Monday, July 28, 2014

Rare DOC SAVAGE novel gets December hardcover from Moonstone

Doc Savage: The Frightened Fish HC novel
Author: Will Murray
Cover: Doug Klauba
6” x 9”, 160pgs, squarebound HC, $19.99
978-1-936814-88-6(51999)



Previews Exclusive!
Never published in hardcover before, and the paperback has been out of print for over 20 years!
This tale takes place near the end of Doc Savage's amazing career. The tone of the story and the characterization of the characters are consistent with the later work of Lester Dent. In "The Frightened Fish", working from story notes by Lester Dent, Will Murray presents us with a story of the early Cold War, and a sequel to Lester’s 1948 masterpiece, The Red Spider, in which a more mature and emotionally sophisticated Man of Bronze tackles an international threat which resonates with today's ecologically-challenged headlines. Characters from his past reappear, and Doc Savage is tested in ways never before imagined. In the fifteen year span of Doc's career, he grew as an individual. Everyone changes and grows over time and so did Doc Savage. The plot in "The Frightened Fish" deals with no less that the possible start of World War III!
An amazing villain returns to again warp the course of history! Doc pulls the Helldiver out of mothballs for a trip across the Pacific to occupied Japan! This edition has a new introduction by the author as well!


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Waiting for a worthy Kickstarter? Check out SQUARRIORS

It's been a long time since I pledged a Kickstarter campaign, but this project caught my attention. The art is just incredible! If the story can match it for premium quality then this will be one to watch.








Squarriors is now live on Kickstarter.

Watch a very well-produced explanatory video and get all the details here. . .

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/devilsdue/squarriors-teeth-and-nails

One of Devil's Due Entertainment's most anticipated new titles has just launched on Kickstarter - from the minds and talents of Ash Maczko and Ashley M. Witter - Squarriors #1 set to hit comic shops everywhere this December.

Including special rewards for readers and retailers alike!



Already featured on BleedingCool, First Comics News, Comic Bastards Graphic Policy, Comic Buzz and more...

What is intended to be the first of several mini-series begins here.



Store Up for Winter!



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More adds to BCC: Calafiore, Chen, Curtis, Kitchen, Staton

From the official press release . . . . .




BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - July 28, 2014 - Join the Baltimore Comic-Con at the Baltimore Convention Center this fall for our inaugural 3-day event on Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 2014! Joining us in Baltimore's Inner Harbor for our 10th annual show are Jim Calafiore, Jo Chen, Mike Curtis, Denis Kitchen, and Joe Staton!




Jim Calafiore, whose early work was for the now-reformed Valiant Comics on titles like X-O Manowar and Armorines, has made a name for himself working extensively for the Big Two: DC and Marvel Comics. Calafiore had noteworthy runs at Marvel on titles such as Black Panther, Deadpool, Exiles, and Iron Man, and over at DC on Aquaman, Batgirl, Red Lanterns, and Secret Six. More recently, his successful Kickstarter effort, Leaving Megalopolis (with Gail Simone) has been published by Dark Horse Comics, he's done interior work for Dynamite's Red Sonja title, and he's provided covers for Archer and Armstrong at Valiant.




Jo Chen (at the show Saturday and Sunday only!) was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and came to the US in 1994. Working professionally in the Asian comic book industry since age 18, her work in the U.S. comic book scene caught people's attention with her art work for the Racer X mini-series from Wildstorm/DC Comics in 2000. From there, her artwork graced interiors and covers of titles like Fight For Tomorrow, The Demon, and Robin from DC Comics, Runaways, Taskmaster, and Thor from Marvel Comics, and her covers for Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer became the title's trademark. Recently, her work has been seen on covers of DC Comics Presents: The Demon - Driven Out.




The Harvey Award-winning (and nominated again this year!) Denis Kitchen began his comics career as a self-published underground cartoonist (Mom's Homemade Comics, 1969), but quickly became primarily a publisher. His Kitchen Sink Press for three decades published such legendary and diverse artists as Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, R. Crumb, Mark Schultz, Charles Burns, Al Capp, Scott McCloud, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, Dave McKean, Howard Cruse, and countless others. Kitchen also founded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and chaired it for eighteen years. A monograph of his cartoons, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, was recently published. Kitchen curates exhibitions, is an art agent, a literary agent, a comics historian and author (The Art of Harvey Kurtzman and a biography, Al Capp), and has recently brought back Kitchen Sink Books as an imprint of Dark Horse Comics with partner John Lind. This is Denis's 5th appearance at Baltimore Comic-Con where he has a special connection: as the representative of the Kurtzman estate, he was responsible for bringing the annual Harvey Awards to us. Nominated for the same awards this year are Denis's work on Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground from Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics and Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary with Michael Schumacher from Bloomsbury.




Mike Curtis and Joe Staton are the writer and artist respectively of the Harvey Award-winning (and, like Denis above, nominated again this year!), Dick Tracy comic strip. Curtis, began working in comics in the 1980s for kids comics publisher Harvey Comics, writing for titles such as Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and New Kids on the Block. From there, he created Shanda the Panda for Mu Press and, later, Antarctic Press. He later went on to create the publishing house Shanda Fantasy Arts. Staton got his start in the comics industry in 1971 with publisher Charlton Comics, where he worked on E-Man, and went on to work for Warren and Marvel Comics as well. He moved to DC Comics to provide art duties on All Star Comics, Adventure Comics, and DC Special where he illustrated tales of the Justice Society of America, and on titles like Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Showcase, Metal Men, and Green Lantern. His career at DC Comics brought him to other titles too, like Millennium, Guy Gardner, The Huntress, and, most recently, Scooby Doo.

