Tuesday, May 21, 2013
MAJOR SPOILERS PODCAST: Check out www.majorspoilers.com for a variety of podcasts on subjects near and dear to our pop culture cravings. It’s the new home of WAYNE’S COMICS, a podcast that I try to follow. WAYNE’S COMICS PODCAST #90 features a great interview with writer John Layman, who discusses his work on CHEW, DETECTIVE COMICS and many others.
TOP SELLER FOR APRIL: It’s great to see a book that’s not a Marvel or DC title break into the top sellers list. JUPITER’S LEGACY reached #3 in April 2013 based on pre-orders through Diamond Distribution.
BRANDON PETERSON IN MARYLAND: Artist Brandon Peterson (Age Of Ultron) will visit Comics, Cards & Collectibles (100A Chartley Drive, Reistertown, Maryland) on Saturday, June 1 from 1 to 5 p.m.
DC HUNGER FUND-RAISER: DC Comics fans really supported their We Can Be Heroes crowd-funding campaign in a big way. The original goal was to raise $50,000 for non-profit agencies to provide hunger relief in Africa. By the end of the campaign that amount had tripled to a total of $152, 941. The upside is that comics fans have heart and will turn up for a worthy cause.
VALIANT INTRODUCES H.A.R.D. CORPS.: The newest revival of original Valiant characters will be the H.A.R.D. Corps, set to debut this June in HARBINGER WARS #3 and #4. This promises to be a different spin on the group, and if it follows the trend of successful re-imaginings of Valiant characters it will be a welcome one. Supposedly summoned by Project Rising Spirit to control the conflict between Harbinger Foundation, Bloodshot and Peter Stanchek’s Renegades the H.A.R.D. (Harbinger Active Resistance Division) Corps jumps into the fire. In July, writer Jim Zub and artist Edwin Huang (both of Skullkickers fame) debut with a one-shot short story about H.A.R.D. Corps recruitment efforts. Episodes of the story will appear in every Valiant title that month. (Spoiler alert!) All that’s known for sure is that Bloodshot will join the team, as his title becomes BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS with issue #14 in September. I’m a bit apprehensive about that latest announcement. I recall RAI, a great title from the original company, that morphed into RAI AND THE FUTURE FORCE in a directional change that was not for the better. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
MORE CROWD-SOURCED AND FUNDED SERIES NEWS: What began as an ambitious four-issue miniseries funded through Kickstarter became an Indiegogo campaign to fund productions costs for the first issue only. The new horror comics series EVIL JESTER PRESENTS has completed funding after raising $5,645 in contributions. We are looking forward to seeing this in print. The original line-up of artists and writers was premium quality all the way.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
COMIC BOOK TO COMMEMORATE STONEWALL RIOTS- BIRTH OF THE GAY PRIDE MOVEMENT
History remembers the sacrifices of icons like Rosa Parks and the efforts of Dennis Banks, Cesar Chavez, and other great defenders of American civil rights. However, less is known about the rise of the gay rights movement, which many say started as a result of the Stonewall Riots. Bluewater Productions looks to commemorate the event and examine its legacy in an upcoming comic book.
The Stonewall Riots, scheduled for release on the 44th anniversary of the infamous New York City riots this June, centers around the events and culture leading up to the riots, the incident itself and its historical significance as the genesis of the Gay Pride Movement.
“Civil rights are not just an American tradition; it’s a birthright,” said Bluewater president Darren G. Davis. “When I recognized that Stonewall was quickly fading into an obscure footnote, I had a obligation to remind people that civil rights comes in all colors, shapes, genders, political views and social choices.”
In June of 1969, a Greenwich Village, New York bar frequented by the then underground gay community called The Stonewall was raided by police. This sparked a violent incident, which quickly escalated into a fully-fledged riot and six-day siege.
The 32-page comic book is written by Michael Troy and illustrated by David T. Cabrera.
Troy (“A Minute with Margot” and “The Gays on Film”) added, “As time goes on, we’re in danger of losing this important touchstone of our cultural history. In an age where gay rights and marriage equality are still such hot buttons, it's more important now more than ever, to remember the efforts of those who fought for gay rights.
