Thursday, January 19, 2017

STRANGE HORROR Kickstarter is well underway. Pledge now.

 

 
EDITOR’S NOTE: Regular readers of our blog know that we’re not shy about endorsing Kickstarter campaigns when we think they are worthy. If you like horror comics, then do yourself a favor and check out the campaign for STRANGE HORROR.  It’s a departure from publisher Gary Scott Beatty’s business model with INDIE COMICS, with publishing costs being shared by all featured creators.  In this case, STRANGE HORROR is a digital only production and the work is already done.  The Kickstarter campaign is mainly to ensure that the creators get paid after the fact.  It’s a risk, but we applaud the trail-blazing effort.  You can get copies of all 3 titles for just $2 each.  Read below . . . . .
Strange Horror is on Kickstarter TODAY!

We're all excited here as the long-awaited Strange Horror Kickstarter campaign begins TODAY! Supporters will soon be pulling in Milestone Rewards, free stories given to them because they are backers of Strange Horror #1, #2 and #3! Check it out here!

A creepy video preview of Strange Horror is included in this email to get you to that Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/garyscottbeatty/strange-horror-tales-of-fright-beyond-the-ordinary

Plus, Strange Horror could be the first comic book Kickstarter with an Original Music Soundtrack download level! Check out the video preview of one of the songs: Dunwich!

 

CLICK for video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mywRqm35D3Y&feature=youtu.be

CLICK for video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H3MKITmQPo&feature=youtu.be

Strange Horror — is HERE! Visit the Kickstarter now at

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/garyscottbeatty/strange-horror-tales-of-fright-beyond-the-ordinary

Gary Scott Beatty
Wanting you to join the fun at Kickstarter
Strange Horror #1, #2 and #3


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Comics Review: Crime and passion are simply grand

GRAND PASSION  #2  (Dynamite Entertainment, December 21, 2016 release date)  

GRAND PASSION #3  (Dynamite Entertainment, January 18, 2017 release date)

Writer: James Robinson.  Art: Tom Feister.   Colors: David Curiel.  Letters: Simon Bowland.  MATURE READERS. Explicit content, language and images.

See our review of Issue #1 in the Archives for November 15, 2016

 

GrandPassion02 Cov A Cassaday

   The challenge is before us:  how to write about GRAND PASSION and alert readers to the amazing book that it is without giving the plot away?  We certainly don’t want to spoil it for those readers who pick up this book based on our recommendation. 

 

     It’s a gritty crime comic that begins with Steve and Mabel,  a pair of  modern day Bonnie and Clyde bank robbers that gets broken up when Steve gets killed. Mabel escapes, but not before making eye contact with new small town Illinois deputy Mac. Both Mabel and Mac feel the electricity and magic.  But Mabel vows to return later to avenge Steve by killing Mac. As promised, GRAND PASSION will blend crime and romance together. But not just yet. 

 

          We get more details in Issues #2 and #3, details we aren’t going to share too much of.  Deputy Steve is the only one investigating the bank robbery and hoping to find clues that will lead to the whereabouts of Mabel, who should be long gone if she’s smart. But, there’s that vow she made.  Don’t read this book if you don’t like realistic portrayals of violence. And for sure don’t read Issue #3 if you don’t believe smoldering sex scenes have any business on the comics pages. 

 

  We are reminded of some classic crime movies, such as the adaptation of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice. GRAND PASSION is a very cinematic book, in both story and illustration.  The dialogue is convincing.  The situations get complicated. The art team rocks. We’re loving this book.


BCGrandPassion03 Cov A Cassaday RATING SYSTEM

 

   STORY:  While the story and plot may not seem totally original to anyone familiar with crime fiction, it’s all about the story-telling style of Robinson.  He knows how to bring it, keeping it fresh and engaging. This book really flows. Good drama, suspense, details. 2.5 POINTS.

 

ART:  It bears repeating: Feister has a nice, crisp cinematic style that goes right along with Robinson’s story approach. The use of very narrow multiple panels are especially effective. Many are dialogue and caption-free, allowing the art to move the story along.  2.5  POINTS

 

COVER:  Gives a clear indication of the contents and the story-telling style. A montage of images to pull you in. 1.5 POINTS. 

 

READ AGAIN?  Yes. Too much fun not to read a second time. 1 POINT.

 

RECOMMEND?  Yes. If you like crime comics and you want something a little different, check this out. 1 POINT.