"What a privilege to have such esteemed creators join us this year," said Marc Nathan, promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "From critically acclaimed artists to award-winning creators and creative teams, adding this group of talent only adds to the experience our fans can expect from our show this year!"

The Baltimore Comic-Con will be held Friday, September 5 through Sunday, September 7, 2014, at the Baltimore Convention Center, which is located immediately across the street from the historic Camden Yards sports complex (which includes Oriole Park and Geppi's Entertainment Museum). Tickets, a full guest roster, and additional information is available on the convention's website.


Tickets
General Admission and VIP Package tickets for Weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are now on sale! Visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/ for more information and to purchase your advanced tickets now!

This year's previously confirmed guests for the show include: Eddy Barrows (Earth 2); Marty Baumann (Pixar artist); Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl); Marguerite Bennett (Batgirl); Mark Buckingham (Fables); Dave Bullock (Batman Black and White); Darrenn Canton (Tunnels & Trolls); Greg Capullo (Batman); Richard Case (Sandman); John Cassaday (Doc Savage); Bernard Chang (Green Lantern Corps); Sean Chen (Amazing Spider-Man); Jimmy Cheung (Infinity); Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman); Frank Cho (X-Men: Battle of the Atom); Amy Chu (Girls Night Out); Richard Clark (House of Gold & Bones); Steve Conley (Bloop); Jeremy Dale (Skyward); Alan Davis (Wolverine); Rachel Deering (In the Dark); Todd Dezago (Tellos); Tommy Lee Edwards (Star Wars); Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys); Ray Fawkes (Constantine); Tom Feister (G.I. Joe); David Finch (Forever Evil); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (All-Star Western); Gerhard (Cerebus the Aardvark); Dave Gibbons (Watchmen); Keith Giffen (The New 52: Future's End); Bryan JL Glass (Mice Templar); Michael Golden (The Ravagers); Allan Gross (Road Song); Cully Hamner (Animal Man); Dean Haspiel (The Fox); Fred Hembeck (Garfield); Marc Hempel (Sandman: The Kindly Ones); Adam Hughes (Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan); Justin Jordan (Luther Strode, Green Lantern: New Guardians); Dan Jurgens (The New 52: Future's End); Chris Kemple (Red Vengeance); Barry Kitson (Empire); Aaron Kuder (Action Comics); David Mack (Shadowman); Kevin Maguire (Guardians of the Galaxy); Alex Maleev (Moon Knight); Billy Martin (Vitriol, The Hunter); Ron Marz (Witchblade); Mike McKone (Ultimate FF); Bob McLeod (X-Men: Gold); Tradd Moore (Deadpool Annual); Mark Morales (New Avengers); Dan Parent (Archie, Veronica, Kevin Keller); David Peterson (Mouse Guard); Joe Prado (Justice League); Brian Pulido (Lady Death); Ron Randall (Trekker in Dark Horse Presents); Tom Raney (Incredible Hulk); Ivan Reis (Aquaman and The Others); Budd Root (Cavewoman); Don Rosa (Donald Duck); Craig Rousseau (Perhapanauts); Joe Rubinstein (The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe); Andy Runton (Owly); Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man); Louise Simonson (Power Pack); Walter Simonson (Thor); Andy Smith (Superman #23.1: Bizarro); Allison Sohn (sketch card artist); Charles Soule (Thunderbolts); Jim Starlin (Thanos: The Infinity Revelation); Paul D. Storrie (Sheena, Queen of the Jungle); Ben Templesmith (The Memory Collectors); Robert Tinnell (The Wicked West); Peter Tomasi (Batman and Two-Face); John Totleben (Swamp Thing); Herb Trimpe (GI Joe: A Real American Hero); Billy Tucci (Shi); Rick Veitch (Saga of the Swamp Thing); Mike Vosburg (Lori Lovecraft); Mark Waid (Daredevil); Lee Weeks (Daredevil); Mark Wheatley (Frankenstein Mobster); Bill Willingham (Fables); Renee Witterstaetter (Joe Jusko: Maelstrom); Rich Woodall (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles); Kelly Yates (Amber Atoms); Thom Zahler (My Little Pony); and Mike Zeck (Secret Wars).

About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 14th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 9 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.



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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ron Marz to write new John Carter: Warlord Of Mars series

JCWoM01-08-09

from the official press release. . . . .

July 23, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce a brand new chapter in the history of Edgar Rice Burroughs creation, John Carter: Warlord of Mars, to be written by the masterful pen of comics legend Ron Marz.  Illustrated by newcomer Abhishek Malsuni, John Carter: Warlord of Mars is the newly-minted cornerstone of the publisher's Warlord of Mars line, launched in the wake of their May 2014 announcement of the comprehensive licensing agreement between Dynamite and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

          John Carter: Warlord of Mars welcomes science fiction and fantasy fans to the exotic landscape of Barsoom, where displaced earthling John Carter has to save his adopted world, not to mention his beloved Dejah Thoris, from an enemy like no other he has ever faced.  John Carter must truly become a Warlord of Mars against an adversary who is every bit his equal on the savage red planet.

