Tag: Dynamite Entertainment

Latest stories

  • , ,

    The End of Clones

    Our New Comic Book Day got cloned! With a new series from Vertigo, and a super spy. As always these are only a few comics to come 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.

    Clone Conspiracy Omega #1
    By: Peter David, Christos N. Gage, Dan Slott, Mark Bagley, Stuart Immonen, Cory Smith

    As the Clone Conspiracy event winds down, it’s clear that Spider-Man’s life will never be the same again. With the Jackal’s clones breaking down across the world, friend and foe alike are suffering from grief and despair. Clone Conspiracy Omega #1 does an excellent job at showing the pain that Peter feels. Especially with the promises he made that he couldn’t keep.

    Writer Dan Slott provides an emotional ending to this saga. All while threading in some teasers for future stories involving Rhino, Kaine, and The Lizard. The issue features two small back-up stories. One story leads into Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider #1, and the other is a teaser for Amazing Spider-Man #25. Clone Conspiracy Omega #1 is a must-read comic for fans of this arc and provides a satisfying conclusion to this tale. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    FIND OUT WHAT BROUGHT US HERE

    Savage Things #1
    By: Justin Jordan, Ibrahim Moustafa, Jordan Boyd, John Paul Leon

    This brand new mini-series from writer Justin Jordan, inker Ibrahim Moustafa, and colorist Jordan Boyd; Savage Things is about a covert team trained to do nothing else but kill, and never be caught. So what could go wrong? Well, it looks like someone is trying to expose the truth.

    It’s an interesting breakdown from past to present in this issue. The first page introduces you to who I can only assume is our “hero”. Then jumping to the present we’re given the gruesome scenario I’ve been a fan of Ibrahim for a while now, and Justin Jordan’s stories have always been a great read. This covert-team-gone-rouge scenario should be a wild ride. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    SUBCRIBE AND SAVE

    James Bond – Black Box #1
    By: Ben Percy, Rapha Lobosco, John Cassaday

    James Bond #1 from Dynamite Entertainment is an exciting new entry in the James Bond series. Writer Benjamin Percy, known for his work on Green Arrow and Teen Titans, is joined by artist Rapha Lobosco to create a story that thrusts Bond into the 21st century. In “Black Box Part 1”, Bond is attempting to stop a data breach that could put a cavalcade of secrets online. However, while Bond is hunting down the source of the breach, a mysterious assassin is also hunting him.

    The action is as gripping as the story, as Lobosco’s action scenes are both exciting and easy to follow. Percy does an excellent job capturing Bond’s voice, and you’ll likely read his lines in the voice of your favorite Bond actor. The only downside about this new James Bond comic from Dynamite Entertainment is having to wait another month to get the next chapter. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    GET CAUGHT UP WITH ALL OF DYNAMITE’S JAMES BONS COMICS

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

    Please follow and like us:
  • , , , , ,

    Pathfinder Worldscape: A Who’s Who of Fantasy Characters

    Exclusive Intervie With Pathfinder Worldscape Writer Erik Mona

    Pathfinder fans, you’re in for a real treat in Dynamite’s upcoming six-issue Pathfinder Worldscape miniseries written by Erik Mona (Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain) and art by Jonathan Lau (Red Sonja and Cub, Miss Fury).

    We had the chance to chat with series writer Erik Mona about his favorite part of writing this series and where he hopes to the story. Read on for insights into the series and see how you can win a copy of Pathfinder Worldscape #1 signed by Mona and series artist Jonathan Lau!

    TFAW: You have plenty of awesome Pathfinder comics under your belt–dozens of adventures. Each one leads us on a new journey. What is different about this one?

    Erik Mona: Pathfinder comics to date have taken us into dark and deadly dungeons, into the winding streets of treacherous cities, and even into the unknown corners of our heroes’ pasts, but things really jump to the next level with Pathfinder Worldscape, which transports our heroes to an entirely different dimension — the Worldscape. The Worldscape is an ancient trap created by a long-dead wizard to gather the greatest warriors from three worlds — Pathfinder’s Golarion, John Carter’s Barsoom, and Earth, including its remote history during Red Sonja’s Hyborian Age.

    In the course of the 6-issue series, the Pathfinder heroes cross swords with the likes of Red Sonja, John Carter of Mars, Tars Tarkas, Tarzan, and the jungle heroes Thun’da and Fantomah, among many others. The character interactions are a huge highlight for me.

    Crossing over Pathfinder characters with heroes created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Frazetta — artists who inspired the fantasy roleplaying hobby that ultimately inspired Pathfinder itself — definitely counts as new and different!

    “I’ve been tinkering with the Pathfinder Worldscape idea for years…”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 1TFAW: With this huge cast of characters, did you find this story more difficult to manage or does it just come at ease at this point?

    Mona: The enormous cast of Pathfinder Worldscape presents some challenges, to be sure. You want to give everybody a chance to shine and do their thing while still having pages left over to tell an actual story. When you’re mashing together multiple properties in a dimension informed by the cultures of three different worlds (and at any time during the history of those worlds), there’s a strong temptation to over-indulge in world-building and wheel spinning about how this or that minor detail works into the overall character of the Worldscape dimension itself.

    My background in writing for tabletop RPGs has me thinking about all kinds of details that will never really play into the story. I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking about the role of bullets in the Worldscape, as an example. While most of the Worldscape’s inhabitants come from eras or lands that fit well with traditional sword & sorcery themes, it’s perfectly likely someone trapped in the Worldscape will encounter a World War II soldier, a pistol-toting hero of America’s high plains, or a musket-wielding, fanatical street-fighter of Revolutionary France. Assuming they appear in the Worldscape with only the ammunition they bring with them, that makes their bullets a very rare and valuable commodity.

    I imagined a whole barter economy based around warriors seeking out the appropriate bullets for their chosen weapons, but after spending a considerable amount of time thinking about this, I snapped back to reality and realized that details like this — while perhaps quite interesting, useful, and even necessary to support a Pathfinder RPG campaign set in the Worldscape, probably weren’t going to enter into the comic book story too much.

    Happily, I’m fairly certain all that world-building will come into play in Worldscape-oriented Pathfinder RPG products down the line, but right now I’m putting my full effort into the comic book.

    TFAW: What exciting lands/places might we see on this adventure?

    Mona: The Worldscape itself is as exciting as you can get, with elements literally ripped out of the worlds in conjunction with it.

    Frank Frazetta’s jungle hero Thun’da, for example, lives in a place called the “Dawn Land,” a sort of time-lost valley filled with cave men, dinosaurs, amazons, and weird monsters. I always thought it strange that the subtitle of Thun’da’s comic was “King of the Congo,” when so many of his adventures took place in a much more interesting (and, from today’s standards, a much less politically fraught) location.

    I’m far more interested in struggles against pterosaurs and shaggy cave men than I am in fights against stereotypically primitive African witch doctors, and during a thorough review of fantasy-oriented stories and characters from the jungle comics of the ’40s and ’50s, Thun’da’s stories stood out as exceptional because of the weird monsters and lost cities.