 

TOTAL RATING: 8.5 POINTS. This book will make you want to go find some more crime comics to read, which is not a bad thing at all.  You also may want to take a cold shower later. 

 

 

SNEAK PEEK: X-O MANOWAR #1 (March 2017)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We think this is going to be one of the best books of 2017. There’s a reason we made it our #1 Pre-Order Pick from the January Previews catalog.  Make sure you get the Pre-Order Bundle of Issues #1-3 with extra content.  See details at the end of this article.

Valiant Unveils First Lettered Look Inside X-O MANOWAR #1 – On Sale March 22nd!
Visionary Creators Matt Kindt & Tomas Giorello Begin An Awe-Inspiring Space Epic in 2017’s Biggest New Series Debut
     Valiant is proud to present the first lettered look inside the all-new X-O MANOWAR #1 – the FIRST ISSUE of the EPIC NEW ONGOING SERIES from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Divinity, Ninjak, Mind MGMT) and a rotating cast of the most formidable visual storytellers in comics today, including Tomas Giorello (4001 A.D.: War Mother, Bloodshot Reborn), Doug Braithwaite (Armor Hunters, Bloodshot U.S.A.), Clayton Crain (Rai, Carnage), Ryan Bodenheim (The Dying & The Dead), and Mico Suayan (Bloodshot Reborn), that together will span the series’ first year in 2017 and beyond! 
 
A stunning new beginning for Valiant’s most enduring icon starts here on March 22nd with part one of “SOLDIER” – a punishing, three-issue introduction that will push Aric of Dacia beyond the farthest limits of our galaxy…and into the brutal opening salvo of the ultimate X-O Manowar tale ever told!

“What do you do that hasn't been done before? I figured the way to do that would be to just throw him on a completely alien planet with all new cultures,” series writer Matt Kindt revealed.  “"I think what's fun is [that] the series has Aric's story arc that he's going to follow, but then the armor also has its own… The armor is evolving, and it's growing, and it’s going to have its own arc, too." 
 
Born under the oppressive thumb of the Roman Empire, Aric of Dacia learned warfare at an early age. It was amid such violence that he was abducted by an alien race. Forced into slavery, he survived where others perished. His escape would come from bonding with a weapon of immeasurable power: the X-O Manowar armor. With it, he returned to Earth...only to find himself stranded in the modern day.
 
But that was a lifetime ago.
 
Now, far from home on a strange and primitive new world, Aric has begun a new life. Liberated from his past, he tends to his crops. Free from war. Free from violence. Free from the armor.
 
But the machinery of death marches his way once again. Conscripted into an alien army and thrown into an unforgiving conflict, the fury inside him finds voice as he is forced to embrace the armor once more. With it, he will decimate armies, topple empires and incite interplanetary warfare as he rises from SOLDIER to GENERAL to EMPEROR to VISIGOTH. They wanted a weapon. He will give them war!
 
In the wake of “SOLDIER”’s staggering assault in issues #1-3, X-O MANOWAR then continues in 2017 and beyond as a superstar cast of Valiant’s most acclaimed artistic talents chart Aric’s path from SOLDIER to GENERAL to EMPEROR to VISIGOTH for a vicious, year-long journey of bone and bloodshed born from the battlefields of a herculean alien empire: 
 
X-O MANOWAR #1 | "SOLDIER" – PART ONE
MATT KINDT | TOMAS GIORELLO

MARCH 2017
 
X-O MANOWAR #4 | "GENERAL" – PART ONE
MATT KINDT | DOUG BRAITHWAITE

JUNE 2017
 
X-O MANOWAR #7 | "EMPEROR" – PART ONE
MATT KINDT | CLAYTON CRAIN

SEPTEMBER 2017
 
X-O MANOWAR #10 | INTERLUDE
MATT KINDT | RYAN BODENHEIM

DECEMBER 2017
 
X-O MANOWAR #11 | "VISIGOTH" – PART ONE
MATT KINDT | MICO SUAYAN

JANUARY 2018
 
On March 22nd, the Valiant Universe hurdles toward a pivotal turning point as Matt Kindt and Tomas Giorello usher in a new era with the all-new X-O MANOWAR #1 – featuring covers by Lewis LaRosa(Bloodshot Reborn), Kenneth Rocafort (Inhumans vs. X-Men), Mico Suayan (Thor), J.G. Jones (Final Crisis), and Monica Palosz (Divinity III: Stalinverse)!
 