JCWoM01-07          Marz's enthusiasm for John Carter has been building for many years.  He says, "This is literally a job I've been wanting to do since I was twelve years old.  I was just the right age when I discovered John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, and the wonder of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars.  It fired my imagination like almost nothing else.  So to finally get a chance to write these characters, to visit that world, is a dream come true for me."
Ron Marz is an industry veteran with decades of experience as a writer and editor under his belt.  He is best known for his work on Green Lantern and Silver Surfer, and as one of the original creative masterminds behind CrossGen Comics.  His more recent work includes Witchblade, Cyberforce, and Voodoo.  He currently lives in upstate New York with four horses, three children, two dogs and one wife.

          "We are incredibly excited about Ron coming on board for this project," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment.  "When we originally launched the Warlord of Mars series in 2010, Ron and I ran into each other at a comic convention, and Ron grabbed me by the shoulders and said something to the effect of, 'How can you launch a John Carter series and not call me to write it?'  It was a statement!  As we looked at the potential creators for this series, we instinctively remembered Ron's passion for the mythos.   He is simply the perfect fit.  Add in the fantastic art by Abhishek Malsuni and Neeraj Menon, this series will take John Carter to new heights."

JCWoM01-10

          John Carter debuted in 1912 as the lead character in Edgar Rice Burroughs' first novel, serialized as Under The Moons Of Mars in the pulp magazine, The All-Story, and later published as a complete novel retitled A Princess of Mars.  The character excited the imagination of readers and quickly imprinted onto the public psyche. As many literary and popular culture scholars attest, John Carter served as the template for a litany of adventure heroes to follow, from Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and Superman to the Jedi Knights of Star Wars fame and Avatar.

          Dynamite's John Carter: Warlord of Mars comes on the heels of the reacquisition of comic book rights by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. that had been held by Walt Disney Pictures and its Marvel Entertainment subsidiary, as well as a recent legal settlement with Dynamite that cleared the way for Dynamite to introduce key characters and plot elements from the John Carter backstory that were, until now, absent from recent comic book interpretations.

          John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' September Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in November.  Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 with their local comic book retailers. John Carter: Warlord of Mars will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

JCWoM01-14-15

Pro Se Productions obtains rights to Nemo Publishing characters

from the official press release . . . . . .

PUBLISHER BRINGS A FOUR COLOR UNIVERSE TO GENRE FICTION- NEMO PUBLISHING LICENSES CHARACTERS TO PRO SE PRODUCTIONS

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          Known for bringing properties from other media to the printed page, Pro Se Productions announces the licensing of a cast of characters already featured in comics, toys, and a coloring book, and one that even began his life as a soda mascot.  Nemo Publishing, based in Maine has licensed characters to Pro Se to feature in prose novels and anthologies in the near future, characters including the popular Commander X, Sea Ghost, and Nemo’s star attraction, Capt’n Eli.

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          “We are always looking, “ says Pro Se Editor in Chief and Partner Tommy Hancock, “for properties outside the prose world that are screaming to be adapted.  And ever since I read my first Capt’n Eli adventure, not only was I hooked as a reader, but I was eager to test the waters to see if the Capt’n and his dog and parrot and the rest of the crew might end up between Pro Se covers.  As Jay Piscopo and Nemo continued to fill out that universe, bringing in characters like Commander X, Sea Ghost, and then adding Jack Danger, the Red Panther, and others, it seemed like the ideal time to see about adding those fantastic concepts to the work Pro Se is already doing.  Add the fact that Jay Piscopo is one of the most innovative, creative people I’ve met while in this business, and this was something I wanted to make sure Pro Se explored.”
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          Nemo Publishing is the home of Capt’n Eli, Commander X, and a variety of other characters.  Originally a mascot for Capt’n Eli Soda, the owners of the soda company saw potential for the character beyond its beginnings.  In partnership with artist/writer/creator Jay Piscopo and Nemo Publishing, Capt’n Eli became a four color hero and soon other characters, some reimagined public domain characters and others completely Piscopo’s original creations, joined the Nemo Comics Universe. Nemo also has a toyline featuring its characters.

          "It's just an incredible thrill and honor,” says Piscopo, “to be working with Tommy and Pro Se. I've been a fan of Pro Se for years, so it's great the Capt'n Eli/ Nemoverse and some of my other properties can find a home in prose with them."

          The first Pro Se volume featuring the Nemo Publishing characters will be an event anthology entitled ‘Nemoverse’. The call for the anthology will open in a matter of days.

BC and BC team up: Refugees find their Cool in Delinquents

 

Bleed Cool 11 cover 001

          Our apologies if the above headline doesn’t make sense to you.  Hopefully, it will all become clear before you finish this news article.  We just wanted to give a shout out to frequent BC Refugees contributor Mike Clarke upon his first commercial publication in BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE #11 (July 2014) , available in your local comics store right now.

          Mike is the writer of the Bleeding Cool article that previews THE DELINQUENTS, a four part mini-series featuring  popular Valiant duos, Archer & Armstrong plus Quantum & Woody, that debuts this August.   You can find some background information on the source material, as well as a preview of the upcoming title along with an interview with co-author James Asmus and editor Josh Johns. 