    Naturally, when I started constructing the Worldscape plan, I drew in not just Thun’da and his savage girlfriend Pha, but also the entirety of his Dawn Land refuge, ruined cities and all. The central location of the Worldscape series, the brutal city of Shareen, is in fact drawn from Thun’da’s early adventures.

    Beyond that we’ve got misty valleys stuffed with Barsoomian white apes and a cadre of trained killers, another ruined city inhabited by the simian scum of three worlds, and the jungle itself, nominally ruled by the Council of Jungle Kings and their enigmatic and elusive First King, Tarzan of the Apes. Whether traveling by foot, by thoat, or by airship, the lands of the Worldscape promise death and danger at nearly every turn.

    “The character I’m enjoying the most and the one who has become weirdly central to the plot of the whole thing is Fantomah.”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 2TFAW: Was this an idea that you had brewing for a while? How did this all come together?

    Mona: I’ve been tinkering with the Pathfinder Worldscape idea for years, since shortly after signing on to Dynamite and becoming more familiar with their roster of amazing licensed characters.

    So many of their heroes are based on the same fiction and characters that inspired tabletop gaming back in the early ’70s, and in particular Pathfinder has always been a gaming brand firmly in touch with its “pulp” roots.

    Working with characters created by Burroughs, Howard, and Frazetta…it’s just too tempting to try to put it all together and do something cool. Add to that that each issue of Pathfinder Worldscape contains a Pathfinder RPG rules appendix that provides official RPG statistics for these legendary heroes — in some cases heroes people have wanted game adaptations of literally for decades — and I had to try to put something together.

    At the time Dynamite had already teamed up many of their modern-day pulp heroes in their Masks comic, and Bill Willingham had just mashed a bunch of them together in a steampunk-inspired series called Legenderry. It seemed obvious to me that crossing over their awesome fantasy characters was the next logical step. In the meantime, Dynamite also launched the Swords of Sorrow series, which teamed up nearly all of their female characters, and Worldscape is the next logical progression.

    At a certain point I’d put so much work and thought into how to make it all happen that Dynamite offered me the chance to write the series myself, which is a huge, humbling opportunity!

    “Jonathan [Lau] has a fantastic attention to detail and an inventive spirit…”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 4TFAW: How did the artist, Jonathan Lau, become involved with this epic adventure?

    Mona: Jonathan was my favorite of several artists Dynamite suggested for the project. I was familiar with his work on former Pathfinder writer Jim Zub’s Red Sonja and Cub from a few years back, so I was already familiar with his visual sensibility and his strong action compositions.

    What I didn’t know at the time was that Jonathan has a fantastic attention to detail and an inventive spirit that fills every nook and cranny of the book with interesting things to look at.

    His Tars Tarkas is probably my favorite version of the character I’ve seen in comics to date, and it’s fascinating to see him adapt characters like Thun’da, Fantomah, and the immortal empress Camilla, who haven’t really been in active production since the ’40s or ’50s (barring a limited series or guest appearance here and there).

    I’m thrilled to be working with him on the series, and each page I get from him on the earlier issues inspires me to put even crazier characters and scenes into the later issues I’m writing now.

    TFAW: With such a large roster of characters, have you found that you favor one more than others?

    Mona: I’m honored to work on all of them, especially Red Sonja and John Carter, two titans of fantasy publishing.

    Oddly, the character I’m enjoying the most and the one who has become weirdly central to the plot of the whole thing is Fantomah, the beautiful, nigh-omnipotent skull-faced woman introduced by literal madman Fletcher Hanks way back in ’40’s Jungle Comics #2. I’ve been mystified by this character (and by Fletcher Hanks) ever since reading about her in the incomparable “I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets” collection/biography by Paul Karasik from a few years back.

    When Dynamite challenged me to add some public domain fantasy heroes to their already impressive roster, I immediately leapt to Fantomah, and I’ve never really looked back. Hanks portrayed Fantomah as this unstoppable force of nature capable of just about anything. Unlike staid jungle heroes of the era, it was never really clear whether Fantomah was a hero or a villain, just that you never wanted to cross her, lest she rip the skin from your flesh, turn you into some crazy plant creature, or dispatch you in whatever weird way Fletcher Hanks could concoct between bottles of whiskey. In Pathfinder RPG terms, she’s basically a god, which opened up another interesting element of philosophy for the series.

    Each of the three worlds involved — Earth, Barsoom, and Golarion — have very different relationships with religion, and what it means to be a god. For most of the people of Earth — certainly the more or less modern ones like Thun’da and John Carter, “God” is something to be inferred as a matter of faith.

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 3On Barsoom, religion is a fraud designed to deliver the dying to a valley where they are drained of blood by bizarre plant creatures so that their bloodless corpses can be eaten by a cannibal priesthood of Holy Therns (also, by the way, in Worldscape). Burroughs’ “The Gods of Mars,” the second of his John Carter books, is largely about that religion.

    Then you’ve got the Pathfinder world of Golarion, where gods are literally, indisputably present and real and divine. It’s not so much a matter of belief as it is acknowledgement of existing supernatural forces, and that gives me a lot to play with in terms of how my characters interact with the world and their predicament as captives of the Worldscape.

    John Carter and the cleric Kyra get a nice juicy conversation about this, but Fantomah plays an important role in this aspect of the story as well, and I’m thrilled to be able to use her!

    “I’m still hard at work crafting cool Pathfinder RPG rules appendices for each issue…”

    TFAW: Do you have any other projects coming up that we should know about?

    Mona: In addition to running Paizo’s day-to-day publishing operations, managing the creative staff, and making diabolical plans for the future of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, most of my focus these days is soundly on Pathfinder Worldscape.

    Most of the scripting is out of the way at this point, but I’m still hard at work crafting cool Pathfinder RPG rules appendices for each issue. I just finished official game statistics for Red Sonja, for example, and now I’m noodling around with Tars Tarkas, who will appear in the second issue. After that we’ve got Tarzan, Thun’da, and a whole host of others. How much damage does a radium pistol do? What’s the Strength bonus for a green Martian? I dunno, but I will know soon, and it’s really exciting to map the game designer part of my brain over the story I’ve been composing using my comics writing circuits.

    You can keep up with my projects and get some insight into the Pathfinder RPG adaptation process behind Worldscape by checking out my blog at erikmona.com or following me on Twitter @erikmona.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Mona: Oh, man, there are so many! I went in way deep on DC’s New 52 a few years back and am working my way through a longbox of backissues of Snyder’s Batman, which has been fantastic, of course. I’m always keen to follow former Pathfinder comics writer Jim Zub on whatever he’s doing, and I really like what he’s been rolling out with Wayward, as well as his new title Glitterbomb, from Image. I’m highly intrigued by DC’s Young Animal imprint. The first issue of the new Doom Patrol was fantastic, and I can’t wait to break out a copy of Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye. As far as comic titles go, that’s probably the best I’ve heard in a long time!

    We want to thank Erik for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us! Make sure to order your copies of Pathfinder Worldscape.