Plus: Valiant is also rewarding fans who reserve copies of X-O MANOWAR’s complete opening story arc in advance with their local retailer with the X-O MANOWAR #1-3 PRE-ORDER EDITION BUNDLE!
 
Available only as a pre-order set, the X-O MANOWAR #1-3 PRE-ORDER EDITIONS must be ordered as a complete bundle at your local comic shop by the initial order date of January 26th, 2017! Released monthly from March through May, featuring exclusive covers by series interior artist Tomas Giorello and clocking in a colossal 48 pages each, every PRE-ORDER EDITION comes packed with trade paperback-style extras and bonus content, including creator commentary, behind-the-scenes looks at the creation of the comics, process character designs and artwork, and first looks at upcoming issues.
 
The only way to reserve these exclusive copies is by pre-ordering all three issues at your local comic shop by January 26th, 2017. Further copies will not be available beyond that date and subsequent issues will not be offered in later solicitations, so don’t miss your chance! Simply copy one of the pre-order coupons included in this month’s Previews catalog or in every issue of Valiant’s January-shipping comics releases and present it to your local comic shop to reserve your X-O MANOWAR #1-3 PRE-ORDER BUNDLE.

X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TOMÁS GIORELLO
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA (JAN172113)
Cover B by KENNETH ROCAFORT (JAN172114)
Interlocking Variant Cover by MICO SUAYAN (JAN172116)
X-O Manowar Icon Variant by J.G. JONES (JAN172117)
Brushed Metal Variant Cover by MONIKA PALOSZ (JAN172117)
$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On Sale MARCH 22nd (FOC – 2/27/17)
 
X-O MANOWAR #1-3 PRE-ORDER EDITION BUNDLE
Written by MATT KINDT
Art & Covers by TOMAS GIORELLO (JAN172115)
$11.97 [three issues] | 48 pgs. each | T+ (IOD – 1/26/17)
X-O MANOWAR #1 PRE-ORDER EDITION | On Sale MARCH 22nd
X-O MANOWAR #2 PRE-ORDER EDITION | On Sale APRIL 26th
X-O MANOWAR #3 PRE-ORDER EDITION | On Sale MAY 24th


X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 – Cover A by Lewis LaRosa


X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 – Cover B by Kenneth Rocafort


X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1-3 – Interlocking Variants by Mico Suayan

X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 – Interior Art by Tomas Giorello with Diego Rodriguez


X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 – Interior Art by Tomas Giorello with Diego Rodriguez



X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 – Interior Art by Tomas Giorello with Diego Rodriguez



X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 – Interior Art by Tomas Giorello with Diego Rodriguez


X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1 – Interior Art by Tomas Giorello with Diego Rodriguez


X-O MANOWAR (2017) #1-3 PRE-ORDER EDITIONS – Coupon
 

CRAIG YOE: 50 Years of Uncovering Comics Gems

CRAIG YOE'S GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF PUBLISHING

50 Years of Making Comics History

from the official IDW Publishing Press Release . . . . . .

This year Craig Yoe, whom USA Today calls, “The comic book genre’s master archaeologist,” begins another chapter in “Making Comics History.” Yoe produced his first publication on comics history 50 years ago - a fanzine printed on a hand-cranked mimeograph machine. 2017 will be a year long Golden Anniversary Celebration of Craig Yoe’s sharing his comics findings with comics lovers! 

Yoe says, “I never lost my passion for comics or publishing but, career-wise, I got distracted.” Those distractions included being a nightclub owner, a long-haired minister, a toy inventor, and a creative director for Disney and Nickelodeon. And Yoe was a Creative Director/Vice President General Manager for The Muppets, too. He drew the initial character sketches for the Dinosaurs TV show and created designs for the Muppet Disney World attraction. Jim Henson said, "Craig brings with him his valuable creativity and enthusiasm. He has a nice mix of business and creative talent!" 

After Henson’s passing, Yoe began Yoe Studio. He took on a full creative and business partner in the studio—and a life partner—when he met his future wife Clizia Gussoni at the Lucca Comics convention in Italy, which included an exhibit from Yoe’s book The Art of Mickey Mouse. The book touted interpretations of Mickey by Peter MaxAndy WarholKeith Haring, and even Michael Jackson

The New York Times exclaimed, “Yoe Studio has designed logos, toys, advertising, and websites for a list of clients that reads like the Fortune 500!" Those clients included Microsoft, Mattel, Marvel, DC Comics, Pepsi, Toys R Us, and the United Nations. For MTV, he created their heaviest rotated station ID that garnered a Mobius (Yoe’s storyboard was animated by the famed J.J. Sedelmaier Productions). 