 

BC Article Page 1 001

 

          We managed to catch up to the busy writer during his day-off today (Saturday) and asked for a few comments.  “Bleeding Cool is one of the few remaining print magazines covering the world of comics and popular culture, and for that reason deserves our support. They take a light-hearted but respectable look at our favorite hobby and always manage to cover what’s new and exciting in the comics industry,” said a grinning Clarke, apparently elated that someone actually asked his opinion.  “I feel privileged and honored to have my article included among all the great writers of the Bleeding Cool staff.  It’s pretty exciting to see your name in print, and I’m feeling like a giddy little school boy right now.  Let’s go get an ice cream cone!”

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Latest Analysis: Positive News! The Comic Market is Growing!

From the official press release . . . . .


Comics and Graphic Novel Market Reaches $870 Million
According to New Estimate by Comichron and ICv2



"The market for comics and graphic novels in the U.S. and Canada reached $870 million at retail last year, according to a new estimate prepared jointly by ICv2's Milton Griepp and Comichron's John Jackson Miller.

"I've been networking with Milton on questions of the numbers underlying the business since he was at Capital City Distribution and I was editing Comics Retailer magazine back in the 1990s," Miller said. "It's been great to formally collaborate on these estimates for the first time, and I think the result is the most inclusive and accurate picture of the market either of us has ever been able to produce."



"I'm very excited about the market model this collaboration with John has produced," Griepp said. "I've always had great respect for John's work in the area of comic sales, and putting our heads together has enabled us to build a model that all can use to analyze and understand the market."

As presented in the accompanying infographic, the 2013 analysis by ICv2 and Comichron was divided up between periodical comics (what some call "floppies" or "pamphlets"), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales. Graphic novels contributed the largest portion ($415 million) and comic books nearly as much ($365 million), and digital (based on numbers released yesterday by ICv2) continued to grow faster than the market at $90 million. All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup.

According to the report by Comichron and ICv2, comics periodical sales occur primarily in the comics store channel ($340 million) and to a declining degree in the "newsstand" channel ($25 million). For book format products, well over half of all graphic novel sales ($245 million) occur in the book channel, with a smaller share ($170 million) in the comics store channel.

ICv2 and Comichron also collaborated on market estimates for 2011 and 2012, revising earlier estimates by both. According to the new report, comics periodical sales grew from $300 million in 2011 to $335 million in 2012; graphic novel sales grew from $390 million in 2011 to $400 million in 2012; and combined comics and graphic novel sales grew from $690 million in 2011 to $735 million in 2012.

Incorporating ICv2 digital comic market size estimates ($25 million in 2011 and $70 million in 2012), the total market grew from $715 million in 2011 to $805 million in 2012.

"It's great that the comics market has found new ways to grow even as the over-all book and magazine markets remain challenged," Griepp said. "It's proof of the fundamental entertainment and literary value of the comics medium."

"According to our records here at Comichron, without adjusting for inflation, this is the highest dollar value the market has reached since 1993," Miller said. "That's great for the business, and we're excited to see what comes next."

Comichron Comichron is the world's largest public repository of comic-book sales figures, featuring data from the 1930s to today about comic book and graphic novel circulation, cover prices, and market shares on its website, www.comichron.com. With data and analysis on the distant past as well as the present, Comichron serves as a trusted resource for academics studying the the historical reach of the medium and for collectors seeking accurate information about how many copies of a comic book originally circulated.

ICv2.com:
ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, manga and anime, movie/TV products, and hobby games, on its Website, www.ICv2.com, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence. For the people on the front lines of the pop culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn't something that can be left to chance--it's a basic necessity for being successful. That's why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines. ICv2 is where trend-watching has become a science.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Valiant explores animated digital comics with Visionbooks

From the official press release . . . . . .

Valiant Entertainment and Visionbooks Partner for Animated Digital Comic Books

Cutting-Edge Digital Technology Brings Best-Selling Superheroes to Life, Beginning with Free X-O Manowar #1



NEW YORK, July 22, 2014 – Visionbooks is proud to announce a new partnership agreement with award-winning comic book publisher, Valiant Entertainment. Launching today with the release of X-O Manowar #1-4 on the Visionbooks app, relive the best-selling first story arc of Valiant’s alien-armored Visigoth hero as realized by Visionbooks’ groundbreaking digital animation process.

Visionbooks revolutionizes comic book reading by transforming two-dimensional comic books into a digital animation experience. By combining traditional comics with cutting-edge technology, Visionbooks creates dimensional action like explosions, smoke, weather, character conflicts and action, all within static comic panels.

From New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Armor Hunters, Green Lantern) and Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord (Conan), X-O Manowar is the acclaimed series that relaunched Valiant’s publishing line in 2012 to critical and commercial success. Named the “Best Revival of 2012” by The Onion/A.V. Club and “Best Ongoing Series” by Ain’t It Cool News, the tale of Aric of Dacia’s transformation from fifth-century freedom fighter to modern-day America’s most powerful superhero begins right here with the chart-topping debut that IGN calls “one of the best books being published right now, period.”

Visionbooks’ technology and application showcases comics in a whole new way, while preserving the original narrative and layout found in paper comics. Click here to download Valiant’s X-O Manowar #1, free of charge, right now at Visionbooks.

“This partnership with Valiant gives Visionbooks an opportunity to work with classic superheroes and create a cinematic reading experience that engages the next generation of new comic book fans,” said Francesco Scrufari co-founder of Visionbooks.

“Visionbooks is pushing the envelope with our new digital technology. Who better to partner with than Valiant, a publisher who is also known for their innovation and creativity,” said Simone Offredo, co-founder of Visionbooks.