    ORDER PATHFINDER WORLDSCAPE ISSUES

    Are you looking forward to Pathfinder Worldscape? Tell us which character you’re looking forward to seeing in the Worldscape in the comments below and you’ll be in the running to get a copy of Pathfinder Worldscape #1 signed by Erik Mona and Jonathan Lau!

    Please follow and like us:
  • , , ,

    Interview: Adam Markiewicz and Ben Fisher, “The Great Divide”

    the great divideIt’s the future and it’s a pretty miserable place: there’s a plague that makes physical touch lethal. Much of the world’s population has died, and the few survivors left have come up with a variety of adaptations to avoid contact. Is there a cure? Two young thieves think they’ve found a way back to the old world, but not everyone’s enthused about how things were before the plague…

    Learn a lot more abut the story in our exclusive (and funny!) interview with the creators of The Great Divide: writer Ben Fisher and artist Adam Markiewicz.

    TFAW: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    Adam Markiewicz: When I was 9 years old, my dad bought me a copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #11 and it was loads of fun. The main feature guest starred Iron Man and Black Panther. The back-up story featured Rhino. I immediately went out and bought every Spider-Man comic on the stands. The adjective-less one was my favorite because of the art (this was when Todd McFarlane was drawing it). But I also read X-Men, Superman, Batman, and FF.

    Ben Fisher: I definitely lived and breathed Claremont’s X-Men and I loved Giffen’s run on Justice League Europe. Both of those books were really just different spins on the “outside, looking in” motif, and like so many adolescents, I strongly identified with that.

    TFAW: Can you tell us a little on how you first got into comics and your road to this new series?

    Markiewicz: My first legitimate job in comics was actually with Ben, as the letterer on Smuggling Spirits. From there, I did a bit of freelance but focused mainly on self publishing, including a my webcomic Trench Coat Samurai.

    Fisher: I “broke in” to the industry with Mike Henderson (Nailbiter, Illuminati) when we were lucky enough to win a back-up story competition at Viper Comics. Mike and I followed that up with the Smuggling Spirits graphic novel, which is how I met Adam. Flash forward a few years and a few books, and I pitched my Grumpy Cat editor at Dynamite a very, very different style of comic . . . and here we are!

    Running away from the tab, detail from "The Great Divide"
    Detail #1 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: The premise of The Great Divide is that there’s a highly contagious pandemic transmitted by physical touch. Where did you come up with the idea for this particular pandemic?

    Fisher: The concept is that one day, without warning, every human on the planet is simultaneously afflicted with “dermadik” — a condition that results in instant death when any two people make skin contact. I got the idea on a crowded bus, actually. I started wondering how many fundamental aspects of society would change if being in close quarters became a potential death sentence and the story sort of grew from there. It’s probably also a bit related to my own introversion.

    TFAW: There’s no explanation of what happened or why, we’re just dropped into the middle, very similar to The Walking Dead. Are you going to give us backstory as things unfold, or is that another story arc entirely?

    Fisher: Oh, absolutely. The first arc finds our protagonists stumbling onto the possible cause of the Divide, but then forces them to confront the difficult question of what to do with that information. And, of course, solving one puzzle often leads to a whole series of new, even stranger, mysteries …

    TFAW: Love the Roadkill Saloon as a setting for this portion of the story! Any fun back story on that one?

    Fisher: I wish there was — I feel like I should make one up! It’s really just an amalgam of various seedy midwestern biker bars, with a name that would be remembered by the reader (since it’s used to bridge the time between pre- and post-Divide). And I knew from the very first draft that the story needed to open with a “guy goes into a bar” joke.

    TFAW: Adam, I really enjoy your style. What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    Markiewicz: Thank you! My biggest influences have been Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Jaime Hernandez, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Chris Ware, and Shirow Masamune. I still look at their work constantly. When I was a teenager, I was actually more interested in film than comics, so I also take a lot of inspiration from John Carpenter (especially for this series), Stanley Kubrick, The Coen Brothers, David Cronenberg, and Sam Raimi. Recently, I’d say the two artists I look at the most are Mike Henderson (and not just because he’s a friend, but because his work is awesome) and Amy Reeder.

    TFAW: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    Markiewicz: I started the series old school, but I recently made the switch to a Cintiq. In fact, I went from real old school — with ink pens and brushes — to using markers and brush pens while drawing issue 1, and now I’m entirely digital. I also do the lettering, which was all digital from the beginning.

    TFAW: Right now, the series is planned for a 6-issue run. Do you have ideas for future arcs?

    Fisher: Without question. Adam and I truly love this broken, strange world and the people who inhabit it. We’ve outlined plots for a long stretch, with an opportunity to really expand the scope and stakes — so if readers are interested, there’s plenty of story to tell and more arcs will be coming.

    Detail #2 from The Great Divide
    Detail #2 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: What has it been like working with the folks over at Dynamite?

    Markiewicz: Any publisher that allows the amount of freedom we’ve had is top notch in my book. Especially when you consider that it’s a bit of a risk, backing a story with such unusual subject matter. It’s been great.

    Fisher: Dynamite has been an absolutely fantastic teammate throughout the process. Rich Young really championed the book early on in the pitch process and we will always be grateful for that — and to Nick Barrucci for having faith in the type of story we wanted to tell. Keith Davidsen and Anthony Marques have been invaluable keeping everything on track for the big launch in September (I know it’s not easy to corral us). And finally, although he doesn’t work at Dynamite, I’d be remiss to not give a shout out to my story editor, Jon Stark, who has made every script he’s touched better.

    TFAW: Who do you think is going to enjoy this series the most?

    Fisher: Certainly, anyone who enjoys dystopian subject matter like Walking Dead, Mad Max, or Y: The Last Man should have a good time in this world. But the series also focuses on our common fears of intimacy, human connection, and dysfunctional relationships in general, so fans of books like Sex Criminals and Pretty Deadly will also find our story touches on familiar themes in new ways.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Markiewicz: Hands down, my favorite comic right now is Rocket Girl. Ben also turned me on to Vision, which is an excellent read. I’d feel bad if I didn’t mention Nailbiter, but Lord knows Mike and Josh don’t need me to tell the world. I’ve been enjoying DKIII quite a bit, and Phil Noto‘s doing excellent work on the Poe Dameron book. Honestly, though, I just don’t get enough time to read comics. I’m too busy making them.

    Fisher: It’s truly a golden age for comics right now — there are so many great books on the shelf. I know I’m going to get in trouble for leaving brilliant titles off the list. But in addition to Adam’s recommendations, I can’t say enough nice things about Goddamned, East of West, Squirrel Girl, Monstress, and Injection. And I’m genuinely mad that I’m not writing Army of Darkness: Furious Road. It just oozes fun.

    Please follow and like us:
  • ,

    Voting Opens For The Best Comic of 2015


    You’ve read our write-ups on the best comic book series of 2015. Now through 1/14/16, you have the chance to vote for your favorite and help crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    For those who may have missed one of our Best Comics of 2015 articles, check them out now:

    You can vote once per day now through 1/14/16.