But Craig Yoe had a hankering to get back to his first love in popular culture, comics. He discovered unknown fetish artwork and edited a book, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster. It whipped up excitement around the world, even making the front page of USA Today. Yoe was interviewed on Fox News and on NPR’s Fresh Air. The revelation was breathless news in Time and Playboy. Vice Magazine proclaimed, “Craig Yoe is an Indiana Jones for perv/nerd artifacts!” 

Secret Identity was introduced by the legendary Stan Lee and other Yoe books have sported introductions by John UpdikeR. CrumbAdam WestBill WattersonJerry Only of the Misfits, and Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

One of the first moves of IDW Publishing's COO and President Greg Goldstein after joining the company, along with CEO and Publisher Ted Adams, was to ink a deal with Yoe Studio to start the imprint Yoe Books. In six years the imprint has published over 60 books of classic comics highlighting artists like Steve DitkoJack KirbyWalt KellyJoe KubertMilt GrossCarl BarksDick BrieferBud SagendorfFrank Frazetta, and many more. The collections have featured horror, humor, kids comics, fantasy, and romance. 

Yoe is a two-time Eisner Award winner, has received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, a Mobius, and the Jerry Bails Fandom Award. Of all of the recognition Yoe is proudest of the awards for The School of Five comic books, published in 26 countries, in 23 languages in over 40 million copies (a world record). These superhero comics, done in conjunction with Unilever and various social mission organizations, teach children in developing countries the importance of washing their hands to prevent deaths from diarrheal diseases. The comics are saving countless lives. 

Craig Yoe and Yoe Books have garnered high praise: 

ABC News called Craig Yoe ”America's Foremost Comics Historian!" 

MTV opined, ”If you're a comic book lover and are looking for the perfect ‘coffee table’ tome for your rad crash pad, seek no further than Yoe Books and their swank collection of retro favorites—from the wacky to the bizarre! Yoe is an exceptional comics historian, unearthing fascinating comics!” 

The Library Journal calls Yoe Books publications,” Wildly creative historical comic collections!" "Scale breaking!" and "Beautifully produced!" 

Actor and pop culture icon Mark Hamill has tweeted, “I keep buying books from Yoe Books as gifts, then keeping them for myself!

Check it out at   http://yoebooks.com/?utm_source=Marketing+-+Media+Lists&utm_campaign=612158a925-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b0dc13b2d9-612158a925-82868785&mc_cid=612158a925&mc_eid=b1822bf1af 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: BUSINESS FOR PUNKS

BUSINESS FOR PUNKS (BREAK ALL THE RULES — THE BREWDOG WAY)  by James Watt.  Portfolio / Penguin Books  2015. Hardcover, 256 pages.  ISBN # 978-1-101-97992-1.


 

This is25716694 a book that exudes the late 1970’s UK punk rock emotion and attitude in several ways. The format is heavily reminiscent of the art style on the first album by the seminal punk band, The Sex Pistols, from it’s black and white and blue-tinged photos to the slogans and quotes pasted all over the pages in haphazard fashion.  

 

     The contents treat the conventions of the traditional business world in irreverent and humorous fashion.  Yet, the book contains enough chunks of wisdom to be of value to any modern start-up company.  It’s chock full of  Brewdog founder James Watt’s mantras and catch-phrases.  It’s the most funny and entertaining business book I’ve ever read.  If they were all like this, I might read more of them. 

 

     Watt is the co-founder (with best friend Martin Dickie) of BrewDog which started very small in native Scotland and grew from there. Sometime in the first quarter of 2017, they will cut the ribbon for their first brewery in the United States (Columbus, Ohio). Watts is not just a street-smart business leader. He earned his chops as a qualified deep sea captain, and holds honors degrees in both law and economics. 

 

   In Watt’s philosophy, the key is not to start a business, but to begin a revolution. His company, Brewdog, grew to it’s position as one of the better and fastest growing businesses through hard work and a lot of enthusiastic faith that transferred to employees as well as loyal customers. Everyone embraces the mission, and that is to create passion for craft beer.  Business plans are scrapped for missions.  They don’t hire sales people; they employ missionaries to help spread the word. 