The special edition comic book, which is being funded through a crowd sourcing campaign through indiegogo (like Kickstarter), is not the first book Bluewater has published that centers on gay issues. Several of the company’s popular biography comic books feature openly gay subjects such as RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O'Donnell or cover alternative views on gay rights such as those covered in the Rush Limbaugh biography.
But more importantly, Bluewater was one of the first comic book publishing companies to breach the subject of HIV with their action-adventure fiction title Lost Raven. The main character learns he has been infected with the HIV virus and embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery. Lost Raven was awarded The Independent Book Publishers”, graphic novel of the year in 2009.
“Facing persecution, prosecution and a violation of civil rights, the homosexual community simply wouldn’t tolerate marginalization anymore,” Troy added. “But the aftermath of Stonewall lead to more demonstrations and eventually open dialogue and the establishment of some basic human rights. And that is what we are celebrating while we are flying those rainbow flags during the parades.”
According to Davis, interested patron can make financial pledges to the crowd sourcing campaign at the Indiegogo website: http://bit.ly/15NQqGg
Backers are entitled to various rewards based on their level of participation including being drawn into the comic, dedicating an issue and even having the books donated in their name to various national gay youth organizations. All of the money raised is being invested in the production, distribution and backer rewards of the book.
Bluewater’s biography comic book series has been embraced by the media and featured on television news outlets including The Today Show, The View, MTV, LOGO and on CNN. The series has also been featured in many publications such as The Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, Time Magazine, and People Magazine.
About Bluewater Productions
Bluewater Productions Inc. is one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes the bestsellers “10th Muse” and “The Legend of Isis” ”Bluewater publishes comic books in partnership with entertainment icon William Shatner (“TekWar Chronicles”), legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (“Wrath of the Titans,” “Sinbad: Rogue of Mars,” “Jason and the Argonauts,” et al) and celebrated actor Vincent Price (“Vincent Price Presents”), Additionally, Bluewater publishes a highly successful line of biographical comics under the titles “Female Force” and “Political Power.”
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Sunday, May 12, 2013
PLANET DEATH CONTINUES: The epic story continues this Wednesday 5/15 with X-O MANOWAR #13 with more incredible art from Cary Nord.
Here's a one panel preview courtesy of Valiant Entertainment.
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Sunday, May 5, 2013
THE COLONIZED #1 (IDW, APRIL 2013) Written by Chris Ryall. Art by Drew Moss.
It’s Zombies versus Aliens! What more could you ask for? There is actually more, such as a militant faction going head to head with an environmentally-conscious group. Both reside in a small-town Montana collective community and the recent death of their leader sparks the power struggle.
There’s a vibe to this book that resonates like the more likeable parts of the MARS ATTACKS movie, comics, and original trading cards.
An alien exploratory craft enters the atmosphere and transports a human from ground level to their ship to make introductions. Turns out they hovered over a cemetery and tractor-beamed a zombie aboard their ship. Mayhem ensues and their ship crashes, with the community coming out to investigate. You might be surprised by what occurs next, and that’s why the description ends here. THE COLONIZED #1 is a promising beginning, with clever art that keeps a light-hearted touch on the more grisly scenes. This is worth checking out.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2 (Marvel, June 2013) Brian Michael Bendis, writer. Steve McNiven & Sara Pichelli, pencils.
While the storylines of this new series look to be epic and cosmic in scope, there is still a light-hearted side to the problem-of-the-moment rather than a doom-and-gloom serious or dark side. That’s abetted in part by the light humor and banter between the team members. Rocket Raccoon's role seems to be to provide the jokes and wisecracks, although he also displays a streak of deviltry when it comes to dispatching the enemy. He is still hard to accept as a likeable character, which is not helped by his cartoonish name. Does he even have a proper name? Is it just . . . . Rocket?