    VOTE NOW FOR THE BEST COMIC OF 2015

    Please follow and like us:
  • , ,

    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 5 of 5 – Indy Comics

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

    So many great comics hit the stands last year, and we’re looking to you to choose the Best Comic of 2015! What follows is the final article in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ve produced since December. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, and Part 4. Starting tomorrow, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Creator-owned series and indy publishers are great if you want to cast the shackles of shared universes and decades of canon. You’ll find some of the most creative stories and unique artwork in the pages books like these.

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

    Lumberjanes
    By: Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, Carolyn Nowak, Brooke A. Allen

    Here’s what I told my sister-in-law about Lumberjanes: “It’s like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Baby-Sitters Club meets Camp Nowhere.” Here’s what I told my ten-year-old niece about Lumberjanes: “It’s about a five girls who go to summer camp and become best friends. While they’re there, they fight monsters, go on adventures, solve magical mysteries, and KICK BUTT.”

    Far from being a kids’ book, the Eisner Award-winning Lumberjanes manages to be truly “all-ages,” appealing to kids and adults alike. All you need is a sense of whimsy and a love of adventure. The book has an energy that picks you up and carries you through every issue, and the main characters — Jo, April, Ripley, Mal, and Molly — are written so well that they feel like your real-life best friends. The art is both cute and sophisticated, using brilliant colors and great linework to evoke moods and emotions. On top of all that, this series champions diversity in a subtle, natural way. It offers characters and storylines that are outside of the box, giving all sorts of young kids the chance to see themselves reflected in their comics and imagine a more vibrant, inclusive world. It’s serious stuff, which is why it’s extra impressive that each comic is so damn fun to read.

    This series is exciting, funny, and sweet — though it’s crawling with supernatural creatures, every issue proves that the real magic lies in friendship. With two collected trade paperbacks (and a third on the way), a hardcover deluxe edition, and 21 issues out so far, there’s plenty of ways to join this series. [Steven M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    By: Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Cory Smith, Mateus Santolouco, Michael Dialys, Ken Garing

    It’s been four years and 52 issues since IDW started its TMNT journey with Tom Waltz and Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman back in 2011. If you haven’t been keeping up with the series, 2015 was a good time to join.

    Waltz masterfully blends previous incarnations of the Turtles together culminating in deep, and intriguing storylines. So even if you started with the comics back in the 80’s, or the cartoon of the ’90s or ’00s, you’ll find something to keep you coming back each month.

    This year also saw a massive event that took the Internet by storm. Donatello was left to defend the homestead in TMNT #44, and was attacked by Bebop & Rocksteady (yeah, those ones). Although Donnie tries his hardest, and even with the help of Metalhead, they get them best of him. Find the issue or pick up TMNT TPB Vol. 11 to see for yourself.

    This series has been one of the most consistently good series on the stands. With all the variations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mythos to pull from, it’s always cool to see how our favorite ancillary characters are brought in to the mix. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Sixth Gun comics at TFAW.com Sixth Gun
    By: Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, Bill Crabtree, A.C. Zamudio, Tyler Crook

    We were spoiled this year. Not only did we get to see the beginning of the end of the the ongoing Sixth Gun series, but a host of great artists came together to contribute to the deeper Sixth Gun lore in the Days of the Dead, Dust to Dust, and Valley of Death miniseries.

    Set in the wild west, The Sixth Gun is firmly rooted in western themes and settings, but it’s so much more than that. With elements of adventure, supernatural, humor, and drama, this series transcends the genre it’s built around. I cannot wait to see what Bunn and company have in store for the final three issues later this year. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Red Sonja comics at TFAW.com

    Red Sonja
    By: Gail Simone, Sergio Fernandez Davila, Walter Geovani

    Gail Simone is a modern legend. She has penned countless amazing comics for almost every major publisher and, most notably, had multiple essential runs at DC Comics (Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, and more!). Red Sonja is a classic fantasy/sword and sorcery character that, while still popular, was in need of something (or someone) special to push her into the modern, mainstream spotlight. It turns out, this whole time she had been waiting for Gail Simone. When this book was announced, it was suddenly a no-brainer: of course Gail should be writing Red Sonja! Why hasn’t this happened already?

    And to no one’s surprise it is fantastic! Simone manages to tell a story that feels familiar and new at the same time, deftly marrying classic elements with modern storytelling sensibilities. Meanwhile, Walter Geovani pencils some haunting pages that will linger in your mind. Throughout this epic, the She-Devil with a Sword is taken to unfamiliar, dangerous places that will leave scars both physical and emotional. Along with new depth to the hero, we are introduced to several characters that are welcome additions to the mythos.

    If you are a fan of Gail Simone, Red Sonja, or simply great comics, look no further. This is the perfect jumping-on point for new readers, with plenty of twists and turns for veteran fans as well! [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Escape From New York comics at TFAW.com Escape From New York
    By: Christopher Sebela, Diego Barreto, Maxim Simic

    Christopher Sebela triumphantly brought Snake Plissken back from the dead in the ongoing Escape From New York comic book series this year. This is by far one of my favorite series published by BOOM! Studios in recent years.

    The comic book series starts off 5 minutes before the ending on the first Escape movie, then with Snake on the run he goes to the only place safe from the USPF (United States Police Force) — Florida.

    Sebela’s writing artfully captures all those colorful characters we saw in the ’81 movie without relying on tropes to tell a fun story that feels like an Escape story. Sebela does a great job creating the entirety of the state of the world that John Carpenter started to show us. This is one of my first reads every month, and I can’t wait for more of Snake’s adventures. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog to see how you can help us crown the Best Comic of 2015. Voting opens tomorrow!

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

    Please follow and like us:
  • , , , , ,

    Cullen Bunn Takes Ash & The Army of Darkness to Space

    Comic Book Writer Cullen Bunn takes the Army of Darkness, and the heroic Ash to spaceCullen Bunn and Dynamite Entertainment are taking the Army of Darkness and the series’ hero, Ash, into space this winter. Army of Darkness comics have given fans Ash’s ongoing adventures for years, and Bunn’s addition to the family will be an exciting continuation of the Chosen One’s story.

    Bunn’s catalog of work is impressive, with titles like Wolverine, Sinestro, The Shadow, and The Sixth Gun under his belt, his latest venture following Ash and the Deadites is sure to be a wild ride. It’s his work on various Deadpool books that has us chomping at the bit to see him take on the Army of Darkness.

    You could win sought-after Army of Darkness comics from Bunn’s new series! Keep reading for more info on how to enter.

    Comic Book Writer Cullen Bunn takes the Army of Darkness, and the heroic Ash to spaceTFAW: Hi Cullen, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us. When did you discover Raimi’s Army of Darkness?
    Cullen Bunn: I was already a fan of Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 when Army of Darkness came to movie theaters. I saw the flick on opening weekend and was completely taken by surprise. As much of a departure as EVIL DEAD 2 was from the original movie, Army of Darkness was even more of a game-changer in terms of tone and style. I loved it.

    TFAW: How did you come to work on Dynamite’s Army of Darkness comic book series?
    Bunn: Nick Barrucci and I have been talking about working together for some time, but we wanted to find the perfect projects for me. Last year, at Emerald City Comic Con, Nick and I sat down to discuss several projects. He surprised me by asking, “Are you familiar with Army of Darkness?” I’m pretty sure my ear-to-ear grin answered that question for him.