1443187004Cover

   How they accomplished this is summed up in the pasted captions in the book’s prologue: “We tore up the business rule book and did things on our own terms.”  From there, Watts lays out his philosophy and rules in seven sections that cover everything from start-up to financing, marketing, sales, team-building and a lot of attitude.  Along with the revolutionary ideas, readers get a biography of sorts and background details of Watts and Brewdogs’ rise to glory. 

 

    Unless you’re a straight-laced suit who’s downed too much of the corporate Kool-Aid, you’ll finish reading BUSINESS FOR PUNKS and want to do one or all of three things:  1) Start your own business. 2) Go buy some Brewdog product 3) Invest in the future of Brewdog.  Me, I’d love to drink a good, hearty beer with this guy. 

 

Biographical graphic novel released on life and election of new POTUS

EDITORS NOTE: This article should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the President-Elect and/or his policies and character. However, we reside in a country where we enjoy freedom of choice. Recognizing that some of our readers may have voted for him or would be interested in learning more of his background, we have decided to post the following press release from TidalWave Productions. We respect their objectivity in publishing biographies of prominent news figures, regardless of their personal philosophies or interests.  . . . . . . 


NEW DONALD TRUMP GRAPHIC NOVEL FEATURES LIFE AND ELECTION

 

     Political Power Donald Trump: The Graphic Novel, will be in stores and available digitally Wednesday, January 18.  It the latest addition to the successful line of TidalWave’s biography titles. The graphic novel is released in conjunction with the Friday, January 20th Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.   

PPTRUMPGN

     Billionaire. Hotelier. Part-Owner of the Miss USA pageant. Author. Philanthropist. Reality television star. Consumer brand.  President of the United States.  Amidst the chaos of 2016’s crowded field of hopeful Republicans, American businessman Donald J. Trump declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States.


     One by one, his opponents fell to the will of voters who saw Trump as the savior of a country where the American dream seemed broken and unattainable. On the heels of one of the most divisive elections in modern history, will his vaunted ego cause one of the most influential men in America to save a country, or destroy it?


     This 60-page volume features pin-ups from TidalWave artists and chronicles the ascension of Trump from his youth, when his family instilled in him ambition and energy and how he combined that with skill and drive to earn build a real estate and media empire.

 

     The 60-page collectible graphic novel is written by Michael Frizell and Jerome Maida, featuring art by Nathan Webb and Amer Moghrabi with cover by famed DC Comics artist Joe Philips. 

 

     "TidalWave has two mandates for their profiles of political figure. The first is to keep it fair. The second is to consider the audience. Who would read a book about President-elect Trump? Likely his fans would be more apt to pick it up, so presenting a biased point of view would not be appropriate especially since schools are picking these books up too,” said Frizell. 

 

     Since 2008, TidalWave’s (formerly Bluewater) publishing line has been addressing current events and releasing entertaining biographies of the men and women vying to become America’s next leaders, a fact which makes publisher and President Darren G. Davis proud.

 

     “Growing up, I was a reluctant reader. We hope to reach kids in similar situations that may be more apt to read when a comic book is placed in front of them,” said Davis. “I have guest taught in schools and found comic books to be an excellent way to reach children and young adults.” Davis also added that understanding the realm of politics may seem daunting to some. “It’s my hope that these informative and entertaining books teach readers about the candidates. Comic books have grown up; they’re not just for kids anymore.”

 

     Over sixty subjects have been created in comic book form from TidalWave, such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and Condoleezza Rice. Upcoming subjects are Michael Pence, Elizabeth Warren and Alexander Hamilton.

 

     TidalWave's biographical comic books have been featured on CNN, Politico, Roll Call, The Today Show, FOX News, and in People Magazine among thousands of others. “Comics promote literacy,” said publisher Davis. “It’s my hope that in addition to fans of the candidate that younger readers will learn something about how our political process works.” 

 

   Political Power Donald Trump: The Graphic Novel is available for your e-reader from iTunes, Kindle, Nook, ComiXology, DriveThru Comics, Google Play, My Digital Comics, Powfolio, Overdrive, Iverse, Biblioboard, Flipkart, ComicBin, Axis360, Blio, Entitle, Comicblender, Kobo and wherever eBooks are sold.

Print copies can be ordered exclusively at ComicFleaMarket.com. 

 

About TidalWave Productions

 

     Formerly known as Bluewater Comics, TidalWave delivers a multimedia experience unparalleled in the burgeoning graphic fiction and nonfiction marketplace. Dynamic storytelling coupled with groundbreaking art delivers an experience like no other. Stories are told through multiple platforms and genres, gracing the pages of graphic novels, novelizations, engaging audio dramas, cutting-edge film projects, and more. Diversity defines TidalWave’s offerings in the burgeoning pop culture marketplace, offering fresh voices and innovative storytellers.