Bendis is a master of dialogue and interplay between characters, always entertaining and injecting a dash of realism whenever possible. In effect, these fantastic events and situations become coated with a thin sense of plausibility that makes it easier for the reader to swallow. McNiven and Pichelli do a masterful job on the art and continue to employ widescreen panels that sometimes spread across two pages, making everything seem more epic and cinematic. The colors and shading are very dynamic in this book.
Issue #2 shows the team in action, with the proper amount of spotlight on each character. The Guardians put down the Badoon space fleet that has invaded London airspace but don’t entirely resolve all the problems put before them. The sidelight this issue is some back-story detailing how the Council of Galactic Empires came to make the decision to place Earth on “hands-off” status. It’s not exactly the same as it was related to Peter Quill/Starlord last issue. His father, King J-Son of Spartax, leads the discussion of the council and we quickly learn that he is a classic manipulator, able to put various spins on the same scenario as suits his purposes. This has been a fun book so far that deserves to attract some attention from readers.
HOUSE OF GOLD & BONES #1 of 4 (Dark Horse, April 2013) Corey Taylor, script. Richard Clark, art. Dan Jackson, colors.
A man in a charcoal gray jumpsuit (prison uniform, or janitorial/service gear? The nametag says “Zero”) wakes up in a strange meadow, finds his way to a stone building, meets a weird wraithlike presence that refers to him as “Human”, and learns this is “Allen”, his twin. Human needs to find the House of Gold & Bones in order to get back home. This is the introduction to a seemingly allegorical tale of a quest.
Inspired by the Stone Sour album House of Gold & Bones, this is yet another in a series of comics written by musicians. This time it’s by Corey Taylor, of both Stone Sour and Slipknot fame. This introductory issue (titled “The Overture”) seems just a little too slow and plodding in its tale of discovery, and also fails to build enough interest in what may come later. The art is interesting but not engaging. The colors and inks are the best things on display here.
Taylor has been in a writing mood. He’s also finished his semi-autobiography A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process) to be released this July in hardcover and e-book editions.
JIRNI #1 (Aspen, April 2013) J. T. Krul, writer. Paolo Pantalena, pencils.
JIRNI is part of Aspen’s 10 FOR 10 project, 10 new titles with $1 first issues celebrating the first decade of Aspen Comics. It’s a deft blend of Arabian Nights lore with fantasy elements in a new world of sword and sorcery. Main character Ara is a displaced princess searching the world for her mother, kidnapped by a sorcerer. However, this is no pampered princess, as Ara displays her fighting skills in bloody fashion a la Red Sonja. Regular readers of fantasy and barbarian epics will be on familiar ground here. The introductory story is well-written, but breaks no new ground and seems interchangeable with several other series of similar settings. The women as depicted are all scantily-clad and well-endowed as per the Zenoscope house style, which it should remind readers of. Series artist Pantalena was heavily involved in character design for the book, and his art is very striking. The colors and inks in this series seem to pop off the page. It’s a delight to look at. Hopefully, the story will become just as engaging in future issues.
JUPITER’S LEGACY #1 (Image, April 2013) Mark Millar & Frank Quitely, co-creators. Mark Millar, writer. Frank Quitely, artist. Peter Doherty, colors, letters, design.
There is more dialogue between characters in this debut issue than you can find after reading five or six issues of KICK-ASS (also by Millar). After completing the first issue, it’s very hard to determine exactly where the storyline is headed or even who will be the major players. It’s a large cast and they have not all been introduced yet. If you are a fan of Frank Quitely, then it’s worth sticking around for several more issues just to admire more of his unique art style. Influences from Barry Windsor Smith to Moebius and John Cassady are put to great effect in his work. Quitely stands apart from other illustrators, and his artwork is very distinctive. In JUPITER’S LEGACY, he opts for a compressed style featuring smaller but widescreen panels as well as more panels per page than usual for him. Most likely this is a solution to keeping each issue at a reasonable page count considering the amount of exposition the story entails.