In addition to Valiant Entertainment, Visionbooks’ current partnerships include: Asylum Press, Arcana, Real Interface Studios, A.P.N.G. Enterprises, Vanquish Interactive, Pavesio and Cavalletto.

For more information visit: http://www.visionbooks.co

Follow Visionbooks on Twitter https://twitter.com/VisionbooksApp

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Harvey Award Nominees Announced, Finals at Baltimore Comic-Con

From the official press release-- my picks noted with "xx".


014 Harvey Awards Nominees Announced!
Visit www.harveyawards.org for Ballots & Submission Details!

BALTIMORE, MD (July 16, 2014) -- The 2014 Harvey Awards Nominees have been announced with the release of the final ballot, presented by the Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con. Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry's most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. They will be presented September 6, 2014 in Baltimore, MD, in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators - those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit, or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field. They are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. Thank you to all that have already participated by submitting a nomination ballot.

Final ballots are due to the Harvey Awards by Monday, August 18, 2014. Full submission instructions can be found on the final ballot. Voting is open to anyone professionally involved in a creative capacity within the comics field. Final ballots are available at www.harveyawards.org. Those who prefer paper ballots may e-mail harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com.

This will be the ninth year for the Harvey Awards in Baltimore, MD. Look for more details soon as to how you can attend the Harvey Awards dinner.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 5-7, 2014. The ceremony and banquet for the 2014 Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, September 6th.

Without further delay, the 2014 Harvey Award Nominees:

BEST LETTERER

____ Deron Bennett, CYBORG 009, Archaia
__xx__ Dave Lanphear, QUANTUM AND WOODY, Valiant Entertainment
____ Terry Moore, RACHEL RISING, Abstract Studio
____ Steve Wands, ADVENTURE TIME, kaBOOM!
____ Britt Wilson, ADVENTURE TIME WITH FIONNA AND CAKE, kaBOOM!

BEST COLORIST

____ Jordan Bellaire, PRETTY DEADLY, Image Comics
____ Marte Gracia, ALL NEW X-MEN, Marvel Comics
____ Matt Hollingsworth, HAWKEYE, Marvel
__xx__ Brian Reber, UNITY, Valiant Entertainment
____ Dave Stewart, HELLBOY: THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS, Dark Horse Comics

BEST SYNDICATED STRIP or PANEL

____ DICK TRACY, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Media Services
____ FOX TROT, Bill Amend, Universal Uclick
____ GET FUZZY, Darby Conley, Universal
_xx__ MUTTS, Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
____ THE PHANTOM, Tony DePaul and Paul Ryan, King Features Syndicate

BEST ONLINE COMICS WORK

_xx__ BATTLEPUG, Mike Norton, battlepug.com
____ THE DREAMER, Lora Innes, thedreamercomic.com
____ GUNNERKRIGG COURT, Tom Siddell, gunnerkrigg.com
____ JL8, Yale Stewart, jl8comic.tumblr.com
____ TABLE TITANS, Scott Kurtz, Steve Hamaker, and Brian Hurtt, tabletitans.com

BEST AMERICAN EDITION of FOREIGN MATERIAL

____ ATTACK ON TITAN, Kodansha
____ THE KILLER, VOLUME 4, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
____ SHOWA: A HISTORY OF JAPAN 1926-1939, Drawn and Quarterly
____ SUNNY, Viz Signature
_xx__ TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, Fantagraphics

BEST INKER

____ Vanesa R. Del Rey, HIT, BOOM! Studios
____ Stefano Gaudiano, THE WALKING DEAD, Image Comics
__xx__Danny Miki, BATMAN, DC Comics
____ Brian Stelfreeze, DAY MEN, BOOM! Studios
____ Wade Von Grawbadger, ALL NEW X-MEN, Marvel Comics

BEST NEW SERIES

____ AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, Archie Comics
____ QUANTUM AND WOODY, Valiant Entertainment
____ SEX CRIMINALS, Image
____ SIX GUN GORILLA, BOOM! Studios
_xx__ SUICIDE RISK, BOOM! Studios

MOST PROMISING NEW TALENT

_xx__James Asmus, QUANTUM AND WOODY, Valiant Entertainment
____ Pere Perez, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG, HARBINGER WARS, Valiant Entertainment
____ Victor Santos, POLAR: CAME FROM THE COLD, DARK HORSE PRESENTS, Dark Horse Comics
____ Jeff Stokely, SIX GUN GORILLA, BOOM! Studios
____ Chip Zdarsky, SEX CRIMINALS, Image Comics

SPECIAL AWARD FOR HUMOR IN COMICS

____ James Asmus, QUANTUM AND WOODY, Valiant Entertainment
____ Ryan North, ADVENTURE TIME, KaBOOM!
____ Dan Parent, KEVIN KELLER, Archie Comics
_xx__ Fred Van Lente, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG, Valiant Entertainment
____ Jim Zub, SKULLKICKERS, Image Comics

BEST ORIGINAL GRAPHIC PUBLICATION FOR YOUNGER READERS

____ ADVENTURE TIME, KaBOOM!
____ BATTLING BOY, First Second
____ G-MAN: COMING HOME, Image Comics
_xx__ MONSTER ON THE HILL, Top Shelf Productions
____ ONLY LIVING BOY, Bottled Lightning