 

     As one of the top independent publishers of comic book and graphic novels, TidalWave unites cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by the publishing industry’s most exciting artists and writers. Its extensive catalog of comic book titles includes the bestsellers “10th Muse” and “The Legend of Isis,” complimented by a line of young adult books and audiobooks. TidalWave’s publishing partnerships include entertainment icon William Shatner (“TekWar Chronicles”), legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen (“Wrath of the Titans,” “Sinbad: Rogue of Mars,” “Jason and the Argonauts,” and more), novelists S.E. Hinton (“The Puppy Sister”) and William F. Nolan (“Logan’s Run”), and celebrated actors Vincent Price (“Vincent Price Presents”), Dirk Benedict of the original “Battlestar Galactica” (“Dirk Benedict in the 25th Century”), and Adam West of 1966’s “Batman” fame (“The Mis-Adventures of Adam West”). TidalWave also publishes a highly-successful line of biographical comics under the titles “Orbit,” “Fame,” “Beyond,” “Tribute,” “Female Force,” and “Political Power.”

 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January PREVIEWS Pre-Order Picks, Part Two

EDITOR’S NOTES:  As we have been suggesting for some time now, it’s extremely helpful to your local comic shop that you use the PREVIEWS catalog or website and pre-order books each month.  It helps the store from having to deal with surplus and un-returnable inventory; and ensures that the books you want will be there.  We’ve been reviewing the debut titles each month and offering some pre-order suggestions.  We’re going to fine tune that further this month and pick only those books that are both #1 issues as well as books that we feel may be under-ordered and not necessarily available when you decide to make it an impulse buy. In other words, we’re trying to pre-determine what books will sell out at the local level and go into second and/or third printings. We don’t claim to have a crystal ball , so the coming months will reveal how accurate our picks are.  Don’t wait and expect to find enough copies of these books on your comic shop shelves to satisfy all the impulse buyers. Make sure you get what you want by pre-ordering now . . . . . .

STL035995

AMERICAN GODS: SHADOWS #1  (Dark Horse Comics)  Writer/Creator: Neil Gaiman.  Writer/Artist: P. Craig Russell. Artist/Cover: Scott Hampton. Cover Artists: Glenn Fabry, David Mack, Dave McKean

 

     Neil Gaiman is one of our favorite authors, and AMERICAN GODS is our favorite Gaiman novel, an epic tale of old gods warring with new gods and featuring a score of fascinating characters.  The novel won A Hugo award as well as Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy and Nebula awards.  AMERICAN GODS the television series will also soon debut on the Starz network.  

 

    For those already familiar with the novel, the new comic series offers an opportunity to see it visualized and brought to four-color life. We’re curious to see if the images from the creative team match or come close to the vivid images implanted in our memories by the skillful descriptions of Neil Gaiman.  The comic series will also serve new readers as an excellent introduction point to the wonders of the novel.  We expect this one to sell out at the distribution level, and go into a second printing.  Don’t be caught waiting. 

 

STL036764

ROYAL CITY #1  (Image Comics)  Story / Art / Cover: Jeff Lemire

 

  Jeff Lemire possesses a unique ability to empathize with his characters, regardless of their background and/or superhuman abilities. His run on Bloodshot (Valiant), Animal Man (DC) Moon Knight (Marvel) and others brought new depths of emotion and character to those books.  

 

    Even better are the original works of science fiction and fantasy (Sweet Tooth, Descender, Trillium) that Lemire has published over the years. As good as all those books have been, Lemire exceeds those heights of glory with one of his earliest works, Essex County.  Royal City looks to be a return to the themes of Essex County = impoverished country and small town life, rich with emotion and human drama.  Royal City centers around the lives of a troubled family and a vanishing town across three decades. 

STL036297

 

GRASS KINGS #1  (Boom! Studios)  Written by Matt Kindt. Illustrated by Tyler Jenkins.

 

    While we’re on the subject of small town life, Kindt and Jenkins have created a whole community of citizens from the fabric of imagination.  The early information on Grass Kings promises a combination fantasy/mystery series about a trailer park kingdom living outside of the establishment and a safe haven for weirdos and misfits.