Following the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent Great Depression, a group of formerly privileged and educated business executives seek a way to restore greatness to their beloved country. They find their way to an uncharted island and whatever they discovered there transformed them into costumed superheroes, returning hope to a desperate country. Flash forward to the present day and the expectations that their equally-endowed offspring will carry on their legacy. But this new group is not so sure of themselves. Some of them do not share the vision of their parents, or their morals and values. Some want no part of the family business. Some feel they should use their powers in other ways, such as helping to correct a poor economy, poverty, and corruption in government. A super-villain gets defeated in very unconventional fashion, a method that some would find both questionable and wrong. Many of the young superheroes have a lot of idle time on their hands and indulge in drugs and other vices, as can be frequently witnessed in this debut issue.
X #0 (DARK HORSE, April 2013) Duane Swierczynski, story. Eric Nguyen, art.
If you crave some violent crime stories and are yearning for new works similar to the run of Garth Ennis on PUNISHER MAX, then this is a book you’ll want to give a look. X #0 strips the story down to all-out violence and brutality, with a main character with apparent Punisher-like motivations (which are yet to be explained). Kill shots, car bombs and nail bombs, severed limbs, and blood, blood, blood are featured prominently. Nguyen knows how to depict events for maximum effect. Warning: This book will disturb many readers.
X #0 reprints the story from the three-issue run of X in DARK HORSE PRESENTS #19-21 and serves as a prelude to the four-issue mini-series that will debut on May 8. It’s an ultra-intense re-boot of a character from Dark Horse’s previous 1990’s venture into super-hero titles (Comics’ Greatest World). The setting is Arcadia, a town in decline and over-run by criminals and corrupt politicians. X’s modus operandi is to mark an X over photo head-shots and mail them to his intended victims in advance of his coming.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
B.P.R.D.: VAMPIRE #1 of 5 (Dark Horse, March 2013) and B.P.R.D.: VAMPIRE #2 of 5 (April 2013) Story by Mike Mignola, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon. Art by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. Colors by Dave Stewart. Letters by Clem Robins.
If there are any “can’t miss” scripters in horror comics today, then Mike Mignola would be at or near the top of the list. If you are not picking up any of the various mini-series he’s been involved with the last few years (HELLBOY, B.R.P.D., BALTIMORE, etc) then you are depriving yourself of some ultra-premium quality work.
The imagery by Ba and Moon in the opening five pages is mesmerizing. Without dialogue or captions, the art reveals the details of a grim event while the coloring by Dave Stewart embellishes it further with dark tones and shades of red in stark contrast to the white, wintry woodlands. A dark river stained red by the floating corpses of various ladies in gowns creates enough dread in the reader to carry forward until the end of the issue.
These images also dominate the dreams as well as the waking moments of B.P.R.D. agent Simon Anders in Fairfield, Connecticut 1948. They are having a profound effect on his personality and demeanor, changing him into an angry, driven man. There is a connection between the images and a past event, involving twin aristocratic vampire ladies and their dominant escort. It revolves around a remote wooded shrine where vampires worship the goddess Hecate. Anders is determined to find the source and kill the vampires. It is hinted that there is a link between these events and Anders’ past.
The script, art, and exceptional coloring/shading by Dave Stewart work together in compelling fashion to portray the moody, atmospheric setting for the tale of Anders’ quest. It’s just another fine example of the talents of this incredible team.
Issue #2 gives a fine example of the art style that helps to immerse us into this strange setting. The cover depicts a moment of discovery in shades of gray and black, indigo and smoky blue, with just a splash of red dripping off a knife and leaving a vivid trail in the water. Throughout the book, the subtle and sometimes obvious little details move the story along and allow readers to walk the cobblestoned streets and alleys of a Czechoslovakian village with Anders and the comely local research assistant assigned to help him. Witch maps in the archives of B.P.R.D. headquarters have led him here, and the memories return as he finds the woods of his dreams.
This story is taking its time to play out, and is all the better for it. More details are layered on as the investigation continues through a village without men, some prophesizing crones, and the disturbing history of Wilhelm Von Rosenberg and descendants. The nose of the aristocratic ruler in an old portrait is remarkably similar to the profile of Anders’ nose. Pick up this series now and become enchanted. Kudos to Mignola and company.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I'm a fan of this web company and the EDISON REX and MASKS & MOBSTERS series. if you're not a digital reader, now you can read these worthwhile series in print very soon!