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED

_xx__ HARBINGER VOLUME 1: OMEGA RISING, Valiant Entertainment
____ THE KILLER OMNIBUS VOLUME 1, Archaia
____ MOUSE GUARD VOL. 3: THE BLACK AXE, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
____ POLARITY, BOOM! Studios
____ RAINBOW IN THE DARK: THE COMPLETE SAGA, Comfort Love and Adam Withers

BEST ANTHOLOGY

_xx__ DARK HORSE PRESENTS, Dark Horse Comics
____ MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOLUME 2, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
____ OUTLAW TERRITORY 3, Image Comics
____ SPERA, VOLUME 3, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
____ THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR, BOOM! Studios/Archaia

BEST DOMESTIC REPRINT PROJECT

____ BARNABY VOLUME 1, Fantagraphics
_xx__ BEST OF COMIX BOOK: WHEN MARVEL COMICS WENT UNDERGROUND, Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse
____ FRAGGLE ROCK CLASSICS VOLUME 2, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
____ VALIANT MASTERS: NINJAK VOLUME 1 - BLACK WATER, Valiant Entertainment
____ VALIANT MASTERS: SHADOWMAN VOLUME 1 - SPIRITS WITHIN, Valiant Entertainment

BEST COVER ARTIST

_xx__ Goni Montes, CLIVE BARKER'S NEXT TESTAMENT,
____ Andrew Robinson, QUANTUM AND WOODY, Valiant Entertainment
____ Chris Samnee, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
____ Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
____ Brian Stelfreeze, DAY MEN, BOOM! Studios

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL, or JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION

____ AL CAPP: A LIFE TO THE CONTRARY, Denis Kitchen, Bloomsbury
____ AMERICAN COMIC BOOK CHRONICLES: THE 1950S, TwoMorrows Publishing
____ ART OF RUBE GOLDBERG, Jennifer George, Abrams ComicArts
____ CO-MIX: A RETROSPECTIVE OF COMICS, GRAPHICS, AND SCRAPS, Art Spiegelman, Drawn and Quarterly
____ THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker,
Dark Horse
_xx__ MARCH: BOOK ONE, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, Top Shelf Productions

SPECIAL AWARD for EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION

____ BEST OF COMIX BOOK: WHEN MARVEL COMICS WENT UNDERGROUND, John Lind,
Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics
____ CYBORG 009, Stephen Christy, Archaia
____ HARBINGER WARS, Josh Johns and Warren Simons, Valiant Entertainment
_xx__ THRILLING ADVENTURE HOUR, Joe LeFavi, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
____ UNITY, Alejandro Arbona, Josh Johns, and Warren Simons, Valiant Entertainment

BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM ORIGINAL

____ BATTLING BOY, First Second
____ CYBORG 009, Archaia
____ THE FIFTH BEATLE: THE BRIAN EPSTEIN STORY, Dark Horse Comics
____ MARCH: BOOK ONE, Top Shelf Productions
_xx__ THE REASON FOR DRAGONS, BOOM! Studios/Archaia

BEST CONTINUING OR LIMITED SERIES

__xx_ ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG, Valiant Entertainment
____ DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
____ HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
____ HIT, BOOM! Studios
____ MOUSE GUARD: LEGENDS OF THE GUARD VOL. 2, Archaia
____ SAGA, Image Comics

BEST WRITER

____ James Asmus, QUANTUM AND WOODY, Valiant Entertainment
____ Matt Fraction, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
_xx__ Matt Kindt, MIND MGMT, Dark Horse Comics
____ Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics
____ Mark Waid, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics

BEST ARTIST

____ David Aja, HAWKEYE, Marvel Comics
____ Dan Parent, KEVIN KELLER, Archie Comics
____ Nate Powell, MARCH: BOOK ONE, Top Shelf Productions
____ Chris Samnee, DAREDEVIL, Marvel Comics
____ Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
_xx__ Jeff Stokely, SIX GUN GORILLA, BOOM! Studios

BEST CARTOONIST

____ Matt Kindt, MIND MGMT, Dark Horse Comics
____ Comfort Love and Adam Withers, RAINBOW IN THE DARK, uniquescomic.com
_xx__ Terry Moore, RACHEL RISING, Abstract Studios
_____ Dan Parent, KEVIN KELLER, Archie Comics
____ David Petersen, MOUSE GUARD: THE BLACK AXE, BOOM! Studios/Archaia
____ Paul Pope, BATTLING BOY, First Second

BEST SINGLE ISSUE OR STORY

____ ADVENTURE TIME ANNUAL #1, kaBOOM!
____ DEMETER, self-published, Becky Cloonan
____ "A Kiss ISN'T Just A Kiss!", KEVIN KELLER #10, Archie Comics
____ "Now and Then", DARK HORSE PRESENTS #30, Dark Horse Comics
____ "Pizza is My Business', HAWKEYE #11, Marvel Comics
____ SUICIDE RISK #5, BOOM! Studios
_xx__ UNITY #1, Valiant Entertainment


Congratulations to all of the nominees! If you know a nominee, please pass on the good news using email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Please submit any corrections to harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com. We try our best to list nominees correctly, and want to know if there is an error.

The Harvey Committee and the Baltimore Comic-Con will make every effort to contact all nominees. If you are a nominee and you do not hear from us by July 25, please contact us at harveys@baltimorecomiccon.com. We would love to discuss your involvement in the ceremony and the Baltimore Comic-Con.