 

  Kindt, like Lemire, has also shown a knack for writing engaging tales of super-powered individuals. But he also excels at the original creations, which take things to an even higher level of mature comics writing.  Grass Kings seems like his attempt to blend some of the down-home writing style of Lemire into his work that must have rubbed off on him from their previous collaborations.  We look forward to seeing what he does with this. 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yep, that’s it!  The shortest Pre-Order Picks we’ve ever posted.  Just one 3-book bundle and 3 individual debut issues. We expect big things from all of these titles.

January PREVIEWS Pre-Order Picks: Our PRIORITY ONE suggestion

EDITOR’S NOTES:  As we have been suggesting for some time now, it’s extremely helpful to your local comic shop that you use the PREVIEWS catalog or website and pre-order books each month.  It helps the store from having to deal with surplus and un-returnable inventory; and ensures that the books you want will be there.  We’ve been reviewing the debut titles each month and offering some pre-order suggestions.  We’re going to fine tune that further this month and pick only those books that are both #1 issues as well as books that we feel may be under-ordered and not necessarily available when you decide to make it an impulse buy. In other words, we’re trying to pre-determine what books will sell out at the local level and go into second and/or third printings. We don’t claim to have a crystal ball , so the coming months will reveal how accurate our picks are.  We kick things off this month with the book at the top of our list, the one that we feel everyone should be pre-ordering . . . . . . . .

 

X-O MANOWAR #1  (Valiant Entertainment)  Writer: Matt Kindt.  Penciler: Tomas Giorello.  Cover Artists: Lewis LaRosa, Kenneth Rocafort, Mico Suavan, J. G. Jones, Monika Palosz.

 

XO2017 001 COVER A LAROSA2

     The first 50-issue run of X-O MANOWAR scripted by Robert Vendetti was an incredible journey, as readers watched Aric of Dacia mature from a barbarian in a symbiotic alien tech armored suit to a leader, team builder, and diplomat. The very capable Matt Kindt takes over the writing as Aric begins a new life, without dependance on the armor, on a new world.  The storyline has been plotted out well in advance, with story arcs that hint at the future development of the character from Solider to General to Emperor to Visigoth. 

 

   That’s not the only reason we’ve selected this book as our Number One Pick for January Pre-Orders.  Valiant is alsXO2017 001 VARIANT ICON JONESo offering the first three issues as a pre-order set - - - the X-O MANOWAR #1-3 PRE-ORDER EDITIONS.  It’s a different approach to marketing, and one that should benefit publisher, distributor, comic shop, and most importantly the readers. 

 

     Valiant released several new series last year, most of which went to second and third printings for their opening issues and first story arcs - - - with FAITH being the best example of this trend.  Good for sales, but it plays havoc with the printing schedules and can sometimes slow down production on their other books.  By offering a bundle of the first three issues, it helps Valiant to better schedule the appropriate number of issues during the first printing. Distributors have enough copies to satisfy orders. Comic shops have enough copies to meet reader demand.  Readers get extra content at no extra charge as an incentive to order in advance. 

 

    From the PREVIEWS catalog:  “Available only as a pre-order set, the X-O MANOWAR #1-3 PRE-ORDER EDITIONS — three 48-page, massively expanded editions of X-O Manowar’s colossal opening story arc - can only be ordered as a set and must be ordered with your local comic shop by the initial order date of January 26, 2017.

 

     Released monthly from March through May, each PRE-ORDER EDITION comes packed with trade paperback-style extras and bonus content, including creator commentary, behind-the-scenes looks at the creation of the comics, process character designs and artwork, and first looks at upcoming issues.


 

XO2017 001 COVER B ROCAFORT

   








The only way to obtain these exclusive items is to pre-order all three issues with your local comic shop by the initial order date of January 26,2017. 


No more copies will be made available beyond that date and subsequent issues will not be offered in later solicitations.”

 

So, our Number One Pick for January pre-order is this special bundle. 


Why settle for a single issue, only to decide you want to keep going?  Get the first three issues as a set and get the bonus content.  

 

Friday, January 13, 2017

STRANGE HORROR features Lovecraft themed story

EDITOR’S NOTE: More updates from our indie friend with a Strange Horror Preview: WELCOME TO DUNWICH
Strange Horror is Coming to Kickstarter 1-17-17

Written by me and illustrated by Mark Bloodworth, Welcome to Dunwich is one of three stories serialized in Strange Horror #1, #2 and #3. Check out the preview pages below, and listen to me being interviewed about Welcome to Dunwich in a video!