From the official press release . . . . . . . . . . .
MONKEYBRAIN COMICS HIT SHELVES THIS SUMMER
Portland, OR (February 27, 2012) – Monkeybrain Comics is pleased to announce the premiere print editions of their popular digital-first comics, heading to stores this summer.
Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver’s EDISON REX gets it all started in June with a collection published by IDW. EDISON REX is the story of the world’s greatest villain, who finally defeats his lifelong nemesis, the world’s greatest hero, and then has to decide what to do with the rest of his life.
July will see the release of MASKS & MOBSTERS by writer Joshua Williamson and artist Mike Henderson published by Shadowline/Image. MASKS & MOBSTERS is a noir-fueled anthology series set in the days of the Depression, and examines what happens to organized crime when masked crimefighters with superpowers first hit the scene.
And then in August, IDW will be releasing AMELIA COLE AND THE UNKNOWN WORLD by writers Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride and artist Nick Brokenshire. AMELIA COLE AND THE UNKNOWN WORLD is the story of a young woman who lives in two worlds, one mundane and one magical, who finds herself trapped in a third world in which the mundane and the magical exist side-by-side, however uneasily.
“Print collections have been a main goal from the beginning and it’s really exciting to see such a major piece of the plan fall into place,” Allison Baker says, “especially since it means even more people get to discover the amazing work of our creators!”
Other collections will be announced in coming months, with many more to follow.
About Monkeybrain Comics
Launched in the summer of 2012 by New York Times-bestselling writer Chris Roberson and TV commercial and film producer Allison Baker, Monkeybrain Comics was designed to be a home for quality creator-owned comics made available in digital format via the Comics By comiXology platform. The Onion AV Club has named Monkeybrain Comics the “premier destination for high-quality digital comics,” and IGN has said that Monkeybrain is “the company that seems to be doing [digital comics] best.” Monkeybrain titles were frequently cited in critics’ year-end surveys, and MASKS & MOBSTERS was named the Best Digital Series of 2012 by USA Today.
Monkeybrain Comics are available for purchase via the Comics by comiXology platform on phones, tablets, digital readers, and computers, and will now be available for the first time in print collections.
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Location:Winston Way,Oxford,United States
Sunday, April 14, 2013
INDIE COMICS HORROR #2 (Aazurn Publishing, Spring 2013 = sold only through pre-orders in PREVIEWS April 2013 catalog for books releasing in June) Various writers and artists. Black and white, 64 pages. $6.49
The brother/sister title to INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE expands to 64 pages with the second issue of INDIE COMICS HORROR, again promising “the best story and art from independent comic book creators.” Within its’ 64 pages are prime examples of the type of imaginative art and story that can be created outside of the confines of the mainstream comics publishers. Of even more importance, INDIE COMICS HORROR is providing a cost-effective way for unknown creators to reach a larger audience and hopefully interest readers in visiting their individual websites to learn, view, and buy more of the creator’s works. Each issue, as well as the Aazurn Publishing website at http://www.indiecomicsmagazine.com includes some background information on the writers and artists and provides the web links to their sites.
Readers of Dark Horse’s CREEPY COMICS, Bluewater’s VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS, DARK UNIVERSE and other current horror comics anthology series will find similar and engaging high-quality stories that mine the rich veins of horror tropes. Some of the writers and artists from INDIE COMICS HORROR #1 return to showcase more of their creativity.
Things start off in grisly fashion with “Stinky”, a tale of a poor and scruffy introverted high school student living in isolation and constantly being picked on and ridiculed for his unsanitary appearance and odor. The name fits and this tale of revenge (not quite as you may imagine) reveals how things got to their present state. Scripter Fabian Rangel, Jr. has no sympathy for the tormentors and artist Valentin Ramon Menendez depicts events in suitably dark lines and effective use of shadows. An especially vivid scene occurs when in consecutive panels a large shadow looms ever larger over the form of a frightened youth until it envelops him.