    TFAW: It sounds like Ash is going to be in quite the predicament in this story. How did this idea hit you, and when did it start to look like this was really going to happen?
    Bunn: Ash has battled demons and been possessed himself. He’s been thrown through time. It only seemed natural that I throw him into space. When Nick and I started discussing this project, one of his requests was that I do something unexpected with good ol’ Ash. Sending the Chosen One on a deep space adventure seemed to fit the bill. As the story started to come together, I was able to draw inspiration from so many amazing science fiction sources—from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Star Wars to Dune to Lovecraft’s tales to stories of John Carter of Mars!

    Now, you might think that space adventures aren’t a good fit for Army of Darkness, but I believe this tale is very true to the spirit of the franchise, but still offers plenty of surprises! I’m not sure any reader will expect where this story will take them!

    Comic Book Writer Cullen Bunn takes the Army of Darkness, and the heroic Ash to spaceTFAW: The first issue has multiple variants, is there one that you dig the most?
    Bunn: I like them all, but the Jay Shaw ET-inspired variant might be my favorite. I like the starkness of the image. I also like those blank covers, because I can just draw my own images! Stick-figure Ash for the win!

    TFAW: How has Larry Watts been to work with as a partner?
    Bunn: Larry is a great collaborator. He genuinely loves the material, and he does an amazing job balancing the horror, sci-fi, and humor aspects of the story. He manages to get a lot of “acting” across with Ash, which is vitally important to this book!

    TFAW: What’s your favorite part about writing Ash and the Deadites?
    Bunn: I love that this project straddles a couple of different worlds and styles. The way I’m approaching this story, Ash provides the humor with his bumbling buffoonery. But the Deadites provide the creepiness and horror.

    TFAW: You’ve worked with Dynamite on other projects before. How has it been to work with the folks at Dynamite Entertainment?
    Bunn: Team Dynamite is an absolute delight to work with…which is nice because I’m dealing with them so frequently of late!

    TFAW: How would you describe this series to someone who’s never seen Army of Darkness or read the comics?
    Bunn: You know that crazy uncle of yours…the one who thinks he knows a lot more about everything than he really does…the one who frequently lets his mouth write checks his rear-end can’t cover…the one who has the utmost confidence in himself even when he gets himself into the most unbelievable hot water time and time again? Yeah, that guy. Imagine he’s the savior of humanity, our last line of defense against demons as old as time. And then imagine he has to stow away on the space shuttle in order to stop these demons from conquering the world.

    TFAW: What comics are you reading right now?
    Bunn: I’ve been reading a few different titles of late. I just read the first couple of issues of Fred Van Lente’s Resurrectionists, which was great. I’m digging Chris Sebela’s Dead Letters and Scott Snyder’s Wytches. My absolute favorite book right now, though is Southern Bastards from Jason Aaron and Jason Latour.

    TFAW: Do you have any other projects in the works that you’re excited about?
    Bunn: I have several projects that have either been recently announced or will be announced soon. Masks II from Dynamite is in the works, and it is a wildly ambitious story featuring a dozen or more characters in three time periods. Terrible Lizard from Oni Press will be launching in early November. It’s an all-ages story of a girl and her T-Rex. Wolf Moon from Vertigo is a werewolf story with a twist that will hit the stands in December. And I’ve got a couple of more Dynamite projects in the works…but I can’t reveal them just yet!

    We want to thank Cullen Bunn for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us! Make sure to pre-order Bunn’s Army of Darkness comics and save 20% off the cover price! Plus, everyone who purchases issues by December 2 will be in the running to win our Army of Darkness Contest and take home some sweet collectible comics.

    ORDER ARMY OF DARKNESS COMICS & MORE
    ENTER OUR ARMY OF DARKNESS CONTEST
    SEE OTHER BOOKS BY CULLEN BUNN

    Are you excited for more Bunn’s take on Ash in Army of Darkness? Post your comments below!

    Please follow and like us:
  • ,

    Li’l Dynamites Plan on Making a Big Splash This January

    Li'l DynamitesThis January, enjoy Li’l Dynamites, all-ages one-shots of Dynamite Comics‘ biggest titles. Featuring covers by Art Baltazar and Agnes Garbowska, each Li’l Dynamite book comes with a two-page activity sheet for some extra fun!

    First we have Li’l Battlestar Galactica #1. Art Baltazar and Franco (Itty Bitty Hellboy) answer the age-old question, “Where do baby Cylons come from?”

    Then, Eric Trautmann (Flash Gordon) brings you Li’l Vampi #1. When there are spooks afoot and arcane mysteries, it’s time for teenage Vampi to get to work!

    Next is the Li’l Bionic Kids #1, from Brandon Jerwa (Battlestar Galactica). Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers are better! Stronger! Faster . . . and smaller!

    Don’t miss out on Li’l Evil Ernie #1! Eisner and Harvey Award winning cartoonist Roger Langridge brings you his own, all-ages take on cult favorite Evil Ernie!

    Finally, Li’l Sonja #1 by Jim Zub (Skullkickers) is adorable. The younger, pluckier version of the She-Devil With a Sword brings the baddies to justice!

    Pre-order these Li’l Dynamites today, and save 20-35%!

    SHOP LI’L DYNAMITES

    SEE ALL UPCOMING COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS FROM DYNAMITE

    ENTER TO WIN ONE OF 10 DYNAMITE SKETCHES BY JAE LEE

    Are you intrigued by Li’l Dynamites? Post your comments below!

    Please follow and like us:
  • ,

    Nick Barrucci and J. Michael Straczynski Talk About New Twilight Zone Comics

    Twilight Zone ComicsInterested in the new Twilight Zone comics from Dynamite Entertainment? Preview an excerpt of Cliff Biggers’ in-depth interview with writer J. Michael Straczynski (Superman Earth One) and Dynamite CEO/President Nick Barrucci!

    You can read the interview in its entirety in issue #1379 of Comic Shop News, due out 11/20 at comic shops everywhere. In the meantime, pre-order Twilight Zone comics now and save 20%!

    Comic Shop News

    This won’t be the first time that The Twilight Zone has come to comics, but neither the Gold Key series of the 1960s nor the Now Comics series of the 1990s made any major impact. What convinced Dynamite that there was a way to do this franchise properly and make it work in comics? “The Twilight Zone is a great property, one of the greatest of all time,” Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci said. “Everyone here at Dynamite loves the series. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a publisher that has such a diehard fan base of fans.”

    “However — and this is probably going to sound odd — we were not going to take on the license until we knew we had the right team together that would do the series justice . . . we had to bring a distinct voice to it, just like Rod Serling was the original distinct voice, and it had to be someone with passion. It had to be someone with a passion that would excite the market and get fans to try this and say ‘Wow, The Twilight Zone. I’ve loved it. I’m glad that the series is back!’ and just as importantly, someone who retailers and fans respect to try the comics series if they haven’t seen it. J. Michael Straczynski is that man.”