Plus, Strange Horror could be the first comic book Kickstarter with an Original Music Soundtrack download level! Check out the video preview of one of the songs in the full-length soundtrack download: Wounds!

 
Large single family homes come up for sale in the sinister Miskatonic River Valley, as a speculator attempts to gentrify fabled Dunwich, despite portents of doom. Written by me and illustrated by Macabre Mark Bloodworth (Deadworld, Hellraiser).
 

CLICK for video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFM7frQ8qw0&feature=youtu.be

CLICK for video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zXp0K1fs-E&feature=youtu.be

We're throwing a Strange Horror Kickstarter Kickoff Party! Join us on Facebook for Story PREVIEW PAGES and more! 

https://www.facebook.com/events/246927269072095/

Gary Scott Beatty
Try pronouncing Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
Strange Horror #1, #2 and #3

Valiant to visit King Arthur legend in one-shot title

Valiant’s Fred Van Lente & Cary Nord Hold Court for IMMORTAL BROTHERS: THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1 – Coming in April!
Celebrate 25 Years of Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior and Ivar, Timewalker with a Special 48-Page Quest into Arthurian Legend!


     Valiant is proud to announce IMMORTAL BROTHERS: THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1 – a 48-page, standalone special reuniting Archer & Armstrong, the Eternal Warrior, and Ivar, Timewalker for a swashbuckling adventure through King Arthur’s court! On April 12th, New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (Archer & Armstrong) returns to the ageless Anni-Padda brothers with Eisner Award-winning artist and Valiant superstar Cary Nord (X-O Manowar) for the first of four oversized issues honoring the most memorable Valiant tales ever told across the summer of 2017! From ancient Mesopotamia to the streets of modern-day New York, Armstrong, Gilad, and Ivar have seen, heard, and fought it all… Now, celebrate the 25th anniversary of Valiant’s most famous band of brothers right here with a marvelously extra-long and lavishly illustrated epic of bravery and brute force in the style of Barry Windsor-Smith’s classic Archer & Armstrong/Eternal Warrior #8
 
It’s winter at King Arthur’s court in Camelot! The monstrous Green Knight has appeared before the Round Table with no armor, a gigantic axe, and a challenge. He has come to insist that the weaker knights participate in a friendly “winter’s game” where anyone can strike him once with his axe, but on one condition: That the Green Knight can return the exact blow in one year’s time. King Arthur has agreed to face the mysterious knight himself, but the Round Table’s youthful and most gallant champion, Sir Gilad, takes up the challenge to protect his king. Much to the court’s surprise, the Green Knight doesn’t flinch as his head is struck clean off…only to pick it up himself and warn Gilad that he is fated to receive the same blow before the year is out. Now, Gilad – the Eternal Warrior – must solve the mystery of who the Green Knight is before his hour at the axe comes to pass! But first, he’ll need to find some help...in the form of his own immortal brothers – Armstrong and Ivar – who shall be united once more!

 “Aram is super-strong, Ivar is super-smart, and Gilad is super-brutal. That leads to radically different worldviews. So when thrown together, they have completely different approaches to solving problems,” reveals writer Fred Van Lente.  “Thus, they bicker constantly whenever they're together—they are constantly trying to one-up each other, and prove their way is right.” 
 
On April 12th, the Valiant Universe’s three immortal adventurers are going down in history when all-star creators Fred Van Lente and Cary Nord bring Archer & Armstrong, the Eternal Warrior, and Ivar, Timewalker together for a centuries-spanning journey into lore and legend! It all starts here with an oversized, 48-page saga of Valiant’s most noble heroes past and present, in IMMORTAL BROTHERS: THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1 – featuring covers by Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord (Conan), Valiant-exclusive superstar Mico Suayan (Bloodshot Reborn), acclaimed artist Marc Laming(Ninjak), and rising star J.M. Dragunas!

Look for three more 25th anniversary specials honoring timeless tales of Valiant’s most iconic heroes throughout 2017!

IMMORTAL BROTHERS: THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by CARY NORD
Cover A By CARY NORD
Cover B  (Wraparound) by MICO SUAYAN
Variant Cover by MARC LAMING
Variant Cover by J.M. DRAGUNAS
$4.99 | 48 pgs. | ONE-SHOT | T+ | On Sale APRIL 12th (FOC – 3/20/17)


IMMORTAL BROTHERS: THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1 – Cover A by Cary Nord


IMMORTAL BROTHERS: THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT #1 – Cover B (Wraparound) by Mico Suayan