The “Ghosts” of the Old West never haunted settlers the way they plague grizzled and rugged Benton and his dog companion. At least he’s guaranteed to have a constant supply of visitors in this stylish story written by Scott R Schmidt and illustrated by Mac Radwanski.
Writer Terry Cronin from Issue #1 returns to tell two short stories with artistic help from several members of Students Of The Unusual. Cronin scripted the best story in Issue #1 and this delightful combo moves him right back into the front ranks. “The Chickcarnie” is a dark tale based on Bahamas legends and “Sulfur Water” is a nasty tasting encounter with unknown landscapes suffered by several youth who only wanted to engage in some fruit fight fun near a Florida orchard. There are some very creative images of falling in this story.
Two favorites from Issue #1 return to tell “The Tube” a creepy, twisted story involving a subway killer and a nervous passenger that is illustrated with great background detail from artist Dafu Yu, who also did the best illustration work of Issue #1. There’s also an unusual opening featuring a skirmish between a business-like older gentleman and Cuddles the Monster to see who get to tell it -- - lending a Twilight Zone atmosphere to the proceedings.
Scotland’s Paul Bradford also returns this issue to pen a dark, brooding tale about a solitary knight defending the gates of a stronghold against a band of Viking warriors. The pencils and shading of Matt Olson in “The Last Knight” keep things very dark, bloody and mysterious. Wonder what was so important to protect? Never mind. You’ll find out.
The new team (to Indie Comics Horror, that is) of writer Dan Rivera and artist Marc Jameson combine to tell the creepiest story in this issue with “The Assistant”. A victim of a nervous breakdown tries to get his family life and career back on track. He has the most difficulty trying to keep commitments and resorts to deep drastic measures to resolve his problems instead of just clowning around.
Writer/artist Chuck Foulds helps break the dour mood with an amusing story set “Somewhere In Transylvania”, although the title is a little misleading. It implies that this might be a vampire story, which it is not. However, if it brings yearning for classic Universal Studios monster fare, that craving will be satisfied. It did cause a few chuckles, in spite of its banality.
Returning writer Glenn Moane from Sweden apparently has some issues with abandonment. “The Drain” is a thoroughly depressing tale of a father growing apathetic towards his responsibilities and putting a plan into action. At least he didn’t resort to the deeply disturbing methods employed by his parents when he was young. Artist Aleksandar Bozic Ske employs a welcome lighter touch to the proceedings, but his pencils can’t camouflage the dark nature of the tale. Based on some equally negative views of residential communities in Moane’s Issue #1 story, the reader may conclude that he’s either superbly skilled at describing the darker moods of human nature, or he’s just incredibly cynical in his worldview.
Both INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE and INDIE COMICS HORROR are the brainchild of writer, artist and publisher Gary Scott Beatty. Beatty employs a unique and effective business model with these books. Each of the creative teams featured each issue assumes a partial share of the printing costs, and in return receives a partial share of the income. Even more importantly, these magazines offer a larger forum for the presentation of their works. That doesn’t mean that anyone with the money can buy their eight pages of space. There are standards and rules that Beatty enforces and only the best make the final cut.
Curiosity prompted an inquiry to Gary Scott Beatty asking for more specifics. What follows are portions of a short email interview with the publisher.
BC: I believe I understand your business model. Nine stories from eight writers this issue means that the printing/production costs were then split eight ways, with each of the creative teams sharing one eighth of the expense. Is that correct? Was this done to make the price more reasonable for creators or because you had extra content this issue?
BEATTY: Oh, an article on our unique business model! That’s interesting. Two things you’ll want to make clear, because they are often misunderstood:
1) I don’t make money from creators who buy in to INDIE COMICS HORROR or INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE. All of their buy-in costs goes towards the specifics outlined in our submissions page at http://aazurn.com/ICM.html. Any money I make to cover my time and talents comes from the Affordable Showcase Ads on the back cover. Yes, it’s a stupid business model but one that keeps costs down for the creators that share the expense of printing and promoting the books. Affordable Showcase Ads are popular with the indie community, because INDIE COMICS reach their target market: readers interested in independent comic books.