For additional information about Harvey Kurtzman and the Harvey Awards, visit www.harveyawards.org or http://www.facebook.com/theharveyawards.

The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 15th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 5-7, 2014. For more information, please visit the website, Twitter, or Facebook pages.



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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Archer & Armstrong Headed To The Big Screen

. . . From the official press release . . . . .

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG" HEADED TO BIG SCREEN
Award-winning, multi-million selling comic coming to film from Valiant developed and financed script




As revealed exclusively at the Hollywood Reporter, New York-based comic book publisher Valiant Entertainment today announced that they are adapting their award-winning comic book series, ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, into a feature film. Valiant has partnered with the Sean Daniel Company (THE MUMMY, BEST MAN HOLIDAY, MGM’s upcoming BEN-HUR) for the production and has funded a script from writer BenDavid Grabinski. The film will be produced by Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, and Dinesh Shamdasani.

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG is an action-adventure/buddy comedy colliding a drunk, delinquent immortal who has given up on saving the world and the idealistic young man who needs him for a globetrotting quest to stop history’s oldest conspiracy from toppling modern civilization.

Co-created by former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter (AVENGERS), and legendary comics creators Barry Windsor-Smith (CONAN) and Bob Layton (IRON MAN), Archer & Armstrong first appeared in 1992 and quickly became one of the most successful comic book franchises in history, selling more than 4.5 million copies worldwide. With a devoted following that stretches around the globe, Ain't It Cool News has called Archer & Armstrong “the best buddy team book of all time,” adding that “not since Batman & Robin has a more important duo hit the comic world.”

Most recently, Valiant re-launched the property with a new series in 2012 to an immediate worldwide sell-out and rave reviews. The series’ debut issue garnered three printings; earned numerous awards and accolades; and was named as one of the Best Comics of 2012 by Crave Online and Bloody Disgusting, as one of the Best Comics of 2013 by Comic Book Resources, and was nominated for Best New Comic Series of 2012 by IGN.

"ARCHER & ARMSTRONG is one of the greatest untapped franchises in comics, and BenDavid's script is delivering a vision for these characters that has made us all very, very excited,” said Sean Daniel. “The movie is about the relationship between these two amazing characters, the comic clash between optimism and pessimism, and how family is the most important unifier. It combines globe-spanning action with BenDavid’s singular sense of humor, and is rooted in resonant themes that give it a powerful emotional core.”

Founded in 1989, Valiant experienced a meteoric rise in the 1990s, selling 80 million comic books and quickly becoming the number three publisher in the comic book industry. One of the few companies to ever rival Marvel and DC in popularity and market share, Valiant re-launched its universe of characters to tremendous commercial and critical success in 2012. The company previously announced that SHADOWMAN, another award-winning franchise from Valiant's library of more than 1,750 comic book characters, was being adapted into a feature film. Screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski (THOR, WORLD WAR Z, and the upcoming SENSE8 for Netflix) has been hired to adapt SHADOWMAN with Valiant funding and producing alongside the Sean Daniel Company. Additionally, BLOODSHOT – another Valiant property with sales in excess of 7 million copies to date – has been optioned by Sony Pictures with Matthew Vaughn (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS) attached and a script by Jeff Wadlow (KICK-ASS 2). Valiant has partnered with Original Film for the project. Neal Moritz, Toby Jaffe and Dinesh Shamdasani are producing.

BenDavid Grabinski, writer of SKIPTRACE with Jackie Chan and Seann William Scott starring, also previously wrote an untitled project for Peter Berg (LONE SURVIVOR), as well as CON ED for Alcon Entertainment; SWIFT for Sony Pictures; and THE HOW-TO GUIDE FOR SAVING THE WORLD for MGM with Barry Sonnenfeld (MEN IN BLACK) directing, which was featured on the Black List.

ARCHER & ARMSTRONG joins a highly anticipated slate of upcoming feature film and television projects at the Sean Daniel Company, including THE MUMMY reboot for Universal in 2016, BEN-HUR for Paramount/MGM with director Timur Bekmambetov (WANTED) also in 2016, and THE EXPANSE, which received a straight-to-series commitment from the Syfy channel and is based on the New York Times bestselling series of novels by James S.A. Corey.

“We couldn’t have more apt partners than Sean Daniel – who, as an executive at Universal, shepherded the seminal movies in the genre in BLUES BROTHERS, MIDNIGHT RUN, and ANIMAL HOUSE – and BenDavid Grabinski, who just turned in a truly awesome adaptation,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “We’re bringing the same quality and creativity that established our success in comics to our film and television adaptations. SHADOWMAN, BLOODSHOT, and ARCHER & ARMSTRONG are just the beginning."