    Of course, Straczynski is an ideal choice to write the new Twilight Zone, because he’s one of the few writers in comics history who also wrote for the television series. Straczynski explained how he became involved with the 1980s relaunch of the Rod Serling classic. “It’s kind of a stop-and-start situation. I’d been an animation writer for about three years, and didn’t have any significant live-action credits. A lot of animation writers had bashed themselves against the wall trying to get in to write for the Zone; a few did, most didn’t . . . fortunately, one of the stories I pitched — about a man who returns to his childhood home to discover that the imaginary playmate he’d had as a youth was not as imaginary as he’d believed — took hold, and I got the assignment.”

    While all of the television episodes were self-contained stories, Straczynski is taking a different approach for the comic book series. “The thing about the original Twilight Zone that you have to remember is that it was as much about experimentation as classic storytelling. This would include “And When The Sky Was Opened,” and “Five Characters In Search of an Exit,” which is as much a surrealist play as it is a television episode. So if Rod were with us today, I think he’d still be pushing the envelope and trying new things while keeping the heart of the show where it needs to be.”

    “The experimental part [in the comics] comes in having each of these three seemingly separate stories occupy the same timeframe, and the same characters, in overlapping stories that seem to have nothing to do with each other . . . until you begin to pull the threads together . . . it’s a very tricky structure and difficult to pull off — but if we do this right, it should be pretty cool.”

    Of course, there’s still one question that remains unanswered: has the Dynamite team figured out how to make their comic play that famous theme song? “Not yet,” Barrucci said with a smile, “but when we do, we’ll let everybody know.”

    The Twilight Zone #1, written by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by Guiu Vilanova, is scheduled for December 31 release. Our thanks to Comic Shop News and Nick Barrucci for the interview!

    PRE-ORDER TWILIGHT ZONE COMICS NOW

    Are you a fan of The Twilight Zone? What’s your favorite episode? Post it below!

    Please follow and like us:
  • , ,

    Hail to the King: Steve Niles Commits to Ash & the Army of Darkness

    Ash and the Army of DarknessWhen Army of Darkness debuted on movie screens in 1992, it was both the third installment of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series and its own unique creature. After defeating a demon in Evil Dead II and losing his hand, Ash Williams is thrown back into the Middle Ages, where he fights horrific Deadites, retrieves the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (unleashing unexpected consequences), and flirts with the alluring Sheila — before returning to his own time.

    Blending over-the-top horror, a fish-out-of-water story, and absurd humor, the movie had a respectable — if relatively modest — run in the theaters, before becoming a monster cult hit for millions of fans on video, thanks in large part to Bruce Campbell’s gleeful turn as hapless hero Ash.

    Now Dynamite Entertainment is bringing a direct sequel to comics with Ash and the Army of Darkness, written by horror icon Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre) and beginning right after the events of the movie! Niles has created some incredible horror stories in his career and is an exciting choice for the series — particularly because he’s committed to an entire year!

    We had a chance to interview Niles for Horror Month — check out his insights, below, and check out our five-page preview of Ash and the Army of Darkness #1! Plus, make sure to pre-order Ash and the Army of Darkness to save 20-35%.

    BREAKING NEWS: Since we conducted our interview, Steve Niles’ home was severely damaged by a major flood. We’ve included information on how you can help at the bottom of this post!

    TFAW: What attracted you to Ash and the Army of Darkness — for a whole year, at that?

    Steve Niles: Well, I love the Raimi movies, so when Nick [Barucci, President of Dynamite Entertainment] asked me to do Army of Darkness, it was a no-brainer. We had tried in the past, but my schedule was a nightmare. Timing was right this time. The other reason is I wanted to do something longer than four issues, which is my usual length. I wanted to try doing some long-form [storytelling], and this came up.

    Ash and the Army of Darkness Ash and the Army of Darkness Preview Page 1 Ash and the Army of Darkness Preview Page 2

    TFAW: What were your favorite aspects of the movie?

    SN: I love how the horror and comedy play alongside each other, and I love Ash as a character.

    TFAW: This is a direct sequel, right? Where is Ash — in the present, or the past?

    SN: I pick up after the last frame of the film. To me one of the best things about AoD was the setting, having a modern man thrown into the past. My 12-issue run takes place almost entirely in the Dark Ages. Things have gotten much worse.

    TFAW: Will we see any other characters from the movie? What about Sheila?

    SN: You should see just about all of the characters as one point or another. Oldman Wiseman plays a big part.

    TFAW: Has Ash grown or learned anything in your pages, or is he still a (mostly) loveable screwup?

    SN: Ash? Learned something? Of course not. He makes every bad situation worse.

    Ash and the Army of Darkness Preview Page 3 Ash and the Army of Darkness Preview Page 4 Ash and the Army of Darkness Preview Page 5

    TFAW: Will this be more of a humorous story, or more of a horror story?

    SN: I am playing the horror as straight as I can. Really most of the humor comes from Ash and his reactions to the horror.

    TFAW: You’ve written some indelible horror stories, including 30 Days of Night and Criminal Macabre. Are there any aspects of horror that are neglected these days, in your opinion?

    SN: I think horror is doing just fine right now. We have Walking Dead and tons of horror comics of the stands. The Conjuring bitch-slapped the tent poles at the box office over the summer. I think we’re doing fine. I would like to see less watered-down, CW/kiddie horror, but I don’t really pay attention, so I don’t care. I always hope those silly shows are just gateways to bigger and better horror.

    Ash and the Army of DarknessTFAW: How many projects are you juggling right now?

    SN: Just five or six right now. I’ve slowed down.

    Ash and the Army of Darkness is sure to make a splash — make sure to pre-order issues #1 and #2 now to save 20-35%.

    We want to thank Steve Niles for his time, and wish him and his family a swift recovery from the flood that recently damaged their home. If you’d like information on how to help, you can get the details at ComicsAlliance now.

    PRE-ORDER ASH AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS

    BROWSE STEVE NILES COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

    SEE ALL UPCOMING HORROR TITLES FROM DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

    What’s your favorite Steve Niles comic, and why? Post your comments below!

    Please follow and like us:
  • , , , ,

    Andy Diggle and Aaron Campbell Have the Uncanny Ability to Create Great Comics

    Uncanny #1 at TFAW.comWhat would you do if you had the uncanny ability to access and use the skill sets, memories, and abilities of different people around you? Andy Diggle’s new series, Uncanny, shows us just what a man can do when he puts his mind to it.

    The exciting new crime series follows a character named Weaver, as he plays a dangerous game of international intrigue where the rules keep changing, the players are hidden, and the first thing he stands to lose is his life.

    We had the chance to talk with Diggle and series artist Aaron Campbell about Uncanny, which hits the shelves on June 26 from Dynamite Entertainment. Check it out below, as well as our four-page preview!

    TFAW.com: Without tipping your cards too much, can you tell us a little bit about your newest series, Uncanny?