2) Content is edited. Not everyone who can pay will be in the books. The biggest reason I turn down submissions is stories have to wrap up in eight pages. Many creators are so busy world-building (for their mega-epics) they’ve lost the ability to tell an entertaining story in eight pages!
BC: Approximately how many submissions did you consider and qualify before narrowing it down to eight?
BEATTY: I am surprised that I am happy to accept over half of the work submitted for INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE and INDIE COMICS HORROR. I am constantly amazed at the quality of work submitted. There are many very talented creators that deserve our notice and support!
I see why editors get ulcers. I’m waiting now for one more submission for INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE #7 by the May 3 deadline so we can be in August’s PREVIEWS. We have a super lineup of seven solid stories and need just one more!
BC: How many issues does it normally require to reach the break-even point? - - where all expenses are covered and then the creators get their percentage of the profits?
BEATTY: For INDIE COMICS HORROR #2, now in April’s PREVIEWS, we have eight creators splitting the cost, and Terry (“Students Of The Unusual”) Cronin contributed two stories in his eight pages. Readers will get an extra story in this book’s 64 pages.
1,000 issues is our “sweet spot”, where creators begin making money back from Diamond sales. We always print 1,000 though, so if Diamond orders come in below that number, creators have books they can sell at conventions to recoup the expenses.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 (Marvel, May 2013) Writer Brian Michael Bendis. Penciler Steve McNiven.
Trying to decide which Marvel NOW team book to follow has been extremely difficult. There are more Avengers and X-Men team books than ever before. Many of them blend together former Avengers and X-Men team members as in UNCANNY AVENGERS, which only makes it more confusing. There are bound to be several very good team books in the bunch, but how to determine that without sampling every single one? (Groan!). I’ve decided to sit back and let things develop, read some reviews, listen to friends and then later pick up Volume 1 of the eventual trade paperback. In the meantime, there is one team book at Marvel that I actually do want to try picking up every month. It’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and it only took two issues to convince me.
Artist Steve McNiven quickly and easily establishes the scope of the universe that the Guardians will operate in. He opens Issue #1 with short wide-screen panels that span across two pages, beginning with a galaxy view in the first panel and then zooming down to a bar/cantina on an unidentified planet. As Peter Quill / Starlord is apparently trying to seduce a beautiful Kree woman, the sedate mix in the bar is stirred up and agitated by the bold and brash entrance of Peter’s father, the king of the Spartax planetary system, along with his company of soldiers.
He wants to “save” Peter and protect him from harm by persuading him to stay away from planet Earth. Peter is only interested in baiting and confronting his father, reminding him in subtle and not-so-subtle ways of his abandonment of Peter and his mother during those critical formative years. He continues to try and one-up or embarrass his father, or at the least make him jealous. It’s fun to observe. (It bothers me a little that throughout the entire issue Bendis never refers to Father Quill by his full name, forcing me to look up my copy of Issue #0.1. His full name is J’Son of Spartax. )
It seems that the council of the Galactic Empires has declared Earth off-limits to extraterrestrial interaction. The planet just needs to be left alone to develop without interference. Peter argues that the effect will be to allow other empires, such as the Badoon, to declare open season on Earth. Sure enough, Tony Stark/ Space Iron Man gets attacked while on an outer space patrol just outside the Earth’s atmosphere by the Badoon. The Guardians rescue him and disable the Badoon ship, and it free-falls into the Earth’s atmosphere. Guess where everybody will end up next issue? On Planet Earth. Seems like Pete’s dad set him up.
The marketing campaign for the late 2014 movie is already underway, and judging by the 16 different covers being offered for this first issue, Marvel must be hoping movie anticipation drives some people into the comics stores to find something Guardian-related to help satisfy their new appetite. (Which is a smart marketing approach, and leaves me wondering why DC didn’t try to build-up this year’s Superman movie the same way.) So far the story has been fun to follow. I’m in for the first adventure for sure.
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Location:Winston Way,Oxford,United States