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Monday, July 14, 2014

DANGER GIRL
Writer:  J. Scott Campbell & Andy Hartnell
Artist:  J. Scott Campbell
IDW Publishing | TPB | $18.99
Browsing comic covers one day while looking for the trade about which I would write this column, Danger Girl caught my eye. It’s not that I recognized the writer or the artist or even that I was a big fan of Wildstorm’s stuff but the cover caught my eye for reasons that will be apparent to anyone familiar with JSC’s body of work.
J Scott Campbell got his start as artist and co-creator of Gen13 and is known throughout the industry for his highly sexualized depictions of women. Andy Hartnell co-created Gen13 with Campbell and has also written Army of Darkness: Ashes to Ashes for Dynamite comics.
Abbey Chase is a treasure hunter in the vein of Nathan Drake in the Uncharted video game franchise. While wrestling with a fellow plunderer in a ship that’s headed for a waterfall, she is saved by several statuesque women. Recruited into an all-female strike force to fight a modern incarnation of Nazis, she is part spy, part action hero and all woman.
The story has its fair amount of plot holes. Why does Abbey join the Danger Girl squad? How did the squad come to be? Who do they even work for beyond Deuce, their handler?  The action movie plot merely moves the Danger Girls from skimpy outfits to jumping into bubble baths to wrestling with each other. To the extent that there is a story here, it is half Indiana Jones and half Charlie’s Angels.
The art is truly fantastic, though I would not recommend it for younger readers. While it’s easy to dismiss JSC as a smutty artist, he really does amazing work. His facial expressions are some of the most detailed in any book I’ve read recently, and his art compliments this type of story.
While the writing falls somewhat flat, the action and art are enough to redeem this book. It’s the equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie where you know the bad guy’s actions or motives might not make sense, but you’re just there for the gun fights, big explosions and Scarlett Johansson.
Final rating (out of 5):
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a NUMBER ONE should be in every comics shop

NUMBER ONE (Aazurn Publishing, September 2014 release, $3.99) Writing, typography and colors by Gary Scott Beatty. Art and inking by Aaron Warner.

Number One cover.indd

          NUMBER ONE does much more than relate the fictional story of a comic store owner as he experiences the ups and downs of owning a business over the course of 50 years. It also serves as a great summary of the changes that have occurred in the industry over those same years. In addition, it provides great insight into the challenges faced by all owners of comic shops and independent bookstores in the 21st Century, in the early days of the digital age.

          NUMBER ONE is the book that recognizes the passion for illustrated story-telling that is the core driving force that keeps long-term fans of comic books coming back for more, week after week, month after month, year after year, and on and on.  It’s the book that does a noteworthy job of explaining “why we still read those things” as well as why any sane individual would try and make a living by catering to the interests of comics fans.  It’s a testimonial for comic store owners nationwide, and through its’ narrative it explains and drives home the message - - we still need local comics stores and need to support them.

          NUMBER ONE is the product of creator Gary Scott Beatty, a noted illustrator/inker/colorist who utilizes his Indie Comics Magazine and Aazurn Publishing to showcase the best of independent creators.  Utilizing Diamond Distribution and employing a unique business model that ensures that costs can be contained, Beatty has found a way for a small publisher to co-exist among the bigger companies with huge overhead and budgets.  NUMBER ONE is sold only through pre-order.  Interested readers need to order this book through their local comic store or resource in July in order to receive a copy in September.

04-numberone-web-res

          It’s pretty simple.  If you care, you should support this book.  NUMBER ONE deserves to have a place on the shelves of every single comics store .  Anyone who considers themselves a “comic collector” rather than a casual reader needs to own and read NUMBER ONE.

          The story follows the life of narrator Steve from the fateful event in 1964 that made him an orphan up to the present day.  It relates how mythological literature and an introduction to comics helped him cope with the fears and doubts that bother the very young and impressionable.  Steve takes a job working in a head shop that sells comics, and years later comes back to buy the business.  NUMBER ONE covers the days of joy , success ,and profit as well as the days of despair, depression and debts.  In the capable hands of scripter Beatty, Steve really comes to life and his story seems believable, perhaps reminding some readers of some memorable comic store owners from their own experience.  Perhaps because it is a narrative that takes an A to Z path through Steve’s life, there is a very fluid and seamless flow to the story-telling.

06-numberone-web-res

          Artist Aaron Warner details everything in a style that compliments the mood and tone of the story, a style that will remind you of many classic EC Comics artists.

          What is the real life value of comic books and the heroes in them?  This question is explored fully in  NUMBER ONE, a full color, done-in-one-issue story looking at 50 years of comic book history through the life of one comic book retailer. 

          “Comics helped Steve through some tough times growing up and he turned his love of the medium into a comic shop business,” said writer Gary Scott Beatty. “In NUMBER ONE we see whether operating the business is worth the toll it takes on his family.”

          Returning to comic book illustration in NUMBER ONE is Aaron Warner, whose Adventures of Aaron comics became a critically acclaimed newspaper strip that ran for over 10 years, was read by over six million newspaper subscribers, and garnered a Rueben Award nomination from the National Cartoonist Society.

          “Aaron understood the comic book guy in  NUMBER ONE like I think most of us will understand him,” said Beatty.  “We don’t have to be comic shop owners to relate to someone who loves comic books.  The adventure, the history, the hope and passion comics inspire inform our every day lives.”

          Small business owners will also feel for Steve, said Beatty.  “I think we’re all more informed about how difficult it is to operate a local business these days, since the recession of 2008.”

          American media offers a distorted view of comic book readers, said Beatty.  “I enjoy the goofy actors on television, but few of the people I know who read comics are like that.  I set out to write a story that, in an personal way, can explain to those outside our community why we love comics.”

          Steve’s tale brings readers through decades of comic book history.  Also included in  NUMBER ONE’s 32 pages is a short Guide to Illustrated Stories.  “I put comics in historical context, from Gilgamesh, to The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck, to Free Comic Book Day.  Number One is a complete package explaining, in an entertaining way, our hobby and our passion for it.”