    Andy Diggle: It’s a crime thriller with just a hint of the paranormal. Weaver is a professional con man, gambler and thief-for-hire who possesses a special ability. He can steal a victim’s knowledge, skills, and abilities for a short time — their ability to crack a safe, hack a computer, practice taekwondo, or whatever else he needs to complete his mission. But the clock is always ticking. He has to finish the job before his time runs out and he loses his stolen skill-set. Then he’s in trouble.

    TFAW.com: Weaver sounds like a really unique and interesting character. How long has this idea been percolating? What was the final piece to fall in line so that you could tell this story?

    Uncanny Preview Page 1Diggle: Nick Barrucci approached me last year with a view to being part of Dynamite’s fledgling Crime Line, and I jumped at the chance. It’s exactly the kind of project I’d been looking for. When I first started developing the story, Weaver had a different name, and was more of a small-time loser. Making him more of a self-confident con-man type, and opening up the scale of the story, was when it really started to come to life for me. I realized he’d been conning himself. He’s spent his whole life running away, and we join him at the point in his life where he finally finds something to run towards. Even if it is trying to kill him.

    TFAW.com: You’re no stranger to the crime genre, having written books like Snapshot, Six Guns, Rat Catcher, and The Losers. How has this series challenged you creatively compared to previous projects?

    Diggle: I guess the biggest challenge when working in a specific genre is not to fall into cliché. There are certain tropes and conventions that crime fans might expect, so you have to steer around those traps, or invert them. That’s one of the benefits of having this subtle supernatural angle to the book–you can use it to hook out the clichés and spin them off into new and unexpected directions.

    TFAW.com: How many issues do you have planned at this point? Does this series have a distinct end?

    Diggle: I have the first six issues all mapped out, and we’re all hoping so see it continue long term. The first story introduces us to Weaver and his abilities, and opens up a whole new world for him. We can spend as long as we want exploring that world.

    TFAW.com: You’re working on several books at once. Can you tell us a bit about how you move between projects?

    Diggle: It’s a bit of a juggling act. In addition to Uncanny, I’m currently writing Doctor Who for IDW and Thief of Thieves with Robert Kirkman at Skybound, plus developing some new projects which I can’t really talk about just yet — including a second crime title at Dynamite. The key to keeping it all running smoothly is to lock down the story outline well in advance. Once the publisher approves it, they can just let you get on with it, and you can hit a steady rhythm of writing an issue a week. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for rewrites, though, so you pretty much have to get it right first time.

    TFAW.com: How did Aaron Campbell come to work on the series? How has he been as a collaborator?

    Uncanny Preview Page 2Diggle: Aaron’s been doing great work on Dynamite’s The Shadow, so it made a lot of sense for him to jump onto Uncanny, which has a similarly noirish feel, albeit contemporary. He’s been a pleasure to work with. I always try to strike up a correspondence with the artists I’m working with — usually we’re on different continents — and Aaron’s been a gent. He sends me his thumbnail layouts before he goes to pencils, which helps me iron out any kinks in my scripting before they make it onto the page.

    TFAW.com: Hi Aaron! How involved were you with the character design process for Uncanny?

    Campbell: Save for one small caveat, the Weaver you’ll see in the book was all my design based on Andy’s written description of him. The covers had already been completed, which I had not seen yet. So when I designed the character I drew him with very dark hair, while on the covers he is depicted with lighter hair. So I lightened his hair. Not a particularly interesting story, is it?

    TFAW.com: Ha! No it’s always interesting knowing those little details. Can you take us through your process? After you get the script, how do you get your head in the game?

    Campbell: Well, assuming that my head ever has the opportunity to come out of the game, I would imagine that my process isn’t too different from anyone else whose style is based more on realism. I start with layouts, though typically I don’t do them all at once. I break the book in chunks based on the different locations in the script and focus on them one at a time. Once I get approval on that set of layouts, I’ll design the space and shoot my photo reference. I then do my pencils digitally, print them out blueline, and ink over the digital print. Something new I’m doing for this book, though, is working at a Golden Age scale. My original pages measure 14.25″ x 22″. I’m really liking it, too. I can get in there with big tools and really work the page over with much more of a fluid line.

    TFAW.com: You’ve worked on a bunch of Dynamite books, from Dark Shadows and Sherlock Holmes to pulp books like Green Hornet and The Shadow. Has Uncanny posed any unique challenges compared to your other work?

    Uncanny Preview Page 3Campbell: For the first time ever I’m working in the here and now. I get to hang up my trenchcoats and fedoras and put away my classic car models. And I no longer have to pore through research trying to reconstruct what some place might have looked like back in the 1930s. Not that I wouldn’t want to do more period work in the future, but it’s quite a relief actually to take a break from it.

    TFAW.com: How’s it been working with the folks at Dynamite, Andy?

    Diggle: Blissfully stress-free, I’m happy to say. They pay me well and on time, and they don’t mess around with the story. What more could a writer wish for?

    TFAW.com: What’s your favorite part about working in the comic book industry, Aaron?

    Campbell: There are so many great things about working in the comics industry that it’s hard to pick a favorite. For one thing, I get to do what I love to do. I get to work from home. I get to go to awesome cons and meet great fans and become friends with amazing creators. It’s really a dream career.

    Uncanny Preview Page 4TFAW.com: When you picture the person reading Uncanny, what other books would you say they’re reading right now?

    Diggle: Comics-wise, they’d probably be into Garth Ennis, Ed Brubaker, Jason Aaron, and Greg Rucka. That’s good company to be in.

    TFAW.com: What are the favorite comics that you’re reading right now?

    Diggle: I’m not reading a lot of monthly titles these days — I have a stack of trades still waiting to be read, and I haven’t even cracked open my Marvel Unlimited account yet. It’s mostly indy genre books that draw my interest — Fatale, Manhattan Projects, Saga. I was a big fan of Thief of Thieves even before I was invited to join the team, so that was a real thrill. I don’t read a lot of spandex these days, but Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye is fantastic — and pretty much spandex-free, now that I think of it. It reads more like a smart, postmodern crime book than a superhero comic. Highly recommended.

    Campbell: Right now I’m reading Fatale, Andy’s other book Snapshot, Hellboy, Hawkeye, and that’s about all I have time for. And I can go on for a very long time about all the artists that inspire me. But if I’m just talking about people who were working today, Sean Phillips, Jock, Tommy Lee Edwards, David Aja, and JH Williams are a definitely on the short list of artists I’ve been paying a lot of attention to lately.

    TFAW.com: What else are you excited about/what other projects do you have coming up?

    Diggle: The final issue of our creator-owned thriller Snapshot is out in May, which is incredibly exciting for me and Jock. The first three issues have done better than we ever hoped, and I can’t wait to see the trade. I’m also developing another Crime Line book at Dynamite over the next few weeks. It’s about sex, power, and crime, so that should be good, not-so-clean fun. I’m also developing an action thriller for another publisher, which I can’t talk about just yet. Plus I’m writing a new creator-owned miniseries this summer. So I’m crazy busy — and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    Campbell: I really don’t have much time to devote to any other projects right now, but there’s a possibility that you might be seeing more of me on Dynamite covers this year. I’m also very excited for the con season and will be attending HeroesCon this year for the first time. So if you’re in Charlotte in June, come by!

