great job setting up what we will be reading about in the months to come. Mariko Tamaki does a fantastic job with these characters — introducing a new villain, mentor, and also the tone of the book. By the end of the issue you know exactly what you are going to get out of this series: high risk and high adventure. Phillip Sevy’s art is spot on. From action scenes to facial expressions, it’s all very clean and polished.

    This is a fantastic starting point for new readers. If you’ve only played the video games (Rise of the Tomb Raider is awesome, BTW) or just want some adventure in you pull list, you won’t be disappointed with Tomb Raider II! [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Birthright #14
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, Adriano Lucas

    After 14 issues Birthright still one of Image Comics’ best reads. Joshua Williamson’s story is still landing in my pull every month due to the imaginative crossover of fantasy and “real world” mystery. I’ve personally never been a big fan of fantasy comics, but this book is too good to pass up.

    As Mikey and Brennon try to find a place to hide, we encounter an “old timer” who wants to know the truth about Lore an desperately seeks Mikey. While the kid’s parents are looking for them both, they encounter others who are also looking, and will do anything to get to them.

    Andrei Bressan’s inks and Adriano Lucas’ colors are both fantastic–I love that the colors just pop — even in the night scenes. They’re a really good pair, and it’s a delight to crack open a new issue each month. This has been a great book from the start and I highly recommend it. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below! Be sure to share these posts on Facebook or Twitter if you want us to continue this series of posts. 🙂

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 4 of 5 – Image Comics

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    Now that we’re firmly in the new year, and the effects from the champagne have worn off, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released last year. What follows is the fourth in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Superheroes are all well and good, but if you want to dig your teeth into something with a little more meat, creator-owned series are where it’s at. With series for virtually any taste, Image Comics really pushed hard in 2015 to draw us in and captivate us.

    The Best of Image Comics (in no particular order):

    Rat Queens
    By: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Stjepan Šejić, Roc Upchurch

    Looking for a fantasy comic that is different than all the others? Like, WAY different? Good. Pick up Rat Queens. This book has all the classic high-adventure elements you would expect and so much more. Led by a cast of strong female characters, each issue is violent and vulgar but also has more heart than most series on the stands. Similarly, each of the four Rat Queens are fully realized, complex characters. They feel like real people, which is something many series seem to struggle with.

    But who are the Rat Queens? Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty are a raucous, drunken, crass group of mercenaries and your new best friends. They are the Dungeons and Dragons party you wish you had. This book is a fantastic ride that you should hop on as soon as possible to see for yourself! So many people have thanked us for bringing them on board this series. [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Birthright
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan

    After their youngest boy Mikey goes missing in the woods, the Rhodes family is torn apart. A year passes and someone shows up that looks like Conan knowing a little too much about the disappearance of little Mikey.

    If you haven’t picked up Birthright by Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Nailbiter, Illuminati) you are sorely missing out. One of Image’s best series continues this past year as we figure out about what happened to Mikey, and what could happen to our world.

    I don’t read a ton of fantasy comics, but this one got me hooked from issue one. I’ve introduced this book to people who don’t typically read comics and comics fans who don’t really like fantasy series, and they’ve all come back and told me that they can’t stop reading this book. It’s wholly engrossing and transcends genres.

    The first two volumes are available for order, and I can tell you the series has only gotten better with time. I can’t wait to see where Joshua Williamson takes us next. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Bitch Planet comics at TFAW.com Bitch Planet
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV, Cris Peter, Clayton Cowles, Rian Hughes, Lauren McCubbin

    Taking a page from the sexploitation flicks of the ’60s and ’70s and borrowing from the best that the sci-fi genre has to offer, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet is one of the best comic book series on the shelves right now. DeConick knows how to tell a violent, gripping story with gravitas, and is particularly talented when it comes to writing complex characters.

    This series is all about power. The power we give up to others. The internal strength that one can tap in to. Societal power that forces us into different roles. Bitch Planet more than a comic book at this point. The team has expertly created a movement of Non-Compliance, and I can’t wait to see where they lead us. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Fables comics at TFAW.com

    Saga
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    What more can be said of perhaps the best series out there? If the shelf full of awards Saga has won, it’s constant presence bestseller lists, or the series’ amazing reviews hasn’t convinced you to check it, out this blog won’t either. But seriously, go read Saga. Like, right now. We’ll wait… finished it yet? All caught up? Good. It’s awesome right?!

    What other series blends fantasy and science fiction so seamlessly? What other series has such visionary art? What other series possesses the sheer charm of Saga? Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples come together and make a truly unique universe. It’s a crazy one, filled with robot royalty, magic using satyr people, dragons, living spaceships and GHUS! Oh and intergalactic space wrestling. Can’t forget that.

    With all this insanity it’s easy to forget the best part of the series — the characters. This creative team’s real success is how endearing these characters are, even the “villains”. Nearly every issue has an incredibly compelling cliffhanger that has us readers on an emotional rollercoaster. And just like the intergalactic space wrestling, we live and die with these characters every issue. [Dustin K. at Universal TFAW]

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com The Wicked & The Divine
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, ‎Matt Wilson

    Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie sucked me in, and I’ve been waiting with baited breath for each and every issue of The Wicked and The Divine, or WicDiv for short. There’s a huge cast of characters to follow, and Gillen’s world-building ability rivals J.R.R. Tolkein and George R.R. Martin.The series centers around two themes: Death and Fame.

    The twelve (or possibly 13?) Gods are reincarnated on Earth every 90 years to to fight the world’s darkness, but the kicker is that they only have two years–after that, they’re dead. Fame is also a strong theme in the series. These Gods are both famous and infamous. Adored and revered. Hated and envied.Fantastic story aside, I swoon every time I crack open the newest issue.

    McKelvie is a wickedly talented storyteller in his own right, with panel construction and linework that consistently has me taking a moment to think about what I’ve just seen. This series is also evidence that Matt Wilson is one of the best colorists in the industry. I can’t get enough of this series. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting our final Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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