    We want to thank Andy Diggle and Aaron Campbell for taking time out their busy schedules for this interview! Make sure to pre-order your copy of Uncanny #1 by April 30 to save 35% off the first issue as part of this month’s featured discounts!

    ORDER YOUR COPY OF UNCANNY TODAY!

    What do you think about Uncanny? Going to add it to your pull list? We’re definitely on board. Please post your comments below.

    Please follow and like us:
  • , ,

    Jae Lee Reveals the Secrets to His Masks Cover

    Masks #1 Jae Lee CoverDynamite’s Masks brings classic pulp fiction characters — like Green Hornet, Zorro, and The Shadow — together, but it’s also bringing some excellent cover artists together as well: Masks #1 ships randomly with four different covers by Alex Ross, Francesco Francavilla, Ardian Syaf, and Jae Lee!

    As part of Behind the Masks, we chatted with superstar artist Jae Lee, who has dazzled fans with his work on the Dark Tower and Before Watchmen: Ozymandias series, about the secrets behind his Masks cover, how he approaches his work, and more!

    TFAW.com: What is your personal history with the characters of Masks? Were you a fan?

    Jae Lee: Aside from the Shadow and Green Hornet, I wasn’t familiar with the others. It’s great that Dynamite can bring awareness of these great characters that had long been buried in the sands of time and give new life to them. They deserve it.

    TFAW.com: Your cover for Masks is eerie–it really emphasizes the masks themselves over the individuality of the characters. What was your thought process behind this piece?

    JL: I wanted to create a nightmare vision of them. What criminals dream of when they sleep their unjust sleep. Imagine these guys bearing down on you.

    TFAW.com: Do you have a favorite pulp fiction character?

    JL: The Shadow. Without him, I doubt the long flowing cape would ever have come into play. He’s left an incredible visual legacy that we all follow to this day.

    Masks #1TFAW.com: Who were your favorite artists, growing up?

    JL: Growing up, it would be John Byrne and Mike Zeck. Those were the best times.

    TFAW.com: What are some of the major milestones of your career?

    JL: Any time I can land a new project, I consider that a milestone.

    TFAW.com: Who or what haven’t you drawn yet that you’d love to tackle?

    JL: Superman would be up there. It goes against my style, but I’d like the challenge and it would inspire me to draw in a way I’ve never drawn before.

    TFAW.com: What do you think is the hallmark of a successful cover?

    JL: It has to stand out against the sea of hundreds of other covers trying to do the same thing. It has to be interesting and appealing enough that it would make someone want to pick it up and take a look inside.

    TFAW.com: How do you approach covers? What elements do you focus on?

    JL: I try to create a self contained image that conveys as of the story as possible, and yet will look good enough on its own out of context. And then I want it to be as pretty as possible.

    TFAW.com: What comics are you reading right now?

    JL: Right now, I’m a happy passenger on the Snyder bandwagon. I love what he’s doing with Batman. Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man is also wonderful.

    TFAW.com: What’s next for you?

    JL: Nothing concrete yet. I’m still wrapping up [Before Watchmen:] Ozymandias.

    Our thanks to Jae Lee for the interview! Remember to pre-order Masks #1 now and save 20%. Plus, make sure to check out our special Masks #1 Retailer Exclusive Variant, a steal at $1.99, a 50% discount!

    PRE-ORDER MASKS AND SAVE 20%

    VISIT OUR MASKS PAGE FOR GREEN HORNET, THE SHADOW & MORE

    Are you excited for Masks? What classic pulp heroes are you hoping to see?

    Please follow and like us:
  • ,

    Behind the Masks: Alex Ross Talks Dynamite & Pulp Heroes

    Masks ComicsOne of the most exciting things about Dynamite’s upcoming series Masks is Alex Ross’s return to full interior art for the debut issue! Not only will readers be able to enjoy the Green Hornet, Kato, The Shadow, The Spider, and Zorro together in one book, but they’ll see them fully painted by one of comics’ most talented artists.

    We were able to get Ross to step away from his easel for a few moments to answer our questions as part of our Behind the Masks series! Read on to learn more about his role in Masks going forward, what drew him to the series, and how he stays inspired.

    TFAW.com: What’s your personal relationship to the pulp heroes of Masks?

    Alex Ross: I’ve been familiar with a lot of the early radio show characters like The Shadow since I was a child, and also of the artwork that illustrated characters like these from various history books on comics and fantasy. I’m always intrigued with the idea of who came first, and that somehow there’s a special importance to characters that are the first embodiment of what we embrace as the superhero today.

    TFAW.com: You’re painting the entirety of issue #1; what will your role be in Masks going forward?

    AR: Aside from contributing to the main story framework, into which Chris has integrated most of my suggestions, I will continue to do covers and designs where needed.

    TFAW.com: What are your favorite, and least favorite, aspects of doing interior work?

    Masks ComicsAR: I really enjoy getting immersed in a story, but the workload can be very daunting. Consider that a cover illustration is one big composition, focusing on either a single element or a group of elements, whereas a storytelling page has multiple compositions within it, and often a lot of research needs to go into background detail and other elements. These are the necessary parts of telling a story, but they can sometimes be intimidating, so there’s a love/hate relationship I have with doing interiors.

    TFAW.com: Was there a particular character you were especially excited to work on?

    AR: The Shadow was the most appealing to me because of his uniqueness of facial structure. To me it’s fascinating that the first colorful character that launched all superheroes after him has anything but what we could consider idealistic features as the majority do today. I thought it would be an important part of my history to have illustrated him in a full story.

    TFAW.com: Your schedule keeps you incredibly busy; how do you stay inspired?

    AR: I’m lucky to be able to work with comic characters in the first place, because all of these fantastic elements have no other reason to exist than to inspire and seem like fun. There are always compositional things I’ve never attempted yet that I have to learn about, and there’s always more I can do to progress as a painter. I don’t always change up what I do, but I have a chance with each new composition to advance somewhere and certainly try out things that I can learn from others.

    TFAW.com: What does Dynamite offer you that other publishers haven’t?

    AR: I’ve had a strong, easygoing involvement and relationship with them that gives me a voice in what they do with the various properties the company has, as well as very strong oversight in all the books I’m working on, from initial layouts to final color art and lettering. It’s important to be able to see the job through to the furthest extent possible, and it’s nice to know they can allow me that input.

    TFAW.com: Do you have a “bucket list” of characters you want to paint during your lifetime?

    AR: I do in a way, but I’ve also hit more than I ever expected to. I keep thinking that the number of characters I’d like to touch upon are coming to a close, but then some other property that I have a fascination with pops up. It’s not so much that I can provide a list, just that I’m often surprised by the opportunities that I’ve been fortunate enough to have come my way. To date, I’ve worked with almost every fantasy property that affected me from my entire life.

    Our thanks again to Ross for the insightful interview! Make sure to pre-order your copies of Masks #1 and #2 today!

    PRE-ORDER MASKS AND SAVE 20%

    Are you excited for Masks? What classic pulp heroes are you hoping to see?

    Please follow and like us: